A Sweeping Saga
What happened to the indigenous Tasmanians?
Jonathon Sweeping became Oliver Twist before Dickens was born. In a London slum, his young parents battled poverty, disease and heartache. Forget schooling. Shove the child up a chimney. Make young Sweeping a sweep. Threaten him, injure him but under no circumstances pay him. No wonder death and stealing dominated society when even children fronted the Old Bailey. What hope for the boy? Jonathon moved from prison hulk to convict ship to the other side of the world where Van Diemen’s Land with its stunning natural beauty became a war zone. It was kill or be killed as genocide exploded. The boy became a man fighting injustice, cruelty and bushfires. He started a family and together they lived, loved and built a new nation in what became Tasmania. This is Jonathon Sweeping’s sweeping saga.
Mr. Fox tells a marvellously researched tale of loss and redemption in the untamed bush of Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania. Jonathan suffers seven years of indenture, treacherous treatment at the hands of his master, constant fear of attack by Aborigines, but eventually his fortunes turn. The descriptive detail and historical accuracy make A Sweeping Saga a joy to read. This reader has even nominated it as required reading for my writers’ group. Amazon 5 stars
A combination of fine scholarship and effective prose make A Sweeping Saga a great pleasure to read. Emeritus Professor Michael Roe University of Tasmania
I really enjoyed A Sweeping Saga and couldn’t put it down. I was so disappointed when it was over. I do hope it goes on to the list of school text books. Word of mouth will soon get it flying out the door. It has to appeal universally, particularly to Australians, it is so marvellous. It HAS to go well. Jonne Finnemore
Available as both paperback and eBook.
Almost Agatha Christie
In 1920 Devonshire, Agatha Crispie writes murder mysteries. Her second husband and his snooty family ridicule her tales. Oh no! There’s a body in the library. It’s a scandal, hugely embarrassing for the snobbish family. But the body vanishes. Enter Scotland Yard’s Inspector Dithering, plus local sleuth, Miss Mary Mead. Then Agatha vanishes. There are ashes in the fireplace. Agatha’s ashes? Has she run away? Has her family done her in? The Buckingham Palace debutant ball is set to welcome Agatha’s insufferable stepdaughter when two visitors threaten ruin. It’s Chief Inspector Sapp from Scotland Yard and his nemesis, Monsieur Hercule Grey-Cells from Belgium. Will Agatha Crispie’s mysteries become famous? Will the mousetrap mystery carry on forever?
Reviews of the comedy hit play Agatha Crispie by Cenarth Fox
Are you one of those readers of mystery novels who find Agatha Christie’s tortured plots, blind alleys and obscure clues frustrating? Do you become exasperated by the bumbling policemen, shudder at Poirot’s mannerisms or long to strangle Miss Marple? Then this is the play for you. Ken Barnes
A wonderful season. Sherbrooke Theatre Company
Congratulations on a very funny play. Tugun Theatre Company
Our production of Agatha Crispie went extremely well with the season sold out. Powassan Players Canada
Agatha Crispie is an hilarious spoof on the writings of Agatha Christie. All the characters are extremely stupid and the plot is as improbable as those of the original Agatha, but it is a cleverly constructed little play. Don’t miss this one, it’s a load of fun. Yass Repertory Company
A brilliant cast of readily recognizable characters given a new lease of life through the fertile imagination of its playwright. A great night of entertainment. Marie Ryan
What a fun show, especially for those who know the golden age of crime. Joan Amos
Following Christie’s style and success, Cenarth Fox has captured the “feel” of the murder mystery format. Roger McKenzie
Although most of the references to Christie’s mysteries went over the younger heads, the older members of the audience found them hilarious. Newman College
Available as both paperback and eBook.
