Archive for the ‘News’ Category

On Amazon Kindle until Saturday 30th of July

It’s a great holiday read :
‘I took this book in my Kindle as a holiday read . . .’
‘Do not expect to be able to put this down.’
‘Set along the beautiful Jurassic Coast in Devon with modern day twists and turns.’
‘Good plot, bringing in 21st Century themes and written with an excellent local West Country feel about it.’
‘I really enjoyed the plot and the unexpected twist at the end. Kept me reading with one eye open.

RR cover from EndeavourRR cover from EndeavourRR cover from Endeavour

Crime Writer M J Hall

Crime Writer M J Hall

We recently discussed M R Hall’s crime novel ‘The Coroner’ at the Sidmouth Crime Fiction Book Group. The book generated a lot of discussion. We shared our own experiences of sitting through a Coroner’s court and although most cases are brief and business like, we agreed that Matt Hall’s experience of being a criminal barrister and his knowledge of the criminal justice system brought real authenticity to Jenny’s courtroom – although we hope that Coroner’s are not in the habit of popping pills in the real Coroner’s Court.

We like Matt Hall’s tense and compelling style of writing and thought he did an excellent job of getting inside the head of a neurotic professional woman, with the proviso that the romance/sex side of the novel seemed a bit more masculine.

Matt Hall will be giving a workshop on ‘Turning Good Ideas into Commercial Crime Novels’ at ‘Creative Thursday’, part of the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in York on Thursday 21st of July. Sarah Hilary, (see my earlier post) another of our favourite authors and winner of Crime Novel of the Year Award at last year’s festival will also be taking part. I’ve attended Creative Thursday on two previous occasions and found it inspiring and fun. I can also recommend taking the challenge of pitching at ‘The Dragons’ Pen’. It’s scary but brilliant when all four ‘dragons’ want to read your submission.

Sarah Hilary - Theakston prize winner 2015

Sarah Hilary – Theakston prize winner 2015


Join local author CJ Browne for the launch of

REVENGE RITUALC J Browne Twitter header

a crime thriller set around Sidmouth.

At The Clock Tower Cafe, Connaught Gardens, Peak Hill Road, Sidmouth EX10 8RZ.

On Thursday, 17th of December, from 10 to 11 a.m.

And afterwards for a short ‘Revenge Ritual Ramble’ – a guided tour of the settings where the action happens.

Come and find out about the scary side of Sidmouth . . .

Copies of the paperback will be available to buy and have signed. REVENGE RITUAL is published by Endeavour Press and also available as an eBook on the Amazon Kindle Site.

For more information email:

Check out Rosie’s #MysteryNovember Book Tour. Just returned from Hong Kong so it is great to see Revenge Ritual up there. Thank you everyone for your comments. Now going to catch up with the other great reads featured on the bus.


Mark Walsh (back) and a Youth Court USA style

Mark Walsh (back) and a Youth Court USA style

I was delighted to see police officer, Mark Walsh appear on BBC Breakfast this Friday to talk about Hampshire Police Force’s ground breaking use of Community Youth Courts. I’d been impressed by the way they worked back in 1995 when I’d visited them as part of my Churchill Fellowship. As I munched my cereal, I wasn’t surprised to hear Mark say how well these courts, administered by young people volunteers, were working to stop young first time offenders’ further involvement in crime. What did surprise and please me was when Mark told the programme how he’d developed the idea after his own Churchill Fellowship to the USA in 2013. It reminded me what a brilliant opportunity Churchill Fellowships provide. My Fellowship was about communities working with police, businesses and local councils to make their streets safer places to live in and my research, like Mark’s, was used to set up a new approach to community policing.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fund the Fellowships for UK citizens to investigate such ground-breaking practice in other countries and return with innovative ideas to benefit their community or profession. The categories for Fellowships for 2016 include ‘Mental health – Community Based Innovation’; ‘Environment, Sustainable Living and Horticulture’ and ‘Crafts and Makers – and the deadline for applications is the 22nd of September. For more information check out the link below:

Churchill Fellowships WCMT-logo

I was delighted to hear about a new police and mental health project on this morning’s news. Leicestershire police have partnered up with mental health professionals to run the ‘Leicestershire and Rutland mental health triage car scheme’. As a result the number of people with mental illness detained in custody has fallen by two thirds in the last two years.

Mental health practioner, Emma McCann and PC Alex Crisp, part of the triage team

Mental health practioner, Emma McCann and PC Alex Crisp, part of the triage team

Mental health nurses, like Emma McCann, accompany police officers to attend incidents or advise them over the phone. This has reduced inappropriate detention and distress for both mentally ill people and officers but it has saved police time, reducing the average time spent on detaining people from 8 hours to 5. The mental health professionals are also available in custody suites for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week and provide specialist support for children and young people.


CAPSWhen more police time than ever is spent dealing with people with mental illness and HM Inspectors of Constabulary and Prisons are concerned about the large and increasing numbers detained in police cells – this is a brilliant idea. I am not surprised Leicestershire police have been piloting this groundbreaking project. When I was Regional Advisor for the Home Office in the East Midlands, it was Leicestershire police who piloted the ‘Problem Oriented Policing’ programme that I researched in Chicago (CAPS), bringing police officers and local residents together to solve local policing problems. A programme which was later rolled out around the UK. So let’s hope this initiative is here to stay and doesn’t disappear like so many other successful short term projects.