In Bedlington to be precise, on Saturday November 16.
Constable & Robinson is delighted to announce that the television rights to M.C. Beaton’s AGATHA RAISIN series have been optioned by Free at Last Digital Limited. Free at Last is co-developing the potential long-running television series with renowned drama producer Mammoth Screen. AGATHA RAISIN was created by Beaton in 1992; there are presently 24 titles in the series, with the newest, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMEONE DEAD, published in September.
AGATHA RAISIN is a truly global success, having been translated into 12 languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Estonian, Hungarian, Turkish, and Thai.
Free at Last TV was established in 2000 as a documentary and docudrama television production company. It has made over 450 hours of television, including scripted comedy and a successful series of docudramas. Barry Ryan, founder and executive producer, said: “I have been wanting to develop these brilliant novels for years. Agatha Raisin is a tour de force, a brilliant, charming and beguiling woman. It’s a miracle she hasn’t found her way to our television screens by now.”
Mammoth Screen is an EMMY and BAFTA winning production company established in 2007. Recent hits include PARADE’S END (BBC Two/HBO), ENDEAVOUR (ITV/PBS) and BLANDINGS (BBC One). Michele Buck, joint Managing Director of Mammoth Screen and Executive Producer, said: “We are delighted to be co-developing such a brilliant series. The novels are delightful, the characters are compelling and the scenery is beautiful. What more does a television series need? M.C. Beaton has a terrific television pedigree – we are determined to keep it that way.”
David Tennant and Olivia Colman led ITV’s Broadchurch to four gongs at the star-studded Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel tonight.
Celebrity guests including Idris Elba, Kara Tointon, Lee Child, Peter James, Ruth Wilson, Mark Billingham and Anna Maxwell Martin gathered on the black carpet before celebrating the UK’s most wanted crime fiction and drama at the dazzling ceremony, hosted by Bradley Walsh.
The glittering event, organised by Cactus TV and ITV3 in partnership with the Crime Writers’ Association, saw ITV’s top-rating murder mystery Broadchurch pocket a quartet of awards, including the TV Dagger for the production itself, with the latest gongs rounding off a successful year for the show.
● David Tennant of Broadchurch in the Best Actor Dagger
● Olivia Colman of Broadchurch in the Best Actress Dagger
● Andrew Buchan of Broadchurch in the Best Supporting Actor Dagger
● Amelia Bullmore of Scott & Bailey in the Best Supporting Actress Dagger
● The Killing III in the International TV Dagger
● Broadchurch in the TV Dagger
● Skyfall in the Film Dagger
● Malcolm MacKay for the Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read
● Mick Herron for the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger
● Derek B Miller for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger
● Roger Hobbs for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year
The ceremony will be shown on ITV3 at 9pm on Sunday October 27th.
The awards, now in their sixth year, marked the culmination of ITV3’s six-week prime time series, The Crime Thriller Club which included a crime thriller version of the successful TV Book Club.
‘Living legends’ Martina Cole and Wilbur Smith were inducted into the CWA Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony in recognition of their contributions to the genre.
In a brand new award for 2013, The Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read was awarded to Malcolm MacKay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter. Chosen as The Crime Thriller Book Club book of the series by a group of independent publishing experts from the Crime Thriller Awards Academy, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter beat titles by Linwood Barclay, Megan Abbott, Christopher Fowler, Diana Bretherick and Andrew Taylor.
Malcolm MacKay said: “It’s a huge honour and thrill to win. To be included in such a strong list of nominees is a wonderful thing for any young writer.”
This year’s CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year was won by Mick Herron for Dead Lions, a tale of secrets which refuse to die in the shady world of Cold War spooks. Herron’s book fought off intense competition from Belinda Bauer’s Rubbernecker, Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls and Becky Masterman’s Rage Against The Dying to take the accolade.
Mick Herron commented: “My shelves are crammed with Gold Dagger-winning novels of the past - The Mermaids Singing, Black and Blue, Bones and Silence. I can’t quite believe I get to put my own book next to them.”
The CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger for Best New Crime Writer of the Year was awarded to Derek B Miller for his debut novel Norwegian by Night. In a boon year for debut crime fiction Norwegian by Night and its 82-year-old ex-Marine protagonist squared up against Hanna Jameson’s Something You Are, Malcolm Mackay’s The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter and Thomas Mogford’s Shadow of the Rock to nab the top spot.
Derek B. Miller said: “My sincere thanks to the judges and the Crime Writers’ Association. This award feels less like a victory than a wonderful form of encouragement. And I appreciate that, deeply, because no one has ever encouraged me to write before. Tolerated me writing … sure. But encouraged me? Not as much. So thank you.”
The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year went to Roger Hobbs for Ghostman. This distinctive thriller slugged it out against impressive enemies Stuart Neville for Ratlines, Mark Oldfield for The Sentinel and Robert Wilson for Capital Punishment to secure victory.
Roger Hobbs said: “I’m exceptionally honoured to have won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. It’s a dream come true. This award puts me in the company of so many writers I admire, like Steve Hamilton, Gillian Flynn, and Jeffery Deaver. When I was writing this book in the basement of my college library, scrounging off old pizza and bad coffee, I never imagined I’d end up here. I want to offer my sincerest thanks to all the family, friends, and co-workers who helped me make this dream possible.”
Amanda Ross, Managing Director of Cactus TV, who created the Awards for ITV3 said: ‘This is one of the most popular genre of fiction on the screen and in books, so it’s wonderful to be able to have this great celebration of talent courtesy of Specsavers.’
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: ‘As a personal fan of a blood curdling read, it’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Crime Thriller Awards for the fifth year running. We’re very proud to be involved in this annual showcase of world class writing, acting and production and would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees.’
Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards
The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013 took place on Thursday 24th October at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, and will be televised on ITV3 on the 27th October at 9pm. The 2013 Awards are the sixth annual event created and produced by Cactus TV for ITV3. The Awards are sponsored by Specsavers and in conjunction with the Crime Writers’ Association. Visit http://www.crimethrillerawards.com/ for more information.
The winners of these awards have just been announced at the Crime Thriller Awards in London:
CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger
- Belinda Bauer – Rubbernecker (Bantam/Transworld)
- Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls (HarperCollins)
- Mick Herron – Dead Lions (Soho Crime) *WINNER*
- Becky Masterman – Rage Against the Dying (Orion)
CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
- Roger Hobbs – Ghostman (Transworld) *WINNER*
- Stuart Neville – Ratlines (Random House)
- Mark Oldfield – The Sentinel (Head of Zeus)
- Robert Wilson – Capital Punishment (Orion)
CWA John Creasey Dagger
- Hanna Jameson – Something You Are (Head of Zeus)
- Malcolm Mackay – The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Mantle)
- Derek B Miller – Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber) *WINNER*
- Thomas Mogford – Shadow of the Rock (Bloomsbury)
Congratulations to all the winners!
Press release from Harvill Secker (7 October 2013):
Harvill Secker is delighted to announce the acquisition of two new novels from bestselling Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo writing under the pen name Tom Johansen. Publishing Director Liz Foley acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Niclas Salomonsson at the Salomonsson Agency.
The first book from Jo Nesbo writing as Tom Johansen, BLOOD ON SNOW, will be published in autumn 2014 with the second, BLOOD ON SNOW 2 (working title), to follow in spring 2015.
Further information about both books and Tom Johansen will be revealed at http://www.jonesbo.co.uk in early 2014.
Liz Foley at Harvill Secker says: ‘After the huge success of Headhunters and the Harry Hole series, we’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Jo on this very exciting new project and we’re looking forward to revealing more about the mysterious world of Tom Johansen in the near future.’
