A former local newspaper editor has written a new mystery featuring a cerebral Oxford crime-fighter.
But unlike the late lamented Inspector Morse, Frank Rawlins’ hero Norm drinks lager, rides on the bus, and has a girlfriend.
The new novel, entitled Norm, is former Oxford Journal and Oxford Courier editor Frank’s first foray into crime fiction.
Said Frank: “It seems to get more and more difficult for unknown writers to make a real impact, but I’m hoping this might be my break-through book. Norm is an intriguing character, and, being based in Oxford, there are some cheeky references to Inspector Morse.
“I don’t see crime fiction as just a puzzle to be worked out. Like any other book, it should be a good story well told. I think I’ve achieved that.”
Frank, who now combines writing with garden design, was chief sub-editor of the former Thomson Newspapers’ Evening Post based at Hemel Hempstead before moving into weekly journalism in the 1980s.
His debut novel When It Comes To The Crunch, published in 2007, was a comedy-drama featuring a grumpy, cynical old journalist with a loathing of bad manners and his war against tailgating drivers.
It was followed in 2008 by The Trouble With Money (Diary of a Lottery winner), a bitter-sweet account of how a lottery jackpot divides a family.