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No Good Deed

By Ewan Lawrie

Moffat the Magniloquent along the Mississippi

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Publication date: January 2021

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What happened to Moffat? Did he reach the Americas? Indeed he did.

It is some years later and Moffat is broke. Having spent any ill-gotten gains soon after his arrival, he has been scraping a larcenous living, much as he did when resident in London before the events described in Gibbous House. Having tired of the East, Moffat heads south.

Moffat catches a stagecoach for St Louis where he meets and murders a riverboat gambler, assuming yet another false identity. He takes a riverboat downriver to New Orleans, gets involved in poker games, meets famous Missouri figures and some old “friends”.  Moffat observes the contradictions and injustices of the (barely) Antebellum South and becomes involved in a plot to free some slaves and acquire some silver for the Underground Railroad. This being Moffat’s adventure nothing and no-one is what they seem. His new identity is as much a burden as an escape, since everyone expects something of “Anson Northrup”. Along the way Moffat meets the famous Marie Laveau and some of her acolytes. Despite himself he learns more about the Jedermanns and his own strange resistance to the passage of time, notwithstanding his sybaritic lifestyle.

Can Moffat move the silver from the New Orleans Mint with the help of freed slaves? Who is Compair Lapin? Can Moffat trust him? An already complex plan meets obstacles at every turn as Moffat, Miss Pardoner and others attempt to get both as far north as they can.

Moffat remains magniloquent, murderous and quite possibly more impulsive than ever.

No Good Deed is for people who loved Gibbous House, who love an adventure story with a difference and for the people who asked me whether there was a sequel. Moffat is a less cowardly Flashman stumbling upon history, whilst failing to notice it happening, being too busy gratifying his latest desire.

I confess that I wrote No Good Deed because I wanted to know what happened next too.


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  • Ewan Lawrie avatar

    Ewan Lawrie

    Ewan Lawrie is the author of Gibbous House, also published by Unbound. He is an one of a small team of editors for the writers’ web-site,

    Whilst serving 23 years in the Royal Air Force, including 10 in Cold War Berlin and 12 more flying over the rather warmer conflicts that followed, Ewan began writing. In the main this was to pass the time during long, boring flights over desert countries. After a while, this way of killing time developed into a passion.

    Until recently Ewan lived in the south of Spain, inland from the Costa Del Sol, where he used to enjoy an occasional beer in bars where no-one spoke English, at least not to him, in case they ended up in his notebook or somewhere worse. When not doing that he used to write, but occasionally he taught English to Andalucians and other hispanophones.

    Having spent 9 months renting in Manchester’s hipster equivalent of Shoreditch, West Didsbury, , Ewan  is now living in Elland in the Calder Valley, where the scenery is as inspiring in its way as that of Spain and the beer is cheaper than in Manchester.

    Please Allow Me Inc. represents Ewan Lawrie for marketing purposes. However, since it is an entirely fictitious business, good luck with contacting them. (They often post on Facebook, all material should be consumed with generous portions of Saxa - other condiments are available).

    He has had stories and poetry published in several anthologies. His first poetry collection was published by Cerasus Poetry in October 2018. No Good Deed is his second novel.

  • Naturally this left me in the company of the fellow in the extravagant waistcoat. I suggested a brandy, and he informed me that nothing we might buy in the establishment would truly deserve the name. He winked and said that he had something special in his room upstairs. I demurred, saying that I hardly knew him. He looked a fine figure, perhaps ten years younger than I. At least, if I had not but recently travelled by stage coach. It was important that I consider what this man saw in his regard of me. A man of around forty five - though I looked nearer my true age that day – vigorous, if a little tired. Clean-shaven , still yet blessed with a head of hair. I wondered if I had judged his interest correctly.

                He did not seem unduly discommoded by the rebuff.

                'Better stick to the whiskey, sir... or we could try a beer?' he enquired.

                'A capital suggestion, my throat is still  as dry as dust.'

                He ordered the beers with a click of his fingers. We were standing alongside a long counter that served as the bar. There were tables in rough deal aplenty, but few were occupied. The majority of trade was carried out at the bar. Of the occupied tables, one had a game of cards in progress and at the other two military fellows in a grey uniform were sprawled insensible across it. My companion eyed me over his glass,

                'Long way from home.'

     It did not sound like a question. I answered, after a fashion,  nonetheless.


                The beer was light and tasted nothing like the porters and ales of home. I made pretence of clicking my fingers, ensuring that this gesture was not seen by the man behind the bar. The man in the waistcoat clicked his own and we were provided with two more glasses of the gold-coloured liquid.

    'I am indebted to you, sir. I did not catch your name, earlier.' I said.

                'Didn't give it, is why.'

                I held out my hand and gave the name, 'Moffat.'

                He looked at the hand for a moment, then shook it.

                'Anson Northrup.'

                He was of a size with me, perhaps larger, due to the fact that I cut a more slender figure since arriving in the Americas.  He asked me what had brought me to the New World.

                'Necessity,' I said.

                'The mother of invention, it's a fact.'

