Friday, September 30, 2011

Win Tickets to see Sofie Gråbøl & Søren Malling at The Scandinavia Show

The Scandinavia Show 2011 will be held at Earls Court on 8 and 9 October.

Covering all things Scandinavian, of particular interest to crime fiction fans is this event on the Sunday:

13.00: Q&A with the cast from 'The Killing'
As Sofie Gråbøl and Søren Malling pay an extraordinary visit to The Scandinavia Show, fans are offered a unique chance to meet the actors behind the popular characters.

The two actors, who in the cult series play lead characters Sarah Lund and Jan Meyer, will take part in an informal and humorous question and answer session hosted by the BBC’s Lars Tharp, who is a great fan of the series. “For me the attraction is mainly the fact that the series goes on in real time, the incredible suspense which that builds up, and the understated acting,” he says. Danish Tharp who, as the host of the BBC’s popular Antiques Roadshow is a familiar face to many, will not just question the actors but will try to involve the audience as well. If you have questions about the series, the actors or their characters, this is most likely to be your one and only chance to get the answers from the stars themselves.
Also, Arrow Films will be there, selling copies of The Killing and Wallander (reduced to £30 for the event).

Tickets are £16 and can be used on either day and can be purchased at half-price from the website however Euro Crime has 4 tickets to give-away (which can be collected at the box-office on the day).

To be in with a chance of winning, just enter your name, email address and first line of your postal address in the following form. The giveway will close at 23.59 on Wednesday 5 October and the winners notified on 6 October.

Only one entry per person please. All entry details will be deleted once the winners have been notified.

Sherlock Holmes Revival

I was a bit surprised to see A Study in Scarlet listed in the charts at WH Smiths and Tesco this week. I wonder what viewers of Sherlock who haven't read it before, will make of the original source material.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes will be published on 27 October:

In this new edition of Conan Doyle's first collection of short stories, Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss explains how these gripping tales inspired and influenced the new series.

Sherlock: The Adventures contains twelve short stories first published in The Strand magazine between 1891 and 1892 and then published as a collection in October 1892. It includes some of Conan Doyle's best tales of murder and mystery, such as 'The Adventures of the Speckled Band', in which the strange last words of a dying woman 'It was the band, the speckled band!' and a inexplicable whistling in the night are the only clues Sherlock Holmes has to prevent another murder; and 'The Five Orange Pips', in which an untimely death and the discovery of the letter containing five orange pips lead to a cross-Atlantic conspiracy.

Anthony Horowitz's official Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk will be published on 1 November:

THE GAME'S AFOOT...It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks. Intrigued by the man's tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase 'the House of Silk': a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself...With devilish plotting and excellent characterisation, bestselling author Anthony Horowitz delivers a first-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery for a modern readership whilst remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books. Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world's greatest and most celebrated detective.

Pirate King is the eleventh in Laurie R King's Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes series and has just been published in the UK. The series began in 1994 with The Beekeeper's Apprentice in which Mary and Sherlock meet.

An e-novella, Beekeeping for Beginners, was released in July, showing that fateful meeting from Sherlock Holmes's point of view. It's available on Kindle in the UK though there are two editions listed on the left hand one is 71p (US edition?) and the right hand one, which is the UK edition is £1.35. It can also be bought as an epub eg Kobo for £1.55.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New German Crime Fiction

The Hour of the Jackal by Bernhard Jaumann, translated by John Brownjohn was published by John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd on 1 August. (I'll be adding it to the International Dagger eligibles list.)

The official synopsis gives little away:

Namibia in January. In the heat of a summer's evening in the affluent Ludwigsdorf suburb of Windhoek, a gardener is cold-bloodedly murdered while children splash and play in the swimming pool.

However there is more detail at New Books in German.

The publicist who has brought it to my attention says that: "Based on the politics surround the notorious assassination of Anton Lubowski, this new title is the winner of the 2011 German Prize for Best Crime Fiction".

Friday, September 23, 2011

Guest Review of Pretty Twisted

Euro Crime reviewer Sarah Hilary's daughter Milly has begun reviewing for my other blog.

She's written a fabulous review of Gina Blaxill's teenage/YA thriller, Pretty Twisted which you can read here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PD James follows on from Pride & Prejudice (with a murder)

I've written about Jane Austen related/inspired crime fiction before but this one comes as a surprise! A press release from Faber:

Faber is delighted to announce the publication of a new P. D. James novel. Death Comes to Pemberley masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and sets a murder at its heart. It will be published on 3 November.

The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth’s happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.

