Review: <i>Keys to Nowhere</i> by Dorothy H. Hayes Review: Keys to Nowhere by Dorothy H. Hayes Leigh Neely Read Leigh Neely's review & learn how to win a copy! Review: <i>Indulgence in Death</i> by J.D. Robb Review: Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb Jenny Maloney Read Jenny Maloney's review! <i>The Breakout</i>: New Excerpt The Breakout: New Excerpt Ryan David Jahn A military thriller about revenge and the bond of a troop. Review: <i>Fantasy in Death</i> by J.D. Robb Review: Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb Meghan Harker Read Meghan Harker's review!
From The Blog
January 19, 2017
A Tudor Primer
Mary Lawrence
January 19, 2017
Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart”: Why Are These Men Laughing?
Susan Amper
January 19, 2017
Announcing 2017's Edgar Award Nominees
Crime HQ
January 19, 2017
Discount: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Crime HQ
January 19, 2017
The Breakout: New Excerpt
Ryan David Jahn
Thu
Jan 19 2017 4:00pm

A Tudor Primer

Let’s face it. We Americans have been regaled with stories of our forefathers since we were old enough to spit peas. George and his cherry tree, Honest Abe, and Trust Buster Teddy—but what do we know about our friend and once foe: England? Except for cursory mentions in history classes, a lot of us don’t know—much less care about—England during this period.

This primer is for the uninitiated, the folks who can’t get excited about watching Wolf Hall or reruns of The Tudors. They are missing out on some romping good stories! I’ve compiled a short compendium of quick and dirty facts written to inform and hopefully entice them to give Tudor stories a go.

[Learn more about the Tudor era!]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 3:00pm

Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart”: Why Are These Men Laughing?

Today, Edgar A. Poe would have been 208 years old. His birthday gift to readers is stories that just keep on giving.

Have you ever heard “Little Red Riding Hood” or “The Three Little Pigs” told from the wolf’s point of view? If you think that’s amusing, try this one: “The Tell-Tale Heart” from the detectives’ point of view. It will knock your socks off.

This, of course, is the famous Poe story in which a man murders his employer in the night, says he hears the dead man’s heart beating, and ends up frantically tearing up the floor and revealing the dead body. Though the narrator assures us he is sane, he manages to convince everyone who reads the story that he is crazy. But he doesn’t convince the police.

[Don't hit me. I'll hit me. Cause I'm crazy!]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 2:30pm

Announcing 2017’s Edgar Award Nominees

The Mystery Writers of America have announced the 2017 Edgar Award nominees and special winners. The Edgars banquet—an annual black-tie gala celebrating crime fiction, non-fiction, and television writing—will be held on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. As always, it's a fantastic list of great work that deserves to be checked out! What have you read already?

[Check out the nominees for the 2017 Edgars!]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 2:00pm

Review: Keys to Nowhere by Dorothy H. Hayes

Keys to Nowhere by Dorothy H. Hayes is the 3rd volume in the Carol Rossi Mystery series.

Read Leigh Neely's review of Keys to Nowhere, and make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win this new Carol Rossi Mystery!

Carol Rossi is one of my favorite characters. I’ve read all the books in this series by Dorothy H. Hayes, beginning with Murder at the P&Z. Rossi is an investigative reporter in a small Connecticut town, and no matter where the crime occurs, she manages to find ways to use her journalism techniques to help solve it.

Things are different now. Rossi is at home with a new baby she adores and happy to be truly living in “Peaceable Kingdom,” which is what her husband Jerry calls their farm filled with rescue animals. She may be older than your average new mom, but she’s loving the feel of her daughter in her arms and the beauty of sharing a child with her beloved husband.

[Read Leigh Neely's review of Keys to Nowhere...]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 1:00pm

Review: Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Jenny Maloney reviews #31, Indulgence in Death.

Even on vacation, there are two things Lieutenant Eve Dallas can’t avoid: being billionaire Roarke’s wife and murder. The first is a pleasure, even though reporters follow their every move and report her food and clothing choices. The second is business as usual. 

