Saturday, November 08, 2014

Dorothy Cannell's THE THIN WOMAN

I just saw a posting that Random House has just published a Kindle edition of Dorothy Cannell's first mystery, The Thin Woman, for only 99 cents. It's a great book that brought me through a very tough evening and one I've recommended often. I just had the pleasure of moderating a panel which boasted Dorothy as one of the members. She's as funny and delightful as ever! BTW, I just downloaded it too!

Friday, October 10, 2014


E. J. Cooperman and Jeff Cohen (same person!) have a terrific new book just out, The Question of the Missing Head, "An Asperger's Mystery." They're raising money for the Autism Spectrum Education Network (ASPEN) and now each photo posted with a picture of you and the book (or ebook title page) is worth $10 to ASPEN, thanks to HSG Agency, Midnight Ink and Moonstone Books/Twice Told Tales of Flemington, NJ. 

Help support a great cause that helps families touched by autism. Just get a copy of The Question of the Missing Head, take a picture with it, and post it online somewhere Jeff will see it (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). That’s all you have to do! (Obviously, the photo doesn't have to be great!)

The deadline for this challenge is Wednesday, October 15.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


to North Carolina's Ms. Pope!

Watch this space for a new contest soon…

New Contest

Tor Publishing is offering a lucky reader of Meritorious Mysteries a free copy of Linda Davies' new Ark Storm. 

There are five Bouchercons currently scheduled across the US and Canada. The first person to email me (mystery heel at with the correct order (by year) of these Bouchercons will be the winner. I will email the winner requesting his/her snail address. Tor will mail the copy directly to the winner. I'll also post the winner's last name and state on this site.

Good Luck! 

Ark Storm

Linda Davies

“A plausible and stormy eco-thriller that might presage future events…. an exciting and enjoyable book.”

Ark Storm is a winner. It draws you in and thrashes you about like a hurricane. It’s plausible and terrifying. The writing is crisp, the pacing is breakneck, and the characters are vivid. I highly recommend it.”
—Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Impact

“This vivid, exciting and original tale turns a very real superstorm possibility into one of the most exciting stories I’ve read in a long time. I was going to say that I got blown away by Ark Storm, but I’m afraid to! So I’ll say that I got caught up in it, loved it and had wonderful time reading it!”
—Whitley Strieber, New York Times bestselling author of The Grays

Linda Davies’ first novel, Nest of Vipers, has been published in more than thirty countries, selling over two million copies. She is also a winner of the Philip Geddes Prize for journalism. Her latest novel is ARK STORM (A Forge Hardcover; $25.99; August 19, 2014), a stylishly written thriller that tackles the relationship between high finance and extreme weather events.
The Ark Storm is coming—a catastrophic weather event that will unleash massive floods and wreak more damage on California than the feared “Big One.” One man wants to profit from it. Another wants to harness it to wage jihad on American soil. One woman stands in their way: Dr. Gwen Boudain, a brave and brilliant meteorologist.

When Boudain notices that her climate readings are off the charts, she turns to Gabriel Messenger for research funding. Messenger’s company is working on a program that ionizes water molecules to bring rain on command. Meanwhile, Wall Street suits notice that someone is placing six-month bets on the prospect of an utter apocalypse and begin to investigate. Standing in the shadows is journalist Dan Jacobsen, a former Navy SEAL. War hardened, cynical, and handsome, Jacobsen is a man with his own hidden agenda.

ARK STORM brings together the worlds of finance, scientific innovation, and terrorism in a fast-paced thrill ride that will leave readers gasping.

LINDA DAVIES is a graduate in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University, and worked for seven years as an investment banker before escaping to write novels. Davies is married with three children. She lives by the sea in Suffolk, United Kingdom.

Dear Reader,

It was the summer of 2010.  I was living in Dubai, and I had read that dramatically heavy rains were falling in the deserts of neighbouring El Ain in the United Arab Emirates.  The historical average number of rainfall events for June through September is two.  The National Weather Service forecasted zero rain events over that period.  But it did rain. On fifty-two separate occasions. And it hailed and galed and thundered.  It made the international news. 

There were rumors of masts in the desert, of scientists and computer models, and it sounded like something out of a James Bond movie. And then I read an article which explained what had been going on.

It was the work of scientists.  Technicians were mounting ionizers on masts, producing electrons which attached to dust particles in the atmosphere. These dust particles rose by convection until they reached the right height for cloud formation where they attracted water molecules floating in the air. Those molecules then started to condense around them.  Billions of droplets of rain formed and fell….

