Thursday, June 29, 2017

Scandi books to look out for

Here are a couple of books with Scandinavian settings which, won't get flagged in my next Petrona Award eligibles list, as either not in translation (1) or not yet published in the UK (2):

1. When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi, available in ebook at the moment with a hardback release scheduled for September. Jessica Jarlvi is Swedish but is writing straight into English.

When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?

As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife's secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.

As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she's lying silent in a hospital bed...

2. Alexandra Dahl, born in Oslo, is half Norwegian, half American and currently lives between London and Sandefjord. Her novel, The Boy at the Door, set in Sandefjord, has been bought by Berkley in a two-book deal. Described thus: ... a respectable mother's encounter with a strange child who appears from nowhere throws her peaceful Scandinavian suburb where nothing bad ever happens into a dense and shocking web of lies (Publishers Lunch). Berkley is a US publisher but fingers crossed for a UK release.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TV News: Dicte's back

The second series of Dicte will start on More 4 at 9pm on 7 July. The DVD will be available 7 August.

Divorced crime reporter Dicte Svendsen (Iben Hjejle, High Fidelity) has returned with daughter Rose to her hometown of Aarhus where she is trying to escape the past and build a new future. Contacted by her father who hasn't spoken to her in years, a sudden and tragic turn of events finds her investigating a prostitution ring, diamond smuggling and a hit-and-run that not only links them all but will bring the unknown, the unpredictable and the deadly into the lives of both Dicte and police investigator John Wagner. Football hooliganism and match-fixing, sado-masochism and murder, missing children and a mother's lost love, Dicte is not afraid of taking risks, sometimes straying on the wrong side of the law and often risking every relationship in her life to get to the truth. These five gripping tales told over ten episodes are drawn from the crime novels of bestselling Danish author Elsebeth Egholm. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

US Cozy Review: Death Crashes the Party by Vickie Fee

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

Death Crashes the Party by Vickie Fee, January 2016, Kensington Publishing ISBN: 1496700627

Death Crashes the Party is the first book in the Liv and Di series set in Dixie, Tennessee. Liv is a party planner, and her friend Di is a postal worker.

Liv is planing an anniversary party for a difficult client and when she goes into their garage to inspect the freezer she finds not one but two bodies! The bodies are brothers, one of whom worked for Liv's husband's haulage firm.

With the various police agencies putting pressure on her husband and her father-in-law regarding possible smuggling activities, Liv decides she need to help clear the family name.

What I particularly like about this new series is that Liv and Di actually do some real life investigating. They follows suspects and even break and enter to steal surveillance footage and a diary (in two separate instances). The story is well paced with plenty of activity in its sub 300 pages and the main characters are likeable. There are even a few party planning tips at the end of the book. I was possibly slightly predisposed to like this book as I'm slowly working my way through the engaging Hart of Dixie tv series but I think I would have liked it anyway! It reminded me of the cozies I used to read a few years ago where the main characters actually did detecting rather than waiting for information to come to them.

There are currently two available sequels, It's Your Party, Die If You Want To and One Fete in the Grave, which I very much look forward to reading.

Karen Meek, June 2017.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Awards News: Dagger in the Library Winner; McIlvanney Prize Longlist

The winner of the Dagger in the Library was announced on Saturday, From the press release.
The winner of the CWA 2017 Dagger in the Library has been revealed: Mari Hannah.

The winner was declared at a reception at the British Library on Saturday 17 June by Martin Edwards, Chair of the CWA. Martin said: ‘At a time when the CWA is expanding its support for public and independent libraries, I am delighted to congratulate Mari. Her DCI Kate Daniels books, set in the North East, are tremendously popular and we know they’re eagerly devoured by library goers and book groups. Congratulations also to the quintet of superb shortlisted authors: Kate Ellis, James Oswald, Tara French, CJ Sansom and Andrew Taylor on reaching the shortlist stage of what is a highly competitive award.’

