The Swinging Sixties, Dirty Weekends, and Rat-Like Cunning with Peter Bartram

Podcast episode 27As writers, my guests and I make stories up from our imagination, but we also very often pull parts of them from our own lives. As a reader, I love nothing more than when a mystery novel is grounded in real life. It gives such depth and richness to a novel.

Peter Bartram is an author who has worked as a journalist for decades. He has brought that experience, and the experience of living and working in the seaside town in the south of England called Brighton, to his series of mystery novels. Peter’s series involves main character, and cunning journalist, Colin Crampton, his beautiful girlfriend Shirley the Sheila, and a host of other characters who are entirely fictional, but as Peter says, are influenced by his time on the news desk.

I learned some things I didn’t know during this interview, which always pleases me, including a bit about how newspaper type was set before the age of computers.

You can find out more about Peter and his Colin Crampton series on his website And as with so many of my guests, Peter has a book available for free. It is a prequel to the series and you can find it here.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Peter Bartram

Alexandra: Hi everyone, this is It’s a Mystery podcast, I’m Alexandra Amor and I’m here with Pete Bartram. Hi Peter.

Peter: Good morning, Alexandra.

Alexandra: How are you today?

Peter: I am very well and how about yourself?

Alexandra: I’m good. Yeah, a little soggy here in Vancouver today, but otherwise doing well.

Let me introduce you to our listeners.

PeterBPeter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle Crime Mystery series. Which features crime reporter Colin Crampton in 1960s Brighton, England. Peter’s novels are fast-paced and humorous. The action is matched by the laughs.

Peter began his career as a reporter on the Worthing Herald newspaper in the U.K. before working as a journalist and editor in London and finally becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism, from door stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700 feet down a coal mine and the courtier’s chamber at the Buckingham Palace.

Peter has written 21 non-fiction books, including five ghost-written, in areas such as biographies, current affairs and how-to titles before turning to crime and penning “Headline Murder,” the first novel in the Crampton of the Chronicle series.

Welcome Peter.

I want to start back at the beginning and ask you what prompted you to make the switch from non-fiction to fiction after such a long career in non-fiction.

Peter: Well, I’ve always wanted to do it. A basic problem wretched me, I thought, “No money in it.” That may ultimately prove to be wrong, only time will tell.

The fact of the matter is, I’ve worked all my career as a journalist. I was a freelance journalist from 1974 onwards. When you’re a freelance journalist and you’re earning your living from it, you have to keep your nose to the grindstone writing features and stories and commissioned non-fiction books at the time. And it was only in recent years that I have had a chance to do this, which is something that I always wanted to do.

Alexandra: Colin and the stories that are set in Brighton.

You specifically chose to set them in the 1960s. So why is that?

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Murder, Mayhem, Maine with Jen Blood


Podcast episode 7On this episode of It’s A Mystery Podcast, I talk to best-selling author Jen ‘Yes, that’s my real last name’ Blood about her serialize mystery series, featuring journalist Erin Solomon.

I have been quite excited to talk to Jen because the premise of this mystery series involves a cult. I was involved in a cult for ten years in the 1990s, so I wanted to know more from Jen about how she came up with the premise. And also how she did such an amazing job capturing the twisted and dangerous motives and personal interaction in a cult.

We talk about this and much more during the interview.

Jen’s five book series is unique because the plot arcs through all five books. By the end of book 1 (All the Blue-Eyed Angels) many questions about the mystery have been answered, but others are raised. FYI, Jen has a special deal on the entire series right now. You can get all five books for 50% off the regular price. I HIGHLY recommend these books. I could hardly put book one down and can’t wait to dive into the next one. (Plus, main character Erin Solomon has her dog with her throughout the book and any mystery author who can write about a dog so skillfully is tops in my books.) 😉

You can find Jen at, where you can get All the Blue-Eyed Angels, and two other novels for free. Jen is also on Facebook. And Twitter.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the episode on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Jen Blood

Alexandra: Hi, everyone. I’m Alexandra Amor, and I’m here today with Jen Blood. Hi, Jen!

Jen: Hi, Alexandra.

Alexandra: How are you today?

Jen: I’m great. I’m very excited to be here.

Alexandra: Oh, good. I’m so happy to have you here. I’m going to give everyone a bit of introduction about you. Jen is the author of the best selling Erin Solomon mysteries. Jen Blood taps into a background in freelance journalism in the heart of mid-coast Maine, to write mysteries rich with atmosphere, action, romance, character, and serpentine plots.

Her award-winning series has been hailed by critics and readers alike for its sharp wit and well drawn characters, with all of her novels to date hitting multiple best seller lists in mystery, suspense, and thrillers. And yes, Jen Blood is her real name. Because that was my first question when I started looking into you. I thought “Oh that can’t be real,” but it is.

Jen: Yeah, it is.

Alexandra: That’s awesome. So as I mentioned, just before the call, I read the first book in the Erin Solomon series over the Christmas holidays and just loved it.

Give us a bit of background about Erin and where the story starts, and then I’m going to ask you a few questions.

Jen BloodJen: Sure. Basically, the story starts and Erin Solomon is an investigative journalist, and she decides, for a variety of reasons, to return to her hometown to investigate a crime that’s basically haunted her for her whole life, or for most of her life, which is an alleged cult suicide that happened when she was 10. The reason it’s haunted her is because her father was actually a member of this religious community and he was the only survivor, aside from herself, though she was no longer a member at that point.

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Rhode Island Cozy Mysteries with Amy Saunders

Rhode Island Cozy Mysteries with Amy Saunders

Coastal Rhode Island forms the setting for a series of cosy mysteries by author Amy Saunders. Amy’s readers describe her characters as ‘a joy to meet’ and her books as fun and exciting.

Sit back, relax and let’s get to know the Belinda and Bennett stories a little better.

Podcast episode 2

You can find Amy at
And on Twitter @Amy_Saunders
And on Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Amy Saunders

Alexandra: Hello everyone I’m Alexandra Amor, and I’m here today with Amy Saunders. Hi Amy.

Amy: Hello.

Alexandra: So just by way of quick introduction, Amy Saunders is the author of the Belinda and Bennett mysteries, which is a cozy mystery series set in the fictional coastal town of Portside, Rhode Island. Since 2010 she’s also published three stand-alone mystery novels, and recently launched the first book in a new young adult series. Her love of mysteries started as a teen and finally led her to pursue novel writing.

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