Sunday, February 19, 2017

Copycat Covers - Birds

Our current display at work is themed on birds...

so I'm particularly looking out for books with birds in the title or on the cover and I happened to spot these two. The LHS (horror) one came out in 2014 and the RHS (crime) is due out in 2017:

Friday, February 17, 2017

New CrimeFest Awards for Children's & YA Crime Fiction

I'm very excited about this news regarding CrimeFest's new awards for Children's and YA Crime Fiction. I know from my own experience as a librarian and a reader/reviewer of YA fiction that it's an increasingly popular field.

I recently snapped this collection of recently released children's crime titles at the library:

Here's how to submit the titles for consideration.

CrimeFest opens free submissions from crime fiction books for children and young adults published in 2016

CrimeFest is delighted to announce two new awards:
  • Best Crime Novel for Children (ages 8-12)
  • Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (ages 12-16)
CrimeFest, the UK’s biggest international crime fiction convention, is thrilled to introduce two new awards recognising the outstanding contribution that crime novels for children and young adults make to the genre, as well as the burgeoning interest of children’s fiction and YA throughout literature. The winners for best crime novels for children and young adults in 2016 will receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award, presented at the CrimeFest gala awards dinner on Saturday 20th May, 2017.

There is no charge for submissions in order to encourage all publishers, regardless of size, to submit titles published for the first time in the British Isles in 2016. A team of British reviewers of YA and children’s fiction will establish the shortlist and winner from titles spanning humorous crime, spy, suspense, thriller and more.
Continuing last year’s successful CrimeFest promotion where 1000 crime fiction books were given away for free through local libraries, all books provided as part of the submission process will be distributed amongst schools in Bristol. After nine years of hosting CrimeFest, the organisers continue to involve the local community in the city that has hosted this top convention.
On behalf of his CRIMEFEST co-hosts, Adrian Muller said: “We have become increasingly aware that there are some great authors who are writing brilliant, age-appropriate crime fiction for children and young adults. They are making an outstanding contribution to the genre, as well as celebrating the burgeoning interest of children in fiction as a whole, and we felt these efforts should not go unrecognised.
In addition to this year’s new awards, YA crime fiction heavyweight Antony Horowitz, of Alex Rider fame, is one of CrimeFest’s guest speakers at this year’s event.
The new prizes join the convention’s established awards for adults:
  • Audible Sounds of Crime Award (for best crime audiobook)
  • eDunnit Award (for best crime ebook)
  • Last Laugh Award (for best humorous crime novel)
  • H.R.F. Keating Award (for biography or critical book related to crime fiction)
CRIMEFEST, the international crime fiction convention held annually in Bristol, draws top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world, and gives all delegates the opportunity to celebrate the genre in a friendly, informal and inclusive atmosphere.
For full submission guidelines see below or visit the CRIMEFEST website:
- Best Crime Novel for Children (ages 8-12)
- Best  Crime Novel for Young Adults (ages 12-16)
For any queries, please contact CrimeFest. Telephone: 0117-9737829. Email

Best Crime Novel for Children (ages 8-12)
Eligible are any humorous crime, spy, suspense and thriller titles, etc. commercially published in hardback or paperback format for the first time in the British Isles in 2016. The age group for this award is 8–12 years.


For submitted titles to be eligible, the four print copies of each title must be received by 17 March. Please send to: CRIMEFEST, BASEMENT FLAT, 6 Rodney Place, Bristol BS8 4HY.

A list of entries and their details should be submitted by email to and should be listed in field names as follows:
First name – last name – title – month – publisher
(Example: Joe – Bloggs – The Hangman’s Noose – Murder Press – May)

The above details can be submitted in the body of an email or attached in an email as text, rich-text-format, Word or Excel files. The preferred method is an attached Excel file

All entries must be accompanied by the publisher’s contact details.

By submitting entries, publishers agree to provide a further five copies of a title should it be shortlisted. These will be for promotional purposes and/or as prizes.

Should the winner or a representative not be present to collect the prizes, then the publisher agrees to reimburse CRIMEFEST for the cost of shipping the prizes to the recipient or the publisher.

