The Carry on Sleuthing gang are heading for the seaside – with an ocean-based mystery!

You’d think we planned it.

But anyone who has seen Sleuthing knows that’s just not true.

We’re appearing in Troon Library on Wednesday November 14.

So come along and join Caro Ramsay, Pat Young, Michael J. Malone and Douglas Skelton for an evening of fun and mayhem.

Space is limited so booking is essential. Tickets are priced £8 and can be booked in the library on South Beach or by phoning 01292 315352.

It’s an attractive little town, like many in the highlands. Neat streets. Solid stone buildings. Stunning views to the mountains.

But for one weekend a year it becomes the focal point of murder and mayhem. A centre of dark acts and despicable deeds.

And that’s just the jokes in Carry on Sleuthing!

Yes, it’s time for the Wee Crime Festival in lovely Grantown-on-Spey (November 2-4).

This will mark the fourth year I’ve trekked northwards for this absolutely terrific event and one of these years they’ll find me out.

Once again the Crime Writers Associated Players (CWAP) will be debuting a brand new Carry on Sleuthing. There will be drama, horror and tears. And that’s just when Michael J. Malone can’t find his sporran.

Caro Ramsay will once again be taking the leading role. Spinster sleuth Letitia Luvibod is becoming very much her alter ego, I think.

But that’s just one event in the weekend of fun and fear.

There are top names attending this year.

Stuart McBride!

Alex Gray!

Craig Robertson!

Alex Sokoloff!

Neil Broadfoot!

Sandra Ireland!

Thomas Enger!

Margaret Kirk!

Helen Forbes!

Hugh Pugh, Barney McGrew!

Well, okay perhaps not the last two.

The events mostly take place in the Pagoda, a terrific venue in the town, while the Saturday night dinner takes over the Garth Hotel restaurant and the Sunday session will be found in Grantown Golf Club.

Come along and make a weekend of it. It is a truly great festival – Marjorie in the Bookmark and her willing band of volunteers really do a great job in pulling all this together.


Things have suddenly turned busier than ever here at Hole-In-The-Wall.

First, THE JANUS RUN is now out there and ready, willing and (hopefully) able to give readers a thrill ride in words.

I’m also as busy ever on social media – well, as busy as I can be given I really don’t understand it at all!

I’m writing a new Carry on Sleuthing (more later) and awaiting edits on a new book to be published next March. I’ve already seen the cover and it’s so good it would make me want to read the book! And I know what happens.

You’ll hear a LOT more from me on this new one in the coming months.

However, I’m also out and about a great deal over the next few weeks.


Fans of Denzil Meyrick are snapping up his new book THE RELENTLESS TIDE.

I’ve been lucky enough to chair Denzil at two bookstore events for its release – Edinburgh and Glasgow.

I say chair but really you just start him off and watch him entertain the crowd with a string of one liners and stories.

I have two more with him coming up:

Thursday October 11 – Falkirk Library 3pm (in association with Waterstones)

Thursday November 8 – Waterstones, Oban, 6.30pm.

If you’ve never seen Denzil then come along if you can – he gives right good chat. and if you’ve never read his books, then you really are missing something!


You can’t keep a good show down. The same can be said for Carry on Sleuthing.

The gang is heading to Giffnock Library on Friday October 12 with MURDER AT THE KNICKERAGE.

The very first Letitia Luvibod headscratcher, A DEATH ON THE OCEAN WAVE, will descend upon Troon Library on Wednesday November 14.


On Thursday October 18 I’ll be back in my old haunt of Waterstones Argyle Street for the Glasgow launch of the new book.


The four blokes – Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and myself – are crossing the water to Bute on Friday October 19. It’s already a near sell-out so if you want a ticket, be quick!


On Thursday November 25 I’ll be in Waterstones Argyle Street once again, this time to natter to bestselling author Mel Sherratt about her new book HUSH HUSH


The crime festival in Grantown-on-Spey is an absolutely cracking event and I hope I’m invited every year! So far, I’ve been lucky.

The event takes place from Friday November 2 to Sunday November 4 and is jam-packed with great authors.

And we’ll be debuting the brand new CARRY ON SLEUTHING: THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT PYLES.


Once again, I’m all over the place like a cheap suit during Book Week Scotland.

Monday November 19 – Greenock Library

Tuesday November 20 – Mitchell Library, Glasgow, in conversation with Denise Mina and Liam McIlvanney

Wednesday November 21 – Lochgilphead Library

Thursday November 22 – Tobermory Library, Isle of Mull


I’ve got a busy few months ahead of me, which is never something to complain about. It keeps me on the streets, as it were.

The Four Blokes in search of a Plot tour is already underway with a session in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street Waterstones that really rocked. I even sang. After a fashion.

Picture by Ellie Petrie


The tour, with Gordon Brown, Neil Broadfoot and Mark Leggatt, continues as follows:

Thursday August 30 – Blackwells, Edinburgh

Thursday September 13 – Waterstones Stirling

Friday October 19 – Bute Museum, Isle of Bute (as part of Bute Noir’s ongoing calendar of events)

The Tour coincides with all four of us having new books hitting the shelves. Funny how things work out.

