Sunday 27 February 2011

Newsy Stuff

Sify News have an excellent article by Peter James the in coming Chair of the CWA on the way in which he wants eliminate the stigma of trash associated with crime fiction and this includes taking on the Booker Prize if need be.

With the result of The Oscars® looming on the horizon, the LA Times has a brilliant article by author Daniel Woodrell who states the film adaptation of his novel Winter’s Bone is faithful to the novel.

According to the Telegraph and the Independent John Le Carré has made a gift of his literary archive to The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library, including a first manuscript for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which reveals how different the book could have been. There is also an article with him in the Independent as well.

Most people know that if you are looking for a genre that looks at the social implications of what is going on around us on a daily basis then one has to look no further than crime fiction especially contemporary crime fiction. Could however, Scandinavian Crime Fiction teach Socialism? This is the topic that is discussed in an article in the Guardian.

Mark Lawson has an interesting article on the return of McKenzie and Genaro in Dennis Lehane’s latest novel Moonlight Mile.

Also in the Guardian, Alison Flood takes a gander at Michael Koryta’s excellent supernatural thriller Cypress House.

Who actually did write the novel "Birds" which was the bases of the superb Alfred Hitchcock film? Chris Fowler writes an interesting article under Invisible Ink: No 66 - Frank Baker and looks at who actually wrote the story on which Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film Birds was set.

Barry Forshaw has a very good article in The Independent on Elmore Leonard and it includes a review of his latest book Djibouti.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Copyright storm troops to court!

The Stormtrooper helmet case to be heard at The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom.

Finally the long running saga as to who owns the intellectual property rights to the famed Star Wars stormtroopers helmet has finally made its way to The United Kingdom Supreme Court in London.

1) Lucasfilm Limited, 2) Star Wars Productions Limited, 3) Lucasfilm Entertainment Co Limited V 1) Andrew Ainsworth, 2) Shepperton Design Studios Limited

Issue: (1) What copyright protection is provided by English law to three-dimensional works (“Issue 1”). (2) Whether a claim that US copyright law has been infringed is justiciable in England (“Issue 2”).

Facts: During the preparation for the first Star Wars film a clay model of a helmet worn by stormtroopers was created. The First Respondent was asked to produce a final version made in plastic based on the clay model and various images, and he did so incorporating his own improvements using sculpting techniques. The First Respondent has admittedly made and sold copies of the helmet and armour worn by the stormtrooper characters. The appeal concentrates purely on the reproductions of the helmet design. It is accepted that the First Respondent has, in the eyes of US law, infringed various US copyrights owned by the Appellants. It is not
accepted that the US law should be enforced in the English courts.

The case is to be heard by five of the Supreme Court Justices and is listed to be heard for 3 days from 7 March 2011. The hearing is open to the public and will be heard in Courtroom 1.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Join the BBC and Jo Nesbø for World Book Club

Want to be in the audience for this excellent World Book Club event?

Voted the best Norwegian crime novel ever, The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø delves into neo-Nazi activity in Norway and ends up re-examining a crime that had its roots in the battlefields of the Eastern Front in the Second World War.

The BBC World Book Club is a unique radio programme that brings readers from around the world together with their favourite writers.

If you would like to put a question to Jo Nesbø about The Redbreast please email production at
Recording at Maida Vale Studios, London on Monday 7 March. Doors open at 3.30pm. To apply for tickets, visit the BBC Tickets Website or call the BBC Ticket Line on 0370 901 1227

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Newsy Stuff - Good News and Bad News

The Good News

There will be a number of well-known Russian authors attending the London Book Fair later on this year. According to the press release (via Booktrade info) The programme will feature 49 authors, poets, critics and academics, representing Russia and will be bringing the best in contemporary Russian writing and publishing to London in April and through a series of high-profile trade and public events will foster mutual understanding between Russia and the UK through literature and help facilitate long-term partnerships. Amongst those due to attend will be Boris Akunin. He will be London Book Fair's Market Focus Author of the Day on Tuesday 12th April. Boris Akunin is one of the most widely read authors in Russia and his Erast Fandorian novels have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone.

The Los Angeles Times have announced the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalists.

