Monday, July 30, 2012

New Mysteries for August

  • Dare Me by Megan Abbott
  • The Absent One [Department Q #2] by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Rock Bottom [Em Hansen] by Sarah Andrews
  • Vengeance by Benjamin Black
  • Tiger’s Claw [Patrick McLanahan] by Dale Brown
  • Kill You Twice [Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #5] by Chelsea Cain
  • Trinity Game by Sean Chercover
  • Dying Echo [Grim Reaper] by Judy Clemens
  • Not My Blood [Joe Sandilands] by Barbara Cleverly
  • The Crime of Julian Wells by Thomas H. Cook
  • Last Lawyer Standing by Douglas Corleone
  • A Brew to a Kill by Cleo Coyle
  • Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen [Dan Rhode] by Bill Crider
  • The Exceptions by David Cristofano
  • A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming
  • Port Villa Blues by Garry Disher
  • Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron
  • Cat in a White Tie and Tails [Midnight Louie] by Carole Nelson Douglas
  • Sentinel by Matthew Dunn
  • Bagpipes, Brides, and Homicides [Liss MacCrimmon] by Kaitlyn Dunnett
  • The Double Game by Dan Fesperman
  • Lucky Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
  • The Last Temptation by Gerrie Ferris Finger
  • Serenade to a Cuckoo by Flo Fitzpatrick
  • Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood
  • Simple by Kathleen George
  • Haunted  by Jeanne Glidewell
  • Trouble Brewing  by Dolores Gordon-Smith
  • Dominus Dei  by Thomas Greanias
  • The Spymasters [Men at War] by W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV
  • The Thing Itself [Robert Watts] by Peter Guttridge
  • Haven [Bishop/Special Crimes Unit] by Kay Hooper
  • The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz
  • Hardcastle’s Frustration by Graham Ison
  • In the Shadows of Paris [Victor Legris] by Claude Izner
  • You Don't Want To Know by Lisa Jackson
  • Odd Apocalypse [Odd Thomas] by Dean Koontz
  • The Prophet by Michael Koryta
  • Shunning Sarah by Julie Kramer
  • Trickster’s Point [Cork O’Connor] by William Kent Krueger
  • Death of A Neighborhood Witch [Jaine Austen] by Laura Levine
  • And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
  • St. Rose Goes Hawaiian by Annette Mahon
  • No Way To Kill a Lady [Blackbird Sisters] by Nancy Martin
  • The Fourth Crow [Gil Cunningham] by Pat McIntosh
  • The Viper [Fredrik Broman] by Håkan Östlundh
  • The Beautiful Mystery [Armand Gamache] by Louise Penny
  • Scone Island [Ike Schwartz] by Frederick Ramsay
  • Valley of Ashes [Madeline Dare] by Cornelia Read
  • Bones Are Forever [Temperance Brennan] by Kathy Reichs
  • The St. Zita Society by Ruth Rendell
  • Far North [Magnus Jonson] by Michael Ridpath
  • The Resistance [Louis Morgon] by Peter Steiner
  • Black List [Scot Harvath] by Brad Thor
  • Off the Grid [Monkeewrench] by P.J. Tracy
  • The Trust [Grove O’Rourke] by Norb Vonnegut
  • Line of Fire [Alan Gregory] by Stephen White
  • The Kings of Cool [Prequel to Savages] by Don Winslow

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Sad Farewell

As a result of recent economic woes, so many familiar places are disappearing.  The latest victim is Mysteries To Die For, a great mystery bookstore in Thousand Oaks, California, north of Los Angeles.  Aunt Agatha first discovered this treasure in 1994 when Michael Connelly was talking about and signing his third book, The Concrete Blonde.  Connelly continued to visit with each new book, until the crowd of fans began to spill out of the small store into the parking lot.

I've been fortunate to meet so many fantastic authors at Mysteries To Die ForMany a Saturday afternoon I'd take the 30-minute drive up to Thousand Oaks to hear authors from near and far speak about their writing. 

