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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene four


WhenI stepped onto the stairs to head down to the ground, a woman dressed in abusiness suit appeared at the bottom of the staircase. ‘Can I help you, youngman?’ Ibounded down the stairs and introduced myself. I showed her my PI licence andtold her I was working for the lawyer defending the man charged with the murderof Ellen Ford. She told me her name was Heather Knight and that she managed thebrothel. I gave her one of my business cards. ‘Whatare you doing here, Ryan?’ she asked. ‘Havinga look to see how many ways someone could get into your building.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Ourclient reckons he’s been framed.’ Heatherraised an eyebrow. ‘The police think he did it.’ ‘Iknow, and they might very well be rig...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish Short Story-scene three


Idecided to visit the brothel to get a feel for Ellen Ford’s world. Well, I wentto have a look at the building. It was ten in the morning when I parked in thestreet in front of the building housing the brothel and got out to have a lookaround. Thebrothel was closed. A sign on the wall in the shade of the front verandainformed me the establishment opened nightly at six, and advised potentialpatrons to make an appointment online. I snapped a photo of the sign with myphone. Theplace looked like it had once enjoyed a life as a pub. It was a two-storeybluestone building, with an impressive wrap around balcony, dating back to theearly days of the twentieth century, when there was a pub on every co...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish Short Story-scene two


Thefolder Maggie gave me was full of information on Clive. He’d told her his lifestory and named everyone he’d ever had a relationship with: business andotherwise. He’d even confessed to being abusive towards his ex-wife, andclaimed she’d alienated his children from him. Maggiehad interviewed his brother, Charles. He’d told her Clive was a hard-headedbusinessman who’d upset a few people but no-one had ever threatened him, apartfrom his ex, who’d actually carried through with her threat and divorced him. Thepolice had interviewed his ex. She had an alibi for the night in question andno obvious motive. She’d received a generous settlement. His kids weren’t oldenough to be visiting a brothel to...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene one


Ispend a lot of time watching people cheat on their spouse or insurance company.Sometimes, I get involved in looking for missing persons. This assignment,though, wasn’t going to be anything like my usual cases. CliveRichards had been charged with murder. According to the charge sheet, he’dstrangled a young woman named Ellen Ford, a sex worker, after an engagementwith her in a brothel in Brompton. Thepolice had lifted Clive’s fingerprints from the crime scene. They had a DNAsample extracted from semen left in a discarded condom found next to the body,which matched Clive’s DNA profile, and CCTV footage of him entering and leavingthe brothel. And,just to top off the case against Clive, his bank...
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The Cobalt Sky


The Cobalt Sky is book 10 in Keith Dixon’s Sam Dyke Investigations series. The story is driven by the theft of an artwork and the dysfunctional relationships of the artist’s family. The more Sam looks into the people associated with the artist, the more dysfunctional the family appears, and the less likable the artist becomes as a person. The investigation is hampered by a lack of honesty in several key players, one of whom is the thief. No surprise there, but there are a few surprises in the telling of this tale. A good read. You can get a preview and purchasing details at: The Cobalt Sky . Original link
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The Bank Inspector


The Bank Inspector is the first book in a trilogy of crime stories, featuring Detective Sergeant Brian Shaw, set in the banking world of 1950’s South Australia by Australian author Roger Monk. The world of the 1950s is a place most of us only know from television shows, and the intricacies of its banking and police worlds have slipped from our working memories. Although I lived through most of the 1950s, as a small boy I had no idea how things worked in the adult world. This story is an intriguing look through a window into that world. The tale is one of an almost perfect crime and an attempted murder that, at first, does not seem related to the main story. However, as the story progresses t...
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What it’s like being a teacher.


Here’s another social issue I slipped into After . This snippet comes from chapter two, where Sgt Marie Wood ponders why Josie Ford may have decided to take some time out. She turned her thoughts to Josie. Why would an apparently happily married mother of two teenage boys disappear first thing in the morning? Well, she was a teacher. The things they had to put up with would be enough to push anybody over the edge. Teachers didn’t get much respect these days and it was becoming fashionable to blame them for everything that was wrong with today’s young people. So much for parental responsibility. Now it was all some teacher’s fault for not disciplining little Johnny or not teaching him properl...
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Are you a slave?


A thought-provoking extract from After , book 1 of the Inspector West series. The bus arrived at his stop in the city. He got off and ambled towards the bank. No point in rushing in for another routine day in the world of banking. Paul started his day, like he did most mornings, sharing a cup of coffee with Henry, his team leader for the last two years. It was an opportunity to sort out the day’s priorities and discuss the state of the world before they got down to the serious stuff. ‘I look at the people working here, Paul, especially the ones that have been here for twenty years or more, and wonder how anyone can work in a place like this for that long and be satisfied with a basic clerica...
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Racked by Sue Coletta


Racked is the fourth book in Sue Coletta’s Grafton County series, based on the lives of crime writer Sage Quintano and her husband, Niko, the Sheriff of Grafton County. I imagine being the wife of a sheriff would be trying enough but, somehow, Sage Quintano manages to bring more excitement into her life by attracting people intent on doing her or her family harm. The story in Racked centres around the unsolved disappearance of five boys and Sage finding out they were all given a similar item prior to their disappearance – a stuffed animal like the one someone has mysteriously given her two-year-old son, Noah. There is plenty of tension, much of it generated by the actions of Sage, who takes ...
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Your Journey to Becoming Unskippable


This is sort of a business book. It’s full of business case studies and marketring advice. But, it’s also a book about encouraging you to think bigger. Kukral sings the praises of what he defines as unskippable people and businesses. These are basically people you can’t ignore and firms you want to do business with. The purpose of the book is to inspire you to become someone who can’t be passed over or to transform your business into one that attracts people. I found the book both inspiring and depressing at the same time. The inspiration comes from the stories and the advice on how to go about becoming unskippable. All good motivational and personal growth stuff. The depressing part is Kukr...
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Writing Mystical Journey


