Monday, October 09, 2017

Review: The House of Four by Barbara Nadel

The House of Four by Barbara Nadel, May 2017, 336 pages, Headline, ISBN: 1472234650

Reviewed by Susan White.
(Read more of Susan's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

There is an old crumbling house that the locals know as the Devil’s House, believed by most to have been long abandoned. However it was occupied by 3 brothers and their sister – all in their 90s – and all apparently stabbed through the heart on the same day.

Inspector Ikmen slowly unravels the history of the house and the sad history of the four old people who only communicated with each other by letters which show their hatred of each other. Ikmen comes to believe that their murder can only be solved by uncovering the events of years before.

At the same time someone is killing people at random in the City and Inspector Mehmet Suleyman is charged with identifying and stopping the killer. The cases move slowly together but is it the same killer?

This is the latest of the series featuring Inspector Cetin Ikmen. Set in Istanbul, a secular city but with a rising number of citizens who would like to see the return of a more conservative Muslim society.

For me the history of Istanbul and its people is an important and interesting part of this series. The complexity of that history and how that still influences life today make these a fascinating read.

Susan White, October 2017

Sunday, October 01, 2017

New Releases - October 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in October 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). October and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Anthology - The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers
• Anthology - Deadlier: 100 of the Best Crime Stories Written by Women (ed. Sophie Hannah)
• Akunin, Boris - All The World's A Stage #11 Erast Fandorin, Gentleman Sleuth, Russia
• Alexander, Tasha - Death in St. Petersburg #12 Lady Emily
• Beaton, M C - Agatha Raisin and the Witches' Tree #29 Agatha Raisin, Retired PR person, Cotswolds
• Becker, James - The Templar Brotherhood #3 The Lost Treasure of the Templars
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs Jeffries and the Three Wise Women #36 Mrs Jeffries
• Brody, Frances - Death in the Stars #9 Kate Shackleton, Bradford, 1920s
• Brown, Vivien - Lily Alone
• Burnet, Graeme Macrae - The Accident on the A35
• Carter, Andrea - The Well of Ice #3 Benedicta 'Ben' O'Keeffe, Solicitor, Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland.
• Chapman, Julia - Date with Malice #2 The Dales Detective Series
• Clare, Alys - The Rufus Spy #8 Lassair, 11thC, East Anglia
• Cookman, Lesley - Murder by the Barrel #18 Libby Sarjeant, middle aged actress/investigator, Kent
• Cutler, Judith - Head Count #2 Jane Cowan, Wrayford, Kent
• D'Andrea, Luca - The Mountain
• Day, Alex - The Missing Twin
• Driscoll, Teresa - I Am Watching You
• Dunn, Matthew - Act of Betrayal #7 Will Cochrane, Super-spy
• Edmondson, Elizabeth - A Matter of Loyalty (with Anselm Audley) #3 Very English Mystery
• Ellicott, Jessica - Murder in an English Village #1 Beryl and Edwina Mystery, 1920s
• England, Caroline - Beneath the Skin
• Finch, Paul - Shadows #2 Lucy Clayburn
• Hamdouchi, Abdelilah - Bled Dry #1 Detective Hanash, Casablanca
• Harris, Robert J - The Thirty-One Kings #1 Richard Hannay
• Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - Shadow Play #20 Bill Slider, Shepherd's Bush CID
• James, P D - Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales
• James, Peter - Absolute Proof
• Jardine, Quintin - State Secrets #28 Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner, Edinburgh
• Law, Janice - Mornings in London #6 Francis Bacon
• Macmillan, Gilly - Odd Child Out #1 Detective Jim Clemo, Bristol
• Magson, Adrian - Rocco and the Nightingale #5 Inspector Lucas Rocco, Poissons-Les-Marais, 1960s
• Malliet, G M - Weycombe
• Mankell, Henning - After the Fire
• Marston, Edward - Under Attack #7 Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy
• Masters, Priscilla - The Deceiver #2 Dr Claire Roget, Forensic Psychiatrist
• Masterton, Graham - The Coven #2 Beatrice Scarlet, 1750s
• McNab, Andy - Line of Fire #19 The Nick Stone Missions
• Nesser, Hakan - The Darkest Day #1 Inspector Barbarotti
• Poulson, Christine - Cold, Cold Heart #2 Katie Flanagan
• Purcell, Laura - The Silent Companions
• Rendell, Ruth - A Spot of Folly (Short Stories)
• Rowe, Rosemary - The Price of Freedom #17 Mosaicist Libertus, Glevum (modern Gloucester)
• Schumacher, Tony - An Army of One #3 John Rossett
• Sharp, Zoe - Fox Hunter #12 Charlie Fox, ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard
• Sigurdardottir, Lilja - Snare
• Smith, Anna - The Hit #9 Rosie Gilmour, Crime Journalist, 1990s
• Spencer, Sally - Dry Bones #2 Jennie Redhead, PI, Oxford, 1974
• Thomas, Will - Old Scores #9 Barker and Llewelyn, Victorian London
• Thomson, E S - The Blood #3 Jem Flockhart, Apothecary, 1850s
• Tuomainen, Antti - The Man Who Died
• Upson, Nicola - Nine Lessons #7 Josephine Tey, real-life crime writer
• Watson, Allan - Heart Swarm
• Wilson, Laura - The Other Woman
• Winslow, Emily Look for Her #3 Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Morris Keene, Cambridge

Sunday, September 17, 2017

US Cozy Review: If You've Got It, Haunt It by Rose Pressey

Welcome to another entry in my irregular feature: US cozy review.

If You've Got It, Haunt It by Rose Pressey, December 2014, Kensington Publishing ISBN: 1617732494

If You've Got It, Haunt It is the first in a series which currently runs to five books, with a sixth out in 2018, and it introduces vintage-clothing shop owner and blogger Cookie Chanel. Cookie's shop, It's Vintage, Y'All is in the small town of Sugar Creek, Georgia.

Cookie is attending the estate sale of the late Charlotte Meadows, a successful businesswoman who died under mysterious circumstances. Cookie doesn't just acquire some new stock for her shop though...she comes home with the ghost of Charlotte. And Charlotte won't leave Cookie alone until Cookie finds Charlotte's murderer.

Encouraged by Charlotte – and not having much choice really – Cookie begins to do some snooping and even some breaking and entering. As no-one else can see Charlotte, Cookie has to be on her toes to not look like she's talking to herself all the time! Cookie crosses paths with a new to the town, and attractive, police detective when she discovers a body. And she acquires a cat who can communicate via a Ouija board.

