Wednesday, November 15, 2023

New Releases - October 2023

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in October 2023 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). 89 titles this month. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.

Please note that, unless specifically mentioned, when a book has differing print and ebook release date, I use the print release date. Translators' names are included where known.

Allen, Jo - Death in Good Time (ebook only) #11 DCI Jude Satterthwaite, Lake District
Allingham, Merryn - Murder in a French Village #7 Flora Steele, Sussex, 1955
Armitage, Richard - Geneva
Barron, Stephanie - Jane and the Final Mystery 15 Jane Austen
Black, Tony - The Lock-in #Short Stories
Blackwell, Penny - Murder at the Bonfire #2 Cherrywood Murders
Bond, Martha - Murder in the Library #1 Lottie Sprigg Country House
Bradley, Rebecca - Cold Hard Truth #4 Claudia Nunn
Brett, Simon - Mrs Pargeter's Patio #9 Mrs Pargeter, Gangster's widow
Britton, Anna - Shot in the Dark #1 Detectives Martin & Stern
Brookes, Dawn - The Museum Murders #3 Carlos Jacobi
Brown, Benedict - Murder at Everham Hall #1 Marius Quin, 1920s
Celestin, Ray - Palace of Shadows
Child, Lee (with Andrew Child) - The Secret #28 Jack Reacher, ex MP, USA
Cole, Martina (with Jacqui Rose) - Loyalty
Comley, M A - The Games People Play #21 DI Sara Ramsey
Cordani, Andreina - The Twelve Days of Murder
Cumming, Charles - Kennedy 35 #3 Box 88
Curtis, Emma - The Babysitter
Dalgliesh, J M - A Long Time Dead #1 DI Duncan McAdam, Isle of Skye
Devlin, Cara - Fatal by Design #5 Bow Street Duchess
Ebsworth, David - Blood Among the Threads #1 Wrexham Victorian Mystery
Ellis, Emmy - The Scorched Skin Killer #4 DI Bethany Smith
Forder, Tony J - What Dies Inside Us #11 DI Jimmy Bliss
Gatland, Jack - Counter Attack #4 Tom Marlowe
Giles, Stewart - Danger on the Island #11 DI Liam O'Reilly
Gray, Clio - The Fifth Face of Fear #2 Troubadours
Grayson, C J - Taken While She Slept #1 Detective April Fisher
Greene, Morgan - The Mark Of The Dead #2 DI Jamie Johansson Files
Griffiths, Elly - The Great Deceiver #7 Stephens and Mephisto, Brighton, 1950s
Hall, Emylia - The Harbour Lights Mystery #2 Shell House Detectives, Cornwall
Hall, Lisa - The Day She Disappeared
Hallett, Janice - The Christmas Appeal #2 Fairway Players
Hancock, Anne Mette - Ruthless tr. Tara Chace #3 Journalist Heloise Kaldan and Police Officer Erik Schäfer
Hannah, Sophie - Hercule Poirot's Silent Night: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery #5 Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard
Harris, Jon - Murder in a Somerset Village #2 Julia Ford
Hattersley, Matthew - When The Kingdom Comes #2 John Beckett
Hill, Karl - The Surgeon
Hill, Reginald - A Candle for Christmas & Other Stories #Short Stories
Hodges, David - Storm on the Levels #12 DC Kate Hamblin
Hollow Mike - The Covent Garden Murder #8 Blitz Detective
Horst, Jorn Lier & Enger, Thomas - Stigma tr. Megan E Turney #4 Alexander Blix
Irving, Alison - Casual Cruelties
James, Alison - The House Guest
Kane, S W - The Drowning Place #2 DI Lew Kirby
Kelly, Julia - A Traitor in Whitehall #1 Evelyne Redfern, 1940
Koning, Christina - Murder in Cambridge (also pub. as End of Term under A. C. Koning) #5 The Blind Detective, 1920s
Leather, Stephen - Baltic Black Ops #5 Spider Shepherd: SAS
Mackay, Niki - The Due Date
Marston, Edward - Danger of Defeat #10 Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy
Martin, Laura - A Poisoned Fortune #3 Jane Austen Investigations
McCleave, Simon - The Colwyn Bay Killings #17 DI Ruth Hunter
McClure, Rob - The Scotsman
McDermid, Val - Past Lying #7 Karen Pirie
McKenna, Clara - Murder on Mistletoe Lane #5 Stella and Lyndy, 1905
McLean, Rachel (with Millie Ravensworth) - Death at Westminster #1 Diana Bakewell
Merritt, Chris - Committed #1 Ellen McGinley
Moloney, Catherine - Crime in the Allotment #20 DI Gilbert Markham
Morgan, Anna-Marie - The Park Murders #21 DI Yvonne Giles
Morris, M S - Days Like Shadows Pass #5 DCI Tom Raven
Morrison, Lynn - Double Cross Dead #4 Dora and Rex, 1920s
Morton, Mandy - Cat Among the Pumpkins #12 The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency
Moss, NJ - The Twins
Muir, T F - The Killing Mood #12 DI Andy Gilchrist & team, St. Andrews
Nixon, Keith - The Dead Can't Lie #8 Solomon Gray
O'Connor, Carlene - Some of Us Are Looking #2 Dimpna Wilde
Pearce, Biba - The Marlow Murders #7 Rob Miller, Police, London
Pearson, David - The Ferry Port Mystery #1 Wexford Homicides
Perry, Anne - A Christmas Vanishing
Perry, Karen - The Worst Thing You Ever Did
Phifer, Helen - The Haunting on West 10th Street #1 Detective Maria Miller
Pine, Alex - The Night Before Christmas #4 DI James Walker, Cumbria
Probyn, Jack - Death's Touch #3 DS Tomek Bowen
Puleston, Stephen - Stone Cold Dead #11 Inspector Drake
Rhodes, Kate - Hangman Island #7 DI Ben Kitto
Rigby, Sally (with Amanda Ashby) - The Stepmother
Riley, Vanessa - Murder in Drury Lane #2 Lady Worthing, Regency
Rose, M L - Hold Your Breath #5 DCI Rohan Roy
Sigurdardottir, Lilja - White as Snow tr. Quentin Bates #3 Arora
Sigurdardottir, Yrsa - The Prey tr. Victoria Cribb
Slater, K L - Husband and Wife
Smith, G N - The Shelter #3 Fiona MacLeish
Starr, Melvin R - A Polluted Font #16 Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon, 14thC England
Tuomainen, Antti - The Beaver Theory tr. David Hackston #3 Rabbit Factor Trilogy
Waller, Anita - Fatal Lies #2 Forrester Family
Watson, Sue - The Lodge
Wilkinson, Kerry - The Night of the Sleepover #1 Sleepover
Wood, Michael - Below Ground #11 DCI Matilda Darke
Yokoyama, Hideo - The North Light tr. Louise Heal Kawai

Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Petrona Award 2023 - Winner


Winner of 2023 Petrona Award announced

The winner of the 2023 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is: 

FEMICIDE by Pascal Engman, translated from the Swedish by Michael Gallagher and published by Legend Press.

Pascal Engman will receive a trophy, and both the author and translator will receive a cash prize.

The judges’ statement on FEMICIDE:

This year’s Petrona Award winner is a page-turning, absorbing and uncomfortable Swedish thriller. FEMICIDE tells of a young woman, Emilie, who is found murdered in her Stockholm apartment in the same week that her violent ex-boyfriend is released from prison. Detective Vanessa Frank is assigned the case. Meanwhile, we hear the story of young journalist Jasmina, the survivor of a recent, severe sexual assault. Author Pascal Engman dives into the world of incels through Tom, a very believable character who is part of a weaponised gender war brought about by, amongst other things, misguided hatred, feelings of being ignored by society, and sexual frustration. FEMICIDE comes to a pinnacle as the attacks against women escalate on a huge scale. 

Continuing in the tradition of fellow Swedish authors Sjöwall and Wahlöö, and Henning Mankell, Pascal Engman uses his writing to comment on societal values making FEMICIDE an interesting, fictional take on the multifaceted topic of violence against women. The book stood out to all the Petrona judges for several reasons. The way FEMICIDE opens the reader’s eyes to the steadily increasing threat of the incel movement and what makes these men tick was felt by all the judges. FEMICIDE is a challenging read that broadens thinking. The writing is well informed, the book has a good sense of urban space, and it picks up pace in a satisfying manner. There is a cast of interesting, and sometimes unconventional, characters for the reader to get to know. All the judges felt this book offered something creatively original that captured the zeitgeist of the early twenty-first century and it is a deserved winner. 

Comments from the winning author, translator and publisher:

Pascal Engman (author):

It feels incredibly significant to win this award. Several of my major idols and heroes in this genre have been recipients of it. I consider it an honour, a great honour. Writing FEMICIDE was a unique experience. The research on the incel movement was very challenging. I was pulled towards their darkness in many ways. Therefore, I also want to thank Linnea, my fiancée, for putting up with me then, as she does now.

Michael Gallagher (translator):

FEMICIDE was a fantastic book to work on. Pascal Engman certainly belongs to the Nordic Noir tradition, but his writing and his characters deftly reflect the tectonic shifts underway in Sweden and the wider world. Always unsettling and compelling, he is not bound by conventions or old cliches. I am delighted that the jury has recognised his talent and that my translation seems to have done it justice!

Cari Rosen (Legend Press Commissioning Editor):

We are so thrilled that FEMICIDE has been chosen as the winner of this year's Petrona Award. The novel delves into the world of incels after a series of brutal attacks against women, and perfectly encapsulates the pace, drama and drive of Pascal's writing. The Vanessa Frank series has sold more than a million copies worldwide and everyone at Legend is delighted to be able to bring this, the first of three books, to an English-speaking audience thanks to Michael Gallagher's expert translation.

The Petrona team would like to thank David Hicks for his continuing sponsorship of the Petrona Award.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Petrona Award 2023 - Change to Winner's Announcement Date

With many apologies but due to unforeseen circumstances the winner of the Petrona Award 2023 will now be announced on 12 October 2023, rather than 5 October 2023.

Monday, September 18, 2023

New Releases - September 2023

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in September 2023 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). 69 titles this month. September and future months (and sometimes years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.

Please note that, unless specifically mentioned, when a book has differing print and ebook release date, I use the print release date. Translators' names are included where known.

