Archive for November, 2016

Outside-02-215x330More advance praise for Outside the Law keeps coming in, this time from New York Times bestelling author Linwood Barclay, who calls the latest Colt Harper novel “Pure entertainment with an edge. The guy can write!”

Be sure and visit Brash Books, home of yours truly and Mystery Writers of America 2017 Grand Master Max Allan Collins.


Today’s crime fiction links:

The best crime books and thrillers of 2016Crime writing turned up in unexpected places this year. The usually mystery-sniffy Man Booker prize shortlist found a place for Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project (Contraband), a smart amalgam of legal thriller and literary game that reads as if Umberto Eco has been resurrected in the 19th-century Scottish Highlands.

HARD CASE CRIME COMICS: Hard Case Crime has been consistently publishing great books for a long time now. This fall the opened a new door and have started publishing comics.


fulledhead1Grand Masters Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart Plus 2017 Raven and Ellery Queen Award WinnersMax Allan Collins and Ellen Hart have been chosen as the 2017 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.

The best crime fiction for ChristmasFrom a birdwatcher’s death to murderous crofters, small-town crime is all the rage, says Jake Kerridge.

Who Dunnit: Deon Meyer Mystery Tour kicks offFans of local crime writer Deon Meyer will be able to take a guided tour of prominent sites depicted in his best-selling books from Wednesday, when the first Deon Meyer Mystery Tour kicks off in the Mother City.

Alexander Marmer Releases ‘Four Ways to Pharaoh Khufu’Egypt’s civilization is one of the world’s oldest; its fascinating history and contribution to the world cannot be underestimated.


Review: New crime fiction from Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs and othersWe are well past the usual burnout for series characters but Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books continue to enchant and engage.

wild-at-heart_9Holding review: Graham Norton’s first novel is a small-town murder mysteryPopular British comedian and chat show host Graham Norton adds another string to his bow with this debut detective novel.

Film Review: ‘Interchange’: The power of the photographic image and the woeful legacy of colonialism intersect in eerie ways in the stylishly shot supernatural thriller “Interchange.” A police murder procedural that segues into anthropomorphic hocus pocus, the mystery solving moves too leisurely compared with Korean or Hollywood genre films.

gun-1678989_960_720Chilling Realities, From Bereavement Blues To Right-Wing ExtremismHere’s a real treat for fans of Lawrence Block, one of crime fiction’s most adored grandmasters. His first crime novel, written half a century ago, published obscurely under a pseudonym and lost until now, is finally reprinted. Sinner Man (Hard Case Crime) is the story of a provincial insurance salesman who accidentally kills his wife.

Streaming Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Online for Free: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency started out as a detective novel in the late 80s by Douglas Adams. The author describes the novel as being unique in the way it combines time travel, comedy, romance, and horror. But we are definitely not interested in the novel because who reads nowadays anyways? Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is about a detective named Dirk Gently who apparently is from the UK hence the British accent. His sidekick or unwilling one at that is Todd who is thankfully American. The series has been co-produced by Netflix and BBC America.

Writer Ed Brubaker Reveals His Journey From Marvel Comics to ‘Westworld’Ed Brubaker could have easily rested on his laurels as one of the most popular, prolific, and influential comic book writers of his generation -– he was, among other landmarks, the one who broke the long-standing taboo about resurrecting Captain America’s late sidekick Bucky. In doing so, created the Winter Soldier.

Movie review: Batman: The Killing JokeThe Joker, the clown prince of crime, is arguably one of the most iconic villains to come on stage in comic book history and he returns to the big screen with the animated adaptation batman-the-killing-joke-screenshotof Alan Moore’s famous graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.

Want to Succeed at Self-Publishing? Don’t Be Discouraged: Tips from an Indie AuthorIndie author Ben Batchelder – who describes writing as his fourth (and final) career – says that he didn’t write his second book. Rather, To Belém & Back “first wrote me.”

Ben Wheatley, Tom Hiddleston Eyeing Frank Miller’s ‘Hard Boiled’ at Warner Bros.Ben Wheatley is gearing up for his first major studio project with an adaptation of Frank Miller and Geof Darrow‘s Hard Boiled. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is in negotiations to acquire the rights to the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel for Wheatley to adapt and direct as an action vehicle for his High Rise star Tom Hiddleston.


Rude & Crude, I’m Thankful For ‘Officer Downe’! “Officer Downe” is something viewers rarely see made. The shocking nature of the graphic novel turned film is not really acceptable by the mainstream these days. And the movie has no problems with that.

Crime fiction is favorite genre for Scottish book readers:Crime is the favorite form of fiction for the majority of Scottish book readers, a survey has suggested. Science fiction and biographies were the next most popular genres, according to the poll to mark the start of Book Week Scotland.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye review: One of US crime fiction’s great detectivesChances are that if an American crime novelist uses the word “Goodbye” in the title of a novel, the intention is to pay homage to Raymond Chandler and his masterpiece The Long Goodbye. When said writer is Michael Connelly, who has often spoken about the debt he owes to Chandler, the chances improve significantly.

