I’m afraid this diary has been rather delayed but there is a good reason:  I now have a new and much improved website and I have been waiting for it to be ready.  I hope it’s easier to navigate than the old one and will tell you more about me and my books.

I have always thought that autumn is a sad time of the year and for the world of crime writing 2013 has been particularly sad with the loss of a much loved and distinguished author.  CWA Diamond Dagger winner Robert Barnard died on 19th September this year.  Bob was the author of an array of brilliant and witty novels as well as being a leading authority on Agatha Christie and the Brontes. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10340639/Robert-Barnard.html

I have very fond memories of Bob’s kindness to me when I was a new writer.  I was alone at my very first crime convention and even though he was a star author he took a lot of time to speak to me and tell me about the ins and outs of the crime writing world.  RIP, Bob, you’re sadly missed.

Now that the summer is over and autumn is well and truly here it’s back to work.  Sometimes writers just have to take a deep breath, put their heads down and write and that’s what I’ve been doing throughout October.  With THE SHROUD MAKER out in January (not long to go now) you might think I’d have plenty of time to write the next book in the series.  However, books have very long lead times and 2015’s novel has to be ready for printing long before the publication date.  I must say that so far the first draft is going well.  It always seems strange when life follows art but I can reveal that the recent violent storms reflect a major part of the plot I’m working on.

One of the highlights of the year for many crime fans is the return to our TV screens of the wonderful David Suchet in the role of Hercule Poirot.  As I write this I have viewed just one of the final series, The Big Four (Dead Man’s Folly has been recorded because I was at an Archaeology Society meeting and is being looked forward to with great anticipation).  The plot of The Big Four was a little far fetched at times and many aspects wouldn’t get past my own editor, but it made for a deliciously over the top and entertaining two hours of viewing.  The best part, of course is David Suchet’s performance as the Great Detective.  It is well known that Agatha Christie didn’t much like the character she had created and in the books Poirot’s character lacks depth and development.  But in David Suchet’s capable hands, Hercule has matured since the first episodes and, as he ages, we see him increasingly weighed down by his encounters with murder, examining questions of justice and faith in a depth that is lacking in the novels.  The series is an absolute treat.  I can’t wait for the next episode and I will be facing the final Curtain with much sadness.