Monday, July 30, 2007

Free Books!

There's just one more day to enter the Euro Crime competitions for July but over on Declan Burke's blog you can win a copy of 'Second Burial' by Andrew Nugent. Details on how to enter are here. But hurry as the closing date is Friday (3rd Aug).

Check back later in the week for details of the August competitions on Euro Crime.

Harrogate write-up

My erstwhile Harrogate companion, crimeficreader, has now written up several of the panels and the US vs UK crime fiction debate, over on her blog. It's a shame she had to miss a day as her posts are as good as being there, for those unable to attend. Trundle over to It's a Crime! or a mystery... and get the Harrogate experience!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Last Reviews of July

Here are this week's new reviews and a final reminder of July's contests:

Latest Reviews:

In Mike Ripley's July round-up, he reviews 'Still Waters' by Nigel McCrery, 'Little Moscow' by Mick Scully, 'Not in the Flesh' by Ruth Rendell and 'Lost Light' by Alex Scarrow; Laura Root's debut review for Euro Crime is of Written in Bone by Simon Beckett which she calls entertaining and insightful; Fiona Walker provides a thoughtful analysis of Ake Edwardson's style in her review of Frozen Tracks; Maxine Clarke enjoys Kate Ellis' The Bone Garden where the 'historical mystery casts light on the motive for present-day Devon murders' and I review a novel which is interesting and evocative but borderline crime fiction - Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante

I've also updated the "News" page, except for this weekend's reviews and I've again refreshed the "New releases" page.

Current Competitions (closing date 31 July):

Win one of three sets of the complete (thirteen) Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory (UK only)

Win one of five copies of 'Black Seconds' by Karin Fossum plus one winner will receive her whole backlist (open to everyone except residents of the US)

Win one of five copies of '12:23 Paris. 31st August 1997.' by Eoin McNamee (open to everyone)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mike Ripley's latest Shots column

You can now read the latest edition of Mike Ripley's, always amusing and informative, 'Getting Away With Murder' on the Shots page.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Messenger of Athens

Whenever I read of mysteries set in Greece, I always think of Mary Stewart's novels. Here's one that definitely looks worth seeking out from Bloomsbury next month:

Synopsis from Bloomsbury website: Captain Corelli's Mandolin meets Hercule Poirot in this evocative mystery set on a small Greek island.

Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched and untroubled by the modern world. When the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police — governed more by archaic rules of honour than by the law — are quick to close the case, dismissing the death as an accident. Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to look into the crime he believes has been committed.

The stranger’s methods of investigation are unorthodox, and his message to the islanders is plain — tell the truth or face the consequences. Before long, he’s uncovering a tale of passion, corruption and murder. But the stranger brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies. Who has sent him to Thiminos, and on whose authority is he acting? And how does he know of dramas played out decades ago?

Rich in images of Greece’s beautiful islands and evoking a life of which few outsiders know, this wonderful novel leads the reader into a world where the myths of the past are not forgotten and forbidden passion still has dangerous consequences.

OT: Star Trek film casting news

I know this isn't Euro Crime in any way but it's a subject close to my heart. I was a huge fan of TNG, struggled through DS9, thought that the 3rd(?) series of Enterprise was pretty good - the one with the long story arc - and don't get me started on the hilarious Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home, so I've been keeping an eye on the new Star Trek film which is due out on Christmas Day 2008.

It's been confirmed that Heroes' likeable villain, Zachary Quinto, is to play the younger Spock and that Leonard Nimoy will also appear as the elder Spock. Kirk casting seems to be taking longer. Read more here and here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Booktrust to promote translated fiction

From Publishing News:
Translations website
BOOKTRUST is to launch a new reader- focused website to promote translated fiction in the UK. The move is in part a response to research revealing that of 400 titles recommended in national newspapers' summer reads roundups, only 28 were translations and, of those, seven were classics. Site editor James Smith is inviting publishers who would like their titles included, or who would be willing to provide extracts, plus translators and anyone else who works to promote translated fiction in the UK and has opinions on the subject, to contact him at james.smith@book by the end of September.
You can read more about Booktrust on their website.

Leo Kessler RIP

Leo Kessler died on Tuesday aged 80. From the Telegraph:
Charles Whiting, who died on Tuesday aged 80, was one of Britain's most prolific authors, with some 350 books to his credit.

