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Allan lives in Ontario, Canada but was born and grew up in Merseyside, England.He studied in North Wales (B.Sc.) and East Anglia (Ph.D.). By profession a chemist, he is now retired but he worked for many years later in his career as a consultant on international chemical regulation, a role in which he traveled extensively. He began creative writing as retirement approached.
He is currently writing a series of art-crime mystery novels featuring Catrin Sayer, a central character who is Welsh, an artist and a policewoman with the Metropolitan Police Service in London. The first novel, The Chinese Sailor, covers her transition from uniform work into the role of a detective with an art crime unit and is set largely in North Wales. The second novel, The Scottish Colourist, is partially set in Glasgow. Other novels in the same series, deal with the development of the life, career and cases of Catrin Sayer and are set in other locations, many of which the author has lived in or visited over the years.