Popular Culture, History and Current Affairs

Richard Anthony Baker

Old Time Variety

An illustrated history

Remember When ( 2011)

Foreword by Roy Hudd OBE

Richard Baker’s companion volume to British Music Hall takes us on a grand tour of variety theatres and stars from the 1920s up to the 1960s, when they finally succumbed to the mass appeal of television.  A wonderfully nostalgic book, about which Roy Hudd OBE writes: “Richard’s research is thorough, immaculate and painstaking, but never, ever boring.  He, like the folk from the exciting, highly coloured world he writes about, makes facts fun.  His love for his subject comes through on every page.”

Richard Anthony Baker

British Music Hall

An illustrated history

Sutton Publishing ( 2005)

Foreword by Roy Hudd OBE

Baker British Music HallWithout doubt, the most entertaining, best written and superbly illustrated single volume available on British music hall.  During the three decades prior to the First World War, Marie Lloyd, Harry Lauder, Dan Leno, Little Tich, Ada Reeve, Vesta Tilley, G.H. Elliott, George Robey and many more great entertainers ruled the stages of Great Britain’s Hippodromes and Empires.  Richard brings them all to life again in this glorious book.

Juliet Barnes

The Ghosts of Happy Valley

Searching for the lost world of Africa’s infamous aristocrats

Aurum Press (July 2013)

Barnes The Ghosts of Happy ValleyThe Happy Valley set’s notoriety was sealed in 1941 with the still unsolved murder of the Earl of Errol. Juliet Barnes explores Happy Valley in a remarkable archaeological quest to find the homes and haunts of the extraordinary and vanished characters. With the help of African guides, and the memories of elderly expats, she brings new insights to their gilded but frantic lives, and updates the area’s traumatic history from the Mau Mau atrocities in the 50s to the forest and animal devastations of today.

John Casson and William D. Rubinstein

Sir Henry Neville Was Shakespeare

The Evidence

Amberley Publishing (April 2016)

Casson Rubinstein Sir Henry Neville Was ShakespeareWho wrote the works of Shakespeare? Revealing newly discovered evidence, John Casson and William D. Rubinstein definitively answer this question, presenting the case that the man from Stratford simply did not have the education, cultural background and breadth of life experience necessary for him to write the plays traditionally attributed to him.

Instead, the most credible candidate is Sir Henry Neville, who certainly did have all the necessary qualifications. A colourful Renaissance man educated at Merton College, Oxford, Neville’s life experience precisely matches that revealed in the plays.

Casson and Rubinstein take us on a breath-taking journey of discovery through the development of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, compellingly drawing close parallels between the works and events in Neville’s life. They reveal how Neville’s annotated library books, manuscripts, notebooks and letters show he was the hidden author, who survived dangerous political times by keeping his authorship secret. The book contains a great deal of remarkable new evidence, expertly presented, that will challenge anyone’s ideas about who really wrote the Shakespeare plays.

Shirley Charters

The Mystery of King John’s Treasure

Pen and Sword Books (June 2018)

Charters The Mystery of King John's TreasureSunday evening, October 9th, 1216. King John is facing continued civil war and a devastating French invasion; treacherous times. We discover him crossing the tidal marshes of the Fenlands of East Anglia. He is about to lose England s crown jewels, his gem collection, and sackfuls of silver coins with his image on them: a treasure trove. What happened? What was he doing in that remote and windswept place? Why did he take the crown jewels with him? And why did he die so soon afterwards? Eight hundred years of searches by Fenfolk, academics, newspaper magnates, Victorian eccentrics and even an American research company have found nothing. No golden chalice, no pearl studied casket, no coins. Why? We follow King John at that vulnerable time, day by day, and reveal for the first time some surprising and interesting answers to the many questions posed by the mystery of his lost treasure.

Carol Clerk

Carol Clerk, former features editor of the much loved and revered weekly newspaper, Melody Maker, was the consummate writer on music legends.  The three books listed here are part of her legacy.  Sharply written, brilliantly researched, her books on Ozzy Osbourne, Madonna and Hawkwind have become classics of the genre.

Carol Clerk

Madonna Style

Omnibus Press ( 2002)

Carol Clerk

The Saga of Hawkwind

Omnibus Press ( 2004)

Clerk The Saga of Hawkwind

Carol Clerk

Ozzy Osbourne

The stories behind the classic songs

Carlton ( 2002)

Becci Fox

Confessions of An Essex Girl

A smart, sexy and scandalously funny exposé

Pan Books ( 2012)

Fox Confessions of an Essex GirlThe Only Way Is Essex introduced Essex men and girls to TV audiences , but only a watered-down version of the species.  In Confessions of an Essex Girl, the ultimate Essex girl, Becci Fox, has written an outrageously funny and deadly accurate account of Essex in the raw, experienced first-hand.  In contrast to the programme, every episode in the book happened exactly as she writes it.  Dozens of rave reviews on Amazon are testimony indeed to the new comic voice that is Becci Fox.

