Monday, August 31, 2009

Events in the West Midlands 3 - Gerald Seymour

Gerald Seymour will be appearing in Birmingham on 25 September:
Birmingham Reader Development Office is pleased to announce its next event with thriller writer Gerald Seymour in conversation with Birmingham's Book Festival's Artistic Director, Jonathan Davidson on Friday 25 September.

GERALD SEYMOUR spent fifteen years as an international television news reporter with ITN, covering Vietnam and the Middle East, and specialising in terrorism across the world. Seymour was on the streets of Londonderry on the afternoon of Bloody Sunday, and was a witness to the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Seymour’s first novel was the acclaimed thriller Harry’s Game, set in Belfast. He has since written twenty-four more bestselling novels, of which six have been filmed for television in the UK and US.

Gerald's new book THE COLLABORATOR, out in September is a gripping edge of your seat thriller set in Naples. Taut, brutal and shocking, THE COLLABORATOR is Gerald Seymour writing at the top of his game with a new novel about this deadly Naples crime network. For generations, the Borellis have been a part of Naples … a vicious and completely amoral part. They are a clan of the Camorra and legendary in their ruthlessness - their stranglehold on people and businesses in their area is without mercy and when a person steps out of line there is no forgiveness. Even when that person is part of the family. Sicily has the Mafia … Naples has the Camorra.
This event takes place at Birmingham Library Theatre on Friday 25 September 2009 at 6.30pm (for a 7.00pm start). Tickets (free) via the Box Office on 0121 303 2323 or online via

Euro Crime will be posting a review of The Collaborator nearer to the publication date of 17 September.

Gerald Seymour's bibliography (with links to reviews) can be viewed here.

My Life According to Books I've Read This Year

A meme going the rounds at the moment. I've picked it up from Petrona:

Using only books you have read this year (2009), cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title.

I've used a mixture of teenage, SF and crime novels (and not all the answers are true!):

Describe Yourself: Airhead
How do you feel: Fish Out of Water
Describe where you currently live: Via delle Oche
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Borderlands
Your favourite form of transport: (The) Hitchhike(r's Guide to the Galaxy)
Your best friend is: Brewed, Crude and Tattooed
You and your friends are: Faceless Killers
What’s the weather like: Frozen Tracks
Favourite time of day: Twilight
If your life was a: (A) Very Persistent Illusion
What is life to you: Dead Men's Dust
Your fear: Betrayal
What is the best advice you have to give: Dalek I Loved You
Thought for the Day: Thirteen Reasons Why
How I would like to die: Sacrifice
My soul's present condition: (Star Trek Destiny:) Mere Mortals

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Reviews: Anderson, Jackson, Seymour, Solana, Theorin, Tickler

There's a little time left to enter the three competitions running this month; the prizes are: The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke, Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin and Blood Law by Steven Hague (some restrictions apply).

Here are this week's reviews:
Paul Blackburn reviews the newly published Final Cut by Lin Anderson the latest in the Rhona MacLeod series and is eager to read the earlier books;

Amanda Gillies reviews the historical Pilgrim by James Jackson writing that "this book is just fantastic";

Terry Halligan reviews the second Paul Tallis thriller, The Mephisto Threat by E V Seymour (set in Turkey and...Birmingham) and enjoyed it immensely;

Michelle Peckham reviews Teresa Solana's A Not So Perfect Crime concluding that it's "a fascinating, amusing and very entertaining crime novel";

Maxine Clarke reviews The Darkest Room by International Dagger nominee, Johan Theorin and calls it "a wonderful book"

and Pat Austin has mixed feelings about Peter Tickler's Blood on the Cowley Road the first in an Oxford set police procedural series.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Premiere: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (film)

Thanks to publishers Quercus, yesterday, Maxine (Petrona) and I, with some familiar faces from crime fiction reviewing joined several hundred horror fans to watch the English-subtitled premiere of Millennium I: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the Film 4 Frightfest in Leicester Square.

An excellent job has been made of getting to the heart of the book, cutting out some of the romantic subplots and making the most of its two main characters Mikael Blomkvist and Lizbeth Salander.

What's left is a taught thriller/who-dunnit with the pair working together to find out what happened to Harriet Vanger who disappeared, thought killed, over 40 years ago. Though long, the story never drags and the performances are superb.

The locations matched well with my visualisation from reading the book with one exception - the size of the bridge that isolates the island. In the film it's huge and I had imagined a little humpback bridge!

I'd be interested to hear what people who haven't read the book already thought about it. The audience seemed to enjoy the film and were rooting for Salander in a couple of the more horrific scenes where she takes her revenge.

The trailer can be found here on IMDB.

More on the series of films can be found on the production company, Yellow Bird's page.

