Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Petrona Award 2017 - Winner

Announcing the winner for:

The 2017 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year

On 20 May 2017, at the Gala Dinner at CrimeFest, Bristol, Petrona Award judges Barry Forshaw and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2017 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

The winner was WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE by Gunnar Staalesen, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and published by Orenda Books.

The trophy was presented by last year's winner Jørn Lier Horst.

As well as the trophy, Gunnar Staalesen receives a pass to and a guaranteed panel at next year's CrimeFest.

The judges's additional comments on WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE:
Gunnar Staalesen has long been the finest Nordic novelist in the private-eye tradition of the American masters. WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE is both a coruscating and ambitious novel from the veteran writer, and a radical re-working of his customary materials - perhaps the most accomplished entry in the long-running sequence of books about Bergen detective Varg Veum.
The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his generous support of the 2017 Petrona Award.

Watch the live recording of last night's presentation:



Gunnar thanking his translator Don Bartlett:


Barry Foshaw (judge), Gunnar Staalesen, Karen O'Sullivan (publisher), Don Bartlett (translator), Sarah ward (judge), Kat Hall (judge)

Friday, May 19, 2017

CWA International Dagger 2017 - Longlist

The Longlist for the CWA International Dagger 2017 was announced tonight at CrimeFest.

The list includes two Petrona Award winners - Leif GW Persson and Jorn Lier Horst as well as several previous winners of the International Dagger: Andrea Camilleri, Pierre Lemaitre and Fred Vargas.
A Cold Death - Antonio Manzini tr. Antony Shugaar (4th Estate)
A Fine Line - Gianrico Carofiglio tr. Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
A Voice In The Night - Andrea Camilleri tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Mantle)
Blackout - Marc Elsberg tr. Marshall Yarbrough (Black Swan)
Blood Wedding - Pierre Lemaitre tr. Frank Wynne (Maclehose Press)
Climate Of Fear - Fred Vargas tr. Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker)
Death In The Tuscan Hills - Marco Vichi tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Bastards Of Pizzofalcone - Maurizio De Giovanni tr. Antony Shugaar (Europa Editions)
The Dying Detective - Leif G W Persson tr. Neil Smith (Doubleday)
The Legacy Of The Bones - Dolores Redondo tr. Nick Caister & Lorenza Garcia (Harper Fiction)
When It Grows Dark - Jorn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear, May 2017, 350 pages, Allison and Busby, ISBN: 0749021802

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

Britain is at war. Returned from a dangerous mission onto enemy soil and having encountered an old enemy and the Fuhrer himself along the way, Maisie Dobbs is fully aware of the gravity of the current situation and how her world is on the cusp of great change. One of those changes can be seen in the floods of refugees that are arriving in Britain, desperate for sanctuary from the approaching storm of war. When Maisie stumbles on the deaths of refugees who may have been more than ordinary people, she is drawn into an investigation that requires all her insight and strength.

Running her own private investigation agency, Maisie has plenty of work coming in and is busy with current enquiries when she is approached at her home address by a lady known as Dr Francesca Thomas who explains that she wants to employ Maisie and her firm to try to prevent a murder from happening. Dr Thomas works for the Belgian Government and explains that several thousand refugees fled their country during the Great War and many had settled in the UK, changing their names if appropriate. One Belgian named Frederick Addens, was unfortunately found dead in St Pancras Station in early August, shot in the back of the head.

According to Dr Thomas, Scotland Yard were not too interested in spending a lot of time investigated the death of a foreign national, particularly at a time of heightened security because of the impending war. Dr Thomas said a Detective Inspector Caldwell at Scotland Yard was in charge of the case and Maisie has had dealings with him before. She wants Maisie to look into the case and she will pay all the expenses.

Maisie reluctantly takes up the case and asks her assistants, Billy Beale and Sandra Pickering at her Fitzroy Square, London W1 office address to look into various aspects of it immediately. Using all the skills that she has picked up in over ten years of investigations Maisie soon sets to work in solving this latest case. Maisie also has to look into a couple of other cases which are similarly quite complex but this adds to the enjoyment of this very gripping story.

Jacqueline Winspear is a very gifted author of historical mystery thrillers and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to review her latest work. I have read for review several of her previous books and consequently I appreciate the very detailed research that the author makes when plotting her stories. You really get a good sense of what daily life was like in the 1930s. This is a very high quality story with very good characterisation of Maisie, Billy and the other lesser characters which are so insightful that they just leap off of the page.

I enjoyed reading this story immensely and I do look forward to reading more of the highly intriguing adventures of Maisie from this very idiosyncratic and evocative writer. Extremely well recommended.

