Blogreel and News

Interview: Danuta Reah

Danuta Reah, who also writes under the name Carla Banks, is the author of seven crime novels, a novella, and many short stories. In 2005 Danuta won the CWA Short Story Dagger for No Flies on Frank (which was included in the The Best British Mysteries IV anthology published by Allison & Busby in 2006). Her story Glazed, in Getting Even (ed Mitzi Szereto, Serpent's Tail) was shortlisted for the 2008 CWA Short Story Award. Several of her short stories are now available as eBook singles. Danuta Reah publishes academic books, valued as resources for the study of language; you can read some articles...

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Interview with Linda Stratmann

Linda Stratmann writes crime fiction, biography and true crime, and is a committee member of the CWA. Her Frances Doughty Mysteries feature a Victorian female detective, and her latest creation, Mina Scarletti, investigates mysteries of a more unearthly nature ...   From Victorian Gothic mystery and suspense novels to the present day police procedural on paper and the screen, crime fiction still clearly holds a great fascination for the reading public. What characteristics do you feel continue to fuel this fascination? I don’t think readers will ever tire of solving mysteries or having...

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Interview: Leigh Russell

After many years teaching English in secondary school, internationally bestselling author Leigh Russell now writes crime fiction full time. Published in English and in translation throughout Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, including #1 on kindle. Leigh's work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with Avalon Television Ltd. Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series...

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Guest article by Alison Joseph

Alison Joseph writes contemporary crime fiction (the Sister Agnes series and the DI Berenice Killick Mysteries) and more recently, crime novels featuring the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie as a young sleuth in the early 1920s (Murder Will Out, Hidden Sins). Alison Joseph is also a radio dramatist and former Chair of the CWA.   WRITING AGATHA CHRISTIE By Alison Joseph In “Murder Will Out”, the first of my series of novellas featuring Agatha Christie, the police officer at the crime scene turns to her, wondering how it was that the dead man was found poisoned in the library,...

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Interview with Lucy Santos, director of the Crime Writers’ Association

We've invited a few more members of the CWA in for a chat, and to start the New Year on the Grey Cells Press site with a kick, we have Lucy Santos who kindly shared some thoughts on directing the CWA itself...   How did you come to be director at the CWA? I am a freelance association manager with my own company, Claro Business, so when I saw the job advertised in November 2012 it seemed a perfect fit. I am a passionate crime reader – both fiction and non-fiction – and was really excited to meet the people behind the books.   What do you feel should/What would you like...

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Talking of Murder…

...having examined the head with Margaret Callow, it seems a good moment to delve a little into perception with John Bayliss on Hidden in Plain Sight:   You know the situation. You can’t find your keys. You look everywhere for them: in drawers, in cupboards, in the pockets of the jacket you were wearing three days ago, in the cat basket, at the bottom of the waste paper basket. Then your spouse points to the table. There they are, on the table top, exactly where you left them. Edgar Allan Poe’s 1844 story ‘The Purloined Letter’ sets the Paris Police Force the task of locating...

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Phrenology in 19th century Literature

Psychiatry was in part dependent on it and before long it started to appear in literature too. Both fiction and non-fiction writers were influenced by it and the likes of Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, Mark Twain Huckleberry Finn ,Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass, Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre and Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Christo along with many others used the language of it to describe a personality in their work. So what was it? The science of phrenology, which has long been proved unreliable, had its heyday in the Victorian times. It was the study of the shape of a head to determine...

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Talking of Murder…

And taking up the blunt instrument this week is John Bayliss (A Fistful of Seaweed), as he considers whether or not ...   The Butler Did It Despite the phrase ‘the butler did it’ being such a well worn cliché, there appear to be remarkably few cases of murderous butlers in the whole corpus of crime fiction—not even from the Golden Age, when the natural habitat of the murderer was almost exclusively upper middle-class households with servants. In fact, from the earliest days of the genre, there seems to have been a marked reluctance to pin the blame on the hired staff—almost as if accusing...

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Talking of Murder…

Another in our series of guest posts by various GCP authors (and perhaps the occasional visiting crime novelist) on the Business of Murder: this time, we follow Margaret Callow (Rust: the Mystery of Ridley Hall) as she muses on ... Poisons in Literature   “If sent for to a case of poisoning go at once ----the patient’s life may depend on your prompt attendance. If at night, do not stop to dress ----- scanty attire is permissible on these occasions. Take your Antidote Bag or Case with you. If you have neglected to provide yourself with one, lose as little time as possible in hunting...

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Taking of Murder …

When Crime Came to Visit by Rod Madocks (author of Babbicam: The Man They Couldn't Hang) I first saw him without realising what he was. He was dressed head-to-toe in obligatory black. The hood on his sweat shirt was thrown back and he had a beanie hat that covered his hair. A young guy with a flat pugilist’s face and sloping deep-set eyes. He stood in my driveway for a moment looking up at my house as if considering something then he moved on. I watched his head passing along the laurel hedge that bordered my suburban garden then he went out of sight. My gaze returned to the computer screen....

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