Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: The Knowledge by Martha Grimes

The Knowledge by Martha Grimes, August 2018, 368 pages, Grove Press, ISBN: 9781611855029

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Publisher's Blurb (copied from Amazon)

Robbie Parsons is one of London's finest, a black cab driver who knows every street, every theatre, every landmark in the city by heart. In his backseat is a man with a gun in his hand - a man who shot Robbie's previous pair of customers point-blank in front of the Artemis Club, a rarefied art gallery-cum-casino, then jumped in and ordered Parsons to drive. As the killer eventually escapes to Nairobi with ten-year-old Patty Haigh - one of a crew of stray kids who serve as the cabbies' eyes and ears at Heathrow and Waterloo - in pursuit, superintendent Richard Jury comes across the double-homicide in the Saturday paper.

Two days previously, Jury had met and instantly connected with one of the victims, a professor of astrophysics at Columbia and an expert gambler. Jury considers the murder a personal affront and is soon contending with a case that takes unexpected turns into Tanzanian gem mines, a closed casino in Reno, and a pub that only London's black cabbies, those who have 'the knowledge,' can find.


In this absolutely fascinating story Robbie Parsons persuades a very mature child named Patty with a gift for picking people's pockets to follow the murderer to Heathrow Airport. The story continues with Patty stealing a boarding pass and befriending the murderer “B B” and accompanying him to Dubai and eventually Nairobi, Kenya.

This American author always uses the names of English public houses in the titles of her books and she seems to keep close to the British way of life in her stories, although her main readership is in the US. There are small differences in English vocabulary that cater more for American readers than this country but when compared to other American writers who set their books in the UK such as Elizabeth George or Charles Todd, she compares most favourably. The author ensures that her books do not include any extreme violence or sexual content.

I enjoyed the book, the twenty-fourth in the series tremendously as it seems to have been about four years since the last one she wrote in this series. Welcome back!! The gap seems to have been good for her as I don’t remember her previous books being as good as this one was. Detective Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard is a very engaging detective and he has some most unusual friends, Melrose Plant and Marshall Trueblood among them, who are very helpful in aiding him to solve the crime.

THE KNOWLEDGE is a really very extraordinary police procedural that was most enjoyable and I hope that this very talented and experienced author continues to write such imaginative books of this high quality. Strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, October 2018.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Publishing Deal - Lucie Whitehouse

This publishing deal for Lucie Whitehouse particularly caught my eye as her new book will be set in Birmingham. I have a very short list of crime authors writing about Birmingham.

From The Bookseller:
The first title in the Fourth Estate deal, Critical Incidents, introduces disgraced former Met homicide detective Robin Osborne, who is forced to return to her parents’ home in Birmingham to work as an insurance-fraud investigator and share her former teenage bedroom with her own teenage daughter, aged 13. Osborne then discovers that her best friend, Corinna, is dead, and Corinna’s missing husband is wanted for murder...
Critical Incidents has a publishing date of 4 April 2019 on Amazon.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Publishing Deal - Louise Hare

From yesterday's The Bookseller, details of a publishing deal for debut author Louise Hare. This Lovely City will be published in Spring 2020:
A murder mystery set in 1950s London, This Lovely City follows Lawrie, who left the Caribbean on board the Windrush. He now tours Soho’s music halls as a jobbing musician by night, walking the streets of Brixton as a postman each morning, the synopsis reads. One such morning, crossing a misty Clapham Common, he makes a terrible discovery. Face-down in a pond is a baby: swaddled in a blanket, stone-cold to the touch and with skin as dark as Lawrie’s. Far from being celebrated for raising the alarm, Lawrie finds himself swept up in the tragedy of the case. And as the police pursue the child’s murderer, dark secrets threaten the city Lawrie calls home and the people who live there – especially its newest inhabitants.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Review: A Deadly Habit by Simon Brett

A Deadly Habit by Simon Brett, May 2018, 192 pages, Creme de la Crime, ISBN: 1780291051

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Charles Paris's luck seems to have changed. His agent Maurice Skellern has got him a three-month run in a play in the West End. His estranged wife Frances is talking about them getting back together. She is going to retire as the headmistress of a school, she has come into an inheritance and the future could be good for Charles. There is one problem, however, it depends on his giving up alcohol…

Charles doesn't think he has a problem with the booze but a few late nights and not remembering what he has been doing convinces him to seek help.

