The short list for the Arthur Ellis Awards
have been announced by the Crime
Writers of Canada. The winners will be announced on 28 May at the Arthur
Ellis Award Gala at the Arts and Letters Club, Tornoto.
Cold Mourning by Brenda
Chapman, Dundurn Press
None so Blind by Barbara
Fradkin Dundurn Press
Plague by C.C.
Humphreys, Doubleday Canada
No Known Grave, By
Maureen Jennings, McClelland & Stewart
Killing Pilgrim by
Alen Mattich, , House of Anansi
Best First Novel
A Quiet Kill by
Janet Brons, Touchwood Editions
Siege of Bitterns
by Steve Burrows, Dundurn Press
Windigo Fire, by M.H. Callway Seraphim Editions
No Worst, There Is
None by Eve McBride Dundurn Press
Last of the
Independents by Sam Wiebe, Dundurn Press
Best Novella * The Boom Room by Rick Blechta, Orca
Juba Good by Vicki
Delany, Orca Book Publishers
The Dragon Head of
Hong Kong by Ian Hamilton, House of Anansi
A Knock on the Door
by Jas. R. Petrin Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
Best Short Story
by Margaret Atwood McClelland & Stewart
Hook, Line and Sinker
by Melodie Campbell, Your McMurray
Magazine Therapy by Peter Clement, Belgrave
First Impressionsby Madona Skaff, The Whole She-Bang 2, Sisters
Writers Block by
Kevin P. Thornton World Enough and Crime, Carrick Publishing
Best Book in French
Jack: Une enquête de
Joseph Laflamme by Hervé Gagnon, Expression noir / Groupe librex
Bondrée, by Andrée
Michaud, Editions Québec Amérique
Meurtre à l’hôtel
Despréaux, by Maryse Rouy Édition
Richard Ste Marie, Alire
Best Juvenile/YA Book
Michael Betcherman, Penguin Canada
Dead Man's Switch
by Sigmund Brouwer, Harvest House
The Voice Inside My
Head by S.J. Laidlaw, Tundra Books
About That Night
by Norah McClintock, Orca Book Publishers
The Bodies We Wear
by Jeyn Roberts, Knopf Books for Young Readers
Best Nonfiction Book
Being Uncle Charlieby Bob Deasy (with Mark Ebner), Penguin
The Massey MurderbyCharlotte Gray, HarperCollins
Innocence on Trial:
The Framing of Ivan Henry by Joan McEwen, Heritage House
Life Real Loud: John
Lefebvre, Neteller and the Revolution in Online Gambling by Bill Reynolds ECW
Extreme Mean by Paula
Todd, McClelland & Stewart
Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished
First Crime Novel
Rum Luck by
Full Curl by
Crisis Point by
Redemption by Bill Prentice
Done by Elle Wild
announces the Lou Allin Memorial Award of $250 for the Arthur Ellis Novella
by the 2011 Bloody Words Conference Committee, this award will be given in
honour of Lou Allin. Lou was a board member of CWC, a co-chair of the
2011 Bloody Words Conference, an award-winning writer, and a mentor to
many. This award is particularly fitting, as she was the winner of the
first Arthur Ellis Novella Award.
Publication in 60 Years, First Ever Under Author’s Real Name
Case Crime, the award-winning line of vintage-style crime fiction from editor
Charles Ardai and publisher Titan Books, has discovered a lost pulp crime novel
by Gore Vidal, one that has been unavailable for more than 60 years and has
never been published under the author’s real name. THIEVES FALL OUT, the story
of an American trying to smuggle an ancient treasure out of Egypt on the eve of
a bloody revolution, will be published in hardcover on April 7, 2015.
1953, when he was 28 years old and already enjoying the combination of literary
esteem and scandal that would mark his career as one of the major authors and
intellectual figures of the 20th century, Gore Vidal wrote a pulp crime
novel under the name “Cameron Kay” (the name of his great-uncle, a Texas
attorney general). THIEVES FALL OUT has never been reprinted.
novel provides a delicious glimpse into the mind of Gore Vidal in his formative
years,” said Charles Ardai. “By turns mischievous and deadly serious, Vidal
tells the story of a man caught up in events bigger than he is, a
down-on-his-luck American in Cairo at a time when revolution is brewing and
heads are about to roll. THIEVES FALL OUT also offers a startling glimpse of
Egypt in turmoil – despite having been written over half a century ago, it
feels as current as the news streaming from that region today.”
Vidal was one of America’s greatest and most controversial writers. The
author of twenty-three novels, five plays, three memoirs, numerous screenplays
and short stories, and well over two hundred essays, he received the National
Book Award in 1993.
