Saturday, June 23, 2018

Further Endeavors for Endeavour

It’s been almost a full year now since the fourth season of Endeavour (which we learned recently is one of singer Patti Smith’s favorite programs) was broadcast on PBS-TV in the States. But the wait for more finally ends tomorrow, Sunday, when Season 5 of that popular historical mystery series—inspired by Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels, and starring Shaun Evans and Roger Allam—debuts on Masterpiece Mystery! While previous runs of this Oxford, England-set drama have comprised a mere four 90-minute episodes, the latest season promises half a dozen, to be broadcast on PBS every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT through the end of July.

Wikipedia offers the following synopsis of Season 5:
Picking up the narrative in April 1968, the various investigations continue during the creation of Thames Valley Constabulary from the city and county police forces. The Cowley police station has its future in question along with some of the key members of the team there. Morse, now a DS [Detective Sergeant], is assigned with a new DC [Detective Constable], George Fancy [played by Lewis Peek of Poldark fame], and becomes annoyed with his lack of focus initially. Joan [Thursday, played by Sara Vickers] is back in town and bumps into Morse off and on around Oxford. DCI [Detective Chief Inspector] Thursday’s plans for retirement hang in a balance. The final episode, with the gang rivalry looming all over town, ends with a death of one of the police members (who gets caught in the crossfire between gangs) and the departure of another to Scotland Yard, while the rest come to terms with the death and the closure of the Cowley Station. The series concludes with Morse asking Joan for coffee, which she had declined in previous episodes. It is not known if she takes up this latest offer or not.
A preview video can be enjoyed below, with more to see here.

The Masterpiece Web site explains that in tomorrow’s episode, titled “Muse,” “past and present collide in Oxford, as the auction of a priceless Faberge Egg gets underway at Lonsdale College. It soon attracts the attention of an infamous international thief—and the police—when a failed burglary attempt is reported. However, they soon have a bigger case to solve, as a series of gruesome deaths have Morse and Thursday searching for a serial killer. Meanwhile, newly promoted Endeavour struggles with his role as he’s forced to mentor young detective constable George Fancy.”

If you need to refresh your memory of Season 4 before diving into these new Endeavour episodes, check out Leslie Gilbert Elman’s fine reviews for Criminal Element, here, here, here, and here.

READ MORE:Q&A: Dakota Blue Richards Answers Your Questions,” by Chris Sullivan (Morse, Lewis and Endeavour).

Sun, Sand, Suspense

While it doesn’t rival, in sheer numbers, The Rap Sheet’s 220-strong list of top summer crime-fiction choices, CrimeReads’ recent rundown of 72 crime, mystery, and thriller novels due out over the next three months is impressive for its savvy write-ups about each work. Included among the selections there are Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Chamber, Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait, William Shaw’s Salt Lane, Linwood Barclay’s A Noise Downstairs, Dan Fesperman’s Safe Houses, Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin, Lori Rader-Day’s Under a Dark Sky, Gina Wohlsdorf’s Blood Highway, Jon McGregor’s The Reservoir Tapes, David Gordon’s The Bouncer, and … Hey, wait, you didn’t expect us to list all of them, did you? There are 72. Check them out yourself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Let’s Hear It for Scottish Crime

Among the dozen works longlisted for the 2018 McIlvanney Prize—recognizing “excellence in Scottish crime writing”—is educator-author Liam McIlvanney, the winner of New Zealand’s 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and son of the late author after whom this commendation was named: William McIlvanney (Laidlaw). In a news release, judging chair Craig Sisterson notes that McIlvanney’s 11 rivals for this honor make up “an intriguing mix of previous winners, established crime-writing luminaries, some emerging talent, and a debut.” Here are all of the nominees:

Follow the Dead, by Lin Anderson (Macmillan)
Places in the Darkness, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
Presumed Dead, by Mason Cross (Orion)
The Man Between, by Charles Cumming (HarperCollins)
The Loch of the Dead, by Oscar De Muriel (Michael Joseph)
Perfect Death, by Helen Fields (HarperCollins)
Now She’s Gone, by Alison James (Bookouture)
The Quaker, by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins)
No Time to Cry, by James Oswald (Headline)
The Suffering of Strangers, by Caro Ramsay (Severn House)
The Hunter, by Andrew Reid (Headline)
The Photographer, by Craig Robertson (Simon & Schuster)

Finalists for the 2018 McIlvanney Prize will be revealed in early September. The winner is to be announced on September 21, during opening ceremonies for the Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival in Stirling, Scotland. Tickets for that event are available here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

PaperBack: “She Wouldn’t Surrender”

Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.

