Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 Shortlist

BaileysWomensPrizeForFictionThe shortlist for the Baileys Women’s Prize of Fiction 2014 was announced earlier this evening:

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah (Fourth Estate)
  • Hannah Kent – Burial Rites (Picador)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland (Bloomsbury)
  • Audrey Magee – The Undertaking (Atlantic Books)
  • Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing (Galley Beggar/Faber and Faber)
  • Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch (Little, Brown).

Kindle Spring Sale 2014 Now On!

KSpringSale2014The Kindle Spring Sale is now underway with many bargains in the crime and thriller fiction line. Click HERE for the full sale. Some highlights include:


  • One of self-publishing’s pack leaders: Rachel Abbott’s debut Only the Innocent at 99p. Her next novel The Back Road is also in the sale at 99p. (Note: Rachel’s third, Sleep Tight was published in February and is £2.99 outside the sale if you like to keep up to date!)
  • Now optioned for TV, Lisa Cutts’s Never Forget.
  • M J McGrath’s The Boy in the Snow, the second in her Edie Kiglatuk series.
  • Nicola White’s already award winning debut The Rosary Garden – see her at Harrogate in July.
  • Lindsay Ashford’s The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen – was it a natural death for Jane Austen? Ashford takes a look using fiction and her extensive research.
  • Michael Ridpath‘s 1995 debut financial trader thriller Free to Trade.
  • Two from Bill Kitson’s Mike Nash series, the debut Depth of Despair and the later Chosen.

In Threes Please!

  • Elizabeth Haynes’s superb third Human Remains comes in at the bargain offering of 99p too.
  • Meanwhile, David Mark’s just published third DS Aector McAvoy Sorrow Bound is available at only £2.09.
  • Are you up to date with Sara Sheridan’s Mirabelle Bevan mysteries? She’s also on her third with England Expects and again that one’s £1.09.

Alex Marwood’s staggeringly good The Wicked Girls is £1.99. Don’t let that one pass you by.

These are just tasters, there are more. Click HERE for the whole lot. There’s no excuse for a non-thrilling Easter.

BAFTA TV Awards 2014 Nominations

The BAFTA TV Awards 2014 nominations have been announced today and we can see crime drama featuring yet again. The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday 18 May. Nominations:


  • Jamie Dornan, The Fall – BBC Two
  • Sean Harris, Southcliffe – Channel 4
  • Luke Newberry, In The Flesh – BBC Three
  • Dominic West, Burton and Taylor – BBC Four


  • Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor – BBC Four
  • Olivia Colman, Broadchurch – ITV
  • Kerrie Hayes, The Mill – Channel 4
  • Maxine Peake, The Village – BBC One


  • David Bradley, Broadchurch – ITV
  • Jerome Flynn, Ripper Street – BBC One
  • Nico Mirallegro, The Village – BBC One
  • Rory Kinnear, Southcliffe – Channel 4


  • Shirley Henderson, Southcliffe – Channel 4
  • Sarah Lancashire, Last Tango in Halifax – BBC One
  • Claire Rushbrook, My Mad Fat Diary – E4
  • Nicola Walker, Last Tango in Halifax – BBC One


  • An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss, Matt Strevens, Terry McDonough, Caroline Skinner – BBC Wales/BBC America/BBC Two
  • Black Mirror: Be Rightr Back, Barney Reisz, Charlie Brooker, Owen Harris – Zeppotron/Channel 4
  • Complicit, Guy Hibbert, Niall MacCormick, Kevin Toolis, Jolyon Symonds – Many River Films/Channel 4
  • The Wipers Times, David Parfitt, Andy De Emmony, Ian Hislop, Nick Newman – Trademark Films/BBC Two


  • The Fall, Allan Cubitt, Jakob Verbruggen, Julian Stevens, Gub Neil – Fables Lts/Artists Studio/BBC Two
  • The Great Train Robbery, Production Team – World Productions/BBC One
  • In the Flesh, Hilary Martin, Ann Harrison-Baxter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonny Campbell – BBC Drama Production Salford/BBC America/BBC Three
  • Southcliffe, Tony Grisoni, Sean Durkin, Peter Carlton, Derrin Schlesinger – Warp Films/ Channel 4


