Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: The Dark Palace by R N Morris

The Dark Palace by R N Morris, January 2014, 256 pages, Creme de la Crime, ISBN: 1780290594

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

Detective Inspector Silas Quinn lives in a boarding house in 1914 London. He lusts after one of his fellow lodgers, a Miss Dillard, as well as having been rejected in love by his boss’s secretary Miss Latterley. Quinn is sarcastic and apparently renown for shooting his revolver and killing the bad guys! He is known as Quick fire Quinn much to his annoyance.

The day starts well when he discovers his immediate boss has been transferred and he is to take charge of the department. His boss Sir Edward Henry wants him to liaise with Lord Dunwich at the Admiralty. War with Germany is feared and they want him to identify any German spies. The only problem is there is no guidance on how to identify them.

One of his sergeants, Macadam, is interested in the department purchasing a camera for surveillance. The other sergeant Inchball is sceptical of the camera’s usefulness, but has his eye on a barber shop run by a German, Fritz Dortmunder. Quinn is invited to a premier of the famous Austrian film director and exponent of Kinematograph, Konrad Waechter's latest masterpiece entitled 'The Eyes of the Beholder'. Besides Waechter he meets one of the backers the German Oskar Hartman (who has a connection to Lord Dunwich), Porrick who owns the Picture Palace, the beautiful actress Eloise and Paul Berenger the main actor. Also in attendance is Harry Lennox newspaper proprietor as well as the director's assistant Diaz and his cousin Inti.

When a woman is attacked and apparently loses an eye near the premier of the picture, Quinn tries to resolve what is going on. Who is the stern faced man who follows Quinn on the Tube and turns up berating the film crew, who apparently knows something about the death of Quinn's father? When an actress/prostitute turns up murdered and has had one of her eyes removed and Lord Dunwich is sent a white billiard ball with an eye painted on it and another party is sent a playing card with its eye scored out, Quinn has his work cut out.

I've only read one other book by the author, one of his Porfiry Petrovich series, this is a much different book. I found Quinn very eccentric but entertaining. Recommended and I will read more of the Quinn novels.

Geoff Jones, February 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

In A Word: Murder Anthology now available in print

Following on from my earlier post, you'll be pleased to know that Margot Kinberg's Anthology, In a Word: Murder, in support of Maxine's preferred charity - the Princess Alice Hospice - is now available to buy as a paperback, as well as an ebook.

Buy the paperback from
Buy the paperback from
Buy the UK Kindle version or US Kindle version.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Judging the Petrona Award 2014

This afternoon, I will be meeting the three esteemed judges: Barry Forshaw, Kat Hall and Sarah Ward to determine the shortlist for the 2014 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

I think this will be a long meeting as there're are lots of well regarded titles on the eligibles list.

I won't be online until the evening but I'd love to see what other readers think should be on the shortlist and what their winner would be.

The shortlist will be announced in March and the winner will be announced in May at Crimefest.

The winner of the 2013 Petrona Award was Liza Marklund for Last Will translated by Neil Smith.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Paws for Murder by Annie Knox

Not Euro Crime but I couldn't resist this one on Netgalley!

Paws for Murder by Annie Knox, February 2014, 320 pages, Obsidian, ISBN: 0451239504

PAWS FOR MURDER is the first in a new series from Annie Knox, who also writes as WendyLyn Watson, and introduces Izzy McHale, her pets Jinx and Packer and her new store, a pet boutique.

Izzy is living in her small hometown of Merryville in Minnesota. Life has not turned out as expected when she began her higher education career in fashion alongside her soon-to be plastic surgeon boyfriend. After training, they were all set to go to New York and her boyfriend did, only with someone else. So Izzy is putting her life back on track by setting up a clothes shop for pets, many of which she designs and makes herself, and is helped by school-friend Rena.

Not everyone is happy with the idea of the store, including her neighbour Richard Greene, owner of the Greene Brigade, and Sherry Harper, a trust-fund baby whose heart may be in the right place but who shows it in the wrong way. She is an environmental activist and seeker of good causes and thinks it's wrong to dress animals up. She is already credited with having a sea-food restaurant closed down and Izzy is worried Sherry might have similar success with her own store.

At the launch party for “Trendy Tails”, Sherry gets into an argument with Rena and when Sherry's dead body is found out back, Rena is suspect number one. Fortunately Rena is friends with Sean, now a lawyer, who was the third part of their triumvirate back in the day along with Rena and Izzy. A threesome that disintegrated when Sean declared his love for Izzy.

Sean and Izzy begin to investigate, to clear Rena's name, and a friendship is resumed, complicated by the fact that Sean has a girlfriend, one who is related to Sherry.

