wpc479d2ec_05_06BLOODSTONE is about to hit the shops. I am really pleased Athelstan is back, he has to investigate grisly gruesome murders against a vivid backdrop of London in the freezing winter of 1380. Athelstan was living in dangerous times; England was moving, not towards a clash between the great barons, but those who called themselves the Earthworms, the poor, the marginalised. A few months later, the entire southeast of England erupted into revolt. Athelstan will, one day, have to make choices about what side he is on. I’m currently finishing another in that series, THE STRAW MEN; this is mainly based in the Tower. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research on this and came across a most interesting entry. Apparently, the Royal Menagerie was kept there; this included lions and leopards, gifts to the King from rulers in the Middle East. However, one gift must have surprised Londoners (as well as the elephant), a gift from the king of Norway, a huge polar bear which was allowed to swim in the moat! Naturally, the bear makes an appearance in THE STRAW MEN!

The MIDNIGHT MAN (to be published early 2012) is another of my Canterbury tales, and it led me to investigate the seedy underbelly of medieval superstition; some very, very dark figures lurked there. I certainly wouldn’t like to have tea with them, or worse meet them in a cemetery at the dead of night, sinister souls with dark designs and even darker ambitions. I enjoyed writing it so much this led me onto other research. Soon I hope to return to one novel I’ve always wanted to have published about the last days of Henry VIII, in my view one of England’s greatest serial killers……. Was he murdered–-like Stalin by those around him? Was he thrown into his tomb at Windsor? Interestingly, when they brought Nelson’s corpse back from Trafalgar, they remembered a beautiful marble tomb lying empty at Windsor. It was first meant for Wolsey (but he fell from power) then Henry VIII (but they wanted him out of the way – fast!) Anyway – Nelson got it! Funny old life – isn’t it?