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Skulduggery - Synopsis

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


An exciting, mysterious, fictional and historically accurate adventure pulls no punches about the life and hardships of peasant farmers living on the moors of Yorkshire in 1590. A time when life expectancy was thirty-five, children rarely lived past the age of six and ale was consumed liberally because water was undrinkable.

Reading this novel, you will walk the moors around Haworth and try a jack of ale at the Kings Arms; you will laugh, cry and feel empathy for young Thomas Rushworth and his family who face the rigors of life living as copyholders on Lord Birkhead’s land at Green Hall.

Rat baiting, shenanigans, murder, deception and love will keep you enthralled right until the end, but be forewarned as the author paints a realistic, literary picture which quite easily places you amidst the tale. So, turn the page now and step back in time, to a period in history which seems simpler, but one in which hardship, survival, death and skulduggery were a daily occurrence in the lives of the people of West Riding.






Paul Rushworth-Brown is the author of three published novels.


He was born in Maidstone, Kent, England in 1962. He spent time in a foster home in Manchester before emigrating to Canada with his mother in 1972. He spent his teenage years living and attending school in Toronto, Ontario, where he played professional soccer in the Canadian National Soccer League. In 1982, he emigrated to Australia to spend time with his father, Jimmy Brown who had moved there from Yorkshire in the mid-fifties.


​Paul was educated at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia. He became a writer in 2015 when he embarked on a six-month project to produce a written family history for his children, Rachael, Christopher and Hayley.



st novel in The Skulduggery Trilogy
Skulduggery, 1st novel in The Skulduggery Trilogy

Skulduggery - In the gripping historical novel "Skulduggery," a reclusive family of copyholders guards their secrets amidst the isolation of their village. But when a brutal attack shakes their world, they find themselves teetering on the precipice of danger.


Set against the turbulent backdrop of the English Reformation, this masterfully crafted tale breathes life into a tapestry of unforgettable characters, both heroes and villains, all entangled in a meticulously realized historical mystery.


As the story unfolds, you'll be transported to an era so vividly depicted that it feels both utterly believable and astonishingly surreal. Prepare for twists and turns that will leave you gasping in surprise, and an ending so unexpected, even the most astute readers will be left in awe.


"Skulduggery" is a mesmerizing journey through a slice of history where deception runs deep, redemption beckons, and every secret holds the power to change lives forever. Prepare to be captivated by a tale that will keep you guessing until the very last page.


Red Winter Journey, the second novel in The Skulduggery Trilogy
Red Winter Journey, the second novel in The Skulduggery Trilogy

In the tumultuous year of 1642, England is plunged into the throes of a brutal civil war, tearing families and communities apart as they pledge their allegiance to either the King or Parliament. Amidst this chaos, "Red Winter Journey" emerges as a sweeping saga, a timeless odyssey of adventure and heartbreak, sacrifice and unyielding love.


At its core, this unforgettable tale beats with the resolute heart of a mother's boundless love for her son, a love that will be tested to its very limits. As the war unfolds, their historic journey takes them on a rollercoaster of twists and turns, punctuated by a fiery passion that defies the ravages of time.


"Red Winter Journey" is a mesmerizing voyage through a divided land, where the bonds of love and loyalty are both the source of strength and the crucible of their trials. Prepare to be swept away by a story that will leave your heart pounding and your soul forever touched by the enduring power of human connection.

Dream of Courage, the third novel in the Skulduggery Trilogy
Dream of Courage, the third novel in the Skulduggery Trilogy

Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On


Step into a mesmerizing historical fiction thriller that will sweep you away on a pulse-pounding journey through time.


Meet the indomitable Rushworths, impoverished tenants bound to the stern Puritan, Jasper Calamy, within the forbidding walls of Haworth Manor. Theirs is a life of toil, tending sheep and weaving wool from meager scraps, remnants of a world that passes them by.


But when the audacious brothers, Robert and John Rushworth, embark on a daring quest to find their fortune amidst the bustling chaos of The Briggate in Leeds, they unwittingly trigger an extraordinary adventure. Hunted relentlessly by John Wilding, a brutish brogger with no regard for decorum, they must outsmart the very essence of the 'lower sort' that threatens to ensnare them.


In the shadowy recesses of a local tavern, mysteries simmer, and secrets abound. Here, Smythe, a enigmatic figure with a concealed past, thrusts Robert into the treacherous domain of The Haven. It is here that he crosses paths with Captain Girlington of 'The Pearl,' who holds the key to his destiny.


As danger closes in, will Robert elude its suffocating grasp, or will the ominous hangman's noose tighten its deadly hold? Amidst the lurking shadows, can he find a way to unite with his heart's desire, the enchanting Ursula, in a world where passion and peril intertwine?


"Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On" is an electrifying historical thriller that propels you across the ages, where courage is the priceless currency of survival, and love serves as the guiding light through the darkest of times. Brace yourself to confront fear head-on and embark on an unforgettable odyssey where destiny hangs in the balance.









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