Friday 30 January 2015

Lawrence Block and The Girl With The Deep Blue Eyes


Hard Case Crime to Publish THE GIRL WITH THE DEEP BLUE EYES 

Lawrence Block, the acclaimed author of more than 100 novels including A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES (recently adapted as a feature film starring Liam Neeson), will publish a brand new novel in 2015 through Hard Case Crime, the award-winning line of vintage-style crime fiction from editor Charles Ardai and publisher Titan Books. THE GIRL WITH THE DEEP BLUE EYES tells the story of a former New York police officer, now working as a private eye in Florida, who gets drawn into the web of a local wife who’s looking for a hit man to help her become a widow. Block has described the book as “a down-and-dirty noir thriller, characterized by my Hollywood agent as ‘James M. Cain on Viagra.’ ”

The novel, which will be published in hardcover in September 2015 (World English), is Block’s eleventh with Hard Case Crime. The previous ten include Hard Case Crime’s very first book, GRIFTER’S GAME; the erotic suspense novel GETTING OFF; the bestselling movie tie-in edition of A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES; and the classic noir con-man novel THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART. For more than a decade, Block has consistently been one of Hard Case Crime’s most popular authors, in addition to being perhaps the most highly decorated crime writer alive. Among many other honors, Block has won the Edgar Allan Poe Award multiple times and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest recognition (previous Grand Masters have included Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and James M. Cain).

Lawrence Block is, hands down, my favorite crime writer, and it is a privilege to publish his new novel,” said Charles Ardai. “This is a dark, violent, steamy, disturbing story about a pair of characters who will haunt you long after the book ends.”

About Hard Case Crime
Called “the best new American publisher to appear in the last decade” by Neal Pollack in The Stranger, Hard Case Crime has been nominated for and/or won numerous honors since its inception including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Spinetingler Award. The series’ books have been adapted for television and film, with two features currently in development at Universal Pictures, a TV series based on Max Allan Collins’ Quarry novels in development by Cinemax, and the TV series Haven in its fifth season on SyFy. Recent Hard Case Crime titles include Stephen King’s #1 New York Times bestseller, Joyland; James M. Cain’s lost final novel, The Cocktail Waitress; eight lost novels written by Michael Crichton under the pseudonym “John Lange”; and Brainquake, the final novel of writer/filmmaker Samuel Fuller. Hard Case Crime is published through a collaboration between Winterfall LLC and Titan Publishing Group.

Thursday 29 January 2015

The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing

The shortlist for the first James Herbert Award for Horror Writing is announced today, Thursday 29 January 2015.

From the darkly fantastical and post-apocalyptic to desolate rural mysteries, gut-wrenching body horrors and modern re-imaginings of classic Horror tropes, the six shortlisted titles represent a darkly diverse journey across a genre that is as popular with readers as it is disturbing in its imaginings.

The shortlisted novels are:

Nick Cutter, THE TROOP (Headline)
Frances Hardinge, CUCKOO SONG (Macmillan)
Andrew Michael Hurley, THE LONEY (Tartarus Press)
Josh Malerman, BIRD BOX (Harper Voyager)
Kim Newman,  AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY (Titan Books)

Chair of judges, Tom Hunter, comments,

“The first year of a new literature prize is always viewed with one eye on the past of the genre and one on the future and, given this is a horror prize, perhaps a third eye watching behind to check for unspoken things lurking in the dark.

“The judges have created a truly compelling shortlist for this inaugural year that exemplifies the diversity of modern horror fiction and reminds us that great horror writing should always scare and fascinate in equal measure.”

Kerry Herbert, James Herbert’s daughter and one of the judges, adds-

My Dad was a brilliant storyteller. He gave us characters to relate to, before they got hideously chomped. He showed us a hidden world where social injustice might just be day-to-day living. Most of all, he scared the bejesus out of us. Because it could happen to anyone. A few wrong choices, an earthquake, a plane crash…

“As a fitting legacy, I hope that this shortlist presents the quality and huge diversity of the horror genre. But most of all I hope at least one of these books scares you so much that you can’t sleep, you can’t forget, and you can’t wait to tell your friends about it.” 

