My wait to see the finished cover of The Road Back is, at last, over. The final touch to the cover was a sentence of endorsement. I’ve enlarged the cover so that you can read the words between the title and my name.

The Road Back, with Colin Dexter's words

I’m really thrilled that Colin Dexter, the author who created Inspector Morse, not only read my novel, but wanted to say something good about it. Lucky me!

He originally said of it, ‘A splendid story, so beautifully told’, but we were worried that it might lead readers to expect a novel in the same vein as Morse, so Colin added ‘love’ to ‘story’, thereby making clear the genre of the novel.

I first met Colin some time ago at Jane Gordon-Cumming’s launch for her book of short stories, The Haunted Bridge, and then again the following year at the Christmas Party for the Oxford Writers’ Group. He’s a great friend of all the writers in Oxford, and is a frequent guest at the OWG parties.

As we talked at the party, it became clear that we shared an interest in cryptic crosswords and The Archers and that he knew Belsize Park very well, in which the London sections of The Road Back are set. Shortly after that, he was kind enough to give me a copy of a book he’d written about solving crosswords when we met in The Morse Bar at The Randolph Hotel – the excellent Cracking Cryptic Crosswords – and he said that he’d like to read my novel.

The Morse Bar in The Randolph Hotel, Oxford

Portrait of Colin Dexter in The Morse Bar








Which brings me back to the beginning – the sentence added to the original cover, and now the next launch at which I shall meet Colin will be the launch for The Road Back in September.


With Colin Dexter in The Morse Bar, in front of a plaque dedicated to Inspector Morse