Friday, July 29, 2016

The Crime Writer at the Festival - Short Stories, Episode 3

The latest in a series of short stories set at Festivals/Events running on Radio 4 is by Val McDermid and is called Same Crime, Next Year. It was on last Sunday but you can listen again for the next 25 days via iplayer or the website. Next Sunday, the story is by David Mark.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

Tonight, a new story by Val McDermid, who is one of the co-founders of the Theakston's Crime Writing Festival, held every July in Harrogate, and which has become one of the biggest celebrations of the genre in the world.

Her story, "Same Crime, Next Year" is set at Harrogate and imagines the fallout from a torrid affair between two crime writers.

Last Thursday (21st July), on the opening night of this year's Crime Festival in Harrogate, Val was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, joining past winners Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill.

Reader: Siobhan Redmond
Writer: Val McDermid
Producer: Kirsteen Cameron.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

CWA Daggers 2016 - The Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2016 CWA Daggers were announced this morning. From the press release:
Here are the Dagger shortlists for 2016. For brief descriptions of each book, please visit the website:

Goldsboro Gold Dagger – for the best crime novel of the year
Sponsored by Goldsboro Books

Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre, published by Little Brown

Blood Salt Water by Denise Mina, published by Orion

Dodgers by Bill Beverly, published by No Exit Press

Real Tigers by Mick Herron, published by John Murray

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger – for the best crime thriller of the year
Sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications

The Cartel by Don Winslow, published by William Heinemann

The English Spy by Daniel Silva, published by HarperCollins

Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty, published by Serpent’s Tail

Real Tigers by Mick Herron, published by John Murray

Make Me by Lee Child, published by Bantam Press

John Creasey New Blood Dagger – for the best debut crime novel

Fever City by Tim Baker, published by Faber & Faber

Dodgers by Bill Beverly, published by No Exit Press

Freedom's Child by Jax Miller, published by HarperCollins

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, published by Jonathan Cape

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle, published by Viking

Endeavour Historical Dagger – for the best historical crime novel
Sponsored by Endeavour Press

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby, published by Pan Books

The Other Side of Silence by Philip Kerr, published by Quercus

A Book of Scars by William Shaw, published by Quercus

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith, published by Lion Fiction

Striking Murder by A. J. Wright, published by Allison & Busby

Stasi Child by David Young, published by Twenty7Books

Non-Fiction Dagger – for non-fiction crime
(Unchanged from longlist)

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
published by HarperCollins

Sexy Beasts: The Hatton Garden Mob by Wensley Clarkson
published by Quercus

You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat)
by Andrew Hankinson, published by Scribe

A Very Expensive Poison by Luke Harding
published by Faber & Faber

Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories by Thomas Grant
published by John Murray

John le Carré: The Biography by Adam Sisman
published by Bloomsbury

Short Story Dagger – for a short crime story published in the UK
(Unchanged from longlist)

As Alice Did by Andrea Camilleri
from Montalbano's First Cases published by Pan Macmillan

On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier by John Connolly
from Nocturnes 2: Night Music published by Hodder and Stoughton

Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository by John Connolly
from Nocturnes 2: Night Music published by Hodder and Stoughton

Bryant & May and the Nameless Woman by Christopher Fowler
from London's Glory published by Bantam

Stray Bullets by Alberto Barrera Tyszka
from Crimes published by MacLehose Press

Rosenlaui by Conrad Williams
from The Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis edited by Maxim Jakubowski, published by Constable & Robinson

International Dagger – for crime fiction translated into English and published in the UK

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango
translated by Imogen Taylor, published by Simon & Schuster

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaître
translated by Frank Wynne, published by MacLehose Press

Icarus by Deon Meyer
translated by K L Seegers, published by Hodder & Stoughton

The Murderer in Ruins by Cay Rademacher
translated by Peter Millar, published by Arcadia

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davis, published by Quercus

Dagger in the Library – author of the most enjoyed collection of work in libraries

Tony Black published by Black & White

Alison Bruce published by Constable & Robinson

Elly Griffiths published by Quercus

Quintin Jardine published by Headline

Debut Dagger
Sponsored by Orion Books

The hugely popular competition for the opening of a crime novel by an author
with no publishing contract

Dark Valley by John Kennedy

The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins

A Reconstructed Man by Graham Brack

A State of Grace by Rita Catching

Wimmera by Mark Brandi

The winners of all nine CWA Daggers will be announced at a glittering Dagger Awards Gala Dinner in London on 11 October. Peter James will be awarded the Diamond Dagger at the same occasion. The speaker will be James Runcie, of The Grantchester Mysteries fame, and master of ceremonies will be Barry Forshaw, the acclaimed crime fiction expert. Everyone is welcome to attend. For details and a booking form, visit

Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: The Women of the Souk by Michael Pearce

The Women of the Souk by Michael Pearce, April 2016, 176 pages, Severn House Publishers Ltd, ISBN: 0727886185

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

It's Cairo, Egypt at the turn of the twentieth century. Britain has been invited by the Khedive who is the ruler of the country, to assist in the running of Egypt. The Mamur Zapt is the head of the secret police, a political appointment and this position is held by a Welshman, Captain Gareth Cadwallader Owen. Many Egyptians resent the British involvement. Against this background our story begins.

