RJ Ellory had to make an embarrassing apology at the weekend after it was leaked that he praises his own work and gives negative reviews on other writers’ work.

It’s thought that the writer used more than one psydo-nom on Amazon. He posted as ‘Jelly Bean’, commenting that his book A Quiet Belief in Angels was “One of the most moving books I’ve ever read.” The gushing self-praise continued, “It is so beautifully written I felt as though it enabled me to be a part of that era even though that can never actually happen,” wrote Ellory. “I would highly recommend this book to anyone who really wants to experience a class read.”

He’s also suspected of writing under the name ‘Nicodemus Jones’. Under this pen name he calls his work as a “modern masterpiece.”

Under ‘Jones’, Ellory slammed a fellow crime writer. A Nicodemus Jones review of Dark Blood by Stuart MacBride said: “This is the second of this author’s books I have read, and, to tell you the truth, I can’t be bothered any more.” This particular username dates back four years.

The Daily Mail phoned Ellroy for an explanation: “‘The recent reviews – both positive and negative – that have been posted on my Amazon accounts are my responsibility and my responsibility alone,” he commented.

“I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologise to my readers and the writing community.”

Ellroy is not the only author who posts reviews under different names, crime writer Stephen Leather is also at it. “As soon as my book is out I’m on Facebook and Twitter several times a day talking about it,” he said to Radio 4. “I’ll go on to forums and post there under my name and under various other names.

 “You build up this network of characters who talk about your books and sometimes have conversations with yourself.”