February 20, 2017
The Girl in the Green Hat
This new book is my 22nd crime novel but this is the first to be aimed at young readers although, stylistically, I feel sure that it will also appeal to adults.
As with all my recent crime novels – Dead Man Running, Dark Echoes, Penitence, All Cut Up, Shadows of the Night and The Harlem Trilogy (Harlem Nocturne, Harlem Madness, Harlem Blues) – this new book is available in print and as a Kindle ebook.
Helplessly caught up in a million-pound diamond robbery, 15-year-old Jennifer Jackson’s quiet – be honest, boring – world turns upside down.
On a roller-coaster ride that mingles excitement with terror, it’s too much for a schoolgirl to handle alone, but by Jennifer’s side – no, leading the way most of the time – is her grandmother.
And Mabel Moffett is like no other grandmother. She knows about guns and knives and parachuting and secret codes and – well, everything.
Meeting head on all kinds of trouble – from armed gangsters to human traffickers – Jennifer learns a lot about herself and the real world; a world that will never be the same again – and it certainly will not be as boring.
The Girl in the Green Hat
by Bruce Crowther
ISBN-13: 978-1542573566 & ISBN-10: 1542573564
My books can be found at Amazon.
November 20, 2016
Following on from Harlem Nocturne and Harlem Madness, this new novel again features Black private investigator Daniel Leland but this is 20 years later and much has changed.
November 1963 – gray days, cold nights in Harlem.
A Civil Rights firebrand, falsely accused of brutally killing three fellow activists, seeks Daniel Leland’s help. Yet more cold-blooded murders raise the stakes as Daniel plunges into a desperate search for the truth helped by Selena Gant, herself a black activist. Together with Little Eddie, now a lawyer, Daniel and Selena confront a ruthless organization spreading its tentacles and resisting change in an unjust society.
Helping balance their struggle, they are joined by a dying ex-cop and a former FBI agent and begin to make headway – but looming out of Daniel’s past comes a murderous figure seeking vengeance.
Harlem Blues is available in paperback (ISBN-13:978-1537582986) and digitally via Kindle (ISBN-10:1537582984). Both formats can be bought at Amazon.
July 20, 2016
In her second novel Tania Lloyd unveils the mystic world of the people of the First Nations who live in north west Canada.
Evalyn Knight, the principal character of Changeling, travels from her loveless London home to the Canadian wilds on what is meant to be nothing more than a post-graduate research project. But it becomes much more than this and the eight week research placement changes her life in more ways than one. Unexpectedly meeting a wise old shaman, a guide to the spirit world, Evalyn experiences visions that reflect moments she has experienced throughout her life. Much more important to her is the shaman’s son, River, with whom she shares an instant bond.
When Evalyn returns to London all the new factors that have entered her life follow her and surround her as she faces unexpected threats – she is kidnapped, rescued, and taken back to Canada. Now reunited with River, she hopes that now her life can only change for the better. But there is much more in store for Evalyn, not least a secret research laboratory in Missouri where a horrific fate awaits her. And Evalyn has yet to discover her hidden heritage and her true role as a link with the spirit world.
The author expertly handles all the elements of this tale: drama, action, mysticism, romance, as her character discovers previously unknown inner depths and the power of her true nature..
As every writer knows, the second novel presents all manner of obstacles but Tania Lloyd overcomes all of these with flair and distinction and she is especially good with scenes of intimacy.
The print edition of this book is available at all usual outlets, including Amazon, which is where the Kindle ebook can be downloaded.
ISBN: (print) 13: 978-1534738232 and ISBN (eBook) 10:1534738231.
Daughters of the Moon (ISBN-13:978-1501029738 & ISBN-10:1501029738)
March 15, 2016
My latest novel, Shadows of the Night, is out now.
When two men are fed to a tiger at the local zoo, Detective Inspector Alice Cyrille and Detective Sergeant Jacob Weiss are plunged into a case with no clues, no suspects and yet more strange murders.
Outside work, Alice worries over her weight and her daughter, who is a new recruit to the police, and she unwisely forms a relationship with the tiger’s keeper thus putting her career at risk.
And as the investigation leads into the murky underworlds of fraud and child abuse, Alice and Jacob encounter prejudice because she is black and he is a Jew and this is England in 1985 when many things were different.
And all around are those who want this case buried forever.
Shadows of the Night by Bruce Crowther
Paperback from Amazon and other on- and off-line bookshops. (ISBN-13:978-1523871346)
$12.50 (£8.70 and €11.25 approx.)
