Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: January 2018 Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: January 2018 Crime HQ Check out January's offerings! Now Win <i>This</i>!: True Crime Thursday Bundle Sweepstakes Now Win This!: True Crime Thursday Bundle Sweepstakes Crime HQ Learn how to win six true crime books! Discount: <i>Panacea</i> by F. Paul Wilson Discount: Panacea by F. Paul Wilson Crime HQ Get a digital copy for only $2.99! Review: <i>Killman Creek</i> by Rachel Caine Review: Killman Creek by Rachel Caine Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review!
From The Blog
December 15, 2017
"Burger King" Arrested for Drunk Driving
Adam Wagner
December 12, 2017
Review: Le Samourai (1967)
Brian Greene
December 8, 2017
Two Lovers Against the Law
Adam Wagner
December 7, 2017
Spy Games
Bill Rapp
December 7, 2017
Writing from the Perspective of an Animal
Abi Curtis
Dec 15 2017 4:30pm

Book-Inspired Cocktails: “Blood & Sand with Bronte”

What goes great with classic literature? Crime, clearly. But what goes well with both? A classic cocktail!

So get back to the classics with this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “Blood & Sand with Bronte” cocktail, inspired by Katherine Bolger Hyde's second Crime with the Classics Mystery, Bloodstains with Bronte!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Dec 15 2017 12:00pm

Longmire 6:09: “Running Eagle Challenge” Episode Review

Vic (Katee Sackhoff) is learning there is often no such thing as closure. After going to a support group and seeing a woman who, rightfully so, is still crying over a lost child a year later, she listens to Longmire’s (Robert Taylor) advice: instead of talking it out, she needs to—in a manner of speaking—sweat it out.

He suggests she should enter the Running Eagle Challenge—a triathlon for women that includes running, canoeing, and horseback riding—being organized by Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips). She likes the idea, and with only a day to prepare, she is coached by Longmire on the ins-and-outs of horseback riding and by The Ferg (Adam Bartley) on proper paddling technique.

[Read David Cranmer's review of “Running Eagle Challenge”...]

Dec 15 2017 11:00am

“Burger King” Arrested for Drunk Driving

Sometimes royalty just wants a chance to mingle with the common folk.

  • Princess Jasmine traveled outside the castle walls in an attempt to flee their prison-like confinement.
  • Prince Edward VI switched places with Tom Canty and learned of the country’s unjust ways.
  • Prince Gustav of Cordovia meandered around Los Angeles for a bit to get away from the pressures of royal life.

And the Burger King just wanted to drive drunk and harass cops in Galesburg, Illinois.

According to the New York Post, police were called when a man drove around a parking lot erratically—almost hitting a pedestrian—before crashing into a ditch. However, when police arrived at the scene, the driver dropped the bombshell that he was indeed the Burger King of House Whopper, First of His Name, the Flame-Broiled, King of the Drive-Thru, Protector of the Beef, Breaker of Belts, and Father of the Flames. Actually, the modest king decided to drop the full title and tell authorities his name was simply “Burger King.”

Unused to being treated in such a manner, Mr. King refused to cooperate with officers or the EMTs at the scene. According to The Register-Mail, he claimed, “Donald Trump is coming to beat up” his captors. Unfortunately, the President and his Whopper Jr. hands never did show up, and the King—whose real name is Bradley S. Galloway—is facing charges that include: driving under the influence, resisting arrest, reckless driving, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and operating an uninsured vehicle.

Guess he’ll be trading in his Iron Throne for some iron bars.

Dec 14 2017 3:30pm

Now Win This!: True Crime Thursday Bundle Sweepstakes

It's True Crime Thursday! Every Thursday, we've been bringing you the best in true crime books, news, and entertainment—now we're giving away six killer true crime books!

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 December 14, 2017, at 3:30 pm ET, and ends December 31, 2017, at 3:29 pm ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[See what 6 true crime books you could win!]

Dec 14 2017 1:00pm

Discount: Panacea by F. Paul Wilson

Two secret societies vie for control of the ultimate medical miracle―Panacea―in this novel by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson, author of the Repairman Jack series.

Get a digital copy of F. Paul Wilson's Panacea for only $2.99 through January 8, 2018!

Medical examiner Laura Fanning has two charred corpses and no answers. Both bear a mysterious tattoo but exhibit no known cause of death. Their only connection to one another is a string of puzzling miracle cures. Her preliminary investigation points to a cult in the possession of the fabled panacea―the substance that can cure all ills―but that's impossible.

Laura finds herself unknowingly enmeshed in an ancient conflict between the secretive keepers of the panacea and the equally secretive and far more deadly group known only as 536, a brotherhood that fervently believes God intended for humanity to suffer, not be cured. Laura doesn't believe in the panacea, but that doesn't prevent the agents of 536 from trying to kill her.

