Sinclair McKay - Author

About the Author

Sinclair McKay writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and The Secret Listeners and has written books about James Bond and Hammer horror for Aurum. His next book, about the wartime Y Service during World War II, is due to be published by Aurum in 2012. He lives in London.

 

Author photo © Liam Bergin

Featured books by Sinclair McKay

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park The History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park The History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2011

Bletchley Park was where one of the war's most famous - and crucial - achievements was made: the cracking of Germany's Enigma code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain's most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology - indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa. But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction - from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges' biography of Turing - what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them - an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military?

Other books by Sinclair McKay

Secret Service Brainteasers

Secret Service Brainteasers

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2018

The sequel to the Sunday Times bestseller Bletchley Park Brainteasers and perfect for fans of The GCHQ Puzzle Book. Have you ever daydreamed of being approached to be a secret agent? Fancied yourself being propelled into an elegant and dangerous world of spies? Long gone are the days when the tap on the shoulder was largely a result of social connections, now the secret services have cast their nets wider and it's your chance to join the ranks. Whether you have a linguistic flair, an instinct for technology or good old common sense, pit your wits against some of the greatest minds of our time with ingenious brainteasers including secret languages, sabotage themed brain bogglers and hidden codes. Blending extraordinary and illuminating historical tales of the Secret Service from over the years and a wide range of mind twisting puzzles, Secret Service Brainteasers will test your mental agility to discover: Do YOU have what it takes to be a spy?

The Lady in the Cellar Murder, Scandal and Insanity in Victorian Bloomsbury

The Lady in the Cellar Murder, Scandal and Insanity in Victorian Bloomsbury

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Number 4 Euston Square was a respectable boarding house, well-kept and hospitable, like many others in Victorian London. But beneath this very ordinary veneer, there was a murderous darkness at its heart. On 8th May 1879, the corpse of former resident, Matilda Hacker, was uncovered by chance in the coal cellar. The investigation that followed this macabre discovery stripped bare the shadow-side of Victorian domesticity, throwing the lives of everyone within into an extraordinary and destructive maelstrom. For someone in Number 4 Euston Square must have had full knowledge of what had happened to Matilda Hacker. Someone in that house had killed her. How could the murderer prove so amazingly elusive? Bestselling author, Sinclair McKay delves into this intriguing story and sheds light on a mystery that eluded the detectives of Scotland Yard.

The Mile End Murder The Case Conan Doyle Couldn't Solve

The Mile End Murder The Case Conan Doyle Couldn't Solve

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2018

'A fascinating book, by turns riveting and unsettling, and wonderfully rich in period detail.' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday In 1860, a 70 year old widow turned landlady named Mary Emsley was found dead in her own home, killed by a blow to the back of her head. What followed was a murder case that gripped the nation, a veritable locked room mystery which baffled even legendary Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle. With an abundance of suspects, from disgruntled step children concerned about their inheritance and a spurned admirer repeatedly rejected by the widow, to a trusted employee, former police officer and spy, the case led to a public trial dominated by surprise revelations and shock witnesses, before culminating with one of the final public executions at Newgate. This is the case Conan Doyle couldn't solve and, after confounding the best detectives for years, has finally be solved by author Sinclair McKay. Discover 'whodunit' as the real murderer is revealed for the first time exclusively in this captivating study of a murder case in the nineteenth century, a story never told before.

Bletchley Park Brainteasers

Bletchley Park Brainteasers

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/10/2017

Would you love to master morse code? Could you have have outsmarted an enigma machine? Would your love of chess have seen you recruited into the history books? When scouring the land for top-level code breakers, the Bletchley Park recruiters left no stone unturned. As well as approaching the country's finest mathematicians, they cast their nets much wider, interviewing sixth-form music students who could read orchestral scores, chess masters, poets, linguists, hieroglyphics experts and high society debutantes fresh from finishing school. To assess these individuals they devised various ingenious mind-twisters - hidden codes, cryptic crosswords, secret languages, complex riddles - and it is puzzles such as these, together with the fascinating recruitment stories that surround them, that make up the backbone of this book. The code breakers of Bletchley Park were united in their love of a good puzzle. If you feel the same, why not dive in, put your mental agility to the test and discover: Would Bletchley Park have recruited YOU?

The Mile End Murder The Case Conan Doyle Couldn't Solve

The Mile End Murder The Case Conan Doyle Couldn't Solve

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/08/2017

'A fascinating book, by turns riveting and unsettling, and wonderfully rich in period detail.' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday In 1860, a 70 year old widow turned landlady named Mary Emsley was found dead in her own home, killed by a blow to the back of her head. What followed was a murder case that gripped the nation, a veritable locked room mystery which baffled even legendary Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle. With an abundance of suspects, from disgruntled step children concerned about their inheritance and a spurned admirer repeatedly rejected by the widow, to a trusted employee, former police officer and spy, the case led to a public trial dominated by surprise revelations and shock witnesses, before culminating with one of the final public executions at Newgate. This is the case Conan Doyle couldn't solve and, after confounding the best detectives for years, has finally be solved by author Sinclair McKay. Discover 'whodunit' as the real murderer is revealed for the first time exclusively in this captivating study of a murder case in the nineteenth century, a story never told before.

