<i>Sayonara Slam</i>: New Excerpt Sayonara Slam: New Excerpt Naomi Hirahara The 6th Mas Arai Mystery. <i>An Old Fashioned Murder</i>: New Excerpt An Old Fashioned Murder: New Excerpt Carol Miller The 3rd Moonshine Mystery. <i>The Defense</i>: New Excerpt The Defense: New Excerpt Steve Cavanagh Eddie Flynn, a former con artist-turned-lawyer, realizes the two aren't all that different. <i>Assassin's Silence</i>: New Excerpt Assassin's Silence: New Excerpt Ward Larsen The 3rd David Slaton novel.
From The Blog
May 2, 2016
What Became of Downton Abbey?
Hannah Dennison
May 2, 2016
Grantchester 2.06: Episode Review
Leslie Gilbert Elman
May 2, 2016
Q&A with Dan Newman, Author of The Clearing
Crime HQ
April 29, 2016
Follow Me into Weird Worlds: DC's The Swamp Thing
Hector DeJean
April 29, 2016
2016 Edgar Awards—A Night of Milestones
Leslie Gilbert Elman
Apr 29 2016 11:30am

Mayor Steals 111 Road Signs

Mayor Steals 111 Road Signs

This is something new: the Mayor of a small upstate New York village has been arrested after police claim he stole 111 road signs.

Why would a mayor (or anyone) do this? According to ABC News, Police say he was using road signs that belonged to the NY State DoT for his own Frankfort Street Department. I guess this make him the Robin Hood of signs.

Frank Moracco was arrested and charged with petit larceny and official misconduct. His arrest follows an investigation dating as far back as July 2015. In addition to being the Mayor of the Village of Frankfort, Morocco is also a sign shop foreman for the the NYS Department of Transportation office in Herkimer.

Moracco is slated to appear in court on May 3rd.

Apr 29 2016 10:00am

Bloodroot: New Excerpt

Cynthia Riggs

Bloodroot by Cynthia Riggs is the 12th Martha's Vineyard Mystery (Available May 3, 2016).

It's just another day at the dentist's office for Victoria Trumbull when fellow patient, wealthy Mrs. Wilmington, dies. It's an unfortunate, though seemingly not murderous incident, but the receptionist is hysterical, so one of the dental assistants offers to drive her home. But after making a quick pit stop, he finds her body floating in the harbor.

With the police shorthanded due to an upcoming presidential visit, it's up to Victoria to take on the case. As she wrestles with her ex-son-in-law, a $3 million will, and a deadly dental clinic, Mrs. Trumbull discovers that nothing in the case is quite what it seems.

[Read an excerpt from Bloodroot here...]

Apr 28 2016 3:30pm

Mad About Norman: The Enduring Appeal of Psycho

Horror audiences take so much for granted. So many of the monsters, tropes, and scenarios of the genre have been hammered into us over the years that we've become quite jaded.

“Oh,” we say halfway through the trailer or synopsis blurb, “another serial killer story—yawn.”

We fail to appreciate that clichés had to start somewhere. As difficult as it may be to believe, the pop culture landscape hasn't always been awash with obsessive stalkers, murderous Peeping Toms, and slashers with severe mommy issues and low impulse control.

[Kill, kill, kill...mom, mom, mom]

Apr 28 2016 2:00pm

Night Life: New Excerpt

David C. Taylor

Night Life by David C. Taylor is the 1st Michael Cassidy novel. It is nominated for the Edgar Award for “Best Novel.”

The Cold War is heating up. Senator Joe McCarthy is running a witch hunt for Communists in America. The newly formed CIA is fighting a turf battle with the FBI to see who will be the primary US intelligence agency. And the bodies of murdered young men are turning up in the city.

Michael Cassidy has an unusual background for a New York cop. His father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, is a successful Broadway producer. His godfather is Frank Costello, a Mafia boss. Cassidy also has an unusual way of going about the business of being a cop-maybe that's why he threw a fellow officer out a third story window of the Cortland Hotel.

Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment in Hell's Kitchen. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?

Meanwhile, a mysterious, beautiful woman moves into Cassidy's building in Greenwich Village. Is Dylan McCue a lover or an enemy? Cassidy is plagued by nightmares-dreams that sometimes become reality. And he has been dreaming that someone is coming to kill him.

[Read an excerpt from Night Life here...]

Apr 28 2016 1:00pm

Q&A with Pamela Wechsler, Author of Mission Hill

Pam Wechsler spent several years as a criminal prosecutor in Boston, MA before moving to Los Angeles to write for television—most notably Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Now, Ms. Wechsler is trying her hand at crime fiction with her first novel, Mission Hill. She was kind enough to answer some of CrimeHQ's questions about her writing inspirations, her first novel and its protagonist Abby Endicott, and what it's like to write for television and film.

