The Edgar Awards Revisited: 2007

Welcome back to the Criminal Element Book Club featuring Olen Steinhauer's The Tourist. We are happy to announce the winners of last week's sweepstakes, and we're thrilled to share an eBook deal that is too good to miss.

Introducing Case Closed: Your Next True Crime Podcast Binge

The Third to Die by Allison Brennan: Exclusive Excerpt

An edgy female police detective… An ambitious FBI special agent. Together they are at the heart of the ticking-clock investigation for a psychopathic serial killer. Detective Kara Quinn, on leave from the LAPD, is on an early morning jog in her hometown of Liberty Lake when she comes upon the body of a young nurse.…

Book Review: The Janes by Louisa Luna

Louisa Luna turns newspaper headlines into heart-stopping thrillers. Two Girls Down introduced Alice Vega, “a private investigator known for finding the missing,” and Max “Cap” Caplan. Two girls went missing in Cap’s small Pennsylvania town and Alice (who lives in San Diego) was hired to find them. Private detective Cap knew the local scene, so…

Blue Heaven by C. J. Box

The Edgar Awards Revisited: Blue Heaven (Best Novel, 2009) 

There’s something magical about finding a novel someone left behind at a summer beach house—the idea that people who will likely never cross paths sharing something meaningful, a great book, in the temporary break from their lives. That was how I came across my first C. J. Box novel, Blue Heaven. Re-reading the novel ten…

Book Review: Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz

Into the Fire is the 5th entry in Gregg Hurwitz’s hugely entertaining Orphan X series, which follows Evan Smoak, who at the age of 12 was plucked from a foster home and trained as an assassin for the government’s secret Orphan X program. He’s Jason Bourne with a touch of MacGyver and a hint of…

Book Review: Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson

In Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson, Inspector Banks is dragged into a disturbing world of drugs, guns, and possible sex trafficking.  Like many long-running series, open-ended storylines are a feature of the Inspector Banks mysteries. Not every investigation is tied up with a neat bow on the last page. Careless Love, the last…

Cooking the Books: Thread and Buried by Lea Wait

One of my favorite culinary cozies of 2018 was Cornelia Kidd’s Death and a Pot of Chowder. I eagerly awaited the next installment in the series and was surprised not to hear any news of the author in 2019. When I finally got around to looking up why, I discovered that it was because Cornelia…

Book Review: The Anatomy of a Spy by Michael Smith

Focusing on the motivations, The Anatomy of a Spy by Michael Smith tells the story of why spies spy, presenting a wealth of spy stories—some previously unknown and some famous—from the very human angle of the agents themselves. I used to be a big fan of spy stories, à la James Bond, where dashing men…

Book Review: How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann

In this debut novel, Raymond Fleischmann takes readers to remote Alaska, where Else seeks the truth about her long lost sister from a man she knows to be a murderer.  1941. It’s been over twenty years since Elisabeth’s twin sister, Jacqueline, vanished. Else, as she’s known to friends and family, has moved on with her…

Book Review: The Wife and The Widow by Christian White

Kate Keddie’s smooth, predictable life careens off course when her husband, John, doesn’t return from a medical conference in London. A conference, she quickly discovers, he never attended. For a job he hasn’t had in months. The bigger question was where had John been for the past three months? Nausea swept through her system. Her…

Four Overlooked Literary Classics

When some readers hear the word “literary,” they begin thinking “boring.” Slow-paced. Low-stakes. Unexciting. And sometimes that’s true. In the quest for artistic expression and resonance, it can be easy for a writer to value style over substance and create a novel that’s simultaneously beautiful but somehow dull. There’s a sweet spot, I think, in…