Thursday, May 31, 2007

Robert Hale website

The publishers Robert Hale, have spiced up their website and you can look through their hundred or so crime titles and sign up for a monthly newsletter. They've also got their own MySpace page!

As well as British crime authors like Seth Garner and Christine Poulson, Robert Hale have a good range of American authors and I'm so grateful that they publish the late Barbara Seranella's books.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

K O Dahl update

I emailed Faber and Faber with my review of K O Dahl's The Fourth Man and enquired in passing as to whether they planned to translate any more. I'm pleased to report that two more are in the pipeline beginning with 'The Man in the Window' next March. Using my trusty online Norwegian-English translator and poring over K O Dahl's website, I make this the third in the Gunnarstranda and Frolich series whereas 'The Fourth Man' is the fifth...

Radio 4 - Front Row

On yesterday's Front Row amongst other arts news, including a portion on the follow up to The Graduate, Colin Bateman talks about why he's just Bateman on the cover now.

and in today's Front Row (19.15-19.45):

"...Mark reports on Dali & Film, a major exhibition which focuses on the long relationship between the controversial surrealist and the cinema. Mark also discusses the events surrounding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I with Roger Crane, writer of a new play called The Last Confession, and David Suchet, who takes the role of Cardinal Benelli."

This play is currently touring, see my earlier post.

Monday, May 28, 2007

UK based reviewers wanted!!

The Euro Crime band of reviewers doing sterling work over on the reviews page on the website could do with some help as the requests for reviews are coming thick and fast via email and the letter box. So if you're in the UK and fancy reviewing the occasional (or more!) book, do pop over to the website, have a look round and drop me an email. (NB. Euro Crime just covers British and European crime fiction.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Last reviews of May and competition reminder

Latest Reviews:

This week's new reviews on Euro Crime; Carla McKay's May column includes reviews of 'The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction' by Barry Forshaw, 'Season of the Witch' by Natasha Mostert, 'The 50/50 Killer' by Steve Mosby, 'The Lying Tongue' by Andrew Wilson and 'The Unquiet' by John Connolly; it took me a while to get into, but I did enjoy K O Dahl's The Fourth Man, set in a wintry Oslo; Pat Austin reviews another book written by a Brit but set in the US, Michael Marshall's The Intruders, which has a touch of the woo-woo about it apparently and Maxine Clarke wished that The Sky Blue Parcel by John Nightingale had been edited down to its potential.

A final reminder of May's competitions:

Win one of two copies of 'Not Dead Enough' by Peter James*

Win one of five copies of 'Severed' by Simon Kernick

Win one of five copies of 'Every Breath You Take' by Sheila Quigley*

Win 5 sets of 'Proof: Prescription for Murder' and the box-set of Season One of 'Proof' on DVD (R1) (US residents only)

* UK & Europe only.

News page updated on Euro Crime

I've updated the News page on Euro Crime with links to reviews and articles from the last couple of weeks, in the UK papers.

New reviews will follow later today.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Agatha Raisin books special offer

The Book People are offering the first ten titles in the Agatha Raisin series for £9.99 (plus P & P). I just wish I hadn't already read them!

Go to the offer here and do visit the Euro Crime bibliography page for M C Beaton and read the reviews.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The new Sister Pelagia novel

An email from Orion has kindly reminded me that the new book from Boris Akunin has recently come out - Pelagia and the Black Monk, the second in the Sister Pelagia series.

"Just as the dust from the case of the White Bulldog begins to settle in the small Russian town of Zavolzhsk, it is shaken up once again by the arrival of a stranger: this time, a desperately frightened monk from the island monastery of New Ararat, who seeks the help of the bishop, Mitrofanii. The monks have been troubled by visions of a dark, hooded figure: a figure that appears to walk on the waters of the vast Blue Lake surrounding their monastery and strikes terror into the hearts of all who encounter it. Sceptical of ghost stories and dismissive of rural superstitions, Mitrofanii dispatches Alexei Lentochkin, his clever young ward, to investigate the mystery, only for Lentochkin himself to appear to fall victim to the phantom. With sightings of the Black Monk occurring with disturbing frequency, and rumours of suspicious deaths reaching his ears, the Bishop decides to send two more of his most trusted advisors, in turn, to New Ararat, but they too meet with unexpected fates. Finally, Sister Pelagia takes matters into her own hands, and, adopting a number of ingenious disguises, she ventures across the Blue Lake in search of answers, and in pursuit of the Black Monk. But as she delves deeper into the layers of secrecy that cloak the island and its strange population, and as the body count continues to rise, Pelagia begins to realise that an encounter with a ghost may be the least of her problems."

