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ALoveAFAIR with Crime

When we asked our beautiful New York based crime writer Alafair Burke, where she gained her passion and experience for all-things-crime we weren't expecting the incredible behind the (crime) scenes story she was about to tell. From childhood to her newest book, Never Tell, the article below uncovers why Alafair is just so good at writing crime:   Where it all began... It all began in Alafair's childhood. Her parents moved the family in the late 1970's from the chaos of a changing southern Florida to a supposedly quiet and provincial neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas. The moving boxes had just been unpacked when Wichita police announced a connection between seven unsolved murders of women and children. The man who claimed responsibility called himself BTK, a gruesome acronym, short for "Bind, Torture, Kill." The Burke's new home fell squarely within the serial killer's stalking territory. Like other children in Wichita in that era, Alafair learned to check the phone lines to make sure they weren't cut, to keep the basement door locked at all times, and to barricade herself in the bathroom with the phone if she had to call 911. Read More

Enter the mind of Stuart MacBride

  Our No.1 bestselling author Stuart MacBride talks ‘Tartan Noir’ on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book Channel – a term being used to  describe the abundance of exceptional crime fiction coming out of mighty Scotland. MacBride also explains how music  really helps  to influence his characterisations and thrilling storylines. Read More

Cosy Mystery or Dark and Twisty…? (Prizes Involved!)

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. Read More

Sacrilege Competition Giveaway

We have a little competition for you to take part in with the opportunity for 8 lucky readers to get their hands on a copy of S.J. Parris's Sacrilege.   Summer, 1584: the Protestant Prince William of Orange has been assassinated by a fanatical Catholic, and there are whispers that Queen Elizabeth will be next. Fear haunts the streets of London, and plague is driving many citizens away. Giordano Bruno, radical philosopher and spy, chooses to remain, only to find that someone is following him through the city  As Bruno begins his hunt for the real killer, he is drawn into the heart of a sinister conspiracy hiding in the shadow of England’s holiest shrine…  In the pursuit of power, nothing is sacred… Read More

True Crime is the New Crime Fiction

“The future of crime fiction lies not in inventing ever more colourful crimes but in focusing on real-life wrongdoing” This is the opinion of David Peace bestselling author of The Red Riding Quartet and The Damned United featured in the Guardian today. It’s obvious that this formula… Read More

The Gumshoe's Guide to the USA

Ever since Philip Marlowe walked those mean streets of Los Angeles, crime writers have been among the best chroniclers of American life. There’s hardly a place you can go in the USA, from Washington DC to the deserts of Arizona, where a detective… Read More