Friday, January 28, 2011

Publishing Deal - Kimberley Chambers

The Bookseller reports a new three book deal for Kimberley Chambers with HarperCollins:

Sarah Ritherdon, HC publishing director, bought world English rights to three titles from Tim Bates at Pollinger Limited. Publication is scheduled for spring 2012. Ritherdon said: “I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Kimberley and bring her wonderful books to as many readers as possible. Kimberley is a star in the making, and inspires amazing loyalty from her fans.”

Chambers worked as a minicab driver, market trader and pub DJ before becoming a full-time writer.
Read the whole article here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Upcoming Crime Fiction Events in London

Several European authors in translation will be making appearances in London in the next few months.

1. The Nordic Noir book club has their first event, on Thursday, 3 February 2011 from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, at which Håkan Nesser will be speaking:
Join us in exploring Sweden's crime fiction, with speakers including best-selling author Håkan Nesser.

What does the landscape of Swedish crime fiction look like? What do we learn from Nesser, from other writers, from their book covers? What real and mental landscapes do readers (and viewers) of Swedish crime in the UK see?

Find out all of this and more, in the first of our UCL's Nordic Noir book club events, at the Horse Hospital, an atmospheric, Grade II listed venue in the heart of literary London.

The ticket price includes a glass of wine. Other light refreshments will be available to purchase at the event, provided by Scandinavian Kitchen.

Please note: The Eventbrite booking agent requires that you use a credit card to buy tickets. If you do not have a credit card, please contact Nichola Smalley (n.smalley(at) to reserve a ticket.
Details of the venue and how to buy tickets by credit card can be found at their website.

2. Events involving Italian author, Alessandro Perissinotto whose Blood Sisters will be published on 11 February:
From Hersilia Press's website:

Barry Forshaw and Michael Gregorio with Alessandro Perissinotto

Italian Institute of Culture, SW1X 8NX, London, UK
7 February 2011, 7:00 pm

Alessandro Perissinotto academic and novelist
Royal Holloway Central London site, Bedford Square, 2 Gower Street, WC1E 6DP, London, UK
8 February 2011, 5:00 pm

Italian writers in the UK and Ireland: Alessandro Perissinotto
Humanities Research Institute, 29-31 Clarendon Place, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, Leeds, UK
9 February 2011, 5:00 pm

3. As part of a Scandinavian month, Gunnar Staalesen will be visiting Willesden Green Library on Thursday 3 March 2011 from 7 - 9 pm:
Willesden Green Library
95 High Road
London NW10 2SF
020 8937 3400
Free Event
Book sale Refreshments

As well as reading from his new book, he will be presenting the winner of a short story competition - the opening sentence having been written by Camilla Ceder:
Have you got what it takes to be the next Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell?

If so there's a place on a Birkbeck College creative writing course up for grabs when you take part in the Brent Libraries short story competition.

Swedish crime fiction author Camilla Ceder has written the opening lines.

"In theory, Margaret had functioned well as his partner. She was a faded beauty who had once been a celebrated singer. It would not have hurt for her to drink less."

All you have to do is complete the story is no more than 2,000 words.

Entries must be received by 12 noon on 23 February 2011.
Full details and terms and conditions can be found on the Brent Libraries website.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Tudor Secret - Cover Opinions

Here's a new Tudor-era set crime novel for fans of books set in that period. The Tudor Secret by C W Gortner came out this month in the UK and will be out in the US on 1 February.

Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, he finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the King’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil—who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth's quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, THE TUDOR SECRET is the first book in the Elizabeth's Spymaster series.

So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up? And what about initials vs full name?

If you have read it, how well do the covers match the story?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Publishing Deal - Barbara Nadel

I've just received an email from Quercus telling me about a new series from Barbara Nadel. Nadel is probably best know for her Turkish Cetin Ikmen series, listed and reviewed here. You can win a copy of the latest book in that series, A Noble Killing, here (open world-wide).

Jane Wood of Quercus has signed up Barbara Nadel to write a new crime series in which the author returns to her East End roots. The series will feature a white ex-policeman (and ex-soldier), now a PI, and an Asian Muslim woman who assists him. he London Borough of Newham is one of the most ethnically complex urban districts in the world, with a high rate of violent crime, gang culture and racism. To signal this change of direction, Barbara will write the books under the name B J Nadel. Quercus will publish the first book in the series in summer 2012.