If you fancy sampling it, a 30 page PDF extract can be downloaded here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Short break (from the blog)

The new reviews went up a bit early this week as later today I'm off to the Isle of Wight for a few days. The cats have been rounded up and taken to the cattery where the ladies have fallen for the kitten, currently known as Ginger, pending a better name. 'Morse' was in the running but has fallen out of favour.

After finishing 'Corn Dolls' by Patrick Lennon last night, it took me the usual ages to choose the one book to take on holiday - we're taking the bikes again so luggage/weight restrictions apply - and though I fancied something fairly light(!) I decided to go with 'Calling Out For You' by Karin Fossum, as once I've read that I can go onto the arc of 'Black Seconds' which is out in July. This is the first one of hers I've actually read, as opposed to listen to. I can faintly hear the voice of narrator David Rintoul in my head as I read.

I should be back blogging on Friday night after calming the cats down.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Reviews & Competition Reminder

Latest Reviews:

This week's new reviews on Euro Crime; Sunnie Gill reviews the eighth in the Charlie Peace series by Robert Barnard, A Fall from Grace, and finds it lacking in the detecting and closure departments; Diana Bane calls Good Night, My Darling by Inger Frimansson, one of her best reads of 2007; Maxine Clarke reviews the newly released paperback of Borkmann's Point by Hakan Nesser and like myself finds the ending a bit disappointing and Terry Halligan praises the psychological thriller All She Ever Wanted by Patrick Redmond.

A reminder of May's competitions:

Win one of two copies of 'Not Dead Enough' by Peter James*

Win one of five copies of 'Severed' by Simon Kernick

Win one of five copies of 'Every Breath You Take' by Sheila Quigley*

Win 5 sets of 'Proof: Prescription for Murder' and the box-set of Season One of 'Proof' on DVD (R1) (US residents only)

* UK & Europe only.

Adamsberg's back in January

I've just seen on that the next offering from the 'incomparable' Fred Vargas is 'The Eternal Forest' out in January 2008.
On the edge of Paris, two men have had their throats cut. Adamsberg's investigation brings him into contract with the pathologist Amane Lagarde, someone he had come up against twenty-five years previously. A new lieutenant appears hostile to him, and what is more, he is from a neighbouring village in the Pyrenees. He helps out Camille by babysitting their son, but fears she may have found someone else. "The Eternal Forest" is the finest novel yet from the wonderful Fred Vargas.
For once, the English title is similar to the original French title - 'Dans les Bois Éternels' (and is mercifully shorter to type than this year's Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand). You can read more about 'The Eternal Forest' (in French) here and you can check out the order of the earlier books and the English/French titles on the Euro Crime website.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fingers crossed for Guy Ritchie's new film

Guy Ritchie's film career hasn't been too hot of late so let's hope that his next offering, RocknRolla, sees a return to form. According to Empire Movies:
The low-budget project, which Ritchie wrote, is said to be in the same vein as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. In the movie, a Russian mobster orchestrates a crooked land deal, putting millions of dollars up for grabs and attracting all of London's criminal underworld. A dangerous crime lord, a sexy accountant, a corrupt politician and a band of petty thieves are among those double-crossing one another. Casting is currently underway. Shooting is expected to begin this summer.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year - Longlist Announced!

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year - Longlist

(from the press release)

Dead Place - Stephen Booth
All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses and Eye - Christopher Brookmyre
Death of a Chancellor - David Dickinson
Never Go Back - Robert Goddard
Two Way Split - Allan Guthrie
Little Face - Sophie Hannah
Ash & Bone - John Harvey
The Stranger House - Reginald Hill
The Pure in Heart - Susan Hill
Blood and Honey - Graham Hurley
The Lighthouse - PD James
The Death Ship of Dartmouth - Michael Jecks
Cold Granite - Stuart MacBride
The Excursion Train - Edward Marston
Ratcatcher - James McGee
After the Armistice Ball - Catriona McPherson
Dance With Death - Barbara Nadel
Jacquot and the Angel - Martin O'Brien
End in Tears - Ruth Rendell
Mr Clarinet - Nick Stone

Won by Mark Billingham in 2005 and Val McDermid in 2006, the award longlist once again features an eclectic mix of big names such as PD James and Ruth Rendell as well as aspiring new writers, spanning crime novels across the genre, from historical and police procedural to psychological. Look out for profiles on all books in the coming weeks but if you've already decided your favourite - don't forget to vote now!

this year's new Dick Francis book

I was web browsing on Tuesday night trying to find out if there was a new Dick Francis novel out this year. I found it on both Amazons - Dead Heat out in September, co-written with son Felix - but so far I've not found anything more about it other than a reference to it in on a racing page.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Tricks - Series 3 on DVD

Series 3 of New Tricks was released on DVD on Monday. The current online price is around £15. This series, like Waking the Dead, looks at cold cases but this time the investigators are retired policeman. The cast includes James Bolam and Dennis Waterman.

