Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who Killed Santa Claus? (...or 'What I'm reading')

I've just started my first Indridason. Indridason is the author of the Detective Erlendur series set in Reykjavik and 'Voices' is the third to be translated into English (but I make it the 5th in the series.)

Synopsis from amazon.co.uk:
"Detective Erlendur encounters memories of his troubled past in this gripping and award-winning continuation of the "Reykjavik Murder Mysteries". At a grand Reykjavik hotel, the doorman has been repeatedly stabbed in the dingy basement room he called home. It is only a few days before Christmas and he was preparing to appear as Santa Claus at a children's party. The manager tries to keep the murder under wraps. A glum detective taking up residence in his hotel and an intrusive murder investigation are not what he needs. As Erlendur quietly surveys the cast of grotesques who populate the hotel, the web of malice, greed and corruption that lies beneath its surface reveals itself. Everyone has something to hide. But most shocking is the childhood secret of the dead man who, many years before, was the most famous child singer in the country: it turns out to be a brush with stardom which would ultimately cost him everything. As Christmas Day approaches Erlendur must delve deeply into the past to find the man's killer. "Voices" is a tense, atmospheric and disturbing novel from one of Europe's greatest crime writers."

So far, Erlendur is reminding me of Wallander from Mankell's series though my experiences is limited to having listened to 'The Fifth Woman'.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

TV version of Karin Alvtegen's Missing

Karin Alvtegen's crime novel, 'Missing', published in English in 2003, has been made into 2 x 90 min parts for showing on ITV1 at some point in the, hopefully not too distant, future.
The tv show blurb: "Homeless for several years, 21-year-old Sibyl Foster regularly scams rooms from unwitting hotel residents on the pretence that her purse has been stolen. She manages to get away with a room to herself, no strings – until one of her targets is violently murdered. When a second murder is committed, there is evidence that unmistakably links Sibyl as the prime suspect. But as they begin to investigate her, the police turn up more than they anticipate – including close links to a prominent public figure and a spell in a psychiatric hospital. As more and more skeletons are discovered in Sibyl’s closet, even she can no longer be sure that she is innocent. Written by Jimmy Gardner (This Life, Outlaws, The Cops, Buried) and adapted from a Swedish novel by Karin Alvtegen."
You can view the promo at the Minotaur site. The rights have also been bought for another of Alvtegen's books, 'Betrayal'.

A few links (News, Carofiglio and how to date Bond)

Firstly I've updated the 'News' page on Euro Crime with a few more items including Marcel Berlins' top crime novels of 2006 which includes Euro Crime, Petrona and Crime Scraps favourite, Gianrico Carofiglio's, 'A Walk in the Dark'.
(Reviews: Euro Crime, Petrona, Crime Scraps.)

Secondly, The Independent has a so called 'secret' section on Casino Royale (if you don't mind the advertising), here. For those wanting to know if they'd be eligible to date Bond, click on the 'exclusive' tab.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Collaborator of Bethlehem - Matt Beynon Rees

Here's another tastefully covered offering from Soho Press and thus another book is added to the wishlist. 'The Collaborator of Bethlehem' by British author, Matt Beynon Rees, is billed as the first in a series of Palestine mysteries and the main character is history teacher, Omar Yussef.

Synopsis:
"For decades, Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem. When a favorite former pupil, George Saba, a member of the Palestinian Christian minority, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Omar is sure he has been framed. If George is not cleared, he faces imminent execution.Then the wife of the dead man, also one of Omar Yussef’s former pupils, is murdered, possibly raped. When he begins to suspect the head of the Bethlehem al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the true collaborator, Omar and his family are threatened. But as no one else is willing to stand up to the violent Martyrs Brigades men, who hold the real power in the town, it is up to him to investigate."