The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing was launched in April 2014 and celebrates the life and career of one of the world’s best and most loved horror writers. The prize is jointly administered by Herbert’s publishers, Pan Macmillan, in partnership with the Serendip Foundation, and the estate of James Herbert.  The winner will be announced at a ceremony in a central London location in March 2015.   The winning author will receive a cheque for £2,000 and a specially-designed commemorative statuette.

The judges of The James Herbert Award are:

·        Ramsey Campbell, author, editor and critic and ‘Britain's most respected living horror writer’ (the Oxford Companion to English Literature)

·        Rosie Fletcher, Acting Editor of Total Film magazine and a horror expert and reviewer for SFX magazine

·        Kerry Herbert, James Herbert's eldest daughter. She worked in book publishing for 20 years before becoming an award-winning comedy promoter. As an infant, Kerry "helped to write" The Fog by scribbling over several hundred of his hand-written pages. Aged 14, Kerry's father officially allowed her to read his books, and she began to proof-read the manuscripts

·        Tom Hunter, Director of the Serendip Foundation (Chair of judges)

·        Sarah Pinborough, the critically-acclaimed author and screenwriter, and three times winner of the British Fantasy Award

·        Dr Tony Venezia, researcher and Visiting Lecturer in literary and cultural studies at Birkbeck, University of London and Middlesex University

The prize, which will be awarded annually, aims to discover and publicise a new generation of horror authors working today and celebrate the boldest and most exciting talent in the genre. The inaugural award was open to horror novels written in English and published in the UK and Ireland between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014.

The Shortlist

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, M. R. Carey (Orbit) - £7.99
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh.
Melanie is a very special girl.

THE TROOP, Nick Cutter (Headline) - £7.99
Cut off from the mainland, the scouts of Troop 52 face a nightmare far worse than anything they could have made up around a campfire. To survive they will have to fight their fears, the elements... and eventually each other.

CUCKOO SONG, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books) - £7.99
The first things to shift were the doll's eyes, the beautiful grey-green glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss's face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak.
'What are you doing here?' It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. 'Who do you think you are? This is my family.'

THE LONEY, Andrew Michael Hurley (Tartarus Press) - £3.50 (ebook)
The discovery of the remains of a young child during winter storms along the bleak Lancashire coastline leads Smith back to the Saint Jude’s Church Easter pilgrimage to The Loney in 1976.
After the pilgrimage, a miracle—of one kind or another—occurred. Smith feels he is the only one to know the truth, and he must bear the burden of his knowledge, no matter what the cost. 
Smith feels he is t
BIRD BOX, Josh Malerman (Harper Voyager) - £7.99
Most people dismissed the reports on the news. But they became too frequent; they became too real. And soon it was happening to people we knew.

Then the Internet died. The televisions and radios went silent. The phones stopped ringing

And we couldn’t look outside anymore.

AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY, Kim Newman (Titan Books) - £7.99
A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most, by threatening to destroy them from the inside out.

About James Herbert
I didn't plan to write horror; it just poured out of me.’

James Herbert
James Herbert, who died on 20 March 2013, was the author of 23 novels, published in 34 languages including Russian and Chinese and which have sold over 70 million copies worldwide.  They include The Fog, The Dark, The Survivor, The Magic Cottage, Sepulchre, Haunted, Fluke and Creed, and of course The Rats trilogy, all considered to be classics of the genre.  His later bestsellers included Portent, The Ghosts of Sleath, '48, Others, Once..., Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall all of which enhanced his considerable reputation as a writer of depth and originality.

His last novel, Ash, was published in hardback in 2012 and in paperback in 2013, just a week before his death.

The launch of The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the first publication of The Rats for which Pan Macmillan released special anniversary paperback and collectors’ hardback editions in May and September 2014 and which contained an exclusive new introduction by Neil Gaiman. 

James Herbert was born in London’s East End on 8 April 1943.  At the age of ten, he won a scholarship to St. Aloysius Grammar School, Highgate, and aged sixteen started studying graphic design, print and photography at the renowned Hornsey College of Art.  He then found work in an advertising agency where he rose to the rank of Art Director and Group Head.

