Friday, September 29, 2006

Euro Crime Website Updates - early!

I'm going to be away from my pc for a couple of days so I'm posting this week's reviews and updates to the Euro Crime website a bit early.

The 'Reviews' page has been updated with reviews of 'Death in the Truffle Wood' by Pierre Magnan and 'Footfall' by Christine Poulson.

The 'New Releases' pages have been updated.

The 'Authors' (476 sites) page has been updated.

In 'Books' I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Conrad Allen, Frank Barnard, Robert Barnard, Graham Hurley, Adrian Magson, James McGee, Barbara Nadel and Linda Regan.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More on the sequel to Chocolat

From the Independent:
Vianne, played in the film adaptation by Juliette Binoche, and her daughter Anuok, a character based on Harris's daughter Anouchka, materialise in the Montmartre district of Paris for the author's sequel, The Lollipop Shoes, which the Barnsley writer promises will be a darker novel than the first and is set four years after the conclusion of Chocolat.

The new novel reveals what became evident as the first novel wore on: that Vianne would never be able to settle in the village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, in Gascony, where she arrived with six-year-old Anuok to set up her chocolaterie, La Céleste Praline.

"This time they have settled in Paris instead," Harris said. "Mother and daughter have changed but not always in the best ways."
Full article here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Orion New Blood - Massimo Carlotto

Orion published two books in Carlotto's 'Alligator' series before Europa Editions took over, releasing two non-series books in 2006.

From ProductWiki:
"Massimo Carlotto was born in Padua in 1956. During his teens he became a political activist in the famous leftist group Lotta Continua [Constant Struggle]. When he was 20 years old he found the maimed body of a murdered woman, Margherita Mugello, and ran to the nearest police station to report the crime. He was charged with murder himself, and put into prison. He became the defendant in one of the most famous judicial cases in Italian history, the so-called "Carlotto Case". Many observers think that the police and inquiring magistrates were politically biased, as the 1970's were tough times in the Belpaese, with demostrations repressed and dozens of political activists shot down by police officers. Carlotto always claimed his complete innocence. After he was sentenced guily, he fled the country and settled in Paris, France, under a false name. He pretended he was from Chile. With the Interpol hot on his heels, he escaped to Mexico City, where he mingled in the local activist community. After several years of exile he chose to return to Italy and give himself up to the authorities. While he was in prison, a vast grassroots movement petitioned for presidential mercy. He was pardoned and released in 1993, and began to write a memoir called Il fuggiasco [The Fugitive]."

Europa Editions list 'The Fugitive' as being released in April 2006 but doesn't list it.

'Death's Dark Abyss' is due out on 1 October:
"A riveting drama of guilt, revenge, and justice, Massimo Carlotto’s Death’s Dark Abyss tells the story of two men and the savage crime that binds them. During a robbery, Raffaello Beggiato takes a young woman and her child hostage and later murders them. Beggiato is arrested, tried, and sentenced to life. The victims’ father and husband, Silvano, plunges into an ever-deepening abyss until the day, years later, when the murderer seeks his pardon and Silvano turns predator as he ruthlessly plots his revenge."(from Europa Editions website)

In January 2006, Europa Editions published 'The Goodbye Kiss':

"An unscrupulous womanizer, as devoid of morals as he once was full of idealistic fervor, returns to Italy where he is wanted for a series of political crimes. To avoid prison he sells out his old friends, turns his back on his former ideals, and cuts deals with crooked cops. To achieve the guise of respectability he is willing to go even further, maybe even as far as murder." (from Europa Editions website)

I'm currently reading this, review to follow on Euro Crime shortly.

In January 2005, Orion published #5 in the 'Alligator series, 'The Master of Knots':

"Alligator - former blues singer and ex convict, now a private detective - finds himself pulled into a dark and unsettling case that uncovers an Italy known to very few. When Helena Giraldi is abducted, her husband approaches Alligator and his friends for help. Helena and Mariano lead a secret double life involving Italy's clandestine S&M scene. But Mariano seems more worried about losing his job and reputation than about seeing his wife again. Rossini, the old-style gangster who watches Alligator's back, doesn't want to get involved: he has his own reputation to consider. Only Max is determined to find the woman and bring her to safety. As Alligator and Max begin to investigate, they uncover a secretive and dangerous world in which brutality, duplicity and passion go hand in hand. Behind Helena's abduction is a shadowy figure known as The Master of Knots - who proves to be as powerful as he is psychotic. As more members of the underground scene start to disappear, Alligator and Max find themselves in a desperate race against time to reveal the true identity of The Master of Knots. Their search will lead them into a world where truth is an elusive concept, where no one is who they seem to be - and where the line between pleasure and pain simply doesn't exist." (from

