Tuesday, April 29, 2008

BookZone - top picks for April

I enjoy reading the column with Sue Baker's monthly selection at BookZone. April's issue has just come out and there's an interesting comment on Andrew Taylor's new book, Bleeding Heart Square:
Hot foot from listening to a recording of Riceyman Steps, I was back again in a decaying and run-down London. Here, we are in the 1930s and a mystery based on a real-life Victorian murder. It's crime, but I'd hate to think of it being ghettoised, with lovers of good fiction missing this absorbing and sinister story. There's a big trade and consumer campaign to come and I'd expect to see this high in the bestseller charts.
Read the whole column here (before scuttling back to your ghetto...).

De Luca's last stand?

It's not long to wait now until the release of the final part of the De Luca trilogy by Carlo Lucarelli, Via Delle Oche. Europa Editions have done a fabulous job bringing this and many other European novels into English.

The first two parts of the trilogy are Carte Blanche and The Damned season.

Synopsis from amazon.com: There has been a murder on Via delle Oche, the Bologna street at the center the city's notorious red light district. As always, De Luca is unwilling to look the other way when the evidence points to certain local politicians and members of the upper echelons of the Bologna police. A nation's fate is soon to be decided in bitterly contested elections; once again, the brutal worlds of crime and politics collude and collide, creating an atmosphere that becomes more volatile with each passing day.

Via Delle Oche is out 1 May in the US according to amazon.com or 5 June on the Europa Editions website.

Monday, April 28, 2008

OT: Amanda Tapping interview in the Metro

As you might have gathered, as well as crime fiction and cats, I'm also a Trek, Stargate and a belatedly converted 'new' Dr Who fan. I was quite surprised to see in today's Metro an interview with Colonel Carter aka Amanda Tapping who will be leaving the Stargate world for her own series, Sanctuary.

Read the interview, here.

Watch a taster of Series 1 of Sanctuary - which were webisodes - on the official website.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Reviews - Natasha Cooper, Philip Kerr etc

Here are this week's new reviews and details of this month's competitions.

Latest Reviews:

Amanda Gillies disputes the blurb claim that Alex Chance's The Final Days is as chilling as The Silence of the Lambs;

Maxine Clarke "thoroughly enjoyed" Natasha Cooper's A Greater Evil the eighth in the Trish Macguire series, now out in paperback;

Maxine also reviews the recently Theakston's long-listed The Risk of Darkness by Susan Hill calling it the most exciting of the three;

Laura Root heaps yet more praise on the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr with her review of the paperback of The One from the Other which she recommends to "all fans of historical and noir fiction";

Moving out of Europe (though the author currently lives in London), I review the first of Diane Wei Liang's Beijing set series, The Eye of Jade which I found fascinating

and Terry Halligan reviews the debut novel from Chris Marr, The Lady of the Manor, set in London in the early 1900s.

Current Competitions (closing date 30 April)

Win a copy of The Trophy Taker by Lee Weeks*

Win a copy of The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin**

Win a copy of An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson**

* UK/Europe only
**No geographical restrictions on entrants

Another Prize for Fossum

Via The Rap Sheet, Karin Fossum has won the LA Times Mystery award for Calling Out for You (aka The Indian Bride).

There was tough competition but I'm very happy with the result as it's a moving and compelling book.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Library Journal newsletter - new titles

The latest newsletter has the following paragraph on what's coming soon to the US:
Crime in translation and foreign mysteries continue to wash up on our shores. In June, the Milan-based publisher Baldini Castoldi Editore enters the U.S. market for the first time with Giorgio Faletti's I Kill, a psychological thriller set in Monte Carlo—a huge best seller in Italy. Also passing through customs is the first Arabic detective novel published in English. Set in Casablanca, The Final Bet (American Univ. in Cairo Pr., May) by Abdelilah Hamdouchi is the dark tale of a handsome young Moroccan accused of killing his much older wife.

The Scandinavian crime wave features Johan Theorin's Echoes of the Dead, winner of Sweden's Best First Crime Novel (Delacorte, Dec. 2008). Other exotic settings to be highlighted include Taiwan (Francie Lin's The Foreigner, Picador, Jun.), Slovakia (Michael Genelin's Siren of the Waters, Soho Crime, Jul.), and Mongolia (Michael Walters's The Shadow Walker, Berkley Prime Crime, Aug.).

The British invasion this summer and fall has a strong Scottish flavor, with two novels set in the Shetland Islands, Ann Cleeves's White Nights (Minotaur, Sept.) and S.J. Bolton's debut, Sacrifice (Minotaur, May). St. Martin's Minotaur executive editor Kelley Ragland describes Sacrifice as “a totally gripping read with an atmospheric setting and a modern-day story inspired by an ancient legend.”

