Sunday, December 31, 2017

Favourite Euro Crime Reads of 2017 - Karen

Here are my favourite British/European/translated reads of 2017:

Karen Meek's favourite reads of 2017

1. British/European/Translated

I recently posted about this but I make no apologies for highlighting it again by revealing that my favourite read of 2017 was The Dying Detective by Leif G W Persson translated by Neil Smith. I'm so pleased that it won the CWA International Dagger.

My other top 4 in alphabetical order:

Death of a Ghost by M C Beaton
Hellfire by Karin Fossum translated by Kari Dickson
The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indridason translated by Victoria Cribb
A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward

2. Favourite Audio Book

I've got back into listening to audio books this year but not as many as I'd have liked. Raven Crime Reads recommended this author when I picked her brains at CrimeFest, so I thought I'd try the audio and it was such fun. If you like the Bryant and May series by Christopher Fowler then why not try The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel narrated by Andy Secombe. It features a mismatched due of police officers in 1888 Edinburgh and is very funny and very well narrated.

3. Favourite US Cozy

Death Crashes the Party by Vickie Fee.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Some Mini Scandi Reviews II

Here are brief reviews of some of the Scandi books I've read this year. I'm including Vargas here as Iceland plays a significant role in her latest Adamsberg.

Karin Fossum – hellfire tr. Kari Dickson

Another bleak outing from Karin Fossum. It starts with the murder of a mother and child and the narrative subsequently alternates between events of several months leading up to the present day, and the present day investigation by series regular, Sejer. Fossum really knows how to break a reader's heart.

Leif G W Persson – The Dying Detective tr. Neil Smith

Shortlisted for the Petrona Award 2017 and winner of the CWA International Dagger 2017, there's not much to add to that. I loved this book. Borrowing from a tradition (I think) begun with Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, our ailing detective Lars Martin Johansson is laid up and asked to investigate a cold case from his sick bed - incidentally a case messed up by one Evert Backstrom. He must find the killer of a little girl. As the statue of limitations has passed what can they do if they do find the murderer? One of the many questions pondered by Johansson.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir – Why Did You Lie? tr. Victoria Cribb

Also shortlisted for the Petrona Award 2017, Why Did You Lie? is a multi-person narrative – how do their stories overlap and who is behind the sinister events affecting each person? This is the sort of book that when you get to the conclusion you then have to go back to the beginning of the book to see how it's all been cleverly woven together. Some of the narratives are more compelling than others so overall it doesn’t quite live up to the heights of the Petrona Award winning The Silence of the Sea, which I loved.

Fred Vargas – A Climate of Fear tr. Sian Reynolds

This is the latest in the Commissaire Adamsberg series to reach us in English, and it was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger 2017. This one is mostly set in Paris and surroundings with a significant thread playing out in Iceland which necessitates a visit by Adamsberg and some of his colleagues. Vargas weaves her usual fantastical tale this time revolving around Robespierre and the French Revolution/Reign of Terror. I found this topic interesting up to a point but the pace of the book sags in the middle after what seems like countless historical re-enactments and only springs back to life in the subsequent Icelandic section. Overall this was a bit of a disappointment compared to her usual 5-star outings. Nonetheless she's always worth a read but it's perhaps not the best one to start with.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Black Mirror: Crocodile (Netflix)

One of the episodes of Black Mirror's fourth series, available on Netflix on 29 December, is called Crocodile. Set in Iceland it stars Andrea Riseborough and is described as a Scandi-noir influenced thriller (in my tv guide).

Here is the trailer:

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Website Updates: December 2017

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.*

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).

*I've also added the breakdowns for 2018: ie published in the UK in 2018 (ALL, Anthology, First Novel, Historical, Translated) - NB the Anthology one is currently blank.

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 1068 sites.

In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 2519 authors (12700 titles of which 3057 are reviewed).

