Spurious Games: A satirical schachnovelle - David Jenkins

Binding: Paperback


An amusing literary novel of ideas masquerading as a whodunit, Spurious Games exhibits a consistently droll sense of humour that belies its essential seriousness as an extended riff on authenticity. Despite its roots in chess, there are a number of important ‘side shows’, all treated with satirical intent and equal ironic irreverence.

D I John Logos of Cornwall’s St Borstal Constabulary heads the investigation into an arrogant mastermind and serial killer who taunts them with chess-related clues. Baffled, they call in Caradoc Pritchard, a serial iconoclast and expert in forensic profiling but his insights are challenged by Charlotte Cleverly, a young detective steeped in gothic novels who believes that criminals typically plagiarise literary and other sources.

Also involved is a New Age cult with improbable chess connections calling itself the Earth Campus of the University of Melchizedek, and a plot to revive von Kempelen’s chess-playing automation in a sinister end game that explores the existential threat of the digital revolution.

About the Author
David Jenkins has occupied a variety of chairs including at the University of Warwick (Arts Education) and the University of the South Pacific (Education and Psychology). He is a keen chess player who when a lot younger played for Fiji in the 1994 Moscow Chess Olympiad, a memorable experience, although not quite the honour it sounds (think Eddy the Eagle). A qualitative evaluator, one of his reports his reports was named as the 2011 'Outstanding Evaluation of the Year' by the American Evaluation Association ('I Could a TALE Unfold').

David is a painter and regular cartoonist, currently living in Cornwall where he is President of the Cornwall Chess Association. Although widely published as an academic, at the Open University and elsewhere, Spurious Games is his first novel. He lives in Calstock with his partner and her companion elephant.

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