Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jo Nesbo news

A brief snippet from the latest Jo Nesbo newsletter:
The Leopard (Harry Hole #8) will come out in the UK in March 2011, and exactly one year later, The Bat Man (Harry Hole #1) will finally be published in English!
Sign up for the newsletter on the Jo Nesbo website.

Jo Nesbo talks about The Leopard in this interview, apparently it's a long book (the others aren't short!) dwelling more on Harry and his personal life than in earlier books:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Murder at Mansfield Park - cover opinions

A review of Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd will appear on Euro Crime in due course. The UK and Australian editions are both published in April with the US edition out in July. Which cover would entice you to pick it up or is the title alone enough?

UK left, Australian right

(US cover left)
Murder at Mansfield Park is a witty and clever reimagining of Jane Austen's much-loved novel Mansfield Park. But in this Mansfield Park, things have changed...Formerly Austen's meekest heroine, Fanny Price has become not only an heiress to an extensive fortune but also a heartless, scheming minx. Hiding her true character behind a demure facade, Fanny is indeed betrothed to Edmund, now Mrs Norris's stepson; but do the couple really love each other? Henry and Mary Crawford arrive in the country ready to wreak havoc with their fast city ways, but this time Henry Crawford is troubled by a suspicious past while his sister, Mary, steps forward in the best Austen style to become an unexpected heroine. Meanwhile, tragedy strikes the safe and solid grand house as it becomes the scene of violence. Every member of the family falls under suspicion and the race begins to halt a ruthless murderer.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Reviews: Goddard, Hannah, Mankell, Robertson, Rowson, Welsh

This month's competitions:

Win the complete Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson on Unabridged Audiobooks (UK & Ireland)
Win a copy of Tell-Tale by Sam Hayes (worldwide)
Win a copy of The Preacher & The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg (UK only)

Here are this week's new reviews:
Geoff Jones reviews Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard;

Maxine Clarke reviews A Room Swept White by Sophie Hannah;

Maxine also reviews Henning Mankell's The Man from Beijing, calling it "marvellous";

Amanda Gillies reviews Craig Robertson's debut novel, Random which is published this week;

Terry Halligan reviews the latest in the DI Horton series from Pauline Rowson Blood on the Sand set in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight

and Michelle Peckham reviews Naming the Bones by Louise Welsh and reports that it's as enjoyable as Welsh's previous books, The Cutting Room and The Bullet Trick.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tudor Crime

Tudor era crime fiction seems to be quite popular at the moment. The latest in C J Sansom's Shardlake series, Heartstone, will be out in September:

It was summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour.

In the meantime, S J Parris's Heresy has just been published:

Introducing the monk Giodarno Bruno, magician, scientist, and heretic in a new series of historical thrillers for fans of C.J.Sansom and 'The Name of the Rose' England, 1583 A country awash with paranoia and conspiracy -- but a safe haven for a radical monk on the run. Giordano Bruno, with his theories of astronomy and extraterrestrial life, has fled the Inquisition for the court of Elizabeth I. Here, he attracts the attention of Francis Walsingham, chief spymaster and sworn enemy of Catholic plotters. Bruno is sent undercover to Oxford, where the university is believed to be a hotbed of French dissent. Bruno quickly finds himself drawn into college intrigues, and distracted by a beautiful young woman. Before long, he is investigating a hideous series of murders, each linked by a letter offering clues. The letters suggest that each victim was guilty of heresy. But is Bruno being aided or misled - or is he himself the next target? Stalking a cunning and determined killer through the shadowy cloisters of Oxford, Bruno realizes that even the wise cannot always tell truth from heresy. But some are prepared to kill for it!

