Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Favourite Audio Books of 2008

I've listened to more audio books this year than normal. Partly due to my discovering the Doctor Who and Torchwood audio books range, as each book is only two hours long!

Leaving out the dozen or so SF listens, my favourites of 2008 are:
Francis Durbridge - Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery
Christopher Fowler - Ten-Second Staircase
Christopher Fowler - White Corridor
Christopher Fowler - The Victoria Vanishes
Deon Meyer - Devil's Peak (South African author in translation)
Aline Templeton - The Darkness and the Deep & Lying Dead
Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery is a 'full cast' radio play, lasting four hours. The Bryant and May series by Christopher Fowler is narrated by Tim Goodman, Devil's Peak by Saul Reichlin and The Darkness and the Deep & Lying Dead by Cathleen McCarron.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What to look forward to in January

January's new releases are dominated by the much awaited release of The Girl Who Played with Fire but there are a few established names and a few new names, with releases also out in January:
Adair, Gilbert - And Then There Was No One #3 Evadne Mount, crime writer

Bale, Tom - Skin and Bones

Chambers, Kimberley - Born Evil

Collett, Chris - Stalked by Shadows #5 Detective Inspector Tom Mariner, Birmingham

Cross, Neil - Burial

Dickinson, David - Death of a Pilgrim #8 Lord Francis Powerscourt, Victorian era

Hall, M R - The Coroner

Hall, Patricia - Devil's Game #15 Journalist Laura Ackroyd & Inspector Michael Thackeray, Yorkshire

Hartley, A J - What Time Devours #2 Thomas Knight, English Teacher

Jardine, Quintin - Inhuman Remains #1 Primavera Blackstone

Jeffries, Roderic - Sun, Sea and Murder #?? Insp Alvarez, Majorca

Larsson, Stieg - The Girl Who Played With Fire #2 Millennium Trilogy

Leather, Stephen - Live Fire #6 Dan Shepherd, SAS trooper turned undercover cop

Lovesey, Peter - Murder on the Short List (Short Stories)

Macken, John - Breaking Point #3 Reuben Maitland, GeneCrime

Mariani, Scott -The Doomsday Prophecy #3 Ben Hope, Ex-SAS

Marshall, Michael - Bad Things

Martin, Tom - Kingdom

McIntyre, Hope - Held to Ransom #4 Lee Bartholomew, Ghostwriter

Nadel, Barbara - River of the Dead #11 Cetim Ikmen, Policeman, Istanbul

Pearson, Mark - Hard Evidence #1 Detective Inspector Jack Delaney

Rees, Matt Benyon - The Samaritan's Secret #3 Omar Yussef, History Teacher, Bethlehem

Siger, Jeffrey - Murder in Mykonos #1 Former Athens police chief Andreas Kaldis & local police chief Tassos Stamatos, Mykonos

Somer, Mehmet Murat - The Kiss Murder #2 Hop-Ciki-Yaya series, unnamed transvestite/ nightclub owner, Istanbul

Tallis, Frank - Darkness Rising #4 Dr Max Liebermann, 1900s Vienna

Todd, Marilyn - Blood Moon #2 High Priestess Iliona, Ancient Greece
What are you most looking forward to reading, from the above?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to Euro Crime's web and blog visitors and a big thank you to the contributors who've made the review section what it is now. In the New Year I'll have the top Euro Crime reads as chosen by the reviewers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Christmas Crime (7) - Magdalen Nabb

The late Magdalen Nabb wrote fourteen Marshal Guarnaccia books which were published over eighteen years, the last being published posthumously in 2008. The first in the series, which introduced the Florentine detective, was Death of an Englishman:

Publisher's blurb:
Introducing Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia of the Florentine carabinieri, a Sicilian stationed far from home. He wants to go south for Christmas to spend the holiday with his family, but he is laid up with the 'flu. At this awkward moment, the death of a retired Englishman is reported. Who has shot Mr Langley-Smythe in the back? And why has Scotland Yard felt it appropriate to send two detectives, one of whom speaks no Italian, to 'help' the marshal and his colleagues with their enquiries? Most importantly for the marshal, ever the Italian, will he be able to solve the crime sufficiently quickly for him to be able to join his family over the holiday season?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cluedo - new and improved?

I mentioned recently that there was a Harry Potter Cluedo but I didn't know that Cluedo has also gone all Hollywood in the guise of Cluedo Reinvention:

The mystery you love to solve again and again is even more intense in this super gripping version! Cluedo is back with a modern twist : a soiree at a millionaire mogul's mansion turned deadly, and you must find out who is responsible for murdering the host... There's no Revolver or Billiard Room this time but could it have been Scarlet with The Barbell in The Spa? Open up the tabloid-style instructions to get the scoop on the updated rooms, weapons, and guests. A deck of Intrigue Cards adds suspense to your game with cards that can help you solve the crime faster or result in a second victim! Narrow down which rumours are true and which are just hearsay... Get caught up in the scandal of the century! For 3 to 6 players.

Wikipedia has more on the new rooms, weapons, cards and character name changes.

I was alerted to this version by an article in the Guardian, written by Kate Summerscale, which also outlines the ideas behind the original version and how the creator (from Birmingham!) made some money until the patent ran out.

Another Sherlock (contemporary this time)

According to Digital Spy, the BBC are to make a 1 hour Sherlock Holmes drama, set in modern day, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Holmes (and Rupert Graves will be in it!):
The BBC has announced Sherlock, a contemporary remake of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous literary creation.

Stuart A Life Backwards actor Benedict Cumberbatch will take on the role of Baker Street sleuth Sherlock Holmes, with The Office's Martin Freeman playing his loyal sidekick Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves is also among the cast as Inspector Lestrade, while Professor Moriarty is expected to appear as the story's antagonist.

The 60-minute one-off was devised by Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis while travelling to Cardiff to work on Doctor Who.

"Everything that matters about Holmes and Watson is the same. Conan Doyle's original stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they're about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes - and frankly, the hell with the crinoline," said Moffat.

"Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures and that's what matters."

Gattis added: "The fact that Steven, myself and millions of others are still addicted to Conan Doyle's brilliant stories is testament to their indestructibility. They're as vital, lurid, thrilling and wonderful as they ever were.