The authors in the Mystery and Thriller category are –

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (William Morrow)

Faithful Place by Tana French (Viking)

I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

Collusion by Stuart Neville (SoHo Press)

City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur Books/A Thomas Dunne Book)

The full list of nominees can be found here.

The 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be awarded April 29, 2011, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building.

No Exit Press have according to the Bookseller acquired The Killer is Dying by James Sallis. The book follows three characters: a hitman on his final job, a detective caring for his ill wife and a young boy living on the streets, and how their lives are linked despite them never meeting. Sallis is also the author of the acclaimed novel Drive which has been made into a film featuring Ryan Gosling and is due to be released in September 2011.

According to the Bookseller Headline have acquired The God of Gotham, a novel set in 19th-century New York. Set in 1845 during the establishment of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the potato famine in Ireland, the novel follows a fledgling police officer's investigation into a murderer intent on fanning the flames of anti-Irish immigrant sentiment.

Headline’s fiction publisher at large Martin Fletcher has also acquired two sets of acquisitions. The first is a two-book deal by Cityboy author Geraint Anderson. His debut novel Just Business will be published in June 2011. The second is two novels by thriller writer Steven Dunne. Dunne is moving from HarperCollins as part of the deal. The first book entitled Deity, is about five college students who appear to have committed suicide. It will be published in May 2012.

Orion have launched a new imprint. The new imprint to be known as Swordfish will publish a wide range of commercial non-fiction as well as a small selection of fiction. The fiction selection will be aiming for "big, distinctive thrillers". The first fiction title will be Spartan by Matthew Dunn, a début thriller by the ex-MI6 field operative.

Gordon Ferris’s novel The Hanging Shed has received some rave reviews on its early release as an ebook.

However, according to The Daily Record some readers are having problem with The Hanging Shed because they can’t understand the Ayrshire and Glaswegian slang in the novel.

And the Bad news ---

Is that the BBC have decided to axe the excellent crime series Zen. According to the Guardian BBC 1 Controller Danny Cohen has decided not to renew the series despite the excellent reviews that it received. Not sure what this is about as Zen was one of the better crime dramas to be shown earlier this year. It is a shame and I hope that this decision will be reviewed.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Newsy Stuff

Huge congratulations to Sue Grafton who has received the Lifetime achievement award at Malice Domestic and Janet Rudolph who has been awarded the Poirot Award.

The nominations for the 2011 Dilys Awards have been announced by the
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. The Dilys Award has been given annually since 1992 by IMBA to the mystery titles of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling. The Dilys Award is named in honor of Dilys Winn, the founder of the first specialty bookseller of mystery books in the United States.

The winner will be announced during this year's Left Coast Crime.

The nominations are:-

Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill (Soho Press)
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur Books)
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane (William Morrow)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Once a Spy by Keith Thomson (Doubleday)
Savages by Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)

The Public Lending Right (PLR) have released the list of the most borrowed authors between July 2009 and June 2010. Children’s authors dominate the top 10 and only three adult authors are amongst them. All the adult authors are American. However, what does come across is that the UK adult borrowing public read a lot of gritty crime and thrillers with all of the top 10 most borrowed books coming from this genre. Unsurprisingly US authors dominate with Lee Child and Ian Rankin the only two British authors in the top 10. The UK’s most borrowed book was Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.

Other crime writers in the top 400 include MC Beaton at 13, Clive Cussler and Alexander McCall Smith at 15 and 16 respectively, Ian Rankin at 18, Michael Connelly at 22, Tess Gerritsen at 26. Positions 32 to 34 are Patricia Cornwell, Agatha Christie and Jeffrey Deaver. 37 and 38 are Harlan Coben and John Grisham. 46,47 and 49 are Jonathan Kellerman, David Baldacci and JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts). Ruth Rendell is at 51, whilst Martina Cole comes in at 53. Positions 56-60 belong to Val McDermid, Dick Francis Quintin Jardine, Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill respectively. Henning Mankell, Karin Slaughter and Chris Ryan are at 69 to 71. Other authors on the list include Robber Goddard, Mark Billingham, Kathy Reichs, Karen Rose, Anne Perry, Robert B Parker, Peter James, Janet Evanovich, John Connolly, Nicci French, PC Doherty, PD James, Simon Kernick, John Harvey, Donna Leon, Linda fairstein, Sue Grafton, Stieg Larsson, Michael Jecks, Linwood Barclay, James Lee Burke, R J Ellroy, Robert Crais, Lindsey Davis and Mo Hayder to name a few.

