Saturday, April 12, 2014

The return of Wiki Coffin: THE BECKONING ICE by Joan Druett

Readers of marine historian and mystery writer Joan Druett's acclaimed Wiki Coffin series of nautical crime novels will be pleased to see that Druett finally added to the terrific four book series in recent months, with the release of THE BECKONING ICE, an ebook.

Since the publication of DEADLY SHOALS, the fourth book in the series on part-Maori linguist Wiki Coffin (who sails the nineteenth century seas on US ships, playing investigator as strange happenings and deaths occur), the striking character has been restricted to short stories appearing in the likes of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. So it's great to see Wiki back in a full-length novel again.

I'll publish more about this book (just scored myself a copy today) in the near future, but for now just wanted to give you all a heads-up, as I think Druett is a terrific writer, and provides something kind of cool in the mystery genre, with her mix of maritime history and murder. I'd definitely recommend checking her out.

You can read more about the book on her website here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ngaio Marsh and the Science of Murder

2014 NGAIO MARSH MEMORIAL LECTURE

    
VANDA SYMON – NGAIO MARSH  AND THE SCIENCE OF           MURDER

SUNDAY 13 APRIL  5-6PM

CHRIST’S COLLEGE OLD BOYS’ THEATRE

TICKETS: $25 from PHILIPPA BATES – PHONE (03) 358 8763

VANDA SYMON  is the author of the Detective Sam Shephard crime series and the standalone psychological thriller, THE FACELESS. She has been a three times finalist in the Ngaio Marsh Award for Crime Novel and currently a PhD candidate at the University of Otago, researching the communication of science through crime fiction, using examples from the work of Ngaio Marsh.

I've spoken to Vanda several times about her studies into Ngaio Marsh's work, and I know that with the passion and interest she has in the subject, this will be a fascinating memorial lecture this year. I'd highly recommend anyone in the area who loves books, crime fiction, or just interesting topics, gets along and has a listen. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ben Atkins: One night out sleuthing (my feature in the Herald)


One night out sleuthing
Fledgling Auckland writer Ben Atkins talks to Craig Sisterson about the crime novel he has been working on since he was 15

Bizarrely extreme. These are the words that spring to 20-year-old novelist Ben Atkins' mind when he ponders the Prohibition era compared to his own experience of contemporary society. Yet in some ways, he says, the periods are quite similar. "The parallels between the economic crises of 1929 and 2008 and the political radicalism they fostered are very interesting."
As the University of Auckland politics, film and media student worked on what would become Drowning City, a tale he began penning as a 15-year-old, Atkins' growing interest in such broader political and philosophical questions came into play.

"I thought it would be nice to frame a story about organised crime in that context," he explains. "The Prohibition was a time of phenomenal social and political hypocrisy ... It's fascinating to consider the ethicality of prohibition, of criminal law, of economics, politics, social norms, democracy, fascism and communism, all at once. The 1930s is perfect for an exploration of those issues through fiction - through the perspectives of a range of individuals."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bradley Cooper to star in Kiwi-penned crime drama?

Some huge breaking news here today for New Zealand crime fiction, which has been sneaking up on the wider world even more lately with the likes of Jane Campion's acclaimed Top of the Lake, Ellie Catton winning the Man Booker Prize for THE LUMINARIES (a historical murder mystery set on the West Coast), and Paul Cleave becoming a finalist for a prestigious Edgar Award for JOE VICTIM.

Now, Auckland-based writer Ben Sanders, who has three terrific local crime novels under his belt and was recently picked up by a US publisher to kickstart a new US-based series, has raised the bar again. Ben has been working on AMERICAN BLOOD, which is due to be published in 2015. I can't share too many details about the book yet, other than to say that Ben has been very excited about what is going on, when I've talked to him a few times recently. However, what I can share is this breaking news, courtesy of film industry bible, The Hollywood Reporter:

Warner Bros. Nabs 'American Blood' With Bradley Cooper Attached to Star 

Warner Bros. has acquired American Blood, an upcoming crime novel by Ben Sanders, with Bradley Cooper attached to star and produce... The story follows Marshall Grade, an NYPD officer turned mob informant, who, while living in the witness protection programme in New Mexico, is pulled into a dangerous investigation involving a missing woman.  

You can read the full Hollywood Reporter story here