About the author:
From his website: "Matt Beynon Rees is a mystery novelist and journalist. As a reporter, he has covered the Middle East for over a decade, with the vast majority of that time spent amongst Palestinians and Israelis. He’s a Contributor for Time based in Jerusalem, where he was the magazine’s bureau chief from June 2000 until January 2006. He was born in Wales in 1967 and studied at Oxford University and the University of Maryland. Beynon Rees wrote award-winning stories about the violence of the Aqsa intifada for Time."

The US edition will be out in February 2007 and according to his blog, the UK version, retitled 'The Bethlehem Murders', will be out in June 2007.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Win a copy of Boris Akunin's new book from Random House (US)

Today's 'Outlined in Chalk' newsletter offers US readers a chance to win one of 25 advance copies of Boris Akunin's 'Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog'.

"To enter, please email your name and snail mail address to Random House and include "AKUNIN" in the subject line. Good luck!"

Rebus not dying next year

According to last Thursday's Edinburgh Evening News,
"AUTHOR Ian Rankin has revealed he is not planning to kill off his hard-drinking creation John Rebus - who today had a single malt whisky named in his honour.

Fans of the best-selling Edinburgh detective feared he would make a final bow at the end of the next novel.

But Mr Rankin, who lives in Merchiston, said: "He's not going to die at the end of the final book, that would be an indignity too far."

And he hinted that Rebus could return in a cameo role in a novel about his long-suffering sidekick, Det Sgt Siobhan Clarke.

The comments came as Orkney distillers Highland Park announced the new Rebus20 malt."

Ian Rankin expands on his plans for Rebus in The Scotsman and talks about Rebus and Whiskey here.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New reviews and other updates to the Euro Crime website

Both the new reviews added to the Euro Crime website this weekend are of titles by female Swedish authors: Liza Marklund's 'Prime Time', reviewed by Karen Chisholm, and Helene Tursten's 'The Torso'.

Other changes include:

The 'News' page has been updated.

The 'New Releases' pages have been updated.

The 'Authors' (485 sites) page of author websites has been updated.

In 'Books' I've added bibliographies for the following authors: Sean Brickell, Derek W Lake and Dennis Lewis.

In 'Books' I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Mark Billingham, Arnaldur Indridason, Arturo Perez-Reverte and Helene Tursten.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Casino Royale - let's not forget the book...

Today's Guardian reviews the new Penguin film-tie-in edition of Casino Royale. It's hard to believe that the book was written in 1953.

The review concludes:
"You should also read this because, without doing so, you will never have a complete picture of the imaginative postwar life of this country. It is odd to think that people watching the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II could take a break by reading the newly published hardback edition of this book. When Larkin said that sexual intercourse began in 1963, you may think that he was exactly a decade out. And in his hugely enjoyable study of Bond, The Man Who Saved Britain, Simon Winder points out that the key moment in the novel is when Bond orders an avocado pear ("with french dressing") for dessert. We forget how exotic and desirable the avocado was in 1953; and how hard it was to take money out of the country. When Bond is gambling with thousands of pounds at the baccarat table, British readers must have been boggle-eyed with envy. And even northern France, while a modestly dipped toe in the waters of Abroad, was still a start.

The other reason to read the books is that they are enormous fun. But you might have guessed that already."

Read the rest of the review here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Ruby in the Smoke

The first of the Sally Lockhart mysteries is to be shown over Christmas on the BBC, with Billie Piper playing the sixteen year old heroine. All four books by Philip Pullman are scheduled to be televised.

"'Have you ever heard the phrase The Seven Blessings?' That question causes a man to die of shock, and propels Sally Lockhart into a desperate adventure that will expose the deepest secrets of the corrupt and murderous opium trade. Sally is sixteen when the story begins, orphaned and alone. She's had an unconventional education: her knowledge of English Literature, French, History, Art and Music is non-existent, but she has a thorough grounding in military tactics, can run a business, ride like a Cossack and shoot straight with a pistol. When her father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally soon finds herself in terrible danger too - and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke."

