Catriona McPherson: Go To My Grave Sunday, Nov 11 2018 

Catriona McPherson’s newest standalone, Go To My Grave,
with a gothic thriller that’s eerie even as it’s a study in characterization.

For Donna Weaver and her mother, restoring Galloway beach house The Breakers and turning it into a posh inn has been the stuff of their dreams. Redecorated, filled with fresh flowers, Donna awaits the arrival of their first guests for a long weekend where she will cook and wait on them.

She’s juggling this alone as her Mum is at a wedding venue getting new clients when the gang of relations arrive for one couple’s tenth anniversary. It’s not long before most of them realize they’ve been at this very house decades before, for a sixteenth birthday party that didn’t end well.

Things soon start to happen that catch them off balance, playing games with their memories and the events of that party. Until the unthinkable happens and a body is found.

At once atmospheric, the tangle of people at this party confound Donna with their interwoven histories that are slowly revealed to her, as are the details of exactly what happpened at the party, when the participants swore to keep the details secret in a vow of silence they would take to their graves.

For some of them, this might just come true.

Disturbing and twisted, this is a deliberately devious mystery with a shocking and unexpected ending.

Advertisements

Ragnar Jonasson: The Darkness Wednesday, Nov 7 2018 

Iceland’s Ragnar Jonasson steps away from his Detective Ari Thor series to bring a stand-alone that will have the hair standing up on the back of your neck in The Darkness.

DI Hulda Hermanndottir is approaching retirement age at the Reykjavik Police when her superior calls her into his office to inform her he’s already hired her replacement. She’s free to leave instead of working her last year.

Stunned, unwilling to let go of the place and job that have been her home and sustained her lonely existence, Hulda pushes to be allowed a few weeks to solve one last cold case. While the widow has developed a new friendship with a fellow hiker, she has secrets of her own she’s hiding.

A Russian asylum seeker had been found murdered in a rocky cove, and the case speaks to her, especially when she starts to investigate and finds the original detective’s sloppy work led to a hasty conclusion of suicide.

Instead, Hulda finds threads of information that point to something else entirely, and don’t add up. The more she searches, the more convinced she becomes the young woman was murdered.

There is a startling conclusion to this grim story as Hulda nears the real story of what really happened to young Elena, one that will shock and surprise readers. Publishers Weekly notes: “Fans of uncompromising plotting will be satisfied.”

Andrew Michael Hurley: Devil’s Day Sunday, Nov 4 2018 


Andrew Michael Hurley’s mines the Lancashire landscape when he brings John Pentecost an his young wife back to the Endlands in Devil’s Day.

Unsettling from the outset, John brings his newly pregnant wife, Katherine, home for the funeral of his grandfather, known as the Gaffer.

Dadda, John’s father, has his own agenda, and the funeral is the backdrop to the local legends and tales that are told and retold as preparations for the ritual to keep the Devil away from the sheep begin. Everything has a superstition behind it, and everyone on the moors is affected. But it’s all just tales and nonsense, isn’t it?

The unsettled landscape comes alive under Hurley’s talented pen, as the gripping tale shows Nature at her finest and her cruelest. The eerie feel to the entire tale had the Daily Mail note: “This impeccably written novel tightens like a clammy hand around your throat.”

With Katherine’s growing apprehension, is John merely failing to see the menace she sees, or does he know something more?

An accomplished followup to Hurley’s award-winning first novel, The Loney.

Alyssa Palombo: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel Wednesday, Oct 31 2018 

Happy Hallowe’en! And what better book to present than Alyssa Palombo’s retelling of the classic legend of Sleepy Hollow in The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel.

Palombo’s previous historicals,The Violinist of Venice and The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, were both hailed for their accurate period details woven into an intriguing story. Spellbook continues in that vein, and as a New Yorker who grew up on Washington Irving’s story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this retelling of that story combines aspects of a sweeping romance with a gothic thriller that are delight to read.

Katrina Van Tassel is heiress to her father’s extensive farms along the Hudson River Valley, and a suitable husband must soon be found for the attractive girl. When the new schoolmaster arrives and begins music lessons, Ichabod Crane and Katrina are immediately drawn to each other.

So begins their love story, one that is threatened by the courting of Brom Van Brunt, son of a neighboring farmer. Katrina’s father is convinced the melding of the two farms would be a boon and is in favor of this union, which Katrina is definitely not.

