Friday 28 May 2010

Jeffrey Deaver and James Bond.

After getting Sebastian Faulks to write the centenary, James Bond book Devil May Care, Ian Fleming Publications Limited have now turned to American writer Jeffrey Deaver to write the next one. The book currently known as Project X.

Press Release
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd has chosen international bestselling thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver, to write a new James Bond book. The novel, currently known as Project X, will be published one year from today for Ian Fleming’s birthday – May 28, 2011. It will be published by Jeffery Deaver’s publishers Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and Simon & Schuster in the US.

Jeffery Deaver has written 26 novels and sold more than 20 million books worldwide. His books have topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and he has been described as ‘the most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world’ (Daily Telegraph) and ‘the master of ticking-bomb suspense’ (People magazine). In 2004, Deaver won the Crime Writers’ Association’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for his book Garden of Beasts. In his acceptance speech he talked about his life-long admiration of Fleming’s writing.

The full press release can be found here . MI6 webpage have also got some information on this news. Jeffrey Deaver has also made a statement on his website about his thrill of being asked to write the new James Bond book.

Wednesday 26 May 2010

News from Lee Child

The English language publishers of international bestselling thriller writer Lee Child, reveal the title and jacket images for his next novel.

In the UK, Transworld will publish Worth Dying For on 30th September 2010 as a Bantam Press hardback. It will be the fifteenth novel in Child’s series featuring maverick ex-military policeman, Jack Reacher, and the first time he has published two books in the same year.

At the end of his latest book, 61 Hours, published in the UK in March this year, Lee Child left readers in limbo. Was Reacher dead or alive? The British edition ended enigmatically – ‘To be continued, 30/9/10.’

Transworld reveals that Worth Dying For will be another Jack Reacher novel but readers will have to wait until 30th September to find out how Reacher survived a massive underground explosion which was the culmination of 61 Hours. Read Ali Karim's interview with Lee Child here

Sunday 23 May 2010

Crimefest 2010 - Day 4 (Part 3) Final Hours

Okay, so the final hours have come and gone at Crimefest 2010. I managed to attend Jake Kerridge's interview with M C Beaton and Lindsey Davis. It was the kind of interview that was certainly worth settling down to and enjoying. Jake Kerridge had certainly done his homework. The banter between M C Beaton and Lindsey Davis was evident and it was more like listening to two old friends having a friendly chat whilst the odd question was thrown in than a formal interview.

The most anticipated panel for Sunday was of course Crossfire: Criminal Mastermind. Three crime writers and one crime fiction reviewer placed themselves in the spotlight and in the hands of Maxim Jakubowski as they took part in Criminal Mastermind. Martin Edwards was the returning winner from last year and this year he was up against Peter Guttridge, Ali Karim and Cara Black. As I indicated in an earlier post I would not be taking bets on whether or not anyone would be able to dethrone Martin. It was a really enjoyable panel even though I did find myself acting as time keeper on Maxim's behalf. I am not going to post the final results of Criminal Mastermind but I can tell you the final positions. In fourth place was Cara Black, in joint second place was Peter Guttridge and Ali Karim and as was expected in first place and thus retaining his title was Martin Edwards. Rather sadly we found out at the end of the quiz that it had been agreed before hand that if Martin Edwards were to retain his title then he would not be coming back next year to defend it. A shame but a decision that I can understand.

I am aware that I have not posted any pictures from Crimefest but I will be doing so over at the Shotsmag website in due course. A number of photographs were taken and look out for the picture of me alongside Tonino Benacquista.

Crimefest 2011 will take place between 19 and 22 May.

Crimefest 2010 - Day 4 (Part 2)

One of the best thing about events like Crimefest is staying up late with friends to the early hours of the morning chatting and drinking. It is such good fun. Even though on Thursday I had what for me was an early night, I seemed to have made up for on Friday (where I got to my room at 1:50am)and managed to actually crawl into bed slightly before 2:30pm and Saturday evening where I am not sure what time it was when I got to bed. I think it must have been certainly after 3:00am. Even Ali Karim went to bed earlier than me. However, I think that may be because he is due to take place in Criminal Mastermind later on today and I am sure that he would need to be at his best. I did however spend an enjoyable evening chatting to Peter Rozovsky, Mike Stotter and Emily Bronstein (who gave me one of the best foot rubs) that I have ever had. Thanks Emily! It was brilliant! I am not sure what the staff members thought of us because we had gone past the stage of propping up the bar. By the time we left that had begun to clean the floors and tidy up around us. Needless to say it was an enjoyable evening.

There are not many panels taking place today and I really want to enjoy what is left of the rest of the event. The first panels that are taking place this morning are - Transmission: Page to Screen - Authors with Experience of Both featuring Mike Hodges (of Get Carter Fame), Cath Staincliffe and Bill James. The moderator is Simon Brett. Giorgio Faletti was due to take part but has been unable to attend the conference due to ill health. I wonder if they wil get anybody else to take his place. The second panel this morning is Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: The Business of Telling Lies- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Crime Writing. This event is due to feature Joan Brady, Peter Gutteridge, Michael Ridpath, Yrsa Sigurdardottir along with participating moderator Anne Zouroudi.

