Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: The Knowledge by Martha Grimes

The Knowledge by Martha Grimes, August 2018, 368 pages, Grove Press, ISBN: 9781611855029

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

Publisher's Blurb (copied from Amazon)

Robbie Parsons is one of London's finest, a black cab driver who knows every street, every theatre, every landmark in the city by heart. In his backseat is a man with a gun in his hand - a man who shot Robbie's previous pair of customers point-blank in front of the Artemis Club, a rarefied art gallery-cum-casino, then jumped in and ordered Parsons to drive. As the killer eventually escapes to Nairobi with ten-year-old Patty Haigh - one of a crew of stray kids who serve as the cabbies' eyes and ears at Heathrow and Waterloo - in pursuit, superintendent Richard Jury comes across the double-homicide in the Saturday paper.

Two days previously, Jury had met and instantly connected with one of the victims, a professor of astrophysics at Columbia and an expert gambler. Jury considers the murder a personal affront and is soon contending with a case that takes unexpected turns into Tanzanian gem mines, a closed casino in Reno, and a pub that only London's black cabbies, those who have 'the knowledge,' can find.


In this absolutely fascinating story Robbie Parsons persuades a very mature child named Patty with a gift for picking people's pockets to follow the murderer to Heathrow Airport. The story continues with Patty stealing a boarding pass and befriending the murderer “B B” and accompanying him to Dubai and eventually Nairobi, Kenya.

This American author always uses the names of English public houses in the titles of her books and she seems to keep close to the British way of life in her stories, although her main readership is in the US. There are small differences in English vocabulary that cater more for American readers than this country but when compared to other American writers who set their books in the UK such as Elizabeth George or Charles Todd, she compares most favourably. The author ensures that her books do not include any extreme violence or sexual content.

I enjoyed the book, the twenty-fourth in the series tremendously as it seems to have been about four years since the last one she wrote in this series. Welcome back!! The gap seems to have been good for her as I don’t remember her previous books being as good as this one was. Detective Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard is a very engaging detective and he has some most unusual friends, Melrose Plant and Marshall Trueblood among them, who are very helpful in aiding him to solve the crime.

THE KNOWLEDGE is a really very extraordinary police procedural that was most enjoyable and I hope that this very talented and experienced author continues to write such imaginative books of this high quality. Strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, October 2018.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Publishing Deal - Lucie Whitehouse

This publishing deal for Lucie Whitehouse particularly caught my eye as her new book will be set in Birmingham. I have a very short list of crime authors writing about Birmingham.

From The Bookseller:
The first title in the Fourth Estate deal, Critical Incidents, introduces disgraced former Met homicide detective Robin Osborne, who is forced to return to her parents’ home in Birmingham to work as an insurance-fraud investigator and share her former teenage bedroom with her own teenage daughter, aged 13. Osborne then discovers that her best friend, Corinna, is dead, and Corinna’s missing husband is wanted for murder...
Critical Incidents has a publishing date of 4 April 2019 on Amazon.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Publishing Deal - Louise Hare

From yesterday's The Bookseller, details of a publishing deal for debut author Louise Hare. This Lovely City will be published in Spring 2020:
A murder mystery set in 1950s London, This Lovely City follows Lawrie, who left the Caribbean on board the Windrush. He now tours Soho’s music halls as a jobbing musician by night, walking the streets of Brixton as a postman each morning, the synopsis reads. One such morning, crossing a misty Clapham Common, he makes a terrible discovery. Face-down in a pond is a baby: swaddled in a blanket, stone-cold to the touch and with skin as dark as Lawrie’s. Far from being celebrated for raising the alarm, Lawrie finds himself swept up in the tragedy of the case. And as the police pursue the child’s murderer, dark secrets threaten the city Lawrie calls home and the people who live there – especially its newest inhabitants.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Review: A Deadly Habit by Simon Brett

A Deadly Habit by Simon Brett, May 2018, 192 pages, Creme de la Crime, ISBN: 1780291051

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

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

Charles Paris's luck seems to have changed. His agent Maurice Skellern has got him a three-month run in a play in the West End. His estranged wife Frances is talking about them getting back together. She is going to retire as the headmistress of a school, she has come into an inheritance and the future could be good for Charles. There is one problem, however, it depends on his giving up alcohol…

Charles doesn't think he has a problem with the booze but a few late nights and not remembering what he has been doing convinces him to seek help.

The play is really a vehicle for Justin Grover who has made it big in America in TV and film. Charles's part in the play, which is set in a monastery, is a monk who rarely speaks but listens to other monks' problems. When there is a suspicious death and Charles can just remember being at the theatre at night when it happened, he realises the police are suspicious.

