Sunday, July 31, 2016

Website Updates: July 2016

I've updated the main files on the Euro Crime website today. Euro Crime includes both British and other European crime fiction writers (that have been published in English); non-British/European born crime writers who are strongly associated with British/European crime fiction (eg. Donna Leon), and crime writers in translation from outside of Europe.

Just a couple of reminders regarding the New Releases page:

1. The main by month/by author pages refer to when a book is published (in English) anywhere in the world however the 'by category ie historical, translated etc' is specific to the UK eg Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy series which was published in the US in the 2000s (and on) is only recently published in the UK and so some of her books appear in the 2016 Historical list.

2. When a book is released "early" in ebook I am taking the publication date as to be when the print edition comes out (this is the rule we use for determining Petrona Award eligibility).

As always, if you spot something wrong or missing, please do let me know.

Here's a summary of the usual updates:

The Author Websites page now lists 1056 sites.

In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 2343 authors (11772 titles of which 3020 are reviewed).

I've added new bibliographies for: Stefan Ahnhem, Sebastia Alzamora, Alice Arisugawa, David Bagchi, Louisa Bennet, Michelle Birkby, Katarzyna Bonda, Helen Callaghan, Ray Celestin, Jane Corry, Fiona Cummins, Frederic Dard, E M Davey, Augusto De Angelis, Lara Dearman, A A Dhand, Katerina Diamond, Yvvette Edwards, Lyndsay Faye, Frank Gardner, Mario Giordano, Camilla Grebe, Peter Hanington, Debbie Howells, Maureen Jennings, Lesley Kelly, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Minna Lindgren, Walter Lucius, Siobhan MacDonald, A J MacKenzie, Richard Madeley, Ava Marsh, Valerie Martin, Anna Mazzola, Rob McCarthy, Tom McCulloch, Lisa McInerney, Raphael Monteas, Hiroshi Mori, Liz Nugent, Kate O'Riordan, Simon Pasternak, Marc Raabe, Agnes Ravatn, Rod Reynolds, Marnie Riches, Jane Robins, Thomas Rydahl, Kate Saunders, Paige Shelton, Yoshinori Shimizu, James Silvester, Susie Steiner, Sara Stridsberg, Julia Thomas, Sherry Thomas, E S Thomson, Kaite Welsh and Michael Wood.

I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Lin Anderson, M J Arlidge, Yukito Ayatsuji, Sam Baker, Tom Bale, M C Beaton, Simon Beaufort, Parker Bilal, Harry Bingham, Samuel Bjork, Saul Black, Jenny Blackhurst, Britta Bolt, Sharon Bolton, Stephen Booth, Rhys Bowen, Alan Bradley, Simon Brett, Ken Bruen, Andrea Camilleri, Massimo Carlotto, Andrea Carter, CJ Carver, Joyce Cato, Paul Charles, Karen Charlton, Alys Clare, Ann Cleeves, Rory Clements, Tammy Cohen, Lesley Cookman, Colin Cotterill, David Stuart Davies, Maurizio De Giovanni, Anja de Jager, Anders de la Motte, David Dickinson, P C/Paul Doherty, Louise Doughty, Jamie Doward, Ruth (R S) Downie, Steven Dunne, Jeremy Duns, Sabine Durrant, Sam Eastland, Elsebeth Egholm, Cecilia Ekback, Kate Ellis, P R Ellis, Thomas Enger, Chris Ewan, Judith Flanders, Dick Francis, Matthew Frank, Nicci French, Tana French, Alan Furst, Pascal Garnier, Alan Glynn, Alex Grecian, Susanna Gregory, Elly Griffiths, Alastair Gunn, Sophie Hannah, Joanne Harris, Tessa Harris, James Henry, Kati Hiekkapelto, Keigo Higashino, Antonia Hodgson, Anne Holt, Anna Lee Huber, Arlene Hunt, D E Ireland, Graham Ison, David Jackson, Jari Jarvela, Ragnar Jonasson, Chris Morgan Jones, Mari Jungstedt, Jim Kelly, Maxine Kenneth, Vaseem Khan, Herman Koch, Deryn Lake, J S Law, Herve Le Corre, Stephen Leather, Leena Lehtolainen, Pierre Lemaitre, Howard Linskey, Peter Lovesey, Malcolm Mackay, Michael J Malone, James Marrison, Edward/A E Marston, Val McDermid, Paul Mendelson, Derek B Miller, Zygmunt Miloszewski, Denise Mina, Kanae Minato, Dreda Say Mitchell, Miyuki Miyabe, Frederique Molay, Rebecca Muddiman, Barbara Nadel, Fuminori Nakamura, Jo Nesbo, Chris Nickson, Kristina Ohlsson, S J Parris, Tony Parsons, Michael Pearce, Karen Perry, Christine Poulson, Ian Rankin, Dolores Redondo, Matt Benyon Rees, Lucy Ribchester, Mark Roberts, Craig Robertson, Michael Robertson, Priscilla Royal, James Runcie, Craig Russell, Rob Ryan, Catherine Sampson, Ian Sansom, Tony Schumacher, Zoe Sharp, Lloyd Shepherd, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Alexander McCall Smith, Mel/Melvin R Starr, Andrew Taylor, Mike Thomas, Will Thomas, David Thorne, Peter Tickler, Peter Tremayne, S K Tremayne, Antti Tuomainen, Carl-Johan Vallgren, Luca Veste, Martin Walker, Camilla Way, Tim Weaver, Lee Weeks, Louise Welsh, Lucie Whitehouse, Kerry Wilkinson, D K Wilson and David Wishart.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Crime Writer at the Festival - Short Stories, Episode 3

