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Mark Ellis Books In Order

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Publication Order of DCI Frank Merlin Books

Prince's Gate (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stalin's Gold (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Merlin at War (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Death in Mayfair / Merlin Noir (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead In The Water (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mark Ellis
Mark Ellis is a former businessman and barrister from Swansea. He is a member of Crime Cymru, the Welsh crime writing collective, as well as the Crime Writer’s Association.

He grew up in the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. His dad served in the wartime navy and died while a young man. His mom would tell him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and going to tea dances in wartime London under the doodlebugs and bombs.

As a result of this, he has always been fascinated by World War Two and especially the Home Front and the fact that as the nation was engaged in this heroic endeavour, crime was flourishing. Robbery, rape, theft, and murder were rife and the Blitz provided the scope for widespread looting. It was an intriguing, cruel, and harsh world.

This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin, the main character of Mark’s thriller series. Frank is an Anglo-Spanish detective in World War Two London. Mark’s books treat his readers to a vivid portrait of wartime Londond skillfully blended with gripping plots, a charismatic protagonist, and political intrigue.

“Merlin At War”, the third “Frank Merlin” novel, has been longlisted for the 2018 CWA Historical Dagger.

Mark’s debut novel, called “Prince’s Gate”, was released in the year 2011. His work is from the thriller and the historical mystery genres.

“Prince’s Gate” is the first novel in the “DCI Frank Merlin” series and was released in the year 2011. A brilliant emigre scientist gets killed by a hit and run driver and one young woman’s body washes up in the Thames, Merlin and his team have to investigate. The woman was an employee of the American Embassy, whose Ambassador during this time is Joseph Kennedy.

DCI Merlin’s investigation of the diplomats at the Embassy ruffles up some feathers at the Foreign Office-as the American Ambassador is a well-known supporter of appeasement. And many influential and powerful Britons favor the pursuit of some kind of negotiated peace settlement with Hitler. Another Embassy employee’s death leads Merlin into some of the skeevier quarters of wartime London where various high-flying diplomats, a corrupt night-club owner, and the Ambassador himself seem to be connected to the events that surround these deaths.

Merlin must pursue his detective work under the interfering supervision of one Assistant Metropolitan Commissioner. This man is fearful of the impact that Merlin’s investigating is going to have on Anglo-American relations during a time when America represents to a lot of people to be Britain’s sole hope of salvation.

Mark does a tremendous job of creating an atmosphere just as thick as any forties London pea souper you might find and readers found themselves being entirely hooked after reading the opening chapters.

“Stalin’s Gold” is the second novel in the “DCI Frank Merlin” series and was released in the year 2014. December of 1938 in Moscow. Josef Stalin is not a happy man, as he has just lost some of his gold. He asks Beria, his henchman, to find it.

September of 1940 in London. Above the city, the Battle of Britain rages on and the bombs rain down. DCI Merlin and his team, down below, are investigating the sudden disappearance of Polish RAF pilot Ziggy Killinski while they also have to battle the epidemic of looting which was unleashed by all the destruction and chaos of the Blitz.

One disgraced Cambridge don, Killinski’ss fellow pilots, Stalin’s spies in London, members of the Polish government in exile and one merciless Russian gangster are among those that are caught up in Merlin’s inquiries. Sweeping from Civil War Spain to Stalin’s Russia, and from Aztec Mexico to pre-war Poland, and from Hitler’s Berlin and to Churchill’s London there is a compelling story about grand larceny, treasure, murder, and torture plays out.

Eventually while Hitler reluctantly accepts the defiance of the RAF has ruined his chances of invasion for the time being, a violent shoot-out in Hampstead leads Merlin to the ultimate truth. And Stalin to his gold.

“Merlin at War” is the third novel in the “DCI Frank Merlin” series and was released in the year 2017. Summer in the year 1941. French double agents, four violent deaths, and an escalating fraud case, and DCI Merlin goes off on his most complicated case to date.

War rages across Europe and France is under the thumb of the Nazis. Britain has got its back pressed to the wall. Back in London, Scotland Yard detective Merlin works the case of a series of disturbing events, one young girl that was killed in an abortion gone wrong, a mysterious letter penned by a British officer gunned down in Crete, and a French emigre shot dead in the seedy Notting Hill flat

Chasing down some evidence that spans New York, Cairo, Buenos Aires, and Occupied France, Merlin and his squad are dumped into an international investigation of murder, betrayal, love, and espionage.

“A Death in Mayfair” is the fourth novel in the “DCI Frank Merlin” series and was released in the year 2019. December of 1941. One bright Sunday morning Hawaii, Japanese planes attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. America enters into the war and Britain no longer stands alone against Hitler.

Conditions out on the home front are bleak. In a city that is wrecked by the Blitz, with rampant corruption and crime and overstretched police resources, life for Frank Merlin, Scotland Yard detective, marches on just as arduous as it ever has.

During the week of Japan’s aggression, the shattered corpse of Laura Curzon (a beautiful film star) is discovered on the pavement under her Mayfair apartment. It looks to be a suicide. One mile away, the corpse of a young female who was strangled is found in the rubble of one bombed-out building.

Merlin and his team work on the case, encountering some fraudulent film moguls, depraved Satanists, philandering film stars, and brutal gangsters while battling through a wintry London to learn the truth.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mark Ellis

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