Friday, February 29, 2008

LA Times Mystery Award nominees

Sarah Weinman has drawn attention to the euro-centric nature of the nominees for the LA Times Book Prize (Mystery):
Benjamin Black - "Christine Falls"
Åke Edwardson - "Frozen Tracks"
Karin Fossum - "The Indian Bride" (UK: Calling Out for You)
Tana French - "In the Woods"
Jan Costin Wagner - "Ice Moon"
(links go to the Euro Crime reviews)
I wasn't a big fan of the Ake Edwardson book I've read so far (Never End) and I haven't read Black or French but I loved Calling Out For You/The Indian Bride and Ice Moon is striking. It's great to see these Scandinavian authors being recognised over in the US.

"The winners will be announced April 25 at UCLA's Royce Hall as part of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books."

Radio 4 - the Smiths: Tom Rob and Alexander McCall

On Radio 4's Front Row this week, a couple of crime fiction highlights which you can listen to online for a few more days by clicking on the dates below:
Monday 25th February

Child 44
Mark Lawson talks to British crime writer Tom Rob Smith, whose novel Child 44 has been hyped as Gorky Park for the 21st century in its portrayal of a Russian policeman searching for a child serial killer in modern Moscow.

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith is published by Simon and Schuster.

Thursday 28th February

Alexander McCall Smith
The creator of the bestselling Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Alexander McCall Smith joins John Wilson to talk about the latest adventures of Botswana's 'foremost solver of problems', Precious Ramotswe, and to discuss a new adaptation of the novels, directed by Anthony Minghella.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors, by Alexander McCall Smith, is out in March.
The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency will be shown on BBC1 at Easter.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Updated 'News' Page

I've almost caught up with updating the News page on the website. Well 75% of the way there. I thought I'd upload what I've got so far and will finish the rest at the weekend. Links include a Vargas interview, reviews of her latest book plus The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is still getting good coverage.

The News page can be found here.

Lewis's Laurence Fox interview in The Times

Also in today's Times, an interview with the actor who plays Lewis's sidekick, Laurence Fox.

Lewis continues on Sunday night and you can watch a preview of the next episode and an interview with Fox on the ITV Lewis site.

Life on Mars to be remade for Spain

From The Times:
Fire up the Seat coupé, Señor Gene Hunt. Life on Mars is being transported to Spain after the country that gave the world machismo bought the remake rights to the show.

The award-winning time-travel police drama recreated the grim realities of Manchester in 1973. But Vida en Marte will be set in 1978, allowing the Spanish writers to dramatise a society emerging from the Franco dictatorship, which ended with the General's death in 1975, and avoid including some of the nastier aspects of life in a police state.

Antena 3, the leading Spanish commercial broadcaster, signed a deal yesterday with the BBC to remake the series. Casting will now begin for a Spanish actor to take the plum role of the hard-living, sexist Detective Chief Inspector Hunt.

Mercedes Gamero, Antena 3 head of acquisitions, believes that Life on Mars will be a prime-time hit — with a few tweaks. She told The Times: “We need to move the series forward to 1978 to recreate the characters. For example, no women were allowed in the police force under Franco. Under Franco, the police were seen as an important arm of the political regime. By 1978 there was a new openness in Spain which would have been challenging to some members of the police. There was a culture of machismo among Spanish men which has changed a lot.”
Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Damian Lewis's The Baker released on Friday

In an unusual move, The Baker, a rom-com starring a hitman, is released at the cinemas on Friday and is then available on DVD from Monday.

Milo is a professional hit man living on the edge.

When failing to fulfil a contract for the first time, Milo escapes the city to avoid the wrath of his employers. Hiding out in a remote rural village, the locals mistake him for the new baker. However, Milo soon discovers that you can't always have your cake and eat it.

Starring the cream of British talent, including Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) and Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead), The Baker is a killer comedy not to be missed…

There is a five minute Set Report video on the BBC Film Network site. All things Damian Lewis can be found at this informative website.

