A mix...

Lots to talk about, and no one dominant theme, so -

First of all a whinge at the elements and the irony of fate.  How come the weather's been great for most of the week, then it gets to the Bank Holiday and it's raining?  How unfair is that?

Still, it's made me resolve to get some writing done.  I'm just going through the plot, characters and outline for the book for next year, and it's shaping up nicely.  This is one of my favourite phases of writing, playing with ideas. 

The Balance of Guilt is still on course... Read more

My books

You lot do ask some great questions.  Here's one of the best I've had -

Which of your books is your favourite?

Like most fine questions, it's a tough one to answer.  So I'll say this.

After much thought, I've come to the conclusion that telling you which of the tvdetective series is my fave would be akin to a parent revealing which of their kids they liked the most.  It just can't be done, it wouldn't be fair, all that kind of thing.

I know my books are supposed to be inanimate and lacking in consciousness, but I just... Read more

Charles Causley festival

I love being invited to give talks at events, but some are a particular honour.  The Charles Causley festival is one such.

I've always been a huge fan.  At risk of boring you, it goes back to my schooldays and O level English.  We were given Causley to study. 

Now, as a 14 year old, in full teenager cool/strop mode, I suspect you can imagine what I thought of that. But I tried reading some of the poems and was immediately hooked.  I love his way with words, his gentless and delight in the countryside, but also his reflections... Read more


I'm off to the Devon County Show tomorrow. 

I love the show for so many reasons.  At its heart, it's a great tribute to the south west's wonderful farmers, a stoic bunch whose important work isn't always appreciated.  All our fine food and drink producers are there too, and so many other companies and organisations - it's a showcase of all that's best about Devon.  And there's lots of it.

It's also a great place to pick up ideas for new characters, plots and quirks for the TV Detective books.  I've got some thoughts about future stories having countryside... Read more


Thanks to everyone who came along to pick up a copy of the TV Detective series in Taunton yesterday.  It was good to meet you and have a chat.

It was also heartening to hear how many people had already tried one of the books and enjoyed them.

Another amusement was the number of chaps I met, walking fast around the store with one eye on their watches, trying to get the shopping done in time to get home for the FA cup final! What predictable creatures we men can be.

One more thing to mention here - I've... Read more


A note for your diary, if you'd like a signed copy of one of the tvdetective books.

I'll be in Waterstone's in Taunton on Saturday (15th May) at 12.30 talking about the series, and scribbling my often illegible scrawl on any that you'd like autographed.

It's the first time I've done a signing at the store, so I'm looking forward to it.  Hope to see you there. 

There are more details on the News and Events page -

Read more

First lines

A question has arrived, and it's a very good one.

How do I write the first line of a book?

It's one of those lovely questions which sounds simple, but is in fact very tricky. 

I'm a sucker for first lines.  They're so important and can be so memorable.  Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, bright cold days on which the clocks strike thirteen, or just an invitation to call me Ishmael, they can stick in the mind always and lure you into a book.

So, to answer the question - I spend lots... Read more

Bank holiday

I like Sundays - they're a fine time for relaxing and plotting a bit of murder (fiction only!) - and even more so when they're accompanied by the prospect of Monday off as well.  Yeah!

The ideas for the next book are still shaping up well, so I shall do some more work on them today.  This is one of my favourite times in the writing process, just letting the imagination run and seeing what it comes up with. 

I estimate probably about three quarters of the ideas I have end up being discarded as not working, or being... Read more