Red Hot Chilli Writers


Joined each episode by special guests, British Asian authors, Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee take a wry look at the world of books, writing, and the creative arts, tackling everything from bestsellers to pop culture and Big Fat Asian Weddings. Insightful, funny, packed with stellar interviews – Dean Koontz, Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Mike Gayle, to name a few – and the odd dose of cross-cultural confusion, they dare to explore the parts other podcasts cannot reach. Find out more:

All Episodes

In this episode Mikhail Sen, star of the recent A Suitable Boy adaptation, talks to us about his acting life, and the audiobook of The Shadows of Men; we then put him to the test with a Hollywood great quotes quiz

Nov 22

43 min 55 sec

In this episode we interview spy thriller writer Charles Cumming and discuss his latest book Judas 62, chat to Vic Watson and Simon Berwick about the upcoming Bay Tales festival, and do our bit for climate change by reducing our podcast's carbon footprint

Nov 8

1 hr

In this episode we interview Goldsboro Books Glass Bell-winning author Clare Whitfield, whose debut re-imagines the Jack the Ripper murders, discuss the fate of the PG Tips tea chimps, and investigate awkward plurals.

Oct 25

38 min 56 sec

In this episode we talk to historical novelist Elodie Harper about The Wolf Den, set in the brothels of ancient Pompeii; discuss French literature and Abir's trip to France

Oct 11

36 min 20 sec

In this episode we interview author and journalist Tim Marshall and discuss how geography influences modern politics, discuss some of the best ever literary novels set in Scotland, and offer a round-up from the Bloody Scotland festival.

Sep 27

1 hr 1 min

In this episode we talk to crime fiction superstar Ann Cleeves & her latest book The Heron's Cry, we discuss our upcoming live podcast event at Bloody Scotland and your chance to win a set of signed bestsellers, and Vas gets his grump on about people wearing sliders and socks in public places

Sep 13

38 min 12 sec

In this episode, partly recorded in the beautiful Coles Books in Bicester, we speak to indie publisher Orenda Books with founder Karen Sullivan and authors Awais Khan, Will Carver and Lilja Sigurdardottir and their terrific new novels

Aug 30

50 min 45 sec

In this episode we interview US crime fiction sensation S.A. Cosby, author of Razorblade Tears, discuss a new 'Writing Crime Fiction' course, and review the Tokyo Olympics - including taking certain Olympic events to task.

Aug 16

54 min 24 sec

In this episode we talk to crime writing superstars Mark Billingham and Steve Cavanagh, discuss the return of the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, and ponder the meaning of altruism and simple acts of kindness (including swimming with sharks)

Aug 2

53 min 14 sec

In this episode, Vaseem introduces his new book, The Dying Day, we discuss racism in sports films, and Tracy Fenton of TBC - The Book Club - tells us about her favourite novels of the past six months.

Jul 19

41 min 35 sec

Episode 51 - In this episode we talk to regular contributor Amit Dhand about his new book The Blood Divide, and Tariq Ashkanani about his thriller Welcome to Cooper. Tariq also tells us about the Capital Crime New Voices Award - open to anyone who wants to write a crime novel.

Jul 5

47 min 4 sec

In this episode we talk to Alex Michaelides, author of the global hit The Silent Patient about his new book The Maidens, and barrister-writer Imran Mahmood, whose new book, I Know What I Saw, is now out. Imran delves into the realities of the court system including judges with a wicked sense of humour.

Jun 21

49 min 7 sec

In this episode we interview historical crime author Laura Shepherd-Robinson, crime novelist Will Shaw, and discuss the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, disappearances from trawlers, and why Truman Capote was jealous of Harper Lee

Jun 7

55 min 53 sec

In this episode we interview The Thursday Murder Club author and Pointless star Richard Osman, quizzing the quizmaster with a quiz about quizzes. We also chat to Rahul Raina, author of How to Kidnap the Rich, and Ajay Chowdhury, author of The Waiter.

May 24

1 hr 12 min

In this special episode we chat to some of the shortlisted nominees for Crime and Thriller Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Ian Rankin tells us about his white flared trousers, Lee Child & Andrew Child about their complete lack of sibling rivalry, Oyinkan Braithwaite about the amazing meaning of her name and winning the award last year, and Joy Ellis about her Imperial throne chair. Oh and of course they talk about their wonderful books.