On the 1st April, the first in a new series - Bones of Avalon - from Phil Rickman will be published:

Religious strife, Glastonbury legends, the bones of King Arthur and the curse of the Tudors...can Renaissance man John Dee help the young Queen Elizabeth to avoid it? It is 1560. Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year, the date for her coronation having been chosen by her astrologer, Dr John Dee, at just 32 already famous throughout Europe as a mathematician and expert in the hidden arts. But neither Elizabeth nor Dee feel entirely secure. Both have known imprisonment for political reasons. The Queen is unpopular with both Roman Catholics and the new breed of puritanical protestant. Dee is regarded with suspicion in an era where the dividing line between science and sorcery is, at best, indistinct. And the assignment he's been given by the Queen's chief minister, Sir William Cecil, will blur it further: ride to the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, bring back King Arthur's bones. The mission takes the mild, bookish Dee to the tangled roots of English magic and the Arthurian legacy so important to the Tudors. Into unexpected violence, spiritual darkness, the breathless stirring of first love...and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth. With him is his friend and former student, Robert Dudley, a risk-taker, a wild card...and possibly the Queen's secret lover. Dee is Elizabethan England's forgotten hero. A man for whom this world - even the rapidly-expanding world of the Renaissance - was never enough.

On the 29th April, Revenger, the sequel to Martyr by Rory Clements will be out:

1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply. The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen's long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex. Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him -- despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court -- a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected. When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger -- but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?

Available on import (to the UK) we have the first in a new series from Peg Herring, Her Highness' First Murder which came out in January:

Elizabeth Tudor is as appalled as everyone else when headless corpses litter the streets of London, but when one of her own ladies is murdered, she vows to stop the killer. Her new friend Simon Maldon wants to help, and they join with a sergeant of the King’s Welsh Guard to investigate. Is the killer Elizabeth’s castellan? A creepy cleric who manages her household accounts? A madman captured on the grounds?

Religion seems to be a factor, since the murdered women are dressed in nun’s robes. Is it due to the fact that Henry’s beheaded two wives or that he’s outlawed Catholicism in England? The answers aren’t clear, but danger soon stalks the two young people. As the guardsmen search frantically for the depraved killer, Simon finds himself a prisoner, alone and in trouble. Elizabeth’s life is threatened as well. It may be too late for one of them, maybe both, to emerge from Her Highness’ first murder alive.

Queen Elizabeth I also appears in a seven book series by Karen Harper.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Third Competition is Revealed

The latest competition on the Euro Crime website has now gone live and has one of the most valuable prizes the site has ever been able to offer.

You can win the all three parts of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy on audio book (unabridged and on 56 cds), tr. Reg Keeland and which are narrated by Saul Reichlin

This competition is open to residents of UK and Ireland only. Details on how to enter are here.

There are no geographical restrictions on the competition for Tell-Tale by Sam Hayes.

UK residents can also enter the competition to win copies of Camilla Lackberg's The Preacher and The Stonecutter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swedish Wallander returns to BBC4

Good news for fans of Krister Henriksson's Wallander as the second series starts next Saturday on BBC4 at 9pm (thanks to Alison for the heads-up). There have been some changes to the cast and Lena Endre (who can be glimpsed as Erika Berger in the film of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) joins as Katarina Ahlsell.

The English title for Hämnden is The Revenge. The synopsis according to is:

Kurt Wallander has made the dream of his life come true. He has bought a house by the sea. He takes long walks with his faithful companion, the Labrador Jussi. Kurt feels more content and in harmony with his life than ever. All of a sudden the calm in idyllic Ystad is broken by a powerful explosion which makes the entire town go black. What has been blown up is the only transformer station in Ystad.

The explosion is followed by several other deeds. Military is called in and a state of emergency is proclaimed. Ystad starts to look like a war zone. But is it sabotage or an act of terrorism? There is chaos and chased by media, Wallander fumbles in the dark, looking for terrorists or perpetrators.

Here's the subtitle-free trailer for Hämnden :

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Reviews: Hosp, Kernick, McDermid, Moffat, Vargas, Wilson

This month's competitions:

Win a copy of Tell-Tale by Sam Hayes (worldwide)
Win a copy of The Preacher & The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg (UK only)

check back later this week for an exciting Stieg Larsson competition.

