Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trailer - Before I Go to Sleep

S J Watson's debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep will be published by Doubleday on 28 April. I have a glowing review from Lizzie Hayes to publish a bit nearer to the release date. Here's the synopsis and the trailer:

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...' Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guess What I'm Reading

I've just started a new book (in translation) and it struck me how the following action in the sentence below rarely appears in British crime fiction (except in Oxford and Cambridge settings perhaps) but is common in a certain European country:
When Carl got home, he leaned his bicycle against the shed outside the kitchen...
Carl is a senior detective and the lead character.

Which country do you think this book is set in :)?

Monday, March 28, 2011

ITV to do more DCI Banks

ITV's pilot of the DCI Banks series starring Stephen Tompkinson was successful enough for them to commission adaptations of three more books. ITV has just announced on twitter that filming has begun today. The Inspector Banks website states that:
The three books being adapted are Playing With Fire, Friend of the Devil and Cold is the Grave.
These are nos 14, 17 and 11 respectively in the series by Peter Robinson. There will be two episodes per book.

I am a bit surprised that follow-up episodes have been commissioned as I was less than impressed with it and Tompkinson seemed very miscast.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

BBC4 is spoiling us (aka the return of Spiral)

Having bought and shown the excellent The Killing (still to be completed in this household at the time of writing), BBC Four are following it up with double episodes of series 3 of...Spiral.

The Butcher of La Villette begins next Saturday at 9pm on BBC Four.

When the body of a young woman is found murdered and mutilated, police captain Laure Berthaud seizes the opportunity to redeem a tarnished reputation and leads her squad on the hunt for the sadistic killer. Meanwhile, Judge Roban's investigation into the case of a child being bitten by a dog might turn out to have broader implications, and even public prosecutor Pierre Clement is not immune from the resulting pressure.

The first two series can be bought on DVD as a boxed set for £16 on or

New Reviews: Mankell and Tremayne

Two competitions for March, both close 31st March:
1.Win a signed copy of Complicit by Nicci French UK only
2.Win From the Dead by Mark Billingham UK & Europe only

Here are this week's reviews (apologies for the reduced number which is due to circumstances beyond my control):
a few days ago, on this blog, I reviewed Henning Mankell's The Troubled Man, tr Laurie Thompson, the last of the Wallanders

and Amanda Gillies reviews Peter Tremayne's latest Sister Fidelma, The Chalice of Blood which is now out in paperback.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Non euro but I also reviewed a YA mystery last week on my teenage blog, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead which was charming and enthralling.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

I thought I'd post my review straight into the blog so people can comment on it and the Wallander series if they so wish. The Troubled Man is published today.

The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell, tr Laurie Thompson (March 2011, Harvill Secker, ISBN: 1846553717)

Is there something special about having a ten-book series? Sjowall and Wahloo wrote ten Martin Becks, Stieg Larsson was set to write ten about Millennium and now Henning Mankell's tenth and final book about Kurt Wallander has been published in English.

Wallander is now sixty and there are few recognisable faces from the earlier books, except for his colleague Martinsson and daughter Linda. Linda has settled down with a financier, Hans von Enke and they have a new-born daughter. Wallander meets Hans's parents Louise and Hakan, and Hakan, a former high-up in the navy, makes him feel very welcome, and at Hakan's 75th birthday party he corners Wallander and tells him a tale about a cover-up of Russian submarines being in Swedish waters back in the 80s. Wallander thinks Hakan looks worried and sure enough, he vanishes; he goes out on his regular walk and does not return. Though not in charge of the case Wallander makes enquiries of his own. He concludes nothing and then there is a second disappearance and then a body is found.

Wallander's investigation reveals deep family secrets and quite a bit about recent Swedish naval history, and eventually he gets to the bottom of the case, but THE TROUBLED MAN is more than a straightforward police procedural. Wallander is not a particularly happy person at the best of times but working on his own, during his summer holiday, there is plenty of time for morose introspection; he revisits his life and achievements, his relationships with Linda, his ex-wife Mona and other people that meant something to him. There are also references to the earlier cases and there is a sense of all loose ends having been tied up.

