Wednesday 30 July 2008

This smacks of Sour Grapes

No sooner than the nominations for the Man Booker are announced, someone has to get the first strike in. Enter Jamie Byng of Cannongate Books. Writing in the online forum on the Man Booker Prize's website, Byng stated: "I cannot respect a judging committee that decides to pick a book like Child 44, a fairly well-written and well-paced thriller that is no more than that, over novels as exceptional as Helen Garner's The Spare Room or Ross Raisin's God's Own Country."
In the Independent, Boyd Tonkin wonders why James Kelman's Kieron Smith, Boy was left off the list, but mainly praises the titles that made it. "Some less predictable contenders merit a cheer," he adds, and of Child 44, he says: "With his Stalin-era investigator in Child 44, Tom Rob Smith achieves what has so far eluded the Rankins and Jameses: a penultimate-round Booker run for an upscale detective novel."
Just as with any competition, you can't please all the people all of the time.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Tom Rob Smith nominated for Man Booker Prize

Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 has today been announced on this year's Man Booker longlist. SHOTS was amongst the first to bring the book to reader's attention when Ali Karim interviewed him. So we just love it when someone we have championed comes through. Look at the authors we have been first to feature: Nick Stone, Roger Jon Ellory and Simon Kernick.

News is out for the line up to Crime Scene 2008. Look out for, amongst others, Dame Stella Rimington (ex MI5 head) and Natasha Cooper who is fast becoming the toast-mistress dominatrix.

Friday 18 July 2008

News in from Harrogate - Stef Penny WINS

Debut Novelist Is A Winner In Harrogate
Posted at 8:00AM Friday 18 Jul 2008

A debut novelist who has taken the literary world by storm has won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.
The Tenderness of Wolves (Quercus), by Stef Penney, was chosen by the Theakston panel of judges against competition from 12 other best-selling top authors including Alexander McCall Smith, Peter Robinson and Mark Billingham.
Story in The Yorkshire Post

Thursday 17 July 2008


OK, what's the odds on it being another sweltering night in Cambridge after a day of cloud and drizzle? I tell you I wouldn't give you evens. But it is a well-known fact that each and every year I attend Bodies in the Bookstore run by Richard Reynolds for Heffers, it is so damned hot. So much so, we are thinking of renaming it Sweaty Bodies in the Bookstore.

But we still managed to have fun. Take Tom Cain for instance. He found his long lost sister, Chelsea. Who just happened to be there promoting her second book at the same time as he was promoting his second book. What a fantastic co-incidence!And then he meets up with Charles Cumming promoting Typhoon but by this time he becomes a little shy and retiring.

And whilst I'm writing this most crime fans are on their way to the Harrogate Crime festival. Now I couldn't make it this year, something about being banned for singing dirty lyrics to Chim Chiminee (if you believe a certain A.Karim Esq). But the latter will be there with his trusty camera, laptop at the ready to write the report. So keep 'em peeled for that.

Speaking to Maxim Jakubowski of Muder One bookstore fame, he tells me that he had just finalised the programme for this years Crime Scene. The literary events are to be held at the Waterstones' Flagship in Piccadilly this September. But he has promised to give me full details later.


And competitions running at the SHOTS Ezine site are: 10 signed copies of the UK debut THE LAST EXILE by EV Seymour

and this will blow you away.... BLACK STAR CRIME is offering one lucky winner an Apple iPod Touch 8g worth £199.00, plus a Black Star Crime Goodie Bag. 10 Runners up will recieve a Black Star Goodie bag with copies of all first 5 titles in the series, and an exclusive Black Star Crime polo shirt! Pretty fantastic, eh? You will need to check on the site as from next week to enter that one.

Who is this BLACK STAR CRIME outfit, I hear you ask? It's a thrilling new series of short, addictive crime fiction novels. With five titles out every two months ranging from thrillers to mysteries, and each book only costs £3.99.

And over at the website:

Not only does Mike Ripley write his regular column, Getting Away With Murder, he is the subject of an appreciation to celebrate 20 years of the Angel series (and the Great Train Robbers didn't even get that).

The Last Straight Face by Bruce Kennedy and Eric Allison is an uncompromising look at the UK's criminal underworld. They both explain 11 Things You Didn't Know.....