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (ages 12-16)
Eligible are any humorous crime, spy, suspense and thriller titles, etc. commercially published in hardback or paperback format for the first time in the British Isles in 2016. The age group for the award is 12–16 years.


For submitted titles to be eligible, the four print copies of each title must be received by 17 March. Please send to: CRIMEFEST, BASEMENT FLAT, 6 Rodney Place, Bristol BS8 4HY.

A list of entries and their details should be submitted by email to and should be listed in field names as follows:
First name – last name – title – month – publisher
(Example: Joe – Bloggs – The Hangman’s Noose – Murder Press – May)

The above details can be submitted in the body of an email or attached in an email as text, rich-text-format, Word or Excel files. The preferred method is an attached Excel file.

All entries must be accompanied by the publisher’s contact details.

By submitting entries, publishers agree to provide a further five copies of a title should it be shortlisted. These will be for promotional purposes and/or as prizes.

Should the winner or a representative not be present to collect the prizes, then the publisher agrees to reimburse CRIMEFEST for the cost of shipping the prizes to the recipient or the publisher.

Millennium Book V News

I've just received the following news from MacLehose Press regarding the latest entry in the Stieg Larsson "Girl" series, continued by David Lagercrantz:

Swedish publishers Norstedts today revealed their title and cover for the fifth instalment in the Millennium series created by Stieg Larsson. Mannen Som Sökte Sin Skugga or The Man Who Hunted/Chased His Shadow is written by David Lagercrantz who also penned book four, The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Norstedts revealed the information on David Lagercrantz’s new Instagram account @davidlagercrantz.

Previous Swedish titles for the series translate as:
Men who Hate Women
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Castles in the Sky
What Doesn’t Kill You

MacLehose Press will reveal the English language title for the novel, which will be published worldwide on 7 September 2017, shortly.

A short Q&A with David Lagercrantz:

David Lagercrantz, how did the attention around The Girl in the Spider’s Web affect you?
“I couldn’t have imagined what effect the news about an upcoming fourth novel in the Millennium series would have. I thought people would shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives. Instead, Swedish and international media went half crazy and the whole thing just escalated. Sure, I fantasized that the novel would become a success; I am after all a hopeless dreamer. When I find things most difficult, I dream of triumphs, and most often I am disappointed. But this time I was amazed by the response.”

How did you find the motivation to write another book in the series?
“Stieg Larsson created a fantastic universe that I feel continuously inspired by. On holiday with my family an idea struck me, and gave me the same fever that I lived with when I wrote The Girl in the Spider’s Web. It is not so great for my sleep and my neurosis, but it is definitely good for my writing.”

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Talking To The Sharks by Martin O'Brien

Talking To The Sharks by Martin O'Brien, July 2016, 350 pages, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN: 1534696237

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

This is the ninth thriller in the Daniel Jacquot detective series.

It is 2004 and five years have passed since Daniel Jacquot's partner died during childbirth in a Marseilles hospital (see the last book KNIFE GUN POISON BOMB).

Following her death, a heartbroken Jacquot retired from the police service and took his two baby daughters, Mathilde and Beatrice, to the French West Indies, starting a new life on Ile des Freres, a small island off the coast of Martinique.

Their new home is an old palm-thatched boat house on Trinite beach that Jacquot has just finished renovating. His daughters are now at primary school in the main town and Jacquot spends his days doing the school run and putting the finishing touches to his house. Life is good and Jacquot is finally coming to terms with his loss.

But the good life is put at risk when an ex-lover (Boni Milhaud, see THE WATERMAN) arrives on Ile des Freres to ask for Jacquot's help. Boni's husband Patric Stuyvesant, a professional gambler and the owner of private gaming clubs in the Bahamas, has gone missing with a girlfriend. To make good their escape Patric has stolen ten million dollars from gangland boss Ettore DiCorsa, who runs a money laundering syndicate based in Nassau. All Boni wants is for Jacquot to find her missing husband before DiCorsa catches up with him.

At first Jacquot wants nothing to do with it, explaining to Boni that he has retired, that he is too old to do what she wants and that he cannot help her. But in the days that follow, Jacquot is given no choice but to take on the case, following Patric's trail from the luxury estates and gaming tables of Nassau to the distant vineyards of Provence. What he uncovers on this journey is a deadly conspiracy that threatens not only DiCorsa's syndicate but everything that Jacquot holds dear.