Store owner Alan Chisholm posted this message on the store's website:

Mysteries to Die For is closing after a long and wonderful run of nineteen years.

Thanks to all of you who have graced the store with your attendance and all of those special mail order customers who have supported the store over the years. We are humbled and appreciative of the countless e-mails, phone calls, and letters we have received in response to the news.

The last day of business will be Saturday, July 28.

Good-bye and Good Luck to all of you.

I will be very sad to see the store close.  In this age of electronic media and mail order book buying, there is still nothing quite like the tactile experience of browsing mysteries in a bookstore.  Knowledgeable store owners share their love of the genre with their customers and I know many a time I've been steered to a great book as a result of a conversation with an independent bookseller.'ll be missed.   

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Trade Summer Heat for Some Icy Scandinavian Noir

Ever since Steig Larsson exploded on the publishing world with his literary blockbuster, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, millions of readers have been discovering Scandinavian crime fiction. Now that we're heading into the depths of summer, what better time to take a chilling trip up north to explore some of the leaders of Scandinavian crime writing.


Operation Napoleon
by Arnaldur Indriðason
Ashes to Dust: a Thriller by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Bad Intentions
by Karin Fossum
1222: a Hanne Wilhelmsen novel by Anne Holt
The Leopard by Jo Nesbø


The Hand That Trembles
by Kjell Eriksson
The Nightmare by Lars Kepler
The Preacher by Camilla Läckberg
The Troubled Man by Henning Mankill
Red Wolf by Liza Marklund
The Inspector and Silence: an Inspector Van Veeteven Mystery by Håkan Nesser
Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson
Cell 8 by Anders Roslund
Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Val McDermid to give Northanger Abbey a modern twist

Crime author Val McDermid is set to write a contemporary take on Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, according to The Bookseller.  The project is part of HarperFiction's series of reworking Austen's six novels.  Other authors involved include Joanna Trollope taking on Sense & Sensibility (to be published in 2013) and Curtis Sittenfeld taking on Pride & Prejudice.

Editorial director Louisa Joyner said: "There is so much scope for reinvention in this often misunderstood novel and the idea of Val McDermid breathing life into it by bringing her literary expertis as the pre-eminent crime writer to re-ignite the novel's fear factor is incredibly exciting."  Look for McDermid's Northanger Abbey in 2014.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We'll Always Have Paris!

Living in Burbank, the home of Warner Bros. Studios, I was very intrigued by Alan Fursts' latest spy novel, Mission to Paris. It's the summer of 1938 and Europe is a tinderbox ready to explode. 

Warner Bros. film star Frederic Stahl has been loaned out to make a movie for Paramount France and is on his way to Paris.  When he arrives, Stahl is courted by the local Nazis who have their own agenda, hoping to use Stahl's celebrity for their own propaganda machine.  What they don't know is that this movie star is horrified by the Nazi's war on Jews and intellectuals and has become part of an informal group of spys being run out of the American embassy in Paris.

Mission to Paris has intrigue, romance, and a great cast of characters.  But central to the story is the City of Lights, with its bistros and restuarants, back alleys and broad boulevards.  Furst shines a light on this dark period of history when life was uncertain and passions helped keep hope alive. 