[Check out this exclusive Q&A!]

Apr 28 2016 12:30pm

What Is Credit Card Skimming?

Credit card fraud and identity theft are scary—they can, and do, affect people all over the world, all the time. However, most people are conditioned to fear online transactions, where hackers can intercept your information and use it to steal your money, or sell that information to someone else who will.

See also: Modern Crime 101

[Learn about credit card skimming...]

Apr 28 2016 12:00pm

Redemption Road: New Excerpt

John Hart

Redemption Road by John Hart follows Police Detective Elizabeth Black as she struggles to confront her demons in the aftermath of a brutal shooting, while another officer walks free after 13 long years in prison. Elsewhere, a pale body waits to be found on the altar of an abandoned church (Available May 3, 2016).


A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…

This is a town on the brink.

This is Redemption Road.

[Read an excerpt from Redemption Road here...]

Apr 28 2016 11:00am

Discount: Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

In anticipation of Trail of Echoes by Rachel Howzell Hall (Available May 31, 2016), get the 1st Detective Elouise Norton novel, Land of Shadows, in ebook format for only $2.99 until May 2, 2016!

Along the ever-changing border of gentrifying Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Monique Darson is found dead at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit. Homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton's new partner, Colin Taggert, fresh from the comparatively bucolic Colorado Springs police department, assumes it's a teenage suicide. Lou isn't buying the easy explanation.

For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire. . .and the man who may have murdered Lou's missing sister, Tori, thirty years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical.

Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique's case she will finally bring her lost sister home. But as she gets closer to the truth, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice. . .before Lou becomes his next victim?


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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

Apr 28 2016 10:00am

The Infidel Stain: New Excerpt

M.J. Carter

The Infidel Stain by M.J. Carter is the 2nd installment of the Blake and Avery Mystery series, and the follow up to the Edgar-nominated The Strangler Vine (Available now!).

London, 1841. Returned from their adventures in India, Jeremiah Blake and William Avery have both had their difficulties adapting to life in Victorian England. Moreover, time and distance have weakened the close bond between them, forged in the jungles of India. Then a shocking series of murders in the world of London’s gutter press forces them back together.

The police seem mysteriously unwilling to investigate, then connections emerge between the murdered men and the growing and unpredictable movement demanding the right to vote for all. In the back streets of Drury Lane, among criminals, whores, pornographers, and missionaries, Blake and Avery must race against time to find the culprit before he kills again.

But what if the murderer is being protected by some of the highest powers in the land?

See also: The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter Review

[Read an excerpt from The Infidel Stain here...]

Apr 27 2016 4:00pm

The Many Enemies of Eve Duncan

Eve Duncan has made a lot of enemies over the years. She’s faced the worst of the worst, including serial killers, terrorists, and now cartel leaders. We pulled out the case files and ranked the worst criminals she’s come up against. Did we miss your favorite dastardly foe?

[See which enemies made the list!]

Apr 27 2016 3:15pm

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong is the 1st Casey Duncan Novel, introducing Casey Duncan—a homicide detective with a secret—who, along with her best friend Diana, flees her old life to a community that might present more danger than they were in previously (Available May 3, 2016).

Kelley Armstrong is known for featuring strong, capable women in her books, and homicide detective Casey Duncan is no exception. She’s got a huge secret: she killed a man that had assaulted her in college, and only her best friend Diana knows about it. When Diana falls prey to a dangerous ex, she suggests they do something very unusual, and to her surprise, Casey agrees.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of City of the Lost here...]

Apr 27 2016 2:00pm

Who Will Win the Edgar Award for “Best Novel”?

The Edgar Award, in honor of the great Edgar Allan Poe, is presented by The Mystery Writers of America to the best in mystery fiction & nonfiction that was produced during the previous year. 

All month long, we’ve been covering the Edgar Award nominees—reviewing all of the books up for “Best Novel” and “Best First Novel.” If you haven’t yet, check out our Edgars HQ page and take a look at all of the great reviews!

See also: 2016 Edgar Awards Reviews

Now, before the ceremony on April 28th, we’re asking YOU, the reader, to be the judge and tell us who you think will win the prestigious award. Cast your vote for “Best Novel”:

[Vote for “Best Novel” below!]

Apr 27 2016 1:00pm

Q&A with Kelley Armstrong, Author of City of the Lost

Read this exclusive Q&A with Kelley Armstrong, author of City of the Lost, and then make sure you're signed in and comment for a chance to win an advanced copy of Kelley's first Casey Duncan thriller!