Terry Halligan, May 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The CWA & Libraries

I've recently had two press releases from the CWA regarding their connection to libraries. Firstly, the shortlist for the Dagger in the Library has been announced:

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire. It is one of the most prestigious crime writing awards in the UK and previous winners include Elly Griffiths, Christopher Fowler, Sharon Bolton, Belinda Bauer, Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Booth, Peter Robinson and Lindsey Davis.

The CWA, in discussion with its 2017 partners, The Reading Agency, revised the 2017 Dagger in the Library format so that, uniquely among crime-writing awards, only library staff were able to nominate authors. Nominations were received from 175 libraries across the UK and Ireland. The CWA worked with The Reading Agency, local libraries and the Crime Readers’ Association to promote novels from the longlisted authors to reading groups nationwide and feedback received from reading groups via Reading Groups for Everyone was a major factor in the judges’ shortlisting.
Here is the Shortlist:
Kate Ellis

Tana French

Mari Hannah

James Oswald

C J Sansom

Andrew Taylor
For more information about the authors, please visit: http://daggerreads.co.uk/dagger-in-the-library/

The winner will be announced at a short reception to immediately follow the Bodies from the Library event at the British Library on Saturday 17 June, promptly at 5.30pm.

More details about Bodies from the Library and ticket information can be found here: https://bodiesfromthelibrary.com/

And secondly, Ruth Dudley Edwards has been appointed as the CWA's Libraries Champion:
The Crime Writers’ Association has appointed its first Libraries Champion, Ruth Dudley Edwards. Ruth and the CWA will work with libraries nationwide to support the public library network, promote the value of reading for people of all ages and from all backgrounds, and promote crime writing.

Martin Edwards, Chair of the CWA, said, “Ruth Dudley Edwards is the ideal person to lead this exciting initiative. The CWA already has strong links with libraries throughout the country. Our annual Dagger in the Library award has been highly prized for 20 years, and June sees National Crime Writing Month, with crime writers appearing at libraries throughout Britain, as well as our Alibis in the Archive conference at Gladstone’s Library, near Chester.

“Ruth is an award-winning crime novelist and writer of non-fiction, and her fearless journalism commands respect internationally. She will be a passionate and effective advocate for libraries and for the value of books in all communities.”

Ruth Dudley Edwards said: “I’m delighted to have this chance to build on the already close relationship CWA members enjoy with librarians throughout the United Kingdom. I’ve never met a crime writer who didn’t love libraries.”

Neil MacInnes, President of the Society of Chief Librarians, and Strategic Lead on Libraries, Galleries and Culture for Manchester City Council said: “I am delighted to welcome Ruth as the Libraries Champion and look forward to developing opportunities and programmes for SCL & public libraries to work with the CWA to promote reading and libraries.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Free TV Episodes on Amazon (II)


It's back - Amazon.co.uk are repeating their offer of making the first episode available to "buy" for free, this time in 62 TV series - you can download as well as stream.

The list includes Scandi favourites such as Beck, Borgen, The Bridge, The Legacy, Occupied and additionally 1864, Modus, The Protectors, The Team and Follow the Money. Also included are: French series Braquo ; Israeli series Hostages; Polish series The Border; Belgian series The Outlaws and the Australian series The Code.

British series include Happy Valley, Hinterland, Luther, The Missing (II) and Shetland.

Browse the whole list on Amazon.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils tr. Charlotte Barslund

Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils translated by Charlotte Barslund, May 2017, 323 pages, Paperback, Arcadia Books, ISBN: 191135003X

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

Nora focused on the pictures on the wall behind him. They were copies, blown up to triple size. That in itself wasn’t frightening. What made the hairs on Nora’s arms stand up was that pretty much under every picture, there was a name. And underneath the name, the laconic message: Missing.

A coastal town, southern England.
A middle-aged African school teacher calmly drinks tea as he recounts massacre, rapes and mutilations to Danish foreign correspondent Nora Sand. He explains his part in these horrific acts as: “clearing cockroaches out of the kitchen”. Nora hides her disgust and leaves Pete to take carefully anonymous photographs of the informant. They take the coastal road back to London, stopping at a tiny fishing village for a walk on the beach to drain the poisons of the Rwanda story. In the village Nora spots a leather suitcase in a junk shop window; definitely one for her collection. The shop is open and the deal is done. When she reaches her tiny London flat, Nora dumps the case and drops into bed, exhausted.

