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Welcome to the Sally Spencer  and James García Woods website

Please do Contact us with your opinions and requests, and sign up to receive details of new book launches.

And the Blog is full of autobiography, thoughts on books and writing, travel experiences, all well-illustrated ...

A wonderful historical crime novel
Death of a Matador, another fascinating Inspector Ruiz Mystery Accompanied by ex-DCI Charlie Woodend, Paco Ruiz returns to Madrid, the city he fled thirty years earlier, to lay to rest the ghosts of the past. 

Accompanied by his best friend, ex-DCI Charlie Woodend, Paco relives his days as a police inspector; a militiaman caught up in the hopeless struggle to defeat Franco’s army; and a political prisoner working in brutal conditions to build a lasting monument to fascism.


But more painful than any of this are the memories of the investigation he conducted into the murder of Faustino, his boyhood friend - better known as El Gitano, the most famous matador in Spain.

Death of a Matador is a fascinating tale that immerses the reader in the blood-soaked realities of the Spanish Civil War and the driving forces of contemporary Spanish culture. It is bound to appeal to the many fans of Paco Ruiz and Charlie Woodend, to anyone interested in modern history, and to all who enjoy fine detective stories.

Death of a Matador cover.jpg

For more  from lovely Lume Books, click here:


New Look Inspector Paco Ruiz Mysteries Box Set
Kindle Countdown Deal starts May 15!

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Inspector Paco Ruiz doggedly unravells mysteries as the Spanish Civil War explodes around him. But can he keep himself and his lovely Cindy safe? 

Over three gripping stories, Ruiz races to solve seemingly impossible mysteries while the opposing forces of Republicanism and Nationalism, dictatorship and democracy, love and duty, all rage around him and threaten his own life, and his new love.

Act quickly to get 




 ...............  all at an amazing price 


The Inspector Ruiz Mysteries

(James Garcia Woods is a pen name of Alan Rustage, who also writes as Sally Spencer)


This series is set against the background of Spain's Civil War.  A police inspector and gifted detective, Paco Ruiz finds that his dedication to finding the truth can be very dangerous...


A Murder of No Consequence (Kindle edition 2013, originally published in hardback in 1999 by Robert Hale, coming soon as a paperback) 

Inspector Paco Ruiz realises that as Spain slides towards Civil War, murder on the streets of Madrid is passing largely unnoticed. But, as the police detective assigned to investigate the murder of a young woman in Retiro Park, he becomes obsessed with discovering the truth, whatever the danger.


The General's Dog (Kindle edition 2013, originally published in hardback in 1999 by Robert Hale) is the second in the Inspector Ruiz series. In the mountains above Madrid, in July 1936, Inspector Paco Ruiz stands before a Nationalist firing squad thinking his last moment has come. But just before the order to shoot he is reprieved – because he is needed to solve a murder – of a dog! Detection is difficult and dangerous – but if he succeeds, what then?


The Fifth Column (Originally published in paperback in 2002 by Noche Flug, now available on Kindle) The murder of an American member of the International Brigade training in a village deep in the heart of Republican Spain has implications that soon stretch far beyond a single death. A fighting unit that is vital to the defence of Madrid is slowly disintegrating. And so it is that Paco Ruiz is once more called upon to revert to his pre-war role as homicide detective – a job he does not relish!

Tensions are running high in the small mining village of Bellingsworth. There has been a call for further strikes, and retired miner Len Hopkins, who was known to be against a new strike, is murdered.


Detective Inspector Monika Paniatowski learns that Len had been threatened the night before he died by another old miner.


Was he killed due to the stand he took against further strikes? Or are there more sinister forces at work?


Paniatowski investigates, but finds that she has problems much closer to home . . .

Special Offer - BOTH The Casebooks of Inspector Blackstone  Kindle Editions are £0.99/$0.99

Read books 1-6 in this thrilling Victorian mystery series in these special editions.