This is an enjoyable and light read, well paced with a likeable lead character and the mystery is satisfying. It's high on the woo-woo factor with not only a ghost but a very mysterious cat but I don't mind that. I don't know whether Charlotte stays around in further books but I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.

Karen Meek, September 2017.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Free TV Episodes on Amazon

Amazon.co.uk have updated their list of "first episode for you" choices where you can "buy" the first episode in a series for free.

The list includes one Scandi title - Dicte (NB. first episode of a two parter); British series include Sherlock, Death in Paradise, Inspector George Gently, Cuffs; also available is the New Zealand series The Brokenwood Mysteries, and the Australian series Rake, and Deep Water.

Browse the whole list at amazon.co.uk.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Good Friday by Lynda La Plante

Good Friday by Lynda La Plante, August 2017, 400 pages, Zaffre, ISBN: 1785762818

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused - some were not.

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can't identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

'Good Friday' is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin's Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It's the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London's entire detective force?


This was a very atmospheric and fast moving story. I was gripped by this fabulous page turning read. I have not read any of the Tennison stories before but have distant memories of the TV series and in 2010 I reviewed her book BLIND FURY, which featured her other protagonist DI Anna Travis and was very impressed with that story. I remember the 1970s very well and the IRA bombing campaign was very shocking and the TV news reports very filled with all the latest outrages and the difficult reporting of all the latest news from Northern Ireland.

This was thoroughly engrossing read and the very experienced author has done her research impeccably and the book is infused with period detail to give a real flavour of life as I remembered during the mid 1970s. One just could not fault the plotting of this story. The dramatic plot with many twists and turns in the story telling kept me gripped until the sensational conclusion. Very strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, September 2017

Friday, September 08, 2017

Blog Tour: Ngaio Marsh Awards - Lucy Sussex

Last month, the finalists for the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards were revealed, with the winners to be announced at an event in Christchurch, the birthplace of Dame Ngaio Marsh, in late October.

Named after the Queen of Crime who came from the edge of the British Empire, since 2010 the Ngaio Marsh Awards have celebrated the best crime writing by New Zealand authors. This year, for the first time, those celebrations include non-fiction writing as well as fictional crime tales.


Today on Euro Crime, as part of the Ngaio Marsh Awards blog tour, we’re hosting an interview with Lucy Sussex, author of Blockbuster!: Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

Unlike her fellow finalists for the new Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Non Fiction, Sussex hasn’t written a true crime tale; instead her book delves into the strange tale of mystery writing’s first runaway global hit (the best-selling crime novel of the entire nineteenth century), and its unusual author.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume (1886) was a word-of-mouth literary sensation with Victorian-era readers that helped popularise the nascent genre and paved the way for the success of the likes of Sherlock Holmes, and then the Queens of Crime in the early twentieth century.

After several reprints sold out in Australia, it was released in England. It sold half a million copies and the Illustrated London News reported at the time that people were found everywhere, travelling by road, rail, and river, “eagerly devouring the realistic sensational tale of Melbourne social life”.

The fact it was a self-published debut was remarkable enough, but as Sussex uncovered, the story behind The Mystery of the Hansom Cab and its author Fergus Hume is stranger than fiction.


AN INTERVIEW WITH LUCY SUSSEX

(credit Darren James)
What inspired you to research the story behind Fergus Hume's bestselling if somewhat forgotten or overlooked 1886 novel in such depth and write your book Blockbuster?

I was working with Meg Tasker at Federation University on a research project about Australian and New Zealand writers and journalists in London at the turn of the last century. It ranged from very well known figures like Henry Lawson, to lesser-knowns like poet Arthur Adams and Kate Evelyn Isitt.

So of course we had a file on Hume, who moved to England in 1888, in the wake of Hansom Cab’s success. We were indexing all sorts of periodicals, just ahead of the boom in digitising newspapers. More and more sources were coming online as we worked. So one morning in my office at La Trobe University — when I probably should have been doing other things — I idly started following Hume, chasing the leads from paper to paper, back and forth across the Tasman. By lunch I knew there was enough material for a book on the Hansom Cab alone, and I could even see the form of it, too.

Before you began this project, what did you know about The Mystery of the Hansom Cab? How did your perspective on the novel change (if at all) during the course of your research?

When I grew up in Christchurch, everybody knew about Ngaio Marsh, but I never heard of Hume. In fact I didn’t know about Hansom Cab until I worked as a researcher for crime fiction historian Professor Stephen Knight, who did several Hume editions.

I read it then, and learnt about its success. Quite how important a book it was I came to understand in the course of this research. It was the best-selling detective novel of the 1800s. The success of Hansom Cab helped consolidate the emerging publishing genre of detective fiction, as well as drawing attention to the potential of Antipodean writers.

Given Hume’s debut was published more than 125 years ago, how did you go about researching Blockbuster? Was it all based on records and documents, or were you able to speak to descendants of Hume or others who knew him?

Hume never married, had no descendants, though distant relatives do exist. Researchers have interviewed them, so we know about his fascination with reincarnation, that he believed in a former life that he’d been guillotined in the French Revolution (and could remember it!).

I mainly used archives. The problem with Hume is that he left no diaries, there are few letters and the most relevant publishers’ records do not survive. David Green, Trischler family historian, kindly gave me a lot of information about Fred Trischler, Hume’s brilliant publisher. Rowan Gibbs, Hume’s NZ bibliographer, was an endless help. But mostly the interviews I conducted were more about Hansom Cab than its author. In this sense Blockbuster is the biography of a book rather than of Hume.

Even with written sources I had more than enough material. As the book was going to press ever more digitised detail was going online. It was very hard to stop researching Blockbuster. One fact just too late to include was that one of the three lost silent film versions of Hansom Cab was by Eliot Stannard, who went on to work with Alfred Hitchcock.

What were some of the most surprising revelations you gathered about Hume, Melbourne at the time, or the publication and popularity of the book, during your research?

Well, people kept asking me if he was gay, which meant I had to look into the question...

I do think Hume was same-sex identified, and it shows in the novels. But in 1895 the Oscar Wilde trial happened, which meant caution, or else celibacy. There is one incident which suggests he was being blackmailed. He was also highly religious, a Theosophist. His personal life ultimately remains a mystery.

