London Snippets

Just as you sometimes watch old films for glimpses of a city as it was before, so I love reading old books about flaneurs in London, watching the city’s people and institutions and jotting down their thoughts. There are hundreds of these books and they’re very undervalued by sellers, probably because they can’t imagine who’d […]

Should Cities Limit Their Nightlife?

Parts of cities in the UK operate under ‘Controlled Drinking’ hours, with zones where you can’t walk about with bottles. A recent trip to Cardiff revealed two cities; one with rolling parkland, a beautiful castle, winding lanes and hip cafes, the other a booze-sodden avenue of bad cocktail bars and clubs pumping out competing sounds […]

Everybody Loves A Villain

‘And thus I clothe my naked villainy With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.’ Richard III was not stupid; villains rarely are. They’re vain, pompous, blind, flawed, egotistical and psychotically ambitious. One of the most fun villains for Londoners has been Boris Johnson, […]

Bryant & May Nominated For ‘Best Detective Duo’!

Well, this is nice. The lovely peeps at the Dead Good Reader Awards have nominated my detectogenarians Bryant & May for the Best Detective Duo Award, alongside Elly Griffiths for her characters Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson, Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles, Sarah Hilary’s Marnie Rome and Noah Jake, Syd Moore’s Rosie Strange and Sam Stone, and P J Tracy’s Gino and Magozzi. […]

Caine’s Generation

I’ve just delivered the new Bryant & May novel, ‘The Lonely Hour’, along with my last new short story, specially written for crime editor Maxim Jacubowski’s possibly final collection, and before I go back into a new draft of my medieval epic I need to restock my brain, so I’m catching up with stuff I […]

The Swan (And Edgar) Song Of The Department Store

I’ve always loved big department stores. As a kid brought up in Gamages, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Marshall & Snellgrove, Derry & Toms and the rest I loved the order and regimentation of such institutions. Seeking them out in other countries I fell in love with New York’s Bloomingdales, with its platoons of knowledgeable old ladies. […]

Should We Talk About The World Cup?

(No. Ed)

Is London Safe?

Last Sunday saw the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack at Borough Market, and Londoners turned out in force to celebrate life. We don’t do candles and prayers, we raise glasses instead and have a party. We’re used to dealing with disasters, and handle them with grace and even humour (who can forget the shot […]

A Walk Through…West London

Making sense of London’s boroughs and working out how they all fit together can sometimes be a challenge. The western part of central London always gets overlooked, partly because there’s no special reason to visit a mainly residential area, partly because of the bewildering roads and bridges that mark out the territories from Paddington to […]

London Oddities: The Horse Hospital

London is littered with meeting halls, temperance rooms, debating chambers and lecture theatres. The clubs and cafes where talks take place are often tucked under arches or in tunnels, but there are other spaces that have been repurposed for the changing times as arts venues. One is the Horse Hospital in Herbrand Street, Bloomsbury, which […]