#Guest #Author #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 Author of the #DCIFrankMerlin series @midaspr

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? Or have you had any other jobs?

ME: I studied law, became a barrister, corporate executive then with a partner started a computer services company. I had always wanted to write and when my computer company was sold in the early 2000s decided to give it a shot.

JW: Where did the inspiration for the Dead in The Water come from?

ME: I usually get inspiration for my book plots when doing my research. In the case of Dead In The Water, my reading about the chosen period, Summer 1942, opened my mind to various strands of history. These included the impact in Britain of the arrival of the American forces in that year, the theft of art from Jewish owners in the run-up to the war, and the continuing espionage intrigues of the various combatants.  My plot emerged from these strands.

JW: How much research was involved in Dead in the Water, as it is set during 1942 and WW2?

ME: I do a great deal of research before every book. I go to libraries, go online, read my own collection of wartime books, read new books etc.  I usually spend around 3 months researching before starting each book.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of DCI Frank Merlin, if Dead In The Water is turned into a TV Show/Film?

ME: I always find this a difficult one. Spending much of my time as I do in the 1940s, the names that immediately spring to mind are actors of that vintage eg Ray Milland, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant. As they are all dead this is not much use! Of people who are alive there is a Welsh actor called Luke Evans who might fit the bill. Also maybe Christian Bale.

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

ME: I was both an avid reader and TV watcher. As regards books I loved The Wind In The Willows, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord Of The Rings and many others. I was a rather precocious reader. I remember reading and enjoying The Pickwick Papers when I was around 9 or 10. As for TV, I watched everything which was pretty easy then as there were only two channels. Champion the Wonder Horse was one favourite. Robin Hood and Ivanhoe were others.

JW: As we are now in May, which book that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

ME: Kolymsky Heights, a classic thriller by Lionel Davidson. I’ve also read a few very enjoyable books by Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jonasson. I’m currently in the middle of the book I was most looking forward to this year, which is Don Winslow’s latest, City of Fire.

JW: Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

ME: I am Welsh and a keen rugby fan. Meeting Sir Gareth Edwards was good. Many years ago I spent a lot of time in California. I was once invited to a vintage Hollywood party. Among the people I met were Ginger Rogers, Rosalind Russell and Sophia Loren. I’m not sure I’d call them heroes of mine but I was certainly starstruck.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

ME: My children.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

ME: The first choice would have to be The London Blitz (from a safe vantage point!). The second would be something in Ancient Rome. Cicero giving one of his famous speeches perhaps. Or the assassination of Julius Caesar.

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

ME: Reading. Watching rugby and cricket. Listening to music. Travel.

JW: Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

JW: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

ME: Churchill, Dickens, Mozart, Van Morrison. Churchill was a flawed but great man and looms very large in what I write about. Dickens because he was such a fantastic writer. Mozart and Van because I love their music so much. Not sure how well this group would get on though!

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

ME: To be persistent in whatever you do, whether in business, writing or life in general. Very little is achieved without sticking at it.  ‘Keep buggering on’ in the words of Winston Churchill.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on?

ME: Currently researching Frank Merlin 6. No title as yet. Will be set in Spring 1943.

You can BUY Mark Ellis’s Books HERE

You can find Mark Ellis’s website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #review of #DeadInTheWater by #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 @AccentPress @midaspr @amberchoudhary

Summer, 1942.
The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side.

In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?

Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets and lies as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle .

This is my first read of a novel by Mark Ellis, but as I love Historical crime fiction, particularly set around the World Wars, I was looking forward to it.

I know that this is the 5th Novel in the DCI Frank Merlin series, but even with a back history, this can be read as a standalone.

The writing is gritty, evocative and absolutely full of attention to detail which makes the reader really feel like they are there in London, in the Summer of 1942. In particular, the description of chaps attires right down to the name of his shirt maker and shoes (both of which I googled to make sure this was factual – it was!).

The plot was character-heavy at the beginning, and I was a little lost BUT all is revealed in the end and it works, it really does. The writing is pure noir and the character descriptions are really amazing. Even famous figures are given the Ellis touch here – Herman Goering for one was spectacular over breakfast with his wife…totally believable!

The plot is thick with spies, Army Officials of all sides and Police including, of course, the wonderful DCI Frank Merlin, who for a first-time reader I instantly loved!

The feel when you read Dead In The Water is amazing, its like you are transported from our messed up 2022 right back to 1942, again I must applaud the attention to detail, it is clear that Mark has an amazing mind at writing intricate and stunning Thriller, but also his love for the period during the Second World War in London. It almost read like a sweeping black and white movie at times!

In essence, this is a fantastic novel of wartime Noir at its best, gritty, tense and intelligent. I shall be awarding it 5-star rating.

If you’ve not read any of the DCI Frank Merlin books then I urge you to, I shall be buying the back catalogue to binge read on!

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister and entrepreneur.
He is the creator of DCI Frank Merlin, an Anglo-Spanish police detective operating in World War 2 London. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war skilfully blended with gripping plots, political intrigue and a charismatic protagonist.
Mark grew up under the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs.
In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft and rape were rife and the Blitz provided scope for widespread looting.
This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world. This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin.
DCI Frank Merlin appears in four novels: ‘Princes Gate’, ‘Stalin’s Gold’, ‘Merlin at War’ and the just published ‘A Death In Mayfair’.
Mark Ellis is a member of the Crime Writers Association.’MerlinAt War’ was longlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger in 2018.

You can find Mark Ellis’s Website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

You can buy Dead In The Water HERE