<i>Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall</i>: New Excerpt Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall: New Excerpt Hannah Dennison The 4th book in the Honeychurch Hall series. <i>Proving Ground</i>: New Excerpt Proving Ground: New Excerpt Peter Blauner A sweeping crime novel, an intricate story about the quest for redemption, and a vibrant portrait of contemporary NYC. Review: <i>Fogged Inn</i> by Barbara Ross Review: Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross Doreen Sheridan Doreen Sheridan cooks the books with this Agatha review! Review: <i>Before the Fall</i> by Noah Hawley Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley Deborah Lacy Read Deborah Lacy's review!
From The Blog
April 21, 2017
People, Choices, and Moments
Lisa Preston
April 16, 2017
Why I Write Women
Douglas Schofield
April 15, 2017
Man Steals Sausage, Burgler Leaves Name Behind, and more: The Bullet List
Crime HQ
April 14, 2017
My Top 5 Historical Mysteries of Great Influence
Cindy Anstey
April 13, 2017
History's Characters: Alexis Soyer
M.J. Carter
Apr 23 2017 10:08am

Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall: New Excerpt

Hannah Dennison

Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison is the 4th book in the Honeychurch Hall series (available May 2, 2017).

When the only copy of Ravished, Iris Stanford’s new manuscript, never arrives at her London publisher’s office, her daughter Kat investigates the tiny local village post office, where it appears the package never left the building. Iris is on tenterhooks—not only is her novel gone with the wind, but she’s deathly afraid that Muriel Jarvis, the postmistress and notorious busybody, will expose her secret identity as the bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm. Meanwhile, Muriel has her own problems with the sudden death of her husband Fred, which has left her heavily in debt. In the spine-tingling climax, both past and present collide as Kat fights for her life and those she holds most dear, dancing once again with the dark forces lurking behind the grandeur of Honeychurch Hall.

[Read an excerpt from Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall...]

Apr 22 2017 10:00am

Proving Ground: New Excerpt

Peter Blauner

 Proving Ground by Peter Blauner Proving Ground by Peter Blauner is a sweeping crime novel, an intricate story about the quest for redemption, and a vibrant portrait of contemporary New York City (available May 2, 2017).

Nathaniel Dresden never really got along with his father, an infamous civil rights lawyer who defended criminals and spearheaded protest movements. As an act of rebellion, Natty joined the U.S. Army and served in Iraq, coming back with a chest full of commendations and a head full of disturbing memories.

But when his father is found murdered near the peaceful confines of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Natty is forced to deal with the troubled legacy of their unresolved relationship. He also has to fend off the growing suspicions of NYPD Detective Lourdes Robles, a brash Latina cop with something to prove, who thinks Natty might bear some responsibility for his father’s death. Though truth be told, the list of people—cops and criminals—who wanted David Dresden out of the way is long. The search for answers leads Natty and Lourdes into an urban labyrinth where they must confront each other—and the brutal truths that could destroy them both.

[Read an excerpt from Proving Ground...]

Apr 21 2017 4:30pm

“Earth Day Cooler” Cocktail

This cocktail may not actually cool the Earth, but it's a great way to celebrate Earth Day and Ann Cleeves's 7th Shetland Island Mystery, Cold Earth!

So go green with this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “Earth Day Cooler" cocktail!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Apr 21 2017 3:00pm

Cooking the Books: Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross

Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross is the 4th book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series, nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Novel.

This 4th installment of the Maine Clambake Mystery series has been nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Novel, and deservedly so! Julia Snowden has decided to give up her career and New York City lifestyle to open a restaurant with her boyfriend Chris in her hometown of Busman's Harbor, Maine. Meant as a place for the locals to have a nice dinner out during the off-season—when all the other nice restaurants have closed—Gus’s Too is slowly finding its feet and a regular clientele. Julia is also gradually settling into the studio apartment over the restaurant that came as part of the lease, a place of her own after months of living with her family.

The Monday after Thanksgiving promises to be slow, but bad weather and a traffic accident detain the nine guests that Gus’s Too does serve until well into the night. Imagine Julia's surprise when the corpse of one of those guests, the only single man in the group, is discovered in the walk-in freezer the next morning! And if it isn't terrible enough to find a body in her building, items related to the death begin disappearing from her apartment over the course of the next few days. Scared but determined, Julia begins to investigate in order to find a murderer and stop a sinister intruder whom she fears may be one and the same.

[Recipe and pictures included below!]