In a pitch-perfect recreation of the world of Pride and Prejudice, P. D. James elegantly fuses her lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen with her talent for writing detective fiction. She weaves a compelling story, combining a sensitive insight into the happy but threatened marriage of the Darcys and the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted detective story. Death Comes to Pemberley enshrines the qualities her readers have come to expect: psychological and emotional richness of characterisation, vivid evocation of place, and a credible and superbly structured plot, in a powerful and distinguished work of fiction.

Stephen Page, CEO and Publisher at Faber said:

‘It is always a moment of great excitement when P. D. James delivers a new novel but the brilliance of both the idea and the execution on this occasion is simply breathtaking. It’s such an elegant, intelligent and moving book that is certain to delight an enormous readership.’

P. D. James said:

‘It has been a joy to revisit Pride and Prejudice and to discover, as one always does, new delights and fresh insights. I have to apologise to Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in a murder investigation but this fusion of my two enthusiasms – for the novels of Jane Austen and for writing detective stories – has given me great pleasure which I hope will be shared by my readers.’

Well! Will you be reading it because a) you like P D James, b) you like Jane Austen c) both or d) I won't be reading it at all?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Helen Moss Guest Post

Helen Moss, author of the Adventure Island series which began with The Mystery of the Whistling Caves, has written a guest post for my other blog, on safety, entitled: "Don't Forget Your Life Jacket!"

It includes sage advice that many a hero/heroine of adult crime fiction should follow: "One thing I do insist on – as a Mum and as an author - is that both my real and fictional kids always let someone know where they are going".

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Publishing Deal - Antonio Hill

Some belated publishing news. Spanish author Antonio Hill will be published in English next year. From Booktrade:

Doubleday Editorial Director Jane Lawson has acquired WEL rights in two books by debut Spanish crime author Antonio Hill. THE SUMMER OF DEAD TOYS, set in contemporary Barcelona, introduces Inspector Hector Salgado, a detective with a complicated past, a tendency to violence, and a penchant for cinema. Lawson says: 'Roll over Wallander, Harry Hole and Aurelio Zen. This series hits all the spots for Euro crime fans. Could Spain be the new Scandinavia?'

Doubleday will publish in trade paperback in early summer 2012.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Reviews: Bruce, Campbell, Fowler, Francis, Hill, Leather, Miller

NB. No reviews next week as I'm on holiday!

Here are this week's reviews:

Susan White reviews Alison Bruce's second book in the Cambridge-set DC Goodhew series, The Siren, which is now available in paperback;

Maxine Clarke reviews Karen Campbell's fourth book in this loose Glasgow-based series, Proof of Life;

Rich Westwood reviews Christopher Fowler's, Bryant & May on the Loose, the seventh in this series featuring the two elderly policemen who work for London's Peculiar Crimes Unit;

Sarah Hilary reviews the new Dick Francis book Gamble written by Felix Francis and considers what does make a "Dick Francis novel"?;

Lynn Harvey reviews Casey Hill's Taboo the first in the series which brings Californian Reilly Steel to Ireland;

Terry Halligan reviews the new "Spider" book from Stephen Leather: Fair Game

and Michelle Peckham favourably reviews book of the moment, Snowdrops by A D Miller.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here.

OT: Foxy's not Scared of Heights

Spot Foxy's new vantage point where he keeps an eye on the other feline residents...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Torchwood: The Lost Files

Torchwood: The Lost Files are three forty-five minute radio plays, set before Miracle Day featuring Captain Jack Harness (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd). They were broadcast on Radio 4 a few weeks ago, but if like me you missed them, they can be downloaded from AudioGO for a very reasonable fee.

The Devil and Miss Carew by Rupert Laight

This is a typical Torchwood tv episode, which also features Rhys (Kai Owen) and the voice talents of Martin Jarvis and Juliet Mills.

Some old people are not dying: Miss Carew is 80+, on the brink of death, and is now out jogging. Plus there are power outages, followed by spikes which even affect The Hub.

Are the two things connected? Ianto and Jack track down what or who is behind the power drain whilst Gwen goes after Miss Carew.

This is a solid adventure, with Rhys getting involved and joking about being one of the Torchwood team!

Submission by Ryan Scott

When the Torchwood SUV goes into the River Severn after a car chase they all hear a horrific cry. Back at The Hub, they are able to determine that it's a cry for help and that it's emanating from "the bottom of the world", the Mariana Trench the deepest part of the ocean.

Calling in an old friend (flame) of Ianto's they mange to acquire a submarine which takes the four of them face to face with the source of the distress call.

As well as the adventure, Submission also explores Jack's immortality, and his inability to be absolved or forgiven and his relationships with Gwen and Ianto.

The House of the Dead by James Goss

Jack and Ianto are attending the last night of opening of Wales's most haunted pub, The House of the Dead, where a seance is taking place. Jack says it must be stopped at all costs, else everyone will die.