The Stieg Larsson saga is one that will continue to go on for quite sometime. An article in the New Yorker wonders why people love the Stieg Larsson novels

Another article on Stieg Larsson can be found in the Canadian magazine The Walrus. Paul Wilson writes about how he found Stieg Larsson’s Inner sanctum.

Slate also have an article by Sasha Watson where she discusses the forthcoming memoirs of Steig Larsson’s long-time partner Eva Gabrielsson. The memoir entitled (in English) There Are Things I Want You to Know" about Stieg Larsson and Me has recently been published in France and Sweden. The English language version is due to be published in June by Seven Stories Press.

According to an article in the Guardian 15 unpublished short stories by Dashiell Hammett have been found and one of them is due to be published in The Strand Magazine. A boon to fans of Dashiell Hammett and it is hoped that one day all the stories will be published as a collection.

If you have not yet stopped over at the Mullholland Books website and started reading Black Lens the short story collaboration between Ken Bruen and Russell Ackerman, then you must do so at once! Excellent story which is well worth making the time and effort to read.

Channel 4 and More4’s The TV Book Club will be featuring exclusive interview between Val McDermid and Forensic Anthropologist Professor Sue Black. The interview can be seen this Sunday 20th February at 7.30pm on More4 and on Monday 21st February at 12.30pm on Channel 4.

Films, films and more films!

According to Australian Broadcasting News Peter Temple’s award winning crime novel Truth is coming to the big screen. The full article can be found here. In 2010 Peter Temple won the Miles Franklin Award for Truth. It was the first work of genre fiction to ever win the prestigious prize.

It seems that Poe is all the rage at the moment! According to Inside TV ABC has ordered a crime drama pilot where Edger Allen Poe solves mysteries.

According to The Wrap Louis Bayard’s Edgar Alan Poe novel The Pale Blue Eye is also due to be adapted into a film. Crazy Hearts director Scott Cooper is to direct the film. In The Pale Blue Eye a young Poe acts as a detective at West Point.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Dreamworks have acquired an original screen play script Voices from the Dead featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini from Michael J Straczynski. It is a fictional account of the two where they team up with a psychic to solve a set of murders in 1920's New York.

The Hollywood Reporter is also reporting that director Lasse Hallstrom is to direct his first ever thriller. It is to be the adaptation of Lars Kepler’s best selling crime novel The Hypnotist. The Hypnotist is the first of a planned series of eight novels, two of which have been published, following the fraught-filled murder investigations of Stockholm detective Joona Linna.

It looks as if 2011 is Michael Connelly year!

Watch an excellent but brief interview with Michael Connelly discussing some aspects of writing the book, and the film adaptation, in a brief but interesting YouTube piece below

Here in the UK on St Patrick’s Day the film tie in mass paperback for The Lincoln Lawyer will be released to coincide with the film which is released on 18 March. Barely a month later on 14 April the latest Micky Haller series The Fifth Witness will be released. Early in July the mass paperback version of The Reversal will be released. This will be followed 3 months later with The Drop!

According to Josh Bazell’s award winning novel Beat the Reaper is due to be directed by D J Caruso for 20th Century Fox. In Beat the Reaper a former mobster turned doctor has his word turned upside down when his past comes back to haunt him.

Friday 18 February 2011

Agatha Award Nominations!