The fourth series is currently showing on BBC1 on Monday evenings.

Find out more about the show on the BBC's website.

Publishing Deal

From Publishers Lunch:
One-time muse to fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Sara Stockbridge's HAMMER, set in 1880s Whitechapel, the story of a matriarch and jewel thief, who is forced to go on the run when an early crime finally catches up with her, to Jill Bialosky at Norton, in a two-book deal, by Jane Gelfman at Gelfman Schneider, and to Clara Farmer at Chatto & Windus, by Vivienne Schuster at Curtis Brown. Translation rights are represented by Curtis Brown UK.
Looking up Sara Stockbridge in Wikipedia it seems she's a model and actress as well as a writer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dalziel and Pascoe (tv show)

I've been remiss is mentioning that the eleventh(?) tv series of Dalziel and Pascoe briefly returned to our screens. The two parter, Demons on our Shoulders, was screened on the 6th and 13th May.

I'm half way through watching George Gently which was shown last month so when I'll get to this Dalziel and Pascoe, who knows!

The latest book by Dalziel and Pascoe creator, Reginald Hill, was reviewed recently on Euro Crime.

Damian Lewis to star in 'Life'

Digital Spy have rounded up the new shows from NBC:
New dramas for 2007-08 on the NBC schedule are Journeyman, a new Monday night series which NBC's Reilly said received some of the highest scores in internal testing the network has seen "in years"; Chuck, a comedic spy-thriller from The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz; Bionic Woman, a remake of the classic 1970s series starring ex-EastEnder Michelle Ryan; Life, a new crime drama starring Damian Lewis as a "complex" and "offbeat" detective; and Lipstick Jungle, a dramedy following the story of fashion magazine editor Nico, played by 24's Kim Raver.
Hollywood Reporter noted back in December:
Damian Lewis has been tapped to play the lead on NBC's drama pilot "Life."

Sarah Shahi also has been cast in the project, from writer/executive producer Rand Ravich and NBC Universal TV Studio.

"Life" is a quirky drama about a former cop (Lewis) who rejoins the force after having spent years wrongly imprisoned. Shahi will play his partner with a checkered past.

David Semel is directing the pilot and is executive producing with Ravich and Far Shariat.
The Damian Lewis website has even more about the series including a photo of the actor in uniform.

Lewis joins the list of British actors playing American characters on tv, he's already used the accent in Band of Brothers and the (dreadful) film Dreamcatcher.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ian Rankin's Serial Novel

Ian Rankin's serial novel, 'Doors Open' begins today in the New York Times. (NYT registration is free). You can also listen to Ian Rankin reading the first chapter.

A collated and expanded version of 'Doors Open' will be published in October 2008 - from The Evening News in March:
"But for Rankin fans, there will be a novel published in 2008. "In January, I wrote a novella about a heist in Edinburgh for the New York Times - I wanted to call it Ocean's Terminal 11 - but they didn't see the joke. It was great fun - a new character, lighter crime. Luckily this novella can be published in the UK next year so I'll flesh it out and publish it then."

New reviews, Updates and Competition reminder

Latest Reviews:

This week's new reviews on Euro Crime; Maxine Clarke now knows what all the fuss about Andrea Camilleri is after reading The Shape of Water; Geoff Jones continues his appreciation of Natasha Cooper's Trish Maguire series as he reviews her eighth outing in A Greater Evil; Yvonne Klein is charmed by the sternly named Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire by Ruth Downie (the UK edition title is the more friendly 'Medicus and the Disappearing Dancing Girls') and I was amused and entertained by The Last Resort by Carmen Posadas.

Other Updates:

The Authors (561 homepages) page has been updated.

The New Releases pages have been updated.

In Books there are now bibliographies for 1089 authors. I've added bibliographies for the following: Simon Buck, John Galvin and Serena Mackesy and updated the bibliographies for: Pauline Bell, Barbara Cleverly, Carol Anne Davis, David Dickinson, Bill James, Claire Lorrimer, Pat McIntosh and R T Raichev.