The latest in a series of short stories set at Festivals/Events running on Radio 4 is by Val McDermid and is called Same Crime, Next Year. It was on last Sunday but you can listen again for the next 25 days via iplayer or the website. Next Sunday, the story is by David Mark.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

Tonight, a new story by Val McDermid, who is one of the co-founders of the Theakston's Crime Writing Festival, held every July in Harrogate, and which has become one of the biggest celebrations of the genre in the world.

Her story, "Same Crime, Next Year" is set at Harrogate and imagines the fallout from a torrid affair between two crime writers.

Last Thursday (21st July), on the opening night of this year's Crime Festival in Harrogate, Val was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, joining past winners Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill.

Reader: Siobhan Redmond
Writer: Val McDermid
Producer: Kirsteen Cameron.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

CWA Daggers 2016 - The Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2016 CWA Daggers were announced this morning. From the press release:
Here are the Dagger shortlists for 2016. For brief descriptions of each book, please visit the website:

Goldsboro Gold Dagger – for the best crime novel of the year
Sponsored by Goldsboro Books

Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre, published by Little Brown

Blood Salt Water by Denise Mina, published by Orion

Dodgers by Bill Beverly, published by No Exit Press

Real Tigers by Mick Herron, published by John Murray

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger – for the best crime thriller of the year
Sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications

The Cartel by Don Winslow, published by William Heinemann

The English Spy by Daniel Silva, published by HarperCollins

Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty, published by Serpent’s Tail

Real Tigers by Mick Herron, published by John Murray

Make Me by Lee Child, published by Bantam Press

John Creasey New Blood Dagger – for the best debut crime novel

Fever City by Tim Baker, published by Faber & Faber

Dodgers by Bill Beverly, published by No Exit Press

Freedom's Child by Jax Miller, published by HarperCollins

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, published by Jonathan Cape

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle, published by Viking

Endeavour Historical Dagger – for the best historical crime novel
Sponsored by Endeavour Press

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby, published by Pan Books

The Other Side of Silence by Philip Kerr, published by Quercus

A Book of Scars by William Shaw, published by Quercus

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith, published by Lion Fiction

Striking Murder by A. J. Wright, published by Allison & Busby

Stasi Child by David Young, published by Twenty7Books

Non-Fiction Dagger – for non-fiction crime
(Unchanged from longlist)

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
published by HarperCollins

Sexy Beasts: The Hatton Garden Mob by Wensley Clarkson
published by Quercus

You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat)
by Andrew Hankinson, published by Scribe

A Very Expensive Poison by Luke Harding
published by Faber & Faber

Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories by Thomas Grant
published by John Murray

John le Carré: The Biography by Adam Sisman
published by Bloomsbury

Short Story Dagger – for a short crime story published in the UK
(Unchanged from longlist)

As Alice Did by Andrea Camilleri
from Montalbano's First Cases published by Pan Macmillan

On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier by John Connolly
from Nocturnes 2: Night Music published by Hodder and Stoughton

Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository by John Connolly
from Nocturnes 2: Night Music published by Hodder and Stoughton

Bryant & May and the Nameless Woman by Christopher Fowler
from London's Glory published by Bantam

Stray Bullets by Alberto Barrera Tyszka
from Crimes published by MacLehose Press

Rosenlaui by Conrad Williams
from The Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis edited by Maxim Jakubowski, published by Constable & Robinson

International Dagger – for crime fiction translated into English and published in the UK

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango
translated by Imogen Taylor, published by Simon & Schuster

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaître
translated by Frank Wynne, published by MacLehose Press

Icarus by Deon Meyer
translated by K L Seegers, published by Hodder & Stoughton

The Murderer in Ruins by Cay Rademacher
translated by Peter Millar, published by Arcadia

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davis, published by Quercus

Dagger in the Library – author of the most enjoyed collection of work in libraries

Tony Black published by Black & White

Alison Bruce published by Constable & Robinson

Elly Griffiths published by Quercus

Quintin Jardine published by Headline

Debut Dagger
Sponsored by Orion Books

The hugely popular competition for the opening of a crime novel by an author
with no publishing contract

Dark Valley by John Kennedy

The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins

A Reconstructed Man by Graham Brack

A State of Grace by Rita Catching

Wimmera by Mark Brandi

The winners of all nine CWA Daggers will be announced at a glittering Dagger Awards Gala Dinner in London on 11 October. Peter James will be awarded the Diamond Dagger at the same occasion. The speaker will be James Runcie, of The Grantchester Mysteries fame, and master of ceremonies will be Barry Forshaw, the acclaimed crime fiction expert. Everyone is welcome to attend. For details and a booking form, visit

Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: The Women of the Souk by Michael Pearce

The Women of the Souk by Michael Pearce, April 2016, 176 pages, Severn House Publishers Ltd, ISBN: 0727886185

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.
(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

It's Cairo, Egypt at the turn of the twentieth century. Britain has been invited by the Khedive who is the ruler of the country, to assist in the running of Egypt. The Mamur Zapt is the head of the secret police, a political appointment and this position is held by a Welshman, Captain Gareth Cadwallader Owen. Many Egyptians resent the British involvement. Against this background our story begins.

A young woman, Marie, still at an exclusive school and from a wealthy family is kidnapped. One of her school friends approaches Owen to implore him to get involved with gaining her release. This can be tricky as a ransom is demanded and if paid too quickly could elicit further demands. If the kidnappers feel they are being ignored the girl could be murdered.

The Khedive feels that the Mamur Zapt's involvement is crucial. So begins a slow and tortuous negotiation with the kidnappers. The local Souk – a market place – hold the key to this dilemma. The local women although by tradition they have to demur to the menfolk, times are changing, and they bring their influence to bear.

THE WOMEN OF THE SOUK is full of interesting characters: the kidnapped girl's boyfriend Ali Shawquat, who is a renowned musician; Marie's school-friend Layla and the young girl who she walked to school with, Minya; Owen's officers Nicos, Mahmoud, Georgides and Selim; the man representing Marie's family, Ali Osman Fingari; the scent-maker in the bazaar and of course the women of the souk, who should wear burkas but have more modern ideas. Owen himself is married to an Egyptian woman, Zeinab.

This is the nineteenth book written by the author featuring tales of the Mamur Zapt. Though the story moved very slowly, but inexorably to its conclusion, it is well researched and made me want to know more about Britain's involvement in Egypt during this period. Recommended.

Geoff Jones, July 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

OT: Email Problems

Just a quick note to say that I am receiving emails but cannot send them at the moment. Not sure if it's the current BT problems which are the cause. It's been ongoing for a few days now. I have asked the inhouse IT expert to have a look at it :).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Man with Walking Cane - Copycat Covers

Sam Christer's The House of Smoke came out in March (UK) and Will Thomas's Anatomy of Evil will be out in September (US).


The House of Smoke blurb from Amazon:

Big Ben chimes in the first seconds of the first day of 1900, the start of a fresh century. Inside London's oldest gaol, preparations are afoot to hang Victorian England's deadliest assassin, a man wanted for two decades' worth of murders.

