August 11, 2008

Fan of Julian Stockwin's Kydd Series builds model of HMS Teazer

Princess Anne in attendance as model of Teazer unveiled at the Ivybridge Library, U.K.

Follow highlights of British modeller John Thompson's progress over the twelve months of his project to build a model of Kydd's first command, the little brig-sloop HMS Teazer. HRH Princess Anne viewed the completed model, on loan to the Ivybridge Library.

John explains how the project came about:

In late March 2007, I contacted Julian to tell him how much I enjoyed his Kydd series of books. There were a number of e-mail exchanges between us, following which, to my huge surprise and joy, I received in the post early one Saturday morning a piece of rope from HMS Invincible (captured from the French in 1747 and sank off Selsey Bill in 1758) beautifully mounted and engraved.

I was so touched by Julian's generosity to a complete stranger that I pondered how best I could return his kindness - and the idea of this build of HMS Teazer germinated.

THE WAY AHEAD So, how would I go about this build? There were no pre-existing wooden model ship kits (Teazer being a composite vessel based on several real ships of the time), but to scratch build her would have taken up to 2 years or more. After research to glean further details of her origins, I deduced (and Julian confirmed) that HMS Teazer was based loosely on the “Cruizer Class” brig rigged sloops in operation from 1797 onwards. The Cruizer class were in fact the most common type of vessel operated by the British Navy and in effect were the real workhorses - and the backbone - of the Navy (read the full model ship-building story).

Purchase the Kydd Sea Adventures, by Julian Stockwin, at

August 6, 2008

The Book of Matthew: a serial killer outwits detectives in this macabre crime thriller

The Book of Matthew
A Macabre Novel of Suspense

by Thomas White

A series of frightening murders plagues San Francisco. To solve the crimes, Homicide Inspector Clemson Yao enlists the help of Angie Strackan, a realtor who once tried—and failed—to become the city’s first female homicide inspector. The two face off against a ghoulish, black-humored serial killer who whimsically refers to his grotesque murders as “messies.” Gripped by macabre obsession for a decade, he’s evolved into a grandmaster of slow, anguished death, roaming the globe to catalog the most despicable methods of execution and keeping his research in dozens of leather-bound notebooks.

Clem and Angie slowly unravel the murderer’s clues, but their quarry is always one step ahead of them and even an FBI profiler can’t help them pin down the twisted mind behind the crimes. It’s a desperate race against time, for the killer has an agenda. His next victims are already picked out—and it seems no one can stop him.

Purchase The Book of Matthew from McBooks Press