Philip Pullman says of the series: "Historical thrillers, that's what these books are. Old-fashioned Victorian blood-and-thunder. Actually, I wrote each one with a genuine clich√© of melodrama right at the heart of it, on purpose: the priceless jewel with a curse on it – the madman with a weapon that could destroy the world – the situation of being trapped in a cellar with the water rising – the little illiterate servant girl from the slums of London who becomes a princess … And I set the stories up so that each of those stock situations, when they arose, would do so naturally and with the most convincing realism I could manage.

There are many more such hackneyed situations awaiting my attention."
These are books I'd like to find time to read, however I'll have to make do with the tv programmes for now. Hopefully the show will encourage more children to read the original stories.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Translated crime/thriller coming soon (1)

From Arcadia Books: "Leif Davidsen is a Danish journalist and the author of a number of best-selling suspense novels. He has worked for many years for Danish radio and television as a foreign correspondent and editor of foreign news, specialising in Russian, East and Central European affairs."

Will Vuk succeed in killing an Iranian author or will the police, who are aware of his intentions, succeed in capturing him? Find out in this dramatic political thriller from one of Denmark's finest crime writers.

Iranian mullahs have offered a four-million dollar reward to the person who carries out their fatwa, the death sentence of the internationally acclaimed author Sara Santanda. A Danish daily newspaper has in cooperation with the Danish PEN centre invited her to Copenhagen, and police officer Per Toftlund of the Danish Secret Service is put in charge of protecting her. A politician in parliament strikes a deal with dire consequences, and somewhere in the former Yugoslavia a young man signs up for murder. The man is Vuk. He is the Serbian Dane.


I've put the cover in quite large as I can't make out if that's a decaying body in a uniform! 'The Serbian Dane' is out 2 December.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Asa Larsson to be published in the UK

Good news for those of us reluctant to splash out on a US hardback, 'Sun Storm' is to be published by Viking in April 2007 albeit under the new title of 'The Savage Altar'. This means this title can be considered for the 2007 International Dagger. Alternatively the US paperback of 'Sun Storm' is out on Boxing Day (according to amazon.co.uk).

Read Karen Chisholm's review of 'Sun Storm' on Euro Crime.

I think I prefer the US cover, but what do others think?

"In a land of silence and snow, the killing has begun ...Rebecka Martinsson is heading home to Kiruna, the small town she left in disgrace years before. A Stockholm tax lawyer, Rebecka has a good reason to return: her friend Sanna, whose brother has been horrifically murdered in the church of the cult he helped create. Beautiful and fragile, Sanna needs someone like Rebecka to remove the shadow of guilt that is engulfing her, to forestall an ambitious prosecutor, and to confront the rumours circulating in a closed and frightened community. But to help her friend, and to find the real killer of a man she once adored and is now not sure she ever knew, Rebecka must relive the darkness she left behind in Kiruna, delve into a sordid conspiracy of deceit, and confront a killer whose motives are dark and impossible to guess ..."

The follow up, 'The Blood Spilt', is out in the US in January 2007.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Life on Mars & Vincent win International EMMY Awards

Full list of International Emmy winners, here

2006 INTERNATIONAL EMMY® AWARD WINNERS:

DRAMA SERIES - Life on Mars
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR - Ray Winstone as Vincent

Adelaide Advertiser 's top crime titles 2006

Firstly thanks goes to the organiser of yahoo group oz_mystery_readers for this news, as it doesn't appear online.

The Adelaide Advertiser book reviewers have printed their 'best 100' books for 2006 and the paperbacks on their Crime List include several British authors:

British

'A Child's Game' by by John Connor
'The Lizard's Bite' by David Hewson
'The Naming of the Dead' by Ian Rankin
'Mr Clarinet' by Nick Stone
'Darkness and the Deep' by Aline Templeton

Australian

'Without Consent' by Kathryn Fox
'Diamond Dove' by Adrian Hyland

American

'The Cold Moon' by by Jeffrey Deaver

'Diamond Dove' sounds fascinating and it stars a young Aboriginal woman.
"Emily Tempest has been away from Central Australia for a long time—uni, travel, dead-end jobs. Finding trouble all over the world. Now she's back at Moonlight Downs, the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. And true to form, there's trouble. An old friend brutally murdered and mutilated. An old enemy the only suspect. Until Emily starts asking questions.