A reclusive, terminally ill billionaire hires Laura to research the possibility of the panacea. The billionaire's own bodyguard, Rick Hayden, a mercenary who isn't who he pretends to be, has to keep her alive as they race to find the legendary panacea before the agents of 536 can destroy it.

Read an excerpt from Panacea!


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at iTunes

Dec 14 2017 12:00pm

Lost in the Deadlights: Stephen King’s It Through the Years

It’s those bones I remember most. Brittle, mildew-coated, shreds of clothing still shrouding the mortal remains of a boy 14, maybe 15 years old. They’d lain there forgotten in the sewers beneath Derry, Maine, for 27 years, undiscovered until 1985. They were just one of the many missing children from that awful summer of 1958. Those bones may lay there still.

27 years. A number unimaginable to a 15-year-old. It’s impossible for a 15-year-old to imagine life at 42; for a 42-year-old … not so much.

All a 42-year-old has to do is remember.

[Read more from Brad Abraham!]

Dec 13 2017 4:30pm

Cooking the Books: Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Leeson

The Down South Cafe Mystery series just goes from strength to strength with this third installment of the series! Our heroine Amy Flowers is doing well enough with her cafe that she’s thinking of hosting a sort of farmer’s market for local growers on a consignment basis, beginning with the local beekeeper, Stuart Landon, and his delicious honey.

Stuart is a mysterious figure in Winter Garden, Virginia, who showed up some two decades earlier to buy a secluded farm that he seems to use primarily to hide out from the rest of the townsfolk. Amy’s adorable Great-Aunt Bess is convinced he’s some sort of retired secret agent, but even she is shocked when he’s found with his throat slit, quite dead, in the parking lot of Amy’s cafe.

Stuart’s death unearths all sorts of secrets, and while Amy doesn’t set out to investigate his murder, she does find herself caught up in the aftermath when the truth of his origins is slowly revealed. His long-lost family shows up in town, as does an engineer for a gas company looking for deposits that could make several landowners wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Amy soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer who won’t stop at only one murder.

[Recipe and pictures included!]

Dec 13 2017 4:00pm

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: A Visual Guide

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

A scary love triangle where you don't know who to trust—take a visual tour through Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's psychological thriller, The Wife Between Us!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Dec 13 2017 2:00pm

Marvel’s The Punisher Season 1 Review: Episodes 11-13

Hello, and welcome back to my look at the first Marvel/Netflix spin-off, The Punisher, which continues the blood-soaked and bullet-riddled journey of the Jon Bernthal-played title character who was introduced back in DaredevilSeason 2. With this installment, it's time to go out guns blazing because we're tackling the season's final episodes: Episode 11: “Danger Close”; Episode 12: “Home”; and Episode 13: “Memento Mori.” I'll offer up my perspective as a comic book journalist and a longtime Marvel Comics fan on what I thought went right with the episodes and talk about what the end means for the series, its characters, and the future of The Punisher.

So let's begin, but be careful of any broken mirrors! The glass could cut you up something fierce!

[Read Dave Richards’s review of Episodes 11-13…]

Dec 13 2017 1:00pm

Longmire 6:08: “Cowboy Bill” Episode Review

The spavined storyline of Longmire vs. Nighthorse continues. Nighthorse (A Martinez) wants to stay out of the prison population, preferring solitary confinement where the long reach of Malachi Strand can’t whack him. (Hard to believe it’s even a question that they would toss him in the general population considering he’s a wealthy “leading” citizen of the community.) So, Nighthorse shares with Longmire (Robert Taylor) how to get to Irish mob guru, Shane Muldoon (Dylan Walsh), by leaving comments on a website as user “Sitting Bull.”

It works, and Vic (Kate Sackhoff) and Longmire confront Shane at a tourist attraction. Realizing what he’s up against, Shane promises to give up Malachi. He lied. Instead, a few hours later (or the next day … the timeline on this show can be hard to pinpoint, with characters popping in and out like quarks), FBI Agent Decker (Raphael Sbarge) shows up at Longmire’s ranch to thank him because Muldoon has turned himself in.

[Read David Cranmer's review of “Cowboy Bill”...]

Dec 13 2017 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: December 12, 2017

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, three cozies pair with Garry Disher's Australian noir and Rachel Caine's second Stillhouse Lake thriller to highlight a great week of books! See what we're reading:

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

Dec 12 2017 3:00pm

Review: Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away. Killman Creek by Rachel Caine is the second book in the Stillhouse Lake series.

I’m a huge Rachel Caine fan, and her Weather Warden series is one of the best urban fantasy series out there. I’m not at all surprised that she can crank out killer thrillers too.

A little background: in the first book, Stillhouse Lake, Gina Royal is a happy (or so she thought) wife to Melvin and mother of son Brady and daughter Lily—until a drunk driver crashes a car into their garage, revealing a dead woman. After she was cleared of any wrongdoing (nearly everyone thought she helped her husband in his grisly work), she packed up her kids, moved to Stillhouse Lake, and became Gwen Proctor. There, she hoped to get a little peace from the trolls that continually threatened her and her family. Well, of course, she didn’t, and here we are.

