Welcome to the first newsletter of 2019. In the past these have been a bit hit and miss, but the new me intends to keep them semi-regular and, as stated on various social media platforms, I’ll be drawing names from the subscriber list to win prizes. The first draw will be at the end of January and will be for a signed (and dedicated if you wish) first edition, first run hardback of The Puppet Show. Subsequent draws will be for advance copies of future books (I have a stack of Black Summer proofs looking for a home), and when the TV series goes into production (more on that in later newsletters), a chance to visit the set. That type of thing.
Anyway, I’ve been allowed to share some news and you’re getting it here first: I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I have just (about half an hour ago) signed a new contract with Little, Brown for the next two Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw novels. Book 3, The Curator, is already written and has a provisonal publication date of June 2020, with Book 4, The 13th Rat (this title will almost certainly change), the following year. I’ve attached the blurbs I submitted as part of the contract process, so you get a rough idea about what’s in store for Poe and Tilly.
The other news, and if you’re on social media you can’t have missed it, is that it’s publication day for the paperback edition of The Puppet Show today. Much excitement in the Craven household, particularly when my editor sent me this:
You should be able to pick up a copy pretty much anywhere, and if you’re a bargain hunter it’s being heavily discounted in all the usual places.
I’m doing a public signing in Waterstones Carlisle on Saturday, and an ‘in conversation’ event at The New Bookshop in Cockermouth on the evening of 7 February. Details can be found here.
As promised, here are the blurbs for Poe 3 & 4:
It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving severed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6
Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized prior to being mutilated, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying the things they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims, who despite never having met, all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?
When a disgraced FBI agent contacts them, with a theory about what they’ve stumbled onto, things take an even darker turn. She doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all, she thinks he’s dealing with something far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.
And nothing will ever be the same again . . .
The 13th Rat
Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft, when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused – he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp – but his attendance was requested personally, by people who prefer to remain in the shadows.
As Poe and Tilly delve deeper, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions. Why was the man there at all? Why was a small ornament left at the scene and why did someone on the investigation team try to hide it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed safety deposit box heist 6 years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken . . .?
And if you’re still reading, here’s the blurb for Poe 2: Black Summer, out in June in hardback:
After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .
Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.
So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.
Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?
And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.
That’s all for today, folks. In the next newsletter, probably around mid-February, I’ll be exclusively revealing the cover for Black Summer, along with details of what the winner of the next draw will be getting.