Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ellis Peters Historical Award - Winner

Thanks again to to Crime Scraps, I hear that the Ellis Peters Historical Award has been won by Andrew Martin for The Somme Stations. Also shortlisted were (with links to reviews on Euro Crime):

Rory Clements Prince (John Murray)
Sam Eastland The Red Coffin (Faber & Faber)
Gordon Ferris The Hanging Shed (Corvus)
RN Morris The Cleansing Flames (Faber & Faber)
Imogen Robertson Island of Bones (Headline)

The judging panel said of The Somme Stations: “Martin’s novels featuring railway detective Jim Stringer reveal their treasures in subtle fashion with a winning synthesis of period atmosphere, intriguing plotting and a passion for steam railways.”

Read more about each book on the CWA website.

From next year this award will again be a CWA Dagger award:
"The CWA has also announced some changes to the award, effective from 2012. The Ellis Peters award will once again become a CWA Dagger and submission dates will gradually move to correspond with the other CWA awards. Already entries are being accepted from UK publishers via the specialised Daggers website for publishers.

The changes are in line with the CWA’s commitment to increase the profile of their non-TV Dagger awards. It’s planned that the Ellis Peters and the other Dagger awards will be presented as part of a new awards ceremony in summer 2012. The new rules are being finalised and will be published shortly on the Daggers website.

OT: New York in the Snow (Cover Theme)

I saw a big advert for Carmen Reid's new book at the Tube station last week and I thought the cover looked awfully similar (from memory) to an older book by Tricia Ashley. What do you think?

NB. It appears that there is a slight crime aspect to The Jewels of Manhattan.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maj Sjowall wins the Big Caliber Prize of Honour

I've received the news via an email that Maj Sjowall has won the Big Caliber Prize of Honour at the International Festival of Crime Fiction, in Wroclaw (Poland).

The previous winners of this award are: Joanna Chmielewska, Boris Akunin, Aleksandra Marinina, Jeffery Deaver, Leonid Jozefowicz, Tatiana Poles, Marek Krajewski and Jo Nesbo.

Maj Sjowall together with Per Wahloo wrote the classic Martin Beck series which is reviewed here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

From Norway to Norfolk: Staalesen & Bartlett

On the 18th, Petrona and I trundled off to the British Library for the Crime Across the Continent study day. The last session of the day, included:
Gunnar Staalesen and Don Bartlett (courtesy of the Royal Norwegian Embassy), From Norway to Norfolk; author and translator in conversation.
Here're my notes from the session. They are a bit illegible at times so I apologise for any errors in transcription.

GS writes PI novels in the classic style. When he was 11/12 he read his first grown-up book, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sjowall and Wahloo were a watershed between the old and new crime writing. Reading US authors made it possible for a young, left-wing, Norwegian writer to write detective stories. Two great plotters were Agatha Christie and Ross MacDonald. Ibsen was a good Norwegian writer.

[GS's lead character is called Varg Veum] Varg = wolf, Veum = Sanctuary/holy place, outlaw in norse. Veum is an ordinary family name, Varg not so much in use!

He wrote two police-procedurals (like Sjowall and Wahloo) before starting the Varg Veum series (which are hugely successful in Norway; his birthday is celebrated and there is a statue in Bergen where they are set). He's currently writing no. 16.

He didn't choose a social worker profession for VV so he could write social criticism but rather he wanted a character who would want to get to the bottom of something and would protect the "losers", the "weak".

Modern Scandinavian crime writers are on the left side of politics.

He doesn't feel there is a Norwegian crime style but there is a Scandinavian. However nature is more apparent in Norwegian crime novels as the cities are very small eg Bergen is surrounded by mountains. Norway is the most egalitarian county in Scandinavia as there is no nobility; oil has changed society.

He knows exactly when VV's birthday is - 15/10/42 - which is celebrated every year in Bergen. The current book is set in Spring 2002. He wants to get to 20 books in the series. Takes a year to write but three to six years for the ideas to become useable. He mostly knows the end of the book before beginning it.

DB says that GS's books are a translator's heaven: short, linear, a wonderful central character and full of humour.

The point was raised about the fact that DB is the third translator to work on GS's books and how did he tackle that? He looked at the earlier books for technical things like names and ranks to keep a consistency over the series.

DB was asked how he coped with dialect used by the minor characters. The high risk approach of translating dialect is using a recognisable English or American dialect eg Brooklyn in the Camilleri books. DB favours the low risk approach by just thinking how they might speak in English.