Since my post yesterday afternoon which can be found here about the two women who decided to get upset on my behalf at Ruth Dudley Edwards panel I have had a number of people come up and talk to me about it. Brilliant! but please post a response on the blog. I would be delighted to here what others think about what the did and said. Also if you are not attending but just reading the blog your thoughts will also be welcome.

Anyway, now that I am up I had better make a start on getting myself organised for breakfast and the panels.

Watch this space for the result of the Criminal Mastermind Panel. I wonder if anyone will be able to dethrone Martin Edwards. I personally would not like to take bets on it. But it will be interesting to see someone try.

Crimefest 2010 - Day 4 (Part 1)

It is actually Sunday morning and as much as I wanted to post this earlier I found myself after the gala dinner down in the bar busy talk to various people including Janet Laurence (former Chair of the CWA), Ruth Dudley Edwards, Zoe Sharp and her husband Andy. I have therefore slipped upstairs to post this before I forget. The toastmaster at the dinner was Gyles Brandreth who was and is an excellent raconteur. Speeches were given by Tonino Benacquista and Colin Dexter.

I promised to give you the result of the Crimefest Awards and they are as follows:-

eDunnit Award Winner - Beat The Reaper by Josh Bazell (Random House)

Last Laugh Award Winner - The Day of the Jack Russell by Colin Bateman

Best Abridged Crime Audiobook: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (translated by Reg Keeland; abridged by Isabel Morgan). Reader: Martin Wenner (Quercus)

Best Unabridged Crime Audiobook: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (translated by Reg Keeland). Reader: Saul Reichlin (Whole Story Audio Books)

I will post some more later on today.

Saturday 22 May 2010

Crimefest 2010 - Day 3 (Part 2)

Okay so far this morning I have managed to attend a number of panels, not as many as I would have liked but this is only because it has been standing room only in the spotlight panel. The first of the spotlight panels was JG Goodhind talking about Sex and the Story. This was a look at how sex is portrayed in crime novels and how she (i.e. the author) portrays sex in her series along with whether or not sex should actually be put in crime novels. As JG Goodhind revealed to the audience she had no problem about writing sex scenes in her novels as under the name Georgina Brown she was one of the original Black Lace authors.

This was followed by Ruth Dudley Edwards talking about Making Fun of Islam: Should Crime Writers Fear to Offend or go for the Jugular. Those of you that know Ruth will be aware of her humor. Some people like it some people don't. But then again it is about taste. I found this a rather interesting talk for various reasons. You may or may not agree with Ruth's views and she was entitled to put them across. Basically what Ruth was saying was that we should stop being afraid to offend and allowing those who practise Islam intimidate us from free speech. The fear that is put across means that we are unwilling to stand up to Muslims who take offence every time Islam is joked about. Why? Using South Park as an example who have on more than one occasion have said that they are an equal opportunists when it comes to making fun of religion Ruth pointed out that there should not be a different set of rules for Islam, freedom of expression should not be curtailed and that crime writers had a duty to go for the jugular and not be afraid. This was a talk that could have gone on for ages, but rather sadly Ruth only had 20 mins. What made me do a double take was the fact that after stepping out of the room and as I was talking to someone I got approached by two American ladies who were at the conference for the day. They wanted me to know that they had been rather upset by Ruth's comments. I did actually look a bit bemused and said something along the lines that aside from Ruth being a crime writer that she is a very good journalist and that one does not always agree with her comments. However, that was not the reason why they were upset. The reason was because there had been a woman of "colour" in the room (aka me) and they felt offended on my behalf to some of Ruth's comments about Muslims. To say that I was nonplussed was putting it mildly. I could not understand why they felt that I would be upset. I think that they must have looked at me rather strangely when I said that I was used to Ruth and that there was nothing that she had said that had offended me. I think (and you may say that I was wrong) that I was more upset about their perceived reaction on my behalf. As lovely as these ladies may have been and I am sure that they meant well but I did not know them from Adam and found it rather strange that they should be upset on my behalf. I think I am fully capable of being upset myself when I want to be and since they did not know me it was rather patronising. I did suggest that they might want to go and have a talk with Ruth. As to whether they did or not I am not sure.

My favourite spotlight panel was Zoe Sharp's You Can't Run in High Heels: Self Defence Demonstration. Zoe ably assisted by Helen Fitzgerald gave a rather humorous but serious series of mini demonstrations about the art of self defence. However, joking apart the best thing that Zoe said was not to put yourself in the position in the first place.

I did have to miss a number of the other spotlight slots but one of the two final ones that I attended was Chris Carter's Serial Killers: The Bad, The Ugly and the Evil which was an interesting talk on serial killers and what makes them commit the offences they do. It was certainly not for the squeamish but it did give you an insight into the way their mind works. The other panel was Neil White's The Idiot's Guide to the Crown Prosecution Service. This again was a rather interesting look at the Crown Prosecution Service and the way it works. Neil explained the reasons why sometimes no matter what the public might think they have to be careful when deciding whether or not to prosecute as they have to be certain about obtaining a conviction. So despite the fact that the public might think that a prosecution should take place it does not always work that way.

