Monday, 30 March 2009

The Wire to be shown on BBC2

For those of you that have not yet managed to see that excellent programme The Wire now is your chance to do so. From Monday 30 March 2009, Season One of the Wire will be broadcast on terrestrial television. It is being shown on BBC 2 at 23:30. See here to listen to Dominic West who plays the part of rebel police officer Jimmy McNulty being interviewed on the today programme by Andrew Billen. The Wire has previously been shown in the UK on the UK paid TV channel FX. The critically and highly praised programme has won a number of awards in the US and is going to be shown in its entirety. The wire was created by writer and producer David Simon.

David Simon is also the author of the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets which was based on a year that he spent shadowing the Baltimore Police Department homicide unit during 1988. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets won an Edgar Award in 1992 for best factual crime book. The book became the basis for the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Streets on which Simon served as a writer and producer.

He also co-wrote The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood with Ed Burns Simon adapted the latter into the Emmy Award winning HBO mini-series The Corner.

The first season of The Wire focuses on the drug trade, whilst the second, third, and fourth seasons focus on the port, the city government & bureaucracy, the school system respectively whilst the fifth and final season takes a look at the print news media as well as politics which is a recurring theme throughout the whole series.

So for those of you that have not already run out to buy the series on DVD here is your chance to watch one a brilliantly written, directed and acted television show from the comfort of your living room.

The Thrill Has Come

Unfortunately Mike Stotter and I can’t make the trip to NY to celebrate with David Morrell on his winning this years THRILLERMASTER Award; but we’re passing our congratulations to David and all the nominated ITW writers.

As one of the ITW reserve judges, I guess you can see that we have a very strong shortlist[s]

Photo Ali Karim (c) 2006 David Morrell and Mike Stotter at Left Coast Crime Bristol

The International Thriller Writers proudly announces its nominees for the 2009 Thriller Awards.

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffrey Deaver
The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver
The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross
The Last Patriot by Brad Thor

Calumet City by Charlie Newton
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Criminal Paradise by Steven Thomas
Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton
The Killer's Wife by Bill Floyd

Between the Dark and the Daylight (Ellery Queen Magazine) by Tom Piccirilli
Last Island South (Ellery Queen Magazine) by John C. Boland
The Edge of Seventeen (The Darker Mask) by Alexandra Sokoloff
The Point Guard (Killer Year Anthology) by Jason Pinter
Time of the Green (Killer Year Anthology) by Ken Bruen

The 2009 ThrillerMaster -- David Morrell

The 2009 Silver Bullet recipient -- Brad Meltzer

Read More

Win a place on the red carpet for the GALAXY BOOK AWARDS

Galaxy British Book Awards - this star-studded event will take place on Friday 3rd April 2009 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair in London.

The awards will be attended by many famous faces from the publishing world, together with a host of celebrity presenters and guests, including Linwood Barclay, CJ Sansom, Kate Atkinson, Alan Davies, Sebastian Faulks, Julie Walters and Jerry Springer. This is your big chance to see your favourite author or TV personality arrive, ask for autographs, and to be a part of the glitz and glamour of a red carpet event – as well as appear on TV yourself!

Please also note that these tickets are for access to the Red Carpet arrivals ONLY, and you will not be granted access to any other parts of the hotel, or the Awards themselves.

Access to the Red Carpet area is permitted from 5.00pm, and will be over by 7.00pm. The entrance is on the Park Street entrance to the hotel (NOT Park Lane). There is no dress code, but it is recommended to check the weather forecast as the event is outside.

To register for tickets, please email:

Deighton at 80

The 80th birthday of thriller writer Len Deighton is to be commemorated in a radio programme to be broadcast on Radio 4 on 26 May, written and presented by Patrick Humphries. There is also a worldwide reissue programme of Deighton's novels, an ITV remake of the Game, Set and Match Trilogy - and a new book, The Anatomy of a Fountain Pen. The new book is "a detailed 27,000-word history and discussion of fountain pens" which HCUK is considering publishing as a "boutique edition" sold from the website and followed by a trade edition.

The notoriously reclusive Deighton, who turned 80 last month, talked to Humphries for two hours about his life, and a writing career stretching back to 1962 and the publication of The Ipcress File, which changed the face of spy fiction and went on to make a successful transfer to the big screen - the first and arguably best of Michael Caine's Harry Palmer outings. Contributors to the programme include food writer Henrietta Green, talking about Deighton’s Action Cook Book, which Fourth Estate will reissue in May with a new introduction, and historian Sir Max Hastings, who speaks about Deighton’s non-fiction work, such as Fighter and Blitzkrieg.

