Sunday, June 16, 2024

No Shelf Control This Summer

It was during the Victorian era that the concept of “summer books” was conceived. Americans of that era (at least those boasting disposable income) were traveling with increased frequency and developing a taste for fair-weather leisure activities. As each spring gave way to summer, trains filled up with folks heading to fairs or not-too-distant resorts; steamboats packed aboard families hungry for sunshine-suffused outings; hotels welcomed couples wishing for time by themselves in which to sample new sights. And publishers discovered amid all of this activity a fresh market for books to help readers further enjoy their downtime.

Not everyone approved of vacation novels. As Donna Harrington-Leuker observes in her thorough 2019 study, Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading, small-minded critics had for many years regarded pleasure reading as a particular hazard to women, arguing that “sensational fiction” could leave the fairer sex “emotionally and sexually overstimulated, exacerbating a predisposition to hysteria and taking a toll on their health and well-being.” But as meddlesome moralists witnessed both males and females snapping up hardcover books from libraries or paperbacks from railroad station vendors—works to relish on getaways—they imagined the human soul facing fresh threats.

Harrington-Leuker quotes a prominent Brooklyn preacher and anti-vice crusader, one Thomas De Witt Talmage, as warning his flock in 1876: “Do not let the frogs and the lice of a corrupt printing press jump and crawl into your Saratoga trunk or White Mountain valise. … Would it not be an awful thing for you to be struck with lightning some day when you had in your hand one of those paper-covered romances, the hero a Parisian roué—the heroine an unprincipled flirt—chapters in the book that you would not read to your children at the rate of one hundred dollars a line?” For Reverend Talmadge, she writes, “such novels were ‘literary poison,’ and that poison was readily available in the sweltering months of summer. In his words, ‘I really believe there is more pestiferous trash read among the intelligent classes in July and August than in all the other ten months of the year.”

To be honest, I don’t spot a lot of “pestiferous trash” among the 450 works I have gathered below, all of which should be of interest to crime, mystery, and thriller fans, and are scheduled for publication—on one side of the Atlantic or the other—between now and Labor Day. What I do detect are many potentially excellent tales by authors ranging from Jacqueline Winspear, James Lee Burke, Lucy Foley, Peter Swanson, and Wanda M. Morris to Martin Walker, Ann Cleeves, Walter Mosley, Alex Gray, Peter Heller, Heather Redmond, Steve Cavanagh, Adele Parks, Steve Hamilton, Mindy Mejia, Robert Harris, Sarah Pearse, and Reed Farrel Coleman. Among the releases we can look forward to over the Northern Hemisphere’s next three balmy months are: All the Colors of the Dark, Chris Whitaker’s follow-up to 2021’s extraordinary We Begin at the End; Henry Wise’s much-touted rural noir debut, Holy City; the U.S. publication of Joseph Kanon’s latest historical thriller, Shanghai; Eli Cranor’s Broiler, which focuses on underworld violence at an Arkansas chicken processing plant; Kathryn Lasky’s second mystery starring painter Georgia O’Keeffe, Mortal Radiance; Mark Billingham’s The Wrong Hands, his sequel to 2023’s The Last Dance, also featuring Blackpool Detective Sergeant Declan Miller; Whole Life Sentence, being promoted as Lynda La Plante’s “pulse-pounding final Detective Jane Tennison thriller”; another finale, Baby, It’s Murder, written by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins and offering the last novel-length challenge for Manhattan gumshoe Mike Hammer; the third edge-of-your-seat airplane-disaster yarn from T.J. Newman, titled Worse Case Scenario; Nicholas Meyer’s sixth adventure for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Great Detective, the World War I-set Sherlock Holmes and the Telegraph from Hell; and one more case for Cambridge private eye Jackson Brodie, in Kate Atkinson’s Death at the Sign of the Rook.

All of those books aren’t enough to keep you busy? Well, we can look forward as well to the American Mystery Classics edition of Cat of Many Tails, one of Ellery Queen’s foremost whodunits, plus other reprints of novels by John Dickson Carr, Christianna Brand, Gary Phillips, and R. Austin Freeman. Be on the lookout, too, for a pair of excellent historical true-crime publications: A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue, by Dean Jobb; and The Incorruptibles: A True Story of Kingpins, Crime Busters, and the Birth of the American Underworld, by Dan Slater.

I’m sorry this selection of summer books is somewhat tardy in appearing. I had hoped to post it by June 1, but life and work got in the way. I trust the delay has not greatly undermined its usefulness. As always, books marked below with an asterisk (*) are non-fiction; the remainder are novels or collections of short stories.