"It's a dream come true to be making a new TV series and in Benedict and Martin we have the perfect Holmes and Watson for our time."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Reviews: Cordy, Harrod-Eagles, Lake, Sjowall & Wahloo

The following reviews have been added to the review archive over on the main Euro Crime website:
New Reviews:

Amanda Gillies reviews The Source by Michael Cordy which is more than a 'Da Vinci Code' clone;

Amanda Brown reviews the latest in the witty DI Bill Slider series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - Game Over;

Terry Halligan reviews the twelth John Rawlings mystery by Deryn Lake: Death in Hellfire

and Maxine Clarke reviews the sixth in the Martin Beck series by Sjowall and Wahloo - Murder at the Savoy which is to the same high standard as the earlier five.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here plus for those thinking about their favourite books of 2008, there's a list (generated from my database) of British/European crime novels (written by British/Europeans) published in the UK in 2008, here. (I haven't yet updated it to include non-Europeans writing about Europe).

More new reviews will be added in January. The competition will also be back - win a copy of The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Susanna Yager RIP

Adrian Muller, co-organiser of CrimeFest and non-voting chair of the CWA/Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award has reported on the DorothyL list that Telegraph crime critic and International Dagger judge, Susanna Yager has passed away. I will update this post with more details as I have them.

Update: The Rap Sheet has some words of remembrance from Natasha Cooper.

It's Christmas Crime (6) - Charlotte Douglas

Going back over the Atlantic for book six in this year's series of Christmas Reads. I thought a little sunshine might be in order after the recent cold snap we've had in the UK. Holidays are Murder by Charlotte Douglas is the second in the series, after Pelican Bay, which features Florida based Detective Maggie Skerritt.

Publisher's blurb:

The holidays - don't you just love them?

Been overstressed at work? Ever wish the holidays would go on an extended vacation? Worried about finding the perfect gift? Or had unresolved conflicts with family that drive you up the wall? Detective Maggie Skerritt is every woman who's been there, done that. She also excels at her work, doesn't eat right or get enough sleep and loves someone else doing her cooking. But her job is murder and she strives to make her city safe. In the process, she gathers her courage to risk loving again. But first she has to make it through Christmas...and another murder in Pelican Bay.

Holidays Are Murder is currently available for £1.99 plus P&P from the mills and boon website (and the usual sources). My library stocks Pelican Bay (but not Holidays are Murder) and it's currently on loan, so I hope to try that next year when it's been returned.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

OT: Majel Roddenberry RIP

From USA Today:
NEW YORK (AP) — Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, has died. She was 76. Roddenberry, an actress who appeared in numerous Star Trek TV shows and movies, died Thursday of leukemia at her home in Bel-Air, Calif., her representative said.

At Roddenberry's side were family friends and her only son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr. Gene Roddenberry died in 1991.

Her romance with Roddenberry earned her the title The First Lady of Star Trek. A fixture in the Star Trek franchise, her roles included Nurse Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek, Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the voice of the USS Enterprise computer in almost every spinoff of the 1966 cult series. She recently reprised the voice role in the upcoming Star Trek film directed by J.J. Abrams.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Christmas Crime (5) - Lisa Appignanesi

Author Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland, grew up in Paris and the province of Quebec and now (I believe) lives here in the UK. The Dead of Winter was published here in 1999.

Publisher's blurb: A deranged assassin has gunned down fourteen women students in Montreal. Celebrated Actress, Madeleine Blais, is haunted by a sense that somewhere out there, where her filmed image roams so freely, someone is determined to kill her too. Her old friend and lawyer, Pierre Rousseau can do nothing to shift her growing despair. So when on Christmas morning she is found hanging in a barn close to her grandmother's cottage in the small Laurentian town of Ste-Anne, the obvious verdict is that Madeleine's depression has driven her to suicide. Only her grandmother's unshakeable belief in Madeleine's love of life induces the police to launch a murder investigation, in which Pierre, with secrets of his own to hide, takes a leading role.

I haven't read this book but one of the reviews says that it will appeal to fans of The Secret History by Donna Tartt (which I loved).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

OT: Torchwood - Series 3 preview

Digital Spy has an interview with Torchwood producer Peter Bennett about next year's series:
What's the plotline of this series?
"It's different to every other year. It's not a story about spaceships, but it's about a government that did a deal with aliens back in the '60s, and they're now dealing with the consequences of that deal when the sins of their past come back to haunt them."

What was the thinking behind switching to doing a five-episode serial?
"Having done 26 standalone stories, we kind of wanted to take this series to another level and by making it one story over five nights, we feel we've done that. It's big, it's epic, and it's very different."
Read the whole interview, here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Christmas Crime (4) - M C Beaton (free book)

This one's a repeat entry as I first mentioned it in 2007 but it's now out in paperback and can be downloaded as an e-book for free from the nice people at the Book Depository website.

The euro crime review of M C Beaton's Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye is here.

The Hamish Macbeth novella, A Highland Christmas will have its first UK publication in November 2009.

M C Beaton's bibliography can be found, here.

Rupert Penry-Jones interview in the Times

The Times has an interview with Rupert Penry-Jones which touches on Spooks and Whitechapel. On Whitechapel:

As for Whitechapel, he plays a policeman hunting a murderer who has a Jack the Ripper fixation. Hasn’t he had enough of this sort of stuff?

“After Spooks, the idea of playing a policeman didn’t thrill me,” he admits. “But when I read the script, I wanted to know what happened at the end. This character is different [from Adam]. He’s got a lot of flaws, he’s a bit strange, he’s not your obvious hero. It’s still a good guy catching a bad guy, but I couldn’t walk away from it.”

Read the whole interview, here.

It's Christmas Crime (3) - Maggie Sefton

The third title this year has nothing to do with euro crime, except that the title, Fleece Navidad, (which I'd been scratching my head over for ages) is a pun on the Spanish for Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad.

Regular readers may know that I have a penchant for US cozies. I also dabble in knitting so Maggie Sefton's knitting mysteries are a perfect way to relax and they encourage me to pick up my needles. I've read the first two, Knit One, Kill Two and Needled to Death so far, Fleece Navidad is the sixth and latest. They are real cozy reads which revolve around the characters (including a dog) and the beautiful setting, more than the plot.

Publisher's Synopsis: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the knitters of Fort Connor, Colorado, who are furiously working on their holiday projects. Juliet, the town's "little brown wren" librarian, is known for her beautiful handmade Christmas capes, and she has extra reason to be joyful this year—she's in love. But as soon as she finds happiness, death finds her.

