An Anthology of Christmas Murders – Terror, Tinsel and Turkey

Andrew Malloy · Annie Coyle Martin · Derek Rosser · Harry Riley · James McCarthy · Julius Falconer · Neal James · Peter Good · Peter Hodgson · Steve Morris (2014)

Crime & Mystery   Fiction   Thriller / Suspense

Murder comes in all shapes and sizes. It also comes at inconvenient times. Christmas, for example. This anthology has all the classic motives: blackmail, revenge, lust, greed, anger… And there’s more! Humour, intrigue, suspense…

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About this book

Murder, as you know, comes in all shapes and sizes. It also comes at inconvenient times. Christmas, for example. Season of goodwill, peace to all men (and women too, of course), homely jollity round the turkey and mince-pies. A time of family reunion and celebration, of good cheer, recollection and renewal. And of unexpected death.
Lock the doors. Draw the curtains. Settle down in your armchair. Pour yourself a drink. And enjoy ten stories by masters of the genre. Georgian England. 1960s and 1980s England. Twenty-first-century Africa, Canada, the USA. Murder by meat-hook, piano-wire, scarf, knife, hammer, golf-club, bullet, syringe … Dear, oh, dear.
And naturally all the classic motives: blackmail, revenge, disappointment in love, greed, anger, a perverted sense of duty ... Murders of men by women, and of women by men. Murders committed on impulse and murders carefully planned. A catalogue of weakness, hatred and villainy. It’s all here, at your elbow. And there’s more! Humour, intrigue, history, suspense … and of course Christmas sparkle!
So, cheers! And Happy Christmas!

Contributors:
Annie Coyle Martin, Julius Falconer, Peter Good, Peter Hodgson, Neal James, Andrew Malloy, James McCarthy, Steve Morris, Harry Riley, Derek Rosser

P. S. The writers are all published crime authors who have contributed a new story especially for this Pneuma Springs anthology.

About Author

Andrew Malloy

Andrew Malloy

Although I was born in Cardiff, South Wales in 1957, I consider myself Scottish as my family hailed from Scotland’s Central Region. The son of a professional footballer, I returned home in 1962 with my parents to settle in the small Stirlingshire town of Denny. I did okay at school and especially loved English, winning top prize in a fifth year essay writing competition. I guess that success must have ignited a passion for the written word as I began to voraciously consume stories and novels of almost every genre from To Kill a Mockingbird to White Fang – from Catcher in the Rye to High Citadel. The urge to read has never left me, but, unfortunately, a particularly hectic and busy lifestyle would take its toll, often curbing my enthusiasm to pick up a pen or tap away on a computer. After leaving school, I worked in a variety of jobs including banking, stock control, sales and management before deciding I could be better off working for myself. In 1997, an insurance colleague and I started up an industrial cleaning business, re-investing some of our profits into a children’s nursery in 2006. Both businesses are doing well despite the recession. My main leisure interests are football, golf and playing bass/singing in a local [...]

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Annie Coyle Martin

I was born in a tiny village in County Cavan in the south of Ulster. My parents were primary school teachers. Because there was no secondary school available I was sent as a boarder to two convent schools, St. Mary’s College Mountmellick, County Laois, and later to The Cross and Passion College in Kilcullen, County Kildare. In each of these schools I was lonely, and missed my parents. After secondary school I trained as a nurse in St Lawrence’s Hospital in Dublin and in 1957 emigrated to Canada. I have been making up stories all my life, a practise not encouraged either by my parents or my teachers. I felt I missed something in life by not attending university so in Canada I attended Laurentian University for an undergraduate degree and The University of Toronto for graduate work. I have worked in health care and in the civil service. In the Nineties I began to take courses in writing and in 1995 had a short story ‘Jody” accepted for an anthology, ‘She’s Gonna Be’. Thus encouraged I began a novel, The Music of What Happens’ which was published in 2001. Then I began to write ‘To Know the Road.’ – which is now being published. I have in draft my third novel, ‘Between Two [...]

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Derek Rosser

I was born in 1930, an only child and the son of a driver on the Great Western Railway. My mother was a ‘housewife’ whose mission in life was to look after her husband and son to the exclusion of any other career (as was the fashion in those days). My early years were happy although I subsequently realised that my parents were not well off. My education was spent during the war at Cotham Secondary School, Bristol following which I served a five year apprenticeship with the Bristol Aeroplane Company and spent the rest of my working life with that company, finally retiring in 1988 as a computer systems analyst. I was in my seventies when I wrote ‘A Reluctant Recruit’ and was so surprised at its reception and the comments made by reviewers, that I decided to tell the rest of my life story in two further books.