The play is really a vehicle for Justin Grover who has made it big in America in TV and film. Charles's part in the play, which is set in a monastery, is a monk who rarely speaks but listens to other monks' problems. When there is a suspicious death and Charles can just remember being at the theatre at night when it happened, he realises the police are suspicious.

Can Charles get back with Frances? Will the West End run last? Is there a murderer in the cast?
This is a very reflective Charles in this book which is very much a book of the moment as you will discover. This unbelievably is the twentieth book in this series. The author, an ex-producer for radio and tv, has written three other series besides this one. A DEADLY HABIT is very enjoyable and has a likeable flawed character. I very much recommend this Charles Paris book.

Geoff Jones, October 2018

Monday, October 01, 2018

New Releases - October 2018

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in October 2018 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). October 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.
• Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem (with Anna Waterhouse) - Mycroft and Sherlock #2 Mycroft Holmes
• Akunin, Boris - Black City #12 Erast Fandorin, Gentleman Sleuth, Russia
• Barnes, Kerry - Deceit
• Bates, Quentin - Cold Breath #6 Gunnhildur, Police Sergeant, Reykjavik, Iceland
• Beaton, M C - Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer #29 Agatha Raisin, Retired PR person, Cotswolds
• Blaedel, Sara - The Midnight Witness #1 Detective Inspector Louise Rick
• Bolton, Guy - The Syndicate #2 Jonathan Craine
• Brady, Conor - Blackbird over Pimlico #4 Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow, Dublin, 1880s
• Brody, Frances - A Snapshot of Murder #10 Kate Shackleton, Bradford, 1920s
• Brown, Vivien - Five Unforgivable Things
• Burnside, Heather - Vendetta #3 Manchester Trilogy
• Burrows, Steve - A Tiding of Magpies #5 Inspector Domenic Jejeune, Saltmarsh, Norfolk
• Butler, D S - Bring Them Home #1 Detective Karen Hart
• Carter, Andrea - Murder at Greysbridge #4 Benedicta 'Ben' O'Keeffe, Solicitor, Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland.
• Chase, Clare - Death on the River #2 Tara Thorpe
• Claverton, Rosie - Hard Return #5 Amy Lane, Cardiff
• Cutler, Judith - Head Wind #3 Jane Cowan, Wrayford, Kent
• de Lange, Louisa - The Dream Wife
• Donald, Angus - Blood's Revolution #2 Holcroft Blood, 1670
• Dunford, Caroline - A Death at Crystal Palace #11 Euphemia Martins
• Edwards, Mark - In Her Shadow
• Emerson, Tracey - She Chose Me
• Eterovic, Ramon Diaz - Angels & Loners #2 Private Investigator Heredia
• Fellowes, Jessica - Bright Young Dead #2 Louisa Cannon, Maid to the Mitfords, 1919
• Fraser, Hugh - Stealth #4 Rina Walker, 1960s
• Goldammer, Frank - A Thousand Devils #2 Max Heller, Dresden Detective
• Harper, Bradley - A Knife in the Fog #1 Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle
• Harrison, Paul - Chasing Monsters #1 DI Will Scott
• Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - Headlong #21 Bill Slider, Shepherd's Bush CID
• Hill, Susan - The Comforts of Home #9 Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler, Lafferton
• Hilton, James - Pray for Death #3 Gunn Brothers
• James, Peter - Absolute Proof
• Jeffrey, Diane - He Will Find You
• Jennings, Luke - Villanelle: No Tomorrow #2 Villanelle, Russian Assassin
• Jones, Bill - Black Camp 21
• Kinsey, T E - A Picture of Murder #4 Lady Emily Hardcastle, 1908
• Legat, Anna - Thicker Than Blood #3 DI Gillian Marsh
• Marston, Edward - Points of Danger #16 Det. Insp Colbeck, Scotland Yard, mid 19th Century
• Martin, Faith - A Fatal Mistake #2 Ryder & Loveday, Oxford, 1960s
• Masters, Priscilla - Bridge of Sighs #7 Coroner Martha Gunn, Shrewsbury
• McAllister, Gillian - No Further Questions
• Meuleman, Sarah - Find Me Gone
• Meyer, Deon - The Woman in the Blue Cloak #1 Benny Griessel Novella
• Monroe, J S - Forget My Name
• Morgan, Phoebe - The Doll House
• Niven, John - Kill 'Em All #2 Steven Stelfox
• Raabe, Marc - Homesick
• Rankin, Ian - In a House of Lies #22 Inspector Rebus, Edinburgh
• Reed, Mary and Mayer, Eric - An Empire for Ravens #12 John the Eunuch
• Sansom, C J - Tombland #7 Shardlake, C16th
• Sherratt, Mel - Hush Hush #1 DS Grace Allendale
• Sigurdardottir, Lilja - Trap #2 Sonja
• Simpson, John - Moscow, Midnight
• Sten, Viveca - In Harm's Way #6 Sandhamn Murders
• Thomas, Sherry - The Hollow of Fear #3 Lady Sherlock
• Tickler, Peter - White Lies, Deadly Lies #2 Doug Mullen
• Tuomainen, Antti - Palm Beach, Finland
• Tursten, Helene - An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good Short Stories
• Vincent, MB - Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of Death #1 Jess Castle, academic-turned-detective, Castle Kidbury