I've added new bibliographies for: Emma Angstrom, Natasha Bell, James Buckler, Tana Collins, Elle Croft, Alex Day, Teresa Driscoll, Sarah Dunnakey, Jessica Ellicott, Caroline England, Caroline Eriksson, Ramon Diaz Eterovic, Jessica Fellowes, Elina Hirvonen, Cara Hunter, Corrie Jackson, Luke Jennings, Margaret Kirk, Emily Koch, Nicola Lagioia, Amy Lloyd, Alan Parks, Christoffer Petersen, Andreas Pfluger, Jenny Quintana, Khurrum Rahman, Laura Joh Rowland, Jackson Sharp, Lilja Sigurdardottir, M J Tija, Jussi Valtonen, Nicolas Verdan, Rachel Ward, Stephen Weeks, Chris Whitaker and James Wolff.

I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Stefan Ahnhem, Boris Akunin, Alaux & Balen, Tasha Alexander, David Ashton, M C Beaton, Simon Beaufort, James Becker, Mark Billingham, Jenny Blackhurst, Sara Blaedel, Simon Booker, Rhys Bowen, Alan Bradley, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Tom Callaghan, Stella Cameron, Andrea Camilleri, Sam Carrington, Andrea Carter, Alys Clare, Cassandra Clark, Ann Cleeves, Rory Clements, Martina Cole, Chris Collett, Sheila Connolly, Lesley Cookman, A J Cross, Judith Cutler, Lindsey Davis, Sandrone Dazieri, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Anja de Jager, Luke Delaney, P C/Paul Doherty, Eva Dolan, Matthew Dunn, Paul Finch, Dick Francis, Nicci French, Frances Fyfield, Santiago Gamboa, Pascal Garnier, Elizabeth George, Philippe Georget, Mario Giordano, Abdelilah Hamdouchi, Sophie Hannah, Mark Hardie, Indrek Hargla, Robert Harris, Tessa Harris, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Sarah Hawkswood, Veronica Heley, Mandasue Heller, Peter Helton, Mick Herron, Keigo Higashino, Sarah Hilary, Matt Hilton, Peter Hoeg, Martin Holmen, Tetsuya Honda, Anthony Horowitz, Catherine Ryan Howard, Arnaldur Indridason, P D James, Quintin Jardine, Lene Kaaberbol, Claire Kendal, Simon Kernick, Philip Kerr, Vaseem Khan, Joseph Knox, R J Koreto, Lynda La Plante, Hans Olav Lahlum, Janice Law, Adam Lebor, Leena Lehtolainen, Catherine Lloyd, Peter Lovesey, Walter Lucius, Stuart MacBride, Torquil MacLeod, Gilly Macmillan, Susan Elia MacNeal, Adrian Magson, G M Malliet, Michael J Malone, Scott Mariani, David Mark, Edward/A E Marston, Priscilla Masters, Alyssa Maxwell, Val McDermid, Andy McDermott, James McGee, Claire McGowan, Andy McNab, Catriona McPherson, Kate Medina, Eduardo Mendoza, Denise Mina, Mandy Morton, Abir Mukherjee, James Nally, Jo Nesbo, Harri Nykanen, Pat O'Keeffe, Mark Oldfield, Nick Oldham, Ronnie O'Sullivan, James Oswald, Julie Parsons, Chris Petit, Christine Poulson, Anthony J Quinn, Caro Ramsay, Ruth Rendell, Kate Rhodes, Peter Robinson, Rosemary Rowe, James Runcie, Norman Russell, Tony Schumacher, EV Seymour, Zoe Sharp, William Shaw, Alexander McCall Smith, Anna Smith, Sally Spencer, Cath Staincliffe, Michael Stanley, Viveca Sten, Vidar Sundstol, William Sutton, Gard Sveen, Will Thomas, Robert Thorogood, Marilyn Todd, Kerry Tombs, Rebecca Tope, M J Trow, Valerio Varesi, Marco Vichi, Ashley Weaver, Jason Webster, Lee Weeks, Marianne Wheelaghan, Neil White, Kevin Wignall, Andrew Wilson, Emily Winslow, Jacqueline Winspear, Inger Wolf, Patricia Wynn and Hideo Yokoyama.

