Friday, March 27, 2015

A New Scotland Yard Mystery

While I am a great fan of online book buying when you know what you want, there is nothing quite like browsing through a brick and mortar book store. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer of these marvelous institutions left.
My latest discovery while trolling the local book store is Anne Cleeland's  New Scotland Yard mystery series. I'm currently reading the first in the series, Murder in Thrall, and enjoying it tremendously. If you like Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series or Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series, give Anne Cleeland a try. As a fan of British police procedurals, I find it interesting that all three of these American authors write bloody good mysteries!

Chief Inspector Michael Sinclair, Lord Acton, has a reputation for solving London's most high profile homicides. He has taken on first-year Detective Constable Kathleen Doyle as his protege. The Irish redhead is of humble origins but has the gift of reading people that makes her an invaluable investigator. This unlikely duo's cases have a high success rate, but this latest one is proving tricky. A
racecourse trainer with possible underworld ties turns up dead. Acton and Doyle question the man's girlfriend who is then found murdered soon afterward. Both murders seem to be related, but there are odd discrepancies. 

As Acton and Doyle delve deeper into the case, their growing bond is causing gossip among their colleagues in the CID headquarters. While the series is more romantic suspense than strict police procedural, the relationship between these two characters is as intriguing as the mystery.

Murder in Thrall is followed up by Murder in Retribution and the most recent Murder in Hindsight (out on March 31).

Looking at what other readers say about the series, it seems like people either really love it or really dislike it. I say check it out for yourself. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

'Tis Murder, I Tell Ya!: Irish Crime Novels

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with a little Hibernian homicide!

I've just read the third entry in Sheila Connolly's delightful County Cork Mysteries, An Early Wake, and I can certainly recommend it to put you in the proper St. Patrick's Day spirit. It follows the adventures of Boston transplant Maura Donovan as she makes a home for herself in her grandmother's ancestral village in County Cork. The first two books in the series is Buried in a Bog and Scandal in Skibbereen.

As summer comes to a close, and with it the tourist season, expat Maura Donovan worries that Sullivan's Pub won't make it through the winter. But when she learns that Sullivan's was once a hot spot for Irish musicians jamming in the back room, the fledgling pub owner sees a light at the end of the tunnel.

But Maura never imagined that bringing the music back to Sullivan's Pub would result in a dead musician! Connolly's very enjoyable cozy series may just make you want to book that flight to Ireland!

I've included a sampling of some of my favorite Irish mysteries that range from gritty to historical to romantic suspense.  Enjoy!












Monday, March 16, 2015

Left Coast Crime Award Winners Announced



The 2015 Left Coast Crime Convention was held in Portland, Oregon this past weekend.
Congratulations to the winners in this year's award categories.

The Lefty for best humorous mystery novel:
Timothy Hallinan for Herbie's Game.

The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award:
Catriona McPherson for A Deadly Measure of Brimstone

The Rose for best mystery novel set in the Left Coast Crime Region:
Gigi Pandian for Pirate Vishnu

The Rosebud for best first mystery novel set anywhere in the world:
Allen Eskens for The Life We Bury

Left Coast Crime is held annually, usually in the western half of North America. This convention is sponsored by fans of mysteries, both readers and writers. If you've never gone to one of these fun get-togethers, start planning now for the 2016 convention in Phoenix, Arizona (February 25-28) or the 2017 Left Coast Crime in Hawaii (March 16-19). It's not too early to register! Visit the Left Coast Crime website for details.





Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tana French's Dublin Mystery Squad Coming to TV


Be on the look-out for this TV project, and hope it's not long in coming.

According to Deadline International, Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series is being brought to the international television market. Euston Films' Kate Harwood is partnering with Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen of Veritas Entertainment to adapt the first three novels of the Dublin-based French to the TV.

Tana French won several literary prizes for her first novel, 2007’s In The Woods, and she followed that up with The Likeness and Faithful Place, among others.

The novels each follow a different case and include overlapping characters who are alternately in the forefront or the background of the main story. They are set in the fictional Dublin Murder Squad and have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The Likeness was previously acquired by Paramount in 2011 to be adapted as a feature. The option lapsed and the trio of Harwood, Gasmer and Jaysen pounced. This is the first time the books have been offered for television.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Murder Hollywood-Style!


Aunt Agatha spent a couple of pleasurable hours at the Burbank Public Library's Buena Vista Branch today. Five members of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime were on hand to discuss "Hollywood Past and Present." Moderator Stephen Buehler lead the panel which included Robert S. Levinson (The Evil Deeds We Do), Andrew Jetarski, Maxine Nunes (Dazzled), and Rosemary Lord (Hollywood Then and Now, Los Angeles Then and Now).

Great fun! If you'd like to read mysteries with a Hollywood slant, you must check out Bob Levinson's novels and short stories. Check him out on his website. Bob has a story is included in one of my favorite "Hollywood" anthologies, Hollywood and Crime--Original Crime Stories Set During the History of Hollywood.

