<i>Soul of the Fire</i>: New Excerpt Soul of the Fire: New Excerpt Eliot Pattison Corruption finds its way to Tibet. Fresh Meat: <i>Betrayed</i> by Lisa Scottoline Fresh Meat: Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline Kerry Hammond This is Judy's most personal case yet. Fresh Meat: <i>Wink of an Eye</i> by Lynn Chandler Willis Fresh Meat: Wink of an Eye by Lynn Chandler Willis John Jacobson Welcome home, Gypsy. Now can you please solve this murder? Now Win <i>This</i>!: The Quick Getaway Sweepstakes Now Win This!: The Quick Getaway Sweepstakes Crime HQ Not all vacations are created equal.
From The Blog
November 24, 2014
Lost Classics of Noir: Whip Hand by W. Franklin Sanders
Brian Greene
November 24, 2014
Headlining This Year's Frozen Turkey Drop
Crime HQ
November 23, 2014
Reviewing the Queue: Enemy (2013)
Joe Brosnan
November 23, 2014
The Stand Alones: Laura Lippman's I'd Know You Anywhere
Jake Hinkson
November 21, 2014
We Are Batman: Legends of the Knight
Crime HQ
Nov 18 2014 10:45am

Gotham 1.09: “Harvey Dent”

 Bruce Wayne (David Mazouza) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) strike a deal in Gotham Season 1 Epiosde 09 "Harvey Dent."

This episode was called “Harvey Dent” but it should have been dubbed “Two-Face,” for the dual nature of nearly everyone involved, starting with those crazy kids, Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova).

With far more subtlety than this show has shown so far, young Selina brings out the Bruce and eventual Batman selves in the young rich orphan. First, she tells Bruce that his training in boxing and self-discipline won’t help on the streets. “In Gotham, people don’t fight with gloves on.” We know, Selina.

Then Selina brings out the fun side of Bruce, hinting at his later, playboy, persona. She challenges him to a food fight with a kiss from her as the prize and the pair play like, well, the kids they are. She also provides solace when Bruce reveals his regret over not saving his parents. “What could you have done? A gun’s a gun!” Selina states. More than anything, this gets through to him.

[Everyone needs a friend...]

Nov 18 2014 10:00am

Christoph Waltz to Join Cast of Upcoming James Bond Film

Christoph Waltz has confirmed that he will be joining the cast of the upcoming and currently-untitled Bond 24 film. It is still uknown whether the two-time Oscar winner will be playing an ally or villain to Daniel Craig's Bond, but it's a safe bet that Waltz's character will be complex.

Waltz joins a cast including Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux, and Rory Kinnear.

Filming will begin early next month.

Nov 17 2014 3:00pm

Salting the Battlefield: Worricker’s Conclusion

Johnny Worricker is always well-dressed, as seen in Salting the Battlefield on Masterpiece Contemporary.

Worricker (Bill Nighy) is on the run, now in Germany with ex-spy, ex-love Margot (Helena Bonham Carter) by his side. They’re stirring the embers of their faded romance and recalling all the quirks and peccadilloes they once found so endearing. (He doesn’t wash the lettuce properly! How adorable is that?) They live out of suitcases, yet seem to wind up nattily attired in some snazzy digs. It’s all a lark, really.

Still, Margot longs to return to England. And Worricker’s daughter (Felicity Jones) is due to give birth any moment, which gives him a reason to pine for home as well. This poses a dilemma. Going home would place them in the way of Prime Minister Alec Beasley (Ralph Fiennes), whom Worricker has embarrassed with accusations of financial and ethical impropriety.

Meanwhile, Worricker’s old colleague in the spy game Jill Tankard (Judy Davis) is performing all sorts of machinations that confirm the primary thesis of the Worricker series: The intelligence services run everything.

[Actually, a little intelligence would be welcome...]

Nov 17 2014 2:00pm

Fresh Meat: The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Job, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, is the third globetrotting book in the Fox and O'Hare series.The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg is the third globetrotting mystery in the Fox and O'Hare sereis featuring the unlikely pair of FBI Agent Kate O'Hare and professional thief Nick Fox (available November 18, 2014).

