<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
May 2 2016 2:30pm

What Became of Downton Abbey?

When Downton Abbey finally ended after six glorious seasons, I don’t think I was alone in feeling an acute sense of loss. Even my husband was maudlin for about three days after the finale.

On the whole, it was a satisfying ending, where all the storylines—both upstairs and down—were tied up neatly. Even poor Lady Edith found happiness, at last, with her Bertie.

But what became of Downton Abbey? What became of the house itself?

[If these walls could talk...]

May 2 2016 1:30pm

Mark Hamill Headlines New Batman: The Killing Joke Trailer

It's Matinee Monday, everybody! In this week's installment of crime on the silver screen, we look at Alan Moore's iconic, controversial treatment of Joker and Oracle's origin story, Batman: The Killing Joke, soon to be released on video everywhere in all its animated, R-rated glory.

As fans of the Caped Crusader already know, The Killing Joke is often perceived as one of DC's canon-defining arcs, examining the origin stories of both Joker and Oracle via Alan Moore's dark, fatalistic, uncompromising lens of Gotham. However, the work has plenty of critics, including Moore himself, who points to the misuse of Barbara Gordon as, essentially, a prop by which to further the showdown between Batman, Joker, and Commissioner Gordon himself.

[“All it takes is one bad day...”]

May 2 2016 1:00pm

Grantchester 2.06: Episode Review

It’s the last episode of Series 2, and we’re still dealing with the fallout from Gary Bell killing Abigail Redmond in Episode 1.

Gary was executed for Abigail’s murder, and hunky vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) hasn’t quite gotten over it. He’s drinking to excess, hanging on past last call at the pub, and dribbling communion wine down his chin in church. Heavens!

He also beat the dickens out of Geordie Keating (Robson Green), because that’s what you do when your best friend disagrees with you. At least that’s what you do when you’re Sidney Chambers.

For it is Sidney’s god-given talent to crap all over his nearest and dearest and never apologize for it. That includes everything from pummeling Geordie to drunkenly, sloppily groping a barmaid to neglecting to visit Gary Bell’s mother in her time of grief. And, for the parents of the murdered girl, he has no time or sympathy at all.

Sour Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones) visits Geordie and takes note of his battered face. Geordie tells her he wants an apology from Sidney—a reasonable person might figure he deserves one. Mrs. M is not, strictly speaking, a reasonable person.

“Your pride’s dented. Don’t pretend it’s anything else,” Mrs. Maguire replies in her own inimitable style of compassion. After all, Sidney is the one who deserves everyone’s attention and sympathy. “He’s lost. And we’re all lost without him,” she tells Geordie.

[What doth every sin deserve...]

May 2 2016 12:00pm

Game of Thrones 6.02: “Home”

It’s not always easy returning to where you grew up, as Theon Greyjoy will undoubtedly learn in the coming weeks, but “Home,” the second episode of Game of Thrones’ young sixth season, made it nice and easy to fall back into the show we love.

If last week’s episode was the setting of the table in preparation for the season-long feast, then “Home” is the appetizer. And what a damn good appetizer it was.

Things began north of The Wall with Bran (Issac Hempstead Wright), who in his lengthy absence, seems to have mastered the power of the flashback. At Castle Black, nightfall arrived and Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) is ready to fight and kill Davos (Liam Cunningham) and the Jon Snow loyalists. Luckily, Edd (Ben Crompton) arrives with the wildlings, led by Wun Wun, and it’s only a few minutes before Thorne and the rest of the mutinous officers (and that fucker Olly) are dragged to the Black Cells.

In King’s Landing, Cersei’s newest Kingsguard takes special offense to a particularly well-endowed boaster and smashes his head in. Elsewhere in the city, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) advises King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) to visit his mother, since the young king is the only thing currently keeping Cersei (Lena Headey) sane. As Tommen leaves, the High Sparrow (aka Westerosi Bernie Sanders) arrives. Jaime reaches for his sword hilt and the High Sparrow counters with words, reminding Jaime that even though the sparrows lack power at the individual level, as a group, they are potent enough to overthrow empires.

Across the Narrow Sea, the still-blind Arya (Maisie Williams) struggles to fight back versus the Waif. Fortunately, Jaqen H’ghar appears and ends the fighting. When No One, née Arya, refuses to say her name, a satisfied Jaqen tells her to follow.

And Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), as impressive as he may have been in unchaining Daenerys’s dragons, definitely deserved to be punched in the face. All I could think of was the convienently-forgotten-by-the-show Quentyn Martell and his final “Oh.”