Suspicion falls on a newcomer to the knitting group, but Kelly Flynn and the rest of the crew aren't convinced of this person's guilt. It's up to them to separate the true lion from the lambs—before someone else gets fleeced...

There is an excerpt from Fleece Navidad, here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Reviews: Carter, Peace, Rendell, Walters

The following reviews have been added to the review archive over on the main Euro Crime website:
New Reviews:

I review Maureen Carter's latest Bev Morriss book - a series set in 'unfashionable' Birmingham - Bad Press;

Pat Austin reviews the first book in the Red Riding Quartet by David Peace - 1974 (three of the four books are being televised next year);

Fiona Walker reviews Portobello by Ruth Rendell

and Maxine Clarke reviews the newest in Michael Walters' Mongolian series, The Outcast.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here plus for those thinking about their favourite books of 2008, there's a list (generated from my database) of British/European crime novels (written by British/Europeans) published in the UK in 2008, here. (I haven't yet updated it to include non-Europeans writing about Europe).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

OT: Doctor Who - Wooden Heart audio book

Doctor Who: Wooden Heart by Martin Day (Audio Cd), July 2007, 2.5 hrs, ISBN: 9781405677752

I just wanted to briefly mention the abridged audio book of Wooden Heart by Martin Day.

The narration by Adjoa Andoh (who plays Martha's mum in the show) is absolutely superb and her Martha is extremely similar to Freema Agyeman's portrayal. The Doctor is a bit subdued but she captures his fast pace of speaking to a T.

In brief, the Doctor and Martha land on a deserted space-ship, one that looks like a former prison but whilst exploring, they open a door which leads into a forest where there are animals and an inhabited village. How can this village exist? When the Doctor and Martha get separated, the Doctor has to keep the 'village world' alive before Martha disappears forever.

The story-line for Wooden Heart is one of the more straightforward ones I've come across and it makes a pleasant change for me to understand it completely (almost). Irrespective of the story though, this one's worth listening to for the narration alone. (I do feel it could be quite scary in parts for a young listener.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Christmas Crime (2) - Arnaldur Indridason

This is not the most uplifting of reads but is set over the Christmas period. Read the Euro Crime reviews, here, here and here.

Publisher's blurb: Detective Erlendur encounters memories of his troubled past in this gripping and award-winning continuation of the "Reykjavik Murder Mysteries". At a grand Reykjavik hotel the doorman has been repeatedly stabbed in the dingy basement room he called home. It is only a few days before Christmas and he was preparing to appear as Santa Claus at a children's party. The manager tries to keep the murder under wraps. A glum detective taking up residence in his hotel and an intrusive murder investigation are not what he needs. As Erlendur quietly surveys the cast of grotesques who populate the hotel, the web of malice, greed and corruption that lies beneath its surface reveals itself. Everyone has something to hide. But most shocking is the childhood secret of the dead man who, many years before, was the most famous child singer in the country: it turns out to be a brush with stardom which would ultimately cost him everything. As Christmas Day approaches Erlendur must delve deeply into the past to find the man's killer. "Voices" is a tense, atmospheric and disturbing novel from one of Europe's greatest crime writers.

5 Eric Ambler thrillers to become Penguin Modern Classics

From BookBrunch:
Simon Winder, Publishing Director at Penguin Press, has bought five "remarkable and prescient" Eric Ambler thrillers, to be republished as Penguin Modern Classics in May 2009 for Ambler’s centenary. The titles are Journey into Fear, introduction by Norman Stone, Epitaph for a Spy, introduction by James Fenton, The Mask of Dimitrios, introduction by Mark Mazower, Cause for Alarm, introduction by John Preston, and Uncommon Danger, which is introduced by Thomas Jones.

Ambler wrote these novels in the 1930s, as the clouds of war gathered, and he is often credited as being the "inventor" of the spy thriller. The five books retain a remarkable sense of the dread and terror that engulfed Europe in those years.

Publishing Deal - Gary Dexter

From BookBrunch:
To Old Street Publishing, Gary Dexter's THE OXFORD DESPOILER (March 2009), recounting a series of adventures that befall a rather unusual Holmes and Watson - sexological Victorian detectives Henry St Liver and Olive Salter. Old Street described the novel as: "pitch-perfect fiction debut that manages to send up the Victorian detective genre at the same time as delivering absolutely compelling mysteries".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ashes to Ashes series 2 - the lowdown

Digital Spy has an interview with Ashes to Ashes producer Beth Willis which begins:

The storyline with Alex and her parents found its resolution at the end of the last series. Is there a new mystery to see us through this series?
"Yes there is. Alex had a lot of certainty last time: as soon as she landed in 1981 she knew she was there for a reason , which was to see her parents. At the end of the series, she realised that that wasn't why she was there. It wasn't about saving [her parents] or stopping what happened because as far as she's aware, you can't change things in this world. It was actually about learning something about herself. In series two she starts off with a lot more uncertainty. It's been about six or seven months since we left her - it's now 1982 - and nothing's happened for a long time. But in episode one she gets news which alters her view of what's going on in 2008 and what's happened to her. And she also gets some news in 1982 which makes her think this world is not as straightforward as she thought it was!"
Read the whole article, here.

It's Christmas Crime (1) - C S Challinor

Yes, it's that time of the year when I mention some crime books with a Christmas setting. You can see the selection from the previous two years - tagged as Christmas Reads.

First up is C S Challinor's debut - Christmas is Murder which was published in September 2008 in the US.

Publisher's Synopsis: Christmas in the English countryside — what could be more charming? Not even a blizzard can keep Rex Graves away from Swanmere Manor, a historic hotel in East Sussex. But instead of Christmas cheer, the red-haired Scottish barrister finds a dead guest. Was it a stroke that killed old Mr. Lawry? Or an almond tart laced with poison?

When more guests die, all hopes for a jolly holiday are dashed. Worst of all, the remote mansion is buried under beastly snow. No one can leave. Confined with a killer, no one can enjoy their tea without suspicion and scrutiny. Rex takes it upon himself to solve the mystery, but the most intriguing evidence — a burnt biography of President George W. Bush — offers few clues. Could the killer be the sherry-swilling handyman? The gay antiques dealer with a biting wit? The quarreling newlyweds? Surely, it's not Helen D'arcy, the lovely lass Rex seems to be falling for . . .

