Each part of Britain has its own fictional sleuth and Norwich is no exception to the rule. The past two years have seen the emergence of a new sleuth on the block, Inspector Ketch of the Norwich Police. Ketch is a pseudonym for DCI Huw Price, who earned the sobriquet from his colleagues after they found out that one of his ancestors was the Regency hangman Jack Ketch.
Ketch features in four volumes of crime stories written by local author and Conan Doyle aficionado Kelvin Jones. An old style copper now in his 50's, Ketch is a bit of a luddite in this digital world and also something of an alcoholic. He uses traditional methods and pure instinct to unravel his cases.
The Ketch stories (all published as ebooks in the Kindle series: Murder Most Easterly and The Norwich Murder Files) depict a changing social landscape and range in theme from domestic murders to drugs and slave trafficking. And, like all good crime tales, all of the Ketch stories utilise the East Anglian landscape to powerful and often dramatic effect.
Kelvin I. Jones has been a prolific writer for a quarter of a century. He is one of that breed who is equally at home writing poetry, plays and, above all, novels. He has published six books about Sherlock Holmes and the only study on Conan Doyle’s interest in spiritualism, as well as numerous articles about the Victorian detective. Ed Hoch, the renowned American crime writer, has said of his Sherlockian work: “Kelvin I Jones reveals a sensibility and knowledge of 19th Century literature that extends far beyond the world of Sherlock Holmes.” He is also the author of many supernatural stories, among them Carter's Occult Casebook, about a psychic Edwardian detective. Of his gothic tales, Francis King, the novelist and critic, has written, “(Kelvin's work) piquantly suggest the work of a modern M.R. James.” Kelvin has written three books on folklore, including Occult Cornwall and has also now published the fourth in his John Bottrell series, in which his other fictional character, a retired ex Met detective, is set the challenge of uncovering the mystery surrounding the discovery of a corpse in fishing nets off Cromer, in the novel: A Cromer Corpse, also an ebook. He has also collaborated with his wife Debbie on a book for older children set in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral where evil happenings follow the accidental disinterment of a medieval magician.