DB visited Bergen before translating The Consorts of Death and walked around street by street so he knew exactly where certain events took place.

DB limits himself to 4 translations a year. This year he did 2 Jo Nesbos and will be doing another 2 in 2012.

GS said he had no influence on the Varg Veum tv series. Big changes were made to his stories eg in one episode all that was left of the original was half of the title, however it was good pay for half a title!

Cold Hearts
, number 15 in the series is to be published next February by Arcadia and follows on from The Consorts of Death, both translated by Don Bartlett. I'm really looking forward to it.

Reviews and Gunnar Staalesen's bibliography (of titles in English) can be found on the Euro Crime website.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Reviews: Black, Campbell, Krajewski, Neville, Sjowall & Wahloo, Thomas

Here are this week's new reviews:
Mark Bailey reviews Truth Lies Bleeding the first in a new series by Scottish author, Tony Black;

Staying in Scotland, Amanda Gillies reviews Karen Campbell's Shadowplay and summarises her many words of praises in the phrase: "it rocks!";

Marek Krajewski's Mock series is a bit like Marmite, several of the Euro Crime review team have enjoyed it a lot, but Michelle Peckham had the opposite response when she read the latest, Phantoms of Breslau, tr. Danusia Stok, now out in paperback with a new look (though the older cover style may give the potential reader a better idea of the content! eg The End of the World in Breslau);

Lynn Harvey reviews Stuart Neville's Collusion now out in paperback and is the sequel to 'The Twelve';

Maxine Clarke reviews the tenth and final entry in the Martin Beck series by Sjowall and Wahloo The Terrorists, tr. Joan Tate which is as fresh as it was 36 years ago

and Terry Halligan reviews David Thomas's (aka Tom Cain) Blood Relative.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here and new titles by Benjamin Black, Susanna Jones, M J McGrath, Hakan Nesser and Felix Palma have been added to these pages this week.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Marilyn & Watching the Detectives

What connects, Brother Cadfael, Foyle ('s War), (my dear) Inspector Japp and Wallander?

I've mentioned before that the UK has an apparently tiny pool of actors and you will spot four familiar faces who have played detectives on the tv, in My Week With Marilyn.

My Week With Marilyn covers the time when Marilyn was filming The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier at Pinewood studios and is based on the diary/memoir of Colin Clark, a young man who became friendly with Marilyn for a short while.

Of the four "detectives", Kenneth Branagh (Wallander) has the largest role as Laurence Olivier, Philip Jackson (Japp) is playing an ex-policeman, Michael Kitchen (Foyle) is something to do with showbiz and Derek Jacobi (Cadfael) works at Windsor Castle.

Lots of other familiar British actors abound including: Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Dougray Scott (unrecognisable as Arthur Miller) and Emma Watson.

I enjoyed the film and it makes me want to watch The Prince and the Showgirl which I've never seen and read the original books that this film was based on.

A Death in Summer - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for Benjamin Black's A Death in Summer, the fourth in his Quirke series, which is set in 1950s Dublin.

The US editions are on the left, the hardback edition is out now, and the trade paperback (below) will be out in March; the UK edition (on the right) is also already available.

So what are your thoughts on the US (LHS, below), and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with the books of Benjamin Black?

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

NB. Elergy for April was given the same cover opinions treatment last year.

Blurb: When newspaper magnate Richard Jewell is found dead at his country estate, clutching a shotgun in his lifeless hands, few see his demise as cause for sorrow. But before long Doctor Quirke and Inspector Hackett realise that, rather than the suspected suicide, ‘Diamond Dick’ has in fact been murdered.

Jewell had made many enemies over the years and suspicion soon falls on one of his biggest rivals. But as Quirke and his assistant Sinclair get to know Jewell's beautiful, enigmatic wife Françoise d’Aubigny, and his fragile sister Dannie, as well as those who work for the family, it gradually becomes clear that all is not as it seems.

As Quirke’s investigations return him to the notorious orphanage of St Christopher’s, where he once resided, events begin to take a much darker turn. Quirke finds himself reunited with an old enemy and Sinclair receives sinister threats. But what have the shadowy benefactors of St Christopher’s to do with it all?