So what else has happened? The Theakstons Old Peculier Longlist has been announced. Please do vote. The list of books can be found here.

This evening a number of awards are being give out. These are the The eDunnit Award for the best crime fiction ebook first published in the UK in 2009. The Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2009. The Sounds of Crime Awards for the best abridged and unabridged crime audiobooks first published in the UK in 2009.

Watch this space for the results!

I am now off to get dressed up for the gala dinner.

Crimefest 2010 - Day 3 (Part1)

Technically speaking I am correct and it is day three of Crimefest. However, yesterday evening I had the pleasure of announcing the Short Story Dagger Short List. I already posted the short list online earlier this evening and the winners will be announced at Harrogate Crime Festival in July.

Dinner last night was spent in the pleasant company of my friend Kirstie Long, fellow Shots colleagues Mike Stotter and Ali Karim, Adrian Magson and his wife Ann, Matt Hilton and his wife Denise and Shelia Quigley. I am not sure what the Italian restaurant thought of us but we were actually well-behaved and were not too noisy. After dinner we made our way back to the bar in the hotel where I have just the rest of the night (before deciding to come back up to my room and post this blog) talking to Stanley Trollip, (one half of the team that writes as Michael Stanley), Alison Bruce, Emily Bronstein and Peter Rozovsky who has the excellent blog Detectives Beyond Borders.

Unlike last night where I went to bed relatively early (for me anyway)at 11:30pm tonight I am still up at 1:50am in the morning. Tomorrow (or I should say) later on this morning I shall make up my mind what panels I am going to attend and unlike yesterday morning (when I made the mistake of thinking that the panels started at 10:00am)I am quite certain that the panels start at 10:00am. I am just not certain which one I am going to attend. Will it be All The Young Punks: Debut Authors or In the Spotlight where authors have 15 minutes each to talk about whatever they want. I shall just have to wait and see.

Friday 21 May 2010

CWA Short Lists

This evening a number of shortlists for the CWA Dagger Awards were announced at a drinks reception.

The shortlists were for the following awards and are as follows:-

Debut Dagger
(sponsored by Orion)

All the Precious Things by Jan Napiorkowski (UK)
A Murder in Mumbles by Rick DeMille (USA)
A Place of Dying by Patrick Eden (UK)
Case No 1 by Sandra Graham (Australia)
Chinese Whispers by Alan Carter (Australia)
In the Lion’s Throat by Bob Marriott (New Zealand)
Legacy by Rebecca Brodie (UK)
Lockdown by Danielle Ramsay (UK)
Pretty Preeti by Stephanie Light (India)
Safe Harbour by Rosemary McCracken (Canada)
The Beggar’s Opera by Peggy Blair (Canada)
The Chameleon Factor by Kathleen Stewart (Australia)

International Dagger

Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista Tr. Emily Read, (Bitter Lemon Press)
Hidden in the Norman countryside under the witness protection programme, an American Mafioso and his family each discover a new vocation. Crime fiction that makes you chuckle is rare and this is an exceptional example of the species.

August Heat by Andrea Camilleri Tr. Stephen Sartarelli, (Picador)
The bitter-sweet adventures of Inspector Montalbano have a nostalgic air in this fine short novel. Another summer holiday with his beloved Livia is interrupted by the discovery of a long-hidden murder. Camilleri brilliantly evokes small-town Sicily.

by Arnaldur Indridason Tr. Victoria Cribb, (Harvill Secker)
Erlendur’s tenacious investigations of old cases, as well as his own life, come together in this dark, moving mystery. Ghosts from his own past haunt his search for long missing persons.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, by Stieg Larsson Tr. Reg Keeland (MacLehose Press)
This exciting and much acclaimed end to what would have been the first of three trilogies maintains the suspense of a complex thriller, while expanding a fascinating cast of characters.

Thirteen Hours
by Deon Meyer, Tr K.L. Seegers Hodder and Stoughton (originally written in Afrikaans)
Benny Griessel has been put out to pasture, charged with mentoring a disparate group of new South African police officers. Suddenly, he has thirteen hours to save a life and solve a murder. Meyer turns the constraints of the clock into a tour de force of plotting.

The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin Tr Marlaine Delargy, (Black Swan)
Four plot strands whorl around the vortex of an unexplained death. It is impossible to reduce this mysterious novel to ghost story, a police procedural or a gothic tale.

The Judging panel consisted of
Ann Cleeves, non-voting chair, is an award-winning crime writer.
Karen Meek - Library assistant and founder of the Euro Crime website:
Ruth Morse - teaches English Literature at the University of Paris. She is a frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.
John Murray-Browne is a bookseller.

Dagger in the Library

Simon Beckett (Bantam)
Exciting British addition to the forensic arena. Tackles different ground in each novel.
R J Ellory (Orion)
Beautifully crafted, matching lyrical prose with complex characters and taut storylines.
Ariana Franklin (Random House)
Wonderful cast of characters. Wears her research lightly and highlights new aspects of the era
Mo Hayder (Bantam)
Pacy writing. Seamlessly interweaves personal lives of police characters into the plots
Denise Mina (Transworld)
Good plots, strong female characters, excellent dialogue. Brings working class Glasgow to life.
Chris Simms (Orion)
Manchester set police procedural. Well researched and finely plotted.

