Having a beano at the minute as I race through two great series, alternating between the two. 

Paul Doiron’s Mike Bowditch series has fast become like a comfort blanket. The themes and settings are all ones I find innately interesting, and don’t remotely struggle to get lost in from the outset. They are no nonsense, and zip along great. If anything I’m getting through them too quickly.

Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series has easily blasted through into my all time favourites. I’m just in awe and more than a bit jealous of these books. The central character of Duffy is an inspired creation, multi-layered in all different shades, always flirting with the cusp of legality, but never once not making you root for him. There is a wonderful bite to these books, from the dialogue to the settings and everything in between, that forces you to sit up and take serious notice. I also learn something every time from these books, in terms of history and geography, and I adore how McKinty brings his fictional world and its characters into very true real world events, creating almost an alternate reality in which his creations have run amok. I just love it. A new Sean Duffy book will become a yearly event for me, unshakeably locked in the calendar.

Had a really great time at the Books Are My Bag party at Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books in Culcheth yesterday. Such a warm environment, and was really wonderful to hang out with readers. I urge anyone to pop into this wonderful shop – it’s such a welcoming place with a  real community spirit, which has been so generous in support of my career so far. Thanks to the shop for this photo.