Archive for the ‘Mystery & Detective’ Category

RA Alert: ORIENT

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.36.25 PMChristopher Bollen’s second novel,  Orient (Harper; HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) “might well be this summer’s most ambitious thriller or this summer’s most thrilling work of literary fiction” according to author Ivy Pachoda in her glowing LA Times review of Bollen’s second novel.

It is a review with plenty of juicy quotable lines for readers’ advisors to reference – especially when working with patrons who like their crime novels filled with high body counts and a thrumming sense of place.

And Pachoda knows a thing or two about capturing a strong sense of locale — she did it in her book Visitation Street (HarperCollins/Ecco; OverDrive Sample), set in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In her review of Orient she clearly appreciates a fellow author who is able to create a similar vibrant evocation of place, saying:

The Orient of Bollen’s novel is of course Orient Point, the town at the eastern-most tip of Long Island’s less fashionable North Fork — think Gatsby’s West Egg to Daisy’s East Egg — which has so far resisted the Ralph Lauren and McMansion uprising of the Hamptons to the south. But the artists are coming, scooping up pricy shorefront properties, gutting the charming homes, bringing their cavalier city ways and transforming the quaint town as they see fit.

Her quotes just get better, ending with this summary:

There’s a smorgasbord of delights in Orient, from its murderous plot to the cheeky fun Bollen has at the expense of the art world. And there is ample room in this expansive novel for surprisingly soulful descriptions of everything from the intricacies of beekeeping to the beauty of deer hunting. Most impressive is how Bollen’s book is rich in literary diversions, moments of keen sociological and emotional insight — often into personal isolation — that transcend the conventions of its story.

Pachoda is not alone in her admiration. USA Today offers another quotable line:

… a gorgeously written book whose literary chops are beyond doubt. Come for the prose, and stay for the murders.

Ruth Rendell Dies at 85

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.04.40 AMAuthor Ruth Rendell, who also wrote under the pen name Barbara Vine, has died at age 85, after suffering a stroke in January.

Known for her skill in crafting dark, pointed, and intellectual psychological thrillers, Rendell is one of the pioneers of crime fiction.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.45.54 AMShe is the author of the Inspector Reginald Wexford mysteries, beginning in 1964 with From Doon with Death (RH/Ballantine, 2007; OverDrive Sample). She went on to write 23 more over a career that spanned fifty years (the most recent is No Man’s Nightingale, S&S/Scribner, 2013; OverDrive Sample).

Rendell also wrote successful standalones. The newest is The Girl Next Door (S&S/Scribner, 2014; OverDrive Sample).

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.05.54 AMHer next book, also a standalone, is scheduled for December, Dark Corners (S&S/Scribner, 12/1/15; 9781501119422, 1501119427).

As Barbara Vine, Rendell wrote hits such as A Dark-Adapted Eye (currently out of stock in print; available digitally from Open Road Media; OverDrive Sample) and The Birthday Present (RH/Broadway; OverDrive Sample).

The Guardian suggests five key works for new readers to try and for established fans to revisit.

Edgar Honors Go To King and Flynn Among Others

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.48.39 AMA relative newcomer to the hardboiled detective genre, Stephen King, wins the Edgar award for Best Novel with Mr. Mercedes (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The book, a cat-and-mouse game between an ex-detective and a killer who turns a car into a weapon, is the first in an expected trilogy. As we reported, the second book, Finders Keepers, comes out in early June.

This is King’s first individual Edgar Award. He was named a Grand Master in 2007 and was nominated for an Edgar in 2014 for Joyland, although The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood took the prize that year.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.51.34 AMGillian Flynn won the Best Short Story category with “What Do You Do?” published in Rogues (Penguin/Bantam Books; OverDrive Sample) which was a LibraryReads pick last June.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.52.26 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.53.31 AMAdditional Edgars, which are widely considered the premier awards for the mystery genre, were also awarded to Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton; OverDrive Sample) for Best First Novel (it was a LibraryReads pick last July) and The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani (Penguin; OverDrive Sample) for Best Paperback Original.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.55.10 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.54.11 AMThe two top nonfiction picks went to Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William Mann (Harper; OverDrive Sample) for Best Fact Crime and to Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton/Countryman Press) for Best Critical/Biographical.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.58.01 AMThe Mary Higgins Clark Award went to Jane Casey for The Stranger You Know (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; OverDrive Sample) and two new Grand Masters were named, Lois Duncan and James Ellroy.

