Discount: <i>Still Missing</i> by Chevy Stevens Discount: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens Crime HQ Get a digital copy for only $2.99 through February! <i>The Lioness Is the Hunter</i>: New Excerpt The Lioness Is the Hunter: New Excerpt Loren D. Estleman The 26th book in the Amos Walker series. Review: <i>Till Death</i> by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout David Cranmer Read David Cranmer's review! <i>Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal</i>: New Excerpt Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal: New Excerpt Mike Mignola and Tom Sniegoski
From The Blog
February 21, 2017
Page to Screen: Mildred Pierce
Brian Greene
February 20, 2017
Happy President's Day to the Most Famous Lawyer/Thriller-Writer In History (It’s Not Who You Think)
Barry Lancet and Anthony Franze
February 16, 2017
Page to Screen: The Birds: du Maurier & Hitchcock
Scott Adlerberg
February 14, 2017
Ladies First: Groundbreaking Women in Crime Fiction
kristen lepionka
February 14, 2017
Celebrate Valentine's Day with These Criminal Couples
Dave Richards
Thu
Feb 23 2017 1:00pm

Discount: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens debut novel, Still Missing, won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. Now through the month of February, get a digital copy of this award-winning debut for only $2.99!

On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old realtor, had three goals―sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabin―which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist―is the second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over…

 

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at Books a Million Buy at iTunes

Thu
Feb 23 2017 12:00pm

Crimes of the Century: Leopold and Loeb

Compulsion, a novel written in 1956, details the true story of a murder that gripped the nation back in the Roaring Twenties—1924 to be exact. “The Crime of the Century,” screamed the headlines. The murder, committed by two sons of multimillionaire families, captivated America in a case that shocked the public. 

The young men—nineteen-year-old Nathan Leopold and eighteen-year-old Richard Loeb—kidnapped and murdered a fourteen-year-old boy named Robert “Bobby” Franks whose family also lived in the rarefied atmosphere of wealth. Why did these teens kill Robert? For two reasons: simply to prove that they could, and because they decided that it would be fun to “break the commandant, Thou Shalt Not Kill.” 

[Read more about this chilling true crime tale...]

Thu
Feb 23 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

The Lioness Is the Hunter: New Excerpt

Loren D. Estleman

The Lioness Is the Hunter by Loren D. EstlemanThe Lioness Is the Hunter by Loren D. Estleman is the 26th book in the Amos Walker series (available February 28, 2017).

Detroit entrepreneur Carl Fannon hires Walker to trace Emil Haas, his partner, whose sudden disappearance has jeopardized their firm’s plans to purchase the historic Sentinel Building. Almost immediately, the missing man shows up and asks the detective to meet him in the empty Sentinel to discuss a top-secret concern. Walker complies, only to find not Haas, but Fannon’s suffocated corpse locked in a basement vault.

When Gwendolyn Haas, the partner’s adult daughter, enters the picture, the client number rises to three, including one missing and one murdered. But the worst is yet to come: Emil Haas’s “concern” is that Fannon’s been buying up depressed real estate on behalf of Charlotte Sing, the international fugitive Walker knows only too well as Madam Sing. Madam Sing is believed to have been executed in Asia for capital crimes without number, but instead may be engaged in rebuilding her fortune to relaunch her assault on civilization.

[Read an excerpt from The Lioness Is the Hunter...]

Wed
Feb 22 2017 4:30pm

Cooking the Books: Mission Impawsible by Krista Davis

I’ve greatly enjoyed Krista Davis’s Domestic Diva series, so I was quite excited to check out her Paws and Claws series—even though I’m jumping in here on the 5th book, Mission Impawsible. In the pet-friendly but entirely fictional, alas, town of Wagtail, Virginia, Holly Miller runs the Sugar Maple Inn with her sprightly grandmother, Oma. They’re preparing the inn for Animal Attraction, a matchmaking event for pet owners, and have invited a celebrity matchmaker to assist with the proceedings. 

