<i>Better Homes and Corpses</i>: New Excerpt Better Homes and Corpses: New Excerpt Kathleen Bridge Instead of seeing how the other half lives, Meg learns how they die. <i>Berried Secrets</i>: New Excerpt Berried Secrets: New Excerpt Peg Cochran This cozy mystery is ripe for the picking. <i>The Secrets of Lake Road</i>: New Excerpt The Secrets of Lake Road: New Excerpt Karen Katchur An unsolved crime threatens to drown a summer community. <i>Best Laid Plans</i>: New Excerpt Best Laid Plans: New Excerpt Allison Brennan FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid returns, and her first stop is a seedy motel.
From The Blog
July 31, 2015
No Sweat, The M.O. Returns with a New Theme!
Crime HQ
July 31, 2015
Break Bad with these Bobbleheads, Bitch!
Crime HQ
July 30, 2015
Boomsticks Weekly!: Ash vs. Evil Dead
Clare Toohey
July 29, 2015
Man Fakes 911 Call to Get Air Conditioner Fixed
Teddy Pierson
July 28, 2015
Royally Flushed: Atlantic City's Counterfeit Chip Scam
Crime HQ
Fri
Jul 24 2015 1:00pm

Washburn, Mims, and Foley: Women Authors Leading the Western Charge

Long before Louis L'Amour, Max Brand, or Zane Grey thought about swinging up into a saddle, women were blazing a trail for the Western story. Even prior to 1902 with Owen Wister’s The Virginian which is widely respected as the novel that put the genre on the map, female authors were far ahead on the drive. Some may consider James Fenimore Cooper’s romanticized “Leatherstocking Tales” series as a forerunner of the Western, but the genre as we know it can be traced back to 1860 with Ann S. Stephens’ Malaeska; the Indian Wife of the White Hunter, and as Western historian Ron Scheernotes in How the West Was Written Vol. I 1880-1906, women like Mary Hallock Foote (The Led-Horse Claim, 1883) and Helen Hunt Jackson (Ramona, 1884) had nearly a twenty-year jump on the celebrated Wister.

Though the men may have muscled their way through the batwing doors in ever greater numbers, seizing the spotlight, the ladies were there at the start and have been maintaining the high standard for over 155 years. Here are three modern wordslingers—Washburn, Mims, and Foley—who are still leading the charge.

[Giddy up...]

Fri
Jul 24 2015 11:00am
Original Story

Murder at Barclay Meadow: New Excerpt

Wendy Sand Eckel

Murder at Barclay Meadow is the debut mystery by Wendy Sand Eckel where Rosalie Hart returns home to her aunt's farmhouse and quickly stumbles upon a body (available July 28, 2015).

Rosalie Hart's world has been upended. After her husband confesses to an affair, she exiles herself to her late aunt's farmhouse on Maryland's Eastern Shore. With its fields untended and the house itself in disrepair, Barclay Meadow couldn't be more different than the tidy D.C. suburb she used to call home. Just when Rosalie feels convinced things couldn't get any worse, she finds a body floating in her marsh grasses. When the sheriff declares the death an accident, she becomes suspicious. The dead girl, Megan, reminds her of her own daughter, who has recently gone off to college, and she feels a responsibility to find out the truth.

One

Before my only child left for her first year of college, she suggested I create my own Facebook profile. Annie said we could “friend” one another, and chat online. That way she wouldn’t have to tell me all the details of her life in a daily phone call or tedious texting. I could read all about what she was up to, who her new friends were, and what music she liked. The problem was, so could her other five hundred-plus friends. Ultimately, though, it was the private “chat” feature that sold me. So I created a profile, such that it was.

[Continue reading Murder at Barclay Meadow...]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 2:00pm

The Top 8 Crimes that Went Viral

What do criminals post on their feeds? You’ve seen the cute images on social media of babies, puppies and new cars, but there’s no better way to seek validation for violent acts and to spread ideology than to make deadly exploits go viral.

