The Readers Episode 12; Part Two – White Heat, Frozen Planets and Christmas Books with MJ McGrath

Today we have the second in your two parter podcast this week. On today’s episode Gavin and Simon talk further about crime in a cold climate with a special guest MJ McGrath (who kindly joins us for the whole show) who’s debut novel ‘White Heat’ came out earlier in 2011 and who lived out in the Arctic where it was set. We also turn our bookish gazes on more happy snow filled books as we discuss ‘Christmas Books’ and share what we have read, are reading and what we want to read next.

White Heat, Frozen Planets and the Arctic with MJ McGrath (01.16) Special guest Melanie McGrath joins us to talk about her debut novel ‘White Heat’ a murder set in the Inuit communities of the arctic. She discusses writing the book and living in the very place it was set and all the hazards and funny tales (one about a polar bear hunter who gets his comeuppance is a favourite of Simon’s) of living in such a wilderness.


Christmas Books (31.00) taking a break from all things snowy and murderous (though Simon and Melanie are both agreed Christmas brings out the darkness in their natures) we look at books with a festive twist, be they additions to famous series such as ‘Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm’ or special stand alone novels set at Christmas, Gavin, Simon and Melanie discuss if any tempt them and if you can only read Christmas books during this very time of year.

What We’ve Read, Are Reading & Want to Read Next (40.30) have ten titles to tempt you with as Melanie stays with Gavin and Simon to share what books they have on their bedside tables over the festive period.


Melanie has read (and cheated with two, hee hee): Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Is curently reading a book Simon loved: Purge by Sofi Oksanen
And has a slightly festive novel by the bedside: Snow Angels by James Thompson


Simon just read and utterly loved: The Hunger Trace by Edward Hogan
Is presently reading: Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
He is looking forward to a very murderous book set at Christmas: The Sweetness of Life by Paulus Hochgatterer


Gavin has read a short story from: A Book of Horrors anthology by Stephen Jones
He has just started reading: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
He wants to dust off a book he bought ages ago: Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell

Next week on The Readers: Simon and Gavin will be catching up on Boxing Day after eating too much turkey/goose and one too many mince pies and chatting about their reading over Xmas and their best books of 2011. Until then…


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7 thoughts on “The Readers Episode 12; Part Two – White Heat, Frozen Planets and Christmas Books with MJ McGrath

  1. I’ve throughly enjoyed the last three episodes of The Readers, great fun and lots of laughs 😉 What a fabulous polar bear story! I read White Heat after Simon’s Bookmarked evening, and loved The Long Exile..a fantastic interview with Melanie, loving this podcast, keep them coming 😉

  2. Pingback: Video: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Headline) | Gav Reads

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed these two episodes on Cold Crime. I’ve added Melanie McGrath’s White Heat to my TBR list and thought the interview was informative and fun.

    • She is great isn’t she Carol. We only have authors on we think have written great books AND you will all like hearing from.

  4. loved the polar bear story! thank you SO MUCH for that. i’ve now retold it several times to family and friends. keep up the good work guys – i adore your podcast and look forward to it each week.

    • It was my favourite story that Melanie told when she came to my Literary Salon last year and so I had to get her to tell it again, there were others but we may have to revisit Melanie and do a follow up show when the next book comes out. Or have her if we ever do Readers events in the future.

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