Thistle Publishing Home News Authors About Books


9 October 2018: Excellent review for Death in Paris

“The only thing chillier than a Parisian winter is cold-blooded murder.”

Nicki J Markus

8 October 2018: Emilia Bernhard interview

Author Interview: Emilia Bernhard of “Death in Paris”

7 October 2018: Anglophile TV interviews Jane Dismore

The Anglophile Channel

4 October 2018: Excellent review for Corkscrew

"This is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time... Excellently written and brilliantly plotted."

Kiss My Book

4 October 2018: A Divided Life reviewed

“In this perceptive biography of Donald Maclean, Robert Cecil draws on his close acquaintance with the man, first at Cambridge and then as his colleague in the Diplomatic Service, to give an insider’s view of Maclean and his circle of ideological spies: Burgess, Philby and Blunt.”

Full review

24 September 2018: Excellent Library Journal review for Death in Paris

"Readers of Joanne Fluke or those who enjoy contemporary cozy mysteries with amateur sleuths will gobble up this first in a series with two Americans in Paris as if it's an actual treat in a Paris cafe."

Library Journal

28 September 2018: Excellent review for The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade

"If you love to read a good pastiche of Sherlock Holmes, then This is The Book!"

Full review

26 September 2018: Underrated Reads reviews Gigolo

“Gigolo is a well-written memoir...  What I particularly liked is how it provides insight into London’s class structure. Male and female readers will enjoy this wild ride.”

Underrated Reads

24 September 2018: Another rave review for Death in Paris

Death in Paris is "an intriguing story... truly amazing."

Full review

21 September 2018: Terrific review for Three Men on Their Bikes

"Overall, I found this a delightful and affirming read... providing plenty of laughs."

Nicki J. Markus

20 September 2018: Chris Hannon prize nomination

Our sensational YA debut Orca Rising has been nominated for the People's Book Prize.

Worthing Herald

19 September 2018: Another terrific review for Robert Cecil's A Divided Life

"What makes this particular account of a member of the Cambridge Spy Ring so engrossing is that Robert Cecil was a personal acquaintance of the individuals involved."

Full review

17 September 2018: Great review for Sugar

“A wonderful memoir on Sugar World by Monique X.”

The Book Decoder

17 September 2018: Princess reviewed

Princess by Jane Dismore is "an informative, fascinating, engaging, insightful and spectacular biography on the early life of Queen Elizabeth II. Five stars."

The Book Decoder

16 September 2018: Excellent review for Death in Paris

“Death in Paris takes you on a nail-biting adventure through the streets of Paris.”

The Book Decoder

14 September 2018: The Reading Desk praises Corkscrew

“A brilliantly funny entertaining novel that is a lighthearted romp around the world of wine, women and ambition.”

The Reading Desk

12 September 2018: Booklist reviews Death in Paris

An excellent Booklist review for Death in Paris:

"This tres charmant debut... Fans of cozies and the City of Lights, or drawn to the theme of female friendship, will eagerly await an encore."

12 September 2018: How to Remove a Brain is #1

David Haviland’s collection of amusing medical trivia How to Remove a Brain is currently #1 in  Curiosities, Imponderables & Wonders.

11 September 2018: New book trailer for Orca Rising

Trailer (video)

9 September 2018: Vikie Shanks in the Evening Standard

World Suicide Prevention Day: Father-of-seven’s family open up about dad’s heart-breaking suicide

7 September 2018: Jane Dismore’s Princess reviewed

"A rich, extensively researched memoir on the early years of Princess Elizabeth... a refreshingly new perspective."

La Biblio de Caro

6 September 2018: More excellent reviews for Weird War Two

"If you are a WWII buff and love your history with a touch of humour and quirkiness, then this is for you."

Melisende’s Library

"Weird War 2 is an informative, fascinating, hilarious and brilliant book on World War 2."

The Book Decoder

"A perfect book for dipping in and out of... this is highly recommended."

Crime Novel Reader

5 September 2018: An excellent review for Robert Cecil's biography of Donald MacLean, A Divided Life

“The author’s relationship with MacLean creates a warmer biography of a human and not an ideologue. The writing seems fair and without apology, but it explains some of the why, and how someone from a well-off background would leave it behind for a system the only nominally supported his political views.”

Evil Cyclist

3 September 2018: Weird War Two reviewed

“If you love titbits of information you’ll love this book.”

