A fascinating true life account of a criminal family from Notting Hill has been penned by one of its members.
Kelly Sheppard-Murphy has written My Mum, which looks at the affect and impact being part of the Buckingham family had on her mother and grandmother.
It also focuses on mum Janice Sheppard’s desperate but ultimately successful quest to find her long-lost nephew, who she lost contact with after his dad - and her brother - was murdered in prison.
Kelly said she was keen to show what growing up was like for her mother: “My mum comes from a large criminal family in Notting Hill. This book is not to glamourise crime, it’s just to tell my mum’s childhood story.”
One of Janice's brothers Terry was killed while in prison in 1964. He had a son Steve, but following the death of his father, the family slowly lost contact with him.
My Mum also tells the search by Kelly and her mother to track down Steve, which they eventually did so in Australia.
Kelly continued: “We tried so hard. We contacted the Salvation Army and when I was younger I even wrote to Cilla Black on Surprise Surprise.
“We found him two years ago and my mum was ecstatic. He came over last year and he’s the spit of his dad. My mum said seeing him again after all these years was like seeing your baby again.
“We are in touch and talk frequently now.”
Kelly, from Shepherd’s Bush , was a teaching assistant until earlier this year, but has now decided to concentrate on writing.
She said: “I’m dyslexic so I never thought I would be doing this, but the book is sad and funny, I’m really proud of it.
“I wrote My Mum because my mum wanted me to write the book . She wanted Steve to have memories and know the tales of his family. It’s a good tale to tell Steve and it’s a good tale to tell the world.
“Also, she could never talk about these things all those years ago. But since the book has come out she says it feels like a weight has been lifted off her, she feels alive again.”
“The purpose of the book was about finding Steve and getting my mum’s story across.”
The book was released on August 22 and is available to purchase on Amazon.