Important: New web address for STP Editing

Moving to

Moving to “”

Hello everybody!

I will now be posting on a new website that, in most respects, is identical to this one. All that’s changed is the web address (URL). has now moved to

You’ll find all the old posts and information there on the new website. The reason for the change is to focus more on the professional/writing side of  things instead of the personal, which was what Mr Brookes Abroad was intended to be.

Please do visit the new site and be sure to click the Follow button to make sure you’re subscribed. All new posts will be on the new site, STP Editing, from now on.

All contact details remain the same and this won’t affect any ongoing projects.

I look forward to seeing you all on the new site!

—David Brookes


Got questions?


The website now has a handy-dandy FAQ section!

If you have any questions about the packages available from the St. Paul’s Literary Service, you can now look them up.

  • What level of editing service is provided?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • How are the changes shown?
  • Do you provide a sample?
  • Can you check my essay for plagiarism?
  • What sort of things do you ghostwrite?
  • Can you format my e-book for me?
  • Can you give me some tips for how to get published?
  • Do you have a translation service?
  • Do you give English lessons?
  • Can you help me pass my TEFL course?
  • What are your qualifications and experience?

If you still have questions, you can always use the Contact page to get in touch.

Happy seeking!


Cat-sitting and Crimebusting: The “Pattie Lansbury” Cozy Mystery stories

One of the joys of working the writing and ghostwriting industry is that I get to meet a lot of great writers I might never have heard of otherwise.

I recently came across a series of short stories in the “cozy mystery” genre, which are relatively gentle murder mystery tales in the vein of “Murder She Wrote” and “Midsomer Murders”.

“The Pattie Lansbury Mysteries” from Nancy C. Davis are a cute little collection of stories in which the titular main character, an amateur sleuth, solves crimes with the help of her cats.  When she’s not tracking down serial killers or chasing talented thieves, she runs the “Pat’s Whiskers Feline Retirement Home”.  Most of the stories have a catty theme so if you’re interested in either of these things, this series is worth checking out.

The series of 6 stories have been released in 4 books, and an omnibus collection has just been released, so now’s your chance to bag the lot!

Pattie cover 2

Cat Sleuth:
There’s been a murder in the quiet village of Little Hamilton.
Patricia Lansbury runs her “Feline Retirement Home”
there for abandoned cats, where she expected to have
a quiet retirement. Unfortunately for Pattie, events
have drawn her into the police investigation, and find herself
entangled in the biggest mystery Little Hamilton has ever seen.

With the unexpected help of her cats, Pattie must work
with the police to uncover the truth about the murder.
But when all she wants is a quiet cup of tea, how can
Pattie unravel the mystery when the truth seems so elusive…?

Murder and a Song:
The peace and quiet of Little Hamilton is about to be shattered.
June is the month of the enormous YorkFest music festival,
an annual excuse for camping, partying, merriment … and even murder.

When a man is murdered in his tent, all evidence points
towards his girlfriend as the culprit. She pleads innocence,
and calls on Patricia Lansbury, the village’s resident sleuth,
to find the real murderer. But as the mystery unfolds, Pattie
is met with more questions than she is answers. For example,
how is a drunken farmer involved? Could there be one – or more –
murderers in the heaving festival campsite? And why does
Pattie’sgut tell her that the farmer’s cat is the key
to solving the whole mystery?

OMNIBUS, including: The Escapee
Patricia Lansbury, consulting detective, has solved plenty of
crimes in the Yorkshire village of Little Hamilton. So has
her estranged son, Detective Constable Andrew Lansbury,
who was forced to leave the village in disgrace following a
scandal. Now the past has come back to haunt Pattie. An
escaped prisoner that her son once put away is out for
violent justice, and now Pattie has to solve her most personal
crime yet.

But how are a suspicious homeless person, a
multi-millionaire entrepreneur, and a houseful of cats connected
to the mystery? And can Pattie resolve the matter before the
sins of the son catch up with the mother

…and The Case of the Cat-Napper (OMNIBUS)
Pattie Lansbury, amateur sleuth owner of Yorkshire’s only
Feline Retirement Home, has now established a much-needed
veterinary practice in her sleepy village of Little Hamilton. Others
might be suspicious of her secret investor, but Pattie is more
concerned about the rumours of stolen cats spreading across
the English countryside.

As the cat-nappers take things to the next level, Pattie
is drawn into a mystery far more personal than
she would ever have imagined. Who is stealing Little Hamilton’s
furry residents, and why? And how is it connected to the
secret investor and some of Pattie’s shiftiest customers?
It will take one determined consulting detective to find out,
along with some kitties with very special skills!