The mystery is intriguing and there is the fascination to see how an established series is concluded – see Ian Rankin's Rebus – and this series is well wrapped up but the final few sentences left me quite upset, even though the signs were there all along. THE TROUBLED MAN had me gripped but ultimately, saddened that there would be no more in this series and just plain sad at the way it ended.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New authors in translation

Seems every week, I add another book to my amazon list of Scandinavian Crime Fiction published in 2011 which is now up to 23.

The Boy in the Suitcase: A Nina Borg Mystery Set in Denmark by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis will be published in the US in November (no UK release date yet) by Soho Crime who write:
Lene Kaaberbøl has sold more than two million books worldwide as a fantasy writer. Her collaborator, Agnete Friis, is a children’s writer. Their bestselling Nina Borg series has been translated into nine languages and was a finalist for the coveted Scandinavian Glass Key Crime Fiction Award.

Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to save or protect illegal refugees. But when Nina's estranged friend Karin leaves Nina a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet. Because inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.

Nina's natural instinct is to rescue the boy, but she knows the situation is risky. Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down. Whoever put the boy in the suitcase put him there for a reason, and was not intending Nina to be the one to take him. When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too.

I'm not sure who is translating.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Upcoming Crime Fiction Events in London

Here are a couple more crime fiction events in London coming up soon:

As part of the Free the Word Festival:

Criminal Justice

Dominique Manotti, Margie Orford & Nii Ayikwei Parkes, chaired by Dreda Say Mitchell
Friday 8 April at 6.30pm
Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Tickets: £8 (£5 PEN Members and Concessions) or £25 for full festival ticket
Book tickets to Criminal Justice online

Crime writing is one of the world’s most tenacious literary genres, creeping around political and cultural barriers. Yet despite the harsh spotlight it shines on power and corruption, crime writing is often written off as simply a form of popular entertainment. The bestselling French author Dominique Manotti debates the impact of crime writing with the South African crime novelist and reporter Margie Orford and Nii Ayikwei Parkes, poet, novelist and publisher. Award-winning crime writer Dreda Say Mitchell asks if their writing makes any difference to society – or is it just an opiate for the masses?

and at Foyles (booking required but tickets are free):

Crimes and Misdemeanours: Russian Detective Fiction, with Grigory Chkhartishvili aka Boris Akunin

13th April 2011 6:30pm - 7:30pm Charing Cross Road Literary Event

Often referred to as the 'undisputed champion' of Russian crime fiction, Boris Akunin has plumbed the depths of tsarist Russian history as inspiration for his sinister characters and labyrinthine plots. This evening he sheds light on the truth behind the fiction, the differences between British and Russian crime and the true origins of his pen name.

This event is supported by the British Council and Academia Rossica as part of the Russia Market Focus 2011 cultural programme at The London Book Fair.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Reviews: Clark, Janes, McKenzie, May, Solana, Staalesen, Stock & Website Updates

Two competitions for March, both close 31st March:
1.Win a signed copy of Complicit by Nicci French UK only
2.Win From the Dead by Mark Billingham UK & Europe only

Here are this week's reviews:
Terry Halligan reviews Cassandra Clark's third Abbess of Meaux mystery: The Law of Angels calling it a "fascinating historical page turner";

Lizzie Hayes reviews Diane Janes follow-up to her CWA Dagger Award shortlisted debut novel: Why Don't You Come For Me, which comes "highly recommended";

Michelle Peckham reviews Grant McKenzie's second North America-set thriller, No Cry For Help;

Amanda Gillies reviews Peter May's The Blackhouse the first in a trilogy featuring "Lewis-born, Edinburgh-based, detective, Fin MacLeod";

I review Teresa Solana's A Shortcut to Paradise, tr Peter Bush one of the latest gems from Bitter Lemon Press;

Maxine Clarke reviews Gunnar Staalesen's Yours Until Death, tr. Margaret Amassian

and earlier this week I reviewed the audio book of Jon Stock's spy-thriller, Games Traitors Play.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Plus I've also refreshed the bibliography pages on the website:

State of play at 20.3.11:
  • The Author Websites page now lists 868 sites.

  • The New & Upcoming Releases pages have been updated.

