Monday, 15 October 2018

Queen's Of Mystery ***FIRST LOOK PHOTO***

Julie Graham, Siobhan Redmond, Sarah Woodward and Olivia Vinall are:



Sly Fox Productions in association with Ferncroft Media, are in production with their brand new drama series QUEENS OF MYSTERY, commissioned by Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises.


A contemporary, warm-hearted spin on the classic murder mystery, QUEENS OF MYSTERY will feature a stellar line-up of great British acting talent including Julie Graham, Siobhan Redmond, Sarah Woodward and Olivia Vinall as the eponymous Queens, alongside a sterling supporting cast and guest stars including Martin Trenaman and Omid Djalili.


Created for television by writer Julian Unthank (Doc Martin, New Tricks), the show has been commissioned by Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), the UK-based development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE). It will comprise of three feature length episodes and is currently filming in carefully chosen locations across the UK. A British television deal is under discussion.


QUEENS OF MYSTERY follows the entertaining adventures of Beth, Cat and Jane Stone, three crime-writing sisters, and their 28-year old niece, Detective Sergeant Matilda Stone.  Using their extensive knowledge of crime both real and fictional they solve whodunit style murders in the picturesque English region of Wildemarsh. But no matter how many cases they are able to crack, the unsolved mystery that haunts them all is that of Matildas mothers disappearance. Between investigating murders from the curious to the bizarre and writing their own renowned novels, the three aunts also attempt to help their perennially single niece find love.


Star of stage and television Olivia Vinall (The Woman in WhiteApple Tree Yard, Maigretwill play the ambitious Detective Sergeant Matilda Stone. Her aunts are set to be played by  respected actors Julie Graham (The Bletchley Circle, Shetland) as the rebellious Aunt Cat; Sarah Woodward (The Politician’s Husband, New Blood) as the motherly Aunt Beth; and Siobhan Redmond (Alfresco, Between the Lines) as the book smart Aunt Jane.


They will be joined by Andrew Leung (Doctor Who) as the dashing Dr. Daniel Lynch; Rebecca Grant (Doctors, Holby City) as Daniel’s strident girlfriendNatasha; Michael Elcock as Police Constable Terry Foster, who has had a long term crush on Matilda; and Martin Trenaman (The Inbetweeners) as the dry Inspector Derek Throne.


High profile guest stars include Selina Cadell (Doc Martin), Omid Djalili (Dickensian, The Mummy), and Chu Omambala (Liar).

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Books to Look Forward to From Transworld Publishers

January 2019

A dark and labyrinthine thriller from a bold new voice in crime fiction It is 1981. London is bruised by austerity, social unrest and racial tension, and the police are at war. Anger has erupted in the Brixton Riots and is finding expression in protest, anarchy and punk. For Detective Inspector Hobbes, the battle lines are being redrawn within his own ranks as right and wrong are clouded by prejudice. Into this mess comes a murder. A promising young singer has been maimed and killed and the artistry of the crime is disturbing. On the hunt for the killer, Hobbes begins an investigation that will lead him deep into a subculture hidden beneath the everyday. A cult of personality that hides from the problems of the city and escapes to a world of its own, a world that is at once seductive and devastating. How far will Hobbes have to go to learn the truth? And how many more must die before he does?  Slow Motion Ghosts is by Jeff Noon.

Suspect is by Fiona Barton.  The police belonged to another world - the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.' When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth - and this time is no exception. But she can't help but think of her own son, who she hasn't seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it's personal. And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .

February 2019

 Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room? Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect? Or perhaps it's someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure, who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she's there to serve - the ones who don't notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important. There's a fine line between loyalty and obsession. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room.  The Secretary is by Renée Knight.

March 2019

One False Move is by Robert Goddard.  What value can be put on a human mind? How Joe Roberts does what he does is a mystery. He has a brain that seems able to outperform a computer. To a games company like Venstrom that promises big profits if his abilities can be properly exploited. So they send Nicole Nevinson to track him down and make him an offer too good to refuse. But Venstrom aren't the only people interested in Joe. His current boss, a shady businessman, is already making serious money out of Joe's talents and isn' going to let him go without a fight. And then there are other forces, with still darker intentions, who have their own plans for him. Almost before she knows it, Nicole's crossed an invisible line into a world where the game being played has rules she doesn't understand and where no-one can help her win. But win she must. Because the battle now isn't just for Joe's mind, it's for Nicole's life.

