<i>Twelve Days</i>: Excerpt Twelve Days: Excerpt Steven Barnes A paranormal thriller about a family who struggles against a plot to unleash global genocide. Review: <i>Lowcountry Bonfire</i> by Susan M. Boyer Review: Lowcountry Bonfire by Susan M. Boyer John Valeri Read John Valeri's review! Review: <i>Indigo</i> by Charlaine Harris Review: Indigo by Charlaine Harris Doreen Sheridan Read Doreen Sheridan's review! <i>Blackmail</i>: Excerpt Blackmail: Excerpt Rick Campbell A bold military and political strike by the Russian government leaves the U.S. reeling.
From The Blog
June 23, 2017
Thieves Steal GPS Devices that Lead to Their Arrest
Teddy Pierson
June 22, 2017
Q&A with J. Leon Pridgen II, Author of Unit 416
Crime HQ and J. Leon Pridgen II
June 16, 2017
Waiting for Nuggets Leads to 911 Call
Teddy Pierson
June 15, 2017
Adventures in Research, Part II: Storm Rising
Douglas Schofield
June 13, 2017
You Only Live Twice: Discovering Donald Westlake’s Lost James Bond Novel
Charles Ardai
Jun 20 2017 1:00pm

Read the First 9 Chapters of LoveMurder by Saul Black

Saul Black

LoveMurder by Saul Black is the second book in the Valerie Hart series. Get an exclusive early peek with the first 9 chapters!

When she’s called to the murder scene, the last thing San Francisco Homicide detective Valerie Hart is expecting is for Katherine Glass to walk back into her life. Six years earlier, revulsion and fascination had gripped the nation in equal measure, as beautiful, intelligent, charming―and utterly evil―Katherine Glass had been convicted on six counts of Murder One. But the freshly mutilated corpse in the ground-floor apartment bears all the hallmarks of Katherine’s victims. And then there’s the note, with its chilling implications. Addressed to Valerie.

To stop the slaughter, Valerie has no choice. She must ask Katherine Glass to help her decipher the killer’s twisted message. But that means re-entering the pitch-black labyrinth that is Katherine’s mind, and this time Valerie isn’t so sure which one of them will survive.

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9

[Read the first 9 chapters of LoveMurder!]

Jun 20 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah Part IV

Last week, we ran into Stephen King in his own story. This week, Jake and Callahan load up on weapons and storm into the Dixie Pig as we close out Song of Susannah.

On September 6th of last year, we began our journey on a reread of Stephen King’s epic series—soon to be a motion picture starring Idris Elba as Roland, the gunslinger. Faithfully each week, we’ve come closer to that looming Dark Tower in the distance that holds our world and Roland’s Gilead together, and that nexus is in danger of being destroyed by the Crimson King. Okay, let’s dig into Song of Susannah, which follows the obliteration of the Wolves, as our ka-tet is weighing the options…

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

Song of Susannah sets up nicely, splitting up the break-neck pace into digestible “stanzas.” So the plan is to read a few stanzas a week (about 130 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, Jake and Callahan storm the Dixie Pig as we close out the sixth Dark Tower book! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part IV of Song of Susannah: 12th Stanza: “Jake and Callahan” – Coda: “Pages from a Writer's Journal”!

CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread

[And once we start, we don’t stop until we’re dead....]

Jun 20 2017 10:00am

Susan M. Boyer Excerpt: Lowcountry Bonfire

Susan M. Boyer

Lowcountry Bonfire by Susan M. Boyer is the 6th book in the Liz Talbot Mystery series (available June 27, 2017).

Private Investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews have worked their share of domestic cases. So when Tammy Sue Lyerly hires them to find out what her husband is hiding, they expect to find something looney but harmless. After all, this is the guy who claims to have been a DEA agent, a champion bull rider, and a NASCAR driver.

But when he turns up dead the morning after Liz and Nate deliver incriminating photos, Tammy Sue becomes the prime suspect. Questioning the truth of Zeke Lyerly’s tall-tales, Liz and Nate race to uncover small town scandals, long buried secrets, and the victim’s tumultuous past to keep Tammy Sue out of jail and the case from going up in flames.

[Read an excerpt from Lowcountry Bonfire...]

