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Two Sunshine Noir authors longlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Short Story Dagger Award 2017

Leye Adenle and Ovidia Yu have been longlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Short Story Dagger Award for the best short story of 2017.

Adenle’s “The Assassination” and Yu’s “Snake Skin” were both published in the short story collection, Sunshine Noir, edited by Annamaria Alfieri and Michael Stanley.

Sunshine Noir contains 17 short stories and the theme is that “they are all set in dry, hot places and bright sun – where the shadows are the darkest,” says Michael Sears, one half of the Michael Stanley-duo.

The CWA Crime Dagger Award honours any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK.

About Sunshine Noir:

In these stories, seventeen writers from around the globe tell of dark doings in sunny places.

Join them in the Dominican Republic, the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, chic Mykonos, Seville at midnight, and on the morning beachfront of Ghana where a man has revenge on his mind. Follow an NGO worker kidnapped in Yemen, an engineer repairing a dam in turmoil-torn Ethopia, a foolish young Englishman hitchhiking across the Sahara. You will visit historic instabul and Mombasa and learn the secrets of family conflicts in Singapore, in Puerto Rico, in New Orleans.

The authors of these tales will convince you that evil under the sun makes for the most compelling, most entertaining crime fiction anywhere on earth.

Click here for more on the CWA Short Story Dagger Award.

Sunshine Noir

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Sunshine noir fans, get your monthly dosage of local thriller authors here...

Watch this space for news on the best thriller and crime fiction authors Africa has to offer.

BooksLIVE will be publishing pieces on local sunshine noir authors on a monthly basis, as featured in International Thrillers Writers’ “Africa Scene”. “Africa Scene” is the brainchild of South African thriller writer par excellence, Mike Nicol, and is available on the e-magazine, Big Thrill.

Mike Nicol


Michael Sears

Nicol initiated Africa Scene with a monthly “Newsletter from South Africa” covering local crime fiction and thrillers; author Michael Sears – who makes part of the duo Michael Stanley (with Stanley Trollip) renown for their Detective Kubu-series – took over from Nicol and broadened it to “Africa Scene”. Sears included pieces about African authors writing in other countries.

“The idea is really to showcase the excellent writers in the genre that we have here and generate more interest in Africa’s “sunshine noir” overseas,” says Sears of this new collaboration.

Intrigued? Read an excerpt from Sears’s recent interview with Nicol on his Barry Ronge Fiction Prize-longlisted Agents of the State which appeared in the Africa Scene-section of The Big Thrill:

Deon Meyer has said of Mike Nicol that his style is “by far the best in South Africa” and that he creates “deliciously complex characters.” The Pretoria News said of his previous book, Power Play, that it “proved once again that Nicol is a master of the genre.”

So when Nicol comes out with a new thriller, it’s always an event on the South African book scene. And his books are also enthusiastically received internationally, with Power Play making the Krimizeit top 10 in Germany, and being short listed for major thriller awards in Holland and France. If you like sunshine noir and haven’t read Nicol, you’re missing out.

In his latest book, Agents of the State, we meet again the lead characters in Of Cops & Robbers. There we wondered if the police and the crooks were actually on different sides. In the new book, we wonder if the agents of the state are the good guys or the bad guys. The answer is probably maybe. Nicol never has simplistic dividing lines.

Agents of the State is set in a dystopian South Africa with a “president for life” and all the trappings of the classic corrupt African dictatorship. Did you feel this extrapolation was needed to justify aspects of the story, or do you see South Africa as de facto there already?

I have to admit I’d never really thought of the background to Agents of the State as dystopian, especially if by that you mean repressive and unpleasant. Certainly, the book is set in a politically troubled time when the president is out of touch and paranoid, but for the rest, society is still a going concern: the hospitals function, the restaurants and shops are open, there are people in the streets, planes are landing at and taking off from the airports, kids are at school, there are sunbathers on the beaches, people meeting in the grand hotels for cocktails, the cellphone networks and the internet are up and running. However, there are some severely compromised government institutions, state security being one of those. But that this chaotic shadow world exists in parallel with the ordinary world seems to me a condition that has been present in most societies for centuries.

