Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Richard & Judy List

The Richard & Judy Autumn 2011 Book Club selection has just been announced and fans of British crime fiction will be pleased to see Peter May's The Blackhouse on the list.

Earlier this year, Euro Crime reviewer Amanda wrote of The Blackhouse:

"Peter May is another excellent Scottish crime writer. I suggest you get your hands on a copy of this book as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed."

and perhaps someone was listening.

Read her whole review, here.

Details of the other titles on the autumn list can be found here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Redbreast - Cover Opinions

The US mass market edition of Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast, translated by Don Bartlett, is (finally) published tomorrow. The cover is the bottom right. In the UK, over the years, since The Redbreast was first published in 2006, the cover has migrated from "fairly relevant to the plot" to "generic crime fiction cover" and currently to "generic Scandinavian crime fiction" cover with the o-slash being replaced by an o along the way.

So what are your thoughts on the UK (top) and US (below) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with this title?

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

Read the Euro Crime reviews of The Redbreast by me and Norman.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Reviews: Alec, Black, Brett, Corbin, Edwards, Lackberg, La Plante, Miller, Robinson

Here are this week's reviews:
Amanda Gillies reviews W Alec's Son of Perdition, which she highly recommends;

Equally recommended, this time by Terry Halligan, is Deadlock by Sean Black which is out in paperback;

I review the audio book of the second in this laugh out loud series written and read by Simon Brett: Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess - think Wodehouse meets Christie;

Sarah Hilary was less enthralled with Julie Corbin's Where the Truth Lies but says it may appeal to "those who like their crime a shade lighter than dark";

Maxine Clarke reviews Martin Edwards's new book in the Lake District series The Hanging Wood which reaches the high standard of the earlier books;

Lynn Harvey reviews the US edition of Camilla Lackberg's The Preacher, tr. Steven T Murray;

Geoff Jones review the new "Anna Travis" from Lynda La Plante: Blood Line which he enjoyed but cautions readers to read the previous one, Blind Fury, first;

Laura Root reviews the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger short-listed Kiss Me Quick by Danny Miller

and Susan White reviews the paperback release of Bad Boy by Peter Robinson.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crime drama - A Touch of Cloth

Charlie Brooker has written a crime drama spoof for Sky One, called A Touch of Cloth. Its stars are familiar with the genre having appeared in Rebus, Scott and Bailey, Marple and Poirot between them. From The Guardian:

Charlie Brooker has written a two-hour spoof crime drama for Sky1 starring John Hannah, Suranne Jones and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

A Touch of Cloth has been co-written with Daniel Maier, a writer on ITV1's Harry Hill's TV Burp, and sets out to be a "spoof of every British crime drama made in the last decade".

Hannah stars as DCI Jack Cloth, a "maverick, heavy drinking loner" who throws himself into his work after the death of his wife.

He is teamed with a "plucky, no-nonsense sidekick" played by Jones investigating a series of grisly murders. Rhind-Tutt plays their boss, Tom Boss.

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess by Simon Brett

Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess written and narrated by Simon Brett (March 2011, ISIS Audio Books (mp3), ISBN: 978-1-4450-0778-6)

Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess is the second outing for aristocratic siblings Blotto and Twinks and the sequel to Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter. They are spending a long weekend at the Dowager Duchess of Melmont's stately home, Snitterings; Blotto is not enjoying it all as the daughter of the household, known unflatteringly as the Snittering's Ironing-board has set her cap at Blotto and he, being short of brains, is struggling to avoid the inevitable.

Among the party staying at Snitterings is a "know-it-all polymathic amateur sleuth" who finds himself in action when the body of the Dowager Duchess of Melmont is found in the kitchen gardens. However the conclusion he comes to, incorrectly points the finger at Blotto's chauffeur, Corky Froggett. Twinks has already deduced who the real killer is - and he has escaped - and so the duo set out to find him and prevent this miscarriage of justice.

Their investigations however lead them to uncovering the dastardly League of the Crimson Hand, a group dedicated to removing the aristocracy - by death. Their pursuit of the truth takes them to both the west and far north of the UK before a dramatic confrontation in the skies over London.