  • In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 1636 authors (8372 titles with links to 1945 reviews):

  • I've added new bibliographies for: Geraint Anderson, Sara Blaedel, Robin Blake, Chris Carter, Eoin Colfer, Julia Crouch, Pablo de Santis, Jeffery Deaver, Patrick Easter, Elsebeth Egholm, Christopher (CW) Gortner, Howard Linskey, Kevin McCarthy, Lynn Shepherd, Didier van Cauwelaert, Alex Walters, Tim Weaver, Jan Merete Weiss and Robert Wilton

    I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Michael Arnold, Lindsay Ashford, James Barrington, M C Beaton, Tony Black, Richard Blake, Fabrice Bourland, Rhys Bowen, Simon Brett, Andrew Britton, Maureen Carter, Kimbereley Chambers, John Connolly, Fay Cunningham, K O Dahl, Joy Ellis, Kate Ellis, James Fleming, M R Hall, Tim Heald, Susan Hill, Peter James, Paul Johnston, Doug Johnstone, Gene Kerrigan, Giles Kristian, Asa Larsson, Giulio Leoni, Karen Maitland, Hakan Nesser, Sheila Quigley, Matt Benyon Rees, Peter Robinson, Michael Robotham, Rosemary Rowe, Craig Russell, Nicola Slade, Roz Southey, M Stanford-Smith, Simon Tolkien, Christopher Wakling, Charlie Williams, Emily Winslow and Simon Wood.
    If you spot any errors or omissions do let me know.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Competition Winners August 2010 - February 2011

    Here are details of who won what in the last few months' Euro Crime competitions:

    August 2010

    The 3 winners of a set of Lockdown and Deadlock by Sean Black were:

    Suzanne Bellingham
    Johannah Carroll
    Erika Strålberg

    The 5 winners of a copy of Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer by Luigi Guicciardi, tr Iain Halliday were:

    Karen Gwilliam
    Alison Maloney
    Jen Rogers
    Nicolette Weaver
    Stephen wilsonleach

    September 2010

    The 3 winners of a copy of From the Dead by Mark Billingham were:

    Denise Haas
    Julie Mayer
    Vivian Quinones

    October 2010

    The 5 winners of a copy of Someone Else's Son by Sam Hayes were:

    Emma Barron
    Jolene Brinklow
    Jane Davis
    R Lloyd
    Peter Rodda

    November 2010

    The winner of a set of the CWA Ellis Peters Award 2010 Shortlist was:

    Jenny Poole

    No competition in December 2010

    January 2011

    The 3 winners of a copy of Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger were:

    Tony Hurdman
    Lisa Hutchinson
    Lee Irving

    The 5 winners of a copy of A Noble Killing by Barbara Nadel were:

    Sharon Heath
    Wilma Jones
    Nicky Russell
    Linda Streater
    Andrea Upton

    No competition in February 2011

    Title Change Alert - M C Beaton

    I've just been updating my database with M C Beaton's new Agatha Raisin title - As the Pig Turns - due out in October and saw what I thought was a new Hamish MacBeth offering, straight in paperback. Close inspection of the cover reveals a) that it was first published as Death of a Glutton (the eighth in the series) and b) Scotland now has vultures (apparently)...

    This retitled offering is due out in the US in late June.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Review: Games Traitors Play by Jon Stock (audio book)

    Games Traitors Play by Jon Stock, narrated by Paul Panting (Whole Story Audio Books, February 2011, ISBN: 9781407471495, 10 CDs)

    Games Traitors Play is the sequel to 2009's Dead Spy Running and is the middle part of the "Legoland" trilogy, Legoland being the nickname for the MI6 building at Vauxhall. And as before, the audio edition was published one month before the print edition.

    The hero of this set of books is MI6 agent Daniel Marchant, the son of a former head of MI6 who is not trusted by the Americans but has the absolute trust of the current MI6 head, Marcus "the Vicar" Fielding.

    As a result of the events in Dead Spy Running, Daniel has been grounded for a year by the Americans and is only now able to continue his mission to find his half-brother, Salim Dhar, who is also the world's most wanted terrorist, and turn him into a secret asset for Britain.

    Daniel's pursuit of Dhar takes him to all over the world: Morocco, Sardinia, India but it seems the only way to meet Dhar is for Daniel to defect to Russia which is from where, Dhar's believed to be planning an attack on Britain. Daniel's the only person who has a chance of stopping him.

    There is plenty of action in Games Traitors Play with an exciting opening chase sequence in Morocco and a nerve-wracking finale in Britain and a fascinating look at what goes on in a huge Indian temple mid-way through. Daniel meets some familiar faces from the first book - both friends and enemies and makes more of each along the way.