I very much enjoyed PAWS FOR MURDER and it kept me hooked. Though the gorgeous cover shows a cat and a dog it's actually a ferret who provides a clue! I loved the fact that several of the characters were vegetarian and it was not made an issue of, they could eat out easily. We have animals, a touch of possible romance and a puzzle to solve, all set in a wintry small-town where the shops all have cute names – if you like that sort of thing then you should enjoy this. I hope it's not too long a wait until the sequel.

Karen Meek, February 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Simenon - 1 Book, Two Titles, Two Translations

It so happens I have two English language editions of Georges Simenon's M. Gallet décédé (1931): Maigret Stonewalled published in 1963 and translated by Margaret Marshall and The Late Monsieur Gallet published in 2013 and translated by Anthea Bell.

Here are the first few paragraphs in each edition - poor photography aside, here is a reminder, if one should be required, of what translators do.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: Broken Dolls by James Carol

Broken Dolls by James Carol, January 2014, 400 pages, Faber & Faber , ISBN: 0571302734

Reviewed by Michelle Peckham.
(Read more of Michelle's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This is billed as the first in a new set of novels featuring an ex-FBI profiler, Jefferson Winter. A haunted man, as he is the son of a serial killer, arrested when he was just 11, leaving his mark on Jefferson, not only because of what he did, but because as Jefferson watched him being executed, he had one last set of words for his son 'we’re the same’. And this was just one of many reasons why Jefferson left the FBI and went solo.

Eighteen months on, working privately as a profiler, Jefferson arrives in London to help an old colleague, DI Hatcher, try to catch another serial offender. However, this time, the ‘unsub’ (unknown suspect) doesn’t kill his victims, he captures them, and keeps them somewhere for several months, while he tortures them. Then he finally performs some sort of lobotomy operation, and dumps them. The victims are in effect living corpses, with no memory or ability to engage with their surroundings. The latest victim is the fourth one in a row, and after sixteen months of investigating all four victims, Hatcher is getting nowhere. Moreover, the gap between dumping the victims and selecting a new one is getting shorter. Time is against them as it becomes clear that someone else is already about to become another victim, and hence Hatcher’s request for Jefferson’s help.

And so the game begins. Jefferson works with Hatcher and the rest of his team to try to form a profile of the killer, through piecing together any similarities between the victims, how they are being selected, finding out how the lobotomies are performed (without any scarring to the skull), if there are any patterns in where the victims are abducted from, and then dumped and so on.

Intervening chapters provide the victim’s view of the abduction and what follows. Rachel Morris, an attractive brunette with an unfaithful husband, has been instant messaging someone called Adam, and is planning to go out that evening to meet him for the first time. She takes off her wedding ring, and sits in a bar, nursing a glass of wine while waiting for him to arrive. After an hour or so, he hasn’t turned up, or texted or contacted her to say why he’s late. But, as she leaves, he comes running towards her, apologetic, with many excuses, and she makes the fatal mistake of getting into his car.

The plot device of bringing together the investigation on one side, with Rachel’s experience at the hands of her abductor is an effective one. Instantly, the reader feels a lot of sympathy for Rachel, and silently wills the investigators to make rapid progress so that they can catch the abductor and rescue her before she meets the same fate as the previous four victims. Jefferson’s character is that of a super-hero, who somehow manages to pick clues out of almost thin air, and slowly work his way towards finding Rachel, albeit occasionally using some rather unconventional methods. Hatcher is the archetypal harried cop, desperate for a solution, no matter what it takes. And there is another character, DS Sophie Templeton, who is part of Hatcher’s team. A stunning blonde to whom Jefferson is attracted even though he knows he is not the kind of person ‘cheerleader’ types like Sophie would normally go for (as Jefferson is the ‘geek’). A little bit of gender stereotyping there unfortunately, and it’s not hard to guess where the story might go with Sophie later on in the book. That said, this was a rapid fire read for me, and I enjoyed it enough to forgive the slightly off kilter ending, where we discover the truth about the unsub, and his motivations. Not for the squeamish, or for those who don’t like women as victims, but an interesting twist on the serial offender crime novel for those who like this kind of thing.

Michelle Peckham, February 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Very Special Guest at Harrogate - J K Rowling as Robert Galbraith

The Theakston's Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate has just announced that J K Rowling will be appearing at this year's event...:
We are delighted to announce that J.K. Rowling, new to the crime genre under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, will be on the Harrogate stage with bestselling crime writer Val McDermid for a unique In Conversation event this July. This special event will take place at 7.30pm on Friday 18 July at the Royal Hall in Harrogate, and will be J.K Rowling’s first and only appearance this year as Robert Galbraith.* The Silkworm, featuring the return of private investigator Cormoran Strike, will be published in hardback by Little, Brown on 19 June 2014. McDermid said of Galbraith’s first crime novel – ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place’.