Jane Wood said:'I'm delighted that Barbara is joining Quercus. As a daughter of Newham she is uniquely qualified to write about this richly diverse borough of our sprawling capital city, an area undergoing immense change with the coming Olympics.'

Barbara Nadel said: 'I am very happy to take this opportunity to explore a new and exciting crime series'.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Reviews: Bates, Bauer, Magson, Marrinan, Nesbo, Newman

Two competitions for January, both close 31st January:
1.Win Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger UK only
2.Win A Noble Killing by Barbara Nadel (International)

Here are this week's reviews:
Maxine Clarke reviews what sounds like a cracking debut: Frozen Out by Quentin Bates (US: Frozen Assets) which introduces Icelandic detective: Gunna the Cop;

Paul Blackburn reviews CWA prize-winner Belinda Bauer's second book, Darkside set five years on from Blacklands;

Terry Halligan reviews the first in a new series from Adrian Magson: Death on the Marais introducing a Parisian cop who has been sent to a Picardie village;

Laura Root reviews Patrick Marrinan's impressive debut, Scapegoat, which draws on the author's legal experience;

I review Jo Nesbo's The Leopard, tr. Don Bartlett an exciting police-procedural/thriller with my favourite detective, Harry Hole

and Lizzie Hayes reviews Ruth Newman's second book, The Company of Shadows which has a Coben-esque sounding premise.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Leopard - Trailers

Unlike for The Snowman there's isn't a film-style trailer for The Leopard rather a interview with Jo Nesbo (cut down from this one):

Update! Here is the filmic one, released this morning:

Here is the Norwegian cover for The Leopard (which is relevant to the plot):

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Close-Up - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for Esther Verhoef's Close-Up translated by Leon Vincent.

So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Esther Verhoef?

If you have read it, how well do the covers match the story?

Read the Euro Crime review by Maxine of Close-Up (which is quoted inside the UK paperback.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Move over Wallander, here's The Killing (BBC4)

BBC4 are treating viewers to a 20 episode Danish crime drama, called The Killing (in English) and which takes place over 20 days.

The first two episodes are on at 9pm and 9.55 on Saturday on BBC4:

From the BBC's Press Office:

The Killing is the latest foreign language series to première in the UK on BBC Four, following the huge success of the Swedish Wallander. Nominated for an International Emmy for Best Drama, Denmark's hit TV series is a tense and absorbing whodunit, deftly uncovering some of the evils gnawing at contemporary society.

The 20 episodes play out over 20 days during a bleak Copenhagen November. Inspector Sarah Lund reports for her last day at work and learns that a teenage girl is missing. When her body is found in a car with links to a mayoral candidate's office, the case that gripped Danish TV viewers begins.

About to leave her post as the head of investigations at the Copenhagen homicide department as she is moving to Sweden, Sarah is in the midst of saying her goodbyes when she gets a disturbing dispatch which forces her to rethink her plans: a 19-year-old girl, Nanna Birk Larsen, is missing and her belongings have been discovered in a field.

A top Copenhagen politician, Troels, is in the middle of a promising election campaign when he is suddenly forced to make a change of plans. Meanwhile, in Vesterbro, Theis and Pernille learn that their daughter is missing.

In the first instalment of this 20-part thriller, these unsuspecting characters are drawn together by a series of simultaneous events that will change their lives for ever.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What I'm Reading: The Leopard

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo, tr. Don Bartlett is published in a few days time. I've been lucky enough to have an advance review copy and also, thanks to Harvill Secker, I've now got an e-copy to take with me on the train tomorrow.

The Leopard is 600+ pages and rather heavy, so I'm really pleased to able to switch between print and e-copy. I do think that offering a free ebook with a print copy would be a great idea.

Anyway, The Leopard is, like The Snowman, a search for a killer who murders in rather unpleasant ways, but it is also about Harry Hole, the man. Here's a paragraph from about third the way in:
"Harry heard the solemnity in his voice. The voice of a man with no capacity to forgive, no consideration, no thoughts for anything except his own objectives. And plied the inverted persuasion technique that had worked for him far too often."
I want to finish this so I can review it on time but equally I don't want to get to the end of it.

