Review: <i>Soulmates</i> by Jessica Grose Review: Soulmates by Jessica Grose Rachel Kramer Bussel Read Rachel Kramer Bussel's review! Review: <i>The Lost Boy</i> by Camilla Läckberg Review: The Lost Boy by Camilla Läckberg David Cranmer Read David Cranmer's review! <i>All the Little Liars</i>: New Excerpt All the Little Liars: New Excerpt Charlaine Harris The 9th book in the Aurora Teagarden Series. <i>Teetotaled</i>: New Excerpt Teetotaled: New Excerpt Maia Chance The 2nd Discreet Retrieval Agency Mystery.
From The Blog
September 27, 2016
Beyond Beyond the Valley of the Dolls: Revisiting a Wild 1970s Film
Brian Greene
September 27, 2016
God’s Garbage Men, A Trust Betrayed, and Hominy Grits
Lisa Turner
September 23, 2016
Passionate About Pulp: Revisiting Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Angie Barry
September 22, 2016
Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter: A Lost American Classic
Peter Foy
September 21, 2016
Page to Screen—Rebecca: du Maurier vs. Hitchcock
Angie Barry
Showing posts by: Crime HQ click to see Crime HQ's profile
Sep 29 2016 3:00pm

Amanda Knox: Netflix’s New True Crime Documentary

The popularity of true crime stories continues to rise, and it looks like Netflix might have struck it big again with their new feature-length documentary, Amanda Knox. Centered on the wrongful conviction of a young American girl in Italy, Amanda Knox is already getting rave reviews.

In 2007, after returning home from spending the night with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, Knox was alarmed to find evidence of a break-in and traces of blood. Meridith Kercher, a roommate and friend, wasn’t answering her phone and her door was locked. Worried, Knox eventually called the authorities, who broke down the door and found Kercher face down in her bedroom, stabbed to death.

After several lengthy interviews (she was viewed as a “witness,” and thus a lawyer was not required to be provided as she had not been charged) where Amanda claimed she was harassed and coerced into changing her story, the police finally charged her and her boyfriend with the murder. An unprecedented amount of pre-trial coverage in the Italian media followed, effectively condemning her in the public’s eye. The first trial, held in a lower court, convicted Knox and sentenced her to 26 years in Italian prison, despite significant concerns over the lack of hard evidence and failure of the prosecution to corroborate their version of the events.

After the conviction, controversy stirred as experts voiced their concerns over the evidence presented, the forensic profile of the case, and how the trial was presented to the public. An appeal and subsequent retrial in 2010 found her not guilty, and she returned to the US. In 2015, the Supreme Court of Cassation acquitted her of all charges except Callunia (unlawful accusation of someone with whom you know is innocent).

Amanda Knox will be released on Netflix tomorrow, September 30th.

For more information on the upcoming documentary Amanda Knox, read a great Q&A with directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn on Yahoo TV.

Sep 28 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: September 27, 2016

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, Joe Gunther & Ryder Creed return and Lisa Turner takes us back down south. See what else to add to your TBR list this week!

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

Sep 27 2016 3:00pm

Which Marvel Project Do You Prefer?

With the release of the first season of Luke Cage on Netflix slated for this Friday, September 30th and the upcoming Doctor Strange premiering roughly a month and a half later, Marvel Studios is running on all cylinders, pumping out hit after hit.

But so far, the silver screen super heroes are much different in look and feel than their streaming season counterparts. The Marvel movies have a certain lighthearted wit and “gotta save the world(s)” feel to them, where crashing through a building hardly leaves a bruise and everything wraps up with a happy ending. However, the NY defenders of the smaller screen deal with darker, more adult themes, and the realistic violence often has real consequences.

But which do you prefer? Vote on which Marvel Universe you enjoy the best!

[Vote below!]

Sep 26 2016 11:00am

Crime/Mystery/Thrillers Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix in October 2016

October—literally the best month of the year. Unfortunately, Netflix seems to have missed the mark because I'm seeing a disappointingly small amount of decent horror films coming this month. Good thing I have my own collection—Halloween horror nights at my house!

Thankfully, if you're like me, you might have an episode or two left of Marvel's Luke Cage come October 1st. If not, here is a convenient list of all of the new thrillers/mysteries/crime films coming to Netflix in October 2016.

