Con Lehane: Murder Off the Page Tuesday, Nov 19 2019 

Lehane’s 42nd Street Library series feature the curator of the crime fiction archive-turned-sleuth Ray Ambler. Along with his colleague, Adele, whom he shares a cloudy relationship, his favorite bartender, McNulty, and detective friend, Mike Cosgrove, also return.

An attractive researcher has been using the archives of author Jane Galloway. Ray decides Shannon Darling not the usual scholar, a theory firmed up when he sees her with McNulty as he and Adele share a drink at the popular Library Tavern.

His curiosity blows up when a security man is murdered in Shannon’s room and she disappears, along with McNulty. With the spotlight falling on McNulty, the woman’s real identity is soon confirmed. She’s a married Connecticut physician who has a young daughter.

So why is she with McNulty? And why are they on the run from the law?

Believing his friend hasn’t murdered anyone thrusts Ray and even Adele into the investigation. Soon Shannon’s lifestyle choices turn up a slew of suspects that Cosgrove must whittle down, while Ray follows his own threads.

There will be more deaths, a missing professor, and even a parrot as the story unfolds and Ray tests the bounds of friendship to solve the mystery surrounding the deaths.

The personal life of Ray and his grandson Johnny fills out the complicated life of this archivist. Ray’s emotional reticence grinds his relationships into a layer of frustration he carries around, as he does the guilt he feels at not being a better father to Johnny’s dad, his own son. These counterpoints, plus a domineering grandmother Ray shares Johnny’s custody with, add a nice texture to the life illustrated on the streets of New York.

Will Thomas: Lethal Pursuit Tuesday, Nov 12 2019 

Will Thomas returns with his Barker and Llewelyn series in Lethal Pursuit. The enquiry agents, whose chambers are in the shadow of Whitehall, have risen to annoy most of the higher-ups in government and Scotland Yard, yet continue to solve the most recalcitrant cases.

A Foreign Office agent has fled home to England carrying an important satchel from Eastern Europe, but murdered soon after arriving. With tensions rising between Germany and England, it’s imperative that the contents are kept out of German hands.

When no less than the Prime Minister gives them a simple assignment, newlywed Llewelyn, now a partner, can’t understand why Barker is taking his time to carry out the easy charge: deliver the satchel to Calais into the hands of a waiting monsignor from the Vatican.

Just what the satchel holds is unclear, but it’s rare and ancient, from the first century. Soon there are personal agents, secret societies, and political groups all vying to retrieve the satchel and its contents, and all putting Barker and Llewelyn at serious risk. And this time, Llewelyn has a bride waiting for him at home.

With his research nailing the details of the Victorian era, from the clothing and social manners to crimes and politics, Thomas delivers a satisfying read that advances both the characters and the times.

Peter Lovesey: Killing with Confetti Friday, Nov 8 2019 

Peter Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series, set in Bath, brings the detective with his out challenging case yet in Killing with Confetti. Louise Penny calls Lovesey “a masterful plotter” with all good reason.

The son of Bath’s Deputy Chief Constable, George Brace, presents Diamond with an unusual problem. His son, Ben, is marrying a lovely girl, Caroline Irving, but there’s a major hitch: Caroline’s father is the notorious and wealthy criminal Joe Irving, a gang leader who will be released from his latest prison term just in time to walk the bride up the aisle to her groom.

What this means for Diamond is that Brace puts him in charge of Irving’s security. It’s no secret Irving has enemies and many rival gangs who would be happy for a chance to take him out. With the elaborate wedding set at Bath’s Abbey and a reception at the Roman baths that evening, Diamond must see that the father of the bride remains alive throughout the day.

His role as secret agent not a comfortable one, Diamond is uncomfortably armed, and draws on his team to help him watch Irvings’ back, while he tries all day and evening to keep Irving in his sights, despite the parents, photographers, and bridesmaids he encounters.

This is vintage Lovesey, a case Diamond takes on sufferance and executes flawlessly, although at times it won’t seem that there’s a good end in sight. Another from the master of mystery who’s received Lifetime Achievement Awards in both the US and the UK.

Paula Munier: Blind Search Tuesday, Nov 5 2019 

After the success of last year’s award-nominated debut, A Borrowing of Bones, Paula Munier returns with the duo of veteran Mercy Carr and her bomb-sniffing dog, Elvis, in Blind Search.