Cold-blooded killer Simeon Lynch has lived a brutal and glorious life in the employ of the House of Moriarty - the most feared criminal enterprise in the world. Now, as he faces the noose, Simeon learns dark truths about his master, about Sherlock Holmes and about his own past. Truths that make him determined to escape and kill again...

Follow Simeon's bloody footsteps through the capital's cobbled alleyways, wretched workhouses and flash taverns as he crosses swords with Sherlock Holmes and the villainous characters of Victorian London.

Anatomy of Evil blurb from Amazon:

Cyrus Barker is undoubtedly England's premiere private enquiry agent. With the help of his assistant Thomas Llewelyn, he's developed an enviable reputation for discreetly solving some of the toughest, most consequential cases in recent history. But one evening in 1888, Robert Anderson, the head of Scotland Yard's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), appears at Barker's office with an offer. A series of murders in the Whitechapel area of London are turning the city upside down, with tremendous pressure being brought to bear on Scotland Yard and the government itself.

Barker is to be named temporary envoy to the Royal Family with regard to the case while surreptitiously bringing his investigative skill to the case. With various elements of society, high and low, bringing their own agenda to increasingly shocking murders, Barker and Llewellyn must find and hunt down the century's most notorious killer. The Whitechapel Killer has managed to elude the finest minds of Scotland Yard and beyond he's never faced a mind as nimble and a man as skilled as Cyrus Barker. But even Barker's prodigious skills may not be enough to track down a killer in time."

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Queen of Mystery - Short Stories on Radio 4, Episode 2

The latest in a series of short stories set at Festivals/Events running on Radio 4 is by Sarah Hilary and is called The Getaway. It was on last night but you can listen again for the next 29 days via iplayer or the website. Next Sunday, the story is by Val McDermid.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

It's often said that there is something different about crime writers - they flock together, they enjoy each other's company and freely interact with their fans. Next week, thousands of fiction fans will head to Yorkshire for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, and this new story series celebrates the very particular atmosphere of such festivals.

In this story, Sarah Hilary (who won last year's Crime Novel of the Year Award at Harrogate for her debut SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN), takes us to an imaginary festival and a character desperate to break free of the mainstream.

Read by Melody Grove
Writen by Sarah Hilary
Produced by Kirsteen Cameron

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Queen of Mystery - Short Stories on Radio 4

A series of short stories set at Festivals/Events are running over the next three weekends on Radio 4 whilst the first one of the four - this one written by Ann Cleeves - was on last Sunday. You can however listen again for the next 27 days via iplayer or the website. Next Sunday, the story is by Sarah Hilary.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

In the month that thousands of fiction fans head to Yorkshire for the Harrogate Crime Festival, this new short story series celebrates the very particular atmosphere of such festivals. It's often said that there is something different about crime writers - they flock together, they enjoy each other's company and freely interact with their fans. Over the next four Sunday evenings, festival stalwarts Ann Cleeves, Sarah Hilary, Val McDermid and David Mark, will take us to events real and imagined in four original stories that will charm and intrigue.

In this first story, Ann Cleeves (bestselling author of the Vera and Shetland crime novel series) takes us to Malice Domestic in Bethesda, Maryland - an annual crime convention for lovers of the traditional mystery novel. Her character, Stella Monkhouse, known to her fans as the "Queen of Mystery", is an award-winning crime writer who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that her literary star is beginning to wane...

Read by Joanna Tope.
Written by Ann Cleeves.
Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Monday, July 11, 2016

DVD News: Dicte Series 1

The first series of Dicte - Crime Reporter the Danish crime series based on Elsebeth Egholm's novels, which recently ran on More 4 is available on DVD from today.

Following her divorce, investigative journalist Dicte (Iben Hjejle) moves back to her home town of Aarhus, along with her teenage daughter Rose. Dicte soon tangles with local police detective Wagner played by Lars Brygmann (Unit One, Borgen) and by the end of the first couple of episodes he's hoping not to see her again but of course that's not going to be the case!

The two-disc box-set has the episodes in their original ten-episode format ie 5 stories in two parts.

[I'm half-way through the series so I may return to the subject later on but so far it's enjoyable if a little full of coincidences.]

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Looking Ahead to 2017

Three debut books/authors have been getting some press attention this week.

Out in January 2017 is Rattle by Fiona Cummins, published by Macmillan. My proof copy gives little away about the plot but does say: "If you only read one thriller this year make it this one".

