The Waxwork Corpse has surfaced!

The long delay is over!

I know that many of you dedicated readers of the series since The Brief came out four years ago have been waiting anxiously to find out what happens next to Charles. Will he get the Kray twins off his back? Will he forever be an outsider in the palaces of justice? And, for many of you, the most important question: will he ever grow up and sort out his train-wreck of a private life?

It’s been almost eighteen months since the publication of Corrupted but I am at last delighted to report that my new publishers, Sapere Books, have announced that the fifth in the Charles Holborne series, The Waxwork Corpse, will be published on 23 December 2019. It’s already available for pre-order and as at the time of writing has climbed into the top 2000 paid Kindle books on Amazon. I hope you’ll consider your patience to have been rewarded when you rush out to read it!

If you’d like to hear the true story of my meeting the killer, click the Blogs button


A sex scandal, a murder and a cover-up
Can maverick barrister Charles Holborne uncover the truth before an innocent is sacrificed to protect the powerful?Simon Michael takes real political events from the 1960s to create another nail-biting – and frighteningly topical – crime thriller.
Vivid, gripping and authentic storytelling. A great crime thriller” – Robert Daws

Well, that’s what it says on the blurb, but in any case…




To mark the publication of Book 4 in the series


on 21 June 2018

I am organising a whistle-stop tour of my ‘One Man Show’

If you’d like to hear about eating bacon sandwiches in the cells of the Old Bailey with a convicted murderer; my family’s connection with the Krays; why I still wear 200-year old horsehair on my head – and many more anecdotes from my 40 years at the Bar, see if you’re  available on any of the following:

Saturday 23 June – 11 am – Hitchin Library (call 0300 123 4049 for tickets)

Tuesday 26 June 2018 – 6:30 pm for 7:00 pm – Nantwich Book Shop (£7:50 entrance, includes plentiful food, drink and £2:50 discount voucher for books; call 01270 611665 for tickets)

Wednesday 27 June 2018 – 6:00 pm – Newcastle Lit & Phil (£3 entrance; call 0191 232 0192 for tickets)

Thursday 28 June 2018 – 6:00 pm – Northampton Waterstones (free entrance; tickets from store or call 01604 634854)

Saturday 30 June 2018 – 10:00 am – Hitchin Waterstones signing session (free entrance; no booking required)

Tuesday 3 July 2018 – 6:00 pm Leeds Waterstones (free entrance; call 0113 2444588 or email for tickets)

I hope to see you there.


(PS: If you’re in London and fancy coming to the official launch at Waterstones Piccadilly at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 21 June 2018, I still have a few tickets available.  Mingle with the great and good, have a few drinks and canapés and hear some of the new book.  I may have a few surprises too.  Please drop me a line at – first come, first served!)

Pre-order Corrupted
Order Books 1 to 3





7 pm,  27 April 2017,  Panaro’s  Café, Bar & Deli, 40 High St, Newcastle-Under-Lyme ST5 1QL

Inaugural author’s event

19 –  21 May 2017: CRIMEFEST, the International Crime Fiction Convention, Bristol, UK (

I  shall be taking part in a panel discussion with other crime writers entitled: “Bring Lawyers, Guns And Money: It Might Be Legal, But Is It Just?”  Should be fun.





The third annual crime festival, Deal Noir, was held in the lovely Kent seaside town on Saturday, 25 March 2017, and I was delighted to be invited to be part of a very strong panel including Hugh Fraser, Linda Regan and newcomer Ron Reynolds, moderated by Barry Forshaw, one of the U.K.’s leading experts on crime fiction and film. Our subject was “Tough nuts and how to crack them – the grittier side of crime fiction writing” and Barry – a veritable crime literature polymath – kept the discussions lively and interesting.

Deal Noir, if you don’t know it, is a superbly-organised and enthusiastic niche festival, attracting very knowledgeable and widely-read crime readers and writers. Well worth a visit.




I did my first photoshoot!  What a laugh!  More detail here:



(I have no  idea who these two young women were, or why they tried to outdo me in their fancy dress, but I concede defeat.    Nice people in Hitchin, but strange.)


Nantwich Book Shop, run brilliantly by owners Steve and Denise Lawson, was listed in The Independent’s top 50 independent bookshops.  In addition to being run by two people who love books and authors, it has a superb restaurant attached.    In January 2017 I was invited to give a talk about the Charles Holborne series and was welcomed by a sell-out audience, the first to have a sneak preview of the Prologue of the third in the series, The Lighterman.    A superb evening.


On 20 September, the lovely Sandra Foy, the new owner of the Urmston Bookshop, invited me to talk to the shop’s book group and others.  15 of us crammed into her back room on a night of pouring rain to talk about thrillers, the 1960s and damaged heroes.


On 24 September 2016 I was invited to step in for a missing guest  at the BookCrossing Unconventional in Birmingham.   The author, Guy Fraser-Samson,  moderated, and it became an impromptu double-act of lawyers turned authors   Delivered to a large and enthusiastic  group of crime fans from England and Eire.

The gracious and talented Guy introducing yours truly (looking suitably embarrassed and modest)…


…answering questions about cliff-hangers and hangmen





Birmingham launch of An Honest Man…




London launch of The Brief …





…and the brilliant actor Robert Daws bringing sections of the novel to life.