Friday, September 19, 2014

Jane Austen, Detective - Returns

I've posted about Jane Austen and crime before but here's what's Jane-related and coming out in the next few months:

From Stephanie Barron, after a three year gap, the eleventh in her Jane Austen as sleuth series, Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, is published in the US next month:

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide dies in a tragic accident whose circumstances Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane's fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly-crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?

And in July 2015, Mr and Mrs Darcy return in Carrie A Bebris's seventh book in the series, The Suspicion at Sanditon (Or, the Disappearance of Lady Denham), no blurb available yet.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: The Tottenham Outrage by M H Baylis

The Tottenham Outrage by M H Baylis, July 2014, 288 pages, Old Street Publishing, ISBN: 1908699671

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

He spotted a group of little boys, done up not as super-heroes or figures of modern legend but in outsized pin-striped suits and ties. One had a big briefcase, another carried a toy mobile phone, a third waved a rolled-up umbrella about.
"They're being you," said a voice at his elbow. It was Mordecai Hershkovits.

Haringey, North London, a spring day.
41 year-old local “journo” Rex Tracey sits in a traffic jam at the wheel of his mate Terry's car and he is terrified. Beside him, Terry tells him to calm down. But Rex hasn't driven since the accident ten years ago and tomorrow he has to retake his test. Photographer Terry has agreed to give Rex some coaching as they drive to Finsbury Park to interview a local history writer. Rex botches his parking and crunches into the car behind. Unfortunately its driver turns out to be Dr George Kovacs, not only the aforesaid local author but also a disagreeable neighbour of Terry's. After some prickly words the trio enter the park which today is full of people celebrating spring, including a Hasidic family picnicking at a table despite being harangued by a young Muslim man. Terry's photography session with Kovacs is cut short by a woman's scream. Turning, they see the picnicking family slumped over their dishes as if asleep. But they are dead. And the screaming woman is accusing a group of young Muslim men of spraying something at the family. The youths scatter and run. Dr Kovacs, visibly shaken, also leaves in a hurry.
Rex and Terry, Geiger-countered, multiply swabbed and issued with contact cards in the event they feel ill, go back to News North London's offices to upload their copy and photos onto its website. The park is filled with chemical-suited techs; soldiers are sealing its centre behind opaque plastic. Helicopters overhead, the Muslim boys – said to have followed a radical teacher – are being hunted in a manner likely to turn other young men to their cause. The dead family were members of the Hasidic Dukovchiner sect, a group already in the news with the disappearance of another member, 14 year-old Micah Walther, the previous year. Rex and Terry decide to drop by Stamford Hill on the way home. There, they find the shomrim – a kind of community policing group – out in force. Rex spots one he knows, Mordecai Hershkovits, who tells him that the family's name was Bettelheim – that the Muslim boys need to be caught – and if Rex wants to know any more, he should try "vegetables". Which turns out to be the name of a nearby shop. Terry, feeling unwell, sets off home. But Rex stays to interview the shop's disparate husband and wife owners, also Dukovchiner, who tell him that the Bettelheims were a quiet family. A quiet family from a quiet sect. Yet a sect with a missing boy and an entire family dead. Rex has almost reached home when ex-News North London reporter, Ellie Mehta, turns up like a bad penny, eager to tell him that his friend Terry has been arrested for the murder of Dr Kovacs...

THE TOTTENHAM OUTRAGE is the second crime novel by writer M H Baylis (aka Matt Baylis, aka Matthew Baylis) featuring Haringey journalist Rex Tracey. It follows on from Tracey’s d├ębut in DEATH AT THE PALACE (“Alexandra”) and continues Baylis's love song to the melting pot which is modern-day Haringey. With his photographer friend Terry accused of murder, Rex continues to look into the deaths of the Bettelheims and Dr Kovacs. His investigations take him deeper into the lives of the Hasidic community of Stamford Hill, the roots of whose sects and Rebbe lie in the villages of 18th century Poland. This is a richness of traditions not often explored in crime fiction although it brings to mind aspects of Michael Chabon's alternative-future crime novel, THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION. Embedded into this modern tale of death in Finsbury Park are flashback narrations recounting the story of the shootings and failed anarchist robbery of 1909, the original "Tottenham Outrage". These narrated segments pop up in the text with no prompting – but, such is the assurance of Baylis's writing, the voice of its narrator, the mysterious and tough George Smith, is vivid and distinct from Rex's story and makes a great counterpoint to that of Rex.

