It is with a heavy heart that I announce the arrival of the middle-age bus at my door. Had you been in Chester earlier this month, where Mark Billingham and I were holding court, you would have witnessed the unveiling of my new spectacles, which, although undeniably fancy-schmancy, remain spectacles, and therefore indicate that the deterioration of my—and I don't use the term lightly—godlike form has now begun in earnest.
Indeed, such was the shock occasioned by this evidence of my mortality that I found it difficult to make myself heard over the wailing of women and the sobs of the odd (very odd) bloke, but I soldiered on, as I shall continue to do even as my eyesight fails, and my left knee throbs a bit, and my interest in attending concerts for which I don't have a seat diminishes rapidly. I do it for all of you—or at least those of you in the front row, the ones I can actually see.
At Last: A GAME OF GHOSTS reaches the United States!
American friends, it's been a long few months, I know.
You have the world's sympathy—or at least, you have mine.
But your national nightmare is almost over . . .
Tuesday, July 4 is the official on-sale date for A Game of Ghosts in the U.S. and Canada.
A Game of Ghosts, the 15th Charlie Parker novel, finds the detective on a job for his new employer, the FBI. Special Agent Edgar Ross sends Parker looking for a fellow private investigator, Jaycob Eklund, who had become obsessed with a series of homicides and disappearances that seem to be connected to hauntings. The trail leads through an organized crime operation and a mysterious family with beliefs that demand sacrifice—while Charlie tries to hang on to what's left of his own family, his daughter Sam. You'll find more about the book, with a preview of the first two chapters, here.
A perfect storm of conflicting commitments—of which more at the end of this newsletter—is keeping me from touring the United States this year, but I've signed books for these lovely stores:
The Poisoned Pen
The Mysterious Bookshop
New York, NY
Murder By the Book
Once Upon a Crime
Keene, NH: 603-352-8815
Milford, NH: 603-673-1734
Peterborough, NH: 603-924-3543
South Portland, ME: 207-799-2659
Biddeford, ME: 207-282-2638
Fireside Book Shop
Chagrin Falls, OH
Murder on the Beach
Delray Beach, FL
Although July 4 is the official on-sale date, these stores should get their books sometime this week, so it's worth calling before you take off for the holiday.
UK readers, before you ask: yes, work on the next Charlie Parker novel is currently underway. Hodder will publish it, if we're all spared, on April 5, 2018, with US publication to follow shortly after.
Last Call for PARKER: A Miscellany
Much to the relief of my long-suffering partner and co-author, the radiant Jennie Ridyard, we're down to fewer than a dozen copies of PARKER: A Miscellany, the book and box-set collection of essays and CDs tied to the Parker novels. The book features a lovely cover designed by the artist Neil Shawcross, and this set is now the only way to get copies of the six CDs released with earlier Parker novels. Once these copies are gone, we'll delete the listing.
We're now within six months of Christmas, so you can start your shopping early by clicking here.
Interview with Mark Kozelek
Recently I interviewed Mark Kozelek, whose work graced a number of the compilation CDs that have accompanied the Parker books, and who remains among my favorite musicians. The interview coincided with the release of the album 30 Seconds to the Decline of Planet Earth, credited to Jesu Sun Kil Moon, which includes a track named after my short story "A Dream of Winter." You can read the interview, and listen to the full album, here.
I've been a bit mysterious about the book that's coming out in the UK and Ireland in August, as I haven't wanted to draw attention away from Charlie Parker. I'll have much more to say about this in a newsletter next month, but for now, I will tell you that he, a novel based on the life of legendary comedian Stan Laurel, is available for pre-order from your online retailer of choice (Waterstones, AmazonUK, The Book Depository). The Gutter Bookshop, No Alibis, and Alan Hanna's will have signed copies, of course, and next month's newsletter will include a list of other stores that will have signed copies, and dates for a short tour. he will be on sale in the UK and Ireland on August 24th, and we'll give you information on US publication as soon as we have it.
And with that, I leave you to your summer revels. My weekly radio show, ABC to XTC, continues on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. BST via the internet station RTÉ 2XM; you can listen online through the website, and catch up to four weeks of past shows via the RTÉ Player app on your mobile device. If you'd like to say hello in person, you can find me on Twitter, and Minion Clair keeps the news up-to-date on Facebook.
You'll hear from me again in about a month. Until then, in the words of the great 20th century philosophers Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan, be excellent to each other.