As with book one, this was a funny

"So sharp was the intake of breath from every customer that The Three Feathers only just avoided becoming a vaccum."

and engaging listening experience. I do so enjoy Simon Brett's narration. The plot in this one is probably a bit sillier than the previous one and doesn't take itself too seriously. At one point Blotto defeats 20 men with rifles with just his bare hands - all off the page! The pair are slightly less likeable than before with their over-reference to the "oikish" classes and the snobbery is a tad painful though of course this is a spoof so perhaps I shouldn't let it annoy me!

If you don't fancy the audio book then both Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess and Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter, published by Robinson, are available in paperback and very cheaply at the moment on Kindle (99p). The next book, Blotto, Twinks and the Rodents of the Riviera has just been published in hardback and Kindle, and I eagerly await the audio book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Publishing Deal - Timothy Williams

Just read this in the Soho Crime newsletter:
... I'm thrilled to announce that Timothy Williams, author of the beloved and critically acclaimed Commissario Trotti series, has signed on to publish a new series with Soho. The Anne Marie Levaud series is set on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Timothy is a master craftsman (The Guardian named him one of the top modern European crime writers in this article) and I'm so thrilled to be working with him on this new venture!
Here's Timothy Williams's bibliography on Euro Crime

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Body Farm - Coming Soon to BBC1?

A few months ago I mentioned a proposed sequel to Waking the Dead, called The Body Farm which would focus on Dr Eve Lockhart played by Tara Fitzgerald. Clips from the show appeared in a recent BBC Drama trailer and a new press release has just come out:

Starring Tara FitzGerald, who reprises her role as Dr Eve Lockhart from the hit BBC One series Waking The Dead, and Keith Allen as Detective Inspector Hale, The Body Farm is an original new six-part crime drama series for BBC One.

The Body Farm centres around the work of a team of scientists, led by Eve Lockhart, working at the cutting edge of forensic detection. Their base is a remote farm from which, with the aid of donor bodies, they conduct research on behalf of Police forces around the world into the many ways in which murders can be committed and sometimes disguised. As the harsh economic climate eats into their funding, and the Home Office's own forensic facility falls victim to cutbacks, Eve accepts DI Hale's offer for The Body Farm to leave the hidden world of academic research for the visceral front line of murder detection. Eve, of course, is no stranger to murder in its many forms, but her new team find themselves rapidly thrust into an unexpectedly brutal new world.

Eve's team comprises Rosa, Mike and Oggy. Wunmi Mosaku (Moses Jones, Father And Son, I Am Slave, Silent Witness) is Rosa, an expert Botanist, who is young, beautiful and perhaps too eager to put her research into practice. Mark Bazeley (The Damned United, The Queen) plays Mike, haematologist, business partner and, most importantly, an old flame of Eve's. Finlay Robertson (How Not To Live Your Life) is Oggy, a Forensic medicine PhD with a computer obsession. Oggy has had his head buried in his Body Farm research for so long that he has begun to fear the real world.

The whole press release is here plus there are links to interviews with the cast from that page and details of episode 1.

Will you be watching The Body Farm?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

OT: It's Cats-unday

Here's a recent shot of elder statesman Nimes (20) behind Pippa Jones (a mere 14). She loves that pile of soil so I haven't the heart to bash it down!

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Inspector George Gently

News from the BBC website of the two next episodes of Inspector George Gently, starring Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby, a series loosely based on the long-running series of books by Alan Hunter:

Martin Shaw returns to Sixties Northumberland in Inspector George Gently with two new feature-length films written by Peter Flannery.

This classic series, with its growling, passionate detective hero (Shaw) and his headstrong, un-pc sidekick, Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), lovingly recreates the Swinging Sixties as it finally hits the North East. Full of warmth and humour, seen through their "perfect" copper partnership, Inspector George Gently brings a colourful nostalgia to the period; when darned socks and a clout round the head were the norm. The series also gives a fascinating insight into a society on the cusp of change, and the difficulties that the police had to face in the Sixties to investigate and solve their crimes – without the help of modern technology.

Writer Peter Flannery says: "Inspector George Gently has taken on a new lease of life since the series came home to its geographical and spiritual roots last year. The city of Durham – in true Geordie fashion – has welcomed the show with open arms and the cast and crew simply love being there."

