Thursday, 22 February 2007

of Richard and Judy, Meg Gardiner and more crime book news

Such is the power that Richard and Judy has on its audience, Jed Rubenfeld owes them big-time.Since his debut novel, The Interpretation of Murder, was featured in their book club it has sold more than 37,000 copies. However, in his native United States, the laborious thriller has sold a mere 26,000 copies even though, having paid $800,000 for it, Holt printed 185,000 copies.

Gordon Dahlquist is another American hoping to make it big over here. Viking are spending a fortune promoting The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters in the UK apparently undaunted by the fact that the saga has sold just 21,000 copies in the US. Their launch party had blue flavoured champagne on offer to their guests, to reflect the book cover.

Vikram Seth, on the other hand, is just one of the many British authors suffering disappointing sales in America. His Two Lives has only sold 6,000 copies of the 150,000 in print.

Martina Cole, Headline’s UK No.1 bestseller has always wanted to break into the US market. So far, the attempts have been met by a barrier that her books are too far too parochial for the US Market. All that is about to change in a six figure deal cut with Warner Books, who will publish CLOSE in 2008. I’d be curious to see reader reactions.


Meg Gardiner, a US crime writer based in the UK, has shot to No.1 on’s bestseller list for North America after being recommended by Stephen King - even though her books are not published in the USA.

Gardiner and her thriller China Lake, published in 2002, claimed the top spot last week as North American buyers purchased copies from UK-based booksellers through

King praised Gardiner on his website in December and interest in her work, particularly among bloggers, has been growing ever since. When he was in the UK, he also mentioned her. He then wrote extensively about Gardiner again in his Entertainment Weekly column published on February 9 where he said he was “staggered” that she was not published in the US. “I mean, this woman is as good as Michael Connelly and far better than Janet Evanovich,” wrote King, who advises readers to start with China Lake - Gardiner’s first book in her Evan Delaney series.

The website primarily serves customers in the US and Canada but it allows buyers to purchase books from sellers around the world.

Another of Gardiner’s novels, Jericho Point, was the sixth most popular book on last week. Oprah’s latest self-help recommendation, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, was in second place behind China Lake despite recent exposure on Oprah’s TV show. top 10 bestselling books for February 9 to18

1. China Lake by Meg Gardiner
2. The Secret by Rhonda Bryne
3. Candyfreak the Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond
4. Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers by Chap Clark
5. Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren
6. Jericho Point by Meg Gardiner
7. Rediscovering the Kingdom by Myles Munroe
8. Leadership and the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
9. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
10. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour by Dr. Gordon D. Fee

When Kill Chain was published, I had the chance to do a Q&A with Meg, which you can read here.
Photo of Meg with fellow crime writer, Caroline Carver and myself taken at the Savoy.


Hot on the heels of Craig Russell's visit to Hamburg to collect the prestigious Police Star, Damm in Norway have bought rights to ETERNAL, the third book in the Jan Fabel series. And BLOOD EAGLE, signed to Turkish publisher Dogan for a 2,000 copy print run, was actually given an impressive 12,000 copy print run. Craig wrote an excellent article for SHOTS talking about the launching of the series.


Gilbert Adair's witty homage to Agatha Christie, THE ACT OF ROGER MURGATROYD, published by Faber in the UK is now sold to its ninth publisher as Greek rights have been bought by Livanis. He is currently writing another novel to feature his annoying lady crime writer, Evadne Mount. Faber and Beck in Germany will publish later this year.

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