The judging panel consisted of :-
Mark Benjamin - formerly Team Librarian, Northumberland County Libraries
Karen Fraser - Customer Service Librarian, Shetland Libraries
Cheney Gardner - Reader and Community Services Manager, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Viki Lagus - Development Librarian, South Tyneside Borough Libraries
Helen McNabb - Stock Manager, Vale of Glamorgan Library Services
John Martin - Development Librarian, Leicestershire County Libraries
Deb Ryan - Senior Librarian, Reader Services, RNIB

Short Story Dagger Award

A Calculated Risk
by Sean Chercover (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler - In A Calculated Risk scuba diving takes on a new significance on the other side of the law. Subtly and deftly told with a menacing atmosphere.

The Weapon by Jeffrey Deaver (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler - High stakes and lack of time are the order of the day in The Weapon. Shaped by today’s headlines it is intriguing, topical and thrilling.

Can You Help Me Out There by Robert Ferrigno (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler - In Can You Help Me Out There Robert Ferrigno has showcased an ability to mix humour with suspense along with having a knack for creating villains that make you smile even as they send chills down our spin.

Boldt's Broken Angel by Ridley Pearson (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler -
With one of the most opening memorable and compelling scenes Boldt's Broken Angel follows Detective Boldt as he tracks down a twisted serial killer. A model thriller.

Like a Virgin by Peter Robinson (Hodder and Stoughton) from The Price of Love - In Like a Virgin a cold case brings back memories of a number of brutal murders and its repercussions. Elegantly written containing many unforgettable images and karma that comes back to haunt you.

Killing Time by Jon Land (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler. - In a Killing Time, time is the enemy of a professional killer after a murder goes terribly wrong. Gruesome, but an intriguing and thoroughly credible story.

Protecting the Innocent by Simon Wood (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler.- A stubborn love struck protagonist is not averse to taking a little risk, but how far would you go for love? A tangled tale with horrific consequences for the love struck characters.

Judging panel

Ayo Onatade (Chairperson), crime fiction fan for over 30 years. When not content with running the lives of senior judges she writes for a number of crime fiction websites including, Mystery Women and Crimespree Magazine.

Simon Brett
is the author of over eighty books, many of which are crime novels, including the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto and Twinks series. He is also President of the Detection Club.

Adrian Magson
is a freelance writer, crime author and reviewer, with over 300 short stories published in magazines and anthologies in the UK and overseas.

Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

Major Farran’s Hat by David Cesarani. Heinemann - A scandalous case – long-forgotten in Britain, but memorialised in Jerusalem – of the abduction and disappearance of a young Israeli boy by a British security agent.

Killing Time by David Dow(Heinemann)- A haunting memoir, by an American defence lawyer, of his fight to save the lives of
possibly-innocent murderers condemned to death in Houston, Texas.

Aftermath: The Omagh Bombing & the Families’ Pursuit of Justice by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Harvill Secker). - The historian and crime-novelist‘s detailed account of her successful struggle, with the assistance of lawyers, to achieve recognition of those responsible.

Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde by Jeff Guinn Simon & Schuster. - A meticulously detailed account, with previously unpublished family material, of the remarkably unglamorous career of the notorious pair’s two-year crime spree.

Defending the Guilty by Alex McBride. (Penguin/Viking) - A light-hearted but instructive description, by a criminal barrister, of the early career of a leading defence lawyer, and the problems that have to be overcome.

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston, with Mario Spez. Virgin/Random House. - An investigation into one of the most infamous figures in recent Italian history, a serial killer who ritually murdered 14 young lovers, and has never been caught.

Congratulations to all the nominees. The winners will be announced later this year.

Crimefest 2010 Day 2 (Part 2)

I did manage to get myself up, dressed and have breakfast in time to get to the second panel of the day. My feet took me to the panel No More Heroes: Today’s Sleuths & Crime Solvers. Lindsay Davis who started it off by saying that she agreed with all the others excellently moderated this panel that the title of the panel was rubbish. Apparently (and I may have misheard) the titles were based on punk songs!
The panel members J G Goodhind, Pauline Rowson, Linda Regan and Neil White discussed their characters and amongst the issues talked about included whether or not their characters were heroes and if not why not and if they were why did they think so. The long-term plans of their characters were also raised. As to whether or not their characters are heroic or human is something that not only something the authors ponder about but also the readers.

The second panel that I have attended today is Grimly Fiendish: Whatever That Means! Donna Moore who made everyone read a short poem before they started moderated this panel. I think my favourite of all the poems was Steve Mosby’s Ode to Jack Reacher followed by Zoë Sharp’s A fate worse than death. It is at times difficult (in my opinion) to succinctly summarise what is said at panels. In this case I can only say that Donna Moore was a brilliant moderator and that it was clear that the panel members who were Zoë Sharp, Chris Ewan, Steve Mosby and Helen Fitzgerald were enjoying themselves from the banter and responses that the audience heard.

