Some Blogging News

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog with some news that might be of interest for crime readers. Or not.

  • I think the blog might be a little less frequent over the next few weeks. I’ve managed to pull a muscle in my side somehow – annoying more than anything else – but the main thing that proves to be a problem is sitting still. And, therefore, reading. Especially books where I need to persevere a little to get into it – I’m probably more likely to give up on one and reach for an old favourite rather than sticking with something that isn’t grabbing my attention. Hence my last two reads being Paul Doherty’s The Herald Of Hell and J A Lang’s third Chef Maurice book (the review of which won’t see light of day until the book is out next month, but damn, it’s good). Both of these really helped to take my mind off things – exactly what I needed – so it’ll be more of the favourites for a while. So apologies if you’re waiting for a review from me – I’ll be on to them soon.
  • Chef-Maurice-and-a-Spot-of-Truffle-Book-1-CoverAnd talking about Chef Maurice – I’ve been singing the praises of the series for a while now. A combination of classic, fairly-clued mystery and genuinely funny humour (a rare thing), the three books to date have been a breath of fresh air. J A Lang, along with L C Tyler (although it’s a different sort of humour) has convinced me that the comic mystery can work – and work magnificently. Anyway, the point of the news item is that if you haven’t tried the series yet, the debut – Chef Maurice And A Spot Of Truffle – is free on Amazon this weekend (19th September). So now you’ve got no excuse (apart from ebook-free Sergio, of course.) If you’re in the US, here’s the link for you.
  • And I thought I’d mention a couple of new blogs that I’ve come across, via comments that they’ve left on my blog. First off is crossexaminingcrime run by @ArmchairSleuth aka Kate Jackson. She’s been blogging on crime fiction since June 2015 – roughly since The Bodies In The Library conference, which she attended although we didn’t meet. We’ll have to rectify that if there’s a repeat of the conference next year, and she’s been a lot quicker than me in reading the freebies that we were given. The other is The Invisible Event, run by “JJ” – @invisible_event)- solidarity here amongst secondary school maths teachers. Mostly looking at classic crime books from the 1920s to 1950s, he promises a new post every Wednesday – so mark it in your diaries.
  • Herald Of HellAnd finally… in case anyone who reads The Herald Of Hell and knows what my real name is (anonymity is a necessity of being a school teacher but I know that some of you know it), that character isn’t named after me. I emailed Paul and while my name may have been floating around his subconscious, it wasn’t deliberate. But it was fun thinking so for a while. Oh, and in other Paul Doherty news, there are going to be two new Hugh Corbett books – probably his most popular series – coming soon. It was Nightshade that lured me into his books (and a pointer from Sergio) so I’m very excited by this.

There is a fifth bit of news that I really can’t share for a while, but it’s very exciting to me at least (no, it’s not a book deal – I’d have to write something first). But I’ll let you know when I can.

So, coming soon on the blog – expect Sergeant Cribb, Baldwin Furnshill & Simon Puttock, Hercule Poirot, Chef Maurice, Nicholas Segalla, Sister Fidelma, Miss Marple, Gideon Fell, Ethelred & Elsie, Ellery Queen… and whatever else takes my fancy. So business as usual, really.



      • Stout wrote a lot of novellas (usually about 70 to 90 pages each) and these are especially good – CURTAINS FOR THREE is my favourite, but BLACK ORCHIDS is also really good, as are many others. I think the books from the 40s and 50s are expecially entertaining. For instance THE GOLDEN SPIDERS and the trilogy involving arch-nemesis Arnold Zeck: AND BE A VILLIAN, THE SECOND CONFESSION and IN THE BEST OF FAMILIES.


      • Well, fair enough as the trilogy presents the Wolfe characters in a (slightly) new light, so assumes you already know what the stories are likes – it’s a bit like starting int he middle of the third serie o f a long-running TV show that has really hit is stride – it shows it at its best but to a degree rely on information you don’t have yet. but there is practically no continuity to speak of in the Wolfe books. However, this is a trilogy and must be read in order and there is no conclusion to the overarching plot until you reach IN THE BEST OF FAMILIES.


  1. ..” in case anyone who reads The Herald Of Hell and knows what my real name is ….., that character isn’t named after me.”
    There is no reference to the character in your review. Is he a major character or a minor character?


  2. Get well soon, Doc. I know I have been neglecting in responding to blog articles of interest, but know that I have been keeping a eye on most of them. It seems I’ll have to keep an eye on The Invisible Event. A blog with an emphasis on impossible crime fiction… interesting indeed!


    • Here’s hoping I can come up with something to interest you, TomCat! I’ve taken a lead in my reading from quite a few of your posts so I suspect you’re significantly ahead of me. Shall do my utmost, however…


  3. Yeah, it’s not due to any false sense of mystery that I’m operating under a semi-alias, it’s purely on account of the day job; lovely to know that someone else out there understands! Many thanks for the plug, and get well soon!


  4. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. And by all means, write about the books and authors you enjoy the most. I fail to see any downside in that! I have em>The Herald of Hell on my list for a few weeks down the road largely because of your review!


      • I’ve read two others in the Athelstan series – The Nightingale Gallery and Candle-Flame. Loved the mysteries and puzzles, though to be honest he’s a bit too graphic for my comfort level. But the puzzles and characters are excellent, and I’m looking forward to the new one (sitting on my Kindle at the moment) – release date in the US is October/November, if I’m not mistaken, and I’ll probably have a review in October.


  5. Puzzle Doctor, I hope you’ll soon be un-strained and able to sit still and read again! I don’t comment as much as I used to (I’ve lost large chunks of time somehow. I don’t know where they went)–but know that I pop in faithfully to check out your reviews. Thanks for the pointers to the two new blogs, I’ll be dashing off to check them out as well.


  6. Sorry to hear about your health problems and hope things are better soon. I purchased the first Chef Maurice in paperback a couple of months back and will be reading it soon and follow with a review. Glad you are enjoying the series so much.


    • I do hope you enjoy Chef Maurice’s company. I know that I do bang on a bit about new books that I enjoy that I worry won’t get a wide enough audience but I have the utmost confidence in this series.


  7. On a starting point for Rex Stout, I’d suggest The Final Deduction or The Golden Spiders as good books for meeting the regulars. My personal favorite is The Doorbell Rang in which Wolfe takes on the FBI (and this at a time when the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover were regarded as guardians who could do no wrong). How Wolfe accomplishes his goal is truly satisfying.


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