Roy Greenslade has been running extracts and fascinating background on a Fleet Street novel he rates as good as Scoop! or Towards the End of the Morning. I had never heard of A Crooked Sixpence, by Murray Sayle, but I am now determined to hunt down a copy.
Unquestionably, it's the best novel about popular British journalism. It is a thinly-veiled portrayal of life at The People in the 1950s in which many of the characters were so obviously drawn from real life that even without knowing them I can identify several of them, such as its editor Sam Campbell, deputy editor Nat Rothman, crime reporter Duncan Webb and photographer Stan Jaanus.
The central character, an Australian journalist desperate to break into Fleet Street, is clearly Sayle himself, who worked for a couple of years as Webb's assistant.