Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blog Tour: Review of A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward

Just under a year ago, I reviewed Sarah Ward's debut, In Bitter Chill, for its blog tour and I was very pleased to be invited back to review book two, A Deadly Thaw.

A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward (30 August (ebook)/1 September (Hardback) 2016, Faber & Faber, ISBN: 057132102X)

I work in a public library which is really strapped for cash so I have been making the (too) few copies we have of IN BITTER CHILL, work as hard as I can. I was rewarded with one of my regular customers responding to my enquiry as to did he like it, by him replying...”It was bloody brilliant!”.

I too really liked IN BITTER CHILL and have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, A DEADLY THAW, also set in Derbyshire's Bampton.

The three detectives from IN BITTER CHILL, DI Sadler and his team DS Palmer and DC Childs (Connie) return and are confronted by a conundrum. Local man, Sadler identifies the newly dead body found in a disused and isolated morgue building as a contemporary of his, Andrew Fisher, however, Andrew's wife Lena has recently completed a long prison sentence for the murder of her husband.... So who was the man she killed, where has Andrew been hiding and why has he been killed now?

As Sadler wasn't very involved in the initial investigation in 2004, his team are tasked with finding out the answers to these questions. The obvious thing is to ask Lena about the dead man found in her bed. She is reluctant to answer and things get more difficult when she disappears. Her sister, Kat, believes it's a voluntary absence but is perplexed when Lena apparently sends her clues via a teenage boy. Whilst the police carry out their investigation, Kat, a therapist, gets help from one of her clients, and tries to find Lena herself.

With chapters left on cliff-hangers, alternating points of view and occasional time shifts, you can't help but race through A DEADLY THAW to get to the bottom of all the mysteries. As well as the crime elements there are developments in the relationships between the team members and already these characters are well established and real and you want to know what's happening to them outside of work. A DEADLY THAW is a darker book than the first, has an even more complicated plot, and looks at policing in the past compared to the more empathetic experience we (particularly women) would hope to get today when reporting a crime.

Roll on the next in the series, A PATIENT FURY...

Karen Meek, August 2016

Yesterday's stop on the blog tour was at Crime Watch and tomorrow's is at Liz Loves Books.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Some 1930 Titles (for Past Offences)

The latest monthly challenge over at Past Offences is to read a book in September, published in 1930. Here are some British/European crime titles to choose from, first published in English in 1930, pulled from my database. This information is correct to the best of my knowledge however please do double check dates before spending any cash!:
Margery Allingham - Mystery Mile
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Mr Quin
Agatha Christie - The Murder At The Vicarage
Clemence Dane - Printer's Devil (apa Author Unknown) (with Helen Simpson)
C S Forester - Plain Murder
Annie Haynes - The Crystal Beads Murder
Dorothy L Sayers - The Documents in the Case
Dorothy L Sayers - Strong Poison
Patricia Wentworth - Kingdom Lost
Patricia Wentworth - The Coldstone
Patricia Wentworth - Beggar's Choice
There are (many) more suggestions in the comments on the Past Offences page.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Moomin Colouring Books

I haven't yet succumbed to buying one of the "adult" colouring books now available but I did spot this the other day in W H Smiths and it is a little bit tempting:

This stylish and unique Moomin Colouring Book features original artwork from the coveted archive of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins; one of the most cherished children's book series ever written.

Beautifully conceived and designed, this contemporary colouring book features striking patterns and scenes as well as all your favourite Moomin characters and their most memorable quotes. The perfect gift for Moomin fans.

Or, in November, this pocket-sized edition will be out:

In a new, perfectly pocket-sized format, The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book features original artwork from the coveted archive of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins; one of the most cherished children's book series ever written.