So far, so Bondian.  Then I heard about the latest twist where the ionisers are sent up on drones, which made me think of terrorists, and I had myself a novel. It had all the things I love to write about—science, terrorism, financial shenanigans counterterrorism—and in the midst of it, a wonderful heroine.

Welcome to Ark Storm.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Authors at Molly-on-Mysteries

As promised, I've got a special treat lined up for the October 16 program at the Page-Walker Cultural Arts Center in Cary! Local authors Brynn Bonner, Margaret Maron, and Sarah Shaber will join me for a discussion about their newest exciting mysteries.

Brynn's latest in the "Family History" series is Reel Time. At her new website "Five Minute Family History," Brynn encourages folks to work on their own family histories a few minutes every day by offering frequent prompts and organizational tips.

Margaret's Designated Daughters is the nineteenth (can you believe it?) in her North Carolina Judge Deborah Knott series. This one hit home for me: It's about the (mostly) women who are called on to care for aging relatives.

Sarah's Louise Pearlie books are set in WW-II Washington DC.  Louise is a young widow from Wilmington who is a file clerk in the OSS. Louise's Blunder, the fourth in the series will have just become available in the US on October 1. Sarah's website is currently under reconstruction.

We'll have copies of ONLY THESE titles for sale and signing from Quail Ridge Books and Music. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Page-Walker.

Books Make Great Gifts! 

Signed Books Make Great Gifts More Special!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Mystery Authors at McIntyre's

I just got an email from the good folks at McIntyre's in Fearrington Village. Highlights of Pete's exciting note follow:

The dapper Peter Lovesey on Saturday, September 20th at 11am. Mr. Lovesey is one of the most lauded mystery authors we’ve ever had here at McIntyre’s. He’s won multiple Silver Dagger Awards, a couple of Macavity Awards for Best Novel, and an Agatha Award. In 2000, he was given the Diamond Dagger Award for a body of work and in 2007 was awarded the Agatha Lifetime Achievement, again for a body of work. Suffice to say, the man knows what he’s doing. He’ll be here for The Stone Wife, the 14th installment of his acclaimed Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond series.

Next, on Saturday, October 18th at 11am, we welcome Mark Pryor.met Mark in Albany NY at last year’s Bouchercon. He was on a panel moderated by Cara Black and was smart, erudite, and humorous with his answers, enough so that I decided to buy a copy of one of his books. [Note: When a bookseller or reviewer BUYS a book, it's REALLY shows interest!] When I went to get it signed we got to talking and I told him he had to come to McIntyre’s sometime. He asked where it was and I told him Fearrington Village. He paused then asked, “Is that where the Oreo cows are?” Turns out he lived in Chapel Hill for a while and would come out with his family for Sunday Brunch so he was familiar with the store. Now he’s coming to share with us his character Hugo Marston, the head of security for the American Embassy in Paris. His latest is The Button Man which is a prequel and set in London. 

Mark is bringing along a good friend of his, Jamie Mason. She is the author of Three Graves Full this very wry, very darkly humorous novel about a man with three bodies buried in has backyard. One that he put there, the other two he knew nothing about until the police show up. I really enjoyed this one and can’t wait to have both Jamie and Mark here. I already know there will be a lot of good humored banter going on. 

This last one I’m going to mention is one that, when it was proposed to us, I didn’t have to think twice about. I was, “Let’s do it!” On November 8th at 11am we have Japanese author Fuminori Nakamura here for his latest novel Last Winter We Parted. His first novel translated into English, The Thief, won the Oe Prize which is the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award. His second book, Evil and the Mask (so dark I couldn’t finish it, but so original I’m going to try again) was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. He has also won a David Goodis Noir award. Mr. Nakamura’s English will be accompanied by his editor, the ever-effervescent Juliet Grames, who will act as his translator.  

