Classic crime news from the London Book Fair

A new graphic novel from SelfMadeHero.

‘The Murder Mile’ is a new graphic novel from SelfMadeHero – I’ll be reading this soon. Their display of Sherlock Holmes and H. P. Lovecraft adaptations also caught my eye.

I was at the London Book Fair for three long days this week. On my way around I grabbed a few catalogues and kept my eyes open for titles of interest to classic crime fans.

I’ve already mentioned the British Library’s new titles.

Penguin’s catalogue includes a ‘special 50th anniversary edition featuring archival material and a stunning cover design’ of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Sadly the cover isn’t yet available to share with you as it isn’t coming out until August. They are also planning a November publication of four Raymond Chandler novellas in a collection called Trouble is my Business.

I spotted two new Sherlock Holmes pastiches on adjacent stands. Book Guild Publishing were displaying N. M. Scott’s third collection of stories Sherlock Holmes: The Russian Connection, while next door at Allison and Busby they had June Thompson’s The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes.

Allison and Busby’s beautifully covered 2013 catalogue includes a few classic reissues, including Ted Lewis’ Get Carter, and Budd Schulberg’s On The Waterfront (‘I could’ve been a contender’), Disenchanted and The Harder They Fall.

C&R Crime, part of Constable and Robinson had news of further George Gently titles from the Alan Hunter back catalogue. I reviewed Gently with the Ladies for Euro Crime a while ago, and if it’s representative of his work the series is worth checking out if you like a straightforward police procedural (by the way, the books bear no relation at all to the TV show beyond the name). They are also reissuing Jonathan Gash’s Lovejoy titles – I’m midway through reading the first few but you can already see my thoughts on The Judas Pair.

Possibly the most intriguing new titles is Faber’s The 39 Steps. This is from The Bookseller:


Henry Volans, head of digital publishing at Faber, said: “This compelling and faithful new version of The Thirty-Nine Steps is an interactive thriller: much closer to a game than anything Faber has published before. We’re proud to be working The Story Mechanics as we continue our work to take stories beyond the existing boundaries of the e-book form.” 

39_Steps_2 The Story Mechanics’ creative lead Simon Meel said: “The Thirty-Nine Steps is the first of a new breed of interactive entertainment that brings powerful and emotive storytelling to audiences via digital platforms. We believe the product has the potential to to reach out to audiences everywhere- whether they’re core gamers, digital readers, or anyone else with a passion for a great story.”

See more at The Story Mechanics blog.

I’m sure everybody with an interest already knows that the new James Bond book from William Boyd will be called Solo.

Finally, the biggest classic crime splash was, surprisingly, the display of  L. Ron Hubbard’s early pulp fiction on the New Era Publications stand. Titles such as Dead Men Kill and Brass Keys to Murder caught my eye, but I’m afraid the woman dressed as a pirate put me off closer investigation…

About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
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2 Responses to Classic crime news from the London Book Fair

  1. John says:

    Afraid of pirates, are you? Or just being close to them? I would’ve challeged her to an “aaaaaaar” contest and looked over every single Hubbard title. ; ^ ) UK publishers seems to be jumping on the reprint bandwagon by the houseload. Why oh why can’t the US publishers be as daring?


    • westwoodrich says:

      She did a long sweeping bow. I can deal with mild enthusiasm in a costumed haracter, but commitment at that level sends me running to the hills, or in this case Earls Court One.

      UK vs US reprints is interesting. I know of Crippen & Landru (although I may be spelling them badly) and Hard Case Crime, but we seem to have programmes from major publishers too: Bello, part of Macmillan, for example.

      Are reprints a more expensive proposition in the US? If so, I’m guessing it must be down to the cost of rights.


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