In keeping with our French theme, commemorate Bastille Day today with this selection of mysteries set in Paris and its environs:
  • Palace of Justice by Susanne Alleyn
  • The Black Tower by Louis Bayard (featuring Vidocq, chief of plain clothes police force in 1818 Paris)
  • Murder at the Lanterne Rouge by Cara Black (this is the 12th in her Aimee Leduc series featuring the owner of a Parisian detective agency)
  • The Grave Gourmet by Alexander Campion
  • Castle Rouge: an Irene Adler novel by Carole Nelson Douglas
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Paris by Chris Ewan
  • Mr. Monk is Miserable by Lee Goldberg
  • The Bishop and the Beggar Girl of St. Germain by Andrew M. Greeley
  • The Montmartre Investigation:  a Victor Legris Mystery (Paris bookseller sleuth investiges a murder in 1891 Paris)
  • Robert Ludlum's The Paris Option: a cover-one Novel by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds
  • The Alibi Club by Francine Mathews
  • The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary
  • Mute Witness by Charles O'Brien
  • Prince of Darkness: a Medieval Mystery by Sharon kay Penman
  • Monsieur Malaussene by Daniel Pennac
  • The Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Michael Connelly Pitches Harry to Cable TV

In his first move since the resolution of the legal battle with Paramount Studios, Michael Connelly and his partners are hoping to bring his Harry Bosch franchise to cable TV, according to Deadline Hollywood

Paramount had optioned the first two Harry Bosch books, Black Ice (1992) and The Black Echo (1993), back in 1995 but never developed either one into a movie. A 15-year option also gave Paramount ownership of the Bosch character.  The suit was settled in October 2010, so Connelly is now able to take Harry Bosch elsewhere.

Aunt Agatha first met Connelly at a booksigning for The Concrete Blonde in 1994.  I was so impressed with this young local writer, I came out for each successive booksigning until Connelly's move to Florida and busy schedule limited his book tours to the Los Angeles area.  Through the years, though, Michael Connelly has always been appreciative of his fans and very supportive of independent booksellers.  If you want to get a real picture of  Los Angeles  -- not just Hollywood and Beverly Hills! -- Connelly's books will give it to you.  He does extensive research trips to L.A. and it's very evident in his novels.

With the success of crossovers to TV such as Rizzoli & Isles (Tess Gerritson) and the recent Longmire (Craig Johnson), I look forward to seeing Harry Bosch on TV.  My only question -- who will play Harry?  Best wishes on this project, Michael!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Noir

Bogie and Bacall and a healthy pinch of Noir. The perfect recipe for summer fun!

Burbank READS Into the Night -- a Summer Reading Club for Grownups is a new program at the Burbank Public Library this year.  In addition to encouraging adults to read for fun this summer, the library continues to bring a variety of activities to the Burbank community.  In keeping with the "Into the Night" theme, the library will be screening The Big Sleep on Saturday, July 14, at 2 PM.  If you're in the area, stop by for a cool afternoon of classic Noir.

If Noir is your passion, mark your calendars for a special panel discussion, "Masters of Noir." on July 24 at 7 PM.  Author/editor Denise Hamilton (Los Angeles Noir 1 & 2) will moderate a discussion of  the lives and careers of Noir Masters Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Ross Mcdonald.  Panelists include Julie M. Rivett, Hammett's granddaughter and editor of Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers, and Tom Nolan, author of Ross Macdonald: A Biography.

Here's a trailer for The Big Sleep that's also a great nod to libraries. Enjoy the show!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Copper Premieres August 19 on BBC America

I am looking forward to this gripping new crime drama from BBC America.  Copper is set in 1860s New York City. Kevin Corcoran, an Irish-American former boxer turned cop, returns from the Civil War to find his wife missing and his daughter dead. As he patrols the streets of New York’s notorious Five Points neighborhood, he seeks the truth about what happened to his family with the help of two wartime friends, the wayward son of a wealthy industrialist, and a talented African-American doctor (Ato Essandoh). The three men share a secret from their experience in battle that links their lives forever.  An international cast heads the series which stars Tom Weston-Jones (MI-5), Frankie Potente (The Bourne Identity),  (Kyle Schmid, Being Human), and Ato Essandoh).