*Honorable mention: Black Mirror returns on October 21st

[Check out the list here...]

Sep 22 2016 12:00pm

5 Lesser-Known Unsolved Murders

Unsolved murders can be frustrating—not only to those directly involved, but to the world at large. We like to think the world works under some form of justice and retributive control. Even if we don’t ascribe to it in a spiritual or religious way, humans assume a sort of karmic “reap what you sow” mentality, and unsolved murders work directly against this understanding. How could someone commit an act so vile, so heinous as to take another person’s life, without suffering the consequences of their actions?

Unsolved murders can also be fascinating. The fear of the unknown and the need to solve the mystery and bring upon that justice often thrills even the outsider that holds no real connection to the case. It’s why so many true crime stories dominate the airwaves. People like JonBenét Ramsey, the Black Dahlia, and Jack the Ripper are household names, but thousands of murders go unsolved each year.

Here are 5 lesser known, unsolved murder cases that still haunt us:

[Gone but not forgotten...]

Sep 21 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: September 20, 2016

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, Agatha Raisin is at it again and Harlan Coben gives us another gripping thriller! Check out what else the week has in store:

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

Sep 20 2016 3:00pm

What Fall TV Show Are You Most Excited About?

With the Emmys celebrating the best that television has to offer—and awarding the very best—the annual ceremony tends to mark TV’s New Year, even though it’s only September. When the Emmys air, we know the summer lull is over and our favorite shows kick off new seasons while new hopefuls look to grab their share of the audience.

And with the fall schedule pretty much set, we want to know what TV show YOU are most excited about this season:

[Vote below!]

Sep 19 2016 11:00am

Life Without Limits: Explore the World of Westworld with J.J. Abrams & Crew

October 2nd is almost upon us, and with it comes the anticipated premiere of Westworld on HBO. Blending a not-too-distant future with a reimagined past, this science-fiction-meets-Western deals with all sorts of philosophical trappings—including the dawn of consciousness, the evolution of sin, artificial intelligence, free will and agency—in a world where every human desire can be fulfilled.

Based on the Michael Crichton novel and subsequent film, Westworld’s stellar cast includes: Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemsworth and Clifton Collins, Jr.

Watch a new 30-second trailer as well as an invitation to the set of Westworld—where J.J. Abrams and other producers invite you to explore the person you really are and to imagine a life without limits in this world: 

[Watch the videos below!]

Sep 16 2016 8:00pm

Once Upon a Crime: A Collaborative Caper in Need of a Title

To help celebrate Bouchercon 2016, we teamed up with our pals over at Minotaur Books to help sponsor a collaborative short story penned by a huge collection of their fabulous authors. After nearly 3o authors and an impromptu roast of some of the Minotaur team members, the results were fantastic. But there's one problem: we don't have a title. That's where YOU come in!

What we need is for you to read the short story below and come up with a title. Leave your suggestions in the comments, and in a couple weeks, we'll choose our favorite title.

The winner will not only have the honor of naming their favorite authors' work, but they'll also receive a mega-bundle of books from all of the participating authors! So get your reading glasses out, your thinking caps on, and have at it! (A full list of participating authors can be found underneath the story.)

[Start reading now!]

Sep 15 2016 3:00pm

Q&A wth Brenda Novak, Author of Her Darkest Nightmare

Brenda Novak, author of Her Darkest Nightmare, is fascinated by the inner workings of the minds of psychopaths. This fascination is what inspired her to write the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, featuring Hanover House—a maximum security facility in a small Alaskan town.

Ms. Novak was nice enough to take some time away from her research and writing to answer some of CrimeHQ's questions about Hanover House, what exactly fascinates her so much about psychopaths, what she's currently reading, and more!

Brenda Novak's Book Club on Facebook is discussing Her Darkest Nightmare! Join the discussion now!

[Read the full Q&A here...]

Sep 15 2016 12:00pm

Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: October, 2016

Discover (or remember to order) your next cozy with a delightfully convenient shopping list of upcoming soft-boiled mysteries! Last month, the kids returned to school and you got some time to read September's releases; this month, welcome in the cool breeze of fall with some great reads! Let us know in the comments how you like it and what you can't wait to read next!

