mandag den 28. februar 2011

Bogudfordringen - februars noveller.

En opsamlingspost om de tre novellesamlinger, jeg fik læst i februar. Den første i bogform, de to andre som e-bøger. At det blev tre amerikanske forfattere, er helt tilfældigt.

Først læste jeg Roald Dahls Kispus (1978), først udgivet på engelsk under titlen Kiss, Kiss (1959).
Indlæg om novellerne (fra to til fire stjerner):
Roald Dahl, Kiss, Kiss
Roald Dahl stories ...
Roald Dahl Stories.

Dernæst læste jeg Cathryn Grant´s samling af kortprosa, Flash Fiction for the Cocktail Hour (2010).
Indlæg om teksterne (tre-fire stjerner):
E is for Electronic Pleasures
F is for Flash Fiction 

Og til sidst gik jeg i gang med Laura Lippman´s Hardly Knew Her (2008).
Indlæg om novellerne (tre-fire stjerner):
Laura Lippman, Hardly Knew Her (2008)
Laura Lippman, Hardly Knew Her II
Laura Lippman, Hardly Knew Her III

Laura Lippman, Hardly Knew Her III

This is the third and final post about Lippman´s collection of short stories.

Easy as A-B-C
This is the story about a contractor who ends up redecorating his grandparents´ old house for a very charming, new buyer.

I liked this quotation in particular:
"The stuff in books - anyone can learn that. All you need is time and curiosity and a library card, and you can fake your way through a conversation with anyone."

What you cannot fake, according to our contractor, is his very important job, restoring old houses professionally so they won´t kill their owners one day.

The Shoeshine Man´s Regrets.
This is a Tess Monaghan story. Tess and her friend watch a shoeshine man and a rude customer. When they get into a fight, Tess interferes, doing her best to stop the two men, while her friend calls the police. Very soon what looked like a minor brawl turns into crime of quite different dimensions, however.

A charming story about human character.

I bought the Kindle edition myself. Recommended for lovers of short stories.

søndag den 27. februar 2011

Peter Lovesey, Diamond Dust (2004)

This is the fourteenth British Peter Diamond novel.

Peter Diamond of Bath CID ends a case successfully by putting one of the infamous Carpenter brothers in prison for life. He does not get much time to enjoy his success, however, because a few hours later his wife, Stephanie, is shot in a local park.

Of course he cannot be in charge of this case, and for a few weeks he is so engrossed in his loss and the funeral preparations that he accepts staying on the sideline, especially as his colleagues seem to be efficient and competent. But when he surfaces again, he cannot just watch the investigation which by now seems to lead nowhere.

After a slow part the story gathers speed in the second half. There is a good and entertaining plot, but I do get annoyed when experienced policemen forget about important clues for 300 pages. There is one unusual side to this detective, however; he genuinely loved his wife and remembered to tell her.

I bought the book myself for the What´s in a Name Challenge, a gem.

lørdag den 26. februar 2011

Laura Lippman, Hardly Knew Her II

This is the second post about Lippman´s collection of short stories.

The Babysitter´s Code
"The rules, the real ones, have seldom been written down, yet every girl knows them." 
Read this story about the young babysitter Terri Snyder, and you´ll never let a teenage girl babysit in your home again. Or perhaps you should just think about what you have left lying around in your lingerie drawer before you go.

Hardly Knew Her
Sofia is "a lean, hipless girl, the type that older men still called a tomboy in 1975" - a young girl who loves football but hates her father´s poker games - and the consequences for his family. His father has a habit of raiding the house and selling their belongings, and what can a girl do to get her treasures back? Quite a lot, it seems.

Arm and the Woman 

Many of my readers probably know much more about soccer moms than I do. Sally Holt is one of them, and she is also a very good listener which makes her very popular among men as well as women.

"To be a stay-at-home mother in Northwest D.C. was to be nothing less that a general, the Patton of the car pool, the Eisenhower of the HOV lane."

But when her husband leaves her, the whole system falls apart, and Sally has to come up with a plan to keep her home.

fredag den 25. februar 2011

Do The Write Thing (in aid of Christchurch)

As I am slowly recovering from a flu, I´ll just do the easy thing: copy most of Margot Kinberg´s post - please think about what you can do to help the victims of the terrible earthquake in New Zealand the other day. 


