Martyn Beardsley

I have been writing forever. I can remember making little books by folding pieces of paper into two and labouring for ages over the cover drawing (art not being my strong points then or now - though I recall a rather impressive spaceship on one...)  I must have been writing seriously for nearly ten years before I got published, beginning with lots of short stories that were completely inappropriate for the target market, and going on to attempt two or three novels that even now I think were good ideas and am sometimes tempted to go back and rewrite them.

The breakthrough came when I gave up struggling with an adult novel and started scribbling about a silly knight of the Round Table. The resulting story was long and rambling, and was rejected about ten or twelve times before I was lucky enough to tickle the funny bone of Fiona Kennedy at Orion (or Dent as it was then). She patiently worked with me to cut and rework the story, and lo and behold I was in print.

I've managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over steadily since then, and I've added adult fiction to my portfolio, together with adult and children's historical non-fiction, which is probably what I enjoy doing the most.


This is my first adult fiction novel, and my first detective story.
The protagonist is Inspector Bucket from Dickens's Bleak House.

Great Scotland Yard 1844. When the beautiful Eleanora Scambles claims that her husband has been wrongly arrested for the murder of Edward Mizzentoft, Inspector Bucket of the recently formed Detective Department is intrigued - but there are two problems. The case is already being handled by Bucket's colleague, who is in no doubt about his man's guilt. And someone else observed the conversation between Bucket and Mrs Scambles: someone who will go to great lengths to ensure that the truth never gets out. How can Inspector Bucket and Sergeant Gordon investigate without breaching professional etiquette? And who is the mysterious figure stalking Mrs Scambles?

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Latest Children's Books

This is the first book I've ever written under a pseudonym - and a female one at that! It wasn't my idea - the whole project was quite different to anything I've done before in that the idea
and detailed brief (together with the pseudonym) for the series were provided by the literary group Hothouse. I've written two books in the currently four book series, and another author wrote the other two.
I really enjoyed writing these stories. The briefs set things up for fast-paced, exciting adventures with some strong characters. All the books are set just after the restoration of Charles II, and feature the beautiful fourteen-year-old actress Beth Johnson - who also happens to secretly work for the king's spymaster! Together with a couple of friends, she works to root out plots against the king cooked up by the anti-royalist exile Sir Henry Vale.

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Latest in Non-Fiction

For the adult historical market: A Matter of Honour - The Story of England's Last Fatal Duel. Published by Bookline & Thinker.

In the spring of 1845 Lieutenant Hawkey of the Marines and his wife made the acquaintance of James Alexander Seton, a former cavalry officer. Seton's pursual of Isabella Hawkey led to a meeting with pistols on the beach at Browndown, near Gosport, Hampshire. The way in which the duel was conducted was one of several controversial elements to this story, and this encounter was to be the last fatal duel between Englishmen in England.

This story was a long time in the telling. I first came across it around 2002; the research naturally took a long time, but then I struggled to find a publisher, so the whole thing was drawn out over a period of eight years or more. The good thing was that the additional time enabled me to ferret out some very useful additional information. It's very satisfying to
finally see it  in print!


The website for the book: