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Andrew Taylor has been a full-time writer since 1981, and has written over twenty books. He has been described by The Times as 'One of Britain's best writers of psychological suspense.'
Having decided to become a writer at the age of ten, he claims that it was his newly recognised facility for writing stories, teamed with the idea that a writer's life consisted of not wearing a tie to work, that first attracted him to the career. More recently however he has suggested that 'one of the attractions of writing fiction is that it allows you to create your own little universe and play God to your heart's content.' It was the discovery of Sherlock Holmes at the tender of age of eight and earlier yet with Enid Blyton's Hurrah for Little Noddy, that his love for crime novels was incited. 'Another thing I like about crime fiction' he asserts, 'is its lack of pretension. It sets out to entertain - it's fiction with its sleeves rolled up.'
In the years preceding Andrew Taylor's breakthrough in the literary world, he worked as a boat-builder, wages clerk, teacher, librarian, labourer and freelance publisher's editor. Since then, Public Lending Right estimates place his British public library readership in the top one per cent.
His novels include the Dougal and Lydmouth crime series, the psychological thriller The Barred Window and his ground-breaking Roth Trilogy, now published in one volume as Requiem for an Angel. He also reviews and writes about crime fiction, particularly in the Independent Awards received for his books include the John Creasey Memorial award from the Crime Writer's Association and an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, both for Caroline Minuscule, and the CWA's Ellis Peters Historical Dagger. The Roth Trilogy was adapted into the acclaimed ITV drama 'Fallen Angel'. 'The American Boy' was a 2005 Richard & Judy Book Club choice.
He lives in the Forest of Dean with his wife, a photographer, and their two children.
Author photo © Caroline Silverwood
A fabulously pacy, clever, and entertaining historical crime novel packed full of plots and skulduggery. James is asked to investigate a suspicious death while architect Cat finds herself in the middle of a royal secret. This is the fifth book in the highly recommended James Marwood and Cat Lovett series which began so explosively with The Ashes of London. It is such a brilliant set of books that I recommend starting at the beginning even though this could easily be read as a standalone. The intimacy of the story between Cat and James slips so easily into the history and intrigue of King Charles II. I always enjoy following the two stories of the main characters as they gradually merge together. In the third book James held the stage, here Cat takes more of a turn in the spotlight. The sense of time and place just sings, I didn’t question my surroundings, I was there. Andrew Taylor skilfully constructs a number of plot lines which he spins and twists together, the historical note at the end cements this fascinating story in place. The Royal Secret confirms this series as a must-read for any fans of historical crime fiction.
The James Marwood and Cat Lovett series is on my must-read list. If this series is new to you, do start with the truly fabulous The Ashes of London, I have thoroughly enjoyed all three so far, and each new book adds further flavour and intrigue. A body is found at the home of a courtier for Charles II and James is sent to quietly investigate. He knows the dead man, and he also knows who wished him dead… Cat Lovett. The two storylines for James and Cat up to now could almost be made into separate books, each independently as strong as the other. Here, James takes a larger portion of the spotlight, however Cat most definitely remains a focus of the story, and is never too far away. As usual Andrew Taylor lays a veritable reading feast before your eyes, the descriptive and historical treats ensured the words travelled straight from the page into my minds eye. The King’s Evil is a hugely entertaining, wonderfully readable and intelligent historical crime mystery novel, I simply can’t wait for the next in the series, The Last Protector.
