May 2015

Get  Ray’s great teacher resources at a special price!
Ray is having a sale at his TeachersPayTeachers Store.
300 × 250
Two days only!
May 5th and 6th

April 2015

Now available

Kerouac’s 1OnTheRoadBookCover-front957 story of a series of road trips in search of a meaning for life defined the Beat Generation in the late 1950s.

The introduction to this guide will allow the reader to understand the biographical and cultural background of this influential novel, and to explore its themes and innovative style.

The guide provides a chapter-by-chapter commentary with guiding questions, which support the reader in developing his or her own ideas about a complex and ambiguous text.

March 2015

What a month this has been!The Stranger critintro 2nd ed front

Ray has published an updated version of the first book he published… The Stranger by Albert Camus: A Critical Introduction


Sign of Four textandciv2-front copyHe also put the finishing touches to The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Text and Critical introduction.
If that was not enough, he also completed The Sign of Four: A Study Guide which he hopes many students in England will find helpful as this is one of the texts designated for study in the GCSE exams. Although resources to help students prepare for thSign of Four-studyguide-fronteir exams already exist, this study guide encourages the student to develop his/her own ideas and thoughts about the novel.
One student who used Ray’s Macbeth by William Shakespeare: A Study Guide received top marks for his essay that the teacher stated had some unique ideas which had not been covered in class. As a former exam marker, Ray knows how to prepare students for exams.

Coming any day is Ray’s latest study guide titled On the Road by Jack Kerouac: A Study Guide.

The third weekend in March proved especially busy as Ray had been invited to the Leesburg Literary Arts Festival in Florida, where he successfully sold autographed copies of his Reverend Lyle Thorne Mystery series. One lady was so happy with her purchase of the first book, Investigations of the Reverend Lyle Thorne, that she returned in the afternoon to purchase the other three books in the series! And for those of you who love the stories, the fifth and probably final book in the series is getting close to being ready for publication. If all goes well, it should be ready in the Summer. Hopefully, Ray can be persuaded to allow the Reverend Lyle Thorne to return in a full length novel.

February 2015
Latest news at TeachersPayTeachers

Check out Ray’s sale at the site on February 25th.
Great deals can be had on all Ray’s Study Guides and other items.
Don’t miss out!

The Philosophy Club presentation

Ray will be speaking at The Villages Philosophy Club on February 27th.
He will be talking about the Nobel prize winning author, journalist and philosopher, Albert Camus and Camus’ contribution to philosophy of the absurd.
Ray has written a detailed book about Camus’ book The Stranger (L’Étranger) which he recently revised. The new The Stranger by Albert Camus: A Critical Introduction Edition of this popular critical study has been significantly expanded and completely revised, making it the most thorough single-volume study of Camus’ classic novel. A Critical Introduction places Camus’ ideas in context. Part One shows the development of his thought in the early essays, the unpublished “A Happy Death”, the plays “Caligula” and “The Misunderstanding”, and the philosophical work “The Myth of Sisyphus”. Building on this foundation, Part Two gives a detailed, consistent reading of “The Stranger”. The aim throughout, is to explain the meaning that Camus intended his text to have, thus meeting the needs of both the general reader and the student up to graduate level.
This guide is thought provoking and encourages the reader to develop their own ideas about interpreting the central themes of the text.

December 2014
At last the proofing is complete and the fourth book in Ray’s Text and Critical introduction series on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is available in print. At the moment you can find it on Amazon and in the near future it should become available as a print copy at other online stores.
Get it now whilst it has 10% off the normal price.

Speaking in The Villages

On December 18th, 2014 I have been invited to address the Anglo-American club in The Villages, Florida. I will talk about the possibilities and pitfalls of ‘independent publishing’ with a view to encouraging a few people to write that book they have always been promising to write. By way of encouragement, I will speak about how I developed the character of Lyle Thorne, the vicar-detective of Sanditon, and how I develop some of my plots. Hopefully my listeners will wish to get on the Internet and buy something.
In October, I was a member of a four-person panel at the Mystery Lovers Book Club. This was very well received and a lot of fun. Sold a few books and got bought lunch – a win-win!


What am I working on at the moment? Too much, probably!

I am currently working on “The Sign of Four” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Text and Critical Introduction. This was Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes story and since it is on an examination syllabus in the U.K. perhaps it will sell well. (I can publish the text of these books because they are both now out of copyright.) For each of these books I had to do an enormous amount of research. I discovered that Sir Arthur once bowled out the best batsman in England, Dr. W. G. Grace – it was Doyle’s only first class wicket! Unfortunately, since it has nothing to do with the novel, this titbit will not appear in my book.

My next big project (already begun) is a Second Edition of “The Stranger” by Albert Camus: A Critical Introduction. I always intended to expand this study to include other relevant books by Camus, but I am also taking the opportunity to revise the whole text. I have an old friend in France who has spent hours and hours doing the work of a professional editor and the book as a result will be much better.


September 2014

Sanditon Investigations of the Reverend Lyle Thorne Giveaway at Goodreads.com

Here’s a second chance to get a signed copy of Ray’s latest book. Good luck!
This Giveaway closed October 01, 2014.
Congratulations to this month’s lucky winner. Ray hopes you enjoy the stories.

Due to the amount of spam received as comments on Ray’s blog, Ray will no longer be posting articles on his website that allow comments.
You can always contact him at his email address.