FALL OUT will feature a new cover painting by Glen Orbik, one of Hard Case
Crime’s most acclaimed painters. Orbik’s previous covers for Hard Case Crime
include JOYLAND by Stephen King and BINARY by Michael Crichton (writing as John
A guardian article on Thieves Fall Out can be read here.
Hard Case Crime
“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 honours 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 pilot based on Max Allan
Collins’ Quarry novels in development by Cinemax, and the TV
series Haven going into 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; a series of 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.www.hardcasecrime.com
Titan Publishing Group
Publishing Group is an independently owned publishing company, established in
1981, comprising three divisions: Titan Books, Titan Magazines/Comics and Titan
Merchandise. Titan Books, nominated as Independent Publisher of the Year
2011, has a rapidly growing fiction list encompassing original fiction and
reissues, primarily in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk
and crime. Recent crime and thriller acquisitions include Mickey Spillane and
Max Allan Collins’ all-new Mike Hammer novels, the Matt Helm series by Donald
Hamilton, and the entire backlist of the Queen of Spy Writers, Helen
MacInnes. Titan Books also has an extensive line of media- and pop
culture-related non-fiction, graphic novels, and art and music books. The
company is based at offices in London, but operates worldwide, with sales and
distribution in the U.S. and Canada being handled by Random House. www.titanbooks.com
guest blog is by T R Richmond who is an award- wining journalist. What She
Left is his debut novel and he talks to Shots about choosing a 25 year-old
female as a character.
talk about their childhood and teenage years as a time of wonder and change,
but our 20s are the most formative years of our lives.
only then that we pass properly from child to adult. We might leave university,
get full-time employment, change jobs, share flats with different people and
relocate around the country. We might get into – and maybe get out of – our
first serious relationship or relationships. It’s still also often the decade
when people get married and have kids. Everything changes in your 20s and change
is a writer’s bread-and-butter.For this
reason, I was keen that the protagonist in What
She Left, Alice Salmon, would be a woman of this age.
tried to make her like a lot of people in their 20s – changing and changeable,
likeable, difficult, still trying to establish who they are and where their
place is in the world.
a wonderful, terrifying decade, when we still sometimes act like kids, but have
the responsibilities of adults. Our bodies (and disposable incomes) are those
of grown-ups – but, if what I was like at 25 is anything to go by, our brains
can still be childlike. We’re let properly loose on the world for the first
better material for a novelist than someone in this maelstrom?
Alice presented me with two immediate challenges, however. Firstly, I’m no
longer in my 20s. Secondly, I’m a man.
were problematic at times but, as a writer, my job is to imagine. If we can
transplant ourselves into, say, the head of an serial killer in America or a
cop in a faraway dystopian future, then changing our age by a mere few years
and giving ourselves a temporary gender reassignment should be a relatively
simple business. Besides, it can be unhelpful to view your characters in
predominantly male or female terms. They’re people. Human beings. Individuals.
I was writing from Alice’s perspective, I wouldn’t ask: How would a man or a
woman specifically respond to this situation? I’d ask: How would Alice respond?
said, I did find myself asking many questions of my wife and female friends.
They must have got heartily sick of me. A lot of this material never made it
directly into the book; it was background that helped me establish a sense of
Alice. What would her politics be? What radio station would she listen to? What
food would she like eating? What would she drink? What would her favourite book
be? What would she think about the war in Afghanistan? It helped hugely, as
well, to have a female literary agent, who acted as a constant sense-check on
the authenticity of dialogue and story.
also read lots of women’s magazines while I was writing the book and, while I
wouldn’t claim for a second that such “research” qualified me in itself to
write a female character, it was certainly eye-opening. It also earned me a few
strange looks on trains.
a writer’s job is simple. It’s to watch, to listen, to read, to ask questions –
and then to write stuff down. This process is the same whether you’re male or
female, just as it’s the same whether you’re 9 or 90.
few years ago, they used to say that men were from Mars and women were from
Venus. I disagree. We’re definitely from the same planet – even if occasionally
we do inhabit different corners of it.
Facebook page for Alice Salmon can be found here.
fictional blog for Professor Jeremy Cooke where he is gathering information
about her death can be found here.
You can follow him on Twitter @trrichmondbooks
What She Left
is Alice Salmon?
of late nights, hater of deadlines.
girl who drowned last year.
doesn't mean forgotten.
life leaves a trace behind.
it's never the whole story.
"I will stand up and ask myself who I am. I
do that a lot. I'll look in the mirror. Reassure myself, scare myself, like
myself, hate myself. My name is Alice Salmon."
Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples from her tragic drowning could be felt
in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those closest to her.
the man who knows her best isn't family or a friend. His name is Professor
Jeremy Cooke, an academic fixated on piecing together Alice's existence.
Cooke knows that faithfully recreating Alice, through her diaries, text messages, and online presence, has become all-consuming.
AUDIBLE SOUNDS OF CRIME AWARD The Audible Sounds
of Crime Award recognises the best crime audiobook published in both print and
audio in 2014. Courtesy of sponsorAudible UK, the
winning author and audiobook reader share the £1,000 prize equally and each
receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.
The nominees are: Foxglove Summer byBen Aaronovitch, read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Orion Publishing
Personal by Lee Child read by Jeff Harding (Penguin
Random House Audio)
The Silkworm by Robert Gailbraith read by Robert Glenister
(Little, Brown Book Group)
Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz read by Derek Jacobi & Julian Rhind-Tutt (Orion Publishing Group)
Want You Dead by Peter James read by Daniel Weyman
(Macmillan Digital Audio)
Mr Mercedes by Stephen King read by Will Patton (Hodder
The Son by Jo Nesbø read by Sean Barrett (Penguin
Random House Audio)
The Hangman’s Song,by James Oswald read by Ian Hanmore
(Penguin Random House Audio)
LAST LAUGH AWARD The Goldsboro Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first
published in the
British Isles in 2014. The £500 prize is sponsored byGoldsboro Books, the
UK’s largest specialist in signed and/or first edition books. The winner also
receives a Bristol Blue Glass vase.
nominees are: The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons by Lawrence Block (Orion Publishing Group)
Crime Always Pays by Declan Burke(Severn House Publishers)
Bryant & May – The Bleeding Heart by Christopher Fowler (Bantam/Transworld)
Kill Your Boss by
Shane Kuhn (Little, Brown Book Group) The Accident by Chris
Pavone (Faber & Faber) Crooked Herring by L C Tyler (Allison
Eligible titles were
submitted by publishers for the longlist, and a team of British crime fiction
reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.
eDUNNIT AWARD The eDunnit Award is for the best crime fiction ebook first published in both
hardcopy and in electronic format in the British Isles in 2014.The winning author receives a cash prize as well as a
commemorative Bristol Blue Glass vase. The nominees are: No Safe House by Linwood Barclay
(Orion Publishing Group)
The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons by
Lawrence Block (Orion Publishing Group)
A Colder War by Charles Cumming (HarperCollins)
Dark Tides by Chris Ewan (Faber
Natchez Burning by Greg Illes (HarperCollins)
Hollow Mountain by Thomas
Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas
The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor
Eligible titles were submitted by publishers for the
longlist, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the
shortlist and the winning title.
H.R.F. KEATING AWARD The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biography or critical book related to
crime fiction published between 2013 and 2014. The
award is named forHarry Keating, who
died in 2011. Harry was one of Britain’s most esteemed crime novelists, a
reviewer forThe Times, and a writer of books about crime fiction.
The winning author receives a commemorative Bristol Blue Glass vase.
The nominees are: Dime Novels and the Roots of American
Detective Fiction by Pamela Bedore (Palgrave 2013)
Late Victorian Crime Fiction in the
Shadows of Sherlock by Clare Clarke (Palgrave, 2014)
Nordic Noir by Barry Forshaw (Pocket
Euro Noir by Barry Forshaw (No
Exit Press, 2014)
Crime Scene: Britain & Ireland by
John Martin (Five Leaves, 2014)
A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley (BBC
Eligible titles were collated by author and crime fiction
expert Martin Edwards. A team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to
establish the shortlist and the winning title.
Today's guest blog is by author Christopher Bollen. A journalist and editor he is currently Editor at Large of Interview Magazine. He currently writes about Art, culture and literature.
I’ve always considered Agatha Christie
something of my gateway drug into the life or writing and reading. Until about
the age of eleven or twelve I probably read about as much as the average
Midwest American kid back in those days when even cable television seemed a
rather monotonous landscape until the sitcoms and dramas of prime time. My
bibliographic diet consisted of a few books here and there interspersed with
assigned texts from English class. But my parents were big readers and there
was a family preference for murder mysteries so I eventually smuggled a
Christie to my room and began what quickly became a full-fledged addiction. I
simply didn’t stop on Christie once I started. Hercule Poirot was my initial
superhero of choice—his mysteries always possessed that rarified sense of
cosmopolitanism or foreign intrigue: one could jet off to Egypt or Mesopotamia
or encounter a range of suspicious urbanites in the mannered row houses of
London. But I fell for Jane Marple, too, working out her puzzles and leaps of
inductive reasoning behind the lace curtains of St. Mary Mead (and even Marple
occasionally traveled, as she did on a forced sick-leave vacation in A Caribbean Mystery). It was Christie,
through her majestically prolific career totalling nearly 100 books, who
simultaneously opened up the world for me in her pages as well as made it
navigable, solvable, and linked by the same passions and desires for wealth and
power and maybe a shared taste for blood. I was a pre-pubescent super-fan, a
mini Christie in training, and it was in my attempt to emulate her that I began
to jot my own ferociously juvenile short mystery stories in pencil (so I could
erase) double-spaced on blue-lined notebook paper. By the time I became a
teenager other writers and genres finally broke the spell. But I attribute that
early kernel of a lifelong reading and writing fascination to the Queen of
Crime (in a country, it’s worth noting, where we didn’t have royalty; she was
the only Queen I really knew).
