Jun 22 2015


Ireland’s eccentric detective Inky Black is back in a new full length adventure, just released on Amazon Kindle this week. Costly Kidnap plunges our intrepid hero into a head-to-head duel against a criminal syndicate planning to execute the biggest swindle in the country’s history.Bluey34-72dpi-1500x2000 (3)

Things have been going great for our favourite private eye. Business is booming, his success rate is high, he’s enjoying his daily verbal jousts with the redoubtable Maggie, his acid-tongued secretary and Girl Friday —  he’s even managed to best her in a couple of them —  and his burly assistant Barry Briggs has taken to the detecting business like a duck to the proverbial liquid. Best of all, his relationship with his new girlfriend, the beautiful Barbara, is flourishing.

With nary a cloud on the horizon and feeling in need of a break, Inky decides to take time off to invite Barbara on a motoring holiday down the majestic west coast of Ireland. Everything seems set fair, the weather is ideal, the Atlantic is as flat as the proverbial millpond, Barbara is proving the perfect companion and all seems well with the world.

But it wouldn’t be an Inky Black story if something didn’t go tits up! One evening the couple arrive at a little guest house near the golden sandy beach where the movie Ryan’s Daughter was filmed. They decide to explore the beach the following day.

When Inky awakens next morning he finds a note from Barbara saying she’s gone on ahead with her little dog Checkers and suggesting he comes to join them as soon as he surfaces. When he complies he finds a distressed Checkers, signs of a scuffle on the sand, and in the distance, the sound of a fast disappearing motor engine. Of Barbara there is no sign!

There isn’t much in the way of clues either, just a hint of something Barbara said the night before. Something that might just implicate the boss of the finance company for whom she worked.

Inky Black has never had a case in which he’s been so personally involved. He was going to get Barbara back, that went without saying. But he wasn’t quite sure where to start. That was until he got a phone call from the kidnappers warning him to keep his nose out if he ever wanted to see his girlfriend alive again.

Inky reckoned he was as patient as the next fellow. But you know what they say – beware the anger of a patient man!


COSTLY KIDNAP is now available as an e-book on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for a BARGAIN 99c US, 99p UK. 

The paperback release will follow shortly.


Permanent link to this article: http://bradfleming.co.uk/inky-black-back-in-a-big-new-adventure/

Jun 03 2014


He’s back!  Ireland’s favourite eccentric private eye Inky Black is set to return in a series of e-book and paperback adventures featuring his Girl Friday Maggie and sidekick Barry Briggs, together with a motley collection of clients, criminals, heroes and villains. 

Inky template 12Inky has already featured in a number of short stories which saw him make his way from facing near-bankruptcy in his grubby, run-down detective agency in Belfast’s East Side, with few case and fewer prospects, to the relative security of running a successful and expanding business.

Okay, he still sees himself as a righter of wrongs and defender of the downtrodden. He still favours a battered old Fedora and trench coat which he adopts as a rather childish tribute to his beloved black-and-white detective and gangster movies of the Thirties and Forties, when real stars like Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Paul Muni, George Raft, Edward G Robinson and Pat O’Brien held sway.

He tends to lapse into a soft Jimmy Stewart drawl when he gets too involved in a case, but somehow he does get results and his case-load keeps growing.

Thanks to his assistant Barry, he is gradually coming to terms with the needs of a detective in the modern world and is appreciating the value of computers and search engines and filing systems as useful tools of the trade. A big part of him though still harks back to the days and methods of his hero Sherlock Holmes, the greatest fictional detective of them all. “It’s elementary, my dear Barry,” he will say. “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, hosever improbable, must lead to the solution.”

We hope you will enjoy following Inky as he:–

Takes on the Chicago Mafia to save a rising baseball star.  

Turns a murder trial on its head to secure justice.  

Helps an old police friend to find his runaway daughter.  

Encounters romance in the most unlikely place.  

Allows his assistant, Barry Briggs, to solve a case on his own.  

Tracks down a valuable family heirloom.  

Demonstrates that Sherlock Holmes’ methods still work today.  

And much, much more . . .

The Case Files of Inky Black—tales of Ireland’s eccentric Private Eye—is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. See the author’s website for more details.

Other books by this author:–

ROLE OF DISHONOUR   Four men plotFinalRODcover to avenge a family’s murder and end the Troubles in Ireland.






DEADLINE TO DANGER Deadline    A young reporter sets out to solve his father’s murder and himself becomes a target.



