<i>City of Ghosts</i>: A New Excerpt City of Ghosts: A New Excerpt Kelli Stanley From San Francisco to Reno, Miranda's journey includes murder, Nazis and her troubled past. <i>Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs</i>: A New Excerpt Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs: A New Excerpt Diane Kelly IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is head over heels...in trouble. FM: <i>Well Read, Then Dead</i> by Terrie Farley Moran FM: Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran Laura K. Curtis Crime comes to life for this cozy Florida book club. <i>Boston Mob</i>: A New Excerpt Boston Mob: A New Excerpt Marc Songini A historical retelling of the reign of the ruthlessly violent Boston mafia.
From The Blog
July 29, 2014
New Trailer for Nightcrawler: The City Shines Brightest at Night
Joe Brosnan
July 28, 2014
Tourist Trap: Mexico's Super-Creepy Island of the Dolls
Crime HQ
July 27, 2014
The Movies of 1944: Laura
Jake Hinkson
July 25, 2014
Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing: First Trailer for The Imitation Game
Joe Brosnan
July 24, 2014
Erotic, Gothic, Belgian Vampires: Daughters of Darkness (1971)
Brian Greene
Wed
Jul 16 2014 8:45am

Man Faces Charges for Carving Watermelon

A man from Connecticut faces criminal charges after a woman told authorities he 'stabbed' a watermelon sitting on the counter in a “passive-aggressive” manner.

The woman in question told police on the 4th of July that she found many kinds of illegal drugs in the man’s tool box. She then later returned home to find a watermelon on the counter with a large butcher’s knife sticking out of it. The man then reportedly entered the kitchen and began carving the watermelon in a very “passive-aggressive and menacing” manner.

Carmine Cervellino, 49, was arraigned on Monday and was charged with disorderly conduct.

The woman said she felt Cervellino was resorting to “passive aggressive” tactics to intimidate her because he was mad at her.

Fri
Jun 27 2014 12:00pm

Gangster Cinema, British Style: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989)

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover is not the first film you're likely to come up with when thinking about British gangster movies. Filmmaker Peter Greenaway, who began his artistic endeavors as a painter, has made a name for himself as a creator of provocative and sometimes experimental works of greater or lesser accessibility (The Draughtsman's Contract, Prospero's Books, The Tulse Lipper Suitcases), and no one would call him a genre filmmaker of any sort. And yet, in The Cook, the Thief, released in 1989, Greenaway wrote and directed a film that has a gangster, Albert Spica, as its central character. The film is not a conventional gangster picture, but it has at its core the ingredients that make up many a basic crime drama: violence, betrayal, romance, revenge. How these ingredients fit together is what makes the film unusual—a film no one but Greenaway, with his distinctive approach to visuals and narrative, could have made.

But let's start with the plot: somewhere in England, a gangster named Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) has bought Le Hollandais Restaurant, run by the French chef Richard (Richard Bohringer). Every night Spica turns up at the restaurant with his entourage of goons, and this boorish group proceed to offend the restaurant staff and customers. Spica himself is violent and crude, and he holds court from the center of his table. He's a self-proclaimed authority on everything, a person intolerant of dissent. Besides his thugs, he's accompanied each night by his wife Georgina (Helen Mirren), a woman who somehow manages to conduct herself with class and tact while enduring the bellowing onslaughts of her husband. Right under his nose, she takes up with a man who always dines alone while reading a book (Alan Howard), and this affair continues with the help of the restaurant staff. Everyone knows the explosion that will happen if Albert discovers the affair, and sure enough when he does, the cruelty he enacts on his wife and her lover (and a child who helped them) is monumental. His wife's sense of loss is deep. Her lover was everything Albert is not: kind, quiet, thoughtful. Above all, like her, he enjoyed books.  He lived for something other than power, money, and eating—the things Albert values. Emboldened by her grief, Georgina talks revenge, and she convinces the restaurant chef to help her.  Richard, Georgina, and all the many people Albert has hurt band together.  Restaurant staff are among the avengers; so are former members of Albert's crew.  The vengeance they take out on him is horrific, as cruel as anything he did to others, but it's exactly what he deserves.

[It gets even crazier...]

Wed
May 14 2014 8:45am

Woman Calls Cops on Subway Over Flatizza Sauce

We all love our favorite pizza sause and some of us love it more than others. A North Carolina woman was placed under arrest and charged with misuse of the 911 system after allegedly calling the emergency dispatchers because she was given a flatbread pizza that was made with marinara sauce instead of pizza sauce.