The Agatha Award nominees have been announced! The awards will be given out at Malice Domestic 23, which will be held April 29-May 1, 2011 at the Hyatt, Bethesda, MD. The Agatha Awards honor the "traditional mystery." That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie as well as others

Best Novel:
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mira)
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (St. Martin's Paperbacks)

Best First Novel:
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames (Berkley)
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden (Signet)
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower (Five Star/Gale)
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill (Wildside Press)
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff (Midnight Ink)

Best Non-fiction:
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (Penguin)
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (Harper)
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Stephen Doyle & David A. Crowder (For Dummies)
Have Faith in Your Kitchen by Katherine Hall Page (Orchises Press)
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Best Short Story:
"Swing Shift" by Dana Cameron, Crimes by Moonlight (Berkley)
"Size Matters" by Sheila Connolly, Thin Ice (Level Best Books)
"Volunteer of the Year" by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin' (Wildside Press)
"So Much in Common" by Mary Jane Maffini, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - Sept./Oct. 2010
"The Green Cross" by Liz Zelvin, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2010

Best Children's/Young Adult:
Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton Children's)
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin)
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Candlewick)
Virals by Kathy Reichs (Razorbill)
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith (Atheneum)
The winners will be announced at the 2010 Agatha Awards banquet to be held on Saturday, April 30, 2011.

Monday 14 February 2011

Crime in the Fast Lane!

Amy Myers along with her husband Jim who is a car aficionado have started a new series featuring car detective Jack Colby. The first book in the series is called Classic in the Barn and is due to be published by Severn House by 25 February. The first short story featuring him was published in the February issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

When Jack Colby glimpses a 1938 Lagonda V12 lying uncared for in a Kentish country barn, he just has to have a closer look – which brings him face to face with its angry owner, Polly Davies, former TV presenter and widow of car dealer Mike. Is it the car or Polly that captivates Jack’s heart? No question, he has to find out more about both.

Jack’s enquiries are abruptly cut short when some days later he finds Polly’s murdered body lying outside the barn. Convinced that the Lagonda is somehow involved, he is determined to bring her killer to justice.

But Jack drives in the fast lane – and hazard lights are always flashing

Amy and Jim have a classic car of their own a robin-egg blue Karmann Ghia, which was immortalised on screen recently in a brief appearance in a Dulux advertisement.

Look out for the new series it is bound to be enjoyed by those who love cars!

Sunday 13 February 2011

Ariana Franklin (Part 2)

Shots last month blogged about the sad death of Ariana Franklin. Her husband the film critic Barry Norman has written a loving tribute to her in the Daily Mail which can be found here. It is a very heartfelt article which despite the topic does bring a smile to your face and will ensure that she is remembered by many.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Barry Awards 2011 Nominations

Shots are delighted to announce Deadly Pleasures 2011 Barry Award Nominations Shortlist. Voting is carried out by Deadly Pleasures readers, with winners announced at this years Bouchercon in St. Louis

We toast all the nominated and hope to see you in St Louis this autumn.

Best Novel
NOWHERE TO RUN, C. J. Box (Putnam)
THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
MOONLIGHT MILE, Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
BURY YOUR DEAD, Louise Penny (Minotaur)
SAVAGES, Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)

Best First Novel
GUTSHOT STRAIGHT, Lou Berney (Morrow)
ROGUE ISLAND, Bruce DeSilva (Forge)
THE POACHER’S SON, Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
SHERLOCKIAN, Graham Moore (Twelve)
THE HOLY THIEF, William Ryan (Minotaur)
ONCE A SPY, Keith Thomson (Doubleday)

Best British Novel
STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
BLOOD HARVEST, S. J. Bolton (Bantam Press)
THE WHISPERERS, John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
THE WOODCUTTER, Reginald Hill (HarperCollins)
THREE SECONDS, Roslund & Hellstrom (Quercus)
FOURTH DAY, Zoe Sharp (Allison & Busby)

Best Paperback Original
THE HANGING TREE, Bryan Gruley (Touchstone)
THE DEAD LIE DOWN, Sophie Hannah (Penguin)
EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS, Julie Hyzy (Berkley)
FEVER AT THE BONE, Val McDermid (Harper)
THE RHETORIC OF DEATH, Judith Rock (Berkley)

Best Thriller
13 HOURS, Deon Meyer (Grove Atlantic)
AMERICAN ASSASSIN, Vince Flynn (Atria)
THE BRICKLAYER, Noah Boyd (Harper)
BOLT ACTION, Charles Charters (Hodder U.K.)
ON TARGET, Mark Greaney (Jove)
THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, Daniel Silva (Putnam)

