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The Inspector Faro Series
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* Enter Second Murderer (1988) Macmillan, London, (2005) Black Dagger Classics
* Blood Line (1989) Macmillan, London, (2005) Black Dagger Classics
* Deadly Beloved (1990) Macmillan, London, (2008) Black Dagger Classics
* Killing Cousins (1990) St Martin's Press, NY
* A Quiet Death (1991) Macmillan, London
* To Kill A Queen (1992) Macmillan, London
* The Evil That Men Do (1993) Macmillan, London
* The Missing Duchess (1994) Macmillan, London
* The Bull Slayers, (1995) Macmillan, London
* Murder by Appointment, (1996) Black & White Publishing
* The Coffin Lane Murders (1998) Black & White Publishing
* The Final Enemy (2002) Black & White Publishing
* Unholy Trinity (2004) Black and White Publishing
* Murder in Paradise (2008) Allison & Busby

The Inspector Faro Series


Set in 1870s Edinburgh of Robert Louis Stevenson and the young medical student Arthur Conan Doyle,   ENTER SECOND MURDERER is a novel of crime and detection in the classical tradition of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie.

The events which decide Detective Inspector Jeremy Faro to re-open the sensational case of 'the Gruesome Convent Murders' (for which one murderer has already been executed) lead him into a bewildering labyrinth of passions, betrayal and greed concealed behind the lace curtains and respectable middle-class exteriors of Edinburgh society.
The bizarre list of prime suspects includes a fanatical nun, an aristocratic hermit, a schoolboy from the nearby public school and a colleague of Faro's in the Edinburgh City Police is not above suspicion: all might have had good reason for silencing the convent's second victim: the lovely, exotic and amoral Lily Goldie.

Faro finds light relief and fleeting romance among the Trelawney Thespians, while he re-examines and unravels the almost forgotten clues to the identity and motive of the second murderer. Danger is never far away and Edinburgh's other face, that shady world of ever-erupting violence threatens to engulf his own household.  Unperturbed, his stepson Vince is determined that his newly acquired medicaa knowledge allied to Faro's powers of logic and deduction will prove irresistible in solving the mystery of the second murderer.


Queen Victoria is expected in Edinburgh on an informal visit when a man's unidentifiable body is found on the rocks below the Castle. Inspector Faro is baffled until the search reveals a jewlelled cameo of great antiquity.   One of a matching pair, containing miniatures of Mary Queen of Scots and her husband, Lord Darnley. the appearance of its partner in the belongings of his late father, a former policeman, evokes sinister and disturbing childhood memories of a thirty-year old unsolved mystery.

The 'Egyptian Style Curse on Edinburgh Castle' as it was known in the popular press, resulted in violent deaths including that of Constable Magnus Faro. During masonry repairs, the mummified remains of an infant, wrapped in cloth of gold. dating back to the sixteenth century were found entombed in the wall of Mary Queen of Scots' apartments.  If the suspicions regarding the birth  of James the Sixth are accurate then this discovery might have grave national repercussions  on the present Royal dynasty.

Faro is soon to discover at first hand the fate that awaits the  over-curious, and that death  lies in store for those who seek to know the identity of 'the baby in the wall'.  Faro's own life is in constant danger and on one dreadful day his own two small daughters on holiday from Orkney are kidnapped.


Faro is puzzled to be invited to dine with Edinburgh's foremost police surgeon with whom he has never been on good terms.  The occasion itself leaves Faro perplexed despite his stepson Vince's theory that their kindly hostess was matchmaking between him and the pretty  young widow she  had befriended.

When the police surgeon's wife is reported missing, Faro's discreet and diplomatic investigations are suddenly alerted by the appearance of a woman's fur cloak, expensive, torn and blood-stained beside the railway line.

No body is found nor any real proof of identity, but as revelations regarding the missing woman's home life become increasingly sinister, and as his relentless pursuit of the few clues that exist uncover scandal and conspiracy of dramatic proportions,Faro is convinced that she is dead. And who has better opportunity for disposing of the corpse of an unwanted wife than a police surgeon?


The sultry heat of Edinburgh in 1871 emphasises Faro's frustration in his failure to capture Britain's most wanted thief, nicknamed Noblesse Oblige after his prediliction for relieving the upper classes of their valuables.  On the Orkney island of Balfray, his stepson Dr Vince Laurie has answered an appeal from the laird whose wife is dying of some unidentifiable disease As Faro's mother is housekeeper to the Balfray family, this provides a splendid opportunity for the family to spend a holiday together and a welcome chance for Faro to escape the daily grind at the Edinburgh City Police.

As Faro's boat nears the sea-bitten outline of the island he sees the tiny black shapes of a trail of mourners in the crumbling ancient kirkyard at the edge of the steep cliffs.  On arrival at Balfray he learns that Vince  has been unsuccessful.  Mrs Balfray is dead. Not from disease but from arsenic poisoning.  Faro's professional acumen is immediately aroused and due to the remoteness and insularity of th island, he is faced by a communal wall of silence and by the appalling possibility that a member of his own family could be involved in the murder.