The Reading Desk

2 September 2018: Peter Stafford-Bow at Ryedale Book Fest

“On 22nd September join Peter Stafford-Bow, author and former wine executive, who will be reading from his recently-published novel 'Corkscrew: the highly improbable, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine seller.”

Ryedale Book Festival

30 August 2018: Publishers Weekly reviews Death in Paris

“Bernhard fills the novel with entertaining characters, conjures up an authentic Paris, and gives the reader intelligent, if frothy, fun.”

Publishers Weekly

30 August 2018: Gigolo review

Gigolo is... “A stunning and surreal look at class and power, this book is a revelation.”

Whippet Reads

29 August 2018: Peter Stafford-Bow radio interview

Peter will be interviewed on the TRE Bookshow this evening at 7pm CET.

29 August 2018: Excellent review for Robert Cecil’s A Divided Life

A Divided Life is "Very readable, and well written, and backed up by a considerable bibliography."

Full Review

29 August 2018: Five-star review for Woodcutter

"So many times I finished a chapter open-mouthed or gasped in shock."

Full review

28 August 2018: Book Group questions for The Tyre

Book group questions for "The Tyre" are now downloadable at this link.

28 August 2018: Another great review for Death in Paris

"A lovely little murder mystery that kept me guessing right to the end."

EJ Library

24 August 2018: Another fabulous review for Death in Paris

"There are so many things I love about this book... this utterly charming, well-paced novel."

Stop and Smell the Pages

24 August 2018: Another good review for Weird War Two

"A fun look at out of the box thinking that accompanied WWII and the desire for a technological edge."

Evil Cyclist

23 August 2018: Through A Mother’s Tears reviewed

Waggy Tales

23 August 2018: Another excellent review for The Filth

"A very enjoyable and informative read."


22 August 2018: The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade reviewed

"If you love to read a good pastiche of Sherlock Holmes, then this is the book!"

My Tiny Bookshelf

21 August 2018: The Tyre in the English Language Gazette

The Tyre has a double-page spread in the current edition of the English Language Gazette.

English Language Gazette

21 August 2018: The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade reviewed

"I feel utterly satisfied on many levels by this wonderful book – it took me less than a day to race through it!"

Stop and Smell the Pages

19 August 2018: Books in My Handbag reviews The Tyre

“It’s like Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, with the same power of observation and imagination... enjoy the lovely phrases, the richly -crafted characters, and the culture of India.”

Books in My Handbag

17 August 2018: Another terrific review for Cathy Broomfield's powerful memoir

"Through a Mothers Tears is the kind of story that stays with you..."

Life at 17

15 August 2018: An excellent Norwegian review for Jack Was Here

"A book you can hardly stop reading."

Not Just Pancakes (Norwegian)

15 August 2018: Vikie Shanks is invited to join Global Resilience Project

Here is Vikie’s interview with Emma Bell who initiated the project in order to help people build more resilience themselves:

Thriving Through Adversity

14 August 2018: Two Thistle reviews for Breakaway Reviewers

Breakaway Reviewers has published two new reviews of Thistle titles: The Assassination of Robert F Kennedy, and Voices of the Foreign Legion.

14 August 2018: Great review for Three Men on Their Bikes

"The book is a delightful read."

My Tiny Bookshelf

14 August 2018: First Norwegian review for The Tyre

Not Just Pancakes (Norwegian)

14 August 2018: Publishers Weekly reviews Voices of the Foreign Legion.

‘Voices of the Foreign Legion is a profound, life-changing experience.’

Publishers Weekly

13 August 2018: An excellent review for Voices of the Foreign Legion.

Fiction of Relations

9 August 2018: Jane Dismore reviewed

Yet another excellent review for  Jane Dismore's new biography of The Queen, 'Princess'.

All Sorts of Books

9 August 2018: Vikie Shanks on Autism

Vikie Shanks has written a very interesting article on Autism.

Do you have to be autistic to understand autism?

8 August 2018: Peter Stafford-Bow will be appearing at the Ryedale Book Festival on September 22.

Tickets are now available.

Ryedale Book Festival

7 August 2018: Not the Booker Prize

The Warehouse Industry has received some glowing comments from the judges of the Not the Booker Prize:

“Tragic and hilarious, as the best novels should be.”

