Boxing Day, December 26th 2011

Had a great Christmas Day. Went to church at 9 o’clock to the service from the King James prayer book of 1662, which we prefer. The church looked beautiful and it was nice to be with so many friends.

BBC 1 broadcast a great service later in the morning live from Lichfield Cathedral, which we also enjoyed.

We had our Christmas dinner at five o’clock, just the two of us, and I am pleased to say that the turkey and everything was delicious. I would like to compromise the cook! Woo hoo! But she wasn’t in the mood. I’ll secretly slop some more Sherry in that trifle. See if that will do the trick.

Well, now the big day is over, who do you think is doing the washing up?

I’ve piled the pots and pans up very neatly at the far end of the worktop and found some odd plates and clobber at the back of the cupboard to get us by until Elaine comes later today. She’s marvellous. She’ll do the honours. And she’ll put it all away as well.

Among my lovely pressies, I got a heating pad from one of my nephews, Dylan and his lovely lady, Sarah, which is for wrapping around any part of the body that needs heat. As I write, I have my feet on it and I see that they are changing from purple to pink, which is absolutely great. ‘Purple to pink.’ Mmmm. Sounds like a great title for a book, doesn’t it. Pity I can’t make it fit the present Angel book I’m supposed to be writing. Do you know, I haven’t written a word of it for more than a fortnight. What with launching THE SNUFFBOX MURDERS as an eBook on Kindle, opening a Twitter account (as they say), coping with Christmas and going to the gym, I have simply not had the time. I must get down to it, or I shall be getting shrieks of complaint. I used to write three Angels a year and the odd play for the States, now it takes all my time writing the one book in twelve months.

I have worked up my attendances at the gym to five times a week, and I don’t mess around. I exercise hard for an hour at each session. I should soon be as lean as Prince Philip, who, although he is still in hospital as I write, I hear exercises on a regular basis, which must be some achievement for a 90 year old.

By the way, as you know, the NHS is being reorganised. And absolutely everything at Barnsley General Hospital is being turned upside down and back to front. I hope it will not result in negative improvements, because, up to now, the queen and I have always been looked after by the staff there in the most wonderful and careful way. Obviously the upheaval affects WEIGHTWISE. That’s the NHS department sexy Linda works for. I am waiting to consult her for diet analysis, follow up advice and to be weighed, but when I phone, poor lass, she is always in a meeting or dashing around somewhere. I don’t think she knows whether she is coming or going, or on her way back. But she’s very good. She always rings back, from a temporary phone number in a temporary office with no firm information. I must try her again soon. I might be knocking myself out at the gym and putting weight on!!!???

Well, Christmas day is over. The beginning of Chritianity has been duly celebrated. Whatever we did or didn’t do is now history. Hope you had a great day. 2012 is knocking at the door.

Have a great time, whether you are on your own, two of you or in a big family party.

And come back soon.

December 16th 2011

Hello there!

I have had many requests,(well,2 anyway)for a picture of me at work. So here it is.
Hello there!

I have had many requests,(well,2 anyway)for a picture of me at work. So here it is.

'I'm not in it because the queen called me away. Sorry about that.
Tuesday 6th December 2011

Well, I’ve been talked into joining TWITTER, which is more pleasant than I had thought. But I will have to be careful not to waste time. I mustn’t fritter on Twitter. Ya hay!
I’ve caught the rhyming bug.

Yesterday, after watching the news, the queen and I wrote the following doggerel in a twink, what do you think? (There it is again!)

Here we go ...
Sarcosy is cozy with Merkel,
But Putin is always disputin'.
The rest of the mob
Are still on the job,
And going around in a circle.
Ba bum.

I know it’s tripe but it rhymes.

By the way, talking about tripe, I’ve just seen the winning entry for the Turner Prize. I don’t think I'll ask Martin Boyce to design my sitting-room.

Ah me. Back to the book.

Thanks for looking in.
Monday, 28 November 2011

I’m back, book lovers.

This is a busy week for me.

It was ‘Stir up’ Sunday, on Sunday. The day traditionally set when the cook in the household made the Christmas Pudding. Did you make yours? No. You big fraud. I expect you’ll buy one from the supermarket.

