A Hero

Daniel Morgan, my advocate in Saving Grace, was influenced by Sir William Garrow (13th April 1760 – 24th September 1840). Garrow was a barrister, politician and judge who radically reformed the judical system. Indeed, his reforms ushered in the adversarial court system used in most common law nations today. He introduced the phrase “presumed innocent until proven guilty”, and insisted that defendants’ accusers and their evidence should be thoroughly tested in court.

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Sir William Garrow

William Garrow was elected to Parliament in 1805, a phase of his career he did not greatly enjoy. However, while in Parliament he campaigned in favour of more liberal laws and championed legislation that condemned animal cruelty. Later, he spent fifteen years as a judge. He began his career as a prosecutor. On the 14th January 1784, he prosecuted John Henry Aikles for obtaining a bill of exchange under false pretences, a case he won. However, in September 1785 Garrow defended Aikles and secured his release due to ill-health.

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The Old Bailey

In the late 1700s and early 1800s many, often trivial, crimes carried the death penalty therefore William Garrow sought to limit the punishment for his convicted clients. In 1784 two women were arrested for stealing fans worth 15 shillings, a crime that led to the death penalty. Garrow defended the women and convinced the jury to convict them of stealing 4 shillings worth of fans instead, thus reducing their sentences to twelve months hard labour.

During this era the sugar planters of the West Indies held large amounts of power in Parliament. This power allowed them to maintain a monopoly on the marketing of sugar, which in turn led to great profits. These profits were cultivated through the use of slave labour, a practice William Garrow abhored. When presented with the opportunity of managing the sugar planters legal and political business, he replied, “If your committee would give me their whole incomes, and all their estates, I would not be seen as the advocate of practices which I abhor, and a system which I detest.”

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Sarah Dore

William Garrow led an unconventional private life. He had a relationship with Sarah Dore, wife of Arthur Hill, Viscount Fairford. Sarah clearly loved Garrow and despite the social pressures of the time she left the Viscount. Her relationship with Garrow produced two children, David William Garrow, born on the 15th April 1781, and Eliza Sophia Garrow, born on the 18th June 1784. William and Sarah finally married on the 17th March 1793.

Books and Background #6

FACEBOOK HEADER ANN AND SAM

Published today, Invasion, book two in the Ann’s War Mystery Series. Invasion is a novella set in July 1944, at the time of the D-Day landings. The story centres on an American army camp located on a stretch of South Wales sand dunes. The soldiers have been at the camp for nine months, preparing for the landings. Ann becomes involved when a colleague at the Women’s Institute is concerned about Adeline, the colleague’s daughter. Adeline has been walking out with Sergeant Glenn Henley, an American soldier. But what has become of them? Meanwhile, Ann is concerned about her husband, Emrys, who is missing in action. When news of Emrys arrives on Ann’s doorstep, will it be bad or good? Invasion is priced at $0.99, £0.99 and €0.99, and is available as an eBook and paperback from all major retail outlets. Betrayal, book one in this series, is currently available FREE. Audio book versions of these stories will follow later this month.

A Parcel of Rogues has been added to my store. Brand new, mint condition paperbacks from only £0.99 😃 https://hannah-howe.com/mystore/

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Streams. When I started promoting only one stream seemed viable – social media to Amazon. While that stream still plays an important part, it is just one of many options open to my books. My promotional goal for 2018 is to increase my streams, so that they lead to iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, the Welsh Books Council, local outlets, independent bookstores, my website and Amazon. To achieve this, I already have partnerships in place with local and national businesses, cultural groups and more. These streams will augment twenty-five promotional streams already in place, and I’m currently in discussion with businesses and individuals to add more. Many of these streams are based on partnerships, which makes this the most exciting phase of my writing career to date.

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A sneak preview of my first article for the Seaside News. Plus, a five-star review for Sam’s Song. “Fantastic read! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves plot twists, with characters you can identify with. Love this book.” 😃

 

 

Books and Background #5

FACEBOOK HEADER SAM AND ANN

This month, Sam’s Song reached number one on the Amazon.com private investigators chart for the sixth time and number one in Australia 😃

I’m delighted to say that Suzan Lynn Lorraine, an actress, radio performer and theatre producer, has agreed to narrate my audio books throughout 2018. Suzan has narrated eight of my audio books to date and we start our ambitious 2018 programme with Smoke and Mirrors, Sam Smith Mystery Series book nine, Ann’s War Betrayal, Ann’s War Invasion and Saving Grace. Saving Grace will be published, simultaneously, in three formats – paperback, eBook and audio book. Watch this space 😃

FAMILY HONOUR AUDIO BOOK

And many thanks to Mat Hardwicke, editor of the Seaside News. Mat has kindly agreed to feature my mini mystery series in his popular magazine. This means a 200 word mini mystery will appear in the Seaside News every month 😃

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This is William Garrow, a champion of the underdog, a defender of the oppressed and one of the inspirations for Daniel Morgan, my advocate in Saving Grace. Incidentally, the eBook version of Saving Grace has now been listed on iBooks

Colossus

My Ann’s War Mystery Series is set in 1944-5. That era saw the development of the Colossus computer. Colossus was developed by British codebreakers to help cryptanalysts to crack codes and cyphers. Today, the machine is widely regarded as the world’s first programmable, digital computer.