This exceptional writer has yet again penned an absolutely brilliant novel which had me hooked from the first page. His books are exceptionally well plotted and I can never guess what is going to happen next. His rich cast of characters are exceptionally well described and it makes for a very absorbing read and I was gripped from page one until the final conclusion. The book is a classic police procedural, extremely well written with a good ear for dialogue and characterisation. The plot has many dramatic twists and turns and vividly echoes the writer's knowledge of French and West Indian culture.

I have read for review three of his previous books: CONFESSION, THE DYING MINUTES and KNIFE GUN POISON BOMB and enjoyed this one even more than the earlier three. I hope that this one is not the last that we hear of DI Daniel Jacquot and I look forward to reading and reviewing many more. Recommended very highly.

Terry Halligan, February 2017.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

New Agatha Christie-related crime fiction

I've recently received a couple of proofs of books featuring either Agatha Christie or one of her plots:

Andrew Wilson's A Talent for Murder is published by Simon and Schuster on 18 May 2017 and features the lady herself.
Official blurb:

I wouldn't scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.’

Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, boards a train, preoccupied and flustered in the knowledge that her husband Archie is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events. Her rescuer is no guardian angel; rather, he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind. Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her genius for murder to kill on his behalf.

Fred Van Lente's Ten Dead Comedians is published by Quirk Books on 11 July 2017.
Official blurb:

Fred Van Lente s brilliant debut is both an homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and a thoroughly contemporary show-business satire. As the story opens, nine comedians of various acclaim are summoned to the island retreat of legendary Hollywood funnyman Dustin Walker. The group includes a former late-night TV host, a washed-up improv instructor, a ridiculously wealthy blue collar comic, and a past-her-prime Vegas icon. All nine arrive via boat to find that every building on the island is completely deserted. Marooned without cell phone service or wifi signals, they soon find themselves being murdered one by one. But who is doing the killing, and why?

A darkly clever take on Agatha Christie s And Then There Were None and other classics of the genre, Ten Dead Comedians is a marvel of literary ventriloquism, with hilarious comic monologues in the voice of every suspect. It s also an ingeniously plotted puzzler with a twist you ll never see coming!"

In addition, Agatha Christie stars as the sleuth in Alison Joseph's series which began with Murder Will Out (in 2015), followed by (so far) Hidden Sins and Death in Disguise.

Official blurb:

1923. The Great War is over, but the ghosts of the dead still linger. Agatha Christie was one of the lucky ones - her husband returned from the conflict - and for her, and her local neighbours, life has resumed. Agatha is beginning to gain some notoriety for her crime writing and she is busy working on her latest novel. But then her neighbour tells her there has been a real ‘murder at the vicarage’ - a young man, Cecil Coates, has been poisoned, and due to Christie’s expertise in the crime genre, the neighbourhood wants her to investigate. At first Agatha is reluctant to get involved. After all, she is a writer, not a detective. But then Robert Sayer, godson of her neighbour, and one of the main suspects in the case, appeals to her directly for help, and she finds herself being drawn in… What secrets and lies are lying beneath the village’s tranquil exterior? Can Agatha Christie use her imagination to draw the murderer out? ‘Murder Will Out’ is the first in a new series of murder mysteries, in which famous authoress Agatha Christie takes time out from writing to investigate real crime.

UPDATE (15/2/17)

Agatha plays a small but important role in Miss Christie Regrets by Guy Fraser-Sampson which was published 12 January 2017 by Urbane Publications:

Official Blurb: he second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link.

As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at 'Hampstead Nick'. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch.

On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed 'a love letter to the detective novel'.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Dagger in the Library 2017 Longlist Announced

The latest Dagger in the Library longlist has been announced (and I feel a library display coming on!). Here is the press release (with links to the authors' Euro Crime website bibliographies and reviews):

Dagger in the Library 2017 Longlist Announced

The longlist of the CWA 2017 Dagger in the Library was officially announced on the evening of February 6th at the First Monday crime writing meeting in London.