Another insight was how successful the book was in Australasia —could it really have sold out a then and now huge first edition of 5,000 copies in several weeks? All the modern publishers said yes, the book historians tended to say no. But with a high level of literacy, an existing demand for detective fiction, and some really clever marketing—like Hume delivering copies to bookshops in a Hansom Cab, then driving around the suburbs as an advertisement—it did look increasingly possible.

Have you read any of Hume's later novels? Why do you think they didn't have much success?

Hansom Cab was a good crime novel, the next, Madame Midas, a good novel which transcends genre. When he got to London, Hume thought his success with the novel would ensure he achieved his ambition to be a dramatist. His follow up novels are hasty and not very reprintable, and he spent a lot of time trying to establish himself in other areas, such as children’s fiction, futuristic, and utopian fiction. Really, he was best fitted to be a crime novelist, with his legal training, and ear for dialogue and description. He wrote some very fine detective novels in the 1890s and 1900s, but they weren’t as popular. By that stage other writers were leading the field, such as Conan Doyle.

From what you've researched, how did Hume feel about the stunning success of his debut novel (more than a million copies sold in UK and USA), for which he got little financial reward?

He wasn’t expecting it, but as a fortune-teller told him, he did wake up one day and found himself an international sensation. What he resented was being typecast as a writer of ‘shilling-shockers’, popular trash. He was better than that, and knew it. But he couldn’t escape the label, and it gave him a living from writing, rather than the law, which he hated. At the end of his life he believed it was karma, his fate. He died hopeful of better luck in the next life.

Why do you think the novel was such a sensation, devoured by so many readers in several countries in the 1880s?

Hume had consulted booksellers, found what was selling—the French writer Gaboriau’s detective novels—and set out to adapt them to the colonial setting. It was his first attempt at writing crime, but he took it very seriously, working out the plot carefully, rewriting when he found the criminal too obvious. He also understood that the setting, boomtown Melbourne, was as important as a character to crime fiction. As a result he got it absolutely right on his first attempt, which very few authors do.

For you, what is special about The Mystery of a Hansom Cab? What makes it still readable 125 years later?

It draws you in, keeps you reading. It is also a vivid picture of a 19th-century city, its highs and lows, from society parties to the slums and opium dens. Not least, a modern crime reader can still be surprised by the narrative, the whodunit not guessable even after over a century.

Buy Blockbuster! Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab at Amazon.co.uk.
Buy The Mystery of a Hansom Cab at Amazon.co.uk.
--

Many thanks to Lucy Sussex for stopping by and to Craig Sisterson for arranging it.

Do check out the other stops on this month-long tour:


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Free Kindle Book - Dark September by Inger Wolf

Earlier in the year, Danish author Inger Wolf's Under a Black Sky was free on Kindle for a while, and now Dark September has been made free. Both titles are translated by Mark Kline.

If, like me you prefer to read a series in order if at all possible, then you'll be pleased to know that Dark September is the first in the Daniel Trokic series. [Under a Black Sky, currently 99p on kindle is the sixth in the series.]

Dark September: UK Kindle; US Kindle.

It is late September, and Anna Kiehl, a student of anthropology and a single mother, does not return from her evening run in the forest. The next morning, she is found dead. She is naked, her throat is cut, and there is a bouquet of poisonous hemlock on her chest.

Police inspector Daniel Trokic is in charge of the investigation, and it leads him to the case of a prominent scientist and specialist in neurochemistry and antidepressants who disappeared eight weeks earlier. Daniel Trokic must get to the killer before he strikes again, but this turns out to be a dangerous pursuit.

Suspenseful and fast-paced. Winner of the Danish Crime Academy's Debut Award in 2006 for the most exciting debut of the year.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Blog Tour: Review of A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward

I'm very chuffed to be on the blog tour for Sarah's third book, A Patient Fury. I've reviewed the previous two: In Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw and A Patient Fury doesn't disappoint.


A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward (September 2017, Faber & Faber, ISBN: 0571332323)

A PATIENT FURY is the third book in Sarah Ward's Derbyshire series, following on from IN BITTER CHILL and A DEADLY THAW. The series which began with a trio of detectives, Sadler, Palmer and Childs is increasingly marketed as the DC Connie Childs series and as befits that, it's Connie who puts the most into the case(s) and risks the most, in this new book.

A PATIENT FURY opens with slaying of a father and small son in their home. It quickly moves on to the police being called out to a house fire – three suspected casualties: mum, dad and son.

The fire investigator concludes that the fire which killed dad, Peter and son, Charlie was set by the mum, Francesca, before she hung herself. Connie is unhappy with this conclusion and challenges Sadler – when do mothers kill their children?

The next of kin are two adult children from Peter's first marriage, Julia and George. Connie finds out from Julia that this is not the first parent she's lost under mysterious circumstances. It's Connie's investigation into this cold case which leads to her career being on the line. Connie, however, gets help from an unexpected source as she digs deeper into the past and current tragedies.

As with the earlier books the narrative is mainly split between the police officers and a sympathetic female civilian, in this case Julia, with the cliff-hanger chapters switching briskly between them keeping the pace up; even more so in the second half of the book.

Each book in the series has been more ambitious than the last with A PATIENT FURY having a larger cast of secondary characters which fortunately are easy to keep straight and adds to the (fictional) town of Bampton feeling like a real community.

The mystery of who did what to whom is kept from the reader until the very last page, in what I'd call a typical Karin Fossum ending, you are left satisfied and yet wanting more. I always enjoy my time in Bampton and I can't wait to find out what happens next with our Bampton police squad.

Karen Meek, September 2017.

Friday, September 01, 2017

New Releases - September 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in September 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). September and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.

