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Announcing 2017's Edgar Award Nominees
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The Breakout: New Excerpt
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Showing posts by: Adam Wagner click to see Adam Wagner's profile
Fri
Jan 20 2017 4:30pm

“Requiem for a Mezcal” Cocktail

What do actors do when they sense danger? Play dead!

We promise that this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—isn't actually poison like the onstage drink laced with cyanide that spawned the mystery in Requiem for a Mezzo. So feel safe having a “Requiem for a Mezcal” cocktail, inspired by Carola Dunn's 3rd Daisy Dalrymple Mystery, Requiem for a Mezzo, now beautifully reprinted in paperback!

[Check out the recipe 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...]

Fri
Jan 13 2017 4:30pm

“The Nowhere Manhattan” Cocktail

When all you know is a lifetime of killing, you deserve a stiff drink!

And damn if this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—isn't just what the doctor ordered. Try “The Nowhere Manhattan” cocktail, inspired by Gregg Hurwitz's 2nd Evan Smoak thriller, The Nowhere Man!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Wed
Jan 11 2017 3:30pm

Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb: A Visual Guide

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

This week, we jump into the future of police work with J.D. Robb's 44th In Death novel featuring Eve Dallas, Echoes in Death. Take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Fri
Jan 6 2017 4:30pm

“The Dry Twist” Cocktail

What do you do when the past tries to make you remember? Have a few cocktails!

And what better a cocktail than this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—“The Dry Twist,” inspired by Jane Harper's debut mystery novel, The Dry!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Wed
Jan 4 2017 3:00pm

A Death at the Yoga Café by Michelle Kelly: A Visual Guide

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

This week, it's all about yoga, food, and ... murder. Take a visual tour of Michelle Kelly's 2nd Keeley Carpenter mystery, A Death at the Yoga Café, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Wed
Dec 21 2016 3:00pm

Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle: A Visual Guide

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

This week, engagement isn't all celebration and happiness. Take a visual tour of Cleo Coyle's 16th Coffeehouse Mystery, Dead Cold Brew, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Wed
Dec 14 2016 3:30pm

The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land: A Visual Guide

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

This week, from acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising—take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Mon
Dec 12 2016 5:30pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.08: “Hearts Still Beating”

Last night's midseason finale of The Walking Dead ended on a ... well, we can't quite call it a high note, but at least it was something in the treble clef. For perhaps the first time all season, storylines progressed at a speed beyond glacial, certain fundamental dynamics finally saw some change, and another annoying character found out he didn't quite have the stomach to survive the apocalypse.

On the downside, Negan remains incredibly two-dimensional, Rosita took over the idiocy mantle from Spencer, and Carl continued to mope around glaring impotently at Negan whilst not doing anything of note.

Onward!

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's been “Eaten Alive” this week...]

Wed
Dec 7 2016 3:30pm

A Puzzle to Be Named Later by Parnell Hall: A Visual Guide

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

Batter up! As the Winter Meetings kick off, the Puzzle Lady is dreaming of Spring Training and warmer weather! However, a murder and a break-in lead to more puzzles that must be solved in Parnell Hall's 18th Puzzle Lady Mystery, A Puzzle to Be Named Later. Take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Mon
Dec 5 2016 4:00pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.07: “Sing Me a Song”

Finally an episode that remembered different storylines can be featured in the same hour and a half. While we thankfully returned to the world of competent storytelling, we were still met with a pretty weak episode. You'd think after introducing a brutal new villain and two new societies, we could get some sense of variety. Nope—Daryl's gonna Daryl, Negan's gonna Negan, Jesus's gonna ninja, and everything remains the same.

With shows that follow the weekly format, the audience usually forgets the filler episodes with time, remembering only the crazy scenes rather than the 8 hours of setup it took to get there. So, TWD ... I'ma let you finish—but you better bring your A-game next week or people just might not return after the break.

Ach, who are we kidding? What the hell else are we going to watch?

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's been “Eaten Alive” this week...]

Wed
Nov 30 2016 3:00pm

Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander: A Visual Guide

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

This week, it's all about chocolate ... and murder. Take a visual tour of Ellie Alexander's 5th Bakeshop Mystery, Fudge and Jury, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Mon
Nov 28 2016 4:00pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.06: “Swear”

Clearly The Walking Dead felt America hadn't eaten enough this Thanksgiving weekend, as it gifted viewers with a turkey of its own last night, accompanied by a heaping side of who the fuck cares?