And now, let’s move onto this week’s Riser of the Week. Something tells me you know who it is.

[What is dead may never die…]

May 2 2016 12:00pm

Q&A with Dan Newman, Author of The Clearing

Dan Newman spent most of his life traveling and writing. Now, fortunately for us, some of those travels have made it to the page in Dan's first novel, The Clearing.

Read about how Dan began writing, what books and authors inspired him, and how some of his travels made it into the book in this exclusive Q&A!

[CrimeHQ fans, meet Dan...Dan, CrimeHQ fans]

May 2 2016 11:00am

Hand-Drawn Jack the Ripper Poster

“The sensational brutal murders of five prostitutes in London's East End in the autumn of 1888 by an unknown killer who came to be called ”Jack the Ripper“ are probably the most famous unsolved crimes in history.

The five ”soiled doves“ were stabbed to death in Whitechapel between August 31st and November 9th, 1888, always late at night. Then, for unknown reasons, the killings stopped.

  • Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols - August 31st, 1888
  • Annie Chapman - September 8th, 1888
  • Elizabeth Stride - September 30th, 1888
  • Catharine Eddowes - September 30th, 1888 (about half-a-mile apart from Elizabeth Stride)
  • Mary Jane Kelly - November 9th, 1888

The women were not merely just murdered, but horribly mutilated, with organs and other private bits removed and some possibility eaten. The Mary Jane Kelly was mutilated nearly beyond recognition. The photographs of the bodies even today are still deeply shocking because of their incredible savagery.”

Now, honor the fallen with this hand-drawn black ink poster by Madame Talbot. Measuring 17 x 22 inches, this beautiful poster is available on Etsy from VictorianLowbrow for only $13.95!

May 2 2016 10:00am

Sayonara Slam: New Excerpt

Naomi Hirahara

Sayonara Slam by Naomi Hirahara is the 6th Mas Arai Mystery featuring the most unlikely of sleuths (Available Now!)

At Dodger Stadium, it’s Japan vs. Korea in the World Baseball Classic, but before the first pitch is thrown, Mas Arai finds himself in the middle of a murder.

Who is that unusual woman throwing knuckleball pitches to warm up the Japanese team? Who sent thugs to threaten Mas and accuse him of treason? And what were in the deleted files on the murdered sportswriter’s computer—and did they hold secrets that led to his death?

The more mysteries Mas uncovers, the deeper he gets drawn into a situation that soon grows dangerous—including the danger of losing the affection of the woman he might someday admit he loves.

[Read an excerpt from Sayonara Slam here...]

May 1 2016 12:00pm

An Old Fashioned Murder: New Excerpt

Carol Miller

An Old Fashioned Murder by Carol Miller is the 3rd Moonshine Mystery (Available May 3, 2016).

After losing her husband and her home, small-town girl Daisy McGovern moves in with her invalid mother at an old inn in sleepy southwestern Virginia. When the inn's eccentric proprietor, Aunt Emily, decides to throw a weekend party for a small group of friends and neighbors, everybody is excited—until a winter storm approaches and one of the guests is crushed by an antique bookcase during the night.

At first, the death appears to be an accident. But as the storm worsens and the sheriff is unable to reach them, suspicion slowly grows. Was it murder? After the inn loses power and a second death occurs, it's clear to Daisy that one among them is a killer. But who? The young, new, secretive maid? The antique-peddling pair of spinster sisters? Her not-so-welcome in-laws? The peculiar house-hunting couple? The supposedly stranded motorist?

With no way to leave and no way to get help, Daisy's only contacts to the outside world are her best friend Beulah and the always charming (and equally troublesome) moonshiner, Rick Balsam. Trapped with a clever and seemingly undetectable murderer, she must unravel the truth before the party ends with her funeral.

[Read an excerpt of An Old Fashioned Murder here...]

May 1 2016 10:00am

The Defense: New Excerpt

Steve Cavanagh

The Defense by Steve Cavanagh follows Eddie Flynn, a former con artist-turned-lawyer that finds out that the two aren't all that different (Available May 3, 2016).

Former con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn gave up the law a year ago after a disastrous case, and he vowed never to step foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. The head of the Russian mob in New York City, on trial for murder, has kidnapped Eddie's ten-year-old daughter: Eddie has to take this case whether he likes it or not.

