It's August 1962, and Colin Crampton, the Brighton Evening Chronicle's crime reporter, is desperate for a front-page story. But it's the silly season for news – and the only tip-off Crampton has is about the disappearance of the seafront's crazy-golf proprietor, Arnold Trumper. Crampton thinks the story is about as useful as a set of concrete water-wings. But when he learns that Trumper's vanishing act is linked to an unsolved murder, he scents a front-page scoop.
Powerful people are determined Crampton must not discover the truth. But he is quite prepared to use every newspaper scam in the book to land his exclusive. The trouble is it's his girlfriend, feisty Australian Shirley, who too often ends up on the wrong end when a scam goes wrong.
Crampton has to overcome dangers they never mentioned at journalism school before he writes his story. Headline Murder will keep you guessing – and smiling – right to the last page.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
I loved everything about this book. It is a fast paced mystery, superbly plotted and kept me guessing right until the end. Despite the murders, it is light hearted, easy to read, and perfect escapism. Sixties atmosphere oozes from the pages to enrich the whole reading experience. An absolute corker of a book. ~ Wendy Storer Book Blog
Headline Murder is a fun read with humour throughout - a literary version of Heartbeat but with a journalist lead, Brighton setting and more laughs. The strong supporting cast of colleagues, locals and feisty girlfriend help the story drive along nicely. An engaging and entertaining mystery. ~ Crime Thriller Hound
I found the novel a highly enjoyable and well-crafted read, with a host of engaging characters. It’s a very good choice if you need a break from the darker recesses of noir or the modern world. ~ Mrs Peabody Investigates
I thoroughly enjoyed this newspaper caper set in the early 1960s. There's corruption, red herrings and the brief appearance of an insulting budgerigar. It read like a breath of fresh air and I can't wait for the next one. ~ Little Bookness Lane
By the end of page one, I knew I liked Colin Crampton and author Peter Bartram's breezy writing style. The author gives the readers much to enjoy both in the setting and characters as the story unfolds. Readers will immediately take to the protagonist, Colin Crampton, and will be eagerly awaiting his next investigation. ~ Over My Dead Body
...a little reminiscent of [Raymond] Chandler... ~ Bookwitch
The book provides a pleasant saunter through a bygone age of yellowed newspaper clippings, public telephone boxes and a Britain still coming to terms with its post-war legacy. This mystery offers an enjoyable but mild mixture of English eccentricity, wry humour, social commentary and misdeeds. ~ Crime Fiction Lover
A lot of fun. There's a light touch to proceedings, as you'd expect from the use of the word "cozy" on the blurb on the back. So, an enjoyable entry into what I hope will be a long series. Highly Recommended. ~ In Search of the Classic Crime Mystery Novel
Headline Murder is a rather fun and well-written cozy mystery set in 1960s Brighton. Recommended for those who want a lighter crime read, with a genuine 1960s Brighton vibe. ~ Northern Crime
A skillfully constructed mystery that plays fair with the reader and holds the reader's rapt attention from first page to last. Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library mystery/suspense collections. ~ Carl Logan, Midwest Book Review
Superbly crafted and breezy as a stroll along the pier, this Brighton-based murder mystery is a delight. Headline Murder is the real deal, giving a wonderful insight into local journalism and capturing the swinging sixties to perfection. Bring on the next Crampton Chronicle. ~ Peter Lovesey, award-winning crime mystery writer
The story is a real 'whodunit' in the classic mould. The characters and the city of Brighton leap off the page newly minted but feeling like old friends. And don't worry if you don't remember the sixties because you weren't even born then. There is none of the clunky scene-setting that so many writers find so necessary. Crampton takes you back effortlessly. ~ M. J. Trow, acclaimed author of 40 crime mystery novels