Set in Aberdeen is award-winning Stuart MacBride's fourth DS Logan McRae procedural, Flesh House (Minotaur, Oct.). “This might possibly be his most violent book, but he's just so good and slightly ignored in the States,” raves Macmillan library marketing director Talia Ross. And September marks the arrival of Ian Rankin's highly anticipated final John Rebus mystery, Exit Music (Little, Brown).
Giorgio Faletti's I Kill is not (yet?) listed on amazon.co.uk but the rest are. Euro Crime has already reviewed the UK editions of Michael Walters' The Shadow Walker and Ian Rankin's Exit Music.

Read the whole article, which also includes an interview with Meg Gardiner and a feature on audio books, here

OT: Stargate Continuum trailer

It's off topic so it must be Saturday...
Gateworld, the guide to all things Stargate have the trailer for the next (hopefully not last) Stargate film, Continuum.

You can download a bigger version at the gateworld site.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The future of 'Young Bond'

The first series of 5 books about the young James Bond by Charlie Higson is due to conclude in September, however Higson is saying that he might write some more, aimed at an older (children's) audience. From the BBC website:
Author and comedian Charlie Higson is planning to write a new series of novels about the young James Bond.

The new sequence, which has not been officially announced, will explore the previously uncharted territory of Bond's sexual awakening.

"I want to have a break and do some other stuff for a while. But I'd love to come back and write some more," Higson told BBC News.

His first Bond novel Silverfin became a hit after it was published in 2005.

Fast Show star Higson was given the licence to write the Young Bond children's books by the family of Bond creator Ian Fleming.

The fifth and final book of the sequence, By Royal Command, is due out in September.

The books - aimed at under 14s - follow the exploits of the teenage Bond, who is first encountered as a 13-year-old orphan newly arrived at Eton in the early 1930s.

"By Royal Command ends with James Bond leaving Eton an older and wiser boy," Higson said.

"One thing I've been talking about possibly doing is a second sequence of books for a slightly older readership, maybe taking him up to and into World War II.

"He's approaching the age of 15 in this latest book and I couldn't continue writing this type of book for this age group with Bond at the age he is."
Read the rest of the article and watch a video of Charlie Higson on Bond's appeal, at the BBC website.

Website Updates

The News page has been updated with links to recent reviews and articles in the UK papers.

Also the Events page has been expanded a little, separating out one-off author events from the 'Literary Festivals'.

Events added include several author visits at Heffers in Cambridge and a visit by Andrea Maria Schenkel to the Goethe Institute next month. More details can be found on the Events page.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award - Longlist

The 20 titles in contention for this year's Theakstons' award have just been announced with a whole 4 female authors making the cut...(down from 6 in 2007)

Links are to the Euro Crime reviews
Simon Beckett, The Chemistry of Death
Mark Billingham, Buried
Benjamin Black, Christine Falls
Christopher Brookmyre, A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil
Sophie Hannah, Hurting Distance
John Harvey, Darkness and Light
Reginald Hill, The Death of Dalziel
Susan Hill, The Risk of Darkness
Graham Hurley, One Under
Peter James, Not Dead Enough
Simon Kernick, Relentless
Patrick Lennon, Corn Dolls
Stuart MacBride, Dying Light
Alexander McCall Smith, Blue Shoes and Happiness
Val McDermid, The Grave Tattoo
Mark Mills, The Savage Garden
Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves
Peter Robinson, Piece of my Heart
C.J. Sansom, Sovereign
Chris Simms, Shifting Skin
Voting by the public is now open and the shortlist will be announced at the end of June.

Ashes to Ashes DVD - coming soon...

The first* series of Ashes to Ashes will be out on DVD on 5th May. The main online shops are selling it at about £26.

The DVD extras include:
Car explosion featurette
Set tour featurette
Life After Mars - behind the scenes of Ashes to Ashes
Audio Commentary on Episodes 1 &2

Watch a trailer for the DVD on amazon.co.uk

*"The Gene Genie will be back next year in a brand new series featuring even more 1980s classics, Quattro action and blue eyeliner".(source BBC website)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bleeding Heart Square - trailer vs synopsis

Andrew Taylor has pointed me towards the trailer for his new book, Bleeding Heart Square, due out on the 29th May.

Synopsis from amazon.co.uk: 'If Philippa Penhow hadn't gone to Bleeding Heart Square on that January day, you and perhaps everyone else might have lived happily ever after...' It's 1934, and the decaying London cul-de-sac of Bleeding Heart Square is an unlikely place of refuge for aristocratic Lydia Langstone. But as she flees her abusive marriage there is only one person she can turn to - the genteelly derelict Captain Ingleby-Lewis, currently lodging at no 7. However, unknown to Lydia, a dark mystery haunts 7 Bleeding Heart Square. What happened to Miss Penhow, the middle-aged spinster who owns the house and who vanished four years earlier? Why is a seedy plain-clothes policeman obsessively watching the square? What is making struggling journalist Rory Wentwood so desperate to contact Miss Penhow? And why are parcels of rotting hearts being sent to Joseph Serridge, the last person to see Miss Penhow alive...? Legend has it the Devil once danced in Bleeding Heart Square - but is there now a new and sinister presence lurking in its shadows?