Using his razor-sharp wit and every con, bluff, grift, and trick in the book, Eddie has only forty-eight hours to defend an impossible murder trial. And if he loses this case, he loses everything.

[Read an excerpt from The Defense here...]

Apr 30 2016 12:00pm

Assassin’s Silence: New Excerpt

Ward Larsen

Assassin's Silence by Ward Larsen is the 3rd David Slaton novel (Available May 3, 2016).

When it comes to disappearing, David Slaton has few equals. Police in three countries have written off trying to find him. His old employer, Mossad, keeps no forwarding address. Even his wife and son are convinced he is dead. So when an assault team strikes, Slaton is taken by surprise. He kills one man and manages to escape.

Half a world away, in the baleful heat of the Amazon, an obscure air cargo company purchases a derelict airliner. Teams of mechanics work feverishly to make the craft airworthy. On the first flight, the jet plunges toward the ocean.

The CIA assesses the two spectacles: a practiced killer leaving a trail of bodies across Europe, and a large airplane disappearing without a trace. The two affairs are increasingly seen to be intertwined. Langley realizes the killer is a man long thought to be dead, and the lost airliner has been highly modified into a tool of unimaginable terror.

When their worst fears are realized, Langley must trust the one man who can save them: David Slaton, the perfect assassin.

[Read an excerpt from Assassin's Silence here...]

Apr 30 2016 10:00am

Fatal Thunder: New Excerpt

Larry Bond

Fatal Thunder by Larry Bond is the 5th Jerry Mitchell novel (Available May 3, 2016).

India and Pakistan are stalemated in a war that India launched to “remove the threat of terrorism, once and for all.” But India's early successes have stalled, and with the coming spring, the tide may turn against them. A small but powerful group of Indian senior military officers and civilian security officials, without the knowledge of the rest of the Indian government, have decided to strike at China, Pakistan's backer and India's recent enemy in the Littoral Alliance War (Shattered Trident). The conspirators plan a bold attack that will leave Pakistan without a patron and protector. India could then finish their military campaign sure of success. To avoid any blame for the attack, the group has obtained Russian-made nuclear warheads from a renegade Russian arms merchant with access to the stolen weapons. Fitted to standard Russian torpedoes and delivered covertly by INS Chakra, the warheads will shatter China's economy.

Girish Samant, until recently the captain of Chakra, discovers hints of the far-reaching conspiracy and reaches out to an old enemy, the only person he can trust, Jerry Mitchell.

[Read an excerpt from Fatal Thunder here...]

Apr 29 2016 4:30pm

“A Death Along the River Peat”

We all love a good mystery—but I prefer the butler bring me a nice cocktail at the end of a long week, rather than murder a guest at my dinner party. (To make it clear, I do not have a butler. And, as a former bartender myself, I am perfectly capable of making my own cocktails...in fact, I prefer it!)

So, with that being said, let's kick off CrimeHQ's new feature, Pick Your Poison—where we'll create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel!

First up: the “Death Along the River Peat,” inspired by Susanna Calkins's 4th Lucy Campion Mystery, A Death Along the River Fleet.

[Check out the recipe below!]

Apr 29 2016 3:30pm

Follow Me into Weird Worlds: DC’s The Swamp Thing

The history of comics is a catalog of creations that began as throwaway entertainment and ended up succeeding far, far beyond what their originators could have ever predicted. The pair of Cleveland boys who came up with Superman sold the rights to their character for $130. The Hulk originally only lasted for six issues before he was cancelled, then he was recycled into a comic called The Avengers that lumped together all the Marvel heroes that also weren’t selling. Wolverine first appeared as a one-off antagonist in a revived Hulk series. The list goes on and on.

[Follow Hector DeJean into Weird Worlds...]

Apr 29 2016 2:30pm

2016 Edgar Awards—A Night of Milestones

The annual Edgar Allan Poe Awards dinner, hosted by the Mystery Writers of America, was a night of milestones—starting with the Edgars themselves, which turned 70 this year. That’s 70 years of celebrating the best of mystery fiction, crime fiction, suspense, thrillers, and true crime—all the stuff we love to read and watch, all the stuff that gives us a chance to escape, even as it makes our hearts pound and our mouths go dry.

The Edgar Awards dinner is a glamorous event, a room full of men in tuxedos and women in gowns, all of whom could devise imaginative ways to kill each other during the interval between the entree and dessert. But, none of them would because they love each other, really. It’s a competition of the friendliest rivals. “It really is an honor to be nominated,” Lori Roy told me. “And that’s the last cliché you’ll hear from me this evening.”

