Holy Death

Holy Death, book 3 in the Inspector West series is now available for your reading pleasure.

Holy_Death_Cover_for_KindleMurder. Arson. Revenge.

Detective Inspector West investigates the grisly deaths of two elderly priests: one in a suspicious fire; the other obviously murdered.

The inspector is not the only one hunting the priest killer.

If you like murder mixed with mystery and conflict, you’ll probably love the suspense and intrigue in Peter Mulraney’s Holy Death, the third book in his Inspector West series


Grab yourself a copy from  Amazon | GooglePlay | iBooks Kobo Smashwords.

IMG_0156Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

Crime novels

Crime novels are written for entertainment.

The stories are more about people than crime. They are a way of exploring human behaviour.

Crime stories allow us to look at why people commit acts, like murder, and at the impact of those acts on others, especially the people tasked with bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Crime novels might allow us to understand why someone committed a crime, but they also provide us with a reassurance that crimes can be solved.

Crime stories, especially murder mysteries, are also a bit of a game between authors and readers.

An author wants to keep the suspense and mystery going to draw readers into the story. Readers not only want to be drawn into a story, they also want to work out who did it before the author reveals the identity of the killer.

The author has the advantage at the start, but needs to be careful not to give the game away too early. Readers need to be wary of the difference between genuine clues and red herrings to avoid being led down the garden path.

The fun for both parties is in revealing the identity of the villain towards the end of the story. That way, the author gets to tell the story and readers get to find out if they’ve solved the crime along with the investigating detective.

Crime novels allow us to walk on the dark side of the street from the safety of our favourite reading spot.

Inspector Westv3

Inspector West is nearly ready to entertain you again in a story of murder, arson and revenge.

IMG_0156Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

Rethinking free books

In between writing a novel and designing some coloring books, I’ve been indulging in some study of online marketing.

When I started on this journey, I thought I’d have to master blogging and social media to be an effective online promoter of my work.

Like many others, it seems, I was under the impression that an email newsletter was yesterday’s medium of choice.

Turns out I was mistaken.

Turns out that creating a list of the email addresses of the people who read my books or are interested in my work is far more valuable than gathering a tribe of followers on Twitter or friends on a FaceBook page.

Twitter and FaceBook and a host of other landing pages have their role but it’s not the central role I initially thought it was.

Now for some humble pie eating.

Finally, I understand the role of free books in promoting my work and building an email list.

I’ve written an Inspector West short story as a thank you gift for subscribers.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.


Progress report -Inspector West series book 3

Old Book

One thing I now know is – it takes a lot longer to write a murder mystery novel that to read one.

Book 3 in the Inspector West series is slowly taking shape. The first draft holds 22,500 words and, at around 700 words a day, it should be finished by the end of June. Then I’ll have to place it aside for a few weeks before I start on the first round of editing. At least one of my editing assistants will be on hand at that time, visiting from New York.

To date, Inspector West has started investigating the death of an elderly catholic priest and a fire that destroyed an aged care facility for retired priests, while the newly promoted Detective Sergeant Harry Fuller has been somewhat distracted by developments in his love life.

I’m writing to a plan, well a sketched outline really, so it’s always interesting watching the story unfold on the screen. I am always amazed by the way the mind works. I type a few words associated with what I think the storyline is and the story unfolds, almost by itself, as long as I keep typing.

I have to go write today’s 700 words.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Helping police officers keep their perspective

policemanRecently, I was conversing with the mother of a police officer. We were discussing how real-life policemen were different to the ones you read about in books, when she told me she had attended a presentation on measures being taken to help police officers keep a healthy perspective on life.

One of the dangers of working in an environment where you see the dark side of life, and witness all the depraved behaviours humanity is capable of first hand, is that you start to think everybody is like that.

I told her I was consciously writing my Inspector West character as an ordinary guy, with the intention of illustrating that policemen lead the same kind of lives as everybody else, and have to deal with the same relationship issues we all face. We agreed that, as in many professions, there are some aspects of policing that only insiders appreciate, and the narrowing of focus to seeing only the negative was probably one of those.

It reminded me of conversations I’d had with my wife when she was the behaviour management deputy-principal of a school. She was facing a similar perspective challenge because her day was filled with managing those students, who for one reason or another, were having a bad day. When you do that every day you start to think that all the kids are like that, when, in reality, they are only a small percentage of the total student population.

Police officers face a similar challenge but in much more demanding circumstances, where the potential consequences can be personally debilitating.

So it was good to hear that Police Departments around the world are addressing the issue, in an attempt to help their officers maintain a healthy perspective on life and be able to cope with the stress that come with their job. It can’t be easy. It’s often not easy for their families either.

Here are a few links to articles on the topic:

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

Writing murder

Most of us do not commit murder, except in our fantasies.

It’s okay, you can admit to those murderous thoughts you’ve had about killing your boss, your spouse, that idiot that cut you off in traffic, or the one that got the promotion you know belonged to you.

Despite our best efforts to suppress our murderous intentions, sometimes we fail. If we’re lucky we stop ourselves or someone else stops us before it’s too late. Sometimes we commit murder.

I write about murder. In the first two novels of the Inspector West series, for example, close to a dozen characters lose their lives. Crime fiction is largely about murder, although it can delve into other types of crime.

It seems we like to read about people being murdered. Maybe, like me, you’re interested in why people commit murder, or how people deal with the impact of sudden loss in their lives. The other thing about crime writing that I find interesting is the impact of what appear to be the random intersections of different storylines.