Anthony Horowitz to pen Sherlock Holmes Novel

Read the whole article at the Bookseller.

Orion is to publish a new full-length Sherlock Holmes novel, written by Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz, after he was selected by the Conan Doyle Estate.

Further details about the title, to be published in September, are still to be revealed, though it will be "a brilliant mystery novel, stripped back to the original style of Conan Doyle", according to the publisher.

Horowitz said: "I fell in love with the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was 16 and I've read them many times since. I simply couldn't resist this opportunity to write a brand new adventure for this iconic figure and my aim is to produce a first rate mystery for a modern audience while remaining absolutely true to the spirit of the original."

Review: Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid (audio book)

Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid by Martin Day, read by Matt Smith (AudioGO, January 2011, 1 CD, ISBN: 9781408427491)

This is the second of Matt Smith's audio book readings, the first being The Runaway Train which was set in America. In The Jade Pyramid we're off to medieval Japan.

The TARDIS is drawn to a distress beacon emitting from a small village in Japan. It appears to be coming from an ancient shrine. The Doctor and Amy meet the elder of the village, the kind and wise Shijô Sada who takes them inside the shrine past the "guard" of animal-skin covered mannequins called Otoroshi. Shijô Sada won't allow them to see the chamber containing the pyramid as it is sacred. However they are interrupted by the news that the Shogun has sent Samurai soldiers to retrieve the Jade Pyramid for himself. The Doctor must prevent the pyramid, which he believes to be alien technology, from falling into anyone's hands. A discussion amongst the villagers reveals both friend and foe of Shijô Sada and Amy escapes the meeting to take a look at the pyramid and it is then things begin to go badly wrong. The Otoroshi come to life and Samurai are almost upon the village. How can the Doctor save the village, Amy and protect the pyramid?

The Jade Pyramid is an exciting story along a slightly familiar theme of humans killing first, asking questions later. For a single cd length story it packs a lot in; there's fighting from Samurai and a ninja assassin as well as betrayal and a loss of a significant character, and the Japanese setting is refreshingly different.

Matt Smith reads at the breathless pace we've become used to in the tv series and differentiates the characters well and his Doctor is as mesmerising as ever.

I have a slight quibble in that the occasional background music at times slightly overwhelmed the narrator, and maybe needs to be toned down a little.

The Jade Pyramid offers a pleasant fix whilst we await the arrival of the new series and is one that I will listen to again.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Reviews: Beaton, Carrisi, Chessex, McKenzie, Siger, Taylor, Walsh

Two competitions for January, both close 31st January:
1.Win Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger UK only
2.Win A Noble Killing by Barbara Nadel (International)

I'd like to welcome Lizzie Hayes to the Euro Crime fold. She has donated a sizeable collection of reviews of recent books, which I'll be running over the next few weeks.

Here are this week's reviews:
Lizzie Hayes reviews the most recent Agatha Raisin from M C Beaton: Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body;

I review Donato Carrisi's The Whisperer, tr. Shaun Whiteside which has won several prizes in Italy;

Maxine Clarke reviews Jacques Chessex's A Jew Must Die, tr. W Donald Wilson published by Bitter Lemon Press ;

Michelle Peckham reviews Grant McKenzie's debut novel: Switch, a thriller set in the US;

Terry Halligan reviews one of this month's competition prizes: Assassin of Athens by Jeffrey Siger;

Amanda Gillies loved Andrew Taylor's latest: The Anatomy of Ghosts

and Lizzie also reviews The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh, Lord Peter Wimsey's first case.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

New from Allison & Busby

I've just received the Jan-March catalogue from Allison and Busby. Here's what they are publishing (relevant to Euro Crime):

Martin Edwards: The Serpent Pool (paperback)

Alanna Knight: The Seal King Murders (hardback)

Priscilla Masters: Grave Stones (paperback)

M J Trow: Maxwell's Island (hardback)


Robert Barnard: A Mansion and its Murder (hardback - formerly published under the author name of Bernard Bastable in 1998)

Cassandra Clark: The Law of Angels (hardback)

Rebecca Tope: The Sting of Death, A Market for Murder, Grave Concerns (paperback, reprints of the Drew Slocombe series)

M J Trow: Maxwell's Revenge (paperback)


Stuart Pawson: A Very Private Murder (paperback)

Zoe Sharp: Fourth Day (paperback) and Fifth Victim (hardback)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Take a Chair II - cover theme

I mentioned a few titles like this back in 2008 but the trend for chairs on crime fiction covers continues with these being published in Jan-May 2011 (includes 1 reissue):

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trailer - Knifer

Knifer by Ronnie Thompson has just been published by Headline. The trailer below is filmed in an actual prison.