Bevalente Hall allegedly called 911 after a Subway employee would not refund her money used to pay for a “flatizza” pizza that was sauced incorrectly.

“It's terrible, and I got my receipt,” the 37-year-old says in the 911 call. “And I told them I can't eat that kind of sauce.”

In the 911 call, Hall says she wants to report the incident to investigators with Channel 9.

“They made my mom another sandwich without a problem, but say they won't make me a sandwich,” Hall said.

However, Hall's husband stated his wife called 911 only after being yelled at by an officer.

You can listen to the 911 call right here.

Sat
May 3 2014 11:00am

Fresh Meat: Boiled Over by Barbara Ross

Boiled Over by Barbara Ross is the second cozy installment in the Maine Clambake mystery series featuring Julia Snowden, former New York City girl who has returned to Busman’s Harbor, Maine, to help her family with their struggling clambake (Available May 6).

I read a lot of cozies because I love to get to know great characters who are regular people who do everyday things. Well, until they happen to come across a dead body. For me, nothing beats an amateur sleuth who gets tangled up in a small town mystery. Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake series provides both great characters and a small town mystery that is intricate enough to keep even the best armchair detective guessing.

Julia Snowden joins the planning committee for Busman’s Harbor Founders Weekend. Her family’s clambake provides a new invention for the event: the Claminator. The morning of the festivities, things don’t quite go as planned and they find a burned foot sticking out of the Claminator.

[But where is the rest of the body?]

Thu
Mar 20 2014 8:45am

Woman Torches Car Over a McFlurry

The lack of a delicous ice cream treat made a Florida woman really hot-headed. According to the witnesses at the scene, the woman set a man's car on fire in the parking lot of a Jacksonville McDonald's after he refused to buy her a refreshing McFlurry. A witness who spoke to Action News Jax shared:

“They were going at it,” the witness said. “She was saying she wanted this and wanted that, and she wanted either a McFlurry or an ice cream on top and he was not in for it. Then he was yelling at her saying he's not going to do it...”

“She got something out of the car that happened to be a bottle and then she got gasoline from who knows where. Then she poured everything all over it and next thing you know there was a match and it was up in flames.”

The real victim, a 1994 El Dorado, was totally destroyed. The man and woman have not been identified.

Sadly, in this situation, cooler heads did not prevail.

Tue
Mar 18 2014 8:45am

Chocolate Pill? Thousands Involved in 4-Year Test

It's no secret that in controlled doses, certain types of dark chocolate can have a positive effect on the human body. Previous studies have shown that cocoa flavanols improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and artery health, among other things.

A new study is hoping to build off what we already know by administering volunteers a pill that is jam-packed with dark chocolate's healthy components. This is the first major study to look into harnessing the potential of dark chocolate flavanols, as 18,000 participants will be involved. 

But before you go running off to the candy store to buy all of the chocolate, be warned that the average candy bar is lacking these important flavanols, as they are destroyed during its processing.

And in case you're curious, the pill will be tasteless. Which, if you ask us, is a crime.

Hat tip: Boston.com

Fri
Dec 6 2013 1:00pm
Excerpt

Once Upon a Lie: New Excerpt

Maggie Barbieri

Once Upon a Lie by Maggie BarbieriAn excerpt of Once Upon a Lie, the first book in the Maeve Conlon thriller series by Maggie Barbieri (available December 10, 2013).

Maeve Conlon's life is coming apart at the seams. Her bakery is barely making ends meet, and one of her daughters spends as much time grounded as the other does studying. Her ex-husband has a new wife, a new baby, and a look of pity for Maeve that's absolutely infuriating. Her father insists he's still independent, but he's slowly and obviously succumbing to Alzheimer's. And now, her cousin Sean Donovan has been found dead, sitting in his car in a public park, shot through the head.

There was never much love lost between Maeve and Sean, and she's not exactly devastated by his death, but suddenly the police are poking around asking the family questions. It's just one more hassle Maeve doesn't have time for, until she realizes that her father, whose memory and judgment are unreliable at best, is a suspect in the murder. Maeve is determined to clear his name, but is she prepared to cope with the dark memories and long-hidden secrets that doing so might dredge up?

 

Chapter 1

The recipe was simple:

Take one old guy with budding Alzheimer’s, a cast of characters who had never met a potato they didn’t like, and a dead body in a closed casket. Add accusations and recriminations to taste. Mix well and bake for two hours from either three to five or seven to nine.

Voilà. Once everything cools to a simmering rage, you have an Irish wake.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Once Upon a Lie...]