Apr 21 2017 2:00pm

People, Choices, and Moments

Before tapping out novels on the keyboard, my working hours were spent in various assignments as a police officer and, prior to that, as a fire department paramedic. Those two former careers certainly bolster the third. Countless memories of people at their worst and best drift through my mind.

In extreme situations—the kind of turning point that novel or movie plots hinge on, or the events in which cops are called to intervene in dozens of times per day—a choice is present.

I’m fascinated by people, the choices they make, and the fly-by moments when those decisions are made. Choices are tests. Often, people don’t view those moments in which they made a choice as pivotal, but that lack of recognition doesn’t diminish how key the choice and the moment are. I chose to become a sergeant.

A sergeant does the extra difficult things, such as take full responsibility for the scene, discipline an officer who went too far, tell a citizen the officer made no foul, or knock on a doorway in the middle of the night to deliver a death notification. 

[Read more from author Lisa Preston!]

Apr 21 2017 1:00pm

Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is a heart-pounding thriller that raises questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together. It is nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Everyone has their path. The choices they’ve made. How any two people end up in the same place at the same time is a mystery. You get on an elevator with a dozen strangers. You ride a bus, wait in line for the bathroom. It happens every day. To try to predict the places we’ll go and the people we’ll meet would be pointless.

As Noah Hawley sets up his thriller Before the Fall, 11 people take off in a private airplane from Martha’s Vineyard that winds up crashing 16 minutes into the flight. 

On board the private plane are:

  • The owners of the plane—the rich and powerful David Bateman and his wife Maggie.
  • Their two children.
  • Another rich and powerful couple—the husband learns right as he's boarding the plane that he'll be arrested the following day.
  • A bodyguard.
  • Two pilots.
  • A flight attendant.
  • A random acquaintance who needed a ride.

[Read Deborah Lacy's review of Before the Fall...]

Apr 21 2017 12:00pm

Review: Flamingo Road by Sasscer Hill

Flamingo Road by Sasscer Hill is the 1st book in the Fia McKee Mystery series (available April 18, 2017).

Sasscer Hill likes horses, and not in a “My Little Pony” kind of way. A horsewoman and horse breeder, it’s in her blood. As she explains on her blog:

I started galloping about the family farm on a stick horse when I was four years old. By the time, I was seven or eight, I was sneaking rides on the Belgian plow horses. I did this because my father didn't like horses and considered ponies dangerous. So instead, I drummed my heels on the sides of a 2,000-pound draft mare, while grasping whatever string or rope I managed to tie to her halter.

Her debut mystery series featured a young female jockey named Nikki Latrelle, and the books were atmospheric tales that brought the racing world to life more authentically than anyone had since Dick Francis died. (On her blog, Sasscer pays tribute to Dick Francis as her favorite author.)

[Read Katherine Tomlinson's review of Flamingo Road...]

Apr 21 2017 11:00am

Home Invader Cooks Himself Chicken

Would you mind coming home to a fully cooked chicken dinner? Would you feel the same if the person who cooked it was a bugler who broke into your house? Enter this week's perp derp...

According to FOX, a Florida woman returned home to find a strange man in her home frying up some succulent chicken and sipping on some vodka—her vodka. Welcome home, Lucy!!

As you might have guessed, the woman freaked out and jumped on the phone to call the police. The local police arrived on the scene and arrested Ronald G. Wesly, 34, and charged him with burglary.

Wesly allegedly went into the woman’s home after she left for work and must have been having so much fun that he did not realize how long he was there.

Okay, I am now in the mood for some fried chicken. Who wants to join me?

Apr 21 2017 10:00am

Trumpet of Death: New Excerpt

Cynthia Riggs

Trumpet of Death by Cynthia Riggs is the 13th book in the Martha’s Vineyard Mystery series (available April 25, 2017).

When 92-year-old poet/sleuth Victoria Trumbull takes her city-bred tenant Zack Zeller on a nature walk on one of Martha’s Vineyard’s conservation areas and shows him a mushroom she calls black trumpet of death, he’s sure he's found the way to rid himself of his troublesome girlfriend, Samantha. But the mushrooms he's given Samantha end up on her daddy's dinner table, and Zack, one of the invited guests, is sure he’s doomed the diners to an untimely death.

Meanwhile, dead bodies are cropping up on the Island. The police have questions about the identity of the culprit and call upon Victoria Trumbull, who knows the Island and its inhabitants intimately. Will she be able to find the truth and clear the name of someone close to her before the murderer finds its next victim?

