Christmas Blind Book Date

For crime fiction lovers, Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year. It’s a time for giving, for receiving and for reading – and in each case, ideally, we choose crime fiction. But which book deserves to be the First Monday Christmas Book? It’s a tough one.


This year, to make life easier for us, we have twelve authors of magnificent novels coming to tell us all about their books, and to help us make the ultimate Christmas decision. And to make it a little bit of fun, we have shamelessly borrowed from TV’s Blind Date to create a First Monday panel with a difference – CHRISTMAS BLIND BOOK DATE!


Five female authors and five male authors, each of them among the finest in the land, will represent their books and you, our loyal First Monday audience will make the decision as to which one deserves pride of place in the First Monday Christmas stocking. And helping us make the decisions will be the wonderful LEYE ADENLE and MARNIE RICHES.


What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot – but let’s stay positive!

Our Brilliant Panel Are:

Susi Holliday

is the author of lots of short stories and five novels, the latest of which – THE LINGERING - is a spooky psychological thriller, described by Fiona Cummins as 'reminiscent of early James Herbert'. 

Katerina Diamond

is the author of the six novels, including the Sunday Times Best Selling crime thrillers THE TEACHER and THE PROMISE. THE PROMISE has been described as ‘a dark, twisting tale that won’t fail to captivate’.

Claire Seeber

is a former actress and a writer of gripping psychological thrillers. THE STEP-MOTHER is ‘a dark, twisting thriller that shows all too well how you can never escape the sins of your past’ according to Simon Kernick.

Steph Broadribb

has an MA in Creative Writing from City University London and trained as a Bounty Hunter in California. Lee Child called her debut thriller DEEP DOWN DEAD "Fast, confident and suspenseful". 

Angela Clarke

 is a presenter screenwriter and the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Social Media Murder Series. The Independent called FOLLOW ME ‘a very contemporary nightmare, delivered with panache.’

J.S Law

is possibly one of the world’s first ‘method authors’ having spent more than 20 years immersed in the Royal Navy specifically to conduct research for his novels. THE FEAR WITHIN is the second in the Dani Lewis series of novels and finds Dani searching for a young girl who went missing without trace onboard a naval warship.

Chris Whitaker

was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. His debut novel, TALL OAKS, won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger, and was short-listed for the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. TALL OAKS follows the residents of a small town in California three months after the abduction of a child.

Paul Burston

is the author of five novels including the WH Smith bestsellerTHE BLACK PATH, which was described as ‘an intense, tightly calibrated thriller’ by the Huffington Post .

Simon Booker

is an author, screenwriter and all round good egg. WITHOUT TRACE introduces Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist, desperately trying to find out if her childhood sweetheart is the victim of a miscarriage of justice or a lying, murdering sociopath.

Kevin Wignall

TO DIE IN VIENNA is KEVIN WIGNALL’S ninth adult novel (he also writes for young adults). A surveillance thriller set in Vienna, the book has been optioned by Focus Features with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to produce and star.

Judged By: 

Leye Adenle

Deciding which of their books would look best in our Christmas stockings is LEYE ADENLE. Leye’s debut novel, Easy Motion Tourist, which won the 2016 Prix Marianne and in 2017 he was a finalist for the prestigious CWA short story dagger for his story, The Assassination. Leye comes from a family of writers, the most famous being his grandfather, Oba Adeleye Adenle I, a former king of Osogbo in South West Nigeria, who published two books in Yoruba. Which means Leye is not only crime fiction royalty but actual royalty, as well. He is also the author of the brilliant WHEN TROUBLE SLEEPS, described by The Guardian as  "Complex, fast-paced and utterly gripping" and a prime candidate, in our opinion, for a great Christmas book in itself.

Marnie Riches

Deciding which one should go on her Christmas Present list is MARNIE RICHES. Marnie grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester before exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University. When she’s not writing, Marnie likes to spin, run, refurbish old houses and drink gin and her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers tackle trans-national trafficking. The latest of them, THE GIRL WHO GOT REVENGE, has been described as “Fast-paced, enthralling and heartrending” – which is probably why Marnie has sold an impressive 250,000 books and counting and why it’s probably exactly the sort of great read we should be looking forward to on December 25th.

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