FEATURE FRIDAY #1 – Helen Durrant #TeamJoffeBooks #crimefiction #detectivebook #thriller #featurefriday @hhdurrant @joffebooks

Today is the first of a weekly feature blog:  FEATURE FRIDAY (thank you to LJ Cassidy for the title idea).  Each Friday I will run a feature on something JOFFE BOOKS related.  

Today I am featuring the bestselling author: HELEN DURRANT.  Joffe Books have published all Helen’s books and, I think, it is a match made in heaven.  With Helen’s imaginative and skillful writing and the magic the team at Joffe work on the books has produced many best sellers.  A lot of fans out there (including me) are constantly watching and waiting for the next brilliant read to hit Amazon.  Helen is also a lovely person and I feel honoured to know her.  We will start with Helen’s thoughts on working with Joffe and then learn a little about her hobby of birdwatching.  Below that is a little bit of info about all her books (and there are many so you can check if you have missed any) along with links to buy them.  I end with an Author bio.  That is a lot of info so I will let you get reading.

Helen Durrant – Thoughts on her publisher: JOFFE BOOKS

The day Joffe Books took on the first three in my Calladine & Bayliss detective series was the day that changed my life. I’m sure I would not have had the success I’ve enjoyed without them. They take a raw book and turn it into a highly polished finished product. What follows is fantastic publicity and a liberal sprinkling of Jasper’s fairy dust. Being excellent at what they do is a given, but equally important is that they are approachable and friendly. Jasper is only a phone call or email away and always happy to help. I am very fortunate to be one of the growing bunch of Joffe authors.     By Helen Durrant

Birdwatching by Helen Durrant

bully2.jpgWriting is a huge passion of mine. I dedicate a lot of time to it, but there is something else that I enjoy almost as much – bird watching. This isn’t new. I’ve had my head stuck in the window watching birds in my back garden for years. These days I’m very fortunate to live in a house with a wooded area at the back, so my visitors are numerous and varied. I don’t only watch, I photograph too. (Not very well!) I use a ‘trail cam’ which I place strategically in the garden.

JaysWhen I first got into this, decades ago, the birds were mostly starlings and sparrows. Not anymore. These days it’s more likely to be all members of the tit family, finches, corvids, wood pigeons, the odd rarity, plus the more familiar robins and blackbirds. The last sparrow I saw was in Spain! So, something has gone wrong.

baby jayIt is bird behaviour that fascinates me. Having put out food I wait and watch. And Maggiebelieve me, they are watching me from the trees too. First to bounce down onto my lawn is a magpie. A bird whose beauty belies his vicious reputation. He struts over my grass picking up everything he can. Often he flies away to scoff the lot in peace. But if it’s late on in the day he buries some among my flowers. He pecks away at the soil with his beak, makes a hole and then deposits the morsel for later. I’d no idea they did this. I googled it, and sure enough, it is in their pattern of behaviour.stand off

They argue. There is no sharing. The pecking order isn’t what you might think either. Big, beefy Jackdaw is easily scared off by a gentle looking collared dove. Wood pigeons stand no nonsense from any of them. Robin thinks he owns the place, as does the blackbird. He even sees off his wife!  bully2

Among the rarities, as I call them, are the lesser spotted woodpecker. A beautiful bird and so cute when he brings his babies for the first time. Another, the jays, particularly the baby ones. This spring I’ve had a flock of long tailed tits. They crash into the feeder mob-handed leaving no room and no food for anything else! Another couple I love is Mr and Mrs Bullfinch. He is the pretty one with his striking red plumage. She is a mere sepia version of him. But he is IMAG0019very attentive, lets her feed first while he keeps a wary eye, and they always come together.

I cater for the ground feeders, blackbirds particularly, and I have hanging feeders around the garden. Birds can be very acrobatic when they want food! I give them a mix – basic bird seed, oat flakes, suet pellets, mealworm. The absolute favourite for everything is sunflower hearts. Mr Blackbird is keen on fruit, grapes and apples.jackdaw2

I have seen them through a particularly harsh winter. Cleared the snow to feed them, smashed the ice on my little pond so they could drink. But their number is diminished. Hopefully the babies will appear soon and we’ll start again.


