Thursday, December 31, 2009

James Patterson & Liza Marklund in 2010

Details of the result of the collaboration between James Patterson and Swedish author Liza Marklund are now on amazon.

The book is called The Postcard Killers, and is published in August in the US and September in the UK.

Synopsis from amazon:

NYPD detective Jack Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each restaurant through a killer's eyes.

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have become victims of the same sadistic killers. Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson. Every killing is preceded by a postcard to the local newspaper--and Kanon and Larsson think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, THE POSTCARD KILLERS may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

Will you be reading this book?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12 months of Gene Hunt

Had I but known that such a thing was available then I'd have put it on my Xmas list but I only spotted it today in the shops:

It seems to be out of stock at many online retailers, amazon marketplace has one at £99.99...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As one Wallander closes, another one opens...

The brilliant Swedish series of Wallander has just finished on BBC4 with The Secret, but Kenneth Branagh's version returns on Sunday at 9pm on BBC1 with Faceless Killers (the first book in the series and fourth to be televised). The BBC press release is here.


And like buses, not only is there one but two crime programmes on on Sunday. Which to watch and which to record? Scheduled against Wallander is Poirot: Three Act Tragedy (on ITV1 8-10pm) and the guest stars include Martin Shaw and Art Malik.

The full ITV press release is here but here are a few paras from David Suchet concerning Martin Shaw and also the filming locations:
"Three Act Tragedy is to do with this great star, played by Martin Shaw, who swans around and we see his world, his theatrical world if you like, of how he lives, his loves and his tragedies. In it we see crime, we see murder.

"The way the adaptation of Three Act Tragedy works is terrific. Ashley Pearce, who has directed other Poirot’s and therefore knows Poirot very well, has been wonderfully creative and done a sort of theatrical presentation of it.

"It was particularly wonderful for me to be reunited with Martin Shaw. Martin and I go right the way back. It was the first time we worked together since The Professionals, so the best part of 40 years ago. Martin is a really great actor and it was really good to be working with him again.

The main locations we used for Poirot: Three Act Tragedy were Knebworth House and Eltham Palace. Speaking about these David says, “On Poirot we have the great privilege on this series of going to some of the finest locations in England. To go to Knebworth is like going back into another era.

“Although the exterior of Crow’s Nest was filmed in the South West of England we looked for an interior location that we could make look as though it fitted the outside, and we found this at Eltham Palace.

“It was a great joy for me to film at Eltham Palace. It is the most extraordinary location and place to visit. It is very 1930s and very art-deco as well.

“I have two great soft spots for Eltham Palace, one because I do the audio guide there – so if you ever go to Eltham Palace you will hear my voice saying, ‘And on your right is...’ And my other is that it was where we filmed when I played Robert Maxwell, for which I received an Emmy. Going back there was very special to me.”

OT: Foxy in the Snow

Here's Foxy in the snow on Christmas Day, up to his ankle in the stuff. We only had an inch or so in this part of the world and the heavy snow predicted for today hasn't arrived yet.

I've been rather quiet as my pc has had a back-up/delete/re-install over the festive period. It had become rather slow to the point of un-usability (as those who use Windows probably know about) and it seems to be better for now.

I hope to post some more crime fiction related stuff shortly.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Copycat Cover - Best Foot Forward

Elena Forbes's Our Lady of Pain came out in this edition in February. Lauren Barnholdt's (teenage) One Night That Changes Everything will be published in the US in July.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Crime 2009

Over the last few years I've posted about a few books each December with a Christmas setting and these can be found here.

Kerrie has a meme, aggregating posts from different blogs suggesting Christmas titles at Mysteries in Paradise. Here's one from me which has nothing to do with euro crime but everything to do with coffee!

There's nothing cozier than a winter evening in Greenwich Village. Streetlights shimmer through icy flakes, cafés glow with welcoming warmth, and a layer of snow dusts historic townhouses like powdered sugar on holiday confections. Murder has no place in such a pretty picture, until now...

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has grown very fond of Alfred Glockner, the part-time comic and genuinely jolly charity Santa who's been using her Village Blend as a place to warm his mittens. When she finds him brutally gunned down in a nearby alley, a few subtle clues convince her that Alfred's death was something more than the tragic result of a random mugging--the conclusion of the police. With Clare's boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, distracted by a cold case of his own, and ex-husband Matt investigating this year's holiday lingerie catalogs (an annual event), Clare charges ahead solo to solve her beloved Santa's slaying. Then someone tries to ice Clare, and she really gets steamed. But she'd better watch out, because if she fails to stop this stone cold killer, she may just get the biggest chill of her life.

This very special holiday entry in Cleo Coyle's nationally bestselling mystery series includes a bonus section of delicious holiday recipes as well as a glossary of coffeehouse terms, instructions on making espressos and lattes without an expensive machine, and tips for creating tasty coffeehouse syrups at home.

I haven't read any of this series yet but I have enjoyed the authors'* Alice Kimberley books.
(*Alice Alfonsi and husband Marc Cerasini.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cover Theme - Wire Fences

Some recent and forthcoming covers with wire fences...


