Blog

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…
Read more

Earl of Shadows by Jacqueline Reiter

In August 2003, I was a year into my PhD, plugging through the archives to find evidence for an argument that was still little more than a collection of theories. It was the hottest British summer on record; I remember trying not to fall asleep at my desk while attempting not to drip sweat all…
Read more

Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 10

To Cassie Stacton, her beloved grandmother, Laura Conway, is a woman of enormous integrity. Scrupulously honest herself, she demands absolute truth from her family and friends. As Laura’s retrospective opens, Cassis is worrying lest Laura be offended by the white lies which she has been forced to tell her over the past eight months.    But,…
Read more

Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 9

The Image of Laura is partially based on the true story of a young English girl who went to Berlin in the early 1930s.   Travelling with her was her most prized possession: a hand-carved bureau made by the master craftsman, Edward Barnsley. Forced to flee from Berlin when the Nazis came to power, she had to…
Read more

Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 8

In the Charente region of south-west France people will tell you  that, for one month after Easter, ‘The Moon is Red in April.’   The action of this novel does later shift to the Charente – but not before Ellen Nagle, Richard’s O’Shaughnessy’s Irish sweetheart, arrives in Paris in pursuit of him. Dressed  as a man, with…
Read more

Character Development and Language in Historical Fiction: A Guide

By Richard Blake How do you develop characters in historical or any other fiction? How do you use language? My answer to the first of these questions probably says as much about me as about the question. But here it is: At all times, and in all places, interesting people are motivated by sex and…
Read more

Another Man’s Face, by Andrew Puckett

What’s it like to lose your wife and son… and also your face? And then to discover that the car accident wasn’t an accident, but a deliberate attempt to kill you? Robert Aspinall wakes up in hospital with no idea of who he is, or why he is there.  It’s down to his brother Simon to…
Read more

Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 7

In the middle of the 18th century Ireland was still living in the shadow of the Penal Laws which had been enacted nearly 50 years earlier to exclude Catholics from public life. Prevented from owning more than 5% of their land, or owning a horse of higher value than five pounds, they were not allowed…
Read more

How I Wrote My First Novel, ‘Blood Will Be Born’ (Part 2)

By Gary Donnelly Part 2: Hitting the wall… And getting round it The first 10K words of Blood Will Be Born, and I’d wager any first novel, were fuelled by a sweet cocktail of incredulity and joy. Nothing’s perfect mind you. Like many new born babies, first drafts can be ugly looking critters. I’d got as…
Read more

Deadly Comrades

By Daniel Bjork Imagine a family in a small New England village, Concord, Massachusetts destroyed by an insane murderer in the years before the American Civil War.  Awful crimes to three women in the Chase family that doctor Josiah Bartlett, town physician turned detective, tries to solve.  But then, just after the vile villain –…
Read more