Every cloudhas a silver lining… doesn’t it? Anna is thirteen years old, lives in London withher father, and has Asperger’s syndrome.
When her father dies, she moves to Scotland to live with her estranged, reclusive mother. With little support to help her, she must use every coping strategy her father taught her—especially her ‘Happy Game’—as she tries to connect with her mother, discover her past, and deal with the challenges of being thrown into a brand new life along the way.
This is the story of 13 year old Anna who’s has lost her father and so has to move to Scotland to live with her estranged mother. Anna has Aspergers* and finds very little support in her new home as she tries to fit in and understand her past. What can I say other than I love this book! Anna was so so sweet and loving and I absolutely love that. I think a lot of the time in literature characters with Aspergers* are shown as quiet cold and hard to get on with and I loved that it wasn’t the case in this book. There were quiet a few parts that reminded me of Pollyanna and I enjoyed meeting the grumpy bed bound old woman and the old man who had skeletons in his closet and all in between. This is a fantastic debut from Laura Guthrie and I can’t wait to see what she writes in the future.
*I am aware the term Aspergers was changed to Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2013, as is the author but the character, Anna, was diagnosed pre-change and thus uses the older term and is why I have used it in my review.
Thank you so much to @lovebookstours and @cranachanbooks for my #gifted copy in exchanged for a review (please put me down for any future books by this author 🤣)
Laura Guthrie grew up in the rural Scottish Highlands (“I come from where the planes don’t fly”). Her creative influences include Nessie and the elusive ‘Caiplich Beast’, as well as some choice authors and their works.
She has an honours degree in biological sciences from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Glasgow.
Harrogate, Thursday 18 June 2020: The undisputed ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid has unveiled the hotly tipped ‘New Blood’ authors for 2020, showcasing the year’s best breakout crime writing talent:
– Deepa Anappara – Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Chatto & Windus)
– Elizabeth Kay – Seven Lies (Sphere)
– Jessica Moor – Keeper (Penguin)
– Trevor Wood – The Man on the Street (Quercus)
Since 2004, the best-selling Scottish author of the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series has curated an annual celebration of the most formidable debuts taking the crime and thriller genre by storm, with an invitation to join the line-up of the world’s largest and most prestigious crime fiction festival: Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.
This year, Deepa Anappara has been selected for her part coming-of-age, part detective mystery Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, a heart-breaking and thought-provoking social commentary of modern India’s slums that has been recognised for the Women’s Prize. Elizabeth Kay is on the list for her explosive Seven Lies, taking domestic noir to a whole new level in a deliciously dark blurring of truth and lies, and Jessica Moore is recognised for her brutal and beautiful Keeper, the addictive literary thriller that has had everyone talking. Concluding this year’s New Blood contingent is Trevor Wood and his debut The Man on the Street, a gritty thriller set on the streets of Newcastle.
Val McDermid said: “I have been hosting the New Blood showcase since the festival began in 2003 and, in my book, discovering and sharing new talent with an eager audience is the best job in crime fiction. I know exactly what I’m looking for on my quest: fresh and distinctive voices, a well-told, convincing story and the almost indefinable sense that these authors all have much more to say. Deepa, Elizabeth, Jessica and Trevor tick all of these boxes and more, and if this year’s debuts share a theme, it is the irresistible and devastating way in which crime fiction shines a light on our times: homelessness, domestic violence, child trafficking and mental health are all dissected with an unflinching gaze. Whilst we can’t gather en masse at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate this year, I hope that readers will enjoy our virtual introduction to these brilliant new writers.”
The unveiling of McDermid’s selection has become one of the most anticipated moments of the publishing calendar, with readers on the lookout to uncover their new favourite author and add the ‘next big thing’ to their bookshelves.
Former ‘New Blood’ alumni include Clare Mackintosh, SJ Watson, Stuart MacBride, Liam McIlvanney and Belinda Bauer, as well as three authors on this year’s shortlist for the UK’s most prestigious crime writing award – Theakston Old Peculier: Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper and Oyinkan Braithwaite, who was chosen just last year for her Booker longlisted My Sister, the Serial Killer.
As part Harrogate International Festivals’ year round programme of events, each year the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival welcomes the world’s famous authors each year to Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – the scene of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926 – for a celebration of the crime genre like no other.