The film will be released in the UK next Spring.

Also, read the Euro Crime review of the book, here.

Handy (cover theme - non crime fiction books)

This cover of Twilight's been around since 2007, the other two are recent/upcoming publications:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's Going to be Murder on 6 September

Get the recorder ready as there's likely to be a clash on 6 September between:

ITV: Julia McKenzie in Marple: A Pocketful of Rye at 8pm


BBC3: And Then There Were None Harper's Island (time TBC)

Reminder about Harper's Island:

Brand new to BBC Three, Harper's Island brings murder and mystery to the channel. The series pushes the boundaries of traditional television with frightening, tense and exciting drama that will keep the viewer riveted.

A secluded island off the coast of Seattle is the scene for a week-long wedding celebration attended by a group of family and friends. But amidst the festivities, a murderer begins claiming victims one by one, transforming the occasion into a terrifying struggle for survival.

Over 13 episodes, Harper's Island will unravel a twisted tale of murder and revenge as these wedding guests – each with their own motives, fears and desires – attempt to find the killer (or killers) before they strike again .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Events in the West Midlands 2 - Warwick Words

I had a tip-off on my facebook page about this one, Warwick Words held 1-4 October 2009. I think these are the only crime fiction related events:

An Evening with Val McDermid
Saturday 3 October
Bridge House Theatre

Join International bestselling crime writer, Val McDermid, who has sold over one million copies in the UK alone and over 10 million copies worldwide. Her novels have been translated into twenty six languages across the globe and she has won numerous international and UK literary awards.

The Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series has enjoyed tremendous success including being adapted for the award-winning ITV drama, Wire in The Blood for six series. Fever of the Bone is the latest exhilarating instalment of the escapades of the clinical psychologist and Detective Chief Inspector and yet again takes the crime fighting duo into uncharted waters.

Val McDermid has become our leading pathologist of everyday evil… The subtle orchestration of terror is masterful The Guardian.

Tickets: £10.00
(£8.00 concessions)

plus extras later in the month:

Making Crime Pay

Making Crime PaySaturday 10 October
St Mary’s Church - The Vestry
2.00pm - 5.00pm

‘Making Crime Pay’ - A hands-on workshop led by successful crime writer Kate Charles.

Kate reveals a few of the secrets of getting published - but come prepared to work hard. Bring a notebook and a pen!

Tickets: £15.00

There are only 12 places available for this workshop so please book in advance through our box office 01926 776438

Corpses in the Cloister

Corpses in the CloisterSaturday 10 October
St Mary’s Church

Join clerical crime writer Kate Charles as she explores the unlikely links between the church and crime fiction, visiting everything from ordained detectives to crime novels set in cathedrals

Kate Charles, a former Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Barbara Pym Society, is the author of eleven crime novels set against the colourful historical backdrop of the Collegiate church. Her current series features London curate Callie Anson and explores issues ranging from gay bishops to the role of women in the church. Kate’s latest novel, Deep Waters, is a fascinating and timely look at celebrity culture.

Fundraising event for the church.

Tickets: £7.50

Refreshments will be provided.

Tickets will only be available from the St Mary’s Church shop, Warwick Books or by calling 01926 773637. Limited tickets will be available on the door.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quoth the Raven (Cover Theme) II

Part two of my big birds on covers theme, this time the same cover has been used, though slightly differently:

Deep Waters by Kate Charles was published last March.
Seaweed in the Soup by Stanley Evans is published in February.

Events in the West Midlands 1 - Throckmorton Literary Festival

The second Throckmorton Literary Festival, held at Coughton Court in Worcester, takes place between 18-20 September. There're many well known authors attending and though there seems to be a history bias, there are also a few crime fiction authors appearing:
18th September
14:30 Stella Rimington, Present Danger

19th September
16:45 Leigh Russell, Cut Short

20th September
14:30 Jessica Mann, Godrevy Light (promoting a non-crime fiction book)

16:00 Laura Thompson, Agatha Christie: An English Mystery
Individual events are £8, day tickets are £35. Other authors appearing include Kate Adie, Mavis Cheek, David Starkey and Alison Weir. The full programme can be found here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

I have just posted a review of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher over on my Teenage Fiction blog. This is a psychological thriller revolving around the after-effects of a suicide. This one's aimed at older teens and upwards. It's very gripping and extremely thought provoking.

It's just out in the UK (and in paperback)

Read the review here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Reviews: Burke, Cleeves, Creed, Harper, Monaldi & Sorti, Sington

There are three competitions running this month; the prizes are: The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke, Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin and Blood Law by Steven Hague (some restrictions apply).

