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The Piltdown Picasso is a fast-moving, well-plotted thriller, peopled by compelling characters shot through with a strong thread of humour.


Matthew (Fax) Fairfax, a man with a past, arrives back in London after spending some years travelling and is quickly drawn into the capital’s fine art community. After helping a friend out with a favour he finds himself framed as the prime suspect when celebrity Mika Slade, who has recently purchased a dubious Picasso, is gunned down.


Fairfax is released from police custody due to lack of evidence and joins forces with Gabi, Slade’s zany PA, in an attempt to identify the murderer. They discover that beneath the gloss and polish of London’s art world lurks a sleazy underbelly of drugs, insurance scams and art fraud. An industry where crooked dealers threaten, maim, kidnap and murder to ensure their lucrative trade continues in a rigged marketplace where no work of art is quite what it seems.


When Gabi is taken hostage, and possibly poisoned by the fumes from the art forger’s lethal liquid Bakelite, Fairfax confronts the scam’s mastermind in a dramatic and fatal climax high above the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern.


A rip roaring tale of art and crime, this is the perfect book for all crime fiction fans.


‘If you enjoy Dick Francis, you will enjoy Robin Richards.’

The Wishing Shelf


Website by Aimee Bell on behalf of Matador

matador amazon The Piltdon Picasso, Robin Richards



'Whether you would know a Picasso from a Monet, it [The Piltdown Picasso] is a solid mystery that has great pace and enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages.'


'Some self-published books live down to the standard I’ve been led to expect over the years; others, thank goodness, don’t. The Piltdown Picasso is one of the second kind.


In some ways it’s a classic of its kind: ordinary guy stumbles into a situation he’s ill-equipped to handle, and through a mixture of initiative and old-fashioned luck, emerges from it triumphant.' - Read more.


'I loved the colour and design of the book jacket. It definitely would have attracted me to buy this book in a shop.

I felt empathy with the characters of the story and very quickly became interested in what was happening to them. I don't know much about the art world which added to my overall enjoyment of a good read, well done!' - Maureen Langton


'Good art-themed fiction

Humor is threaded throughout the story, and it serves as good entertainment along with the murder mystery. …This is an entertaining novel and I recommend it to everyone who likes a mystery, the art world, England, its suburbs, and everyone who likes to read a good, fun whodunit.' - Manyjewels, Fort Worth, Texas.


‘Thrilling and a good knowledge of London’s Art World shown. Highly recommended.’

NetGalley Feedback Report.


‘Unable to put this book down until I finished it. An awesome read!’

NetGalley Feedback Report.


' I don't read many novels so it has to be a particularly compelling story line to keep me to the end. The Piltdown Picasso is the first for some time that fulfilled my exacting criteria.


The characters were introduced expertly into the story to give something different to hold my attention as I read into the first chapters. The plot evolved right way through to the last page and gave twists and turns that could not be anticipated. Each character was believable and they fitted together well with each other and the evolving story.


As I was reading the novel, the prospect of turning the story into a film kept coming to mind. I don't think the plot would need much tweaking to enable a transfer to a cellulose (if that is used these days!) format.'

Chris Gasper, Southend On Sea




•         Gold Winner 2015 – The Wishing Shelf Book Awards (Fiction)

•         The Eric Hoffer Book Award 2016 – Honorable Mention – Commercial Fiction Category.

•         National Indie Excellence Awards 2016 Finalist – Mystery Category