Welcome to the Crampton of the Chronicle Readers’ Group Newsdesk
The newsdesk is open for business! Click on any of the headlines below to catch up on my activities as I venture around the south coast of England searching for inspiration. Don’t forget to pop back for more!
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It always started with the same ritual. Percy Despart opened the drawer in the small desk by the side of his artist's easel and took out his Swiss penknife. He held it for a moment and enjoyed the solid weight as it rested in his hand. Then he pulled out the large...read more
I was sitting in a café with my girlfriend Shirley when she pointed at a bloke wearing some fancy gloves and said: "I bet they cost a few saucepan lids." Shirley's from Australia and she sometimes comes out with words I've never heard. And that was one of them. It...read more
By Peter Bartram When you decide to write humorous crime fiction you have to think of a few more points than those writers who've decided to play it straight. First, you need to start with a setting which provides plenty of humorous opportunities. A great example...read more
It started on a dark night in Worthing… By Peter BartramThe scene is an ill-lit street in Worthing, a coastal town in West Sussex. The time: February 1966. A young reporter is walking back to his newspaper's office after covering the proceedings in the local...read more
By Peter Bartram My Australian girlfriend Shirley took a luscious lick of her ice-cream and said: "Why is that man wearing gloves on the hottest day of the year?" Shirley flicked her gaze towards the man sitting three tables away. We were on the terrace of the...read more
Journalist and crime author Peter Bartram wants a word about writing dialogue…"Damn! Blast! Hell!" A frown wrinkled my brow. "Is this an inconvenient time to call?" I asked. I was visiting an author to ask him for a few tips on handling dialogue. The author...read more
And here they are in random order…. 1. Jane Marple. The grandmother of all female sleuths has to be Jane Marple of St Mary Mead, who first appeared in Agatha Christie's The Murder at the Vicarage as long ago as 1930. On the surface, Miss Marple is a gossipy old...read more
By Peter Bartram How does an author create the main character in what, in my case, I hope will be a long-running series of cozy crime mysteries? When I first decided to write a series of crime books, my first thought was to create a classic dysfunctional pair of...read more
A Crampton of the Chronicle mystery story By Peter Bartram When you’re the new reporter in town, it's a lonely place to be. I remember it well. I'd just joined the Brighton Evening Chronicle from a weekly newspaper as crime correspondent. My news editor Frank...read more
By Peter Bartram My girlfriend Shirley was already into her second glass of white wine by the time I arrived late at the Sussex Grill. I hustled into the restaurant, hurried over to the table and sat down. I leaned over and kissed Shirley. "Don't mention it,...read more