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Someone pointed out recently that I hadn’t written about the Hotel Stories for some time.
In fact, I recently rebranded The Hotel Stories – Complete Collection as Seven Hotel Stories. My goal was to remind readers how many stories now exist in a single, novel-length volume.
All the stories feature the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, Ms N; her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana; and Ms N’s unique methods of solving problems.
The first story, Britches, shows how Ms N and Tatiana first met; and how they sorted out the hotel owner from hell using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick’s Day Ball (they exist – I have been to one); the President of China; and something Tatiana found under a handsome Scotsman’s kilt.
The second Hotel Story is The Two Rooms. It features an obnoxious guest; a hypocritical Prime Minister on a moral crusade; some Russian ice-hockey fans; an angry Japanese sushi chef; and a startling twist. Is it my favourite? Perhaps it is.
Franz Schubert steps to one side.
The lights go down.
Robert Pimm looks up at the packed crowd.
‘My name is Robert Pimm,’ he says. ‘First time I’ve said that.’
For those of you who were kind enough to attend my reading from my new Berlin thriller Blood Summit at the Cafe Korb in Vienna on 16 March, introduced by remarkable artistic director Franz Schubert (“this name is not a joke”), thank you.
The cool video of my reading from Blood Summit above was produced by the excellent Sibylle Trost in Berlin – thanks, Sibylle!
I was delighted to receive a good deal of positive feedback on 16 March, as well as news the next day that brilliant English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna had run out of copies of Blood Summit.
They have since renewed their supplies.
Blood Summit on the shelves at Shakespeare & Company in Vienna
For those of you who were not at the reading on 16 March, or who would like another splash of Blood Summit, I have good news. I will be doing another reading at 1930 on 15 June, at Shakespeare & Company. I am most grateful to them for providing a venue.
Put it in your diary now. Let me know if you have any questions about how to attend. If you don’t live in Vienna, maybe this is the excuse you have been waiting for to book that lovely weekend in the beautiful Viennese capital, with entertainment on Friday night already fixed up.
If you would like to buy or read Blood Summit, click here.
P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, feel free to friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button). Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.
Have you ever wondered what Robert Pimm looks like in person?
Now you can find out.
I will be performing my first public reading at 19.30 on 16 March at the Cafe Korb, Brandstätte 9, in the First District of Vienna. Details are at the Cafe Korb Facebook page.
The Cafe Korb is a fine cafe, as I have reviewed separately. Its glories include an Art Lounge – click on the link for a 360-degree view. The cultural programme is eclectic and sublime – upcoming events range from “Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?”, through the Korb’s famous Philosophical Evenings, to a performance by US jazz, blues and soul singer Margaret Carter.
It is in this splendid space that I shall be reading excerpts from my thriller Blood Summit – a world premiere.
The Art Lounge of Cafe Korb – worth a zoom, or a visit
The Art Lounge is not fantastically large and I am hoping it will be pretty packed. Entry is free, and I will answer questions after the reading. I look forward to seeing you there.
Here is the text of Chapter 6 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.
“Terrorist Uli Wenger meets a mysterious Russian.”
Enjoy! You can read the first six chapters of Blood Summit together here.
The Reichstag dome. Bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”
BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 6
One day, Uli Wenger thought, he would be tagged. If he lived that long. The technology existed: the state would inject a chip into each citizen and track them by satellite. If Uli were in charge, he would have people tagged tomorrow. He would want to know where everyone was, so he could torment them as they had tormented him.
But for now, there were no tags. That was good. Otherwise, what he planned for tomorrow would be impossible. The insects had saved him. The insects hated change. They liked their old-fashioned ID cards, which could be forged and bought and fixed. (more…)
The book fits right in, between Ian Fleming and John le Carré. Good company.
“Blood Summit” at Shakespeare & Co in Vienna
It gave me pleasure when Shakespeare & Co, the famous Vienna English language booksellers, offered to stock Blood Summit. I am proud of the book and it has received good reviews (NB if you have read the book and enjoyed it, please write a review on Amazon!) But to see it in an actual bookshop was a thrill.
If you live in Vienna, I suggest you go right down to Shakespeare & Co and buy yourself a book from their well-stocked shelves.
No author can fail to be struck by the split between book sales and Kindle downloads. In my case, roughly 80% of people buy the paperback, even though it costs more (£7.74 vs £2.95 on Amazon.co.uk at time of writing – the price varies with the dollar).
I can understand that. Holding a good book in your hand gives you a surge of hard-wired pleasure.
My Hotel Stories, by contrast, are only available so far as a Kindle edition. Should I bring out a paperback? Views welcome!
The pricing of Blood Summit, incidentally, helps explain Amazon’s model. For my 295-page paperback, printing costs mean the minimum price Amazon allows me to charge is around £6.30. At that price I, as author, receive zero commission.
For a Kindle download, by contrast, an author may sell a book for any price down to 99 US cents. Oddly, between 99 (more…)
‘One of my favourite restaurants in London is the Laughing Halibut,’ I say as we eat our lunch in Vienna. ‘When I first started eating there in 1979, it was run by this Italian guy, and one of his sons used to work there, a young bloke. Now, the son is still there, he seems to run the place, but he has become a much older man.’
’40 years is a long time, I guess,’ my friend says. ‘The Italian has aged. But you have stayed the same.’
‘Correct! It’s like that Joe Walsh song, Life’s been good to me so far. Great lyrics. It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame, he sings. Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed. Best fish and chips in central London.’
A delicious portion of chips from the Laughing Halibut – RP
I often think of the Laughing Halibut, and would recommend it to anyone visiting or living in London. In fact, I like it so much that it features in a key scene in a novel of mine, which is on ice at present but might see the light of day in a couple of years. The scene also features a phlegmatic Italian waiter.
The scene (which I have lightly edited, for reasons too complex to explain here) is as follows. Angus Fairfax, the protagonist of the book, is meeting his wife Rosie for lunch.
Excerpt from an unpublished novel
Rosie and I had instituted regular Monday lunches when she was promoted – again – twelve months before. ‘You must be in the diary,’ she’d said. ‘Otherwise, I’ll never see you.’
She’d been right. These days, most of our conversations seemed to take place in the Laughing Halibut in Strutton Ground.
Strutton Ground was a curious street. (more…)
The US President, British Prime Minister, German Chancellor, Russian President and other G8 leaders are taken hostage by terrorists at a summit in Berlin.
Rescue is impossible.
One after another, hostages are executed at point-blank range, killings streamed live, bodies left on show for fifteen minutes to prove that they are dead.
Then the U.S. President is thrown into the killing chair – and shots ring out.
Who is to blame for this cataclysm? Who can resolve the crisis – against a background of terrorist demands which seem impossible to meet, yet which have demonstrators massing outside the Reichstag to support the hostage-takers? (more…)