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Welcome to the website of Derek Smith. I write under two names. My crime/mystery fiction is written under the name DH Smith. Under this name I have written the Jack of All Trades series, with the main character Jack Bell.  Under the name Derek Smith I have written fantasy, short stories and poetry for adults, and books for older and younger children.

All of my books are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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136 thoughts on “Home Page

    • Thank your for your comment on Jack of All Trades, which you have totally forgotten about, as it was sent more than a year ago. I have only just realised there were comments on my website, in fact this morning. And you are the first. So my apologies for this belated reply and hope you have enjoyed some of the others in the series in the meantime.

      Derek

      Derek

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    • Thanks for your comment, June, on Jack of All Trades. Made over a year ago, but I didn’t realise there were comments on my website until this morning. I always reply to readers, usually in a day or two, so accept my apologies on this one.

      Best Wishes
      Derek

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  1. 18 Dec. 2015, I just finished Jack of All Trades, and I must say it was very entertaining. A great who done it, which kept me busy trying to figure out who the killer was. Lots of action both in and out of the bedroom. Finally I figured out who the killer was about ten pages from the end.
    I am so looking forward to reading reading D.H. Smith’s other book, The Ace of Spades, which can be had in either in kindle or paperback.
    Highly recommend Jack of All Trades if you’re into murder mystery with all the trimmings.
    R.B. in Tennessee

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    • Thank you, Robert, for your comment on Jack of All Trades. I am so sorry to be this tardy in replying, but I didn’t realise there were comments on my website. I only realised this morning, and am now catching up. I hope you got round to reading Jack of Spades and enjoyed it too.

      Derek

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    • Thank you for your comment on Jack of All Trades, sent by you so long ago you will have totally forgotten you sent it. Only this morning I realised there were comments on my website. So now I am replying to them all. I am glad you enjoyed the book and accept my apologies for such a late reply.

      Derek

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  2. I just finished Jack of all Trades & would like to be on your mailing list and receive the next book free on my kindle if I understood the offer. I am also putting a review on Amazon.

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    • I am so sorry for this belated reply, Milchen, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments until now. Thank you for the review, always appreciated. To get your free copy of Jack of Spades, if you haven’t got it already, there’s a link on the Thank You page at end of Jack of All Trades. If you have any difficulties, get back to me.
      Derek

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  3. Hi Derek
    Just finished Jack of all trades. Really enjoyed it. Can I ask if you live or lived in East London? The places you mentioned are familiar to me as I lived in the East end and currently work for Redbridge Children Services. Driving down the Manor Road will always make me laugh.

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    • Sorry Roslyn, for such a belated reply to your comment on Jack of All Trades. I didn’t realise there were comments on my website until this morning, and am now now catching up on them. Your comment came a year ago. Whew! I usually answer in a couple of days. To answer your question, Yes – I live in East London. In Forest Gate in fact, where the main character lives. There are only two of the series set outside of Forest Gate, the first and soon to be published sixth, out in March. I’m glad you enjoyed the book and maybe you’ve read one or two others in the meantime.

      Best Wishes
      Derek

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    • A very belated reply, John. I didn’t realise I was getting comments until a couple of days ago. I’m glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades. A few more have been added to the series since you wrote a year ago! And Jack on the Tower is due out in a couple of weeks. From now on, I will keep up with my replies.
      Derek

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  4. Interesting as although I now live in USA, I lived in Manor Park, E12 most of my life, so I found it interesting to know the names of places in the book.

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    • Sorry about this belated reply, Ann, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments. I know Manor Park very well, just up the road, in fact I lived on Third Avenue at one time. Not to be confused with the one in New York! The area has changed a lot over the years, it’s mixed, with rich and poor close by – which makes it good for stories. Jack in the Box is totally set in Forest Gate as is the soon to be published Jack on the Tower, the 6th in the series.
      Derek

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    • Confused, like most of us really, Sue. Sorry about the late reply; I didn’t realise I was getting comments. I view Jack as decent, he certainly makes mistakes, sexually – he’s a bit all over the place. But he’s smart, at least in certain spheres, and I make him more of detective as the series goes on. Keep reading!
      Derek

