Discount: <i>A Rule Against Murder</i> by Louise Penny Discount: A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny Crime HQ Get a digital copy of the 4th Chief Inspector Gamache novel for only $2.99 through 5/1! <i>Love & Death in Burgundy</i>: New Excerpt Love & Death in Burgundy: New Excerpt Susan C. Shea An atmospheric mystery novel filled with good Chablis, french cheese, and murder. Review: <i>A Single Spy</i> by William Christie Review: A Single Spy by William Christie David Cranmer Read David Cranmer's review! <i>Incendiary</i>: New Excerpt Incendiary: New Excerpt Michael Cannell The search for a serial bomber who stalked the streets of 1950s NYC.
From The Blog
April 28, 2017
2017 Edgar Award Winners
Crime HQ
April 27, 2017
Loving the Unlikable: My Favorite Female Characters
Marianne Delacourt
April 27, 2017
Q&A with Patricia Abbott, Author of Shot in Detroit
Patricia Abbott and Katherine Tomlinson
April 26, 2017
Backgammon: “The Cruelest Game” in Film and Literature
David Cranmer
April 26, 2017
A Field Guide to Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Narcissists, and Other Abusers: An Interview with Zak Mucha
Thomas Pluck and Zak Mucha
Showing posts by: kristen lepionka click to see kristen lepionka's profile
Apr 28 2017 3:00pm

Ladies’ Night: Book and Cocktail Pairings for a Night In

A drink order says a lot about a person—that’s maybe why there are approximately a zillion online quizzes promising to reveal the secret of our personalities based on our drink of choice. And in mystery novels, a character’s favorite drink is equally as telling. A fun way to get into a protagonist’s head is to match her drink for drink while you’re reading about her exploits. Here are some standout female characters in classic and contemporary mystery fiction and what they are drinking throughout the novels they star in. 

(Note: a good whisk(e)y goes with any mystery novel, in my opinion.)

[Get a few recipes below and party with your favorite female characters!]

Mar 16 2017 3:00pm

Research Ride-Along

Research is possibly my favorite part of the writing process. It delays the hard part—the writing words part—indefinitely. (Note to editor: that is a joke.) But also, I want to get it right, especially when it comes to police work.

We’ve all encountered stories where the police work is glossed over so heavily it’s distracting, like on one of those TV detective squads with a giant, wall-sized computer screen that solves their cases for them—The Crime-O-Matic, I call this—or far-fetched gaps in procedure or plausibility that distract from the plot. Creative license is good, and necessary, but realistic details are essential for fully developed characters, settings, and situations.

That’s what led me to the Columbus Police’s Civilian Ride-Along Program. I’d already Googled my heart out regarding police procedure, and now I just wanted to see how it worked, hear how cops talked to each other. You can’t exactly Google, “What does a squad room smell like?” or “Does the ladies’ room of the police impound lot have toilet paper?” But, I can answer both of those after my experience. (Answers, respectively: pizza and coffee; no.)

[Read more about her Kristen Lepionka's police ride-along...]

Feb 14 2017 3:30pm

Ladies First: Groundbreaking Women in Crime Fiction

Any mystery lover knows how significant Agatha Christie is to the crime-fiction genre. But she wasn’t the only woman on the scene—nor the first. Women crime writers have always been influential in the world of mysteries, and here are a few who may be less familiar to even a dedicated reader.

If you were investigating the case of the modern crime novel—scouring its pages for prints, swabbing carefully to get a read on its DNA—you might expect the trail of its origins to lead back to the usual suspects: Dupin and Holmes, Poirot and Marple, Spenser and Sam Spade. But this literary genealogy is incomplete without the inclusion of the women (many of them not named Agatha Christie) who helped shape the genre but haven't commanded lasting literary attention. Inspect the list below to find any number of overlooked gems that deserve a second look. 

[Read about crime fiction's women author pioneers!]

Jan 18 2017 3:00pm

A Driving Tour of Midwestern Mysteries

With so many mysteries set in big cities, Kristen Lepionka spreads the love to the Midwest, outlining some of the best mysteries in the region! Read her exclusive guest post, and make sure to sign in and comment for a chance to win her debut novel, The Last Place You Look!

To a detective character from a big city like New York or Los Angeles, the Midwest might look like one big flyover zone. But to plenty of mystery writers (myself included), the Midwest looks like home—and a good setting for a crime novel. We have plenty of cynicism to counteract that apple-cheeked, earnest idea of Midwestern values, and wild imaginations besides. Here is a selection of mysteries set in each of the ten states that officially comprise the Midwest, at least according to the census bureau. The geographic region, that is, not the mysteries. I don’t know if the census bureau likes mysteries, but I hope they do.

[Take the tour!]