Lust for Life: What Turns You On was the first panel that I attended after lunch. Ably and promptly moderated by participating moderator Natasha “N J” Cooper the panel members consisted of Lindsay Davis, L C Tyler, Tom Harper and Laura Wilson. As one has come to expect from these panels so far, it was a delight to listen to all of the panel members and their take on not only what turns them on but also what in hindsight they would have done when they first started writing and a number of other interesting questions. It was interesting to hear Tom Harper say that the way in which he writes scenes of violence has changed since he became a father because it was literally the same thing that I had heard from Steve Mosby in the Grimly Fiendish panel.

Unfortunately – Giorgio Faletti has had to pull out of Crimefest due to ill health. Luckily for me I have an interview with Giorgio Faletti which will be posted on the Shots website once I have managed to sort it out. I can only say watch this space.
It has actually been quite fun meeting up with various people that I have not seen for sometime e.g. Caroline Carver, Priscilla Masters, Claire Seeber and Alison Bruce.
I also have to say thank you to Emily Bronstein for introducing me to Michael Stanley. Oh and before I forget – Ruth – Bill James has asked me to pass on his regards!
Later on this evening the Crimefest will be hosting the CWA Dagger Shortlist Announcement Party. Watch this space for the shortlist in due course. I have taken some pictures and promise to upload them soon!

Crimefest 2010 - Day 2 (Part1)

So day 2 of Crimefest has arrived and there are a number of interesting panels. However, I have just realised that the first panels start at 9:00am. I am not sure that I am going to make this as I need to go and have some breakfast!

I am also in a quandary as to what panels to attend. Shall I go for No More Heroes: Today's Sleuths & Crime Solvers or shall I attend Down in the Sewer: Violence, Language & Sex? I shall wait and see where my feet take me!

Thursday 20 May 2010

Crimefest 2010 - Day 1 (Part 2)

So did I manage to get to the third panel of the day? Rather sadly I did not. What with having to stay in my room to wait for my luggage to turn up, for them to come and sort out the safe that was not working, along with the air condition that was not working I managed to miss the third panel Personality Crisis: Multiple series an collaborating authors. The panel members were Judith Cutler, Lyndon Stacey Michael Stanley along with participating moderator Charles Todd.

The only thing that I managed to take part in was the quiz and to be honest I really did not have any intention of taking part. I had my arm rather lightly twisted. Mike Stotter the editor of hots declined to take part and Ali Karim was banned from being a member of certain teams. I ended up being a member of "Team International" which consisted of myself, Peter Rozovsky and Maxim Jakubowski. We did not do too badly coming in second. I am not sure that I can believe Peter Gutteridge's comment that the questions were easy. Peter was quiz master so of course he is going to say this. It has however been rather nice catching up with various people. My friend Kirstie has been looking at me with astonishment. I did however warn her - I can't move walk very far without being stopped by various people wanting to say hello. So far since my first post I have seen and spoken to Lindsey Davis, Zoe Sharp, Steve Mosby (very, very briefly) of course Ali Karim and Mike Stotter, Linda Reagan, Karen Meek of Euro Crime fame and a number of others. It is now 11:00pm and I am trying to decide whether or not I am going to take myself back downstairs to the bar or call it a day. Who knows? You are just going to have to wait until tomorrow to find out what I decide to do! I am not sure what tomorrow will bring!

Crimefest 2010 - Day 1

Crimefest 2010 has once again come around and like last year I shall be blogging intermittently about the festival and what is happening. For those of you that read my blog last year you will know what to expect.

So far not much has happened. My trip down from London Paddington whilst uneventful was rather enjoyable. I had company this year. My friend Kirstie Long is also along for the ride. Even before we left London I had managed to bump in to the delightful Ruth Dudley Edwards whose non-fiction book on the Omagh bombing is one of the best non-fiction books this year along with her agent Jane Conway-Gordon. I also saw Barry Forshaw who biography on Stieg Larsson The Man who Left Too Soon has recently been published. The video trailer for the book can be found ">here

Arriving at the hotel was plain sailing (we took a taxi!) but so far the only fly in the ointment has been the fact that our room was not ready. This of course meant that I missed the first two panels. The first panel Sheena is a Punk Rocker: Good Girls, Bad Girls & Everything in Between - Writing Female Protagonist. The panel members were Cassandra Clark, Katherine Hall Page, Mary Andrea Clarke and Alison Joseph. The moderator was Cath Staincliffe who is the author of the television series Blue Murder. The second panel being Punishment Fits the Crime: Crime Fiction as Social Commentary - Writing about Society, Morality & Justice. The panel members were Lesley Horton, Adrian Magson, Edward Marston, Claire Seeber and was moderated by Steve Mosby. I am really upset about this as I really wanted to get to the second panel. I am now just keeping my fingers crossed that I will get to the third panel but it is not looking likely though our room is ready my luggage has gone awol! The only saving grace so far has been seeing Donna Moore.

I'll let you know what happens!

