Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Reviews: Eastland, Griffiths, Higashino, Jameson, Persson, Taylor

Six new reviews have been added to Euro Crime today:

Terry Halligan reviews Sam Eastland's The Red Moth, the fourth in the Inspector Pekkala series, and set in 1941;

Michellle Peckham reviews Elly Griffiths's Dying Fall, the fifth in the Ruth Galloway series, usually set in Norfolk but this time the setting is in the North-West

I review Keigo Higashino's Salvation of a Saint, tr. Alexander O Smith with Elye J Alexander, the second novel to feature Tokyo Detective Kusanagi and his friend Yukawa;

Lynn Harvey reviews Hanna Jameson's debut, Something You Are;

Norman Price reviews Leif GW Persson's Linda, as in the Linda Murder, tr. Neil Smith the first in a new series featuring (the non-pc) Evert Backstrom

and Sarah Hilary reviews Andrew Taylor's The Scent of Death set in New York just after the War of Independence.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Kindle Freebie & a Bargain

Currently free in both UK and US Kindle, is Tony Black's Gus Dury novella, Last Orders:

Official blurb:
When he receives a mysterious letter on expensively embossed paper, reluctant investigator Gus Dury decides to take the case, if for no other reason than he needs the cash. But there's something about his well-heeled client, Callum Urquhart, that doesn't sit right with Dury.

Urquhart has travelled across the country to find his missing teenage daughter -- who definitely doesn't want to be found. As Dury gets closer to locating Caroline, what he uncovers is a web of lies and deceit and some painful realisations that lead back to his own tangled past.

Last Orders is a 14,000 word novella, first published in the Edinburgh Evening News, from the author of the Random House UK Gus Dury series: Paying for It, Gutted, Loss, and Long Time Dead - which is soon to be brought to the big screen by Richard Jobson.

I was tipped off by MrsPeabody that Norwegian by Night by Derek B Miller is currently selling on UK Kindle for £1.59.

Official blurb:
He will not admit it to Rhea and Lars - never, of course not - but Sheldon can't help but wonder what it is he's doing here...

Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past - the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam.

When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can't speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both.

An extraordinary debut, featuring a memorable hero, Norwegian by Night is the last adventure of a man still trying to come to terms with the tragedies of his life. Compelling and sophisticated, it is both a chase through the woods thriller and an emotionally haunting novel about ageing and regret.

Trailer for Ann Cleeves' Shetland

Here's a short trailer for the tv series Shetland, coming soon to BBC One, starring Douglas Henshall and based on Ann Cleeves's Red Bones, the third in the Jimmy Perez series:

Raven Black20061
White Nights20082
Red Bones20093
Blue Lightning20104
• Dead Water20135

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino translated by Alexander O Smith with Elye J Alexander, February 2013, 376 pages, Little, Brown, ISBN: 1408704196

SALVATION OF A SAINT is the follow-up to THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X and again involves Tokyo Detective Kusanagi and his friend Yukawa, the physicist, aka "Detective Galileo".

Yoshitaka Mashiba is found dead in his home, poisoned. His wife, Ayane, is away visiting family. It doesn't appear to be suicide but who and more critically how could he have been poisoned as there's no trace of a visitor.

Kusanagi and his team are called in. His team includes a woman detective, Kaoru Utsumi, who soon sees that Kusanagi is somewhat taken with the widow Ayane and is worried he's not thinking straight. So she goes behind his back and consults Yukawa. This secrecy doesn't last long however and soon Yukawa is “on the case”, offering suggestions and carrying out experiments in his lab. Yoshitaka's personality and particular life goals are unravelled and a motive of sorts is revealed but can Yukawa crack what could be the perfect murder?

I really like this sort of crime novel – a mystery, not bloody with a puzzle to be unravelled. And what a puzzle! I liked the new no-nonsense character Utsumi and the fact that this is more of a police procedural than the previous book so you get to know Kusanagi a little better, though the focus is still more on plotting than characterisation. I felt this was paced slightly better than SUSPECT X - I didn't feel it begin to drag even though on the face of it it isn't a wide-ranging investigation and the suspect pool is very limited. It's a fast read due to the large amount of dialogue (and the large print and wide margins don't hurt) as well as the intricacy of the plot pulling you through.