The first film, Goodbye China, delves into police brutality and corporal punishment when a youth disappears and an old "grass" of Gently's dies. Guest stars include: Neil Pearson, Dean Lennox Kelly, Christine Bottomley, Mark Benton, Lucy Akhurst, Shaun Prendergast and Alexandra Gilbreath.

In the second film, Gently Upside Down, Gently and Bacchus are thrown into the new world of pop and media celebrity when a schoolgirl vanishes and her friend is catapulted into the public eye. Guest stars include: Neil Morrissey, Vincent Regan, Louise Delamere, Kaye Wragg, Sean Gilder and Christopher Coghill; introducing Kate Bracken.

A further two films of Inspector George Gently have already been commissioned by the BBC to be filmed in 2012.
You can read the whole article and more information on the episodes at the BBC website.

CWA Awards (Gold, Fleming, Creasey) - Shortlists and TV & Film Daggers

The shortlists for the next crop of Dagger Awards have been announced. The press release says:
Brutal, bloodied and with a forensic approach to detail, the CWA Daggers shortlist contains a powerhouse of literary talent. For all their detective ability and searing insights, even the authors themselves cannot be expected to work out how these plots will end. The winners for eleven awards will be announced at The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards on Friday 7 October at the Grosvenor House.

The awards include the CWA Gold Dagger for the Best Crime Novel of the Year, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the Best Thriller of the Year, and the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for the Best New Crime Writer of the Year, along with the Film and TV Daggers.

Can Man Booker nominee A.D. Miller beat off the competition to take home one the most illustrious prizes in the crime writing world – the CWA Gold Dagger for the Best Crime Novel of the Year? He faces a struggle of Cold-War proportions as Snowdrops, his grim tale of life in Putin's Russia, sizes up to Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, set in the Deep South.

It is by no means a two horse race, with The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina bringing a strong female protagonist into the mix. A complex look at the dehumanisation of victims in an increasingly divided society, The End of The Wasp Season suggests that as a society we use 'evil' as a means to disengage from our problems. But could she perhaps lose out to one of the most disengaged characters seen in fiction in recent years – Mike, in Steve Hamilton's The Lock Artist is an elective mute who can pick locks and break safes. The question remains, however, whether Hamilton himself has cracked the code in writing prize winning crime fiction.


  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (Pan)
  • Snowdrops by A.D Miller (Atlantic Books)
  • The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Orion)
  • The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (Orion)




  • David Baldacci - The Sixth Man (Macmillan)
  • Lee Child - Worth Dying For (Bantam)
  • Mark Billingham - Good As Dead (Little, Brown) (pub. 18.8.11)
  • Peter James - Dead Man’s Grip (Macmillan)
  • Peter Robinson - Before the Poison (Hodder) (pub. 18.8.11)


True Grit (Paramount Pictures)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Momentum Pictures)
Brighton Rock (Optimum Releasing)
Source Code (Optimum Releasing)


Case Histories (Ruby Films, BBC One)
Luther (BBC One)
The Shadow Line (Company Pictures, BBC Two)
Zen (Left Bank Pictures, BBC One)
Vera (ITV Studios, ITV1)


The Killing, (Arrow Films, BBC4)
Boardwalk Empire (HBO, Sky Atlantic)
Castle (ABC Studios, Alibi)
Dexter (Showtime Networks, FX Channel)
Spiral (Son Et Lumiere, BBC 4)


Sofie Gråbøl for The Killing (Arrow Films, BBC4)
Brenda Blethyn for Vera (ITV Studios, ITV1)
Maxine Peake for Silk (BBC One)
Olivia Williams for Case Sensitive (Hat Trick Productions, ITV1)
Sue Johnston for Waking the Dead (BBC One)
Kelly Reilly for Above Suspicion (La Plante Productions, ITV1)


Idris Elba for Luther (BBC One)
Lars Mikkelsen for The Killing (Arrow Films, BBC4)
Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire (HBO, Sky Atlantic)
Jason Isaacs for Case Histories (Ruby Films, BBC One)
Rufus Sewell for Zen (Left Bank Pictures, BBC One)


Rafe Spall for The Shadow Line (Company Pictures, BBC Two)
Bjarne Henriksen for The Killing (Arrow Films, BBC 4)
Søren Malling for The Killing (Arrow Films, BBC 4)
John Lithgow for Dexter (Showtime Networks, FX Channel)
Aidan Gillen for Thorne (Stagereel / Cité Amérique, Sky One)