May 10

1 hr 12 min

In this episode we make a very special announcement about the British Book Awards 2021, interview bestselling contemporary writer Mike Gayle, and discuss Count Binface's pledges for the London mayoral campaign

Apr 26

56 min 4 sec

In this episode we interview Felicia Yap, author of techno-thriller Future Perfect, review the monster smash hit Godzilla v King Kong, discuss the recent race report, and chat about primate-based fiction. With talking apes.

Apr 12

43 min 10 sec

In this episode we chat to fiction legend Dean Koontz as he discusses his incredible career, review some of the others in the 'biggest selling authors of all time' club, and run through a brief history of the creation of the Bible.

Mar 29

53 min 48 sec

In this episode we'll be talking to Saima Mir and her debut crime novel The Khan, discussing THAT royal interview, and chatting to Craig Sisterson about Southern Cross Crime, his guide to Australian & New Zealand crime fiction

Mar 15

1 hr 7 min

In this episode we chat to Chris Brookmyre about his new book The Cut, discuss the phenomenon of celebrity authors, and talk sci-fi film trivia

Mar 1

1 hr 6 min

In this episode we speak to crime writing legend Val McDermid, talk about busted boilers and the Tebbit test, before Val and Abir face off in the Great Scottish-India quiz helmed by Quizmaster Vas

Feb 15

1 hr 2 min

In this episode we talk to Canadian fantasy and crime author Ausma Zehanat Khan, discuss the Bosnian conflict and the workings of human rights law, and pose a weird and wonderful animal facts quiz

Feb 1

52 min 56 sec

In this episode we talk to American crime author Frank Zafiro, discuss Idi Amin's coup, and chat about ruined sleep cycles

Jan 18

1 hr

In this episode we look forward to the new year, put 2020 on trial, discuss different calendars from around the world, and make some New Years resolutions

Jan 4

47 min 20 sec

In this episode, all six of the Red Hot Chilli Writers return for a special Christmas episode to discuss how Asians do Christmas, our best books and TV series of the year, what we're looking forward to in 2021, and a truly toe-curling rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Dec 2020

50 min 23 sec

In this episode we interview CWA Diamond Dagger winning Martin Edwards and discuss the resurgence of Golden Age Crime Fiction, talk Great Christmas Novels, and debate the Great Craisin Controversy

Dec 2020

50 min 18 sec

In this episode we interview Ragnar Jónasson, Icelandic crime fiction superstar, run a fun facts quiz about Iceland, and discuss political chicanery depicted on screen

Nov 2020

55 min 38 sec

In this episode we speak to prolific non-fiction author Dan Smith, discuss a political scandal from the sixties, discover how to tame a lion, and offer a quiz tribute to the late Sean Connery.

Nov 2020

46 min 25 sec

In this episode we speak to C.J. Tudor, author of creepy thrillers in the vein of Stephen King, discuss the seminal film 'In the Heat of the Night', and present a quiz based on the greatest ever movie quotes

Oct 2020

49 min 36 sec

In this episode we talk to Antonia Hodgson, bestselling author of the Tom Hawkins Georgian-era crime novels, learn about whisky investing, and examine the relationship between authors and alcohol.

Oct 2020

47 min 16 sec

In this episode we speak to Lucy Foley, author bestsellers The Hunting Party and The Guest List; chat to David Headley co-owner of the world's finest first-editions bookshop, Goldsboro Books, and speak to Ayisha Malik about her new book 'This Green and Pleasant Land'

Sep 2020

59 min 38 sec

In this episode we take a look at the music biz. We chat to rock legend Aziz Ibrahim, guitarist with the Stone Roses, and Amanny Mohamed, BBC radio broadcaster. We also list our favourite songs, with some revealing back stories. Finally, we meet Farhana Shaikh, organiser of the Home by 10 festival

Sep 2020

1 hr 37 min

In this episode we celebrate great historical fiction and discuss classics of the genre such as Waverley, Wolf Hall, & Shogun. We also speak to Tracy Fenton, owner and organiser of one of the biggest book clubs on Facebook.

