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 The Mystery Press, 3 February 2016. ISBN: 978 0
7509 6698 6 (PB)
It pulls you up short when you pick up a ‘historical’ mystery and
realize the action took place in your lifetime!
it was with The New Eastgate Swing, the second in Leeds-based crime
writer Chris Nickson’s series of 1950s ‘noir’ novels featuring enquiry agent
Dan Markham. And if my childhood memory serves me well, it all felt exactly
familiarity with his home city, whatever the era, has become his trademark
through three separate series of historical mystery novels. In the Dan Markham
titles, he adds a surefooted knowledge of jazz, complete with old 78rpm records
and slightly sleazy basement clubs in which three-piece combos share space with
raw-edged skiffle groups.
characters, too, come to life from the outset; he’s especially skilled at
making beautiful women into real people with talents, quirks and
vulnerabilities. And then there’s that setting: Leeds, in all its grey 1950s
detail, is almost as much a character as Markham himself.
the 1950s, Leeds is becoming a little more like the place it is today, if you
don’t count the ever-present shadow of the H-bomb, the Cold War, the police’s
somewhat cavalier attitude to human rights, and the wide availability of free
parking spaces. Dan Markham’s shady wartime past in intelligence comes in
useful, as does an acquaintance from the first book in the series: former
Detective Sergeant Stephen Baker, now retired and in search of an occupation to
keep him out from under his wife’s feet.
becomes Markham’s new partner, and when a missing persons case they are
investigating intersects with a job offered to them by glamorous rival enquiry
agent Amanda Fox, they soon find themselves on the trail of a number of
suspicious deaths. Amanda’s husband disappears in suspect circumstances while
abroad on business, and the chase is on – but it rapidly becomes evident that
Markhamis the hunted as well as the
knows how to craft a good plot, with plenty of twists and questions in need of
answers. This one takes place in a spooky derelict factory as well as on the
mean streets, and gathers pace right up to the tense final chapters; it’s
giving nothing away to reveal that the take-down happens in underground tunnels
which few people know exist.
Nickson is one of many crime writers who really deserve to be better known. If
there’s any justice, The New Eastgate Swing will help to make that
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Nickson was born and raised in Leeds.
He is the author of the Richard Nottingham books, historical mysteries set in
Leeds in the 1730s and featuring Richard Nottingham, the Constable of the city,
and his deputy, John Sedgwick. The books are about more than murder. They're
about the people of Leeds and the way life was - which mean full of grinding
poverty for all but the wealthy. They're also about families, Nottingham and
his and Sedgwick, and the way relationships grow and change, as well as the
politics, when there was one law for the rich, and another, much more brutal,
for everyone else. In addition to this Chris is also a music journalist,
reviewing for magazines and online outlets
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.