Patrick Andrew Barrett was born in 1950 in Hucknall, Nottingham. He was educated at Beardall Street Secondary School and after-school choices were either the Army or coal mines. He chose a coal mine because there was no-one shooting at him down there. As a chargeman fitter, his main experience of writing was 26 years of explaining why he had to fix things other people had broken! When the mines began to close he followed a lifelong passion of antiques, becoming an antique dealer who couldn’t bear to sell anything. This resulted in his houses getting bigger but the rooms becoming smaller. His first book, Shakespeare’s Cuthbert, began the Cuthbert comedy series based in a fictional valley with larger than life characters. Each book has its own theme; the second one is titled How Mean is My Valley and the third is Tee for Two in the Valley.
Patrick is married to Paula, who is also known as the redhead and does all the tasks that Patrick doesn’t do.
Suddenly into this by-water of rural oblivion bursts a band of newcomers who have taken up residence of the seigneurial Mandrake Hall – Henry, a prominent media reporter and his daughter who is more horse than her horse; Henry's brother, Ronald, an adventurer, a mercenary and a sometime crook; and the unreconstituted Captain and his much put-upon wife Elspeth.
What are these rank and unlikely outsiders doing in these obscure parts and what are they looking for as they vigorously comb the village and the extensive network of tunnels built beneath it? One clue is the persistent legend that the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, was once employed as a tutor up at the Hall (thus the annual village play) and that there might still be fragments of his early work – a fumbling politically-incorrect piece – waiting to be discovered. Fame and fortune may follow, but corpses will be dug up first.
Book #1 in the Cuthbert Series