Archive for the ‘Mystery & Detective’ Category

The New Grand Masters

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

9781783298143_ff7679781250088635_4325fThe Mystery Writers of America have announced Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart as the 2017 Grand Masters, an award that recognizes “the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.” It is the highest honor the association bestows.

In the press release, Collins said, “To be in the company of Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Mickey Spillane is both thrilling and humbling. This is an honor second to none in the art of mystery and suspense fiction.”

Hart said. “A writer’s stock-in-trade is imagination. I’ve always felt mine was pretty good, but never in a million years did I ever think winning the MWA Grand Master award was a possibility. I’m stunned, grateful, and profoundly honored.”

Collins has written over 100 novels. Some of the best known are his award-winning Nathan Heller historical series which begins with True Detective (Macmillan/St. Martins, 1983, reprinted 2011, Amazon/Thomas & Mercer), the graphic novel Road to Perdition (DC/Vertigo, 1998, reprinted 2011), and the Quarry books (now a Cinemax series). His newest novel is Quarry in the Black (Hard Case Crime, 2016).

Hart writes the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series. There are 23 Lawless novels, many of them either Lambda Literary Award winners or finalists. Hallowed Murder (Seal Press, 1989) is the first and Fever in the Dark (Macmillan/Minotaur, forthcoming Jan 2017) is the newest. There are 8 Greenway novels. The first came out in 1994, This Little Piggy Went to Murder (PRH/Fawcett), and the last hit shelves in 2005, No Reservations Required (PRH/Fawcett).

BIG LITTLE LIES Gets Air Date

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

1410472035_08b27Grab the popcorn. 9 p.m. Sunday, February 19, 2017 is set as the premiere date for the HBO adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, reports Deadline Hollywood.

As we have previously written, the show features an all-star cast. Shailene Woodley plays Jane, a young single mother who moves to a coastal community so her son can attend a better school. There she becomes entangled in the messy lives of the seemingly perfect mothers of her son’s classmates, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon). Laura Dern plays Renata Klein, another of the mothers at the center of the story.

Kidman and Witherspoon are producing. They originally acquired the rights to the book, planning to adapt it as a feature film but finally decided on a seven episode limited series. It became a hot property which HBO won away from Netflix. Following the same model as True Detective, the format, says Variety, allows major film stars “a chance to work in the TV arena without making an open-ended commitment to an ongoing series.”

Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) is directing. He also worked with Witherspoon on the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. David E. Kelley, known for shows such as Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, and Goliath is also on board.

A teaser trailer came out in October. UPDATE: First full trailer released 12/1/16:

Tie-ins, which as of yet do not have final cover art, will hit shelves in February:
Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In), Liane Moriarty (PRH/Berkley trade pbk; February 7, 2017; Mass Market).

Up Next from Paula Hawkins

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

ibg-common-titledetail-imageloaderThe author of the best-selling phenomenon The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, is set to publish a new suspense novel, titled Into the Water, to be released on May 2 (PRH/Riverhead, 978-0735211209; NOTE: Cover at left is not final!).

The plot, as described in a press release quoted by the AP and Entertainment Weekly, concerns “a single mother and a teenage girl [who] each turn up dead at the bottom of the river, just weeks apart … the ensuing investigation dredges up a complicated history” that delves into ” “the slipperiness of truth.”

Underlining the similarities to her pervious novel, Hawkins’ U.S. editor Sarah McGrath states, “Just as The Girl on the Train explored voyeurism and self-perception, so does Into the Water interrogate the deceitfulness of memory and all the dangerous ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present and future.”

Crystal Ball: THE CHEMIST

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

9780316387835_21b34Stephenie Meyer’s first thriller for adults, The Chemist (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on USA Today‘s Best-Selling Books list at #13.

With only six hardcover fiction titles ahead of it, the high placement suggests it will be within the top ten on the upcoming NYT‘s Fiction list (UPDATE: It hit that list at #5).

It is getting media attention that is helping fuel sales.

The NYT‘s offers a profile, while USA Today gives it 3.5 stars out of 4, saying the novel is “engrossing” and while “it’s full of the same daffy blitheness toward blood and pain that always made the Twilight books unsettling … Meyer is also just a really good storyteller. The Chemist is consistently fast-paced fun.”

The Guardian writes “Meyer, clearly a major fan of the genre, has dreamed up a fast-paced thriller, and a tough, mysterious heroine with a penchant for decking herself out in dangerous jewellery, concealing syringes of poison in her belt and switchblades in her shoes.”

