Sunday 31 May 2020

2020 Davitt Long List

Sisters in crime Australia have announced the long list for the 2020 Davitt award.  The short list will be announced in July.

Adult crime novels 
Kirsten Alexander, Half Moon Lake (Bantam Australia, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia) Debut
Rachel Amphlett, Bridge to Burn (Detective Kay Hunter Murder Mystery #7) (Saxon Publishing)
Rachel Amphlett, Cradle to Grave (Detective Kay Hunter Murder Mystery #8) (Saxon Publishing)
Rachel Amphlett, The Friend Who Lied (Saxon Publishing)
Diane Armstrong, The Collaborator (HQ Fiction, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Melissa Ashley, The Bee and the Orange Tree (Affirm Press) Debut
Sarah Bailey, Where the Dead Go (Allen & Unwin)
Sarah Barrie, Devil’s Lair (HQ Fiction, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Susan Bennett, The Whack Club: Four women are about to start a mob war – and fingernails WILL be broken (Clever Pumpkin)
Violeta M Bagia, Jack of Hart: Wildcard (Hart of Darkness #4) (Violeta M Bagia)
Carmel Bird, Field of Poppies (Transit Lounge)
Isobel Blackthorn, A Prison in the Sun (Canary Islands Mysteries #3) (Next Chapter Publishing)
Ashley Kalagian Blunt, My Name Is Revenge (Spineless Wonders) Debut
Carline Bouilhet, The Samui Conspiracy (Austin Macauley Publishers)
Deborah Burrows, Ambulance Girls at War (Ebury Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK)
Suzanne Cass, Bound by Truth (Suzanne Cass)
Dianah Chorlton, The Vanishing of Venice (Austin Macauley Publishers) Debut
Phillipa Nefri Clark, The Christmas Tree Thief (Charlotte Dean Mysteries #1) (Phillipa Nefri Clark)
Sherryl Clark, Trust Me, I’m Dead (Verve Books) Debut
T M Clark, Cry of the Firebird (Mira, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Natalie Conyer, Present Tense (Clan Destine Press) Debut
Tea Cooper, The Woman in the Green Dress (HQ Fiction, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Cindy Davies, The Revolutionary’s Cousin (Odyssey Books) Debut
Livia Day, Keep Calm and Kill the Chef (Café la Femme #3) (Twelfth Planet Press)
Caroline de Costa, Blood Sisters (Wild Dingo Press)
Kaz Delaney, Chocolate and Old Lace (Rosie Hart Mystery #1) (Kerry Lane)
Kaz Delaney, Preserving the Evidence (Rosie Hart Mystery #2) (Kerry Lane)
Joy Dettman, Trails in the Dust (Woody Creek Novel #7) (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Sandie Docker, The Cottage at Rosella Cove (Penguin Random House Australia)
Pip Drysdale, The Strangers We Know (Simon & Schuster)
C M Elliot, Sibanda and the Rainbird (Constable, an imprint of Hachette Australia)
Helen FitzGerald, Worst Case Scenario (Orenda Books UK)
Sara Foster, You Don’t Know Me (Simon & Schuster)
Candice Fox, Gone by Midnight (Penguin Random House Australia)
Sulari Gentill, All the Tears in China (Rowland Sinclair Mysteries #9) (Pantera Press)
J M Green, Shoot Through (Scribe Publications)
Sally Hepworth, The Mother-in-Law (Pan Macmillan Australia) Debut
Diane Hester, Die for Me (Slender Thread Publishing)
Suzie Hindmarsh-Knights, Second Chance (Suzie Hindmarsh-Knights)