At first thought, it seems counterintuitive. Are they trying to get caught? Do they think only like-minded friends will see, and no one will alert the police? Often it looks like a spur of the moment decision. This generation is so used to sharing every trivial moment of their lives that it’s only right that the most shocking thing they’ve ever done makes the cut.

I’ve found these eight as the best (or worst) real life examples of criminals brazenly showcasing their wrongdoing.

[But first, let me take a selfie...]

Thu
Jul 23 2015 8:45am

“A Place With No Mercy”: Spectre Trailer

In the past, the villains of the James Bond universe have bordered on being one-dimensional, but some of the recent films have gone on the remedy that, and if Christoph Waltz's acting from the Spectre trailer is any indication, it looks like he might set the bar even higher. Take a look for yourself in the trailer below. Spectre hits theaters on November 6th.

Wed
Jul 22 2015 3:00pm

Announcing the Hammett Prize Nominees

Awards season closing in on us, so dust off those red carpet duds, grab your finest champagne flute, and get ready to roll! We've already informed you of 2015's Thriller Award nominees and winners, Shamus Award nominees, Crimefest Award winners, Macavity Award nominees, Anthony Award nominees, Arthur Ellis Award nominees, Agatha Award winners, and the Edgar Award winners, but there's more good news to go around, and now it’s time for the Hammett Prize nominees. Wouldn’t that Thin Man sculpture look so cool on your mantelpiece? Well, to get it you have to write like these shortlisters:

Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke
Smoke River by Krista Foss
Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Goodhouse by Peyton Marshall

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers will name the winner, during the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association's (NAIBA) Fall Conference, in Somerset, New Jersey, October 2-4. The winner will receive a bronze trophy designed by sculptor Peter Boiger. Congrats to the nominees!

Wed
Jul 22 2015 11:30am
Excerpt

The Devil’s Seal: New Excerpt

Peter Tremayne

The Devil's Seal by Peter Tremayne is the 25th Mystery of Ancient Ireland featuring Sister Fidelma (available July 28, 2015).

Ireland, A.D. 671. An Anglo-Saxon delegation arrives in Cashel to debate the new religious rules that have been handed down from Rome. The Abbot of Imleach leads the Irish delegation, which is hostile to the new rules from outsiders. Among the Anglo-Saxon group is Brother Eadulf's own younger brother, Egric, whom Eadulf hasn't seen for many years.

When the debate quickly becomes acrimonious, a local abbess has to step in as a mediator between the two sides. But not even a day later her body is discovered, bludgeoned to death. The Chief Brehon Aillín accuses young Egric of murder, and suspicions and tempers run high. With the war of words threatening to spill over into bloodshed, Fidelma is sure there is something more sinister behind the murder than religious differences, and she is resolved to find out what really happened-and why.

[Start reading The Devil's Seal now!]

Tue
Jul 21 2015 3:30pm

Now Win This!: Shadow Lurker Sweepstakes

You can't run from what you don't see coming, so I'd avoid that dark alley if I were you, or you just might find yourself face-to-face with these nine nefarious books!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

This is NOT a Comments Sweepstakes. You must click the link above to enter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins July 21, 2015, at 3:30 pm ET, and ends August 4, 2015, 3:29 pm ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Did you hear that?]

Tue
Jul 21 2015 1:15pm
Excerpt

Believe No One: New Excerpt

A.D. Garrett

Believe No One by A. D. Garrett is the second thriller to feature DCI Kate Simms who finds herself on sabbatical in St. Louis where trouble seems to follow her (available July 21, 2015).

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Simms is in the United States on sabbatical with St. Louis PD. She is working with a 'method swap' team, reviewing cold cases, sharing expertise. Simms came to the US to escape fallout from her previous investigation working with forensic expert Professor Nick Fennimore. However Fennimore also happens to be in the States on a book tour and is engineering his trip to get down to St Louis - the last thing Simms wants . . .

