On the 15th of October, the city of Bergen will celebrate the birthday of Gunnar Staalesen’s great gumshoe, Varg Veum, a favourite son of the city, who even has a statue dedicated to him. A special feature this year is the launching of a new aquavit, the Varg Veum Aquavit, And there will be a short version of the Vargtime (you’ll have to go to Bergen to find out what that is) with a jazz quartet (perhaps a trio on this occasion). The latest Staalesen Varg Veum in the UK is We Shall Inherit the Wind from Orenda Books.

Back in the UK, Martina Cole’s new book is Get Even (from Headline). Martina first made headlines in 1992, when her debut novel Dangerous Lady was bought by Headline for a then record-breaking advance and became an instant bestseller. Twenty-three years later she has over twenty novels to her name, of which over a dozen have been No. 1 bestsellers. Her most recent novel, The Good Life, was another No 1, and she has spent more weeks in that slot on the original fiction bestseller list than any other adult novelist. She might not like being called it, but Martina is unquestionably a British institution.

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