A captivating and absolutely thrilling historical tale that sits as a perfect sequel to the first in the series The Ashes of London. Please do start with the first book, it is a stunning read and sets the characters and scene so beautifully. After the Great Fire of London a court is established to judge the cases of discord between landlords and tenants. Suspicious deaths appear to link to the Fire Court, and as James and Cat attempt to find answers, their individual stories become more closely intertwined. After the drama and sheer visual spectacle of the first book, I did wonder how on earth the series would continue, and it is safe to say with great aplomb. The intricate plot immediately wormed its way into my head, slicing, enthralling, and sharply focused. There is one particularly unexpected and shocking moment that quite literally stopped my whole being, I sat in for a moment in silence before continuing, desperate to know more. Will you feel the same, will the words travel from the page, trap your feelings and hurl your thoughts in the air? This is a series that could run and run, The King’s Evil is already calling to me and quite simply can’t arrive quickly enough. The Fire Court has become part of a must-read series for me, it is highly recommended and one of my picks of the month.
An enthralling and quite, quite wonderful historical thriller, where the story absolutely thrives in the midst of one of the most famous times in British history. The first chapter not only blasts you immediately into the roaring flames of the Great Fire of London in 1666, it also firmly knocks at the door of intrigue. James Marwood is set the task of hunting down a killer, while Cat is set on a deadly game of revenge. I rubbed my hands with glee and settled in for a thunderingly good read. Andrew Taylor paints a vivid and terrifying scene, I stood in the crowd and witnessed St Paul’s writhing in the flames, he also handles the suspense with a masterly hand. James and Cat’s tales run arm in arm, the storylines tease each other, linked and yet each standing vibrantly strong. I savoured every moment of this readable and fascinating story, ‘Ashes of London’ is a simply fabulous read. April 2016 eBook of the Month.
From the No. 1 bestselling author of THE AMERICAN BOY comes a brilliant new historical thriller set during the French Revolution. Paris, 1792. Terror reigns as the city writhes in the grip of revolution. The streets run with blood as thousands lose their heads to the guillotine. Edward Savill, working in London as agent for a wealthy American, receives word that his estranged wife Augusta has been killed in France. She leaves behind ten-year-old Charles, who is brought to England to Charnwood Court, a house in the country leased by a group of emigre refugees. Savill is sent to retrieve the boy, though it proves easier to reach Charnwood than to leave. And only when Savill arrives there does he discover that Charles is mute. The boy has witnessed horrors beyond his years, but what terrible secret haunts him so deeply that he is unable to utter a word?
Winner of the CWA 2009 Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. Set in the early 50s, this is classic detective stuff. Small town life, genteel and drab, atmospherically portrayed this is part of a series which I do feel you will appreciate more if you’ve read the earlier ones. His big historical novel, American Boy, was a Richard and Judy featured title.Comparison: Peter Robinson, Ruth Rendell, Jacqueline Winspear.Similar this month: Minette Walters, Ian Rankin.
THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER AND AWARD-WINNING RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK Murder, lies and betrayal in Regency England England 1819. Thomas Shield, a master at a school just outside London, is tutor to a young American boy and the child's sensitive best friend, Charles Frant. Helplessly drawn to Frant's beautiful, unhappy mother, Shield becomes entwined in their family's affairs. When a brutal murder takes place in London's seedy backstreets, all clues lead to the Frant family, and Shield is tangled in a web of lies, money, sex and death that threatens to tear his new life apart. Soon, it emerges that at the heart of these macabre events lies the strange American boy. What secrets is the young Edgar Allan Poe hiding?
The first book in the No. 1 Times bestselling series 'This is terrific stuff' Daily Telegraph 'A breathtakingly ambitious picture of an era' Financial Times 'A masterclass in how to weave a well-researched history into a complex plot' The Times A city destroyed. A killer exposed. London,1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul's is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a traitor, and reluctant government informer. In the aftermath of the fire, the body of a man is discovered in the ashes of St.Paul's. But he is not a victim of the blaze- there is a stab wound to his neck and his thumbs have been tied behind his back. Acting on orders, Marwood hunts the killer though London's devastated streets- where before too long a second murder is uncovered. At a time of dangerous internal dissent, Marwood's investigation will lead him into treacherous waters- and across the path of a determined and vengeful young woman.