JUNE (U.S.):
All the Colors of the Dark, by Chris Whitaker (Crown)
An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder, by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
Anna Bright Is Hiding Something, by Susie Orman Schnall (SparkPress)
And Then There Was One, by Michele Castleman (Bold Strokes)
Ashram Assassin, by Andrew Cartmel (Titan)
Assassins Anonymous, by Rob Hart (Putnam)
The Bedlam Cadaver, by Robert L. Lloyd (Melville House)
Between This World and the Next, by Praveen Herat (Restless)
Bishop Rider Lives: An Anthology of Retribution, edited by Hector Acosta and Beau Johnson (Down & Out)
The Bitter Truth, by Shanora Williams (Dafina)
The Black Spectacles, by John Dickson Carr (Poisoned Pen Press)
Blood in the Cut, by Alejandro Nodarse (Flatiron)
Bodies to Die For, by Lori Brand (Blackstone)
Bright and Tender Dark, by Joanna Pearson (Bloomsbury)
Burn It All, by Maggie Auffarth (Crooked Lane)
Clete, by James Lee Burke (Atlantic Monthly Press)
The Comfort of Ghosts, by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Crime)
The Crown Conspiracy, by Connie Mann (Tyndale House)
The Darkness at Deception Pass, by D.D. Black (Darkness and Light)
Dark Wire: The Incredible True Story of the Largest Sting Operation Ever, by Joseph Cox (PublicAffairs)*
A Daughter of Fair Verona, by Christina Dodd (John Scognamiglio)
Deadly Betrayal, by Carla Simpson (Oliver-Heber)
Dead Tired, by Kat Ailes (Minotaur)
Death in the Air, by Ram Murali (Harper)
A Deceptive Composition, by Anna Lee Huber (Berkley)
Deep Beneath Us, by Catriona McPherson (Severn House)
Devil’s Kitchen, by Candice Fox (Forge)
Don’t Ask, Don’t Follow, by Mary Keliikoa (Oceanview)
Don’t Let the Devil Ride, by Ace Atkins (Morrow)
Do What Godmother Says, by L.S. Stratton (Union Square)
Drink with the Dead, by Jay Flynn (Stark House Press)
Eruption, by Michael Crichton and James Patterson (Little, Brown)
Everyone Knows But You, by Thomas E. Ricks (Pegasus Crime)
The Eyes Are the Best Part, by Monika Kim (Erewhon)
Farewell, Amethystine, by Walter Mosley (Mulholland)
The Final Act of Juliette Willoughby, by Ellery Lloyd (Harper)
Flashback, by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen (Grand Central)
Follow Her Down, by Victoria Helen Stone (Lake Union)
French Windows, by Antoine Laurain (Gallic)
From Sun to Sun, by Kenneth Wishnia (PM Press)
From Sweetgrass Bridge, by Anthony Bidulka (Stonehouse)
A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue, by Dean Jobb (Algonquin)*
Girl, Missing, by Dreda Say Mitchell and Ryan Carter (Thomas & Mercer)
A Grave Undertaking / Obsession, by Lionel White (Stark House Press)
The Greene Murder Case, by S.S. Van Dine (Penzler/American Mystery Classics)
The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie
(Soho Crime)
Hall of Mirrors, by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Crime)
Hard Line, by Gerry Boyle
(Islandport Press)
Hard Times, by Darrel Sparkman (Wolfpack)
The Helper, by M.M. Dewil (Blackstone)
Holy City, by Henry Wise (Atlantic Monthly Press)
The Honeymoon, by Shalini Boland (Thomas & Mercer)
Hope to Die, by Cara Hunter (Morrow)
Horror Movie, by Paul Tremblay (Morrow)
The Housemaid Is Watching, by Freida McFadden
(Poisoned Pen Press)
How Like a God, by Rex Stout (Hard Case Crime)
How to Die Disgracefully, by Clare Pooley (Pamela Dorman)
Hungry Bones, by Sara E. Johnson (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Iron Star, by Loren D. Estleman (Forge)
Joe Hustle, by Richard Lange (Mulholland)
June Bug, by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)
The King’s Ransom, by Janet Evanovich (Atria)
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, by Gerald Butler (Stark House Press)
Knee High by the Fourth of July, by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)
Lake Country, by Lori Roy (Thomas & Mercer)
Larceny and Last Chances: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk (Superior Shores Press)
The Last Note of Warning, by Katharine Schellman (Minotaur)
Lies Make Perfect, by Ellie Banks (Canary Street Press)
Little Rot, by Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead)
Love Letters to a Serial Killer, by Tasha Coryell (Berkley)
The Lucifer Cut, by Matthew Hart (Pegasus Crime)
Man in the Water, by David Housewright (Minotaur)
The Man with the Golden Gun, by Ian Fleming (Morrow)
The Meiji Guillotine Murders, by Futaro Yamada (Pushkin Vertigo)
Middle of the Night, by Riley Sager (Dutton)
Middletide, by Sarah Crouch (Atria)
The Midnight Feast, by Lucy Foley (Morrow)
The Nature of Disappearing, by Kimi Cunningham Grant (Minotaur)
The Next Mrs. Parrish, by Liv Constantine (Bantam)
The Noh Mask Murder, by Akimitsu Takagi (Pushkin Vertigo)
Nothing but the Truth, by Robyn Gigl (Kensington)
The Novel Killings, by Kate Shelton (Korza)
One Deadly Eye, by Randy Wayne White (Hanover Square Press)
Original Twin, by Paula Gleeson (Thomas & Mercer)
Our Little Secret, by Lisa Jackson (Kensington)
Out for Blood, by Ryan Steck (Tyndale House)
The Paris Vendetta, by Shan Serafin (Mysterious Press)
The Paris Widow, by Kimberly Belle (Park Row)
Peg and Rose Play the Ponies, by Laurien Berenson
(Kensington Cozies)
Perdition U.S.A., by Gary Phillips (Soho Crime)
The Perils of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, by Claudia Gray (Vintage)
Pitch Dark, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
The Queen of Poisons, by Robert Thorogood (Poisoned Pen Press)
Red Star Falling, by Steve Berry with Grant Blackwood
(Grand Central)
Red Sky Mourning, by Jack Carr (Atria/Emily Bestler)
A Ruse of Shadows, by Sherry Thomas (Berkley)
Same Difference, by E.J. Copperman (Severn House)
Scout’s Honor, by John McNellis (Hubbard House)
The Secret Keeper of Main Street, by Trisha R. Thomas (Morrow)
Secrets of Rose Briar Hall, by Kelsey James (John Scognamiglio)
Sentinel, by Mark Greaney (Berkley)
Shadowheart, by Meg Gardiner (Blackstone)
Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America, by James Polchin (Counterpoint)*
Shanghai, by Joseph Kanon (Scribner)
Sherlock Holmes and the Hearthstone Manuscript, by Daniel D. Victor (MX)
The Skeleton Rides a Horse and Other Stories, by Toni L.P. Kelner
(Crippen & Landru)
Smoke and Mirrors, by M.E. Hilliard (Crooked Lane)
Smolder, by Stuart Woods and Brett Battles (Putnam)
Some Murders in Berlin, by Karen Robards (Mira)
Spring Offensive, by Edward Marston (Allison & Busby)
Squeaky Clean, by Callum McSorley (Pushkin Vertigo)
The Stark House Anthology, edited by Rick Ollerman and Gregory Shepard (Stark House Press)
Storm Warning, by David Bell (Berkley)
A Stranger in the Family, by Jane Casey (Hemlock Press)
Striking Distance, by Thomas Locke (Down & Out)
Such a Bad Influence, by Olivia Muenter (Quirk)
A Talent for Murder, by Peter Swanson (Morrow)
Tell Me Who You Are, by Louisa Luna (MCD)
Terminal Surf, by Brendan DuBois (Severn River)
That Night in the Library, by Eva Jurczyk (Poisoned Pen Press)
There Is No Ethan: How Three Women Caught America’s Biggest Catfish, by Anna Akbari (Grand Central)*
To Die in June, by Alan Parks (World Noir)
Too Many Cooks, by Rosemary Shrager (Constable)
Trust Her, by Flynn Berry (Viking)
Truth Be Told, by Patricia Raybon (Tyndale House)
The Unwedding, by Ally Condie (Grand Central)
Unwritten in Death, by Leslie A. Piggott (Indies United)
The Venus of Salò, by Ben Pastor (Bitter Lemon Press)
Village Politics Can Be Murder, by Jeanne M. Dams (Severn House)
Wedding Bandits, by Oswald Black (Oswald Black)
What Fire Brings, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Thomas & Mercer)
What You Leave Behind, by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)
You Gone Gurl, by Greg Herren (Golden Notebook Press)
You’ll Never Find Me, by Allison Brennan (Mira)