Take a nail-biting mystery, an epic setting and a heroine with a talent for stirring things up. Throw in an affectionate flogging of outback Australia's melanoma-encrusted hide—and Diamond Dove may be the wittiest and most gripping debut of the year."
There's a long interview with author Adrian Hyland in The Age

Monday, November 20, 2006

Geraldine McEwan's Marple in 2007

Three more Marple films are on their way in 2007. Filming has been completed on 'Towards Zero' and 'Nemesis' with shooting just starting on 'At Bertram's Hotel'.

Half the fun of these is spotting the various guest stars, a who's who of British acting.

In 'Towards Zero' we have the best Doctor Who of them all, Tom Baker and the cad John Willoughby aka Greg Wise.

'Nemesis' features Richard E Grant and two Coronation Street actors, (Johnny Briggs and Anne Reid) but it's Sam Ryan from Silent Witness (Amanda Burton) who may give Miss M a run for her money in the detecting stakes.

Finally, 'At Bertram's Hotel' has Campion actor, Peter Davidson and Love Actually's tea lady at No. 10, Martine McCutcheon.

A fuller cast list can be found on Wikipedia.

Orion New Blood - Stuart Archer Cohen

Picking up where I left off a few weeks ago, the next 'where are they now?' author is Stuart Archer Cohen. It is indeed a mystery as since Orion's publication of 'The Stone Angels', nothing more has been heard of him, at least in the crime/mystery world. Having read the Shots interview, it's possible he won't write another crime novel.

Author details from amazon.co.uk:
"Stuart Archer Cohen is in his early 40s. He owns an international company trading in rare textiles, and lived in China and South America before settling in Alaska where he now lives with his wife and two children. He has travelled widely and speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin fluently. His acclaimed first novel, INVISIBLE WORLD, was set in Inner Mongolia."

Summary from amazon.co.uk: "The assignment depressed him. He knew that the Waterbury investigation would be a sham, that it was political and that the Chief was in on it. He knew that the reason he'd been appointed to head up the investigation was for the express purpose of not finding the killer. He knew that clearly, because he was the one who had put the bullet in the back of Waterbury's head. Comisario Miguel Fortunato has been in the Buenos Aires police for a long time. Perhaps too long. His pockets have seen more than half a million dollars in bribes over the years. But that's just the way it is. He hasn't done as much wrong as some of his colleagues, but he never managed to tell his wife - just dead from cancer - where most of their money was coming from. Now he has a delicate problem. Some time ago, Robert Waterbury, an American novelist, was found shot dead on Fortunato's patch - officially a drugs deal gone bad. But now the Americans are sending someone over - though nobody's sure why they've sent Athena, a human rights professor - and the case is reopened. Athena soon finds that here in Buenos Aires, the truth is way down anyone's list of priorities. Corruption seeps from the city's every pore in this gritty, atmospheric thriller, where no one is quite what they claim to be, and you have to pick your heroes from the bad, the very bad and the indescribably worse."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's update time again...

The new reviews on the Euro Crime website this weekend feature two of Italy's finest writers. Check out Massimo Carlotto's 'The Goodbye Kiss' and Andrea Camilleri's 'Rounding the Mark', reviewed by Sunnie Gill.

Other changes are:

The 'News' page has been updated.

The 'New Releases' pages have been updated.

The 'Authors' (483 sites) page of author websites has been updated.