But a call for help from a sheriff's deputy in Oklahoma distracts the professor: a mother dead, her child gone. Fennimore's quick mind rapidly gets to work, and gradually draws the conclusion this might not an isolated case. How many other young mothers have been killed, their murders unsolved, their children unaccounted for - and what of Simms' cold case in St Louis for instance?

[Start reading Believe No One now!]

Tue
Jul 21 2015 11:00am

Naked Drunk Driving Suspect Arrested After Falling Off Barn Roof

A drunk driving suspect ran from police in Pennsylvania and was later found completely naked on a nearby barn roof, according to the Inquisitr.

Daquan Tate, 20, fled the scene after he slammed into a roadside mailbox and speed limit sign Saturday morning in Hollidaysburg. The suspect then kept driving until he lost control of his car again, hit an embankment, and rolled to a stop along the shoulder before jumping out and running away.

Police found him naked shortly after on the barn roof and arrested him after he fell off.

Mon
Jul 20 2015 3:00pm

The Port of San Pedro: A New Noir Series

As undisputed fans of all things dark, chaotic, and deadly, it seems like it's our duty to bring to your attention The Port of San Pedro, an upcoming television series created by Cleo Valente.

The Port of San Pedro is a clear homage to the glory days of noir, from its black-and-white stylization to the schemings of the duplicitous femme fatale, Luli-May Tang. Throw in Nick de Salvo (Steve Polites), an undercover detective who's teamed up with his corruptible police captain, Sebastian Montenero (Luke Fattorusso), and you've got yourself a classic tale that knows where its roots first grew.

The series' synopsis informs us that Luli-May Tang (Melodie Shih) is a Chinese woman who's running an illegal currency forgery operation in Macao and has started to look into new ventures at the port of San Pedro. Luli-May is assisted by Mike Moretti (Mark Mikita), a mute sociopath who serves as her bodyguard. For Nick and Sebastian, their progress is impeded by Augustine “Quint” Quintero (Jesus Guevara), a morally ambiguous man who's attracted equally to both new opportunities and the deadly femme fatale.

At this time, there's no news as to when (and where) Season 1 will premiere, but a teaser trailer has recently been released. Take a look for yourself, and if you're interested in more information, check out The Port of San Pedro's Facebook and Twitter accounts, where you'll be ther first to read all breaking news.

Mon
Jul 20 2015 12:00pm

True Detective 2.05: “Other Lives”

“You and me need to talk.”

After last week’s disastrous gunfight, where Ray’s (Colin Farrell) old partner dirty Dixon (W. Earl Brown) led the trio to a Mexican-run meth lab that was supposedly inhabiting Caspere’s L.A. sleaze pad, we recoup three months later, with our detectives reassigned or demoted, and a politician announcing that the “Caspere murder is closed” as he also announces his run for Governor.

Subtle as always.

The twisted puppet strings of the plot become somewhat more clear, this time around, and I’ll give it a quick recap at the end, once we catch up on what everyone’s been up to in the meanwhile. The big surprise is Colin Farrell’s mustache leaving the series, revealing Ray’s harelip. He’s working security now, having quit the Vinci PD with apparently no retribution except he loses his cheap row house digs. That’s not usually what happens when someone who knows too much tries to leave, and Frank (Vince Vaughn) seems unaware that his pocket detective is off the force, despite his resurgence into fully criminal activities.

[That might be a big overlook...]

Mon
Jul 20 2015 10:30am

Hannibal 3.07: “Digestivo” Finishes Characters

Hannibal's “Digestivo” finishes characters with a burp, despite NBC moving our dinner reservation. Shifted to Saturday night, without preamble, this week's episode had lots of action for fannibals who don't care about the show's cancellation, not while there's still plenty to see in this season. (Of course, the more vigorous and plentiful the viewer affection, the better chance of the show being picked up elsewhere.)