                Evidently he was a man of few words. We took several more of the beers. They had no more effect on myself than a cordial. As for the other he became a little more animated, but not a great deal more talkative. Even so, I was able to convince him that he had inveigled me into his room and not vice-versa.

                We passed an enjoyable hour and it was with some regret that I used a yellow scarf to choke the life out of him. I assumed his clothes and saw with regret what little money he had in his purse. His body I folded into a chest and covered it with my dusty attire. I took the only other item in a room, it was a bag, about the size of a sailor's bag although it had handles for transportation. It had been fashioned from a violently patterned oriental carpet. It was a hideous thing, but what was a man without baggage?  Looking around the room, I thought again that it was a pity our acquaintance had been so short.

    Still, as he himself had said, ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ and besides, such a personage must surely be wedded to the Father of Lies.

  • Ewan Lawrie has written 5 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    26th May 2021 First Few Pages of Moffat III (read by an indifferent actor)

    Hear me read a few pages of Moffat III here

    8th March 2021 7 Weeks Since Publication.

    Well, a lockdown launch proved to be as far from ideal as expected. Sales trickle in, although books do not trickle out, there being no open bookshops for them to trickle out of, after all.

    Anyway, (Spoiler Alert) Moffat III is about 50,000 words in - roughly about half way. Don't know if it will be an Unbound Book. On the plus side, that would mean Mark Ecob would do the cover and the whole trilogy…

    20th January 2021 Publication Day! Tomorrow 21st Jan 2021

    Well, tomorrow is the big day. If you're reading this you probably don't sort your spam out as often as you should. Yes, tomorrow No Good Deed is available for sale at all bookshops. You might think I should say all on-line bookshops, but let's be honest, just at the moment every bookshop is selling on-line now. Wouldn't it be great to go into one?

    By sheer luck (actually Random Things Tours' hard…

    29th December 2020 Heads up!

    Unbound's office is open from Jan 4th. Books - I believe - are already at HQ. So, he writes, with hafwoan haotpyd (that should read "fingers crossed"), pledgers copies should arrive before the official launch date on 21st January.

    I do hope you all updated your delivery address, nearly 3 years waiting must mean that some of you have moved house.

    Have a happy new year!

    [I made the terrible…

    22nd December 2020 Christmas In Moffat-land... (Free Short Story)

    Some of you will be aquainted with Please Allow Me Inc. fictitious PR and Marketing company based in Cricklewood, whose Chief Execrable Officer is convinced that Gibbous House and No Good Deed are published by a company known as "No Jump". He claims to have and have had sundry employees at PAM HQ, their mission statement may sound a little familiar:  It is "Never Knowingly Oversold". Farquharson …

    17th December 2020 Moffat III - Titles

    I have 40,000 plus words of a first draft of Moffat's third and final outing. It is still very much a Work in Progress. I have been using "At The Back of the North Wind" as a place-holder for the title. I can reveal that due to some aspects of the plot I have finessed a little, the likely title will be "The Jedermann Characteristic". All very airport novelish, I know. Anyway, such a thing has, though…

    14th December 2020 New Year, New Book

    Unfortunately, Unbound have decided not to hurl pledgers' copies of No Good Deed into the abyss of the of Royal Mail's Covid-affected Christmas delivery service, and this I can well understand.

    So all you patient pledging people (well, more patient than I) will be receiving your copies in the New Year...

    Anyone else you know can pre-order here

    I made the video clip

    7th December 2020 On Press, Press On.

    [Screenshot, I took it]

    An alternative to Amazon. There are others. Tell your friends.

    I've been quiet for a few weeks. Finally, however, there is some news. No Good Deed is on press! (I think that means they're printing it, or it's in a queue at the printer's or maybe something else entirely). What this should mean is that books should be sent out to all the patient and faithful Moffat…

    26th October 2020 Expecting Developments This Week. (+free flash fiction A Wasted Kindness)

    I'm expecting final proofs and artwork for approval in the next ten days, subject to tiers remaining the same. No more tiers, I say! Anyway, for all of you who have been so patient here is another thing I wrote a while ago when I still lived in Spain. It's not about anything much, but it has a little atmosphere...

    A Wasted Kindness

    [image was a photograph of the model of car in the story…

    19th October 2020 Buenos Dias, no hay noticias, pero aqui se puede leer algo sobre mi vida en España

    Good morning, there is no news but here is something about my life in Spain, where I lived up until just over two years ago.

    Fred and Rita

    [This photo was a picture of the car in this almost true story]

    Fred and Rita still live on the far side of town. It was a trek up to do their Spanish Class. A taxi-driver told them to look me up, although he knows I teach English. Serves…

    12th October 2020 News 0 (An egg, un oeuf) and "Nothing Like a Dame" [Free flash fiction]

    Ah, yes. No news. And, I'm constantly informed that that is good news. So rejoice! There is no news.

    Anyway, this is an old story I wrote for a competition that it didn't win, (If I even remembered to enter).