US publishing deal for Matt Hilton

Matt Hilton's UK deal was revealed a few days ago, and now the US rights have been sold. From Publisher's Lunch:
Matt Hilton's DEAD MEN'S DUST, about an ex-military officer hunting for a serial killer who may have taken his brother, to David Highfill at William Morrow, for publication in June 2009, plus two more Joe Hunter thrillers, by George Lucas at Inkwell Management (US).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New T-Shirts at Unshelved

Two of the new T-Shirt designs at Unshelved. Sign up for the daily comic strip here.

The Invisibles - BBC1

I saw the trailer after Waking the Dead for a new BBC drama - The Invisibles. It stars Buffy's Anthony Head and Dalziel and Pascoe's Warren Clarke.

From the BBC website:
Maurice Riley and Syd Woolsey are old friends who return from the good life on the Costa del Crime to a quiet Devon fishing village. They plan to eke out their retirement fishing and availing themselves of the NHS. However, the quiet life is not for them. As their ill-gotten gains run short, they find themselves drawn back into a life of crime, only crime has moved on and they've got new things to learn.
It starts on 1 May at 9pm on BBC1. Watch a trailer and read cast interviews at The Invisibles website.

Monday, April 21, 2008

An Expert in Murder - on the radio

Wrote this last night and completely forgot to post it this morning before heading to the Big Smoke and the Ian Fleming exhibition at the Imperial War Museum...

Starting today, An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson, the first in a detective series starring Josephine Tey, is being serialised in ten parts, on Woman's Hour.

It's on at 10.45-11.00am or 7.45-8.00pm or use the 'listen again' feature (for seven days from broadcast).

Read the Euro Crime review of An Expert in Murder.

Enter the competition to win a copy.

Hat tip to Alison in Liverpool.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Reviews - Leon, Wingfield etc

Here are this week's new reviews and details of this month's competitions.

Latest Reviews:

Maxine Clarke reviews the paperback edition of Simon Beckett's Written in Bone writing that it is "superbly and tightly plotted and proceeds at a thrilling pace";

Declan Burke reviews the latest in the Ed Loy PI series from Declan Hughes - The Dying Breed (US: The Price of Blood) calling it a "complex, labyrinthine, gritty, coarse (and, yes, bloody) novel";

I review the second in the Sarah Tanner series from Victorian supremo L M Jackson - The Mesmerist's Apprentice which I found took a while to warm up, but worth the wait;

Maxine also review the new outing from Donna Leon - The Girl of His Dreams which sees a return to form for the mistress of Venice;

Staying over the Channel, Norman Price reviews the succint offering from Jean-Patrick Manchette - Three to Kill - saying that it is a "taut superbly written noir thriller"

and back in the UK, Fiona Walker enthuses about the latest and, alas, last Frost book from R D Wingfield - A Killing Frost.

Current Competitions (closing date 30 April)

Win a copy of The Trophy Taker by Lee Weeks*

Win a copy of The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin**

Win a copy of An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson**

* UK/Europe only
**No geographical restrictions on entrants

The Times's "50 Greatest Crime Writers"

I prefer this list to the one in The Telegraph a while back. Links on the author's name take you to the Times's page about the author (which gives a suggestion as to which book to try); bibliographies are linked to their Euro Crime page:

1. Patricia Highsmith

2. Georges Simenon - Bibliography

3. Agatha Christie - Bibliography

4. Raymond Chandler

5. Elmore Leonard

6. Arthur Conan Doyle - Bibliography

7. Ed McBain

8. James M. Cain

9. Ian Rankin - Bibliography

10. James Lee Burke

11. Dennis Lehane

12. P.D. James - Bibliography

13. Dashiell Hammett

14. Jim Thompson

15. Sjowall and Wahloo - Bibliography

16. John Dickson Carr

17. Cornell Woolrich

18. Ruth Rendell - Bibliography

19. Ross Macdonald

20. James Ellroy

21. Charles Willeford

22. Dorothy Sayers - Bibliography

23. John Harvey - Bibliography

24. Wilkie Collins

25. Francis Iles

26. Manuel Vasquez Montalban - Bibliography

27. Karin Fossum - Bibliography

28. Val McDermid - Bibliography

29. Edgar Allan Poe

30. Derek Raymond

31. George Pelecanos

32. Margery Allingham - Bibliography

33. Minette Walters - Bibliography

34. Carl Hiaasen

35. Walter Mosley

36. Reginald Hill - Bibliography

37. Michael Dibdin - Bibliography

38. Patricia Cornwell

39. Scott Turow

40. Dick Francis - Bibliography

41. Edmund Crispin

42. Alexander McCall Smith - Bibliography

43. Andrea Camilleri - Bibliography

44. Harlan Coben

45. Donna Leon

46. Josephine Tey - Bibliography

47. Colin Dexter - Bibliography

48. Nicholas Blake

49. Henning Mankell - Bibliography

50. Sara Paretsky

Check out a few responses to the Times article on Crime Scraps, Petrona and Mysteries in Paradise.

