The Plot Thickens
Litopia’s Crime Wave season is thickening nicely. Überauthor Peter James kicked it all off two weeks ago; last week, writers Barbara Nadel, Roger Silverwood and Chris Nickson drew us into the first chapter… and tonight, we’re going very hardcore indeed – with one author who specializes in real-life murder and other unspeakable crimes… and a brace of authors whose works are set in that cradle of criminology – Mother Russia herself. Delicious!
Linda Stratmann has written numerous non-fiction books about real-life crimes, their perpetrators and their methods. Her works include the definitive guide to chloroform as well as many tomes on 18th, 19th and 20th century crimes célèbres. And now she’s branching out into fiction, too: The Poisonous Seed is the first in a series of Victorian mysteries – expect great authenticity and fabulous research.
Equally obsessive about research is R.N. Morris, whose Porfiry Petrovich detective novels (sounds familiar? Petrovich is the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment) are based in and around St Petersburg, circa 1875. Roger’s books include A Gentle Axe, A Vengeful Longing, A Razor Wrapped in Silk and The Cleansing Flames – all critically acclaimed and most award-winning.
Our third panellist is a rising star in the firmament of quality crime writers, already being compared to the likes of Martin Cruz Smith and John Le Carré. William Ryan‘s two books are also set in Russia, although in the Stalinist era, which is about 60 years after Roger’s epoch. The Holy Thief put both William and his protagonist, Captain Alexei Korolev of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, on the map. The Times Literary Supplement called it ” whodunit heaven” and the Irish Independent named it one of their books of the year.
With such an eminently talented panel, you should expect fireworks, revelations, and thrills galore… and you won’t be disappointed!
With the indefatigable Ali in the chat room, Dave Bartram and Peter Cox.
Illustration by by rubyblossom