Fresh Meat: <i>One Murder More</i> by Kris Calvin Fresh Meat: One Murder More by Kris Calvin Doreen Sheridan Not all lobbyists are created equal, as Maren Kane proves! <i>Collision</i>: New Excerpt Collision: New Excerpt William S. Cohen You're gonna need to find cover immediately! Fresh Meat: <i>The Storm Murders</i> by John Farrow Fresh Meat: The Storm Murders by John Farrow Kate Lincoln This serial killer's gone international! <i>Independence Day</i>: New Excerpt Independence Day: New Excerpt Ben Coes Dewey Andreas has gone rogue, and the CIA couldn't be luckier.
From The Blog
May 22, 2015
Cremains of the Day: A Digital Version of a Deceased Self
Crime HQ
May 21, 2015
True Crime Thursday: Running and Gunning through America
Crime HQ
May 20, 2015
Burglar Takes a Nap on Victim’s Couch
Teddy Pierson
May 19, 2015
"An Unexpected Guest": Listen Now!
Donna Andrews and John Gilstrap
May 18, 2015
For the Person Who Has Everything... Or Knows Where to Steal It
Crime HQ
Showing posts by: Crime HQ click to see Crime HQ's profile
May 22 2015 9:45am

Cremains of the Day: A Digital Version of a Deceased Self

In the future, mourners may interact with beloved deceased through virtual reality. Project Elysium is the brainchild of game designers from Australia, and proposes to use a headset like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive as the gateway to a 3-D experience of the beloved who will be “inhabited” by an AI version of themselves. From the Express article:

The team describes the software as “a therapeutic experience aimed to help the people left behind deal with and work through their grief”.

“Virtual sanctuary [is] a service where we work with clients to create 3D models of their deceased loved ones,” the Paranormal Games team added...

"Through the window that we create, people will now have another life raft to hold onto in the ocean of sorrow and loss...

Project Elysium is currently in development as part of the Oculus' Mobile VR Jam 2015, a competition which pits rival virtual reality  projects against one another for a maximum of  $1,020,000 (£660,000) in available prizes.

Read more at the link, and see the build video submitted for the competition. Given the extremely 3-D approach of another recent memory box, is inviting an AI-operated version of the deceased into your brain more or less intimate?

May 21 2015 1:00pm

True Crime Thursday: Running and Gunning through America

Police are often able to stop criminals before they go on the run, but every once in a while, a few fall through the cracks and a manhunt ensues. Case in point: a South Florida man's bounty has been upped to $12,500 after continuing to elude officers for more than 24 hours, reports NBC Miami. The man, Matthew Pryor, has a pair of outstanding warrants, and fled when two officers showed up to arrest him, but not before first opening fire. The hunt is still ongoing.

If this piques your interest, than you'll definitely want to check out Dead Run by Dan Schultz, a true crime retelling of a murdered lawman and the greatest manhunt of the modern American West. Not everyone is built to last in the wild vastness of America's western planes, but for three desperados from Colorado, the terrain couldn't have been more perfect:

Beyond the real West is the mythical West; the West of movies, books, song and video games; the West of enduring legend. It is the West that leads thousands of people every year to pull off the road and stand at the graves of Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp or Wild Bill Hickok. The West that draws millions of East Coasters and Midwesterners to vacations in the Mountain States, where they stay in accommodations with cowhide-upholstered sofas and elk-antler chandeliers. The West where the receding vibrations of a wild, audacious America still tickle the hair on the back of your neck.

It is real and it is mythical. And one sunny morning in May 1998, near the epicenter of Old West outlaw violence, it happened all over again: the guns; the killing; the posse chase and shootout; the escape into a vast wild country of sagebrush, box canyons and the occasional cowboy on horseback; Native American trackers; a grueling manhunt; and a populist outlaw disappearing into legend.

Such is Four Corners. As it was in 1898. As it remained a hundred years later.

Learn more and read an excerpt of Chapters 1 and 2 from Dead Run by Dan Schultz, an in-depth account of this sensational case, replete with overbearing local sheriffs, Native American trackers, posses on horseback, suspicion of vigilante justice and police cover-ups, and the blunders of the nation’s most exalted crime-fighters pursuing outlaws into territory in which only they could survive.

May 21 2015 10:00am

Cooking the Books with the Crime HQ Test Kitchen

This was the perfect chance to re-launch Cooking the Books with our new CrimeHQ test kitchen staff—or so we thought. We had a bunch of recent, appealing crime-related recipes, but unfortunately, after assigning them, the feedback from our test crooks cooks was a little less constructive than we'd hoped. You'll see what we mean...

