There's quite a bit of crime-fiction news in the Bookseller last week (11 June edition), not least the "International English-language charts" for May, which show Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy at positions 1,2 and 4 in Australia; 2,3 and 6 in the United States; 2,3 and 6 in South Africa; and 1, 2 and 5 in Ireland.
Other crime novels that are doing well on this particular international scene are This Body of Death by Elizabeth George and 61 Hours by Lee Child (Australia); Innocent by Scott Turow and 61 Hours (United States); and The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly and Hard Girls by Martina Cole (Ireland).
While on the topic of Stieg Larsson, there is a column by Lasse Winkler, the Swedish journalist who is said to be the last person to interview Larsson before the author died, about the possibility of a manuscript of a fourth novel. According to Winkler, Larsson left a draft of about 200 pages, together with synposes of some future novels in the series, on his (now-famous) laptop. His partner Eva Gabrielsson gave the laptop to Expo after the author's death, as most of the material on it belonged to the magazine. Gabrielsson says that this was the last time she saw it, and Expo says it is lost, or at any rate, they don't have it. According to Winkler, the laptop will "never surface" because none of the parties concerned wants it to fall into the hands of Larsson's official heirs, and Expo lost the bid for the Swedish film rights to the novels. I don't quite follow the logic, nor in fact do I care very much. Whatever does exist, if anything, won't be a finished novel and so isn't of much interest (to me).
Of some more interest, perhaps, is the third annual Book Video Awards competition, this time to make videos of The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason, Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton and Blood's a Rover by James Ellroy. Students at the National Film and Television School have been given £5000 each to make four 90-minute films, which will then be used to promote the books on YouTube and Amazon, as well as "fan sites". The public will be able to vote for their favourite video at Foyle's website during
September, and the winner will be announced in October. (Random House and The Bookseller are sponsors of the award, along with Foyles).
Finally, in the panel of booksellers who provide a monthly round-up of titles they are looking forward to selling in upcoming months is a recommendation by Ruth Hunter (BookTime editor at Bertrams) of a book called Sister, by Rosamund Lupton (Piatkus), which looks good. Ruth writes: "Sister is a twisty thriller featuring Beatrice as she recounts how she sought the murderer of her sister Tess. Found dead in a park lavatory, everyone assumed that Tess killed herself after the stillbirth of her baby, but Beatrice is convinced she was murdered. With many literary references and an entrancing plot involving obsession, madness and genetic engineering, this is a realistic story with a satisfying, surprise ending." One to look out for. The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill-Paton Walsh is also recommended, by the way – this time by Sue Scholes, fiction buyer for W H Smith. The novel recreates Dorothy L. Sayers's character Lord Peter Wimsey "with real style and intelligence…..A treat."