The initial working title for this book, when it was still an idea, was Field Notes for Pilgrims. At that stage, I thought I’d be taking a similar approach to sharing information as I’d followed in Field Notes for Writers.   But, as the idea transformed into the book and the content started to fall into place, the title morphed into A Mystic’s Toolkit before finally becoming Mystical Journey: A Handbook for Modern Mystics. By the time I’d finished writing, the book was more than a collection of tools for modern mystics. It told the story of how I became a mystic and explained how being a modern mystic was different to how mystics were in the past. That required a few reflections and a modern...
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Scrublands


If you’re looking for a good read, take a look at Scrublands by Australian author Chris Hammer.  Scrublands is set in Riversend, an isolated town in regional Australia, where people are barely holding on through a prolonged drought and coping with the after-effects of a tragedy. The story follows Martin Scarsden, a journalist coping with his own problems, who has been sent from Sydney to write a feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy.  What sounded like a fairly straight forward assignment to Scarsden, soon develops into a complex, twisted adventure as the truth slowly leaks out and events overtake his story and the people of Riversend. You’ll meet some interesting characters, get a...
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Reading Twisted Justice


There are times when it feels like taking the law into your own hands is the only option you have for obtaining justice. Fortunately, most of us resist the temptation to act on that impulse and put our trust in the justice system. Sometimes, though, people take the other option. The opening story in Twisted Justice explores what happens when Trent Mitchell takes that option and administers the justice the system refused to give him.  I’m sure very few people take that option lightly, and Trent is no different. He’s agonised over his decision for years but there are only so many sleepless nights and tormented dreams a man can endure. If you keep going over the same story in your head, it’s li...
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Computers and Crime


Have you noticed that every time a device comes along to make life easier someone always finds a way to us it against us?  Electronic banking was supposed to make moving money around easier and more secure. Now there’s more theft – and it’s not only money they’re stealing. Although, ultimately, it’s always money they’re after. It might not be your money but it could be your identity they want to use to get someone else’s money. Relax. It’s not my intention to deter you from shopping online. There are plenty of safeguards in place. You know the drill – keep your internet security software up to date, shop on secure sites, and don’t click on links or open attachments from suspicious emails. Wh...
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Life or Death – Michael Robotham


Why would a man break out of prison the day before he was due to be released? This is the question driving the story of Audie Palmer in Life or Death by Michael Robotham. It’s certainly a question that kept me turning the pages in this well-constructed riddle, and I was a long way in before I picked up the clue that exposes the reason behind Audie’s apparently mindless act. Life or Death is an intriguing story with an interesting cast of players, including Moss Webster, Audie’s only friend when he was in prison, who gets dragged into the hunt, and FBI Special Agent Desiree Furness, who wants to get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Of course, there is another group of characters who o...
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Reading Whistleblower


Whistleblower: someone who informs on a person or organisation engaging in unlawful or immoral acts.  We hear about the more sensational whistleblowers, like Edward Snowden, who take their stories to the media. Most public service whistleblowing is nothing like that. It’s routine and done behind closed doors far away from the media spotlight. Whistleblower starts with the routine reporting of a suspicion that something is not quite right in the Office of State Supply. However, the whistleblower makes a mistake that alerts those involved and puts him in harm’s way. The story explores a simple premise: the whistleblower has his own secret that leads to his death after he lifts the lid on the s...
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Factfulness


Think you know a thing or two about the way the world is? Ready to have some of your facts challenged? How would you feel if I told you a chimpanzee choosing answers at random scores better than most of us when it comes to answering questions about the state of affairs in the world? That’s a claim made by the authors of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We Are Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think. The lead author is Hans Rosling, who spent a major part of his life studying data. Hans is supported by Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund, co-founders of Gapminder . Take the Gapminder test and see if you do better than those chimpanzees. After doing the test, buy yourself a ...
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Reading Holy Death


The initial thought behind the writing of Holy Death was imagining a victim of child sex abuse taking the law into his own hands and dealing out retribution, and wondering what would happen after that. One complicating factor I decided to include was having two victims of the same perpetrator take action independently on the same night, using very different methodologies. One takes direct action and murders the abuser priest. The other takes a more indirect approach and kills the abuser’s closest friend, another priest, hoping to inflict a sense of the loss he has suffered. You can imagine the frustration of that indirect actor when he learns that his intended victim has been murdered, and h...
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From Grit to Humour – How did that Happen?


Guest post from Scottish Crime Writer, Wendy H Jones, author of three very different crime mystery series. Firstly, thank you, Peter, for inviting me onto your blog. It’s a real honour to be here. When I think about writing a blog post, the first reaction is always panic. What on earth shall I write about? Obviously, I want to be interesting, valid, current, useful and every other adjective in between. Do I also want to be gritty and humorous? In this case, the answer is yes. Most definitely so. At least I want to talk about my move from writing on the edge of your seat, gritty, Scottish Noir fiction, to writing laugh out loud, funny, detective fiction. That’s some change or is it? I need to...
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Reading The Holiday


The Holiday came from me wondering what would happen if an old man and a young boy took off for the weekend without telling anyone, in the hope that their action would bring the boy’s parents back together, and then everything goes wrong. To help things go wrong, I gave the old man, Kieran Moore, a dark history that puts his great-grandson, Toby, in danger through being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kieran gets killed. Toby gets kidnapped because he’s a kid and Kieran’s killers can’t bring themselves to kill a ten-year-old boy. This storyline ultimately leads to Clare’s story, which we will come back to in a minute. Carl West and his team are called in to investigate Kieran’s murder ...
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