Rowling/Galbraith, and McDermid join an already stellar list of names, which includes the likes of Ann Cleeves, Sophie Hannah, Lynda LaPlante, Laura Lippman, Peter May, Denise Mina, Steve Mosby and S.J.Watson. The Festival dates are 17-20 July 2014, so block out these dates and join us for one long criminally good weekend.

Blurb: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

New Reviews: Bilal, Cadbury, Cleeves, Mark, Smith, Thorne

Here are six new reviews which have been added to the Euro Crime website today.

I've also begun a new and occasional feature of highlighting books by a theme. The first post was on crime novels set in Norfolk (England).

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

New Reviews

Lynn Harvey reviews Parker Bilal's The Ghost Runner, the third in the Makana series set in the Egypt of a few years ago;

Terry Halligan reviews Helen Cadbury's debut To Catch a Rabbit set in Doncaster;
Vera is back in Ann Cleeves's Harbour Street reviewed here by Susan White;

Geoff Jones reviews David Mark's Original Skin, the second in the Hull-based DS Aector McAvoy series, which is now out in paperback;
Ardy Renko is back in Martin Cruz Smith's Tatiana, reviewed here by Laura Root

and Amanda Gillies reviews David Thorne's debut, East of Innocence, set in Essex.

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.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Publishing Deal - Christoffer Carlsson

From The Bookseller, news of a Swedish trilogy by Christoffer Carlsson being published in English by Scribe:
The first novel in the trilogy, The Invisible Man from Salem, won the Swedish Crime Academy’s 2013 Best Crime Novel of the Year award, and has since been shortlisted for Scandinavia’s 2014 Glass Key award for best crime novel. Already a bestseller in Sweden, it follows a young police officer called Leo Junker who becomes embroiled in the search for the killer of a young woman who is found shot in his apartment building.

The second novel in the series is called The Abominable Detectives, while the third is as yet untitled. The series will shortly be developed into a three-season TV drama by Swedish Film and Television production company StellaNova Film.

This will be Carlsson’s English-language debut. 

Scribe will publish The Invisible Man from Salem in 2015.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: The Ghost Runner by Parker Bilal

The Ghost Runner by Parker Bilal, February 2014, 432 pages, Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN: 1408841118

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

Cairo, 2002
Stuck in city traffic, Makana studies his target's Bentley. Mrs Ragab, convinced of infidelity, has been paying Makana to follow her husband, a wealthy lawyer. But after a week of tailing him, Makana still has nothing to report. Tonight, however, he follows the lawyer to a private clinic and then to a room where a young woman lies inside an oxygen tent, unrecognisable, her skin charred black by her extensive burns. Her wristband says "Karima Ragab". But the Ragabs are childless. Is this Ragab's daughter by a previous marriage? Mrs Ragab is shocked by Makana's discovery of Karima but denies any possibility that her husband has a child from a previous marriage and ends the assignment, asking for the bill. However the girl haunts Makana, entwined with thoughts of his own daughter – lost with her mother when their car went through a bridge parapet as the family tried to escape from Sudan many years before.

Makana is surprised to receive a visit from Ragab himself. Karima has died. Ragab explains that although not his daughter but that of a client who came out of prison a Jihadist and had left the country, Ragab has known Karima and her mother all of Karima's life. He has always tried to help them. The mother died two years ago and when this dreadful fire happened Ragab got Karima into the private clinic for treatment under his name. The doctors think that her death was suicide but Ragab suspects murder and Makana is inclined to agree. In fact Ragab suspects Karima's father of engineering some kind of honour killing of his own daughter, thinking her to be Ragab's child. He wants Makana to find out who really killed Karima and Makana agrees to take on the case. He meets Zahra, a women's rights activist and friend of Karima. She has an impact on him that he cannot shake off, even when he leaves Cairo for the oasis town of Siwa, Karima's parents' home town, where he is convinced that he will find the answer to who killed the girl and why.

THE GHOST RUNNER is Parker Bilal's third outing for Sudanese ex-policeman and exile, Makana. The story is set shortly after 9/11 in the international political climate of the West's “war on terror” with growing political protest in Cairo's streets. However these are not the anti-Mubarak protests of the Arab Spring, these are pro-Palestinian demonstrations, reactions to the Israeli siege of Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters.

