Friday, November 30, 2007

News page on Euro Crime updated

The Euro Crime news page has been updated with links to the latest reviews and interviews in the main UK papers.

Borders (UK) discount voucher for this weekend

A Christmas gift from Borders:
Everyone here at Borders and Books etc would like to wish a Happy Christmas to you, your colleagues and your families!

Back by popular demand, and bigger than before, the coupon entitles the bearer to a 25% DISCOUNT - OUR BIGGEST EVER OFFER - on all full-priced Books, CDs, DVDs and DVD interactive games, calendars, board games, toys and Paperchase products from Borders and Books etc stores throughout the UK and Ireland, valid from Friday 30th November to Monday 3rd December*.

*Terms and conditions 1. 25% discount only available on full priced items. 2. Only one 25% discount voucher per transaction. 3. Only valid between 30/11/07 - 03/12/07. 4. 25% Discount only valid on Paperchase within Borders Stores. 5. 25% Discount not available on Starbucks, newspapers, magazines, magazine subscriptions, gift cards and vouchers, book and theatre tokens, non stock special orders, online purchases or purchases made over the phone. 6. Not exchangeable for cash or cash equivalent. 7. Only valid in Borders and Books etc stores in the UK & Ireland. Not valid with any other coupon or voucher offer.
Go here to get your coupon.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More about the new Poirot films

As reported last month, the first of the four new adaptations is of Mrs McGinty's Dead. The second film is Cat Among the Pigeons which is to be based on a script by Mark Gatiss, author of the Lucifer Box series and one of the stars of the League of Gentleman. From 24 newscentral:
Cat Among The Pigeons sees Poirot face one of his toughest cases yet – one which encompasses international espionage, a middle-Eastern revolution and a missing princess – as well as a huge line-up of characters who all seem to have secrets they could be willing to kill to protect.

When the middle-Eastern country of Ramat is over-run by anti-monarchist revolutionaries, the surviving heir to the throne is spirited away to safety in a small girls’ school, Meadowbank, which is run by the progressive Miss Bulstrode (Harriet Walter, Atonement).

However, when the bullying games mistress Miss Springer (Elizabeth Berrington, The Deal) is found stabbed through the chest with a javelin, it appears that Meadowbank may not be the haven it promised to be.

As Poirot assists Inspector Keslsey (Anton Lesser, Miss Potter) they begin to find that some of the staff may not be quite what they appear, a situation which is compounded when another teacher, Madame Blanche (Miranda Raison, Spooks), is found dead and Princess Shaista (Amara Karan, St Trinian’s) is kidnapped from the school.

With the princess’ life in peril, and the prized rubies of Ramat missing, it is up to Poirot to discover who is the Cat Among The Pigeons.

Cat Among The Pigeons also stars Natasha Little (This Life), Susan Woolridge (The Jewel in The Crown), Carol Macready (The Darling Buds of May), Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), Adam Croasdell (The Chase), Lois Edmett, Katie Leung (Harry Potter), Pippa Haywood (Green Wing) and Jo Woodcock (Torn, Marple).
Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Shadow in the North (Sally Lockhart #2)

The TV guides are now hinting at what's on over Christmas and one of the highlights is the second Sally Lockhart adventure following on from last year's Ruby in the Smoke. From the BBC press release:
Billie Piper heads an all-star cast, including Julian Rhind-Tutt, JJ Feild, Jared Harris, Matt Smith, John Standing and Hayley Atwell, in The Shadow In The North. This second book in a quartet by novelist Philip Pullman charts the adventures of Sally Lockhart, a feisty, young Victorian heroine (Piper).

Bafta Award-winning Adrian Hodges (Charles II, Rome, The Lost World and Pullman's first novel in the series, The Ruby In The Smoke), has adapted Pullman's intricate and cleverly woven plot and set it in the heart of Victorian London.

An elderly lady loses her money on an investment; a conjuror is pursued by thugs; and a clairvoyant sees a brutal murder in a forest and a glass coffin, then whispers the name of the richest man in Europe. These seemingly unconnected events set Sally Lockhart on the trail of an evil far more awful than she could ever imagine: the Hopkinson Self-Regulator, a super-weapon in the hands of Scandinavian madman Axel Bellmann.