Banners of Hell, by Paul Doherty (Headline)
A Body Under the Bridge, by P.F. Ford (Joffe)
Boys Who Hurt, by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir (Orenda)
The Burial Plot, by Elizabeth Macneal (Picador)
The Case of the Secretive Secretary, by Cathy Ace (Four Tails)
The Case of the Singer and the Showgirl, by Lisa Hall (Canelo Hera)
Could It Be Him? by M.A. Comley (Independently published)
The Curse of Penryth Hall, by Jess Armstrong (Allison & Busby)
The Death Watcher, by Chris Carter (Simon & Schuster UK)
D Is for Death, by Harriet F. Townson (Hodder & Stoughton)
A Divine Fury, by D.V. Bishop (Macmillan)
The Dog Park Detectives, by Blake Mara (Simon & Schuster UK)
The End of Summer, by Charlotte Philby (Borough Press)
Every Spy a Traitor, by Alex Gerlis (Canelo)
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Ted Riccardi (Bloodhound)
A Grave in the Woods, by Martin Walker (Quercus)
I Died on a Tuesday, by Jane Corry (Penguin)
In a Place of Darkness, by Stuart MacBride (Bantam)
In Her Grave, by Willow Rose (Bookouture)
Just the Nicest Family, by Alison James (Bookouture)
A Killing in Paradise, by Elliot Sweeney (Wildfire)
Knock, Knock, by Michelle Teahan (Headline)
A Lesson in Dying, by Ann Cleeves (Macmillan)
Lessons in Crime: Academic Mysteries, edited by Martin Edwards (British Library)
The Man in Black & Other Stories, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
The Maze, by Hania Allen (Constable)
The Mercy Chair, by M.W. Craven (Constable)
The Midnight Hour, by Eve Chase (Michael Joseph)
The Mother, by Valerie Keogh (Boldwood)
Murder at the Monastery, by Richard Coles (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Murder on Stage, by F.L. Everett (Bookouture)
My Darling Boy, by Helen Cooper
(Hodder & Stoughton)
The Perfect Guest, by Ruth Irons
(Black & White)
Redemption, by Jack Jordan
(Simon & Schuster UK)
The Shame Archive, by Oliver
Harris (Abacus)
Silent Ritual, by Andrew James Greig (Storm)
Someone in the Attic, by Andrea Mara (Bantam)
The Stranger’s Companion, by Mary Horlock (Baskerville)
The Suspect, by Rob Rinder (Century)
The Switch, by Lily Samson (Century)
The Taken Child, by Maria Frankland (Bookouture)
Under Her Roof, by A.A. Chaudhuri (Canelo Hera)
Vengeance, by Saima Mir (Point Blank)
What the Dead Want, by M.J. Lee (Canelo)
The White Circle, by Oliver Bottini (MacLehose Press)
The Wildfire Girl, by Carolyn Arnold (Bookouture)
The Winner, by C.J. Parsons (HQ)
The Winter Killings, by Wes Markin (Boldwood)
The Witness, by Alexandra Wilson (Sphere)
The Woman at My Wedding, by L.G. Davis (Bookouture)
The Woman Who Fell, by Matthew Frank (Penguin)
The Wreckage of Us, by Dan Malakin (Viper)
The Wrong Hands, by Mark Billingham (Sphere)