This is the third in the series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, and it could be the second or the seventh. I started to write about the exploits of FBI agent Kate O’Hare and international man of thievery Nick Fox and how they had to travel the globe to retrieve an ancient and valuable artefact from China. Wait a minute, I could have sworn that the two ended up in Istanbul. Well, anyway, they stow away on a plane, kill an assassin, race through the streets of Shanghai in a vintage car and STOP! You perhaps see where I’m going with this; I was writing about The Chase when I should have been writing about The Job. Similarities aside, these stories are also escapist and entertaining.

At the start of the series, Kate O’Hare, special agent for the FBI is “chasing” Nick Fox. However, what most of the FBI doesn’t know is that Kate caught Nick. “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity” are tossed out the window when Nick convinces the FBI they should hire him and pair him up with Kate; what better way to catch a crook then to send a crook.

[If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...]

Nov 17 2014 8:45am

2014’s Anthony, Macavity, and Shamus Awards!

Daniel Stashower with his 2014 Anthony Award for Best Critical/Non-fiction Work for The Hour of Peril

Here are the winners' lists from three of the sets of awards announced at this weekend's Bouchercon!


Anthony Award Winners (voted on by Bouchercon attendees)

  • Best Audiobook: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
  • Best Television Episode Teleplay: “Pilot” for The Blacklist by John Bokenkamp
  • Best Children's or Young Adult Novel: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  • Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work: The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower
  • Best Short Story: “The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” by John Connolly
  • Best First Novel: Yesterday's Echo by Matt Coyle
  • Best Paperback Original: As She Left It by Catriona McPherson
  • Best Novel: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger


Macavity Award Winners (voted upon by Mystery Readers International)

  • Best Mystery Novel: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  • Best First Novel: A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames
  • Best Mystery Short Story: “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine)
  • Best Non-Fiction: The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower
  • Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award: Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell


Shamus Award Winners (presented by the Private Eye Writers of America)

  • Best P.I. Short Story: “So Long, Chief,” by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane (The Strand Magazine)
  • Best First P.I. Novel: Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith
  • Best Indie P.I. Novel: Don't Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers
  • Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel: Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish
  • Best Hardcover P.I. Novel: The Good Cop by Brad Parks
  • Lifetime Achievement: Sue Grafton


Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

Nov 16 2014 10:00pm

Fresh Meat: Want You Dead by Peter James

Want You Dead by Peter James, a Roy Grace novelWant You Dead by Peter James is the 10th police procedural featuring UK Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, this time pursuing a violent stalker who wants to set fire to everything and everyone his ex-girlfriend still cares for (available November 18, 2014).

The tenth installment in this wildly popular British series, following the exploits of Brighton Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, delves into the twisted psyche of a narcissistic firebug. Bryce Laurent stalks and terrorizes his ex-girlfriend, Red Westwood, using all the tools of modern technology he can get his hands on. Want You Dead provides us with a chilling portrait of a sadistic killer, showing us his point of view from the very beginning in passages such as these:

Some things were meant to be. Like he and Red had been meant to be. Taking the binoculars from his eyes, he rocked his head from side to side, fury twisting inside him. Okay, so some bad stuff had got in the way of their relationship, but that was all history now — it was too far gone.

[Too far gone to stop reading now...]

Nov 15 2014 12:00pm

Fresh Meat: A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson

A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson is the 8th cozy mystery featuring heroine Dandy Gilver, and this time a weekend spa getaway is interrupted by some deadly happenings (available November 18, 2014).

Dandelion Gilver, and her partner in detection, Alec Osborne, are back in the latest installment of a wonderful historical series that takes place in Scotland in the early 1900s. The year is 1929 and Dandy is up to her elbows in sick family and staff. Her two sons, her husband Hugh, and several of their servants have come down with a bad case of influenza. As Hugh and the boys are showing signs of recovering, she receives a letter addressed to Messrs Gilver & Osborne asking for their help. It is not only a new case, but one that sounds quite interesting, if not a bit tricky.

[To the spa we go!]

Nov 14 2014 12:00pm

How to Get Away with Murder 1.08: “He Has a Wife”

Nate (Billy Brown) offered up some good advice on How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 8 "He Has a Wife" when he called for a DNA test.