Can Charles get back with Frances? Will the West End run last? Is there a murderer in the cast?
This is a very reflective Charles in this book which is very much a book of the moment as you will discover. This unbelievably is the twentieth book in this series. The author, an ex-producer for radio and tv, has written three other series besides this one. A DEADLY HABIT is very enjoyable and has a likeable flawed character. I very much recommend this Charles Paris book.

Geoff Jones, October 2018

Monday, October 01, 2018

New Releases - October 2018

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in October 2018 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). October and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem (with Anna Waterhouse) - Mycroft and Sherlock #2 Mycroft Holmes
• Akunin, Boris - Black City #12 Erast Fandorin, Gentleman Sleuth, Russia
• Barnes, Kerry - Deceit
• Bates, Quentin - Cold Breath #6 Gunnhildur, Police Sergeant, Reykjavik, Iceland
• Beaton, M C - Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer #29 Agatha Raisin, Retired PR person, Cotswolds
• Blaedel, Sara - The Midnight Witness #1 Detective Inspector Louise Rick
• Bolton, Guy - The Syndicate #2 Jonathan Craine
• Brady, Conor - Blackbird over Pimlico #4 Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow, Dublin, 1880s
• Brody, Frances - A Snapshot of Murder #10 Kate Shackleton, Bradford, 1920s
• Brown, Vivien - Five Unforgivable Things
• Burnside, Heather - Vendetta #3 Manchester Trilogy
• Burrows, Steve - A Tiding of Magpies #5 Inspector Domenic Jejeune, Saltmarsh, Norfolk
• Butler, D S - Bring Them Home #1 Detective Karen Hart
• Carter, Andrea - Murder at Greysbridge #4 Benedicta 'Ben' O'Keeffe, Solicitor, Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland.
• Chase, Clare - Death on the River #2 Tara Thorpe
• Claverton, Rosie - Hard Return #5 Amy Lane, Cardiff
• Cutler, Judith - Head Wind #3 Jane Cowan, Wrayford, Kent
• de Lange, Louisa - The Dream Wife
• Donald, Angus - Blood's Revolution #2 Holcroft Blood, 1670
• Dunford, Caroline - A Death at Crystal Palace #11 Euphemia Martins
• Edwards, Mark - In Her Shadow
• Emerson, Tracey - She Chose Me
• Eterovic, Ramon Diaz - Angels & Loners #2 Private Investigator Heredia
• Fellowes, Jessica - Bright Young Dead #2 Louisa Cannon, Maid to the Mitfords, 1919
• Fraser, Hugh - Stealth #4 Rina Walker, 1960s
• Goldammer, Frank - A Thousand Devils #2 Max Heller, Dresden Detective
• Harper, Bradley - A Knife in the Fog #1 Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle
• Harrison, Paul - Chasing Monsters #1 DI Will Scott
• Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - Headlong #21 Bill Slider, Shepherd's Bush CID
• Hill, Susan - The Comforts of Home #9 Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler, Lafferton
• Hilton, James - Pray for Death #3 Gunn Brothers
• James, Peter - Absolute Proof
• Jeffrey, Diane - He Will Find You
• Jennings, Luke - Villanelle: No Tomorrow #2 Villanelle, Russian Assassin
• Jones, Bill - Black Camp 21
• Kinsey, T E - A Picture of Murder #4 Lady Emily Hardcastle, 1908
• Legat, Anna - Thicker Than Blood #3 DI Gillian Marsh
• Marston, Edward - Points of Danger #16 Det. Insp Colbeck, Scotland Yard, mid 19th Century
• Martin, Faith - A Fatal Mistake #2 Ryder & Loveday, Oxford, 1960s
• Masters, Priscilla - Bridge of Sighs #7 Coroner Martha Gunn, Shrewsbury
• McAllister, Gillian - No Further Questions
• Meuleman, Sarah - Find Me Gone
• Meyer, Deon - The Woman in the Blue Cloak #1 Benny Griessel Novella
• Monroe, J S - Forget My Name
• Morgan, Phoebe - The Doll House
• Niven, John - Kill 'Em All #2 Steven Stelfox
• Raabe, Marc - Homesick
• Rankin, Ian - In a House of Lies #22 Inspector Rebus, Edinburgh
• Reed, Mary and Mayer, Eric - An Empire for Ravens #12 John the Eunuch
• Sansom, C J - Tombland #7 Shardlake, C16th
• Sherratt, Mel - Hush Hush #1 DS Grace Allendale
• Sigurdardottir, Lilja - Trap #2 Sonja
• Simpson, John - Moscow, Midnight
• Sten, Viveca - In Harm's Way #6 Sandhamn Murders
• Thomas, Sherry - The Hollow of Fear #3 Lady Sherlock
• Tickler, Peter - White Lies, Deadly Lies #2 Doug Mullen
• Tuomainen, Antti - Palm Beach, Finland
• Tursten, Helene - An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good Short Stories
• Vincent, MB - Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of Death #1 Jess Castle, academic-turned-detective, Castle Kidbury