Review: <i>Jack Waters</i> by Scott Adlerberg Review: Jack Waters by Scott Adlerberg David Cranmer Read David Cranmer's review! Volker Kutscher Excerpt: <i>Babylon Berlin</i> Volker Kutscher Excerpt: Babylon Berlin Volker Kutscher The first in the new Detective Gereon Rath series. Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: February 2018 Cozy Bookshelf Shopping List: February 2018 Crime HQ Check out February's offerings! Discount: <i>A Is for Alibi</i> by Sue Grafton Discount: A Is for Alibi by Sue Grafton Crime HQ Get a digital copy for only $2.99!
From The Blog
January 16, 2018
Q&A with Christopher Reich, Author of The Take
Christopher Reich and John Valeri
January 12, 2018
Man Steals Tank, Crashes through Store Window, Steals Bottle of Wine
Adam Wagner
January 9, 2018
Q&A with C. J. Tudor, Author of The Chalk Man
C. J. Tudor and John Valeri
January 8, 2018
Q&A with Aimee Hix, Author of What Doesn’t Kill You
Aimee Hix and John Valeri
January 5, 2018
Man Drinks 20 Pints of Stella & Bites Security Guard's Leg
Adam Wagner
Showing posts by: Laura K. Curtis click to see Laura K. Curtis's profile
Jul 5 2015 11:00am

Fresh Meat: Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran

Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran is the second in the Read ’Em and Eat cozy mystery series set in the quirky Florida town of Fort Myers Beach (available July 7, 2015).

Sassy and Bridgy are at it again in the second book in Terrie Farley Moran’s mystery series about a café complete with bookshop and multiple reading groups, sticking their noses into places where—at least in the opinions of Fort Myers Beach’s finest—they most decidedly do not belong. Although this installment retains the humor of the first, it touches on more serious topics as well, as the chief suspect in the murder of a local troublemaker is a mostly homeless vet with PTSD.

Sassy becomes involved in the investigation because she sees the veteran on a trip to the library and realizes he is related to her former boss. When he becomes a suspect, she naturally has to intervene!

[It's the right thing to do...]

Mar 17 2015 12:30pm

Echoes: New Excerpt

Laura K. Curtis

Echoes by Laura K. Curtis, a romantic suspense in the Harp Security seriesEchoes by Laura K. Curtis is the first romantic suspense in the Harp Security series, in which a travel writer's Caribbean trip to investigate her past collides with the disappearance of a resort owner who looks enough like her to be a sister (available March 17, 2015).

A single photo of herself as an infant on a beach, taken before the date on her birth certificate, throws everything Calliope Pearson knows about herself into question. Hoping to find answers, she takes advantage of her job as a travel writer to make a reservation at the Caribbean island resort in the picture.

Resort security chief Mac Brody distrusts Callie on sight. After all, she looks exactly like his deceitful missing wife, Nikki, who owns half the resort. But when Nikki’s found dead, Mac's facing murder charges, and he’s sure that Callie must hold the key to proving his innocence.

The deeper Callie and Mac dive into the mystery of her past, the more bodies surface. And they’ll have to learn to trust each other, or become victims of a dark danger neither could've imagined….


St. Martin, French West Indies

Nicole Lewis Brody made a beautiful corpse. But then, being long on looks and short on life came with her genes. Her killer chuckled at his own wit even as he forced down the faint acid flavor of panic rising to the back of his throat. He hadn’t planned to kill her just yet. The minute she’d started making noises about trying to find her biological father the end had been inevitable, but he’d hoped to be able to finish her off in a manner that would keep the police out of it, as he had with her mother.

Nikki liked drugs and parties, and he didn’t want to pollute her system more than she’d managed on her own, so an overdose was out of the question. He’d made mistakes early on, corrupted the bodies of his first attempts, and lost any chance of benefit. And he couldn’t kill her from a distance; he’d learned that from earlier attempts as well. He’d had a few ideas about how to proceed, so he’d laid a solid foundation, thank Father in heaven, but he hadn’t settled on a perfect method yet.

And then she’d found a picture of that damned writer, Calliope Pearson, and the situation had become urgent. Panic threatened once more, and he pushed it away. Once complete, he’d never again have to endure that horrible pressure, as if some alien being were eating through his chest while compressing his head. His doctor could stop warning him about acid reflux, too, because he’d be too strong to worry. Even now, in his imperfect state and under threat of discovery, he had come up with a new plan. He could keep this one on ice until he could take what he needed. He’d been in her basement plenty of times, and admired her chest freezer, but he couldn’t very well leave her in her own home. Too many variables, too much potential for disaster. Plus, tonight he was free to move her, and that might not be the case again for some time.

