Mixing It Up with Bonnier Zaffre

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Those fabulous people at Bonnier Zaffre books had a bit of a doo at Harrogate festival this year, to which the lovely Katherine Armstrong invited me along. Once I found the not so secret, ‘Secret Garden’ (there was a big sign pointing to it) These were just a few the lovely people I managed to mix with and snap. There were plenty more there, and a fab couple of hours were passed by.

 

Ooh Look Fizz! (I may have had a tad too much)

David Mark, Katherine Armstrong and LifeOfCri.me’s Kirstie Long

Sarah Hilary looking relaxed 🙂

Susi Holliday

Laura Wilson

Daniel Pembrey and Anya Lipska

As always, ‘Pretty in Purple’, Leigh Russell

The ever lovely Barry Forshaw

Martyn Waites and Alex Marwood showing the differing approaches to unexpected photos. 😉

Martin Edwards, charming as always

The fantastic Laura Lippman.

One of my favourite people in the world.  Zoe Sharp is a great author, and also an amazing cook!

It wouldn’t be Harrogate without Mark Billingham

It isn’t a proper party until you’ve got the dazzling duo, Kevin Wignall (above) and Simon Kernick (below)

12 Words with David Mark

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img_3005David Mark is the author of the DS McAvoy series, which includes, Dark Winter, Original Skin, Sorrow Bound, Taking Pity and his most recent release Dead Pretty.

 

Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: Your latest release Dead Pretty is the fifth in your series featuring DS Aector McAvoy.  What can you tell us about it?

DM: One Girl Missing. One Girl Dead. Link? Depraved vigilante? Or pure evil?

LOC: How about some hints about what’s up next for our favourite Gentle giant?

DM: Family ties to murder …New York … trailing a religious killer. Cruel Mercy.

LOC: How does being a full time author compare to your previous career as a journalist?

DM: It’s better. I smile. I drink less. I have less money. Ace.   (LOC: Shhh… we’ll pretend we didn’t notice)

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

DM: Obsessive cogitation, deep journey into imagination, structure, plot, flavour – then do it!

LOC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your writing career?

DM: Getting bloody published. Ten years of failure and despair then overnight success.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

DM: Coffee, extreme weather, platitudes from loved ones, uninterrupted writing. Lottery win.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

DM: The Girl in Green by Derek B Miller.

LOC: Why?

DM: Beautifully written, very interesting and a bit odd. Great characters and tone.

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author Angela Marsons you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of a TV Talent show, with only an ironing board, a box of matches and an armadillo.  What do you do?

DM: If it’s for Sky Arts, just balance all three on my head and allow the viewer to interpret my inner pain and artistic vision.   (I’m going to forgive the breach in word count, just ‘cus I *love* that answer)

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CrimeFest 2016 – The Photos.

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David Mark, the man behind DS Aector McAvoy, does the zombie.

Paul Finch, one writer who truly has it in for his lead DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg

 Lucy Cameron, who’s debut novel Night is Watching is out later this year.

Two of *the* most amazing authors out there, check out Sarah Pinborough’s 13 Minutes & The Death House, and look out for Kevin Wignall’s A Death In Sweden & The Traitor’s Story

 Pretty in purple, Leigh Russell, one of the hardest working women in crime fiction.  I don’t think she ever stops…

Aspiring author Andrew Hill who talked to LifeOfCri.me about CrimeFest back in 2014, and pulling faces in the corner, Chris Simms, the man behind DI Jon Spicer


Quentin Bates, writer of the fantastic Detective Gunnhildur of the Reykjavik police force, and translator of Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series.

The Icelandic Queen of crime Yrsa Sigurdardottir (you have no idea how many attempts it took to spell that right!)

Howard Linskey

James Hilton sees the release of his debut Gunn Brothers novel, Search and Destroy, this month.

Julia Crouch

The fount of all knowledge when it comes to Brit Noir and Nordic Noir, the formidable Barry Forshaw

Mark Billingham.

Everyone’s favourite cheeky chap and the man behind the excellent Tom Thorne novels, as well as his current stand alone Die Of Shame

William Sutton, creator of Victorian Policeman Campbell Lawless

Craig Robertson

Steve Mosby, this man knows how to mess with your head, prepare for a book hangover. Black Flowers and The Nightmare Place, are my particular favourites.

Winner of the 2015 Theakston’s Old peculier Crime Novel of the Year, DI Marnie Rome’s creator, Sarah Hilary

Zoe Sharp, the woman behind Charlie Fox, looking far too gleeful at the opportunity to strangle my fiance.

A grinch-esqe Tom Wood, not sure what Victor the Assassin would make of that!

