<i>Brush Back</i>: New Excerpt Brush Back: New Excerpt Sara Paretsky Hateful criminal, monstrous act, political backlash. Of course, V.I. ends up on the case! FM: <i>Lord of the Wings</i> by Donna Andrews FM: Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews Katrina Niidas Holm It's Halloween, and everyone seems to have a skeleton in their closet. <i>The Madagaskar Plan</i>: New Excerpt The Madagaskar Plan: New Excerpt Guy Saville The Nazi's control Africa, and their plan is almost complete... <i>The Fall</i>: New Excerpt The Fall: New Excerpt R.J. Pineiro A lot can change in five years, or in Jack's case, one day.
From The Blog
July 28, 2015
Royally Flushed: Atlantic City's Counterfeit Chip Scam
Crime HQ
July 24, 2015
Washburn, Mims, and Foley: Women Authors Leading the Western Charge
Edward A. Grainger
July 22, 2015
Announcing the Hammett Prize Nominees
Crime HQ
July 21, 2015
Naked Drunk Driving Suspect Arrested After Falling Off Barn Roof
Teddy Pierson
July 19, 2015
Could The Revenant be Leonard DiCaprio's Chance to Shine?
Joe Brosnan
Jul 28 2015 2:00pm

Brush Back: New Excerpt

Sara Paretsky

Brush Back by Sara Paretsky is the 18th novel featuring Chicago private eye V.I. Warshawski, who'll reluctantly investigate the case of a hateful woman from the old neighborhood, convicted of killing her own daughter decades ago (available July 28, 2015).

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter’s murder.

Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. V.I. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V.I.’s adored mother, Gabriella, but life has been hard on Frank and other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills. When V.I.'s grudging few questions lead her straight into the vipers’ nest of Illinois politics and a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she'll live long enough to find answers.

This special excerpt is offered by permission of G.P. Putnam's Sons. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Chapter 1

I didn’t recognize him at first. He came into my office unannounced, a jowly man whose hairline had receded to a fringe of dark curls. Too much sun had baked his skin the color of brick, although maybe it had been too much beer, judging by those ill-named love handles poking over the sides of his jeans. The seams in the faded corduroy jacket strained when he moved his arms; he must not often dress for business.

“Hey, girl, you doing okay for yourself up here, aren’t you?”

I stared at him, astonished and annoyed by the familiarity.

“Tori Warshawski, don’t you know me? I guess Red U turned you into a snob after all.”

Tori. The only people who called me that had been my father and my cousin Boom-Boom, both of them dead a lot of years now. And Boom-Boom’s boyhood friends—who were also the only people who still thought the University of Chicago was a leftist hideout.

“It’s not Frank Guzzo, is it?” I finally said. When I’d known him thirty years and forty pounds ago, he’d had a full head of red-gold hair, but I could still see something of him around the eyes and mouth.

“All of him.” He patted his abdomen. “You look good, Tori, I’ll give you that. You didn’t turn into some yoga nut or a vegan or something?”

“Nope. I play a little basketball, but mostly I run the lakefront. You still playing baseball?”

“With this body? Slow-pitch sometimes with the geriatric league. But my boy, Frankie Junior, Tori, I got my fingers crossed, but I think he’s the real deal.”

“How old is he?” I asked, more out of politeness than interest: Frank always thought someone or something was going to be the real deal that made his fortune for him.

“He’s fifteen now, made varsity at Saint Eloy’s, even though he’s only a freshman. He’s got a real arm. Maybe he’ll be another Boom-Boom.”

Meaning, he could be the next person to make it out of the ’hood into some version of the American dream. There were so few of us who escaped South Chicago’s gravitational pull that the neighborhood could recite our names.
I’d managed, by dint of my mother’s wishes, and my scholarships to the University of Chicago. My cousin Boom-Boom had done it through sports. He’d had seven brilliant seasons with the Blackhawks until he injured his ankle too badly for the surgeons to glue him back in any shape to skate. And then he’d been murdered, shoved off a pier in the Port of Chicago, right under the screw of the Bertha Krupnik.

When Boom-Boom and Frank hung out together, Frank hoped he’d be a real deal, too, in baseball. We all did—he was the best shortstop in the city’s Catholic league. By the time I started law school, though, Frank was driving a truck for Bagby Haulage. I don’t know what happened; I’d lost touch with him by then.