    [Image showed 3 golden eggs in a nest, must have been a stock photo, though TinEye came up with bupkes]

    Nothing Like a Dame



    It was a Friday. My feet were on the desk. A scotch…

    5th October 2020 Weekly Update No News and some short fiction 'Strike Like Lightning'

    Expecting final proofs and all artwork files for approval at the end of this month or beginning November at the latest.

    I don't write much with a military background at all. I wrote this very short story when there was actually a little scare over the F-35 Fighter (I just can't call it a Lightning although I do in the title. There is only one Lightning (this one)).

    [Image source: San…

    1st October 2020 In Other News: Poetry Book Awards Short List




    A while ago I posted news that this non-Unbound project had made the long list for the Poetry Book Awards 2020. Today, on National Poetry Day of all days, I received an email telling me that LNIMJA is on the Short List. I can't tell you what a boost this news is to the spirits.

    There's a link to The Bezos Empire on the page that the Short List link takes you to, or you can order…

    29th September 2020 Publication Date: + an excerpt from "In The Mouth of the Bear": The Infinite Scope of Memory

    Good morning. The publication date for No Good Deed is 21/1/21, which may or may not have some kabbalistic meaning, frankly I don't care. Still awaiting final proofs and files including artwork to sign off, which should arrive at the end of this month/beginning of next. No more bets are being taken on which, I'm afraid.

    Here is some memoir/life writing (it's like autobiography only you make…

    21st September 2020 Coincidence? Maybe. (and some free short fiction).

    [This is a screenshot of one of my own Facebook posts, Malcolm is a friend]


    At the moment, I'm waiting for final proofs for No Good Deed. It's funny how, in spite of the very different challenges faced when getting Gibbous House into the world, the sequel has taken almost as long,and its timetable since final manuscript was submitted has been the same.

    Late last week, I put a call…

    15th September 2020 What Is Happening Now? Update + free short fiction [The View From There]

    Editorial staff are preparing the list of names for insertion into the page proofs of the book, before sending  final files (internals and cover) for approval and sign off to print. 

    "We’re on the home straight…" Unbound tell me. I shall endeavour to bring a touch of Red Rum to said home straight, rather than Devon Loch. Thank you all for your continued patience.

    [This is from…

    7th September 2020 List Closed [+ Free Fiction "Walts"]

    Another significant milestone on the way to No Good Deed's appearance as a real, live book. The list has closed, the Names of all those who backed Moffat's new adventure will be forever immortalised in the List of The Magnificent Beneficent in the front or back (depending on level of beneficence).  I will get final proofs as soon as they are ready and subject to there not being any major gaffes (Gibbous…

    4th September 2020 In Other News: Poetry Book Awards 2020 Long List

    [Since this is the cover of one of my own books, I think I'm allowed the use of it, eh?]

    Like most people who write, I write poetry, prose, fiction, life-writing, short stories, flash-fiction, bloggery et al. Writing is like anything else, the more you practice, the better you get, but you never know everything. Poetry helps me with other writing because it's so hard to do competently.…

    31st August 2020 One week left [+Free flash fiction "Just A Shout Away"]

    One week until the list closes for proud backers, pledgers, sponsors, and pre-orderers to get their names on the list of the Magnificent Beneficent in the front or back of No Good Deed.

    A few hours only to do it at a generous discount, using promotional code


    Tell your friends, tell my friends, tell somebody's friends.

    I wrote this at the time of some riots in Germany.

    24th August 2020 13 days to go (+ They: Free Flash Fiction)

    Just 13 days to go. Midnight 6th September and the list closes for people to get their names in the front or back of No Good Deed and to prove one or more of the following things:

    1. They have impeccable taste.
    2. Me tub-thumping for over two years has finally made them cave in.
    3. They finally did get 'a round tuit'.
    4. There's nothing like a deadline to make people get the aforementioned 'round…

    17th August 2020 List Closing September 6th (+ free short story: "Secrets")

    Another reminder that the Supporters' list for No Good Deed closes on September 6th. This means you need to check the name going in the front or back of the book is the right one. It's also a good time to check that you haven't moved house in the time since you so generously helped the book on its way. I've moved house twice and countries once - but that's another story - since the campaign began…

    13th August 2020 September Deadline

    First and foremost, Thank you all for seeing another Moffat adventure to publication. Without your support No Good Deed would not have existed at all.

    As usual, it has taken a while from funding to publication. This inevitably means that real life goes on and things can change. Can I ask you all to do me the favour of checking your address details (there is the opportunity to change the supporter…

    10th August 2020 A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept.

    STILL no news for you, I'm afraid. However, here is a piece of short-fiction. It's about how this particular aspect of, well, developments of the last few years might turn out, we still don't know, although I thought we would by now.

    Fence Runners

    [The photo is used under licence CC BY SA 3.0, was sourced at and was taken by

    درفش کاویانی]

    Meh-the Ta…

    3rd August 2020 News! What News? (and Weekly Free Fiction)

    Precisely. I do expect some news before the end of the month. DHpq'nq4pt, Damn! It's hard to type with crossed fingers, isn't it?