JO NESBO is a musician, songwriter, economist and author. His first crime novel featuring Harry Hole was published in Norway in 1997 and was an instant hit winning the Glass Key Award for the best Nordic crime novel (an accolade shared with Peter Høeg, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson). The Harry Hole novels have sold over 20 million copies worldwide and Jo Nesbo’s books have been translated into more than 45 languages. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading crime writers.
Red Joan was inspired by the case of Melita Norwood – ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Co-op’ – exposed in 1999 as the longest-serving Soviet spy in Britain when an 87-year-old great-grandmother.
Like Norwood, Joan Stanley receives a knock on the door when she is in her eighties, ‘ … loud and staccato; official-sounding …’ And then the life she has so quietly lived and so carefully guarded – ‘so close to the end’ – unravels when she opens the door to those inevitable officials.
With five days of interrogation before her name is announced in parliament and to the media, Jennie Rooney’s narrative nimbly weaves the interviews of the present with Joan’s private memories of the past.
The daughter of a headmaster, Joan leaves home for Newnham College, Cambridge in 1937 at the age of eighteen to read Natural Sciences, specialising in Physics. At the behest of her mother, she arrives with a meticulously planned ‘University Trousseau’. She is bright but naïve. Soon, Joan falls under the spell of the rather glamorous and charismatic Sonya, and falls for her alluring cousin Leo. They introduce her to their communist politics, but Joan remains uncommitted.
On leaving Cambridge with a certificate – females were not awarded degrees at the time – Joan is recruited into the ‘Tube Alloys’ project and her education can be put to good use. This proves to be the time when her beliefs, ideals and loyalties are tested in extremis.
As the interviews progress, Joan’s son Nick, a QC, sits at her side. Here, Jennie Rooney squeezes the tension as Nick faces the truth about his mother and Joan grapples with her answers to protect Nick as much as she can.
Red Joan is a novel that explores ambiguities, grey areas and the two sides of a coin. In plotting the course of personal development and disclosure of changing motivation Rooney creates characters with whom we sympathise whatever the next page throws up. It is also an unusual mix of spy thriller and love story as we track the life of Red Joan.
As an evocation of its period Red Joan offers us a novel that feels fastidiously researched for detail, embedding us with ease in time and place. What is now perceived to be short decades back is shown as light years away in terms of culture, behaviour and the stresses of day to day living.
‘Joan’s voice is almost a whisper. “Nobody talked about what they did during the war. We all knew we weren’t allowed to.”’
Red Joan is a provocative novel that will get people talking; perfect for an engrossing solo read or to fire the phosphorous flame of discussion in a book club. Was Joan right in her choices? And did she get what she deserved?
This review appeared in last week’s print edition of the Catholic Herald.
Good news for fans of Laurie R King – August saw the first UK paperback release of her 2008 standalone novel, Touchstone, featuring FBI Agent Harris Stuyvesant, in a beautiful new edition from Allison & Busby.
Once studied by British intelligence for his excruciating sensitivity to the world’s turmoil, Bennett Grey has withdrawn from the world – until an American Bureau of Investigation agent comes to assess Grey’s potential as a weapon in a new kind of warfare. Agent Harris Stuyvesant needs Grey’s help to enter a realm where the rich and the radical exist side by side – a heady mix of power, celebrity, and sexuality that conceals the free world’s deadliest enemy. Soon Stuyvesant finds himself dangerously seduced by one woman and – even more dangerously – falling in love with another. As he sifts through secrets divulged and kept, he uncovers the target of a horrifying conspiracy, and wonders if he can trust anyone, even his touchstone.
Reviewed here back in 2008, this is a snapshot of what I said at the time:
“ …Laurie R King’s latest offering, Touchstone, a standalone novel set shortly after the Great War in locations as diverse as London and Cornwall. I must confess immediately to a preference for novels which stand by themselves away from a series; as the author says on her own blog, it gives her ‘a chance to flex her literary muscles’, with the opportunity to develop a unique selection of characters and background that support the story in its entirety. Touchstone is no exception: a rich and diverse offering which challenges the mind and demands a single-sitting reading – no easy task at 500 pages plus. Indeed, part of the pleasure of this novel is in the savouring, with the lead character of Bennett Grey a superb vehicle from whom to provide just one of the many perspectives in this book.
