See you at Goldsboro Books on June 29

I’ll be one of many writers heading for London at the end of this month for the annual Crime in the Court at that fantastic book store Goldsboro, just a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square.

It’s been a real pleasure to see the way Goldsboro has grown over the years, a testament to its hardworking founders who prove week in and week out that there’s lots of room for independents, in bookselling and publishing, in the world. Crime in the Court is one of the highlights of the summer author events in London, a casual, friendly way for writers and readers to meet up over a glass of wine and, hopefully, some fine summer weather. Fittingly this year’s event takes part in Independent Booksellers Week.

It starts at six in the evening and runs until nine. A ticket costs £5 which you can set against a book purchase. Much signing will take place (along with much wine). Reserve your place here.

Hope to catch you there!


Julia & Romeo: a new dramatic version in German

On July 6 — appropriately enough International Kissing Day I gather — Audible Germany will release Julia & Romeo, a new dramatic adaptation of the tale, ten hours long, and in German naturally.

Now available for pre-order

Is this simply a dramatised version of the English original performed so wonderfully by Richard Armitage and released last December? Not at all. It’s a fresh adaptation as a full-blown audio drama with a cast of well-known German actors, specially-written music, effects and a brand new script. So yes, this is an adaptation of an adaptation, one which returns to the original medium of drama where Shakespeare first popularised the story.

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The new Pieter Vos

The fourth Pieter Vos book, Sleep Baby Sleep, is out in the UK on June 1 from Pan Macmillan, and in Dutch in October from Boekerij. I always try to write a different book in a series and this is no exception. Vos and crew’s last outing, Little Sister, was mainly in unfamiliar territory for them, out in the flat lands around Volendam.

Now they’re back where they’re at home, in Amsterdam, though this story will take you to places few foreign visitors find. We start with Vos labouring under a new boss in the police, Jillian Chandra, a fierce and ambitious woman who’s not fond of a bohemian detective living in a houseboat, doing things his own way and bringing his beloved dog Sam into the office from time to time. Vos has just escaped a long service ceremony and headed home to the Prinsengracht. There a curious note awaits him and, when he heads over the road to the Drie Vaten for a drink, Sam is abruptly kidnapped by a stranger in an odd hat.

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Win a free copy of the new Pieter Vos novel, Sleep Baby Sleep

The next Pieter Vos novel, Sleep Baby Sleep,  will be out in the wild on June 1 in the UK. We have three signed copies ready to be won in our prize draw. The contest is open to anyone with a Twitter account worldwide. All you have to do is retweet the pinned contest tweet at the top of David’s Twitter page, follow the account then reply to @david_hewson with the hashtag #LoveVos. The winner will be drawn on publication day, June 1, and notified through Twitter.

Contest terms and conditions.

  1. The prizes are five copies of Sleep Baby Sleep to be won individually.
  2. The contest closes at 5pm UK time May 25.
  3. Entry is open to anyone with a Twitter account.
  4. Winners will be chosen at random and informed through Twitter. If you’d like your book personalised please tell us at this time.
  5. Only one entry per user will count.

The elusive villa of Pausilypon near Naples

Naples is a funny old place. It sits on one of the most beautiful bays in the world and has a history going back to Roman times, and beyond to the Greeks. Tourists pour into one side of the city to visit Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. But very few venture the other side, even though historically this was where the Romans loved to come and play.

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Eating well in Verona

Italian food is alCipollatropeaways astonishing and Verona, if I’m honest, has some of the best you’ll find. Over five days we never ate a bad meal, something that’s very easy to do in Venice, and even in Rome if you pick badly.

So just for the record (and when I next go back) let me set down a few food and drink tips that may be useful.

First… a rediscovery. The wonderful red onion of Tropea. This is an onion, but not as you know it. Grown exclusively in the Calabrian seaside town of Tropea it’s so sweet they make jam out of it. I bought some seeds and tried growing it in England. It turned out onions but they weren’t the same. Oh well…

Santa Felicita

The pizza at the top features slowly stewed Tropea red onions and a local Verona cheese. It was simply stunning. Nine euros if I recall correctly and you can find it in a church now converted to a very handsome restaurant, Santa Felicita, near the Ponte Pietra. The pizzas were excellent but there’s a wide menu available too.

There are frescoes on the walls from its church days and seats in the gallery which give you a great view of everything including the kitchen. The place used to be a carpentry shop; its days as a church were numbered when Napoleon marched into Verona and closed the place down, along with lots of other churches he didn’t like.

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Forget Venice, the best carnival is in Verona

If you mention the word ‘carnival’ in the Veneto people will immediately think you’re talking about Venice. I’ve done Venice carnival. I had to when I was writing Carnival for the DeadMuch as I love Venice I won’t be doing carnival again.

All the locals I know avoid the thing if they can. It’s certainly spectacular but it’s primarily an event for tourists, many of them dressed to the nines.

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