J. R. Ellis
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About J. R. Ellis
I have lived in Yorkshire for most of my life and write murder mysteries set in the varied landscapes and communities of the county. I began writing after I retired from a teaching career, mostly in further education. I am a member of a writers' group in Otley near Leeds and we publish anthologies of our work. I also write poetry and short stories, coming second in both categories at the 2018 Saltaire Writer's Competition. I am interested in biographical writing and am working on my memoirs of growing up in Huddersfield in the 1950s and 1960s and on researching the extraordinary life of my Irish mother-in-law whose son was sent to Australia as part of the child migrant scheme
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Books By J. R. Ellis
A puzzling locked-room mystery that puts someone Oldroyd loves in terrible danger…
When a film shoot on Wharfedale’s vintage railway turns into a grisly crime scene, DCI Oldroyd’s idyllic visit to the countryside with his partner Deborah is well and truly stopped in its tracks. One of the film’s stars has been shot dead in a train carriage while the cameras rolled outside. But nobody else went in—or came out. Has the killer really pulled off the perfect, impossible crime?
Scouring the victim’s past for clues, Oldroyd soon unearths a string of heartbroken lovers and a mountain of unpaid debts, each adding to the growing list of suspects. But before he can determine who the culprit is, there’s the small matter of figuring out how they did it. A potential connection to a previous tragedy offers Oldroyd a much-needed lead…
Whoever the perpetrator is, they are ruthless and determined to avoid detection, and when a railway worker starts joining the dots, they are quickly silenced—for good. But as Oldroyd gets ever closer to the truth, it’s only a matter of time before he is given a chilling warning to back off.
Perhaps Deborah should have stayed somewhere safe…
A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw…
Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value.
Oldroyd and DS Carter are called in to solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. But the closer they investigate, the more complex the web of deceit appears. This is no straightforward crime of passion.
With a violent murderer on the loose, it’s only a matter of time before they strike again. And this time it’s personal. Oldroyd must expose the truth, protect his daughter and stop the horror before it’s too late.
Winter, snow, murder—and a centuries-dead suspect.
In the chilly depths of a Yorkshire winter, a well-liked rector is found bludgeoned to death in her own church. With no sign of a murder weapon, local superstition quickly pins the blame on the ghost of a medieval monk believed to haunt the building…
Well accustomed to unusual murder investigations, DCI Jim Oldroyd takes on the case, along with his assistant, Sergeant Andy Carter, but they are hampered at every turn by the deepening snow and the threat of the supernatural. Even as possible motives and opportunities begin to reveal themselves, Oldroyd struggles to find a better suspect than the hooded phantom.
Has Oldroyd really found himself in the midst of a Gothic ghost story or is there a very real killer at large? Spectre or otherwise, it soon becomes apparent that the murderer is not yet finished. And, for Oldroyd, it’s about to become personal…
In a Yorkshire Dales village everyone has a motive for murder—except the killer.
A retired judge is shot dead outside the Dog and Gun inn in the remote Yorkshire village of Niddersgill. There’s a witness who saw everything, and the gunman’s on the run; the case should be open-and-shut for DCI Jim Oldroyd. But the murderer had no motive for wanting Sandy Fraser dead and, what’s more, no trace of him can be found.
As Oldroyd and his team cast the net wider, they discover that Fraser wasn’t without enemies in Niddersgill. As the wealthy owner of a grouse moor, he’d clashed with farmers, debtors, hunt saboteurs and blackmailers. But none of them were at the scene of the murder. And when a local shopkeeper is gunned down in a second senseless attack, it’s clear that these killings are anything but random.
Surrounded by the dramatic beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, Oldroyd faces a race against time to connect the crimes and find who’s behind them. But with all the evidence sending him down dead ends, can he get one step ahead before someone else is killed?
A murdered crime writer. An idyllic Yorkshire town. Can DCI Oldroyd separate fact from fiction?
A famous writer is found murdered at the Victorian baths in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate. In a crime worthy of one of his novels, Damian Penrose, who was appearing at the town’s crime writing festival, has been ruthlessly strangled. But with no trace of the murderer and no apparent means of escape, how did the killer simply vanish from the scene of the crime?
There’s only one mind capable of unlocking this mystery: DCI Jim Oldroyd. But as he and his team quickly discover, while Penrose was popular with the reading public, he had made plenty of enemies. Feuds over money, accusations of plagiarism, a string of affairs…His route to the top left a trail of embittered rivals—and suspects. But which of them was willing to commit murder?
When Penrose’s shocking death proves to be just the first of many, it becomes clear to Oldroyd that he is dealing with a calculating criminal hell-bent on revenge. He must find and bring them to justice. Before the truth becomes more chilling than fiction…
A priceless violin. And a dark secret someone is prepared to kill for.
Revised edition: This edition of The Quartet Murders includes editorial revisions.
DCI Oldroyd has seen his fair share of victims, but he has never witnessed a murder—until now. When world-famous violinist Hans Muller is shot and killed during a concert, the detective is faced with a case beyond logic. The culprit is nowhere to be found—and the victim’s priceless violin has disappeared too.
As Oldroyd investigates the mystery of the murderer’s identity and the motive for the killing, he enters the ruthless world of wealthy instrument collectors and stumbles upon a dark path where shocking secrets have been buried in the past. But the secrets will soon take centre stage.
Oldroyd must use all his cunning to recover the priceless instrument. But can he also solve the mystery of a murderer who vanished in front of his own eyes?
An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose.
Revised edition: Previously published as The Body in Jingling Pot, this edition of The Body in the Dales includes editorial revisions.
A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London.
The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks.
Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below.
An impossible murder behind a locked door. Can DCI Oldroyd find the key to the mystery?
Lord Redmire’s gambling habit has placed him in serious debt. Determined to salvage his fortune by putting Redmire Hall on the map, the aristocrat performs an impossible locked-door illusion on live TV. But as the cameras roll, his spectacular trick goes fatally wrong…
Special guest DCI Jim Oldroyd has a front-row seat, but in all his years with the West Riding Police he’s never witnessed anything like this. He sees Redmire disappear—and then reappear, dead, with a knife in his back.
As Oldroyd and DS Stephanie Johnson soon discover, nearly everyone at the event had a reason to resent the eccentric lord. But how did the murderer get into the locked room—or out, for that matter?
When the only other person who knew the secret behind the illusion is brutally silenced, the case begins to look unsolvable. Because as Oldroyd and Johnson know, it’s not just a question of who did it and why—but how?