“Followers of Laurie R King’s blog will know how much time, care and love go into her books. No corporate publicity machine producing multiple titles each year: indeed, often eighteen months or more may pass between her books, and all are welcomed with open arms by an extremely loyal readership. With Touchstone as the latest example of how this author keeps in touch with this reader, I would always welcome a more prolific output; however, I am glad Laurie R King doesn’t feel the need to compromise in any way, and continues to produce absolute gems.”
Now, five years later, with this new edition the opportunity arrives to revisit the characters and enjoy King’s fine writing and her enviable ability to weave such fascinating stories.
Since Touchstone was first released, King has produced four consecutive instalments in her renowned Mary Russell series. Now too, at the end of September, we have The Bones of Paris, (review coming soon), which sees the return of Harris Stuyvesant. So if you haven’t yet read Touchstone, catch up now, and immerse yourself in a 1920s world with more intrigue than Poirot could ever have faced.
Yesterday, Martin Edwards broke the sad news that Robert Barnard has died at the age of 76. In his post Martin pays tribute to his friend the author.
Six days. Two deaths. One shot.
Elizabeth Haynes moves to a new publisher, Sphere and her next novel is #Underasilentmoon, coming very soon. Here’s a sneak preview and look out for further evidence all this week, joining DCI Louisa Smith and her team as they race against the clock to catch a killer.
Join in the conversation on Twitter. #Underasilentmoon
Bestselling Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo will tour the UK and Ireland next week for the publication of his hotly-anticipated new Harry Hole thriller, Police, out 12th September from Harvill Secker.
Jo Nesbo will participate in events and signings in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Stirling, Belfast and Dublin from 12 to 16 September, including the country’s first high-speed book signing on-board a Virgin Train with WH Smith, and signings on 14 September in support of the Books Are My Bag trade initiative.
Jo Nesbo will participate in solo events at the Coronet Cinema, Notting Hill, with Waterstones Piccadilly; headline events for both the Bloody Scotland! Crime Writing Festival and the Manchester Literature Festival; No Alibis bookshop in Belfast; and The Pavillion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire for Eason. There are also three lunchtime signing sessions with Waterstones in London (12 September), Manchester (13 September) and Glasgow (14 September).
Jo Nesbo will do interviews with BBC Breakfast, RTE TV, BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, BBC Radio 6’s Radcliffe and Maconie, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Ulster, RTE 1 Radio, and newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, The Times, Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, Irish Times, Daily Record and the Press Association.
The full event listing is as follows (and can be found at jonesbo.co.uk):
12.30 Waterstones Leadenhall Market signing
18.00 Coronet Cinema, Notting Hill, Jo Nesbo in conversation with Emma Kennedy in association with Waterstones Piccadilly
13.00 Waterstones Manchester Deansgate signing
19.30 Manchester Literature Festival
09.41 Preston to Glasgow signing on-board high speed Virgin Train service –in conjunction with WH Smiths and Books Are My Bag
13.00 Waterstones Glasgow Sauchiehall Street signing – in conjunction with Books Are My Bag
18.00 The Ulster Hall event and signing with No Alibis Bookshop
20.00 The Pavillion Theatre Dun Laoghaire in conversation with Declan Burke in association with Eason
POLICE continues the story of PHANTOM, which was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in paperback earlier this year. The Harry Hole novels have sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Jo Nesbo is regarded as one of the world’s leading crime writers, and his novels are published in more than 45 languages.
POLICE is Jo Nesbo’s ninth internationally acclaimed novel featuring Inspector Harry Hole to be translated into English, and the tenth in the series. In the new novel a series of killings that echo unsolved murders is sweeping Oslo, and the killer is targeting the police.
[From press release.]