Indeed, the president fits the mold of the corrupt African dictator, which was a necessary condition of the story. As to whether South Africa is there already: no, I don’t think so. But that is not to say that we aren’t lurching about on the edge of totalitarianism what with the Secrecy Bill and the Hate Speech Bill, the rampant racism, let alone the audacious attempts by the president et al to “capture” various organs of state.

For some years now I’ve felt that the state – certainly what is referred to as the deep state, that combination of the intelligence services, the police, politicians, and organized crime – is where I should locate my crime fiction. It is where the most serious crime is being committed in this country. If the social aspect of crime fiction is about presenting society in extremis, then it seems to me that the espionage novel offers an opportunity to explore the underlying tensions in South Africa now. And there is a strong tradition in South African literature of opposition to and critique of the exigencies of our governments and leaders, again a territory ideally suited to the espionage novel.

Continue reading their interview here.

With names like Paige Nick, Leye Adenle, and Paul Mendelson to look forward to we expect each and every local thriller fan to shiver with antici…pation.

‘Til the 23rd of June!

Agents of the State

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Of Cops and Robbers

Power Play

Vier Lapa-romanza's om jou in te verlustig

Dans met ’n maangodin
Rosita Oberholster

Lilly is oortuig dat haar buurman Matt ook gevoelens vir haar het. Maar dan trek sy eks-vrou oornag by hom in en boonop praat hy gereeld van die nimlike “Selene” wie sy nog nooit met die oog gesien het nie.

Lank en gelukkig
Magdaleen Walters

Om skielik jou huis met ’n vreemdeling te deel, is moeilik. Veral as dié vreemdeling jou eks-verloofde se broer en onmeetlik aantreklik is – en jou boonop gekoester en beskermd laat voel. Dit is die dilemma waarmee Larita sit.

Ridder van die branders

Rika Du Plessis

Duart red Dineke van die diepsee se branders. ’n Ridder, dink sy. Maar vanaf sy eerste woorde vryf hy Dineke verkeerd op. Duart dink sy is bedorwe en sy dink hy is ongemanierd. Waarom vind hulle mekaar dan onweerstaanbaar?

My hart se keuse

Ria Richards

Ná haar eks-man se verraad glo Saskia nie haar hart kan weer herstel nie, totdat sy die sproetgesigseuntjie in haar speelgroep se aantreklike pa, Quintin, ontmoet. Hy maak teenstrydige emosies in haar wakker: een oomblik laat hy haar hart bokspring, die volgende wil sy hom vermoor.





Forthcoming book on the De Zalze murders contains all the elements of an uncanny murder mystery

Tafelberg is soon to publish an explosive new book about the Van Breda axe murders.

The De Zalze Murders: The Story Behind the Brutal Axe Attack by award-winning investigative journalist Julian Jansen includes insider accounts of the Van Breda family and others. Jansen was one of the first journalists on the scene, where Martin, Teresa and Rudi van Breda were brutally murdered in their De Zalze home in Stellenbosch in January 2015. Since then, Jansen has followed the case closely, reporting on it for City Press and Rapport.

Jansen, who has been worked as a journalist for the two newspapers for more than a decade, says that when he reached the scene he immediately realised this was not a straight-forward murder case.

‘It contains all the elements of an uncanny murder story. It is highly unusual for three out of five family members to be killed in a single night within the safety of a well-known security complex – especially with an axe. The story really grabbed me at the heart. It just wouldn’t let me go. I realised it would take a lot of investigative work to get to the truth but I had no choice, especially as I know many of the role players as I grew up in the area.’

The trial is currently under way in the Cape Town High Court. Henri has pleaded not guilty on all charges against him. In his plea explanation he claimed the family was attacked by a burglar wearing a balaclava and dark clothing. Henri says the ‘laughing’ murderer attacked the family with an axe but he managed to wrestle it from his hands.

