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Archive for March, 2012

Roderic Jeffries was born in London in 1926 and went to sea in 1943. Six years later he left that trade and became a lawyer. But quickly fiction stole him away from the Bar. Since 1951, he has written over one hundred and sixty novels under his own name and several other pseudonyms. He began his career by writing books featuring his father’s character, Blackshirt, a popular detective whose adventures have appeared in print for many decades. In time Jeffries branched out and began to write a variety of mystery novels under his own name and several pen names, including Peter Alding and Jeffrey Ashford.

However, his most popular character is Inspector Enrique Alvarez of the Spanish island resort of Mallorca, “a middle-aged man with a bit of a middle-aged spread [who] takes a diligent, unhurried approach to solving crime,” according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. That series is thirty-six books strong with its June, 2012 addition, Murdered by Nature. Booklist called the Alvarez books a “delightful and entertaining series that never seems to lose a step.” (more…)

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Irish writer Cora Harrison is a former head teacher who turned to fiction. The author of over two dozen books for young readers, including the London Murder Mysteries series, Harrison is also the author of the critically-acclaimed Burren Mysteries for adults, set in early sixteenth-century Ireland and featuring Mara, a sort of investigating judge or magistrate of the Burren on the west coast of Ireland. (more…)

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Over the years I have had a number of requests to re-issue my first thriller, Time of The Wolf. It is still one of my favorites novels, and I am currently reprising its protagonist, Radok, in a couple of other loosely related novels that will form a triptych of postwar and early Cold War Europe. Today it goes on sale as a Kindle for just $2.99 with super new cover art from Peter Ratcliffe.

This book had a charmed life. It began as a dream of a cop descending a massive flight of stone steps outside a ministry of some sort. It was obvious in the dream it was a ministry and somewhere in Central Europe, and by the look of the fedoras and double-breasted suits, it was mid-century or earlier. The policeman, as he is bouncing down the stairs, thinks, “Just a death in death’s time. What does it matter?”

Well, it turned out it mattered a whole lot. I spent the next three years chasing that dream. I was fortunate enough to get early efforts of the manuscript to one of the all-time great agents, Al Zuckerman (Ken Follett was among dozens of other writers Al helped groom), who liked what he saw, but gave me an entirely new way to look at the story. He promised to take another look at it once I had revised. A year later, I sent in the revision. Fortunately, Al still remembered me. Three days later I had a two-book contract and money in the bank that would finance the writing of the second book. (more…)

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British writer Kate Ellis is the prolific author of two separate mystery series, one set in South Devon and featuring DI Wesley Peterson, and the other set in North Yorkshire with DI Joe Plantagenet as the protagonist. Ellis’s Peterson series, now sixteen books strong, began in 1998 with The Merchant’s House. This is a series, according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer that “just gets stronger with each new book.” The Cadaver Game, the latest installment in this long-running series, is just out.

Playing with Bones, the second in the Plantagenet series, is, according to Booklist, a “compelling thriller perhaps best enjoyed during daylight.” Booklist similarly found the third entry in that series, Kissing the Demons, out in 2011 from  Severn House’s Crème de la Crime imprint, a “solid, modern-day police procedural with disturbingly dark undercurrents.” (more…)

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