London On Film

First in an occasional series. Noel Coward’s 1944 crowd-pleaser ‘This Happy Breed’, the story of a London house and the family who lived in it between the wars, was apparently filmed at number 53, Alderbrook Place near Clapham South tube station, but I can find no such road existing today. And in ‘The Ladykillers’, Mrs […]

New ‘Forgotten Authors’

I’ve just added a number of new ‘Forgotten Authors’ columns – see right.

Race Relations

Whenever I start a new collection of short stories, I keep a timeline of events so that I can contextualise the writing a little. This week, it was revealed that 1 in 10 children in Britain now lives in a mixed-race family, with mixed-race relationships so common that traditionally distinct ethnic groupings will soon disappear […]

Smoke In London

Sometimes on a Saturday, watching tourists lurking on a street like, say, Beauchamp Place, London seems to have the most pointless shopping in the world, unless you’re in the market for a ten-foot high silver propellor or a life-size carving of a horse with a lampshade on its head (I swear I’m not making this […]

What Do Bryant & May Look Like?

From time to time, artists send me their interpretations of my wizened detectives – it’s great to find out how others see them. Graphic artist Keith Page sent me this version of Bryant & May, as they were in the two time frames of ‘Full Dark House’, which I like. The worst example I’ve seen […]

Light Up London

We’re finally getting some decent light installations in London (see the one near London Bridge, below) but how much more could we do? Berlin’s Festival of Lights shows how an ordinary street terrace could look, just for an evening. Sure, we live with light pollution but this is a big city and winter’s low lighting […]

Those Pubs In Full

I’ve been asked to provide a list of the London pubs that appeared in ‘The Victoria Vanishes’, which seems like a good idea to me. I can’t guarantee they’re all still there, though. British boozers often occupy prime locations on street corners and have two front doors, which makes them ideal for redevelopment into flats […]

Bryant & May US-Style

The latest cover art for ‘Bryant & May On The Loose’ made me laugh – the US style wouldn’t work here because it would signal everything from St Trinian’s to Nigel Molesworth, but it’s perfect for the US. Equally, the UK covers wouldn’t work in America because they’re suggestive of English railway carriage art and […]

The London of ‘Paperboy’

Next month, my memoir ‘Paperboy’ comes out – it’s about a 10 year-old would-be writer growing up in a house without books in South London, and is set in the early sixties. To remind ourselves that the past is not always as rosy as we’d like to remember it, check out footage of these Lambeth […]

New Readers Start Here…

As it’s a new year, I thought I’d give anyone visiting these pages for the first time a little help. I’ve written many different kinds of novels and short stories (my next book is a memoir), but the Bryant & May books are a series of mystery novels set in London, charting the lives of […]