In 'Books' I've added bibliographies for the following authors: Jonathan Barnes, Gyles Brandreth, Gary Coyne, K O Dahl, John Macken and Roz Southey.

In 'Books' I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Vivien Armstrong, Lindsay Ashford, Colin Bateman, John Burdett, Lee Child, Natasha Cooper, Ann Granger, Patrica Hall, June Hampson, Sophie Hannah, Anne Holt, Peter James, Katherine John, Bernard Knight, Roberta Kray, David Lawrence, Paul McAuley, R N/Roger Morris, Amy Myers, Ed O'Connor, Sheila Quigley, Betty Rowlands, Pauline Rowson, Craig Russell, Kate Sedley, Sally Spedding, Sally Spencer, Aline Templeton, M J Trow, Pip Vaughan-Hughes, Jill Paton Walsh and Stella Whitelaw.

...and don't forget, the Competition closes tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Faber & Faber's Three (Historical) Investigators

Whilst I was updating my Euro Crime database with new titles for next year I came across a title from Faber and Faber called 'A Gentle Axe' by R N Morris.

Synopsis from amazon.co.uk:
St. Petersburg, Winter, 1867 - Two frozen bodies are found in an isolated corner of Petrovsky Park. The first - that of a dwarf - has been packed neatly in a suitcase, a deep wound splitting his skull in two. The second body, of a burly peasant, is hanging from a nearby tree, a bloody axe tucked into his belt. The detective Porfiry Petrovich, in his first murder case since Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment", suspects the truth may be more complex than others wish him to believe. His investigation leads him from the squalid tenements, brothels and drinking dens of the city's Haymarket district to an altogether more genteel stratum of society. Atmospheric and tense from its dramatic opening to its shocking climax.


This one's not out until next February but it seems Faber has a history (groan) of publishing crime novels with unusual heroes...

In July we had 'Critique of Criminal Reason' by Michael Gregorio:

Synopis from amazon.co.uk:
In 1793, Hanno Stiffeniis travels to Konigsberg to seek advice from Immanuel Kant. Whatever was said at that private meeting, it changed both their lives. Shortly afterwards, a close friend of the philosopher extracts a promise from the young man: never to return to Konigsberg. But ten years later, having become a magistrate, Stiffeniis is ordered to return there by the King. He must investigate a spate of murders which has reduced the city to a state of terror. Four people have died, and there is no sign of an end to the killing spree. Tension inside the city is heightened by the imminent threat of invasion: Napoleon is menacing the borders of Prussia. While hunting for a murderer in the criminal underworld of Konigsberg - forced to deal with scheming whores, necromancers who claim to speak with the victims, and the scum of the Prussian army - Stiffeniis is caught up once again in the enigmatic world of his former mentor, Kant. What demons haunt the magistrate's past and why has he had been enticed back to Konigsberg to deal with these grisly murders? Stiffeniis must face a dark truth which he would rather deny...

I'm not sure if it was terribly well received as shown by Peter Guttridge's review.

The third historical investigator appeared in June, in Jason Goodwin's, 'The Janissary Tree'.

Synopsis from amazon.co.uk
Yashim is no ordinary detective. It's not that he's particularly brave. Or that he cooks so well, or reads French novels. Not even that his best friend is the Ambassador from Poland, whose country has vanished from the map. Yashim is a eunuch. As the Sultan plans a series of radical reforms to his empire, a concubine is strangled in the palace harem. And a young cadet is found butchered in the streets of Istanbul. Delving deep into the city's crooked alleyways, and deeper still into its tumultuous past, Yashim discovers that some people will go to any lengths to preserve the traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Brilliantly evoking Istanbul in the 1830s, "The Janissary Tree" is a fast-paced literary thriller with a spectacular cast, from mystic orders and lissom archivists to soup-makers and a seductive ambassador's wife. Darker than any of these is the mysterious figure who controls the Sultan's harem.

The Independent's review is here.