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Harry Riley

Country: United Kingdom River Tweed /Berwick upon Tweed / Scottish Borders Hometown: Nottingham (my favourite get-away-from-it-all place) Occupation: Retired, after lifetime spent working in the commercial printing trade from apprentice to manager/director/representative, consecutively of several international and regional companies. Marital status: peacefully married for over 40 years with grown up son and daughter. Education: Nottingham College of Art (after Sec. Mod) and sales training in UK and abroad Religion: Church of England Military Service: Four years in South Notts Hussars and now lifetime member of Royal Artillery Association Interests and hobbies: I always enjoyed reading and started writing short stories verse, and novels, plus articles on current affairs, on retirement, in order to do something different and challenging. Other interests are gardening, touring Southern Counties, Northumberland and Scottish Borders, and snapshot photography. (Mainly landscapes and National Trust Gardens) Currently a member of Eastwood Writers Group and New Writers UK Favourite Classical Authors: Thomas Hardy, John Buchan, Walter Scott, Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens. Robert Louis Stevenson Favourite Modern Authors: Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Simon Beckett, Michael Connelly, Nigel Tranter Favourite books: The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence, Montgomery of Alamein (autobiography) Favourite Poets: John Masefield and Rudyard Kipling Published Writings: Murder mystery novel ‘Sins of [...]

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James McCarthy

James McCarthy lives with his wife Carmel and son Richard in Dublin Ireland. He has written features for the press and ‘Me and the Foreign Girl’ is his first novel. He was inspired to write it after reading, ‘The Perfect Storm.’ He has read some of his short stories on the East Coast Radio. He is a member of the Wednesday Café Writers and they meet each week in Carysfort College Dublin. They critique each other’s work and drink loads of coffee to increases their creative edge. The fact they enjoy it is of secondary importance. He has a number of interests and hobbies. He cycles a lot and is also a member of the Countrywide Hillwalking Association (CHA). At weekends he is usually found walking somewhere in the Dublin or Wicklow hills with the CHA. He is a member of, ProBus, Rotary, the Tuesday Club and the Crab-apples. He says, ‘it’s is a privileged to have them all as friends’. He has worked in several areas, Teaching, Career Guidance, Psychology and Statistics. He has a Ph.D from Trinity College Dublin.

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Julius Falconer

Julius Falconer completed six enjoyable years of university studies abroad (particularly slow, our Julius) before working as a translator back in the UK. Thinking that he could earn more as a teacher, to fund his lavish life-style, he took a PGCE at Leeds University and duly turned to teaching. He slaved away at the chalk-face for twenty-six long years in both Cornwall and Scotland before retiring to grow cabbages in Yorkshire, where he still lives. His wife of thirty-three years unfortunately died suddenly in 2000. He has one daughter, married. In 2009, looking to fill his new-found leisure profitably(?), he started to write detective novels and is still happily scribbling away seventeen books later. His interests include music, reading, walking, gardening and genealogy. Julius Falconer is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association. As well as some booklets and several dozen papers in professional journals, he is the author of eighteen murder mysteries featuring the diffident and cultured Inspector Wickfield. Because some of the stories are set in Worcestershire, he has featured in the Worcester News, on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester and in the online Newsletter for the Worcestershire tourist board.

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Neal James

Neal James has been writing since 2008 when his first novel. ‘A Ticket to Tewkesbury’, was released. Since that time eight more books have followed, and ‘Short Stories Volume Two’ is his tenth work to be published in as many years. He has appeared in both the national and local press, and has also been a regular at branches of Waterstones and local reading groups and libraries in his home counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. An accountant for over 40 years, that training has given him an insight into much of the background required in the production of his writing so far. He lives in Derbyshire with his wife and family. Find out more about Neal James and all his writing on his website: www.nealjames.webs.com

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Peter Hodgson

Peter Hodgson was born in Preston, Lancashire. From an early age he felt the desire to write detective stories. After reading Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, he produced a novel and a series of short stories based on a Victorian detective whose methods were similar to those of the great Sherlock. The stories were written for fun – but at least it was a start. During his years at secondary school Peter taught himself to play rock and roll/country piano, and he eventually formed a band called ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ He played and sang on the clubland circuit for thirty years, and during this time he recorded several albums and a CD called Rockin’ Daddy, which was featured on Radio 2. The 1970s saw a stint at Poulton Teacher Training College where he earned a Certificate in Education. His chosen subjects were ecology and humanities. Peter’s dreams of becoming a teacher were never fulfilled. For the last thirty years he has worked as an energy analyst at a major industrial site in the north-west of England. Now retired from music – but still working as an analyst – Peter has returned to his love of writing, though he admits it is difficult to find the time to do it. However, he [...]

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Steve Morris

Steve Morris is a teacher and examiner of mathematics and science. He travels around his region of England teaching students who are too ill to get to school. Despite a background surrounded by facts and figures, one of Steve’s lifelong passions has been his love for English literature and of collecting antiquarian books. Learning to talk at a “spookily” early age and never afraid to speak his mind, Steve was taught to read fluently by his parents at the age of four. Story writing quickly began in his own schooldays where he enjoyed putting his vivid imagination to good use. With a growing supply of quite bizarre short stories, Steve’s words found early success in magazines and anthologies in both the UK and overseas. 2009 saw Steve realise a lifelong ambition with the release of his debut book In All Probability: A Collection of Short Stories, which with a nod of approval from the press developed a modest cult following. This was followed in 2010 with a second collection Jumble Tales. Steve graduated in mathematics from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1993, where he also enjoyed representing them in soccer for four years. A lifelong bachelor who prefers a single life, Steve places great value on trusted friendships and on some brave students he works [...]

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