So First Monday Crime is almost upon us again. Sadly, I have yet to make the pilgrimage to the UK for these events, but I have the pleasure of getting to shine a spotlight on a couple of the talented authors participating in next weeks First Monday!
If you want to go along on November 6th, just click the link below to be taken to the First Monday website where you can reserve your tickets to see Stuart McBride, Vaseem Khan, Elodie Harper, Simon Booker and moderator Barry Forshaw!
Make sure to check them out over on Twitter @1stMondayCrime to get up to the minute news on First Monday!
I had the pleasure of reading Vaseem Khan and Elodie Harper’s books for this post, and I’ve got a couple of mini-reviews for them too so you can get a flavour of what to expect!
Vaseem first saw an elephant lumbering down the middle of the road in 1997 when he arrived in India to work as a management consultant. It was the most unusual sight he had ever encountered and served as the inspiration for the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series. The first book in the series, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller, a Waterstones’ paperback of the year, and an Amazon Best Debut. The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, the second in the series, was published in May 2016, and the third, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star came out in May 2017. Vaseem returned to the UK in 2006 and has since worked at University College London for the Department of Security and Crime Science. Elephants are third on his list of passions, first and second being great literature and cricket, not always in that order.
For more information about the world of the series please visit vaseemkhan.com where you can also keep abreast of Vaseem’s latest goings-on, competitions, events, and extracts from upcoming books via The Reading Elephant Book Club.
Although this is the second book in the Baby Ganesh Detecive Agency series, it can easily be read as a standalone book! In The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, Chopra is tasked with finding out who stole the Koh-i-Noor diamond from the Crown Jewels, which were on display in Mumbai. Chopra himself was present at the time of the theft as he and his wife were attending the exhibition. Needless to say he is a little put out that it happened right under his nose!
I really enjoyed this book. Its got a very cosy crime feel to it, as its not gruesome or gory, but there is still plenty going on in the book to keep the reader interested. I loved the location descriptions as it painted a very vivid picture and it made it a much richer read. The characters are well-developed, and with the added bonus of a super cute baby elephant, it made it quite an unusual book!
I am definitely going to be reading the other books in the series (The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra and The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star) as it is such a welcome change of pace from my usual choices. Rich in descriptions, interesting characters and a brilliant heist-like plot made it a very engaging read! Recommended for sure!
Click the link below to pick up your copy:
Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize winning short story writer. Her story ‘Wild Swimming’ won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, run by The Guardian and Hodder & Stoughton and judged by Stephen King. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News.
Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.
A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.
Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.
Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts.
The Binding Song is a creepy, gothic book that creates a sense of foreboding from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the final pages. Dr Janet Palmer is the new psychologist at Halvergate Prison and it is clear from her first day that there is something sinister going on in the prison, and she wants to know why.
I don’t want to say much more about the story because the author has done a great job of creating a level of tension and suspense that she keeps up until the final pages. The characters are well-written, divisive and in some parts, downright chilling. The plot is tightly woven and interspersed with pieces from Janet’s past, all of this lends itself very well to the gothic vibe running through the book. I found myself feeling apprehensive to turn the pages more than once because I was afraid of what I would read. I was creeped out more than once reading The Binding Song.
An elegant, gothic and sinister debut, The Binding Song is a great example of a psychological thriller and definitely one to add to your reading lists!
Click the link below to grab your copy:
So, there you have it! Two great books to check out! Remember, if you want to head to First Monday Crime on November 6th, click the link below to reserve your tickets now!