Henri’s younger sister, Marli, also survived the attack but because of a brain injury she cannot remember anything about that fatal night. It is now up to Henri – the only survivor who knows what truly happened – to prove his innocence in court.

In his search for answers, Jansen has interviewed family members, friends of the Van Breda family and others with insider knowledge of the case. The De Zalze Murders contains many revelations while exploring the human side of the tragedy. Could the Van Bredas’ own child have wielded the axe?

The book by Tafelberg, which is an imprint of NB Publishers, will be available in English and Afrikaans.

New Faye Kellerman as gripping and chilling as expected

The gripping new crime novel in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series from New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman.

On a crisp September morning, Rina Decker stumbles upon human remains once buried deep beneath the forest grounds. She calls her husband, Peter, a former detective lieutenant with the LAPD. Within hours, a beautiful woodland is transformed into a frenetic crime scene.

As Decker and his partner, Tyler McAdams, further investigate, they realise that they’re most likely dealing with a missing student from the Five Colleges of Upstate – a well-respected institution where Rina works.

And when more human remains are found in the same area, Decker and McAdams know this isn’t just a one-off murder case. Winding their way through a dangerous labyrinth of suspects, they race to protect their community from a psychopathic killer still in the area – and on the hunt for a fresh victim.

Born in St. Louis, Faye Kellerman is one of the most highly considered US crime authors. Her first novel, The Ritual Bath (1986) introduced Sgt. Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. It also won the 1987 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. Kellerman currently lives in Beverly Hills with her husband and four children.

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Koeëlreën: Wapens, bloedspatsels en wonde - Wollie Wolmarans se sake bewys dat feite soms meer bisar is as fiksie...

Wollie Wolmarans is een van Suid-Afrika se bekendste forensiese deskundiges. Hy is al geroep in meer as 800 hofsake in Suid-Afrika, en oorsee. Een van sy mees bekende sake was Oscar Pistorius s’n; daarna het almal ’n opinie gehad oor spatmerke.

Gooi hierdie ongelooflike kennis saam met Japie Bogaards se vermoë om ’n spannende storie te vertel, dan het jy ’n feiteboek wat soos ’n riller lees.

Vir 240 bladsye vertel hierdie twee jou van ware sake, beide ter plaatse en in ander lande. So, al lesende, word ons al hoe meer vertroud met die studie van projektiele in vlug, die uitkenning van vuurwapens, hulle reikafstand en afvuurtempo, die snelheid van die projektiel, die merke wat op afgevuurde doppies en koeëls gelaat word, die aard van die wonde wat hulle veroorsaak, ja – ook bloedspatselpatrone en die chemiese reste wat koeëls laat op diegene wat daarmee in kontak was, as ook die versameling en berekening van data.

Koeëlreën is ’n fassinerende boek met sake wat tot die 1800s terugdateer.

Die moord op John F Kennedy word betrek, so ook die skrikbewind van die Beltway Snipers wat in 2002 talle mense sonder enige patroon afgemaai het.

Soos die boek vorder, leer die leser al hoe meer.

Verskeie Suid-Afrikaanse sake word betrek, ook die van Pistorius.

Van die interessantste gevalle is egter dié wat nie noodwendig die poniepers haal nie.

Een daarvan is Jamie Verhoef se saak. Die seun se lyk word in sy kamer op ’n afgeleë plaas naby Beaufort-Wes aangetref. Hy lê op sy jaggeweer, sy kop is vergruis. Was dit ’n ongeluk of selfdood? Die antwoord is belangrik, want daar is ’n polis, met ’n selfdoodklousule, van ’n miljoen rand op die spel. Meer nog: Daar is ’n gesin wat antwoorde soek.

Hoe haal regerings hulle teenstanders uit? Al gehoor van spioene en giftige sambrele? Koop die boek, sulke goed gebeur nie net in James Bond-films nie. Feite is soms veel meer bisar as fiksie.


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