Sunday 8 May 2016

Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel

Today I'll be laying out plates of food (cooked by my own fair hands) and putting on ice bottles of wine (rather a nice Rhône white), because I'm throwing a party. 

It's to celebrate publication of my novel, Written in Dead Wax, which is published in two days time — 10th May 2016, by Titan Books. The story of Waxy (as I affectionately refer to the book) and its journey from concept to publication is both straightforward and hellishly complicated...

When my friend Ben Aaronovitch became a bestselling author, he suggested to me that I should follow his lead. The important thing, he said, was to write about what you genuinely love. I thought, well... I love crime novels, and I love looking for rare records in charity shops...

And so the Vinyl Detective was born. I won't bore you with how it took six months to get an agent to read the first book, Written in Dead Wax. Or how I maintained my sanity in that period by writing the second novel, The Run Out Groove. 

And then, having fallen in love with the characters, I wrote the third one, Victory Disc. 

Or how the books were turned down, seemed to be dead in the water, years passed, and then my good friend Guy Adams put me in touch with a brilliant editor at Titan called Miranda Jewess and she fell in love with them...

Whoops, I guess I did bore you with all that. Anyway, thanks to Miranda — and Guy — I now have a three book deal, and the first novel is available in a couple of days time.
I hope you like it.

(Image credits: All of the pictures, come to think of it, are from me. Including the cover I commissioned from a talented designer called James King, back in the dark days when I thought I might have to self-publish.)


  1. Congratulations Andrew!

    1. Thank you, Mark. Fingers crossed that people like it.

  2. Thank you, Paul. If you'd like a signed copy, just get in touch (or ask your wife to get in touch) and we'll sort something. I have just sent a friend request to you -- I *hope* it's you -- on Facebook. If you are indeed that Paul Taylor-Greaves, you or your missus can message me and we can source you a copy.

  3. Looking very much forward to this one - and will be getting it as a birthday gift as well! Will you be in the mood to sign copies at Con Kasterborous in June, Andrew?

  4. Just finished this and loved it! I am also a record collector, and I love to see record collecting in fiction, but hardly anyone does it right - your book hit home for me! Looking forward to the next one!

  5. Hello! Just wanted to tell you I just finished your novel, and I loved it from beginning to end! I'm not a big crime fan, but this was a real piece of work! I am a jazz fan and a buyer of music on wax, and your book inspired me to go out and spend even more money on Jazz LP's. Don't tell my wife... But as a modern bloke I also use Spotify to listen to music. The Jazz crates aren't exactly flourishing in my home town, so Spotify is a big help in discovering music. So I wondered, why don't you make a Spotify playlist to accompany your books? I know it's a bit out of character, but I guess many of your readers are like me; They can't live of car biscuits alone, so the amount of LP's we can buy each month is somewhat limited. With love and respect from Bergen, Norway, Håvard Margido Aspen.

  6. Having read 'Dead Wax' last weekend and totally loving it being a vinyl collector myself, I immediately bought 'Operation Herod' read it and bought 'Event Driven'.
    Read them the same day and oved them both immensely.
    Can't wait for the ebook version of 'Run-out Groove' and 'Victory Disk'.
    My thanks go to Ben Aaronovich for recommending you in an online forum.

  7. Have just finished Dead Wax and am waiting impatiently for the next one to appear. Recommending it to all my friends 😀 especially those that love the Rivers of London series! One of my fave things was the way Nevada talked to the kitties. Absolutely spot on, and hilarious. Also thanks for keeping Tinkler alive 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  8. I read all the Vinyl Detective novels this summer, but I must admit I 'discovered' the series in a very random fashion. On the Victoria Day weekend we were visiting friends in Toronto, and for various reasons found ourselves at loose ends on the Sunday. I wandered over to the Indigo at Yorkdale to see if I could find an Erle Stanley Gardner Cool and Lam novel I was looking for. I was glancing here-and-there in the mystery section and my eye caught a paperback whose title I thought read The Vinyl Cafe. My first response was, ok, that thing is misfiled. I had a closer look and it was actually Written in Dead Wax in the Vinyl Detective series. I picked it up, looked it over, and decided this might be interesting. I did find the Cool and Lamb, so I happily bought both. Back in my room I started to read your novel first as it seemed the most intriguing. I was reading on through thinking this is interesting, but I what grabbed me, and sealed the deal, was that early discussion about a Gil Melle recording. I had recently finished some posts on the findings of a little investigation into the publications of Gil Melle in the model railroading press and his miniature building kit company ( ). It was a happy coincidence, and maybe a sign :-) , but I was glad to have gone down the path and read all the books. I'm hoping there'll be a fifth.