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire. In 2017 the CWA worked alongside The Reading Agency to involve book clubs and reading groups, via Reading Groups for Everyone, in reaching the shortlist and winner stages. However, the Dagger in the Library is unique among crime-writing awards in that only library staff are able to make the original author nominations.

Mari will also be honoured at the CWA Dagger Awards Dinner in London on October 26 – tickets are now available from
The McIlvanney Prize longlist has just been announced:

‘In what is shaping up to be a record-breaking year at Bloody Scotland (we sold twice as many tickets on our first day as last year), I’m pleased to see so many of the highlights of the 2017 programme featured on this longlist. It’s also brilliant to see a few debut novels on there slugging it out with the more established names. I certainly don’t envy our judges the task of picking a winner from this excellent crop of crime novels’
Bob McDevitt, Director of Bloody Scotland, June 2017

‘I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out....this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed’
William McIlvanney – speaking on BBC Scotland, 2012

Last year the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney who established the tradition of Scottish detective fiction. His brother Hugh McIlvanney OBE, came to Stirling to present the prize to Chris Brookmyre who won it for Black Widow. The book went on to be shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and is currently on the shortlist for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Prize to be announced at the Harrogate Festival next month.

Ever a step ahead, Bloody Scotland today announce the longlist for this year’s McIlvanney Prize. The winner will be announced at the opening reception at Stirling Castle on Friday 8 September (6.30-8.30pm) and followed by a torchlight procession – open to the public - led by Ian Rankin on his way down to his event celebrating 30 years of Rebus. The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The longlist which has been chosen by an independent panel of readers and features 6 male and 6 female writers, established authors and debut writers, small Scottish publishers and large London houses, is released today:

Lin Anderson – None But the Dead (Macmillan)
Chris Brookmyre – Want You Gone (Little, Brown)
Ann Cleeves – Cold Earth (Macmillan)
Helen Fields – Perfect Remains (Harper Collins)
Val McDermid – Out of Bounds (Little, Brown)
Claire MacLeary – Cross Purpose (Contraband)
Denise Mina – The Long Drop (Random House)
Owen Mullen – Games People Play (Bloodhound)
Ian Rankin – Rather Be the Devil (Orion)
Craig Robertson – Murderabilia (Simon and Schuster)
Craig Russell – The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid (Quercus)
Jay Stringer – How to Kill Friends & Implicate People (Thomas & Mercer)

The judges will be chaired by Director of Granite Noir, Lee Randall, comedian and crime fiction fan, Susan Calman and journalist, Craig Sisterson who between them cover three continents. The finalists will be revealed at the beginning of September and the winner kept under wraps until the ceremony itself.

Previous winners are Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Free Kindle Book - Under a Black Sky by Inger Wolf

Under a Black Sky by Danish author, Inger Wolf and translated by Mark Kline, is currently free on UK and US Kindle.

I believe this to be the sixth book in the Daniel Trokic series however it is currently the only one available in English. Back in 2012, the previous book, Evil Water, was made available as an ebook but I cannot find it available now.

Anchorage, Alaska: A prominent Danish volcano scientist, Asger Vad and his wife and son, are found shot on the outskirts of the city.

The killer has placed the victims around a table on which there is a doll house with four small dolls and a pile of volcano ashes. However, one person is missing at the table.

The Family’s 11-year-old daughter has disappeared from the house, and a massive search starts. Has she run away, or did the killer take her? Also, what secrets do the family keep?

Inspector Daniel Trokic is sent to Alaska to participate in the investigation. He teams up with the half native detective Angie Johnson, and their hunt for an insane killer and the missing daughter begins.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Petrona Award 2017 - the Trophy is Home

Only a few weeks ago, at CrimeFest, Gunnar Staalesen was announced as the winner of the 2017 Petrona Award for WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and published by Orenda Books.

