Sunday, 13 April 2008

The Canary Thief

The greatest pleasure of attending crime fiction conventions and conferences is to meet readers and fellow writers, and to make new friends. At last year’s annual CWA conference in Ilkley, I met for the first time a writer called Kate Stacey, whose one and only novel was published a few years back. Kate’s day job is a bookseller, and other commitments have kept her from producing a follow-up, but she explained she was hoping to get back into the swing of crime writing and her participation in the Ilkley weekend was a step in that direction.

Kate told me a little about her book, The Canary Thief, which was published by the company that also published my own early books, Piatkus (so I know they have very good taste!) After the conference, we swapped books and I certainly found hers interesting.

The Canary Thief was marketed as a ‘pitch black crime novel’ and it’s a quirky piece of writing. The lead characters are a police officer and a young boy and the story-line does not follow a conventional path. The book wasn’t a best-seller, but it showed enough promise to make the absence of a successor a real disappointment. I was glad to hear recently that, after a break to concentrate on other things, she’s back at work on a second book, and that she’s also been busy with some scripts for radio and television.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the second Stacey will turn up in the stores in the next year or so. Chances are, it will be well worth the long wait.

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