The Crayfish, Nora’s boss at the Danish weekly Globalt, has never got to grips with time differences. So when he rings at 6.30 next morning, Nora staggers out of bed and trips over the suitcase in the middle of the floor. It falls open, spilling out a group of Polaroid photos which she hunkers down to examine: teenage girls, all in similar poses, looking straight at the camera, 1980s to 1990s by the fashions. One photo in particular catches her eye: this time two girls stand in front of a wall below a sign in Danish – Car Deck 2.

Nora is working on the Rwanda story when she is interrupted by the entryphone. Her old friend Andreas, now with the Danish police, now in London on a course, is now on her doorstep for their forgotten lunch date. He studies the Polaroid of the two girls, and spots a bracelet of lettered beads. An L? E or I? Over lunch they agree that something bothers both of them about the photo and Nora remembers a TV documentary about two Danish girls who went missing from a passenger ferry in the 1980s. They had been heading to England for a short trip as part of a group of teenagers from a care home. They vanished during the crossing, a backpack on the sun deck the only trace. Neither were seen again and the adults in charge of the group went on trial for negligence.

During Nora’s flying visit to Denmark for a family birthday, The Crayfish surprises her with permission to follow up on the story. She wastes no time in printing out copies of the Polaroid and raiding press archive resources, including re-examining the TV documentary on the missing girls. Andreas’ uncle arranges a meeting with a police colleague who had been part of the original investigation. He in turn is shocked by the Polaroid and immediately takes possession of it for Forensics. In keeping with her research Nora immerses herself in a book about British serial killers on her return flight. A photo halts her, a victim of serial killer William Hickley. A young woman stands against the backdrop of a wall just as in the Polaroids Nora found in the suitcase. The British police found the preserved tongues of at least fifteen victims whom they believed Hickley, or Bill Hix as he liked to call himself, had tortured and killed. Hickley was tried, found guilty and imprisoned, but to this day refuses to reveal the whereabouts of the bodies of his victims...

Danish news correspondent Lone Theils was based in London for 16 years. Now back in Denmark, she has written a debut crime novel that achieves just what she set out to do – combine her love of British crime stories with Nordic Noir. It introduces Danish journalist Nora Sand; her complex family relationships; her passion for investigative journalism and kick-boxing (shared with the author) and her hectic life which in this novel criss-crosses the North Sea between England and Denmark tracking her obsession with the idea that her second-hand suitcase and the photos it contained belonged to a notorious serial killer. En route she encounters police investigators in both countries who are still haunted by disappearances as well as the whereabouts of Hickley’s victims’ bodies. The case leads Nora to Scotland Yard and a list of missing girls from across Europe compiled by profiler Jeff Spencer’s team and then through the gates of a notorious prison and into the presence of the rarely interviewed killer William Hickley.

Translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund (translator of Gazan’s THE DINOSAUR FEATHER, Enger’s BURNED and more), FATAL CROSSING's pace quickly takes hold as the plot gains complexity (alongside Nora’s private life) and explores both the troubled past of the children from the care home in Denmark and the sedate and seemingly soft life of English seaside towns. (I did wonder if this complexity allowed a red herring to swim past me – but perhaps that was due to my lack of sleep as I read on through the night). Although lacking some of the objectivity that I like in my favourite Nordic Noirs, this is an accomplished and exciting crime novel. With a second Nora Strand book published in Denmark I hope there will be more from Lone Theils to satisfy those readers who like to travel with their crime-reading as well as those readers who like to stay at home – be they Danish or British.

Lynn Harvey, May 2017

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Review: Death of a Ghost by M C Beaton

Death of a Ghost by M C Beaton, February 2017, Constable, ISBN: 1472117247

I'm a huge fan of M C Beaton's Hamish MacBeth series set in the Highlands of Scotland, which has been running for over thirty years now. Though time stands still in terms of the characters' ages they do move with the times in terms of modern accoutrements such as iPhones.

In this latest outing, DEATH OF A GHOST, Hamish and his latest police sidekick/colleague Charlie are summoned by an ex-police superintendent who has bought a castle in the dismal and remote loch-side village of Drim. The former police bigwig, nicknamed Handy, has been hearing howling, “haunted”, noises from the disused tower attached to his historic home. Hamish and Charlie agree to spend a night in the tower to dispel the myth of a ghost.

What they find however is not an airy-fairy ghost but an honest to goodness dead body.

And so begins an investigation into the residents of Drim and uncovering their secrets and desires and along the way there are more murders.