After trying The Cozy Cookbook's “Charmed Bacon Lattice Breakfast Pie” by Ellery Adams, here are the testing notes from a Thriller's Disposable Henchman: 

The instructions say Bake until crisp, approximately 25 minutes. Couldn't the timing be more precise? Why, I have this handy ticking clock right next to me, and... [rest illegible and aflame]

From “Cake Pops” by Jenn McKinlay, testing notes from a Town Busybody: 

It should be called “cake popular,” because this recipe makes 30. Who has that many people to give sweets to? Don't get me wrong, I try to stay involved in goings-on in my community, but really, if I dropped dead, I think people would probably just stand around making snide comments and jokes. Here's my version of the recipe for a single cake pop. Tell the author to put it in her next book. You're welcome.


[Dice and Slice with our Advice!]

May 18 2015 9:30am

For the Person Who Has Everything... Or Knows Where to Steal It

This Lockpick School In A Box “gives you everything you need to learn this valuable art... [including] five lock cylinders, which are numbered and get progressively more difficult as you move from 1-5, as well as four picks, a tension tool, and an instructional book.”

Hat tip: Uncrate. And once you've mastered that, try the practice handcuffs!

May 15 2015 11:45am

Check Out Agatha Raisin at Twenty-Six!

Just look at Agatha Raisin at twenty-six, already having come a long way from the Birmingham slum where she was born. M. C. Beaton's upcoming short story will find Agatha having dumped both her accent and drunken husband, but landing a job at a public relations office as a secretary. 

Uncomfortable situations are part of PR, and Agatha's boss tells her to go to the home of Brian Devese to inform him that he's soon going to be arrested for the murder of his wife and that the agency no longer wants to represent him. Devese, impressed by her bold assertiveness, asks her to represent him instead, even offering her a staff and office. Agatha swiftly decides, of course, the best thing she can do for her first client is to clear his name by discovering who really murdered his wife.

This brand-new Agatha Raisin story will be released in August. We love learning how our favorite sleuths became who they are—what do you think of this smartly-dressed, go-getting young Agatha Raisin?

May 15 2015 8:45am

“Wishful Thinking” Submissions Open for the Next 2 Weeks!

The M.O. submissions mailbox is now open for your “Wishful Thinking!”

That's themostories - aT- gmail (plus dot and com). We're seeking short, original crime stories of 1000-1500 words around the loose theme of “Wishful Thinking” In another two weeks, we'll put up a selected shortlist of finalists in the Rogues' Gallery and in our newsletter. We'll ask registered site members to read samples from each, then vote on which story they'd like to read here in its entirety. After we pay for it, of course, the final selection will be posted to read free online.

We'll have the mailbox open for 2 weeks, so don't worry if you haven't begun a story yet. If you write just 72 words a day—less than the word count of the previous paragraph—you'll have one written from scratch by midnight of May 29th!

Entries should be submitted as e-mail attachments in any standard, not-too-fancy document format with author name (and pseudonym, if applicable), story title, and an e-mail contact all within the document itself.

You will receive an automatic reply to let you know your submission was received. If you don't, please check your spam folder and make sure to add our address to your list of approved senders. (If you try again, and still don't get confirmation, please use our Contact Us page, but only for technical problems. No other questions related to The M.O. will be answered there.)

For more details, please check The M.O. Submission Guidelines here. We can't wait to read what malfeasance you're wishing for!

May 12 2015 2:00pm

Now Win This!: The Disappearing Act Sweepstakes

Now you see it, now you don't! Turn away for one second and you'll miss it! Don't let these seven books get away from you!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

This is NOT a Comments Sweepstakes. You must click the link above to enter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins May 12, 2015, at 2:00 pm ET, and ends May 26, 2015, 1:59 pm ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Hurry, before it's too late...]

May 12 2015 9:30am

Cremains of the Day: Sex and Death from the Netherlands

21 Grams by artist Mark Sturkenboom: A spot for the wedding ring, the scent, the favorite song, and more...“Sex and death” is a phrase with more resonance when you put Marvin Gaye on the iPod and open the lid of the 21 Grams memory-box. Artist Mark Sturkenboom of the Netherlands has created a way to... well, see, the deceased's ashes go into a... oh, we'd rather let him explain:

21 Grams is a memory-box that allows a widow to go back to the intimate memories of a lost beloved one...By bringing different nostalgic moments together like the scent of his perfume, ‘their’ music, reviving the moment he gave her her first ring opens a window to go back to moments of love and intimacy... The urn offers the possibility to conserve 21 grams of ashes of the deceased and displays an immortal desire...

