Latest News and Blog Posts

Numpty [the Wednesday Word]

Scotland. As a dreich afternoon in Perthshire reflects the current dark pallor of the nation’s mood, gorged on intoxicating rhetoric and hot referendum debates, it seems apt to share a word dear to all Scots to decribe their enemies, their friends, and most of all themselves.

Courtesy of a Scots dictionary tea towel purchased at the mighty Gretna Green services. Along

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Dancing on the Dead

Campbell Lawless is having a few sneaky outings between novels. Thanks to performances and magazines, Lawless has ventured into the short fiction format, encountering Delinquents in Pentonville, Pickpockets at Piccadilly, and Three tasty little Piglets in Portsmouth’s Spice Island. These will be collected anon into a tidy little volume, and the Portsmouth Fairy Tales contributions may be heard in Portsmouth

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Bookish terminology [the Wednesday word]

Do you book shimmy? Here is some bookish terminology culled from the nice people at

I particularly recognise the book shimmy. Ooh. Mmm.

And Book Hangover is the excuse I gave my philosophy teacher at a 9am tutorial after reading 100 Years of Solitude all night instead of writing my essay.

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Blooming Flowers

For those awaiting Lawless and the Flowers of Sin, which was due to be published on 1st August 2014, my apologies. The publisher AngryRobot has withdrawn their whole crime imprint Exhibit A.

Despite this untimely delay, we hope to secure a publisher soon for ever so contemporary tale of Victorian salacity. Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square garnered fans on

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Lost verbs [the Wednesday Word]

onsra   to love for the last time

In this occasional series on vocabularies lost and overlooked, I shall explore slang old and new, borrowed words, malapropisms, spoonerisms, inspirations for my Victorian urchins’ fruity expression and inspirations for different ways of thinking.

Today’s word falls in two remarkable categories: words from another language that express something we cannot express so economically, and

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Crime Traveller

Thoughts written for Red Herrings magazine and posted by the Crime Readers Assocation.

Crime Traveller

William Sutton


I used to envy modern linguists swanning off for their third year abroad. I studied Classics; I wished I could take a sabbatical in ancient Athens or Rome. Years later, when I ran away to Brazil, I never imagined that

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Mapmaking for Flowers

I love a map. This is the way we make a map, we scribble thoughts, we steal ideas, we try out fonts and scrunch them up, then beg for help from those who know, and finally when the map is done, it welcomes the reader into the book. Come hither, it cries, for I am a friendly guide into uncharted territories where you shall, perhaps, meet some of these oddlooking fellows.

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Shopping list for writing

Between the oats and the creme fraiche

falls the positive frame of mind.



Balter: to dance artlessly [the Wednesday Word]



BALTER – to dance artlessly, without skill, but with enjoyment.

Thanks to for today’s word, which I shall be shamelessly employing on Saturday at my friend’s wedding, after singing the Olivia Newton John part on You’re the One that I Want (stitch-on leather costume still under construction.


Murderous Harrogate

The seventeen smartest things I heard at Harrogate Crime Festival 2014


Worse Things Happen at Home, wise panel, wittily run by NJ Cooper, with Helen FitzGerald, Cath Staincliffe, Julia Crouch and Chris Ewan.


If killers are born and not made, are they less guilty or more guilty?

Is intent an essential part of guilt?


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