Mark Bailey Radio United Kingdom

2 Crime Fiction Short Story Seasons on BBC Radio 4 & BBC Radio 4 Extra


The pick of Oxfam’s most recent short story collection (available until mid-March 2015 for all episodes in the UK).

Stories by Ann Cleves, Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson, Maxim Jaubowski & Stella Duffy.


Hibernian Homicide

Three new stories of mystery and intrigue from some of Northern Ireland’s very best crime writers: Colin Bateman, Claire McGowan and Stuart Neville. (all episodes in the UK available until then of February 2015)

Colin Bateman explores how a woman’s chance encounter in a supermarket reawakens her painful past and stirs an overwhelming desire for vengeance, while Claire McGowan bring us the story of an archaeological dig which becomes a crime scene upon the discovery of a young woman’s body, and Stuart Neville tells of a minister who is asked to commit an unspeakable crime for one of his parishioners. But why? And will he do it?


Mark Bailey TV United Kingdom

Review – Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death (TV)

Ashley Jensen as Agatha Raisin
Ashley Jensen as Agatha Raisin

Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death was broadcast on Sky 1 on 26th December 2014 and is based on the first Agatha Raisin mystery novel by Marion Chesney under her pseudonym M. C. Beaton.

Agatha Raisin, PR whizz, gives up her successful life in London, landing with a bang in the quiet village of Carsely with hopes of beginning a new dream life. Bored, lonely and used to getting her own way, Agatha finds that life in the Cotswolds isn’t quite the picture-perfect existence she imagined… and when her high-flying city attitude is met with puzzlement and suspicion from country locals, Agatha enlists the few allies she can find

This was not a totally faithful adaptation of the book. Also I will admit that the casting bothered me as Penelope Keith in the BBC radio adaptation has become the voice of Agatha for me and I see Agatha as being that sort of age by default, i.e. retired, whereas Ashley Jensen is a couple of years younger than me. BUT it did win me over as a very enjoyable way to spend 2 hours – it was light hearted fare but there was still a good plot and it was well acted and directed – plus the locations in Wiltshire (standing in for the Cotswolds) looked great.

For information – Ashley Jensen starred as Agatha, with Hermione Norris as long-suffering housewife Jo Cummings, Robert Bathurst as her errant husband Andy, Katy Wix, as cleaning lady Gemma, Mathew Horne as Agatha’s faithful former assistant Roy, Jamie Glover as Agatha’s romantic interest James, Jason Barnett (best known to me from The Bill) as the hapless DI Wilkes and Matt McCooey as lovelorn policeman DC Bill Wong. 

Mark Bailey TV United Kingdom

The Fall series 2 starts on Thursday November 13th at 9pm on BBC Two

Also for those in Ireland or Northern Ireland, it started on Sunday November 10th at 10:30pm on RTÉ 1 moving to 9:30pm from next week

Crime Fiction Euro Crime Mark Bailey Reviews United Kingdom

Review: The Killing Pool by Keith Sampson

The Killing Pool by Keith Sampson

Hardback: 320 pages (March 2013)

Publisher: Jonathan Cape ISBN: 978-0224073059

The Killing Pool hi res

A headless corpse is discovered by Detective Chief Inspector Billy McCartney in scrubland close to Liverpool docks with the body looking like a gangland hit. A mile away, a dazed and confused girl staggers into a run-down bar where the owner, a career criminal called Shakespeare, cannot get a word out of her.

The body was that of Kalan Rozaki, youngest brother of a notorious crime family but he was the white sheep in the family. For almost a year his brothers have been under full-time Drug Squad surveillance as DCI McCartney slowly closed the net on their heroin trafficking – his chief informant was someone who had insider knowledge of the Rozaki clan’s operation … their newly deceased baby brother, Kalan.

His investigation starts to solve not only this crime but another unsolved drug crime of nearly 30 years ago.

I have to admit that I found this one a struggle to get through. There is a very competent police procedural hidden within here but the structure of multiple viewpoints which you shift from sometimes on a pagely basis in the initial pages makes it very difficult to keep track of the narrative unless you are really concentrating – it is not a commute read.

I might be tempted by the next one as this is described as the first in a series but I would like to read a few reviews first.

This review originally appeared at Euro Crime