With each “Makana Mystery”, the tone of Bilal's writing becomes a little starker as it focuses on the social and political issues of Makana's adopted city of Cairo. Parker Bilal (pseudonym of British-Sudanese writer Jamal Mahjoub) creates enduring character portraits; taxi-driver Sindbad, journalist Sami Barakat and the ambiguous and vain Inspector Okasha all reappear from the earlier books. Whilst in the desert town of Siwa, Bilal creates a moving character portrait in Doctor Medina, a haunted soul who distils his own alcohol and entrusts his lovingly repaired Norton motorbike to Makana. As for Makana himself – he grows more established with each book: the man from the South, the outsider inhabited by his past, the shrewd, compassionate observer with a dry wit. And there is something magical (some might say fantastical or downright impossible) about Makana's survival feats, largely sustained by tobacco and persistence.

In THE GHOST RUNNER Bilal writes memorable descriptions of the city and its street life alongside the contrasting life of the oasis town and the desert itself but if I have placed too much emphasis on this book as a glorified travelogue, I apologise. It is enthralling crime fiction and Makana emerges out of this complex story of duplicity and damage as he does out of the desert – exhausted, tattered, spitting sand, but just about upright. I remain his devoted fan and wait eagerly to find out what will come next for him. Absolutely recommended.

Lynn Harvey, February 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cover Theme - Woman and the Sea

I haven't done one of these posts for a while. I do love these covers and if I hadn't already had these books in mind to read they would make me pick them up!

[I can't quite get them to line-up, apologies.]

and a late arrival...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: East of Innocence by David Thorne

East of Innocence by David Thorne, January 2014, 320 pages, Atlantic Books, ISBN: 1782392203

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

This superbly written book is the debut novel for David Thorne. It is the first in a series to feature his protagonist Daniel Connell, a former city lawyer who has set up his own practice and is full of simmering anger, as well as being loaded down with baggage from his shady past. Thorne has set his book in Essex. He doesn’t say exactly where in Essex, though – and the effect is to make the county a rather dark and foreboding place. Having roots in Essex myself I found this to be particularly attractive, as having a rough idea of where things are happening, but not being entirely sure, is both frustrating and delightful!

In short, Daniel is struggling to make a go of his business after his disgraceful exit from a top City law firm. When an old school friend is beaten up by the police and wants Daniel to help him, his initial reaction is to keep well away but he gets dragged into it all the same and ends up losing part of a finger for his troubles. Then, when things really couldn’t get any worse, he is threatened into doing some dodgy work for a local gangster, after insulting the guy at a party. Far from happy, Daniel goes to visit his dad, a somewhat infamous local criminal, who really doesn’t like him, and ends up in even more trouble when he asks about his mum. Mum disappeared a few months after he was born and he has never known her. Eventually he ends up with some shreds of information on who she was and he sets out to find her, trying to leave the rest of his troubles behind for a few days. Only troubles have a way of finding you and Daniel must move fast to stay ahead of the game, and find out the answers to all his questions, before his pursuers catch up.

David Thorne is an established writer, having been involved in TV and radio comedy as well as advertising for the last 15 years. He has received acclaim for his previous work and the TV rights for this book series have already been sold. His debut novel is nail-bitingly exciting as well as dark and gritty. He is clearly an author to watch for in the future and I am really looking forward to reading the next in this series.

Highly Recommended.

Amanda Gillies, February 2014.

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Return of Albert Campion

Lord Peter Wimsey has had a new lease of life thanks to Jill Paton Walsh, Poirot lives again in Sophie Hannah's as yet untitled novel due out in September and now Albert Campion reappears thanks to Mike Ripley.

Published in April by Severn House is Mr Campion's Farewell which was begun by Margery Allingham's husband Philip Youngman Carter and finished by Mike Ripley.

From the Essex Book Festival website, Mike Ripley says:

"Youngman Carter left only the first four chapters, which introduced a whole load of eccentric characters behaving suspiciously in an old Suffolk wool town. There was no indication where the plot was going or how it would be resolved, so in one sense I was given a free hand. My advantages were that the Suffolk town seemed (to me) to be clearly based on Lavenham, which I know, and of course, I had Albert Campion there to sort everything out. With a character that good - and the help of the Margery Allingham Society - everything fell joyfully into place, or at least I hope it did!"

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Review: Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves

Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves, January 2014, 384 pages, Macmillan, ISBN: 023076018X

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

Detective Joe Ashworth is hurrying home with his daughter after a carol service when, due to the snow, the Metro they are on stops suddenly at Mardle, on the outside of Newcastle. They are asked to leave and catch a bus but Jessie is worried that an old lady has fallen asleep and returns to the carriage to shake her awake. Unfortunately she has been stabbed in front of the many passengers, and Joe.