JULY (U.S.):
All This and More, by Peng Shepherd (Morrow)
The Astrology House, by Carinn Jade (Atria)
August Moon, by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)
Bad Night Is Falling, by Gary Phillips (Soho Crime)
Bad River, by Marc Cameron (Kensington)
Bad Tourists, by Caro Carver (Avid Reader Press)
The Bang-Bang Sisters, by Rio Youers (Morrow)
Becoming Marlow Fin, by Ellen Won Steil (Lake Union)
The Best Lies, by David Ellis (Putnam)
Blood & Mascara, by Colin Krainin (Pulp Lit)
The Body in the Backyard, by Lucy Score (Bloom)
Breaking the Dark, by Lisa Jewell (Hyperion Avenue)
Breathe No More, My Lady / Shakedown for Murder, by Ed Lacy
(Stark House Press)
The Briar Club, by Kate Quinn (Morrow)
Broiler, by Eli Cranor (Soho Crime)
A Bullet for Rhino, by Clifford Witting (Galileo)
The Burning, by Linda Castillo (Minotaur)
Cabaret Macabre, by Tom Mead (Mysterious Press)
Charlotte Illes Is Not a Teacher, by Katie Siegel (Kensington)
A Clean Kill, by Steven Konkoly (Thomas & Mercer)
Come to the Window, by Howard Norman (Norton)
The Concert Hall Killer, by Jonathan Whitelaw (HarperNorth)
Confessions of the Dead, by James Patterson and
J.D. Barker (Grand Central)
The Confidence Games, by Tess Amy (Berkley)
Dark Island, by Daniel Aubrey (HarperNorth)
The Day He Never Came Home, by Andrew
DeYoung (Poisoned Pen Press)
Death in a Lonely Place, by Stig
Abell (Harper)
A Death in Cornwall, by Daniel
Silva (Harper)
Death on the Tiber, by Lindsey
Davis (Minotaur)
Desperation Reef, by T. Jefferson
Parker (Forge)
Diamond Cut, by Thomas B. Cavanagh (Oceanview)
Dog Day Afternoon, by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur)
Dog Days, by Wendy Corsi Staub (Severn House)
Dream in the Dark, by Robert Justice (Crooked Lane)
The Drowning House, by Cherie Priest (Poisoned Pen Press)
Echoes of Memory, by Sara Driscoll (Kensington)
Echo Road, by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh (Montlake)
Every Move You Make, by C.L. Taylor (Avon)
The Expat, by Hansen Shi (Pegasus Crime)
Flashpoint, by Catherine Coulter (Morrow)
Game Without Rules, by Michael Gilbert (Union Square)
The God of the Woods, by Liz Moore (Riverhead)
Golden Age Whodunits, edited by Otto Penzler (Penzler/American Mystery Classics)
The Haters, by Robyn Harding (Grand Central)
Havoc, by Deborah J. Ledford (Thomas & Mercer)
The Hollywood Assistant, by May Cobb (Berkley)
Honeycomb, by S.B. Caves (Datura)
Hot Stage, by Anita Nair (Bitter Lemon Press)
How Can I Help You, by Laura Sims (Verve)
If You Tell a Lie, by Lucinda Berry (Thomas & Mercer)
Imaginary Strangers, by Minka Kent (Thomas & Mercer)
The Incorruptibles: A True Story of Kingpins, Crime Busters, and the Birth of the American Underworld, by Dan Slater (Little, Brown)*
I Shot the Devil, by Ruth McIver (Blackstone)
It Had to Be You, by Eliza Jane Brazier (Berkley)
It’s Elementary, by Elise Bryant (Berkley)
A Jewel in the Crown, by David Lewis (John Scognamiglio)
Ladykiller, by Katherine Wood (Bantam)
The Last Line, by Scott Lyerly (Crooked Lane)
The Last Thing She Saw, by Nina Laurin (Grand Central)
Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder, by Kerryn Mayne (St.
Martin’s Press)
A Lethal Lady, by Nekesa Afia (Berkley)
Like Mother, Like Daughter, by Kimberly McCreight (Knopf)
Look in the Mirror, by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine)
Lost and Never Found, by Simon Mason (Quercus)
The Lost Victim, by Robert Bryndza (Raven Street)
Made for You, by Jenna Satterthwaite (Mira)
The Man with My Face / The Grinning Gismo, by Samuel W. Taylor (Stark House Press)
May the Wolf Die, by Elizabeth Heider (Penguin)
Montauk to Manhattan, by Thomas Maier (Post Hill Press)
Mortal Radiance, by Kathryn Lasky (Severn House)
The Mummy of Mayfair, by Jeri Westerson (Severn House)
Murder at Lord’s Station, by Jim Eldridge (Allison & Busby)
Murder at the White Palace, by Allison Montclair (Minotaur)
Murder on Devil’s Pond, by Ayla Rose (Crooked Lane)
The Night the River Wept, by Lo Patrick (Sourcebooks Landmark)
No Road Home, by John Fram (Atria)
On a Quiet Street, by Seraphina Nova Glass (Graydon House)
One Big Happy Family, by Jamie Day (St. Martin’s Press)
On the Surface, by Rachel McGuire (Crooked Lane)
The Other Woman, by Charles Burgess (Stark House Press)
Our Kind of Game, by Johanna Copeland (Harper)
Out of Darkness, by Alex Gray (Sphere)
The Perfect Sister, by Stephanie DeCarolis (Bantam)
A Refiner’s Fire, by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Return to Wyldcliffe Heights, by Carol Goodman (Morrow)
Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Shadow, by Brian Freeman (Putnam)
Shades of Mercy, by Bruce
Borgos (Minotaur)
Someone Like Us, by Dinaw
Mengestu (Knopf)
Spy Hook, by Len Deighton (Grove Press)
Storm Cloud, by Michael
Robotham (Scribner)
Sugar on the Bones, by Joe R.
Lansdale (Mulholland)
Summer’s End, by Juneau Black (Vintage)
The Talented Mrs. Mandelbaum: The Rise and Fall of an American Organized-Crime Boss, by Margalit Fox (Random House)*
There’s No Murder Like Show Murder, by M.S. Greene (Crooked Lane)
They Thought I Was Dead, by Peter James (Macmillan UK)
Things Don’t Break on Their Own, by Sarah Easter Collins (Crown)
Trouble in Queenstown, by Delia Pitts (Minotaur)
Twice Around the Clock, by Billie Houston (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Unforgettable Loretta Darling, by Katherine Blake
(Harper Paperbacks)
Veridian Sterling Fakes It, by Jennifer Gooch Hummer (Lake Union)
A Very Woodsy Murder, by Ellen Byron (Kensington Cozies)
We Burn Daylight, by Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House)
The Wench Is Dead … / Miscast for Murder, by Ruth Fenisong
(Stark House Press)
What Have You Done? by Shari Lapena (Pamela Dorman)
What We Hide, by Colleen Coble and Rick Acker (Thomas Nelson)
What We’ll Burn Last, by Heather Chavez (Mulholland)
The Wilds, by Sarah Pearse (Pamela Dorman)
The Wrong Hands, by Mark Billingham (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Your Dark Secrets, by Elle Marr (Hyperion Avenue)

