The Lunar Cats

When you are an inoffensive retired librarian with bitter personal experience of Evil Talking Cats, do you rescue a kitten from the cold on a December night?

Welcome to my new website, which had been designed for me by Lee Wilson of Project X in Brighton. Anyone familiar with the old website will know that I rarely updated it. This was partly because I don’t have the sort of brain that remembers to do updating, but also because updating was formerly quite difficult to do. So dammit, I will no longer have that excuse! From now on, when the same piece of information stays up as “news” for 18 months (or ten years), eveyone will know it’s entirely down to my laziness.

Right now there are two pieces of news (aside from this spiffy new site): first, my second evil-talking-cats book The Lunar Cats is soon out in paperback (and I utterly love that book); second, I have just completed my first Inspector Steine novel, to be published next year by Bloomsbury. The title will be A Shot in the Dark, and I worked on it harder than I can honestly remember working on anything before.

The Lunar Cats

The Lunar Cats

When you are an inoffensive retired librarian with bitter personal experience of Evil Talking Cats, do you rescue a kitten from the cold on a December night? Do you follow...

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My Muse: Joni Mitchell

Produced Kevin Mousley, a 30-minute feature on what Joni Mitchell’s music meant to me. A huge pleasure to make. Broadcast on Radio 4 on 18th September 2017. Listen on BBC iPlayer

For New York Times, November 2016

Imagine the progress of the English language as a moving train. It need not be a fast-moving train; in fact, it helps if you picture it chugging along majestically through a flat landscape. Our two authors are both actively interested in observing the progress of the train. One has spent…
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Hell’s Bells

I wrote this piece for The Sunday Times as Hell’s Bells opened in Edinburgh: In the middle of August, I’ll be going up to Edinburgh to see my own play, Hell’s Bells, at the Pleasance Attic, and it’s going to be quite weird. A small, dark performance space will be focused,…
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  • New Statesman, February 2017

    In April 2004, in Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest of America, I found myself on an unexpected literary pilgrimage....

  • Saga, September 2016

    I don’t know whether you’ve seen the Danish family TV saga The Legacy, but I can tell you that a)...

  • New Statesman, July 2016

    Until the 2012 Olympics, I didn’t realise that the schedule for every Games is roughly the same: all the swimming...

  • Saga, June 2016

    A friend at my art class asked the other day, “What do you do with your pictures afterwards?” This is...

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  • A Chinese box of anti-narrative that reads like M.R. James on bad acid with a laugh track, complete with demonic cats, murderous librarians and badly overmatched amateur sleuths.

    Kirkus Review on Cat Out of Hell
  • A short, sharp, high-concept half-hour of ghostly thriller that’s well worth the small investment of time it requires … impressively well staged and acted, it’s like The Ring with a Radio 4 accent.

    David Pollock, The Scotsman on The Proceedings of that Night
  • A comic novel of subtle distinction… A richly entertaining book, and at times a very moving one

    The Times on Tennyson’s Gift
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News & Features

The case of the 18th-century man of letters John Hawkesworth (1715?-1773) is not as often invoked as it ought to be. This is perhaps because no one has heard of him. Search books of notable Georgians in England, and alphabetically they go straight from Hawke to Haydon. Even in Boswell’s…
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