She Wouldn’t Surrender, by “James Kendricks,” aka Gardner Fox (Monarch, 1960). The star of this novel, Isabella Maria “Belle” Boyd, was a real-life Confederate spy during America’s bloody Civil War. Cover illustration by Robert Maguire.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Still More of Lesser

Today begins the final week of Killer Covers’ month-long tribute to American painter and paperback cover artist Ron Lesser. The series, which began with this post in mid-May, is set to conclude on Friday. Between now and then, Killer Covers will look back at Lesser’s memorable fronts for Frank Kane’s Johnny Liddell novels, tally up his most noteworthy artistic influences, and roll out a final collection of softcover façades proving that he deserves mention in the same breath as Robert McGinnis, James Avati, Harry Bennett, Barye Phillips, and other greats from the heyday of paperback publishing.

Catching Up on Crime Prizes

Today brings word of five contenders for the 2018 Nero Award. The Nero has been presented annually, ever since 1979, by the New York City-based Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin fan organization, The Wolfe Pack, to “the best American mystery written in the tradition of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories.” This year’s candidates are:

The Dime, by Kathleen Kent (Mulholland)
The Lioness Is the Hunter, by Loren D. Estelman (Forge)
Gone to Dust, by Matt Goldman (Forge)
August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Crime)
Blood for Wine, by Warren C. Easley (Poisoned Pen Press)

The winner of the 2018 Nero Award will be announced during the Wolfe Pack’s annual Black Orchid Banquet, which by tradition is held in Manhattan on the first Saturday in December.

* * *

You are probably aware that I spent last week away from my office. While I was absent, the nominees for the 2018 Macavity Awards were announced, in five different categories. As organizer Janet Rudolph explains in her blog Mystery Fanfare, books are nominated for the Macavitys “by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal, and friends of MRI.” This year’s Macavity recipients will be declared during the opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in St. Petersburg, Florida (September 6-9).

Best Mystery Novel:
The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne (Putnam)
Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke (Mulholland)
Glass Houses, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Old Man, by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press)
The Force, by Don Winslow (Morrow)

Best First Mystery Novel:
Hollywood Homicide, by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink)
The Dry, by Jane Harper (Flatiron)
She Rides Shotgun, by Jordan Harper (Ecco)
The Lost Ones, by Sheena Kamal (Morrow)
The Last Place You Look, by Kristen Lepionka (Minotaur)
Lost Luggage, by Wendall Thomas (Poisoned Pen Press)

Best Mystery-Related Non-Fiction:
From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon, by Mattias Bostrom (Mysterious Press)
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, by Martin Edwards
(Poisoned Pen Press/British Library)
Chester B. Himes: A Biography, by Lawrence P. Jackson (Norton)
The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery, by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James (Scribner)
Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, by Michael Sims (Bloomsbury)
Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History, by Tori Telfer (Harper Perennial)

Best Mystery Short Story:
“As Ye Sow,” by Craig Faustus Buck (from Passport to Murder: Bouchercon Anthology 2017, edited by John McFetridge;
Down and Out Books)
“The #2 Pencil,” by Matt Coyle (from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, edited by Paul D. Marks and Andrew McAleer; Down & Out Books)
“Infinite Uticas,” by Terence Faherty (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May/June 2017)
“Whose Wine Is It Anyway?” by Barb Goffman (from 50 Shades of Cabernet: A Mysterious Anthology; Koehler)
“Windward,” by Paul D. Marks (from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea)
“A Necessary Ingredient,” by Art Taylor (from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery:
Dangerous to Know, by Renee Patrick (Forge)
The Devouring, by James R. Benn (Soho Crime)
In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen (Lake Union)
Cast the First Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)
Racing the Devil, by Charles Todd (Morrow)
A Rising Man, by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus)

Congratulations to all of this year’s rivals!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Sunny Days Are Best with Dark Fiction

Since everyone else seems lately to have been posting selections of books they look forward to enjoying this summer, I wanted to get my two cents in. Of course, my tally is a bit longer than most you’ll find online, but still not as long as some seasonal reading lists I’ve put together in the past. Below you will find more than 220 book recommendations, covering works from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, all due for release between now and the beginning of September. That seems like a lot—until you realize that my spring 2018 rundown comprised upwards of 350 titles, and my winter choices ran to almost 400 crime, mystery, and thriller works.