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Award News: Petrona Award Eligibles 2019

It's the start of the Petrona Award season. Entries are now welcomed for the 2019 Award - the winner of which will be announced at next year's CrimeFest. Also, we'll soon be revealing a change in the judging panel lineup.

Here is a list* of books (39) that can be submitted for the 2019 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year ie:
  • The submission must be in translation and published in English in the UK during the preceding calendar year ie 1 January – 31 December 2018.
  • The author of the submission must either be born in Scandinavia** or the submission must be set in Scandinavia*.
  • The submission must have been published in its original language after 1999.
(E-books that meet the above criteria may be considered at the judges’ discretion (does not include self-published titles))
**in this instance taken to be Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

More details about the award and the history behind it can be found on the Petrona Award website. The winner of the 2018 Award was Malin Persson Giolito for Quicksand translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles and published by Simon & Schuster.

The award is again, sponsored by David Hicks.

Gender, country and publisher details are also included.

*This list will be updated as and when additional titles are identified.

Published in 2018

[I have tagged these titles on Goodreads.]

January

Stefan Ahnhem - Eighteen Below tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (M, Sweden) Head of Zeus
Mons Kallentoft - Earth Storm tr. Neil Smith (Sweden, Hodder)
Anton Svensson - Made In Sweden Part 2: The Sons tr. Hildred Crill (M, Sweden) Sphere

February

Thomas Enger - Killed tr. Kari Dickson (M, Norway) Orenda Books
Camilla Lackberg - The Girl in the Woods tr. Tiina Nunnally (F, Sweden) HarperCollins

March

Lotte and Soren Hammer - The Night Ferry tr. Charlotte Barslund (M&F, Denmark) Bloomsbury
Arnaldur Indridason - The Shadow Killer tr. Victoria Cribb (M, Iceland) Harvill Secker
Ragnar Jonasson - The Darkness tr. Victoria Cribb (M, Iceland) Penguin
Leena Lehtolainen - The Nightingale Murder tr. Owen F Witesman (F, Finland) AmazonCrossing
Harri Nykanen - Holy Ceremony tr. Kristian London (M, Finland) Bitter Lemon Press