This smaller edition, perfect for colouring on-the-go, features striking patterns and scenes as well as all your favourite Moomin characters and their most memorable quotes. Including all your favourite scenes from The Moomin Colouring Book.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Birmingham Literature Festival - Euro Pass

The Birmingham Literature Festival is 6-16 October and one of the threads is a selection of events which can be covered by a Euro Pass (£30/£24) (or booked individually):

Walter Presents
Writers from the Ukraine
Cristina Sanchez-Andrade
Diego Marani and Frank Witzel: Europanto, pop, politics and paranoia
Jonas Hassen Khemiri and Elif Shafak
David Lodge and Philippine Hamen
The Bridge to Hinterland: With Hans Rosenfeldt and Ed Thomas
Beyond the Water’s Edge

Here is more information on a couple of the sessions:

Walter Presents
October 7 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
£10/8, Festival Pass/Euro Pass: FREE WALTER PORTRAIT

Walter Iuzzolino, the man behind Channel 4’s hugely successful Netflix of foreign drama, Walter Presents, watched over 3,500 hours of international television to curate a catalogue of TV and online hits including Deutschland 83, Spin and Blue Eyes.

He believes foreign drama is giving people the greedy fix once provided only by novels: “One episode is just not enough. And that type of fiction, built on cliff-hangers, is Dickens. It’s Balzac…. These TV series are also something that unite people. In the same way as people join book clubs, now they discuss TV series’.

In this very special event, hear from Walter himself about how Walter Presents came to be, and what makes it so compelling for UK audiences.

The Bridge to Hinterland
October 8 @ 7:30 am - 8:45 pm
£10/£8, Festival Pass/Euro Pass: FREE

Bilingual, border-town crime drama, The Bridge, set the bar for Nordic Noir. Season 3 attracted over 2 million viewers in the UK and Swedish detective Saga Noren became something of a national treasure. A fourth series is due to be filmed later this year.

Award-winning Welsh crime drama Hinterland was originally broadcast in English and Welsh, a first for BBC television drama.

The first two series have been screened internationally via Netflix. Filming of a third series began earlier this year.

Tonight, for the first time, we bring together the writer-creators of both series, Hans Rosenfeldt and Ed Thomas, to talk about making compelling bilingual TV drama. This is a unique opportunity to hear from the writers behind some of the most talked-about dramas to hit our TV screens in recent years.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

TV News: Ängelby on ITV Encore

Swedish series Ängleby starts next week on ITV Encore. Episode 1 (of twelve) is on 31 August at 10pm.

A brief description from the ITV Press Centre of Episode 1:
Vera Fors, a mother of two, loses her job and her husband at the same time. The only work she can find is in a small community she’s never heard of, yet she gathers her belongings and the kids and drives off to start fresh in Ängelby. Right before she enters the town, she seemingly hits a boy with her car. In complete shock she concludes the boy is dead. But was it really Vera who killed him?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Rough Cut by Anna Smith

Rough Cut by Anna Smith, January 2016, 416 pages, Quercus, ISBN: 184866432X

Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

The long-awaited sixth book in Anna Smith’s fabulous series featuring feisty journalist Rosie Gilmour is with us, and it is every bit as fabulous as the previous books about her. Smith writes books that consume you. Her protagonist constantly finds herself up to her eyes in all sorts of trouble in her quest for the truth and takes you with her every step of the way. I love Rosie’s drive and ambition. I also love the way these books are written. They hold you captive and keep you guessing but are also a relatively quick read, so possible to whizz through in a couple of days – leaving you an exhausted heap by the time you have finished.

The novel opens with the gruesome scene of a prostitute with a dead punter at her feet. She has accidentally killed him in an erotic game that has gone terribly wrong and is left wondering what to do. She calls her friend, and fellow prostitute, for advice and the two of them are soon making their get-away; taking the punter’s mysterious briefcase with them. The contents of the briefcase turns out to be a pile of fake passports and a large number of rough diamonds. This discovery opens a whole can of worms and before too long there are threats being made on the girls’ lives by less than savoury men who want the case returned as soon as possible. Not knowing what to do, the girls turn to Rosie for help and she sets out to get to the bottom of the trouble.