Growing up with her best friend, Charlotte, daughter of the local midwife and herbalist, Charlotte was called a witch by Brom when the three were young, and Katrina has never forgiven him. Indeed, the friendship between Charlotte Jansen, supposed ‘white witch’ and the heiress Katrina are at the heart of the novel.

As Ichabod and Katrina begin their love affair, the ghost of the local legends surround them, until Ichabod suddenly disappears on All Hallows Eve. While locals whisper the Headless Horseman has claimed Ichabod, Katrina fears a more human element. Than how to explain the visions she sees when staring into a candle’s flame?

At the heart of the bool is the story told through the eyes of Katrina. Readers see the time period spool out before them with its customs and mores, as well as the lovers secret life.

Set against the backdrop of the country as its first President is searching for a replacement, the novel gives a feminist version of the haunting legend and its consequences as they revolve around Katrina. An intriguing and new way to look at an old legend.

Thomas Kies: Random Road & Darkness Lane Sunday, Oct 28 2018 

Please welcome Thomas Kies, who will explain writing his series from the point of view of a female reporter:

Writing From the POV of a Female Reporter

Both Random Road and Darkness Lane are written from the first-person viewpoint of Geneva Chase . . . a woman. I’m male, I have both an X and a Y chromosome.

“Really, you write as a woman?” I’m often asked. “What the hell were you thinking?”

First, a little about Ms. Chase. She’s blonde, tall (five-ten), athletic, blue eyes, attractive, forty years old, and a snarky smart ass. Geneva is a reporter for her hometown newspaper in Sheffield, Connecticut, a bedroom community outside of New York City. As the first book opens, she’s seeing a married man, has been recently arrested for hitting a cop, has been married three times, and she drinks too much.

Geneva Chase is a hot mess. Likable and smart as hell, but still a hot mess.

That doesn’t answer the question, “What the hell were you thinking?”

I started writing Random Road as an experiment. One chapter I’d write from the male protagonist’s POV and the next chapter I’d write as Geneva Chase. About ten chapters into the book, I discovered I was having much more fun writing as Genie. Through her eyes, I could view the world as a cynical journalist. Through her voice, I could make snarky, sarcastic observations. Simply put . . . she was fun!

A writer needs to be keenly observant of the world around him or her. Writing as a woman, I needed to study how someone like Genie would dress, what kind of jewelry she’d wear, how she would speak and move. I know more about women’s shoes than I ever wanted to.

Now, a word to the wise: it’s a fine line between being extremely observant and being creepy.

Honestly, I wasn’t thinking beyond Random Road when I wrote it. I certainly wasn’t planning on doing a series of Geneva Chase mysteries.

But it was blessed with good reviews, deemed debut of the month by the Library Journal, and sold out of its first hardcover printing before the launch date.

My publisher asked for two more over the next two years. Darkness Lane came out last June to excellent reviews, and I’ve just sent in the manuscript for the third Genie Chase novel, Graveyard Bay.

I’ve had some interesting comments from readers about Geneva. I’ve had women tell me how much they identify with her. I take that as a compliment.

I’ve had men tell me how much they like the character, and I actually had one guy tell me that he’d fallen in love with her. That made me kind of uncomfortable . . .

If you read either Random Road or Darkness Lane please let me know what you think at tbkies11@gmail.com. You can see upcoming events and more blogs at http://www.thomaskiesauthor.com.


Thomas Kies has wanted to be a mystery writer nearly all his life, cutting his teeth on every John D. MacDonald novel he could get his hands on. The first of his Geneva Chase Mysteries started with RANDOM ROAD and six naked bodies found hacked to death on an island. The second, DARKNESS LANE, opens with an abused woman torching her sleeping husband. When the police arrive, she’s drinking wine, saying, “I’m just toasting my husband.” Concurrently, a fifteen-year-old high school student vanishes. The two plots appear to have nothing in common but as Geneva chases down leads, she finds that they are dangerously related.

Thomas Kies has a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York. Thomas Kies is currently the President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. He lives on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina with his wife, Cindy, and their Shi-tzu, Lilly. He’s just submitted to his editor the finished manuscript of his the third book in the Geneva Chase series- GRAVEYARD BAY. http://www.thomaskiesauthor.com

Bruce Robert Coffin: Beyond the Truth Friday, Oct 26 2018 

Coffin’s third Detective Bryon crime mystery, Beyond the Truth, just may be his best yet.

