Saturday, 16 July 2016

Guest Post - Nick Bryan discusses writing about his mismatched crime duo Hobson and Choi

To be honest, I just wanted a properly mismatched crime duo after years of watching BBC crime shows. Rather than just Veteran Cop and Rookie Cop, I felt there was more scope to vary the demographic. If you’re going to commit to putting two unsuitable people together to solve crimes, you might as well try harder. The Americans have one mismatched crime duo show featuring the devil and another with a zombie, for crying out loud.

So, within the confines of a non-fantastical modern London, I came up with an older white private detective and his teenage female East Asian work experience kid. (And they’re still both cisgender and heterosexual, so there’s plenty more variables you could change in your crime series.)
Of course, once you’ve put your two mismatched characters together and set them to arguing, you need to work out what they have in common. After all, even if you devise some ridiculous method to force them to stick together (a work experience placement, say), it hardly works if they can’t hold a conversation.

So for Hobson & Choi, it’s probably loneliness. A sense of displacement. They’re also both quite self-involved - the desire to solve crime comes less from altruism or even just doing their job and more from a need to look good to various other people/internet users. Does it always make them sympathetic? Probably not, but it throws the story in odd directions and I like that.

Also, the improbable set-up is offset slightly by the even odder stylings of the world it takes places in - this is a London with a wolf committing murders, secret societies underground and a criminal enterprise behind every business. I feel like this strange work experience placement can easily exist there and it wouldn’t even be the weirdest business strategy to come up that day.

Digging a little more into the mechanics of writing it, the other key to writing disparate characters is giving them both a role in the plot but ideally without it being enormously lampshaded. If a part of the book reads as “He’s clearly only added that scene so Hobson has something to do” then I have failed a little. But as long as the cases involve some combination of the internet and violence, I usually find ways to keep them both occupied.

Of course, maybe the whole thing is just a terrible idea, Choi’s mother is right and she shouldn’t be doing any of this because it’ll definitely end in tears. That’s possible too. The series can’t go on forever, after all.

Thank you so much Nick for coming onto Rachel's Random Reads. 

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Hobson & Choi #1)

"If we get 400 followers, John Hobson will solve that nasty wolf-murder case for free! Fight the thing himself if he has to! #HobsonVsWolf!"

Angelina Choi was only trying to drum up some Twitter followers and make a good impression on her first day interning at John Hobson's one-man detective agency.

But the campaign went viral and now they have a murder to solve, no money coming in, and an unwilling Hobson faced with battling some enormous beast.

With both follower and body counts rising, can they crack the case without offending everyone or being eaten by a huge dog?

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf is the first case starring Hobson & Choi, a bickering, mismatched detective duo for 21st century London. This book collects the debut storyline of the hit darkly comic crime web serial, extensively rewritten and improved for this definitive edition.

Information about the book:
Author: Nick Bryan
Title: The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf
Genre: Darkly comic crime with YA crossover potential
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: E-book
Published: July 22nd 2014

Rush Jobs (Hobson & Choi #2)

“Sometimes #crime feels like the Matrix. Or the #patriarchy or #porn. It's everywhere, even in people you trusted, and there's so MUCH of it.”

Angelina Choi returns for her second and final week of work experience at John Hobson’s detective agency, ready for anything after their first successful murder solve.

After all that online buzz, they’re in phenomenal demand. Can Hobson & Choi solve a kidnapping, play chicken with corporate crime, beat back gentrification, save a dog from drug dealers and head off violent backlash from their last case?

Or will grim revelations about Hobson’s past leave them floundering in the chaos?

Rush Jobs collects the second major storyline in the Hobson & Choi saga, #1 on Jukepop Serials and #2 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, adding brand new chapters and scenes to the case.

Information about the book:
Author: Nick Bryan
Title: Rush Jobs
Genre: Darkly comic crime with YA crossover potential
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: E-book
Published: 8th January 2014

Author Information

Nick Bryan is a London-based writer of genre fiction, usually with some blackly
comic twist. As well as the detective saga Hobson & Choi, he is also working on a
novel about the real implications of deals with the devil and has stories in several

More details on his other work and news on future Hobson & Choi releases can be
found on his blog at or on Twitter as @NickMB. Both are updated
with perfect and reasonable regularity.

Subscribe to his mailing list using the form in the sidebar of to get
news first and an all-new free Hobson & Choi short story immediately!

When not reading or writing books, Nick Bryan enjoys racquet sports, comics and
a nice white beer.

Author Links

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a fab idea, Nick! Well done you. Thanks for sharing, Rachel! :) xx


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