As usual, Rosie doesn’t make things easy for herself and is looking into the apparent suicide of a young Pakistani bride at the same time as helping the prostitutes. What she finds out takes her to Pakistan, to rescue another young girl who suddenly disappears. What Rosie discovers shocks her to the core and soon she is once again running for her life. With diplomatic aid to help her escape, it seems as if Rosie might be safe this time, but you do start to wonder how long her luck will last.

One of the best things about Rosie is her sense of justice. Being a journalist, her purpose and passion is to seek out the perfect story. However, she also has an overpowering desire for fair-play and honesty. She keeps the police informed as much as she can and does her utmost to help those who ask her to. Only one thing is missing – TJ, her love. She misses him constantly and you, the reader, are also caught up in the loneliness she feels when she thinks about him. You have your fingers crossed that she will be reunited with her love but are not quite sure if she will ever see him again.

If you like a good plot that keeps you guessing and covers a current, controversial topic with sensitivity and tact, then you are going to love this book. It is not necessary to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one but it makes it much more interesting if you do.

Highly Recommended.

Amanda Gillies, August 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: Hard Cover by Adrian Magson

Hard Cover by Adrian Magson, March 2016, 256 pages, Severn House Publishers Ltd, ISBN: 072788607X

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

I have read many books by Adrian Magson and there has not been a bad one yet and he has done it yet again with this latest Marc Portman thriller, the third one in this series.

Marc (codename Watchman) is working, as he usually does as a private contractor for the CIA/MI6 and has been sent into Russia to provide hidden, black ops, back-up for a wealthy Russian businessman who has lived in the UK for many years. Leonid Tzorekov was a former KGB officer but is now sympathetic to the West and is thought to be in Russia now with the object of meeting his old friend President Vladamir Putin to persuade him to be more sympathetic and moderate towards the West.

There are many, however, who do not want Leonid Tzorekov to meet with Putin and will do anything possible to stop him. Portman goes into Russia in disguise and under cover of darkness and puts an electronic beeper under the bumper of the Russian's car. He hopes this will aid him in following the target less overtly then without it. However, there are others who are considering the same tactic, but for more aggressive purposes.

This very exciting, tense adventure kept me guessing right up until the final sentence. I have had the privilege of reading the author's two earlier Marc Portman stories CLOSE QUARTERS and WATCHMAN; I have also read his NO KISS FOR THE DEVIL in his Riley Gavin series and two of his Lucas Rocco stories set in provincial France during the 1960s: DEATH ON THE MARAIS and DEATH ON THE RIVE NORD.

Adrian Magson is a very experienced author and when you open one of his titles you know that the book in question will provide a really interesting and tense plot, and thoughtful, well-described characters. He researches his plots in a thorough and painstaking manner in a similar way to fellow authors such as Stephen Leather and Simon Kernick. The reader can always expect a real sense of tense, nail-biting action and dramatic, page-turning suspense.

I look forward to reading any further adventures of Marc Portman and in fact any new books by this very talented and exciting author. Very strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, August 2016.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: Rage by Zygmunt Miloszewski tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Rage by Zygmunt Miloszewski translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, August 2016, 426 pages, Paperback, AmazonCrossing, ISBN: 1503935868

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Olsztyn, Poland, November 2013.
In the morass of Olsztyn’s traffic system, Prosecutor Szacki can feel his belief in the sanctity of life waning – particularly regarding Olsztyn’s traffic designer. It is a cold, damp morning with some kind of persistent frozen sludge falling from the sky and accumulating on his windscreen. He considers running the lights, but being caught by the traffic police would be a dark stain on his service history as a state prosecutor. He ponders the mishmash of architecture in this once German city as he drags his old Citroën through its clogged streets. He has no great love for the Germans, they destroyed so much of his home city of Warsaw, but he considers the only characterful buildings in this city to be those built by its German administration. This morning he is due to make a presentation at a local high school. He is mortified, when he finally arrives, to find he is also expected to make a speech.