Each volume in the new Rex Graves Mystery series will feature a unique, exotic setting and diverse characters from around the globe.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Corners not to hang around on

A slight cover similarity with these two. The wall looks the same and both feature silhouetted men against a yellow background.

Helen Black's A Place of Safety is out next week and Mandasue Heller's Snatched (formerly The Driver) is out next March.

Simon Brett's Charles Paris - new radio series

The Dead Side of the Mike, Simon Brett's sixth Charles Paris novel, is being serialised on Radio 4, beginning this morning. The first of four parts, is on at 11.30am with Bill Nighy reprising his role as failed actor, Charles. The second part follows a week later.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Euro Crime News page updated

The News page has been sadly neglected for a few weeks. I've gone a bit cross-eyed... but I've now updated it; it contains links to the latest book reviews and interviews in the UK's major papers.

The News page is here.

My Cup Runneth Over - BBC4's showing Montalbano

We've had Maigret, the Swedish Wallander and now Montalbano, based on Andrea Camilleri's books, which is being shown on BBC4 next weekend:

On Saturday 13 Dec at 10pm, Excursion to Tindari:

(Fazio & Montalbano)
Drama based on the series of books featuring the Sicilian detective, Inspector Montalbano. A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building and an elderly couple are reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari.

They seem two unrelated cases for Inspector Montalbano, but when he discovers that the couple and the man lived in the same building his investigation stumbles on to Sicily's brutal 'New Mafia', which leads him down a path full of evil.

and on Monday 15 Dec at 10pm

Montalbano's Croquettes: When the chairman of a public works company and his young wife are found dead in their car in a ditch, the immediate conclusion is an accident. However, the fact that the woman's fingernails are broken leads Montalbano to suspect that things are not as they seem and that they have been murdered.

Website updates & what was published in 2008

Unfortunately due to events beyond my control, this week's new reviews have been postponed until later in the week or next Sunday, depending on time available.

In the meantime I've refreshed the new releases pages which can be found here.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Bibliographies for over 1300 authors can be found here.

A summary list of 700 authors' personal websites can be found here.

Also, for those thinking about their favourite books of 2008, there's a list (generated from my database) of British/European crime novels (written by British/Europeans) published in the UK in 2008, here. (I haven't yet updated it to include non-Europeans writing about Europe).

Sunday, December 07, 2008

European Film Awards 2008 - Winners

The winners of the European Film Awards have been announced. From
The Italian crime mosaic Gomorra (Gomorrah) was the big winner at the 2008 European Film Awards (EFAs). The film, directed by Matteo Garrone, was crowned Best European Film and also won EFAs in the categories Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Cinematography. Actor Toni Servillo was named Best European Actor for his work in Gomorra and in Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo, a biopic of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti. Kristin Scott Thomas won the Best European Actress category for her portrayal of a Franco-British woman released from prison in Philippe Claudel's Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long). The 21st edition of the European Film Awards were held in Copenhagen on Saturday.
All the winners are listed here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Crime novels set in Antarctica

The Guardian's article in July, Crime fiction: Around the world in 80 sleuths, had this to say about Antarctica:

80. South Pole

The North Pole has Ice Station Zebra and The Thing. Antarctica has Greg Rucka's graphic novel about US Marshall Carrie Stetko, out solving murders in the most desolate continent on earth.

Read 'Whiteout' (Oni Press)

(Whiteout is being made into a film starring Kate Beckinsale (US release - Sep 09))

I've just received a proof of Robert Masello's Blood and Ice (US Feb 09, UK Mar 09) which spans time, genre and locations but seems to include a significant chunk of time/plot in Antarctica:

Publisher's synopsis:

Troubled journalist Michael Wilde takes on a commission to write a feature about a remote research station deep in the frozen beauty of Antarctica. On a diving expedition in the polar sea he discovers two bodies encased in ice. The pair, a man and a woman chained together, their dress from the nineteenth-century, are brought to the surface - along with a trunk containing a strange, but sinister cargo. As the ice around them begins to thaw, the mystery of these time-bound lovers begins to unravel.Michael is gradually drawn into a horrific story that starts in the London barracks in the 1850s and leads to the bloody battlefields of the Crimea and the tragic Charge of the Light Brigade. Now, in the Antarctic wastes, the Cavalry officer and his lover are reawakened into a world where the midnight sun lasts for months, where there's nowhere to hide and no place left for the living to run...In this chilling supernatural thriller, spanning five continents and several centuries, Robert Masello weaves together an extraordinary tale of eternal life and undying love. Gripping and intensely moving, "Blood and Ice" will take its readers on an enthralling, and unforgettable journey.

Anyone know of any other titles set in Antarctica?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Simon & Schuster - new titles (Jan-June 2009)

Taken from their catalogue, here are the titles being published by Simon & Schuster between January and June that are relevant to Euro Crime :):

Neil Cross - Burial
Tom Rob Smith - Child 44 (pb)


Christian Jacq - Tutankhamun: The Last Secret
Kitty Sewell - Bloodprint
Martyn Waites - Speak no Evil (pb)


Terence Strong - President Down (pb)


Tom Rob Smith - The Secret Speech


Jeremy Duns - Free Agent
Christi Phillips - The Devlin Diary
Lynda La Plante - Deadly Intent (pb)


The Medieval Murderers - King Arthur's Bones
The Medieval Murderers - The Lost Prophecies (pb)
Michael Dobbs - The Edge of Madness (pb)

More Spooks

Good news for Spooks fans. An eighth series has been ordered. From Digital Spy:
Spy drama Spooks will return for an eighth series, the BBC has today confirmed.

The show, which will wrap up its current run next Monday, has regularly secured ratings of over 5.7 million for the broadcaster.

Executive producer Simon Crawford Collins said: "Spooks is currently enjoying an exceptional run on BBC One and BBC Three and viewers will be shocked when this series ends with a sting in its tale.

"As for next year... we're currently working with our fantastic team of writers to predict the big stories for 2009 to keep Spooks' prescience in these dramatically changing times."

Richard Armitage, who stars as Lucas North in the espionage show, added: "I'm thrilled with the response we've had to this series and I can't wait to find out what the next series has in store.

