This month’s entry is for my father – a voracious reader of detective/thriller/spy fiction, whose literary tastes I probably will never truly pique. That being the case, I set myself the task of writing my first (and only) story centred around a hard-boiled ex-serviceman with axes to grind, crosses to bear and an ongoing mystery to solve. Without a sound understanding of this genre, I could only rely on what I’d heard and seen depicted in films and television about such fiction. So aficionados of Reacher, Rebus, Scarpetta and their ilk will likely be disappointed (or appalled). However, be assured that “Scrabble: A Man of Letters” has some intrigue, plot twists and characters with a familiarity that will immerse you immediately in their world. AND it’s purely a one-off labour of love … I won’t be dabbling in the highly specialised world of the forensic investigatory criminal analysis experts again (my take on that truly IS fiction). So, for my Dad, who inspired the genre of this month’s addition (not the subject matter) and for those who might like to try and solve a puzzle, head to the ‘short stories‘ page and settle in to read/listen to “Scrabble: A Man of Letters”. (The only response from my father that would be worse than him not liking any aspect of the story would be if he finds it tolerable and spends the new few years commenting ‘I don’t know why you don’t do another of those mystery ones’.) Even if it’s way off the mark as far as the genre’s concerned, I think there’s enough there to divert/entertain even the most seasoned crime fiction reader. As well as those who wouldn’t know their Lee Child from their Len Deighton. Happy reading/listening!