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    • Glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades, Neville. My apologies for the belated reply, due to me not realising I was getting comments. I agree with you, well I would, wouldn’t I? A writer writes the sort of tale he or she wants to read. Story and character are most important. There will be a murder, that’s the genre, but I am not going to dwell on every cut, slash and scream. I hope your opinion holds for the rest of the series.
      Derek

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  5. I read for pleasure and entertainment.Jack of All Trades fit the bill very nicely.
    Thank you for the opportunity to receive Jack of Spades as a gift.
    Am also looking forward to book# 3 Jack O”Lantern.
    Thanks again DS

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    • My apologies for a very late reply, due to me not realising I was getting comments on my site. I’m glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades. ‘Pleasure and Entertainment’ is my aim through a good story with engaging characters. I hope you’ve been enjoying the rest of the series.
      Derek

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  6. I have just read Jack of all trades in one sitting. Although I am not a fan of whodunit I enjoyed this one, Jack is a likable character who just manages to be believable as a mobbing builder.
    A far cry from the nasty violence of what passes for British lowlife thrillers these days this comes as a breath of fresh air, I look forward to the next one.

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    • Apologies for my ultra late reply. All to do with me not knowing I was getting these posts. I don’t like ultra violence either. Obviously there’s going to be a murder in the book, but it is important to have a good story with believable characters. Good Reading!
      Derek

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  7. Really enjoyed Jack of All Trades, I couldn’t put it down. You are so talented to be able to write such interesting stories.looking forward to reading your next book

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    • Thank you, Monica, for your comment on Jack of All Trades. It was sent last May, but I didn’t know I had any comments on my website until this morning. So my apologies for the belated reply. There’s now five, nearly six in the series. So lots more to enjoy.

      Derek

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    • Thanks Robby, for your comment on Jack of All Trades. I don’t normally take 6 months to reply but I didn’t realise I had comments on my website. I am catching up on them. So please accept my apology for this belated repy, and I hope you’ve enjoyed more of the series.

      Derek

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    • Thank you, Sheila, for your comment on Jack of All Trades, which you have no doubt completely forgotten sending me as it was sent last June. I didn’t realise I had lots of comments on my website until this morning, so now I replying to them all. Fifteen months of them! So please accept my apology. And thank you for your kind comment.

      Derek

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    • Thank you, Peter, for your comment on Jack of All Trades. The only problem, my problem, not yours, was that it was sent to me last June. Way, way back in history. I didn’t realise until this morning that I had a lot of comments on my website. No one is looking at my website I thought. Although quite pleased to be wrong, I hate having all these unanswered comments. So I am doing a blitz on them. Please accept my apology. I am usually the first one at the party; not this time though.

      Derek

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    • A belated reply to your comment on Jack of All Trades, Eileen. It was sent last June. My only excuse is that I didn’t know I had all these comments on my website until this morning. And now I am catching up, with the apologies getting more profuse as I go back in time. So let’s pretend you sent it yesterday. Thank you for your kind comment, Eileen.

      Derek

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    • A very belated reply, Nellie. I didn’t know I had a lot of comments on my website. All unanswered going back to when it was set up, over a year ago. So my apologies. I hope in the meantime, you have enjoyed more of the series.

      Derek

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  8. Thank You, Derek Smith! I’m enjoying the Jack of all Trades series, busy wondering how it’s all going to sort out. I have grown fond of the hapless Jack and really don’t want to see him come a cropper! I do hope you have it all worked out that he and his friends don’t go down for their deeds! Perhaps, I should say misdeeds, but I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun!

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    • Thanks for your comments on Jack of All Trades. And good for you not to leave a spoiler. My profuse apologies for so belated a reply, over 6 months. I have never done that before, never ever. I simply didn’t realise there were comments on my website and there are quite a few. I am glad you are enjoying the series. I think your veiled comment refers to Jack of Spades, and the misdeeds get revisted in the 7th in series to be published in October.

      Best wishes
      Derek

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    • I am glad you enjoyed Jack of all Trades, Paula. Sorry to be so late in replying to you, but I didn’t know I had comments on my website, so now I am catching up on a year of them. And then I shall keep up to date.