On Wednesday, it will be the launch of the Kindle, Sony Reader and iPad edition of my book, THE SNUFFBOX MURDERS. I've never done this before, but everybody's doing it. So if on Wednesday you see crowds of people taking a day off work, marching around, waving banners, fighting the police and making speeches, don’t be a bit surprised!

And Thursday next, December 1st, is the day of the release of the beautiful recordings of my book THE DOGCOLLAR MURDERS read by that great actor, Jonathan Keeble.

So it’s a busy week.

And since I last wrote, I’ve had my ears syringed and my eyes tested, so I should be OK for a bit longer now. If you’ve crackling in your ears, have them syringed by a competent Nurse. It doesn’t hurt. It sounds as if the North Sea has come rushing in at you, but no worse than that. And you sit with your head upright in the normal position, which is good. So there’s no question of feeling dizzy afterwards. I thought you’d have to lean to one side, like having drops in. But no. Now I can hear the queen as if she was sat next to me – which she is. She never stops telling me what I ought to do or ought to have done.

Well, I’d better back to writing. I’ve reached an exciting part of the book, where Angel has to stop the murderer committing another murder. I’ll have to go, or he might get there before Angel does and kill him.

Thanks for looking in.
Thursday, November 10th 2011

What do you know?

My erudite friend and website Manager, James, has kindly found a link that will enable you to listen to the actual broadcast referred to below on my last diary post. If you have a computer, tap in the address below.

Happy listening.

And reading.

Back soon.
Tuesday, November 8th 2011

Hello there, book lovers.

I had a very interesting time last Sunday evening on Radio Litopia. I was a guest on their weekly, 50 minute programme, ‘Litopia After Dark’. It is from the writers’ colony of the English speaking world (their phrase). It was broadcast at 8 pm here, 1 pm on the west coast of the United States and 3 pm on the east coast. There were no ads. I was in good company with fellow authors Barbara Nadel and Chris Nickson. Their website is It is a specialist website for writers. This month is their 'Crime Wave' . That's why I was on.

Moving on …
Fellow writer and friend, Zoe Sharpe, went out to the States in March and on her return, she wrote in last month’s issue of RED HERRINGS, –

“…while waiting for a flight in one of the largest airports in the US I realised that I was one of only three people in the entire departure lounge who was reading a paperback. Everybody else was reading on some electronic device.”

Well book lovers, whatever is going to happen next? Are you the proud owner of a Kindle, Sony Reader, iPad or some such device? Are you buying your reading matter in electronic form or do you still want to hold a book in your hand? Do write me and let me know. I will reply to you even if it takes a week or two. And if you say anything I can usefully print, I will put it in my next piece here. My email address is

Well, I’d better get back to writing my book.

Thank you for looking in.
Hallowe’en, Monday, October 31st 2011.

Hello there, book lovers.

What a summer I’ve had! My darling queen has not been well. Frighteningly, she had a heart-attack and was whisked into hospital. She recovered from that and was brought home, and a week after that she had another, and had to be taken back in. The ambulances were here in four minutes which was marvellous. Hopefully those magnificent doctors and nurses have got her sorted and with care she should be all right now. But I can tell you, it made my pulse race to see the ambulance flying up the lane with its blue light whizzing round.

What with that, trying to write my new book and keep up with the gym and the new life regime, I’ve been so busy.

By the by, I said that when sexy Linda of Weight Wise came back from her hols (she’s had three months, by the way – she must be rolling in money - her name should be Vorderman) she would weigh me and I would l let you know the result. Well I was weighed on October 7th and I’ve actually lost 10½ lbs in 11 weeks … nearly 1lb a week. Sexy Linda thought that was great. I’m pleased I’ve lost the weight, of course, but it seemed to be a rigorous schedule to lose what appeared to be so little. She pointed out, quite reasonably, that if I maintained that rate of weight loss for six months, by April 6th, I would be 2st 2lbs lighter. Well, you can’t fault her arithmetic. I will certainly give it a damned good try, and I’ll let you know progressively how it goes.

