Gravy Train sets off

GT v5Exciting news today – my novel ‘Gravy Train’ has just set off on its travels, courtesy of All Due Respect (Down & Out Books).

£80,000. Seven people want it. Will any of them get it? That’s the tag line for the book, which features a bunch of losers chasing a bag of money (the aforementioned £80,000 no less) around the back streets of Birmingham. All of them are good at nicking it, but not so much at hanging onto it. And when it all blows up into a watery showdown on the banks of the local canal, it’s more a case of whether any of them can keep their hands on it at all.

To follow the adventures of barmaid Sandra, fat husband Mike, streetwise mugger Lenny, car thief Justine, crime boss Ballsy McBollockface and the rest, head for a station near you. The gravy train will be calling at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and all good book shops and suppliers. So hop on board and shunt your engine over there now. Just make sure you get off at the right stop, and mind the gap between the train doors and the platform…

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A tasty treat?

skinbonesHere’s something to get your teeth into: the brand new cannibal-themed anthology, Skin & Bones, is out from Down & Out Books today.

Featuring a whopping twenty-one macabre and grisly stories including my own offering ‘Rabbit Stew’, it might give you a few ideas for Christmas. That’s presents, by the way, not new and imaginative ways to serve up your least favourite relative!

The book also features a variety of noir stalwarts including the editor Dana Kabel, Marietta Miles, Patricia Abbott, Angel Luis Colon, Joe Clifford, Thomas Pluck, Richie Narvaez, Lawrence Block, and the late Bill Crider. Clearly all people of excellent, er, taste.

So if you fancy a late-night snack then grab a knife and fork and head over to Amazon to buy a copy now.

A cook book for cannibals?

skinbonesOdd as it may sound, yes – I really do have a story in a brand new anthology with a cannibal theme. The book, ‘Skin & Bones’, edited by fellow noir author Dana Kabel, contains stories by no fewer than twenty one crime and noir writers on this rather grisly (or should that be gristly?) subject matter.

My own offering is called ‘Rabbit Stew’ and is based around an old World War 2 joke that my Mum first told me when I was about eight years old. It involves a restaurant owner, wartime rationing, and the wonderful last line “Fifty-fifty, gov, one horse, one rabbit.” Aged eight, I had to have ‘fifty-fifty’ explained to me. Once I got it, I couldn’t stop giggling and it’s become a family joke about the general silliness of statistics.

And now it’s given me the inspiration for a story about an environmental health inspector investigating a ‘greasy spoon’ café and getting a great deal more than he bargained for. It’s gruesome, it’s ghastly, but I’m hoping it’s also funny and perhaps carries an additional message about not sticking your nose in where it’s not wanted unless you have a sure-fire means of escape!

‘Skin & Bones’ is available for pre-order right now and hits your kitchens and dining tables on the 26th November. So grab a plate, a knife and a fork and prepare to tuck in – and don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Stories are like buses

You get none for a while, then three turn up at once!

In other words, I’m delighted to report that I have three new stories coming out in the next few weeks/months.  All three are in charity anthologies; two are completely new and one is a reprint of a story I had in Betty Fedora #2 before that sold out.

rabbitstewFirst off is ‘Rabbit Stew’, a tongue-in-cheek tale based on an old (and terrible) World War 2 joke my Mum told me years ago, which is due out in Kannibal Cookbook from Down & Out Books soon, with proceeds going to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Then I have a rather more thought-provoking story called ‘Bang to Rights’, about animal liberation activists and the sense of belonging, which should be appearing in Paladins 2, in aid of cancer charities.

Lastly, ‘Last Chance Saloon’, featuring a dirty weekend, a clapped-out car, and a deserted country road, will be re-published in the second Crime & Publishment anthology, working title Wish You Weren’t Here, soon.  This is very much a work-in-progress, but donations will be heading to a respite holiday charity, possibly the Calvert Trust.

Do keep checking back for a revised timetable, cancellations, fares and more, which I’ll post as soon as I have them.  Just don’t get run over by the bus…