New Release & Review – INSPECTOR KIRBY AND HAROLD LONGCOAT: A NORTHUMBRIAN MYSTERY by Ian Martyn #Paranormal #Mystery

New release ‘Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat: A Northumbrian Mystery’, 

A contemporary mystery with a touch of the paranormal and supernatural.


A pair of shoes at the side of the road, how weird can that be?

Newcastle Detective Inspector Jonah Kirby, called ‘old school’ by his junior colleagues ends up with the cases other officers don’t like to handle, the weird ones. When a young girl is reported missing Kirby investigates. All he has to go on is the pair of shoes. It’s only been a few hours, but to Kirby it doesn’t feel right and in his experience things not feeling right often lead to things not being right.

He’s confronted on the street by a grey cardigan wearing, elderly lady, who’s eyes hold more history than the local library. She tells him to visit local shopkeeper Harold Longcoat. Little does Kirby realise that his weirdness scale – weird, very weird and extremely weird – will soon need extending.

Magic is spread thin in our world. However, as Kirby finds out, just because we’ve forgotten about it doesn’t mean magic isn’t there for someone intent on using it.

My review

Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat (A Northumbrian Mystery)Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat by Ian Martyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A missing girl, an empty pair of shoes by the roadside. An innocuous start to a mystery that quickly becomes very mysterious and far-reaching – in fact, all the way back to the sixth century BC.
Enter Inspector Kirby, a forty-something English copper (policeman, for non-Brits), with a slightly jaded attitude and a reputation for resolving weird cases. And they don’t come much weirder than this one. Add an eclectic cast of various ages, backgrounds, and temperaments, and you have an intriguing tale that takes you places no self-respecting person from Newcastle might ever expect to go.
I really enjoyed reading this book – Kirby’s thoughts and asides are often utterly hilarious because they are so realistic, both in content and in the way his mind wanders onto unconnected and irreverent topics without any permission! Mine does the same!
Kirby’s background is well integrated into the story, and it was lovely to see him grow and develop through the book. Harold and the others from ‘the other’ world are both at home and at odds with this modern world of ours, and the interactions of bringing Viking-era plunderers, not to mention a few hordes of goblins in grey hoodies, into such places as the local pub and golf course, made for much hilarity. And I shall be keeping an eye out for innocuous-looking old ladies in grey cardigans from now on.
My only real disappointment with this book was that in the climax, Kirby is really nothing more than an observer – more a Doctor Watson than a Sherlock Holmes. I kept expecting him to have a pivotal role in the final showdown, but sadly it didn’t happen.
Please note, the language and many of the pop references are quintessentially British, so might leave you floundering if you live in another country, but if you are happy to go along for the ride, you may learn something about the British sense of humour.

View all my reviews

Find it at: AMAZON

About the author

Ian Martyn lives in Surrey in the United Kingdom. One long hot summer as a teenager (they were all long hot summers then, weren’t they?) he visited a friend’s house. Her Dad had a collection of sc-fi and fantasy paperbacks. The covers looked great. He picked one at random, started to read and has been hooked ever since. Now, he’s writing them.
Having written and published a number of science fiction stories Ian has now taken on a new writing venture in, Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat – A Northumbrian Mystery. This is a detective story with a magical, paranormal twist. A follow-up is in revision and a third book is taking shape.
A scifi novelette ‘Bleak – The first mission is free on Amazon. Dancing With The Devil a collection of thirteen of his sci-fi and fantasy short stories is free on his web site. You can find more about Ian Martyn, his books, blogs and stories on his web site:


  1. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out the book, Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat: A Northumbrian Mystery, by Ian Martyn, as featured in this post from author Deborah Jay’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Don 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This does sound excellent, exactly what I like reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, the characters’ thoughts and conversations are brilliant.


  3. […] reviewed book #1 HERE at 4*, this one came in as a solid […]


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