Hello, All,
First, thanks so very much for your supportive and kind comments about Do the Write Thing, the charity raffle I’m putting together to raise money for Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake relief.

Here are the details:
Several authors have already very kindly offered to donate signed copies of their books (Thank you!!) for this raffle. I’ll assemble the books into “book packages” that will be raffle prizes.
Once the list of authors and titles is final, I’ll announce the “packages.” You’ll then have the opportunity to win one of them. How do you get into the raffle? All we’ll ask is that you make a donation to the New Zealand Red Cross. Once you do that, you’ll be entered into the raffle, and you will have a chance to win a “book package” of terrific reads by very talented authors.
If you are an author who’d like to donate a signed copy of one of your books, please click the Email Me button on my sidebar (MargotKinberg(at)gmail(dot)com) and let me know that you’d like to be a part of Do the Write Thing and which title you’d like to contribute. Your donation will be greatly appreciated!! If you've already been in touch, thank you! I truly appreciate it.
If you’re not an author, but you want to get into the raffle, please stay tuned. Very soon (hopefully one day next week), I will have the final list of authors and titles, so you’ll get a chance to see the great prizes you could win. I’ll then post the prizes and include a clickable donation link so you can easily enter the raffle. You’ll have two weeks to enter the raffle. Then, at the end of two weeks, I’ll announce the winners. And don't worry; this is an international raffle. Helping others shouldn't be restricted.
Even if you would rather not donate a book or enter the raffle, please do me a favour. It would help me greatly if you’d pass the word along. Tweet it, Email it, or post a note on your own blog. 

Thanks again for your support. Let’s all do the write thing! 

Belinda Bauer, Blacklands (2010)

This thriller is a British debut.

Eleven-year-old Steven suffers from lack of attention. His grumpy granny and his single mother have never got over the fact that Uncle Billy disappeared nineteen years ago. The little boy was killed by the paedophile murderer, Arnold Avery, but as Avery has never confessed to this crime, no one knows where he is buried.

For years Steven rambles Exmoor, digging holes to find his missing uncle and make everything in his family right, until one day when it strikes him that it would be easier to ask Mr Avery where he hid the body.

No spoilers, but the rest of this intriguing debut is an intellectual battle between a smart, determined boy and an imprisoned monster. As we get several sections from the child abuser´s point of view, this story could have been a nasty experience, but clearly this writer knows what her readers want to know - and what they don´t. She strikes a fine balance between what is scary and what is just sensational.

Besides, she draws the little, lonely boy and his Exmoor excursions very well. Strongly recommended page-turner!

Thank you to Maxine of Petrona for the book.

torsdag den 24. februar 2011

Thy´s Day # 40

We chose to sit indoors.

onsdag den 23. februar 2011

DJ´s Bait in the Box # 89

[Bait box: Tim Duncan]

If you have read this debut, I think there is a fair chance this quotation will jog your memory.

"Nineteen years ago this eleven-year-old boy - probably much like himself - had tired of his fantasy space game and gone outside to play on a warm supper evening, apparently - infuriatingly - unaware that he would never return to put his toys away..."

The Rules:
If you recognize the quotation, or if you think you are able to guess who wrote it, please post a comment. Just leave a hint, do not spoil the fun by giving too much away. The book will be reviewed on Friday.

tirsdag den 22. februar 2011

Two-Sentence Tuesday

- Two-Sentence Tuesday is hosted by Women of Mystery -

What am I reading this week? Well, yesterday I put down a Swedish crime novel after 48 pages. I have just about had enough of spoiled, Swedish sailors for some time.

Why can´t I remember which debuts were good and which ones were less than overwhelming? If I had remembered my own review of this writer´s debut, I´d hardly have dragged this one home from the library. I always remember the brilliant ones, though.

Instead I picked up Peter Lovesey´s Diamond Dust. My expectations to this one are not sky high either, but I want to read it for the What´s in a Name challenge. What´s wrong with Peter Lovesey, you may wonder. Nothing, as far as I know, it´s just that British Peters who write lots of books tend to blur for me (James, Robinson, Lovesey). But perhaps Lovesey´s books are lovely - I hope so.

