john harvey murray

About Me

John Harvey Murray

How Did I Start?

I began to write at the age of four. I began with my name. Since then the scope and, I hope, the quality of my writing has developed.

I am fascinated by words. I have studied some foreign languages and find that illuminates my knowledge of English, not least because English has been enriched so much by other languages over the centuries.

Am I one of my characters??

No. I do, however, usually give my central character certain of my characteristics, but there are always some important differences too. It is important to be able to identify with your hero to a certain extent.

WHERE ARE MY NOVELS SET AND WHY?

I usually set my stories in places I know. I have lived mostly in the North West of England but I went to University in Bristol and I lived for many years in various parts of Wales.

WHY CRIME FICTION?

I enjoy crime fiction in print and on TV. I enjoy solving puzzles and mysteries. I find that a mystery gives a story a bit of purpose or direction, although some writers manage to do pretty well without including a mystery.

HAVE I ANY EXPERIENCE OF POLICE WORK?

I have never been a police officer but I have investigated financial irregularities including fraud. I found my questioning mind was put to good use. I am now putting it to use in creating fictional crime stories.

WHY AN AMATEUR DETECTIVE?

I enjoy a lot of modern police fiction, but I think the use of forensic science, databases and profiling, which things I applaud in real life, can push out the old-fashioned low-tech methods of investigating crime, whereas an amateur detective has to get back to basics. Thinking about amateur detectives also reminds us that fighting wrong cannot be left entirely up to the police. We can all play our part to some extent.

BUSINESS AND MONEY – WHY WRITE ABOUT THEM?

They say you should write about things you know about. My background is in Public Sector Finance, but I have been involved in the Private Sector, dealing mainly with small businesses. I have done a lot of investigating: audit investigations, insurance claims and assessing Risk.

Since money is often a motive for crime, a knowledge of how it works is useful in writing crime fiction.

DOES MY FAITH AFFECT MY WRITING?

I suppose everyone’s beliefs and attitudes influence everything they do. My main characters are seldom Christians but a detective needs a moral compass and a passion for truth and justice. Religion is sometimes discussed, but more than one point of view is expressed.

An exception is The Key to a Murder, where the hero is studying theology, whose faith is tested in various ways as he tries to solve the murder of his father, a vicar.

WHAT DO I READ?

I read all kinds of books, magazines, papers, adverts, blogs and e-mails. In fact just about anything. I think whatever you read influences your style, even the things you dislike. I enjoy historical fiction, historical fact, humour and crime mysteries. I also like reading the Bible and books about the Christian faith.