Here are this week's new reviews:
Terry Halligan reviews Among Thieves by David Hosp; though written by an American author and set in the US there is a St Patrick's Day and Irish connection;

Maxine Clarke reviews Simon Kernick's new thriller The Last Ten Seconds;

Laura Root reviews the paperback release of the latest in the Tony Hill series from Val McDermid, Fever of the Bone;

Amanda Gillies reviews G J Moffat's debut, now out in paperback: Daisychain;

Michelle Peckham reviews the first Adamsberg novel from Fred Vargas, tr. Sian Reynolds, also now out in paperback - The Chalk Circle Man

and Maxine also reviews The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Upcoming Swedish Fiction

Quercus will now be publishing Swedish duo Roslund-Hellstrom beginning this September with Three Seconds translated by Kari Dickson:

Piet Hoffman is the best undercover operative in the Swedish police force, but only one other man is even aware of his existence. When an amphetamine deal he is involved in goes badly wrong, he is faced with the hardest mission of his life: to infiltrate Sweden's most infamous maximum security prison. Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is charged with investigating the drug-related killing. Unaware of Hoffman's real identity, he believes himself to be on the trail of a dangerous psychopath. But he cannot escape the feeling that vital information pertaining to the case has been withheld or manipulated. Hoffman has his insurance: wiretap recordings that implicate some of Sweden's most prominent politicians in a corrupt conspiracy. But in Ewert Grens the powers that be might just have found the perfect weapon to eliminate him...Intelligent, gripping, brutal, Three Seconds is the latest thriller from Roslund and Hellstrom, the heirs apparent to Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell as masters of Scandinavian crime.

I've added this title to my amazon list of Scandinavian Crime Fiction published in 2010.

Anders Roslund is an award-winning journalist and Borge Hellstrom, is an ex-criminal.

I'll have more Quercus snippets to report over the next few days.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Copycat Covers - Girl with flowers in her hair

The paperback of Tethered by Amy MacKinnon came out last September. The hardback cover has the most creepy cover. Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan is a YA novel due out on 12 April in the US.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What I'm Listening To

One of the audiobooks I've got on the go at the moment is The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg (tr. Steven T Murray) and narrated by Cameron Stewart.
(Win a copy of The Preacher and The Stonecutter books, here.)

I've been chuckling at some of the passages including this one where the lead male character, Patrik is contemplating the poor driving exhibited in the summer resort of Fjallbacka:

"The terrain was apparently so rugged where they lived that they felt the need to drive a big four-wheel-drive Jeep. That type of vehicle was far too common among the summer visitors. Patrik surmised that in this case the Stockholm region was considered rugged terrain."

I listened to that bit on Saturday night but my laughter would have been slightly more hysterical if I'd listened to it today as this morning my stationary, small, economical car got clipped by a Mitsubishi Shogun: the driver trying to fit a quart into a pint-pot parking space. Seems to me if you're driving a car you should know how wide it is. So lots of hassle for me, the innocent party as it'll probably need a new back brake light set and the dint repairing. The Mitsubishi however only sustained light scratches to its bumper.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Covers from the same front garden?

Petrona and I spotted these in Waterstone's on Monday, both are published by Orion:

Update (perhaps this is the garden?):

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Film 2010 reviews The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Jonathan Ross gives his verdict on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at 17 minutes into his programme. This link should take you straight there.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Publishing Deals - Marklund, Mariani

I reported earlier this year that Transworld are publishing Liza Marklund's books in the UK and in today's Publishers Lunch Weekly it seems that she's getting the US treatment as well:
Scandinavian crime writer Liza Marklund's THE RED WOLF, NOBEL'S LAST WILL, LIFETIME and A PLACE IN THE SUN, to Emily Bestler at Atria, in a four-book deal, by Niclas Salomonsson at Salomonsson Agency (US).
and also Scott Mariani's who is already published in the UK, will soon be published in the US:
Scott Mariani's THE MOZART CONSPIRACY, pitched in the tradition of Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown, following recurring character former British Special Air Service officer Ben Hope as he gets caught up in a centuries-old mystery surrounding the death of Mozart, along with its follow-up THE DOOMSDAY PROPHECY... for publication in spring 2011.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

TV & Radio news (and it's all good!)

