What brings together the Stormhaven Etiquette Society, Model Services (the town’s only brothel) and Bybuckle Asylum, a desolate shell on the seafront that housed over 700 mental patients prior to the dubious dream of ‘care in the community’? A cold-blooded execution that both shocks and confounds.
The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and her Lover
January 30th, 1649. England is not a country that wishes to execute its divinely appointed king. Yet Charles I finds himself shivering on a cold scaffold in Whitehall, an executioner by his side. The crowd is silent. The axe is raised. And with his head on the block, set a little lower than he wished, Charles wonders: how did this happen?
A (Very) Public School Murder
Excellence by the Sea is the strapline in Stormhaven Towers’ publicity. But when, at the end of the summer term, the hard-drinking, hard-smoking new Headmaster, Jamie King, is found dead at the bottom of the town's famous white cliffs, this excellence comes under savage scrutiny.
One Minute Mindfulness
My book One Minute Mindfulness has been re-published by Hay House, with additional material – and a sparkling new cover! Here are stories and reflections to help us see through clear eyes, return to the present moment and remain there.
A Director’s Cut
Set in the seaside town of Stormhaven, the third Abbot Peter mystery, A Director’s Cut, opens the curtain on a dark tale of murder and revenge in theatreland. Abbot Peter has taken his niece Tamsin for a night out to see the controversial play, Mother’s Day. But when the director is found murdered on stage, Abbot and niece, like lambs to the slaughter, are drawn into the grievance behind the greasepaint and a rage behind the stage.
One Minute Meditation
The word ‘meditation’ can be confusing because everyone has a different definition. As with the word ‘sport’, it describes varied activities.
My definition is this: ‘Meditation is putting your mind to work for your psychological and spiritual well-being.' And it’s the one-minute possibilities I offer here. You’re on the train, taking a coffee break or sitting relaxed after a bath: so why not take a minute to care for yourself, to pause, read and live?
A Psychiatrist Screams
‘Although seven clowns started the evening alive, only six still breathed by the evening’s end. And while everyone saw the murderer and knew the murderer, no one knew their name.’ So starts A Psychiatrist Screams, the second Abbot Peter mystery, set in the Elizabethan Henry House, home of Mind Gains, Stormhaven’s new therapy clinic.
A Vicar, Crucified
When the vicar of the seaside town of Stormhaven is discovered crucified naked in the vestry of his own church, the retired Abbot Peter finds a new job. Fresh from 25 years in the deserts of Middle Egypt, he is invited to act as a Special Investigator in the case by the attractive and pushy DI Tamsin Shah. It is a rocky but fruitful relationship. This is the first of the Abbot Peter murder mystery series, with the Daily Mail calling the Abbot ‘a true original’.
What if John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress today? Here is a riveting story of spiritual journeying in the 21st century, full of modern monsters, comedy and grace. ‘A multi-layered, multi-faceted book written for anybody who is interested in the inner journey within the spiritual life,’ wrote Birgit Ewald of Reform magazine.
One Minute Mindfulness
Stories and reflections to help us see through clear eyes, return to the present moment and remain there. The most popular review on Amazon for this best-selling book says: ‘This book doesn't patronise or lecture you. Each mini-meditation is no more than a page long, so it makes it easy to commit to reading one a day and it helps to re-focus your mind and bring you back to the present.’
The Journey Home
This book is the re-published and updated version of Simon’s popular book, The Beautiful Life. Here are ten new commandments, or ten attitudes, for coping with the strains and pressures of modern life. The Guardian reviewer said: ‘Parke offers a rugged, spiky path of challenge and ridicule for what you might presently hold dear, expressed in a sympathetic, lucid style that mixes humane anecdote with deft borrowings from Buddhism or the Stoics.'
Conversations with Vincent Van Gogh
Using only his words, gleaned from his many letters, Simon introduces us to a man who was almost as good with words as he was with a paint brush. Whether Vincent is talking about his childhood, his love life, his mental state or colour, he’s never less than gripping.
Conversations with Meister Eckhart
Meister Eckhart was a 13th century teacher and mystic, condemned by the church at the time, but increasingly popular today as a man who integrates the spiritual truths of east and west in his inspiring theology. The book uses only his words to help us meet this extraordinary figure, providing a striking introduction to Meister Eckhart and his thought.
Conversations with Mozart
You’ve probably heard his music but have you ever listened to his voice? In this most musical of Parke’s Conversations with... series, we discover the man behind the composer from the many letters that he wrote. The conversation is imagined, but his words are not. This is a book for anyone who has ever wondered what sort of a person lay behind those wonderful tunes.
Conversations with Arthur Conan Doyle
An imagined conversation with the creator of Sherlock Holmes who towards the end of his life became famous for his commitment to spiritualism. The Daily Mail calls the book: ‘Overwhelmingly successful, with an immediacy and intimacy a conventional biography couldn’t match... it is a book that brings Conan Doyle alive.’
Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus lived before the era of the in-depth interview. But what might it have been like if he’d had to face the questions? The conversation here is imagined, but his words are not, sourced from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. It’s the shape of our heart which Jesus is interested in, says Parke, after talking to Jesus about his life and teaching.
Conversations with Leo Tolstoy
Parke sits with Leo Tolstoy towards the end of the great man’s life, and talks with him about vegetarianism, Shakespeare, marriage, non-violence, the military, death, God and sex. Using Tolstoy's own words, the restless soul of this awkward author is brought to magnificent life.
Offered here are mini-meditations, thought experiments and tiny tales both to stimulate and calm. ‘One-Minute Mystic is the Aesop's Fables of the modern adult world... a funny, clever and thought-provoking little gem,’ says Wellbeing magazine. While High Spirit magazine declares: ‘There is more value in one page of this book than many hundreds of pages of pseudo-spiritual wisdom in some books.'
Simon’s amusing, sad, reflective record of his three years working in a supermarket is now a book, having started life as a popular column in the Daily Mail. ‘Simon Parke has managed to do something remarkable. He has taken the ostensibly "ordinary" world of a supermarket and turned it into an entertaining classroom where we can learn important lessons, whilst having fun at the same time.' Tony Hawks
The enneagram is a profound and ancient tool in the search for self-understanding. The purpose of the book, using enneagram insight and wisdom, is to lead you into a deeper understanding of who you are, and also to guide you through the complex inner world of others.
The Beautiful Life
See The Journey Home above.
Forsaking the Family
Jesus’ relations with his family were not always easy, and a far cry from much church teaching on the family. Reflecting on the experience of Jesus, Parke reflects on the power of our family setting both to shape us in childhood, and to continue to influence us as adults. How can we come to mature relationships in our family? How do we find freedom?