The Trophy itself was subsequently shipped to Mr Staalesen's home in Norway and I'm pleased to announce that it has just arrived. Here are a couple of photos of the author with his prize, plus its resting place in a central position in his living room. As well as the Trophy, Mr Staalesen also won a complimentary pass from the organisers of CrimeFest for next year's event, which he will be taking up.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

New Releases - June 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in June 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). June and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Barton, Fiona - The Child
• Billingham, Mark - Love Like Blood #14 DI Tom Thorne, London
• Bingham, Harry - The Deepest Grave #6 DC Fiona Griffiths
• Black, Benjamin - Prague Nights
• Black, Cara - Murder in Saint Germain #17 Aimee Leduc, Paris
• Bonda, Katarzyna - Girl at Midnight
• Burke, Stephen - The Reluctant Contact
• Carlsson, Christoffer - Master, Liar, Traitor, Friend #3 Leo Junker, Police Officer
• Carson, Clare - The Dark Isle #3 Sam
• Carter, Alan - Marlborough Man #1 Nick Chester, New Zealand
• Clements, Rory - Corpus #1 Thomas Wilde, 1930s
• Crowley, Sinead - One Bad Turn #3 Sergeant Claire Boyle, Dublin
• Drinkwater, Carol - The Lost Girl
• Fraser, Hugh - Malice #3 Rina Walker, 1960s
• Giambanco, V M - Sweet After Death #4 Detective Alice Madison, Seattle
• Granger, Ann - Rooted In Evil #5 Inspector Jess Campbell & Superintendent Ian Carter, Cotswolds
• Harper, Elodie - The Binding Song
• Hjorth-Rosenfeldt - The Silent Girl #4 Sebastian Bergman, Psychological profiler
• Holt, Anne - Offline (apa Odd Numbers) #9 Hanne Wilhelmsen
• Hurley, Graham - Aurore #2 Wars Within
• Jarlvi, Jessica - When I Wake Up
• Kasasian, M R C - Dark Dawn over Steep House #5 The Gower St Detective, Victorian era
• Kelly, Lesley - The Health of Strangers
• Li, Winnie M - Dark Chapter
• Marston, Edward - The Circus Train Conspiracy #14 Det. Insp Colbeck, Scotland Yard, mid 19th Century
• McBeth, Colette - An Act of Silence
• Meyer, Deon - Fever
• Mouron, Quentin - Three Drops of Blood and A Cloud of Cocaine
• Muir, T F - The Killing Connection #7 DI Andy Gilchrist & team, St. Andrews
• Mukherjee, Abir - A Necessary Evil #2 Captain Sam Wyndham, Calcutta, 1919
• Naess, Kristine - Only Human
• Ohlsson, Kristina - Buried Lies
• Penrose, Andrea - Murder on Black Swan Lane
• Ramsay, Danielle - The Last Cut #1 DS Harri Jacobs, Newcastle
• Sennen, Mark - The Boneyard #6 DI Charlotte Savage
• Seskis, Tina - The Honeymoon
• Staalesen, Gunnar - Wolves in the Dark #18 Varg Veum, PI in Bergen, Norway
• Steiner, Susie - Persons Unknown #2 Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw, Cambridgeshire
• Swallow, James - Exile #2 Marc Dane
• Sykes, Plum - Party Girls Die in Pearls #1 Oxford Girl Mystery
• Thorne, D B - Troll
• Toyne, Simon - The Boy Who Saw #2 Solomon Creed
• Tremayne, Peter - Night of the Lightbringer #26 Sister Fidelma
• Tyler, L C - Herring in the Smoke #7 Ethelred Tressider, author & Elsie Thirkettle, agent
• Walker, Martin - Templars' Last Secret #10 Bruno, Chief of Police, France
• Ware, Ruth - The Lying Game
• Welsh, Kaite - The Wages of Sin #1 Sarah Gilchrist, Victorian Era, Scotland
• Wood, Tom - The Final Hour #7 Victor, Assassin