Archive for the ‘Mystery & Detective’ Category

Big Books of the Fall

Monday, August 25th, 2014

9781400065677_611e9   9781476756660_e9693

The fall season gets into gear next week with the release of David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks, (Random House; Recorded Books) A profile of the author in today’s NYT notes, “Mr. Mitchell has evolved from being a cult author with a small but rabid fan base to a major literary figure whose work has been compared to that of Nabokov, Pynchon and Dostoyevsky.”

The #1 IndieNext title for September, it rose to #153 (from  #296) as a result.

Over 600 pages long, it’s a big book in more ways than one and competes for serious review attention, as well as readers’ time, with another 600-plus-page, very different novel, We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas, (S&S; S&S Audio). Released two weeks ago, this debut has heavier holds than Mitchell’s book and is now at #74 on Amazon. It’s received a string of laudatory reviews, beginning with Entertainment Weekly and continuing with the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, the L.A. Times‘s David Ulin, and USA Today. The New Yorker uses it a springboard to “reassess the burgeoning genre” of books about Alzheimer’s, beginning with Still Alice by Lisa Genova. and giving the highest marks to “Thomas’s realist epic [because it] … exceeds the usual boundaries of fiction on the subject [and] offer the truest and most harrowing account of a descent into dementia …

OverDrive sample — We Are Not Ourselves

NPR “Esclusive First Read” — The Bone Clocks

Holds Alert: DEAR DAUGHTER

Friday, August 8th, 2014

dear-daughter-bcHolds are growing for the mystery that was listed at #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” last week, Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, (Penguin; Recorded Books).

Earlier, we suggested it as one to recommend for readers who can’t get their hands on Liane Moriarity’s Big Little Lies, but now both are difficult to come by.

People magazine makes it as one of three book picks of this week. They compare it to yet another title, “Quick-witted and fast-paced, this debut mystery should be a hit with Gone Girl fans,” as does the Associated Press reviewer, “The unlikable protagonist with a biting personality and outrageous actions, but who is fascinating at the same time, has never been more popular. Just think of Gone Girl. In her confident fiction debut, Elizabeth Little puts a fresh spin on this character.”

On NPR — Ann Cleeves

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE — Be sure to check out the great offer in the comments section.

9781250036605_45d26As a respite from the heat, NPR’s Morning Edition interviewed Ann Cleeves, the author of a series of mysteries set in Scotland’s sub-polar “wild and bleak” Shetland Islands.

The most recent title is in the series, the fifth, is Dead Water, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s/Minotaur; Feb, 2014). The sixth, Thin Air, is due next year.

The books are the basis for Shetland, a popular BBC One series in the U.K. (it hasn’t been broadcast in the U.S.)

Below are the titles in the series (first four are currently available in trade paperback from Macmillan Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books):

LIFE OF CRIME Trailer

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

9780062206138The trailer for Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow), starring Jennifer Aniston, was released last week. The movie, which also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins, opens on August 29.

Director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel to The Rolling Stone last year, and expressed the hope that Leonard would have appreciated the outcome. With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work.

The novel is one of a series of trade paperback rereleases of Leonard’s classic backlist published by HarperCollins/Morrow. It is also in the Library of America collection, Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s, coming in September (Penguin/Library of America).

Trailer, below

Krueger Wins Edgar

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Ordinary Grace  Tamarack County  Windigo Island

Many librarians know this year’s Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel, William Kent Krueger, personally. In 2013, he visited over 35 libraries (and writes on his blog how much he loves doing so). He also managed to publish two books. In addition to the Edgar winner, Ordinary Grace, (S&S/Atria Books; released in trade paperback in March; Thorndike). a standalone, he also published Tamarack County, the latest in his Cork O’Connor series. A new title in that series, Windigo Island (S&S/Atria; 8/19/14) arrives this summer.

Krueger’s love for books was sparked by a librarian, as he recounts in a blog post, “God Bless Librarians.” He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and his books are set in northern Minnesota.

Below are the other winners in the fiction categories (full list of nominees and winners here).

red-sparrow-book-cover-396x600  9780316246767  9780375869259_cf7f6

Best First Novel

Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews (S&S/ Scribner; S&S Audio; mass market pbk just released; Thorndike) — there was talk of a film adaptation last year and it is still considered in development.

Young Adult

Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher, (Hachette. Little, Brown YR)

Best Juvenile

One Came Home, Amy Timberlake, (RH/ Knopf YR;  Listening Library; released in paperback in Jan.) — also a 2014 Newbery Honor Book.

2014 Edgar Finalists

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

How the Light Gets InTo nobody’s surprise (except the author’s), Louise Penny is a finalist for the Edgar Best Novel Award. for her ninth Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novel, How the Light Gets In (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print).

