The short stories in this collection are largely set in Spain, though Italy, France and the north of England are also represented. Most of the tales relate the adventures of Detective Oscar Garcia and his assistant Jose, who specialise in the kind of missing persons cases which benefit from Oscar's somewhat contemplative frame of mind, although it turns out there are frequently more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in his philosophy. There's also an extended story about the mythical village of Bocacorta, and another featuring an imagined meeting between a noted French thinker and an English playwright. There's some mixing of genres going on, but what is common throughout the book is a literary style that's playful and thought provoking.
Martin lives in the Yorkshire Dales and Madrid - another poor boy who grew up smart enough to make money, dumb enough to blow it (on failed marriages to good women) and lucky enough to get a decent living from corporate law; ending up somehow with a great family spread far and wide, a stack of old cycle racing injuries, and a cluster of real and imagined stories that insist on being told.
Apart from the stories that make up Arrivals and Departures, other books include:
Susan Hummer:- fictionalised story of the eventful life of the lady who was, with Billy the Kid, one of the principal characters in the Lincoln County War.
Market Forces: - a science fiction thriller exploring economics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence
The Disappearance of Jonathan Bloom: - a survival thriller based in the African bush
Sing Like You Know the Words: - an ambitious first novel that charts three decades of its main character's career in law, business and politics, reflecting on the Thatcher/Blair days of English politics and woven into a crime mystery