From the No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author of The Ashes of London comes the next book in the phenomenally successful series following James Marwood and Cat Lovett. A dangerous secret lies beneath Whitehall Palace... Brother against brother. Father against son. Friends turned into enemies. No one in England wants a return to the bloody days of the Civil War. But Oliver Cromwell's son, Richard, has abandoned his exile and slipped back into England. The consequences could be catastrophic. James Marwood, a traitor's son turned government agent, is tasked with uncovering Cromwell's motives. But his assignment is complicated by his friend - the regicide's daughter, Cat Lovett - who knew the Cromwells as a child, and who now seems to be hiding a secret of her own about the family. Both Marwood and Cat know they are putting themselves in great danger. And when they find themselves on a top secret mission in the Palace of Whitehall, they realize they are risking their lives...and could even be sent to the block for treason. Praise for Andrew Taylor 'One of the best historical crime writers today' The Times 'If you like C. J. Sansom, or Hilary Mantel, you'll love Andrew Taylor' Peter James 'Effortlessly authentic...gripping...moving and believable. An excellent work' C. J. Sansom 'This is historical crime fiction at its dazzling best' Guardian 'One of the best historical novelists around' Sunday Times 'A breathtakingly ambitious picture of an era' Financial Times 'A masterclass in writing for the genre' Ann Cleeves 'Andrew Taylor is one of our finest storytellers' Antonia Hodgson 'Vivid and compelling' Observer 'A novel filled with intrigue, duplicity, scandal and betrayal, whose author now vies with another master of the genre, C. J. Sansom' Spectator 'Taylor brings the 17th century to life so vividly that one can almost smell it' Guardian 'A most artful and delightful book, that will both amuse and chill' Daily Telegraph
'Andrew Taylor is a master story-teller' Daily Telegraph From the No.1 bestselling author of The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, this is the fifth instalment in the acclaimed Lydmouth series When Mattie Harris's body is found drowned in the river, everyone in Lydmouth knows something is wrong. Mattie wasn't a swimmer - it can't have been a simple accident. She was drunk on the last night of her life - could she have fallen in? Or was she pushed? Mattie was a waitress, of no importance at all, so when Lydmouth's most prominent citizens become very anxious to establish that her death was accidental, Jill Francis's suspicions become roused. In the meantime she is becoming ever closer to Inspector Richard Thornhill, and discovering that the living have as many secrets as the dead... 'An excellent writer. He plots with care and intelligence and the solution to the mystery is satisfyingly chilling' The Times 'The most under-rated crime writer in Britain today' Val McDermid 'There is no denying Taylor's talent, his prose exudes a quality uncommon among his contemporaries' Time Out
'Andrew Taylor is a master story-teller' Daily Telegraph From the No.1 bestselling author of The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, this is the third instalment in the acclaimed Lydmouth series After the coldest night of the year, they find the man's body. He is dangling from the Hanging Tree on the outskirts of a village near Lydmouth, with his trousers round his ankles. Is it suicide, murder, or accidental death resulting from some bizarre sexual practice? Journalist Jill Francis and Detective Inspector Thornhill become involved in the case in separate ways. Jill is also drawn unwillingly into the affairs of the small public school where the dead man taught. Meanwhile a Peeping Tom is preying upon Lydmouth; Jill has just moved into her own house and is afraid she is being watched. And there are more distractions, on a personal level, for policeman and reporter . . . 'An excellent writer. He plots with care and intelligence and the solution to the mystery is satisfyingly chilling' The Times 'The most under-rated crime writer in Britain today' Val McDermid 'There is no denying Taylor's talent, his prose exudes a quality uncommon among his contemporaries' Time Out
The relationship between the Conservative Party and the organised working class is fundamental to the making of modern British politics. Industrialisation and urbanisation saw the emergence of democracy and class politics, symbolised, by the development of trade unions, which assumed growing political significance. The organised working class, though always a minority, was perceived by Conservatives as a challenge; condemned as threatening property, and as harbingers of socialism. Many trade union members dismissed the Conservatives as the bosses' party, ever-ready to restrict the unions' freedom in the interests of profit. However, at the book's core is a puzzle: why, throughout its history, was the Conservative Party seemingly accommodating towards the organised working class that it ideology, social composition, and the preferences of most Conservatives would seem to permit? And why, in the space of a relatively few years in the 1970s and 1980s, did it abandon this heritage? Taylor argues that throughout its history, the Conservative Party has faced a broad strategic choice with respect to the organised working class: either inclusion or exclusion. The portrayal of the character on the front cover encapsulates the concept of the 'bloody-minded' British worker - an attitude that encapsulates a determinedly 'conservative' attitude to defending rights and influence gained during the twentieth century and which led to the reaction against 'union power' in the 1960s and 70s. -- .
