Thursday 30 September 2010

The Swedish Vampire comes to America

I was captivated by John Ajvide Lindqvist’s wonderfully chilling 2007 novel “Let The Right One In”, and the subsequent Swedish film adaptation [with English subtitles] which shared the same title. They say the main difference in Britain and America are our different usages of the English Language, because Lindqvist’s title was truncated for US audiences to ‘Let Me In’ in both novel and the upcoming US cinema adaptation.

I was delighted to attend a private screening in London [thanks to Lucy Ramsey of Quercus Publishing], of the US film version which was attended by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Now normally most of us would not be too excited by US remakes, as many disappoint. The most depressing example [for me] was the terrible mess that was the US-remade version of ‘The Vanishing’ [1993] featuring the usually reliable Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland. The original 1988 French / Dutch Co-Production of ‘The Vanishing’ remains burned into my retinas as one of the bleakest looks at the banality of evil. I had high hopes for the US version as George Sluizer the director of the original was also holding the helm of the US remake. I was very disappointed as the US version was completely forgettable, and ended with a ‘Hollywood’ style action-ending. The original novel and film ‘Spoorloos’ written by Tim Krabbe and Todd Graff [respectively] remains chillingly embedded in my memory, especially the shocking climax. sums it up well –

Spoorloos represents one of the most extraordinary realisations of the psychological thriller captured on film. The heartbreaking, yet horrific ending of the film leaves the spectator in no doubt of their own vulnerability in the battle of human nature against a society in which random acts of madness occur.

On many levels comparisons can be drawn by the obsessive nature of both protagonists. The obsessive curiosity of the boyfriend, Rex (Gene Bervoets), to reveal what has happened to his girlfriend, Saskia (Johanna Ter Steege), who was abducted from a service station on route to a holiday destination, is mirrored by the abductor's, Raymond Lemorne (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), own curiosity of human nature's darker side, and its ability to manifest itself through evil deeds. The abductor's approach and rationale are entirely scientific, thus allowing him to distance himself emotionally from the actual deed. This approach allows him the luxury of maintaining a seemingly happy marriage and family life, unlike the boyfriend, whose very ability to have insight and uncalculated emotions causes his ultimate demise.

Read more

If you’ve not read ‘Spoorloos’ or seen the 1998 film version, then I would urge you to seek them out. But as ever I digress.

So my verdict of the US version ‘Let Me In’?

Well I would give both the Novel and original Swedish film ‘Let The Right One In’ a 4-star rating, and the US version I would state for the record may well be even better than the source material – It’s that good. But I will warn you that the novel like the two films are not for your Grandmother, unless she likes horror stretched across the bleakest of canvases.

Though the US version is ‘reworked’ but this tinkering is carried out expertly, ensuring the bleakness and atmosphere retained. I was initially fearful that the US version would try and remove the bleakness and go for the romantic angle, epitomized by the recent surge of interest in the teenage vampire craze from True Blood, Twilight, or the SF angle of Daybreakers, I am Legend. Instead Matt Reeves, steers the move along the same thematic path of the originals. Though the pedophile angle is reduced, almost eliminated but this is done with great skill, building instead upon the theme of love / friendship between the vampire and her ‘helper’ and what it means to grow old. The film made me jump from my seat several times, as there are real shocks, and the sequences of the vampire in fast-motion staggering. This not a film for the squeamish, and if you are looking for a romantic night out, you’ll be disappointed. The tale is transported from a run-down housing estate in Sweden to a small housing estate in Los Alamos, an equally unsettling backdrop for this tale of teenage alienation. The photography is breathtaking, with the snowy backdrop perfect for seeing the crimson flow when blood is shed, and there is a lot of bloodshed. The ending closes the film in a wonderful loop and makes you think about the vagaries of friendship, and the consequences of those ties.

When I spoke to John Ajvide Lindqvist after the movie he was genuinely delighted with this version. Though he noted, and we discussed the differences from his original novel and the Swedish film [which he loved]. He told me he was delighted with what Matt Reeves and his US team had achieved. He kindly signed a copy of his latest novel Harbour and we chatted about how much we had enjoyed The World Horror Convention in Brighton earlier in the year. This delighted Stephen Jones [who was also present at the screening] - the mastermind behind the event with his organizing team.

