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 Simon & Schuster, 9 February 2017. ISBN: 978-1-4711-3322-0
psychological suspense novel, Fran Hoffman, widowed with two children, Rufus
and Ruby, attends a memorial service for her husband Caspian, a doctor who had
died fourteen months earlier in a knife attack. The perpetrator had never been
identified and the police had categorized the attack as random, possibly a
mugging which had gone wrong. Fran had been devastated by her husband’s death
but now feels it is time to move on and to start rebuilding her life but not
with a colleague of her husband’s, the unattractive Simon Pinner who makes his
sexual interest in Fran all too clear at the post-service reception. However,
there is someone else at the reception who introduces himself as Harry Dunbar,
a business acquaintance of her husband’s. He tells her that Caspian had told
him he was being threatened, he thought by someone called Paul at the behest of
Jayson Carr. This horrifies Fran because Jayson Carr is in fact Fran’s father.
Jayson and Caspian had had their differences because Caspian, a non-believer,
had performed occasional abortions while Jayson like most of the family was a
devout Catholic and a vehement pro-life supporter. Apart from this, Jayson and Caspian
had got on pretty well and after Caspian’s death Jayson and the other members of
the close-knit family had supported Fran even though she had left the Church
when young and rather wild and had never returned. At first Fran finds Harry’s
warning farfetched but when she hears that Simon Pinner, who had also performed
abortions has been murdered she thinks there maybe something in Harry’s warning
especially when she discovers that Paul is actually PAAUL, the acronym of a
Catholic pro-life secret organisation of which her father had been chairman. He
insists that when PAAUL had become more extremist and advocated the
assassination of abortion practitioners, he and his brother Perry, also
involved with PAAUL, had left the organisation. But the more Fran investigates,
the more her suspicions swing backwards and forwards. And were others involved?
Is there a connection between the abortion which Fran had persuaded her much
younger sister Lucy to have years before? Lucy is now obsessively devout but
does she know about their father’s involvement with PAAUL? And if not their
father, their uncle Perry’s role? And that of their father’s other brother
Graham who also has broken away from the Church and is now a feckless
alcoholic, divorced from his wife Sheila and estranged from his son, the
handsome, charming Dex? And what about Harry himself? Fran is highly attracted
to him and he to her but she discovers that he had never actually known
Caspian, let alone received any confidences. But in that case who is he? Why is
he interested in Caspian’s death and in PAAUL? Fran and Harry’s search for the
truth leads to great danger for them both and for Ruby.
is an intricate and cleverly plotted novel with an expertly planned narrative
structure told from the point of view of Fran, Harry and Lucy in a way which
ratchets up the mystery and the tension, while the dire effects of obsessive
religiosity, particularly in such a close-knit family, are described in a way
that is totally convincing.
Sophie McKenzie is the award-winning author of a
range of teen thrillers, including the Missing series (Girl, Missing, Sister, Missing and Missing Me), Blood Ties and Blood
Ransom and the Medusa Project series. She has also written two romance
series: the Luke and Eve books and the Flynn series, which starts with the
novel Falling Fast. Split Second is
her first teen stand-alone novel in seven years. Sophie's first novel for
adults is the psychological thriller Close
And here: facebook.com/sophiemckenzieauthor
Radmila Maywas born in the U.S. but has
lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven years in The Hague. She
read law at university but did not go into practice. Instead she worked for
many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional work for them
including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of her late
husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published late 2015.
She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal flavour to two
of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a third story is
to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology – and is now
concentrating on her own writing.
by Mantel, 22 September 2016. ISBN: 978-5098-948-6 (HB) 978-5098-949-3 (TPB)
Published by Pan, 9 March 2017. ISBN: 978-1-5098-0950-9
March 1972. A boy arrives at the
door of Oslo detective Kolbjorn Kristiansen (K2), with a blood-stained knife in
his pocket. The police are hot on his trail, but he insists he’s innocent of
the stabbing of politician Per Johan Frederiksen. Soon we find out there are
plenty of other people who wanted the politician dead: a business rival, his
family, his mistress, and the party and country he was about to betray ...
Olav Lahlum writes in the ‘puzzle’ tradition of Agatha Christie, and the novels
are narrated by K2 himself, the Hastings to Patricia, the Poirot of the series,
a rich young woman who has been confined to a wheelchair since the accident in
which she lost her parents. The novel’s narrated in a naive style which
reflects K2’s plodding and sometimes simplistic thought processes – an adult
Adrian Mole without the humour – and I did find this got tedious in a novel of this
length, almost twice as long as a genuine Agatha Christie. In part this was
because there was a double puzzle to solve – as well as the present-day murder,
Frederiksen was also involved in murder in 1932, the unexplained death of his
sister-in-law. The suspects are numerous, and there are numerous twists and
surprises as the body-count mounts. K2’s relationship with Patricia is
complicated by his engagement to Miriam, and he has difficulty in juggling the
two women in his life, especially as Miriam wants to take Patricia’s place in
helping him with the investigation.
classic-style puzzle set against the backdrop of Norway’s EU vote in 1972.