Faber seem to have the market cornered for unlikely heroes of crime fiction. I'm just surprised they're not behind 'The Interpretation of Murder' by Jed Rubenfeld starring Freud.

What's the most unusual sleuth you've encountered?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Euro Crime website - 'News' page updated & Competition reminder

I've just added a few more links to reviews in UK papers, from the past few days, to the 'News' page.

There's still a few days left to enter the Euro Crime competition for a proof copy of the new Fred Vargas novel, 'Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand'.

Life on Mars

Sadly the next series of 'Life on Mars' will be the last. The BBC Press Release confirms:
Fans will finally learn the truth about time-travelling DI Sam Tyler (John Simm) and how he came to be stuck in 1973.

"We decided that Sam's journey should have a finite lifespan and a clear-cut ending and we feel that we have now reached that point after two series; so, although it is sad that we have just finished filming Sam's final scenes, it's also been an incredibly exciting few days!" explains writer and co-creator Matthew Graham.
However some of the characters, though it's not clear if that includes those played by the two main leads, John Simm and Philip Glenister, will appear in 'Ashes to Ashes' a 1980s spin off - more Miami Vice than The Sweeney.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Translated Crime Challenge

The CWA has announced the qualifying period for the 2007 Duncan Lawrie Dagger awards:
"Any UK publisher may enter books provided that the book is relevant to the appropriate award and was published between June 1 2006 and May 31 2007."

Earlier this year I put together a list of books I considered eligible* for the 2006 International Dagger. That list only included translated crime fiction from Europe. I'd like to create a similar list for 2007 but also include non-European translated crime. So far I've come up with only two titles...'Grotesque' by Natsuo Kirino (Feb 07, Japan) and 'Havana Blue' by Leonardo Padura (Apr 07, Cuba).

I know the cut-off date is a few months away but I'd have expected some books out by May to be listed on amazon by now.

The challenge is to tell me what authors/books I'm missing! (NB. They have to be published in the UK.)

*I did ask the CWA for this information but they were unable to supply it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another Scandinavian author to look forward to...

The Rap Sheet have posted a link to Mike Ripley's excellent Shots column. Do make your hot drink before you start reading as it's quite long as well as very informative. Mike mentions a new Norwegian author coming from Faber next March - K O Dahl. I think 'The Fourth Man' is the first one in the series:

Synopsis:
In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. He is obsessed. Suspected, suspended, and blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair.
There's a short (English) interview with him on a German site here.

I particularly like this Q & A:

Q: How did you get into crime mysteries?

K.O. Dahl: It is a long story, which involves one beautiful woman, one late night, some bottles of champagne, a police car, an angry husband and a typewriter.

There's also a Norwegian website for Dahl.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More Sherlock Holmes news

The BBC are filming Baker Street Irregulars, a new two-part family drama starring Jonathan Pryce and Bill Paterson.

From the BBC Press release:
"Baker Street Irregulars is an original Sherlock Holmes mystery, which pits Holmes and the Irregulars against one of Holmes' greatest enemies.

The rag-tag group of street kids known as the Irregulars first appeared in the Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, in 1887.

This time they find themselves having to solve the mysterious disappearance of two of their own gang, while Holmes himself is accused of murder and put under house arrest.

Only by the combination of all their skills can they hope to free Holmes and the kidnap victims, solve the murders and prevent an audacious heist."
Due to air in 2007. In the meantime there is a 'biography' of Sherlock Holmes, by Nick Rennison, which was reviewed in yesterday's New York Times.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Competition, New Reviews & other updates to the Euro Crime website

This week Euro Crime blog and website visitors can enter a competition to win one of five proof copies of Fred Vargas' 'Wash this Blood Clean From My Hand'. (Geographical restrictions apply.)

New Reviews this week on the Euro Crime website are Daily Mail reviewer, Carla McKay's October roundup and Karen Chisholm's review of 'Borkmann's Point' by Hakan Nesser.