Against the backdrop of 1950s Dublin, Benjamin Black conjures another atmospheric, beguiling mystery.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

DVDs for your Wish-List

Despite being top of the charts for a while due to its success in Ireland, The Guard was only on for a week in my area and I was unable to get to a showing. However the DVD is released on 16 January 2012.

Blurb: The Guard is a critically acclaimed Irish black-comedy, where Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges) a small-town cop with a rather unorthodox approach to his police work must join forces with straitlaced FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle, Ocean's Eleven trilogy) to take on an international cocaine-smuggling ring.

Fed up with watching the same two Inspector Montalbano episodes on BBC4? Then here's some good news. 5 March 2012 sees the release of the first collection (R2) containing:

"The Snack Thief, The Voice of The Violin, The Shape of Water, The Mystery of The Terracota Dog. In Italian with English Subtitles"

TV News: Nemesis

The BBC have announced a new 8-part spy drama, Nemesis, starring Melissa George as a "complex and mysterious Bourne style female spy unlike anyone we've seen on TV before" (by the by, a role she sort of played in Alias):

Nemesis is an original eight-part suspense thriller set in the world of international espionage.

At the heart of the drama is Sam played by Melissa George (The Slap, In Treatment), a highly skilled operative for an elite private intelligence firm who survives an attempt on her life that may have been orchestrated by members of her own team. Once she returns to the firm, she performs her secretive duties without knowing who to trust and who wants her dead.

Adam Rayner (Hawthorne, Mistresses) plays Sam’s colleague at the firm and love interest. The dedicated and complex members of the firm operate in the shadows, must often confront life and death situations on secret missions and are sometimes unaware of who or what they are fighting for.

Filming has started and will take place on location in Scotland, London and Morocco.

Read the whole press release here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Finnish Sweets (Candy)

Because of my love of Root Beer, I'm on the Cybercandy email list. They supply sweets and drinks from all over the world and in the current newsletter there is an advert for Finnish sweets:

"It's not just about Salmiakki and salty liquorice! Finnish Candy is not to everyone's tastes but when we're low on stock a lot of you never Finnish letting us hear about it."

Browse and order from Cybercandy online or visit one of their shops in London, Birmingham or Brighton.

If Finnish crime fiction is more your thing, then check out the authors listed on the Euro Crime website.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Branches - Cover Theme

The cover on the left is a recent US crime novel which is currently in the Goodreads best mystery/thriller nominees section for 2011. The cover on the right is the US edition of a young adult book I loved in 2009 (my review).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Reviews: Dobbs, Goddard, Johnston, Keenan, Monroe, Penney

Here are this week's new reviews:
Geoff Jones reviews Michael Dobbs' Old Enemies, the fourth in the Harry Jones series, and which is now out in paperback;

Laura Root reviews Robert Goddard's twenty-second book, Blood Count which is also now now out in paperback;

Amanda Gillies reviews Paul Johnston's Maps of Hell which is the third in his Matt Wells series;

Susan White reviews Shy Keenan's debut fiction novel, The Stolen Ones which made for uncomfortable reading;

Terry Halligan reviews Aly Monroe's third Peter Cotton novel, Icelight which has just been listed in the Daily Telegraph's "Top 5 thrillers of 2011"

and Maxine Clarke reviews The Invisible Ones, the long awaited second book from Stef Penney and which Maxine thinks may even be better than the massively successful The Tenderness of Wolves.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here and new titles by Michael Dobbs, Zoran Drvenkar, Robert Goddard, Penny Hancock, Giorgio Scerbanenco, Veronica Stallwood and Elizabeth Wilson have been added to these pages this week.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Feathered Dinosaurs

I spotted this article in the Evening Standard on my way home after my day out at the British Library's Crime Across the Continent event:
A fossilised dino-bird that confirmed Darwin's theory of evolution is to be the centrepiece of a new £2m gallery at the Natural History Museum, it was confirmed today.

Archaeopteryx lithographica, a 147 million-year-old fossil with both bird and reptile features, will go on display at The Treasures Gallery.
Usually I would have read the article and passed on without much of a second thought but having just read The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan it struck a chord. If you read Maxine's review you'll see why.

The Dinosaur Feather
, ably translated (as usual!) by Charlotte Barslund, is an unusual book but one that despite its scientific background is not too heavy and I read it quite quickly. Gazan is one of a relatively small but increasing number of Danish crime authors available in English translation.