Monday, December 14, 2009

New Reviews: Fowler, Grace, Hall, Meyer, Monroe, Weeks

The newest competition which closes on 31 December: Win Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis (UK & Europe only)

Here are the new reviews that have been added to the website (yesterday and) today:
Terry Halligan reviews The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler and he seems as taken with the series as I am;

Amanda Gillies reviews Tom Grace's The Secret Cardinal and she recommends it to "fans of Tom Clancy and Jack Higgins";

Amanda Brown reviews the latest in Simon Hall's photographer/police-officer series, The Judgement Book writing that "for me this is the best one yet";

Maxine Clarke reviews the paperback edition of Blood Safari by Dean Meyer, tr. K L Seegers (another one of my favourite authors) and Maxine begins her review: "an excellent thriller which held me completely entranced from the moment I opened it and read the first page";

Norman Price enjoyed Aly Monroe's Washington Shadow and is looking forward to more books with her series character Peter Cotton

and Michelle Peckham reviews Lee Weeks' third Johnny Mann book, Death Trip, the violence in which left her seeking a nice cosy read afterwards.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Reviews: Grace and Hall

Here are a couple of this week's new reviews, the rest should follow tomorrow:
Amanda Gillies reviews Tom Grace's The Secret Cardinal and she recommends it to "fans of Tom Clancy and Jack Higgins"

Amanda Brown reviews the latest in Simon Hall's photographer/police-officer series, The Judgement Book writing that "for me this is the best one yet".
More reviews can be found on the review page

Upcoming releases can be found here and the December competition is here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

OT: Caturday Photo

I'm not sure who was there first but Nimes (aged 18) is looking a bit long-suffering at having to share his chair with Toffee (aged 12).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bits and Pieces (4)

A few things I've discovered recently:
Sony is to sponsor the e-book category prize at next year’s Crimefest.

Tom Harper aka Edwin Thomas will take over the CWA chair in April from Margaret Murphy.

There's a five minute video interview with William Brodrick author of the 2009 Gold Dagger winning, A Whispered Name, on the Whole Story Audio Books website.

The latest edition of Radio 7's Foul Play which is available to listen again/iplayer is The Adventure of the Murdered Heiress - "Crime writers PD James and HRF Keating try to solve the deadly case of a jewel theft. Written and chaired by Simon Brett".

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Website updates - December

Today, I've refreshed a good chunk of the Euro Crime website:
  • The Author Websites page now lists 801 sites.*

  • The New & Upcoming Releases pages have been updated.

  • In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 1504 authors (7715 titles with links to 1641 reviews):

  • I've added new bibliographies for: Yaba Badoe, John Baird, Barbara Baraldi, Sean Cregan, Ella Griffiths, Luigi Guicciardi, Bruno Hare, Peg Herring, Mike Hodges, Erin Kelly, Zygmunt Miloszewski, Tom Morton, Christi Phillips, Martin Stratford, Robert Tenison, Jeri Westerson, Philip Wilding, Conrad Williams, Patrick Woodrow and Nancy Means Wright.

    I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Paul Adam, Catherine Aird, Kate Atkinson, Colin Bateman, Carrie A Bebris, Tonino Benacquista, Mark Billingham, Benjamin Black, Richard Blake, Stephen Booth, John Brady, Simon Brett, Frances Brody, Karen Campbell, Aifric Campbell, Ottavio Cappellani, Jacques Cressex, John Connolly, N J Cooper, Clare Curzon, Carola Dunn, Jeremy Duns, R J Ellory, Helen Fitzgerald, Karin Fossum, Nicci French, Elizabeth George, Ann Granger, J M Gregson, Allan Guthrie, Cora Harrison, Mo Hayder, Mick/M Herron, Matt Hilton, Graham Ison, Claude Izner, Rebecca Jenkins, Mari Jungstedt, Jim Kelly, Bernard Knight, Martin Langfield, Patrick Lennon, Stuart MacBride, Henning Mankell, Scott Mariani, Brian McGilloway, Pat McIntosh, Shirley McKay, Dreda Say Mitchell, Nick Oldham, Sarah Pinborough, Sarah Rayne, Matt Benyon Rees, Rosemary Rowe, Pauline Rowson, Craig Russell, Kate Sedley, EV Seymour, Zoe Sharp, Jeffrey Siger, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Nicola Slade, Sally Spencer, Cath Staincliffe, Aline Templeton, Mark Timlin, Lucie Whitehouse and Anne Zouroudi.
    *Note to authors: I have removed a few websites that seemed defunct but if I am now missing yours, do let me know and I'll reinstate it.

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    Kurt's Back (New Wallander on BBC4)

    The eleventh episode of the Swedish Wallander series will be shown on BBC4 on Saturday 12 December at 21.35 and repeated on Wednesday 16 December at 22.55:
    Blood Line

    Following an argument with her lover on her boat, a woman is found dead. Wallander and the Ystad police investigate - their enquiries lead them to a farm commune and to an old friend of Linda's.

    Monday, December 07, 2009

    Win: Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis

    This month's competition is to win a copy of Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis, the first in a series featuring Daphne du Maurier:

    The storm led me to Padthaway. I could never resist the allure of dark swirling clouds, windswept leaves sweeping down cobbled lanes or a view of the sea stirring up its defiant nature. The sea possessed a power all of its own and this part of Cornwall, an isolated stretch of rocky cliff tops and unexplored beaches both enchanted and terrified me.

