THE top-selling author of a series of Cumbria-set crime novels has visited Kendal ahead of his latest book’s release.

Richard Simpson (who writes as JJ Salkeld) was invited by Kendal Mayor, and crime fiction fan, Cllr Tom Clare.

The meeting coincided with the publication date of Delayed & Denied – the eighth in Salkeld’s ‘Lakeland Murders’ series.

Cllr Clare is keen to bring the novels, many of which are set in and around Kendal, to a wider audience.

The books often feature distinctively Cumbrian activities and locations, from Morecambe Bay to Long Meg by way of hound trailing and net fishing.

Salkeld has regularly been an Amazon ‘Kindle All Star’ author in the UK in the past few months - meaning that he is among the 100 top-selling KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) authors across all literary genres.

His books have featured heavily in the relevant Kindle best-seller lists in the UK, the USA, Australia and Canada since 2013.

A journalist for many years, Mr Simpson moved to Kendal in the 1980s, and lived there until 2005. He now splits his time between Maryport and Edinburgh.

He made his first foray into fiction in 2013 with the first in the Lakeland Murders series, thanks, he says, to the ‘amazing revolution’ in self-publishing.

“The series focuses on a group of detectives based in Kendal, whose lives unfold against a backdrop of crimes,” he explained.

“I chose to set it around the Lake District because I came here in my 20s and it’s the area that’s stayed with me – it’s the only geography I carry around in my head.

“They’ve proved very popular in the USA and Canada, perhaps because this is an area that people know from holidays.

“The books are about the world of work – people think of the Lakes as a fantastic theme park, and often forget that people live and work here.”

All of JJ Salkeld’s novels can be found on Amazon’s Kindle store.