Considering the success of Quercus Publishing with Stieg Larsson, I joked with their Chairman, David Potter saying it seems that Quercus seem to specialists in Swedish Literature. He laughed and said “….well you know we have Roslund and Hellstrom joining our stable shortly….but seriously we have plenty of non-Swedish work in the stable”.

I would recommend you explore the dark novels and films of John Ajvide Lindqvist, because his work really challenges your thinking and view of the world – The trailers for both films are below -

Let The Right One In [2009] – Trailer

Let Me In Trailer [2010]

Special Thanks to Lucy Ramsey – Publicity Director at Quercus Publishing for organising the screening and for generously hosting the John Ajvide Lindqvist reception party at WHC2010 in Brighton.

Monday 27 September 2010

Authors on the move - Lindsey Davis and Richard North Patterson

According to the Bookseller, best selling author Lindsey Davis has left her longstanding publishers Century and is joining Hodder & Stoughton, which will reunite her with Oliver Johnson who has been her editor since the first Falco book Silver Pigs was published. Her new book that will be published for Hodder is entitled Master and God and it will be released in March 2012

Publishers Weekly have reported that author Richard North Patterson has changed publishing houses and is now with Scribner. North Patterson was formerly with Holt. His first book with his new publishers is due out in May 2011 and is called The Devil’s Light. It is an international thriller featuring and involving Al Qaeda.

Sunday 26 September 2010

More newsy stuff

According to Galley Cat, Karin Slaughter has signed a new two book deal with Delacorte Press. The two books will feature characters from her best selling Atlanta and Grant County Series. The first novel, Fallen will be published in May 2011.

An excellent article in Saturday’s Guardian (25/9) from Val McDermid about her hero Christopher Marlowe.

James Ellroy whose newest novel is The Hilliker Curse talks to Allen Barra of The Daily Beast (Book Beast) about a writer’s inner demons and his need to once again to write about his mother’s murder. The Telegraph’s Claudia FitzHerbert also reviews The Hilliker Curse.

An interesting essay by Janet Potter on the phenomenon that is Stieg Larsson can be found on The Millions blog. Aside from the essay, what is also fascinating are some of the comments that were posted in response.

On Women on the Web, writer Brooks Riley takes a look at Stieg Larsson and all things Scandinavian.

Whilst not strictly crime fiction but nevertheless an interesting and cool article is an interactive literary map of Manhattan. It does however include The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes, The Marathon Man by William Goldman, Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, All the Flowers are Dying by Lawrence Block, Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming, The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, The Dark Tower Vol VII by Stephen King, The Silent Speaker by Rex Stout, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, The Dortmunder Series by Donald Westlake, The Alienist by Caleb Carr, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen and When the Cats Away by Kinky Friedman.

In the Daily Telegraph Henning Mankell reviews John le Carré’s new novel Our Kind of Traitor and reveals why believes that le Carré is still entitled to his indignation.

Alison Flood reviews in the Guardian Andrew Taylor’s new novel Anatomy of Ghosts and comes to the conclusion that this book is certainly worth spending time with and reading.

Slightly late but still newsworthy. For those of you that have may have forgotten that it was Agatha Christie’s 120th anniversary this September you will no doubt enjoy the Guardian article and also the Google Doodle that was placed on their UK home page on the day of her birthday.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Newsy stuff

Series 3 of Inspector Gently (based on the Alan Hunter books) and staring Martin Shaw is due to be shown on Sunday on BBC1 at 8:30pm. The title of the first episode in the series is “Gently Evil” and sees Gently and his colleague DS John Bacchus investigating a brutal murder of a young woman that has taken place in a coastal village in Northumberland in 1966. More information can be found on the BBC One page

Congratulations to Gregg Hurwitz whose speculative script Expulsion has been picked up by Warner Brothers according to

The Swedish Book Review 2010:1 issue have done a crime fiction special. The full article can be found here. It is the first crime fiction special that has been done since 2001 and they have rounded up a really intriguing top quality list of authors who are still largely unknown. Of course they would be remiss if they did not mention Stieg Larsson and they have. However, what is so good about this article is the fact that they have also included previews of the various works of the authors that have been mentioned.