Rowena Holloway, From the Ashes (Ashes to Ashes #3) (Fractured Press)
Sarah Hopkins, The Subjects (Text Publishing)
Susan Hurley, Eight Lives (Affirm Press) Debut
Nicole Hurley-Moore, Lawson’s Bend (Allen & Unwin)
Wendy James, The Accusation (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
Catherine Jinks, Shepherd (Text Publishing)
Maggie Joel, Unforgiving City (Allen & Unwin)
Dorothy Johnston, Gerard Hardy’s Misfortune (For Pity Sake)
Kylie Kaden, The Day the Lies Began (Pantera Press)
Julie Keys, The Artist’s Portrait (Hachette Australia) Debut
Lian Knight, Idle Lies (Hybrid Publishers) Debut
Katherine Kovacic, Painting in the Shadows (Echo Publishing)
C A Larmer, After the Ferry (Larmer Media)
Jess Lea, A Curious Woman (Ylva Publishing) Debut
Leisl Leighton, Climbing Fear (CoalCliff Stud #1) (Escape Publishing, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Sisters (Wilkinson Publishing)
Rhonda Matheson-Browne, Bush (Olympia Publishers UK)
Fleur McDonald, Starting from Now (Allen & Unwin)
Fleur McDonald, Without a Doubt (Allen & Unwin)
Kerry McGinnis, The Roadhouse (Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
Petronella McGovern, Six Minutes (Allen & Unwin) Debut
Felicity McLean, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone (4th Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia) Debut
Dervla McTiernan, The Scholar (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
S J Morgan, Hide (MidnightSun Publishing) Debut  
Nicola Moriarty, The Ex (HarperCollins Publishers Australia) Debut
Tara Moss, Dead Man Switch (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
Meg Mundell, The Trespassers (University of Queensland Press) Debut
Sonia Orchard, Into the Fire (Affirm Press) Debut
L J M Owen, The Great Divide (Echo Publishing)
Beth Prentice, Fatal Break (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #15) (Gemma Halliday Publishing)
Leah Purcell, The Drover’s Wife (Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia) Debut
Carolyn Re and Loretta Re, Secrets of the IN-group (Resisters) Debut
Carmel Reilly, Life Before (Allen & Unwin) Debut
Kate Richards, Fusion (Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia) Debut
Anna Romer, Under the Midnight Sky (Simon & Schuster) Debut
Elisabeth Rose, The Secrets that Lie Within (Taylor’s Bend #1) (Escape Publishing, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Elisabeth Rose, Where There Is Smoke(Taylor’s Bend #2) (Escape Publishing, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Heather Rose, Bruny (Allen & Unwin)
Annie Seaton, Undara (Mira, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
Jennifer Spence, The Lost Girls (Simon & Schuster)
A M Stuart, Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mystery #1) (Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House USA)
Sarah Thornton, Lapse (Text Publishing) Debut
M J Tjia, The Death of Me (Heloise Chancey Mystery #3) (Legend Press UK)
Emma Viskic, Darkness for Light (Caleb Zelic #3) (Echo Publishing)
Anna Willett, Cold Valley Nightmare (The Book Folks UK)
Anna Willett, The Woman Behind Her (The Book Folks UK)

