<i>The Red Storm</i>: New Excerpt The Red Storm: New Excerpt Grant Bywaters The debut novel by a former private investigator. <i>Riot Most Uncouth</i>: New Excerpt Riot Most Uncouth: New Excerpt Daniel Friedman The first in a new series featuring Lord Byron. <i>Crooked Brooklyn</i>: New Excerpt Crooked Brooklyn: New Excerpt Michael Vecchione and Jerry Schmetterer Clean up, aisle Brooklyn. <i>Harbour Street</i>: New Excerpt Harbour Street: New Excerpt Ann Cleeves Can you tell me how to get to, how to get to Harbour Street?
From The Blog
November 24, 2015
The ZINNG: "You Like Me! You Really Like Me!"
Crime HQ
November 23, 2015
Set Sail with Steve Berry!
Crime HQ
November 20, 2015
“You’ve Come a Relatively Middling Distance, Baby”: Signs of Shift in Female Fictional Detectives
Janice MacDonald
November 18, 2015
The ZINNG: The 10 Commandments for Crime Fiction
Crime HQ
November 4, 2015
Christopher Golden and Josh Boone Talk The Stand and The Fault in Our Stars
Christopher Golden
Nov 16 2015 12:00pm

Breaking Bad Rewatch 1.01: “Pilot”

This is a rewatch, so be prepared that spoilers will land with all the romance of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. 

An RV is ripping across the Arizona desert, driven by Walter Hartwell White (Bryan Cranston), who’s wearing nothing but his underwear, shoes, and a gasmask. Slumped forward on the dashboard, in the passenger seat, is a second individual, also sporting a mask. In the back of the RV, there are two bodies sliding about the floor like dead fish in a shallow pool of meth-lab chemicals, as broken glass and other paraphernalia swirl around them. With his gasmask fogging up, Walter crashes along the roadside. He stumbles out of the side door and throws off the mask, gasping for breath. In the distance, sirens are screaming, closing in on him. He hurriedly leaves a video message for his family, then stands in the middle of the road, arm outstretched with a handgun aimed at what’s coming.

It’s hard to imagine a more appropriately—excuse the pun—combustible opening to a series that’s now widely regarded as one of the finest in television history. The desperation in Cranston’s expressions is palpable as he fumbles with the recording device to set the record straight for his family. It’s the scene of a man, alone and troubled, driven to brutal acts of violence that his conscience denounces but are inevitable. Listen for the break in his voice as his hand covers the lens, finding it hard to tell his son that life is coming to an end. No mistaking it, Breaking Bad digs deep into the human motivation of a man on the brink of chaos. After the title credits (which ingeniously highlights letters from the periodic table of elements), the pilot jumps back three weeks to show the gradual unravelling of Walter, his questionable decisions, and the consequences that bring him to standing in his tighty-walter-whiteys in the blistering heat.

[Let's start the journey here]

Nov 13 2015 11:30am

Heroes Reborn 1.09: “Sundae, Bloody Sundae”

Last week, I wished for more character development from the mustache-twirling villain of Heroes Reborn, Erica. I’m not sure viewers got that, but we sure got something.

In a scene straight out of Game of Thrones, Erica shot and killed a deer and was later seen butchering it.

I guess this was meant to show the depths of her commitment to letting the worldwide disaster take place and thus ensure the survival of a hand-picked number of the human race but it was so weirdly out of place that it colored what was mostly a fine episode.

Why did a deer decide to wander in front of Erica’s home? Why did she happen to have a rifle handy? Isn’t there a law against weapons discharge in a public place? And what the heck was the overall point of the scene, save to inspire me to a possible Erica/Tywin Lannister fanfic in my head? (They bond about irresponsible children and the joys of killing and butchering one’s own food.)

[She better lock her bathroom...]

Nov 13 2015 10:00am

You Are Dead: New Excerpt

Peter James

You Are Dead (Roy Grace Series #11) by Peter JamesIn Peter James' You Are Dead, the last words Jamie Ball hears from his fiancée, Logan Somervile, are in a terrified mobile phone call from her. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the apartment block where they live in Brighton, and seen a man acting strangely. Then she screams and the phone goes dead. The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and cell phone.

That same afternoon, workmen digging up an old asphalt path in a park in another part of the city, unearth the remains of a young woman in her early twenties, who has probably been dead for 30 years.