Clearly, I am learning to control my enthusiasm for this genre.

There are books for pretty much every taste due out in stores over the next three months, from Jennifer Hillier’s much-anticipated page-turner, Jar of Hearts, and Martin Walker’s 11th Bruno Courrèges tale, A Taste for Vengeance, to fresh novels by Stuart MacBride (The Blood Road), Megan Abbott (Give Me Your Hand), Peter Robinson (Careless Love), and Minette Walters (The Last Hours). Laurie R. King has a new Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novel, Island of the Mad, scheduled for publication next week; the U.S. edition of William Shaw’s excellent Salt Lane—his more-or-less sequel to last year’s The Birdwatcher—is coming at the end of this month; Baby’s First Felony, the seventh entry in John Straley’s Edgar Award-winning Cecil Younger series, can be expected in early July; Linwood Barclay’s latest thriller, A Noise Downstairs, will be making some noise of its own among readers come late July; around that same time, David Hewson will introduce The Savage Shore, another installment in his series featuring Roman police detective Nic Costa, and Lawrence Osborne will debut Only to Sleep, a yarn resurrecting private eye Philip Marlowe; Sophie Hannah has another Hercule Poirot novel, The Mystery of Three Quarters, set for publication in August; Olen Steinhauer’s next thriller, The Middleman, is coming your way that same month; and be on the lookout for other works by Steve Hamilton, Caroline Kepnes, Charles Cumming, Michael Robotham, Lindsey Davis, Dan Fesperman, Val McDermid, William Kent Krueger, and Lori Rader-Day.

See what I said about something for every preference?

A handful of non-fiction books that I expect will be of interest to crime-fiction fans are identified below with asterisks (*); the rest are novels or collections of short stories. If you need still more reading suggestions, click on over to Euro Crime and The Bloodstained Bookshelf. And if you think I have overlooked any tales of particular interest due out this summer, please feel free to tell us all about them via the Comments link at the bottom of this post.

JUNE (U.S.):
Bearskin, by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
A Blood Thing, by James Hankins (Thomas & Mercer)
The Body in the Ballroom, by R.J. Koreto (Crooked Lane)
Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris (St. Martin’s Press)
Broken Ground, by Joe Clifford (Oceanview)
Broken Ice, by Matt Goldman (Forge)
Bum Deal, by Paul Levine (Thomas & Mercer)
The Cabin at the End of the World, by Paul Tremblay (Morrow)
The Captives, by Debra Jo Immergut (Ecco)
The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder, by Sarah J. Harris (Touchstone)
The Darkest Time of Night, by Jeremy Finley (St. Martin’s Press)
The Death Chamber, by Lesley Thomson (Head of Zeus)
To Die in Vienna, by Kevin Wignall (Thomas & Mercer)
District VIII, by Adam LeBor (Pegasus)
Girl with a Gun, by Kari Bovee (SparkPress)
The Good Son, by You-Jeong Jeong (Penguin)
Hawke’s War, by Reavis Z. Wortham (Pinnacle)
Invitation to a Bonfire, by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury)
Island of the Mad, by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur)
The Killing Habit, by Mark Billingham (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Last Girl Gone, by J.G. Hetherton (Crooked Lane)
Like to Die, by David Housewright (Minotaur)
The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly, by Catharina
Ingelman-Sundberg (Harper)
London Rules, by Mick Herron (Soho Crime)
Lying in Wait, by Liz Nugent (Gallery/Scout Press)
A Mask of Shadows,
by Oscar de Muriel (Pegasus)
Mine: A Novel of Obsession,
by J.L. Butler (Morrow)
Murder on the Left Bank,
by Cara Black (Soho Crime)
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense, by Joyce Carol Oates (Mysterious Press)
The Perfect Couple,
by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown)
The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Little, Brown)
Providence, by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny)
Queen’s Progress, by M.J. Trow (Severn House)
The Real Michael Swann, by Bryan Reardon (Dutton)
The Red Hand of Fury, by R.N. Morris (Severn House)
Salt Lane, by William Shaw (Mulholland)
Santa Cruz Noir, edited by Susie Bright (Akashic)
See Her Run, by Peggy Townsend (Thomas & Mercer)
The Shimmer, by Carsten Stroud (Mira)
Slowly We Die, by Emelie Schepp (Mira)
Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton (Doubleday)
Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine)
Splinter in the Blood, by Ashley Dyer (Morrow)
A Steep Price, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)
Still Lives, by Maria Hummel (Counterpoint)
A Stone’s Throw, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)
A Study in Treason, by Leonard Goldberg (Minotaur)
A Taste for Vengeance, by Martin Walker (Knopf)
Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto (Black Balloon)
Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House)
Widows, by Lynda La Plante (Zaffre)
Woman at the Devil’s Door: The Untold True Story of the Hampstead Murderess, by Sarah Beth Hopton (Indiana University Press)*
The Woman in the Woods, by John Connolly (Atria/Emily Bestler)
The Word Is Murder, by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)