A young woman, Marie, still at an exclusive school and from a wealthy family is kidnapped. One of her school friends approaches Owen to implore him to get involved with gaining her release. This can be tricky as a ransom is demanded and if paid too quickly could elicit further demands. If the kidnappers feel they are being ignored the girl could be murdered.

The Khedive feels that the Mamur Zapt's involvement is crucial. So begins a slow and tortuous negotiation with the kidnappers. The local Souk – a market place – hold the key to this dilemma. The local women although by tradition they have to demur to the menfolk, times are changing, and they bring their influence to bear.

THE WOMEN OF THE SOUK is full of interesting characters: the kidnapped girl's boyfriend Ali Shawquat, who is a renowned musician; Marie's school-friend Layla and the young girl who she walked to school with, Minya; Owen's officers Nicos, Mahmoud, Georgides and Selim; the man representing Marie's family, Ali Osman Fingari; the scent-maker in the bazaar and of course the women of the souk, who should wear burkas but have more modern ideas. Owen himself is married to an Egyptian woman, Zeinab.

This is the nineteenth book written by the author featuring tales of the Mamur Zapt. Though the story moved very slowly, but inexorably to its conclusion, it is well researched and made me want to know more about Britain's involvement in Egypt during this period. Recommended.

Geoff Jones, July 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

OT: Email Problems

Just a quick note to say that I am receiving emails but cannot send them at the moment. Not sure if it's the current BT problems which are the cause. It's been ongoing for a few days now. I have asked the inhouse IT expert to have a look at it :).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Man with Walking Cane - Copycat Covers

Sam Christer's The House of Smoke came out in March (UK) and Will Thomas's Anatomy of Evil will be out in September (US).


The House of Smoke blurb from Amazon:

Big Ben chimes in the first seconds of the first day of 1900, the start of a fresh century. Inside London's oldest gaol, preparations are afoot to hang Victorian England's deadliest assassin, a man wanted for two decades' worth of murders.

Cold-blooded killer Simeon Lynch has lived a brutal and glorious life in the employ of the House of Moriarty - the most feared criminal enterprise in the world. Now, as he faces the noose, Simeon learns dark truths about his master, about Sherlock Holmes and about his own past. Truths that make him determined to escape and kill again...

Follow Simeon's bloody footsteps through the capital's cobbled alleyways, wretched workhouses and flash taverns as he crosses swords with Sherlock Holmes and the villainous characters of Victorian London.

Anatomy of Evil blurb from Amazon:

Cyrus Barker is undoubtedly England's premiere private enquiry agent. With the help of his assistant Thomas Llewelyn, he's developed an enviable reputation for discreetly solving some of the toughest, most consequential cases in recent history. But one evening in 1888, Robert Anderson, the head of Scotland Yard's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), appears at Barker's office with an offer. A series of murders in the Whitechapel area of London are turning the city upside down, with tremendous pressure being brought to bear on Scotland Yard and the government itself.

Barker is to be named temporary envoy to the Royal Family with regard to the case while surreptitiously bringing his investigative skill to the case. With various elements of society, high and low, bringing their own agenda to increasingly shocking murders, Barker and Llewellyn must find and hunt down the century's most notorious killer. The Whitechapel Killer has managed to elude the finest minds of Scotland Yard and beyond he's never faced a mind as nimble and a man as skilled as Cyrus Barker. But even Barker's prodigious skills may not be enough to track down a killer in time."

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Queen of Mystery - Short Stories on Radio 4, Episode 2

The latest in a series of short stories set at Festivals/Events running on Radio 4 is by Sarah Hilary and is called The Getaway. It was on last night but you can listen again for the next 29 days via iplayer or the website. Next Sunday, the story is by Val McDermid.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

It's often said that there is something different about crime writers - they flock together, they enjoy each other's company and freely interact with their fans. Next week, thousands of fiction fans will head to Yorkshire for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, and this new story series celebrates the very particular atmosphere of such festivals.

In this story, Sarah Hilary (who won last year's Crime Novel of the Year Award at Harrogate for her debut SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN), takes us to an imaginary festival and a character desperate to break free of the mainstream.

Read by Melody Grove
Writen by Sarah Hilary
Produced by Kirsteen Cameron

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Queen of Mystery - Short Stories on Radio 4

A series of short stories set at Festivals/Events are running over the next three weekends on Radio 4 whilst the first one of the four - this one written by Ann Cleeves - was on last Sunday. You can however listen again for the next 27 days via iplayer or the website. Next Sunday, the story is by Sarah Hilary.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

In the month that thousands of fiction fans head to Yorkshire for the Harrogate Crime Festival, this new short story series celebrates the very particular atmosphere of such festivals. It's often said that there is something different about crime writers - they flock together, they enjoy each other's company and freely interact with their fans. Over the next four Sunday evenings, festival stalwarts Ann Cleeves, Sarah Hilary, Val McDermid and David Mark, will take us to events real and imagined in four original stories that will charm and intrigue.

In this first story, Ann Cleeves (bestselling author of the Vera and Shetland crime novel series) takes us to Malice Domestic in Bethesda, Maryland - an annual crime convention for lovers of the traditional mystery novel. Her character, Stella Monkhouse, known to her fans as the "Queen of Mystery", is an award-winning crime writer who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that her literary star is beginning to wane...

Read by Joanna Tope.
Written by Ann Cleeves.
Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.