The Word Association

Martin Davies

Martin DaviesMartin Davies studied English and History at the University of York and subsequently pursued a career in television, working for the BBC and other media companies. He now works as a consultant to the broadcasting industry, specialising in the area known as access services – subtitling, sign-language interpretation and audio description.

He has travelled widely, including in Africa and the Middle East, and often writes significant sections of his novels while on the road, in cafes or on buses.

Martin also runs regular and well received creative writing workshops in London and across the country, aimed in particular at first-time writers and those trying to combine writing with busy lives.

His UK debut novel, The Conjuror’s Bird, was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club on Channel 4. His next novel, The Unicorn Road was one of the Sunday Times Top 50 Paperbacks of 2009.


Martin Davies-Mrs Hudson Sherlock Holmes and Mrs Hudson are faced with a new challenge...

Dangerous magicians! Precious gems! Dastardly Plans! Sherlock Holmes is just the man...But what if Holmes isn't the only brains at Baker Street?

As snow falls on Baker Street, the wintry city is abuzz with excitement: the Malabar Rose – a fabled and enormous ruby – has been sent as a gift to Queen Victoria by the Marharajah of Marjoudh. An extraordinary condition is attached: the gem must be displayed at London’s sumptuous Blenheim Hotel. How can the safety of this priceless jewel be assured? The authorities wisely enlist the help of Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr Watson… but fortunately for them, they are also on the receiving end of help from Holmes’s redoubtable housekeeper Mrs Hudson and her able assistant, Flotsam the housemaid.

The Malabar Rose isn’t the only exotic attraction stirring up excitement in the city, however. World famous magician the Great Salmanazar will be amazing the lucky few who can secure tickets at a once-in-a-lifetime spectacular. Not only that, but the world’s most beautiful woman – the glamorous, if rather risqué, fire dancer Lola Del Fuego – will be joining him on the bill.

With all this excitement and a peculiar disappearance in Ealing, Mrs Hudson and Flottie have their hands full this festive season. Their investigations take in snow-shrouded streets, a toyshop full of wonders, a tumultuous Covent Garden as the New Year rings in and even theatre dressing rooms in Stepney


Martin Davies-Havana Sleeping Murder, slavery and intrigue confront a British diplomat posted to Cuba in the 1850s.

Havana in the 1850s is a city as dangerous as it is exotic. The murder of a humble night watchman at the British Consulate seems to worry neither the Consul nor the police.

But one person cared for the old man. The enigmatic courtesan Leonarda will not rest until she understands the mystery of his death.

In wintry England, George Backhouse is plucked from obscurity in the Foreign Office and given an unexpected promotion. His task: to travel to Cuba and take a stand against the illegal slave trade still flourishing there.

But Havana is a tinderbox of intrigue. As the great powers of the region conspire against each other with increasing ruthlessness for control of the island, Backhouse comes to see that the most innocent of actions could spark a devastating war.

To protect their interests, the powers-that-be in Whitehall are prepared to turn a blind eye to many things. Leonarda will not.

But what of George Backhouse?


Martin Davies - The Year AfterDecember 1919.  Tom Allen, uncomfortable in London after five years in uniform, receives an invitation to spend Christmas at Hannesford Court.

There, it’s almost as if nothing had changed.  Cards in the library after dinner.  The Boxing Day shoot. The New Year ball.  Margot.

But Tom hasn’t forgotten the death of an old friend, a German professor, at Hannesford, shortly before the outbreak of war. A strange meeting in Germany has raised a question in his mind: in all his visits to Hannesford before the War, all those  years observing the glittering life of its owners, did he really see anything at all?


THE YEAR AFTER (Hodder & Stoughton, August 2011).  THE UNICORN ROAD (Hodder & Stoughton, 2008). THE CONJUROR'S BIRD (Hodder & Stoughton, 2005), US edition by Shaye Areheart; also published in German, French, Russian, Swedish, Portuguese, Polish and Italian. MRS HUDSON AND THE MALABAR ROSE (in the US by Berkeley, 2008). MRS HUDSON AND THE SPIRITS' CURSE (Berkeley, 2004). Also published in Dutch, Spanish and Danish.