Here are this week's reviews:
I review one of this month's competition prizes, The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke;

Pat Austin reviews the paperback edition of White Nights by Ann Cleeves the second in the excellent Shetland Quartet;

Maxine Clarke reviews Suffer the Children by Adam Creed the first in a London based police procedural series;

Michelle Peckham reviews the globe-trotting thriller, The Book of Secrets by Tom Harper;

Laura Root reviews the controversial Imprimatur by Monaldi and Sorti

and Norman Price writes very favourably of The Einstein Girl by Philip Sington.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke

I've now reviewed this on my Reading Teenage Fiction blog though this title can equally be classed as an adult book.

Read the review here.

Win a copy on the Euro Crime website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jar City on Sundance Channel

The Sundance Channel is showing Jar City tonight and Saturday:

Wednesday August 19 at 11PM
Sunday August 23 at 2AM

Set amongst the cheerless outlying neighborhoods of Reykjavik, Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur's taut, cerebral police thriller from a novel by Arnaldur Indridason is additionally an eerie exercise in sense of place. Depressive detective Erlendur (Ingvar E. Sigurdsson) is investigating what he describes as "a typical Icelandic murder: messy and pointless." However, linkages soon arise, prompting him to delve into the mysterious death of a little girl two decades earlier.

The FAQ explains more about the Sundance Channel and how to get it (ie via satellite television and cable television).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Competition reminder

There won't be any reviews this weekend as I'm away for a couple of days, however I leave you with a reminder that 5 copies of each of these books can be won via the Euro Crime competition page:

If you have an interest in young adult/teenage fiction then you might like to take a look at my other blog Teenage Fiction for All Ages where today's Sunday Salon post summarises the previous week's posts.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

OT: Fox in a Box III

Fox's penthouse apartment is sinking closer to the floor, with the returning of several Tesco's fruit boxes, however a late addition of a parcel box has left him still a couple of feet off the ground.

From this last weekend:


Friday, August 14, 2009

News page updated

The Euro Crime News page (currently hosted on FriendFeed) has been updated with links to reviews from the last week.

Visit it here.

Can't keep a good cover down

A few months ago I posted an example of where the same cover has been used on three titles. I've now found a fourth use, though this time it's been modified a tad:

Update: and in a similar vein & 2) a cover from another country (July 10):

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Inspectors Zen and Banks on the TV

From The Guardian

The production company behind drama Wallander hopes to replicate the success of the Swedish detective by launching two new television detectives on BBC1 and ITV1.

Left Bank Pictures, run by The Queen producer Andy Harries, has had scripts commissioned for three Aurelio Zen mysteries, written by the late Michael Dibdin, for BBC1 and one Inspector Banks drama, written by Peter Robinson, for ITV1.

The Zen mysteries are set in Italy and feature a middle-aged detective who in the early novels lives with his mother in a Rome apartment.

Ratking is being adapted by Peter Berry, Vendetta by Simon Burke and Dead Lagoon by Patrick Harbinson.

Robinson's 2002 novel Aftermath – one of 16 Inspector Banks mysteries – is being adapted by Robert Murphy for transmission next year.

The film will feature detective chief inspector Alan Banks, who lives in the Yorkshire town of Eastvale. Divorced with two children, he works from the local police station overlooking the town's busy market square.

It is hoped the two detective mysteries could become long-running franchises.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another first book in a series receives translation

Recently we've had Vargas's first Adamsberg (The Chalk Circle Man) and Nesser's first Van Veteeren (The Mind's Eye) published after a number of later entries in the series have been translated. And now it's the turn of DCI Erik Winter...Penguin US are publishing Ake Edwardson's first Winter novel - Death Angels on 29 September.

Synopsis from A long-time number one bestseller in his native Sweden, Åke Edwardson’s profile was conspicuously raised when his novel Frozen Tracks was chosen as a finalist for a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Until now, however, the novel that launched Edwardson’s critically acclaimed Erik Winter series has never been available in the United States. With a new series translator who fully captures Edwardson’s signature atmospheric style, Death Angels is America’s introduction to Sweden’s youngest Chief Inspector as he teams up with Scotland Yard to solve the mysterious parallel killings of young British and Swedish tourists. Richly evocative of mid-nineties South London and Gothenburg, Sweden, Death Angels is a brilliant opening to a mesmerizing series that has become a phenomenon in international crime fiction.

The translator for Death Angels is Ken Schubert. Laurie Thompson has translated the three already available. My bibliography for Ake Edwardson is a little out of date as I hadn't realised this was #1 in the series.

OT: Another Doctor Who audio book to be read by David Tennant

I've got the latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine and it reveals that "the next 'audio original' title, The Day of the Troll by Simon Messingham" is to be read by David Tennant. This is his first since Pest Control.

The audio book will be released on 8 October 2009.