Fri
Dec 6 2013 9:45am

Resolving Conflict One Cake at a Time

Using mom's lesson “If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all” paid off when the open music encyclopedia site, Music Brainz, decided to say something nice and send this passive aggressive cake to Amazon to celebrate the third anniversary...of not getting paid! Most criminals would just go for the knee caps (and not have the patience) if they had to wait THREE YEARS for an invoice, so this is the better way to go. In the end, Music Brainz got paid, and Amazon got a free cake. Win/win, yes?

Thu
Nov 28 2013 9:45am

Deadly Nightshade in the Cranberry Sauce?

The tortoise cozy artistry of knitter and animal rescuer Katie BradleyChewing like this guy, you'll always notice the difference, not to mention avoiding a holiday Heimlich marathon.

Knitting artist and rescue enthusiast Katie Bradley of Vancouver, Washington has made over 800 delightful tortoise cozies, such as the helpful reminder above.

On this Thanksgiving, all of us at Crime HQ are grateful for you, even if you are prone to the most sinister thoughts.

H/T: Telegraph.

Tue
Nov 26 2013 10:00am

Fresh Meat: The Missing Dough by Chris Cavender

The Missing Dough, A Pizza Lovers Mystery by Chris CavenderThe Missing Dough by Chris Cavender is the sixth installment of the Pizza Lovers Mystery series featuring Eleanor Swift, who faces the skewering of a former brother-in-law during the Founders Day Festival (available November 26, 2013).

Eleanor Swift is expecting a normal day at her pizzeria, A Slice of Delight. She goes in, makes dough, preps her station, and hangs out with her sister, Maddy. Ten minutes after opening, however, her ex-brother-in-law come barging in the door to harass Maddy, begging her to give him a second chance.

Seeing as how Grant was a cheating, stealing, drinking thug, and seeing as how she’s already seeing another guy, Maddy resists his current crazy charms. Eleanor and Maddy escort Grant out of the pizzeria with the business end of a baseball bat. However, that’s not the last the ladies see of Grant that day. Later, Eleanor and Maddy are enjoying the Founders Day Festival with their significant others when Grant comes at them again. Bob, Maddy’s new man, goes after Grant, but is held back by his friends.

So, later that night, it’s not a crazy supposition for Police Chief Hurley to suspect Bob when Grant is murdered—killed by a barbecue skewer to the heart.

[For most ex-brothers-in-law, that fate remains fantasy only.]

Tue
Oct 29 2013 12:00pm

Now Win This!: Trick-or-Treat Food Mystery Sweepstakes

Halloween is almost here and instead of a trick, we thought we'd give you a treat of food mysteries! While cannolis and clam chowder aren't the typical treats for Halloween, we imagine these books will be just what you're looking for!

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 October 29, 2013, at 12:00 pm ET, and ends November 12, 2013, 11:59 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[See what's in your bag of treats!...]

Tue
Oct 29 2013 8:45am

Rest in Piece of Cake

Like many people over the weekend, you may have gone to a Halloween party or are planning to have some sort of shindig on October 31. If you're still scrambling for any food ideas, we have one that might be super easy and creepy to boot!—and would only require some Milano cookies and a bit of talent with a tube of icing!

How do you plan to celebrate Halloween? Will you have a ghoulish bash or just be answering the door for Trick or Treaters?

Tue
Oct 22 2013 1:30pm

Pass the F**king Potatoes, or Foul Things Soldiers Say

Frankly, these potatoes do look pretty f***ing great.There’s a scene in the movie Hamburger Hill that rings so true, I can’t help but remember it every time I hear someone say pass the potatoes. Usually at Thanksgiving or Christmas, someone will say it and I’ll smile privately, remembering the actor Michael Boatman who played the part of Private Ray Motown telling a story about how he went home and couldn’t keep from acting like a jerk.

To set up the scene, Motown is trying to convince one of the other men who is a short timer that he isn’t ready to go home. Motown is trying to explain that the military changes you, it indoctrinates you, it makes you do things for a reason that have no place at home… and sometimes there’s no reason at all. So he’s talking to the man and telling about how he went home on leave:

I smile at my Mamma. Great meal, Ma. Would you please pass the f**king potatoes? The ham is f**king A, Ma. You don't know how... how f**king great it is to be home. How you going to act, huh?

The scene is silent for a few long moments as each one of the men imagines how they’d act. You can almost see it in their eyes as they all realize that they’d probably act the same. And it embarrasses them. In fact, they’d rather be at war.

