Thursday, 31 October 2013

Books To Look Forward to From Transworld Publishers

In this second instalment of Persson's trilogy of police procedurals featuring the "small, fat and primitive" Evert Backstrom, the grand master's most appallingly repulsive (and funniest) character is finally given his fifteen minutes of fame by way of his patented combination of laziness, luck, and an unbelievable sense of timing. A seemingly ordinary murder puzzles Backstrom, who is struggling with strict orders from his doctor to lead a healthier life. His gut feeling proves him right: within days, his team has another murder linked to the first on their hands, and reports of alleged ties to a Securicor heist gone out of control, killing two. The nation needs a hero, and the newly appointed head of the Vasterort police force Anna Holt needs somebody to kill the dragon for her. Who better to heed to the task than Evert Backstrom: self-sufficient, ostentatious, devoid of moral, Hawaii shirt-clad, and, latterly, armed?  He Who Kills the Dragon is by Leif G W Persson and is due to be published in October 2013.

 Kings’s Return is by Andrew Swanston and is due to be published in April 2014.  Spring 1661: Thomas Hill travels from his home in Romsey to London to attend the coronation of King Charles II.  His sister Margaret has died and both his nieces are now married.  At a dinner party after the Coronation, Thomas meets the charming Chandle Stoner, and Sir Joseph Williamson, security advisor to His Majesty, and in charge of the newly restored Post Office.  Learning of Thomas’s skill with code, Williamson asks him to take charge of deciphering coded letters intercepted at the Post Office.  Reluctantly Thomas agrees.  A spate of murders take place in London – including two employees of the Post Office.  Thomas finds himself dragged into the search for the murderer – or murderers.  It soon becomes apparent that those responsible are closer to Thomas  - and his loved ones – than he imagined. But can he ensure that they are apprehended for their crimes before it’s too late?

A young woman has been found dead and covered in snow behind a nursery school in a Stockholm suburb.  She is the fourth murder victim in a short time and with the same characteristics: a young mother, stabbed from behind.  The offices of the Evening Standard are awash with rumours of a serial killer, but journalist Annika Bengtzon dismisses it as wild fantasy.  As the murder spree continues in Stockholm, the police too begin to think that they have a serial killer on their hands.  Meanwhile Annika is dragged into a violent hostage situation in Nairobi that involves her husband – a situation that shakes both Europe and East Africa.  The demands of the kidnappers are both impossible and unreasonable.  But when the demands are rejected, the kidnapper begins to execute the hostages, one by one…. Borderline is by Liza Marklund and is due to be published in February 2014.

There are no other women on earth like Angela Lassey. That’s not her real name, of course. In her purse there are six different drivers’ licenses and twelve different passports, each with a different name and photograph. Over the course of twenty years she's pulled robberies on five continents and stolen things more valuable then many people could even imagine. She speaks four languages with the clarity and confidence of a native speaker and racks up stratospheric shopping bills where ever she goes.  She's been a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. She's been dark-skinned and light, blue-eyed and brown, young and old. She's gained weight and lost it again, she's worn platform shoes and slouched to conceal her height, and she's smoked like a chimney and bleached her teeth. She’s never the same woman from one week to the next.  She doesn’t call any place home.  There's no real term for what Angela Lassey does for a living. She is a bank robber, sure, and a crook and a thief and a heister, but Angela's particular talent has no proper, accepted name. In Sweden someone had called her a skyggemannen. In the Netherlands they'd called her a spook. In South America she was a desaparecido.  In America, she was simply a ghostman.  She is the master of the disappearing act. She can make anything or anyone disappear, for the right price. She has worked with some of the best crooks in the world, the best boxmen and jugmarkers and hacks, but she's never met anyone better at disappearing then she was.  Angela Lassey is like human mist.  So she’s the perfect person to call when you need to hide. Like Sabo Park does after unexpectedly stumbling across treasure during a sapphire heist on the China Sea. What he has is so valuable that those who know of its existence will never stop their search. He has to vanish, like a ghost. Because now he has it, he is the richest criminal in the world.  Vanshing Games is by Roger Hobbs and is due to be published in July 2014.

Morning Frost is the third book in the D I Jack Frost prequel by James Henry and it is due to be published in November 2014.  It's been one of the worst days of Detective Sergeant Jack Frost's life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton's finest. All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clark, who spends the night pursuing a bogus tip-off, before being summoned to the discovery of a human hand. And things get worse. Local entrepreneur Harry Baskin is shot inside his nightclub, fake fivers are being circulated, and a famous painting goes missing. As the week goes on, a cyclist is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and the more body parts appear. Frost is on the case, but another disaster - one he is entirely unprepared for - is about to strike...