When I was finishing my first novel Lightning People in 2011, I began searching
for the premise and structure of a next novel. I was fixing the final edits in
a small seaside village on the far North Fork of Long Island called Orient—a
disturbingly innocent-appearing country hamlet connected to the rest of the
country only by a tiny thread of causeway. On that visit, it dawned on me that
Orient would be an ideal setting for a series of terrible crimes. As a
“literary novelist” we are so often and incorrectly told to avoid genre writing,
that it doesn’t allow for that mercurial, inchoate sensibility that defines a
piece of writing as a work of art. (You occasionally run into this tired
criticism against plot: “life doesn’t have a plot, why should literature?” to
which I always want to respond, “yes, in fact, life does have plots! Many, and
some are quite ruthless.”) One of the joys of getting older as a writer is that
you acquire a little more confidence in your own predilections and interests,
you trust them, and I quickly began fleshing out a murder mystery set in the
sleepy village of Orient. Agatha Christie instinctively became a model for me.
For one, Orient is by its very geography a closed-off community, isolated from
the rest of Long Island, and that made it very similar to Christie’s brilliant
remote estate mysteries (probably the most superior of these being Ten Little Indians where the characters
quite literally cannot escape the island). Also, I remembered how riveting it
felt to tear through one of her whodunits, contemplating each character as both
a curious, distinctive individual and as a potential double agent. The reader
isn’t passive in a Christie: she or he interacts, trying to work through the
logic, in the possibility that they could also solve the crime. It’s shadow
boxing, and Christie lets us punch.
Orient, for me, is a very American novel. In
fact, one of the key issues I wanted to explore in its pages is the failure of
the American Dream and the way that these communities we have set up and
lionized as ideals have reached their expiration date. There’s a feeling of
foreclosure to that once invincible dream of perfection in a house, a
neighbourhood, a family, happy photographs set on the windowsill against a mowed
lawn of Bermuda grass. It is, ultimately, its own sort of fiction. In the
States we have our own homegrown mystery models, and a cursory expectation
would be that an American archetype would have served as a better vehicle than
a British one to explore the rough roads of the American Dream. Ours are largely
of two varieties: the noir-ish private eye (Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade) or the
more recent police procedural (Richard Price). But here’s the catch that sold
me on Agatha Christie as the ultimate exemplar: I didn’t want an outside
detective with a lot of street smarts and cool to be the protagonist. You never
see the community under its own skin if it’s just a case of a detective coming
in cold without any connection to the people being investigated. That structure
certainly makes the writer’s work easier: a murder occurs in the first chapter
and the detective goes to the scene and begins the search. In other words, the
chessboard is already set up and all the writer needs to do is make the first
move. Instead, I wanted amateur detectives, locals with particular insights
into this village, to be the ones doing the solving. The tough part about that
decision is that I had to actually set the board up in the early chapters before
I began moving the pieces. But the payoff, I believe, is that the reader
invests in those characters as thinking, feeling individuals with something
very real to lose by the unfolding events. Philip Marlow or Sam Spade or a
lieutenant on the homicide squad has nothing besides pride or a job at stake if
they don’t solve the crime. Moreover the entire universe is refracted through
the detective: no character ever outshines Marlow.
Christie, on the other hand, and a few others
from the Golden Age of British mystery writing (and even latter-day writers
like P.D. James), understood that a compelling mystery was a communal activity.
Yes, Poirot was a private detective too, an outsider in his own way, but Poirot
was also a flawed character, capable of absurdity, and Christie never allowed
him to completely overtake the scenario. Jane Marple was embedded; she was an
observant set of eyes to the churches and manors and dress shops not far from her
windows. Christie was an inveterate chronicler of class, character, communal
dynamics, and the tricks and trades of real lives burdened with real
consequences. That’s what makes her novels such insightful dioramas of society.
