Thistle Publishing


13 February 2018: Some recent reviews for Thistle titles

Beau Blackstone

“Invested interests in the canal industry threatened the new railway engines. George Stephenson brings in the Bow Street Runners and therefore Blackstone to find the conspirators and stop the plots against him, and the railway between Stockton and Darlington. An enjoyable thriller/mystery with the interesting character of Blackstone.”

Susan Meikle (Reviewer)

Blackstone and the Scourge of Europe

“It's now 1820 and George IV sends Blackstone to St Helena to investigate the security of the island and to determine whether Napolean could escape. An enjoyable thriller. Another good read in the series.”

Susan Meikle (Reviewer)

“Great romp... an early kind of James Bond. Really fun.”

Leslie Gardner (Reviewer)

Blackstone Underground

“Blackstone while trying to decide how to orchestrate the escape of a young lad from Newgate before he is hung, is being taunted by 'The Diddiki' that they can break into the vaults of the Bank of England at a prearranged time and the Bow Street Runners cannot stop them. An enjoyable well-written thriller.”

Susan Meikle (Reviewer)

Five Days that Shocked the World

“This is a deftly written, immensely entertaining account of the last five days of WWII. The personal narratives are what makes this book amazing, and interesting to any fan of first account tellings of major events.”

Janet ‘s Books Corner

F Is for France

“F is also for fascinating! This little gem of a book… The author has a lively style and you quickly become thoroughly engrossed in what she’s saying. It’s a book you can dip in and out of, but it’s very hard to put it down once you pick it up.”

Books Are Cool

Royal Family

“Well written and well researched, and it was interesting to see Aronson’s point that the royal family has become a “family firm” by the time of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.”

Emily Ross (Reviewer)

“An enjoyable read that situates the generations from Edward VII on in relation to one another very effectively. The book is also good at tying changes in the House of Windsor's relationship to the British people to changes in history and in the zeitgeist of the nation.”

Cynthia Haller (Educator)

Seven Days of Infamy

“Seven Days of Infamy takes the reader through the three days before December 7, 1941 and beyond. The author, Nicholas Best has painstakingly researched Seven Days of Infamy. For anyone interested in World War Two, I recommend this book.”

Winding Words

The Sherlock Effect

“The Sherlock Effect is a fun, quick read, with a nod to Doyle but without attempting to be an imitation of his work. Well worth a read!”

Joanne Jeal (Reviewer)

“Cleverly written… This is an enjoyable read with a good concept.”

Julie Hosford (Reviewer)

“The book is a page turner.”

Gifta Alvina (Reviewer)

“I would recommend this as a contemporary twist on a good old classic.”

Claire Ogden (Reviewer)

“The Sherlock Effect return is just elementary…”

Bury Free Press

“A great modern take on Sherlock Holmes.”

Touch My Spine

“Set in modern times, but with a nod to the past, I really enjoyed it.”

Leyla Johnson (Reviewer)

To the Edge of the Sky

“I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in China around 1940s-1990s. I learned a lot and came away with a better understanding of what China was like, both during and after the Chinese Revolution and Cultural Revolution.”


“A poignant and powerful story, this is definitely not a book you can read lightly. Vivid descriptions… An eye-opening look inside China.”

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Reviewer)

5 Feb 2018: Death of author Patrick Delaforce

It is with regret we announce the death of author Patrick Delaforce.

Patrick served as a troop leader in Normandy, was with the first battle group into Bergen- Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, was twice mentioned in despatches, and was awarded the Bronze Cross of Orange-Nassau.

In autumn 1945 he served on a War Crimes Tribunal in Hamburg and tried many concentration camp guards and was an official British Army of the Rhine witness when Mr Albert Pierrepoint, the British hangman, executed 13 convicted war criminals in Hameln on 13 December 1945.

After leaving the army, he worked as a port wine shipper and ran an advertising agency in New York, before becoming a professional writer, mainly on historical and military subjects.

30 January 2018 - A selection of recent reviews:

Dieppe 1942

“A worthy addition to the short list of books available on the Dieppe Raid.”

Manchester Military History Society

F is for France

“A fun and interesting read.”

S Shaikh - Reviewer

“An ideal book for the lovers of all things French or for those with a sense of curiosity.”

G Heard – Reviewer

Hollywood Hang Ten

“A very interesting mystery., that e xplores a time in history when individuals could be blacklisted for a multitude of beliefs.”

Margaret Holmes – Reviewer

“A fun read set in 1960s sunny southern California.”

Tamara Smith - Educator

“A definite page-turner.”

Stephanie Mesa - Reviewer

Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes

“Relying primarily on correspondence between the Queen, Empress, Emperor and other family members and officials – much of it previously unpublished, Aronson delivers another superbly readable and engaging history. Uniquely capturing the emotional, familial and personal relationships, it sets them within the larger context of the times and explores some of the wider public implications of these intimate exchanges.”


“While drawing on personal journals and letters and using quite a lot of quotations, the writing style is very light and easy to read. It reads almost like a novel and keeps you wanting to learn more.”

Camille’s Bookish Adventures

Royal Legacy

“A particularly good read about a subject that is less known about the Royal Family and the ways in which they ensure that the wealth they have accumulated stays with them.”

T B - Reviewer

The Sherlock Effect

“It’s fun to draw parallels with a Holmesian world, but I believe that this book does also stand on its own as a strong collection of mystery short stories.”

A Bookish Musician

“A fine Holmesian diversion.”

Joel Smith – Reviewer

“The stories are terrific, a bit quirky as you would expect from the Holmesian style, and each builds on the other with regard to the character and relationship of Christopher and Mo. Delightful and well written.”

Love Books

“Very entertaining, recommended for fans and non fans of Sherlock Holmes. This book did not disappoint.”

Lee Mariott-Dowding – Reviewer

To the Edge of the Sky

“An incredible story. I am praying that this means a follow up book is planned. Please, Anhua?”

Kate Southey - Reviewer

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

“One of the strengths of this story is how it requires the reader to think about how we treat those who are disadvantaged and homeless, how we expect them to observe rules which suit us without being flexible in trying to meet their needs.  How far can a person be pushed before they transcend the usual accepted limits?  Is Willem’s behaviour understandable?  Is it possible to read this story without feeling some sympathy for Willem and some empathy for the situation he finds himself in? Five stars.”

Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Reviewer

9 January 2018: Unravelled film short-listed for a BAFTA

Kingdom of Us, Lucy Cohen’s documentary about the Shanks family based on VIkie Shanks’s memoir Unravelled has been short-listed for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer. The awards ceremony will take place on February 18th.

9 January 2018: Some recent reviews for Thistle titles


“This was a constant race to the finish with airplanes, artillery, and armor battling in full force with more passion and courage than I’ve ever read. Alamein is a portrait of bravery.”

The Bibliomaniac

F is for France

“A fun and fact filled A-Z of Francophilian Frolics! Well researched and well written.”

Ruth Giles - Reviewer


“This engaging and well-written book is a happy combination of literary criticism and a study of Defoe’s novel Moll Flanders, a fictional biography of Moll herself, a biography of Defoe and a well-researched work of social history. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it wholeheartedly.”

Mandy Jenkinson - Reviewer

The Sherlock Effect

“So easy to read and so satisfying.”

Daphne Sharpe – Educator

“A clever, original, and wildly clever take on Holmes that manages to breathe new life into the classic.”

Christopher Havens – Educator

“A great and entertaining book for fans of Sherlock Holmes.”

Jennifer Muller - Reviewer

“The Sherlock Effect is a homage to Conan Doyle that he would be proud to acknowledge. Five stars.”