She is identified as living and working at a small hotel in Harbour Street owned by a widow Kate Dewar, with Kate’s teenage children. DI Vera Stanhope is pleased to have a case to absorb her during the insanities of the Christmas season and relishes the challenge.

The dead woman is liked by every one who knew her. A quiet well-bred woman who appears to have fallen on hard times and who helps the disadvantaged and distressed women who find a home at the Haven which is supported by the local church. But as Vera and Joe dig deeper, it is obvious to both of them that there are secrets in Harbour Street and that they are not being told all there is to know about Margaret Krukowski.

Then another young vulnerable women is found dead and a body which has been buried for a long time is discovered and Vera and Joe must bring the secrets into the light to find the truth and the killer.

Vera is an older single woman who uses her intuition and knowledge of human nature to great affect and, it is always a pleasure to read a novel where a woman can be interesting and good at her job, without being sexy, or burdened with the cares of family and children that compromise the investigation. With Vera, we have a detective who just happens to be a woman.

This is an interesting story based in a small declining community. As always with this author, the characters are well rounded. Readers may well know the central characters of Vera and Joe from the TV series and they don't disappoint whether in print or on the screen.

A good read.

Susan White, February 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Crime Fiction of Norfolk County

I've been meaning to do this for a while. I have family in Norfolk and spend a lot of time there and enjoy crime novels set in the places I know. So I have compiled a list of books that are set in Norfolk, mostly the top half - there must be more in south Norfolk but I've not come across them yet. I welcome corrections and especially additions. I haven't read all these authors/titles, and some of the settings I assign to the ones I have read are based on my own feelings, and of course could be wrong.
[Official blurbs are in italics.]

NB. The list does not currently contain self-published titles.

Moving from west to east:

Elly Griffiths has written six books so far, starting with The Crossing Places featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway and King's Lynn policeman Harry Nelson.

A child's bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk coast, and the police ask local forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway to date them. Are these the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years ago? DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for this missing child. Ever since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows Ruth's instincts and experience can help him finally put this case to rest. Then a second child goes missing, and Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she's getting ever closer to the truth...

Jim Kelly, who also writes about Ely and the Fens, writes a series set in North Norfolk, the DI Peter Shaw and DS George Valentine series which begins with Death Wore White.

At 5.15 p.m. Harvey Ellis was trapped - stranded in a line of eight cars by a blizzard on a Norfolk coast road. At 8.15 p.m. Harvey Ellis was dead - viciously stabbed at the wheel of his truck. And his killer has achieved the impossible: striking without being seen, and without leaving a single footprint in the snow ...For DI Peter Shaw and DS George Valentine it's only the start of an infuriating investigation. The crime scene is melting, the murderer has vanished, the witnesses are dropping like flies. And the body count is on the rise...

Canadian author C C Benison set the middle book in his "Her Majesty Investigates" series at Sandringham, with Death at Sandringham House

When housemaid Jane Bee accompanies the Royals on their annual Christmas jaunt to Sandringham, she believes she’s in for a bit of a snooze. Aside from her regular duties, there’s nothing much to do in the wilds of Norfolk … until the body of a woman turns up in the village hall – a woman who just happens to be a dead ringer for the Queen, right down to her glittering crown.

Simon Brett takes his actor-sleuth Charles Paris to Hunstanton in A Comedian Dies (1979)

About to receive an award as Most Promising Newcomer, a rising young stage comedian sensationally drops dead on stage at the start of his act: as he picks up the mike, he is electrocuted. Faulty wiring seems to be the cause and a verdict of death by misadventure is returned at the inquest. But actor/detective Charles Paris was in the audience that night and when another member of the cast reveals that the comedian checked his equipment just before the performance, Charles decides to investigate further. Misadventure—or murder?

James Humphreys has only written two novels, both of which I enjoyed enormously, the second one, Riptide (2001) is set in North Norfolk and I've put it in the Wells-next-the-Sea area.

The small village of Caxton, on the foggy Norfolk coast, holds many memories for Sergeant Sarah Delaney - most of which she's tried hard to forget. For Caxton was the place where her boyfriend Tom had lived - and where he died. Now she has been sent back there in the early hours of the morning to investigate a disturbing sighting - the bodies of a man and a woman on the mist-covered beach. Unfortunately, by the time Sarah arrives the tide has come in and the bodies have been washed out to sea. As a murder investigation is launched, Sarah is forced to confront many ghosts from her past, including the enigmatic inhabitants of the Red House, and the local coastguard, Nick Walton, Tom's closest friend. The time has come, it seems, for Sarah to learn the truth about Tom and his tragic death . . .

