In Broad Daylight

1st August, 2019

‘Them ships now,’ Will pointed. ‘They’re probably bringin’ in tea and brandy; watch they’ll of’en stop an’ tub boats will side up an’ lift off contraband, e’en in broad daylight.’ The Thirteenth Box   My Smugglers’ Town Mysteries are set in 1780s, though smuggling into Christchurch, the small town on the south coast where the… Read More

A Very Special Constable

24th March, 2017

(A different from the usual blog, following the attack at Westminster, Wednesday 22 March 2017)   I cried when I saw the picture of a smiling PC Palmer on TV when his identity was disclosed after the events in London on Wednesday. People who know me know I like policemen. I like them especially in… Read More

Created with love

13th February, 2017

Valentine’s Day has its origins in pagan rituals and has been a feature in the year’s calendar in one form or another ever since. The 18th century was no different and customs we would recognise today were also enjoyed at that time. The sending of messages and love letters was common. Use of pre-printed cards began… Read More

An 18th-Century Christmas

21st December, 2016

Christmas Gambols. Print by John Raphael Smith (British Museum)   In The Moonrakers of Avon the action takes place at Christmastime. Before the story begins to unfold, Danny Clark is looking forward most of all to Twelfth Night; why then and not Christmas itself? Today’s Christmas traditions have evolved over the centuries from pagan winter… Read More

Pirates versus Smugglers!

11th September, 2016

Pirates vs Smugglers Pirates versus smugglers? Well not in any battle I know of, but it could well have been, as the two groups of varmints were of a different ilk. I often hear people say ‘Julie writes about pirates’. I’ve been asked to do talks about pirates, but it’s smugglers I know about. What’s… Read More

A hobby and a passion, knitted together

4th June, 2016

  When I’m not reading or writing I’m often found with a pair of knitting needles in my hands. I can be working on something for myself or, very often, items for my grandchildren either something to wear or maybe a toy. I was sitting in the garden a few Sundays ago, working on a summer jacket… Read More