  • Broadchurch, Production Team – Kudos and Imaginary Friends (a co-production)/ITV
  • My Mad Fat Diary, Tom Bidwell, Greg Brennan, Roanna Benn, Jude Liknaitzky – Tiger Aspect Productions/E4
  • Top of the Lake, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Jane Campion, Philippa Campbell – See-Saw Films/BBC Two
  • The Village, Production Team – Company Pictures/BBC One


  • Borgen, Adam Price, Tobias Lindholm, Jannik Johansen, Camilla Hammerich – DR/BBC Four
  • Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, Mark Johnson, George Mastras, Sam Catlin – High Bridge Productions, Inc. and Gran Via Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television/Netflix
  • House of Cards, Beau Willimon, David Fincher, Joshua Donen, Kevin Spacey – Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix/Netflix
  • The Returned, Caroline Benjo, Fabrice Gobert – Haut et Court/Channel 4

RADIO TIMES AUDIENCE AWARD (voted for by members of the public)

  • Breaking Bad
  • Broadchurch
  • Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor
  • Educating Yorkshire
  • Gogglebox
  • The Great British Bake Off

Further (non-crime drama) nominations follow the ‘read more’ link: Continue reading

More Novels in the Russell Series by Laurie R. King Available in the UK from Allison and Busby

Available from Amazon UK.

Available from Amazon UK.

By ScotKris

Fans of Laurie King have another year to wait until the next instalment of Mary Russell’s journals, so it is with considerable satisfaction that It’s a Crime! can report that those lovely people over at Allison and Busby are releasing the ‘missing four’ Russell titles, previously unavailable for a dozen or more years.

The first of these missing titles, A Monstrous Regiment of Women and A Letter of Mary, are available now, with The Moor and Justice Hall coming shortly. What’s more, with four more stunning cover designs, the entire series of (currently twelve) novels is available for the first time with a uniform series ‘look’, and full credit to the publisher’s designer for such beautiful covers.

Available from Amazon UK.

Available from Amazon UK.

Where The Beekeeper’s Apprentice laid the groundwork, A Monstrous Regiment of Women and A Letter of Mary were the early showcases of Miss Russell (with Mr Holmes, naturally), taking her forward to the 1920s and into investigations both baffling and intriguing. Theology and detective work go hand in hand and we also see the growing partnership between Russell and Holmes which forms the cornerstone of this unique series.

A Monstrous Regiment of Women sees an Oxford friend of Russell introducing her to the ‘New Temple of God’, which, if appearances are to be believed, is a sect involved in the suffrage movement of post-War years; however, appearances can be deceptive and when one murder follows another, Russell investigates …

More information at Allison and Busby.

More information at Allison and Busby.

The Moor then takes us to Dartmoor, paying homage to a certain Conan Doyle tale, but Justice Hall, for me, marked a turning point in the series. While following on directly from the events of The Moor, Justice Hall reintroduces characters first met in Palestine in events described in O Jerusalem, and involves Russell in a mystery that dates back to the Great War. Rich descriptions bring to life the Justice Hall of the title which, for me, is one of the most evocative books in this very compelling series and the closing pages remain with me some 12 years since I first read them – a telling sign.

More information at Allison and Busby.

More information at Allison and Busby.

As I have said before, one of King’s many strengths is her ability to create images in her novels that draw you into the era, cleverly combining real events with the fictitious, and in which her characters play their own unique roles. Never do readers feel they are subject to a history lesson; indeed they come away feeling enriched, entertained and truly satisfied.

With the reappearance of these four books comes an opportunity to revisit old friends or to discover them for the first time; the only shame is that a year must pass before Russell returns in Dreaming Spies!

