As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Orenda Books, 30 March 2017.
1996 Derek Bickers and Sally Mullen take five teenagers on an adventure weekend
near Scarclaw Fell.The group are
members of an unofficial club, The Rangers, who have taken part in similar
outings many times before, but on this occasion one member of the group, fifteen-year-old Tom Jeffries, goes
missing.The alarm is raised, the area
searched, but the boy cannot not be found.
A year later Harry Saint Clement Ramsay, whose
father owns the land around Scarclaw Fell, is in the area with two of his friends
when the trio stumble upon Tom’s rotting corpse.This grisly find converts the missing person
enquiry into a suspicious death, and prompts an investigation.The other members of the
group, already traumatised since Tom’s disappearance, now find themselves
questioned by the police as potential murder suspects.The enquiry is thorough, but Tom’s death
cannot be conclusively attributed to either misadventure or murder and
effectively becomes a cold case.
Fast forward twenty years to 2017 and Harry, still
haunted by the gruesome discovery he and his pals made, is contacted by a
famously elusive investigative journalist who broadcasts using the pseudonym
Scott King.King wants to revisit the
fatal Rangers’ excursion through a series of interviews with Tom’s friends, Eva
Bickers, Anyu Kekkon, Charlie Armstrong, Brian Mings, as well as Haris Novak
who befriended the group and, of course, Harry.For a period of six weeks each member of the group will offer their perspective on
the events of 1996, and at the end of the series listeners will be invited to
consider their verdict on the case.
The author allows the narrative to unfold
through the “Six Stories”, interspersed with Harry’s flashbacks and the
reporter’s commentary.Direct speech,
reported in the podcast transcripts, injects pace as well as nuance into the
story, and the presentation of different, often contradictory, viewpoints
creates and maintains interest and tension.The reader becomes a listener - looking forward to the next
instalment/chapter to see what the next guest on the programme will reveal and
how their lives have been affected by their involvement in the tragedy.There are twists and turns in abundance in
this refreshingly modern novel and the reader is kept guessing to the end.A super book, highly recommended.
Matt Wesolowskiis an author from
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and
leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in
association with New Writing North. Wesolowski started his writing career in
horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and
US anthologies. Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at
'Bloody Scotland'; Crime Writing Festival 2015 and his short crime story
'Tulpa' was subsequently published in the Northern Crime One' anthology (Moth
Publishing 2015). .Six Stories is his debut crime novel and available through
Orenda Books .
Dot Marshall-Gentworked in the
emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a
paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s
College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties. She completed
a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London
and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues. Dot
sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being
addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.
Published by Orenda Books, 31 May 2017. ISBN:
Sweden, and the mutilated body of talented jewellery designer Linnea Blix is
discovered in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London, and the body
of a small boy is found with similar wounds to Linnea's.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1944,
and in the middle of the hell that is the Holocaust, Erich Ebner will do
anything to survive.
Alex Castellis is a true crime writer
and a close friend of Linnea Blix, and she is thrown together with Canadian
profiler Emily Roy to try and find out if the two murders are linked, and how
they could be connected to the shocking events at a concentration camp 70 years
This is another dark and disturbing
crime novel from the successful Orenda stable, and has been beautifully
translated from the original French by Maxim Jakubowski. It's the first in a
series featuring Emily Roy and Alex Castellis. It has a challenging mystery at
its heart and is set between Sweden and London, ranging from the last years of
the Second World War to 2014.
The characters are interesting - Emily
is spiky and guarded and cares nothing for the social niceties. She remains an
enigma even at the end of the book, but because she is such a tough nut to
crack, I am looking forward to finding out more about her in future stories.
Alex has a past of which we keep getting tantalising glimpses. Again, I want to
know more about her. The locations are beautifully depicted - the cold of
Sweden wonderfully evoked. The many-layered plot is twisty and tussles with the
psychology of evil, good versus bad and nature versus nurture. A word of
warning - it can be quite harrowing.
The haunting chapters set in
Buchenwald are visceral and chilling and give us a vivid picture of the
brutality that existed in the camps, without the writing being in any way
gratuitous. It's worth saying that Johana Gustawsson's grandfather, Simon
Lagunes, was a survivor of Buchenwald and a member of the camp's resistance
movement until the camp’s liberation in April 1945.
I am looking forward to seeing what
Gustawsson comes up with for book two.
Johana Gustawsson was born in 1978 in
Marseille. With a degree in political science, shehas worked as a journalist for the French press and
television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author
of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, which was published by Fayard Noir in
France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015.
She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.
Mary-Jane Riley wrote
her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It
was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she
soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So, she wrote
about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and
became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many
life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two
decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get
in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines
and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help
charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing
psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was
published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads in April 2016.