Archive for

Charles Cumming – A Colder War

In A Colder War Britain’s secret intelligence operations in the Middle East are severely curtailed; botched schemes and the deaths of double agents suggests to the spymasters that a mole is a work.  When

Wallander’s creator Mankell passes

Henning Mankell, creator of Kurt Wallander, passed away after a year long fight with cancer. His novels were favourites with modern crime fans across the world for ironically displaying an angst about the state

Intrigue and Eric Ambler

In a recent BBC radio broadcast John Gray recalls the life and work of the thriller writer Eric Ambler and finds uncomfortable echoes of today’s society in the pages of his novels. “What they reveal

Second hand books bought at Hay

For as long as I can remember I have visited second hand bookshops with my ‘wants’ list.  Mostly, I am disappointed and buy something else that catches the eye.  But this time the second

Second Hand Bookshops in the UK

The internet has caused a drift away from the retail high street so it was good to see that some second hand bookshops are making strident efforts to bring customers back. Some glorious second hand

Doctorow – Golden Age of Dreams

Last night I heard on the radio that New York writer E L Doctorow had died aged 87 years. The radio was an appropriate means of conveying the news for he was a writer

Medal Auction Commemorates Violette Szabo

Medals commemorating the wartime service of Violette Szabo sold at auction today in London for £260,000. Ms Szabo’s gritty and heroic efforts as a secret agent of the Special Operations Executive during World War

Christopher Lee and the thriller tradition

The long and ubiquitous career of Christopher Lee (1922 – 2015) as film actor can tell thriller fans that the novels of action in which he appeared on screen still give us much to

Traditional crime authors still collected

In May this year I noticed that the books sold in the Scorpion Press series of signed limiteds were mainly by the stalwarts of crime writing.  The American James Lee Burke and Ruth Rendell

The Ruth Rendell story is over

For crime fiction fans it is a sad day. Ruth Rendell passed on at the beginning of May aged 85. Unique among British crime writers her influence and respect from fellow writers was unbounded.