Michael Gallagher

Biography

Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. “Send for Octavius Guy” chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. “The Involuntary Medium” follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift.
For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time. Follow Octavius Guy @sendforOctavius. Author photo courtesy of Elaine Jeffs.

Smashwords Interview

Please introduce yourself…
My name is Michael Gallagher; I was born in New Zealand. I moved to London in my early twenties. and it's now my home. Until quite recently I was a teacher by profession, but I have since retired to write full time. I used to be an avid reader but, with my writing now taking precedence, I'm lucky if I manage to read one book per month—usually for the Canada Water Crimes & Thrillers reading group that I attend.
You're a writer of historical fiction and more especially of cozy thrillers. Tell us about Gooseberry, the main character in your Send for Octavius Guy series.
Gooseberry (whose real name is Octavius Guy) first saw light of day in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. He was Mr Bruff the solicitor’s errand boy, who played a pivotal role in tracking down the real culprit who stole the gem. He was nicknamed Gooseberry on account of his bulging eyes. Collins never gives us his age, but I’d estimate he was about ten. By the time I take up his story, the year is 1852. He’s now fourteen, possibly a little skinnier but not that much taller. He’s still working as Mr Bruff’s errand boy yet he hankers for more; in his mind’s eye, he sees himself as a detective.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Michael Gallagher online

Series

Send for Octavius Guy
The fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective's first big cases. Based on the character of Gooseberry (real name Octavius Guy) from Wilkie Collin's Victorian classic The Moonstone.
Gooseberry
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
Octopus
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
Big Bona Ogles, Boy!
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
Oh, No, Octavius!
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
The Involuntary Medium
When thirteen-year-old Lizzie Blaylock starts having fits, she and those around her slowly begin to realize that she may have special powers…powers to communicate with the dead.
The Bridge of Dead Things
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
The Scarab Heart
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)

Books

Oh, No, Octavius!
Series: Send for Octavius Guy, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 88,240. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: December 31, 2019 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
(4.83 from 6 reviews)
The well-heeled residents of Highbury have a problem: the Reverend Allaston Burr. When a final appeal to Queen Victoria fails to remove him from his post, they turn to Gooseberry for help. Join fifteen-year-old Octavius and his ragtag bunch of friends as they investigate the detested cleric, only to discover that someone has a far more permanent form of removal in mind.
Big Bona Ogles, Boy!
Series: Send for Octavius Guy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 78,380. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2016 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Octavius Guy and the Case of the Mendacious Medium. Join Gooseberry, the Victorian boy detective, in the lead-up to Christmas as he and his ragtag bunch of friends investigate a shadowy spiritualist medium recently arrived from Boston, Massachusetts, only to discover that somebody desperately wants her dead.
Octopus
Series: Send for Octavius Guy, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 78,870. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2016 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.40 from 5 reviews)
Octavius Guy and the Case of the Throttled Tragedienne. When the leading actress dies in mysterious circumstances on stage during a performance of The Duchess of Malfi at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Gooseberry, the fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective, feels duty-bound to investigate.
Gooseberry
Series: Send for Octavius Guy, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 65,420. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2014 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Octavius Guy and the Case of the Thieving Maharajah. The fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective’s first big case. Based on characters from Wilkie Collins’s “The Moonstone”.
Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts – An Illustrated Guide to 19th Century Spiritualism
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 26,030. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2014 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Nonfiction » History » History of things, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical
(4.00 from 1 review)
Originally conceived as a blog to accompany Gallagher's Victorian novels, and freely available to read online, this guide provides a great introduction to the fascinating phenomenon of 19th Century spiritualism. If you can't tell your materializations from your Mumlers, or never realized just how physical ghost-grabbing could get, then this may well be the perfect book for you.
The Scarab Heart
Series: The Involuntary Medium, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 81,360. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 11 reviews)
Egypt, 1885. Theft and murder are afoot at an archaeological dig in the Valley of the Kings. Lizzie Blaylock, a young materializing medium of some renown, and her mentor, Miss Otis, thought they were there to vacation, especially as Lizzie has decided she wants nothing more to do with her powers. Her powers, however, have other things in mind.
The Bridge of Dead Things
Series: The Involuntary Medium, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 86,940. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2013 by Seventh Rainbow Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(4.82 from 11 reviews)
Murky Victorian London. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Blaylock has done her best to fill her absconding mother’s shoes, but her father is lazy and feckless, and her little sister is riddled with tuberculosis. When Lizzie has a fit at school, for which she is expelled, she and those around her slowly begin to realize that she may have special powers…powers to communicate with the dead.