Best Short Story
Mitch Alderman, "Requiem for Antlers" (AHMM Jan.-Feb. 2010)
Robert Barnard, "Family Values" (EQMM Feb. 2010)
Caroline Benton, "The Body in the Dunes (EQMM Jan. 2010)
Loren D. Estleman, "The List" (EQMM May 2010)
Terence Faherty, "The Seven Sorrows" (EQMM Mar.-Apr. 2010)
Ellen Larson, "When the Apricots Bloom" (AHMM July-Aug. 2010)

Notes about the Barry Awards
In 1997, the editorial staff of Deadly Pleasures decided that since one of the magazine's stated goals was to search out and report on the best works being published in the field of crime fiction each year, it would be a natural fit to present awards for excellence. Then came the dilemma of what to name the award. At the time all associated with the magazine were still reeling from the untimely death of Barry Gardner, who was arguably the best fan reviewer on the planet, so it was decided to name the award after him so as to keep his memory alive (not unlike what Bouchercon and its Anthony awards have done for writer/critic Anthony Boucher, who also suffered an untimely and early death). For a biography of Barry Gardner, click on his name above.

Some have asked me from time to time, what are submission guidelines for the Barry Award. It is pretty simple: get us a copy of the book or short story and hope one of us reviews it. Our staff doesn't even attempt to read everything. We try to keep our ears to the ground and read what people are talking about. And from time to time we find Barry Award nominees by our own idiosyncratic reading. In short, we don't have an organized reading program whereby all members of the nominating committee read the same books. We choose people on the committee who read widely and try to find consensus among them. It isn't perfect, but no system is.

Photo of Opening Awards [Barry and Macavity Awards] at Bouchercon 2010 San Francisco (c) 2010 Ali Karim

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Alessandro Perissinotto at the Italian Cultural Institute

(Left to right Karin (translator) Alessandro Perissinotto, Daniela De Gregorio, Michael G Jacob and Barry Forshaw) (Picture ©Ayo Onatade)

On Monday 7 February the Italian Cultural Institute in London played host to Italian author Alessandro Perissinotto (along with a translator) whose first novel in a trilogy Blood Sisters (Una Piccola Storia Ignobile) has recently been published by Hersilia Press. Perissinotto was interviewed by crime critic Barry Forshaw and was joined by author Michael Gregorio (Michael G Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio).

Born in 1964 Alessandro Perissinotto is a Professor at Turin University and also writes articles and comments on homicide for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. Perissinotto explained that the strict translation of the title from Italian to English would have been A Short Ignoble Story but that he had been impressed with the change of the title to Blood Sisters as it gave a sense of what the story is about. Perissinotto went on to say that he did not do much reading as a boy and that he had actually intended to become a mechanic for Fiat. When asked if he read any other Italian authors he explained that he did enjoy reading Andrea Camilleri but that he found that Camilleri wrote too fast for him to keep up with. The fascination with translation of Scandinavian novels was also raised with the question being why had Italian novels not been caught up with the trend especially since there were a number of good Italian crime writers around. Perissinotto thought that commercial success did not always equal literary success. He went on to explain that in Italy there was a desire to write novels that talked about reality and they appeared to have achieved quite a lot of success with this. There had also been a change in the way that crime novels were now seen in Italy. Before they had been looked down on but this had now changed.

The author also explained that the idea of lies and truth were very important in the story. The follow-up to Blood Sisters is L'ultima notte bianca (but not yet published) is also about someone that disappears.

Alessandro Perissinotto was also asked how many of his novels were taken from real events and he explained that he had been unable to write about a number of them in the newspaper and that some of his stories did have a background in reality. Alessandro Perissinotto also admitted that there was a strong regional bias when it came to thrillers and crime novels because they were about the area.

Michael Gregorio were also asked how did they manage to come up with their name and they explained that it came about after a three way discussion with their editors in the UK and in the US. They also explained that they had found the first book a bit intimidating to write. They also explained how they split the writing duties. They worked a lot on the plot outline and then decided who would write which chapter. They knew each other’s weaknesses so it was fairly easy for them to write this way.