And now for a glimpse of my latest fish... eh, flash  fiction:

A Summer Fling

Monday Mildred Kickinbottom put on a brand-new polyester blouse in a delicate lavender shade, but Arnold didn´t notice. He was focusing on identifying those tiny bones of his herring and spitting them out, quite loudly, to remind Mildred what he thought about her choice of dinner. 

mandag den 21. februar 2011

G is for Girl-Power

For Kerrie´s weekly alphabet meme.

I am probably very spoiled because I can say I don´t need to be a feminist. What I mean is that other Danish women fought that fight before I entered the Danish workforce. So I have had two jobs which were earlier regarded as men´s jobs, and today I teach. I have taught for fifteen years and never, ever come across discrimination because of my gender.

It is not everybody who is so privileged so let G be for Girl-Power.

A female detective I discovered several years ago and still follow is Sue Grafton´s private detective Kinsey Millhone. Strong and stubborn, and she has all the determination and courage it takes to get the answers she needs to solve her cases. A protagonist with lots of personality - and who could be more suitable for an alphabet meme.

A new discovery is Alan Bradley´s little Flavia de Luce, the eleven-year-old protagonist of "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". Being a very young, female detective in Britain of the fifties cannot have been easy. And of course Flavia and her bike run into trouble and resistance - but real girls fight for what matters to them!

Finally there is my own Rhapsody Gershwin, a librarian and spare-time detective. (And a third motherless woman now that I think about it.) Rhapsody´s fiancé, Constable Primrose, does not get any kind of support - and hardly any assistance - from his superior, and when Rhapsody sees that he is in trouble, she sets out to find the information he needs about people in Knavesborough. To be honest, Rhapsody is  more curious than she is willing to admit so I am sure she enjoys hunting down the criminal.

søndag den 20. februar 2011

Laura Lippman, Hardly Knew Her (2008)

This is a collection of very different American short stories, the first part set in Baltimore.

The Crack Cocaine Diet
Kelley and her friend Molly have just dropped their boyfriends which is why they need a quick diet and new dresses to show the world how stupid these guys were to let them go. They decide cocaine must be the most efficient cure, and these two nice girls begin to look for an appropriate Baltimore corner to get their chosen drug.

Dear Penthouse Forum (A First Draft)
Andrew is stranded in the airport, having to wait for a plane the next morning, but fortunately he meets Maureen, a woman who is generous in more than one way and more than willing to help him out.

These stories are darker than Lippman´s Tess Monaghan stories, but strongly recommended. I bought the Kindle edition myself.

lørdag den 19. februar 2011

Just playing around

I bought a new programme today that makes it much easier for me to experiment with pictures - and book covers, as you can see.

And as I have promised myself I will be much more professionel when I publish my next volume of flash fiction, it may not be such a bad idea to try to come up with a cover that has some kind of connection with the book (click on the photo to enlarge it).

Not that there will be much liquorice in it - but plenty of twists.

Tell me what you think - will my bait work, or do I need chocolate?

fredag den 18. februar 2011

Declan Burke, The Big O (2007)

This love ... eh caper crime story is the writer´s second novel. No, of course a male Irish writer doesn´t write love stories. Yet... No, certainly not.

"Except what Karen remembered best was his eyes in the split-second when he realised what had just happened. How they got clearer but stayed perfectly still. Tigery eyes, gold flecks in hazel. Karen, knowing he couldn´t see her face behind the helmet´s visor, had been tempted to wink."

So this is the story about Ray and his companions who want to abduct Margaret, Frank´s ex-wife. Or perhaps it is the story about Karen, Frank´s receptionist and Margaret´s friend, who holds up people in her spare time and meets Ray during one of her stick-up ventures. 

And that´s when things begin to get a bit complicated. You are already confused? Honestly, so was I, at least half of the time, but I didn´t mind very much, because this story was just so funny that I didn´t worry too much about who did what to whom.

The book was a gift from a blog friend. I read it for the Ireland reading challenge # 3 and What´s in a Name (size).

torsdag den 17. februar 2011

Thy´s Day # 39

Does she really look like someone who is ready for eighty birthday guests?

No comments 
- but if you want a quiet, dignified birthday party, 
you may consider NOT inviting your siblings!

onsdag den 16. februar 2011

Roald Dahl stories (1959)

My third and last post about Dahl´s collection, Kiss, Kiss (1959)

Georgy Porgy 
This is the story of George the vicar who is not exactly confident around women. A long story, including a rat experiment which is supposed to show something about the behaviour of the sexes.

