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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by Avon Books, 19 April 2018. ISBN: 968-0-00-821224-7 (PB)
A debut novel that
has won many plaudits is always a hard act to follow and this, the author’s
second, must demonstrate the same knockout qualities.
the reader encounters fraternal twins, Zara and Miranda, who live in Miranda’s
flat in Bristol.Zara is a dropout and
gets her kicks by cutting herself but eventually manages to enrol on a
photography undergraduate degree course. Miranda is a high-flying accountant in
a prestigious firm. They’re chalk and cheesebut have always supported each other through thick and thin. Enter
Sebastian, handsome, manipulative and charismatic with whom Zara is besotted. He
moves in to the flat, slowly and surely undermining the twins devoted
relationship and lands a job not only in the same firm as Miranda, but also in
the same room.
story is narrated in the first person present tense from the perspective of each
of the three principal characters.Each
chapter is sharp and short, no more than a page or so long, that is tautly
dramatic. That Sebastian has ulterior
motives is apparent from the outset and Miranda takes an instant dislike to
him. However, she’s between the devil and the deep blue sea and can’t get rid
of him because to do so would compromise not only her close sisterly
relationship with Zara but also Zara’s fragile mental state.
is persuaded by Sebastian to believe that Miranda is jealous of her and desires
Sebastian for herself. Without providing a spoiler, a toxic crime scene, born
from lies, deceit, mind games and lust, arises that leads to one of the twins
being locked away in a women’s prison and puts her in the dock, battling,
against all the evidence, to establish her innocence.
writing is fast paced, characterisation is well explored, the dialogue frisky
and natural. The reader will root for some characters but not for others, but
it will certainly keep him/her on tenterhooks and guessing to the end.
After graduating, Amanda Robsonworked in medical
research at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, and at the
Poison’s Unit at Guy’s hospital where she became a co-author of a book on
cyanide poisoning.This has set her in
good stead for writing her debut novel, Obsession,
a dark and twisted tale about love affairs gone wrong. Amanda attended the
Faber Academy writing course in 2011, and now writes from home full time. She
lives in London and Wales, with her lawyer husband
Serena Fairfaxspent her childhood in India,
qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She
began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicalsthen turned her hand to fiction. Having
published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has
also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten
track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work
in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and
singing are a few of her favourite things.
Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2018 announced
Stav Sherez has tonight (announced 19 July, 9pm) scooped the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for
Now in its fourteenth year, the Award is considered one of the most coveted crime writing prizes in the country.
by Stav Sherez was a 2017 Guardian and Sunday Times book of the year,
dubbed ‘A Silence of the Lambs for the internet age’ by Ian Rankin. The
book was acclaimed by critics for its echoes of Emile Zola and
influences from Graham Greene to Dostoyevsky.
was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and
broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old
Writing Festival. The annual Festival, hosted in Harrogate, is the
world’s biggest celebration of the genre.
said: “I’m so shocked. Thank you so much for everyone who reads books,
everyone who buys books, and talks about them. The world is full of
hardships, but we have so much great stuff in culture and it means so
much that there’s something to hide in.”
Stav talked about the inspiration of social media offering a new vein of storytelling and criminality.
Intrusions are the stuff we have all around us – all the static and
scatter of TV and phones – everything is impinging on our consciousness
and you don’t have time to think. So many great crime writers have come
before us that have used all the great plots – Christie, James Ellroy –
it’s good to have new criminality to deal with. But it’s not only
criminality, the internet is affecting politics,
it’s affecting elections, it affects us and our kids.”
beat off stiff competition from the shortlist of six, whittled down
from a longlist of 18 crime novels published by UK and Irish authors
whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2017 to 30 April
The 2018 Award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday.
Stav Sherez collected a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier.
winner was decided by the panel of Judges, comprising literary and
media figures chaired this year by Lee Child, alongside a public vote.
Intrusions is structured around the lead character – Carrigan’s -
visits to the hospital to visit his mother who suffered a stroke.
said: “I didn’t know anyone who died from stoke, then a year into
writing the book my dad had his first stroke, and was in and out of
rewriting scenes I’d already imagined. Philip Roth in his book at his
father’s death was shocked at himself writing notes, in a way it’s
remembering the dead, making sure their stories are never lost, which is
in a way is what all literature is about.”
special presentation was made to John Grisham - the winner of the ninth
Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
joins Lee Child, Val McDermid, Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth
Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill as recipients of
Grisham said: “About twenty years ago I attended a Chelsea football
match with my close friend and editor, Oliver Johnson. Afterwards, we
retired to a pub and I had my first pint of Theakston Old Peculier.
Others followed. It’s my favourite beer in the world.”
added: “I want to thank you for your loyal readership over the years,
because of you, the readers, people like myself and Lee Child are lucky
enough to do what we do. Thank you very much.”
sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston,
said: “We’re particularly delighted to honour John Grisham. He is truly
a giant of the genre, having sold 300 million books worldwide, with
nine of his novels being adapted by Hollywood. His appearance at the Old
Peculier Crime Writing Festival marks the first time he’s visited
Yorkshire, something that will be remembered in Harrogate
history for many years to come. The fact that he is a devotee of Old
Peculier only adds to our delight!”
by MacLehose Press, 11 January 2018. ISBN 978 0 85705 735 8
by Jamie Bulloch
Louise Boni is a Chief Inspector in
the Black Forest crime squad.But, as is
the case with many female police characters in current crime fiction, she is
struggling with personal problems:the
ghosts of past cases, a divorce, her parents, and alcohol to list a few.The action starts on a snowy Saturday in Liebau
when Johann Hollerer, one of Boni’s colleagues, looks out at the High Street and
watches a Japanese monk walk towards the Church.His presence is causing a mild sensation and
Hollerer realises that he must do something for the monk’s own protection.Louise gets called in and sets off to find
the monk …. She catches up with him, but this is not the end of the trail,
which crosses European borders and, ultimately, leads to death and discovery
and, maybe, to help for Louise.This is
a sad and serious story, its measured and contemplative moments perhaps
reflecting the Buddhist element.
Bottini is a well-known krimi (crime fiction) author in Germany and this is a
translation from the original German.The impression is that the translator, Jamie Bulloch, has grasped the
essence of the novel, its nuances and pace. Four of the author’s novels, including this
one, have been awarded the Deutscher Krimipreis, Germany's most prestigious
award for crime writing and this book is on the long list for the CWA
International Dagger (which is for crime novels not originally written in
English, but translated into English for publication).
Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
books (English translations) by this author:A Summer of Murder
Oliver Bottiniwas born in 1965. Four of his
novels, including Zen and the Art of Murder and A Summer of Murder
of the Black Forest Investigations have been awarded the Deutscher Krimipreis,
Germany’s most prestigious award for crime writing. In addition, his novels
have been awarded the Stuttgarter Krimipreis and the Berliner Krimipreis. He
lives in Berlin.
Jo Hesslewood. Crime
fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first
spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.For twenty-five years the commute to and from
London provided plenty of reading time.I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book
club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .I enjoy attending crime fiction events and
currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.