Other changes to the website include:

The 'New Releases' pages have been updated.

The 'Authors' (482 sites) page has been updated.

In 'Books' there are now bibliographies for 961 authors (5367 titles with links to 829 reviews) - I've added bibliographies for the following: Taylor Holden, Julia Navarro and Justine Picardie.

In 'Books' I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Richard Haley, K T McCaffrey, Keith Moray, John Paxton Sheriff and Roger Silverwood.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sherlock Holmes series being reissued

The Guardian is replete with crime reviews today and links will appear shortly on the News page.

I also found this snippet in The Bookseller column:
The aggressively commercial publisher Headline made waves earlier this year with a swirly, girly new look for Jane Austen. Its next target is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Headline believes that despite the iconic status of Sherlock Holmes, the original stories are not really being read. So just before Christmas all nine Sherlock Holmes titles are being "beautifully repackaged for a new generation", with suitably foggy covers and a marketing and publicity campaign. Stephen Fry, who has starred as Sherlock Holmes, offers his endorsement: "[Conan Doyle] is unique in simultaneously bringing down the curtain on an era and raising one on another ... Personally, I would walk a mile in tight boots to read his letters to the milkman.
A couple of years ago there was talk of a production of Sherlock Holmes with Fry and Laurie however so far, it doesn't seem to have got off the ground. Hard to see either of them as a bumbling Dr Watson especially after Laurie's Holmes incarnation in House.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ian Rankin's Knots & Crosses Reissue

Orion have launched Rebus 20 to celebrate next year's 20 years of Rebus and in March a special hardback edition of Knots and Crosses will be launched with "never before seen material from the original manuscript".

A whole host of promotional events are planned leading up to October 2007 when we discover (perhaps) if the last Rebus has been written.

Galaxy - the new sponsor of the British Book Awards

"GALAXY CHOCOLATE is to be the first title sponsor of the British Book Awards which will now be known as the Galaxy British Book Awards. The company already has a well-established association with the pleasure of reading, and now has plans to devote up to £1m on marketing the Awards, with the aim of promoting reading far beyond the Book Awards and encouraging mass-market footfall into bookshops and libraries.

Galaxy has conducted marketing campaigns that celebrate curling up with a good book, and has worked with Borders, where customers received free Promises bars, and HarperCollins, with which it collaborated on The Devil Wears Prada. Galaxy also supports Richard & Judy’s Summer Read and the forthcoming Christmas Books show.

“We are delighted and very excited by the link we have established between Galaxy and reading with these prestigious Awards,” said Xavi Pons, Galaxy’s Marketing Manager. “It takes our reading campaign to an entirely new level. It is not only about the Awards themselves, but also about the promotion of reading as a key female activity, associated with enjoyment and relaxation, to the mass market. It is a cause in which we are prepared to make a considerable investment.”"
Full article at Publishing News.

I'm pleased to see promotion of reading though I'm inclined to believe that men need more encouragement to read than women but maybe they don't buy as much chocolate.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

'News' page updated on Euro Crime website

Last night, I managed to add a few more links to the 'News' page of the Euro Crime website. More news links, some new reviews and a competition should be added over the weekend.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Agatha Raisin website

Constable and Robinson have launched a new website for the Agatha Raisin series by M C Beaton. The site includes information on the books, a little bit about the main characters and a newsletter to sign up for.

I'm currently reading:



and Radio 4 is currently dramatising Agatha Raisin and The Terrible Tourist.

Normal service slowly being resumed...

I'm back at home now, with access to my pc. I've been away for a few days holiday to the Isle of Man. However just before we set off, I broke out in spots on torso and head and thinking uh-oh decided I'd better get them checked out. Sure enough...chickenpox. I'd not had it as a child and the doctor was full of gloom, saying it can be quite nasty in adults. However he said it was okay to go away and just keep away from young children etc. So I've been looking like the invisible man with a hat (to cover spots) and scarf obscuring mouth and nose. Fortunately it appears to be quite a mild dose and apart from looking unsightly I feel/felt ok and should be able to go back to work tomorrow as planned. I didn't get much reading done though, not even of my beloved Agatha Raisin...