Jun 19 2017 4:45pm

Twin Peaks: The Return Review: Parts 5, 6, and 7

Part 5: “Case Files”

In prison, Bad Coop (Kyle MacLachlan), observing his reflection, flashes back a quarter of a century to The Great Northern Hotel where he had smashed his head into his bathroom mirror, and there was creepy BOB (Frank Silva) sneering back at him. “You’re still with me. That’s good,” Bad Coop reassures himself in the present. Later, he gets his one phone call where he teases that he will call a Mr. Strawberry—alarming the warden—before changing his mind and punching a shitload of digits. Prison sirens and lights then begin to go amok as he speaks into the receiver, “The cow jumped over the moon.”

Meanwhile, Good Coop—known to family and co-workers as Dougie Jones—continues to wander around in a stupor with words like “case files,” “agent,” and “coffee” triggering glints into his previous life. Dougie’s boss at the Lucky 7 Insurance company is perturbed with his job performance and gives him a stack of folders to complete by the following day, stipulating that his career hangs in the balance. While many of us fans are looking forward to Dale Cooper’s full return (assuming he will snap out of it), Dougie’s “Chauncey Gardiner” existence is oddly entertaining.

[Like most of David Lynch's work...]

Jun 19 2017 3:00pm

Page to Screen: American Gods 1.08: “Come to Jesus” Review

The season finale sees the long overdue returns of Anansi and Bilquis. While Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones) is tailoring suits for big cheese Wednesday (Ian McShane) and his henchman Shadow (Ricky Whittle), he decides he must tell a story. One of a queen. 

We get the rundown of Bilquis (Yetide Badaki), watching her status slowly fade over the centuries into modern times until she is on the streets, destitute and ailing. And here we get a peek at her alliance, seduced to the other side by Tech Boy’s (Bruce Langley) promise of a large internet following, “Worship is a volume business … Whosoever has the most followers wins the game.” As time marches on, she looks none too pleased with having made an association with Tech Boy and the new gods. By show’s end, she’s on a bus on her way to Wisconsin. Knowing the show deviates on occasion from the book, we will have to wait until next season to see where her true allegiance lies.

[As long as she doesn't swallow us with her vagina first...]

Jun 19 2017 1:00pm

Watch the Chilling Trailer for Happy Death Day

Living the same day over and over in a Groundhog Day-style nightmare is bad enough—but what if each of those days ended in your brutal murder? That’s the premise for Blumhouse’s (Split, Get Out, Whiplash) latest trippy horror thriller, Happy Death Day, in which a popular college student continues to relive the day of her death—with all its gory and terrifying details—until she finds the identity of her killer. 

Directed by Christoper Landon and starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, and Charles Aitken, Happy Death Day premieres in October 2017, on Friday the 13th. 

[Watch the chilling trailer below!]

Jun 19 2017 12:00pm

Grantchester 3.00: Christmas Special Episode Review

Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy … Grantchester has returned. And this episode, which aired in the U.K. last December, opens with a rehearsal for a Christmas pageant. Thus, the aforementioned tidings.

In the past, I’ve been harsh with hunky vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) and his pals, which has distressed fans of the series. So, in the spirit of the season—Season 3, if you’re counting—I will endeavor to review these episodes charitably. 

Everyone’s preparing for Christmas 1954. Sidney and the curate Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) struggle with the lights for the tree. Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones) is baking up a storm. Cathy Keating (Kacey Ainsworth) has her eye on a telly for the family, but Geordie (Robson Green) vetoes the idea. And isn’t Dickens the puppy a big, handsome boy now?

Yet casting a shadow over the holiday preparations is a certain elephant in the room, which everyone chooses to call “The Situation.” (You can hear the capital letters whenever it’s mentioned.)

[There is freedom only in a situation…]

Jun 19 2017 10:00am

Ellie Alexander Excerpt: A Crime of Passion Fruit

Ellie Alexander

A Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie Alexander is the 6th book in the Bakeshop Mystery series (available June 27, 2017).

Take a visual tour of A Crime of Passion Fruit with GIFnotes!

Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash...

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary...

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

[Read an excerpt from A Crime of Passion Fruit...]

Jun 18 2017 12:00pm

Nina Laurin Excerpt: Girl Last Seen

Nina Laurin

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin is a debut psychological thriller replete with sharp twists and turns, and particularly perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, and Chelsea Cain (available June 20, 2017).

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.

[Read an excerpt from Girl Last Seen...]

Jun 17 2017 10:04am

Lou Dobbs, James O. Born Excerpt: Putin’s Gambit

James O. Born and Lou Dobbs

Putin's Gambit: A Novel by Lou Dobbs, James O. BornFrom TV broadcaster Lou Dobbs and award-winning author James O. Born comes Putin's Gambit, an international financial thriller about a KGB plot to use a series of terrorist attacks as cover for a Russian military incursion into Estonia (available June 20, 2017).