• Amphlett, Rachel - Cover the Bones #5 Detective Mark Turpin
• Archer, Jeffrey - Traitors Gate #6 Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick
• Beaton, M C - Agatha Raisin: Dead on Target (with R W Green) #34 Agatha Raisin, Retired PR person, Cotswolds
• Beevis, Keri - The Boat House
• Benn, James R - Proud Sorrows #18 Billy Boyle, WW2
• Briggs, J C - The Waxwork Man #11 Charles Dickens and Superintendent Jones
• Bright, Verity - Murder by Invitation #15 Lady Eleanor Swift, 1920s
• Burnside, Heather - Redemption #3 Manchester Thrillers
• Burrowes, Grace - A Gentleman of Dubious Reputation #2 The Lord Julian Mysteries
• Cambridge, Colleen - Murder by Invitation Only #3 Phyllida Bright, housekeeper to Agatha Christie
• Carson, John - Now or Never (ebook only) #19 DCI Harry McNeil
• Cartwright, Jack - Her Dying Mind (ebook only) #11 Wild Fens Murder Mystery
• Clark, Anne Wyn - The Secrets of Mill House
• Clarke, Sarah - The Ski Trip
• Comley, M A - Sinner #10 DI Sally Parker
• Cookman, Lesley - Murder in Autumn #24 Libby Sarjeant, middle aged actress/investigator, Kent
• Cox, Helen - A Body in the Borderlands #8 Kitt Hartley, Yorkshire
• Croft, Kathryn - The Wedding Guest
• Day, Becca - The Secrets We Buried
• Ellis, Emmy - Revived #21 Cardigan Estate
• Ellis, J R - The Brewery Murders #9 Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd, Yorkshire
• Everett, F L - Murder in the Blitz #1 Edie York, 1940s
• Francis, Dick - No Reserve (by Felix Francis)
• Galbraith, Robert - The Running Grave #7 Cormoran Strike
• Gatland, Jack - Kissing A Killer #16 DI Declan Walsh
• Gillan, Florence - The Forfeit
• Glass, Ava - The Traitor #2 Alias Emma series
• Golding, Melanie - The Sight
• Hanley, C B - Blessed are the Dead #8 Edwin Weaver, C13
• Herron, Mick - The Secret Hours
• Hood, D K - Dark Angel #1 Detective Beth Katz
• Hood, D K - Shadow Angel #2 Detective Beth Katz
• Howell, Lis - The Gardener in the Graveyard #5 The Norbridge Chronicles
• Hunter, Cari - A Calculated Risk
• Hunter, E V - A Marriage To Murder For #3 Hopgood Hall Murder Mysteries
• James, Peter - Stop Them Dead #19 Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, Brighton
• Johnstone, Doug - The Opposite of Lonely #5 Skelfs family
• Kinsey, T E - A Fire at the Exhibition #10 Lady Emily Hardcastle, 1908
• Kovach, Carla - Her Hidden Shadow #14 Detective Gina Harte
• Lee, M J - The Irish Convict (ebook only) #10 Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mysteries
• Lindsay, Douglas - I am Multitudes #11 DS Hutton
• McCabe, Amanda - Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Purloined Papers #2 Flora Flowerdew, Victorian Era
• McLean, Rachel - The Ghost Village Murders #9 DCI Lesley Clarke, Dorset
• McLean, Rachel & Hames, Joel - The Harbour #1 Cumbria Crime
• MacLean, S G - The Winter List #6 Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector, 1654
• Mackay, N J - The Quiet Dead #1 DI Sebastian Locke
• Malliet, G M - The Washing Away of Wrongs #8 Max Tudor, Vicar
• Malone, Michael J - The Murmurs #1 Annie Jackson
• Matthews, L V - Silent Waters
• Nickson, Chris - Rusted Souls #11 Detective Inspector Tom Harper, Leeds Police, 1890s
• Organ, Emily - Death in Westminster (ebook only) #5 Augusta Peel, 1920s
• Osman, Richard - The Last Devil To Die #4 The Thursday Murder Club
• Penrose, Andrea - Murder at the Merton Library #7 Wrexford & Sloane
• Peston, Robert - The Crash
• Phifer, Helen - Stolen Darlings #10 Detective Morgan Brookes
• Ripley, Mike - Mr Campion's Memory #11 Albert Campion
• Ross, L J - The Bay #3 Summer Suspense Mysteries
• Schellman, Katharine - Murder at Midnight #4 Lily Adler, London, 1815
• Seddon, Holly - The Short Straw
• Smith, Alexander McCall - From a Far and Lovely Country #24 Mma Ramotswe, PI, Botswana
• Swann, Leonie - The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp tr. Amy Bojang #1 Agnes Sharp
• Thomson, Lesley - The Mystery of Yew Tree House #9 Stella Darnell
• Tobin, Sam - Wind Up Dead #3 Manchester Underworld
• Veste, Luca - Trust In Me
• Wallace, Joanna - You'd Look Better as a Ghost
• Ward, Cameron - The Safe House
• Waugh, Daisy - Old School Ties #3 Tode family
• Wells, Kate - Murder on the Farm #1 Jude Gray
• Young, Glenda - Foul Play at the Seaview Hotel #3 Helen Dexter, Scarborough

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Blog Tour - Murder at the Residence by Stella Blómkvist tr. Quentin Bates

I'm very pleased to be today's stop on the Blog Tour for Murder at the Residence by Stella Blómkvist tr. Quentin Bates. 

I have a teaser extract for you. 

You can read a review of Murder at the Residence at yesterday's stop at Books'n'Banter.

Murder at the Residence by Stella Blómkvist 

Translation Quentin Bates

Corylus Books

Let me up the stairs, guys,’ I say.

One of them spreads his arms wide.

Come to daddy, baby,’ he croons.

I try to push my way between the men. But they both grab. They’re holding on tight.