Damian Lewis's Life is to be screened on ITV3 later this year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Metro interview of Tom Rob Smith

Today's Metro has Tom Rob Smith in its '60 Second Interview' slot. The much publicised Child 44 is out next week:
Why all the excitement about Child 44?
It’s hard to say why. I tried to make it as entertaining as I could, but I didn’t think it would sell around the world – that’s come as a surprise. I didn’t think it was very commercial. It’s set in Russia in the 1950s and some people have told me they found that interesting and thought the detective story was exciting, but I didn’t have a formula for writing it.
Read the rest of the interview here and visit his website to watch the trailer etc.

Euro Crime web page updates

I'd like to publicly thank Euro Crime fan Alison of Liverpool who very kindly checked the website links on the authors page of the website. She found a number of broken links which I've now deleted or replaced with a different link. There are now 610 authors listed with links to either their homepage, a fan page, a newspaper article or anything I've found which has the best information about them. Have a peruse here.

I've also updated the future releases pages - by month and by author.

I hope to get the news page up to date and update the bibliographies by the next review upload on Sunday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Publishing Deal - Kitty Sewell

Long awaited news about the next crime novel from Kitty Sewell. From The Bookseller:

Kate Lyall Grant at Simon & Schuster has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in the second novel from Ice Trap author Kitty Sewell.

Psychological thriller Bloodprint was agented by Sheila Crowley at A P Watt and will be published in spring 2009.
Read two reviews of Ice Trap on Euro Crime, here and here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Reviews

Here are this week's new reviews and a reminder of February's competitions:

Latest Reviews:

Maxine Clarke continues her series of reviews of Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano series, her latest being The Scent of the Night and whereas Maxine has many good things to say about her Italian book...

...Norman Price finds his Italian book a bit of a challenge, calling The Natural Disorder of Things by Andrea Canobbio "an exercise in self indulgent, pretentious rambling";

Terry Halligan reviews the latest thriller from Stephen Leather, Dead Men. This author is apparently very popular in prisons;

Maxine tackles another thriller - Requiem by Jack Ross set in Florida and the first in a series featuring a journalist. (As far as I'm aware the author is British)

and I review a new offering from Macmillan New Writing, the eerie Light Reading by Aliya Whiteley in which two RAF wives set off to solve the riddle of a suicide note and change their lives along the way.

Current Competitions (closing date 29 February):

Win a copy of A Vengeful Longing by R N Morris (no geographical restrictions)

Win a copy of Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (UK & Europe only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

TV News - Rebus and Poirot

The good news is that David Suchet has confirmed that he still wants to film the remaining eight stories before he quits the role.

The bad news is that there will be no more Rebus episodes, though Taggart still rolls on:
ITV1 has axed Rebus but ordered another ten episodes of Taggart.

Rebus has run since 2000 starring John Hannah, then more recently Ken Stott, as the title character. Stott has now dropped out and ITV confirmed no more episodes were planned.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Publishing Deal - Simon Lewis in the US

From Publishers Lunch:
Simon Lewis's BAD TRAFFIC, dubbed "an eastern Western," featuring a Chinese cop who arrives on English shores searching for his daughter -- without knowing a word of the language -- and who winds up completely dependent on a Chinese migrant worker to help him bring down a ruthless smuggling ring, to Anna deVries at Scribner, in a two-book deal, by George Lucas at Inkwell Management on behalf of Sort Of Books (NA).
Read the Euro Crime review of Bad Traffic which has already been published in the UK and is receiving very good reviews in the media.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A newly translated Swedish crime writer

Due to be published later this month by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd, The Streets of Babylon, by Carina Burman, is the first of two books (so far) which feature Euthanasia Bondeson, novelist and amateur sleuth.

Synopsis: The setting is London in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition. Together with a Welsh police inspector the successful Swedish authoress Euthanasia Bondeson goes in search of her beautiful companion, who has disappeared in the narrow streets and alleyways of London. She meets beggars and whores, artists and society beauties, all actors on the modern city's stage in a drama of dark, shadows and ever changing desires. In this world where gender boundaries are constantly shifting, can we even tell who is a man and who is a woman? With skirts flapping Euthanasia forges her way through this romp of a crime novel, surveying the streets which Sherlock Holmes himself will not tread until a whole generation later.