    Games Traitors Play contains plenty of double-crossing and complicated political manoeuvring in particular when Daniel is trying to convince the Russians he wants to defect and the Russians have to be made to believe him. Daniel and Dhar's father seems to be pulling the strings from beyond the grave.

    Games Traitors Play does give away nearly all the surprises in Dead Spy Running so it would be better to listen to them in the correct order. Dead Spy Running is a superb thriller and one that set a very high standard and I didn't feel that Games Traitors Play was quite as continuously gripping. Nonetheless it's still a very entertaining and enlightening listen and I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

    As before, the narration by Paul Panting was superb, in particular the slightly harsh voice of Daniel and the refined, quieter tone of Fielding, and I hope he is available to record the final part of the trilogy when it's released.

    There is a bonus disc with Jon Stock being interviewed by Maggie Mash (who narrates Stella Rimington's spy-series) and includes a few details of some new settings in book three, plus the fact that he wants Daniel to carry on after the trilogy.

    You can follow Daniel Marchant on twitter: @MarchantMI6 and read more about the books and Jon Stock at his website.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    The Trinity Six - Cover Opinions

    This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for Charles Cumming's The Trinity Six.

    So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with the books of Charles Cumming?

    If you have read it, how well do the covers match the story?

    The Trinity Six was published in the US yesterday and came out in February in the UK.

    Read the Euro Crime review by Geoff Jones of The Trinity Six

    You can also read an excert on the US Macmillan website.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Whitechapel 3 - set for 2012

    The three leads from Whitechapel I and II are set to return in 2012 in another outing. From the ITV website:

    Following the massive success of the first two runs, Whitechapel will return in 2012 with a new six-part series.

    The intrepid team tracked down a blood-thirsty Jack the Ripper copycat in series one and faced off against the gangster brutality of a new generation of Krays in series two. But now they are now faced with a whole new set of challenges…

    The new series will find DI Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones), DS Miles (Phil Davis) and Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton) spreading their investigations beyond the boundaries of Whitechapel, as they peel back the layers of some of the East End’s most gruesome history.

    The East End will once again provide fertile ground for murder, body-snatching, poisoning and grisly discoveries, as the team's present day investigations echo three hundred years of crimes committed in the city's darkest recesses.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Guest Post: Simon Lelic

    Simon Lelic's first book Rupture (aka A Thousand Cuts) was published to great acclaim and shortlisted for the CWA's John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.

    Maxine Clarke, in her review of Rupture for Euro Crime wrote: "The book is a short masterpiece, and one that everyone should read to experience what it can really be like when institutionalised bullying, violence and protectionism are allowed to continue unchecked. Chillingly realistic, this novel is a Lord of the Flies for a new generation."
    (Read her whole review here.)

    Simon's second novel is The Facility which was published in January:

    Synopsis: Henry Graves has dedicated his life to the prison service, but he is unprepared for the challenge his new and secret assignment brings. Tasked with managing a government facility hidden deep in the countryside, Henry finds himself tested as never before: by the confused and frightened prisoners, by the sinister Dr Silk and, above all, by his conscience. Tom Clarke, a precocious but naive journalist, has his own problems meanwhile. His career - and his life - is turned upside down by the arrival of Julia Priestley, who seeks his help in finding her estranged husband, Arthur, an innocent dentist who has been arrested under severe new anti-terrorism legislation. The authorities admit they have taken him but will not say where he is being held - or why. Discovering a trail that implicates those at the very top of government, Tom and Julia begin a quest to find Arthur, and the truth about his incarceration. But some people will stop at nothing to keep the facility's secret hidden, and soon the couple find themselves fighting for their lives...

    You can find out more about Simon and his books on his website plus he is currently doing a virtual tour of several blogs. His previous stop was at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist where Margot poses some interesting questions and you can follow the tour's progress at UK & Beyond Book Tours.

    And now the bit you've come for, a guest post from Simon Lelic on the subject of whether he writes crime fiction or literary fiction...
    I don't read crime novels. I didn't think I wrote them either but after my first novel, Rupture, was published, I discovered that, actually, I do – at least according to some of the agents and publishers who were interested in taking on the book, the bookshops that now stock it, the reviewers who, well, review it. Note some. That is, not all. Others maintain that I do indeed write literary fiction, just as I had suspected and, initially at least, had hoped.