Adjusting to civilian life has not been easy for former Marine Derek Walsh. As he navigates a brutal job on Wall Street and a challenging romance, he wonders if he could be doing more with his life. When an inexplicable $200 million dollar money transfer is made on his computer, he is thrust into the world of international terror, and the global economy is knocked off its hinges.

On the other side of the Atlantic, a dangerous alliance has formed. Radical Islamists and Russian extremists have set the wheels in motion for Russia to assert its power in Europe. The US President has proven to be weak on foreign policy, the military is stretched too thin, and Vladimir Putin judges this to be the time for Russia to regain its Soviet Empire. Troops mass on the Estonian border, waiting for the order to move.

The FBI believes Walsh was involved in the money transfer, and a group of Russians are intent on killing him. As New Yorkers are outraged upon learning of the illegal money transfer, and the world economy crashes after a series of terrorist attacks, Walsh and his Marine buddies are the only ones that can keep the world from spinning off its axis.

[Read an excerpt from Putin's Gambit...]

Jun 16 2017 4:30pm

Book-Inspired Cocktails: “GINdigo”

Not all great things mix well. But sometimes you get the ingredients just right, and it becomes a recipe for success!

That's what you've got with Indigo, where 10 critically acclaimed authors combine to create a crime novel like you've never read. That's also what you get with this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “GINdigo” cocktail, where three ingredients combine to create a delicious drink!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Jun 16 2017 3:00pm

Review: The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards is a terrifying new thriller that follows a down-on-his-luck dad and his bullied son, an out-of-place detective, and a serial killer that connects them all.

Read Debbie Meldrum's review, and then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Lucky Ones!

Ben Hofland’s life went sideways the day he walked in on his wife and his long-time friend together. He moved back to his old hometown in Shropshire with his eleven-year-old son, Ollie, to regroup. Even back home, things aren’t going well. Ben’s mother is terminally ill, he is out of a job, and their next-door neighbors have loud fights at all hours of the night. 

Ollie is also not adjusting to the upheaval in his young life the way Ben had hoped. He takes his son out for a day of exploring. They end up in a place called The Museum of Lost Things. Ollie becomes interested in a pile of old comics, so Ben continues by himself.

[Read Debbie Meldrum's review of The Lucky Ones...]

Jun 16 2017 1:00pm

Introducing Unit 416

Read an exclusive guest post from J. Leon Pridgen II, and make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win Unit 416!

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is J. Leon Pridgen II. I am the person who had the distinct privilege to pen the novel Unit 416; it is the brainchild of A. John Vinci. I am honored that he, the folks at Macmillian, and St. Martin’s Press found the words I put to paper worthy of this project.

Unit 416 is a work of fiction that, I must confess, has beaten me, challenged me, and given me moments of reflection and introspection. Above all else, this work has inspired me and rewarded me. I dare say that there are rewards that have not revealed themselves to me as yet. I say that because I know the men and women that you will find in the pages of Unit 416. They have spoken to me throughout this process. They dance in my head, eagerly anticipating their opportunity to speak to you again.

[Read more from J. Leon Pridgen II!]

Jun 16 2017 11:02am

Waiting for Nuggets Leads to 911 Call

This week, I bring you another tale of the almighty chicken nugget. You might remember I reported on another chicken nugget incident earlier this year that involved a young man pulling a gun on a girl over the golden goodness. This time around, a woman displayed zero patience in waiting for her cripsy treat. What can I say, people really love their nuggets...

According to The New Times, police were dispatched to a McDonald's in Waco, Texas, after a woman called 9-1-1 to complain about how long her chicken nuggets were taking. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Read it again if you are still shocked and/or confused.

Meanwhile, a restaurant employee simultaneously called the police to report the woman for refusing to leave the drive-thru lane. She really wanted her nuggets.

When the police arrived on a scene, the woman claimed she should get the nuggets for free due to how long she waited. But everyone knows there's no such thing as a free lunch. The unidentified woman was given her money back and told to scram. The nuggets were taken in for questioning.

Jun 16 2017 10:00am

Curtis C. Chen Excerpt: Kangaroo Too

Curtis C. Chen

Kangaroo Too by Curtis C. ChenSet in the same world as Waypoint Kangaroo, Curtis C. Chen's Kangaroo Too is bursting with adrenaline and intrigue in this unique outer-space adventure (available June 20, 2017).