This one was just too weird, even for me - enough said.

The Champion of the World
Here we meet the mechanics Gordon and Claud who have a nightly hobby: poaching pheasants. They come up with a marvelous plan, including some raisins, a perambulator and nearly two hundred pheasants.

A hilarious short story.

tirsdag den 15. februar 2011

Two-Sentence Tuesday

After an extraordinary week, I settled down to write again yesterday. Not my novel yet, it may take a few days until I am back in full swing, but I wrote a flash fiction story. 

Two-Sentence Tuesday is hosted by Women of Mystery, and here is my teaser:

Wailing Sirens

Arthur stumbled across the threshold, clutching his old briefcase. Spatters of blood enticed him through the hall, up the carpeted stairs, into the musty bedroom where someone had wreaked havoc on his world.

mandag den 14. februar 2011

F is for Flash Fiction

Thank you, Kerrie, for hosting the weekly Crime Fiction Alphabet.

Flash is glimpses of angst, paranoia, dark humour - anything that lurks beneath the suburban facade.
I have read the second half of Cathryn Grant´s collection, "Flash Fiction for the Cocktail Hour", and again I will share a couple of quotations with you.

Get the collection for free - for a few days. 

Sitting with the Dead
The narrator, an old woman, meets her grandson´s fiancé, but is less than thrilled.

"She wore a dress with thin straps over her creamy white shoulders. Each time she reached for her wine glass, the strap on the left slid down her arm. The side of her breast popped out like the egg white emerges from a crack in a boiling egg - a silken bubble."

Besides, young Clara is a medium, conducting séances for money. A despicable practice as the dead should be left alone. No spoilers, but this particular story is among my favourites.

Out of Options.

Ah, black garbage sacks! I wonder what is in them in real life, but we all know what to expect when we come across them in crime fiction, don´t we?
Karla the caretaker doesn´t like dead bodies, but when she sees something sticking out of one of those black sacks in a dumpster, it seems she has no choice. Lovely (dark) twist.

A sinister story about fireworks, but as always full of fine little observations about human beings and their priorities, "The carbonation sizzled against his teeth, probably rotting them away while he stood here doing nothing but wanting to kill someone." 

Latest news: see the winners of Cathryn´s give-away 

søndag den 13. februar 2011

Vanda Symon, Overkill (2007)

This police procedural from New Zealand is the first volume of the Sam Shephard series.

Gabriella thinks she lets a telephone repairman into her house, but her visitor has something else in store for the young mother. After the quotation I shared with you the other day, I was caught up in this story, wishing I could forget about work and just sprint through the story. I had to know who and why! No more about the plot - it´s fine - enough said. And though the prologue would be tough reading for most parents, this is not a graphic story that revels in gruesome details.

Sam Shephard is a small, twenty-eight-year-old cop who grew up having to prove she could do everything a bit better than her brothers. She is an interesting protagonist who is down-to-earth and easy to relate to. She is not exactly used to ugly murder cases, and as she knows Gabriella´s family far too well, it is difficult for her to draw the line between work and personal involvement. First of all she is a good police woman, however, always dogged and determined, using her brains and any other resources at hand to get results.

The story offers a good sense of place. Mataura, New Zealand, is a world which is different from mine in some ways, yet I have trod in my share of cow dung and felt oddly at home in this farming community. Did I remember to mention there is also a touch of humour?

Vanda is a friend from my Crime and Mystery FriendFeed room, and when she heard my lament about how difficult it was to get her debut in Europe, she sent me a review copy with a lovely inscription. But as Vanda has landed a London agent recently, there is hope that this great series will be published closer to my home soon (her latest novel is on the New Zealand bestseller list right now). We are keeping our fingers crossed, Vanda, because we want access to your Sam Shephard books!

Global Reading Challenge # 5, Australasia (New Zealand)

lørdag den 12. februar 2011

Print on Demand

I don´t know about you, but what I had expected from 
my place of work was a bouquet of flowers or something. 
I got a unique jar with a very personal touch. 

fredag den 11. februar 2011

Roald Dahl stories & An Interview

Meet me today in an interview on Maxon Canyon´s blog "Thoughts in Progress". I hope you´ll join me/us - and remember to take a look at Mason´s cool blog. 


