Monday, 30 September 2013

Some reactions to Dead Woman Walking:

A retired Family Court judge can’t believe that a foreign father taking his small son  home for a visit would be enabled by   his own country’s legal system   to keep the child despite the mother having been awarded custody in the UK. I direct her to the account of just that (“They Are My Children Too” by Catherine Laylle, now Lady Meyer).
That excellent novelist and critic N.J.Cooper  said that the story will stay with her.
The critic for The Western Morning News wonders whether Isabel Arnold might be Jessica Mann’s alter ego.    He may think so; I couldn’t possibly comment.
Nor could I possibly comment on Martin Edwards’ suspicion that “there may be a number of semi-autobiographical elements.”  But I can say how nice it is that he calls it “a novel of ideas, about feminism, family and literature” and adds that it’s a “very well- written as well as a poignant book.” Thank you for those kind words, Martin!
Barry Forshaw, the authority on Nordic Noir, wrote “as ever with this author, the intelligent and complex texture of the novel matches its sheer storytelling nous.” Very welcome praise from one who knows!
The indefatigable Lizzie Hayes of Mystery People said the characterisation is “masterly” and highly recommends the book.
I could quote more, but that’s enough boasting for one day!

Saturday, 7 September 2013


DEAD WOMAN WALKING is really out  at last!
It's a paperback original, very nicely produced by the Cornovia Press and Lulu (print on demand).
The system is ideal for small publishers and probably explains why there are now so many  of them springing up, because it means they are spared the problems that used to make publishing problematic. Firstly, the initial investment is minimised; and equally important, there is no need to guess how many copies to print, and then pay for accomodation to store the volumes. Self-publishers used to pile them under beds.
And paperback originals? They are what the reader prefers. Take it from someone who is sent on average fifty books a month - and that's a conservative figure. Crime novels for review arrive every day. The postman has taken to saying, "More homework for you" as he staggers to the front door with a pile of parcels. Obviously I can't keep them all. But it's very hard to dispose of most hardback fiction because, as second hand book dealers unanimously confirm, nobody wants to read it. The few volumes that might become collectable are sought after - though I have never been any good at guessing which they are. The rest languish unwanted  on the shelves of our local Oxfam bookshop, while the newly published paperbacks often sell the day after I bring them in.
So roll up, roll up and buy DEAD WOMAN WALKING and the second edition of THE FIFTIES MYSTIQUE, both now available  at Amazon, or any other online bookseller, or - better still - get your local bookshop to order (and perhaps even stock) it. If you do - many thanks!