Wednesday, July 29, 2020

I don't know what you don't know by Cathy Ace

Reading: Please recommend an author who may not be widely known to readers and tell us about them and their book(s). In addition, what books are on your bedside table for July and why did you select them for summer reading?

The first part of this week’s questions is tough to answer – because I don’t know which authors you know of, and which you don’t…and, let’s be honest, most of us are totally unaware of MOST crime writing because there’s such a lot of it about (which is a good thing!). I read a lot of UK authors, and I believe most followers of this blog are likely to be from Canada and the USA, so maybe quite a lot of UK authors aren’t well known to the majority of followers. There again, there are probably a lot of Canadian authors about whom the same could be said, so I’ll go to the UK and Canada for my “names you should know” list.

First up, my home now – Canada. In case you don’t know, there’s a great way to find a wide range of Canadian crime writing – just check out the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) website here: and sign up for the monthly listing of new releases and events (even virtual ones) here:

Members of CWC write across all subgenres, so you’re bound to be able to find authors whose work appeals to your preference. When it comes to members you’ll find there, I am guessing everyone knows Louise Penny’s Gamache novels, as well as Linwood Barclay’s or Hilary Davidson’s thrillers, and there’s Peter Robinson’s Banks series, as well as Giles Blunt’s Cardinal books. Want something historical? What about Maureen Jennings’ Murdoch novels? Cozy? Vicki Delany’s output alone could keep you happy. Indeed – you’ll find a host of “well known” authors you might not have known were Canadian, and you’ll probably find a host of “not known to me yet” names who are writing excellent, award-winning books. You could also check out the shortlists and winners for the past thirty-odd years of the Arthur Ellis Awards, which you can also find at the CWC website. Go on…give it a go!

When it comes to the UK, there’s The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA, here: which also allows you to browse lists of exceptional authors’ works.

There’s also now a writers’ collective called Crime Cymru, which is a group of Welsh crime writers (writing in English – so don’t panic!) you can explore here:

The books on my bedside table for July? 1) I don’t read in bed, so nothing, but 2) because I’m trying to get outside as much as I can at the moment, I’m using my Kindle daily – and I’m working my way through all the Logan McRae books by the Scottish author, Stuart MacBride. I would certainly recommend Stuart’s books to you…but they might not be to your taste – it’s impossible for me to know that, sorry.  To say they are “gritty” would be a significant understatement; the on-page violence is pretty continuous, vividly described, and – because the books are set in Aberdeen vs the USA – most of the violence doesn’t involve gunplay, but a dizzying variety of other weapons. However, I adore the voice of the author, love his characters, and admit I find these books hilarious (I frequently burst out laughing at what is – especially when you have to explain it to someone else – the deepest of dark humour...WITH a "U" because it's exceptionally British humour, too!). These books are not for those wanting a “bit of light reading”, because they tackle topics that are dismal, and only serve to highlight what dreadful creatures human beings can be. I’ve read ten of the twelve he’s written so far, so should finish by the end of the month. You can find out more about the author and his books here:

As for August’s reading? Hmm…possibly the remainder of the dozen Inspector Ikmen books by Barbara Nadel I haven't read yet and am itching to get to...the range of Turkish/east end of London settings are a draw... and if you don’t know Barbara’s books, give them a go in the “Look Inside” feature on amazon:

Possibly I’ll be tempted back to the delights of Peter Lovesey’s Peter Diamond books, which are fabulous; Peter Lovesey has been writing since 1970, but I know there are people discovering his work all the time...if you don't know his name, please check out his work!

Whatever you choose to read, happy reading! And, if you haven’t tried my books yet, why not check them out:

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