He meets resistance from the medium, Mrs Wintergreen and the pub landlord, especially when ghosts start appearing...

This is a Jack and Ianto episode, Gwen being stuck in traffic. All I'll say is, prepared to have your heart broken. I wasn't expecting to be snivelling as I walked home.

An unexpected but moving conclusion to this series and one which merits a second listen.

I really enjoy these full cast radio plays and this is a very good trio and it's lovely to hear Ianto again.

My reviews of Everyone Says Hello and Hidden and Border Princes.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Author of Soul Beach on her Crime Influences

My Teenage/YA Blog is taking part in the blog tour by Kate Harrison for her new book, her first venture into YA literature, called Soul Beach. [She's probably best known for the Secret Shopper series.]

It's a murder mystery coupled with an impossible romance and is the first part of a trilogy into who killed Meggie Forster.

Kate Harrison talks about young detectives and what influenced her over at Teenage Fiction for All Ages.

Monday, September 05, 2011

My Life as a Book 2011

As started by Pop Culture Nerd, my life as a book 2011 with a couple of non-crime titles as they fitted better!

One time at band/summer camp, I: Burned (Thomas Enger) (excuse grammar)

Weekends at my house are: A Shortcut to Paradise (Teresa Solana)

My neighbour is: Raising Demons (YA) (Rachel Hawkins)

My boss is: The Whisperer (Donato Carrisi)

My ex was: Torment (YA) (Lauren Kate)

My superhero secret identity is: Red Wolf (Liza Marklund)

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry because: [I show no] Mercy (Jussi-Adler Olsen)

I’d win a gold medal in: Three Seconds (Roslund-Hellstrom)

I’d pay good money for: [Doctor Who:] The Jade Pyramid (Martin Day)

If I were president, I would: [know] Games Traitors Play (Jon Stock)

When I don’t have good books, I: Present Danger (Stella Rimington)

Loud talkers at the movies should be: Ashes to Dust (Yrsa Sigurdardottir)

I did this meme for 2009 but must have missed 2010.

Update: I have done the meme with YA titles over on my other blog still with fairly crime-like titles!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

New Reviews: Dawson, Duns, Ferris, Gakas, Grindle, Janes, Knight, Lackberg

Here are this week's reviews:
Terry Halligan reviews Sequence by Adrian Dawson, writing that it was "the best that I've read this year";

Geoff Jones reviews Jeremy Duns's Song of Treason (formerly known as Free Country) which is out in paperback;

Lizzie Hayes recommends post-war thriller, The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris which has done well on Kindle;

I review Ashes by Sergios Gakas, tr. Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife which I enjoyed very much despite it being darker than my usual reads;

Lynn Harvey reviews Lucretia Grindle's The Lost Daughter which is the second in her Italian police series, and covers more than just a crime;

Susan White reviews the paperback release of Diane Janes's Why Don't You Come For Me? which she found unsettling;

Amanda Gillies goes back to the 12C to review the paperback edition of Bernard Knight's A Plague of Heretics

and Maxine Clarke reviews the latest (in English) from Camilla Lackberg, translated this time by Tiina Nunnally: The Hidden Child.
Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.

Friday, September 02, 2011

OT: Review: I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 13

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 13, BBC Radio 4 Comedy (AudioGo, June 2011, ISBN: 140842729X, 2 CDs)

AudioGo have kindly been sending me crime and Doctor Who cds to review and this one was included in one of the packages.

I've heard of the show - it's a Radio 4 institution - but never listened, but I loved the vaguely similar tv show, Whose Line is it Anyway, with Clive Anderson which aired in the late '80s/'90s.

The regulars this time are Jack Dee (chair), Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden (the latter two from The Goodies) plus special guests, Jeremy Hardy, Sandi Toksvig, Rob Brydon and David Mitchell.

This package comprises two cds with four, forty-minute shows. The team visit different venues: Southampton, Carlisle, London and Chichester in this collection and each show begins with "Jack's Introduction" in which Jack informs and insults the residents of the town. That's followed by a selection of word-play rounds, occasional improvisation rounds and some "singing"/"musical" rounds.

The results are hilarious though the humour can be a bit rude - I've just noticed on the back of the cd case that "some listeners may find the content offensive". The sessions were recorded in 2009 and any of the current affairs mentioned sound fairly relevant still. There's one prescient skit where two of the team have to pretend to be in a coalition and the other team have to guess what's wrong with them.

Really the only negative thing I can say is that - where can you listen to it without getting stared at? I nearly fell off the treadmill - so exercise is a no, no. Walking outside, be prepared for sidelong glances and the train's not any better. So it's probably best to listen to this in the privacy of your own home!

You can listen to part of one of Jack's introductions at the AudioGo website.