Now, Gwen, along with her friend (and hopefully more) Sam Cade—who is also the brother of one of Melvin’s victims—are on the run from her ex-husband, who has escaped from prison:

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Killman Creek...]

Dec 12 2017 1:00pm

Review: Le Samourai (1967)

1967 was the year of the Summer of Love, but during that year, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-73) put together and released a movie that couldn’t have been more removed from the splashy colors and free-love mood of the swinging moment in cultural time. Le Samourai is a stark, moody, decidedly un-psychedelic crime film that Melville directed based on his own original story. It stars Alain Delon, who became an important collaborator of Melville's as well as a personal friend. Criterion has just released a new version of the film with their usual stash of bonus materials, which offers a prompt for a fresh examination.

Arthouse sex symbol Delon plays the lead character, Jef Costello, a 30-year old lone wolf who sometimes takes on work as a contract killer. Costello doesn’t talk more than he has to, and he doesn’t exhibit much emotion. He spends a lot of time looking handsome and soberly removed from it all as he smokes fat French cigarettes and wears fedoras.

[Ooh la la!]

Dec 12 2017 12:00pm

Review: One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning by David Moody

In One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning, David Moody returns to the world of his Hater trilogy with a new fast-paced and wonderfully dark story about humanity’s fight for survival in the face of the impending apocalypse.

Crime fiction and apocalyptic horror have more in common than fans of the individual genres might realize. That's because apocalyptic horror is about how survivors at the end of the world suddenly cope in a reality where there are no laws, and crime fiction is about how corruption and society can transform law-abiding citizens into hardened criminals and violent malefactors into enforcers of ultimate justice. So both types of tales are about dangerous circumstances, how we survive them, and how they fundamentally change our natures.

David Moody combines crime fiction and apocalyptics horror in One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning—the first book in a new trilogy (The Final War) set in his Hater series of novels. This novel is set on Skek, a remote island off the coast of the U.K, which is a pretty spooky and interesting place:

[Read Dave Richards's review of One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning...]

Dec 12 2017 10:00am

Discount: Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz is a masterful thriller and the first in the electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak.

Get a digital copy of Orphan X for only $2.99 through January 8, 2018!

Who is Orphan X?

The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them. But he’s not merely a legend.

Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He’s also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as an Orphan, an off-the-books black box program designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence asset: An assassin. Evan was Orphan X—until he broke with the program and used everything he learned to disappear. But now someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training who will exploit Evan’s secret new identity as the Nowhere Man to eliminate him.

Read an excerpt from Orphan X!


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at Books a Million Buy at iTunes

Dec 11 2017 5:00pm

The Walking Dead Power Rankings 8.08: “How It’s Gotta Be”

Welp, here we are. The midseason finale. After eight episodes, all that really happened is Rick and Co.'s plan didn't work (is it any surprise? I'm not even sure they had one) and Negan and the Saviors shifted the momentum of the fight. All the dark and foreboding elements of the first half seemed only to foreshadow the literal darkness of “How It's Gotta Be”—seriously, we couldn't see anything the entire 90 minutes. And the big reveal fell flat. It seemed inconsequential and tossed in for dramatic effect as it had nothing to do with the current storyline.

This show has fallen off the rails, and I had hoped it could regain its momentum and right the ship—but as Carl opines throughout the episode, “It's more than just hope.”

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

Dec 11 2017 3:00pm

Review: The Ninth Grave by Stefan Ahnhem

Would you kill for the one you love? That's the question that international bestseller Stefan Ahnhem's The Ninth Grave: A Fabian Risk Novel seeks to answer in this spine-tingling thriller set six months before the events in Victim Without a Face (available December 5, 2017).

The Ninth Grave, second in a new series by Swedish author Stefan Ahnhem, follows not one but two detectives in two countries on two cases—but the similarities end up being too striking to ignore as we follow each side of the story down a twisted and dark path to an astonishing conclusion.

Ahnhem is a gifted storyteller, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the complex whodunnit that’s actually set sixth months prior to his first novel featuring the same detective, Fabian Risk. It’s certainly not necessary to have read the first novel in order to understand and enjoy this second one, but I have a feeling that those who encounter this novel first will definitely be coming back for more.

[Read Ardi Alspach's review of The Ninth Grave...]

Dec 11 2017 1:00pm

Watch the First Teaser Trailer for Season 2 of Netflix and Marvel’s Jessica Joness

She’s back.

Netflix and Marvel have released the first teaser trailer for Season 2 of Jessica Jones, and if the minute of action we get is any indication, it should be explosive. The hard-drinking PI’s signature wit and incredible power are on full display as Jones gets back to investigating after the tumultuous events of the first season of The Defenders.

Season 2 of Jessica Jones drops in full on March 8, 2018.

[Watch the teaser trailer for Season 2 of Jessica Jones!]