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Lucky Ignatius By Mike Scantlebury
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It's only an old church, isn't it? Well, no, the Church of England has abandoned the old building and taken it out of commission. Even though it was designed by one of the foremost Victorian... More > architects, they'd be happy to see it rot, or, perhaps, turned into designer flats by a local property developer. Until that happens, it's a perfect Safe House, a bolt hole for the man Mickey has promised to protect - a man called Lucky. So 'lucky' that he's the target of three local gangs and numerous villains. How lucky is that?< Less
MULTI-MEDIA By Mike Scantlebury
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It's a busy year. Mickey is called in to help an old friend, but he's hardly got started when he gets another commission. And another. What's going on? Is it all because the BBC has decided to move... More > its North of England headquarters to Salford Quays, and suddenly the whole world wants something from them? Mickey, confused, frustrated, has to struggle, as the months go by, to make sense of what is happening in his home city, how it is changing, and how it is being forced to change. Not everyone seems happy with the process, not even the BBC, whose members are slowly coming to terms with the fact that though the streets of Salford are outside the windows of their new, glossy buildings, they really have no idea what is happening down there and who these residents really are. Or what they're capable of.< Less
The Folksinger 2013 By Mike Scantlebury
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Vlad Hugg is a popular new singer, young, dashing romantic, with a nice line in deprecating chat and a handsome, weather burned face. He has been travelling, he says, out 'on the road', seeing life... More > and the world, writing about it and singing about it. He is an egrossing hero. So who wants him dead? Melia's cousin, Liv, writing his authorised biography, is equally baffled by the gaps in his story and worried by the threats on his life. But that's not all: there's also the rumours about the young man, the allegations that he caused - either directly or indirectly - the deaths of about a dozen people. How is that even possible? He comes from Swinton, for goodness sake, a small, dowdy suburb in Salford, the old, run-down centre of the North West of England. He's a slightly boring, nondescript youth from a predictable background: how could anything like the stories be true? Melia, of course, has her own reasons for trying to delve in and find the truth. Her boss, and British Security, thinks Vlad Hugg is a spy!< Less
Fresh Heir By Mike Scantlebury
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For over four hundred years, Salford has had the benefit of one of its sons being a wonderful benefactor, leaving his massive inheritance to improve the lives and conditions of the people who live in... More > this lucky city. But now that all seems under threat: a man has arrived in town who says he is the rightful heir to the fortune, and he wants to take all the assets for himself. It's a massive stockpile, accumulated over all those years, and includes some of the most important real estate in town. Not surprisingly, some folks are trying to stop him - for all the best reasons - but the means they use are the worst, not stopping short of murder. There's things going on behind the scenes, and Melia is horrified to be dragged in. It's not her fight! But, once again, coming to the aid of her family, the aunt she loves and the cousin she feels responsible for, she is right in the middle of it. Which is lucky for them. Maybe she can make people see sense. This is a charity, after all!< Less
Poison Doctor By Mike Scantlebury
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Amelia Hartliss is called 'Heartless' by her friends and foes alike, and with good reason. But at least she has always had the assurance, up to now, that she was doing wrong for the right reason. Now... More > she isn't so sure: she has been forced by her boss to infiltrate a conspiracy at the top level of local government, development organisations and health bodies in the North of England, and the depths of depravity sicken her, despite her many years of experience and a feeling she had that she had 'seen everything'. Not quite; human beings have an unlimited capacity to disappoint, as one victim puts it, and Melia has to use all her determination and ingenuity to foil a dastardly terrorist plot to poison the water supply of a major city. But worse, the conspirators are poisoning the minds of the local population too, and turning them against the weakest members of society. It's sickening.< Less
Salford World War By Mike Scantlebury
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People all over Britain are thinking about the First World War, the peril and the sacrifice, and how it started in 1914. The details might be hazy but the story was all about how a very important... More > person from a very important country came to visit a small, unimportant place and got themselves killed. His homeland wanted revenge against the assassins that did the crime, and called on their friends to back them up. Other countries came running to the aid of the little place, and soon there were two sides, lined up against each other, and spoiling for a fight. Some people say the world now looks a lot like 1914, with other treaty obligations, allies and foes, arms races and deals, shortages and economic recessions, unequal prosperity and huge riches for some. So what would it take for all that mayhem to happen again? Could history repeat itself? Luckily, we're talking about Salford, and this city has Amelia Hartliss to defend it. She might not know all that's going on, but she won't let anything bad happen.< Less
Off The Rails By Mike Scantlebury
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Mickey finds himself at the centre of an unexpected and unwelcome investigation. Manchester's foremost entrepreneur is under threat. The future of the city's bid for the Olympic Games is in doubt.... More > Who is behind the supposed 'accidents'? Who doesn't want England to win? Who doesn't want the city to drag itself out of the Industrial Revolution and move on? And, most important, can Mickey help, or is he merely part of the problem?< Less
A Limp Piccolo By Mike Scantlebury
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Manchester, England, home of the Industrial Revolution and centre of the 19th century, struggling to make it into the 20th century. City leaders concoct a plan to bid for the Olympic Games. It's a... More > last throw of the dice.< Less
Alien Incursions By Mike Scantlebury
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It's a hundred years in the future and everything has changed. The media companies of the whole Solar System are controlled by a handful of people. Peter Colwhon is a vid reporter. He is sent from... More > Mars base to the Asteroid Belt to interview the youngest and most objectionable of all the heirs to trading company fortunes. Peter finds chaos, rebellion and terror. Someone is organising the spacers in revolt against the Five Families. Soon, his own life is in danger. Can he survive the mission, escape with his life and still file his story?< Less
The Golden Chip By Mike Scantlebury
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Gold is on everyone's mind, the millions in value represented by a haul of gold bars, that disappeared from Salford's docks in 1966. It seems a lifetime ago, but people are remembering former times,... More > inspired by a local project run by the BBC, called 'All Our Stories'. They're asking people to remember the things in their lives that are most important to them, but perhaps they never realised that once Jan Branch gets her audio recorder out and lays it on the table, mysteries and anecdotes are going to come out that aren't all happy memories. They were tough times, back in 1966, and people did anything to try and make a living. Jimmy was good at it, moving in the business of takeaway food, and making a success of it. But he came from a criminal family: his Dad died, after years in prison, and his brother fled overseas. So why has Ben come back? Why now? What does he want? Melia starts to investigate and has to ask what everyone was thinking: what happened to the gold? Why did it never emerge after 1966?< Less