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This year got off to a great start, with a marvellous trip to New York in January to give the "Distinguished Speaker Lecture" at the Yale Club to members of the Baker Street Irregulars, a venerable body which celebrates Sherlock's birthday each years with a host of glittering events. Really enjoyable.

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

I'm delighted that my book was shortlisted for both an Agatha Award and an H.R.F. Keating Award for Best Non-Fiction book of 2017. The paperback edition will be published in July.

British Library anthologies

Blood on the Tracks, my anthology of vintage railway mysteries, has been published by the British Library, and reviews to date have been excellent.

Malice Domestic

I much enjoyed Malice Domestic in Bethesda at the end of April. Among much else, I took part in two panels, and interviewed Brenda Blethyn and Ann Cleeves.

Events in Guernsey and Jersey

This year I'm making two trips to the Channel Islands, a favourite destination. In May, I hold a crime writing workshop in Guernsey, followed by a talk at the main library, and then dash over to Jersey to give another library talk the following day. In September, I return to take part in the Jersey Literature Festival. More details on the events page.

Tallinn Literary Festival

I'm looking forward to taking part in a conversation with Sophie Hannah, chaired by Jason Goodwin, as well as the Festival as a whole.

Mencap afternoon tea

In June, I'll be talking about my Lake District Mysteries at an afternoon tea in Kirby Lonsdale in aid of Mencap.

The CWA Short Story Dagger

My story "Murder and its Motives" from Motives for Murder (see below) was shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger 2017. I've been shortlisted five times for CWA Daggers, and won one a few years back.

British Library Crime Classics

Some great titles are lined up for the second half of this year, including books by Richard Hull and E.C.R. Lorac, two of my favourites from the Golden Age./i>.

The Golden Age of Murder

The Golden Age of Murder is now available in paperback. This book has, among other things, transformed my career as a writer. It received the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best critical/biographical work, the Agatha award from Malice Domestic, the Macavity award from Mystery Readers International, and the H.R.F. Keating award at Crimefest. For good measure, it was shortlisted for an Anthony award at Bouchercon and the CWA Gold Dagger for non-fiction. I've recently signed contracts for translations of the book into both Japanese and Chinese.

Library events

I've arranged a host of library talks this year - details on the Events page.

Alibis in the Archives

The historic and wonderfully atmospheric Gladstone's Library will be the setting for the return of Alibis in the Archives in June, celebrating the British Crime Writing Archives and crime writing heritage.


I shall be attending Bouchercon 2018 in St Petersburg - my first ever visit to Florida. Looking forward to it.

The New Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

My collection of Sherlock Holmes stories is available as an ebook on Amazon. As well as the stories, the book includes various articles and a splendid introduction by leading Sherlockian David Stuart Davies. I've also contributed an introduction to a handsome, slip-cased edition of a selection of Sherlock's greateest cases, published by Arcturus.

Bad Friday and Lucky Liam

My story "Bad Friday" has been published in the US anthology "Busted!" while "Lucky Liam" has just appeared in EQMM.


My short story "Acknowledgments", winner of the CWA Margery Allingham Prize, is available from Bloomsbury Reader in (very modestly priced!) ebook, along with two other short stories of mine, an essay of mine about Allingham, and a kind introduction by Allingham's biographer, Julia Jones.

The Return of Harry Devlin

Two of my novels, set in Liverpool and featuring Harry Devlin, have enjoyed a brand new life in paperback as "Crime Classics", published by Arcturus: these are All the Lonely People and Yesterday's Papers. The series has now been reissued as a 'Crime Classic', and it's great to see it back in the bookshops. Meanwhile, the special new editions of my Liverpool mysteries featuring Harry Devlin. have appeared. The ebook editions include a range of brand new features, such as a 'Making of' feature for each book, an appreciation by Michael Jecks, and introductions by some of the great names in modern British crime fiction, including Val McDermid, Frances Fyfield, Andrew Taylor and Peter Lovesey. More details on the Liverpool series page. I'm glad to say that print editions are also available again, after a long break.

Take My Breath Away and The Frozen Shroud

My psychological suspense novel, Take My Breath Away is now available as an ebook. Meanwhile, the sixth Lake District Mystery, The Frozen Shroud is now available in paperback and ebook as well as in hardback.

TV, DVD and Film viewing

I am enjoying ITV's The Loch, and films I've enjoyed recently include Allied, and several old movies which have cropped up on the Talking Pictures TV channel.

New Reading

I enjoyed A.J. Finn's bestselling The Woman in the Window. Among the older novels I've read recently are Go, Lovely Rose, by Jean Potts, and Invisible Weapons by John Rhode. "Forgotten books" feature on my blog each Friday.

True Crime

I've enjoyed reading several books of essays on true crime recently. This is an under-rated branch of crime writing.

Collecting Crime Fiction

I've acquired several fascinating inscribed books, including a few from the collection of the late Bob Adey, which I'm featuring in the Friday's Forgotten Book feature on my blog.

Writing about crime fiction

I've recently published articles about Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories, Anthony Berkeley's short fiction, and Gilbert Adair, and I'm currently working on another genre-related article.


I've continued to revamp the site, and very much welcome any constructive suggestions from readers.

This page was last updated on 6 May 2018.