Article published on March 2, 2018.
What we have for you this month
Our World Crime feature focuses on France (plenty of material there). Then there is Paul Allard’s new graphic novel round-up, which will feature his tips for fans of the comic format. Our Golden Oldie will be Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household – a great British thriller, Left Field will feature Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. The crime round-up will be best of British/Irish this month. We have some great interviews – including crime fiction guru/aficionado Barry Forshaw as well as Tim Baker and Brad Parks on their new novels (both reviewed here). Another new feature on crime publishers starts with Akashic, publishers of the city noir series. And of course, our stock in trade, reviews will include Walter Mosley’s Down the River unto the Sea, T.M. Logan’s 29 Seconds (our March book of the month, which comes with a readers guide), Benjamin Myers’ The Gallows Pole, Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Execution of Justice and Elmer Mendoza’s Name of the Dog.
For my “top ten” list, I hit on the idea of crime-fighting duos. So I took a piece of paper: Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, Lisbeth Salander and Michael Blomkvist… I didn’t get much further than that. There are plenty on the TV but good ones in books are rarer. Could you put a top ten together? I gave up, so my top ten will be ‘crimes with bizarre murder methods’, should be fun!
Did you see the feature on graphic fiction last month? If you’re a novel reader perhaps you might like to try a graphic novel. I used to be a sceptic but I really enjoyed looking into the Hardcase Crime novels last month. We also had some cracking interviews including David Young, C.J. Carver and Nicolas Verdan. Our first World Crime feature was on Mexico and the crime round-up focused on the best new Euro-Noir thrillers. Left Field was Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco and, as always, there were some great reviews.
We take a keen interest in small independent bookshops at Nudge. They’ve had it hard over the last few years. Now more than 100 are banding together to try to get better deals from the publishers. It’s not just a price issue, although the lack of bargaining power means local shops pay a lot more than chains for titles. Waterstones recently had an exclusive edition (5000 copies) of Philip Pullman’s new novel and independent retailers would like to be able to negotiate the same kind of deal. Good luck with that!
Sign of the times? The Guardian in a recent interview with Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdóttir revealed she is a noir fan. She first took to Agatha Christie as a teenager before writing a dissertation on Arnaldur Indridason for her MA; “crime fiction is about not really trusting anyone. And that’s generally how politics works” (Guardian 10/2/18).
Screenwriter Bridget Lawless has set up her own literary prize, The Staunch Book Prize, with a prize pot of £2,000. The aim is to acknowledge novels that eschew violence against women. Initially self-funded, Lawless is looking for crowd funding for the future. It’s come about partly in response to #MeToo and the Weinstein affair. The prize will be awarded in November. There has been a bit of a backlash; author Val McDermid pointed out the violence against women in her books is based on reality and not misogyny. Good idea?
TV watch: Channel 4 has just added a new series to its foreign cannon, The Rebecka Martinsson Mysteries, based on the Asa Larsson novels set in Arctic Sweden, Netflix have sci-fi crime adventure Altered Carbon based on the novels of Richard Morgan and Sky have started season three of Gomorrah.
March – New Releases
C.J. Box The Disappeared Head of Zeus HB
Jonathan Moore The Night Market Orion PB
Karen Ellis A Map of the Dark Mulholland HB,
Meg Gardiner Into the Black Nowhere Dutton HB
John Nicholl White is the Coldest Colour Bloodhound PB
Samantha Harvey The Western Wind Jonathan Cape HB
Andrew Taylor The Fire Court Harper Collins HB
John Rhodes The Mystery at Olympia Collins Crime Club PB
Michel Bussi Time is a Killer Europa Editions PB
Mike Knowles Tin Men ECW press PB
Tadzio Koelb Trenton Makes Doubleday HB
Edmund Crispin Buried for Pleasure Collins Crime Club PB
Amy Lloyd The Innocent Wife Hanover Square HB
John Dean The Secrets Man Robert Hale PB
Francis Durbridge Back Room Girl Collins Crime Club PB
Brad Parks Closer Than You Know Faber & Faber PB
Cynthia Swanson A Glass Forest Touchstone PB
Of course, this list is just a taster of what’s out there this month/early next month.
Author meets Reviewer: Barry Forshaw meets Paul Burke
The Pocket Essentials Noir Series by Barry Forshaw
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