The Liverpool Mysteries

Welcome to the four novels that make up The Liverpool Mystery Series, each can be read independently, but reading all of them will help you get more out of each one. The first book I wrote was Under The Bridge (to be published Feb 18th 2021) set in Garston, but that book had its roots in Wicklow, Ireland. Join the FB group for Under The Bridge here;

The Morning After is the second and it was writing this book that I realised this was a series all along. I am currently writing Fire Next Time and The Wicklow Boys will follow. You can read the novels in any order, like our lives they are a moment in time, connected to what happens before and after.

The Real Crimes

I am booked to appear on a panel with two other ‘crime writers’ for the UK Crime Book Club on Facebook I will post a link when it comes around. But it got me thinking about UTB as crime novel, this might seem strange, but for me the book has always been primarily about theContinue reading “The Real Crimes”

How we got here…

The history of Liverpool never ceases to amaze and surprise me, there is always something more to find out. A few readers have commented that they learned something about their home city from reading Under The Bridge. This process is going on all the time for me, but for many, including Vinny in the book,Continue reading “How we got here…”

10 Questions With… Jack Byrne

Originally posted on Serial Writer:
Hi everyone, and this afternoon I’m delighted to welcome Jack Byrne to the blog. Jack is from Liverpool and has set his debut novel there. I was delighted when he agreed to an interview, and to find out about his writing journey. Details of how to contact hun are below…

A Fairytale in …

One of everyone’s favourite Xmas songs has to be Fairytale in New York, but behind the song’s international fame is a story that will ring true for Irish descendants everywhere.. As many of you know Garston was home to a community of emigrants from Wicklow. My books follow some characters from that community through theContinue reading “A Fairytale in …”

A rose in the river

In 1945 the Labour government deported hundreds of Chinese seamen from Liverpool. Thousands had been brought to the UK to support the war effort and risked their lives on British ships. Many married and started families. Wives and children were left desperate as fathers and husbands were picked up by the police and deported. ThisContinue reading “A rose in the river”


Risen  Arthur John Dooley (17 January 1929 – 7 January 1994)  Worker and sculptor He coughed his way downstairs, tousled thinning hair, his heavy overcoat took the place of a dressing gown over his pyjamas. His wake up fag hung from his lip as he turned on the gas. His fumbling hands expertly struck aContinue reading “Risen”

The Black Christ

The sculptor Arthur Dooley was born in The Dingle, worked in Cammell Lairds, and travelled the world with the Irish Guards, at one point he was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. A well travelled man he eventually settled back in his native Liverpool. For a period he worked in Dunlops in Speke toContinue reading “The Black Christ”

Building Lives and Families Not Just Motorways

Wicklow, Rathnew and Garston in Liverpool have a long lasting connection, not one recognised by councils and authorities but one long know about among residents and families. The One Road is a collection of short stories you can download free here. The stories set the scene for ‘Under The Bridge’ a novel that willContinue reading “Building Lives and Families Not Just Motorways”

Another Place

Another place…another time…another people…silent figures defying time and tide, looking out to the Mersey Estuary to the migrants who came and left and those who remain. I guess because I am from one of those migrants I feel the pull of these statues. If you haven’t seen them do yourself a favour and make theContinue reading “Another Place”

Norwegian Wood, and Rubber Dinghies (from Hindi dingi ‘small boat’ )

The Beatles song always struck me as strangely titled. Wikipedia informs me it refers to the wood panelling in a house in London, where John Lennon was conducting an affair. The novel I am working on at the moment ‘Fire Next Time’ has its final dramatic scenes in The Baltic Triangle. It is an areaContinue reading “Norwegian Wood, and Rubber Dinghies (from Hindi dingi ‘small boat’ )”

A Truly Irish and British Thriller

The headline above, and the quote below are both from reviews of my novel Under The Bridge “Written for adult audiences, this thrilling novel explores class distinctions, nationality, identity, and the dynamics of power by combining historical and contemporary content for its mystery plot.” You can read the full reviews here They mark theContinue reading “A Truly Irish and British Thriller”

Another Crash?

Fifty-five years ago this week, on 20 July 1965 a there was an event that shocked the people of Speke and Garston. In a way, it was a foreshadowing of what the recession of the seventies would do to the industry in the area. In this case, it was a Cambrian Airlines plane that hadContinue reading “Another Crash?”