I'm glad that we got in first with our own appreciation of Len, with contributions from (amongst others) Barry Norman, Robert Ryan, Mike Ripley, Rob Mallows and Philip Purser.
Len sent the following email:
Dear Mike,
I am overwhelmed.
I have always said that two things destroy authors; alcohol and praise.
This may prove fatal (and I don't even drink).
Seriously - just as I was reconciled to being forgotten I find a host of generous friends
Thank you

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Texan author Rick Riordan is the author of the widely popular Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. Set in the contemporary United States, the series is based prominently on Greek Mythology. This well recieved series has won a number of awards and has also graced a number of the bestseller lists. The books are now set to move to the big screen. The first book in the series The Lightning Thief will be the first to be adapted and chronicles the adventures of Percy Jackson the son of a mortal woman and a Greek god, and his friends on a quest to stop a dangerous apocalyptic war between the gods and titans. The story contains a multitude of encounters with characters from Greek Mythology still alive in modern times
In June 2004, 20th Century Fox acquired feature film rights to the book. In April 2007, director Chris Columbus was hired to helm the project. The following November, screenwriter Joe Stillman was hired to adapt a screenplay based on the book. The official title for the film is "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief", and a release date is currently February 12, 2010. It is also confirmed that Logan Lerman has been cast as Percy Jackson and Brandon T. Jackson as Grover Underwood. Alexandra Daddario will be playing Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson adaption.

Rick Riordan is also the author of the Texas based Tres Navarre series. The first book in the series Big Red Tequila won the Anthony Award for best original paperback and the Shamus Award for best First P.I. novel in 1997.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New sponsor for John Creasy (new dagger) Award

Canadian author and former winner of the John Creasey Dagger Award Louise Penny has agreed to sponsor the Dagger which is one of the world's most prestigious. According to the Press Release from the Crime Writer's Association, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, which is awarded each year in memory of Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) founder John Creasey, is for first books published in the UK by previously unpublished writers. Louise herself won it in 2006 with her book Still Life, published by Hodder Headline.

Grateful for the boost it gave to her career, Louise has now put up the sponsorship money so that it can be awarded again this year.

Louise is the bestselling author of the Armand Gamache mysteries. Set in Canada, her books have been on international bestseller lists and won numerous awards and acclaim, including the American Agatha, Anthony and Barry awards and the Canadian Arthur Ellis award.

Louise Penny had previously been very highly commended for the CWA Debut Dagger, a competition for unpublished writers, which helped launch her career. Inspired by this, Louise and her husband Michael Whitehead were instrumental in establishing a similar award with the Crime Writers of Canada; Louise lives south of Montreal.

Louise, whose fourth book, The Murder Stone, is being published by Headline in the UK, said: “It is a pleasure for Michael and me to be able to do this for an emerging crime writer. I've been helped so much by other writers and the CWA in particular.”

The John Creasey Dagger has been awarded every year since 1973. Other previous winners include Minette Walters, Dan Fesperman, Walter Mosley, Janet Evanovich and Denise Mina.

Incoming Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, Margaret Murphy, said: “We are delighted that Louise has agreed to sponsor this award. I know that she valued the help that the award gave to her writing career. It is a tremendous gesture and one that is deeply appreciated by the CWA.”

The John Creasey Dagger is part of a series of Dagger prizes for crime writers, which will be presented by the CWA in London in mid-July with the shortlists expected to be announced in the first week of June.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Left Coast Crime 2009 Winners

Sadly, Left Coast Crime has finished but the awards have been given out and congratulations to all the winners!


A historical mystery, covering events before 1950
Kelli Stanley: Nox Dormienda, A Long Night For Sleeping (Five Star)


Best law enforcement, police procedural
Neil S. Plakcy: Mahu Fire (Alyson Books)


Best humorous mystery
Tim Maleeny: Greasing the Pinata (Poisoned Pen Press)


The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA) given to the book that booksellers have most enjoyed selling.

Sean Chercover - Trigger City

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Galaxy Book of the Year Awards Announced

It’s Awards time again and the Galaxy Book of the Year will be determined by an elite and bi-partisan chapter of the Academy of the British Book Industry during the week beginning 30th March 2009. The shortlist for this award is made up from the elected winners of the following categories:
Borders Author of the Year
Waterstone's New Writer of the Year in association with the Daily Mail
Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year Popular Non-Fiction Book Award
Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Award
Tesco Biography of the Year
Now the section we are most interesting in, of course, is the Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year. And the nominees are:
The Business by Martina Cole (Headline)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Pocket Books)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (MacLehose Press/Quercus)
No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay (Orion)
Revelation by C.J. Sansom (Macmillan)
When Will There Be Good News? By Kate Atkinson (Black Swan)

But there is also “cross-overs” in the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year, in association with Watch TV & Heart Radio. Here’s the full listing:
The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman (Sphere)
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury)
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Canongate)
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (Black Swan)
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (Black Swan)
The Bolter by Frances Osborne (Virago)
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (HarperPerennial)
The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin (John Murra)
December by Elizabeth H. Winthrop (Sceptre)
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (Atlantic Books)

It will be a close call to actually pick a winner out of the list. The GBOY has its own site where you can check out the books and videos. Click here. Good luck to all the authors.