Finally we get some momentum! Relationships are getting set up, vital evidence is almost uncovered, and the trophy/future murder weapon is stolen. By the time “He Has a Wife” ends, we’re already at the evening that all the future-set scenes have shown, and it’s murdering time. Let’s find out how we get there.

There’s a bizarre twist to this week’s new case: a mother murdered her nanny while under the influence of sleeping pills. Her home life is twisted, too, although it is only weird because of how normal it remains. Despite her murder charge, the mother is only concerned with hiring a DJ for her child’s birthday party. This follows in Murder’s tradition of making virtually all their characters workaholics.

The workaholic is a great TV character: they are hyper-competent at their job, so they’re fun to watch when solving crimes or diagnosing ailments, but they fail at everything else, so they add a lot of drama that’s just as fun to watch. Murder seems to hate anyone who isn’t one, as Sam Keating (Tom Verica), the only laid-back cast member, is a liar, cheater, and probable murderer.

[Work hard, kids...]

Nov 14 2014 10:30am

Noir’s Goon Squad: Percy Helton

For a guy who was only about five foot two, Percy Helton was the biggest creep in film noir. He has one of those indispensible faces that is as essential to the genre as cigarette smoke and low key lighting. He’s in a million noirs, almost always playing the same guy: the creep. Sometimes he’s the creepy bartender, sometimes the creepy boxing promoter. When people say “They don’t make movies like they used to” what they mean, in effect, is that they don’t make movies with weird character actors like Percy Helton anymore. Short, perpetually old, with a body shaped like a garbage bag and a voice that was the mixture of a fifteen year-old girl and a petulant child molester, Helton somehow added authenticity and eccentricity to every movie he appeared in.

Born in 1894, he came from a vaudeville family and grew up on the stage, working for a time with the great George M. Cohan. He performed on stages large and small (including Broadway), and he began doing occasional film work as early as 1915. He finally committed himself to movies in 1947 when he played a drunk Santa Claus in Miracle On 34th Street—the same film, incidentally, that marked the film career debut of Helton’s fellow Goon Squad member Thelma Ritter. Helton, not unlike Ritter, was marked by this late arrival into films. Sure, you can comb back through some old silents to find glimpses of the young Percy Helton, but for most moviegoers he seemed to have be born 53 years old.

[We need more guys like him...]

Nov 13 2014 4:45pm

American Horror Story: Freak Show 4.06: “Bullseye”

In American Horror Story: Freak Show Season 4 Episode 6 "Bullseye", Paul (Matt Fraser) starts to feel the wrath for questioning Elsa (Jessica Lange).

Does anyone else feel like we’re missing something this episode? This week focused on Dandy (Finn Wittrock) and the twins (Sarah Paulson), the ever more despicable Elsa (Jessica Lange) and surprising Paul (Matt Fraser), with a dash of Stanley (Dennis O’Hare) and Esmerelda (Emma Roberts).

As expected, Elsa has told the freaks that Bette and Dot have run off. Of course she wouldn’t admit to ditching them at the Mott residence. That’d be insane. I enjoyed her opening monologue and thought it set the tone for this episode well. Lange is tremendous at balancing Elsa’s selfishness with her desire for family. I believe, in the beginning, Elsa really did care for the freaks she “rescued,”believed she was giving them a haven and a chance to live without fear, but her own desires for stardom warped her kindness. Whenever anyone threatens her chance at fame—like the twins—Elsa eliminates them. Her entire monologue is a dedication to her, as Paul calls it, “demonic soul.”

[That's a pretty accurate label...]

Nov 13 2014 12:00pm

When TV Romance Turns to Murder, You Can Win!

For me, it all started with Ned and Nancy. Nancy Drew was an independent woman (girl) but she still made room in her busy sleuthing schedule to let Ned hang around and bounce clues off. He was the best type of book boyfriend.

Then came Moonlighting (1985-1989). Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) lost her money to a cheating manager and only wants to sell the failing detective agency run by David (Bruce Willis). Instead, he talks her into keeping and running the business, thinking she’d be a silent partner.  He realized quickly, he was wrong.

[It would be a different kind of partner...]

Nov 13 2014 8:45am

House Damaged by Sharknado? Not Quite!

