Matt Rees

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Matt Rees

Goodreads Author


in Newport, Wales, The United Kingdom


twitter username



member since
September 2008

About this author

I'm an award-winning crime novelist--mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction. My first novel (about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef) won the UK Crime Writers Association New Blood Dagger. I've written historical novels about the mysterious deaths of the composer Mozart and Caravaggio, the Italian artist. I'm working on a thriller series about a US agent. Set in New York, which is where my wife is from. The last 18 years I've lived in Jerusalem (Used to be Time bureau chief here.) I'm giving away a FREE ebook of my crime writing. Go to I'm also serializing my psychological thriller DEAD EVERY DAY exclusively on my podcast. Catch up on the episodes so far at

The Woodstock Revival Nightmare featuring Matt Rees on "deaf bass"

keep-calm-and-rock-n-roll-271A few years ago I played a Woodstock Revival gig. It didn't go well. In fact, I wrote an entire article about the various live-show nightmares involved. And why you shouldn't care, because it's rock'n'roll. I think it applies to writing too. Just do it. Clean it up later if you like, but while you're doing it just enjoy it and s... Read more of this blog post »
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Average rating: 3.55 · 2,815 ratings · 602 reviews · 23 distinct works · Similar authors
Mozart's Last Aria
3.19 of 5 stars 3.19 avg rating — 1,080 ratings — published 2011 — 17 editions
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The Collaborator of Bethlehem
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 788 ratings — published 2006 — 23 editions
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A Grave in Gaza
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 381 ratings — published 2008 — 20 editions
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Samaritan's Secret
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 236 ratings — published 2009 — 18 editions
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The Fourth Assassin
3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 190 ratings — published 2010 — 13 editions
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A Name In Blood
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 50 ratings — published 2012 — 8 editions
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Cain's Field: Faith, Fratri...
4.48 of 5 stars 4.48 avg rating — 25 ratings — published 2004 — 5 editions
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Damascus Trance
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 2011
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The Sweetest Things
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2012
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Lazarus's Brush
4.5 of 5 stars 4.50 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2012
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More books by Matt Rees…
The Collaborator of Bethlehem A Grave in Gaza Samaritan's Secret The Fourth Assassin
Omar Yussef Mystery (4 books)
3.7467084639498434 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 1,595 ratings

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Mozart's Last Aria (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:38PM
Description: It’s 1791 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is enlightenment Vienna’s brightest star. But six weeks ago, the great composer told his wife he had been poisoned. Now he’s dead. Wolfgang’s sister Nannerl returns from the provinces to investigate his death. She finds traces of something sinister: a Masonic conspiracy that reaches from the gilded ballrooms of Viennese society to the faceless offices of the Imperial secret service. Only when watching Wolfgang’s bewitching opera The Magic Flute does Nannerl truly understand her beloved brother. For, encoded in his final arias, she detects a subtly crafted blueprint that Mozart hoped would create a radical new future. Did it seal his fate instead?
A Name in Blood: A novel of Caravaggio (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:38PM
Description: Italy, 1605: For the ruling Borghese family, Rome is a place of grand palazzos and frescoed cathedrals. For the lowly artist Caravaggio, it is a place of rough bars, knife fights, and grubby whores. Until he is commissioned to paint the Pope…Soon, Caravaggio has gained entry into the Borghese family’s inner circle, and becomes the most celebrated artist in Rome. But when he falls for Lena, a low-born fruit-seller, and paints her into his Madonna series as a simple peasant woman, Italian society is outraged. Discredited as an artist, but unwilling to retract his vision of the woman he loves, Caravaggio is forced into a duel – and murders a well-connected street tough. Even his powerful patrons cannot protect him from a death sentence. So Caravaggio flees to Malta, where, before he can be pardoned, he must undergo the rigorous training of the Knights of Malta. His paintings continue to speak of his love for Lena. But before he can return to her, as a Knight and a nobleman, Caravaggio, the most famous artist in Italy, simply disappears… A superb tale of intrigue and wrong doing in Renaissance Italy–It’s a Crime! Inhabits Caravaggio’s mind…bringing to life his conflicted world–The Bookbag A revolutionary hypothesis that casts an atmosphere of mystery and romance on Caravaggio’s disappearance. — Malgrado poi (Italy)
The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK: The Bethlehem Murders) (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 29, 2010 04:35PM
Description: This is the opening couple of pages of my first novel, which was published in 2007. It's the start of a series of novels about Palestinian schoolteacher and sleuth Omar Yussef. It won the Crime Writers Association's John Creasey Dagger in 2008.
A Grave in Gaza (UK: The Saladin Murders) (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 29, 2010 04:35PM
Description: This is the opening of my second Palestinian crime novel, which was published in February 2008.
The Samaritan's Secret (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 06, 2009 12:48AM
Description: The third in my series of Palestinian crime novels. Omar Yussef is in Nablus for a wedding. Tracking the killer of a young member of the Samaritans, he stumbles upon the fatal secrets of his oldest friend.
More of Matt’s writing…

Matt's Recent Updates

Matt is now friends with Sally
" Right about Cicero books. In fact, Harris's first relatively weak book was Pompeii, also about ancient Rome...Did you read that one? "
"In October 1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the greatest musical genius the world has ever seen, told his wife he had been poisoned. Six weeks later, at the age of 35, he was dead.

