Recommended Read: Subtraction by Andrew Peters

Mark Paris AKA The Professor is a man with a past- and a damned gaudy past at that. He’s the widow of a famous singer, an ex-pianist, ex- army, ex-boxer and ex-mathematician with a murky closet full of family secrets.

subtraction

Paris operates as a ‘fixer’ in 1960s Las Vegas and when he receives a panicked phone call one morning from Stan Maxwell , a boozing acquaintance who has woken up with a dead blonde in his bed, Paris is soon embroiled in a hard-boiled murder mystery that involves blackmail, a high class bordello, cops, the mob and very nasty psycho killer. Peters cleverly and deftly adds social commentary, pop culture references, smart dialogue and witty asides to an already potent cocktail.
Andrew Peters’ Subtraction is one of the most enjoyable and original crime novels I’ve read all year. Fantastic stuff and I look forward to more from The Professor. Smashing cover, too.

Top Tips: Recommended Reads

So, what have I been reading of late? Well, I’ll tell you…

wolf-ticketsWolf Tickets by Ray Banks

Things aren’t exactly tickety-boo for the aging hard man Cobb. He’s feeling his age, living in a dump of a flat, reduced to drinking gut-rot whiskey and shoplifting from charity shops.

Then he gets a phone call from an old army mate, Farrell, who has just been ripped off  – money and drugs-  by his girlfriend, Nora. He asks Cobb for help tracking Nora down and things soon spiral violently out of control.

Ray Bank’s gritty and funny slice of British lowlife is a smart study of the limits of friendship, full of twists and turns and brilliantly realistic and absurd dialogue.

The Gamblers by Martin Stanley

Kandisky is a loser. A deadbeat student who is addicted to porn and gambling. He also owes Priest, a gangster, a wad of money and is given a few days to get it together – or else.

Liam is a drug dealer who finds out his long-time friend Omar has been ripping him off, not realising that Omar has been working on getting an even bigger piece of Liam’s pie.

The Gamblers is a hard-core crime story, set in Bristol of all places, which captures the spirit of Ted Lewis and brings us BANG up to date with a  cleverly woven, hard-hitting,  multi – character story  of betrayal.

A Moment Of Wrong Thinking by Lawrence Block

A sharp, short story from Lawrence Block that has Matt Scudder going to dinner and hearing about a man who has shot himself in front of his family. This causes him to reflect on a similar case from his days as a policeman.  Perfectly pitched plot, dialogue and characterisation.

The Blues Detective by Andrew Peters

Otis King is a Welsh blues guitarist living in Memphis and working as a private detective. Otis regularly encounters a veritable cornucopia of colourful and lurid characters such as Louie the Falcon, Uncle Gryff, Suki Goodlay, Koko Brown, and meets gangsters, musicians, doughnut munching cops and a politician’s widow who moonlights as a topless wrestler known as The Masked Mistress.  He tracks down missing husbands, missing guitars, missing harmonicas, missing cats. And more.

These Runyonesque yarns and shaggy dog stories are all cracking fun, frequently hilarious and choc-full of laugh-out-loud lines.

Rhondda  Noir  and  Other Perversions  by Gary M. Dobbs

Gary Dobbs is a bloody talented and versatile writer of westerns, horror, police procedurals and even cozies. With this hard-hitting Welsh Grit short story collection he shows how adept he is at full-on, hard-boiled crime fiction.

Rhondda  Lovebite  – what happens after a  successful  post office robbery.

Loose Ends – a man in the wrong place at the wrong time during an afternoon drinking session.

The Man With The Sun in His Eyes – a hit-man flees a murder only to be followed by a mysterious black car.

Rhondda Noir- a security van robbery goes wrong when one of the gang needs to go for a slash.

The Death Match (Dead Man 13) by Christa Faust, Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin.

The latest adventure in Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin’s exciting  cliff-hanger horror /thriller serial, The Dead Man,  is another beaut.

The hero of the series is Matthew Cahill, an ordinary man who was buried alive after an avalanche and is miraculously brought back to life with a terrifying supernatural gift. He travels across America trying to find an answer to his miraculous rebirth and confronting the evil created by the mysterious Mr Dark.

As well as the creators, The Dead Man series has had some great stories from the likes of Harry Shannon and James Reasoner.

The inimitable Christa Faust takes the reins with The Death Match, as Cahill investigates the strange death of a dock worker and ends up involved in the murky world of underground female cage fighting.

Smashing two-fisted, hard-hitting, pulp action.

Cracking stuff !!!  Get stuck in there!

BITS N BOBS.

cropped-cropped6.jpgRUNAROUND … NOW!