We blogged earlier about apps being created for Mark Billingham’s Inspector Thorne series which is due to be shown shortly on Sky One. Another author who is also being given the same treatment is Headline’s Martina Cole. Orion have also produced an app for Ian Rankin's Edinburgh and according to his publishers so far it has surpassed 6000 downloads in 4 weeks. All three can be found in the Itunes store.

Congratulations also go to Peter Robinson who was recently been awarded the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize, on Wednesday 22nd October. The full article can be found in the National Post.

According to Publishers Weekly David Baldacci is set to join a group of authors in the second series in the 39 Clues Series. The original series has been a great success with over 1.2 million registered users on the official website The 39 Clues.Com

With the Frankfurt Book Fair due to take place next month a number of books are being taken to the Fair and these include Tom Rob Smith’s new novel via Curtis Brown Literary Agency The Last Adversary which is due to be published in February 2011 by Simon and Schuster.

Newcastle based new crime series by author Mari Hannah which was agreed in a three book deal between Wayne Brookes over at Pan Macmillan and Blake Friedmann. The first book in the series The Murder Wall is due for publication in 2012. Mari Hannah was one of the winners of the 2010 Northern Writers Award.

Geraint Anderson’s two novel deal which has been concluded between Headline and Lizzy Kremer. Anderson better known as “CityBoy” (his memoir sold 180,000 copies in the UK) first novel has been described as a fugitive style caper thriller set in the financial world. The title of the debut is Just Business

Agents Rodger, Coleridge and White are taking Doll Princess by Tom Benn which is due to be published by Cape in the UK. Set in gangland Manchester in the wake of the IRA bombing. it is said to be the first of a planned series. Also being taken to Frankfurt buy them is a Havana based crime novel (also said to be a proposed series) entitled The Beggar’s Opera by Peggy Blair. The Beggar's Opera was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger. It is still on submission in the UK. Rights to Denise Mina’s book The End of the Wasp Season due to be published by Orion in May 2011 will also be at Frankfurt via the Agents. United Agents will be taking with them to Frankfurt a new London based thriller The Burning by Jane Casey. The novel is due to be published in November by Ebury Publishing.

John O’Connell has done a round up in today’s Guardian (25/09) of recent Thrillers These include Jed Rubenfeld’s The Death Instinct, Savages by Don Winslow and Three Seconds, by Roslund & Hellström.

Friday 24 September 2010

The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010

The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010, will take place on Friday October 8th in London and transmitted on ITV3 on Tuesday, October 12th.

The CWA, in partnership with Specsavers, Cactus TV and ITV3, have already announced the finalists for the three top CWA Daggers.

CWA Chairman Tom Harper said:
“The CWA Dagger Awards have always enjoyed huge prestige among crime fiction
fans and authors. The shortlists this year are incredibly strong, from exciting
new talents to established masters, all working at the top of their game. It’s
particularly gratifying to see two authors who've come through the CWA Debut
Dagger for unpublished authors now shortlisted for these major awards.
“We’re thrilled with the way Cactus TV and ITV3 have embraced the Daggers to
bring them to the widest possible audience. Together with the retail promotion,
more people than ever are now getting the chance to discover the best crime
writing in the UK.”
The finalists are:
For the CWA Gold Dagger: Belinda Bauer with Blacklands, S J Bolton with Blood Harvest, George Pelecanos with The Way Home and Karen Campbell with Shadowplay

For the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: Simon Conway with A Loyal Spy, Scott Turow with Innocent, Henry Porter with The Dying Light and Don Winslow with The Gentlemen’s Hour

For the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger: Ryan David Jahn with Acts of Violence, Simon Lelic with Rupture, William Ryan with The Holy Thief and Diane Janes with The Pull of the Moon.

ITV3 are giving you a chance to vote for your favourite TV detective of all time as part of 'The People's Detective' Dagger, which will be presented at The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards in October by host Marcus Brigstocke. Vote here. In the meantime, ITV3 is showing brand new crime and thriller documentaries on Tuesdays at 9pm, focusing on TV's greatest detectives and showcasing shortlisted books for the Crime Writer's Association Dagger.

SHOTS will be covering the event as in previous years. Snapper Karim will be let loose on the unsuspecting audience (well, they might suspect him by now) and if Ayo and I manage to contain him a full report will follow.


