Pauline Rowson with spidergram of DI Andy Horton 16In March I will be continuing to write DI Andy Horton 16. I'm currently on second revisions, only another six to go! March also sees the publication of number 4 in the Marvik mystery thriller series, DEAD SEA, and I'm focusing on two DI Andy Horton crime novels set in March on my website blog, FOOTSTEPS ON THE SHORE and DEAD PASSAGE. See me on research location for DEAD PASSAGE. Also in this edition some articles on writing and forensic research.

Happy reading.

Thriller highlights deaths of fire-fighters from cancer

In Cold Daylight thriller fire fighters and cancer The idea for my mystery thriller, In Cold Daylight, was inspired by a conversation among my husband's fire-fighter colleagues about the abnormally high number of the men on one watch who had contracted cancer after exposure to hazardous chemicals in the line of duty. Research from the University of Lancashire backed this up. I decided to blend the facts I heard the fire fighters discussing into a dramatic fictional plot.

Before fire-fighter Jack Bartholomew can reveal the cause of his own and his colleagues’ cancer he is murdered and silenced forever. But in a cryptic message orchestrated before his untimely death, he has left a trail of clues that will lead his friend, Marine Artist, Adam Greene, into a labyrinth of lies, secrets and government conspiracy exposing an environmental and political scandal that has resulted in the deaths of fire fighters.

This is one of my very first published novels, written in the first person like IN FOR THE KILL, another of my early mystery thrillers before DI Andy Horton embarked on his numerous investigations.

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New Art Marvik mystery thriller DEAD SEA to be published in March

Dead Sea, an Art Marvik Mystery Thriller by Pauline Rowson

I'm delighted to announce that the latest in the Art Marvik mystery thriller series DEAD SEA is published in paperback, ebook and on Amazon Kindle on 15 March 2021.

DEAD Sea is number four in the Marvik thriller series and finds the former Royal Marine Commando, Special Boat Services Officer on the hunt for a stolen computer disk that holds the key to a secret which a ruthless killer is determined must never be revealed.

It's March and DI Andy Horton has two crimes to solve  (but not in the same year!)


Footsteps on the Shore, Inspector Andy Horton (6)

Footsteps on the Shore - DI Andy Horton 6 by Pauline RowsonFOOTSTEPS ON THE SHORE is one of my favourites in the DI Andy Horton series.  I'm not sure why.  Sometimes it just happens that way. It's Friday the thirteenth and it begins badly for Andy when his Harley Davidson is vandalized. Then Andy's nit picking boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss returns unexpectedly early from a secondment, a decomposed corpse is washed up in Portsmouth Harbour, a convicted killer out on licence is missing and  Horton is once again under pressure to get results, but things are about to get much worse for the beleaguered detective … 

'Procedural fans who haven’t already read Rowson should be encouraged to do so in the strongest possible terms.' Booklist, Starred Review

Portchester Castle Here is one of the locations used in FOOTSTEPS ON THE SHORE, Portchester Castle, which incidentally is close to where I was born and lived until I was three before moving to Portsmouth. It is owned and managed by English Heritage and will once again be open to the public on 17 May 2021.

"Portchester Castle stands in a commanding position at the north end of Portsmouth Harbour. The Romans built a huge fort here, which remains the best preserved Roman fort north of the Alps. After the Norman Conquest a castle was built in one corner of the fort, which grew into an impressive royal residence. From 1665 Portchester was frequently used to house foreign prisoners of war, most notably during the wars with France between 1793 and 1815." English Heritage.

If you're visiting keep an an eye out for Andy, he might just be there with Sergeant Cantelli!

DEAD PASSAGE DI Andy Horton 14

Author on location research for DI Andy Horton novelHere I am on No Man's Fort which like another of the Solent Forts, Spitbank Fort, is now a unique luxury hotel, rather unoccupied at the present!  It's one of the locations featured in DEAD PASSAGE.  Completely renovated it opened in 2015. It boasts a wonderful lighthouse giving spectacular views over the Solent, across to the Isle of Wight and to Portsmouth, including right into the harbour entrance. Here I am making copious notes, even in the rain! Can you see Andy Horton here? I can.

On research in the tunnels and sea bunkers on No Man's FortAnd here I am in one of the passages. The fort has twenty-two huge bedroom suites, its own laser battle, sea golf, a hot house with fire-pit, a large rooftop fire-pit, sauna, hot tub, a cabaret bar and restaurant, as well as retaining the unique sea bunker tunnels, a must visit for any history fanatic and especially those keen on military history. The tunnels are extremely atmospheric.