Also known by the pseudonyms Leo Kessler, Duncan Harding and John Kerrigan, Whiting churned out book after book - mainly war thrillers, but also works of history - which sold millions of copies and attracted a loyal following.

His fiction was seldom reviewed in the mainstream press and, when it was, was often accused of being too violent and sensational. But Whiting always claimed that he wrote from personal experience of being an ordinary squaddie who knew what it was like to "sleep, eat, live - and perhaps die - in a muddy hole in the ground".
Read the full article here and the BBC's article here.

Antony Moore - Publishing & Film Deals

From Publishers Lunch:
Antony Moore's THE SWAP, centering on an out-of-shape comic book dealer who, haunted by the loss of a priceless comic book, tries to reverse his fortunes at his high school reunion, to Kerri Buckley at Bantam Dell, by Sophie Hicks at Ed Victor Ltd. (NA).

UK rights to Harvill Secker, for publication in July 2007. Foreign rights to Liana Levi in France and to Kowalski at Italy.

Film rights optioned to Columbia Pictures for John Calley to produce, along with Lisa Medwid and Diana Napper.
The Bookbag site gives 'The Swap' 5 stars in their review.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Front Row special tonight - Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

Alerted by Val McDermid's newsletter, apparently tonight's Front Row on Radio 4 will be about the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. She writes:
"For those of you who were unlucky enough to miss this year's Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate last weekend, there's a chance to get a taster of what went on. Tomorrow, BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme will be a Harrogate special, featuring interviews and conversations with several of the participating writers. Among other elements, Mark Billingham and David Roberts debate whether there's still a place for Snobbery With Violence, while I have a wide-ranging chat with Lee Child, Laura Lippman and Natasha Cooper. It's all under the command of the unflappable Mark Lawson, who demonstrated over the weekend a remarkable wit and erudition.

It goes out live at 7.15 on Wednesday 25th July. It's a half hour programme, so you'll still have time for dinner before Wire in the Blood at 9pm on ITV."
You can listen online, live and also up to seven days from broadcast.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Post Harrogate Reviews

Here are this week's new reviews and competitions reminder:

Latest Reviews:

Fiona Walker reviews Reasonable Doubts by Gianrico Carofiglio and wishes there were more than three available; Pat Austin concludes that Charlie Parker could do with a little happiness after reading The Unquiet by John Connolly; Maxine Clarke is glad she stuck with The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson set in a wintry Uppsala; Karen Chisholm reviews The Colour of Blood by Declan Hughes which has a great sense of place and humour to balance the violence and finally, Irish author Declan Burke reviews Irish author Eoin McNamee's 12:23 which puts a fictional (?) spin on the cause of Princess Diana's fatal car crash (see below on how you can win a copy).

I've also updated the "New releases" page.

Current Competitions (closing date 31 July):

Win one of three sets of the complete (thirteen) Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory (UK only)

Win one of five copies of 'Black Seconds' by Karin Fossum plus one winner will receive her whole backlist (open to everyone except residents of the US)

Win one of five copies of '12:23 Paris. 31st August 1997.' by Eoin McNamee (open to everyone)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Harrogate Crime Festival

In The Guardian, Chris Wiegand has blogged about the Harrogate crime festival here and here .

Crimeficreader will be reporting on the convention but she already has some tasters over on her blog.

John Baker reports on his experience of the opening night.

I know that Europolar will be writing up the convention shortly and will post the link when it's available.

The dates for next year are 17-20 July 2008. More on the battle of the festivals in 2008 soon...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Theakston Crime Novel of the Year Winner

Ploughing through my emails upon my return from the relatively dry Harrogate, I found a press release about Allan Guthrie, this year's winner of the Theakston's crime novel of the year:
Orkney-born writer Allan Guthrie, published by one of Scotland’s leading publishing houses Polygon (an imprint of Birlinn Ltd), has been awarded The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2007, for his novel, Two-Way Split. The decision was announced last night, (19 July 2007) at the opening event of the Theakstons Old Peculier Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. As the winner, Allan received £3,000 and a handmade, engraved beer barrel.

Allan, until last year a bookseller with Waterstone's, has lifted the award amidst fierce competition from the UK's best crime writers. The writer, who now lives just outside Edinburgh in Portobello, has won with his first novel, published in paperback earlier this year. Two further novels have since been released and a fourth is due out next year.

