Monthly Archives: August 2020

What’s Next For Bryant & May?

Could I actually get Bryant & May to be the longest running mystery novel series? No, sadly, though quantity should never beat out quality. I’ve been trying to draw up a list of detectives with longevity, but it’s hard to figure out. I should comfortably pass R Austin Freeman at 21 Dr Thorndyke books and […]

The Kind Of Stuff That Sells

My old pal Joanne Harris is in the press again, this time for revealing what she was paid for the rights to have her excellent novel ‘Chocolat’ made into a mediocre film – £5,000 apparently. I have never been paid a figure remotely as high as that for the rights to anything. The standard fee […]

Review: ‘Tenet’ – Never Odd Or Even

No Spoilers There couldn’t be because I have no clue as to what I just saw. Christopher Nolan’s blockbusting head-scratcher is meant to bail out cinemas and bring audiences flooding back. It won’t. Not because it isn’t a great night out – it is – but because it’s going to really annoy a lot of […]

Book News

We talk about everything under the sun here (except sport and cars) but as the nation heads for September 3rd and the biggest single release of new books in the year, let’s get back on track a little. Let’s talk about our saviour in time of COVID, books. Looking For A Book Or rather, noticing […]

Short Stories: The Complete List

For those completists out there, this is the definitive list of all my published short story titles, now reaching Joyce Carol Oatesian (Oatsean?) proportions, if not her consistent quality. This is the order in which I wrote them, but there are still around five missing that I haven’t been able to track down. (That’s not […]

The Confusion Of Numbers: Your Questions Answered

My piece on the confusing numbering system of the Bryant & May books threw up more questions than answers, so I thought I’d take time to address them properly here. There are four other books in which Bryant & May appear, ‘Rune’, ‘Soho Black’ (in which they solve a very PCU-like mystery) and two others […]

Neglected Classic Films: ‘The Fallen Idol’

Director Carol Reed has a biography worth checking out on a more specialist site than this; his story is a fascinating one. In 1947 Reed started a hot run, with three hits in three years, beginning with the IRA drama ‘Odd Man Out’, then ‘The Fallen Idol’ and finally ‘The Third Man’, which even Orson […]

The Confusion Of Numbers

Sadly the US publication of ‘Oranges & Lemons’ has had to be moved back slightly because the American printers were hit by COVID and everything is delayed. It’ll be available at the start of January. The confusion concerning the order and numbering of the Bryant & May books has been going on for years now. […]

The Year Without Theatre

The first play I saw was George Bernard Shaw’s ‘The Devil’s Disciple’. I must have been seven or eight. The last play I saw was Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Visit’, days before Lockdown. Between the two plays has been sandwiched a lifetime’s theatre, plays seen more frequently than any football fan’s match fixtures. It was a […]

Reversing Censorship

When ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’ was about to go to paperback, my young editor became worried about the lack of BAME authors featured. The book was mainly about postwar paperback writers, and there had been no populist BAME authors working in this field. The ones who wrote in the UK were university educated and […]