Death in the Cove the new 1950 set mystery – How did you come up with the name Inspector Alun Ryga?

DEATH IN THE COVE is my twentieth crime novel and the first historical mystery I have written, my other nineteen crime novels are all contemporary with fourteen featuring my rugged and flawed detective, DI Andy Horton; three starring former Royal Marine Commando but damaged Art Marvik, an undercover investigator for the UK’s National Intelligence Marine Squad,  and two standalone thrillers.

DEATH IN THE COVE is set in 1950 England, a country still reeling from the aftermath of war with austerity and rationing biting hard. Newly promoted to detective inspector, Ryga from Scotland Yard, is on his first solo investigation outside of London, to solve the mystery of why a man in a pin-striped suit is found murdered in an isolated cove on the Island of Portland in Dorset.



How did you come up with the name Inspector Alun Ryga?


He started off as Inspector Rees as he has a welsh background but had left Wales when he was 15 to join the merchant navy like his father. Ryga is actually Latvia’s capital on the Baltic Sea but that had no influence on me choosing the name.  It wasn’t until I had got well into Eva Paisley’s character – she is the war photographer who discovers the body on the secluded bay on Portland Island and who Ryga teams up with to solve the crime – that from her lips ‘Rees’ didn’t sound right.  She is forthright and confident and rarely calls him by his first name.  I tried Regan but that kept making me think of the TV programme The Sweeney with Regan in it (John Thaw) and my character was the opposite to his so I played around with it, dropped the ‘n’ got Rega then changed the ‘e’ to ‘y’ and got Ryga (sounds like ‘Tiger’) and that sounded good coming from Eva - sharp, edgy. I liked it and it stuck.


I am now writing number two in the Inspector Ryga series and mapping out ides for number three so plenty more mysteries for Inspector Ryga -accompanied by Eva Paisley- to solve.


DEATH IN THE COVE is published in paperback, ebook, Amazon Kindle, Kobo. 

It is also available as an audio book published by B7 Media and narrated by Jonathan Rhodes.

 

Inspector Ryga is sent to investigate the murder of man in a pin-striped suit found dead in a secluded bay

DEATH IN THE COVE my new 1950s set mystery introduces Inspector Alun Ryga.



Death in the Cove in paperback, ebook, kindle, kobo and as an audio book narrated by Jonathan Rhodes.

Death in the Cove an Inspector Ryga mystery - why I set it on Portland Island

DEATH IN THE COVE is my twentieth crime novel and the first historical mystery I have written, my other nineteen crime novels are all contemporary with fourteen featuring my rugged and flawed detective, DI Andy Horton; three starring former Royal Marine Commando but damaged Art Marvik, an undercover investigator for the UK’s National Intelligence Marine Squad, and two standalone thrillers.  DEATH IN THE COVE is set in 1950 England, a country still reeling from the aftermath of war with austerity and rationing biting hard. Newly promoted to detective inspector, Ryga from Scotland Yard, is on his first solo investigation outside of London, to solve the mystery of why a man in a pin-striped suit is found murdered in an isolated cove on the Island of Portland in Dorset.

So why the Island of Portland


I first visited the Island of Portland in Dorset (4 miles long by 1.7 miles wide, jutting out into the English Channel on the South Coast of England) while researching for one of my Art Marvik, mystery thrillers and fell in love with it. It’s stunning, rugged coastal path, its quarry scarred landscape and hidden coves both inspired and captivated me.

Looking across to Portland Island  in Inspector Ryga mystery DEATH IN THE COVE


On Portland Island looking down at Chesil Beach and Weymouth in DEATH IN THE COVE


The quarried landscaped of Portland Island in DEATH IN THE COVE

 I also have a bit of a thing about islands, after all I live on one (Hayling Island) and was born on one (Portsmouth) albeit both with land access. But then Portland connects with the mainland of Weymouth by road and in 1950 also by rail and ferry. The other island I visit regularly, and which is featured in my crime novels, is the Isle of Wight with no road access (or fixed link) as islanders call it. Therefore a ‘real’ island. But to return to Portland.

I thought Portland a good setting for my first 1950 set novel because in the 1950s the famous stone quarries were still operating. The white Portland stone had been used on the construction of many renowned buildings, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace among them, as well as in the building of the large breakwaters arching into the sea protecting Portland Harbour and the naval dockyard the latter also still in operation in 1950.