2014 Desmond Elliott Prize Longlist Announced

The longlist for this year’s Desmond Elliott Prize was announced today.

DEPrize‘Launched in 2007, The Desmond Elliott Prize has quickly become established as the premier prize for new fiction.

Every year, a panel of three judges are asked to look for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised. Books from all fiction genres are considered.

Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Prize is intended to support new writers and to celebrate their fiction. It was created in memory of the charismatic publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, who died in August 2003. He stipulated that his estate should be invested in a charitable trust that would fund a literary award “to enrich the careers of new writers”.’

This year’s longlist comprises:

  • The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison (Granta)
  • Idiopathy by Sam Byers (Fourth Estate)
  • Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy (Picador)
  • The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (HarperCollins)
  • Sedition by Katharine Grant (Virago)
  • The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt (Simon & Schuster)
  • A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press)
  • The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)
  • Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (William Heinemann)
  • Ballistics by D. W. Wilson (Bloomsbury).

Silk Series Three on BBC1 – The Final Series Ends Tonight


The Radio Times led the field with the news on 21 March that ‘the BBC1 series starring Rupert Penry-Jones, Maxine Peake and Neil Stuke will not return for a fourth run because lead writer Peter Moffat and Peake are keen to go out on a high.’ Then the following day the BBC’s Media Centre carried the press release and noted that Moffat had hinted at a shocking twist at the end of the final episode, to be aired on Monday 31 March – tonight.

Moffat is to be applauded for that wish to go out on a high. Sadly, many don’t pursue that route leaving audiences with ever-decreasing dregs; failed, failing or flailing ideas; and the consummate ever-decreasing audience figures before the bean counters come along and pull the plug, putting all out their misery.

I will watch this final episode but I don’t agree it’s going out on a high; sorry Mr Moffat.

The first series was excellent and very promising. There have been a few legal series before this one, but Silk was a cut above. But series two left me nervous. The feel of a drama seeped in reality with decent attention to detail was starting to descend into the slightly sensationalist with its gangsters-getting-personal plotting. The addition of Frances Barber as Caroline Warwick was optimistic, even it did arrive feeling out of place. Here we had a rather brilliant and scary female barrister always teetering on the edge due to a – she hoped secret – drink problem.

But in series three Silk has become rather strange and rather soapy, adrift in Dreft. Clive’s now a QC and sometimes playing grown-up to the no longer cutting edge Martha who has taken to dirty dancing in unsuitable places. What’s more, as if he thinks he’s on the set for a Merchant Ivory film, Clive is making declarations of love and packed his penis firmly back in his trousers.

BBCSilk2Practice Manager Harriet Hammond arrived in the form of Miranda Raison with no reason given. This character is just a plot ploy to increase the tension on Billy (Neil Stuke) as if his prostate cancer treatment wasn’t enough. What sensible chambers would employ a Practice Manager and keep on the senior clerk (Billy, Neil Stuke) whose practices they are trying to improve? Meanwhile, Billy’s character arc across the series has gone from real and believable character to an overly long audition for a shouty part in EastEnders or a lead in panto.

Head of Chambers, Alan Cowdrey (Alex Jennings) dominated the first story with a personal case that led to his decision to move on. Perhaps the fact he was forced to focus on his son for a while led to the lack of explanation for the introduction of the Practice Manager. Handy though, as his departure has led to a fight for the new Head of Chambers which should resolve tonight.

Once of so much promise, Caroline Warwick has been the token older female in series three and completely side-lined apart from scenes to acknowledge that the demon drink is now a force field and other scenes for us to remember she’s still actually around.

Attention to detail in the plotting has not been impressive in series three; indeed on times it’s been more noticeable for its absence.

Perhaps this will all round off nicely tonight. But somehow, I don’t think many of those facts above will be covered.

It’s not entirely over for those who want still more. The Radio Times reported that ‘there is some small comfort in the news that Mick Collins, one of the writers behind the TV series, will be bringing three new dramas focusing on the show’s clerks to Radio 4 next month.’