"If the climatic episodes at the end of series seven are anything to go by, I think series eight will be spectacular. I am excited about taking Lucas into deeper and more dangerous territory, and seeing if he can survive!"

Series eight of Spooks will begin production next March and debut on BBC One later in 2009.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Publishing Deal - Claire Letemendia

From The Bookseller:
Jonathan Cape has paid a six-figure sum for the rights of two books in a trilogy by debut author, Claire Letemendia. Dan Franklin at Jonathan Cape purchased UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from McClelland & Stewart, in a six-figure, pre-emptive offer.

The first book is titled Best of Men and Jonathan Cape is planning to publish it in July 2009. The trilogy is set during the British Civil War in Europe and England, where a nobly born mercenary, spy and cardsharp uncovers a plot to kill Charles I.
The US publication date is 12 May 2009.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Harrogate Crime Writing Festival - confirmed authors

A couple of hours after I mentioned that Yrsa Sigurdardottir will be appearing at both of the major crime conventions in the UK next year, the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival announce more of the authors attending in 2009:
2009 Authors Confirmed:

Megan Abbott
John Banville
Mark Billingham
Gyles Brandreth
Ken Bruen
Duncan Campbell
Lee Child
Ann Cleeves
Natasha Cooper
Neil Cross
Daniel Depp
Stella Duffy
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Jasper Fforde
Barry Forshaw
Christopher Fowler
Ariana Franklin
Frances Fyfield
Jason Goodwin
Allan Guthrie
John Harvey
Reginald Hill
Suzette A. Hill
Declan Hughes
Peter James
Paul Johnston
Simon Kernick
Mark Lawson
David Levien
Robert Lewis
Laura Lippman
Stuart MacBride
Shona Maclean
Val McDermid
Brian McGilloway
Mark Mills
Denise Mina
Dreda Say Mitchell
Barry Norman
Caro Peacock
Caro Ramsay
Manda Scott
Zoë Sharp
Yrsa Sigurdottir
Andrew Taylor
Cathi Unsworth
Dan Waddell
Martyn Waites
Martin Walker
Lee Weeks
Laura Wilson
From the newsletter (not yet on the website):
Exclusive 2009 Festival Preview: Panel Highlights

The Festival will get off to a pacy start with the announcement of the recipient of the hotly contested Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the weekend's starry cast of criminally-inclined characters, as authors and crime fans mingle at the Festival Opening Party.

The plot thickens as we delve into the very roots of the crime genre with The Raven and The Rue Morgue, a panel celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of the mysterious man hailed as the father of the modern detective story, Edgar Allan Poe. Peter James, Laura Lippman, Andrew Taylor and Martin Walker will be helping chair Barry Forshaw tackle the man behind the myth.

Setting the mood, Music To Murder By will take a look at the use of music in crime fiction. Can it become a character in itself, or is it merely an easy way to convey an atmosphere? John Harvey, Dreda Say Mitchell, Cathi Unsworth and Martyn Waites are among the admirers of classical, jazz, reggae and punk rock discussing what their favourite sounds bring to their work.

Adding a touch of glamour to proceedings, Harrogate meets Hollywood in the panel Shoot The Book. Film critic Barry Norman addresses the different disciplines of writing for page and screen with the aid of tinsel town screenwriters-turned-novelists, David Levien (whose writing credits include Ocean's 13, Rounders, and Runaway Jury) and Daniel Depp (co-writer of The Brave with his brother Johnny), Spooks writer and author Neil Cross and author of acclaimed novels adapted for television, Frances Fyfield.

Providing a twist in the tale, Dangerous Dykes will ask why do lesbians make such successful crime writers? Four of the best gay women novelists, Val McDermid, Natasha Cooper, Stella Duffy and Manda Scott, discuss the pros, the cons and the controversial aspects of their work.

Shocking denouements come courtesy of a new late night cabaret event, Secrets and Lies in which host Mark Billingham encourages some of your favourite crime writers to confess their innermost secrets - but are they telling the truth or just creating yet more works of fiction? You have to decide.

Double Dose of Yrsa Sigurdardottir in 2009

Icelandic author, Yrsa Sigurdardottir is not only attending CrimeFest (Bristol, 14-17 May 2009) but her publicist has confirmed that Yrsa will also be attending the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival (23-26 Jul 2009).

Yrsa's second Thora Gudmundsdottir book, My Soul To Take will be released in April 09.

Synopsis from
The child started crying harder, trying desperately to stifle her sobs. This wasn’t right. Why couldn’t God just come and get her now, if He was so good? Why did she have to go down into that dark pit? She was afraid of the dark, and this was a bad place – her mother had told her so. The girl looked at the man and knew she was going down there whether she wanted to or not.

A grisly murder is committed at a health resort situated in a recently renovated farmhouse, which turns out to be notorious for being haunted. Attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir is called upon by the owner of the resort - the prime suspect in the case - to represent him. Her investigations uncover some very disturbing occurrences at the farm decades earlier – things that have never before seen the light of day…

MY SOUL TO TAKE is a chilling, dark and witty crime novel, and a welcome return for Thora, the heroine of the highly-acclaimed LAST RITUALS.
Read the euro crime review of the first in the series, Last Rituals, here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Reviews: Mike Ripley's crime file, crime express novellas 4 & 5, Brownley, Holt

The following reviews have been added to the review archive over on the main Euro Crime website:
New Reviews:

In Mike Ripley's latest Crime File he reviews The Maze of Cadiz by Aly Monroe, Portobello by Ruth Rendell and The Murder Stone by Louise Penny;

I review the latest in the Crime Express novella series: The Okinawa Dragon by Nicola Monaghan and The Quarry by Clare Littleford;

Michelle Peckham reviews The Sins of the Children by James Brownley a series which features "Alison Glasby, first female crime correspondent for the Sunday Herald in London"

and Maxine Clarke recommends Norwegian author Anne Holt's The Final Murder (US: What Never Happens).
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Euro-Sleuths on BBC4 (including a Swedish version of "Wallander")

My dvd recorder's going to be flat out over the next few weeks as the continuity announcer before the beginning of last night's Maigret said that this was the first of three weeks of euro-sleuths on BBC4. Tonight we also have Wallander on BBC1, and tomorrow the second Maigret is on BBC4.