Baby Blues, by Trish Finnegan (Burning Chair)
The Betrayal of Thomas True, by A.J. West (Orenda)
A Case of Mice and Murder, by Sally Smith (Raven)
The Children of the Cult, by Mariette Lindstein (HQ)
The Cracked Mirror, by Chris Brookmyre (Abacus)
Dead Fall, by A.K. Turner (Zaffre)
The Dead Friend Project, by Joanna Wallace (Viper)
Dead Ground, by Graham Hurley (Head of Zeus/Aries)
The Exile, by Patrick Worrall (Bantam)
Eye of the Beholder, by Emma Bamford (Simon & Schuster UK)
The Family, by Mandasue Heller (Orion)
First Wife’s Shadow, by Adele Parks (HQ)
Forget Me Not, by M.J. Arlidge (Orion)
Gallows Wood, by Louisa Scarr (Canelo)
The Garden Party, by B.P. Walter (One More Chapter)
The Hardwick Heath Killer, by Michelle Kidd (Joffe)
Hell’s Bells, by Jill Johnson (Black & White)
Imposter Syndrome, by Joseph Knox (Doubleday)
The Long Water, by Stef Penney (Quercus)
The Missing Family, by Tim Weaver (Michael Joseph)
The Murder Room, by Lisa Stone (HarperCollins)
One Wrong Turn, by C.M. Ewan (Macmillan)
Our Holiday, by Louise Candlish (HQ)
Panic, by L.J. Ross (Dark Skies)
The Renegade, by Rob Sinclair (Boldwood)
Resolution, by Irvine Welsh (Jonathan Cape)
The Revenge of Rita Marsh, by Nilesha Chauvet (Faber & Faber)
Seven Lively Suspects, by Katy Watson (Constable)
Sleepwalker, by M.A. Hunter (Boldwood)
The Summer Party, by Kate Gray (Mountain Leopard Press)
Tipping Point, by Dinuka McKenzie (Canelo)
Tour de Force, by Christianna Brand (British Library)
The Vanishing Act, by Sarah Ward (Canelo)
The Venetian Sanctuary, by Philip Gwynne Jones (Constable)
Vengeance Is Mine, by Michael Wood (One More Chapter)
Whole Life Sentence, by Lynda La Plante (Zaffre)
The Villa, by Jess Ryder (Penguin)

Agony Hill, by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Minotaur)
All the Way Gone, by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur)
Baby, It’s Murder, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Titan)
Between a Flock and a Hard Place, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Blind to Midnight, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Blackstone)
Blood Like Mine, by Stuart Neville (Hell’s Hundred)
A Blood Red Morning, by Mark Pryor (Minotaur)
Booked on Murder, by Allison Brook (Crooked Lane)
The Broken Truth, by Reavis Z. Wortham (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Brothers Kenney, by Adam Mitzner (Blackstone)
Burn, by Peter Heller (Knopf)
Burn Out, by Joshua Hood (Blackstone)
The Case of the Busy Bees, by Clifford Witting (Galileo)
Cat of Many Tails, by Ellery Queen (Penzler/American Mystery Classics)
The Chamber, by Will Dean (Atria/Emily Bestler)
City of Secrets, by P.J. Tracy (Minotaur)
A Cold, Cold World, by Elena Taylor (Severn House)
The Crimes of Cymru: Classic Mystery Tales of Wales, edited by Martin Edwards (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Darkest Night, by Barbara Nadel (Headline)
The Dark Wives, by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)
Dead in the Water, by Simon McCleave (Avon)
Dear Hanna, by Zoje Stage (Thomas & Mercer)
Death and the Visitors, by Heather Redmond (Kensington)
The Devil Raises His Own, by Scott Phillips (Soho Crime)
The Diamond Smugglers, by Ian Fleming (Morrow)*
The Divide, by Morgan Richter (Knopf)
The Editors, by Stephen Harrison (Inkshares)
Enemy of the State, by Robert Swartwood (Blackstone)
A Farewell to Arfs, by Spencer Quinn (Forge)
Fire and Bones, by Kathy Reichs (Scribner)
The Four, by Ellie Keel (Morrow)
The Girl’s a Killer, by Emma C. Wells (Poisoned Pen Press)
Glass Houses, by Madeline Ashby (Tor)
The Guests, by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda)
Hollow Bones, by Erica Wright (Severn House)
An Honorable Assassin, by Steve Hamilton (Blackstone)
The House Hunt, by C.M. Ewan (Grand Central)
House of Bone and Rain, by Gabino Iglesias (Mulholland)
House of Glass, by Sarah Pekkanen (St. Martin’s Press)
The In Crowd, by Charlotte Vassell (Doubleday)
I Need You to Read This, by Jessa
Maxwell (Atria)
Kalmann and the Sleeping Mountain, by Joachim B. Schmidt (Bitter Lemon Press)
The Kill List, by Nadine Matheson (Hanover Square Press)
The Last Party, by A.R. Torre
(Thomas & Mercer)
The Lost Coast, by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman (Ballantine)
The Man Feared by Darkness, by Pete Zacharias (Thomas & Mercer)
Miss Morton and the Deadly Inheritance, by Catherine Lloyd (Kensington)
Murder at Vinland, by Alyssa Maxwell (Kensington)
The Naturalist’s Daughter, by Tea Cooper (Harper Muse)
No Safe Place, by Michael Ledwidge (Hanover Square Press)
Not What She Seems, by Yasmin Angoe (Thomas & Mercer)
Only the Guilty Survive, by Kate Robards (Crooked Lane)
Only the Wicked, by Gary Phillips (Soho Crime)
The Outlier, by Elisabeth Eaves (Random House Canada)
The Plus One, by S.C. Lalli (Morrow)
The Queen City Detective Agency, by Snowden Wright (Morrow)
The Queen’s Lies, by Oliver Clements (Atria/Leopoldo & Co.)
Red River Road, by Anna Downes (Minotaur)
Return to Midnight, by Emma Dues (Thomas & Mercer)
The Rich People Have Gone Away, by Regina Porter (Hogarth)
Rip Tide, by Colleen McKeegan (Harper)
The River View, by Jamie Harrison (Counterpoint)
The Rose Arbor, by Rhys Bowen (Lake Union)
A Scandal in Mayfair, by Katharine Schellman (Crooked Lane)
Scrap, by Calla Henkel (Overlook Press)
September Mourn, by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)
Sherlock Holmes and the Telegram from Hell, by Nicholas Meyer (Mysterious Press)
The Snap, by Elizabeth Staple (Doubleday)
Society of Lies, by Lauren Ling Brown (Bantam)
The Sorority, by Nancy Bush (Zebra)
Spirit Crossing, by William Kent Krueger (Atria)
The Spy, by James Phelan (Blackstone)
The Stranger at the Wedding, by A.E. Gauntlett (Henry Holt)
Talking to Strangers, by Fiona Barton (Berkley)
This Is Why We Lied, by Karin Slaughter (Morrow)
Till Death Do Us Part, by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Simon & Schuster)
What You Made Me Do, by Barbara Gayle Austin (Crooked Lane)
A World of Hurt, by Mindy Mejia (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Worst Case Scenario, by T.J. Newman (Little, Brown)
You Will Never Be Me, by Jesse Q. Sutanto (Berkley)
You Shouldn’t Be Here, by Lauren Thoman (Thomas & Mercer)