Pictured, a Colossus Mark 2 computer being operated by Wrens Dorothy Du Boisson (left) and Elsie Booker.

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Pictured, the printing presses at Imprint Digital. A Parcel of Rogues, Sam Smith Mystery Series book thirteen, is with Imprint Digital now. When printed, the paperback version of the book will join the eBook version on sale from all major outlets 😃

 

 

Mini Mystery #2

A Murderous Affair

In March 1855 well-to-do Madeleine Smith, aged 19, met a humble clerk, Pierre L’Angelier, aged 31 and, against her father’s wishes, entered into an affair. The couple exchanged a stream of passionate love letters. However, because of the gap in their social status they found it difficult to meet.

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In an effort to keep their affair secret, Madeleine burnt Pierre’s letters, but he kept the 198 epistles she sent to him. The letters reveal that the couple consummated their affair on 6th May 1856. Madeleine’s father, James, found out and forbade any further contact.

Madeleine asked Pierre to return her letters. Besotted with her, he insisted that the affair should continue, or he would send them to her father. Then, on 23rd March 1857, L’Angelier died of arsenic poisoning. The letters were discovered and Madeleine was arrested.

At her trial, Madeleine admitted that she bought arsenic, but insisted it was for cosmetic purposes, not for murder. The evidence placed the Scottish jury in two minds and they returned a verdict of ‘not proven’. Madeleine walked free. Later, she began a new life in America, where she died, aged 93.

Hannah Howe, author of the Sam Smith and Ann’s War Mysteries.

 

 

Books and Background #4

I read this book with my young sons and we were all captivated by the story. Dragon Village blends Tolkien with Harry Potter and Slavic mythology to create an original, enchanting, entertaining tale. If you like mythology and folk tales, you will love this book.

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The day fire and ice erupt from the sky, everything changes forever for twelve-year-old Theo. He discovers that dragons are real when Lamia, a three-headed monster, kidnaps his sister. A witch and a talking magpie help him open the portal to Dragon Village, a land he knows only from myth, a place filled with terrifying creatures. A young woodland nymph befriends him when he arrives. He must learn to trust his instincts as he searches for a way to defeat Lamia before the dragon sacrifices his sister. In his journey, he uncovers secrets that reveal that only he can save the mystical land.

In this book, you will discover some of the terrifying creatures from Bulgarian and Slavic mythology. Some you may know by other names: Samodivi are Veelas from Harry Potter fame, only here they’re shown as supernatural creatures of the forest.

Baba Yaga, Harpies, and other creatures find their way into these pages, as well as the dreaded Lamia.

Amazon Link

 

Mini Mystery #1

The FA Cup Stolen

On 20th April 1895, Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 in the first all-Midlands FA Cup final. Bob Chatt scored the winning goal, after only thirty seconds.

Valued at £20 and made of silver, the FA Cup was placed on display at William Shillcock, Boot and Shoe Manufacturers, Birmingham, where it attracted an adoring crowd. However, as night fell, it also attracted a burglar.

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The second FA Cup, used between 1896 and 1910

With Inspector Dobbs on the case, the police interviewed members of the criminal underworld, to no avail. Despite an extensive search, the cup was never found, and the FA fined Aston Villa £25 for negligence, using the money to buy a replacement.

The mystery remained unsolved until 1958 when Harry Budge, a career criminal who had spent 46 of his 81 years in gaol, confessed to the theft. He informed the police that he’d melted down the cup to make fake half-crowns. However, the police decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute and the case remains open to this day.

Hannah Howe, author of the Amazon #1 Sam Smith and Ann’s War (1944-5) Mystery Series.

Books and Background #3

Sins of the Father, my eighth audio book, is now available from iBooks and Audible 😃

SINS OF THE FATHER AUDIO BOOK

For the first thirty-three years of my life I had no knowledge of my father, no idea what he looked like, his name, whether he was dead or alive. Then fate brought us together. Then, a year later, he decided to hire me.

Although we had talked for a year, my father was still Gawain Morgan to me, a stranger, not my dad. Would the task of locating Frankie Quinn bring us closer together, or drive us further apart?

Frankie Quinn was a con-man, a life-long villain, a member of my father’s old gang. That’s right, my father was a villain too, with dodgy contacts, a shady past and sins he preferred to forget. The police wanted Frankie and, if arrested, he faced the prospect of spending his final years in prison. However, he had a trump card, evidence of my father’s indiscretions. Frankie was looking to cut a deal with the police, my father was looking for Frankie. They knew that one of them would spend the winter of their days in prison; but who would it be?

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking towards my wedding day. Would I enjoy the happiest day of my life, or be left crying into my champagne?

Sins of the Father, ten days that defined my relationship with my dad.