Sherlock Holmes – Playing the Game
The world’s greatest detective has met his match. More withering than Professor Moriarty. More wily than Irene Adler. More witty than Benedict Cumerbund. It’s the challenge. The great man is soon to retire. On his last night in Baker Street, the loyal landlady drops a bombshell. Holmes is staggered. Mrs Hudson has done what!? Sherlock Holmes never panics—until now. Dr Watson is stunned. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is furious. A famous author turned WW1 counter-intelligence spy is on the case. The Strand Magazine senses a scoop. Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard plans revenge, and at stake is the brilliant reputation of the world’s most famous consulting detective. His only hope is to ‘play the game’.
Available as both paperback and eBook.
Paperbacks from your local book shop via Ingram Spark. eBooks and paperbacks from Amazon. Signed paperback from author.
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020. It was not until I reached the age of 70 I found the classics which introduced me to Sherlock Holmes. I have read all of Sir Author Conan Doyle’s stories plus some of his other publications. There is not a book I have not read about Sherlock and Watson. And when I find a story of Sherlock I like I’m really really happy. This story is fantastic. How great it would be if Sherlock and Watson were real. Two worlds collide and it’s funny. Thanks Mr Fox. Amazon
Cenarth Fox’s Sherlock Holmes: Playing the Game (Melbourne: Fox’s Plays, 2020; 184 pp., $12.99) is a delightfully imaginative pastiche: Holmes is preparing to retire to Sussex, and is informed by Mrs. Hudson that she has written her memoirs, in which she corrects the many mistakes he has made, and the many errors in Watson’s stories; hoping to find a publisher, she takes her manuscript to Conan Doyle, who sends her to Greenhough Smith at the Strand magazine, and it is grand to see two alternate universes collide. It’s readily available at Amazon, and recommended. Fox also has written two two-act plays “The Real Sherlock Holmes” (2005) and “Nursing Holmes” (2009), and a two-act musical comedy “Sherlock, Stock and Barrel” (2007); you can read preview scripts of all three plays at his web-site <www.foxplays.com>. He also has a web-site at <www.cenfoxbooks.com>. Peter E. Blau BSI
This book, a twist on Sherlock Holmes, is SO much fun! Mrs. Hudson has written a manuscript detailing all the errors in the Sherlock Holmes stories & she takes it to the editor of The Strand magazine, the original publisher of the stories. From there, it’s a madcap romp of confusion for both the historical and the “fictional” characters until the final brilliant conclusion. Goodreads 5 stars
A completely different slant on Holmes and Watson…a grand tale. Mary McCulloch Goodreads 4 stars
Holmes is preparing to retire, leaving Baker Street, when Mrs Hudson announces that she has written a candid account of his years as her tenant at 221B, in which she records his failures and the mistakes committed by him and Dr Watson. Of course, he’s horrified, as is Watson when he arrives. The detective’s astonishment deepens when he learns that Watson’s narratives are handled by one Arthur Conan Doyle, who in turn submits them to the editor of The Strand Magazine. Mrs Hudson, meanwhile, unaware of that revelation, visits the magazine’s offices, where the receptionist politely refers her to Sir Arthur, who naturally thinks that she is mad, because he knows that Mrs Hudson is no more real than Holmes and Watson… Conan Doyle’s faithful secretary Alfred Wood has an important rôle; J.M. Barrie and A.E.W. Mason play their part, as does Inspector Lestrade. This is a complex, ingenious and deliciously funny story of intersecting realities, and the conclusion is entirely satisfactory. I love it! Roger Johnson – The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
All Cenarth Fox books listed at www.cenfoxbooks.com
The Detective Joanna Best Mysteries
Books 1 – 8
Available as both paperback and eBook.
Murder Mysteries in Melbourne
Detective Senior Constable Joanna Best is the youngest homicide cop in town. She’s also a crim. Well, she sails pretty close to the wind. Can you solve the murders before she does? Can she stay alive and out of jail? Collect the first six books in this new series.