    It is not a lie to say I felt drawn out that day, led to a certain destiny...

    So begins this new mystery series featuring young Daphne du Maurier, headstrong, adventurous, and standing at the cusp of greatness.

    Walking on the cliffs in Cornwall, she stumbles upon the drowned body of a beautiful woman, dressed only in a nightgown, her hair strewn along the rocks, her eyes gazing up to the heavens. Daphne soon learns that the mysterious woman was engaged to marry Lord Hartley of Padthaway, an Elizabethan mansion full of intriguing secrets.

    As the daughter of the famous Sir Gerald du Maurier, Daphne is welcomed into the Hartley home, but when the drowning turns out to be murder, Daphne determines to get to the bottom of the mysteries of Padthaway—in part to find fresh inspiration for her writing, and in part because she cannot resist the allure of grand houses and long buried secrets.

    Read Joanna Challis's guest post about the series, here.

    The competition question and tie-breaker can be found here.

    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    Site Maintenance

    I'm currently doing some Euro Crime site maintenance ie mending broken links and such so unfortunately there won't be any new reviews today. I will be refreshing the bulk of the website and then new releases pages will include more 2010 titles that I've recently discovered.

    More later...

    Friday, December 04, 2009

    Who is Ricardo Cupido?

    Private Investigator Ricardo Cupido is Spanish author Eugenio Fuentes's series character and makes his fourth appearance (in English at least) in the recently published At Close Quarters (tr. Martin Schifino), he describes himself on p51:

    He’d never been someone given to confidences or talking about himself, but with the passage of time he was becoming even more secretive. He hid from everyone his disappointments, his loneliness, his fears and how fed up he was with his job, the profession that led him to believe that no person can love another forever. He kept those impressions to himself, where no one might see them and point out their painful harshness. Looking back, he realised he’d been able to salvage very few things from the wreckage of time, that the wealth of his youthful dreams had rotted before they could come true. He no longer hoped to have children. Nor did it seem likely that he would have for a woman feelings as intense as when he had first loved. He no longer believed that an ideology could make the world a better place; and as for the human condition, well, he’d seen his fair share of evil and misery, and had concluded that some men can only do harm. He’d seen people die and people kill. It was true that, when he thought of the future, the moral landscape he identified in himself was not lacking in dignity, but it wasn’t the kind best shared with anyone else. He was over forty and knew that, unless he did something about it, he’d get lonelier as each year passed. Up to this age, he often told himself, most of the people one has met and known are alive, but from now on the balance will start to even out, until the presence of the living weighs as much as the memories of the dead. And a little later everyone would start dying around him, if his number didn’t come up first.

    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    On the High 'C's

    Good news in the Bookseller for fans of Ann Cleeves and Martina Cole:
    Pan Macmillan is to rejacket crime author Ann Cleeves’ Inspector Vera Stanhope novels with an “atmospheric” new look.

    The publisher has also delayed publication of the titles to tie in with broadcast of the ITV1 adaptation of Cleeves’ novel Hidden Depths, which has now been set for September 2010.

    Hidden Depths, The Crow Trap and Telling Tales will now be published on 3rd September as £7.99 B-­format paperbacks by Pan, with a new Vera Stanhope novel, as yet untitled, to be published as a £16.99 hardback on the same day by Macmillan.

    Raven Black, the first title in Cleeves’ Shetland series, will also be a BBC Radio 4 “Afternoon Play” in January.
    Read the whole article and view the new cover here.
    Headline has signed a new four-book deal with bestselling crime author Martina Cole.

    Since Cole signed with Headline in 1992, for the debut Dangerous Lady, she has published 16 bestsellers with combined sales of more than 10m copies. Her latest novel, Hard Girls, has sold more than 126,000 copies in five weeks and knocked Dan Brown off the number one spot.

    This year Sky One broadcast a dramatisation of her novel "The Take". The same channel will show an adaptation of The Runaway in early 2010.
    Read the whole article here.

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    Guest Post: Joanna Challis on writing about Daphne du Maurier

    Joanna Challis's first Daphne du Maurier mystery is Murder on the Cliffs:

    The storm led me to Padthaway. I could never resist the allure of dark swirling clouds, windswept leaves sweeping down cobbled lanes or a view of the sea stirring up its defiant nature. The sea possessed a power all of its own and this part of Cornwall, an isolated stretch of rocky cliff tops and unexplored beaches both enchanted and terrified me.

    It is not a lie to say I felt drawn out that day, led to a certain destiny...

    So begins this new mystery series featuring young Daphne du Maurier, headstrong, adventurous, and standing at the cusp of greatness.

    Walking on the cliffs in Cornwall, she stumbles upon the drowned body of a beautiful woman, dressed only in a nightgown, her hair strewn along the rocks, her eyes gazing up to the heavens. Daphne soon learns that the mysterious woman was engaged to marry Lord Hartley of Padthaway, an Elizabethan mansion full of intriguing secrets.