The winning novel, Two-Way Split (Polygon) is set in the dead of winter. Robin Greaves, an armed robber whose wife has been sleeping with a fellow gang member, concocts a plan for revenge, but things go from bad to worse when the gang bungles a post office robbery. Soon they are stalked by the police, a dodgy pair of private eyes and a psycho with a vendetta, who may be the only one not look for a cut of the money. Infused with dark humour, the book is beautifully crafted, fast paced and ‘delectably nasty’.

A spokesperson for Polygon said ‘We are absolutely delighted. Allan’s writing is original and powerful and stands out from the crowd. Until last year he was an unpublished writer, working in a bookstore. Today he is one of the country’s brightest new stars.’

Won by Mark Billingham in 2005 and Val McDermid in 2006, this is the only award of its kind to be voted for by the general public. Crime readers could vote in any branch of Waterstone’s in the UK or online and they did so in their thousands.

Allan Guthrie was born and raised in Orkney before moving to music school in Manchester. He now lives in Edinburgh and is married to Donna. In addition to his success with the Theakston Award, his first novel, TWO-WAY SPLIT, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger. His second novel, KISS HER GOODBYE, was nominated for Edgar, Anthony and Gumshoe awards. His third, HARD MAN, has just been published. Allan is also a commissioning editor for PointBlank Press and a literary agent.
I do hope the official photographer managed to catch the complete look of shock on Al's face when his name was announced!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Off to Harrogate

I'll be leaving today for the Harrogate crime festival where I'll be joined by It's a Crime's crimeficreader tomorrow.

The plan is for the new reviews to go up on Monday rather than Sunday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Reviews & Contests Reminder

Here are this week's new reviews and competitions reminder:

Latest Reviews:

Fiona Walker explains why Karin Fossum's books are so good, in her review of Black Seconds; Maxine Clarke finds Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan to be excellent; I have mixed views on Patrick Lennon's Corn Dolls set in the Cambridgeshire Fens; Pat Austin says that The Dead Hour by Denise Mina is well worth reading and Karen Chisholm is impressed by The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson.

Current Competitions (closing date 31 July):

Win one of three sets of the complete (thirteen) Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory (UK only)

Win one of five copies of 'Black Seconds' by Karin Fossum plus one winner will receive her whole backlist (open to everyone except residents of the US)

Win one of five copies of '12:23 Paris. 31st August 1997.' by Eoin McNamee (open to everyone)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

BBC4 - The Book Quiz

On BBC4 tomorrow night:
The Book Quiz
1/5. First in a new series. David Baddiel oversees as Joan Bakewell and Richard Herring face John Simpson and India Knight in a battle to see whose literary knowledge reigns supreme. [S]

Tue 17 Jul, 23:00-23:30

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sunday updates...delayed

Just a note that I hope to get this weekend's new reviews up on Monday as I'm away for the weekend. Next weekend's will also be delayed as I'll be at the Harrogate crime festival.

Friday, July 13, 2007

M C Beaton Interview

From the latest newsletter from Hachette Books (I can't find the actual newsletter online but you can sign up here):
M.C. BEATON has won international acclaim for her bestselling Hamish Macbeth mysteries, and the BBC has aired six episodes based on the series. Also the author of the Agatha Raisin series and Regency romances, M.C. BEATON lives in a Cotswold cottage with her husband. When asked about her path to becoming a successful writer, she responded:

I first started writing when I was working as a fiction buyer in a bookshop in Glasgow and became, by a freaky chance, theatre critic for the Scottish Daily Mail. After that I was fashion editor for Scottish Field and then crime reporter for the Scottish Daily Express. I moved to Fleet Street and became chief woman reporter of the London Daily Express.

I moved to the States after marrying Middle East Correspondent, Harry Scott Gibbons. I had been reading a lot of Regencies and criticising them and he urged me to write one and then found me my present agent, Barbara Lowenstein.

I think George Orwell was right in that one is influenced by what one reads in one's early teens. I was reading Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Bryant's Age of Elegance, biographies of Wellington and Beau Brummell. I also read every Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie book I could get my hands on.

Six weeks after Barbara sold my first Regency, I was contracted by Dell to write three Edwardians and then subsequently two other Regencies for one publisher and two for another. That is why I used to have so many names. Marion Chesney is my maiden name and I made up the rest.