Stephenie Sasse - Reviewer

“I absolutely loved this book. A perfect book for Sherlock fans and people who love a cozy mystery.”

On The Shelf

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

“Will keep you engrossed at every turn… This gut-wrenching novel… This book is a must-read for everyone.”

Underrated Reads

19 December 2017: Helen Fry on 'David Jason’s Secret Service'

Don’t miss author and historian Helen Fry on ‘David Jason’s Secret Service’ tonight at 9pm on More4, talking about her extraordinary book Spymaster.

19 December 2017: A selection of recent reviews:

F is for France

”Perfect for the Francophile and those who love trivia.”

Bookworm Review Blog

“F is for France is a wonderful encyclopedia full of French historical and cultural trivia. The proper way to prepare Absinthe, rules for serving wine, the most popular main dishes, and of course, French etiquette are all in there. You’ll even find recipes. The perfect gift for family, friends or any Francophile in your life.”

Underrated Reads

Fallen Eagle

“A very detailed book about the movement of troops on the Eastern and Western fronts, and the decline of the third Reich. This is a great book for someone that is writing a thesis.”

Pamela King - Librarian

First into Action

“This was an enjoyable, informative and delightful read. I picked it up in the morning and had finished it by nightfall. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military history or any kind of book involving the deeds of special forces.”

Stephen Bentley - Reviewer

Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes

“I very much enjoyed the elegant narrative, which managed to take me back in time to a rather eventful era. The friendship between Queen Victoria and Empress Eugenie was quite captivating, to say the least. An incredibly informative read.”

Bookishly Ever After

Royal Family

“Learning the history of the Royals can be a daunting task and many writers make it all the more so with their dry styles. Not so with Theo Aronson.. His style is witty and engaging making the lesson enjoyable.”

Brenda Kerwin - Librarian

The Sherlock Effect

“If you are into Sherlock Holmes and are looking for more cases, then this book is a must read.”

Book Mitra

To the Edge of the Sky

“I have read many books about this time in China's history.  This is one of the best.  I would recommend this to anyone who has read, loved and been inspired by the classic Wild Swans.”

Ann Applin - Reviewer

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J Gyle

“This is a brilliantly compelling read: the author’s stark but totally gripping style, the twists and turns of the story, the layering of the protagonist’s character and the many other characters that people this book and the multiplicity of themes, all make The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J Gyle a novel that stands out…unrivalled in my opinion, especially as it is a debut novel. But it also hits home… hard. This is a harsh indictment of our times, of our country, of our humanity.”

Judith Barrow

15 December 2017: Gavin Evans gives TED talk on Feminism, Fatherhood and the Nurturing Instinct

Gavin Evans, the author of Mapreaders and Multitaskers: Men, Women, Nature Nurture, has given a fascinating TED talk on the topic of Feminism, Fatherhood and the Nurturing Instinct. You can watch it here.

14 December 2017: Vikie Shanks on Woman's Hour

Vikie Shanks was on Woman’s Hour this week, discussing her book Unravelled, and the resulting Netflix film Kingdom of Us. You can listen again here (interview starts at 18.36).

13 December 2017: Award nomination for James Dixon

James Dixon’s extraordinary debut novel The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle has been nominated for the Rosie’s Book Awards 2017. You can vote here (and please do).

6 December 2017: Some recent reviews for Thistle books:

Crowns in Conflict

“A well written look at European monarchies. Five stars.”

Jessica Nipper - Reviewer

F is for France

“While not a travel guide per say, this is a fun look at all things French, in alphabetical order. And readers can expect more than just the usual bakeries, cafes and museums. Look out for crypts, UFO landing sites and wild kangaroos. A great gift for the Francophile on your list”

For the Love of Books

Hollywood Hang Ten

“An interesting 1960s Hollywood-set mystery. Ryan is running his uncle’s PI firm while he’s in hospital, and although he’s been his uncle’s apprentice (of sorts) for a while, he soon realises that there’s a big difference between helping with cases and solving them yourself. I raced through the book to find out how it was going to resolve itself.”

Verity Wilde - media


“I highly recommend Moll. As an historian, I was shocked at the amount of knowledge I gained through this very readable and often entertaining book. In addition, it had me heading back to the original novel to refresh my memory about Dafoe’s Moll which always is good.”

Mackey Stanley – Reviewer

Princess Margaret

“In reality for Princess Margaret being royal, living in a palace, being a Princess was often a nightmare. She handled this role as well as she could with the undeniable ability to be her own person with not a care as to who liked it or not. In the end Margaret paved the way for divorce in the royal family and some think that was her legacy.”

Marialyce Weinreich - reviewer

Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes

“An eminently readable style, striking just the right balance between being a dry history, and an over-friendly, too-intimate account. The reader feels one gets to know the Queen and the Empress far better than the more usual history books, in large part through their own words and those of other contemporary witnesses.”

DR Pike - Reviewer

Royal Family

“Very well written, lots of interesting information.”

Janet Perry – reviewer

Secret Agent

“An excellent read. Secret Agent combines all the excitement of a Spy novel with the truth of a well-researched documentary.”

Kevin Montgomery - Educator

The Saint Jude Rules

“Thrilling. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat.”

Amy’s Bookshelf

The Serpent’s Tail

“A classic of our times.”

Stephen Bentley – Reviewer

To the Edge of the Sky

“A well written, vivid account.”

Brigitt Amthor - Educator

“This is an exhilarating read. It’s emotive, it’s beautiful and it’s shocking, but Anhua’s serenity and strength shine through. A must read.”

Tracy Shephard - reviewer

“A real eye-opener on what life was like in China.”

Jacqui Sinclair - Reviewer

“There are highs and lows, tears and laughter in this beautifully descriptive book. To find out what really happened in China in the 20th Century and how it affected Anhua is incredible. A really touching read.”

Echoes in an Empty Room

“A remarkable human story, written from the heart.”

Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans.

“A fascinating and moving memoir of life in twentieth-century China. Anhua Gao brings one family’s experiences to life with her vivid descriptions of personal and historical events. Thoroughly recommended reading.”

Nicky Harman, literary translator.

“Thanks to the author for revealing one of the darkest periods in Chinese history with her personal experience and elaborate writing. As an old man who has gone through the notorious Cultural Revolution, her story is by no means unfamiliar to me. I strongly recommend this book to the younger generations. Anhua’s touching story will keep warning us the tragic consequences of tyrannical rule, and constantly remind us that we should do our utmost to prevent our children from suffering what young Anhua had suffered.”

Gao Chao, professor of Nanjing University, China

“Despite her hard work, good marks in school and loyalty to China, Anhua Gao finally falls prey to the persecution.  She watches many family members and friends betrayed first.  One injustice piled on another, she is all the more determined to use her English skills and get to Britain at any cost.  Hers is not simply an escape story;  this is also the tale of finding friendship and dedication, solidarity and hope that can’t be destroyed no matter the political circumstances.”

Midwest Book Review

Under a Croatian Sun

“A beautiful story that simply needs to be read.”

Tracy Shephard - Reviewer

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

“If you have a taste for gritty, unrelenting realism, this twenty-first-century allegory is well worth your time.”

Book Jotter

29 November 2017: Author Helen Fry on More4

Author and historian Helen Fry wi a contributor to David Jason’s Secret Service, starting on December 5th, 9pm on More4. Helen is set to feature in episodes 1 and 3.