Do you like murder mysteries? How about crime fiction? What about a female sleuth? These modern police procedurals have dead bodies, nasty villains, a peppering of puns and a solid serve of slapstick. The first murder takes place on Puffing Billy, a tourist steam train, where a cast of actors perform for the patrons. It’s Murder on the Orient Express in the Dandenongs. There’s computer fraud, a double homicide in Elsternwick a la Midsomer Murders, and a French movie star doubling as a detective. Meet crooks, politicians and developers—one and the same really. And when a little girl vanishes from a busy public park, the city of Melbourne goes searching. How on Earth did Burke and Wills join the search in the 21st century?
Then there are several murders where all the victims are fine, upstanding citizens with no motive to hurt let alone murder them. What’s happening and why? As the series develops, Jo finds herself heading overseas to Paris and London. And the drug barons of Florida land Down Under.
Printed and eBook versions now available from Amazon and local book shops via Ingram Spark. Signed paperbacks available from the author.
Reviews of Jo Best
Terrific. A poignant story amidst all the mayhem. When is Book 7 available?
I could not put this series down. The characters, plots, settings, kept me reading. I really liked the word comedy phrasing. A couple of characters I wanted to smack.
After finishing all three of the detective series, I’m left hanging. I enjoyed the way the books ended giving a tempter to the next. I was drawn into the characters and really hope some of my favourites don’t get bumped off. It’s safe to say you can put me down as a subscriber to all the future books in this series. I need to know what happens next ….
This is one helluva read. Fox’s very individual style is so suited to this genre, giving it a subtle comic underscore without detracting from the suspense. My nervous system was sorely taxed with highs and lows, laughter and tears. It’s a most interesting read.
Vengeance is Fine is a real page-turner. Looking forward to Jo Best in Paris. What could possibly go wrong?!
How long will I have to wait for the next book? I need to know who Jo Best will fall in love with?
I thought The Code of Monte Christo was brilliant, and loved the way it flowed. It was funny and the characters kept me hooked with each twist and turn. I enjoyed reading about places I could relate to and the intrigue, not sure how things would turn out. Agatha Christie, watch out!
I thoroughly enjoyed the first three Jo Best Mysteries. They kept me on the edge of my seat as well as giving me plenty of belly laughs and surprises. I can’t wait to find out what happened to the South Yarra Judge and who Jo picks out of her 3 boyfriends. I loved the references to Shakespeare, Sherlock, Melbourne, Theatre and even the Bible?
I have finally read The Brothers Crimm. I am surprised at your criminal turn of mind, or is it merely imagination !!!! A lovely move on from Monte Cristo and your curling zig zag plot, moments of terror, wow. Have just started Little Lady Vanishes and your name for the villain ‘Darren’ SANDILANDS is delicious. I am not usually a ‘whodunit’ reader but Joanna Best is an exception.
A rollicking good yarn. Puffing Billy will never be the same for me after this.
Two Free Murder Mysteries
Somebody Murdered Maggie is a crime fiction novella. DCI John ‘Robbo’ Robertson heads the Victoria Police Homicide Squad. A young mother is murdered in her kitchen. Her toddler son is in the room next door. Whodunit? There’s a laundry list of suspects. A motorcyclist crashes and dies. Some strange woman reckons it’s murder. Really? Can you solve the murders before the police? Can Robbo’s six-year-old granddaughter Jo Best help her Pop crack the case? Surely not.
For a free PDF of Somebody Murdered Maggie, send an email with ‘Free PDF’ in the Subject line.
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The Plum Quartet (4 books)
Louise Beatrice Wellesley, nicknamed Plum by her older brothers, is a brilliant and beautiful English actress studying at Cambridge in 1939. She stars on stage and is recruited as a spy for the Secret Service. Soon she’s back on stage in a Parisian nightclub wearing a costume to shock her mother. Sharing a dressing-room with Edith Piaf is never dull. War begins and in Paris, Louise is fighting Nazis, the French police, part of the Resistance and a British traitor. Back home at Windsor Castle, she joins a group of actors and, as Cinders, stars in Cinderella before the Royal Family. When the IRA kidnap a Royal, up steps the leading lady to carry out a Girls-own rescue and so impresses Winston, he demands she join the SOE. Plum plays the role of a nun in Lyon, is captured and tortured by the Gestapo, fights an archbishop, climbs the Pyrenees and, back in London, uncovers a mole in Baker Street. Go girl. How she returns to German-occupied Europe is amazing. How she escapes more so. She falls for an American and when WW2 ends she signs up for another one. Will the world ever hear about the incredible secret life of Plum?
