Lost In Europe

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I’m in that happiest state – between books. I finished one last week and am not planning to start another for two weeks. In this lacuna it’s time for a break, and Europe is England’s garden, just a short hop to a thousand interesting destinations. But one of the problems I have about European travel […]

Back Into Print: 20 Titles From My Past

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On May 12th, the first of my redesigned and reformatted novels make an appearance on as e-books for the low price of £2.99. ‘Roofworld’ and ‘Spanky’ were both big hits for me, but have been out of print for years. There will be twenty volumes in all, including novels and short story collections, featuring new […]

New Tickets For ‘First Monday’ Crime In London

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There are crime writing events all around the country, but curiously London hasn’t had many. This is something the lovely people at Goldsboro Books have put right with their First Monday events, which are on their way to becoming London’s key crime writing nights. The event back again on May 9th. The May line up features […]

Films That Didn’t Make My Top 10 List

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Choosing ten desert island films for my upcoming event at London’s wonderful Cinema Museum on May 14th (a few tickets still available) has been a nightmare, mainly because I change my mind every ten seconds. (Is it only guys who love making lists?) I finally decided to limit my choice to ten films that directly […]

The Impossibility Of Keeping Up

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At a book launch last year, a lady author of middling years said to me; ‘Oh, I suppose you’re one of these people who do The Twitter,’ making it sound like a 1920s dance craze. But I take her point. Since the advent of rolling news, keeping up with trending ideas and tropes has become […]

Invisible Ink 5: Kenneth Anglemeyer

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If ever there was a case of adopting an apt pseudonym, Anglemeyer had it. Born into a middle class family in Santa Monica, California, he quickly became the author of his own legend and rechristened himself Kenneth Anger. Setting out to become a child actor and then a filmmaker, he managed to acquit himself after […]

Don’t Call Me Cosy!

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On May 19th I’ll be heading to Bristol for the annual Crimefest, where one of the panels should get a bit fighty; it’s about the pros and cons of the so-called ‘Cosy’, a relatively new sub-genre of mystery fiction which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crimes take place in a small, socially intimate community. […]

The Strange Story Of ‘Camp’

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The term ‘camp’ comes from the French term se camper, meaning ‘to pose in an exaggerated fashion’, and was first used in 1909, although it has long been regarded as etymologically obscure. Back then it was noted to mean ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical or effeminate, but it didn’t stay in those pigeonholes. The rise of post-modernism made […]

Why You Can Be A Liberal And Still Love The Queen

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After surviving the ‘Be warned he’s a far left writer’ criticism in the US and thinking ‘Hang on, I’m a middle-of-the-road liberal,’ I’m facing something similar in an online question. ‘How can you people support the Queen?’ Well, Elizabeth Windsor celebrated her 90th birthday yesterday, and is the longest reigning royal in British history, and […]

Goodbye To The North’s Greatest Comic Talent

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She and I were born in the same year, and I first met her in a fringe show she performed in London called ‘Talent’. In it, two girls wait backstage to appear in a talent show. Maureen is fat, Julie is thin and hypertense. Two magicians practice a trick on them, and manage to burn […]