    But this publishing lark IS a waiting game. You wait so long, you forget what, (or whom) you're waiting for, at times. Two puzzles today. The first is: see if you can find the word I made up in this post. No prizes, just the kudos, I'm afraid.

    So as promised, some…

    27th July 2020 Absolutely No News At All (and some free fiction).

    No. No news. That's good news, right? Gibbous House ended up with a publication date of January 2017. I received final proofs in August. It may well be that No Good Deed final proofs arrive this month. Pledgers started receiving their books in December. Let's cross our fingers and hope for the same outcome this time.

    As promised some free fiction. You probably won't like it if you don't like jazz…

    20th July 2020 General Moffat-y News + Free short fiction.

    Moffat III, tentatively entitled At The Back of the North Wind, has now reached the following state

    35,501 words  

    76 .docx pages

    The manuscripts sent to Unbound at funding-target-reached stage:


    Gibbous House 105,416 words

    No Good Deed   79,327  words.

    So, depending, I'm nearly half way or just over a third of the way there. I have no idea how long the book will be. Ideally, it will…

    13th July 2020 Free Flash Fiction: The Mischief

    As promised, flash/short fiction at no cost at all to yourselves... Save your generosity in the matter of Moffat's return.

    The Mischief

    [I made this image from two different ones, the origin of one of the two components of the collage is under investigation, the crystal ball is from - be a shame if there's a problem though]

    “We should head west, west!”

    I heard the…

    6th July 2020 News and Weekly Short Story

    I sent back first proofs with comments last Thursday. The next time I see No Good Deed it will be final-ish proofs that I'll have to tooth-comb for solecisms, spelling mistakes and all and every possible error. At least any blunders in the final product will be mine, but let's hope there are none.

    As promised, here is a short piece that was going to be something longer, but in the end wasn't. I…

    30th June 2020 Free Short Fiction: Gun

    Here as promised: a free story. It's an old one. From one of my creative writing course assigments, long ago. "Write what you know." I tried, I really did. This is probably as good as it got for any writing I did about my service days. The difficult trick is making it interesting enough for people who weren't there. British comedy (and serious) writing changed in 1960 when national service began winding…

    25th June 2020 Teaser...

    [I made this gif, from one of my own drawings. I know, it's crap. but if definitely does not have copyright issues]

    What does it mean? Find out in No Good Deed...  Soon.

    It also means... wait for it...

    I'm no kind of artist...


    22nd June 2020 News and Weekly Short Story

    I've had confirmation that No Good Deed is definitely going ahead, as planned, for the revised date of Jan 2021. So, as long as we avoid the other nine plagues of Egypt between now and then, patrons' books should arrive in time for Christmas.

    I don't often write about my days in uniform, this week's short story is an exception. They're all life writing, rather than autobiography. That just means…

    19th June 2020 One More Spirit in the Labyrinth

    [This is a shelfie, so no copyright problems there then]

    Just found out today that Carlos Ruiz Zafon has died from cancer. When I read The Shadow of the Wind on publication, I was absolutely flabbergasted. So flabbered was my gast that I read it again a week after I finished it. Translated, as all of the Cemetary of Forgotten Books tetralogy were, by Lucia Graves (look her up, interesting…

    15th June 2020 Free Flash Fiction: Beta Max

    As promised, more free fiction, to keep you going whilst you wait for your copy of No Good Deed. Excited? I am. This very short flash is from about 2009, so a very early effort. Maybe you'll be able to tell. Leave a comment, if you like, just to show I'm not talking to myself.


    Beta Max

    [Image by Rob Bixby - JaxZoo_12-16-12-4579.jpg edited to b/w in gimp…

    12th June 2020 Exclusive Short Story : The Other Side

    With the recent demise of yet another on-line writer's group, this story is now only available here. I'll try and post something every week from now until publication. It's hard to believe that this story is set in my lifetime, yet for many people under 50, it's historical fiction. Anyway, please leave a comment to give your opinion, it doesn't have to be flattering. Warning; it's a little gruesome…

    7th June 2020 Free Short Story.

    Not long to go now. No Good Deed is at 104%. There are 167 backers now and 3 bluebirds have landed in the last fortnight. Good omens. The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot 'Final Designs' and a fixed publication date on your screens of January 2021. All being well your own copies will arrive in time for Christmas this year.

    Anyway, here is this free short piece of writing. Let's call it life-writing…

    3rd June 2020 Reminder.

    What was I going to remind you about? I think it was about remembering to update your address if you've moved house during your interminable wait for Moffat's second outing.  Well, let's say it was. As an additional reward for waiting, here is a short story I wrote some time ago. It's a personal favourite so it's only been turned down for a couple of publications. Both rejections were of the 'interesting…

    29th May 2020 State of the Union...

    Hopefully this will be more coherent than one of Trump's speeches. If your Unbound e-mails aren't going straight to your spam box, you will have received an e-mail to the effect that No Good Deed has reached the Pre-Press stage. However the news is even BETTER than that as the graphic below shows.

    [I took this screenshot of an e-mail sent to me]

    Thanks to ALL of you for being so patient…

    18th May 2020 Bluebirds.