Orion published #4 in the 'Alligator' series, 'The Colombian Mule', Dec 2003:
"When Colombian Arias Cuevas is caught trying to smuggle drugs through Venice airport, his fear isn't fuelled by the idea of prison. He's much more frightened of his aunt - it was her coke he took off with. The cops set up a sting to find out who was to be the recipient of the drugs, and art smuggler Nazzareno Corradi falls straight into the trap. But he's been set up. His lawyer hires 'the Alligator', and his fixer, Max, to find out what's going on. Soon it becomes apparent why Cuevas was so afraid - the aunt, La Tia, has left a bloody trail in her wake, is now looking to do some business in Italy, and she's not about to let anybody get in her way ..." (from

Reviewed on the Euro Crime website here.

GreenMetropolis - second hand book seller/buyer

A flyer for GreenMetropolis came with our Woodland Trust magazine a few days ago and it's quite intriguing...

From their website:

Whether it's the latest release or last year's bestseller, all our books sell for one unbelievably low price of £3.75 and all standard paperbacks include FREE delivery. We also pay £3.00 for every book you sell with Intrigued? Then read more....

By recycling used books not only are we saving existing trees, we're actually planting new ones. How? donates 5p for every book sold to the 'Tree For All' campaign run by the Woodland Trust.

Basically you can buy any (secondhand) book in stock for £3.75 (and P & P is free on paperbacks). An alternative to amazon marketplace with its steep P & P but I'm not sure whether you get the same protection.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CWA Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award 2006

I've been hoping that the CWA website would have their press release up by now, but instead Book 2 Book have provided a nice summary here

and the nominees are...

Louis Bayard - THE PALE BLUE EYE
Edward Wright - RED SKY LAMENT

The winner will be announced on the 9th October.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Creme de la Crime - Linda Regan

Linda Regan's - 'Behind You' came out a couple of weeks ago. The library's not got copies yet but hopefully they will have soon. It looks to be one for the 'books set at Christmas' list:

From the Creme de la Crime website:

Christmas: a time of peace and goodwill.

Oh no it isn’t, thinks Detective Inspector Paul Banham. Was the suspicious death at the pantomime an accident - or murder?

Banham finds the theatrical glamour distinctly tarnished by rivalries, grudges and illicit liaisons; and then there’s a second death.

But the panto is sold out and the show must go on.

A sizzling crime-writing debut from a professional actress who entered Crème de la Crime’s worldwide talent hunt incognito. Her husband Brian Murphy makes a tiny guest appearance!

The Thirteenth Tale - is it crime/mystery fiction?

From The Sunday Times:
"AN unknown British author has topped America’s fiction bestseller lists after news of her debut novel spread over the internet.

Diane Setterfield, 42, a former university lecturer, took six years to write The Thirteenth Tale after she gave up her career teaching French.

The mystery, published just three weeks ago in America, has beaten established US authors such as James Patterson and Anna Quindlen as well as the latest Frederick Forsyth to top the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly."

Full article here

The synopsis from, goes thus:
"Vida Winter, a bestselling yet reclusive novelist, has created many outlandish life histories for herself, all of them invention. Now old and ailing, at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to biographer Margaret Lea - a woman with secrets of her own - is a summons. Vida's tale is one of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family: the beautiful and wilful Isabelle and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline. Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling, but as a biographer she deals in fact not fiction and she doesn't trust Vida's account. As she begins her researches, two parallel stories unfold. Join Margaret as she begins her journey to the truth - hers, as well as Vida's."

The Sunday Times calls it a mystery and the book description on, calls it "A compelling emotional mystery in the timeless vein of Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA, about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling" ... but based on the above, oh gentle reader, do you?

I've put my name on the library waiting list for the one copy. Perhaps the media publicity will allow more copies to be ordered.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Euro Crime Website has moved & other updates

The Euro Crime Website can now be found at An automatic redirection is in place from the old weatherwax address. If you have kindly linked to my site please could you update to the new address.

