Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another great review!

There's a wonderful review by Lee Finkelstein of The Case of the Diamond Shadow in November's issue of Reading Time, the journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia. Here's an extract:
'Sophie Masson has a captivating writing style. She is able to prolong the suspense while completely capturing the period and atmosphere of her story. The cover illustration immediately holds the reader's attention, promising a great yarn. Each scene is written with an eye to detail and a firm tongue in cheek. Subtle humour pervades the tale though it in no way impedes the momentum of the story. It's a great tale, full of action and an Agatha Christie style of intrigue, glamour and twisting plots that will keep the reader guessing right until the end. Highly reccomended for school and public libraries. "

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Madman of Venice trailer

On my You Tube channel, I've just put up a little trailer for my forthcoming novel for older readers, a historical mystery called The Madman of Venice. the book will be published by Hodder Children's Books UK in both Britain and Australia in April 2009, and in news just to hand, has also just sold to Random House USA!

You can read a bit more about the book at my googlepages site, http://sophievmasson.googlepages.com/ Click on 'Shakespearean series, vol 4.'

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Diamond Shadow event

On Wednesday, August 20, at 2pm, I'll be in my local Dymocks store in Armidale, NSW, to give a talk about how I wrote The Case of the Diamond Shadow, plus give readers a bit of a sneak preview of one of the clues in the second Daisy and George book I am planning--which at the moment I'm calling The Case of the Black House. More on that soon!
If you are in Armidale on that day, do call into Dymocks--the talk is open to all!

Some more good reviews!

Here's extracts from another couple of good reviews for The Case of the Diamond Shadow..
The first one is from The Reading Stack, http://www.thereadingstack.com/

'The Case of the Diamond Shadow is a wonderfully entertaining detective story with one of the best endings I have read for a long time. Not only is it exciting but the twists and turns will keep young readers guessing all the way!'

The second one is from the YARA site, on which young readers review books: (http://goldcreek.act.edu.au/yara) The review is by 12 year old Ronja, from Canberra:
'I found this book amazing! I couldn't stop reading it until I had finished it end from end! I would recommend it to detective lovers and those who enjoy reading mysteries.'


Thursday, July 3, 2008

The first review!

The Case of the Diamond Shadow has just come out into the shops this week: and so has the first review. It's a beauty: Annette Dale-Meiklejohn's terrific review in the latest Magpies Magazine, July 2008.

Here's some of what she says:

'The Case of the Diamond Shadow can be read and enjoyed on many levels: there will be less sophisticated readers in upper primary who will enjoy it solely for the mystery and adventure elements while more sophisticated readers will also enjoy the sly humour of Woodley-Foxe's self-aggrandisement and the many references to popular culture of the second quarter of the twentieth century woven through the text. As an adult reader, I found the book most entertaining and very much enjoyed the 'aha!' moments as I connected characters and situations with people and events of the era. By the same token, it is also a well-written mystery that engages the reader in trying to work out just whodunit.'

Ain't that grand!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Advance copies!

I've now got my advance copies of The Case of the Diamond Shadow, and don't they look great! And in just over two weeks'time--on July 1--the books will be out in the shops. Wonderful!

Comic strip clues..

Included in The Case of the Diamond Shadow are some clues contained in comic strips. I decided to do these because I love comic strips and because these were also very common in popular magazines of the 1930's. The comic strips tell the beginning of the story of the adventures of Inspecteur Nocturne, crack detective from the Paris Surete(which is like the French version of Scotland Yard). I wrote the text, and my son teenage Bevis did the illustrations. They were heaps of fun to do!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cover for Diamond Shadow!

Today, I saw, for the first time, the finished cover of The Case of the Diamond Shadow---and doesn't it looks gorgeous! Exactly what I was hoping for, with its snazzy, retro, intriguing look.

The fantastic artwork's by Stuart McLachlan.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A new anthology..