May's competitions:

Win one of two copies of 'Not Dead Enough' by Peter James*

Win one of five copies of 'Severed' by Simon Kernick

Win one of five copies of 'Every Breath You Take' by Sheila Quigley*

Win 5 sets of 'Proof: Prescription for Murder' and the box-set of Season One of 'Proof' on DVD (R1) (US residents only)

* UK & Europe only.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Euro Crime 'news' page updated

The News page on the website has been updated with links to the last ten days worth of (euro) crime fiction related headlines in the UK papers.

John Harvey gets his Dagger

Yesterday I received the following press release:

Veteran British crime writer John Harvey has been awarded the 2007 Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. The award was presented by M. Arnaud Bamberger, Managing Director of Cartier UK, at a ceremony which took place at the Savoy Hotel on May 9th.

The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger is awarded for sustained excellence in the genre of crime writing, with the recipient being selected by crime writers on the CWA Committee. John joins an illustrious list of previous winners, including PD James, Ruth Rendell, John Le Carré, Ed McBain, Elmore Leonard, Dick Francis, Colin Dexter and Ian Rankin.

Robert Richardson, former Chair of the CWA, said ‘John Harvey continues a line that began in 1985 with the great Eric Ambler, and is another glittering name among winners of the Cartier Diamond Dagger, representing the very best of crime writing both in Britain and America. The Crime Writers’ Association, in whose gift the Dagger is, has again recognised an outstanding talent.’

John Harvey said ‘It is obviously a great honour to accept this award, particularly as it comes from my fellow writers. I had been dreaming of retirement, and a small holding in Cornwall, but I fear this award might serve to delay that move for that much longer.’

JOHN HARVEY has been described as ‘one of the masters of British crime fiction’ by the Sunday Telegraph, and ‘one of the leading writers of crime fiction alive today’ by Le Monde. He was born in 1938 in north London, where, after several lengthy sojourns in Nottingham, he continues to live. Like many successful writers, he learned his trade writing pulp fiction – including many westerns. He has close to one hundred published titles to his credit and his latest, Gone to Ground was published by William Heinemann in February 2007.

Ash and Bone by John Harvey has been long-listed for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel Of The Year 2007. Short-listed titles will be decided by a public vote, via voting forms available in stores and online at

The last paragraph is of particular interest as I haven't seen any mention before to this year's Crime Novel of the Year and wasn't sure it was actually going ahead given it was driven by Ottakars. Looks like it is though.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

OT: Feline Acquisition

We found this little fellow in a country lane yesterday as we were out cycling. Having checked at the infrequent houses nearby and later with the vets, it seems nobody is missing him. We conclude, that sadly, he's been abandoned. He's housetrained, rather vocal and about 3 months old. We're currently fostering him but I imagine he'll be added to our existing complement of four mature cats :-). Currently un-named, here are some bad photos of this little cutie:

Lovereading's top ten downloads (last week)

I'm pleased to see UK crime writers, Ariana Franklin, Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham at nos 2, 4 and 8 respectively:

Last Week's Top Ten Downloads
1. The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris
2. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
3. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
4. Relentless by Simon Kernick
5. Four Play by Fiona Walker
6. More Than Love Letters by Rosy Thornton
7. When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson
8. Buried by Mark Billingham
9. The Hat Shop on the Corner by Marita Conlon-McKenna
10. Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Competition for an Anne Perry book (on her website)

Stumbling around on the web as you do, I came across a competition on Anne Perry's website. You have to identify the source of the passage quoted to be in with a chance of winning the book it came from.

It appears to be open to all, six copies up for grabs and closing date is 31st May.

Click here to view all the details.

Anne Perry's bibliography can be found on this page of the Euro Crime website.

Publishing Deal

Joining Fiona Mountain in using a genealogist as sleuth:
Dan Waddell's THE BLOOD DETECTIVE, the first in a new mystery series featuring a genealogist as part of the investigative team of a series of murders in London, linked to a another set of murders committed more than 100 year prior, and BLOOD ATONEMENT, to Daniela Rapp at Minotaur.
According to the Guardian's mini profile - "Dan Waddell is the author of Who Do You Think You Are?, the book accompanying the BBC TV series of the same name. His crime novel about genealogy is to be published by Penguin."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Romanzo Criminale on DVD

Those of us who missed this Italian crime film on its limited release last autumn can now buy/rent the DVD which came out yesterday.

Full details of the film can be found on my earlier post.

Friday, May 04, 2007

New Reviews & May competition details

A bit early this week as I'm away for a few days.

Latest Reviews:

This week's new reviews on Euro Crime are; Mike Ripley's April crime file where he reviews 'Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth' by Malcolm Pryce, 'Rules, Regs and Rotten Eggs' by H R F Keating, 'A Coin For The Ferryman' by Rosemary Rowe and 'The Poisoner of Ptah' by Paul Doherty; Maxine Clarke has mixed views on Strangers by Carla Banks; Pat Austin explains why she shouldn't like Lee Child's The Hard Way but does and I review the audio version of the Gumshoe award winning When the Devil Holds the Candle by Karin Fossum.