A complete list of winners and nominees is available on the Edgar site.

Next CORMORAN STRIKE On The Way

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.55.15 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.55.33 AMThe third Cormoran Strike novel, Career of Evil, is coming this fall.

Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) announced that the novel is finished via a Twitter post:

That was followed by a tweet by Little, Brown UK stating the title:

Details on the U.S. edition (ISBN, pub date) are still being worked out, according to the publisher. We will let you know when that information is available.

Nancy Pearl Loves Historical Mysteries

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.38.21 AMLibrarian Nancy Pearl picks a title from one her favorite genres, historical mysteries, for her weekly radio show.

The Strangler Vine (Penguin/Putnam; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample, 3/31/15) by M.J. Carter is a debut set in 1837 India. Nancy calls it “an old-fashioned adventure novel.”

Carter is the author of two nonfiction works and uses her skills in research to create a vividly set historical thriller tracing the adventures of William Avery, a newly arrived British solider, and Jeremiah Blake, a seasoned spy gone native.

In praise any publisher would kill for, Nancy says it is “wonderful reading, I just couldn’t put it down.”

The New York Post agrees, making it one of their “This week’s must-read books” and calling it a “yarn reminiscent of adventures by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

Nancy appears every Tuesday on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW and an archive of her appearances is also available.

More Than JUSTIFIED:
Elmore Leonard

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.36.48 AM

The final episode of FX’s Justified ran on Tuesday night, bringing renewed attention to Elmore Leonard via subtle homages to the author that were not lost on fans, the switching of the iconic Stetson hat to a version closer to the one Leonard lobbied for and a cameo of the book Leonard said he often re-read for inspiration, The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (Macmillan/Picador, 1972; OverDrive Sample).

9780062120342_927acThe series, originally based on Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole” (from the collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, re-released in trade paperback as Fire in the HoleHarperCollins/Morrow; OverDrive Sample) and featuring the central character who also appeared in the novels Pronto, Riding the Rap, and Raylan, the last novel Leonard published before his death in 2013, has been a powerhouse show for the network and brought more fans to Leonard.

Both Fire in the Hold and The Friends of Eddie Coyle are currently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Glowing reviews of the series’ end all laud Leonard as well, from New York Magazine’s in-depth conversation with executive producer Graham Yost to a consideration of Leonard’s character in Word & Film.

The renewed attention makes this a good time to promote Leonard’s extensive backlist and many adaptations through virtual and in-house displays.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.07.50 AM  Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.08.01 AM  Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.08.24 AM

The three Justified novels. as well as the collection featuring the original short story, have been reprinted with bursts on the covers to make the connection, “Featuring RAYLAN GIVENS, from the new FX Series, JUSTIFIED.”

Beyond the series, classic examples of Leonard’s style include Hombre, Rum Punch, Be Cool, and Killshot. The Morrow imprint of HarperCollins recently re-released those titles as well several others in new trade paperback editions.

Many of Leonard’s books have been made into movies such as 3:10 To Yuma, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, and the recent Life of Crime (based on The Switch). The first five seasons of Justified are available on DVD and the final is on its way.

Don’t forget the audio versions. Favorite narrators Frank Muller and George Guidall served as narrators for many of his titles.

Tana French, TRUE DETECTIVE?

