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Trow, M.J. 1949–

Trow, M.J. 1949–

(Meirion James Trow)

PERSONAL:

Surname rhymes with "crow"; born October 16, 1949, in Ferndale, South Wales, Wales; son of Edward Charles and Glenys Trow; married Carol Mary Long (a writer), July 14, 1973; children: Taliesin James (a musician). Education: King's College London, B.A. (with honors), 1971; Jesus College Cambridge, postgraduate certificate in education, 1972. Politics: "Slightly right of center."

ADDRESSES:

Home—Ryde, Isle of Wight, England. Office—Ryde High School, Pell Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, England. Agent—Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Ltd., 36 Great Smith St., London SW1P 3BU, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

History teacher at school in Welwyn Garden City, England, 1972-76; Ryde High School, Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, head of history, beginning 1976.

MEMBER:

Society of Authors.

WRITINGS:

"LESTRADE" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS

The Supreme Adventure of Inspector Lestrade, Stein & Day (New York, NY), 1985, published as The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade, Macmillan (London, England), 1985.

Brigade: Further Adventures of Inspector Lestrade, Macmillan (London, England), 1986.

Lestrade and the Hallowed House, Macmillan (London, England), 1987.

Lestrade and the Brother of Death, Regnery (Washington, DC), 1999.

Lestrade and the Deadly Game, Regnery (Washington, DC), 1999.

Lestrade and the Ripper, Regnery (Washington, DC), 1999.

Lestrade and the Guardian Angel, Regnery (Washington, DC), 1999.

Lestrade and the Leviathan, Regnery (Washington, DC), 1999.

Lestrade and the Magpie, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2000.

Lestrade and the Gift of the Prince, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2000.

Lestrade and the Dead Man's Hand, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2000.

Lestrade and the Sawdust Ring, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2000.

Lestrade and the Sign of Nine, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2000.

Lestrade and the Mirror of Murder, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2001.

Lestrade and the Kiss of Horus, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2001.

Lestrade and the Devil's Own, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2001.

"PETER MAXWELL" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS

Maxwell's House, Constable (London, England), 1994.

Maxwell's Flame, New English Library (London, England), 1998.

Maxwell's Movie, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1998.

Maxwell's War, New English Library (London, England), 1999.

Maxwell's Ride, New English Library (London, England), 2000.

Maxwell's Curse, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2000.

Maxwell's Reunion, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2001.

Maxwell's Match, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2002.

Maxwell's Inspection, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2003.

Maxwell's Grave, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2004.

Maxwell's Mask, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2005.

Maxwell's Point, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2007.

Maxwell's Chain, Allison & Busby (London, England), 2008.

NONFICTION

Let Him Have It, Chris: The Murder of Derek Bentley, Constable (London, England), 1990.

The Wigwam Murder, Constable (London, England, 1994.

(And illustrator) The Many Faces of Jack the Ripper, Summersdale (Chichester, England), 1997.

(With John Harris) Hess: The British Conspiracy, Deutsch (London, England), 1998.

(With son, Taliesin Trow) Who Killed Kit Marlowe?, Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 2001.

Vlad the Impaler, Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 2003.

(With Taliesin Trow) Boudicca, the Warrior Queen, Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 2004.

Cnut, Emperor of the North, Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 2005.

Spartacus, the Myth and the Man, Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 2006.

The Pocket Hercules: Captain Morris and the Charge of the Light Brigade, Pen and Sword (Barnsley, England), 2006.

El Cid, the Making of a Legend, Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

Some of Trow's books have been recorded as audiobooks, including Maxwell's Grave and Maxwell's Inspection.

SIDELIGHTS:

M.J. Trow told CA: "My first crime-fiction series chronicles the adventures of Sholto Lestrade, a character created (and much maligned) by Arthur Conan Doyle in the Sherlock Holmes canon. The series mixes fact with fiction, history with myth, and laughter with slaughter. I once told CA that my Lestrade series ‘stemmed from a sense of fury at the arrogance of the characterization of Sherlock Holmes, not by Conan Doyle, but by Basil Rathbone in the films of the 1940s shown for the umpteenth time on British television in 1982. A humorous style comes naturally to me…. Grisly death, or the description of it, is also easy.’"