Oma is quite intent on matching Holly with someone new, despite Holly’s reluctance, which only deepens when her ex-boyfriend shows up in town needing a place to stay for the event. He claims to want her back, which puts her off the idea of romance altogether (and the guy that the celebrity matchmaker does wind up pairing her off with is no prize either, in my opinion). Still, Holly is determined to make the experience a terrific one for her guests, unwanted or otherwise, as she helps both the lovelorn and the meddling fumble their way towards happiness.

[Recipes and pictures included below!]

Wed
Feb 22 2017 3:00pm

Review: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout is a gripping thriller that follows a young woman who comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it (available February 28, 2017).

Reaching for the pantheon of serial killer novels comes Jennifer Armentrout’s Till Death, with a narrative that begins by staking claim on a terrain already littered with flags.

Dim artificial light was her home now. The musky, earthy scent would be with her right down to the very last breath she took, and that scent would clog her pores and cling to her hair.

This would be her final place.

The woman tipped her head back against the damp brick wall. The terror in her gaze gave way to pleading. Always did. So fucking predictable. So pointless. There was no hope here. There was no chance of a miracle. Once they came here, there was no knight riding to the rescue.

She’s under the sadistic control of the “Groom,” a sicko who’d had a flawless record of torture and death until ten years ago when Sasha Keeton managed to get away—and he has not forgotten.

[Read David Cranmer's review of Till Death...]

Wed
Feb 22 2017 1:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: February 21, 2016

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!

This week, M.C. Beaton pubishes a new Hamish Macbeth Mystery, and Clare Mackintosh delivers a truly chilling psychological thriller! See what else this week brings in the way of books:

[See this week's Top 5...]

Wed
Feb 22 2017 12:00pm

Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson: A Visual Guide

GIFnotes: Giving you the basic plot summary of an upcoming book with the help of the Graphics Interchange Format.

This week, everything seems to be coming up Megan Sawyer—until the annual Oktoberfest celebration is interrupted when the local pub owner is found dead.... Take a visual tour of Wendy Tyson's 2nd Greenhouse Mystery, Bitter Harvest, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Wed
Feb 22 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal: New Excerpt

Mike Mignola and Tom Sniegoski

Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal by Mike Mignola and Tom SniegoskiGrim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal by Mike Mignola and Tom Sniegoski is a beautifully illustrated, 1930s pulp-style novel featuring two unusual heroes that want justice (available February 28, 2017).

An uneasiness festers upon the city streets, threatening the peace and safety of law-abiding citizens. A war is escalating, and it seems as though the good and righteous are being crushed beneath the unholy weight of evil’s onslaught. Organized crime is spreading in an unchecked reign of terror.

Until a mysterious agent of retribution rises up from the shadows to challenge the villains. A lone figure, clad in a slouch hat and clothes seemingly stitched from the blackest shadows, masked in the guise of a skull-faced death―a Grim Death―emerges with guns blazing. With him, a wronged ex-con clad in the striped costume of his misfortune―Bill the Electrocuted Criminal.

In this beautifully illustrated 1930s-pulp-style novel, two dark new characters take to the street to fight the growing infection of organized crime. Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal are not your average heroes, but they want justice.

[Read an excerpt from Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal...]

Tue
Feb 21 2017 3:30pm

Page to Screen: Mildred Pierce

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”

That oft-cited sentence from Shakespeare’s King Lear would have been well placed on an opening page of James M. Cain’s 1941 novel Mildred Pierce and just after the opening credits on Michael Curtiz’s 1945 same-named film adaptation of the story. Criterion Collection has just released a new Blu-Ray version of Curtiz’s movie, and that gives me an excuse to write about it—as well as the Cain book—and to think about the Shakespeare quote while considering both.

The book was the 3rd published novel from the hardboiled crime fiction leading light Cain, whose works The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) and Double Indemnity (1943)—among others—were also adapted for notable films noir. Curtiz’s career as a movie director was too lengthy for me to try and sum it up in a sentence or two, so I’ll just mention that he was also the auteur behind the camera on Casablanca (1943) and one of my personal favorite Elvis movies, King Creole (1958).

[Thank you, thank you very much...]

Tue
Feb 21 2017 1:00pm

Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a dark and claustrophobic thriller in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world.