I was inspired to write the first Hamish Macbeth while I was with my husband and son in Sutherland at Lochinvar, learning to fly cast for salmon. There were eleven of us in the Sutherland wilderness of mountain and moor and I thought the setting would be a great idea for a traditional whodunit. I was then encouraged by my editor at St. Martin's Press to write a Cotswold series.

How did I become M.C. Beaton? I was asked to find a Scottish name which would divorce me from the Regencies. I said, "The queen she had four Marys/The nicht she'll hae but three/There was Mary Beaton, Mary Seaton, Mary Carmichael and me." Beaton was picked and the initials M C for Marion Chesney.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quercus featured on

The latest newsletter from online bookseller has Quercus as the publisher of the month.

You can read extracts from Peter Temple's The Broken Shore and In The Evil Day, Philip Kerr's The One from the Other, Elena Forbes' Die With Me and Michael Walters' The Shadow Walker, amongst others.

Meet Jane Blonde

There's James Bond for adult readers, Charlie Higson's Young Bond series for teenagers and for younger than that (and probably aimed at girls given the colour of the covers) we now have Jane Blonde...

Jane Blonde: Sensational Spylet is the first in a soon to be four book series.

Synopsis from Janey Brown feels like she is practically invisible. With her stick-thin legs, mousy brown hair and grey eyes, no one ever notices her. Then a crazy woman turns up at the school gates, claiming to be Janey's godmother. According to hip-hop-talking, larger-then-life 'G-Mamma', Janey Brown really is something special. She's Jane Blonde, Sensational Spylet and it's time for her first mission.Swapping her too-big school uniform for a silver spysuit, and her battered satchel for a set of amazing gadgets, Janey soon discovers that nothing in her life, or in her past, is as it seems. Her elusive Uncle Solomon happens to be the head of SPI (Solomon's Politicational Investigations) and the greatest spy the world has ever known. Recruited by the government to work on top-secret Project Crystal Clear, Solomon has made a scientific discovery that could change the world. But now he's gone missing. Can Jane Blonde get to him first? Or will The Sinerlesse, a rogue spying group with evil purposes (and a very nasty dog), hunt him down and take his secret?

Also available are Jane Blonde Spies Trouble and Jane Blonde: Twice the Spylet with no. 4, Jane Blonde: Spylet on Ice, out in October.

The website has a spying game, a screensaver download as well as the usual stuff about the author and her first three books.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The names Faulks, Sebastian Faulks

The rumours have been confirmed. Sebastian Faulks has written a James Bond novel - Devil May Care - to be published on 28 May next year to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth.

Quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Faulks said he was surprised but flattered to have been chosen.

Rereading Fleming's novels, he said: "I was surprised by how well the books stood up.

"I put this down to three things: the sense of jeopardy Fleming creates about his solitary hero; a certain playfulness in the narrative details; and a crisp, journalistic style that hasn't dated.

Faulks said his book's style was "about 80 per cent Fleming".

"I didn't go the final distance for fear of straying into pastiche, but I strictly observed his rules of chapter and sentence construction. My novel is meant to stand in the line of Fleming's own books, where the story is everything.

"I hope people will enjoy reading it and that Ian Fleming would consider it to be in the cavalier spirit of his own novels and therefore an acceptable addition to the line," he added.

The French Adore...Peter James

From Book2Book:
Blake Friedmann are thrilled to announce that the second book in Peter James' Roy Grace series, LOOKING GOOD DEAD, has been nominated for Le Grand Prix de littérature policère, considered to be the most important crime writing award in France. This comes in addition to his shortlisting for the Prix SNCF du polar 2007, the winner of which will be announced in autumn.

Since Edition du Panama's publication of DEAD SIMPLE (COMME UNE TOMBE) in 2006, the Roy Grace series has made giant strides in France and has already picked up the Salon de Cognac for the 2006 Prix SNCF du polar and the 2007 Le Prix Coeur Noir at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines festival, Paris.
Read the Euro Crime review of LOOKING GOOD DEAD.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy Birthday - E C Bentley

According to my Classic Crime Granta Diary, today is the birthday of E C Bentley, best known for writing Trent's Last Case. E C Bentley was born in 1875 and 'Trent's Last Case' was published in 1913, the sequel, 'Trent's Own Case' being published in 1936. Bentley died in 1956.

