The Fordhamton Trilogy contains all three episodes in the affairs of Fordhamton. A Little Local Affair begins with the fall out following the suspicious death of Alan Price in a car crash and the ensuing fraud, by-election and strange behaviour of some of the town’s more respected citizens. Return to Fordhamton follows the adventures of Tim Rose who is repeatedly arrested and released by the police for crimes he didn’t commit. He tries to get back to his company training centre but keeps being returned to the town. The terms of Arthur Brown’s will threatens to uncover at least one secret sexual liaison and the public embarrassment of an ethically run Bank and Property Investment Company. The trilogy concludes with The Last Resort where the Mayor’s great idea of an Arts Festival leads to murder, anarchic teaching staff at the local school and the arrival of everyone’s least popular detective.
There is some small sexually explicit detail in the series but the underlying theme is one of dark humour. Fordhamton is set in middle England where some of the residents speak with a mixture of slang and very English colloquialisms. The books do not contain the normal hero/protagonist scenario but offer a broad sweep of the lives and loves of the residents of one small town. It follows their attempts to try to come to grips with a series of very odd and quite bizarre events; and a very nosey detective. Many would echo his own thoughts: “Did you hear that, the third most boring town in Britain. This from a place that was covered in green paint, private investigators found dead, sex perverts serving on the council, a plague of vampire bats, sex parlours, mad women going around stabbing cross dressers with hatpins and a man on the loose who became England’s most wanted criminal. I would hate to serve in the town that came first.” Despite this, most of the characters live happily ever after. Sort of, anyway.
The first part of this trilogy - A Little Local Affair - is offered free at Smashwords and most other sellers. Depending on where this is purchased the whole of book one may be downloaded and most of the first chapter of Return to Fordhamton.
About the Author
John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. The Education Act of 1944 saw great changes in the way the nation was taught; the main one being that all children stayed at school until the age of 15 (later increased to 16). For the first time working class children were able to reach higher levels of academic study and the opportunity to gain further educational qualifications at University.
This explosion in education brought forth a new aspirational middle class; others remained true to their working class roots. The author belongs somewhere between the two. Many of the author’s main characters have their genesis in this educational revolution. Their dialogue though idiosyncratic can normally be understood but like all working class speech it is liberally sprinkled with strange boyhood phrases and a passing nod to cockney rhyming slang.
John Barber’s novels are set in fictional English towns where sexual intrigue and political in-fighting is rife beneath a pleasant, small town veneer of respectability.
They fall within the cozy, traditional British detective sections of mystery fiction.
He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder which investigated a famous murder mystery of 1907 and names the killer. This is still available in softback and as an ebook, although not available from Smashwords
John Barber had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He is now retired and lives with his wife and two cats on an island in the middle of Hertford and spends his time between local community projects and writing further novels.