 'Call your mother.' In the Devonshire countryside, a masked stranger is preying on young women - luring them into his car, taking them to a place they can never be found, and then ordering them to call home. At first he doesn't kill. His motive for terrifying the women seems unclear. But every killer has to start somewhere, and soon enough he will get a taste for something even more sinister. Meanwhile 10-year-old Ruby Trick, living with her parents in a damp, crumbling house by the sea, is about to come of age in the most terrifying way possible...  The Facts of Life and Death is by Belinda Bauer and is due to be published in March 2014

'Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem  absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it's then that Sean's problems really start...Stone Bruises is by Simon Beckett and is due to be published in January 2014

 Silencer is the latest book in the Nick Stone series by Andy McNab and is due to be published in October 2013.  1993: Under deep cover, Nick Stone and a specialist surveillance team have spent weeks in the jungles and city streets of Colombia. Their mission: to locate the boss of the world's most murderous drugs cartel - and terminate him with extreme prejudice. Now they can strike. But to get close enough to fire the fatal shot, Nick must reveal his face. It's a risk he's willing to take - since only the man who is about to die will see him. Or so he thinks... 2012: Nick is in Moscow; semi-retired; semi-married to Anna; very much the devoted father of their newborn son. But when the boy falls dangerously ill and the doctor who saves him comes under threat, Nick finds himself back in the firing line. To stop his cover being terminally blown, he must follow a trail that begins in Triad-controlled Hong Kong and propels him back into the even more brutal world he thought he'd left behind. The forces ranged against him have guns, helicopters, private armies and a terrified population in their vice-like grip. Nick Stone has two decades of operational skills that may no longer be deniable - and a fierce desire to protect a woman and a child who now mean more to him than life itself.

Young policewoman Lacey Flint knows that the Thames is a dangerous place – after all, she lives on it and works on it – but she’s always been lucky. Until one day, when she finds a body floating in the water. Who was this woman and why was she wrapped so carefully in white burial cloths before being hidden in the fast flowing depths.  DCI Dana Tulloch hates to admit it, but she’s fond of the mysterious Lacey. Even if she keeps on interfering in her investigations, and is meddling with the latest floater case. But now she's got to break some terrible news to her - news that could destroy Lacey's fragile state of mind.   And Lacey will need to keep her wits about her because there's a killer that's lurking around her boat, leaving her gifts she'd rather not receive . . .  A Dark and Twisted Tide is by Sharon (SJ) Bolton and is due to be published in May 2014.

The Sisters - Easter and her little sister Ruby are waiting it out in a foster home. Their mum died after a drug overdose, and their dad is a loser who walked out on them all. The Dad - Wade has no claim to them - he signed away his rights years ago, and Easter doesn't even want a father who'd give them up that easily. But one night he turns up unannounced and takes them anyway. The Psychopath - Robert Pruitt is just out of prison when he gets the chance to settle an old score with the man who ruined his life. He's got to find him first, but luckily the trail is easy to follow. Because the guy's just kidnapped his two girls...  The Dark Road to Mercy is by Wiley Cash and is due to be published in January 2014.

 When Jenny, an ordinary schoolgirl on the island of Gotland, is discovered by a modelling agency, her life changes overnight.  Soon she is considered one of the hottest stars and is thrown into a world of VIP parties and glamour.  While Jenny is enjoying her new exciting life in Stockholm, Agnes, a few years her junior, has been hospitalised due to a serious eating disorder.  She too dreamt of living in the limelight, but is now fading away.  Watching at Agnes’ beside is her worried father.  Since Agnes’ mother and brother were tragically killed in a car accident a few years previously, his daughter is all he has. But tragedy also lies in wait for successful Jenny.  During a lavish fashion shoot on Gotland’s barren isolated peninsula, Furillen, her new boyfriend, the fashion photographer Markus falls victim to a murder attempt.  He is found in an isolated spot, covered in blood and brutally assaulted – but alive.  Will he be able to tell police inspector Anders Knutas anything that will lead the police to the perpetrator before it’s too late?  For along time Jenny and Agnes remain unaware that their lives are entwined.  But someone is keeping an eye on them.  Someone with plans to intervene in their lives an deliver their own kind of Justice.  The Dangerous Game is by Mari Jungstedt and is due to be published in March 2014.

