The Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 2007 now has the full list of events posted up.
For a limited time only, stand alone Day or Weekend Rover Passes are available through the Festival Office now, with individual tickets on sale, some time in April.
UPDATE 27/3: a weekend Rover Pass is £140.
During the last week or so, we've seen Waterstone's announce that it will close up to 30 branches and Borders announce that it will sell or franchise most of its 73 overseas branches to concentrate on the US market. This led to me asking what will become of bookselling in the future? Who might buy (or franchise) the Borders branches? Will Waterstone's become the only pure bookselling chain in the UK? Will there be less choice again?
Maxine at Petrona posed a question last week: What is the book-buying scene where you live? She's seen the face of her own high street change over the last sixteen years and wondered what was happening elsewhere. I didn't feel I knew mine enough to comment there. I've been back in Wales for almost three years full time and if I do buy from the high streets, yes, I've been to more than one and I've never stayed long enough to take it all in, in detail. But here's a summary of what I have managed to notice for my south east Wales haunts:
Just a quickie post here, but something of great importance if you reside in SE Wales and read/devour/love crime fiction.
Torfaen Council is running a "Whodunnit?" series in March, at its libraries, mainly in Cwmbran and Blaenavon. These include "Cluedo" events (mainly Blaenavon) but also talks from authors who are great library reads (in Cwmbran). In the link you can see what's left of the programme, which runs until the end of March.
I attended a Margaret Murphy event last night; it was really good and this programme is something not to be missed. More of the remaining author events if you click on the link to read more...
Well, it all started with this novel: Just When We Are Safest which I read in the earlier half of the 1990s. It was the start of Gadney's Alan Rosslyn series and I was hooked. Gadney created quite an original in Alan Rosslyn - the man worked for Customs & Excise, as it then was. And who'd have imagined that the work there could be quite so exciting? (More on than later.)
The novel had this interesting character, great pace and plot, made good use of its London setting and was quite a thriller. When my ex-boss from Canada was on a business trip in London I made sure he went home with a copy, I was so enthused. I really enjoyed the novel and found it quite outstanding at the time. Amazon Marketplace (AM) has copies from just 1p right now, if you feel the urge to try it. Then we moved on to the second in the series...
Competition between the Welsh and the English has always been high when it comes to rugby. It's also a matter of honour when it comes to playing against England on home soil. But today they've done it!
Wales has just beaten England at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium 27-18 in the Six Nations.
I have a friend I've previously invited to write some book reviews for this site. Alas, he has declined my kind offer, (more than once), saying that he could not possibly write them as well as I do. Such a lovely compliment, but total rubbish. If only he could get the words that come out of his mouth into text format, many would benefit from his insights, as I'd be more than happy to post them here. We don't have exactly the same taste but I do respect his opinions. So why am I saying all this alongside Jonathan Buckley's "So He Takes the Dog"?
Well, my friend phoned me this week and said this novel is probably the best crime fiction novel he's read in the last two or three years.
Yes, life can be a bit short on times and now is one of those times. Work and other demands are pressing. But, for April, novels coming soon include:
Borderlands from Brian McGilloway, plus author interview, (published 6 April);
The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam from Chris Ewan (published 17 May).
Both are new to the UK crime fiction scene and both deserve a big welcome! They both bring something new and refreshing to the genre.
There comes a point in one's crime fiction reading life when a fast-paced thriller is sought out. I'd been meaning to read my copy of Relentless way before now, but I inadvertently lost it. Lo and behold, I stumbled across it recently and set about reading it. I needed a "fast" fix.
A crime fiction reading friend had read it over one or two days. I told him when I started it. He said: "And I bet you've almost finished by now then". This was true. I had about 80 pages to finish the novel and plans on how to arrange the rest of my life around reading it, where possible.
He already knew what I now know: this is not a novel to put down and pick up again on a slow Sunday. It demands to be read in one sitting, such is its pace. It fulfils its title; it is indeed relentless reading.