What with my Mum trying to put everyone she meets off reading my stuff, you'd think that was enough family support of that type, wouldn't you? Well, you'd be wrong. A couple of days ago, my brother arrived home for Christmas. The following conversation took place shortly after.
Darren: I've read OLD DOGS.
Me: Have you?
Darren: Yes, it was excellent.
Me: Thanks, Darren. What was it about, by the way? [note: Darren has Aspergers, a very short attention span, and a tendency to exaggerate - this is, therefore, a normal type of question chez nous in order to ascertain the verisimilitude of what is being said.]
Darren: It was about...ummm...a detective who solves a crime?
Me: Nice try. You didn't read it, did you?
Darren: Well, no, I didn't read all of it...but what I did read was excellent.
Me: How much did you read?
Darren: Half a page.
So, there you go. My mum refuses to read OLD DOGS (not strictly true - she gave up at the sentence "Displays of wealth always gave him a hard-on and these two old bags were dripping with it". Since that's the second sentence, she did, therefore, actually manage to read the first sentence without too much distress), my partner says he might get round to it at some point but that I shouldn't hold my breath, my brother managed half a page before he apparently lapsed into a coma, and my Dad read it and said "You're a bit odd, aren't you, our Donna?"
Anyway, onto the news. The Geeky Girls call Denise Mina's A SICKNESS IN THE FAMILY "deliciously dark and suspenseful" and Horrorview enjoyed it too. And Mysteries Etc loves M C Beaton's BUSY BODY. Margot Kinberg puts Val McDermid's THE GRAVE TATTOO under the spotlight.
Karen Dunbar does Denise Mina at Glasgow's Oran Mor. While Mina pens a ghost story for Radio Scotland's Ghost Stories at Christmas between December 27th and 31st.
Ian Rankin, amongst others, on his favourite moment from The Archers.
Spinetingler has a collection of 'the best crime fiction of 2010' in one handy place.
Bid to be a character in a Stuart MacBride novel and help Buckie Lifeboat Service. And here's a Christmas present from Stuart MacBride - an exclusive short story in the Aberdeen Evening Express.
And, finally, a wee awwwwww story from my bus route.
And, finally finally, I can just imagine the sniggering in the newsroom as this article was written. "It's a right cock-up"? Indeed.
Have a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, everyone. Back on Boxing Day. Xxx