Friday 14 May 2010

Philippe Claudel Wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

The winner of this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel. The French novelist - and now film director - shares the £10,000 award with translator John Cullen for the English edition of his work, published by MacLehose Press; the Quercus Imprint behind the English Editions of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy.

Read More from The Bookseller here

Thursday 13 May 2010

Mark Timlin buys Thermals

A few years ago, Mike Stotter and I sat in bar drinking with one of Britain’s most under-rated crime writers – Mark Timlin. Over our usual talk about what books hit the spot, because Timlin is also a keen and perceptive book reviewer; he said menacingly over his beer “I don’t know how you guys get time to manage a blog at Shots. I’ll start a blog when hell freezes over”. We’re delighted to announce that Mark Timlin was spotted buying Thermal underwear because the creator of Nick Sharman has started a blog!

Incidentally, Mark’s latest novel is Guns of Brixton and there is finally a Nick Sharman novel due out soon - Stay Another Day which is a remarkable return for the South London PI -

For seven years, ex-cop Nick Sharman has lived in 'exile' on a Caribbean island with no UK extradition treaty - his life of luxury funded by the proceeds of a bank robbery where he was the last man standing. Then a phone call out of the blue from London changes everything. The voice from the past belongs to the only woman that he loves, his daughter Judith. Like father, like daughter, she's a police officer, but the family resemblance doesn't stop there - Judith is in big trouble with the law, and has no one to turn to except her father.

Returning under an assumed name to a bleak mid-winter England, Nick finds things have changed, and so has he. He´s grown older, but perhaps no wiser and finds his once beloved London moving too fast for him. Vowing to clear his daughter's name by any means necessary, Sharman finds himself enmeshed with blackmailers, murderers, the security services, and Russian gangsters all baying for his blood - until he, Judith, and his old sparring partner Jack Robber, take on all-comers in a dramatic finale on the mean streets of the capital.

Reporting Back From Quebec – “Roger That”

Roger [R.J.] Ellory has just returned back from Canada – again defying The Volcano collecting the Quebec Booksellers’ Prize for his disturbing novel, A Quiet Vendetta [Pictured].

Last year the award was given to Cormac McCarthy for 'The Road', and previously by Dennis Lehane for 'Mystic River'. This was the first time that an overseas author has had actually been present to receive the award.

It just goes to show that little prevents Roger from achieving his goals, like the years of writing before he saw publication, and now defying a volcano to collect this prestigious award, problem is that R J Ellory’s mantle-piece is getting a tad congested.

If you’ve never read Roger [R J] Ellory – it’s time you walked down his dark streets.

An Idea for Crime Writers

Joining Mike Ripley on the crime-fiction tutorial beat, we see that the Tartan-Noir gang have also set up a service for future crime-writers.

Crime Writers Tony Black and Theakstons / Harrogate Award-Winner Allan Guthrie have teamed together to provide a service entitled The Ideas Space for budding and existing Crime Fiction Scribes. Though Tony and Allan are fronting this service, they have called in several renowned Scottish scribes to help.

Apart from Manuscript evaluation and critiquing, they have a workshop organized for 16th July 2010 so if you have a manuscript that needs dusting down and an opinion, or wish to fi9nd out why Scottish Crime Fiction is so popular – email the gang and tell them that Shots Ezine sent you [as Shots Readers qualify for a 15% discout on the 'early bird' rates for the July Workshop!]

Saturday 8 May 2010

Val McDermind Winner of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger

Bestselling author Val McDermid was awarded the prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award on Thursday May 6th 2010.

The award from the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), which is sponsored by Cartier, honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing.

The announcement was made by the CWA in recognition of Val’s work over more than 20 years.

Val received the award, the 25th Cartier Diamond Dagger, at a ceremony held in London. It was presented by Cartier's Managing Director Arnaud Bamberger. The Cartier Diamond Dagger is the latest accolade in a highly successful career which last year saw Val inducted into the Hall of Fame at the ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, whose partners include the CWA.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. In 2007, she won The Stonewall Writer of the Year Award.

Val is a top 10 bestseller who has been translated into 40 languages, with more than two million copies sold in the UK and 10 million worldwide. She has written 23 bestselling novels and the popular ITV series Wire in the Blood,starring Robson Green, was based on her books and ran for six series. A three-part ITV drama of Val’s A Place of Execution was broadcast in the autumn of 2007.

In 2009, she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at St Hilda's College, Oxford

In February, the paperback of Val’s bestselling hardback Fever of the Bone was published by Little, Brown.

Val, who was born in Kirkcaldy , Scotland , and divides her time between Northumberland and Cheshire , said: “To be awarded the CWA Carter Diamond Dagger is a distinction every writer dreams of.”

Margaret Murphy, outgoing chair of the CWA, said: “Val McDermid is a worthy winner whose work has entertained and thrilled millions of readers as well as many more who have enjoyed the TV adaptations her books have inspired.”

Despite the fact that May 6th was the General Election, many fellow authors came to give their support. Among whom were Colin Dexter, Laura Wilson, Andrew Taylor ( a recipient of the Cartier Award himself), Michael Herron, Priscilla Masters, Keith Miles, Judith Cutler, Simon Brett.

