Russell James has been named “the Godfather of Noir” by Ian Rankin. Russell writes crime novels - about criminals and victims, not the cozy procedural or whodunnit. He is the editor of Great British Fictional Detectives.
Fans of classic crime fiction will be delighted to
find this new Ostara imprint making available famous and less famous tales now
hard to find, even in your favourite second-hand bookstores.
Esteemed crime writer and editor Mike Ripley has
gathered his first clutch into a ‘Top Notch Thrillers’ series and among them is
the first of three volumes of long short stories by the Edgar Award winning
Frank McAuliffe. This collection was first brought together in 1965,
though the stories date from 1939 to 1945, the Second World War, and are
redolent with the gallows humour and amoral attitudes imbued in men who had
risen from their armchairs (had they ever owned an armchair) to face life as it
Each tale concerns the outrageous exploits of hired
killer, conman and master of disguise, Augustus Mandrell (though was that his
real name – who can tell?) who narrates his extraordinary adventures with dry
wit and laconic lack of empathy. You’re not meant to take these stories
seriously (though the Edgar Awards panel did, remember) but with a generous
pinch of salt. Salt adds flavour and piquancy to life, and if there’s one
thing these tales most certainly have, it’s a piquant flavour. Welcome
back, Augustus – I hope you don’t call on me.