The Casebook of Inspector Blackstone: Part One (A Blackstone Box Set 1)






The Casebook of Inspector Blackstone: Part Two (A Blackstone Box Set 2)





Special Offer - Blackstone and the Great Game is £0.99/$0.99/€0.99

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​The 2nd novel in the Inspector Sam Blackstone Series:

A series of kidnappings seemed like straightforward, run-of-the-mill crimes at first, but Inspector Sam Blackstone soon realizes they are anything but.


When the son of the visiting Maharajah of Chandrapore - known to all as the Tiger - is taken in a full-on ambush, Blackstone realises that the previous kidnappings were just practice for a plot that impacts not only Britain, but its whole Empire.


Blackstone finds himself caught up in a game of cat and mouse, frantically trying to pin down the loose threads to find the lost prince before it’s too late. But with the criminals always appearing to be one step ahead of the Inspector, he begins to suspect that the threat is closer to home than he previously thought . . .  

Endeavour kindle ed. 2014. This book was originally published as "Blackstone and the Tiger" (Severn House, 2003)

Kirkus Review of Blackstone and the Golden Egg:

"Blackstone is no less resourceful than you'd expect from such an old hand. But Spencer's resourcefulness in throwing him curves and planting evidence for him to ferret out is truly impressive. "

Special Offer - Blackstone and the House of Secrets is £0.99/$0.99/€0.99

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The theft of the fabulous Faberge golden egg from a Russian country estate goes far beyond the bounds of mere robbery, Blackstone is warned in London. 

The victim is the Prince of Wales, the egg itself a gift from the Russian Tsar — and if the Tsar takes offence at the Prince's carelessness in losing it, the delicate balance of power in Europe could be destroyed for ever.

Yet if Blackstone is investigating a simple robbery, why is there an attempt on his life the moment he sets foot in Russia — an attempt which would have succeeded but for the intervention of mysterious masked figures? .

 Endeavour Media now publishes 6 of the Blackstones as ebooks,
so look out for more promos!
Also available from Endeavour Media:
           The Stalker, Violation, The Vital Chain, A Conspiracy of Aunts, The Madeiran Double Cross and Pilgrimage of Death

Special Offer - The Casebook of Inspector Blackstone: A Blackstone Detective Omnibus Kindle Edition is £2.90/$2.90

Read books 1-3 in this thrilling Victorian mystery series in this special edition.




         Endeavour Media now publishes 6 of the Blackstones as ebooks,
so look out for more promos!
Also available from Endeavour Media:
           The Stalker, Violation, The Vital Chain, A Conspiracy of Aunts, The Madeiran Doble Cross and Pilgrimage of Death

Welcome to the Sally Spencer website! It's easy to use:  

Scroll down for News, or go to News and Events, or the Books page to see the Series  and Stand-Alone Novels

Contact us with your opinions and requests, and sign up to receive details of new book launches,

freebies and special offers.

And the Blog is full of autobiography, thoughts on books and writing, travel experiences, all well-illustrated ...

Special Offer - Only until 8th December, on

The General's Dog Kindle edition costs just 99c!

The General's Dog 

-the second of The Inspector Ruiz Mysteries

Inspector Paco Ruiz had investigated dozens of murders in the past - but none of them were remotely like this one.

From the outset, Paco knows it is an almost impossible task to uncover a killer in a village bursting at the seams with soldiers, yet he knows that if he fails, he will be shot.

On the other hand, he reminds himself, if he succeeds, he will no longer be necessary to the rebels - and he will be shot!

He needs a plan which can save both his own life and the life of the woman he loves, and he intends the investigation to be no more than a way of buying time while he formulates such a plan.

Yet as the case proceeds, his detective's instincts kick in, and soon, finding the murderer becomes a matter of professional pride to him.

THE GENERAL'S DOG is primarily a thrilling mystery, but also paints a vivid picture of a particular moment in Spanish history.  The original hardback cover (shown on left) gives a great idea of the atmosphere.