I’m interviewed over at MORGEN BAILEY’S BLOG MARTIN STANLEY reviews 13 SHOTS OF NOIR and DEATH ON A HOT AFTERNOONCHRIS LEEK  reviews DEATH ON A HOT AFTERNOON over at OUT OF THE GUTTER ONLINEANDREW PETERS  gives DEATH ON A HOT AFTERNOON  a 5 star review at  GOODREADS … my latest BRIT GRIT ALLEY column is also over at OUT OF THE GUTTER ONLINEZOE SHARP talks about money at THE HARDBOILED COLLECTIVE…

Stories For Sunday: Amore, Formetta, Peters.

The Garbage Collector by Dani Amore

The Garbage Collector is part private eye, part hit man. He is hired by a group of big shot Detroit lawyers to head off to Florida and track down  their former partner, who has absconded with some important confidential documents.  The missing lawyer is also a former Delta Force vet, however, so things  don’t run too  smoothly. Dani Amore  introduces a cool new character and kicks off a hard- boiled and  fast paced  action series.

Strangeways Here We Come by Cristiana Danila Formetta

A young Italian girl embarks upon a sentimental  journey across the U K, planning to visit all the places that are mentioned in Morrisey’s songs. Along the way she encounters tattooed local boy,  Skinny Terry, and has a brief but passionate affair. Cristiana Danila Formetta’s  touching tale of seizing the day is well told and full of yearning.

The Venusian Vamp by Andrew Peters

Otis King is your common or garden Memphis based Welsh blues guitarist turned private eye.vamp

In The Venusian Vamp he is hired by Ursula – a blues club owner who also happens to be a green-skinned, four-armed Venusian blonde.

Andrew Peters has again given us a wild, witty and immensely enjoyable yarn which also serves as a  great introduction to the world of Otis King.

Short, Sharp Interview: Andrew Peters

PDB: Can you pitch your latest/ forthcoming publication in 25 words or less?

“Retired Police Inspector recounts his early cases, in a seaside town in the 60s, to a bored Daily Mail reporter for serialisation in the Sunday edition.” The Barry Island Murders…….coming soon

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Don’t have a TV, never go to the cinema, rarely have time to read new stuff. I do have a vast collection of classic film & TV DVDs and I get great ideas from combining bits & pieces from them. Currently got the Honor Blackman Avengers on in the background.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

Not sure I qualify as a “writer” yet. I’ve learnt a lot about the craft of writing thrillers (even though I don’t write them) from the various blogs out there, so quite often find myself thinking “You could have done without those 5 pages of back story every time you introduce a new character”.

Sadly I’m also a very experienced teacher of English, so poor use of English puts me right off. If I find myself sniffing at the way the book is written I move on.  The best books are where you aren’t being “written” at, and you get lost in them

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Be glad to…..as soon as anyone shows interest in my doing it. Mind you, I might have to start trying to write dialogue then….

I think my “Blues Detective character would make a great 50 minute TV series….feel free to start a bidding frenzy for the rights.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

None at all. I despise it. Who cares how many pounds of thrust are produced by the helicopter engine? What does it matter what make of gun the hero gets shot with? Exactly which parts of his body are mangled by the bullet?

I make it all up and, indeed, take a perverse pleasure in getting it wrong. I mean if you’re prepared to swallow a vampire detective, with a werewolf girlfriend being chased across Venus by a gang of Zombies…then why bitch that one of the zombies is wearing Doc Marten’s in a colour they don’t make anymore?

Anyway, these days it’s all cut and pasted from Wikipedia and generally reads that way.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

I’d probably never have written anything without encouragement from FB friends, and most of my sales are due to it. It’s been a good place to start, but it’s VERY crowded, and almost nobody can keep going just on FB friends…..you need to reach the masses. Still working on that! May never get there, but I’ve had lots of fun and am very grateful for all the support & encouragement I’ve received.

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012/13?

Dunno really, it depends on the voices in my head. If they don’t dictate stuff, I can’t type it..

There’ll be a free “Blues Detective” short story for your Kindle in December. Hope to get the “Barry Island Murders” out soon

People seem to prefer novels, so I’d like to find some system for writing one. Trouble is everything I’ve written is short on description, and dialogue so tends to race along and finish quickly. I’m not keen to go back over.

Bio: Suddenly I’m a writer.

I hadn’t planned it this way. I’d written nothing since school days, nor had any wish to. I was a guitar player and singer. Enjoying some lazy time, out here in Spain.

Then, in the last week of June, I had an idea for a story about murdering my ex-wife (it’s the sort of thing all men fantasise about). It brewed in my head for a day or two, then I sat down and typed it out. It worked. People liked it.

A month later I had 20 stories, 10 of them about Otis King, Welsh Blues Detective in Memphis.

I have no idea where the stories came from, all I did was type them out. Maybe there’s a radio mast near my house, maybe aliens are beaming them into my head.

Who knows.

Try one or two with a glass of something cold, or a cup of something hot.

Hope they make you smile.