You can read a longer synopsis on the publisher's page and here's a sample from the first chapter:
The English police are unlike anything seen in Sweden. When we talk of police officers, the English say ‘policemen’. I would almost go a step further and call them ‘police gentlemen’. They are a splendid species, the English police: tall, upright, well dressed in close-fitting, dark-blue tailcoats with silver embroidery on the collar, tall black hats and white gloves. One can hardly believe they perform the same task as our surly Swedish police officers, who stink of schnapps and wield their sticks on anything that crosses their path. The English police gentlemen are unarmed, and it is not beneath their dignity to help two unaccompanied ladies with their luggage and find them a cab.
Read more of chapter one here.

What can we expect from Jo Nesbo?

Well according to the Salomonsson Agency site, the rights to books #1 (The Bat Man), #6 (The Reedemer) and #7 (The Snowman) have been sold to Harvill...which just leaves #2 (The Cockroaches) unbought.
(Nos #3 (The Redbreast) and #5 (The Devil's Star) have already been published and #4 (Nemesis) is due next month.)

At the official Jo Nesbo website (written in English) there's quite a lot already on the site even though it's still under construction. It confirms the book order and titles and there are links to extracts from the books, though these aren't available yet. There is a creepy trailer for The Snowman.

There's a long interview too which refers to book eight and concludes with:
How many Harry Hole books are there in you?

“I’m not absolutely sure, but he’s a hero with the seeds of destruction in him. He won’t live forever. He is going to escape from Oslo in the next book. To Hongkong.”
Read the interview in an easier pdf format here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Reviews

Here are this week's new reviews and a reminder of February's competitions:

Latest Reviews:

First off, is Crimini a fine collection of Italian noir short stories, edited by Giancarlo De Cataldo, which I enjoyed very much even if I did have to read something a bit lighter half-way through (I'm eager to see Mr Crime Scraps' thoughts on the collection);

Italian expert Norman "Crime Scraps" Price turns his attention to Russia when he reviews one of this month's competition prizes, A Vengeful Longing by R N Morris, the second book (by R N Morris) to feature Crime and Punishment's Porfiry Petrovich. (Don't forget to enter the competition, see details below);

Maxine Clarke was very impressed with Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale calling it a "beautifully written, multi-layered book";

Maxine was less taken with Ice Trap by Kitty Sewell which didn't live up to her expectations

and Fiona Walker reviews the seventh in the Martin Beck series by Sjowall and Wahloo, The Abominable Man asserting that it's a "near-complete triumph".

Current Competitions (closing date 29 February):

Win a copy of A Vengeful Longing by R N Morris (no geographical restrictions)

Win a copy of Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (UK & Europe only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace on Film 2008

There were a few 'behind the scenes' shots of the filming of Quantum of Solace in last week's Film 2008 which you can watch for the next six days at BBCiplayer, it lasts for about a minute from 6.5 mins in!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Forthcoming K O Dahl titles

Here in the UK, Faber have published The Fourth Man and the soon to be released The Man in the Window by K O Dahl and have signed up for two more of his titles, #2 and #6 in the Gunnarstranda and Frølich series. In the US Thomas Dunne Books will publish all four titles, beginning with The Fourth Man in March. (The Fourth Man is #5 and The Man in the Window #3 in the series).

From an article at Norway, the official site in the United States:
Kjell Ola Dahl has written numerous crime novels and his books have been translated into several languages. He has received several awards for his literary works, including the prestigious Norwegian Riverton Prize for his novel ”A Little Golden Ring” (”En liten gyllen ring”), in 2000. Now, no less than four novels from his popular series about the Oslo based police inspectors Gunnarstranda and Frølich are to be published in the U.S. by Thomas Dunne Books. We caught up with the author over a transatlantic cup of coffee.