[Read an excerpt from Trumpet of Death...]

Apr 20 2017 4:00pm

Discount: Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris is a gripping debut psychological thriller and an international phenomenon. Get a digital copy through May 1st for only $2.99!

Take a visual tour through Behind Closed Doors with GIFnotes!

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

Read an excerpt from Behind Closed Doors while sipping “The Perfect Couple” cocktail inspired by the book!


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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

Apr 20 2017 3:00pm

Review: Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan is the 5th book in the Jane Ryland series, nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Novel.

The dynamic Hank Phillippi Ryan is no stranger to accolades. Her crime novels have earned 5 Agatha Awards as well as the Anthony, Daphne du Maurier, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark honors; her most recent, 2016’s Say No More, is a nominee for this year’s prize given in grandmaster Clark’s name. Further, the author—who is also the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate—has won 33 Emmys and 13 Edward R. Murrow Awards for her groundbreaking exposes. Not surprisingly, professional pedigree has largely informed her fiction.

Say No More is Ryan’s 5th novel to feature 30-something reporter Jane Ryland, who has largely redeemed herself in the eyes of the public following the humiliation of being fired for refusing to give up a source. This story opens as Jane and her producer, Fiola, witness a hit-and-run car accident on an early Monday morning in Boston—a seemingly insignificant event that later proves to be anything but. Meanwhile, Jane’s (somewhat undercover) boyfriend, homicide detective Jake Brogan, is called to the scene of a suspicious drowning in an uppity, tight-lipped community known as the Reserve. The victim, Avery Morgan, was a Hollywood screenwriter guest teaching at the equally secretive Adams Bay College.

[Read John Valeri's review of Say No More...]

Apr 20 2017 2:00pm

Review: Incendiary by Michael Cannell

Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling by Michael Cannell follows a serial bomber who stalked the streets of 1950s New York and details the race to catch him that would give birth to a new science called criminal profiling (available April 25, 2017).

The concept of criminal profiling is not new to those of us who read crime fiction or watch TV shows such as Law & Order and Criminal Minds, but I’m willing to bet that the landmark case that ushered forth criminal profiling as a new method of crime-solving is relatively unknown. Even more startling, given the ubiquity of the method, is how new it is. It wasn’t until 1956 that a psychiatrist provided the first “reverse psychology” profile using a combination of intuition and Freudian concepts that helped police pinpoint the suspect of a string of bombings after all other clues failed them.

In 1956, Elvis Presley was topping the charts, Eisenhower was President of the United States, Mickey Mantle was playing baseball for the New York Yankees, Nelson Mandela was arrested in South Africa, and my own mother had her first birthday. In the grand scheme of things, criminal profiling hasn’t been around that long. And it’s hard to imagine where we’d be today without it.

[Read Ardi Alspach's review of Incendiary...]

Apr 20 2017 1:00pm

Review: What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin is a spellbinding novel of psychological suspense, set in the glamorous, wealthy world of Hollywood. It is nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel.

“It’s like the worst of both worlds.” 

That’s how Kelly Lund sees her home life, and in Alison Gaylin’s hands, this moment of teenage moping runs deeper than we think.

“Sometimes, I think my mom would have been happier if Catherine and I had both died. It’s like ... she has this grief and guilt,” Kelly thinks aloud for us. “But since I’m still around, she can’t just get lost in it.”

Kelly, 17, is months away from graduation and the chance to make her way as an adult. Yet, she’s been raised on the precipice of Hollywood—in a blue-collar family, to a make-up artist and stuntman—and two years earlier she watched her twin sister Catherine flounce into the L.A. party scene, spin off-kilter, war with her mother, and run off one night to her death.

[Read Juliet Fletcher's review of What Remains of Me...]

Apr 20 2017 12:00pm

Mapping the Mad Bomber of New York City

Especially prescient in today’s times, Michael Cannell's Incendiary whisks us through the streets of Manhattan—to Grand Central, Times Square, Penn Station, Radio City Music Hall—where for almost two decades New Yorkers faced the lingering threat of terrorism. Clues were sparse, and as the bombings continued, pressure forced the police to look elsewhere for help.

Enter Dr. James Brussel, a psychiatrist hired by the police to analyze the limited forensic evidence and use it to peer into the mind of the bomber. Though the term profiling would not be coined for another two decades, it’s undoubtedly familiar to us now, as it’s nearly impossible to browse the mystery section at your library or flip through primetime television without seeing at least one story featuring a criminal profiler.

