Bestselling British crime writer and film writer/producer Peter James will briefly be in New Zealand in mid March, following a few days spent in Australia. As of now I am only aware of one public appearance he will be making: an informal book signing and discussion from 12-1pm on 13 March at Penny's Bookstore in Hamilton.
James has written over 20 books, the most recent of which often feature Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. His books have been translated into almost 30 languages. He has won and been shortlisted for several awards, for both his crime novels and his film work (as a writer and producer).
His visit to New Zealand (he is visiting both South Africa and Australia earlier in the month of March) roughly coincides with the release of his next novella, THE PERFECT MURDER, which he has written as part of the British Government's "Quick Reads" initiative. On his blog he talks about Quick Reads and his new novella, saying:
"The Quick Reads initiative works like this: every year ten authors from different genres, fiction and non-fiction, are commissioned to write a novella, to be launched on World Book Day (March 4th) for the Literacy Trust, which encourages people who do not normally read books to have a go at one. The brief is that the stories should be typical of the writer's work, in the same genre, but must be easy to read - there are restrictions on long words and the typeface is larger than normal. One of the target groups are prisoners who, in the UK, have a startlingly low reading age of just 9, on average.
"The Perfect Murder" is my contribution to the Quick Reads initiative. But, although I have avoided long words, I think that all my current readers might enjoy it. It has a great quote from the current Chief Constable of Sussex, Martin Richards, at the start: A couple of years ago when I met him for the first time, I asked him what he thought would be the perfect murder. He gave me the wonderful reply: "The perfect murder is the one we never hear about.
This book is "noir" with some dark humour, and whilst a murder story set in Brighton, which I think will appeal to all my Roy Grace fans, it also has some elements of supernatural, which those of you who like my earlier books may also enjoy... a darkly humorous story... about a husband who is planning to murder his wife, and doesn't realise she is planning to murder him..."
Penny's Bookstore is in the Westfield Chartwell mall, on the corner of Hukanui & Comries Roads in Hamilton. You can contact the store on (07) 854 8389.
Somewhat ironically, given James's most recent novella, I will not actually be able to attend the book signing (I would have driven down from Auckland), because I am likely to be attending a course on that same day; a course where I will train to teach adults with learning difficulties how to read and write (the very audience James's latest thriller is aimed at).