      Derek

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    • Thank you for your comment on Jack of All Trades, Graham. You will have totally forgotten you sent it, as it was in July last year. I hadn’t realised till this morning that I had all these comments on my website, and my policy is to reply to readers. So that was quite shock. Now I’m catching up. I hope in the meantime you’ve enjoyed more of the series.

      Derek

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  9. I just finished reading Jack of all Trades and I really enjoyed it. I will be reading more of your books. I’m glad that I discovered your novels. Olivia

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    • This is a very belated reply, Olivia. In July you told me you enjoyed Jack of All Trades, but I didn’t know I was getting comments on my website, and only this morning found I had 70 of them. I always reply to readers, and after this backlog, will do so in a day or two. I hope you are enjoying the rest of the series.

      Derek

      Best Wishes
      Derek

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    • Thank you for your comment on Jack of All Trades, Michael. You sent it to me way back in July, heavens above! But I only realised this morning I had all these comments on my website. My apologies, as I do reply to readers. That won’t happen again!

      All the best
      Derek

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades, Kevin. And so sorry the reply has been so long in coming. I only realised I had comments on my website this morning, so I am now now catching up on a year’s worth. In future I shall reply in a day or two.

      Good Reading!
      Derek

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    • My apologies, Marilyn, for this belated reply, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments. It’s not for me to persuade a reader to like a book they didn’t. It’s a personal thing. All I can say in general about Jack of Spades is that some things are tied up at the end and some things are not. That’s enough for some readers, and not enough for others. But a writer has to take some risks. I’d be interested on any other readers’ comments on this. I’m sorry I disappointed you.
      Derek

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    • Thanks for your comment, Barry, about Jack of All Trades. And I apologise for this tardy reply. You must have totally forgotten you sent a comment. I didn’t realise I had comments on my website until this morning, so I am replying to them all. And will keep up to date now that I know.

      Good reading!
      Derek

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    • Glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades, Tom. I don’t normally take 6 months in replying but I didn’t know I had comments on my website until this morning. I totally agree with you about the importance of characters. They make the book.

      All the best
      Derek

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    • Thank you, William for your comment. Sorry to be so long in getting back to you but I didn’t know I had any comments on my website until this morning. There’s five, nearly six books in the series now. So enjoy another one!

      All the best
      Derek

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    • Glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades, Gary. Sorry to have been so long in replying, but I didn’t know I had comments on my website until this morning. So I’m catching up. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

      Derek

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    • Thank you so much, Faye. Much appreciated. Sorry the reply has taken five months to get to you, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my website. Well I do now, and shall reply within a day or so. There’s five in the Jack of All Trades series now, with the sixth coming out in a few weeks.

      All the best
      Derek

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      • Peter had you left a post on his website some time ago? You may have checked the boxes to receive comments and posts through e-mail. This may be something you have to sort out with wordpress. You can probably unsubscribe from comments and posts on this. He was responding to lots of messages so that’s why you just got so many.

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  10. Thank you Derek for my free copy of Murder at any Price, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. What a refreshing change, easy to read too. I have read Jack of all Trades. Will look forward to The other Jack books.

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    • Thank you, Gail. I know you are a loyal reader and much valued for that. Sorry this is such a tardy reply; you won’t remember you sent it but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my website. So I’m am now catching up on a year’s worth. The first ones are going to say Who? What?

      All the best
      Derek

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    • I just can’t make them longer, John. Not without boring you. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them. Size isn’t everything! Sorry this is a belated reply but I’ve only just realised that I was getting comments on my website. This morning in fact. So now, I am replying to them all. And will keep up to date in future, as writers need readers!

      Derek

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    • Glad you enjoyed the book, Mke. Sorry the reply is so late, but I didn’t know I had any comments on my website until this morning. So now I am catching up. I hope you enjoy the rest of the Jack of All Trades series.

