Eye Spy

Over the course of ten days, the lives of thirteen-year-old Alex Macintyre and his twin sister Donna will change forever…

When Alex and Donna set up Eye Spy Investigations and start to look into the case of the missing lap dog, they soon have an interesting assortment of suspects. There’s the mysterious man in the fur hat; a gang of bikers who hang out at the Starship Café; and Crazy Kath, the bag lady, who may know more than she’s letting on. But as they struggle to make sense of the evidence, the twins begin to uncover an even bigger mystery in their own family. As a massive storm hits the town, and events spiral out of control, can Alex resolve a family crisis, save Donna from imminent danger, and return the missing dog to its rightful owner?

Eye Spy is the first in a series of exciting stories for middle grade readers about Alex and Donna Macintyre and their detective service, Eye Spy Investigations.

‘A fast-paced, exciting ‘whodunit’. A red ribbon winner.’   The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

“I thoroughly enjoyed this contemporary adventure story.”   Jill Murphy, author of The Worst Witch series.

How Eye Spy came to be written

I realised very early on that I wanted to set the books in a seaside town. Writers are always told to ‘write what you know’, and we live in Leigh-on-Sea, which lies on the Thames estuary next to its much larger neighbour, Southend-om-Sea. But Holcombe Bay isn’t like Southend. I imagined it as a small town on the South coast where visitors flock in the summer, but which is quiet and sleepy in winter. It’s a combination of all the holiday resorts we took our children to when they were small: Morecombe, Great Yarmouth, Hastings…

So where did the characters come from? It took me a long time to realise that Alex and Donna are versions of a brother and sister that I knew as a child. He was calm, studious and unruffled, while she was impulsive and always getting into trouble. And it’s no secret that the twins’ eccentric inventor father was inspired by my husband Gwyn, who loves to shut himself away in his workshop and invent useful gadgets. However, in fairness to him, I must point out that he’s not nearly as eccentric as Ian Macintyre! The rest of the characters appeared out of nowhere, although Nan Macintyre was perhaps inspired by the rather dour Scottish lady who cooked our school dinners when I was a child.

You can order the book from Amazon or Matador.

Published by Matador, 2016
Paperback ISBN 9781785890192
Ebook ASIN B00L3P10YY

Eye Spy 2  –  Haunted


Alex doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he is about to have his beliefs challenged…

When Jimmy Devlin asks the twins to investigate the strange things that have been happening at The Priory, Alex seizes the opportunity to prove to his sister that there is no such thing as ghosts. However, it soon becomes clear that unquiet spirits are not the only problem facing the Devlin family.

Are the family servants hiding secrets? Has a valuable ring been stolen, or just mislaid? And what has happened to Jimmy’s missing elder brother, Harry? As the twins and Jimmy try to solve the many mysteries of The Priory, they discover they are dealing with a very dangerous enemy…

Haunted is the second book in the Eye Spy series for middle grade readers.

“A creep-fest of a mystery!  A FINALIST and highly recommended. The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.

“A fun read with relatable central characters and a great and varied background cast.”  Jill Murphy, author of The Worst Witch series.

How the book came to be written

Originally, Eye Spy was to be a stand-alone novel, but I enjoyed writing about Alex and Donna so much that I decided to turn the concept into a series.

I got the idea for the haunted priory when visiting a local park in Southend, where there is an old building which was a priory in Mediaeval times. I had been watching a TV programme about ghost hunters, and it occurred to me that it would be interesting to write about someone who was trying to prove ghosts don’t exist, rather than trying to prove that they do. And it was probably all the cookery programmes that I watch on TV that inspired the idea of the celebrity chef!

You can order this book from Amazon and Matador.

Published by Matador, 2017.
Paperback  ISBN 9781788032667