Review: <i>Trace</i> by Archer Mayor Review: Trace by Archer Mayor Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review! Discount: <i>The Beautiful Mystery</i> by Louise Penny Discount: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny Crime HQ Get a digital copy for only $2.99 through October! <i>Hello Again</i>: Excerpt Hello Again: Excerpt Brenda Novak The second book in the Dr. Evelyn Talbot series. <i>If You Knew My Sister</i>: Excerpt If You Knew My Sister: Excerpt Michelle Adams A debut novel of psychological suspense.
From The Blog
September 22, 2017
Drunk Man Calls 911 for Lift Home
Teddy Pierson
September 22, 2017
Video: M. C. Beaton Discusses The Witches' Tree
M. C. Beaton
September 21, 2017
Adventures in Research, Part III: Killing Pace
Douglas Schofield
September 15, 2017
Drunk Man Sells Car, Forgets, Reports Car Stolen
Teddy Pierson
September 14, 2017
Celebrating Robert Mitchum's Centennial: The Noir
David Cranmer
Mon
Sep 25 2017 3:00pm

Review: Trace by Archer Mayor

Trace by Archer MayorTrace by Archer Mayor is the 28th book in the Joe Gunther series (available September 26, 2017).

I confess that this is my first Joe Gunther novel, and the series is 28 books in, so there’s a lot of rich history that I’ve missed in the series. That said, Archer Mayor makes it shockingly easy to get comfortable in Joe’s world without a ton of exposition loading down the narrative. At 28 books in, that’s no easy feat. You know these characters have a ton of history, but it’s like settling in with family—rife with conflict but infused with an unmistakable undercurrent of warmth.

Joe is the head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation—they’re specialists called in by other departments when they need help. “They were to assist and fade away, leaving the limelight to others.” He’s got a crack team reporting to him too. He’ll need them to be on the ball because his mother is ill and he must accompany her to a care facility until she gets better. It could be weeks, or it could be months. Samantha Martens is in charge while he’s gone, and she’s a little unsure of herself—especially since her fellow cop and difficult significant other, Willy Kunkle, is surely going to chafe having to answer to her.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Trace...]

Mon
Sep 25 2017 1:00pm

Discount: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny is the eighth book in the acclaimed Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series—get a digital copy for only $2.99 through the month of October!

No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery's massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.

This discount is perfect for your next book club meeting! Check out our handy, printable discussion questions!

 

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

Buy at Amazon Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at iTunes

Mon
Sep 25 2017 12:00pm

Crime/Mystery/Thrillers Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix in October 2017

Highlighted by the highly anticipated second season of Stranger Things, October is also bringing a few horror films and a lot of new Netflix Originals! Add in some classic movies and a few true crime documentaries, and October might become synonymous with binge watching.

See what other crime/mystery/thriller entertainment is coming to (and leaving) Netflix in September! 

[See the full list below...]

Mon
Sep 25 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Brenda Novak Excerpt: Hello Again

Brenda Novak

Hello Again by Brenda NovakHello Again by Brenda Novak is the second book in the Dr. Evelyn Talbot series (available October 3, 2017).

Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world's worst serial killers. But she’s about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered—or he is wrongly convicted.

When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except ... Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends—and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again...

[Read an excerpt from Hello Again...]

Sun
Sep 24 2017 10:00pm

The Deuce 1.03: “The Principle Is All” Episode Review

They found the smoke! Abby needs a job. She’s following the want-ads, and the office she interviews at is full of old white men and looks hazier than a dirty fish tank. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is another fine episode that gives us a look into the power structure of ‘70s New York, with Lindsey and Muskie, the Westies and Italians, and how “The Deuce” was the Hamsterdam of its day—if you recall that season of The Wire, as well you should. So grab a Cutty and water, sit down with me at the bar, and let Simon, Pelecanos, Megan Abbott, and Lisa Lutz bring us back to the dirty Deuce…

[Nothing sounds more perfect...]

