Farewell 2016, and FU

December 24, 2016 6 comments

The Merriest of Christmases to one and all, unless you’re a fan of Prince, Bowie or Status Quo, in which case condolences. OTOH Chuck Berry is still going, and fingers crossed for Carrie Fisher.

2016, you promised much, then gave us Aleppo and Donald Trump, who doesn’t give a toss about it. If the Chinese had a Year of the Asshole, you would surely be it.

Categories: General


November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Yesterday afternoon I undertook an event that was a first for me. When I went in there I had no idea what to expect, and I confess to feeling a little trepidation.

When it was over, two hours later; I tried to recall a gig I’ve enjoyed more, and I couldn’t. My thanks to every one who chose to come along, and to everyone involved in the organisation.

I’d welcome a repeat performance. any time.

Categories: General

Back to work 

October 30, 2016 7 comments

One day more of holiday then back to work on Skinner 29. Target: finish by Christmas.

Categories: General


October 27, 2016 2 comments

If I had a fiver for every time I’ve been asked who I’d like to play Skinner on screen, my grandchildren would go through University without the need of student loans.

There have been many answers, and contestants, but the current favourite, and likely to be so for some time, is none other than Rory McCann, the Hound himself.

Categories: Uncategorized


October 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Anyone watching the second series of BBC’s The Missing?

I never expected a follow-up, after poor old James Nesbitt’s character went barking mad at the end of series one. Even if I had I’d never have expected it to be better, but it is.

Proper stuff.

Categories: General

P-J Willett vs Miller vs Sanity

September 29, 2016 1 comment

One day to go, and it’s really heating up out there. Not the temperature, it looks freezing. Danny Willett’s brother has really threw the cat amongst the pigeons. Or Danny under the bus…

Source: P-J Willett vs Miller vs Sanity

Categories: Uncategorized


September 15, 2016 3 comments

Somebody please tell me why the Government finds it necessary to make it compulsory for every employer in the country, no matter how small their payroll, to register for  the  Workplace Pension scheme, and make pension provision for everyone, including people who want no part of it.

Could it be because the financial services industry, which benefits directly from the provision and management of pension products, has such a strong hold over our political decision-makers?

I know of a company that employs one person; he has an existing pension plan and doesn’t want another. No matter, time that would otherwise be spent generating profit for the business must be spent on the elaborate process of establishing and registering something that will never be used. To me, that is demonstrably stupid.

When we leave the EU, (the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned)  we will have all the more need to encourage SME’s, not to encase them in ever more burdensome legal scaffolding. We need to provide incentives to employment, rather than the opposite.


Categories: General


August 22, 2016 2 comments

One day to go until my appearance at Edinburgh International Book Festival. I hope to see you there; if you are kind/brave/sympathetic enough to come along, I promise you something brand spanking new.

I won’t read from this year’s Skinner, I’ll give you a preview of next year’s.

Categories: General


July 28, 2016 2 comments

I had some very good news this morning. I’m on a short list of four for the Crime Writers’ Association’s ‘Dagger in the Library’ award. http://thecwa.co.uk/the-daggers/categories/library/

That’s recognition enough for me, but if I do catch the judges’ eyes I will be very happy: not only for myself, but even more for the nod it will give to all the librarians up and down the country who are the main reason why I’ve been in the top 100 most borrowed authors for the twenty odd years.

The importance of libraries has been recognised since the days of Andrew Carnegie, but now they’re under threat, from budget cuts by penny-pinchers who have no idea of the difference between cost and value. They need all the help and all the publicity they can get.



Categories: General

Music while I work

Shaun Escoffery.  Try him, if you haven’t already.

Categories: General

Safely delivered

July 22, 2016 3 comments

Well, it’s out there at last; Born to be Wild  has been in my head for a couple of years and finally it has escaped. The mysterious death of Oz Blackstone, explained at last. Published for ten hours as I write this, and already it’s in the top 1000 mystery titles in the Kindle store, not bad for 99p short story.

My thanks to everyone who’s bought it so far. To the rest? Go on, let’s see how high it can fly.

Categories: General

Almost there

July 21, 2016 1 comment

So what did happen to Oz Blackstone? Find out tomorrow, when Born to be Wild, a brand new short story, is released in the Amazon Kindle store. Or find out right now, on the Kobo platform.