14 November 2017: Huge interest in Royal Legacy following Paradise Papers release

David McClure’s book on the royal finances, Royal Legacy, has been generating huge interest following the Paradise Papers revelations about the offshore investments of the Queen and other royals. David McClure has contributed to numerous pieces, including the following:

Daily Mail

The Guardian

CBC News

Daily Mail

BBC News

Diarrio de Navarra

BBC Panorama (video)

10 November 2017: The Art of Letting Go returns to the Amazon top 100 bestsellers

Chloe Banks’ extraordinary debut novel The Art of Letting Go has once again entered the Amazon top 100 bestseller list.

9 November 2017: A selection of recent reviews:

999 CSI

“A page-turner from start to finish... Highly recommended.”

Georgina Phillips – Reviewer

Animal Spy

“If you are unaware, if you are against animal cruelty, if you are an activist for those with no voice you need to read this book. An excellent book for all activists and animal lovers.”

Lori Reed - Reviewer


“Well written and the action rolls along, building to the inevitable climax.”

Melisende’s Library


“Intriguing and interesting. The entire setting in Roman Britain is definitely well explored.”

Dawning Moon – Reviewer

The Dancing Sun

“Desmond Seward’s delightful account… Whether you believe him is frankly irrelevant to the pleasure his book will give.”

Weekend Telegraph


“Decline is a beautiful tale and perfectly penned.”

Tracy Shephard - Reviewer

Down Among the Dead Men

“An amazing tale… you just know you're in for a spectacular read.”

Tracy Shephard - Reviewer

First into Action

“What comes over in this modest, but well-written account is the sheer fitness and can-do attitude of the marines. This does not disappoint.”

Sheelagh Birks - Reviewer


“Overall, this is an excellent evocation of Shakespeare's London that goes far beyond the walls of his most famous theatre.”

Kate Baty - Educator

“This book was everything I wished it to be. Informative but not dry, funny and captivating but not trivial. After reading it you'll not only know more about Shakespeare and his Globe but also about his colleagues and London.”

Sophie Freinhofer - Bookseller

“I loved it… this is a really good book.”

Rianna Blokzijl – Reviewer

Hollywood Hang Ten

“Ryan Zorn wants to be a PI, It is 1963 and a divorced mom hires him to find her son who has gone missing. This high octane read would make a great movie.”

Tracy Shephard - Reviewer


“While the popular view of Moll is a strumpet, Rees views her more as an independent woman relying on her wits in a society that despite its professed Christianity is remarkably cruel. Five stars.”

Stephen Rees

“An incredibly interesting book… gives a lot of context of the time.”

Georgia Grantham - Media

My Life with Leopards

“I very much enjoyed this book. Being let into Graham's world was an amazing experience. I loved the raw power of it.”

Angela Campbell - Reviewer

Open Skies, Closed Minds

“A civil servant who entered his new post with an open mind, unlike many of his predecessors. Nick Pope made it easier for people to feel it was ok to speak about these things and he also helped to open the subject of the many mysteries of our planet.”

Pat Wardle - Reviewer

Royal Legacy

“Such an interesting insight into a particularly secretive part of the British Royal family.”

Georgia Grantham

The Hickory Stick

“A very interesting fictional account of a police constable in the early days of Queen Victoria. A true coming of age story.”

Deanne Patterson - Reviewer

Hitler’s Traitors

“It precisely carries the intensity of an era dominated by Germany. ‘Hitler’s Traitors’ teaches early-mid 20th Century European history in a way youth can hear and understand. What Ottaway has done is create an in-depth overview of this period in modern history. It’s readable and it digs deep enough. Ottaway successfully illustrates what life was like and what life could be like, should we fail to remember and act on what this history teaches us.”

Gratia Veritas Lumen

The Man Who Would Be Jack

“A volume that surely every Ripperologist should have on his shelf.”

Red Jack reviews

“Reads like a novel… Great book, excellent research, a credible suspect that we haven't heard much about and perfect end-notes and incredible documentation.”

Lives and Loves of a Book Nerd

The Old Boys Network

“His diary, covering well over a decade of his tenure as the headmaster of one of Britain's oldest and most elitist public (private) schools, tells the reader much about the English class system. For anyone wanting to understand how English upper class privilege was shaped and how it began its descent into irrelevance, this book will be an excellent introduction.”

Abraham Peck - Reviewer

The Serpent’s Tail

“A couple of Catholic Belfastian teens, Stephen Kirkpatrick and Michael McDonnell, are caught between England's MI5, the SAS and the IRA as they seek a safe way into adulthood in 1970s’ Ireland. This is an excellent read, fast and peopled with folks you recognize instantly. I recommend it highly.”

Bonnye Reed Fry – Reviewer

To the Edge of the Sky

“The book is an excellent account of life during and before the reign of Mao Tse-Tung. Her story of the brutality, inhumane treatment, poverty, and countless and unnecessary death by a ruling monster is shocking and horrifying, while her accounts of the strength of the Chinese people and the hunger, hardships, and horrible life they live, but somehow survive is daunting. To the Edge of the Sky is a beautiful book and should be read by everyone interested in Chinese history and culture.”

Jill Dobbe - Reviewer

Under a Croatian Sun

“I love these expat books about moving abroad and living in a foreign country! Under the Tuscan Sun comes to mind.”

Catherine Hankins - Reviewer

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

“What a find. This book is seriously good. I mean, seriously. I'd recommend it to anyone, whatever your usual genres of choice. J D Dixon has a real gift, the innate sort that cannot be learned from classes. The book is raw, rough in places, and sometimes shocking. It's also immensely sad. It's just - great. One of the best debut novels I've ever read.”

Terry Tyler reviews

22 October 2017: Netflix releases The Kingdom of Us

Netflix has released a new film based on Vikie Shanks’ inspirational memoir Unravelled, generating huge media coverage:

BBC News

The Guardian

Radio Times


First Showing

Screen Daily

“I loved this book, a regency mystery featuring Blackstone, one of the best of the Bow Street Runners. Falkirk writes with sophisticated style and wit, capturing the tone of the time, his descriptions lavish but not overextended. Halfway through the book, I realized (with great glee) that Blackstone is a Regency Sam Spade; hot gin and hot women are his sustenance when not chasing down the bad guys with a vengeance and swagger. Twisting arms to get cooperation, seduction for information, always well-armed and ready to fight his way out of a fix.”

Coffee and Ink

“There are a few misdirects along the way and more than enough action. Blackstone is an interesting character. He presents himself as being confident and self-assured but he is constantly second guessing himself. He’ll chastise himself for bragging about his exploits and he’ll dwell on a negative comment from others. Too many of the modern day protagonists have no real flaws or at least any concern about their own actions. Blackstone is the exception. I had a great time with this one.”

Big Bald Books

22 October 2017: Global interest in The Man Who Would be Jack

David Bullock’s sensational new book identifying the real Jack the Ripper has been generating headlines worldwide, including the following:

Daily Star

Evening Standard

Hong Kong TV

Thai News 66

Mice Times of Asia

22 October 2017: Some excellent recent reviews

Animal Spy

“Terry Spamer reveals eye opening and shocking experiences through his work fighting animal cruelty. I was captivated from start to finish.”

Coffee Side Reads

Autumn Sonata

“It was absolutely remarkable reading this historical romance. I guarantee that this is a must read.”