A Realistic Approach
“The Scandinavian crime has a somewhat more realistic approach to the everyday life of ordinary people,” Dahl says, commenting on the considerable attention the genre has gained from an international audience the last years.
There has been a wave of popularity for this kind of literature, Dahl explains. His own novels have already had a formidable success in countries like Germany and Great Britain.

Dahl thinks this genre is appreciated by a global audience because it offers something else than the stereotypical crime. His novels feature both corrupt businessmen, cynical strippers, drug addicts and film noir type femme fatales, but Dahl also writes within a tradition of Scandinavian social realism.

For readers who are not necessarily familiar with the Norwegian geography and lifestyle, the settings add an exotic touch to the story.
“A lot of people appreciate the local settings, it gives a kind of social anthropology approach to what’s happening,” Dahl says.
Read the rest of the interview here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Borders UK 'New Authors' promotion

The Borders 'new authors' promotion starts this Friday. The Bookseller has a nice summary of whose involved in selecting the new authors and then a list of said 'new' authors. Euro Crime fans will recognise a number of the names...
Borders will launch a "new authors" fiction promotion on 15th February. The promotion will be front of store across all Borders and Books Etc stores from the end of the week.

Running for six weeks, the campaign will highlight new authors and will include recommendations from well-established names such as Marian Keyes, Mark Billingham, Susan Hill, Jill Mansell and the literary editor's team at the Guardian. Each has selected between four and eight new novelists they have enjoyed.

The promotion will be backed by instore flyers and point of sale.

Michael Jones, senior fiction buyer, said: "Borders has always had a really strong record in identifying and supporting new, up-and-coming authors. There are so many high calibre authors published, who have yet to reach their full readership potential and we think it's great to be able to highlight these to our customers. Working with some of key figures in the industry to put this together has been really exciting and I am delighted with the final list."

The authors are:


Monday, February 11, 2008

The new Miss Marple is announced

After regenerating, Miss Marple will now look like Julia McKenzie:

From the Granada International website:
ITV today announced that Julia McKenzie has taken over the iconic role of Miss Marple. Julia will begin filming A Pocketful Of Rye at the end of this month.

Geraldine McEwan, the last actress to take on the nation's favourite spinster sleuth, retired last month after three hugely successful series. The hugely popular Emmy Award nominated ITV films have been sold to over 100 territories worldwide and peaked in the ratings at 10 million viewers.

Star of stage and screen, Julia McKenzie most recently appeared in Cranford as Mrs Forrester and the critically acclaimed Notes On A Scandal. Earlier credits include Fresh Fields, Bright Young Things and Blott On The Landscape. On stage Julia recently starred in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic, and has many award wins and nominations to her name, both on Broadway and in the West End. She won an Olivier for her performance as Mrs Lovett in the National Theatre production of Sweeney Todd.

Julia McKenzie said: "I'm very excited but also slightly daunted by the enormous responsibility that comes with taking on such an iconic role. Just about everybody in the world knows about Miss Marple and has an opinion of what she should be like, so I'm under no illusions about the size of the task ahead. And I suppose I'll have to remind myself how to knit!"
Read the rest of the press release here.

News Page Updated on Euro Crime Website

I've updated the News page on the website, with links to the recent reviews and interviews in the UK papers. Most reviewed are Cold in Hand by John Harvey and Bad Traffic by Simon Lewis. There's also a fascinating interview with Graham Hurley.

Philip Glenister Interview on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

I finally got to watch Ashes to Ashes last night and caught the announcement at the end that Philip Glenister would be on the Jonathan Ross show (he wasn't listed as a guest in the tv guide) so I watched the segment on the BBC iplayer. You can watch it for the next 5 days, here, about 42 mins in.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There's Something About Vargas

To celebrate the publication of Euro Crime favourite Fred Vargas' This Night's Foul Work, the new Commissaire Adamsberg novel, this week all the new reviews are of Adamsberg titles. Five of the Euro Crime reviewing team have contributed - producing seven reviews of the four titles currently available in English.