    [Image showed 2 bluebirds flying around a feeding box]

    I don't live anywhere near Dover. A "bluebird" in crowd-funding terms is an unsolicited pledge. Of course, I 'knew' both generous people. One is someone I haven't seen for 28 years, but I used to play rugby with. The other is someone I've never met, but we have been members of the same writing site (ABCTales: other sites are available)…

    17th April 2020 News

    [Image made at - by me]

    Well they say no news is good news, and in this case that is undoubtedly true.

    A few short weeks after I confidently announced that No Good Deed would appear in September 2020, Unbound have informed me due to the Coronavirus - (what? Catastrophe? Plague? Punishment from God? Retribution for allowing Trump into power in the States) whatever you want to…

    2nd April 2020 Here Is The News!

    [Image made by me at]


    Here is a mock-up created using the finished artwork for No Good Deed, designed by Ecob, whose work - as you can see from the graphic in this post - is familiar to you all.

    It's all suddenly a bit more real. Hoorah!!!

    I'm told all is on course for September publication, subject to the Yellow Jack not flying over Britain for the…

    31st March 2020 Lockdown: what it means for your copy of No Good Deed

    Well, obviously, Unbound WFH will have some effect on all of the books currently funded but not actually in production. What effect that will be I do not know. I am writing to Unbound to see if I can find out whether NGD has moved on at all since I last contacted you. There IS nothing else I can do until I receive finalised artwork and proofs for checking. Please be patient, there are other much more…

    12th March 2020 Update, News, Mail-box filler, (This is not chopped ham with pork)

    [Image was a tin of spam that I edited using GIMP, taken from a food nostalgia/nausea site]


    The update is that there is no news. Here is one more message for your in-box or more probably your spam folder. I'm not putting a link on Facebook because I'm not Facebook-ing today or for about a week. I have other things to do. I'll stick a link on Twitter, but I think that out of my 730…

    24th February 2020 Ahem... some proper news...

    [Image was a clipart jelly edited to have the date 21 September 2020 shown in it. Shutterstock came up first, so wherever I found it may or may not have purchased it]


    Publication date is set in quite firm jelly for September. Backers/pledgers/pre-orderers will get their copies earlier.

    Copy edits are done, next step is off to preparation for proofs. I should see proofs in a month…

    28th January 2020 In Lieu of Any News...

    [Image made using free to use online site]


    Sometimes I wonder why I bother. Right back at the beginning, before Unbound moved offices, when it was more like a cottage industry than a publisher, even some Unbound employees used to read these. Now I reckon I could count the people who actually do read these on the fingers of one of Bart Simpson's hands. I get it, you're so sick of getting…

    10th January 2020 Small(ish) News

    I have successfully completed the Cover Art Questionnaire and its receipt has been acknowledged by the appropriate person and Unbound HQ. In a month or so, there may be some initial suggestions. At the moment I am waiting for the Copy-Editor's notes. One hopes there are no problems with the manuscript, although the the structural edit seemed not to signpost any. Fingers crossed, eh?

    So in the absence…

    23rd December 2019 Small News and Christmas Wishes (Contains NO SPOILERS)

    That's right, no spoilers. This morning I despatched the Cover Questionnaire to the powers that be - when it comes to that sort of thing - over at Unbound HQ. Sometime on the other side of New Year someone, somewhere will read it and if any of it is understood, we should be well on the way to getting a cover! 'Hoorah', you say, 'but where's my book?' Well, it will move a little closer when I get the…

    16th December 2019 Moffat III SPOILER ALERT!!!

    Hello all, (or both, or perhaps just you). Please do not read if you want to get to the end of Moffat II before you read anything about Moffat III. Mind you, you didn't think I'd kill him off after just two books, did you? You did? Oh well, sorry to disappoint you. No Good Deed is undergoing a copy edit at the moment, so in the absence of any news about when your copy will arrive, here is circa 1000…

    22nd November 2019 Proper News.

    Now, I appreciate - unless you've experienced the wonderful world of publishing in any other form than self-publishing - this news will underwhelm you completely. However, I was informed today that No Good Deed has just entered the copy-edit stage. This is actually exciting news, it does mean that NGD is very much nearer to landing in your lap, although the launch date remains a long way the other…

    20th November 2019 Teaser, teaser, teaser...

    Whilst we're all waiting for No Good Deed to hurdle the obstacles en-route to publication here is a teaser/taster/SPOILER re what's next for Moffat...

    [Image made at with use of Top hat and cane source, watch source pending]

    At the Back Of The North wind


    The Last of Moffat



    Ewan Lawrie

    Chapter One

    The whole agglomeration…

    18th November 2019 Spreadsheet Blues

    Hello, today I sent off something called a Style Guide, to include Character Lists and a timeline. I had to fill in a spreadsheet! Those of you who know me well will know that I am a pants-er as in I make it up as I go along and sort it all out later. Never have I been more envious of planners; those writers who spreadsheet the novel to within an inch of its life before 'Once aponner time' has been…

    13th November 2019 Progress!