Once again, Pullman's much-loved and fearless heroine embarks on a mission – this time to find out why her elderly client's investment crashed and what links the clairvoyant's murderous vision to the rich industrialist, Bellmann. As Sally closes in on the truth, it becomes devastatingly clear that her life will never be the same again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Who is Caro Peacock?

I'm probably completely wrong on this but could these photos be of the same woman?

Author on the left is Caro Peacock, whose first book, Death at Dawn, has just come out. Author on the right is Gillian Linscott, whose last book came out in 2003. (A more recent but lower resolution photo is on the reviewingtheevidence site.)

From the author information on Death at Dawn: "Caro rides horses, climbs trampolines and spends some time every year studying wild flowers in the Alps."

From Tangled Web - Gillian Linscott has "passions for horse-riding and hill-walking."

Death at Dawn which is the first in the Liberty Lane series is set in 1837 and Gillian Linscott's Nell Bray series is set in the early 1900s.

Not much to go on, just a feeling of familiarity when I looked at the author photo on the jacket. Either way, Death at Dawn looks well worth checking out. The opening line is: "Would you be kind enough to tell me where they keep people's bodies".

Monday, November 26, 2007

(a link to) an interview with Martin Edwards

In case you haven't seen it already, here's a link to an interview with Martin Edwards, conducted by fellow author Julia Buckley.

Martin Edwards' 'Lakes' series is a big favourite of the Euro Crime team: The Coffin Trail, The Cipher Garden and The Arsenic Labyrinth.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Reviews

The review hiatus is now over and we're back with six reviews this week and a reminder that this month's competition closes on Friday.

Latest Reviews:
Norman Price reviews this month's competition prize, A Mysterious Affair of Style by Gilbert Adair calling it "a really fun read" (see below on how to enter);

This year I've managed to get up to date with the Agatha Raisin series by M C Beaton in time to read her latest not long after it came out (thank you Birmingham Libraries). The eighteenth in the series, Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye is a bit lightweight and short but existing fans should enjoy it;

Maxine Clarke reviews the other thriller published in 2007 about the death of Diana,The Accident Man by Tom Cain - the first one being 12:23 by Eoin McNamee;

The last, for the moment, of Maxine's reviews of the Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, is of Excursion to Tindari and the book is as wonderful as the rest;

Laura Root reviews Kennedy's Brain, Henning Mankell's latest non-series thriller

and Terry Halligan pronounces the third collaboration by The Medieval Murderers - House of Shadows - the best so far.

Current Competition (closing date 30 November):

Win one of five copies of The Mysterious Affair of Style by Gilbert Adair (NO Geographical restictions)

Friday, November 23, 2007

A new Prime

From Digital Spy:
ITV will not be making a TV version of the final Prime Suspect, according to Broadcast.

Writer Lynda La Plante is planning to publish one more instalment of the series as a book, despite ITV airing Prime Suspect: The Final Act in October 2006.

"I didn't and I haven't [ended Prime Suspect]," she told the magazine. "My publisher is very keen for me to write the last [book], which I intend to do."

La Plante wrote scripts for the first three Prime Suspects but left the TV franchise after the third transmitted in 1993.

An ITV spokeswoman said: "As far as we are concerned, the final Prime Suspect has been filmed and transmitted and there are no plans to make any more."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

James Anderson RIP

This is somewhat belated news as I've only found out via the Allison and Busby catalogue that James Anderson died earlier this year. He is probably best recognised as the author of the Golden Age homages - The Affair of the Blood Stained Egg Cosy, Affair of the Mutilated Mink Coat and The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks (his most recent book). His website has been taken down but you can read a bit more about him and his books on Wikipedia and his publisher's page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nominees for the Costa Book Awards 2007

The shortlists for the Costa Book Awards 2007 have been announced:
Costa First Novel Award

* A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
* Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
* What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
* Mosquito by Roma Tearne

Costa Novel Award

* Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett
* Day by A.L. Kennedy
* Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson
* The Road Home by Rose Tremain
Crime novels are in bold. More details at the Costa Book Awards page. Winners of each category will be announced on 3rd January with the overall winner being revealed on 22nd January.

