Hey there, reader! It’s officially 2019, and I’m thrilled to highlight these five January books worth checking out. When I’m not reading crime fiction or writing about crime fiction as Crime by the Book, I can often be found perusing Criminal Element’s fantastic selection of crime book reviews and features.
When reading a book, there’s nothing quite like a pulsating pursuit to get you turning the pages. I’ve always loved the use of the cat-and-mouse chase as a plot device; the moment the tension boils over that sparks the frantic escape, the intense hunt, the heart-stopping near misses, the showdown… Read more
When I moved to Los Angeles two and a half years ago, it was with the (possibly naive) intention of capturing the city’s dusky underbelly for my next novel. In Sins As Scarlet, I wanted my Japanese-American detective, Inspector Iwata, to drift through the unvarnished tranches of L.A.—the industrial, the… Read more
I recently read a quote by author Flannery O’Connor: “The best American fiction has always been regional.” When Tony Hillerman started the eponymous prize, he had no other stipulations for the entrants than that the books must be debut mysteries set in the American Southwest. In that vein, here are… Read more
Christmas comes but once a year—and with it, a bookish bounty of murder, mayhem, and merriment! Seasonal cozies are as much tradition as cookies, cakes, and pies, and pair equally well with a hot cup of tea (or something stronger) and a roaring fire. If you’re looking for something delightfully… Read more
It’s difficult now to imagine watching a crime film set to the jaunty live piano playing that accompanied most early 20th Century silent movies. Without soundtrack and score music, some of our most cherished crime thrillers would be different animals altogether. Imagine Pulp Fiction’s pawn-shop S&M dungeon scene without the… Read more
Narrowing down to five the thrillers that served as catalysts for me to write Virtual Sabotage was difficult. I’ve read hundreds of thrillers and each one has inspired in its own way. But these five, in no particular order, have all taught me valuable lessons. The following authors demonstrate a… Read more
What is it that makes for a great crime film? Is a movie a crime film simply because it deals with illicit characters? In that case, couldn’t a lot of political films be classified as such? Or what about corporate life? Aren’t these people infinitely worse than the robbers, thugs,… Read more
Everybody loves Iris Johansen's animal-whispering character Margaret Douglas! Read about some of her best moments & make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of No Easy Target! Iris Johansen has given us so many fascinating characters over the years. Kendra Michaels, the… Read more
This post was originally going to be about my favorite/influential mysteries, but I realized that the designation was too large. In order to hone the number down to 5—such a small number—I have to specify historical mysteries … in a series. Even then, the choice is difficult—except for #1!