Category Archives: Humour

Writer’s Block – Judith Flanders

Click on image for link to Amazon UK.

Click on image for link to Amazon UK.

“You know when you can have one those days at the office? You spill coffee on your keyboard, the finance director goes on an expenses rampage and then, before you know it, your favourite author is murdered. Don’t you just hate when that happens?”

Meet Samantha Clair, a “middle-aged, middling-ly successful editor”. Having decided to publish a tell-all book by journalist Kit Lovell on the death of fashion-designer Rodrigo Alemán, life suddenly throws in some unexpected turns for Sam. In a staggeringly good comedy crime caper – of which there are few that actually work in a sustained fashion to the end – Sam’s life moves in the worlds of publishing and fashion, taking in a bit of money laundering, missing persons and murder along the way.

Why does this work so well? Sam is simply a very real character whose personal armoury comprises pragmatism, cynicism and sarcasm. Author Judith Flanders, well known for her historical non-fiction, has a background in publishing, so that is lovingly and hilariously laid bare. The rivalries of all serious matters “literary” feature and one of Sam’s authors delivers a manuscript that is definitely off-piste from her usual, reliable money-spinning fare, causing some consternation.

It’s easy to love Sam, but just wait till you meet her mother, lawyer Helena. Formidable, with more Energiser Bunny vigour than Margaret Thatcher possessed at her peak, Helena is both a stressor to Sam and a source of eccentrically delivered support.

It’s difficult to incorporate money laundering into a plot. Its very nature means that you can’t be too detailed. Then you need to ensure it’s not too light in order to keep it convincing. Flanders comes in pitch-perfect on this one. (Those familiar with these regulations may find the odd out of date reference but that doesn’t spoil the story one iota.)

This novel has arrived on the scene as a bit of a curve ball; make sure you catch it.

Published by Allison and Busby, available from Amazon here.

Seasons’ Greetings

Ciao my bellas,

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thank you for visiting and reading in 2012.

We leave you with some health and safety advice for the occasion of “I’ve just opened my presents” and thank you for observing the guidelines.


On 21.12.12 how can you tell if the world is ending? (In the world of crime fiction.)


How can you tell when the world is ending on 21 Dec?

1. You’ll be reading this and suddenly– everything goes black.

Still here?  Oh.  Must have been an early red herring or a power cut.

2. There’s a knock on the door at an unexpected time and you hear whispering voices of doom and gloom outside.  You’re scared but brave and you open it…

Still here?  Yes, Father Christmas does like a joke when the reindeer are in the park for refuelling.  Do you know he got an ASBO once?

3. You suddenly get the urge to have sex with anyone-to-hand over the course of the next ten minutes.  The end of the world is very definitely nigh right now.

You’ve gone up and down the street only to find they were all at Tesco?  Well what did you expect?  You’re living in the world of crime fiction; nobody does sex here.

4. You feel a huge shudder under your feet.

Fear not, it’s just next door’s Christmas shopping order arriving in an Asda van.  No, I can’t understand their fondness for all those baseball bats either.

5. It keeps getting darker and you feel the walls closing in.

Well it is nearly 5 pm and you haven’t put any lights on yet.  ‘Dark’ is for ghost stories if we’re honest.

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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).

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