At first, to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his Major Crime Team, these two events seem totally unconnected. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing and another body from the past surfaces. At the same time a strange man visits an eminent London psychiatrist, claiming to have a piece of information on the missing woman, Logan, that turns out, at first, to be wrong-or so it seems. It is only later Roy Grace makes the chilling realization that this one thing is the key to both the past and the present-and now, beyond any doubt, he knows that Brighton has its first ever serial killer.


Thursday 11 December

Logan was driving fast in the pelting rain, hurrying home, glad that her shitty day, which had gone from bad to worse, and then progressively worse still, was nearly at an end. She was looking forward to a large glass of chilled white wine and a sneaky cigarette on the balcony before Jamie got home. The familiar Radio Sussex jingle played, then the female presenter announced it was 5:30 p.m. and time for the news headlines. As Logan listened, with half an ear, she was blissfully unaware that by this time tomorrow evening she would be the lead item on the local news, and the subject of one of the biggest manhunts ever launched by Sussex Police.

[Continue reading You Are Dead by Peter James!]

Nov 12 2015 5:30pm

Away in a Manger: New Excerpt

Rhys Bowen

Away in a Manger by Rhys Bowen is the 15th installment in the Molly Murphy series set during Christmastime in 1905 New York City (available November 17, 2015).

It's Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing “Away in a Manger.” Bridie is touched by the girl's ragged clothes and wants to help her out if they can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl's older brother. They've come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they're living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly.

Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what's happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers to these questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society.

New York City, Wednesday, December 13, 1905

Tis the Season to be jolly,” sang the carolers outside Grace Church, while across Broadway the brass band of the Salvation Army thumped out “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” in competition. It seemed as if the whole of New York City was suddenly caught up in the Christmas spirit. I maneuvered Liam’s buggy along the crowded sidewalk, checking to make sure that Bridie was walking close beside me. In such a crowd one couldn’t be too careful. Everyone seemed to be laden with packages and baskets of food items needed for holiday baking. It had been a year of optimism, with President Roosevelt elected for his first full term of office and the Wright brothers showing the world that airplanes really could stay up in the sky for more than a few seconds. We were definitely in the age of progress.

[Continue reading Away in a Manger now!]

Nov 12 2015 10:00am

Ivory: New Excerpt

Tony Park

Ivory by Tony Park Alex Tremain is a pirate in trouble. All he really wants is to reopen his parents' five-star hotel on the Island of Dreams, off the coast of Mozambique. But instead he's facing a mounting tide of debt, his crew of modern-day buccaneers is getting restless, and he has just been dumped by not one, but two women.

As if he doesn't have enough on his plate, a chance raid on a ship then sets the Chinese triads after him and, to add insult to injury, corporate lawyer Jane Humphries lands, literally, in his lap…

Before he knows it, Alex is embroiled in two separate and equally risky pursuits―one takes him to South Africa's Kruger National Park and will pay enough for him to reopen his hotel, and the other involves the love of a lifetime. Can Alex pull off this one last heist and walk away with both prizes?


Southampton, England

The overheated interior of the security minivan in which Jane was driven across the dock stank of the driver’s body odor and the cigarette he’d obviously been smoking before she got in. The relief she got from opening the sliding door was short-lived, and the wind and rain lashed her while she struggled to drag her rucksack and day pack out. The driver had no intention of leaving his seat to help her, and was probably looking forward to relighting his smoke. Her strawberry blonde hair was plastered to her face and rivulets cascaded off the collar of her Gore-Tex parka and down the back of her neck. The bleak day matched her mood. There was no band, no streamers, no crowds of well-wishers, no tearful farewells. Just row upon row of brand-new Land Rovers, awaiting loading on a car carrier.

[Continue reading Ivory by Tony Park!]

Nov 11 2015 4:45pm

Young Americans: New Excerpt

Josh Stallings

Young Americans by Josh Stallings is a glitter rock disco heist story set in the 1970's (available November 20th).

1976 New Year's Eve, San Francisco. A Firebird transports a crew of glitter kids away from the city. Forget the trunk full of cash and illegal firearms. Forget the disco heist and sea of felonies left in their wake. They are five friends happily rolling down thunder road with no horizon in sight. They are Young Americans.