I had an email from, David B a blog visitor, about the Swedish Wallander series. He has been in touch with Yellow Bird and they have the following news:
I would like to let you know that BBC4 has acquired the second season of the Swedish Wallander series (i.e. film 14-26).
No news of when BBC4 will show them but great news nonetheless (I hope they repeat the first series again as I'm missing part of an episode...). So thank you so much to David for passing the news on.

We've had several recent announcements of casting news over the past few months:

Stephen Tompkinson as Inspector Banks

David Morrissey is Tom Thorne

and now Rufus Sewell is to play Aurelio Zen:

From Digital Spy:

Rufus Sewell has signed up to star as Aurelio Zen in a new BBC drama.

The Eleventh Hour actor will play the fictional detective across three feature-length dramas which will transmit on BBC One.

Set in and around Rome, and based on the best-selling series of novels by the late Michael Dibdin, Zen will start shooting in Italy in Spring 2010.

And though not euro crime in anyway, the tv drama Castle, starring Nathan Fillion is coming to the Alibi Channel soon.

Here's the lowdown from Alibi:

Castle is the hit new US crime drama coming soon exclusively to Alibi. Nathan Fillion plays Richard Castle, a best-selling crime novelist who, despite fame and acclaim, has become bored with his own success. All that changes, however, when a real-life copycat murderer starts staging scenes from Castle's novels. Castle is first suspected of the crimes and then asked to team up with NYC homicide Detective Kate Beckett to help her solve the case.

Together, the pair make a formidable combination. Beckett is a first-class investigator with a rare ability to empathise with victims, having joined the force after the murder of a loved one was never solved. Castle has spent years researching crime and brings that unique knowledge, together with a creative flair and touch of irreverence, to homicide cases. Their contrasting approaches, however, often cause sparks to fly...

Finally a bit of radio news:
Sir Ian McKellen is to play the title role in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Ian Fleming's Goldfinger.

The James Bond drama will also star Rosamund Pike as Pussy Galore and Toby Stephens as Bond.

Impressionist and actor Alistair McGowan will play the canny caddie, Hawker, during the famous golf scene.

Martin Jarvis, who is also directing the play, is the voice of Fleming, while John Standing appears as M, the head of MI6.

The radio dramatisation will be faithful to the novel rather than the Goldfinger film.

The plot revolves around Bond's pursuit of Auric Goldfinger, an international criminal, who is masterminding a plan to rob Fort Knox.

The play will air on Radio 4 on 3 April.
Read the whole article at the BBC website.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Read an e-book week

Read an e-book week runs from 7 - 13 March and a couple of euro crime titles have been made available for free download for the occasion:
The out of print first entry in Simon Hall's series - TV Detective (apa A Popular Murder) - is now available free as an e-book from Accent Press. You will need to set up an account to be able to download the pdf for free. Go here.

Also a pdf of Pauline Rowson's In for the Kill can be downloaded from her website.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

New Reviews: Burdett, Hayder, Lackberg, Leather, Maclean, Schlink & New Competition

Making up for the lack of competitions in February, I'm pleased to announce a second competition for March (and a third is imminent) and this one is open worldwide:

Win a copy of Tell-Tale by Sam Hayes (worldwide)
Win a copy of The Preacher & The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg (UK only)

Here are this week's new reviews:
Laura Root reviews The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett, the fourth in this Thailand based series;

Michelle Peckham reviews Mo Hayder's Gone, the newest in the Jack Caffery series, now set in Bristol;

Maxine Clarke reviews one of this month's competition prizes, The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg, tr. Steven T Murray;

Terry Halligan reviews Nightfall by Stephen Leather the first in a new paranormal-sounding series;

Pat Austin reviews Shona Maclean's second book in her historical series: A Game of Sorrows

and Craig Sisterson reviews Self's Murder by Bernhard Schlink, tr. Peter Constantine
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Dizzying Cover Theme

I was just updating the database with upcoming titles, including Quintin Jardine's new book, A Rush of Blood published in June and the cover's slightly familiar...