This year’s instalment – which formed part of Harrogate International Festival Summer Season – was cancelled, with much sadness, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and so the 2020 ‘New Blood’ showcase will be streamed on the festival’s HIF Player on what would have been the legendary weekender on Saturday 25 July 2020.
Val McDermid will also interviewed by Mark Lawson about the legacy of the New Blood panel, discussing the vital role of the showcase in giving a platform to new writers in the industry and the crime community, and giving a peek behind the scenes into how and why she chooses the books.
Trevor Wood said: “As a kid I dreamt of playing in the cup final. I’m a fraction older now but being chosen for Harrogate’s New Blood panel feels exactly like that did.”
Jessica Moor said: “To have been chosen for this panel, which has included some of my favourite new authors of the last decade, and to have been chosen by the legendary Val McDermid, is a such an honour.”
Deepa Anappara said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be picked for the New Blood panel, and grateful to Val McDermid for her immense generosity and support of debut novelists.”
Elizabeth Kay said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been selected for such a prestigious event. The ‘New Blood’ panel has an incredible history, and I’m delighted to be participating this year alongside three really exciting other authors.”
Deepa Anappara – Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Chatto & Windus)
In a basti on the outskirts of a sprawling Indian city, nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows in the house he shares with his family. Jai thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than his hardworking friend Faiz (even though he has a job). When their classmate from school goes missing, the Djinn Patrol ventures out, wielding their detective skills into the bustling city to investigate; through the rattle-tattle energy and mouth-watering smells of the bazaar, to the dangerous rubbish ground and as far as the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But children continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an unsympathetic police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will be altered forever.
Deepa Anappara grew up in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in cities including Mumbai and Delhi. Her reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children won the Developing Asia Journalism Awards, the Every Human has Rights Media Awards, and the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism. A partial of her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and is currently studying for a PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line will be publised in America, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden. deepa-anappara.com
Elizabeth Kay – Seven Lies (Sphere)
Only you know the truth: Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. In their twenties, they both married handsome young men. Years later, Jane and Marnie are still best friends – and both men are dead. But if Jane had been honest from the start – if she hadn’t told that first little white lie – then perhaps the person she loves most would still love her too. Perhaps everything would be different. This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the real story – if you can believe her. As Jane narrates hers and Marnie’s shared history and unpicks each of seven increasingly catastrophic lies, she reveals the pockets of darkness that have infiltrated their friendship; the toxic secrets still bubbling beneath; and a tale of obsession, of grief, and the real meaning of truth.
Elizabeth Kay (@AnyOtherLizzy) started her career as an assistant at Penguin Random House. She is now a commissioning editor and is simultaneously pursuing her passion for writing. Her debut novel, Seven Lies, will be published in 2020. Elizabeth lives in London with her husband. @AnyOtherLizzy
Jessica Moor – Keeper (Penguin)
He’s been looking in the windows again. Messing with cameras. Leaving notes. Supposed to be a refuge. But death got inside. When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police decide it’s an open-and-shut case. A standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked don’t agree. They say it’s murder. Will you listen to them?
Jessica Moor (@jessicammoor) studied English at Cambridge before completing a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University. Prior to this she spent a year working in the violence against women and girls sector and this experience inspired her first novel, KEEPER.
Trevor Wood – The Man on the Street (Quercus)
It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight. Maybe it was another of his vivid nightmares? Since he found himself living on the streets, avoiding other people’s fights has helped him to survive. Trouble finds him easily enough without looking for it. Then a newspaper headline catches his eye: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost. This makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story. The police don’t believe him. Who believes a homeless man? But Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new. But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Trevor Wood (@TrevorWoodWrite) has lived in Newcastle for twenty-five years and considers himself an adopted Geordie. He’s a successful playwright who has also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for the City Council. Prior to that he served in the Royal Navy for sixteen years. Trevor holds an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) from UEA. The Man on the Street is his first novel.
About Harrogate International Festivals
‘Harrogate International Festivals’ is a charitable organisation with a mission to present a diverse year-long programme of live events that bring immersive and moving cultural experiences to as many people as possible. Delivering artistic work of national importance, the Festival curates and produces over 300 unique and surprising performances each year, celebrating world-renowned artists and championing new and up-coming talent across music, literature, science, philosophy and psychology. The HIF+ ongoing education outreach programme engages schools, young people and the local community with workshops, talks, projects and inspiring activities, ensuring everyone can experience the Festival’s world class programme and the transformative power of the arts.
