Category: Tony Berry’s Books


Garfield found; where to now?

My first tentative venture into crime fiction occurred many years, even decades, ago. As tends to be my way of doing things, I started writing and let the characters lead me.

Chief among them was a mild and insignificant denizen of suburban life, Garfield Parks.

Why he was called that, I have no idea; that back story had yet to be discovered and written.

Then other things intervened: work, business, life and love among them. Garfield and his troubles were set aside for another time – one that never arrived.

Fortunately I did at least transcribe this hand-written tale from exercise book to computer. But that was many PCs and laptops ago and Garfield became lost among the many updates and data transfers.

His wife, so we are told, had also disappeared. She had not returned from what Garfield maintained was a visit to her sister. By now the police have arrived … and that is where I left him, being grilled by two highly suspicious detectives.

Searches of old CDs and memory sticks failed to find him. The passwords to three external drives where he could possibly be hiding have been forgotten and cannot be reset.

Poor old Garfield, lost and gone forever with never a change of removing the taint of guilt hanging over him.

Until today!

More much-needed sorting and decluttering revealed three memory sticks used for backing up files and storing pictures.

And there among them was the yet-to-be titled nascent story of Garfield and his missing wife. Well, at least the opening chapters – a total of a mere 4000 words.

In all modesty, I always thought it was a pretty good effort for a would-be author.  That opinion remains unchanged after re-reading it today after the many years of tuition, study and honing my craft that have occurred in the intervening years.

All I ask for now is that Garfield does a Rip Van Winkle and soon awakes from his slumbers to lead me through whatever dilemmas, dramas, dangers and detours beset him as he fights to clear his name.

I fear there were sinister forces at work; that there was much more to the innocuous Mr Parks than has so far been revealed.

Maybe the police were right to have suspicions, especially as he seemed so unworried and vague.

And then there’s his wife’s bossy sister who has never hidden her antagonism to their marriage.

Come on, Garfield. What happened? Where to now? Where is the body – if there is a body – and who put it there?

Watch this space …..

Crime fiction fans: Bromo’s back

Bromo Perkins returns.

The latest story in the ongoing investigations by Richmond’s favourite cynical sleuth will be available in paperback and to download as an e-book from next week.

All the heavy lifting has been done by the wonderful team at Design For Writers and everything has been uploaded to the international websites of Ingram Spark.

Ingram Spark will also be making both versions available through all the major websites and booksellers.

No matter where you live, copies will thus be readily available to order by logging in to www.ingramspark.com

Watch this space…..

Memoir dilemma: knowing when to stop

The rhetorical response to the unanswerable has traditionally been to ask “how long is a piece of string?”

An alternative, as recent experience has taught me, would be to comment “how long is a memoir?”

Having decided it was about time the work in progress was wrapped up, the sudden discovery of  another must-follow line of enquiry emerged. And it was too tempting to ignore.

A  report in the Plymouth Journal revealed that a great-great-great-great-grandfather  I had so far blissfully ignored had been swept off the landing stage at the Eddystone Lighthouse off Cornwall’s rugged coast by a freak wave. As the newspaper bluntly put it, he “sunk to rise no more”.

It was a story clearly needing further exploration as his death would inevitably have had a drastic impact on his wife, then eight months pregnant, and  their five  young children. Thus any thoughts of  signing off on the memoir were deferred yet again while these lives were researched.

Within two years 4x great-grandmother was listed as a pauper. With only a teenage son out at work, money was beyond tight.

Eventually, as others came of age, things improved. She took in a lodger (which has overtones of something else as he remained well beyond normal tenancies), secured an annuity and lived in reasonable comfort until the age of seventy-four, even employing a servant in her final years.

It was one more chapter crying out to be included in a book titled Celtic Skeletons.

But still the book could not be completed. That same day an email lobbed from a woman in Minnesota, USA.

She was a complete stranger. At least until I checked the family tree and found her to be not only a cousin but the daughter of a petty crook and long-term prisoner whose terms in and out of gaol and numerous appeals for release I had fully documented along with a home life that could best be described as tumultuous.

And here was his daughter, now about to celebrate her 87th birthday, thanking me for providing her with details of her family’s early years. To which she is adding several memories and personal details. 

It was a bonanza and a bonus for any memoir writer. Which is what makes it an endlessly fascinating and enjoyable field of writing endeavour – and why Celtic Skeletons remains a work in progress.

As long as a piece of string. 

Bromo solves murder among the family trees

Good news from Endeavour Press:

Twisted Trees, my latest crime fiction novel, is now online and available to purchase from Amazon as an e-book.

This is the fourth in the ongoing series of crime novels featuring reluctant sleuth Bromo Perkins.

The series began way back at the start of the 2000s with Done Deal, which was followed by Washed Up and Death by Diamonds.

A fifth tale is nearing completion and, if I get my act together, should be ready for fans well before the end of this year.

Watch this space.