Saturday, September 11, 2010

Crime on the 'Net: Weekly Round-up

There's been some more great crime fiction stories on the Web this past week - from newspapers, magazines, and fellow bloggers. Hopefully you will all like finding an interesting article or two linked here, that you enjoy reading.

Before we dive into it however, I thought I'd just quickly mention a couple of things. As many of you will be aware, down here in New Zealand our second largest city, Christchurch, suffered a huge earthquake last Saturday, causing billions of dollars worth of property and infrastructure damage. Historic buildings and homes have been lost, the University and schools closed (some temporarily, some perhaps permanently), people have been staying in shelters or with friends or neighbours, and plenty of businesses have been shut for days, at a time they were already walking an economic tight-rope thanks to the after-effects of the global financial crisis. By some absolute miracle, no one was killed - meaning that despite all the damage that will take weeks and months to repair (and some things will never be the same), long after the front-page headlines and nightly news soundbites and lead stories have ebbed, generally there is quite the feeling of 'we got lucky'.

There will be plenty of tough times ahead for the city where I went to University however, so if you would like to help, then I'd ask that you consider donating to an appeal that has been established by APN News & Media, who own several newspapers in New Zealand, including the Weekend Herald, who I have written several crime fiction related articles for.

You can go here to read more about this appeal - APN has kickstarted things with a $100,000 donation, and all funds raised will be donated to the Christchurch Mayoral Earthquake Appeal and be administered by the Red Cross, so you can be assured this is all legitimate. Please take a look and consider helping. I will put the link at the top of the sidebar for the next few weeks as well, as a reminder. Please consider helping out - long after the media stops covering the story in such depth and detail, the locals will still be feeling the effects and trying to rebuild the city and 'get back to normal'.

As many of you will know, the Canterbury earthquake also led to the cancellation earlier this week of the 2010 The Press Christchurch Writers Festival, and the postponement of the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which was due to be presented at a marquee event last night. I will keep you informed of what happens moving forward with the Award, as and when decisions are made. Thank you for all the messages of support, I appreciate them - but I would note that I was only a small cog in the larger Festival wheel, and that it's those based in Christchurch who put their heart and soul into Festival planning and preparation for months on end that I really feel for, especially given the tough weeks ahead for their community. Hopefully we will be able to do something with the eventual Award announcement to support the Christchurch community, when the time is right.

Onto the round-up.

Crime Watch Weekly Round-Up: In the News and on the 'Net
What do you think of the round-up? Which articles do you find interesting? How important is character in crime writing? Why do you think crime fiction is the biggest (best?) genre of all? Do you like the sound (or the taste) of the 'Delicious Death' celebratory chocolate cake? How important are author tours and events to building readership? Please share your thoughts. I'd love to read what you think.


  1. Thanks for the information on the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

    I look forward to your round-ups, so keep em coming!

    I don't think I'll be making the cake - I don't have any gold-leaf in my pantry...

  2. I thought the two most interesting articles were the ones about Le Carre' and the Todd writing team, and that's because I enjoy reading their works. There are so many others out there that I tend to ignore unfamiliar names unless someone I know mentions them as being worthy of notice. Sorry about that, folks.