Murder Most Familiar
All seems quiet in Little Hamilton. Pattie is making a
success of her Feline Retirement Home, as well as
her new Veterinary practice. Thankfully there’s not a
crime in sight for the consulting detective to solve.

That is, until Matthew Conrad, the village’s local
entrepreneur and global media mogul, receives death
threats just days before the launch of his new TV series.
Worse, the letters seem to come from somebody
in Little Hamilton. In a very small community, the chance
that Pattie knows the suspect is high, putting her
at greater risk than ever

But what ancient secrets is
Conrad’s countryside cottage hiding? What is the
curse of the golden lion? And at what point should
Pattie stop getting involved in the complex, mysterious
affairs of others and concentrate on her own desires…?

Murder on the Moor
As Pattie says goodbye to one part of her life,
another part opens up: for years she has been
comforted by a close friendship with Elliott Knight,
the local doctor in the village of Little Hamilton, but
she has grieved over the absence of her son, who was
driven out of the village due to a scandal years ago.

Little does Pattie realise that both important aspects
of her life will come together after a body is found on
the nearby moorland, apparently slain by a giant
wild cat on the loose in the valley …
But as Pattie works with the police to separate myth
from reality, darker motives are afoot and a threat
from the past gets ever closer, with tragic consequences…

In the final story of the Pattie Lansbury cozy murder
mystery series, everything will be revealed!

Pattie compilation cover



Welcome to Mr Brookes Abroad,
the official website of freelance writer and editor David Brookes.

This site deals primarily with my travels abroad. If you would like to read about my ghostwriting and editorial services, view my portfolio and feedback, and follow my regular blog, you can visit my professional site at
Thanks for visiting!

David Brookes

All Things New: 2015

Fireworks over the Thames in London, New Year's Eve 2015

Fireworks over the Thames, London – New Year’s Eve 2015

Happy New Year for 2015!

A lot of people are asking what I’ve been up to since my brief misadventure in China a few months ago.

It’s been a tough few years, between an awful corporate job in 2012, to landing back in the real world after six months traveling India and Asia, and my TEFL training and subsequent awryness (I’m MAKING it a real word) last year.  I flew to China; I came back.  I had the option of beginning the cycle again by getting another crummy job in another  office, neither employing my qualifications or creativity for a basic minimum wage in an environment I couldn’t stand.  I chose not to take that option.

For the last year or so I’ve been taking the occasional bit of work editing.  A lot of this business came via word of mouth and my clients were mostly foreign students who had essays and dissertations to hand in and wanted a bit of help with their written English.  Sheffield is blessedly cosmopolitan and its two universities has students from all over the world.

Since I got back to the UK I decided to begin freelancing full-time, and have since had a lot of success.  Editing and proofreading has been a handy constant, from education, academia and journals, to resumes and even fiction, poetry and love letters.  I’ve also developed a reputation for ghostwriting fiction and articles, and have taken commissions in various genres with plenty of repeat business.  Lastly, I’ve managed to flog a few of my own humble fiction and screenplays.  I’m surprised by how quickly it’s all taken off.

It’s strange that after years of hard work and mixed success, I’m suddenly able to legitimately call myself a writer.  It’s a very strange feeling to have pretty much realised my oldest dream.

I’ve also had a fascinating education these last two months.  Either from editing various papers or by researching for my own writing/ghostwriting, I’ve made plenty of deposits into my Bank of Useless Information.  I’ve had The Bank for years, much to the bemusement of my friends and family.  Recently I’ve developed my knowledge of:

  •  Ophthalmology (that’s eyeballs to you and me)
  •  South African culture
  •  Pheonicia
  •  Middle-Eastern mysticism
  •  Current trends in erotica
  •  The Armenian art scene
  •  Scientific psychological experiments involving monkeys
  •  Species of cats
  •  The state of the Chinese housing market
  •  South American folklore
  •  Jewish holocaust poetry

… And they’re just the ones that I can tell you about without betraying confidentiality (which I take seriously).  It’s been a wild ride, accentuated by the occasional bouts of panic that are probably common amongst the self-employed.  The good news is that I’ve had some incredibly flattering feedback from all my clients so far.  Hopefully I can continue that trend into 2015, whilst TEFL and salaries take a back seat.

It seems a little redundant to have a blog about my exploits ‘abroad’ now that I’m more-or-less permanently based in the UK for the forseeable future, but I think I’ll keep the title.  Consider me ‘abroad’ on the ocean of discovery as I see where my new life takes me!

All the best for the New Year, and much love,

David Brookes
Freelance Writer & Editor