AN author is hoping that his latest supernatural crime novel leaves bookworms bewitched.

Chipping-based Barry Durham is set to launch his third book ‘Fell Creatures’ and is hoping to follow the success of his previous efforts.

The 66-year-old, who moved to the Ribble Valley in 1971, said that he was surprised when ‘The Demdike Legacy’, published in 2012, and ‘Familiar Territory’, which was released last year, started to sell across the world.

The new tale, which took Barry nine months to pen, revolves around the discovery of the body of a murdered trail runner in the tarn on Beacon Fell Country Park which causes problem because, according to the police pathologist, this is not the first time he has appeared on his autopsy slab.

The find also points to a possible resurgence of the illegal hare coursing and prompts a young Longridge witch to learn the ancient Lancashire craft of becoming a ‘werehare’ in a bid to nip it in the bud.

The dad-of-two and granddad-of-four started writing more than a decade ago in his spare time and began to publish his efforts after he decided to retire as journalist and lecturer at UCLan.

Barry, who lives in Kirklands, said: “It’s hard to get recognition through being involved in self publishing.

“You have to do almost everything yourself and that drains resources.

“I was surprised at the level of interest in my first two books and I’m hoping for the same with this one.

“You never know what might happen because the author of ‘50 Shades of Grey’ started out in self publishing.

“Basing this book in my local area is important to me because it helps when you write about what you know.

“The area is so full of strange tales and legends and it provides lots of inspiration for me.

“It’s nice to have gained a following around the world and it’s a nice feeling when I get positive reviews for my work which I really enjoy.”

Although available to buy now on Amazon, an official book launch will be held at Brabin’s Shop and Gallery, Talbot Street, Chipping, on Sunday, August 3, from 1.30pm.