I have read 100’s of books on WW2, both fiction and non fiction. I can honestly say this trilogy will go down as one of the most enjoyable. All 3 books were riveting. I adored her. I really can’t recommend these books enough. Amazon 5 stars
A Plum Jewel is the third in the series about a beautiful young actress turned spy. In the opinion of this reader it may be the best. Cenarth Fox has loaded this tale with so many twists and obstacles the reader may feel the need to take notes. Mr. Fox’s knowledge of the working of wartime Britain and France is remarkable. The reader is right in the middle of the action. I can’t recommend this book strongly enough. Scott Skipper 5 stars
A Plum Job is about passion and perseverance, about missed opportunities and great losses. Against the backdrop of a fresh world war and suspicion on both sides, it is more than just a tale of a wannabe actress. The fictional tale Fox has woven through historical events is captivating and filled with drama and excitement, it’s even a little bit heart-breaking to be honest. It’s not 100% historically accurate but it is hard to put down all the same with a story that’s filled with drama, excitement, and suspense. There are numerous surprises and unexpected things that keep you interested and engaged and it’s a compelling story, you’re never quite sure where it is heading but you don’t mind the journey getting there. Amy Brownlee
I found it hard to put down. I kept getting annoyed by the thought that I was unable to discern the reality and the fictional. I found the light and shade worked very well. Reading about Plum was a pleasure but I kept laying the book aside after the Nazi episodes for a day or so of recovery. Congratulations on a job so intelligently put together. Trevor Blum
Throughout the story Louise is involved in dramatic performances and there are many references to well-known lines of famous plays and poems. (These I thoroughly enjoyed.) I also enjoyed the gentle humour throughout the book. The title of the book is very cleverly inserted into the closing of the story. It is well defined on the cover as a theatrical thriller, a tale of romance, death, lies and spies. Jocelyn Grieve
The Plum Trilogy is available in paperback and as an eBook.
This novel is based on the hugely-successful play Saucy Pat. See Plays – Two-act Plays.
Patrick Brontë, father of the famous novelist sisters, was of lowly Irish birth. His father was kidnapped, enslaved and abused. But Pat’s illiterate dad survived, married and Patrick was born in a two-room cottage. He had 9 younger siblings. From humble origins, Pat became an amazing teacher winning a scholarship to Cambridge graduating with honours. He was a Church of England priest for 55 years, had six children, three of whom—Charlotte, Emily and Anne—became and still are famous novelists.
But Patrick copped a bad press. Elizabeth Gaskell wrote a biography about Patrick’s daughter Charlotte. Mrs Gaskell ripped into Patrick; so severely that critics inferred he was ‘a cassocked savage’ and ‘a mad dog who should be shot’. Really? Biographers pushed the Gaskell line for 150+ years. Brontë the bastard. Pat’s reputation was set in cemetery stone. But no longer. Now his gripping, true story can be told. And what a story. The redhead from County Down was brilliant. He was a poet, novelist, hero and way ahead of his time. He gave his children a fabulous education with giant dollops of love. He inspired them to write. He was a fierce advocate for health, education and social reform. And he loved dogs! Meet the unsung hero from the Yorkshire moors—the redhead with the ‘right’ reputation.