Idris Elba has signed to play Dr. Alex Cross in Cross, a new installment of James Patterson's bestselling murder mystery series that will be directed by David Twohy. Kerry Williamson wrote the script. Elba takes over the role originated by Morgan Freeman, who played the sleuth in the Paramount Pictures thrillers, 1997's Kiss the Girls and 2001's Along Came A Spider. Twohy is doing a rewrite.

In the novel, Cross tracks a serial rapist who may have murdered his pregnant wife years before. The film is being produced by Lloyd Levin, Belle Avery and Leopoldo Gout, along with the author and Steve Bowen.

Production will begin in 2011, likely in the spring. The film will be privately financed and distribution is being set. Paramount is a possibility.

The British actor starred as Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire also in films such as RocknRolla, American Gangster, Obsessed and The Losers. He just wrapped the role of Heimdall in Marvel's Thor, and next stars in the heist film Takers.

Elba has also kept his hand in TV. After a memorable arc in NBC's The Office last season, he played the title role in the British detective miniseries drama Luther, and will next be seen in an arc of episodes playing Laura Linney's love interest in the new Showtime series The C Word.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Bank’s TV Aftermath

I have been a long standing reader of Peter Robinson’s award winning detective series featuring Yorkshire Detective Alan Banks. Shots are delighted to see that ITV have commissioned a TV series which airs next week with ‘Aftermath’ –

Produced by Left Bank Pictures and starring Stephen Tompkinson as DCI Alan Banks, the two x 60 minute episodes will go into production in Yorkshire at the end of April 2010.
Andy Harries and Francis Hopkinson with executive produce DCI Banks: Aftermath with James Hawes (Enid, The 39 Steps, Merlin) directing.

Written in 2002 and considered Peter’s breakthrough novel in the UK, Aftermath tells the story of an ordinary house in an ordinary street, which is about to become infamous. When two young police constables are sent to the house following a report of a domestic disturbance, they stumble upon a truly horrific scene. The wife, Lucy Payne lies on the verge of death from a head-wound and her husband Terry crouches in the cellar, surrounded by a scene which will shock to the core and make a truly lasting impression on their lives and careers.

Consequently, the identity of a serial killer has finally been revealed. But his capture is only the beginning of a shocking investigation that will test DCI Alan Banks to the absolute limit. Working alongside Banks (Stephen Tompkinson) for the first time is ambitious and pretty, DS Annie Cabbot, who is a hard-working addition to his team.

Commissioned by ITV’s Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes, DCI Banks: Aftermath is Peter’s 12th book in the series featuring fiction’s top cop. It will be adapted for ITV1 by Robert Murphy. In fact, Peter’s 20th book in the series, published by Hodder and Stoughton, is due for release later this year.
“DCI Banks: Aftermath is a classy, contemporary thriller and we’re delighted to have commissioned a two-part pilot from Left Bank Pictures”. said Sally. “Banks is brooding and melancholic with more than his fair share of baggage. Stephen is a really versatile actor and it’s great to see him in a darker role.”

“The Inspector Banks Mysteries are incredibly popular with crime thriller readers across the globe,” added Executive Producer, Francis Hopkinson. “It’s very important we do justice to Peter’s reputation for writing and creating absorbing characters and intriguing plotline. As we go into production, we’re determined DCI Banks: Aftermath will be produced to a very high quality.”

Read More here

The first episode of the two-part drama based on Peter Robinson’s novel Aftermath is due to air on ITV in the UK on September 27 at 9:00 pm and an interview with Stephen Tompkinson [who plays Inspector Alan Banks] is available here

Photo (c) 2007 Ali Karim "Peter Robinson with Stephen King" with thanks to Kerry Hood of Hodder and Stoughton Publishing

Saturday 18 September 2010

Newsy Stuff

Excellent article in the Independent by Val McDermid on the progress in lesbian fiction. The full article can be found here. Val McDermid’s latest book Trick of the Dark has just been published by Little Brown. It is her twenty-sixth novel (including two collections of short stories) and her sixth standalone book. Val McDermid will also be on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday talking to Mariella Frostrup about her new book at 4pm.

Simon Scarrow best known for his historical roman military series is branching out according to Scarrow is to produce for Puffin a series of books for boys 10 years and above. The series will be known as Gladiator and the first book in the series Gladiator: Fight for Freedom will be published by Puffin in February 2011. The full press notice can be found here.

