Saturday 11 July 2009

J is for...

John Buchan - writer of over 100 books and about 100 million stories. As well as thrillers and adventure stories he also wrote historical novels and non fiction, including a textbook for accountants. His most famous novel is, of course, THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS, which was written in 1914 and has never been out of print. It's the first of 5 novels to feature Richard Hannay and has been filmed 4 times - a Hitchcock version in 1935 (starring Robert Donat), 1959 (Kenneth More), 1978 (Robert Powell) and 2008 (Rupert Penry-Jones). My personal favourite of his books - my dad read them to me as bedtime stories when I was about 10 - was THE THREE HOSTAGES which featured the scary and mysterious Mr Medina.
"The plot of The Three Hostages is pure blood and thunder; it is a melodrama. It is, however, an exceptionally intelligent and well told melodrama, and the reader is effortlessly carried along." Grumpy Old Bookman in a great article about the book.

John Dodds - writer of crime, horror and fantasy fiction. His first novel, BONE MACHINES, is set in Glasgow and is available as a free download here. Here's the blurb. 'They suffer for his art. When a number of women are reported missing in Glasgow, the spectre of a previous spate of unsolved disappearances in the city rears its head. Journalist Ray Bissett is drawn into the case when his daughter joins the ranks of the missing. And ambitious police detective Tom Kendrick won’t let Ray forget a terrible incident form his past which resulted in the death of a young boy. Damaged lives and dark secrets… The streets of Glasgow haunted by the ghosts of the missing… and an artist driven by a deadly inspiration.'

Josephine Tey - born in 1896 and died in 1952, her real name was Elizabeth Mackintosh. She wrote 8 mystery novels, 6 of which featured Scotland Yard inspector Alan Grant (although he was only the protagonist of 5 of them). The most famous of these is DAUGHTER OF TIME which has the protagonist passing time whilst laid up in hospital researching the murders of the Princes in the Tower. Writing as Gordon Daviot, Tey also wrote over 20 plays.
"Tey's style and her knack for creating bizarre characters are among the best in the field." - The New Yorker

Joyce Holms -Joyce Holms has written 9 books in a series featuring two Edinburgh lawyers - Fizz Fitzpatrick and Tam Buchanan. At the start of the series Fizz is a slightly wild and impetuous law student in her mid 20s and her friendship with the slightly staid and cautious middle-aged Tam is told with great humour. They investigate such varied crimes as the death of an Edinburgh drug baron (MR BIG), the kidnapping of a four year old boy (THIN ICE), and the death of an elderly German tourist (BAD VIBES). The series is witty and light but definitely not fluffy.
"The writing is deft and smooth, the characters well-drawn and Fizz and Tam are a couple worth keeping an eye on" - Donna Leon, Sunday Times

Julie Corbin - Julie Corbin's first novel, TELL ME NO SECRETS, was published in April this year. It's a psychological thriller set in a small Scottish fishing village, about a woman with a secret she has kept for the last 20 years but which she may not be able to keep secret for much longer. She says "The skeleton I fear isn't hiding in my closet. The one I fear lies underground. Her name was Rose and she was nine years old when she died." I have this one on Mt TBR and it looks interesting.
"This is Corbin's first novel and it's an absolute corker. She weaves this tale of tragedy and secrecy with flair and pulls you into Grace's distress with deft strokes.This book will creep under your skin and have you thinking about it in the small hours. You won't want to put it down." - News of the World.


  1. Awesome post...thanks for all of these great stories and backgrounds...I'm pretty excited to start searching some of these guys out!
    Thanks again! :)

    God bless,
    Taylor J. Beisler

  2. Thanks Taylor - and you're welcome! I'm having fun and learning a few things :o)