NEW YEAR, NEW BOOK

After nearly a year of researching, writing and editing, Menace in Malmö has at last seen the light of day and is available to pre-order – it’s officially available from January 6th.  It’s always a relief to see the latest book up as there are times in the process that I wonder if that stage will ever be reached.  I think the crime novel is more complex than most because if you get something wrong on page 89 it might impact on page 237!  There’s a lot of checking and rechecking! While Menace was being formatted, we were lucky enough to be able to visit India.  Believe it, or not, I actually sell a...

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BREXIT – DEFINITELY NOT SWEXIT

As the dust settles over Britain, and Brexit becomes a reality for all, it was interesting to make my first journey to Sweden since the result.  It was a topic that my Swedish friends were interested in discussing, as well as British expats who have made their home over there. The overwhelming response was incredulity.  They seemed to think that the British would be the last people to leave the EU.  They couldn’t understand why we would want to leave, as they see themselves as similar to us.  The EU isn’t perfect, but it has much to offer.  According to political scientist Ian Manners (himself a Brit working at the University of Copenhagen and...

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THE SUN DOES ACTUALLY SHINE IN SKÅNE

I’ve just caught up with the second programme in the final British Wallander series, starring Kenneth Branagh, and I was wondering if I had got the colour adjustment on my TV set wrong.  In fact, looking back on the previous episodes of the late Henning Mankell’s novels, the same thing happened, and it raises the same question – does the sun ever shine in Skåne? Well, it did last month at least.  Every day we were in southern Sweden.  We’d left Cumbria to catch the plane from Manchester in a snow storm.  The omens weren’t good.  When we arrived in Malmö, the weather was looking up.  Waking up the next morning in our son’s...

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MALMÖ VIA MALTA

Though Malta doesn’t appear to have much in common with Malmö, it’s exactly where Anita Sundström will find herself in Menace in Malmö.  I have to say that I approached a visit to the Mediterranean island last month with far more enthusiasm than Anita does.  It was our first visit, and I enjoyed looking for locations I can use in the book.  The Grand Harbour in Valletta is a stunning sight, and we were lucky that on our first day the sun shone, making the vista all the more dramatic. I had always wanted to visit Malta as my father, Norman, went there during the war on a convoy carrying vital supplies in January...

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IN CONVERSATION WITH QUENTIN BATES

I’m delighted to be part of Quentin Bates’s blog tour, which is promoting his excellent new novel. Thin Ice is the seventh book in the well-established and popular Inspector Gunnhildur series.  Quentin has not only been writing quality Icelandic stories for some time now, but also has turned to his talents to translating for newcomers like Ragnar Jónasson. As we are both British writers of Scandinavian crime, it seemed to make sense that we should compare notes. Quentin: Torquil, what took you to Sweden to start with and why set a novel there? Torquil: I went to Sweden for the first time just before Christmas in 2000 to visit my elder son who had...

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NEWS – PINPOINTING THE SLEUTHS WITH RW WALLACE

I was recently in contact with a new crime writer on the international scene, RW Wallace. Ranveig is an interesting combination of Norwegian background, a Scots name and much of her life spent in France.  Her first book, Red Brick Cellars, is located in Toulouse.  It involves a murdered mayor and a second body reduced to a skeleton and dust.  The sleuths are Louis Saint-Blancat, the mayor’s son, and struggling English journalist, Catherine Marty. Ranveig has set up on her website an international map showing where various sleuths and their creators are based. So Malmö has become the latest pin on the crime world map.  You’ll find out more on...

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