    As the daughter of the famous Sir Gerald du Maurier, Daphne is welcomed into the Hartley home, but when the drowning turns out to be murder, Daphne determines to get to the bottom of the mysteries of Padthaway—in part to find fresh inspiration for her writing, and in part because she cannot resist the allure of grand houses and long buried secrets.

    Joanna Challis explains the background to her new series:

    Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley.

    The storm led me to Padthaway.

    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is my all-time favourite book. I also love the black and white movie with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, chillingly transcribed to screen by Alfred Hitchcock. So when my agent first came up with the idea of using Daphne as a fictional heroine, I blinked not once but twice.

    I never thought of writing as a real person. The first thing that flashed through my mind was ‘restricted.’ Unlike fictional protagonists, real people and more so real ‘famous’ people left behind a wealth of information.

    Daphne du Maurier did more than that. She wrote her own biography Myself When Young charting her early years up to the publication of her first novel and marriage. Daphne is quoted as saying “an autobiography is self-indulgent” and when asked if she planned a sequel to Myself When Young, she replied: “No. I believe one can become too introspective writing this type of thing. I intend to look to the future rather than the past and all I can say is that I had a very happy married life, have a delightful family, and I don’t like books which are full of name dropping.”

    Myself When Young – the Shaping of a Writer formed the basis for my fictional Daphne. Although many biographers have stitched together other versions of the real Daphne, none can compare to the horse’s own mouth. In her autobiography, she paints a painfully honest picture of herself, her relationship with her parents and her sisters, her education in Paris, her love for Cornwall and abhorrence for London life, her unrelenting interest in history and her ambition to succeed as a writer. As I devoured Myself When Young, I realized I had a kindred spirit in Daphne. She loved the same things I did: travel, ruins, history, and writing. She often felt socially inept, drawn more to observe people than participate. She loved adventure and intrigue and there were no limits to her imagination.

    Of course, I knew when embarking upon a new mystery series featuring Daphne du Maurier, particular criticism would be levelled at me. In creating a fictional Daphne, a heroine starring in her own fictional novel, one providing inspiration for her future works, I had to distance myself from the magnitude of biographers out there who all had a pre-conceived idea of who Daphne was. At the end of the day, nobody knows the real Daphne but Daphne herself and she is no longer here to speak for herself. The legacy of family, friends and her writings are left behind to give us clues and they all paint a fascinating, complex personality, not unlike writers today. Daphne lived in her own world and loved to create worlds. Reading her words, my fictional Daphne-the-heroine leapt off the page and I’m sure if she were alive today, to some extent she would be amused by the thought of becoming an amateur sleuth in the great houses of England.

    Sharing Daphne’s deep love of Cornwall, I set Murder on the Cliffs, out this month by St Martin’s Minotaur, on the Cornish coast. Above the waves and the cliffs, a great mansion looms called Padthaway, the home of the aristocratic Hartley family. As Daphne is on holidays, she is drawn to the house and the mystery of the young bride found dead on the beach. She won’t rest until she has unearthed all the secrets of the eerie Elizabethan mansion, even if it places her in danger.

    Murder on the Cliffs was written with a large nod to Rebecca, du Maurier’s all-time classic. Padthaway forms the inspiration for Manderley and the young dead bride Victoria to Rebecca. Other than that, Murder on the Cliffs has its own mystery to solve and Daphne is just the one to do it. She’s trusted by the family and this provides the perfect basis for her to subtly begin her inquiries.

    Murder on the Cliffs (published by St Martin’s Minotaur) is out 1st December, 2009.

    Following on with Daphne’s deep love of Cornwall, Peril at Somner House is next, a Winter manor-house mystery set on the Isles of Scilly (to be published 2010).

    For more information, please visit

    Thank you Joanna, I look forward to reading Murder on the Cliffs. A competition for a copy of Murder on the Cliffs will be uploaded soon to the Euro Crime website, so check back here often for details.

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009

    Bits and Pieces (3)

    A few things I've discovered recently:
    A new blog - Murder is Everywhere - "Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Leighton Gage, Michael Stanley, Cara Black and Dan Waddell blog each week on different days from our different corners of the globe".

    Campbell Read Books: the only approved online outlet for signed copies of Quintin Jardine's best-selling Bob Skinner and Primavera Blackstone Novels.

    Le Serpent will be on Film Four on 10th December at 23.05:
    Yvan Attal plays a photographer who becomes the target of a deranged ex-classmate (Clovis Cornillac) who is obsessed with avenging a childhood slight.

    This ITV press release reveals more about the plot of VERA which is based on Ann Cleeves's Hidden Depths and stars Brenda Blethyn and David Leon. It will be shown on ITV1 in 2010.

    and finally, many thanks to Canongate who've named Euro Crime as their The Gatekeeper's Site of the Week.

    Monday, November 30, 2009

    Mehmet Murat Somer - Cover Opinions

    After answering a question on rec.arts.mystery about the Hop-Ciki-Yaya series by Mehmet Murat Somer I went and had a look to see which were available in the US and found that these two had been published by Penguin USA. The covers are slightly (!) different to the Serpent's Tail ones...

    The US on the left and the UK on the right. Which would make you more likely to pick the book up?