In Which Mr May Makes A Mistake And Mr Bryant Goes Into The Dark On a rainy winter night outside a run-down nightclub in the wrong part of London, four strangers meet for the first time at 4:00am. A few weeks later the body of an Indian textile worker is found hanging upside down inside a willow tree on Hamstead Heath. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. The victim was found surrounded by the paraphernalia of black magic, and so Arthur Bryant and John May set off to question experts in the field. But the case is not what it appears. When another victim seemingly commits suicide, it becomes clear that in the London night is a killer who knows what people fear most. And he always strikes at 4:00am. In order to catch him, the PCU must switch to night shifts, but still the team draws a blank. John May takes a technological approach, Arthur Bryant goes in search of academics and misfits for help, for this is becoming a case that reveals impossibilities at every turn, not least that there's no indication of what the victims might have done to attract the attentions of a murderer that doesn't seem to exist. But impossibilities are what the Peculiar Crimes Unit does best. As they explore a night city where all the normal rules are upended, they're drawn deeper into a case that involves murder, arson, kidnap, blackmail, bats and the psychological effects of loneliness on Londoners. It's a trail that takes them from the poorest part of the East End to the wealthiest homes in North London - an investigation that can only end in tragedy...  The Lonely Hour is by Christopher Fowler.

The Boy in the Headlights is by Samuel Bjork.  Munch and Krüger. An unexpected pairing. A brilliant team.  Winter 1999. An old man is driving home when his headlights catch an animal on the empty road up ahead. He stamps hard on the brakes.  But it is not an animal at all. It is a young boy, frightened and alone, with a set of deer antlers strapped firmly to his head.  Fourteen years later, a body is found in a mountain lake. Within weeks, three people have died. Each time, the killer has left a clue, inviting Special Investigations Detectives Munch and Krüger to play a deadly game – a game they cannot possibly win. Against the most dangerous and terrifying kind of serial killer. One who chooses their victims completely at random.  To find the killer they must look deep within their own dark pasts, but how can you stop a murderer when you cannot begin to predict their next move?

April 2019

Too Close is by Natalie Daniels.  How close is too close? There's a moment, when you meet someone new, when the connection is so strong that making a friend can feel like falling in love. That's how it was for Connie and Ness. They met in the park while their children played and as they talked, they realised they were neighbours. Perhaps it was only natural that they and their families would become entirely inseparable. But when Ness's marriage ends in a bitter divorce, she is suddenly at Connie's house all the time. Connie doesn't have a moment to herself, no time alone with her husband, not a second to chat to her kids. It's all too much. Something has to give. Connie has woken up in a psychiatric hospital. They say she committed a terrible crime but she says she can't remember a thing.

May 2019

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read: YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME. DARE TO PLAY? The police aren't worried - it's just a game. But the families are frantic, and psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom is persuaded to investigate. As she delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all. And that something makes them very dangerous indeed. As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the puppeteer. But is she playing into their hands?  Mind Games is by Leona Deakin.

Even the best intelligence play has consequences – good and bad.  When a young woman working undercover for S15 as the nanny for an oligarch’s family is found brutally murdered, Kate Henderson, head of the Russian desk, knows that something is very wrong.  What’s more the intel that she has helped uncover seems to be pointing towards the existence of a high level Russian mole in the British Government.  Particularly when that mole might be in line to be the next Prime Minister.  Secret Service is by Tom Bradby.

June 2019

'I thought she was our friend. I thought she was trying to help us.' After the sudden death of her husband, Tess Clarke is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she'll do anything to protect him - but she's struggling to cope. When grief counsellor Shelley knocks 
on their door, everything changes. Shelley is beautiful, confident and takes control when Tess can't bear to face the outside world. But when questions arise over her husband's death and strange things start to happen, Tess begins to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe - but who can she trust?  The Perfect Betrayal is by Lauren North.

The Warehouse is a near-future thriller set in an America addicted to consumerism where gun violence, climate change and unemployment have ravaged the nation, and an online retail giant named Cloud reigns supreme. Cloud brands itself not just as an online storefront but a sort of global saviour. However beneath that sunny exterior is a grinding, soul-sucking machine which will stop at nothing to make a buck. The Warehouse is by Rob Hart.

