Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Shooting in Sorrento

A new Butler and Bartorelli mystery

At last, my second novel, The Shooting in Sorrento, has been published on Amazon.

I feel a big sense of achievement now I have produced another Butler and Bartorelli mystery, the sequel to Death in the High City, which was set in Bergamo in Lombardy.

The book features journalist Kate Butler and her partner, Steve Bartorelli, a retired Detective Chief Inspector. They are in Sorrento for the wedding of the daughter of one of Steve’s Italian cousins.

When tragedy strikes an English family staying at their hotel, Kate feels she has to help them, having already become friends with the mother, Janice, who is a woman of about her own age.

Steve is distracted by meeting up with Italian relatives he has not seen since he was a child and is also wary of becoming too involved with the family because two of his cousins are senior officers in the Polizia di Stato.

Kate is determined to get justice for her new English friends and joins forces with another visitor to Sorrento to investigate, after it becomes clear the Italian police aren’t looking much further than the English family.

The book will delight readers who know and love Sorrento as much of the action in the novel takes place in the ancient streets in the centre of the resort and at locations out along the Sorrentine peninsula.

Kate’s enquiries cause her to wander the narrow streets that run parallel to the Corso Italia and take her down to the beach at Marina di Puolo, but she ends up putting herself in danger when her sleuthing gets her too close to the truth.

I have been able to indulge in my fascination for Italian culture by writing about Sorrento’s colourful history and describing the local wine and food specialities for which the resort has become famous..

The Shooting in Sorrento is believed to be the first British crime novel set in Sorrento.

It is available to buy in paperback or as a Kindle edition from Amazon.

For more information about Sorrento visit

Death in the High City

It is with a big sense of achievement, but also with some trepidation, that I have just published my first novel on Amazon.
Death in the High City is a crime novel that takes place in Bergamo in northern Italy. It is the first book in a series featuring detective duo Kate Butler, a freelance journalist, and Steve Bartorelli, a retired Detective Chief Inspector who is of partly Italian descent.coverpic
The novel has enabled me to write about Italian culture, food and wine and also indulge in my fascination for detective fiction.
Death in the High City is believed to be the first British crime novel to put the spotlight on Bergamo. It centres on the investigation into the murder of an English woman who was writing a biography of the composer Gaetano Donizetti.
The victim had been living in an apartment in Bergamo ’s Città Alta and much of the action takes place within the walls of the high city. The local police do not believe there is enough evidence to open a murder enquiry and so Kate Butler, who is the victim’s cousin, arrives on the scene to try to get some answers about her cousin’s death.
Kate visits many of the places in Bergamo with Donizetti connections and her enquiries even take her to nearby Lago d’Iseo. But after her own life is threatened and there has been another death in the Città Alta, her lover, Steve Bartorelli, joins her to help her unravel the mystery and trap the killer.
For more information about Death in the High City visit

Classical design distinguishes Nottingham’s landmark Council House

Some visitors to my website have expressed curiosity about my choice of page header. The image I have used is, of course, a section of the façade of Nottingham’s most elegant and iconic building, the Council House.

Nottingham's Council House

Inspired by Palladio - Nottingham's Council House

This Palladian-inspired building was designed and built in the 1920s at a cost of more than £600,000, which in a time of economic recession caused a public outcry.
But I believe the building has stood the test of time and is a fitting symbol of a city with the history and traditions of Nottingham.
For centuries there had been two halls where the important decisions for the city were taken, going back to the days after the Norman invasion of 1066 when there was a French community as well as an English one.  The Norman building, the Moot Hall, once stood at the corner of Wheeler Gate, and the English Town Hall, or Guildhall, was at Weekday Cross.
But in 1877 the Council moved to temporary accommodation until the Old Exchange, which stood on the site of the present Council House, could be adapted for use.
Nottingham architect T. Cecil Howitt was commissioned to design the new building and his initial scheme in 1923 was based on rebuilding the Old Exchange as a grand shopping arcade modelled on Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
However the councillors required a council chamber and mayoral suite and so Howitt modified his design to include this accommodation behind a classical façade, with a shopping arcade at the back.
The foundation stone was laid in 1927 on what was to be the largest stone building commissioned in the country since the First World War.
The Portland stone used for the building came from the same quarry as the stone used by Christopher Wren for St Paul’s Cathedral.
The terrace overlooking the Old Market Square has eight columns, with 21 figures, representing the activities of the council,  in the pediment above. The frieze behind them depicts traditional local crafts, such as bell founding, mining and alabaster carving.
The official opening of the Council House on 22 May, 1929 was a wonderful day for Nottingham. Thousands of people came to watch the arrival of the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VIII, who opened the doors officially with a golden key. This is still displayed inside the building to the left of the grand staircase.
As I was born and brought up in Nottingham , the Council House is at the centre of some of my earliest memories of being taken into the city.
After I became a junior reporter on the Post in 1973, I attended events in some of the magnificently decorated rooms inside the Council House.
I was a frequent visitor while working as a freelance journalist for Nottingham City Council and, more recently, while attending meetings on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police.
My love of Italy has inspired me to visit some of the magnificent buildings created by architect Andrea Palladio in Vicenza, whose designs in the 16th century rediscovered classic Roman principles.
Many beautiful buildings have since been built throughout the world in Palladian style, of which Nottingham’s Council House is a fine example. As a freelance journalist based in Nottingham, I feel that an image of the classical pediment on its façade makes an ideal header for my website.