Friday, March 05, 2010

World Book Day Offer

To celebrate World Book Day, there is a special Buy One Give One promotion on. Vouchers are available in The Times, The Sun, The Sunday Times and News of the World which allow you to buy one paperback and get another free:
Buy two paperbacks £9.99 or under (excluding childrens, reference, travel or academic books) and get the cheaper book free.

Vouchers will run from 4-7 March 2010 and can be redeemed up to and including 10 March 2010.

All childrens books including those with adult crossover appeal are excluded from this offer.
More details and terms and conditions can be found here.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Trailer - The Man from Beijing

We had a bit of a cover discussion recently about Henning Mankell's The Man from Beijing, with most favouring the UK edition over the US. I've now found the US trailer which I like though the music seems familiar:

Competition Winners 2009

Here's a permanent record of who won what in last year's Euro Crime competitions:

January 2009

The Paper Moon
by Andrea Camilleri:

Ruth Barker
Lesley Collins
Teela Fermin
Laura Steward
Linda Wiles

February 2009

The Doomsday Prophecy by Scott Mariani:

Tina Carr
Catherine Owen
Kevin Mayers
Amy Stupple-Bagnall
Laura Wyles

Martin Beck series by Sjowall and Wahloo:

Karen McLachlan

The Reunion
by Simone Van Der Vlugt:

Paul Jeorrett
Alison Maloney
Claire Mitchell
Angela Robinson
Galina Varese

March 2009

Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor:

Andrew Dommett
Judith Hamilton
Cheryl Morris
Solange Thomas
Nell Westwood

The Herring Seller's Apprentice by L C Tyler:

Sue Cook
Denise Cross
Patricia Edwards
Don Fiarley
Dorte Jakobsen
Geoff Jones
Maggie Lloyd
Frieda Plas
Ruth Slater
Harry West

April 2009

The Black Monastery
by Stav Sherez:

Harvee Lau
Matthew Leslie
Elizabeth Lipsett
Erica Price
Lucy Wilson

May 2009

Suffer the Children by Adam Creed:

Shameme Adams
Ray Dodds
Fran Light
Beatrix Skane
Daniel Thomas

June 2009

The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard:

Maya Russell

July 2009

My Last Confession by Helen Fitzgerald:

Gina Micale
B. J. Simon
Amy Stupple-Bagnall
Samantha Ripley
Roger Tomlinson

August 2009

The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke:

Patricia Edwards
Andrew Hindley
Paul Jeorrett
Tracey Poulter

Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin:

Andrew Cakebread
Samantha Croxford
Patricia Edwards
A P Phillis
Karen Watson

Blood Law by Steven Hague:

Judith Allen
Sandra Goodson
Ross Grant
Cherryl Thomas
Alison Turner

September 2009

Hero.Com3: Crisis Point & Villain.Net3: Power Surge by Andy Briggs:

Solange Thomas

A Visible Darkness by Michael Gregorio:

Cathy Clarke
Andy Deeley
Karen Gwilliam
Simon Harrington
Harvee Lau

November 2009

Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz:

Sarah G. Wenzel

Beautiful Dead: Arizona by Eden Maguire:

K Penny
Sandra Foreman

Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn:

Brita Bevis
Johannah Carroll
George Grieve
N Millward
Vanessa Rozee

December 2009

Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis

Laura Pritchard

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bequest Winners

The winners of January's competition for Bequest by AK (Anna) Shevchenko are:
Georgina Ball
Robin Brooksbank
Angela Robinson
The prizes are on their way.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Lives of Others on BBC4

BBC4 is showing The Lives of Others tomorrow night at 10pm and is repeating it in the early hours of Thursday morning (1.45am).

Award-winning political thriller set in 1980s East Germany. Captain Wiesler works for the Stasi, the secret police, and is asked to keep surveillance on a playwright, Georg Dreyman, whose loyalty to the party is under question. During the surveillance Weisler is slowly drawn into Georg's life and begins to question his own ideals.