Roald Dahl, Parson´s Pleasure + Mrs Bixby and the Colonel´s Coat
This is my second post about Dahl´s collection of short stories, Kiss, Kiss from 1959.

Mr Boggis, antique dealer and trickster, roams the English countryside to find exquisite furniture. One Sunday afternoon he stumbles on something quite extraordinary, a piece of furniture he must have, so now he just has to persuade the local farmer to sell it for a song.

Mrs Bixby is married to a boring dentist in New York but goes off to Baltimore once a month to have some fun with her more interesting colonel. She is in ecstasies when he gives her a beautiful mink coat, but how can she return home from a visit to her ´poor aunt´ with such an expensive present? Mrs Bixby comes up with a plan.

Both of these stories are of the ´he who laughs last laughs longest´ type, and though they were good, I didn´t find them quite as entertaining as "The Way Up to Heaven."

"Præstemandens fryd" & "Mrs Bixby og oberstens pels"
Her er mit andet indlæg om Roald Dahls novellesamling, Kispus.

Mr Boggis, antikvar og svindler, strejfer omkring på landet i England på jagt efter udsøgte møbler. En søndag falder han over noget helt usædvanligt; et møbel han simpelthen må eje, så drejer det sig bare om at narre det fra landmanden for en slik.

Mrs Bixby er gift med en kedelig tandlæge i New York men tager til Baltimore en gang om måneden for at more sig med sin noget mere spændende oberst. Hun er ellevild, da han forærer hende en smuk minkpels, men hvordan skal hun kunne komme hjem fra sin ´fattige tante´ med så dyr en gave? Mrs Bixby udtænker en plan.

Begge noveller er af typen ´den som ler sidst, ler bedst´, men selv om de var udmærkede, kom de ikke på højde med "Himmelstigen."

torsdag den 10. februar 2011

FORÅRS-(S)NY(D)T fra Thy. Going, going, gone.

Endnu en inspirerende fotoopgave fra Blogkvinder 40+: billeder af det spæde forår.
Hm. En hurtig runde i haven, hvor mørket er ved at falde på, men nej, jeg kan ikke finde så meget som en spire af en vintergæk.

Jamen så må I jo have et billede af et hængeparti. Se pilen på fotoet ovenfor: et træ, som svæver frit i luften - tilsyneladende. Der var desværre ikke mange sekunder til at fange det, så undskyld den dårlige kameravinkel.

onsdag den 9. februar 2011

A Teaser

As I know how difficult it is to get this crime novel in Europe and America, I don´t think it is fair to call this a bait post.

"The day it was ordained that Gabriella Knowes would die there were no harbingers, omens or owl´s calls. No tolling of bells. With the unquestioning courtesy of the well brought up, she invited death in.

Death politely showed his identification and explained that there had been a telecommunication problem in the area. He then requested Gaby check her household phone had a dial tone."

Uncanny, isn´t it? This book has been on my wish list forever, and I finally held it in my hand the other day. The quotation is from New Zealand writer Vanda Symon´s debut, Overkill (2007).

I promise to review it soon, but I am a bit busy these days so I don´t know exactly when soon will be.
Visit Vanda´s blog and all her temptations  (including a most intriguing cake once in a while).

tirsdag den 8. februar 2011

Why I Love Reading and Writing

- this magnificent quilt belongs to Heather, and when I read her post about it the other day, I knew I couldn´t find a better illustration for this post - thank you for letting me bring it -

This post is part of a launch campaign by Cathryn Grant of Suburban Noir. To win a wonderful debut novel, or even a Wi-Fi Kindle, see the rules beneath my post.

I have loved reading ever since I learned how to at the age of seven. I have had several other interests and hobbies over the years, but reading has always been number one. When I am engrossed in a book, I am in another world. Pure and simple.

My dream of writing began at the same time. I began my first novel when I was seven - did I finish two or three short pages? - and I have had several false starts since then. The final push came a few years ago when I got the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. I had to make some changes in my life, work less and give up some (several, actually) of my many interests and ambitions. Enough said about that, though, because my somewhat sofa-bound existence gave me time to reflect: how did I want to spend all those hours when I had to sit quietly or lie down?

