A White-Knuckle Christmas (R&M File #7)


A White-Knuckle Christmas (Romney and Marsh File #7) is now available for pre-order here Amazon UK and here Amazon US . Release date is 26th March. Just three weeks away.

Here’s the blurb:

A particularly nasty series of crimes is casting a pall over the members of CID and an unusually white Dover in the run up to Christmas on the south coast of England.

The festive period is further marred by the report of a pair of suspicious sudden deaths on the frozen outskirts of the town.

Detective Inspector Romney and his loyal team are dealing with evil on all fronts and against a ticking calendar.

It’s a little bit amazing to think that there are now seven books and a short story featuring Dover CID. These books and the characters have been a prominent part of my life for nearly five years. Good years. (The earliest saved file I have on my computer is June, 2011. Rope Enough was originally going to be called An Open Mind.)

I moved to Turkey seven years ago. I started writing in the second year (I think.) The R&M Files were not the first books I wrote. The first was Dirty Business (Acer Sansom #1).

Romney and Marsh were not originally the names of my two central characters. They were called Moses and Stone. My thinking was that I would write ten books involving crimes based on the ten commandments. (That didn’t last long.) So it was Moses as in Mount Sinai and Stone as in set in. I can’t remember how long I kept these names for but it must have been a good while. (I wrote the first three in the series before I self-published any of them.)

Then one day I was watching the news and saw that a guy called Mitt Romney was running for American president. I remember thinking that Romney was a good strong name for a character. Because I was born and bred on Romney Marsh it is impossible for me to hear the name Romney without then associating the word Marsh. I had my epiphany on a settee in front of the telly eating a kebab. I have never regretted the decision to change the names. Not for a moment.

I don’t know if there will be another Romney and Marsh File. That’s not me being anything other than honest with myself. Don’t worry, there is no Reichenbach Falls incident in #7. I’ve had a very good run with them. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every one and I like #7 too. I might just quit while I’m ahead and #7 has a sort of ‘Christmas special’ feel to it for me.

Why would I make the decision to bring the series to a close? Look at the picture below. My head is full of writing ideas. And now the walls around my desk are. It’s like I put a shotgun in my mouth and pulled the trigger. I have three other projects that I’m really keen to have a bash at. (One of them will be at least two books.) And none of them is in my usual writing genre. It seems a strange thing to think let alone write (this is my writer’s diary where I share just about everything) but I almost feel like I’ve served my apprenticeship and it’s time to move on.

new projects

I’m leaving here in five weeks. I will not be living a writer’s life for the next four or five months. I hope to find time to write but it won’t be like it is now. I have more pressing commitments of the property maintenance variety to be getting on with. (Groan.)

So assuming I get back to writing full-time next September and I crack on with one or two of my other projects, I would not be looking at another Romney and Marsh File for well over a year. What kind of writer will I be then? Will I even want to go back to them? I could. I’ve left it open for them to return. I just don’t know how I’m going to feel.

So that’s two series of mine that might well have seen the last book in each. I’m currently still hammering away at Booker & Cash #3 and I have a start on Booker & Cash #4 in the bank. They are both high on my list to finish. And I can see myself writing more in that series.


In other CWAP news. Three Short Blasts will be out next Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes down. Copies can be pre-ordered here Amazon UK and here Amazon US

Three Short Blasts  (Medium)

Three Short Blasts is a collection of three original stories that are not to be found anywhere else. There is one story in each of the three series that I write: The Romney and Marsh Files, Acer Sansom and Booker & Cash.

Going on industry standard word count, the three stories range from forty to sixty pages of a paperback novel in length – significantly longer than short stories but not quite novellas.

There’s also an introduction in the book where I explain the motivation behind it. You can skip that bit if you like and get straight into the reads, which I hope you will enjoy.



Deep State (Large)

Regular blog followers will know that I have enrolled a book in the Kindle Scout programme. Deep State (Acer#4) has got a week to go. For any one who hasn’t seen about it and who would like to know more, please see this blog-post and follow the link therein. Kindle Scout – Deep State (Acer#4)

Alternatively just click on this link and then the blue ‘Nominate’ button if you would rather not subject yourself to my begging letter and you’d just like to support me. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

Kindle Scout – Deep State


That’s all folks! Have a good weekend everyone. 🙂

16 thoughts on “A White-Knuckle Christmas (R&M File #7)

  1. What no more Romney and Marsh!!!!!! 😦 I don’t mind waiting, just don’t stop. I had to wait for Rebus to return, and he did, so I will wait just don’t stop please.

    • Hi Roz 🙂
      I just looked up the Rebus hiatus. I see it was a few years between 17 and 18 in the series. That gives me hope. Never say never again. 🙂
      Thanks for your support of the R&M Files.
      Best wishes.

    • 🙂 I don’t rule out writing another one but if I do it won’t be for a good while yet. Maybe Romney will be in a retirement home trying to work out who stole his meds. 🙂

  2. I can’t say I’m glad to hear that Romney and Marsh may come to a stop. But, I’m very glad to hear that you’re focusing on Booker and Cash. I really enjoy that series as well.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I don’t rule out another R&M File sometime. It really depends how everything else goes.
      I seem to remember that you have a YA fiction interest. (I hope I’ve remembered that correctly.) I have a two book YA idea that is on my writing list.
      Best wishes.

  3. I’d be sad to see the R&M end, but the others are good reading as well. I’ll be looking for whatever comes when you return to your writer’s life. Thanks for all the good reading.

    • Hi, Thanks for your comment and your kind words. I sincerely appreciate your ongoing support of my writing. I shall be counting the days until I can get back to the writing full-time again.
      Best wishes.

  4. My literary world will be immeasurably poorer if number 7 is the last R&M!! I am a dedicated English police procedural reader so Acer really doesn’t appeal I am afraid. Booker and Cash I have to say is also very good and I enjoy the series so far. BUT my first love will always be R&M!

    • Hello Colin
      Good to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. It’s good to know that the R&M Files have given you reading pleasure. I haven’t buried them yet. It’s just time and other projects. Too little of the first and too many of the second.
      Best wishes.

  5. How did I manage to miss this blog post? Finishing Romney & Marsh? Do you really want your readers up in arms? Do you realise what devastating news this is? No, no, no it is so unthinkable

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