      Derek

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    • Yes, it is different, George. Not a cop, not a private eye but a builder! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Sorry my reply has been so long in coming but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my website. Enjoy the rest of the series!
      Derek

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  11. I’ve not long finished my free copy of ‘box’, having previously read ‘trades’ and ‘spades’. I read it through with only a couple of breaks & thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed somewhat shorter than the others, but as always written in an easy flowing style, with (generally) likeable characters. Bit disappointed in the ending of ‘spades’ – they seemed such nice people! As an experienced DIYer, albeit trying to retire from it, I appreciated the convincing descriptions of Jack’s building activities, at the same time wondering what they added!
    Looking forwarded to reading the others in the series.

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    • Thanks, Mike, for your thoughts on the Jack of All Trades series. Jack has to be a convincing builder to be believable. So I must give some detail of his work but not too much or I lose those less interested in building work. Though no one has said that all that building work bored me silly. Jack of Spades gets revisted in Jack 7 due to be published in October. Yes, there’s some unfinished business there.

      Sorry this is so late, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my website. So now I am going back and replying to a year’s worth. In future, I shall keep up to date.

      All the best
      Derek

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    • Glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades, Joan. And you’re right it is different. Who else has a builder/detective? I do work on the characters, that’s how you hold a reader. They want to know what happens to them. Sorry the reply is so late but I didn’t know I was getting comments on my website, so I’m catching up!

      All the best
      Derek

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    • Glad I hooked you with Jack of All Trades, Lowell. Sorry this reply is so late, not the way I work, honest, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my website. So I’m catching up!

      Enjoy the rest of the series.
      Derek

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    • Praise indeed, Janet. You’ve made my day! Sorry this reply is so late, but I didn’t know I was getting comments on my website. I do now and shall keep up to date.

      Enjoy the rest of the series!
      Derek

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    • Thank you, Ron, for the review. Much appreciated. Sorry to be so late with this reply, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my website. I thought who looks at that! Much to my surprise, lots of people. I need to get it up to date, and reply straight away to readers.

      All the best
      Derek

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    • Thank you, Sheila. I am pleased you enjoyed Jack 1. There’s four more now, soon a 6th, just to keep you up at night. Sorry about the belated reply but I didn’t realise I was getting comments. I am keeping up to date now.

      Good reading!
      Derek

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    • Sorry for the tardy reply, Sheila. You’ve probably forgotten you sent a comment. But I didn’t know I was getting them and am just catching up. I’m glad you enjoyed the first in the series. Four, nearly five to go!

      Best Wishes
      Derek

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    • Thank you, Connie, for your comment. I’m glad the book held you. The others are just as good, I assure you. Sorry for the belated reply, but I’ve only just realised I was getting comments on the website. From now on. I’ll keep upto date.

      Best Wishes
      Derek

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    • Thank you, Maire. There’s five in the series now and the sixth out in March. I’m glad you are enjoying them. Sorry to be so long in replying but I didn’t realise I was getting comments from the website. I know now!

      All the best
      Derek

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    • Thank you, Kelly. I’m glad you’re enjoying the series: five so far and the sixth out shortly. My apologies for being so late in replying, but I didn’t realise I was getting comments on my site.

      Good Reading!
      Derek

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  12. Hello Derek, just to say I loved both books of yours I bought at the Forest Gate book launch. I found ‘Jack in the Box’ very readable and entertaining, and loved ‘The Good Wolf’ too. After I’d read it, I read it to Melody at bedtime on Thursday and we got up to chapter 7 or 8. Then we carried on reading on Friday after school, rather than go swimming (original plan), as she was a bit under the weather and just wanted to stay in and carry on reading! (well I did all the reading, she just listened avidly). And we read the whole book! Great fun. Many thanks for a good read, and congratulations on an amazing imagination and flow of ideas!
    Best wishes,
    Hazel

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    • Thanks, Hazel. A belated reply as I didn’t know I was getting comments on my website and am now catching up a year of them! Glad you liked Jack in the Box as it’s pure Forest Gate, not a step anywhere else. And I’m happy that Melody enjoyed The Good Wolf although under the weather.

      Best Wishes
      Derek

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    • Glad you found the book hard to put down, Anne. That’s my aim, a good read. I aim to hold my reader with characters and story. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. Sorry this is so late, but I’ve only just noticed that I’ve been getting comments on my site.

      All the best
      Derek

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