After helping local Irish police on a case—when she’s supposed to be relaxing—Dallas arrives back in New York to find violence has not taken a holiday. Limo driver Jamal Houston, a man who has overcome his past as an illegals drug dealer and built a driving service from scratch, is found shot with a crossbow in the front seat of one of his limos. Houston’s final fare was registered under a stolen identity, and there are no immediate clues to help a just-back-from-vacation detective out. 

[Read Jenny Maloney's review of Indulgence in Death...]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 12:00pm

Review: HBO’s Beware the Slenderman (2017)

I want you to go back in time for a moment and try to remember when you were twelve. You would have been in the fifth or sixth grade then, and if your childhood was anything like mine, you'd remember that middle school was a pretty brutal time. It's when hormones start flooding our systems and muddling our brains. Popularity is more important than it ever has been before, especially for girls, and sometimes we'd do anything just to fit in and be accepted.

Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, two twelve year old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin, felt the burdens of loneliness and unpopularity keenly. For them, the only escape was the internet. When they found friendship in each other through a common interest in the online fable of Slenderman, their parents were relieved. Little did they know, the combination of loneliness, mental illness, and the general susceptibility of children would have violent consequences.

[Beware the Slenderman...]

Thu
Jan 19 2017 11:00am

Discount: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. For one day only, get an ebook copy of First Grave on the Right for only $1.99!

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life ... and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

Check out Charley Davidson's tips on solving crime & learn how to win a copy of Darynda Jones's latest grim reaper PI mystery, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight!

 

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes and Noble Buy at iTunes

Thu
Jan 19 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

The Breakout: New Excerpt

Ryan David Jahn

The Breakout by Ryan David JahnThe Breakout by Ryan David Jahn is a military thriller where Marine Corps sniper James Murphy is captured and thrown in jail while seeking revenge for his murdered sister, leaving his troup to risk their lives to break him out (available January 31, 2017).

James Murphy is a Marine Corps sniper. He’s done two tours in Afghanistan. He’s considered an American Hero. And James is out for revenge.

Alejandro Rocha, a massively powerful drug kingpin who operates out of La Paz, Mexico, is responsible for James’s sister, Layla’s death, and he intends to make Rocha pay for it.

James goes AWOL from his unit and travels to Mexico, ready to enact bloody vengeance, but before he can go through with his plan, he is arrested by the crooked police of La Paz. He’s quickly thrown into a dangerous prison on trumped-up charges. He knows he is marked for death while in this prison and there’s nothing he can do about it. However, there is a group of people who can do something about it.

Discovering that James is wasting away in a Mexican prison, the marines in his unit decide to risk court-martial themselves and go AWOL as well, ready to go to war in order to break their brother out. And that’s just the beginning of the mayhem and violence.

[Read an excerpt from The Breakout...]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 4:30pm

Cooking the Books: The Good, the Bad and the Guacamole by Rebecca Adler

A music festival has come to the small town of Broken Boot, Texas, and while it’s certainly good business for our heroine Josie Callahan’s family’s restaurant, she’s still a little leery of musicians after her unhappy breakup with her musician former fiancé. Her best friend, Patti Perez, however, is not of the once-bitten, twice-shy inclination, as she’s only too happy to start things up again with her ex-boyfriend, the music festival’s headliner, Jeff Clark.

Hoping to get a scoop to jumpstart her own stalling career as a reporter, Josie heads over to Patti’s house the night after Jeff sleeps over to try to get an exclusive interview. What she gets instead is the discovery of Jeff’s corpse in the living room, face down in a bowl of guacamole.

[Recipe and pictures below!]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 3:00pm

Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton: A Visual Guide

GIFnotes: Giving you the basic plot summary of an upcoming book with the help of the Graphics Interchange Format.