Next Saturday on BBC4 at 9pm, John Harvey presents a programme called Who is Kurt Wallander?:

John Harvey presents a documentary about writer Henning Mankell, Sweden's most popular author internationally and the creator of the Kurt Wallander detective series.

By examining Mankell's anti-hero Wallander, it reveals the hidden angst affecting present-day Sweden, a country with an excellent welfare system yet one which has suffered two shocking recent political assassinations. The film tries to grasp what Mankell's characters say about Sweden and how his books inform the rest of the world about Scandinavia's largest country.

(The programme is to be repeated several times over the weekend.)

Which is to be followed by the first part of Before the Frost starring Krister Henriksson as Wallander and the late Johanna Sallstrom as his daughter Linda:
New policewoman Linda Wallander is waiting for her first big case at Ystad police station and her father, Inspector Kurt Wallander, is getting on her nerves. When her childhood friend Anna mysteriously disappears she is thrown in at the deep end and soon needs her father's help on a fascinating and very dangerous investigation.
(Details of repeats and part 2 are not yet shown on the on-line schedule.)

UPDATE: Part 2 of Before the Frost is on BBC4 - Monday 8th Dec at 10pm.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Publishing Deals - Brandreth & Eastland

From Publishers Lunch:
Gyles Brandreth's next three untitled Oscar Wilde Mysteries, featuring Oscar Wilde as the sleuth aided by his real-life friend Arthur Conan Doyle, to Trish Lande Grader at Touchstone Fireside, for publication in 2010, by Ed Victor (NA).

Sam Eastland's THE EYE OF THE RED TSAR, for a series featuring a Finnish agent, once Chief Inspector, confident and 'eye' of Tsar Nicholas II; set in 1929 and the agent is released from Gulag under mysterious circumstances to complete a special assignment for the new red Tsar, Stalin, to Kate Miciak at Bantam Dell, by Jason Cooper at Faber and Faber (US).
The third 'Oscar Wilde' mystery by Gyles Brandreth will be published in May 2009. The UK title is Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile. See my earlier post about the changes in titles for the first two books.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More detail about the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency tv series

From Digital Spy:
The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency will return to screens next year as a six-part series, the BBC has announced.

A feature-length TV pilot, directed by the late Anthony Minghella, aired in March to impressive ratings and positive reviews from critics.

Based on Alexander McCall-Smith's bestselling novels, the 60-minute episodes will follow the adventures of Botswana's only female detective Mma Ramotswe.

Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Desmond Dube and Lucian Msamati will reprise their roles from the TV pilot. Survivors star Paterson Joseph is a new addition to the cast as Cephas Buthelezi, a rival detective to Mma Ramotswe.
Read the whole article, here.

Earlier on in the year it was reported that 13 hour-long episodes had been requested by HBO with the BBC having the UK distribution.

Torchwood: Border Princes - Audio Book Review

My thoughts on another Torchwood audio book. I've reviewed two others here.

Torchwood: Border Princes by Dan Abnett (April, 2007) BBC Audiobooks

I was very impressed with Dan Abnett's Everyone Says Hello and Border Princes is of an equally high standard.

The book opens with the team expanded on the tv series by the inclusion of a new character, James Mayer, and goes straight into an 'end of the world scenario' with an alien artefact, the Amok, possessing whoever comes into contact with it before killing them. Even when the Amok is finally contained at the Hub, it soon exerts its influence over the team to get itself released. As well as the Amok, the team have to track down a salesman using alien technology to hypnotise home owners into buying double glazing as well as restraining a killer robot from another planet.

Meanwhile, another part of the story deals with the mysterious Mr Dine and his objective of protecting 'the Principal' which overrides all else, and on the personal side, Gwen rows with boyfriend Rhys and seeks solace with James.

Border Princes is action packed, the pace rarely letting up and includes several investigations that would take an episode each on the tv. Gwen, James and Jack carry most of the action with Tosh and Owen playing smaller roles and Ianto barely getting a line. Eve Myles narrates well though she doesn't mimic the other Torchwood actors' voices particularly closely so Jack sounds as Welsh as Gwen at times, rather than his normal American. But in the main you can tell who is speaking and she does have a lovely voice which can send a shiver down your spine.

I'm very glad I bought this - it was worth every penny.

The next Torchwood audio book release appears to be Torchwood: In The Shadows by Joseph Lidster, released in March 2009. Lidster was responsible for the abridgement of Border Princes and also wrote Lost Souls (review coming soon).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Maigret on BBC4

The BBC4 programme schedule lists two episodes of the Maigret series starring Bruno Cremer to be broadcast next week. According to this website, Cremer filmed 55 episodes between 1991 and 2004. The two showing on BBC4 are nos. 49 and 50, filmed in 2004.

First up, is The Shadow in the Courtyard on Saturday, 29 November at 22.05:

Legendary French sleuth Maigret is called to the Place des Vosges, where the owner of a serum company has been found shot to death while seated at his desk. Behind him the unlocked safe lies empty and Maigret soon becomes convinced that the answer to the robbery and murder lies among the residents of the block of apartments.

And will be followed by Maigret at the Doctor on Monday, 1st December at 22.00:

Maigret travels to Neuilly to investigate the mysterious death of a servant girl who had been working at the home of a local doctor. The case takes a dramatic turn when the autopsy reveals a horrific cause of death and that the girl had been four months pregnant.

Each episode is 90 minutes long.

Georges Simenon wrote 75 full length books about Maigret plus some short stories. The twelth in the series is called The Shadow in the Courtyard but there isn't one called Maigret at the Doctor. If anyone know which book Maigret at the Doctor is based on, please do leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

OT: Foxy the Cat checks out Euro Crime

I've been working on my laptop downstairs recently and it has attracted a lot of attention from one ginger member of the household. Several times I've caught him sitting on the keyboard - alas uncaptured by the camera. This is the closest I've got.

Here's one cover I'll be covering up on the train...

The cover of Death in Breslau was fairly risqué but the cover of Marek Krajewski's follow-up, End of the World in Breslau is even more 'eye-catching':

From city of Breslau, which was the atmospheric heart of the first of Marek Krajewski's novels in English, "Death in Breslau", is as a Georg Grosz backcloth to the second of Criminal Counsellor Eberhard Mock's investigations into a series of seemingly unrelated murders in the late 1920s. While Mock searches for the key to the mystery which afflicts his department in records of crimes committed in the past, his young wife, neglected by his obsessive work, falls among perverse and shocking companions and into contact with a sect that preaches the imminent end of the world. Krajewski's novels are as original as they are disturbing.