With a strong setting in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the fall season is rife with hunters when a nine-year old autistic boy is lost in the woods. Henry Jenkins likes to wander in the woods, but when he’s a witness to the murder of a young woman, his small confidence is shaken to the core, and he runs and hides.

Knowing a murderer mingles with the hunters and may be present at the home of Mercy’s friend, billionaire Daniel Feinberg, makes the investigation Mercy soon undertakes even more difficult, despite the presence and help of game warden Troy Warner and his search-and-rescue dog, Susie Bear. For there are more things going on in the woods than murder, including gun running and drugs.

There are also the inescapable feelings that run like an electric shock between Mercy and Troy, feelings she’s done her best to ignore.

When a blizzard strands everyone, Mercy and Troy need to protect Henry from the murderer while they track down the person responsible. And then a second death occurs.

Munier knows about dogs and the woods. Auntie M never stopped to think a bear’s front paw print would be roughly the same in length and width, while a hind print would be longer than it was wide. In the same way, she draws on an old Vermont folk song to calm Henry. These things add a multi-dimensional feel that makes the setting leap off the page.

But one of Auntie M’s favorite hallmarks are the asides Mercy makes that reveal her character: “As a matter of course, Mercy never trusted anyone who flipped their hair. There was no hair flipping in the army.” Another character has “…the resourcefulness of a Kardashian.” Mercy comes across as someone who’s capable, and while she’s seen what is evil in the world, she hasn’t lost her compassion and her caring spirit.

With its tight plot, realistic characters, definitive setting, and those wonderful dogs, there’s no wonder this one is Highly Recommended.

Thomas Burns: Stripper! in Audio Sunday, Nov 3 2019 

Please welcome Thomas Burns, to describe his experience using audio books:

An Indie Author Tackles Audiobooks

I am Thomas Burns, author of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, and I’m an indie author. Natalie McMasters is a detective for the new millennium. As the series opens in Stripper!, Nattie is twenty, short and blonde (OK, it’s bleached!), way cute, and a pre-law student at State. She’s also straight, or at least she thinks so.

To put herself through school, she’s moonlighting as a private detective trainee at her uncle Amos Murdoch’s 3M Detective Agency, where the most exciting thing she does is sit in a car, staking out people who’ve claimed workers’ compensation to be sure they’re hurt as badly as they say. After she directly confronts a subject on a stakeout, Amos fires her for taking too many chances. Then she meets another student who bears an uncanny resemblance to her, and everything in her life changes. When her new best friend is brutally murdered and Amos is critically injured, Nattie immerses herself in the seamy world of web cams and strip clubs to hunt the killer.

Her investigation forces her to reassess many of the ideas that she’s lived by her whole life and do things she’s never considered before – strip on a stage, question her sexuality, and rediscover the meaning of love itself. Nattie eventually exposes a drug ring, police corruption, and an assassin-for-hire online. Then she stumbles upon the true face of evil, and her encounter does not leave her unscathed…

I’m 67, so after a year of querying potential agents for Stripper! with no results, I decided to take the leap of faith and publish it myself. In April 2018, the first Natalie McMasters novel, Stripper! was published on Amazon. As of this writing, two more novels, Revenge! and Trafficked!, have been released, and I’ve just finished writing the first draft of the fourth book, Venom! I’m sure there’s no way I could have had such a rapid production schedule if I had to deal with an agent and a publisher. The books have done well, with about 11,000 copies in circulation world-wide.

It’s been a bumpy ride. I started by publishing e-books and paperbacks on KDP, then took the series wide on Draft 2 Digital in various e-book formats. I’ve made some mistakes along the way, but I’ve learned a lot. A few months ago, I decided it was time to enter the audiobook market. Audiobooks are currently the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry. They’re available as downloads and some as CDs (sold separately), and the e-books can be played on multiple devices without losing your place. Some Audible books (Amazon) also have the whispersync feature, that lets you listen and read your book on Kindle, and updates either device as you switch back and forth.

