Back To Work! Here’s What’s Coming Up…
First, a few details about the book which is landing here in just three weeks’ time…
‘The Lonely Hour‘ is the biggest Bryant & May novel yet, and sees the detectives back in the present day after the sixties romp of ‘Hall of Mirrors’. In fact it picks up right where Wild Chamber ended, with the unit back up to full strength and new challenges ahead, although you don’t need to have read a word of the series before to appreciate the new story.
I have a few extra copies of both the paperback of ‘Hall of Mirrors’ and the hardback of ‘The Lonely Hour’, and will be awarding them at the launch to some of the punters who turn up at Waterstones Covent Garden looking for a warm radiator and a cup of tea. I’ll also have a competition on the site this week for a signed and dated first edition of ‘The Lonely Hour’ plus the paperback of ‘Hall of Mirrors’.
I don’t appear to have been invited to Harrogate Crime this year, but I’ll be in Glasgow at Aye Write! in two weeks. They have a great line-up. Competition in the book world is fierce and I often feel I am lucky to be published at all, but this, as my mate Joanne Harris says, is exactly what how they want us to feel. Vocational careers are traded against regular jobs – in short, we are paid less for enjoying our work more.
It doesn’t stop us from writing, but it turns writing back into something of a Victorian leisure activity for the upper classes, and we’re not seeing anything like the number of working class writers coming through the system that we had in the sixties and seventies, which is a terrible tragedy. Literacy and the pleasure derived from it is a gift that should be granted freely to all.
Very shortly I’ll be trying to find a buyer for my compendium of short stories, currently entitled ‘Kinder to be Cruel: Complete Short Stories 1985-2019’. If there are no takers I’ll raise the money on a crowdfunding site.
You may recall the publishing disaster that was my first thriller, ‘There’s Something I Haven’t Told You’ AKA ‘Little Boy Found‘ (author identity changed, paperback version binned). I had planned a sequel, for which the outline was rewritten eleven times and grisly scenes were removed at the editor’s request before she suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. But, foolishly, I have not given up on the genre and have now very nearly finished my new stand-alone thriller, which will be called ‘Summer Dies‘.
And in October watch out for ‘Bryant & May: England’s Finest‘, for which there is now jacket copy, viz.
The Peculiar Crimes Unit has solved many extraordinary cases over the years, but some were hushed up and hidden away until now. Arthur Bryant remembers these lost cases as if they were yesterday. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember yesterday, so the newly revealed facts could come as a surprise to everyone, including his exasperated partner John May.
Here, then, is the truth about the Covent Garden opera diva and the seventh reindeer, the body that falls from the Tate Gallery, the ordinary London street corner where strange accidents keep occurring, the consul’s son discovered buried in the unit’s basement, the corpse pulled from a swamp of Chinese dinners, a Hallowe’en crime in the Post Office Tower, and the impossible death that’s the fault of a forgotten London legend. All of the unit’s oddest characters are here, plus the detectives’ long-suffering sergeant Janice Longbright gets to reveal her own forgotten mystery.
These twelve crimes must be solved without the help of modern technology, mainly because nobody knows how to use it. Expect misunderstood clues, lost evidence, arguments about Dickens, churches, pubs and disorderly conduct from the investigative officers they laughingly call ‘England’s Finest’!