According to the Telegraph up to 10 of Jeffrey Archer’s novels will soon be seen on the big screen after he agreed and signed a deal with Canadian Businessman Jeffrey Steiner who bought the rights. The contract covers the international film, television and digital rights. It is not the first time that Archer’s books have been televised. In 1990 his first novel Not a Penny More, Not a Penny was the basis of a television mini-series and First Among Equals his parliamentary thriller was in 1986 turned into a 10-part drama by ITV.

Don Winslow is according to Jiro Kimura at the Gumshoe website the 2010 recipient of the Maltese Falcon Award which is given out by the Maltese Falcon Society of Japan. The award is for the best hard-boiled/private eye novel published in Japan in the previous year.” The 2010 award was given to Don Winslow for his novel The Year of the Dog. (Thanks to the wonderful Janet Rudolph of Mystery Fanfare for the information!) Congratulations to Don Winslow. Don Winslow will be Toastmaster at Crimefest in 2011.

Looking for a blog that will give you an insight into all things crime fiction related? Then look no further! Best Colleges have rounded up what they consider to be the best 50 blogs for mystery readers covering news, reviews and publishing, bookshops, true crime, authors and online fiction. Of course, yours truly is on the list and in the top 5. Congratulations to all of those who made the list. The full list can be found here.

Friday 17 September 2010

Agatha Christie and Harper Collins in global new deal!

HarperCollins, the English language publisher of Agatha Christie in the UK and the Commonwealth since 1926, now becomes her exclusive worldwide English language publisher. The deal was done on 15 September 2010 on what would have been the 120th anniversary of her birthday. This is the full press release from HarperCollins. The first Agatha Christie book to be published by HarperCollins was the Murder of Roger Ackroyd in 1926.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

The Electronic David Morrell

Last week David Morrell Published an interesting essay at his website about the current state of publishing, with what challenges the economy and modern technology are posing. Morrell is nothing but a powerhouse; firstly co-founder of International Thriller Writers with Gayle Lynds, and earlier this year co-editing ITW’s 100 Thriller Novels, so it was little surprise to see Morrell joining the electronic bugle call. The amusing thing is that it was thanks to Morrell that I got an IPAD, and have started reading on a screen.

So when one of the world’s greatest thriller writers enters the electronic arena, I suspect many will follow, especially readers eager to sample his out-of-print novels -

David Morrell, New York Times Bestselling Author, Makes Electronic Editions of 10 Books, Including a New Thriller, “The Naked Edge,” and the Classic “First Blood” Available Exclusively in the Kindle Store

Kindle and Kindle app customers can now download and start reading 10 books—6 of them previously out of print—including one new novel, in less than 60 seconds today announced that internationally bestselling author David Morrell is releasing a new, never-before-published, full-length thriller, “The Naked Edge,” along with nine of his previously published books, in electronic book format exclusively in the Kindle Store. This is the first time any of these titles have been available electronically. These Kindle editions will offer additional content for many of the books, including new introductions and photographs that reveal insights into the making of these modern classics.

“Publishing these 10 books in the Kindle Store is a great opportunity to explore how electronic publishing enables me to give my readers additional, unique content,” said Morrell. “Available at $9.99 or less, I hope that my fans will be able to rediscover their favorite titles, and that new readers will have the chance to enjoy my books on their Kindles. I’m especially excited about publishing my new thriller, ‘The Naked Edge’ in digital format, exclusively for Kindle.”
Morrell is the co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization, a three-time Bram Stoker award- winner, and recipient of ITW’s ThrillerMaster award in recognition of his legendary career and outstanding contributions to the thriller genre. His first novel “First Blood,” still in print after 38 years, became the successful Rambo film franchise.

“It’s exciting to be able to make the work of an accomplished author like David Morrell available to the millions of Kindle readers around the world,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “Both his longtime fans and new readers alike will enjoy these 10 books, now available exclusively in the Kindle Store.”

