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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Whither Nigel Barnes?

The most common question I'm asked these days, or at least second behind 'Rough night?', is: 'When's the next Nigel Barnes book out?' It's a fair question. The second book in the series, Blood Atonement, was released in August 2009, almost three years ago, and in modern publishing that's an age.

So to set the record straight, and keep those of you who are interested updated, I thought I'd let you know what's going on. I haven't ditched the series, and nor do I have writer's block (I don't really believe in writer's block, or at least none that an impending deadline hasn't cured, and since finishing Blood Atonement I've written two kids non-fiction books, and a historial thriller called Unsinkable under the pseudonym Dan James.) The simple fact is that Penguin, my former publisher, didn't want any more Nigel Barnes books. That's their prerogative, though I'd be lying if I said wasn't disappointed, especially as the decision came on the heels of The Blood Detective's nomination for the CWA John Creasey and the Macavity First Novel awards. But that's the way it is now and anyone entering publishing has to be aware we are in febrile times, and the bottom line is what counts.

So I was left with a series but no publisher. I have a family and they need feeding, and I needed to keep writing. So Nigel Barnes was 'parked.' I soon missed him though. For my own amusement as much as anything I wrote a short story involving him and DCI Grant Foster. I may release it in electronic form, or I may turn it into a novel. But as Nigel and Grant were back in my head, and I had a series of plot ideas already sketched out,  I dove straight in and wrote another book, working title 'One Soul Less.' A draft is now finished and my agent has been casting her critical eye over it (gulp). I'm sure there'll be a few tweaks to be made, but it's my hope that I can release it some time this year. You might need a Kindle to read it though, though I'll explore print-on-demand too. I might even see if a publisher wants to release a print copy. All options are still open.

In the meantime, Nigel has become a bit of a hit in France. The Blood Detective (aka Code 1879) has been nominated for a prestigious literary award over there, been released in mass paperback, and in late June I'm heading to the South of France for Soleil Noir as their guest, to discuss crime fiction and almost certainly drink too much wine. It's a dirty job eh? I'm also working on a new historical thriller that might be a Dan Waddell book or a Dan James book, as well as keeping my hand in with some non-fiction.

So, regarding Nigel, the news is there is no concrete news. But soon there will be, and rumours of his demise are greatly exaggerated (though someone very close to him might cop it...)


  1. Hello Dan,

    I am French so don't be too afraid of my "frenglish" way of putting things.
    I read the 2 books that came out in France, and I must say I loved both of them. Thank you very much for your very pleasant writing, I'm really looking forward to reading more novels from you.
    I wonder: for which french literary award is The Blood Detective/Code 1879 nominated?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sacha Maillot

  2. Hi Sacha,

    Your 'Frenglish' is way better than my 'Englench'.

    It's been nominated for the Cezam Prix Litteraire Inter CE. The winner is named in October.


  3. I was very glad that you answered and thanks for my 'frenglish'.
    Hope you'll win every award you deserve!


  4. Really glad to hear that there might be more .. I loved the first 2 books and have kept an eye out for a new one ever since reading them in 2010. Glad I have a Kindle and really hope that someone realises how much the 3rd is wanted so that it gets published ..!

  5. I have just listened to the audiobook versions of both novels and have been singing their/your praises. I do hope that another is published soon. Best of Luck, Louise

  6. Hey, Dan: My hotelkeeper in York says his wife knows your sister. He's Nick; his wife is Gail.

    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  7. Hi Dan
    I am so glad to hear we may have another Nigel Barnes book. I thoroughly enjoyed The Blood Detective but Blood atonement was for me, even better. I enjoyed every word of it and was so disappointed when it had finished and I found there wasn't another Nigel Barnes/Grant Foster book.
    How on earth could the publisher say they didn't want another Nigel Barnes book, what is wrong with them?
    I for one can't wait for the next one whatever form it takes.

  8. Mr. Waddell,
    can tell you with pleasure that you have restored my faith in the crime genre through Barnes' novels. I am from Bulgaria and was really excited to read a well-researched book from the genre. This was The Blood Detective and I loved it instantly. Read it in 3 hours and enjoyed every second of it.
    Unfortunately, I had to wait for moths until I saw the second book on the shelves of local bookstores (I do buy books from an online UK bookstore sometimes, but usually prefer sponsoring the local market). After having read it as fast as the first one, and being left with the same pleasurable feeling that a reader can experience only after a fulfilled expectation, I need to applaud you and your research and pray to the publishers that they license another one of these books. I hope Mr. Barnes to turn into the modern-day Nero Wolf and have as much fame and as many stories. (Yes, I am a fan of Wolf).

    Yours truly
    Jack the Ripper... NO! Ani.

  9. I finished reading both nigel barnes'adventures, and am looking forward to a third, ourth, etc etc book ;)

  10. I meant "Fourth" (something is wrong with the "F" key ;) )