The Second Wife is by Rebecca Fleet.  After the suicide of his first wife, Alex has been given a second lease of life with Natalie.  Newly married and living in Brighton with his thirteen year old daughter Jade, the couple seem to be made for one another – but their idyllic domestic calm is shattered when the family narrowly escapes a devastating fire in their home,  Alex soon discovers that Natalie and Jade have different accounts of what happened that terrible night – but which one of his family is lying and why?

Friday, 12 October 2018

Crime on the Small Screen

I, for one, can't wait to see one of the big hitters return in 2019 - True Detective, Nic Pizzolatto’s dark crime anthology series. It's got to be an improvement on Season II, right?

Starring Mahershala Ali as Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas, the new series tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

It has an enormous guest-star list. Carmen Ejogo, Stephen Dorff, Ray Fisher, Michael Greyeyes, Jon Tenney, Deborah Ayorinde, Rhys Wakefield, Sarah Gadon, Emily Nelson, Brandon Flynn, Michael Graziadei, Josh Hopkins, Jodi Balfour and Mamie Gummer are all involved.

The show is slated for a return on Sunday 13th January on HBO in the US, which means, hopefully, that it’ll be on Sky Atlantic the day afterwards.

Here’s a trailer:

The success of BBC America's KILLING EVE, based on Codename Villanelle [a compilation of four serial e-book novellas published in 2014-2016] by British writer Luke Jennnings has been given the green light for a second season. Emmy-nominated and Bafta-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge adapted the first series and will return for the new series in an executive producer role with writer-actor Emerald Fennell  taking over as lead writer.

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are set to resume their cat-and-mouse game in the next series along with Fiona Shaw  – and joining them are Nina Sosanya, Edward Bluemel and guest star Julian Barrett.

PEAKY BLINDERS is coming back for a fifth series. Cillian Murphy will reprise his role as Tommy Shelby in this acclaimed gangster drama, which has begun filming in Manchester. Also returning to the series are Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle , Finn Cole, Kate Phillips and Natasha O’Keefe.

In part, series five of the crime saga tells of a world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Extract from Cold Breath by Quentin Bates

I am pleased to host an extract from Cold Breath by Quentin Bates as part of the #ColdBreath blog tour

The boat bucked and juddered. Spray cascaded over the windows of the wheelhouse that was just big enough for Gunna to perch on the stool, its steel stalk bolted to the floor, with a hand on the wheel as she peered into the darkness while Osman’s face became progressively paler. 

‘The weather,’ he said. ‘Is this safe?’ 

‘I’ve slowed down so it’ll be more comfortable. But it’s still going to be bumpy,’ she told him, looking at the radar screen. ‘We have the wind going one way and the tide the other, so that’s always going to whip the waves up.’ 

‘How long will this go on?’ 

‘Like I said, we’re fighting the tide, so we’re only making five knots. It’s another eighteen miles, so let’s say a bit less than four hours. Do you want to lie down?’ 

‘No. I’m fine,’ Osman said and she could see he was making a huge effort to control himself. 

Gunna slid from the stool and stepped down into the little cabin, clicked on the light and hunted for the five-litre container she knew was there. She slopped water into a kettle, lit the gas on the camping stove that was built into the bench and put the water on to boil before going back up to the wheelhouse. 

Osman’s face was ashen. She wondered whether to o er him a bucket, just in case, but decided not to dent his pride. 

‘There’s no coffee on board, but there are a few teabags down there, so you can have a hot drink in a few minutes.’ 

Osman nodded and sat in unhappy silence while she checked the radar and adjusted the autopilot a couple of degrees. 

‘Gunnhildur, this is your boat?’
‘Not exactly,’ she said. ‘Well, sort of.’
‘I don’t understand what you mean.’
‘On paper it’s half my boat. My son bought it last year, but for all sorts of reasons it’s in both our names. He’s been fixing it up, which is why it doesn’t look much. But everything under the engine hatch is as good as new.’ 

With a glance at the radar, Gunna swung herself back down the steps into the cabin, turned off the kettle, poured water into a couple of mugs, dropped a teabag in each and stirred with an almost black teaspoon. She handed one mug out of the cabin’s opening. Osman opened his eyes and took it, cradling it in both hands to warm his fingers. 

‘Sorry, there wasn’t time to get any stores,’ she told him cheerfully. ‘If you’re hungry you’ll have to wait until we tie up.’


Quentin Bates is the author of Cold Breath, published by Constable 11th October.

Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .  Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavik, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together - too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man's past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience - or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.  Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavik to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.