If you happen upon the personal ads while reading the newspaper, there are plenty of things you might expect to see—a photo of yourself is probably not one of them. Zoe Walker is confronted with a photograph of herself in the classified ads under FindTheOne.com. She calls the number listed to see if she can shed some light on the matter, but it’s dead. She just wants to know how her photo got there, and—more importantly—why. Like all of us, Zoe wants some answers.

However, seeking them takes her on a very dangerous journey, as other women with photographs on the site are becoming victims of violent crimes. A new woman and a new victim each day.

[Read Dirk Robertson's review of I See You...]

Tue
Feb 21 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass, Part VII

Last week, the cards were turned and plans were set into motion. This week, we get our final showdown between the young gunslingers and Farson's men. 

Thank you for joining me on a journey of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass (1997), the 4th book in The Dark Tower series. When we left Roland, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy the billy-bumbler, they were trapped on the psychotic locomotive, Blaine the Mono, crossing through the feared waste lands. Our ka-tet had narrowly escaped the destruction of Lud that Blaine had decimated with gas—but for what? To become prisoners aboard a train bulleting into a desolate hell populated by fierce beasts, with a guide that’s clearly mad. Yeah, it looks like we are bound to have a helluva lot of fun as we continue our journey to the Dark Tower.

 *Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we finally get our big showdown! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part VII of Wizard and Glass: Come, Reap: Chapter 8 “The Ashes” – Chapter 9: “Reaping”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[There's gonna be a showdown...]

Tue
Feb 21 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

The Fifth Element: New Excerpt

Jørgen Brekke

The Fifth Element by Jorgen BrekkeThe Fifth Element by Jørgen Brekke is the latest book in the Odd Singsaker series (available February 28, 2017).

Police Inspector Odd Singsaker has been captured, imprisoned on an island off the Northern coast of Norway. He wakes to find himself holding a shotgun. Next to him is a corpse. But what events led him to this point? And how did he get here?

A few weeks earlier, Felicia, his wife, disappeared. Though he didn’t know it, she was trying to find her way back to Odd to reconcile, but then she vanished into a snowstorm. Possibly involved is a corrupt, coldblooded cop from Oslo, a devious college student who’s stolen a great deal of cocaine from drug dealers, and a hit man hired by the drug dealers who have been robbed. All of these lives intersect with Odd’s as he searches for Felicia.

1

Two weeks after it happened …

Odd Singsaker opened his eyes. He’d shut them to try to visualize the scene. Time seemed to have stopped ever since he’d stood in that house with the shotgun at his feet. Now he was sitting in an interrogation room along with Kurt Melhus, an investigator from Internal Affairs.

“Can you describe how you felt when you stood there?” said Melhus.

“I don’t know what I felt,” replied Singsaker.

“Was it hate?”

[Read the full excerpt from The Fifth Element...]

Mon
Feb 20 2017 3:00pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.10: “New Best Friends”

This show is rapidly approaching a Game of Thrones level of characters, but not in a good way. We get that it’s building towards an epic showdown with the Saviors, but every week we get a new batch of “Who the hell are they?” We’ve got Fish People, Garbage People, Renaissance Faire People, a Jack-of-Many-Trades Jesus, and more—it’s almost like The Walking Dead took a look at what’s currently successful with television and movies (Marvel Universe, GoT, Mad Max, Hoarders?) and tried to mash it all up into one season. 

Here’s to hoping it’s worth it and the showdown with Negan justifies the hours we’ve invested to get there.

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's been “Eaten Alive” this week...]

Mon
Feb 20 2017 12:00pm

Happy President’s Day to the Most Famous Lawyer/Thriller-Writer In History (It’s Not Who You Think)

Who’s the most famous lawyer-author of all time? Nope, not John Grisham.

Here are some hints:

  • Last week was his birthday.
  • He grew up in a log cabin.
  • He wore a tall top hat.
  • And, oh yeah, he helped free the slaves.

[Learn more about the presidential crime story...]

Fri
Feb 17 2017 4:00pm

Discount: Coup D’état by Ben Coes

Coup D'état by Ben Coes is the 2nd Dewey Andreas novel. Now through the month of February, get a digital copy of this high-octane thriller for only $2.99!