Olav Lahlumborn 12
September 1973, is a Norwegian historian, crime author, chess player and
organizer, and politician. He has written biographies on Oscar Torp and Haakon
Lie, and a history book about all the Presidents of the United States.
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.
HarperCollins, 23 February 2016. ISBN: 978-0-00-819368-3(HB). 978-0-00819-371-3
Picture the scene: an idyllic Devon seaside town in the 1950s. The most
unpleasant thing that ever happens there is a bit of a rumpus on the front
between rival Teddy Boys. A train brings visitors from Exeter every summer
morning, and the front page headline in the local weekly paper is usually
something like QUARREL OVER TEA-TIME CAKES AT MOTHERS’ UNION.
Until, one fateful morning,
the paper’s faithful chief reporter, Miss Judy Dimont, meets the train, (both
paper and train are called the Riviera Express, by the way), and – shock!
there’s a body on board, and it belongs to one of the country’s most famous and
adored film stars.
As is often the case in
idyllic Devon towns, at least the fictional ones, the local plods are more
interested in a quiet life than solving crime. However, Miss Dimont
(affectionately known by her colleagues as Miss Dim but in fact nothing could be
further from the truth) has a past – more accurately, a Past – which equips and
encourages her to go ferreting around. She unearths a murder which, at first,
no one else believes in. There’s a second body too: a thoroughly disliked
freelance writer, found at the bottom of a crumbling cliff. So that’s two
potential murders – and Miss Dim’s little grey cells are suddenly in overdrive.
The result is a delicious
pastiche of a Golden Age crime novel, peopled with glamorous members of the
film world, small-town sophisticates, a motley crew of newspaper staff, wooden
policemen and the occasional Bad Lot. As Detective Inspector Topham lurches
from one misjudgement to the next, Miss Dim wends her way through a trail of
red herrings and misplaced clues with an unerring nose for the truth, which, of
course she eventually reveals with a flourish just in time for the front-page
splash. All despite the best efforts of her editor, whose usual form of
communication is a grunt, and her younger, flightier colleague Betty, who
regards the front page as her personal territory.
The Riviera Express is a gentle and wittily devised parody with larger
than life characters, animpossibly
pretty backdrop and a jaunty writing style which all come together to reflect
the author’s affection for the Golden Age as well as a close acquaintance with
its foibles and clichés. True Golden Age devotees may feel it goes a little too
far, but even they may have to admit it’s very well done.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
TP Fielden is a leading author,
broadcaster and journalist. This is the first novel in the Miss Dimont Mystery
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.
by Freight Books, 3 October 2016. ISBN978-1-911332-00-8
Boddice, a Glasgow crime lord, is feeling the pinch
– his local pond is now full of much bigger fish and, though he is still sufficiently
feared and loathed to command respect, he is no longer one of the local movers
and shakers.So he comes up with a Plan,
something that would put him into an altogether different league, one which the
newcomers on the block wouldn’t dream of touching.This will be his final act and will fund his
He selects his gang
from the professional hard men who work for him, offering them the promise of
great wealth if they join him or serious grief if they don’t.The ill-assorted and ill-equipped men are in
no position to refuse:Prentice and Kyle
are really hard men, willing to kill on Boddice’s order, though Prentice is
starting to want to get out.Boag, an
ex-serviceman gets work from Boddice because of his father’s long and loyal
service.The Twins, a particularly important
part of the Plan, run a tattoo parlour, but their main source of income is
letting their business be used for laundering Boddice’s illegal profits.Leggett is not popular with any of his
colleagues, and falls from favour when Boddice realises he is taking an
unauthorised cut from profits.Each of
this ill-matched group has a part to play in the Big Plan, the theft of the
famous diamond known as the Dark Side of the Moon, which is to be displayed in
a Glasgow department store.
This is a
fast-moving, high-pitched novel.The
characters are well-written and, despite being largely unlikeable, there are moments
when the reader’s sympathy is engaged.The humour is black, the dialogue sharp and the finale spectacular.This debut novel will gain the author many
writing has been widely anthologised. He has a Masters in creative writing from
the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in Physiotherapy. Les teaches as
Glasgow Caledonian University.
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.