Books by Julian Smart


The Pits at Wolsington Castle

The Pits at Wolsington Castle Cover

In 1843, Rufus Longley leaves Cambridge to be a tutor to Julia Harwood, the daughter of a doctor. His new home is an unnerving castle with many secrets. How did Julia’s mother really die? Exactly what scientific work is Dr Longley doing in his basement laboratory? And what lies beneath the pits being dug in the grounds by ill-fated, obsessive treasure-hunters? Rufus must follow the clues and reveal the truth, even if it puts his life at risk.

Listen online (2 hours 32 minutes):

‘The Pits at Wolsington Castle’ is a supernatural story of love earned but innocence lost, against a background of restless spirits and mortal danger. It first appeared in the collection Emma Vernon's Northminster Ghost Stories.

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The book is available on this site as an Epub, Kindle Mobi, zipped MP3 files, and a single large MP3 file.

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The Thomas Rufford Mysteries, Book 1: The Hawksbridge Angels

The Hawksbridge Angels Cover Thomas Rufford has tried to put his demons behind him and build a career in Victorian Oxford, but he has not found happiness. When he unexpectedly inherits an estate in Northumberland, he decides to seize the opportunity to become the master of Ramsburgh and his own fate.

Ramsburgh is ancient and romantic, and he discovers that the neighbouring town of Hawksbridge is full of diversion and opportunities for friendship, and perhaps more. However, beneath the tranquil surface of the town, all is not well. The advent of a major artistic project seems a cause for celebration, but then tragedy strikes. Just as Thomas is beginning to find his feet in his new home, he is drawn into a murder investigation and a dangerous quest for the truth.

Thomas discovers an unexpected talent for solving deadly riddles and deepens his bonds with the remarkable women who assist him. But then, even as triumph seems within reach, Thomas finds he can no longer run from his past and he is faced with losing everything.

Five Stars "Delightful - very much enjoyed the story and the style of writing."

Five Stars "Excellent - this book flowed very well with an interesting story line and engaging characters. Highly recommended for lovers of this genre."

You can buy The Hawksbridge Angels from Amazon as an e-book or paperback.

The Thomas Rufford Mysteries, Book 2: The Train to Hawksbridge

The Train to Hawksbridge Angels Cover When a friend’s husband is brutally murdered after threatening the existence of a much-loved monument, Thomas Rufford promises to find his real killer and avert a looming miscarriage of justice. But the widow is strangely obstructive, and Thomas’ search is forced in an unsavoury direction.

Meanwhile, Francesca Campbell has made a curious investment at the instigation of her mysterious new friend. After a second tragedy, Thomas must find whether the monument is at the heart of both deaths, together with unstoppable modernising forces, or whether the answers lie closer to home. But both his investigation and his own weaknesses threaten to destroy his reputation and future happiness.

Five Stars "Awesome - Loved it! What a wonderfully written story, full of many twists and turns. Highly recommend if you like multi layer mysteries."

You can buy The Train to Hawksbridge from Amazon as an e-book or paperback.

The Thomas Rufford Mysteries, Book 3: The Ramsburgh Variations

The Ramsburgh Variations Cover A pair of magnificent peafowl have taken up residence at Ramsburgh, and for Thomas, newly engaged to his beloved Phyllis, they are a promising sign for his future there. When he meets William Lowick, a local journalist, he is glad to have found a clever, irreverent friend to join his growing circle of acquaintances in Hawksbridge. But then William vanishes, much to the distress of his wife, and Thomas suspects a connection with the journalist’s latest investigation.

At the same time, a series of strange events throws the town into confusion. A man dies falling from the town walls, there is a terrible fire, and extraordinary and talented composer Euphemia Harris falls gravely ill in peculiar circumstances.

As Euphemia lies at death’s door, Thomas doggedly pursues the truth, only to become entangled in a shocking and dangerous situation that tests his resourcefulness to the limit.

Five Stars "Brilliant series - Well written, entertaining, amusing etc etc."

You can buy The Ramsburgh Variations from Amazon as an e-book or paperback.

The Thomas Rufford Mysteries, Book 4: The Hawksbridge Worm

The Hawksbridge Worm Cover When Thomas’ friend Francesca makes an unusual purchase and writes a play about a mythical beast, innocent theatrics turn lethal. Thomas and his wife Phyllis discover a young woman’s body in a stone circle – is there a mystical explanation, or an all too rational one?

A tragedy from the previous century also demands his attention. The deaths of three former residents of Hawksbridge are linked to Francesca’s new business, and these ghosts must be laid to rest. Along the way, Thomas must solve the riddles of a love-lorn rector, a notorious poet, and a fateful ruby.

Meanwhile, spectres from Thomas’ own past return to threaten his marriage and his future, after the unwelcome appearance of an old acquaintance and his sister.

Five Stars "Mysteries. Characters. Places and more! As good as it gets! I happily encourage anyone liking mystery series set in the 1800s to read this author. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of these books."

Five Stars "The Latest in a Delightful Series - I've been waiting months for this latest installment in the Hawksbridge series. I love the characters, love how the author has captured the period, and revel in the twists and turns taken by the plots of his books. I can only hope there will be many additions to this series."

You can buy The Hawksbridge Worm from Amazon as an e-book or paperback.

Emma Vernon's Northminster Ghost Stories (with Harriet Smart)

Emma Vernon’s Northminster Ghost Stories Cover An evil face in the pattern of a napkin. An ornament that foretells disaster. Something monstrous at the end of the pier. These and other Victorian horrors are presented by Emma Vernon, wife of the famous Northminster detective, Major Giles Vernon, with a foreword by Harriet Smart.

At Wolsington Castle, follow tutor Rufus Longley as he unravels the deadly mysteries of the castle’s recent history. Listen at the Connecting Door for what strangeness lies behind. Visit the Old Manse where John Lockwood and his wife struggle to understand the reverberations of the past. Heed the Household Goddess, and whatever you do – do not eat the Bride Cake, for the sake of all you love.

Emma Vernon’s Northminster Ghost Stories, co-written with Harriet Smart, contains thirteen supernatural tales – some short, some long – that bring to life a cast of characters and their emotional highs and lows in the spirit of the acclaimed Northminster Mysteries.

Five Stars "Highly entertaining - My favourite of the whole Northminster series! Please, ma'am, may I have some more? I would suggest this book to anyone!"

Emma Vernon’s Northminster Ghost Stories on Amazon
Emma Vernon’s Northminster Ghost Stories on Kobo


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