A twisty, intriguing, multi-layered mystery and fascinating fictional foray into the past from award-winning author Andrew Taylor. It’s 1668, James Marwood is tasked with finding out why Oliver Cromwell’s son has returned to London while Cat Lovett is drawn into a conspiracy, and both are soon in grave danger. This is the fourth in a terrifically readable series which began with the Ashes of London. I have to say that I just throw myself into each of these reads with abandon, completely trusting that what is to come will be a vividly convincing and exciting read. What a fabulous period in history this is, James and Cat really do live in interesting times! I love how each individual story twists around the other until they join together. I really do hope we will see more from these two. I can highly recommend this bestselling series, it’s just fabulous!
First published in 1987. This book considers the Trade Unions-Labour Party relationship. It traces developments over the 1970s and early 1980s, and analyses the debate between those who argue for the Unions to take a more prominent lead within the Party and those who are against this. This title will be of interest to scholars and students of politics and history.
From the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author comes a World War Two tale of one boy's fight for survival in Nazi Europe A secret mission... 1939. As Europe teeters on the brink of war, Alfred Kendall is tasked with carrying out a minor mission for the British Intelligence Service. Travelling to Prague, he takes his troubled young son, Hugh, as cover. A terrible choice... When Hitler invades Czechoslovakia, Alfred is given an ultimatum by the Czech Resistance. They will arrange for him to return to England, but only if he leaves his son Hugh behind as collateral. A young boy stranded in Nazi terrain... Hugh is soon taken under the wing of a Nazi colonel - Helmuth Scholl. But even though Scholl treats Hugh well, his son, Heinz, is suspicious of this foreigner. And as the war across the continent intensifies, they are set on a path that will ultimately lead towards destruction...
In Two Years Below the Horn, engineer Andrew Taylor vividly recounts his experiences and accomplishments during Operation Tabarin, a landmark British expedition to Antarctica to establish sovereignty and conduct science during the Second World War. When mental strain led the operation's first commander to resign, Taylor-a military engineer with extensive prewar surveying experience-became the first and only Canadian to lead an Antarctic expedition. As commander of the operation, Taylor oversaw construction of the first permanent base on the Antarctic continent at Hope Bay. From there, he led four-man teams on two epic sledging journeys around James Ross Island,overcoming arduous conditions and correcting cartographic mistakes made by previous explorers. The editors' detailed afterword draws on Taylor's extensive personal papers to highlight Taylor's achievements and document his significant contributions to polar science. This book will appeal to readers interested in the history of polar exploration, science, and sovereignty. It also sheds light on the little known contribution of a Canadian to a distant theatre of the Second World War. The wartime service of Major Taylor reveals important new details about a groundbreaking operation that laid the foundation for the British Antarctic Survey and marked a critical moment in the transition from the heroic to the modern scientific era in polar exploration.
