This is UK author Tim Walker’s monthly book blog. It can include any of the following: author news, book launches, guest author profiles, book reviews, flash fiction and poetry.
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THEAKSTON CRIME FESTIVAL REVIEW
In this covid-calamity year, the on-off 2021 edition of the popular Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate finally went ahead, with caution and an absence of international big names, between 22-25 July.
With covid-safe protocols in place, the author talks took place outdoors under a massive marquee tent on the rear lawn of the Old Swan Hotel. I had attended the festival in 2019 and decided, with a friend, to visit our mate in Harrogate again for a social weekend.
We only booked two events – a short story writing panel discussion led by Ian Rankin on the Saturday, and the celebrity author interview – Richard Osman interviewed by Mark Billingham – on Sunday. Both were entertaining and informative, although Stuart Neville’s late withdrawal from the short story panel through illness meant I didn’t get to hear him talk about his new collection of crime shorts, The Traveller, or get my copy signed. Ian Rankin was an enthusiastic and ever-present Chair of the organising committee, introducing most of the sessions.
From a short list of six, the winner of the 2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year is Chris Whitaker. His third novel, We Begin at the End, is a powerful story of crime, punishment, love and redemption set in coastal California.
Mick Herron was the special guest author, interviewed by N.J. Cooper, and although I missed this, I bought a signed copy of his new crime thriller, The Slough House. I also came away with a proof copy of former Labour MP, Alan Johnson’s, first attempt at a thriller, The Late Train to Gypsy Hill, due for autumn release. I look forward to reading them all, together with Richard Osman’s record-breaking bestseller, The Thursday Murder Club.
The articulate House of Games and Pointless quiz master, Osman, spoke with warmth about how visits to his mother in a retirement village inspired him to write a mystery novel (soon to be 4-book series) where the elderly residents of a care home investigate a murder. Now it’s an international bestseller and Steven Spielberg’s company will be making the film next year. Richard has already written the follow-up, The Man Who Died Twice, due for launch in September. It seems his early mentor was the man interviewing him, Mark Billingham, and his prompts revealed personal details of their meetings to discuss the embryonic concept. I always enjoy listening to authors discussing the writing process.
In my news, Guardians at the Wall has sold moderately well since its June launch, attracting a good number of page reads on Kindle Unlimited.
It will be the subject of a Kindle Countdown Deal when the e-book will be just 99p/c from 28th July to 2nd August, so hurry and download your copy at the link below!
Paperback £7.99/$8.99 or read on Kindle Unlimited:
AMAZON BOOK LINK
This month’s guest author is Pam Lecky. Pam is an Irish historical fiction author, writing crime and mystery with a dash of romance. Pam is represented by the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency in London. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Society of Authors and has a particular love of the late Victorian era/early 20th Century.
In November 2020, Pam signed with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins in a two-book deal. The first book in the historical thriller series, Her Secret War, will be published in October 2021; the sequel in 2022.
Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G Medallion; shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; and longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award.
Her short stories are available in an anthology, entitled Past Imperfect, which was published in April 2018.
June 2019, saw the release of the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mystery series, No Stone Unturned, a fast-paced Victorian mystery/crime, set in London and Yorkshire which was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. The sequel, Footprints in the Sand, set in Egypt, was released in March 2020. She is currently working on the third book in the series, The Art of Deception, which will be published in late 2021.
HER SECRET WAR by Pam Lecky
Published by: Avon Books UK/Harper Collins
Release date: 14th October 2021
A life-changing moment
May 1941: German bombs drop on Dublin taking Sarah Gillespie’s family and home. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist.
A heart-breaking choice
With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in England. But before long, her father’s dark past threatens to catch up with her.
A dangerous mission
Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through a special mission. Her courage could save lives. But it could also come at the cost of her own…
A gripping story that explores a deadly tangle of love and espionage in war-torn Britain, perfect for fans of Pam Jenoff, Kate Quinn and Kate Furnivall.
Pre-Order Link: Available to pre-order now
Finally, there’s a new historical magazine on the e-book shelf. Issue one of Historical Times launched on 1st August… and it’s FREE to subscribers! Set up by author Sam Taw, all articles have been written by a collective of historical authors. The theme of issue one is The Romans. It’s available to read online only, so join the Historical Times community and read via this link: HISTORICAL TIMES. Issue 2 will be on the Tudors.