I remember this scene so well because I did the same thing. It was 1986 and I had just returned from my first duty assignment and a year in Korea. I hadn’t been home for more than 14 months and I was on leave between duty stations. I can see it in complete and utter horrifying clarity in my mind’s eye as if it were yesterday. There I was, sitting at the dining room table at our (then) home in Ooltewah, Tennessee, with my little brother, my mom and my dad.

[Get ready for a real Hallmark moment...]

Tue
Oct 22 2013 12:00pm

Fashion and Food According to Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal LecterDon Draper may have his own Banana Republic line, but he's not the only well-dressed antihero on TV today.  Hannibal Lecter has made the transition to the small scene on NBC's Hannibal, and he's got more style than the MLA Handbook.  Not to mention he's a culinary connoisseur who has perfected the art of preparing delicious, savory… human meat.  What does Don make?  Cocktails?

Ok, enough Draper comparisons.

When watching a thriller with a backdrop of cannibalism, one might think it would be a whole lot messier.  But this is not the case in Hannibal.  Sure, there's a muted and gritty ambience like in most crime thrillers, but Hannibal brings a new flavor to the table (literally): a main character who isn't the worn, tired crime-stopper who's had one too many cases.  Instead, he's a well-groomed, flawlessly-dressed, calculating genius who just so happens to have a peculiar appetite.

[Mostly things that go well with fava beans and chi-anti]

Tue
Oct 15 2013 8:45am

Eye-Popping Cake Pops

And the eyes have it! At least for this fun Halloween treat. Make your guests' stomachs squirm with this finger food! Hat tip to Party City for creating these lovely favors and giving us many more ideas of how to have a ghoulish Halloween.

Mon
Oct 14 2013 8:45am

Extortion At the Office: Cheetos Edition

When you really, really like Cheetos, sometimes extreme measures will become necessary. Deep inside, we all probably suspected that, but here's more evidence.

The delectably crunchy, cheesy dominatrix of your taste buds doesn't care what she makes you and your orange fingers do.

H/T: the Cheezburgery

Thu
Oct 3 2013 8:45am

Trick or Toast!: Occult Jam Made from Princess Diana’s Hair

A Jar of Bompas & Parr's Occult Milk Jam, made with just a speck of Princess Diana's hairThis is not a joke, but an actual, edible product created as surreal art by Bompas & Parr.

The ingredients of their Occult Milk Jam are “milk, cream, caster sugar, Hendrick's Gin infused with a speck of Princess Diana's hair.” But if the thought of that is unsavory, they also made Absinthe & Pineapple Jam infused with sand from the Great Pyramids, and Plum & Oak Jam with wood from Nelson's ship The Victory. Via CNN:

Word of the jam that may include the golden locks of the beloved has spread globally online - with instant reactions ranging from stomach-inducing nausea, outrage of a publicity stunt or just straight confusion. Long term, Bompas hopes the public will be appreciating his creations as works of art.

Still Life with all three of Bompas & Parr's Occult Jams

We missed this installation, but since beginning with jelly-making, the studio has expanded to culinary research, architectural installations and designing immersive food experiences including an inhabitable cloud of gin and tonic and a chocolate climbing wall.

We'll take the cloud of gin, the chocolate, and a piece of toast just in case.

Tue
Sep 24 2013 10:30am

Now Win This!: Bouchercon 2013 Bundle Sweepstakes

If you missed this year's Bouchercon, the international crime convention, we've brought back two fistfuls of titles with something for everyone—and even enough to share!

This Sweepstakes has ended.

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 September 24, 2013, at 10:30 am ET, and ends October 8, 2013, 11:59 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Learn more about the books...]

Wed
Sep 11 2013 8:45am

Witch Fingers: The Knuckles are Deliciously Crispy

Witch finger cookiesThere are lots of versions of these out there—even necrotized zombie ones—but here are the instructions from Karen Pack's Pinterest board (thanks!) with this great picture.

Simply roll out some sugar-cookie dough into a thin line, apply an almond sliver, draw knuckles with a knife, then bake as directed. Brush with a little cocoa-powder to make the hands look dirty.

Oh, do that, please. We're peckish for elevenses already.

Wed
Sep 4 2013 8:45am

Crimes Against Cake and possibly EMTs

Ignoring the fact that chocolate strawberries and fire trucks don't go together, and ignoring the fact that the aforementioned fire truck image has been ripped off from clipart.com, don't you think the cake decorator would have thought that adding splattered chocolate and red sprinkles and frosting might, just might, give the effect of blood splatter over your (we're sure) delicious cake?

There are just some circumstances that when faced with cake or death...we might choose death.

See this and other cake disasters at CakeWrecks.com