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 Oldcastle Books, 26 June
2014. ISBN: 978-1-84344-245-5
This reference book is a personal guide to European crime in books,
film and TV: ‘a user-friendly, wide-ranging snapshot of the best achievements
... of crime not originally written (or played) in English.It’s divided by country, and there’s a short
introduction followed by more detailed entries on notable writers, roughly in
chronological order.Then there’s a
description of selected films and TV, by date.At the back are two appendices with a ‘top ten’ in book and screen per
country, and an index.
It’s most certainly a
wide-ranging guide.Forshaw’s other
books include guides Nordic Noir, British Crime Film and British Gothic Cinema as well as British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia.The book assessments are spattered with
anecdotes about the authors, and the prose is lively and readable.It’s always interesting to read someone
else’s comments on a book you know, and it’s full of ideas for new authors to
try, or good films to watch.
I wasn’t so sure it was
completely user-friendly.It was
organised more as a chatty guide than a reference work, so Simenon, for
example, had three ‘chunks’ of text, each with a bold headline, and the
headlines themselves were amusing rather than clear or factual.Other writers got one ‘chunk’ or two. There
weren’t many spoilers (warning: this reader’s eyes had read the spoiler by the
time her brain had clocked ‘spoiler alert’) but I felt we were given more of
the plot than I wanted for a book I might like to read.I’d also have liked the original title, as
well as the translation title, for both book and film (for films, Forshaw
generally gave both).
An entertaining guide by a
real expert, with a lot of ideas for writers and film/TV to try.
Barry Forshaw'slatest books are British Crime Film and Death in a Cold
Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction. Other work includes
British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction
and Guns for Hire: The Modern Adventure Thriller, along with books on
Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. His next books are British
Gothic Cinema and a study of Thomas Harris and The Silence of the Lambs.
He writes for various newspapers, edits Crime Time, and broadcasts for ITV and
BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a
newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's
scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a
qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published
plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's
suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own
8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.Marsali also does a regular monthly column
for the Mystery People e-zine.