Aug 2020

57 min 52 sec

In this episode we interview literary and crime writer Sanjida Kay, discuss some truly awful writing including William S. Burroughs' NAKED LUNCH and the world's worst poet, and present techniques on how to safely catch and release bees.

Aug 2020

43 min 17 sec

In this episode we discuss festivals, the good, the bad and the plain weird. We also have a special segment from the world's biggest crime festival, Theakston Old Peculier at Harrogate, where we interviewed four brilliant crime authors: Mark Edwards, Susi Holliday, Claire McGowan, and Dreda Say Mitchell. 

Aug 2020

54 min 18 sec

In this episode we interview lawyer-turned crime writer Gillian McAllister, discuss sexual assault in fiction, take a look back at Jodie Foster in The Accused, put Nabokov's masterwork Lolita on trial, and review of TV show The Luminaries, based on the Booker-winning novel.

Jul 2020

57 min 53 sec

In this episode we talk to three-million selling psychological noir author Mark Edwards, discuss the art of writing great screenplays including such seminal works as Casablanca, The Usual Suspects and Seven, and profile screenwriter Trumbo and the Hollywood anti-communist blacklist .

Jul 2020

51 min 25 sec

In this episode we speak to historical crime writer Imogen Robertson, discuss some more civil rights books, reveal some fun facts about Martin Luther King Jnr, and talk about diversity in Young Adult fiction including the wildly successful Ember in the Ashes series.

Jun 2020

58 min 38 sec

In this episode we interview CWA Gold Dagger winner Mike Craven, discuss the George Floyd race protests, and reflect on books about race, and then look at some facts about the civil rights movement that you didn't know.

Jun 2020

55 min 44 sec

In this episode we interview multi-talented thriller writer Antony Johnston, take a look at fiction featuring mental illness, put Sigmund Freud on trial, and examine the history of antidepressants.

May 2020

1 hr 2 min

In this episode we talk to crime writer Mary Paulson-Ellis, discuss books with dual timeline narratives, find out about Ramadan and Hemingway's take on writing while hungry, and bid farewell to two Bollywood greats, Irfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor.

May 2020

1 hr 3 min

In this episode we interview Stephanie Scott, author of Tokyo-set crime novel What's Left of Me is Yours, we chat about books featuring long walks, put John Lennon on trial, and chat to Alex Hawley, blogger and one of the organisers of an online bookfest.

Apr 2020

1 hr 6 min

In this episode we speak to publisher and senior editor at Hodder Ruth Tross, take a look at alternate history fiction, and also at books that foretold the future.

Apr 2020

59 min 13 sec

In this episode we interview cabin-in-the-woods lumberjack and crime writer Will Dean, discuss post-apocalyptic pandemic fiction, and dish out tips for surviving working at home.

Mar 2020

54 min 17 sec

In this episode we interview Kia Abdullah, author legal thriller TAKE IT BACK, discuss some of the greatest ever political thrillers, and dissect the life of John le Carre. Oh, we also look at turmeric - the cure for all ills.

Mar 2020

1 hr 1 min

In this episode we speak to crime thriller writer, barrister and former boxer Tony Kent, discuss the broken legal system and the phenomenon of virtue signalling, and put democracy on trial.

Mar 2020

54 min 34 sec

In this episode we talk to west London crime author Amer Anwar, and examine diversity initiatives, including diversity in publishing generally, in film, and in romance novels. A serious look at a very serious issue!

Feb 2020

1 hr 11 min

In this episode we talk to Onjali Rauf, author of The Boy at the Back of the Class, take a look at popular children's fiction from around the world, find out how to make a 15-minute short film, and discuss the unique words that Lewis Carroll gave to the English language.

Feb 2020

53 min 56 sec

In this episode we examine the tropes of gothic horror fiction, announce the winner of Vaseem’s greatest ever female pioneer competition, talk to one of the country’s top crime fiction critics, Barry Forshaw, put Bram Stoker’s Dracula on trial, and revisit one of his lesser known descendants: Count Duckula.

Jan 2020

1 hr 9 min

In this episode we talk about New Year's resolutions - common ones and weird ones, Ayisha tells us about whacky New Year's customs from around the world, we interview award-winning literary novelist Natasha Pulley, and we talk to Amit about his inability to use the phrase 'deus ex machina'

Jan 2020

54 min 45 sec