Friday, November 03, 2006

What I'm listening to..

I've been neglecting my audio book listening recently but I'm back in the swing of it with 'Captain Alatriste' by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

Synopsis: "In Madrid in the 1620s a man must live by his wits, and often by his sword. For this is a time when court intrigue is high, when the decadent young king has dragged the country into a series of disastrous wars, and citizens live in fear of the infamous Spanish Inquisition. In this political hotbed of hired assassins, court players, political moles, smugglers, and pirates, Captain Alatriste hires out his skills as a dashing swordsman with a mind as sharp as his blade. He is approached by two masked men to fake an attack on a pair of travellers who are stealing into Madrid in the dead of night. But things take a different turn when the Captain realises that this is no ordinary job, but is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels..."

I am struggling a bit with the long Spanish names as there are a lot of characters. It might be set in 1620 but the bad language is C21st! You can listen to a sample at the Clipper website.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Romanzo Criminale - out 3rd Nov

I spotted this in the weekend's papers and the film is released tomorrow.

Synopsis:

"Rome, 1960s. Three young criminals, Lebanese (Pierfrancesco Favino), Ice (Kim Rossi Stuart) and Dandy (Claudio Santamaria), decide to take a step up from the streets of Rome into the world of organized crime.

It’s the birth of a smart and ruthless organization which soon crushes all its rivals assuming total control of the drugs trade, whilst imposing brutal criminal laws on Rome. Their progress and changes in leadership take place over twenty-five years, from the 1970s into the '90s, and are inseparably intertwined with the dark history of modern Italy: terrorism, kidnappings and corruption at the highest levels of government.

As the three friends head to the end of an era where all vendettas are executed and scores are settled only one question remains, who will be left standing."

At the official UK website you can search to see which cinemas will be showing it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Martin Shaw to play another policeman

Not content with Doyle, Judge John Deed and Adam Dalgleish it seems Martin Shaw's law enforcement career is to continue with the filming of the 'Gently' series by Alan Hunter.

There's an article in Media Guardian which seems to require registration so I've borrowed the pertinent details:
Martin Shaw, star of the BBC1 series Judge John Deed, may be preparing to hang up his wig and take on a major new BBC drama role - that of 1950s East Anglian copper, George Gently.

The BBC has commissioned drama specialist Company Pictures to develop a series based on the books by Alan Hunter, who died in February last year.

The series has not yet been commissioned, but is almost certain soon to be given the go-ahead on BBC1.

A senior BBC source said: "Martin Shaw is very keen to do this new drama, and if it gets the green light, which is very likely, Judge John Deed will undoubtedly come to an end."

Judge John Deed is made by the corporation's in-house drama department.

Shaw has been optioned to play the chief inspector, who featured in 48 novels Hunter wrote between 1955 and 1999.

The character's name was used in 32 of the books' titles, such as Gently Does it and Landed Gently.

The character of Gently has been likened to that of George Simenon's Inspector Maigret, who was the subject of an ITV adaptation in the early 1990s starring Michael Gambon.

Most of Hunter's novels were inspired by, and set in, his native East Anglia, which is also Shaw's home. In the 1977 novel Gently Instrumental, for example, the chief inspector is called to a music festival, modelled on the Benjamin Britten festival of Aldeburgh in Suffolk, where a clarinettist is found murdered after flouncing out of a rehearsal.

Gently is also said to resemble the author. Both smoked a pipe.
I'd better get my bibliography ready on the Euro Crime website!

In addition, Brian Cooper writes a series (9 so far) about two policeman in 1940s East Anglia. I reviewed The Norfolk Triangle a few years ago but wasn't terribly impressed.