Established in 1966, Harrogate International Festivals are an artistic force to be reckoned with and a key cultural provider for the North of England.
Bad Love – as well as being released by Audible – is a title published by Jacaranda Books and is part of Jacaranda’s #Twentyin2020 campaign, publishing twenty titles by Black British writers this year.
Bad Love tells the story of Ekuah Danquah, a London-born Ghanaian who is 18 years old when she falls in love for the first time. As both narrator and protagonist now in her 30s, she delves into her memories of angst and confusion that dismantled her experience of that first, impactful romantic relationship.
It meets none of her rigid expectations and instead shines a light on other significant relationships in her life, especially the marriage of her parents, something she had long considered an unhappy pairing.
BAD LOVE by MAAME BLUE, Narrated by Vivienne Acheampong. Audible Original.
Released on 18th June 2020
About Bad Love
Maame Blue is a Ghanaian Londoner, writer, and project manager for not-for- profit organisations. As well as co-hosting Headscarves and Carry-ons – a podcast about black girls living abroad – she regularly runs social media campaigns for www.bmeprpros.co.uk and sporadically blogs over at www.maamebluewrites.com. In 2018 she won the Africa Writes x AFREADA flash fiction competition for her story Black Sky. She has since been published in AFREADA, Afribuku, and Memoir Magazine; with stories forthcoming in Storm Cellar Quarterly and Litro Magazine.
About Vivienne Acheampong
Vivienne Acheampong is an actress and comedian, best known for featuring in Death in Paradise (2011), The Trap (2015) and Turn Up Charlie (2019).
Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Jesse Eisenberg. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialised the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. On average, Audible members listen to Audible content for 2 hours a day. In 2018, Audible customers downloaded nearly 3 billion hours of content.
Thank you to @midaspr for my my #gifted audio version
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
This was the story of January, a romance writer who has lost her father and found out a terrible secret leaving her unable to write the love stories that used to come to her so easily. She moves to her fathers second house to empty it ready to sell it and with the hope of getting some writing done. She does not expect to be living next door to her old college rival, the guy who constantly criticised her work and never kept a girl for longer than a few weeks.
Although on the surface this is a fun romance it touches on so much more, it looks at grief, self acceptance, miscommunication and of course love! I really enjoyed how the story unfolded, the characters were well written, believable and I completely got lost in the story. I can see it being made into a movie!
This book was the perfect summer read, it had everything I didn’t know I needed in a beach read and I will definitely be picking up a copy of the authors next book
Thank you to @viking for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Best-selling Author, Women’s Rights Activist, Entrepreneur, Speaker ; TV Host Paola Diana’s inspiring and empowering new Podcast and YouTube Talk Show Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change – successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better. The series shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead we should embrace new challenges and be brave enough to change our lives – perfect inspirational listening for the difficult times we’re living in now. Talking love lives, careers, family and dreams, Paola’s candid and honest interview style feels just like a conversation with your closest friends.
UNLEASHED: THE GAME CHANGERS is an inspiring and empowering YouTube Talk Show and Podcast hosted by Women’s Rights Activist, Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Host Paola Diana.
Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change, successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better.
The first series of Unleased: The Game Changes includes conversations with Claudia Doval theJiu jitsu black belt World Champion speaks openly for the first time about her fight with Bulimia and her experiences of sexual abuse, with female airline pilot Captain Brenda Riepsaame Wassink whose extraordinary sideways emergency landing saved the lives of her passengers, with award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan about diversity, prejudice and religion, with Melanie Seymour Global Head of Black Rock and Vice President of the Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance about glass ceilings and equality in the work place, with TV chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success and with Neuroscientist Sarah J. Caddick, about human behaviour and the behaviour of change and challenge.
In her signature no filter, no hypocrisy style, Paola Diana speaks to leading scientists, entrepreneurs, doctors, authors, activists, athletes, philanthropists about game changing career moves and personal changes that have transformed their own lives and the lives of others. Subjects discussed range from mental health, relationships, discrimination, gender equality, and self-defence to business, sport, religion, neuroscience, and fake news.