He began writing his first novel when he was 28.  Ten months later he had completed The Rats, conjuring a London overrun by mutant, flesh-eating rodents.  He submitted the manuscript to six publishers, three of whom replied.  Of those, two rejected the novel and one accepted it.  On its publication in 1974, the first printing of 100,000 copies sold out in three weeks, firmly establishing him as Britain’s leading writer of horror and one of the country’s greatest popular novelists.

James Herbert was awarded the OBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours list, the same year he was made the Grand Master of Horror by the World of Horror Convention. 
James and his wife, Eileen, married in 1967 and had three daughters, Kerry, a judge for The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing, Emma, and Casey.

About Pan Macmillan

Pan Macmillan is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries.  Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Bello, Tor, Macmillan Children's Books, Campbell Books, Macmillan New Writing and Macmillan Digital Audio

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Books to look forward to from Allison and Busby

Two young boys stumble on a dead prostitute. She's on Sean Denton's patch. As Doncaster's youngest community support officer, he's already way out of his death, but soon he's uncovering more than he's supposed to know. Meanwhile Karen Friedman, professional mother of two, learns her brother has disappeared. She desperately needs to know he's safe, but once she starts looking, she discovers unexpected things about her own needs and desires. Played out against a gritty landscape on the edge of a Northern town, Karen and Sean risk losing all they hold precious.  To Catch a Rabbit is by Helen Cadbury and is due to be published in January 2015. Read SHOTS' review here.

Death Wears a Mask is by Ashley Weaver and is due to be published in June 2015.  Amory Ames is investigating the disappearance of valuable jewellery snatched at a dinner party and lays a trap to catch the culprit at a lavish masked ball hosted by the notorious Viscount Dunmore. She wasn’t expecting one of the illustrious party guests to wind up dead . . .

Sussex, 1925. Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell find a beautiful stone belonging to the future emperor of Japan – mysteriously left in their garden. There’s some unfinished business they need to clear up. From the winding lanes of Oxford to the palaces of Japan, the ingenious duo embark on an utterly compelling adventure of politics and espionage.  Dreaming Spies is by Laurie R King and is due to be published in February 2015.

Spring, 1932. Four years after she set sail from England, leaving everything she most loved behind, Maisie Dobbs at last returns, only to find herself in a dangerous place. En route to England a brutal murder in Gibraltar leads Maisie into a web of lies, deceit and peril.  A Dangerous Place is by Jacqueline Winspear and is due to be published in April 2015.

What’s an editor to do with so many demands? Do you deal with the morning’s pile of manuscript submissions first? Or the swine from sales who steals all the chocolate digestives? Or do you concentrate on your ex-lover, whose business partner has just been found dead, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand? Sam takes on the art world with a handy reserve of satire and irrelevant information culled from books.  Boxing Day. A dead body has been found in the chemistry department of Queen's University in West London. Tom Chambers, the head of department, was known to have a bad heart, and had it not been Christmas, no questions would have been asked. What was a procedural post mortem soon turns into a murder investigation when it becomes evident Chambers had been injected with a dangerous amount of digitalin. A Bed of Scorpions is by Judith Flanders and is due to be published in February 2015.

The Red House is by Emily Winslow and is due to be published in February 2015. Maxwell is living his worst nightmare when he begins to question whether his fiancee Imogen is his own blood sister, separated by adoption. A visit to Imogen's birthplace in Cambridge stirs up deja vu that intensifies his fears.While Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene languishes at home, struggling with a debilitating injury and post-traumatic stress, his former partner Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann is following a suicide case in which Morris' daughter Dora is suspected of assisting the death. When buried skeletons are discovered next to an old barn, the suicide is linked back to Imogen's childhood, revealing horrors of the past and new dangers in the present.

Thea Osborne, Cotswold house-sitter with an infamous reputation for getting mixed up in crime, is determined to avoid trouble this time. Her latest commission in the village of Daglingworth seems straightforward, with most of her time spent looking after an old corgi and a hibernating tortoise. Thea is ready for a relaxing if rather boring two weeks, with phone calls to new boyfriend Drew Slocombe the highlight of her days. Until, that is, a dead body is discovered in a nearby quarry... Revenge in the Cotswolds is by Rebecca Tope and is due to be published in March 2015.

