Review: <i>The Last Mrs. Parrish</i> by Liv Constantine Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review! Discount: <i>The Scarlet Gospels</i> by Clive Barker Discount: The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker Crime HQ Get a digital copy for only $2.99 through October! Review: <i>Killing Season</i> by Faye Kellerman Review: Killing Season by Faye Kellerman John Valeri Read John Valeri's review! <i>Grist Mill Road</i>: Excerpt Grist Mill Road: Excerpt Christopher J. Yates A dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale.
From The Blog
October 15, 2017
Executed 100 Years Ago: Who Was Mata Hari?
David Cranmer
October 13, 2017
6 Eerie, Mysterious, and Unsettling Unsolved Mysteries
Angie Barry
October 13, 2017
Man Arrested for 28th DUI
Teddy Pierson
October 12, 2017
Celebrating Robert Mitchum’s Centennial: Mitch Goes to War
David Cranmer
October 11, 2017
The Knights Templar Through History
James Becker
Mon
Oct 16 2017 5:00pm

Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine is a mesmerizing debut about a coolly manipulative woman and a wealthy “golden couple” from a stunning new voice in psychological suspense (available October 17, 2017).

Daphne Parrish is everything Amber Patterson isn’t: beautiful and rich with a perfect home and a perfect husband. Amber will do anything to get what Daphne has—to be Daphne—even if she must lie and scheme to do it. After all, it’s what she does best.

Amber weasels her way into Daphne’s life via the death of Daphne’s sister, Julie, as a teen from cystic fibrosis. Amber claims to have a sister who suffered and died of the same disease. Of course, she doesn’t, but it’s the perfect way to get into Daphne’s good graces.

Daphne begins to see a kindred spirit in Amber, someone that understands her loss, someone she can really talk to. Of course, all Amber sees is a meal ticket. She thinks Jackson—with his good looks and endless wealth—should be hers, but it won’t be easy. Daphne eventually invites Amber to help out with her charity, Julie’s Smile, which benefits those with CF. After humiliating one of the other ladies and sending her running, Amber eventually becomes co-chair.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of The Last Mrs. Parrish...]

Mon
Oct 16 2017 3:00pm

Discount: The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker

October is a time for horror stories. What better way to feed the monsters inside than with a digital copy of The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker—the conclusion to the Hellraiser horror series featuring the collision of tattooed paranormal detective Harry D'Amour and the Cenobite known as Pinhead—for only $2.99 (offer ends November 6, 2017)!

The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker's most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D'Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell.

Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it's everything they've begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker's horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories.

The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

Read an excerpt from The Scarlet Gospels while sipping a “Scarlet Cosmos,” inspired by Clive Barker's book!

 

To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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

Mon
Oct 16 2017 1:00pm

Watch the Final Trailer for Stranger Things 2

Eleven days until the world is turned upside down again. On October 27, Netflix will drop the second season of the surprise breakout hit, Stranger Things. In Season 2, the gang of lovable losers is reunited—though Will isn't quite right after his terrifying trip to the upside down. It appears the barrier between the two dimensions is thinning, and it will take everyone working together to make sure evil isn't unleashed onto the entire town of Hawkins, Indiana. 

Stranger Things 2 is released just in time for Halloween—though, let's face it: who among us isn't going to binge the entire series before the 31st?

[Watch the final trailer for Stranger Things 2...]

Mon
Oct 16 2017 12:00pm

Review: Killing Season by Faye Kellerman

Killing Season by Faye Kellerman is an electrifying novel of suspense in which a young man'’s investigation into his sister'’s death draws him into the path of a sadistic serial killer (available October 17, 2017).

For more than two decades, award-winning New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman—wife of novelist and occasional collaborator Jonathan Kellerman—has been captivating readers with her sophisticated brand of suspense. Perhaps best known for her long-running Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus saga, she has also delved into non-series titles, YA, and short stories. Her newest, Killing Season, is a standalone thriller that was first released serially as a three-part e-book and is now available in its entirety as a paperback.

Four years ago, 15-year-old Ellen Vicksburg went missing in the quiet town of River Remez, New Mexico. Her younger brother, Ben (more commonly known as “Vicks”), now 17, discovered her body in a carefully dug grave by the river’s edge exactly one year later and has been obsessed with catching her killer ever since.

