Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Scotland Yard's Famous Murder Squad

The broken body of a Scotland Yard detective is found in a steamer trunk, his eyes and lips sewn shut.  Inspector Walter Day's first assignment at the Yard is to catch the killer.  Set in Victorian London following the debacle of the Ripper killings, the Metropolitan Police are being forced to deal with a new sort of criminal, the serial killer, and detectives are just starting to recognize that forensic science is a valuable crime-solving tool.

I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Grecian's debut novel, The Yard.  It's a real pageturner that will keep you up way past midnight.  The book is the first in a projected series, so it's interesting to watch the development of the characters as they forge relationships that will continue in future books.  I read a pre-pub copy of The Yard, and the only problem with that -- I'll have to wait at least a year, if not more, for the next book in the series to be released!

Alex Grecian created the long-running and critically acclaimed graphic novel series, ProofThe Yard is his first novel and it's set for a May 29th release.  Visit Alex's website for more information.

About the book:
Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . . .

When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. Together they track the killer, who clearly is not finished with The Murder Squad . . . but why?

Filled with fascinating period detail, and real historical figures, this spectacular debut in a new series showcases the depravity of late Victorian London, the advent of criminology, and introduces a stunning new cast of characters sure to appeal to fans of The Sherlockian and The Alienist.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Julie Hyzy Delivers Another Cozy Caper

Grace Among Thieves is the third installment in Julie Hyzy's Manor House Mystery series.  Her well-written and most enjoyable books feature a cast of intriguing characters and a charming setting.  Hyzy is also the author of the White House Chef mystery series.  Her books are recommended reads for cozy fans.

From the publisher:
As curator and manager of the Marshfield Manor, Grace Wheaton is delighted to be part of the estate’s magnificent history, but no one told her solving murder was in her job description…

When Grace’s former professor calls to warn her that there have been a rash of thefts at various historical sites, Grace isn’t surprised—because Marshfield Manor has been targeted, too. She wonders if it has something to do with the film crew roaming the grounds, digitally immortalizing the manor, but then she gets distracted by an incident much more dire: the shooting of one guest and the murder of another.

Grace does her best not to go looking for trouble, but with a murderer on the loose, she can’t seem to leave the dirty work to the cops—especially since the killer still seems to be lurking around town, waiting to finish the job of making Grace history…

Visit Julie Hyzy's website for more information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TNT Announces Series in Development

TNT has a new crop of mystery-related series in development.  They announced their slate yesterday (check it out here).  Bestselling author David Baldacci and Shane Brennan (NCIS, NCIS LA) are developing a project, King and Maxwell, centering around popular characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell.  Former secret service agents, this unusual pair of private investigators use their unique skill sets to get a leg up on traditional law enforcement.  Baldacci is serving as a consultant on the project.

Legends is a suspenseful, action-packed drama based on Robert Littell's novel of the same name.  The story follows a deep-cover operative named Martin Odum, who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job.

James Duff, creator of The Closer and Close to Home creator Jim Leonard are bringing Lew Archer back.  Based on the title character from Ross Macdonald's popular novels, Archer is considered by many as the original P.I.

Tom Clancy's Homeland Security is an event-based procedural that is set in Tom Clancy’s world of espionage.  It  pits a select team of domestic intelligence operatives against enemies within and without.

Steven Bochco has an "Untitled Murder Mystery" project in development.  It takes a single murder case and stretches out over the entire season, from the commitment of the crime through the investigation, arrest, and trial.

And while we're on the subject of TNT, some of our favorite tele-mystery series are starting up this summer.  Rizzoli & Isles returns on June 5; The Closer comes back for its final episodes on July 9; and Leverage returns on July 15.  Major Crimes, a spinoff of The Closer, premieres on August 13 following The Closer finale.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hard-boiled Follow-up to Purgatory Chasm

Steve Ulfelder's debut novel, Purgatory Chasm, was nominated for the 2012 Edgar in the Best First Novel category.  His    multi-faceted protagonist is back for another turn in The Whole Lie, a worthy follow-up in the Conway Sax series.

Conway Sax is an auto mechanic with a knack for problem solving.  His sense of loyalty and friendship is strong; his tolerance for lies and manipulation almost non-existent.  He's a man who has made his share of mistakes, but is working hard to get his life back on track. 

And for once, he thinks a normal life is within reach.  He finally moved in with long-time girlfriend, Charlene, and opened a new garage.  Then Savannah Kane reappears, a smart, smoky gal who is an expert pusher of men's buttons.   Seven years ago, Conway helped Savvy disappear -- but not before they had a sizzling, knock-down-drag-out affair.  Now she's back with a shocking revelation: she's the mother of a six-year-old boy.  Savvy claims the baby-daddy is none other than Bert Saginaw, the home security billionaire.  Saginaw wants to be Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.  Savvy wants to get paid.  Conway wants nothing to do with either of them.

Of course, when Savvy turns up brutally murdered, Conway has no choice but to sort the lies from the truth, even though doing so may cost him his freedom, his lover and his life.

Set against the backdrop of the Massachusetts gubernatorial race, this fast-paced novel is full of twists and turns.  If you enjoy the books of Robert B. Parker and Dennis Lehane, give The Whole Lie a test drive.  For more information on Steve Ulfelder and his books, visit his website.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Murderous Month of May

Here's the latest crop of mysteries. Read and enjoy!
  • The Sins of the Father (Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer
  • The Lost Ones (Quinn Colson) by Ace Atkins
  • Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby (Spenser) by Ace Atkins
  • The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry
  • Exit Plan by Larry Bond
  • The Reckoning (Maeve Kerrigan) by Jane Casey
  • The Last Man by P.T. Deutermann
  • The Emerald Storm by William Dietrich
  • Lehrter Station [John Russell #5] by David Downing
  • Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman
  • A Fatal Fleece (Seaside Knitting) by Sally Goldenbaum
  • Fun House (John Ceepak) by Chris Grabenstein
  • Dead Level (Home Repair) by Sarah Graves
  • Hush Money by Chuck Greaves
  • The Unresolved Seventh by Richard Helms
  • Tote Bags and Toe Tags (Haley Randolph) by Dorothy Howell
  • Afraid To Die (Selena Alvarez & Regan Pescoli) by Lisa Jackson
  • As the Crow Flies (Walt Longmire) by Craig Johnson
  • Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon
  • The Stonecutter (Hedström & Falck) by Camilla Läckberg
  • Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell
  • The Providence Rider (Matthew Corbett) by Robert McCammon
  • Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder by Catriona McPherson
  • The Constant Lovers by Chris Nickson
  • The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Hall Page
  • Fatal Induction by Bernadette Pajer
  • Don’t Cry Tai Lake by Qiu Xiaolong
  • Stolen Prey by John Sandford
  • The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor
  • Woman Chased by Crows by Marc Strange
  • Murder on Fifth Avenue by Victoria Thompson
  • The Whole Lie by Steve Ulfelder
  • Final Sail by Elaine Viets
  • Death Will Extend Your Vacation by Elizabeth Zelvin

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sherlock Returns to Masterpiece Mystery

Check your local listings this Sunday night for the new season of Sherlock.  The three new episodes will run May 6-20 on Sunday evenings.  The stories chosen for this second series includes A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville and The Reichenbach Fall.  Expect the unexpected!

You've got to love this duo.  I, for one, am very glad to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson back for more crime-fighting.  For those who miss the episodes or have a glitch with their DVR, PBS website will have the episodes available for viewing for a short time.

It's reported that Season 3 of Sherlock won't start filming until 2013.