Like this shopping list? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay in touch with all our cozy content!

Criminal Element's October 2016 Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List!

[Let's get to the goodies!]

Sep 14 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: September 13, 2016

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 a new Longmire mystery and a new Jesse Stone novel! See what other books to snag for that long flight to New Orleans for Bouchercon this weekend:

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

Sep 7 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: September 6, 2016

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 saw the release of a new Hercule Poirot from Sophie Hannah as well as a new entry in the In Death series from J.D. Robb! It may be a short work week, but the list of great books that published yesterday is seemingly endless.

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

Sep 6 2016 4:00pm

Q&A with Christina Dodd, Author of Because I’m Watching

Christina Dodd, author of Because I'm Watching, shares what she's currently reading, some of her favorite fictional sleuths, and writing characters with PTSD in this exclusive Q&A!

Describe Because I’m Watching in five words.

Best book I've ever written.

[Read the full Q&A here!]

Sep 6 2016 1:00pm

What Is the Best Film Adaptation of a Stephen King Novel?

Here at CrimeHQ, we’re starting a journey west towards the Dark Tower with a full reread of Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower series. As we begin our journey, so, too, does Hollywood—after years of speculation and rumors, fans of the series are finally being treated with a film adaptation, the first of which is scheduled to be released in February 2017.

Check out The Dark Tower Reread HQ page!

That got us thinking: Which film adaptation of a Stephen King novel is the best? With so many classics, it’s tough to narrow it down to one, but that’s where YOU come in. Vote for your favorite Stephen King film below!

[My money is on The Shining...]

Sep 6 2016 10:00am

Signed Copy of Sue Grafton’s X: Sweepstakes

You can't make someone else do anything, even if you know you're right.
-X, Sue Grafton

You know who's usually right? Kinsey Millhone, that's who. Enter below for a chance to win a signed copy of Sue Grafton's X and join pragmatic PI Kinsey Millhone in her darkest case to date, as she hunts down a nearly untraceable serial killer. After all, red is a fall color...

Birth Month
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Sue Grafton X Sweepstakes

  1. To Enter:
    Facebook Entry: Submit your entry by fully completing the sign-up form found in your newsfeed.
    Website Entry:Alternatively, to enter the Sweepstakes, visit the website located at (the “Website”) and follow the on-screen entry instructions. Each entrant will be required to fill out an online entry form which will require the entrant to submit his or her name, address, e-mail address, date of birth and such other information as Sponsor may require.
    For All Entries: Sweepstakes begins online at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) on Friday, September 02, 2016 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, September 19, 2016. Your entry will sign you up to receive emailed news related to Criminal Element as well as enter you into the sweepstakes. Entries must be completed during this time period. Limit one entry per person or household or email address. The entry must be fully completed; mechanically reproduced; incomplete and/or illegible entries will not be accepted. YOUR ENTRY WILL SIGN YOU UP TO RECEIVE EMAILED NEWS ABOUT Memoirs AND OTHER INFORMATION FROM MACMILLAN AND ITS RELATED COMPANIES, AS WELL AS ENTER YOU INTO THE SWEEPSTAKES. In case of dispute with respect to entries, entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet Access Provider, on-line service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. Entries become property of Sponsor and will not be returned. Automated entries are prohibited, and any use of such automated devices will cause disqualification. Sponsor and its advertising and promotions agencies are not responsible for lost, late, illegible, misdirected or stolen entries or transmissions, or problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic.
  1. Random Drawing: A random drawing will be held from all eligible, correctly completed entries received on a timely basis, on or about Monday, September 26, 2016, by Criminal Element, whose decisions concerning all matters related to this sweepstakes are final.
  2. Notice to Winners: Winner will be notified by e-mail. Winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and publicity/liability release within forty-eight (48) days of notification attempt or prize may be awarded to alternate winner. Return of any prize notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and alternate winner will be selected. If a winner is a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize will be awarded to minor's parent or legal guardian, who must follow all prize claim procedures specified herein and sign and return all required documents.
  3. Prize: One (1) Grand Prize winner(s) will receive One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive one (1) trade paperback of X by Sue Grafton (ARV: $9.99). Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the Prize: $9.99.
    Approximate retail value of all prizes: $9.99