Vargas and her translator Sian Reynolds have been the only winners so far of the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger, which they have won both years since its inception in 2006 first for the non-Adamsberg The Three Evangelists and then for Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand.

For English readers, the Adamsberg series was initially published out of order - with no. 3, followed by no. 2 - then missing out no. 4 it went on to nos 5 and 6 in the series so I'll list the books in the actual order they were published in French:

No. 2 is Seeking Whom He May Devour, where Adamsberg joins the book quite late on to track down a werewolf in the mountains near the Italian border. Reviewed by Maxine Clarke.

No. 3 is Have Mercy on Us All, where a plague seems to be hitting Paris. Reviewed by Fiona Walker.

No. 5 is the International Dagger winning Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, which sees Adamsberg chasing a serial killing 'dead man' who follows him to Quebec. Reviews by Maxine Clarke and Geoff Jones.

and finally, the most recent book, no. 6, This Night's Foul Work, which takes place both in Paris and in Normandy. Reviewed by me, Norman Price and Fiona Walker.

Vargas' writing is unique and she wrestles with Jo Nesbo for the top spot on my list of favourite authors. I do hope these reviews inspire you to give her a try if you haven't already. My favourite is still The Three Evangelists but This Night's Foul Work came close.

Good news came recently from Detectives Beyond Borders' interview with Sian Reynolds...she's already finished the translation of the first Adamsberg. Read the excellent interview here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Peculiar Crimes Unit is back (on Audiobook)

I absolutely adore Tim Goodman's interpretation of Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series and I was extremely pleased to find that Ten-Second Staircase has now come out on audio. It's been a bit of a wait, nearly two years since Seventy-Seven Clocks... The Birmingham library service has several copies so I should hopefully get my mitts on it on Tuesday.

I've previously reviewed the audio versions of The Water Room and The Seventy Seven Clocks.

You can hear 'Bryant' explaining the reason why they are called the Peculiar Crimes Unit here, in this sample from Seventy-Seven Clocks.

Ashes to Ashes - the verdict

From the BBC website:
Seven million viewers tuned in to watch the first episode of Ashes to Ashes, the sequel to BBC drama Life on Mars.

Set in 1981, the series sees DCI Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister, join forces with female time-traveller Alex Drake, played by Keeley Hawes.

Like Life on Mars, the show takes its title from a David Bowie song.

It impressed most TV critics, with The Independent saying it was "the mixture as before - a bit of pop culture, a bit of sci-fi [and] a bit of weirdness".

"Much of the humour and charm of the original series remains," agreed the Mirror's Jane Simon.

The Sun's Ally Ross described it as "a television programme to treasure", while the Telegraph said the show's 1980s setting "opened up a cornucopia of new possibilities".

The Guardian's reviewer was less welcoming, however, describing the show as "a big mess" with a "muddled" plot and a premise that "is now stretched to breaking point".
The Digital Spy interview with Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes, reveals their hopes for a second series:
Are there plans for a second series of Ashes To Ashes?

P: "We hope so."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Easter date with Mma Ramotswe

The Birlinn newsletter gives the transmission date for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency tv film:
Screening of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency movie based the novel by Alexander McCall Smith has been set for Easter Monday, 24 March 2008.

The movie was filmed in Botswana last summer directed by Anthony Minghella, producer of the hugely successful film of Michael Ondaajte’s novel The English Patient.

The role of ‘traditionally built’ Mma Ramotswe is played by double Grammy winning jazz and blues singer, Jill Scott, and the screenplay has been written by Richard Curtis, best known for Four Weddings and Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary, together with Anthony Minghella.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ashes to Ashes - one day to go

The BBC website has a short video of the squad room in Ashes to Ashes:
Sarah Campbell goes behind the scenes to meet cast members Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster and Montserrat Lombard.
and Digital Spy has Ten Things You Never Knew about Philip Glenister.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Famous People as Sleuths

One of our themes last year at Crime Reading Group was famous people as detectives and we did struggle for titles but I feel more confident that, should this topic re-emerge, I'll now be able to suggest a few more ideas. I've mentioned some before on this blog - last year Gyles Brandreth began his Oscar Wilde series and in March, Nicola Upson's first novel starring Josephine Tey is released as well as Justine Picardie's Daphne.