I have found a bit of a synopsis;

Erdman Frith’s life is falling apart. His beloved son Jakey is suffering from a singularly cruel progressive disease, his wife is threatening divorce, and he’s in a dead end job. What Erdman doesn’t know is that someone is watching him and his son and they won’t stop at anything to get hold of what they want. Jakey Frith suffers from Stone Man Syndrome, his bones are fusing together and he is slowly becoming imprisoned by his own skeleton. The shadowy, threatening character of the Bone Collector has inherited a macabre and gruesome museum of medical oddities. He knows about Jakey’s condition and longs to possess his skeleton for his collection. When five year old Clara Foyle, who also suffers from an unusual medical condition goes missing the police, headed up by feisty Detective Sergeant Etta Fitzroy, embark on a hunt for what seems to be a sinister figure who has access to medical records. As the lives and the fates of all the characters become more desperately entangled, Erdman helps Fitzroy to track down the Bone Collector and restore his family. 

Out in November 2017 is Lara Dearman's debut, The Devil's Claw, published by Trapeze. This is the first in a series set on the Channel Islands. From The Bookseller:
Trapeze has signed a crime series set in the Channel Islands by debut author Lara Dearman.

Sam Eades, senior commissioning editor at Trapeze, struck a two-book deal ... The first book in the series The Devil's Claw will be published in November 2017.

The Devil's Claw follows journalist Jennifer Dorey and DCI Michael Gilbert, who pair up after the discovery of a drowned girl on a local beach and Dorey uncovers a pattern of similar deaths over the last 50 years. Together, their investigation will lead them to expose the island’s historical scars, and to ‘Fritz’, the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier, whose carefully constructed world is now crumbling because of Dorey.

Eades said: "Crime fiction fans love to be transported to different locations, from the wilds of Shetland to the brooding Scandinavian landscape. I cannot wait for readers to explore the island world Lara Dearman has created in her atmospheric debut The Devil's Claw. The Guernsey setting is both beautiful and deadly, and on this stunning backdrop unfolds an ambitious murder mystery interwoven with local tradition and folklore. Lara is a voracious reader of crime fiction and plays with the conventions of the genre, masterfully weaving together crimes from that past and the present told from three characters."

Dearman, a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at St Mary’s University, grew up on Guernsey before moving to the UK to study. Since graduating with a distinction in 2016, she now lives in New York with her husband and three children and is intending to write full-time.

She said: "I was born and raised on Guernsey and have always felt a deep-rooted connection, a longing even, for the familiarity of my island home. It was this feeling together with a desire to explore the darker side of the island’s history - Nazi occupation and folk tales of witchcraft and Devil worship - which led to the idea for The Devil's Claw. I wondered, what it would be like to return to this small, close-knit community after years away. What would happen if, having returned, those feelings of comfort and familiarity so many of us associate with home were shattered – if the island’s dark past caught up with its present and a body washed up on the beach with the driftwood? Sam’s enthusiasm for The Devil's Claw has been overwhelming and I am so excited to be starting my writing career as part of the Orion/Trapeze family."

The Devil's Claw will be published by Trapeze in November 2017 in paperback, e-book and audio with the second book following in Spring 2018.

And out in December 2017 is Jane Robins' Hitchcock-inspired debut, White Bodies, published by Harper Collins' new division HQ:

HQ are delighted to announce acquisition of UK and Commonwealth rights to White Bodies, a unique attention-grabbing debut novel by journalist and author of three non-fiction books Jane Robins. Cleverly reworking Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train for the internet age, White Bodies follows the story of an abusive relationship that tests the unbreakable ties that bind twin sisters.

White Bodies will be published on 28th December 2017 in hardback, ebook and audiobook.

Sally Williamson, Jane Robins’s editor at HQ, said: “Jane has written an utterly mesmerising book that I devoured in one sitting, gripped by every exquisite page. Unique, addictive and darkly twisted, this is going to be huge.” 

