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Michael Robertson is the author of two novels featuring barrister Reggie Heath, whose chambers are located at Sherlock Holmes’s legendary address. Set a century after the demise of Holmes, these novels find Heath becoming an unwilling sleuth, set on his task by letters sent to the famous detective.

The series opener, The Baker Street Letters, from 2009, was dubbed “an engaging debut,” by Publishers Weekly, while Booklist noted of this work: “Judging by this installment, it should be a popular series indeed.” The second series addition, The Brothers of Baker Street, was out earlier this year and earned starred reviews. Publishers Weekly noted: “An extremely clever evil scheme will delight readers.” Further praise came from Booklist, terming it a “delightful romp that offers more tension and suspense than a dozen fat thrillers with bloody knives on the cover.” (more…)

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A former university professor, Candice Proctor writes the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series under the name of C.S. Harris and thrillers as one half of C.S. Graham. She has also written historical romances as Candice Proctor.

Perhaps best known for her Sebastian St. Cyr series, however, the author brings Regency England alive with her St. Cyr–Viscount Devlin, heir to an earldom, a disillusioned Army officer, and a latter day knight errant. As Proctor notes on her homepage: “Think Mr. Darcy with a James Bond edge…” Publishers Weekly, reviewing the first in this popular series, What Angels Fear, called it a “riveting debut [that] delivers a powerful blend of political intrigue and suspense.” Booklist concurred, dubbing this first series installment a “fast-paced pre-Regency mystery” and prophesying: “Expect to hear more from Harris’ troubled but compelling antihero.” (more…)

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Leigh Russell arrived with a bang on the crime scene with her 2009 novel, Cut Short, shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger. She introduces D.I. Geraldine Steel in “a stylish, top-of-the-line crime tale, a seamless blending of psychological sophistication and gritty police procedure,” according to fellow novelist Jeffrey Deaver. “You’re just plain going to love DI Geraldine Steel,” Deaver added. Publishers Weekly also praised this “gritty and addictive” debut. Russell followed up this first success with the 2010 Road Closed, a novel that “confirms Leigh Russell’s promise as a writer… well-written, soundly plotted and psychologically acute,” according to the London Times. Eurocrime described it as “well-written and absorbing… with an exhilarating climax that you don’t see coming.” Dead End, the third in the D.I. Geraldine Steel series, will be published in June 2011. (more…)

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Jacqueline Winspear, author of the popular Maisie Dobbs series set in interwar England, is our latest guest on Scene of the Crime. Winspear hit the ground running with this series: her first installment, the 2003 Maisie Dobbs, became a bestseller, won accolades from reviewers, and earned Winspear the prestigious Agatha Award for Best First novel, the Macavity Award for Best First Novel; and the Alex Award.

Since then, Winspear has sent her indefatigable psychologist/investigator into harm’s way in six further adventures, which have won the author a large following and the Agatha Award for Best Novel for Birds of a Feather, and Sue Feder/Macavity Award for Best Historical Mystery for Pardonable Lies. Both An Incomplete Revenge, from 2008, and Among the Mad, from 2009, were New York Times bestsellers. Her latest, The Mapping of Love and Death, opens in California in 1914, and, like the others in the series, has connections to the Great War. Booklist declared this novel “a must read for series fans, especially because the ending hints that big changes are on the way for Maisie.”

Jackie, it is a real pleasure to have you here with us on Scene of the Crime. (more…)

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Dan Waddell is assisting Scene of the Crime today in its investigations into setting and fiction. Waddell, a Londoner, is a former journalist, the bestselling author of Who Do You Think You Are? that accompanied the BBC series on genealogy, and, most importantly for us, the author of the crime series featuring Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster and his genealogist assistant, Nigel Barnes. The two made their debut in The Blood Detective, in which a century-old crime comes to haunt the present. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted of this work, “Waddell’s adept characterization and pacing make for an exciting start to a new series.” A Booklist contributor concluded, “Let’s hope Waddell can find many more genealogical excuses for Barnes to assist the police with their inquiries.”

Waddell did not disappoint; Blood Atonement once again pairs Foster and Barnes in the hunt for a serial killer. A Library Journal reviewer found this offering an “outstanding thriller,” while a Booklist contributor dubbed it a “definite winner.”

Dan, welcome to Scene of the Crime, and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about the spirit of place in your crime fiction. (more…)

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