At the SHOTS ezine website, there will be hosted a photo gallery of the event.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

RIP Peter O’Donnell (April 11th 1920 – May 3rd 2010)

Peter O’Donnell the author of the iconic Modesty Blaise series has died at the age of 90. He was apparently suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. He died over the Bank Holiday Weekend and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The Modesty Blaise series was first published in 1963 in comic strip form and was published in that form until 2001. In 1965 O’Donnell wrote the first of the Modesty Blaise books as a result of the novelisation of his screenplay. Sadly when the film was released in 1966 very little of what O’Donnell had written was used. It is not considered to be the best portrayal of Modesty Blaise along with her side-kick and faithful lieutenant Willie Garvin. The book however was extremely well received and O’Donnell went on to write 13 books featuring Modesty Blaise in total (including two collections of short stories). O’Donnell stopped writing the Modesty Blaise comic strip in 2001 but in 2003 he wrote the introductions for Titan Books who reprinted volumes of the Modesty Blaise series. Quentin Tarantino also interviewed
O’Donnell for a special feature that was included on the DVD release of his 2002 film My Name is Modesty Blaise. Tarantino has been a longstanding fan of the series and in the movie Pulp Fiction John Travolta's character can be seen reading a copy of one of the Doubleday editions of the books. The Modesty Blaise series was syndicated in over forty-two countries.

As well as the Modesty Blaise comic strip O’Donnell wrote the Daily Express adaptation of the James Bond novel Dr No, Garth and Romeo Brown. O’Donnell also wrote for television and screen and early in his career for a number of women's magazines and children's papers as well. His play Mr Fothergill’s Murder was widely performed in the 1980’s.

The official Modesty Blaise website can be found here. Due to the huge popularity of the series a number of websites can be found celebrating the work of Modesty Blaise. These include the complete Modesty Blaise Dossier, The Modesty Blaise Book site and a three part appreciation of Modesty Blaise series by Kirsty Valenti can be found in Comixology. Part one, part two and part three. The Crimetime article with Peter O’Donnell can be found here whilst a short article by myself on Modesty Blaise can be found in Crimetime 53. The Modesty Blaise News Blogspot can also be found here.

Whilst O’Donnell was best known for the Modesty Blaise series he also wrote historical romance novels under the pseudonym Madeleine Brent. Unlike the Modesty Blaise books the books he wrote under the pseudonym Madeleine Brent were not a series but still featured (like Modesty Blaise) strong female characters. O’Donnell wrote nine books as Brent the first being Tregaron's Daughter in 1971 and the final one being Golden Urchin in 1986.

O’Donnell is said to have stated that he does not wish for anyone else to write any more Modesty Blaise stories.

The Times
obituary can be found here.

Sunday 2 May 2010

Awards, nominations and winners!

The Edgar® Awards were presented to the winners at their 64th Gala Banquet, on April 29, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City and the winners are:-

Grandmaster: Dorothy Gilman, author of the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries
Best Novel: The Last Child by John Hart (Minotaur Books)
Best First Novel by an American Author: In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (Minotaur Books)

Best Paperback Original: Body Blows by Marc Strange (Castle Street Mysteries)
Best Short Story: "Amapola" by Luis Urrea in Phoenix Noir (Akashic Books)
Best Critical/Biographical: The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler (Hachette Book Group-Little, Brown)
Best Juvenile: Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn (HMH Children's Book)
Best Young Adult: Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (HarperTeen)
Best TV Episode Teleplay: "Place of Execution," teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (PBS) (based on the novel by Val McDermid)
Best Fact Crime: Columbine by Dave Cullen (Twelve)
Ellery Queen Award: Poisoned Pen Press, Barbara Peters & Robert Rosenwald
Raven Award #1: Zef Buffman, International Mystery Writers Festival
Raven Award #2: Mystery Lovers Bookshop (Oakmont, PA)
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: "A Dreadful Day" by Dan Warthman, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (Dell Magazines)

More information can be found here from the MWA and here from the Wall Street Journal.

On Wednesday 28 April 2010 SJ Bolton won the Simon & Schuster- Mary Higgins Clark Award for her novel Awakening (Minotaur Books). The award was presented at the MWA's Agents and Editors Party. More info can be found here.

The winners of the annual Reviewers' Choice Awards were announce by RT Book Reviews (Romantic Times). The nominees and winners of these awards, given in many categories, are selected by a staff of over 50 reviewers representing the readers' voice in the women's fiction industry.

The winners in the Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller category are (for books published in 2009):
Amateur Sleuth: Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke (Kensington)
Contemporary Mystery: Kill For Me by Karen Rose (Grand Central)
First Mystery: A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Historical Mystery: What Remains of Heaven by C. S. Harris (NAL)
PI/Police Procedural Novel: A Darker Domain by Val McDermid (Harper)
Suspense/Thriller: The Messenger by Jan Burke (Simon & Schuster)
A complete list of all the nominees and winners can be found here

Deadly Ink
have announced the following nominations for the 2010 David G. Sasher, Sr. Award-aka "The David"- for the best mystery published during the prior year (2009).

