In the beginning was the word . . .

“Detective” was just an adjective until the 1840s. Only with the birth of the Metropolitan Police’s Detective Force in 1842 did newspapers begin to give those intrepid men the noun they deserved and help to create the enduring figure of the literary investigator.

My London books focus on an ensemble cast comprising police detective Inspector Newsome, ex-detective George Williamson, would-be detective John Cullen, and a shady pair known as Noah Dyson and Benjamin. In each story, they invariably compete against each other on cases that sometimes seem to be more about who is the best detective rather than who committed the crime.

In all of the books, I aim to evoke the very origins of the genre - a time when forensic science was in its infancy, when photography was a scientific oddity, when parts of the city were ‘no-go’ zones and when the only tool a detective had was his own keen intelligence. Welcome to Victorian London . . .

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