Unleashed: The Game Changers explores the lives of inspirational people who have been brave enough to change their lives more than once. The first season includes 20 episodes which feature interviews with inspirational people and leaders from the fields of Business, Sport, Science, Politics, Law, Film, and the Arts. Unleashed: The Game Changers shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead we should embrace change and be brave enough to change our lives. Episodes of Unleashed: The Game Changers have been watched 200,000 times
Paola Diana: Game Changer
“I left in awe of her willingness to say the unsayable,
no matter what trouble it will cause”
Helen Rumbelow, The Times
Paola Diana’s own life story is one of inspirational change and challenge. As a child and a teenager, she suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her father, which lead to bulimia and depression. Escaping at 19 to attend university, she never returned to her family. Instead she carved a path for herself. Despite facing sexual discrimination, she forged a career as one of the only females in Italy working in politics.
She ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign. And then went on to found her own Think Tank PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the workplace, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation.
In her personal life she has moved to completely new cities where she knew no one three times in her life, Bologna, Rome and London. Each time relishing the challenge of building up a new life for herself from scratch. A commentator and critic of sexual equality, domestic abuse, and violence against women, she is incredibly outspoken, honest and brave in tackling taboo subjects around women.
About Paola Diana
A bestselling author and political activist, Paola Diana is a mouthpiece for female equality, having experienced both domestic abuse and sex discrimination throughout her life. Now a London based entrepreneur and campaigner for equal rights Paola has dedicated her life to championing sexual equality in business and politics.
In her home country of Italy, Paola is the founder of the organisation PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the work place, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation. Prior to starting PariMerito Paola ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign, which had a focus on issues including welfare, female employment and structural policies in favour of the family and equal opportunities.
In the UK Paola is also an entrepreneur starting her first business as a single mother of two, she now runs three separate businesses and has established herself as a market leader in recruitment and lifestyle services, recognised as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals, families and corporations around the world.
Saving the World by Paola Diana
Part manifesto for change part historical and sociological essay, Saving the World charts women’s condition through the centuries, analysing their treatment within political, religious, economic and societal contexts to form a bigger picture of their place in the world; because to understand the present, and make a meaningful difference, we must get to grips with the past. This is a journey that concludes with a clear vision for a better society in which all women are set free from fear, violence and oppression. Paola Diana impresses on us that this world we inhabit, dominated by men and often seemingly immutable, is far from the only one possible.
This Is Not A Love Story is a book for anyone who’s ever wished they were perfect. It’s a book for anyone who feels like a failure.
And it’s not a love story, it’s a real story. And it’s hilarious.
Maggie Gardiner isn’t good enough. She had six glasses of wine at a work conference, woke up covered in curry and has accidentally ended up living with the boring guy who was supposed to be a one night stand. Something has to change.
Every other twenty-something on Instagram seems to have their sh*t together, so why doesn’t she? And so she makes a list. When she’s ticked off every item, she’ll become Maggie 2.0 – the best version of herself, and the one she wants to be. Won’t she…?
1. Go vegan. It worked for that girl on Twitter. 2. Take up yoga – that woman she hate-follows swears by it 3. Start practising mindfulness – all those people can’t be wrong… 4. Quit smoking. It’s not 1999
Published by Trapeze on 11th June 2020
Reading this I could just see myself at 23, looking at everyone else’s perfect lives and wondering what I was doing wrong whilst simultaneously pouring wine down my throat and making poor life choices. I liked the authors direct writing style, it felt current and very much how I speak with my friends. The dry whit and the humorous situations the character got herself into made me laugh and on more than one occasion I send a picture of a line of text to a friend, example;
‘Ah, wine. You sneaky little bastard.’
Who doesn’t relate to that! The language was unfiltered and the whole book felt refreshingly new.
For the most part I really enjoyed this book but I do have to point out that there was a sentence about autism that was a more than a little uncomfortable to read and would more than likely be offensive for others but I have contacted the publisher and they have said that they will work to get it changed and hopefully the author will acknowledge what they wrote was unacceptable.
Thank you to @annecater and @TrapezeBooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Mary Hargreaves lives in Manchester and enjoys writing and reading things that cleverer people have written. She hates waiting, musicals and Pinot Grigio. This Is Not A Love Story is her debut novel.