You can read more about Dino-Birds at the Natural History Museum website.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Publishing Deal - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

From today's Bookseller:

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired a new novel by bestselling Shadow of the Wind author Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

W&N fiction publishing director Kirsty Duneath bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Australia, New Zealand and Canada.... to The Prisoner of Heaven, the third in the cycle of novels that began with The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game.

W&N will release as a hardback in the UK on 21st June 2012.

The book returns to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop, beginning one year after the close of The Shadow of the Wind when a mysterious stranger enters Sempere & Sons, looking for a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Last Kashmiri Rose - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for Barbara Cleverly's The Last Kashmiri Rose which was reissued in US paperback in August by Soho Press (bottom left cover). The Last Kashmiri Rose was first published in 2001 and the series currently numbers nine with 2011's The Blood Royal.

So what are your thoughts on the US (LHS), and UK (RHS below) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with the books of Barbara Cleverly?

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

I read this book in October 2004. I didn't write a formal review but summarised it on one of my monthly read posts:
[] for F2F reading group book where the theme is Eastern Crime (I've just started The Winter Queen by Akunin, also for this theme). Golden Age style mystery in a Golden Age setting at least for the British in India. It's 1922 and officers' wives have been dying - one a year in March. Sandilands is sent from Calcutta to confirm that the deaths were murder and to find the perpetrator. First half is excellent where we get the backstory on all the deaths. It loses its way in a romance/affair sub plot in the middle and then picks up for a dramatic showdown with the killer. Will read more! ps The UK covers are exquisite.
I never did finish The Winter Queen and have yet to read more Sandilands books but I recommend it nonetheless.


Blurb: In a land of saffron sunsets and blazing summer heat, an Englishwoman has been found dead, her wrists slit, her body floating in a bathtub of blood and water. But is it suicide or murder? The case falls to Scotland Yard inspector Joe Sandilands, who survived the horror of the Western Front and has endured six sultry months in English-ruled Calcutta. Sandilands is ordered to investigate, and soon discovers that there have been other mysterious deaths, hearkening sinister ties to the present case.

Now, as the sovereignty of Britain is in decline and an insurgent India is on the rise, Sandilands must navigate the treacherous corridors of political decorum to bring a cunning killer to justice, knowing the next victim is already marked to die.

Read an excerpt here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Translation News

I've been told that the follow-up to Jussi Adler-Olsen's Mercy - Disgrace - is being pushed back to June (from March). Proofs should be around in a couple of months. No news on the translator yet. If this happens Disgrace will be eligible for the 2013 International Dagger not the 2012.

The sequel to Lars Kepler's The Hypnotist, The Nightmare (out May 2012), is being translated by Laura A Wideburg. She has previously translated the three Inger Frimansson books available in English and reviewer Maxine, at the time, praised her translations. Laura Wideburg's website also states that she is working on a Helene Tursten novel (presumably 2012's Night Rounds?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

More Poirot & Marple on ITV1

Separate announcements today have revealed that 5 more Poirots and 3 more Marples are on their way.

From The Telegraph:

Five new films, based on a mixture of novels and short stories, will go into production next year.

Suchet said: ''I'm more than delighted to be reprising my role as Poirot. It's been my life's ambition to bring this amazing canon of works to completion on ITV.

The new films include Curtain, which is Poirot's last case and sees the detective, immobilised with arthritis, call on his old friend Captain Hastings to help him as they return to the scene of their first ever case to try to prevent another murder.

And in an ITV press release:
ITV is delighted to announce that acclaimed stage and television actress Julia McKenzie will return to her role as Miss Marple.

Three Marple films including Caribbean Mystery have been commissioned from ITV Studios and Agatha Christie Ltd.

A Caribbean Mystery will be the first film to be shot during the summer of 2012 with two further films Endless Night and The Seven Dials Mystery produced during the autumn of 2012.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Reviews: Bauer, Fowler, Gomez-Jurado, Hannah, Leather, Russell, Walker, Walters

Here are this week's new reviews:
Michelle Peckham reviews Belinda Bauer's sequel to the award-winning Blacklands, Darkside which is now out in paperback;

Rich Westwood reviews Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May off the Rails and catches up with London's oldest serving detectives...;

I review Juan Gomez-Jurado's The Traitor's Emblem, tr. Daniel Hahn which is more history than mystery;

Susan White reviews Sophie Hannah's Little Face and also reviews the "Flipback" format it came in;

Terry Halligan reviews Stephen Leather's sequel to Nightfall, Midnight which continues the story of Jack Nightingale with his sold-off soul;