This isn’t the first time you’ve written a female investigator; how is homicide detective Casey Duncan different from police officer Nadia Stafford?

Like Casey, Nadia has a murder in her past. In her case, she didn’t get away with it—never even tried. She openly shot a serial killer and suffered the loss of her job, media attention, public shaming, etc.

In the novels, Nadia’s a part-time hitman struggling not to justify her actions with the label of vigilante. Casey is a much better detective—smarter, more skilled, and more methodical. Nadia is outwardly more personable, more friendly, but more deeply damaged.

Read the first two chapters of City of the Lost!

When I create characters, I sometimes explore variations on a theme, and that’s what I did with Nadia and Casey—one seemingly similar moment in the past leading to two very different lives and characters.

[Get more answers from Kelley here...]

Apr 27 2016 12:00pm

Wild Murder

I love wilderness settings, both in books and real life. Something about wild places has always fascinated me, and if you ask me my favorite vacation spots—Vancouver Island, Cape Breton Island, Alaska—you’ll notice a theme: rugged mountains, rocky shores and endless forest. I even write surrounded by forest, in an off-the-grid cabin in our back field. It’s an optical illusion, with our neighbors living not far beyond the surrounding woods, but if I look out any window, I see only trees and wildflowers, deer and wild turkeys…and occasionally the neighbor’s St. Bernard dogs—but I tell myself they’re just there in case I ever need rescue.

[Or a nice pup to give a good pet...]

Apr 27 2016 11:30am

5 New Books to Read this Week: April 27, 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!

Check back every Wednesday and see what we're reading for the week!

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

Apr 27 2016 11:00am

Deadwood-Inspired Mr. Wu’s Laundry Service T-Shirt

In honor of Kelley Armstrong's Twitter takeover, and her love for Deadwood, today's Daily Steal hardens back to a time when waste disposal meant so much more than garbage:

I love graphic tees and I’m particularly fond of “sleeper” ones, seemingly normal tees that are in-jokes for those who know what’s being referenced. This one advertises the laundry service in Deadwood, where the “waste disposal” mentioned involves corpses and swine.

Made from 100% preshrunk cotton, this t-shirt is available in 10 different color options and starts at only $12.99.

Get Your Mr. Wu's Laundry Service T-Shirt Here:

Buy at Amazon

Apr 27 2016 10:00am

City of the Lost: New Excerpt

Kelley Armstrong

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong is the 1st Casey Duncan Novel, introducing Casey Duncan—a homicide detective with a secret—who, along with her best friend Diana, flees her old life to a community that might present more danger than they were in previously (Available May 3, 2016).

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding―in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

[Read an excerpt from City of the Lost here...]

Apr 26 2016 4:00pm

The Antihero in All of Us

Billy Joel said it best:

“I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints/the sinners are much more fun.”

For me, the same is true for protagonists.

Although they’re called “antiheroes,” I don’t see them that way. They are simply flawed people, and in that way, much more realistic and much more like ourselves, members of our family and our friends.

Perhaps the most common question I get about my writing process is: “How do you start?”

[Find out how...]

Apr 26 2016 2:00pm

A Dust Up in My Reading Habits: Reviewing Dust Up by Jon McGoran

Dust Up by Jon McGoran is the 3rd Doyle Carrick ecological thriller that finds Doyle in Haiti, investigating a murder and its connections to a big biotech company, Energene.

I’m not sure what the last biotech or eco-thriller I read was—which is my knavish way of saying I've never read one, or if I had it didn’t leave much of an impression—and I’m not necessarily drawn to such subgenres. But as I made it to the page-69 litmus test of Dust Up (from the Doyle Carrick series, appearing on Amazon's Thriller & Suspense chart), I was rapt by the suspenseful plot, in no small part because of the crime/detective elements, which struck me as owing a debt to Raymond Chandler—and more specifically Ross Macdonald, who took Chandleresque themes and fused them with even greater moral complexity. Here’s an example of their hardboiled form from McGoran’s novel:

[Read David Cranmer's review of Dust Up here...]

Apr 26 2016 1:00pm

Q&A with Katherine Hall Page, Recipient of This Year’s Agatha Lifetime Achievement Award

Karen Hall Page, author of the Faith Fairchild series—the newest of which, The Body in the Wardrobe, is available today!—is a three-time Agatha Award winner. This year, at Malice Domestic 28, Karen will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. We had a chance to ask Karen some questions about the Agathas, her newest book, and some of her favorite foods.

[Read Karen's answers here...]