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April 2013

Hello Gentle Reader,

Okay, so I know it's been a while, but I was thinking of you. No, I wasn't carousing with other readers, honest. There's only ever been you. Just you. You know that. You can see it in my eyes. It's you, you, you. Well, you and that bloke over there. And her. Oh, and maybe her. And see him? Yep, him as well.

But really, it's only ever been you. You're special. You know you are.

Come on, give me a hug...

On to more important matters. There are books coming out, tours being finalized, and some good news for you nice Australians—unless, of course, you're an Australian who doesn't like my books, in which case it's not very good news after all. Look, you're a long way from anywhere. You should just be happy anyone comes to visit.


One reason I've been so quiet recently is that I was trying to finish a whole slew of projects, some of which have been gestating since 2011. The result is that 2013 is going to see a veritable landslide of material from me. It's a Connollython, a Johngasbord. Seriously, at the very least I expect to have my own postage stamp by the end of the year. Here, in order of publication, is what's likely to appear before the end of the year.

This novella has been in my mind for a number of years, but proved a devil to write. It will be published on May 25th by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, and on June 25th by Atria in the US and Canada. It includes six Emily Hall Illustration illustrations by Emily Hall, one of the winners of last year's competition to design Parker-inspired artwork. I felt that Emily's work best suited the mood of this particular tale.

The Wanderer... tells of a troubled WWI veteran named Soter who is hired to find a collector of occult manuscripts, and is drawn into the hunt for an atlas of alternate universes. It's a creepy tale, and a kind of dark reflection of The Book of Lost Things.

The Wanderer in Unknown Realms will be published initially as an e-book by Hodder and Atria, but for those of you who fancy a printed version, we're putting together a special signed limited edition of the book. Printed by Nicholson & Bass in Northern Ireland, who did the beautiful limited edition of The Book of Lost Things, it will be signed by both Emily and me, with head and tail bands and a ribbon bookmark. We'll have details of how to order it very soon, but we're working to keep the price at an affordable level.

A note on this: e-books and printed books perform different functions, and I think that people should have some choice in how they read. That's what annoys me most about the e-book purists: the pleasure they seem to take in the perceived demise of the printed book. It's a sign of ignorance, and suggests a hatred of books in general that sits ill on the shoulders of a writer. Whether you choose to read The Wanderer... as an e-book or a printed book is entirely your choice. I hope that you enjoy it in whatever format you may decide to use, but the crucial word here is "choice."


As some of you may be aware, the Mysterious Bookshop in New York has been publishing a series of bibliomysteries, the proceeds from which go to support the store (the oldest mystery bookshop in the US, and the only such bookstore still standing in New York). Here's what the store's owner, Otto Penzler, has to say about them:

"For many bibliophiles, especially aficionados of mystery fiction, some of the most beloved books and stories feature a background of bookstores, libraries, rare books, manuscripts, priceless volumes and eccentric book collectors. The Mysterious Bookshop publishes a new bibliomystery every month. Each story features books and/or those who write them, buy them, read them, collect them, sell them or are in some way involved with them. All are written exclusively for the store and are not available anywhere else until sometime after our publication."

My contribution to the series will be published at the end of May, and is entitled The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository. I'm very fond of this tale, which, given that it's 20,000 words long, probably qualifies as a short novella. Like The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, it comes from the same universe as The Book of Lost Things, but is lighter and more playful in tone. I don't want to give away too much about it, but it concerns a would-be writer in the England of the 1960s who sees a woman throw herself under a train and then, some months later, rather unexpectedly sees the same woman try to throw herself under another train...

The story will be available as a very limited edition hardcover volume in an illustrated dust jacket. The hardcover editions are limited to only 100 copies, numbered and signed by the author, at $50; there also will be 26 lettered copies, also signed by the author, at $100. The stories will also be available in paperback for $4.95 each. Click here for more information on ordering in any format.

So you've had the appetizers, and now come the main courses...

The Creeps is the third and, for the time being, the last in the Samuel Johnston series. Here's the blurb:

Samuel Johnson is not in a happy place.

He is dating the wrong girl, demons are occupying his spare room, and the town in which he lives appears to be cursed.

But there is some good news on the horizon. After years of neglect, the grand old building that once housed Wreckit & Sons is about to reopen as the greatest toy shop that Biddlecombe has ever seen, and Samuel and his faithful dachshund Boswell are to be the guests of honour at the big event. A splendid time will be had by all, as long as they can ignore the sinister statue that keeps moving around the town, the Shadows that are slowly blocking out the stars, the murderous Christmas elves, and the fact that somewhere in Biddlecombe a rotten black heart is beating a rhythm of revenge.

A trap has been set. The Earth is doomed. The last hope for humanity lies with one young boy and the girl who is secretly in love with him. Oh, and a dog, two demons, four dwarfs, and a very polite monster.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a Happy End of the World.

The Creeps will be published in the UK and elsewhere by Hodder & Stoughton on October 10th. US and Canadian publication by Atria will be at roughly the same time, but we'll confirm dates in the next newsletter.

And last, but by no means least...

This has been in the works for quite some time, and is my first experience of collaborating on a book. The co-writer is my other, and better, half, Jennifer Ridyard. Here's a sense of Conquest:

The Earth has been invaded by the Illyri, a beautiful, civilized, yet ruthless alien race. Humanity has been conquered, but still it fights the invaders. The Resistance grows stronger, for it is the young people of Earth who are best equipped to battle the Illyri.

Syl Hellais, conceived among the stars, is the oldest alien child on Earth, the first to reach sixteen years of age. Her father rules the planet. Her future is assured. And Syl has hidden gifts, powers that even she does yet fully understand.

