Free Books! (and some you have to pay for)

Natural Causes by James Oswald - eBook

Natural Causes, the first of the Inspector McLean books, is now free on the Kindle in the US and UK. In it’s first weekend free in the UK, it shifted over 8000 copies and roared up to number one in the Free Kindle Chart. US readers aren’t far behind.

If you want it in a different format, it’s available at smashwords for free too.

Work continues on the next book in the series, The Book of Souls, which should be appearing at an online ebook retailer near you soon. Keep an eye out here, at or on my twitter and facebook feeds for more news.


Dreamwalker - The Ballad of Sir Benfro Volume One by James Oswald - eBookDreamwalker, the first book in the Ballad of Sir Benfro series, is also being given away for nowt right now on Amazon US. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it going free in the UK soon, but honestly folks, it’s not that expensive really.

Dreamwalker on

Dreamwalker on

Dreamwalker on Smashwords



The Ballad of Sir Benfro book 2 - The Rose Cord by James Oswald ebook

The second book in the series, The Rose Cord, has been published now, to rave reviews. You’ll need to read Dreamwalker first, but I guarantee you’ll enjoy both.

You can get it from here if you’re American.

From here if you’re British.

Or here if you don’t know who you are.

31 Responses to Free Books! (and some you have to pay for)

  1. Vernon Phillips May 31, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I have just finished reading ‘Natural Causes’ and thought it brilliant and gripping. Couldn’t put it down. To quote Blackadder “It had more twists and turns than a twisty turny thing”.

  2. jameso May 31, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Thanks Vernon. I’ll take a Blackadder comparison (however oblique) any day! Glad you liked it. The Book of Souls should be out soon, so keep an eye out for it.

  3. Andrew Chrich June 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Best crime / “slightly” super-natural thriller I`ve read in a long in long time. Thanks for the free copy, I`ll be sure to get the next one and be more then happy to pay.

  4. jameso June 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Thanks Andrew. It should be out soon.

  5. Rob McKenzie June 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Natural Causes is one of those rare books that you cannot put down! Hooked from start to finish and can’t wait for more. Thank you.

  6. jameso June 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks Rob, The Book of Souls should be coming out next week. Keep an eye out for it.

  7. Steve B June 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Really looking forward to Natural Causes James. When can we expect the third book in the Dreamwalker series, I have just finished the Rose Cord……. I need more of Benfro and co. And I need it now. I am a Lord of the Rings freak and I have to say, Dreamwalker and Rose Cord took me to places even Lord of the Rings couldn’t. Just brilliant, best books I can ever remember reading, thank you.

  8. jameso June 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Thanks Steve. I’ve just been putting the finishing touches to the second Inspector McLean book, The Book of Souls. Once this is launched I will start on the final edits and formatting of The Golden Cage, book three of the Ballad of Sir Benfro series. It’s longer than the first two, so will probably take me a couple of months, what with the day job and all. I hope you can wait that long.

    • Steve B June 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      I will probably have withdrawal symptoms soon………But, as I said, I have not read Natural Causes yet, so, with The book of Souls almost ready as well, that should keep me going for a while. You write books like this and you have a day job too?????? Wow… respect.

  9. Betty W July 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Have just read both Natural Causes and Book of Souls and couldn’t put them down and have just been searching for The Hangman’s Song which of course isn’t hear yet, So disappointed but will TRY to wait patiently.

    • jameso July 24, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      Sorry Betty. If it helps, there are some McLean short stories available for free download over at

  10. Gill M July 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    I have just finished the Rose Cord and like Steve can’t wait for The Golden Cage to be published. I never thought I would read a book like this and just downloaded Dreamwalker on a whim. I am now promoting the books like mad, they are really brilliant, so I am waiting with baited breath for you to finish editing it….I will be checking regularly!!!

    • jameso July 24, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Thanks Gill. The Golden Cage should be out soon. I just have to track down all those pesky typos and then format it for ebook. Shouldn’t be long…

  11. Susan July 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Read Natural Causes – loved it, half way through Book of Souls and loving this too. I came on this website hoping there would be a third in the series waiting in the wings but alas no. Although not sure about dragons I’ve gone ahead and bought both the Sir Benfro books (well one was free so technically not bought) and shall be reading them next. Just wondering whether they are suitable for children? I have an 11 year old boy who is an avid reader with a reading age of 15 and who is running out of books; to save waiting for me to read them could you let me know? Thanks! Meanwhile, give up farming and start charging more for your books 😉

    • jameso July 24, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Hi Susan,

      I’m delighted to hear you like the McLean books, and thanks for picking up Benfro too. I’m always a bit cautious about recommending books for children, as one person’s perfectly acceptable is another’s total nightmare. The Benfro books are nothing like as gritty and graphic as the McLean ones, and my brother has read the first one to his boys, ranging from seven to twelve at the time. That said, there are the occasional adult themes and people (and dragons) get killed. In general, I wouldn’t have thought someone with a reading age of 15 would have had a problem with it, but my target audience are probably a bit older.