The former Portland, Maine detective brings his knowledge of the town and his feel for the politics of crime management to the forefront in this newest addition to his series.

Both of the previous mysteries in the series, Among the Shadows, and Beneath the Depths, have a feel realistic feel because of Coffin’s background, and that truthfulness rings through here as well. The lousy food, long hours, mixed emotions and job culture are all exhibited.

Beyond the Truth has multiple layers that elevate it from the usual crime drama. There are issues haunting Byron that must be addressed and the status of his personal relationship, but at the center of it all is an officer-involved shooting, when a colleague and good cop shoots a teen fleeing from an armed robbery.

It doesn’t help that the gun the teen pointed at the officer isn’t found at the crime scene, and with echoes of so many recent officer-involved shootings, protests and riots soon break out.

Then there are the politics that revolved around that kind of crime, from the Mayor’s office to the police hierarchy. At the heart of it all is a dead boy and a good officer who feels he’s become undone by the circumstances and must face the fact he killed a young man.

This is topical on so many levels, yet has a very personal feel about it. Portland and its environs come alive under Coffin’s pen as he captures the many faces of that town. The investigation feels real, with families and friends of the dead youth investigated, his school and mates, and above all, the seedy underbelly of the town.

A tense and exciting read with a swiftly-paced storyline. Engrossing.

Michael J McCann: The March and Walker Crime Novels Wednesday, Oct 24 2018 

Please welcome Hammett Prize Finalist Michael McCann, to talk to readers about his March and Walker Crime Novel series:

Is setting important to readers when it comes to crime fiction?

For most of us, it can be more or less transparent, particularly in Scandinavian noir by Henning Mankell, for example, where our familiarity with rural and small-city Sweden is limited. For readers of William Kent Krueger or Anne Hillerman, on the other hand, a sense of place is more important for an appreciation of the story, even if we’ve never been to Minnesota or New Mexico.

As far as my novels are concerned, a Canadian setting might be equally unfamiliar to crime fiction fans, but it offers a different perspective to homicide investigation that will appeal to readers looking for an international flavour to their mysteries.

During 15 years with the Canada Border Services Agency, I had an opportunity to learn about law enforcement procedures common to all professionals, including interviewing and interrogation techniques, search procedures, firearms handling, and evidence processing.

I also worked alongside experienced officers from other agencies and was exposed to a wide range of Canadian legal requirements for policing in our country.

This time spent in public service provided an ideal training ground for writing crime fiction in a Canadian setting. As a result, my March and Walker novels reflect how the Ontario Provincial Police actually investigates homicides in their jurisdiction.

Given that the OPP is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in North America, a strong sense of verisimilitude is very important to my work.

It was a great honour when the first novel in the series, Sorrow Lake, was named a finalist for the prestigious Hammett Prize for excellence in crime fiction in North America. I hope that the next two in the series, Burn Country and Persistent Guilt, come close to matching that high standard.

I hope you’ll consider trying crime fiction set in Canada!

Find the March and Walker Crime Novel series on Amazon, in paperback or eBook, at my author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-J.-McCann/e/B0031LPGCC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1.

Electronic versions in epub format are also available from Kobo for any epub reader here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/search?query=The%20March%20and%20Walker%20Crime%20Novel%20Series&fcsearchfield=Series&seriesId=8a03a5f5-a99d-537e-9aae-3f2f93609102.


Michael J. McCann

Michael J. McCann lives and writes in Oxford Station, Ontario, Canada. He was born and raised in Peterborough. A former production editor with Carswell Legal Publications (Western), he holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Trent University with a major in English Literature and a Master of Arts in English from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

He worked for fifteen years with Canada Customs (Canada Border Services Agency) as a training specialist, project officer, and national program manager (duty free shop program, complaints investigation, commercial compliance management) before leaving the public service to write on a full-time basis.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Michael J. McCann also reviews mysteries and thrillers for the New York Journal of Books.

