Thursday, March 21, 2019

Publishing Deal - G S Locke

Is Birmingham becoming more popular as a setting for crime fiction? This April we have Lucie Whitehouse's Critical Incidents, the first of projected trilogy set in Birmingham and next year sees Neon from the pseudonymous G S Locke. Details from today's Bookseller:
Orion has scooped a debut thriller by G S Locke, about a Birmingham detective and hitwoman tracking down a serial killer.

[]It will be published by Orion Fiction in spring 2020.

The book follows “desperate detective” Matt Jackson and hitwoman Iris as they try to find the murderer who killed Jackson’s wife. The synopsis explains: “But the killer, dubbed ‘Neon’ for the way he displays his victims among elaborate, snaking neon light installations, is also on the hunt – and has both Jackson and Iris in his sights.”

Locke, the pseudonym for a Birmingham based crime writer, said: “For some time, I’ve had this powerful image in my head of a desolate detective sitting alone in a café, picking up the phone and ordering his own murder after his wife is killed by a serial killer. With that, DCI Jackson was born, and with him, Iris, a contract killer who I hope is as fierce and unrelenting a character as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander and Killing Eve’s Villanelle. What follows is a story of survival, revenge, an unorthodox investigative partnership, and a serial killer with a particular fondness for neon art.”
More Birmingham crime fiction can be found here.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Petrona Award 2019 - Judging Panel



I'm very pleased to be able to confirm the judging panel for this year's Petrona Award. The judges will be meeting shortly to determine the shortlist which will be taken from this list.



Judging Panel Announced for The 2019 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year
The Petrona Award team would like to extend a warm welcome to our new judge, crime fiction expert and well-known blogger Raven Crime Reads. Raven has been a bookseller for 17 years and brings a wealth of critical expertise to the judging panel and we are delighted to welcome her on board.

Raven joins Dr Kat Hall and Sarah Ward on the judging panel for the 2019 Petrona Award.

Barry Forshaw, one of our founding judges, has stepped down to work on his magnum opus, Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide – which, he tells us, will have a large Nordic Noir section. We would like to thank Barry for his enormous contribution to our judging panels over the past five years, and for his help in making the Petrona Award such a success since its creation in 2013.

More details on the Petrona Award, which is sponsored by David Hicks, can be found at www.petronaaward.co.uk.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Publishing Deal - Sarah Ward

News has been released today of the next book(s) from Euro Crime favourite, Sarah Ward. She is changing tack to historical crime fiction, and so the new book will be under the pseudonym of Rhiannon Ward.

Here are some of the details (from The Bookseller):
Trapeze has acquired historical mystery The Quickening by Sarah Ward, writing under a pseudonym, in a two-book deal.

[] Written by crime writer Ward under the pen-name Rhiannon Ward, the first book will be published by Trapeze in hardback, e-book and audio in February 2020.

The novel’s protagonist is Louisa Drew, based on the celebrated Christina Broom, a pioneer of women’s press photography in the Edwardian era.

Its synopsis states: “Louisa Drew lost her husband in the First World War and her six-year-old twin sons in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Newly re-married to a war-traumatised husband and seven months pregnant, Louisa is asked by her employer to travel to Clewer Hall in Sussex where she is to photograph the contents of the house for auction.

“She learns Clewer Hall was host to an infamous séance in 1896, and that the lady of the house has asked those who gathered almost thirty years ago to come together once more to recreate the evening. When a mysterious child appears on the grounds, she finds herself compelled to investigate and becomes embroiled in the strange happenings of the house. Gradually, she unravels the long-held secrets of the inhabitants and what really happened thirty years before… and discovers her own fate is entwined with Clewer Hall’s.”

Win: A Pass to CrimeFest 2019



CrimeFest has kindly donated a pair of weekend passes to the upcoming event in Bristol (9-12 May, 2019).

The passes - worth £200 - provide access to all panels and interviews, Thursday through Sunday, as well as a delegate goody bag and a programme. (Accommodation, food and travel expenses are not included.)

2019's headline authors include John Harvey and Robert Thorogood, and there will be a special appearance by Agatha Raisin herself - Ashley Jensen.

The competition closes on 24 March 2019 at 11.59pm.
There are no geographical restrictions on entrants, but please only enter if you are able to attend. (The passes are non-transferable.)
Only 1 entry per person please.

To enter the competition, put Petrona and the answer to the question below, in the subject line of an email, adding your name and address in the body, and send to competition@crimefest.com
Who won the very first Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year?
The winner of the 2019 Petrona Award will be announced at the CrimeFest Gala Dinner (tickets available separately).

