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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.
on April 02, 2017 :
I enjoyed The Powys Deacon as much as I did the others in the Catrin Sayers series. I quite like the protagonist, a Welsh art crime investigator, who designs ceramics in her spare time. Catrin is admirably intelligent and knowledgeable, but not unrealistically or annoyingly so. She works and plays well with others, takes the lead when necessary during investigations and shares responsibilities with colleagues as she should.
Despite being transferred or promoted around the UK from book to book, she manages to maintain healthy relationships. One can develop a liking for her friends, new and old, with some confidence that we will see them again in the future. And whether Catrin is assigned to work in Glasgow, London, Rome or Dubai, she's back in her native Wales often enough to keep me happily guessing at what a particularly elvish-looking place name might sound like.
I would have given this 5 stars, but felt a jarring leap of time at one point. I was tempted to shake my ebook to see if some of the ones and zeroes were stuck in a crease, or had gotten clumped together somehow. Whatever it was made the plot suddenly jump ahead two years. I even missed Catrin's wedding, except for a flashback or two. But I was traveling for much of the time I read it, so I'll blame jetlag or sleep-reading or something. In any case, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I'm learning quite a bit, and am enjoying myself as I do.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)