Friday, January 29, 2021

Review: The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett

I recently posted my review of THE WINDSOR KNOT by SJ Bennett on my library's Facebook page:

THE WINDSOR KNOT is the first in a new series that features the Queen as a detective. It’s 2016 and the Queen is soon to celebrate her ninetieth birthday. Before that she holds a ‘dine and sleep’ (a real and regular event apparently) at Windsor Castle, her favourite residence. Included in the mix of the great and the good is a young and handsome Russian musician. Disaster strikes the next morning when his naked body is found in a wardrobe, strung up like a Tory MP”; the verdict being accidental death. The Queen is not so sure and suspects foul play. Though she cannot be seen to investigate she assigns the legwork to her very capable assistant private secretary Rozie and uses her own position to gently manipulate the Government investigators in the right direction. 

For all its outward appearance of being a ‘cosy’ read there is a bit more grit to it than that. As well as the manner of death, it also includes spying and drug-use as potential motives, but as this exchange between the Queen and Prince Philip shows, she’s unshockable: 

 “They forget. I’ve lived through a world war, that Ferguson girl and you in the Navy 

“And yet they think you’ll need smelling salts if they so much as hint at anything fruity. All they see is a little old lady in a hat.” 

This is an enjoyable “country house” mystery with any wrongdoers having had to have been on the premises due to the tight security arrangements. The plot is quite complicated and revolves around a significant clue, one that the Queen can assist with explaining. If you watch ‘The Crown’ or are interested in the Royal Family, then that will give an added dimension.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Free audiobook - The Avengers

Big Finish are currently offering a free audiobook every Monday. They are probably best known for their Doctor Who range but they cover a lot of cult classics. This week's free download features The Avengers.

Download your copy here.  

Adaptations of the comic strip adventures of Steed and Mrs Peel which appeared in Diana magazine in 1966 and 1967.

1.4 The Norse Code by John Dorney

Steed has the horns of a dilemma, Emma milks her moment.

An agent has gone missing whilst holidaying in the Norfolk Broads. With an American nuclear bomb being stored in the region, Steed and Peel can't take any risks.

But the last thing they expect to find on their boating trip is a Norse longboat. What are Vikings doing in East Anglia?

This is one of the episodes from Series 1

Monday, January 25, 2021

Free Ebook - Murder by the Minster

 Helen Cox's Murder by the Minster is currently free on UK Kindle.
Blurb from Amazon:
It's a perfectly normal day for Kitt Hartley at her job at the University of  the Vale of York library, until Detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her  desk to tell her that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is under suspicion of murder. Evie's ex-boyfriend Owen has been found dead - with a fountain pen stabbed through his heart - and all the evidence points to her. 

Kitt knows there is no way Evie could murder anyone - let alone Owen, who she adored. Horrified that the police could have got it so wrong, Kitt decides there's only one thing to do: she's going to investigate Owen's murder herself. She's read hundreds of mystery novels - how hard can it be? 

With the help of her assistant Grace, and the occasional hindrance of the library's eccentric regulars, Kitt summons up all her investigative powers (absorbed over years of reading everything from Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin) and gets to work. 

She soon discovers that down the quaint streets and snickelways of York lie darker doings than she'd ever dreamed, but she needs to watch her step: the murderer is watching her. And they haven't finished killing yet...

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Annika Strandhed moving to TV (and Scotland)

Nicola Walker is reprising her Radio 4 role of Detective Annika Strandhed for a TV series based in Scotland (rather than Norway) to be shown on Alibi. According to a tweet from Alibi, she will play DI  Annika Strandhed "as she investigates the unexplained and brutal murders that wash up in the waterways of Scotland". 

In the meantime you can listen to all the radio shows (26 episodes), which are 15 minutes each via BBC iPlayer

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Crime Fiction in Translation (International) Dagger Speculation (2021)

The CWA are changing the period of eligibility for their Daggers so that it runs on a calendar year not a financial year so this year's eligibility period will be April 2020 to December 2020. Next year it will be Jan to Dec 2021 and so on.

Read more about it on the CWA's Website.

So here are the 47* translated crime novels published between 1 April 2020 and 31 December 2020 ie the period of eligibility. 

In the list below I've also included the country of birth and gender of the author(s) plus the translator's name and the publisher.

