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  • Clair Lamb

April 2023

Dear Folks,

April’s sweet showers have pierced March’s drought, to paraphrase Geoffrey Chaucer (that English degree wasn’t wasted), and May is on the way, bringing with it my 55th birthday. I know, how do I stay so young and pretty? Well, dim lighting helps, as well as not wearing my glasses when I look in the mirror. Denial also works.

Funnily enough, my publishers recently suggested that now might be the time to get some new author photos taken, but I’ve been a bit resistant. Apart from reminding me of the passing of the years, I’m very fond of the one that features on most of my hardbacks, in which I’m in the company of the beloved, departed Sasha. I’m tempted to embrace some reverse Picture of Dorian Gray aesthetic, whereby I get older but my portrait remains eternally youthful. Then again, I’m reminded of an incident in the Isle of Man some years ago, in which a reader remarked — before I’d signed his books, incidentally, indicating a degree of foolhardiness on his part — that my jacket photo had been taken a long time ago. Have I been back to the Isle of Man since? I have not.

Anyway, over the months to come you will have a chance to judge for yourselves how the years are treating me. As part of my preparations for the publication of THE LAND OF LOST THINGS, I’ve made a series of short films under the title Two-Minute Book Club, and these will be made available on a weekly basis from the start of May. Each one sees me discuss a book I love, often one that influenced the creation of the two LOST THINGS novels, and we’ll be posting them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere every Friday. I really enjoyed talking about the titles in question, some of which may come as a surprise. I hope you enjoy watching – and remember: Be kind, because the Middle-Age Bus has a seat for everyone. I’ll keep one for you . . .


As previously mentioned, my next book will be THE LAND OF LOST THINGS, a second book set in the world of THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. It will be on sale in Ireland and the UK on September 7, in Australia and New Zealand on September 12, and in the US and Canada on September 19. Once again, Rob Ryan has done splendid work on the cover art.

THE LAND OF LOST THINGS is the story of Phoebe, an eight-year-old girl lying between life and death, and of her mother, Ceres, who finds her way into a land that promises deliverance even as it threatens disaster. You can read an excerpt at the bottom of the book’s page on my website (click here and scroll down).

My publishers on opposite sides of the Atlantic are making their own plans for promotion, which will include tour dates in Ireland, the UK, and the US. We’re trying to figure out how to include Canada this time around, as it’s been a long time since I’ve crossed that northern border. As we confirm dates, we’ll post them to the Events page of the website, and share details on Facebook and Twitter; once everything is set, we’ll send around a newsletter with the whole schedule.

In the meantime, booksellers are already taking preorders. These booksellers in Ireland and the UK will have signed copies:

These booksellers in Ireland and the UK will have signed copies, but not all their copies may be signed, so you’ll need to specify:

This is by no means an exclusive list! Your favorite bookseller will doubtless be happy to take your pre-order, and we’ll have more links to share in future newsletters.

In the US, Barnes & Noble is offering a 25% discount on preorders through April 28 only; use the code PREORDER25 at checkout. The book is available for preorder from the usual book sites as well, but will take you to the independent bookseller closest to you. Meanwhile, Goodreads is offering a giveaway of advance proof copies to US readers only, with entries due by May 9; details are here.

We’re currently trying to figure out whether and how we can make signed books available in the US beyond the tour locations, and should have more information about that in late spring/early summer. We’ll also have a little gift to give away with copies purchased through the independent bookstores supporting THE LAND OF LOST THINGS, so watch for that in an upcoming newsletter, too. If you’re an independent bookseller and would like to be included in that promotion, send an email to


TUMBAS SIN NOMBRE, the Spanish edition of THE NAMELESS ONES, will be available from Tusquets Editores on May 31, which happens to be that 55th birthday of mine. From the publishers:

En Ámsterdam, cuatro personas aparecen salvajemente asesinadas en una casa junto a un canal; sus restos están dispuestos alrededor del cadáver de su líder, llamado De Jaager. Este, además de ser un intermediario, un «solucionador», era el confidente de un asesino llamado… Louis.

Al parecer, los autores de esa salvaje matanza son serbios que cometieron numerosos crímenes durante las guerras yugoslavas. Y creen que pueden escapar de la venganza de Louis huyendo a su tierra natal. Pero se equivocan. Porque Louis —que es, efectivamente, el amigo de Charlie Parker y cuya pareja es Angel— ha llegado a Europa para darles caza. Su objetivo: encontrar y castigar a los asesinos de De Jaager antes de que desaparezcan en el Este.

Going fast: a bargain on THE DIRTY SOUTH for US e-readers!

My American publishers are offering THE DIRTY SOUTH, the 18th Charlie Parker novel — but chronologically the first, as its story is set before the main events of EVERY DEAD THING — for a mere $1.99 on all e-book platforms, only until May 1.

With Paul Charles at the Dalkey Book Festival

It will be my great pleasure to interview my friend Paul Charles as part of the Dalkey Book Festival in June. In addition to being a fine crime writer, Paul is one of the founders of the Asgard music agency, which means he’s worked with the cream of the world’s musicians, including Van Morrison, Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and many more. His forthcoming memoir, ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, is already one of my favorite books of the year, and we’ll be discussing it on Sunday, June 18. Tickets are available here.

And also . . .

I continue to revise the next Charlie Parker novel, which is due to my editors at the end of this summer. The paperback of THE FURIES, already on sale in the UK and Ireland, will be available in the United States on September 5, just before the publication of THE LAND OF LOST THINGS.

ABC to XTC, my weekly radio show celebrating the punk, post-punk, New Wave and electronic music of the late 1970s and 1980s, streams every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time on RTÉ Gold, but you can listen back to the most recent shows any time via the RTÉ mobile app (available worldwide, I think), or through the RTÉ Gold website.

So there we are. I hope life is treating you gently. Birthday gifts to the usual address, please. Cash is preferable.

Best wishes,


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