This week, a movie star is typecast as a killer in the 2nd Dangerous Type Mystery from Paige Shelton, Bookman Dead Style. Take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 2:00pm

A Driving Tour of Midwestern Mysteries

With so many mysteries set in big cities, Kristen Lepionka spreads the love to the Midwest, outlining some of the best mysteries in the region! Read her exclusive guest post, and make sure to sign in and comment for a chance to win her debut novel, The Last Place You Look!

To a detective character from a big city like New York or Los Angeles, the Midwest might look like one big flyover zone. But to plenty of mystery writers (myself included), the Midwest looks like home—and a good setting for a crime novel. We have plenty of cynicism to counteract that apple-cheeked, earnest idea of Midwestern values, and wild imaginations besides. Here is a selection of mysteries set in each of the ten states that officially comprise the Midwest, at least according to the census bureau. The geographic region, that is, not the mysteries. I don’t know if the census bureau likes mysteries, but I hope they do.

[Take the tour!]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 1:00pm

Review: Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Meghan Harker reviews #30, Fantasy in Death.

Sometimes, escapism is all we’ve got. Departure from reality—immersing yourself in another world, in another self—can be a coping mechanism for dealing with the scary things in reality. It’s a chance to regroup. Sometimes, it’s exploring a different side of yourself. For Bart Minnock, turning his love of gaming into a ground-breaking, multi-million dollar business is a dream come true. But his fantasy derails when he’s found dead, locked in his holo-room, decapitated, and with no sign of foul play.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has her work cut out for her. No one appears to have any problems with the victim, but people don’t lose their heads over nothing, and Eve’s convinced the whole setup is more than just a game.

[Read Meghan Harker's review of Fantasy in Death...]

Wed
Jan 18 2017 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: January 17, 2017

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!

This week, we get new thrillers from Gregg Hurwitz, Heather Graham and Jon Land, and James Patterson and Candice Fox. See what else the week brought for books!

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

Wed
Jan 18 2017 10:05am
Excerpt

A Death at the Yoga Cafe: New Excerpt

Michelle Kelly

A Death at the Yoga Cafe by Michelle KellyA Death at the Yoga Cafe by Michelle Kelly is book #2 in the Keeley Carpenter series (available January 31, 2017).

Keeley Carpenter has found her center. After returning to Befrey, the traditional English village she called home ten years ago, she’s opened her dream yoga café, which doubles as both a yoga studio and a delicious vegetarian café. Even better, Keeley is dating handsome Detective Ben Taylor, and things are beginning to look serious.

Too bad things never seem to run smoothly for long. Eager to get involved with the local community, Keeley sets up a booth at the annual Belfrey Arts Festival, along with her nemesis, fellow small business owner Raquel. Preparing herself to play nice, she’s shocked when Raquel’s boyfriend, Town Mayor Gerald, is found dead after a public spat. Despite Ben’s strict warnings to stay out of it, Keeley isn’t going to let an innocent woman take the blame for the murder—even if it is glamorous, spoiled Raquel.

Now Keeley must balance a precarious murder investigation with the demands of her growing business and now-strained relationship. But when the killer takes a personal interest in Keeley, can she find the culprit before she gets bent out of shape?

[Read an excerpt from A Death at the Yoga Cafe...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 4:00pm

Who Is Your Favorite Fictional President?

This week, the United States of America will inaugurate its 45th president. While here at CrimeHQ we don’t like to talk politics, we thought this might be a good opportunity to vote for your favorite fictional president! 

So cast your ballot, and let the world know which fictional president you’d want as your Commander in Chief!

[Vote for your favorite fictional president below!]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 3:30pm

Unworthy: Exploring the Mythology of Lucifer, Episode 2.11: “Stewardess Interruptus”

The Lucifer hiatus has ended, and we can finally get back to our favorite devil. This episode is pretty low-key when it comes to the mythology, but we still have an opportunity to explore the episode’s theme of worthiness. Specifically, we’ll look at where humanity fits in with angels, demons, and the divine.