Beautiful Liars, by Isabel Ashdown (Trapeze)
Big Sister, by Gunnar Staalesen (Orenda)
Bitter Sun, by Beth Lewis (Borough Press)
The Blood Road, by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins)
The Chosen Ones, by Howard Linskey (Penguin)
City of Sinners, by A.A. Dhand (Bantam Press)
Dancing on the Grave, by Zoë Sharp (Zace)
Dark Queen Rising, by Paul Doherty (Creme de la Crime)
The Dead Ex, by Jane Corry (Penguin)
Death Notice, by Zhou Haohui (Head of Zeus)
Double Take, by S.J. Watson (Harper)
Estocada, by Graham Hurley (Head of Zeus)
Firefly, by Henry Porter (Quercus)
Fugitive from the Grave, by Edward Marston (Allison & Busby)
Incorruptible, by Barbara Nadel (Headline)
The Lies We Tell,
by Kristina Ohlsson (Simon & Schuster)
Loose Tongues,
by Chris Simms (Severn House)
The Man Between,
by Charles Cumming (HarperCollins)
The Old Religion,
by Martyn Waites (Zaffre)
The Other Wife, by Michael Robotham (Sphere)
The Quaker, by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins)
The Sideman, by Caro Ramsay (Severn House)
Smoke and Ashes, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion)
Three Little Lies, by Laura Marshall (Sphere)
Us Against You, by Fredrik Backman (Michael Joseph)

JULY (U.S.):
After the Monsoon, by Robert Karjel (Harper)
All These Beautiful Strangers, by Elizabeth Klehfoth (Morrow)
The Annotated Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler; edited by Owen Hill, Pamela Jackson, and Anthony Dean Rizzuto (Vintage Crime/
Black Lizard)
April in Paris, 1921, by Tessa Lunney (Pegasus)
Baby Blue, by Pol Koutsakis (Bitter Lemon Press)
Baby’s First Felony, by John Straley (Soho Crime)
Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage (St. Martin’s Press)
Believe Me, by J.P. Delaney (Ballantine)
The Big Somewhere: Essays on James Ellroy’s Noir World, edited by Steven Powell (Bloomsbury Academic)*
Bloody Sunday, by Ben Coes (St. Martin’s Press)
Bound for Gold, by William Martin (Forge)
The Boy at the Door, by Alex Dahl (Berkley)
Caged, by Ellison Cooper (Minotaur)
Caught in Time, by Julie McElwain (Pegasus)
A Death in Eden, by Keith McCafferty (Viking)
The Deepest Grave, by Jeri Westerson (Severn House)
The Disappearing, by Lori Roy (Dutton)
The Dollar-a-Year Detective, by William Wells (Permanent Press)
A Double Life, by Flynn Berry (Viking)
Final Resting Place,
by Jonathan F. Putnam (Crooked Lane)
A Gathering of Secrets,
by Linda Castillo (Minotaur)
A Gentleman’s Murder,
by Christopher Huang (Inkshares)
The Girl from Blind River,
by Gale Massey (Crooked Lane)
Give Me Your Hand,
by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
Hangman, by Daniel Cole (Ecco)
Hope Never Dies, by Andrew Shaffer (Quirk)
It All Falls Down, by Sheena Kamal (Morrow)
Last Seen Alive, by Claire Douglas (Harper)
The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager (Dutton)
Memphis Luck, by Gerald Duff (Brash)
The Moment Before Drowning, by James Brydon (Akashic)
The Night Ferry, by Lotte and Søren Hammer (Bloomsbury)
A Noise Downstairs, by Linwood Barclay (Morrow)
Only to Sleep, by Lawrence Osborne (Hogarth)
The Other Woman, by Daniel Silva (Harper)
Pandora’s Boy, by Lindsey Davis (Minotaur)
Paradox, by Catherine Coulter (Gallery)
Potter’s Field, by Rob Hart (Polis)
The Price You Pay, by Aidan Truhen (Knopf)
Requiem, by Geir Tangen (Minotaur)
Rip the Angels from Heaven, by David Krugler (Pegasus)
Safe Houses, by Dan Fesperman (Knopf)
The Sinners, by Ace Atkins (Putnam)
Somebody’s Daughter, by David Bell (Berkley)
Some Die Nameless, by Wallace Stroby (Mulholland)
Soul Survivor, by G.M. Ford (Thomas & Mercer)
Spymaster, by Brad Thor (Atria/Emily Bestler)
Stay Hidden, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
A Tale of Two Murders, by Heather Redmond (Kensington)
The Thief of All Light, by Bernard Schaffer (Kensington)
Understudy for Death, by Charles Willeford (Hard Case Crime)
The Upper Hand, by Johnny Shaw (Thomas & Mercer)
Watch the Girls, by Jennifer Wolfe (Grand Central)
White River Burning, by John Verdon (Counterpoint)