Oprah chooses Ken Follett

From Publishers Lunch:
Oprah Taps Follett
Who needs a National Book Award when you're an Oprah pick? Yesterday Winfrey selected Ken Follett's 973-page THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH as her latest selection (as MJ Rose has noted, keeping her long streak of selecting books by men intact). In a statement Oprah said it's "like nothing I would ever read or had ever read before." A spokesman for NAL said they had shipped 612,000 copies to stores in advance of the announcement.

Publishing Deals

From Publisher's Lunch:
Bestselling UK nonfiction author Titania Hardie's debut novel THE ROSE LABYRINTH, which centers on a mystery that begins in 17th century England with Elizabeth I's royal astrologer and unravels to present-day London, where a beautiful, brilliant young woman, still recovering from a heart transplant, embarks on a dangerous adventure in search of the secrets behind the Rose Labyrinth, to Judith Curr at Atria, with Sarah Branham editing, by Robin Straus at Robin Straus Agency, on behalf of Quadrille Publishing and Andrew Nurnberg Associates (NA).

Foreign sales previously, by Andrew Nurnberg Associates, to: Headline in the UK, Heyne in Germany, Uniebock in Holland, Piemme in Italy, Santillana in Spain, Patakis in Greece, Pearl in Thailand, Eksmo in Russia, Noxi in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Nemira in Romania, and Ainari in Serbia and Montenegro.

A second mystery and suspense novel by Titania Hardie, to Atria, by Robin Straus, on behalf of Andrew Nurnberg Associates.
The Rose Labyrinth is published in the UK in March 2008.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Velibre La France! (well Paris at least)

Never ones to let total traffic chaos get in the way of a good lieu of the metro we used good old fashioned foot power to get around Paris in general but at the weekend when traffic was lighter we did avail of the excellent Velibre system, where you can rent a bike for an hour for two euros. Register your credit card, unlock bike, metaphorically shut eyes and pedal. Return bike to another rack. Stop hands shaking then carry on sight seeing. I should have taken some photos of my own but this photo I've 'borrowed' comes with an article explaining the whys, wherefores and how many(s) in the Globe and Mail.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - to be filmed report the following:
After the both artistically and commercially successful children's film Drømmen (We Shall Overcome), which was inspired by director Niel Arden Oplev's own youth and set in the Danish countryside, the Danish filmmaker will cross the Kattegat and direct an adaptation of Män som hatar kvinnor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the first of the Millenium novels triptych by the late Swedish journalist and novelist Stieg Larsson. Swedish star actor Michael Nyqvist (Äideistä parhain / Mother of Mine) is set to take on the role of Mikael Blomkvist, a former journalist who is asked to re-open an investigation into a case that happened forty years earlier.

The title of the first Millenium novel, Män som hatar kvinnor, literally means "Men Who Hate Women", but the tome will be published in English as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in January 2008. Oplev will start filming his adaptation not much later, in the spring of 2008. Upcoming Swedish actress Noomi Rapace will join Nyqvist on the set as the female lead of the film.

Larsson, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2004 at age 50, did not live to see any of his novels appear in print but has posthumously become a bestselling and prize-winning novelist. His trilogy of novels will be filmed in Sweden one after the other on a total budget of SEK 106 million (€11.4 million), but only Oplev's film will be released theatrically, with the second and third made for TV and DVD. No directors have been named for the second and third installment.
As stated above, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be available in English in January, from Quercus. The film is due out in Sweden in 2009.

A photo of the actor and more information can be found here.

UPDATE: Read the Euro Crime review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (book).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Off to Paris

As a belated birthday treat (for me) and general pick-us up, we're off to Paris this afternoon from St Pancras. There won't be any updates to the blog or website for about a week. In the meantime, do peruse the reviews the Euro Crime team has written this year and if you haven't already done so, enter this month's competition which is open to all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Reviews on Euro Crime

Here are this week's new reviews and a reminder of the current competition:

Latest Reviews:

Continuing with Maxine Clarke's reviews of the Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, here is number four, The Voice of the Violin;

Geoff Jones is impressed enough with Peter Conway's Unwillingly to School to volunteer to review another one later this year;

Maxine Clarke calls In the Woods by Tana French 'unputdownable';

Crimeficreader (from It's a Crime! blog) reviews The Noble Outlaw by Bernard Knight

and for something a bit different - Mike Ripley reviews the Swedish vampire novel - Let the Right One In by John Ajvid Lindqvist.

