It’s Publication Day (Again!)

Bryant and May


To commemorate the launch of my latest novel, I had Maggie Armitage over for tea to tell me all about why there are people living in her TV set, the drug dealers on the Blackstock Road, mysteriously moving dustbins, the resurrection and what makes her turn off the fridge at night. The threshing machine of her mind is a source of endless fascination.

They say the fun wears off, that you eventually become blasé about your publication day, and perhaps one day I will, but for now I still walk around with a badly suppressed gleeful smile on my face all day, like a child happily adding jam to soup. I may be wrong but I make this my 49th published book in total, even allowing for anomalies like ‘Breathe’, ‘Menz Insana’ and ‘Little Boy Found’.

‘The Lonely Hour’ also my 17th Bryant & May book, and possibly the darkest, although there are a few top jokes. The 18th will be ‘England’s Finest’, out October 31st this year, comprising a dozen missing cases, including the story of what happened to the ambassador’s son, found in a stone coffin in the basement of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

The following March will see the arrival of the 19th volume, not that I’ve started it yet but I’m well into the planning stage (me, planning, ha!) a process which consists of me mooching around London eating Rolo doughnuts and pushing open doors marked ‘Do Not Enter’.

And there my contract will end. I’m counting on it being renewed in time for a 20th volume, and then the time may have come to call it quits. We’ll see; it all seems a very long way off. There are other projects I’d like to tackle currently waiting on back-burners. They may take years to finish and certainly won’t sell as well, but you have to keep growing and changing.

Onward! Being interviewed by crime knowledge supremo Barry Forshaw in Covent Garden tonight, then into the Lamb & Flag across the road (the pub features in the new novel and is the oldest in Covent Garden, once used to stage bare-knuckle prize fights in the 17th Century. Fights took place on the cobbled front yard and in the back room, which became known as The Bucket of Blood.) I’ll be there with friends for beer therapy. And that’s all it takes to make me happy.

27 comments on “It’s Publication Day (Again!)”

  1. Gary Hart says:

    I too am a happy chappy. I had my copy on the tablet and raring to go by 5 after midnight. Google are sometimes good to me. Here goes then, so looking forward to this.

  2. Brooke says:

    What is Ms. Armitage wearing on her sweater? And what is color/brand of her nail varnish…simply must have.

  3. davem says:

    ‘The Lonely Hour’ arriving this afternoon, looking forward to it.

  4. Ford says:

    I have started it; and I have laughed, hopefully at the right bits!

  5. admin says:

    Brooke, I think Maggie applies her eyeliner with a steak hammer and puts creosote on her nails but I’ll find out.
    Well spotted re the brooch. It’s a Salvador Dali heart. The original is in Figueres, is encrusted with rubies and actually beats. She had all her jewellery stolen so I purchased her a copy of it.

  6. John Griffin says:

    Mine’s coming from that independent bookshop mentioned, so will have to practice abstinence. If endangered, could use my favourite bedtime book, Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, to engender relaxation. It’s actually very readable but I find my eyelids drooping, despite being into political economy. Roll on delivery!

  7. Martin Tolley says:

    Like Gary, mine arrived 5 after midnight. On holiday in a fortnight. Can I keep it unread til then? Trying very hard …

  8. Debra Matheney says:

    Ordered mine from Amazon UK. I never can wait for the US to publish. Waiting for it to come is hard, but the arrival a delight. And more to anticipate. You have some very loyal fans.
    Have fun at the Lamb and Flag. I have fond memories of drinks there.

  9. Adam says:

    Excellent news! Perfect timing for my Easter holiday. A week in the sun with a stack of new books, one of which is a Richard Thompson biography (who coincidentally name-checks the Lamb and Flag in one of his songs)

  10. Helen Martin says:

    Came across the Lamb and Flag and the bare knuckle fights in another book a while back. It looks like a great place. Have a good time. My copy arrives on April 1 apparently.