SALVATION OF A SAINT is a very absorbing who/how-dunnit and I hope there's more in this series to come from Keigo Higashino.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TV News: Big Four reunite for Poirot's The Big Four

I'm pleased to see the return of Japp, Hastings and Miss Lemon!

From an ITV press release yesterday:
Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran are reunited with David Suchet for Agatha Christie’s The Big Four.

Last seen together in the television adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran are back to reprise their iconic roles as Captain Hastings, Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon alongside David Suchet as the legendary Hercule Poirot in The Big Four.

Adapted by award-winning screenwriter and actor Mark Gatiss and actor Ian Hallard, The Big Four plunges Poirot into a world of global espionage where he uncovers a theatrical tale of murder, secrets, lies and love, set against the backdrop of the impending World War II.

As a deadly game of chess unfolds, Russian grandmaster, Dr Ivan Savaranoff (Michael Culkin) meets a shocking end, sending the public spiralling into panic, as suspicion is cast upon Peace Party stalwarts Abe Ryland (James Carroll Jordan) and Madame Olivier (Patricia Hodge). In one of his toughest challenges yet, Poirot must work out who the good guys are from the bad, as a complex plot sees a host of international figures used like pawns by a gang of dangerous dissidents tagged “The Big Four”.

As the murders and disappearances stack up one by one, Poirot is joined in his investigations by his old friend Japp (Philip Jackson), the dogged journalist Tysoe (Tom Brooke), and struggling actress, Flossie Monro (Sarah Parish), in an attempt to snare the killer and shatter “The Big Four” for good.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Film News: From Borch to Mørck

The Killing III's Nikolaj Lie Kaas who played Mathias Borch is to star as Carl Mørck in four films based on Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series. Lebanese-Swedish actor Fares Fares will play Assad.

The first film, The Keeper of Lost Causes, [loosely?], based on the first book (published as Mercy in the UK) will be released in Denmark on the 3 October and has been snapped up for the UK by Arrow Films.

From Trust Nordisk:
Based on the first book in Jussi Adler-Olsen’s bestselling thriller series about Department Q THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES tells the story of the two policemen Carl Mørck and Assad who become involved in a five-year-old case concerning a missing woman, Merete. Soon Carl and Assad are on a journey through Scandinavia’s darkest corners to find a psychopathic killer.
Mercy, translated by Lisa Hartford, was voted the Euro Crime Reviewers Favourite read of 2011.

The long awaited return of Charles Paris

Good news! Simon Brett's Charles Paris returns, after more than 15 years away, in his eighteenth adventure, the aptly named, A Decent Interval. It will be out in March in the UK and July in the US, from Severn House.

I used to love these so I'm really pleased to see a new title.

By popular demand: a welcome return for Simon Brett's actor detective Charles Paris, last seen in 1997's Dead Room Farce. After a long period of 'resting', life is looking up for Charles Paris, who has been cast as the Ghost of Hamlet's Father and First Gravedigger in a new production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are fraught. Ophelia is played by Katrina Selsey, who won the role through a television talent show. Hamlet himself is also played by a reality TV contestant, Jared Root - and the two young stars have rather different views of celebrity and the theatre than the more experienced members of the cast. But when the company reach the first staging post of their tour, the Grand Theatre Marlborough, matters get more serious, with one member of the company seriously injured in what appears to be an accident, and another dead. Once again, Charles Paris is forced to don the mantle of amateur detective to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Remembering Petrona Needs You!

Regular visitors to Euro Crime will know of Maxine Clarke and her welcome contributions to this blog and many others. She died in December after a long illness and to remember her and in the spirit of encouraging and promoting the crime fiction she loved, several initiatives have been set up including two under the umbrella of the blog Petrona Remembered.

Firstly, starting next month on Petrona Remembered, weekly posts will be released about a favourite crime novel. And here's where we need your help. From the blog:
"Our first aim is to develop a resource for current and future fans of the genre and we want you to help us. We’re asking writers, bloggers, readers, translators and anyone else who loves a crime or mystery novel to send us a submission about that book. It can be a a review, a pitch, a love letter, a poem or, a video. Or something else entirely. Each week we’ll post a new submission and, over time, this site will become a jumping off point to a world of much-loved crime fiction."
So, gentle readers of this blog, I do hope you'll have a look around Petrona Remembered and consider contributing to this new venture which is inspired by Books to Die For (edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke). It's open to anyone who wants to contribute regardless of whether they knew Maxine or not.