Amanda Gillies adds Craig Russell's character "Lennox" to her list of favourites, here in in his second outing: The Long Glasgow Kiss;

Lynn Harvey reviews the fourth in Martin Walker's Bruno, Chief of Police series set in France: The Crowded Grave

and Maxine Clarke reviews Trust No One by Alex Walters (already known to Euro Crime readers as Michael Walters) which is set in Manchester (rather than Mongolia).
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here and new titles by M K Bates, Laurent Binet, Patrick Easter, Karin Fossum, Christopher Fowler, Tom Grieves, Ewart Hutton, Arnaldur Indridason and Craig Russell have been added to these pages this week.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

International Dagger Speculation (2012) & Pie Charts

Sorry these charts are a bit small. I've managed to create them using OpenOffice Calc and MS Paint.

I'm a bit obsessed with the International Dagger eligibles as books have begun arriving and that's what I'll be reading for the next 5 months. I've broken down my unofficial eligibles list into: by country and by gender (there is one male & female team). As you can see from the raw data table at the bottom the odds are slightly in favour of a male Swedish winner as has been the case for the previous two years, followed by an Italian male or Swedish female, but who can predict at this early stage?

Raw Data

NB. This is a snapshot of the eligibles list as of today which will no doubt change and doesn't take into account the instances where an author has more than one book eligible of which only one can be submitted eg Nesbo, Lackberg, Larsson, Eriksson, Kallentoft and Vichi.

Friday, November 11, 2011

OT: At least the apostrophe's there

Following on from last year's Miss Spell incident, today I spotted this new sign in the window of a "beauty" shop:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Publishing News: Paul Johnston & Jim Kelly

Severn House's new imprint Creme de la Crime is picking up a lot of well-known British authors. Coming soon are the fourth books in series by Paul Johnston and Jim Kelly.

It's been a seven year wait for The Silver Stain the fourth in Paul Johnston's Greece-set Alex Mavros series. In the intervening years, MIRA reissued the paperbacks of the first three, retitling the first, A Deeper Shade of Blue as Crying Blue Murder. The Silver Stain will be published on 29 December (UK) and 1 April 2012 (US).

Hired by a Hollywood film company to trace a missing employee in Crete, private investigator Alex Mavros is plunged into a vortex of hatred. The company is shooting a movie about the invasion of Crete by the Germans in 1941 - and their activities are stirring up old resentments among the islanders. The bitterness of the past bursts into the present when one of the film's consultants is found dead, hanged by the neck. Suicide - or murder Mavros investigates and is drawn into an ever-widening conspiracy.

No such long wait for fans of Jim Kelly's Shaw and Valentine series as it'll only have been a year since the last title, Death Toll. Death's Door, the fourth in the North Norfolk-set Shaw and Valentine series will be published on 26 January 2012 (UK) and 1 May 2012 (US)

On a hot August day in 1994, 76 holidaymakers travel to an island off the North Norfolk coast. Only 75 return alive - a young man is murdered, the case left unsolved. Twenty years later, using state-of-the-art forensics, the DNA results of a bloodsoaked towel prompts DI Peter Shaw to summon all 75 original suspects to a mass screening. but one of them, the beautiful Marianne Osbourne, is found dead in her bed. Is there a link to the 1994 murder DI Shaw and DS Valentine become immersed in the dark secrets of an isolated community.

These books should be easily available in your public library system. If you prefer to buy then there's usually a cheaper trade format edition a few months after the hardback release.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Retranslations, I'm picking up good vibrations..

There are several books being published with a new translation in the "Dagger year" ie June 2011 to May 2012 which are not eligible for consideration as they have already been published in English. So as not to lose them as it were, I'll be linking this post to the 2012 International Dagger eligibles list.

First up is Liza Marklund's The Bomber which, complete with "from the bestselling co-author of Postcard Killers" sticker will be published on 24 November by Corgi in a fresh translation by Neil Smith.

All she wants for to survive.
Seven days. Three killings. And one woman who knows too much...
Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon is woken by a phonecall in the early hours of a wintry December morning. An explosion has ripped apart the Olympic Stadium. And a victim has been blown to pieces.
As Annika delves into the details of the bombing and the background of the victim, there is a second explosion. These chilling crimes could be her biggest news story yet. When her police source reveals they are hot on the heels of the bomber, Annika is guaranteed an exclusive with her name on it.
But she is uncovering too much, and soon finds herself the target of a deranged serial killer...
I've already listened to this one in the original 2002 translation by Kajsa Von Hofsten (which sounded like an American translation) and enjoyed it very much: my review.