Current Competition (closing date 30 November):

Win one of five copies of The Mysterious Affair of Style by Gilbert Adair (NO Geographical restictions)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 2008 - update

A missive from programme chair Simon Kernick:
The fantastic news is we've almost finalised the Festival Programme. The Programming Committee has been working really hard to get all the authors confirmed as soon as possible. Not that they've needed much persuasion, everyone is already hugely excited about 2008. There's also a rumour that the full programme will be announced at the end of the month in time for Christmas. If that wasn't enough T&R Theakston and the Harrogate International Festival have just been short listed for the Arts, Business & Sustainability Award, part of the Arts & Business Yorkshire 2007 Awards, for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

The bad news is we've been tardy sending out October's missive, for which we apologise. However, we'd like to take this opportunity to welcome all newcomers to the Festival Friends Scheme.
Sam Bourne, Robert Crais, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen and Peter Robinson have already confirmed for next year's Festival and more names to be announced soon.
Space is limited at the Crown Hotel, venue for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, 17 - 20 July 2008, so reserve your place now by calling our hotline 01423 562303.

To find out how to join the Friends of the Festival call us on 01423 562303, or email
Sign up for newsletters etc at the website.

More on the Ellis Peters Award

It took a bit longer than I thought but the CWA website has now been updated to state that Ariana Franklin won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award:
Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin, has won this year’s CWA Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award - the prestigious prize for the best historical crime novel of 2007. The winner was announced by the Chair of judges, Janet Laurence, at a party held in London on the evening of Wednesday, November 7th. More information shortly ...

Judges’ comments:
‘Ariana Franklin has found a unique female protagonist, an Italian doctor trained in the study of death and brought to England as assistant to a renowned investigator charged by Henry II with the solving of murder. In this seductive book, characters leap into life, scenes form a closely woven and colourful tapestry, the central figure of Adelia, the mistress of the art of death, has an unusual charm, and the plot darkens as the story progresses.’

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ellis Peters Award 2007 - Winner...

The word is that Ariana Franklin has won for Mistress of the Art of Death. Full details of the shortlist here. No doubt a press release will be available in the morning.

Crime Fiction Weekend in Lowdham

I received the following press release from the brains behind the Crime Express series about a crime fiction event at Lowdham later this month:
Lowdham Book Festival, in Nottinghamshire, has a winter weekend on crime fiction running from 23-25th November 2007.

Visiting writers include: Danuta Reah ("write a crime novel in an afternoon"); Nicola Monaghan, Allan Guthrie, Chris Ewan (crime fiction award winning rising stars); Michael Jecks, John Wilcox, Karen Maitland ("mystery and history"); John Martin on the scene of the crime; Colin Dexter; John Harvey, TV and film writer Michael Eaton, theatre director Giles Croft ("murder on stage and screen"); Stephen Booth and Rod Duncan (Crime Express); Laura Thompson on Agatha Christie - followed by "Death on the Nile" and "Crime by Candlelight" - storytelling and readings.

Sponsored by Hodder Headline, Crème de la Crime and Five Leaves. Ticket prices vary.
You can download the programme which also contains a creme de la crime competition to win books and tickets, here.

More offers from The Book People

Even more tempting offers from The Book People:

Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye for £4.99,
Complete Bond - 14 Books by Ian Fleming for £14.99
Harlan Coben Thrillers - 10 Books by Harlan Coben for £9.99
Michael Connelly Thrillers - 10 Books by Michael Connelly for £9.99

and for younger readers:
Alex Rider: The Six Missions - 6 Audiobooks on 37 CDs by Anthony Horowitz for £21.99
Spy Girl Set - 3 Books by Carol Hedges for £5.99
The Grk Collection - 3 Books by Joshua Doder for £3.99

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

New BBC 1 Crime Drama

From the BBC Press release:

Louise Lombard (CSI, The House Of Eliott), Lyndsey Marshal (Rome) and Danny Dyer (Straightheads, The Football Factory, Human Traffic) are to star in Blood Rush (working title), a gritty new two-part crime drama for BBC One, produced in house by BBC Drama Studios.