The younger one says something in a language I don’t understand. Just then, he slides a hand up my leg, over the top of one tall black boot.

His pal sniggers.

I glare into dark, drunken eyes.

You want to go to prison?’ I snap, in English.

Me no prison,’ the man replies, shaking his head.

I’m a lawyer,’ I continue in the same harsh tone. ‘Hands off. Right now. Or I’ll have you both charged with assault.’

No fucking prison,’ the guy repeats, reluctantly withdrawing his hand.

The other one does the same.

The blonde grabs my arm.

You real lawyer?’ she asks in stiff English.

Of course.’

Can I talk with you?’

No. I’m going home.’

Please. I’m desperate.’

There’s anguish in her dark eyes.

All right.’

Those horny-as-hell guys aren’t going to let the blonde get away without getting what they’ve been waiting so long for. They encircle her. Their voices babble. Banknotes are waved. Euros and dollars.

She manages to calm them down. It looks like she’s promised to come right back to deal with their needs.

I’m not going to interfere in private enterprise. Let alone meddle in every patriarchy’s oldest profession. But these girls’ enthusiasm for their work seems to be at a low ebb, if they need to pep themselves up with a blast of white powder between clients.

The girl follows me up the stairs. There are three of the boys in black in full uniform waiting at the top of the stairs. Two of them are young bucks. One’s fair. The other has dark hair. The third is a red-haired girl. Looks hardly more than twenty.

Do good business down there?’ the fair-haired one asks in easy English, with a superior grin on his face.

Has the police college stopped teaching youngsters manners?’ I retort, my voice waspish.

The grin slips from the face of the boy in black.

Show me your ID,’ he orders.

My name’s Stella Blómkvist and I’m a lawyer,’ I say coldly, handing him a business card. ‘Come to my office if you need to talk to me.’

Many thanks to Ewa, Stella, Quentin and Corylus Books for this extract and the opportunity to be involved.

Tomorrow's stop is at Emerald Reviews.


Thursday, September 07, 2023

The Petrona Award 2023 - Shortlist


From the press release which was embargoed until 8.00am today:

Outstanding crime fiction from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland shortlisted for the 2023 Petrona Award 

Seven impressive crime novels from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have been shortlisted for the 2023 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The shortlist is announced today, Thursday 7 September and is as follows:

Pascal Engman - FEMICIDE tr. Michael Gallagher (Sweden, Legend Press)

Anne Mette Hancock - THE CORPSE FLOWER tr. Tara F Chace (Denmark, Swift Press)

Håkan Nesser - THE AXE WOMAN tr. Sarah Death (Sweden, Mantle)

Petra Rautiainen - LAND OF SNOW AND ASHES tr. David Hackston (Finland, Pushkin Press)

Joachim B Schmidt - KALMANN tr. Jamie Lee Searle (Switzerland, Bitter Lemon Press)

Lilja Sigurðardóttir - RED AS BLOOD tr. Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda Books)

Gunnar Staalesen - BITTER FLOWERS tr. Don Bartlett (Norway, Orenda Books)

The winning title will be announced on 5 October 2023. 

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his continued generous support of the Petrona Award. 

The judges’ comments on the shortlist:

There were 43 entries for the 2023 Petrona Award from six countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland). There were twenty-one female, nineteen male, two female/male pairs and one male/male pair of authors. The novels were translated by 22 translators and submitted by 22 publishers/imprints. 

This year’s Petrona Award shortlist sees Sweden represented with two novels and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland with one novel each. The judges selected the shortlist from a particularly strong pool of candidates with the shortlisted titles ranging from police procedural and private investigator to historical. 

As ever, we are extremely grateful to the seven translators whose expertise and skill have allowed readers to access these outstanding examples of Scandinavian crime fiction, and to the publishers who continue to champion and support translated fiction. 

The judges’ comments on each of the shortlisted titles:

Pascal Engman - FEMICIDE tr. Michael Gallagher (Sweden, Legend Press)

FEMICIDE is a page turning, absorbing, thriller featuring Detective Vanessa Frank. A young woman is found murdered in her apartment in the same week her violent ex-boyfriend is released from prison. Meanwhile, we hear the story of Jasmina, a survivor of a recent severe sexual assault. Engman dives into the world of incels through Tom, a very believable character who is part of a weaponised gender war. 