These 10 Morrell books will be electronically available exclusively in the Kindle Store for one year:
“The Naked Edge” (a new, never published, high-action thriller with numerous photo inserts
“First Blood”
“Blood Oath” (with a new Introduction)
“The Brotherhood of the Rose”
“The Fraternity of the Stone”
“The Covenant of the Flame” (with a new Introduction and photo inserts)
“The Totem” ” (both the markedly different U.S. and U.K. versions available together for the first time)
“The Protector”
“Last Reveille”

More Information available from

Thursday 9 September 2010

News about Stephen King, Mark Billingham and David Hewson

According to Stephen King’s website, NBC Universal have released an in-depth press release (that can be found on the website) detailing the overall plans in relation to Dark Tower. Stephen King’s Dark Tower is not only being turned into a film but is also due to become a television franchise. The team behind the Oscar winning film “A Beautiful Mind” are behind the project. Ron Howard will direct both the first film and first season of the TV show, all of which will be written by Akiva Goldsman.

According to the Bookseller, Little Brown are due to launch an app for Mark Billingham's DI Tom Thorne crime novels. The app will be available free for users of iPhone and Android handsets from 7th October and coincides with a new six-part TV series, "Thorne” that is due to be shown on Sky.

David Hewson’s new novel The Plague Doctor has been bought by the Senior Commissioning Editor at Macmillan. The Plague Doctor is set in Venice where the city’s past and present dark side is contrasted alongside the influence of its famous carnival.

Wednesday 8 September 2010

CRIMINAL ACTS September/Robin Jarossi

Law & Order: UK

Law & Order may have been gunned down in its home town of New York in May, but its London cousin is back for a third season, looking sharp and ready for action.

After 20 years and 451 shows, NBC pulled the trigger on the original for faltering ratings, but ITV is happy with 5.9 million viewers for its spin-off. Judging by the opening episode, Broken, a hard-hitting story of a child’s murder with echoes of the James Bulger case, Law & Order: UK will be one of the channel’s highlights this autumn.

The two detective sergeants, Brooks and Devlin (ex-Corrie man Bradley Walsh and Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber), are called to the grim scene of a derelict council flat containing the dead body of a six-year-old boy.

The murderer – a garage worker, or two young girls?
Child murder is obviously never a subject to be treated lightly, and the show emphasises how disturbing a moment this is for all the officers attending. ‘Just when you think you’ve seen it all,’ Brooks says.

The two investigators soon suspect that two older girls may be behind the boy’s killing, CCTV footage showing them leading him to the flat. Or could it be a guy who works in a garage, as the girls indicate?

Law & Order: UK works because it has all the major ingredients right. Bradley Walsh is not the greatest thesp in the world, but this part fits him beautifully. Ex-alky Brooks is the copper’s copper, the one who gives the show its moral ballast.

Ben Daniels, Harriet Walter and Jamie Bamber
Jamie Bamber is good as his foil. Harriet Walter (Broken Lines, Atonement) is totally believable as the guvnor not to be messed with, while on the prosecution side, Ben Daniels (The State Within, Cutting It) has a terrific scene here where he rips into the callous mother of one of the girls.

The format, with episodes split between the law and the order, worked well for all those years in the States, and ITV haven’t tried to fix it. And finally, the stories (borrowed from the originals too) can be compelling.

Broken is a powerful one that probes a divisive issue. If a child commits a serious crime, who is truly responsible – the child or those who have raised it? The tabloids bay for blood and the Director of Children on trial Public Prosecutions says, “The public don’t care about treating killers.” Meanwhile, the director of Crown Prosecutors, George Castle (actor Bill Paterson), demands to know why a child would kill another – not usually a priority for the courts.

With its careerist barristers, legal horse-trading and often ambiguous endings, Law & Order: UK is absorbing prime-time viewing.

Law & Order: UK, ITV1, Thursdays from 9 Sept, 9pm

Sherlock and Luther will return

As the Beeb announced the return of three new 90-minute adventures for Holmes and Watson, the creators of the hit revamp, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, were gently teasing fans: ‘We've been overwhelmed by the warmth of response to our new Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and can't wait to take them on three new adventures next year. There'll be baffling new puzzles, old friends and new enemies – whether on two or four legs. And we might well be seeing the cold master of logic and reason unexpectedly falling. But in love? Or over a precipice? Who can tell?’

Having launched its Holmes re-boot in the fairly odd month of July, when everyone’s on their hols, the BBC clearly is now sure it has a hit on its hands and will bring Sherlock back as part of its prized autumn line-up in 2011.

