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Best-selling author Peter James might need to call his latest work Dead Funny after releasing a photo of himself with pants on his head.
The Brighton writer has been in hospital in London for surgery on Carpal Tunnel syndrome on his wrist.
The injury is thought to have been caused by his prolific writing.
The author thanked his fans, who had sent him messages of support, by releasing the photo – complete with pants on his head.
He posted on his Facebook page: “I thought you’d like to see this pic of me this morning, pre-op!
“I didn’t realise these were underpants – I thought it was a hygienic hat I was supposed to wear – the nurses were very amused.”
Labels: article, blog
Hall of Fame Winners 2013:
Martin Ellis getting booked for speeding, in style, in Charles Pic's F1 car! He need something to read in case he gets bored whizzing around the circuits... (from Martin Ellis)
An authentic crime novel - blood and all (from Tracey Thomas)
Solving crimes are a piece of cake for Pam Walker…Happy Birthday! (from Stuart Walker)
Congratulations, you have each won a signed original 2010 copy of the Peter James novella - The Perfect Murder - which is currently touring the UK as a stage play starring Les Dennis and Claire Goose. Please contact email@example.com with your postal address.
Facebook New Year's Resolution winners:
They each win a signed copy of Peter's newly re-released first novel, Dead Letter Drop. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address.
First prize chosen on the limerick tie -breaker goes to Anne Curtler of St Ives, Cambs. She wins an invitation for two to the launch in early summer in Brighton of Peter's tenth Roy Grace novel, Want You Dead plus a signed copy of the book. The winner is to be responsible for any travel and accommodation costs they may incur.
Second prize goes to Nicky Stevens of Ryde, Isle of Wight who wins a signed copy of Want You Dead on publication as does the third prize winner, Hilary Whipp of Cambridge.
The best limerick prize of two tickets to see Peter's stage play The Perfect Murder at a venue of their choice goes to Tony Cohen of Worthing.
The special draw prize for two tickets for The Perfect Murder at a venue of their choice goes to Helen Read of Romford.
Congratulations from Peter and Ken and Team Roy Grace. Would the winners please contact Peter's PA with their postal address and, if appropriate, their choice of venue and date to see the play. Tickets are selling amazingly fast so a second and third date choice would be most helpful. email@example.com.
Here is the link to the quiz with answers: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27323799/Xmas%20Quiz%202013%20With%20Answers.doc
Labels: article, blog
He's sold 14m 'DS Roy Grace' books (with their iconic 'Dead' titles). Now Peter James is preparing a seasonal thriller...specially for MoS readers.
Peter James: The Books Interview.
Bestselling British crime novelist Peter James is holding court. 'I'm a stickler for accuracy,' he says. 'A lot of writers say accuracy doesn't matter. But, besides entertainment, people want to learn about human nature and the world. If you feel you're not in safe hands, you lose that confidence in an author.'
Clearly readers believe that James knows his subject, as he has sold more than five million copies of his crime novels in the UK - and some 14 million worldwide, as well as producing films with stars such as Al Pacino.
He is best known for his character Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, in what is one of the world's most popular detective series, translated into 36 languages. The ninth and latest Grace novel, Dead Man's Time - about the antiques world at its shadiest and set in Brighton - topped paperback charts last month.
Despite being at an age when most people are slowing down, James, 65, regularly puts his own life in danger in the pursuit of realism for his books. He joins the police almost every week on real raids and investigations, coming face to face with burglars, drug dealers and traffickers - from whom he moulds his fictional characters.
He recalls going to a tough area of Brighton, his home town, in the early hours: 'I was with a young sergeant and a very young, inexperienced Indian woman police officer. Ten yobs with bottles and cans were walking down the street, screaming racist insults at her. I could see this was turning really ugly. Back-up can take 20 minutes at that time of night and that location.
'I could see them squaring up for a fight. I'm thinking, "Do I run or get back in the car?" I thought the only way I could keep face was to get stuck in. I did box at school. I looked for the smallest one. "If it comes to that, I'll hit him first." Then one of them suddenly points at me and says, "Who's he?" I had my hand in my pocket. Quick as a flash, the sergeant says, "He's with the FBI." Silence. They all just put their hands in the air and handed over their bottles. They thought I had a gun on me.'
