THE SHADOW COLLECTOR is now out in paperback and it’s been a busy month. It’s been great to meet readers and sign books at Formby Books (I mentioned last time that I was going there) where Sheila Quigley, Martin Edwards and I had a great evening talking about our books and hosting a crime fiction quiz. A fantastic barbecue was also provided by Tony Higginson who runs Formby Books with impressive enthusiasm and expertise – it was pouring with rain but, with true British spirit, we ignored the weather and had a good time anyway! Last Saturday I was signing copies of my books at Waterstones in Stockport and it was really good to chat with my readers, both established and new. Many thanks to Nick, Paul and all the team at the Stockport branch for making me so welcome.

formbyquigleyThis coming weekend I’ll be down in the South West researching for my next Wesley Peterson book. On the way down I’ll be visiting Yate Library in Gloucestershire (see events) and then I’ll be signing books at the Torbay bookshop in Paignton on the afternoon of Saturday 31st August. On Monday 2nd September at 2.30pm Dartmouth Library will be the scene of a Murder Mystery – see my events page for reassurance that it’ll be safe to be in the vicinity!

One of the delights of an author’s life is getting together with other authors and keen readers, and on 16th August I travelled to Oxford for the twentieth Mystery and Crime Weekend at St Hilda’s College. The theme of the weekend was ‘From Here to Eternity: The Present and Future of Crime Fiction’ and the speakers included P D James, Val McDermid, Andrew Taylor and Peter Robinson. Penelope Evans recounted some fascinating (and inspiring) stories of deception, Tom Harper reflected on Plato’s and Aristotle’s influence on detective fiction and Jill Paton Walsh reminded us that the first detective story is to be found in the Old Testament (Daniel’s quest for the truth in the case of Susanna and the elders). Although I really enjoy speaking at St Hilda’s, it was lovely to just sit back, relax and listen this time. In addition, the food was fantastic (likewise the wine) but the main thing I’ll remember about the weekend was the company. Can’t wait for next year.