• Anthology - Bloody Scotland
• Aaronovitch, Ben - The Furthest Station #1 Rivers of London Novella
• Adler-Olsen, Jussi - The Scarred Woman #7 Carl Morck and his assistant Assad, Department Q, Copenhagen
• Alaux, Jean-Pierre & Balen, Noel - Requiem in Yquem #13 Benjamin Cooker, world-renowned winemaker turned gentleman detective
• Ashton, David - The Lost Daughter #2 Jean Brash
• Benn, James R - The Devouring #12 Billy Boyle, WW2
• Boyd, Damien - Heads or Tails #7 DI Nick Dixon
• Brandreth, Benet - The Assassin of Verona #2 William Shakespeare
• Brett, Simon - The Liar in the Library #18 Carole and Jude, Fethering, Southern coast of England
• Cable, Vince - Open Arms
• Cadbury, Helen - Race To The Kill #3 Sean Denton
• Cleeves, Ann - The Seagull #8 Inspector Vera Stanhope, East Yorkshire
• Cole, Martina - Damaged #4 DI Kate Burrows and Patrick Kelly, East End London
• Crane, Hamilton - Miss Seeton Quilts the Village #22 Miss Seeton
• Dashkova, Polina - Madness Treads Lightly
• Diamond, Katerina - The Angel #3 DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles
• Fellowes, Jessica - The Mitford Murders #1 Louisa Cannon, Maid to the Mitfords, 1919
• Francis, Dick - Pulse (by Felix Francis)
• Freeman, Philip - The Gospel of Mary #3 Sister Deirdre
• Gamboa, Santiago - Return to the Dark Valley
• Gilbert, Paul D - The Four-Handed Game Sherlock Holmes
• Gray, Juliana - A Strange Scottish Shore #2 Emmeline Truelove
• Harris, Robert - Munich
• Harte, E V - The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene #1 Dolly Greene, Professional Tarot Reader, London
• Hilton, Matt - Worst Fear #4 Grey and Villere, Louisiana
• Lagercrantz, David - The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Millennium V)
• Lahlum, Hans Olav - The Anthill Murders #5 Criminal Investigator Kolbjorn Kristiansen (known as K2) and young assistant Patricia, 1960s, Norway
• Le Carre, John - A Legacy of Spies George Smiley
• Mark, David - The Zealot's Bones (as D M Mark)
• McDermott, Andy - King Solomon's Curse #13 Archaeologist Nina Wilde & ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase
• McPherson, Catriona - House. Tree. Person
• Michelet, Jon - The Frozen Woman #9 Vilhelm Thygesen
• Perry, Anne - Twenty-One Days #1 Daniel Pitt, Barrister,1910
• Perry, Tasmina - The Pool House
• Robins, Jane - White Bodies
• Sharp, Zoe - Fox Hunter #12 Charlie Fox, ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard
• Smith, Alexander McCall - The House of Unexpected Sisters #18 Mma Ramotswe, PI, Botswana
• Spain, Jo - Sleeping Beauties #3 Detective Tom Reynolds, Dublin
• Staincliffe, Cath - The Girl in the Green Dress
• Sundstol, Vidar - The Devil's Wedding Ring
• Trow, M J - The Island #4 A Grand & Batchelor Victorian Mystery
• Ward, Rachel - The Cost of Living #1 Ant and Bea
• Ward, Sarah - A Patient Fury #3 DI Sadler, DS Palmer & DC Childs, Bampton, Derbyshire
• Weaver, Ashley - The Essence of Malice #4 Amory Ames
• Weeks, Stephen - The Countess of Prague #1 The Countess of Prague
• Westerson, Jeri - Season of Blood #9 Crispin Guest, ex Knight, Medieval times
• Wilton, Robert - Treason's Spring

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Award News: Petrona Award Eligibles 2018 on Goodreads

I've now tagged all the 2018 Petrona Award Eligibles on Goodreads.

And using one of their widgets, here are the titles in author order:


The Scarred Woman
Ninth Grave
The Forgotten Dead: A dark, twisted, unputdownable thriller
The Dying Game
The Owl Always Hunts At Night
Master, Liar, Traitor, Friend
Watching You
Faithless
Certain Signs That You Are Dead
Cursed
The Missing
What My Body Remembers
Quicksand
Block 46
Cruel is the Night
The Lake
The Silent Girl
The Susan Effect
Down for the Count
In Dust and Ashes


Monday, August 28, 2017

Award News: Petrona Award Eligibles 2018

Here is a list* of books (57) that can be submitted for the 2018 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year ie:
  • The submission must be in translation and published in English in the UK during the preceding calendar year ie 1 January – 31 December 2017.
  • The author of the submission must either be born in Scandinavia** or the submission must be set in Scandinavia*.
(E-books that meet the above criteria may be considered at the judges’ discretion (does not include self-published titles))
**in this instance taken to be Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

More details about the award and the history behind it can be found on the Petrona Award website. The winner of the 2017 Award was Gunnar Staalesen for Where Roses Never Die tr. Don Bartlett.

The award is again, sponsored by David Hicks.

Gender, country and publisher details are also included.

*This list will be updated as and when additional titles are identified.

Published in 2017

January

Stefan Ahnhem - The Ninth Grave tr. Paul Norlen (M, Sweden) Head of Zeus
Caroline Eriksson - The Missing tr. Tiina Nunnally (F, Sweden) AmazonCrossing
Anne Holt - What Dark Clouds Hide tr. Anne Bruce (F, Norway) Corvus
Ragnar Jonasson - Rupture tr. Quentin Bates (M, Iceland) Orenda Books

February

Thomas Enger - Cursed tr. Kari Dickson (M, Norway) Orenda Books
Stein Riverton - The Iron Chariot (ebook) tr. Lucy Moffatt (M, Norway) Canelo
Gard Sveen - Hell Is Open tr. Paul Norlen (M, Norway) AmazonCrossing

March

Jorn Lier Horst - When It Grows Dark tr. Anne Bruce (M, Norway) Sandstone Press
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Legacy tr. Victoria Cribb (F, Iceland) Hodder & Stoughton
Erik Valeur - The Man in the Lighthouse tr. Mark Mussari (M, Denmark) AmazonCrossing

April

Samuel Bjork - The Owl Always Hunts at Night tr. Charlotte Barslund (M, Norway) Doubleday
K O Dahl - Faithless tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) Orenda Books
Malin Persson Giolito - Quicksand tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (F, Sweden) Simon & Schuster
Karo Hamalainen - Cruel is the Night tr. Owen Witesman (M, Finland) Soho Press
Lotte and Soren Hammer - The Lake tr. Charlotte Barslund (M & F, Denmark) Bloomsbury
Leena Lehtolainen - Before I Go tr. Owen Witesman (F, Finland) AmazonCrossing
Jo Nesbo - The Thirst tr. Neil Smith (M, Norway) Harvill Secker