I’m excited about the publication of my new Angel book, THE CHESHIRE CAT MURDERS which will be out in hardback in March 2012. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m probably more excited about what is really big news from me …
Another Angel book, THE SNUFFBOX MURDERS, will be available as an ebook next week, on Kindle, Sony Reader and the iPad. Do you know, I’m so thrilled, I can’t sleep at nights. I have to go out into the backyard and howl at the moon.

Well, Barnardos have sent the Christmas cards I ordered, and they really are Christmassy, no stagecoaches, candles or robins, but a simple painting of the infant Jesus with Mary and Joseph in a stable, with several animals in the background. It sums up what Christmas is really all about, doesn’t it?

Before I go, I have a complaint. Now I don’t usually gripe about my lovely readers – God bless them, where would I be without them? But it has come to my attention that certain nosey parkers are reading this diary but not reading the books nor listening to the audios. Now I think that’s a bit cheeky. After all, I sit at this computer sweating blood to bring Angel’s mysteries to you and some of you are not even reading them. It can’t be general, thank goodness, because the overall sales and loan figures are up, but if you are guilty of the offence, and you know who you are, take heed of the following. Inspector Angel has discovered that Lilian from Ossett, who wore the magic T shirt and used to work at Empire Stores is one of the offenders. He’s told me that if it doesn’t stop, he’ll send the boys round one dark night and have her brought into the station for questioning. She could find herself spending the night in a very drafty cell. You have been warned.

Well, I’d better get back to the serious business of writing my book.

If you can stand the meanderings of this old writer, please keep looking in.

And take care.
Tuesday July 5th 2011

Hello there …

The good news is that the publishers have accepted my new Angel book, THE CHESHIRE CAT MURDERS and it will be out in hardback next year in March. The bad news is that I was weighed on June 3rd and had lost only 2 lbs in a month. That’s a whole month’s new lifestyle, including the new eating discipline (although I was never hungry) and a hard, one hour work out at the gym three times a week! However, I shall keep at it. I am beginning to feel those endorphins kicking in. If I can catch two, I will them in a shoe box and maybe they’ll breed.

Sexy Linda (of WeightWise) is away for on holiday for a couple of months, so I don’t get weighed again until early September. I hope for a big weight loss report then. Already my new trousers are already an inch or two too big at the waistband so I live in high expectations. Whatever the result, I will let you know.

I was green with envy when I heard that a couple had written a crime novel and it had been published as an ebook* and that they had sold over a million. Then I heard that the price per copy was 70p. So I got to wondering how many Angel books could be sold if the price per copy was only 70p?

*Incidentally, ebook is an abbreviation of ‘electronic book’ which essentially means a book published electronically on the internet and not available conventionally printed on paper, bound within covers and available from retail outlets. I mention that because not everybody knows it.

If you’re having a holiday, have a super time. Enjoy the sun and each other, and come back brown and beautiful.

If you can stand the meanderings of this old writer, please keep looking in.

Take care.
Wednesday May 25th 2011

Hello there …

My big news is that I have just finished my latest Angel book and I am really cock-a-hoop about it. I hope that Hales will like it too. The queen (my wife, to new readers) is proof-reading it now and I expect to post if off on Wednesday or Thursday. I have called it THE CHESHIRE CAT MURDERS.

Would you believe it, Sport, but I have had an email from Rick Silverwood from down under. Melbourne actually. He’s been reading my books and wondered if we were related. Well, I reckon any Sport who has a name like Silverwood, and reads my books upside down has got to be related, what do you think? He sounds like a great guy. Who-roo, Rick. Thanks for writing.

I said I’d tell you if I lost anymore weight since adopting this new lifestyle. Well yes, I have. I was weighed by sexy Linda was on April 1st and then again on May 6th, and I had lost 10 lbs. (The previous month I had only lost 2 lbs which was very disappointing). I get weighed again on Friday, June 3rd. I’ll let you know how I go on. I now go to the gym three times a week. I do a 55 minute workout each time. It’s long enough.

I see a very old lady there. She looks incongruous with her grey bobbed hair and half lens specs. She is very slow and heavy, but is determined to succeed. She spends most of her time on the treadmill at a slow speed. Better that she does a little exercise than none at all. I bet her arthritis (or her breathing or whatever is wrong with her) is improving. I notice that some of the other inmates have started talking to her and that she seems very happy to reciprocate.