He duct-taped her ankles together and wrapped them in a cashmere stole from her closet. He was going to have to drag her down the hall, and he didn’t want to leave scuff marks on the polished wooden floors. There could be no signs of struggle should the gendarmes choose to visit.

[Continue reading Echoes by Laura K. Curtis...]

Sep 9 2014 9:15am

Fresh Meat: Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd

Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd is a standalone romantic suspense featuring a geologist, an FBI agent, and a long-buried secret that comes to light during an earthquake (available September 9, 2014).

If you like the television show Bones, this book is right up your alley. Elizabeth Banner, the heroine, is a geologist whose father—Charles Banner, himself a world-famous geologist—allegedly murdered her mother when Elizabeth was only four. Elizabeth has walled herself off, preferring rocks to people. And much like Bones, she is not understood by “normal” people, who see her scientific mind and her focus on inanimate objects as distinctly peculiar.

The walls groaned. Nails popped out of the Sheetrock. Behind Elizabeth, one by one, the windows exploded. Shards of safety glass sprayed the diner.

Elizabeth’s excitement rose.

At least an eight on the Richter scale. Maybe an eight-point-five. Not the biggest earthquake ever … but it wasn’t diminishing. It wasn’t done.

There was a rhythm to the earth surges coming onto the coast, an increasing and glorious roll.

Behind the counter, the shelves tilted; the drinking glasses crashed backward, then forward and off, heaving themselves onto the floor like Disney-animated crockery. The coffee pot jumped off the heater and committed suicide, splashing hot liquid into the air. Sympathetic porcelain mugs followed.

Elizabeth was in awe; the floor was rippling, two feet up and then two feet down. She had read about earthquakes so violent, of course she had. But never had she thought she would have the luck to experience one.

Because, yeah, “luck” is how most of us think of experiencing major earthquakes…and the tsunamis that follow them.

[We have an exclusive audio excerpt below!]

Jul 24 2014 1:30pm

Fresh Meat: Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran

Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran is the first book in the Read ’Em and Eat cozy mystery series (available August 5, 2014).

I picked up Well Read, Then Dead having read several of Terrie Farley Moran’s short crime stories and curious about how she would handle the longer format. Immediately, I was drawn into the world of Sassy Cabot and Bridget Mayfield and their bookstore and bakery, Read ’Em and Eat in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. I went to Florida [mumble] years ago, but I’ve never been to Fort Myers Beach, but this book definitely made me want to visit!

It’s not just the scenery one wants to visit reading Ms. Moran’s book. Her characters are amusing and lively, described clearly without overly many tedious details. Take Judge Harcroft, who spends his mornings at the Read ’Em and Eat and being, well, somewhat annoying, especially to the Books Before Breakfast Club.

[Can't we just read in peace?!]

Sep 16 2013 8:30am

Fresh Meat: The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison

The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter and JT EllisonThe Final Cut by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison is the first in a new series of FBI thrillers starring Englishman-turned-FBI-Agent Nicholas Drummond (available September 17, 2013).

I always find it fascinating when two authors work together. The temptation to pick a book apart, try to find the bits written by one author or another is almost irresistible.

The Final Cut is a fairly seamless read, but—as I probably should have guessed from the size of the names on the cover—there's a whole lot more Coulter than Ellison. In fact, I think this is a book that Coulter fans will really enjoy, because although it introduces Nicholas Drummond, old friends Sherlock and Savich still get plenty of airtime.

[Sherlock and Savich and Drummond, oh my!]

Jun 19 2013 7:45am

Welcome to the Dollhouse of Horrors

Bloody skeleton on a table, dollhouse scale

Not every little girl dreams of a prince. Not every little girl plays with Barbie™. And not every dollhouse family is functional. If your dollhouse is a 1:12-scale house of horrors, it's possible that this may be the perfect kitchen table set for you. It's from Caustic Soda on Etsy, and she has a whole lot more grue should you need to deck your dolls' halls with bones of Holly (or anyone else, for that matter).

Jun 16 2013 8:30am

Fresh Meat: The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag

Tami Hoag The 9th GirlTami Hoag's The 9th Girl is a police procedural and thriller featuring Detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska of the Minneapolis Police Department (available June 18, 2013).

