Editor’s Pick – Daughter of Ashes


Available now in the UK, and in the USA and eBook on September 1. ISBN 9780727884930

This month’s Editor’s Pick is the latest cozy mystery from the Agatha and Anthony award winner Marcia Talley.

Here’s what Charlotte had to say:

Daughter of Ashes is the fourteenth entry in the Hannah Ives series, but Marcia’s style and ingenuity have not diminished. In this latest installment, she combines a strong sense of place with a grisly and troubling new mystery for amateur sleuth Hannah, when a shocking discovery in her new home throws up questions she is determined to answer. But as she dives back through the years in search of the truth, it becomes clear that someone does not appreciate Hannah’s interest.

With a tightly plotted mystery and strong characterisation, Daughter of Ashes is a must for series fans and new readers.


Look Who’s Back…

This summer sees a flurry of revivals of classic mystery series, from some of your favourite authors. Read on to see who’s back in town.

Mrs Pargeter’s Principle by Simon Brett


Available in the UK now, and in the US and in eBook from August 1. ISBN 9781780290744

Fans of cozy mysteries are sure to have heard of Simon Brett, author of the hugely popular Charles Paris series, featuring the inept actor and amateur sleuth, which has been adapted for BBC radio and stars Bill Nighy. Or perhaps you’re more familiar with his Fethering series, in which mismatched pals Carole and Jude solve the puzzling mysteries which occur around their retirement community.

Or perhaps your favourite is the Mrs Pargeter series, which follows the life of Melita Pargeter, widow to a kindly man whose wealth may not have been amassed in the most legal fashion. After a lengthy absence, Mrs Pargeter is back with us in her first adventure for seventeen years. Mrs Pargeter’s Principle sees our heroine attend the funeral of one of her husband’s former business acquaintances, but she rapidly finds herself in a whole pile of trouble as she comes up against gun-runners, shifty policitians and a kidnapped vicar.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy mirth with their murder, fans of Louise Penny and L.C. Tyler will love Mrs Pargeter’s Principle. Simon Brett has won the Last Laugh award on more than one occasion, and in 2014 was awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger for his contribution to crime fiction.


Available in the UK now, and in the US and in eBook from July 1. ISBN 9781780290737

Walking by Night by Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis – an active member of the Murder Squad – is perhaps best known for her Wesley Peterson police procedurals. However, Kate also has another detective series which pulls on her archaeological training and fascination with the supernatural. DI Joe Plantagenet investigates suspicious goings on in the fictional city of Eborby, which is based on the medieval English city of York. Things have been quiet from Joe for a little while, but he is back with a vengeance in Walking by Night, which has been garnering first class reviews. Booklist said: “A keep-‘em-guessing plot, constantly escalating suspense, plenty of twists and turns, and a shock ending make this latest entry in Ellis’ Joe Plantagenet series a cracking read.”

Recommended for fans of British police procedurals, if you enjoy a hint of the supernatural with your mysteries, then Walking by Night is for you. If you like Joe Plantagenet, you should try the first in the Ishmael Jones series from Simon R. Green, The Dark Side of the Road.

Mr Campion’s Fox by Mike Ripley

Available in the UK now, in the US and eBook from June 1. ISBN 9780727884787

Available in the UK now, in the US and eBook from June 1. ISBN 9780727884787

Mike Ripley, author of the hilarious Fitzroy ‘Angel’ Maclean series has turned his hand to the Golden Age of British detective fiction, with his work continuing the legacy of Margery Allingham who, alongside Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, is considered one of the queens of the genre. In his continuation of the Campion adventures, Albert is asked to investigate the young beau of the daughter of the Danish ambassador. For both the daughter and the young man, things take a turn for the worse and Albert is forced to rope in his entire family – including  son Rupert, daughter in law Perdita and of course his wife, the imperious Lady Amanda – in order to reach the bottom of the mystery. With a cast of old and new favourites (look out for Lugg and the Sisters Mister) Mr Campion’s Fox received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who said: “Ripley maintains a light touch in the service of an intricate mystery that will please Allingham devotees and newcomers alike.”

A warmly loyal continuation of Margery Allingham’s best-loved creation, with oodles of Mike Ripley’s own personal flair and humour, fans of the Golden Age of British detective fiction – and those who can remember the Swinging Sixties! – will love Mr Campion’s Fox. If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of its prequel, Mr Campion’s Farewell, which was completed by Mike Ripley from notes left by Pip Youngman Carter, Allingham’s husband and collaborator.


Available in the UK now, and in the US and in eBook from August 1. ISBN 9780727884923

Plague of the Manitou by Graham Masterton

The Manitou, the first novel by Graham Masterton to feature the vengeful native American spirit Misquamacus was an instant bestseller, and was made into a movie starring Tony Curtis and Susan Strasberg. There have been several more novels in the series featuring fortune teller Harry Erskine, and the most recent in the series, The Plague of the Manitou is available now.

Not for the faint hearted, this gruesome horror story showcases Graham Masterton’s writing at its grisly best.