I came across a great read the other day, the biography of Rony Robinson, the Alan Sugar of the BBC Radio Sheffield airwaves. It’s called WHO’S BEEN TALKING. It’s a warm walk through nostalgia. And it is definitely not expurgated. But be sure to read the latest Angel book, THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS first!

The latest news I have is that THE SNUFFBOX MURDERS will be out on Kindle, Sony Reader and iPad very soon. Apparently, to get it started, the cat’s whisker will need a squirt of WD40 on the widget, then it has to be pushed to the top of the hill for a good run down the other side before shoving it in gear and letting in the clutch.

I’ve just had my attention drawn to a review of THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS. It’s by the USA firm called ‘Readers Favorite’. They are ever so kind. Among other things, they say, ‘I like the author’s style of writing,’ and ‘This is a great mystery.’ You couldn’t wish for better reviews than that, could you?
I say, God bless America! President Obama can put his arm round my queen anytime he likes!

Be in touch again very soon …

Take care and look out for the sun.
Good Friday, April 22nd 2011.

Hello there, and very Happy Easter Eggs to you.

I had an interesting chat with that delightful old shaver Rony Robinson, on BBC Radio Sheffield on Wednesday. We talked – with the charming Cath – about the closing down of some library branches in the South Yorkshire area, and indeed across the country. All to do with the cuts the government keep on about. I made a plea to keep all the branches open. I pointed out that 77.9% of 5 – 10 year olds now use libraries, that children’s borrowing has increased progressively for six years, and that one in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. Libraries build people’s literacy levels, educational attainment and employability; they develop confidence, self-esteem and well being, and best of all, they’re FREE. Closing even one library could be disastrous for the education, career and future livelihood of some members of our community, and denying children particularly, the magic of a library is wrong.

All those big tomes bursting with information could enrich their lives immeasurably … whatever their interest ... the solar system … the stars … history … how to make fireworks … how to make ice cream … the Just William books … Oliver Twist … Bertie Wooster ... Roald Dahl and THE GREAT MOUSE PLOT OF 1924 … it’s all pure magic isn’t it?

If it hadn’t been for our bulging local library, and indeed our widely diverse school library, I swear I would never have had enough ability, imagination and confidence to write a single word, and I don't want our children to grow up to be square-eyed morons.

Have a great Easter.
8th April 2011

Back again, and what do you think? Great news.

Angel is going to be on Kindle, Sony Reader and iPad this coming Autumn. That is in addition to the traditional hardback, paperback and large print versions. This new move is to accommodate those who prefer to read from a screen instead of the printed page. I don’t know how popular this new system is, but they can’t say that old Silverwood is behind the times. I hope that it means that Angel will reach a much bigger audience. The gas bill still has to be paid, and in my house (and his), it is always bigger than the preceding one. Anyway, wish me luck. And if you are going to the Grand National, have a great day out. And I'll wish YOU luck! I shall break off writing my book and watch it on the TV.

Have a great time, and come back soon.
3rd April 2011

Hello there.
My grandmother said that ‘disappointments were good for young folk’. I don’t know what she meant by that exactly. Disappointments never did me any good. I have had a lifetime of them. And to find out that I had only lost two pounds in three weeks (23 days to be exact) was a big disappointment I can tell you. What I have suffered and gone without to achieve that, you wouldn’t believe. I have been to the gym twice a week and knocked myself out on those machines, and I have forsaken all sorts of goodies. True, I have replaced them with healthier foods, and I only remember going to bed hungry on one occasion … and I could have cheated and demolished the remainder of a packet of shortbread biscuits and maybe a layer of luxury chocolates one of my lovely nephews had bought us for Christmas, but I didn’t.

Anyway, there it is. Our session leader, sexy Linda, pointed out that even at that rate, in a year I could lose 2 stones. Put like that, it didn’t sound too bad. And she added that I should remember that I have made lifetime changes. If I maintain those changes, there is no reason to put the weight lost (23 pounds in all) back on. And overall, I do feel better for it.