The Venetian Venture is by Suzette Hill and is due to be published in January 2015. 1954, Venice. For Rosy Gilchrist the tables may have turned. Her boss at the British Museum, Dr Stanley, has chosen her to travel to Venice, track down a rare edition of Horace's Odes and bring it back for their collection. Rosy jumps at the chance to spend time away from her capricious supervisor and hopefully indulge in a little Venetian culture. Following Dr Stanley's advice, she roams the cobbled streets of Venice in search of the book and crosses paths with old friends Felix Smythe and Cedric Dillworthy. With their help, Rosy thinks she's laid her hands on the treasure but things soon take a drastic downward spiral. A wealthy and eccentric recluse offers a GBP1 million reward for anyone who can find Horace's Odes and pair it with a missing Murano vase. The price on the book's head brings all sorts of murky characters out of the shadows. Soon Rosy finds herself in a race against time as her rivals will go to any lengths to secure the prize ... even murder.

The Third Sin is by Aline Templeton and is due to be published in March 2015. Pleasure is the highest good: the group who called themselves the Cyrenaics practised the principle until the death of one from an overdose and the apparent suicide of another. Sobered, the group went their several ways. One heads to Canada, another disappears and a third is believed to have committed suicide, at least until his body turns up two years later in the wreck of a car swept up on to the Solway mud flats. The murky relationships among the Cyrenaics, revived when they start returning for a party bring more pain and death. DI Marjory Fleming finds this and the murder which follows on her own patch, obstructed by the unpleasant and resentful inspector she has been asked to direct, and DC Hepburn and DS Macdonald, still at loggerheads, don't make it any easier. Fleming's daughter has a new boyfriend and though Cammie at last achieves his Scotland cap, he too is in trouble with the affairs of the heart.

1815. Peter and Paul Skillen, identical twins and fearless thief-catchers, stalk all who dare to
walk in the shadow of the hangman. When they catch a notorious burglar, they claim a handsome reward and infuriate the Bow Street Runners who believe they have a monopoly on policing in the capital.  Home Secretary Viscount Sidmouth faces a crisis. During a massacre of American prisoners-of-war at Dartmoor, two escape and come to London in search of retribution – and if their demands are not met, they’ll kill Sidmouth. The Runners compete fiercely with the twin detectives to bring the villains to justice in a compelling tale of murder, kidnap, revenge and political machination.  Shadow of the Hangman is by Edward Marston and is due to be published in February 2015.  It is the first in the Bow Street Rivals series.

A huge funeral for Windermere's popular resident, Barbara Dodge, is taking place and florist Persimmon 'Simmy' Brown and her new assistant, Bonnie Lawson are busy compiling wreaths in preparation. There's word of a series of sinister dognappings occurring in nearby Troutbeck and whilst taking a walk up Wansfell Pike, Simmy and her father, Russell, stumble on a dog, strangled to death - it's not long before Simmy reluctantly finds herself caught up in a murder investigation. The Troutbeck Testimony is by Rebecca Tope and is due to be published in May 2015.

When Monsieur Pamplemousse is summoned into the head office of Le Guide by the director, Henri Leclercq, he is unaware of the chaos that is about to erupt. Accompanied by his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites, Pamplemousse attempts to solve Leclercq's plaintive conundrums - all of which relate back to his mobster uncle-in-law. The crime-solving duo gallivant around Paris and become tangled up in seemingly arbitrary problems; a letter about a juicy steak horrifyingly turned into a brisket; a dead restaurant owner; a giant truffle delivered by post and the imminent arrival of the vivacious Caterina, the mobster's niece. With all these obstacles at hand, Pamplemousse attempts to unravel each dilemma but it quickly proves impossible as they overlap and tangle at every turn. As he battles with this confounding case, it becomes apparent that these events are much more sinister and inextricably linked than first thought ... Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Tangled Web is by Michael Bond and is due to be published in March 2015. 