Next up, are Per Wahlöö's two books featuring Chief Inspector Jensen: Murder on the Thirty-First Floor and The Steel Spring which were published with a translation by Joan Tate in the 1960s. Sarah Death's new translations will be published by Vintage on 15 December.

In an unnamed country, in an unnamed year sometime in the future, Chief Inspector Jensen of the Sixteenth Division is called in after the publishers controlling the entire country's newspapers and magazines receive a threat to blow up their building, in retaliation for a murder they are accused of committing. The building is evacuated, but the bomb fails to explode and Jensen is given seven days in which to track down the letter writer. Jensen has never had a case he could not solve before, but as his investigation into the identity of the letter writer begins it soon becomes clear that the directors of the publishers have their own secrets, not least the identity of the 'Special Department' on the thirty first floor; the only department not permitted to be evacuated after the bomb threat.

Chief Inspector Jensen is a policeman in an unnamed European country where the government has criminalised being drunk, even in private at home, and where the city centres have been demolished to devote more space to gleaming new roads. Recovering in a hospital room abroad after a liver transplant, Jensen receives a note instructing him to return home immediately, but when he reaches the airport he discovers that all flights home have been cancelled and all communication from within his homeland has ceased. One of the last messages sent requested urgent medical help from abroad and when Jensen is piloted across the border it soon becomes clear that an epidemic has ravaged the country.

Look out for the Wahlöös in a W H Smith's Scandi promotion after Christmas.

Finally, in February, Liza Marklund's Vanished from Corgi, which is Neil Smith translation of the book published in 2004 as Paradise.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Return of The Killing

The second series of The Killing will start on 26 19 November at 9pm on the wonderful BBC4. It looks like we're getting two hour chunks again as episodes 3 & 4 are on the following week.

It's been two years since former detective Sarah Lund was divested of her investigative role and transferred to a low-key job in the country, but when the body of a female lawyer is found murdered in macabre and puzzling circumstances, Lund's former boss at Copenhagen police HQ finds that he has no choice but to call her back in to assist with the investigation.

Initially reluctant, Lund soon becomes engrossed with the case. As police grapple with what few clues they possess, newly appointed Minister for Justice Thomas Buch strives to oversee some intricate political negotiations between parliamentary parties over the introduction of a series of new anti-terrorism laws. At the same time, soldier Jens Peter Raben awaits release from the psychiatric ward he was committed to following a nervous breakdown.

Over the course of 10 gripping episodes, the worlds of crime, politics and the military become increasingly intertwined. With more dead being added to the list of murder victims as the series progresses, Lund's mission becomes a race against time to find the culprit and prevent further killings...

Here's a wordless trailer:

Sunday, November 06, 2011

New Reviews: Anderson, Glynn, Hill, James, Nesser, Perry, Pryce

Here are this week's new reviews:
Lynn Harvey reviews the seventh (or eighth if you count the novella) in the Rhona MacLeod forensic scientist series from Lin Anderson: The Reborn and gives it a very strong thumbs-up;

Terry Halligan reviews Alan Glynn's Bloodland which he enjoyed very much;

Sarah Hilary reviews Susan Hill's latest Simon Serrailler, The Betrayal of Trust which deals with both a cold murder case and the issue of assisted dying;

[Professor] Michelle Peckham thinks that Peter James's standalone Perfect People is an interesting read though it is more science fiction than crime fiction;

Maxine Clarke reviews the latest in the 'Van Veeteren' series by Hakan Nesser, The Unlucky Lottery, tr. Laurie Thompson though it's his sidekick Munster who leads the investigation this time;