  1. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. If any prize is won by a minor, it will be awarded in the name of minor's parent or legal guardian. Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. If an entrant selected in the drawing is a resident of Canada, to be declared a winner he/she must correctly answer, without assistance of any kind, a time-limited mathematical skill-testing question to be administered by telephone or email. If a potential winner who is a resident of Canada cannot be contacted, and/or the skill-testing question cannot be administered, within seven (7) days he/she will be disqualified and the prize may be awarded to an alternate entrant. Sponsor makes no warranties with regard to the prize. Prize is not transferable. No substitutions of prize allowed by winner, but Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. Prize is not redeemable by winner for cash value. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prize are the sole responsibility of winner.
  2. Eligibility: Only open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. and Canada, age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico, the Province of Quebec, and where otherwise prohibited by law. Employees, and members of their families, of Sponsor, its parent, subsidiaries, and affiliates are not eligible to enter. This promotion is intended for viewing in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. You are not authorized to participate in the sweepstakes if you are not located within the United States.
  3. General: Sponsor and its representatives are not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone malfunctions of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the sender, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this sweepstakes which may limit the ability to play or participate, or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entries in this sweepstakes. If for any reason, (including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of Sponsor, which corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this sweepstakes), the Sweepstakes is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, Sponsor shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the sweepstakes. Limit one prize per person or household. By accepting prize, the winner grants to Sponsor the right to use his/her name, likeness, hometown, biographical information, in advertising and promotion, without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law. By participating in the sweepstakes, entrant and winner release Sponsor, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, subsidiaries, suppliers, and agents, and Facebook, from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense, including without limitation property damages, personal injury and/or death, arising out of participation in this sweepstakes or the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize. Sponsor may prohibit an entrant from participating in the sweepstakes or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that said entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair playing practices (including the use of automated quick entry programs) or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrants or Sponsor representatives. All legal responsibilities of a minor under these Official Rules will be assumed by the minor's parent/legal guardian.


  1. Use of Data: Sponsor will be collecting personal data about entrants who enter online, in accordance with its privacy policy. Please review the Sponsor's privacy policy at By participating in the sweepstakes, entrants hereby agree to Sponsor's collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted Sponsor's privacy policy. WHEN YOU ENTER THIS PROMOTION, YOU ARE PROVIDING YOUR INFORMATION TO SPONSOR, EVEN IF YOU ENTER THROUGH A FACEBOOK PAGE OR APP.
  2. Winner List: For winner information, available after Monday, September 19, 2016, send by Monday, September 26, 2016 a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Winner Information, Sue Grafton X Sweepstakes, c/o Criminal Element, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
  3. Sponsor: Criminal Element, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010.


Sep 2 2016 12:57pm

The Dark Tower Reread

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

Section Date
Chapter 1: The Gunslinger 09/06
Chapter 2: The Way Station 09/13
Chapter 3: The Oracle and the Mountains 09/20
Chapter 4: The Slow Mutants 09/27
Chapter 5: The Gunslinger and the Man in Black 10/04

The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three

Section Date
Prologue – The Prisoner, Chapter 2: “Eddie Dean” 10/11
The Prisoner, Chapter 3: “Contact and Landing” – The Prisoner, Chapter 5: “Showdown and Shootout” 10/18
Shuffle – The Lady of Shadows, Chapter 1: “Detta and Odetta” 10/25
The Lady of Shadows, Chapter 2: “Ringing the Changes” – Reshuffle 11/1
The Pusher, Chapter 1: “Bitter Medicine” – The Pusher, Chapter 3: “Roland Takes His Medicine” 11/8
The Pusher, Chapter 4: "The Drawing – Final Shuffle 11/15

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Sep 1 2016 4:30pm

4 Serial Killers You’ve Never Heard Of

Serial killers, for reasons better or worse, tend to gain all sorts of fame—from the fear to the hunt to the trial, we are fascinated with these real-life monsters who commit unspeakable acts. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Aileen Wuornos are all household names.

However, some serial killers aren't quite as infamous as those listed above. Although no less brutal, these killers seem to live in relative obscurity compared to their counterparts. Here are 4 awful serial killers you've probably never heard of:

[See who made the list...]