Juliet GramesSome of you may remember Juliet from our Night with SOHO Crime event a couple of years where she and Paul Oliver, head of publicity for SOHO, convinced a roomful of people to tear apart my carefully constructed SOHO display in their haste to buy every title mentioned that night. What a beautiful melee, I wish we had taped it. Anyway, here we’re going to have one of the most talented young writers of his generation paired up with his incredibly talented editor. I can’t wait for this one! Plus, that afternoon we may have another surprise for mystery fans. We'll keep you posted about it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kaye Barley on Tana French's THE SECRET PLACE

I've been swamped lately, so I asked my friend Kaye Barley to review Tana French's fifth novel featuring The Dublin Murder Squad. Kaye was happy to oblige, so hop on over to her Meanderings and Muses website. Happy reading!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Molly on Mysteries • Page Walker Cultural Arts Center • Cary NC

I'm delighted to announce the schedule for my Molly on Mystery talks at the Page-Walker Cultural Arts Center in Cary! Each month I talk about 15-20 authors and their works  and give you reasons why I think you'll like them as much as I do. We always have handouts, so you don't have to do much work (remembering IS work for me!). I usually bring a bunch of books to share, hoping that folks will bring them back to pass them along to others in the group.

We meet on Thursdays at 2:00. Dates for the coming season are as follows:
  • September 18
  • October 16 
    • Guest Authors: Brynn Bonner, Margaret Maron, & Sarah Shaber
    • Latest books from each author will be available for sale and signing.
  • November 20
  • December 18
  • January 15
  • February 19
  • March 19
  • April 16
    • Guest Authors: Ann Cleeves, Hannah Dennison, Marcia Talley & Elaine Viets
    • Books from each author will be available for sale and signing.
I'm working to get authors at some of the programs, but it's too early to release that information. (They've still got to arrange flight schedules!)

If you'd like to be on the list for reminders about the programs, please email Kris Carmichael at the Page-Walker. You can find the link on the Town of Cary's website.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Louise Penny - World Tour Kickoff at McIntyre's

The multi-award-winning author's kickoff for The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel will be at McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village in Pittsboro on August 27, at 6:30. This is a ticketed event – please call McIntyre’s for details at 919.542.3030.

Mystery Authors Coming to Quail Ridge Books

Quail Ridge Books is in the Ridgewood Shopping Center in Raleigh (along with Whole Foods). 

As with any events, if you're driving a distance, call the store to confirm 919.828.1588.

Friday, July 18, 7:30 pm
Author of Poacher's Son 
PAUL DOIRON, Bone Orchard
“Excellent . . . a murder case with some truly wicked twists.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Sunday, August 3, 3:00 am
Author of The Philadelphia Quarry
HOWARD OWEN, Parker Field
In this third Willie Black novel our flawed, ink-stained hero is back, a reporter who seems to do his best work when he’s chasing a story nobody else wants.

Thursday, August 14, 7:30 pm
MARGARET MARON, Designated Daughters
The continuing adventures of Deborah Knott and and her husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant
There will be an encore lunch-time event on Tuesday, Sept 9

Tuesday, August 26, 7:30 pm
ACE ATKINS, The Forsaken: A Quinn Colson mystery
 A retired U.S. Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, returned to his hometown as newly elected Sheriff.  An intriguing and appealing heroe, who “has a quick wit, a strong sense of honor, and radiates sex appeal”

Friday, September 19, 7:30 pm
The latest in the Peter Diamond series.  "A perfectly realized murder mystery." ~ Wall Street Journal

Thursday, September 25, 7:30 pm
SARAH SHABER, Louise's Blunder
The 4th Louise Pearlie mystery

Thursday, June 26, 2014

THE OTHER WOMAN - ebook on Sale

The Other WomanJust in this morning: Hank Phillippi Ryan's The Other Woman ebook is on sale for a very limited time.

Check out your favorite ebook vendor, but remember most independent booksellers offer Kobo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LOUISE'S WAR - 1st in Series

Image of Sarah R. Shaber

For all you folks who absolutely must read from the beginning of the series, Sarah Shaber's Louise's War is now available in e-book for just $3.99 from the publisher just in time to read the first three entries in the Louise Perlie series before the fourth, Louise's Blunder hits the shelves. This World War II series is definitely not to be missed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shamus Award Nominations

Thanks to the fabulous Janet Rudolph for sending the listing of the Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus Award Finalists 2014 Private Eye Writers of America. Janet's great blog always contains the latest information.

TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2014

Shamus Award Finalists 2014: Private Eye Writers of America

PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA SHAMUS AWARD FINALISTS 2014 for works published in 2013. Winners will be announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in Long Beach, California on Friday, November 14. Congratulations to all!