Sun
Sep 24 2017 12:00pm
Excerpt

Michelle Adams Excerpt: If You Knew My Sister

Michelle Adams

If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams is a debut novel of psychological suspense where a woman returns to her family's home to learn the truth and escape her sister's influence (available October 3, 2017).

If you knew my sister, you’d run too…

First, there was the Robert Kneel incident.
Then what happened to Margot Wolfe.
And now she’s found me again.

Dr. Irini Harringford was given away by her parents just before her fourth birthday. Although she has spent her whole life trying to convince herself she doesn't need them, deep down Irini longs to understand why she was abandoned, while her parents kept her older sister, Elle.

So when Elle gets in touch with news that their mother has died, Irini reluctantly agrees to return to the family home. But she is ill at ease. She and Elle are not close. Irini knows only too well what Elle is capable of. Inexplicably drawn to her enigmatic sister, yet terrified of the sway she holds, Irini tries to protect herself even as she is sucked back into her family's toxic web of secrets...and soon realizes that the past is more complicated than she imagined, and that her very future rests upon discovering the truth about why she was really given away.

[Read an excerpt from If You Knew My Sister...]

Sat
Sep 23 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Diane Chamberlain Excerpt: The Stolen Marriage

Diane Chamberlain

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness that is steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists (available October 3, 2017).

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.

It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love―and the life―she was meant to have?

[Read an excerpt from The Stolen Marriage...]

Fri
Sep 22 2017 4:30pm

Book-Inspired Cocktails: “var Spirit = null;”

When the future of democracy is about to implode, the freedom of choice becomes even more sacred?

So choose your favorite spirit with this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “var Spirit = null;” cocktail, inspired by Malka Older's second Centenal Cycle novel, Null States!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Fri
Sep 22 2017 3:00pm

Review: Meddling and Murder by Ovidia Yu

Meddling and Murder by Ovidia Yu is the fourth book in the Aunty Lee Mysteries series.

We’re back with another excellent installment of the Aunty Lee Mysteries series, with one thing notably missing but an addition that I’m going to flatter myself into thinking is about me (cue the Carly Simon right here). In this fourth book of the Singapore-set series, Aunty Lee is quite cross at her Filipina maid, Nina, who refuses to let Aunty Lee encourage the romantic attentions of Inspector Salim, the police officer who’s been in love with Nina over the course of several books now. Nina knows how difficult it is for two people of such differing social statuses to have a successful relationship, much less marry, as Salim has proposed. She’s too much of a realist to encourage him, so she has decided to snub him altogether. This greatly annoys Aunty Lee, who believes in true love and working things out.

Ovidia Yu not only presents their differing viewpoints with honesty and sensitivity but also includes Salim’s own complicated thought processes as he struggles to reconcile his love for Nina with his love for his country:

[Read Doreen Sheridan's review of Meddling and Murder...]

Fri
Sep 22 2017 1:00pm

Drunk Man Calls 911 for Lift Home

When you are way too drunk to drive home, who do you call? A friend? Uber? The Ghostbusters? This week's perp derp decided against all of those and instead dialed 911. Brilliant!

According to WFMZ News, a New Jersey man allegedly called 911 to get a ride to his apartment in Mansfield Township. Police published a statement that said:

“We understand and empathize with the people who will comment and say well, at least he didn't drive drunk.”

It also went on to say:

“We are happy he didn't get behind the wheel and get in an accident and hurt somebody or himself, but that's not the issue here. The main issue here is tying up the 911 line for a gratuitous ride home. We want the public to know that 911 is for emergencies—and that's it.”

Fortunately, the man finally got a lift home, but not before he was charged with disorderly conduct.

Fri
Sep 22 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Ellie Alexander Excerpt: Death on Tap

Ellie Alexander

Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander is the first book in the new Sloan Krause Mystery series (available October 3, 2017).