Maybe he could have been a contender. He wasn’t the only kid in South Chicago with a spark of promise that flared up and died. They start to spread their wings and then they fall to earth. It’s hard to leave the world you know. Even if it’s a painful place at times, you grow up learning how to navigate it. The world north of Madison Street looks good on TV, but it has too many hidden traps, places where a homey can make a humiliating mistake.
Perhaps Frankie Junior would have the drive, the mentors and the talent to be another Boom-Boom. All I said was I hoped Frank was right, it would be great.

[Continue reading Brush Back by Sara Paretsky...]

Jul 28 2015 1:00pm

The Essential Jim Gordon Stories, Or, When Gordon Became Batman

In the current storyline in DC’s Batman and Detective Comics, Jim Gordon’s shaved his mustache, ditched the overcoat, and done some serious body sculpting for his new job—the pilot of a new robotic Batman suit that is protecting Gotham, because the real Batman is feared dead from a final confrontation with the Joker.

I thought Jim Gordon had reached the height of popularity when an entire show, Gotham, was built around him.

No. Not even close.

Because now he’s Batman.

It’s quite a pinnacle for a character introduced in 1939, who stayed in the background for decades, and then was shown as an ineffective bumbler in the Batman (1966) television show.

[Every bat has its day...]

Jul 28 2015 11:00am

Fresh Meat: Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews

Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews is the 19th cozy mystery in the Meg Langslow series set amidst the spooky Halloween festival that's overtaken Caerphilly, Virginia (available August 4, 2015).

Donna Andrews’ nineteenth Meg Langslow Mystery, Lord of the Wings, finds her fictitious town of Caerphilly, Virginia smack in the middle of a ten-day Halloween festival. Nobody in Caerphilly does anything by halves, so it’s hardly a surprise that Meg’s neighbors have turned decorating for the festival into a bit of an arms race:

…this year, Caerphillians had applied to their Halloween decorating the frenzy they usually saved for Christmas. The local craft store had made valiant efforts to keep up, pumping tons of black and orange decorations into the local economy. The more energetic house holders had made pilgrimages to larger craft stores and Halloween emporiums in Richmond and Washington, D.C., and not long ago, at one of Trinity Episcopal’s potluck suppers, I’d spotted two matrons off to one side, in furtive conversation. I sidled close enough to eavesdrop and found that one was lending the other her collection of mail order catalogs with a good selection of Halloween merchandise.

[Sounds like the fix is in...]

Jul 28 2015 8:45am

Royally Flushed: Atlantic City’s Counterfeit Chip Scam

For most people, a royal flush spells certain victory, but for Christian Lusardi of Fayetteville, North Carolina, it might very well spell prison. When workers at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, went to investigate the cause of a clogged pipe, a wild discovery was made: counterfeit poker chips with a tournament value of $2.7 million had been flushed down the toilet. The Borgata Winter Poker Open, the tournament at which the fake chips were used, was put on hold while officials sorted out what to do next.

The proceeding investigation led authorities to arrest Lusardi on charges of theft and rigging a public contest. Lusardi is believed to have introduced the counterfeit chips on multiple occasions, and is noted to have won $6,814 in the tournament. The investigation is still ongoing.

H/T: NY Post

Jul 27 2015 11:23pm

Hannibal 3.08: “The Great Red Dragon” At Last Descends

Stray dogs and more Englishmen! Once Hannibal was captive, I felt safe vacating, so “The Great Red Dragon” is a late write-up. This episode had a dash of everything I love and may mourn if alternate media saviors don't intervene to #SaveHannibal.

The Baltimore State Hospital has inherited Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), and Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) seems to have inherited his taste in furnishings—check out her swanky, antiquified office. That's hardly possible with stony-broke state budgeting. Perhaps Margot Verger made a donation or endowment or something. I witnessed a variety of bad ideas, from giving Hannibal apparently crystal stemware from which to drink wine (while everyone in the group TV room gets juice boxes, I'm sure), to the fact that apparently Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raúl Esparza) lets the ghoulish chef prepare blood-based desserts. A kitchen...Hannibal....what could possibly go wrong? The legally-demented doc must be using knives, because there were adorable plate garnishes, too. He's also made clear that he still intends to polish off Alana at the time of his choosing, so that Lucite doesn't look thick enough to me.