Permanent link to this article: http://bradfleming.co.uk/the-private-eye-with-a-difference-returns-in-a-new-series-of-exciting-adventures/

Nov 22 2013


Regular readers will be aware of my long standing admiration for Sherlock Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve referred to him more than once in these columns as the most famous and most widely known character in all of fiction.  I stand by that assertion, but I have to say there’s another fictional sleuth who runs him fairly close. 

Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot

I am, of course, referring to M. Hercule Poirot–he of the little grey cells, the balding egg-shaped head, the mincing step, the impeccably foppish attire and the equally impeccable logic—the creation of best-selling crime novelist, Agatha Christie.

Christie is the world’s third best-selling author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, and her books have been translated into more than 150 languages. Even now, almost thirty years after her death, annual sales of her books run into millions.

My reason for mentioning the above is prompted by an event which occurred a few evenings ago—the UK TV screening of Christie’s final Poirot story Curtain, featuring David Suchet in the role of the great detective. This little piece is by way of being an appreciation of David’s achievement in completing the entire Poirot canon over a period of almost 25 years. That is a total of more than seventy novels and short stories!

I read Christie’s debut novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles as a spotty eleven year-old and was totally captivated. Over the years I’ve become a devotee of her two principal characters, M Poirot and Miss Marple. As a plotter and creator of crime and detective novels she can have few equals.

You know how it is. As you read a book you tend to build up a mental picture of the hero or heroine. Usually when the follow-up movie comes out we are disappointed to find the actor chosen bears absolutely no resemblance to our preconceived notion of our favourite. A recent example of this would be Tom Cruise (all five feet seven of him) attempting to fill the shoes of Lee Child’s hunky six-five Jack Reacher.

By contrast Suchet’s portrayal of Poirot is nothing short of superb. Those fine actors Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov–both big-screen Poirots–were nothing like Christie’s original, any more than the otherwise brilliant Michael Caine could ever be a convincing Sherlock Holmes.

David Suchet was made for the part. To anyone who loves the books, he simply is the very personification of the little Belgian. Yet when he was offered the role back in 1986 he thought seriously about turning it down. Thank goodness he reconsidered and took up the challenge.

And a challenge it undoubtedly was. With a commendable thoroughness, which would have won the approval of the meticulous master sleuth himself, he spent months preparing for the role. He began by reading all the Christie novels and short stories. Then he made copious notes of the detective’s eccentricities and foibles, listing his many mannerisms and characteristics—his obsessive neatness, his compulsion to have everything arranged in a natural order, his detestation of being called French instead of Belgian and much more.


He studied for weeks to perfect Poirot’s intonation and language, listening to countless tapes of different regional accents before selecting the one he considered just right.  Fellow thespian Sir Laurence Olivier gave him an invaluable tip on how to capture Poirot’s mincing walk. “He told me to hold a penny tightly between my ass cheeks and take short steps to ensure it didn’t slip out,” David explains with a smile. “Mind you, Larry used an old pre-decimal penny which was much bigger than today’s coin. Anyway, it worked!”

He insisted on everything being depicted as Agatha Christie had written and would have wished. Poirot always politely doffed his hat to a lady and wore it at the precise angle the author had decreed. His distinctive moustaches (“he claimed they were the most beautiful in England”) had to be just so. His whole attire had to be free of dust, from his distinctive collar to his pearl-grey spats and shiny patent-leather shoes. He never sat on a chair or park bench without first dusting it with a spotless white handkerchief. He was never seen outdoors without his distinctive silver-topped walking cane.

Some forty pounds lighter than the Poirot he portrayed, David attained the rotund figure he wanted by helping to design a snugly-fitting padded body-costume to be worn under his suits. Interestingly enough, he had to shed three stones (42 pounds) in weight for his last performance as the dying detective in Curtain.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

In his excellent book Poirot and Me which I am currently enjoying, Suchet provides a fascinating account of the last quarter-century portraying the well-loved little sleuth from Belgium. He explains that Agatha Christie was a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, but wanted her hero to be a totally different character. This she achieved, although there are similarities.

Holmes had his sidekick Dr Watson, always ready to be amazed and impressed by his mentor’s skills. Captain Hastings was Poirot’s stooge and assistant. Holmes had his stalwart housekeeper Mrs Hudson and Poirot was equally well served by his secretary Ms Lemon. To both writers the official police were always second best. Poor Inspectors Lestrade and Japp always lagged far behind our heroes.

Which sleuth do I prefer, I hear you ask? I think Sherlock Holmes just shades it for me, but no actor ever portrayed him on screen with the accuracy, fluency and sheer dedication that David Suchet brought to his role of Poirot. Thank you Mr Suchet. You will be missed.


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Permanent link to this article: http://bradfleming.co.uk/final-curtain-for-a-brilliant-detective/

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