Thursday, June 29, 2006

More Crime Across the Pond

Australian crime writer Peter Temple has a new novel out this month, a standalone called The Broken Shore. It’s the story of a homicide detective, Joe Cashin, who escapes city living to become the sole cop in his small hometown, only to have his peace upset quickly by an attack on a prominent local--a crime perhaps perpetrated by members of the area’s Aboriginal community, and sure to unearth the hamlet’s hidden past.

What’s notable here, though, isn’t simply that Temple fans have more to read, but that The Broken Shore comes from a new UK crime-fiction publisher, Quercus. I hadn’t heard much about Quercus, but Ali Karim provides some background in a short feature for Shots. It seems that Quercus was founded by “four ex-staff members from the Orion Publishing Group”--a prominent British house--“including the original founder of Orion, Anthony Cheetham.” The ubiquitous Otto Penzler, he of The Mysterious Bookshop fame, has signed on to help Quercus put together its American mystery list. One of the forthcoming works credited to Penzler’s involvement is Pulp Fiction: The Crimefighters, an anthology of pulp magazine stories from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, including work from Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, Cornell Woolrich, Raymond Chandler, Frederick Nebel, Paul Cain, and Norbert Davis.

Quercus’ Web site says that its crime-fiction list is to be published as a joint venture with Harcourt, a U.S. house. Yet while several of the Quercus titles, such as Thomas H. Cook’s Red Leaves (new in paperback) and Andrew Klavan’s Damnation Street (the third entry in his Weiss and Bishop series, due out in September), are also appearing under the Harcourt imprint, neither The Broken Shore nor Pulp Fiction seems so far to have a publication date in the States.

UPDATE: Peter Temple wrote to tell me that, in fact, U.S. publisher “Farrar, Straus & Giroux have bought The Broken Shore. Publication is in your spring next year. I’m delighted to be published by such a distinguished house (and by such a distinguished and charming publisher, Jonathan Galassi).”

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Peter Temple is fantastic.