DS Grace is modelled on a recently retired detective, Dave Gaylor, who checks James's manuscripts for accuracy. The fictional character is so believable that some fans assume he is real, asking James to pass letters to him, hoping he can solve their problems. 'I even got love letters for him', he says.
Being in the public eye has drawbacks, though. James was stalked by a fan for years. She would turn up to talks and book signings, emailing repeatedly and creating a shrine to James in her home, complete with candles, newspaper cuttings and long-lens photographs of him. The woman inspired a plotline about obsession in Not Dead Yet, the eighth Grace book.
James and Grace have done for Brighton what Colin Dexter and Inspector Morse did for Oxford. The stories are full of twists and turns, like Brighton's old alleys - but the characters are more unsavoury than Dexter's, leading one Dutch reader to write to James for reassurance that Brighton was not too dangerous for a visit.
Now James is turning his talents to the stage and screen. His 2010 novella - The Perfect Murder, a darkly humorous story about a murderous married couple - has been adapted for the stage as a 'modern Agatha Christie' thriller, with a cast headed by Les Dennis. It will be the first in a series of annual plays based on one of his books and tells of a man planning to kill his wife, with-out realising that she's also targeting him. Its title was inspired by asking a chief constable whether a perfect murder does exist. The reply: 'Absolutely. It's the one you never hear about.'
James is now single, having been married for 19 years, then with a partner for 15. 'People change,' he says, 'and if you don't change together and don't have children, which bind many relationships together, it is easy to drift apart. An author's life looks glamorous, but it is very hard living with one. I lock myself away day and night.'
He writes between 6pm and 10pm, sitting at the computer with a vodka martini, some olives and jazz or opera playing. 'It's a ritual,' he says. He touch-types, thanks to his 'best-ever' present when he was 17: 'My dad got me a little portable typewriter, and this big battleaxe taught me to touch-type, standing over me and covering the keypad. If I looked down, she's hit me with the ruler on the knuckles. Terrifying. But I can type really fast.
His mother was glovemaker to the Queen and his father an accountant. Educated at Charterhouse in Surrey, where he failed his A-levels, distracted by 'girls, poker and cigarettes', he did odd jobs (including cleaning Orson Welles's house) to pay for film school. He worked as a children's television writer before becoming a producer.
He jokes that critic Barry Norman dismissed one of his earliest attempts - Spanish Fly, with Terry-Thomas - as the worst British comedy since 1945: 'I've still got his review framed. Probably about right.' But he proved himself with productions such as The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino.
A chance encounter galvanised his writing. In 1981 a detective came to his home after a burglary. Spotting a James novel, he offered to help on research. A close friendship ensued. 'Nobody's seen more of the world than a cop.'
As the new season gets under way, skiers
using Geneva airport need to be vigilant
after early reports of passengers being
robbed of valuable hand luggage.
Claire Talbot reports.
You really don’t expect it, not in Switzerland.
Great skiing and punctual trains yes.
Daylight robbery - no.
But if you’re going to Geneva airport, hang on to
your luggage at all costs. Thieves smartly dressed as
businessmen and women are targeting international
And it’s not just the airport where you’re vulnerable.
The chief of the cantonal police in St Gallen warns that
Swiss trains, the envy of the world, have become “a
convenience store for the sticky-fingered”. Thefts in the
Canton of Vaud were up 150% in 2012, while Geneva
reported a 38% increase.
One recent victim was the best-selling author Peter
James, who was returning from Courchevel with his
partner Helen and a friend, Robert Kempson “Helen had
put her jewellery into my brief case rather than check it
through” he says. “On our trolley were our suitcases plus
our briefcases. We left Helen with the two cases to get our
tickets. We stepped away about 20 feet for no more than
“When we returned Rob yelled that his briefcase had
gone. I then realized mine had too. A woman standing next
to Helen said she saw two smartly dressed men, whom
she’d assumed must have been with us, pick up our cases
and walk off.