Ann Eleonora Jørgensen for The Killing (Arrow Films, BBC 4)
Kelly Macdonald for Boardwalk Empire (HBO, Sky Atlantic)
Ruth Wilson for Luther (BBC One)
Amanda Abbington for Case Histories (Ruby Films, BBC One)
Tara Fitzgerald for Waking The Dead (BBC One)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Field of Blood - on BBC1 soon

The Field of Blood based on Denise Mina's book of the same name will be begin on BBC1 on Monday 29 August between 10-15pm and 11-15pm. I'm not sure when the second part will be on yet.

From the BBC Press Office:
The Field Of Blood is set in Glasgow and centres on would-be journalist Paddy Meehan (played by Jayd Johnson), a young copygirl working in a newspaper office.

Paddy dreams of becoming an investigative journalist – believing that in miscarriages of justice, reporters are sometimes the only hope. Funny, smart and feisty, Paddy seizes an opportunity to kick-start her career and becomes embroiled in a dark murder case. For Paddy, it's the opportunity of a lifetime but it comes at great personal cost.

It's 1982 and Glasgow is shocked by the horrific murder of two-year-old Brian Wilcox. Paddy is fascinated by the story and waits, along with the rest of the city, for the inevitable arrest of a murderer. When Paddy's 10-year-old cousin is charged with the crime she faces a stark choice between the two defining elements in her life. On one side is her job at the paper and dreams of becoming a journalist; on the other is her tight-knit Catholic family who want her to stop all this career nonsense and settle down to a quiet life with her fiancé. Paddy puts family first and decides not to use her inside track on the story to secure her first scoop.

Unfortunately for Paddy, glamorous colleague Heather has no such scruples and the secret shame of the Meehan clan is splashed across the front pages. Shut out by her family, Paddy decides to look into the case to prove her cousin's innocence. Defying her boss, she sets about investigating the case but there are shocking consequences for someone close to her.
You can read interviews with the director and some of the actors at the BBC website.

I reviewed the book The Field of Blood in 2006.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trailer - Call Me Princess

The video below is of Danish author Sara Blaedel talking about her novel, Call Me Princess which has just been published in the US which introduces Detective Inspector Louise Rick . The translators are Erik J Macki and Tara F Chace and you can read an extract here.:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trailers - Elite Squad & Villain

Ahead of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which is out in September, there are a couple more crime/action thrillers (released this month), one from Brazil and one from Japan:

Elite Squad (2): The Enemy Within

"A box office sensation in Brazil, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within continues director José Padilha's compelling and fiercely authentic account of the BOPE - Rio's special police battalion - in a fight against street crime where all bets are off. Set 13 years after the original, it's an unflinching glimpse of a country plagued by corruption on both sides of the law."

Out now in selected cinemas.


Based on the book Villain by Shuichi Yoshida, here thoughtfully reviewed by Bernadette at Reactions to Reading.

The film is due on out 19 August (UK).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trailer - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This looks fab, with a stellar British cast to rival Harry Potter and from the director of Let The Right One In.

"In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons."

Opens on 16 September, here's a not very spoilery (I think) trailer:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Reviews: Enger, Fossum, Holt, Indridason, Kepler, Lackberg, Ridpath, Wagner

Here are this week's reviews - can you spot the theme?:
I review the debut novel from Norwegian author Thomas Enger, Burned, tr. Charlotte Barslund, which introduces an intriguing new lead in the shape of damaged reporter Henning Juul;

Michelle Peckham reviews one of Karin Fossum's earlier Sejer books, The Water's Edge, tr. Charlotte Barslund which she thoroughly recommends;

Maxine Clarke reviews Anne Holt's latest Vik/Stubo which she says is the best so far: Fear Not, tr. Marlaine Delargy;

New reviewer Rich Westwood opens his account with a review of the paperback edition of Arnaldur Indridason's Operation Napoleon, tr. Victoria Cribb which, unfortunately, isn't a patch on his Erlendur series;

A second opinion on Lars Kepler's The Hypnotist, tr. Ann Long is provided by Maxine Clarke;

I reviewed on the blog last week, the audio book version of Camilla Lackberg's The Gallows Bird, tr. Steven T Murray;

Lizzie Hayes recommends Michael Ridpath's 66 Degrees North, the second in his Iceland series

and Mark Bailey reviews Jan Costin Wagner's follow-up to Ice Moon, Silence, tr. Anthea Bell 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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Before I Go to Sleep - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for S J Watson's John Creasey Dagger longlisted Before I Go to Sleep.