Written by Barbara Machin (who also created Waking The Dead), the format represents a bold step forward for the crime genre: as events flip both backwards and forwards in time, this compelling story is told at various times from the point of view of every character involved – those investigating the crime, as well as the killer and his victims.

Read more about Blood Rush here.

Update: Blood Rush is now called Kiss of Death (12/07)

Website updates

Yesterday I spent a bit of time updating some of the reference pages on the website - the Discussions and Events pages - as well as the News page.

The main addition to the Events page is details of the continuing tour by The Agatha Christie Theatre Company of The Unexpected Guest, which will be followed in 2008 by their production of And Then There Were None. Click here for dates and venues.

Monday, November 05, 2007

October's Euro Crime competition winners

Here are the winners of October's Euro Crime competition (and the correct answer):

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

Which one of these titles by Fred Vargas has not won the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger?

a) Have Mercy On Us All


Tom Ayres
Helena Cooke
Lynn Mercer
Hannah Prosser
Stephen Purser

Enter this month's competition here.

Martina Cole books to be televised

From Digital Spy:
Warner Sisters Productions and Granada International are developing two new novels by Martina Cole for television, they have announced.

The Graft and The Take, the best-seller's most recent books, will be produced by Warner and distributed by Granada.

Warner Sisters creator Lavinia Warner (Tenko) commented: "We’re really excited about the project. It is high time for more of Martina’s work to be available to television viewers.

"Her honest and tough novels, vividly revealing the effects of violence and crime on family life in the UK today, are absorbing and addictive. Her talent for strong characters and storylines makes the books perfect for TV adaptation."

Granada is already distributor for Cole/Warner adaptations Dangerous Lady and The Jump which drew strong audiences for ITV1.

Cole said: "I am thrilled to see two more of my books adapted for television. It really feels like I'm coming home - working and collaborating with Warner Sisters again."

Granada head of drama Noel Hedges added: "Martina Cole is simply a publishing phenomenon. Her books go straight to the top of the bestseller lists and stay there.

"At their heart Martina’s novels contain gripping, highly commercial plots and characters that appeal to lovers of crime the world over."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Reviews this week

Here are this week's new reviews and a reminder of the new competition:

Latest Reviews:

Laura Root reviews The Fugitive, Massimo Carlotto's account of his life as an innocent man on the run;

I heartily recommend this tense thriller from Danish author Leif Davidsen, The Serbian Dane;

Maxine Clarke didn't find Sweet Gum by Jo-Ann Goodwin much to her taste;

Terry Halligan praises Otto Penzler's editing of the Dangerous Women anthology and the stories within it

and Fiona Walker is convinced that Ian Rankin's Exit Music is not the last we'll see of Rebus.

Current Competition (closing date 30 November):

Win one of five copies of The Mysterious Affair of Style by Gilbert Adair (NO Geographical restictions)

The weary cyclist returns

Regular cyclists will probably poo poo at my achieving an 80km ride today, but I'm pleased with it. Emergency chocolate rations were needed for the last 10k but overall it went ok. The weather was foggy and very cold and my feet were blocks of ice by the time we arrived at our destination, the Redwings centre at Oxhill. It's a lovely place where you can see rescued horses and donkeys, the cafe is well priced and serves good quality food and the gift shop has many present ideas. You can buy these online but if you do live near one of their centres then do go visit. It doesn't even cost to enter.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Update on reviews and reading

The plan for tomorrow includes me spending several hours on my bicycle so the review upload will be towards the end of the day. In the meantime, do check out this month's competition which has *no* geographical restrictions. The prize is a copy of the newly released 'A Mysterious Affair of Style' by Gilbert Adair.