White Bodies follows bookseller, Callie, as she watches her beautiful, talented sister visibly shrink and diminish under the domineering love of her new boyfriend. Tilda has stopped working and pretty much stopped eating. Her flat is freakishly clean and tidy, with mugs wrapped in cling film and ominous syringes in the bathroom bin. So worried is Callie that she joins an internet support group – – for the victims and families of women enduring abuse from their partners. But when one of Callie’s new internet friends is murdered by her abusive partner both Tilda and Callie’s lives spiral out of control.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Review: Cara Massimina by Tim Parks

Cara Massimina by Tim Parks, November 2011, 288 pages, Vintage, ISBN: 0099572621

Reviewed by Rich Westwood.
(Read more of Rich's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Morris Arthur Duckworth is a down-at-heel English teacher in the Italian city of Verona. His life is financially precarious, always one step ahead of the gas being cut off in his flat, and largely reliant on providing additional private tutorials for his wealthier students. Morris simultaneously despises them and yearns to join them as an equal in wealth and lifestyle.

"He loved taking care of beautiful things... Normal things he was rather careless about (his scuffed shoes, for example) but with beautiful things it was different (and that was the mystery in the end, to have opened one's eyes in North Acton and yearned for class and style before he even knew they existed). And Morris thought that when one day he had finally got a good number of beautiful possessions together, he would spend a long time looking after them and get a great deal of pleasure from it."

His student Massimina seems to offer a step up. She is beautiful, biddable, and deluded enough to have fallen in love with Morris. She is the third daughter of a wealthy family. She is also, unfortunately, seventeen, which means he cannot marry her for several months.

Before you feel sorry for Morris, you should know that he is a liar, a petty thief, and an embryonic blackmailer, driven by an unjustified sense of self-pity. In many ways he is similar to Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley (a similarity heightened by the Italian setting). He flunks his crucial first meeting with Massimina's family by getting caught lying about his prospects.

"Morris then very casually mentioned the names of three Veronese companies he was working with closely at the moment... Names you saw on posters and local television commercials. There was a fair chance, of course, Verona being the tiny tight-knit place it was, that either the signora or Bobo would know people in these companies. By precisely the aplomb with which Morris took that risk should prove the clinching factor."

An elopement seems like the obvious next step. But is it an elopement or a kidnapping? Morris doesn't seem quite sure himself. And is the studiously asexual anti-hero actually falling for Massimina?

"Massimina was in a complete mess. Red in the freckled face, make-up all over the place, hair tousled, body apparently quite shapeless in a running outfit of all things. And out of breath to boot - nostrils flaring and eyes puffy. Rather horrible."

Maybe not, and yet....

CARA MASSIMINA is the first of three books featuring Morris Duckworth recently reissued by Vintage. The first two were originally published in the '90s and CARA MASSIMINA is a reminder of simpler times when kidnappers had to buy newspapers to compose their ransom demands and find out if the police were after them. The Italian setting (informed by Tim Parks' own time as an English teacher in Verona), inexorable plot, sort-of-likeable antihero, and relatively short length make this an ideal holiday book. Good fun.

Rich Westwood, July 2016

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

UK Kindle Bargains

Whilst we eagerly await parts 4 and 5 in Thomas Enger's Henning Juul series - coming 2017 from Orenda Books, if you haven't read the first three parts then they are currently 66p each on UK Kindle!

Also a bargain are the first 4 books in Leena Lehtolainen's Maria Kallio series which are 99p each during July on UK Kindle.

And finally, BritCrime have put together a handy page of British crime titles that are currently free or at a reduced price on UK Kindle.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Review: Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton, June 2016, 352 pages, Bantam Press, ISBN: 0593076311

Reviewed by Laura Root.
(Read more of Laura's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

DAISY IN CHAINS is a standalone psychological thriller by Sharon Bolton set in South West England. The protagonist is Maggie Rose, a highly successful barrister and true crime author. Maggie has moved away from court appearances to writing true crime books, carrying out her own research to help overturn unsafe murder convictions on behalf of her clients.

Her latest client is Hamish Wolfe, a young, dashing, arrogant doctor imprisoned at Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight, after being convicted of a series of a killings involving four overweight young women. The women were lured to their death by a malevolent, internet, stranger who set up a false identity to tempt them into meeting him.

Hamish's mother, Sandra, and a motley array of supporters, the “Wolfe Pack”, are determined that Wolfe is innocent, and persuade Maggie to take on his case. Maggie looks to have an uphill struggle as the evidence against Wolfe was strong: both circumstantial and forensic. Unfortunate rumours have followed him from his university days, that he has a history of exploiting fat women with his friends and making sex tapes without their permission.