As expected this is not a comfortable read, addressing the whole incel phenomenon which is of growing concern. The well written characters and increasingly tense plot strands keep the reader absorbed as the story comes to a pinnacle as the attacks against women escalate.

Anne Mette Hancock - THE CORPSE FLOWER tr. Tara F Chace (Denmark, Swift Press)

Journalist Heloise Kaldan is trapped in a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying. Then she receives a cryptic letter from Anna Kiel, wanted for murder, but not seen by anyone in three years. When the reporter who first wrote about the case is found murdered, detective Erik Schafer comes up with the first lead. Has Kiel struck again? As Kaldan starts digging deeper she realises that to tell Kiel’s story she will have to revisit her own dark past.

A dark and compelling story with echoes of Stieg Larsson's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, this is an exceptionally strong start to the series, with a balanced blend of journalistic detection, psychological thriller and police procedural.

Håkan Nesser - THE AXE WOMAN tr. Sarah Death (Sweden, Mantle)

The fifth and final Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti novel from Håkan Nesser, sees Barbarotti returning to work after a personal tragedy and tasked with the investigation of a cold case, based on the unexplained disappearance of Arnold Morinder five years previously. Morinder's former partner Ellen Bjarnebo, who had been previously convicted of the brutal murder of her first husband, is sought by Barbarotti for more information, but she too has disappeared.

Håkan Nesser's credentials as a superior storyteller are once more in evidence in THE AXE WOMAN, with its impressive narrative arc and peerless characterisation, coupled with a perceptive translation by Sarah Death.

Petra Rautiainen - LAND OF SNOW AND ASHES tr. David Hackston (Finland, Pushkin Press)

LAND OF SNOW AND ASHES is set at a prison camp in Finnish Lapland in 1944 during the occupation by Nazi Germany, and in 1947 when journalist Inkeri arrives in remote Enontekiö on an assignment to chart the area’s social development. Inkeri gets to know the small community, discovers disturbing silenced crimes, and tries to find out what happened to her missing husband. Rautiainen weaves in the elements of Finland’s recent hidden history in the European context, and gives voice to the Sámi people, while Inkeri’s personal investigation shows the painful truths of human brutality and the cost of survival in extreme conditions. 

A harsh yet beautiful landscape adds to the mystery and allows for reflection and thought in this striking historical but contemporary novel. 

Joachim B Schmidt - KALMANN tr. Jamie Lee Searle (Switzerland, Bitter Lemon Press)

A local hotel owner and entrepreneur has gone missing, then Kalmann Odinsson discovers a pool of blood in the snow in the quiet village of Raufarhofn. Kalmann is an engaging, highly observant,  neurodiverse character who sees the world his own way and who can easily become overwhelmed. He hunts and makes fermented shark and his usually quiet life in the small community falls into turmoil as the police arrive to investigate formally. 

This quirky Icelandic story quickly draws the reader in, and information is revealed slowly as the mystery is solved. KALMANN is a beautifully written, absorbing, character-driven tale set in a rich Icelandic landscape.

Lilja Sigurðardóttir - RED AS BLOOD tr. Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda Books)

Following the events in COLD AS HELL, the UK-based financial investigator Áróra Jónsdóttir still searches for her sister Ísafold in Iceland, now convinced she will only find her sister’s body. Teaming again with Daníel, an old family friend and a detective, she becomes involved in the murky, violent, criminal underworld when the entrepreneur Flosi’s wife gets kidnapped. 

The chilling scenery and tight plotting with unexpected twists propel the novel into the uncommon sphere of financial crime mixed with a strong sense of unease and danger. The writing is sharp, intelligent and witty, and the characters authentic. Sigurðardóttir surprises at every step with her exciting style, faultlessly brought into English by Quentin Bates. 