I've only sampled a measly 21 of these authors (and 20 off The Telegraph selection). I'm very surprised double Dagger winner Vargas isn't on the list.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Barbara Cleverly - new series update

Last year Barbara Cleverly, author of the Joe Sandilands series, began a new historical series featuring archaeologist Laetitia Talbot starting with The Tomb of Zeus. At the time there was no UK publication date, however UK fans will only have to wait until September when it's published by Constable and Robinson. (C & R are also reprinting the paperbacks of the Sandilands this June.)
Meanwhile over in the US, the second in the Talbot series, Bright Hair About the Bone, will be published in October.

OT: Cats keeping warm

You should be able to spot four cats 'growing' in the greenhouse...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Copycat Covers - of a sort

Not quite identical but thematically similar, both are published by Harvill Secker:

This Night's Foul Work was released in February and is reviewed here.

Arctic Chill will be out in October. The blurb from Amazon is as follows:
On an icy January day the Reykjavik police are called out to a block of flats where a body has been found in the garden: a young, dark-skinned boy, frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. The discovery of a stab wound in his stomach puts paid to any hope that this was a tragic accident. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation with little to go on but the news that the boy's Thai half-brother is missing. Is he implicated, or simply afraid for his own life? The investigation soon unearths tensions simmering beneath the surface of Iceland's outwardly liberal, multicultural society. A teacher at the boy's school makes no secret of his anti-immigration stance; incidents are reported between Icelandic pupils and the disaffected children of incomers; and, to confuse matters further, a suspected paedophile has been spotted in the area. Meanwhile, the boy's murder forces Erlendur to confront the tragedy in his own past. Soon, facts are emerging from the snow-filled darkness that are more chilling even than the Arctic night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Publishing Deals - Margie Orford, Elly Griffiths

From Publishing News:
Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann has sold a three-book thriller series by Cape Town-based crime novelist Margie Orford to Ravi Mirchandani at Atlantic. London-born and raised in Namibia and South Africa, Orford was detained during the State of Emergency in 1985 and took her final Uni exams in prison. She studied under J M Coetzee and worked in publishing in Namibia, including the African Publishers Network. The series features journalist and part-time police profiler Dr Clare Hart. The first title, Like Clockwork, is already published in Germany with a 100,000 first print.
Janklow & Nesbit UK was kept busy in the run-up to LBF with a series of auctions for a bright new talent, Elly Griffiths, whose debut The Crossing Places introduces forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson. UK rights have been snapped up by Jane Wood at Quercus, who is charmed by the author's “fresh and engaging writing; her quirky heroine; her wild East Anglian setting; her strong sense of history of how the past informs the present”. Dutch rights went to De Fontein, Norwegian were pre-empted by Aschehoug in sales by Rebecca Folland in London. J&N New York is handling US rights.
I'm looking forward to both these new series, especially the books set in my native (wild?) East Anglia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

London Book Fair Haul

On Monday I went down to London for the Book Fair. I managed to acquire a few proofs but even more importantly for the bibliography section of the Euro Crime website, a number of catalogues listing new books for the latter part of the year. I'll be working my way through those over the next few days (weeks?) and the future releases pages will swell with all the new titles.

Just as importantly, I later met up with the ladies behind the excellent blogs: It's a Crime!, Petrona and Keeper of the Snails and had a nice meal (with cheesecake...).

BBC Drama - Purves & Pekkala

Details of a one-off crime drama have been released by the BBC:
Filming has begun in Edinburgh on Purves & Pekkala, a new 75-minute murder mystery written and directed by acclaimed writer Annie Griffin (The Book Group, Festival) – her first drama for BBC One.

There are some neighbourhoods people would kill to live in – Purves & Pekkala takes today's obsession with urban redesign to another level.

The new drama stars Mark Gatiss (The League Of Gentlemen, Nighty Night) and Finnish actor Max Bremer as architects Duff Purves and Mikko Pekkala, alongside Daniela Nardini (This Life, Festival) as ruthless estate agent Meredith McIlvanney.

Omid Djalili (Lead Balloon, Pirates Of The Caribbean) plays property developer Walter and Paul Higgins (The Last Enemy, The Thick Of It) plays lawyer Hamish Glennie.

The BBC One drama centres on the lives of two ambitious architects who, fed up doing kitchen renovations, set their sights on grand property plans after a local developer asks them to renovate the most prestigious Georgian building in the city.