Rich Westwood reviews the twenty-seventh in the Pitt series by Anne Perry: Dorchester Terrace and suggests readers new to Perry, might want to start a bit earlier in the series

and Susan White reviews Malcolm Pryce's latest Aberystwyth Noir - The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here and new titles by M C Beaton, Helen Black, Xavier-Marie Bonnot, Stephen Booth, William Brodrick, Sam Christer, James Craig, Adam Creed, Judith Cutler, Hannah Dennison, Paul Doherty, Carola Dunn, Giorgio Faletti, Caryl Ferey, Alex Gray, M R Hall, Patricia Hall, John Harvey, Paul Johnston, Jim Kelly, Graeme/G W Kent, Marek Krajewski, Roberta Kray, T S Learner, Donna Leon, Peter Leonard, David Mark, Edward Marston, Andrew Martin, Alex Marwood, Peter May, Kathleen McCaul, Matt McGuire, Danny Miller, Ian Morson, R T Raichev, Roz Southey, Gunnar Staalesen, Lyndon Stacey, Cath Staincliffe, D J Taylor, M J Trow, Nicola Upson, Laura Wilson, Jacqueline Winspear, Simon Wood and Tom Wood have been added to these pages this week.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Redeemed - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US, Canadian and UK covers for M R Hall's The Redeemed which is about to come out in UK paperback with a new look for the series. The fourth book in the series, The Flight, (Feb 2012) has a similar feel to below.

So what are your thoughts on the US (LHS), Canadian (RHS), UK (HB & pb below) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with the books of M R Hall?

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

Read the Euro Crime review by Maxine of The Redeemed.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

More Tudor Crime - M J Trow

I've mentioned the increasing number of books set in Tudor times. M J Trow, author of 2001's Who Killed Kit Marlowe? A Contract to Murder in Elizabethan England and the crime series featuring Lestrade and Maxwell (the latter being very popular in my library) has begun a new series featuring one Christopher "Kit" Marlowe under Severn House's Creme de la Crime imprint. The first book, Dark Entry came out in May and the second, Silent Court, will be out in December.

Cambridge, 1583. About to graduate from Corpus Christi, the young Christopher Marlowe spends his days studying and his nights carousing with old friends. But when one of them is discovered lying dead in his King's College room, mouth open in a silent scream, Marlowe refuses to accept the official verdict of suicide. Calling on the help of his mentor, Sir Roger Manwood, Justice of the Peace, and the queen's magus, Dr John Dee, a poison expert, Marlowe sets out to prove that his friend was murdered . . .

Dr John Dee also appears in Phil Rickman's new series which began with The Bones of Avalon.

Severn House's books are stocked in libraries (and the slightly cheaper trade paperback and Kindle versions appear to be available a few months after the hardback release).

Without You - Coming Soon to ITV1

According to my tv guide, ITV1 will be showing Without You next month. Without You is a two-part drama based on Nicci French's What to Do When Someone Dies and stars Anna Friel and Marc Warren. Here's the tv programme blurb:

School teacher Ellie Manning and her husband Greg are trying for a baby. One evening Greg doesn't return home from work and when the police knock on the door, Ellie is horrified to learn he has been killed in a terrible car accident. The police tell Ellie that Greg wasn't alone, a woman sitting in the passenger seat was also killed. A tormented Ellie begins to question: who is the mystery woman and was Greg having a secret affair?

Drowning in grief yet unable to accept Greg's infidelity, Ellie sets out to prove it to her sceptical friends and family. She borrows her best friend's identity to infiltrate the mystery woman's workplace and leaves no rock unturned to find out the truth, even if it puts her own life at risk.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Publishing Deal - Alexander Söderberg

I hung back from posting about this for a while as it wasn't immediately clear if this was a crime trilogy (though would all the fuss be about something you couldn't tag with the phrase "new Stieg Larsson/Jo Nesbo"?) however more news has come out clarifying the matter. Plus it's just been announced that the UK rights have been bought by Harvill Secker:

From Booktrade

Liz Foley at Harvill Secker has acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights to Swedish trilogy THE ANDALUCIAN FRIEND by Alexander Söderberg, in a deal with agent Leyla Belle Drake from the Sweden-based Salmonsson Agency. The deal is part of a group Random House world English-language deal which will see Crown publish in the USA and Random House of Canada in Canada in spring 2013. The novel was hailed as the book of the Frankfurt book fair with rights already sold in hotly contested auctions in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Norway and Denmark.

THE ANDALUCIAN FRIEND is the first book in a trilogy following Sophie, an ordinary Swedish woman, a nurse and single mother, who gets dragged into an incendiary conflict between two powerful crime syndicates and a group of corrupt police officers.

and from Publishers Weekly:
The series, which is set in Sweden, follows a nurse and single mother who is thrust in the middle of a showdown between two powerful criminals, as well as a group of corrupt cops. Not surprisingly, Crown is pitching Soderberg as the next big Scandinavian literary star.