The street is directly behind the check-in area, so it was
very easy for them. There was no police officer on duty in
the airport, we were told - at 7pm on a Saturday!
“In my briefcase was my laptop, with over 5,000 words
of my latest Roy Grace novel which I’d been working on
while away, and not backed up - lost for ever.”
A British friend living in the
lakeside town of Nyon, northeast
of Geneva tells me she’s
had her bag stolen three times
in four years.
At the airport on a relatively
uncrowded Monday afternoon
before Christmas I joined the
growing list of anguished
victims. My husband and I had checked in and wheeled our carry-on bags up to the
We grabbed a couple of sandwiches in Prêt A Manger,
he found a table while I went to the till to pay. For maybe
30 seconds I took my hand off my wheelie bag as I
counted out some loose change I wanted to get rid of.
When I reached for my bag, it was gone.
Frantically I tore downstairs and almost immediately
bumped into a woman police officer. Together we toured
the airport, but te thief was long gone, taking with him
- or her - much of my life. The bag contained my laptop,
ipad, Euros, sterling, and a whole host of personal effects
including house keys and the keys to our cars.
But much the worst was the dreadful dawning
realisation that not only had I failed to log out of my iPad,
but my laptop was not password-protected. While I could
automatically erase the contents of both from my iPhone
this could only happen when the thief went online. For any
half-competent cyber thief, my whole identity was up
The thieves are well aware that the average victim has
little choice but to catch his or her flight and report the
crimes later. This, of course, gives them plenty of time to
make their getaway.
Incredibly, the Swiss police - they’d been courteous
and helpful from the beginning - contacted me three days
later so say that they’d recovered my bag, complete with
contents. My possessions had been found ‘away from the
airport’ but for some reason the circumstances
Roger Bray writes...
It’s increasingly clear that thieves are targeting laptops
and other electronic devices at airports as more and
more passengers seek to stay connected on their
travels. An analysis by the US firm Absolute Software -
based on research in 2012 - suggests you should watch
out if you’re flying to Boston (11th in the league table)
en route for New England resorts, or San Francisco (3rd).
Prepared by Mastermind contender, Ken Owen
WELCOME to the Roy Grace quiz for Christmas 2013!
All detectives know that it is never easy to find the solutions to the questions a crime creates. So it just wouldn’t be right if a Roy Grace quiz were to be ... dead simple!
So expect to have to do some focused thinking and proper investigation to find the answers to our Quiz. You are free to use any resource you can – even Peter wouldn’t get them all right without delving deep into the books to find the clues and then also doing further research. Some questions are straightforward; others require a more lateral approach. And some use a Roy Grace “moment” to launch an unrelated question – our hope is that you will find out about other things, things that you didn’t even know you didn’t know!
In our previous quizzes, only a few achieved top marks (and in some, nobody did!), so don’t despair if you can’t work them all out – you may still be the winner.
Please do NOT change the format of the quiz when returning your answers – it is designed so that extra columns are “pasted on” to facilitate marking. Some entries for previous Quizzes had to be “cut and pasted”, question by question, back into this table, taking considerable time.
If two or more have the highest total, there is a tie-breaker to decide the winner. At the end of the quiz, there is space for you to write a limerick (normal five-line format) about Bella Moy. The limerick judged by Peter to be the best of these from any tied answer sheets will be awarded the first prize. And the limericks of all entries will also be judged separately for the best one overall, with a separate prize for that, regardless of the score in the quiz section. New for this year – all entries scoring 50% or more will go into a draw for a special prize! Details at the end of the Quiz sheets.
Closing date for entries is Tuesday 7th January 2014. Please return completed quiz sheets to firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of answers and notes on the questions will be made available after winners are announced. Naturally, the judges’ decision is final in all matters. Away you go – and, don’t panic – get a (Dead Man’s) Grip.....
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27323799/ROY GRACE CHRISTMAS QUIZ 2013 FINAL VERSION FOR ENTRANTS.doc