A Spy Novelist in Russia

Category: Featured

Earlier this month, author Charles Cumming was invited on a trip to Russia, organized by the British Council, as part of the 2014 ‘UK-Russia Year of Culture’ programme. They stayed in Moscow and Tarusa, visiting some absolutely incredible places – Tolstoy’s house at Yasnaya Polyana, Chekov’s country estate, the Kremlin – and soaking up the local culture (and, we assume, a sensible amount of vodka).

In case you didn’t catch Charles’s live tweets from Russia, we’ve provided a recap below. And if you want to see more of his accomplished photography, head on over to his facebook page ( to get a peek inside the Grand Kremlin Palace, see close-ups of Chekov’s writing desk, and James Bond’s swimming trunks!

Charles Cumming @CharlesCumming · Sep 7

Inside the Grand Kremlin Palace on Saturday afternoon pic.twitter.com/ID9F7PjpaE


 Charles Cumming @CharlesCumming · Sep 8

At Kim Philby’s grave in Kuntsevo cemetery @StMartinsPress @HarperFiction #BritishCouncil #Moscow2014 @BenMacintyre1 pic.twitter.com/TBQAbrNDz9


(If you have read Charles’s novel, The Trinity Six, you’ll appreciate this photo of him standing by Kim Philby’s grave.)

Charles Cumming @CharlesCumming · Sep 9


The room in which he wrote War & Peace #Tolstoy #BritishCouncil pic.twitter.com/FYqMNw9ZmE

Alex von Tunzelmann @alexvtunzelmann · Sep 8


UK authors visit Anton Chekhov’s house. The only one tall enough to ring Chekhov’s lunch bell is @CharlesC umming. pic.twitter.com/2HrHAYw70T


Charles Cumming @CharlesCumming · Sep 11


Chess players in Gorky Park. The man in the cap beat me in 18 moves


Charles Cumming @CharlesCumming · Sep 9


Tolstoy’s grave in the forest at Yasnaya Polyana pic.twitter.com/aByJLbiNRQ


Alex von Tunzelmann @alexvtunzelmann · Sep 8

breakfast pic

The most anguish-inducing breakfast I have ever seen. Welcome to rural Russia! @Tussymarx @CharlesCumming pic.twitter.com/oiyuevI6qn


Charles Cumming’s latest novel is A Colder War. You can follow him on twitter here and find him on facebook here 

A Colder War

Opening day for submissions is HERE!

Category: News

It’s finally here! Today is the day the open submission for our new digital first publishing imprint opens! Here at Killer Reads we’re very excited to find out what’s going to land in our inbox between now and 14th September when the submission period ends.

In the meantime, here are a few dos and don’ts to help you navigate the submissions process.

  1. DO read the small print. The entry rules and FAQs contain essential information that will ensure your submission is valid and will be read by an editor.
  2. DON’T send a first draft that you have just dashed off in the last couple of weeks since you heard about the call-out. We are expecting a lot of submissions, and will only be selecting the absolute cream of the crop.
  3. DO continue to work on and polish your novel – it’s very likely that we will be doing another call-out in a few months. The exact timing will be determined by how many titles we take on this time around.
  4. DON’T send a romance novel that ‘sort of has a thriller element’. We are looking specifically for novels in the crime and thriller genres. However, if you ARE a budding romance novelist, DO visit our friends at HarperImpulse and see what they are up to.
  5. DO read the excellent advice penned by our fabulous Kate Stephenson.

Good luck everyone!

Aspiring author? Killer Reads wants YOU!

Category: News

Guess what? Killer Reads are launching a new e-imprint and we want to read YOUR book!

We are on the lookout for commercial crime and thrillers ranging from police procedurals, to psychological thrillers, to high-concept thrillers and beyond.

We are looking for fantastic writing that hooks us, making us want to turn the page and find out what happens next; and characters that stay with us long after we finish reading. We want to feel moved, compelled, shocked, and intrigued.

We want to give a voice to exciting emerging talent in the genre that may otherwise go unheard.

If this sounds like you, we’d love to read your novel!

Submissions will be open from the 29th of August and the 14th of September, so if you want to polish up that manuscript you’ve got sitting in your desk drawer, now is the time!

Click on our new ‘Write for Us’ section to find out how to submit.