After the Storm, by G.D. Wright (Avon)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Expert on Wickedness, by Mark Aldridge (HarperCollins)*
Artifice, by Claire Berest (Mountain Leopard Press)
The Borrowdale Body, by Rebecca Tope (Allison & Busby)
Coffin Island, by Kate Ellis (Piatkus)
Deadly Will, by Leigh Russell (Bedford Square)
Death at the Sanatorium, by Ragnar Jónasson (Michael Joseph)
Death at the Sign of the Rook, by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
The Examiner, by Janice Hallett (Viper)
Five by Five, by Claire Wilson (Michael Joseph)
A Gravely Troubling Discovery, by Hannah Hendy (Canelo Crime)
The Haven, by L.J. Ross (Dark Skies)
Hero, by Thomas Perry (Grove Press UK)
The Island, by Sarah Goodwin (Avon)
I Will Ruin You, by Linwood Barclay (HQ)
The Last Time I Saw Him, by Rachel Abbott (Wildfire)
Mr. Pottermack’s Oversight, by R. Austin Freeman (British Library)
The Mystery of the Missing Frenchman, by H.L. Marsay (Tule)
No Safe Place, by Michael Ledwidge (Headline)
Out of the Dark, by Caro Ramsay (Severn House)
The Perfect Place, by Amanda Cassidy (Canelo)
Precipice, by Robert Harris (Hutchinson Heinemann)
Safe Enough: And Other Stories, by Lee Child (Bantam)
Sanctuary, by Garry Disher (Viper)
A Swarm of Butterflies, by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett (Embla)
The Trap, by Ava Glass (Penguin)
Vengeance, by Heather Burnside (Head of Zeus/Aries)
Very Bad Company, by Emma Rosenblum (Penguin)
A Violent Heart, by David Fennell (Zaffre)
White Ash Ridge, by S.R. White (Headline)
Whispers of the Dead, by Lin Anderson (Macmillan)
Witness 8, by Steve Cavanagh (Headline)

Don’t be deceived into believing that this is a comprehensive list of the crime, mystery, and thriller titles due for publication over the next three months. There will be many additional books in this genre—“literary poison” or not—reaching stores. If you think I’ve missed mentioning any works of particular merit, please don’t hesitate to let us all know about them in this post’s Comments section.

Pop Stars

I lost my father to prostate cancer more than 20 years ago, but for all of you who still have dads around to enjoy, Happy Father’s Day! If you’d like to read a book that highlights this annual occasion, check out Janet Rudolph’s updated list of Father’s Day Mysteries.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

PaperBack: “Kill the Boss Good-by”

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

Kill the Boss Good-by, by Peter Rabe (Gold Medal, 1956). The author called this standalone crime novel “one of my favorites.” Cover illustration by Barye Phillips.

READ MORE:Review: The Duplicate Keys, Part 2–Port of Rabe,” by Chris Lyons (The Westlake Review); “A Too Brief Conversation with Peter Rabe,” by George Tuttle (Mystery*File).

Thursday, June 13, 2024

A Festival Two-fer

Today we received notice not only of which books and authors have been shortlisted for the 2024 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, but which have earned spots on the shortlist of nominees for the inaugural McDermid Debut Award for new writers.

First, culled from a longlist of 18 contenders, here are the half-dozen finalists for the 2024 Theakston prize:

The Last Dance, by Mark Billingham (Sphere)
In the Blink of an Eye, by Jo Callaghan (Simon & Schuster UK)
The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron (Baskerville)
Killing Jericho, by William Hussey (Zaffre)
None of This Is True, by Lisa Jewell (Century)
Strange Sally Diamond, by Liz Nugent (Sandycove)

Meanwhile, vying for the 2024 McDermid Debut Award—named in honor of Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, a longtime promoter of new authors—are six different novels:

Crow Moon, by Suzy Aspley (Orenda)
Dark Island, by Daniel Aubrey (HarperCollins)
Knife Skills for Beginners, by Orlando Murrin (Bantam)
Mrs. Sidhu’s Dead and Scone, by Suk Pannu (HarperCollins)
The Library Thief, by Kuchenga Shenjé (Sphere)
Deadly Animals, by Marie Tierney (Bonnier)

The recipients of these two commendations will be revealed on Thursday, July 18, the opening evening of this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, England.

Hunter Takes Home a Lammy

Sorry to have been so quiet of late. I’m trying to finish work on what seems like a mammoth list of crime, mystery, and thriller titles due out this summer. But I can’t fail to mention that the recipients of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards (aka the “Lammys”) were announced earlier this week in New York City. As its Web site explains, “Lambda Literary nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies, and affirm the value of our stories and our lives.”

The 2024 winner for Best LGBTQ+ Mystery is A Calculated Risk, by Cari Hunter (Bold Strokes). Also nominated: Don’t Forget the Girl, by Rebecca McKanna (Sourcebooks Landmark); The Good Ones, by Polly Stewart (HarperCollins); Transitory, by J.M. Redmann (Bold Strokes); and Where the Dead Sleep, by Joshua Moehling (Poisoned Pen Press).

There were also 25 other categories of Lambda Literary Award contenders. You’ll find the full list of winners here.

(Hat tip to In Reference to Murder.)

