Welcome to the official Gemini and Flowers Mysteries website. This series of modern English crime stories, written by Jonathan Gregory, is set in the fictitious village of Rilton Castle in Dorset. On this site you can find out about each of the eight novels published in the series so far, read about Jonathan's other books, and order them as eBooks or paperbacks from Amazon.
The series starts with ‘Country Life’, which tells the story of Tom Flowers’ arrival in Rilton Castle following his dismissal from the Metropolitan Police for striking a senior officer. He comes to stay with his newly divorced sister, Lucy Barton, in the cottage she rents from the Ash estate. After meeting the lord of the manor, Mike Ash, and his two nephews, Patrick and Finn, Tom learns of a series of attacks taking place in the area where cars are being stopped and their occupants robbed by a modern-day highwayman. When the highwayman kills the next victim, everyone in the village comes under suspicion. Who is the killer and when will he, or she, strike again?
This first book introduces the reader to the cast of characters that return in subsequent stories as the police and Tom Flowers try to keep Rilton Castle safe from blackmailers, murderers, serial killers and even a ghost!
Not only great crime fiction, they are also warm, funny, romantic and often rather rude. Not for children or the faint hearted. The second book is called ‘Family Life, the third, ‘In Real life’ and the fourth ‘After Life’. The books are centred on the lives of a group of people living in a fictitious village called Rilton Castle, in Dorset, England. The stories revolve around the local lord of the manor, Mike Ash, who is raising his two nephews, Finn and Patrick. They are the Gemini element. Then there is Tom Flowers, an ex-policeman, James Stonely, the local Chief Inspector and a whole host of country types who return in each story. Each book brings back the main characters so they are more than just police dramas about procedure but more about the effects of crime on characters the reader cares about. Part soap opera, part drama. If asked to describe them, depending on the story, they are either ‘Midsommer Murders meets Queer as Folk’ or ‘All creatures great and small’ meets ‘Silence of the lambs’! One of the things Jonathan Gregory, the author, was very keen to do in these stories was include many different types of people.
There are elderly couples, social climbers, gay men, a randy vicar, an Indian journalist, divorced women and some good old country folk too. They are all set in the present day with many references to music, TV, local issues, money and politics. Mike, for example, is not only running his estate but works as a graphic novel writer and owns the local Ash farm, which is managed on a totally organic basis. The first story introduces everyone and is about a modern-day highwayman robbing drivers. The second is about the murder of a very successful businesswoman in a hotel in Blandford. The third focuses on the attempted blackmail of a rock star in the Jimmy Savile enquiry and a murder inspired by an old Pasolini film. A new main character, Regina Muga, a black Chief Inspector, takes centre stage in the third book. And in After Life, the fourth book, we meet Lady Greta Hollander, Mike’s godmother, who is having ghost problems and calls in Gemini and Flowers for help! One thing many crime dramas miss out on is humour. Even when things are dark, the British fall back on jokes to get them through difficult times. These books have tried to include that part of our character.
Tom Flowers arrives in Rilton Castle to stay with his sister after losing his job with the Metropolitan Police. He finds a community of charming, warm and slightly eccentric people who make him welcome but the calm of this idyllic village life is soon disturbed by murder. A modern-day highwayman, who has been stealing from cars, shoots a young man and everyone becomes a suspect in the police investigation. Chief Inspector Stonely, who lives in the village, leads the official police team while Tom struggles to come to terms with his new life and find a new direction, and maybe new love too. Country Life introduces the whole cast of the ‘Gemini & Flowers’ mysteries and sets up the subsequent stories. It can be read as a stand-alone book or the beginning of a long series of crime novels set in and around Rilton Castle.
“I highly recommend this book. It is not filled with lusty sex, as desirable as that is. Instead the emphasis is on building a story that will grab--and hold--the reader's interest. The best testament to a series author's abilities is if readers will purchase the second volume. I am reading it now!”
— TAS, USA
“I enjoyed this book so much that I had difficulty in resisting the temptation to consume it all at one go to find out what happened.”
