Fatal Blow - the fourth in my DC Mel Cotton Series is out on October 17th.

A ruthless campaign of revenge by an organised crime group and a mystery body in Mel's garden stretch Mexton CID to the limit. Leigh Russell said "Literally starts with a bang...and the excitement doesn't let up for a minute" while Graham Bartlett described it as a "masterpiece." It's available to pre-order at amazon and Waterstones.

Previous novels

Featuring a serial poisoner, an organised crime group and a murdered blackmailer, it was described by Graham Bartlett as "Superb" and by Miranda's Bookscape as a "perfect police procedural"


This is high quality crime writing" -M.W. Craven, award-winning author of the Poe and Tilly series =dbs p kWh ret and cl 1&storeType=ebooks 

I was thrilled to receive Premier Readers' Awards from Chill With A Book for Fatal Trade and Fatal Hate

Reading list

In August I delivered a short course on crime science at the Swanwick Writers Summer School. I prepared a reading list which I include below - I hope you find it interesting


Brian Price – Crime writing: How to write the science

(OK – a plug!)

Kate Bendelow – The real CSI: A forensic handbook for crime writers

(Extremely useful introduction to crime scene forensics, written by a SOCO)

Elizabeth A. Dauncey and Sonny Larsson – Plants that kill: A natural history of the world’s most poisonous plants

(Published by Kew Gardens and very comprehensive)

Nicholas Faith – Blaze: The forensics of fire

(Out of print but may be obtainable second-hand)

Kathryn Harkup – A is for arsenic: The poisons of Agatha Christie

(Excellent guide to the substances used by Christie)

Tom Rogers – Insultingly stupid movie physics (import via amazon)

(Covers igniting fuel and some aspects of firearms)

The following autobiographical works contain much useful information on forensics, pathology and crime detection, including many case histories

Prof. Sue Black – Written in bone

Jim Fraser – Murder under the microscope

Ray Fysh – Shallow graves

Prof. Angela Gallop – When the dogs don’t bark

Prof. Angela Gallop - How to solve a crime

Val McDermid – Forensics

Dr Richard Shepherd – Unnatural causes

Dr Richard Shepherd – The seven ages of death

Dr Mark Spencer – Murder most florid

Prof. Patricia Wiltshire – Traces

Much useful information on firearms can be found on the website Quora – but, be warned, some strange and rather unpleasant people appear there!


I send out an occasional newsletter covering my writing, events of interest and crime science items which I think will be helpful. To subscribe, please go to my author website at    


If you find this website interesting, please check out my book, published by Studymates. It covers the topics on this site and more and is "An essential resource for ALL crime writers" (M.W. Craven, author of the Washington Poe series).

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