Chapter 3

“You wouldn’t shoot an 18-year-old girl. Would you?”
“You bet I would. You bet I would.”
—Killer Elite

“Breeze’s money or his weed. You got to give us one or t’other.” A bicycle chain pinned Sam to the barn’s center joist. Shadows leapt and fell with the gas bursts of the cutting torch. Sam had been filling the Firebird’s tank when they nailed her. A cut-down twelve gauge in a shaking hand had convinced her to drive to their farm. She knew these guys. Not bad men. Not real bright, but she doubted they were killers. It wasn’t until they chained her to the beam and lit the torch that she started to worry.

[Continue reading Young Americans!]

Nov 10 2015 12:30pm

A Farewell to Harm: Saying Goodbye to Hemlock Grove

When Netflix announced that the third season of Hemlock Grove would be its last, I was hardly surprised. Since its debut in 2013, Hemlock Grove has been an extremely polarizing show: you either absolutely love it, or your think it’s the worst thing on television in the history of television. Considering I started my Criminal Element career talking about this show, I guess I’m firmly on the “love”side of the fence. Is it a perfect show? Absolutely not. The plot meanders, loose threads abound, the acting is questionable, but what I like about it is how weird it is. Having finished Season 3, this writeup’s a little bittersweet for me.

Fans were wondering when, exactly, we were getting season three. Seasons 1 and 2 both premiered in July, but this July came and went without so much as a whisper. Rumors floated around that the show had been cancelled, that it would air in 2016, and then, a miracle: a teaser promising us there would be no happy endings.

There aren’t. Trust me.

Season 3 opens with our boy Peter (Landon Liboiron) running a grift with Andreas (Luke Camilleri)  and a new crowd of Romani, Olivia (Famke Janssen) talking way to much, and Roman (Bill Skarsgard) trying to figure out where his daughter is while fighting for custody of Shelley (Madeleine Martin). That’s about as positive and happy as this season gets.

[It's all downhill from there...]

Nov 9 2015 4:00pm

Heroes Reborn 1.08: “June 13th – Part Two”

As I was watching the second part of “June 13th,” it occurred to me that the date has a double meaning, not just referring to the bombing, but also to Nathan and Malina’s birthday.

Given that these are the kids who will save the world, that’s not a coincidence.

I expected this second part to provide a number of answers to what’s gone before in this series. I had no expectations that it would include revelations on the level of the twins but, still, the episode managed to include several surprises and throw just enough confusion on the present that I wish I was binge watching the show rather than viewing it week-to-week.

Part 2 also provided some lovely character moments, including Noah mourning future Molly while past Molly is working with him, Otomo and Miko’s parting, and Hiro’s sacrifice for his newfound family.

What did we learn?

[Let's find out...]

Nov 9 2015 10:00am

Bloodline: New Excerpt

Warren Murphy

Bloodline by Warren MurphyBloodlineby Warren Murphy is a gritty historical novel about the Mafia in 1920s New York City (available November 10, 2015).

The Falcones are an immigrant family living in New York City in 1920. Their patriarch, Tony, is a respected policeman. His sons, Tommy and Mario, both served in the Great War and are now upstanding citizens-a cop and a priest. But their cousin Nilo has a dark past, and he fled to America after causing several deaths in a fight in Italy.

Nilo soon falls in with Don Maranzano, a Mafia boss who comes from his hometown in Italy. Maranzano grooms Nilo as a “real estate broker,” but after a few months, Nilo is offered the chance to do some serious work. He becomes a useful still-wrecker, assassin, and skilled criminal. The papers give him the name “Kid Trouble.” Tommy and Mario try to turn a blind eye, but it's hard to hide his underworld affiliations.

As conflicts in the city begin to erupt into a violent war involving gangsters from all parts of the country, Tommy and Mario struggle to stay out of the dark world into which Nilo has dragged the family. But when things take a turn for the worse, the Mafia may be the only place for them to go.


May 1919

The sirocco was blowing hot and fierce out of the heart of the Sahara desert, hopping quickly across the short span of the Mediterranean that separated Africa from Sicily, up the face of the Sicilian mountains, down the other side, and on out into the Gulf of Castellammare.

Danilo Sesta stood in the bow of the tonnara boat and stared back over the purple and blue and peacock-green waters into the heart of the hot wind, back toward the town of Castellammare del Golfo.

[Continue reading Bloodline by Warren Murphy!]

