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In late June 2014 I ‘launched’ my first collection of short stories as an e-book for all to see. After many years lacking confidence and balking at the idea of someone else reading my stories, I finally grasped the nettle – or is it thistle? – and allowed my stories to be read by the masses. Well, maybe not the masses, but by a number of people willing to part with 97p of their hard earned. The collection is called ‘Seven’, for the simple reason that there are seven short stories and so it seemed apt. Plus, my birthday is on the 7th and the cover I chose was the seventh version. So it all seemed to fit nicely together. So far, I have had a very positive response so far, but having done this I now know why writers get such butterflies about sending their ‘fledglings’ off in to the big wide, world. If you like to read a good psychological tale with a twist, then click on the link and check out my first collection of short stories, ‘Seven’.


On the 4th July, I received a phone call from reviewer and writer, Mr. Graham Smith asking why I hadn't put up his review of my collection, 'Seven'. After hedging a little he demanded I put it on! Now, I always think it best not to argue with a disgruntled Scotsman who has a few beers inside him - so Graham's wonderful review is now on the Reviews page! I am indebted to him for his very kind words.

Steve Mosby is the current Chair for this years’ Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate this July. He is now also Author of the Month on July’s A high accolade, indeed. reviewer Michael Wood read Mosby’s new novel, ’The Nightmare Place’ and was blown away by it. With such an enthusiastic response, we could not fail to have Steve as ‘Author of the Month’

Fresh Blood is a new and exciting debut which has been ten years in the making. M.P. Wright first got the idea for’Heartman’ in a pub. His source of inspiration was his admiration for the writer James Lee Burke, a true gentleman in our eyes here at The rest, as they say, is history. Read Wright’s answers to my probing questions to find out more about his creation, ‘JT’ Ellington.

Reviews is yet again stacked to the rafters with brand new reviews from some new faces on the crime fiction block. Included is the brand new thriller fromDanuta Reah. Also highlighted are Ben Cheetham, Camilla Lackberg, Matthew Quirk, Barbara Nadel, Mo Hayder, Mark Billingham and Jeffery Deaver, with many more throughout July. Whether you buy your books or download them – now is a great time to get stuck in to some of these new titles.

Janet Neel won the CWA John Creasey Dagger for her crime debut, Death's Bright Angel' in 1988. This introduced DI John McLeish and Francesca Wilson. Her writing style is remeniscient of P.D. James. Neel was to write seven novels in this series. Now with Ostara Crime re-issuing these books, now is a good time as any to rediscover these remarkable books. Check out Janet Neel on Classic Crime.

In July the 2014 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festval will be held in Harrogate. If you want to know more about the festival and highlights of the four days, then click on the link below. It is a brilliant, friendly festival and should not be missed by any true crime fiction fan.

Harrogate Festival

Barry Forshaw is the man who knows everyone! If you mention a famous name I guarantee you Barry will have met him/her or been invited to a lunch/dinner with them. But it is never done with arrogance as for Barry it is simply a part of his life, to meet people. Barry is the ultimate raconteur and weaves a marvellous tale. Recently he has shot up in my estimations even more when he told me he had met Patricia Highsmith once. Despite having read that she wasn't exactly the easiest of people to approach, Highsmith has been on my list of people you could invite to a dinner party. But I am digressing. Barry has always been a guiding light, especially when I first timidly entered the crime fiction arena. Others were reticent to talk to the 'new kid on the block', but Barry was inviting, charming and always welcoming - and still is every time I see him. He is the sort of bloke you wish was your Dad - and I am sure he won't be pleased as I don't think there are that many years between us!

Barry has put together the most astonishingly accomplished Top Ten I have ever seen. I knew that with Barry's range and wide knowledge that it would be a good Top Ten - but Barry has surpassed even my expectations. I won't delay you any longer. Click on to Barry's Top Ten. There are at least three titles there that I have pulled out of my library of 'Books To Be Read' and placed them at the top purely on Barry's recommendation. I challenge anyone not to find at least two of these titles too hard to resist!

Barry Forshaw's Top Ten

To check out all our past reviews use the ‘Review Archive’. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you can’t recall the surname. And for good measure you can also search under the title of the book. Simply click on the box at the top of the page and then click on to the letter of the author/title you would like to find. As you will see, we have reviewed our fair share of books during’s nine years. Have a wander round our archives and I hope you will find something you might have missed first time around!

If you have any comments or have a particular author you would like to see highlighted on this website please e-mail me at

Chris Simmons
Online Editor.