Little Elvises by Timothy Hallinan
The Mojito Coast by Richard Helms
W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
The Good Cop by Brad Parks
Nemesis by Bill Pronzini

A Good Death by Christopher R. Cox
Montana by Gwen Florio
Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen
Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith
Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

Seduction of the Innocents by Max Allan Collins
Into the Dark by Alison Gaylin
Purgatory Key by Darrell James
Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish
The Honky Tonk Big Hoss Boogie by Robert J. Randisi

“So Long, Chief” by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane in The Strand Magazine
"The Ace I" by Jack Fredrickson in EQMM
“What We Do” by Mick Herron in EQMM
“Extra Fries” by Michael Z. Lewin in EQMM
“The Lethal Leeteg” by Hayford Peirce in EQMM

Murder Take Three by April Kelly and Marsha Lyons
A Small Sacrifice by Dana King
No Pat Hands by J.J. Lamb
State vs. Lassiter by Paul Levine
Don’t Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers
- See more at:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Molly on Mysteries at Cameron Village Library

Thanks to Barbara McGeachy, I'll present a "Molly on Mysteries" program at the Cameron Village Library on Thursday, June 19 at 2:00. I've been giving these programs, first at the Eva Perry Library in Apex, then at the Cary Library, and, most recently, at the Page-Walker Cultural Arts Center in Cary. We're unable to continue at the Page-Walker in the summer months because they need the space for kids camps.

For the uninitiated, I used to have a theme for each program, but since I've gotten lazier in my old age, I just talk about books and authors I've read since the last program. Giving these programs gives me validation for lying back in my recliner and reading all afternoon (or all day?). I just have to get ready to talk about mysteries…

If you'll scroll down a couple of posts, you'll see the terrific line-up of guest authors I'll bring to several venues in the Triangle area. (I didn't think you'd bother to scroll down, so I'm copying the schedule here!)

Mystery Writers Tour

Get ready for fun! We've got a great group coming to the Triangle area in June: Maggie BarbieriHannah Dennison, and Kate Carlisle. We'll be having panels, book sales, signings, and conversations. All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, June 7, 2:00
McIntyre's Books, Fearrington Village

Sunday, June 8, 3:00
Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex

Sunday, June 8, 7:00
SearStone, Cary (Reservations are requested 866.261.1814)

Monday, June 9, 2:00
North Regional Library, Raleigh

Monday, June 9, 7:00
Page Walker Cultural Arts Center, Cary

Tuesday, June 10, 10:30
West Regional Library, Cary

Tuesday, June 10, 2:00
Cameron Village Library, Raleigh

Y'all come!

Please plan to join me at one or more of these events. Everything is free and open to the public—and sometimes I give away books!

The photo below is from the Malice Domestic panel I moderated. We had a lot of fun with "Grits and Graveyards"!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bouchercon 2014 Anthony Nominees

So many great books nominated. So many of the authors are friends. How on earth will I cast my vote?!!?!?!?!

Check out this list and decide what you'd do.

· 2014 ·
Long Beach, CA
  Suspect - Robert Crais [Putnam]
  A Cold and Lonely Place - Sara J. Henry [Crown]
  Ordinary Grace - William Kent Krueger [Atria]
  The Wrong Girl - Hank Phillippi Ryan [Forge]
  Through the Evil Days - Julia Spencer-Fleming [Minotaur]

  Yesterday’s Echo - Matt Coyle [Oceanview]
  Ghostman - Roger Hobbs [Alfred A. Knopf]
  Rage Against the Dying - Becky Masterman [Minotaur]
  Reconstructing Amelia - Kimberly McCreight [HarperCollins]
  The Hard Bounce - Todd Robinson [Tyrus]

  The Big Reap- Chris F. Holm [Angry Robot]
  Purgatory Key - Darrell James [Midnight Ink]
  Joyland - Stephen King [Hard Case Crime]
  The Wicked Girls - Alex Marwood [Penguin]
  As She Left It - Catriona McPherson [Midnight Ink]

  "Dead End" - Craig Faustus Buck [Untreed Reads]
  "The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository" - John Connolly, Bibliomysteries [Mysterious Bookshop]
  "Annie and the Grateful Dead" - Denise Dietz, The Sound and the Furry: Stories To Benefit the International Fund for Animal Welfare [Amazon Digital]
  "Incident on the 405" - Travis Richardson, Criminal Element's Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble [Macmillan]
  "The Care and Feeding of Houseplants" - Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2013

  Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes - Maria Konnikova [Viking Adult]
  The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines - Cate Lineberry [Little, Brown]
  All the Wild Children - Josh Stallings [Snubnose Press]
  The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War - Daniel Stashower [Minotaur]
  Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense - Sarah Weinman, ed. [Penguin]

