Tag Archives: Victorian Era

Walking Away From Amazon

Interesting how the kaleidoscopic patterns in publishing change. Since July, at least ten of my books have featured regularly in the top fifty in Australia, so Australia is becoming the home of my books. Maybe I will set a Sam Smith story there one day. Also, because Amazon doesn’t have the ability to publish books in numerous languages, and my aim is to publish books in a variety of languages, other retailers are becoming more important. For my paperbacks, Amazon are now irrelevant because Gardners are my main outlet. And the profits from paperback sales easily eclipse the profits from eBook sales. All this is good, methinks. I don’t think in terms of success, I think in terms of enjoyment. And the path I’m following now, away from focusing exclusively on Amazon and eBook sales, is certainly an enjoyable one 🙂

SAVING GRACE AUDIO BOOK

Cover reveal for the audiobook version of Saving Grace. The audiobook will be published in October and will be available from iBooks, etc.

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Cover reveal for the audiobook version of Blackmail, Ann’s War Book Three. Blackmail will be published in November.

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A satisfying weekend for my books with a huge boost in sales on Barnes and Noble, seven titles just outside the top 💯 in Italy, Sam’s Song at #4 in America, Boston a hot 💯 new release and Saving Grace a bestseller also in America. Furthermore, yesterday Sam’s Song was featured alongside Mary Poppins, Janet Evanovich and J.K. Rowling.

27433ACC-2B15-4391-8333-31D4CBBD8852Writing and publishing should be about fun and we had great fun this afternoon recording a video for a leading book promoter. I was chief script writer, autocue operator and camera person while Daniela Jones provided the onscreen talent. The video is with the promoter now and it’s up to him how he will use it, but I hope I can share it with you soon. This video is part of a package that will transform book promoting. Some promoters are elitist and don’t give everyone a fair chance, but soon that will change. The target audience is two million readers. Exciting, I’m sure you will agree.

B321445C-E5E2-4A10-BA1D-AE92DB86C05FMy latest article for the Seaside News.

 

 

 

 

 

The First Great Train Robbery

On the night of 15th May 1855, three boxes of gold, valued at over one million pounds in today’s money, were placed aboard the guard’s van at London Bridge Station. However, when the boxes arrived in Paris, railway officials discovered that lead shot had replaced the gold. Who had carried out this audacious robbery? Investigator Mr Rees was put on the case.

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The trail led to Pentonville prison where Edward Agar, a professional criminal, was awaiting transportation to Australia for passing false cheques. In fact, he’d been set up by a fellow thief because of his affair with the thief’s mistress. Bitter about the set up, Agar confessed to the robbery, implicating his former mates and revealing that there was no honour amongst this gang of thieves.

Until Agar’s confession, the authorities had been clueless, the French blaming the English and the English blaming the French in comical fashion. However, love and lust are no laughing matter, as Agar later discovered when he succumbed to the charms of his erstwhile mistress.

In 1979, a film starring Sean Connery presented a highly fictionalised version of events where the master criminal escaped.

 

Mini Mystery #6 Hard to Swallow

Adelaide de la Tremouille (pictured) was born on 19th December 1855. She married Edwin Bartlett, a wealthy London grocer, on 6th April 1875. For ten years the couple enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. Then, in 1885, they met the Rev George Dyson. The Rev Dyson and Edwin enjoyed long conversations, particularly about marriage and relationships. During one of those conversations, Edwin revealed that if he should die, he would like the Rev Dyson to marry Adelaide. Sure enough, on 1st January 1886, Edwin did die, of chloroform ingestion.

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The police investigation revealed that, when alive, Edwin had allowed the Rev Dyson to kiss his wife. This led to suspicion and the arrest of Adelaide Bartlett for murder. The Rev Dyson who, on 28th December 1885, had bought four bottles of chloroform, was also arrested, but his case was dismissed.

At the trial, the jury wrestled with one question raised by the post mortem: how did the chloroform reach Edwin’s stomach without burning his throat or mouth? No one could supply an answer and although the medical experts found the verdict hard to swallow, the jury allowed Adelaide to walk from the court, a free woman.

 

Saving Grace – The Inquest Begins

Saving Grace, an Amazon top 100 Hot New Release

Victorian Gull Inquest

Professor Vernon Pennington, called as the first witness in the Charles Petrie Inquest. Professor Pennington suspected suicide, however none of the evidence supported his theory. Therefore, the question remained: who poisoned Charles Petrie?

Victorian Crowd

Crowds gather outside the Seabank Hotel as the inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie reveals sensation and scandal. People are so keen to get into the courtroom that they are bribing police officers and court officials.

Victorian Florence Upset

Grace Petrie breaks down while questioned by advocate Lewis Murdoch. Murdoch is convinced that Grace poisoned her husband, Charles, and his questions lead the jury to share his opinion. With the gallows rope beckoning, can Grace’s advocate, Daniel Morgan, save her?