Nov 6 2015 3:30pm

The Wasp Woman Murder: The Death of Susan Cabot

Many of the elements of my first novel The Drowning Ground are based around killers I have researched in the past. I used to be a regular contributor to Bizarre magazine in the UK. While working for Bizarre, I interviewed some of the most eminent psychologists, criminologist, and CSI investigators operating in their field today and wrote extensively about some of the world’s most notorious killers. It was after these experiences that I wrote The World’s Most Bizarre Murders. Perhaps the strangest of all the cases I have ever covered is the Wasp Woman Murder, elements of which also served as inspiration for the first Inspector Guillermo Downes thriller, specifically the death of a recluse who is found dead on the top of a remote hill in the Cotswolds.   

Among the many murderers and psychotics portrayed in the movies there is one type of deranged lunatic particularly close to Hollywood’s heart:  the actress-turned-recluse. Both Billy Wilder’s film noir Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Robert Aldrich’s gothic horror What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) were set in decaying Hollywood mansions and both tell the story of actresses driven mad by their sudden loss of fame. Both movies end in tragedy. So, when in 1986 a real Hollywood recluse was found bludgeoned to death in her dilapidated home, it made headlines all over America. Throw in a Latin American ninja and a dwarf on a strange experimental drug and the “Wasp Woman murder,” as it was known, became a Hollywood legend almost overnight.

[Have you heard of it?]

Nov 5 2015 10:00am

The Sundown Speech: New Excerpt

Loren D. Estleman

The Sundown Speech by Loren D. Estleman

The Sundown Speech by Loren D. Estleman is the 24th hard-boiled mystery in the Detective Amos Walker series (available November 10, 2015).

Amos Walker is hired by Helen and Dante Gunner, a bohemian Ann Arbor couple, to find Jerry Marcus, a film director who has disappeared with their investment money. It's one of Walker's easiest jobs to date. In just a few short hours, Walker locates Marcus in his bedroom...murdered, his body shoved into a cupboard, a bullet through his head.

This case is opened and shut quickly, but Walker can't quite let it go. When Dante is arrested for the murder Walker finds himself again in Helen's employ, this time trying to prove that Dante didn't do it.

When Walker interviews Holly Zacharias, a college student who was the last person to see Marcus alive, things get interesting. Because if Marcus is dead, and Dante is his killer, then who is driving by in the Crown Vic, shooting at Walker and Holly?

Jerry Marcus just might still be alive, and his plans may be worse than anything Walker can imagine.


Roll the clock back a dozen years, maybe more; Michael Jackson was still alive, Iris, too. I could walk all day without limping. Tweet was bird talk, the chain bookstore was the greatest threat to civilization since ragtime music, and the only time you saw a black president was in a sci-fi film. Going back is always a crapshoot.

Downtown Ann Arbor was draining into Zingerman’s Deli at 11:00 A.M. A chirpy Bohemian girl with her cranberry-colored hair wrapped in a bandanna snood fashion worked her way down the hungry line, taking orders and offering cubes of cheese and curls of lunchmeat impaled on toothpicks, and feet ground away at the black-and-white tiles in dirty sneakers, glossy Florsheims, cork sandals, and nothing at all. In the town that invented the five-dollar fine for possession of marijuana, “no shirt, no shoes, no service” was just a quaint suggestion. In those days you could even smoke tobacco if you didn’t mind being glared at.

[Continue reading The Cloud Collector: A Thriller by Brian Freemantle...]

Nov 4 2015 11:45am

Christopher Golden and Josh Boone Talk The Stand and The Fault in Our Stars


In celebration of the release of my new horror novel, Dead Ringers, I reached out to some of my favorite filmmakers to talk about our mutual love of the genre, formative influences, and what the future holds. After his work as director of the hugely successful film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, audiences might have been surprised to learn that Josh Boone had been chosen to write and direct the multi-part adaptation of Stephen King’s epic apocalyptic horror novel The Stand, but a few minutes with Boone would erase any King fan’s doubts and have them eagerly awaiting the first installment. Josh Boone is also on board to write and direct the X-Men spinoff The New Mutants for Fox, and is developing a whole host of book-related projects, both horror and otherwise. Read on…

Christopher Golden: Though your upcoming slate includes a lot of horror and darkness, your breakthrough film was The Fault in Our Stars, a beautiful adaptation of a terrific novel. It seems to me that films about people with terminal illness nearly always spill into mawkish melodrama, but it TFIOS (as my daughter calls it) never does. Was this a concern for you going into the project and, if so, how did you navigate away from it?