Moving towards Cromer, I believe, is Ian Sansom's The Norfolk Mystery which mentions Blakeney in the blurb below

Love Miss Marple? Adore Holmes and Watson? Professor Morley's guide to Norfolk is a story of bygone England; quaint villages, eccentric locals - and murder! It is 1937 and disillusioned Spanish Civil War veteran Stephen Sefton is stony broke. So when he sees a mysterious advertisement for a job where 'intelligence is essential', he applies. Thus begins Sefton's association with Professor Swanton Morley, an omnivorous intellect. Morley's latest project is a history of traditional England, with a guide to every county. They start in Norfolk, but when the vicar of Blakeney is found hanging from his church's bellrope, Morley and Sefton find themselves drawn into a rather more fiendish plot. Did the Reverend really take his own life, or was it - murder?

The Eastrepps in Francis Beeding's Death Walks in Eastrepps (1931) is based on Cromer

Heralded as one of the greatest detective books of all time on first publication in 1931, Death Walks in Eastrepps is a genuine page-turner, set in a picturesque English seaside resort and with a plot involving a double identity, a series of murders, blackmail, a courtroom drama and, unmasked at the end, an unlikely suspect.

And he also wrote The Norwich Victims

A middle-aged schoolteacher wins the French lottery and looks around for somewhere safe to invest her prize. Unfortunately for her she decides to consult the unscrupulous John Throgmorton, and he seizes a once in a lifetime opportunity, murdering the unsuspecting Miss Haslett and sending his secretary and partner in crime, Hermione Taylor, to Paris to collect the money. Throgmorton's devious plan is executed to perfection, and it seems that nothing can go wrong. But then he receives an unexpected visitor...

P D James brought Adam Dalgliesh to Norfolk in Devices and Desires (1989) which is set on the eastern side of Cromer.

When Commander Adam Dalgliesh visits Larksoken, a remote headland community on the Norfolk coast in the shadow of a nuclear power station, he expects to be engaged only in the sad business of tying up his aunt's estate. But the peace of Larksoken is illusory. A serial killer known as the Whistler is terrorising the neighbourhood and Dalgliesh is drawn into the lives of the headlanders when it quickly becomes apparent that the Whistler isn't the only murderer at work under the sinister shadow of the power station.

The eleventh and last book in Edward Marston's Domesday series, is The Elephants of Norwich

It is the juiciest piece of gossip the citizens of Norwich have heard for a long time. The two golden elephants that robber baron Richard de Fontenel was using to lure the beautiful Adelaide into marriage have been stolen. Also missing is de Fontenel's steward Hermer. Desperate to try and ignore this growing crisis are Domesday Commissioners Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret, who are keen to resolve a land dispute involving de Fontenel and Mauger - a man also trying to woo Adelaide. De Fontenel, however, refuses to co-operate until the thief is found. But is Hermer the steward really missing or has something more sinister happened? In Ralph and Gervase's most baffling case yet, nothing is what it seems and no one is free from suspicion...

Moving even further east, we have two books set in Great Yarmouth (or Starmouth and Ernemouth as it appears in these two books).

Gently by the Shore (1956) is the second in the George Gently series. Author Alan Hunter wrote 45 books based in the Norwich/Broads area (and not  Northumberand as in the tv series).

You’ll find plenty of bodies stretched out on a summer beach – but they’re not usually dead...

In a British seaside holiday resort at the height of the season, you would expect to find a promenade and a pier, maybe some donkeys, ‘Kiss-Me-Quick’ hats, candy floss and kids building sandcastles. You would not expect to find a naked corpse, punctured with stab wounds, lying on the sand.

Chief Inspector George Gently is called in to investigate the disturbing murder. The case has to be wrapped up quickly to calm the nerves of concerned holidaymakers. No one wants to think that there is a maniac on the loose in the town but with no clothes or identifying marks on the body, Gently has a tough time establishing who the victim is, let alone finding the killer. In the meantime, who knows where or when the murderer might strike again?

The second book is Cathi Unsworth's Weirdo

Corinne Woodrow was fifteen when she was convicted of murdering one of her classmates on a summer's evening in 1984, a year when the teenagers of Ernemouth ran wild, dressing in black and staying out all night, listening to music that terrified their parents.Twenty years later, new forensic evidence suggests Corinne didn't act alone. Private investigator Sean Ward - whose promising career as a detective with the Met was cut short by a teenage gangster with a gun - reopens the case, and discovers a town full of dark secrets, and a community that has always looked after its own.

