Short Stories

in 2019 the first two titles in the “Book of Extraordinary Mystery stories” series edited by Maxim Jakubowski were published by Mango Publishing in the United States. Each contains an exciting mix of tales, including one of my Aurelia Marcella mysteries. In the historical collection, A Pinch of Pure Cunning has  innkeeper Aurelia solving a friend’s problem of stolen jewellery, while in the anthology of sleuths and private eyes, she hires a legendary veteran legionary, known as The Single-handed Soldier, as an odd-job man. But it’s a decision she may live to regret.



bound by mystery coverIn 2017 Poisoned Pen Press published Bound by Mystery, an anthology to mark their 20th anniversary. It’s a terrific mixture, with 35 of their authors contributing. My story is Wild by Name, Wild by Nature, about innkeeper Aurelia Marcella, the central character and reluctant sleuth of my four Roman Britain novels. Aurelia is used to welcoming all kinds of customers to her inn near York, and when a famous gladiator comes to stay, she and her household are thrilled to have such a glamorous guest…until the excitement turns to horror.

guilty parties
The 2014 Crime Writers’ Association mystery anthology was published  by Severn House. The 24 stories in this anthology are by members of Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association. The CWA produces short-mystery anthologies regularly, and the 2014 collection is edited, like all the recent CWA collections in the series, by award-inning author Martin Edwards. My story, TELL IT TO THE BEES, (NB not about Rome!) has its roots in my childhood when our family kept beehives. and I, like the story’s narrator, used to go and talk to the bees…though happily I never found myself in the situation she ends up in.


cover of Guilty Consciences
GUILTY CONSCIENCES is another Crime Writers’ Association anthology, edited by author Martin Edwards and published in 2011 by Severn House. There are 17 mysteries in all, and my story, ALL THAT GLISTERS, is set in the modern big-business jungle of corporate London, but there are shadows from the past, including from the remote early British world of 2000 years ago. Then as now, gold may not always be what it seems.

Image of Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits cover
The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits was published in 2003 by Robinson (UK) and Carroll & Graf (USA). Available in Kindle or paperback from Amazon USA and UK
Here are 20 stories spanning eight centuries of Roman history. It is edited by Edgar award winner Mike Ashley, and contributors include Steven Saylor, Mary Reed and Eric Mayer, Lindsey Davis, Rosemary Rowe, John Maddox Roberts, Marilyn Todd, Caroline Lawrence, and a whole lot more. My story, THE CLEOPATRA GAME, is set in the 70s AD in Rome itself. A young Egyptian heiress wants to imitate the legendary Queen Cleopatra in everything she does, but at a banquet to celebrate her betrothal to the handsome patrician Marcus, she goes too far, and tragedy results. Rufus the bodyguard must discover whether a childish game of make-believe has got out of hand, or whether someone has used the occasion to commit a cold-blooded murder.