Archive for August, 2011

A Drop of the Hard Stuff


Written by Lawrence Block — If you pick up A Drop of the Hard Stuff and start reading it without knowing the author, you’ll realise pretty quickly that it’s from a seriously accomplished writer. It’s the 17th Matthew ‘Matt’ Scudder novel and it takes place during his first year as an unlicensed PI. Lawrence Block is[…]

The Retribution


Written by Val McDermid – The Retribution is the seventh book featuring Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. A fantastic series, I was incredibly excited to read the latest instalment! The story focuses on the prison escape of increasingly legendary McDermid villain Jacko Vance, and his aim of wreaking revenge on the people who were responsible for his capture[…]

Jo Nesbo and real-life crime


Jo Nesbo and his mysterious detective Harry Hole are responsible for some of the biggest selling Nordic crime fiction releases in recent years. Here in the UK, Redbreast and The Snowman have each been hugely successful, while The Leopard is on our ‘to-read’ list. As a guest speaker at the Edinburgh International Book festival, Nesbo[…]

The BBC looks at crime fiction


For our non-UK fans, the BBC’s Time Shift is an excellent documentary series that runs on BBC4. The last two programmes in the series have tackled some of our favourite topics; Nordic Noir: The Story of Scandinavian Crime Fiction; and Italian Noir, about… well, you guessed it, Italian crime fiction. Both are fantastic, featuring interviews[…]

Pulp Ink


Edited by Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan — Pulp Ink is a collection of short stories with an interesting connection. Each writer was given a line from the movie Pulp Fiction, or the title of a song from the soundtrack. From there, the fertile mind of the author was free to roam. Combined, these stories form[…]

Watch the trailer for Dregs


One of the books we’re busy preparing a review for is the English language debut of Norwegian author Jørn Lier Horst. Dregs follows detective William Wisting as he tries to work out where a severed left foot, washed up on the beach near the town of Stavern, came from. When more left feet start turning[…]

Spriteby joins our team

Today we welcome a new reviewer – Spriteby – to our panel. It should not surprise you to learn that she’s a lover of crime fiction, but Spriteby’s personal tastes in the genre mean we’ll be covering some new ground. “I read mostly historical crime,” she explains, “Scandinavian crime thrillers, the Agatha Raisin novels by[…]

Lake Charles


Written by Ed Lynskey — Lake Charles is a distinctly southern take on noir fiction that combines a strong sense of place with a cast of ordinary people struggling against the circumstances they face. The author relies on some personal experience and a vivid imagination to create a time and place that oozes with class struggle,[…]

Kindle Cloud Reader – upon closer inspection


As we reported during the week, Amazon has released a new app called the Kindle Cloud Reader, which works across a range of devices. It brings you Kindle on the iPad, or an Android tablet. It works on Macs and PCs with Chrome or Safari web browsers.  And it works on iPhones and Android smartphones.[…]

The Dead Tracks


Written by Tim Weaver — Before we start, I should let you know that I’ve known Tim for a number of years. We both used to work at the same company where he writes about computer games. So I was surprised when I found out that like me he loves crime fiction – the difference[…]

Mark Billingham’s Good as Dead released

Not sure how the front door at CFL HQ is still intact, because today the postman put Mark Billingham’s portly new hardback through the letter slot for us. Released today, it’s a new DI Thorne story – the first since the character was introduced in the Sky1 TV series which attracted 2.9million viewers. That was[…]

Killing characters – author Sara Blaedel’s confessions

Danish writer Sara Blaedel admits she feels a little grumpy when she kills off a victim in one of her crime novels. Having penned several in Danish, her debut in English is Call me Princess and it came out in hardback on 15 August. Below we’ve brought you a short documentary Blaedel made by her[…]