    Which is all very confusing. At least, it could be. The truth is, I have actually found this instinct to categorise illuminating. It has helped me to understand just how subjective and porous such definitions can be. In a recent article in the Guardian, for example, John Mullan explains how the term 'literary' can imply anything from 'pretentious' and 'plot-free' to novels that ask us 'to attend to the manner of their telling', and 'invite discrimination' because such fiction 'calls attention to form'. Which seems fairly comprehensive – and suitably nebulous – to me.

    Likewise, 'crime' fiction is . . . what? Books that adhere to the conventions of the genre? There is no police detective in my second novel, The Facility. There is no crime (in the traditional sense) nor an unmasking of whodunnit – yet still the first review to appear (in Red magazine) described the novel as 'an elegant crime thriller'. Similarly, the Telegraph said of Rupture that it was a 'superior detective novel, proof that crime fiction can break free of the bounds of the genre into something much more complex'. Which means it is literary fiction then, right? A detective novel but also something more? Great! Except . . . Hang on. Does this mean the book is actually pretentious and plot-free?


    Don’t get me wrong: in a world tyrannised by choice, labels of all kind have their uses. They can guide us, and keep us from feeling overwhelmed. But they can be misleading too. They can build barriers, boxing us in or, worse, out. In my experience as a reader, I can certainly testify to that.

    And so I maintain: I don't read crime novels. I don't read literary novels either. I read novels that I find engaging – through their prose, their characters, their plots – whether they are genre A or genre B or genre A + B + C. On my holiday last week, for instance, I carried in my suitcase books by Colm Thóibín, China Miéville and Scott Turow. A literary writer, a SF writer, a crime writer – or just good novelists, as I aspire to be?

    Rupture is published by Picador and is available now in paperback. The Facility is out now in Mantle hardback. For more information about Simon Lelic, visit
    Many thanks to Simon and Naomi at UK & Beyond Book Tours for contributing to and arranging for this post.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    New Reviews: Bale, Chance, Cotterill, Evans, Hall, le Carre, MacLeod

    Two competitions for March, both close 31st March:
    1.Win a signed copy of Complicit by Nicci French UK only
    2.Win From the Dead by Mark Billingham UK & Europe only

    Here are this week's reviews:
    Terry Halligan reviews the paperback release of Tom Bale's Terror's Reach;

    Amanda Gillies reviews Alex Chance's Savage Blood, which she loved;

    Michelle Peckham reviews the first in a new series (presumably) from Colin Cotterill, Killed at the Whim of a Hat set in Thailand;

    Lizzie Hayes reviews Geraldine Evans' Deadly Reunion the latest in this "marvellous series";

    Susan White reviews Tarquin Hall's The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing set in India;

    Geoff Jones reviews John le Carre's Our Kind of Traitor

    and Maxine Clarke reviews Torquil MacLeod's Meet Me in Malmo the first in a projected series featuring Inspector Anita Sundstrom.
    Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    OT: It's Cat-urday (cat on pc 4)

    Same pc, different cat. This was taken a couple of weeks ago when Toffee was feeling very sorry for herself. She'd managed to lose a claw and was hopping around. She's walking fine now but no sign of a new claw yet. I was very suprised to see her sleeping on the pc, she's more of a bed-cat:

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Snippets about some publishing deals

    These are very brief today. From Publishers Lunch email, news that a publishing deal has been struck for:
    Lynn Shepherd's TOM-ALL-ALONE'S, a mystery that runs parallel to and in the "space between" two masterpieces of mid-Victorian fiction: Bleak House and The Woman in White.
    Lynn Shepherd is the author of Murder at Mansfield Park.

    And on twitter today, this from Severn House:
    Just signed up 2 new novels in Fiona Buckley's Tudor mystery series featuring Elizabeth I's lady-in-waiting & part-time spy, Ursula Blanchard.
    I'm not sure if these are new books or new to UK books. Fiona Buckley has so-far written eight books in the Ursula Blanchard series.

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011

    Potsdam Station - Cover Opinions

    This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for David Downing's Potsdam Station.

    So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with the books of David Downing?

    If you have read it, how well do the covers match the story?

    In the UK, Potsdam Station was published last year and the paperback came out in January. It will be published in the US on 5 April.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    Waking the Dead - the end & a new beginning

    The final series of Waking the Dead begins on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One with the first of five two-parters.

