Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chris Ewan

Chris Ewan’s debut novel, The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam, won the Long Barn Books First Novel Competition and was shortlisted for the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel published in the British Isles in 2007. His latest novel is the recently released The Good Thief's Guide to Paris.

Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I have four books on the go at the moment. I’m not an especially quick reader, but I’m enjoying spending time with each of the below titles.

I’m about half-way through The Secret Life of Houdini by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. It’s an exhaustive and fascinating biography of Harry Houdini, written in a series of engaging snapshots, much like a modern thriller. I’ve read a number of books on Houdini, but this is unquestionably my favourite so far – not least because it puts forward the intriguing idea that Houdini led a secret life as an international spy. One piece of advice, though – if you have a friend who happens to be an escapologist, you may not want to learn where they hide their keys.

The other non-fiction title I’ve just started is The Money and the Power – The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America by Sally Denton and Roger Morris. As I’m currently writing The Good Thief’s Guide to Las Vegas, I’m reading this for more background on Sin City’s tawdry past. The opening biographies of some of Las Vegas’s most infamous powerbrokers make for an explosive start, and I’m looking forward to more revelations and sleaze.

On the fiction side of things, I’m just finishing Dave White’s terrific debut novel When One Man Dies. It’s a modern private-eye novel, set in New Jersey, and told in a stark, muscular voice. Full of pace and attitude, it reminds me of George Pelecanos’s Nick’s Trip, and I’m eager to read White’s second Jackson Donne novel, The Evil That Men Do.

Finally, I’m a couple of chapters into Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich. This is my first Stephanie Plum novel, but I can already tell it won’t be my last. Fun, spiky and fast. Great stuff.
Learn more about Chris Ewan and his work at his website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Good Thief's Guide to Paris.

--Marshal Zeringue