Drug addiction. Criminal behaviour. Murder...and all before his sixteenth birthday. From foster home to children's home to living rough on the streets, Cain never had a normal childhood. By the age of 8 he was carrying a knife. Seven years later he was serving time for killing someone. Based on real events, ex-prison officer Ronnie Thompson tells Cain's shocking story and reveals what really happens to teenage offenders both on the streets and once they're behind bars. Prison riots, assaults on officers, roof-top protests and brutal acts of violence -- this is an inside account of life in a young offender's institute and of an angry young man spiralling dangerously out of control.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Troubled Man - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US, UK, Swedish, French, Dutch and Polish covers for Henning Mankell's The Troubled Man, translated by Laurie Thompson.

So what are you thoughts on the top: US (LHS) and UK (RHS), middle: Swedish (LHS) and French (RHS), bottom Dutch (LHS) and Polish (RHS) covers? Which would entice you most to pick the book up in the unlikely event that you were not familiar with Henning Mankell?

The Troubled Man will be published 29 March (US) and 31 March (UK). Here's the synopsis:

The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell's brilliant, brooding detective Kurt Wallander. Every morning Håkan von Enke takes a walk in the forest near his apartment in Stockholm. However, one winter’s day he fails to come home. It seems that the retired naval officer has vanished without trace.

Detective Kurt Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation but he has personal reasons for his interest in the case as Håkan’s son is engaged to his daughter Linda. A few months earlier, at Håkan’s 75th birthday party, Kurt noticed that the old man appeared uneasy and seemed eager to talk about a controversial incident from his past career that remained shrouded in mystery. Could this be connected to his disappearance? When Håkan’s wife Louise also goes missing, Wallander is determined to uncover the truth.

His search leads him down dark and unexpected avenues involving espionage, betrayal and new information about events during the Cold War that threatens to cause a political scandal on a scale unprecedented in Swedish history. The investigation also forces Kurt to look back over his own past and consider his hopes and regrets, as he comes to the unsettling realisation that even those we love the most can remain strangers to us.

And then an even darker cloud appears on the horizon...

The return of Kurt Wallander, for his final case, has already caused a sensation around the globe. The Troubled Man confirms Henning Mankell’s position as the king of crime writing.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

New Reviews: Arnold, Blake, Indridason, McCrery, Siger

Two competitions for January, both close 31st January:
1.Win Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger UK only
2.Win A Noble Killing by Barbara Nadel (International)

The Euro Crime Reviewers have spoken. Here are their favourite reads for 2010 in detail and summarised by most mentioned title, author and translator.

Here are this week's reviews:
Terry Halligan reviews Traitor's Blood by Michael Arnold the first in an English Civil War set series (and listed in Terry's top reads of 2010);

Amanda Gillies reviews the third in Richard Blake's Roman series featuring Aelric: The Blood of Alexandria;

Maxine Clarke reviews Arnaldur Indridason's Operation Napoleon, tr. Victoria Cribb an entertaining standalone adventure-thriller;

Laura Root reviews the third in the Chief Inspector Lapslie series from Nigel McCrery: Scream

and Terry also reviews Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Euro Crime reviewers favourite reads of 2010

I've asked the recent contributors to Euro Crime to choose their five favourite European reads of 2010 and a total of 45 titles have been submitted. The following favourites come from the lists submitted by: Pat Austin, Maxine Clarke, Amanda Gillies, Terry Halligan, Geoff Jones, Michelle Peckham, Norman Price, Laura Root and myself (there is some overlap with the 2009 favourites):

The most mentioned titles are:
3 votes:
Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest tr. Reg Keeland

2 votes:
Arnaldur Indridason - Hypothermia tr. Victoria Cribb
Jo Nesbo - The Redeemer tr. Don Bartlett
The most mentioned authors (irrespective of title) are:
4 votes:
Stieg Larsson
Jo Nesbo

2 votes:
Karen Campbell
Elly Griffiths
Arnaldur Indridason
Sjowall & Wahloo
The most mentioned translators are:
5 votes:
Reg Keeland/Steven T Murray

4 votes:
Don Bartlett

2 votes:
Victoria Cribb
Marlaine Delargy
The breakdown by reviewer plus any additional comments they have made, can be found on the website.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Win: A Noble Killing by Barbara Nadel (International)

Euro Crime has a five copies of A Noble Killing by Barbara Nadel to giveaway. To enter the draw, just answer the simple question* and include your details in the form below.
*The answer can be found in the Bibliographies section.