— MM, France
Now settled in Rilton Castle, Tom Flowers is starting to build up his private investigation business. After tracking down an unfaithful husband with the aid of the Ash twins, Patrick and Finn, Tom becomes a suspect when his client, a highly successful businesswoman and friend of the Prime Minister, is found murdered in a hotel in Blandford. When her husband also dies, Chief Inspector Stonely, soon to retire, has to find the killer before he strikes again. At the same time, a woman stabs her husband to death after finding him molesting their daughter and her sister asks for Tom’s help in finding the other men involved. When it turns out that the woman was having an affair with the businesswoman’s husband, the two cases collide. Can Tom and Stonely find their guilty parties before Rilton Castle becomes the location for another murder? Nominated for the Lambda Literary Mystery Award 2013.
“The plot is woven together with a light touch, the characters are great and there is a liberal sprinkling of typical English self-depreciating humour. I cannot wait for Jonathan's next book later this year.”
— MC, Australia
“You had sex with me in your dressing room. I was thirteen at the time…” Tom Flowers is called in by Ronny Hudd, a famous rock and roll star, to help him find a blackmailer. They are threatening his comeback tour and his reputation as one of Britain’s best-loved musicians. Then a new neighbour of Mike Ash’s family is found brutally murdered on estate land in a killing that imitates the old Pasolini film, ‘120 days of Sodom’. Recently appointed Chief Inspector Regina Muga struggles to cope with a serial killer, personal attacks in the press, a village full of suspects and terrified people as the clock counts down towards another murder as a second victim goes missing. All the regular characters in Rilton Castle are back in this story straight from the newspaper headlines of today. Nominated for the Lambda Literary Mystery Award 2013.
“I was hooked on Country Life, reeled in with Family Life and now a very firm fan with In Real Life. I am ready for Volume #4 IMMEDIATELY!”
— CS, USA
“Jonathan is developing this knack of lulling the reader into a false sense of security with some beautiful narrative about English cottage gardens, the Dorset countryside and his characters shenanigans. Then on the next page he is "kicking you in the groin" as the drama of the crime(s) develops with his raw style and energy.”
— MC, Australia
Mike Ash’s godmother, the Duchess of Bloxworth, asks for his help when things start going bump in the night at her stately home, Hollander Hall. While Mike visits her, Tom Flowers and James Stonely are asked to trace fake antiques by local auctioneer Derek Smee. The appearance of an heir to the Hollander estate complicates matters further for Mike and the Duchess and the discovery of a naked body in Rilton Castle Lake brings Chief Inspector Muga and her team back to the village once more. As the attacks on the Duchess get more serious, and many Ash family secrets are revealed, all the regular local characters get involved as murder and mayhem threaten the calm of the village and the future of the Ash estate.
“I highly recommend this entire British mystery series. Loved the characters, the setting and the plot twists. I hope there are more to follow!!!”
— SA, USA
Bad things can happen to very nice people. Two elderly people are murdered in Dorchester, one with a boule and one with a cricket bat. Apart from the use of sports equipment, there seems no connection between the two victims. If the deaths are as random as they seem then Chief Inspector Muga and her team have a serial killer to catch before he or she strikes again.
Meanwhile, Tom Flowers and his partners set off to try and catch a gang of thieves who have been attacking race courses around the south of England. This puts the Ash twins in serious danger, James Stonely on the nasty end of a gun again and lands Lady Greta Hollander in a very sticky situation. And ends up with a very small criminal targeting the Ash family in search of revenge.
As Mike Ash tries to finish off his second trilogy and Neil and Dax negotiate a promotion, a much beloved local figure is killed, bringing Muga back to the village.
She desperately tries to find the murderer before he or she strikes again.
In this, the fifth Gemini and Flowers mystery, normal family life goes on as the investigation proceeds. Mike and the twins decide about their future education; Reg Mole grapples with his turkeys, goose rustlers and the magnificent Mrs Fothergill again, while the success of the Happy Thatcher brings parking chaos to the village. And Ramjap Shastri’s future plans take a turn for the better.
All the familiar Rilton Castle characters return in this story of murder and mayhem, which shows that life can be very unsporting at times, especially in the English countryside.
“Oh how wonderful to be back in Rilton Castle...still filled with love and murder!”
— PB, Stockholm, Sweden
This was a bloody silly way to die in Dorset.....