Gore Vidal, in a 2011 interview, said this of Christie: “I like
Christie because I thought she was a great naturalist — those are real villages
she writes about — and it’s fascinating. I used to like to read not for the
mysteries but I read her for the characters.” He’s correct. But he goes astray
with his next sentence. “They are of no use to an American writer, but anyway
they are very nice to read.” They are of every use. If Orient works at all, it’s because I studied and mined Christie’s
Orient by Christopher Bollen is out now (Simon & Schuster, £16.99)
A trailer for Orient can be seen below.
Orient As summer draws to a close, a small Long Island town is plagued by a series of mysterious deaths - and one young man, a loner taken in by a local, tries to piece together the crimes before his own time runs out. Orient is an isolated hamlet on the North Fork of Long Island - a quiet, historic village that swells each summer with vacationers, Manhattan escapees, and wealthy young artists from the city with designs on local real estate. On the last day of summer, a teenage drifter named Mills Chevern arrives in town. Soon after, the village is rocked by a series of unsettling events: the local caretaker is found floating lifeless in the ocean; an elderly neighbour dies under mysterious circumstances; and a monstrous animal corpse is discovered on the beach not far from a research lab often suspected of harbouring biological experiments. Before long, other more horrific events plunge the community into a spiral of paranoia. As the village struggles to make sense of the wave of violence, anxious eyes settle on the mysterious Mills, a troubled orphan with no family, a hazy history, and unknown intentions. But he finds one friend in Beth, an Orient native in retreat from Manhattan, who is determined to unravel the mystery before the small town devours itself.
You can find more information about the author on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter @Christobollen
Friday 17 April 2015 I joined a room full of John Connolly fans at Waterstones
Piccadilly, London as they gathered to here him launch the latest book in his
Charlie Parker series A Song of Shadows.It was quite an eclectic mix of people who
had come to hear him talk about the new novel.
event started with John explaining that whilst he does not normally read from
his books at events such as these what he was planning on doing was reading his
new short story before talking about the new book and the background to A Song of Shadows.He explained that the short story was set in
the same realm of The Book of Lost Things.He also went on to state that he found
writing short stories difficult (hence the reason why did not do them that
often) but that in October he will have a second collection of short stories
(Nocturne 2) published.His first collection Nocturne was published over 11 years ago.
reading the short story John went on to talk about the backstory of the new
Charlie Parker book.According to John a
lot of his stories start off by him sitting in a bar!This was the case with A Song of Shadows. John explained that he had been sitting in a bar
and that he had been watching a programme on the television about Nazi’s who
were still free and the way in which they had managed to capture some of the
Nazi’s.He then began to investigate
the nature and hunt for Nazi war criminals.
pointed out that during his research that he believed that the Eichmann Trial
had been the tipping point for most people as it had taken a while for the
enormity to set in.He also felt that we
needed to try and understand their reasoning for what they did.
also answered questions from the audience.One of the questions he was asked was whether or not he did his writing
and research in tandem of whether he did his research first followed by sitting
down and writing the novel.John was
also asked about Charlie Parker’s redemption.He explained that the overarching theme in all the Charlie Parker’s was
redemption and that redemption requires sacrifice.In the case of A Song of Shadows John explained that at the end of the book
Charlie Parker as changed quite a bit and that there is a deeper sense and
content thus the reason why it is written in 3rd person.
was also asked who was his favourite villain and he explained that he quite
liked Mr Brightwell (The Wrath of Angels)
but that Mr Pudd who can be found in The
Killing Kind was his first villain.He went on to explain that he did not really have to think about
villains when writing about them but that he found it a lot harder to write
about good people.He wanted readers to
sympathise with those being hunted.
was of course a long queue of people waiting for John to sign their books as
well and as fans have come to expect there was a collectors cd of music being
given away by John.The latest
collection entitled Shadows is volume
V of the Soundtrack to the Novels of John Connolly and features music by Warren
Zevon, Grant Lee Buffalo and the Punch Brothers to name a few.
A Song of Shadows
recovering from his life-threatening wounds, private detective Charlie Parker
investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during
the Second World War.Parker has
retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to regain his strength. There he
befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth
has her secrets. She is hiding from the past, and the forces that threaten her
have their origins in the Second World War, in a town called Lubsko and a
concentration camp unlike any other. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed,
and old sinners will kill to hide their sins. Now Parker is about to risk his
life to defend a woman he barely knows, one who fears him almost as much as she
fears those who are coming for her.His
enemies believe him to be vulnerable. Fearful. Solitary.
they are wrong. Parker is far from afraid, and far from alone.For something is emerging from the shadows .