1472: Christmas at Middleham Castle

With Christmas a mere seven days away, I thought it might be fun to revisit Christmas at Middleham Castle in 1472 (as described in the first Francis Cranley mystery, The Woodville Connection). To set the scene, Cranley has arrived back at Middleham after completing a sensitive mission for his friend and master, Richard of Gloucester. He returns...

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Murrey and Blue: An Album Review

First of all, a disclaimer – I’m not a music critic, nor am I a musician. To my regret I don’t read music and while I can hold a tune, my voice is so thin and reedy most people would prefer that I didn’t bother. And yet I love music; along with books and theatre it is one of my greatest pleasures. So, apart from being a...

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The Good, The Bad & The Unlucky – Forthcoming Event

On the afternoon of October 5th I’ll be giving a talk at Wokingham Library about some of the colourful characters who appear in my most recent book, Famous Brand Names & Their Origins. Behind every well known household brand, there’s a fascinating story about its creator waiting to be discovered. While some used their wealth to...

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Cranley on YouTube

As previously mentioned, Ian Churchward of folk-rock combo The Legendary Ten Seconds has written a brilliant song inspired by Francis Cranley and his adventures in The Woodville Connection. The song has now been recorded, ready for inclusion as a track on their latest album, Murrey and Blue.  It has also been uploaded to YouTube and you can...

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News Update on Francis Cranley 3

At the start of 2016, I had one major writing goal in mind: to complete the third Francis Cranley novel so that it would be ready for publication early in 2017. Initially, things got off to a pretty good start, with the novel progressing well. However, writing can be a funny old business and to cut a long story short, I soon discovered that...

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Re-discovering Minster Lovell

I was a child when I first visited Minster Lovell, a romantic ruined manor house close to the River Windrush. I was enchanted by the beautiful setting and the atmospheric ruins but as I was not yet a Ricardian, I was more fascinated by the legend of a doomed bride suffocating in a chest whilst playing hide and seek than by the fact that the house...

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