The truth, the truth, even if it be a crime!
The Magic Flute, Act I sce..." Read more of this chapter »
Matt made a comment on 1.
" Sheila wrote: "This excerpt creates a very powerful impression. I want to get out of the passage but I'm left unsure whether the alternative will be a ...more "
"Here's a sample chapter from my novel about the great Italian artist Caravaggio, A NAME IN BLOOD:

Chapter 1
The Calling of St Matthew

‘He’s the most famous artist in Rome.’ At the end of the nave, Scipione Borghese crossed himself. His hand passed..." Read more of this chapter »
"Here’s my contribution in honor of International Women’s Month: As my readers know, I hate children and have none. I actively seek out child-free venues so as not to be exposed to their snotty noses and pitchy little voices. But if I did have a da..." Read more of this blog post »
" Great idea on the rebind, PJ. ...Then you might also have to travel all over Europe to see them in the flesh, as it were. Who knows where it'll end? "
" P.J. wrote: "what a fantastic idea for a cover....this is such an art..!"
You're absolutely right, PJ. Many previous publications about Caravaggio simp
...more "
22454 8115
More of Matt's books…
“Love is not an option. It's the choice of an idiot who wants to end with nothing, robbed and abused and humiliated.”
Matt Rees, The Collaborator of Bethlehem
tags: love

“Life is terrorism, so spare me your indignation. Life is one big infiltration of our secure defenses. Some people put bombs on buses and blow them up: those are terrorists. Some people speak to you and their words blow you up: what would you call those people? Life is a condemned cell. . . . That's the only way to protect yourself . . . to understand that you're always under sentence of death and to try to get a temporary remission.”
Matt Rees, The Collaborator of Bethlehem

“Every exhalation is an expulsion of some part of our finite store of life, and also a sigh of relief that the grave is closer by one tedious, depressing pulse...Each time we breathe, we fear that it's our last breath and it will chill us all the way to the void.”
Matt Rees, The Collaborator of Bethlehem

“Shut up,' he explained.”
Ring Lardner

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Comments (showing 1-18)    post a comment »
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message 18: by Lucinda

Lucinda Dear Matt,
I would like to thank you for the friendship request here on Goodreads, which i concider an honor. I feel extremely privaliged to have had the oportunity of reading your increadible novel 'a name in blood' and i do hope my review has helped in promoting your work. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future, and thank you once again.
Lucinda x

message 17: by Jessica

Jessica happy birthday Matt!

message 16: by Ruth

Ruth Khanna Thanks for adding me to your friends list Matt! If you get to reading my novel Paper Boats (available on, I would love to have your views!

message 15: by Jessica

Jessica Matt:
from my sister who first introduced me to your work, when I sent her a link to the article (she's a politician in Maine):
>>I have read all three of his books, in fact just finished one. He is a terrific writer and really knows the ins and outs of the politics of the area. Sharon


message 14: by Derek

Derek Schneider My new book, The 9 Ghosts of Samen's Bane
is available now.

[image error] Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Ramin_lion Hi Matt. Thanks so much for the add

از اينكه دوستي مرا فراخواند ؛ شاد شدم

message 12: by Matt

Matt Thanks, Jessica. Sometimes I'm a little disturbed that events here seem to follow storylines I made up for my novels, with new and rather dreadful twists. I do have a third novel in the Omar Yussef series coming out on February 1 called "The Samaritan's Secret." It's set in Nablus ... but I hope that doesn't mean trouble is headed their way, Gaza-style. best, Matt

message 11: by Jessica (last edited Dec 31, 2008 12:37PM)

Jessica I thought of you and the book I've read of yours with the situation in Gaza. It's awful.

I'm going to look for another of your books.
happy new year--

message 10: by Bradley

Bradley Hello Matt, I hope you are having a good day! =)

Dreamsbane of Tamalor by Bradley James Simpson

message 9: by Ceci

Ceci Thanks for the add, Matt! Your books look excellent. Which would be the best one to start with? I love mysteries, and have lived and worked in Israel for a year, in 1999-2000. Hope you have a wonderful day!

William Love the quote. Ring Lardner, alas, the great reporter writer. Thanks for the add

William Elliott Hazelgrove Rocket  Man by William Elliott Hazelgrove

message 7: by Ilyn

Ilyn Ross Hello Matt,

How are you? Thank you for being my friend. Good fortune on your books.

Please visit these groups when you have a chance: “Happy & Brainy Group” and “To the Glory of Man”.

Have fun. Best regards.

message 6: by Roger

Roger Cottrell Hi Matt,
This is weird. I'm a crime writer who used to be a crime reporter and BRIEFLY did some news reporting in the Middle East! I'm currently working on an Iranian based thriller but if Chandler and Hammett are your thing you should check out my novel, HOLLYWWOD BOWL. E-mail me for details.

message 4: by Jalil

Jalil thank u for adding me -----------------behzaad from persia

Boz4pm Thanks for the friend request. :) I was wondering if it was due to a particular review I had left here, or whether you knew of me from elsewhere online.

message 2: by Karen

Karen Thanks for befriending me. Graham Greene is among my favorite authors, too.

Have a great week,

Karen Harrington
author, Janeology

message 1: by Beth

Beth Thanks for sending a friend request to this cozy mystery author, Matt! Is there a distributor/store/library in Israel that carries copies of my mystery, A REAL BASKET CASE? I'm curious to find out if it's available there.

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