The following three series, I have had less success in exact placing, but are set in "Norfolk"

Brian Cooper wrote a nine-book series set in a 1940s/50s North Norfolk. The only one I've read is The Norfolk Triangle

When a young Cambridge student goes looking for the ruins of an old Norfolk village he discovers a body of a girl. Chief Inspector Tench is shocked by the violence of the crime. Is this murder linked to that of another girl 15 years earlier?

S T Haymon's series about Detective Inspector Ben Jurnet has been made available again as ebooks.

The series features Angleby (modelled on Norwich) and presumably Bullen Hall, in Stately Homicide, is based on Blickling Hall.

The first book in the series is Death and the Pregnant Virgin (1980).

'I'm only repeating what I've been told. And what I've been told is that Rachel Case was four months pregnant when she was killed, and she was still a virgin.' Rachel Case was considered by some to be a saint, but she lay, with the back of her head shattered, in the Shrine of Our Lady of Promise. The Norfolk village of Mauthen Barbary was filled with pilgrims, celebrating the fifth year since the statue's discovery, but it had to be someone close to Rachel who had killed her so brutally. Inspector Ben Jurnet finds that the clues to this modern murder lie far back in the past, concealed in a Tudor account book and an ancient Greek text. But not in time to prevent a suicide and two more bizarre killings . . .

American author Kate Kingsbury has written the "Manor House" series, set in "Sitting Marsh", Norfolk.

The first book in the series is A Bicycle Built For Murder (2001)

In World War II England, the quiet village of Sitting Marsh is faced with food rations and fear for loved ones. But Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton, lady of the Manor House, stubbornly insists that life must go on. Sitting Marsh residents depend on Elizabeth to make sure things go smoothly. Which means everything from sorting out gossip to solving the occasional murder ...

Sixteen-year-old Beryl Pierce was trouble with a capital T. So when she winds up dead below a cliff, villagers call it an accident waiting to happen. But Elizabeth and the girl's mother think it was murder. Suspects abound - an American soldier, a boyfriend, and a jealous acquaintance. And Elizabeth is glad to help. But when the Manor House is chosen to house American officers, she's up to her ears in murder and military mayhem - a battle that may get the best of her.

And finally a few other titles set in Norfolk

MC Beaton sends her sleuth Agatha Raisin to a Norfolk village in her tenth outing, Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam

Feeling jilted and cross, Agatha follows a fortune-teller's advice and rents a cottage in the pretty village of Fryfam, where she hopes good fortune and true love will come chasing after her for a change. Unfortunately, her romantic notions are soon dispelled by the strange goings-on in the village. What exactly are those strange lights in Agatha's back garden? Who is stealing paintings and pottery? Where are her beloved cats? And who murdered the local squire…Agatha's nose for trouble leads her into a maelstrom of jealousy, blackmail and dangerous liaisons - and a murderer who plans to keep irrepressible Agatha permanently in Fryfam - as a resident corpse.

In the fifth book in Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge series, Watchers of Time, Rutledge is sent to Norfolk.

In Osterley, a marshy Norfolk backwater, a man lies dying on a rainy autumn night. While natural causes will surely claim Herbert Baker’s life in a matter of hours, his last request baffles his family and friends.

Baker, a devout Anglican, inexplicably demands to see the town’s Catholic priest for a last confession. The old man dies without knowing that the very priest who gave him comfort will follow him to the grave just a few weeks later — the victim of an appalling murder.

The local police are convinced the evidence points to an interrupted robbery, and have named a suspect, Matthew Walsh. But the dead priest’s bishop insists that Scotland Yard oversee the investigation. A simple task for Rutledge, a man not yet well enough to return to full duty.


Ashley Gardner send Captain Lacey to Norfolk in book seven of her series

September 1817 Captain Gabriel Lacey travels with Lady Breckenridge to his boyhood home in northern Norfolk only to discover mysterious happenings in and around the Lacey estate. A young woman, cousin of an old friend, has gone missing, strange objects appear in Lacey's ruined house, and the dark windmills on the marshes keep pulling Lacey to them. The underworld criminal, James Denis, uses Lacey's visit to Norfolk as an opportunity to have Lacey deliver a message to a local squire. A simple task—but one that lands Lacey squarely in international theft and murder. Lacey learns more about Denis's past, and finds himself joining forces with Denis to flush out a brutal killer and save the one person about whom Denis admits to caring.

Andrew Garve set several books in East Anglia including The Far Sands (1961) set on the Norfolk coast.

Fay drowns fleeing the scene of her husband's murder. Was it, as the police believe, murder and a tragic accident or was it, as her surviving twin Carol believes, a double murder? Carol's boyfriend takes some convincing before helping her to unravel the mystery.