Jem Julien - Reviewer

Black Brain, White Brain

“Evans uses evolutionary psychology and biology, anthropology, neuroscience, archaeology, and paleontology to the uncover the myths/truths about intelligence amid external racial makeup and class structures. Among the truths are the efficacy of separated identical twin studies to analyze in-utero development, average household income, heritability, and environmental factors on intelligence; Howard Gardner's theory of 8 intelligences; meaningful symbolic cave art present in different parts of the globe; and corrected, undiluted timelines for civilization vs 'barbarism,' while some of the myths are measurable IQ tests as a restrictsome ruse, the fallacy of brain mass and weight, Cyril Burt and innate intelligence testing, and discriminating assumptions about remote/backwoods/peasant populations.”

Kristine Fisher – Reviewer

The Complete Guide to Ghostwriting

“I discovered many useful ideas, especially when it comes to setting up and developing a collaboration with 'the author', the planning and various techniques of approaching hectic and/or difficult personalities. A book recommended to anyone considering ghostwriting as part of their writing career.”

Ilana WD - Reviewer

Encounter in Rendlesham Forest

“This riveting read is written in a factual and sometimes humorous way while divulging as much information as the writers are allowed to considering the ties to their former government employer… Fascinating.”

Ivory Castle

Hollywood Hang Ten

“A light mystery where the bad guy is all bad and the private detective hero is a little reluctant, in over his head, and propelled by a sense of justice. The details about LA as it was fifty years ago are fun; Venice before gentrification, Polynesian bars, and driving around with the old songs.”

Mark Share - Reviewer

How to Remove a Brain

“I loved this book. I love this book. I’m going to read it again one day. Why? Because I forgot some things, because it is history (and I LOVE all things history), and because it makes for a great conversation starter. Even if people might look at you a little bit sideways!”

Adventures with Words

Princess Margaret

“A detailed and enjoyable book.”

Jessica Nipper – Reviewer

Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes

“Another well written and researched book by Theo Aronson, that has helped me understand more about our history.”

Sarah Kenny – reviewer

The Race to Truth

“If you want to learn about the rise of a champion cyclist and his fall from grace then this is the book for you.”

Ivory Castle

Royal Family

“Extremely informative, well researched and well written… stands out in its genre.”

Sarah Kenny – reviewer

“An entertaining and well researched piece of work.”

Sue Ross – reviewer

Under a Croatian Sun

“One of those books that draws you in and you wish you were there.”


She’s a Boy

“Joel had such a rough life and yet his book has a positive feel… I was glad that it did not seem sensationalized. Good read!”

Cynthia Nicola - Librarian

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

“A lyrical, haunting novel.”

The Book Cove

5 October 2017: A selection of recent reviews

999 CSI

“An informative and well-written book, which gives an insight into the work of SOCO. Recommended.”

Wendy Rhodes - Reviewer

Britannia III

“A master of historical faction, Denham seemlessly blends fact with fiction to narrate the decline of the Roman rule of Britain. This is an outstanding series, but should be read in order.”

Peter Jones - Reviewer

The Complete Guide to Ghostwriting

“This book leads you through the world of ghostwriting. There really is everything in this book and I have found the information invaluable.”

Karen Lawton - Reviewer

“A very good resource indeed. A straightforward, no nonsense guide to the world of ghostwriting.”

Ruth Giles - Reviewer

Crime Squad

“Well-written and informative, giving an insight into the workings of the police force in London in 1980s. Recommended.”

Wendy Rhodes - Reviewer

Fallen Eagle

“This superb book is a must for World War II enthusiasts.”



“It was fascinating to see some of the historical figures and situations that inspired Defoe's tale, looking at the truth behind the legend. This title will appeal to those who enjoy Defoe's story, but it is also a great resource for historians interested in 17th century criminality during the age of transportation, as well as those who wish to learn more about early colonial life in America. Overall, Moll is an insightful and lovely read.”

Nicki Markus

“The book is original as it mixes the life events of a fictional character with real life events. Very enjoyable.”

Laura Van Dam - Reviewer

Princess Margaret

“This is the most detailed biography of the life of Princess Margaret that I have had the pleasure of reading. The detail is astonishing… wonderfully written. I found it hard to put down.”

T B – Reviewer

Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes

“This is a brilliantly written and very easy to read book, with a wonderfully flowing narrative. It is clear how much historical research Aronson carried out… and his use of first-hand accounts from the Royal Archives to piece together the story. Definitely worth reading.”

Sarah Murden - Reviewer

The Race to Truth

“This was a fascinating book that I devoured in two sittings. A great behind the scenes story by someone who was there day-in day-out. Well worth the read.”

Julie Doe - Reviewer

“A welcome addition to the growing library of books showing the real Lance Armstrong. O'Reilly's perspective as one of the victims in this sorry tale is a welcome new perspective.”

Brendan Crowley - Librarian

Royal Family

“I was especially fond of how each family member tried to balance their lives between the crown and its accompanying regalia and living as a normal person, and stories about the quirkier, the more outside-the-box family members, like Queen Alexandra, Prince George (Duke of Kent), and, naturally, Princess Margaret.”

Kristine Fisher - Reviewer

Royal Legacy

“Wonderfully interesting book about the underbelly of the royal family.”

Lesa Einwich – Librarian

The Englishman’s England

“Recommended for fans of travel writers such as Bill Bryson.”

Christina Evans – Reviewer

Under a Croatian Sun

“Anthony Stancomb writes in the vein of "A Year in Provence," but his "Under a Croatian Sun" is funnier, more diverse, and more insightful. It chronicles the story of the author and his wife departing England and moving to the island of Vis, Croatia, determined to assimilate into the culture. Stancomb's ability to delineate the Vis community and its characters is exceptional. The islanders are a unique and memorable lot! Laugh-out-loud funny.”

James Newell - Educator

“This book is very humorous… a wonderful group of characters, each so different yet same in some ways, and I loved them all.”

Alison DuFlon-DeLeo – Reviewer

“Under a Croatian Sun is a wonderful memoir of a British man who, along with his Croatian wife, give up the rat race in England and relocate/retire to Croatia. All in all, having read many expat memoirs, I find this one to be of a higher standard.  Funny, witty, engaging, and even educational. A sure win!”

Library Thing

“Under a Croatian Sun is a lovely memoir about the author's experience moving with his wife to the Croatian island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea.  Similar in feel to A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, Stancomb's story is full of love for the island and saturated with lots of humor and good natured tales of culture clash.”

Tracy Delgado - Reviewer

Violette Szabo

“Well written and informative, I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Second World War.”

Kazimiera Pendrey - Reviewer

25 September 2017: Some excellent recent reviews for Thistle titles

Britannia II

“An impressive followup volume to The Wall. True to the first book, Roman Britain is expertly portrayed with historical accuracy and detailed descriptions and characterization. I will await volume 3 eagerly.”

Polly Krize – Reviewer

Crowns in Conflict

“In Crowns in Conflict: The Triumph and Tragedy of European Monarchy 1910-1918, Theo Aronson takes a distinct approach to the end of monarchical Europe. For one, he takes a broader view, looking at roughly a dozen major and minor monarchs who sat on Europe's thrones in the second decade of the 20th century. The second, and most notable, is that the book is biographical in nature, not surprising given that Aronson, who died in 2003, wrote nearly two dozen royal biographies. His method produces a very readable examination of the topic. I found it an interesting version of an oft-told tale. Rather than simply being a diplomatic or military history, Crowns in Conflict uniquely personalizes World War I. It also helps place monarchies in a historic context.”

Seattle PI

Down Among the Dead Men

“I was captivated… It’s clear the author really has a good grasp of espionage.”

Cindy Lauren - Media

Encounter in Rendlesham Forest

“[At first I thought] there is nothing new to learn in this book. Boy, was I ever wrong! There was much more to be learned and it is pretty amazing. The book held my attention from the beginning to end. Nick Pope along with John Burroughs and Jim Penniston did an excellent job of presenting this story.  Thank you Thistle Publishing, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.”