July 2014

The Reverend Lyle Thorne Mysteries for Sanditon

For those of you who have been following the Reverend Lyle Thorne mystery series you will be delighted to know that the fourth book in the series is now available from on-line print retailers. This book entitled ‘Sanditon Investigations of the Reverend Lyle Thorne’ keeps the story settings close to Sanditon, although Knowles does get to visit the British Library in London!
Another five stories again pose the challenge to the reader. Like all good mysteries the reader hopes to solve the puzzle before all is revealed. Careful perusal of the stories may enable you to do that…

Sanditon Investigations of the Reverend Lyle Thorne

Sanditon coverThe five mysteries involve…
A young girl disappears for the second time, this time from an enclosed garden …
A modern painter dies of a heart attack -a natural death until the coffin falls and breaks open at the burial …
A bishop generally considered the next in line to become Archbishop of Canterbury is poisoned in his own library …
Thorne’s curate encounters a young girl abandoned on the promenade …
The discovery of the body of a man stabbed to death more than two centuries ago sets Thorne the ultimate investigative challenge …

It may be 2015 before the next set of Reverend Lyle Thorne stories are published as Ray is busy on other projects but meanwhile enjoy these stories.


Need some help with a classic literature text.

Check out Ray’s study guides and other resources at the Teachers pay Teachers website. Click on this link button. Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Homeschooler, Staff - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Ray writes Study Guides and other resources for hard working educators. He knows that the resources help students develop a deeper understanding of the text they are studying and also develop their thinking processes and critical appreciation of classic literature texts. Some of the study guides contain activity sheets and/or multi-choice quizzes. If you are an educator (or student) you’ll want to take a look.

Periodically Teacherspayteachers throws a sale, so visit often if you want to find a deal.. All his teacher resources will usually be included in the sale.


November 2013

The Myth of Sisyphus and The Stranger by Albert Camus: Two study guides

The Stranger Myth of Sisyphus Study Guide Cover


‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ provides Camus’ philosophical introduction to ‘The Stranger’. As such understanding the first book will enhance the reading of ‘The Stranger‘.

This book provides two separate study guides to support the study of the two books. Each text has an introduction and a series of questions accompanied by a helpful commentary designed to promote thinking and talking and will lead to a deeper understanding of the books.



September 2013

Now published and available on Kindle and Amazon and other major booksellers soon!

Early Investigations of Lyle Thorne

Five more intriguing cases for our dedicated detective spanning the years 1876 to 1888.

In Thorne’s first ever investigation, his father is accused of murder by a dead man…
Having been told to meet his step-father at 1 p.m., a young boy sets off from his village at 12.45 p.m. and is never seen alive again…
Two twins plan and execute the perfect murder…
A baby disappears from the nursery of the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Albermarle…
Thorne’s investigations put a name to Jack the Ripper…


June 2013

At last the latest Reverend Lyle Thorne book, Early Investigations of Lyle Thorne, is being written. It is due to be published in the fall. For those of you who cannot wait, here is an excerpt from the first story.

The Case of the Dying Declaration

July 1886

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. (Hippocratic Oath)

Thursday, 19th July 1866 was a meteorological paradox: those people interested in such things would later announce that mid-day temperatures in Central England had exceeded those in Cairo, for the day saw the culmination of a heat wave which had been building for three days. In the small town of Arnhale, heat appeared to be trapped between the rise of the Plains in the east and of Red Hill in the west, and the valley between, created by the Donner Brook, broiled in a summer sun which blazed out of a cloudless sky.

Gentlemen whose position necessitated the wearing of a waistcoat and wing collar surveyed the short-sleeved laborers and loiterers with envy. Drenched with sweat, paper collars gradually disintegrated; celluloid collars cut unmercifully into the necks of those unfortunate enough to be wearing them; starched white collars simply wilted and turned grayish; and Dr. Malcolm Furness lay dying in the front room of his fine Georgian house located on the town’s main thoroughfare.

The road in front of the doctor’s house had been liberally laid with straw and those who had to pass that way spoke sparingly and in subdued tones. Children were given strict warnings to be seen but not heard anywhere in the vicinity of the house. No one in Arnhale was in any doubt that Dr. Furness was, in fact, dying since he had announced the fact to the vicar when Rev. Temple had called the previous Monday morning having noted the doctor’s unusual absence from Sunday services. Rev. Temple had, of course, found it absolutely necessary to share his knowledge with Mrs. Mills, his housekeeper, and within twenty-four hours it had passed to every inhabitant of the town.

“I cannot entirely explain it, Vicar,” Dr. Furness had said raising himself a little on the chaise longue in the front parlor, “but my heart appears to be weakening. It races for a while and then becomes sluggish. I reckon that you’ll be having the burying of me before too long.”

“My dear friend,” began Rev. Temple alarmed that a routine parochial visit should bring him into such a dramatic juxtaposition with mortality, “let us hope not. Surely there is something to be done … another opinion, perhaps?”

“You forget, Vicar,” Dr. Furness had replied, “that I have made the study of heart ailments something of a specialism during the twenty-odd years I have been in general practice in Arnhale. I assure you that were I attending a case such as this I should not think of consulting anyone else. The medicines I have prescribed to stimulate the functions of the heart are without doubt the best treatment available. If they appear to have no effect, if indeed, as I have observed, my heart continues to weaken, then I can only assume that there is some underlying weakness, perhaps hereditary, which no treatment on earth will remedy.”

There the matter had been left since Rev. Temple knew from bitter experience that once the doctor had set his mind to something argument would not deflect him. Thus it was that, following afternoon choir practice on that baking Thursday in July, Rev. Temple thought to send one of the choirboys with a bottle of raspberry preserve of his wife’s own making because he thought that the doctor might appreciate it.

And thus it was that sixteen-year-old Lyle Thorne, admitted to the front parlor of the doctor’s house by the maid, who had assured him that the doctor was resting quietly having enjoyed a full lunch, found Dr. Malcolm Furness dead, his right hand clutched around a bottle of pills which he had clearly been too weak to open.


April 2013

Blog talk radio interview

Click here to listen to Ray’s interview

(from Sunday April 14th,2013) at 6:30p.m.