In the suburbs, a woman contemplates her endless list of imperfections. She tries to chose something to wear that will please her husband. From another room her small son lets out a wail. She rushes to soothe him, tries to find a DVD to stop his crying. What has she done with the day? She puts the kid in his high chair and gives him microwaved pancakes with cottage cheese. She’d better put on some make-up, get down to the supermarket, buy some real food and cook a proper meal for them. “Don’t want it!” yells the kid. She rushes back to her son. Can’t believe what she sees. The kid has encased the new, designer-smart, universal remote with cottage cheese and is aiming it at the TV whilst shouting for the Teletubbies. She could rip his head off. Really. But instead she snorts with laughter and hugs him, daubing her sweater with cottage cheese.

Szacki thinks his image represents the strength and stability of the Polish State – prematurely white hair, his “Bond” outfit of grey suit, sky-blue shirt, skinny grey tie, cuff links and steel watch. Standing on the assembly hall’s platform he stares out at the students. The speech looms. He wants to be upbeat, start with a joke, but he realises this isn’t his style. After a long, awkward silence, he starts his address: “The statistics are against you...” and coldly lists the horrors which are the crimes they are likely to commit during their lifetimes: theft, violence, murder, harassment, rape. If they want to avoid this outcome, the answer is simply – “Do no wrong.” The head teacher glares at him and herself hands the framed certificate to the winning student. Applause. Slipping away, Szacki answers his boss’s phone call with relief. Roadworks (what else) have exposed an “Old German”, their slang term for a long-dead cadaver. All he needs to do is go over and check it off as such.

The hole in the road has revealed an underground room, some kind of offshoot from the hospital. The body, lying on a rusted bed frame, is indeed no more than bones. A complete set. Szacki signs the remains off and heads home but with a sense of dread. Since August he has shared his home with the “Two Witches”: his girlfriend and his daughter, an unhappy sixteen-year-old recently transplanted from Warsaw when her mother, Szacki’s ex-wife, moved to live abroad with her new husband and his research job in Singapore. Szacki had found it fine living with his girlfriend and fine with his daughter. But the two together was another matter.

At the office next day Szacki listens to junior prosecutor Edmund Falk’s report. Szacki knows that the rest of the legal system have dubbed them “king of the stuffed shirts” and “prince of the starched collars”. Truly, in Falk, Szacki has met his buttoned-up match. He is just about tolerating Falk’s jibes at Szacki’s performance at Falk’s old high school when he is summoned by Professor of Anatomy, Professor Frankenstein no less, to the University Hospital’s anatomy department. The professor has been examining the “Old German’s” bones and has found a remarkable component: a modern prosthetic toe joint. So modern in fact that this particular one was fitted only two weeks ago….

Miloszewski’s third “Prosecutor Szacki” novel – RAGE – begins with a murder. It’s a shocking murder on many levels, springing out from the book’s first pages and vividly painted as a physical struggle between two bodies – one to kill and one to survive. A great hook. Most of the rest of the novel is written in flashback, describing the events of the previous ten days which start with skeletal remains being found in a basement tunnel in the Polish city of Olsztyn. These turn out to be not only very modern but composed of bones from more than one body and Prosecutor Szacki begins to think he has a serial killer on his hands, one who likes to dissolve his victims in lye. But the cases are not so straightforward. Not all the victims are dead. Some have been mutilated and left to live in terror. Szacki must find this madman soon. Even sooner when the threat and fear touches him personally.

Stitching his crime themes throughout the fabric and imagery of each of his novels, the theme which runs through Miloszewski’s RAGE is domestic abuse, more particularly, the abuse of women. He even uses Greek myth to underscore his topic, when the co-owner of a travel agency explains the subject matter of a poster on the agency wall, a reproduction of Iphigenia in Tauris (modern day Crimea). The myth’s story is told in shorthand: a Greek tragedy, a family tale of murderous fathers, mothers and sons. In this novel Szacki is older and psychologically darker as his Sheriff of Cool stance is increasingly disrupted by his own rising sense of rage. But RAGE is a terrific story, convincingly translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones; full of potential suspects for the reader, full of suspense, strong characterisation and a tang of one of Miloszewski’s own crime writing heroes, Henning Mankell. But this is Mankell through Miloszewski's lens of wit and irony laced with affection.

