Friday, September 16, 2011

Dead Sharp

It's an exaggeration to say that crime fiction saved the UK publishing industry but it's not that much of an exaggeration. Half of all fiction books sold in the British Isles are now crime and mystery novels. Alan Coren used to say that the only titles that sold consistently in England were books about dogs and Nazis and so it would seem therefore that the time is ripe for a mystery novel set in Hitler's bunker starring Wolf, the Fuhrer's crime fighting German Shepherd...
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But wait a minute, I'm getting sidetracked, that's not what I was going to talk about. What I was going to talk about is a new collection of interviews with Scottish crime writers conducted by Len Wanner and called Dead Sharp. Wanner does an excellent job coming up with questions that draw out this surprisingly diverse collection of novelists. His analyses of their fiction, motivations, characters and so on are spot on. As you would expect from Scots there's a lot of humour in the collection and much of that humour is self depreciating. All in all if you're interested in Celtic Noir I think you'll love this book. I hope there's an edition of Irish crime writing interviews brewing in Wanner's mind too - indeed if he has his wits about him he might be able to get a whole series going.