I have found it fascinating and great fun both writing and researching it. I'm enjoying the atmosphere and the research and am getting to know my new detective quite well. He's shaping up nicely along with a very strong female character (not a detective) and not a pathologist as in my Inspector Andy Horton novels but a war photographer.
My research has included that into the Forensic Science Service between 1940-1960 and the police service during those years, including the BIO of a pioneering police officer, Sir Arthur Edwin Young, who had his roots in Portsmouth, my home town and where my other fictional detective DI Andy Horton is based, but in current times.
I've also been researching the lives of Merchant Seaman between 1939-1945. My God what brave men and women, they certainly had it tough!
This new crime novel opens on the Island of Portland in Dorset where my Scotland Yard detective is sent in September 1950 to investigate the murder of a man dressed in a pin-striped suit found dead on the beach in the secluded Church Ope Cove.
|Church Ope Cove circa 1950s|
And here it is today, taken when I visited Portland in June 2017 while researching for the Art Marvik Marine mystery Lost Voyage. I very much look forward to returning to Portland, (a place I fell in love with) in 2018 to do some further location and local history research.
And in case you are wondering if I have made a mistake and that should read Church Hope Cove, I have not. The name of the cove stems from the fact that Portland's first parish church, St Andrew's Church, was located above the beach, while "Ope" was a local dialect for "an opening in the cliffs down to the water's edge".
The writing, character development and plot have shaped up nicely.
If anyone reading this has memories or photographs of Portland, Dorset in the 1940s and 1950s I'd be pleased to hear from you. You can contact me via my website.
Where to buy
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Also available as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and for loan from UK, USA, Irish and Commonwealth libraries