Of course I read more, especially in periods, but I was also determined to see this as my opportunity to do something about my old dream: writing crime fiction. Since then, I have had several rejections of my two Danish novels and plenty of my English flash fiction stories. But I have also had great moments, such as when Every Day Fiction bought my first flash fiction story ´Lollipop´ a year ago and when ´Megamartyres´ was published in "Discount Noir" in October. Or the other day when...

Enough about me - at least for twenty-four hours. Here is my review of Cathryn´s "The Demise of the Soccer Moms".


Cathryn´s give-away.

Enter the Suburban Noir contest for the chance to win a copy of "The Demise Of The Soccer Moms". The grand prize is a Wi-Fi Kindle. Rules for the Kindle Giveaway:

1. Between February 4 and midnight PST, February 11, comment on any one of the 7 participating blogs (see the list here) to get one entry per comment. Limit of one comment per blog for a possible total of 7 entries.

2. Between February 4 and midnight PST, February 11, tweet any one of the participating blogs to get one entry per tweet. Limit of one tweet per blog for a possible total of 7 entries. Tweets must have @CathrynGrant so I can track them.

3. Participants can have a total of 14 entries between commenting on blogs and tweeting.

4. Ten people will win their choice of an eBook or paperback copy of Cathryn Grant's Suburban Noir Thriller, "The Demise Of The Soccer Moms". One additional person will win a Wi-Fi Graphite Kindle (valued at $139) pre-loaded with a copy of "The Demise Of The Soccer Moms". Please note the paperback copy will not be available until March. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator

"The Demise Of The Soccer Moms" tells the story of a seemingly quiet suburban neighborhood which is upended when a provocative single mother saunters onto the school playground for the first time. Her Doc Marten boots, tight T-shirts, and in-your-face attitude stir up buried fears and sexual anxiety.
In the dark corners of her home, a woman battles crippling memories that threaten to destroy the family she wants so desperately to protect. A suspicious death forces her best friend to make a hard choice between marriage and friendship.

Paranoia, jealousy, and maternal instinct collide, leading to the demise of the soccer moms.
The competition is open to readers from North America, Europe, Australia and NZ (if you live in another part of the world and want a chance, you may send a mail to Cathryn via her blog).

mandag den 7. februar 2011

"Candied Crime" & TV MidtVest

[Our regional TV brought a short story about my new e-book. I talk about "Candied Crime", flash fiction and e-books - but in Danish, of course. If you take a peep anyway, you´ll have to wait for the second news story] 

Lige et kort reklameindslag til danske læsere.

Klik på linket her for at se et kort glimt af mig i TV MidtVest (fra aftennyhederne mandag kl 19.30). Efter indslaget fra Ringkøbing bibliotek er i velkomne i rød stue i Thy.


E is for Electronic Pleasures

[Kerrie´s alphabet meme + two-sentence Tuesday, Women of Mystery - a bit early]

Do you know how many free or cheap pleasures you can find out there? IF you can read electronic texts in one way or the other. (If you are reading this, you probably can).

I downloaded a great selection of free flash fiction the other day: "Flash Fiction for the Cocktail Hour" - eleven well-written stories full of intriguing characters - written by American Cathryn Grant.

As I am going to use this collection for my Danish challenge (short story month), I´ll bring a couple of delicious quotations over the month.

A Thousand and One Bottles of Wine.
"She plucked at the spandex that clung to her legs like cobwebs. She wasn´t sure if the tight fabric looked good because it showed how slim she was, or looked bad because it left nothing to the imagination."

Things change in Corrine´s life, and she decides it´s a good opportunity to think of her life style. Read the story to see how this attempt turns out. And you know what: you can download the whole collection from Smashwords - absolutely free of charge. But don´t come back to blame me if you develop an addiction to Cathryn´s stories! I read one, and I have followed her blog ever since.

Tomorrow: come back to see how you can win Cathryn´s brand-new novel, The Demice of the Soccer Moms, or even a Kindle for one, very lucky winner.

Finally, a quotation from my latest flash story, Hand in Glove.

She found the other glove under a woodpile, and it all came back.
"Your mother loved you, sweetheart. She went up to your room and kissed you goodbye before she left," her father had assured her. 


søndag den 6. februar 2011

Sunday Sweets

Three days after my e-book launch of "Candied Crime" I am very satisfied, perhaps even a bit overwhelmed. Not that this will be a get-rich-quick scheme, but I have sold some copies, and people have downloaded almost twice as many free samples.

