Culprits anthology cover imageFebruary 2018 sees the launch of Culprits: The Heist Was Only The Beginning, published by Polis Books and edited by Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips.

This book is an anthology, but not in the usual way. The editors wrote the opening set-up – the heist and the complications that followed. The contributors wrote what happened next, and I’m proud to be part of it (my story: ‘The Wife’).

Some stories are all about the crime. These stories are about the maelstrom of what happens after…

A hard-bitten crew of professional thieves pull off the score of their lives, coming away with seven million in cash. Like any heist there are some unforeseen complications, and unfortunately they don’t get away without a few bodies dropping. But despite this, they getaway with the swag. Seven million. Enough to change their lives, make new identities, start fresh. But that’s when the real trouble begins…

“A well executed heist, like fine wine, pleasures the palate and can age well. In CULPRITS, liken the aftermath of the criminals from a heist to craft beer and a bumpy ride. Prepare to stay up all night!”

Cara Black, New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc series

“Brewer and Phillips have put together a book with nine distinct voices that moves along at the required rapid pace and, more importantly, well-written. I don’t think I can stress this enough, the writers participating in this heist gone wrong book (Brett Battles, Gar Anthony Haywood, Zoë Sharp, Manuel Ramos, Jessica Kaye, Joe Clifford and David Corbett) know their craft. The writers are like a heist crew, each capable at what they do and executing flawlessly at it. I liked how Sharp bent time in “The Wife”, how Manuel Ramos took on the ghost of Jim Thompson in “Snake Farm”, and the darkness of Joe Clifford’s “Eel Estevez”.

“Brewer and Phillips’ Culprits is quite a lot of fun: the heist goes bad, the crew scatters, we root for them and hope they get out if it safely and when they don’t, you shrug your shoulders, “Yup, that’s what happens when a heist goes bad.” If you are looking for a smart, entertaining book then Brewer and Phillips’ Culprits is it. Culprits is not the next great crime novel and I don’t think that was its intention, but it’s far better than that TV show you are binging or that comic book movie you want to go see.”

David Nemeth, in Unlawful Acts

The anthology is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon and in EPUB format from leading retailers.

MURDER IS EVERYWHERE—Sunday, 25th February 2018

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]riters must make for strange travelling companions. And crime writers must make for the strangest travelling companions of all. Mostly, we are not there simply for the view. When I visit anywhere that I’ve pencilled in as a possible location for a novel, I’m looking for something specific – something that could only happen in that place, or where the place dictates the action to begin with. I generally want to see the grubby backstreets rather than the tourist hotspots.

En route to Nice

Take my trip to France earlier this month, for instance. On the homeward leg, I was due to fly out of Nice, which presented the ideal opportunity for some on-the-ground research.

Nice is a beautiful city on the Mediterranean, if you discount the package jets flying into the beachfront airport at regular intervals during the day. The Promenade des Anglais runs from the airport for 7km along the seafront. Known to locals as “La Prom” it is a place to stroll, cycle, skate, or sunbathe, and to be seen doing so. Until the Bastille Day attack of 2016, that is.

I was interested to see a bit of La Prom, but mostly to check what additional security barriers and precautions had been brought in over the last two years. London bridges these days have concrete and steel central reservations worthy of a motorway.

Mainly, though, I wanted to see the harbour. Or, more particularly, the boats therein. Ever since I lived aboard as a child, I’ve been fascinated by yachts, from the traditional to the sleekly modern.

Their ports of registration were interesting to note. The majority were from the Channel Islands or Malta, and the reasons behind that will make intriguing further reading for me, no doubt.

More – including many very Nice snapshots – in my Murder Is Everywhere blog

This week’s Word of the Week is Pantagruelian meaning enormous, and originating in the late 17th century from Pantagruel, who was the giant in Rabelais’s novel of the same name.

Culprits anthology cover image

This week sees the launch of CULPRITS: The Heist Was Just the Beginning, edited by Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips. The book is an anthology, but not in the usual way. The editors wrote the opening set-up – the heist and the complications that followed. The contributors wrote what happened next, and I’m proud to be a part of it. If you’re on NetGalley, you can order a copy for review now.