Tag Archives: Crime

Five on Friday: Alternative Xmas

Put the X in Xmas! Tired of the kid friendly films? And you’ve already watched Hans Gruber fall this season? Here’s five holiday films that won’t overload the saccharine and might just give you a reason to smile.

THE THIN MAN: Thinly veiled portrait of Hammett and Hellman’s own hijinks. If you don’t love Myrna Loy and William Powell after this you have no soul!

THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER: Speaking of thinly veiled, allegedly a portrait of the cantankerous Alexander Woolcott with the fabulous Bette Davis and a great cast.

THE APARTMENT: Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, romance without schmaltz.

BRAZIL: We’re all in this together. You might want to get used to the world of this film; we’re hurtling toward it.

IN BRUGES: Maybe you like to go on holiday abroad (while you still can). Martin McDonogh and the boys want you to have a real good time. If you like darkness, guilt and violence, this is the film for you, assuming you’ve already enjoyed THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT which I said I wasn’t going to bring up this time because I always mention it.

P.S. Buy our books.

You Left Your Biscuit Behind : Release day

OUT NOW! 

Our first crime themed anthology featuring crime, fantasy, horror, humour and baked goods. It’s basically just like one of our events. 

10 stories, by ten authors, all with a crime at their heart, some of them with biscuits. Whether that is the stories of the authors I leave to you. 

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Contents
Elf Prefix by Graham Wynd
Between Love and Hat by Jay Eales
Ghost Signals by James Bennett
No Mercy by K.D. Kinchen
That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles by Penny Jones
Feeding the Fish by Carol Borden
Mermaids in Cape Town by Mame Diene
Patron by E.J. Davies
The Price of a Biscuit by Kate Coe
The Princess, The Pekingese and the Ivory Box by R.A. Kennedy

Launch Day : Murder for Hire the Peruvian Pigeon

This time of year is always a little busy with releases for Fox Spirit, and this year is no exception.

Murder for Hire was a book I read years before Fox Spirit was a thing, when I was still reviewing. I don’t recall whether I read MFH because I knew Dana, or whether I knew Dana because I read MFH, I don’t suppose it matters. I loved the book, I adore the writer and I followed her across to erotica when she wrote that, and again back to more familiar territory with her awesome Ashley Parker zombie novels, a must for Buffy fans.

MFH

About Murder for Hire:

‘Connie Garrett knows that a trenchcoat and a fedora don’t make a detective. She’s the co-founder of Murder for Hire, an acting troupe that specializes in spoofing, not sleuthing. When MFH performs at a sleepy coastal community’s mystery gala, celebrating the works of a famous hard-boiled mystery writer, the bodies start stacking up, and Connie finds herself on the case whether she likes it or not. Now Connie is committed to solving the murders while trying to keep both the show-and her love life-afloat.’

Epic giveaway time!

Want to win every Fox Spirit* title we release in 2016 in paperback?

You can and it’s easy! Retweet this on twitter with the #foxyfriday hashtag or share this post on Facebook and make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to be in with a chance. We will announce the winner through the newsletter, if you aren’t signed up you can’t claim your prize!

Once the winner is announced we will send them Winter Tales and In an Unknown Country, after that they will get each book sent out at the same time as the author copies go, all year.

This is our biggest giveaway ever and who doesn’t love surprise book post!

The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at 5pm on Monday 28th March, so you have all weekend to retweet or share and sign up to the newsletter. The winner will be selected at random.

You can register for our newsletter in the sidebar or by clicking here

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Titles in 2016 include the remaining Fox Pockets, ‘Piercing the Vale’, ‘The Evil Genius Guide’ and ‘Reflections’, along with the re release of Vincent Holland-Keen’s ‘The Office of Lost and Found’, anthologies ‘Respectable Horror’, ‘You left your Biscuit Behind’ and ‘Asian Monsters’ and more.

*Main line only, imprint titles are excluded from the giveaway.

You Left Your Biscuit Behind : Table of Contents

You left your biscuit behind is our crime & crime mashup anthology due out in 2016.

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The running order is subject to change but currently looks like this:

Elf Prefix by Graham Wynd
Between Love and Hat by Jay Eales
Black Glass by James Bennett
No Mercy by Kate Hollamby
That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles by Penny Jones
Feeding the Fish by Carol Borden
Mermaids in Cape Town by Mame Diene
Patron by E.J. Davies
The Price of a Biscuit by Kate Coe
The Princess, The Pekingese and the Ivory Box by R.A. Kennedy

Cover art will be by Michaela Margett

 

Revisited : Wicked Women

When Alchemy Press editors Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber approached Aunty Fox to ask if we interested in an anthology called Wicked Women they pretty much got straight into ‘things Aunty Fox loves’. Obviously we said yes and we are delighted that one of the stories ‘Change of Heart’ by the marvelous Gaie Sebold is now up for Best Short Story in the BFS awards this year.