In an intriguing mesh of fact and fiction, another glimpse into the casebook of Inspector Faro in that murky sinister underworld behind the facade of Victorian respectability in Dundee.
where Faro had not the least idea that a funeral, melancholy enough but entirely innocent of crime, would lead to a startling confession from his stepson Vince. And that a suicide from the  unfinished Tay Bridge would open up a sinister trail of seemingly unconnected events.  Events which were to culminate in one of he most baffling and personal dilemas of his career, and a series of crimes which had tragic and far-reaching repercussions several years later ...

The news that Vince, resident doctor with Deane Enterprises, contractors for the Tay Bridge, is to marry Rachel Deane arouses mixes emotions in his stepfather who will miss the camaradie of their bachelor existence, and while Vince's happiness is his dearest wish, how can Vince possibly support an heiress? His lodgings with the impoverished family of actor William McGonagall are basic indeed.

Rachel receives Faro in the sumptuous family mansions, where she competely denies any romantic attachment to Vince. Why has she changed so suddenly from devoted fiancee tp cold-hearted stranger?Are the Deanes, a byword fo benevolence and fair dealing, in fact a bunch of crooks? The casualty rate amongst their employees is high and rumours has it that shoddy materials are being substituted for those originally ordered for the bridge\s construction. And how can Faro satisfactorily investigate mysterious deaths in an area outside his jurisdiction and at the same time protect his stepson from disaster?


Away from the stress and dangers of his life with the Edinburgh City Police, Inspector Faro looks forward to a peaceful holiday on the Royal Estate at Balmoral Castle. He plans nothing more strenuous than to celebrate his aunt's ninetieth birthday and enjoy a little fishing in the company of stepson Vince, who has taken up a post at the local Prince Consort Hospital.

But Faro's reputation travels with him and, without any chance to relax, his skills are called upon by none other than Queen Victoria in residence at the Castle.  Flattered that the monach should require his assistance, Faro is somewhat put out to discover from John Brown that he is to track down whoever has killed Her Majesty's two favourite spaniels.  It is not long, however, before Faro has a killing of ar greater magnitude: Scotland Yard have got wind of a plot to asassinate the Queen.

Time is not on Faro's side. The plan to strike within the next few days, before the Queen returns to London. Certain that the assassin is already responsible for two unsolved murders in the area, and with the Queen unaware of the incredible risk to her life, Faro embarks on a nightmare hunt for a merciless double killer - a killer who will stop at nothing to commit the ultimate treason.


Inspector Faro is a happy man. Vince is to marry the charming Grace Langwell of Priorsfield House, home of a much-respected and ancient Edinburgh family. And Vince is not the only one  in love, Faro is extremely taken with the beautiful Barbara Langwell, Grace's aunt.

Faro and Vince are invited to a splendid dinner party, the only flaw is the obvious ill-health of Grace's father, Cedric. Can this be dismissed as mere over-indulgence in a well-stocked  cellar?

The next day however Faro learns of Cedric Langwell's sudden death and his  own dream of happy families threatens to collapse like a pack of cards as his young stepson faces the most terrible dilemma of his professional career.

The post mortem on Langwell reveals evidence of arsenic poisoning and it is no consolation to Faro to recognise that in the particular province of murder detection lies his greatest skills, skills which he must exercise to the fullest extent of his powers regardless of the fact that the murderer must be a member of the dead man's family, with whom both he and his stepson are intimately concerned.  As Faro's investigations uncover deep-seated family rivalries and sinister secrets, death strikes the fated family yet again before the abominable truth is finally revealed.


Inspector Faro could not have suspected that an evening spent at a glittering banquet a Edinburgh Castle to honour his famous cousin, a celebrated war corresponded, was to end in investigating a tragic death.  Accompanied by his cousin, he is shown into a dark and dusty room in the sinister Wizard's House nearby.  On closer inspection the bundle of rags in one corner reveals the body of a young woman whose lustrous hair and delicate hands belie her tattered dress.

The identity of the dead girl remains a mystery as Faro visits friends at Aberlethie, where the guest of honour is to be none other than Queen Victoria's favourite god-daughter, the Grand Duchess Amelie of Luxoria.  But when Faro and Vince arrive there is no sign of her.  Then Roma Fortesque, her personal maid tells Faro a chilling tale.

She and her mistress were travelling incognito. Landing on the coast of Scotland late one stormy night, their carriage met with an accident.  Roma, knocked unconscious,  recovered to find that both the Duchess and the coachman had vanished. She hopes that the Duchess is continuing her journey to the palace unaccompanied but safe.  Faro however is not so confident.  Memories of the poor beggar girl in the Wizard's House come back to haunt him and he realises with sinking heart that he might be about to embark on the most scandalous investigation of his career.


Travelling incognito on the Queen's secret business, Faro is sent to the Borders to clear the name of Bertie, Prince of Wales, involved in a scandal that could jeopardise his future as king.