Of course, long before this, Jane Austen had been detecting away in the series by Stephanie Barron which now numbers nine and began with Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor.

She's now being joined in the mystery and adventure world by another classic female writer...Charlotte Bronte. It does look like this is planned as a one-off outing but The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte will be out in the US, also in March.

Written by Laura Joh Rowland, the blurb states:

THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF CHARLOTTE BRONTË, by Laura Joh Rowland (author of the Sano Ichiro mystery series) is an epic, world-at-stake thriller starring the legendary 19th century author and her equally famous family. It’s a tour of Victorian England from gutter to palace, featuring a hero who combines Mr. Rochester with Agent 007 and a villain whose devious schemes threaten the very fabric of the British Empire. Charlotte Brontë is plunged headlong into the sort of thrilling adventures and passionate romance she never actually experienced, but secretly craved.
Read an except on the author's website.

I wonder which current celebrity/famous person will star in their own series as written by a future generation of crime writers and who is the most unlikely sleuth...George Bush, Tony Blair, Jade Goody?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Asa Larsson's letter to her readers

The penguin newsletter came a few days ago but I've only just got round to opening it. One of the articles in the Most Wanted section is a 'letter' written by Asa Larsson to her readers, she begins with how she discovered the face of her 'first corpse' and ends with her hopes for The Savage Altar:
I hope you’ll like it. That you’ll like the biting cold of midwinter, the austerity of the people, the dogs that are so important in all my books. I hope you’ll like my police officers: pregnant Anna-Maria with her horse-face, her idle husband whom she loves in spite of everything, and all her children; her colleague Sven-Erik Stålnacke, a man of few words, with his moustache which resembles a squirrel that’s been run over. And I really hope you’ll like my main character, Rebecka Martinsson. I know she’s a little bit isolated from other people and a little bit difficult. The kind of person who works herself to death instead of asking herself how she’s feeling. But she does have her own story, a story she’s running away from. And then of course I hope you’ll like the violence. I have a weakness for shattered bones and bleeding internal organs.
Read the rest of the letter here and two Euro Crime reviews here.

Kate Winslet in The Reader

From Variety:

Kate Winslet will replace Nicole Kidman in the lead of the Weinstein Co.'s Stephen Daldry pic "The Reader." Kidman dropped out citing her pregnancy as the reason.

Principal photography on the pic began late last year in Berlin and the eastern city of Goerlitz, and filming was set to continue in January with Kidman, who had yet to shoot any scenes of the film.

Author Bernhard Schlink began dishing news that Winslet would take over the role opposite Ralph Fiennes and up-and-coming German thesp David Kross ("Tough Enough"). Sources confirmed the casting.

The article goes on to explain that Winslet was the first choice for the role and how she's now able to do it. The Reader will be released in December.

Here's the synopsis for The Reader (book) from
For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does - Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing an even deeper secret. 'A tender, horrifying novel that shows blazingly well how the Holocaust should be dealt with in fiction. A thriller, a love story and a deeply moving examination of a German conscience.

Schlink is also the author of the 'Gerhardt Self' mystery series.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

February's first reviews and competitions

Here are this week's new reviews and details of February's competitions:

Latest Reviews:

In Mike Ripley's January crime file, he reviews Death in Hellfire by Deryn Lake, The Templar by Paul Doherty, Death at Dawn by Caro Peacock and The Garden of Evil by David Hewson;

Fiona Walker reviews The Patience of The Spider by Andrea Camilleri which has just been published in the UK;

Maxine Clarke was relieved that Asa Larsson's The Savage Altar (aka Sun Storm) was every bit as good as she'd hoped;

Laura Root enjoyed last month's competition prize - Bad Traffic by Simon Lewis;

Maxine finds Sjowall and Wahloo's third Martin Beck book, The Man on the Balcony to be a "lean and compelling novel"

and I review the first in a new series: Into the Shadows by Shirley Wells - set in a small Lancashire village where the hunts for a domestic murderer and a serial killer collide.