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Saturday, March 09, 2019

New Releases - March 2019

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in March 2019 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). March and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Alvey, J M - Shadows of Athens #1 Philocles, Athens, 443BC
• Arlidge, M J - A Gift for Dying
• Beaufort, Simon - Watchers of the Dead #2 Alec Londale, Victorian Era
• Bjork, Samuel - The Boy in the Headlights #3 Holger Munch & Mia Kruger, Oslo Police
• Blaedel, Sara - Her Father's Secret #2 Ilka Nichols Jensen
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs Jeffries Delivers the Goods #37 Mrs Jeffries
• Caine, Will - The Inquiry
• Celestin, Ray - The Mobster's Lament #3 City Blues Quartet
• Charlton, Karen - Murder in Park Lane #5 Detective Lavender and Constable Woods
• Dahl, Kjell Ola - The Courier
• Daniels, Natalie - Too Close
• Ellory, R J - Three Bullets
• Ford, M J - Keep Her Close #2 DS Josie Masters
• Fowler, Christopher - Bryant & May - The Lonely Hour #16 Inspectors Bryant and May, London
• Gitsham, Paul - A Deadly Lesson #5 DCI Warren Jones
• Gray, Alex - The Stalker #16 DCI Lorimer & psychologist Solomon Brightman, Glasgow
• Grebe, Camilla - After She's Gone
• Green, Linda - The Last Thing She Told Me
• Hancock, Penny - I Thought I Knew You
• Hannah, Mari - The Scandal #3 Stone and Oliver
• Harris, C S - Who Slays the Wicked #14 Sebastian St. Cyr, Regency England
• Harrison, Cora - Season of Darkness #1 Gaslight Mystery
• Heller, Mandasue - Brutal
• Hunter, Cara - No Way Out #3 DI Adam Fawley, Oxford
• Jackson, Stina - The Silver Road
• Judd, Alan - The Accidental Agent #6 Charles Thoroughgood, ex MI6
• Kristjansson, Snorri - Council #2 Helga Finnsdottir
• Leather, Stephen - The Bag Carrier
• Leon, Donna - Unto Us a Son Is Given #28 Commissario Guido Brunetti, Venice
• Mackay, Niki - I, Suspect #2 Madison Attalee
• McDonald, Christina - The Night Olivia Fell
• McGrath, Mel - The Guilty Party
• McTiernan, Dervla - The Scholar #2 Cormac Reilly
• Moloney, Catherine - A Mind Diseased #4 DI Gilbert Markham
• Nolan, Dominic - Past Life
• O'Reilly, Judith - Killing State #1 Michael North
• Parker, Kate - Deadly Deception #4 Olivia Denis, 1930s London
• Patis, Vikki - The Girl Across the Street
• Runcie, James - The Road to Grantchester #1 Sidney Chambers prequel
• Russell, Craig - The Devil Aspect
• Scragg, Robert - Nothing Else Remains #2 Porter & Styles, Police Officers
• Selman, Victoria - Nothing to Lose #2 Ziba Mackenzie
• Simms, Chris - Marked Men #2 DC Sean Blake, Manchester
• Smith, Alexander McCall - The Department of Sensitive Crimes #1 Detective Varg, Malmo
• Smith, Graham - A Body in the Lakes #2 Detective Beth Young
• Suter, Martin - Allmen and the Pink Diamond #2 Allmen
• Thomson, E S - Surgeons' Hall #4 Jem Flockhart, Apothecary, 1850s
• Tinnelly, Rebecca - Never Go There
• Todd, Charles - The Black Ascot #21 Insp Rutledge
• Tope, Rebecca - The Grasmere Grudge #8 Persimmon Brown, Florist, Lake District
• Trow, M J - Black Death #10 Christopher Marlowe
• Watts, Kerry - Heartlands #1 Detective Jessie Blake
• Winspear, Jacqueline - The American Agent #15 Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, 1930s London
• Yokoyama, Hideo - Prefecture D
• Zander, Joakim - The Friend

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Ann Cleeves' new series

With the conclusion of the Shetland series (in print at least), Ann Cleeves is turning her hand to a new series set in Devon. Out in September, it's called The Long Call.

Here are some details from goodreads:
In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide.