Lincoln Child - Terminal Freeze
Mary Jane Clark - Dying For Mercy
Harlan Coben - Long Lost
Hallie Ephron - Never Tell a Lie
Parnell Hall - Dead Man's Puzzle
Elaine Viets - Killer Cuts

Attendees at the 2010 Deadly Ink Mystery Conference will vote for their favorite, and the winner will be announced at the Saturday Night Awards Banquet. The 2010 Deadly Ink Mystery Conference will take place June 25-27, 2010 at Parsippany Sheraton, Parshippany, NJ where the Guest of Honor will be Gillian Roberts.

The Arthur Ellis Award Shortlist was announced on Thursday April 22, 2010. These are the annual awards for the Best in Canadian crime fiction presented by the Crime Writers of Canada

Best Crime Novel:
Aloha, Candy Hearts by Anthony Bidulka
Arctic Blue Death by R.J. Harlick
Finger's Twist by Lee Lamothe
Death Spiral by James W. Nichol
High Chicago by Howard Shrier

Best First Novel:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth J. Duncan
The Weight of Stones by C.B. Forrest
A Magpie's Smile by Eugene Meese
Darkness at the Stroke of Noon by Dennis Richard Murphy

Best Crime Writing in French:
Je compte les morts by Genevieve Lefebvre
Le mort du chemin des Arsène by Jean Lemieux
La faim de la terre by Jean-Jacques Pelletier
Peaux de chagrin by Diane Vincent

Best Non-Fiction:
The Fat Mexican: The Bloody rise of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club by Alex Caine
Runaway Devil by Robert Remington and Sherri Zickefoose
The Slasher Killings by Patrick Brode
Post Mortem by Jon Wells
Murder without Borders by Terry Gould

Best Juvenile:
Not Suitable for Family Viewing by Vicki Grant.
Haunted by Barbara Haworth-Attard.
Homicide Related by Norah McClintock.
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones

Best Unpublished First Crime Novel(the Unhanged Arthur)
This Cage of Bones by Pam Barnsley
Confined Space by Deryn Collier
The Corpse Flower by Gloria Ferris
A Bait of Pleasure by Blair Hemstock
Putting Them Down by Peter Kirby

Best Short Story
"Backup" by Rick Mofina
"Prisoner in Paradise" by Dennis Richard Murphy
"Nothing is Easy" by James Petrin
"Time Will Tell" by Twist Phelan
"Clowntown Pajamas" by James Powell

The winners will be announced on May 27

Agatha Awards -

The winners of the Agatha Awards have been announced and they are:-

Best Novel:
The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny

Best First Novel:
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley

Best Short Story:

"On the House," by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Best Nonfiction:
Dame Agatha's Shorts, by Elena Santangelo

Best Children's/Young Adult:
The Hanging Hill, by Chris Grabenstein

China Miéville
has won a third Arthur C Clarke Award with his novel The City and The City. More information can be found in an article in the Guardian. Last month the book won the British Science Fiction Association prize for best novel.

The Short Mystery Fiction Awards
also known as the Derringer Awards have been announced.

The 2010 Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer For Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Lawrence Block.

BEST FLASH STORY (Up to 1,000 Words)
"And Here's To You, Mrs. Edwardson," by Hamilton Waymire (Winner)Published in the webzine *Big Pulp*, November 23, 2009
"Awake" by David Dean Published in EQMM, July 2009
"Gutterball" by Stephen D. Rogers Published in Woman's World Magazine, Sep 7, 2009
"The Right Track" by R.T. Lawton Published in Woman's World Magazine, 10/26/09
"Unplanned" by Libby Cudmore Published in Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, August 2009

BEST SHORT STORY (1,001 - 4,000 Words)
"Identity Theft" by Robert Weibezahl Published in Beat to a Pulp, March 2009
"The Biography of Stoop the Thief" by Steven Torres Published in Uncage Me!, July 2009
"The Hard Sell" by Jay Stringer Published in Beat to a Pulp, 2009
"The Right to Remain Silent" by Debbi Mack Published in Back Alley Webzine, August 2009
"Twas the Night" by Anita Page (Winner)Published in The Gift of Murder, 2009

BEST LONG STORY (4,001 - 8,000 Words)
"A Stab in the Heart" by Twist Phelan Published in EQMM, February
"Famous Last Words" by Doug Allyn (winner) Published in EQMM, November
"Regarding Certain Occurrences in a Cottage at the Garden of Allah" by Robert S. Levinson Published in AHMM, November
"Snow on Bloedkoppie" by Berhard Jaumann (translated from the German by Mary Tannert)Published in EQMM, August
"The Shipbreaker" by Mike Wiecek Published in EQMM, March/April

BEST NOVELETTE (8,001 - 17,500 Words)
"Adjuncts Anonymous" by B.K. Stevens Published in AHMM, June
"Julius Katz" by Dave Zeltserman (Winner)Published in EQMM, September/October
"The Last Drop" by R.W. Kerrigan Published in EQMM, February
"The Pirate's Debt" by Toni L.P. Kelner Published in EQMM, August
"Uncle Brick and Jimmy Kills" by Allan Leverone Published in Mysterical-E

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.