Luther creator and crime novelist Neil Cross promises the planned pair of two-hour specials about his troubled detective will ‘be even more intense’.

Which is hard to believe, seeing as the ‘near-genius’ copper played by Idris Elba found his estranged wife’s body, shot by his corrupt colleague, who in turn was shot by the ‘genius’ killer Alice, with whom Luther had somehow bonded…

And watch out for…

You wait years for a copy-cat serial killer in the East End, and two come along.

Having seen off a devotee of Jack the Ripper while watched by nine-million viewers in 2009, Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton will be returning to ITV this autumn in Whitechapel – this time pursuing a killer with a taste for the murders of the Krays.

DCI Banks: Aftermath, on the same channel, stars Stephen Tompkinson as DCI Alan Banks, in a two-part drama, adapted from the novel by award-winning crime writer Peter Robinson. It tells the story of an ordinary house in an ordinary street which is about to become infamous.

For 2011, ITV have three new crime sagas in production: an Anthony Horowitz story called Injustice, starring James Purefoy; Scott and Bailey with Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp as homicide detectives with the Major Incident Team in Manchester (written by Sally Wainwright); and The Jury, written by Oscar-nominated Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Damned United).

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – the best-seller by Kate Summerscale – is also getting the ITV treatment. The two-hour drama about an infamous Victorian country house murder will star Paddy Considine (Red Riding Trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum) in the lead role of Inspector Jonathan Whicher, and will be adapted by Neil McKay (Mo, See No Evil: The Moors Murders).

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Newsy Stuff

According to Booktrade Maxim Jakubowski, is due to curate a number of Italian Literary events at the Italian Cultural Institute in London. There will be 8 events with the first event taking place on 27 September 2010 between Maxim Jakubowski and Sarah Dunant. More information can be found here

Congratulations go to Garry Disher who was awarded the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction for Wyatt. It is the second time that he has won the award. The award was presented at The Melbourne Writers' Festival on 4 September 2010. More information can be found at Kiwicrime blogspot - and The Age (which includes the results of the other Ned Kelly Awards).

According to the Bookseller – Portsmouth will be launching a new Portsmouth bookfest this autumn. What will be of interest to crime fiction readers will be the “Crime and the City” event that will also be held with crime writers Simon Brett, Pauline Rowson, June Hampson, Peter Lovesey and Graham Hurley along side a number of forensic scientists. The event is due to take place at Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2DX
Session 1: 10am - 12 noon: Simon Brett, June Hampson and Pauline Rowson
Session 2: 1pm-3pm: Graham Hurley, Peter Lovesey and Pauline Rowson. Contact Portsmouth Central Library for further information.

Whether we like it or not Stieg Larsson continues to be in the news. According to the Bookseller Stieg Larsson’s books hold the top three spots for audio downloads.

It seems that Dan Brown may be one author that readers do not want to keep on their bookshelves. According to the Daily Telegraph Dan Brown’s books are the most unwanted of any author.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Newsy stuff

According to the Bookseller Richard and Judy have picked The Snowman by Jo Nesbø (Vintage) as one of it’s eight books as part of the re-launch of the Richard and Judy new book club, which is exclusive to W H Smith.

Voting has opened for the book video awards. Now in its third year this year’s theme is "Crime & Thriller" and the National Film and Television School (NFTS). student finalists are: James Griffiths (Blood’s a Rover by James Ellroy); Chris Moon and Yasmin al Naib (The Snowman by Jo Nesbø), Nele Hecht (Blood Harvest by S J Bolton) and Tanel Toom (Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason). The videos can be viewed and voted for at Foyles Book Video Awards 2010and the Bookseller Book Box from Friday. The winner will be announced on 15th October.

According to the Bookseller crime writer and scriptwriter Neil Cross is to write three Luther spin-off novels for Simon & Schuster. The first of the novel will be a prequel and tell the tale of what happened to Luther and the case that drove him to the end. The first book will be entitled Luther: The Calling.

