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April Author of the Month is Erin Kelly. With only seven novels under her belt, Kelly zoomed in to the crime scene with her debut The Poison Tree (which was Fresh Blood back in July 2010. Having read her books, you can see a maturity and confidence with every book. Her break-out book was the bestseller, He Said/She Said which took the crime fiction scene by storm. With Stone Mothers, Kelly has again taken another place filled with myth, stories and blood in the form of Nazareth Asylum, decommissioned back in the 80ís. It is a tale of misunderstanding, of ignorance which ultimately leads to tragedy. This is truly a heart-rending novel filled with suspense.

Fresh Blood James Delargy and his fascinating debut, 55 is based in a small town in the Australian outback. Since Jane Harperís debut, The Dry, this setting has become attractive to a number of other writers. Here, Delargy uses the unforgiving landscape as the basis for his thriller Ė a tale of two men accusing the other of being a serial killer. Both their stories match the others. Who is telling the truth? Is one as guilty as the other? This is a suspenseful novel which will has an ending I have never read before and one that will bounce around in your head days after finishing this stunning debut.

Reviews this month includes a number of new writers alongside established writers. They include Louise Beech, M.C. Beaton, Steph Broadribb, Kate Rhodes and Lindsey Davis.

Classic Crime will be slightly different in the fact that it will recognise the last novel written by Philip Kerr. Metropolis was completed shortly before Kerrís sudden and unexpected death, so it is bitter sweet that we celebrate this writer and his latest Bernie Gunther novel, a series which has already gained a huge cult following, especially as it will be Bernieís last outing for us to enjoy.

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 20ís and 30ís. 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!

I am putting together a Top Ten of books to hunt down in the first half of 2019, although I canít believe we are in April already! I will get it done this month, but the books keep sifting and shifting as I read more books that have been a complete and utter surprise, but havenít been on my radar! It has left me scratching my head as some that have promised much, delivered little and vice versa. I promise I will nail down this Top Ten soonÖ unless another unexpected gem suddenly rolls up and takes me by surprise! That is the joy of finding a great book you didnít even know existed until you open up that first page.

Top Ten

To check out all our past reviews use the Review Archive. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you canít 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.