May

Torkil Damhaug - Certain Signs that You are Dead tr. Robert Ferguson (M, Norway) Headline
Anders de la Motte - The Silenced (apa Ultimatum (US)) tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) HarperCollins
Agnete Friis - What My Body Remembers tr. Lindy Falk Van Rooyen (F, Denmark) Soho Press
Johana Gustawsson - Block 46 tr. Maxim Jakubowski (F, France) Orenda Books
Arnaldur Indridason - The Shadow District tr. Victoria Cribb (M, Iceland) Harvill Secker
Viveca Sten - Guiltless tr. Marlaine Delargy (F, Sweden) AmazonCrossing
Lone Theils - Fatal Crossing tr. Charlotte Barslund (F, Denmark) Arcadia Books
Inger Wolf - Under a Black Sky (ebook) tr. Mark Kline (F, Denmark) People's Press

June

Christoffer Carlsson - Master, Liar, Traitor, Friend tr. Michael Gallagher (M, Sweden) Scribe
Hjorth-Rosenfeldt - The Silent Girl tr. Marlaine Delargy (M, Sweden) Century
Anne Holt - Offline (apa Odd Numbers (US)) tr. Anne Bruce (F, Norway) Corvus
Kristine Naess - Only Human tr. Sean Kinsella (F, Norway) Harvill Secker
Kristina Ohlsson - Buried Lies tr. Neil Smith (F, Sweden) Simon & Schuster
Gunnar Staalesen - Wolves in the Dark tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) Orenda Books

July

Arne Dahl - Watching You tr. Neil Smith (M, Sweden) Harvill Secker
Martin Holmén - Down for the Count tr. Henning Koch (M, Sweden) Pushkin Vertigo
Roslund & Hellstrom - Three Minutes tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel (M, Sweden) Quercus
Inger Wolf - Dark September (ebook) tr. Mark Kline (F, Denmark) People's Press



August

Tove Alsterdal - The Forgotten Dead tr. Tiina Nunnally (F, Sweden) HarperCollins
Peter Hoeg - The Susan Effect tr. Martin Aitken (M, Denmark) Harvill Secker
Minna Lindgren - The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Escape from Sunset Grove tr. Kristian London (F, Finland) Pan
Karolina Ramqvist - The White City tr. Saskia Vogel (F, Sweden) Grove Press UK

September

Jussi Adler-Olsen - The Scarred Woman tr. William Frost (M, Denmark) Quercus
David Lagercrantz - The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Millennium V) tr. George Goulding (M,  Sweden) MacLehose Press
Hans Olav Lahlum - The Anthill Murders tr. Kari Dickson (M, Norway) Mantle
Jens Lapidus - Stockholm Delete tr. Alice Menzies (M, Sweden) Corvus
Jon Michelet - The Frozen Woman tr. Don Bartlett (M, Norway) No Exit Press

October

Elina Hirvonen - Whe Time Runs Out tr . Hildi Hawkins (F, Finland) Bonnier Zaffre
Henning Mankell - After the Fire tr. Marlaine Delargy (M, Sweden) Harvill Secker
Lilja Sigurdardottir - Snare tr. Quentin Bates (F, Iceland) Orenda Books
Antti Tuomainen - The Man Who Died tr. David Hackston (M, Finland) Orenda Books

November

Asa Avdic - The Dying Game tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles (F, Sweden) HarperCollins
Anne Holt - In Dust and Ashes tr. Anne Bruce (F, Norway) Corvus
Ragnar Jonasson - Whiteout tr. Quentin Bates (M, Iceland) Orenda Books
Leena Lehtolainen - Below the Surface tr. Owen Witesman (F, Finland) AmazonCrossing
Hakan Nesser - The Darkest Day tr. Sarah Death (M, Sweden) Mantle
Sofi Oksanen - Norma tr. tbc (F, Finland) Atlantic Books
Viveca Sten - Tonight You’re Dead tr. Marlaine Delargy (F, Sweden) AmazonCrossing

December

Emelie Schepp - Marked For Revenge tr. tbc (F, Sweden) HQ
Helene Tursten - Protected by the Shadows tr. Marlaine Delargy (F, Sweden) Soho Press

Friday, August 25, 2017

Review: Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah, August 2017, 336 pages, Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN: 1444776134

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Cara Burrows, married with two teenage children and living in Hertford, England has flown out to Arizona, USA and has booked into a high class resort. Cara is pregnant and neither her husband Patrick nor Jess her daughter or Olly her son are keen that she keeps the baby. She is hoping that sometime away will make her situation clearer.

Arriving at the five star Swallowtail resort and spa in the foothills of the Camelback Mountains, Cara is exhausted from the journey. After checking in she uses her key to access the room and finds a man and a teenage girl occupying it. Traumatised at the man's aggressive attitude, she goes back to reception, where an apologetic receptionist upgrades her to a casita complete with infinity pool. The following morning she overhears a guest – a Mrs McNair telling the receptionist about sighting a missing girl – Melody. She disappeared seven years ago and her parents are serving a prison sentence for killing her. Accessing the internet Cara learns that Melody had a favourite cuddly toy named Poggy (a cross between a pig and a dog) and she realises that the young girl in the hotel bedroom had a similar toy. From a photograph and allowing for the time difference Cara is convinced this is the missing girl.

Aided by two American guests at the resort Tarin Fry and her daughter Zellie they investigate. They find that a lawyer who has a TV show – Bonnie Juno made the accusations about the parents. How dangerous are the people who have Melody? And is the girl the real Melody? What about Cara's thinking time about the impending arrival?

This is an unusual book by an experienced author. I found it entertaining if at times a bit confusing. However I would recommend as a good read.

Geoff Jones, August 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Review: Marked for Life by Emelie Schepp

Marked for Life by Emelie Schepp, June 2017, 384 pages, Paperback, HQ, ISBN: 1848455372

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

The seven-year-old girl sat in the corner. She pulled at her mama’s skirt and put it over her mouth. She imagined that she was at home in her bed, or rocking in a cradle when the ship rolled in the waves.

Norrköping, Sweden.
When Detective Chief Inspector Levin and Detective Mia Bolander arrive at the house in Östanvägen, an ambulance is in the drive and forensics are already working the scene. In the living room lies the body of a man, Hans Juhlén, head of asylum issues at the Migration Board. His wife found him when she returned from her walk. He had been shot. There are no signs of a struggle but Mrs Juhlén says that a window had been open and she had closed it. Whilst Levin continues to ask the weeping woman questions, the forensics officer dusts the window sill for prints and finds two – the hand prints of a child.