The 9th Girl is a hybrid story. First, there's the story of the girl herself. She's a Jane Doe (thus the title), possibly—but possibly not—the ninth victim of a serial killer known around the police department as “Doc Holiday” because he kills on the holidays. In fact, the girl is so badly disfigured that she gains the media nickname “Zombie Doe.” The details of the murder are not for the faint of heart.

All eyes went to the horror-movie still of Zombie Doe’s face taped to the wall as the centerpiece of a macabre montage.

“God help us,” Tinks muttered.

“He’d better,” Kovac said. “He already missed his chance with her."

Because of the disfigurement, identifying the girl takes longer than one might imagine and it is in the search for her identity, as much as in the search for her killer, that Sam and Nikki really shine.

[Speaking for the dead]

Jun 2 2013 9:00am

Fresh Meat: A Serpent’s Tooth by Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson, A Serpent's ToothA Serpent’s Tooth by Craig Johnson is the ninth Walt Longmire western mystery (available June 4, 2013).

It’s hard to review a book nine books into a beloved series, especially when you know a lot of readers will be coming to the book with a background from an equally beloved television version. A&E’s Longmire is at once quite separate and yet intimately connected to Craig Johnson’s series of books about Sheriff Walt Longmire.

The cast of characters in the books is slightly different from those in the show and even the shared characters vary slightly between page and screen. But the elements that work so very, very well—the humor, the strength of personality and the endless, barren but beautiful scenery—remain constant.

The thing you get in the books that you don’t get from the show, the thing that brings me back over and over, is Walt’s voice. A Serpent’s Tooth is told in the first person, and right from the start you “hear” Walt. (It’s okay if you hear him in Robert Taylor’s voice—you won’t be the first or the last, I suspect.)

[We! Want! Walt!]

May 29 2013 7:45am

Custom Action Figures

A custom-made Taxi Driver figureEvil Dead, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Alien...all kinds of movies outside the realm of the kid-oriented get the action figure treatment at Old Colony Hobbies. He also does vintage-style backing cards for each figure.

Really, the possibilities are endless and now my only questions is whether he makes them to order, because if he does my Christmas list is pretty much already taken care of.

May 20 2013 7:45am

Taking Food Waaaaayyyyyy Too Seriously

Miki NozawaAnyone who knows me will tell you that food is right at the top of my priorities in life. Follow my Twitter feed, and you’ll notice that probably a full 25 percent of my tweets are related to eating. Still, there are things that seem extreme even to me, like beating a chef to death over a $30 meal.

And yet, that’s precisely what happened to celebrity chef Miki Nozawa, whose food didn’t satisfy two customers at his restaurant on the German island of Sylt. The two left without paying, and later that night Nozawa found them at a nightclub and confronted them. A fight ensued, after which the two men escaped and Nozawa was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Relax, everyone. It’s just dinner.

Apr 30 2013 7:45am

RED 2 . . . Old Action Heroes Never Die

What can I say? I can't wait for this. RED was one of my favorite movies, and this one looks like a perfect follow-up. Helen Mirren rocks the world. And they've added Anthony Hopkins to the cast! Did you see the first one? Will you see the next? I'll be in the theater on July 19!

Apr 22 2013 7:45am

Up for Auction: Solid Gold Skeleton

Doesn’t that just make your heart sing? On April 29, Sotheby’s will be auctioning off “The Rouchomovsky Skeleton.” According to the catalog, this fully articulated gold skeleton is c. 1900 and

in a velvet-lined coffin chased around on each side with three panels showing the course of life, one end with attributes of the arts, the other with attributes of war, the removable cover with the journey in the footsteps of the Angel of Death, surrounded by the faces of infants alternately laughing and crying.
Skeleton signed in Cyrillic, on the right splint-bone: Mozyr [18]92 Odessa [18]96 and on the left splint-bone Rouchomovsky;
Sarcophagus signed on lid: Israel Rouchomovsky and in Cyrillic on base Israel Rouchomovsky Odessa 1901.
length of skeleton 3 1/2 in., length of coffin 4 3/8 in.

I can’t afford the estimated sales price, but my birthday was just last month and I’d be more than happy to have it as a belated present.

Apr 10 2013 7:45am

Have Some Nutella With Your Morning Coffee?