Despite (or because of) the nature of his crimes, Wolfe receives over a hundred letters a month, mostly from women. Maggie soon finds she has a rival in the “Wolfe Pack”, a young woman jealous of her prison meetings with Hamish. Maggie herself has to guard against Hamish's attempts to charm and manipulate her. She also has the police to deal with; the detective responsible for Wolfe's arrest is keeping a careful eye on the re-opening of his case.

I found DAISY IN CHAINS an enjoyable, compelling pageturner, with twists and turns that reminded me of Pierre Lemaitre's Verhoeven trilogy. Sharon Bolton skilfully builds up tension, carefully giving the reader clues about the details of the court case and its effect on the police and families involved. The author also casts an interesting light on the phenomenon of the magnetic attraction of convicted killers to outsiders, especially women.

Laura Root, July 2015

Monday, July 04, 2016

US Cozy Review: Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

As it's 4 July, I thought it would be appropriate to post another entry in my irregular feature: US cozy review.

Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell, November 2015, Kensington Publishing ISBN: 1617737178

YARNED AND DANGEROUS introduces New York fashion designer Josie Blair who is persuaded by her mother to take some time away in the country to look after her great-uncle Eb who has broken his leg in the car accident that killed his new wife Cora. As well as looking after Eb, Josie is to wind up Cora's wool shop, Miss Marple Knits.

Josie sets off to Dorset Falls, Connecticut with her cat Coco. Her lascivious boss has fired her for leaving on short notice but she hopes that given a bit of time he will re-hire her.

Her great-uncle receives her without enthusiasm but Josie gives as good as she gets.

Josie spent a couple of her teenage years growing up in Dorset Falls so she knows a few people and soon rekindles a friendship with Lorna who runs the general store however she also has a few enemies, including the mother of her ex-childhood sweetheart who didn't like her before and certainly doesn't like her now and definitely wants her hands on the wool shop.

Another potential buyer for the woolshop is Lillian Woodruff who also takes a dislike to Josie, however not for long, as the next day Josie discovers Lillian's dead body in the back room of Miss Marple Knits...

Josie is not an amateur sleuth and in the main is content to leave matters to the seemingly capable local police. Josie has plenty on her hands with looking after Eb and the closing down of the shop and dealing with her own mixed feelings about going back to New York. As well as Lorna she makes a friend in Mitch, the grandson of Eb's neighbour. She also receives help from two friends of Cora, Helen and Evelyn, though she's not sure whether she can trust them. What are they doing in the abandoned shop opposite?

YARNED AND DANGEROUS is an enjoyable, quick read. Set in a cold and rundown town (for a change) it focusses on Josie's journey from a townie thinking about designer handbags – to someone who feels at home in Dorset Falls. There is intrigue and Josie does save the day in the end but she doesn't pursue many leads herself. There are quite a few references to wool but as Josie is a non-knitter there are few technical terms so non-knitters will be fine. Despite the prominence of Coco on the cover, she doesn't make many appearances but maybe she will be more visible in the sequel, A KNIT BEFORE DYING, which I'm looking forward to.

Karen Meek, July 2016

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Some 1944 Titles (for Past Offences)

The latest monthly challenge over at Past Offences is to read a book in July, published in 1944. Here are some British/European crime titles to choose from, first published in English in 1944, pulled from my database. This information is correct to the best of my knowledge however please do double check dates before spending any cash!:
Emery Bonett - High Pavement (apa Old Mrs Camelot)
Christianna Brand - Green for Danger
Agatha Christie - Death Comes As the End
Agatha Christie - Towards Zero
Joan Coggin - Who Killed the Curate?
Edmund Crispin - The Case of the Gilded Fly
Ngaio Marsh - Died in the Wool (1944 in NZ, 1945 in UK)
Gladys Mitchell - My Father Sleeps
Georges Simenon - Maigret's Rival (apa Inspector Cadaver)
Georges Simenon - Maigret and the Toy Village
Georges Simenon - To Any Lengths (apa Maigret and the Fortuneteller) (apa Signed, Picpus)
Georges Simenon - The Gendarme's Report
Patricia Wentworth - The Clock Strikes Twelve
Patricia Wentworth - The Key
There are more suggestions in the comments on the Past Offences page.

Friday, July 01, 2016

New Releases - July 2016

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in July 2016 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). July and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.