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Last Acts

As part of this week’s crime-fiction news round-up for In Reference to Murder, blogger B.V. Lawson submits the following item:
In Sarah Weinman’s latest crime fiction column for The New York Times, she made note of two legendary fictional detectives taking their final cases, with Jacqueline Winspear retiring Maisie Dobbs, and Susan Elia MacNeal bidding farewell to Maggie Hope. The Comfort of Ghosts is the 18th outing for Dobbs, the “plucky and resourceful British investigator and psychologist” whom Jacqueline Winspear introduced in 2003, and The Last Hope is the 11th installment for Maggie Hope, once Winston Churchill’s secretary and now “a capable and shrewd spy.” Winspear also paid tribute to her literary creation in her newsletter on her website.
At least one other long-running sleuth is also signing off before the end of 2024: Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond of the Bath, England, police department. First introduced in Peter Lovesey’s Anthony Award-winning 1991 novel, The Last Detective, Diamond has since starred in 21 sequels. Those include Against the Grain, which is due out in Britain in November (from Sphere) and in the States come December (from Soho Crime). Clearly described on its U.S. jacket as “The Conclusion of the Peter Diamond Series,” it finds the old-school cop away from his desk but enjoying little rest. Here’s Amazon’s plot synopsis:
Detective Peter Diamond, chief of the Avon and Somerset Murder Squad, is taking a short holiday in the country. His former colleague Julie Hargreaves has invited Diamond and his partner, Paloma, to visit the idyllic village of Baskerville (no relation to the Sherlock Holmes story, so he’s told). It turns out Julie’s invitation was not without ulterior motives. The woman who owns the village’s largest dairy farm has been convicted of manslaughter following a terrible accident in her grain silo. Julie’s ex-investigator instinct tells her there has been a miscarriage of justice and a murderer is on the loose—but Julie's been keeping secrets of her own, and can’t take her inquiry any further.

Diamond takes the bait; the case is a fascinating one, and he’s quite enjoying his incognito information-gathering, getting to know the villagers as they prepare for their annual Harvest Festival. The deeper into the cow dung Diamond mucks, the more convinced he becomes there was foul play. But maintaining his innocent tourist façade becomes harder as he closes in on his suspects. To protect his alias, he might have to learn how to operate a tractor or drive a herd of wayward cows. He might even be forced to attend a hoedown—not that he’d dance, not even to catch a killer. Or would he? The curmudgeonly detective has plenty to learn about himself as he tries on some new hats: undercover private investigator; village detective; country gentleman.
I’ve read all of Lovesey’s Peter Diamond mysteries to date, and am unlikely to miss this one. How about you?

From Beals and Ballet to Boston and Bikes

I was a big fan of Linda Barnes’ Boston-set series featuring statuesque, red-headed, and taxi-driving private eye Carlotta Carlyle. However, I’ve only ever read one installment in her earlier, smaller series about Michael Spraggue, a former gumshoe turned actor (introduced in 1981’s Blood Will Have Blood). So it was no surprise when I recently stumbled across the 1984 TV pilot Spraggue: Murder for Two, that I failed to recognize its debt to Barnes’ fiction.

Shot as a pilot for ABC-TV, that 90-minute drama starred Michael Nouri, who at the time was deemed to be something of a hot property, having appeared with Jennifer Beals in 1983’s Flashdance, played Charles “Lucky” Luciano in the NBC-TV mini-series The Gangster Chronicles, and been a regular cast member on Bay City Blues, a short-lived NBC comedy-drama created by Steven Bochco (of Hill Street Blues fame). In his book Unsold Television Pilots: 1955 to 1989, Lee Goldberg describes the film’s storyline thusly:
Michael Nouri is a Boston biology professor who spurns his family’s wealth in favor of living simply in the carriage house of his eccentric Aunt’s (Glynis John) mansion and riding his ten-speed to work. He also, as a hobby, solves baffling crimes—despite his Aunt’s meddling. In the pilot, he’s pitted against Patrick O’Neal, who is inducing heart attacks in his victims.
In addition to Nouri, this pilot featured James Cromwell, Andrea Marcovicci (who’d previously captivated in the second pilot for David Janssen’s Harry O), and the prolific Hank Garrett. In addition, it boasted music by the great Lalo Schifrin (better recognized for composing the themes to Mission: Impossible and Mannix). It isn’t bad for a teleflick, despite the changes made to the character of Barnes’ protagonist, but it is not exceptionl, either. It’s easy to understand why ABC passed on adding Spraggue to its weekly schedule.

At least for now, you can watch it all on YouTube.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

A Stirling Selection

Organizers of the annual Bloody Scotland international crime writing festival have announced their shortlist of five contenders for this year’s Bloody Scotland Debut Prize:

Crow Moon, by Suzy Aspley (Orenda)
Dark Island, by Daniel Aubrey (Harper North)
The Silent House of Sleep, by Allan Gaw (SA Press)
Blood Runs Deep, by Doug Sinclair (Storm)
Double Proof, by Martin Stewart (Polygon)

The 2024 festival will be held in Stirling, Scotland, from September 13 to 15. A press release explains that “On the opening day of the festival, Friday 13 September, the shortlisted debut authors will appear on a Debut Prize panel at Central Library in Stirling chaired by BBC Scotland’s Arts correspondent Pauline McLean.”

The presentation of this commendation, along with the 2024 McIlvanney Prize (nominees still to be declared), “will take place in the ballroom of The Golden Lion Hotel at 5.45pm washed down with Bloody Scotland cocktails courtesy of Stirling Distillery. The winners will be interviewed on stage by TV and radio presenter Bryan Burnett after which they will join a procession led by the Stirling Schools Pipe Band to the first event of the evening at The Albert Halls.”

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Thriller Rides

Last evening, during a festive ceremony at ThrillerFest XIX in New York City, the International Thriller Writers organization announced the winners of its 2024 Thriller Awards.

Best Hardcover Novel:
All the Sinners Bleed, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)

Also nominated: Her Deadly Game, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer); It’s One of Us, by J.T. Ellison (Mira); The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron (Soho Crime); Fixit, by Joe Ide (Mulholland); and The Drift, by C.J. Tudor (Ballantine)

Best Audiobook:
The Last Orphan, by Gregg Hurwitz, narrated by Scott Brick (Macmillan)

Also nominated: The Peacock and the Sparrow, by I.S. Berry, narrated by Pete Simonelli (Atria); The Housemaid’s Secret, by Freida McFadden, narrated by Lauryn Allman (Bookouture); The House of Wolves, by James Patterson and Mike Lupica, narrated by Ellen Archer (Hachette Audio); and Bad Summer People, by Emma Rosenblum, narrated by January LaVoy (Macmillan)

Best First Novel:
The Peacock and the Sparrow, by I.S. Berry (Atria)

Also nominated: The Golden Gate, by Amy Chua (Minotaur); Scorched Grace, by Margot Douaihy (Zando); Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder, by Kerryn Mayne (Bantam); and Perfect Shot, by Steve Urszenyi (Minotaur)