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    New Reviews: Black, Downing, Haas, McCrery, Russell, Sussman

    The closing date for the competitions is 23.59 on 30 November:

    i)Win Beautiful Dead: Arizona by Eden Maguire (UK only)
    ii)Win Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn (UK/Europe only)

    Details on how to enter can be found on the Competition page

    b) Here are the new reviews that have been added to the website today:
    Amanda Brown reviews Murder in the Rue de Paradis by Cara Black which makes her want to revisit Paris;

    Norman Price reviews David Downing's atmospheric Stettin Station set in Nazi Germany;

    Michelle Peckham reviews Derek Haas's thriller, Hunt for the Bear;

    Maxine Clarke liked Core of Evil by Nigel McCrery (nb. first published as Still Waters);

    Amanda Gillies enthuses about Leigh Russell's debut novel, Cut Short

    and Terry Halligan enjoyed The Hidden Oasis by Paul Sussman.
    Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    International Dagger 2010

    It's early days to be thinking of the short list for the International Dagger but I've had a couple of requests to list the "eligible" titles from the Euro Crime database.

    The CWA website has not yet been updated for 2010 but based on last year, the criteria for this category will be that:
    Eligible books must be crime novels by the broadest definition including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction as long as the book was not originally written in English and has been translated into English for UK publication between June 1 2009 and May 31 2010.
    So based on my database, here are the fifty-nine sixty sixty-one titles I believe to be eligible, based on publication dates and a loose interpretation of the definition of "crime fiction". I have included the non European books that I know about, though there may be omissions of course. (Links are to Euro Crime reviews). As it's quite early it's possible more titles will be published before the end of May that I don't yet know about:
    Boris Akunin - She Lover of Death
    Selcuk Altun - Many and Many a Year Ago
    Barbara Baraldi - The Girl With the Crystal Eyes
    Tonino Benacquista - Badfellas
    Mikkel Birkegaard - The Library of Shadows
    Sergio Bizzio - Rage
    Armand Cabasson - Memory of Flames
    Andrea Camilleri - August Heat
    Raphael Cardetti - Death in the Latin Quarter
    Massimo Carlotto - Poisonville (with Marco Videtta)
    Donato Carrisi - The Whisperer
    Jacques Chessex - A Jew Must Die
    K O Dahl - The Last Fix
    Leif Davidsen - The Woman from Bratislava
    Tim Davys - Amberville
    Tom Egeland - The Guardians of the Covenant
    Marjolijn Februari - The Book Club
    Marcello Fois - Blood from the Skies
    Karin Fossum - The Water's Edge
    Eugenio Fuentes - At Close Quarters
    Michele Giuttari - The Death of a Mafia Don
    Juan Gomez-Jurado - Contract with God
    Luigi Guicciardi - Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer
    Petra Hammesfahr - The Lie
    Anne Holt - Death in Oslo
    Arnaldur Indridason - Hypothermia
    Claude Izner - The Predator of Batignolles
    Christian Jacq - The Judgement of the Mummy
    Tove Jansson - The True Deceiver
    Andrea H Japp - The Divine Blood
    Mari Jungstedt - The Killer's Art
    Andrey Kurkov - The Good Angel of Death
    Camilla Lackberg - The Stonecutter
    Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
    Giulio Leoni - The Kingdom of Light
    Henning Mankell - The Man from Beijing
    Dominique Manotti - Affairs of State
    Javier Marias - Your Face Tomorrow 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell
    Petros Markaris - Che Committed Suicide
    Patricia Melo - Lost World
    Deon Meyer - Thirteen Hours
    Zygmunt Miloszewski - Entanglement
    Rita Monaldi & Francesco Sorti - Secretum
    Jo Nesbo - The Snowman
    Guillermo Orsi - No-one Loves a Policeman
    Jean-Francois Parot - The Nicolas le Floch Affair
    Arturo Perez-Reverte - Pirates of the Levant
    Claudia Pineiro - Thursday Night Widows
    Luis Miguel Rocha - The Last Pope
    Santiago Roncagliolo - Red April
    Emili Rosales - The Invisible City
    Frank Schatzing - Death and the Devil
    Andrea Maria Schenkel - Ice Cold
    Bernhard Schlink - Self's Murder
    Mehmet Murat Somer - The Gigolo Murder
    Gunnar Staalesen - The Consorts of Death
    Johan Theorin - The Darkest Room
    Alberto Vazquez-Figueroa - Tuareg
    Alberto Vazquez-Figueroa - Coltan
    Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Angel's Game
    Juli Zeh - Dark Matter
    The shortlist will be announced at CrimeFest in May.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Spiral Series 3 and on

    Who knows when it'll be on TV this side of the channel but a third series of Spiral has been filmed, this time with 12 episodes rather than 8.

    You can read more about the new series (in French) on this website. On the second page there's a comment about the success of the first two series, overseas, and says that's it's the first time the BBC has bought a French series since the 1960s and the realistic nature of the series strikes a cord with Britons (paraphrasing a bit, I hope correctly).

    Engrenages (Spiral) as been so successful in France that three more series have been ordered.

    The official Canal+ website for series 2 is here.

