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And so we enter the last month of 2014. Where the previous eleven months have got to is anybody’s guess. I remember years ago my uncle saying that as one got older a year felt more like six months. I laughed in his face and thought he must be getting a little soft in the head. Now I am older I can honestly see where he was coming from. The months seem to skip by and escape like the proverbial grains of sands between your fingers.

Sometimes I do feel like doing as the title of that old film featuring Millicent Martin (now I’m showing my age) called ‘Stop the World I Want To Get Off’ and literally get off just to have a bit of time out. Now wouldn’t that be a nifty trick to master. Being able to step out of time and get all those nagging jobs done you’ve been meaning to do for months, even years and then be able to get back on with life without having lost a single second of your allocated time on this earth. But then I can imagine that the whole world would come to a grinding halt as everyone would permanently be on ‘time out’!

For the past few weeks I have been completing such a job I have been meaning to do for ages: decorating. Not my favourite pastime but it needs to be done even if only to give me a quiet life from the other half. Unfortunately, unlike all these TV programmes, I don’t have a team of twenty to complete the whole house in a day and with two dogs who like to inform me, to the minute (I am sure dogs can tell the time) who come and tell me at the same time every day without fail that it is time for their walk just as I am lying on the floor painting a skirting board, this decorating malarkey is taking a heck of a lot longer than anticipated.

Thankfully, I have a marvellous team of reviewers who have been religiously reading books while I feel I have been trapped up a ladder for a Millennium. When I’ve finished painting, walked dogs, bathed as I seem to get more paint on me than on the wall and had dinner, by the time I open a book I am nodding off by the second page. So, these guys I call my friends have helped me out this month and should receive your resounding applause for their hard work (if you can call reading that) and for their dedication at bringing the best of crime fiction currently out there.

Our Author of the Month for 2014 continues to be Dreda Say Mitchell and her fantastic thriller, Vendetta. If you haven't got it already, then I highly recommend you do as this has the feel of a series that is going to be absolutely brilliant.

Fresh Blood continues to be the brilliant post World War One crime debut from BK Duncan. Foul Trade introduces May Keaps, Coroner’s Officer for Poplar. The year is 1920 and Britain is still licking its wounds after such a bloody war that has claimed the lives of many young men. Most, if not all the survivors have been touched by a tragic death as a direct result of this war. BK Duncan perfectly sets the scene for this hair-raising thriller played out on the now vanished Limehouse Docks. I loved this book and was completely riveted. Definitely one for your TBR list!

Reviews are aplenty in December so we are starting off with some corkers and many more will be added well before the 25th December to give many of you a chance to get some very special presents for that book lover in your family. Our first bag of goodies include Barbara Nadel, Sarah Pinborough, Stella Rimington, L.C. Tyler and Chevy Stevens. Plus new names on the block include Matthew Pritchard whose novel, ‘Scarecrow’ was praised to the sky by Michael Wood. Now his second has arrived and it appears that ‘Werewolf’ is just as better, if not EVEN better than his first. Check it out now! Plus a debut from Caroline Kepnes and a re-issue of a book that has become a cult classic and is to be made in to a film with Robert Carlisle: Douglas Lindsay’s novel, ‘The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson is a twisted, dark Scottish noir with an even darker sense of humour. More to come throughout December. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out the new Penguin Microsite to see the latest and exciting crime novel from Penguin. Currently Penguin are celebrating the new M.G. Gardiner novel, ’The Burning Mind’ which is an astonishing thriller.

Penguin Microsite

Classic Crime in November is another wonderful discovered classic. This time the British Library has unearthed John G. Brandon's war-time crime thriller, A Scream in Soho. A scream rings out in the pitch dark streets of Soho. D.I. McCarthy is soon on the scene but there is no body to be found but plenty of clues that murder has been committed. This book can only be described as a 'romp'. This is a spy thriller when paranoia about the Nazi's and Germany's imminent invasion of our shores was at its zenith. With such a diverse wealth of characters, this is a great entertaining read.

Stuck for a Christmas present for that book loving loved one? Check out my recommendations for Christmas on the latest Top Ten. I have collected a range of different books from fiction to crime fiction, from true crime to comicdom's great detective, Batman who celebrates his 75th Birthday this year! Click on the below link to see more.

Christmas Present 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.