The second string, is the creation of a new annual award for Scandinavian Crime Fiction (available in English), called The Petrona Award. The guidelines and suchlike are still being fine-tuned but expect an announcement soon.

The third project is being overseen by Margot Kinberg who is collating a short story anthology with proceeds to Maxine's chosen charity.

From Margot's blog:
Maxine always told me I ought to have my sleuth Joel Williams solve the murder of a publisher, editor or reviewer. Well, Maxine, I’m going to take your advice. The short story collection I have in mind will focus on the world of writing, publishing and editing. Maxine was among other things a highly skilled editor, so I think she’d appreciate the kinds of things that go on in that world that can lead to murder and mayhem.
More details on what's required of your short story or how to spread the word can be found on Margot's blog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Reviews: Charlton, Connor, Lemaitre, Lipska, Muir, Neville, Runcie, Solana, Voss & Edwards

Nine new reviews have been added to Euro Crime this week:

Geoff Jones reviews Karen Charlton's The Missing Heiress, the first in the Detective Lavender series set in 1809;

Amanda Gillies reviews Alex Connor's Memory of Bones, which revolves around Goya's skull;

JF reviews Pierre Lemaitre's Alex, tr. Frank Wynne, concluding her review with: "An absolute gem of a crime novel that is wonderfully dark, scary, mad, bad and dangerous to know, but just far too good to miss...";

Michelle Peckham reviews Anya Lipska's debut, Where the Devil Can't Go which she very much enjoyed;

Laura Root reviews TF Muir's Tooth for a Tooth the third in the DI Gilchrist series set in St Andrews;

Lynn Harvey reviews Stuart Neville's Ratlines stating that it is "a convincing magnetic thriller";

Terry Halligan reviews the Father Brown-esque Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie;

I reviewed Teresa Solana's The Sound of One Hand Killing, tr. Peter Bush on the blog last week

and Rich Westwood reviews Louise Voss and Mark Edwards's All Fall Down, the second in the Kate Maddox series.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Free Irene Adler Short Story

Currently free (now £2 as of 19.2.13) on UK Kindle is The Private Wife of Sherlock Holmes a short story/novella starring Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes, written by Carole Nelson Douglas. Download it here.

IRENE ADLER . . . She’s one of the most mysterious women in literature, an American and the only woman to have outwitted the world's greatest consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes.

ON FILM . . . You've seen Irene Adler as the fetchingly treacherous minx paired with Robert Downey Jr.’s in his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes as an action hero and human calculating machine.

You can see her as an apparently naked dominatrix in the BBC's modern take on a young, totally wired Sherlock Holmes.

Or you can read about her further adventures after she bested Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia," as written by New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Carole Nelson Douglas, author of the acclaimed Good Night,
Mr. Holmes and seven other novels following the adventures of Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes after “Scandal.”

This novella, “The Private Wife of Sherlock Holmes,” reports the pair’s most recent and intriguing encounter in post-Jack the Ripper London, from Baker Street to a high society brothel. Shocking, my dear Holmes!

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Titles from Allison & Busby - Jan-June 2013

Taken from the Allison & Busby catalogue, here are new titles for January to June 2013 that are relevant to Euro Crime:


Deadly Legacy by Alanna Knight (paperback) (#7 Rose McQuinn, Lady Investigator, late 19thC, Scotland)
Murders Most Foul by Alanna Knight (#16 Inspector Faro, Edinburgh, Victorian Era)
Get Carter by Ted Lewis (reissue)
The Nine Giants by Edward Marston (reissue) (#4 Nicholas Bracewell, Stage manager, Elizabethan Era)
The Mad Courtesan by Edward Marston (reissue) (#5 Nicholas Bracewell, Stage manager, Elizabethan Era)
The Silent Woman by Edward Marston (reissue) (#6 Nicholas Bracewell, Stage manager, Elizabethan Era)
Fatal Inheritance by Catherine Shaw (#5 Vanessa Duncan, a late 1800s schoolmistress, Cambridge)