NutellaI like Nutella as much as the next person. In fact, I probably like Nutella more than the the next person. Maybe more than the next two people combined. There is nothing in life more perfect than a Nutella and banana crepe, in my mind. But still, I find the fact that thieves in Germany made off with five metric tons of Nutella a bit hard to fathom. That’s 176,370 ounces; more than 13,500 standard size jars, or 6,500 of the larger containers.

In reading about this particular heist, I ran across The Atlantic’s speculations on the possible uses for 11,000 pounds of Nutella, of which I found this the most amusing:

...if there’s a major heist of 10,000 pounds of toast/waffles/bananas in the coming days, then that probably points to someone—or a group of people—with serious Nutella addictions. 

And then there are speculations about hoarding and black markets. I would just love to see a crime story written about Nutella smuggling. Mmmmm... think it’s time for breakfast.

Mar 12 2013 10:30am

Fresh Meat: A Long Day at the End of the World by Brent Hendricks

Brent Hendricks, A Long Day at the End of the WorldA Long Day at the End of the World: A Story of Desecration and Revelation in the Deep South by Brent Hendricks is a memoir by a man whose father's remains were discovered during the scandal at the Tri-State Crematory in 2002 (available March 12, 2013).

In February 2002, hundreds of abandoned and decayed bodies were discovered at the Tri-State Crematory in rural Georgia, making it the largest mass desecration in modern American history. The perpetrator—a well-respected family man and a former hometown football star—had managed to conceal the horror for five years. Among the bodies found at the Tri-State Crematory was that of Brent Hendricks’s father. To quell the psychic disturbance surrounding the desecration, Hendricks embarked on a pilgrimage to the crematory site in Georgia.

This is a small book with a large impact. There's not a lot of plot—in fact, the really major plot point is one readers probably already know quite a bit about, given the amount of press the Tri-State Crematory scandal generated.

[But narrative is so much more than plot]

Mar 11 2013 7:45am

Feel Like Yeti Hunting? There Are Laws...

In 1959, a foreign service memo (you can see the entire thing at Blastr) listed the three regulations for hunting Yeti in Nepal:

1. Royalty of Rs. 5000/- Indian Currency will have to be paid to His Majesty's Government of Nepal for a permit to carry out an expedition in search of 'Yeti'.

2. In case 'Yeti' is traced it can be photographed or caught alive but it must not be killed or shot at except in an emergency arising out of self defence. All photographs taken of the animal, the creature itself if captured alive or dead, must be surrended to the Government of Nepal at the earliest time. 

3. News and reports throwing light on the actual existence of the creature must be submitted to the Government of Nepal as soon as they are available and must not in any way be given out to the Press or Reporters for publicity without the permission of the Government of Nepal.

Are these regulations still in force? We have no idea...who's up for a Yeti hunt to find out?

Mar 4 2013 8:45am

CataCombo is CataCreepy

When I first heard about the Catacombo on The Colbert Report, I was sure it was a joke. I mean, it couldn’t be serious, right? Little did I know... this is about as creepy as it gets, IMHO! Can you imagine what kind of hell your enemies could make of your afterlife by hacking in and programming muzak to play at you day and night?

Feb 5 2013 8:45am

Richard III and Zombies

No, it’s not another mash-up, it’s two stories from the same city in England. To whit, Leicester, where under a seemingly innocuous parking lot were found the bones of the hated King Richard III. According to the New York Times,

Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on a project to identify the bones, told reporters that tests and research since the remains were discovered last September proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that the “individual exhumed” from a makeshift grave under the parking lot was “indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England.”

But what if Richard had come back as a zombie once he had been disinterred? Would he have been smacked down quickly, or could he have taken over the city? Well, according to one concerned citizen who sent a letter to the city council, Leicester is singularly unprepared for zombie attacks. The letter reads:

Dear Leicester City Council,

Can you please let us know what provisions you have in place in the event of a zombie invasion? Having watched several films it is clear that preparation for such an event is poor and one that councils throughout the kingdom must prepare for.

Please provide any information you may have.

Yours faithfully,
Concerned Citizen

Hat tip: Hypervocal

Jan 22 2013 10:30am

Did You Watch The Following with James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon?

As you may or may not remember, back in November, I had a chance to watch the pilot of The Following with eye candy (and, not incidentally, excellent actors) James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon. I had mixed feelings about the pilot (put on your psychic hat and read my thoughts), but at the time so few people had seen it that I had no one to discuss it with.

I imagine that many of you in our audience did catch the pilot last night, however, so I am anxious to hear your thoughts. Let’s talk!