The Blue Union

Many from Garston will remember the blue union as a social club on Window Lane and a football team that played in the Sunday league, a team that was the starting point for some famous names like Jimmy Case. For decades it played a role in the social life of people Under The Bridge. ItContinue reading “The Blue Union”

Humanity Restored

Robert Burns poem called Man was made to mourn: A Dirge in 1784. ‘Man’s inhumanity to man’ The response to the murder of George Floyd for most people has been an overwhelming rejection of the racism that ended his life. The casual denial of his humanity, and as police knelt on his neck it brought back all theContinue reading “Humanity Restored”

Match and Bobbin girls

The Mersey Matchworks, was a scene of architectural progress and innovation, while being witness to the ruthless treatment of the women and girls of the Garston Bobbin works. Bryant & May had a reasonably good reputation in Liverpool, mainly because the industry had moved on by the time the Garston factory was built. Mechanisation andContinue reading “Match and Bobbin girls”

Reading Catherine Cookson- The making of a Scouse militant.

The question ‘What made you a socialist?’ Was recently discussed on his Facebook page by a political activist and writer who was active in Liverpool. I was in and out of Liverpool, Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham in fact wherever the IMG or its successors wanted people to move, there I would be..But back to theContinue reading “Reading Catherine Cookson- The making of a Scouse militant.”

Above us only sky

Paul arriving back at Liverpool Airport, just a couple of miles down the road was one of Paul’s favourite spots as a child, Oggy shore. Anyone who grew up in Speke, Liverpool knew it as a place to escape from the streets. Above is the 1930s art deco building I remember. As kids, we wouldContinue reading “Above us only sky”

Fire Next Time

‘Fire Next Time’ is the title of my current work in progress. The first chapter starts when Charlie a young guy in Liverpool is going to work listening to the Anfield Wrap podcast. Liverpool FC have just beaten Everton in the fourth round of the FA cup, he is happy as can be. All isContinue reading “Fire Next Time”

All Together Now

Covid-19 All in it together – Wishful thinking or reality? The Beatles All Together now recorded in 1967 and released in 1972 is a feel-good tune, expressing peace and love for everyone. Help build the audience for this blog =leave your email- or tag a friend- like and share All Together Now released by LiverpoolContinue reading “All Together Now”

Give Ireland Back to The Irish-Fear and Loathing in Liverpool.

Paul McCartney’s first single with Wings in 1972 ‘Give Ireland Back to The Irish’ shortly after the Bloody Sunday shootings of innocent demonstrators in Derry in Northern Ireland, was an act of protest, and built on the musical legacy of Liverpool. Liverpool Lou written and performed by Dominic Behan is an expression of thisContinue reading “Give Ireland Back to The Irish-Fear and Loathing in Liverpool.”

Come Together – Covid19 Social Distancing and Social Solidarity?

John Lennon began the song for Timothy Leary a US liberal radical in an election against Ronald Reagan. The Reagan/Thatcher axis and neo-liberalism sought to minimise the state as a tool used to change society to help people, like building the NHS and education system etc to an instrument to maximise the conditions for profit.Continue reading “Come Together – Covid19 Social Distancing and Social Solidarity?”

The ebb and flow.

I’m back in Liverpool this week revisiting old friends and haunts. On the second day here I had to find the office of a publisher. It was cold and wet. I was walking the streets of the ‘Baltic Triangle’. This is a part of Liverpool between the town centre and The Dingle. Old warehouses andContinue reading “The ebb and flow.”

Run for your life.

Well, I’d rather see you dead, little girlThan to be with another man The first two lines of this Beatles song make clear the subject and the writer’s view. There can be no doubt that the song accepts violence against women as the norm. This is from a time when women and children were seenContinue reading “Run for your life.”

Walkways in The Sky

Walkways in the sky. Buurrr buurrr lips pursed, Harry blew out the trumpet sound of the last post. The wail of his voice was in mockery, not respect. The funeral was real, the death was real in Allerton cemetery grounds, the trumpet and tears were real. In the act of grieving for one of theirContinue reading “Walkways in The Sky”

Paperback Writer

Help me decide – does the cover match the storyline? A skeleton is unearthed on a building site close to the docks in Garston. Anne, a fledgling reporter, is assigned to what should be a routine story. Her friend Vinny, starting a postgrad degree, is plagued by nightmares and visions of death. As he strugglesContinue reading “Paperback Writer”

Chapter 8 Garston

Leave your email above, and enjoy below. Chapter 8 Garston from The Morning AfterJuly 3rd Friday 1981 Lunchtime “Does anyone know the way?” asked Macca “Yeah, I do, my nan lived here.” Vinny led the way as they scrambled up from the shore. The road in front of them was at the back of theContinue reading “Chapter 8 Garston”

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