John Mannering’s day at Quinns had been quiet and pleasant, and he moved amongst the treasures that he displayed and sold with a sense of ease. His days as the Baron – the master cracksman, jewel thief and crime solver – were long since over. Josh Larraby – Mannering’s confidant and a reformed thief - answers the telephone to hear a man’s calm yet urgent plea, ‘They’re trying to kill me!’ A second later, it is interrupted by a soft laugh, which grows and grows until Larraby’s head is ringing with dread. This single incident sets in motion a series of events that requires Mannering resurrect the Baron and employ all his old skills. Facing a complex plot to dominate and destroy him, will the Baron have the last laugh?
Born in Surrey, England in 1908 into a poor family in which there were nine children, John Creasey grew up to be a true master story teller and international sensation. His more than 600 crime, mystery and thriller titles have now sold 80 million copies in 25 languages. These include many popular series such as Gideon of Scotland Yard, The Toff, Dr Palfrey and The Baron. Creasey wrote under many pseudonyms, explaining that booksellers had complained he totally dominated the 'C' section in stores.
Never one to sit still, Creasey had a strong social conscience, and stood for Parliament several times, along with founding the One Party Alliance which promoted the idea of government by a coalition of the best minds from across the political spectrum. He founded the British Crime Writers' Association, which to this day celebrates outstanding crime writing. The Mystery Writers of America bestowed upon him the Edgar Award for best novel and then in 1969 the ultimate Grand Master Award.