The Eight Bench Walk – Things to consider when setting a book abroad

book coverMy latest book The Eight Bench Walk should be ready for publication next month. This is the first Mac Maguire mystery that is more or less completely set abroad and so it presents its own set of problems. (Only part of Two Dogs was set in France and Ireland in The Chancer is definitely not ‘abroad’ as far as I’m concerned).

One of these was getting the locations right. Continue reading

A work in progress – The Eight Bench Walk – my first international novel

book coverIn the tenth Mac Maguire mystery Mac goes to Cyprus. It’s been a hard winter and Mac’s back has been playing him up so his daughter Bridget has little problem in persuading him that he should go somewhere warm on holiday. Of course as soon as he arrives on the island something happens and the story kicks off!

I was in Larnaka, Cyprus for three weeks last year and spent over half the vacation wandering the streets looking for locations and trying to generate some ideas for a plot. I returned with the outline of a story in my head as well as a good visualisation for, at least, some of the settings. However, one evening towards the end of our stay, we were sitting outside a restaurant when it started raining. Of course we all rushed indoors and sat down next to a couple who were speaking Greek. She turned to us, smiled and made a comment about the English and rain in perfect English. Of course, the reason she spoke perfect English was because she was English, being born and brought up in the East Midlands. Continue reading

The Chancer – Mac’s eighth adventure – Just published!

book coverThe eighth and latest Mac Maguire mystery has now been published in Amazon Books. Here’s the official blurb –

‘Mac is on his way back to Ireland for a funeral when a body is found at the airport. A man has been stabbed three times in the back and Mac volunteers to help his police colleagues. He’s flying back to Donegal where he hopes to find out something about the victim’s background.

It appears that the dead man was ‘a chancer and romancer’ and Mac has his work cut out delving into his numerous, and mostly nefarious, dealings in the north of Ireland. With the help of a troubled colleague from the Irish Police Mac soon discovers that the murder in the airport has set off a ticking time bomb that will soon explode.

Mac finds himself delving into his own past as his childhood memories of Donegal come flooding back and an old family mystery is also solved.’ Continue reading

The Mac Maguire books – My first research trips

This year I carried out my first ever research trip for the soon to be published The Chancer, Mac Maguire’s eighth mystery, which was followed up by my second research trip to Cyprus for an, as yet, untitled book that will be published next year. Two facts conspired in making these trips happen – I retired and I’m actually making a little money from book sales.

So why, after seven books mostly set in Hertfordshire, did I feel that such trips were needed?


derry peace bridgeEver since Mac Maguire came into my life I’ve been aware that, while he was brought up in Birmingham in the English Midlands, his Irish background is important to him too. So, I’ve been thinking about how I could explore this facet of his life and reveal a little more about his past. In this latest book Mac gets the chance to help with a murder when he is in Donegal, Ireland for a funeral. He hasn’t been back ‘home’ for a while and, as he visits familiar places, he is reminded of a past he’d thought he’d all but forgotten. Besides the murder a family mystery is also resolved. Continue reading