Andrew Hansford

Dressing Marilyn

How a Hollywood icon was styled by William Travilla

Goodman Books ( 2011)

Hansford Dressing MarilynA collector’s item featuring all the stunning dresses worn by Marilyn on and off the set and designed by her trusted and beloved designer, Billy Travilla, including the famous white dress from the skirt-billowing scene in The Seven Year Itch and the purple-pink satin dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Packed with photographs of Marilyn wearing the dresses and Travilla’s exquisite colour sketches of the designs.

James Haspiel

The Unpublished Marilyn

Mainstream Publishing ( 2000)

Haspiel was a lifelong friend of Marilyn, who would spend time with her, whenever she came to New York.  This evocative and sumptuously illustrated volume is his personal collection of previously unpublished photographs of Marilyn, and the personal stories behind them.

Heidi Kingstone

Dispatches from the Kabul Café

Advance Editions (September 2014)

Kingstone Dispatches From The Kabul CafeWhere can you buy 913 Kalashnikovs?
How do you tell a friend her expat love is never coming back?
What’s it like to date a mercenary?

In 2007, Canadian journalist Heidi Kingstone arrived in Kabul, eager to uncover the mysteries and shadows of one turbulent corner of the world. Over the next four years, she encountered idealists and chancers, gunrunners and warlords. She interviewed generals and partied with powerbrokers and fashionistas. A passionate advocate for women’s rights, she witnessed women as heroes, as victims, as freeloaders, as rivals.

Heidi’s account of the last years of ISAF-controlled Kabul is vividly atmospheric, deeply personal and at times shockingly painful. From air bases to brothels, she tells of disastrous development programs and hopeful couplings against the backdrop of our longest war. But as her friends fall victim to ambush, kidnap and suicide bombing, no amount of booze and adrenalin can soften the devastating realities of NATO’s new Afghanistan.

James Moore

The Tudor Murder Files

Pen & Sword History (September 2016)

Moore The Tudor Murder FilesIn the Tudor age the murder rate was five times higher than it is today. Now, in this unique true crime guide, the Tudor Murder Files reveals just how bloody and brutal this fascinating era really was. From the dark days of Henry VIII to the turbulent times of Shakespeare, James Moore’s new book is the first to chart the period’s most gripping murder cases in all their grizzly detail. Featuring tales of domestic slaughter, sexual intrigue and cunning assassinations, as well as murder mysteries worthy of Agatha Christie, the book vividly brings to life the violent crime wave that gripped the 16th century both at home and abroad. Enter a world in which stabbings were rife, guns were used to kill victims for the first time and in which culprits frequently escaped justice. The book also reveals just how severe some of the penalties could be, with gruesome punishments for those who dared to commit the gravest of crimes. Discover how one murderer was gruesomely ‘pressed to death’, another boiled alive for poisoning his victims

James Moore

Murder at the Inn

A criminal history of Britain’s pubs and hotels

The History Press (February 2015)

Moore Murder at the InnIn which pub did the Krays murder George Cornell and so achieve notoriety as Britain’s most feared gangsters? Where is the hostelry in which Jack the Ripper’s victims drank? How did Burke and Hare befriend their victims in a Scottish watering hole before luring them to their deaths? What is the name of the pub where the Lord Lucan mystery first came to light? And how did a pub become the scene of the murder that led to Ruth Ellis going to the gallows? For centuries, the history of beer and pubs has gone hand in hand with some of the nation’s most despicable and fascinating crimes. Packed with grizzly murders – including fascinating little-known cases – as well as sinister stories of smuggling, robbery and sexual intrigue, Murder at the Inn is a treasure trove of dark tales linked to the best drinking haunts and historic hotels across the land.

James Moore and Paul Nero

History’s Narrowest Escapes

The History Press (August 2013)

James Moore and Paul Nero reveal the dramatic attempts to kill Winston Churchill as well as 49 other narrow escapes in history covering everything from wars that were averted to invasions, revolutions and apocalyptic scenarios, that we escaped by the skin of our teeth. Included are the stories of how Prince Albert from his deathbed stopped war between Britain and the US in the 1860s; how Nelson’s heroics at the Battle of Trafalgar might never have happened, if it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of his son-in-law eight years before; and how the actions of a single Soviet Army colonel avoided World War Three in 1983. History’s Narrowest Escapes reveals how our history could have been very different…and possibly much worse!

James Moore and Paul Nero

Ye Olde Good Inn Guide

A Tudor Traveller’s Guide to the Nation’s Finest Taverns

The History Press (April 2013)

Moore & Nero Ye Olde Good Inn Guide (1)Packed with the finest hostelries to grace the 16th century and written with all the flavour of the language of the day, this witty and meticulously researched tome covers every county in the land and directs you to all its celebrated and charming pubs, many of which still exist today.  Ye Olde Good Inn Guide is an essential aid to both the pub historian and the drinker, who yearns for the lost age of the trusty tavern.