May's competitions:

Win one of two copies of 'Not Dead Enough' by Peter James*

Win one of five copies of 'Severed' by Simon Kernick

Win one of five copies of 'Every Breath You Take' by Sheila Quigley*

Win 5 sets of 'Proof: Prescription for Murder' and the box-set of Season One of 'Proof' on DVD (R1) (US residents only)

* UK & Europe only.

My Lady Judge

'My Lady Judge' by Cora Harrison was released yesterday.
According to Cora Harrison's website it is:

"Introducing a wonderful new heroine, judge and investigator Mara, and an enchanting Tudor mystery series."

PanMacmillan have published an interview, an extract and also a competition to win a copy of the book.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Unshelved Cartoon from Sunday

Regular blog visitors will know I love reading the daily Unshelved cartoon strip. The latest one to make me laugh was Sunday's, called 'The Seven Stages of Falling in Love with an Author'.

I especially identified with 'worry' and 'denial'.

Does anyone else hoard the last few books/last book of their favourite author? I'm almost as bad with tv programmes. I finally watched the last Life on Mars episode the other night but I haven't brought myself to watch the final Stargate episodes (even though there are two tv films being made at the moment).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Books & DVD Competition - this month

I've put up the new competitions for May on the Euro Crime website. There are some geographical restrictions but there is also a special DVD competition for US residents. Some time ago I ran a contest for a box set of Proof, an Irish drama. This month we're giving away five copies of the newly released Proof: Prescription for Murder and throwing in a copy of the original Series 1 box set to go with it.

Go to the competitions page here and good luck!

Best European Crime Novel

In case you missed it, the Gumshoe awards were announced yesterday and the winner of The Best European Crime Novel (published in the US in 2006) is 'When the Devil Holds the Candle' by Karin Fossum.

The full list of nominees and winners is here.

I plan to upload my review of the audio version at the weekend but in the meantime you can listen here to a sample of David Rintoul's narration.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Winners of Euro Crime's April Competitions

Here are the winners of April's Euro Crime competitions (and the correct answers):

1. Strangers by Carla Banks

Carla Banks is a member of which crime writers group:
a) The Ladykillers

Gill Abrahams
Caroline Norton
Rachel Tassell

2. Relentless by Simon Kernick

What is Simon Kernick's next book called:
c) Severed

Iain Coull
Terry Griffith, USA
Martha Hopkins, USA
Tim Hughes
Amanda Lewis

3. Go to Helena Handbasket by Donna Moore

'Go to Helena Handbasket' won which one of the following awards, earlier this year:
c) The Lefty

Claire Woods

4. What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

'What Was Lost' was recently longlisted for which one of the following:
c) Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction

Simon Collinge
Annette Finney
Neil Graham

Enter this month's competitions here.

Minette Walters Event - 11 May, London

I've had an email from the promoter of the event and the talk is likely to include Minette Walters speaking about "how she became interested in murder and violence, where she gets inspiration for her books and why she is intrigued by 'ordinary' characters facing situations of trauma that lead to responses that surprise not only the readers but the characters themselves."

Event details from the Connecting Conversations website:
Friday 11th May 2007 at 7-8.30pm at The Henry Thomas Room, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 (nearest tube Holloway Road, Picadilly Line)

Crime Writer Minette Walters talks to Psychoanalyst and Forensic Psychiatrist Cleo Van Velson.

Minette has been described as the Queen of British Crime Fiction and her work has been translated into 26 languages. Her first novel THE ICE HOUSE won the CWA John Creasey Award in 1992, her second THE SCULPTRESS won the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the third THE SCOLD'S BRIDLE the CWA Gold Dagger Award.

Dr Cleo Van Velsen is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy. She is also an Adult Psychoanalyst. She works fulltime in the NHS being based in a medium secure unit in inner-city London . She is interested in the understanding and treatment of men and women who commit acts of violence. Linked to this is her interest in the way that violence can be understood through film, novels, etc. She is a co-editor of a textbook on Forensic Psychotherapy and contributing editor to the recent Edinburgh International Encyclopaedia of Psychoanalysis.

Bookings Tickets £12/ £6 concessions (inc glass of wine).

Tel 020 7388 8822 or via Booking fee applies.
Minette Walters' next book is 'The Chameleon's Shadow' out in September. A full list of her titles and links to reviews and her website can be found on her Euro Crime bibliography page.