  11. Wim says:

    Oh, I am still looking forward to reading all the Bryant and May novels. Just started with the first novel! Great!

    Wim, The Netherlands

  12. Ian Mason says:

    Sal and m’self have just stumbled home from the Lamb and Flag, preceded by the event at Waterstones in Covent Garden. A good time was had by all. Admin/Chris/Christopher* was last seen heading for the bar.

    Made acquaintance of “wee Maggie” Armitage, Mick from ‘Saaf of the River’, Jo W + Hubby, and others. A well spent evening, and a new book to read. Both tired, but satisfied…

    * Really, what do you prefer to be called (and don’t say “anything as long as it’s not late for dinner”)?

  13. Jo W says:

    # Ian Mason
    Glad you both got home ok. ‘Im indoors was snoozing before the train left Charing X,so I had a peaceful journey.
    ( Yes, I did wake him at the station,if you’re wondering) 😉

  14. gkbowood says:

    The Lonely Hour is listed as Bryant & May #16 on my Audible download, yet you say it is the 17th! I need to investigate further….

  15. admin says:

    I think it’s because there isn’t an Audible version of ‘London’s Glory’, at least not one I’ve seen.

  16. Porl says:

    Congrats on the new release and a fab body of work in all!! Big hugs to Maggie, sorry Im missing the celebrations, Im holed up in a Travelodge in Bristol xx

  17. Ford says:

    Adam, is the Richard Thompson biography, a new one?

  18. Brooke says:

    Thanks for asking Ms. Armitage about her beauty secrets. She is very fashion forward. I recall the Dali heart; one of his fabulous jewelry pieces–but I can do without the eyeball.

  19. Adam says:

    Ford – not newly published, but somehow ‘Strange Affair’ slipped under my radar. I’ve also got Peggy’s autobiography to read, which should be a good ‘un!

  20. Helen Martin says:

    That sounds as if it was a great evening altogether. An opportunity for names – and noms de plume – to acquire faces and voices. Lovely.

  21. Lorraine Hooks says:

    My Lonely Hour came yesterday and have started reading today. One of my favourite author’s of all time but the only thing is once you have started reading you cannot put down and then you come to the end too quickly

  22. Wayne Mook says:

    Glad it all went well, fingers crossed for the contract.

    Bare knuckle fighting, hope you didn’t get involved. It reminds me of one of the tales of Jerome Caminada, a Victorian Manchester detective. He raided a pub that put on illegal fights, one of the things the pub was done for was the over crowing, as part of the defence it was said to be fuller than usual as people came to see Caminada make the arrests.


  23. George Sealy says:

    Belated thanks for an excellent evening in Waterstones on Garrick Lane to both yourself and Mr Forshaw. I was rather late in realising how much hearing an author speak can inform ones reading.

    I believe you mentioned aiming at 20 Bryant and May volumes as a good round number which caught my ear as one of my sadly missed authors – Anthony Price of the Audley and Butler spy novels – stopped after 19 and I still have a touch of the ‘other shoe’ when I dig one out to re-read.

  24. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris,it was nice to meet you on Thursday.I’ve finished reading The Lonely Hour and my verdict is that it’s another winner with some of the best character stuff yet,and an ending that surpasses all the other books.

  25. Matt says:

    Well Amazon let me down this time, I have previously received my Hardback edition on the morning of Publication. What ever happened this time I don’t know it didn’t arrive till Saturday afternoon, anyway it gave me an excuse to abandon my chores. I dived straight in and am one happy boy, I am loving it so much.

    Thank you Christopher for delivering another brilliant book. I have just ordered the short story collection due for publication in late October.

  26. Verity says:

    Re: London’s Glory on Audible: for some reason it’s not listed as part of the series so you have to search for it by name. I’ve found the same thing a few times, with various series, so I recommend using Goodreads to check a series as you go!

    P.S. I’ve just finished the book and it’s wonderful.

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