Categories: General

The other way

For those who don’t know that there are alternatives to Kindle and Amazon, here’s a link to Kobo, through which Born to be Wild, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and indeed the entire QJ backlist, are available in ebook form.


No, you don’t have to buy an expensive reader. Click on ‘Apps and ereaders’ and you can download software that lets you access Kobo purchases on computers, tablets, and even smartphones.

Categories: General


July 2, 2016 1 comment

Update: ‘Born to be Wild’, the new Oz Blackstone short, is now available for pre-order on both Amazon and Kobo.com, in advance of publication on July 29.

Categories: General


July 2, 2016 1 comment

Ten years ago, Oz Blackstone, the slightly sociopathic anti-hero of nine mystery novels, died tragically, and off-page, while filming in the Guatemalan jungle. He left behind him a wife and a soulmate . . . although these were different women . . . and three children. Said soulmate, Primavera Phillips Blackstone, retired with their son Tom to the idyllic (and very real; you should visit) village of St Marti d’Empuries, at the quiet end of the Costa Brava, where she built a new life in his honour and memory, and found what she hoped would be renewed happiness.

So why is it that there are thousands of people who believe that Oz is still alive and out there, choosing his moment to make a comeback? Beats me, but there are.

They keep the faith and they keep hoping; also, they keep me thinking.

Faith is a wonderful thing; it’s belief without any logic or supporting evidence. It deserves to be rewarded, and it will be on July 29. That’s the publication date of a new, original short story, which looks into  the mystery of Oz’s death. It answers questions and it poses some new ones that only occurred to me as it took shape.

It’s called ‘Born to be Wild’ and it will be published in ebook form, on Amazon Kindle and also on Kobo.

Categories: General

You couldn’t make it up

July 2, 2016 1 comment

A good friend said a few days ago that he reckoned we are witnessing the death of political fiction, on the basis that nobody will ever match current reality. I see it differently. With all that’s happened over the  last week, how could I not republish my political fantasy, Somewhere over the Rainbow?

Look for it globally on Amazon and soon on Kobo.

Categories: General


I don’t bet. Every time I tip a horse it loses.

I’ve just awakened after a late night watching the St Joan fireworks. I’m happy, and only mildly surprised, for I had a hunch that the people who made the pollsters look like idiots at last year’s General Election might do the same again.

I said I’d be a good loser. Now I’m going to do something even harder: I’m going to be a good winner.

Categories: General, Politics

It’s over

June 23, 2016 1 comment

We’re there. The bluster and the bullshit of another corrosive referendum campaign lies behind us, stored away in the memory banks of the political participants, so that the winners can take revenge on the losers at a moment of their choosing.

Remain will win, and I will be as good a loser as I was (and still am) when I voted ‘Yes’ to Scottish independence. But one thing I won’t tolerate or forgive, is the assumption that because I voted to leave the EU, I am a kindred spirit to the likes of Nigel Farage, or Katie Hopkins, or Donald Trump . . . although it beats me why his views should have any relevance.

In a debate that has been largely about money and the protection of the wealth of the rich while also salving their social consciences, I have been focused from the start on the long term. This has nothing to do with immigration, or racism, or xenophobia; I believe that a political union of going on for thirty nation states with different cultures, attitudes, objectives and of course languages . . . and that is where the EU is headed . . . will be an unhappy and unstable creation. In the very long term it will also be unworkable.

So I don’t care what Farage says, or how Cameron spins it, or how sore Corbyn’s arse is from all that fence-sitting, or whether Joanne Rowling thinks we’re all mini-Trumps (although when I read that I couldn’t believe she said it), or whether Becks and Posh wake up happy or sad tomorrow. I will not be browbeaten by the strident voices of Nicola, Ruth and Kezia, or even persuaded by my friend Malcolm.

I voted with my conscience, and it’s clear.

Categories: General, Politics


June 21, 2016 7 comments

Game of Thrones: by the end, Ramsay had really gone to the dogs.

Categories: General


June 14, 2016 5 comments

In two years, the FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russia. 

Should it? 

Categories: General, Sport