A fine question has arrived, and it's this - why am I so very fond of Rutherford?

Firstly, I'm glad my correspondent noticed.  I am indeed hugely fond of Rutherford, and for a couple of reasons which I shall now plunge into.

The most obvious is that in the tvdetective books he's a very important character.  Dan is a bit of a loner, so he needs someone to talk to about the cases he's working on. Rutherford plays that part beautifully.

There's another motive in that he helps get Dan out into the wonderful Devon countryside when the pair take a walk, which is useful for variety in the books.  He's fun too, always causing mischief and getting into scrapes, which can be handy light relief in the midst of a very dark case.

But, as ever, there's a deeper reason for my love of Rutherford, and this is thus - for me, he's a reincarnation of the first dog I ever knew.

When I was born (in a pub, as previously mentioned, and to no one's surprise I noticed), Dad was worried about security, so went out and bought an Alsatian puppy to help guard the place. He was named Sam and I grew up with him as friend and companion.

Being a horrid kid I would poke him and pull his tail and it's family legend how he would never ever retaliate.  He also protected me throughout my childhood, always positioning himself between me and the gate to the garden when I was playing.  Even now, I remember crying for days when Sam died.

I can't have a dog of my own at the moment, the unpredictable and often antisocial lifestyle of journalist and author doesn't allow it. So for me Rutherford is my virtual dog, a friend and ally, and a way of making Sam live again in the books.

Finally, one quick aside here - when I write these blogs, some come quickly, others take longer to set down.  This one just flowed straight out and with a little lumping of the throat too. Time to go, I think before I get any more misty...

Don't forget, if you've got a question about the tvdetective books, or any areas of my writing, you can get in touch via the contact page of the site -