Crime Mystery Novels

Most of my crime novels are based in the county of Dorset and all feature Detective Sophie Allen as the central character, along with her main sidekick, Barry Marsh. My crime mystery novels for teenagers (The Misfits series) are also based there.

Available from Amazon as e-books or as paperbacks. The Sophie Allen novels are published by Joffe Books (

Dark Crimes (the first novel in the series): Published mid-March 2016 by Joffe Books.

A young woman’s body lies on a deserted footpath in a Dorset seaside town late on a chill, damp November night. She has been stabbed through the heart. A simple murder with a simple solution? Not when her mother is found strangled the next morning, followed by the death of another young woman in a neighbouring town later that evening. The complexities of the case grow as DCI Sophie Allen and her team begin to realise that each victim had secret histories kept hidden from the world, histories that involved violence and intimidation. There’s an obvious suspect but could he be too obvious?
Dark Crimes probes the frightening and silent world of domestic abuse and intimidation, where violence rules and young hopes are destroyed. DCI Allen, head of the newly formed Violent Crime Unit, is pushed to the limit in her first major case as the team’s head.

Deadly Crimes (novel 2 in the series): published in late April 2016 by Joffe Books.

The mutilated body of a young man is found on top of the Agglestone, a well-known local landmark on Studland Heath in Purbeck. Evidence begins to accumulate that he was associated with a gang smuggling young women into the country for enforced prostitution. But why is DCI Sophie Allen keeping something back from her team? Could it be linked to the extraordinary discovery of her own father’s body, found at the bottom of a disused mineshaft more than forty years after he disappeared?
Raw emotion, kidnapping, internal gang tensions, sadistic brutality and murder; this novel has it all.

Secret Crimes (novel 3 in the series): published in early June 2016 by Joffe Books.

Lonely people looking for new relationships visit music festivals each year, seeking romance with potential partners of similar musical interests. The peaceful and harmonious atmosphere of Swanage’s blues festival is cut short when the body of an attractive festivalgoer is discovered on the rocky shoreline at Peveril Point. But her injuries arouse suspicion. Who was the man she met? Has there been a history of suspicious deaths at other music festivals across the region? DCI Sophie Allen is back in charge after the emotional upheavals she suffered in ‘Deadly Crimes’, but is she really in control?

Buried Crimes (novel 4 in the series): published in early July 2016 by Joffe Books.

A family move into their dream home in Dorchester: an idyllic cottage with a large garden. It seems perfect, particularly for their two children, but when Philip and Jill Freeman decide to move a buddleia bush to a new location, what they find buried beneath its roots will haunt them forever. DCI Sophie Allen is forced to probe crimes that occurred many years before, crimes that cause emotional upheavals within the local community: child murder.

Twisted Crimes (Novel 5 in the series): published January 2017 by Joffe Books. 

An elderly couple mysteriously vanish from their home in Blandford Forum. Their family appear to be bemused by the disappearance, but the police team identify some internal family tensions. Are these powerful enough to explain the missing parents or could something even more sinister be at work? Some familiar names resurface and not all are welcome ones.

Evil Crimes (Novel 6 in the series): published on December 1st 2017 by Joffe Books.

A young man’s body is spotted in the stormy sea off Dancing Ledge in Dorset by a local walking group. Had he lost his footing in the gale force winds and fallen in? While checking on his background, members of Sophie Allen’s team discover some curious links to a suicide that had occurred six months earlier. The common factor appears to be a strikingly attractive young woman, currently a student at a west country university. Alarming facts slowly come to light as the team probe more deeply. Is she as wicked as she appears to be, or is someone else manipulating her for personal reasons?

Shadow Crimes (Novel 7): published on October 26th 2018 by Joffe Books.

A team of Dorset detectives has been investigating the smuggling of illegal goods into prisons but runs into trouble during an aborted undercover meeting with an informer. At the same time a retired prison officer is found murdered. Is there a link? Sophie Allen, newly promoted to superintendent, and her team find themselves investigating a shadowy group whose influence is far wider than at first thought and who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

Silent Crimes (Novel 8): published on October 30th 2019 by Joffe Books.

The body of a reclusive tramp is found in the woods near Wareham, in Dorset. Why would someone want to kill a man who posed no threat to anyone? Sophie Allen’s team begin to piece together his back story and find links to a commune whose home was a farm on the Quantock Hills in Somerset more than a decade earlier. They find evidence of intimidation and violence. What happened there? Why is everyone keeping silent about involvement with the commune and why is a shadow still hanging over the surviving members? A gripping and intense story that explores how decades-old fears can dominate current lives.

Ruthless Crimes (Novel 9): published on September 9th 2020 by Joffe Books.

Young Jason Lamb, on his usual early morning train journey to the Dorset boatyard where he works, makes a shocking discovery. The body of a man curled up in the corner of his carriage. The victim has been stabbed. But why can’t Sophie Allen’s team find out anything about him? And why was he staying in a house that seems to be owned by a government security unit? Meanwhile a group of refugees has reached the French coast and is waiting for a boat to smuggle them across the channel. They’ve travelled to Normandy, but time is running out and the weather seems to be worsening. Who can they trust in their bid to get to Britain? The Dorset-based detective team discovers duplicity that reaches to the top echelons of government in this twisting tale of treachery, tragedy and hope.

Brutal Crimes (Novel 10): published on September 28th 2021 by Joffe Books.

Amy Birkbeck, a young deaf girl, witnesses something horrific when she’s out in the woods checking on the bat boxes she keeps there. At the same time a local police officer goes missing. Are the two events connected? And why is a wealthy arms dealer, living locally in Dorset, starting to come to the attention of the county’s top investigation unit, run by senior detectives Sophie Allen and Barry Marsh? A tale of kidnap, violence, courage and romance.

Hidden Crimes (Novel 11): published November 3rd 2022 by Joffe Books.

A hilltop walk on a morning in early spring is interrupted by figures suddenly appearing out of the mist, then quickly disappearing. Who are they? Why do they leave one of the walkers with a sense of foreboding and why do the police disbelieve her account? Then a body is found, hurriedly buried in the nearby woods and the local village community is torn apart by suspicion and doubt.
Exactly how are the subsequent disappearances and assaults linked? And why does Sophie Allen, newly promoted to Chief Superintendent in her role as head of the newly formed Wessex Serious Crimes Unit, begin to worry about an appalling crime that was seemingly wrapped up more than a decade earlier? So many suspicions. So many disturbing memories. So much heartbreak.