Don’t Stand So Close is the debut novel by Luana Lewis and is due to be published in February 2014.  What would you do if a young girl knocked on your door and asked for your help? If it was snowing and she was freezing cold, but you were afraid and alone? What would you do if you let her in, but couldn't make her leave? What if she told you terrible lies about someone you love, but the truth was even worse? Stella has been cocooned in her home for three years. Severely agoraphobic, she knows she is safe in the stark, isolated house she shares with her husband, Max. The traumatic memories of her final case as a psychologist are that much easier to keep at a distance, too. But the night that Blue arrives on her doorstep with her frightened eyes and sad stories, Stella's carefully controlled world begins to unravel around her. Don't Stand So Close is a chilling and suspenseful read.

 For thousands of years we guarded it. But now it has been found. This could be the end - for us; for our organisation; for the world. You must destroy it, and those who have taken it. An ancient object is discovered in a Cairo souk. Hours later, the market trader who sold it is tortured to death. As the bodies begin to pile up, a request for help is sent to British Museum historian Angela Lewis. Angela travels to Spain with her ex-husband, undercover police officer Chris Bronson. There they discover the key to the greatest secret in the history of Christianity. Their only problem is deciphering it before they are brutally murdered like those before them... The Lost Testament is by James Becker and is due to be published in November 2013.  The Brotherhood of the Skull also by James Becker will be published in July 2014. At the turn of the 13th century the religious order known as the Knights Templar was ruthlessly chased down, tortured and eliminated. Fast-forward to the present day, where we are thrust into a nail-biting chase for the truth behind the myth of the Templar Treasure.

A Pleasure and a Calling is by Phil Hogan and is due to be published in February 2014.  You won't remember Mr Heming. He showed you round your comfortable home, suggested a sustainable financial package, negotiated a price with the owner and called you with the good news. The less good news is that, all these years later, he still has the key. That's absurd, you laugh. Of all the many hundreds of houses he has sold, why would he still have the key to mine? The answer to that is, he has the keys to them all. William Heming's every pleasure is in his leafy community. He loves and knows every inch of it, feels nurtured by it, and would defend it - perhaps not with his life but if it came to it, with yours...

On a cold December morning in 1841, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. But when the people of Dublin learn why John Delahunt committed this vile crime, the outcry leaves no room for compassion. His fate is sealed, but this feckless Trinity College student and secret informer for the authorities in Dublin Castle seems neither to regret what he did nor fear his punishment. Sitting in Kilmainham Gaol in the days leading up to his execution, Delahunt tells his story in a final, deeply unsettling statement...Dublin in the mid-19th century was a city on the edge - a turbulent time of suspicion and mistrust and the scent of rebellion against the Crown in the air. Beautifully written, brilliantly researched and with a seductive sense of period and place, this unnervingly compelling novel boasts a colourful assortment of characters: from carousing Trinity students, unscrupulous lowlifes and blackmailers to dissectionists, phrenologists and sinister agents of Dublin Castle who are operating according to their own twisted rules. And at its heart lie the doomed John Delahunt and Helen, his wife. Unconventional, an aspiring-writer and daughter of an eminent surgeon, she pursued Delahunt, married him and thereby ruined her own life. And as for Delahunt himself, we follow him from elegant ballrooms and tenement houses to taverns, courtrooms and to the impoverished alleyways where John Delahunt readily betrays his friends, his society and ultimately, himself.  The Convictions of John Delahunt is by Andrew Hughes and is due to be published in March 2014.

The Day Before You Came is by Paula Daly and is due to be published in April 2014.  Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married.  Rock solid in fact.  So when Natty’s oldest school friend, Eve Dalladay appears – just as their daughter’s appendix explodes on a school trip in France – Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve helping Sean out at home.  Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well.  Natty’s husband has fallen in love with Eve.  He’s sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.  With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself.  And then she receives a note.  Eve has done this before, more than one and with fatal consequences …..

I believe, from what I can hear, that either my daughter or my wife has just been attacked. I don't know the outcome. The house is silent. Fourteen years ago two teenage lovers were brutally murdered in a patch of remote woodland. The prime suspect confessed to the crimes and was imprisoned. Now, one family is still trying to put the memory of the killings behind them. But at their isolated hilltop house...the nightmare is about to return.  Wolf is the seventh novel in the Jack Caffery series by Mo Hayder and it is due to be published in February 2014.

 Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart is the latest book in the Bryant & May series by Christopher Fowler and is due to be published in March 2014. It's a fresh start for the Met's oddest investigation team, the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Their first case involves two teenagers who see a dead man rising from his grave in a London park. And if that's not alarming enough, one of them is killed in a hit and run accident. Stranger still, in the moments between when he was last seen alive and found dead on the pavement, someone has changed his shirt...Much to his frustration, Arthur Bryant is not allowed to investigate. Instead, he has been tasked with finding out how someone could have stolen the ravens from the Tower of London. All seven birds have vanished from one of the most secure fortresses in the city. And, as the legend has it, when the ravens leave, the nation falls. Soon it seems death is all around and Bryant and May must confront a group of latter-day bodysnatchers, explore an eerie funeral parlour and unearth the gruesome legend of Bleeding Heart Yard. More graves are desecrated, further deaths occur, and the symbol of the Bleeding Heart seems to turn up everywhere - it's even discovered hidden in the PCU's offices. And when Bryant is blindfolded and taken to the headquarters of a secret society, he realises that this case is more complex than even he had imagined, and that everyone is hiding something. The Grim Reaper walks abroad and seems to be stalking him, playing on his fears of premature burial. Rich in strange characters and steeped in London's true history, this is Bryant & May's most peculiar and disturbing case of all.

 'I don’t like killing, but I’m good at it. Murder isn’t so bad from a distance, just shapes in my scope. Close up work though, the garrotte around the neck, the knife in the heart, it’s not for me. Too much empathy, that’s my problem. Usually. But not today. Today is different…’ The year is 1955 and something is very wrong with the world: Churchill is dead and WW2 didn’t happen. Europe is in thrall to a nuclear-armed Nazi Germany. Only Britain and its Empire holds out, bound by an uneasy truce and all the while German scientists are experimenting with terrifying forces beyond their understanding - forces that are driving them to the brink of insanity and beyond. Berlin is a hotbed of suspicion and betrayal - a lone British assassin is fighting a private war with the Nazis; the Gestapo are on the trail of a beautiful young resistance fighter and the head of the SS plots to dispose of an increasingly decrepit Adolf Hitler and become Fuhrer. While in London, a sinister and treacherous cabal will stop at nothing to conceal the conspiracy of the century.  Four desperate scenarios that are destined to collide with catastrophic effect. And it all hinges on a single kill in the morning . . .  A Kill in the Morning is by Graeme Shimmin and is due to be published in June 2014.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Of Broadchurch, Murder and More...

Little, Brown has bought world rights to a novel inspired by ITV crime series "Broadchurch".

Sphere Fiction commissioning editor Jade Chandler bought the book from Cathy King at Independent Talent, representing "Broadchurch" screenwriter Chris Chibnall, who will co-write the novel with thriller author Erin Kelly.

As well as including previously unseen material, the novel—to be published next August—will "elaborate on the existing plot, delving deeper into the lives and back stories of the existing characters".

Chibnall paid tribute to Kelly's writing, describing it as "beautiful, emotive and suffused with tension", while Kelly commented: "Like everyone else I know, I was gripped and moved by 'Broadchurch'. I’m utterly thrilled to be writing the novel, not least because it gave me an excuse to watch the whole series again, multiple times. It’s testament to the writing, the performances and the photography that I was spellbound even when I knew the outcome. I can’t wait to delve even deeper into the hearts and thoughts of the characters and to bring the town to life on the page."

US rights in the novel have been sold to Minotaur at St Martin's Press.

"Broadchurch", set in a small Dorset town and starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as a mismatched detective duo, had viewing figures of nine million and has been recommissioned for a second series. The drama has just won four TV Daggers at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards and has been sold to 100 territories worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands and China.

Audiobook publisher and retailer AudioGO has confirmed that it has filed for administration.

Sad news for the BBC Audiobook company it has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on Friday (25th October), with firm BDO expected to be appointed to the role this week.

The company suspended its business operations earlier this month, following "recently discovered significant financial challenges". Hopes that the company would find a buyer or investor before administration have now receded.

Based in Bath, AudioGO has a workforce of around 100 employees and employs a stable of freelance producers, editors and actors. The company has confirmed that "significant redundancies" are expected later this week.

AudioGO were responsible for producing crime and thrillers for authors such as Agatha Christie, David Baldacci, Dick Francis, Lindsey Davis, M.C.Beaton and John le Carré – to name but a few.

Novelist Solves Decades-Old Crime?

The 1931 murder of Julia Wallace has been one of Britain’s most notorious crimes--at least until now, if the findings of novelist P.D. James are correct. Though, given James’ experience in thinking about death and murder through 20 novels, one would think she’d be in the know.

According to The Guardian, James isn’t the first novelist to be fascinated by the case “which Raymond Chandler described as the ‘the nonpareil of all murder mysteries’. Dorothy L. Sayers wrote that it ‘provides for the detective novelist an unrivalled field for speculation’.”