The quarried landscaped of Portland Island in DEATH IN THE COVE


The quarried landscaped of Portland Island in DEATH IN THE COVE

There was also railway line in 1950 on to the island. The station closed to passengers in 1952, although regular freight kept the line in use until 1965. The platforms and canopies survived until the mid-1970s when they were demolished.

Portland also has a remarkable lighthouse out on Portland Bill a rather windswept place, indeed my mother who was stationed on Portland Bill in the ATS during WW2 used to tell me how bleak it was. Portland Bill (the lighthouse) became a popular tourist destination after the first tarred road was laid in 1922 and during the 1930s a car park was also laid, while beach huts and cafes began to appear. Visitors to the lighthouse were welcomed, and in DEATH IN THE COVE Inspector Ryga visits the lighthouse where the head lighthouse keeper takes him up the lantern room.



Portland Lighthouse which Inspector Alun Ryga visits in Death in the Cove


What takes Ryga to Portland is the discovery of a man wearing a pin-striped suit found dead on the small and rather isolated shore of Church Ope Cove.


Church Ope Cove, Portland Inspector Ryga mystery DEATH IN THE COVE

Now the quarries have ceased to operate, the railway is no more, the naval base has gone, the community is pared down but the prison, lighthouse and Church Ope Cove are still there along with a splendid round the island coastal walk if you’re up for it.

DEATH IN THE COVE is published in paperback, ebook, Amazon Kindle, Kobo. 

It is also available as an audio book published by B7 Media and narrated by Jonathan Rhodes.



 For more on the history of Portland visit https://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/


Pauline Rowson entertaining the members of St Anne's Fellowship with mystery and murder

I was delighted to talk to the lovely audience at St Anne's Fellowship, Hampshire on Monday 14 October about the inspiration behind my mystery crime novels set on the South Coast of England.  I talked about how I research and plot them and the inspiration behind my latest and the first in a new 1950s set mystery series, DEATH IN THE COVE, introducing Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Alun Ryga and published on 26 September 2019.


I also spoke about my crime busting fictional heroes, the flawed and rugged Portsmouth copper DI Andy Horton, (14) my undercover investigator, Art Marvik a former Royal Marine Commando (3) and my two standalone thrillers IN COLD DAYLIGHT and IN FOR THE KILL.

Pauline Rowson showing how she plots her crime novels

I explained how I develop plot lines by creating a storyboard and using spider grams and how I research the police procedure and the forensic aspects of my multi-layered crime novels.

Pauline Rowson on writing crime fiction


Pauline Rowson talking about her crime novels

Following my talk there was a very lively question and answer session, then a cup of tea and a book signing.


DEAD PASSAGE Inspector Andy Horton mystery, number 14 in the series. Available in paperback, as an ebook, on Amazon Kindle and Kobo


A mysterious telephone call sends Horton on a complex and twisted investigation into the death of a local politician twelve years ago and uncovers a trail of lies, secrets and revenge with roots deep in the past.

"A detective novel in the tradition of Rankin and Harvey." Mystery People Magazine







DEATH IN THE COVE, is set in 1950 England, a country still struggling after six years of war in the grip of austerity and rationing.  It introduces Inspector Alun Ryga, recently promoted at Scotland Yard, a former Merchant Navy seaman and German prisoner-of-war  who is sent to the Island of Portland in Dorset to solve an unusual and baffling case.

DEATH IN THE COVE is published in paperback, e book, on Kindle and Kobo and as an audio book.

When the body of a man dressed in a pinstriped suit is discovered by war photographer, Eva Paisley, in a secluded bay on Portland Island, Dorset, Inspector Alun Ryga of Scotland Yard is sent to investigate.  Recently promoted, the thoughtful, observant Ryga, is on his first solo investigation outside of London, and is keen to prove his worth. Ignoring the warnings of the local police inspector, and the Dorset Chief Constable, that his trust in Eva Paisley is misjudged, Ryga quickly realises that her observations could provide the breakthrough he needs in a complex murder investigation and the answer to the haunting circumstances that have sent the man in the pinstriped suit to his death.

Available from all good bookshops, on line and in libraries in the UK, USA and Commonwealth.

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Death in the Cove the new 1950 set mystery – How did you come up with the name Inspector Alun Ryga?

DEATH IN THE COVE is my twentieth crime novel and the first historical mystery I have written, my other nineteen crime novels are all cont...