Synopsis: When the Doctor arrives on Earth in the far future, he is horrified to find the planet beset by famine and starvation. England is a barren wasteland, and scientists are desperately seeding the ground to make the crops grow again. But now it seems that something even worse is happening. Karl Baring, the owner of research facility The Grange, has been snatched away in the middle of the night. His sister Katy was with him when he vanished, but is now in catatonic shock - so it is up to the Doctor, with the help of the scientists at The Grange, to investigate. What is lurking under the old bridge, and why is it preying on people? The Doctor must find out, before it strikes again...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Reviews: Cordy, Edwardson, Franklin, Sapper, White, Winspear

There are three competitions running this month; the prizes are: The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke, Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin and Blood Law by Steven Hague (some restrictions apply).

Here are this week's reviews, which stick a bit closer to home this time round:
Michelle Peckham reviews the mass market paperback edition of The Source by Michael Cordy summing it up as "one for the beach";

Maxine Clarke reviews the paperback edition of Frozen Tracks by Ake Edwardson writing that it "a satisfying read, both in terms of plot and characterisation";

Norman Price reviews Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin (apa Grave Goods in the US). He finds lead character Adelia "a beguiling heroine in a fascinating historical setting" (Win a copy this month);

Rik Shepherd is unimpressed by Bulldog Drummond by Sapper wondering why it's such a 'classic';

Amanda Gillies reports that it's business as usual in Neil White's strong Garrett/McGanity series, of which Last Rites is the third

and Terry Halligan praises Jacqueline Winspear highly for her latest Maisie Dobbs outing, Among the Mad.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire at the Library

I was just looking to see if my local library had a paperback edition of Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire as they bulk buy the best-sellers, and of the county's 54 copies, 51 are out on loan:

(Compared with 10 out of 63 copies still available of The Host by Stephenie Meyer).

Poll results on International Dagger 2009

I'm removing from the side-bar, the poll results about the International Dagger speculation (the winner was Fred Vargas with The Chalk Circle Man) but I've recorded a screen shot for posterity:

OT: Fox in a Box II

You can't keep a cat out of a box. These temporary storage devices, used during the great new boiler adventure are now awaiting return to Tesco but are still proving useful for the cats to play with:

He doesn't have to jump in/out though, as there's a short cut via the table:

You can see Fox in a Box part I here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

One cover leads to another

This edition of Disgrace was published in 1999. The Crossroads was published in January and Summertime is out in September.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

I've recently reviewed the young adult book, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant, on my other blog.

Though the protagonist is only 10/11 at the time of the events that occur, it is her older 17/18 year-old self recounting events.

It's a crime novel, set in Germany and if you liked the chapters narrated by ten-year-old Kate Meaney in Catherine O Flynn's What Was Lost, you will probably enjoy this one.

I certainly did and found it to be well written with an engaging lead and the German traditions added to the interest.

My review can be found here.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Publishing Deal - Christobel Kent

Christobel Kent's A Time of Mourning has recently been published in the UK and Publishers Lunch brings details of a US deal:
Christobel Kent's A TIME OF MOURNING, the first in a new series featuring an ex-cop turned PI, to Daniela Rapp at Minotaur, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010

Monday, August 03, 2009

Simon Mayo's Book Review Show

The latest edition of the Simon Mayo's Book Review podcast - hosted by Richard Bacon this week - reviews The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi -the 'true crime' story of Italy's notorious serial killer. Interestingly, none of the panel had heard about the story before. The Euro Crime review, posted in January, is here. One of the senior policeman in the case, Michele Giuttari, now writes a crime series set in Florence and his bibliography is here.

The books podcast can be downloaded or listened to here.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Reviews: Billingham, Blake, Bolton, Cotterill, Fitzgerald, Parot & New Competitions

Three new competitions for August, prizes are: The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke, Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin and Blood Law by Steven Hague (some restrictions apply).

Here are this week's reviews:
Tom Thorne is back in Mark Billingham's Blood Line, which reviewer Craig Sisterson calls a "taut tour de force";

Rome in AD 608 is the setting for Conspiracies of Rome by Richard Blake reviewed by Terry Halligan who found it to be "one of the most atmospheric historical novels I've read in years";

Amanda Gillies calls S J Bolton's Awakening "superb" despite her snake phobia;

Michelle Peckham reviews Dagger Winner Colin Cotterill's fourth Laos mystery Anarchy and Old Dogs concluding it's "an entertaining read that is thoroughly recommended";

Maxine Clarke has mixed views on My Last Confession by Helen Fitzgerald

and Laura Root has another enjoyable excursion into pre-revolutionary France in the third of the Nicolas Le Floch series by Jean-François Parot, The Phantom of Rue Royale.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found here.