Yes … believe it or not, it is getting to that point in the year that we both welcome and dread. Christmas. You may have missed it, but I’ve started posting a few festive reads on the blog over the past few days, just something Mandie and I thought (back in July/August) was a really good idea. Possibly not as we’re about as enthusiastic about Christmas as the Grinch, but hey ho (ho ho), it’s not all bad. I think. Do stop by for a few festive reading tips won’t you? Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone from the cosy and the kiddie, right through to the dark and the deadly. Always room for a little festive crime right?
Well, I had a busy old week last week achieving not a lot whilst seemingly doing loads. The week started perfectly – I was only at work for half a day before I was heading off down to London for November’s First Monday Crime panel. This month saw Barry Forshaw interview Stuart MacBride, Elodie Harper, Vaseem Khan and Simon Booker. An interesting debate was had by all regarding the idea of crime fiction v ‘literary fiction’, biggest mistakes made by newbie writers and whether there should be limits on how far you take your crime fiction.
A fantastic panel and I can heartily recommend both their books and First Monday Crime and if you want to find out more about next months panel, you can do so at their website here. December’s panel promises to be a doozy with Chris Whitaker, Louise Jensen, Mel McGrath and Susi Holliday alongside chair Claire McGowan. On top of that you’ll get to witness ‘Pitch the Audience’ where MC Howard Linskey will try to corral Rod Reynolds, Abir Mukherjee, Cass Green, Leye Adenle, Susi Holliday, Derek Farrell, Lisa Cutts, Chris Whitaker, Mason Cross, and James Carol as they bid to become ‘Pitch the Audience’ Champions for 2017. And books and pub visits. What more could you want? I’m booked. Maybe see you there?
And speaking of books, couldn’t resist the opportunity of getting a couple of signed books while I was there. Well … I went all that way. 😉
Book post wise, it’s been quite a quiet week for me. Nowt new there then lol. Just the one, a copy of Sai-Ko from author Gabriela Harding. Can’t wait to take a trip to the dark side with these short stories.
Other purchase wise, I’ve been good. At least if you own Amazon lol. I purchased the Killer Women Crime Club Book 2, Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath (also on audio); Little Liar by Clare Boyd and The Death Knock by Elodie Harper. From Netgalley, just the one, Know Me Now by CJ Carver. Also on audible was WhiteOut by Ragnar Jonasson. Well a girl needs to have the whole set.
Reading wise it’s been a bit of a mixed bag as my head is all over the place with work. I have managed 3.4 books though – one of them being a collection of short stories.
Books I have read
Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?
Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep.
But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going.
A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season.
A wonderfully uplifting and heart warming tale of Flora, a woman who is in search of her birth mother having been left on a doorstep as a baby. Great for Christmas, my review of this book will be on the blog this week. In the meantime you can buy a copy of the book here.
Christmas is coming. One body at a time.
Three weeks before Christmas: Sunday, one a.m. A woman is drowned in her bathtub.
One week later: Sunday, one a.m. A woman is beaten savagely to death, every bone in her body broken.
Another week brings another victim.
As panic spreads across London, DCI Antonia Hawkins, leading her first murder investigation, must stop a cold, careful killer whose twisted motives can only be guessed at, before the next body is found. On Sunday.
When the clock strikes one . . .
A terrifying British debut thriller, The Advent Killer introduces DCI Antonia Hawkins, with the second in the series coming from Penguin in 2014. Fans of Chris Carter and Richard Montanari should be paying attention.
Now Christmas and murder … finally something I can identify with. Not literally of course and not in quite so gruesome a fashion as is presented in Alastair Gunn’s debut novel I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this one very soon as one of my ‘festive reads’. You can buy a copy of the book here.
When Holly White’s fiancé cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime—exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.
When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.
After a bit of a gruesome murder, it was time to go all cosy. This is a beautiful book, full of all the festive spirit a lover of the season could want. Give or take the odd murder … I’ll be reviewing this very soon but you can buy yourself a copy right here.
Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour. Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.
Ann Cleeves, C.L. Taylor, Susi Holliday, Martin Edwards, Anna Mazzola, Carol Anne Davis, Cath Staincliffe, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, Ed James, Gordon Brown, J.M. Hewitt, Judith Cutler, Julia Crouch, Kate Ellis, Kate Rhodes, Martine Bailey, Michael Stanley, Maxim Jakubowski, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Sarah Rayne, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Vaseem Khan, William Ryan and William Burton McCormick
A brilliant collection of short stories and perfect for dipping in and out of, which is exactly what I’m doing ahead of my stop on the blog tour next week. Featuring some of the best crime writers around, you’d be mad to miss it. I’ve already powered through 34% of the book without even realising it. You can preorder a copy here.
Blogging wise, not quite as traumatic as last week, i.e. you haven’t had to suffer any more videos of me, but still busy none-the-less.
The week ahead is another full one – are there any other kind. Personally, I am off to the UK launch of The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen on Wednesday and I can’t wait. It’s in the running to be my book of the year! Then the weekend sees the long awaited arrival of Hull Noir. Looking forward to lots of brilliant panels and getting to catch up with some amazing blogger friends.
In the meantime, I’ve a mixture of the usual reviews and blog tours to keep you all amused, starting today when I’ll be reviewing The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne. Wednesday is the tour for The Future Can’t Wait by Angelena Boden and Saturday it’s Dying Day by Stephen Edger. And there will be some sharing of the #booklove with blogger Victoria Goldman.
And in other news – with the notable and excusable exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day, today marks a whole year of posting every day, at least once, sometimes more. I set myself the challenge to see how long I could keep it up and I have to admit I am fluffing knackered now, but hey. Quite an achievement for a moderately busy gal like me I think. Go me. May have to celebrate.
Have a brilliant week all. See you on the other side