I lapped up THE TOTTENHAM OUTRAGE: jam-packed both with characters and with character: funny, vivacious and enthralling. It's written with skill, observation, understanding and a relish for contemporary life in a teeming part of London that will, I hope, provide many more stories for Rex to tell. Read and enjoy.

Lynn Harvey, September 2014.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Awards News: CWA Dagger in the Library Longlist

Catching up with the latest CWA news, the Longlist for the Dagger in the Library has been announced. From the CWA's website:

The response was staggering. With 1,384 people voting for 636 different authors, the longlist highlights the extraordinary quality and variety in crime writing. Unlike most other literary prizes, the Dagger in the Library honours an author’s whole body of work to date, rather than a single title.

The longlist (in alphabetical order):

MC Beaton (Constable & Robinson)
Tony Black (Black and White Publishing)
Sharon Bolton (Transworld Publishers)
Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
Mari Hannah (Pan)
James Oswald (Michael Joseph)
Phil Rickman (Corvus)
Leigh Russell (No Exit Press)
Mel Sherratt (Thomas & Mercer)
Neil White (Sphere)

(Links are to the bibliography pages on Euro Crime, including links to any reviews.)

Dorothy L Sayers - Audiobooks

I've recently received a press release from Hodder and Stoughton announcing new audiobook recording for all of Dorothy L Sayers books, starting with the release of Whose Body? tomorrow:

Hodder & Stoughton will publish the complete crime backlist of Dorothy L. Sayers as digital audiobooks. World rights excluding the USA were acquired from Georgia Glover of David Higham Associates.

Editor Dominic Gribben said: "Dorothy L. Sayers is one of the great authors of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and a cornerstone of Hodder’s crime fiction publishing. We’re recording new editions – brilliantly read by Jane McDowell – to offer listeners a fresh, consistent way to experience these stories.”

Hodder will publish 16 titles over the course of the next year beginning with the first Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Whose Body?, on September 18th 2014. Hodder will publish one title a month with the final title being published in December 2015.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reviews: Arlidge, Daly, Duke, Furst, Kitson, Kreslehner, Mann, Phillips, Wilkinson

Here are nine reviews which have been added to the Euro Crime website today, three have appeared on the blog since last time, and six are completely new.

NB. You can keep up to date with Euro Crime by following the blog and/or liking the Euro Crime Facebook page.

New Reviews

Michelle Peckham reviews M J Arlidge's second book featuring Southampton's DI Helen Grace, Pop Goes the Weasel;

Terry Halligan reviews Bill Daly's Black Mail the first in the DCI Charlie Anderson series set in Glasgow;

Susan White reviews Simon Duke's debut Out of Bounds which is set in the US;

Lynn Harvey reviews Alan Furst's Midnight in Europe set in the late 1930s;

Terry also reviews Bill Kitson's Buried in the Past, the eighth in the DI Mike Nash series;

Michelle also reviews Austrian author Gabi Kreslehner's Rain Girl tr. Lee Chadeayne;
Rich Westwood reviews George Mann's Sherlock Holmes - The Spirit Box;

Amanda Gillies reviews Last Kiss by Louise Phillips, the third in the Dr Kate Pearson set in and around Dublin

and Mark Bailey reviews Kerry Wilkinson's Crossing the Line, the eighth in the DI Jesica Daniel series set in Manchester.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Publishing Deal - Andrea Carter

Another publishing deal announced, this time it's Constable; they have signed up two books from Irish author Andrea Carter:
Constable has acquired world English language rights in WHITEWATER CHURCH by Andrea Carter in a two book deal.