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

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

Read the Euro Crime review by Lizzie of Before I Go to Sleep.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Review: The Gallows Bird by Camilla Lackberg (audio book)

The Gallows Bird by Camilla Lackberg tr. Steven T Murray, read by Eamonn Riley (Oakhill Publishing, March 2011, 11 CDs, ISBN: 978-0-85735-180-7)

Over the course of the three previous books, childhood friends Patrik (police officer) and Erica (novelist) have reconnected, had a baby and are now preparing for their wedding.

Patrik is distracted from this happy event by first the death of a local shopkeeper in a car accident. She was apparently stonkingly drunk and yet she was a known teetotaller. The team, including new member, Hanna Kruse, make some enquiries but are diverted when a definite murder occurs: a member of a reality show being filmed in town is found dead in a rubbish bin. This high profile case takes precedence for a while until a nudge from the dead woman's partner puts them back on track.

As more information is unearthed the crime aspects of the story covers an increasingly wide temporal and geographical area. Patrik almost feels out of his depth but he is reluctant to call in the National Crime Police. Threaded amongst the investigation are scenes from the reality show of the cast bickering and working; Erica and her sister's Anna attempts to organise the wedding (including a hilarious scene with Patrik's mum); Patrik's boss Mellberg's new romance and some odd snippets from the point of view of two children isolated in a cottage in a forest.

There's so much going on you cannot get bored. As I was listening to this, I realised why I prefer to listen than read this series - though the advantage of hearing correct pronunciations is a plus point as well - but to me these books are like a soap opera especially as the author finishes the books on cliff-hangers leaving you eager to find out more. I like my crime, and if I had to read about all the non-crime related domestic stuff that's in these books I probably wouldn't find it that interesting and would find it a bit frustrating, and yet it's quite enjoyable to be told it when you're travelling or washing-up.

The crime set-up in The Gallows Bird is interesting and puzzling but the way the solution was discovered was rather disappointing. The Gallows Bird was first published in 2006 and though that's a few years ago, were small police stations not on the Internet (due to security reasons apparently) and was data transferred between pcs on a disk? No filing system for pre-computer days crimes either, just the memories of long-serving staff? A few quick Googles and the case would have been solved pretty promptly. It's apparent that the police team are not the brightest but the coup-de-grace is when Patrik goes to a library and asks the librarian to put some pages of a story in order for him, which the librarian does, and helpfully points out that a page is missing as the page numbers don't follow on!

Nonetheless, despite the holes in the plot and the quantity of non-crime related minutes, I was engrossed, as I have been with the earlier two audio books. They are entertaining, and I do so enjoy Eamonn Riley's narration. I'm looking forward to the library acquiring the next one, The Hidden Child.

More reviews of Camilla Lackberg's books can be found on the Euro Crime website.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

New Reviews: Child, Cross, Edwards, Ellis, French, Kristian, Seymour, Theorin

Here are this week's reviews, which include visits to Iraq, Ireland, Sweden, USA and the age of the Vikings(!) as well as the UK:
Lynn Harvey joins the review team with her review of Lee Child's fifteenth Reacher novel, Worth Dying For, which has just come out in paperback;

Sarah Hilary reviews Neil Cross's prequel to his tv series Luther, Luther: The Calling;

I reviewed Martin Edwards's The Serpent Pool on the blog last week (do read the comments as well!);

Lizzie Hayes reviews another fifteenth in the series - Kate Ellis's The Jackal Man the latest in the Wesley Peterson series just out in paperback;

Geoff Jones reviews Tana French's third book in a connected series of books, Faithful Place;

Amanda Gillies reviews the last in the Raven Trilogy by Giles Kristian , Raven: Odin's Wolves (but hopes for more!);

Terry Halligan reviews the recently released new thriller from Gerald Seymour A Deniable Death

and Maxine Clarke reviews double CWA Dagger winner Johan Theorin's third book in the Oland Quartet: The Quarry, tr. Marlaine Delargy.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Publishing Deal - Chris Ewan

Faber has bought two books from the Good Thief's Guide author, Chris Ewan:

Faber has bought a crime novel about a man involved a motorcycle accident, who is told the girl who was travelling with him does not appear to exist.