Neil Broadfoot’s newie is NO MAN’S LAND, the start of a thrilling new series featuring two-fisted Connor Fraser centred in Stirling.

Gordon Brown’s is DEEPEST WOUNDS, the latest in his Exciting Craig McIntyre series.

Mark Leggatt’s latest is THE SILK ROAD, another suspenseful tale featuring Connor Montrose.

Mine, as you all know, is THE JANUS RUN, which I describe as Jason Bourne meets the Sopranos.

From September 21 to September 23, I’ll be attending Bloody Scotland in Stirling, one of the premier crime fiction festivals in the world!

I’m chairing a couple of panels during the festival – one with Quintin Jardine and Denzil Meyrick, the other with Nick Triplow, Cathi Unsworth and Harry Brett – but I’ll also be joining the Carry on Sleuthing crowd to present Murder at the Knickerage.

Speaking of The Janus Run and Carry on Sleuthing, I’ll be launching the book officially at the Tidelines Festival in Irvine’s Harbour Arts Centre on Sunday September 30 – and later that day we’ll be back with Knickerage.


Sleuthing poster

They called it a triumph in Grantown-on-Spey (or some kind of clapped out old banger, anyway).

And in January, Carry on Sleuthing 2: Murder at the Knickerage is heading for Dumfries – and the oldest working theatre in Scotland.

And if that wasn’t enough to get the funny bone tingling, the Theatre Royal will also host Four Crime Writers in Search of a Plot.


Let Joy be unbound (she’s a lovely girl)!

Carry on sleuthing composote (2017_11_10 11_48_18 UTC)

Yes, indeedy – Gordon ‘GJ’ Brown, Mark Leggatt, Neil Broadfoot and Douglas Skelton will be dusting off the old Tea Cosy of Inspiration (TCOI) and getting their little grey cells in gear to create a crime story before the audience’s very eyes live on stage (well, almost live. A couple of them don’t look too healthy).

Here’s the drill – the audience is invited to suggest a protagonist and a murder weapon and then choose which author will write the next section of the story. While the chosen one is sporting the TCOI and churning out some fantastic prose (it could happen), the others will field question about crime writing from the audience.

It’s fast, it’s fun and it could well be folly.

four blokes byres road 2 (2017_10_12 09_40_46 UTC)

Then the Carry on Sleuthing team – Caro Ramsay, Lucy Cameron, Michael J. Malone and Douglas Skelton – will take over the stage to present a mystifying mystery filled with suspense, danger and, well, mystifying mystery.

Either that or they’ll just do Murder at the Knickerage.

With script in hand, because they’re incapable of remembering lines and you wouldn’t want some of these stuck in your head anyway, they will invite you to listen to the witnesses, find the clues and decide who the murderer was.

However, budding sleuths have to wade their way through a barrage of jokes and sight gags to find the clues!

Don’t miss this tittersome evening of murder, mystery and mirth.

Tickets can be booked now, priced £8 for an individual show, or £12 for the two.


Find out how to book here:


Douglas is heading back to Grantown-on-Spey in November for this year’s Wee Crime Festival.

It all kicks off on Friday November 3 with the gala premiere of the new Carry on Sleuthing extravaganza, Murder at the Knickerage, with Caro Ramsay, Michael J. Malone and some guest performers.

Douglas with Caro Ramsay in Carry on Sleuthing. A brand new mystery will make its debut in Grantown

Douglas with Caro Ramsay in Carry on Sleuthing. A brand new mystery will make its debut in Grantown

Caro with Michael J, Malone in Carry on Sleuthing

Caro with Michael J, Malone in Carry on Sleuthing

Then on Saturday and Sunday he joins fellow authors Caro Ramsay, Lin Anderson, James Oswald, Yrsa Siguroardottir, Mason Cross, Michael J. Malone and Daniel Shand in a number of events.

Detail here:


Fresh from its triumph at Tidelines, the Carry on Sleuthing team will, to paraphrase The Monkees, take the last train to Clarkston to bring quality theatre to the city suburbs. Or something.

Yes, you lucky Clarkstonians will have the chance to revel in the mystery and fun that has had audiences both puzzled and incontinent from Sanquhar to Grantown.

We’ll be in the library on Thursday October 5.

Details Here:

Clarkston Library


We’re back on stage with the play that will give you the most fun you’ll ever have out of brutal murder.

Carry on Sleuthing will bring this year’s superb Tidelines Festival to a dramatic close.

If you haven’t seen it before, then this is a laugh a minute murder mystery with some wonderful performances from some top crime writers.

If you HAVE seen it before then you’ll know there was at least one lie in the statement above.

This is an extended version of the show that has played Glasgow, Paisley, Grantown, Ayr and Sanquhar.

So come along and help our ace sleuth Letitia Luvibod solve the mystery of who killed odious lawyer Hiram Grabbitt on board the SS Naughty Nigel.

SIFT the evidence!

HEAR the suspects give their version of events!

GASP at the incredible performances!

GROAN at the jokes!

