Upcoming: MISTER MEMORY by Marcus Sedgwick (Hodder)

SedgwickM-MisterMemoryUKI’m a fan of Marcus Sedgwick’s work — I thought his previous novel for adults, A Love Like Blood, was superb. Ever since finishing that, I’ve been eagerly awaiting his next novel. And, in July, Hodder will be publishing Mister Memory. Here’s the skinny:

In Paris, at the end of the nineteenth century, a man with a perfect memory murders his wife. But that is only the start of the story… A dazzling literary mystery from prizewinning author Marcus Sedgwick.

In Paris in the year 1899, Marcel Després is arrested for the murder of his wife and transferred to the famous Salpêtrière asylum. And there the story might have stopped.

But the doctor assigned to his care soon realises this is no ordinary patient: Marcel Després, Mister Memory, is a man who cannot forget. And the policeman assigned to his case soon realises that something else is at stake: for why else would the criminal have been hurried off to hospital, and why are his superiors so keen for the whole affair to be closed? 

This crime involves something bigger and stranger than a lovers’ fight — something with links to the highest and lowest establishments in France. The policeman and the doctor between them must unravel the mystery… but the answers lie inside Marcel’s head. And how can he tell what is significant when he remembers every detail of every moment of his entire life?

Mister Memory is due to be published in the UK by Hodder, on July 14th, 2016. For more, check out the author’s website, and follow him on Twitter and Goodreads.

Guest Post/Excerpt: HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS by Aliette de Bodard

deBodard-AuthorPicThe Great Houses war is a central part of the book, though by necessity it’s always seen in flashbacks, as it took place sixty years before the events of the novel. It’s left marks on everyone, and of course it has also devastated Paris and given rise to the city in the book, a dystopic place where people cling to the Great Houses as their only source of safety. This scene is one of the strongest reminiscences from Philippe, who actually fought in it.

It also contains what is possibly my favourite lines in the book: the “magicians turned into soldiers… our best men turned into corpses”, which was one of those gifts from the muse: it came straight into the first draft and hasn’t really moved since.

The war. Philippe thought of the clamor of explosions; of huddling in the doorways of ruined buildings, peering at the sky to judge the best moment to rush out; of his lieutenant in House colors, urging them to lay down their lives for the good of the city; of his squad mates buried in nameless graves, on the edge of Place de la République. Ai Linh, who had had a laughter like a donkey, and always shared her biscuits with everyone else; Hoang, who liked to gamble too much; Phuong, who told hair-raising stories in the barracks after all lights had been turned off. “I don’t know what the war was like, inside the Houses,” he said, and it was almost the truth. Continue reading