    As you read this No Good Deed has cleared the first hurdle on the road to publication. My editor Rachael Kerr and I have produced a final draft manuscript we are both happy with. It has been sent to Unbound for allocation to a copy editor. If there are any queries from them the MS will travel back and forth until it is suitable for proof. Meanwhile, some artwork may be commissioned. As far as I know…

    1st November 2019 No News is Good News. (And some free fiction...)

    [Image made at]

    Would you like the good news or the bad news?


    The good news is I have a scheduled date for No Good Deed's publication.

    The bad news is that it is September 2020.

    The mitigating news is, honestly, that Unbound are very much a victim of their own success. They have LOTS of books at the same stage as mine is, finishing structural edit, pending…

    31st October 2019 News and a Little Something to Read.

    Received the first pass notes from my wonderful editor, Rachael Kerr, earlier in the week. There was SO much less to do than I expected that I've done it and sent the MS back. Now it's just a matter of waiting. For you and for me. Anyway, here, as promised is some more writing from my time in Spain. It's not travel-writing as such, but as I read it again I can smell the manteca and anis, and remember…

    25th October 2019 A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

    [I made this image using gimp and from pd elements]

    Hallooo, all Moffatarians, followers of the Malignant and Magniliquent Moffat. There is news! (Or, if you prefer, there are news, I know people is strange).

    Around a month ago I despatched the manuscript of No Good Deed to Unbound. I was ecstatic to find that the editor assigned was Rachael Kerr, who managed to knock Gibbous…

    18th September 2019 News!

    I am very pleased to say that the editor allocated to No Good Deed is Rachael Kerr, who did such a brilliant job on Gibbous House that I didn't dare hope she would be available for No Good Deed. I should get some things to work on by mid-October.  All being well final proofs could be ready as soon as January. As you've all been so patient here is some fiction to be going on with...



    12th September 2019 The Time It Takes...


    I've been looking through the updates on Gibbous House's project page. It took so long from the campaign's beginning, in July 2014, to actual publication in January 2017, that I made quite a few updates. Most of them were little bits of fiction, to keep people entertained and their mind off just how long it was taking. We may save around 6 months this time round if an editor doesn't leave with…

    11th September 2019 Limbo

    No news on the No Good Deed front. Just thought I'd get that out of the way. This (probably) means that an editor hasn't yet been assigned or that they are struggling to wade through my manuscript. Naturally, I hope it is the former. Unbound haven't contacted me, so I assume there is nothing to tell me, therefore I have nothing to tell you. Once the wading is done, I should receive an annotated copy…

    26th August 2019 April is the Coolest Month...

    Well next April is, as that is the provisional publication date (subject to rewrite requests and other unforeseen delays) for your next encounter with Moffat. 

    In the meantime here is a short story written in 2011. Spanish-based with a link to a great song at the end.

    [This image is from the cafe's website and they don't mind. I asked them]

    The Golden Days Return

    Guy blew…

    19th August 2019 Update... No Update

    Here is the news, there is no news.

    In the meantime, here is a shortish story,  I'll put a few from Spain here from time to time.


    [Image was a bottle of San Miguel in an appropriate glass with three dishes of tapas you'd have thought I'd have had hundreds of such photographs, but I always enjoyed writing about the times I might have taken photos like this…

    10th August 2019 Dreizehn

    [Image taken by TY Lawrie, used by permission]

    Here is a free short story.

    As you may know I recently made a trip to Berlin. We had a great time reliving our youth, met up with some old friends, encountered new and interesting people and I stored up  source material for writing. That's what travel is for, isn't it? Anyway, in case any of you haven't seen this elsewhere on-line, I wrote…

    8th August 2019 Beer-lin? No, Bear-lin

    [Image taken by TY Lawrie, used by permission]

    In celebration of a couple of things, including No Good Deed reaching its funding target, my wife and I made another trip to Berlin, where we met and subsequently married 35 years ago.

    So much has changed, yet so much is the same. Most of the Kneipen and Stuben (pubs and bars) we used to frequent are gone, in much the same way as the traditional…

    1st August 2019 100% - Fully Funded, What Next?

    [This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or fewer. Source: Wikipedia Commons]

    • i) I submit a draft manuscript to Unbound. (It's ready, by the way)
    • ii) Editor looks at it, spots where I have one person in two places at the same time, any possible law-suits (got bitten like that…

    17th July 2019 Another Guest Contribution from Please Allow Me Inc.

    As some of you may know, Please Allow Me Inc. are the entirely fictitious and fictive company charged with the marketing of Gibbous House and all things Moffat-y. Although their talents will not be brought fully to bear on the sequel until the crowd-funding target has been achieved (3% to go as I write this), we can look forward to still more nonsense from PAM Inc.

    Headquartered in the cultural…

    8th July 2019 Reclusive Author Ventures Out

    No, not Pynchon: me.

