Clerihews And Clues

Books are often dedicated to other writers. GK Chesteron’s strange novel about anarchist terrorism, ‘The Man Who Was Thursday’, is dedicated to EC Bentley, born in 1875. The pair had met as schoolboys at St Paul’s and became fast friends. Bentley went to Oxford, but left law studies to become a journalist, in which profession he […]

Books VS Football: An Outsiders’ View

Above the city you could hear the roar; I couldn’t help but hear England’s win against Colombia. There were crowds outside pubs and opposite me even the supposedly sophisticated cocktail bar had lugged a screen onto its terrace. It was as if the whole city was watching the football on this hot summer night. I wasn’t. […]

Six Strange Summer Reads

It’s the time of year when every newspaper gives us a list of summer reads, books selected – sometimes with the publishers’ collusion – to appeal to its particular demographic, so romances in Tuscan villas for the Sunday Times, and First World War exploits for the Telegraph. There are plenty of good reads around this […]

120 BPM

When it comes to films about the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which had its beginnings over 35 years ago (yes, it’s been that long), it’s instructive to see how different countries have dealt with the subject. Hollywood gave us the execrably tasteful ‘Philadelphia’, which I always think of as ‘An Officer and a Gentleman 2’, independent US […]

Bryant & May Nominated For ‘Best Detective Duo’!

Well, this is nice. The lovely peeps at the Dead Good Reader Awards have nominated my detectogenarians Bryant & May for the Best Detective Duo Award, alongside Elly Griffiths for her characters Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson, Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles, Sarah Hilary’s Marnie Rome and Noah Jake, Syd Moore’s Rosie Strange and Sam Stone, and P J Tracy’s Gino and Magozzi. […]

Caine’s Generation

I’ve just delivered the new Bryant & May novel, ‘The Lonely Hour’, along with my last new short story, specially written for crime editor Maxim Jacubowski’s possibly final collection, and before I go back into a new draft of my medieval epic I need to restock my brain, so I’m catching up with stuff I […]

This Is My 30th Anniversary As A Writer!

An article in the London Times by James Marriot this morning gets the day off to a depressing start. It was inspired by the fact – long known to us authors – that the average writer earns less than minimum wage. Earnings for professional writers have fallen by a staggering 42% since 2005, just as […]

The Swan (And Edgar) Song Of The Department Store

I’ve always loved big department stores. As a kid brought up in Gamages, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Marshall & Snellgrove, Derry & Toms and the rest I loved the order and regimentation of such institutions. Seeking them out in other countries I fell in love with New York’s Bloomingdales, with its platoons of knowledgeable old ladies. […]

The Illustrated London News

The Illustrated London News first appeared on Saturday 14 May 1842, as the world’s first illustrated weekly news magazine. It appeared weekly until 1971, then less frequently, and finally ceased publication as late as 2003, although the company continues today as a content and digital agency which holds the archives of the magazine. By 1863 the magazine was […]

The Tuesday Song

I know. I know. But it’s so gloriously hot and luscious outside, and I’m trapped inside with the curtains drawn, trying to finish my MS, so let’s have a song from the underrated Beatles jukebox movie ‘Across the Universe’. There’s something about Beatles songs that defies adaptation, but I enjoyed this tale of two lovers […]