Stephen Buehler is the author of a number of short stories and a novel. His story, "Not My Day" in the  anthology, Last Exit to Murder, was a Derringer Award nominee. Andrew Jetarski's short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies including the upcoming Sisters in Crime publication, Ladies Night, due out in June. Maxine Nunes' Dazzled is a suspenseful tale of present-day Hollywood. For those of you looking to find out more about Hollywood and L.A, be sure to check out Rosemary Lord's two photo-packed books that give you a look at Tinseltown's vintage and present locations.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March New Releases

What's in store for mystery readers this month? Check these out:
  • Ladle to the Grave [Soup Lovers], pb by Connie Archer
  • What the Fly Saw [Hannah McCabe] by Frankie Y. Bailey
  • The Patriot Threat [Cotton Malone] by Steve Berry
  • The Tapestry [Joanna Stafford] by Nancy Bilyeau
  • Murder on the Champs de Mars [Aimée Leduc] by Cara Black
  • The House of Wolfe [Wolfe Family] by James Carlos Blake
  • The Hidden Man [Titus Cragg & Luke Fidelis] by Robin Blake
  • The Edge of Dreams [Molly Murphy] by Rhys Bowen
  • 12 Rose Street [Joanne Kilbourn] by Gail Bowen
  • Endangered [Joe Pickett] by C.J. Box
  • The Tomb in Turkey [Fethering] by Simon Brett 
  • Assault and Pepper [Spice Shop] by Leslie Budewitz
  • The Strangler Vine [Avery & Blake] by M.J. Carter
  • The Dragon of Handale [Abbess Hildegard] by Cassandra Clark 
  • Murder in Hindsight [Kathleen Doyle] by Anne Cleeland
  • The Cat Sitter’s Whiskers [Dixie Hemingway] by Blaize & John Clement
  • The Stranger by Harlan Coben
  • Dead to the World [E.J. Pugh] by Susan Rogers Cooper
  • The Assassin [Isaac Bell] by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott
  • Two Parts Bloody Murder [Leigh Abbott & Matt Lowell] by Jen J. Danna & Ann Vanderlaan
  • The Death Season [Wesley Peterson ] by Kate Ellis
  • Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe [Elizabethan] by Kathy Lynn Emerson 
  • Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron
  • Wicked Charms [Lizzy and Diesel] by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton
  • Someone Is Watching by Joy Fielding
  • Firebreak [Josie Gray] by Tricia Fields
  • The Cheapside Corpse [Thomas Chaloner #10] by Susanna Gregory
  • Who Buries the Dead [Sebastian St. Cyr] by C.S. Harris
  • Star Fall [Bill Slider] by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles 
  • False Impression [Abbott Agency] by Veronica Heley 
  • Cold Betrayal [Ali Reynolds] by J.A. Jance
  • Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon
  • Werewolf Cop [Zach Adams] by Andrew Klavan
  • The Moonlit Door [Nick Lawrence] by Deryn Lake
  • The Stolen Ones [Kirk Stevens & Carla Windermere] by Owen Laukkanen
  • Signature Kill [Frank Behr] by David Levien
  • Guilty Waters [Joanna Piercy] by Priscilla Masters 
  • Too Bad To Die [featuring Ian Fleming] by Francine Mathews
  • Killer Gourmet [Savannah Reid] by G.A. McKevett
  • Cry Uncle [J. McNee] by Russel D. McLean
  • Chasm [Frankie MacFarlane] by Susan Cummins Miller
  • Inspector of the Dead [Thomas De Quincey] by David Morrell
  • Land of the Blind [Inspector Ikmen] by Barbara Nadel
  • NYPD Red 3 [Zach Jordan & Kylie MacDonald] by James Patterson & Marshall Karp
  • The Mouth of the Crocodile [Mamur Zapt] by Michael Pearce
  • The Angel Court Affair [Thomas and Charlotte Pitt] by Anne Perry
  • Poison Ivy [Martha’s Vineyard] by Cynthia Riggs
  • Life or Death  by Michael Robotham 
  • The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
  • The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons
  • Kittens Can Kill [Pru Marlowe] by Clea Simon
  • All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer
  • Revenge in the Cotswolds [Thea Osborne] by Rebecca Tope
  • Cuba Straits [Doc Ford] by Randy Wayne White
  • A Dangerous Place [Maisie Dobbs] by Jacqueline Winspear

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Denmark's Queen of Crime Visits Los Angeles

While you may not be familiar with Denmark's premier crime fiction writer, Sara Blaedel's bestselling books have been discovered by many fans including author Michael Connelly. L.A.'s "King of Crime" has called Blaedel "One of the best I've come across." 

Connelly was at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, CA last evening to introduce Sara Blaedel to local mystery readers. She is just finishing up her tour to promote the first U.S. translation of her book, The Forgotten Girls. I was delighted to be in the audience for this fascinating conversation between two great crime writers.

Sara, like Connelly, has a background in journalism. She's had a number of careers ranging from restaurant staff to graphic design to her own publishing company where she published Danish translations of American crime fiction. Then in 2004, the first of Blaedel's novels featuring police detective Louise Rick was published and won the Danish Crime Academy's debut prize.

The Forgotten Girls is the seventh in the Louise Rick series, but only four have been translated into English. However, Ms, Blaedel shared with the audience that The Forgotten Girls is the first of a trilogy arc (the next will be out this time next year), so it is not a problem to jump into the series with this one.

Here'a a synopsis of the book from Blaedel's website:

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing to the media. An older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like other children in the institution. was abandoned by her family and branded a "forgotten girl." After four days, Louise Rick--the new commander of the Missing Persons Department--is still without answers. But when she releases a photo she discovers something disturbing. Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed--and hidden--in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

Sara Blaedel lives near Copenhagen with her family. When she's not busy writing compelling crime novels, she is an ambassador with Save the Children and serves on the jury of a documentary film competition.

Looking for a good read? Check out The Forgotten Girls.