Monday, 9 March 2009

CSI creator writes digital crime novel

Not content with the massive viewing figures of CSI, Anthony Zuiker, the creator of CSI is now preparing to add crime writer to his list of achievements. Dark Chronicles is the first in a digital crime novel series. The Dark Chronicles is a gripping serial killer thriller series which will be a trilogy and will feature Steve Dark a former member of the FBI Special Circumstances Unit. Not only will it be a trilogy but it will also be a digi-novel. According to Michael Joseph who have purchased the books, the Steve Dark books will be complemented by a comprehensive online and digital component featuring exclusive cinematic content, 20 cyber bridges created by the author which may be used side by side with the novels. Readers will be able to access cyber bridges every five chapters, allowing them to view videos, audio files and photos. Readers will also be able to view online story-specific ancillary materials like emails, FBI 'personnel files', audio clips of phone conversations, psychologists' reports from suspects' files and other back-story material. Furthermore, as the series progresses, entire storylines and characters will be developed to live in the digital world, spinning into and out of the novels bringing readers to the books, browsers to the web portal, and viewers hopefully to the inevitable film and TV spin offs. See here for more information.
The first of the Dark Chronicles series will be released in the US on 8 September 2009 by Dutton and in January 2010 in the UK. The accompanying website, will be launched in July 2009 with a blog and social network.

Faber Academy Crime Writing Course

Becky Fincham
from British publisher Faber and Faber sent us this press release about an interesting opportunity for budding crime writers in the UK. Be aware, though, that space is strictly limited, so if you’re interested, don’t wait around.

Learn to Write Crime Fiction with Mark Billingham and Laura Wilson
Thursday 2 April to Sunday 5 April 2009
Jaffé & Neale Bookshop 1 Middle Row Chipping NortonOxfordshire OX7 5NH England
In a unique collaboration with award-winning independent bookshop Jaffé & Neale, the Faber Academy presents an intense four-day writing workshop with bestselling crime-writers Mark Billingham and Laura Wilson. Set over four days in the upstairs gallery of Jaffé & Neale, a wonderful bookshop in the picturesque Cotswold town of Chipping Norton, Mark Billingham and Laura Wilson have devised a course that will suit beginners every bit as much as those with a good degree of experience. There will be sessions on character, plot, dialogue and of course those all-important twists that keep thriller readers turning the pages.Suspects can expect plenty of lively discussion, inspiring writing exercises and one-on-one tutorials. They can expect surprises. They can also expect to have plenty of fun ...
The course includes:
  • 4 days intensive tuition with Mark Billingham and Laura Wilson (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • A complimentary Moleskine® Notebook
  • A daily artisan lunch
  • Regular coffee breaks
  • A Friday night reading in the bookshop by Mark Billingham and Laura Wilson, followed by a glass of wine
  • A handy course pack including local hotel recommendations
A special discount off Faber books purchased at cost: £500 / €630 (price inclusive of VAT)For more information and specifics about how to register, click here. There are openings for only 15 participants, so book soon.

About the Tutors
Lead tutor Mark Billingham is the bestselling author of the series of novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and the recent standalone thriller In The Dark. He has won the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective, the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award and been nominated for five CWA Daggers. He has also written extensively for television and worked for many years as a stand-up comedian.
He is a regular reviewer on Radio 4's 'Front Row' as well as writing about crime fiction for The Independent, the Sunday Times and Time Out. He has led creative writing workshops at the Harrogate and Cheltenham Festivals and has been the judge for many short story competitions.
Guest tutor Laura Wilson is the acclaimed author of seven crime novels. These include The Lover, which won the Prix Polar Europeen and most recently Stratton's War which was awarded the Ellis Peter Dagger for historical crime fiction. Aside from being crime fiction critic for the Guardian, she has tutored two Arvon courses on crime fiction as well as teaching many courses at Winchester Writer's Conference. She is chair of the 2009 Harrogate Crime Writer's Festival.

Now, to me it seems strange that neither Mark nor Laura are Faber authors but were selected for their high profile. The publisher said that there will be Faber authors acting as tutors for 2010. It's a damn shame that Michael Dibdin isn't still around. I'd pay to attend that one.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Remembering Barbara Franchi

I am sad to report that Barbara Franchi passed away last weekend. I have written a piece about her life and work setting up Reviewing The Evidence [RTE] at The Rap Sheet - here

I will miss her infectious laughter. The photograph here taken at Thrillerfest 2006 in Phoenix with Stav Sherez and Zoe Sharp is how I will remember her laughter and enthusiasm. She was a wonderful part of the Crime and Thriller Genre and will be missed by us all.