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 few books there and just before we left I got a nice email from an Indian reader who’s very into Scandinavian crime.  India is a wonderful country and we visited New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.  However, the personal highlight was a trip up into the foothills of the Himalayas to Shimla, the old British summer capital.  There I found a couple of houses that my grandfather had lived in while working for the Indian Forestry Service in the late 1920s/early 1930s and where my late mother spent some of her earliest Christmases.  It is an extraordinary place full of very British buildings including the Viceregal Lodge, English parish church, town hall, public library and theatre.  The first performance given at the Gaiety Theatre was written and performed by Rudyard Kipling.  The rows of shops on The Mall could have come straight out of Edwardian England.  Now Shimla has grown way beyond the confines of its Raj past and has expanded greatly with hundreds of buildings clinging to the steep hills.

It was quite therapeutic to escape the endless Christmas commercials on the TV, Xmas songs belting out in shops, and houses decked in flashing lights for a couple of weeks.  Now we are back and the festive season is virtually upon us.  We are entertaining the Swedish side of the family, who every second year eschew Scandinavian Christmas tradition for a typical British one.  Whichever way you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful time.

It’s also a time to look back and thank all the readers who have contacted me over the past twelve months and provided some fascinating correspondence. It’s always good to hear from you.  And as 2017 dawns, maybe Menace in Malmö will prove a diverting read at the beginning of the new year.