The Maxwell Series - School can be murder!
As of end August, all of these titles are available as ebooks, paperbacks and (for the later ones) hardback to order from bookshops or online at Amazon. All are available from Soundings read by Peter Wickham; some are also available as MP3 downloads. Check out the Soundings website, or, as ever, Amazon.
When a girl is found dead in a creepy old ruin that local kids believe is haunted, Peter Maxwell has to get involved because the girl was one of His Own Sixth Form. The police tell him to leave well alone, but he can't and the responsibility he feels leads him into a world of suspicion and terror from which he will be lucky to escape.
Peter Maxwell didn't want to go to the GNVQ Course. He didn't want to get mixed up in murder either. But perhaps it was all part of death's rich tapestry. What no one could forsee was that one of the victims was an old flame. So now, it was personal.
At MOMI - the Museum of the Moving Image - nothing is quite what it seems. And when two members of a school party go missing there, Maxwell is bound to get involved. His search drags him into the sleazy and sinister world of Soho and the porn industry; not to mention of blackmail, vice and murder.
Filming a Napoleonic invasion on Leighford beach is right up Peter Maxwell's street. But as historical adviser he hadn't counted on the director being shot dead on the set. Neither had he counted on the killer being one of his own Sixth Form. Can it be that simple? Mad Max might have come to re-enact a war, but he's going to end up having to fight one.
Saddled with his neices for a holiday, Maxwell in desperation takes them to a theme park. To their horror, the theme is murder and a man dies in front of them. There are links to Leighford High and so Maxwell is doubly involved; triply, you might say when one of his neices is kidnapped and it becomes a race against time to find a killer and save the girl's life.
Somebody wishes Peter Maxwell a Happy New Year by leaving a corpse on his doorstep. She is only one in a series of elderly people who die of a mysterious illness that the health authorities cannot explain. In the early 21st century, Maxwell seems to have stumbled upon something every rational soul would think had been buried with the past - witchcraft!
They say you should never go back and certainly Peter Maxwell rued the day he accepted an invitation to the closing down of his old school. His old school chums are not quite as he remembered them and as one by one they become victims of a killer, Maxwell sets out to uncover a secret that has been lurking for all those years.
When Maxwell spends a couple of weeks at a local private school steeped in tradition and money, he uncovers a web of intrigue and suspicion in which one teacher falls from the roof and another is drowned. Journalists besiege the school and parents panic, the headmaster desperate to preserve the reputation of the place. Maxwell is desperate to find a murderer before it is too late.
There comes a time in every teacher's life when he must face his nemesis - the Ofsted Inspection. But Maxwell also has to face the death of one of the inspectors and the fact that his own headteacher, Legs Diamond, seems to be involved up to his neck. And as if this isn't enough, Max has to contend with Hell's Angels and a secondrate rock band.
Archaeology comes to Leighford when a team from a local university believe they have found the long-lost grave of Alfred the Great. In fact the body turns out to be 1400 years newer and was put there only yesterday. And one corpse leads to another. When an investigating officer is found dead at the wheel of his car, it becomes clear he had some vital information. Does his oppo, Maxwell's partner Jacquie share the same information and is her life at risk too?
Ever a man for all seasons, Maxwell is called in to rescue the school musical at short notice, and that brings him into contact with one of Leighford's 'characters', who set fire to the toilet block when she was eleven and threw a lad down the stairs of the science labs soon after her twelfth birthday. When a series of 'accidents' begin to happen at the theatre, Maxwell's Little Shop of Horrors becomes frighteningly real. And which of the little horrors is responsible for murder?
Say hello to Nolan Maxwell, son of Peter and Jacquie. He fills his parents' time as all adorable little boys do but the murky world of murder has other plans. When their Spanish au pair disappears and a body is found on the cliffs above Dead Man's Point, Maxwell's talents have once again to be used to find a killer. Creepy gardeners, randy ramblers and, as ever, troublesome teenagers all have a role to play before Maxwell can get to the point.
The school photographer has developed more than he bargained for and has photographed a murder in the dunes. The body is soon joined by others with no discernible links, but there must be something. Thanks to a quirk of numerology, all kinds of unlikely people are in the frame to be murdered, Nolan Maxwell among them. Maxwell and Jacquie move fast, but is it fast enough?
The job of Assistant Head Teacher is up for grabs at Leighford High but nothing is straightforward Chez Maxwell and a number of staff go down with acute poisoning. Who has a motive? About a thousand kids, certainly, not to mention the other staff but it all seems a little unlikely. Maxwell would have liked to have pinned the murders on his mother-in-law but things like that only happen in fiction.
Technology has caught up with Peter Maxwell; he can run, but he can't hide. With even Mrs B, the school cleaner and sometime stirrer of dust at 38 Columbine being better on the keyboard than he is, he is caught in a trap and has to try and learn at least a tiny bit of IT. But how can he find the time, with murders happening on all sides? Enough is enough, and he sends an email, tendering his resignation ... or does he?
... well, clearly not, as he ends up taking a school trip to the Isle of Wight. A few miles of water make no difference when it comes to Maxwell and murder and soon the line of bodies begins to point in a rather unusual direction. While they are away, Metternich is being nominally looked after by Mrs Troubridge who falls down the stairs. Despite having been a thorn in Maxwell's side for years, she adores him, Jacquie, Nolan and the Count and they (with the possible exception of Maxwell) love her right back, so now it's personal!
Currently the last in the series, LA comes to Leighford, but not in a good way. Paul Moss's exchange trip to the States results in a rather motley family arriving in the town and soon trouble starts, with bodies every which way. It would be nice to pin them on the rather brash American, but can it be that simple? The Special Relationship was never meant to be like this!