In an author’s note at the end of the book, Miloszewski reveals that RAGE is the final episode in a trilogy featuring State Prosecutor Teodor Szacki. I have read all three – ENTANGLEMENT, A GRAIN OF TRUTH and now RAGE – and have become a devoted fan of Szacki. If this review tempts you, then read them all. You must. Myself, I shall miss Szacki’s elegance, irony, sarcasm and flawed calm. In fact I shall have to miss Miloszewski's crime writing altogether as he has announced (in a blog interview and a guest post on “Crime Fiction Lover” and “Reader Dad” respectively) that he has also given up writing crime fiction.

“It’s always better to stop too soon rather than too late” he says. In Miloszewski’s case – not for this reader.

Lynn Harvey, August 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Heads Up: A Deadly Thaw blog tour

I'm currently reading Sarah Ward's second book, A Deadly Thaw, in preparation for the upcoming blog tour. You may remember how much I enjoyed In Bitter Chill and I can report that book two is every bit as full of well-rounded characters and contains an even more puzzling mystery.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Cover Theme: Flight of Stairs

The Anita Shreve title is from a few years ago and is not crime. Corrie Jackson's book will be out in September and Jenny Blackhurst's book came out last year.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Award News: Petrona Award Eligibles 2017

Here is a list* of books (48) that can be submitted for the 2017 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year ie:
  • The submission must be in translation and published in English in the UK during the preceding calendar year ie 1 January – 31 December 2016.
  • The author of the submission must either be born in Scandinavia** or the submission must be set in Scandinavia*.
(E-books that meet the above criteria may be considered at the judges’ discretion (does not include self-published titles))
**in this instance taken to be Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

More details about the award and the history behind it can be found on the Petrona Award website. The winner of the 2016 Award was Jorn Lier Horst for The Caveman tr. Anne Bruce.

Gender, country and publisher details are also included.

*This list will be updated as and when additional titles are identified.

Published in 2016


Stefan Ahnhem - Victim Without a Face tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (M, Sweden) Head of Zeus
Jogvan Isaksen - Walpurgis Tide tr. John Keithsson (M, Denmark) Norvik Press
Leif GW Persson - The Sword of Justice tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) Doubleday


Steffen Jacobsen - Retribution tr. Charlotte Barslund (M, Denmark) Quercus


Friis & Kaaberbol - The Considerate Killer tr. Elisabeth Dyssegaard (F, Denmark) Soho Press
Lotte and Soren Hammer - The Vanished tr. Martin Aitken (B, Denmark) Bloomsbury
Jorn Lier Horst - Ordeal tr. Anne Bruce (M, Norway) Sandstone Press
Camilla Lackberg - The Ice Child tr. Tiina Nunnally (F, Sweden) HarperCollins
Viveca Sten - Closed Circles tr. Laura A Wideburg (F, Sweden) Lake Union Publishing (Amazon)


Simon Pasternak - Death Zones tr. Martin Aitken (M, Denmark) Harvill Secker
Erik Axl Sund - The Crow Girl tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) Harvill Secker


Torkil Damhaug - Death By Water tr. Robert Ferguson (M, Norway) Headline
Anne Holt - No Echo tr. Anne Bruce (F, Norway) Atlantic
Jari Jarvela - The Girl and the Rat tr. Kristian London (M, Finland) AmazonCrossing
Lars Kepler - Stalker tr. Neil Smith (B, Sweden) HarperCollins
Leena Lehtolainen - The Devil's Cubs tr. Jenni Salmi (F, Finland) AmazonCrossing
Kjell Westo - The Wednesday Club tr. Neil Smith (M, Finland) MacLehose Press