Young Adult crime novels 
Joanna Baker, The Elsinore Vanish (Beechworth Trilogy #2) (Soren Press)
K H Canobi, Mindcull (Ford Street Publishing) Debut
Catherine Greer, Love Lie Repeat (Penguin Random House Australia) Debut
Anna Morgan, All That Impossible Space (Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia) Debut
Malla Nunn, When the Ground Is Hard (Allen & Unwin)
Tania Park, Stalked (Tania Park Publishing)
Tania Pennell, A Second Helping (Bush N Beach Australia)
Astrid Scholte, Four Dead Queens (Allen & Unwin) Debut

Children’s crime novels 
Sandra Bennett, A Lighthouse in Time (The Adamson Adventures #2) (Elephant Tree Publishing)
Jenny Blackford, The Girl in the Mirror (Eagle Books, an imprint of Christmas Press) Debut
Fiona Hardy, How to Make a Movie in 12 Days (Affirm Press)
Jacqueline Harvey, Kensy and Max: Undercover (#3) (Penguin Random House Australia)
Rebecca Lim, The Race for the Red Dragon (Children of the Dragon #2) (Allen & Unwin)
Rebecca McRitchie, Jinxed!: The curious curse of Cora Bell (Jinxed #1) (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
Katrina Nannestad, The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Lucerne (The Girl, the Dog and the Writer #3)(ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
Louise Park, Grace’s Secrets (Berbay Books)
Allison Rushby, The Seven Keys (Walker Books)
R A Spratt, Stuck in the Mud (The Peski Kids #3) (Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
Renee Treml, Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery (Allen & Unwin) Debut
Ailsa Wild, Squishy Taylor and the Secret Envelope (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Non-fiction crime books 
Samantha Battams, The Secret Art of Poisoning: The true crimes of Martha Needle, the Richmond Poisoner (Samantha Battams) Debut
Ava Benny-Morrison, The Lost Girls (ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia) Debut
Robin Bowles, Death on the Derwent: Sue Neill-Fraser’s story (Scribe Publications)
Tanya Bretherton The Suicide Bride: Mystery of tragedy and family secrets in Edwardian Sydney (Hachette Australia)
Adele Ferguson, Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth (ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia) Debut
Justine Ford, Unsolved Australia: Lost Boys,Gone Girls (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Catie Gilchrist, Murder, Misadventure and Miserable Ends: Tales from a Colonial Coroner’s Court (HarperCollins Publishers Australia) Debut
Jane Gilmore, Fixed It: Violence and the representation of women in the media (Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
Ginger Gorman, Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout (Hardie Grant Books) Debut
Jess Hill, See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse (Black Inc.) Debut
Sue Ingleton, Making Trouble – Tongued with Fire: An imagined history of Harriet Elphinstone Dick and Alice C Moon (Spinifex Press) Debut
Xanthé Mallett, Cold Case Investigations (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Kate McClymont (with Vanda Carson), Dead Man Walking: The murky world of Michael McGurk and Ron Medich (Vintage Australia, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia) Debut
Lucie Morris-Marr, Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell (Allen & Unwin) Debut
Vikki Petraitis, Inside the Law: 25 years of true crime writing (Clan Destine Press)
Sue Smethurst and Margaret Harrod, Blood on the Rosary (Simon & Schuster)
Loretta Smith, A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage (Hachette Australia) Debut
Leigh Straw, Angel of Death: Dulcie Markham, Australia’s most beautiful bad woman (ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
Helen Thomas, Murder on Easey Street: Melbourne’s most notorious cold case (Nero, a

More information can be found here.

Thursday 28 May 2020

Escape Lockdown with Audible’s Nigel McCrery

With the Lockdown about to enter another month [with relaxation of some of the criteria], many of us look for methods of escape from the ubiquity of this COVID-19 situation.

At times, reading for long periods becomes difficult due to latent anxiety about our future. Sleep becomes elusive as the nights become long; and when all that appears relevant is this weird virus in our midst.

I have found immersive thriller fiction to be one method of escape in these surreal times; especially when addictive narratives are read to us via the Audible platform.

Audible features many excellent crime and thriller narratives, and supports the genre, including sponsoring one of Crimefest’s annual awards.

Of many great thriller writers, I’ve come to admire the work of screen-writer Nigel McCrery, with his extraordinary DCI Mark Lapsie police procedural novels, narrated with verve by actor Glen McCready.

There are currently four books in the series, with Scream being the latest release –

You will never have felt pain like it in your life. I want you to know...there's nothing you can do to stop it - nothing you can tell me, nothing you can offer me....

A woman screams in pain. Twenty-seven times, until she dies. The sound file was sent to DCI Mark Lapslie from an anonymous email address. Why is she screaming? Why would someone record that horrifying noise? And why send it to him? He soon learns that the file was sent from the hospital where he is being treated for synaesthesia - a neurological condition that cross-wires his senses so he tastes sound - and where his new girlfriend works.

When a body is discovered, the most shocking murder scene Lapslie has ever encountered forces him to realise there is a violent killer out there, a killer whose method of choice is torture. Will Lapslie find the killer? Who will have to die before he does?