Pauline Rowson making notes in the Ward Room No Man's Fort, SolentAfter the extensive tour, a buffet lunch and the chance to explore the fort for myself I took a break in the Ward Room to check through my notes before the return boat trip to Portsmouth. There was plenty there for me to take in for DI Andy Horton in DEAD PASSAGE.

Dead Passge an Inspector Andy Horton Mystery by Pauline RowsonA mysterious telephone call sends Horton on a complex and twisted investigation into the death of a local politician twelve years ago and uncovers a trail of lies, secrets and revenge with roots deep in the past. 

"A detective novel in the tradition of Rankin and Harvey." Mystery People Magazine 

"All the juicy ingredients that make a good story: an historic death of a politician, a daughter who urgently wants to speak to the inspector, as she has ‘something to reveal’ about her father’s death,  interesting characters that keep you guessing about who’s telling the truth,and who has something to hide." BH Magazine 

Why I set my new mystery series in the 1950s

Inspector Ryga Mysteries by Pauline RowsonMost of my crime novels and thrillers are contemporary but a few years ago I decided to pen an historical crime fiction novel. It was something I had been wanting to write for some time, in fact it started many years ago and could be said to be my original intention.

When I first started writing novels they were in fact historical sagas. As I wrote more of them a criminal element kept creeping into the story line. None of those novels have ever been published and after many rejections I turned to writing contemporary crime fiction. DI Andy Horton was created in TIDE OF DEATH and published in 2006 and the rest as they say is history.

But somewhere within me must have lurked that historical itch and so, after writing twenty contemporary crime novels, I decided to scratch it. Hence Inspector Alun Ryga was born. DEATH IN THE COVE is the Scotland Yard detective's first investigation which takes him to the Royal Island of Portland, Dorset with his second baffling case set in the port of Newhaven, East Sussex in DEATH IN THE HARBOUR (2020).  His third which will be published in October 2021 DEATH IN THE NETS sees Ryga, and former war photographer Eva Paisley, on an investigation in Brixham, Devon.

Do you always write your crime novels chronologically?

Crime author Pauline Rowson talking about her crime novelsAt a talk I was asked an interesting question - do I always write chronologically or do I jump about?

My answer was in the main I try to write the first draft from beginning to end but it doesn't always work out that way, primarily because I do not have a complete plot line mapped out before I start writing.  Usually I only have the first three chapters plotted and some of the character profiles drawn up.  As I begin the creative writing process I find that there comes a point when I might jump from writing chapter seven or ten to chapter eighteen or twenty... or the ending.

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Writing a crime novel - mastering point of view (POV)

Getting the right point of view (POV) is one of the most difficult aspects for new writers to grasp, and sometimes even established writers struggle with this. Whose story is it i.e. from whose point of view are you telling the story? You might think it is fairly obvious that it is the protagonist’s story but is it his (or hers) alone, or do you need to switch to telling the story from another character’s viewpoint i.e. is it single viewpoint or multiple viewpoint?

Then there is the question of whether it will be written in the first person or the third person? How do you make that decision?

Read more about mastering point of view and how I have approached it in my crime novels

And now for some forensic titbits

Pauline Rowson with DI Andy Horton Mystery, Lethal WavesDuring my research for my crime novels I uncover some fascinating forensic facts. Here are some on bullet wounds unearthed while I was writing the Inspector Andy Horton police procedural crime novel, LETHAL WAVES, number 13 in the Horton series.

Fingerprint Facts

Pauline Rowson and Jane Aston, Hampshire Fingerprint BureauI've been very fortunate to spend some intriguing hours with the Fingerprint Bureau at Hampshire Police Support Headquarters at Netley studying how the fingerprints taken at the scene of crime and of people in police custody are identified.

Fingerprints, palm prints and toe prints don't lie. They are unique and even identical twins will have different fingerprints.

Fingerprints on objects can survive for a very long time and can be lifted from paint, oil grease and from those left in blood.

Although the police have a computer system for fingerprints called IDENT1, fingerprints are still physically examined by humans, through an eye glass and careful study.

Here is more on fingerprints

Where to buy Pauline Rowson's books

Pauline Rowson's books are available from all good booksellers in paperback, hardback, as an ebook, on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google Books and Apple Books.  Some are also available as  audio books.

They can also be loaned from libraries in the UK, Commonwealth and the USA.

Buy from your local bookshop

Buy at The Book Depository (free worldwide delivery)

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Buy at Amazon UK

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For more news, details of all Pauline Rowson's books, videos and articles visit

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