The Washington Post gives a rundown of all the other Best Novel finalists here.

The full list of all categories is here.

The winners will be announced tomorrow evening.

Gillian Flynn: How Different?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Gone GirlSounds like Gillan Flynn wants to have things both ways. First, she said that the ending of the film version of Gone Girl will be different from the book. David Fincher made it sound very different, telling Entertainment Weekly that star Ben Affleck was so “shocked” by the changes that he said, This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.’

But in an answer to a question during a Reddit discussion yesterday, she stepped back from that quite a bit. Below is her response:

Tell your girlfriend not to worry—those reports have been greatly exaggerated! Of course, the script has to be different from the book in some ways—you have to find a way to externalize all those internal thoughts and you have to do more with less room and you just don’t have room for everything. But the mood, tone and spirit of the book are very much intact. I’ve been very involved in the film and loved it. Working with David Fincher is pretty much the best place to start for a screenwriter. Screenwriting definitely works different parts of your brain than writing a novel. I do love that with novels, you can really sprawl out–it feels quite decadent. With screenwriting, you have to justify every choice. It’s a nice discipline, but definitely not decadent.

So, take your pick. If you want a different ending, quote the Flynn of EW. If you don’t, quote the Flynn of Reddit.

LIFE OF CRIME To Be Released Aug 29

Monday, April 7th, 2014

9780062206138The movie Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow)has been set for release on August 29.

In The Rolling Stone last year, director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel and expressed hopes that Leonard would have appreciated the outcome.  With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work.

The film, featured at the Toronto Film Festival was called by Variety‘s critic, a “fitting memorial” to the author.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, it was renamed Life of Crime, presumably to separate it from a very different movie starring Aniston, The Switch, based on a Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story The Baster.

Life of Crime also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins.

The novel is one of a series of trade paperback rereleases of Leonard’s classic backlist published by HarperCollins/Morrow. It is  also in the Library of America collection, Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s, coming in September (Penguin/Library of America).

Early Attention for FROG MUSIC

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Frog MusicAfter the huge success of Room, it’s no surprise that critics are vying to be the first to review author Emma Donoghue’s next book, Frog Music, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio and Large Print), which arrives this coming Tuesday (although some libraries are showing that it is in process).

The Washington Post‘s is among the first of the consumer reviews, with Ron Charles noting, “The millions of readers who know Donoghue only from the harrowing tale of that little boy [in Room] will discover in Frog Music just how expansive and boisterous this Irish Canadian author can be … Donoghue has created a full-throated murder mystery, spiced with song and forbidden love.”

The Wall Street Journal profiles the author’s background research, in which she came up with a solution to a real-life murder that took place in San Francisco in 1876.

The film rights for Room were acquired in 2013. It is still in development as of January, according to a story in Deadline.

VERONICA MARS, The Books

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Veronica MarsThe cult favorite, Veronica Mars TV series, starring Kristen Bell as a teenage sleuth, was canceled after its third season in 2007. Since then, creator Rob Thomas has not allowed the property to die. Through a Kickstarter campaign, (the most successful one to date), he raised the funds for a movie version. He also signed with RH/Vintage for two books based on the character (he has written several novels, including the 1996 YA title Rats Saw God).

The movie debuts on March 14 (see trailer below) and the first book, Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, which features the 28-year-old Mars after the events of the movie, arrives on March 25. It is currently at #29 and rising on Amazon sales rankings.

To catch up on the story, link here.

Also on the horizon is a collection of essays in the Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, coming in May, Veronica Mars and Philosophy: Investigating the Mysteries of Life (Which is a Bitch Until You Die), edited by George A. Dunn.

J.K. Rowling Series: Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Yesterday, Feb. 23:  “JK ROWLING has mapped out a series of up to seven crime novels featuring her private investigator Cormoran Strike — in a repeat of the approach she took with her Harry Potter books,” The Sunday Times of London, by Richard Brooks.

Today, Feb. 24:  Little, Brown denies Rowling novel plans — “A spokesman for Little, Brown said: ‘Richard Brooks has written this without foundation and there aren’t seven books planned in the series.'” — The Bookseller

The Cuckoo's Calling   The Silkworm
Well, at least we know there will be two books in the series. The Silkworm (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) will be released on June 24th.

Lippman On Women and Ambition

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Laura Lippman’s latest novel, After I'm Gone After I’m Gone (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe), gets a strong nod from Janet Maslin in the NYT this week, “The characters … are so well drawn that it’s easy to forget why they happen to be connected. Almost all of them are strong, willful women.”

“Willful” is an odd adjective. It seems to only be used to describe women and children, never men, since it is an expected, even applauded, male characteristic.

