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  • Clair Lamb

August 2020 newsletter

Dear Folks,

And so, after two postponements, publication of THE DIRTY SOUTH is finally imminent, with the book ready to hit shelves this week. I just wanted to thank you all for your patience with the delays, and for being so good-humored and understanding about the various challenges we’ve faced with making sure people have access to signed books, totes, etc.

I know a lot of you have gone — or will go — out of your way to give business to the bookstores listed below, all of which will be very glad of your custom in these straitened times. Not a great many positives have come out of the current situation, but one of them may be the importance of books in getting us through difficult circumstances. (Most of you, I think, already knew that, but perhaps a few more people might now have come around to our way of thinking.) Yes, Amazon and other virtual stores have changed the way we shop, and many were grateful for their existence during the worst of the crisis, but lockdown gave us an insight into what a dull world it is without real stores into which to wander, and no algorithm can ever replicate the pleasure of browsing in a bookshop, or the serendipity of finding on its shelves that book we didn’t even know existed, and which filled an absence we didn’t even know we had . . .

So I hope THE DIRTY SOUTH brings you a little pleasure, and the gifts that come with it — the tote, the very fine signed reproduction postcard (just wait until you feel the card stock between your fingers!) — are my way of saying an additional thank you for supporting my work and the efforts and commitment of booksellers in brick-and-mortar stores. God bless you all.

Launching THE DIRTY SOUTH in the UK and Ireland, and Finding Signed Copies

Readers in Australia and New Zealand were able to buy the export edition of THE DIRTY SOUTH in bookstores last week, but it lands in all formats in Ireland and the United Kingdom (and in electronic and audio formats in Australia and New Zealand) on Thursday, August 20. The wait will be a little longer for our friends in the US and Canada, but I am very grateful to all of you who’ve preordered the book, and to anyone who’s planning to buy it this week.

Everything about this launch is different from any previous launches, and therefore new, so it would be surprising if it all went entirely smoothly from here. We can but hope, and Charlie Parker’s world is never an easy one to negotiate!

But just to be entirely clear . . .

Signed hardcover copies of THE DIRTY SOUTH, with the handsome Parker Investigations tote bag and a signed reproduction of an old Arkansas postcard, are available from:

The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin

Alan Hanna’s, Dublin

No Alibis, Belfast

Goldsboro Books, London

All of those stores ship worldwide. Shipping costs will vary — shipping to the US is particularly expensive and difficult at the moment, we realize, due to the paucity of international flights — but the stores will do their best to help and guide you. No Alibis, for example, offers free shipping of the book within the UK.

Meanwhile, Waterstones and many independent stores in the UK will have totes and bookplate-signed books.

In Ireland, I’ve had to scrap plans for any in-person events, but from Thursday the lovely

stores listed below will also have signed copies of THE DIRTY SOUTH, with tote bags and cards while supplies last. (I know this is particularly important for those of you who want to support your local or favourite bookshop, and some even ship for free within Ireland.) Please check with the stores in question to make sure they have a bag and card for you, or pre-order to be sure! You might even want to give them a call. Much as I love you all, I can’t spend my children’s inheritance on individual postage. The gifts themselves were expensive enough, and forced us to let one of the maids go . . .

Dubray Books, Dublin (Grafton Street and Rathmines stores for now, and via the website)

Eason's, Dublin (O'Connell Street store, and via the website)

Hodges Figgis, Dublin

O'Mahony's, Limerick

Waterstones Cork

Waterstones Belfast

The Book Centres, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford

The Ennis Bookshop (easiest to reach by telephone +353 65 6829000 or email to

Virtual Events – With Signed Books!

Readers all over the world can attend one of two virtual events scheduled for this week and next.

I’ll be talking with Mark Billingham on Thursday, August 20th at 7:30 p.m. BST, in a conversation hosted by Waterstones. Tickets are £5, or £22 with a copy of THE DIRTY SOUTH (UK delivery only). You can book your tickets here.

On Thursday, August 27th, you can support independent bookstores by attending a Zoom conversation between author Sam Baker and me, hosted by The 4 Indies (Booka, Book-ish, Forum Books, and Linghams.) Tickets are £23.00, and include a hardcover copy of THE DIRTY SOUTH and —which, for the first 200 registrants, will be signed and will come with a Parker Investigations tote bag. Additional shipping charges will apply to addresses outside the UK. Tickets are available here.

I’m also delighted to announce the first officially scheduled virtual event for THE DIRTY SOUTH in the United States. On Monday, October 19 — a day before the official publication date — I’ll be discussing the book at a Zoom event sponsored by The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 1:00 p.m. Arizona time. It’s not on their calendar yet, but you can send Patrick King (PK) an email to request an invitation to the event at The Poisoned Pen is always a favorite stop during my US tours, so I was glad to be able to catch up with its owner, Barbara Peters, on her video blog a couple of weeks ago. You can watch that conversation here, or download the audio here. More online events will follow!

We are still compiling a list of US stores that will have signed postcards and tote bags, so look for more information about that in September.

I won’t pester you, but I will send another newsletter out sometime next month or early in October with more information. For now, though, and very briefly:

  • A Book of Bones will be available in paperback in the US and Canada on August 25th.

  • I mentioned last time that I’d written the foreword to Stuart Neville’s new collection of shorter fiction, The Traveller and Other Stories. Stuart has very kindly allowed me to add my John Hancock to his book, and No Alibis in Belfast will be the only source, I think, for hardback copies signed by both of us. The link, should you wish to secure one, is here.

  • Samuel Johnson vs. The Darkness, an omnibus collection of The Gates, The Infernals (originally Hell’s Bells in the UK), and The Creeps is coming from Hodder in October. (I’m really pleased about this, as I’m deeply fond of these books.) The original story I wrote for the Samuel Johnson omnibus, “The Monks of Appalling Dreadfulness,” will be available as a standalone electronic download, by popular demand, because we don’t want to gouge readers who may already have bought the three novels. It’ll also work as a taster for those of you who may not have read the originals. We’ll provide a link as soon as possible.

  • And last but not least, THE NAMELESS ONES — mostly an Angel & Louis book, but with pivotal appearances from Parker and the Fulci brothers — will be delivered to my publishers this week, with UK and Irish publication set for April, and North American publication to follow shortly after.

You can listen to my dulcet tones online every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Dublin time, when I host ABC to XTC, a show celebrating the punk, postpunk, and New Wave music of the late 1970s and 1980s, on the internet radio station RTÉ 2XM. It streams worldwide via the free RTÉ mobile app and through the RTÉ 2XM website. You can also find me on Twitter @jconnollybooks, and keep up with the latest news on my Facebook page.

Thanks, as always, for your support —


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