Reviews

Invisible is a great thriller. I can’t say too much more about the plot because the twists and turns are the whole point of reading a book that wrong foots the reader at every turn . . . Christine Poulson kept me reading by giving out just enough information to intrigue and puzzle so that I had to read just one more chapter. That’s why, in the end, I just dropped everything else and read the last half of Invisible in one sitting.’

- I PREFER READING BLOG

The Life of Crime by Martin Edwards: a splendid read

This book is the result of a lifetime of reading a vast range of crime fiction. Martin Edwards claims that despite its length – running as it does (with exhaustive indexes) to 724 pages – The Life of Crime is a miracle of concision and that is hardly an exaggeration. Chronologically it spans the late […]

That’s all she wrote

The recent death of Elspeth Barker got me thinking. I knew her briefly and remember her fondly. In October 1998 she taught me on an Arvon Foundation course and I can see her now, commenting with lively sympathy on the first few pages of what became my first novel. Her novel, O Caledonia – not […]

I’m a guest on The First Two Pages

Art Taylor is an award-winning short story writer, whose work I much admire. He has a blog called The First Two Pages for which he invites writers to discuss the choices that they made in writing the first two pages of a story or novel. And today that writer is me and I am honoured […]

Cassandra returns

This week sees the publication of the new CWA short story anthology, Music of the Night. It is edited by Martin Edwards and contains twenty-five stories, some by doyens of the crime-writing world, such as Peter Lovesey, Andrew Taylor, Kate Ellis, including four Diamond Dagger winners, and others by writers who haven’t had a story […]

The Death of the Short Story?

There are so few outlets for short stories these days. It didn’t used to be the case. There was a Golden Age of the short story from the 1880s to perhaps the 1950s when there were lots of magazines like The Strand and John O’London’s Weekly that published them. The Strand, most famous for the […]

Splendid reprints of a forgotten GA author

On a morning early in 1940 Mrs Mudge, the charlady, arrives at Lulverton Little theatre, home of the local amateur dramatic society, whose first performance of Measure for Measure is due to take place that evening. She goes into the box office: ‘with the still whining vacuum-cleaner dragging behind her like an unhappy dog on […]

Criminal Pursuits

Criminal Pursuits, edited by best-selling author Samantha Lee Howe, will be published on October 10th by Telos Publishing, and I am very happy to say that I have a story in it. The royalties are going to an excellent cause: to quote from their website: ‘POhWER is a charity which helps people who, because of […]

Martin Edwards The Crooked Shore

The Crooked Shore got off to a splendid start. I always enjoy a cold case enquiry. Twenty-one years ago, Ramona Smith left the bar in Bowness where she worked and was never seen again. No body was ever found, but there was plenty of circumstantiai evidence and it all pointed to Gerry Lace as her […]

Who are you going to call?

It’s the 1930s and after making a will in your favour, your great-uncle has been found in the library with a dagger through his heart. You didn’t do it, but your fingerprints are on the hilt. Or maybe someone you love has been convicted of murder and condemned to death. You have only weeks to […]

A battle of wits?

Posted on Jun 21, 2021 in Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr | 4 Comments

Recently my old friend Pauline reminded me that when we were teenagers, we used to read Agatha Christie together and try to work whodunit. We must have been┬áthirteen or fourteen years old. We would even draw up lists of suspects and clues. I had forgotten all about that. And I can’t remember whether we ever […]