Prosecutor Jana Berzelius promptly leaves the courtroom after the trial verdict. As usual she ignores the waiting journalists and makes her way to the garage. Her cell phone vibrates and she answers her father’s call. He asks how the case went and if she will be coming to the family dinner on the first of May. She accepts the invitation; neutral respect is always the tone of Jana’s and her parents’ conversations. However the next call is not from her mother as she expects but from the Chief Public Prosecutor. An important Migration Board official has been murdered and he wants Jana to assist with the investigation. She drives straight to police headquarters and finds the investigating team already gathered in the conference room. It is clear that detective Mia Bolander is not pleased to see that Jana Berzelius is in charge. Mia dislikes and distrusts her, views her as stiff, upper-class, arrogant and with no idea of how to let her hair down. But Mia seems to be alone in her hostility as the team gets down to work and discusses the time line and crime scene: Mrs Juhlén is a person of interest, a pack of threatening blackmail letters was found in the victim’s wardrobe, the murder weapon hasn’t been found, nor are there any children or grandchildren in the family to explain the child’s prints on the window sill.

In another time and place a young girl huddles with her family and others in a crowded metal container which pitches and rolls with the movement of the ship. She plays her fingers along the steel wall, making them gallop like a horse, but this time Mama doesn’t laugh. Lots of people are crammed into this dark, airless, stinking, space. The little girl knows some of them, some of the children especially. Her galloping fingers find a metal plate on the wall. In the darkness she can just make out letters … V … P and what her mother tells her is an X... O and then some numbers. She counts them. Six numbers...

The strength of Emelie Schepp’s dark crime story about people trafficking is its strong plot centred on prosecutor Jana Berzelius, a clever, elegant and successful woman but a woman with a secret, hidden from even herself until the body of a murdered boy is found. A scarred name marks the back of the child’s neck. Jana too has scars on the back of her neck. Soon her ever-present nightmares begin to change, becoming flashbacks which set her in pursuit of the boy’s killer in tandem with the police investigation – but for reasons of her own.

The story of MARKED FOR LIFE is strong and striking and begs to be filmed. Perhaps that’s what its author might have hoped for – for I found the actual writing flawed. Odd turns of phrase and grammar sat badly with me, sometimes even getting in the way of the action. No translator is credited with this English language version. The characterisation is also thin, with the exception of Jana herself and her distorted mirror image, the unlikeable police detective Mia Bolander who looms large. I ended up feeling as though I was viewing a dark and fascinating story through an equally dark glass.

Emelie Schepp’s début novel, MARKED FOR LIFE started out as self-published. It would have been good if a sympathetic editor had taken it under their wing. However it has attracted favourable community reviews and Swedish 2016 Specsavers Crime Time Reader’s Prize. For fans, the good news is that Emelie Schepp has written a further two novels in her Jana Berzelius series which are due to be published over the next two years.

I remain some kind of grouch in saying that, for me, this novel was an uneven read except for its original and absorbing plot.

Lynn Harvey, August 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: The Caller by Chris Carter

The Caller by Chris Carter, July 2017, 496 pages, Simon & Schuster UK, ISBN: 147115632X

Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This is the eighth book in Carter's excellent series featuring LAPD detectives Hunter and Garcia and it is simply fantastic: riddled with tension, plot twists and nastiness, the story is gruesome enough to give you nightmares and addictive enough to keep you up late as you simply must know who did it. Carter takes you on an emotional roller-coaster ride and leaves you exhausted at the end.

The story is chilling enough to give Hollywood blockbusters, like Saw, serious competition. It starts with the brutal demise of a decent, sweet, young woman and goes downhill from there. The killer adds a unique twist to his approach as he video calls the close friend or partner of his victim and, after asking questions that give the recipient of the call a fleeting feeling they might be able to save a life, graphically kills their loved one in front of them.

Hunter is completely stuck. He has no real leads, as the killer is extremely good at covering his tracks, and spends many sleepless nights going over things. The killer is also patient and meticulous. Starting with notes made of letters cut from newspapers, he stalks his victims for months, terrifying them, until making his move. One thing is for sure - the killer doesn't waste time and the discovery of a second victim a few nights later takes things up a level. Hunter needs results, especially when the husband of the second victim decides to start an investigation of his own. Hunter has a sharp mind and a keen eye for detail. You really hope he can get to the bottom of this one but, at the same time, really can't see how he can. With his boss anxious for results and the killer upping his game, the pressure is on for Hunter to deliver.

Chris Carter is Brazilian born and writes about cases in America. He qualifies for Euro Crime as he currently lives in London. In his past life he worked in Michigan as part of the District Attorney's Criminal Psychology team. There is no doubt that his experience adds an edge to his work and brings his killers shockingly to life. His opening chapters in this latest novel are first rate and leave you in no doubt that this is going to be an excellent book!

Highly Recommended.

Amanda Gillies, August 2017.

Internet Outage

Just a quick note to apologise for the lack of updates this month. I've not had any broadband access for nearly a month. It's finally been resolved, which involved 3 visits from BT. As well as no internet, our local setup meant I couldn't access my files or email, so it's been really frustrating!

I'll be opening up the Petrona Award in September so expect the eligibles list soon.

Many thanks for sticking with Euro Crime.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood

A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood, January 2015, MIRA, ISBN: 1848453566

Death in Paradise is a successful BBC series in which a British police detective inspector has been sent to run the small police department on the Caribbean island of St Marie. Each week there is another baffling murder case to solve and each episode concludes with all the suspects gathered together in true Poirot-style fashion.

I'm a huge fan of this cosy series which will return to the television with a third iteration of the British Inspector, however A MEDITATION ON MURDER returns to the original DI, Richard Poole. Richard is as strait-laced as they come and wears a suit and tie in the oppressive heat and does not enjoy island life at all and especially sharing his beach-side cabin with a lizard, called Harry.

Richard and his team of Camille, Fidel and Dwayne are summoned to The Retreat as the co-owner, the self-styled Spiritual Guru Aslan, has been found dead in the Meditation Space, a Japanese building with thick paper walls. Five of Aslan's students were locked in the building with him and one, Julia, immediately confesses to Aslan's murder.

Richard is unconvinced that Julia is the guilty party and so the team continue to investigate Aslan and the five guests. Information is slowly uncovered about Aslan and some surprising connections to his guests mean that everyone had a motive to kill him.

As with the tv series, there is lots of recapping – going over “what do we know so far” but we do get to know a little more about Richard and he has a couple of escapades which wouldn't make it to the tv screen in the time limit of a one hour show.

I enjoyed this outing and will read the other two books currently available (with a fourth due in May 2018). I should say that the author, Robert Thorogood, is the creator of the show, so who better to write these unseen episodes. If you enjoy traditional mysteries and haven't seen the show or if you are a fan of the show then give this one a try.