Karin Fossum - Hellfire tr. Kari Dickson (F, Norway) Harvill Secker
Hjorth-Rosenfeldt - The Man Who Wasn't There tr. Marlaine Delargy (M, Sweden) Century
Martin Holmen - Clinch tr. Henning Koch (M, Sweden) Pushkin Press
Mari Jungstedt and Ruben Eliassen - A Darker Sky tr. Paul Norlen (B, Sweden) AmazonCrossing
Jonas Hassen Khemiri - Everything I Don't Remember tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (M, Sweden) Scribner
Minna Lindgren - The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Death in Sunset Grove tr. Lola Rogers (F, Finland) Pan
Liza Marklund - The Final Word tr. Neil Smith (F, Sweden) Corgi
Leif GW Persson - The Dying Detective tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) Doubleday
Gunnar Staalesen - Where Roses Never Die tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) Orenda


Emelie Schepp - Marked for Life tr. Rod Bradbury (F, Sweden) MIRA
Ragnar Jonasson - Blackout tr. Quentin Bates (M, Iceland) Orenda
Leena Lehtolainen - Fatal Headwind tr. Owen Witesman (F, Finland) AmazonCrossing


Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Why Did You Lie? tr. Victoria Cribb (F, Iceland) Hodder & Stoughton
Gard Sveen - The Last Pilgrim tr. Steven T Murray (M, Norway) AmazonCrossing


Camilla Grebe - The Ice Beneath Her tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel (F, Sweden) Zaffre Publishing
Hans Olav Lahlum - Chameleon People tr. Kari Dickson (M, Norway) Mantle
Jo Nesbo - The Kidnapping tr. tbc (M, Norway) Harvill Secker (Not on Good Reads)
Kristina Ohlsson - Buried Lies tr. Neil Smith (F, Sweden) Simon & Schuster moved to June 2017
Agnes Ravatn - The Bird Tribunal tr. Rosie Hedger (F, Norway) Orenda


Steinar Bragi - The Ice Lands tr. Lorenza Garcia (M, Iceland) Macmillan
Torkil Damhaug - Fireraiser tr. Robert Ferguson (M, Norway) Headline
Kati Hiekkapelto - The Exiled tr. David Hackston (F, Finland) Orenda Books
Anne Holt - Beyond the Truth tr. Anne Bruce (F, Norway) Corvus
Mari Jungstedt - The Fourth Victim tr. Tiina Nunnally (F, Sweden) Doubleday
Mons Kallentoft - Souls of Air tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) Hodder
Thomas Rydahl - The Hermit tr. K E Semmel (M, Denmark) Oneworld Publications
Antti Tuomainen - The Mine tr. David Hackston (M, Finland) Orenda
Carl-Johan Vallgren - The Tunnel tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (M, Sweden) Quercus
Joakim Zander - The Brother (apa The Believer) tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel (M, Sweden) Head of Zeus


Christoffer Carlsson - The Falling Detective tr. Michael Gallagher (M, Sweden) Scribe
Kjell Eriksson - Stone Coffin tr. Ebba Segerberg (M, Sweden) Allison & Busby
Liselotte Roll - Good Girls Don't Tell tr. Ian Giles (F, Sweden) World Editions
Sara Stridsberg - The Gravity of Love tr. Deborah Bragan-Turner (F, Sweden) MacLehose Press - not crime


Anders de la Motte - Ultimatum (apa The Silenced) tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) Harper moved to May 2017
Helene Tursten - Who Watcheth tr. Marlaine Delargy (F, Norway) Soho Press

Friday, August 05, 2016

UK Kindle & Kobo Bargains

A few more bargains to snap up but don't delay!

1. The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson is currently free on UK Kindle and UK Kobo.

2. Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering is currently free on UK Kindle (but not UK Kobo).

