Badfellas, CrimeFest and the International Dagger

Badfellas Via email from the publisher, the excellent Bitter Lemon Press, Badfellas by Tonino Benaquista, translated from the French by Emily Read, is out now in the UK. According to the publisher: "violent, pacy and full of black humour, Benacquista's story explores what would happen if, say, the Soprano family were to move to Normandy – and the consequences are savagely funny."

After being a museum night-watchman, a train guard on the Paris-Rome line and a professional parasite on the Paris cocktail circuit, Benacquista now a highly successful author of fiction, film scripts and even graphic novels. His novels Holy Smoke, Someone Else and Framed were previously published by Bitter Lemon Press. His script for The Beat that my Heart Skipped, filmed by Jacques Audiard, won a Cesar. Emily Read is a well known translator from French. She has published a number of titles of non-fiction and fiction, including 'The Reckoning' by Georges Simenon.

The author is one of the featured guest authors at this year's CrimeFest in Bristol (20-23 May), which is one good reason for reading his latest book before then. Another is that Badfellas qualifies for the International Dagger 2010, according to this list of 60 eligible titles created by Karen Meek of Euro Crime. The shortlist from these 60 titles will be announced at CrimeFest.

When Karen drew up the list, I had read eight of these titles. Since then, I've read another, Death in Oslo by Anne Holt. I've now acquired another eligible title, The Woman from Bratislava, by Leif Davidsen. I hope to have read this novel, and one or two more at least, by the time of CrimeFest.

Norman Price on Leif Davidsen's books and Holy Smoke by Tonino Benacquista.

Badfellas reviewed at Crime Time, The Guardian (brief) and Bitter Lemon.