With so much great news to share, and spring well and truly sprung, the Squad decided it was high time we dusted off the old website and gave it a clean new look. So here you are looking at www.murdersquad.co.uk – we’d love to hear what you think of the new design. You can let us know on Twitter @_MurderSquad
Ann Cleeves – TV drama SHETLAND adapted from Ann’s novels is named a pick of the week by the New York Times.
Martin Edwards – Martin received the Poirot award at the Malice Domestic crime convention in Washington DC in April, recognising his ‘outstanding contribution to the traditional mystery genre’.
Margaret Murphy – Splinter In The Blood, by pseudonymous squaddie Ashley Dyer, was the subject of fierce bidding at London Book Fair.
Chris Simms – Among the husks of dead woodlice, in my writing shed, I’ve started work on a new project.
Cath Staincliffe – The Silence Between Breaths is now out in paperback with a stunning new cover.
Kate Ellis – Kate was thrilled to be shortlisted for CWA Dagger in the Library.
I’m just back from a two-week trip to the US, an exhilarating whirlwind of a tour involving eight flights in seven days and jumping back and forwards through three different time zones. Cold Earth had been published there the day before I arrived and with a wonderful piece of luck, all three of the Shetland TV series had just become available on Netflix – being named by the New York Times as one of their shows of the week! It was inevitable then, that many of the questions at the bookstore events were about the TV shows. I loved meeting readers and so many passionate booksellers.
After eight days of travelling, it was great to have a calm and relaxing weekend at the Malice Domestic Convention, where I interviewed guest of honour Elaine Viets and saw Martin Edwards presented with the Poirot Award. Then I took the train to NYC to catch up with my US agent and the team at Minotaur. I had lunch with a group of Barnes and Noble buyers and discovered that people who love books are always kind, intelligent and funny wherever they’re based. The trip ended with a very British tea in the Minotaur office in the iconic Flatiron building.
Now I need to write…
2017 has so far been very exciting. I’ve just returned from the Malice Domestic Convention in Washington DC, where I received the Poirot Award for my contribution to the traditional mystery genre. My travels have included trips to Madrid, where I gave a lecture to a university congress about Golden Age fiction, and Dubai, where I took part in the Emirate Literature Festival, hosting a murder mystery dinner for 250 delegates. Left Coast Crime in Hawaii was equally enjoyable, and I took part in panels on the Golden Age and police fiction. Closer to home, I gave a talk about the Detection Club at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle, and held a weekend workshop for Golden Age fans at the British Library.
I’m pleased to say that my story Murder and Its Motives has been longlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger.
I’m eagerly looking forward to July, when the British Library will publish The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, and I’ll be attending the Harrogate Festival, and conducting a blog tour, to promote it. Before then, there will be Crimefest, and Alibis in the Archive, a weekend event which I’m hosting at Gladstone’s Library. Finally, I’m honoured to have been elected Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, following in the footsteps of many fine novelists.
Since the launch of the paperback of the latest A.D. Garrett novel, Truth Will Out, in February, I’ve presented ten talks from Wirral to Northumberland, some with my forensic advisor, Helen Pepper, and some flying solo. Readers turned out in good numbers – in both foul weather and fair – and we’re grateful to them and to the librarians, festival and other events organisers who made the events such a success. In the midst of all this, something quite astonishing happened …
When I submitted my latest novel in February, I had the modest expectation that it would become a new series. So, I was surprised and thrilled that Splinter In The Blood attracted worldwide interest at the London Book Fair. It went to four rounds of bids in Germany, with eight publishers bidding at one point. Blanvalet, who won the final round, will publish the first two in the series, making Splinter In The Blood one of their lead titles for in 2018/19. Hot on the heels of that truly breath-taking news, William Morrow acquired the US rights to books 1 and 2; Modernista will publish in Sweden, and Klim in Denmark. In all, the novel has been requested by 150 publishers worldwide, and there is keen TV interest in the series on both sides of the Atlantic. The series will be published under the pseudonym Ashley Dyer.
The launch of my latest novel, Death Games, (8th in the DI Spicer series) went very well. A blog tour generated many positive comments and reactions, while a targeted mailing of just ten – individually numbered – review copies generated plenty of positive reviews.
Within weeks, though, things settled back to normal. Work on the film script for Sing Me To Sleep continues, but very slowly. We’ve now shaved it down to 105 pages; a good length as one page equals about one minute of screen time. For now, the project is on hold as both I and the film director have more pressing things to take care of.
Aside from that, I have written a short story that I will submit for consideration in the next Crime Writers’ Association anthology. I hope it’s good enough, but I know competition is very tough: two fellow Murder Squad members are already prize-winning exponents of the short story art…
For me, that has involved shutting myself away once more in the silence of my writing shed. Among the husks of dead woodlice (really must vacuum in there one of these years) I’ve started work on a new project. More details will follow as soon as the publisher I’m dealing with gives me the nod. But, from the perspective of the story, things are shaping up very nicely…
The Silence Between Breaths is out in paperback with a stunning new cover. I’ve been putting the final touches to The Girl in the Green Dress which will be published in September. And in June I’ll be in Glasgow, taking part in a fascinating panel about restorative justice which will include true life and fictional accounts of the process. Meanwhile the first drafts of my radio scripts for the new series of Stone, created by Danny Brocklehurst, have been delivered to the producers. Now awaiting notes…
February saw the publication of my twenty first Wesley Peterson mystery The Mermaid’s Scream and on May 4th I celebrated the paperback publication of A High Mortality of Doves, the first book in my powerful new trilogy set in the aftermath of the First World War, by visiting a number of libraries in my area. The good news is that I have been awarded a new four book contract by my publisher (two more Wesley Peterson novels and the remaining books in the Albert Lincoln trilogy).
I was also absolutely thrilled to receive the news that I have been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library.
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