My 'at home' book is still Philip Kerr's 'The One From The Other' which is a bit serious for my current frame of mind so I have been indulging myself in my choice of 'on the train' books: more American cozies - 'The Ghost and the Dead Deb' by Alice Kimberly and one of the two Cat Who books I needed to complete a read of the set (30 in all by next year) - 'The Cat Who Played Post Office'. (Much, much better than her recent offerings). I'm also working my way through the audio books of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series which are addictive and charming and warm.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Paris Noir interview

Maxim Jakubowski, the multi-tasking, multi-talented owner of Murder One and editor of Paris Noir which goes on sale today, has kindly answered a few questions for Euro Crime's first interview.

EC: How did Paris Noir come about? Was it your idea or were you approached by Serpent’s Tail?

MJ: It was my idea. A decade or so ago, I did a London Noir volume for Serpent’s Tail, and had always intended to do a companion volume. Then the Akashic Noir Cities series came about and the concept was once more to the fore. However, Akashic wanted an all-French author volume, and I was keener to present a blend of nationalities, as being English but brought up in Paris gave me a different approach to the subject. So, I went with Serpent’s Tail, although I’ve just delivered a Rome Noir volume to Akashic recently, this time all Italian authors plus my own obligatory contribution.

EC: How did you decide which authors should appear in the collection?

MJ: The criterion was for English-writing authors that they had to have lived/studied/spent some time in Paris during the course of their lives. On the French side, I just picked personal friends and people I personally admired.

EC: What’s the role of an editor of an anthology like this?

MJ: To get the balance right; get a blend of authors who fit together even though all their stories are pretty radically different in tone or style.

EC: What’s your favourite story from this collection?

MJ: An unanswerable question I fear, although naturally I have a soft spot for my own, in which I brought back a character who has so far appeared in 3 novels and was just right for Paris.

EC: London already has two noir collections, one edited by yourself in 1994 and one last year edited by Cathi Unsworth, which was in fact the first in this Capital Crime series. How does Paris differ from London in the type of stories being told about it?

MJ: Every city has its own psychogeography, inner life, whatever you call it. Cities are at the heart of ‘noir’ and will attract a different kind of story, as seen through the eyes of the respective contributors. I think that, with a few exceptions (Mike Moorcock’s tale being one, but then he only moved to Paris a few months back) Paris generates somewhat more socially-conscious, even political stories, but then the French have always had a more acute sense of politics than us Brits.

EC: Which other cities or countries do you think should have a ‘Noir’ collection and are you involved in doing any more?

MJ: As I mentioned earlier I’ve just delivered Rome. Actually every city deserves its volume and between Serpent’s Tail and Akashic many are already being covered. I’d love to see a Berlin and Moscow volume, but not edited by me. Every book should be curated by someone with a strong affinity for the place. As New Orleans and New York have already been done, that rules me out as I’m sure they will find a native to cover Seattle.

EC: Why do you think European crime fiction has become so successful/fashionable in the last few years?

MJ: Very simple: when it’s good, it’s as good as homegrown mystery writing. It just took the success of Mankell’s books to convince publishers they could actually make a profit with crime books in translation, so now it’s become a fertile area of mystery publishing. Although I would also say that I’m bemused by certain editorial choices and omissions still.

EC: Which European authors do you recommend that a) are available in English and b) should be available in English?

MJ: I enjoy Vargas, Manchette particularly. Not overly fond of most Scandinavians, who just appear to be riffing on the Maigret with angst theme. Still so many deserve to be translated. Can only recommend from languages I actually read of course, Certainly the French contributors to Paris Noir still not available here: Romain Slocombe, Dominique Sylvain, Jean-Hughes Oppel and Marc Villard, but also Maurice Dantec. In Italy there are so many: De Catraldo, Pinketts, Vallorani, Mazzucato, De Silva, Faletti, etc....

EC: Finally, you own Murder One, write books, blog for the Guardian, edit anthologies, organise Crime Scene – how do you fit it all in!?

MJ: I don’t! Actually, I feel as if half the time, I’m somewhat idle and lazy... Mind you, my next novel is a few years behind schedule, so I have to increase my productivity...