Read Ardi Alspach's review of Incendiary!

To celebrate the imminent publication of Incendiary, Minotaur Books has created this detailed interactive map that allows you to trace the Mad Bomber's route of terror. Follow along and keep an eye out for Incendiary

[Check out the map below!]

Apr 20 2017 11:00am

Audiobook Review: Marshall’s Law by Ben Sanders (Read by George Newbern)

Marshall's Law by Ben Sanders is the 2nd book in the Marshall Grade series.

Ben Sanders’s 2nd book featuring Marshall Grade has all the elements of intrigue, action, and purpose found in his 1st book, American Blood. I listened to the audiobook and found it very easy to follow, and the wonderful actor, George Newbern, did an outstanding job with the narration. It was helped along by Sanders beginning each chapter with the character whose point of view was featured. I listen to audiobooks daily, so I know immediately if a narrator doesn’t hit the mark. George’s performance was spot on. 

Though Marshall is a continuing character, there’s no need to read the American Blood to fully enjoy Marshall’s Law. However, I imagine you’ll go back and read it after meeting Marshall.

[Read Leigh Neely's review of Marshall's Law...]

Apr 20 2017 10:00am

Fallout: New Excerpt

Wil Mara

Fallout by Wil Mara is an ecological thriller that deals with the immediate aftermath of a major storm that wipes out a nuclear power plant and creates chaos in a small town in Pennsylvania (available April 25, 2017).

Silver Lake, Pennsylvania, is hit by a monster storm. When a massive lightning strike hits one of the nuclear reactors that provides power to Silver Lake and much of the state, essential components fail. Explosions and containment breaches follow. Radiation pours into the storm-wracked air.

Preparing for a storm was one thing, but all the duct tape, plastic tarps, and particle board in the world won't protect the townspeople from the fallout. Sarah Redmond, acting mayor of Silver Lake, and her husband, an EMT, find themselves battling the storm and nuclear disaster simultaneously: flash floods and evacuations, downed trees and radiation sickness.

Staff at the power plant scramble to determine the extent of the damage and stop the leaks. Everything's being streamed onto the internet by Marla Hollis, a local journalist who happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. Trapped at the plant, she's determined to get the story out at any cost.

Nuclear disaster, not in far-off Chernobyl or Fukushima, but on American soil. How much of Pennsylvania will become a radioactive nightmare for generations to come?

[Read an excerpt from Fallout...]

Apr 19 2017 4:45pm

Cooking the Books: Musseled Out by Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is back to her best in this gripping tale that takes a good hard look at the lives of those involved with the commercial lobster catch in Maine. Summer is drawing to an end, and our heroine Julia Snowden must decide whether to return to her venture capitalist job in New York City or stay with her loved ones in Busman's Harbor.

The Snowden Family Clambake Company that she came home to save looks like it'll do just fine without her … until Peter Thwing, hotshot restaurateur, comes nosing around to open a rival company right by hers. Mostly, it's been her hot-headed brother-in-law Sonny who's had to deal with him—often publicly, loudly, and angrily. It's thus almost inevitable that Sonny becomes the prime suspect when Peter's corpse is fished out from under an abandoned lobster boat.

[Recipes and pictures included below!]

Apr 19 2017 4:00pm

Ivy Get Your Gun by Cindy Brown: A Visual Guide

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

This week, there's a new sheriff in town. Take a visual tour of Cindy Brown's 4th Ivy Meadows Mystery, Ivy Get Your Gun, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Apr 19 2017 3:00pm

Review: Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron

Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron is the 2nd book in the Cajun Country Mystery series, nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Novel.

Ellen Byron takes us to Louisiana for this Cajun Country mystery. Maggie Crozat’s long and distant relatives used to own the Doucet Plantation. Now, it’s the Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast, where tourists come for a glimpse of the past and a taste of the present. Maggie is busy planning a wedding. Her co-worker Vanessa Fleer is getting married to Police Chief Rufus Durand. It seems the town of Pelican will be greeting a new resident soon, as Vanessa is pregnant, making the speedy arrangement of the nuptials something everyone seems to have a vested interest in. 

Vanessa, though in love with the Chief, is a little worried about his willingness to contribute child support should the marriage fail, so she makes him sign a legal document just in case. Practicality in a realistic world. 

[Read Dirk Robertson's review of Body on the Bayou...]