John L Holmes

After trying various jobs, I settled on a career in insurance claims adjusting, principally with Lloyd’s of London, which gave me valuable insights into human nature, as well as an awareness of the vulnerability and unpredictability of supposedly safe, ordinary daily life.
In 2007, I graduated with the Open University, obtaining a degree (2:1) in Social Sciences with special reference to Psychology.


I have had various poems published, most recently in Peeking Cat magazine.
I have also written non-fiction, short stories, and four novels including two under the names Leslie
James and J.Rae respectively. Please also see my blog.

Mack Breaks the Case

Rated 5 out of 5
February 25, 2023


Alison, better known as Mack, stumbles into the office of Paz Wheat one morning. Mistaken as a job applicant and with Lady Luck smiling down on her, Mack is given the job on a whim. Thus begins her career as a Private Investigator assistant. All fine and dandy except the very proper and forever bachelor Paz Wheat must now deal with randomness and chaos. Together they solve some very intricate and dangerous missing person cases and other mysteries.

John Holmes, the author delivers an unusual cast of characters and odd situations they find themselves. As the listener, we are given the front-row seat to relationships and character development. Holmes’ writing style is smooth and easy to follow. The storyline is interesting, and the characters are integral to the plot. While there were a few early characteristics of Mack I did not enjoy as I felt she seemed very shady and could betray Paz at any moment in the beginning I did grow to enjoy her character.

The narrator, Annabelle Indge provided an excellent narration with subtle changes to reflect the character speaking. Her performance was strong and steady, she spoke clearly and with energy. I thought she encompassed the story beautifully. I enjoyed listening to her and thought she was perfect for it.

Overall, an intriguing audiobook with authentic characters and situations that are reflective of the time.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Lily Upshire is Winning

Rated 5 out of 5
February 8, 2023


Having enjoyed John Holmes’s previous novels, including his one preceeding this, ‘Lily Upshire Is Winning’, which introduced this novel’s title character Mack, I figured this would be another good read, and indeed it was. With a change in style and subject matter, this latest novel relates several curious private investigation cases undertaken by the Brighton based PI Paz Wheat and a new arrival wildcard young lesbian rebel assistant Mack, these making for a unique investigative duo. Tales I could see well suited to a television series also, these were much enjoyed here in book form.

Legacy and a Gun

The novel Legacy And A Gun was published in 2019.

It concerns an exiled politician living under the constant threat of imported violence and tormented by an obsession with legacy – his own and that of his ancestors. The novel is available in both kindle and paperback. Quoted passages from it can be found on Twitter under [email protected]

That Someone Else Is You

A novel about a counterfeit life.

Short Stories: We Never Just Talk.

I also wrote a book of short stories: We Never Just Talk. I took these from a website and edited them slightly.

A Small Indiscretion

A novel set in the City of London.

When The War Is Over

I co-wrote, with my father, William Holmes, a well-respected non-fiction book When The War Is Over on Dunkirk and the German P.O.W. camps in World War Two.