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Murder on Page Three

    No, this has nothing to do with deaths of The Sun's glamour models but rather is the title of a book from a new-to-me author. Whilst searching the library catalogue for Elly Griffiths, I only put in Griffiths, Ell and the search also turned up Ella Griffiths and the titles Murder on Page Three and The Water Widow. Thinking they look like crime titles I had a closer look and lo and behold, much excitement ensues as it turns out they have been translated from the Norwegian...

    I've only been able to get hold of Murder on Page Three so far, The Water Widow being out on loan (only 1 copy of each in the system). Her series characters are Oslo-based Detective Sergeant Rudolf Nilsen and his brother Detective Constable Karsten Nilsen.

    Here are the front and back flaps (which are clear if you click on them) revealing a bit about the plot and the author.

    Murder on Page Three was published in Norwegian in 1982 and in English in 1984 by Quartet Qrime. The translator is J Basil Cowlishaw.

    The Water Widow was published in English in 1986 and I've also found reference to a short story collection called The Dead Don’t Steal and the title story was made into a Tales of the Unexpected episode in 1988.

    Here're the first few paragraphs from Murder on Page Three:
    Lucky was getting restless. He wanted to go out. Karin pretended not to notice; she was trying to think. The sheet of paper in her typewriter was as pristinely white as when she had inserted it over an hour ago.

    "Make sure there's a murder in the first chapter," her publisher had said. "The best would be on page three."

    She had objected that she wasn't a tailor, running up suits made to measure, at which he had laughingly countered with: "Maybe not, but you are Norway's Agatha Christie, and you have a reputation to keep up".
    Here's the blurb from The Water Widow:
    The case begins when a fifty-five-year-old shop assistant with a raging toothache visits the dentist. He's shown into the surgery by a tall woman dressed in widow's weeds, and is never seen alive again."

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy - on audio

    The final part of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, came out on audio book this month. All three books are now available as a set for £65 from Whole Story Audio Books.

    (Shame about the prominent typo)

    The books are narrated by Saul Reichlin.

    Over at Petrona, Maxine splendidly summarises the three books.

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Review: Beautiful Dead - Arizona

    I've just posted my review of Beautiful Dead (2) - Arizona by Eden Maguire over on my teenage blog.

    This is a teenage crime/romance/supernatural mixture which I enjoyed. If you watch CSI you won't be too impressed with the book's medical examiner immediately classifying a death as suicide when there are multiple abrasions on the body, but that's from an adult's perspective rather than a teenager's I think.

    My review can be found here.

    My review of Book 1, Jonas, is here.

    Win a copy of Arizona, here (ends 30 November 2009, UK only)

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    New Reviews: Badoe, Kernick, La Plante, O'Brien, Somer, Twining

    a) Two competitions are currently running:

    i)Win Beautiful Dead: Arizona by Eden Maguire (UK only)
    ii)Win Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn (UK/Europe only)

    Details on how to enter can be found on the Competition page

    b) Here are the new reviews that have been added to the website today:
    Maxine Clarke reviews Yaba Badoe's debut novel, True Murder which, Maxine suggests, should appeal to fans of Ruth Rendell and Morag Joss;

    Michelle Peckham reviews the latest from Britain's answer to Harlan Coben, Simon Kenick's Target;

    Geoff Jones reviews the new DI Anna Travis book from Lynda La Plante, Silent Scream;

    Jacquot's back: Terry Halligan reviews the return of French detective Jacquot in Martin O'Brien's Confession;

    I review the latest in one of the more unusual crime fiction series: The Gigolo Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer, tr. Kenneth Dakan

    and Amanda Gillies reviews the most recent in James Twining's Tom Kirk Art Thief series: The Geneva Deception.
    Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    OT: Fox in a Box IV

    A while ago I posted some photos of Foxy in his penthouse suite, atop a tower of fruit boxes. The fruit boxes were returned to Tesco, except for one and guess who's suddenly decided to sleep in it! He looks a bit disgruntled with the lowly position:

    Bits and Pieces (2)

    One or two things I've discovered this week:
    July 2010 is looking good for fans of Scandinavian crime fiction with new series entries from Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Karin Fossum plus a debut novel from Camilla Ceder. More 2010 Scandinavian crime fiction can be found on my amazon list.

    Richard Armitage is filming Chris Ryan's Strike Back. The six part series is due to be broadcast in spring 2010 on Sky.

    David Morrissey is to play Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne. Mark reports on Facebook that "the TV series is in production and will probably be on screen in late Autumn next year..."

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    The Draining Lake audio book

    My review of the audio-book version of The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason, tr Bernard Scudder and narrated by Saul Reichlin is now online at Whole Story Audio Books.

    My review is here.

    There are also two reviews of the print book on the Euro Crime website - here and here.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Solve The ABC Murders on the DS

    Already out in the US, Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders DS game will be out in the UK on the 20th.

    As easy as A...B...C?

    Agatha Christie’s A.B.C Murders tells the story of Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot as they attempt to solve a series of bizarre murders committed by an elusive madman.

    Going off the simple clue of the A.B.C railway guide left at the scene of each crime, Hastings and Poirot follow the leads to Andover, Bexhill, Churston, and Doncaster trying to apprehend the killer before the next crime is committed.