The preceding novels [available on Audible] are –

Core of Evil
Thirteenth Coffin
Flesh and Blood

Tooth and Claw [read by Mark Meadows]

Click Here to read more

Nigel’s novels are available in paper and eBooks from Quercus Publishing HERE as well as Audible.

For many the name Nigel McCrery will be familiar from his screenwriting work [Silent Witness, New Tricks et al], though this former policeman’s crime-fiction is well worth exploring, especially when locked-down, and an immersive distraction is required.

Nigel gave a revealing interview to the Daily Mail in 2008 –

'I worked as a lorry driver, a bar tender and even a hospital orderly shaving pre-operative patients. In 1978 I applied to join the Nottinghamshire Constabulary. I didn't do it to solve crime, I did it because I wanted to be middle class,' he says bluntly.

'My dyslexia didn't help. I had to take statements home and correct them with a dictionary. Can you imagine doing that now?

'I enjoyed my years in the force but there were tough times. At the height of the miners' strike when I had a new baby and an exhausted wife (he married Gill in 1976), I asked to be assigned away from the picket line.

'Soon afterwards I found an empty bottle hanging from a noose in my locker. There was a note with it which read, "We've left you this because we heard you'd lost yours..."'

He quit the force in 1987 after injuring his back, but his nine years in uniform would later give him the material he needed to create Silent Witness.
He would base its protagonist, forensic pathologist Sam Ryan, on Professor Helen Witwell with whom he worked in Nottingham.

His years on the beat would also give him the idea for New Tricks - born out of a chat he had with a detective who'd been assigned to a squad dealing with cold cases.

Read More HERE

For more information on what’s available from Audible > CLICK HERE

And to join Audible’s growing listeners and become a member > CLICK HERE

CWA Daggers Longlists to be Announced

Longlists for the coveted 2020 CWA Daggers will be revealed at noon on Friday 5 June for its ten categories, including non-fiction, short stories and debut crime fiction.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers, which honour the very best in crime writing, are the oldest awards in the genre. Created in 1955, the CWA Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

Past winners of the Gold Dagger (best crime novel) include Jane Harper, Mick Herron, Ann Cleeves, Ian Rankin, Belinda Bauer and Val McDermid. The Daggers are also renowned for showcasing new talent with the coveted John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, which in the past has spotted now established names including Dreda Say Mitchell, Louise Welsh and Gillian Flynn.

Judging year 2019-2020 has seen a major reorganisation of the Daggers’ judging panels with an infusion of new blood to create a diverse cross-section of jurors.

CWA Honorary Vice Chair, Maxim Jakubowski, said the refreshed juries were to “move with the times and reflect the diversity of tastes and choices of the reading public.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, added: “It’s been an exciting period after a recent review and refreshing of the judging panels with existing judges moved to different categories, and new judges brought in. We are committed to ensuring the awards remain exciting, relevant and independent.

New judges include former Guardian crime correspondent turned author, Duncan Campbell, leading book blogger and Daily Express reviewer Anne Cater, popular culture chronicler Woody Haut, broadcaster Angela Rippon and head reviewer for Love Reading, Liz Robinson.

All titles for the CWA Dagger awards are put forward by publishers.

The shortlist will be announced later in the year, before the glittering awards ceremony which is due to take place on 22 October with guest speaker, the TV presenter turned crime novelist, Richard Osman. The ceremony will be conducted online, if required.

The longlist will be available on the CWA website from noon on 5 June, as well as via its Facebook, Twitter #CWADaggers and YouTube channel.

Crime Fiction - Exploring tomorrow’s politics, today. by Jem Tugwell

No Signal is the second book in the iMe series, and is set a year after Proximity introduced the world of iMe, where crime is eradicated and your health is managed through embedded technology.

No Signal’s crime thriller plot is extended with the politics, technology, religion and the environment of tomorrow.

Crime Fiction as a lens
It’s often stated that crime fiction is an effective lens through which to view contemporary society.

While it is true that crime fiction allows the author to put political issues and ideology into their characters’ lives, readers of the genre have an expectation that they will be entertained. In a plot-heavy crime story where the detective is racing against time, is it plausible that they are, for example, mulling over the claims and counter-claims around the environmental crisis? Or are they going to be worrying about who the killer is?