You can download an e-book of 'Trent's Last Case' at the Project Gutenberg website.

Barry Maitland

Barry Maitland was born in Scotland, brought up in London but now lives in Australia. The latest in his Brock and Kolla series, Spider Trap, gets its US premiere next month. It was first published in Australia last August and as yet does not have a UK publication date.

Synopsis: Skeletons are discovered in wasteland behind Cockpit Lane, a poor black area of inner South London, and DCI David Brock and DS Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard's Serious Crimes Branch are called in to investigate.
The discovery that the victims died during the Brixton riots, over twenty years before, leads Brock and Kolla on a dark and dangerous journey into the heart of the West Indian community in London. It's a journey in which past and present come together in an intricate web of deception and intrigue as Brock encounters a formidable old antagonist, Spider Roach. In a desperate search to find a crucial piece of evidence, Brock and Kolla unwittingly set in train a series of events that erupt in a shocking, violent conclusion.

Barry Maitland's next book, out in Australia in October is apparently a non Brock and Kolla, called 'Bright Air'.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Film version of 'Jar City' wins award reports that: Baltasar Kormákur’s Icelandic noir Myrin (Jar City) won the Crystal Globe for Best Film at the 42nd Karlovy Vary Film Festival, which closed yesterday.

Myrin is the original Icelandic title of Arnaldur Indridason's Jar City, which was also published as Tainted Blood.

The review on begins thus:

The deaths of two young girls some thirty years apart set in motion a story that will eventually encompass the story of two fathers in particular and an entire nation in general in Baltasar Kormákur’s masterful Myrin (Jar City). In his adaptation of the novel by Arnaldur Indridason, the writer-director successfully combines the elements of a police procedural, a film noir, a thriller and a modern socio-anthropological study to create a fully formed portrait of the modern Icelandic people as it has never been seen on screen. At once wholly Icelandic and completely accessible for foreign audiences, Myrin reverberates with strong echoes of what it means to be Icelandic, what it means to be part of a family and what it means to be human. After having dominated the local boxoffice last year, Myrin looks set to conquer foreign arthouses with equal ease.

Read the full review here and IMDB has a few stills from the film.

Let's hope this success in mainland Europe will bring it to cinemas in the UK and further afield.

New Reviews, Website Updates and Contests reminder

Here are this week's new reviews, updates and competitions reminder:

Latest Reviews:

Maxine Clarke recommends that everyone read The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill, now available in the UK thanks to Quercus; Norman Price joins the Jo Nesbo fanclub with his review of The Devil's Star; I like a good whodunit where I can't guess the villain, which is mostly why I preferred Hakan Nesser's The Return to last year's Borkmann's Point; Sunnie Gill found The Library Paradox by Catherine Shaw a little slow to get going but an enjoyable read nonetheless and though Time to Pay by Lyndon Stacey wasn't quite Declan Burke's cup of tea he indicates who might like the book instead.

Other Website Updates:

The Authors (573 homepages) page has been updated.

The New Releases pages have been updated.

In Books there are now bibliographies for 1115 authors.

I've added bibliographies for:
Maria Alvarez, Peter Benjamin, Kjell-Olof Bornemark, Lars Saaybe Christensen, Sebastian Fitzek, Jonny Glynn, Trevor John, Andy McDermott, Reg McKay, SJ (Sarah) Michaels, Antony Moore, J S Noon, Elisabet Peterzen, Mick Scully, Carol Smith, David Thewlis, Jonathan Trigell and Sylvester Young

and updated the bibliographies for:
Catherine Aird, Vincent Banville, M C Beaton, Michael Bond, Christopher Brookmyre, Paul Charles, Ann Cleeves, Martina Cole, Lesley Cookman, Michael Cordy, Judith Cutler, Paul/PC Doherty, Maragret Duffy, Kate Ellis, John Francome, Susanna Gregory, A J Hartley, Mo Hayder, Veronica Heley, Mandasue Heller, Jane Hill, Peter Hoeg, Arlene Hunt, Michael Jecks, Jan Kjaerstad, Alanna Knight, Dominique Manotti, Faith Martin, Catriona McPherson, Sam Millar, Pat Mullan, Jo Nesbo, Charlie Owen, David Peace, Anne Perry, Rafael Reig, Pauline Rowson, Manda Scott, Roger Silverwood, Alexander McCall Smith, Joan Smith, Martin Suter, Rebecca Tope, Peter Tremayne and Simon Wood.