    He soon realizes a serial killer is on the loose, murdering his victims in alphabetical order, leaving an ABC Railway Guide beside each body and playing a dangerous game with Hercule Poirot. He alerts Poirot in advance of the locations of the murders, but Poirot always arrives too late. Intrigued by the psychopath’s mind and methodology, Poirot travels the length and breadth of England - determined to track down this ruthless killer.


    * Live through a modern classic for the first time on the Nintendo DS.

    * Solve the crime in multiple ways, and then solve it again!

    * Complete mind-bending puzzles!

    * Use your Investigator’s Journal to record clues and notes.

    * Collect hidden notes found in-game that contains unique facts about Agatha Christie or one of her characters.

    Watch the trailer:

    Having been disappointed with some recent mystery DS games, I'd appreciate some feedback on this one.

    The Wings of the Sphinx - sneak peek

    The eleventh in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, The Wings of the Sphinx, will be published on 29 December by Penguin USA. The UK edition will be out in June 2010.


    What ever happened to those early mornings when, upon awakening, for no reason, he would feel a sort of current of pure happiness running through him?

    It wasn't the fact that the day was starting out cloudless and windless and shining bright with the sun. No, it was a different sensation, one that had nothing to do with his meteoropathic nature. If he had to explain, it was like feeling in harmony with all of creation, perfectly synchronized with a great stellar clock precisely positioned in space, at the very point that had been destined for him since birth.

    Bullshit? Fantasy? Maybe.

    But the indisputable fact was that he used to have this feeling rather often, whereas now, for the last few years, it was so long, nice knowing you. Gone. Vanished. In fact, nowadays early mornings very often inspired a feeling of refusal in him, a sort of instinctive rejection of what awaited him once he was forced to accept the new day, even if there were no particular hassles awaiting him in the hours ahead. And the proof of this was the way he acted upon emerging from sleep.

    Translated by Stephen Sartarelli

    (NB. typed in by me from an uncorrected proof and may not resemble the finished product.)

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    What's being and been published?

    As well as the reviews page being updated every week on the website, I also update the forthcoming/new releases pages (by author, by date) so you can see what's coming out in the next few months or more.

    Now also available is a breakdown of books published in the UK during 2008, 2009 and 2010. Each year's output is also available in the following categories: first novel (debut), historical, translated, anthology. I'm adding more information to the database so earlier years can be produced though the priority is upcoming titles.

    You can access this information off the forthcoming/new releases pages.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Umbrella-d Women in Gate (cover theme)

    I spotted the cover on the right in Waterstone's yesterday and knew it was familiar:

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    New Reviews: Braddon, Brownley, Cooper, Peace, Robinson, Staalesen

    Two competitions are currently running:

    i)Win Beautiful Dead: Arizona by Eden Maguire (UK only)
    ii)Win Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn (UK/Europe only)

    Details on how to enter can be found on the Competition page

    Here are the new reviews that have been added to the website today:
    Terry Halligan reviews another in Atlantic Books Classic Crime series: Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon;

    Michelle Peckham reviews A Picture of Guilt by James Brownley which is the first in the Alison Glasby, journalist, series;

    Maxine Clarke reviews the first of N J (Natasha) Cooper's Karen Taylor series, No Escape which is set on the Isle of Wight;

    Amanda Gillies reviews David Peace's 1974, the first part of the Red Riding Quartet, which is now available in hardback from Quercus;

    Geoff Jones reviews Peter Robinson's latest short story collection, The Price of Love

    and Maxine also reviews the new Varg Veum from Arcadia: The Consorts of Death by Gunnar Staalesen, tr. Don Bartlett.
    Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

    Sleepy Sunday (for some)

    Foxy showing off his flexibility again:

    Reviews to follow later today.

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Bits and Pieces

    A few things I've learnt recently:
    Bernard Knight is writing a second series along with his 12th Century Crowner John series. The first book is called Where Death Delights and is set in 1955. It'll be published by Severn House next February.

    Nigel McCrery's Still Waters has just been published in paperback under the title Core of Evil.

    Michael Morley is now also writing as Jon Trace and his first book under this name is The Venice Conspiracy out in February.

    There's a special Taggart v Rebus confrontation on Children in Need next Friday.

    The current podcast for Simon Mayo's Book Review show features Black Water Rising by Attica Locke and Judgement and Wrath by Matt Hilton.

    On Radio 4's Open Book programme on Sunday 15 November at 4pm, Mariella Frostrup talks to Frances Fyfield.

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    My E-Reader and Me

    A few weeks ago I indulged my not-so inner Trekker and splashed out on a silver Sony Touch E-Reader. Two of the main reasons for buying it were:

    a) the fact that my eyes aren't as good as they were and there are 5 print size settings on the Touch.

    b) the hope, perhaps naive, that some of the review copies for euro crime and my teenage fiction blog could be received as e-books rather than print books. Like most bibliophiles my house is overrun with books. It's more like a library with the odd bit of furniture.

    The E-Reader is gorgeous and I'm enjoying reading on it. The text looks lovely and clear and the ability to increase or decrease the print size depending on eye-tiredness is as useful as I'd hoped it would be. The epub book I bought I read on the second setting, medium and the pdf review copy I'm currently reading is on the third setting, large.