Books by Helen Durrant

Helen has 3 series’ ongoing all published by Joffe Books: DI Greco, ​Calladine & Bayliss and DI Mathew Brindle


greco cover.jpgDARK MURDER – DI Greco #1

A woman is found dead by a canal . . . why have her eyes have been viciously poked out?

Detective Stephen Greco has just started a new job at Oldston CID and now he faces a series of murders with seemingly no connection but the brutal disfigurement of the victims. Greco’s team is falling apart under the pressure and he doesn’t know who he can trust. Then they discover a link to a local drug dealer, but maybe it’s not all that it seems.
Can Greco get control of his chaotic team and stop the murders?

DARK MURDER is the first book in a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.I. Greco. Stephen Greco has moved to Oldston after his wife divorced him. He doesn’t like the place much but he wants to stay close to their daughter, Matilda. He is a meticulous policeman with a touch of O.C.D. Easy to admire, but sometimes difficult to like.
The series is set in the fictional industrial northern English town of Oldston.

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia    Amazon Canada

9781911021452.jpgDARK HOUSES – DI Greco #2

A young woman is found brutally murdered in an empty house

Detective Stephen Greco and his team must piece together her life as quickly as possible. Within twenty-four hours there is another horrific murder using the same method. The detectives realise that the victims are random but the locations are not. The killer is more concerned with finding the right house – somewhere he won’t be disturbed as he pursues his evil plan.

When a man walks into the station and confesses, it looks like the case is closed. But Greco’s not convinced and soon he’ll be fighting to save the woman who’s most important to him in a stunningly tense and emotional conclusion.
Can Greco keep himself and his team under control as the criminal gets personal?

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

9781912106615.jpgDARK TRADE – DI Greco #3


Detective Stephen Greco and his new team must find out who the mysterious victim was. A killer nicknamed “the Knifeman” then strikes again. The murders lead DCI Greco on a dark trail of people smuggling and exploitation.

DCI Greco must quickly get his new team to gel, but he is still recovering from a terrible personal tragedy, and his relationship with DS Grace Harper threatens to turn very unprofessional. Will Greco ever find a relationship that works?

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

9781912106370.jpgDARK ANGEL – DI Greco #4

Two young men break into an expensive house in Cheshire. They take money and jewellery — and a large amount of heroin. Within twenty-four hours they are found brutally murdered.

The killings have all the hallmarks of a local drug baron. The two victims were also “angels” helping in a community project which seems to have been lowering the crime rate in the area.

But not everything is as it seems. Who is the mysterious ice-cold blonde woman who seems to be at the heart of the case?

Meanwhile, Detective Stephen Greco’s colleague and on-off girlfriend Grace is pregnant. He isn’t sure how he feels about this, and they haven’t told the boss.

And just when Greco seems to have cracked the case, new information comes to light which threatens to change everything.

Available from: Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada


new cover playground.jpgDEAD WRONG – Calladine & Bayliss #1

A bag of severed fingers is found in the playground by a rough housing estate

“An edge of your seat detective thriller which had me completely enthralled. Calladine and Bayliss are fascinating police partners.”
“A must read new police procedural that will have you gripped. The characters, setting, and plot are detailed and believable. Can’t wait for the next one”

First a shooting, then a grisly discovery on the common…
Police partners, D.I. Calladine and D/S. Ruth Bayliss race against time to track down a killer before the whole area erupts in violence. Their boss thinks it’s all down to drug lord Ray Fallon. But Calladine’s instincts say something far nastier is happening on the Hobfield housing estate.
Can this duo track down the murderer before anyone else dies and before the press publicize the gruesome crimes? Detectives Calladine and Bayliss are led on a trail which gets dangerously close to home. In a thrilling finale they race
to rescue someone very close to Calladine’s heart.

