Free book – The King of Pirates

Dear Readers,

We hope this message finds you all in good health and looking forward to a very different 2021.

With that in mind we have been hard at work on The Chester Bentley Mysteries and have just released book 3 in the series: Chester Bentley and the King of Pirates, based on the true story of Henry Every, who was known during his lifetime as ‘The King of Pirates’, owing to the fact he made off with the greatest pirate treasure of all time and was never caught. But what happened to Every, and more importantly, what happened to the treasure? Read the novel and find out…

In order to mark the launch of this book we wish to give our subscribers the unique chance to download the ebook for FREE, direct from Amazon. But don’t delay the offer lasts for only 5 days, after which the book will then go up to its market price of £1.99 / $3.32. Click link on the following link for your ‘nearest’ Amazon:

Here’s the blurb:

It’s the 17th century, and in the sleepy fishing village of Newton Ferrers, the young Henry Every is desperate to escape a life of poverty and family strife.

When an unexpected tragedy occurs, he flees to Plymouth, to the dark taverns haunted by pirates and press gangs. Forced into a life at sea then lured into piracy, Henry becomes the infamous ‘King of Pirates’ and discovers a treasure so precious that he goes to extraordinary lengths to secure it.

Still reeling from the excitement of his previous adventure, Chester Bentley arrives at Devon’s oldest boarding school and is quickly drawn into another mystery. Who does the ghostly laughter belong to that taunts him late at night? And what secrets lie in the picturesque fishing village that he is led to? Bentley will have to exercise his unique gift for serendipity and survival, as he contends with the school bullies and a sinister stranger, hard on the heels of his exploits.

This mystery will whirl you from the shores and countryside of Devon to the high seas and exotic lands beyond, compelling you to ask yourself: how far would you go to protect ‘the greatest treasure in all the world’?

We hope you enjoy the mystery…

While you are still here, we would like to offer you the chance to join our Reading Team and become a part of the Chester Bentley Mysteries by helping develop the series. Book number 4, Chester Bentley and the Prize of Roman Britain, is now in its final stages of editing and we are looking to expand the Reading Team and learn, first hand, from the opinions of interested readers.

Suffice to say, there is no cost involved on the part of those participating in the project. Book 5 is already underway and there will be a further two books in the mystery series after that. For those interested we would love to hear from you, so please drop us a line to our email or contact us via our Instagram account.

MJ Colewood

FREE book!

Buy 1 Get 1 Free

To mark the release of Book 2 in The Chester Bentley Mysteries: Chester Bentley and The Last Treasure of Ancient England, we are giving the book away as part of a bundle with the purchase of Book 1: Chester Bentley and The Ghost of Asher Worth

The special offer of just £1.59 or $1.99 for the two books can be found here:

Enjoy the adventures,
MJ Colewood

Book Launch ! Chester Bentley and The Ghost of Asher Worth

Dear Subscriber,

We’re excited to announce the launch of the first full-length title in the Chester Bentley series – Chester Bentley and The Ghost of Asher Worth.

The e-book is available for just 7 days at the special price of 99c/79p, so grab your copy now at:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

We would love to hear your feedback, positive or negative, so do leave a review. or get in touch with us directly when you’ve finished the book. Thank you and enjoy the mystery!

Best wishes,

Mark and Jacqueline (M.J. Colewood)


 It is 1588 and the Spanish Armada has been sighted on the horizon. Drake, England’s buccaneering admiral, leads the English navy out to engage the approaching enemy, but his mission is compromised by a mysterious object.

 Almost four hundred years later, schoolboy Chester Bentley finds himself in a terrifying confrontation with a ghost that haunts his house day and night. But what do the mysterious signs and numbers mean, and where do they ultimately lead?

 Will Bentley be brave enough to confront the unrelenting ghost and decipher the clues that lead to one of the most remarkable treasure that England has been unaware of, until now?


Join Bentley’s Reading Team!

