Books

We Don’t All Climb The Same Peaks

Let’s start at base camp When it comes to the arts, there’s a scale of achievement many of us feel we have to tackle. The base camp for books is not Mr Dan Brown, as many might think, but the novels of Joan Collins. Joan was taken to court by Random House (my publisher in […]

Three Questions For Writers

Question 1: Early Work – Bin or Keep? Last week I posed a question on Twitter to other authors.  It was prompted by the discovery of four novels I had written between the ages of 12 and 16. They are uniformly dreadful, derivative and clumsy, with only a rudimentary grasp of construction. To be honest, I […]

I Spy The Next Bryant & May

One of the purposes of the Bryant & May series is to try out different sub-genres within the overall embracing genre of crime fiction. I’ve already worked my way through many of them – I’ll stop when I’ve done them all – but one which has until now eluded me is the spy story. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

The BFI Film Guides: A Guide

The British Film Institute shop continues to be the best destination I know of to find serious works on cinema. Its booklist includes the BFI Screen Guides, the International Screen Industries series and the prestigious BFI Film Classics, in which an academic conducts a study of a single film over 100+ pages. The BFI site lists […]

Bring On The Bodies

For some time now writer and editor Martin Edwards has been unearthing rarely seen crime gems from the British Library, and looking at the history of the British crime novel in volumes like ‘The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books’ and ‘The Golden Age of Murder’, the latter concerning the badly behaved author-members of […]

Amuse Yourself: The Virus VS The Story

It’s easy to forget there are actual words inside them Excellent news; book sales are up thanks to Lockdown; no real surprise there. Fiction dipped slightly but general sales are good, probably driven by desperation for something to do that wasn’t watching Netflix or cleaning out the composter. But we were already doing well; British […]

Bloody Deeds In Post-Fire London

The year is 1678 – twelve years after the Great Fire has left London’s heart in ruins, with the city still overlooked by the severed head of Oliver Cromwell. It’s a time when Titus Oates presented his wild-eyed evidence of a Popish plot, the great conspiracy to have King Charles II murdered. Catholic peers were […]

London Life

I have quite a few London books, a couple going back to the middle of the 19th century. Via these volumes you can see the coverage of our fair city reduce from lengthy chapters to key points – the more obscure legends and stories disappear just as the streets themselves vanish, and we are left […]