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WELCOME TO MEANSTREETS.CO.UK

THE WEBSITE OF STUART PAWSON

Creator and author of the D.I. Charlie Priest mysteries.

We hope you like the re-hashed site. Readers’ comments have all been favourable although we always have time for a few more. We will try to keep you informed and, hopefully, interested in what’s happening in Charlie Priest’s world, and also include a few photographs from the life and career progression of a hot-shot crime writer (me!).

In the stories I have tried to use popular, and some not-so-popular, locations from differing areas of the country, and I like to think that this enhances the pleasure to be found in the books. Photos from some of these can be found in the Photo Gallery (see menu on the left) while the Diary/Blog and News will keep you abreast of developments in our wicked world of criminality.

As it says on the t-shirt: “So many books; so little time.” Happy reading. SP.

About Stuart Pawson

Stuart Pawson lives in Fairburn, Yorkshire, with his wife, Doreen, and can often be found tramping across the moors that form a backdrop to his stories.

After a career as a mining electrical engineer he worked part-time for the probation service for five years, mediating between offenders and their victims. This gave him a good insight into the criminal justice system, and it was during this period that he started to write his first book, The Picasso Scam.

Stuart believes he must have some cowboy genes somewhere in his genome because he has always had a strong affinity for the American West. His first visit to the USA was to work for a month at a Wyoming coalmine, and he has since holidayed over there many times. Although tone-deaf (some would say stone-deaf) he has always thought it would be good fun to be a songwriter. The thought of composing a three-minute song as opposed to a 300-page book has a certain attraction. He managed to combine the two themes – song writing and the West – in the opening chapters of Laughing Boy, and he enjoyed writing that one immensely.

Stuart is a member of the Crimewriters’ Association and the Murder Squad. He is often asked to speak to library groups, a task which he gladly undertakes.

ABOUT D.I. CHARLIE PRIEST

Detective Inspector Charlie Priest (“…as in Roman Catholic”) eats his banana and peanut butter sandwiches with honey because he can’t find condensed milk at the supermarket. He is head of CID in the mythical town of Heckley, situated in what was once called the Heavy Woollen District of Yorkshire, somewhere near Huddersfield and Halifax. (Fact is stranger than fiction: this part of the country is undoubtedly the Serial Killer capital of Great Britain. And for a hundred years this particular area supplied all the nation’s public executioners.) Charlie believes in doing things by the book. It’s just that, in the heat of the chase, he sometimes turns over two pages at once. And what does it matter if he loses a case once in a while, as long as he gets the one-liner in first? (His advice to a prisoner who tries to bribe him: “Never start a sentence with a proposition.”). A teenager in the seventies, he still hankers after the idealism of those days. Resolutely young at heart, he is equally at home at a rock concert, a football match or the opera, although he would probably prefer to be up on his beloved moors, with the wind in his hair. Up there, at least, nothing changes.
In the words of a critic, because critics are always right: “The character of Charlie is a winner, too: a good and intelligent man in a hard world, fighting villains on his patch with a mixture of common sense, determination and, above all, humour. He’s not perfect, which would be tedious and incredible, and he bends the occasional rule that gets in his way, but he clings to his compassion for victims of all kinds, and generally struggles to maintain his belief in humanity, despite being exposed to some distinctly rotten examples of the opposite.” (Crime Time)
Charlie was the youngest-ever appointed inspector in the local force, and is now the longest serving. He has a degree in Art, unusual for a cop, but it comes in useful for designing posters and he still dabbles at painting, producing large abstracts for the local gala, which earn him the good-natured derision of his staff. He has been offered promotion but he prefers the sharp end of policing. Senior officers tolerate his bohemian attitudes and indiscipline because he takes risks and produces results. A divorcee, Charlie has had a series of girlfriends but the expression unlucky in love was written for him. His tenuous love life is a thread running through the series, particularly the first four books, but they can be read in any order. He works long hours, and at the end of each day goes home to cook a meal, perhaps do some painting, and listen to his Dylan CDs or something more classical.

About Heckley

All the stories are based in the fictitious town of Heckley, in the southern Pennines of Yorkshire; an area that was once called the Heavy Woollen District. The prosperity that the woollen industry brought for some has long gone, the mills have fallen silent, but a legacy of large, often remote, Victorian properties remains. That, coupled with easy motorway access to the conurbations of Manchester and West Yorkshire (this is the cross-roads of England, where the A1 and M1 intersect the M62) make this an area that is attractive to major criminals.
Not far from Heckley, we have the real-life birthplaces of the Yorkshire Ripper, the Black Panther, the Moors Murderers, Michael Sams and Dr Shipman, plus numerous, less famous, others. Even Haigh and Christie, who did their murderous deeds in London, were born not far from here. So there is no need for exaggeration when writing about the nefarious activities of the citizens of Heckley. “Trouble at t’mill” has taken on a whole new meaning and Charlie’s beloved moors, in all their moods, provide a fitting backdrop to the stories.

SMP

September 17, 2020

Not the Olympics

September 17, 2020

Cornwall E-Type

September 17, 2020

On Castle Rigg

September 17, 2020

Fishing Trip

September 17, 2020

School Desk

September 17, 2020

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 1

September 17, 2020

Greenway Devon

September 17, 2020

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2

September 17, 2020

View from Greenway

September 17, 2020

Scrambling

September 17, 2020

In the pub

September 17, 2020

Elders in the lakes

September 17, 2020

With good buddy John Lyon

September 17, 2020

Shahtoosh

September 17, 2020

Heptonstall bobby

September 17, 2020

Heptonstall

September 17, 2020

Ribblehead Viaduct

September 17, 2020

Humber Bridge

September 17, 2020

Marsham Folly

September 17, 2020

The Picasso Scam

September 15, 2020

Mushroom Man

September 15, 2020

The Judas Sheep

September 15, 2020

Last Reminder

September 15, 2020

Deadly Friends

September 15, 2020

Some By Fire

September 15, 2020

Chill Factor

September 15, 2020

Laughing Boy

September 15, 2020

Limestone Cowboy

September 15, 2020

Over The Edge

September 15, 2020

Shooting Elvis

September 15, 2020

Grief Encounters

September 15, 2020

A Very Private Murder

September 15, 2020

Life Moments & Diary Blog