Chris Nickson

Steven Pacey has narrated the first in Chris Nickson’s historical murder mystery series set in Leeds in the 18th Century: The Broken Token. Facebook Page for the series.

The Broken Token

Chris Nickson

Author, Chris Nickson
Image from Chris’s Website, used without permission

Chris Nickson has written since he was a boy growing up in Leeds, starting with a three-paragraph school essay telling a tale of bomb disposal when he was 11. That brought the revelation that he enjoyed telling stories, and then more stories, teenage poetry, and music, as both a bassist and then a singer-songwriter-guitarist.

Chris spent 30 years living in the US, playing in bands and writing. He’s made a living as a writer since 1994. Much of his work has been music journalism, combining the twin passions of music and writing, specialising in world and roots music. His reviews and features are published in print and online, notably with fRoots, Sing Out!,, and He’s also the author of The NPR Casual Listener’s Guide to World Music.

Chris has also published 28 other non-fiction books, most of them quickie biographies, and has had a pair of one act plays staged in Seattle. His short fiction has appeared in several small magazines, and most recently in the anthology Criminal Tendencies.

He moved back to the UK in 2005. The Broken Token was published by Creme de la Crime in 2010. The second of the Leeds novels featuring Richard Nottingham appears in hardback in May 2011 (September in the US), with the third and fourth (The Constant Lovers and Come the Fear) appearing in 2012. The fifth in the series, will be published in the UK in February 2013. The audiobook of The Broken Token is out, and will be joined in March 2013 by Emerald City, a simultaneous audiobook and ebook release.

From Chris Nickson’s Website

Chris Nickson’s reaction to the audiobook:

Today sees the release of my first audiobook, The Broken Token, done through the excellent people at Creative Content and spoken by the veteran actor Steven Pacey, who’s done similar work for authors like Susan Hill and Joanne Harris, both of whom are in my pantheon of greats, so I feel in esteemed company.

I received my copy last week, eight CDs of it. I’ll admit, I was full of trepidation when I put it in the CD player. At appearances I’ve read sections from the book numerous times. I know the language, the flow, the Leeds feel of it all. Above all, in my head I had the voices of the characters.

What I heard wasn’t those same voices; of course, it couldn’t be. As a wise woman told me, it’s an interpretation. But it’s an excellent one. His Amos Worthy seethes with menace, every bit as good as I could have hoped. Listening to it I’ve learned a great deal, most particularly that a book from someone else’s point of view will be different, but it can be just as good, if not even better, as those people come at it objectively.

So I’ve moved from trepidation to outright joy. More than that, to gratitude to the team and to Steven for putting so much into it, and finding things I’d never imagined. Go on, have a listen to an excerpt. You can do it here. I’ll guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. The audiobook has been released into the wild. May it soar high.

From Chris Nickson’s BLOG, 28 September, 2012

The Broken Token

Title: The Broken Token
Publisher: Creative Content Ltd

Pickpockets, pimps, and prostitutes: All in a day’s work for the city constable – until work moves too close to home…. When Richard Nottingham, Constable of Leeds, discovers his former housemaid murdered in a particularly sickening manner, his professional and personal lives move perilously close. Circumstances seem to conspire against him, and more murders follow. Soon the city fathers cast doubt on his capability, and he is forced to seek help from an unsavoury source. Not only does the murder investigation keep running into brick walls, and family problems offer an unwelcome distraction; he can’t even track down a thief who has been a thorn in his side for months. When answers start to emerge, Nottingham gets more than he bargains for….

Publisher’s Summary

Broken Token Digital Download

Sample (.mp3)

28 September, 2012 8 hours and 30 minutes

Praise for Steven Pacey’s reading of The Broken Token

“Steven Pacey is the fine reader of this vividly convincing historical thriller. You long to go to Leeds, right away, and trace the ancient streets he inhabits.”

Sue Gaisford, The Independent, Books of the Year 2012: Audiobooks, 2 December, 2012

“Not for nothing is Steven Pacey a well known and respected narrator, he is such a gifted reader. Yes, he has all those formal skills of the good narrator, but he also has that indefineable [sic] something. Regular listeners to audiobooks will know just what I mean, it’s a little bit of magic in the voice or in the telling that projects the images of the characters and places straight into the listeners head.”

Bec, Audiothing Audiobook & Narrator Reviews BLOG, 27 April, 2015

Reviews Updated 26 May December, 2015

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