Sam Jordison

6 August 2018: Writers of Colour reviews Voices of the Foreign Legion

Writers of Colour

2 August 2018: Stop and Smell the Pages reviews Corkscrew

“This particular novel kept me engaged from absurd beginning to topsy-turvy end."

Stop and Smell the Pages

31 July 2018: Blackstone in Crime Review

“If you fancy a Georgian crime romp, get your hands on Beau Blackstone by Richard Falkirk.”

Crime Review

31 July 2018: Matt Stanley reviewed

Another rave review for Matt Stanley's A Collar For Cerberus...

"The writing was brilliant... each sentence was a delight."

Jill Elizabeth

31 July 2018: The Literate Quilter reviews A Collar for Cerberus

"The plot may deal with death and big choices, but the distillation of the novel is joy."

Full review

30 July 2018: The Warehouse Industry prize nomination

We’re delighted to see The Warehouse Industry has been nominated for the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize. Thoroughly deserved for a hilarious, brilliant debut novel.

Not the Booker

30 July 2018: Excellent review for Woodcutter

“This is a cracking story… totally entertained me from the first page to the last. Super debut!”

From Dusk Till Dawn

25 July 2018: More excellent reviews for The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Jill Elizabeth

All the Books Blog

28 July 2018: Another rave for A Collar for Cerberus

"An amazing read and journey for all who might be interested."

Adventures in Lit

26 July 2018: Vikie Shanks interview

Vikie Shanks has given a powerful, moving interview to Headtalk News.

26 July 2018: Chris Bardsley on Coffee Chats

Chris Bardsley, author of Jack Was Here, was interviewed this week on the fantastic Coffee Chats podcast.

25 July 2018: Five Days That Shocked the World in the latest Crime Review

“Five Days That Shocked the World by Nicholas Best focuses on April and May 1945, but is essential reading as a background to current events.”

Crime Review

25 July 2018: Secret Sommelier reviews Corkscrew

“Corkscrew ... will make you laugh, yearn and feel intoxicatingly virile...”

Secret Sommelier

23 July 2018: A terrific review for Beau Blackstone in the latest Crime Review

"I was fascinated by the background, intrigued by the plot, engaged by the characters and thoroughly enjoyed this latest Georgian crime romp."

Crime Review

23 July 2018: Bucks, Books and Beyond reviews Gigolo

“This was an emotional, perceptive, very sexually explicit read.”

Full review

21 July 2018: David McClure in the Daily Express

5% boost in her property empire gives Queen £1m extra in earnings

20 July 2018: Excellent review for Tim Tate

Another terrific review for The Assassination of Robert F Kennedy...

"An excellent book, thoroughly researched and expertly written. The writing is so engrossing that I could not put it down until I turned the very last page."

Mac’s Books

11 July 2018: Another wonderful review for The Tyre

"In the vein of the 2008 Man Booker Prize winning, The White Tiger, this novel dignifies underclass entrepreneurship with wit and friendliness."

Midwest Book Review

19 July 2018: Society of Authors awards

Very exciting news, tonight is the Society of Authors award ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry, and The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle by the fantastic J. D. Dixon is shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham prize.

17 July 2018: Bookish Feelings reviews A Collar for Cerberus

“One can only love this book . Thank you Matt Stanley for writing this gem .”

Bookish Feelings

17 July 2018: Matt Stanley interviewed

Matt Stanley has given a fascinating interview to Athens Insider, promoting his new novel (set in Greece) A Collar for Cerberus.

A Literary Labour of Love

16 July 2018: Terrific review for Woodcutter

"There are some great set pieces, a cast of truly memorable characters brought to life with a wry Geordie wit."


16 July 2018: An excellent new review for In-laws and Outlaws


11 July 2018: The Tyre authors interviewed

Beneath the Banyan Tree

11 July 2018: Royal Legacy in Business Insider

“The Queen's massive stamp collection has never been fully inventoried or priced. Estimates put its worth over £10 million, with some estimates as high as £100 million.”

Business Insider

11 July 2018: Nicholas Best in Crime Review magazine

“This is a deftly written, immensely readable account that makes history read like a novel... Brilliant.”

Crime Review

11 July 2018: Our magical novel The Tyre is featured in the current issue of the English Language Gazette

“Former English language teacher Liz Huntley tells EL Gazette how ‘chance meetings and serendipity’ led her to an unusual literary collaboration with a French student she taught in the 1980s.”