Pat Wardle – Reviewer

Gun for Hire

“Well written and an enjoyable read. The author has had an interesting life.”


Hollywood Hang Ten

“1963 was a very good year.  That said, Eve Goldberg can bring it alive for those of you who cannot remember/have never been exposed to 1963 Southern California.  She has the music, the films, the highways, the cars, the crimes. And a sweet young protagonist, attempting to keep his Uncle Lou's PI business up and running through an extended hospitalization. Ryan has worked with his uncle for the five years since high school graduation, but his heart and mind has been committed to his surfboard. But when push comes to shove, he knuckles down to protect the client and solve the mystery. An excellent read.”

Bonnye Reed Fry - Reviewer

“The case of a missing boy leads to stolen photographs, blackmail, and murder--with tentacles reaching back to the 1950s. Hollywood Hang Ten adeptly places the reader in time and place.  I liked the way Ryan's character is forced into growth by the circumstances he encounters.  It is particularly interesting to see the cultural differences that have occurred since 1963.”

Book Garden

Maxwell’s Return

“I loved the book. Funny and a very relaxing read.”

Archana Aggarwal - Educator

Royal Family

“Theo Aronson is my favorite author on the British royal family. He is informative and interesting. Recommended.”

Susan Snodgrass - Reviewer

Smashing Hitler's Atlantic Wall

“A detailed and factual account of a number of key attacks on the German Atlantic fortifications, following the D-Day invasion. The author clearly understands the very complex and daunting prospect of attacking German defences-in-depth in the German held fortified ports along the Atlantic coast. From a military history reference perspective, the books ticks all the boxes.”


The Complete Guide to Ghostwriting

“A good book to read if you're interested in ghost writing. The chapters on what makes a good ghost, how to become a ghostwriter, getting structure right and most of all what to do when it all goes wrong are a must-read!”

Dora Archie Okeyo - Reviewer

The Custard Boys

“The language and prose is so beautiful that it shadows the sense of foreboding that is present throughout the book and you forget the darkness of the subject of the story. This makes for a very interesting, thought-provoking read. It reminded me of ‘The Lord of the Flies’.”

Reading by the Fire

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

“A gritty and somewhat dark story about Willem, a man who lives in a world limited by his intellectual capabilities. This book was certainly a sad and hard look into how society views and treats those who don't "fit" into the parameters of what is considered normal, and how individuals tend to reveal the worst of humanity when it benefits them - no matter the harm to someone who can't fully defend themselves. It left a very melancholy and depressing feeling when I finished it, but had many insightful truths that are around us every day.”

Am At Home

Under a Croatian Sun

“Charming and considerably cheaper than actually visiting Croatia in general or Vis in particular.”

Mia D - Reviewer

“There have been plenty of books written by middle-aged folks pulling up roots and moving to places off the beaten path, but few are as delightful as this. Stancomb and his wife are up to it all in this often funny and often lyrical account of their first year on Vis. It made me ready to move there!”

Janet Perry – Reviewer

Violette Szabo

“Susan Ottaway’s biography of Szabo is in many ways, a counter point to Crave Her Name with Pride. Ottaway was able to interview not only Szabo’s brothers but also her daughter Tania. What is interesting is looking at what Szabo and her daughter think about Szabo’s work and the “morality” of a mother doing such duty. Ottaway also details life after the war and how the family was treated by the makers of the film. Four stars.”

The Fish Shelf

“In 1935 at the age of only fourteen Violette Bushell left school.  In 1944 she was a beautiful widow and the Mother of a young daughter when she undertook two secret missions in France as a Special Operations Executive.  Shortly after D-Day a few days into her second mission she was arrested and sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. She was executed at the beginning of 1945. I give this book five out of five stars!”

Random Ramblings

15 September 2017: Listen again to Lavinia Greacen

You can now listen again to Lavinia Greacen’s fascinating interview on RTE Radio about the amazing Eric Dornan-Smith, the subject of her acclaimed biography Chink.

RTE listen again

18 Sep 2017: Has David Bullock found the grave of the real Jack the Ripper?

David Bullock, author of the sensational new Jack the Ripper book The Man Who Would Be Jack, may have found the grave site of the real Ripper. This story has been generating huge interest, including the following:

Southwark News

The Star

Daily Mirror

Lad Bible

15 September 2017: New reviews

Here are a selection of excellent new reviews for recent Thistle titles.


“A gripping account of this turning point of the Second World War, Jon Latimer gives us the experience of the men who fought – British, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Germans, Italians and others besides. We feel their fear, elation or despair as they fight it out at close quarters amid a welter of confusion – heat, sand, smoke, noise, dust, flies and blood. Loved it.”

Elizabeth Means – Reviewer

Autumn Sonata

“Well written… I loved the whole premise of lovers being torn apart by war… a deeply moving story.”

Dora Archie Okeyo - Reviewer


“A great story featuring Blackstone, one of the best bow street runners.”

Tracy Stewart - Bookseller

Crime Squad

“A great read… gave a great feel of policing in the 80's and 90's in London, particularly with the change in drug culture and guns.”

Neil Clarke - Reviewer

Dieppe 1942

“Very interesting and well-written, covering the buildup, landings and aftermath from both sides. Lots of very relevant quotes from many participants help bring the events to life.”

Neal Fiske - Reviewer


“Globe is a delightful read from start to finish. From an imagined scene that brings to life late Tudor London, Arnold takes us into a fascinating history of the London theatre scene, and Shakespeare's place in it. There is never a dull moment.”

Nicki Markus

“Full of interesting details, the book does not neglect other playwrights of the time or  Shakespeare's fellows in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Accessible instead of ponderous and scholarly, you'll learn so much about how theater worked in Elizabethan England, information that sheds light on the plays as they were perceived by the people of the time.”

Janet Perry – Reviewer

The Race to Truth

“Emma's straightforward, non-nonsense, account of her time as a soigneur and of her role in unveiling the truth about Lance Armstrong and doping in cycling is engaging and fresh. It's both brutal about Armstrong as a person and as a doper, but his also places his performance drug abuse in the context of the sport at the time. It's interesting that Armstrong himself provides the foreword to the book as he doesn't come out of it well.”

Ceri Fowler - Reviewer

“A great book, very informative and interesting. A real page turner. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend.”

Penny Carr – Reviewer

Under a Croatian Sun

“Hilarious. You won’t regret it! Five stars”

Bill Baker - Educator

8 September 2017: Lavinia Greacen on RTE Radio

Don’t miss Lavinia Greacen, the author of the fascinating biography Chink, on RTE Radio this weekend talking about the subject of her book, the extraordinary Eric Dorman-Smith. The broadcast will be on Saturday, September 9th., RTÉ Radio 1 at 1pm.

RTE Radio

7 September 2017: Peter Padfield moves into Amazon top 100

Peter Padfield’s Battleship, the complete history of battleships, has moved into the Amazon top 100 bestsellers.

7 September 2017: Some excellent recent reviews for Thistle titles

999 CSI

“A very well written account of the author's experiences as a Scenes of Crime officer in London. I would recommend this book.”

Martha Brindley - Reviewer

“I found the book particularly interesting because here we have for a change the crime scene in London. The author's writing comes across as honest, his accounts are gripping and also at times entertaining.”


The Man Who Would Be Jack

"As you’d expect from a Jack the Ripper walking tour guide, David Bullock excels as a narrator... A thrilling tale."

