The Word Association
 

Stuart Pawson

Stuart PawsonAfter grammar school and a spell of unemployment Stuart became an apprentice electrician at Primrose Hill colliery on the outskirts of Leeds. He must have enjoyed it because he stayed in the mining industry until the massive pit closures 32 years later, rising to the lofty position of Assistant Electrical Engineer in a department of two. Although an avid reader, he had no ambitions to become a writer because he knew he could never match the ingenuity and complexity of the stories by the Golden Age crime writers.

But then Mr Wood came along and took charge of the department. John Wood was a fine engineer but he had one unfulfilled ambition: he dreamed of becoming a published author. He took a correspondence course on the subject and when he had a problem with it he sent for the grammar school boy down the corridor to help him out.

Stuart’s reward was to be allowed to read the course notes, and Mr Wood encouraged him to try writing a short story. He wrote one, and only one, before becoming discouraged. This was in the days of carbon copies, Tipp-Ex and replaceable typewriter ribbons. Typing was a messy job.

Then, dead on cue, came the word processor. Stuart attempted to teach himself to type on the new machine but after a brief dalliance with Mavis Beacon he decided that a better way might be to jump straight in and write a novel. Eighteen months later “The Picasso Scam” came chugging out of the printer and a new detective inspector, one Charlie Priest (“…as in Roman Catholic"), began stalking the villains on his patch of Yorkshire.

For more information visit www.stuartpawson.com


Latest book: A VERY PRIVATE MURDER

Stuart Pawson - A Very Private Murder D.I. Charlie Priest is on gardening leave - the neighbours have complained about his weeds - when the call comes. Ghislainne Curzon, girlfriend of one of the royal princes, is in town to open the Curzon Centre, a new shopping mall and conference facility. But as she reveals the commemorative plaque at the opening ceremony the visiting dignitaries are aghast to witness that someone has got to it first, defacing it with a single obscene word, painted in foot high scarlet letters. The chief constable insists that Charlie take personal charge of the investigation.

Charlie thinks it is wasting time and resources: there are genuine villains at work on his patch; but he relishes the opportunity to interview the delightful Miss Curzon. The jollities come to a violent end, however, when Arthur George Threadneedle, mayor and leading mover in the construction of the mall, is found dead, killed by a shot from a humane killer.

The subsequent investigation sees Charlie visiting the mayor’s diminutive, flute-playing wife; the manageress of the mall and her anarchic son; a half-blind jockey and a cornucopia of characters from the rich farmlands of East Yorkshire. Sometimes, being the good guy gets in the way.


Bibliography:

THE PICASSO SCAM (1995); THE MUSHROOM MAN (1995); THE JUDAS SHEEP (1996); LAST REMINDER (1997); DEADLY FRIENDS (1998); SOME BY FIRE (1999); CHILL FACTOR (2002); LAUGHING BOY (2003); LIMESTONE COWBOY (2004); OVER THE EDGE (2005); SHOOTING ELVIS (2007); GRIEF ENCOUNTERS (2007); A VERY PRIVATE MURDER (2010).