Some UK Crime Fiction Gossip

This week’s news covers the inaugural Bloody Scotland, a significant move for Barry Forshaw, a new ‘must-have’ reference manual for death scenes and forensics, the UK Crime Fiction Holiday Fortnight, Bake Off meets debut crime novel, the sock puppet scandal drama fizzle-out and The Killing 3 Tribute-while-u-watch plans.

During the recent Bloody Scotland crime festival, crime expert Professor Barry Forshaw experienced something of an epiphany.  Some said it was the result of eating an ‘off’ deep fried Turkish Delight, but others blamed the turn in the weather.  Whatever, the outcome is that Barry has now declared his intention to move away from Nordic influences and specialisms, and to focus on sunnier climes.  Within three months of the end of the British airing of The Killing 3, Barry will only be writing about crime fiction from warm European countries.  At the start of April 2013, Barry will commence in post as writer in residence at the Euro Consulate in London, where readers will be able to observe him writing his new tome, planned to be 763 pages long.  ‘Crime Fiction from the Hot and Healthy Mediterranean: A Detailed Study’ will be published in 2014 by a new educational publishing venture set up by some peeps called Michael Gove (?) and Toby something (short and snappy).

In other news from Bloody Scotland, those travelling extreme distances across the UK – from such places as London town – have discovered just how bad our rail network operations are.  Advice for next year’s attendees is to stick to the following three-pronged attack:

  • Ensure you are carrying adequate supplies of locally produced whisky before attempting to leave Scotland.
  • Fill all remaining available bag space with food (and consider adding a doggy bag from your last breakfast).
  • Ensure all your techno bits and pieces are fully charged, especially ereaders, phones and anything you use for your essential twitter connection.

Renowned and honoured forensic pathologist and historical crime author Bernard Knight is breaking from his well-earned retirement right now to write Fifty Shades of Lividity.  It will be published by Blaenau Spent University Press just before 2013’s CrimeFest where it will be launched.   In addition to a signing, all purchasers will receive a limited edition scratch card which changes colour with every scratch in line with the chapter numbers (and the fifty shades).  BSUP is also considering a junior edition centred on a digital, ipad-type colouring-in book.  (If you think your little ones might fancy this, they ask that you drop them a line – query@BSpentUP.org.uk – to make an advance order in these troubling economic times.)

Monday 24 September through to Monday 8 October has been declared UK Crime Fiction Holiday Fortnight.  The launch of J K Rowling’s first adult novel on Thursday 27 September means that everyone not directly involved may as well take a decent break.  Inspired by this week’s Waitrose PR campaign on twitter, genuine crime devotees have suggested something similar for the fortnight.  Basically, if you read a crime or thriller novel with a better cover than The Casual Vacancy, tweet a pic with the tag #BetterCoverThanTheCasualVacancy.  This is expected to be a worldwide top trend by Friday 01:00 on 28 September and will help promote all those authors you love so much, keeping them within the frame of memory and recognition.

Doomsbury – the tender sweet new crime fiction imprint from Bloomsbury – have announced that they are publishing a debut crime novel from The Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood in summer 2013.  Inspired by an Agatha Christie locked room mystery, Paul’s debut will be titled The Raising Agent and the Blow Torch.  Gathered at a remote location in a highly competitive environment – a food festival on Caldey Island – a baker’s dozen of chef patisserie-wotsits curdles down in number, one by one.  The novel is said to feature an extensive range of high-tech kitchen baking gadgets and these will spin off into merchandise under the brand of ‘K’ ready for the Christmas market.  There is some debate as to whether the idea for the novel came to Paul when discussing mille feuille with Mary, or when staring into the eye of the great sultana during a tense show-stopper round.  The predominantly female crime fiction community looks forward to welcoming Paul with open arms (and with the presentation of their well-decorated cupcakes).  Not since the Pillsbury Dough Boy in the 1970s has a baker been so popular – not that the PDB ever ventured into crime fiction’s heated waters as he was never really drawn to  bagels.

Crime readers are now relieved that the summer’s silly season is over and that the sock puppet drama has died down.  Most were praying/crossing their fingers that a big romance writer would be caught out, taking the pressure off the genre’s writers.  However, when this did happen, sadly the news was hidden from most behind a Murdoch paywall and no one had heard of the author in question – proving that crime readers rarely extend their reading oeuvre to tales of problematical relationship-building and compensatory floral gifts.  After all, in the crime genre relationships rarely last long due to murder and anything floral is usually some sort of clue.  Who can forget the importance of gardenia in Prime Suspect 1, eh?  (Nice one, Lynda.)

Autumn has definitely arrived, so get your sweaters out.  This will double as your The Killing 3 Tribute-while-u-watch.  But if female, please note that to be fully ‘in season’ you will need skinny jeans and knee-high leather boots to complete the look.  (Try not to look like a Nazi unless you are young and seeking a date at a party possibly to be attended by the prince who has now put all his clothes back on and returned to duties.  Remember: this is a Nordic not an unspecified historical crime tribute.)  Just in case you don’t have a suitable jumper and do enjoy a bargain, it’s also worth diarising that The Barry Forshaw Nordic Jumper Collection will be hitting eBay in May 2013 following his ‘Hot and Healthy’ de-clutter.  All money raised from the sale will be put towards Barry’s ambitious ‘Christmas at LakeComo’ project.  It is not yet known if George Clooney is to be involved.

Two authors had important news to impart but missed the deadline for this edition.  We will note these items seriously in future posts.

We had hoped to bring you news of the soon-to-be-televised Homeland 2 but the press release was lost in the post, somewhere near Israel where a decoding operation is now underway. We can confirm all is well though; a healthy-looking Damian Lewis was recently seen talking to cameras in Leicester Square.