Knutsford crime writer's latest Cumbrian spine chiller published in paperback | Knutsford Times

Knutsford crime writer’s latest Cumbrian spine chiller published in paperback

By on January 25, 2011

Acclaimed local crime fiction author Martin Edwards – who is head of employment law at Knutsford based Mace & Jones – is launching his latest whodunnit ‘The Serpent Pool’ in paperback this weekend.

The Lake District based murder mystery is Edwards 14th crime thriller and the fourth in his Cumbrian series following the fortunes of DCI Hannah Scarlett and Oxford historian Daniel Kind (see synopsis below).

Edwards will launch the paperback at the Wordsworth Trust 2011 Arts & Book Festival on Sunday where he will be talking about the novel at a special event at the Wordsworth Hotel in Grasmere.

“I am delighted to see the book published in paperback,” he said. “The Lake District is a place of constant fascination and inspiration to me. I am just finishing the fifth novel in the Cumbrian series called The Hanging Wood which will be published later this year.”

Edwards confirmed The Serpent Pool will also be translated into German and a paperback version will be printed in the United States where Edwards has a growing fanbase.

The book draws heavily on the life and opium inspired writings of Manchester born Victorian author Thomas De Quincey. The book finds Daniel Kind writing about De Quincey who was editor of the Westmorland Gazette and a friend of William Wordsworth. De Quincey is best known for his essay writing including ‘On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts’ which has influenced many famous crime writers.

Describing De Quincey’s influence on the book leading crime fiction magazine Crime Time said: “In The Serpent Pool, this is murder as a fine art, as expounded by Thomas de Quincey. If that sounds grotesque, it’s not a false lead, and there are powerful elements of Gothic horror at work in this book. The Serpent Pool is the darkest of the four Lakes novels and possibly the most rewarding.”

An American review of The Serpent Pool in the Denver Post said: “Character, atmosphere, plot and pace — this series has it all.”

Meanwhile, Edwards’ profile is also gathering pace in the UK with a Guardian review of the Serpent Pool saying: “With evocative descriptions of everything from landscape to cocktail parties, expert plotting, an engaging protagonist and strongly delineated characters, The Serpent Pool is old-fashioned, well-made crime fiction at its best, and the dénouement will have you choking on your Kendal mint cake.”

Edwards says the book sees Scarlett and Kind become more definite about their feelings for each other than in previous novels.

The paperback is published in hardback by Allison & Busby, priced £5.59 and is available from all good bookshops, Amazon and

The Serpent Pool synopsis

DCI Hannah Scarlett is determined to uncover the truth behind Emily Friend’s mysterious drowning in the Serpent’s Pool. Though the evidence at the time did not rule out suicide, why would Emily, so afraid of water, choose drowning to end it all? Hannah has to face distraction though with a new sergeant with a troublesome reputation, a new house, and new cause to doubt her partner, Marc Amos.

Historian Daniel Kind has just returned from America and is hard at work on a new book. Meeting with Hannah again, they can’t help but make connections between Emily’s death and two recent murders which struck close to home..


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