Category Archives: Crime fiction


We are offering a sale on all books on our website now and through December 5, 2021.

We are running out of room in the bookhouse, so the more you buy, the more you will save (and the more room we get for new books)

Buy 1 or 2 and get 10% off (code RETURN10)
Buy 3 or 4 and save 20% (code 3FOR20)
Try 5 or 6 and save 25% (code 5FOR25)
or go all out with 7 or more books and save 30%!! (code 7FOR30)

We have over 35,000 books on line now – almost 12,000 are signed by the author!

Don’t worry about having the proper code, we will make sure that your order includes all of the savings you are entitled to.

Media mail in the United States is free, priority mail and international mail is at cost, or slightly less. Note that the shopping cart might overestimate the cost of priority or international shipping: whenever possible, we will adjust it down, by taking advantage of flat rate options, etc.

Books make great gifts – and this is your chance to stock up for yourselves or the booklovers among your friends and family –

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask –

Never underestimate the power of the press (to sell books)

The NY Times recently ran an article reprinting their original reviews of classic crime novels from the 1920s and 1930s. Some – like the novels of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett and others – have retained their popularity nearly a century later.

Others are less well-known today. Included in the list was a review of Gladys Mitchell‘s fourth novel, which was the first one of her books to be published in the United States: “The Saltmarsh Murders.” Within hours all 3 of our copies were gone (sorry). We enjoyed the sudden demand, but for those who couldn’t find a copy of Saltmarsh, I can guarantee that most of her other books are just as eccentric and just as enjoyable – and they all feature Mrs (later Dame) Bradley.

“One of Britain’s most talented contemporary crime writers” (The Times)

I have enjoyed reading mysteries for as long as I have been reading, from juvenile series and on to more serious crime fiction, both vintage and modern. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of discovering many authors – the early books of James Lee Burke to Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, from Denise Mina (I heard a review of one of her books almost 20 years ago on NPR and as Michael Connelly commented “It took only one book for me to become a fan”) to Ann Cleeves (and not just her Scotland and Vera stories, but her earlier novels.) I had read a few books by Gladys Mitchell, but it was only when I binged on about 20 in a row that I really appreciated her! And, of course, by definition, authors who only started getting published in the 21st century are all new discoveries – two who stand out are Attica Locke and the Australian writer Jane Harper.

This digression is just to put the following comments in context: I recently unpacked and began cataloguing several signed copies of books by the English author John Baker and I picked one to read – “The Chinese Girl” – and found it quite good – how many crime thrillers use a word like “pullulation”? Even the title is more a metaphor for “otherness” than a description of the actual character: the young woman is Vietnamese, who was adopted by a British couple living in Hull and who now lives in Los Angeles. The story is both a violent and rather sweet, with an unforgettable “bucking” Shogun automobile as driven by Stone’s tiny but indomitable aunt. This was a stand-alone novel at the time (Baker wrote a sequel four years later), so now I have to try his Sam Turner detective series.

I am left wondering why I never heard of this writer who has been publishing novels since 1995….

Part of the reason is that his books do not seem to have been published in the US – which creates an even bigger mystery – why not?

Just a quick note – we have comments turned off, since we were buried in spam – but we would still love to hear from you – just send a quick email to chris at and let us know if you would like your comments to be public –