English Language Gazette

11 July 2018: Through a Mother's Tears featured in the Sunday Mirror

Sunday Mirror

9 July 2018: Jane Dismore writes for Royal Central

Princess Elizabeth and the Summer of 1938

9 July 2018: The remarkable Cathy Broomfield in Wales Online

Mum fears her daughter was still alive when killer put her in a suitcase and threw her out of his car

5 July 2018: Jena Books recommends The Tyre

Three Books I Highly Recommend

4 July 2018: William Macbeth interview

William Macbeth has given a fascinating interview to Reading Nook, at the launch of his hilarious debut novel The Warehouse Industry.

Reading Nook

4 July 2018: Peter Stafford-Bow at Rydale Book Festival

“Peter Stafford-Bow, author and former wine executive, will be reading from his recently-published novel Corkscrew: the highly improbable, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer, a satire set in the world of supermarket wine buying. Corkscrew is based on Peter’s twenty-year career purchasing wines for the world’s largest retailers.”

Rydale Book Festival

4 July 2018: Vinesight reviews Corkscrew

“The success of Sideways can be a double edged sword when it comes to wine literature.  Do you try to tread in the same footsteps and risk comparison, or are you able to create something with its own identity? Corkscrew (or Corkscrew – the highly improbable, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer to give it its full title), the debut novel by Peter Stafford-Bow firmly falls in to the latter camp. Doing the rounds as something of a self-published cult novel within the wine fraternity since 2016, the book has deservedly been picked up by publisher Thistle and makes its official bookshelf debut in July.”


3 July 2018: David Bullock nominated for book prize

David Bullock, author of book that 'unmasks' Jack the Ripper nominated for award

3 July 2018: A tremendous review for Jane Dismore's Princess

Royal Central

2 July 2018: Kate Fulford in the news

Former Downham Market pupil’s novel shortlisted

2 July 2018: A selection of recent reviews

Hollywood Hang Ten

“Whilst set in the early 1960s, a time of counterculture and revolution with regard to social norms and mores, a time of relaxation of social taboos especially relating to racism and sexism, this book definitely takes you back to the seedier side of the 1950s movie industry and the period just after the McCarthy witch-hunts that dominated Hollywood and elsewhere in America. Naive wanna-be private eye Ryan Zorn embarks on a case (in his sick uncle's stead) to find a missing boy, before stumbling upon scandal, blackmail and murder, and someone intent on reviving long-dead secrets. I get the impression that this could quite easily become a series.”

Melisende’s Library

Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra.

“This is a clever crime mystery... well plotted and very funny. Not just humour in the story but laugh out loud moments and many a delightful play on words too... ‘the Schindler lift’ for one.”

Jane Norriss (Reviewer)

Orca Rising

“I love Ocean and the fact that this book gave me some Maze Runner vibes and a little bit of Hunger Games too.”

Dora Archie Okeyo (Reviewer)


“The book features new information and interviews with family and friends who give their unique insight into The Queen’s young life. Dismore also goes back and provides details and scandals regarding her maternal family that I, for one, had not heard before. Reading it, you get a picture of the Scottish residences that Her Majesty as a young girl ran about with her sister and cousins while visiting her maternal grandparents (who were the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne). You also see the influence the Bowes-Lyons had on her upbringing into the wonderful woman and leader she is today.”

Royal Central

“A very informative and enjoyable account of the early life of Princess Elizabeth. I enjoyed it and would recommend even if you are not a fan of the Royal Family.”

Geoff Harper (Reviewer)

“This was a wonderful and informative book on Queen Elizabeth II.”

Tiffany Reeves (Reviewer)

“The British royal family lives in a gilded cage, and for all the riches, pomp, and splendor, we would do well to remember they are also people. In Princess: The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II, author Jane Dinsmoore allows us to see the world’s longest-reigning monarch as just that: a regular person born into unbelievable and sometimes overwhelming responsibility. Pulling from interviews, memoirs, and other writings, Dinsmore’s attention to detail is phenomenal.”

Fragile Like a Bomb

“Thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend. Five stars.”

Julie Wilson (Reviewer)

“All in all, this is a thorough and detailed account of Queen Elizabeth's formative years and what set her on the road to becoming Queen. Interesting and packed with meticulous research, you could do worse than investing some time reading this. Dismore has done an exquisite job!”