Most importantly, the artist's goal is, he says, to display “an accusation against the unavoidable passing of life. 21 Grams speaks in metaphors, not in shock value.” (I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work there, Lou.)

21 grams is a reference to what's been hypothesized as the weight of the soul, a slight difference in body mass after death measured by Dr. Duncan MacDougall in 1901. And in soulful fashion, cremains have now even become what was once euphemistically called a marital aid. Don't even think about trying to bill us for brain bleach.

May 8 2015 8:45am

Showdown to Fun: High Noon at BookCon with Us!

On May 31st at noon, during BookCon at NYC's Javits Center, Criminal Element hosts the Crime Time Quiz Show with authors Jane Cleland, Julia Dahl, and Maggie Barbieri. Each author will represent a portion of the audience as they compete in a fun game of crime trivia, and their winning team will get swag from us!

BookCon is still a fairly new event, but the concept is that after all the trade-business gets done during BEA (BookExpo America), that's a great time to roll right into bookish events that are wide open to the public, focused on readers and writers. This will be our second year, and we really hope to meet some of you crime fans there!

May 7 2015 2:30pm

Announcing 2015’s Anthony Award Nominees!

This week in awards season brings the Anthony Award nominations, to be conferred during Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, held in Raleigh, NC. (You can also check out our Lowdown Calendar for more information about the many awards given during the convention, dates, guests of honor, etc.)

Lamentation by Joe Clifford
The Secret Place by Tana French
After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Blessed Are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino
Ice Shear by M.P. Cooley
Invisible City by Julia Dahl
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin
The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood
The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson
World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
No Stone Unturned by James W. Ziskin

The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis by Charles Brownson
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice by Kate Clark Flora
Dru’s Book Musings by Dru Ann Love
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan, ed.

“Honeymoon Sweet” by Craig Faustus Buck, Murder at the Beach: The Bouchercon Anthology 2014
“The Shadow Knows” by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays
“Howling at the Moon” by Paul D. Marks,
“Of Dogs & Deceit” by John Shepphird, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
“The Odds Are Against Us” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

FaceOff by David Baldacci, ed.
Murder at the Beach: The Bouchercon Anthology 2014 by Dana Cameron, ed.
Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen by Joe Clifford, ed.
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon by Laurie R. King & Leslie S. Klinger, eds.
Carolina Crimes: 19 Tales of Love, Lust, and Longing by Karen Pullen, ed.

Tough choices for October's convention attendees. Congratulations to all the nominees!

May 6 2015 11:00am

Announcing 2015’s Arthur Ellis Award Nominees!

The Crime Writers of Canada recently announced 2015's nominees for the Arthur Ellis Award.

Here's the CWC shortlist!

Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman
None so Blind by Barbara Fradkin
Plague by C.C. Humphreys
No Known Grave by Maureen Jennings
Killing Pilgrim by Alen Mattich

A Quiet Kill by Janet Brons
Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows
Windigo Fire by M.H. Callway
No Worst, There Is None by Eve McBride
Last of the Independents by Sam Wiebe

The Boom Room by Rick Blechta
Juba Good by Vicki Delany
The Dragon Head of Hong Kong by Ian Hamilton
A Knock on the Door by Jas. R. Petrin, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

“Stone Mattress” by Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress: Nine Tales
“Hook, Line and Sinkerby Melodie Campbell, YYM/Northword Literary Journal
“Therapy” by Peter Clement
“First Impressions” by Madona Skaff, The Whole She-Bang 2
“Writers Block” by Kevin P. Thornton, World Enough and Crime

Une enquête de Joseph Laflamme by Hervé Gagnon
Bondrée by Andrée Michaud
Meurtre à l’hôtel Despréaux by Maryse Rouy
Repentirs by Richard Ste Marie

Face-Off by Michael Betcherman
Dead Man's Switch by Sigmund Brouwer
The Voice Inside My Head by S.J. Laidlaw
About That Night by Norah McClintock
The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

Being Uncle Charlie by Bob Deasy (with Mark Ebner)
The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray
Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry by Joan McEwen
Life Real Loud: John Lefebvre, Neteller and the Revolution in Online Gambling by Bill Reynolds
Extreme Mean by Paula Todd

Rum Luck by Ryan Aldred
Full Curl by Dave Butler
Crisis Point by Dwayne Clayden
Afghan Redemption by Bill Prentice
Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

Sylvia McConnell, founder and publisher, RendezVous Crime

The shortlist was announced in late April, so please forgive our tardiness in commending the nominees, but there's still time to plan to attend the Arthur Ellis Awards Gala on May 28th at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto.

