Books by Tony Caxton

Released: Feb. 12, 1996

A second featuring the glowering presence of Detective Inspector Denis Bowker (Murder in a Quiet Place, 1994). Here, he and aide Sergeant Jack Knight are on loan to the Thames-side village of Bedlow, assigned to solve the three-month-old arson murders of shopkeeper Ronald Matthews, his wife and two children. Bowker and Knight are given a list of local suspects—all checked out by displaced Detective Inspector Harry Mason: porn distributor Doug Ronson, who may have supplied Matthews's shop; small-time drug dealers Wayne and Gary Burton, who own a garage in town; tavern owner Arnold Hinksey, a fishing pal of Matthews; ex-con Billy Swanson and slow-witted boatyard worker Shane Hambleton; Matthew's last mistress Moira Druce; and his shifty lawyer Lloyd Davies. Bowker throws his massive weight and threatening invective at them all in turn, roiling the waters sufficiently to pinpoint the porn distribution center; nail down the major drug source; embarrass a few respectable local big shots; spark another pair of killings and finally nail the arsonist—mission accomplished. Bowker's determinedly obnoxious persona is a mixed bag—he loves to dwell on the glum, gory details of cases past and gleefully leaps the barrier of politically correct police behavior when he can get away with it. But how vile can a guy be who loves Dickens? Mostly entertaining, slightly offbeat procedural. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 19, 1994

Not such a quiet place after all, since the killing of upmarket divorcÇe Lynn Hurst in the aptly named English town of Long Slaughter is only the first act of an improbably tangled tale. Aggressive Inspector Denis Bowker, called in to solve her murder, suspects from the beginning that Lynn was killed because of her love life; the problem is that almost every male in Long Slaughter was seen leaving Lynn's cottage or riding in the car bought for her by her neighbor, comic-book artist Empson Rowley. Lynn's former husband, the self-styled ``Pooh-Bear'' infuriated at the alimony he was paying out, still couldn't stay away from her; neither could bank clerk Roy Sibson, or London lawyer Stephen Fenwick, or—a surprise this, in view of Lynn's well-attested desire for the finer things in life—butcher Gavin Fowler. All this amorous activity can only be a sorrow to Lynn's fiancÇ, architect Mark Stanhope, and an aggravation to the police—especially when two of Lynn's lovers turn up as dead as she is, adding hints of theft, fraud, and revenge to the already crowded list of motives. The denouement, which posits an awful lot of murderers slinking about, confirms your worst fears about all those subplots. Inspector Bowker, who could give lessons on intimidation to Raymond Chandler's Bay City police, is the real find of this first novel. Read full book review >