Local Resistance

A Bob Robbins Home Front Mystery. (Book 1)

On a stormy night in March, 1941, Maisie Rose Hawkins leaves her husband, Stan, drunk as usual, out in the rain – and then he disappears. Detective Sergeant Bob Robbins, brought back into the Police from retirement, and young PC Laurie Oliver, straight out of school, go to investigate. Stan’s small fishing boat has gone, the rope sawn through. According to young PC Oliver, nothing ever happens in little places like Porthferris.

He is very wrong. As Bob investigates, he learns what is really going on in this small Cornish village, where everyone knows everything about everybody, but nobody quite knows the truth. An axe-wielding farmer threatens the much-hated wartime Food Inspector, Archibald Bantry; shopkeepers and the publican are evading rationing restrictions more quietly. This is a community steeped in the ancient art of smuggling, and the missing Stan Hawkins has a sea-cave full of black-market goods.

Bob’s original task to find Hawkins becomes entangled in war-profiteering then murder. The odious Bantry has a fatal car-crash and his wife dies a week later. The car crash is suspicious; the death of the wife a clear case of poisoning. Everyone disliked them, but who disliked them enough to commit murder? And then Bob stumbles on what is happening in the disused copper mine Wheal Marie, which changes everything . . .

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Author Reviews

“uncanny happenings and warm characterization . . . The realities of wartime life in this novel combine with a lovely sense of place to create a distinctly Cornish mixture of secluded charm and the unsettlingly mysterious.”
Review by Robert Wilton, winner of the Goldsboro Crown Historical Fiction prize.

The novel is published by Penmore Press Ltd.