When I decided to issue the McMasters Mysteries on audio, starting with Stripper!, I chose Audible Books to do it, because I had such good results from KDP on Amazon. ACX (https://www.acx.com/) is Audible’s publishing platform, allowing you to sell your book on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. After you register on the site, you open your title for auditions. Narrators, also known as producers, can review available titles and contact the author. However, I found it much more effective to survey potential producers myself and invite the ones I liked to submit an audition. You can narrow the list of over 100,000 producers by gender, voice style, accent and other parameters.

There are three ways to pay your producer: straight royalty share, royalty share plus a one-time payment, or straight payment. Payment is determined according to the finished length of the audiobook (not how long the producer takes to produce it), which ACX estimates for you according to the word count. A royalty share agreement lasts for seven years, during which time the author and the producer split a 40% royalty. Many of the more established producers, some of whom who are also professional voice actors, prefer either royalty share plus or straight payment. If you do a royalty share, you also must commit to sell the audiobook on ACX only. The royalty percentage is 25% if you elect a straight payment deal, and the author keeps all of it. For a royalty share deal, I contacted over a hundred potential producers and got about ten replies.

The audio version of Stripper! is scheduled for release on Nov. 4, 2019. The narrator is Lisa Ware, of Voices from lsware. Lisa is a very talented narrator—she captures Nattie’s voice perfectly, as well as those of the other diverse characters in Stripper! I’m sure you’ll her work enjoyable. Look for it on the Amazon page for Stripper! (https://www.amazon.com/Stripper-Natalie-McMasters-Thomas-Burns-ebook-dp-B07C87Y2FH/dp/B07C87Y2FH/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid= )

Author bio
Thomas A. Burns, Jr. is the author of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. He currently resides in Wendell, North Carolina. As a kid, Tom started reading mysteries with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, and graduated to the classic stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, starting with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as a technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Now that he’s truly on his own as a novelist, he’s excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as to contribute stories about his second most favorite detective to the MX Books of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.

Val McDermid: How the Dead Speak Wednesday, Oct 30 2019 

Just in time for Hallowe’en, a tale about bodies in a hidden graves . . .

Fans of Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series have been waiting to read the next installment after the shocking ending of Insidious Intent. How the Dead Speak brings all of those threads into the present while it illustrates McDermid’s ability to plot like no one else.

An old convent has been sold, and when the developers start to dig, human remains are found on the grounds–lots of human remains in unmarked graves, despite the graveyard with some of the former nuns on the other side of the building.

But that’s not the only surprise those grounds will turn up. When more bodies are found of a more recent vintage, a serial killer is suspected as using the grounds as his private hiding place.

Meanwhile both Tony and Carol are adjusting to new roles outside the police force with surprising results for both of them. It’s to McDermid’s credit that she doesn’t take the easy way out and gives them both challenges to fight for. It’s also difficult to discuss the plot without spoilers; suffice it to say readers need to find out for themselves that the duo are up to.

The crew of the ReMIT team have changed in a few respects, not the least their leader, whom DI Paula McIntyre struggles to connect with, while the team has a political conflict with another team that doesn’t bode well for a rating deemed plays well with others. It all adds to the tension of trying to track down nuns who are dispersed and either poor witnesses or taking a vow of silence.

Another winner that will have readers gobbling up the pages that proves that McDermid is the Queen of Crime, this one is highly recommended.

Jim Hart: A Tom Collins to Go Sunday, Oct 27 2019 

Times change but when it comes to certain genres of literature; sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

There are still legions of loyal readers who long for the days of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Mickey Spillane. With A Tom Collins To Go (Winner of the Poison Cup Award from Crime Masters of America and Finalist for the Golden Book Award), Jim Hart proves he knows this by successfully incorporating the deadpan style with the film noir humor and drama of these authors into his private eye, Harry Parker.

Hart has created a powerful rendering of the true golden age hardboiled, hard drinking detective with a story that incorporates a keen eye for detail capturing the ambiance of the time.

The novel brings the reader back to the darker side of 1947 Brooklyn, New York. Hart includes all the best elements of the detective genre; mystery, action, sharp dialogue, wisecracks and a cast of well flushed-out-multilayered secondary characters.

On the surface this is a story about the kidnapping of a Wall Street millionaire, but it isn’t long before we realize that it is much deeper, and we are drawn into a fast-paced, gripping plot and character-driven story of greed, corruption and murder by the first person narration of the Sam Spade-like Harry Parker. Harry drinks too much, laments his failed marriage, longs for his ex, and his ‘don’t give a damn’ demeanor are what makes him so loveable.