WHITEWATER CHURCH is the first of a crime series set in a small town in the beautiful and remote Inishowen Peninsula in Ireland. When a skeleton wrapped in a blanket is found in the secret crypt of a deconsecrated church, local solicitor Ben (Benedicta) O'Keeffe finds herself drawn into the dark secrets of a rural community, as she negotiates between the official investigation and obstructive locals to uncover the truth of what happened.

Andrea Carter is a barrister living in Dublin. She lived and worked in the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal as a solicitor for a number of years. WHITEWATER CHURCH was one of the winners of the 2013 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair and received an Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary Award. Constable will publish in Autumn 2015.
Read the whole article at Book Trade.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Crossing the Line by Kerry Wilkinson

Crossing the Line by Kerry Wilkinson, September 2014, 392 pages, Pan, ISBN: 1447247876

Reviewed by Mark Bailey.
(Read more of Mark's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This is the eighth in the series of novels featuring Jessica Daniel (now a Detective Inspector) but is being pitched as the start of 'Season Two' as a signal that new readers can get on board comfortably without missing a lot of what is going on.

There are two main story elements here, the first starts right in the first chapter of the novel when a masked attacker begins a reign of terror by throwing acid in the face of a councillor (local politician) during a visit by the Home Secretary. This reopens a wave of media nostalgia as it is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the attacks of the Stretford Slasher - and that is the second main story theme. Running along with these is the personal situation of Jessica Daniel and her friends, especially her colleagues Izzy Diamond and, to a lesser extent, Esther Warren.

This is the first Jessica Daniel book that I have read and I was able to get up to speed with the character and her work and social situation very quickly so this is a good place to start the series. Having said that, I did enjoy it so much I bought all the earlier books in the series as e-books.

Why did I enjoy it – well Jessica Daniel is an engaging lead character and is developed by the author during the novel so you do get to know her. The supporting characters are also developed and they help to drive the plot along. The plot itself is coherent and makes sense – there are no wild leaps of logic.

My only real niggle when finishing the book, and the author does admit this in the afterword at the end, is that this novel does "feed into" the next novel, SCARRED FOR LIFE, which isn't out until next January.

CROSSING THE LINE is a good quality police procedural from an author that I will be following from now on.

Mark Bailey, September 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Publishing Deal - Rod Reynolds

I received the following press release today; Faber have bought two books from Rod Reynolds:

Faber wins auction for debut thriller by UK author Rod Reynolds

Associate Crime Editor Katherine Armstrong bought UK, Commonwealth and European rights, excluding Canada, from Kate Burke at Diane Banks Associates for THE DARK INSIDE and an as-yet-unnamed second book.

Armstrong said: 'I am absolutely thrilled that Rod has decided to come to Faber. THE DARK INSIDE is a superbly assured debut novel and I very much look forward to introducing readers to Charlie Yates, his disgraced New York reporter who is sent to Texarkana to report on a spate of murders as local courting couples are being butchered at a popular date spot. When Charlie starts asking questions he comes into conflict with the local police and sheriff's departments and he soon realises that there's more to the town - and the story - than first meets the eye. Everyone, it appears, has something to hide. Loosely based on a real case, THE DARK INSIDE will appeal to fans of TRUE DETECTIVE, Tom Franklin and R. J. Ellory. Charlie is an engaging and sympathetic protagonist that readers will warm to and the narrative grips from the start and carries you along to the very last page. I'm very excited to see what Rod will do next.'

Burke said: ‘The fast reaction from editors to this incredible thriller was overwhelming and Faber’s pitch and vision blew us away. Both Rod and I are incredibly excited to be working with them.’

Reynolds is a recent graduate of City University's first two-year Crime and Thriller Creative Writing Masters course.

Faber will publish THE DARK INSIDE into trade paperback and eBook formats in summer 2015.