Join our star, bestselling author Caro Ramsay, ably supported by Michael J. Malone, Douglas Skelton, Neil Broadfoot and, in a change to the programme, Pat Young, in Irvine’s Harbour Arts Centre for the theatrical event of the season.

Book here:

Carry on Sleuthing at Tidelines

Or phone 01294 274 059.


A the airts

A’ The Airts, the community arts venue in Sanquhar, is launching a Nithsdale Noir season of events with the comedy mystery CARRY ON SLEUTHING on March 3.

Once again, best-selling author Caro Ramsay will essay the role of ace sleuth Letitia Luvibod (below), once again solving the brutal murder of lawyer Hiram Grabbitt on board the SS Naughty Nigelas it steams across the Atlantic.

Caro luvibod

Michael J. Malone (below) will return as various characters, as will Douglas Skelton.

Michael. J. Malone

Michael. J. Malone

They will be joined for this epic production (and I use the word epic in its broadest possible sense. Ditto the word production. And the word comedy above) will be debut crime writer Lucy Cameron (below).


Neil Broadfoot below) will also be on hand to deal with the various complicated bits of stage business that makes the show such a success. It says in his press release.


It’s a night of laughter and mystification. Well, mystification anyway. Come along, join in the fun.

For ticket prices and to book, please phone the venue on the number below.

Caro Ramsay, Neil Broadfoot and I seem to be taking a question very seriously during last year's Death in Grantown festival. Matt Bendoris, far right, has a twinkly in his eye though. Something cheeky was coming I think.

Caro Ramsay, Neil Broadfoot and I seem to be taking a question very seriously during last year’s Death in Grantown festival. Matt Bendoris, far right, has a twinkly in his eye though. Something cheeky was coming I think.

Three years ago, if you’d asked me to stand in front of an audience and talk, I’d’ve died with my feet in the air.

Now, when I go to the fridge and the light comes on, I do a ten minute bit.

I wanted to be an actor when I was a slip of a lad (the lad in question being my father, the slip being me – thank you ‘Round the Horne’). I was never that outgoing – didn’t much like parties or socialising – but get me in front of an audience and I was off.

As I grew older I lost that ability to perform. It simply vanished. During my true crime years I made a number of TV radio appearances – still do – but that’s not the same as being up there with real people looking at you.

Then I had my first novel, ‘Blood City’, published and – gulp – I was expected to perform.

The first occasion was an event thrown by my publisher during the Edinburgh Festival and I was one of a number of authors asked to give a reading. I was one of the last called and the nervous sweat could’ve refloated the Titanic. The book was as yet unreleased so I was reading from a somewhat soggy typewritten sheet. It didn’t help that I’d forgotten my reading glasses.

I worked a little from memory and I think I may even have rewritten a section as I went along. At one point I found myself in a verbal tangle and paraphrased Harrison Ford to George Lucas when shooting the first Star Wars film – you can type this stuff, but you can’t say it. The audience laughed. They were on my side. I liked it.

Now whenever I do an event, as Donald O’Connor once sang, I like to make ‘em laugh.

Caro, Matt and myself celebrate a second great win the titanic East v West play-offs. The East Coast writers, including Neil Broadfoot, Doug Johnston and Frank TF Muir, lost despite having a home advantage and an greement ahead of time they were going to win. Craig Robertson was the impeccably fair chair.

Caro, Matt and myself celebrate a second great win the titanic East v West play-offs. The East Coast writers, including Neil Broadfoot, Doug Johnston and Frank TF Muir, lost despite having a home advantage and an greement ahead of time they were going to win. Craig Robertson was the impeccably fair chair.

Yes, my books can be dark but that doesn’t mean I have to be, at least in public. I do try to follow the sage advice of a seasoned bookseller to be windswept and interesting but my motto is take the work seriously but not myself.

I’m still no good at socialising, though, and in festival bars I’m usually the one trying to merge with the background.


Next up, though, is Carry on Sleuthing. What’s that? It’s a comedy-mystery radio play to be performed by four crime writers in a bookshop. Don’t say we don’t push the envelope.

You may have noticed it being mentioned on Facebook, Twitter and even this very site you are currently perusing. But in case you’ve been exploring regions of the Amazonian rain forest where the hand of man has never set foot, let me fill you in.

It’ll feature Caro Ramsay as amateur detective Letitia Luvibod who is asked to solve a perplexing mystery on board the SS Naughty Nigel.

Odious lawyer Hiram Grabbitt has been foully done to death and the suspects include bestselling author Dame Petunia Uppercrust, press baron Piggy Grunter, flapper Loxie McLovely and millionairess Colleen O’Blarney. Add in salty sea dog Captain Obadiah Trusspot, manservant Tremble and Inspector Bumble of the Yard and you have the recipe for a night of mystery and mirth.

Theresa Talbot, Michael J Malone and some eejit called Skelton will take out acting talents out for a spin as the entire supporting cast.

It’ll be fun but it is daunting.

I’m a bit of a limelighter now but I think I may have a drink beforehand. Or a Valium. Or both.

(Carry on Sleuthing can be seen for one night only in Waterstones Argyle Street on Friday April 8 at 7pm. Details in the Events section of this website)