Once again we return to the prettiest village in England, with autumn approaching and where a new school year has started. The Ash twins have gone to Rilton Castle School, meeting new friends and taking on new roles. The family at the Manor House settles down to hard work, rugby and cross country running, as Tom Flowers and James Stonely take on a new case for Sir Freddie Morgan, who keeps big cats on his estate. Sir Freddie needs to know if his place is safe enough from saboteurs to take on a tiger with an evil reputation.
Then the peace of Rilton Castle is shattered by a terrorist attack on a parent at the school. The aftermath brings major diplomatic problems for Chief Inspector Regina Muga and her team and Tom comes face to face with his old nemesis, Pritchard, the police officer who got him thrown out of the Met.
At the same time Mike Ash, trying to finish the sixth book in his graphic saga, has to deal with Blair Marchland, a book reviewer and his greatest critic, who has moved into the village. Marchland has dedicated his life to pouring scorn on such books, so why did he move to Rilton in the first place? And who is his mysterious visitor?
As death and mayhem ensue, once again we discover that life in the Dorset countryside can be really, really wild.....
“Once again, Jonathan has come up with a great story and some fine new characters to add to the gang in Rilton Castle. Very funny, sexy and sad at times, it adds a whole new meaning to the expression about going wild in the country!”
— CJ, Dallas, Texas.
“I love these books and this one is just as good, if not better, than the first five! I mean, it’s got a tiger in it…in Dorset!”
— TM, Dorking, Surrey.
Rilton Castle has been quite peaceful for a few months, but when the body of an Indian journalist is found dead in a ditch in Dorset, Chief Inspector Regina Muga’s heart sinks, as she knows at least one person who wanted him dead. Mike Ash. Someone she likes very much indeed. As her team starts the investigation into the death, she struggles to avoid giving away some Ash family secrets, whilst being aware Mike could indeed be the murderer.
As the investigation proceeds, Tom Flowers and James Stonely try to find the thieves behind a string of wine thefts from restaurants and Rilton Castle village life tries to go on regardless. At Castle School, the boys are growing up and discovering a few disadvantages with their abilities as well as dealing with first time love trouble.
Then Mike gets a blackmail demand and things really start to fall apart, publicly and privately. Can Muga find the murderer and the blackmailer before they strike again?
In this, the seventh Gemini and Flowers Mystery, you will meet all the regular cast as they grapple with murder and mayhem, as well as some new characters who muddy the waters as the police try to discover the truth.
“The best yet! No one is writing crime fiction like Jonathan’s at the moment. A complex murder mystery plot interwoven with thefts, blackmail, sex and wonderfully funny, if sometimes foul, language. It is such a heady mixture but the warmth of the characters and the twists and turns of the enquiry make for an excellent read. And the song at the end is very, very rude but just what teenagers would think was funny…and which other crime writer puts songs in their stories? Brilliant.”
— SG, Brisbane, Australia.
“Starts with a murder, then gives us the back story, then the investigation plus lots of thieving, a bit of blackmail, loads of sex, some very, very funny dialogue and some scenes that are so touching and sad they made me cry. All the characters, gay and straight, are developing so well from story to story…I can’t wait for the next one to find out what happens to them all.”
— HD, San Francisco, USA
“When I read Country Life I wondered what Jonathan was going to do with his telepathic twins. I found out in this story. He sets up the scenes so well and they are so funny, so embarrassing but incredibly real. I’m not sure how he does it but he has taken an outrageous idea and made it work, time and time again. Plus a murder with three denouements!! More please!"
— KL, Bristol, United Kingdom
Something is blowin’ in the wind…
Is it the answer or smoke from another holiday cottage, burnt to the ground by an arsonist? Maybe it is the aroma of Moonshadow’s cooking, or the scent from one of her ready-rolled joints? Perhaps it is the noise from the huge loud speakers in the flat next door to Mrs Julia Fothergill, who is suffering from an outbreak of cuckoos.
It’s July in Dorset and the peaceful summer is about to be disturbed by violence and mayhem, yet again. The twins are off from school, Mike is drawing Tintin, Lucy is trying to save hedgehogs and Tom Flowers gets called in by the local banks to find the ‘Homeless’, the person behind the string of fires across the county.