Trow continued: "My second series, featuring Peter ‘Mad Max’ Maxwell, is set today and has a more realistic setting than the surreal scenarios of Lestrade. Maxwell is a history teacher in a comprehensive school somewhere along the south coast, and I use my day-job knowledge of the British educational system to send it up in all its absurdities. Teacher by day and amateur sleuth by night, Maxwell is highly intelligent and highly annoying in equal measure, but he gets results in more ways than one.

"On the ‘fact front,’ my writing began with true crime, after a chance encounter led to inside information on the Craig and Bentley case of 1952. The resulting book, Let Him Have It, Chris: The Murder of Derek Bentley, helped to create a posthumous pardon for Derek Bentley, wrongly hanged for a murder he did not commit. The book spent many weeks on the Times bestseller list and was followed by another book on a World War II killing, The Wigwam Murder, and by The Many Faces of Jack the Ripper, a lavish, coffee-table format crammed with photographs and my own artwork, which laid out the state of Ripperology as it was at the time.

"Since 2001 I have also written a series of historical biographies for one of Britain's premier history houses. The first investigates the death of playwright Christopher Marlowe in 1593. It was followed by books on Vlad the Impaler (Dracula); Cnut, the Viking king of England; Boudicca, the warrior queen who defied the Romans; Spartacus, the gladiator slave who destroyed six Roman armies; and El Cid, the national hero of Spain. What is common to all these works is the deliberate peeling away of the legend to reveal the men and women and their times.

"I love my writing. It is a bit of therapy away from the day job of teaching. My wife Carol is indispensable. Not only does she type everything for me, but we discuss plots, fiction and fact, and she is my first and most helpful critic. My son Tali, though about to launch his professional music career, has as master's degree in archaeology and collaborated with me on two of the biographies."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Armchair Detective, fall, 1993, review of The Supreme Adventure of Inspector Lestrade, p. 70.

Booklist, May 15, 1998, Mike Tribby, review of The Many Faces of Jack the Ripper, p. 1572; May 1, 2005, Mary Frances Wilkens, review of Maxwell's Grave, p. 1538.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 1995, review of Maxwell's House, p. 744; March 15, 2000, review of Lestrade and the Magpie, p. 342.

Library Journal, May 1, 1998, Michael Rogers, review of The Many Faces of Jack the Ripper, p. 118; August, 1999, Rex. E. Klett, reviews of Lestrade and the Ripper and Lestrade and the Deadly Game, p. 146.

New Statesman & Society, September 21, 1990, Bill Breenwell, "Let Him Have It, Chris," p. 44.

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 1995, review of Maxwell's House, p. 93; August 3, 1998, review of The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade, p. 78; October 26, 1998, review of Brigade: Further Adventures of Inspector Lestrade, p. 47; July 5, 1999, review of Lestrade and the Ripper, p. 61; July 19, 1999, review of Lestrade and the Deadly Game, p. 188; December 6, 1999, review of Lestrade and the Brother of Death, p. 67; March 6, 2000, review of Lestrade and the Magpie, p. 86; July 17, 2000, review of Lestrade and the Dead Man's Hand, p. 178.

ONLINE

BookBrowser, http://www.bookbrowser.com/ (March 17, 2000), Maureen O'Connor, review of Lestrade and the Magpie; (April 26, 2000) Sharon Galligar Chance, review of Lestrade and the Gift of the Prince.

Over My Dead Body,http://www.overmydeadbody.com/ (November, 1999), J. Ashley, reviews of Lestrade and the Brother of Death, Lestrade and the Deadly Game, Lestrade and the Guardian Angel, and Lestrade and the Ripper.

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Web site,http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk/ (August 24, 2007), "M.J. Trow."

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