Heads or Hearts by Paul Johnston

Available 30th April (UK) and August 1st (US and eBook)

Available 30th April (UK) and August 1st (US and eBook). ISBN 9780727885036

Paul Johnston’s DI Alex Mavros series, featuring the half Scottish, half Greek detective, has garnered many glowing reviews over the years. 2013’s The Black Life  has been described by one reader as one of the most darkly noir pieces of crime fiction I have read. We are delighted to say that Paul has once again taken up his pen to continue his other excellent detective series, featuring maverick PI Quint Dalrymple in his first mystery in fourteen years. In Quint’s world, Edinburgh is an independent crime-free city state operating under the watchful eyes of the Council of City Guardians. In Heads or Hearts, with an impending referendum on whether or not Edinburgh should join a reconstituted Scotland, a series of grisly murders – including a heart left on the pitch of one of the local football teams – prompts Quint to investigate before panic strikes the city.

Paul Johnston’s writing is as gripping as it intelligent and insightful, and is a must for fans of Tartan Noir.

The Dotty Dowager rides out – Cathy Ace blog tour

Available now in the UK and in the US and eBook from July 1.

Available now in the UK and in the US and eBook from July 1.

Welsh-Canadian author Cathy Ace is participating in a blog tour in early July to promote the US publication of the first in her WISE Enquiries Agency mystery, The Case of the Dotty Dowager.

Cathy, who was recently shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award for the Best Canadian Light Mystery, will be popping up all over the internet to give interviews and provide guest posts.

If cozy mysteries are your thing, then you will want to learn more about Cathy and the four fabulous ladies of the WISE Enquiries Agency. Details here:

July 6 – A Chick Who Reads

July 7 – Girl Lost In a Book 

July 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

July 9 – Jane Reads

July 10 – Back Porchervations 

July 11 – Socrates’ Book Reviews

July 12 – Brooke Blogs

We hope you’ll be able to join her!

Happy reading!


The 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade – Booklist

Stop everything! Booklist have released their list of the 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade – and we’re on it!

Cemetery Road by Gar Anthony Haywood. Available now in eBook.

Available now in eBook. Click to read an extract.

Gar Anthony Haywood’s CEMETERY ROAD is in distinguished company on this impressive list, as a result of this starred Booklist review.

“Haywood melds an intricately plotted but highly suspenseful thriller to a moving story of belated coming-of-age” – Booklist 

We would also like to congratulate Simon Brett, Kirk Russell, David Hewson and John Harvey (whose award-winning short story FEDORA appeared in the CWA anthology DEADLY PLEASURES) who all have titles on this list.

Happy reading!


Campion hits the Rap Sheet

Available in the UK now, in the US and eBook from June 1. ISBN 9780727884787

Available in the UK now, in the US and eBook from June 1. ISBN 9780727884787

Mr Campion’s Fox by Mike Ripley made an appearance in The Rap Sheet this week, courtesy of the talented and generally marvellous Michael Gregorio.

Mr. Campion’s Fox will delight both longtime Margery Allingham enthusiasts and a generation of younger readers who may not yet be familiar with her work.

Hats off to Mike Ripley!

Read more

Fact Friday – Clea Simon

Available 30th April (UK), in the US and eBook from August 1.

Available 30th April (UK), in the US and eBook from August 1.

Today’s #FactFriday comes from Clea Simon, author of the Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery series. The most recent entry in the series, Code Grey, is available now in the UK.


There is an international archive of stolen books? You can access it at www.stolen-book.org.

This online resource allows librarians and other scholars to keep up to date on what has gone missing – and what has been found. The site only lists books missing since 2010, but it is a start. The database has to be careful about what it reveals. After all, the revelation that (to give one real example) a former librarian removed ownership labels and scratched out old identifying stamps so he could sell valuable library property could be used as a how-to guide to other felonious clerks. However, what it does offer is not only fascinating to book lovers, it also inspired the central mystery in Code Grey.

I’m afraid I’ve spent so much time reading up on what has gone missing, and from where, that I am probably on various watch lists. I find it immensely encouraging to know that these books aren’t forgotten and may – like the “lost” texts in Code Grey – be recovered one day.

Editor’s Pick – Heads or Hearts

Available 30th April (UK) and August 1st (US and eBook)

Available 30th April (UK) and August 1st (US and eBook)

April has been an incredibly competitive month, with new series entries from Adrian Magson, Chris Nickson and Clea Simon, and the revival of the much-loved Mrs Pargeter series from Simon Brett. But in the end, only one book can be lauded as the Editor’s Pick, and this month the title was stolen away by another much-anticipated series revival; HEADS OR HEARTS, a Quint Dalrymple mystery from Paul Johnston.

Here’s what Kate had to say:

After a gap of fourteen years, we’re delighted to announce the return of Quint Dalrymple, Paul Johnston’s wisecracking, maverick ex-cop who operates in a futuristic independent Edinburgh. Both an intriguing murder mystery and an incisive political satire, the dystopian setting of HEADS OR HEARTS has been given an added resonance since last year’s Scottish referendum – and the very real possibility that Scotland might leave the United Kingdom before the end of the decade. With his richly detailed vision of what an independent Scotland might become, Johnston has created an intricately imagined world which comes across as being all-too chillingly plausible, as the independent-minded Quint struggles to pursue an investigation in which conspiracies abound and reliable information is hard to come by.