E-book from Kindle only. (ISBN-10:1523871342)
June 8, 2015
As the title of a new book makes clear, Dizzy Gillespie is a legend in the world of jazz. Even now, more than twenty years after his death, he still makes news. In part, this is because of the publication of this book, a personal recollection by Dave Usher, and also, importantly if barely believably, the first release of previously unheard music played by him more than four decades ago. Well, not literally unheard, because the content of four albums from Consolidated Artists Productions/Red Anchor Productions comes from an engagement at London’s most famous jazz club back in 1973 and hence those who were lucky enough to be in attendance heard it back then. For most of us, however, it is new; not only that, it is music that is as vital and as immediate as it must have been back then. Gillespie’s quintet had been on tour in Europe for about a month and this was to end with a two-week engagement at Ronnie Scott’s venue in Soho. Supporting the man, who was then being labeled as ‛the world’s greatest trumpet player’ by Ronnie Scott himself, were pianist Mike Longo, guitarist Al Gafa, electric bassist Earl May, and drummer Mickey Roker. In the course of the two weeks at the Frith Street club (extended by a further week with a handshake deal between Gillespie and Scott that gave the visitor a share of the profits) some outstanding music was played. It was decided that it should be recorded and so it was (by Peter Bould), and now we can all share in this magical music.
Dizzy Gillespie Live At Ronnie Scott’s Volumes 1-4 (CAP 1040, 1042, 1043, 1044)
This music extends over four CDs and includes some numbers for which Gillespie was well known: A Night In Tunisia, Birk’s Works, Oop-Pop-A-Da and Manteca. There are also several fine examples of the composing skills of long-serving sideman Longo, among them Sunshine, I Told You So, Alligator, The Truth and Mike’s Samba. At this time, Gafa also wrote extensively for the group’s book although only Behind A Moonbeam is heard here. There are very good solos from Gafa, May, and Roker. Among Gafa’s fluid moments are his contributions to Timet, Olé For The French Gypsies, Mike’s Samba, and I Told You So. May’s solos include Oop-Pop-A-Da and Kush, and here as well as in support, he brings the electric bass much closer to the sound of its acoustic forebear than do most other players of this instrument. Roker also has moments in the spotlight, notably on Manteca, although he primarily provides rock-solid support and throughout displays the skills that brought him the admiration and respect of Gillespie and other leaders. Encouraged by Gillespie, Longo is heard often with extended solos, for example on Sunshine, The Truth (with Gillespie’s spoken introduction in which he takes to task the writer of an ill-informed newspaper review), and The Matrix, the last named being another of the pianist’s compositions. All this said, it is of course the leader who is the ever-sparkling star turn. In his mid-fifties at the time, Gillespie’s inventiveness, imagination, power and command are in evidence with every note he plays and while labels such as that delivered by Scott can be more than a little hyperbolic, it is impossible to make a sensible counter-claim. Brimful of ideas, wit, intelligence, technical brilliance, and unstoppable vitality, Gillespie makes this experience as vibrant and as exhilarating today as it was forty-plus years ago.
The late Alan Plater (prolific playwright, jazz enthusiast, and a regular at Ronnie Scott’s) took the title of one of his radio plays from a remark made by Joe Harriott when he first played with Dizzy Gillespie. During the first few bars Harriott and others were wondering what was so special, but then Gillespie stepped forward and played a solo of such extraordinary brilliance that, as Harriott expressed it, he and the rest of the musicians were left like ‛swallows on the water’. Hearing this music today it’s possible to understand what Joe (and Alan) meant. This is an invaluable record of an outstanding musician, well-packaged and complete with first-rate liner notes by Doug Ramsey and must surely be eagerly sought by many.
Now to the book:
Music Is Forever: Dizzy Gillespie, the Jazz Legend, and Me by Dave Usher with Berl Falbaum (Red Anchor Productions – ISBN 978-0-692-21110-6).
For some, the name of the author will be familiar as he played a significant role in the 1950s in Detroit, producing records by artists including Jackie Wilson and Little Willie John. But before that he was a jazz fan and while still at school he saw and heard Dizzy Gillespie when the trumpeter was a member of Billy Eckstine’s bebop-based big band. He struck up a friendship with Gillespie, one that lasted until Gillespie’s death almost fifty years later. Along the way, Usher formed the Emanon record label, releasing 78s made in Paris by a Kenny Clarke band including Gillespie, later collaborated in the start-up of the trumpeter’s own record company, Dee Gee, and also sometimes traveled with him on international tours. Mainly anecdotal (and given the number of already-published books on Gillespie all the better for that), Usher’s recollections cover in close, personal detail many aspects of Gillespie, among them his religious beliefs, his stand on racial, political and environmental issues, and, of course, matters musical. The latter includes Dave’s accounts of his work as A&R man with Dee Gee and Chess (where, he artists including recorded James Moody and Ahmad Jamal), as well as the many hours of tapes he recorded during Gillespie’s 1956 State Department tour of Brazil. Some of the music from this tour was released on the same label in a 3-volume set in 1999 (and it appears that there is still much to be disseminated). This is an entertaining read and adds color and texture to the portrait all jazz fans have in their minds of a remarkable musician and man.
These albums and the book, which is also available as an eBook (ISBN-978-0-692-21113-3), are available from the usual sources, including, of course, Amazon.