On last night's episode, Tara washed up on what appeared to be the island from Lost, met a band of survivors hiding from the Others the Saviors, jumped from timeline to timeline unnecessarily, and ... well, that was about it. The showrunners subjected their long-suffering audience to yet another hour-long plotline that would have been best served as a 5-minute C or D storyline in an episode containing actual substance. If it feels like we're repeating ourselves here, it's because being shallow on substance is pretty much the only overarching theme TWD has managed to establish thus far into the season.

At least the title of the episode felt spot on, as we found ourselves swearing a lot this week.

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's been “Eaten Alive” this week...]

Wed
Nov 23 2016 3:00pm

Death of a Turkey by Kate Borden: A Visual Guide

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

This week, we celebrate Thanksgiving by digging up an old classic Thanksgiving mystery! Take a visual tour of Kate Borden's 3rd Peggy Jean Turner Mystery, Death of a Turkey, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Mon
Nov 21 2016 3:30pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.05: “Go Getters”

We used to wonder how they stretched The Hobbit into a trilogy of three full-length feature films—now all we can think about is how The Walking Dead has stretched what is essentially one episode into four. Every episode since “The Day Will Come When You Won't Be” could have been told between one of the show's constant commercial breaks. Instead, we get full-hour breakdowns of each camp that tend to induce a zombie-like state of boredom.

We get that a good amount of setup is necessary for a show with so many storylines and subplots, but for every forward-moving plot device, we get a sandwich montage and a roller-disco. Sunday night television has too many good options for The Walking Dead to continuously trot out these clunkers.

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's been “Eaten Alive” this week...]

Wed
Nov 16 2016 3:00pm

Pot Luck by Kendel Lynn: A Visual Guide

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

This week, an annual cook-off turns deadly! Take a visual tour of Kendel Lynn's 4th Elliot Lisbon Mystery, Pot Luck, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Mon
Nov 14 2016 2:30pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.04: “Service”

Four episodes in, it's becoming apparent that The Walking Dead is starting to suffer either from significant content bloat or the lack of an actual editing team. It's absolutely inexcusable for an episode in which so little actually happened to be 90 minutes long. This is especially bad (and especially noticeable) coming in the wake of episode-long looks at the Kingdom and Daryl stewing in his own guilt.

Granted, this episode was at least a step in the right direction—it just took 90 minutes to make that step. Rick's broken, Negan's an asshole, Dwight desparately wants to be Daryl, and Carl needs a haircut. We get it. Now give us something new.

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's been “Eaten Alive” this week...]

Fri
Nov 11 2016 5:00pm

“The Dark Sour” Cocktail

“Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?” 

After a nice seafood dinner of lobstrosities, what better a nightcap than this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—“The Dark Sour” cocktail? I mean, if you've gotta be on the beach, why not travel with a refreshing drink?

After you make yourself a “Dark Sour,” be sure to follow along with our Dark Tower reread! We're currently finishing up the second volume, The Drawing of the Three, and we'd love to keep it rolling with The Wastelands. Happy reading!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Wed
Nov 9 2016 3:00pm

Curried Away by Gail Oust: A Visual Guide

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

This week, variety may be the spice of life, but it appears curry is the spice of death! Take a visual tour of Gail Oust's 4th Spice Shop Mystery, Curried Away, with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Mon
Nov 7 2016 2:30pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.03: “The Cell”

After opening on a full 2-minute montage for a sandwich that would have made Liz Lemon proud, we're finally treated to the all-Daryl, all-grunting-and-brooding 1-hour extravaganza we were promised last week—though, to be fair, Norman Reedus did a great job portraying his suffering.

True, this episode was no “The Well,” but for the second straight week, The Walking Dead left something to be desired. We realize Negan can't bash someone's brains in every episode and Rick can't enact his revenge in Episode 3, but we've also watched enough television to know that it's hard to ask viewers to tune in for an hour every week when you keep giving them 20 minutes of skippable setup and 40 of commercials.

It's become almost formula for The Walking Dead to hook you with a great episode and then give you two or more forgettable ones in a row—like they want to stretch you to the brink of giving up, and then reel you back in from the edge at the very last moment.

Oh god ... they're creating they're own post-apocalyptic human drama and we're the stars!

[See who's “Walking Tall” and who's “Eaten Alive” this week...]