But their plans are thwarted by interfering organisations and that simply won't do. When their nemesis falls from a landmark building – the question is, did he fall or was he pushed? In Purves & Pekkala the desire to become the hottest architects in town takes a mysterious twist.

Purves & Pekkala will film on location in Edinburgh over a four-week period during April 2008. The 75-minute drama is scheduled to transmit on BBC One in 2008/9.
Read the whole press release here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Place of Execution - casting details

Further to my post in January that Val McDermid's A Place of Execution was to be televised, news is that it will star Juliet Stevenson and Greg Wise:
Filming has begun on a drama based on Val McDermid's top-selling novel A Place of Execution - the tale of the mystery surrounding a missing 13-year-old girl.

Juliet Stevenson (Truly Madly Deeply) plays a high-flying TV Reporter, Catherine Heathcote, who is making a film based on the disappearance of schoolgirl, Alison Carter (Poppy Goodburn), back in 1963. The film tells the story of George Bennett (Lee Ingleby) the young Detective Inspector who worked relentlessly on the case, and delves into the lives of Alison’s mother Ruth (Emma Cunniffe), step-father Hawkin (Greg Wise), and the locals in the tight-knit village of Scardale.
Read the rest of the article on the ITV website.

Publishing Deal - Asian Crime

From Publishing News:
At Piatkus, Emma Dunford has bought the first three books in a new crime series by Shamini Flint from Singapore house Sunbear Publishing. DI Singh is “the Asian Morse”.
The first in the series, Partners in Crime is already available in the UK - it was published in 2005 by Heliconia Press (an imprint of Sunbear). From their website:

Our imprint, Heliconia Press, publishes the Asian Crime Fiction Series. The series is a unique attempt to explore contemporary Asian society using the crime fiction genre. The books are part travel writing, part crime fiction and totally enjoyable!

The first book, set in Singapore, is called Partners in Crime as has been described as ‘a new murder mystery franchise’ (Expat Magazine).

The second book, Criminal Minds, set in Malaysia, has been described by the Straits Times in Singapore as a ‘page turner… which is also thought provoking’.

The latest title, Paradise Lost, which is set in Bali, will be released in 2008!

According to High Browse Online, Partners in Crime is "a murder mystery featuring the anarchic Inspector Singh and his sidekick, Corporal Fong. The pair are called in to investigate the brutal murder of the senior partner at an international law firm. Expat lawyers, local policemen and foreign workers are thrown together in a murder investigation that probes beneath the fabric of Singapore society."

Amazon.co.uk also sells Criminal Minds.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Good Year for the Baronesses

Not content with having a new Dalgleish from P D James in September, The Private Patient, we are to be spoilt with two new books from Ruth Rendell in 2008. Firstly in August comes The Birthday Present written as Barbara Vine, followed in November by Portobello.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Damian Lewis's 'Life' coming to UK TV

Last year I mentioned Life a US cop drama starring Britain's own Damian Lewis. Only a few more months to wait until it's on ITV3, according to Digital Spy:
The eleven-episode first season - NBC has already given the thumbs up to a second, by the way - will play out on ITV3 this summer, then air on FX (and the highly-anticipated FXHD!) from next January.
I think we need another picture...

The official NBC website is here, chock full of full episodes, videos, photos etc.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Reviews

Here are this week's new reviews and details of an extra competition to the two mentioned last weekend:

Latest Reviews:

This week we go to America, Norway, France, Russia and Botswana in our reviews, starting with Lee Child's Jack Reacher in his latest paperback incarnation - Bad Luck and Trouble reviewed by sock knitter extraordinaire Pat Austin;

I review the second of the Vik-Stubo series by Anne Holt which is set in Norway and France - The Final Murder (US: What Never Happens) - I preferred this to the first book enormously;

Continuing in France, Laura Root reviews the first book to feature Nicholas Le Floch - The Chatelet Apprentice by Jean-Francois Parot set in pre-revolutionary Paris;

Karen Chisholm reviews the much publicised Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith set in Stalinist Russia;

Moving onto Botswana, Maxine Clarke calls - A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley a "rip-roaring read"

and back in France, Maxine has good things to say about Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker.

Current Competitions (closing date 30 April)

Win a copy of The Trophy Taker by Lee Weeks*

Win a copy of The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin**

Win a copy of An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson**

* UK/Europe only
**No geographical restrictions on entrants

March's Competition Winners

Here are the winners of March's Euro Crime competition (and the correct answer):

Prize=A copy of A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley

Which one of the following authors also writes a series set in Botswana?

b) Alexander McCall Smith


Adrian Bold
Bob Clark
Susan Hall
Sharon Lake
Debra Phillipson
Alison Serdet
Susannah Southurst
Tracey Steadman
Anne Stephenson
Denise Twist

Enter this month's competitions here.