Current Competitions (closing date 29 February):

Win a copy of A Vengeful Longing by R N Morris (no geographical restrictions)

Win a copy of Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (UK & Europe only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Publishing Deal - Michael Dobbs

From The Bookseller:
Simon & Schuster has paid a substantial six-figure sum to land world rights in political thriller author Michael Dobbs' next three novels.

Managing director Ian Chapman said it was his intention to restore Dobbs "to the top end of the bestseller lists, where he resided so memorably with House of Cards". Dobbs, author of novels including First Lady and Churchill's Hour, was published by Headline for his last three books, and previously by HarperCollins. The deal was brokered by Eddie Bell at Bell Lomax, Dobbs' former publisher when he was with HC.

Bell said Dobbs was attracted by Chapman's plans to develop him into an international thriller writer. "I think the deal was more driven by chemistry between them than anything else," he said. "They really hit it off. Ian Chapman has a vision for developing Michael both here and in America. He sees him as a world-class, British thriller writer who can make a big impact across the world."

The first S&S novel, The Edge of Madness, is due in October. The book details "a new type of conflict: cyber-warfare, where computers take over from missiles, and global damnation comes at the click of a button". Dobbs will deliver a book a year to his new editor Suzanne Baboneau, S&S publishing director.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Two New Competitions for February

This month we've got 5 copies of A Vengeful Longing by R N Morris and 10 copies of Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn to give away. There are no geographical restrictions on entrants for A Vengeful Longing, but entrants for Silent in the Grave must reside in UK/Europe. The dastardly competition questions and how to enter and of course what the books are about, can be found on the competition page. Closing date is 29 February.

James Bond book news

Interesting article in Publishing News about Penguin's new James Bond imprint, Quantum of Solace and the new book by Sebastian Faulks:
PENGUIN IS PLANNING the next steps in it successful James Bond publishing programme, following the announcement of the name of the next Bond film, named after an Ian Fleming short story. The title, Quantum of Solace, which refers to the mathematical measurement of love, comes from the collection For Your Eyes Only and is the third story from it to lend its title to a Bond film.

Originally published by Cape in 1961, and in paperback by Pan in 1962, the collection was most recently published in 2006 by Penguin as part of its Bond list. While no details are confirmed yet, Penguin will be talking to the Ian Fleming Estate about plans to tie-in a book to the new film, due for release in November.

“The film was originally going to be called Risico, which is another short story in the same collection,” said Penguin Press Executive Editor Simon Winder, who bought the rights to Fleming's books when running Penguin Modern Classics. “They wanted to keep to a Fleming title - that was important for them. It's actually a very good story - yes, it has an odd-sounding title, but it won't sound odd when the film is a huge success.”

Penguin recently announced the launch of a dedicated imprint, Penguin 007, to publish all its Bond titles, including Devil May Care, the new Bond novel, written by Sebastian Faulks and published on 28 May.

The publisher, as part of its partnership with MySpace's UK operation, has launched a competition to find a 'theme tune' to introduce the audiobook of Devil May Care, released at the same time as the print edition on 28 May. A shortlist chosen by Faulks in conjunction with Matthew Fleming, Ian's great nephew; Dom Cook, Director of Marketing at MySpace UK; Jazzie B, musician and producer, and Alex Clarke, the book's editor. Users of the site will then vote for the winning track which will later be released as a digital download. The book will have its own MySpace page with news, videos and downloadable items, while its publication will coincide with new hardback editions of Fleming's novels to tie-in with celebrations marking the centenary of his birth.
The myspace site is here, where you can submit your track for consideration. The penguin 007 site currently just has the press release for the cover of Devil May Care.