Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sally Spedding and Cold Remains

Although this blog has been running for more than four years, I have to put my hands up and admit that I haven't got round to mentioning all the interesting books, past and present, and writers that I've come across. Not by a long chalk.

One writer I don't think I've covered is Sally Spedding, who first came to my attention a number of years back through her short stories (via the CWA anthology - compiling which gives me the chance to be the first reader of some terrific work). I was glad to include her story "The Anniversary" in Crime on the Move, an anthology I edited back in 2005.

Sally is also an experienced novelist, and I recall enjoying Wringland, which first came out about a decade ago. She's not a conventional whodunit writer, though. There is a Gothic tinge to some of her work and I find her writing quite distinctive. She comes from Wales, and is very familiar with France - two countries which feature recurrently in her work.

Her latest, Cold Remains, has just been published by Sparkling Books. It's a supernatural thriller set in old lead mine working in rural Carmarthenshire. Intriguingly, a course for writers features in the book - but this story is quite different from Ann Cleeves' The Glass Room, which included a similar course. If you like something a bit unusual in comparison to a typical detective fare, you might find Sally's work a very welcome discovery.


Paul Beech said...

Hi Martin,

I’ve been finding some fascinating female crime writers recently – Carla Banks (aka Danuta Reah), Judith Cutler, Barbara Nadel…and now you’ve added another name I must check out! Much as I love traditional crime mysteries, I’m quite partial to a little gothic and Sally Spedding sounds right up my street. A poet too – yes, definitely up my street!

A name from the past I don’t remember you mentioning here is P M Hubbard. He also had a quite distinctive voice and his novels of brooding suspense made a big impact on me years ago. Philip Maitland Hubbard (1910 – 80): should you post about him sometime, I for one will welcome your views.

Regards, Paul

Martin Edwards said...

Many thanks, Paul. Danuta, Judith and Barbara are all very good writers and I will post about them one of these days, for sure. Now I've often been told how good Hubbard is, but apart from one book thirty years ago which I've now forgotten, I haven't read him. You have persuaded me to remedy the omission sooner rather than later.