Anyone who loves steam trains, detective thrillers and P. G. Wodehouse will feel distinctly at home.

Jasper Fforde

An arresting mixture of Boy’s Own Adventure, Fifties gumshoe novel and oddly affecting love story, this is an absolute treat—Mail on Sunday

 

An utter delight – this cocktail of the surreal and the terrifyingly real is a rare entertainment for rail fans and crime fans alike—Michael Williams, author of On the Slow Train

 

Wildly funny, admirably eccentric and warm and humane…Sumptuously detailed—Morning Star

Jack Wenlock is the last of the Railway Goslings, a fabled cadre of special detectives that trod the corridors of the Great Western Railway during the pre-war years. Now in the dying days of 1947 he sits in his office reflecting on past glory. When the year turns the railways will be nationalised. At the stroke of midnight the four railway companies will be merged and a mooncalf called British Rail born. Jack will lose his job and everything he held dear. The GWR had been a mother to him. This was no simple figure of speech. He had been born in the Weeping Cross Railway Servants Orphanage and imprinted at birth with a 4-6-0 Saint Class locomotive.
He thinks wistfully of all his past cases, the ladies of ill-repute he had gently escorted from first class, the postal order stealers, the German counts he had disarmed of their swordsticks…but most of all he thinks of the one that got away. The one he never solved. The greatest mystery in the annals of railway lore concerning the party of 23 nuns who vanished from the 7.25 Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads in 1915. The papers called it the case of the Hail Mary Celeste. It would have made a great Swansong to his career, but there is no chance now, he thinks, of tackling it. But then there is a knock on the door…
Aberystwyth Noir

What is it about Aberystwyth?After travelling all over the world—from South America to Asia and Polynesia—I can honestly say I have never been to any land where I didn’t meet at least one person who had heard of the town. I first realised this when I was in Borneo. I was deep in the heart of the rainforest, on the mighty Rajang river, meeting with a tribal elder to discuss the possibility of dancing the Ngajat with his daughter. He asked me where I was from and when I told him Aberystwyth his face lit up, he glanced up at the Heavens in disbelief.

‘So it really exists, then? We thought it was a make-believe place, told of old in our legends, like Troy, Nineveh and Timbuktu. A fabulous town.’‘Well, it is pretty fabulous,’ I said. ‘It’s got a Cliff Railway.’

 ‘Please,’ he said. ‘Please dance the Ngajat with my daughter.’

And so I did.There are six novels in the Aberystwyth Noir series, and one in the Jack Wenlock series, with a second currently in the hands of the midwife.

If you click on the link below it will take you to my page at Bloomsbury, where you can read an extract, or even stump up some moolah and buy a book. Put it on the mantelpiece to keep the vicar away.

Pryce’s fictional Aberystwyth is a sustained masterpiece of dark imagination—DAILY TELEGRAPH

Sheer delight…already one of my favourite books of the year—GUARDIAN
Marvelously imaginative…You’ll weep and laugh on the same page. Wonderful—GUARDIAN
Inventive, funny and dark, Pryce packs more style into a sentence than most authors could hope for in volumes—BIG ISSUE
Pryce really is in a league of his own—TIME OUT
A uniquely surreal spin on the hoary conventions of noir writing…impossibly weird and, in parts, beautifully lyrical—GUARDIAN
Surreal, absurd and very funny—THE TIMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity—Flaubert

 

 

 

 

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