Lilias Revenge: The Kidnapping

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That means engaging with readers in person and on social media, being accessible, friendly, and willing. So I am looking for all of these things. I want people to feel confident enough to buy an Orenda book without even reading the blurb. I want the name Orenda to be synonymous with quality!

Something special! I also wanted to create a team of like-minded, passionate, talented, accessible, friendly, smart authors who would represent their books and the company ethos … great books, great publishing, great authors. Everyone on the team has to buy into this. We support each other … we celebrate the successes of individual members, and that reflects well on the team, too!

This means a great deal to me. Once again, in a crowded marketplace, we have to have a USP, and that is not just about the fantastic books, but about the wonderful, engaged authors, too. Readers love to chat to authors, and forming relationships in person and online can help to build loyalty … something that is harder and harder to achieve these days.

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KS: One of the good things about being small is that we can be nimble, and decisions can be made instantly, without meetings and other opinions and votes. It is an ever-changing market and we have to be able to respond quickly. We are small. I explained this once to the authors on one of the roadshows.

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One of them asked if the Orenda Roadshow was worth the expense. And yes, it is. First of all, it showcases almost the entire list to booksellers and readers across the country, building relationships and highlighting what we offer.

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Secondly, everyone can be involved. Festivals tend to choose who they want to attend, no matter how hard I pitch everyone. This way, everyone gets a shot. The most important thing is, however, that no one author gets the marketing spend. Sure, I could put up a billboard in a train station for the cost of the tour, but who would I choose?

And what about the others. It became clear from the roadshows that readers LOVE hearing authors read from their books … particularly international authors, whose accents and emphases are so wonderful!

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They also love a glimpse of their homes! Similarly, we have HUGE blog tours! Blog tours not only provides dozens of reviews to kick start the life of a book, but also offer opportunities for bloggers and other readers to engage directly with the authors. We do some small-scale advertising, but really we just keep an eye on what people seem to want, and try to satisfy the demand … competitions, giveaways, whatever!

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Crime writer address issues … they look at societal problems, or age-old concepts of evil, morality, people under pressure. They are relevant … eye-opening, thought-provoking; they provide snapshot of a period in time … our concerns, our values, our fears.

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And all of this through page-turning, often nail-biting entertainment. My authors write beautifully … that is their single common denominator. Every book is different, but all are compelling and special. I hate the snobbery towards genre fiction, like only literary authors can be perceptive or intelligent, or write with exquisite grace. We should publish the highest-quality genre fiction we can. As for translations, the same thing goes here. I am in the very lucky position of being able to cherry pick from the best international authors … prize winners, exciting voices, books that are capable of transporting readers to other countries and other cultures, and I love that.

We use the very best translators in the business to achieve books that read as perfectly in English as they do in their native language.

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And readers are loving them! And then feel confident enough, perhaps, to go on and read more in translation. A whole new world is opened up. I think probably starting this company was the biggest landmark of all. I was just passionate and determined, and it has thankfully worked. I suppose every day brings new landmarks … when readers start chatting about, creating a buzz around, the books that I love. A TV deal. A delicious thriller that is fast, exciting and stylishly. Buchholz is a strong new voice in Euro-noir fiction and her creation, former detective Chastity Riley, is a great character.

This is a nod to classic hard-boiled crime but Blue Night is a very contemporary tale of gangsters and drugs. Blaue Nacht German offers real insight into the dilemmas of modern European society. Deadly synthetic drugs are cheaper, easier to produce and more profitable on the streets of Hamburg than heroin or cocaine. Albanian gangster Malaj has a plan to bring in the biggest consignment of synth drugs ever seen in the city. This mirrors the terrifying menace afflicting many urban communities across Europe right now.

The scenes near a Leipzig school are desperately sad. However, the thriller never slacks or becomes preachy, and the tension is palpable.

Reading List: Mystery and Suspense - Europe Comics

Simone Buchholz has created a truly interesting cast of characters. There are shades of Jakob Arjouni in her writing, but she has a truly original voice. A style that is instantly pleasing to the noir fan. The mix of disparate characters, the blurring of the lines between people on either side of the law and the pent up desire for revenge are all qualities that remind me of the best noir.

Hamburg is an amalgam of people, and cultures and lifestyles — Buchholz conveys that cosmopolitan feel beautifully. Blue Night is a fast paced and tackles some serious contemporary issues, while delivering a full on blast of black comedy.

Chastity Riley is a strong modern woman, formidable and independently minded. Beton Rouge , the second novel in the Chastity Riley series to be translated into English, is, again, essential reading for noir fans. Buchholz is one of the finest exponents of Euro-noir out there. Borrowing from the American hard-boiled school the writing is taut, the dialogue sassy and there is an edge of toughness and cynicism to the story.

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However, what Buchholz borrows she makes her own, the result is a distinctive noir and Chastity is a truly original character. Chastity is a strange but enchanting character, she is one quarter insider and three quarters outsider. Chastity lives in the moment, she has an intriguing world view and spending time with her as a reader is a exhilarating experience. Buchholz also does a nice line in wry, black humour in her novels and there are some very funny moments in Beton Rouge set against a backdrop of greyness and pessimism.

The novel opens with a hit and run, Chastity is a witness after the fact, this will have ramifications for the case she is about to handle. The police have been called to the harbour, the offices of Mohr and Wolff, a large publishing concern. These are not popular men but it is hard to believe that the motive could be the redundancies and cost cutting measures they are enforcing at the magazine empire.

Missing Lilia

Something buried deep in the past is finally catching up with these men, who, coincidentally?? Why are the victims being targeted? Chastity and her detective partner Ivo Stepanovic will have to travel to Bavaria to find out. Beton Rouge is a touch of class, a superb noir. This novel is a stunner. I was pleased to be part of the blog tour, so rather than give a new take on the book, you can read my original review here. Johnstone ranks up there with Irvine Welsh as a chronicler of modern Edinburgh life. This feels like it really comes from the estates and communities of the city.

Breakers opens a window on a side to the city that will surprise you, even if you think you are familiar with its streets and people. The thing that struck me first, on finishing this book, was the subtlety and nuance of the story.