Author John Holt: World Wide WIP Blog Tour – is my first nomination today

 John Holt -Author

I’d like to introduce you to a fellow author


who was nominated by me last week to take part in

The World Wide Work In Progress Blog Tour.

John does not yet have his own Blog and so I invited him to share his WW WIP with everyone on my own page; a first for me.

I do hope you will all take time out of your busy day to take a look at his contribution and answers and also take a look at his books.

Here is what John has to say about himself in answer to my questions today:

I live in Essex with my wife Margaret, daughter Elizabeth, and our cat Missy who adopted us. For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor in Local Government. In the nineteen seventies I was a Senior Project Manager with the Greater London Council, staying with them until 1986 when the organization was closed down. I then set up a surveying practice on my own account, carrying out condition surveys, and preparing architectural drawings. In 2004 I suffered a heart attack, and business declined. I eventually retired in 2008.

I came to writing quite late in life. I suppose, like a lot of people, I had always wanted to write a novel, but I could never think of a decent plot. Then in September 2005 we took a holiday in the Austrian Lake District. We stayed in Grundlsee, the first of three lakes. The second lake, Toplitzsee, is the deepest of the Austrian lakes, and was used by the German Navy during the war to test torpedoes and rockets. As the war came to an end many items were hidden in the lake, including counterfeit dollars, and pounds, weapons, jewellery, and there were rumours of hidden gold bullion. Since the war extensive searches have been carried and much has been discovered, but sadly no hidden gold.

This gave me the inspiration for my first novel “The Kammersee Affair” which was first published in December 2006.

I have subsequently written five novels featuring my private detective Tom Kendall,

and a “what if” novel,

“The Thackery Journal” set during and just after the American Civil War.

John Holt - his books


  • What am I working on?

Now that “Kendall”, my fifth novel to feature my private detective, has been published, I have made a tentative start on two other Kendall novels. Very early days I’m afraid, and a long way from a first draft, but I have my villain, I have the crime committed, and I have Kendall investigating. I am also working on an adventure novel based on a true 1931 story about a submarine that was intended to reach the North Pole under the ice. It never got there and was later found at the bottom of a Norwegian fjord. Once again very early days. I have two or three beginning chapters, and the end. Now all I need is about 200 pages in the middle. I am also thinking of a second American Civil War novel.

  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?


Tom Kendall is quite unlike many of the other private detectives – Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Mickey Spillane. They were all tough guys, handy with their fists, and a gun. That’s not Kendall’s style. He isn’t the macho type, and he couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a gun. He relys on logic, and deduction. Oh, and the help of his business partner, Mollie, not that he would ever admit that, or tell her. There’s a lot of me in Kendall. He has a wicked sense of humour, so do I. He is stubborn, and I guess I am too. Once he gets an idea into his head it would take an earthquake to shift it. He is a little over-weight, although he would never admit that either, and he is not the fittest person on the planet.

  • Why do I write what I do?

 A very good question. I love the old film noir movies from the forties and fifties – Humphrey Bogart, Cagney, Edward G. For some while I wanted to write a novel in that same style. Pacey, snappy, punchy, with a touch of humour. I soon found out that for some reason I just couldn’t do it. Certainly nothing like as good as those original writers. But I quickly realised that I was actually doing something so much better. I was developing my own style, and my own characters. I wasn’t copying anyone else.

  • How does my writing process work?

I have always admired authors like Charles Dickens, and the Brontes. They started their work at page 1 and continued until the end. Dickens wrote a chapter per week for a magazine. Any corrections probably meant a whole page being re-written. I could never write like that. Fortunately with computers and word processing that way of writing is no longer necessary. I don’t really have a process as such. I mean I don’t sit down every day to write so many thousand words. I start with a basic idea, and then I write as I think of something, and just add it into the right position. I might wake during the night with an idea, or a sentence, floating around in my head. I get up and make a note, then go back to sleep. Maybe my latest idea might mean changes to something I have already written, well so be it. Using that process I now have seven novels self published – 5 featuring Tom Kendall; “The Kammersee Affair”, and “The Thackery Journal”

My facebook link is –

My Amazon author page is –

My twitter link is –


 The Mackenzie  Document



 ISBN 978-1-291-02123-3



Kendall could just see the television screen. There was a photograph of Governor Frank Reynolds. Across the bottom of the screen the ticker tape announced in large black letters ‘Governor Reynolds Murdered’. The voice over was filling in whatever detail was available. Apparently his body had been discovered earlier that morning. He had been found lying in his garage. He had been shot twice. One shot to the upper chest, the other hitting his shoulder. ‘Police believe that the weapon used was a 38 mm caliber revolver,’ the reporter said. Kendall froze. Anthony Shaw had also been killed by a 38 mm bullet. Kendall was not quite sure of what it all meant. What connection was there between Anthony Shaw, and the State Governor, and the business mogul, Ian Duncan? And what about Senator Mackenzie? Where did he fit in? And who or what was Latimer? Only a short while ago Kendall was a small time private detective, a Private Eye, investigating an insignificant little murder with no clues, no witnesses, and no motive. In fact, no nothing. Now he had so many pieces of a puzzle he didn’t know how they fitted together. He didn’t even know if they all came from the same puzzle.

