Ann Cleeves: Happy New Year to all our readers. It’s already set to be a very busy one. I’ll be travelling a lot especially in the first quarter of the year, with Left Coast Crime in Phoenix, Arizona at the end of February and the Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai in March. I’m delighted to be part of this year’s Quick Reads list – the project commissions short novels with relatively simple language, but adult content, for people new to reading for pleasure. My Quick Read book, Too Good to be True, has been chosen as one of the World Book Night giveaways and I’ll be out on the road talking to new readers in libraries and prisons.

The end of 2015 was pretty hectic too. The first Shetland Noir festival was held in November. People were (literally) blown away by Gale Abigail and by the warmth and hospitality of Shetlanders. A huge thanks to all the people who made the trek north to support us. Book Week Scotland followed soon after and I had a fantastic time travelling around the country from the Borders up to Aberdeen. I’m already taking booking s for next year!

A new series of the BBC drama SHETLAND begins on January 15th. If you’d like to know more about the islands where the show is filmed and the books are set, check out my non-fiction book, Shetland. It’s full of wonderful photos and explains why I love the place so much. ITV’s VERA will be back on our screens in February.

Website: and Twitter @AnnCleeves

Cath Staincliffe

I was delighted to be long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2015. The competition, judged anonymously, received just shy of 2000 entries from which a long-list of 100 was selected. Sanctioned didn’t make the short-list so I am now looking for a home for this two-hander about the iniquities of work capability assessments in the benefits system.

Half The World Away is featured on TripFiction, a great site that matches books and locations (in this case Chengdu in China) and the paperback comes out in April. It’s a thrill to have a story published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for the first time – and unusually for me this is a historical story. Now I’m concentrating on the final edit for The Silence Between Breaths.

It was great to see such wonderful audiences for Manchester Literature Festival events I chaired in the autumn with Val McDermid and Mark Billingham, Paula Hawkins, Renee Knight and Kate Hamer. And I spent a fascinating evening hosting Patricia Cornwell, pioneer of the forensic thriller, courtesy of Waterstones and MEN. To kick off 2016 I’ll be interviewing prize-winning author Peter May on January 14th at Waterstones, Deansgate. Come if you can and here’s to a year of happy reading!

For more news and information, visit and Twitter @CathStaincliffe

Martin Edwards

2016 promises to be an exciting year, with a flurry of publications and even more events. The Dungeon House will appear in paperback in April, and the paperback edition of The Golden Age of Murder will follow a month later. In February, the British Library will publish my anthology of classic country house mysteries, Murder at the Manor. A collection of vintage crime stories set in the countryside, Serpents in Eden, is due in March.

I’m looking forward to appearing at crime festivals both in the US – Malice Domestic in Washington DC is in April – and nearer home. The latter include Deal Noir, the Essex Book Festival, the Felixstowe Book Festival, and Crimefest.

In November, I was elected President of the Detection Club, and it is a great thrill to be following in the footsteps of seven distinguished predecessors, including G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers. The Club’s brand new round-robin novel, The Sinking Admiral, is the work of more than a dozen contributors, including Peter Lovesey, Simon Brett, and me, and it will be published by Harper Collins in June.

Website: Blog; Twitter: @medwardsbooks

Kate Ellis

I can finally reveal that 2016 will see the publication of a new crime novel quite unlike anything I’ve written before. A High Mortality of Doves is set in the aftermath of the First World War in a small, claustrophobic Derbyshire village where several bizarre murders have taken place. I’m really excited about this new departure (which will be published in November by Piatkus/Little Brown) and I really hope my readers love it as much as I’ve loved writing it.

Of course this doesn’t mean Wesley Peterson’s going to be given any time off from his investigations. The House of Eyes (warning – contains sinister crimes and Sicilian sunshine) is out in early February and I’ve just signed a contract for a further two Wesley novels after that. I’ve also written a Christmas short story featuring Wesley Peterson for the Crime Vault website.

The final months of 2015 were busy with a great trip to North Tyneside to talk at North Shields and to present a Murder Mystery at Killingsworth. It was my first experience of that lovely part of the world and I enjoyed it so much that I hope to return there in 2016. I also visited York Explore in November for a great evening with Mari Hannah discussing our different approaches to writing crime fiction. I always love returning to York (where my Joe Plantagenet novels are set), one of my favourite cities, and my thoughts are with all the people there who’ve been affected by the recent flooding.

I’m busy arranging more events for 2016 so keep an eye on the Murder Squad website (and my website for details.

For details of my books please visit or follow me on Twitter: @KateEllisAuthor.

Margaret Murphy/A.D. Garrett

The run-up to Christmas was busy for both my identities. I submitted the third in the A.D. Garrett series to my publisher – it’s due out in July, if all goes well. Then, out of the blue, Orion, who publish six of my Margaret Murphy backlist in e-format, called to say they had redesigned three of the covers: Darkness Falls, Now You See Me, and The Dispossessed, and that Darkness Falls had been chosen as The Murder Room’s book of the month.

You can read why I recommended Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River as my great Christmas crime read, and get some insider insights into how Lehane’s modern classic inspired a chapter in Now You See Me on the Murder Room blog. Darkness Falls was a print format best-seller, and gained plaudits from both Val McDermid (‘Tense, scary, page-turning. You won’t be able to put it down’) and Mo Hayder (‘Just what British crime writing is crying out for’). It’s on offer until 14th January at just £2.99.

Holywell and Knowsley libraries have invited me to visit in March, and I’m delighted that Helen Pepper, my forensic advisor, has agreed to make the trip down for the Knowsley event. Helen is advising them on how to stage a crime scene, which should make for an interactive event(!) and we are also finalising details for the Ampthill Literary Festival in July. and Facebook page

Twitter: @adgarrett1 and @crimin8

Chris Simms

Christmas is traditionally a time for ghost stories, so I was busy over the festive period with promotional activity for my two supernatural thrillers, Sing Me To Sleep and Rats’ Nest.

For those who like a chilling tale – but also prefer to try before they buy – my short story, Death Toll, includes the opening of Rats’ Nest and is available on Amazon for just 99p.

Since January, I’ve been knuckling-down with the next novel in my DI Spicer series. The plot is shaping up nicely, with Spicer encountering a character that will cause a few surprises among those familiar with the no-nonsense Mancunian detective.

For more information about all my novels, head over to my website at or visit my Facebook page at

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