As well as the murder enquiries, we catch up briefly with all of Hamish's previous colleagues who have spent a short while with him in his police station/home in Lochdubh and his former love-interests Priscilla and Elspeth make brief and slightly longer appearances respectively.

I dive into this series whenever I need a bit of light relief and a trip to beautiful countryside. This one caught me particularly off guard with the identity of the murderer. M C Beaton manages to keep this series fresh, despite it having over thirty entries and I always look forward to the next one. If you like one, you'll like them all.

British cozy crime is having a bit of a resurgence at the moment and if you like that sub-genre then why not start with the very first Hamish, DEATH OF A GOSSIP.

Monday, May 01, 2017

New Releases - May 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in May 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). May and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Adams, Pete - Ghost and Ragman Roll #4 DCI Jack Austin
• Arlidge, M J - Love Me Not #7 Helen Grace, Southampton Police
• Atherton, Nancy - Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse #22 Aunt Dimity
• Atkins, Lucy - The Night Visitor
• Binet, Laurent - The 7th Function of Language
• Brightwell, Emily - Mrs Jeffries Rights a Wrong #35 Mrs Jeffries
• Carol, James - The Quiet Man #4 Jefferson Winter
• Child, Lee - No Middle Name #1 Jack Reacher Short Stories
• Coates, Anne - Death's Silent Judgement #2 Hannah Weybridge, Journalist
• Cotterell, T A - What Alice Knew
• Dalton, Annie - A Study in Gold #3 Anna Hopkins, Oxford
• Dams, Jeanne M - The Missing Masterpiece #19 Dorothy Martin
• Dard, Frederic - The King of Fools
• de la Motte, Anders - Ultimatum (apa The Silenced) #2 David Sarac
• Dennison, Hannah - Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall #4 Kat Stanford
• Duffy, Margaret - Murders.Com #20 Major Patrick Gillard, MI5 & Ingrid Langley, author (ex MI5)
• Dugdall, Ruth - My Sister and Other Liars
• Duncan, Elizabeth J - Murder Is for Keeps #8 Penny Brannigan, Nail salon owner, North Wales
• Eccles, Marjorie - The Property of Lies #4 Detective Inspector Herbert Reardon, 1928
• Ellory, R J - Kings of America
• Fiorato, Marina - Crimson and Bone
• Friis, Agnete - What My Body Remembers
• Gregorio, Michael - Lone Wolf #3 Sebastiano Cangio, Italy
• Gustawsson, Johana - Block 46 #1 Roy & Castells
• Hawkins, Paula - Into the Water
• Henry, James - Frost at Midnight #4 DS Jack Frost, 1980s
• Indridason, Arnaldur - The Shadow District #1 Konrád, a former detective
• James, Peter - Need You Dead #13 Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, Brighton
• Jecks, Michael - A Murder Too Soon #2 Jack Blackjack, Tudor Era
• Kent, Christobel - The Day She Disappeared
• Khan, Vaseem - The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star #3 Inspector Chopra
• Linskey, Howard - The Search #3 DC Ian Bradshaw
• Logan, TM - Lies
• Longworth, M L - The Curse of La Fontaine #6 Verlaque and Bonnet, Aix-en-Provence
• Lyle, H B - The Irregular #1 Wiggins, 1909
• Mariani, Scott - The Babylon Idol #15 Ben Hope, Ex-SAS
• McGilloway, Brian - Bad Blood #4 Detective Sergeant Lucy Black
• Medina, Kate - Scared to Death #2 Dr Jessie Flynn, Psychologist
• Potzsch, Oliver - The Play of Death #6 Hangman's Daughter series
• Ridpath, Michael - Amnesia
• Roberts, Mark - Day of the Dead #3 DCI Eve Clay, Liverpool
• Rufin, Jean-Christophe - Checkpoint
• Runcie, James - Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love #6 The Grantchester Mysteries
• Russell, Leigh - Deadly Alibi #9 DI Geraldine Steel
• Russell, Michael - The City of Lies #4 Garda Detective Stefan Gillespie
• Shaw, William - Sympathy For The Devil #4 DS Breen and WPC Tozer, 1960s
• Shelton, Paige - Of Books and Bagpipes #2 Scottish Bookshop Mystery
• Sten, Viveca - Guiltless #3 Sandhamn Murders
• Theils, Lone - Fatal Crossing #1 Nora Sand, Journalist
• Tope, Rebecca - The Bowness Bequest #6 Persimmon Brown, Florist, Lake District
• Wilson, Andrew - A Talent for Murder
• Young, Felicity - A Donation of Murder (ebook only) #5 Dr Dody McCleland, the first female autopsy surgeon, Victorian London