And then there are all my generous blog friends. Friends who have encouraged me to write, commented on my stories for two years, bought my collection and wished me luck here, there and everywhere.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your support, no matter in which form- without you I´d never have tried this!

And with friends like these, you won´t even need an advertising budget: 

Bernadette added "Candied Crime" to GoodReads for me and reminded me I´d have to create an author page.

Margot, José, Cathryn and Martin mentioned my launch in their blog posts.

Sunday additions: Mason Canyon Scandinavian Crime (Barbara).

A Big Fish in a Small Bowl

And then there are the Danish media. I wasn´t too surprised that the local paper found "Candied Crime" worthy of mention, but I hadn´t bargained for a whole page (four columns plus a Danish flash story for the last two columns). A link to the abridged internet version - yours truly sitting comfortably in the journalist´s chair, looking at my own blog. 

I was taken aback a few hours later when the regional radio station called me to get an interview which was brought Friday morning. (I just got an e-mail from a friend who actually heard me - I was sound asleep until it was all over).

But the wonders were not even over; in the afternoon the regional TV station was on the phone: would I like to participate in a weekly program about what had happened in the region? If all goes according to plan, I should be on the screen some time Wednesday. Amazing, isn´t it? (I have dusted my living-room).

lørdag den 5. februar 2011

Roald Dahl, Kiss, Kiss (1959)

In January I read two "crime novels published before 2000" for my Danish reading challenge.
In February we have to read at least one collection of short stories so I have picked up this collection of the late British writer Roald Dahl´s short stories. I am sure many of you know him already either for his children´s books or for crime stories such as "Lamb to the Slaughter".

The first story in the Danish edition (with five stories only) is "The Way Up to Heaven". In this fine little story Mrs Foster is going abroad to visit her daughter. She is almost driven to distraction, however, as it is of the utmost importance for her never to be late, but her husband just doesn´t care. Or is it possible that he enjoys watching her growing frustration? Vintage Roald Dahl!

NB: remember, you have the chance to win an e-book until Sunday night

Roald Dahl, Kispus (1978).
I januar læste jeg to krimier fra før 2000 som en del af Bogudfordringen 2011. I februar skal der læses novellesamling, så jeg hev en samling Roald Dahl-historier ned fra hylden. Mange af jer kender ham sikkert, enten for "Charlie og Chokoladefabrikken", eller for hans finurlige kriminoveller.

Den første historie er Himmelstigen. Mrs Foster, som nærmest er besat af at komme til tiden, skal på et længere besøg hos sin datter i Paris, men som sædvanlig bliver hendes mand ved med at trække tiden ud. Er han bare et smøl, eller kan det tænkes, han nyder at se sin kones voksende ængstelse?

Førsteklasses Roald Dahl-historie!

fredag den 4. februar 2011

Brian McGilloway, Gallows Lane (2008)

This Irish police procedural is the second in the Inspector Benedict Devlin Series.

This book was a fine choice for the Irish challenge. It conveys a strong sense of the setting close to the border of Northern Ireland and the special working conditions for the police force in a border area. Besides, McGilloway strikes a fine balance between giving too much or too little information about ´the Troubles´ between North and South.

On the very first page James Kerr is released from prison, and Superintendent Costello orders Devlin to keep an eye on him to find out if he really has found Jesus or is bent on revenge. He acted as a driver in a robbery, but his partners shot him and left him in the car for the police to pick him up.

Other elements of the plot are young women who are beaten up, and some drugs which are found in the backyard of British Peter Webb. Apparently Webb reacts by committing suicide, but perhaps things are a bit more complex. Besides, James Kerr seems to be interested in Webb and his wife.

As usual, Ben Devlin and his partner, Caroline Williams, have to get round the Special Branch to try to get some of the answers to their questions. Devlin is a likeable and very human protagonist who loves his family but gets caught up between priorities such as honesty, loyalty to colleagues and his own ambitions.

I bought the book myself, and I am looking forward to the third volume which is already on my shelf.
Read for the Ireland Reading Challenge # 2.

torsdag den 3. februar 2011

DJs mini-krimier i morgenradio (Radio MidtVest)

I morgen tidlig (kl 6-10) bringer P4 Midt & vest et interview med mig i anledning af udgivelsen af "Candied Crime".

