Month: September 2021

How to pick a lock

How to Pick a Lock

I’ve been brushing up my skills on how to pick a lock today. It’s easier than most people think, and my teacher was a reformed burglar who has been passing on his expertise.

He first taught me how to pick a lock for the case described in the Fake Witness novel, but I like to keep my hand in as I never know when I may need to use those skills again.

Once I got the hang of it, I was surprised at how easy it became. I found I could pick almost all types of locks. Padlocks, combination locks, front and back-door locks, filing cabinet locks, even high-grade expensive security locks. My teacher could open them all, and he passed on all that expertise to me. He was actually a lousy burglar, but he did know his locks.

I know what you’re thinking. If I’m so honest, why need do I need to know how to pick a lock. How naive can you get? The people I deal with are criminals, and they lock their secrets away. The police can’t touch them, but by bending the law a little I can get the hidden evidence police can’t legally get their hands on.

I may know how to pick a lock, but I can’t always get through doors. The best safeguard on a door are a couple of bolts rather than a lock. A bolt top and bottom can’t be picked however much training someone has had in how to pick a lock. That’s the best advice I could give you. Of course, there are those who will try to sell you all sorts of fancy, and expensive, devices, and they are useful for empty houses, but if you’re in a house overnight you can’t beat good old-fashioned bolts that are impossible to pick.

If the house is empty, the most expensive lock won’t keep a determined burglar out. They’ll just take the glass out of your window and climb in, and even the most expensive window lock won’t stop them removing the glass. This should teach you something. Firstly, you need a burglar alarm on your windows as well as your doors. Secondly, burglars like easy options. If you make it hard for them, they will simply move on to your neighbour’s home, or move to another street altogether. There were few houses my trainer couldn’t get in when he was active, but he never bothered with the houses that had alarms, or which were overlooked. The houses without alarms, or where a door or garden was hidden behind a large bush, were easier for him. There is some excellent crime prevention advice on the Greater Manchester Police website on how to make it less likely that a burglar will select your home rather than another.

Thankfully for me, the criminals I have cause to tangle with are rarely that bright. They exploit the mistakes of others, but are rarely mistake free themselves. That’s how they get caught. So remember the advice I’ve given about how to pick a lock. I’m glad I’ve got the skill because I never know when I’ll need it. You need to remember less scrupulous people also have the same skill. Don’t give the villains the opportunity they need. Secure your property properly and add a visual deterrent if you can.

Pre-order Fake Witness Paperback

You can now pre-order the Fake witness paperback from Waterstones, WH Smith, Blackwells, and all major and independent bookshops in the UK. The publication date in 01 November 2021, but you can order now in UK bookshops by name ‘Fake Witness‘ and ISBN number 9781739949006.

That’s great news for anyone currently struggling with what to buy as a Christmas present for that hard to please person who has everything, or who you don’t want to spend too much money on. A uniquely different, but reasonably priced, gift suitable for everyone.

It’s great news for my author, Richard Underwood, too. It means he’ll be busy promoting his book.

It’s not such great news for me. He’s been busy writing the second book in my series, and he’s put me in an impossible position where I’ve just been arrested for murder. I hope he stops mucking about with promoting his first book and gets back to writing his second book. Not sure how he’s going to get me out of the pickle he’s left me in, but I can usually depend upon him to pull something unusual out of the bag.

Please help me out and pre-order Fake Witness. The more pre-orders, the less my author will worry; and the less worries my author has the sooner he will get back to writing me out of this stinking cell!

Do you manage a Manchester bookshop?

If you manage a Manchester bookshop, or a bookshop close to Manchester, then the story of how my Manchester based Ann Perkins Detective Agency came to be created will be of interest. The story is contained in a paperback crime novel ‘Fake Witness’ listed on Nielsen (ISBN 9781739949006), and distributed by Gardners, with a publication date of 01 November 2021.

It is a gripping thriller with a unique twist.

If you manage a bookshop within the Greater Manchester area, or just beyond, I would be pleased to come to your shop and sign any books purchased by your customers. Unfortunately, at present I’m unable to come myself, but I’ve asked my author to make himself available to sign my books. Just let me know via the contact form, and I’ll send him along.

He is a former Greater Manchester Police officer who has now retired and has nothing else to do. Sending him to a signing will at least give me a break from all the dangerous situations he’s been putting me in, and to be honest I could do with the rest.

Ann Perkins Blog

This is the start of my Ann Perkins Detective Agency blog. Based in Manchester, England, I’ll give you all the lowdown about my cases. OK, I know what your thinking. There’s nothing here. That’s because I’m busy on a case at the moment so I haven’t time to spend typing things out.

Tell you what. When I’ve finished the case and I’ve written the case-notes up, I’ll copy some of the notes and add them to my blog. That way, I’ll only need to type things up once. The tax man will be happy, my editor will be happy, my creator (Richard Underwood) will be happy, and you’ll be happy. Win-win. Or to be more precise, win-win-win-win. We’ll all be winners, so I’ll get back to this as soon as I can.