Gunnar Staalesen - BITTER FLOWERS tr. Don Bartlett (Norway, Orenda Books)

BITTER FLOWERS is set in Norway in the 1980s during the heated atmosphere of toxic waste environmental protests. Private investigator Varg Veum is just out of rehab for his alcoholism. The story starts with a body found under suspicious circumstances in a swimming pool. The lifestyle of the rich, their power and the privilege their money affords them comes into question.

Staalesen is an expert at making his characters just complex enough that the reader can empathise with the human condition in the majority of them. BITTER FLOWERS is finely crafted and translated giving the reader a clear sense of location and an array of vivid characters to spend their time with.

The judges

Jackie Farrant - creator of RAVEN CRIME READS and a bookseller/Area Commercial Support for a major book chain in the UK.

Miriam Owen - founder of the NORDIC NOIR blog, passionate about the arts, she moderates author panels and provides support at crime fiction festivals.

Ewa Sherman - translator and writer, and blogger at NORDIC LIGHTHOUSE

Award administrator

Karen Meek – owner of the EURO CRIME blog and website.

On social media, please use #PetronaAward23.

Monday, August 28, 2023

New Releases - August 2023

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in August 2023 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). 91 titles this month. August and future months (and sometimes years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.

Please note that, unless specifically mentioned, when a book has differing print and ebook release date, I use the print release date. Translators' names are included where known.

