Malcolm Brooks has lived in Cricklade for around 44 years with his wife, Gill. Now at the ripe old age of 85, he has written his first novel.
Set in Brighton and Cyprus, the book is called ‘The Mediterranean Mystery’ and Malcolm says he decided on the plot whilst sat in a deckchair in front of the Grand Hotel in Brighton!
“I didn’t have to do too much research,” explained Malcolm. “I know a bit about Brighton as my daughter lived there and I visited her quite often; and I had three years based in Cyprus with the RAF, and Gill and I have been back there for holidays.”
Central to the story are experienced detectives DCI Harry Webb and new detective, Andrew Brown, who are helped by DCS John Street to solve a series of crimes. “Harry Webb is probably my favourite character in the book,” said Malcolm. “Especially as, when I was little, I wanted to be a detective when I grew up!”
Based loosely on some of his own life experiences, Malcolm’s novel is a gripping thriller with lots of twists and turns about diamond smuggling, abduction, murders, life and death dramas in hospital and a dramatic suicide. “It really is an extremely tasty cocktail of events and a real page-turner,” explained Malcolm.
Over the years, Malcolm has had his own ‘tasty cocktail of events’ starting off with having hot fat spilt on his face as a tiny baby! Then, later, he fell into the village pond and nearly drowned and, a few years later, fell from a tree whilst collecting conkers. He narrowly missed being on a fairground ride that crashed, seriously injuring around 20 children; made a crash landing in an airplane that had its engine on fire; was electrocuted but survived thanks to his rubber-soled shoes; survived three bomb attacks; narrowly missed several near fatal road accidents and has beaten cancer – twice!
Life is a little bit more sedate for Malcolm now and he enjoys playing Petanque several times a week at a piste that he helped to build overlooking the beautiful Wiltshire countryside at Cricklade Hotel and Spa. He has also played this version of boules in Guernsey and plans a Petanque trip to Spain in October.
Malcolm said: “Yes, my happy place these days is on the Petanque piste. I am very proud of having been a part of the project to build these 10 wonderful pistes that I plan to donate some of the profit made by the sale of my debut book to the Petanque Club.”
The Mediterranean Mystery by Malcolm C Brooks is published by Maple Publishers and is available in paperback from leading bookshops – ISBN: 9781915796356 – or direct from the author and signed personally by him for £9.99 plus £3 p&p. To order your signed copy of The Mediterranean Mystery, contact Malcolm Brooks by email at [email protected].