Josh Boone:  It's nice to hear your daughter is such a big fan of Fault. I, in turn, am a big fan of yours. I'm a longtime collector of signed/limited horror and sci-fi books via specialty publishers like Cemetery Dance (they've published many of yours), Earthling (who did the absolutely gorgeous edition of Strangewood), and Subterranean (your work with the great Amber Benson).

You know, I feel like any story can stray from the right path if it’s not calibrated correctly. John Green's book is incredibly well calibrated. It deftly juggles young love, death, and challenging philosophical questions. You have to take the material seriously and that meant tonal balance was essential. Music has always been a large part of my inner world. I grew up making mix tapes and obsessing over albums and lyrics. I would close my eyes and listen to music and could see the movies I wanted to make. I worked in a record store when I moved to L.A. and spent a lot of time building a massive library of music for the imaginary future in my head where I got to make movies. I cue songs on the page when I write and build a tonal map to keep me on track. If I know the piece of music, I know what the scene needs to be. I know the tone. Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes score all my films and they become part of that tonal map as well. Music for me is key and I think that was a large part of the reason Fault worked and stayed on track. Unlike everything else I'm working on, I didn't write Fault — it was brilliantly scripted by Mike Weber and Scott Neustadter — but what I did do was create the tonal space it could exist in to ensure it never drifted too far into that mawkish melodrama we've all become so accustomed to in stories that deal with disease. My absolutely incredible cast were also essential in maintaining the tone. Everyone who worked on the film was committed to John's story. We were all making the same movie. I had a close friend die of cancer and spent a lot of time with him in hospice during his final days. It's why I took John's book seriously. He got it right.

[Let's get to King...]

Nov 3 2015 6:00pm

No Good Deed: New Excerpt

Allison Brennan

No Good Deed by Allison Brennan is the 10th mystery featuring FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid (available November 3, 2015).

Lucy Kincaid understands the dangers of corruption. As an FBI agent, she has witnessed some very bad deeds committed by seemingly good people. That's why she's glad to see corrupt DEA Agent Nicole Rollins behind bars for murder, conspiracy, and gunrunning. But when Rollins makes a daring escape-jeopardizing a busload of children and killing five officers-Lucy becomes the key to the biggest manhunt in Texas history...and the target of a brilliant killer.

Some believe Rollins has fled the country. But Lucy suspects her plan is far more sinister-a taunting game of cat and mouse that hits much closer to home. First, an FBI agent with a connection to Texas is killed in Washington. Then, Kane Rogan disappears on a mission. When Rollins ups the ante again, Lucy is determined to save the people she loves-before her enemy strikes again. Time is running out. The body count is rising. Rollins wants more than revenge-she wants to destroy everything Lucy holds dear...Nicole Rollins had always been a meticulous planner. She had contingencies for almost every possible scenario, which was why she’d been able to deceive the DEA for fifteen years. People were mostly predictable, and mostly fools.

Chapter One

Even though being arrested wasn’t in her master plan, she had a contingency, and the minute she was arraigned the clock started ticking. Her people knew what to do and when to do it. The time line, by necessity, had to be fluid, but when she was ready, she gave the signal and the countdown began. Nothing was left to chance, because she only had one shot at escaping and she had to get it right.

[Continue reading No Good Deed by Allison Brennan!]

Nov 3 2015 10:00am

Yappy Hour: New Excerpt

Diana Orgain

Yappy Hour by Diana OrgainYappy Hour by Diana Orgain is the first cozy in a new series about a local bar and it's furry regulars (available November 3, 2015).

With side-splitting humor, an irresistible cast of characters-both human and canine-and an intimate small town setting, Yappy Hour is sure to delight fans of Rita Mae Brown and Diane Kelly. Every Friday night in the idyllic seaside town of Pacific Cove, CA, the Roundup Crew, a group of dog-loving friends, meet at a neighborhood wine bar for Yappy Hour. When Rachel, the owner, mysteriously leaves town and asks her sister, Maggie (who is neither pet friendly nor business savvy), to run the bar in her absence, things get complicated fast. Maggie arrives to open up and finds a body sprawled on the floor, and even worse, an incriminating letter with Rachel's name on it nearby. On impulse, she hides the letter from the hunky detective, Officer Brad Brooks, who's dispatched to the scene.