The Marinski Affair




 ISBN-13: 978-1481102476

ISBN-10: 1481102478

The Marinski Affair began as a dull mundane case involving a missing husband. Okay, so he was a rich missing husband, but he was nonetheless, still only a missing husband. The case soon developed into one involving robbery, kidnapping, blackmail and murder. But was there really a kidnapping? And exactly who is blackmailing who? Who actually carried out the robbery? Who committed the murders? Who can you trust? Who can you believe? Is anyone actually telling the truth? What have they got to hide? And what connection was there with a jewel theft that occurred four years previously? All is not as it seems. Tom Kendall, private detective, had the task of solving the mystery. He was usually pretty good at solving puzzles, but this one was different, somehow. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any of the pieces. Oh no, he wasn’t short of clues. It was just that none of the pieces seemed to fit together.






 ISBN: – 978-1291316032

Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective, is asked to investigate the death of a young newspaper reporter. The evidence shows quite clearly that it was an accident: a simple, dreadful accident. That is the finding of the coroner and the local police. Furthermore, there were two witnesses. They saw the whole thing. But was it an accident, or was it something more sinister? Against a backdrop of a viral epidemic slowly spreading from Central America, a simple case soon places Kendall up against one of the largest drug companies in the country.


Killing in the city


To make a killing in the City’ is a phrase often used within the financial world, to indicate making a large profit on investments, or through dealings on the stock market – the bigger the profit, the bigger the killing. However, Tom Kendall, a private detective, on holiday in London, has a different kind of killing in mind when he hears about the death of one of his fellow passengers who travelled with him on the plane from Miami. It was suicide apparently, a simple overdose of prescribed tablets. Kendall immediately offers his help to Scotland Yard. He is shocked when he is told his services will not be required. They can manage perfectly well without him, thank you.

The Kammersee Affair

The lake was flat and calm, with barely a ripple. Its dark waters glistening, reflecting the moonlight, as though it were a mirror. Fritz Marschall knew that neither he, nor his friend, should really have been there. They, like many others before them, had been attracted to the lake by the many rumors that had been circulating. He thought of the endless stories there had been, of treasures sunken in, or buried around the lake. He recalled the stories of the lake being used to develop torpedoes and rockets during the war. Looking out across the dark water, he wondered what secrets were hidden beneath the surface.

The Thackery Journal

On the night of April 14th 1865 President Abraham Lincoln was attending a performance at The Ford Theatre, in Washington. A single shot fired by John Wilkes Booth hit the President in the back of the head. He slumped to the floor, and died a few hours later without recovering consciousness. Was Booth a lone assassin? Or was he part of a wider conspiracy? What if Booth had merely been a willing party to a plot to replace Lincoln with General Ulysses S. Grant. Let us suppose that Booth had been set up by a group of men, a group of Lincoln’s own Army Generals; Generals who had wanted Ulysses S Grant for their President, and not Lincoln. And let us also suppose that the funding for the assassination had come from gold stolen by the Confederate Army.



 Tom Kendall had been with the 32nd Precinct, New York Police Department for just under ten years. But now he wanted a change. Now he wanted to start his own Private Detective Agency. He had grand ideas. He wasn’t interested in just any old case. Oh no, he would handle only the big time cases, the expensive ones.

He would be able to take his pick, the ones that he wanted, where the stakes were high and so were the rewards. He knew exactly the kind of case that he wanted. Anything else would not do, and it would just be turned down flat.


 I’d like to thank Jane Risdon for this opportunity to share my World Wide Work In Progress Blog Tour experience with you all on her blog.  I do hope you will leave your thoughts and comments fur us both her.  Thanks so much for coming by to read about me.  I do hope you enjoy my books and that you will let me know.

Jane Risdon

I would like to nominate fellow author

        to take part in the WW WIP Blog Tour on 11th August 2014.

Thanks John for sharing your Work in Progress with us.  This has been so interesting.

I do hope you will follow these links and read all about John’s nominated authors.


**Please don’t forget to read all about my second nomination for the WW WIP Blog Tour: 


who has an equally exciting post which I’ve also added HERE today.

Like JOHN HOLT, TC does not have a blog but does have a very interesting Fan Page on Facebook.

Find JOHN HOLT on Facebook:




  1. Good to meet you John. One wonders where the Nazi gold might be. In 1945 a huge amount of bullion was located in a salt mine, over 500 million dollars worth at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gerry thanks so much for taking time to pop over and read John’s interview. It is fab and he is such a prolific writer it is good to be able to showcase him here. Thanks so much 🙂


  3. Jane – Thanks for hosting John.

    John – it’s a pleasure to ‘meet’ you. I think it’s fascinating that you were inspired by trip you took. I’ve had that happen to me, too. And I’m very happy for you that your inspiration has led to success. I wish you much more of it always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Margot, pleased to meet you. I am so pleased that you liked the interview. “The Kammersee Affair” is two stories in one. One story set during the war and a few after, a story of two men – an SS Major and an American GI, whose lives become entwined. A story of blackmail, murder and revenge. And a second story set a few years after the war about a search for hidden gold bullion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a very interesting blog about an amazing man. John Holt’s writing is so individual. I love his remarks here about the wonderful Kendall – ‘couldn’t hit a barn door with a gun,’ and ‘so stubborn an earthquake couldn’t shift him.’ I love Kendall! Keep writing, John, please!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it Gerry- Currently working on the next Kendall, set in Ireland. (My wife is from Dublin) so it’s a bit of a tribute to her. Then I have an inkling of an idea for a seventh Kendall, but that’s a long way off. The Kendall in Ireland will probably be a year before its ready

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Babs – thanks for stopping by. The next Kendall novel is barely started – about 60 pages so far. A reasonable opening chapters or two. A few bits of OK stuff in the middle, a few minor character developing nicely, the crime committed, but no where near solving it, so I would guess a year away.

      Liked by 1 person

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