April

Kjell Ola Dahl - The Ice Swimmer tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) Orenda Books
Johana Gustawsson - Keeper tr. Maxim Jakubowski (F, France) Orenda Books
Jo Nesbo - Macbeth tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) Hogarth

May

Lars Kepler - The Rabbit Hunter tr. Neil Smith (M&F, Sweden) HarperCollins
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Reckoning tr. Victoria Cribb (F, Iceland) Hodder & Stoughton
Inger Wolf - Frost and Ashes (ebook only) tr. Mark Kline (F, Denmark) People's Press

June

Jonas Bonnier - The Helicopter Heist tr. Alice Menzies (M, Sweden) Zaffre
Minna Lindgren - The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: The End of Sunset Grove tr. Kristian London (F, Finland) Pan
Kristina Ohlsson - The Lies We Tell tr. Neil Smith (F, Sweden) Simon & Schuster
Gunnar Staalesen - Big Sister tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) Orenda Books

July

Robert Karjel - After the Monsoon tr. Nancy Pick & Robert Karjel (M, Sweden) HarperCollins
Emelie Schepp - Slowly We Die (UK: ebook only) tr. Suzanne Martin Cheadle (F, Sweden) HQ, HarperCollins
Jesper Stein - Unrest tr. David Young (M, Denmark) Mirror Books

August

Jorn Lier Horst - The Katharina Code tr. Anne Bruce (M, Norway) Michael Joseph
Leena Lehtolainen - Derailed tr. Owen F Witesman (F, Finland) AmazonCrossing
Ane Riel - Resin tr. Charlotte Barslund (F, Denmark) Doubleday

September

Christoffer Carlsson - The Thin Blue Line tr. Michael Gallagher (M, Sweden) Scribe
Caroline Eriksson - The Watcher tr. Tara F Chace (F, Sweden) AmazonCrossing
Susanne Jansson - The Forbidden Place tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (F, Sweden) Mulholland Books
Elisabeth Noreback - Tell Me You're Mine tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel (F, Sweden) Allison & Busby
Viveca Sten - In the Heat of the Moment tr. Marlaine Delargy (F, Sweden) AmazonCrossing

October

Lilja Sigurdardottir - Trap tr. Quentin Bates (F, Iceland) Orenda Books
Viveca Sten - In Harm's Way tr. Marlaine Delargy (F, Sweden) AmazonCrossing
Antti Tuomainen - Palm Beach, Finland tr. David Hackston (M, Finland) Orenda Books

November

Jens Lapidus - Top Dog tr. Alice Menzies (M, Sweden) Corvus
Hakan Nesser - The Root of Evil tr. Sarah Death (M, Sweden) Mantle
Martin Osterdahl - Ask No Mercy tr. Peter Sean Woltemade (M, Sweden) AmazonCrossing

December

Lina Bengtsdotter - For the Missing tr. Kari Dickson (F, Sweden) Orion
Karin Fossum - The Whisperer tr. tbc (F, Norway) Harvill Secker

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Podcast News: Simon Mayo's Books of the Year

I used to download the podcasts for Simon Mayo's book group back when he was on Radio 5. I missed out on the Radio 2 book club,  which has now disappeared.

Simon Mayo and Matt Williams, have set up an independent podcast, called Simon Mayo's Books of the Year. It's been running for a few months and has included appearances from crime writers, Lynda La Plante, DB John and Manda Scott.

I'm enjoying it though I would like to see more women writers on the show, currently twice as many men have appeared.

You can download it via iTunes and I have been using the Acast app to listen to it on my android phone. Here's the Acast website listing all the episodes so far. The author interviews are every fortnight with a teaser episode in the gap. Also on twitter: @BooksOfTheYear.