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We started 2019 in January with Graham Smith with his new series featuring Beth Young in the Lake District. In February we do not move further afield as our Author of the Month is M W Craven who has published two previous crime novels under his full name, Mike Craven. With The Puppet Show we are introduced to Washington Poe where people are being burned alive in the Lake District. I have been to The Lakes, but after Smith and Craven have started what could be termed ‘Lakes Noir’, I am not sure if the Lake District is safe anymore! However, with only his third novel Craven has gone up several gears and is now been credited as a Prince of Crime ‘in waiting’… if there is such a title! The Puppet Show is one of the most hotly anticipated thrillers of 2019. Do not miss this criminal treat!

Fresh Blood is a novel of different colours and hues that Hammer paints beautifully. Two years ago we had Jane Harper’s The Dry and I am certain that Scrublands by Chris Hammer will also have many readers talking about it! Already a bestseller in his native Australia, this book is now being published in the UK and the US. I was captivated by this ambitious novel and could not leave it alone, until the last page. The pictures thrown up by Hammer of an unforgiving outback are stunning and this is certainly going to be one of the most talked about books this year.

Reviews this month includes a number of new writers alongside established writers. They include James Oswald, Lizzy Barber, Lisa Gardner, Victoria Selman, Lucy Clarke and many more with other reviews added throughout the month.

Classic Crime in February continues to feature one of my all-time favourite crime/psychological writers, Margaret Millar with a new re-issue of Vanish In An Instant. I have loved Millar’s books since the early 1990’s and have handed out many of her books to friends and family. In recent years, more and more of her books have come back in to print which can only be a cause of celebration. ‘Vanish in an Instant’ is one of my favourites of Millar’s body of work and one I am sure you will love as well. Classic Crime will change in February.

Events highlights a non-fiction book called King Com by Paul Willetts. They do say that fact can be stranger than fiction and that is never shown to better effect than with this book as Willetts chronicles the life of Edgar Laplante, conman extraordinaire who fleeced millions from those who fell for his sweet patter and lies. Here, Willetts tells how he was first introduced to Edgar who pulled his greatest stunt during the 20’s and 30’s. If you wrote this as a novel, people would say they would never believe the plot! So, be prepared to swallow a lot of what Edgar got away with as truth! His story really does beggar belief!

Our Top Ten of 2019 will be online very soon, but for the moment you can still enjoy our Christmas Top Ten which does feature books which don’t necessarily need to be read over the festive season! Top Ten

To check out all our past reviews use the Review Archive. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you can’t recall the surname. And for good measure you can also search under the title of the book. Simply click on the box at the top of the page and then click on to the letter of the author/title you would like to find. As you will see, we have reviewed a huge number of books during Crimesquad.com's thirteen years. Have a wander round our archives and I hope you will find something you might have missed first time around!

If you have any comments or have a particular author you would like to see highlighted on this website please e-mail me at chrissimmons@crimesquad.com.

Chris Simmons
Online Editor.