A POPULAR crime novelist has penned a biography, with connections to Bolton’s rich history.

Bill Rogers, author of numerous crime novels, including the bestselling DCI Tom Caton series, has written The Powell Diaries.

Based on the diaries of husband and wife Will and Kate Powell, the book details their lives over 47 years, starting with an ill-fated trip to New Zealand in 1894 and ending in tragedy in France at the height of the Second World War.

Mr Rogers was inspired to write the book after being approached by friend, Alex Jack, who wanted to publish a book about the eventful lives of the couple.

As Mr Rogers researched, scouring through endless documents over months, he discovered a number of connections between Kate Powell and Bolton.

The book details how Mrs Powell founded the famous Percival’s Creamery in the Bolton Victorian Market and how her sister, Margaret married Robert Hurst, chairman of Thelfall’s cotton spinning machine firm, one of Bolton’s oldest businesses.

Mr Rogers said: “I’ve always loved writing crime fiction, because I come from four generations of policemen.

“My father, Frank, was a policeman in the war and received a box of cigars from Churchill for bravery, and his death had a profound impact on my writing.

“But, this book was very different and it involved a very different kind of research, sifting through endless archives and documents.

“It gave me a real emotional connection to the protagonists because when you spend that long researching someone, you can’t help it.

“It might not be a crime story, but it is a thriller in the sense you never know what’s going to happen next.

“All the proceeds will be going to the Motor Neurone Association, because my dear friend Alex passed away because of that disease and I think the family would appreciate that.”

Mr Rogers was born in Highbury in 1944, and now lives in Over Hulton with his wife, Joan.