Faro's reluctance to play royal spy proves justified when he steps from the streets of Edinburgh into an alien land, an ancient bloodsoaked battlefield where England and Scotland clashed arms and the old ballads still cry out for vengeance.  Here the powerful Elrigg family rule like feufal barons, owning everything and everyone, including the forces of law and order.

Travelling with Faro is the mysterious Imogen Crowe, whose business in Elrigg is obscure but there is no one in whom Fro can onfide for the deceptive grandeur of a wild land hides sinister forces at worrk. The white cattle of Chillingham roam dangerously free and equally dangerous are the Elriggs, in their proud descent from the fierce Border rievers with long memories for revenge.

But murder has been committed and Faro is alone in his relentless pursuit of the truth, pitting his wits against an unseen enemy in a society where murders are dismissed as accidents. Scorning modern weapons the Elriggs hunt their prey with bow and arrow and, unabe to call upon local police for assistance, Faro becomes a target for their deadly games.


An evening at Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms listening to a splendid rendering of the Beethoven Sonatos by the acclaimed young pianist Lachlan Brown leaves Faro whe much to ponder over as he walks home,  for Lachlan is said to be the illegitimate son of John Brown, allegedly Queen Victoria's secret lover.

Suddenly Faro is accosted by a terrified woman who runs from the shadows. She begs him to save her from the men who are 'trying to kill her.'  But before Faro can react he is viciously hit over the head - and the next time he sees the woman her she is lying in the police mortuary.

When the corpse of a man is discovered next day Faro becomes inreasingly conerned. For the victims' faces bear a striking similarity. Could they be related? Why has the woman's house been set on fire? And where exactly does Lachlan Brown fit into all of this? for Lachlan has come to Faro claiming that he too has been the victim of an attempted murder.  Even more disturbing for the Inspector is the knowledge that his daughter Rose is falling in love with the young pianist. For Faro knows a shocking secret about Lachlan he hoped he would never have to reveal.


'Jeremy Faro was to remember for the rest of his life one afternoon in late December when he stood on the ice-packed road above Duddingston village and watched as the sunset came down like blood on the fast-frozen loch. The eve of the first murder...'

The frantic arrival of a policeman at Faro's door one winter morning brought news of the first killing in Coffin Lane. Accompanied by Vince and his doctor partner, Faro rushes to a horrific scene. For a trail of blood through the snow leads to the body of a young woman, a knife embedded in her heart.

Molly Blaith had been on her way to post a letter for her mistress/  Or had she?  For such a route should not have taken her down Coffin Lane. Did she have an assignation? Was she the victim of a crime of passion?  or was her death just the beginning of a reign of terror. of serial killings that will hold Edinburgh in its grip when  two days later Faro is woken by another hammering at his door this time -- to report the second murder in Coffin Lane.


Faro's plans for a pleasant holiday travelling across Germany with his writer companion, Imogen Crowe, are shattered when the life of the heir-apparent of Luxoria is treatened.  The boy is at boarding school in Scotland and Faro is delegatd by Royal Command to restore him safely to his troubled kingdom.

The journey is hazardous and even the Orient Express does not offer any measure of safety Danger in an isolated outpost attacked by wolves as well as the boy's enemies and only the quick wit of Faro can avert potential disaster.  And Faro has an added personal reason for his anxiety, a  secret concerning the boy's birth locked in the Grand Duchess's brief refuge in Edinburgh, that could destroy them all.


Faro is looking forward to a visit to County Kerry with Imogen Crowe.  On his arrival he discovers that the peace of the rural community has been shattered by the brutal murder of a young couple at a family wedding.  The village simpleton claims to have witnessed this horrific event and identifies the killers - three brothers who have been terrorising the neighbourhood claiming their feudal rights as landowners.

The local police appeal to Faro for help.  Now retired, he does so reluctantly but before an arrest can be made, there are three more inexplicable deaths. Were they accidental or has someone in the village taken it upon themselves to avenge the young couple? Faro lends his expertise to unearth the truth, a web of ancient and sinister secrets which imperil both Imogen and her family.


A prequel to the Inspector Faro series.
The year is 1860 and Faro, a young constable has been transported back to one of the darkest moments of his career - the chase of a notorious criminal Macheath across the Scottish borders to the Kent countryside.  A chance encounter with an old friend from Faro's Orkney schooldays, leads to his sojourns in William Morris's Red House, amid the Bohemian lifestyles of the pre-Raphaelites and their models.

While he continues his search the rural tranquility is suddenly disrupted by a burglary at a nearby mansion;  the young maid who discovered the break-in has disappeared. Faro has only one suspect  in  mind but he must struggle against the indifference of the rural police and the secrets of the obstructive locals to find both Macheath and his potential victim before it is too late. With himself unwittingly a marked man, the truth is much close and its quest more dangerous than Faro could have ever imagined.

 | Latest News | Inspector Faro | Rose McQuinn | Other Crime Novels | R L Stevenson | Gothic & Historical  | Plays & Radio | Non-Fiction | Articles by Alanna | Biography and Media Info | Reviews | Contact | Back to Home Page |