  The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau [Houghton Mifflin]
  Escape Theory - Margaux Froley [Soho Teen]
  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library - Chris Grabenstein [Random House Children’s Books]
  Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy - Elizabeth Kiem [Soho Teen]
  The Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure - Penny Warner [Egmont USA]

  The Blacklist - Pilot by Jon Bokenkamp - Sept. 2013 [Davis Entertainment, NBC]
  Breaking Bad - "Felina" by Vince Gilligan - Sept. 2013 [AMC]
  The Fall - "Dark Descent" by Allan Cubitt - May 2013 [Netflix Original]
  The Following - Pilot by Kevin Williamson - Jan. 2013 [Warner Bros. Television, FOX]
  Justified - "Hole in the Wall" by Graham Yost - Jan. 2013 [Warner Bros. Television, FOX]

  Hour of the Rat - Lisa Brackmann - Tracy Sallows, narrator [Audible]
  Man in the Empty Suit - Sean Ferrell - Mauro Hantman, narrator [AudioGO]
  The Cuckoo’s Calling - Robert Galbraith - Robert Glenister, narrator [Hachette Audio]
  Crescendo - Deborah J Ledford - Christina Cox, narrator [Audible]
  Death and the Lit Chick - G.M. Malliet - Davina Porter, narrator [Dreamscape Media]

Mystery Writers Tour

Get ready for fun! We've got a great group coming to the Triangle area in June: Maggie Barbieri, Hannah Dennison, and Kate Carlisle. We'll be having panels, book sales, signings, and conversations. All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, June 7, 2:00
McIntyre's Books, Fearrington Village

Sunday, June 8, 3:00
Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex

Sunday, June 8, 7:00
SearStone, Cary (Reservations are requested 866.261.1814)

Monday, June 9, 2:00
North Regional Library, Raleigh

Monday, June 9, 7:00
Page Walker Cultural Arts Center, Cary

Tuesday, June 10, 10:30
West Regional Library, Cary

Tuesday, June 10, 2:00
Cameron Village Library, Raleigh

Y'all come!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mary Stewart Obituary

A pioneer in writing "anti-namby-pamby" women characters, Mary Stewart has died at age 97. Her obituary was in the May 15 edition of The Guardian.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Crime Fiction Authors - Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC

Friday, April 25, 7:30
Stuart Woods, Carnal Curiosity

Wednesday, May 14, 7:30
Jeffrey Deaver, The Skin Collector

Friday, May 23, 7:30
David Downing, Jack of Spies

Wednesday, May 28, 7:30
Craig Johnson, Any Other Name

Sunday, June 22, 3:00
Ruth Moose, Doing It at the Dixie Dew

Sunday, August 3, 3:00
Howard Owen, Parker Field

Thursday, August 14, 7:30 & Tuesday, September 9, Lunchtime
Margaret Maron, Designated Daughters

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gamache Reread Campaign

Minotaur Books is thrilled to announce the Gamache Reread Campaign, which starts April 21, 2014 with Louise Penny’s first novel, STILL LIFE!

This is a virtual, online club to re-read the Gamache series.  Each of the 9 books in the series will be discussed for two weeks, culminating in to the publication of Louise Penny’s latest novel, THE LONG WAY HOME, which is on sale August 26.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Elaine Viets' CATNAPPED Trailer

I just got my review copy of  Catnapped! by Elaine Viets. She's got a really great book trailer that will make it hard to wait for the May 1 release date! Helen Hawthorne and husband/PI partner Phil Sagemont work together for great reading fun.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Agatha Award Nominees

Best Contemporary Novel
Pagan Spring, by G.M. Malliet
How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny
Clammed Up, by Barbara Ross
The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Through the Evil Days, by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Best Historical Novel
Heirs and Graces, by Rhys Bowen
Death in the Time of Ice, by Kaye George
A Friendly Game of Murder, by J.J. Murphy
Murder in Chelsea, by Victoria Thompson
A Question of Honor, by Charles Todd

Best First Novel
Death Al Dente, by Leslie Budewitz
You Cannoli Die Once, by Shelley Costa
Board Stiff, by Kendel Lynn
Kneading to Die, by Liz Mugavero
Front Page Fatality, by LynDee Walker

Best Nonfiction
Georgette Heyer, by Jennifer Kloester
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, by Maria Konnikova
Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic's
First 25 Years, by Verena Rose and Rita Owen, Editors
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War,
by Daniel Stashower

Best Short Story
“Evil Little Girl”, by Barb Goffman, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
“Nightmare”, by Barb Goffman, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
“The Hindi Houdini”, by Gigi Pandian, Fish Nets
“Bread Baby”, by Barbara Ross, Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold
“The Care and Feeding of House Plants”, by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Note: All five short stories nominated for the Agatha can be read online.

Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel
The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau
Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery, by Kathleen Ernst
Andi Unexpected, by Amanda Flower
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein

Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure, by Penny Warner

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Rainy Day Killer by Michael J. McCann (Plaid Raccoon Press)

In the fourth novel in the Donaghue and Stainer series, homicide detectives Hank Donaghue and Karen Stainer are hunting a serial killer who kidnaps, repeatedly rapes, murders, and mutilates his victims—in several states—he changes locations when the local cops get close.  After stalking his victims, he dresses like a gentleman and offers the protection of his umbrella on rainy days.  The press has named him the Rainy Day Killer (RDK).  

After his first victim in Glendale MD is found, RDK begins to communicate with Donaghue, the lead investigator, through phone calls, packages containing the victim’s body parts, and DVDs of the body.  So far, RDK has managed to clean his victims, removing all trace evidence, and dumping the bodies in public areas without his face being seen.  The FBI and a state task force are brought in to help with the investigation. To add to the political landscape, the position of captain for the homicide unit is up for grabs. A temporary captain has been assigned; she is inexperienced and out to make a name for herself by putting everyone else down.

As the killer gets bolder, friction within the homicide unit, FBI, and state task force collide. To further complicate things, Karen Stainer is finally marring her FBI boyfriend, Sandy Alexander, at Sandy’s ancestral home in Virginia. Karen’s blue-collar relatives and Sandy’s old Virginia society family make an interesting wedding party.  

I enjoyed this book very much. The characters were true to form, the suspense is real, and the murders are very dark. I will think twice about trusting a stranger, especially on a rainy day. 

—Helen Jones

FTC Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher

Left Coast Crime Award Winners

Thanks too Lucinda Surber and Stan Ulrich of the great mystery website Stop, You're Killing Me for
posting the winners at the recent Left Coast Crime Conference (which they chaired this year!). I use this site so very often. Take a look at it—you'll be totally impressed!

If you look on their book giveaway page, you can enter for a cool Calamari Crime book bag and a book. Hurry. The contest ends on April 8, 2014.

Happy reading!


The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association presented the 2014 Dilys Award on March 20th at the 2014 Left Coast Crime mystery convention in Monterey, California. Our congratulations to the winner (listed first) and all of the nominees.

  * Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger [review]
  ° Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye
  ° The Black Country by Alex Grecian
  ° Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman [review]
  ° Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet
  ° The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol

Previous Dilys Awards

The Left Coast Crime awards, voted on by the Left Coast Crime attendees, were presented on March 22, 2014, at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California. As co-chairs of the Awards Committee, we were thrilled to present certificates to the nominees and awards to the winners. Our congratulations to the winners (listed first in each category) and to all of the nominees.
Lefty Award for Most Humorous Mystery
  *The Good Cop by Brad Parks [review]
  ° The Hen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews [review]
  ° The Fame Thief by Timothy Hallinan [review]
  ° The Last Word by Lisa Lutz
  ° Dying for a Daiquiri by Cindy Sample [review]

Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award
(best historical mystery, covering events before 1960)
  *Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses by Catriona McPherson
  ° Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen
  ° His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal
  ° Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell
  ° Covenant with Hell by Priscilla Royal
  ° Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear

The Squid
(best mystery set within the United States)
  *Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger [review]
  ° W Is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
  ° Purgatory Key by Darrell James
  ° The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan [review]
  ° A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames [review]

The Calamari
(best mystery set anywhere else in the world)
  *How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny [review]
  ° Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black
  ° Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann [review]
  ° As She Left It by Catriona McPherson
  ° Mykonos After Midnight by Jeffrey Siger

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vintage Crime Fiction in e-Books

I got an email announcing the official launch of Chalk Line Books, a publisher specializing in republishing vintage crime fiction classics as ebooks. 

They have begun with the e-publication of two of the greatest crime fiction authors, Jim Thompson with Sharecropper Hell and David Goodis with The Secret Squad.  They'll be adding more authors such as Charles Williams, Ed McBain, Peter Rabe, and many others to their roster soon.