Friday 29 April 2011

Move on, move on, no royal wedding to see here

The Stage reviews Alexander McCall Smith's opera, The New Statesman has an exclusive short story, and Seattle Pi reviews THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB.

Metro Pulse reviews Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica blog wishes Ian Rankin a happy birthday.

Congratulations to Val McDermid - to be honoured at the 23rd Lambda Literary Awards.

Russel McLean over at My Book, The Movie talking about THE LOST SISTER.

An interview with Gordon Ferris.

And, finally, a weekend treat - the new issue of Plots With Guns. I've only read one of the stories so far - Luke Nineteen Twenty-Seven. I came to the conclusion some time ago that Jimmy Callaway is a genius. Now I think Cameron Ashley is one too. Brilliant stuff. Have a lovely weekend, Dear Reader.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Small But Perfectly Formed Wednesday

Several reviews today. First of all, Mouth London reviews Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. Next, a great review for Ray Banks' CALIFORNIA, the Washington Post on Philip Kerr's FIELD GRAY and ReviewingTheEvidence on Charles Cumming's THE TRINITY SIX.

Ian Rankin is addicted to Twitter.

Denise Mina and Doug Johnstone (amongst others) at the Ullapool Book Festival from 6th-8th May. And, if you're in Dundee tomorrow you can catch Doug Johnstone in a saloon. Wait, it's a literary salon. Possibly followed by a saloon.

Glenn Chandler talks about Taggart and musicals.

Christopher Brookmyre's speech as President of the Humanist Society Scotland. He makes some excellent points about royal weddings and orange walks.

Monday 25 April 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

This weekend's film viewing - Michael Haneke's FUNNY GAMES. Brrrr. Creepy. And great fun. Haneke is definitely playing games here and it made me want to lock the door and take a long bath and scrub my skin off.

The Guardian enjoyed Chris Ewan's THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VENICE. And Chris has some excellent news re a TV deal for the Good Thief series. Wonderful.

The Washington Post reviews Philip Kerr's FIELD GRAY, as does the New York Times. I Meant To Read That loves Stuart MacBride's BLIND EYE, The Trib Live reviews Charles Cumming's THE TRINITY SIX.

JSOnline interviews Ian Rankin. And a great interview with Barry Graham over at Allan Guthrie's Criminal-E.

The National Post finds Alexander McCall Smith pert and punchy. A review of his opera in The Scotsman. And he's interviewed in The Guardian.

A thoughtful piece in the Guardian by Sara Sheridan on how genre and literary writers should just try to get along.

A rather excellent video for Helen Fitzgerald's LETZTE BEICHTE (MY LAST CONFESSION to you and me).

Friday 22 April 2011

Bad News, Good News, More Good News

Bad news and good news from Crimefest. The bad news is that Don Winslow has had to withdraw which is a real shame. The good news is that the excellent and very funny Christopher Brookmyre will be taking his place as Toastmaster. Having seen him in action a few times, I know he will be both funny and interesting, so I'm looking forward to that. I can't believe it's only a month away. I've already set my panelists their homework (I'm seriously worried, based on a recent tweet by the lovely Steve Mosby), but I need to prepare my questions and re-read some of their books. I am moderating two panels. Both on Friday (so at least I get the nervous torment over early) I WAS A MALE WARBRIDE - CONFESSIONS OF A CRIME FICTION AUTHOR, with Chris Ewan, Helen Fitzgerald, Douglas Lindsay and Steve Mosby; and MONKEY BUSINESS - WHEN MISCHIEVOUS CROSSES OVER INTO DECEITFUL BEHAVIOUR, with Colin Bateman, Colin Cotterill, Chris Ewan and L C Tyler.

The BBC's response to the genre fiction debate.

If you're in the Isle of Man next Wednesday, go and help Chris Ewan launch his new book THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VENICE. I've just got a copy of it and am well chuffed as it's one of my favourite series.

Alexander McCall Smith's opera, a report on a recent event in New Jersey, and a review of THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB.

Philip Kerr discusses his protagonist with

And, finally, not Scottish, but excellent news, the lovely people at Hard Case Crime are bringing out a never-before-published novel by the late, great Donald Westlake.