• Abbott, Rachel - Don't Look Away #3 Stephanie King
• Adams, Jane - The Lost Daughter #5 Ray Flowers, ex-police officer, Leicestershire
• Allen, Hania - The Unexpected Guest #5 DS Dania Gorska
• Anderson, Lin - The Wild Coast #18 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
• Baker, J A - The Woman in the Woods
• Barber, Lizzy - Nanny Wanted
• Baylis, Edie - The Price of Betrayal (ebook only) #2 Scarred
• Beard, Susanna - The Best Friend
• Blómkvist, Stella - Murder at the Residence tr. Quentin Bates #7 Stella Blómkvist, Lawyer
• Brack, Graham - Murder In Maastricht #7 Master Mercurius
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs Jeffries Aims to Win #41 Mrs Jeffries
• Brolly, Matt - The Bridge #6 Detective Louise Blackwell
• Brooke, S J - The Body on Scafell Pike #1 DI Jess Chambers and Margot Voyce, Lake District
• Brownlow, John - Assassin Eighteen #2 Last Man Standing series
• Callaghan, Helen - The Drowning Girls
• Carpenter, Elisabeth - The Family on Smith Street
• Cassidy, Amanda - The Returned
• Cassidy, Jane - The Desire Line
• Cavanagh, Steve - Kill For Me Kill For You
• Chowdhury, Ajay - The Invitation (ebook only) #1 Kamil Rahman Novella
• Cleeves, Ann - The Raging Storm #3 Detective Matthew Venn, Devon
• Comley, M A - To Hold Responsible #10 DI Sam Cobbs
• Davison, Anita - Murder in the Bookshop #1 Miss Merrill and Aunt Violet, 1915, London
• Dixon, Helena - Murder at the Village Fair #13 Miss Underhay
• Ellis, Emmy - Roulette #20 Cardigan Estate
• Ellis, Kate - The Killing Place #27 Wesley Peterson (policeman) and Neil Watson (archaeologist), Tradmouth, Devon
• England, Caroline - The Stranger Beside Me
• Evans, Maz - Over My Dead Body
• Ewan, C M - The House Hunt
• Feeney, Alice - Good Bad Girl
• Fennell, David - The Silent Man #3 DI Grace Archer & DS Harry Quinn, London
• Filteau-Chiba, Gabrielle - Feral tr. David Homel
• Ford, P F - A Date With Death #5 West Wales Murder Mysteries
• Fortin, Sue - Death at Applewick Manor (ebook only) #2 Applewick Village
• Frank, Anita - The Good Liars
• Gatward, D J - Dead Man's Hands (ebook only) #15 DCI Harry Grimm
• Goddard, Robert - The Fine Art of Uncanny Prediction #2 Umiko Wada
• Goodhind, J G - Murder Runs in the Family #13 Honey Driver, Hotelier, Bath
• Goodwin, Sarah - The Blackout
• Gray, Lisa - To Die For
• Greene, Morgan - The Last Light of Day #8 DI Jamie Johansson
• Hamdy, Adam - White Fire #3 Scott Pearce
• Hausmann, Romy - Anatomy of a Killer tr. Jamie Bulloch
• Hayes, Samantha - The Inheritance
• Hepburn, Sam - The Mistake I Made • Howard, B M - Blood on the Tiber #2 Gracchus & Vanderville • Howard, Catherine Ryan - The Trap
• Hurst, Daniel - The Doctor's Widow #2 The Doctor's Wife