Sunday, March 8th, 2015


9780670038602  9780143115625  9780670021871_01b1b

Likening Tana French’s novels to the successful HBO series True Detective, a production company has acquired the adaptation rights to In The WoodsThe Likeness and Faithful Place (all Penguin/Viking) with plans to turn it ino a series of its own (one of the comments notes what many librarians will second, “They’re being modest. This series is SO much better than True Detective“).

The announcement in Deadline notes that the book feature interconnecting characters. Coincidentally, The Millions explores that subject in depth, but their comparisons are more literary, from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway to Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, novels which, “generate vertiginous thrills as they dramatize the difficulties of understanding ourselves, other people, and the world at large.”

Richard Price Attempts a New Brand

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

9780805093995_a6d5dIf you’re going to use a pseudonym, why reveal it on the book’s cover? In an interview in today’s NYT, Richard Price explains why the cover of his new book The Whites (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio), coming on Tuesday, carries the awkward attribution, “Richard Price Writing as Harry Brandt.”

He set out to write in a different style, a “stripped-down, heavily plotted best seller.” The only problem was that he couldn’t pull it off and ended up writing a Richard Price novel. Bowing to his publisher and editor who convinced him that if he didn’t make the pseudonym transparent, he would commit “commercial suicide,” he wound up with the two names on the cover. He says it “seemed like a good idea in the beginning, and now I wish I hadn’t done it,”

In an advance review, also in today’s NYT,  Michiko Kakutani says it has all the hallmarks of a Richard Price novel, “an ear for street language … kinetic energy … hard-boiled verve … [characters] who become as vivid to us as real-life relatives or friends.”

The title refers to the white whale that haunts Ahab in Moby Dick. Similarly, the cops and former cops in Price’s novel are all haunted by previous cases. Kakutani praises it  as ” a gripping police procedural and an affecting study in character and fate.

Prepub trade reviews are also strong. In a starred review, Booklist calls it ” a strong contender for best crime novel of 2015.”

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY Nominated for An Edgar

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

9780062088253_d693eAmong the six nominees for an Edgar in the Best Novel category, one stands out as a pleasant surprise. Although it contains elements of suspense, Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperLuxe).  is not primarily a mystery.

It was a LibraryReads pick last year, with the following recommendation,

“Cash’s second novel is as good as his first [A Land More Kind than Home]. In this story, we meet Easter and her sister Ruby, who have been shuffled around the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina. Then their ne’er-do-well father whisks them away in the middle of the night. I was on the edge of my seat as I followed the girls’ tale and hoping for a safe outcome.” — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

The full list of nominees in the Best Novel category:

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperLuxe)

Wolf  by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic; Thorndike)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike)

The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette/Little, Brown; Thorndike)

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (RH/ Delacorte)

Several LibraryReads picks were nominated in other categories:

Dry Bones in the Valley, Tom Bouman, Norton; Thorndike) — Best First Novel

“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The Life We Bury, Allen Eskens, (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) — Best First Novel

“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III, Ben H. Winters, (Quirk Books)  — Best Paperback

“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day, (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) — Mary Higgins Clark Award

“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.” —Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI

Amazon Turns to Books

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A few years ago, Netflix introduced the world to the idea of bingeing on an entire season of a new series, by streaming all the episodes of House of Cards at one time, following up with Orange is the New Black.

Amazon also got into that game. Its series Transparent just made history as the first online series to win two Golden Globe awards, one for best comedy and another show’s star, Jeffrey Tambor as best actor,

Now they have announced their fist drama series. This time, it is based on books. Boschfeaturing the character from Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, debuts February 13 on Prime Instant Video.

+-+31003037_140   9781455519644

Connelly, who is also a producer for the show, co-wrote the script. According to a story about the production in the Wall Street Journal, it is based on two Bosch titles,,  The Concrete Blonde, (1991, Hachette/Little Brown; #3 in the series) and (City of Bones, 2002; #8 in the series).

Amazon has also just  released their 4th “pilot season,” which gives viewers the opportunity to watch and rate seven new pilots aimed at adults and six more for kids (Woody Allen who recently struck a deal with Amazon to create his own series next year, will not have to go through this process. His series will go direct to release).