* updated from 41, 14/01/21 pm.


The breakdown by gender is 28 Male, 19 Female. Authors are from 15 countries. The most represented countries, in terms of titles, are Germany (8) and Sweden (8), Norway (7) followed by Iceland (6). More than thirty translators (including pairs of translators) brought you these titles, with 10 individuals having translated more than one. There are 32 publishers/imprints represented.

April 2020 - December 2020


Eva Björg Ægisdóttir - The Creak on the Stairs (Iceland, F) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Orenda Books)

Stefan Ahnhem - X Ways to Die (Sweden, M) (tr. Agnes Broomé, Head of Zeus)

Fredrick Backman - Anxious People (Sweden, M) (tr. Neil Smith, Michael Joseph)

Heine Bakkeid - Scatter Her Ashes (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Raven Books)

Marco Balzano - I'm Staying Here (Italy, M) (tr. Jill Foulston, Apollo)

Roxanne Bouchard - The Coral Bride (Canada, F) (tr. David Warriner, Orenda Books)

Michel Bussi - Never Forget (France, M) (tr. Shaun Whiteside, W&N)

Andrea Camilleri - The Safety Net (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle)

Andrea Camilleri - The Sicilian Method (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle)

Kjell Ola Dahl - Sister (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)

Sandrone Dazieri - Kill the King (Italy, M) (tr. Anthony Shugaar, Simon & Schuster UK)

Marc Elsberg - Greed (Austria, M) (tr. Simon Pare, Black Swan)

Katrine Engberg - The Tenant (Denmark, F) (tr. Tara Chace, Hodder Paperbacks)

Sebastian Fitzek - The Package (Germany, M) (tr. Jamie Bulloch, Head of Zeus)

David Foenkinos - The Mystery of Henri Pick (tr. France, M) (tr. Sam Taylor, Pushkin Press)

Mario Giordano - Auntie Poldi and the Handsome Antonio (Germany, M) (tr. John Brownjohn, John Murray)

Abdelilah Hamdouchi - The Butcher of Casablanca (Morocco, M) (tr. Peter Daniel, Hoopoe)

Zhou Haohui - Fate (China, M) (tr. Zac Haluza, Head of Zeus)

Romy Hausmann - Dear Child (Germany, F) (tr. Jamie Bulloch, Quercus)

Anne Holt - A Necessary Death (Norway, F) (tr. Anne Bruce, Corvus)

Jorn Lier Horst - The Inner Darkness (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Michael Joseph)

You-Jeong Jeong - Seven Years of Darkness (South Korea, F) (tr. Chi-Young Kim, Little, Brown)

Anna Johannsen - Death on the Beach (Germany, F) (tr. Jozef van der Voort, Thomas & Mercer)

Ragnar Jonasson - The Mist (Iceland, M) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Michael Joseph)

Ragnar Jonasson - Winterkill (Iceland, M) (tr. David Warriner, Orenda Books)

Serge Joncour - Wild Dog (France, M) (tr. Jane Aitken & Polly Mackintosh, Gallic Books)

Yun Ko-eun - The Disaster Tourist (South Korea, F) (tr. Lizzie Buehler, Serpent's Tail)

Martin Kruger - Don't Wake Me (Germany, M) (tr. Jozef van der Voort, Thomas & Mercer)

Volker Kutscher - The March Fallen (Germany, M) (tr. Niall Sellar, Sandstone)

Camilla Lackberg - The Gilded Cage (Sweden, F) (tr. Neil Smith, HarperCollins)

D A Mishani - Three (Israel, M) (tr. Jessica Cohen, riverrun)

Jo Nesbo - The Kingdom (Norway, M) (tr. Robert Ferguson, Harvill Secker)

Hakan Nesser - The Secret Life of Mr Roos (Sweden, M) (tr. Sarah Death, Mantle)

Mikael Niemi - To Cook a Bear (Sweden, M) (tr. Deborah Bragan-Turner, MacLehose Press)

Olivier Norek - The Lost and the Damned (France, M) (tr. Nick Caistor, MacLehose Press)

Sólveig Pálsdóttir - The Fox (Iceland, F) (tr. Quentin Bates, Corylus Books Ltd)

