So one of the surprisingly fun things I’ve been doing this year is writing a series of, well, vampire mysteries short stories. As in, Golden Age, Agatha Christie-ish, classical mysteries – only with vampires.
Enter Judge Dee – a cold intellect! A keen forensic mind! – and his reluctant assistant Jonathan as they investigate a series of intricate and ridiculous mysteries in the period I like to call “Medieval something-something”.
Tor.com really got behind these, with the result that several are already scheduled on the site between now and – gulp – 2022. But the very first adventure of Judge Dee is out today! Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law, with a cover illustration by Red Nose Studios, which uses actual paper puppets that, yes, were made especially for the series.
My latest bundle for Storybundle is a collection of international noir! You can get the basic 4-book bundle for just $5 or the full 10-book package for just $15. I’m again working with English PEN as the charity partner, and you can add a donation very easily to support translation and freedom of expression – what’s not to like!
Noir. Venetian blinds casting lines of shadows, the smoke of a cigarette curling in the air, a silhouette in the doorway signalling danger. There is something about noir that is both of its own aesthetic and transcends time and place. All we know is that there is a moral ambiguity at play, that small people in a corrupt world can too easily come to a messy end, even if they fight. I love noir in all its forms because it is so pliable, pure enough to be recognisable yet diverse enough to keep adapting. For as long as there are crooks there’ll be noir.
Here, then, is a sample of the form. Some of it is hard, classical noir. Some veers into science fiction or fantasy. Some it’s impossible to categorise. Here are the delights of Tamil pulp fiction, the slow-building menace of strangers with secrets in a sleepy Mexican village in the 1970s, of Scottish hardmen and science fiction avengers.
Read more about the TEN books in the bundle here, and make sure to click on each cover for a synopsis, reviews and preview of each book!
It was early evening on the docks of Vinay-Rin, a hot day with no breeze. Men perspired and dogs slept in the shade. The corpse of a Merlangai merchant rotted in the alleyway under the Sign of the Fish. No one attempted to move it. It smelled like molluscs and shrimp.
Gorel of Goliris sat at a table at the nearby No Way Inn. He wore his twin guns that bore the seven-pointed star of vanished Goliris. He was clean-shaven, relatively sober, and his boots, for once, were clear of mud. He was everything a half-decent gunslinger ought to be. He was about to go looking for sunken treasure. – continue reading…
In the winter of 19–, having newly arrived in England, and still recovering from the nervous indisposition which had afflicted me greatly ever since my circumstances during the war, I responded to an advertisement placed in the Yorkshire Post, for the position of caretaker in an old, near-abandoned Elizabethan mansion called Wildfell Hall... continue reading.
I’m delighted to share the cover and pre-order page for my latest book! The Big Blind is a novella about a young nun who has to enter a poker tournament in order to save her convent – I’ve been jokingly pitching it as “Sister Act meets Rounders“. It is available for pre-orders now from the great people at PS Publishing, in both a regular hardcover edition and a signed limited edition. As with all my PS books, it is fully designed by Pedro Marques.
Here’s the cover and the blurb!
The daughter of a legendary card player with skills of her own, Claire doesn’t want to go into the family business. She’s heard the call, and she desperately wants to become a nun. But when her convent comes under financial threat, Claire must leave what she loves to save what she loves – and enter an international poker tournament.
Both a poker novella and a meditation on faith, The Big Blind is a taut, heartfelt and compelling new book from multiple award winner Lavie Tidhar.
Giorgio fell asleep. In his dream he was back home in his parents’ farmhouse. Vines grew over the pergola columns and roof and bunches of grapes hung down, purple and green. He reached up and plucked a grape and put it in his mouth and it tasted blue and blue and blue and pink. His mother came out of the kitchen where she had been cooking and saw him.
“Giorgio!” she said. She wiped her hands on her apron. This was very strange to Giorgio, since he grew up in a small flat, not on a farm, and his mother never cooked.
His mother looked at him curiously.
“How much you’ve grown!” she said.
“Mama,” he said. He went to her. She looked good. But hadn’t she died in the last major outbreak, five years ago? And she was never this large or this homey. His mother was thin as a rake and smoked long menthol cigarettes and worked in accounts. “You look good,” he said.
“Come give Mama a hug,” she said. She put her arms around him. It felt good to be held by his mother.
“Snuggly-wuggly,” she said, nuzzling him close. “Snuggly-wuggly-woozy-woo.”
“No, no,” Giorgio said. “No, mother.”
Mother was turning blue.
“Snuggle!” she cried. Her arms lengthened, wrapped around him. Blue and blue and blue and pink.
This latest edition follows the original UK publication in 2018 (as Candy) and subsequent editions in Italy, Germany, France, Poland and the Czech Republic (a Romanian edition is still forthcoming).
THE CANDY MAFIA is published in hardcover, with brand-new, fantastic illustrations by Daniel Duncan!
Some advance US reviews:
“Snappy dialogue… Food fights, an abandoned candy factory break-in, and more sweets-themed antics add to the fun and intrigue…. Combining chewing gum and gumshoes, this comical mystery begs to be read aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Noir tropes loom large in Tidhar’s fast-paced story, with a gutsy gumshoe, a hardboiled narrative voice…and enough action to keep young readers on their toes.” —Publishers Weekly
“Nelle is a sturdy, intrepid, practical character surrounded by a colorful cast of candy-obsessed children and adults in this fast-paced mystery.…there’s plenty here to satisfy tween mystery lovers….mystery, humor, plenty of action, and a red herring or two with an explosive climax.” —School Library Journal