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 (2016), Christopher Fowler, Sharon Bolton, Belinda Bauer, Mo Hayder, Colin Cotterill, Craig Russell, Stuart MacBride, Jake Arnott, 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 – with 110 authors suggested as worthy winners.

The Dagger in the Library is intended to promote crime fiction in general and, in particular, the longlisted authors. The CWA will work with The Reading Agency, local libraries and the Crime Readers’ Association to promote novels from the longlisted authors to reading groups across the country during over the next few months – and in particular to the 175 libraries already engaged with the Dagger. We will be utilising The Reading Agency’s website, Reading Groups for Everyone, and The CWA’s Dagger Reads website to host reading group material for novels by the longlisted authors. Feedback received from reading groups via Reading Groups for Everyone feedback will be a major factor in the judges’ decision as to who should proceed to the shortlist and the eventual winner.

Here is the longlist:

Alison Bruce

Kate Ellis

Chris Ewan

Tana French

Mari Hannah

Brian MacGilloway

James Oswald

C J Sansom

Andrew Taylor

Nicola Upson

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Review: Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson

Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson, January 2017, 304 pages, Fourth Estate, ISBN: 0008170576

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

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

Anna Treadwell is a dresser in a West End theatre in 1960s London. She has become friends with the star of the play The Field of Stars, the American film star Iolanthe (Lanny) Green. Lanny, like many theatricals, can be hard work, but the two women get on well, so it comes as a shock to Anna when Lanny disappears.

The theatre manager Leonard Fleet hopes that Anna can help in finding the missing star, otherwise the play will be cancelled. Leonard is also Anna's landlord, she lives in a small apartment on Neal Street in the centre of the city. The police question Anna and other members of the theatre team, but soon have other problems to deal with. They appoint Detective Sergeant Hayes to find what has happened to Lanny.

Anna feels that there is no sense of urgency in the investigation into locating the missing star, despite the fact that she could be dead and so she decides to investigate. She knows that Lanny has been seen in some unsavoury night clubs in town. She finds an unlikely ally in Aloysius an accountant who works for the clubs. Together they follow leads.

Anna however has secrets of her own. She is also helped by her one-time employer, Turkish cafe owner Ottmar Alabora, who also has the problem of his eldest daughter Samira who is causing his wife Elkin much heartache. Sergeant Hayes also has problems, he is very proud of his young daughter Gracie, but his wife Orla is dissatisfied with married life. Through a journalist who interviewed Lanny, Hayes learns that Lanny had a younger brother Nathaniel who was killed in wartime according to Lanny, but why does she have a bank account in his name? And who is Maria Green?

The author has captured the period well and we follow Anna and Aloysius as they try to find Lanny, with the police becoming increasingly frustrated with their meddling. I enjoyed following Anna's investigations. I would have liked to find out more about her past and how her relationship with Aloysius progressed. The author is a travel writer and writes also for the BBC. This is her first work of fiction. Recommended.

Geoff Jones, February 2017

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Favourite Discoveries of 2016 (9)

We round off the Euro Crime reviewers' favourite crime discoveries of 2016 with two DVD choices from Terry Halligan:
Terry's Favourite Discoveries of 2016

La Grande Vadouille

Summer 1941. French wartime comedy co-written and directed by Gerard Oury. When a British bomber is shot down over Paris during the Second World War, the crew members become separated as they parachute into the Nazi-occupied city. One lands on the scaffold of an amiable painter and decorator, Augustin (Bourvil). Another lands on top of a concert hall and is rescued by patriotic conductor Stanislas Lefort (Louis de Funes). The third ends up in the otter enclosure of a Parisian zoo. Meanwhile, the Germans are hot on their trail as they attempt to make their escape into the neutral zone of Southern France. The film which was originally released in 1966 and is apparently the most successful film in France in over 40 years. Terry Thomas (big moustache) stars as Sir Reginald in this highly original comedy.

Run Lola Run

This is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes to save her boyfriend's life. The film was released to generally positive reviews from critics and was selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Favourite Discoveries of 2016 (8)

Here is my favourite crime discovery of 2016:
Karen's Favourite Discovery of 2016

The Missing - Series 2

I almost missed out on this as because I hadn't watched the first series, I thought I wouldn't follow the second but fortunately encouragement from friends and the fact that the first episode was made available for longer on iPlayer meant that I was able to gobble them up over a few commutes to work.