Oakhill Audio Books

A fairly new to me source of audio books is Oakhill Publishing. Their crime list includes several titles from Andrea Camilleri as well as The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill.

There's also a listing for Thrillers but some crime novels have slipped into General Fiction eg Caro Peacock (Gillian Linscott)'s Death at Dawn which is released this month:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Additional Competition for April

A third competition has just been set up for April - we're now also giving away copies of The Trophy Taker by Lee Weeks (as well as books by Ariana Franklin and Nicola Upson):

A serial killer is on the loose. His target? Lone Western women lured to Hong Kong by the promise of easy money. As The Butcher's killing spree escalates, bags of mutilated body parts are found all over the island - and more girls are disappearing. Taking on his first homicide case, Detective Johnny Mann is determined to stop The Butcher's brutal reign. Haunted by the memory of his father's death by the Triads, he's the only man who can track down a killer who's paralysing the city with fear. Georgina Johnson has left her tragic past in England to start afresh in Hong Kong. But soon her life is in peril as she is sucked into the sinister world of the city's hostess clubs. Venturing into dark and dangerous places, Mann unearths chilling evidence about the killings. And then another body is found, one which brings the murders closer to home! Bolt the doors, turn on the lights and pray for mercy - you'll be up all night with this disturbingly addictive debut from a writer being hailed as the female James Patterson.

We have 4 copies to give away, just go over to the competition page and email me the answer to the simple question to go into the draw. (This one's only open to UK/Europe residents but the other two competitions are open to all.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes (play)

Sherlock Holmes - The Last Act, a play written by David Stuart Davies and starring Roger Llewellyn, is showing for one night at Lichfield Garrick Theatre on Saturday. It's already sold out, returns only, but you can watch a clip of the play, courtesy of You Tube.

Roger Llewellyn is currently also appearing in The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes, also written by David Stuart Davies, which is on tour:
The Death and Life of Sherlock Homes
A dramatic finale…a thrilling comeback!

The World’s Greatest Detective refuses to leave the stage! Arthur Conan Doyle tires of his famous sleuth and uses the arch villain Moriarty to dispose of him. But as raising the spirits of the dead becomes an obsession in the author’s own life, so his fictional creations return to thrill, intrigue and dazzle us.

A wryly humourous tale of murder, mystery and the occult.

After his international success in Sherlock Holmes – The Last Act Roger Llewellyn returns as the great detective in this enthralling new play.

Written by David Stuart Davies, with an original score by Simon Slater. Directed by Gareth Armstrong.

Congrats to Catherine O'Flynn

The Galaxy British Book Awards winners were announced last night:
Catherine O'Flynn was named Waterstone Newcomer of the Year, a popular win for booksellers who have already enjoyed strong sales of her What Was Lost (Tindal Street).
The rest of the winners can be found on the British Book Awards website.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Publishing Deal for Police Officer

From the BBC website:
A police officer has quit his job after landing a £800,000 publishing deal to write crime thrillers.

PC Matt Hilton worked as a beat officer in Cumbria before securing the five novel deal with Hodder and Stoughton.

The 42-year-old, of Carlisle, says he has finally achieved his dream after working for the police and in security.

His first book, Dead Men's Dust, will be published in June next year and the later novels will be released at six-monthly intervals.

He said: "As a police constable I primarily answered 999 calls, and often dealt with violence, theft, robbery and road traffic collisions.

"Although I enjoyed my work, I never felt that I was achieving my ambition, so when the publishing deal came along I resigned from the force immediately, allowing me to do what I've always dreamed of.

"I've been existing on adrenalin since I heard the news."

He has been writing novels since the age of 13 and has had non-fiction magazine articles published before.

After 18 years working in the private security industry he joined Cumbria Police in 2004.

Lee Child interviewed at Evil E

In case you missed it, Lee Child was grilled by several well known 'faces' at Evil E the other day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A New Short Story Collection

Yesterday I received the press release for the latest short story collection edited by Martin Edwards, called M.O. which will be out 1 May:

The second in this series of anthologies from the CWA picks up the primary scent of any investigation: the modus operandi; the signature that identifies any repeat offender, the ‘how’ that supersedes the ‘why’. From the ex-doctor tenderly administering a final prescription to his victims, the party of finishing school debutantes exacting revenge on their lecherous host… these stories demonstrate that, even with the most despicable of crimes, there’s methodology in the madness.
The contributing authors include, Robert Barnard, Ann Cleeves, Kate Ellis, Liz Evans and Christine Poulson as well as the editor himself. I like the sound of this one:
Two creative writing tutors discuss the merits of ‘hardboiled’ versus ‘cosy’ schools of crime writing, while a murderous student points out that it’s really procedure that counts . . .
Read more about the collection and the authors on the Comma Press website.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New Reviews & April's Competitions

Here are this week's new reviews and details of the two new competitions for April (with no geographical restrictions):