• Jameson, Emma - A Death at Bay View Hotel #5 Jemima Jago, Librarian, Isles of Scilly
• Jeffrey, Diane - The Other Couple
• Jonasson, Ragnar & Jakobsdottír, Katrín - Reykjavík tr. Victoria Cribb
• Khan, Vaseem - Death of a Lesser God #4 Inspector Persis Wadia
• La Plante, Lynda - Taste of Blood #9 WPC Tennison
• Leigh, Judy - Foul Play at Seal Bay #1 Morwenna Mutton, Librarian, Cornwall
• Leitch, Fiona - A Cornish Seaside Murder #6 Jodie 'Nosey' Parker, Chef
• Lewis, Susan - I Know It's You
• Llaca, Verónica E - Blood Ties tr. Mark Fried
• Lloyd, Catherine - Miss Morton and the Spirits of the Underworld #2 Miss Morton, Regency England
• London, Kate - The Misper #4 DS Sarah Collins
• Louth, Nick - The Body in Nightingale Park #12 DCI Craig Gillard
• MacDonald, Dee - A Body in a Cornish Village #7 Kate Palmer, Cornwall
• Malliet, G M - Death in Print #5 Detective Chief Inspector St Just
• Marlowe, Deb - Murder on the Mirrored Lake #3 Kier and Levett, Victorian Era
• McAllister, Gillian - Just Another Missing Person
• McDermott, Andy - The Knights of Atlantis #17 Archaeologist Nina Wilde & ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase
• McKinty, Adrian - The Detective Up Late #7 Sean Duffy
• Mott, Tony - Deadly Autumn Harvest tr. Marina Sofia
• Mumford, Louise - The Hotel
• Oliver, Kelly - Mayhem in the Mountains #3 Fiona Figg
• Parker, Kate - Deadly Manor #10 Olivia Denis, 1930s London
• Parks, Adele - Just Between Us
• Parsons, Tony - Who She Was
• Pryor, Mark - The Dark Edge of Night #2 Henri Lefort
• Ramsay, Caro - In Her Blood #2 DCI Christine Caplan, Highlands
• Rose, M L - Stolen Souls #1 Detective Nikki Gill, Oxford
• Rosenberg, Kenneth - London on Fire (ebook only) #4 Nathan Grant
• Russell, Leigh - Without Trace #20 DI Geraldine Steel
• Russell, Michael - The City of God #8 Garda Detective Stefan Gillespie
• Selman, Victoria - All the Little Liars
• Shemilt, Jane - All Her Secrets
• Silva, Jo - Murder on a Cornish Isle #2 The Edge of the World Detective Agency
• Simpson, Carla - Deadly Illusion #4 Angus Brodie and Mikaela Forsythe, Victorian London
• Smirnoff, Karin - The Girl in the Eagle's Talons (Millennium VII) tr. Sarah Death
• Smith, Alex - Lucky Number Seven #13 DCI Robert Kett, Norfolk
• Smith, Fiona Veitch - The Picture House Murders #1 Miss Clara Vale, 1929
• Staalesen, Gunnar - Mirror Image tr. Don Bartlett #13 Varg Veum, PI in Bergen, Norway
• Stone, Lisa - The Gathering
• Tope, Rebecca - A Discovery in the Cotswolds #21 Thea Osborne, House Sitter, Cotswolds
• White, M J - Leave no Trace #3 Cora Lael, Suffolk
• Williams, T A - Murder in Siena #4 Armstrong and Oscar
• Yarwood-Lovett, Sarah - A Generation of Vipers #4 Nell Ward