The Safe House by Chris Ewan is due for publication in summer 2012. When Rob Hale wakes in hospital after a motorcycle accident, he is told his passenger does not appear to exist, as paramedics only found Hale at the scene. He soon discovers the girl is linked to his sister's recent suicide.

Read the whole article at The Bookseller.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Inspector Morse Prequel (tv show)

From BBC News:

Inspector Morse is to return to TV screens in a one-off show about the detective's early career.

Endeavour, which will be filmed in Oxford, will feature The Take star Shaun Evans in the role made famous by John Thaw.

Set in 1965, the story revolves around a hunt for a missing schoolgirl and will give viewers the chance to see where the detective's love for crosswords and classic cars came from.

It is expected to air on ITV next year.

"Morse as a young man is a wonderful character that I'm very excited to be playing," said Evans.

"My hope is that we can complement what's come before, by telling a great story and telling it well."

ITV drama commissioner Laura Mackie said the drama, titled after Morse's first name, was "a beautifully written story".

In the Daily Mail's article, it states that "The programme has been written by Russell Lewis, but Colin Dexter, the creator of Inspector Morse, has been involved as an adviser."

Publishing Deal - Samuel Thomas

From Publishers Weekly, news of a Civil War set crime novel coming up from Samuel Thomas :

University of Alabama, Huntsville Professor Samuel Thomas's debut BLOODY NEWES FROM YORK, set in York during the English Civil War and introducing a gentlewoman and midwife and her badass assistant who race to save a friend from being burnt at the stake for treasonous murder, to Minotaur, in a two-book deal.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Now You See Me - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for S J Bolton's Now You See Me. (About a year ago I asked for opinions on Blood Harvest.)

So what are your 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 S J Bolton?

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

Read the Euro Crime review by Michelle of Now You See Me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Review: The Serpent Pool by Martin Edwards

The Serpent Pool by Martin Edwards (UK: Allison & Busby, January 2011, ISBN: 0749008792; US: Poisoned Pen Press, February 2010, ISBN: 1590587126)

With so many translated crime novels appearing these days, I find it hard to keep up with my British favourites which is why I've only just read The Serpent Pool by Martin Edwards which came out last year. (His next book, The Hanging Wood is to be reviewed shortly on the website by Maxine).

The Serpent Pool is the fourth in the atmospheric and enjoyable Lake District series which has two lead characters: Daniel Kind an Oxford-educated historian who has left the big city for the charms of the country and whose father was a policemen in the area before he died, and Hannah Scarlett who heads up the Cold Case team and used to work for Daniel's father, Ben.

Hannah's latest cold case investigation is into the suspicious death of English student and hopeful writer, Bethany Friend who was found drowned in the Serpent Pool, which happens to be close to where Hannah and her partner Mark have moved to.

The prologue describes to the reader, the murder of a book collector but this death is also put down as suspicious rather than murder by the police.

Meanwhile Daniel is preparing a book on Thomas De Quincey, the 19th Century author of On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts, and also will be giving a lecture at the upcoming De Quincy festival, in addition his sister has moved to the area and her new boyfriend is another book collector.

Steadily all the different threads mentioned above begin to overlap and form a web and a cruel picture emerges.

This case will have long-reaching effects on several members of the regular cast....

As usual, I found myself absorbed by this latest addition to the series. I'm there in the Lake District, tootling around Ambleside, and I can picture it all. Plus I really I want to find out what's happening to Daniel and Hannah who have a relationship of friendship but are destined for something closer (eventually one hopes). For me, the mysteries took a bit of a back-seat to all the relationship issues this time round but I was sad to finish it. For an absorbing British crime novel series, set in one of the country's most beautiful tourist destinations, with some historical facts woven in, I recommend you start with The Coffin Trail and continue.

Don't just take my word for it, read Maxine's Review.

More reviews and a bibliography of Martin Edwards' books can be found on the Euro Crime website.