New reviews added to Euro Crime are :

'Involuntary Witness' by Gianrico Carofiglio - the first in the series featuring Bari lawyer Guido Guerriri, reviewed by Karen Chisholm.

'See Delphi and Die' by Lindsey Davis - the latest (17th) in the Falco series, reviewed by Pat Austin.

This week I've added the bibliography for Russian author, Fridrikh Neznansky and updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett and Carlo Lucarelli.

I've updated the 'news' page over the weekend.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

R D Wingfield - New 'Frost' book

It does seem it's in progress. According to TV Scoop who report that:

"It was being posited last night that Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Frost might at the very least become even frostier with his superiors in future series after creator Rodney Wingfield's nephew was wrongly arrested on suspicion shoplifting. Wingfield has made a formal complaint to Essex police about the way his nephew was treated and in a letter to his agent he states: "My current pro-police Frost book will be my last.""

Full article here.

The last 'Frost' book was 'Winter Frost' in 1999.

Joanne Harris

Going slightly off topic here even though Joanne Harris's last book - 'Gentleman and Players' - was a crime novel and naturally (!) I have a copy in the tbr.

From Publishing News:
"TRANSWORLD HAS SIGNED two more novels by Joanne Harris from Serafina Clarke. The first, The Lollipop Shoes, will be published by Doubleday in May 2007 and sees the reappearance of Vianne Rocher from the bestselling Chocolat. Larry Finlay, Transworld MD, commented: "Joanne Harris is one of the most precious jewels in the Transworld crown. Her return to France, specifically Montmartre, will delight her legion of existing fans but, as we have come to expect from this extraordinary novelist, there is an extra dimension to intrigue and satisfy new readers.""

Friday, September 22, 2006

From Harvill to Quercus

From Publishers Lunch: "Former Harvill publisher Christopher MacLehose is joining the growing team at Quercus in the UK. He's forming the McLehose Press imprint, aiming to publish six to ten books a year, focused on literature in translation, beginning in fall 2007."

Hopefully there'll be a generous amount of crime fiction in the literature in translation...

Update: I stumbled over this (undated) article by Christopher MacLehose on crime in translation.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Orion New Blood

I hope to continue with 'where are they now' entries for the Orion New Blood authors next week. Next up, I think is Massimo Carlotto.

If only my library card hadn't been full

I really quite fancy this one but my card was full when I spotted it on the 'quick choice' shelf today:
"Brenda has had a long and eventful life and she has come to Whitby to run a B&B in search of some peace and quiet. She and her best friend Effie like nothing better than going out for tea at the Walrus and the Carpenter or dinner at Cod Almighty and keeping their eyes open for any of the mysterious goings on in town. And what with satanic beauty salons, more than illegal aliens, roving psychic investigators and the frankly terrifying owner of the Christmas Hotel there are no shortage of nefarious shenanigans to keep them interested. But the oddest thing in Whitby may well be Brenda herself. With her terrible scars, her strange lack of a surname or the fact that she takes two different shoe sizes, Brenda should have known that people as, well, unique as she is, just aren't destined for a quiet life." (from

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hay on Wye haul

Went to Hay on Wye today - all on public transport which went swimmingly until a points failure at Droitwich. Still we were only 30 mins later than planned. After polishing much cake in the Granary cafe in Hay we decided we needed to walk home (2 miles) from the station - rather than waiting 20 mins for a bus - me lugging my modest haul:

New books:

Zoe Sharp - First Drop (HB)
Deon Meyer - Heart of the Hunter
Schlink & Popp - Self's Punishment
plus a book for my Dad.

Secondhand books:

Conrad Allen - Murder on the Mauritania
Fridrikh Neznansky - The Body in Sokolniki Park*

* a new Russian author for the Euro Crime database!

Blogger wasn't letting me get into my comments earlier so I hope to do some replies tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ian Rankin - The Acid Test - BBC4 Winter 06/07

Full BBC press release here.

Alec Newman, Alastair Mackenzie and Nina Sosanya head up the cast in the one-off crime drama The Acid Test, written by James Mavor (Split Second) and based on a short story by acclaimed Scots crime author Ian Rankin.

