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Author of the Month for September is Ann Cleeves. For many years Ann Cleeves produced sound, well-constructed police procedurals, winning the CWA Gold Dagger for Raven Black - the first of her Shetland novels. It was with the coming of the TV series, Vera that won Cleeves even more fans of her crime novels. Even now series six of Vera is now in production. Having just completed her time as Chair for the Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, Ann releases the latest Vera Stanhope novel, The Moth Catcher. Check out the review and Ann’s answers to our probing questions.

Fresh Blood is Rod Reynolds and his novel, The Dark Inside which is based in Texarkana in 1946. Drawing on a real-life case, Rod felt that buzz when a writer feels in his bones the fertile beginnings of a great story. And boy, what a story it is. Rod is a past student of City University’s two year MA in crime writing which gave him a wealth of knowledge about writing. His time on the course introduced him to many influential people within the publishing industry. Reynolds’ set piece places the reader straight in to a time and place that is still healing itself after the War, but which has other issues such as police corruption, racial prejudice and misogyny. I was glued to the pages of this book and wouldn’t let go until the end.

Well, as always the August Bank Holiday lived up to its usual reputation and was blooming horrible and wet. I hope that isn’t the last we see of the sun (although early September is alleged to be back on an even keel) and haven’t quite fallen in to the icy grasp of Winter just yet. I hope those of you lucky enough to go on holiday had plenty of time reading by the beach, so you may now be looking for that next great read. I hope you will find plenty of excellent options on our Reviews page which is crammed with fantastic crime novels to choose from. Included are: Jason Starr, M.J. Arlidge, Douglas Skelton and the follow-up novel from March’s Fresh Blood author, Helen Cadbury plus tons of others and more to be added during September.

The Penguin microsite features M.J. Arlidge and his latest in the D.I. Grace series, Liar Liar. Arlidge’s debut, Eeny Meeny only appeared in 2014 and already this series has skyrocketed in popularity. This is one series any confirmed crime reader needs to become acquainted with – and fast. Already the fifth outing for D.I. Helen Grace has been announced before ‘Liar Liar’ has been released! Arlidge is quickly making a name for himself within the crime fiction arena. Also check out our review – this new one is smoking hot!

Penguin Microsite

Check out the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival microsite for all the news and photos from the festival which by all accounts was one of the best. Don’t forget to read the interviews with Arnaldur Indridason, Sara Paretsky, Hakan Nesser and a privilege interview with the charismatic Lee Child.

Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival

Classic Crime is an author I have been meaning to read for years. Freeman Wills Crofts was extremely popular during the Golden era of crime fiction and had a reputation for being a great tactician. He was highly regarded (even by Chandler) and pushed the envelope so as not to fall in to the trap many of his contemporaries fell into. The British Library have done a stunning job over the past few years of bringing to the fore old writers who have fallen out of favour and out of print. Antidote to Venom sees Crofts deliver a stunning psychological novel of spine-chilling menace. This re-issue shows how the man tried to reinvent different strategies so as not become predictable. A label, it appears, one could never stick on Freeman Wills Crofts.

July Author of the Month, Cathi Unsworth was kind enough to put her thinking cap on and deliver her Top Ten crime novels. As to be expected from the Empress of Noir, Cathi Unsworth has delivered a list of amazing writers that have instilled fear, chills and respect in her. Some you may have heard of, some may be new to you. What you can be guaranteed of, is they will all be amazing and well-worth investigating.

Don’t forget that Cathi Unsworth’s new novel, Without the Moon is out now from Serpent’s Tail.

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.