• Clair Lamb

February 2022

Updated: Feb 5

Dear Folks,


Well, I’m wary of saying it, but the light at the end of the tunnel, for some of us, may not be an oncoming train after all. Here in Ireland things are, if not back to normal, at least on nodding terms with normality. It has been a very long, sometimes bleak two years, and not everyone is emerging from them unscathed, but there are reasons to be optimistic for the future, tentatively or otherwise – which, to be fair, is the best we can ever hope for. To those of you who looked out for others, well done, and with luck our paths may now get to cross again in person before too long.


On which note…


THE FURIES are on their way . . .

At last it can be told: the next Charlie Parker book is called THE FURIES. It will be available on August 4 in Ireland and the UK and on September 27 in the US and Canada. Australia and New Zealand should get the book on August 4, or soon thereafter. We don’t have a specific date for South Africa, but hope it will be close to the UK date.


What it is about, you ask? Well, it’s about 416 pages. (Thanks, and good night! Really, you’re too kind. Try the special, and remember to tip your wait staff.)


No, THE FURIES, as befits the 20th Charlie Parker book, is a double dose, with two short(ish) novels in a single volume. They’re not novellas, I should stress, a novella being 40,000 words or fewer in length. Both of the novels in THE FURIES exceed that to a considerable degree, and I had even explored the possibility of publishing them as two separate books, but the logistics of coordinating four publication dates on two sides of the Atlantic made everyone’s head hurt, so a single-volume edition it is.


The first is The Sisters Strange, a revision and expansion of the serialized story I posted online in 2020. When the criminal Raum Buker returns to Portland, chaos and murder follow—and Charlie is hired to find out what danger he might pose to Buker’s former lovers, the sisters Dolors and Ambar Strange. The original came in at about 36,000 words, I think, give or take. The revised version is twice that length, so it’s a different beast, or certainly a bigger one.


The Furies—as in the 65,000-word title novel—brings Parker nearly to the present day as he works to protect two other women in Portland over the space of just twenty-four hours, with a global pandemic about to shut everything down. As it happens, the women Parker thinks he’s protecting may be more powerful than he could have imagined.


Given the lingering threat of the pandemic, tour plans are on hold for a couple of months until we figure out what will be feasible and safe. We’ll announce any events as soon as we can, although I have signed up to a couple of things already, pending official announcements.


In the meantime, you can pre-order signed copies of THE FURIES from these fine booksellers in the UK and Ireland:

These books will come with an extra thank-you gift, but I’m still deciding what that might be. You can also pre-order THE FURIES from AmazonUK, but these books will not be signed, nor will they include the Parker swag.


THE FURIES will be available for preorder in the US now on Monday, February 7, and you'll be able to choose among vendors here. I hope to get over to the United States to sign stock or even make a few bookstore visits, and several US independent booksellers should have whatever this year’s giveaway item is. Look for a list of those stores later this spring.


THE NAMELESS ONES in paperback

The 19th book set in the world of Charlie Parker, THE NAMELESS ONES, will be available in paperback in the UK and Ireland on February 17, and in the USA and Canada on August 16.


THE NAMELESS ONES, as you may recall, is less a Parker novel than an Angel-and-Louis novel. It finds the longtime partners in Europe, on the trail of the killers responsible for the horrifying death of Louis’s old friend De Jaager and his companions. It has inspired strong reactions among readers, so the wisest course of action would be to read the book yourself, and form your own opinion.


Parker’s international editions


The French edition of THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS is now available, as <<La jeune femme et l’ogre>>, from Les Presses de la Cité.


The Spanish translation of THE DIRTY SOUTH will be available for pre-order on March 29. We’ll provide our readers en espanol with cover and title details closer to the date.


In other news . . .


To my great pleasure (and my publisher’s surprise), SHADOW VOICES, my 1,100-page journey through 300 years of Irish genre fiction, sold out its first printing, and had to go back for reprints. I’m delighted that so many readers are opening this treasure box of stories—some of which may be familiar, but many of which have been undeservedly overlooked or forgotten.


Both the e-book and the print edition are now available in the US and Canada through all the usual vendors, as my British publishers are distributing the book on that side of the water. Your friendly local bookseller should be able to order a hardcover copy, or you can order here.

My weekly radio show, ABC to XTC, ticks along happily, every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time on RTÉ Gold. The shows remain available for listening back for a few weeks through the website or the RTÉ mobile app. Thanks to those of you who have got in touch over Twitter to say that they’ve enjoyed it, or to comment (usually favourably, thankfully) on the selections. It’s always appreciated.


I have nothing new to report on the TV/film development front, although some projects are bubbling under, but the industry seems to be rebounding from its pandemic slowdown, so we live in hope.


If you’ve sent me an email in the last couple of months, I do apologize for not being able to reply promptly (or at all). SHADOW VOICES has led to a personal project that’s taking all my spare time, and then some, allied to the business of writing new books. I am grateful to everyone who writes. I do check Twitter when I can, and Clair keeps the news up to date on Facebook. She also looks after the email correspondence, so anything you send will be seen and responded to.


And that’s about it for now, I think. We’ll post the opening chapter of the new version of The Sisters Strange in a few weeks, followed by the opening chapter of THE FURIES a little later. By then we should also be able to confirm some of those in-person appearances. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and others, and thanks, as always, for your kindness and support.


Best wishes,


John