The Shark House of HeadingtonThis house, which is now for rent in Headington, a suburb outside of Oxford, can be yours for only $3,500 a month as long as you don't mind living with a shark as one of your housemates!

This shark is actually a sculpture, which was installed in 1986 by the homeowners in typical fashion—by crane and in the middle of the night.

For those with a taste for the absurd, this house can be yours. Do you mind having a giant shark sticking out of your roof? At the very least it might deter burglars!

Nov 12 2014 4:00pm

Reviewing the Queue: Snowpiercer (2013)

With the digital libraries of online streaming services expanding more and more, choosing which movie to watch has become difficult. I will be digging through these online queues in hopes of bringing you a movie worth your time. Up first is Snowpiercer, a steampunk action film directed by Joon-ho Bong and starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton and available on Netflix.

Snowpiercer attempts to carve out a spot for itself in the cavernous post-apocalyptic genre, and while it doesn’t redefine it, the film does give us a unique take on the upper class suppressing the lower class trope. Set in the near future where a failed climate-change experiment has brought upon a brutal ice age leaving Earth uninhabitable, a select few of mankind continue living aboard the Snowpiercer, a mega train that travels the globe. Over time, a class system has emerged onboard the train, where the residents of the rear are all but ignored, left struggling to survive in unbearable conditions and forced to eat black, gelatinous bricks merely refered to as protein blocks.

[I wonder what the protein blocks are made of...]

Nov 12 2014 11:45am

John LeCarré’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Smiley as Puppeteer

This week marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a fitting time to recall a novel that came, for many, to characterize the complications and unhappy compromises of post-war Europe.

It’s the early 1960s, and Alec Leamas is working for The Circus (British clandestine organization), running spies in Berlin during the Cold War. He watches as one of his double agents, while trying to cross into West Germany, is gunned down. Soon after, Leamas is recalled to England which he assumes will be the beginning of the end of his career whereby he’ll be unceremoniously filed away at some desk job left to rot. Instead his boss (codenamed Control) asks him to stay out in the cold a little bit longer and help them catch a top spy. The Circus realizes that the alcoholic, down-on-his-luck Leamas will be too enticing for the communists to resist. Leamas further sweetens the deal by getting himself thrown in jail for six months and doubling down on his alcohol intake. It works. He’s spotted by the East German intelligence service known collectively as the Abteilung who slowly begin wining and dining him until he’s taken to the Netherlands, then to East Germany for further questioning.

[But what about Smiley?]

Nov 12 2014 8:45am

Angry Husband Drives Wife’s Red Corvette into Delaware River

What started as a rescue story turned out to be a marriage beyond repair when a man in the middle of a divorce sent his estranged wife's red Corvette into the Delaware River.

According to CBS Philly's Diana Rocco and Justin Udo:

Police say a 50-year-old husband angry with his estranged wife dumped the car just below the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and took off Monday as witnesses watched the car submerge...

The Police Marine Unit and first responders were called in. After about 30 minutes, divers found the car in 30 feet of frigid water.

“There was no visibility whatsoever. The divers just had to go by feel. They found the vehicle, they went inside the vehicle which is extremely dangerous because you can get trapped with all the debris. They were able to feel that there was no one inside,” [Police Chief Inspector Scott] Small said.

The man will likely face charges of reckless endangerment, short dumping, and violating a protection-from-abuse order.

Nov 11 2014 12:00pm

Gotham 1.08: “The Mask”

In Gotham Season 1 Episode 8 "The Mask" Richard Sionis takes his name quite literally.

You’ll have to excuse me, I’m a little dizzy this morning from all those quick jump edits on Gotham last night. I appreciate the show wants a quick pace but this is becoming ridiculous.

In no particular order, “The Mask” brought us Black Mask Fight Club, Jim getting a Dear John note from Barbara, the GCPD finally finding some semblance of courage, Bullock being awesome, Fish as a believable liar, more crazy Carol Kane/Simka Mom, and Oswald killing people. Oh, and Selina getting caught. Again.

It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, though not Jim Gordon’s. He’s consistently hard-headed and focused on the one goal: clean up Gotham City, and if you stand in his way, he’s had enough of you.

[Barbara's had enough of Jim...]

