Sunday, 24 July 2016

PUSH-UPS: Lesley Kelly

Sandstone's Lesley Kelly.
So, what you pushing right now?
I’ve got some Tartan Noir for your delight and delectation!  A Fine House in Trinity is a contemporary crime novel, set in the Leith and Trinity areas of Edinburgh.

What’s the hook?
Joseph Staines left town with a stolen tallybook, but two suspicious deaths and a surprise inheritance have lured him back home to Edinburgh.  No-one is pleased to see him.  The debtors want him gone.  The Police have some questions for him.  And a mysterious stranger has been asking about him down the pub. To survive Staines has to sober up, solve the murders, and stay one step ahead of the man who wants him dead.

And why’s that floating your boat?
Trinity, where I live, is full of big, old houses rumoured to have secret rooms, which were used either to avoid the press gang or to hide goods from the Revenues men in days of yore.   There are also whispers about hidden tunnels that led down to the shore to aid and abet local smugglers.  Frankly, the area was just crying out to be the setting for a crime novel.

When did you turn to crime?
It’s been a year or two now.  A Fine House started out as an entry for the Scotsman’s short story competition, celebrating 25 years of Rebus.  I won the comp, and have stuck with a life of crime (writing).

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
Like a bit of them all, so long as there is a big dose of wit between the covers. I do like a protagonist with a snappy line in banter.

And, what’s blown you away lately?
I recently discovered the works of Yrsa Sigursdottir.  She’s quite annoyingly good.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
Just finished Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin.  Somebody must be planning to film it, possibly with a world-weary Winona Ryder as the main character.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
I always said that I would never get a Kindle, but after a ten-day walking holiday I’m beginning to think there might be a place for one in my rucksack.

Shout us a website worth visiting …
If you are looking for a good way to kill someone, check out Thrillwriting: Helping Writers Write it Right 

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
I had a brief stint as a stand up comedian in the mid-Noughties.  There’s less heckling in literature.

PUSHER VERDICT: A Fine House in Trinity

Plush Trinity isn't the usual haunt of a sometime resident of the east end of Edinburgh so the thought of picking up a book titled A Fine House in Trinity is a a bit of an odd choice. But after browsing a couple of pages in Waterstone's I was intrigued enough to want to read on.

At a guess, it was something about the style which attracted me. This isn't your normal crime novel; it's an edgy, witty read. Try this on for size, I think it proves my point, and the previous one:

Trinity's that kind of place; if you farted round there they'd be on the phone to the Council worrying about the impact on the ozone layer.

The author, a former stand-up comic who also dabbled in poetry, has created a style of writing that's a million miles away from the norm and the book stands out because of it.

The story moves along at a fair clip, too, delivering just the necessary substance the committed crime reader demands. A very fine addition to the Tartan Noir pack.

:: Buy A Fine House in Trinity on Amazon UK.