Posts tagged ‘Enid Blyton’

Spotlight and guest-post: Addicted to Death

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Addicted to Death

Addicted to Death:
A Food Related Crime Investigation

Following the murder of Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs savagely beaten to death outside their home by an unknown, fedora wearing assailant brandishing a large metal spoon, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading food detective in the police force, is called in to investigate. When the only food sapiens minister in the Government, Professor Perry Partridge, is murdered at the Strawberry Strip Club, run by the young damson Victoria Plum, DI Wortel suspects that the two cases may somehow be linked. As the Head of the Food Related Crime Division, DI Wortel is ably assisted by his human colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox. But as their investigation begins, four celebrity chefs are sent death threats. It’s a recipe for disaster as the incarcerated evil genius MadCow McBeef is seeking parole; someone appears to have crumbled Mr Bramley’s apples; and there is an anti-GM food protestor on the prowl. And why do Oranges and Lemons think they owe someone five farthings? DI Wortel and his team must find out who is seemingly addicted to death. It will take all efforts – human, fruit and vegetable – to figure this one out.
Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Addicted-Death-Related-Crime-Investigation-ebook/dp/B010545FEQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1490869221&sr=1-1&keywords=matthew+redford

Matthew RedfordAbout Matthew Redford

Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council

estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.

Website – http://www.matthewredford.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/matthew_redford

Follow Clink Street Publishing on Twitter @Authoright @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000

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GUEST-POST BY

Matthew Redford

First crime fiction authors read by the author

Firstly I would like to start by thanking for you providing me with this opportunity to write a guest blog for your site.

I’ve been asked to write about the first crime fiction authors I read, and I guess in many ways, the question is seeking to find out whether those authors influenced my writing in any way. I think this is a really interesting question because it not only provides me with the opportunity to think back on those authors who wrote books I enjoyed reading, but it allows me to reflect on what influence they actually had. And as someone who enjoys that reflectiveness, this topic was a delight.

I’m going to pick out three authors who I think are worth mentioning.

The first is Enid Blyton and her ‘Famous Five’ collection. And I recognise as the reader you can’t see this, but just typing the words ‘Famous Five’ has resulted in a big smile on my face for a number of reasons. The main reason being that they are just simply enjoyable, well written stories. They were among the first set of books I read, and importantly, which were read to me by my parents. I don’t think the importance of that latter point can be stressed enough; the importance of spending time with young children reading to them, reading with them.

Now you might be wondering if Enid Blyton is really a crime fiction author but her stories nearly always involved a wrong-doer being stopped. And while reflecting about the Enid Blyton books, the thing which sticks out about them now is their innocence. I like that. The stories flow. They move at a pace. There is a friendship to the group. But there is an underlying innocence. And ginger beer of course.

I guess that was something I wanted to try and capture with my writing. A childlike innocence while still letting the story pack a punch.

That leads me to the next author, Ian Harvey, who wrote the Resnick novels. I am not sure how many of you will be familiar with those books but he is certainly a million miles away from dear old Enid.

Resnick is a tough policeman who keeps order on the streets of Nottingham, while struggling to keep order in his home life. The alcohol flows, the jazz music plays, and the murders rack up. But he always gets his man. Gritty. Real. No punches pulled. And I love the books.

So how can someone like Ian Harvey have been an influence on my style of writing which has affectionately been called ‘quirky’ and ‘bonkers’. Well actually, it was a great influence, because I knew I wanted to write a crime fiction book, but having read something so gritty and true to life as the Resnick novels, I knew I was not going to be able to create something of that style. My writing style is very different and these books helped my realise I needed to find my own voice.

Which leads me to my third author, who you may not immediately think of as a crime fiction author. So let me set the scene and argue my case for this author who I will name in a few moments. Perhaps you can try and guess who it is?

Here is the premises of the story. A young boy is orphaned and forced to live with his two aunts who effectively force him into child labour. They eat him, he lives in squalid conditions and he hardly fed. This is clearly a crime. The young boy is eventually rescued and escapes these awful conditions.

Have you worked it out yet?

It’s of course Roald Dahl and the book is James and the Giant Peach, one of the great crime fiction novels. Okay, so perhaps I am stretching a point but the fact is that there was a crime in the book and the bad guys get their comeuppance in the end.

Clearly Roald Dahl had a massive influence on my writing. He demonstrated that anything is possible and any situation believable.

Which is why I hope you may take some time to read about Food Sapiens, those walking, talking, tax-paying food items who live amongst us. Follow the shenanigans of Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, a carrot, as he leads his team against food related crimes. Check out Addicted to Death or a Christmas cracker, Who Killed the Mince Spy?