From No.1 bestselling author Andrew Taylor comes the sequel to the phenomenally successful The Ashes of LondonSomewhere in the soot-stained ruins of Restoration London, a killer has gone to ground...The Great Fire has ravaged London, wreaking destruction and devastation wherever its flames spread. Now, guided by the incorruptible Fire Court, the city is slowly rebuilding, but times are volatile and danger is only ever a heartbeat away.James Marwood, son of a traitor, is thrust into this treacherous environment when his ailing father claims to have stumbled upon a murdered woman in the very place where the Fire Court sits. Then his father is run down and killed. Accident? Or another murder...?Determined to uncover the truth, Marwood turns to the one person he can trust - Cat Lovett, the daughter of a despised regicide. Marwood has helped her in the past. Now it's her turn to help him. But then comes a third death... and Marwood and Cat are forced to confront a vicious and increasingly desperate killer whose actions threaten the future of the city itself.
The Anatomy of Ghosts is a gripping historical mystery from the bestselling author of The Ashes of London 1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge. The ghost of murdered Sylvia Whichcote is sighted prowling the grounds by commoner Frank Oldershaw. Worried her son is descending into madness, Frank's anxious mother employs rationalist John Holdsworth to investigate the sighting, throwing the uneasy status quo at the college into chaos. For the sinister Holy Ghost Club governs the privileged life at Jerusalem. Pursued by the ghost of his dead wife, Maria, and Elinor, the very-much-alive Master's wife, Holdsworth must unravel the circumstances surrounding Sylvia's death or succumb to the hauntings himself . . .
Building on his debut collection Radio Mast Horizon (Shearsman Books, 2013) Andrew Taylor takes the reader on a journey through landscapes and places such as the Welsh hills, the West Coast Mainline and the north docks of Liverpool. Travel is a recurring theme throughout these poems, alongside music and the seasons and the shifts they bring. From having coffee in quiet city-centre cafes to travelling around complete rail networks, Taylor invites the reader into a world that is both personal and universal.
From the No.1 bestselling author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London comes a gothic novella - perfect for fans of The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley.It's Christmas before the Great War and two lonely schoolboys have been forced into companionship. Left in the care of an elderly teacher, there is little to do but listen to his eerie tales about the nearby Cathedral. The boys concoct a plan to discover if the stories are true. But the Cathedral is filled with hidden dangers, and curiosity can prove fatal.
From the No.1 bestselling author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London comes a gothic novella - perfect for fans of The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley.One stormy night in Suffolk, a man's car breaks down following his sister's funeral. The only source of light comes from a remote cottage by the sea. The mysterious woman who lives there begs him to leave, yet he can't shake the sense that she somehow needs him. He attempts to return the next day but she is nowhere to be seen. And neither is the cottage.
From the No.1 bestselling author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London comes a gothic novella - perfect for fans of The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley.Clare and Gerald live a perfect life in the Forest of Dean with their cat, Cannop. Then Gerald's young nephew comes to stay. Jack is from another world - active service in Afghanistan. The experience has left him outwardly untouched, but for a scratch that won't heal. Jack and Cannop don't like each other. Clare and Jack like each other too much. The scratch begins to fester.
An enthralling and wonderful historical thriller, where the story absolutely thrives in the midst of one of the most famous times in British history. The first chapter not only blasts you immediately into the roaring flames of the Great Fire of London in 1666, it also firmly knocks at the door of intrigue. James Marwood is set the task of hunting down a killer, while Cat is set on a deadly game of revenge. I rubbed my hands with glee and settled in for a thunderingly good read. Andrew Taylor paints a vivid and terrifying scene, I stood in the crowd and witnessed St Paul’s writhing in the flames, he also handles the suspense with a masterly hand. James and Cat’s tales run arm in arm, the storylines tease each other, linked and yet each standing vibrantly strong. I savoured every moment of this readable and fascinating story, ‘Ashes of London’ is a simply fabulous read. Books in The James Marwood & Cat Lovett Series: 1. The Ashes of London 2. The Fire Court 3. The King's Evil 4. The Last Protector Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.