Well, what do you think? Have you had any success losing weight? Have you made lifetime changes to lose weight, become more active and, hopefully, become healthier and happier? If you want to write to me, I will reply personally and I’ll put the best letter on this blog. My email address is:

My new book, THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS, came out on March 31st. It is in the libraries and for sale at Waterstones, Amazon and other shops. If it isn’t on the shelf at your local library, smile sweetly at the librarian and ask her to get it for you. They really are the most charming ladies.

I once went into Barnsley Library and I wanted a particular book. I couldn’t remember the title or the author, and I hadn’t a clue about the publisher. I told them that it was about a rogue from the 19th Century who was in the British army fighting somewhere abroad.
One of them said, ‘And was the author Scottish?’
‘I believe he was,’ I said.
‘I think I know,’ she said and rushed off.
Two minutes later she returned and handed me a book. ‘Is that it?’ she said.
It was a copy of “The Flashman Papers,” by George Macdonald Frazer.
I glanced at the cover. I blinked. My mouth dropped open. ‘That’s it,’ I said, in amazement. ‘Thank you very much. Thank you very much indeed.’
She smiled modestly, wriggled her shoulders with pride and said, ‘It’s my job. That’s what I do.’
And at Barnsley, they do it very well.

Following Weight Wise has put me way behind with the Angel book I am currently writing, called THE CHESHIRE CAT MURDERS. I don’t know when I will ever finish it. And I am ever so excited about the plot. I must get back to it.

If you can stand the meanderings of this old writer, please keep looking in.

Take care.
Sunday, March 20th 2011

Hello there, happy readers.

In my last entry I said I’d tell you about ‘Me in the Gym.’
If you are given to laughing easily, I suppose you’d laugh your socks off. Even in my best suit, I’m nothing much to look at. But in a white T shirt, black jogging trousers and rubber soled moccasins I look funnier than Lady Ga Ga.

As I have said, I’m not doing this exercising out of choice, I’m doing it to avoid an operation. ‘Exercise is medicine,’ somebody once said. Whoever it was should be shot.

Anyway, I arrived at the gym by arrangement and was duly interviewed, weighed, had blood pressure check, and blew into the cardboard middle from an empty roll of lavatory paper. I was then told that I was an appropriate subject for a weight loss and cardio vascular something or other programme, that the club would be happy to accept me, and the NHS would pay for me. Well, readers, what could I do? All I had to lose was my pride.

I started a week later on February 1st, and I was met by Andy who had already worked out a programme of exercises for me. It comprised different lengths of time on five static machines: a mix of walking, hand pedalling and cycling. The length of time actually working totalled 38 minutes. I found out that that wasn’t too strenuous. I noticed that just as I was getting bored, tired or fed up with a particular exercise, the time had run out and it was time to change to another machine. So the session passed quite easily. My forehead was moist, I was a little short of breath and I had a tiny trickle of perspiration run down from my temple. But I was OK.

I have been going there twice a week for seven weeks now. Well, as the sessions passed, I upped the time on each machine to 10 minutes, (that was 50 minutes), then to 11, then to 12. I found that 12 was a minute too far, so I am back to 11 minutes each machine (that’s 55 minutes). I may try to up the time again soon, I’ll see how I feel.

There are silent TV screens to watch while you are exercising. I can watch the news and read the moving strip of words across the bottom but the blaring noise from loud speakers of pop music (I think that’s what they call it) is ugly and annoying. The staff are very nice, so are the other inmates. They are a surprising mix of both sexes: young, old, fat, huge, colossal, thin, skinny, ugly, average and beautiful.

One member of staff came over to me and quietly asked if I was the Roger Silverwood, the writer of Inspector Angel. I was pleased to say that I was. He spent some time talking to me about Angel and the business of writing books while I was on the machines which helped to pass the time. When I next went to the gym, he produced a copy of THE CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM and asked me to sign it for him. Amazon had delivered it in 3 days! He has since ordered THE MAN WHO COULDN’T LOSE. I told him that there was no need to buy my books. He could borrow them from the library for nothing. Anyway he has since kindly bought several. He said that he wanted to own them and perhaps read them again. Nice man.