Eiffel Tower Orange

AND YOU MY READERS,
WHO WAS THE FIRST CRIME FICTION AUTHOR
YOU READ?

Spring Reads Calendar

 

year of reading 2015 part 2

After the list of my 2015 favorites, here are my statistics.
Then you can see the fun I had with the titles I read in 2015

Year of reading 2015
Part 2

2015 was another fantastic reading year, with 88 books reads (93 in 2014), and 21 listened to (14 in 2014) = 109, which is an average of 9.08/month
=
2 more than last year

Books read in 2015:
88
[93 in 2014; 86 in 2013]. That’s an average of 7.3/month
Total of 23,075 pages (27,073 in 2014; 25,038 pages in 2013), which is an average of 63.2 pages/day.
Not counting the 4 books I translated into French.
That’s an average of 262 pages/book, (291 in 2014 and 2013)

Books listened to in 2015:
21
[14 in 2014; 18 in 2013]. This is an average of 1.75/month.
Total of 12,899 mn (8,522 min in 2014; 12,253 min in 2013) with an average of 35 mn/day.
That’s an average of over 10 hours/audiobook.

In graphs, this is what it looks like:

2015 AVERAGE pages per DAY

The spike in March is due to being one of the IFFP shadow panel judges

2015 av min per day

The huge difference in August is due to a long road trip!

2015 genre

hmm, historical fiction is no longer the majority here!!

2015 format

wow, my ebook percentage doubled from last year!

2015 authors

= nice balance!

2015 authors natless diversity than last year, but still happy

And introducing a new chart this year:2015 languages

neat that I ended up translating and publishing 3% of what I read!

In translation: 28 [25 in 2013]:

  • 16 from the French
  • 3 from the German
  • 2 from the Swedish
  • 2 from the Italian
  • 2 from the Japanese
  • 1 from the Spanish, Greek, and Russian

4 in original language: French
4 translated by me from English-French

Books by the same author: 31 [16 in 2014]:
= 5 by Louise Penny;
4 by Alaux & Balen, Tanya Anne Crosby, Brent Levasseur;
and 2 each by R. Akutagawa, Adria J. Cimino,  Ian Doescher, Gay Hendricks, Andrea Japp, Patrick Modiano, Mark Pryor

Re-Reads:
Bonjour Tristesse, by Françoise Sagan
Five on a Treasure Island, by Enid Blyton (originally read in French)
The Homilies, by Saint Gregory Palamas

Oldest: The Showings, by Julian of Norwich (1393).
Technically, Gregory Palamas is about 50 years before her, but I don’t think the whole group of his homilies were published together at the time, so I counted them under the English translation and publication!

Newest: The Lady Agnes Mystery vol 2, by Andrea Japp (01/12/2016)

2015 pub year

2015 sourcethanks publishers and authors!!

 

3 new American States these books led me to: South Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio

24 other countries these books led me to (14 last year) : Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, England, Equatorial Guinea, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Peru, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Syria, Tibet, Turkey, on Mars, and somewhere in other galaxies

Shortest bookRashomon, by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa – 10 pages (Japanese short story)

Longest book: The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins672 pages.

Longest audio: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn – 19:11 hours

Funniest: Look Who’s Back, by Timur Vermes

Most depressing: Stoner, by John Williams

Disappointing: Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters

Creepy: Floats the Dark Shadow, by Yves Fey

Eye-opener: The Dead Lake, by Hamid Ismailov

Best reading companion: The Fictional 100, by Lucy Pollard-Gott

Very useful: How to Blog a Book, by Nina Amir

Gorgeous pictures: Bridges of Paris, by James St Michael

Favorite characters of the year: Alice (The Lake House), Katie (The Keys of the Watchmen), Klas (The Ravens), Etta (Etta and Otto and Russell and James), Agnès (Lady Agnès Mystery)

Classics I finally got to read:
The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
In a Grove, by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
Stoner, by John Williams
La prisonnière, by Marcel Proust
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, by Arthur Conan Doyle

Books present for a while on my TBR that I finally got to read (other than the classics just mentioned):
Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters
The Art Forger, by Barbara Shapiro

Which authors new to me in 2015 that I now want to read the entire works of?
Kathleen C. Perrin, Hamid Ismailov, Tomas Bannerhed, Andrea Japp

New Series I want to pursue:
by Andrea Japp

Best title: Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

Longest book title:
Fiction:
So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood, by Patrick Modiano
Nonfiction:
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, by Alan Jacobs

Shortest book title: F, by Daniel Kehlmann

MORE FUN RECAP TOMORROW!

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