Bad, by Chloe Esposito (Michael Joseph)
Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire, by M.R.C. Kasasian
(Head of Zeus)
Bodies from the Library: Lost Classic Stories by Masters of the Golden Age, edited by Tony Medawar (Collins Crime Club)
The Break Line, by James Brabazon (Michael Joseph)
Careless Love, by Peter Robinson (Hodder & Stoughton)
Cold Desert Sky, by Rod Reynolds (Faber and Faber)
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace, by Carola Dunn (Constable)
Day of the Dead, by Nicci French
(Michael Joseph)
Dead Man’s Gift and Other Stories, by Simon Kernick (Century)
The Forger, by Cay Rademacher (Arcadia)
Our Friends in Berlin, by Anthony Quinn (Jonathan Cape)
The Good Sister, by Morgan Jones (Mantle)
In the Dark, by Cara Hunter (Viking)
In the Garden of the Fugitives, by Ceridwen Dovey (Hamish Hamilton)
Open Your Eyes, by Paula Daly (Corgi)
The Savage Shore, by David Hewson (Severn House)
Sins As Scarlet, by Nicolás Obregón (Michael Joseph)
Sticks and Stones, by Jo Jakeman (Harvill Secker)
Stick Together, by Sophie Hénaff (MacLehose Press)
The Story Keeper, by Anna Mazzola (Tinder Press)
An Unfinished Murder, by Ann Granger (Headline)
Unrest, by Jesper Stein (Mirror)
Watching You, by Lisa Jewell (Century)
Yellowhammer, by James Henry (Riverrun)
Zero, by Marc Elsberg (Doubleday)

Abandoned, by Allison Brennan (Minotaur)
Back Door to L.A., by Jack Clark (CreateSpace)
Blackout, by Ragnar Jónasson (Minotaur)
Boise Longpig Hunting Club, by Nick Kolakowski (Down & Out)
Bone on Bone, by Julia Keller (Minotaur)
The Breakers, by Marcia Muller (Grand Central)
A Conspiracy of Bones, by Kathy Reichs (Heinemann)
Dead Man Running, by Steve Hamilton (Putnam)
Derailed, by Leena Lehtolainen (AmazonCrossing)
Desolation Mountain, by William Kent Krueger (Atria)
Don’t Eat Me, by Colin Cotterill (Soho Crime)
Feared, by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s Press)
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Hollywood Ending, by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink)
The King Tides, by James Swain (Thomas & Mercer)
The Last Hours, by Minette Walters (Mira)
The Line That Held Us,
by David Joy (Putnam)
A Long Time Coming,
by Aaron Elkins (Thomas & Mercer)
The Masterpiece,
by Fiona Davis (Dutton)
The Middleman,
by Olen Steinhauer (Minotaur)
Murder in the Oval Library,
by C.M. Gleason (Kensington)
The Mystery of Three Quarters, by Sophie Hannah (Morrow)
Nameless Serenade, by Maurizio de Giovanni (World Noir)
The Negotiator, by Brendan DuBois (Midnight Ink)
One on One, by Michael Brandman (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Other Sister, by Sarah Zettel (Grand Central)
Our House, by Louise Candlish (Berkley)
Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter (Morrow)
Presiding Over the Damned, by Liam Sweeny (Down & Out)
Presidio, by Randy Kennedy (Touchstone)
The Prisoner in the Castle, by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam)
Read Me, by Leo Benedictus (Twelve)
Sort ’Em Out Later, by Jim Wilsky (Down & Out)
Snap, by Belinda Bauer (Black Swan)
Suffer the Children, by Lisa Black (Kensington)
Swift Vengeance, by T. Jefferson Parker (Putnam)
Tear Me Apart, by J.T. Ellison (Mira)
Touchfeather, Too, by Jimmy Sangster (Brash)
Under a Dark Sky, by Lori Rader-Day (Morrow)
An Unwanted Guest, by Shari Lapena (Pamela Dorman/Viking)
The Washington Decree, by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
The Weight of Silence, by Gregg Olsen (Thomas & Mercer)
When You Can’t Stop, by James W. Hall (Thomas & Mercer)