The Spies of Winter The GCHQ codebreakers who fought the Cold War

The Spies of Winter The GCHQ codebreakers who fought the Cold War

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

In 1945 the Second World War was over and a shattered world faced the future. For the men and women of the newly formed GCHQ, however, the next global conflict had already begun. Following on from the enormous success of his bestseller, The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, renowned author Sinclair McKay uncovers the story of what happened after the end of the Second World War Once victory was declared, many of the individuals who had achieved the seemingly impossible at Bletchley Park by cracking the impenetrable Enigma codes and giving the Allies an invaluable insight directly into the Nazi war machine, moved on to GCHQ. This was the British government's new facility established to fight a different, but no less formidable foe - Stalin and the KGB. Fascinating and insightful revelations from deep within the archives of this secret organisation reveal the story of the tumultuous early years of GCHQ as it navigated its way through an era of double agents, deception and betrayals. From the defection of the Cambridge Five and the treachery of the atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs, to the collapse of the British Empire, the ascension of Chairman Mao and the emergence of the US as a superpower, McKay deftly explores the impact these events had on the fledgling organisation. During the years of the Cold War the men and women of GCHQ penetrated Soviet encryptions and gathered crucial intelligence from all over the world. The Spies of Winter tells the story of the codebreakers themselves and how they used new technology to expand the horizons of cryptography in order to defend the nation and maintain the fragile peace in a world now under the shadow of nuclear holocaust.

Bletchley Park The Secret Archives

Bletchley Park The Secret Archives

Author: Sinclair McKay, Bletchley Park Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/01/2016

This is beautifully slipcased presented collector's edition of the best selling title, The Lost World of Bletchley Park, a comprehensive illustrated history of this remarkable place, from its prewar heyday as a country estate, its wartime requisition and how it became the place where modern computing was invented and the German Enigma code was cracked, to its post-war dereliction and then rescue towards the end of the twentieth century as a museum. Removable memorabilia includes: 1938 recruiting memo with a big tick against Turing's name Churchill's `Action this day' letter giving code breakers extra resources Handwritten Turing memos Top Secret Engima decryptions, about the sinking of the Bismark, German High Command's assessment of D-Day threat and the message announcing Hitler's suicide A wealth of everyday items such as call-up papers, security notices and propoganda posters Newly redesigned interiors with 25% new content, high end slipcase package featuring removable facsimile documents, this is an essential purchase for everyone interested and wanting to experience the place where code-breaking helped to win the war.

The Secret Life of a Fighter Command The Men and Women Who Beat the Luftwaffe

The Secret Life of a Fighter Command The Men and Women Who Beat the Luftwaffe

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2015

During the dark days of 1940, when Britain faced the might of Hitler's armed forces alone, the RAF played an integral role in winning the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, thus ensuring the country's safety from invasion. The men and women of Fighter Command worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout the length and breadth of Britain to thwart the Nazi attacks; The Secret Life of Fighter Command tells their story. From setting up the ground - breaking radar systems along the coast of the Southeast of England, to the distribution of spotters of bombing waves coming along the Thames Estuary, the boffins who designed and built the guidance and detection structures to organise a winning defence umbrella, to the Wrens who plotted enemy movements and then conveyed this to the various RAF squadrons stationed in the UK's zonal defence system - - - - all of them played a part in maintaining the security over Britain. Through exclusive interviews with various members of this unique and world famous organisation, bestselling author Sinclair McKay tells the human story of how Britain survived the Nazi onslaught and enabled our Hurricanes and Spitfires to triumph over the German airforce.

Dunkirk From Disaster to Deliverance - Testimonies of the Last Survivors

Dunkirk From Disaster to Deliverance - Testimonies of the Last Survivors

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

The ` absurd epic' of Dunkirk - told here through fresh interviews with veterans, plus unseen letters and archival material - is the story of how an old-fashioned island was brutally forced into the modernity of World War Two.

