Archives December 2022

Here It is

This is the second time in a week that I’m announcing the release of a new book, and today it’s…

Murder at the Christmas Meddlercon, the 26th Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery. In which we see Joe, Sheila and Brenda, and other members of the Sanford 3rd Age Club attending a fan convention with the stars of TV series, the Meddler Murder Mysteries, and as always, it’s not long before they’re embroiled in a murder.

It’s almost 11 years since Crooked Cat published the first STAC, The Filey Connection, and at the time I figured five or six, maybe ten before the series was played out, and here we are at #26. And there are more to come yet.

There are times when I feel they’re getting tired, but the number of pre-orders would dispute that. Readers seem to find them as popular as ever. In truth, with my 73rd birthday looming, it’s more likely me getting tired.

I do find it harder to come up with reasonable scenarios, and in the case of Meddlercon, the idea came from my editor, the estimable Maureen Vincent-Northam, who used to attend such conventions… but obviously, not for the Meddler Murder Mysteries because they’re not real. They’re a product of my imagination.

If Joe’s attitude to life is a bit cynical, it’s because he’s an extension of my personality. I’m not really as snappy and tight-fisted as him, but I do keep a careful eye on finances, and I can be blunt, short, and outspoken with people who rub me up the wrong way. And as I get older, I seem to meet more of them.

Joe’s ambivalent attitude to Christmas is another example of me. It’s nice seeing and chatting with family, even if it’s only on Zoom, but at heart, I’m not fond of this time of year. The nights are too long, the days too short, and it’s too bloody cold. Give me spring and summer any time.

One of the great joys of being a writer is that I can pass on my troubles to the characters. Joe’s gastric problems, his need for the toilet every five minutes, his wearing of incontinence pants, is a mirror of my own problems of that nature over this past year.

I’m currently undergoing a series of tests to confirm or eliminate colorectal cancer. The signs are good, but I’m in hospital again early in January for what we hope will be the final endoscopy examination and removal of a sessile polyp, the kind which can turn cancerous. My wife and I remain optimistic and we’re grateful for all the good wishes friends and readers have sent over the past 12 months, but it’s always there at the back of your mind, and if I can lumber Joe with the same problem, it helps me handle it.

With STAC #26 now sailing the choppy seas of publication, what am I up to? #27, obviously. Once again, it’s an idea which came from a fellow writer, friend, and reader, Iain Pattison, who writes as Jay Raven. The working title is A (Dead) American in Sanford and it involves the deferred visit of the Sanford 3rd Age Club (Florida) to Sanford West Yorkshire. Aside from an ocean getting in the way, there is a significant difference between Sanford Florida and Sanford West Yorkshire. The American town is real, the place in Yorkshire doesn’t exist.

And with that it remains only for me to thank you all for your support, and wish you all the very best for Christmas and New Year.

Murder at the Christmas Meddlercon, Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery # 26 is exclusive to Amazon and price at £1.99. Prime and KUL subscribers can read FREE as part of their allowance.

You can find it HERE

Christmas is Coming

(Cue theme from Quatermass)

It’s a week and a couple of days to Christmas, a time of year I don’t care for. The days are too short, the nights too long and it’s just too cold. Roll on June.

But that doesn’t mean to say I can’t do my bit for the rest of you, so here’s a selection of reading to entertain you when television becomes too boring and predictable, and one of them is A GIVEAWAY.

First off, it’s a familiar gang of born again teenagers… the Sanford 3rd Age Club.

Murder at the Christmas Meddlercon is the 26th Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery, and we see Joe suffering gastric problems surprisingly similar to those I’ve suffered this year. In an effort cheer him up, Sheila and Brenda drag him off to Leeds for the annual Meddlercon, a convention for fans, cast and crew of that top drawer TV series, the Meddler Murder Mysteries. Inevitably, it doesn’t take long before they’re all confronted with real murder.

Priced £1.99, Murder at the Christmas Meddlercon is released on December 23rd. It’s exclusive to Amazon, so KUL and Prime members can read FREE, but you can pre-order now at: (universal link, takes you to your local Amazon store)

Go on. You know it makes sense.

And next, it’s Christine Capper and her 6th outing, Murder at Christmas Manor.

Along with the crew of Radio Haxford, Christine is trapped in a snowbound, lavish manor house out on the moors above Haxford along with dozens of VIPS when they’re confronted with murder. The police can’t get there and they ask Christine to lead the investigation until the snow is cleared. She’s missing her family, she’s dreading the prospect of delivering a radio program to a live audience, and now she’s thrown into the furnace as SIO in a vicious murder inquiry.