3. Who Pays the Piper? by Patricia Wentworth is free on UK Kindle (I couldn't find it on UK Kobo).

4. The Dark Garden by E R Punshon is free on UK Kindle (I couldn't find this title on UK Kobo though other titles are available).


1. Dark Angel by Mari Jungstedt tr. Tiina Nunnally is currently £1.99 on UK Kindle and UK Kobo.

2. Viveca Sten's first two books in the Sandhamn Murders series are currently reduced to £1 each on UK Kindle (I couldn't find them on UK Kobo) - Still Waters tr. Marlaine Delargy and Closed Circles tr. Laura A Wideburg.

3. Today only (5/8/16) in Amazon's Big Deal, Karin Alvtegen's Missing tr. Anna Patterson, Betrayal tr. Steven T Murray and Shadow tr. Steven T Murray are 99p each on Amazon Kindle. (At the time of writing, not price-matched by UK Kobo).

Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Crime Writer at the Festival - Short Stories, Episode 4

The last in a series of short stories, set at Festivals/Events, running on Radio 4 is by David Mark and is called A Marriage of Inconvenience. It was on last Sunday but you can listen again for the next 25 days via iplayer or the website.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

Short story series celebrating the unique atmosphere of Crime Writing Festivals. Tonight, a new story by David Mark, imagining the repercussions when a crime-writing partnership, and marriage, turns sour.

David Mark spent more than 15 years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with The Yorkshire Post - walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for his series of novels featuring Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy. David was reader in residence for the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival between 2013 and 2015.

Reader: James Lailey
Writer: David Mark
Producer: Kirsteen Cameron.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

US Cozy Review: Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day

Welcome to another entry in my irregular feature: US cozy review.

Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day, October 2015, Kensington Publishing ISBN: 1617739251

FLIPPED FOR MURDER introduces Robbie Jordan who at the beginning of the book is opening up her new restaurant/cookshop, Pans 'N' Pancakes in South Lick, a small town in southern Indiana.

Robbie had been the chef at a local hotel but when the property in South Lick became available she was persuaded by her aunt to take it on. Assisted by her aunt and another friend, Phil, she has opened right on time.

Her first two customers are the new mayor and her assistant, Stella Rogers - a woman not well liked. Business is good and Robbie meets an old friend of her late mother. Though her mum was from South Lick, Robbie grew up in California not knowing who her father was. One of the threads in the book is her investigating her parentage.

Robbie hasn't dated much since her divorce but now finds herself being asked out by her property lawyer, Jim. So all is going well until Stella's dead body is found with her mouth stuffed with one of Robbie's signature cheese biscuits. Not only is Robbie under suspicion but her business could suffer too.

Robbie is not happy being a suspect so decides to investigate the case herself. This, along with recreational cycling, the upswing in her love-life, looking for her father, discovering a cat and running the restaurant - keeps her busy.

I enjoyed reading FLIPPED FOR MURDER, discovering more of Robbie's past as the book went on. There are also many interesting secondary characters and the author includes the local dialect to give the book a different feel. I also liked that the local police were not portrayed as buffoons.

As a vegetarian I have to quibble over the author calling Jim a vegetarian when in fact, as he eats fish, he's a pescetarian. Nonetheless it made for a pleasant change to have an almost vegetarian as a fairly main character.

The second book in the series, GRILLED FOR MURDER, is out now and I look forward to catching up with the residents of South Lick.