Latest Reviews:

It's time for Mike Ripley's March Crime File in which he reviews A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr, Silesian Station by David Downing, The Mesmerist's Apprentice by L M Jackson and Orpheus Rising by Colin Bateman;

I review the latest Bryant and May title by Christopher Fowler to make it onto audiobook: Ten-Second Staircase - I just love this series which is so well narrated by Tim Goodman;

New Euro Crime reviewer Amanda Gillies opens her account with her take on Allan Guthrie's Savage Night, calling it "noir fiction at its best";

Fiona Walker provides the low down on the latest antics of Dalziel and Pascoe in Reginald Hill's A Cure For All Diseases and explains why she found it "mostly brilliant";

Maxine reviews Brian McGilloway's follow up to Borderlands - Gallows Lane which "leaves the reader looking forward to more"

and Maxine loved the latest offering from Catherine Sampson The Pool of Unease which takes the series character to China.

Current Competitions (closing date 30 April)

Win a copy of The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin

Win a copy of An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson

(there are no geographical restrictions on entrants)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

'Waking the Dead' is back

Trevor Eve and the gang are back on BBC1 on the 14th April for the start of the seventh series. The first episode is called Missing Persons:
The DNA of a woman caught on CCTV camera defending her daughter from a mugger is found to match that discovered at a murder scene in 1990. Meanwhile, Boyd's emotions are challenged when there's news about his son who's been missing for seven years.
Watch a clip on the BBC website.

Books reviewed in March (on Euro Crime)

A round-up of what we reviewed in March: (read more reviews on the review page on the website):
BAKER, MARTIN - Meltdown
COOPER, NATASHA - A Poisoned Mind
DOWNIE, R S - Ruso and the Demented Doctor
EDWARDS, MARTIN - The Cipher Garden
FRENCH, NICCI - Losing You
FRENCH, NICCI - Until It's Over
GRAY, ALEX - A Small Weeping
GREGORY, SUSANNA - To Kill or Cure
HARVEY, JOHN - Cold in Hand
HAYDER, MO - Ritual
HILL, SUSAN - The Pure in Heart
JACKSON, L M - A Most Dangerous Woman
KERR, PHILIP - A Quiet Flame
KRAJEWSKI, MAREK - Death in Breslau
MCDERMID, VAL - Beneath the Bleeding
MANOTTI, DOMINIQUE - Lorraine Connection
MONCRIEFF, SEAN - The History of Things
MORRIS, R N - A Vengeful Longing
NESBO, JO - Nemesis
O'CONNOR, ED - Primal Cut
RAYBOURN, DEANNA - Silent in the Grave
REES, MATT - The Saladin Murders
UPSON, NICOLA - An Expert in Murder
WALTERS, MINETTE - The Chameleon's Shadow
WILSON, LAURA - Stratton's War
April's reviews will begin tomorrow.

Friday, April 04, 2008

News Page Updated

I've updated the News page on the website with the usual links to new reviews and interviews. Death in Breslau and A Quiet Flame are still getting reviewed and are now joined by Nothing to Lose by Lee Child.

Philip Glenister wins Best Actor Award

From the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards list:
Best Actor
Philip Glenister
(Mr Carter in Cranford, Gene Hunt in Life on Mars, for BBC One)

Pictures taken from the official Philip Glenister website.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Harrogate Crime Writing Festival - Programme

I finally got round to booking my hotel last night for the duration of the Harrogate Festival. I may have got the last room at The Swallow as it's now showing as sold out. (I used priceline as suggested by crimeficreader).

The HCWF website now has the full programme. Potential highlights (for me) include:

James Bond - The Spy we loved

Chair: Simon Brett (Macmillan)
Philip Kerr (Quercus)
Joseph Finder (Headline)
Catherine Sampson (Macmillan)
Charlie Higson (Puffin)

A dirty job but someone’s got to do it

Chair: Quintin Jardine (Headline)
Jo Nesbo (Random House)
Roger Jon Ellory (Orion)
Thomas H Cook (Quercus)
Barbara Nadel (Headline)

Cosy Crime Fiction

Chair: Paul Johnston (Mira)
Jill Paton Walsh (Hodder)
MC Beaton (Constable and Robinson)
Catriona McPherson (Hodder)
Colin Cotterill (Quercus)

Win Books!

