It was with real pleasure that I received a parcel recently containing four brand-new books. They are published by Severn House, a good firm I have mentioned before (and one of the reasons they are good is that they publish the CWA anthology!) But there is something a little different about these books – they appear under the imprint of Creme De La Crime.
Formerly a separate business, Crème De La Crime was acquired some months ago by Severn House, and the branding makes me hazard a guess that this represents an attempt to emulate the success of the late lamented Collins Crime Club. If this is so, I think it is a good idea, since there are plenty of readers who miss the guarantee of reliability that the Crime Club used to represent.
The imprint has got off to a very good start. One of the authors is Kate Ellis, whom I have often mentioned here. Kissing the Demons is her third book featuring Joe Plantagenet, and it is good to see that series continuing. Mind you, Kate's productivity does put me to shame.
I'm also delighted to see that Tim Heald has brought back Simon Bognor, in Death in the Opening Chapter. Bognor appeared in a story that Tim contributed to Original Sins, and I am glad that he has now been resurrected in a full-length novel. Maureen Carter, a lively and talented writer from Birmingham, starts a new series with A Question of Despair, while Roz Southey has produced her fifth historical mystery, The Ladder Dancer. I wish all four authors, and their enterprising publishers, every success in this new venture.