• Alaux, Jean-Pierre & Balen, Noel - Red-Handed in Romanae-Conti #9 Benjamin Cooker, world-renowned winemaker turned gentleman detective
• Beaufort, Simon - The Killing Ship
• Bingham, Harry - The Dead House #5 DC Fiona Griffiths
• Bjork, Samuel - The Owl Always Hunts at Night #2 Holger Munch & Mia Kruger, Oslo Police
• Brett, Simon - Appeal
• Carlotto, Massimo - For All the Gold in the World #8 Alligator, PI, Padova, Italy
• Davies, David Stuart - The Ripper Legacy #6 Sherlock Holmes
• Downie, Ruth (R S) - Vita Brevis #7 Gaius Petreius Ruso, Chester, Roman Britain
• Durrant, Sabine - Lie With Me
• Giordano, Mario - Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
• Harris, Tessa - Secrets in the Stones #6 Dr Thomas Silkstone, 18C England
• Henry, James - Blackwater #1 DI Nick Lowry, Essex, 1983
• Herrera, Yuri - The Transmigration of Bodies
• Hingley, David - Birthright #1 Mercia Blakewood
• Howells, Debbie - The Beauty of the End
• Huber, Anna Lee - As Death Draws Near #5 Lady Darby, Scotland, 1830s
• Ison, Graham - Suddenly at Home #15 DI Brock & DS Poole
• Jonasson, Ragnar - Blackout #2 Ari Thor, Policeman
• Lawson, Mark - The Allegations
• Leather, Stephen - Dark Forces #13 Dan Shepherd, SAS trooper turned undercover cop
• Lehtolainen, Leena - Fatal Headwind #6 Detective Maria Kallio, Helsinki
• Lemaitre, Pierre - Blood Wedding
• Lovesey, Peter - Another One Goes Tonight #16 Peter Diamond, Bath
• Lucius, Walter - Butterfly on the Storm #1 Heartland Trilogy
• Mackay, Malcolm - For Those Who Know the Ending
• Mazzola, Anna - The Unseeing
• McCulloch, Tom - A Private Haunting
• McIntosh, Pat - The Lanimer Bride #11 Gil Cunningham, notary-in-training, medieval Glasgow
• McPherson, Catriona - Dandy Gilver and the Most Misleading Habit #11 Dandy Gilver, Society Sleuth, 1920s Scotland
• Mendelson, Paul - The History of Blood #3 Colonel Vaughn de Vries, Cape Town
• Miller, Derek B - The Girl in Green
• Mina, Denise - The Long Drop #6 DS Alex Morrow, Glasgow
• Mitchell, Dreda Say - Blood Sister #1 Flesh and Blood Trilogy
• Nakamura, Fuminori - The Kingdom
• Nakayama, Shichiri - Nocturne of Remembrance
• Neville, Stuart - So Say the Fallen #2 DCI Serena Flanagan
• Nickson, Chris - The Iron Water #4 Detective Inspector Tom Harper, Leeds Police, 1890s
• Nugent, Liz - Lying in Wait
• Rankin, Ian - The Travelling Companion Short Stories
• Reed, Hannah - Dressed to Kilt #3 A Scottish Highlands Mystery
• Robertson, Michael - The Baker Street Jurors #5 Brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath, Lawyers, Baker Street
• Robinson, Peter - When the Music's Over #23 Insp. Alan Banks, Yorkshire
• Saunders, Kate - The Secrets of Wishtide #1 Laetitia Rodd, Private Detective, Victorian Era
• Sharp, Zoe - Absence of Light Charlie Fox Novella
• Staincliffe, Cath - The Silence Between Breaths
• Sutton, William - Lawless and the Flowers of Sin #2 Campbell Lawless, Victorian Policeman
• Thomas, Julia - The English Boys
• Tremayne, Peter - Penance of the Damned #25 Sister Fidelma
• Trow, M J - The Angel #3 A Grand & Batchelor Victorian Mystery
• Vargas, Fred - A Climate of Fear #9 Commissaire Adamsberg, Paris
• Veste, Luca - Then She Was Gone #4 DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi, Liverpool
• Weaver, Tim - Broken Heart #7 David Raker, Missing Persons Investigator
• Wilkinson, Kerry - Something Hidden #2 Andrew Hunter, PI, Manchester
• Wood, Michael - Outside Looking In #2 DCI Matilda Darke