Wanting only a peaceful, obscure life, Dewey Andreas has gone to rural Australia, far from turbulent forces that he once fought against. But powerful men, seeking revenge, have been scouring the earth looking for Dewey. And now, they've finally found him - forcing Dewey to abandon his home and to fight for his life against a very well armed, well trained group of assassins.

Meanwhile, a radical cleric has been elected president of Pakistan and, upon taking power, sets off a rapidly escalating conflict with India. As the situation spins quickly out of control, it becomes clear that India is only days from resorting to a nuclear response, one that will have unimaginably disasterous results for the world at large. With only days to head this off, the President sends in his best people, including Jessica Tanzer, to do whatever it takes to restore the fragile peace to the region. Tanzer has only one viable option - to set up and execute a coup d'etat in Pakistan - and only one man in mind to lead the team that will try to pull off this almost unimaginable task in the nerve-wrackingly short time frame, Dewey Andreas. If, that is, Jessica can even get to Dewey and if Dewey can get out of Australia alive...

 

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at Books a Million Buy at iTunes

Fri
Feb 17 2017 3:00pm

Doctor Who: The Greatest Mystery and Horror Tales (2005-2015)

The Doctor is an alien humanoid over two thousand years old, has two hearts, and has regenerated a dozen times (uh, thirteen if you count The War Doctor). He’s a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey traveling in a sentient time machine known as a TARDIS—“Time and Relative Dimension(s) in Space.” He regularly seeks out evil and squashes it with sometimes nothing more than his superior intellect and a sonic screwdriver. Yes, very much a science-fiction program, but in the BBC show’s rich 54-year history, it has run the gamut of genres. The following are some of the best recent offerings of mystery and horror:

[Let's travel back in time...]

Fri
Feb 17 2017 1:00pm

Dear Lisbeth Salander: The Company You Keep

This week's guest columnist is Lisbeth Salander, who's a hacker but not a hack, Wasp but not a WASP, and an all-around tough-as-nails badass.
 

Dear Lisbeth Salander,

I have never written to anyone for advice, and truthfully I feel very foolish doing this. However, a friend of mine who had written to you concerning a problem she had told me that you were able to help her, and so I decided to finally ask for help. 

I am a single mother, and the problem is my 14-year-old son, Eric. He has become friends with some really bad boys. To put it bluntly, these kids have been in trouble with the cops many times, but because they’re underage, not much has been done.

To make matters worse, they seem to hang out at the home of one of the kids, Mikey, whose mother is a roaring drunk. This woman is giving alcohol and drugs to these boys. Eric came home one night so out of it that I didn’t know what to do, so I just let him sleep it off. He’s become nasty, rude, and verbally abusive to me. I fear that it’s only a matter of time until he becomes violent toward me.

I tried to speak to Mikey’s mother, but she laughed at me and called me some really nasty names. I am fearful of her because those boys will do anything she asks them to do, including home and property damage. A neighbor of hers had her car and front door badly damaged.

Please, can you give me advice on what to do? Eric is getting unmanageable.

Thank you,

Eric’s Mom

[Read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's advice...]

Fri
Feb 17 2017 11:00am

Boyfriend Shot Over Taco

Never mess with a woman’s taco...

According to ABC7, one couple’s outing to their favorite taco truck got saucy when an altercation broken out over the coldness of a taco that was served.

Allegedly, the woman thought that her taco wasn’t hot enough to satisfy her yearning for the tortilla-wrapped treat. She asked the owner, who served the arctic taco, to reheat it to the glory she felt was deserved. However, the owner flat-out refused her simple request to bring the cold taco to a more palatable temperature.

The woman became extremely displeased at the refusal, and when her boyfriend tried to intervene to calm her down, the situation only got worse — much worse.

At this point, she finally had enough and pulled out a gun she was carrying. This resulted in a scuffle between the boyfriend and the woman, and the gun went off, striking the boyfriend. Police showed up, but they could not confirm if she meant to shoot him or if the gun simply went off accidentally.

The case is still pending and the taco remains cold.