News and Views
The April AGM of the Crime Writers' Association elected me as Chair of the CWA. This is a real honour, as is the fact that I'm the first person to have held office as Chair and as President of the Detection Club. 2017 will be a very busy year...
The CWA Short Story Dagger
At a reception at Waterstones, Piccadilly, on 26 July, it was announced that my story "Murder and its Motives" from Motives for Murder (see below) has been shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger. A great thrill. And as editor of the book I take great vicarious pride in the fact that two other stories from the book reached the shortlist. whilst another was longlisted.
The Poirot Award
I was thrilled to be awarded the Poirot Award at Malice Domestic in Washington DC in April for my contribution to the traditional mystery genre.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books
I've been delighted by reviews of my latest book, published by the British Library. It's received generous coverage in The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. The book is (among other things) a companion to the British Library's hugely successful Crime Classics series.
British Library anthologies
This year has seen the publication of three of my anthologies for the British Library - Miraculous Mysteries,Continental Crimes, and The Long Arm of the Law.
The Golden Age of Murder
The Golden Age of Murder has been published in paperback by Harper Collins. 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.
The Lake District Mysteries
It was great fun to talk to a party of visiting American crime fans at Grasmere in July. For all the good fortune that my work on Golden Age fiction has brought me, I remain first and foremost a crime novelist, and I'm heartened by the sales and reviews of my seventh Lake District Mystery, The Dungeon House. And the second, The Cipher Garden, has just earned a lovely review on Cleo Bannister's excellent book blog.
I was delighted to be asked to talk about the revival of interest in Golden Age fiction at a Congress held at the CEU University of Madrid. The event also gave me the chance to spend time with GA fan Jose Ignacio Escribano, whose blog A Crime is Afoot is recommended.
I had a great time at the Emirates Literature Festival in the UAE, where I hosted a murder mystery dinner, as well as taking part in panels with Rob Davies of the British Library, Kathy Reichs, creator of Bones and Vaseem Khan. A fascinating and hugely enjoyable week in the sun.as well as a chance to learn about an unfamiliar culture.
Left Coast Crime
I am attending Left Coast Crime in Honolulu in March. Among other things, I'll be taking part in a panel on Golden Age fiction with Ragnar Jonasson and others.
Books fromThe Detection Club
Motives for Murder, a collection of 20 freshly written stories with an intro by Len Deighton and a fascinating afterword by Peter Lovesey, has been published by Sphere in the UK as a paperback original, and by Crippen & Landru in the US in both hardback and paperback editions. A paperback edition of the Detection Club's round robin mystery novel, The Sinking Admiral, is due out soon. This fascinating project was masterminded by Simon Brett, and I'm one of fourteen writers to have collaborated on the novel. I'm also honoured to have been elected eighth President of the Detection Club. My seven predecessors since the Club was founded in 1930 include G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha Christie.
The British Library
I enjoyed presenting a week-end course on Classic Crime at the British Library in January, and I'm looking forward to the appearance of my next anthology in the Classic Crime series. a collection of locked room and impossible crime stories called Miraculous Mysteries.
I was at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle on 11 April talking about classic crime and The Golden Age of Murder. A great venue, and it's just possibel I may be back there towards the end of this year.
Alibis in the Archives
The historic and wonderfully atmospheric Gladstone's Library was the setting for Alibis in the Archives in June, which launched the British Crime Writing Archives. The week-end was a sell-out and its success means that Alibis will return in June next year. Looking forward to it already...
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 lastest CWA anthology, Truly Criminal, is a collection of essays about real life crimes. Peter James has written an introduction to the book, which I have edited. I've also contributed an essay about Alred Rouse and the "Blazing Car Murder" of 1930.
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.
The Corpse Candle
My story "The Corpse Candle" appeared in the recent Malice Domestic anthology "Murder Most Historical".
I shall be attending Bouchercon 2017 in Toronto in October. If it's anything like as good as Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans, we'll all have a great time. <
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.
I enjoyed Kate Ellis', A High Mortality of Doves. Among the older novels I've read recently are The Little Walls, by Winston Graham, and The Lyttleton Case by R.A.V. Morris. "Forgotten books" feature on my blog each Friday.
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 13 September 2017.