Both competitions this month are open to all ie no geographical restrictions. The prizes are copies of The Death Maze (US: The Serpent's Tale) by Ariana Franklin and An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson. Read more about the books and view the 'tricky' questions that need to be answered to enter the draws, over on the competition page.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New Books in April

The following titles are published for the first time in April. A few have their premiere in the US, one in Australia but mostly they are UK publications. This is taken from Euro Crime's Future Releases by month page which currently goes up to 2010:
Adam, Paul - Knife Edge

Bayliss, Tony - Strictly Liable

Burdess, Wendy - The Meticulous Messenger

Burman, Carina - The Streets of Babylon, #1 Euthanasia Bondeson, Swedish author, late 19th Century

Campbell, Karen - The Twilight Time

Cannell, Dorothy - Goodbye, Ms. Chips, #12 Ellie Haskell

Chance, Alex - The Final Days

Clare, Alys - The Paths of the Air, #11 Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d'Acquin, 12th Century England

Cleeves, Ann - White Nights, #2 Detective Jimmy Perez, Shetlands

Clough, Nicholas J - A Safe Place to Kill

Doherty, P C/Paul - Murder's Immortal Mask. #5 Ancient Rome series

Edwards, Martin - Waterloo Sunset, #8 Harry Devlin, Solicitor in Liverpool

Eriksson, Kjell - The Demon of Dakar, #7 Detectives Ola Haver and Ann Lindell, Uppsala, Sweden

Frimansson, Inger - The Shadow in the Water, #2 Justine Dalvik

Galbraith, Gillian - Where the Shadow Falls, #2 DS Alice Rice, Edinburgh

Gray, Alex - Pitch Black, #5 DCI Lorimer & psychologist Solomon Brightman, Glasgow

Hampson, June - Damaged Goods, #3 Daisy Lane, 1960s

Hill, Kaye C - Dead Woman's Shoes, #1 Lexy Lomas

Horton, Lesley - Twisted Tracks, #5 DI John Handford & DS Khalid Ali, Bradford

Howell, Lis - The Chorister at the Abbey, #2 The Norbridge Chronicles

Ison, Graham - Hardcastle's Burglar, #6 DI Hardcastle, 1900s

Jackson, L M - The Mesmerist's Apprentice, #2 Sarah Tanner, 1850s London

Joensuu, Matti Yrjänä - To Steal Her Love, #11 DS Timo Harjunpaa, Finland

Kaddour, Hedi -Waltenberg

Knight, Bernard - The Manor of Death, #12 Sir John de Wolfe, County Coroner, Devon C12th

Lackberg, Camilla - The Ice Princess, #1 Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Fjallbacka

Lewis, Roy - Guardian of the Dead, Eric Ward

Mankell, Henning - The Eye of the Leopard

McCarthy, Keith - With a Passion Put to Use, #6 Solicitor Helena Flemming and Pathologist John Eisenmenger

McCoy, Ken - Loser, #4 Sam Carew, ex-cop and now private detective

McGilloway, Brian - Gallows Lane, #2 Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin

Monroe, Grace - Blood Lines, #2 Brodie McClennan, Lawyer, Edinburgh

Ostergren, Klas - Gangsters

Parot, Jean-Francois - The Man with the Lead Stomach, #2 Nicolas Le Floch, a young Breton police recruit, 1760s

Perez-Reverte, Arturo - The King's Gold, #4 Captain Alatriste, 17C Spain

Reed, Mary and Mayer, Eric - Seven for a Secret, #7 John the Eunuch

Russell, Leigh - Cut Short, #1 DI Geraldine Steel

Sansom, C J - Revelation, #4 Shardlake, C16th

Savage, Alan - The Flowing Tide

Strong, Terence - President Down

The Mulgray Twins - Under Suspicion, #2 Undercover revenue officer DJ Smith & her trained sniffer cat Gorgonzolo, Edinburgh

van der Vlugt, Simone - The Reunion

Walker, Martin - Bruno, Chief of Police

Weeks, Lee - The Trophy Taker, #1 Detective Johnny Mann, Hong Kong

Wingfield, R D - A Killing Frost, #6 DI Jack Frost

Young, Felicity - Harum Scarum
I'm particularly looking forward to White Nights by Ann Cleeves and The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackbeg (currently listed as unavailable on amazon.co.uk).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A couple of follow ups to earlier posts

There's now a publishing date for the English translation of the follow up to The Shadow of the Wind. From today's Publisher's Lunch:
Internationally bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón's El Juego del Angel (The Angel's Game), a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind set in 1920s Barcelona, combining a love story, a mystery, a fantasy and an exploration of literature, moving to Stephen Rubin at Doubleday, with Bill Thomas editing, for publication in summer 2009,
Just a bit of warning that Joanne Harris's sequel to Chocolat, published in the UK last year as The Lollipop Shoes is due out in the US in May, entitled The Girl With No Shadow.

Judging Book Awards

If like me, you've ever wondered how a judge can read all the books eligible for an award then a paragraph in Kate Muir's latest column in The Times reveals how one person did it (or not in fact):
Indeed, it turns out that even people judging book prizes don’t read. I talked to someone who judged one of our grander prizes last year and he said: “Of course you don’t have time. You tip the boxes of books out on the floor, put the names you know in a pile, and then you do the first-and-last chapter test on the rest. You only really read the shortlist. We have day jobs too, you know.”