Just announcing a local Danish radio interview with me tomorrow morning.

Book Launch: Candied Crime

[Til mine danske læsere: denne mini-antologi er på engelsk, og den kan kun fås som e-bog. Men skulle nogen være interesseret, er der RTF-versionen, som kan læses på skærmen, PDF-versionen, som er god til udprintning, og jeg tror også, én af versionerne kan læses på ipad]

Saturday I had an idea, Sunday I blogged about it - and Monday I went ahead. I know; I am a bit spontaneous, but you did encourage me.

So now I have an e-book out there, published by Smashwords:

Candied Crime, DJ´s Daim Stories, vol I.

(Daim/Dajm is a Scandinavian candy bar - also called a Dime Bar)

Those of you who have followed my blog for two years will have read most of the stories already. There are five Knavesborough stories, five other humorous stories from the blog, plus three new ones. Most of them are very short - from 150 to 2500 words.

Some of you may wonder what the picture has to do with my stories. Nothing whatsoever - but it has everything to do with Thy - and for this writer this is indeed a Thy´s Day!

If you are curious, you can download a free sample - or you can buy the whole thing for 99 cents - less than ten dimes.

A link to a Danish newspaper article about my launch: Dorte skriver mini-krimier på engelsk.

NB: I know that I have several generous, thoughtful friends and if you blog about this, it will probably be a good idea to make it clear that this is a cosy or humorous crime collection. But if this venture is a success, I may publish (read: I am planning) volume II with some of my more serious flash fiction.

onsdag den 2. februar 2011

DJ´s Bait in the Box # 88 - win an e-book

This quotation comes from a brand-new collection of very short crime stories.

     When Toffee Brown moved to Knavesborough, no one noticed her the first few weeks. She could just as well have been a ghost. Perhaps she was? No, surely she would have noticed. She tried to poke a finger through her own body and wailed loudly. These country bumpkins just chose to ignore her! How inconsiderate! 

     She, however, noticed her neighbour in the adjacent house. The blind man in the wheelchair with the afghan coverlet and the blue-eyed cat constantly on his lap. She especially noticed that each time they passed each other on the pavement, the cat ignored her, while the man seemed to be following her with his eyes, but of course that was impossible. Toffee, you are losing it, she whispered to herself.

Can you guess who wrote it?

Send me an e-mail with the name of the writer before Sunday - among the correct answers I will draw one winner of the e-book version of this collection.

tirsdag den 1. februar 2011

D is for Detectives

[For Kerrie´s alphabet meme and for Two-Sentence Tuesday, hosted by Women of Mystery]

Many of my readers probably like series just as much as I do; the feeling that opening the next book, you will meet friends who are as familiar as your favourite slippers. Yet they can also surprise you – which is all the better.

Today I will only mention one couple, Daniel Kind and Hannah Scarlett, known and loved by thousands of fans, created by Martin Edwards in his Lake District Series.

Officially, Hannah is the detective while Daniel is just a historian. Somehow he always gets involved in her cases, however. There may be more than one reason for this, but it is clear that crime and research appeal to him. Both characters are credible and interesting personalities, and though we like them and take an interest in what happens to them, they are not boringly flawless.

A few words about Rhapsody Gershwin and Archibald Primrose, my own partners in crime.

Archibald is the village constable, but Rhapsody always stumbles on something sinister. She loves working together with her fiancé on a case, and she is probably more dogged than dainty. So far, she sees detecting as an exciting hobby, and an opportunity to get away from household chores which don´t appeal to her very much.Below Rhapsody is trying to question a young man in Aldburgh, her new setting:

“So you are home for the weekend?” Rhapsody said to Darwin, and at least she succeeded in making him lift his gaze from the floor. He studied her with his mouth slightly open until he made up his mind she deserved a smile. Not that she cared of course; she just wanted to form an impression of the people around her.
“Yeah,” he breathed, nodding as if he had said something very profound.
“I´m afraid I don´t know exactly what you are studying,” she beamed at him.
“Really?” He left his mouth open and his eyes on her cleavage.

Who is your favourite amateur sleuth? Why does this character appeal to you? 

NB: I never ever link to videos because they ´are not my thing´, but I must admit I found this one irresistible: I am reading a book. 

Thank you for the fun, Elaine.