Death in Breslau
which is set later than End of the World in Breslau is reviewed here and here on Euro Crime.

End of the World in Breslau is due to be published in March 2009.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Publishing Deal - Craig Russell

More details of a new series by Craig Russell have been revealed on BookBrunch:
Craig Russell, author of the Jan Fabel detective series for Hutchinson, has joined Quercus for a concurrent series set in Glasgow in the 1950s. The series will star Lennox, a private detective whose clients are not always on the right side of the law.

Jane Wood and Ron Beard bought UK and Canadian rights in three novels, starting with Lennox in 2009, through Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann. Wood said: "At Quercus we’re all fans of the Fabel novels and we couldn’t be happier that Craig Russell has joined us. The Lennox books are very different in tone and confirm Craig’s amazing range and skill as a crime writer."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Reviews: Burdett, Dobbs, La Plante, Sigurdardottir

The following reviews have been added to the review archive over on the main Euro Crime website:
New Reviews:

Laura Root reviews the third in John Burdett's Bangkok series - Bangkok Haunts calling it "a skilful sophisticated thriller";

Michelle Peckham reviews the new offering from Michael Dobbs - The Edge of Madness;

Geoff Jones enjoys Clean Cut by Lynda La Plante

and Maxine Clarke is enthusiastic about Last Rituals by Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Euro Crime & Social Networking

Ages ago Maxine (aka Petrona) suggested I join Facebook so I finally took the plunge yesterday and signed up. I'm not sure what I'm doing (nothing new there!) but here's my profile should you wish to befriend me.

Maxine has also set up a crime and mystery room over on the friendfeed site which I love. As well as automatically updating with links to the latest blog posts from the members of the room, you can add a link to a newspaper article or review or another blog and on top of that you can comment on these things - in the friendfeed room as well as/or instead of in the blog comments. I'm probably not explaining this very well so do take a look and join us. Your favourite blogs are already there :-).

Friday, November 21, 2008

A change to the Euro Crime website

The Euro Crime website was set up to cover British and other European crime writers. The criterion being that the author had to have been born in Britain/Europe. A few other authors slipped through the net though - either they'd been a long-time resident in the UK (eg Kate Charles) or a simple mistake (me thinking they were English when they weren't eg Michael Robotham). Several emails from website visitors asking why Donna Leon (amongst others) wasn't on the site have led me to change my mind and relax the criterion to include those authors, though not born in Europe, who have a strong association with European crime fiction, such as Leon and Elizabeth George. At the moment there are only a handful of non European authors on the site but I plan to expand it over time.

The Bibliograpies pages now have an author's country of birth, where known eg Donna Leon, and the lists of authors, by country of birth, now include America and Australia.

I have also reorganised and retitled some of the side-bar links in the hope of making it more obvious what's behind each link.

Rupert Penry-Jones - Observer interview

Read a brief 'My Body & Soul' interview with the former star of Spooks in the Observer. Mr P-J is the male face of Austin Reed from whence the above photo came.

ITV's Whitechapel which also stars Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton as well as Penry-Jones is rumoured to be shown in January.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Publishing Deal - Tim Weaver

From BookBrunch:
Stephanie Bierworth has made her first acquisition since leaving Macmillan for Michael Joseph, buying Tim Weaver's debut CHASING THE DEAD as part of a two-book deal via agent Camilla Bolton of Darley Anderson Associates. "A terrifying psychological thriller" in the vein of Michael Marshall and Mo Hayder, it introduces readers to David Raker, ex-journalist and troubled missing persons investigator who is embroiled in a sinister chase when an old friend becomes convinced she's seen her dead son alive. Bierworth believes Weaver's is "one of those rare, spine-tingling thrillers that draws you in from page one, simply doesn't let you go and creates an atmosphere which stays with you for a very long time."

Book Related Board Games

About a year ago I mentioned Bookchase which according to their website:
Bookchase® is exactly what it says - a chase with books.

Bookchase® is also the world's first board game about books which comes with your own bookshelf, library card, bookshop, and your own set of tiny books to collect. First one to collect six books and head home wins! Simple really.

Bookchase® is a family game which can also be played by adults and is designed for anyone from 5 years upwards. Never read a book? - you could still win. Read all the books in the world? You could still lose. Dare you take the Bookchase® challenge?

Today, I was pleased to see it for sale in my local Waterstone's bookshop along with...Harry Potter Cluedo (aka Clue (US)):

Dark magic has been performed at Hogwarts. A fellow student has vanished from the famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry—and it is up to you to solve the mysterious disappearance. Play as Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna or Neville and try to discover who did it, what spell or item they used, and where the student was attacked. Was it Draco Malfoy with a Sleeping Draught in the Owlery? Move around Hogwarts making suggestions— but watch out. Wheels on the board actually move to reveal secret passages, hidden staircases, and even the Dark Mark. Think you’ve gathered all the facts you need? Go to Dumbledore’s office to make your final accusation to win the game. Players 3-5, Ages 9+

Online prices start at £19.99 for the Harry Potter edition of Cluedo but several outlets appear out of stock. There was just one copy left in Redditch Waterstone's.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Four more George Gently episodes

From Digital Spy:
The BBC has commissioned four new George Gently dramas to air next year.

Based on Alan Hunter's Inspector Gently book series, the new films will focus on veteran Scotland Yard detective George Gently (Martin Shaw) and his partner John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) as they solve crimes in '60s Northumberland.

Peter Flannery and Mick Ford will co-write the four instalments.

"The joy of writing the Gently stories lies in the period and the place," said Flannery. "The place because it's where I grew up; the period for the same reason, plus it gives me a chance to write about a country on the cusp of change.

"Each issue I look at at the heart of a crime - abortion, sexuality, youth gangs, child abuse, race, terrorism - was seen differently in the early '60s compared to today. As L. P. Hartley said, 'The past is another country. They do things differently there'."