Sixth century Constantinople. Flavius Belisarius is barely eighteen and is already
commander of the cavalry patrolling the Persian frontier. A brilliant soldier but a poor schemer - Flavius needs to be both in order to survive the febrile politics of the Eastern Roman Empire. When his friend, Petrus Sabbatius uses trickery to elevate himself to the position of co-Emperor, Flavius finds himself embroiled in an explosive venture of machinations and warfare. The brave general must battle against the deadly Sassanids and protect the co-Emperor from his own subjects who are out for blood. As the valiant leader sets out to re-conquer the Western Empire from the hands of the Vandals and Ostrogoths, Flavius is unaware that his wife, joining him on the campaign, is secretly charged to spy on him. Honour is the second instalment in the brutal Roman trilogy. Only the most merciless traitors prevail in a volatile land where one wrong step will cost you your head.  The Last Roman: Honour is by Jack Ludlow and is due to be published in January 2015.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

2015 Left Coast Crime Award Nominations.

The 25th annual Left Coast Crime Convention will take place in Portland, OR, March 12–15, 2015. This year’s Guests of Honor are authors Chelsea Cain and Timothy Hallinan. Phillip Margolin is a Special Guest. Friends of Mystery are the Fan Guests of Honor. Author Gar Anthony Haywood will serve as Toastmaster. –

Left Coast Crime 2015, “Crimelandia,” will be giving four awards at the 25th annual LCC convention, to be held in Portland. The awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at a banquet on Saturday, March 14, at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland. The award nominees have been selected by convention registrants. The nomination period has just concluded, and LCC is delighted to announce the nominees for books published in 2014:
The Lefty has been awarded for the best humorous mystery novel since 1966 –
The Good, the Bad and the Emus by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
Herbie’s Game by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime)
January Thaw by Jess Lourey (Midnight Ink)
Dying for a Dude by Cindy Sample (Cindy Sample Books)
Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere (Berkley Prime Crime)

The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award (first awarded in 2004) is given to mystery novels covering events by 1960 –
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen (Berkley Prime Crime)
From the Charred Remains by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)
City of Ghosts by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur Books)
Cup of Blood by Jeri Westerson (Old London Press)

The Rose, commemorating our Portland location, is for the best mystery novel set in the LCC region –
One Kick by Chelsea Cain (Simon & Schuster)
Glass Houses by Terri Nolan (Midnight Ink)
Pirate Vishnu by Gigi Pandian (Henery Press)
Deadly Bonds by LJ Sellers (Thomas & Mercer)
Plaster City by Johnny Shaw (Thomas Mercer)

The Rosebud, for the best first mystery novel set anywhere in the world -
Kilmoon by Lisa Alber (Muskrat Press)
Ice Shear by M.P. Cooley (William Morrow)
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Seventh Street Books)
The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day (Seventh Street Books)
Mistress of Fortune by Holly West (Carina Press ebook)

The Left Coast Crime Convention is an annual event sponsored by fans of mystery literature for fans of mystery literature, including both readers and authors. Usually held in the western half of North America, LCC’s intent is to provide an event where mystery fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interests.

Congratulations to all.

Monday 26 January 2015

An Evening with Peter May

Join award-winning author Peter May at Waterstone’s Piccadilly on Tuesday 27 January 2015 as he discusses his new novel Runaway with crime fiction critic Barry Forshaw. Peter May will be talking about how his new novel was inspired by events in his life when he ran away from home in Glasgow as a teenager in the late 60’s to head to London with the intention of forming a band.

Date: 27 January 2015.
Time: 6:30pm
Tickets - £5/£3 (Waterstones Cardholders) available in store, via 02078512400 or email


In 1965, five teenage friends fled Glasgow for London to pursue their dream of musical stardom. Yet before year's end three returned, and returned damaged. In 2015, a brutal murder forces those three men, now in their sixties, to journey back to London and finally confront the dark truth they have run from for five decades. Runaway is a crime novel covering fifty years of friendships solidified and severed, dreams shared and shattered and passions lit and extinguished; set against the backdrop of two unique and contrasting cities at two unique and contrasting periods of recent history.