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I have now booked my train tickets to go to one of the exciting crime creative writing weekends of the year. Crime and Publishment is now in its third year and has been a resounding success. Pioneered by reviewer and soon to be published author, Graham Smith conceived this idea due to his passion for the genre. Plus he does own a hotel In Lockerbie, Scotland – so that always makes matters of where to put people a lot simpler! The discussions will also be within the hotel – so all you have to do is travel from your room to a different part of the hotel (making a detour to the dining room for breakfast beforehand – food fuels the mind and all that!).

The concept is well-known authors giving talks and insights in to the art of writing. Matters such as how to keep your reader turning those pages of your book and how to blend in real events in to your piece of fiction will be discussed this year. There is also an ex-Superintendent who will be able to give insight in to police procedures. There will also be help on selling your novel and writing a synopsis. The weekend finishes up with attendees pitching to an agent, (this year it will be David Headley of DHH Literary Agency and co-owner of Goldsboro Books in London) and being given advice on their material and/or being asked to send in a sample of their book. How could any budding writer refuse such an opportunity!

There are a few places available, so click on the link and book your place. With such authors as Caro Ramsay, Tom Cain, R.C. Bridgestocke and Michael J. Malone heading the discussions this will be a veritable treasure trove for any new writer.

Crime and Publishment

Author of the Month for February is S.K. Tremayne and The Ice Twins. Tremayne is a pseudonym for Tom Knox who has written several ‘conspiracy theory’ thrillers. Now, under this new guise he has turned his eye on to the homestead. As a family begins to mend itself after losing one of identical twins, the surviving one claims to be the one who was thought to have died. This begins a haunting tale about a parent mourning a child (and if it is the right child) tinged with a dash of the supernatural. Reviewer, Helen sang the praises of this book and such a strange tale needed to be our book of the month.

Fresh Blood is the new crime debut from Rebecca Whitney. The Liar’s Chair chronicles the destruction of an unhappy marriage after a fateful incident. This is a disturbing read, made all the more addictive with the power struggle between husband and wife. This is really powerful stuff and will have you thinking about it days after you have turned the final page.

Reviews in February include brilliant novels from Michael J. Malone, Chris Simms, Eva Dolan, Chris Simms and Alastair Gunn plus other debuts from A.J. McCreanor, Ovidia Yu and Luana Lewis. Check more out coming mid-February.

Check out the new Penguin microsite currently featuring Matthew Frank’s crime debut ‘If I Should Die’ which I loved. Now out in paperback this is one you cannot afford to miss!

Penguin Microsite

Classic Crime in January is A Perfect Match by Jill McGown. The Lloyd and Hill series started in 1983 and ended due to McGown’s premature death, thirteen books later in 2004. After McGown’s death in 2007, her books quickly fell out of print. Thankfully, MacMillan’s sister company, Bello Books has now re-issued all of the Lloyd and Hill books for a new audience to enjoy. McGown was a great plotter and she cited Agatha Christie as a great influence. In some of the books, (Redemption and Scene of Crime, in particular,) you can feel the spirit of Christie looming greatly in McGown’s plotting. Now all thirteen are back in print which is cause for celebration.

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.