With A Tom Collins To Go, Hart has created a powerful rendering of the golden era of the private eye story. If you are a fan of noir, the skillful combination of all of these elements makes the book a first rate read that is tough to put down. It’s like walking through a noir movie.

Jim Hart was raised in Brooklyn where he still resides with his wife. He began his working life as a drummer in rock and blues bands before beginning a thirty-year career in the New York City Sanitation Department, during which time he worked his way through the ranks to serve in such positions as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Director of Correspondence for the Sanitation Police.

Hart has published two noir detective novels in the Harry Parker Mystery Series A Tom Collins To Go, and The Aviation Cocktail. Both are set in 1947 Brooklyn, NY. A Tom Collins to Go was the winner of The Poison Cup Award from Crime Masters of America and a Finalist of the Golden Book Award. Both novels received favorable comparisons to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. He is currently working on the third installment tentatively titled Bloody Mary.

Hart has also published two Poetry Collections: Ramblings Of A One-Eyed Garbage Man, and A Handful Of Smoke, as well as being the co-writer of two songs on The Peter Stevens Band CD Change My World.

Abigail Keam: Death by Stalking Wednesday, Oct 23 2019 

Please welcome Abigail Keam, who writes two mystery series:

Hi. I’m Abigail Keam and I write the Josiah Reynolds Mystery series about a woman who makes her living as a beekeeper and is an amateur sleuth in the lush Bluegrass horse country—a world of Thoroughbreds, oak-cured bourbon, and antebellum mansions.

The Josiah Reynolds Mysteries are a little different from the usual cozy. While there is very little violence, sex, or swearing in the storylines, they are a tad darker than most cozies. Josiah is not your typical sweet heroine. She has a bite to her and does not suffer fools gladly.

I try to make these stories as much fun as possible and have given Josiah some quirky friends that can only be found in the South. There is Josiah’s ancient next door neighbor, Lady Elsmere, who married an English lord and came back to live in the Bluegrass. Josiah’s daughter, Asa, claims she is an art insurance investigator, but everyone knows she works for the CIA. There is also Baby, Josiah’s 200 pound English Mastiff, and Glory, an American Paint horse who has a penchant for throwing Josiah off.

As I am a beekeeper, I love weaving beekeeping facts into my mysteries as well as historical facts about Kentucky, which has a fascinating past.

My twelfth JR Mystery—Death By Stalking—recently received a Readers’ Favorite award in the category of Murder Mystery. I was thrilled to receive the award alongside such other talented authors.

I currently released a new series—The Mona Moon Mysteries are a historical rags-to-riches series taking place during the Great Depression. Mona Moon is a cartographer, counting pennies when she learns that she has inherited her uncle’s vast wealth and a horse farm. She thinks her worries are over until someone tries to kill her. Oh, dear!


Award-winning author Abigail Keam has just released her new mystery series—the Mona Moon Mysteries—a rags-to-riches1930s mystery series which includes real people and events into the storyline. The new series is about a cartographer who is broke and counting her pennies when there is a knock at her door. A lawyer, representing her deceased uncle, announces Mona has inherited her uncle’s fortune and a horse farm in the Bluegrass. Mona can’t believe it. She is now one of the richest women in the country and in the middle of the Great Depression!

Abigail Keam is an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author who writes the Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series about a Southern beekeeper turned amateur female sleuth. The Last Chance For Love Series tells of strangers who come from all walks of life to the magical Last Chance Motel in Key Largo and get a second chance at rebuilding their lives, and The Princess Maura Fantasy Series.

One thing Miss Abigail loves to do as an author is to write real people and events into her storylines. “I am a student of history and love to insert historical information into my mysteries. My goal is to entertain my readers, but if they learn a little something along the way—well, then we are both happy. I certainly learn a lot from my research, and I hope my readers come away with a new appreciation of beekeeping from my Josiah Reynolds Mysteries.”

