Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

The eve of paperback publication

Tomorrow (Tuesday 26th May) is the publication date of the Penguin US paperback of A Vengeful Longing. To celebrate, I thought I'd re-post the trailer I made for the book:

And here's the Publisher's Weekly review of the hardback:

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Set in St. Petersburg in 1868, Morris's superb second novel to feature Porfiry Petrovich (after The Gentle Axe) puts the detective borrowed from Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment on the trail of a series of vile murders. When the wife and son of a doctor die after consuming a box of chocolates at their dacha, the obvious suspect is the morphine-addicted doctor. Then a shooting and a stabbing lead Petrovich elsewhere—to an elegant confectioner's full of pastries and possible revolutionaries as well as to the city's underworld. As Petrovich breaks in a new detective, the aptly named Pavel Virginsky, he introduces colleague and reader alike to the Russian capital and to the ills of the entire society. Morris captures this world with expert strokes, never content to merely peddle exotica, but making sure that his characters spring convincingly from their setting. While the person behind the crimes is a little unlikely, this novel stands out from a number of fine czarist-era mysteries—by Russians and foreigners alike—like a FabergĂ© egg at a yard sale.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A week away....

... from the publication of the US Penguin paperback of A Vengeful Longing.

If you're interested, there's a Reading Group guide here on the Penguin website.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bristol CrimeFest.

It's the Bristol CrimeFest this weekend, and I will be there. I'm taking part in a panel on historical crime writing: A Moment in Time - CWA Historical Shortlist Panel.

I'm very happy to be participating, even if it does mean I have to be on the train by 8.00 am on Sunday morning. Yes, Sunday morning. I'll be travelling to Bristol with my fellow panellist, and fellow North London Historical Crime Writer, Andrew Martin. Our panel is at 11.00 am and the other panellists are Marjorie Eccles and Ann Granger. The panel will be moderated by Janet Laurence.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Photos from Brighton

Viewable here. Thanks to the photographer Matthew Andrews.

Times Listings Opera Choice, Saturday May 2

Cocteau in Brighton

Composer Ed Hughes in front of the Pavilion Theatre Brighton, scene of last night's performance of his opera Cocteau in the Underworld (with a libretto by me!).

A view of the set, with John Lloyd Davies in discussion with Liz Webb, Samantha Kerrison and Sophie Cleobury.

Another view of the set, showing the back of Ben Oliver .

We had a great night in Brighton last night, a tremendous, powerful performance from a fantastic cast: Owen Gilhooly as Cocteau, Jacqueline Varsey as Eurydice, Hannah Pedley as Princess Death, Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks as Orpheus and Richard Scott as the Loved One. Electronics were by Ben Oliver. Stage Manager was Samantha Kerrison. Sophie Cleobury and Liz Webb were respectively the Artistic Administrator and Project Manager. The Musical Director was David Angus. And the brilliant repetiteur was Lindy Tennent-Brown. The production was directed by the genius John Lloyd Davies.

Ed and I have been constantly telling ourselves we were lucky to have such a great team on board and last night it was clear just how lucky. It was an electric performance in which everything came together faultlessly - well, as faultlessly as live theatre can be! We couldn't have asked for more from everyone involved.

It was pretty much a full house and the audience was incredibly receptive: a fantastic high for me to hear the extended applause and cheers even! If only you could bottle that for the times when things aren't going so well. As it was a workshop performance - part of Brighton Festival's Platform showcase - we invited the audience to give us feedback in the bar afterwards. I only had one comment from a guy who was getting drinks at the same time as me. "Don't change it. Just do it." I don't know who he was, but it was great to hear.

Thanks to everyone at Brighton Festival, OperaGenesis, and ROHII for their help in developing the piece. We all very much hope that we will be able to take it forward to a full production next year. Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The View from Here in print...

The interview I did with The View From Here is now available in their hard copy printed magazine. Browse and buy here. Look at me next to Iain Banks. And I see there's also a contribution from Michael Kimball. Sounds like an issue not to be missed.

Must go, as I'm meant to be working on a short story!