Congratulations to all!

May 5 2015 11:00am

In Memoriam: Ruth Rendell

Novelist Ruth Rendell / Photo: Felix Clay for the GuardianOver the weekend, we (and everyone else) noted the death of crime writer Ruth Rendell at the age of 85. As prolific and talented as she was, even a Labour Party member of the House of Lords as Baroness Rendell of Babergh, one could simply accept as proof of her accomplishments the scores of books she'd written, the millions of them sold, the many awards, and then lifetime acheivement awards, she received. But readers don't require critical or commercial acclaim to understand her appeal, because she created suspense without pyrotechnics, stories that most of all, and at times painfully, leverage the reader's own humanness. Her tales can be exquisitely twisted, yet somehow, they also feel as if they might be happening right next door. From the New York Times:

Chief Inspector Wexford was almost christened Waterford, as Ms. Rendell recalled. On vacation in Ireland, she visited both Wexford and Waterford and decided that either would be acceptable for her sleuth’s surname. So, how did she settle on “Wexford”?

“I don’t know why,” she said. “I guess I just like the letter ‘X.’ ”

Ms. Rendell also wrote a score of stand-alone novels, typically featuring protagonists on the edges of society. From her earliest writing days, Ms. Rendell wanted to do more than create puzzles revolving around who killed whom and why. So, as she recalled for Simon & Schuster, she laced her mysteries with such themes as racism in the English countryside, damage to the environment, domestic violence and arranged marriages among immigrants.

She acknowledged worrying early on that her readers might not like her delving into such serious issues. “But they did,” she said. “They wrote to me and told me that they did.”

We really, really did. Thanks for all the words.

Leading image from Laura Barnett's 2013 interview with Ruth Rendell in the Guardian.

May 4 2015 10:15am

Congratulating 2015’s Agatha Award Winners!

Over the weekend at Malice Domestic, the following nominated works (and their authors) won the Agatha Award teapots!

Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran

Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan, Editor

“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

The Code Buster's Club, Case #4: The Mummy's Curse by Penny Warner

Sara Paretsky was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award


Congratulations to all!

Leading image from the fabulous Dana Cameron's Facebook feed. Two of the coveted teapots and one of the teacups, too. We just had to steal borrow celebrate it!

May 1 2015 9:00am

The M.O.: A New Theme is Announced!

Like a repeat offender, The M.O. is back! Write a crime story related to the theme of “Wishful Thinking” in one-thousand to fifteen-hundred words.

The theme can be interpreted widely, in whatever style, tone, subgenre, targeted age range, and/or era the writer chooses. If you ever see stuff like it here, we're interested!

On Friday, May 15th, 2015, the steel-toothed maw of submissions will again creak open (watch your fingers!) at 12:01 a.m., Eastern U.S. time zone.  Here's where to check out all The M.O.'s submission guidelines and important dates.

Maybe your very-short story will eventually share a cell with S.W. Lauden's “Fix Me.” And just see how happy joining the Rogues' Gallery of our shortlisters made K.M. Rockwood... Don't fight the joy!

Apr 30 2015 10:15am

True Crime Thursday: Missing!

What's missing this True Crime Thursday? An art dealer's head, a Florida toddler and the maternal sense of a common water rat, and finally, a couple of fingers on a young agent's instructor.

Dancing with Death by Shanna Hogan is a true story of before and after. She was a glamorous showgirl, previously a stripper and married before... six times. He was her wealthy husband, who disappeared, and after that, was found as a headless, limbless torso.

Mommy's Little Girl by Diane Fanning details the unfolding events as three year-old Caylee Anthony vanished from her home in 2008. Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony by Keith Ablow, M.D. attempts to explain what was deficient in that household, so “devoid of emotional oxygen that it eventually becomes incompatible with sustaining human life.”

Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story by Jack Devine is a historical memoir by 32-year CIA  member and eventual acting deputy director of operations that starts during the Cold War and ends in Afghanistan.

When he took to the podium, we held back a collective gasp. A jagged V-shaped scar covered a good part of his forehead. If that wasn’t enough, he was missing a couple of fingers. He extolled the excitement of working with explosives. He also stressed the need for caution when handling such materials....I received my lowest grade in this course, and a not-so-gentle note for my file suggesting that I “not be allowed to handle explosives.” The irony is that, in the mid-1980s, I probably handled more explosives than any other CIA officer in history.

With all that's gone, we're sure glad to be here!