February 14, 20132:25 pm
Fed up with Valentine’s? Want to read about serial killers, killer viruses or gangland executions instead? We don’t blame you. In fact, we’ve put together a list of our top Valentine’s reads so that you can do just that!
Happy publication day to Paul Finch! And what a Valentine’s treat he’s got for you… In his nail-shredding debut Stalkers, Detective Sergeant Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenberg investigates the disappearance of 38 different women, each one happy and successful until they vanished without a trace. Dragged into the dark underbelly of the crime world, Heck soon stumbles across the so-called ‘Nice Guys Club’, a gang who can arrange anything you want. Provided you pay the price…
Doesn’t love always feel this way? Alex Parkinson is in love with his writing tutor, Siobhan. He has never loved anyone like this, but how can he convince Siobhan that they are meant to be together? So Alex stalks her on Facebook and finds out where she lives, buys her presents using her own credit card and sends her messages telling her exactly what he wants to do to her. He breaks
into her house, reads her diary and secretly listens to her while she takes a bath. Isn’t that what all lovers do?
We also have to say congratulations to Voss and Edwards on the publication of All Fall Down! Whether you want to read about bleeding hearts in Killing Cupid or killer viruses in All Fall Down, they’ve got it all covered…
October 17, 201211:29 am
Our very own Natasha Hughes, Editorial Assistant for Estates
So, I’m going to try and make this as cool as I can, and lay off the narcissism as much as possible when talking about oneself. I have worked at HarperCollins for nearly two years, as part of the Estates team in Harper Fiction, which involves working on Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ngaio Marsh, Alistair MacLean, Simon Tolkien and many others. My job mainly involves reinvigorating classic titles for a modern audience, working on new authors (such as Simon Tolkien), and creating illustrated film tie-in books around the forthcoming Hobbit movie trilogy.
A brief run through of how I got here: After studying English Literature and Philosophy at Keele University I undertook a Masters degree In English Lit at Warwick. Whilst doing my MA, I found work experience at a small publishing house in nearby Leamington Spa, before going on to Quercus, MacLehose Press, Penguin and then HC!
September 13, 201211:18 am
This week marks the return of the world famous annual Agatha Christie week. Every September, thousands of Christie fans flock to Torquay to enjoy numerous Christie inspired games, activities and events that take place in and around Devon to celebrate the Queen of Crimes birthday (15th September). Whether it is attending the Vintage Ball, playing some 1920’s pitch-and-putt or indulging in the splendour of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company’s new production of Murder on the Nile, there’s so many ways to get involved and celebrate Agatha’s legacy.
This year’s celebrations kicked off on Sunday the 9th September with the traditional Agatha Christie Fete on Torquay seafront, where stallholders dressed up in their 1920s and ‘30s best, with jazz bands, a Punch and Judy show, and fairground rides.
August 30, 20126:40 am
This week sees our Killer Reader Kate Stephenson (pictured right) asking for your views on modern Twisted Thrillers Vs. the classic Murder Mystery…
Earlier this year at the Oxford Lit Fest, Sophie Hannah and Simon Brett discussed the respective merits of the dark and twisted new school and the cosy old school of murder mysteries in a panel entitled Murder Mystery: Blood Bath or Brain Teaser?
Has crime fiction become too gory? It’s a question hotly debated amongst readers and writers alike. Some hark back to the masters of the cosies like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, and despair that contemporary crime fiction has gone too far, indulging in graphic violence – particularly the torture of women and children – for sensationalist purposes. Others don’t have a problem with it, being that it is fiction, after all. The authors are not committing the violent crimes they describe, nor inciting readers to do so. And surely we’re all consenting adults, making our own reading choices – if what you’re reading offends you, all you need to do is put the book down.
April 13, 20128:52 am
In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. Now, for the first time in 90 years we are able to see her extensive and previously unpublished letters, which are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as memorabilia Agatha collected along her journey. This eye-opening trip, which took place just after only her second novel had been published (the first leg of the tour to South Africa is very clearly the inspiration for the book she wrote immediately afterwards, The Man in the Brown Suit). The letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips, surf boarding and dinners with dignitaries all the way from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada.
Agatha’s first letters to her mother can be seen below, these are from the first leg of her journey from Madeira to Cape Town.
R.M.S ‘Kildonan Castle’
First day: 20 January 1922
Everything very comfortable – nice cabin with lots of room.
I do love my violets. Take care of yourself, darling – I do love you so much.
Will write again from Madeira.
February 2, 20129:35 am
January 9, 201210:39 am
In December we ran our Killer Christmas Advent Calendar competition! With a fantastic prize behind each door, we had hundreds of entries and we are now pleased to announce the winners! Your prizes are on the way to you now!
