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Crime Beat

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Crime Beat: The year ahead for local crime fiction

2011 was a fantastic year for South African crime fiction and our both our established favourites and emerging voices have big plans for the year ahead. Let’s take a look at what’s ahead for the local crime fiction scene in 2012.

To kick us off: new work hitting the shelves in the near future.

Jassy Mackenzie will be launching the fourth Jade de Jong thriller, Pale Horses while Andrew Brown will be launching his latest work, entitled Solace, on 8 May at the Book Lounge, Cape Town. Deon Meyer’s latest English book, Seven Days will be launched in September and he’s busy at work on a new Afrikaans novel. I’m not sure when he’ll have the time to write, though, as the lucky rascal is touring Europe through March and into April! Find details here.

Rob Marsh has just finished a fictionalised account of the ‘Madame de Brinvilliers Affair’, set in Paris in 1676 and is in the process of finalizing the commission of ghost writing the story of a well-known South African. We shall have to wait and see! Marsh is really shaking things up this year – he and his wife are selling up in Joburg and moving to Vietnam in a couple of months. The Crime Beat team wish them well in their adventure and look forward to some work set in Vietnam perhaps!

There is some really exciting work in the making right now: Margie Orford is writing the fifth installment in the Clare Hart series and she’ll be heading off to the Crime Writer’s Festival in Harrogate, Yorkshire in July. Michael Stanley (writing duo Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) are putting the finishing touches to their fourth Detective Kubu book. Hawa Golakai is developing a new project which is likely to feature the fabulous protagonist from The Lazarus Effect, Vee Johnson.

A lot of authors will be out there taking care of business. Michael Stanley will be attending the Minnesota Book Awards in mid-April and the Edgars in late April – they are short listed for both. They will also have a presence at Thrillerfest in New York City in July and at Bouchercon in Cleveland in October where they are short listed for a Barry. Sue Rabie has just finished the fourth book in the David Roth sequence and is looking into digital publishing to get this book, as well as her historical fiction and fantasy novels published. Peter Chrurch and Joanne Hichens have already been hard at work have just returned from a lightning book tour of Johannesburg where they visited 13 bookstores in two days including a conversation, ‘The Thrilling Life’ at Skoobs Bookstore.

There are plenty of festivals this year where you can meet local crime writers.

First up is the Knysna Literary Festivalwhich will be held on April 27 and 28 where Michael Sears, Margie Orford and Mike Nicol shall be in conversation. Next is the Franschhoek Literary Festival which will feature top crime novelists Deon Meyer, Margie Orford, Andrew Brown, Joanne Hichens and new voices Hawa Golakai from Liberia and Shamini Flint from Singapore. Later in the year, Boekbedonnerd 2012 in October 21 and 22 there will be a crime section featuring, Deon Meyer, Margie Orford, Sarah Lotz, Hawa Golokai and Mike Nicol.



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