This competition is open to everyone and will close on 31 January 2011.
Only 1 entry per person/per household please.
(All entries will be deleted once the winner has been notified.)

The brilliant new Istanbul crime novel from Barbara Nadel delves into the shocking world of honour killing Turkey: the police are called to the scene of what seems to be the honour killing of a young girl. Burnt alive, she is not the first girl to suffer such an horrific death in Istanbul. Further investigations by Inspectors Cetin Ikmen and Mehmet Suleyman reveal that the girl had a secret boyfriend who has now disappeared. He and the girl's family are prime suspects, even though forensic evidence is scant. Why does the family, in common with other families of girls immolated in the city, now appear to be broke? There are also links to an infamous local gangster. Religion, organised crime and the lengths some people will go to in order to conform, come together in a tragic story of violence in a divided and changing society. And Mehmet Suleyman is on the verge of making a mistake that could ruin his career...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Publishing Deal - Elanor Dymott

Details of a publishing deal for an Oxford-set mystery in today's Bookseller:
Every Contact Leaves a Trace by Elanor Dymott is narrated by Alex, a young London lawyer trying to piece together the mystery surrounding his wife's brutal murder in the grounds of Worcester College, Oxford.

[Jonathan Cape] said: "We're incredibly excited and honoured to be publishing this elegant, intense, beautifully written debut. With shades of Donna Tartt, Ruth Rendell and even Hitchcock, it's a classy, complex thriller that had us all captivated from the very first page."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Blind Eye - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for Stuart MacBride's Blind Eye.

So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK HB & pb (RHS & Below) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Stuart MacBride?

If you have read it, how well do the covers match the story?

Read the Euro Crime review by Craig of Blind Eye.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Reviews: Dawson, Griffiths, Lackberg, MacBride, Pastor, Sigurdardottir & a New Competition

One new competition (so far) for January and it is open to UK residents. It closes on 31st January:
Win Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger

Here are this week's reviews:
Terry Halligan reviews Adrian Dawson's Codex which took him a bit of getting into it, but worth it;

Maxine Clarke reviews the third in this increasingly popular series by Elly Griffiths, set in North Norfolk: The House at Sea's End;

I recently reviewed the audio book of Camilla Lackberg's The Stonecutter, tr. Steven T Murray;

Pat Austin reviews the new Stuart MacBride DS Logan McRae outing - Shatter the Bones writing that it's "definitely not for the faint-hearted, this one";

Norman Price reviews Lumen by Ben Pastor and writes that is is an example of "how the crime fiction novel can be used to address historical, religious, and moral questions" (and it's published by Bitter Lemon Press - say no more...)

and also over the Christmas break I reviewed Yrsa Sigurdardottir's My Soul to Take, tr. Bernard Scudder and Anna Yates also on the blog.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

New Competition - Win Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger

Euro Crime has a three copies of Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger to giveaway. Just answer the simple question and include your details in the form below.

This competition is open to the UK only and will close on 31 January 2011.
Only 1 entry per person/per household please.
(All entries will be deleted once the winner has been notified.)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Favourite Reads of 2010

My personal favourite reads of 2010 are all translated crime which is about 98% of what I read, so it is not surprising, nor that there's a heavy overlap with the International Dagger shortlist.

European Favourites

Tonino Benacquista - Badfellas
Arnaldur Indridason - Hypothermia
Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - My Soul to Take
Johan Theorin - The Darkest Room

Non-European favourites

Deon Meyer - Thirteen Hours
Claudia Pineiro - Thursday Night Widows

Runners-up include the audio books of Camilla Lackberg's The Preacher and The Stonecutter and Marek Krajewski's Phantoms of Breslau.