The LA Times says, “Spy fans can be assured that in most respects, The Chemist functions in much the same way as a Bourne or Bond story, complete with mounting body count, cool explosions, stakeouts and betrayals. But changing the proportion of gender in the genre gives the concoction a renewed, and welcome, rush.”

The coverage is not universally warm. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B-, writing, “The Chemist’s 518-pages fly by quickly and easily. But perhaps it would have taken a sprinkle of something supernatural — or a smattering of heartbreak — to feel like Meyer’s characters were really in danger.”

The Washington Post reviewer is even more doubtful, writing, “Meyer’s legion of addicted fans will lap up this chemical romance. As for me, I’m off to the library to detox.”

Libraries are showing divergent holds ratios, with some libraries topping 5:1 and others steady at 2:1.

LIVE BY NIGHT, Final Trailer

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

The final trailer for Ben Affleck’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night (Harper/ Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio) has been released. The movie opens in an Oscar-qualifying limited run on December 25th, followed by a nationwide release on January 13, 2017.

In addition to directing and writing the screenplay, Affleck stars with Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina and Elle Fanning. It’s Affleck’s first time in the director’s chair since his award-winning Argo.

the_given_day  Live by Night  9780060004903_615d1

The novel follows the rise of an Irish-American Boston gangster, Joe Coughlan, during the Prohibition era. Prophetically, Entertainment Weeklycalled Live by Night a “ripping, movie-ready yarn that jumps from a Boston prison to Tampa speakeasies to a Cuban tobacco farm.” The book won Lehane an Edgar for Best Novel. In his acceptance speech, he thanked librarians for offering “a light in the darkness for the kids from the wrong side of the tracks.”

Live by Night follows The Given Day, which was the author’s first departure into historical crime. A third book in the series, World Gone By, was published last year.

The tie-in is set for Dec. 7, in mass market and trade paperback (HarperCollins/Morrow). It will contain a preview chapter of Lehane’s forthcoming novel Since We Fell (HarperCollins/Ecco; May 16, 2017).

The NYT Genre Round-Up

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Eighteen genre novels get featured in a series of three new overviews in this week’s NYT book section.

9780393292329_f9284The novelist Charles Finch takes on thrillers, casting a critical eye over some of the offerings but deeply enjoying The Fall Guy, James Lasdun (Norton; OverDrive Sample), about two men caught up in a competition over a woman, one of whom is destined to fulfill the title.

Finch calls it “exceptionally entertaining … a cross of literary fiction, thriller and mystery” that reads like “early Ian McEwan or late Patricia Highsmith.”

He says that Lasdun cleverly crafts the story, “His clues never seem like clues until they bind tightly around one of the three leads” and that the novel is “exactly what a literary thriller should be: intelligent, careful, swift, unsettling.”

It is also a November Indie Next pick.

tf_cover_sm-400x600Reviewing six Horror titles, film critic Terrence Rafferty (who wrote a piece on Thrillers featuring killer women in June) very much likes  the small press offering The Fisherman by John Langan (Word Horde), the story of two grief-burdened fisherman who cast their lines in possibly magical waters.

He calls it “superb” and says that Langan “manages to sustain the focused effect of a short story or a poem over the course of a long horror narrative.”

Rafferty continues that the novel is “unusually dense with ideas and images” and full of “elegant prose.” In the end, he says, readers feel a “sad urgency on every page” of this “strange and terrifying” tale.

9781681772400_77f74In her largely non-committal survey of six True-Crime offerings, Marilyn Stasio picks The Thieves of Threadneedle Street: The Incredible True Story of the American Forgers Who Nearly Broke the Bank of England (Norton/ Pegasus; OverDrive Sample), Nicholas Booth as a good bet.

It is the tale of a masterful 19th century forgery case that Stasio calls a “jaunty caper” led by a man who was no stranger to international long cons.

CORMORAN STRIKE to HBO

Friday, October 28th, 2016

The Cuckoo's Calling  The Silkworm  Career of Evil

A recently announced deal will bring the BBC adaption of The Cormoran Strike series of mystery novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling) to HBO

A similar deal was struck for the adaptation of the author’s The Casual Vacancy, which aired in 2015

Filming for Cormoran Strike is set to begin in London soon, with release possible in 2017. According to Deadline, it will be filmed as three movies, each focused on one of the books, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career Of Evil. 

Tom Burke (War and Peace, The Musketeers) has been cast as Cormoran Strike,

A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

9780425281406_43f1eA new take on Sherlock Holmes variations has Sarah Wendell excited for the launch of the first in Sherry Thomas’s romantic historical mystery series, A Study In Scarlet Women: The Lady Sherlock Series (PRH/Berkley; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Reviewing for NPR Books, the co-founder of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and the author of Everything I Know About Love, I Learned From Romance Novels, says that the “Gender-flipped Sherlock Holmes” story demands “a few hours of uninterrupted time — a rare thing, I know — to read it. You’ll probably finish it, and start the first page over again, because it’s that good.”