On the way home from his latest mission, secret agent Kangaroo’s spacecraft is wrecked by a rogue mining robot. The agency tracks the bot back to the Moon, where a retired asteroid miner—code named “Clementine” —might have information about who’s behind the sabotage.

Clementine will only deal with Jessica Chu, Kangaroo’s personal physician and a former military doctor once deployed in the asteroid belt. Kangaroo accompanies Jessica as a courier, smuggling Clementine’s payment of solid gold in the pocket universe that only he can use.

What should be a simple infiltration is hindered by the nearly one million tourists celebrating the anniversary of the first Moon landing. And before Kangaroo and Jessica can make contact, Lunar authorities arrest Jessica for the murder of a local worker.

Jessica won’t explain why she met the victim in secret or erased security footage that could exonerate her. To make things worse, a sudden terror attack puts the whole Moon under lockdown. Now Kangaroo alone has to get Clementine to talk, clear Jessica’s name, and stop a crooked scheme which threatens to ruin approximately one million vacations.

But old secrets are buried on the Moon, and digging up the past will make Kangaroo’s future very complicated...

[Read an excerpt from Kangaroo Too...]

Jun 15 2017 4:00pm

Review: Shiver Hitch by Linda Greenlaw

Shiver Hitch by Linda Greenlaw is the third book in the Jane Bunker Mystery series.

Author Linda Greenlaw spins quite a yarn with this Jane Bunker series installment. There’s murder, snow, boats, and chowder. What more could you ask for?

Set in the cold, small community of Green Haven, Maine, series protagonist Jane Bunker has relocated from Miami—where she was a homicide detective—to the polar opposite environment and career. Here in Green Haven, she kind of does it all as she works for the sheriff and with the local insurance agency.

I laughed to myself. My present situation was a far cry from chief detective of Miami-Dade County. If anyone from my past could see me now—Jane Bunker, bundled up like a goddamned Eskimo—living in an apartment over a trinket-selling tourist trap in this remote outpost—making ends meet financially (just barely) with a combination of insurance consulting/investigation and a job as the assistant deputy sheriff of Knox County—shoveling snow!

[Read Amber Keller's review of Shiver Hitch...]

Jun 15 2017 3:00pm

Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: July, 2017

Discover (or remember to order) your next cozy with a delightfully convenient shopping list of upcoming soft-boiled mysteries! Last month, we kicked off summer with some great June cozies; this month, blast into July with fireworks and these amazing reads! Let us know in the comments how you like it and what you can't wait to read next!

Like this shopping list? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay in touch with all our cozy content!

[Let's get to the goodies!]

Jun 15 2017 2:00pm

Adventures in Research, Part II: Storm Rising

Last month, I described some of the high points (and hapless incidents) I encountered during my research odyssey for Time of Departure. Today, I’ll describe some of the travels, insights, and adventures that contributed to Storm Rising, my second novel with Macmillan.

Read Part I

I won’t put you into a coma by rehashing the non-fiction sources I plowed through to transform my heroine Lucy Hendricks’s story from a “what if?” idea bouncing around my imagination to a 350-page manuscript. And there simply isn’t space to detail my interactions with one of the most fascinating academics I’ve ever encountered: Dr. Jim Tucker, Director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Professor Tucker’s scientific studies of the childhood cognitive phenomenon that anchored one of the central themes of the novel was invaluable. His assistance provides a clear example of why it is so important to track down and interview experts in fields of study beyond your own radius of experience.

(To get a full sense of the range of people I consulted in developing the factual background to Storm Rising, I invite the reader to take a few moments to digest the Acknowledgements section at the end of the novel.)

Now, let’s jump to the fun stuff...

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

Jun 15 2017 12:00pm

The Fall of the House of Knoedler

Knoedler & Company began in 1846 as the Manhattan outpost of the French printmaker Goupil et Cie. It was America’s first storefront art gallery; it predated the Metropolitan Museum of Art by 24 years. During the Gilded Age, Knoedler moved from peddling inexpensive prints to dealing Old Master artworks to the likes of Vanderbilt, Morgan, and Frick.

By 1970, the new breed of robber barons had different tastes. Knoedler was in trouble. Oil tycoon Armand Hammer bought the place in 1971 and installed new management who made the leap to selling Modern art (roughly, Impressionism and its sequels to 1940). It also went back to its roots by selling original prints by LeRoy Neiman, who was huge back then.

The gallery began representing big-name artists such as Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Rauschenberg. Its age and reputation made it a go-to place for purchasing Modern and contemporary art. Being displayed in or represented by Knoedler could be a huge boost for an artist’s career.

[Read more about the fall of Knoedler...]