Allison & Busby

Books published by Allison & Busby

River of Sins

The butchered body of a woman is found on an island in the Severn a few miles from Worcester. Undersherriff Hugh Bradecote and Sergeant Catchpoll are tasked with solving the mystery of her death.

Reviewed on 23 October 2021 by John Cleal

The Moon Tunnel

A body is found in one of the escape tunnels dug by POWs held in a World War Two camp in Cambridgeshire’s fenlands. Journalist Philip Dryden is drawn inescapably to the case when it is revealed that the man discovered in the collapsed tunnel is on the way into, not out of, the compound.

Reviewed on 25 September 2021 by Kerry Hood

Blood Runs Thicker

Undersheriff of Worcester Hugh Bradecote and his associates, the cynical Sergeant Catchpoll and his apprentice Walkelin must solve the mystery of who killed the unpopular and bullying manor lord Osbern de Lench and left his body stripped to its underwear.

Reviewed on 25 June 2021 by John Cleal

Hostage to Fortune

When the widow Worcester’s undersheriff Hugh Bradecote is to wed is kidnapped along with a group of Benedictine monks, Bradecote must fight his fears for their safety to rescue them from a psychopath who kills for pleasure.

Reviewed on 24 April 2021 by John Cleal

Vale of Tears

A wealthy horse dealer is found dead in a mill leat. He was stabbed, but not robbed. Under Sheriff Hugh Bradecote, veteran Sheriff’s Sergeant Catchpoll and his young trainee Walkelin face a series of mysteries as their investigations go far beyond the obvious to a web of greed, obsession and murder.

Reviewed on 13 March 2021 by John Cleal

Faithful Unto Death

When the Prince of Powys’ messenger fails to reach his English destination, lord sheriff’s men Bradecote, Catchpoll and Walkelin must check a dead man’s identity.

Reviewed on 21 November 2020 by John Cleal


When a vicar is brutally attacked by his own son in a church service, atheist ex-minister Professor Matt Hunter is asked by the police to advise on whether the teenage boy was involved in devil worship.

Reviewed on 13 June 2020 by Linda Wilson

The American Agent

Investigator Maisie Dobbs is approached by the British and US governments to help solve the murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz.

Reviewed on 11 May 2019 by John Cleal

Marked To Die

A mysterious archer leaves a string of corpses in his wake as he leads attacks on the salt road from (Droit)Wich. When a local lord falls victim, the Sheriff of Worcester dispatches Hugh Bradecote and Serjeant Catchpoll to put a stop to the attacks.

Reviewed on 17 February 2018 by John Cleal

Falling Creatures

Country girl Shilly finds love with the strangely gifted Charlotte Dymond on an isolated Cornish farm. When Charlotte is murdered she sets out to find the truth.

Reviewed on 14 October 2017 by John Cleal

Elementary Murder

A would-be teacher is found dead inside a locked classroom. DS Michael Brennan suspects her death is not the suicide it seems.

Reviewed on 22 July 2017 by John Cleal


Ex-Christian minister Matt Hunter is on the trail of a killer who is determined to save the souls of his victims.

Reviewed on 08 July 2017 by Jim Beaman

Bright Shiny Things

Former soldier-turned-PI Lee Arnold enlists his Muslim assistant, Bangladeshi psychiatry graduate Mumtaz Hakim, in a daring deception to bring a self-confessed ISIS terrorist to the West.

Reviewed on 24 June 2017 by John Cleal


Mercia Blakewood hopes her search for Charles II’s missing paintings, which has taken her to America, has gained enough leverage to reclaim her family home. But when a new friend is murdered, she will not leave until the killer is found.

Reviewed on 24 June 2017 by John Cleal


After the two great battles of the 100 Years War, newly-knighted Sir John Hawkwood, hoping to make his fortune, joins a mercenary band.

Reviewed on 29 April 2017 by John Cleal

The Perils of Command

Pressed man John Pearce, now a Lieutenant, faces scheming and possible death as he continues his feuds with senior officers and pursues his pregnant lover across Italy.

Reviewed on 14 April 2017 by John Cleal

Striking Murder

An unpopular mine owner is murdered at the height of a strike. Detective Sergeant Michael Brennan discovers that with a town full of suspects there are more questions than answers.

Reviewed on 01 April 2017 by John Cleal


Widowed Mercia Blakewood must gamble everything she loves to save her family and inheritance. Her quest takes her to the New World at a time of historic change.

Reviewed on 18 February 2017 by John Cleal

Ordeal by Fire

Veteran Sheriff Sergeant Catchpoll must catch a 12th century arsonist who has set fires which have killed two people – and at the same time cope with a keen, but inexperienced, new Under Sheriff.

Reviewed on 21 January 2017 by John Cleal

The Paris Architect

An architect, desperate for work, accepts a commission to design hiding places for wealthy Jews in occupied Paris. When one dramatically fails, he unwilling becomes a Resistance hero.

Reviewed on 11 June 2016 by John Cleal

The Red House

Imogen is obsessed with finding her young brother from whom she was separated by adoption. Her fiancé Maxwell comes to believe he could be the boy.