Friday, December 08, 2017

New books from Sara Blaedel

Fans of Danish author Sara Blaedel will have a bumper year in 2018. January seems some infilling of the Louise Rick series with two new books plus a reissue of an earlier book under a different title, and February sees the start of a new series. These are all US publications. Unfortunately I haven't been able to identify the translators yet.

The first book in the Louise Rick series is not yet available but the author says on her Goodreads page: "my publisher Grand Central just bought the rights, so it will be translated, but I don't know when they will publish".

Louise Rick

Books 5 and 6: The Running Girl and The Stolen Angel are out in January with book 4, Farewell to Freedom being reissued as The Night Women.

Ilka Nichols Jensen

Book 1: The Undertaker's Daughter is out in February.

Reading order from the Euro Crime website:

Detective Inspector Louise Rick
• Call Me Princess (apa Blue Blood) 2011 #2
• Only One Life 2012 #3
• Farewell to Freedom (apa The Night Women) 2012 #4
• The Running Girl 2018 #5
• The Stolen Angel 2018 #6
• The Forgotten Girls 2015 #7
• The Killing Forest 2016 #8
• The Lost Woman 2017 #9

Ilka Nichols Jensen
• The Undertaker's Daughter 2018 #1

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

TV News: French crime drama aplenty

Currently we have Witnesses series two, A Frozen Death, on BBC Four at 9pm on Saturday nights but next week on Wednesday (13 Dec), Channel 4 are showing the first of six parts of Vanished by the Lake. (The remaining five episodes can be watched via All 4).

Episode 1

Detective Lise Stocker hears a teenager has vanished from her hometown during a local celebration. Her two best friends disappeared in identical circumstances 15 years earlier. Is there a connection?


Even bigger news is that we finally have an air-date for Spiral series six. Courtesy of The Killing Times, the long awaited date is...30 December.

Friday, December 01, 2017

New Releases - December 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in December 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). December and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Beaufort, Simon - Mind of a Killer #1 Alec Londale, Victorian Era
• Cameron, Stella - Whisper the Dead #5 Alex Duggins, Folly-on-Weir, Cotswolds
• Carrington, Sam - Bad Sister
• Corrias, Pino - We'll Sleep When We're Old
• Eterovic, Ramon Diaz - Dark Echoes of the Past
• Flint, Sarah - Liar Liar #3 DC 'Charlie' Stafford
• Heley, Veronica - False Pride #12 Bea Abbott, Sixty-something owner of The Abbott (Domestic) Agency
• Heller, Mandasue - Save Me
• Helton, Peter - Lock 13 #7 Chris Honeysett, artist/PI, Bath
• Hunter, Cara - Close to Home #1 DI Adam Fawley, Oxford
• Kaaberbol, Lene - A Lady in Shadow #2 Madeleine Karno, 1894
• Lloyd, Amy - The Innocent Wife
• Lovesey, Peter - Beau Death #17 Peter Diamond, Bath
• Maxwell, Alyssa - A Devious Death #3 Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery
• McCrery, Nigel - Flesh and Blood #5 DCI Mark Lapslie, synaesthesia sufferer
• Nally, James - Games with the Dead #3 PC Donal Lynch, London
• Oldham, Nick - Bad Cops #23 DCI Christie
• Parks, Alan - Bloody January #1 Harry McCoy, Police Officer, Glasgow, 1973
• Quinn, Anthony J - Undertow #5 Celcius Daly, Police Inspector, Northern Ireland
• Quintana, Jenny - The Missing Girl
• Robins, Jane - White Bodies
• Rogers, Bill - The Tangled Lock #3 National Crime Agency
• Rowland, Laura Joh - The Ripper's Shadow #1 Miss Sarah Bain, Victorian Era
• Seymour, EV - A Deadly Trade #1 Josh Thane
• Tursten, Helene - Protected by the Shadows #10 Inspector Huss, Gothenburg