Maria Dolores Pradera In Memoriam

María Dolores Pradera, the Spanish actress and singer known for her deep voice and her memorable renditions of Latin and Spanish standards like “Procuro olvidarte,” “Ojalá que te vaya bonito” and “La flor de la canela,” died yesterday morning (May 29) in her native Madrid. She was 93 years old. Her songs are part of the soundtrack of my life

Read more here.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2018 Shortlist

The shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, was announced on 27 May. The shortlisted six were whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles. The prize, created to celebrate the very best in crime fiction, was open to UK and Irish crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018.

Val McDermid, Susie Steiner, and Mick Herron return as contenders after being shortlisted in 2017, the year Chris Brookmyre took the winning accolade.

Mick Herron’s espionage thriller, Spook Street, is the fourth in his award-winning Jackson Lamb series. His acclaimed series is based on an MI5 department of ‘rejects’ – intelligent services’ misfits and screw-ups. Herron’s writing was praised by critic Barry Forshaw for ‘the spycraft of le Carré refracted through the blackly comic vision of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.’

Val McDermid’s Insidious Intent features DCI Carol Jordan and Tony Hill, two of the most iconic characters in crime fiction. The LA Times said it was a novel that ‘shows Val McDermid deserves her Queen of Crime crown’. McDermid last received the Novel of the Year accolade in 2006.

Denise Mina could make it a hat-trick after winning the award in 2012 and 2013, she is the only author to date to have won the Novel of the Year in two consecutive years. The Long Drop has already attracted a wealth of awards; Mina was the first woman to win The McIlvanney Prize for The Long Drop.

Abir Mukherjee is the only author on the shortlist for a debut novel. A Rising Man, saw Abir Mukherjee picked as a 2016 New Blood author by Val McDermid at the Festival. She hailed it as, ‘One of the most exciting debut novels I’ve read in years.’ It too has won awards, including the CWA Historical Dagger. His sequel in the Sam Wyndham series is A Necessary Evil.

The Intrusions by Stav Sherez was a 2017 Guardian and Sunday Times book of the year, dubbed ‘A Silence of the Lambs for the internet age’ by Ian Rankin. The book was acclaimed by critics for its echoes of Emile Zola and influences from Graham Greene to Dostoyevsky.

Former Guardian journalist Susie Steiner’s first crime novel introduced Detective Manon Bradshaw in Missing, Presumed, a Sunday Times bestseller. Her follow up, Persons Unknown, a Richard and Judy book club pick, has attracted huge critical acclaim.

2018 marks the 14th year of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “The shortlisted authors are already rich in awards, but there’s only one Novel of the Year, so it will be fascinating to see which of these remarkable titles prevails – all are simply outstanding.”

The shortlist will feature in a six-week promotion in libraries and in WHSmith stores nationwide. The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, alongside a public vote. The public vote opens on 1 July and closes 14 July at

Helen Donkin, Literature Festival Manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “The public’s vote is incredibly important. It’s the readers that have real power when it comes to judging a book’s worth, so I’d encourage everyone to make their voice heard – it’s free and simple to vote online.”

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson on 19 July on the opening night of the 16th Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.

Source: Harrogate International Festivals

So far I’ve read A Rising Man, 2016 (Sam Wyndham 1) by Abir Mukherjee, and I’m looking forward to reading soon the other five books. Stay tuned.

OT: Isabel Muñoz. Anthropology of Feelings

_20180526_173006Isabel Muñoz, National Photography Award 2016, presents in Tabacalera a selection of 97 photographs and six video installations about the photo works more representatives of her actual production.

The Anthropology of Feelings is the title of the exhibition curated by Audrey Hoareau and François Cheval, co-founders of The Red Eye.

The exhibition builds a thematic journey around the obsessive and heterogeneous representation of the human body, from the origins of the humanity in itself, the spirituality, the madness, the boundaries and extremes of the body, the social dimensions of what is corporal and, finally, the sexuality and the desire.

“Given an instinctive power, the work of Isabel Muñoz is like its creator: complex and elusive. She creates what we can call, faute de mieux, images. We prefer to say that she sees characters upside down. Their condition does not determine what we see. She accesses and makes us access dimensions which the subject themselves disguises” Audrey Hoareau.

“If the aesthetics of Isabel Muñoz’s photography impact us, it is not to please narcissism of the species but rather the intimate understanding of a shared secret. Essentially, this entails offerings to the unknown and human being’s wish to build bridges between different worlds” François Cheval.

The exhibition catalogue has been edited in three languages –Spanish, English and French- and includes photographs of all the pieces that make part of The Anthropology of Feelings.

The exhibition, organized by the Subdirectorate of Fine Arts Promotion, will be open in La Principal of Tabacalera from 27th April to 17th June 2018. Calle Embajadores, 51.  28012 Madrid.

(Source: Press kit)

77th Madrid Book Fair

As every year at these dates, Madrid will welcome its Book Fair. The Fair took place for the first time in 1933. Today, the over 350 stalls set up along the Paseo de Coches in Madrid’s Retiro park not only will offer the public the chance to discover the latest literary offerings, but also to meet their favourite writers. Every day, the bookshops and publishing companies organise book-signing sessions featuring the most popular authors. As customary today, the opening day, is raining in Madrid.

Further information at

A good opportunity to buy the last novel by Fred Vargas, recently winner of the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature 2018, Cuando sale la reclusa (Siruela, 2018) translated from the French by Anne-Hélène Suárez Girard, originally titled Quand sort la recluse (2017) [ When the Recluse Comes Out ], Commissaire Adamsberg # 11.

9788417308124_L38_04_lSynopsis (in Spanish): El comisario Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, tras unas merecidas vacaciones en Islandia, se interesa de inmediato a su regreso a Francia por la muerte de tres ancianos a causa de las picaduras de una Loxosceles rufescens, más conocida como la reclusa: una araña esquiva y venenosa, pero en ningún caso letal. Adamsberg, que parece ser el único intrigado por el extraño suceso, comienza a investigar a espaldas de su equipo, enredándose inadvertidamente en una delicada y compleja trama, llena de elaborados equívocos y profundas conexiones, cuyos hilos se remontan a la Edad Media. Un caso elusivo y contradictorio que se escapa a cada momento de las manos del comisario, haciéndole regresar a la casilla de salida. Solo sus intuiciones, tan preclaras como dolorosas, serán capaces de devolverle la confianza que necesita para salir ileso de la red tendida por la más perfecta tejedora…
Cuando sale la reclusa es sin duda la obra más ambiciosa de Fred Vargas, la reina indiscutible de la novela negra europea. En ella se entrecruzan con maestría todos los temas que han convertido la publicación de cada una de sus novelas en un auténtico acontecimiento literario, tanto para la crítica como para los lectores: el medievo, la arqueología, los mitos, el mundo de los animales y, por supuesto, la descripción detallada y poderosa de los oscuros laberintos del alma humana. (Siruela)

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