This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.
Today we're launching The War Widow, by Tara Moss, described as "Retro noir with a gutsy heroine and atmospheric setting...vivid, page-turning historical crime."
The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.
The war may be officially over, but stylish private investigator and former war reporter Billie Walker is plunged right back into the danger she thought she’d left behind in Europe, in this thrilling tale set in glamorous 1940s Sydney.
Describe your ideal reader.
Anyone who loves a good …
Sam Wiebe (whose most recent novel is Cut You Down, which “convincingly brings Raymond Chandler into the twenty-first century," according to a starred review in Publishers Weekly) recommends eight other crime novels set in the Pacific Northwest.
Find You in the Dark, by Nathan Ripley
Seattle: Martin Reese is a retired tech millionaire who spends his free time searching for the bodies of undiscovered serial killer victims. Is he a heroic benefactor, doing what the police can’t, or is he motivated by something darker? Find You In the Dark captures the uncomfortable overlap of Seattle’s business and culture sectors.
Zero Avenue, by Dietrick Kalteis
Vancouver and the US/Canada border: Kalteis’s tale of 70s’ Vancouver focuses on the emerging punk scene, as well as the cross-border pot trade. His work has been compared to Elmore …
Richochet Books is CanLit like you've never seen it before. An imprint of Montreal's Vehicule Press and edited by Brian Busby, the series brings hard-boiled noir detective novels of the 1940s and 1950s back into print. The latest title is Hot Freeze, by Douglas Sanderson, which is forthcoming this fall.
We asked Simon Dardick, Co-Publisher of Vehicule Press, to tell us more about Ricochet and its origins, and just how they come up with the series' incredibly distinctive cover art.
49th Shelf: How did the Ricochet Books series come to be (and get their name)?
Simon Dardick: Collecting Canadian noir mysteries from the 1940s and '50s has been a passion of mine for over 20 years. Aside from being attracted to the genr …
"Tracing a gang of ruthless outlaws from its birth during the American Civil War to a final bloody showdown in the Territory of Oklahoma, The Winter Family is a hyperkinetic Western noir and a full-on assault to the senses." Intrigued yet? Craig Davidson reports that this novel "lit my synapses up like a pinball machine."
We're pleased that today we've got Clifford Jackman with a list of Canadian works of historical fiction. It's a good one.
Some years back, I was writing a novel set in Victorian London and I wanted to do a little research—this was before Wikipedia. So, deciding to read some stories set in that time period, I picked up my copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. You can imagine my surprise when I found no descriptions of hansom cabs or gaslights or anything like that. Then it struck me: Doyle had no need to describe any of that stuff, because his audience had already known all about it. He would no more provide a detailed description of a hansom cab than a modern writer would describe a Honda Civic.
There are many great challenges in writing a historical novel. You'll never get it all right, anachronisms will always creep in, but you're writing for a modern audience anyway, and what you're searching for is not authenticity but to create a part …