1. A collection of no less than SIX Stuart MacBride books, including a proof of his latest Birthdays of the Dead, is on the way to Mark Silver!
2. Stephanie Parker, Claire Barker and Ellen Stafford will all be sipping from their Sorry branded mugs as they turn the pages of this terrifying thriller
3. With a brilliant selection of our up-and-coming crime releases of 2012, Lucinda Fountain will be in the know this year
4. A signed, first-edition of Absolute Midnight will take pride of place on Debra Johnson‘s bookshelf
5. As will the signed copies of House of the Hanged that are on their way to Christine Burridge and Elaine Huxstep
6. Laura Starling and Andrew Tedder will be on the edge of their seats with Michael Crichton’s latest techno-thriller Micro
7. Mark Richmond, Barbara Chambers, Solange Thomas, Maggie Barker, Nathan Holden and Sajad Farid will be kept up way into the night with Dean Koontz’s twist on the Frankenstein classic
8. Surely one of this year’s most gifted presents, the first four specially released hardbacks of the Game of Thrones series will be proudly owned by Robert Turpin
9. A signed edition of this historical crime classic Heresy featuring none other than Giordano Bruno goes out to Wilma Jones and Jane Willis
10. Holly Green will have nightmares for weeks with a selection of Avon’s best (and scariest) crime reads
And last but not least….
11. Gillian Phillips will receive a gift from the Queen of Crime herself, with six Agatha Christie facsimile edition hardbacks.
Furthermore, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that we never gave away a twelfth prize! Well, now’s your opportunity. To be in for a chance to win our mystery prize (a collection of books snaffled from various desks around the building), then please email your answer to this question to firstname.lastname@example.org
Which Scandi-crime author sets her books in Fjallbacka?
Competition closes on Friday at midnight, so get entering now!
September 21, 20119:52 am
Congratulations to our very own Agatha Christie expert! John Curran triumphed in the awards at Bouchercon a few nights ago by winning not one but two presitigious crime-writing awards for his writing debut, Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks.
To celebrate we’ve decided not only to give you an exclusive look at David Suchet’s foreword for the paperback of John’s new book, Agatha Christie’s Murder in the Making, but also to give you an extract from the book which looks at some of the ideas that Agatha Christie never used in her novels.
When John Curran’s book Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks was published in 2009, the reading public was given something very rare: perhaps the most complete document for any author of the notes and sketches of their novels. Reading the book was like studying the preliminary sketches of any great artist, and in doing so we automatically found ourselves searching for clues. It gave us an insight into the workings of Agatha Christie’s mind – plus the gift of two new unpublished Poirot stories!
October 1, 20106:12 am
To celebrate Agatha’s big day, HarperCollins went all out, with a speech, champagne, a murder mystery and most importantly, cake! Because what’s a birthday without it?
Inspired by Christie’s A Murder Is Announced, the cake has been christened ‘Delicious Death’, and was definitely one of the better cakes we’ve had, especially once it had had a good sprinkling of edible gold leaf. We just wish she’d been here to see it!
To try it for yourselves then simply follow the Jane Asher recipe below, and anyone that posts a photo of their own attempt to make it will automatically enter a draw to win an Agatha Christie poster! So get cooking!
September 15, 20104:54 am
Wednesday 15th September was Agatha Christie‘s 120th birthday. There was a plethora of activity to mark the occasion, with extensive press coverage celebrating the Queen of Crime and her work. If you didn’t get the chance to see it, the ‘Google Doodle‘ was Christie-themed in over 40 countries worldwide on the today.
FIVE OF THE BEST
Murder on the Orient Express
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again…
July 5, 201011:55 am
Inspired by Soul Murder, guest blogger Adele from Un:Bound takes a look at the most Memorable Deaths in Fiction.
Playing Cluedo as a child I always felt certain people should use certain weapons, I
felt the game lacked verisimilitude otherwise. Professor Plum clearly would have to use the candlestick. Miss Scarlett should use the revolver like any self respecting femme fatale, Mrs Peacock, portrayed on her card as older and wealthy seemed a shoo in for the dagger since poison wasn’t an option, Colonel Mustard as an army sort ought to have the strength to use the rope and so on. I was possibly putting too much thought into the game, but a steady diet of Morse, Poirot, and Miss Marple will do that to a child.
So the trend was set, it matters to me how you kill people. That’s only reasonable though; there should be method to the madness and meaning to be found behind the method. In Soul Murder (Daniel Blake) the victims are burned alive. This is not only grotesque enough to be memorable, but also raises questions for both the detectives and the reader, the most fundamental of which is: why didn’t the killer take Scott Evil’s advice? “Just shoot him now … I’ll go get a gun and we’ll shoot him together …”