    I've only made a tentative enquiries about e-book review copies to a couple of publishers and one was positive and the other less-so. (I wonder if e-review copies could be sent to promote the paperback editions, if not the hardback editions?) It's early days yet I think. Only a few days ago Simon and Schuster (US) announced an e-galley grab programme. (I just need to get a contact there...)

    One useful site I discovered via Twitter is NetGalley which is an intermediate between publishers and readers. You put in a request for e-review books and wait to see if you get them. So far, I've requested and received one for my teenage blog. There are some euro crime type titles available including a couple from Poisoned Pen Press.

    As to buying e-books, so far I've found that W H Smiths are cheaper than Borders and Waterstone's but the same titles aren't always available on all the sites. A website I haven't yet tried but which has some US authors I'm interested in is Smash Words and ultimately they should have the Inger Frimansson titles we've reviewed recently.

    Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise reports back on her recent (International) Kindle purchase.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Le Crime Est Notre Affaire

    The French Film Festival is currently running in some venues in the UK. (See here for which cinemas are taking part.) It finishes on 20 December.

    One of the films on offer is 2008's Le Crime Est Notre Affaire (Crime is Our Business) in which Agatha Christie's married sleuths, the Beresfords, return:

    The latest adventures of Belisaire and Prudence Beresford, adapted stylishly from Agatha Christie, find the pair enjoying peaceful days in their château but Prudence is bored and longs for a crime.

    Bringing back most of the cast and crew from his two previous Christie yarns,
    By the Pricking of My Thumbs and Towards Zero, writer-director Pascal Thomas adds another instalment to a consistently entertaining series.

    Based primarily on the short story
    The House of Lurking Death, which appeared in the author's 1929 collection Partners in Crime, but also including shades of 4:50 From Paddington, Thomas brings back that uncanny duo Prudence (Frot) and Belisaire Beresford (Dussollier), last seen Sherlocking together in Thumbs.

    With Belisaire now retired from the secret service and the couple living tranquilly in the stunningly photographed Rhône-Alpes region, bored Prudence is just dying for a new crime to solve. Her wish is soon granted when visiting Auntie Babette (Annie Cordy in an engaging cameo) arrives on a train, on which she claims to have witnessed a murder.

    The trailer below shows the first few minutes of the film:

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Publishing Deal - Hallie Rubenhold

    From today's BookTrade, details of a series which sounds rather fun:
    Transworld has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in THE CONFESSIONS OF MRS LIGHTFOOT, WITH SOME ADVICE FOR WOMEN IN GENERAL, the first in a trilogy of novels, in 3-book deal for an undisclosed sum. The author, Hallie Rubenhold, is an authority on the 18th Century.

    'An utterly riveting, edge-of-your-seat, series featuring an 18th century heroine, Henrietta Lightfoot: courtesan, adventuress, spy and erstwhile murderess. It had all of us here hooked. With potential to become a really popular series, this is a female Flashman who can show the chaps a thing or two, while deliciously rollicking through one of the most interesting and dashing periods in history. Rubenhold will be a major author for us for the future' [says Transworld]

    Transworld will publish the first book in Spring 2011.

    New Margaret Rutherford biography

    I'm afraid this one had passed me by until copies started appearing on the reservation shelf at work. Margaret Rutherford: Dreadnought with Good Manners by Andy Merriman was published in September by Aurum Press:

    She was one of our most idiosyncratic actresses, appearing in such thoroughly English classics as Blithe Spirit, The Importance of Being Earnest, Passport to Pimilico, I’m Alright Jack and four Miss Marple films. For this new biography - the first in over 25 years - Andy Merriman has interviewed scores of people who knew Margaret Rutherford. The result is an immensely compassionate and sometimes shocking portrait of an eccentric, vulnerable, naïve, lovable woman, generous to fault, who delighted audiences with some of the finest comic performances of any British actress.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Publishing Deal - Giorgio Faletti

    I mentioned I Kill a few days ago but the news is that Constable & Robinson have signed a second book from Giorgio Faletti:
    Constable & Robinson has signed a two book deal with Italian thriller writer Giorgio Faletti.

    The first title, I Kill, will be published in June 2010, with the second book I am God scheduled for UK publication in 2011.

    “Faletti is a phenomenon on the continent, where he sells in the millions. [...] thrilled to be publishing what is a major talent for the English-speaking market for the first time.”

    Read the whole article here.

    Upcoming titles from Simon & Schuster

    The new catalogue (January-June 2010) from Simon and Schuster (UK) has arrived and the titles appropriate to "Euro Crime" are:

    Neil Cross - Captured


    Michael Dobbs - The Reluctant Hero
    Sarah Rayne - House of the Lost


    Bruno Hare - The Lost Kings


    Jeremy Duns - Free Country
    Bernard Knight - A Plague of Heretics
    Craig Robertson - Random


    Rebecca Frayn - The Art of Self-Deception

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    Cover Theme - Insects

    This US edition of Cora Harrison's The Sting of Justice will be published in December, Venom by Joan Brady is out in February 2010. Matt Rees's The Bethlehem Murders set the trend back in 2007.