Take a visual tour of Death on Tap with GIFnotes!

When Sloan Krause walks in on her husband, Mac, screwing the barmaid, she gives him the boot. Sloan has spent her life in Leavenworth, Washington becoming an expert in brewing craft beer, and she doesn’t have time to be held back by her soon-to-be ex-husband. She decides to strike out on her own, breaking away from the Krause family brewery, and goes to work for Nitro, the hip new nano-brewery in the Bavarian-themed town. Nitro’s owner, brewmaster Garrett Strong, has the brew-world abuzz with his newest recipe, “Pucker-Up IPA.” This place is the new cool place in town, and Mac can’t help but be green with envy at their success.

But just as Sloan is settling into her new gig, she finds one of Nitro’s competitors dead in the fermenting tub, clutching the secret recipe for the IPA. When Mac, is arrested, Sloan knows that her ex might be a cheater, but a murderer? No way. Danger is brewing in Beervaria and suddenly Sloan is on the case.

[Read an excerpt from Death on Tap...]

Thu
Sep 21 2017 4:00pm

Adventures in Research, Part III: Killing Pace

In Parts I and II of this series, I related some of the odd insights and unique landscapes my wife Melody and I experienced during research trips for my novels Time of Departure (2015) and Storm Rising (2016). This instalment—and the one to follow—will focus on our travels around Sicily in pursuit of key settings for my next novel, Killing Pace, which is due for release by St. Martin’s Press in November.

But, as you will see, Storm Rising was also haunting our movements.

When it comes to the weird, the wonderful, and the uncanny, Sicily is in a class of its own. All of those descriptors certainly apply to our visits to the two locations I will describe below. But first, a few words about perceptions. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit Sicily, let me just explain what that storied island is not: It is not The Godfather. Yes, many of its souvenir shops exploit the old stereotypes, offering tawdry souvenirs like mugs and fridge magnets featuring Marlon Brando’s brooding visage. But over the many weeks Melody and I spent crisscrossing the island on three separate visits (once in 2013; twice in 2015), we never encountered any of those dudes you saw guarding Michael Corleone in the film. You know the ones: hard men wearing cloth caps, slouching along dusty backroads with luparas slung on their shoulders.

[Read more about Douglas Schofield's research adventures!]

Thu
Sep 21 2017 3:00pm

Review: OSS Operation Black Mail: One Woman’s Covert War Against the Imperial Japanese Army by Ann Todd

OSS Operation Black Mail: One Woman's Covert War Against the Imperial Japanese Army by Ann Todd is the story of a remarkable woman, Elizabeth “Betty” McIntosh, who fought World War II on the front lines of psychological warfare.

OSS Operation Black Mail is the story of Elizabeth “Betty” McIntosh and so much more. The bulk of this book concerns McIntosh’s experience in World War II and how the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operated against the Japanese in China-Burma-India. Along the way, we learn about how the U.S. intelligence community rapidly formed during WWII, the gender obstacles that women agents faced, interagency bickering, tensions between allies, and how agents operated on the ground, all from a very different theater of war—one that hasn’t been written about as much as the war effort in Europe or the Pacific. The book also touches on the early years of the Cold War, Hoover’s investigations into communist activities, and McCarthy’s fanatical assault on American citizens.

McIntosh was recruited into the OSS in 1943 due to her background as a reporter and her personal interest in Japanese language and culture. She was also not afraid of taking risks, as attested by her hike up an active volcano as multiple pairs of shoes melted under her feet.

[Read Chris Wolak's review of OSS Operation Black Mail...]

Thu
Sep 21 2017 1:00pm

Discount: Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak

Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak is the first in a new series featuring psychiatrist Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her controversial Alaskan mental institution, Hanover House—get a digital copy for only $2.99 through October 2!

Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community…even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart.

Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again ... and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same… 

Read Janet Webb's review of Her Darkest Nightmare!