Have a lovely Easter, Dear Reader.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Blue-eyed boys and girls

Thanks to the marvel that is Allan Guthrie, I have discovered a new author - a new Scottish author, no less. Well, he was born in Glasgow, so that counts. Anyway, I've added Barry Graham to the list, and I've also read the prologue and first chapter of his novel HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BLUE-EYED BOY? Oh my god. Wonderful stuff so far. And you can download it for the paltry price of 99p or 99c. Oh, and here, he's giving away copies of the aforementioned Allan Guthrie's BYE BYE BABY.

Denise Mina will be appearing in Dundee on Thursday 19th May. And Doug Johnstone is...well, Doug is putting himself about all over the place, the hussy.

Talking of Doug Johnstone, he's interviewed by Allan Guthrie here, and by Alistair Braidwood here. Excellent interviews, both.

An interview with John Dodds. And one with Manda Scott.

The Washington Independent Review of Books reviews Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. And Onyx Reviews on Alexander McCall Smith's SATURDAY BIG TENT WEDDING PARTY.

Ian Rankin joins the fight to save Anstruther Wester Town Halls.

Monday 18 April 2011

The Sunday Round-Up Gets Later Every Week

Lots of videos in the round-up today. First of all, here's David Ashton talking about Inspector McLevy. Next, a quickie with Irvine Welsh on the filming of ECSTASY. 4 videos of Alexander McCall Smith at the Toronto Public Library. And here's Louise Welsh reading her short story Vanishing Point.

And an audio interview with Philip Kerr.

Talking of whom - Tzer Island reviews FIELD GRAY by Philip Kerr, as does Oregon Live reviews Charles Cumming's THE TRINITY SIX. And a couple for Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. While MmegiOnline reviews Alexander McCall Smith's THE SATURDAY BIG TENT WEDDING PARTY.

An interesting article on Denise Mina's work in progress - GODS AND BEASTS.

And, finally, the BBC is coming under fire for sneering at genre fiction during World Book Night.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Still Playing Catch-Up

Val McDermid is interviewed over at Droemer Knaur (but don't worry, it's in English). And Val will be on BBC World Service's World Book Club on 4th May.

Catch Denise Mina in Dundee on 19th May.

Alexander McCall Smith takes more risks in his new book and says that getting into Mma Ramotswe's head is easy. on Ian Rankin's THE COMPLAINTS. Another review, in the MCHerald, and an interview with the man himself over at WYSO. And Rebus may be coming back to a TV near you - but who will it be?

And the Calgary Herald looks at both Ian Rankin and Russel McLean.

J Kingston Pierce interviews Philip Kerr. And a review of FIELD GRAY.

A review of Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. And another one. And a third.

I Meant To Read That... loves Allan Guthrie's KILLING MUM.

The Guardian talks about the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes novel, written by Anthony Horowitz.

Have a lovely weekend, Dear Reader.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Post-Berlin Catch Up

Hello, Dear Reader. Berlin was wonderful. We did loads of walking, eating, sightseeing. The Kills were great live, we went to a comedy club where we discovered the differences between the British and German sense of humour and I discovered Bratkartoffel. I didn't get to drive a tank as we ran out of days, and when we got to the Erotic Museum it was shut (I think the batteries had died). I may do a longer post about it at some point, just so I can bore you with my holiday snaps.

But for now, back to Scottish crime fiction.

Paul Brazill interviews Russel McLean.

And if you're in Dundee on Thursday, why not give yourself a wee treat and go and see Tony Black and Ray Banks. I believe they'll be naked-custard-wrestling.

Seattle Pi reviews Alexander McCall Smith's THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB. And here's an audio interview with him.

The Chronicle Herald reviews Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG.

My adopted son, Chris Ewan, with a little video on lock picking. Me and his granny are so proud of our wee boy. He used to practise on the neighbour's shed. Oh, by the way, does anyone want to buy a lawnmower and a pair of secateurs? Incidentally, what Chris fails to mention is that I can use a shim with great aplomb.

Ian Rankin loves the Rolling Stones.

And, finally, any crime writers fancy buying a mortuary?

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Berlin - A Short Photo Blog

Hello, dear Reader. No time to post actual words, but here are a couple of photos from Berlin.

At first, I thought this was an advert for Berlin's famous Curry Wurst. It's difficult to see from this picture but this poster is about 20 feet tall.

I have absolutely no idea what Dr Wood actually does.

The Death Star - aka Fernsehturm - visible from everywhere in Berlin.

The squat just along the road from our apartment.

The olympic table tennis team, practising the new disciplines of drinking and smoking mid-game.

This is Tacheles - former squat, now art house, bar, home of alternative culture. It smells as though you can pee everywhere in it.

Except here.