An Autumn Hunting, by Tom Callaghan (Quercus)
Broken Ground, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
Fall Down Dead, by Stephen Booth (Sphere)
The Girl I Used to Be, by Mary Torjussen (Headline)
Intrigue in Covent Garden, by Susanna Gregory (Sphere)
The Katharina Code, by Jørn Lier Horst (Michael Joseph)
Kill With Kindness, by Ed James (Thomas & Mercer)
A Lethal Frost, by Danny Miller (Bantam Press)
Prague Spring, by Simon Mawer (Little, Brown)
The Red Ribbon, by H.P. Lyle (Hodder & Stoughton)
A Summer of Murder, by Oliver Bottini (MacLehose Press)
A Treachery of Spies, by Manda Scott (Bantam Press)

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Revue of Reviewers, 6-7-18

Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases. Click on the individual covers to read more.

The Upsides of Downtime

I have one more piece to put up in The Rap Sheet today—a “Revue of Reviewers” compilation—and then for tomorrow, a rundown of the most interesting new crime, mystery, and thriller books due out this summer. After that, I’m taking a week-long break. Thanks to the wonders of automatic posting, Killer Covers will continue its very popular tribute to paperback cover artist Ron Lesser. But this page is destined to remain quiet until mid-June. At which time I shall return to Rap Sheet headquarters feeling rested and rejuvenated. I hope.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

You Say You’re Starved for Awards News?

Due to a variety of obligations elsewhere, I have been neglecting The Rap Sheet a bit of late. (Sorry about that.) This means I am tardy in reporting some recent crime-fiction awards decisions. Let’s try to make up for that now. First, the 2018 Audie Awards. Here are the winners and runners-up in two categories of those prizes that might be of particular interest to readers of this blog.

Mystery: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, by David Lagercrantz, narrated by Simon Vance (Random House Audio)

Also nominated: Glass Houses, by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathurst (Macmillan Audio); Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz, narrated by Samantha Bond (HarperAudio); On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service, by Rhys Bowen, narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Audible Studios); and Telling Tales, by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Julia Franklin (Macmillan Audio)

Thriller/Suspense: The Fourth Monkey, by J.D. Barker, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini and Graham Winton (Recorded Book)

Also nominated: The Breakdown, by B.A. Paris, narrated by Georgia Maguire (Macmillan Audio); Don’t Let Go, by Harlan Coben, narrated by Steven Weber (Brilliance); The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer, narrated by Ellen Archer (Hachette Audio); A Legacy of Spies, by John le Carré, narrated by Tom Hollander (Penguin Audio); and Mississippi Blood, by Greg Iles, narrated by Scott Brick (HarperAudio)

This year’s Audie Awards were handed out on Thursday, May 31, during a “gala” affair at the New-York Historical Society in New York City. Click here to see all of the winners.

* * *

Meanwhile, the 2018 Lambda Literary Awards—aka the “Lammys”—were presented last evening during a special ceremony in New York City. There are 23 categories in this competition, sponsored by Lambda Literary, described as America’s “oldest and largest literary arts organization advancing LGBTQ literature.” But again, there are only a couple that fall within The Rap Sheet’s natural purview.