Nov 11 2014 11:00am

“The Crooked Man” by Michael Connelly: Exclusive Excerpt

Michael Connelly

Read “The Crooked Man” by Michael Connelly in its entirety, a short story featuring detective Harry Bosch, excerpted with permission from In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger (available November 11, 2014).

This exclusive excerpt is reprinted by arrangement with Pegasus Books. All rights reserved.




The address was at the top of Doheny beyond a guardhouse and swing gate that protected a community of mansions with price tags of ten million and up. It was where the city’s royalty lived. Movie moguls and captains of industry, sitting on top of the mountain and looking down on all the rest. But sometimes all the gilding and guarding wasn’t enough to protect one from the inside. Harry Bosch held his badge up to the man in the gray uniform at the guardhouse door and said nothing. He was expected.

“You know which one it is?” the guard asked.

“I’ll find it,” Bosch said.

The guardrail opened and Bosch drove on through.

“Going to be hard to miss,” said his partner, Jerry Edgar.

Bosch proceeded past estates that sprawled across the southern ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains. Vast green lawns that had never accepted a weed because they didn’t have to. He had never been in the Doheny Estates but the opulence was even more than he expected. Up here even the guesthouses had guesthouses. They passed one estate with a garage that had a row of eight doors for the owner’s car collection.

[Continue reading “The Crooked Man” by Michael Connelly...]

Nov 11 2014 8:45am

The Malfeasance Occasional: Special $1.99 Discount!

In advance of this week's Bouchercon, if you haven't had a chance to read our very own Travis Richardson's “Incident on the 405”, you can read it in full here! Travis's short story is nominated for both the Macavity and Anthony Awards to be presented at Bouchercon!

To celebrate, we're knocking back the price on The Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble, where Travis's story appears alongside 13 other criminally-themed and exciting shorts.

And stay tuned to Criminal Element this week as we'll be reporting live from Bouchercon and sunny Long Beach, CA!

Try 3 more complete, excerpted stories from The M.O.'s award-winning fiction collection, and learn more about all of the issue's contents and contributors, or visit:

Buy at Barnes and Noble     Buy at Amazon Buy at Kobo Buy at iTunes

Nov 10 2014 3:30pm

Turks & Caicos: The Return of Worricker

“I used to be able to open the bonnet, take out a wrench and fix my car. Now I need a degree in electronics. Even easy things are difficult now,” a character tells Johnny Worricker in Turks & Caicos, which airs on Masterpiece Contemporary this week.

Difficult or intentionally incomprehensible? I say it’s more the latter.

Writer-director David Hare is back with Part 2 of a trilogy that began with Page Eight in 2011. Our erstwhile hero is Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy), ex-gentleman spy. After doing something to annoy the British prime minister in Page Eight, Johnny’s now living in forced retirement in Turks and Caicos, a cluster of islands about 650 miles from Miami. He’s relaxing after a fashion: sitting on the beach in a long-sleeved black shirt and slacks, introducing a local kid to what looks suspiciously like a Maine lobster, and reading an aged copy of A Farewell to Arms.

Enter Curtis Pelissier (Christopher Walken), a peculiar American who invites Worricker for drinks and introduces him to a group of nefarious businessmen from New Jersey (Gasp!). They’re all involved in some sort of difficult/intentionally incomprehensible money scheme tied to various governments and intelligence agencies all of which are corrupt.

[It only gets more complicated from here...]

Nov 10 2014 2:00pm

Fresh Meat: Sons of Anarchy: Bratva: by Christopher Golden

Sons of Anarchy: Bratva by Christopher Golden is an original novel set in the television world created by Kurt Suttor about a California motorcycle gang (available November 11, 2014).

Hold on to your seats, as you are in for a rollercoaster ride not for the faint-hearted. If you like your books gentle, thoughtful, and covering esoteric topics like how to knit your own yoghurt, then this, most definitely, is not for you. Some people in this world are just not the type who send lawyers’ letters when you have a falling out with them.

SAMCRO, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original, doesn’t believe in lawyer letters, as you may have guessed, as all hell breaks loose at the end of a glock in Sons of Anarchy: Bratva. (The end you do not want to be looking down.) The other end appears to be in either the hands of the RIRA (Real IRA) or Bratva (the Russian Mafia).

[This is set between Seasons 4 and 5 by the way...]