Technology, and especially emerging technology can provide vast possibilities for story lines. A writer can look at an existing technology and explore its impact on the book’s characters, or extrapolate into future technology and future worlds.

Any book’s era frames it and the technologies and politics have to match the period. Obviously, in an historical crime story there can be no wristwatch for your roman gladiator. Crime writers setting their stories in the contemporary world have to have plausible reasons for a mobile phone to be flat or left at home.

As with a crime thriller that puts too much emphasis on politics, a technology-based story has to get the balance right so that the reader understands the technology, but is entertained by the plot and not swamped by the detail.

The hacker and the evil corporation
Of course, hacking takes place, and it makes plotting easier to write a hacker character who can break into every system and do anything, but IT companies invest millions in firewalls and other defences. Even if your hacker can get in and make a change to some software code, companies have complex version control systems that let them see any changes that are made. They can rollback to a specific point in time or version, or restore an off-site backup for both code and data. Like the research and accuracy challenges that authors face with forensics or police procedure, technology and technology practices need thorough research to be plausible.

The evil corporation plot is very common, but I would argue that, even in a technology setting, a reader will relate to the issues more if the motives are personal. Getting two protagonists to argue about the pros and cons of a technological or political stance allows the underlying social impact to be drawn out but keep the story moving.

But doesn’t all that technology make it science fiction?

Yes, if the characters are zooming around in spaceships, but not if the main plot is a crime story and the technology is part of the ‘setting’. Not if the world is still recognisable as ‘today’ and the technology transitions are plausible.

A smart phone, Apple watch, or wearable fitness tracker would look like sci-fi to someone from the 1980s, and when you start researching for story ideas, it’s amazing what is already available today: robotic contact lenses that react to eye movement; the use of microprocessors in the control of some prosthetic knees; implantable devices that aim to be personal blood labs.

Try typing ‘body augmentation technology’ into a search engine and prepare to be inspired.

Exploring tomorrow’s politics, today.
Any technology that is used has a social and political impact. Just look at how smart phones have changed the dynamics of groups in a restaurant. How much communication is between the people physically there, and how much time is devoted to screen time and communicating with virtual friends?

In May 2019 there was a legal challenge against the Welsh police’s use of facial recognition software where it was argued that facial recognition ‘makes a mockery of our right to privacy’. In our Covid-19 world, how many would sacrifice the right to privacy if it was used to track the infected and help the health service control the virus?

When the author pushes technology into a different use or timescale, a new set of future political issues can be explored.

Only as technologies evolve and are fully embedded will we see their true political and social impact. Until then it’s left to fiction, like No Signal and the world of iMe, to imagine what might be and explore our future today.

No Signal by Jem Tugwell (Serpentine Books)
Can a game change the world? The Ten are chosen - they are reckless, driven and strong.  They are tested. Ten become Four. In a country where everyone is tracked, how can the Four hide from the police? DI Clive Lussac hates the system that controls everything, but he's ill and it's helping him.  He must decide; conform or fight. As Clive's world unravels, he and his partners DC Ava Miller and DS Zoe Jordan can't believe the entry  price to the game. They strive to answer the real questions. Why does the ultimate Augmented Reality game has four different finishes? And how is a simple game wrapped up in politics, religion and the environment?

Monday 25 May 2020

Martin Walker - The Shooting at Chateau Rock

This novel began to take shape in my head in late 2017 when a Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was assassinated by a car bomb when she began to expose the corruption involved in the sale of Maltese passports to Russian oligarchs and other dubious types. It was not as simple as paying cash. To get Maltese, and thus European citizenship, proof of residence was required. So broom cupboards described as luxury studio apartments were rented for large sums from well-connected Maltese and the passport followed.