At £1.99, Murder at Christmas Manor is released this coming Sunday December 18. It’s exclusive to Amazon, so KUL and Prime members can read FREE, but you can pre-order now at: (universal link, takes you to your local Amazon store)

It’s also available in paperback. Just follow the link and click on ‘paperback’.

Next up, it’s a novella, a form I’m not noted for producing.

A Christmas Market Haunting sees putative ghosthunters, Allan Brant, JJ Martin, and Suzanne Daley locked in a haunted market hall on Christmas Eve, seeking evidence of ghosts. Things start to go wrong, and what starts out as a paranormal experiment soon turns to a life-threatening confrontation.

The tone is light-hearted, not really scary. It’s a lively read and a snip at 99p

You can find A Christmas Market Haunting at: (universal link, takes you to your local Amazon store).

And finally, the promised FREEBIE.

Christmas Parties is short and packed with punchy humour.

Over the years I’ve produced a number of series and a few standalone novels, and in this little book’s half dozen short stories, you’ll meet the characters from all those series, each celebrating Christmas in their own way.

There’s the Spookies team, the Sanford 3rd Age Club, the cast of Bleaker Cove, the Baldocks of Midthorpe estate, space truckers BB and Gren, and finally and irritable Mrs Capper trying to infuse a hungover Dennis with the Christmas spirit.

And it’s FREE. Just follow this link

And take your pick of the format. E-pub for your e-reader or app, and PDF if that’s your preference.

And that’s your lot for now. I’ll be back to nag you again this side of the big Crimbo, but in the meantime, take care out there and keep warm.

Hunter’s Revenge by Val Penny

Today, it’s my great pleasure to hand the blog over to Val Penny, talking about her latest novel, Hunter’s Revenge.

Val Penny has an Llb degree from the University of Edinburgh and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer but has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store.

Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, nonfiction, and novels. Val is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and their cat.

Val, the floor is yours.

Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog today, David. I am delighted to have a chance to tell you and your readers about Hunter’s Revenge, the new novel in my series of DI Hunter Wilson Thrillers.

I have been writing and telling stories all my life. When I was a child, I used to make up stories for my little sister after our Mum put the light out and told us to go to sleep. Later, I wrote documents, contracts, and courses as part of my job, but my time was well accounted for, so I did not create any fiction.

However, I took early retirement when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were times when I suffered severe side effects from my treatment. I could not go out, spend time with friends or indulge in many of my favourite hobbies, but watching daytime television got very old very fast, so I turned to reading. It was the only thing I had the energy to do and could do safely.

I read voraciously, as I always have. I particularly enjoy reading crime fiction and thrillers. I indulged this interest with many novels including those by Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Linwood Barclay and Kathy Reichs.

After a while, I began to feel a little better and decided to start reviewing the books I read in a blog I enjoyed doing that. Then, as I began to feel better still, I got restless, but was not well enough to do very much and I complained to my long-suffering husband about getting bored. It was then he challenged me: ‘If you know so much about what makes a good book, why don’t you write one?’ I did laugh. However, the challenge set, I have been writing police procedural crime thrillers set in Scotland ever since.

In fact, my publishers, SpellBound Ltd, will publish the second book in The DI Hunter Wilson on St. Andrew’s Day, 30.11.2022. The main character is Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson, in Hunter’s Revenge.

I particularly enjoyed writing Hunter’s Revenge and hope that your readers will enjoy the novel too. SpellBound plan that the next novel in this series, Hunter’s Force, will appear early in 2023. It will take place just after the unification of the regional police forces in to form Police Scotland. I’ll let your readers know more about that in due course!

Thank you again for hosting me, David.

So what’s the story behind Hunter’s Revenge? Here’s the blurb.

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is a loyal friend and a fair leader. He is called to the scene of a murder in Edinburgh where the corpse has been fatally shot. He is dismayed to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. Hunter must investigate Reinbold’s murky past in Germany to identify George’s killer.

At the same time, Hunter is tasked with looking into a previously undetected criminal gang supplying drugs from Peru. There seems to be no connection between the murder and the drug supply until Hunter unexpectedly secures help from inmates of the local jail.

Hunter’s investigations are hampered by distracted members of his team and unobservant witnesses.

Reinbold was not the quiet, old man Hunter believed him to be and his killer bore their grudge for a lifetime.

Thanks Val, a pleasure to rap with you again.

And our readers want to know where they can pick up the book don’t they?

Hunter’s Revenge is published by Spellbound Books and is available HERE