Friday, February 01, 2019

New Releases - February 2019

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in February 2019 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). February and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Abbott, Rachel - The Shape of Lies #8 DI Tom Douglas
• Armstrong, Sarah - The Wolves of Leninsky Prospekt
• Bourne, Sam - To Kill the Truth
• Bowen, Rhys - The Victory Garden
• Bray, Richard - Material Remains
• Brittany, Amanda - Tell the Truth
• Buchholz, Simone - Beton Rouge #2 Chastity Riley
• Buckley, Fiona - A Web of Silk #17 Ursula Blanchard, an Elizabethan lady
• Camilleri, Andrea - The Overnight Kidnapper #23 Inspector Montalbano, Sicily, Italy
• Chambers, Kimberley - The Sting
• Chase, Clare - Death Comes to Call (ebook only) #3 Tara Thorpe
• Clare, Alys - The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits #1 World's End Bureau Victorian Mystery series
• Craig, James - Dying Days #13 Inspector John Carlyle
• Dams, Jeanne M - A Dagger Before Me #21 Dorothy Martin
• Driscoll, Teresa - The Promise
• Eastland, Sam - The Elegant Lie
• Edger, Stephen - Little Girl Gone
• Ellis, Kate - Dead Man's Lane #23 Wesley Peterson (policeman) and Neil Watson (archaeologist), Tradmouth, Devon
• Ellwood, Nuala - Day of the Accident
• Enger, Thomas - Inborn
• Finch, Charles - The Vanishing Man #2 Charles Lenox (prequel)
• Gee, Maggie - Blood
• Goddard, Robert - One False Move
• Good, Anthony - Kill
• Gordon, Alexia - Fatality in F #4 Gethsemane Brown, Ireland
• Griffiths, Elly - The Stone Circle #11 Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist and DCI Harry Nelson
• Helm, Kate - The Secrets You Hide
• Hill, Casey - Fallout (ebook only) #8 Riley Steel, Forensic Investigator, Dublin
• Hunter, Phillip - Murder Under a Green Sea #1 Max and Martha Dalton, 1930s
• Jennings, Maureen - Heat Wave
• Kelly, Jim - The Mathematical Bridge #2 Nighthawk series, Cambridge, 1939
• Kent, Tony - Marked for Death
• Knight, Renee - The Secretary
• Kot, Danuta - Life Ruins
• La Plante, Lynda - Widows: Revenge #3 Dolly Rawlins
• Lea, Caroline - The Glass Woman
• Lindstein, Mariette - The Shadow of the Cult #2 The Cult on Fog Island Trilogy
• London, Kate - Gallowstree Lane
• Manfredi, Valerio Massimo - Wolves of Rome
• Mark, David - The Mausoleum
• Massey, Sujata - The Satapur Moonstone #2 Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer, 1920s
• Masterton, Graham - Begging to Die #10 Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire, Ireland
• Michaelides, Alex - The Silent Patient
• Minier, Bernard - Night #4 Commandant Servaz
• Morgan, Phoebe - The Girl Next Door
• Muir, T F - Dead Catch #8 DI Andy Gilchrist & team, St. Andrews
• Natt och Dag, Niklas - The Wolf and the Watchman
• Nordbo, Mads Peder - The Girl Without Skin
• O'Connor, Carlene - Murder in an Irish Pub #4 Siobhan O'Sullivan, Kilbane, County Cork
• Oswald, James - Cold as the Grave #9 Detective Inspector McLean, Edinburgh
• Pastor, Ben - The Horseman's Song #6 Wehrmacht Captain Martin Bora, 1939
• Raybourn, Deanna - A Dangerous Collaboration #4 Veronica Speedwell, adventuress and butterfly hunter, Victorian London
• Reid, Andrew - The Hunter
• Reid, Rebecca - Perfect Liars
• Rogneby, Jenny - Any Means Necessary #2 Leona Lindberg of Stockholm's Violent Crimes Division
• Sampson, Fay - The Wounded Snake #2 Hilary & Veronica
• Sanders, G D - The Taken Girls #1 DI Edina Ogborne, Canterbury Police
• Selman, Victoria - Blood for Blood #1 Ziba Mackenzie
• Sendker, Jan-Philipp - The Far Side of the Night #3 China Trilogy
• Smith, Anna - Fight Back #2 Kerry Casey, Glasgow
• Spain, Jo - Dirty Little Secrets
• Spencer, Sally - Dead End #13 DCI Monika Paniatowski, Whitebridge
• Tallon, Emma - Boss Girl #3 Anna Davis
• Trotter, Alan - Muscle
• Tudor, C J - The Taking of Annie Thorne (apa The Hiding Place)
• Tursten, Helene - Hunting Game #1 Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom
• Tuti, Ilaria - Flowers Over the Inferno #1 Teresa Battaglia
• Tyce, Harriet - Blood Orange
• Walter, B P - A Version of the Truth
• Watt, Douglas - The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite #4 John MacKenzie, Lawyer, 17thC Edinburgh
• Watt, Holly - To The Lions #1 Casey Benedict, Investigative Journalist
• Westerson, Jeri Traitor's Codex #11 Crispin Guest, ex Knight, Medieval times

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Review: The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio tr. Howard Curtis

The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio translated by Howard Curtis, September 2018, 276 pages, Bitter Lemon Press, ISBN: 1912242036

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here and here.)

