Friday, May 24, 2013

Dennis Lehane Tapped to Write Travis McGee Film Adaptation

According to Omnimystery, the long-awaited film adaptation of John D. MacDonald's book, The Deep Blue Good-by, in which Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to star as Travis McGee, is back on the front burner. We're now learning that Dennis Lehane will write the screenplay.

DiCaprio previously starred in an adaptation of Lehane's Shutter Island. DiCaprio (as producer) and Lehane (as writer) are also working together on two other projects, one of which is an adaptation of Live by Night to be directed by Ben Affleck.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Masterpiece Mystery Returns!

Hooray! PBS Summer Masterpiece Mystery! is coming back, 9:00 PM on Sundays. Check your local listings:

Inspector Lewis and DC Hathaway are back in Series VI, with three episodes. Watch Inspector Lewis on June 16th.

Endeavor, Series I begins on July 7th with four episodes. Before he was Inspector Morse, DC Endeavor Morse was on the case.

Tune in on August 18th for The Lady Vanishes, a stylish adaptation of the classic thriller.

Silk, a 3-part legal drama airs August 25 - September 8.

Foyle's War, series VII returns September 15-29. When Folye returns from America, MI5 asks him to look into a Russian spy network in Cold-War London.

Friday, May 17, 2013

James Ellroy to Visit the Burbank Public Library

Called "one of the great American writers of our time," James Ellroy is more closely identified with Los Angeles than any writer since Raymond Chandler. Nearly all his books are set in the rough-and-tumble setting of post-World War II L.A.  Four novels are collectively known as the L.A. Quartet: The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential (adapted to an Academy Award winning-movie) and White Jazz.

If you're in the Los Angeles area, come on over to Burbank and hear James Ellroy talk about his work. 

A Conversation with James Ellroy

Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00 PM

Buena Vista Branch Library300 N. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, 91505

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Some Thrilling Reads

Looking for a good thriller? There's no better place to start than the nominees for the 2013 Thriller Award. Winners will be announced at ThrillerFest VIII, July 13, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Congratulations to all the finalists!


Sean Chercover – THE TRINITY GAME (Thomas & Mercer)
Brian Freeman – SPILLED BLOOD (SilverOak)
Lisa Gardner – CATCH ME (Dutton Books)
Gregg Hurwitz – THE SURVIVOR (St. Martin’s Press)
William Landay – DEFENDING JACOB (Delacorte Press)


Daniel Friedman – DON’T EVER GET OLD (Minotaur Books)
Owen Laukkanen – THE PROFESSIONALS (Putnam Adult)
Chris Pavone – THE EXPATS (Crown)
Matthew Quirk – THE 500 (Reagan Arthur Books)
Michael Sears – BLACK FRIDAYS (Putnam Adult)


Blake Crouch – PINES (Thomas & Mercer)
Sean Doolittle – LAKE COUNTRY (Bantam)
Alison Gaylin – AND SHE WAS (Harper)
Alex Marwood – THE WICKED GIRLS (Penguin Books)
Michael W. Sherer – NIGHT BLIND (Thomas & Mercer)


David Edgerley Gates – “The Devil to Pay” (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine)
Clark Howard – “The Street Ends at the Cemetery” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
Dennis Lehane – “The Consumers” (Mulholland Books)
Gordon McEachern – “The History Lesson” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
John Rector – “Lost Things” (Thomas & Mercer)


Michelle Gagnon – DON’T TURN AROUND (HarperCollins)
Andrew Klavan – IF WE SURVIVE (Thomas Nelson)
Dan Krokos – FALSE MEMORY (Hyperion Books CH)
Niall Leonard – CRUSHER (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
William Richter – DARK EYES (Razorbill)


Jon Land – PANDORA’S TEMPLE (Open Road E-riginal)
CJ Lyons – BLIND FAITH (Minotaur Books)
Alexandra Sokoloff – HUNTRESS MOON (Alexandra Sokoloff)
Allen Wyler – DEAD END DEAL (Astor + Blue Editions)
Allen Wyler – DEAD WRONG (Astor + Blue Editions)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's Alive!

"She looked uncommonly beautiful, with her color high against the black of her hair, shimmering like raw film stock to her shoulders."

Sometimes you just have to judge a book by it's cover. When I ran across Loren D. Estleman's latest mystery, Alive!, I was captivated by the cover art. Having grown up watching the movie monsters of Hollywood's golden era on a flickering black and white TV, and living my entire life on Hollywood's doorstep, I couldn't resist picking up the book. And what a treat it was!

This comedic murder mystery is Estleman's third book in his "Valentino, Hollywood Film Detective" series, following Frames and Alone.  A wacky and delightful concoction, it's dripping with  movie lore, quirky characters, and snappy dialog. Each of the books in this series centers around one of filmdom's icons (Erich von Stroheim in Frames and Greta Garbo in Alone). You'll find yourself quickly turning the pages to keep pace with the characters on their madcap race to the finish.

Valentino is a consultant and archivist for UCLA's film preservation department. Unfortunately, his quest for long-lost movie treasures often turns up a corpse or two as well.  When a down-and-out actor and one-time friend contacts Val with a tantalizing tip, he figures it's just a plan to borrow more money for booze and drugs.  However, if the tip is for real...  The film archivist in him practically salivated with anticipation.

Everyone knows that Boris Karloff''s portrayal of Frankenstein's monster in the classic film was brilliant, but not many are aware that another '30s icon was also up for the role of the square-browed creation. Dracula's Bela Lugosi filmed a screen test for the part, which was a horror of another kind. The footage of that ill-advised piece of casting was long thought to have been destroyed. But if the secret screen test really existed, it was a film collector's dream come true.

