Welcome to meanstreets.co.uk

the website of stuart pawson

Creator and author of the D.I. Charlie Priest mysteries. 

We hope you like the re-hashed site. Readers’ comments have all been favourable although we always have time for a few more. We will try to keep you informed and, hopefully, interested in what’s happening in Charlie Priest’s world, and also include a few photographs from the life and career progression of a hot-shot crime writer (me!). 

In the stories I have tried to use popular, and some not-so-popular, locations from differing areas of the country, and I like to think that this enhances the pleasure to be found in the books. Photos from some of these can be found in the Photo Gallery (see menu on the left) while the Diary/Blog and News will keep you abreast of developments in our wicked world of criminality.

As it says on the t-shirt: “So many books; so little time.” Happy reading. SP.

About Stuart Pawson

About Stuart pawson

Stuart Pawson lives in Fairburn, Yorkshire, with his wife, Doreen, and can often be found tramping across the moors that form a backdrop to his stories. 

 

After a career as a mining electrical engineer he worked part-time for the probation service for five years, mediating between offenders and their victims. This gave him a good insight into the criminal justice system, and it was during this period that he started to write his first book, The Picasso Scam. 

 

Stuart believes he must have some cowboy genes somewhere in his genome because he has always had a strong affinity for the American West. His first visit to the USA was to work for a month at a Wyoming coalmine, and he has since holidayed over there many times. Although tone-deaf (some would say stone-deaf) he has always thought it would be good fun to be a songwriter. The thought of composing a three-minute song as opposed to a 300-page book has a certain attraction. He managed to combine the two themes - song writing and the West - in the opening chapters of Laughing Boy, and he enjoyed writing that one immensely. 

 

Stuart is a member of the Crimewriters’ Association and the Murder Squad. He is often asked to speak to library groups, a task which he gladly undertakes.

About D.I. Charlie Priest

D.I. Charlie Priest

Detective Inspector Charlie Priest (“…as in Roman Catholic”) eats his banana and peanut butter sandwiches with honey because he can’t find condensed milk at the supermarket. He is head of CID in the mythical town of Heckley, situated in what was once called the Heavy Woollen District of Yorkshire, somewhere near Huddersfield and Halifax. (Fact is stranger than fiction: this part of the country is undoubtedly the Serial Killer capital of Great Britain. And for a hundred years this particular area supplied all the nation’s public executioners.) Charlie believes in doing things by the book. It’s just that, in the heat of the chase, he sometimes turns over two pages at once. And what does it matter if he loses a case once in a while, as long as he gets the one-liner in first? (His advice to a prisoner who tries to bribe him: “Never start a sentence with a proposition.”). A teenager in the seventies, he still hankers after the idealism of those days. Resolutely young at heart, he is equally at home at a rock concert, a football match or the opera, although he would probably prefer to be up on his beloved moors, with the wind in his hair. Up there, at least, nothing changes.
In the words of a critic, because critics are always right: “The character of Charlie is a winner, too: a good and intelligent man in a hard world, fighting villains on his patch with a mixture of common sense, determination and, above all, humour. He’s not perfect, which would be tedious and incredible, and he bends the occasional rule that gets in his way, but he clings to his compassion for victims of all kinds, and generally struggles to maintain his belief in humanity, despite being exposed to some distinctly rotten examples of the opposite.” (Crime Time)
Charlie was the youngest-ever appointed inspector in the local force, and is now the longest serving. He has a degree in Art, unusual for a cop, but it comes in useful for designing posters and he still dabbles at painting, producing large abstracts for the local gala, which earn him the good-natured derision of his staff. He has been offered promotion but he prefers the sharp end of policing. Senior officers tolerate his bohemian attitudes and indiscipline because he takes risks and produces results. A divorcee, Charlie has had a series of girlfriends but the expression unlucky in love was written for him. His tenuous love life is a thread running through the series, particularly the first four books, but they can be read in any order. He works long hours, and at the end of each day goes home to cook a meal, perhaps do some painting, and listen to his Dylan CDs or something more classical.

About Heckley

About Heckley

All the stories are based in the fictitious town of Heckley, in the southern Pennines of Yorkshire; an area that was once called the Heavy Woollen District. The prosperity that the woollen industry brought for some has long gone, the mills have fallen silent, but a legacy of large, often remote, Victorian properties remains. That, coupled with easy motorway access to the conurbations of Manchester and West Yorkshire (this is the cross-roads of England, where the A1 and M1 intersect the M62) make this an area that is attractive to major criminals.
Not far from Heckley, we have the real-life birthplaces of the Yorkshire Ripper, the Black Panther, the Moors Murderers, Michael Sams and Dr Shipman, plus numerous, less famous, others. Even Haigh and Christie, who did their murderous deeds in London, were born not far from here. So there is no need for exaggeration when writing about the nefarious activities of the citizens of Heckley. "Trouble at t’mill" has taken on a whole new meaning and Charlie’s beloved moors, in all their moods, provide a fitting backdrop to the stories.

The Books

A Very Private Murder
A Very Private Murder
William Wain   Saturday, March 05, 2016

D I Charlie Priest is on gardening leave - the neighbours hav...

More

Grief Encounters
Grief Encounters
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016Second-Category
As usual, doodling pictures of his colleagues in his notepad is ...
More

Shooting Elvis
Shooting Elvis
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016Third-Category

“OK, listen up…anybody who’s never done a ...

More

Over The Edge
Over The Edge
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016First-Category Third-Category

Joe Crozier, a businessman with a decidedly shady past, is en...

More

Limestone Cowboy
Limestone Cowboy
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016Second-Category

The sun is shining in Heckley, and DI Charlie Priest is wisec...

More

Laughing Boy
Laughing Boy
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016Third-Category

A grey da...

More

Chill Factor
Chill Factor
William Wain   Saturday, March 05, 2016First-Category Second-Category

Super salesman Tony Silkstone wreaks a terrible revenge when ...

More

Some By Fire
Some By Fire
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016Second-Category

Charlie Priest was a newly promoted sergeant on the Leeds for...

More

Deadly Friends
Deadly Friends
William Wain   Wednesday, March 09, 2016
When Dr Clive Jordan’s dazzling career is brought to an ab...
More

Last Reminder
Last Reminder
William Wain   Saturday, March 05, 2016
Detective Inspector Charlie Priest’s day hasn’t got ...
More

Judas Sheep
Judas Sheep
William Wain   Saturday, March 05, 2016
Detective Inspector Charlie Priest of the Yorkshire force is off...
More

Mushroom Man
Mushroom Man
William Wain   Saturday, March 05, 2016
There’s nothing Detective Inspector Charlie Priest hates m...
More

The Picasso Scam
The Picasso Scam
William Wain   Saturday, March 05, 2016
Detective Inspector Charlie Priest believes in doing things by t...
More

LIFE MOMENTS & DIARY BLOG

Contact

If you're having the crime of your life, please feel free to send me your comments to pawson@meanstreets.co.uk