Set in the heart of Edinburgh and featuring the underbelly of the capital city, The Acid Test is a psychological thriller. It tells the story of hard-boiled detective Jim Buchan - played by Alec Newman (Angel, Murder Rooms, Enterprise) - whose life starts to unravel as he investigates a 100-year-old murder case in the Scottish capital. Alastair Mackenzie (Monarch of the Glen, The Last Great Wilderness) plays Jack Harvey, Buchan's former friend and best-selling crime novelist with something to prove.

Buchan's investigation takes him into the dark underworld of Edinburgh's literary past and leads him to question the very nature of his own existence. The shattering truth will bring the lives of these two very different men together and blow them apart.

Filming for The Acid Test begins in September 2006 in locations around Edinburgh. The 75-minute, one-off drama is scheduled for transmission on BBC FOUR and BBC Scotland in Winter 2006/7.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Liza Marklund - Prime Time

Here's one Petrona and I are looking forward to. Just out (as a paperback), it's her 4th book to be translated into English :

"Thirteen people are spending the shortest night of the year together in an isolated manor house. On the morning of Midsummer's Eve, the brightest star in Swedish television, Michelle Carlsson, is found shot to death in a mobile control room. The murder turns Annika Bengtzon's world upside down. One of the suspects is her best friend. Annika's boyfriend, Thomas, accuses her of letting the family down. Anders Schyman, her boss, involves her in a public power struggle. Meanwhile there's a killer on the loose - and a tense drama about to unfold in the public eye." (

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Low Winter Sun on C4

Mark Strong, last seen in The Long Firm, puts in another great performance as Edinburgh CID man Frank Agnew who has to investigate the murder he and his colleague recently committed and tried to make look like suicide. The second and concluding part is on Thurs 21st but if you missed the first then TV Scoop can provide an excellent summary.

More European crime fiction blogs

I've just discovered Crime Scraps - which launched this month - the summary is - "A few comments and thoughts about crime books set on the mainland of Europe, with titbits about real eurocrime. We hear constantly about crime in the USA that many people imagine Europe is a crime free zone." The latest post is about 'Holy Smoke' by Tonino Benacquista.

I've also brought over to the blog (from the links page of the Euro Crime website), International Noir Fiction which ..." includes reviews and ideas on crime novels (most from outside the U.S.)". The latest book discussed is 'Voices' by Arnaldur Indridason.

Euro Crime Website - new reviews & updates

This week's major updates to the Euro Crime website are:

The 'Reviews' page has been updated with reviews of 'Sun and Shadow' by Ake Edwardson and 'Punishment' by Anne Holt.

In 'Books', I've added bibliographies for the following: Elbur Ford and Jan Guillou and I've updated the bibliographies for: Michael David Anthony and Hakan Nesser.

The 'News' page has been updated with links to this weekend's reviews and articles.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What I'm Reading - Christine Poulson

I'm reading 'Footfall' the third in the Cassandra James, Cambridge academic, series by Christine Poulson, which came out earlier this year. I met Christine at LCC this year and she kindly asked Robert Hale to send me a review copy of her new book. I'm from the area the books are set it (the Fens) and I find it well portrayed.

"Snow is falling. An old woman reads alone in bed. There is the sound of breaking glass and footsteps on the stairs...Cambridge academic Cassandra James is shocked when her friend, Una, is found dead. It looks like a burglary gone wrong, but as more details emerge Cass begins to wonder. Why did Una try to ring her in the moments before she died? Why did she change her will and deprive the Cambridge Literary and Philosophical Institute of her library of Victorian literature? And that's not all that's troubling Cass. Strange things are happening at her daughter's nursery and who is this other Cassandra James running around Cambridge getting her in trouble? The line between appearance and reality begins to blur..." (from

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bits and Pieces

I had an email from Martin Edwards saying he has a new website. Martin's most recent series has been the Daniel Kind and Hannah Scarlett books set in the Lake District:
The Coffin Trail, The Cipher Garden and in February, The Arsenic Labyrinth.

David Hewson's giving a talk tonight at 8pm in Emersons Green Library, Bristol.