    From the BBC Press release:

    Boyd (Trevor Eve) is back leading the Met's Cold Case Unit and investigating more unsolved crimes with his team: Grace (Sue Johnston), Eve (Tara FitzGerald) and Spence (Wil Johnson) in this the ninth and final series.

    In this series the team acquires a new member, brilliant ex-counter-terrorism officer Sarah Cavendish (Eva Birthistle). Foisted on Boyd by his superiors he is given little choice but to keep her out of "harm's way".

    Sarah matches Boyd in rank, the first time he has worked with someone of an equivalent level. Sarah's capabilities means she quickly ingratiates herself with her new colleagues; but as her symptoms of post-traumatic stress become increasingly apparent there is mounting concern for her welfare.

    Sarah challenges Boyd's recklessness in the line of duty – something, she warns, he will pay for one day.

    There are also interviews with Sue Johnston and Wil Johnson at the Press Release.

    However it's not quite the end for this fictional universe as there is to be a spin-off series revolving around Eve's character, called The Body Farm. From the BBC Press Release:
    Tara plays Eve Lockhart, from Waking The Dead, in this original six-part series made by BBC Drama Production in association with Trevor Eve's company Projector Productions.

    Eve Lockhart leads us into her other world on The Body Farm, a private forensics facility that is pushing back the boundaries of scientific research and solving crimes – it's unchartered territory. Here, no horror is taken for granted and murder is seen to be what it is – visceral and shocking.

    Eve is an exceptional forensic pathologist who leads a brilliant and ambitious team of scientists at a private facility where human remains are donated for scientific experiment. They are called upon by police forces all over the world to provide expert knowledge to help solve crimes.

    In the opening 90-minute special, Eve is the only character who has had any previous experience of dealing with the aftermath of a horrific crime. In the modern world, where private forensics are being used more and more by the law, Eve and her team turn to police work to pay the bills.

    Euro Crime Quote in Following the Detectives

    I've had a few minutes to peruse a library copy of Following the Detectives, which I mentioned last year and was pleased and surprised to see a quote from Maxine's review of Arctic Chill in the Arnaldur Indridason section:

    The photo is taken with my phone, hence the poor quality.

    Monday, March 07, 2011

    These Dark Things

    Thanks to Netgalley (an excellent purveyor of e-galleys), I've discovered another author writing crime fiction set in Italy. Jan Merete Weiss, has begun a series set in Naples starring Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabinieri. The first book, These Dark Things will be published by Soho Crime in May (US) and July (UK):

    When a beautiful college student is found murdered in the catacombs beneath a monastery, Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabinieri is assigned to investigate. Could the killer be a professor the student had been sleeping with? A blind monk who loved her? Or perhaps a member of the brutal Napali criminal organization, the Camorra? As Natalia pursues her investigation, the crime families of Naples go to war over garbage-hauling contracts; and all across the city heaps of trash pile up, uncollected. When one of Natalia's childhood friends is caught up in the violence, her loyalties are tested, and each move she makes threatens how own life and the lives of those she loves.

    Sunday, March 06, 2011

    New Reviews: Bird, Crouch, Kuzneski, Leon, Myers, Parris, Thompson & New Competitions

    Two new competitions for March, both close 31st March:
    1.Win a signed copy of Complicit by Nicci French UK only
    2.Win From the Dead by Mark Billingham UK & Europe only

    Here are this week's reviews:
    Paul Blackburn reviews Nigel Bird's Dirty Old Town a short story collection available for the Kindle;

    Michelle Peckham reviews Julia Crouch's debut, Cuckoo, calling it "a highly accomplished first novel";

    Amanda Gillies feels she's not the target audience for Chris Kuzneski's disappointing The Secret Crown;

    Maxine Clarke reviews Donna Leon's "well up to scratch" A Question of Belief which is now out in paperback;

    Lizzie Hayes reviews Amy Myers' Murder on the Old Road which she highly recommends;

    Susan White reviews S J Parris's follow-up to the acclaimed Heresy: Prophecy

    and Terry Halligan reviews James Thompson's police-procedural Snow Angels the first in a series set in Finland.
    Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

    Saturday, March 05, 2011

    Win: From the Dead by Mark Billingham

    Euro Crime has 5 copies of the paperback of From the Dead by Mark Billingham to giveaway. To enter the draw, just answer the simple question* and include your details in the form below.
    *The answer can be found in the Bibliographies section.

