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  • Clair Lamb

July 2020 newsletter

Dear Folks, As I write this newsletter, I'm also preparing a presentation for an online Spanish festival (muy bien, thanks for asking, and how are you?) on the theme of "Paradise Lost." It seemed rather fitting under the current circumstances. As Ireland tentatively steps out of lockdown, little things such as being able to browse in a bookstore, drink a cup of coffee in a café over the newspaper, and have the physical company of my dear old mum during the recent presentation of the Premier League trophy to Liverpool now constitute "Paradise Regained." I know some of you may not be quite so fortunate, and my thoughts are with you. Ever since I first set up my author website, back in the days when the Internet had to be started with a winder, the possibility of using it to create a community of readers was to the fore, and for that reason we made sure that the site had an active forum. Social media has obviously advanced matters a great deal since then, but the importance of community remains, which is why I like to send out a newsletter as regularly as possible, and try to respond to all emails through the site as soon as I can. I suppose this is a longwinded way of saying that each of you is important to me, and I've valued your company and support over the years. If these times start to get you down, do remember that there is a group of likeminded people out there, with a shared love of books and reading. You can reach out. One of us will be there to listen. Now let's toddle along together, for there is news to impart . . .

THE DIRTY SOUTH is imminent

The latest Parker novel, THE DIRTY SOUTH, will be in fine bookstores everywhere on August 20 (in Ireland and the U.K.), August 13 (in Australia and New Zealand), and October 20 (in the U.S. and Canada). To whet your appetites a little further, we've posted the first chapter to the website, because we're nice like that. As touring in the present climate is challenging, to put it mildly, signed copies will be a little rarer than in the past, but we've managed to put together a couple of options for you, and found a way to add some little extras for those of you who decide to send your money the way of bookstores. As previously mentioned, signed books and tote bags will also be available from these stores, which ship worldwide:  

Their signed copies will also come with a signed reproduction of an old Arkansas postcard — we've sourced five or six different designs, which are quite eerie in a retro way — and we're working on sourcing an interesting card stock to reflect the original textures. We give, and we give . . . Anyway, should you be scratching your head and thinking, "You know, that all sounds rather nice . . .," do get your orders to the stores now, particularly if you'd like a first edition. I suspect they may go quite fast. First Events for THE DIRTY SOUTH In this time of pandemic, all plans are contingent, and subject to change at short notice. Because I'm still trying to figure out what might be possible in the Republic of Ireland and Belfast, I can't yet give you details of Irish events. My guess is that we may struggle to arrange anything in-store, but great minds are working on it. Not mine, obviously. Other minds. Rules about travel to and from the Republic of Ireland have created insurmountable obstacles to in-person events in Great Britain. (Even Goldsboro's books are being shipped from London to Dublin for me to sign.) I'm sorry about that, but I'm glad to be able to schedule some events that are much less likely to be cancelled. They offer the chance to get a signed book with the lovely Parker Investigations tote bag.

On Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. BST — which happens to be the official publication date for THE DIRTY SOUTHWaterstones invites you to attend an online conversation between me and the mighty Mark Billingham, author of (most recently) CRY BABY. Tickets are £5 general admission, or £22 including a signed copy of THE DIRTY SOUTH, and you can register for that event here. (We're still working with Waterstones on the matter of the tote bags, and so I can't guarantee as yet that the signed book will come with one of them — but Mark Billingham's agent assures us that he's very funny, and I, as you know, am the pretty one.)  On Thursday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m. BST, I will be discussing THE DIRTY SOUTH with author and journalist Sam Baker in an online webinar hosted by The 4 Indies, which are Booka, Book-ish, Forum Books, and Linghams. A registration fee of £23.00 GBP gets you not only access to the webinar, but a hardcover copy of THE DIRTY SOUTH — and if you are among the first 200 registrants, that book will be signed and will come with a Parker Investigations tote bag — and, I should think, a signed card. Additional shipping charges will apply to addresses outside the UK. That registration link, again, is here.

If you'd like a bit of a preview, my publishers tell me that the legendary reviewers Barry Forshaw, Maxim Jakubowski, and Paul Burke will be discussing THE DIRTY SOUTH in their Great (Crime Fiction) Debate of 2020 on Thursday, July 30th at 8:00 p.m. BST. That event is free on Crowdcast, and you can sign up for it here. Look for more information about events in Ireland in a couple of weeks. We may post that information to Facebook and Twitter before a newsletter goes out again, so keep an eye out if you're online. We'll also keep the website Events page up to date. We have started to schedule virtual events for the United States in October — as it feels unwise to be making any plans to travel to the US right now — and should be able to announce those in mid-August, too. We'll also provide a list of North American stores that will have totes, signed cards, etc. And In Other News . . . Since we'll be sending another newsletter out in a couple of weeks, I don't want to overload you with self-promotion, but a few other things are happening in the months ahead:

  • A Book of Bones, the previous Parker novel, makes its paperback debut in the United States and Canada on August 25th. Those of you who may have struggled physically to lift it in hardback should find the paperback a bit easier to handle. It was a long one, I admit. (Oh, come on. You there, stop sniggering at the back. I mean, really . . .)

  • Goldsboro Books, my favorite London bookstore, celebrates its 21st anniversary in September with First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books, a collection of short fiction. It includes "Unquiet Slumbers: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository," a new story from me, as well as tales from David Mitchell, Robert Goddard, Jessie Burton, and many more. You can order the signed and numbered hardcover here. With luck, if travel restrictions ease, I can be one of those signatories. If not, hold on to your copy and I'll sign it when next we meet.

  • I have written the foreword for Stuart Neville's excellent collection of short fiction, The Traveller and Other Stories, coming from Soho Press on October 6. No Alibis is likely to be your best source for signed copies, and it's possible that Stuart and I will do a virtual event or two together in October.

  • Samuel Johnson vs. The Darkness, an omnibus edition of The Gates, The Infernals (previously Hell's Bells outside the US), and The Creeps has just gone to press and will be on sale in fine bookstores in Ireland and the UK on October 29. It includes "The Monks of Appalling Dreadfulness," a new story that checks in on Samuel, Boswell, and their friends a few years after the events of The Creeps.

  • The weekly radio show, ABC to XTC, continues weekly online at RTÉ 2XM, every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Dublin time. It's free around the world via the RTÉ mobile app, or through the RTÉ 2XM website.

Coming in 2021: THE NAMELESS ONES Finally, to reward you for having read this far, and because we all need as much as possible to look forward to, this is a description I've just sent along to my publishers, with a manuscript that may be of interest: 

In Amsterdam, four people are butchered in a canal house, their remains arranged around the crucified form of their patriarch, De Jaager: fixer, go-between, and confidante of the assassin named Louis. The men responsible for the murders are Serbian war criminals. They believe they can escape retribution by retreating to their homeland. They are wrong. For Louis has come to Europe to hunt them down: five killers to be found and punished before they can vanish into the east. There is only one problem. The sixth.

THE NAMELESS ONES, a book set in the world of Charlie Parker but featuring Louis and Angel as protagonists, should be available in the UK and Ireland in April 2021, and in the US and Canada not too long after that.

And there you have it. Lots to anticipate: a new Parker novel, two new short stories, and an Angel & Louis book on the horizon. I'll probably drop in with another line or two closer to publication, if I'm not intruding. A cup of tea would be nice, mind. And maybe a biscuit. Look after yourselves, and thanks, as always, John

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