And the winners are…

Category: News

killerreadsadventcalendarIn 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


Which Scandi-crime author sets her books in Fjallbacka?


Competition closes on Friday at midnight, so get entering now!

The Ponderings of a Heretic…Part 3

Category: News

After the – apparently – bloodthirsty nature not only of my last couple of blogs, but also of my recent conversations with friends, I have decided that it is probably in the best interests of my immortal soul to try to avoid talking about torture or execution.

Thus I shall pull on my metaphorical tweed jacket with the natty leather elbow patches that seemed to be the obligatory uniform of my history teachers at school and hopefully impart some of my newly found ‘knowledge’.

The Roman Inquisition [which was officially known as the Congregation of the Holy Office of the Inquisition – a mouthful of a name if ever there was one] was one of three inquisitions that ran almost contemporaneously from the late fifteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. The other two were the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions – both of which were run under the authority of their respective monarchs, unlike the Roman Inquisition which was directly controlled by the Vatican.

In S.J. Parris’s novel Heresy it is this Roman Inquisition that the main character Giordano Bruno is trying to escape from after being accused of heresy. Ironically, the Dominican Order that Bruno belongs to were renowned for their anti-heresy stance and many of the inquisitors were taken from their ranks, making Bruno’s views [I am not scientifically gifted but he seems to have been in favour of the Copernican model of the cosmos] even more shocking.

It remains a mystery as to whether these inquisitors were chosen or volunteered [because I couldn’t find anything about it on the internet, rather than because it is an actual mystery – I’m sure that there are many enthralling historical books devoted to the topic], and also how they reconciled their faith with the brutal physical and mental suffering that they caused to those accused of heresy.

Lucky I didn’t become a teacher is all I can say; although, if I had then it would probably have made a dent in the league table!

The Ponderings of a Heretic…Part 2

Category: News

Thomas continues with series of blogs inspired by this month’s publication of S.J. Parris’ debut Heresy.

Sometimes you read something that just makes you squirm and which you fervently hope never happened to anyone. So it was when early on in S.J. Parris’s Heresy when it is mentioned that one of the Inquisition’s torture techniques is to place a burning poker up the victim’s rectum. Actually, I must admit that this is something that I have heard of before. During a history lesson when my class were learning about the Mediaeval monarchs of England [it’s slightly strange how all that I remember of the years of history lessons that I sat through are a few tortures and odd deaths], the teacher informed us of the demise of Edward II.
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