Melanie Raabe - The Shadow (Germany, F) (tr. Imogen Taylor, Text Publishing)

Agnes Ravatn - The Seven Doors (Norway, F) (tr. Rosie Hedger, Orenda Books)

Max Seeck - The Witch Hunter (Finland, M) (tr. Kristian London, Welbeck)

Adania Shibli - Minor Detail (Palestine, F) (tr. Elisabeth Jaquette, Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Lilja Sigurdardottir - Betrayal (Iceland, F) (tr. Quentin Bates, Orenda Books)

Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Gallows Rock (Iceland, F) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Hodder & Stoughton)

Gunnar Staalesen - Fallen Angels (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)

Viveca Sten - In the Name of Truth (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, AmazonCrossing)

Helene Tursten  - Snowdrift (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, Soho Press)

Ilaria Tuti - Painted in Blood (Italy, F) (tr. Ekin Oklap, W&N)

Maike Wetzel - Elly (Germany, F) (tr. Lyn Marven, Scribe UK)

Monday, January 11, 2021

Website Updates: January 2021

I've recently updated the main files on the Euro Crime website. "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.

**We are still having technical issues but we have finally wrestled an update out of the system!**

My usual 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 historicaltranslated etc' is specific to when it's published in 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).

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 lists 1087 sites.

In Bibliographies there are bibliographies for 2859 authors (14798 titles of which 3108 are reviewed**).
**Some reviews will be provided by the Crime Review website

I've added new bibliographies for: Tessa Arlen, John Banville, Penny Batchelor, Tom Benjamin, S J Bennett, Lisa Bradley, Ros Carne, Karen Cole, Morgan Cry, Emma Dakin, T W Ellis, Katrine Engberg, Trish Finnegan, Lisa Gray, Janice Hallett, Liam Hanson, Ruth Heald, SJI/Susi Holliday, Sam Hurcom, Martin Kruger, Caro Land, Ruth Lillegraven, Tom Marcus, Deborah Masson, Jo McCready, Allison Montclair, Olivier Norek, Bernard O'Keeffe, Sergio Olguin, Richard Osman, Nell Pattison, Alex Pavesi, Sarah Pearse, Alex Pine, John Kåre Raake, Mercedes Rosende, Alex Smith, Camilla Trinchieri, A K Turner, Ilaria Tuti, Christian Unge, Rosie Walker, Rhiannon Ward, Claire Whitfield and T A Willberg.