Writing in the Sunday Times magazine, James claimed that the murder of Julia Wallace in Liverpool, which “compares only to the Ripper murders in 1888 in the amount of writing, both fiction and non-fiction, which it has created”, was misunderstood from the beginning by the police, the judge and jury.

Her 1982 novel, The Skull Beneath the Skin, the fictional murder of Lady Ralston, is thought to parallel the Wallace case, and she refers to it directly in the detective chief-inspector Dalgliesh novel, The Murder Room (2003).

The Guardian goes on to detail the available clues that convinced James her positing was correct. The case is “essentially tragic and has psychological subtleties to which it would take a Balzac to do justice,” James wrote. She builds a picture of Wallace as a man worn down by failure and disappointment who eventually cracked: “Perhaps when he struck the first tremendous blow that killed her, and the 10 afterwards delivered with such force, it was years of striving and constant disappointment that he was obliterating.”

Julia Wallis
Back in 2002, Patricia Cornwell put forth a similarly forceful theory with regards to the true identity of Jack the Ripper, a theory she outlined closely in her non-fiction book Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed.

Blow the Bloody Doors off!

London's Barbican Hall is to host an evening of music by Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, John Barry and Roy Budd from Michael Caine's most iconic films on 6 February 2014 @ 19:30
The four films singled out for concert performances here are classics with music composed by an exceptional quartet of musicians - Alfie (Sonny Rollins), The Ipcress File (John Barry), The Italian Job (Quincy Jones) and Get Carter (Roy Budd).
These composers represent the best of British and American music of the time. Musical director Terry Edwards (whose recent Barbican performances include Beck: Song Reader Live and Big Star’s Third) has assembled a crack team of versatile musicians from places as far-flung as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Polar Bear and Madness.
The evening places the music centre stage, intercut with excerpts from the films. Click here to book.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Heffers Cambridge - Forthcoming Crime Fiction Events

An Evening with Louise Penny
Thursday, November 21st at 18:30 
Louise Penny is a Canadian author of mystery novels set in the Canadian province of Quebec centred on the work of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Louise Penny's first career was as a radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. After she turned to writing, she won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha Award for best mystery novel of the year for four consecutive years (20072010) and the Anthony Award for two novels. Her novels have been published in 23 languages.
When the Light Gets In: Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo. Tickets must be booked in advance from
An Evening with Rowan Williams, Ray Tallis & Alison Joseph: Faith & Science
Wednesday, December 4th at 18:30 
An Evening of conversation about Faith & Science, Chaired by Alison Joseph ROWAN WILLIAMS, Baron Williams of Oystermouth PC FBA FRSL FLSW is an Anglican bishop, poet and theologian. He was the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury and Primate of All England, offices he held from December 2002 to December 2012.Williams was previously Bishop of Monmouth and Archbishop of Wales, making him the first Archbishop of Canterbury in modern times not to be appointed from within the Church of England. He spent much of his earlier career as an academic at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford successively. Apart from Welsh, he speaks or reads nine other languages. RAYMOND TALLIS F.Med.Sci., F.R.C.P., a polymath. He is a philosopher, poet, novelist, cultural critic and a retired medical physician and clinical neuroscientist. Specializing in geriatrics, Tallis served on several UK commissions on medical care of the aged and was an editor or major contributor to two key textbooks in the field, The Clinical Neurology of Old Age and Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. In a 2010 Interview with author Jesse Horn, Tallis expressed that he is a optimistic humanist and an atheist. “Given that I was born a few months after Auschwitz was liberated, it is hardly surprising that I have a strong sense of the evil that humans – individually and collectively – do. My position is that of cautious and chastened optimism, a belief that, if we are ourselves well-treated by others, we will usually treat others reasonably well.” ALISON JOSEPH was born in North London and educated at Leeds University. After graduating she worked as a presenter on a local radio station then, moving back to London, for Channel 4. She later became a partner in an independent production company and one of its commissions was a series about women and religion. She has since worked as a reader for BBC Radio Drama. Alison, who now has three children, lives in London. Alison is the author of the crime fiction novels featuring the nun Sister Agnes. Tickets from:

An Evening with Charles Palliser
Thursday, December 5th at 18:30 
Charles Palliser is a best-selling novelist, American-born but British-based. His most well-known novel, "The Quincunx", has sold over a million copies internationally. With his new novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied. It is winter 1863, and Richard Shenstone, aged seventeen, has been sent down—“rusticated”—from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by sexual desire, he finds temporary refuge in a dilapidated old mansion on the southern English coast inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie. Soon, graphic and threatening letters begin to circulate among his neighbors, and Richard finds himself the leading suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanors ranging from vivisection to murder. Tickets from:

Ian Rankin in conversation with Alison Bruce
Tuesday, December 10th at 19:00 
Ian Rankin returns to East Anglia before taking a year off from writing! Ian will not be carrying out any events until 2015, so this is your last chance to hear him for a while. This evening he is being interviewed by popular local crime writer Alison Bruce. They will cover a wide range of topics including Ian's new book.
Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. A 30-year-old case is being reopened, and Rebus’s team from back then is suspected of foul play. With Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer is the past and present about to collide in a shocking and murderous fashion? And does Rebus have anything to hide? His colleagues back then called themselves ‘The Saints’, and swore a bond on something called ‘the Shadow Bible’. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer, especially with a referendum on Scottish independence just around the corner. Who are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other?
Venue: St Andrews Baptist Church, St Andrews St Cambridge
Tickets from

 An Evening with Jill Paton Walsh
Tuesday, December 17th at 18:30 
Jill Paton Walsh is an English novelist and children's writer. She is best known for the Peter Wimsey–Harriet Vane mysteries that have completed or continued the work of Dorothy L. Sayers. Her latest book ‘The Late Scholar’ is a new murder mystery featuring Lord Peter Wimsey - now a Duke - and his wife Harriet Vane, set in an Oxford college in the 1950s. Peter Wimsey is pleased to discover that along with a Dukedom he has inherited the duties of 'visitor' at an Oxford college. When the fellows appeal to him to resolve a dispute, he and Harriet set off happily to spend some time in Oxford. But the dispute turns out to be embittered. The voting is evenly balanced between two passionate parties - evenly balanced, that is, until several of the fellows unexpectedly die. The Warden has a casting vote, but the Warden has disappeared. And the causes of death of the deceased fellows bear an uncanny resemblance to the murder methods in Peter's past cases - methods that Harriet has used in her published novels. Tickets from:

Monday, 28 October 2013

Books to Look Forward to From Duckworth Overlook

Former homicide detective and CIA agent Lemuel Gunn left behind the Afghanistan battlefield for a trailer in New Mexico to forge a new career as a private investigator.  Out of nowhere comes Ornella Neppi, a woman making a mess of her uncle's bail bonds business.  She asks Gunn to track down the source of her troubles, a man named Emilio Gava, who has jumped bail after being arrested for buying cocaine.  But no photos of Gava seem to exist.  As Gunn begins his search for a man it seems that someone is protecting, hitting dead end after dead end, he starts to suspect that Gava might not exist at all - The grittiest novel yet from the masterful Robert Littell, A Nasty Piece of Work is unmissable, powerful reading.  As Gunn's game of cat and mouse unfolds - every step leading him closer to the truth - he draws ever closer to an unseen enemy's line of fire.  A Nasty Piece of Work is due to be published in March 2014

Dry Bones is the third book in Fintan Dunne trilogy by Peter Quinn and is due to be published in April 2014.  Fintan Dunne, the detective at the centre of The Man Who Never Returned and Hour of the Cat, is back in this spellbinding story of an ill-fated OSS mission into the heart of the Eastern front and its consequences more than a decade after the war's end.  As the Red Army continues its unstoppable march towards Berlin in the winter of 1945, Dunne and his fellow soldier Dick Van Hull volunteer for a dangerous drop behind enemy lines to rescue a team of OSS officers trying to abet the Czech resistance.  When the plan goes south, Dunne and Van Hull uncover a secret that will change both of their lives.  Years later, Dunne is drawn back into the shadowy realm of Cold War espionage in an effort to clear his friend's name and right an injustice so shocking that men would, quite literally, kill to keep it quiet.

In 1856, a baying crowd of over 30,000 people gathered outside Stafford prison to watch the execution of a village doctor from Staffordshire.  One of the last people to be publicly hanged, the 'Rugely Poisoner', the 'Prince of Poisoners', 'The greatest villain who ever stood trial at the Old Bailey,' as Charles Dickens described him, Dr William Palmer was convicted in 1855 of murdering his best friend, but was suspected of poisoning more than a dozen other people, including his wife, children, brother and mother-in-law - cashing in on their life insurance to fund his monstrously indebted gambling habit.  Highlighting Palmer's particularly gruesome penchant for strychnine, his trial made news across Europe: the most memorable in fifty years, according to the Old Bailey's presiding Lord Chief Justice.  He was a new kind of murderer - respectable, middle class, personable, and consequently more terrifying - and he became Britain's most infamous figure until the arrival of Jack the Ripper.  The first widely available account of one of the most notorious, yet lesser-known, mass-murderers in British history, The Poisoner takes a fresh look at Palmer's life and disputed crimes, ultimately asking 'just how evil was this man?’  With previously undiscovered letters from Palmer and new forensic examination of his victims, Stephen Bates presents not only an astonishing and controversial revision of Palmer's entire story, but takes the reader into the very psyche of a killer.  The Poisoner is due to be published in June 2014.