When Rachel is declared the top suspect by the police, Maggie decides to investigate on her own. She reopens the bar and gets to know the members of the Roundup Crew, including chief organizer Yolanda, who never goes anywhere without her signature strappy stilettos or her Yorkie Beepo. Maggie juggles searching for clues, trying to locate Rachel, and serving up Doggie Daiquiris, Muttguaritas and homemade Arf D'Oeuvres-until another body turns up. The Roundup Crew must step in and save the bar, and it seems the only way to do that will be to solve the mystery and turn Maggie into a dog-lover in this charming, light-hearted cozy.

Chapter One

“What do you mean, you fired her?” I said into my cell phone as I brushed sand from the beach towel.

It was at least the fourth time I’d had the same conversation with my great-uncle Ernest. Grunkly-E we called him, which morphed into Grunkly, but on occasion turned into Grouchy or Grumpy. He was one of the reasons I’d recently relocated to Pacific Cove. He and my sister, Rachel, not to mention the fact that my stint as a financial advisor in New York had come to an abrupt end after the market had crashed.

[Continue reading Yappy Hour by Diana Orgain...]

Nov 4 2015 10:00am

Home by Nightfall: New Excerpt

Charles Finch

Home by Nightfall: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch, James LangtonHome by Nightfall by Charles Finch is the 9th Victorian mystery featuring gentleman sleuth Charles Lenox (available November 10, 2015).

A death in the family brings gentleman sleuth Charles Lenox back to the country house where he grew up—just in time to confront an odd, unsettling crime in a nearby village.

It’s London in 1876, and the whole city is abuzz with the enigmatic disappearance of a famous foreign pianist. Lenox has an eye on the matter—as a partner in a now-thriving detective agency, he’s a natural choice to investigate. Just when he’s tempted to turn his focus to it entirely, however, his grieving brother asks him to come down to Sussex, and Lenox leaves the metropolis behind for the quieter country life of his boyhood. Or so he thinks. In fact, something strange is afoot in Markethouse: small thefts, books, blankets, animals, and more alarmingly a break-in at the house of a local insurance agent. As he and his brother begin to investigate this small accumulation of mysteries, Lenox realizes that something very strange and serious indeed may be happening, more than just local mischief. Soon, he’s racing to solve two cases at once, one in London and one in the country, before either turns deadly. Blending Charles Finch’s trademark wit, elegance, and depth of research, this new mystery, equal parts Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, may be the finest in the series.

Chapter One

It was a blustery London morning in the autumn of 1876, wind and rain heavy in the trees lining Chancery Lane, and here, damn it all, stood before Charles Lenox something that nobody should have to tolerate before breakfast: a beaming Frenchman.

“What is it, Pointilleux?” he asked.

“I have solve the case.”


“I believe he has never enter the room at all.”

Lenox sighed. “Are those the papers you’re holding? Could I see them?”

“Do you not observe the elegance of it, though! He has never enter the room at all.

[Continue reading THome by Nightfall: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch...]

Nov 6 2015 10:00am

Crucifixion Creek: New Excerpt

Barry Maitland

Crucifixion Creek by Barry MaitlandCrucifixion Creek by Barry Maitland is the first thriller in a new trilogy set in Australia (available November 10, 2015).

A meth-addicted biker shoots a woman during a police siege. An elderly couple commit suicide on the terrace of their favorite café. An unidentified white male is stabbed to death in the street.

For Sydney homicide detective Harry Belltree, not long out of the military and a grueling tour of Afghanistan, these three deaths appear to be just another day at the office. Until, that is, he identifies the stabbing victim as his own brother-in-law Greg, and journalist Kelly Pool suggests there's a link between the three incidents. It seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a corrupt money man with a murky past and friends in both high places and low.

Harry Belltree can't get officially involved in Greg's murder, but he's not going to leave it in the hands of others. That's when he goes off-grid to investigate the links between these deaths. That's when things start to get dangerous.


IN SOUTH-WESTERN SYDNEY, on a chilly winter’s night, a siege is in progress. The street is very ordinary—suburban, brick veneer and tiled roofs—and the only thing a stranger might notice is the number of houses that have steel roller-shutters on their windows. They’re all closed now.

Two neighbours have reported a man’s shouts, a woman’s screams and a burst of gunfire. Now everyone is here—ambulance and fire brigade, local area command uniforms and detectives, scene of crime, and Harry Belltree and Deb Velasco from homicide. And the Tactical Operations Unit, the black ninjas, who have parked their big black American armoured Lenco truck, bristling with menace, in the driveway of the house. This has surely given the occupants something to think about.