Jane Adams's The Greenway is also set on the Norfolk coast

Cassie still has nightmares about that day in 1975 when she and her cousin Suzie took a short cut through The Greenway. For somewhere along this path Suzie simply vanished. Also haunted is John Tyson, the retired detective once in charge of Suzie's unsolved case.

[This is the first of four DI Mike Croft books. I'm not sure if the remaining three are also set in Norfolk.]

and finally Stella Rimington's fiction debut At Risk, was partially Norfolk based

For MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle the nagging complications of her private life are quickly forgotten at Monday's Counter-Terrorist meeting. An invisible may have entered mainland Britain. An 'invisible' - a terrorist who is an ethnic native of the target country, who can cross its borders unchecked and move about unnoticed - is the ultimate nightmare. For Liz this signals the start of an operation that will test her to the limit. Who or what is the target? Where and who is the invisible? With each passing hour the danger increases. But as she desperately sifts the incoming intelligence and analyses the reports from her agents she finally realises that it is her ability to get inside her enemy's head that is the only hope of averting disaster.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

TV News: Fleming on Sky Atlantic

Fleming, starring Dominic Cooper as James Bond creator Ian Fleming has already begun showing in the US and now it's the UK's turn. The first part (of four) is on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on 12 February 2014.

I hope it's as good as it looks on the trailer showing on Sky. I can't find the same one online but the BBC America one is similar but with an added voiceover:

From the Sky Atlantic website:

There's no questioning the iconic status of the man they call 007, and Fleming explores how some of the real-life exploits of Ian Fleming became the inspiration for one of the most enduring and successful characters ever.

Untroubled by the spectre of impending war, roguish playboy Ian Fleming chases women, collects rare books and lives off the family fortune. Forever in the shadow of his brother Peter (Rupert Evans) and an eternal disappointment to his formidable mother Eve (Lesley Manville), Ian is finally given some direction in his life when he's recruited by Admiral John Godfrey (Samuel West) to help in the effort against the Nazis. With the somewhat sceptical support of tough-cookie Second Officer Monday (Anna Chancellor), Ian's extraordinary imagination and ability to spin a yarn makes him a perfect fit for espionage.

The stakes increase as Ian's chance encounter with the captivating Lady Ann O'Neill (Sherlock's Lara Pulver) becomes a passionate affair that shapes both their lives. Directed by Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and the BAFTA®-nominated Road to Guantanamo) and written by John Brownlow and Don Macpherson, Fleming captures both the opulence of high society London and the suspense and intrigue behind enemy lines.

While Bond fans will spot many a nod to the legendary agent, the series is ultimately a gripping account of a playboy spy and the woman who won his heart.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Simon Brett and the Diamond Dagger

When Severn House tweeted earlier today that Simon Brett is to be awarded the CWA's Diamond Dagger, I was amazed that he hadn't already "won" it. Many congratulations to this very worthy recipient.

From the CWA's website:
The diamond-studded Dagger will be awarded to Simon Brett at a gala dinner on the 30th June in London hosted by Lucy Worsley, who recently explored the phenomenon of our fascination with murder in the BBC television series ‘A very British Murder’.

The Diamond Dagger recipient is chosen each year by the CWA committee, from a shortlist nominated by the membership. It is very much an honour awarded by the author’s peers and this makes it special. Shortlisted authors must meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime fiction published in the English language, whether originally or in translation. The award is made purely on merit without reference to age, gender or nationality.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

New Reviews: Aspe, Beckett, Dahl, Hancock, Nesbo, Spencer

Here are six new reviews which have been added to the Euro Crime website today.

The favourite overall reads of 2013 as voted by the Euro Crime review team were revealed last Monday.

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

New Reviews

Geoff Jones reviews The Midas Murders by Pieter Aspe, tr. Brian Doyle which is the second in the Assistant Commissioner Pieter Van In series and is set in Bruges;

Michelle Peckham reviews Simon Beckett's standalone novel, Stone Bruises which is set in France;

Lynn Harvey reviews Arne Dahl's Bad Blood tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles - "Dahl's writing has a pay-off as rewarding as the book's dark and exciting plot";

Susan White reviews The Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock, whom she compares favourably to Barbara Vine and Sophie Hannah;

Laura Root completes the Euro Crime set of reviews for Jo Nesbo's (currently) ten book Harry Hole series with her review of Cockroaches tr. Don Bartlett, the second in the series

and Terry Halligan reviews Sally Spencer's Death's Dark Shadow the latest in the DCI Monika Paniatowski series.

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.