Dear Reader,

We hope that you’re enjoying your copy of Chester Bentley and the Wartime Thief. If you’ve finished it, then it would be helpful to us as authors if you could hop on over to Amazon and leave a review so that others can discover and join in with the start of Chester Bentley’s adventures.

The Wartime Thief on

The Wartime Thief on

The Wartime Thief on

We’re co-authors Jacqueline and Mark, writing as MJ Colewood. We’re teachers and have been living in Spain for many years.

The aim of our newsletter is not just to let you know about new releases, but to be a strong link to our readers. We’d love to get to know you and are always happy to receive feedback and questions on the series or even about us, our writing process, interests, and… pets.

As a subscriber we’d like to offer you the opportunity to become involved in the creation of the Chester Bentley Mysteries by joining Bentley’s Reading Team. This gives you the opportunity to read our books at no cost, before they are released, and to give us feedback. This can be anything from letting us know your favourite part of the book to telling us you’ve spotted a spelling mistake. Or something that you think should be different. This can be done by email, but we’ll also be holding live webinars to meet you and hear your thoughts.

We enjoy writing, but ultimately, we write for you – so if you’d like to join Bentley’s Reading Team and become involved in the creation of the Chester Bentley Mystery series then let us know by contacting us at

Mark & Jacqueline

(M.J. Colewood)

Remember to add us to your safe senders list so that our emails don’t go into your spam box.

If you’re unsure how to do this then check out:

Malory Towers and the Famous Five – fun, friendship and adventure.

Imagine my surprise and delight when today I discovered that the BBC has just released the Malory Towers Series, which is being hailed by The Guardian as the Downton Abbey for children. Finally, this classic series will be enjoyed by a new generation.

My own experience of the Famous Five and Malory Towers as a child was pure excitement. I wanted to be like Anne from the Famous Five and discover secret tunnels when I went on holiday. I longed to go to a boarding school like Darrell Rivers in Malory Towers. My co-author did, and his school made its way into our book, The Last Treasure of Ancient England.

The Famous Five and Malory Towers inspired the adventure stories I wrote at school and now – The Chester Bentley Mysteries in which Bentley overcomes his own fears in order to discover long-hidden treasures.

What lies behind the lasting appeal of these stories?

I believe that no matter what the decade, or current fashion, the fundamental nature of children remains unchanged by time. Children are curious, adventurous, and often ridiculously loyal to their friends. They are mischievous and have a great sense of humour. They are fun seekers.

Do we ever really stop being children? I don’t believe we do. Inside each of us is a child that longs for simple fun and adventure.

And on that note, I’m off to watch Malory Towers.

June visit to Buckland House


In June, I was lucky enough to have a week’s holiday in Devon with my husband and so was finally able to pay a long-awaited visit to Buckland House – the beautiful setting for The Last Treasure of Ancient England. My co-author had described the house to me in accurate detail and I had researched it extensively for the book, so as we made our way up the sweeping driveway I felt as if I was returning to a familiar place. As excited as a child at Christmas I followed in Chester Bentley’s footsteps, over the worn threshold and into the hallway. Then up the red carpeted staircase to Byranston dorm which still bears the name above the door although the house is now rented out for private events.

The house in our story is set in three eras and as it is decorated and furnished today is close to how it would have been in our 1930’s storyline. As I stood in the bedroom which once belonged to the lady of the manor and spotted the dressing table and mirror in front of the window I stood rooted to the spot in amazement – the dressing table and its position were exactly as I had imagined.

Accompanying us on our visit were ex-pupil Amanda Ruston-Williams and her husband Richard Williams who is the ex-headmaster’s son. They brought the house to life for us with their memories. After exploring inside we headed out into the grounds. Amanda recalled hours building dens and wandering about with a freedom which I doubt can be equalled today. As we approached the lake I felt quite emotional as it is the setting for one of the major scenes in the book.

It was a magical experience and I am very grateful to Tammy Nicholson for allowing us to visit Buckland House. I would also like to thank Amanda and Richard for sharing their memories with us.