[Continue reading Crucifixion Creek by Barry Maitland...]

Nov 2 2015 12:45pm

Heroes Reborn 1.07: “June 13th – Part One”

I had several theories about what would happen when Hiro and Noah went back in time to Odessa on June 13th.

One, I doubted they would stop the bomb. Two, I thought that Noah was the one who mind-wiped himself.  Three, I hoped Claire would be alive.

Right on one. Two remains to be seen but the Magic Eight-Ball tells me it’s likely. Three?

There, the show threw a total swerve.

Claire was dead. But she was pregnant. With twins. Which she died giving birth to.

These kids are totally Tommy/Nathan and Malina aka the kids who will save the world from epic catastrophe.

My next question: Who’s Daddy?

[And have we met him?]

Oct 31 2015 11:00am

Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories by Charles Beaumont

There are so many notable aspects of Charles Beaumont’s (1929-67) life and work, it’s hard to know where to being in naming them. He was a gifted writer of short stories and novels, one who showed easy mastery of various genres including horror, sci-fi, dark comedy, and socially conscious literary fiction. He was the first writer to have a short story published in Playboy. He often worked with two of the more influential pioneers of filmed media – B-movie king Roger Corman and TV’s leading light Rod Serling. He is probably best known for his work on Serling’s show The Twilight Zone. He penned 22 episodes of that groundbreaking program, including some of the more memorable installments. And then there’s the matter of Beaumont’s bizarre and saddening life story. He died at age 38 from a degenerative brain disease that couldn’t be diagnosed at the time and that had him looking, according to his son, like he was 95 when he passed away.

[Let's learn about the man and his writing...]

Oct 30 2015 4:00pm

A Study in Sherlock: Talking Holmes with Otto Penzler and Lyndsay Faye

When I moved to New York City, there were three mystery-centric bookshops still in operation—now that (tragically) only one remains, you have to assume Otto Penzler of The Mysterious Bookshop must be doing something right. All four of my novels were launched at his store, but I first got to know Otto by making the Sherlockian social rounds as a fellow Baker Street Irregular, which generally involves black tie attire and varying amounts of fine whiskey. Otto is not only the proprietor of a famous book store, a publisher, and a member of a venerable Sherlockian institution, however; he has also, incredibly, edited more than fifty crime fiction anthologies, which leads one to believe that if there were such a thing as the Emperor of Mystery Anthologies, we really ought to have crowned him by this time.

An avid fan of Sherlock Holmes from his first reading of the tales, Otto’s latest project is the hotly anticipated Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, an assembly that is not merely enormous but meticulously selected by a gentleman who has probably read more Sherlockian pastiches than any other living human. I was honored to be included when he chose “The Case of Colonel Warburton’s Madness,” which was also selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2010. As a voracious reader of non-Doylean Sherlock Holmes mysteries myself, I was equally delighted to see such familiar names as Neil Gaiman, P. G. Wodehouse, Leslie S. Klinger, and the two Kings (Stephen and Laurie R.).

After being asked to interrogate Otto, I happily agreed, and picked his brain throughout the following week. In this interview, I ask about the stories he chose, his process, and why Sherlock Holmes inspires such an unholy number of loving imitators.

[Alright, on to it!]

Oct 29 2015 4:30pm

Stepping Out of the Shadows: Leslie S. Klinger and Chuck Caruso Talk Edgar Allan Poe

One of the world’s foremost authorities on Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger is perhaps best known for The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Published by W.W. Norton in 2004, this three-volume project won the 2005 Edgar Award for “Best Critical/Biographical” work. Klinger served as a consultant for the recent films Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), both directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey, Jr., as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson.

Klinger’s other important editorial work includes The New Annotated Dracula (Norton 2008), The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (Liveright 2014), and a lush four-volume collection of the DC Comics series written by Neil Gaiman, The Annotated Sandman, published sequentially by Vertigo in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

This month, Pegasus Crime publishes In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe: Classic Tales of Terror 1816-1914, compiled and edited by Klinger as a follow-up to his previous two collections of neglected Victorian short stories – In the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes (IDW 2011) and In the Shadow of Dracula (IDW 2011).

Poe scholar Chuck Caruso sat down to talk with Leslie Klinger about this new collection, In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe.

[Let's join them...]