Cherchez les Francais

The Frankfurt Book Fair, which takes place in October is one of the largest and  most prestigious in the world, covered on a daily basis by the top publishing magazines, including Publishers Weekly. PW’s October 12 Frankfurt Show Daily contained an excellent review of the crime scene in France, both classic and contemporary, Cherchez les Francais by Lenny Picker. 2017_10_12 Frankfurt Daily

I wasn’t altogether unhappy that page 1 was almost entirely dedicated to LRI’s classic and Paul Halter offerings, but all kidding aside, there’s some really good stuff here about today’s writers. In fact, as a result of the article, I ordered The Ghost Riders of Ordebec by Fred Vargas, one of France’s best-selling authors (authoress, actually).

Recommended reading.

‘Death in the House of Rain’ now available

The paperback became available today and the ebook will follow shortly. PW praised its tautness and freshness and accorded the author an interview. There is a fascinating Foreword which foretells the huge potential of Chinese/Taiwanese impossible crime literature

2017_9_25 PW SZL Interview


The Little Imprint That Could…

… (to steal a slogan from Thomas the Tank Engine)

I was enormously flattered for my little one-man-band to be featured alongside The British Library, Harper Collins, Pushkin Vertigo, Rue Morgue Press and others, in Martin Edwards’ great article “A New Golden Age for Crime Classics?” … particularly since Death in the Dark (for which Martin wrote the Introduction) got more coverage than any other! Apologies for the rather gritty pdf. When I can get hold of a soft copy in glorious Technicolor, I’ll post it.

2017 MS 151 Golden Age

Two Christianna Brand short stories

A couple of years back, my friend Tony Medawar, himself a noted locked room expert, kindly gave  me copies of two short stories by Christianna Brand, one of the greatest of the Golden Age authors. (Her Death of Jezebel is one of my top 10). They had only ever been published in The Daily Sketch, a British newspaper which folded fifty years ago.

My co-editor, Brian Skupin, and I included one of them, “Cyanide in the Sun”, featuring the first use of an ingenious impossible crime method, in our anthology The Realm of the Impossible.

I was pleased to see that EQMM published the other story, “Bank Holiday Murder” in their September/October issue. Apparently Tony is working with a UK publisher on a book of Brand stories to come out next year. I’m sure it will be well worth the read.

EQMM Podcast: Paul Halter’s “The Wolf of Fenrir”

EQMM contacted me a few months ago about selecting and reading a Paul Halter short story as their next podcast. I drew up a short list and tried to rehearse by recording a couple of them on my home computer. It was much harder than I’d expected (particularly using the appropriate inflections to move the story along.)

The results were a total disaster, partly because I’d been having ENT problems, so I told EQMM I could only do a few introductory sentences, and somebody more professional would have to read the story. With Paul’s approval, I suggested “The Wolf of Fenrir”, and went to EQMM’s premises to record the introduction a few weeks later. Here’s the full podcast, with EQMM Associate Editor Jackie Sherbow reading the story:

The only blight was my intro. And no, I wasn’t inebriated! Jackie had asked me to speak slowly, and boy, did I obey orders. But the story itself is terrific and Jackie did a great job, so enjoy!