Pub: The Lost Book Emporium
Violet Winters is a professional thief. Clever and resourceful, she can walk in to any building and leave with the goods. Betrayed by her murderous boyfriend she has spent eighteen months in exile but Violet is lured back home to Kilchester for a unique heist. She must steal a ‘painting’ — a blank canvas, signed by Salvador Dali — and replace it with a forgery. Everything is going to plan until local crime kingpin Big Terry crashes the party. With the start of the heist hours away Violet doesn’t know who she can trust, whether she is going to walk into the room with the painting and find the police waiting for her or if she’ll get beaten to death by a furious midget. And then everything goes sideways.
I have always wanted to be a ‘gangsters moll’ so the appeal of this book was like a dream to me.
Violet Winters is a fabulous character, as is Zoe Zimmerman, and with a reputation of being more than good at what she does, is asked to pull off a heist that is as brilliant as it’s dumb. Well, who has ever heard of stealing a blank canvas?
This one, however, is signed by Salvador Dali and is worth a fortune and Violet has to steal it and replace it with a forgery.
The Dali Deception is exciting, funny and flows effortlessly. It isn’t a lengthy novel so can be read in a few hours and believe me, those hours are very well spent.
Adam Maxwell is so convincing with this plot I wondered whether he has inside knowledge of his subject. The characterisation is perfectly formed and each one has a place in Violets world.
This well written tale reminded of the film ‘Now You See Me’ in the fact that a team of thieves pull off a simple but amazing stunt. With danger lurking, Violet and her ‘team’ work together and give the reader a tension filled thrill that both delights and enthralls.
Adam Maxwell Q & A
1) Tell me about Adam Maxwell the author.
In spite of the fact that this is my first novel I’ve been writing for a looooong time. I think, like most writers, I’ve got a couple of terrible novels in the drawer but I suppose I cut my teeth writing flash fiction and shorts stories. A small publisher put out my first collection in 2006 but when the indie scene started to grow I began putting out story collections and novellas. More recently I have written a series of kids chapter books called ‘The Lost Bookshop’ which leads us quite neatly to The Dali Deception…
2) Your characters in The Dali Deception are all amazing, I loved Violet and I especially liked Zoe. Where did your inspiration for these girls come from?
That’s a huge compliment, thank you! Initially I liked the idea of having a predominantly female-led crew because that was something I hadn’t really seen around before. In a heist you need certain characters with certain skill sets and number one is the brains of the operation, the planner and so Violet came first. And Zoe… well Zoe’s sister Agatha is a computer expert too. Her sister is in my Defective Detective stories but she’s very much on the side of law and order and I just thought it would be interesting to have her sister being the complete opposite. Not a bad person but certainly a criminal. At the moment that’s just a bit of an Easter egg for my long term readers but I think it’ll definitely be something I’ll explore in future books.
And where the inspiration came from… that’s hard to answer because it’s everywhere. I think you can’t help picking up a piece here, a piece there in books you read, people you know, people you meet, TV and movies you watch… you build them from all these pieces and just try to make them as real as possible.
3) They say you should ‘write what you know’, How did the idea of Art thieves come to be the subject of your novel?
They say that a lot don’t they? I’m really glad so many writers don’t. I’ve certainly never stolen paintings and sold them to shady characters in return for a huge pay day. Why? What have you heard? Did the police contact you?
I wanted to write a heist novel because I wanted to read a heist novel and there are so few out there compared to other genres. The blank canvas idea came from a real story because Salvador Dali really did sign blank papers just to make money. The idea made me smile and I thought with the heist genre (in my mind at least) being one that could be fun and my writing style leaning towards the funny and surreal it all seemed like a rather nice fit. Some ideas just start to fit together like cogs in your head, I guess. I’m not a great art aficionado but the subject seemed to click with the characters
4) If you could get away with it, what crime would commit and why?
You seem to be asking a lot of questions about my criminal intent. Are you sure you aren’t a member of a law enforcement agency?
But… since you ask… there’s a job a week on Saturday. Meet me at the docks in Kilchester. And bring a potato peeler.
Me:- it’s a date 🙂
5) Do you have a writing ritual? What does your day as an author involve? Do you have a ‘day job?
I do have a day job, I run my own business as a web designer so I fit my writing around that and being a father and a husband. If I’m in full writing flow I’ll tend to spend an hour on a morning writing then work the rest of the day, make tea for the family, put my daughter to bed then do another hour and spend the rest of the evening with my wife. The more books I sell the more my writing encroaches on my day job which is a lovely position to be in.
6) Who inspires you? What do you like to read?
In terms of crime fiction I love Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, classics like Agatha Christie and there’s a great crime writer out there right now called Fergus McNeill who everyone should check out, his books are fantastic. I read quite widely though and I’m a sucker for Neil Gaiman but my all time favourite author is Douglas Adams. Right now I’m revisiting his Dirk Gently books and I never get tired of them.
7) What next for Adam Maxwell?
What next right now is a glass of red wine. Then probably another one. Writing-wise I’m halfway through my next kids book and that’s going to be called ‘Pirates versus Ninjas’ and then I’ll be writing the sequel to The Dali Deception. I might stop off on the way to write some extra stories featuring the characters from The Dali Deception as I’ve had a few kind-of prequel ideas that I thought readers might like while they wait for the next instalment.
8) Tell me something you don’t normally divulge about yourself.
I trained to be a private investigator from an ad in the back of a newspaper.
Thank you so much Adam.. some great answers there.
BUY THE BOOK: Out now