Book review (Fiction): ‘The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories’ by P.D. JamesDevotees of literary crime fiction will long mourn the loss of P.D. James, the distinguished English author who broadened the boundaries of the genre and who died two years ago at age 94.

The Criminal Mind: A Birthday Tribute To Ed BrubakerBorn November 17, 1966, Ed Brubaker has worked on iconic characters such as Batman, Catwoman, Daredevil, and Captain America, typically resulting in long, fan-favorite and highly-acclaimed runs.

Transworld mourns ‘tragic’ death of author Roger HobbsAmerican thriller writer Roger Hobbs, author of Ghostman and Vanishing Games (Transworld), has died, aged 28, after an overdose.

bulletThe magic of Southern fictionAuthor Katherine Clark discusses the wealth of characters in the South.

Alabama-born novelist wins Southern fiction award, works to complete Pat Conroy oral biography“I have to admit that I’m one of those writers who’s always dreamed of getting an award and having to go to New York to accept it. This was literally a dream come true.”

Detective Glock in Echo Park: L.A. Crime Fiction and Michael Connelly’s “The Wrong Side of Goodbye”ON A RECENT VISIT to a large downtown Los Angeles bookstore, I asked a clerk where the Michael Connelly books were kept. He replied: “Who?”

bullet‘Trials of the Century’ Examines Obsession with CrimeAmericans are fascinated with crime. They like to read about it, watch it, talk about it and revel in it.” said Mark J. Phillips, one of the authors of the nonfiction book, “Trials of the Century,” about America’s fixation on crime.

29 Palms, Calif., early 1987. From left, 1stSgt Madero, Capt. JD Gaillard, me, 1stLt Dave Booth. Another Marine Corps morning in the field.

29 Palms, Calif., early 1987. From left, 1stSgt Madero, Capt. JD Gaillard, me, 1stLt Dave Booth. Another Marine Corps morning in the field.

Before we get started today, a little bit of a pet peeve: Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day. I’ve written about this before, mainly from the Memorial Day angle. The two aren’t the same. Today, thank a veteran. Sincerely. Better yet, ask him or her what that service was like.

Today’s links:

Connelly digs deep in ‘The Wrong Side of Goodbye’It’s hardly a revelation that book titles aren’t just random choices but have a connection to the story. This has always especially been true with Michael Connelly’s engrossing novels. The Wrong Side of Goodbye, his thrilling 23rd novel about LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch is fraught with meanings for the characters, as Connelly again raises the standards of crime fiction.

CLASSIC CRIMEAs we all know to our recent cost, the world of finance attracts some dodgy characters. It was always thus. Mystery In The Channel follows in the wake of the 1929 Wall Street crash when the bodies of two partners of a leading private bank are found in their yacht adrift off the coast of France.

Review: New crime fiction from Robert Harris, Linwood Barclay and Pascal GarnierThere’s no other way to put it: Conclave is one of the best crime novels of 2016. In fact, it may be one of the best novels of 2016.

Acclaimed Tyrone crime novel based on a true 40-year quest for justice:Critically acclaimed Tyrone author Anthony Quinn has launched his latest crime novel, Trespass.The novel, which is set along the shores of Lough Neagh and involves a cold case involving the Travelling community, has already been given a star pick of the month by the Sunday Times and was described by its crime fiction critic as “beautiful writing about ugly events with a pleasingly serpentine plot.”

thompson_philipyckrkj9eiHappy 241st birthday to the United States Marine Corps! And since it’s on a Thursday, I figured I might as well do a little Throwback Thursday, too. That’s me on the left, circa 1988, as a 1st lieutenant and executive officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63). Semper Fi, Marines.


Today’s links:

Crime fiction roundup: Missing nannies, Derby doping and the return of Harry BoschGenerally, this column avoids best sellers, preferring to highlight less familiar, easily overlooked crime novels. On the other hand, sometimes a best seller just hits the spot.

Crime Fiction Since 1800: Since its appearance nearly two centuries ago, crime fiction has gripped readers’ imaginations around the world. Detectives have varied enormously: from the nineteenth-century policemen (and a few women), through stars like Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple, to newly self-aware voices of the present – feminist, African American, lesbian, gay, postcolonial and postmodern.

Book Reviews: Crime fictionConnelly’s Bosch series is one of the best in modern crime, last year’s The Crossing was as deftly crafted a novel as he’s produced and this new one is even better; deeper and with a wider scope.

What’s Marcia Clark reading?Recognized as the lead prosecutor during the O.J. Simpson murder, Clark has made a mark as an author as well. First came Without a Doubt, her 1997 memoir about the infamous trial. In 2011, Clark launched her first crime series, featuring protagonist Rachel Knight, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor. This year, with Blood Defense, she introduced readers to Samantha Brinkman, who is on the other side as a criminal defense attorney.

The Mistletoe Murder review: P.D. James’ stories with a Christmas flavour:Who better to cater to your Christmas crime needs than P. D. James? The queen of crime died in 2014, but her work lives on and in The Mistletoe Murder, four of her better stories are republished.