If you like humorous crime fiction with a definite noir edge...

Just received word from Declan Burke, one of the rising young stars of Irish crime fiction, that his new book, Absolute Zero Cool, is coming very soon...

Jacket Copy:


by Declan Burke

“A genuinely original take on noir, inventive and funny. Imagine, if you can, a cross between Flann O’Brien and Raymond Chandler.” – John Banville, author of THE SEA

Who in their right mind would want to blow up a hospital?

“Close it down, blow it up – what’s the difference?”

Billy Karlsson needs to get real. Literally. A hospital porter with a sideline in euthanasia, Billy is a character trapped in the purgatory of an abandoned novel. Deranged by logic, driven beyond sanity, Billy makes his final stand: if killing old people won’t cut the mustard, the whole hospital will have to go up in flames.

Only his creator can stop him now, the author who abandoned Billy to his half-life limbo, in which Billy schemes to do whatever it takes to get himself published, or be damned . . .

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is unlike anything else you’ll read this year … Laugh-out-loud funny … This is writing at its dazzling, cleverest zenith. Think John Fowles, via Paul Auster and Rolling Stone … a feat of extraordinary alchemy.” – Ken Bruen, author of AMERICAN SKIN

Advance Praise for ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL:

“Stop waiting for Godot – he’s here. Declan Burke takes the existential dilemma of characters writing themselves and turns it on its ear, and then some. He gives it body and soul … an Irish soul.” - Reed Farrel Coleman, author of EMPTY EVER AFTER

“Declan Burke has broken the mould with ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, which is actually very cool indeed. Funny, inventive and hugely entertaining crime fiction - I guarantee you’ll love it.” - Melissa Hill, author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S

“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clich├ęs and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.” - Colin Bateman, author of NINE INCHES

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a surreal rollercoaster of a read, full of the blackest humour, and yet poignant. An outrageously funny novel ... The joy is in the writing itself, all sparky dialogue and wry observation, so smooth that when it cuts, it’s like finding razor blades in honey.” - Deborah Lawrenson, author of THE LANTERN

“Burke has written a deep, lyrical and moving crime novel … an intoxicating and exciting novel of which the master himself, Flann O’Brien, would be proud.” - Adrian McKinty, author of FIFTY GRAND

Absolute Zero Cool gets its official launch on August 10th at the Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, Dublin. If you're in that area, I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you dropped in.

You should be able to find the book here once it's available, or of course, you can find it on Amazon.co.uk.

In the meantime, you can find Down These Green Streets, a collection of crime fiction short stories by Irish crime writers and edited by Declan Burke, at the link above.


Website update

First off, I've noticed an uptick in people websearching "Pepper Smith", so greetings to everyone who's just wandered in, and unless you're looking for the Pepper Smith who is a mystery writer, you've wandered in to the wrong place. A web search shows she's just been in the news again, but I don't have links to give you. There's a link in the sidebar to a previous post, where you can find the Glamour Magazine article from January about her.

Now, if you are here about the Pepper Smith who's a mystery writer, I've just done a minor update on my website, adding in some new reviews for Rio Star and Reef Runner, and a couple of links to interviews. Still need to get the character information written up and posted, but I suspect that's going to have to wait until the heat of summer breaks. We've been having a series of 99-100 degree days, which means I don't get a lot done in the way of thinking, unless it's trying to figure out how to angle the fan so it does a better job cooling. Today we have cloud cover and rain, and temps in the lower 80s. Much better, but temporary. We'll be back into the hot stuff over the next few days. Gah! It's only July 13th. We still have to get through August. Fort Smith set a record last month, 30 days at 90 degrees or above for the high. Since June only has 30 days, you can tell the summer started out hot. We're usually a bit cooler than Fort Smith, but it's been hotter than usual for longer than usual this year, and it's not going to get better until around the end of August. If then.

If you've happened to notice, Amazon for some strange reason has decided to list the Kindle version of Blood Money as gay/lesbian fiction. I don't know why, and neither does my publisher, as the book is definitely not gay/lesbian fiction. My publisher is working on getting it properly listed as mystery/suspense, but there's no telling when Amazon will make the change. In the meantime, if you bought a copy thinking it was gay/lesbian fiction, there's nothing I can do except hope that you enjoyed it anyway. The listing was not our doing.

Recent reads:

On the Nook:

On the Wrong Track, by Steve Hockensmith. Fun series, protagonists playing Holmes and Watson in the Old West. Second in series.

A Lesson in Secrets, by Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie Dobbs works with the Special Branch in 1932 Britain.

On Paper:

The Girl in the Nile, by Michael Pearce. #5(?) in the Mamur Zapt series. The Mamur Zapt is the head of the Secret Police in Egypt in the early 1900s. Welshman Captain Gareth Owen holds the post. Usually the Secret Police are the bad guys. Not in this series. Fun reads, not overly complicated writing. Interesting insights into turn of the last century Egypt.

Murder in the Marais, by Cara Black. First in the Aimee Leduc series. Had some problems believing the leader of the neo-Nazi group, but otherwise enjoyed the read.

Did not finish The Stabbing in the Stables, by Simon Brett. Second one of this series that I've tried. Just did not mesh with the protagonists, and figured out who did the killing way early in the book, although I didn't know why the killing happened until I cheated and read the ending. I think this series is not for me.

Currently reading:

On the Nook:

Street of the Five Moons, by Elizabeth Peters. #2 Vicky Bliss. Enjoyed these books when I was younger, still enjoy them now.

On paper: Don't know yet.