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Wicked Women Edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton

From thieves and tyrants to witches and warriors, here are twelve tales of women who gleefully write their own rules, who’ll bend or break the social norms, who’ll skate along the edge of the law and generally aim to misbehave.

A. R. Aston –  No Place of Honour, Stephanie Burgis – Red Ribbons, Zen Cho – The First Witch of Damansara, Jaine Fenn – Down at the Lake, Juliet E. McKenna – Win Some, Lose Some, Christine Morgan – The Shabti-Maker, Tom Johnstone – Kravolitz, Gaie Sebold – A Change of Heart, Sam Stone – The Book of the Gods, Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Blessed Union, Jonathan Ward – A Change in Leadership, Chloë Yates – How to be the Perfect Housewife

N.R on Amazon : Fox Spirit’s “Wicked Women” anthology is yet another standard bearer for independent women and publishing and well-worth perusing!

Opening Paragraphs:

From ‘Win Some, Lose Some.’ by Juliet E McKenna
The Martagon is one of those taverns which, while not a brothel, always has enough lasses idling about in low cut bodices to catch a man’s eye through its hospitably open door. And there are always plenty of men passing the door, given it’s in the middle of a street of rooming houses that cater to country folk on some long anticipated visit to this splendid city of Selerima. Such folk always include plough boys desperate to quench their youthful ardour without the risks of sowing their seed in some local furrow. And then there are the older men whose marriage bed has long since staled. They can often be tempted into a slice from a fresh cut loaf.
‘Livak, there’s a man asking for you.’ One of the lasses sauntered over, hips swinging, hem of her pink gown hiked up to show the golden lace on her petticoats and fine white stockings above her soft yellow slippers.
I swept up the rune bones I’d been casually rolling on the table in front of me. ‘Send him for a walk down the Andelane. He’ll find what he’s looking for there.’
Even dressed in a man’s breeches and boots with shirt and jerkin loose enough to disguise my curves, getting the occasional offer is one of the prices of setting up in an inn like the Martagon. Some mistake me for a lad in the candlelight, half blinded by guilt or anticipation or both. Others just see my red hair and green eyes and remember all the whispered stable yard tales about the insatiable appetites of Forest women. Such whispers had mortified my respectable housekeeper mother once I’d reached girlhood, just when she’d thought the gossip about her ill-starred dalliance with the Forest minstrel who was my father had finally faded.

North Vs South at Harrogate

Sadly Aunty Fox won’t be attending Harrogate this year, however Fox Spirit will be well represented at the Football Grudge Match between North and South because House Fox demands trial by combat!

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Never has their been a battle so epic as when crime writers throw down on the pitch near the Old Swan in the genteel and pretty gritty and dark surroundings of Mordor Harrogate. With more on the line here than at Helm’s Deep these two teams of pasty & sun deprived fearsome and heroic stalwarts of crime culture will meet in a silly game devastating battle.

Anyway, The North will be wearing Fox Spirit colours on their shirts because the north remembers or it’s going to rain or something. Skulk author Vincent Holland-Keen will be representing the North in this bloody and merciless battle, so there is Fox pride on the line and no pressure Vincent, but the losers will be sacrificed to the god of Fire while the winners will be witnessed entering the halls of Valhalla, all shiny and chrome.

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The teams provisionally look like this:

FOR THE NORTH – WEIGHING IN AT THREE TONS

  • Luca Veste
  • Col Bury
  • Nick Quantrill
  • Howard Linskey
  • Vince Holland-Keen
  • Craig Robertson
  • Tom Wood

FOR THE SOUTH – NOT WEIGHING THEMSELVES AS THEY’RE SOUTHERN SOFTIES

  • James Law
  • Will Carver
  • Tim Weaver
  • Phil Patterson
  • Chris Ewan
  • Adam Hamdy
  • Graeme Cameron

Revisited : The Noir Series

Weird Noir was one of our early titles, edited by K.A. Laity and it was so much fun we managed to persuade her back to do two more, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir. The idea was simply to throw another genre or trope that interested us in the mix with noir stylings and it resulted in some incredible stories and really superb anthologies.

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‘On the gritty backstreets of a crumbling city, tough dames and dangerous men trade barbs, witticisms and a few gunshots. But there’s a new twist where

urban decay meets the eldritch borders of another world: WEIRD NOIR.

Featuring thugs who sprout claws and fangs, gangsters with tentacles and the occasional succubus siren. The ambience is pure noir but the characters aren’t just your average molls and mugs—the vamps might just be vamps. It’s Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson or Dashiell Hammett filtered through H. P. Lovecraft. Mad, bad and truly dangerous to know, but irresistible all the same.’

