Inkerman Writers among authors to back new venture

An exciting new initiative has been launched featuring online interviews with popular crime fiction authors.

Mug Shots is run by Tall Tales Mysteries, a leading UK murder mystery company based in the Darlington area of County Durham.

The idea for Mug Shots happened when Scottish-based crime writers Jackie Baldwin, Ian Patrick and John Dean, a member of the Inkerman Writers who used to live in Darlington, featured as part of a Tall Tales online murder mystery weekend staged in January.

Tall Tales Mysteries’ evening and weekend events are normally held at hotels but have been operating online during Covid-19 restrictions.

The reaction was so positive that a wide range of crime writers will now feature in a series of free one-to-one filmed interviews to be conducted and posted online over the next twelve months.

Sara West, founder of Tall Tales Mysteries, said: “The session in January was so enthusiastically received that we decided to expand the idea to cater for the demand that is so obviously there. There is clearly great enthusiasm among readers to delve into the minds of authors.”

“I know the guest detectives at our murder mysteries love crime fiction and lots of them are writers too so we’re asking the authors we speak to for top tips and advice too.”

Sessions will be posted every month and feature authors including best-selling novelists Martin Edwards, Leigh Russell and Margaret Murphy. Among the many writers taking part are two authors from the Darlington area – Inkerman  Writer Bud Craig and CJ Grayson.

John Dean, who has worked with Tall Tales Mysteries to organise the programme, said: “Readers’ passion for crime fiction remains as strong as ever and this initiative brings writers and readers together.

“In addition to offering a treat for readers, the venture is welcome for the authors taking part. The restrictions associated with the pandemic means that they have not been able to meet their readers in the way they would normally have done over the past year with every indication that things will remain difficult this year. Mug Shots helps bridge the divide.’

The films can be accessed at: or through Mug Shots at


Tall Tales Mysteries is a leading murder mystery company currently performing interactive virtual murder mysteries on Zoom every Saturday and providing private events for special occasions and team building activities.

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The Inkerman Writers are members of Darlington for Culture (DfC), which was set up  in 2010 to help save Darlington Arts Centre from closure.

Its members include representatives of arts and community groups.

DfC was established after the centre’s owner, Darlington Borough Council, announced that budget cuts meant that it would have to withdraw its subsidy from the Arts Centre.

Although the centre closed, the organisation remains active - more at



Welcome to the site created by the Inkerman Writers to showcase our work.

Based in Darlington, North East England, and having celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2013, members have enjoyed success in a variety of arenas, including winning, and being shortlisted and highly commended, in short story competitions, having novels published and publishing the short story anthology A Strawberry in Winter, which can be obtained by visiting the website

The group's second anthology of short stories, Christophe's Farewell and Other Stories, can be obtained, cost £4.95 plus postage and packing, from

The Inkerman Writers latest book, Out of the Shadows, which was launched as part of the 2013 Darlington Arts Festival, is on sale. The book can be ordered direct from

The group also produced The Last Waltz, a double CD of short stories, available by contacting, cost £5 plus p and p.

Several of our writers wrote original one-act plays in a collaboration with the Green Theatre company, which were performed at Darlington Arts Centre early in February, 2012.


Darlington-based Inkerman Writers have produced their latest anthology of short stories, Inkerman  Street, based on the demolition of a fictional northern street and the stories of the people who lived in it.

The book, which features a variety of stories ranging from horror to comedy, was launched to a large audience at the Darlington Arts Festival Literary Day on Saturday May 26 and begins like this:

Inkerman Street is still and graveyard-hushed tonight, the terraced houses cold behind boarded-up windows, silent sentinels among a sea of wasteland. No one lives here now and tomorrow the bulldozers will move in to flatten the houses to make way for the Council’s Grand Plan.

“Although the people are long gone, the houses still have life. Peek into one of the bedrooms and see on the wall a painting of a seaside scene, brightly-coloured boats bobbing in the harbour, fishermen pipe-smoking in the noonday sun and seagulls wheeling high above the choppy waters. In the roaring silence of the night, you can hear the screeching of the birds and taste the salt air, acrid and herring-sharp at the back of your throat. It is an illusion; the bedroom is empty and the blooms on the faded wallpaper have long since wilted.

“The air in the houses is musty with neglect yet but a few months before, these were bustling homes filled with frying bacon and steaming irons, whistling kettles and playing children. The houses witnessed all these scenes for more than 150 years. Behind their curtains were enacted a thousand stories but tomorrow they will be destroyed because Inkerman Street is the last of its ilk.

“Now, on the eve of the street’s death, the people who once lived here have returned, gathering solemn and silent in the mist, the ghosts of the past come to pay final tribute….”

The anthology can be purchased at




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