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  • Clair Lamb

April 2021 newsletter

Updated: May 11, 2021

Dear Folks,

Let me begin this newsletter by saying that April Fools' Day, very much like New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day, is a celebration designed for amateurs. Everything in this newsletter is true, I promise. Seriously, it's just not worth the confusion, or the potential damage to my imminent new career in male modeling (swimsuit division).

I hope you're all in a better position than you were this time last year, or even this time last week. The Irish vaccine rollout is proceeding rather slowly, so the chances of any kind of public events for THE NAMELESS ONES are looking kind of slim at the moment. Still, we have a Plan B in place, of which more below, and who knows what might happen—or what additional books might appear—later in the year. I think they call that a tease . . .

THE DIRTY SOUTH on sale in paperback today in the UK and Ireland

Were you able to go to a bookshop today in the UK or Ireland, you would see the lovely paperback cover of THE DIRTY SOUTH, which is both the latest and the earliest Parker novel. We contain multitudes. THE DIRTY SOUTH, for those of you who have not yet read it, is set mainly in 1997 Arkansas, before former NYPD Detective Charlie Parker began to understand his calling. Someone is killing young women and staging their bodies in a way that reminds Parker of his own wife’s murder, and he cannot turn away.

Since most bookstores in these isles continue to be closed, you can order from your favorite bookseller for delivery or pickup, earning gratitude from both them and me. US and Canadian bookstores will get their own edition of THE DIRTY SOUTH on May 11.

The many faces of THE NAMELESS ONES

One of the first questions many readers asked about THE DIRTY SOUTH was whether the story would include Angel and Louis, Parker’s unlikely comrades. At the risk of spoiling things, they do make an appearance in that book, but if you wanted to see more of them, you’ll want to place your order for THE NAMELESS ONES now.

The next book, coming to Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand in July and to the US and Canada in October (and to South Africa somewhere in between, closer to July than October), brings Angel and Louis back to Europe to hunt down the killers of Louis's longtime ally. Yes, Parker appears in this book (as do the Fulci Brothers, if you’re asking), but in a secondary role.

THE NAMELESS ONES has not one, not two, but three different covers in different parts of the world, to meet every discerning taste. These books are available for pre-order from your favorite booksellers, but keep reading before you click those links . . .

Those are, in order, the UK edition (Hodder & Stoughton), the Australian export edition (Hachette Australia), and the US edition (Atria/Emily Bestler Books).

Yes, there will be giveaways! And signed copies!

Right, so on to that Plan B. With the ongoing Unpleasantness, social distancing, and whatnot, signing books in person, as well as shaking hands, hugging, high-fiving, and whatever the young people are doing by way of greetings these days, may have to wait until later in the year. It has come to my attention, however, that some of you only come to these events to get free stuff. That’s all right, you can admit it. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Much.

To avoid further disappointment in a year that’s had too many, we have designed a new tote bag—in glorious navy, and probably the third of four such bags we’ll be doing—in honor of Louis & Angel getting another book of their own. They don’t advertise their services, so we had to come up with a logo and motto for them. I think they’d be pleased.

That lovely illustration, which I think is quite sweet, is an actual depiction of two Templar knights on horseback drawn by the English Benedictine monk Matthew of Paris, also known as Matthew Paris, and dates from the 13th century. I saw it, thought of Angel & Louis, and earmarked it for use down the line. The new bag provided me with that opportunity. The quote on the other side of the bag is one that I think most of my readers particularly associate with Angel & Louis—and, who knows, perhaps with themselves. After all, the angels need all the help they can get.

The bags will be available while supplies last with books from The Gutter Bookshop and Alan Hanna’s Bookshop in Dublin, No Alibis in Belfast, and Goldsboro Books in London. For those who like to support their local stores, O'Mahony's in Limerick, Waterstones Cork, Book Centre shops, the Ennis Bookshop and Dubray Books will also have totes and whatever signed thingummy we decide upon, and will have links to the new book soon. We’ll have more details next time, because that list of stores will grow as we near publication date, by which time—with luck—Irish bookshops will be open again for browsing. I miss browsing.

Australian and New Zealand readers, stay tuned; we’re trying to figure out a way to find a bookseller on your side of the world who might be willing to take advance orders for books that will come with bags and some form of signed book-related thingy—which we’re also working on—to save you some expensive mailing costs. Those books, though, will be the Hachette large format paperbacks, not hardbacks. If you want the hardback, I’m afraid ordering from our lovely bookseller friends on this side of the world is your best option.

During the summer we’ll be able to tell you which American bookstores will have the bags, signed thingy, etc.

Finally, the Hodder & Stoughton hardback first edition will come with the title page signed, so if you’re not fussed about picking up a bag (although why, I ask you, why?) you’ll be able to get your hands on a signed copy from your local bookseller.

See, we do try to keep you all happy. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t care so much, but darn it, you’ll all so loveable. Well, most of you.

Coming to a computer screen near you . . .

If you’d like to see me online since you can’t see me in person, you can do that late next week at Two Crime Writers & A Microphone’s Second (and last, God willing) Annual Locked Up Festival, April 8-10. Authors Luca Veste and Steve Cavanagh (the aforementioned Two Crime Writers) are hosting three days on online panels featuring some of the world’s best crime writers. You won’t see me until Saturday night at 8:00 BST, when I join the mighty Ian Rankin in conversation under the watchful eye of Brian McGilloway—but £20 will get you a pass to the whole thing, and they’ll email you a complete schedule with the program link. It’s all in support of the Trussell Trust, which supports nearly 2/3 of UK food banks, so thanks in advance for your generosity and support.

Tony Jones, one of the nice folk at Ginger Nuts of Horror, spent some of lockdown doing a complete critical re-read of the entire Parker series. You can read his conclusions here, and send him get-well-soon wishes through the Ginger Nuts website.

And you can hear me every Saturday on RTÉ Gold, when I host ABC to XTC, a one-hour radio show celebrating the punk, post-punk, and New Wave music of the late 1970s and early 1980s from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Dublin time. You can also find me on Twitter @jconnollybooks, and check in on Facebook for news as it comes up.

Happy Passover and happy Easter to those of you who celebrate, and thank you, as always, for your continuing support and enthusiasm. Better days are coming.


Y para mis lectores españoles . . .

¡Hola, mis amigos!

Como siempre, perdona mi español. Estoy tratando de practicar, pero . . .

Antigua sangre, el próximo libro de Charle Parker, será publicado en junio. Es un libro muy largo, el más largo de la serie hasta ahora, y por lo tanto van a tener mucha lectura para pasar el tiempo durante el verano.

Aquí, pueden leer la información sobre las fechas de publicación de Antigua sangre y, en la edición Maxi, La mujer del bosque. Las dos novelas saldrán el 23 de junio.

Lo siento, pero a causa de la pandemia, no será posible visitar España para la publicación del libros. Espero que podemos encontrarnos de nuevo pronto. Hasta ese momento, cuídense.

Con mis mejores deseos,


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