Check BBC America's website for more information.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hot Summer Reading

Summertime in Southern California.  What better way to enjoy the summer weather than with a good murder mystery.  Here's a list to get you started.  These are July releases and include many new offering by favorite authors.  Or discover a new favorite.  Read and enjoy!
  • The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott [Sam Capra]
  • Dare Me by Megan Abbott
  • Invisible Country by Annamaria Alfieri
  • The Portrait of Doreene Gray [Chihuahua mysteries] by Esri Allbritten
  • Some Like It Hawk [Meg Langslow] by Donna Andrews
  • Murder on the Half Shelf [Booktown series] by Lorna Barrett
  • Only One Life [Louise Rick & Camilla Lind] by Sara Blaedel
  • City of the Dead [Franco Patrese] by Daniel Blake
  • Where the Bodies Are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre
  • Creole Belle [Dave Robicheaux] by James Lee Burke
  • A City of Broken Glass [Hannah Vogel] by Rebecca Cantrell
  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
  • The Investigation by Philippe Claudel
  • The Last Refuge [Dewey Andreas] by Ben Coes
  • Backfire [FBI] by Catherine Coulter
  • The 13th Target by Mark de Castrique
  • The Wurst Is Yet To Come [Bed-and-Breakfast] by Mary Daheim
  • Buried on Avenue B [O’Hara &; Krekorian] by Peter de Jonge
  • In for a Ruble [Turbo Vlost] by David Duffy
  • Night Watch [Alex Cooper] by Linda Fairstein
  • A Pimp’s Notes by Giorgio Faletti
  • The Singapore School of Villainy [Inspector Singh] by Shamini Flint
  • Broken Harbor [Dublin Murder Squad] by Tana French
  • Ransom River by Meg Gardiner
  • Ripper [Event Group] by David L. Golemon
  • Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe & Åsa Träff
  • A Room Full of Bones [Ruth Galloway] by Elly Griffiths
  • 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross
  • Castro’s Daughter [Kirk McGarvey] by David Hagberg
  • The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken [Vish Puri] by Tarquin Hall
  • The Fear Artist [Poke Rafferty] by Timothy Hallinan
  • Die a Stranger [Alex McKnight] by Steve Hamilton
  • Death Makes the Cut [Jocelyn Shore] by Janice Hamrick
  • Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
  • Death of a Second Wife [Dotsy Lamb] by Maria Hudgins
  • Judgment Call [Joanna Brady] by J.A. Jance
  • Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen
  • Fireproof [Maggie O’Dell] by Alex Kava
  • Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman
  • The Nightmare [Joona Linna] by Lars Kepler
  • Strong Vengeance [Caitlin Strong] by Jon Land
  • Lethal Outlook [Psychic Eye] by Victoria Lauri
  • House Blood [Joe DeMarco ] by Mike Lawson
  • The Joy Brigade by Martin Limón
  • Endangered [Iris Oakley] by Ann Littlewood
  • Fire Season [Frank Coffin] by Jon Loomis
  • Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews
  • The Formula for Murder [Nellie Bly] by Carol McCleary
  • Photo Finish [Jack Doyle] by John McEvoy
  • Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses [Dandy Gilver] by Catriona McPherson
  • Summon Up the Blood  by R.N. Morris
  • Hellbox [Nameless] by Bill Pronzin
  • Bones Are Forever [Temperance Brennan] by Kathy Reichs
  • Leader of the Pack [Andy Carpenter] by David Rosenfelt
  • A Whispering of Spies [Libertus] by Rosemary Rowe
  • The Prisoner of Heaven [Cemetery of Forgotten Books] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • The Tintern Treasure [Roger the Chapman] by Kate Sedley
  • The Fallen Angel [Gabriel Allon] by Daniel Silva
  • Criminal [Sara Linton & Will Trent] by Karin Slaughter
  • Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez
  • Behold a Pale Horse [Sister Fidelma] by Peter Tremayne
  • Let the Devil Sleep [Dave Gurney] by John Verdon
  • The Crowded Grave [Bruno Courrèges] by Martin Walker
  • Burrows [Red River] by Reavis Z. Wortham