Reviewed on 28 May 2016 by John Cleal

Shadow of The Hangman

Thief-taker twins Peter and Paul Skillen battle escaped American prisoners seeking revenge and French spies intent on assassination.

Reviewed on 27 February 2016 by John Cleal

Shadow of The Hangman

Reviewed on 25 February 2016 by

A Bed of Scorpions

Book editor Sam Clair finds herself embroiled in her cop boyfriend’s murder case when an old friend from the art world is found dead.

Reviewed on 02 January 2016 by Sharon Wheeler

Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Tangled Web

Monsieur Pamplemousse and his loyal canine sidekick Pommes Frites investigates dastardly goings-on at a restaurant where the owner has turned up dead.

Reviewed on 06 June 2015 by Linda Wilson

The Venetian Venture

Rosie Gilchrist is sent by her boss at the British Museum to Venice to try to track down an important old volume of poems by Horace. Whilst there she comes across old friends, Felix and Cedric, and between them, encounter numerous difficulties, including a murder or two.

Reviewed on 08 May 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

The Frozen Shroud

DCI Hannah Scarlett joins forces again with historian Daniel Kind to investigate a third killing – all following the same MO and spread over a hundred years – in a small and isolated community on the shores of Ullswater, reputedly haunted by the ghost of the first victim.

Reviewed on 04 April 2015 by John Cleal

Leaving Everything Most Loved

Maisie Dobbs is asked by an Indian war hero, who believes the English police have let him down, to investigate the killing of his charismatic sister. When a second girl is killed in exactly the same way, Maisie must explore a sub-culture she finds fascinating to get at the truth.

Reviewed on 10 January 2015 by John Cleal

Peril On The Royal Train

London railway detectives Colbeck and Leeming visit Glasgow to investigate a crash and conclude that another atrocity will follow, this time with the royal family as target.

Reviewed on 27 December 2014 by Chris Roberts

A Monstrous Regiment of Women

Mary Russell comes of age. In London she meets an old university friend who introduces her to a charitable women’s organisation run by the charismatic Margery Childe. But when several of its wealthier members are murdered, Mary’s involvement becomes her first solo investigation – with a little help from her mentor Sherlock Holmes.

Reviewed on 13 December 2014 by John Cleal

A Letter of Mary

Mary Russell Holmes and her husband Sherlock’s retirement is interrupted when a figure from Mary’s past arrives with a gift – an inlaid box containing a stained papyrus which could prove a biblical bombshell. When the visitor is run down a day later, the Holmes investigate her murder and its motives.

Reviewed on 06 September 2014 by John Cleal

The Devil's Ribbon

Underfunded Victorian forensic scientist Professor Adolphus Hatton and his assistant Albert Roumande are battling to identify the cause of a cholera outbreak. At the same time they must deal with a series of apparently politically motivated brutal murders all connected to an isolated Irish village.

Reviewed on 09 August 2014 by John Cleal

Dead of Winter

A schoolgirl disappears from a private school, and police seem one step behind as freezing weather closes in.

Reviewed on 26 July 2014 by Sharon Wheeler

A Little Murder

Rosy’s Aunt Marcia is found murdered. Rosy was not close to her and despite her best efforts to keep out of the fuss she inevitably gets drawn in.

Reviewed on 03 May 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Writers' Block

Samantha Clair is no high-flyer, but she's pottering along happily in the world of London publishing. Then her favourite author disappears and she's suddenly the focus of a lot of attention.

Reviewed on 19 April 2014 by Sharon Wheeler

Hearts of Darkness

With the Great Plague having burnt itself out in London, Harry Lytle is ordered by spymaster Lord Arlington to an Essex village where the disease is still breeding to track down a traitor and bring him back alive.

Reviewed on 05 April 2014 by John Cleal

Five Dead Canaries

Five young women, working in the manufacture of explosives during the First World War, are at a birthday party celebration when a bomb goes off, killing them all. A sixth woman had just left the party before the explosion.

Reviewed on 22 March 2014 by Arnold Taylor


American Bureau of Investigation agent Harris Stuyvesant arrives in 1920s London on the trail of an anarchist bomber responsible for the death of his fiancée.

Reviewed on 22 March 2014 by John Cleal

Death at the Clos du Lac

When a man is found dead in a swimming pool at an exclusive and secretive sanatorium, Inspector Lucas Rocco wants to know why he ended up like that, and he’s not inclined to take any notice of being warned off the case.

Reviewed on 30 November 2013 by Linda Wilson


London 1856. The body of Lady Bessingham, a supporter of exploration and science, is discovered in her home. Inspector Adams, with the help of Professor Hatton and his morgue assistant Albert Roumande, uncover a grotesque world lying just beneath the veneer of civilised society.

Reviewed on 16 November 2013 by Madeleine Marsh

The Start of Everything

A woman’s body is found in a flooded Fenland sluice. The daughter of a Cambridge don attempts to trace a student who seems not to exist. DCI Morris Keene and his partner DI Chloe Frohmann are led to an isolated country mansion where they uncover a web of horror.

Reviewed on 20 September 2013 by John Cleal