Also present was Howard Curtis who translated Blood Sisters.

Ripley's Return

We always enjoy Mike Ripley’s “Getting Away With Murder Column” at Shots and Deadly Pleasures Magazine, so I was delighted to hear of the re-issues of Mr Riley’s Angel Series.

TELOS Books are reissuing ANGEL CITY (1994) and ANGEL CONFIDENTIAL (1995) in paperbacks editions with specially written Introductions by the author, as well as electronic/Kindle/ I-pad electronic versions of lots of early Angels.

At last, Angel makes it into the 21st – century, and Mike Ripley even has a fan-website which has background to these very funny crime novels.

If you've never read about the adventures of Cab Driver Private Investigator Fitzroy Maclean Angel, I'd get on the 'knowledge' now!

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Crime Fiction's Theakstons Old Peculier Festival

I just booked my tickets for this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Harrogate Crime-Writing Festival, as this year Sharon Canavar and her team have a spectacular line up, including special guests Joe Finder Lee Child, Martina Cole, Howard Marks, Dennis Lehane and Tess Gerritsen. This year, programming chair Dreda Say Mitchell, author of Geezer Girls and more recently Gangster Girl takes the helm, choosing the theme of ‘true crime’ as the inspiration for the programme. The event is being held 21-24 July 2010 at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate [England].

Other highlights include a panel discussion with former prison inmates-turned-writers including Noel ‘Razor’ Smith; journalists who have made the transition to writing crime fiction; and Val McDermid’s regular “New Blood” event, showcasing her selection of some of the most exciting and hotly tipped emerging talent. Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the cream of international crime writing at the annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year party where one author will be awarded the prestigious prize.

Last week, the Shots Team attended the launch party at Brown’s Court Rooms in London. The event was very well attended with crime writers, publishers, editors and reviewers all excited about this year’s event.

Festival Chief Executive Sharon Canavar said: “We are very excited about the You’re Booked website. Over the years it became increasingly clear that one festival weekend wasn’t enough to discuss all the fantastic crime writing out there and so it’s great that we now have a site where fans can continue the conversation. We hope it will become one of the top online destinations to find out the latest and best of the crime fiction genre. Log on now!”

Dreda Say Mitchell said: “It’s such an honour to be selected to chair the crime festival and I’ve had great fun helping to choose the themes and authors who will all be descending upon Harrogate, the crime-writing capital of the world! At a time when funding for the arts and libraries in particular is ever decreasing, it’s even more important to have a festival that encourages people to pick up a book and get reading. I can’t wait!”

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston said: “We are extremely proud of our ongoing association with Harrogate’s world-class crime fiction festival. This year’s line-up is a potent mix of home grown and international talent and we look forward to welcoming a host of stellar names from across the Atlantic to do battle with Britain’s finest perhaps over a glass or two of our Old Peculier ale.”

Last weeks party also marked the launch of the Festival’s brand new online venture You’re Booked. This website will be an interactive hub for crime writers and readers alike to celebrate the genre by posting their own reviews, joining the book club, as well as reading exclusive interviews with top authors and reading essential writing tips from industry experts. I was flattered last year to be interviewed by the Harrogate team for the new website, due to my passion fro crime and thriller fiction.

This year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival returns to the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate which is now part of the Classic Lodges hotel collection. A £6m refurbishment programme was completed in 2006 at the Grade II listed building which dates back to 1840 and is set in five acres of beautiful gardens. The perfect venue for murder mysteries, the Old Swan Hotel is where legendary crime novelist Agatha Christie was eventually tracked down after her mysterious disappearance in 1926, 85 years ago this year.

2011 will see the announcement of the seventh Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. A major accolade in the crime writing field, the prestigious prize is voted for by members of the public. Previous winners of the £3000 prize and handmade engraved beer barrel are Mark Billingham (who scooped the award twice both in 2005 and 2009), RJ Ellory (2010), Val McDermid (2006) and debut authors Alan Guthrie (2007) and Stef Penney (2008). The winner will be announced by broadcaster and festival regular Mark Lawson on the opening night of the festival.