“… You’re close to the shit, too, like all of us. But you never get it on you. I don’t know how else to put it. It’s like you had some kind of power …
Maybe it annoys me because I admire you, or vice versa. Am I talking crap?”
“No, you’re making perfect sense.”


1992, Bari, Southern Italy, summer-time.
Marshal Pietro Fenoglio sits in his favourite cafe so engrossed in the local newspaper editor’s advice to the police on handling a Mafia flare-up that he doesn’t immediately notice the young man trying to rob the cashier. When he does – he quickly overcomes the would-be robber and pins him to the floor. The cafe unfreezes and the carabinieri are called. Two men walk in and demand Fenoglio hands over the thief. They are not carabinieri. They say they will teach the thief a lesson. Fenoglio promises the men a lengthy stay at the police station if they don’t clear off – which they do. Then he pays for his breakfast pastry despite the owner’s objections and accompanies the young robber to the police station. Frankly, Fenoglio is tempted to let him go. He likes him, believes that this was, as he says, his first robbery attempt. But there are rules. He tells the young man to plea bargain and in all likelihood he will get a suspended sentence. The arrestee is grateful, telling Fenoglio that if he ever needs help he will find him hanging out near the Petruzzelli theatre. The mention of the theatre sours Fenoglio. It had been one of the things he had liked about Bari: concerts, an opera. But someone torched the theatre a few months ago. Now it’s just a burnt-out shell.

Captain Valente, new boss, fresh from Rome, summons Fenoglio to his office and asks him to bring him up to speed on the local mafia fight. Fenoglio obliges. A few weeks ago Shorty, a member of local crime boss Grimaldi's gang, was murdered. Since then several high profile Grimaldi gang members have disappeared or been killed. Valente assumes it’s a rival gang but Fenoglio points out that no-one outside the group has been killed. This looks more like battles within the gang itself.

Over a solitary lunch in a local trattoria, Fenoglio thinks about his current equally solitary life; his recent separation from Serena. The cause? His obsession with work perhaps but truly he thinks it’s because he can’t have children. Fenoglio knows that he has never been any good at showing his feelings. He feels them, but... Would Serena have a child with someone else? Could he stand that?

Back at the office they receive a tip-off. Grimaldi’s son has been kidnapped. Using a traffic violation as cover, Fenoglio questions one of Grimaldi’s associates known as the Accountant. Apparently the boy disappeared on the way to school a couple of days ago. The Accountant confirms there has been a ransom demand but cannot say whether it was paid or not. Fenoglio’s musings over the delicate procedure of demanding the appearance of a local Mafia boss and his wife at a police station are interrupted by news of a shoot-out in a neighbouring village. These incidents and killings are escalating in some kind of silent bubble, corroborating Fenoglio’s belief in an internal gang war. What is more the ransom, it seems, has been paid but the boy hasn’t been returned. They are interviewing the woman who delivered the ransom money when they get the grimmest news of all; the boy’s body has been found at the bottom of an isolated well. He has been dead for days…

Celebrated Italian crime writer, anti-Mafia prosecutor and one-time senator, Gianrico Carofiglio, embarks on a new series with THE COLD SUMMER (translated here by experienced Carofiglio translator Howard Curtis). It introduces Marshal Pietro Fenoglio of the Bari Carabinieri: solitary, thoughtful, reserved, a Northerner from Turin, carabiniere for twenty years and a man of principle. Events revolve around the tragic death of a kidnapped child and are set against the back-drop of real-life events – the Mafia assassinations of two high-profile anti-Mafia judges in 1992. In some parts the writing blends the action of police procedural with the cool reportage of legal deposition. This last might sound tedious but the formal language of the deposition serves to both collapse time and to filter the savagery of the violent crime. And Carofiglio's description of the structure and ritual of the “Societa Nostra” is engrossing and absorbing; simultaneously grandiose and elaborate, they function to confirm a gang member’s loyalty and even the subservience of locals to the rule and composition of the “Family” – perhaps an ornate mirror of modern day urban gang culture. The characters are closely observed: Fenoglio’s complex, reticent personality offset by the almost brutal character of his colleague Pellecchia. Finally a mix of random and purposeful events (Carofiglio has said that: “… real world investigations and trials are much more ruled by chance than in films and novels.”) move this story to an eventual darker turn and protagonist.

Strongly recommended. I look forward to more.

Lynn Harvey, January 2019