Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Can’t Spell ‘Killarney’ Without ‘Kill’

You live a little, you learn a lot. Not only has it belatedly come to our attention here at CAP Towers (yep, all the elves finally straggled back from their summer sojourn to Santa Ponsa) that Atlantic Books are issuing a ‘Classic Crime’ series, and that said series includes Dickens’ BLEAK HOUSE, but they’ve also tossed us something of a curveball in Gerald Griffins’ THE COLLEGIANS, which is – apparently – a classic Irish crime fiction title, first published in 1829. Who knew? Apart from the folks at Atlantic, obviously. Quoth The Bookseller:
The series will begin on 1st November with a four-strong launch comprising Gerald Griffin’s thriller THE COLLEGIANS, Sapper’s detective novel BULLDOG DRUMMOND, RAFFLES by E W Hornung, and Charles Dickens’ BLEAK HOUSE, which Atlantic describes as “the first detective novel”.
  Thereafter, the publisher will launch a book every month—including titles by Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sheridan Le Fanu and G K Chesterton—until at least the end of 2009.
Nice. Meanwhile, here’s the blurb elves on THE COLLEGIANS:
This romantic melodrama set in rural Killarney in the early 19th century was based on a real case of 1829. Its impressive Irish locations, thrilling characters, complex plot involving love, rivalry, secrecy, betrayal, and impressive denouement made it into one of the most successful thrillers of its day. Recently home from college, young Hardess Cregan rescues poor but striking Eily O’Connor and her father from an unruly mob in the street, with the help of his hunchback foster-brother and sidekick, Danny Mann. Although he is courting his wealthy cousin, Anne Chute, he is smitten by Eily’s beauty. And to complicate matters further, his friend and fellow collegian, Kyrle, is also in love with Anne - and vying hard with him for her attentions. He secretly marries Eily, but her unsophisticated ways soon begin to anger him. And - arrogant and full of roguish self-confidence - when his mother starts to push him into the very advantageous marriage with Anne, he starts to reconsider his choices ... Married to one, engaged to another: can Hardess extricate himself from this impasse? It seems he’s trapped - until Danny suggests that perhaps if Eily were to ‘disappear’, his problems would be solved ...
  You just don’t get many hunchback foster-brother sidekicks to the pound these days, do you?