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MAY 2016

A Time of Torment Dear Folks,

I know, I know... It seems like only yesterday that I was reaching out to you—touching you deeply, if you will, although that sounds a bit odd, and frankly, more intimate than we need to be. A manly handshake will do. A pat on the back, "How 'bout them Dodgers?", etc.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who went out and bought the Hodder & Stoughton edition of A Time of Torment, sending it to No 1 in the UK and Ireland. Of course, now that I'm a big mucky-muck the tone of our relationship will have to change. It's not that you're not special, it's just that I'm more special than you. Special-er, if you will. We shall all just have to learn to live with it.

But on to the business at hand, because at long last we can announce Parker: A Miscellany!

PARKER: A MISCELLANY

What's this, I hear you cry? (Actually, I can't, but I like to think of you exclaiming in surprise, possibly with a lady fainting in the background for a bit of added color.) Well, for the last year or so I've been quietly working away on what is, I suppose, a non-fiction companion to the Parker books, using music as a starting point for much of its contents. So, Parker: A Miscellany contains:
  1. Introductions to the first 13 Parker novels and Bad Men, including an as-yet-unpublished introduction to A Song of Shadows.
  2. An essay on every song to feature on the six CD compilations that I've put together for the books, with each song as the starting point for a discussion of the Parker novels, music, writing, or general creativity.
  3. "The Music Lover," a long essay similar in tone to "I Live Here" in Night Music.
  4. Revised versions of three essays that were previously published in other volumes, but are collected here for the first time: "The Origins of Charlie Parker;" "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Crime Writers: Ireland and the Mystery Genre;" and "Introduction to the Scorpion Press edition of The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke."
The book, which is almost 300 pages long, has a detailed wraparound cover designed by my favorite living artist, the wonderful Neil Shawcross, and will come signed in a slipcase with a ribbon bookmark in an edition of only 900.

Parker: A Miscellany   Parker: A Miscellany

Finally—and this is the really good bit—thanks to a lot of scavenging, and the replacement of some damaged stock, free with Parker: A Miscellany will come a boxed set of all six CDs in the Soundtracks series, amounting to more than 70 songs. It will be last time that all of the CD compilations will be available together, as the terms of our license don't allow us to make any more.

Parker: A Miscellany

This is the most ambitious publishing project I've yet undertaken, and I'm really quite pleased with it. One of the reasons it's taken so long to announce is that we put a lot of time into adding effects to the cover, and finding just the right layout for the text, as well as having a suitable box made for the CDs.

As with other Bad Dog limited editions, my main concern has been to keep it as affordable as possible. I'm conscious that I've been publishing a lot lately, although this probably marks the end of that prolific phase. So, after paring everything down, Parker: A Miscellany will cost what I hope is the not entirely unreasonable sum of €55. Those of you who know a little of limited editions will, I think, realize that this is about as cheap as one can get, especially with the boxed set thrown in. Frankly, we might as well just give it away, but what can I say—I'm a giver, albeit one trapped in a taker's body.

The signed limited edition Parker: A Miscellany can be ordered through ABE Books or via the lovely booksellers listed below. Obviously, if you live in or near Dublin it makes sense to order from Gutter or Alan Hanna, and save yourself some postage, and similarly for No Alibis in Belfast and Goldsboro in London if you happen to be in those cities. I'm just happy to see bookstores being supported, but do get your orders in to them as quickly as possible.

Alan Hanna's Bookshop
270 Rathmines Rd. Lr.
Dublin 6
+353 1 4967398
hannas@iol.ie

Goldsboro Books
23-27 Cecil Court
London WC2N 4EZ
+44 (0) 207 497 9230
enquiries@goldsborobooks.com

Gutter Bookshop
Cow's Lane
Temple Bar
Dublin 8
(00353) 1 6799206
info@gutterbookshop.com

No Alibis Bookstore
83 Botanic Avenue
Belfast BT7 1JL
+44 (0)28 9031 9601
david@noalibis.com

While there won't be any formal events as such to go with this book, I'll be appearing with that fine writer, gentleman and noted humanitarian Mark Billingham at No Alibis on Wednesday May 11th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss his new novel Die of Shame, among other matters. Parker: A Miscellany will be available to purchase that evening, and the book may well form part of our musings. The lovely Neil Shawcross may well be present too. You never know...

Zagreb Book Festival Later in the month, I will be in Croatia for the Zagreb Book Festival, May 16-22. Specifically, you can find me on Tuesday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m., at a session called "Soul on Fire," with Koraljka Kirinčić and Lovro Ŝkopljanac; and on Wednesday, May 18 at 11:00 a.m. for an "Irish Coffee" session with Miran Kurspahić and Lovro Ŝkopljanac.

And don't forget the Dalkey Book Festival in June, when Declan Hughes and I will be presenting a lighthearted guide to humour books on June 18th, time and details to be announced. I expect you'll be hearing from me again between now and then, but in the meantime, you can check my website for updates, or ask via Twitter or Facebook.

So there you have it. Thanks, as always, for your kindness and support. I'll be in touch again in July before the US release of A Time of Torment. Until then, take care of yourselves, because I can't afford to lose readers...

Best wishes,

John

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