The Colour of Murder In 1478, London is not safe, whether for princes or commoners. A wealthy merchant is killed; a royal duke dies at the Tower but in neither case is the matter quite as it seems. Seb Foxley, an intrepid young artist, finds himself in the darkest of places, fleeing for his life. With foul deeds afoot at the king’s court and his wife Emily pregnant, can Seb unearth the secrets which others would prefer to keep hidden?
The Colour of Betrayal - out now
As medieval Londoners prepare for a joyous Christmas, a goldsmith, Lawrence Ducket, is involved in a street brawl. Fearful that his opponent is dying of his injuries, Lawrence seeks sanctuary in a church nearby. Later, he is found hanging from the rafters. Was it suicide? The artist-cum-sleuth, Sebastian Foxley, is unconvinced but why is young Jack, so terrified that he takes to his bed? In the midst of feasting, merriment and religious festivals, Seb is determined to solve the mystery of his friend’s death and quell Jack’s fears.
Pub: MadeGlobal Publishing (2 Oct 2017)
- 5.0 out of 5 stars "Great characters, great story, recommended ..."
The Colour of Cold Blood is the third Sebastian Foxley medieval mystery, and the second full length novel. Set in the dark, threatening streets of medieval London - follow the battle between church and state, as Seb tries to discover who is murdering the young women of Cheapside.
Pub: MadeGlobal Publishing - (22 Mar 2017)
- 5.0 out of 5 stars "... If you love clever plots, witty characters, and scenes which feel so real you can almost walk right into [them]... read this book!"
The Colour of Gold is a short story from the Seb Foxley series - A medieval wedding should be a splendid occasion, especially when a royal guest is expected, yet the day begins with disaster when a valuable item goes missing. From the lowliest street urchin to the highest nobility, who could be the thief?
Pub: MadeGlobal Publishing (4 Jan 2017)
The Colour of Poison The first Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery. The narrow, stinking streets of medieval London can be a dangerous place. Burglary, arson, kidnapping and murder are every-day events. The streets even echo with rumours of the mysterious art of alchemy being used to make gold for the King.
Pub: MadeGlobal Publishing; (16 Feb. 2016)
How have you been able to continue the drama of your series?
My characters do all the hard work. Stephen King, the author of so many thrillers and suspense novels, says he dreams up a character, puts them in a situation and sees what they do. That’s about it for me too. I put a couple of my characters together and let them get on with it. For example, when, in ‘Cold Blood’, Emily wasn’t the perfect wife to Seb, I never planned it that way. Emily’s character just went her own. I think real marriages are often like that – relationships aren’t always quite as you expect. Besides, where is the suspense if everything is wonderful? Medieval life was as full of unexpected twists and turns, just as life today. Characters keep secrets, not only from each other but, just occasionally, from the reader too.
Who is your favourite character?
My favourite character has to be Seb, of course. If I don’t love my hero, then the reader probably won’t either. Having said that, I have more fun with the secondary characters. Gabriel Widowson, that man of mystery with a certain something that so appeals to women – I did enjoy working with him as I was never sure what would happen next. And what about his ‘relationship’ with Emily? That was intriguing and I’m still not sure quite how far they went – that’s one of those secrets I mentioned. What about Seb and Rose? Were those reading lessons as innocent as Seb claimed? He was certainly attracted to her and now she lives under the same roof. Will anything happen? That’s another mystery for a future story! Just think medieval Eastenders and the dramatic possibilities are endless. Villainous characters are great fun to write as well. Father Hugh Wessell amused me no end, the pompous, nasty piece of work. Way back in Poison, Lord Lovell surprised me. As some readers have pointed out, historically, Lovell was Richard of Gloucester’s best mate: how could he be a baddie? I’m afraid that was his doing, not mine. My characters rule: I just type their stories.
Why does medieval crime attract you?
I am fascinated by medieval social history and I can’t resist a good crime thriller. Put the two together and you’ve got medieval crime. There are many fascinating cases in Court Rolls and Coroners’ Rolls throughout the medieval and early Tudor periods to give me inspiration. Sometimes, they only describe the crime committed – often in minute detail – but don’t say whether the accused was found guilty or not. Otherwise, the accused may be sentenced but his crime not explained. It is just down to luck as to which documents happen to have survived. The result is a huge supply of half-told stories, all waiting to have the mysterious gaps explained. I also enjoy the challenge of writing about the very primitive methods then available to aid in solving crimes: no forensic medicine, no DNA analysis, no psychological profiling [all of which is cheating a bit!] although there was use of fingerprinting in Poison, just about. There is only Seb with his artist’s eye for detail, clever brain and knowledge of human weaknesses. Plenty of scope for suspense and mystery in my medieval tales of murder.
Alongside the coronations, diplomacy and battles, here can be found the fabric of real medieval life. With a diverse range of entries – one for each day of the year – this is an almanac for lovers of all things medieval. A detailed picture of medieval England gathered from original sources.
Pub: Amberley Publishing (22 May 2016)
Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science The phrase 'Medieval Medicine' conjures up horrors for us with our modern ideas on hygiene, instant pain relief and effective treatments. Although no one could allay the dread of plague, the medical profession could provide cures of sorts as well as cosmetics, sanitary products, dietary advice and horoscopes. (NB This is the paperback version of Dragon's Blood & Willow Bark...)
Pub: Amberley Publishing; (15 April 2016)
Dragon's Blood & Willow Bark - Medieval Surgeons performed life-saving procedures, sometimes even using anaesthetics, they knew a few tricks to lessen the scarring, too. Yet alongside such expertise, some still believed that unicorns and dragons provided cures for many diseases. No animals, large, furry or mythological, were harmed during research for this book. (NB This is the hardback version of Medieval Medicine)
Pub: Amberley Publishing (16 April 2015)
Everyday Life in Medieval London Abandoned by the Romans, rebuilt by the Saxons, occupied by the Vikings and reconstructed by the Normans, London would become the largest trade and financial centre, dominating the world in later centuries.
" ... an excellent book full of riches - extremely informative, insightful and entertaining in equal measure." London Blue Badge Guide
Pub: PB Amberley Publishing (15 May 2015) HB Amberley Publishing (15 Mar 2014 )
The Medieval Housewife In the past, historians have tended to look at what women could not do. In this book we will look at the lives of medieval women in a more positive light, finding out what rights and opportunities they enjoyed and attempting to uncover the real women beneath the layers of dust accumulated over the centuries.
Pub: Amberley Publishing (15 Nov 2014)
Richard III King of Controversy is based on over 30 years of personal research as a member of the Richard III Society. Updated in 2015 this 40 page book with colour illustrations, is an introduction to the life and controversies surrounding one of England's best known Kings
Pub: Echoes from History (1 May 2013) updated 1 March 2015
Dare they be Doctors is the fascinating tale of the determined young Victorian women who overcame endless obstacles and discrimination to succeed in a man's world.
Pub: Echoes from History (1 April 2013)
Medieval Housewives and Women of the Middle-Ages This 80 page paperback was my first book and is the basis of the book of the same title later republished by Amberley in 2014.
Pub: Echoes from History (1 May 2007)