For a while, Mum has been nursing a chip on her shoulder regarding humanity, eager to destroy the whole lot of them and blaming them for the disruption of her family. And now, even when she’s found that there are some things enjoyable about them (sex and Italian espressos), she continues to demean them.

[These are a few of my favorite things...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 3:00pm

Charley Davidson’s Crime-Solving Tips (Supernatural Abilities Required)

In celebration of Darynda Jones's newest Charley Davidson mystery, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (available January 24, 2017), we sat down with Charley herself and asked her for some crime-solving advice. Fair warning: some supernatural abilities are required. 

A lot of people think that because I’m a private investigator who also happens to be the grim reaper, solving cases must be insanely easy. They could not be more wrong. It’s one thing to know whodunit. It’s another to prove it.

But I thought, for the sake of education, I’d break down my normal procedure when solving a crime. Some of my resources might not be as easily accessible to you as they are to me, but hopefully this will help in a general grand-scheme kind of way.

1. First, I drink coffee. A lot of coffee. Then, I get all the info I can from the person/people who hired me. I ask them everything I can think of. Sometimes people have more information than they think they do, and ferreting out that info is part of the job. (Also, as the grim reaper, I can tell when someone is lying or if they feel guilty. This lets me assess their part, if any, in the crime. It’s amazing how many people will hire a PI when they are guilty just to make it look like they are concerned and willing to do whatever it takes to solve said crime.)

[You might just want to make an entire pot...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 1:00pm

Review: Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Dirk Robertson reviews #29, Kindred in Death.

Eve and Roarke have just made love and are having a bit of breakfast in bed when they’re joined by the cat, who waited a respectful length of time before joining them. What is there not like about that? Peaceful, relaxed, and fulfilled—gentle things going on as they think about getting ready for a quick jaunt to the Cayman Islands to check out the possible purchase of a villa. 

But reality has another agenda as a communicator summons her to pick up and read the display. It’s from Whitney. Now she is no longer Roarke’s lover, pet afficiando, and person who was about to jet off to the Caymans—she is Lieutenant Eve Dallas, and it is time for another case. 

Instead of boarding a plane for the sun, she has to go to 541 Central Park South. A victim awaits her: Deena Macmasters, sixteen, found dead by her parents when they came back from a weekend trip. It doesn’t get any worse. Parents should never have to bury their children under any circumstances. 

[Read Dirk Robertson's review of Kindred in Death...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 12:30pm

2017 Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Awards Nominations

The 2017 Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Awards nominations are up! 

The Lefty Awards are fan-based, chosen by registered members of the Left Coast Crime convention. Nominations for awards to be presented at each annual convention are made by people registered for that convention and also the immediately prior convention. 

The 27th annual LCC convention, Left Coast Crime 2017, “Honolulu Havoc,” will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

Check out the nominations below:

[See what books have been nominated for a 2017 Lefty Award...]

Tue
Jan 17 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass, Part II

Last week, we began Wizard and Glass by defeating Blaine the Mono and ending up in some when's Topeka, Kansas. This week, we begin Roland's backstory in Mejis and meet the beautiful Susan Delgado

Thank you for joining me on a journey of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass (1997), the 4th book in The Dark Tower series. When we left Roland, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy the billy-bumbler, they were trapped on the psychotic locomotive, Blaine the Mono, crossing through the feared waste lands. Our ka-tet had narrowly escaped the destruction of Lud that Blaine had decimated with gas—but for what? To become prisoners aboard a train bulleting into a desolate hell populated by fierce beasts, with a guide that’s clearly mad. Yeah, it looks like we are bound to have a helluva lot of fun as we continue our journey to the Dark Tower.

 *Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we begin Roland's backstory in Mejis and finally meet the beautiful Susan Delgado. Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part II of Wizard and Glass: Susan: Chapter 1 “Beneath the Kissing Moon” – Chapter 4 “Long After Moonset”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[Introducing the beautiful Susan Delgado...]