Wednesday, 26 June 2013

New Edition, New Book

The Fifties Mystique sold out within less than a year of publication. (I don't know how many copies were printed.) Quartet Books decided not to reprint, so for a while the book has been unobtainable. The only copy on Amazon UK is listed at £5000, which is presumably code meaning "not available".
However, there is an E-version, and  within about a month a second, print edition, published by The Cornovia Press, will come out. So, to all the frustrated readers who have written to me asking how to get hold of the book: it's coming soon. And so is my new novel.
           Dead Woman Walking is also published by The Cornovia Press.
           By pure, unplanned coincidence, my  advance copies of Dead Woman Walking arrived here on the 75th anniversary of the House of Commons vote that permitted Jewish children to be taken from Germany to safety in the United Kingdom. Many people had volunteered to help, either by fostering  children and  giving them homes, or by escorting the children on the long train journey. This rescue of Jewish children was a generous, charitable gesture by this country, unmatched anywhere else in the world. The scheme continued until war broke out; by then, about ten thousand children had been brought out of Germany to safety.
           One of the several parallel story-lines in  Dead Woman Walking  concerns  a character who appeared  in several of my previous crime novels, Dr Fidelis Berlin. As a small child she  was brought to  England on a Kindertransport . On arrival, it was discovered that there was no identification pinned to her clothes.   Now in old age, she has belatedly decided to try to discover her true identity.
           Another strand of the book is based on  the first years of my adult, married life, when we lived in Edinburgh's New Town. I'm indebted to Martin Edwards, author of the crime-fiction blog
Do You Write Under Your Own Name?, for the suggestion that I should return to the characters in my very first novel, A Charitable End.
             Dead Woman Walking will be available in (some) shops  on August 8th.

Saturday, 1 June 2013


As I conversed with the brilliantly perceptive and acute Professor Helen Taylor at the Fowey Festival, the huge tent was flapping and twisting in  the gale force wind, so noisily that it must have been hard to hear what we said. But the audience was large and responsive, so the session was fun  for me - and, I hope, for them.
Kind Andrew, the manager of Waterstones in Truro, was running the bookshop. He'd very kindly made a huge effort to find some copies of the  (already out of print) The Fifties Mystique,  and managed to scrape up a couple of dozen, as well as some of my novels. I'm glad to say that they were all sold - in fact, according to Andrew, more of my books were sold than of the far more famous speaker who came after me that day, and of nearly all the othr speakers that week.|More due to the fact that I was on my home ground than anything  else, but a rare enough experience for me to feel it's (just) OK  to boast!
As the publishers aren't reprinting (why, oh why?) I'm hoping to do it myself as a print-on-demand book. But so far the programmes - Lulu, Create-Space etc. - have defeated me. But watch this space.