                        Rare limited edition poster [Made by me]

    Next Sunday, 14th July, armed with a card-reader and more copies of Gibbous House than I can ever hope to sell in a month of them, I will be setting up a/setting out my stall at the event of the year,  The Albert Club Summer Fete. Quite why this event does not constitute part of "The Season", I shall never…

    1st July 2019 132 + (x × y) = 100%

    [Image made at]

    where x = pledge level

    and  y = pledgers

    Recognise this not so handsome fellow? Okay, so it's not rocket science, or even relatively speaking any kind of science at all. Crowd-funding, that is. No-one was more surprised than I was when in the last fortnight No Good Deed's campaign leapt from 83% to 93%. Another fortnight approaching that one and, well…

    25th June 2019 No Good Deed Reaches 88%

    [Image was from e-bay, someone selling the diecast Corgi model of the car from The Man From Uncle. Corgi marketed the car under the name 'Thrush Buster', it must have been someone's last day working there]

    88 is a fine number. The first rock and roll record was called Rocket 88. One tale has it that Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats were really Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm. It might be…

    17th June 2019 State of Play

    [A screenshot of No Good Deed's dashboard, edited using gimp and]


    Well "Latest Update" is a damned boring title for an update isn't it? Were you aware that there is no copyright on titles? I wasn't until I started writing seriously... Not that anything I write is entirely serious, you understand. Anyway, State of Play was a good TV series and an OK film and neither has…

    6th June 2019 Win a prize...

    [Image made on-line using free site with pd elements and imagination]

    When (we all love an optimist, right?) No Good Deed reaches 100% I will hold a draw into which  all contributors, backers and pledgers will be entered. The winner will receive a splendid custom made CD containing Music from the Unoriginal Soundtrack for No Good Deed, Music as good as might be expected. Indeed, some may…

    21st May 2019 119 (Who Will Buy?)

    "Who will buy my fine new sequel? Two books for the many"

    Who is going to be patron #120? They will almost certainly move No Good Deed's campaign on to 85%. The campaign, though on the home stretch might need help from # 1 to 119. Perhaps you could  bung a few more quid in the way of a donation, or MUCH better still you might persuade someone else to contribute.

    I confess I really AM pleased…

    2nd May 2019 82%


    [I made this using a free online site]

    No Good Deed's campaign has reached 82%. Hoorah! Now, how to get it to the magic 100%?

    If it were possible I'd send out this update to all 116 backers. However, you know and I know that, well, after a while there are only so many e-mails from Unbound anyone can stand, so this may go straight to the bin/garbage/trash or whatever folder you have…

    12th February 2019 The Tub is Overdue a Thumping.

    [I made this image on All elements on book cover pd]

    A first update (I definitely DID prefer it when I could call these Shed Posts) for almost two months: in that time 6 pledges were achieved. Just under one a week. At this rate it could take another two years for the crowd-funding target to be achieved. Of course, the turn of the year is always a slow time for any Unbound campaign…

    19th December 2018 No Tub-thumping Here, I Do Not Want Your Money Today


    [Image showed homeless man with placard and a few coins in his hat]

    Four years ago today, the following piece was published as part of A Christmas Tetralogy of writing by Unbound-ers. I was very proud to have been asked. Bearing in mind I wrote this 4 years ago, I hope you realise how shocking it is that when people ask me what's the biggest change in the UK after a 16-year sojourn in…

    27th November 2018 Zero Hour

    [Image was a full glass of Efes Beer with condensation running down the sides. I drank a lot of this in Incirlik, it wasn't in the glass long enough to take a photo. Besides it was pre-2004, my phone was just a phone]

        Hello, all supporters still following these updates, leave a message below if you drop by. Otherwise it feels like I'm singing in the shower, it sounds good but nobody…

    23rd October 2018 The Long and Winding Road...



    Almost six months in and we are two-thirds of the way there. I wish I'd known how difficult this would be second time around. Gibbous House smashed the funding thing in just over three months, but the book needed more work than No Good Deed will (promise).

    Do inflict... I mean consider giving a pledge as a present this year, they might not get No Good Deed by Christmas (definitely…

    19th September 2018 Bio Update

    [Image created with background creator and]

    Now living in West Didsbury, Manchester, for the foreseeable future. The Spanish Adventure is over after 15 years and the German Chapter could not begin after all. Still, as my dear old Dad used to say, "Whit's nae for ye, wull go by ye", which, I suppose, is Jockinese for Que Sera, Sera.

    Anyway, this does mean I can do more things…

    22nd August 2018 First Among Sequels: Guest Post from Please Allow Me Inc.



    [Poster made by me at, the snake oil man first appeared on there is no attribution, there are 533 instances of its use found by tineye. Removal pending]

    Greetings! The Gibbous House Man - as the author of its sequel, No Good Deed - is known here at Please Allow Me Inc. (Home of Fakevertising® - Never Knowingly Oversold), has kindly…

    17th July 2018 Found Among the Moffat Papers Assembled by Prof. J. Maccabi

    [No copyright issues, image]

    From the Catalogue of Rheims et Sauvage de Paris

    Auction date 6th June, 1951

    Lot 666: Hand written letter on vellum, addressed to Ellen Pardoner, C/o John Brown, Notary Public, Seahouses, Northumberland, England. signed “Moffat”, dated 4th July, 1852. Franked at London Postal Office, 1st September. Marked “Postage Due 2s 11d”


    27th June 2018 While You're Waiting

    During the long gestation period of Gibbous House, I used to publish a short story or two in what was then known as the shed, to keep people interested. Whether it did or not, I'm not entirely sure. In any event, for those who continue to actually read the updates, here is an old short story that once won a prize. It's not about Moffat, or the 19th Century United States, but you might enjoy it anyway…

    26th June 2018 Competition Winners Get Their Prizes.