I have an essay in Demigods and Monsters, a new anthology of pieces about the fantastic Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan. The book will be out soon in Borders stores(like Through the Wardrobe, it's published by Ben Bella Books and is a Borders exclusive). Lots of interesting pieces to get your teeth into--and the book's edited by Rick Riordan himself!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Interview on Writer Unboxed

For those interested readers,there's a short interview with me, about the Thomas Trew series, at the Writer Unboxed blog: www.writerunboxed.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Matilda interview

Perry Middlemiss of the great books blog, Matilda, has just uploaded an interview he did with me, from the Australian Crime Fiction Snapshots series. Go to the Matilda blog to read it:
(you will have to scroll to the March 6 post in the Australian Crime Fiction snapshots series.)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

NEW: Trailer on You Tube!

I've just uploaded a trailer for The Case of the Diamond Shadow at my You Tube channel. It features 1930's pictures, including some taken by my grandfather, and a still from a 1930's French movie he shot, called Melo, as well as the cover of a 1930's true-crime magazine I have. And it's got a soundtrack which is part of the famous 1931 song, ''Minnie the Moocher'' by Cab Calloway. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New website for fantasy series

I've just created a great new website for my earlier four-book fantasy series, The Chronicles of el Jisal, with the fabulous, free new Googlepages website creator. Have a look: it's at http://sophievmasson.googlepages.com

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New video on You Tube channel

I've just uploaded a short video talk(4 mins) about creating my graphic novel, The Secret Army: Operation Loki. Like The Case of the Diamond Shadow, it's set in the 1930's, but in 1936, the year of the Berlin Olympic Games, rather than 1931. And it's an adventure rather than a mystery--an adventure with supernatural elements! Go and have a look at www.youtube.com/sophievmasson

Monday, January 14, 2008

Writer Unboxed

I've been asked to be a contributor at the terrific genre writing blog, Writer Unboxed, http://writerunboxed.com . My first post on Wednesday will be about writing The Case of the Diamond Shadow!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The inspiration for Philip Woodley-Foxe

Prominent in The Case of the Diamond Shadow is the celebrity detective, Philip Woodley-Foxe, George's employer. Woodley-Foxe has had a long and colourful career, catching criminals all over the world. He's also a celebrity author of true-crime books, recounting all his many successes and adventures to a worldwide audience, and he writes for true crime magazines too. He's George's hero--but perhaps not as clever as he imagines himself to be!

Woodley-Foxe was inspired by a real-life celebrity Anglo-American detective, Harry Ashton-Wolfe, who wrote many exciting ''true-crime'' books in the 1920's and early 30's, in which he boasted about his (supposed) many successes. He claims to be a master of disguise(there are all kinds of lovely photos of him dressed up in various criminal costumes in his books), to speak many languages, to be as agile as a cat burglar, clever, brave and resourceful and to have escaped death more time than his readers have had hot dinners! He's a great believer in what he calls scientific detection and throughout his books keeps repeating that the days of the criminal are surely numbered, because science will soon understand everything there is about crime and criminals..

He claimed to have known all kinds of amazing people on the law enforcement side, from Dr Bertillon, the French Surete expert and inventor of the system of fingerprinting, to Arthur Conan Doyle, to whom he dedicated one of his many books, 'The Underworld.' He also of course claimed to have been instrumental in the capture of many infamous criminals, from violent anarchists to the fiendish underworld leader known as Hanoi Shan, the inspiration for the fictional criminal Fu Manchu; from psychopathic murderers to brilliant jewel thieves, Corsican bandits to Russian gangsters. His books, with titles like 'The Thrill of Evil,' 'The Forgotten Clue'; 'Outlaws of Modern Days' ; 'Crimes of Love and Hate' and more, are over the top, vastly entertaining, and often quite unbelievable. There's just no way one man could have done all the things he claims! Vain, boastful and name-dropping, Ashton-Wolfe could become very annoying, if he wasn't also a terrific storyteller. And he's an absolutely rich and exciting resource for a writer!
The photos above show Harry Ashton-Wolfe writing one of his books, and dressed up as a Corsican bandit, in which disguise he claims to have infiltrated a ferocious Corsican gang and brought them to justice singlehanded!