• Clair Lamb

September 2022

Dear Folks,


As the poet Robert Burns wrote, “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley.” Oddly, I was once interviewed by a Canadian immigration officer called Robert Burns who had never heard of his Scottish namesake, and therefore my “breaking the ice” joke about scheming rather went over his head, leading to the kind of misunderstanding that can land a chap in a holding cell.


Anyway, my relatively well-laid schemes for touring THE FURIES in North America have been scuppered, if only temporarily, by circumstances. Still, we have reorganized and rescheduled, and can only hope the mice have had fewer problems with whatever stratagems they were concocting. Maybe we should have involved the mice in the first place.


On which note . . .

A New Publication Date for THE FURIES


Much of the world may be done with the COVID-19 pandemic, but its effects continue to ripple. Last week my American publishers, the lovely people at Atria/Emily Bestler Books, got the email every publisher dreads: because of global shipping delays, printed copies of THE FURIES will not reach the United States in time for the original publication date of September 27.


THE FURIES, as you may recall, is my latest book featuring the detective Charlie Parker, and includes not one but two short novels — “The Sisters Strange,” a much longer and thoroughly revised version of the serialized story I posted in the first year of the pandemic, and “The Furies,” a story that finds Parker in the uneasy days just before the pandemic lockdown. The link between the two novels is the Braycott Arms Hotel, “a repository for criminality, both aggressively active and relatively passive.” It was published in the UK and Ireland in August, and I am grateful to everyone who bought copies and came to events on both sides of the Irish Sea.


Anyway, I’ll spare you the bad language, tearing of hair, and general scrambling that followed the news about the US publication date. Instead, I am relieved to tell you that the books are on their way, and everyone is confident in the new publication date for the US and Canada, which is Tuesday, October 11. The booksellers who had so kindly agreed to host events have all been able to rearrange dates to suit. Thanks to everyone who’s been able to accommodate these changes, and thanks to all of you who have been waiting so patiently on the other side of the ocean. Six more weeks, I promise.


US Tour Dates


As I say, we’ve been able to reschedule the bookstore events, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you before too long. All of these booksellers will take orders for signed and inscribed books, all of them ship worldwide, and all of them will have limited numbers of the Fulci tote bag. All of these events are free and unticketed (although it’s only good manners to buy a book . . .)


Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m.

CHICAGO

Centuries & Sleuths

7410 Madison Street

Forest Park, IL

(708) 771-7243


Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m.

SCOTTSDALE

The Poisoned Pen

4014 N. Goldwater Blvd., #101

Scottsdale, AZ

(480) 947-2974


Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m.

HOUSTON

Murder by the Book

2342 Bissonet Street

Houston, TX

(713) 524-8597


Monday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m.

NEW YORK CITY

The Mysterious Bookshop

58 Warren Street

New York, NY

(212) 587-1011


Wednesday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m.

PORTLAND, ME

Longfellow Books

Monument Square

Portland, ME 04101

(207) 772-4045


At least three other US stores will have signed books and a limited number of tote bags: Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, MA; Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH; and VJ Books in Tualatin, OR.


I’m hoping that these stores will also have copies of the US edition of SHADOW VOICES, my massive history-cum-compendium of genre fiction, but we’re waiting on confirmation of that. I’ll send a short newsletter out in early October to remind you all about these events, and we’ll post any last-minute changes to the website, on Twitter, and on Facebook. The copies of SHADOW VOICES available from these stores will be marked as “Special US Launch Editions,” and will come with an envelope of ephemera. I give, and I give . . .


THE FURIES Soundtrack


The composer David O’Brien, who performs as Envoy, has spent much of the past twelve months putting together a soundtrack to accompany THE SISTERS STRANGE, the first of the two loosely connected novels contained in THE FURIES, and it’s available to download here. The soundtrack is free, but you’re invited to make a small contribution if you can, the proceeds from which will go towards ongoing therapy for his daughter Odette, who is living with cerebral palsy.


In the meantime . . .


Later this month I will be at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling, where Alex North and I will have a conversation on Friday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the in-person event are available here, and the event will also stream live — you can buy tickets for that here.


On Saturday, October 8, I will be in Cheltenham with Yrsa Sigurdardóttir and Catriona Ward for a panel called “Stephen King Made Me.” The man himself will address the Cheltenham Literature Festival immediately before our session, and undoubtedly his remarks will guide our discussion, but expect a nostalgiafest.


Me, Me, Me


Are you tired yet? I’m tired. And yet I persist. You can read an interview with me in the current issue of THE THRILL BEGINS, the monthly publication of the International Thriller Writers, and I shared some summer reading recommendations with Ryan Tubridy and fellow author Edel Coffey on RTÉ Radio 1’s “Arena” in July.


You’ll find me on the streaming radio station RTÉ Gold every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time, hosting ABC to XTC, a weekly show that celebrates synth, post-punk and New Wave music.


Thank you all, as always, for your patience and support. Without you, I’d be writing these stories for no one but myself, and buying box wine to boot.


Best wishes,


John