Nine deadly measures of murder…

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On the Radar — There’s a huge week ahead for crime fiction, with a squadron of new detective novels hitting the shelves. From cosy to contemporary, and from 19th century Ireland to near future Hong Kong, there’s bound to be something for you amongst these nine deadly new releases…

The Strange DeathThe Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham
The young lady who has been called ‘the most beguiling and addictive heroine in contemporary crime fiction’ is back. Fiona Griffiths – sexy, slightly mad, vulnerable and one of life’s risk-takers – is a detective working out of Cardiff. She is partly disabled by Cotard’s Syndrome, a complex psychological disorder, but every cloud has a silver lining. Fiona’s is that she her affliction gives her flashes of amazing insights. Here, Fiona takes the first steps towards married normality, but trumps this by accepting a dangerous undercover assignment investigating a massive fraud case which will threaten her fragile hold on sanity. You can check out our reviews of the two previous Fiona Griffiths books here and here, while we also have an interview with Harry Bingham. To be published on 13 March.
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The Bird That Did Not Sing smallThe Bird That Did Not Sing by Alex Gray
To Glasgow now, where DS Lorimer is a reflective, cautious, but committed detective. This is not comfort reading, however, as Lorimer finds that a girlfriend from his teens – now the glamorous wife of a theatrical impresario – is implicated in the man’s suspicious death. Set against excitement and trepidation as Glasgow prepares for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the story interweaves terrorist threats and the scourge of prostitution and human trafficking. This is not so much Tartan Noir as a well-written police procedural, with a nod towards contemporary Scottish politics. Out on 13 March.
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The Norway RoomThe Norway Room by Mick Scully
There are a couple of features that immediately attract attention here. Firstly, Scully lives in, works in and loves Britain’s least fashionable big city, Birmimgham. Secondly, in his latest novel he is brave enough to use a 13-year-old boy as his central character. A children’s novel, then? Not a bit of it. Expect a mixture of acerbic comedy and dark wanderings through the underbelly of Second City UK. Ash is on his own after his dad goes to jail, but things go from bad to worse as he outwits Children’s Services to poke his toe into some very hot – and criminal – water. The title refers to a busy city club which becomes the target of rival takeover bids. Throw into the mix a tough ex-copper and a Chinese assassin, and you have something just a little bit out of the ordinary. To be published on 13 March. Watch for our review, soon.
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The ConvictionsThe Convictions of John Delahunt by Andrew Hughes
Time for a trip back to Dublin in the 1840s. The author was born in Wexford, but now lives in the Eire capital, and came to prominence with an acclaimed portrait of one of the city’s most intriguing locations, Fitzwilliam Square. Here, he takes a journey to the dark side. John Delahunt is languishing in a prison cell. His crime? The almost unspeakable killing of a small boy. As he awaits the hangman’s noose, he writes a statement explaining his crime, and it is a statement which incriminates people in very high places – right at the heart of government. This came out for Kindle in the autumn of 2013, but will be available in hardback on 13 March.
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Deep ShelterDeep Shelter by Oliver Harris
Harris introduced us to Detective Nick Belsey of Hampstead CID in his first novel, The Hollow Man back in 2011. Belsey is something of a mixed bag as a copper, and seems to attract trouble. When a pursued criminal suspect disappears down a blind alley, Belsey is reluctantly drawn into the street version of a locked room mystery. As in his previous book, Harris loves using London locations, both exotic, and less salubrious. Like several others before him, he doesn’t just stay above ground, and takes us below the city streets, literally into London’s underworld. A disused bomb shelter, hidden tunnels, and secrets dating back to the Cold War era all pose a deadly challenge to Harris’s less-than-perfect policeman. Available on 20 March.
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Dandy GilverDandy Gilver and a Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson
If titles win prizes then this, the eighth in the Dandy Gilver series, must be a contender. McPherson was born in Edinburgh but now lives in California. The eponymous heroine was born in 1886, was a debutante in 1904, and both she and her officer husband, Hugh, survived the Great War to live in what might be called a Scottish version of Downton Abbey. It’s 1929, and the Gilver menfolk have all come down with various ailments, so Dandy decides to take them all to a health spa to recuperate. Needless to say, there is an unexplained death and she must bring all her powers of deduction to bear as she seeks to unmask the killer. If you love cosy 30s-style crime fiction this might be worth checking out. Released 13 March as a paperback.
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On A Small IslandOn a Small Island by Grant Nicol 
There cannot be too many authors who were born in New Zealand, now live in Northern Ireland, and have written a novel set in Iceland. Grant Nicol may well be unique in this regard, and here he tells the tale of Ylfa Einarsdóttir who, against a background of family problems, investigates a murder after feeling let down by the apathy of the local police force. Expect the claustrophobic atmosphere of a confined community, a feisty and determined woman, and the familiar glacial darkness of Nordic Noir – with a touch of Kiwi and Ulster thrown in for good measure! Out now.
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All Due RespectAll Due Respect 2
This is presented almost in magazine format, and as well as a contribution by the Vancouver-based former pro poker player Owen Laukkanen, there are hardboiled stories by CS DeWildt, David Siddall, Joseph Rubas, Eric Beetner, Liam Sweeny, and Scott Adlerberg. Expect smoky midnight bars, husky voiced hookers, sudden violence, tyres burning up the tarmac, and writing like this: “He was going away this time, no doubt. No three months in juvenile DOC neither. His eyes teared up. But before the little bitches could leap, Tommy took his burning cigarette and stubbed it out on his calf, and when he opened his eyes again things looked better.” Out on Kindle now.
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Emperors Once MoreEmperors Once More by Duncan Jepson
Set a few years hence in Hong Kong, the latest offering from director, producer and lawyer Duncan Jepson again features his home turf – the bustling city where East meets West, and where European ideas of freedom and transparency sometimes clash with the cautious and controlling bureaucracy of communist China. While the international media focuses on a vital summit of world leaders, Detective Alex Soong starts investigating what appears to be a random murder. However, events threaten to get out of hand when more deaths follow. Even more troubling for Soong is that he seems to be the only person able to thwart a deadly conspiracy involving China’s future, and a dark episode from its past. Out today.
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