[Read John Valeri's review of Killing Season...]

Mon
Oct 16 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Christopher J. Yates Excerpt: Grist Mill Road

Christopher J. Yates

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale (available January 9, 2018).

Read this exclusive excerpt from Grist Mill Road, then make sure you're signed in before commenting below for a chance to win an advanced copy of Christopher J. Yates's highly anticipated sophomore novel!

The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends―Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah―are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again―with even more devastating results.

[Read an excerpt from Grist Mill Road...]

Sun
Oct 15 2017 10:00pm

The Deuce 1.06: “Why Me?” Episode Review

After last week’s emotional high point, you have to expect a low, and this is an enjoyable coast toward the inevitable. We learn the why behind the “No Go Zone” of Times Square. The culmination of free speech rulings allowing pornographic films to be filmed in the United States and the Knapp Commission scaring the hell out of police bigwigs downtown.

That doesn’t stop Lieutenant Sweeney from waltzing into the massage parlor to let Vinnie know the street tax is $500 a week, even if they have the blessing from town hall. They know the ax is coming, and they are stealing all that they can before it comes down on their necks. 

Elaine starts working with Harvey the porno director, who we learn is working for the Genovese crime family when they sit in on a court case where the judge finds their smut films have “socially redeeming value” and dismisses the charges. But Elaine wants to work behind the camera and keeps pushing for it. There isn’t enough filming happening yet, but the sluice gates are about to open.

[Read Thomas Pluck's review of “Why Me?”...]

Sun
Oct 15 2017 3:00pm

Executed 100 Years Ago: Who Was Mata Hari?

Exotic dancing and espionage are the twin peaks that come to mind when the name Mata Hari is mentioned. But what is her full, true story? Lost to time and blurred in key passages, for sure. Fact and fiction began cross-pollinating quite early, furthered in great part by her own exaggerations in efforts to hype her lascivious career. Journalists lapped it up for purple prose lines like, “so feline, extremely feminine, majestically tragic, the thousand curves and movements of her body trembling in a thousand rhythms.” Today's Hollywood publicists have nothing on Ms. Hari when it comes to self-promotion and aggrandizement. She discovered early in her stage career that the more outlandish a rumor reported by the press, the more people paid to see her dance.

It all began for the modestly named Margaretha Zelle on August 7, 1876, born in the Netherlands to well-to-do parents. Her father—a haberdasher made even richer by successful speculation in the burgeoning oil industry—provided a comfortable existence for the family until 1889 when he nosedived into bankruptcy. Poverty sparked a chain of events that guided her ill-fated trajectory: her father remarried, her mother died when she was fifteen, and a young Margaretha was left to drift from a godfather to an uncle, never regaining her family stability.

[The spy who loved money...]

Fri
Oct 13 2017 3:00pm

6 Eerie, Mysterious, and Unsettling Unsolved Mysteries

Who doesn’t love Unsolved Mysteries?

With his deep voice, stoic manner, and popular performance as the infamous Federal Agent Eliot Ness, Robert Stack was an ideal host for stories that were strange, criminal, and creepy. Sure, the mixture of interviews and reenactments could be hammy, but the mysteries themselves…

I like to think my fascination with the weird stems from childhood viewings of Unsolved Mysteries with my grandma. To this day, the distinctive theme music hits me directly in the nostalgic solar plexus.

Amazon has made the early seasons available on Prime streaming, and I highly recommend revisiting them. Meanwhile, here are a few of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries Stack never got the chance to narrate—some true campfire stories to tell this Halloween season:

[See all the spooky unsolved mysteries!]

Fri
Oct 13 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Templar Brotherhood by James Becker

The Templar Brotherhood by James Becker is the third book in the Lost Treasure of the Templars series—a breakneck thriller that whisks readers into the shadowy secret chambers of the Knights Templar.

Check out James Becker's guest post about the Knights of Templar's influence through history and their presence today!

In the third book of the Lost Treasure of the Templars series, Robin Jessup and David Mallory are fresh off an adventure that nearly cost them their lives in a series of Swiss caves. But it wasn’t for naught. They came back with a set of archives that could lead to the lost treasure of the Templars. 

