The Edgar Awards Revisited: 1984

An account of the women in Narco Noir and the various roles they play in both real life and fiction.

Introducing Case Closed: Your Next True Crime Podcast Binge

Book Review: Christmas Cocoa Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Alex Erickson

Fall may only have just begun, but the crisp autumn air and ever-darkening sky are but a precursor to the next change: Winter, inevitably, drawing near. And, just as one season transitions to the next, soon pumpkin spice and apple cider will recede into the background as peppermint and hot chocolate reclaim their transient glory.…

Interview with Jake Hinkson, author of Dry County

It’s been four years since a Jake Hinkson novel appeared in the United States, but now the wait for a new book is finally over. His newest, Dry County, explores terrain familiar to Hinkson readers, rural Arkansas, while at the same time going places Hinkson hasn’t gone before. The story takes place in 2016, just…

Book Review: The Dead Beat Scroll by Mark Coggins

The Dead Beat Scroll by Mark Coggins is the seventh book in the August Riordan series, where Riordan must work with old allies and enemies to untangle the case before time runs out. The Dead Beat Scroll owes a great deal to Humphrey Bogart’s famous film noir, The Maltese Falcon. It is set in contemporary…

Book Review: Bloomland by John Englehardt

Bloomland opens during finals week at a fictional southern university, when a student walks into the library with his roommate’s semi-automatic rifle and opens fire. When he stops shooting, twelve people are dead. During our historical moment of political, social, and environmental instability, Bloomland by John Englehardt is a book covering topics tough to face…

The Edgar Awards Revisited: The Sculptress by Minette Walters (Best Novel; 1994)

The Sculptress is the first book I’ve read by Minette Walters, but it certainly won’t be the last. I was surprised to learn that it’s only the second book she’d written, quickly following on the tail of her 1992 debut novel, The Ice House. Walters’ writing draws you in at once. It’s clear when you…

Book Review: A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber

Winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber is a psychologically riveting read that introduces Lizzy Barber as an outstanding new voice in suspense fiction. British author Lizzy Barber makes her fiction debut with the suspenseful novel A Girl Named Anna. Barber, a former English major from Cambridge University, had concentrated…

one night gone

Book Review: One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

In One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski, Allison Simpson is offered a job house-sitting a beachfront home, but she never expects to embark on a search for a missing woman from 30 years ago…

Five Murderous Baking Trends

I’m constantly on the hunt for interesting baking trends to work into my mystery series. I want readers to feel fully immersed in the sensory world of an artisan kitchen when they step into the pages of my books. I want you to be able to smell herbaceous rosemary flatbread charring in a wood-fired oven,…

Book Review: The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross

If you look up the literal translation for ‘the Fifth Column’ the resulting definition is: ‘a group of people who undermine a larger group from within’.  Taken within the confines of the latest release by author Andrew Gross we are talking about German operatives and Nazi sympathizers operating within the United States during World War…

Cooking the Books: Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay

I’ve read quite a few books from Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery mystery series for this column, but this has been my first of her Library Lover’s, and I have to say that I was completely blown away. Perhaps it’s just the subject matter, or perhaps it’s the slightly more serious tone of this series, but…