East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Other people’s pulps – Con Games (and a Top Five)

The mother of one of my pals from university was an incredible woman. When I met her she was in her seventies, tall, extremely elegant, terribly witty.
Her husband was a judge, one day we got to talk about crime1.
While she was tough on crime, she admitted she admired very much pick-pockets (“They need nerves of steel to do what they do on a crowded bus!”) and big time con-men.
Not the kind that swindle old ladies out of their pension, mind you. Big time con-men, the sort that can drain up a company accounts and vanish into tin air.482124
“It takes a lot of intelligence to do that,” she said.
I have to agree.
And as a lover of crime novels, I like grifter and heist stories much more than straight murder mysteries.

Mind you, I like a homicide investigation like the next guy, but a good, large scale, complicated swindle is my fave sort of thing.
It’s a noirish thing, really. I think the first book of this sort I ever read was Len Deighton‘s Only when I larf, and then Jim Thompson’s The Grifters came following suit. Continue reading


The Ministry of Thunder – a 16-words review

I do not normally share the reviews of my novel, The Ministry of Thunder, here on my blog.
I like to keep things classy, you see.

But when one of the most popular and well-loved authors of science fiction out there takes a moment to write a review of my book, what the heck… I know it’s not classy at all, but I have to share it.


I spent many summers reading S.M. Stirling‘s books.
I am proud, and moved, that he now read my novel.

book feature

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Russian river, four letters

9781594203671OK, full disclosure: I knew about the river Amur because of crosswords puzzles.

Russian river, four letters

Maybe, had I known it is also called Black Dragon River, I would have checked out the Amur river before.

Luckily, I was offered an ARC 1 of Dominic Ziegler’s Black Dragon River.
The tag-line A journey down the Amur River, at the borderland of empires sums up nicely the contents of this thick volume that Pengiun Books will be releasing later this year.

What’s so hot about the Amur? Continue reading


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