Victorian Verdict

As the witnesses reveal the scandals in Grace’s life, the press make eager notes for their newspapers, and the search for justice is lost amidst the sensation. The courtroom drama of the Victorian Age, everyone had an opinion on who poisoned Charles Petrie. I have constructed the courtroom scenes in Saving Grace from these newspaper reports, each authentic word adding detail to the drama.

Victorian Inquest Gull

The inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie reaches its conclusion. Will Grace hang for the murder of her husband, or can Daniel Morgan and Professor Vernon Pennington, called to give last minute evidence, save her?

Victorian Foreman

The court of inquiry has heard the evidence and the foreman of the jury rises the deliver the verdict. Is Grace guilty? Who poisoned Charles Petrie? You can discover the answers and the solution to the greatest poisoning scandal of the Victorian Era in Saving Grace, available now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Grace – Prelude to a Poisoning

Victorian Dinner

Easter 1876. Charles Petrie sat down to dinner with his wife Grace and Grace’s lady‘s companion, Mrs Jennet Quinn. Charles dined on whiting, roast lamb, eggs and anchovies, washed down with four glasses of burgundy. Two hours later, he was gripped with the symptoms of acute antimony poisoning. Did the food or the burgundy contain the antimony?

Victorian Stairs

Charles Petrie was in the habit of drinking water from a jug at bedtime. Here, Florrie Williams, the maid, climbs the stairs to Charles’ bedroom, carrying the water jug…and the fatal dose of antimony?

Victorian Bedroom

Charles Petrie’s bedroom. Charles and his wife, Grace, were sleeping apart because Grace had suffered two miscarriages within the space of three months. Did this strain on their relationship have any bearing on the poisoning of Charles Petrie?

Victorian Bed

Easter, 1876, Charles Petrie lay in bed tended by his wife, Grace, and Grace’s lady’s companion, Mrs Jennet Quinn. Over three days, six doctors were called and they concluded that Charles had swallowed poison. How? Who poisoned Charles Petrie?

Victorian Inquest Room Cox

The inquest room at the Seabank Hotel, crowded with legal personnel, advocates, reporters, spectators and witnesses all keen to learn the answer to one question: who poisoned Charles Petrie?

 

Based on a true story, Saving Grace, “the courtroom drama of the year.”

Saving Grace will be published as an eBook, paperback and audio book in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with more languages to follow. The book will be backed by a major promotional campaign in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Europe. Reserve your copy now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99.

The Muse March 2018

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The first draft of Saving Grace is complete. I have a month of editing ahead. Then the book will be printed and made available for pre-order on Amazon. This is a very exciting project and I am looking forward to publishing the book.

MOCK-UP VICTORIAN CEILING

Ornate ceiling and lighting in the Grange from my forthcoming Victorian novel, Saving Grace.

MOCK-UPS VICTORIAN KITCHEN

Florrie the maid plays a key role in my forthcoming novel, Saving Grace. Here is an example of her working environment, a Victorian manor house kitchen.


MOCK-UP ACCOUNTANT

I have now become a business with an accountant, tax forms, etc. This reminds me of a joke Detective Inspector Sweets MacArthur told Sam in Love and Bullets. “A company director is interviewing candidates for an important position and decides to select the individual who can answer the question, how much is two plus two? The first candidate is an engineer. He pulls out a slide-rule and shows that the answer is four. The second candidate is a lawyer. He states that in the case of Jubliman versus Jubliman two plus two was proven to be four. The final candidate is an accountant. When asked what two plus two equals the accountant slips out of his chair, looks under the desk, scans the room for hidden microphones and makes sure that no one is listening at the door. Then he whispers, “Did you have a particular number in mind?'”


MOCK-UP BETRAYAL 3

A wonderful weekend for Betrayal, book one in the Ann’s War Mystery Series. The novella reached #1 in Australia, #2 in Britain and #5 in America and Canada, on the historical mysteries charts. In addition, Betrayal is our ninth audio book production and it’s now available from iBooks, Amazon and Audible.

MOCK-UPS ANN STORE

Ann’s parents, in my Ann’s War Mystery Series, run a general store, like this one.


MOCK-UP MIND GAMES

Three of my books are in the top 100 in Germany, A Parcel of Rogues, Mind Games and Digging in the Dirt. Also, I am delighted to be featured in this article by Riffle Select


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My books are mysteries, but all are centred on emotional issues, the sort of issues we face as individuals or through family and friends. Therefore, I am delighted to announce my partnership with BetterHelp


Arthur_Conan_Doyle_by_George_Wylie_Hutchinson 1894

In case you missed it, here is my latest mini mystery for the Seaside News.


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And finally this month, bestselling novelist Ken Follett presents an excellent series of videos on how to write suspense, based on a history of the genre.