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.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Nice buzz. Jon gets in touch to say that CRIME ALWAYS PAYS has finally gone live on Kindle, which was very decent of him. The good news is that it’s available at a knock-down, recession-busting $1.25, which means that I only have to offer one-and-a-quarter bangs per buck before I’m ahead of the curve on value for money. Modest though I may be on occasion, I think I can cover that …
  At this point I’d like to take the opportunity to not-so-gently remind you of what this blog’s good friend Dana King had to say about CRIME ALWAYS PAYS over at the New Mystery Reader recently. To wit:
“Few books in recent memory have been as much fun to read as Declan Burke’s THE BIG O. The sequel, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, is a worthy successor … The end result is a little like what might be expected if Elmore Leonard wrote from an outline by Carl Hiaasen … [It’s] about the flow, the feel, the dialog, the interactions among characters, not knowing who’s working with—or against—who, the feeling that anything might happen at any moment. It’s as close to watching an action movie as a reading experience can be.”
  And fellow scribe Rafe McGregor was kind enough to pen this blush-making verdict:
“I’ve just finished the MS of CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, Declan Burke’s sequel to the much-praised THE BIG O. Reading the new novel was as uplifting as it was soul-destroying ... Uplifting because CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is excellent, even better than THE BIG O. It has a great plot, cool characters, and there isn’t a single word wasted. This is really fine writing, masterful to the point where if I’d received the MS anonymously, I’d have assumed it came from one of the big bestsellers like Connelly, Crais, Rankin, or Child.”
  All of which, as you can probably imagine, is very gratifying indeed. By the way, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS comes with ‘simultaneous device usage – unlimited’, which may or may not mean that it’s also available in other formats … Anyone have any ideas? I’m a total newbie here …

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Justice, Where Is Thy Sting? Oh, There It Is …

Lazy bugger that I am, I’m about four months late in telling you that the third in Cora Harrison’s ‘Burren Mysteries’ series is THE STING OF JUSTICE, which, as always, is set in mediaeval Ireland and features her Brehon judge Mara. Quoth the blurb elves:
The autumn has come to the Burren, it’s a time of harvest: of gathering for the winter to come. The end of summer for most and the end of life for others. When Mara attends the funeral of a local priest of the Burren, the last things she expects is another corpse to be found on the church steps - a man stung to death by bees. Sorley the silversmith was a greedy and distrusted man: there would be no shortage of people who wanted him dead but who really stood to profit from his murder? As Mara investigates, she must use all her cunning and prowess as a lady judge to bring the sting of justice to a killer with hatred in their hearts and murder on their mind.
  Meanwhile, and by contrast with your indolent host, Cora Harrison has been busy-busy-busy. Not only has she written another two novels in the Burren Mysteries series, she has also written the YA novel I WAS JANE AUSTEN’S BEST FRIEND and the first in a Victorian crime series for children called ‘The London Murder Mysteries’, both of which are due in March 2010 along with the fifth in the Burren Mysteries series. Crikey. James Patterson, eat your black heart out …

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It’s a Red Letter day, folks. This time last year, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published THE BIG O in North America. A humble offering that started life as a co-published novel, with the small but perfectly formed Hag’s Head Press, THE BIG O sank like the proverbial granite submarine, although it did garner one or two decent blurbs and reviews in the process. To wit:
“Imagine Donald Westlake and his alter ego Richard Stark moving to Ireland and collaborating on a screwball noir, and you have some idea of Burke’s accomplishment.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Declan Burke’s THE BIG O is one of the sharpest, wittiest and most unusual Irish crime novels of recent years … Among all of the recent crop of Irish crime novelists, it seems to me that Declan Burke is ideally poised to make the transition to a larger international stage.” – John Connolly

“Burke has married hard-boiled crime with noir sensibility and seasoned it with humour and crackling dialogue … fans of comic noir will find plenty to enjoy here.” – Booklist

“Burke’s the latest – and one of the best – bad-boy Irish writers to hit our shores … the dialogue is nothing short of electric. This caper is so stylish, so hilarious, that it could have been written by the love-child of Elmore Leonard and Oscar Wilde.” – Killer Books

“THE BIG O is a big ol’ success, a tale fuelled by the mischievous spirits of Donald E. Westlake, Elmore Leonard and even Carl Hiassen … THE BIG O kept me reading at speed – and laughing the whole damn time.” – J. Kingston Pierce, January Magazine, ‘Best Books 2007 - Crime Fiction’

“Declan Burke’s crime writing is fast, furious and funny, but this is more than just genre fiction: Burke is a high satirist in the tradition of Waugh and Kingsley Amis . . . but he never forgets that his first duty is to give us a damn good read.”—Adrian McKinty

“Carries on the tradition of Irish noir with its Elmore Leonard-like style ... the dialogue is as slick as an ice run, the plot is nicely intricate, and the character drawing is spot on … a high-octane novel that fairly coruscates with tension.” – The Irish Times

“With a deft touch, Burke pulls together a cross-genre plot that’s part hard-boiled caper, part thriller, part classic noir, and flat out fun. From first page to last, THE BIG O grabs hold and won’t let go.” – Reed Farrel Coleman

“The writing is a joy, so seamless you nearly miss the sheer artistry of the style and the terrific wry humour.” – Ken Bruen
  CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is the sequel to THE BIG O, and it’s being published to Kindle at some point today, September 21st, or so I’m reliably informed. Technically speaking, then, today marks the publication of my third novel, after EIGHTBALL BOOGIE and THE BIG O, which is where the Red Letter bit comes in. Because it’s not every day you publish your third novel, even if it is to a fairly limited audience on Kindle …
  Anyway, you very probably don’t own a Kindle, but if you know someone who does, let them know – CRIME ALWAYS PAYS will be retailing for something less than two dollars, at which rates I can positively offer a cast-iron guarantee of a bang for their buck (or, with two ‘bangs’ on page 74 alone, a bang per buck, at least).
  For a brief taster, clickety-click here
  By the way – if you don’t own a Kindle, and don’t know anyone who does, feel free to join in the general revelry anyway, by leaving a comment or tweeting it or sending good vibes through the ether. Or, y’know, don’t.
  Today, it’s all good.