The Devil's Ribbon by D E Meredith (#2 Professor Adolphus Hatton & Albert Roumande, Victorian England)
Devoured by D E Meredith
(paperback) (#1 Professor Adolphus Hatton & Albert Roumande, Victorian England)


Monsieur Pamplemousse Hits the Headlines by Michael Bond (paperback) (#14 M. Pamplemousse and his dog Pommes Frites, France)
Monsieur Pamplemousse on Probation by Michael Bond (paperback) (#11 M. Pamplemousse and his dog Pommes Frites, France)
Malice in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope (paperback) (#10 Thea Osborne, House Sitter, Cotswolds)
Shadows in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope  (#11 Thea Osborne, House Sitter, Cotswolds)
Elergy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear (paperback) (#9 Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, 1930s London)


Dead Heading by Catherine Aird (#22 DI C D Sloan, Calleshire)
Death on the Pont Noir by Adrian Magson (#3 Inspector Lucas Rocco, Poissons-Les-Marais, 1960s)
The Stationmaster's Farewell by Edward Marston
(paperback) (#9 Det. Insp Colbeck, Scotland Yard, mid 19th Century)
Peril on the Royal Train by Edward Marston (#10 Det. Insp Colbeck, Scotland Yard, mid 19th Century)
Maxwell's Crossing by M J Trow (paperback) (#17 Peter Maxwell, Teacher)


A Place of Confinement by Anna Dean (paperback) (#4 Miss Dido Kent, 1800s)
A Little Murder by Suzette Hill
A Necessary End by Hazel Holt (paperback) (#20 Sheila Malory)
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear (#10 Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, 1930s London)


Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King (paperback) (#12 Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

TV News: Jack Taylor on Channel 5

Iain Glen plays Jack Taylor in The Guards based on the first of Ken Bruen's series of books. The Guards is the first of three feature-length episodes of Jack Taylor which starts on Channel 5 next Thursday at 9pm:
In this introduction to the dark and seamy underbelly of Galway and the tortured world of Jack Taylor, the beautiful Anne Henderson comes into Jack´s local pub and asks him to find her missing daughter.

Before long, Jack is submerged in the grimy secret lives of Galway’s outwardly respectable middleclass citizens. The plot thickens when the bodies of four girls turn up in the river and Jack´s old paratrooper friend Sutton arrives in Galway, luring Jack back into trouble.

When Jack´s favourite barman then dies under mysterious circumstances, everything Jack believes in begins to unravel, making him question even those closest to him.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: The Sound of One Hand Killing by Teresa Solana

The Sound of One Hand Killing by Teresa Solana translated by Peter Bush, February 2013, 285 pages, Bitter Lemon Press, ISBN: 1908524065

THE SOUND OF ONE HAND KILLING, the sequel to A SHORTCUT TO PARADISE, sees the return of Barcelona-based non-identical twins, Borja and Eduard who scrape by, by running an unlicensed PI firm. Their secretary is a whiff of perfume and they have fake doors in their office.

The credit crunch is hitting them hard and Eduard's wife's self-help business is struggling. Borja finds an illegal way of getting some extra funds by acting as a courier for what's probably stolen goods. Fortunately a more ethical way of earning money comes when author Teresa Solana hires the twins to do some research into "alternative" treatments.

The duo check into a weekend of treatments at 'Zen Moments' but they're soon involved in a murder which takes place in a closed community situation. In addition Borja's activities are catching up with him in the shape of some thugs, plus there's the matter of the dead body in the apartment above their office.

All three strands tangle together to make for an enjoyable, light-hearted read in which homeopathy gets a skewering along the way. The boys do do some detecting, mostly at the unexpected request of the police, all against the backdrop of Barcelona.

THE SOUND OF ONE HAND KILLING deliberately leaves some loose ends to be followed up in another book and I look forward to it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

TV News: BBC Dramas

The BBC have tonight announced some upcoming dramas (more details here):

Death Comes To Pemberley
3 x 60 serial
Adapted from P.D James' international bestselling novel in this 200th anniversary year of the first publication of 'Pride & Prejudice', P.D James' remarkably inventive homage to Austen brings the much-loved world to life in a dazzling and original way. Set six years after 'Pride & Prejudice' ends and centering on Austen's best-known characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, the three-parter combines classic period drama with a highly suspenseful and brilliantly crafted murder mystery plot.