But all is not as it seems. The Illyri are at war among themselves, and the sinister Nairene Sisterhood has arrived on Earth, hungry for new blood. When Syl helps a pair of young Resistance fighters to escape execution, she finds herself sentenced to death, pursued by her own kind, and risks breaking the greatest taboo of her race by falling in love with a human.

Now the hunter has become the hunted, the predator become prey.

And as Syl is about to learn, the real invasion has not yet even begun...

Conquest, the first in a projected quartet of novels, will be published in October in the UK, Australia and elsewhere by Headline. Again, we're just waiting on a publication date from Atria for the US and Canada.

And as if that wasn't enough...

I've contributed a chapter to Jonathan Santlofer's serial novel, Inherit the Dead, which includes chapters by such luminaries as Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Charlaine Harris, and Lawrence Block. Inherit the Dead will be published by Touchstone on October 8th, and proceeds from the book will benefit Safe Horizon, the largest victims' services agency in the United States.

And finally...

This actually came out at the end of last year, but a limited edition will be published later this year. It's an anthology of stories set around circuses and fairgrounds, edited by the very wonderful Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane, and includes stories by the late Ray Bradbury (!), Muriel Gray, Joe Hill and, carrying their bags, me, as "Some Children Wander By Mistake" has been deemed worthy of inclusion. More details are available here.

The Wrath of Angels

Hodder & Stoughton will publish The Wrath of Angels in paperback on June 6th. As you can see, it has a nice new cover design. It shines and, indeed, sparkles. (The American paperback will be available in November.)

Now, on to other matters...


Books to Die For

As you may be aware, Books To Die For, the anthology of essays by mystery writers on mystery fiction edited by Declan Burke and me, with staunch assistance from Ellen Clair Lamb, has been nominated for an Edgar® Award in the Best Critical/Biographical section. We're very honoured, so thanks to the Mystery Writers of America for giving us a nod. The gongs will be handed out on May 2nd, closely followed by the Agatha Awards, for which Books To Die For has been nominated in the Best Non-Fiction category. The Agathas will be awarded at Malice Domestic, which this year takes place in Bethesda, Maryland from May 3rd-5th. Again, thanks to all involved with Malice Domestic for considering Books To Die For.


I have a new Italian publisher, TimeCrime, an imprint of Fanucci, and The Whisperers has just been released under its Italian title, I Tre Demoni, or The Three Demons. Thankfully, I've retained my brilliant Italian translator Stefano Bortolussi, who has looked after my Italian translations from the beginning. More details here.


Meanwhile Tusquets, my very fine Spanish publishers who have been supporters since the first book, have gone back to Bad Men, which is now available at last in Spanish under the title Malvados. Find out more here.


We have a handful of copies of the signed limited edition of The Reflecting Eye left. Priced at $40, they can be purchased from ABE here. Be warned, though: we're down to low double-digits on them, so they're nearly gone...


As those of you who've read The Wrath Of Angels may recall, Nicola's Specialty Emporium at 55th and 1st in Manhattan plays a starring role. Nicola and Freddy have put up a poster of WRATH... to mark its appearance in the book. Should you fancy having your picture taken where Parker, Louis and Angel have walked, drop in, buy a coffee, and say hi.

Nicola's Specialty Emporium Poster


The schedule for the year is still being worked out, but here's what I have confirmed:

Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30 pm
Mark Billingham and John Connolly: "Our Life of Crime"
Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival
Shakespeare Centre
Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Tickets £12

Wednesday, April 24 at 8:00 pm
Literary / Film Quiz
Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a film and book buff? Do you know your screenwriters from your directors, and your prequels from your sequels? Join us in The Picture House Bar, bring a team (max four per team) or go it alone in a fun evening when you can test your knowledge with questions set and asked by best-selling crime novelists Mark Billingham and John Connolly.Prizes include tickets to up-coming films at The Picture House and Afternoon Tea at The Fourteas.
The Picture House Bar
Windsor StreetStratford-upon-Avon, UK
44 871 902 5741

May 18-20
Etonnants Voyageurs: Festival international du livre et du film

June 22-23
Saint-Maur en poche Festival

Tuesday, June 25 at 8:00 pm
Jeffery Deaver in conversation with John Connolly
DLR Spring Voices 2013 SeriesPavilion
TheatreMarine Road
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Tickets €10 & €8 concessions

Wednesday, June 26
Jeffery Deaver in conversation with John Connolly
No Alibis Bookstore (details to be announced)
83 Botanic Ave
Belfast, Northern Ireland


I've agreed to attend GenreCon in Brisbane from October 11-13th this year, and it's very kind of the organizers to have invited me, but I've also decided that it's a nice opportunity to do some events in cities that I haven't visited before. With that in mind, Hello, Perth! and Hello, Hobart!, with the possibility of a couple of other places being added along the way. We'll keep you posted about events as they're confirmed.

If you live in Sydney, Brisbane or, indeed, New Zealand, and are now feeling aggrieved, fear not: it's 99 percent certain that I'll be returning for the next Parker book in the first half of 2014, and we shall renew old acquaintances then.


ABC to XTC, my radio show devoted to the musical joys of the late seventies and the bulk of the eighties continues its weekly broadcasts on 2XM on Tuesdays at 22.00 GMT and Saturdays at 21.00 GMT. Recent shows are archived on the RTE RadioPlayer. Just search for ABC to XTC, and feel free to drop us a line if you have any requests or suggestions for songs or artists from the era.

And that's all—or, if not all, at least enough to be getting on with for now. With luck we'll have more details next month on US release dates, in particular. In the meantime, watch for new developments on Facebook and Twitter, and do keep in touch. I care, even when I don't call . . .

Best wishes,

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