AWARDS

2010 Gold Medal Award from Readers’ Favorite for Death By A HoneyBee
2011 Gold Medal Award from Readers’ Favorite for Death By Drowning
2011 USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist for Death By Drowning
2011 USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist for Death By A HoneyBee
2017 Finalist from Readers’ Favorite for Death By Design
2019 Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite for Death By Stalking

PASSIONS

Besides loving history, Kentucky bourbon and chocolate, Abigail loves honeybees and for many years made her living by selling honey at a farmers’ market. She is an award-winning beekeeper who has won 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair including the Barbara Horn Award, which is given to beekeepers who rate a perfect 100 in a honey competition.

A strong supporter of farmers’ markets and local food economy, Miss Abigail has taken her knowledge of beekeeping to create a fictional beekeeping protagonist, Josiah Reynolds, who solves mysteries in the Bluegrass. While Miss Abigail’s novels are for enjoyment, she discusses the importance of a local sustainable food economy and land management for honeybees and other creatures.

She currently lives on the Kentucky River in a metal house with her husband and various critters. She still has honeybees.
http://www.abigailkeam.com
abigailshoney@windstream.net
https://www.facebook.com/AbigailKeam

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCThdrO8pCPN6JfTM9c857JA

Kate Atkinson: Big Sky Sunday, Oct 20 2019 


Kate Atkinson has been off writing fantastic standalone so readers haven’t seen Jackson Brodie in a decade. She brings him back in Big Sky, and it’s a pleasure to be in his company again, self-deprecation thoughts and all.

Now working as a private investigator after relocating to the east coast of Yorkshire, near Whitby, Jackson is trying to make headway with a summer spent with his teenaged son, Nathan, while the boy’s mother, actress Julia, films her television show nearby.

On the PI front, he’s proving a husband’s infidelity, which seems vastly easy to do. But it’s the sly humor and the imagined voices that Brodie hears that has always set this series apart and Auntie M was happy to see that intact, despite the dark plot revolving around sex trafficking and child abuse.

That plot emerges when Brodie is hired by Crystal Holroyd, a trophy wife who feels she’s being followed. With her own young daughter and a teenaged stepson in tow, Crystal is a unique and engaging character, despite her surgical enhancements. She’s also the victim of a pedophile ring from the past she’s keep running away from.

That cold case is being investigated by a pair of female officers, one of whom saved Brodie’s life in an earlier novel. Their investigations start to cross lines, bringing home Brodie’s adage that “if you get enough coincidences, they add up to a probability.” And there are plenty of coincidences, coupled with characters from previous novels, and a sense that Brodie is having this happen to him while poking at the tenets and conventions of detective novels.

Jackson still has that depressive thread that runs through him due to the absurdity of life in general, he thinks, balanced by his fondness for quoting country music lyrics just when he needs them. There are plenty of pages where the character’s and their mundane lives take center stage, filled with little details that breed familiarity; and bigger scenes where the evil men make is justified in unbelievable ways.

It all adds up to a book that is unconventional yet satisfying, and that’s just the way we like our Brodie’s to be.

Sherry Thomas: The Art of Theft Wednesday, Oct 16 2019 

Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock Series returns with the fourth, The Art of Theft, another in the feminist series that has Sherlock as Charlotte, who solves crimes with Mrs. Watson.

With a complicated family situation and lots of tendrils of involved relationships that Thomas explains, the case comes down to the theft of a painting that has secrets hidden behind the canvas.

Those secret letters are need to be recovered for an old and close friend of Mrs. Watson, and Charlotte agrees to help. Enlisting the aid of her aristocratic team brings them to a gaudy Parisian costume ball during the holiday season at a French chateau where the painting in question is hidden, waiting to be auctioned off.

There will be an elaborate scheme that starts with the architectural drawings of the chateau and advances to include the dreaded Moriarty and his own team. Soon dessert-loving Charlotte is disguised in such an ingenious way even her own mother wouldn’t know her.

A wealth of historical details show the depth of Thomas’s research. She weaves this tale with social mores of the times and shows the difficult position of women yearning to be acknowledged for their brains as well as their beauty.

A strong thread of romance and wit add to prose that reflects the era in this historical re-imagining with Charlotte’s formidable and accomplished brain at the forefront.

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Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

S L Hollister, author

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Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

S L Hollister, author

Welcome to Leeward

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

dru's book musings

Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

The Wickeds

Wicked Good Mysteries

John Bainbridge Writer

Indie Writer and Publisher

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews