Ron Ellis - Page 1
| Hardback |
Allison & Busby
Selina Stark, budding star and celebrity on the Liverpool media circuit, is found dead, murdered by a single gunshot wound to the head. Although a man is convicted and sentenced to twenty-five years in what looks like an open-and-shut case, not all of Merseyside’s finest are convinced the right man is in jail. But after nearly a year, the trail is surely cold and private eye Johnny Ace is reluctant to take up the challenge.
Anyway, he has enough problems. A client has been killed whilst under the protection of Johnny and his partner. Twice-married, middle-aged and overweight, in fact downright unattractive, Dorothy Grove was nothing to write home about. She’d approached the agency about fears that she was being stalked by a fellow member of her dating club, Simply Single. Now she’s dead and Johnny is having a hard time believing it was a crime of passion. But what are the alternatives?
Although the case continues to tax Johnny, the bills have to be paid and a dead client doesn’t bring in much money. An industrial espionage investigation for a pharmaceuticals company, DRP, is also on the books and as he attempts to get to the bottom of the matter he makes some rather interesting findings. Interesting, that is, until another victim is shot dead and the action gets a bit too close for comfort...
`Johnny Ace’s knowledge of rhythm and blues is matched only by his sleuthing skills on Liverpool’s mean streets ... Ellis’s speciality is a gritty rendering of Merseyside crime ... Exuberant’ The Times
`Johnny Ace is Liverpool’s answer to Morse or Poirot’ Liverpool Echo
Agreeable racy narrative’ Gerald Kaufman, The Scotsman
`Wonderfully authentic Liverpool setting ... memorable characters, plenty of fast throwaway dialogue and a realistic plot ... Johnny Ace is a cross between Peter Stringfellow and Det Chief Inspector Morse’ Yorkshire Post
`Fizzes with Liverpool atmosphere and wit’ Big Issue
A page-turning plot with plenty of humorous asides’ Record Collector
A rambunctious romp’ Gwen Moffat, Shots Magazine
`An entertaining addition to the annals of crime fiction’ Sherlock Holmes Magazine
`Bright and breezy ... lots of local colour, some very shady characters and a violent but successful ending’ Birmingham Post
First British Edition Ulverscroft Large Print Bks (2001) |
When elderly opera 'queen' Max Cadamarteri is found dead in bed with his throat cut open, Detective Chief Inspector Glass is called in to investigate. Glass also has the Police Christmas Party to attend to, which turns out to be a disaster when a blue movie is shown and Detective Sergeant Evans recognises his under-age goddaughter in the cast. The search is now on for the pedlars of porn. Meanwhile, Glass's son-in-law, Detective Chief Inspector Robin Knox, is on the trail of a serial murderer after a number of young girls have been found dead and identically mutilated.
'Will leave your stomach chuming...' Lancashire Evening Post
'Combines the thrills of Edgar Wallace with the humour of Leslie Thomas.' The Stage
|Paperback - Headline (2002) |
First British Edition Headline (2001) |
When heiress Joanna Smithson is abducted in the car park of Formby Tescos, her businessman father calls in Private Eye Johnny Ace to rescue her. But events race out of control, and Joanna finds herself mistakenly accused of murder.
Meanwhile, Ace Investigations has been asked to trace missing footballer and notorious womaniser David Blease. Johnny has more aggro when his house is attacked by a racist group and his Asian tenant put in hospital. With the help of his trusty dog, Roly, Johnny sets out to solve all three cases.
The Singing Dead
First British Edition Headline (2000) |
See Review by
- Author of the highly acclaimed Crowner John series set in Medieval Devon
Liverpool radio DJ and landford, Johnny Ace, has finally set up his own detective agency but immediatly he runs into problems.
Mrs. Skidmore is convinced that her magistrate husband's death in a car accident is murder whilst Owen Jenna wants Johnny to find his missing wife, Susie, whom the police believe Jenna has murdered.