Similar scams were under way in Cyprus and across Europe new insurance and finance agencies and property groups began to mushroom, as funds from Russia and other dodgy sources was whitewashed clean. Then in March, 2018, Russian agents used nerve poison in the placid cathedral town of Salisbury to murder a defector and it was clear the Europe security services had a big problem. They had turned a blind eye to the swift little war the Russians had waged on the formerly Soviet Republic of Georgia, and to the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. But they could hardly ignore the invasion of Ukraine and the shooting down of civilian airliners with Russian missiles.

What would they do about it? Could they try using the money as leverage on those oligarchs who were close to Putin. And where had Putin stashed his own wealth? Who would know, if not one of more of these Kremlin oligarchs?

And how would this come to disturb the Perigord, the charming gastronomic heartland of France with its foie gras and black truffles? Could the new Kremlin games play out among the medieval castles and Renaissance chateaus of the Perigord, its prehistoric cave paintings and its famous village markets?

What if one of those chateaus were on sale, perhaps by an aging British rocker whose much younger wife wanted a divorce? But they decide on a last family summer at the chateau with their grown-up children. The son, Jamie, is studying classical music and brings a bunch of classmates down to play at the endless local concerts and music festivals. The daughter wants to go into the wine business. And since they grew up in St Denis, they were taught to play tennis by the local policeman, Bruno, who is delighted to see them back in the district.

At the same time, a shady insurance group is offering pensioners a very comfortable old age in a luxury retirement home, in return for making over all their property and other assets. When an old local sheep farmer, who has signed up for this deal dies before he can move into the luxury chateau, Bruno starts to investigate and is outraged when he finds the insurers had neglected to do anything about the hundreds of sheep and lambs abandoned at the farm. He starts probing and probing and suddenly finds himself on the trail of a wealthy Russian oligarch who had been in the same Leningrad judo club as Putin when they were boys. The two stories of rock star and Russians start to come together.

For Bruno, there is something eerily familiar here. When he was in the French Army, he was seconded to the UN peacekeepers in Bosnia in what future historians will probably call the First War of the Soviet Succession. In the Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Ukraine, we have seen battles and wars over the question - who rules after the collapse of the USSR? Putin has said that the Soviet collapse was “a geopolitical disaster.’ He seems to want to restore Russia to that Soviet influence and status, even though his economy depends on fossil fuels whose importance is dwindling fast.

Bruno starts to realise he is caught up in a huge geo-political drama. In the meantime Bruno is riding his horse, Hector, teaching Florence's kids how to swim, learning to cook for vegetarian guests, exploring Japanese food and trying to arrange a comeback concert in St Denis for the old British rock musician. And, of course, he is still making the usual mess of his romantic life. But now comes something new.

I break my long-standing rule not to write explicit love scenes. Bruno and his partners deserve their privacy and I'd be far too embarrassed at the thought of my daughters reading them. But fear not, no humans are involved in the new sex scene; it is simply time for Balzac the basset hound to become a father. Naturally, he requires the help of a fetching young female hound named Diane de Poitiers, who is named after a famous mistress of a French king. Nothing but the best for Balzac!

A Shooting at Chateau Rock by Martin Walker (Quercus Publishing)
Following the funeral of a local farmer, Bruno gets a phone call from his son. He tells Bruno that before his father's sudden death, he had signed over his property to an insurance company in return for a subscription to a luxury retirement home. Bruno discovers that both the retirement home and the insurance company are scams with links to a Russian oligarch whose dealings are already being tracked by the French police. Meanwhile an aging British rock star is selling his home, Chateau Rock. The star's son returns for the summer with his Russian girlfriend. As Bruno pursues his inquiries into the farmer's death and the stolen inheritance, he learns that the oligarch is none other than the girlfriend's father. Bruno's talents are tested to the limit as he untangles a Gordian Knot of criminality that reaches as far as the Kremlin. But luckily Bruno still has time to cook delicious meals for his friends and enjoy the life of his beloved Dordogne. What's more, love is in the air. His pedigree basset, Balzac, is old enough to breed. Bruno heads for the kennels where a suitable beauty, Diane de Poitiers, is ready and waiting for Balzac's attentions...

More info about the author and his books can be found on his  Bruno Chief of Police website.