Booking Information -

Weekend packages for the 2011 Festival start from £329 per person (based on twin or double accommodation) or from £399 per person for single accommodation.

Weekend Break packages are also available to book now. Packages include a pass to all Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival events* with three nights bed and English breakfast accommodation at either the Festival venue, or at other high quality Festival Hotels close by. (* excludes Creative Thursday and the Come Die With Me Dinner on the Saturday evening of the Festival).

Individual festival tickets will go on sale from April.

For booking and information call the Festival Office on: +44 (0) 1423 562303 or click here

See you in the bar, and remember The Shots Team will be fielding a team for the Harrogate Crime-Fiction Quiz, to reclaim our crown!

Photos (c) 2009-2011 Ali Karim

Friday 4 February 2011

Barry Forshaw and Michael Gregorio in conversation with Alessandro Perissinotto

An investigation on the banality of evil conducted by psychologist Anna Pavesi, who uses her knowledge of the human soul as other detectives use scientific police methods…
The countryside around Milan is wrapped in eerie darkness as psychologist Anna Pavesi digs in the icy soil, looking for... what? Just over a week earlier, Anna is approached by the well-heeled Benedetta Vitali with a request to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death in a road accident of her half-sister Patrizia and the subsequent disappearance of Patrizia’s body. Anna is not a detective, there has been a misunderstanding, but she is short of money and agrees to take on the assignment. It will lead her into a labyrinth of false clues and willful deception in which nothing is as it seems. Was Patrizia’s death merely a commonplace hit-and-run incident on a country lane, or was there something more sinister behind it? As she digs deeper, Anna realises that even her own life may be in danger...
Barry Forshaw and Michael Gregorio will be in conversation with Alessandro Perissinotto for the launch of Blood Sisters (Hersilla Press) on Monday February 8 at the Italian Cultural Institute at 7:00pm. The event is free but booking is essential. Booking information can be found here. Blood Sisters is the first book in the Anna Pavesi trilogy.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

David Hewson and The Fallen Angel

Huge congratulations to David Hewson who has not only recently signed a deal with Bavaria Media Italia (via Blake Friedmann Agency) for all eleven of his excellent crime novels including his Nic Costa series which are set in Italy to be made into television movies but is also celebrating the publication of his ninth book in the Nic Costa series which is due to be published on 4 February 2011 by Macmillan

Bavaria Media Italia have optioned screen rights in order to develop and produce a major international series of six television movies. The series is planned to be shot in English by Bavaria which will work in conjunction with co-production partners from several European territories. Bavaria's Philipp Kreuzer will Executive Produce the series; Bavaria Media TV will handle international sales. The concept for the series is currently being written in Rome.
The deal was negotiated for Hewson by Conrad Williams of Blake Friedmann's Film/TV department and for Bavaria by Philipp Kreuzer and legal counsel Georg Hoess.

Said David Hewson: "It is enormously flattering to have eleven of your books snapped up for option in one swoop and with such high ambitions for English language, feature length TV dramas. There is a lot of work to be done on a project of this magnitude. I am happy that is has already started."

Bavaria plans to develop and partner this series in 2011 with production slated for 2012. It will be shot on location in and around central Rome.

David Hewson’s novels are published in 23 languages around the world. In his latest book The Fallen Angel, when British academic Malise Gabriel falls to his death from a Rome apartment, detective Nic Costa rapidly comes to realise that there is much more to the accident than he first thought. It also becomes apparent that Malise’s family — mysterious and tragic daughter Mina, stoic wife Cecilia and troubled son Robert — may be keeping vital information hidden. Nic becomes obsessed with the case, intrigued by Mina’s story which seems to be linked to the sixteenth-century real-life tragedy of a young Italian noblewoman, Beatrice Cenci.

As the investigation deepens, Rome’s dark and seedy side is uncovered, revealing a tangle of deceit, treachery and corruption. Costa realises that the key to the truth lies with the Gabriel’s. Why are they so unwilling to co-operate, and who, or what, is the reason for their silence?

A video of David Hewson talking about The Fallen Angel is below -

David will also be in conversation with Barry Forshaw at the Italian Cultural Institute on Monday 21 February 2011. More information can be found here.