Dunkirk From Disaster to Deliverance - Testimonies of the Last Survivors

Dunkirk From Disaster to Deliverance - Testimonies of the Last Survivors

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/01/2015

From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Secret Life of Bletchley Park When Churchill made one of the most inspiring speeches of the 20th century - 'we will fight them on the beaches' - he was giving thanks for the miracle of deliverance, the harrowing and breathless evacuation of over 338,000 troops from the beaches and harbour at Dunkirk. Churchill was determined it shouldn't be labelled a victory. He was already too late. Hours later, broadcaster JB Priestley was to call it 'an absurd English epic'. Those days of Dunkirk are still invoked now whenever the nation finds itself in any kind of crisis. But there is a wider story too that involves a very large number of civilians - from nurses to racing enthusiasts, trades union leaders to dance hall managers, novelists to seaside cafe owners. And even wider yet, a story that starts in September 1939: of young civilian men being trained for a war that was already 25 years out of date; and the increasing suspense - and occasional surrealism - of the Phoney War. The 'absurd epic' of Dunkirk - told here through fresh interviews with veterans, plus unseen letters and archival material - is the story of how an old - fashioned island was brutally forced into the modernity of World War Two.

The Lost World of Bletchley Park The Illustrated History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre

The Lost World of Bletchley Park The Illustrated History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/10/2013

The first comprehensive illustrated history of a remarkable Victorian mansion in Buckinghamshire that played such an important role in British history. From its prewar heyday as a country estate under the Liberal MP Sir Herbert Leon, through its wartime requisition with the addition of the famous huts within the grounds, to become the place where modern computing was invented and the German Enigma code was cracked, its post-war dereliction and then rescue towards the end of the twentieth century as an engrossing museum of wartime codebreaking whose visitor numbers have more than doubled in the last five years. Featuring over 200 photographs, some previously unseen, this is a complete and comprehensive guide to a country estate that played in pivotal role in winning the war against the Nazis.

Ramble On The Story of Our Love for Walking Britain

Ramble On The Story of Our Love for Walking Britain

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/2013

This fascinating ramble through the history of walking delves into our relationship with the British countryside. `Ramble On' tells the story of how country walks were transformed from a small and often illegal pastime to the most popular recreational activity in the country. From the brave band of hikers who scaled the off-limits peak Kinder Scout in 1932, via the intricate Lake District guides of Alfred Wainwright, to the resistant landowners (including the notorious Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, Madonna and Jeremy Clarkson) who have done their level best (and worst) to keep walkers off their land - this is the definitive history of rambling. Perfectly capturing the sense of exhilaration on reaching the summit of a blustery hill-top path, `Ramble On' is for anyone who has ever pulled on a pair of walking boots or is partial to the taste of Kendal mintcake.

The Secret Listeners How the Y Service Intercepted the German Codes for Bletchley Park

The Secret Listeners How the Y Service Intercepted the German Codes for Bletchley Park

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2012

Behind the celebrated code-breaking at Bletchley Park lies another secret...The men and women of the 'Y' (for Wireless') Service were sent out across the world to run listening stations from Gibraltar to Cairo, intercepting the German military's encrypted messages for decoding back at the now-famous Bletchley Park mansion. Such wartime postings were life-changing adventures - travel out by flying boat or Indian railways, snakes in filing cabinets and heat so intense the perspiration ran into your shoes - but many of the secret listeners found lifelong romance in their far-flung corner of the world. Now, drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving veterans, Sinclair McKay tells their remarkable story at last.

Ramble On

Ramble On

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 07/06/2012

A history of walking and our relationship with the British countryside. On the afternoon of Sunday April 24, 1932, a group of approximately five hundred men and women set out for the summit of Kinder Scout, the highest point in Derbyshire's Peak District. They were not here to take in the fresh air and breathtaking vistas: they were here to make a stand. Kinder Scout, like almost every other site of natural beauty in Britain at that time, was privately owned and fiercely guarded. This wild, open landscape was one that they had absolutely no right to visit. Ramble On tells the story of how country walks and rambling were transformed from a small and often illegal pastime to the most popular recreational activity in the country.But the story of rambling is not so much about parliamentary acts as it is about the remarkable people who campaigned for (and in some cases against) the pastime. There was a Lancastrian town council accountant called Alfred Wainwright, who in the 1950s changed his life, and the lives of many others, when he popularised walking in the Lake District with his series of guides. And any history of rambling would be incomplete without mentioning the resistant landowners - from the notorious Nicholas Van Hoogstraten to celebrities such as Madonna and Jeremy Clarkson - who have done their level best (and worst) to keep walkers off their land. Above all, this tale is about the exhilaration of a gusty hill-top path; the curious unease that a labyrinthine dark forest floor can induce; the feel of different soil, peat and rock; the sight of alternating sunlight and shadow sweeping across vast valleys. Both a biography of Britain's favourite outdoor pursuit and a celebration of our wonderful countryside, Ramble On is for anyone who has ever pulled on a pair of walking boots or is partial to the taste of Kendal mintcake.

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park The History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park The History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There

Author: Sinclair McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2011

Bletchley Park was where one of the war's most famous - and crucial - achievements was made: the cracking of Germany's Enigma code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain's most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology - indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa. But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction - from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges' biography of Turing - what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them - an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military?

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