WEB Final Noir Carnival

Dark’s Carnival has already left town, but it’s left a fetid seed behind. There’s a transgressive magic that spooks the carnies and unsettles the freaks. Beyond the barkers and the punters, behind the lights and tents where the macabre and the lost find refuge, there’s a deformity that has nothing to do with skin and bones. Where tragic players strut on a creaking stage, everybody’s going through changes. Jongleurs and musicians huddle in the back. It seems as if every one’s running, but is it toward something—or away?

The carnies bring you stories, a heady mix of shadows and candy floss, dreams gone sour and nights that go on too long. Let them lure you into the tent.

Carnival: whether you picture it as a traveling fair in the back roads of America or the hedonistic nights of the pre-Lenten festival where masks hide faces while the skin glories in its revelation, it’s about spectacle, artificiality and the things we hide behind the greasepaint or the tent flap. Let these writers lead you on a journey into that heart of blackened darkness and show you what’s behind the glitz.

Underneath, we’re all freaks after all…

We all went a little crazy at the Noir Carnival launch at Edge.Lit 2013

Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy and the bearded lady

Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy and the bearded lady

and finally we closed off by taking a look at gender and sexuality in Drag Noir. K.A. Laity swears she won’t do any more, but we’ve heard that before.

Cover by S. L. Johnson

Cover by S. L. Johnson

DRAG NOIR: this is where glamour meets grit, where everyone’s wearing a disguise (whether they know it or not) and knowing the players takes a lot more than simply reading the score cards. Maybe everyone’s got something to hide, but they’ve got something to reveal, too. Scratch the surface and explore what secrets lie beneath — it’s bound to cost someone…a lot.

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Revisited : Requiem in E Sharp by Joan De La Haye

Joan was the first author to sign a novel with Fox Spirit. One of her novels with us also has the distinction of being our first crime release. Requiem in E Sharp.

Requiem Cover

 

‘A troubled detective

A tormented serial murderer

Sundays in Pretoria are dangerous for selected women.

A murderer plagued by his childhood, has found a distinctive modus operandi to salve his pathological need to escape the domination of the person who was supposed to cherish him.

As The Bathroom Strangler’s frenzy escalates and the body count mounts, Nico van Staaden, the lead detective on the case, finds himself confronting his own demons as he struggles to solve the murders of the seemingly unconnected victims. The lack of evidence in the sequence of deaths and pressure from his superiors are challenges he must overcome.

The resolution is bloody, savage and merciless.’

You can find the book on Amazon here
‘Bravo. I picked this book up and couldn’t put it down. Dark and grisly at times, the character development pulls you into the lives of these hopelessly screwed up people and doesn’t let you go. I’d never dreamt of having a peek into the backstory of a serial killer as intimately as I got in this book. Equally disturbed and enthralled, I am wondering how I am already done reading and yet in want of more?!’ – Amazon reviewer

The opening paragraphs

Sunday, 23 June

His hands shook. He wanted them to stop; he wanted everything to stop.

All he could hear was her banging on the piano. It reverberated along the passage,
through the tiled floor of his childhood bathroom and into his brain. The feel of the cold,
smooth surface of the bath beneath his small curled-up body was soothing and calmed him.
It was safe as long as she banged on the piano. The moment the music stopped the real
nightmare would begin. Urine ran down the insides of his legs causing his jeans to cling to
them. The music stopped. She would be coming soon.

He closed his eyes and tried to shut out the memory.

The car boot slammed shut and brought him back to the present. The street lights above
his head flashed on and illuminated the quiet street. A slight though cool breeze played with
crisp brown leaves on the ground around his feet; a dog barked down the street, disturbing
the quiet suburb. The owner of the dog yelled at it to shut up. Why did people keep dogs to
protect them, then stop them from doing their job? It was something he would never
understand.

 

Big News Day!

New Aquisitions:

Not that the Fox Spirit Skulk are aquisitions exactly, but we have just confirmed two projects that I have been hoping we could secure for a little while now.

First Ian Whates will be joining the Skulk with a collection of short stories to be released in 2016. The details are yet to be confirmed but we are delighted to have Ian on board.

Ian runs the wonderful NewCon Press of which I have long been a fan. NewCon does a fantastic job of drawing big name writers and slipping them seemlessly between the covers with new talent. If you’ve never checked them out you really should, I have quite a few of their books. Ian also did me the great honour of collaborating with Vincent Holland-Keen and I on an event/publication on the ‘Hauntings’ book back when I was reviewing.

Ian has also written innumerable short stories and several series of books including space opera series ‘The Noise’ and ‘The City of a Hundred Rows’ fantasy series.

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We also have Dana Fredsti coming on board to reissue some of her back catalogue. Dana has written in a number of genres but our first re relase will be the wonderful fun Noir tribute Murder for Hire : The Peruvian Pigeon. I am delighted to be able to bring a book I really love back to market.

Dana’s current releases are the ‘Ashley Parker’ novels set in the midst of a zombie outbreak.

Like Ripley, Dana always goes back for the cat!

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