Monday, July 27, 2015


 photo DSC_0020_zpsqibyf4k4.jpg

In August, Nottinghamshire hosts a new literary event when the first Newark Book Festival is held. It boasts a fantastic venue in the grounds of the historic Newark Castle (hence the festival's tagline 'Books in the Castle'). 

The castle's long history includes its important role in the English Civil War and its fame as the place where King John died after issuing Magna Carta and suffering a disaster crossing The Wash. The castle stands right alongside the River Trent, and Newark has many other attractions to make it well worth a visit if you've never been before.

This festival came about following an event I did at the Storytellers Bookshop in Tuxford, Nottinghamshire, earlier this year. During a chat with the owner, Paul Trickett, he mentioned that he lived in Newark and that he'd always thought the town should have its own book festival. I thought so too, and added "someone ought to organise one". And Paul went off and did it! 

He's done an amazing job putting it all together and getting some fantastic authors to take part over the two days (Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August). Please come along and support it if you're in the area. 

Full details of the festival are on the 'Books in the Castle' website here:

And I'll be there, of course. On the Saturday I'm doing a special event with one of our top crime novelists - the wonderful Peter Robinson (pictured left), author of the Inspector Banks series (now DCI Banks on TV). I've been reading Peter's books for years, and I'm thrilled to be sharing the stage with him (or a marquee, at least). 

Our crime fiction event will be on Saturday 8th August at 4pm, when we'll be chaired by Hull crime writer Nick Quantrill. 

Though admission to the castle grounds is free for the festival, places for our event are limited and tickets are £8 each. Tickets are available from WH Smith 38 Market Place, Newark (phone 01636 677518), or from the Secret Garden Cafe, 6 Stodman Street, Newark (phone 01636 676999) or can be booked online here:

Don't forget - the capacity of the marquee is limited, so don't delay in reserving your places! 

Books will also be available to buy and get signed on the day, of course.   

Sunday, July 5, 2015


The 15th novel featuring young Derbyshire police detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry will be published in the UK on 16th July. 

THE MURDER ROAD explores the consequences on a tiny Peak District community when a lorry which becomes jammed under a railway bridge is found to have a blood-stained cab and a missing driver. 

For residents in the hamlet of Shawhead, there's only one way in and one way out. And some of them may never go out at all.  Detective Inspector Ben Cooper is on the scene with his team from Derbyshire E Division. But the one person who may hold the answers to the mystery is found hanging from a walkway high over the river in the nearby town of New Mills. 

With the arrival of a new sergeant, Cooper is unsure of his position in E Division. So who will he turn to when his case takes a dramatic turn?

THE MURDER ROAD is set around the towns of New Mills and Whaley Bridge, in the north west corner of Derbyshire. Locations range from the Torrs gorge under New Mills, with its spectacular Millennium Walkway (above), to the recently restored canal complex at Bugsworth Basin (below). 

Launch events are coming up soon for THE MURDER ROAD. 

I'll be doing two evenings around publication time - one at Chesterfield Library (Wednesday 15th July) and a second at Spring Bank Arts in New Mills (Friday 17th July) - followed by signings at bookshops in Retford, Cromford and Chapel-en-le-Frith.

To make sure of a place at the launch events, book your tickets now. Details of how to book are below: 

Chesterfield Library Theatre, New Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 1QN - launch event for THE MURDER ROAD, in conjunction with Waterstones Chesterfield. Tickets £5. To book a place, visit the Chesterfield Library help desk, or phone the library on 01629 533400.

FRIDAY 17th JULY, 7.30pm
Spring Bank Arts, Spring Bank, New Mills, Derbyshire SK22 4BH - launch event for THE MURDER ROAD. Tickets £6 (including a glass of Pimms) are available from Spring Bank Arts, from High Street Books in New Mills, or online at:

SATURDAY 18th JULY, 10am - 12pm
Bookworm, 1 Spa Lane, Retford, Nottinghamshire DN22 6EA - signing for THE MURDER ROAD. Phone 01777 869224 or email:

SATURDAY 18th JULY, 2.30 - 4.30pm
Scarthin Books, The Promenade, Cromford, Derbyshire DE4 3QF - signing for THE MURDER ROAD. Phone 01629 823272 or email:

SATURDAY 25th JULY, 10.30am - 12.30pm
Reading Matters, 48 Market Street, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire SK23 0HY - signing for THE MURDER ROAD. Phone 01298 938166 or email:

Meanwhile, THE MURDER ROAD can be pre-ordered in hardback and ebook editions here:

Amazon UK:


The Hive:

Or call in at your local independent bookshop to get it on order!