8 x 60 series
When his son is snatched on holiday in France, Tony’s exhaustive search fractures his marriage and destroys his life. Exploring the emotional cost of hope and finding when to let go, this relationship thriller shows the impact of a child’s abduction.

The Interceptor
8 x 60 series
A new gripping and high-octane eight-part series about a top secret, state of the art law enforcement team whose unswerving mission is to hunt down some of Britain’s most dangerous and ruthless criminals.

Jamaica Inn
3 x 60 serial
A bold new adaptation of the classic Daphne du Maurier novel, set in 1820 against the foreboding backdrop of windswept Cornish moors, this highly charged, gothic romance follows young Mary Yellan as she becomes entangled in a dangerous criminal world ridden with smuggling and murder, testing her resolve and morality to the very core.

Remember Me
3 x 60 serial
A haunting three-part mystery, on the day a frail old Yorkshireman leaves his own home to move into residential care, he becomes the sole witness to a violent death. His teenage care assistant tries to unravel the riddle of his strange and secretive life, and is drawn into an eerie and dangerous world of lost love and betrayal.


Death In Paradise - series 3
8 x 60 Series
The warm, witty and intriguing hit crime drama series, which is averaging almost 8 million consolidated viewers per episode in its second run is set to be filmed on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and will return to BBC One for a third series next year.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

TV News: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

Almost a year after I first mentioned Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, the series, which is based on Kerry Greenwood's novels, gets its UK premiere on Alibi. The first episode, Cocaine Blues, is on Monday 11th at 10pm:
The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher began life in 1989 as the daring lady detective protagonist of a series of 18 crime books written by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood, and now she's brought to life in this stunning series. Phryne (pronounced Fry-nee) is a glamorous and thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s. Our lady sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl-handled pistol and her dagger sharp wit.

After many years abroad, Phryne returns to Melbourne, in part to start a new life in her home town, but to also ensure that Murdoch Foyle (Nicholas Bell), the man thought to be responsible for her younger sister's mysterious disappearance, never gets out of jail. But before her very proper Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margolyes), a well-known society matriarch, can drag Phryne off to attend her first soiree, she finds herself embroiled in a murder.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Cited on Stolen Souls

The paperback release of Stuart Neville's Stolen Souls is out on 14 February complete with a quote on the back from Lynn Harvey's review for Euro Crime (read it here):

Monday, February 04, 2013

TV News: The Return of Spiral

The attractive but occasionally bumbling Parisian cops and lawyers return to BBC4 on Saturday for Spiral, Series 4: State of Terror. Episode 1 is at 9pm with episode 2 (of twelve) following straight after.
A young couple has been spotted carrying the body of a mutilated man into the woods. Captain Laure Berthaud and her team soon discover that the unidentified man has been killed by a home-made bomb. The team is distracted by from their investigation by internal conflict and the appointment of a new commissioner who wants quick results. Josephine Karlsson is being pressured by a dangerous Russian mobster with links to the Kremlin.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

New Reviews: Bell, Bolitho, Cornell, Fesperman, Pavone, Sinclair, Varesi

This week I compiled the favourite reads of 2012 submitted by the Euro Crime review team, and the most mentioned title was...Last Will by Liza Marklund translated by Neil Smith. The full list of favourite titles, authors and translators, and individual reviewer's lists, can be found here.

Here are this week's new reviews:
Terry Halligan reviews Josephine Bell's A Question of Inheritance now available as an ebook;

Laura Root reviews the third in Janie Bolitho's Cornwall series, Buried in Cornwall, now available in paperback;

Rich Westwood reviews Paul Cornell's crime-urban fantasy novel, London Falling;

Lynn Harvey reviews Dan Fesperman's The Double Game calling it "a smooth treat of a book";

Terry also reviews Chris Pavone's The Expats now out in paperback;

Amanda Gillies reviews Seventy Times Seven writing that John Gordon Sinclair is .."a very welcome addition to the growing band of top-notch Scottish crime writers"

and Susan White reviews Valerio Varesi's The Dark Valley tr. Joseph Farrell, now available in paperback.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

OT: It's Caturday x 2

This was Toffee this morning, auditioning for Superman or is it Supergirl?:

This is the one and only Foxy relaxing at his temporary quarters over Christmas (I took his favourite blanket to make him feel at home):