A splendid story, reading like a Victorian melodrama … the convincing story of Patrick’s family life at Haworth. Louise Joy
Portrays the life of Brontë in remarkable style giving a deeper insight into a famous literary family. Rev. Philip Higgins
I absolutely loved this book. Patrick Brontë was a Man of Sorrows. Marie Ryan Readings and Writings
Cenarth Fox has seized the day to revisit Patrick Brontë, an extraordinary man who encouraged his children to read, to think, and hence to imagine. Geraldine Starbrook
I loved the book and I loved Patrick. All the characters are so believable. They made me cry. Veronica Hannebery
I laughed and cried in my journey through the pages … a beautifully written portrait of poor old Patrick. Jonne Herbert
Wonderfully evocative—Patrick’s fabulous journey from poverty in Ireland to the Yorkshire I know and love. Steve Stanworth (Churchwarden and Site co-ordinator for the Bronte Bell Chapel, Thornton)
Do you have a conscience? Does it work? Melbourne scientist, Bernie Slim, creates a drug designed to kick-start a conscience. Surely this Moral Compass Pill is science fiction. It’s secretly given to ordinary people with unexpected results. When a heavy criminal is tricked into taking the drug, serious trouble looms. When a public figure pops the pill, it’s no longer a secret. A leading politician, Mafia boss, and Big Pharma CEO fight for the formula. Bernie’s in strife. Can the drug and Bernie survive?
What would happen if cops, crooks and politicians followed their conscience?
Very engaging with laugh-out-loud humour. An excellent piece of work. The large cast of characters are well-knit into a varied and complex plot that never loses impetus. Trevor Blum
Cenarth Fox’s foray into the realm of humour is a departure from his earlier work, and it shows a breadth of skill. The characters are well formed and Mr. Fox does great villains. Scott Skipper
Tricky Conscience is very well written, informative, absorbing and funny. Mehreen Ahmed
Set in Melbourne Australia, this highly funny and entertaining novel kept me engrossed to the very satisfactory ending. The author’s use of word play and the descriptions of my home town made it a particular pleasure to read. Characters are well drawn, the pace is rollicking, and the thought of a moral compass pill is quite delicious. Jay Ayon
Noodles for Shakespeare
It’s Pygmalion and Educating Rita Down Under. In 1975, the Communists captured Saigon. A family of six flee, with their youngest, Thanh, aged two. It’s a terrifying escape on a tiny boat overloaded with desperate refugees. In Melbourne, Australia, English Literature teacher, David, introduces Shakespeare using the wit of Groucho Marx. David retires and hits a brick wall. Broke and alone, he rents a shoebox in Footscray surrounded by Vietnamese immigrants. His neighbour is the now 25-year-old Thanh who escaped decades ago. She only speaks Vietnamese. He offers to teach her English, or rather Elizabethan English, the language of Shakespeare. She rattles off verily, forsooth and skimble-skamble, my Lord. Their relationship develops. Has the young Vietnamese woman fallen for her senior Aussie teacher? With weird and wonderful family members interfering, can Thanh succeed? Will her love for David bring happiness? And will The Bard ever get the same recognition as Groucho Marx?
This novel is based on the play Shakespeare in Saigon by Cenarth Fox.
This play is fresh and new and of today. An absolutely charming, funny and thoughtful piece that really makes you feel a lot better after seeing it. Curtain Up
Cenarth Fox’s plays are exceptional works. Beautifully written, an unusual and moving love story with Shakespeare as matchmaker. Brian Amos
A delightful and touching piece of theatre which would be ideal for somewhere like Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre in Neutral Bay. John Bell—Bell Shakespeare
This play is among the very best of Cenarth Fox’s writing. The overall impression was one of delight, and this play should be seen far and wide … world-wide. David Small
Please go and see it. It is terrific and it does hit home. It’s really worth it. Peter Kemp
This play is one out of the box. From start to finish the story engaged the audience in a fascinating gamut of emotions and provided much food for thought. Absolutely not to be missed. Marie Ryan
The process of David teaching Thanh to speak English using the words of the Bard is cleverly written, and at times most humorous. Cheryl Threadgold
5 stars. This is an exceptional piece of theatre which makes you laugh, and cry. There is wonderful use of language, humour and pathos throughout the play. Don’t miss it. Joan Amos
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