The Man Who Thought He Was Evil

Novel, England, 1940s, 1950s

Front cover

When Eddy Cochrane, a very innocent teenager, is knocked-off his bicycle and hits his head on the way to the Army Call-up medical, he tells the doctors he has an urge to be evil. A few weeks under observation at a mental hospital help him mature and broaden his horizons from being a loner quantity surveyor. From there, using the post-war upheaval and Polish emigres, he quickly develops into a successful construction manager. But an lurking ember of evil gives the nicest family man a ruthless side.

There aren’t many romantic stories combining quantity surveying with Polish music and post-war Polish exiles.

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Paperback A5 244 pages £7.50
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She Who Must Be Sailed

Novel, Science fiction, England

Front cover
Solo sailor, alpha (for arsehole) male, Colton follows clues to buried treasure in the Indian Ocean. What he finds makes him think he’s being head-hunted to be a space sailor and this is an aptitude test. He’s right, but now he’s got another woman in his life and she’s not like the others. Can she convince him to save the planet?

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Minda

Novel, Mediaeval, England, Europe, Feisty teenage girls

An abandoned duke’s daughter with claw hand, club foot and bad eye grows up to be loved by her friends and feared by her enemies. Minda brings her charming personality, guile and determination to the sometimes violent Middle Ages as she builds her strength, overcomes her disabilities, forges bonds between blacksmiths, exposes criminals and creates a team of devoted servants and friendly allies to protect her. One moment she is a legend that fights lions, the next she’s dealing with the practical emotion of taking a murdered child back to its mother.

That’s half of the first book of five.

Front cover

This series might specially appeal to older teenager females as that’s the central character. However although she’s a great role model, there’s nothing ‘girly’… unless boys don’t do romance. She’s strong and ugly but people love her. There’s no swashbuckling, lots of hard work and occasional close-up violence.

Read these in sequence.

Volume 1 — Minda Grows Up

Rejected and disabled Minda grows up to be strong in every sense of the word, but she’s got a lot to learn about the world beyond her village. She has a knack of confronting enemies and making families.

Volume one has a particularly brutal page.
It’s preceded by a clear warning but
perhaps you should be 16 before reading it.
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Paperback A5 316 pages £8.00
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Volume 2 — Minda Inherits

This continues the story with deadly attacks on Minda as she tries to establish her inheritance and place at court. Winter doesn’t help things but she uses her resourcefulness and team-building to stunning effect.

Paperback A5 324 pages £8.50
Full ebook A5 PDF £3.00
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Volume 3 — Minda Falters

Minda suffers a collapse through overwork. It’s not a good time as there’s rebellion in the air. We meet a bunch of teenage cadets (The Black Team) who prove themselves in bloody skirmishes and politics.

Paperback A5 336 pages £8.50
Full ebook A5 PDF £3.00
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Volume 4 — The Black Team Escapes

Book 4 focusses on The Black Team abroad ‘on holiday to keep out of trouble’. There is romance of course but their coup is to defeat a plot against the King of Lanconia. What were two bitching countries become friends as a result.

Paperback A5 298 pages £8.50
Full ebook A5 PDF £3.00
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Volume 5 — Steady Into The Storm

How is Minda ever going to find a husband and lasting love? Amongst urgent preparations to defend against the Pope, northern invaders and surly lords she and her organisation make progress through extreme efforts. There’s no war because Minda can threaten and act with secret force.

Paperback A5 340 pages £8.50
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Good Apple

Novel, Historical 1920s, England, Europe, Crime and detection,

A loner, Londoner, blackmailer uses his skills to fight crime with the tacit blessing of the Chief Constable. Tom can work secretly to trap sex predators and corruption. They soon realise there is a lot of rottenness in the Metropolitan Police which causes major difficulties, but also helps establish Tom and his ‘non-existent’ ‘D5’ operation amongst people who want to do something about it.

On a personal level Tom finds romance and families that have been missing from his life. He tries to avoid publicity but becomes a local hero. It’s rather embarrassing when he’s innocently right on the scene of violent death more than once.

As well as gangsters, fraudsters, unpleasant local worthies and the shambles at Scotland Yard, Tom and his team get involved in national security, in particular on the alert to deal with what might happen if the political violence in Italy, Poland and Germany was to spread to England.

Front cover
This was an interesting series to write as there really was corruption and appalling management at Scotland Yard at the time. Some of Tom’s modernising ideas would be used later, including international collaboration between police forces. One character was a real person who went on to be a founder member of the Flying Squad. His wife is a mathematician and involved with not only code-breaking but also the practicalities of use and interception.

The 1920s were unstable times. Mass unemployment, industrial unrest and examples to look at in Europe of Fascist and Communist street warfare and murder. The Chief Constable and Tom are jointly determined that peaceful and purposeful protests are legal and good, but any sort of violence or underground political conspiracy must be stopped.

The series has halted with Tom’s team ready to become a ‘private’ and well-connected international intelligence operation.

Read these in sequence.

Volume 1

Blackmailer Tom escapes from London and loneliness to Dorset where he’s ‘adopted’ by the Chief Constable and puts his skills to ‘good’ use.

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Paperback A5 194 pages £7.00
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Volume 2

Tom continues making families out of lovely, lonely and damaged people. Europe’s troubles worry him. He tries international spying as an outlet for his secret ways. He finds himself as a public hero when he wants to stay in the shadows. Dorset policing becomes recognised and very worrying for corrupt empire-builders in the Metropolitan Police and Home Office.

Paperback A5 390 pages £9.50
Full ebook A5 PDF £3.00
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Volume 3

Tom’s habit of being too close to violent death for comfort continues. Finance, intelligence, corruption in London, watching for opportunities to train his followers goes on. Trust in troubled times helps them work as a team to deal with serious crime, national security and finding a replacement Chief Constable for when Harry retires.

Paperback A5 264 pages £8.00
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Desert Lighthouse

Novel, Adventure for boys, SF, 1865, 'Tashkent'

Action for teenage boys. It’s about time we had something better than Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. It’s easy to follow but gradually the value of investigating, preparation and knowledge becomes clear.

How do boys become men? Why is wisdom cool? Read this gentle adventure in 1860’s South Central Asia to find out.


As boys there’s a lot of knowledge ‘just over the horizon’. As men we remember how our eyesight grew from pinpricks to slits then opened like a bud of understanding to bask in the nourishing rays of knowledge. From there into giant collectors of wisdom, and so to seed the next generation.

If you found a lighthouse while walking through the desert would you stop and find out more? If you knew the Russians were going to take over the town would you hurry away or use that knowledge to your advantage, and if so how?

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Paperback A5 164 pages £6.00
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