 In February 2014, Duckworth Overlook is due to publish The Miernik Dossier and The Last Supper by Charles McCarry.  In The Miernik Dossier Cool, urbane Paul Christopher is the perfect American agent, currently working in deep cover in the twilight world of international intrigue.  But now even he cannot tell good from bad in a maze of double and triple-crosses.  As a group of international agents embark on a trip in a Cadillac from Switzerland to the Sudan, Christopher knows that he has to find out which one is about to unleash bloody terrorism - and God help everyone if he makes a mistake.  In The Last Supper on a rainy night in Paris, Paul Christopher's lover Molly Benson falls victim to a vehicular homicide minutes after Christopher boards a jet bound for Vietnam.  To explain this senseless murder, The Last Supper goes back not only to the earliest days of Christopher's life, but also to the origins of the CIA.  Moving seamlessly from tales of refugee smuggling in Nazi Germany to OSS-coordinated guerrilla warfare in Burma and the confusion of the Vietnam War, McCarry creates an intimate history of this shadow-world of deceit and betrayal.

Friday, 25 October 2013

CWA Dagger Awards and Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013

Mike Stotter, Ayo Onatade & Ali Karim
The Shots team of Mike Stotter, Ayo Onatade and Ali Karim joined fellow crime writers, that included nominated authors such as Stuart Neville, Andrew Taylor, Malcolm McKay, Lauren Beukes, Belinda Bauers, Mick Herron, Derek B Miller and Christopher Fowler (to name a few), Lee Child, Peter James, Ian Rankin, Alison Joseph, Len Tyler, Mark Billingham, CWA judges and members of stage and screen at the Grosvenor Hotel Ballroom in London for the presentation of the CWA Daggers and the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards.

The formal press release can be read below! 
David Tennant and Olivia Colman led ITV’s Broadchurch to four gongs at the star-studded Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. 
Celebrity guests including Idris Elba, Kara Tointon, Lee Child, Peter James, Ruth Wilson, Mark Billingham and Anna Maxwell Martin gathered on the black carpet before celebrating the UK’s most wanted crime fiction and drama at the dazzling ceremony, hosted by Bradley Walsh.
L-R Ayo Onatade, Stuart Neville & Mike Stotter
The glittering event, organised by Cactus TV and ITV3 in partnership with the Crime Writers’ Association, saw ITV’s top-rating murder mystery Broadchurch pocket a quartet of awards, including the TV Dagger for the production itself, with the latest gongs rounding off a successful year for the show. 

Winners included:

●        David Tennant of Broadchurch in the Best Actor Dagger

●        Olivia Colman of Broadchurch in the Best Actress Dagger

●        Andrew Buchan of Broadchurch in the Best Supporting Actor Dagger

●        Amelia Bullmore of Scott & Bailey in the Best Supporting Actress Dagger

●        The Killing III in the International TV Dagger

●        Skyfall in the Film Dagger

●        Malcolm MacKay for the Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read

●        Mick Herron for the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger

●        Derek B Miller for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger

●        Roger Hobbs for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year
The ceremony will be shown on ITV3 at 9pm on Sunday October 27, and a full list of winners is below
The awards, now in their sixth year, marked the culmination of ITV3’s six-week prime time series, The Crime Thriller Club which included a crime thriller version of the successful TV Book Club. 
‘Living legends’ Martina Cole and Wilbur Smith were inducted into the CWA Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony in recognition of their contributions to the genre. 
In a brand new award for 2013, The Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read was awarded to Malcolm MacKay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter. Chosen as The Crime Thriller Book Club book of the series by a group of independent publishing experts from the Crime Thriller Awards Academy, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter beat titles by Linwood Barclay, Megan Abbott, Christopher Fowler, Diana Bretherick and Andrew Taylor.
Malcolm MacKay said: “It’s a huge honour and thrill to win. To be included in such a strong list of nominees is a wonderful thing for any young writer.”

This year’s CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year was won by Mick Herron for Dead Lions, a tale of secrets which refuse to die in the shady world of Cold War spooks. Herron’s book fought off intense competition from Belinda Bauer’s Rubbernecker, Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls and Becky Masterman’s Rage Against The Dying to take the accolade.

Mick Herron commented: "My shelves are crammed with Gold Dagger-winning novels of the past - The Mermaids Singing, Black and Blue, Bones and Silence. I can't quite believe I get to put my own book next to them."

The CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger for Best New Crime Writer of the Year was awarded to Derek B Miller for his debut novel Norwegian by Night. In a boon year for debut crime fiction Norwegian by Night and its 82-year-old ex-Marine protagonist squared up against Hanna Jameson’s Something You Are, Malcolm Mackay’s The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter and Thomas Mogford’s Shadow of the Rock to nab the top spot.
Derek B. Miller said: “My sincere thanks to the judges and the Crime Writers' Association. This award feels less like a victory than a wonderful form of encouragement. And I appreciate that, deeply, because no one has ever encouraged me to write before. Tolerated me writing … sure. But encouraged me? Not as much. So thank you.”
The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year went to Roger Hobbs for Ghostman. This distinctive thriller slugged it out against impressive enemies Stuart Neville for Ratlines, Mark Oldfield for The Sentinel and Robert Wilson for Capital Punishment to secure victory.
Roger Hobbs said: "I'm exceptionally honoured to have won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. It's a dream come true. This award puts me in the company of so many writers I admire, like Steve Hamilton, Gillian Flynn, and Jeffery Deaver. When I was writing this book in the basement of my college library, scrounging off old pizza and bad coffee, I never imagined I'd end up here. I want to offer my sincerest thanks to all the family, friends, and co-workers who helped me make this dream possible."
Amanda Ross, Managing Director of Cactus TV, who created the Awards for ITV3 said: ‘This is one of the most popular genre of fiction on the screen and in books, so it’s wonderful to be able to have this great celebration of talent courtesy of Specsavers.’
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: ‘As a personal fan of a blood curdling read, it’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Crime Thriller Awards for the fifth year running. We’re very proud to be involved in this annual showcase of world class writing, acting and production and would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees.’



●     CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger for the Best Crime Novel of the Year:

Mick Herron, Dead Lions (Soho Press)

●     CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger for the Best New Crime Writer of the Year:

Derek B. Miller, Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber)

●     CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the Best Thriller of the Year:

Roger Hobbs, Ghostman (Transworld)

●     The Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read :

Malcolm MacKay, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Pan)

●     The Film Dagger


●     The TV Dagger


●     The International TV Dagger

The Killing III

●     The Best Supporting Actor Dagger

Andrew Buchan for Broadchurch

●     The Best Supporting Actress Dagger

Amelia Bullmore for Scott & Bailey

●     The Best Actor Dagger

David Tennant for Broadchurch

●     The Best Actress Dagger

Olivia Colman for Broadchurch 

Eleanor Riches at Midas Public Relations on 020 7361 7860 or  


Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards
The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013 took place on Thursday 24th October at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, and will be televised on ITV3 on the 29th October at 9pm. The 2013 Awards are the sixth annual event created and produced by Cactus TV for ITV3. The Awards are sponsored by Specsavers and in conjunction with the Crime Writers' Association. Visit for more information

Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their eldest son John is joint managing director. Specsavers has almost 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Australia. Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the eleventh year running by Reader’s Digest in 2012. More information can be found at:

Cactus TV
Cactus TV is a production company run by husband and wife team Simon and Amanda Ross. Productions include Saturday Kitchen for BBC1, The Munch Box for ITV, The Roux Scholarship, Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain for BBC2, Rachel Allen, The National Book Awards and 8 years of the Channel 4 Richard & Judy show live from Cactus studios. Amanda’s previous Book Club choices have created many million selling authors.

ITV3 is the UK’s second most popular digital channel and its focus on character driven narrative and drama helps the channel attract an upmarket audience. ITV3 is available on Freeview (channel 10), Freesat (115), Sky Digital (119) and Virgin Media (116).

Crime Writers’ Association
The Crime Writers’ Association has a membership of over 500 writers of fiction and non-fiction. Its main aims are to promote the crime genre and to support professional writers. The CWA has been providing social and professional support for its members for more than half a century, as well as administering the prestigious Dagger Awards. The Daggers name and Crossed Daggers logo are registered Trade Marks of the Crime Writers’ Association, and are used under licence. For further information on the CWA: or contact

Agile Marketing
Agile Marketing is a publishing-specialist promotions & project management agency. They project manage the Crime Thriller Awards in the book trade, liaising with publishers and retailers to ensure the campaign to raise the profile of Crime Fiction is maximised in store and amongst readers. They also manage the supporting website:

Eleanor Riche
Midas Public Relations
10 Old Court Place, London W8 4PL
T: 020 7361 7876 M: 07825 751 174
E : |

 Pictures © Ayo Onatade