As Daughter and I watched, yet again, one of her favourite episodes of our favourite NCIS, I was reminded of how easy I have it. There, poor Agent McGee who writes crime novels in his spare time, found that the characters from his as yet un-finished next novel were being bumped off. So, who had access to his top-secret manuscript? We were assured that the really keen fan will search through authors’ rubbish bins for clues as to what they are writing.
The witch didn’t have to do anything as crude as that. Declan on Crime Always Pays emailed to ask if he could (!) send me his next novel as a Word document. I allowed him to do this, because I’m a kind witch. Also, because I was fairly desperate to read the new book.
The Blue Orange, as he calls it, is a continuation of The Big O, with all the same characters, except those who may have died in the first book. Plus a couple of new ones. The Big O was very funny, if rather full of four-letter words, and had endearingly inept, mostly minor, crooks.
In The Blue Orange we meet them again, and this time I found myself quite fond of even the less charming ones. It’s a mad-cap race across the Continent, with everyone ending up in Greece, where Declan has totally taken over his favourite holiday island, which I understand was quite nice before this.
As is to be expected, there are so many double-crossings that the witch developed a squint trying to cope. The best thing is simply to sit back and enjoy, while laughing quite a lot. The story is crying out to be made into a film, and I know which part I can play.
And as Mother-of-witch so rightly said, crime is not nice. But this kind of crime is as nice, and as funny, as it gets. The worst baddies are killed or have lots of blood removed in interesting ways, and maybe the rest lived happily ever after. I’m hoping for more. And sooner rather than later, Mr Burke.
Anyone who by now has the slightest inclination to read The Blue Orange, will want to murder me. The book will be out in the US in the autumn of 2009. If he gets round to it, Declan might just publish it in Ireland in the spring. 2009 again, I’m afraid.
And he is checking I’m not selling it on ebay, so I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do. But I just felt I had to rave about it now. I can always re-rave when the time comes.