      I was relieved to be informed by the competition winner and the 3 runners-up that they had received their highly desirable prizes over the weekend. Here is Frank who was first out of the Beer Stein.

       Frank has assured me that all three items will be well-used,  especially the mug by him. Shopping and dog-walking necessities are the tote-bag's fate and Frank has grandchildren who he…

    16th June 2018 At Last, Karma Twin Competition News! (A Winner)

    [Poster produced by me at competition idea pinched from Stevyn Colgan]

    Congratulations to the winner, Frank Morley, whose name was drawn from a beer stein in a kneipe in Zell-Mosel last week. Frank wins a bundle of No Good Deed collectables to be delivered shortly. The other three COMPLETELY correct answers will receive a No Good Deed Mug. Thanks to all who entered.

    The next…

    10th June 2018 No Good Deed Karma Twin* Competition update

    [Image produced at BY ME!!!!!]


    Don't panic. Competition is closed. Winner to be announced when I have something resembling internet connectivity. The geekery used to achieve even this update is giving much less than satisfactory results


    1st June 2018 Karma Twin* Anagram Competition (Patrons/Pledgers Only)

    [Poster produced at using on site components.]

    It's here, it's competition time. Here are 8 anagrams of some of Karma Twin*'s novels or short stories' titles. The author of these makes several appearances under his given name in No Good Deed. 

    Solve the puzzle and post your answers to The winner will receive a No Good Deed Mug, tote bag and notebook…

    23rd May 2018 Get Your Anagrammar On! (No Good Deed Pledgers Competition 28th May - 4th June)

    [Poster produced at using their images]


    Hope you're excited, those of you who have already pledged. One winner will receive at least 3 No Good Deed limited edition items if they win the competition to be held between 28th May and 4th June 2018. The competition itself will only be available to patrons of No Good Deed. In the event of a tie there will be a draw down my local…

    17th May 2018 No Mug




    Well, at least pledger 50 isn't... But there is a mug. A limited edition No Good Deed Mug was ordered yesterday for despatch to the 50th pledger. Do not worry, there will be a chance to WIN more Limited Edition No Good Deed ephemera later in the month, when there will be a competition open to all those who have pledged. In the meantime the images here show what the mug will…

    15th May 2018 Doll Drums: Safely Negotiated for Now

    [Image was Barbie playing the drums]

    Doll Drums

    Last week's update made mention of the doldrums I was sure that the campaign to unleash Moffat II on the world would enter. Enter them it did, but we achieved a 1% increase in the total. At 1% a week this means the book would be fully funded by October 2019. A smooth flow through the Edit, Typeset, Proofs, Print stages would mean the…

    8th May 2018 A Round Tuit


    [This image was released into the public domain by Heron2 the artist in 2005 source: wikipedia-commons]


    This week, judging by its predecessor's campaign, No Good Deed is due for a dwell in the doldrums. It's just over 3 weeks in, very nearly four. As usual, people with busy lives just haven't got around to it. I know they will, but - after all - if the target remains 75% away from…

    6th May 2018 Who's On First?

    [Image was of Bud and Lou doing the baseball routine]

    Perhaps some of you are too young to remember the insanity of Abbott and Costello's vaudeville-rooted baseball routine "Who's on First." I pondered whether to put a question mark there, but in the end decided not to, as maybe that would give a clue to how this comedy schtick involves misunderstanding. If you don't know the routine, I…

    4th May 2018 43-23-21

    [I made this image, for good or ill, l using]

    Not some unusual vital statistics, but the vital numbers for the Gibbous House Sequel campaign.

    43 generous people, the majority of whom waited through the long gestation of Gibbous House. As far as I can I assure you that the wait will not be so long after funding.

    23 per cent funded: almost a quarter of the way to our goal…

    27th April 2018 14 Days, 2 Weeks, A Fortnight

    Whichever way you look at it, you 34 have taken No Good Deed a fifth of the way to it's target, that is 20% of the way to publication. Thank you! And double gratitude is due to those of you who, having seen Gibbous House to paper and ink status, have generously got on board the Unbound bus again.

    Can I ask you the favour of spreading the word? Tell your friends, or share a Facebook post or retweet…

    14th April 2018 Friday the 13th

    [Image showed four horsemen of the apocalypse... how prescient that was]

    What a day to start a project that needs a bit of luck! Today is the morning of the 14th and 10% of the novel's target has been reached. Of course, this morning's news is that Trump and pals have sent aircraft into Syria with the aim of "dismantling" the regime's chemical weapon capability. So far Russia (Russia? Haven…

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