Life in Inspector Ryga's era, 1950 England in DEATH IN THE COVE

DEATH IN THE COVE is my twentieth crime novel and my first historical mystery.

'Don’t miss this first book in what is sure to be a first-class series. Whilst the murderer is unmasked there are left some tempting hooks for the next book.  Highly recommended.' Mystery People Magazine

The 1950s is an era caught between the aftermath of the war and the beginning of the cultural and social revolution of the ‘swinging sixties’.

Rationing of some goods is still in operation. There are severe shortages of many consumer products, ‘make-do-and-mend’ carries on as does the black market.

Inspector Ryga's world in 1950 England


Open fires, coal dust and soot. Fog and smog.

Few vacuum cleaners. Even fewer refrigerators and hardly any washing machines.

Bread, milk and coal were delivered to your doorstep, with bread unwrapped and left on the window ledge or doorstep.

A knife sharpener came round regularly, heavy laundry (sheets and towels) were often sent out to the laundry for those who could afford it, otherwise it was boiling on the stove, hand washing and a mangle.

Running hot water was none existence in many homes as were bathrooms. Tinned baths in front of the fire once a week sufficed.

Families washed in the kitchen (scullery) and toilets were shared between houses and out the back (depending on where you lived).

Children played in the street, on a recreation ground and on bombsites and were NEVER supervised by adults. Often a big brother or sister would be in charge.

There were few cars and lorries. There were trams, trolley buses and steam trains (although there were some electric and diesel trains).

Abortions were illegal, back street practitioners flourished. There was a social stigma attached to illegitimacy, divorce was not acceptable in many circles. Homosexuality was illegal.

Capital punishment was still in operation.

1950 then, and the ensuing decade, is an interesting and fascinating era to set down my new detective, Inspector Alun Ryga.

What are your memories of the 1950s?


'Death in the Cove is a great read and one I recommend to any crime fans.' BH Living Magazine

Newly promoted at Scotland Yard, Ryga is on his first solo investigation outside of London, he has 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.

"Ryga studied the face of the dead man with interest. Death no longer had the power to shock him. He’d seen too much of it. That didn’t mean he didn’t feel sorrow, pity, anger or despair, or sometimes all four emotions and in such a swift succession that they became one. This time he felt none of these, only professional curiosity.”

Available in paperback, as an ebook, on Amazon Kindle and Kobo and also as an audio book, narrated by Jonathan Rhodes and published by B7 Media. Download the audio book




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