    This competition is open to UK & Europe residents and will close on 31 March 2011.
    Only 1 entry per person/per household please.
    (All entries will be deleted once the winner has been notified.)

    The hardback edition is reviewed on Euro Crime, here.

    It has been a decade since Alan Langford's charred remains were discovered in his burnt-out car. His wife Donna was found guilty of conspiracy to murder her husband and served ten years in prison. But just before she is released, Donna receives a nasty shock: an anonymous letter containing a photo of her husband. The man she hates with every fibre of her being - the man she paid to have murdered - seems very much alive and well. How is it possible that her husband is still alive? Where is he? Who sent the photo, and why? DI Tom Thorne becomes involved in a case where nothing and no one are what they seem. It will take him much further from his London beat than he has ever been before - and closer to a killer who will do anything to protect his new life.

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    Win: Complicit by Nicci French & Read an Extract

    Euro Crime has 5 signed copies of the paperback of Complicit by Nicci French to giveaway. To enter the draw, just answer the simple question* and include your details in the form below.
    *The answer can be found in the Bibliographies section.

    This competition is open to UK residents and will close on 31 March 2011.
    Only 1 entry per person/per household please.
    (All entries will be deleted once the winner has been notified.)

    Read a 20 page extract (pdf) which is hosted on the Euro Crime website here.

    The hardback edition is reviewed on Euro Crime, here.

    Who is more deadly?

    An enemy? A friend?

    Or a lover?

    Bonnie Graham is in her friend’s flat. She is alone, except for the dead body lying in a pool of blood. What happened? What will she do? And is any or all of it her fault?

    Bonnie is a music teacher who has spent a long, hot summer in London rehearsing with a band. It was supposed to be fun, but the tricky knots of the band’s friendships unravel with each passing day.

    What was meant to be a summer of happiness, music and love turns deadly as lovers betray, passions turn homicidal and friendship itself becomes a crime. Someone in the band must be a killer. Is it Bonnie? And if not – who is it?

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    Pesky Stickers & Pesky Comparisons

    Petrona, aka Maxine, and I spent a lovely afternoon today in Waterstone's Piccadilly branch. In the crime section there is a large display of Scandinavian crime fiction:

    Closer inspection reveals the expansion of the sticker range on the theme of "the next Stieg Larsson" which is on Jo Nesbo's books, with these two offerings:

    Winning the CWA International Dagger (ahead of Stieg Larsson) isn't enough of a pull apparently.

    And there's no comparison between Lackberg and Nesbo, Harry Hole would eat Patrick Hedstrom for breakfast.

    Here's another baffling comparison - for The Day is Dark, which is published in July:

    Wednesday, March 02, 2011

    New Bryant & May on Audio Book

    The March new releases from Whole Story Audiobooks sent me jumping for joy (and not just figuratively!) as another instalment of my favourite series on audio was released yesterday.

    There are a few narrator-author combinations I seek out in preference to the print books even though it means a wait: Adjoa Andoh and the Mma Ramotse series by Alexander McCall Smith, Cathleen McCarron and the 'big Marge' series by Aline Templeton, Maggie Mash and the Liz Carlyle series by Stella Rimington and above all....Tim Goodman narrating the hilarious Bryant and May series by Christopher Fowler.

    1 March saw the release of Bryant and May on the Loose (and Bryant and May Off the Rails is "coming soon"):

    Long regarded as an anachronism, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is to be disbanded. For octogenarian detectives Arthur Bryant and John May, it seems retirement is now the only option. But then a headless body is found in a freezer, and a suspicious, gigantic figure has been spotted - dressed in deerskin and sporting antlers made of knives. It looks like the PCU are back in business...

    Tuesday, March 01, 2011

    Severn House on Twitter

    Severn House publishers have recently joined twitter at #severnhouse and have recently tweeted the following nuggets regarding Paul Doherty and Paul Johnston:
    Acclaimed historical crime writer Paul Doherty has signed up 2 write 2 new Athelstan medieval mysteries for our new Creme imprint!
    Pleased to say we've signed 2 new novels in the Alex Mavros series, the award-winning Greek-based detective series by Paul Johnston
    Paul Johnston's Alex Mavros series (of three books) was re-published by MIRA in 2009.

    I will post more about the new Creme list soon.