Monthly Archives: January 2013

How Crime Novels Took To The Straight And Narrow

I’ve been asked to post the article that appeared in yesterday’s Independent On Sunday, for those of you who missed it. The British Library’s new exhibition is ‘Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction’. Perhaps it will give readers a chance to discover the dazzling range of crime fiction available, and encourage them […]


He was one of the greatest caricaturists and cartoonists of the 20th century, but has been disgracefully overlooked for too long. ‘Trog’ was Wally Fawkes, who drew political cartoons, personalities and the ‘Flook’ cartoon strip from 1945 to 2005. As the chronicler of London’s fads and fancies during that time his work was quite unique, […]

What A Sell Out!

Thanks to everyone who turned up at the excellent Watermark bookshop and The Parcel Yard for the launch of ‘Invisible Ink: How 100 Great Authors Disappeared’ – the entire stock of books vanished in minutes, so we adjourned to the pub and then to a hilariously odd Italian restaurant. It seems that readers are really […]

First Fry Your Witch

Once there was a chain of wet fish shops across Britain called Macfisheries, before supermarkets came along and ruined the pleasure of buying fresh food for all of us. They stocked live fish too, and my mother would often come home with eels wriggling in a shopping bag for my father’s supper. They published this […]

It Came From Behind The Shelf No. 8

Back in the 1930s, supernatural/spy/crime author Dennis Wheatley wrote a series of four novels with JG Links that turned the traditonal whodunnit into an interactive puzzle. They were: Murder off Miami (July 1936) Who Killed Robert Prentice? (June 1937) The Malinsay Massacre (April 1938) Herewith the Clues! (July 1939) It’s never been possible to repeat the formula of these […]

Britain – Land Of Millionaires

With house prices already exceeding £1 million in quite a few London neighbourhoods, being a millionaire isn’t what it used to be. New analysis shows that millionaire status is now likely for all average earners starting work at age 18. A UK worker can now expect to have earned £1 million by the time they reach […]

The Quotable Author No.1

Every now and again I’ll be dropping in a re-edited quote from one of the Bryant & May novels or something else I’ve written over the years. This isn’t as entirely arrogant as it first appears. I’ve written so much that I’ve forgotten a hell of a lot, and it will refresh my own mind […]

When Technology Overdelivers

Recently a tech magazine likened iTunes to a clapped-out machine held together with rubber bands and nails. I’ve always liked it, but iTunes cover stream, which purports to locate your album covers and display them, managed to find four out of eight albums here, pretty much an average score for the system. Oh, and it […]

Happy Birthday To London Underground

As it’s the London Underground’s 150th birthday, let’s have a few bits of underground trivia. In the early days of London’s Metropolitan Line, they had waiter service dishing up full English breakfasts for their city-bound clients. This, clearly, was not the Metropolitan Line as we know it. They even loaded horses for hunting and pigs […]

Re:View – ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

If this is the new suburban America, it’s a very worrying place. Everybody seems to think that everyone else has something wrong with them. Bradley Cooper has been in a psychiatric hospital for beating up his wife’s lover, and the girl he meets-cute with is on meds because she slept with people in her office. […]