      Perhaps the most disturbing scene I can think of off the top of my head is the final one in chapter one of book two, The Rose Cord – a free sample is at the end of Dreamwalker. Out of context, it’s a bit horrific, but read that – it won’t spoil the rest of the first book I don’t think – and then see what you think. Much of the rest of it is standard epic fantasy fare.

      I would add that I don’t have children myself, just nephews and nieces, so I don’t approach this in perhaps the same way as a parent would. I’m more used to winding them up and then giving them back!

  12. Susan July 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Thanks for answering so quickly. I will check that particular chapter first but it sounds as if it will be ok, it’ll be just in time for our holidays so that’s great. Some of his own stories are about dragons, baddies and killing etc so it sounds as if it will be just up his street. I’ll let you know if you pass muster with an eleven year old!
    Thanks again, Susan.

  13. Steve B July 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Hi James,
    I am with Susan 100%. Give up the farming and charge more for your books………I know, easier said than done, and I guess you write so well because of your farm, not in spite of it. Book of Souls was brilliant, brilliant. Really looking forward to “The Golden Cage” How many more sleeps before I can read it James??? lol.

  14. jameso July 31, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Thanks Steve. I may yet give up the farming, but on the other hand, I do like my cows!

    The Golden Cage will be out soon, but I’m waiting on feedback from my beta readers -spotting typos and the like, so it will probably be a couple of weeks. And since you insist, I’ll be charging a bit more for it too ;}# (Well, it’s twice as long as the others, after all…)

  15. Sarah Cowley August 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Absolutely love the Benfro books and can’t wait for the Golden Cage. I read fantasy books all the time and this has got to be one of the better ones. Luv it

    • jameso August 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      Great to hear it, Sarah. Thanks. The Golden Cage will be out soon.

  16. Janet Coe August 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Hi James,
    Writing from the States here…just finished reading ‘Natural Causes’ two days ago and I loved it so much I had to scurry and downloaded ‘The Book of Souls’ so I could read that too…Done! Great job on both I must say!
    Like someone else commented, very “twisty turny”. Sneaky devil that you are you got me in the Epilogue in ‘The Book of Souls’, really didn’t see that coming. :o)
    Biting my nails waiting on ‘The Hangman’s Song’ now! Meanwhile I’ll head to to see what other goodies you have to offer. :o)
    Keep up the great works!

    • jameso August 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      Thanks Janet. I do my best to be sneaky! Hope you find something else to your liking. Have a look at for some free short stories and a glimpse at what else I do.

  17. Alan George February 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    2/04/2013 Estill Springs, Tennessee – So glad to have “discovered ” you! (through my Kindle) Really enjoy your McClean mysteries; just starting the Benfro series; clearly , it will be a winner. Happy to be among and counted as one of your many suporters and fans. I sincerely hope that the publishers do not try to “americanize” Mclean; the Scottish phrases and culture add a lot to your stories.

    Kindest Regards,

    • jameso February 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Thanks Alan, really good to hear you’ve enjoyed the books. I agree it would be a shame to Americanize McLean. I’ve been toying with the idea of providing clickable links in the ebook version to a glossary of terms like ‘guddle’ and ‘bampot’, but it would take a lot of time I could better spend writing the next one!

  18. Charles de Lint October 20, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    The Smashwords link for Natural Causes appears to be dead. Did you remove the book from that site?

    • jameso October 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Charles,

      Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, the DevilDog editions of both Natural Causes and The Book of Souls have been removed across the board, as all world rights have now been sold to other publishers. You can get the books from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US, HarperCollins Canada up north, and from Penguin across pretty much the rest of the world.

      I need to update the links now to reflect this. Now if anyone’s got some spare hours of the day they can lend me…

  19. Annie Bull July 7, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    I’ve just read, Dead Men’s Bones, it was brilliant, I couldn’t put it down. Thank you for a great read.

    • jameso July 7, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      Thank you, Annie. Really pleased you enjoyed it.

  20. lesley shand July 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    just want to thank you for signing all of my books today at waterstones in dunfermline.
    lesley shand

  21. Allan July 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    I’ve only recently got into the realm of crime books, starting with a recommendation about Simon Kernick, then moving onto Lee Child and then Stuart MacBride.
    My Kindle recommended you and having just finished Shatter the Bones by MacBride I couldn’t see anything coming close.
    Your books are genius! You provide the speed and the turns of Kernick, whilst only writing about one character; and McLean is every bit the superstar that Reacher and McRae are.
    I dont know whether you still write part time or not, but your books are exceptional and more than capable of taking on the aforementioned authors. You are truly a pleasure to read.

    • jameso July 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Thanks, Allan. That’s high praise indeed. Stuart and Simon are both friends whose work I very much admire. I do still sort of write part time in that I couldn’t give up the day job of running the family farm even if I wanted to (which I don’t). I get a lot more help with that now though; necessary since I’m on a two books a year schedule at the moment!

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