Best Paperback Original Novel:
The Paleontologist, by Luke Dumas (Atria)

Also nominated: Hide, by Tracy Clark (Thomas & Mercer); The Spy Coast, by Tess Gerritsen (Thomas & Mercer); To Die For, by Lisa Gray (Thomas & Mercer); Cave 13, by Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin’s Griffin); and Call the Dark, by J. Todd Scott (Thomas & Mercer)

Best Short Story:
“Unknown Caller,” by Lisa Unger (Amazon Original Stories)

Also nominated: “Slot Machine Fever Dreams,” by Chris Bohjalian (Amazon Original Stories); “These Cold Strangers,” by J.T. Ellison (Amazon Original Stories); “An Honorable Choice,” by Smita Harish Jain (Black Cat Weekly #96; Wildside Press); “Rush Hour,” by Richard Santos (from Austin Noir, edited by Scott Montgomery, Hopeton Hay, and Molly Odintz; Akashic); and “One Night in 1965,” by Stacy Woodson (from More Groovy Gumshoes: Private Eyes in the Psychedelic Sixties, edited by Michael Bracken; Down & Out)

Best Young Adult Novel:
Stateless, by Elizabeth Wein (Little, Brown)

Also nominated: Red as Blood, by Sorboni Banerjee and Dominique Richardson (Wolfpack); Where He Can’t Find You, by Darcy Coates (Sourcebooks Fire); Where Echoes Die, by Courtney Gould (Wednesday); and Where Darkness Blooms, by Andrea Hannah (Wednesday)

Best E-Book Original Novel:
The Killing Room, by Robert Swartwood (Blackstone)

Also nominated: The Vulture Fund, by Jeff Buick (Self-published); The Bigamist, by Rona Halsall (Bookouture); A Good Rush of Blood, by Matt Phillips (RunAmok); Close Her Eyes, by Lisa Regan (Bookouture); and The In-Laws, by Laura Wolfe (Bookouture)

ThrillerMaster Award Recipients: Tess Gerritsen and Dennis Lehane
Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Louise Penny
Thriller Legend Award Recipient: Audible
ThrillerFan Award Recipient: Ayo Onatade

(Hat tip to The Gumshoe Site.)

Lasting Impressions

London, England’s 2024 Capital Crime Festival concluded yesterday. One of the highlights of that three-day event was the announcement of this year’s Fingerprint Award winners, in seven categories.

Overall Best Crime Book of the Year:
None of This Is True, by Lisa Jewell (Century)

Also nominated: The Murder Game, by Tom Hindle (Century); The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron (Baskerville); In the Blink of an Eye, by Jo Callaghan (Simon & Schuster UK); and Strange Sally Diamond, by Liz Nugent (Sandycove)

Thriller Book of the Year:
The Only Suspect, by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster UK)

Also nominated: Fearless, by M.W. Craven (Constable); The Silent Man, by David Fennell (Zaffre); The Rule of Three, by Sam Ripley (Simon & Schuster UK); and The House Hunt, by C.M. Ewan (Macmillan)

Historical Crime Book of the Year:
The House of Whispers, by Anna Mazzola (Orion)

Also nominated: Death of a Lesser God, by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton); The Square of Sevens, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle); The Murder Wheel, by Tom Mead (Head of Zeus/Aries); and The Good Liars, by Anita Frank (HQ)

Genre-Busting Book of the Year:
Killing Jericho, by William Hussey (Zaffre)

Also nominated: Ink Blood Sister Scribe, by Emma Törzs (Century); The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, by Janice Hallett (Viper); Murder in the Family, by Cara Hunter (HarperFiction); and The Looking Glass Sound, by Catriona Ward (Viper)

Debut Crime Book of the Year:
Death of a Bookseller, by Alice Slater (Hodder & Stoughton)

Also nominated: The List, by Yomi Adegoke (Fourth Estate); Geneva, by Richard Armitage (Faber and Faber); The Bandit Queens, by Parini Shroff (Allen & Unwin); and Thirty Days of Darkness, by Jenny Lund Madsen (Orenda)

True Crime Book of the Year: No Ordinary Day: Espionage, Betrayal, Terrorism and Corruption—the Truth Behind the Murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, by Matt Johnson (Ad Lib)

Also nominated: My Girl: The Babes in the Woods Murders. A Mother’s Fight for Justice, by Michelle Hadaway (Penguin); Vital Organs: A History of the World’s Most Famous Body Parts, by Suzie Edge (Wildfire); Unlawful Killings: Life, Love and Murder: Trials at the Old Bailey, by Her Honour Wendy Joseph QC (Doubleday); and Order Out of Chaos: A Kidnap Negotiator’s Guide to Influence and Persuasion, by Scott Walker (Piatkus)

Audiobook of the Year: Over My Dead Body, by Maz Evans,
narrated by Maz Evans (Headline)

Also nominated: The Running Grave, by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister (Oakhill); The Blackbird, by Tim Weaver, narrated by Joe Coen, Brendan McDonald, Anjili Mohindra (Penguin Audio); The Bedroom Window, by K.L. Slater, narrated by Clare Corbett (Audible); and Conviction, by Jack Jordan, narrated by Sophie Roberts (Audible)

Thalia Procter Lifetime Achievement Award: Lynda La Plante

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Polis Books Is Fini

I only just received this news from In Reference to Murder:
It’s a tough game out there in the publishing world, and thus it’s not too surprising when indie publishing companies go under. The latest is Polis Books, founded in 2013 by Jason Pinter (an editor, agent, and author himself, [his works] including the Henry Parker thriller series), which announced it was closing its doors. Polis started out with a strong focus on crime fiction and has published works by Patricia Abbott, Rob Hart, Steph Post, J.D. Rhoades, Alex Segura, Clea Simon, Lily Wang, and others. As Pinter noted on social media, the company was able to find new homes for a fairly large portion of its list, with several publishers expressing interest, “and we were able to re-home a number of great books.”
Agora Books, an imprint Polis added to its line in 2019, and which focused on “socially and culturally unique crime fiction and horror,” has also been shuttered. Agora editor Chantelle Aimée Osman has moved over to become acquisitions editor at Lake Union Publishing.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Revue of Reviewers: 5-29-24

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