One of those pilots is based on a book, The Man in the High Castle, adapted by Ridley Scott from the iconic alternative reality novel by Philip K. Dick. The press is giving it high marks (see Entertainment Weekly, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times).

Readers Advisory: Nancy Pearl, From Thriller to Cozy

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

9780385536998_1e4af-2Noting a growing tend of  fast-moving but very complex thrillers that challenge the readers and are well worth the attention they require, Nancy Pearl, during her regular Tuesday appearance on Seattle’s NPR station, KUOW, recommends one of  her recent favorites, The Distance by Helen Giltrow, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio). It  features a wealthy, elegant socialite named Charlotte who lives another life as Karla, a woman who helps people in trouble disappear. Katla, Nancy emphasizes, is not a nice person, and in fact, the book is “filled with people who are not particularly good people, but whom you somehow care about. It takes skill for a writer to pull that off.” Listen here

It was a LibraryRead pick for September and a favorite on GalleyChat.

OverDrive Sample

Audio Clip:

Murder at the BrightwellThat book included scenes Nancy “had to read with my eyes closed,” but on last week’s show, she recommended a book in a quite different genre, one she doesn’t generally enjoy, a cozy mystery. Murder at the Brightwell, by Ashley Weaver, (Minotaur/Macmillan) won her over with its subtle humor and “witty repartee” between a “Nick and Nora” type of wealthy young couple in the 1930’s, making it “like armchair traveling into a rarefied world.” Listen here.

It was a LibraryReads pick, for October, as well as a GalleyChat favorite (New York librarian Janet Schneider described is as “a Dorothy L. Sayers/Downton Abbey combo”). A debut, the author is a public librarian in Louisiana.

Another Reason to Read Galleys

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

9780062377180_f631cCurious about how authors respond to copy edits?

The advance readers copy of Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty (Harper, 12/9/14) accidentally includes some testy exchanges. The New York Times details a few of them in yesterday’s Arts Beat blog, adding, that, although amusing, “It is no big deal: Mr. Horowitz did not use unsavory language, abuse the copy editors, or expose some fantastic dispute between himself and his publishers. At most, there is firm authorial pushback. ”

The book, the followup to the author’s popular The House of Silk,(Hachette/Mulholland, 2011) has not yet been reviewed in library review sources (it is noted in LJ‘s “Prepub Alert“).

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, got her hands on a galley. She also found the copy editing comments hilarious, but, as she says in a readers advisory to the branch staff, there are many more reasons to read it:

Anthony Horowitz has held young thriller fans in thrall with his popular Alex Rider series for a long time. He’s also turned his considerable talents to adult books and to one of my favorites — the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes canon. If you missed it, 2011’s The House of Silk was his first effort at a Holmesian mystery, and it was first rate. It would still be a superb recommend for your traditional mystery fans.

This year, he’s back with Moriarity. I was very much hoping he’d assume Watson’s voice again, but he’s done things very differently in this book. First of all, it opens at Reichenbach Falls, and we all know what happened there. I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated by the denouement, which he seems to spring on the reader, with few clues leading up to it.  It is, nonetheless, a terrific read.

Holds Alert: THE PAYING GUESTS

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

watersOn NPR’s All Things Considered today, Maureen Corrigan calls Sarah Waters’ new novel, The Paying Guests, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT, read by Juliet Stevenson), “a knockout.”

A September LibraryReads pick, it also received a strong review in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review and the daily NYT has profiled the author.

The book #3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” of “The Top 10 Thing We Love This Week.” which calls it, “One of the year’s most engrossing and suspenseful novels.”

Holds are growing in the libraries we checked.

Oldboy director Park Chan-wook plans to adapt Waters’ earlier novel, Fingersmith, (Penguin/: Riverhead, 2002) as a feature film (Variety calls that one a “sexy crime story“).

OverDrive Sample

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.”