Best Lesbian Mystery: Huntress, by E. Radley (Heartsome)

Also nominated: A Quiet Death, by Cari Hunter (Bold Strokes); Fever in the Dark, by Ellen Hart (Minotaur); The Girl on the Edge of Summer, by M. Redmann (Bold Strokes); The Last First Time, by Andrea Bramhall (Ylva); Murder Under the Fig Tree, by Kate Jessica Raphael (She Writes Press); Odd Numbers, by Anne Holt (Scribner); and Repercussions, by Jessica L. Webb (Bold Strokes)

Best Gay Mystery: Night Drop, by Marshall Thornton (Kenmore)

Also nominated: Boystown 10: Gifts Given, by Marshall Thornton (Kenmore); Long Shadows, by Kate Sherwood (Riptide); Love Is Heartless, by Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press); The Mystery of the Curiosities, by C.S. Poe (DSP); Ring of Silence, by Mark Zubro (MLR Press); Street People, by Michael Nava (Korima Press); and Tramps and Thieves, by Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner Press)

Click here for a list of all the winners.

* * *

I didn’t know there was an annual competition for the Bisexual Book Awards. But I know now. Those commendations—11 of them—were dispensed last Friday, June 1. The winner in the Mystery category was Suspicious Behavior, by L.A. Witt and Cari Z. (Riptide).

* * *

Finally, In Reference to Murder brings this news:
French crime writer Fred Vargas, the pen name of Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau, has won Spain’s prestigious Asturias prize for literature. The award foundation said that Vargas, who is also a distinguished archaeologist, perceives society as “a mysterious and complex ecosystem” and her detective stories possess original plots and irony in their description of characters, as well as abundant imagination.

Vargas has won three International Dagger Awards from the Crime Writers Association.
There’s more information about Vargas here.

Monday, June 04, 2018

PaperBack: “End of a Stripper”

Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.

End of a Stripper, by “Robert Dietrich,” aka E. Howard Hunt (Dell, 1960). This was the second entry in future Watergate conspirator Hunt’s series of thrillers starring Washington, D.C.-based CPA-cum-private eye Steve Bentley. Cover illustration by Freeman Elliott.

Peril to the Chief

Today marks the official publication date of The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Little, Brown). The first thriller ever penned by a onetime American president, this novel boasts all the hallmarks of a best-seller. It likely also represents the fulfillment of a dream for Clinton, a longtime fan of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction whose support of their writing has boosted the sales of books by Walter Mosley, Linda Fairstein, Daniel Silva, and others. With Patterson’s assistance, this former leader of the free world enters the pantheon of authors he has so much admired.

Details of the book’s story line and characters have been kept mostly under wraps. But Publishers Weekly recently gave this plot synopsis:
President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan is under fire from the [U.S.] House Select Committee for allegedly ordering a team of Special Forces and CIA operatives to Algeria to thwart an attempt on the life of Turkish-born terrorist Suliman Cindoruk, leader of the Sons of Jihad. Hostile committee members repeatedly ask him questions about the raid that he refuses to answer. But Duncan’s concerns about the outcome of congressional hearings into his actions are secondary to his fears that a computer virus is about to be activated that would completely cripple the United States. In order to avert that calamity, Duncan leaves the White House and his protective detail behind and attempts to gain the confidence of the shadowy figures who revealed the existence of the threat. The authors keep the suspense high as Duncan dodges bullets from a master assassin, deals with his deteriorating health from a blood clotting disorder, and strives to unmask a traitor among his inner circle of advisers.
My guess is that Clinton had a blast playing novelist. But he’s not the first to imagine a U.S. president in peril. Not by a long shot. As I explain in a new piece for CrimeReads, The President Is Missing “joins an already packed sub-genre of political suspense novels featuring current presidents, future presidents, or their wives as the victims, perpetrators, or solvers of crimes.” Included are works by David Baldacci, Richard North Patterson, Francine Mathews, and Watergate co-conspirator John Ehrlichman.

You’ll find that CrimeReads article right here.

READ MORE:Bill Clinton and James Patterson Team Up to Imagine a True Fantasy: Sane Politics,” by Janet Maslin (The New York Times); “Bill Clinton and James Patterson Open Up About Their Unlikely Collaboration,” by Jeff Bercovivi (The National); “Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s Concussive Collaboration,” by Anthony Lane (The New Yorker); “Bill Clinton and James Patterson Have Written a Thriller. It’s Good,” by Nicolle Wallace (The New York Times); “Bill Clinton and James Patterson Are Co-authors—But Who Did the Writing?” by James O’Sullivan (The Guardian).