Fortean Times

A Rustle in the Grass

“I was immediately drawn into the story. We follow the exceptional bravery of Dreamer as he tries to determine what is worth dying for. It's a beautiful story.”

Rachel Stansel - Reviewer

Hollywood Hang Ten

“A good read. Four stars.”

Nancy Witt – Reviewer

“This did invoke some classic Ross MacDonald, which I love. Good job by Goldberg and I look forward to her future titles.”

Lisa Hoffman - Librarian

The Race to Truth

“This well written book gives a behind the scenes look at what really happens in the competitive biking world. It was an eye-opening account of a first hand witness.”

Jeanne Schrock – Librarian

Down Among the Dead Men

“Fantastic read with many twists and turns. Very readable and highly recommended.”

Felicity Kemp – Reviewer


“Arnold offers a tour of Elizabethan and Jacobean London, showing how a confluence of events allowed the theaters to flourish. Four stars.”

Margaret Sankey - Educator

Gun for Hire

“Well written and informative… interesting insight.”

Martha Brindley - Reviewer

Secret Agent

“Great... exactly my kind of book. A history book written in an engaging way that can draw in even those readers who don't usually go for non-fiction reads.”

Holly Senecal - Reviewer

Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom

“Anyone who has more than a cursory knowledge of Shakespeare has heard the rumors that the glove maker from Stratford-Upon-Avon may not have authored the plays that bear his name. In this book, Beauclerk takes the side of the Oxfordians who claim that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true Bard. The author of this book offers up compelling evidence framed around the political, economical, and even social realities of the time. I recommend this book to Shakespearean scholars, anglophiles, and students of British literature.”

Jeimy Gonzalez - Educator

My Life with Leopards

“Animal lovers will delight in the antics of these kitties while pondering the ethical dilemmas that the situation naturally brings up. While I loved each cat's personality endearing, what I found fascinating was the aspect of "Empty nest syndrome" that plagued Cooke as the leopards' release date drew nearer.”

Jeimy Gonzalez - Educator

Princess Margaret

“Well written and kept me reading from cover to cover. A very good overview of her life.”

Flora Fung - Librarian

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well researched… the author manages to bring her alive… you have a real sense of her attitude, her privilege and her sadness. Excellent book.”

ANN APPLIN - Reviewer

The Englishman’s England

“This is the perfect book for people who enjoyed Bill Bryson's stories about traipsing around England and the landmarks he found in his walks. Ousby brings us an entertaining history of the tourism industry in England.”

Jeimy Gonzalez - Educator

29 August 2017: A selection of recent reviews

Secret Agent

“I recommend this book to World War II buffs… this fantastic treasure trove of information on the Special Operations Executive.”


“This non-fiction book reads like fiction… like something straight out of a James Bond novel. Excellent.”

Hollie Burdett – Bookseller

Gun for Hire

“Fast paced, pulsing with authenticity, Devereux has a hyper-macho and gripping narrative voice. Unputdownable.”


Legion of the Lost

“I thought this book was fantastic. A true insight into a fascinating world that we know little about. The trials, tribulations and hardships of the legion,and the reasons why it calls so many. A compelling read.”

Gillian Ashton - Librarian

How to Remove a Brain

“A fun and crazy book… If you are looking for something different, you got it! I loved it, different, strange, you won't find this anywhere else!”

Library Thing

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. A must book for information gatherers.”


“Once you pick it up it is hard to put it down.”

Renwick McConaghy – Reviewer

Hollywood Hang Ten (forthcoming)

“Hollywood Hang Ten is reminiscent of Ross MacDonald at his best. The novel evokes the atmosphere of LA, and the seediness of Hollywood. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.”


Autumn Sonata

“Great story of World War Two. Five stars.”


The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle (forthcoming)

“A brave book that demands to be read… One of the best accounts of homelessness that I have read. Drink deep of this book.”

Richard Latham – reviewer

Maxwell's Academy

“What a great book… I highly recommend it.”

Lesley Foster - Reviewer

Down Among the Dead Men

“Such an interesting story. Five stars.”

Nancy Witt - Reviewer

The Race to Truth

“The complete candor and guilelessness of Emma O'Reilly captivated this reader as I was taken on a fresh and insightful journey into the dark, sordid world of professional cycling. This is not just a tale about an imperfect man maligned by his own greed and hubris, but more so a condemning indictment of a once beautiful sport rotten to the core.”

Quintin Zimmermann – Reviewer

999 CSI

“A fascinating insight into the world of forensics before the advent of DNA testing. I enjoyed this book immensely and would recommend it to those who have an interest in the subject.”


The Englishman's England

“The Englishman's England looked at what sites and objects drew the interest of the eighteenth century tourist. The author looked at travelers’ letters, diaries, journals, and guide books to see what sites they visited and what they thought about them. I'd recommend this interesting book.”

Deborah White – Reviewer

21 August 2017: Some excellent recent reviews

Here is a selection of some of the excellent recent reviews for Thistle books:

Blackstone by Richard Falkirk

“Blackstone is elegantly dressed, with a weakness for women and good wine – and he is a crack shot. He is also ruthless and courageous, but above all things he is a Bow Street Runner. This tale proved to be a bestseller in America.”

Southern Evening Echo

999 CSI by Larry Henderson & Kris Hollington

“Larry’s groundbreaking work features some of the UK’s most notorious crimes - a key piece of forensic evidence from one of Larry’s murder cases is displayed at Scotland Yard’s infamous Crime Museum. At turns breathtaking, fascinating, hilarious and tragic, 999 CSI opens up a truly astonishing world that most people never get to see, a world filled with cruelty, matched only by the courage of those who work tirelessly for justice. A truly great book.”

House of Books

How to Remove a Brain by David Haviland

“This is a wonderful book devoted to dragging up every weird and wacky idea in medical science from times ancient to present. Well written with a pen dipped in sarcasm, you’ll find yourself laughing and groaning.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!”

Ellen Whyte

Raise Your Grade by Dr Denise Gossage

“I would recommended this book to every member of my mommy-brigade. We often struggle helping our little ones to study and this book offers a brief and helpful framework.”

Netgalley – Ann R. librarian

Dieppe 1942 by Ronald Atkin

“Without a doubt this is one of the best military history books I have read. In my opinion, the author ranks with Antony Beevor.”


Secret Agent by David Stafford

“I recommend this book to World War II buffs… this fantastic treasure trove of information on the Special Operations Executive.”


Dark Water by Simon Thould

“High intensity fight scenes… Thould's writing style is to the point and sparse, emphasizing action over poetics.”

Midwest Book Review

Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom by Charles Beauclerk

“The book is a tour de force… a compelling and riveting read, encompassing not only the content and context of many of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets but also the history of the Tudors and the politics of that time. Scholarly and well written with a wealth of supporting evidence.”


11 August 2017: Great reviews for How to Remove a Brain

“Very interesting and a little gross at times.”

Of Beauty and Nothingness

“Love the science, love the history.  A fun/interesting/trivia filled read.  I am a professional scientist, working in healthcare and I am not at all ashamed to admit I learned several things from this book which I'd never heard before (like the origin of the word 'toady' ). Cool stuff.”

Non-Stop Reader

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's basically a collection of cool/interesting/funny medical anecdotes. Loved the brief stories about medicine throughout history, and all the weird (and gross) things that have been done throughout time and across many different cultures. The stories were brief enough to relay information without overloading you on medical terminology, so even those not necessarily interested in science and medicine will learn something and have fun with it. It's just an all-around fun book, that will teach you some new and interesting facts.”