Johnny thinks Mrs. Skidmore is wrong and Owen Jenna is a murderer but he agrees to take on both cases.
Meanwhile, at a local furniture audion, Johnny buys an old tape which he discovers contains never before heard songs written and sung by John Lennon before The Beatles became famous. Unfortunately, others have heard about the tape and a series of gruesome murders follows.
As always, Johnny's love life is in chaos with Hilary and Maria battling for his affections, not to mention his body, and his controversial radio show has been taken off the air after he plays a banned record at peak time. But it isn’t all bad. Everton's fortunes are on the upturn and Johnny gets a trip to the French Riviera as he desperately tries to solve all three cases before he becomes the next target on the hit list.
The Singing Dead features the usual wealth of colourful Scouse characters, fast-moving action, Ron Ellis's black humour and memorably authentic Liverpool settings of all the Johnny Ace series.
|Paperback - Headline (2000) |
First British Edition Headline (1999) |
A Liverpool Cracker
It's an ordinary Thursday evening In July when Shelley Lunt, wife of a merchant banker, is found hanging from a light fitting in a flat off Liverpool's Sefton Park. Unfortunately for Johnny Ace - local DJ turned Private Eye - the flat happens to belong to him.
Although everything points to suicide, Shelley's sister Linda is convinced that she would never have taken her life. Determined to learn more of the mysterious circumstances surrounding Shelley's death, Linda hires Johnny to investigate.
But Johnny barely gets started before he encounters major problems of his own. He is suddenly woken one morning by six policemen smashing their way into his flat. They are looking for stolen goods - and they find them. Out on bail, Johnny is determined to find out who has framed him and why. And whether it's connected with Shelley's death…
But one by one, Johnny's witnesses are found dead. Reluctantly sucked into the city's gang wars, he follows a trail to the Pennines, Wales and London, trying to find evidence to save himself. But Liverpool is the place for the final showdown - where he must fight to save his life in a vicious battle against desperate odds.
'Ellis's specialty is a gritty rendering of Merseyside crime. Here we have the most exuberant outing yet for his wisecracking protagonist, the radio DJ Johnny Ace, whose knowledge of rhythm 'n' blues is matched only by his sleuthing skills on Liverpool's mean streets.' The Times
'Colin Dexter should beware… Liverpool 'tec Johnny Ace is hot on his heels' Liverpool Echo
About The Author
Ron Ellis was at Liverpool Polytechnic doing his degree in Librarianship when he became involved in Merseybeat importing records from America for The Beatles, running his own entertainment agency and finally travelling all over the North of England with his own disco roadshow. In 1976, he was appointed Promotions Manager for Warner Bros Records and made the New Wave charts his own band in 1979 with a song he wrote called "Boys on the Dole".
In 1992, The Sun acclaimed him as having the most jobs in Britain (11 at the time) including lecturer (in Creative Writing), teacher, librarian, DJ, actor ("Coronation St., Brookside, etc.), teashop owner, journalist, landlord, area sales manager (for an international legal publishing company) and... author.
Ron still lives on Merseyside with his wife and two teenage daughters. He has a country music show on local radio and covers Southport FC matches for the press. He is a member of tile Crime Writers Association.
Ron Ellis writes articles on popular music, CD and book reviews and is the football correspondent for Champion Newspapers on Merseyside. He also owns a property company in London's Docklands near the Millenium Dome.
(Ulverscroft Large Print Bks,
Headline Pbk Mar 02
The Singing Dead
Headline Pbk May 00
The Last of the Lake Poets
A collection of poems
Headline Pbk Apr 99
Ears Of The City
Headline Pbk 1998
Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman
Ron Ellis conducted 19 interviews with John Lennon's family and associates in England, Scotland and Germany for this best selling biography and took many photographs for the book.
The Snort of Kings
Journal Of A Coffin Dodger
Ulverscroft, Serialised on BBC Radio. Recently published in Czech Republic) Diary of an 84 year old playboy bachelor. Won two comedy awards.
Murder First Glass
N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.