Here is the official blurb:
When a young woman walks back into the town she was abducted from 11 years previously, it is revealed that she holds vital clues about another missing girl. French detective, Julien Baptiste, becomes embroiled in the mystery when he races across Europe to pursue a 12 year-old case. The Missing II dramatizes a thrilling chase for a missing girl, whilst exploring the truth of what happens when a missing child returns.
Set mostly in Germany, though filmed mainly in Belgium, The Missing is an extremely tense and complicated drama using several time periods. Fans of subtitled dramas will find some familiar faces popping up too.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

New Releases - February 2017

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in February 2017 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). February and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Abarbanell, Stephan - Displaced
• Bannister, Jo - Other Countries #1 Detective Constable Hazel Best & Gabriel Ash
• Beaton, M C - Death of a Ghost #33 PC Hamish Macbeth, Lochdubh, Scotland
• Birkby, Michelle - The Women of Baker Street #2 Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson
• Blaedel, Sara - The Lost Woman #9 Detective Inspector Louise Rick
• Brekke, Jorgen - The Fifth Element #3 Odd Singsaker, Police Officer
• Bruce, Alison - Cambridge Black #7 DC Gary Goodhew, Cambridge
• Cameron, Stella - Lies that Bind #4 Alex Duggins, Folly-on-Weir, Cotswolds
• Carter, Chris - The Caller #8 Homicide Detective Robert Hunter, LA
• Chambers, Kimberley - Backstabber
• Chase, Clare - A Stranger's House #2 London & Cambridge Mysteries
• Cole, Daniel - Ragdoll #1 Nathan Wolfe
• Crombie, Deborah - Garden of Lamentations #17 Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, Scotland Yard
• Davies, Michelle - Wrong Place #2 DC Maggie Neville, Family Liaison Officer
• Ellis, Kate - The Mermaid's Scream #21 Wesley Peterson (policeman) and Neil Watson (archaeologist), Tradmouth, Devon
• Elsberg, Marc - Blackout
• Enger, Thomas - Cursed #4 Henning Juul, Reporter, Oslo
• Fielden, T F - The Riviera Express #1 Miss Dimont
• Griffiths, Elly - The Chalk Pit #9 Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist and DCI Harry Nelson
• Hall, Patricia - Cover Up #6 Kate O'Donnell, Photographer, 1960s
• Herron, Mick - Spook Street #4 Slough House
• Higashino, Keigo - The Name of the Game is Kidnapping
• Ison, Graham - Hardcastle's Runaway #14 DI Hardcastle, 1900s
• Magella & Cocco - Shadows on the Lake #1 Inspector Stefania Valenti
• Magson, Adrian - The Bid #2 A Cruxys Solutions Investigation
• Marston, Edward - Date with the Executioner #3 Bow Street Rivals
• Masterton, Graham - Dead Girls Dancing #8 Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire, Ireland
• Mogford, Thomas - A Thousand Cuts #5 Spike Sanguinetti, Lawyer, Gibraltar
• Monroe, J S - Find Me
• O'Connor, Carlene - Murder at an Irish Wedding #2 Siobhan O'Sullivan, Kilbane, County Cork
• Oswald, James - Written in Bones #7 Detective Inspector McLean, Edinburgh
• Ould, Chris - The Killing Bay #2 Detective Hjalti Hentze and DI Jan Reyna, Faroe Islands
• Royal, Priscilla - The Proud Sinner #13 Eleanor, Prioress of Tyndal, 13thC, East Anglia
• Rowson, Pauline - Lethal Waves #13 DI Andy Horton and his sidekick Barney Cantelli, Portsmouth
• Sherez, Stav - The Intrusions #3 DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller, London
• Swanston, A D - Incendium #1 Dr Christopher Radcliff, Elizabethan Era
• Wilkinson, Kerry - Nothing but Trouble #11 DS Jessica Daniel, Manchester
• Young, David - Stasi Wolf #2 Oberleutnant Karin Müller