AN EXPLICIT novel linking Bexhill to nuclear war has been moved to the top shelf after a customer accidentally bought a copy for her grandson, thinking it was a spy novel.

The unnamed customer bought The Bexhill Missile Crisis from the De La Warr Pavilion bookshop but took it back the next day when she discovered the novel contained explicit sex scenes.

The bookshop gave her a refund and has now moved the book to the top shelf with an “explicit content” sticker.

Author David Gee, 72, of Augustfields, Newhaven, said: “My book makes 50 Shades of Grey look like Enid Blyton.

“It’s a very strange occurrence because she obviously didn’t read the blurb. A book about thermonuclear war is a strange choice of gift for a grandchild.”

The novel, which has a picture of Bexhill Pavilion’s promenade gazebo with a mushroom cloud in the background on the cover, is set in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The book is published in paperback and as an e-book by London-based Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender publisher Paradise Press. It has sold 20 copies in the De La Warr bookshop and 15 more have been ordered.

James Cosens, bookshop manager, said: “As a local author, we are delighted to support David Gee by stocking his book.

“However, as the novel contains some explicit adult content, we thought it responsible to alert our customers to this before they bought it.

“This is in response to one of our customers returning the book on the grounds that she thought it was a spy novel suitable for her grandson.”

This is not the first time the novelist has sparked controversy. In 2012 an anti-suicide campaigner complained about the cover of his previous novel The Dropout, which featured a car going over the cliff above the lighthouse at Beachy Head.

Mr Gee said: “Suicide is one of the themes of the book, although the car going off the cliff is actually a terrible accident towards the end of the story.”

Mr Gee will give a reading and signing at Tome bookshop in Terminus Road, Eastbourne, on June 30 at 6pm.

To read extracts from the author’s books people can visit the website