 

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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

Thu
Sep 21 2017 12:00pm

Review: The Last Chicago Boss: My Life with the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club by Peter “Big” Pete James with Kerrie Droban

The Last Chicago Boss: My Life with the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club by Peter “Big Pete” James is a startling and unprecedented expose into the inner workings of the Outlaw Nation from the unique perspective of its renowned leader, all brought to life through never-before-revealed interviews, police files, wiretaps, recordings, and trial transcripts.

The Last Chicago Boss surprised me. To be honest, I’m not sure what I expected from the memoir of the ex-boss of one of those most notorious motorcycle clubs in the country, but this insider’s view of a tribe of people often feared and shunned by the general public reveals that, while some of the stereotypes of motorcycle gangs have a foundation in truth, there’s a lot more there than meets the eye.

Peter “Big Pete” James is a legend in the international motorcycle community. At the age of 45, he joined the Outlaws with the intention of being Boss of Chicago—but he didn’t stop there. Big Pete details in his memoir how he not only built up the Outlaws as the most badass and elite motorcycle clubs in Chicago but how he also created the Confederation of Clubs (CoC) to unite all kinds of clubs under his command.

[Read Ardi Alspach's review of The Last Chicago Boss...]

Thu
Sep 21 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Philip Jett Excerpt: The Death of an Heir

Philip Jett

The Death of an Heir by Philip JettThe Death of an Heir is Philip Jett's chilling true account of the Coors family’s gilded American dream that turned into a nightmare when a meticulously plotted kidnapping went horribly wrong (available September 26, 2017).

In the 1950s and 60s, the Coors dynasty reigned over Golden, Colorado, seemingly invincible. When rumblings about labor unions threatened to destabilize the family's brewery, Adolph Coors, Jr., the septuagenarian president of the company, drew a hard line, refusing to budge. They had worked hard for what they had, and no one had a right to take it from them. What they'd soon realize was that they had more to lose than they could have imagined.

On the morning of Tuesday, February 9, 1960, Adolph “Ad” Coors III, the 44-year-old CEO of the multimillion dollar Colorado beer empire, stepped into his car and headed for the brewery twelve miles away. At a bridge he stopped to help a man in a yellow Mercury sedan. On the back seat lay handcuffs and leg irons. The glove box held a ransom note ready to be mailed. His coat pocket shielded a loaded pistol.

What happened next set off the largest U.S. manhunt since the Lindbergh kidnapping. State and local authorities, along with the FBI personally spearheaded by its director J. Edgar Hoover, burst into action attempting to locate Ad and his kidnapper. The dragnet spanned a continent. All the while, Ad’s grief-stricken wife and children waited, tormented by the unrelenting silence. The Death of an Heir reveals the true story behind the tragic murder of Colorado’s favorite son.

[Read an excerpt from Null States...]

Wed
Sep 20 2017 4:30pm

Cooking the Books: A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere

I finally went back and read the first in this series, and oh man, I definitely missed out by not starting here first. The second and third books are each enjoyable standalone experiences, but I have to say that this first novel in the Costume Shop Mystery series really sets the stage for everything that follows—especially when it comes to the interior life of our heroine, Margo Tamblyn.

In A Disguise to Die For, Margo’s dad, Jerry, has just suffered a heart attack, so she’s taken time off from her job as a magician’s assistant in nearby Las Vegas to come tend to the family business. Disguise DeLimit is a store that has specialized in costumes for decades, stocking not only the relatively inexpensive items you can purchase from your average party store but also deluxe costumes that you can either rent or buy, which many do, even ordering from far away or in bulk for themed events.

[Recipe and pictures included below!]

Wed
Sep 20 2017 3:30pm

The Witches’ Tree by M. C. Beaton: A Visual Guide

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

This week, head back to the Cotswolds with a visual tour of M. C. Beaton's 28th Agatha Raisin Mystery, The Witches' Tree!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]