Readers Retreat

“I've read several books on Elizabeth. I found this one to be particularly readable and interesting. Ms. Dinsmore has an engaging style… the book was like a novel.”

Debra Rojas (Reviewer)

“Princess offers a few surprises. Queen Mary was far more interested in Elizabeth’s education than her mother was. Her father, Prince Bertie/King George VI, was the only straight arrow among his brothers. Her mother didn’t seem to want to recognize Elizabeth had grown up, always lecturing her in letters on how to conduct herself, even though Elizabeth had always been proper. Elizabeth was exactly what the monarchy needed to survive.”

Terri Wangard (Reviewer)

“Ms. Dismore did a wonderful job on this historical biography on Queen Elizabeth. You will learn how she grew up, things she went through as the youngest Queen, being bombed by Hitler, meeting Philip when they were very young, how it blossomed into a love affair and then marriage.”

Cherie Homan (Reviewer)

“Absolutely brilliant! The book covers Elizabeth’s early life to the time of her assuming the throne. She is such a refreshing person. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Great Britain, or just loves a good biography.”

Joyce Fox (Reviewer)

“Jane Dismore's research is as meticulous as her writing, and it is this balance of talents that makes Princess such a good read.”

Emi Bevacqua (Reviewer)

The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton

“Jeremy Clay does a great job gathering up a selection of the screwiest Victorian news stories… The stories in The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton are sensational, often funny and often gruesome.”

Katherine Nabity

“Overall, this was an interesting collection of stories that will appeal to people who like weird and obscure history.”

All Sorts of Books

“A very interesting book.”

Adam Di Filippe (Librarian)

“A great mixture of newspaper reports, ranging from the completely bizarre, to the weird and utterly gory. The stories include tales of wild beasts, dead children, to women taken in sin. It is a perfect little book for dipping in and out of and great for conversation starters.”

S Ballinger (Reviewer)

The Filth

“An excellent and exciting read.”

Readers Retreat

“This addictively readable exposé chronicles author Duncan MacLaughlin’s fascinating climb up the police ladder to The Yard, with stories equally compelling for true crime junkies and regular readers alike. Highly recommended!”

Char Jones (Reviewer)

“A great book for police buffs… I loved it.”

Marie Angel (Reviewer)

The Warehouse Industry

“The overall tone of the book is unemotional and distant, but its effect is full of pathos. While Macbeth employs rich metaphors that elicit feeling as well as conjure image, he also includes irrelevant details, that the narrator says don't matter. The result is a tense combination of tears and laughter. Darkly humorous, this book succeeds in portraying the every man who is no man, The Invisible Man whose strength is in making himself known on his own wayward terms.”

Midwest Book Review

“This is a strange book but it also has a compelling pull on the reader. You need to try to work it out! … a little like Eleanor Oliphant.”

Fiction of Relations

“Perhaps it is an odd life goal to not draw attention to oneself, but that is exactly the place in which the narrator of “The Warehouse Industry” finds himself. Socially awkward and insecure, he does his best to blend in, yet still manages to stand out far more than he’s comfortable with. The narrator seems oddly disengaged, but the book draws the reader in, nonetheless. For those disinclined to read lengthy tomes, fear not: I found this book well-paced to the point where I was somewhat surprised to suddenly find myself deposited at its conclusion.”

Stop and Smell the Pages


“Your overall impression or conclusion after reading may be fine-tuned, if not completely turned upside down, thanks to this exhaustive in-depth dig into the lives of the Irish rock and roll band U2.”

Library Thing

Voices of the Foreign Legion

“Military history is not really my thing, but this book grabbed me at the first chapter and I read the whole thing in the course of a day.”

Stephen Rees

“This is the real story of the Legion, featuring many, superb first-hand narratives from the men who have served in its ranks. An extremely enjoyable read… I learned so much.”

Janet’s Book Corner

“I was enthralled by this book. One of the most interesting I have ever read.”

Marie Angel (Reviewer)

“This book is very interesting, insightful and there is a lot of horror and death. I found it easy to read, well written, and God bless every one of these men for fighting for a better world.”

Cherie Homan (Reviewer)

“Author Adrian Gilbert opened up an unknown world for me in this book. My thoughts about the Legion before reading this incredibly well-written history were of mystery and intrigue. Now, that secretive world has been cracked open through testimonials from actual Legion members themselves. A fascinating read!”

Char Jones (Reviewer)