Book Event at Foyles London

We are delighted to be alerted to a very interesting series of book events, featuring rare appearances by P D James and Philip Kerr among many other top class authors, so you should mark your diaries accordingly for Saturday 11 September and Sunday 12 September

Brought to you by the Independent Alliance - with P D James, Geoff Dyer, Emily Woof, Philip Kerr & many more…

It may sound like something from Star Wars, but really the Independent Alliance is a network of independent publishers, joined together to ensure their extraordinarily diverse output reaches the widest audience possible. Publishing everything from internationally best-selling crime-writers, to Booker Prize winners, to those undiscovered gems only an independent house can unearth, this weekend they bring to Foyles a vast array of authors for two full days of literary events - including discussions on counterculture and how to write non-fiction, and speed-dating Indie-style. Join us for one or both days, as we celebrate independence in all its forms.

Progamme Saturday, 11 September 11am – 7pm

11am: Publishing Indie in a Digital Marketplace
Hannah Griffiths (Faber), Dan Franklin (Canongate) and Jonathan Ruppin from Foyles
What does it mean to be an independent publisher (and bookshop) in the era of e-books and Amazon? Are indies actually better placed to capture the digital market than their larger counterparts? Griffiths, Franklin and Ruppin discuss in our first panel of the day.

12.15pm-1pm: Crossing the Divide
Mick Jackson (Faber), Emma Craigie (Short Books), Amanda Smyth (Serpent’s Tail), & Margaret Elphinstone (Canongate)
Creative writing courses often teach us to ‘write what you know.’ But what about those authors who write the exact opposite? This panel examines the plusses and perils of writing from a dramatically different perspective.

1pm – 2pm: Break

2pm – 3.15pm: Crime Time
PD James (Faber), Philip Kerr (Quercus), Adam Creed (Faber), & Elizabeth Wilson (Serpent’s Tail)
The popularity of crime novels never seems to wane, but what is it really that captivates us so about crime? Is there a winning formula for the ultimate whodunit, or is any setting, any character ripe for murder and intrigue? Our three distinguished crime writers discuss.

3.45pm – 4.45pm: Counterculture
Barry Miles (Atlantic), Paul Willetts (Serpent’s Tail), Rob Chapman (Faber), & Max Schaefer (Granta)
A writer’s role is to take us to other worlds, but it’s something else altogether when those worlds involve the realities of seedy Soho, rock and roll binges or British neo-Nazis. Our panellists discuss what it means to enter these unfriendly underworlds.

Progamme Sunday, 12 September 11am – 6pm

11am – 12pm: Speed-authoring Brunch
Max Schaefer (Granta), Alex Preston (Faber), Jean Baggott (Icon), Aifric Campbell (Serpent’s Tail)
Speed-dating is painful. Speed-authoring is not. 4 tables, 4 authors, 15 minutes each. Start the day over coffee with some of the alliance’s star writers.
This event is reserved separately and has limited capacity – please email to reserve a place.

12.30pm – 1.15pm: History Girls
Helen Castor & Lucy Worsley (Faber), Lisa Hilton (Atlantic), Kitty Ferguson (Icon), Rachel Hewitt (Granta)
We wouldn’t dream of naming names, but there seem to be a lot of men writing about history these days. Just to balance the scales (and then some), we bring you the history girls.

1.45-2.30: Me, Me, Me
Rupert Thomson (Granta) & Jean Baggott (Icon) & Chris Mullin tbc (Serpent’s Tail)
Flannery O’Connor once said that any one who survived childhood has enough material to write about for the rest of their days. But surely it isn’t all fodder for memoir. Our panellists look at what of our lives can be transferred to the page and what, if anything, is best left unwritten.

2.30-3.30 – BREAK

3.30 – 4.15pm – Debuts
Anne Peile (Serpent’s Tail), Emily Woof (Faber), Deborah Kay Davies (Canongate), Alice de Smith (Atlantic) & Laura Barton (Quercus)
The position of the first-time novelist is arguably unenviable. These debuts go through the ups and downs of getting your first book into print.

4.45 – 5.30: How to Write Non-fiction
Geoff Dyer (Canongate), Andrea Gillies (Short), Colin Evans (Icon), and Joe Moran (Profile)
Whether it’s a historic locale or a mother without memory, a truly gruesome crime or the banalities of daily existence, these authors have chronicled real life in unbelievable ways.

Tickets: £15 one day / £25 both days, available on
The Gallery at Foyles

Photo (c) 2009 Ali Karim -
Mike Stotter, Janet Laurence and Ali Karim celebrate Philip Kerr's CWA Ellis Peters Award