Some crime readers are into what are known as police procedurals, addicted to following how the police go about their work in solving the crime. I’m not much into police procedures. I take a minimalist approach to how the police go about doing things. I’m more interested in the people involved in the investigation.

From my perspective, the plot needs to have a resolution. Storylines have to be pulled together in a way that does not leave the reader hanging – not knowing what happened or who did it. That does not necessarily mean that the crime has to be solved by the investigating officer.


In After, the first book in the series, the story follows a murder mystery plot. Josie Ford is murdered and the story moves towards finding out who killed her and why.



In The Holiday, the second book in the series, the story follows a mystery suspense plot. Kieran Moore is killed and his grandson, Toby, is abducted. The identity of the killers is known to the reader at the time of the murder, and the story moves towards finding out Toby’s fate and whether the criminals will be caught or not.

What are you looking for when you’re reading a crime novel?

Did I get anywhere near the mark?

Thanks for dropping by, Peter


The bottle shop job – part 1

This week I’m back in writing mode, and I’ve started on the journey that will produce the third book in the Inspector West series, for release in the second half of 2015. I’m also working on a second series of shorter stories with a working title of The Walsh Files, and thought I’d offer you an insight into the development of some of those stories. I’m not sure how long each story will be yet but it should be fun finding out.


burglar Some kids are born into families of great wealth, and they are destined to a pleasant life with all the material comforts money can buy. Pat Owens had not be born into one of those families. His old man had pissed most of his earnings up against the wall of a small room at the back of the pub, before he’d pissed off forever. His mother barely earned enough to pay the rent and keep Pat, and his two brothers, clothed and fed. Pat Owens knew what it was like to go without from direct experience of the condition. As a small boy, he had been filled with envy over all the things the other kids at school had that he didn’t. After the non-event of his tenth birthday, he’d decided to take matters into his own hands in order to get access to those things other kids’ parents gave them. He’d started honourably enough with a paper round on his second-hand bike. By the time he was thirteen, he had invested in some money earning assets that enabled him to supply the kids that had some money, but not a lot, with pirate copies of the latest music CDs. That had been a good gig while it lasted. As a fifteen year old, he’d ventured into buying and selling stolen goods, having discovered the financial rewards associated with being a middle-man. A lot of things happened in the back shed that year that his mother never knew about. In his final year of high school, he’d managed a small team of like minded boys supplying a range of illicit substances to the kids who had money, lots of stuff and very little excitement in their lives. While those rich kids had gone on to university, Pat Owens had found himself enrolled in a  different kind of learning institution, where they provided the complete residential experience but didn’t hand out a fancy piece of paper at the end of the course. While serving his time, Pat had mixed with people who were only too happy to pass the time by transferring a wide range of life skills, and introducing him to a network of useful contacts. After his release, he had completed an apprenticeship as a butcher with the father of a friend he’d made inside. He’d also completed another apprenticeship of sorts, in his spare time, with the father of another friend, as a locksmith. He didn’t have any paperwork for that qualification. By day, he had butchered carcasses that arrived in unmarked trucks and left as dressed meat in refrigerated trucks with bright signage. By night, he’d opened doors into other people’s houses, as part of a team that fed stolen valuables into a pipeline servicing a clientele that didn’t like to pay the full price for anything. If only things had stayed that way. Unfortunately, all things in life change, including the sophistication of home security systems. To be continued…..

Tribes – which one are you in?

Stylized_MasaiWhen we first started roaming the planet we did it in small groups or tribes. In the traditional sense of the word, a tribe is a related group of people with some sort of kinship or other social bond. Tribes were about belonging, and in many senses they still are. Think football fans, for example. They even get dressed up in their team’s colors to hang out at games together.

Recently, for obvious reasons, I’ve been studying marketing and self-promotion, something authors have to do for themselves these days, and I’ve come across the word tribe used in a different context.

According to the marketing gurus, you need to identity your tribe so that you can tailor your marketing message to the right group of people.

This is an interesting use of the word. No kinship in this context but maybe there is a sense of social bonding. What you are looking for is the group of people who are interested in whatever it is you are marketing or promoting.

I guess the message is that only a small cross-section of the population is going to be interested in whatever you are promoting, so don’t waste your efforts with the ones that aren’t.

So, who is my tribe?

Maybe I should have specialised. I’m writing in three genres or categories:

  • Mystery and detective
  • Non-fiction
  • Body, mind and spirit

Maybe that simply means I have three tribes to connect with.

The Inspector West series, with it’s focus on relationships within the framework of a crime story, will appeal to a particular type of reader. We’re talking about the tribe that likes murder mysteries and intrigue, and seeing how other people deal with those things, and how the detective works toward solving the crime. Maybe the same readers who enjoy books by Louise Penny or Peter James. Definitely not the readers who can’t wait for the next Jack Reacher book.

The Living Alone series has a fairly easily defined tribe: those guys who find themselves somewhat adrift at the end of a long term relationship – but the books in that series, especially Cooking4One, could also appeal to someone leaving home and going it alone for the first time. Or maybe their mothers.

As a reader of this blog, there is a fair chance you belong to the body, mind and spirit tribe that is looking for inspiration or encouragement to continue the journey of personal growth and discovery. Sharing the Journey is coming for you.

There is one other tribe, according to the gurus, that will love anything and everything I write, and will happily and enthusiastically share it with their friends. That sounds like the tribe every author would love to be surrounded by.

Do you belong to any of these tribes?

Which one?

Do you know someone who would benefit by being a member of any or all of these tribes?

Why not share this with them?

Thanks for dropping by, Peter