I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Jane Adams, Lin Anderson, M J Arlidge, Jennifer Ashley, Claire Askew, Heine Bakkeid, Lisa Ballantyne, James Barrington, Belinda Bauer, Simon Berthon, Mark Billingham, Helen Black, Sam Blake, S J/Sharon Bolton, Hilary Bonner, Roxanne Bouchard, James Brabazon, Rebecca Bradley, Eric Brown, Vivien Brown, Simone Buchholz, Sheila Bugler, Susanna Calkins, Helen Callaghan, Andrea Camilleri, Colin Campbell, Sam Carrington, Chris Carter, Will Carver, Lee Child, Alys Clare, Rory Clements, Martina Cole, John Connolly, Colin Cotterill, Mike/M W Craven, Charles Cumming, Fiona Cummins, Judith Cutler, Alex Dahl, Arne Dahl, Lindsey Davis, Robert Daws, Anja de Jager, Anders de la Motte, Oscar de Muriel, Will Dean, Claire Douglas, Charlotte Duckworth, Margaret Duffy, Sabine Durrant, Cecilia Ekback, Jim Eldridge, Bella Ellis, Joy Ellis, Kate Ellis, Caroline England, Jessica Fellowes, T P Fielden, Caz Finlay, Sebastian Fitzek, Helen FitzGerald, M J Ford, Ariana Franklin, Caz Frear, Dianne Freeman, Tana French, Robert Galbraith, Camilla Grebe, Susanna Gregory, G R Halliday, Karen Hamilton, C B Hanley, Cora Harrison, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Sarah Hawkswood, Sam Hayes, Mandasue Heller, James Henry, Matt Hilton, Antonia Hodgson, Noelle Holton, Horst & Enger, Catherine Ryan Howard, Debbie Howells, Anna Lee Huber, Graham Hurley, Katja Ivar, David Jackson, P D James, Peter James, Quintin Jardine, Michael Jecks, Luke Jennings, Maureen Jennings, Ragnar Jonasson, Will Jordan, Jessie Keane, Christobel Kent, Simon Kernick, Vaseem Khan, Olivia Kiernan, Laurie R King, T E Kinsey, Erin Kinsley, Bill Kitson, Roberta Kray, Volker Kutscher, Lynda La Plante, Stephen Leather, Anna Legat, Simon Lelic, Frances Lloyd, Catherine Lloyd, TM Logan, M L Longworth, Peter Lovesey, H B Lyle, Stuart MacBride, Siobhan MacDonald, Lorraine Mace, Shona/S G MacLean, Gilly Macmillan, Barry Maitland, David Mark, Edward Marston, Faith Martin, Andrew Martin, Priscilla Masters, Alyssa Maxwell, Val McDermid, Andy McDermott, Chris McGeorge, Claire McGowan, Catriona McPherson, Denise Mina, Dreda Say Mitchell, Lottie Moggach, Margaret Murphy, Peter Murphy, Amy Myers, Barbara Nadel, Sarah J Naughton, Stuart Neville, Chris Nickson, Alex North, Carlene O'Connor, Nick Oldham, B A Paris, S J Parris, Tony Parsons, Ben Pastor, Vikki Patis, David Pearson, Andrea Penrose, Anne Perry, Christoffer Petersen, Henry Porter, E M Powell, Laura Purcell, Anthony J Quinn, Melanie Raabe, Khurrum Rahman, Caro Ramsay, Ian Rankin, Agnes Ravatn, Sarah Rayne, Nicola Rayner, Heather Redmond, Alex Reeve, Rebecca Reid, Craig Robertson, Imogen Robertson, Michael Robotham, Gemma Rogers, Jacqui Rose, Emma Rous, Laura Joh Rowland, Pauline Rowson, Priscilla Royal, Leigh Russell, Michael Russell, Robert Scragg, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Sara Sheridan, Lilja Sigurdardottir, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Fiona Veitch Smith, Sally Spedding, Cath Staincliffe, Viveca Sten, Linda Stratmann, Andrew/A D Swanston, Maryla Szymiczkowa, Emma Tallon, Aline Templeton, Will Thomas, Robert Thorogood, Peter Tremayne, M J Trow, C J Tudor, Helene Tursten, Stuart Turton, Harriet Tyce, Nicola Upson, Luca Veste, MB Vincent, Alex Walters, Rachel Ward, Roz Watkins, Douglas Watt, Jeri Westerson, Rebecca Whitney, Andrew Wilson, Edward Wilson, Robert Wilton, Michael Wood, David Young and Dylan Young. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

