I’m a week late with this July update because last weekend was my birthday and, well, what with cake and presents and trips to Brighton to buy outrageous shirts and books, well, things sort of ran away with me.
You know how it is, right?
But there’s so much going on that I really wanted to drop you a note and let you know about, well where do I begin…?
Oh yeah, let me begin with Gabba Gabba Hey! This collection of stories inspired by the songs of the proto-Punk band The Ramones came out on July 4th (celebrating 45 years since their first gig outside of the US at the Camden Roundhouse here in London) and it features my story “Suzy is a headbanger,” which is most definitely not a Danny Bird mystery. This one’s set in New York in 1981 and features a mild-mannered bookkeeper who- well, it would be rude to ruin the surprise, but I think you’ll enjoy this one.
The book is available in eBook, Paperback and very limited edition Hardback. The physical copies are printed in a unique 8 x 8 format so that they look and feel like a record sleeve, which is super cool. The cover image was painted by Chris Mc Veigh, head honcho at Fahrenheit press, and there’s even a signed print of the cover available if the image of the band in all their live glory rocks your boat. Or floats your world.
And then next week – on the 16th of July to be precise – the next full length Danny Bird novel comes out. You have no idea how excited I am by this fact. It seems a lifetime ago since Death of an Angel was ‘dropping,’ as the kids say. Though, since that book was about a woman who plunges to her death from a high rise apartment block, perhaps ‘dropping’ is not the opportune word to use.
Anyways, to Death at Dukes Halt (for that is the title of the fifth Danny Bird Novel). This one features a jewel robbery, a missing girl, a secret diary, a barrage of long-hidden secrets and a murder. And that’s just for starters.
As I write this, the book is available for pre-order from Fahrenheit Press. Amazon will show the book shortly after publication date, if you prefer the Bezos Behemoth.
However you buy the book, and wherever you read it, I really hope you enjoy it. Writing it was a balm to me in a pretty grim time, and I hope it brings you as much joy.
Last month I promised you a competition to celebrate the publication of Death at Dukes Halt. Well one of the things that really helps authors like me who are published by small presses is reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. My pubisher is never going to have the big money to put adverts on the Tube or Buses (not that they would have been much use in the past 18 months any way) or to pay to have my book front and centre in supermarkets or Richard & Judy promotions. So reviews from genuine readers who’ve enjoyed the books are a great way to let other readers know that Danny and the gang might be worth their time and money.
Reviews don’t have to be ten thousand words long. A single line saying you loved the book is great. A few lines, saying why you loved it is even better. Five stars along with it and we might be friends for life.
So here’s my proposal: If you post a review of any of my books between now and the 31st of July 2021, please take a screenshot of the review and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Dukes Comp in the subject line and I will pick a reviewer at random from everyone who submits to that email address and send them a signed limited edition Hardback copy of Death at Dukes Halt as well as a signed copy of Death of a Sinner and a selection of Danny Bird Badges. That’s it: I’m not going to limit you to any particular book, or say “UK Only,” or anything else. I’m not even going to tell you it has to be a five star review (though obviously, I’d love it if it was). So click on your preferred review site, post that review, screenshot it, and send me the details and you’re in with a chance of winning.
Right, that’s about it for now. Except to say that the afore mentioned Death of a Sinner is still available to buy, though I’m unsure how long it will remain available as it was only ever supposed to be a limited run. So if you want a copy, then you’d be advised to run – don’t walk – and grab one while stocks last.
Rattle of Bones by Doug Skelton – Absolutely loved this Scot Noir from the creator of the Dominic Queste and Davie McCall series. This one has Rebecca Connoly delving into a historic crime that may have seen an innocent man go to jail. Ranged against her are a cast of villains and suspicious artistos, all of whom have their own reasons for wanting the investigation dropped, and as the novel proceeds the stakes just get higher and higher. It’s a smart, human thriller with pace, a wonderful sense of location and characters that just leap off the page. Out in August and highly recommended
Special – Ryan O’Connell’s Netflix series about a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, who decides to rewrite his identity and finally go after the life he wants finally came back for a second series and it was JOYFUL (If way too short). The episodes are longer than S1 which allows for more character development and gives Kim, Ryan’s friend and co-worker at Eggwoke, space for a storyline of her own. O’Connell and the team knew before starting to write that the second series would be the final last one, so we have that rare beast of a Final series that actually ends satisfactorily with all the loose ends tied up.
What else: GabbaGabbaPlaylist.