Brighton’s a violent place isn’t it.

People are getting abducted all the time.

Young girls can’t cycle home from their shift behind the bar without being kidnapped by a serial killer.

Workman are forever digging up decomposed bodies.

Yup I’m reading the latest Peter James crime thriller You Are Dead.

It’s the eleventh novel in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series.

I’m a latecomer to the Peter James party, having only recently arrived in town.

Millions upon millions of readers have already been invited and have stayed.

The author’s love for the city of his birth is evident on every page.

References to real people and places abound.

You feel like you’re walking the streets with him.

The Argus is always mentioned.

We’re a phone-hacking, pain in the police’s ass paper with a glamorous crime reporter.

Only some of this is true.

Come on Peter, I’m a member of the new self-regulatory body set up post Leveson.

I would never sanction phone hacking.

Seriously I’ve met people in my short time here who can’t wait to tell me they’ve featured in previous Grace tales.

It’s a sign of how Brighton you are I suppose.

And James understands his art perfectly.

Page-turner is sometimes viewed as a sniffy adjective to describe novels, but I don’t know why.

You Are Dead is just that. The sort of book you read in bed and discover too late that the hour has ticked around to midnight.

And in Grace himself, a middle-aged, rugged, instinctively sharp guy not without flaws but capable of living with beautiful women almost half his age, the author ensures he locks in a male readership living vicariously through their hero.

Brighton stays the star of the show though, pretty much as it is. Exciting, maddening, but obviously a lot safer in real life.

Talking of writers Joseph Mitchell was a brilliant one.

His picaresque tales of everyday life in New York city were from the Damon Runyon school of observation.

Mitchell preferred the characters, bohos and chancers who almost bubbled up from below the streets.

He made their lives epic, heroic even, and his essays in the New Yorker magazine were legendary.

He filed his last piece “Joe Gould’s Secret”, about a Greenwich Village dreamer who fooled everyone into thinking he was writing an oral history of the modern world, in 1964.

It was, in hindsight, heavily ironic.

For the trouble was Joseph Mitchell died in 1996 still working for the New Yorker.

For the last 32 years he went to the office every day and shut his door from behind which staff could hear the clatter of typewriter keys.

But from that once brilliant lyrical mind came...well nothing. And he still got paid. For 32 years.

A book about Mitchell is now out called Man in Profile by Thomas Kunkel.

I read a great piece on it in my London Review of Books.

In a wonderful slice of understatement New Yorker editor William Shawn is described as “never one to press a question or even ask one in a voice above a whisper.” You can say that again.

Even if you favour the liberal, coaxing, let the talent get on with it sort of management this might be giving someone a bit too much latitude.

And poor old Mitchell himself. How tortured must this once great essayist have been.

Writer’s block for 32 years is some kind of mental anguish.

I’ve no doubt it was added to by the pressure of knowing he was getting paid for doing absolutely nothing.

We all say we’d like that but I wonder if we really would.

I was trying to put myself in Mitchell’s mind for a few minutes just then at the end of the last sentence.

Trouble is the production editor knocked on the door telling me I was half an hour past deadline and that “space doesn’t fill itself”.

Music has the power to turn bad days to good doesn’t it?

So thanks to Brighton’s Ian Parton aka The Go Team.

After a brilliant breakout album in 2004 I’d sort of lost touch with the band even though when I coached my sons’ football team their song We Just Won’t Be Defeated was our pre-match rallying cry.

It didn’t work of course.

Last week, a particularly wretched one, my son persuaded me to give the new album The Scene Between a listen even though it’s been out a while.

I’m glad I did. It’s a thing of pure joy, glistening sound-of-summer pop gems underpinned with a trademark fuzzy lo-fi sensibility and it’s been on play in the car ever since.

As I drive to work I see a dreary black and white landscape in the rear view mirror and a techno-coloured indie pop Oz up ahead.