The Nerd Herd

10 August 2017: Excellent reviews for Lawrence James’s The Iron Duke

“The Iron Duke is a military biography of Wellington, but it is much more. Very well written and highly entertaining.”


“What one has here then is a one-volume history of Wellington’s generalship which despite any shortcomings it may have clearly knocks Elizabeth Longford’s ‘Wellington; Years of the Sword’ into a bicorne hat.”

John Plowright

10 August 2017: More excellent reviews for Theo Aronson’s Crowns in Conflict

“Here, Theo Aronson has assembled the entire cast of embattled monarchs. His is the story of eight momentous years viewed, as it were, from the monarchical standpoint; an account of the passing, not only of their particular world, but of the entire monarchic and dynastic order of the Continent. It describes the brilliant sunset and the dramatic break-up of the Europe of the Kings.”

Marshall S Lion

“An interesting version of an oft-told tale. Rather than simply being a diplomatic or military history, Crowns in Conflict uniquely personalizes World War I. It also helps place monarchies in a historic context.”

Prairie Progressive

“In Crowns in Conflict: The Triumph and Tragedy of European Monarchy 1910-1918, Theo Aronson takes a distinct approach to the end of monarchical Europe. For one, he takes a broader view, looking at roughly a dozen major and minor monarchs who sat on Europe’s thrones in the second decade of the 20th century. The second, and most notable, is that the book is biographical in nature, not surprising given that Aronson, who died in 2003, wrote nearly two dozen royal biographies. His method produces a very readable examination of the topic. Rather than rehash the standard history of how the Central and Entente Powers careened into war, the book looks at the history of each monarch and what the kings and queens did through the course of the war.”

Blog Critics

“Crowns in Conflict: The Triumph and the Tragedy of European Monarchy, 1910-1918 is an interesting read and I recommend it.”

Amy’s Books

9 August 2017: More praise for Ian Ousby

“An entertaining and interesting read. Ousby considers the history of tourism through the growing 18th century desire to visit places of literary connection and natural beauty, along with the ever-increasing trend of touring country houses. This work is an intriguing social study and I particularly enjoyed Ousby's inclusion of snippets from contemporary accounts of some of the places still visited today. I imagine that this book will appeal both to the seasoned traveller and those interested in 18th century social history.”

Nicki Markus

9 August 2017: Nice review for Richard Falkirk’s Blackstone on Broadway

“Edmund Blackstone, Bow Street Runner, manages to assign himself as a consultant to the New York police but while there he is really after Captain Kidd's lost treasure. An enjoyable book with a likeable main character, who is 'helped' in his adventure by an emancipated Fanny Campbell.”

Vesper Meikle

8 August 2017: Good review for Crime Squad

“Crime Squad takes readers on an unforgettable ride as Mike, an innocent lad from the Yorkshire Dales, learns to grow up fast and stay alive on the mean streets of London.”


7 August 2017: Good review for Theo Aronson’s biography of Princess Margaret

“Very comprehensive and well researched. An interesting read.”

Mary’s Book Corner

7 August 2017: Nice review for Pepys in Love

“Perfect for someone who wanted to know about the political, cultural, and social world of Pepys’ time.”

The Literate Quilter

6 August 2017: Lots of praise for Raise Your Grade

“Raise Your Grade is a very teen-friendly guide to help kids be more detail oriented in their study habits. The book is easy to follow and the points are well made throughout. The focus is on understanding how to revise written work to make it better and more effective. From mnemonics to taking the time to read better, it’s really an essential guide for ensuring that the work produced by a student is of a higher quality.”

Online Eccentric Librarian

6 August 2017: Nice review for She’s a Boy

“This is a heartbreaking story.”

Artistic Bent

5 August 2017: Great review for David Stafford’s Secret Agent

“David Stafford has become the greatest expert on the SOE organization. Stafford shows a complete mastery of the literature, and incorporates extensive quotations from many of those actively involved in SOE activities.”

John Plowright – Netgalley

4 August 2017: Another good review for 999 CSI

“I'd recommend this interesting memoir.”

Different Time, Different Place

3 August 2017: Excellent reviews for Blackstone

“I enjoyed this well-paced mystery.”

Vesper Meikle

2 August 2017: Zelda West-Meads on Talk Radio Europe

If you missed Zelda's fascinating interview on Talk Radio Europe, you can listen again here (2/8/17 12:15). Zelda’s new book To Love, Honour & Betray is out now.

2 August 2017: Nice review for Legion of the Lost

“Salazar presents a mix of honor, esprit de corps, and servitude that seems to part of another century. The mystique of the French Foreign Legion is ripped away. Salazar’s story is as interesting as it is unexpected.”

Evil Cyclist blog

1 August 2017: Great reviews for A Life in Death

“Fascinating. Highly recommended.”

For the Love of Books blog

“I was so absorbed by this book and found it such an easy read that I knocked it over in two days. Venables does a magnificent job of hitting the appropriate tone with a difficult and somewhat unpalatable topic.”

The Bookshelf Gargoyle

“I absolutely loved this book, it is a fabulous insight into what goes on behind the scenes of murders and disasters that result in tragic loss of life.  I found it gripping and very interesting.  Very well written. A great book.”


“Very interesting. If you ever want to satisfy your macabre curiosity as to how the police identify victims involved in a disaster without getting too much into the science, then this is the book for you. It never lets you forget the sensitivity and the human element of working in a field which deals with tragedy after tragedy. Richard Venables has a unique perspective to deliver an account of how Disaster Victim Identification has progressed from the ’80s to now, as he pretty much invented the process for the UK, and worked on a multitude of national and international disasters.”

Love is a State of Mind blog

31 July 2017: David Bullock on Channel 5

David Bullock, author of the definitive book on Jack the Ripper, was on Inside Broadmoor tonight.

31 July 2017: Interview with Simon Thould

An interesting interview with debut novelist Simon Thould here:

Mari’s Book Reviews

30 July 2017: She’s a Boy update

Here’s a fascinating update on Joe Holliday, the author of the shocking and powerful memoir She’s a Boy - what happened after publication?

She’s a Boy update

30 July 2017: First Spanish review for Dark Water

The Seaside Gazette

28 July 2017: Good review for Dark Water

Another good review for Simon Thould’s debut thriller Dark Water:

Mari’s Book Review

26 July 2017: Good review for Dark Water

Simon Thould’s gritty debut Dark Water has had a good review on Books and Tales

25 July 2017: Cabin Fever moves back into Amazon top 40

The sensational Cabin Fever by Mandy Smith has returned to the Amazon Top 40 bestsellers.

25 July 2017: David McClure calls for more royal financial transparency

Royal Financial Expert asks for more transparency from Her Majesty

22 July 2017: David McClure in the Daily Express

Should the Queen be more open about her £19.2m Duchy income?

21 July 2017: David McClure writes for the Guardian

The Queen has hit the jackpot again. But why does she need so much money?

19 July 2017: David McClure on LBC

David McClure was on Shelagh Fogarty’s show on LBC today discussing his book Royal Legacy and the growing wealth of the Queen.

12 July 2017: 'Murder, Mayhem and More' recommends Dark Water by @SimonThould, coming soon.

Murder, Mayhem and More

7 July 2017: IPG ‘Meet the Member’ with Thistle Books

Meet the Member

7 July 2017: Interesting interview with Nick Pope

Inside Edition - 70 Years After Famed Crash at Roswell, the Truth Is Still Out There

26 June 2017: A nice review for The Man Who Would Be Jack

“Bullock makes a strong and convincing case, admirably summarised in 21 key points towards the end.”