Patrick Lennon, author of the Tom Fletcher series writes on his latest novel, Steel Witches

Ayo Onatade has been busy interviewing Don Winslow, Ariana Franklin and Karen Rose

Amy Myers gets the low down from The Mulgray Twins and Will Randall

Ali Karim gets to chat with Bill Vidal

And spy novelist, Charles Cumming explains what it took to write TYPHOON.

Read the first chapter of P.D.Martin's The Murder Club

Read an exclusive article by EV Seymour, debut author of the fantastic THE LAST EXILE

Friday 11 July 2008


I was amongst the 100 people attending the 2008 CWA Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award dinner last night. It turned into an evening full of surprises and emotional speeches. Yes, Frances Fyfield?

And the runners and riders are:

Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award: Blood from Stone, by Frances Fyfield (Little, Brown)

Also nominated: The Tin Roof Blowdown, by James Lee Burke (Orion); The Coroner’s Lunch, by Colin Cotterill (Quercus); Night Work, by Steve Hamilton (Orion); What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman (Orion); and A Vengeful Longing, by R.N. Morris (Faber & Faber)

Duncan Lawrie International Dagger: Lorraine Connection, by Dominique Manotti, translated by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz (EuroCrime, Arcadia Books)

Also nominated: The Patience of the Spider, by Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli (Picador, Macmillan); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland (MacLehose Press, Quercus); A Deal with the Devil, by Martin Suter, translated by Peter Millar (EuroCrime, Arcadia Books); and This Night’s Foul Work, by Fred Vargas, translated by Sîan Reynolds (Harvill Secker, Random House)

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)

Highly recommended: The Echelon Vendetta, by David Stone (Penguin)

Also nominated: Ritual, by Mo Hayder (Transworld); I See You (aka The Crime Writer), by Gregg Hurwitz (Little, Brown); and Shatter, by Michael Robotham (Sphere/Little, Brown)

CWA Gold Dagger for Non-fiction: Nationality: Wog--The Hounding of David Oluwale, by Kester Aspden (Jonathan Cape, Random House)

Also nominated: The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi, by Francisco Goldman (Atlantic Books); Violation, by David Rose (HarperPress); The Lost Boy, by Duncan Staff (Bantam Press); The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, or The Murder at Road Hill House, by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury); and Into the Darkness, by Peter Zimonjic (Vintage Books, Random House)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger: The Bethlehem Murders (American title: The Collaborator of Bethlehem), by Matt (Beynon) Rees (Atlantic Books)

Also nominated: The Night of the Mi’raj (American title: Finding Nouf), by Zoë Ferraris (Little, Brown); Die with Me, by Elena Forbes (Quercus); Absolution, by Caro Ramsay (Michael Joseph, Penguin); and Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)

CWA Dagger in the Library (awarded each year to “the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to library users”): Craig Russell

Highly commended: C.J. Sansom

Also nominated: Elizabeth Corley, Andrew Martin, Denise Mina, and Chris Simms

CWA Short Story Dagger: “The Bookbinder’s Apprentice,” by Martin Edwards (from The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries, edited by Maxim Jakubowkski; Constable Robinson)

Highly commended: “Glazed,” by Danuta Reah (from Getting Even: Revenge Stories, edited by Mitzi Szereto; Serpent’s Tail)

Also nominated: “Provenance,” by Robert Barnard (from The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries); “One Dollar Jackpot,” by Michael Connelly (from Dead Man’s Hand, edited by Otto Penzler; Quercus); and “One True Love,” by Laura Lippman (from Best American Mystery Stories 2007, edited by Otto Penzler and Carl Hiaasen; Quercus)

CWA Debut Dagger (for unpublished work): Western Fringes, by Amer Anwar (UK)

Highly commended: Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer (UK)

Also nominated: Desert Storm, by Russell Colman (Canada); The Eclipse of Lilith, by Peter Dewar (UK); Nite Lite, by Bill Harrison (Canada); The Stench of Lilies, by Alison Marlow (UK); The Book of Souls, by James Oswald (UK); Wearing the Spider, by Susan Schaab (USA); Devils and Disciples, by Ian Simpson (UK); and All the Wrong People, by P.J. Watson (USA)