Well, after this balmy (and slightly barmy) weather that we’ve been having, it’s a lot colder today. Christmas is on its way! And as per usual, First Monday Crime has a special evening planned on the 3rd December. Not only is there a terrific panel but there’s also a fun event. So who’s taking part?
First up on the panel is Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said, a twisty tale about a couple who give evidence in a rape trial. Her new book, Stone Mothers will be out next April and I love the blurb for this:
‘The Victorians used to call their mental hospitals stone mothers,’ I say. ‘They thought the design of the building could literally nurse the sick back to health.’
Marianne grew up in the shadow of the old asylum, a place that still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.
Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.
Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…
But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.
Sounds great! Really looking forward to reading this.
Now, to my absolute shame, I have to confess something – I haven’t read any Mick Herron books. Yet. I do plan to rectify this at some point because I’ve heard such wonderful things about Jackson Lamb and Slough House. Mick will be telling us about his latest novella, The Drop, which features Solomon Dortmund rather than Jackson Lamb. Here’s the blurb:
Old spooks carry the memory of tradecraft in their bones, and when Solomon Dortmund sees an envelope being passed from one pair of hands to another in a Marylebone cafe, he knows he’s witnessed more than an innocent encounter. But in relaying his suspicions to John Bachelor, who babysits retired spies like Solly, he sets in train events which will alter lives. Bachelor himself, a hair’s breadth away from sleeping in his car, is clawing his way back to stability; Hannah Weiss, the double agent whose recruitment was his only success, is starting to enjoy the secrets and lies her role demands; and Lech Wicinski, an Intelligence Service analyst, finds that a simple favour for an old acquaintance might derail his career. Meanwhile, Lady Di Taverner is trying to keep the Service on an even keel, and if that means throwing the odd crew member overboard, well: collateral damage is her speciality.
A drop, in spook parlance, is the passing on of secret information.
It’s also what happens just before you hit the ground.
Ooh, sounds very interesting.
Now, it’s important to feature an author who just uses his or her’s initials and in December, J.A. Marley will be fulfilling this brief. Godsend is the sequel to Standstill in the Danny Felix series. Want to know a bit more about it?
It has been eighteen months since Danny Felix pulled off the robbery of his life. His plan brought London to a standstill, but at a heavy price.
Now, living a quiet life running a charter fishing business in the Florida Keys, Danny is trying to come to terms with the death and destruction he had unwittingly unleashed. However, the low profile is beginning to wear thin and he soon starts to crave the adrenalin rush of his former criminal ways.
Little does he know that three very different women are about to enter his life and turn it upside-down. Soon Danny finds himself right back in the action.
But why has he been chosen? And does he have the appetite to pull off another job where the stakes are so lethally high?
Sounds like a high octane thriller to me!
Now, I’m sure we can rely on Will Carver to slow things down a bit. I mean, with a title like Good Samaritans, surely this is the perfect book for the season of goodwill to all men (and women). Ha! Not a chance! Here’s the blurb:
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.
OK, maybe not that peaceful then but definitely one to read at Christmas anyway.
And keeping charge of all four authors is fellow novelist, Kevin Wignall. His latest book is To Die in Vienna.
He’s seen something that could get him killed. But what?
Freddie Makin is a spy for hire. For a year he’s been watching Jiang Cheng, an academic whose life seems suspiciously normal. To Freddie it’s just a job: he never asks who’s paying him and why—until the day someone is sent to kill him, and suddenly the watcher becomes the watched.
On the run from whoever wants him dead, Freddie knows he must have seen something incriminating. The only trouble is, he has no idea what. Is the CIA behind all this—or does it go higher than that? Have his trackers uncovered his own murky past?
As he’s forced into a lethal dance across Vienna, Freddie knows one thing for sure: his only hope for survival is keeping the truth from the other side, and making sure the secrets from his past stay hidden.
So that’s the panel for December and it’s going to be great. But wait. I promised you a fun event. Last year we had authors pitching their worst book ideas. The winner was Leye Adenle with All that Glitters isn’t a Scam (if I’ve remembered that correctly!). And it appears that Leye’s prize is to come back to First Monday to present, along with Marnie Riches, Christmas Blind Book Date! Yes, I’m already laughing at the thought of this. The contestants are Susi Holliday, Katerina Diamond, Claire Seeber, Steph Broadribb and Angela Clarke for the Girls. For the Boys, it’s J.S. Law, Chris Whitaker, Paul Burston, Simon Booker and Kevin Wignall. There’s going to be a lorra’ lorra’ laughs!
And if that’s not enough for you, I might bring some cookies as well. See you on Monday 3rd December. Don’t forget to reserve your seat here.