After the disruption of another simply awful dinner party, we get to see the corrupt Questura (Giorgio Lupano) miss Hannibal “by that much,” at least that's what they'll say officially, while exporting their valuable trophies to Maryland for Mason's bounty. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) is still drugged and bound, looking like a loose end in need of cutting, until the sniper par excellence, who always finds the vantage and angle, shoots those trying to kill him. Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto) also helps free him in exchange for information about Mason's lair. Jack says Will and Hannibal are on their way to Muskrat Farm, where pigs are spoken of with great admiration, but what's done to them... well, spare me from ever being held in such esteem.

[Do you smell bacon?]

Sun
Jul 19 2015 11:00am

Could The Revenant be Leonard DiCaprio’s Chance to Shine?

It's well-known that Leonard DiCaprio's mantelpiece is lacking an Academy Award. Ever since Jack Dawson perished in the icy Atlantic ocean, Leo’s put out quality movie after quality movie, only to continually fall just short when it came to winning an Oscar.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there’s a chance that could change this year with Leo’s next movie, The Revenant, whose trailer just released this weekend. Directed by 2014’s Academy Award winner for Best Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, and co-starring Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson, The Revenant looks every bit the award’s season contender. The plot, according to IMDB:

The frontiersman Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

A story of revenge is nothing new, but with Iñárritu’s directorial hand calling the shots, I’m betting that The Revenant is both beautiful and terrifying. And I also must tip my hat to the team of editors who produced the trailer—thank you for not spoiling anything. (I’m looking at you, Southpaw.)

There’s still plenty of time until Oscar Season, but with seemingly nothing but comic book movies coming our way this summer, I for one can’t wait. How about you? Did you enjoy the trailer? What other potential Oscar films are you excited about? 

Sat
Jul 18 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Who Let the Dog Out?: New Audio Excerpt

David Rosenfelt

Who Let the Dog Out? by David Rosenfelt is the 13th mystery in the Andy Carptenter series about the dog-loving lawyer who tracks down a stolen dog to a gruesome crime scene (available July 21, 2015).

A lawyer by day-and then only when he's forced to take on new cases-Andy Carpenter's true passion is the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization he runs with his friend Willie Miller. So it's frightening when Willie calls him to say the alarm has gone off at the foundation building, and there's clearly been a break-in. It turns out that a recently rescued dog, nicknamed Cheyenne since her arrival at the foundation, has been stolen. Andy and Willie track the missing dog to a house in downtown Paterson, New Jersey and sure enough, they find the dog...standing right next to a dead body. The man had been gruesomely murdered mere minutes before Andy and Willie arrived. Could it be a coincidence? Or could the dog theft somehow be connected to the killing?

Andy takes Cheyenne safely back to the foundation building, and that should be the end of his involvement, but Andy's curiosity-and his desire to keep the dog from further harm-won't let him stop there. The cops have just arrested a man named Tommy Infante for the murder, but as Andy looks into the circumstances surrounding the break-in and the dog theft, he starts to wonder if Infante might actually be innocent. And when Andy takes Infante on as a client and starts searching in earnest for evidence that will exonerate him, what Andy starts to discover terrifies him. The murder might be just one small cog in a plot with far-reaching implications, and unless Andy can uncover the truth in time, thousands of lives could be in imminent danger.

[Click through to listen to Chapter 1!]

Fri
Jul 17 2015 4:30pm

A Master Spy’s Final Showdown: Smiley’s People by John LeCarré

After Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), John LeCarré had secured his nook within literature as a leading master of the espionage genre. Then, like a ballplayer who knows he can drive one more homer out of the park, he brought his greatest creation, George Smiley, out of retirement once again with Smiley’s People (1979).

Oliver Lacon of the Cabinet Office should go easy on Smiley, after all it was Smiley who unearthed the mole in Tinker Tailor and then reestablished The Circus as a viable spy organization in The Honourable Schoolboy (1977) when it was in danger of being defunded. However, when General Vladimir, formerly of the Soviet Union and spy for the Brits, is murdered following a cryptic message that he has some vital information, Lacon pressures the retired agent—since Vladimir had been one of his contacts in the old days—to clean up the spilled milk and put it back in the bottle where it belongs.