Karen Meek, August 2016.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Some 1954 Titles (for Past Offences)

The latest monthly challenge over at Past Offences is to read a book in August, published in 1954. Here are some British/European crime titles to choose from, first published in English in 1954, pulled from my database. This information is correct to the best of my knowledge however please do double check dates before spending any cash!:
Margery Allingham - No Love Lost
John Bingham - The Third Skin
Pamela Branch - Murder Every Monday
Jean Bruce - A Coffin for Isa
Agatha Christie - Destination Unknown (apa So Many Steps to Death)
John Creasey - The Toff at Butlins
Glyn Daniel - Welcome Death
Eilís Dillon - Sent to his Account
Katherine Farrer - The Cretan Counterfeit
John Russell Fearn - Vision Sinister
Ian Fleming - Live and Let Die
Andrew Garve - The Riddle of Samson
George Goodchild - Double Acrostic
Selwyn Jepson - The Black Italian
Bernard Mara - French for Murder
Georges Simenon - Big Bob
Georges Simenon - The Watchmaker of Everton
Georges Simenon - The Fugitive (apa Account Unsettled)
Georges Simenon - Maigret and the Minister (apa Maigret and the Calame Report)
Georges Simenon - Maigret and the Young Girl (apa Inspector Maigret and the Dead Girl)
Georges Simenon - Maigret Goes to School
Patricia Wentworth - The Silent Pool
Patricia Wentworth - The Benevent Treasure
There are more suggestions in the comments on the Past Offences page.

Monday, August 01, 2016

New Releases - August 2016

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in August 2016 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). August and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Anderson, Lin - None but the Dead #12 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
• Bagchi, David - The Mystery of Briony Lodge
• Bowen, Rhys - Crowned and Dangerous #11 Lady Georgiana Rannoch ('Georgie'), 1930s Britain
• Bruen, Ken - Emerald Lie #12 Jack Taylor
• Celestin, Ray - Dead Man's Blues #2
• Charlton, Karen - The Sculthorpe Murder #3 Detective Lavender and Constable Woods
• Child, Lee - Night School #21 Jack Reacher, ex MP, USA
• Corry, Jane - My Husband's Wife
• Cotterill, Colin - I Shot the Buddha #11 Dr Siri Paiboun, Laos
• Dard, Frederic - The Wicked Go to Hell
• Davey, E M - The Napoleon Complex #2 Book of Thunder series
• De Giovanni, Maurizio - Darkness for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone #2 Bastards of Pizzofalcone
• Dickinson, David - Death Comes to Lynchester Close #14 Lord Francis Powerscourt, Victorian era
• Doherty, P C/Paul - Dark Serpent #18 Hugh Corbett
• Douglas, Claire - Local Girl Missing
• French, Tana - The Trespasser #6 Dublin Murder Squad
• Gross, Andrew - The One Man
• Hodgson, Antonia - A Death at Fountains Abbey #3 Tom Hawkins, London, 1727
• Kelly, Jim - Death Ship #7 DI Peter Shaw & Detective Sergeant George Valentine, Norfolk
• Kelly, Stephen - The Wages of Desire #2 Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb, World War II
• Koch, Herman - Dear Mr M
• Le Corre, Herve - After the War
• Manzini, Antonio - A Cold Death #2 Rocco Schiavone, deputy prefect of police, Italian Alps
• Miloszewski, Zygmunt - Rage #3 State Prosecutor Teodor Szacki, Warsaw
• Mitchell, Dreda Say - Blood Sister #1 Flesh and Blood Trilogy
• Molay, Frederique - Looking to the Woods #4 Chief of Police Nico Sirsky
• Nozawa, Hisashi - Deep Red
• Redondo, Dolores - Legacy of the Bones #2 The Baztan Trilogy
• Rees, Matt Benyon - The Damascus Threat #1 Dominic Verrazzano
• Reynolds, Rod - Black Night Falling #2 Charlie Yates, Reporter, USA
• Russell, Craig - The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid #5 Lennox, PI, 1950s Glasgow
• Shimizu, Yoshinori - Labyrinth (ebook only)
• Sigurdardottir, Yrsa - Why Did You Lie?
• Smith, Anna - Kill Me Twice #7 Rosie Gilmour, Crime Journalist, 1990s
• Starr, Mel/Melvin R - Lucifer's Harvest #9 Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon, 14thC England
• Thomas, Mike - Ash and Bones #1 DC Will MacReady, Cardiff
• Weeks, Lee - Cold Killers #5 DC Ebony Willis, London