James Moore and Paul Nero

Pigeon-Guided Missiles

and 49 other ideas that never took off

The History Press (August 2011)

Moore & Nero Pigeon Guided MissilesDiscover British Rail’s plan for a spaceship, the scheme to cover Manhattan in a glass dome, and why the Victorian Channel Tunnel hit a dead end.  From nuclear-powered cars to Thomas Edison’s concrete furniture, this book explores fifty exciting ideas that either became victims of the eccentric figures behind them, succumbed to financial and political misfortune, or were simply just too far ahead of their time.

Michelle Morgan

The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones and Other Victorian Scandals

Robinson (April 2018)

Morgan The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones and Other Victorian ScandalsA grisly book dedicated to the crimes, perversions and outrages of Victorian England, covering high-profile offences – such as the murder of actor William Terriss, whose stabbing at the stage door of the Adelphi Theatre in 1897 filled the front pages for many weeks – as well as lesser-known transgressions that scandalised the Victorian era.

The tales include murders and violent crimes, but also feature scandals that merely amused the Victorians. These include the story of a teenage man who married an actress, only to be shipped off to Australia by his disgusted parents; and the Italian ice-cream man who only meant to buy his sweetheart a hat but ended up proposing marriage instead. When he broke it off, his fiancée’s father sued him and the story was dubbed the ‘Amusing Aberdeen Breach of Promise Case’. Also present is the gruesome story of the murder of Patrick O Connor who was shot in the head and buried under the kitchen flagstones by his lover Maria Manning and her husband, Frederick. The couple’s subsequent trial caused a sensation and even author Charles Dickens attended the grisly public hanging.

Drawing on a range of sources from university records and Old Bailey transcripts to national and regional newspaper archives, Michelle Morgan’s research sheds new light on well-known stories as well as unearthing previously unknown incidents.

Michelle Morgan

The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals

Constable & Robinson (October 2013)

Michelle Morgan tells the stories of Hollywood’s secrets, lies, murders, suicides and mysteries. 60 famous as well as near-forgotten scandals across almost 100 years of Hollywood’s history include the tragic account of Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle’s murder trial that ruined his life, the death of Lana Turner’s boyfriend, and on through to the present day, with the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, the death of Whitney Houston and the love-triangle between Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.

Mike Rothmiller and Douglas Thompson


Sex, Lies and JFK

Ad Lib Publishers Ltd (April 2024)

Reckless Sex, Lies and JFKFor a time, John F. Kennedy ran the US and the world like a player with loaded dice. All his life, he expected to be serviced. For most, sex is an optional side order; for JFK, it was demanded: a manifestation of his majesty, his power, a display of entitlement and godlike behaviour – the resulting mess was for others to clean up.

For the Kennedy men, beginning with prolific philanderer Joe Kennedy Senior, risk was a turn-on. As another Kennedy, Bobby Junior – son of a would-be president, nephew of another – runs for the White House, Reckless reveals how a dynasty’s arrogance led to tragedy. With its shocking revelations about how the Kennedy brothers lived and died, Reckless will make headlines around the world

Drawing on new interviews and previously protected police and US government intelligence files – tens of thousands of documents from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Organised Crime Intelligence Division, the CIA and the FBI, Rothmiller and Thompson reveal  quite how tarnished America’s Camelot was. The files corroborate how the Kennedys connived with the American Mafia, greedy corporations and Latin American tyrants to gain and hold power. All the usual suspects from FBI titan J. Edgar Hoover and billionaire Howard Hughes to CIA rogue agents and Mob hitmen appear in an narrative which sweeps from the salons of Washington to dictator Rafael Trujillo’s torture chambers in the Dominican Republic (where a dwarf called Snowball specialised in biting off men’s genitals).

Robert Winnett and Gordon Rayner

No Expenses Spared

The inside story of the scoop which changed the face of British politics
    – by the team that broke it

Bantam Press ( 2009)

Winnett & Rayner No Expenses SparedNo Expenses Spared is the gripping behind-the-scenes account by two of the Daily Telegraph’s top reporters, of how, month by month, the newspaper exposed the MPs’ expenses scandal during 2008 and 2009.  Their relentless outpouring of revelations of greed and corruption, led to the resignation of the Speaker and several Cabinet ministers, dealing a terminal blow to Gordon Brown’s prime-ministership, much as the Profumo scandal brought the Macmillan Government to its knees in 1963.

Joanne Zorian-Lynn

Presenting for TV and Video

A & C Black ( 2001)

TV and radio presenter and stage actress, Joanne Zorian-Lynn’s lively book is a practical and entertaining self-training guide to becoming a more effective presenter, whether for a low-budget corporate DVD, cable TV, internet, or an appearance on mainstream television.