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

dead silent.jpgDEAD SILENT – Calladine & Bayliss #2

Female students are going missing but nobody’s noticed yet

A body is found in a car crash, but the victim was already dead . . .
Police partners, D.I. Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss race against time to catch a vicious serial killer. The first two victims are American university students and both have livestock tags fixed to their earlobes.

Who wanted them dead and what’s the connection? The detectives piece together the forensic evidence and track down the witnesses, to reach a shocking conclusion.

DEAD SILENT is book two of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine. In this second book, Calladine faces personal tragedy and startling revelations, and Ruth’s relationship with Jake Ireson develops.

Tom Calladine is a single, fifty-one-year-old detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.

Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. She wishes she had more time for the gym and a love life. She uses her demanding workload as an excuse not to try too hard with the men she meets. Her hobby is birdwatching.

The series is set in the fictional village of Leesdon on the outskirts of an industrial northern English city. There is little work and a lot of crime. The bane of Calladine’s life is the Hobfield housing estate, breeding ground to all that is wrong with the area that he calls home.

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

dead list.jpgDEAD LIST – Calladine & Bayliss #3

An unlikely serial killer with a bucket list of victims . . .

Police partners, D.I. Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss battle a murderer who is working their way through a list of victims. Each murder is meticulously planned and unique, and a tarot card is left at the scene of the crime.

When two children disappear in the local area, the stakes are raised and the team are baffled by the link between the crimes. Calladine and Bayliss race against time to prevent any more carnage.

DEAD LIST is book three of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine. Calladine discovers shocking new information on his complicated family background and Ruth has some surprising news for him. A new detective, Stephen Greco, also come onto the scene, provoking competition with Calladine.

Tom Calladine is a single, fifty-one-year-old detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.

Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. She wishes she had more time for the gym and a love life. She uses her demanding workload as an excuse not to try too hard with the men she meets. Her hobby is birdwatching.

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

dead lost.jpgDEAD LOST – Calladine & Bayliss #4

An abandoned cotton mill holds horrific secrets

Police partners, D.I. Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss face one of their toughest challenges yet. A group of homeless people have set up camp in the grounds of a disused cotton mill belonging to local businessman Damien Chase.

But one of the men is not what he seems. He has a secret he will do anything to cover up. And once Calladine and Bayliss investigate, they find the crimes go much further than they could have ever imagined.

Will Ruth be able to juggle her personal and professional lives, and can Calladine deal with their new boss, a woman he neither trusts nor likes? Willing to do anything to bring terrible suffering to an end, Calladine make an astonishing move . . .

DEAD LOST is book four of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine. They can be read together or as standalone novels.

Tom Calladine is a single, fifty-one-year-old detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.

Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. Her personal life is about to change forever.

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

9781911021650.jpgDEAD & BURIED – Calladine & Bayliss #5

40 years ago something terrible happened in Annie’s new house . . .

Annie Naden and her husband buy a remote country cottage at auction. It’s the home of their own that they always wanted, but as they begin renovations, Annie discovers a satchel in a dusty old hidden cupboard. Inside are the usual schoolbooks, now over 40 years old, and a girl’s diary. Among the record of day-to-day crushes and pop concerts, is a secret whose terrible consequences are still resonating to this day.

Detective Tom Calladine has problems of his own. A notorious villain, Vinny Costello, seems to be back in town, and the bodies soon stack up. With Calladine’s loyal DS Ruth Bayliss on maternity leave, he gets in hot water with one of Costello’s assistants, and must also cope with an abrasive new member of the team as they seek to untangle a complex series of murders.

What happened to that girl forty years ago? And what’s it got to do with the current crime wave?

