Portsmouth stars in new murder mystery series 

Author James London, proof-reader Annabel Wright, and James' granddaughter Winifred
Author James London, proof-reader Annabel Wright, and James' granddaughter Winifred
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PORTSMOUTH makes an appearance in a new series as the setting of a murder mystery.  

The city – in particular Southsea’s Canoe Lake – features in the latest novel from author James London. 

The Island Murders by James London

The Island Murders by James London

James, who is in his 70s and now lives in Purley, Surrey, knows the city well – having attended Portsmouth Grammar School as a teenager. 

He said he was delighted to immortalise the city in his latest book The Island Murders as the home of one of his main characters – a prospector called Sam Peters who strikes gold on the Isle of Wight only to be murdered soon afterwards. 

It follows detective Bruno Peach as he investigates the crimes. 

James said: ‘It’s always been a dream of mine to write a gritty, messy murder mystery. 

The Island Murders in an Isle of Wight book shop

The Island Murders in an Isle of Wight book shop

‘DI Peach is perfectly flawed, as is Janet, and the tension between them add a thick and exciting sub-plot to the proceedings. Suspect nothing and expect everything.’ 

The book is largely set in the Isle of Wight – where James also owns a home. 

He added: ‘The Isle of Wight is the perfect setting for this kind of mystery. It’s iconic of the charm and serenity of England’s south cost – and there’s no better place to turn into a playground for a murder investigation that could literally skid of in any direction.’ 

It is not the first time James has seen success through his writing. He has written thee previous novels set in the time of the Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing and London.

He also plans to continue The Island Murders. 

He said: ‘I am very pleased that people want to read it. It gives me a lot of encouragement to write better books. I am always trying to improve what I am writing and develop characters.’ 

Married dad-of-three James, who also has 10 grandchildren, only turned to writing later in life – turning his hobby into a profession after he retired from his successful career in marketing. 

The Island Murders has been published by Acorn Books and has been stocked by more than 150 book sellers and is currently for sale on Amazon for £8.99 paperback or £3.99 Kindle edition.  

An extract from the book: 

The ten-minute car journey saw them soon arrive at the apartment in Cumberland House. The building looked out across a man-made lake with paddle boats, and further beyond to the Solent, the Napoleonic sea forts today still visible in the distance. On a sultry, warm, mid-summer afternoon such as this, the swan-shaped paddle boats were always in full use, a queue of families waiting in line for the turnaround. 

‘So this is where we start,’ Peach said to his young assistant as they climbed out of the car. ‘His home should tell us about him and hopefully reveal some clues that will lead us to the killer,’ said Bruno, perhaps a tad too optimistically.