Elsa Hart: City of Ink Thursday, Oct 18 2018 

Elas Hart’s new Li Du novel, City of Ink, finds the 18th Century librarian’s return to Beijing to uncover the murderer of his mentor. With sidekick storyteller Hamza by his side, Li Du investigates when two bodies are found in a tile factory.

The period details add to the richness of the story as the idea of crime of passion doesn’t sit well with Li Du. For the second victim is the factory owner’s wife, and their supposed secret meeting led to their murders by her jealous husband.

Now a lowly secretary to the Chief Inspector, Li Du finds the husband refusing to confess to the murders. While admitting he was drunk that night, he has no memory of killing either victim.

It’s a twisted path he follows that will lead him to corruption of the highest order, with the future of thousands of Chinese in the balance.

Even his own past will come under scrutiny, which brings Li Du under the microscope and endangers his own well-being.

Hart’s research shows, in the way she brings this era to life, in the texture and colors and sights and sounds of a bygone time that seem just around the corner under her talented pen. Her characters are as well-woven as a Chinese silk tapestry.

There are enough twists and turns for any experienced mystery writer, but there is so much more here than that puzzle that keeps readers flipping pages. An accomplished addition to a satisfying historic series.

And if you enjoy historicals, Steve Berry’s The Lost Order is new in paperback. Gold from a secret Civil War society plays a role when it comes to light the secrets of the Knights of the Golden Circle, still operating, might be revealed. Cotton and his team find themselves racing around the US to piece together the plot that would cause disaster to the country.

Peter Blauner: Sunrise Highway Sunday, Oct 14 2018 

As a native Long Islander, Auntie M has long been intrigued with the string of unsolved murders from the place where she grew up and lived until her mid-40s. Now Peter Blauner delivers a possible solution with the story of one man who manages to hide his pyschopathy enough to cover his tracks for years in the very compelling Sunrise Highway.

Told in advancing years, readers figure out soon enough who the culprit is, watching Joey Tolliver rise from a teen on the cusp of a criminal career to becoming a decorated policeman.

Along the way he gathers supporters and people who owe him and look the other way, which allows his outrageous and horrific behavior to continue.

Then in 2017, when Tolliver is Chief of Police, a Latina NYPD detective, Lourdes Robles, finds that her investigation into the body of a young woman washed up on her patch leads her to similarities of a multitude of other female victims, a trail along Sunrise Highway in Long Island all the way to Brooklyn.

She’s tenacious and relentless, despite career and personal threats, in following the evidence, as she must fight against the political powerhouses in of the justice system itself. And just as it seems she’s making headway, she finds herself on the opposite site of the law.

The chapters alternate between Tolliver’s rise and Robles’ investigation, heightening the tension to a terrific pitch.

This read so plausibly it made Auntie M’s hair rise on her arms. It’s too believeable to see one person make a life’s work of extreme misogyny while supposedly upholding law and order.

The setting rings true with its familiarity, but the main attraction here are the strong characters, easily pictured and believed, along with the grunt police work and the thrill of escalating twists that will keep readers glued to the book. Highly recommended.

Gilly Macmillan: I Know You Know Friday, Oct 12 2018 

Gilly Macmillan’s psychological thriller, I Know You Know, contrasts newly-found bones under asphalt with the twenty year-old unsolved murder case of two young boys.

The connection between both cases is Detective John Fletcher, who’s life has been haunted by the boy’s death. Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were only eleven when murdered outside a Bristol dog racing track. Charlie was barely alive wtih Fletcher and his partner found the boys, and he died in Fletcher’s arms.

While a mentally-deficit local man was arrested and spent years in prison for the murders, there have always been those who felt Sidney Noyce didn’t commit the crimes.

Enter Cody Swift, not a filmmaker who was the third friend in a trio with the dead boys. He’s spent time digging into the reports and loose threads that remain from the initial investigation, and starts a podcast to find out the truth. He aims to get those who might have kept silent at the time to speak up now.

Through Macmillan’s taut and addictive pages, readers meet the families of the dead boys and learn the history of that night. Jess, Charlie’s mother, is a pivotal figure. Now happily married with a teen daughter, her first child and his death affect her every waking moment.

The long-dead body found near the site of the boy’s bodies means the two cases might be linked and Fletcher will do all he can to find out what really happened all those years ago.

A close look at a complicated case and how the actions of one detective had a domino affect on the lives of so many others.

« Previous PageNext Page »