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

9781911021889.jpgDEAD NASTY – Calladine & Bayliss #6


​The girl was part of a group of bullies from the local school. But DI Calladine recognises the MO of Craig Donnelly, a killer he thought he’d put away forever. And coincidentally Donnelly has just been released from prison. But when Detective Calladine charges in, he finds out that Donnelly has a watertight alibi and is under the protection of the local vicar, who thinks Donnelly is a changed man.

When another girl goes missing from the same group of friends, Calladine must look elsewhere for the killer and comes across a sinister online predator who was in touch with all the girls.

DS Ruth Bayliss is back from maternity leave, but even her skills and common sense can’t crack the case. In a race against time, they must stop the killer, someone who may even be close to home, before he continues his vicious killing spree.

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Canada  Amazon Australia

FINAL COVER.jpgDEAD JEALOUS – Calladine & Bayliss #7


​A teenage girl’s body is found in the back of a car on the notorious Hobfield housing estate. No one had reported her missing, but she’s been dead for a week.

Meanwhile, an old jar is brought into the station. It was found carefully wrapped in a blanket, with a child’s pink hairclip. The jar contains ashes and bone fragments.

Seventeen years ago, Detective Tom Calladine had been part of a team investigating the disappearance of Jessica Wilkins. Her mother had taken her to Leesdon Park one summer afternoon. She went to get the child an ice cream and when she returned her daughter was gone. Over the years there were no sightings, no witnesses — nothing.
Will there finally be closure for this unsolved mystery?

Available from Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon Australia   Amazon Canada

DEAD BAD.jpgDEAD BAD by Helen H. Durrant

Detective Calladine and Bayliss face a vicious serial killer in a mystery with a shocking ending.

A woman’s body is found in a disused church, a homemade stuffed toy by her side. The victim had been dumped there months ago. The crime has the hallmarks of twenty-year-old case whose alleged perpetrator is in prison.

Detective Ruth Bayliss must work out whether a serial killer has returned, or whether a new killer is just taunting the police.

Her partner DI Tom Calladine faces the fight of his life to clear his name of corruption accusations. And then things go from bad to worse for Calladine . . .

With the team under massive pressure and drugs flooding the streets, another gruesomely presented body is found.

In an ending with a huge twist, the detectives must unpick decades’ old lies before anyone else dies.

Available from: Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon Australia  Amazon Canada

DI Mathew Brindle

9781912106486.jpgHIS THIRD VICTIM DI Mathew Brindle 1

​Set to inherit the Brindle estate. He always wanted to work in CID and joined the police when he left university. He reached the rank the DI in the West Yorkshire CID. His partner was DS Paula Wright. The two got on and worked well together.
A serious incident, where Matt was badly injured and Paula killed, put paid to his career. Or so he thought. At the funeral of an acquaintance who has been murdered he is drawn into the case. Unknown to him, the superintendent he worked for, Talbot Dyson, sat on his resignation letter. He offers Matt a way back, and he takes it.

Tall and wiry, Matt used to run. However the injuries he sustained in the incident has left him with a limp. He is thirty five, unmarried and not in a relationship. He was prior to the incident, but finished it. He didn’t think it fair to lumber his long term girlfriend with an invalid.

It was during his recovery that Matt formulated his plans for the estate. He needed something to fill the gap left by no longer being in the force.

Available from Amazon UK  Amazon US   Amazon Australia Amazon Canada

Helen Durrant author picHELEN DURRANT – Author Bio

Helen sets her books in the area she has lived in for many years. The towns and villages that sit in the shelter of the Pennine hills. This is an area between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills. It offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein.

Helen always planned to write crime novels. But until she retired from full-time work in a local further education college, it had to go on the back burner. Once she did retire – there was no excuse. She now writes full-time. Retirement proper will have to wait!

Currently there are seven books in the ‘Calladine & Bayliss’ series available – Dead Wrong, Dead Silent, Dead List, Dead Lost, Dead & Buried, Dead Nasty – and the latest – Dead Jealous.

Also available are four books in the new ‘DI Greco’ series – Dark Murder, Dark Houses, Dark Trade and the latest – Dark Angel.

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