Simon Jay ~ Biography ~ Further Information
Our thanks go to Scott McPherson whose detective work revealed the following information:
This is a pseudonym
used by Colin James Alexander who was born 1920 and died in 2007. He was in fact a local boy was born in Benington, Lincolnshire although he moved to New Zealand
when he was very young. He saw active service in Italy between 1945 and 1947. He was a doctor and surgeon eventually becoming a highly respected Professor of Radiology.
He did write only the two mystery books though he did have a lot of medical work published.
Synopsis of Simon Jays's death of a Skin Diver
The dead man must have drowned—it was the obvious explanation. But when Dr, Peter Much made post-mortem tests one reaction pointed to carbon monoxide poisoning; which meant that the man's diving cylinders could have been tilled with poisonous gas instead of compressed air. Accidentally, or intentionally ?
But the scientific test was inconclusive, and Peter Much's solid reputation did not save him from the scepticism of the coroner. The death was ascribed to accident, and the episode was officially regarded as closed. But a number of unanswere4 questions remained—such as why the dead man had chosen such an unlikely spot in which to dive for crayfish; there could be no crayfish on such a sandy bottom, as the rascally captain of the skin-diver's launch must have known very well. . . .
More awkward questions accumulated— and the next episode of violence clearly could not be ascribed to "accident". Gradually it became apparent to the police that there might be a connection between the death of the skin-diver and the mystery of the black-market gin—the recurrent racket which obsessed and baffled the mind of authority in Auckland.
This first novel, set in New Zealand, introduces a new detective-hero, Dr. Peter Much, who is a practising pathologist in that country. It describes the working of a -pathologist's laboratory, and the police methods and procedure by which a multiple criminal enterprise is uncovered, piece by piece. It portrays in affectionate and humorous detail the ways of the yachtsmen of Auckland, their sailing grounds, their pleasures and haunts and attitudes. It presents a story that is convincing, exciting and surprising—the first adventure of an entirely new and modern detective, the New Zealander Dr. Peter Much.