The Truth About Archie and Pye by guest author Jonathan Pinnock

I am delighted that Jonathan Pinnock has stopped by the blog today to tell us all about his new book The Truth About Archie and Pye. This is what he had to say.

There is a golden rule in marketing that says in order to succeed in any commercial venture, you need to have an identifiable brand. You need to be the kind of person that people point to and say, ‘Oh, Jonathan Pinnock, he’s the XXXX guy’.


Being the kind of flibbertigibbet that I am, I have completely failed to stick to this rule. I am, basically, the WTF guy. To date, I have had seven books published, as follows:

Professional DCOM Application Development – yes, this was a book on software development, specifically about a long-forgotten Microsoft technology. Much as I’d like to forget it myself, it is still to date my biggest seller. This continues to upset me.

Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens – a comic novel, superficially a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, but frankly an excuse to cram in as many gags into a book as I could manage.

Dot Dash and Dip Flash – short story collections.

Love and Loss and Other Important Stuff – a poetry collection.

Take It Cool – the real life story of my search for the reggae singer Dennis Pinnock.

The Truth About Archie and Pye – my new comic novel, the first in a series of mathematical mysteries.

So, basically it’s all a bit of a hotchpotch. I’m intensely proud of all of them (with the possible exception of the DCOM book, even if it is – dammit – my top seller), but they’re all quite different. There’s no discernible brand.


If you scratch away a bit of the surface, all of these books (even that bloody DCOM one, believe it or not) have something in common: humour.

There is nothing I enjoy more than making people laugh. To be honest, I genuinely believe there is no higher calling. Humour is what keeps us sane. Even in a world where everything seems to be going horribly wrong – especially in such a world – we need to keep laughing.

But funny books are a hard sell. When I was trying to place The Truth About Archie and Pye with agents, I was frequently told that they really liked it but had no idea where they could place it. So I had to find somewhere myself, and that turned out to be the wonderful Farrago Books, who – get this – specialise in series of humorous books. Series!

One of the reasons that I think publishers tend to be scared of humour is that it’s a subjective thing. After all, there’s nothing worse than someone who thinks he’s funny. But so far the reviews have suggested I’m on the right track. People seem to be getting it. Even the fact that it’s crammed with British references doesn’t seem to have put off reviewers in the US, either, which surprises me.

There was a time when I was ever so slightly embarrassed at being the author of Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens, when what I really wanted to be was an acclaimed literary short story writer. But I feel now as if I’ve finally owned up to my true self. I write funny books. Deal with it.

The Truth About Archie and Pye new vis 1.jpg

Something doesn’t add up about Archie and Pye …

After a disastrous day at work, disillusioned junior PR executive Tom Winscombe finds himself sharing a train carriage and a dodgy Merlot with George Burgess, biographer of the Vavasor twins, mathematicians Archimedes and Pythagoras, who both died in curious circumstances a decade ago.

Burgess himself will die tonight in an equally odd manner, leaving Tom with a locked case and a lot of unanswered questions.

Join Tom and a cast of disreputable and downright dangerous characters in this witty thriller set in a murky world of murder, mystery and complex equations, involving internet conspiracy theorists, hedge fund managers, the Belarusian mafia and a cat called µ.

(for US, replace with .com)

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