Regular readers of Sally Spencer's Woodend and Paniatowski books will already be familiar with Paco Ruiz, who makes his first appearance in THE BUTCHER BEYOND, crops up again in ECHOES OF THE DEAD (selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the 12 best detective novels of 2011) and plays a vital role in DEATH'S DARK SHADOW.

Special Offer - The Stalker, Violation are BOTH 99p or 99c

Endeavour Press
has recently published The Stalker, Violation, The Vital Chain and A Conspiracy of Aunts
Their great marketing always includes discounted offers -

. . . and Violation AND The Stalker are both currently at 99p (UK) or 99c (US) for the Kindle edition, on Amazon! 

Stand-alone Novels


These novels are all very different, written at different times, and with very different settings.


The Madeiran Double Cross (Kindle edition pub. 2015 by Endeavour, originally published in hardback in 1999 as The Paradise Job by Severn House)  combines the story of Frank, a surprisingly sympathetic east-end gangster desperate to make a new life for himself, with suspense, humour and ingenious heist plotting in a fascinating and beautiful setting.


Pilgrimage of Death (Endeavour, 2015) is a chilling re-telling of Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' with a murderous twist. Every time a story is told, its teller is soon found murdered... in the manner they had described in their tale.


The Silent Land (New Kindle and hardback editions from Severn House 2016, originally published 1996) is a a sweeping historical saga set in early twentieth-century Russia and modern Britain. It covers 80 years of history and tells the fascinating story of Anna Mayakovsky, a peasant girl who became the Red Princess of the Russian Revolution.

A Picnic in Eden (Now available for Kindle! - originally published in 1995) follows three friends from their first day at the village primary school through challenges, as they each take different roads, until - as men -  they tragically discover just how complicated friendship can become.


The Stalker (originally titled Guardian Angel, and available for kindle and in paperback, Endeavour 2016) is a fast-paced crime thriller that delves deep and examines how people can commit acts of pure evil in the name of divine justice. Set in the USA, it describes how a young widow and the cop investigating her find themselves in a nightmare they - and their relationship - may not survive.

Violation (Endeavour, 2017, kindle and paperback) is a thriller set in the USA's rustbelt. Children in Harrisburg, Virginia are being targeted... and only Lieutenant Mike Kaleta can stop the perpetrator striking again. This book has twists and turns that take the reader in chilling and surprising directions when the hunters become the hunted.

The Vital Chain (Endeavour, 2017, kindle and paperback) is not only a murder mystery, but a disturbing portrait of a family.  After Rob Conroy wakes up in a Bristol hospital to discover three close members of his family have perished in a car accident, he learns that the car had been booby-trapped.  This suspenseful thriller shows how the determination of one man to provide for and protect his family can have unintended consequences - and become instead an instrument of destruction.

The latest in the DCI Monika Paniatowski Series:
Thicker Than Water


DCI Monika Paniatowski investigates a case that could be the making - or, more likely, breaking - of her career.


DCI Monika Paniatowski has only been back from maternity leave for three days when she is called in to investigate a nightmare of a case. Not only is the murder victim a mother of three small children, but her husband is a wealthy politician.


Monika knows that if she can't make a quick arrest her career is on the line. It's lucky, then, that within minutes of meeting Councillor Danbury, she has a bruised face - and a prime suspect. But then the case takes a nasty twist, and suddenly the investigation is national news. Monika's sure she has the right man - but how to prove it?


Particularly when she's under pressure from her superiors to arrest anyone other than Councillor Danbury, president of the golf club and friend of her chief constable...

(Available for pre-order. This item will be released on 30 October 2015.)


Book News

The Deals will SOON be Over - but still good value! - and have introduced new readers to Sally Spencer - Heart of Darkness reached No 479 PAID in Kindle store! BOTH at 99p or 99c
Blackstone and the Heart of Darkness (2015) (The sixth book in the Inspector Sam Blackstone series) is STILL a Deal at 99p or 99c (US)
Blackstone and the Stage of Death (2015) (The fifth book in the Inspector Sam Blackstone series) is also a Deal at 99p or 99c (US)
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