Lacon and his bureaucratic peers have little use for the general’s intel aside from putting it to rest quietly then maintain the idea that he was an old fool trying to relive a glorious past. As Lacon warns, the events surrounding Vladimir’s murder could stir an unnecessary risk to the organization, particularly at this stage of its rebirth. Lacon stipulates, clearly aware of who he is addressing, not to go nosing around for additional information … just make sure all loose ends are neatly tied up.

[Seems fair enough...]

Fri
Jul 17 2015 11:00am
Excerpt

The Flicker Men: New Excerpt

Ted Kosmatka

The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka is scientific thriller about a quantum physicist that shocks the world and ignites a struggle between science and theology (available July 21, 2015).

A quantum physicist shocks the world with a startling experiment, igniting a struggle between science and theology, free will and fate, and antagonizing forces not known to exist.

Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe.

His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

[Start reading The Flicker Men now!]

Fri
Jul 17 2015 8:45am

Spaghetti Western! (with Dogs and Vacuum, of Course)

Now, that's what we call a good ole' spaghetti western. Why yes, of course there are costumed dogs and a vacuum! If you're trying to portray true struggle, pioneering spirit, and romance, how else would you do it?

h/t: Cute Overload. We look forward to hearing about Baxter and Dixie's nominations.

Thu
Jul 16 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Badlands: New Excerpt

C. J. Box

Badlands by C.J. Box is a new-age Western set in a North Dakota city that has suddenly become the state's oil capital, a title that brings with it drugs and organized crime (available July 28, 2015).

Read this exclusive excerpt from Chapters 1 and 2 of Badlands! And then comment for a chance to win a copy of C.J. Box's Western thriller!

Twenty miles across the North Dakota border, where the scenery goes from rolling grass prairie to pipeline fields, detective Cassie Dewell has been assigned as the new deputy sheriff of Grimstad—a place people used to be from, but were never headed to—now the oil capital of North Dakota. With oil comes money, with money comes drugs, and with drugs comes the dirtiest criminals wanting to corner the market.

In the same small town resides twelve-year-old Kyle Westergaard. Even though Kyle has been written off as the “slow” kid, he has dreams deeper than anyone can imagine. While delivering newspapers, he witnesses a car accident and now has a lot of money and packets of white powder in his possession.

When the temperature drops to 30 below and a gang war heats up, Cassie finds that the key to it all might come in the most unlikely form: an undersized boy on a bike who keeps showing up where he doesn't belong.

[Start reading Badlands now!]

Thu
Jul 16 2015 11:00am

Crime Through Time: Marc A. Hermann’s NYC Photo Mashups

It's been said that you can never truly outrun the past, and photographer Marc A. Hermann has used that notion as inspiration in his “Then and Now” series where archived photos from the newspaper's past have been digitally mashed-up with modern photos depicting the same location. From the Daily News:

New York City's rich photo history has been well documented by the Daily News through the years. Many of the places, stories, and lives lived by New Yorkers who have come before us are still alive and well, but locked in photography archives. Marc A. Hermann, historian of the New York Press Photographers Association, has juxtaposed then and now photos of New York City, bringing back to life people and stories of the Big Apple's past.

As you scroll through all of Hermann's mashups, it's startling to see just how quickly everyone adapts and moves forward. Whether it's a dead gangster (the above picture depicts the death of mob man Frankie Yale in Brooklyn in 1928) or a scorched storefront, New York City has moved on to hide its past, but thanks to Hermann, it's easy to remember.

Check out the full “New York City Then and Now” series on the Daily News' website!

HT: Thanks to The Lineup for putting this on our radar.

Wed
Jul 15 2015 7:00pm

Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: August, 2015

Discover (or remember to order) your next cozy with a delightfully convenient shopping list of upcoming soft-boiled mysteries! We kept rolling off last month with July's releases, and now we're setting our sights on July! Let us know in the comments how you like it and what you can't wait to read next!

Criminal Element's July 2015 Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List!

[Let's get to the goodies!]