Karen Meek, August 2017.

Friday, August 04, 2017

New Releases - August 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in August 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). August and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Anderson, Lin - Follow the Dead #13 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
• Avdic, Asa - The Dying Game
• Black, Helen - Taking Liberties #7 Lilly Valentine, Family care lawyer
• Bonner, Hilary - Deadly Dance #1 DI David Vogel, Bristol
• Booker, Simon - Kill Me Twice #2 Morgan Vine, Journalist
• Bowen, Rhys - On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service #12 Lady Georgiana Rannoch ('Georgie'), 1930s Britain
• Buckler, James - Last Stop Tokyo
• Callaghan, Tom - A Summer Revenge #3 Inspector Akyl Borubaev
• Camilleri, Andrea - A Nest of Vipers #21 Inspector Montalbano, Sicily, Italy
• Cotterill, Colin - The Rat Catchers' Olympics #12 Dr Siri Paiboun, Laos
• Cross, A J - Something Evil Comes #4 Dr Kate Hanson, forensic psychologist, West Midlands
• Curran, Chris - Her Deadly Secret
• Cutts, Lisa - Buried Secrets
• De Cataldo, Giancarlo - Suburra (written with Carlo Bonini)
• Donoghue, Clare - The Night Stalker #4 DI Mike Lockyer, South-east London
• Douglas, Claire - Last Seen Alive (missed off July's list)
• Garnier, Pascal - Low Heights
• Gregory, Susanna - The Habit of Murder #23 Matthew Bartholomew, 14th Century physician, Cambridge
• Hannah, Sophie - Did You See Melody?
• Hardie, Mark - Truly Evil #2 DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell, Essex Police Major Investigation Team
• Hawkswood, Sarah - Marked to Die #3 Bradecote and Catchpoll, Worcestershire, C12
• Hoeg, Peter - The Susan Effect
• Horowitz, Anthony - The Word is Murder #1 Detective Daniel Hawthorne
• Howells, Debbie - The Death of Her
• Kray, Roberta - Dark Places
• Lelic, Simon - The House
• Lindgren, Minna - The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Escape from Sunset Grove #2 Twilight Grove Trilogy
• MacNeal, Susan Elia - The Paris Spy #7 Maggie Hope
• McDermid, Val - Insidious Intent #10 Dr Tony Hill, Psychologist and DCI Carol Jordan, Yorkshire
• McGee, James - The Reckoning #6 Matthew Hawkwood, Bow Street Runner, Regency London
• McPherson, Catriona - The Weight of Angels
• Mitchell, Dreda Say - Blood Daughter #3 Flesh and Blood Trilogy
• Morton, Mandy - The Michaelmas Murders #5 The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency
• Oldfield, Mark - The Dead #3 Vengeance of Memory trilogy
• Petersen, Christoffer - In the Shadow of the Mountain #2 Konstabel Fenna Brongaard, Greenland
• Raabe, Marc - The Shock
• Ramqvist, Karolina - The White City
• Russell, Norman - An Oxford Scandal #3 Inspector Antrobus
• Sutton, William - Lawless and the House of Electricity #3 Campbell Lawless, Victorian Policeman
• Tope, Rebecca - Peril in the Cotswolds #15 Thea Osborne, House Sitter, Cotswolds
• Vargas, Fred - The Accordionist #3 Three Students Trilogy, France
• Webster, Jason - Fatal Sunset #6 Chief Inspector Max Camara, Valencia
• Weeks, Lee - Cold Revenge #6 DC Ebony Willis, London
• Whitaker, Chris - All The Wicked Girls
• White, Neil - From the Shadows #1 Dan Grant, Lawyer
• Wignall, Kevin A Fragile Thing

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Awards News: CWA Daggers 2017 – Shortlists

My internet wasn't actually fixed last Thursday as BT said it was. It took until Monday to be usable and then I was home 2 hours late yesterday due to the trains being off, so finally here are the Dagger 2017 Shortlists as per the press release:


CWA Daggers – Shortlists Announced


The Crime Writers’ Association announced the shortlists for this year’s Dagger awards for crime writing at an at an evening drinks reception held at Waterstones Piccadilly on Wednesday 26 July.

The CWA Daggers, which are the probably the awards crime authors and publishers alike most wish to win, are awarded every year in 10 categories. The Diamond Dagger in 2017 has already been announced as best-selling author Ann Cleeves, for a career’s outstanding contribution to crime fiction, and the Dagger in the Library winner has been announced as the very popular author Mari Hannah.

The shortlists are proudly sponsored by are kindly sponsored by Hazchem Network Ltd, the UK’s only palletised distribution network for Dangerous Goods, and by CrimeFest, the international crime writing convention, which will be held 17-20 May in Bristol in 2018.

Here are the Dagger shortlists for 2017. For brief descriptions of each book, please visit the website: www.thecwa.co.uk/daggers

The CWA Gold Dagger

The Beautiful Dead (Bantam Press) by Belinda Bauer

Dead Man's Blues (Mantle) by Ray Celestin

The Dry (Little, Brown) by Jane Harper

Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron

A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee

The Girl in Green (Faber & Faber) by Derek B. Miller



The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

You Will Know Me (Picador) by Megan Abbott
The Killing Game (Bookouture) by J S Carol
We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire (Myriad Editions) by Jules Grant
Redemption Road (Hodder & Stoughton) by John Hart
Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
The Constant Soldier (Mantle) by William Ryan



THE JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER
The Pictures (Point Blank) by Guy Bolton

Ragdoll (Trapeze) by Daniel Cole

Distress Signals (Corvus) by Catherine Ryan Howard

Sirens (Doubleday) by Joseph Knox

Good Me, Bad Me (Michael Joseph) by Ali Land

Tall Oaks (Twenty 7) by Chris Whitaker


THE GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

A Dangerous Place (The History Press) by Simon Farquhar

Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro's Cuba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Stephen Purvis

The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage (Text Publishing)
by Anja Reich-Osang

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
(Bloomsbury Publishing) by Kate Summerscale

A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II
(Jonathan Cape) by A. T. Williams