New Releases - January 2021

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in January 2021 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). January 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.
• Barnes, Kerry - Outcast (ebook only)
• Bauer, Belinda - Exit
• Bayard, Tania - Murder in the Cloister #4 Christine De Pizan Mystery
• Bell, Gary - Post Mortem #2 Elliot Rook QC
• Blake, Sam - The Dark Room
• Bradley, Kate - What I Did
• Brett, Simon - Blotto, Twinks and the Maharajah's Jewel #10 Brother and sister sleuths, Blotto and Twinks
• Bridgett, Helen - One by One (ebook only)
• Briggs, J C - The Mystery of the Hawke Sapphires (ebook only) #7 Charles Dickens and Superintendent Jones
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs Jeffries Demands Justice #39 Mrs Jeffries
• Bruce, Camilla - In the Garden of Spite (apa Triflers Need Not Apply)
• Buchanan, Tracy - Circle of Doubt
• Bugler, Sheila - Before You Were Gone #3 Dee Doran, ex Journalist
• Clements, Rory - A Prince and a Spy #5 Thomas Wilde, 1930s
• Croft, Adam - Snakes and Ladders #10 Knight and Culverhouse
• Dawson, Lucy - The Secret Within (ebook only)
• Dean, Abigail - Girl A
• Dean, Will - The Last Thing to Burn
• Denzil, Sarah A - Little One (ebook only)
• Dranfield, Wendy - Find My Child #1 Detective Madison Harper
• Ekback, Cecilia - The Historians
• Eldridge, Jim - Murder at the Ritz #1 Detective Chief Inspector Coburg & Sergeant Lampson
• Engberg, Katrine - The Butterfly House #2 Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner,Police, Copenhagen
• Fraine, A L - Axe to Grind (ebook only) #1 DCI Pilgrim
• Gatland, Jack - Murder Of Angels (ebook only) #2 DI Declan Walsh
• Hallett, Janice - The Appeal
• Hayes, Samantha - Single Mother
• Hurley, Graham - Last Flight to Stalingrad #5 Wars Within
• James, Ed - Before She Wakes #3 Detective Max Carter
• Landers, Brian - Coincidence of Spies #3 Thomas Dylan, MI6 agent
• Lee, Lynne - False Hope
• Lindstein, Mariette - The Shadow of the Cult #2 The Cult on Fog Island Trilogy
• Lloyd, Catherine - Death Comes to the Rectory #8 Kurland St. Mary Mysteries
• Lloyd, Ellery - People Like Her
• Lowe, Katie - Possession (apa The Murder of Graham Catton)
• MacBride, Stuart - The Coffinmaker's Garden #3 DC Ash Henderson
• Mace, Lorraine - Love Me Tender #5 DI Sterling
• Martin, Andrew - Powder Smoke #10 Jim Stringer, Train Fireman
• Maxwell, Alyssa - A Sinister Service #6 Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery
• McPherson, Catriona - The Mirror Dance #15 Dandy Gilver, Society Sleuth, 1920s Scotland
• Mullen, Owen - Family (ebook only)
• O'Leary, Danny - A Violent Gentleman
• Oliver, Kelly - High Treason at the Grand Hote #2 Fiona Figg
• Parsons, Tony - Your Neighbour's Wife
• Purcell, Laura - The Shape of Darkness
• Raake, John Kåre The Ice #1 Anna Aune
• Ramsay, Caro - On an Outgoing Tide #12 DCI McAlpine, DS Anderson and DS Costello, Glasgow
• Reid, Rebecca - Two Wrongs
• Reynolds, Allie - Shiver
• Rogers, Gemma - Bad Girls
• Rosende, Mercedes Crocodile Tears
• Rous, Emma - The Perfect Guests
• Rowland, Laura Joh - Portrait of Peril #5 Miss Sarah Bain, Victorian Era
• Russell, Leigh - Evil Impulse #4 DS Ian Peterson
• Scragg, Robert - End of the Line #4 Porter & Styles, Police Officers
• Shepherd-Robinson, Laura - Daughters of Night
• Sten, Viveca - In Bad Company #9 Sandhamn Murders
• Thompson, Sharon - The Murdering Wives Club (ebook only)
• Thorogood, Robert - The Marlow Murder Club
• Tudor, C J - The Burning Girls
• Tugwell, Jem - Dishonoured
• Watt, Douglas - A Killing in Van Diemen's Land #5 John MacKenzie, Lawyer, 17thC Edinburgh
• Weatherley, Anna-Lou The Woman Inside

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Highlights from 2020

As we're back in a Lockdown in the UK, here are a few things I enjoyed watching and reading in the previous year's main Lockdown.

I've unfortunately lost my reading mojo, it probably went before Lockdown ie when my Dad died. 

Some people are reading like never before and demolishing their stacks of unread books. Me - I've turned to 'Star Trek' and children's books. A few reading highlights from 2020 though included my belated discovery of Raymond Chandler. I read and reviewed The Big Sleep back in May as part of my working from home - trying something new and also available as an ebook on the library's catalogue  - and it has stayed with me.  

My favourite children's book of last year's reads was Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm, which I reviewed here. This is a thriller/mystery set in space.  

TV-wise, my partner and I devoured the Shakespeare and Hathaway series. The first episode didn't start very promisingly but then we were hooked. Equally as belated as my reading of Chandler was our tackling of The Bridge. Absolutely gripping, and now we've gone back to the early series of Line of Duty as we started with series 3 which meant somethings were more of a surprise to us than they should have been! [I believe all these programmes are still on iPlayer.]

Coming up on the blog soon, will be January's new releases, a list of the Petrona Award 2021 eligibles, and hopefully my partner and I can devise a workaround to get my website updated.

Stay Safe and Thanks for Reading