Current Competitions (closing date 31 July):

Win one of three sets of the complete (thirteen) Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory (UK only)

Win one of five copies of 'Black Seconds' by Karin Fossum plus one winner will receive her whole backlist (open to everyone except residents of the US)

Win one of five copies of '12:23 Paris. 31st August 1997.' by Eoin McNamee (open to everyone)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Friday, July 06, 2007

That Bethlehem book... :-)

Last year I posted about The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Benyon Rees published in the US by Soho Press, with one of Soho's trademark tasteful covers. Mr Rees has kindly posted a comment on that post about the UK edition being out and that he actually prefers the UK cover art.

As you can see the title has changed to The Bethlehem Murders and the 'Benyon' middle name has been dropped.

A recent article in the Independent gives the reason for the alteration to the title - the Bethlehem title was changed for the British market because it sounds more like a mystery story and women in particular prefer that genre to the political thriller.

I have to say some women I know may find that spider on the front a bit creepy :-).

Dagger Award Winners

The wait is over, as last night at the CWA gala do the winners were announced. The winners of the main awards are:

Duncan Lawrie Daggger - The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
Duncan Lawrie International Daggger - Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand by Fred Vargas
The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger - Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

The complete list of winners is available on the CWA website.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

David Suchet interview

You thought you'd seen the last of my posts on The Last Confession but no. Today's London Theatre Guide has a lengthy interview with David Suchet about The Last Confession and Poirot.
Thankfully, Suchet has never been confined to playing the same person, despite frequently returning to inhabit the little Belgian detective – a role he says, unequivocally, he loves. He puts this flexibility down to the fact that he was a theatre actor long before he got his big break in television, as Blott in Blott On The Landscape in 1985. Since then, he has happily been able to work in both. “That’s where both the business and the public have been so generous to me. They haven’t limited me,” he says.

It says everything about his skill as an actor, though, that people are able to forget Poirot when they see him in other things. As much as he loves the character, this is part of the reason that he would never bring Poirot to the stage. “I got a letter only two days ago from a member of the audience saying will I please, please, please, please, underlined, bring Poirot to the stage,” he says. “It’s not my intention, and I don’t want to bring him to the stage, because that would intrude on the wonderful variety that I have in the theatre and that would be bringing something that everybody knows. I would be doing it for very much the wrong reasons.”

Nevertheless, he is excited about going back to the role again on television – he has two new mysteries lined up to film after he finishes his run in The Last Confession. “To think that that’s the legacy I’ll leave behind actually fills me with a great deal of pride,” he says. “Because he’s a great character to play in a great literary setting and a wonderful writer and I believe it’s been good, clean, healthy television; it’s not reality TV, it’s not smutty. If I can leave the complete works behind me of that little character, that will be a first and it will please generations to come and that’s really what I’m here for.”
You can read the whole interview here and you can book tickets for the production at the Haymarket here.

Recent Italian crime fiction reviews in the blogosphere...

A few weeks ago I posted that I was looking forward to God's Spy by Juan Gomez-Jurado. Well it seems Material Witness has acquired an advance copy and calls it "...a ripping tale and a very good read". You can read the full review here.

Crime Scraps posted a review recently of the second in the De Luca trilogy by Carlo Lucarelli - The Damned Season - which came out in the UK on 17 June. The De Luca books are set in an Italy in chaos at the end of the Second World War. The first one in the series is Carte Blanche, reviewed here on Euro Crime.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Publishing Deals

From this week's Publishers Lunch:
Film rights to John Burdett's BANGKOK 8 and his two subsequent police thrillers set in Bangkok, featuring Buddhist police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, in a new option to Millennium Films, with James McTeigue (V For Vendetta) directing, by Ron Bernstein, at auction, on behalf of Jane Gelfman at Gelfman Schneider. (Foreign book rights are represented by Betsy Robbins at Curtis Brown UK.)

Two new thrillers by Simon Kernick, the first featuring a kidnap-attempt gone badly wrong, again to Selina Walker at Transworld, by Amanda Preston of LBA (UK/Commonwealth).

