Debut Novel From International Award Winner Sells Out in 10 Days

Like False Money, the debut crime novel from Penny Grubb, sold out its first edition in 10 days, almost missing nomination to what would be Penny's second international award because the deadline was imminent and there were no books in the warehouse.
March 26, 2010 - PRLog -- East Yorkshire crime writer, Penny Grubb, has been nominated by her publisher for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for her debut novel, Like False Money.  However, the entry came within a whisker of missing the deadline.  The novel, which came out at the end of February, sold out its first edition in less than a fortnight, taking both the publisher, Robert Hale Ltd, and the author by surprise.  

The publicity department at Robert Hale, having had the go-ahead from the Crime Writers’ Association to enter the book for the Dagger award, were staggered to learn there were no books left in the warehouse.  ‘This is so unusual for a debut novel, it took us all unawares,’ said a spokesperson from the Publicity Department at Robert Hale. ‘The CWA requires publishers to provide a copy of the book for each of the three judges and the deadline was just a couple of days away.  There was no chance of a reprint coming in time.  We put in an emergency call to Penny to see if she had any spare copies.’

‘When they called me up,’ said Penny. ‘I had only two copies left and I had promised a signed first edition as a prize in a short story competition so I couldn’t let them both go.’  

‘I immediately contacted La Scala Studios who had supplied the books for my local book launch three days previously, but out of the 50 copies they had bought, they had only one left.  I raced round Hull in a panic and luckily found that the University branch of Waterstone’s had a copy.’

Penny already has one international Dagger under her belt.  She won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2004 with an unpublished novel, The Doll Makers, which is to be published in June 2010.  The Doll Makers is a later book in the same series as Like False Money.

Like False Money is set in Hull and Holderness and follows private investigator Annie Raymond, who is new both to the area and the job. Annie arrives in Hull at the start of the book with few expectations.  As she flounders through the unexpected twists and turns of her cases, the area begins to reveal its mysteries to her.  Like so many newcomers to East Yorkshire, she is taken unawares by all the area has to offer.  The theme of something hidden beneath the surface runs throughout the book.

‘The book is a whodunit,’ says Penny, ‘and I wanted the mystery to unravel to the reader as it reveals itself to Annie.  It was important to me to set it in real places, and to use familiar landmarks as a backdrop to the action.’

Penny will be in WH Smith Books in Beverley, East Yorkshire on Easter Saturday, 3rd April from 11 am to 1 pm to talk to readers and sign copies of the recently reprinted second edition of Like False Money for those who wish to buy.

Like False Money has been reviewed in the local Yorkshire media and in the online Speak Without Interruption magazine whose reviewer, Stuart Aken, says of the book ‘Contrasting the urban environment with the rural, Penny explores motives, sub-texts and ambitions to show that location need not be the formative influence it is often considered. Here, it is the people and their personalities that direct cause and effect, acting out their parts sometimes in spite of their whereabouts. This novel surprises, entertains, scares and satisfies in equal measure and I heartily recommend it.’

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About Penny Grubb: Penny is a crime writer, an academic and current Chair of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society. She teaches courses on non-fiction and creative writing. Crime novels in the Annie series: Like False Money - Feb 2010. The Doll Makers - Jun 2010. The Jawbone Gang - awaiting publication date.
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