Paul Johnston has a new book out next summer - The Death List.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Euro Crime Website - quickie post

Well, the launch of the new version hasn't gone too badly. One problem I've got is with the web forwarding system I've been using. The frames have been removed from the website but with the web hosting sevrice I've been using you couldn't tell! Every page was called To get round this I've changed the setting, but this means that when you type in it now displays the actual underlying address of but at least when you click on the other pages the correct path is displayed eg Not quite what I had in mind however the forthcoming v2.1 will address this :-). I've splashed out on the domain!! Once a few minor changes have been made I'll be launching that and putting up a redirection from

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Euro Crime Website Version 2 & Updates

I've just uploaded the new version of Euro Crime. The content is the same but the frames have been removed. I hope it's easier to navigate and clearer to read. Comments appreciated on any issues with it. I've noticed a couple of small things that need changing but unfortunately the master webmaster is away for a few days so they'll have to wait.

The 'news' page has been updated with links to this weekend's reviews and articles.

I've added Carla McKay's August round-up to the 'reviews' section, plus a link to my review of 'Birds of a Feather' by Jacqueline Winspear, reviewed for

The 'future releases' pages have been updated.

Details of updates to bibliographies are in the 'site progress' section.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Colin Forbes RIP

Publishing News reports that:
"COLIN FORBES, The author of 33 novels, died last week of heart failure aged 83, leaving a legacy that includes a string of bestsellers, many of them featuring his intrepid team of Tweed and Paula Grey, and one unpublished novel, The Savage Gorge. His long-time editor, Suzanne Baboneau, whom he followed from Macmillan to Simon & Schuster, had, only the previous day, “crossed the last ‘t’ and dotted the final ‘i’ to put the script into production. Our November publication of The Savage Gorge will be a fitting tribute to his long career as a major thriller writer.”"

Complete article here.

Waterstone's-Amazon-Waterstone's website

A few years ago, in the days of the 'Dead on Deansgate' convention, Waterstone's had its own website which also included details of events in stores. Then rather oddly the website was taken over or run by and the content was minimal. Turning full circle, Waterstone's has its own website back again and looks much more professional than before.

There are a few events coming up featuring crime writers :

Michael Connelly - Echo Park
Waterstone's Piccadilly
Monday, 25 September 2006, 7:00pm
Tickets £3, redeemable against purchase

John Connolly - The Book of Lost Things
Waterstone's Glasgow Sauchiehall Street
Monday, 18 September 2006, 6:30pm
Tickets £3, redeemable against purchase

John Connolly - The Book of Lost Things
Waterstone's Sheffield Orchard Square
Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 7:00pm
Tickets £3, redeemable against purchase

Frederick Forsyth - The Afghan
Waterstone's Leadenhall Market
Thursday, 5 October 2006, 12:30pm
Signing, no ticket required.

Neil Griffiths - Saving Caravaggio
Waterstone's Tunbridge Wells
Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 7:00pm
Tickets £3, redeemable against purchase

Ian Rankin - The Naming Of The Dead
Waterstone's Nottingham
Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 7:30pm
Tickets £3, redeemable against the promoted title on the night

Ian Rankin - The Naming Of The Dead
Charles Wilson Building, University of Glasgow
Monday, 30 October 2006, 7:30pm
Tickets £4, available from the branch

Phil Rickman - The Remains of an Altar
Waterstone's Hereford
Saturday, 7 October 2006, 12:30pm
Signing, no ticket required.

Chris Ryan - Ultimate Weapon
Waterstone's Manchester Arndale
Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 5:30pm
Signing, no ticket required

Friday, September 08, 2006

'News' page updated on Euro Crime

I've just added links to the latest reviews and interviews in the UK press, from the last week, to the 'news' section of the Euro Crime website.

Books added to the 'to be read' pile(s)

Unlike Maxine, I didn't get much reading done on holiday so I didn't make any impression on my tbr stack. Upon returning home my prize from a competition on the BookBitch site had arrived - ' Bloody Mary' and 'Rusty Nail' by J A Konrath. And on checking my email I found I'd also won a tea caddy from Jacqueline Winspear's last competition and a copies of 'Roseanna' and 'The Man Who Went Up in Smoke' by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo from the HarperCollins Reading Groups website.

Barter Books in Alnwick

One of the downsides of cycling is not being able to purchase enormous quanties of second hand books which is very tempting when visiting Barter Books - "One of the largest second hand bookshops in Britain". Barter Books is based within the extremely atmospheric former Alnwick railway station. Unfortunately dodgy camera batteries meant I only got a couple of snaps of the outside. Their website doesn't have any photos of the interior except for the mural of famous writers. As our bikes were packed to the gills I resisted purchasing anything but their tasty and inexpensive refreshments. Maybe next time...