BookNoir March Newsletter

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!

Missed it?

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.

Happy reading!

Paul Burke
March 2018



Author meets Reviewer: Barry Forshaw meets Paul Burke


The Pocket Essentials Noir Series by Barry Forshaw

You may also like