Mr Crime Fiction Festival himself, Ali Karim, Assistant Editor at Shots e-zine. Simply all shades of awesome.  If you get the chance to sit and chat with him, do,

Ragnar Jonasson, his Dark Iceland series is gripping, and claustrophobic.  Perfect for being snuggled up on the sofa with coffee/wine/gin, on a wet and grey Sunday afternoon.


Martin Edwards

Chris Ewan, The man behind The Good Thief’s Guides, along with a series of standalone novels, including his latest release Long Time Lost

imageWho would have thought he’d spent all weekend drinking?! – The Final Minute (did you see what I did there?) Sunday morning shot of race against time thriller writer Simon Kernick

Top Books from 2015

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The last year for me has been a strange mix, with book related activities on the increase and yet with reading taking a back seat to life, and reviews sitting further behind.  My motivation for keeping here updated as been at an all time low, and as such I have a list of reviews that I should get posted which is much longer than I would like.

That said I’ve managed to put together just some of the books that I have enjoyed over the last year. There’s no ranking to this, it’s just a list of those books that I’m still talking about and regularly recommending.

wpid-screenshot_2015-01-20-04-13-34-1.pngThe Liars Chair – Rebecca Whitney

A fabulously dark psychological thriller with a story you’ll love and a protagonist you won’t.

wpid-screenshot_2015-02-21-07-32-30-1.pngThe Ties That Bind – Erin Kelly

Gangster gone good meets Journalist determined to prove his murderous past. Tight and twisty plotting it’s Erin Kelly’s best yet.

IMG_2095Day Four – Sarah Lotz

Re-defining the phrase “Holiday from hell”, no one does fear and hysteria like Sarah Lotz.

IMG_2167Sophie Hannah – A Game For All The Family

Sophie Hannah at her dark and twisted best.  A thriller with a riddle, just who is telling the truth?

imageDoug Johnston – The Jump

I’ve honestly struggled to sum this one up since I first read it a few months ago and I’m not sure why.  It’s a compelling read full of the emotional aftermath of tragedy, the struggle to find understanding and to discover a meaning for existence in the wake of devastating loss.  Suffice is to say however, months later I am still fascinated by it, and think of it often.

imageDavid Mark – Taking Pity

DS Aector McAvoy is fast becoming one of my favourite damaged detectives. In Taking Pity the fourth installment of the series he’s down but not out, and you’ll be cheering his corner with every turn of the page.

imageSteve Cavanagh – The Defence

Love Mickey Haller, The Lincoln Lawyer?  Then this one’s for you, Michael Connelly’s got some competition here, and I can’t wait to read more about Eddie Flynn.

imageMichel Bussi – After The Crash

Well I wasn’t expecting that….

I dare anyone to figure this one out . A truly surprising ending to an addictive and melancholic tale.

screenshot_2015-11-25-14-57-20-1.pngAngela Marsons – Lost Girls

Angela Marsons has been one of this years big winners, with over 1,000,000 e-books shifted since the release of her first book in February.  Lost Girls is the third and best installment in her DI Kim Stone series.

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Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May London’s Glory

The perfect filler.  While we all eagerly anticipate the next full length installment in Bryant & May’s adventures, revel in a collection of short stories filling in gaps, and explaining occasionally mentioned exploits.  Pick it up, put it down, enjoy and repeat.

imageAlex Marwood – The Darkest Secret

Out in e-book now and paperback next week, The Darkest Secret is full of characters you will love to hate, I see this appearing in a lot of top recommendations over the next few months. You won’t put it down.

 

The Harrogate Book Haul

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Just one of the many reasons why I enjoy heading up to The Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, the free books…..   This year of the twenty I brought home only one was purchased, and not by me.  IMG_2141

A Book A Day, Sunday Wrap Up #3

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M is For

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Missing You by Harlan Coben, master of fast paced novels where the hidden pasts of ordinary people come back to haunt them with a killer twist at the end. Guaranteed thrillers.

N is For

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Natural Causes by James Oswald.  First of the so far four strong Inspector McLean series, fabulous reads that keep getting better and better.  Carefully pictured here with what James calls a Heilan Coo cushion, because when he’s not writing he breeds these handsome cows.

O is For

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On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle, if you like a good coffee and your crime a little cosier, head over to this coffee shop mystery series.

P is For

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Payback by Kimberley Chambers.  Welcome to the East End of London, where even your family doesn’t always have your back…

Q is For

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Quentin Bates.  Author of the Icelandic based novels featuring Officer Gunnhilder.  Frozen Out is the first in this series atmospheric, dark and intricately plotted masterpieces.

R is For

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Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason.  Another Icelandic based series, the 10th of Indridasons books to be translated into English sees us going back to the roots of my favourite damaged detective, Erlendur.

S is For

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Sorrow Bound by David Mark. The third dark outing for DS Aector McAvoy.