Saturday, May 28, 2016

It was not the XBox; the Ed James story

Dear Readers,

when you read this post I'm away on holiday.

There has been a time when I liked to read crime fiction by authors like Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George, and others. Over the years I lost interest in reading modern crime fiction.

It changed again in 2014, the year, when I discovered author Ed James and his first book in his Scott Cullen Mystery series. Ghost in the Machine has been published - it is important to mention self-published - first in 2012.

Who is Ed James?

"Ed James writes crime fiction novels, predominantly the SCOTT CULLEN series of police procedurals set in Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians – the first four are available as singles and in omnibus CULLEN YEAR ONE. The series started with GHOST IN THE MACHINE which has been downloaded over 280,000 times. COWBOYS AND INDIANS Cullen 7) is out since August 2015. He is currently developing two new series – DI SIMON FENCHURCH and DS VICKY DODDS - set in London and Dundee respectively. SNARED (Dodds 1) is out since April 2015. He also writes the SUPERNATURE series, featuring vampires and other folkloric creatures, of which the first book SHOT THROUGH THE HEART has been published in October 2013.

Ed lives in the East Lothian countryside, 25 miles east of Edinburgh, with his girlfriend, six rescue moggies, two retired greyhounds, a flock of ex-battery chickens and rescue ducks across two breeds and two genders (though the boys don’t lay eggs). While working in IT for a living, Ed wrote mainly on public transport but now writes full time." [Source - updated by me]

One thing I know for sure. Praises like the following ones
“Rankin for the Xbox generation”
“son of Rebus meets Christopher Brookmyre”

did not convince me to give Ghost in the Machine a try.

In fact it was the description in combination with the cover that convinced me to give Ghost in the Machine a try and it did not disappoint me.

This is the original cover from the edition I bought

Since 2012 Ed James has been and still is very, very busy.

Until middle of May 2016 he has written and published nine books and there will be three more books out until the end of the year and more to come in 2017 ...

Except one book they are all police procedurals. 

So far I read seven of the nine published books and reviewed ..... NONE!

I think now the time has come to make up leeway. During my holiday I will spend some time to think about how to continue with my blog and how to improve the number of reviews which include the Scott Cullen Mystery series.
One thing I know for sure. In July 2016 I will definitely read the seventh Scott Cullen Mystery.

There are several reasons why I like the series so much.
Location, characters, and plot fit together perfectly.
There is real character development within each book and from book to book.
Scott Cullen is at the bottom of the hierarchy which automatically leads to problems with superiors because he is good officer AND a real pighead. 
Not to forget his private life which has an impact on his work and vice versa.

Now the time has come to present you the available books in a not too boring format. It took me some time to come to following solution.

Therefore I decided to present the books in form of a list with titles where each contains a link which will lead you to the detailed book site over at one of my favourite sources -  FANTASTIC FICTION - plus whether I read the book or not.

Scott Cullen Mysteries
1. Ghost in the Machine (2012), read
2. Devil in the Detail (2012), read
3. Fire in the Blood (2013), read
4. Dyed in the Wool (2013), read
5. Bottleneck (2014), read
6. Windchill (2014), read
7. Cowboys and Indians (2015), to be read
Cullen Year One (omnibus) (2014), Recommendation in case you want to meet Scott Cullen, cheaper than the single books

DS Vicky Dodds
1. Snared (2015), read

Shot Through The Heart (2013), not my cup of tea

As you can see the latest book is from 2015. Did  Ed James give up writing?
On the contrary. He is more busy than ever.  When will we get a new book? What about the new series and when will we get the next Scott Cullen Mystery?

There will be a new book out in June 2016 by no other person than Ed James!

This leads my directly to the second part of this post.

Let me quote from the last Ed James Newsletter:
"Meet PC Craig Hunter. Ex-Army, ex-CID, now in uniform. Ex-colleague of a certain recently promoted Detective Sergeant... A straightforward domestic call out soon descends as Stephanie Ferguson, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, makes allegations against her stepfather. Before a statement can be taken, Steph runs away, leading Hunter on a chase to find her. Where has she gone? Did she run? Or did someone take her?

I will do a proper blurb, of course. The current title for the book is MISSING, which might change. It was SHE'S GONE, which is mince. Rumour suggest it might feature more than a few characters from another of my series, including a mouthy ex-DC in a prominent role. I hope it'll be the first in a new series, but that's dependent on whether you lot like it or not!

It'll be out 01-Jun-16. No later, maybe sooner."
There you have it! Of course I want to read and review this book.

But that isn't all what we can expect from Ed James.
As stated in the information about the author, there are two more series in progress. When will we meet DS Vicky Dodds again?
Due to information straight from the newsletter, she will return in
"FALLEN, to come out probably April 2017 (two years after the first one). So all Vicky fans can relax, there will be more of her."

What's about Scott Cullen?
Again straight from the newsletter
"The next Cullen, the eighth (how did that happen?), will be HEROES AND VILLAINS, and will be released on the 12th January 2017, which is only a little bit later than I said in the afterword for the last book."

Finally there are good news regarding the arrival of the first two DI Simon Fenchurch books.
Due to information coming from the newsletter, from Amazon, and from FANTASTIC FICTION

DI Fenchurch
1. The Hope that Kills (2016), ordered in advance
2. Vicious Cycle (2016), ordered in advance

the first to books will be published more or less back to back which is not usual but good for interested readers.

Now I hope DC Craig Hunter and DI Simon Fenchurch will be as good as Scott Cullen and DS Vicky Dodds.

Ed James is available on
Twitter           edjamesauthor
GOODREADS  Author Ed James 

A post about Ed James and his books would be incomplete without the
"Video of Ed James going around Edinburgh and highlighting key locations in the city which feature in the Scott Cullen books, particularly the new novel BOTTLENECK."

Of course there are a lot more crime novels available set in different countries and so on. I must say that in this case I fell in love with Scotland and that is one of the reasons why I want to read other crime fiction set in this country.
To my pleasure with the help of Ed James and For winter nights – A bookish blog I found two more authors which I want to discover.

In case you want to know more about then return to my blog on 4th of June 2016 and read From Ed James to James Oswald and Stuart MacBride


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