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Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 12

Following on from the 11th instalment in Joy Martin’s blog series, available to read HERE.  The men and women interviewed for Twelve Shades of Black were – mostly – slow to talk at first.  But gradually they grew less shy and spoke to me about their lives.  The priest, Father Samson Kataka, faced with witchcraft in…
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Researching 13th Century China

By Karen Warren It was quite a challenge for me to write a novel about the Mongol Empire. I’d come across the story of the legendary explorer Marco Polo escorting a Mongol princess by sea from China to Persia, and I knew that I had to write about it. But I knew nothing about the…
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The Custom of the Sea, by Neil Hanson

Four starving men adrift in a dinghy for 19 days. Should all die together, or should one be sacrificed to save the rest? Captain Tom Dudley faced that cruel dilemma in 1884. His decision – and his honesty about it – made headlines around the world and led to a trial that split Victorian Britain…
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Deadly Return by Daniel Bjork

The Evil One, Henry Chase, the man who drowned his daughter, slit his wife’s throat, and murdered a half dozen more was in an unmarked grave, killed by his own son.  But wait!  His daughter and wife have disappeared from their coffins in Sleepy Hollow cemetery Concord, Massachusetts.  Doubtless some drunk boys stole them as…
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A Great and Godly Adventure by Godfrey Hodgson

The United States has many public holidays, but two of them are supreme in Americans’ affection: Independence Day (July 4), and Thanksgiving, which, since 1941, is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.  Their mood is very different. July 4 is a feast of noisy patriotism, with flags and marching bands and patriotic oratory. Thanksgiving…
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Murder in Ancient Rome

By Mark Knowles Looking at how various authors’ plots were first conceived within this blog makes for very interesting reading. I remember mine vividly. I was a relatively inexperienced supervisor stood half frozen on a crime scene one morning by a canal in central London. I was discussing with another officer how such scenes might…
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Red Winter: Why This, and Why Now?

By Julia Underwood Sometime last year I read an article about the Russian Revolution and it struck me how much the dispossessed Russians lost in the struggle. They often fled the country with nothing and looked forward to the bleak prospect of an uncertain future, rather like the refugees of today. As 2017 marks the…
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Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 11

Today, it’s hard to believe that Twelve Shades of Black (no traces of grey…!) , a series of interviews with six black men and six black women living in the townships outside Johannesburg during the apartheid era, could have upset so many white South Africans. But it did! It did so because the book depicted…
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Two Detectives. Two Homicide Cases. All Hell Is Going To Break Loose.

By B. R. Stateham You haven’t met homicide detectives like Turner Hahn and Frank Morales. Turner looks like a 1930’s movie star. Frank looks like something bred in a genetics lab which went terribly awry. But they are partners in Homicide. Partners and friends. Together these two take on the homicide cases no one else…
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Murder and Mayhem on the Mean Streets of Westminster

By Rafe McGregor  The Architect of Murder was conceived while I was conducting some unrelated research and came across a reference to the strange will of Cecil John Rhodes, the British Empire equivalent of Bill Gates.  Although I spent many years in South Africa, I knew very little about Rhodes so I turned my attention to…
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