The leaves are turning and there’s a definite nip in the air. Autumn is well and truly here. And after an extended summer break, First Monday Crime is back a week today on the 2nd October at 6.30pm. But there are some very important things that you need to know.
Firstly – venue. First Monday has moved back to its roots at City University, St John Street, London EC1R 0JD (nearest Tube station is Angel).
Secondly – it’s now free! Thanks to City, the event is now sponsored by them and so there’s nothing to pay. But this doesn’t mean that you can just turn up. It would really help the First Monday team if you sign up at firstmonday.com and then they’ll know how many seats are needed for the event.
Thirdly – book sales will be done by Big Green Bookshop. Now, you may be thinking that name sounds familiar. Let’s just say Piers Morgan and Harry Potter. Enough said. You can check them out here.
Fourthly – I’m sure there’s something else I’m meant to tell you…. oh, yes, the authors! And what a selection!
Sunday Times Top Five bestseller, Ann Cleeves, is 2017’s recipient of the Crime Writer’s Association Diamond Dagger, the highest honour in British crime writing. The award recognises authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre.
Cleeves has written 31 novels and is translated into as many languages. Before her writing career took off, Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard.
In 2015, Cleeves chaired the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, during which Vera was voted the UK’s favourite fictional detective.
Also in 2015, Thin Air, was nominated for the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and Cleeves was shortlisted for the prestigious Crime Writers Association Dagger in the Library award. In 2006, Cleeves’ novel, Raven Black, was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, and in 2012, she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame.
As well as fiction Ann has written a non-fiction title about Shetland and, in November 2015, she hosted the inaugural Shetland Noir festival on the Shetland Islands.
Cleeves lives in Northumberland with her husband.
Her latest Vera book is The Seagull.
Cleeves’ bestselling and acclaimed Vera series is famously set in the wild and beautiful county of Northumberland – sweeping across the rural villages to the rugged coastline with its post-industrial backdrop.
The Seagull, the eighth novel in the Vera Stanhope series, is partly set in Cleeves’ beloved home town of Whitley Bay and focuses on police corruption deep in the heart of a community, and on fragile, and fracturing family relationships.
A cold case takes Vera back in time and very close to home – forcing her to dig deeper into her late father, Hector’s, murky reputation. Vera must confront her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth, as the past begins to collide dangerously with the present . . .
A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a part in his downfall.
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which terrifying things happen to ordinary people. He is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.
His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on the Amazon UK Kindle bestseller list, as did his third novel Because She Loves Me (2014), and Follow Me Home (2015). His last novel, The Devil’s Work (2016), was also published to great critical acclaim and commercial success. He has also co-written various crime novels with Louise Voss such as Killing Cupid (2011) and The Blissfully Dead (2015). His titles with Amazon Publishing have reached over a million readers.
Mark grew up on the south coast of England and started writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing, and is a great admirer of Japanese writers and horror films. Mark lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat.
His new novel is The Lucky Ones.
When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer – a killer of both men and woman, whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces. Imogen is under intense pressure from all sides as she desperately tries to discern not only the killer’s identity but also their motive, before it’s too late.
A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland is back living in the sleepy village where he grew up, his career and marriage in tatters. But Ben feels his fortunes might finally be on the up as he miraculously finds the job of his dreams. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear overnight. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky. But he is unware that someone is watching him and his family. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben. Happiness… and death.
Set near the author’s home, in Shropshire – ‘the nearest earthly approach to paradise’ as PG Wodehouse described it – Mark Edwards’ new novel explores our ideas about sense of place, of dark events in idyllic locations, and touches on issues of online safety, grooming and bullying.
Caz Frear grew up in Coventry and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the writing dream finally came true.
She has a first-class degree in History & Politics, which she’s put to enormous use over the years by working as a waitress, shop assistant, retail merchandiser and, for the past twelve years, a headhunter.
When she’s not agonising over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at the TV when Arsenal are playing or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about.
Her book, Sweet Little Lies, was the winner of the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition.
WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW
In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.
WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW
In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT
Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
Her book is Snare.
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies.Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath the Icelandic financial crash.
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
So that is the panel for October! Rod Reynolds will be attempting to keep some kind of order.
If you like the sound of this, then don’t forget to sign up at firstmondaycrime.com
I’ll be there (please don’t let that put you off) and I may bring cookies… (can’t guarantee cookies for everyone though – sorry!)