I haven’t been weighed since the Weight Wise course finished on March 8th. I hope to see the Weight Wise session leader, sexy Linda, at a check up on April 1st. when I will be weighed again. Whatever the result: good, bad or indifferent, I will let you know as soon as I can.

On the writing front, this weight reducing lark has sent my writing schedule completely to pot. I am miles behind with my current Angel book, hopefully now for next year, and provisionally called THE CHESHIRE CAT MURDERS. I don’t know when I will finish it. My latest book, THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS, will be published on March 31st. I hope you will enjoy it.

Well, I must leave you If you can stand the meanderings of this old writer, keep looking in.

Take care.
Tuesday, February 15th 2011

There you are.

I have been that busy writing a new Angel book that I have almost forgotten about my diary.

In addition, I have a health issue which was occupying my mind. I was directed by my GP to the hospital to see a specialist, and suffice to say he said that there was a requirement for me to loose some weight. Doesn’t everybody say that these days? Well, this is to avoid me having to have a biopsy and possibly a subsequent operation that the surgeon didn’t want to do anyway because of the risk involved. But he also said he didn’t want me to start doing anything extreme. A gradual loss of weight was the order of the day.

Well, readers, if you knew me really well, you would know that I’m not an exercise man at all. I mean I wasn’t brought up in a family where we were interested in the Olympics or the local football team or anything to do with exercise or sport or any of those sorts of things. If any sport associated items came on the telly, we would promptly turn onto another station. Our Saturday evening conversation round the telly was more likely to be what wine we were to have with our Sunday roast than how Manchester United had done in the league! On Boxing Day we didn’t go out for a brisk walk round the park or go on a skiing holiday in the Alps. We would go to bed to recover from the previous day’s jollifications.

We didn’t even have a set of weighing scales in the bathroom.

Anyway, the surgeon sent me to Weight Wise (part of the NHS). This is not Weight Watchers or anything similar. It is an entirely different concept. Weight reducing organizations advise the foods you should not eat and suggest all kinds of weight reducing diets and strenuous exercise. The result is that half the time you are starving and unhappy, and when the diet ends and you relax slightly, you balloon into some monster from outer space.

Well, Weight Wise advise the foods you can eat and should eat, and also suggest stacks of alternatives.

More importantly, they teach you a new regime for a lifetime, so that you do not spend half your life half-starved, and the other half, overweight and unhealthy. The course is ten sessions 1½ hours long and I am halfway through it. I have lost 10½ lbs so far and I must say, I have not felt deprived or hungry at all. I will easily be able to keep to the changes for the rest of my life. I strongly recommend it.

For instance, they strongly recommend you to have a healthy breakfast. They say it cuts down the craving for something unhealthy later in the day.
They teach that it is all right to have a sensible portion of ice cream (for example) provided that you also have a balancing portion of fresh fruit. They teach you how to interpret and understand manufacturer’s product labels, which fats are tolerable, in what amounts and so on.

Another offshoot of Weight Wise (also an NHS initiative) and free in Barnsley is a 24 session course at a local gym.

Well friends, I could never in a lifetime imagine me in a gymnasium without someone holding a gun at my head. I haven’t been near any exercise equipment since I was 15. But then it was compulsory.

In a weak moment I decided to do it. It’s amazing what the stern look of a doctor, the fear of death plus the magic word ‘Free’ will do to a man.

However, me in shorts is a sight to behold.

I had no sports kit, only an ancient pair of shorts I had worn years ago on the beach. Anyway the queen said I had to get togged up properly, so our housekeeper, Elaine, bless her, measured me up, duly went to the shop and bought me a pair of jogging trousers and a white T shirt. I put the gear on with trepidation and checked in to the gym. But I’ll tell you all about that next time.

The only news on the writing front is that THE CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM is sold out. It’s been my best seller through 2010. If you have a copy, hang onto it.

I am looking forward to my latest Angel book, THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS which is due for publication on March 31st next.

Thank you for your letters. If you are waiting for a reply from me, I’m sorry. I will write in the next few days.

Take care and keep warm.