As a young woman boxes up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings and prepares to see him one last time, she wonders where it all went wrong, and whether it was ever right to begin with. Burdened with a broken heart, she asks herself the age-old question . . . is love really worth it?Out of Love is a bittersweet romance told in reverse.
Beginning at the end of a relationship, each chapter takes us further back in time, weaving together an already unravelled tapestry, from tragic break-up to magical first kiss. In this dazzling debut Hazel Hayes performs a post-mortem on love, tenderly but unapologetically exploring every angle, from the heights of joy to the depths of grief, and all the madness and mundanity in between. This is a modern story with the heart of a classic: truthful, tragic and ultimately full of hope.
The story starts off at the end, so you know that the couple have broken up. Their story is then told in reverse, each chapter revealing a little more of their history as individuals, as a couple and whilst showing pivotal moments in the relationship.
I think fans of Sally Rooney are going to go nuts for this book, the story has the same raw and emotional feel to it. Throughout the pages a range of topics are discussed such as mental health, guilt, sexuality, family and may other topics and it was fascinating to see how something so simple on the surface, like a break up, goes so much deeper. It felt real and relatable.
I have read a few books now with a reverse timeline and this is, by far, the most successful. I love that the author admits that the characters short fall when writing stories is endings which makes the reversed timeline even more ingenious.
I can’t wait to see what this author does next.
Thank you to @annecater @TheHazelHayes and @unbounders for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Nora elbowed her way up to the railing and looked down. The paddle wheel was making its last turn, dredging up a mass of turquoise chiffon made almost transparent by the water. A hand, its red lacquered fingernails a contrast to the pale white skin, stuck up from a bejeweled cuff…
A relaxing cruise down the Mississippi on the Miss Delta Belle steamboat turns to tragedy when celebrity Delilah Dove falls from the deck and is swallowed by the river faster than you can say ‘man overboard!’
It’s touted as a tragic accident, but guests Miss Nora Marsh and her wily great-aunt Julia know a murder when they see one. Can they get justice for Delilah and crack the case without alerting the murderer to their suspicions?
As Nora and Julia hunt for clues it emerges that nearly everyone had a reason to want Delilah dead. And that’s bad news for the two sleuths—who want to solve the case pronto, before Mississippi police chief and Aunt Julia’s nemesis Artemis Leonard comes on board at the next port to launch the official investigation. She’s not letting him get the credit if she can help it.
With multiple suspects and a series of mysterious thefts onboard—not to mention the distractingly handsome Max Lawton turning Nora’s head—this is shaping up to be one tough case to crack. What started as a gentle river voyage is far from plain sailing.
A fun and lively 1920s murder mystery from bestselling author Leighann Dobbs, perfect for fans of T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss.
Published by Bookouture on 1st June 2020
I absolutely love a cosy mystery and having read and enjoyed the Blackmoore Sisters series by this author I was excited to dive into this murder mystery set in the 1920’s.
Julia and Nora made a great team and have to work to solve the mystery in just a few days whilst keeping their investigation under wraps. I also really enjoyed the descriptions of 1920’s fashion throughout as it really gave a feel for the time.
This was a quick and fun read and a definite win for anyone who enjoys a cosy mystery and a bit of light historical fiction and any Agatha Christie fans out there!
I was not disappointment and am looking forward to the next instalment in this series!
Thank you to @bookouture and @netgalley for my #gifted ebook in exchange for review.
USA Today bestselling author, Leighann Dobbs, discovered her passion for writing after a twenty year career as a software engineer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Bruce, their trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and beautiful rescue cat, Kitty.
Her book “Dead Wrong” won the “Best Mystery Romance” award at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention.
Her book “Ghostly Paws” was the 2015 Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem First Place category winner in the Animal Mystery category.
Oyinkan Braithwaite | Chris Brookmyre | Will Carver | Jane Casey | Lee Child | Ann Cleeves
Will Dean | Louise Doughty | Helen Fitzgerald | Jane Harper | Mick Herron | Val McDermid
Adrian McKinty | Denise Mina | Abir Mukherjee | Alex North | Laura Shepherd-Robinson | Harriet Tyce
Harrogate, 7 May 2020: Today, the longlist of the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious crime novel award is unveiled with literary legends and dynamic debuts in contention for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year…
Now in its 16th year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction, presented by Harrogate International Festivals, received a record number of submissions and this highly anticipated longlist of 18 titles – 10 of which by women – represents crime writing at its best: celebrating four former winners, a Booker Prize contender, and the fresh new voices taking the genre by storm.