Michael Cordy's thriller THE SOURCE, about the surprise deciphering of the elusive Voynich manuscript at Yale's Beinecke Library by a young female professor, leading to the discovery of what seems to be a Garden of Eden deep in the jungles of Peru -- and a fight between the Vatican and various scholars for possession of the secrets which the garden contains, again to Bill Scott-Kerr at Bantam UK, by Patrick Walsh at Conville & Walsh. US rights will be submitted shortly.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ashes to Ashes - casting news

Digital Spy reports that Gene Hunt's new nemesis in Ashes to Ashes, the follow up to Life on Mars, has now been cast:
Former Spooks actress Keeley Hawes has announced that she is going to play a lead role in the BBC drama Ashes To Ashes, the sequel to the highly successful Life On Mars.

Hawes left the MI5 drama in 2004, where she found fame as the character Zoe Reynolds.

Ashes To Ashes is expected to follow a similar story structure to that of Life on Mars, except it will be set in the 1980s, a decade on from the previous series.

She will play Alex Drake, an up-and-coming member of the police force in 2008, who finds herself trapped in the '80s alongside Life On Mars character DCI Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister.

Hawes said of her role: "I'm thrilled to be playing Alex. She's a fantastic character and will be a force to be reckoned with as far as Gene Hunt is concerned; the two of them locking horns in the Eighties will certainly be a sight to behold, never mind the shoulder pads."
Read more about Keeley Hawes on the BBC's website.

Website updates

On Sunday, I finally managed to catch up with updating the News page, (to include links to the last fortnight's reviews and articles in the UK papers) and have also added the 2007 Theakston shortlist to the Awards page, as well as two of this year's Macavity Awards shortlists (ones with high European respresentation.)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Winners of June's Euro Crime Competitions

Here are the winners of June's Euro Crime competitions (and the correct answers):

1. The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett

What is the name of the next book to feature Dr David Hunter?:
c) Written in Bone


Alessandra Buccheri, Italy
Martin Lee
Susie Nicholls
Michael O'Sullivan
Michelle Redpath

2. The House of Shadows by The Medieval Murderers

Name the crime writers which make up 'The Medieval Murderers'

Due to the ambiguity of my question, I accepted -
Either: Mike Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson
Or: Mike Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden, Chris Sansom.


Chris Cleave
Adrian Crook
Jaye Dixon
Carol Mintz, USA
Alistair Richardson
Mary Strong

3. How to Kill by Kris Hollington

Which of the following authors, has a series of books 'starring' an assassin?:
a) David Bowker


Lisa Botfield
Charles Davies
Don Ferguson, USA
Susan Langton
Paula Turner

4. Romanzo Criminale DVDs

What is the English name of the crime film (based on a book by a Dutch author) released in 1988 and then remade in 1993 starring Kiefer Sutherland?:
The Vanishing


Victoria Barker
Graeme Denman
Sarah Williams

5. Missing DVDs

Which Scandinavian author wrote the book that the above drama, 'Missing', is based on?:
a) Karin Alvtegen


Annie Chernow, IL
Marilyn DeVere, TX
Eleanor Flatley, CA
Evelyn Fray, OH
Drew Lebby, Washington, DC

Enter this month's competitions here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

New reviews and lots of books to give away

Here are the first reviews of July:

Latest Reviews:

Mike Ripley's latest crime file includes reviews of 'I Predict a Riot' by Colin Bateman, 'The One From The Other' by Philip Kerr, 'First Among Sequels' by Jasper Fforde and 'Reasonable Doubts' by Gianrico Carofiglio; Geoff Jones found Bangkok Haunts by John Burdett to his taste, if not the cuisine mentioned therein; find out if Gillian Galbraith is the new Rankin in Maxine Clarke's review of Blood in the Water; Terry Halligan enjoyed dipping into the non-fiction Euro Crime prize of last month, How to Kill by Kris Hollington and I was gripped by Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast one of this year's International Dagger contenders.

New Competitions (closing date 31 July):

Win one of three sets of the complete (thirteen) Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory (UK only)

Win one of five copies of 'Black Seconds' by Karin Fossum plus one winner will receive her whole backlist (open to everyone except residents of the US)

Win one of five copies of '12:23 Paris. 31st August 1997.' by Eoin McNamee (open to everyone)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)