[And the winner is...]

Apr 29 2016 2:00pm

My Inspiration for Soho Honey

Soho Honey by A.W. Rock takes place over three weeks in November and unfolds against the multi-cultural backdrop of Soho, London.

Branen had to leave the UK six years before to escape his complex clandestine history and the consequences of a crime that achieved worldwide notoriety. When his daughter is brutally murdered in Soho he believes that he could be the reason. He returns to his old hunting grounds to find the killer. His search brings him into conflict with the British Secret Service and Soho's underworld. He is forced to flee Soho again after a tragic meeting with his ex-wife. His past has caught up with him and the hunter becomes the hunted. Now forty years old Branen wants to stop running and to remove forever the continuing threat to his life. In an effort to get rid of his pursuers he is faced with the prospect that his only chance of survival could lead to his death.In my youth, I spent too much time around Soho—its streets, bars, and clubs—basically hanging out, with no particular intent and with no-one in particular.

[Read about what inspired A.W. Rock to write Soho Honey...]

Apr 29 2016 1:30pm

Page to Screen: Comics I’d Love to See on My TV—Runaways

The Series: Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona (and others, including Joss Whedon).
The Heroes: The teenaged sons and daughters of a secret society of super-villains known as the Pride.
The Ideal Format: A live-action Netflix series in the vein of Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

See also: Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 Review: Episodes 1-4

Who hasn't said they hate their parents at one time or another? Who hasn't thought about—or actually followed through with—running away from home? Being a teenager is a confusing welter of hormones and emotions, and everybody looks at authority figures with distrust from time to time.

But what if your parents and their friends weren't really the nice doctors, businessmen, actors, and engineers they pretend to be? What if their little cocktail parties were hiding something darker? Like...human sacrifice?

When you realize Mom and Dad are super-villains bent on world destruction, what else can you do but run away?

[Talk about pressure to join the family business...]

Apr 29 2016 1:00pm

A True Account of a Most Monstrous Act, and Other Strange Happenings…

Read this exclusive guest post from Susanna Calkins about 17th-century murder ballads, and then make sure you're signed in and comment for a chance to win a copy of Susanna's book, A Death Along the River Fleet!

The murders in my Lucy Campion mysteries are largely described through ballads, broadsides, and other penny pieces, which is how 17th-century Londoners would have learned about crimes within their community.

Long before modern tabloids sensationalized criminal activity, such “true accounts” of murders offered sordid and titillating details of the crime, the victim's last hours, and the murderer’s motivations.

[The National Enquirer of 17th-century murder...]

Apr 29 2016 12:00pm

Over Your Dead Body: New Excerpt

Dan Wells

Over Your Dead Body by Dan Wells is the 5th installment of the John Cleaver series (Available May 3, 2016).

John and Brooke are on their own, hitchhiking from town to town as they hunt the last of the Withered through the midwestbut the Withered are hunting them back, and the FBI is close behind. With each new town, each new truck stop, each new highway, they get closer to a vicious killer who defies every principle of profiling and prediction John knows how to use, and meanwhile Brooke's fractured psyche teeters on the edge of oblivion, overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of dead personalities sharing her mind. She flips in and out of lucidity, manifesting new names and thoughts and memories every day, until at last the one personality pops up that John never expected and has no idea how to deal with. The last of Nobody's victims, trapped forever in the body of his last remaining friend.

[Read an excerpt from Over Your Dead Body here...]

Apr 29 2016 11:49am

Penny Dreadful Tarot Cards

Showtime's criminally underrated gothic horror soap opera, Penny Dreadful, returns for it's third season this Sunday, May 1 - and what better way to predict what will happen this season than with your very own set of Penny Dreadful tarot cards?

Featuring beautifully illustrated works overlaid on a rich purple background, these cards subtly portray the myriad of violent, tortured souls on the show, ranging from Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton, playing Mina Harker's father in Dracula), Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, his monster(s), the Wolfman (played by Josh Hartnett, in an unexpected return to relevance), and the show-stealing Vanessa Ives, played by Eva Green - Sir Malcolm's surrogate daughter who is afflicted by the slight condition of being completely and utterly desired by the Devil.

Sold by GypsyCharmsTarot and available on Etsy, $37.61 seems a small price to pay to peer into the future in style.

Penny Dreadful airs every Sunday night, starting May 1, at 10 PM EST on Showtime.