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For many years I pretended to be an academic but I have finally seen the light and turned to crime!

I am fascinated by the challenge of writing crime mysteries in which place and time are as important as the characters. My plots are interwoven with the lives, times and histories of real places.


I am an architect and a psychologist and I have studied the relationship of people to place and published over 300 books and articles. That has proved to be a useful background for writing crime fiction.

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A reader says:-

"I know Chester well and you described it beautifully.  I could visualise every scene!"

I was born and brought up in Chester

My first book as an academic, “How Designers Think” has been in continuous print since 1980 and sold over 100,000 copies.


I was Head of School and Dean of the Faculty of Architectural Studies at Sheffield University and I have been visiting professor at universities in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

My work has taken me to many parts of the world, so my brain is full of places that make ideal settings for crime mysteries.

To the left is where I like to think and write when the weather allows. This pavilion in our garden is inspired by the temples of Bali and the shelters built by rice workers to shield them from the tropical sun during their midday rest. They are called Pondoks.

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