They had managed to locate the Archive among several chests of documents hidden away for over half a millennium in a complex cave system they’d found at the end of a valley in Switzerland, caves that extended in a network below the nearby hills. In some ways that had been the easy bit, but they had also managed to convince both the Swiss authorities and a group of armed Italian thugs that the Archive had been destroyed. These men were enforcers employed by a militant arm of the Ordo Praedicatorum, the Dominican order whose members had emerged to become the pope’s personal torturers and assassins in the medieval period.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of The Templar Brotherhood...]

Fri
Oct 13 2017 12:00pm

Man Arrested for 28th DUI

Nothing to be proud of

Most of us strive to be the best at something while we are on this planet. Some want to be the best baseball player. Others might want to be the best at eating hot dogs. This week's perp derp is the best at being arrested for drunk driving.

According to The New York Post, a man was charged with his 28th—yes, 28th—DUI. The police say the man has broken the record for the number of drunk driving arrests in the state of New York. He went for the gold and got it ... or perhaps he went for the bottle of Goldschläger.

The man's criminal history highlight reel already includes spending four years in prison for a prior drunken driving offense. He has also been ordered to seek treatment on at least 12 other occasions, which does not seem to be working out for him.

During the traffic stop that led to his record-breaking arrest, he said, “I am way over. Take me to jail.” At least he did not play any games with the police and accepted his new title.

If convicted of his latest charge, the maximum sentence he will face is seven years in prison. In my opinion, that seems very lenient...

Fri
Oct 13 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

David L. Golemon Excerpt: In the Still of the Night

David L. Golemon

In the Still of the Night by David L. GolemonSet in the world of The Supernaturals, one of Riffle’s Ten Best Haunted House Books of All Time, In the Still of the Night is a supernatural thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Event Group series, David L. Golemon, that will make your Halloween extra spooky this year (available October 17, 2017).

Five years ago, the ghost-hunting Supernaturals disbanded after being accused of faking their footage of the haunting at Summer Place. Now, the eccentric, but brilliant, team of scientists and paranormal experts are being asked to join forces once again— this time to save the President.

Through strenuous investigation and mysterious messages about returning home, the team soon discovers the long lost home of the president: a small town in California called Moreno, a modern ghost town.

When the Supernaturals go to Moreno for answers, they find a presence; something came to Moreno after WWII, something that’s still locked in a steel vault in the basement of the town’s old movie theater.

To make matters worse, the thing in the basement is starting to pull them into its time, Halloween of 1963. With the body count rising, it’ll be up to the Supernaturals to find an explanation for what this paranormal being is and how to defeat it.

[Read an excerpt from In the Still of the Night...]

Thu
Oct 12 2017 4:00pm
Original Story

“Close Enough” by Shannon Baker

Shannon Baker

Close Enough is a thrilling Kate Fox short story from author Shannon Baker that bridges the gap between Stripped Bare and Dark Signal.

Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox is campaigning against her ex to become the next Grand County, Nebraska Sherriff. When a child goes missing in the Sandhills, the whole town organizes a search and rescue mission. But Kate doesn’t think Ethan wandered off—something more nefarious is going on. With a dangerous winter storm fast approaching, Kate must find Ethan before it’s too late.

[Read Shannon Baker's “Close Enough” below...]

Thu
Oct 12 2017 4:00pm

Celebrating Robert Mitchum’s Centennial: Mitch Goes to War

We’ve been celebrating one hundred years of Robert Mitchum, having already looked back at his noir and Western films. Another genre he dominated was war movies, often projecting the great inner strength of tight-lipped heroes who fought the good fight, usually against staggering odds. Here are several of the best:

[See Robert Mitchum's best war movies!]

Thu
Oct 12 2017 3:00pm

Ben Stiller to Direct True Crime Series for Showtime

It’s not every day the name Ben Stiller tops the news of true-crime entertainment. Known more for his silly comedies (Zoolander, There’s Something About Mary), Stiller is toning down the humor for his new Showtime miniseries, which will dramatize the escape of David Sweat and Richard Matt from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. 

Filmed in upstate New York where the escape took place, Escape from Dannemora stars Paul Dano as Sweat, Benicio Del Toro as Matt, and Patricia Arquette as Joyce Mitchell, the prison seamstress who helped them escape. 

