Review: <i>Naked In Death</i> by J.D. Robb Review: Naked In Death by J.D. Robb Ardi Alspach Read Ardi Alspach's review! <i>Curried Away</i>: New Excerpt Curried Away: New Excerpt Gail Oust The 4th book in the Spice Shop Mystery series. <i>Buried in the Country</i>: New Excerpt Buried in the Country: New Excerpt Carola Dunn The 4th book in the Cornish Mystery series. Review: <i>Plaid and Plagiarism</i> by Molly MacRae Review: Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae David Cranmer Read David Cranmer's review!
From The Blog
December 8, 2016
Point Blank (1967): The Only Neo-Noir that Matters
Peter Foy
December 7, 2016
Sweet/Vicious: A Socially Relvant Crime Fan's Cocktail
Dave Richards
December 6, 2016
Interview: Duane Swierczynski talks The Black Hood and comiXology
Crime HQ and Duane Swierczynski
December 2, 2016
A Divided Spy Writing Contest
Crime HQ
December 2, 2016
5 Current Crime Comics You Should Be Reading
Dave Richards
Showing posts by: Crime HQ click to see Crime HQ's profile
Dec 7 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: December 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, we get some great cozies, a couple of kickass thrillers, and a ridiculous anthology edited by Lawrence Block and featuring Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Connelly, and more! See what else this week brings in the way of books:

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

Dec 6 2016 4:00pm

Which Type of Thriller Is Your Favorite?

Crime fiction is a pretty broad genre. But even narrowed further to thriller, there are still loads of subgenres to choose from. Perhaps you like a your thrillers with a strong detective that’s always their to save the day. Perhaps you prefer your thrillers on the other side of the law, with an antihero that operates behind the scenes and cleans up where the cops can’t. Or maybe you like keep it in the court room with a legal thriller? 

The point is that there are so many to choose from, it seems everyone can have their way. But what kind of thriller is the best? Vote for YOUR favorite below!

[Which thriller subgenre is your favorite?]

Dec 6 2016 10:00am

Interview: Duane Swierczynski talks The Black Hood and comiXology

The Black Hood comes to comiXology Unlimited this month!

Duane Swierczynski is the author of several crime thrillers, including Revolver and the Edgar-nominated Canary. He has also written for characters such as Deadpool, Punisher, Black Widow, and Cable, in addition to his work on several currently running comic series. 

Recently, comiXology released Duane's painkiller-addicted, vigilante series, The Black Hood. We got a chance to talk to Mr. Swierczynski about what it's like writing novels vs. comics, his work on The Black Hood, and the current state of comics. 

Check out the full interview below, as well as a full list of what's coming to (and leaving) comiXology in December!

[Read the full interview below...]

Dec 5 2016 11:00am

Read an Excerpt of Echoes In Death by J.D. Robb!

In anticipation of the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th In Death novel, Echoes In Death (Available February 7, 2017), CrimeHQ is going to be embarking on quite a journey, reviewing every Eve Dallas novel in publication! Beginning Thursday, December 8th with Naked In Death, we will be reviewing the entire series chronologically!

Before we kick things off, head over to Entertainment Weekly to read the entire 1st chapter online!

As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman―dazed, naked, and bloody―suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”...

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

Head over to EW and read the exclusive 1st chapter!

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at iTunes

Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at Amazon

Dec 2 2016 4:30pm

A Divided Spy Writing Contest

Want to be published in a thriller by a bestselling author? St. Martin's Press is sponsoring the Who Can You Trust? writing contest to celebrate the upcoming publication of A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming. The contest details are simple—write up to 1,000 words on how trust (or distrust) has changed your outlook on life in some way. Five winners will receive $250 and their submissions will be published in the paperback and ebook versions of A Divided Spy

Full contest details can be found at

Bonus: Read a 10-chapter excerpt of A Divided Spy here, or listen to an audio excerpt here


To learn more or order a copy of A Divided Spy, visit:

Buy at iTunes

Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at Amazon

Dec 1 2016 3:00pm

Holiday Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List

December is upon us, and with it comes all the joys and wonders (and murder) of the holiday season! While we normally compile a list of all of the upcoming soft-boiled mysteries for the month (see December's titles!), we decided to put together a list of all of the winter/holiday-themed cozies we could find. Know of any other great holiday cozies? Let us know in the comments!

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

[Let's get to the goodies!]

Dec 1 2016 12:00pm

Watch the Trailer for HBO’s New True Crime Documentary: Beware the Slenderman

What drives two twelve-year-old girls to stab a mutual friend nineteen times and leave her for dead? What could possibly fill young and innocent minds with such cold blood and carnage? 

HBO’s new documentary Beware the Slenderman (debuting January 23, 2017) explores the very real case of a near-fatal stabbing attack in the small town of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Reportedly, two twelve-year-old girls lured their friend into the woods and stabbed her nineteen times. The two claim that they had been forced to commit this act of extreme violence by a fictional internet monster called Slenderman—a tall, thin, pale, man-like creature with no face that is typically portrayed stalking, abducting, and torturing people, particularly children. They reportedly believe that this monster was going to harm them and their families if they did not do its dark bidding—that only by murdering someone could they be free from his wrath. 

Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, Beware the Slenderman features “heart-wrenching access to the girls’ families,” and “plunges deep down the rabbit hole of their actions, exploring how the dark corners of the Internet can influence society’s most impressionable young consumers of the media.” 

[Watch the chilling trailer below...]

Nov 30 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: November 29, 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 another Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery from Jane K. Cleland! See what else this week brings in the way of books:

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

Nov 29 2016 3:00pm

Which Noir Character Are You?

If you’re a regular visitor of Criminal Element, then you’re probably more than a little bit familiar with film noir. But if not, then let’s give you the basic rundown. From the French term meaning “black cinema,” film noir was coined to describe a specific type of Hollywood film that portrayed a level of darkness and cynicism that had never been seen before. A few of the early classics include The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, and Laura. 

Now, obviously these stories did not originate with their film depictions. Before Hollywood got their hands on these stories, the words were pouring out of the minds of novelists such as Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler. 

In stark contrast to detective fiction’s earlier heroes—Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, etc.—these hardboiled protagonists were tough and cynical. These stories were set in grim, dirty cities and told in a narrative form, with slang, violence, and sex saturating the pages. 

So today, join Criminal Element as we pay tribute to noir fiction by testing you to see just what sort of character Dashiell Hammett would turn you into. Be warned: it’s not always pretty.

[Take the personality quiz!]

Nov 28 2016 1:00pm

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

The holidays are usually filled with uplifting, family-focused trite with feel-good endings. Rarely do you get the kind of murder and mystery us crime fans live for (after all, he sees you when you're sleeping ...)—and unfortunately, Netflix sided with the world on this one.

No worries, though! Netflix still has plenty of mysteries, thrillers, and all things killer in their catalog to satisfy ... just not a whole lot of new material for December. At least we get a Christmas present with Marvel's Captain America: Civil War coming December 25th as part of the deal with Disney.

[Check out the list here...]

Nov 23 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: November 22, 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 Alex Cross thriller and the latest novel from one of Sweden's best writers! See what else Thanksgiving week brought us to read:

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

Nov 22 2016 3:00pm

What Is Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dish?

Here at CrimeHQ, not everything has to be murder and mayhem ... sometimes we like to kick up our feet, loosen our belt, and bask in the Thanksgiving feast we just killed (alright, maybe it’s always there). Whether it’s turkey or ham, mashed potatoes or yams, as we wind down the short week, we want to know what YOUR favorite Thanksgiving dish is.

[Vote for you favorite below!]

Nov 21 2016 2:00pm

Trailer: A Kind of Murder

In 1960s New York, the Stackhouse family appears to be living the good life—seemingly perfect in every way. But Walter Stackhouse has grown weary of his wife Clara and lusts after another woman. But when Clara ends up dead, his picturesque life turns into chaos as he’s forced to prove his innocence while dealing with the death of his wife and a possible killer on the loose.

Based on the novel The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith, A Kind of Murder stars Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Insidious), Jessica Biel (The Illusionist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Haley Bennett (The Equalizer, The Girl on the Train). Directed by Andy Goddard, the film isscheduled to hit theaters on December 16th.

[Watch the trailer below!]

Nov 16 2016 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: November 15, 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 was a powerhouse of releases, with a new Patricia Cornwell, David Morrell, and more! See what else came out this week that we're excited for:

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

Nov 15 2016 4:15pm
Original Story

Introducing The Big Sleazy: A Collaborative Caper

Crime HQ

Cover Art by Teddy Pierson

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 didn't have a title. Previously, we asked YOU, the readers of Criminal Element, to suggest titles. Many of you did, and now we're proud to present the winner: Melissa Darwin. So now, in it's final and complete form, please enjoy The Big Sleazy!

The Story Begins...

In a crowded ballroom in New Orleans, where passion and anticipation were as hot and steamy as the air itself, there were dozens of Minotaur authors, ten members of Team Minotaur, hundreds of sweaty guests with dark thoughts and suspicious agendas…and one hidden gun. Hearing of the hidden gun from an alert bartender, the Minotaur team immediately began a pat-down of all guests.

“Ma’am, we’re going to need to bring you into this secondary room for a more thorough interview,” said Hector, smiling.

“Hold on a second, Hector—I don’t think your wife would appreciate that—besides, you’ve had one too many gin and tonics,” said Sarah with a devious grin.

[Read the whole story...]

Nov 14 2016 3:30pm

Watch the Theatrical Trailer for Ben Affleck’s Live by Night

Batman takes a step back from fighting crime to participate in it, as Ben Affleck directs and stars in the dramatic crime thriller Live by Night. Adapted from the award-winning bestseller by Dennis Lehane, Live by Night is set in the Roaring ‘20s, around the Prohibition era. Affleck plays the ambitious Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police Superintendent, who turns his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw—setting him on a path of revenge, ambition, romance, and betrayal that finds him in the seedy rum-running underworld of Tampa.

Affleck also wrote the screenplay—his 2nd adaptation of fellow Boston-native Lehane’s work (Gone Baby Gone). In addition to the Oscar-winning Affleck, Live by Night also stars Elle Fanning (Maleficent), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges, the Harry Potter films), Chris Messina (Argo), Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar), and Chris Cooper (Adaptation, The Town).

The film will see a limited release on Christmas Day, with the nationwide release set for January 13, 2017.

[Watch the trailer below!]