The only problem was that people were being killed over the film and Val was moving up the list. Just when things were starting to get really scary,  a group of steampunk college students lead by Val's intern Jason, jump in to save the day.

If you are a movie buff and enjoy a mystery in the lighter vein, run, don't walk to pick up a copy of Alive!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Here comes more award news.  The Agatha Awards were announced this weekend at the Malice Domestic Convention. These awards are given to the best traditional mysteries from the past year. Congratulations to all the winners.

Best Novel:
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

Best First Novel:
Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer

Best Non-fiction:
Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels
by John Connolly/Declan Burke

Best Short Story:
"Mischief in Mesopotamia" by Dana Cameron (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Best Children's/Young Adult Novel:
The Code Busters Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse by Penny Warner

Best Historical Novel:
Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder by Catriona McPherson

How many have you read?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Edgar Awards Announced

It is that time of year when awards are given out for outstanding mysteries published in the previous year. Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Awards at their May 2nd banquet.  The best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in 2012, were honored.  Congratulations to the winners and the nominees!

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Last Policeman: A Novel by Ben H. Winters

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China by Paul French

The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics
by James O’Brien

"The Unremarkable Heart" – Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance by Karin Slaughter

The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

“A Scandal in Belgravia” – Sherlock, Teleplay by Steven Moffat (BBC/Masterpiece)

"When They Are Done With Us" – Staten Island Noir by Patricia Smith (Akashic Books)

Ken Follett and Margaret Maron

Oline Cogdill -- Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego & Redondo Beach, CA

Akashic Books

The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Mysterious Month of May

Quite an eclectic collection of new releases to celebrate May -- plenty of murder, mayhem, and mystery. Symbologist Robert Langdon is back for another thrilling excursion into history and mystery with Dan Brown's latest, Inferno.  As you might guess from the title, Langdon is pulled into the dark literary masterpiece, Dante's Inferno, as he races to unravel a puzzle that could threaten the world.

Michael Harvey, Chicago's popular crime novelist and author of the Michael Kelly series, has crafted an intriguing stand-alone thriller, The Innocence Game, that explores a dark world where the line between innocence and guilt has vanished altogether.

No matter where your interest lies, a brand new mystery is waiting for you to crack open.  And maybe you'll discover a new author to enjoy!
  • A Conspiracy of Faith [ [Department Q] by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland [Spenser continuation #2] by Ace Atkins
  • The King’s Deception [Cotton Malone] by Steve Berry
  • Shattered Trident [Jerry Mitchell] by Larry Bond
  • When the Devil Drives [Jasmine Sharp & Catherine McLeod] by Christopher Brookmyre
  • Inferno [Robert Langdon] by Dan Brown
  • The Last Girl [Maeve Kerrigan] by Jane Casey
  • Silent Voices [Vera Stanhope] by Ann Cleeves
  • Onion Street [Moe Prager prequel] by Reed Farrel Coleman
  • Screwed [Daniel McEvoy] by Eoin Colfer
  • Fatherhood and Other Stories by Thomas H. Cook
  • Lucky Bastard [Lucky O’Toole] by Deborah Coonts
  • Pirate Alley [Grafton & Carmellini] by Stephen Coonts
  • Sacred Games [Nicolaos] by Gary Corby
  • Requiem Mass [Andrew Fenwick] by Elizabeth Corley
  • Zero Hour [NUMA Files] by Clive Cussler & Graham Brown
  • The Barbed Crown [Ethan Gage] by William Dietrich
  • The Hero Pose by Glen Ebisch
  • Til Death Do Us Part [Thomas Potts] by Sara Fraser
  • Angora Alibi [Seaside Knitters] by Sally Goldenbaum
  • Free Fall [Ceepak & Boyle] by Chris Grabenstein
  • Smarty Bones [Sarah Booth Delaney] by Carolyn Haines
  • Dead, White, and Blue [Death on Demand] by Carolyn Hart
  • The Innocence Game by Michael Harvey
  • The Asylum by John Harwood
  • Poppet [Jack Caffery] by Mo Hayder
  • Dead Lions by Mick Herron
  • Hang Fire [Steve Martinez] by Henry Kisor
  • The Babylon Rite by Tom Knox [1st US edition]
  • Deeply Odd [Odd Thomas] by Dean Koontz
  • The Stranger [Patrik Hedström] by Camilla Läckberg
  • Angel Baby  by Richard Lange
  • A Delicate Truth by John le Carré
  • The Ophelia Cut [Dismas Hardy & Abe Glitsky] by John Lescroart
  • Original Skin [Yorkshire Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy] by David Mark
  • Rapscallion [Matthew Hawkwood ] by James McGee
  • The Extinction Club  by Jeffrey Moore
  • Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell
  • Little Green [Easy Rawlins] by Walter Mosley
  • The Redeemer [Harry Hole] by Jo Nesbø
  • Night Terrors [Daniel Rinaldi] by Dennis Palumbo
  • The Enigma of China [Inspector Chen] by Qiu Xiaolong
  • Every Broken Trust [Skeet Bannion] by Linda Rodriguez
  • Seduction  by M.J. Rose
  • Silken Prey [Lucas Davenport] by John Sandford
  • Complex 90 [Mike Hammer] by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins
  • The Doll [Vanessa Michael Munroe] by Taylor Stevens
  • The Night Detectives [David Mapstone] by Jon Talton
  • Murder in Chelsea [Gaslight] by Victoria Thompson
  • The Healer by Antti Tuomainen
  • Shotgun Lullaby [Conway Sax] by Steve Ulfelder
  • Board Stiff [Dead End Jobs] by Elaine Viets