Escape from Dannemora is scheduled to premiere in 2018. Head over to Entertainment Weekly to view the first-look photos of the series, the cast, and Stiller behind the camera!

Thu
Oct 12 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Four Horsemen by Gregory Dowling

The Four Horsemen by Gregory DowlingThe Four Horsemen by Gregory Dowling is the second book in the Alvise Marangon Mysteries series.

No matter the historic period, some elements of a detective story are eternal. Someone doesn’t want the truth to come out. Often the detective is a free spirit, willing to push past the “don’t bother” advice given. A mysterious, sultry lady is frequently in the cast of characters. Lastly, the detective can take a punch, although it’s not unusual for them to avoid a beating through clever diversionary tactics. The Four Horsemen—18th-century Venetian setting notwithstanding—ticks all these boxes.

Licensed Venetian tour guide Alvise Marangon, who Gregory Dowling introduced in Ascension, is relaxing in his usual watering-hole, the Malvasia del Remedio:

[Read Janet Webb's review of The Four Horsemen...]

Thu
Oct 12 2017 12:00pm

Review: Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander

Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander is the 12th book in the Lady Emily Mysteries series.

From a distance, the crimson spray coloring the snow looked more like scattered rose petals than evidence of a grisly murder. Upon closer approach, however, the broken body, delicate and graceful, revealed the truth of the scene in its full horror. 

The victim’s pale skin, almost translucent, had been slashed and desecrated in an act of inhumane violence. But even so, her beauty could not be denied.

Perhaps St. Petersburg required elegance even in death.

Lady Emily is enjoying the magic of snowy St. Petersburg, attending balls, high-society dinners, and ballets with her old friend Cécile while her husband, Colin Hargreaves, does his usual shadowy, secretive work as an agent for the English crown. The beauties of Russia have thoroughly charmed the lady detective—right up to the moment she finds a dead prima ballerina lying in the snow. 

[Read Angie Barry's review of Death in St. Petersburg...]

Thu
Oct 12 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Shannon Baker Excerpt: Dark Signal

Shannon Baker

Dark Signal by Shannon BakerDark Signal by Shannon Baker is the second installment in the Kate Fox mystery series, starring a female Longmire in the atmospheric Nebraska Sandhills (available October 17, 2017).

Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox has just been sworn in as Grand County, Nebraska Sheriff when tragedy strikes. A railroad accident has left engineer Chad Mills dead, his conductor Bobby Jenkins in shock. Kate soon realizes that the accident was likely murder.

Who would want to kill Chad Mills? Kate finds that he made a few enemies as president of the railroad workers union. Meanwhile, his widow is behaving oddly. And why was his neighbor Josh Stevens at the Mills house on the night of the accident?

While her loud and meddling family conspires to help Kate past her divorce, State Patrol Officer Trey closes in on Josh Stevens as the suspect. Kate doesn’t believe it. She may not have the experience, but she’s lived in the Sandhills her whole life and knows the land and the people. Something doesn’t add up—and Kate must find the real killer before he can strike again.

[Read an excerpt from Dark Signal...]

Wed
Oct 11 2017 4:00pm

Cooking the Books: Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke

So really, I’m at the point where I’m feeling like the Hannah Swensen mysteries are a bit like a grown-up version of the beloved Nancy Drew books. Our heroine is smart and charming, has a strong supporting cast, and the dialog sparkles with gentle humor. The mystery itself is solid and the romances sweet.

By the third novel in the Hannah Swensen series, one does feel that there’s a formula being followed, but it’s such a winning recipe that I, for one, certainly don’t mind. And did I mention that the mystery is solid? Every book I’ve read in this series so far has been a perfect example of the cozy genre.

In Blueberry Muffin Murder, the glamorous domestic diva and cooking show host, Connie Mac, has descended upon Lake Eden to grace their Winter Carnival—a festival dreamed up by Mayor Bascombe to drum up tourism in the doldrums of the late Minnesota winter. Hannah gets roped into giving the celebrity a tour of the carnival ahead of Connie’s unveiling of the official cake that she’s baked for the occasion—an experience that leads Hannah to believe that Connie is nothing like her public image of sweetness and light.

[Recipe and pictures included below!]