Omens of Death See Review by
When Detective Inspector Montague Pluke noticed the solitary crow upon the roof of No.15 Padgett Grove, he realised it was an omen of death. An added factor was that the day was not the most providential of weekdays.
Wednesday, like Wednesday's child, was often full of woe. That unwelcome combination of portents dominated Montague's morning walk to the office and produced a mood of impending doom, albeit with just a secret glimmer of excitement. This glimmer was based on the fact that, as the officer in charge of the CID in Crickledale Sub-Divisional Police Station, he had never solved a murder and never arrested a killer. In fact, there had never been a murder in Crickledale, a pretty limestone market town on the edge of the North York Moors.
It was Montague Pluke's ambition, before he retired from the Force to seek neglected or forgotten horse troughs, to detect a noteworthy murder. Fate seems to be on his side and, the very next day, the naked body of a young woman is found at the Druids' Circle. Then two more people die in suspicious circumstances and Montague Pluke is at last able to put all his police training, as well as his great knowledge of superstitions ancient and modern, to good work.
A witty and well-plotted tale of crime and detection from Nicholas Rhea, creator of the books on which the Heartbeat television series is based. Omens of Death is the first in a projected series to feature the superstitious and eccentric Montague Pluke. "Eccentrically superstitious, Detective Inspector Pluke is a policeman of whom we shall hear more." Yorkshire Gazette and Herald
"It's original, it's funny - discovering Pluke has been one of life's little pleasures." Yorkshire Post
Paperback - Headline (1997)
Constable about the Parish England's best-loved copper continues his adventures.
Well settled and well known in Aidensfield, PC Nick still finds that the residents can surprise him. There's the time the school mistress decides to involve the whole village in beating the parish boundaries; and the day a sheep manages to stop Emily Jane Taylor swearing at the top of her voice in the graveyard; or when the vicar's wife takes it into her head to bring a clutch of Borstal boys to the village for rehabilitation.
One thing he can be sure of is that life will never be quiet - particularly when Claude Jeremiah Greengrass is on the loose and still up to his incorrigible tricks...
The Constable stories are a delightful chronicle of life as a young policeman in Yorkshire, and the inspiration behind the immensely popular Yorkshire Television Heartbeat TV series. ‘Recommended if it's laughter you're after’ Bolton Evening News
‘Richly entertaining’ Yorkshire Evening Post
First British Edition Constable (1995)
Suspect The chances of discovering the frenzied killer of Muriel Brown were remote by any standards. The twenty-seven year old had been raped and murdered in her own car. Fifteen years ago.
Detective Superintendent Mark Pemberton's ambition was to solve that case before he retired; it was the only undetected murder on the books. But his determination suffered a setback when his special team of three detectives was replaced by one sick senior officer, Inspector Vic Hadley.
According to specialists, Hadley, on sick leave due to stress, needed some undemanding work to aid rehabilitation. The Muriel Brown case seemed ideal. But Hadley had shot and killed a man during an armed raid - there were allegations that Hadley had murdered him and that there had been a cover-up. Even the robbers claimed the dead man had not been with them but Hadley maintained he shot an armed robber to save a detective's life. The accusations and doubts had driven Hadley to his sick bed with stress.
As Hadley began his new duties, Pemberton needed to satisfy himself of Hadley's innocence. While investigating Hadley's past, further deaths occurred; new evidence emerged about Hadley's actions at the shooting and forced Pemberton to re-evaluate his personal and professional attitude to colleagues and his law enforcement role. Pemberton is forced into an armed and dramatic conclusion.
Nicholas Rhea, creator of the books from which the highly popular ITV series Heartbeat is derived, has produced a drama of high tension in this riveting story of a professional under unbearable pressure.
"The latest tale from the Heartbeat author is not true. It is a great read...." Yorkshire Evening Press
Paperback - Headline
Constable versus Greengrass If anything suspicious is reported in the peaceful Yorkshire village of Aidensfield, it's a fair bet that loveable scoundrel, Claude Jeremiah Greengrass, is not far away…
Whether he's trying to squash six sheep into a Ford Anglia, bottling ‘holy’ water with insanitary results, or running a coconut shy where the coconuts are not all they seem, Claude Jeremiah Greengrass - and his dog, Alfred - always have some dodgy scheme afoot. So it's down to Sergeant Blaketon and P.C. Nick to keep one step ahead of them - without falling over their own feet in the process...
A delightful history of the chequered career of Aidensfield’s most unregenerate rogue. ‘Move over Mr Herriot, All Creatures Great and small has a rival’ Manchester Evening News
First British Edition Constable (1994)
Family Ties Detective Superintendent Mark Pemberton is part of a team whose task it is to guard the American Vice-President during a private visit to Britain. The outspoken Republican, Caleb Hodgson Hartley, believes he has Yorkshire ancestors but the English Hartleys claim no knowledge of their eminent namesake. To satisfy his own curiosity, Pemberton examines the family's history.
He finds the grave of Private James Reuben Hartley, a soldier who died during the first World War, but Pemberton discovers he was not killed in battle. He was murdered in 1916 while on leave and his killer was never found.
Old records and surviving local memories combined with all the techniques of a modern murder enquiry enable Pemberton to re-open the investigation. He learns that the dead soldier's brother, Luke, emigrated within days of the killing, so was Luke the founder of the American family of Hartleys? Some ugly family truths are revealed as Detective Superintendent Pemberton senses a scandal involving a top American politician.
Family Ties is the third Detective Superintendent Mark Pemberton novel of suspense. The others are Grave Secrets and False Alibi both written under the name of Peter N. Walker. "Ugly family truths come out as Detective Superintendent Pemberton senses scandal." The Citizen - Gloucester
"Yorkshire based crime story from the creator of the Heartbeat characters." Peterborough Evening Telegraph
"Rhea shows how, in murder investigations, painstaking procedure is as necessary as flashes of brilliance." Eastern Daily Press, Norwich