Speaking to librarians at the United for Libraries Gala Tea at Midwinter in January, Lippman talked about the “willful women” who have inspired her (including her mother, a librarian) and about another gender-shifting adjective, “ambitious,” encouraging us all to embrace it.

Thanks to Laura for allowing us reprint her talk, below, and to Virginia Stanley, HarperCollins Library Marketing, for helping us get that permission.

Laura Lippman, Photo by Jan Cobb

Laura Lippman, Photo by Jan Cobb

It’s a happy accident that my next book [After I’m Gone] comes out on Feb. 11 because it is very much a Valentine’s Day to the generations of women, including my mother, who gave birth to the women of the so-called Baby Boom. This was not conscious when I began writing the book, but it was clear to me by the time it was finished. Bernadette “Bambi” Brewer – left, with three days, to fend for herself when her husband Felix decides he cannot serve even a portion of his 15-year sentence for mail fraud – emerges as the closest thing that my book has to a heroine. Bright and beautiful, she has never wanted to be anything but a wife and mother, and I think the book ultimately validates her choice.

Now, I’m a crime writer. I never describe myself as anything else. In fact, I was so appalled at what I saw as another writer’s recent attempt to disavow the genre that I wrote a somewhat, um, spirited defense of my genre roots. The piece that had so offended me included lines such as “my big literary novel” and an announcement that the writer, after writing three crime novels, was now girding himself to stride into “the great arena of art.”

But it also made me realize how uncomfortable our culture is with ambition. Particularly when it comes to women.

(more…)

New Rowling/Galbraith Arrives 6/24

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The SilkwormThe followup to The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) is set for release on June 24th. Titled The Silkworm, (Hachette/Little, Brown; ISBN-13: 9780316206877; $28.00 US/$31.00 CAN), it is not yet showing on wholesaler or retailer catalogs.

Below is the publisher’s description.

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives–meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

A story on the release by the Associated Press has appeared in several news sources, including USA Today.

New Patricia Highsmith Adaptation

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

two-faces-of-january-poster-berlin  The Two Faces of January

A rave in The Telegraph for The Two Faces of January, starring Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday, will frustrate U.S. audiences. The movie is scheduled for release in the U.K. in May, but there is no U.S. release date yet. The reviewer calls it “the best Patricia Highsmith adaptation since The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) … an elegantly pleasurable period thriller, a film of tidy precision and class … a treat to look at and listen to, evoking a lot of old-fashioned movie virtues, and showing us a lush but suspenseful good time.”

The Hollywood Reporter tamps down that enthusiasm, “it’s unlikely that the directing debut of screenwriter Hossein Amini (Jude, Drive) is going to knock The Talented Mr. Ripley from its pedestal in the Highsmith pantheon, or even jar it slightly. Still the production … is truly lush and the actors … almost too subtle and nuanced for the roles they play. The result is easy viewing that should have a nice small screen life after Studio Canal releases theatrically in the UK, France, Australia and related territories.”

Grove Press will release a new trade paperback edition of the book in June (new cover above, right), part of a program to reissue all the Highsmith books in their catalog.

For an appreciation of Highsmith’s work, see Jonathan Lethem’s Washington Post review of the  2009 biography of the author.

Lisbeth Salander To Live On

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

13014080_O_1   Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Swedish publisher of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, Norstedts Förlag (covers of the original and U.S. editions of the first title in the series, above), has announced that they have hired Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz to write a fourth book, scheduled to be published in August, 2015.

The publisher added that it has nothing to do with the manuscript that Larsson left unfinished when he died in 2004 (the series was originally planned as ten books and there is still a legal dispute over ownership of the rights to the unfinished manuscript).

In a press release, Norstedts explains why they chose Lagercrantz for the task, “His ability to find the right tone and voice, his great experience and his manner of engaging readers of all ages – most recent in the form of the global success that is I am Zlatan [which he ghost wrote for the soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic]  – makes him the right choice. David Lagercrantz is not just a skilled novelist, he has also, through his work searched for different characters and complex geniuses. He is also used to working in editorial environments”

U.K. rights were acquired by British publisher, Quercus, which launched in the U.S. this fall (see their web site here) with a list that includes a book of articles by Larsson, translated into English, The Expo Files. Larsson, like his main character, was a crusading journalist. No news yet on whether Quercus, or the U.S. publisher of the previous titles in the Millennium series, Knopf, will publish the new title here.

A very early work by Larsson, a story he wrote when he was just 17, will make its first appearance in English in an anthology of works by several Swedish crime writers, A Darker Shade of Sweden, coming in February 2014 from Grove/Mysterious Press.