Another Day in the Death of America (Guardian Faber Publishing) by Gary Younge



The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger

The Devil's Feast (Fig Tree) by M. J. Carter

The Ashes of Berlin (No Exit Press) by Luke McCallin

The Long Drop (Harvill Secker) by Denise Mina

A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee

By Gaslight (Point Blank) by Steven Price

The City in Darkness (Constable) by Michael Russell




The CWA International Dagger


A Cold Death (4th Estate) by Antonio Manzini, Tr Antony Shugaar

A Fine Line (Bitter Lemon Press) by Gianrico Carofiglio, Tr Howard Curtis

Blood Wedding (MacLehose Press) by Pierre Lemaître, Tr Frank Wynne

Climate of Fear (Harvill Secker) by Fred Vargas, Tr Siân Reynolds

The Dying Detective (Doubleday) by Leif G W Persson, Tr Neil Smith

The Legacy of the Bones (HarperCollins) by Delores Redondo, Tr Nick Casiter & Lorenza Garcia



The CWA Short Story Dagger

The Assassination by Leye Adenle in Sunshine Noir (White Sun Books)
Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri & Michael Stanley

Murder and its Motives by Martin Edwards in Motives for Murder (Sphere)
Edited by Martin Edwards

The Super Recogniser of Vik by Michael Ridpath in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards

What You Were Fighting For by James Sallis in The Highway Kind (Mulholland Books) Edited by Patrick Millikin

The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder (Sphere)
Edited by Martin Edwards

Snakeskin by Ovidia Yu in Sunshine Noir (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri & Michael Stanley



DEBUT DAGGER
sponsored by Orion Publishing Group
For the opening of a crime novel from a writer with no publishing contract.


Strange Fire Sherry Rankin

The Reincarnation of Himmat Gupte Neeraj Shah

Lost Boys Spike Dawkins

Red Haven Mette McLeod

Broken Victoria Slotover
*

The winners of all the above CWA Daggers will be announced at the glittering Dagger Awards Gala Dinner to be held at the Grange City Hotel, London on 26 October. Ann Cleeves will be awarded the Diamond Dagger at the same occasion and Mari Hannah will be presented with the Dagger in the Library award. The after-dinner speaker will be Robert Thorogood, creator and writer of Death in Paradise, and master of ceremonies will be Barry Forshaw, the acclaimed crime fiction expert. Everyone is welcome to attend. For details and a booking form, please visit www.thecwa.co.uk/dinner or email admin@thecwa.co.uk

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Internet Problems

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. I've been away for a few days and returned to no phone or broadband. It's back now, just in time for me to go back to work!

With the the limited wifi service I could access sporadically, I managed to put a few links on the Facebook page.

I'll be posting the CWA Dagger shortlists,  as soon as I can. Lots to catch up on!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Robbing the Dead by Tana Collins

Robbing the Dead by Tana Collins, February 2017, 278 pages, Bloodhound Books, ISBN: 0995692696

Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This nail-biting debut by Tana Collins introduces her detective, DCI Jim Carruthers, and heralds the arrival of another top-notch author of Scottish crime fiction. Set in a small town, called Castletown - that is roughly based on St. Andrews but still has an operational RAF base close by, the novel is a treasure trove of interesting locations that will hook in readers who are past and present residents of this unique university town and keep their attention right to the very last page.

The story starts with a particularly gruesome murder in the town, in a back alley. You are drip fed the fact that the victim is a young Welshman, a member of the RAF and knows his assailant, and also find out about the creepy person watching events unfold. That is all you find out. Even the police don't know much more but very soon this killing is upstaged by a car bomb and what looks like attempted murder. Theories abound but all centre on the fact that somebody doesn't like the intended victim’s opinions of the Welsh, particularly Welsh terrorist groups and those who are fighting for freedom. Carruthers, newly arrived in town, is thought to be out of depth on this case and outside help is drafted in, in the form of terror expert McGhee, who once tried to seduce Carruthers’ now ex-wife. There is no love lost between the men and tensions rise as his eyes fall on Andrea Fletcher; Carruthers’ extremely efficient and capable DS.

In their hunt for the intended victim, who has simply vanished, the would-be murderer, and a motive for this crime, as well as still trying to sort out first murder, Carruthers and Fletcher find themselves face-to-face with the aftermath of Bloody Sunday and have to join the dots to find out how everything is connected. They must hurry if they are to be successful as they are not the only ones looking for answers and, indeed, justice.

I loved this book! The story is captivating, well-written and has an ending that you can't see coming. Jim Carruthers is an extremely likeable cop, with enough personal trauma to make him interesting as well as good at his job. The prospect of more books about him and DS Fletcher, in their fight against crime in not-so-sleepy Castletown, is very exciting. In ROBBING THE DEAD Tana Collins has shown, extremely effectively, that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Extremely highly recommended.

Amanda Gillies, July 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cover Theme - Flowers

A few recent(ish) covers with flowers on the front:



Thursday, July 13, 2017

BBC Radio 4 Drama: Foreign Bodies: Keeping the Wolf Out

I think this is a repeat but I missed it first time around. Listen now or download via the BBC Radio iPlayer app - a three parter called Keeping the Wolf Out. Available for the next 20 days, each episode is 45 minutes long.



Episode One - Behind the Wall

Special Investigator Bertalan Lázár returns in Philip Palmer's crime drama set in communist Hungary in 1963. Fighting the criminals is hard enough but there are other more sinister battles raging in higher places.

Parts two and three are Waiting by the River and Heroes.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: The Sixth Victim by Tessa Harris

The Sixth Victim by Tessa Harris, May 2017, 304 pages, Kensington Publishing, ISBN: 1496706544

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

London's East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins...

The foggy streets of London's Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance's mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a seance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling "the Whitechapel Mystery," attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She'll need all the help she can get--because there may be more than one depraved killer out there...


In 2012, I had the good fortune to read for review one of the author's previous books THE ANATOMIST’S APPRENTICE an historical thriller set in 1780 which was about Dr Thomas Silkstone, an American surgeon from Philadelphia, who brings his skills from the US colonies to London. This was the first in a series of six books about Silkstone.

So having an appreciation of her enormous skill as a novelist I was very pleased to read her latest book which is also set in London and is the start of a new series, featuring Constance Piper.

The author has written another highly readable story which has an element of fantasy to entertain the reader and which makes it even more exciting. This was a story which I could not put down until the final conclusion. The author has done considerable detailed research to create a very believable impression of London of 1888, and I was very impressed with this but of course I remember her talent from previous books.

I found the story immensely gripping and fast moving and the pages just shot by in this extremely atmospheric story. Very strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, July 2017