All these comforts seem so very unwise, but what the heck? I was glad to see it. The Baltimore State Hospital would be no darned fun without capricious standards and institutionalized hubris! As long as Hannibal's happily locked up, enjoying the heavenly concerts of a boy soprano (Aiden Glenn) in the timeless grandeur of his memory palace, he'll stay put. Probably.

[No time for encores though...]

Jul 27 2015 10:30am

True Detective 2.06: “Church in Ruins”

“I sold my soul for nothing.”

That’s Ray’s opening complaint, as we pick up from last week’s cliffhanger. He’s learned that the event he considers his personal Rubicon—when Frank Seymon (Vince Vaughn) slipped him the identity of his wife’s rapist—was a setup, that he was sent after the wrong guy, to put him in Frank’s pocket. He’s ready to kill over it. The two men sit at  breakfast with .45’s aimed at each other under the table.

But cool-as-ice Frank talks him down. It’s been six episodes, but Frank is finally believable as the ice-cold kingpin, not quivering an inch, and like Satan himself, convincing his minion that he’s done all this for and to himself, and the devil was only an innocent bystander. This plays with Frank’s early philosophy that as a pimp and drug dealer, he’s an innocent middle man between people and their vices.  “You were selling, but I wasn’t buying.” They leave as partners, with Ray (Colin Farrell) trading the Caspere sex-party info for the identity of whoever sent Ray to kill the wrong man. That’s contingent on Ray retrieving the lost hard drive of rich-people kinko sex, so we can see how the next episodes must unfold.

Ani (Rachel McAdams) and Paul (Taylor Kitsch) are working the torture cabin scene, where Katharine Davis (Michael Hyatt) keeps them focused on the blue diamonds and the party girls. Compressed once again into eight episodes, True Detective threatens to burst open, like ten pounds of story in a five pound bag, and Michael Hyatt’s iron-clad performance helps glue the story together.

[Can't say we saw that coming, but we're not complaining...]

Jul 26 2015 12:00pm

The Madagaskar Plan: New Excerpt

Guy Saville

The Madagaskar Plan by Guy Saville imagines an alternate history where a Nazi victory in World War II brings thier “final solution” even closer (available July 28, 2015).

The year is 1953. There is peace in Europe, but a victorious Germany consolidates power in Africa. The lynchpin to its final solution is Madagaskar. Hitler has ordered the resettlement of European Jews to the remote island.

British forces conspire to incite colony-wide revolt, resting their hopes on the expertise of Reuben Salois, an escaped leader of Jewish resistance.

Ex-mercenary Burton Cole scours the island for his wife and child. But as chaos descends and the Nazis brutally suppress the nascent insurrection, Cole must decide whether he is master of-or at the mercy of-history.

Chapter One

Schädelplatz, Deutsch Kongo

26 January 1953, 06:30

Panzer crews called it Nashornstahl: rhino steel. It was supposed to be impregnable. A girder of it had been welded across the entrance.

[Continue reading The Madagaskar Plan now!]

Jul 25 2015 12:00pm

The Fall: New Excerpt

R.J. Pineiro

The Fall by R.J. Pineiro is a sci-fi thriller where a man jumps from the outermost reaches of the atmosphere and disappears, landing on Earth five years in the future, a future where he's already dead (available July 28, 2015).

Jack Taylor has always been an adrenaline junkie. As a federal contractor, he does dangerous jobs for the government that fall out of the realm of the SEALS and the Marines. And this next job is right up his alley. Jack has been assigned to test an orbital jump and if it works, the United States government will have a new strategy against enemy countries.

Despite Jack's soaring career, his personal life is in shambles. He and his wife Angela are both workaholics and are on the verge of getting a divorce. But the night before his jump, Jack and Angela begin to rekindle their romance and their relationship holds promise for repair. Then comes the day of Jack's big jump. He doesn't burn up like some predicted—instead, he hits the speed of sound and disappears.

Jack wakes up in an alternate universe. One where he died during a mission five years earlier and where Angela is still madly in love with him. But in this world, his boss, Pete, has turned to the dark side, is working against him, and the government is now on his tail. Jack must return to his own world but the only way for him to do that is to perform another orbital jump. This time is more difficult though—no one wants to see him go.

[Start reading The Fall by R.J. Pineiro now!]

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...]

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.


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...]

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...]

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.

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!

Jul 22 2015 11:30am

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!]

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?]

Jul 21 2015 1:15pm

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!]

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.

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.

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...]

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?]