Another Awards Shortlist for Child 44

The Costa Book Awards 2008 shortlists have been announced and of particular interest to crime fiction fans is that the Man Booker Prize longlisted Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith has been shortlisted for the First Novel Award. The full shortlist is:
First Novel Award
Poppy Adams - The Behaviour of Moths
Sadie Jones - The Outcast
Jennie Rooney - Inside the Whale
Tom Rob Smith - Child 44
What the Costa judges said about Child 44:

"This gripping, unputdownable thriller is an exciting new addition to the genre."

Karen Chisholm concluded her Eurocrime review:

"there's been considerable research into the background of CHILD 44, but the book doesn't read as a research tome - it reads as a story of fear, manipulation, power struggles, petty jealousy, brutality, cruelty, madness, loss, survival and humanity."
Read the whole review, here.

All the categories and nominees for the Costa Book Awards 2008 can be found on the website.

Monday, November 17, 2008

OT: Doctor Who - Christmas Special preview

The first two minutes of this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special were shown as part of Children in Need on Friday and can now be (re)watched on the Children in Need website.

You can also watch the a video of the prize winners of a trip behind the scenes of the Torchwood/Doctor Who film set.

Crime series set in Birmingham (UK)

Eagle-eyed readers of this blog may have seen that I've listed Maureen Carter's Bad Press as my current read and recently her previous book Hard Time. This is not just because I had a review copy of Bad Press but also because Maureen is giving a talk at Mere Green Library at 11am on Wednesday (a few spaces left if anyone wants to come btw). I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Maureen at my crime reading group when her debut book, Working Girls was first published in 2001. A slight hiatus ensued but since joining Creme de la Crime publishers in 2005, she has produced a book a year, Bad Press being the fifth. Her series stars the feisty, gobby DS Bev Morriss. Her bibliography and links to reviews of her books (written by esteemed reviewer Sharon Wheeler) can be found here. (I'm enjoying these books enormously as well!) 

Maureen joins a select band of authors who set their books in the 'perceived to be' unfashionable/unsaleable-market setting of Birmingham. 

As far as I know the only other crime authors to set a series in Birmingham are:

Valerie Kershaw who wrote a five book series featuring a radio presenter (published between 1993 and 2000)

Judith Cutler who wrote two series set in Birmingham, published between 1998 and 2003, one with an amateur sleuth and another with a policewoman. (She is probably the best well known of the local crime writers, based on my library experience). 

Plimmer and Long - an ex-cop and ex-con who co-wrote a two book series between 2000 and 2001. 

Chris Collett who began a series in 2004 featuring policeman Tom Mariner which stands at eight books so far. (Tom Mariner has many female fans in my reading group!) 

If anyone knows of any more series set in Birmingham (looking at you Martin E :-)) then do please pop them in the comments. 

Update 26/4/21 

Also set in Birmingham:


Lucie Whitehouse has written two books (so far) in the DCI Robin Lyons series set in Birmingham: Critical Incidents and the forthcoming Risk of Harm (July 21).

G S Locke's Neon (2020)

Rachel MacLean's West Midlands DI Zoe Finch series.

Tess Makovesky's  Raise the Blade and The Gravy Train.

Steve Robinson's The Penmaker's Wife

Slightly older:

Marc Blake's Bigtime features Birmingham and Corley Service.

Maureen Carter's DI Sarah Quinn series.
Terry Coy's The Evil Ones.

Gary Coyne's The Short Caution.

John Dalton's The City Trap.

Mick Scully's Little Moscow.

If you are after the Black Country, then Thomas JR Dean has a series set there in the 1950s: Once Upon a Time in The Black Country. Alex Grecian's second book in his Scotland Yard Murder Squad series is called The Black Country and is set in a fictional Midlands mining town. Patrick Thompson's Execution Plan and Seeing the Wires are set in Dudley.

There are also some further suggestions in the comments.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wallander - BBC Interviews Branagh & Mankell

The BBC Press office now shows that the first of the three Wallander films, Sidetracked, is due to be shown on the 30th November between 9 and 10.30pm. A related press release also contains interviews with Kenneth Branagh, who is playing the title role, and Henning Mankell, the author of the best-selling series.

A couple of snippets:
To KB:
What did you enjoy about the role?

"The world that Wallander lives in is a raw world where people have to deal with terrible news and with the death of loved ones in terrible circumstances. Wallander is very self-aware and perceptive and intelligent about human behaviour.

"For me, this is more of a straight part as Wallander's character does not have all the same eccentricities that would normally appear in these types of stories."

To HM:
What do you think of the British Wallander?

"I saw the tape of the show and I liked it enormously. I liked it because they had showed Wallander's warmth and also that the director and producers had gone in their own direction to create something that was completely new."

What crime drama do you enjoy?

"I really dislike characters like Poirot and Miss Marple as they never change – they are the same from the beginning to the end of the story. You and I are different each day because of what happens to us and that is how I write about Wallander and my characters.

"My readers are always looking forward to seeing what direction Wallander will go in next."
Read the whole article, here.

Synopsis of Sidetracked:

In this first film, Sidetracked, a girl is seen wandering alone in a rapeseed field. Inspector Wallander is called to investigate. Before his eyes, the girl douses herself in petrol and burns to death – the event is both shocking and baffling for Wallander. A hunt for the girl’s identity begins.

On the home front, Wallander, recently estranged from his wife, has moved into his own place. Linda, his grown-up daughter, is keeping an eye on her dad as he adjusts to bachelor life. Wallander’s relationship with his own father, Povel, is difficult and, as it becomes clear that Povel’s health is in decline, Wallander strives for a reconciliation with him.

Meanwhile, Wallander’s workload soars as three apparently motiveless murders are committed. The victims are all male: a former minister of justice, a small-time criminal and a rich playboy. All are viciously killed, their scalps inexplicably taken. Wallander and his team investigate, determined to discover who the killer is and how these murders are connected.

WhereDunnit has further information about Ystad and the Wallander tours you can take there.

New Reviews: Cain, Clark, Larsson, Monroe

The following reviews have been added to the review archive over on the main Euro Crime website:
New Reviews:

Paul Blackburn reviews the second in the Accident Man series by Tom Cain - The Survivor (sounds like one for Bond/Bourne fans);

Amanda Brown goes back to the 14th Century in Cassandra Clark's Hangman Blind the first in a new historical crime series;

Maxine Clarke catches up with Swedish lawyer Rebecka Martinsson in Asa Larsson's third book, The Black Path

and Norman Price is very disappointed with Aly Monroe's The Maze of Cadiz.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.