With the arrival of Superintendent Pritchard to advise Muga’s team about drug dealers, and the Right Honourable Harvey Stroll, MP, begging for help for his beloved mistress, the scene is set for one hell of a party. And the discovery of two decapitated corpses sends all of them searching for the killers. And guess where they are heading…
We’re back in Rilton Castle with all the familiar characters as the Ash family deals with the village’s latest drama, Finn and Patrick cope with teenage frustration and Regina finds the solution to one problem really is blowing in the wind…
Buy in paperback or Kindle edition.
“These stories jump right out of the pages of the news media. The way Jonathan combines his family drama with crime and modern life is really clever. A great read and a worthy addition to the series.”
— KL, London.
“No-one else is writing stories like these. Funny, sad and very well plotted, the cast of characters are now old friends and I love sitting down and getting to know them all over again each time. The books are so much more than simple murder mysteries, with a very loving family at the centre of multi-stranded stories that have so many elements it’s a miracle Mr Gregory makes them work together. But he always does!!”
— CT, Florida
Patrick Ash looked at the man who was going to kill him and went inside…
A sadistic killer is on the loose in Bournemouth, preying on young homeless lads. Superintendent Regina Muga is brought in, as the existing team have got nowhere in their investigation. At the same time, Tom Flowers and James Stonely are asked to try and find a boy who disappeared twenty years earlier, and find him before his father dies of cancer. As Stonely wants to retire again, this will be his last case. Just back from a Swedish Christmas, the Ash family find themselves up to their necks in chaos. There is a health crisis; a school shooting and a concert to organise. And Sally Bowles discovers Chris Jones has scored off the football field and the Reverend Ian Fish decides it is time to hang up his cassock…but not before his first gay wedding.
Life goes on in its usual chaotic way in Rilton Castle as time and murder take their toll. As the body count rises, the clock is running out on both cases, and the police and Gemini and Flowers desperately try to solve both mysteries before anyone else dies…
“Jonathan has created yet another complex tale, with two or three different stories interlinked, all leading to a final ending that is surprising, romantic, terrifying and wonderful. I love his Gemini and Flowers mysteries and this really is the best one so far.”
- ML, Houston, Texas.
“Everyone’s back, a bit older, a bit wiser and everything’s going to hell in and handcart again. Great mysteries, two of them this time and fantastic insights to why the crimes are being committed. How he keeps his characters fresh and the stories so relevant and up to date is an even bigger mystery! Street life rocks!”
— DF, London, United Kingdom.
It is three years since we last visited Rilton Castle and “times they are a changing”. Lady Greta Hollander has died and Mike Ash has become the seventeenth Duke of Bloxworth. He and Tom are moving to Hollander Hall, leaving the village in the safe hands of Finn and Fade, now a happy couple. Patrick is going to join the police and is starting work as a trainee Special Constable with Regina Muga’s team before going to Hendon Police College.
However, this is Rilton Castle after all, so things are never simple or peaceful for long. James Stonely has bought the perfect gift for his wife’s sixty-fifth birthday. Robots have arrived at Ash Farm. Ian Fish has tried to retire and is awaiting a new, sober, replacement. Lucy Barton has a new Chinese client and Ronny Hudd is still collecting strange objects, whilst managing his rock star son, Daria. Things have been quiet for three years but, as the Ash family prepares to move, tragedy occurs.
A teenage girl goes missing. A gang of thieves is targeting farm machinery. A prisoner escapes in the north of England, intent on bringing hell and revenge upon Mike and his family. Regina Muga returns to Rilton to find two killers and to try and save the lives of the people she has come to love over the years.
Whatever else happens in this story, you’ll have the Time of Your Life.
“What a wonderful end to a great series. Jonathan has created a final tale combining all the fun and love of his main characters with yet another wicked series of murders. I will miss my annual visits to Rilton Castle and hope he changes his mind and writes more.”
- JH, Salisbury, UK.
“Well, I’ve had the time of my life reading book ten! Exciting, funny, rude, loving and full of all the little details of rural life that have made the Gemini and Flowers mysteries so special. A happy ending to a lovely series.”
— KT, Sydney, Australia.