Peckham Peculiar

15 June 2017: Positive review of 'Mapreaders & Multitaskers' in Times Literary Supplement

“Readers who are not familiar with these arguments, and the science of the past forty years that supports them, should read this book. Especially fathers who have daughters, as Evans does.”

The women whatevers

14 Jun 2017: Great review for The Saint Jude Rules

Another terrific review for The Saint Jude Rules, book three in Dominic Adler’s gritty Cal Winter series of action-packed thrillers.

“Hard-hitting, smart and snarky, this non-stop action romp pulls few punches as rogue Special Ops killers bite back at the illicit agency which betrayed them.”

Full review - Murder Mayhem & More

14 Jun 2017: Crime Squad makes ITV1’s Judge Rinder’s Real Crimes.

Kris Hollington and Mike Pannett have just appeared on ITV1’s Judge Rinder’s Real Crimes. Their book Crime Squad formed the basis for Episode 8.

13 Jun 2017: Dominic Adler interviewed by The Indie View

Thriller writer Dominic Adler has given an interview to The Indie View, promoting his latest action-packed novel, The Saint Jude Rules, which is the third book so far in the bestselling Cal Winter series.

The Indie View

13 Jun 2017: Gavin Evans interview

Gavin Evans has given an interesting interview concerning his new book Mapreaders And Multitaskers.

Author Gavin Evans explores conventional gender roles in his new book Mapreaders And Multitaskers

13 Jun 2017: Katharine Quarmby on the 'purple vote'

Katharine Quarmby has written a fascinating article on the ‘purple vote’ for Prospect.

The purple vote: why disabled voters are getting behind Corbyn’s Labour

25 May 2017: BookBrunch cover awards win

A Life in Death wins at The People's Book Prize

24 May 2017

Congratulations to Richard Venables and Kris Hollington, last night their book A Life in Death won the Non-Fiction book prize at the People’s Book Prize award ceremony, presented by Frederick Forsyth. Two other agency titles were also shortlisted: Louise Moir for Irreplaceable (non-fiction), and David McGrath for Rickhaw (fiction).

16 May 2017: 3 People's Book Prize finalists for Thistle Publishing

No publisher will have more finalists at the 2017 People’s Book Prize awards than the agency’s imprint Thistle Publishing, which is represented in both Fiction (Rickshaw by David McGrath) and Non-Fiction (A Life in Death by Richard Venables and Kris Hollington, Irreplaceable by Louise Moir) categories.

BookBrunch - People’s Book Prize finalists

16 May 2017: Katharine Quarmby shortlisted for Little Rebels Children's Book Award

Ossiri and the Bala Mengro, by Katharine Quarmby and co-author Romani story-teller Richard O’Neill, illustrated by Hannah Tolson, has been shortlisted for the 2017 Little Rebels Children’s Book Award.

5 May 2017: Interesting royal article from David McClure

David McClure, the author of Royal Legacy, has written an interesting piece on Prince Philip for the International Business Times.

Prince Philip is a very different man behind closed palace doors

02 May 2017: Raise Your Grade selected on 'Best GCSE Books' list

Denise Gossage’s innovative new revision guide Raise Your Grade has been given an excellent review, and selected as part of a ‘Best GCSE Books’ list.

‘With an innovative and unique approach to GCSE revision, Dr. Denise Gossage’s Raise Your Grade gives students an engaging and useful guide to passing exams with relative ease.’

Best GCSE Books

30 Apr 2017: Biography of Clare Hollingworth optioned for film

Patrick’s Garrett’ biography of his great aunt, the journalist Clare Hollingworth, Of Fortunes and War, has been optioned by Eclipse Films.

29 Apr 2017: Mandy Smith on Sky News

Cabin Fever author Mandy Smith was on Sky News this morning, discussing a potential alcohol ban during flights.

28 Apr 2017: Chloe Banks returns to bestseller list

The gripping, mysterious The Art of Letting Go by Chloe Banks has moved into the Amazon top 40 bestsellers once again.

12 Apr 2017: Tom Stacey writes for Standpoint

Thistle author Tom Stacey has written a fascinating article for Standpoint magazine.

A Letter To Our Great-Grandchildren

10 Apr 2017: Mandy Smith on BBC West Midlands

Cabin Fever author Mandy Smith was on the BBC this afternoon, discussing alcohol abuse on flights.

07 Apr 2017: Nick Knowles recommends The Man Who Would Be Jack

TV presenter Nick Knowles is a fan of David Bullock’s fascinating new book on Jack the Ripper:

“Can I recommend simply the best Jack the Ripper book ever written.”

06 Apr 2017: David McClure in the International Business Times

Another interesting piece from Royal Legacy author David McClure.

The British Royal Family are government pawns in its diplomatic game to make Brexit a success

06 Apr 2017: Louise Moir BBC Radio interview

Louise Moir will be discussing her powerful memoir Irreplaceable, which tells the story of her husband’s suicide, on BBC Radio Sussex on 10th and 11th April at 2.30pm.

06 Apr 2017: Lots of publicity for Mapreaders & Multitaskers

Gavin Evans fascinating analysis of gender psychology Mapreaders & Multitaskers has been generating considerable interest since its recent launch, including the following interviews:

TV interview - News 24

Kieran Sandhur interview

10 Mar 2017: An interview with Patrick Garrett

Patrick Garrett has given a fascinating interview to Womanthology, on his great aunt Clare Hollingworth, the subject of his book Of Fortunes and War.

Uncovering the hidden secrets of Clare Hollingworth, the original warrior war correspondent and woman on the front-line – Patrick Garrett, Author

06 Mar 2017: A prize nomination for Katie in Love

Chloe Thurlow’s sensational novel Katie in Love has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize.

Katie in Love Nominated for the People’s Book Prize

02 Mar 2017: Patrick Delaforce has been awarded the Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur by France

The historian Patrick Delaforce has been awarded France’s highest honour, the Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur.

Second World War hero who helped liberate Bergen Belsen awarded France’s highest honour

01 Mar 2017: Two finalists in the People's Book Prize

Two Thistle titles have been shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize ceremony, which will take place in May: A Life in Death by Richard Venables and Rickshaw by David McGrath. Both books were published by Thistle Publishing.

The People’s Book Prize winners 2016

23 Feb 2017: Gavin Evans interview on 'Mapreaders' with Talk Radio

You can listen again to Gavin Evans fascinating interview with Talk Radio on his new book Mapreaders and Mindreaders.

Talk Radio

23 Feb 2017: Gavin Evans on women, men & sexual desire in International Business Times

Women like sex just as much as men - and they have it just as often too

23 Feb 2017: Gavin Evans on Mapreaders And Multitaskers

An interesting interview with Gavin Evans on his new book Mapreaders And Multitaskers.

Author Gavin Evans explores conventional gender roles in his new book Mapreaders And Multitaskers

30 Jan 2017: A Life in Death moves into bestseller list

Richard Venables’ extraordinary memoir A Life in Death moved into the Amazon top ten bestseller list at the weekend, reaching #7.

A Life in Death

16 Jan 2017: Of Fortunes and War extract in the Mail

There continues to be huge interest in Clare Hollingworth, who sadly passed away last week. This weekend, the Daily Mail serialised a passage from Patrick Garrett’s biography Of Fortunes and War:

You can’t arrest me, I’m naked! What pioneering war correspondent Clare Hollingworth - the first to report on Germany’s invasion of Poland - told police who accused her of spying

There was also a piece in the Times:

Reporter who broke news of war spent final years penniless

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