The line-up of returning champions is led by Scottish supernova Denise Mina, vying to become the first author to complete a hat trick with the deeply unsettling thriller Conviction. Mina is joined by fellow Glaswegian bestseller Chris Brookmyre and his psychological suspense Fallen Angel, ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid’s latest masterful Tony Hill and Carol Jordan investigation, How the Dead Speak, and Lee Child CBE, with the final Jack Reacher, Blue Moon, before sharing authorship with his brother Andrew.
The longlist also features several previously nominated authors hoping to go one step further and claim the trophy with Mick Herron securing a fifth pick for his much-lauded Slough House series with Joe Countryand a nod for Abir Mukherjee’s new Wyndham & Banerjee instalment,Smoke and Ashes, and fan favourite Vera and Shetland author Ann Cleeves returns with The Long Call, marking the launch of a new North Devon series. Further Theakston alumni in the running include Adrian McKinty with his electrifying thriller The Chain, Helen Fitzgerald and the darkly comic Worst Case Scenario,and outback noir from Jane Harper in The Lost Man.
Rising stars of the genre are celebrated with three debuts on the list. Oyinkan Braithwaite, who was spotlighted in the Festival’s highly respected ‘New Blood’ panel in 2019, has been recognised for her Booker longlisted My Sister the Serial Killer. Harriet Tyce is in contention for her electrifying domestic noir Blood Orange that draws on her own experience as a criminal barrister, and Laura Shepherd-Robinson for the deeply atmospheric Blood & Sugar, bringing the 1780s Deptford Docks to life.
Established voices joining the Theakston ranks for the first time include Jane Casey and her latest Maeve Kerriganinstalment Cruel Acts, Alex Northwith his chilling police procedural The Whisper Man, Louise Doughty, who is longlisted for the eerily unnerving Platform Seven, Will Carverwith the mesmerising thriller Nothing Important Happened Today; and Val McDermid’s 2018 New Blood selection: Will Dean and his eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, the stunning Scandi noirRed Snow.
The full longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020 is:
The award is run by Harrogate International Festivals in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith and the Express, and is open to full length crime novels published in paperback from 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019 by UK and Irish authors.
The longlist was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith.
The 18 titles will be promoted in a dedicated online campaign from WHSmith, digital promotional materials will be made available for independent bookstores, and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s online community – You’re Booked – will raise a virtual glass to the titles and authors through interviews, features and a variety of further interactive content, as well as giving the opportunity to see a selection of events from the Festival’s extensive archive. This forms part of the Harrogate International Festival virtual season of events, which presents a raft of live music, specially commissioned performances, literary events and interviews to bring a free festival experience to your own digital doorstep.
The Princess of Felling describes Elaine’s childhood and adolescence growing up on Tyneside in the 1970s and 1980s. The book pays homage to her home town of Felling on Tyne and is an extended, loving letter to her late parents.
This illustrated poetic memoir features a Foreword by Michael Chaplin, photographs of Felling taken in summer 2018 by Rossena Petcova and unique maps by poet and artist Steve Lancaster.
The book contains reminiscences by Felling folk plus guest appearances by Nick Heyward, David Almond, Tracey Thorn, Sir Kingsley Amis, The Reverend Richard Coles, Lady Elsie Robson, U.A. Fanthorpe, Gyles Brandreth and more.
Reading this was like getting snuggled up on the sofa with a glass of wine with your best friend while they told you tales of their childhood. I really enjoyed listening to the goings on of a small village and the changes that have come about, it felt really relatable as I have always lived in a small village!
You can really feel the authors love for her village shine through this is book and seeing the real pictures of the locations she was talking about.
I was also lucky enough to be sent the prequel which really explained where the name for the second book came from and read as such a lovely fairy tale that I wish it was a children’s book!
Thank you to @annecater and #RandomThingsTours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review
To find out more about the author, pick up a copy of this book!