Character Profile: Mordecai Gold

Meet another player in the Symington Byrd mysteries: Mordecai Gold, a man who “dances on the edge of the criminal world.”

Mordy (as he is known to his friends) runs a jewelers -come- pawnbrokers. He is a hard nosed businessman, with an eye for a bargain.

But I didn’t want him to be the stereotypical Jew of literature. When Walter Scott created Isaac of York he made him an extreme – the complete antithesis of his beautiful daughter Rebecca; while both George Du Maurier and Dickens created wholly evil criminal masterminds – who looked and acted in an immediately identifiable caricature.

There’s far more to Mordy than that. Tall, white haired – grandfatherly – this is a man who will admit to being 50 but not a day older. Having escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe, Mordy  made his home in Whitechapel. Using his connections Mordy has built up a reputation as an honest criminal.  He is the soul of discretion  who (trusted by the highest born and the lowliest of beggars)  will ensure the best deal is achieved for all (though obviously the house will always win). But you cross him at your peril. Fail to keep your word and retribution is swift.

A man who always has sweets in his pockets, Mordy is at the centre of his community: respected, loved and feared in equal measure

When he first encounters Emily, the lonely little girl who spends at least ten minutes of her walk home from school staring into his shop window, Mordy sees an outsider – just like himself: a mystery inside an enigma. After her father’s death, when her mother brings trinkets to pawn to pay for the funeral, Mordy finds himself  being wrapped around the finger of a 7 year old girl who has wisdom beyond her years and an innate ability to identify rough diamonds. Intrigued  and sensing there is more to Emily and her mother than meets the eye, Mordy makes her mother  an offer  that will ensure that as Emily grows up she becomes the Pawnbroker’s apprentice.

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End of the Pier – Thoughts after Day 1 of the Kindle Promo

It’s been a  busy weekend… scrub that: it is a busy weekend.

I’ve put the first book up free on a promo weekend, to boost the books profile and it’s working.  I was sceptical but I thought: “hell what have I got to lose?” Nothing.

So far, it’s going well.   People are giving the tale ago. They are are coming back positively. Telling me what I know ( that it needs a bit of a polished edit). Heck there’s only so far a girl can go on her own; telling me they’re enjoying it none the less.

Time of course will tell, but the promos doing what I want. It’s getting the book out there. It’s drumming up enough interest to get an offer of help with the editing, from someone whose writing I’ve admired for a long time. People are also starting to ask if there’s a 2nd one.

I may not be JK Rowling. I may not even be Sarah E Smith yet. But I’m now able to say : I’m an author (I think! 😉 )

Want a copy? Then click the link below.

The Secret of Aldwych Strand – End of the Pier Affair

Now in Paperback

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Mark Birch here,

the ‘ero of the piece. Putting my side of the events out here

It was like this, Luce wanted some pictures – right? But well, she’s the class geek and can’t be trusted out there on her own. So. me being the football captain – well it fell to me to keep an eye on her.

Well how was I to know that there’s a Time Distortion at the End of Southend Pier. Well it’s not the kind of thing they tell you in history is it? That would be too interesting.

Anyways – to cut a long story short; we aren’t in Southend anymore. We’re in London – 1909 to be precise, and some daft bugger’s trying to kill Lloyd George and his mate Churchill. And me and Luce are right in the thick of it.

Bouncing around Time we have to stop the world as we know it,  being completely destroyed!

But it’s not as easy as it sounds, because there’s this Italian inventor geezer – who’s not only in charge of the Secret Underground Facility under Aldwych Station on the Strand -but also has the hots for my best friend…

Now available to purchase on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon

 

The Secret Of Aldwych Strand: – Where it all started

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These are the shots Lucy was after the day she persuaded her BF Mark to help her with a school history project. Like me, Lucy knew that simply re-hashing the history of the pier would not nail her the A*. After all, everyone knows:

  • It started life as a 300 foot (ft) wooden pier which opened in 1830
  • It got into financial difficulties and was sold in 1846 for £17000
  • By 1848 it was the longest pier in Europe (7,000 ft)
  • The iron replacement pier was designed by Scots engineer Sir James Brunless.
  • Although not completed until 1889, the new pier actually opened to the public in the summer of 1887
  • The first extension opened in 1898 as a response to the increased number of steam boats visiting the pier.
  • The upper deck opened in 1908 (one year after the opening of the doomed Aldwych Strand Station)
  • Further extensions opened in 1927
  • The Prince George Extension opened in1929, making Southend the Longest Pleasure Pier in the world at 1.34 miles.
  • The electric railway was extended to its present run in 1931
  • on the 27th June 1931 – Ernest Turner ( on a works outing from the Ansell’s Brewery Birmingham) fell off the tram and died instantly.
  • It celebrated its centenary in 1935
  • It’s been beset by fires 1913/14 (allegedly), 1976, 1995 & 2005
  • During WW2 it was closed and became part of HMS Westcliff

Of course, Lucy and Mark can’t possibly explain why there’s a link between Southend Pier and Aldwych Strand Station; nor can they explain time travel. But hey: they’re doing a History Project – Not a science experiment

The 1949 Affair Chapter 1a

When you see as Swastika in a history lesson – even if you’re doing the imagery/purpose type lesson – where you’re analysing Nazi thinking behind the colour scheme; it’s something you’re divorced from. When you’re facing one that’s 518 foot long – contrasted against a night sky? That’s another story. I mean let’s face it; In 2013 … 1… it’s something that happened 74 years ago – those Nazis goose stepping all over Europe: that’s when my Great Grandparents were young. I’m an Essex girl remember. And … 2…  the Nazis didn’t invade. Operation Sealion failed in 1940.

Something  has gone

very

very

wrong.

And it’s about to get worse.

There’s a noise – a low rumble – Distant. Persistent. Getting louder. Steadier. More… Menacing. Soldiers! Loads of them. I look at Mark. The horror I feel, realised in his face. It’s night. The Nazis are in control. And we don’t have papers. No blauschein. No ID.

We stand still: waiting. Well there’s no point running. We’re on Blackpool Sea Front. Where can we hide?

“You! Halt!” I pray for  Mark not to be sarcastic, but the logic of the statement’s so circular, especially as we aren’t moving. Rifles point directly at us.

I’ve never been so frightened. Even when I was kidnapped, bound, gagged, and held in Dover Castle. That paled into insignificance compared to this.

“Papers!” The movies’ were correct. These soldiers snapped orders. After Melville and Nicolai… this was the rude and crude reality of war.