Stressing the novel’s strength in storytelling and style, Wendell concludes, “Thomas’s use of language, the way she uses gender reversal to conceal revelations, and the intricacies of her plotting mean that I will rediscover more things to relish in A Study in Scarlet Women each time I reread it … If you’re standing between me and my copy, you should probably move out of the way.”

Libraries that bought low are seeking spikes in holds as high as 5:1.

Patterson Calls Off THE MURDER OF STEPHEN KING

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

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Stephen King can rest a bit more easily. James Patterson has called off the publication of a title in his new BookShots series, originally scheduled for November, The Murder of Stephen King.

Having announced the book just two weeks ago, its cancellation, reports The Guardian, was a result of Patterson “belatedly deciding that he did not want to cause King and his family ‘any discomfort.'”

It will be replaced with Taking the Titanic, co-authored with Derek Nikitas. A book with the same title, but co-authored by Scott Slaven, is listed on retailer and wholesaler sites for April. The Hachette site, however, has it listed for November, but still with Slaven as the co-author.

Several other new titles in the series have been announced, including a hardcover collection of four BookShot titles, Kill or Be Killed, set for publication in October, and three mass market “ominous” editions. See our downloadable spreadsheet, BookShots Oct, 2016 thru May,2017

HIS BLOODY PROJECT:
The Interview

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

9781510719217_2caa3The author of the most under-the-radar title on the Man Booker Prize shortlist  His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae (Skyhorse; OverDrive Sample), Graeme Macrae Burnet is interviewed by The Wall Street Journal today [subscription may be required].

The brief exchange focuses on the author’s writing process.

In a response to a question about the novel’s structure, including the use of fictional primary documents, Burnet talks about the personal differences in recollection and says he “wanted to present the reader with different viewpoints of the same incident, so they can … make up their own mind about what happened.”

He says he gathered some of his insider details from working his way through primary source “documents [that] still have wax seals on them. These are original, handwritten documents of post-mortem reports on victims or psychiatric evaluations of prisoners about to stand trial.”

As to the eloquence of his murderer he says “it goes against one’s expectations of how somebody who has committed a violent act will behave.”

Very interested in the interior workings of a character, Burnet concludes the interview by saying his favorite crime writer is Georges Simenon, author of the Inspector Jules Maigret series because he “is a brilliant writer on the psychology of his characters, and he’s brilliant at setting a scene in very simple language. You’re completely transported to whatever place he’s writing about.”

Burnet talks more about his research in a video created by his Scottish publisher:

LIVE BY NIGHT Trailer

Friday, September 9th, 2016

MV5BMjMwNTI2NzY2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDc2Njc5OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_  9780062197757_16315

Dennis Lehane’s novel, Live By Night (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012) hits the big screen on Jan 13, 2017, directed by and starring Ben Affleck.

In addition to Affleck, it stars Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper and Elle Fanning.

Tie-ins in trade paperback and mass market will be published on Dec. 27th. For more tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection.

The moody first trailer has just been released:

 

Ruth Ware; the Next Marquee Author

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

9781501132933_82371  9781501112331_07f04

Heading into its publication week, Ruth Ware’s second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) was a library holds leader.

It debuts this week at #15 on the USA Today best seller list. As the fifth hardcover fiction title on the list, it’s likely that tomorrow it will debut on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list in the top 5 (although the list hasn’t been released yet, an early online release of the “Inside the List” column reveals that it lands at #4).

Readers are going back to Ware’s previous title, In A Dark, Dark Wood(S&S/Gallery/Scout Press; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It rises to #61 on the USA Today list, its highest spot to date. It was on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list for 2 weeks. Released in paperback in April, it has been steadily moving up the NYT Trade Paperback Fiction list and was at #8 last week. It was recently optioned for a movie.

Both were LibraryReads picks.

Expect that her next book to feature her name above the title.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN,
New Trailer

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

A new, longer trailer for the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train reminds fans that it will arrive in theaters on October 7th.

Vanity Fair sees similarities to another adaptation of a book with “Girl” in the title.

Tie-ins in trade paperback, mass market (PRH/Riverhead) and audio (Penguin Audio) are set for release on August 23. A trade paperback reprint was released last week.

The Heart is a Lonely Detective

Monday, July 18th, 2016

9780812998320_efc5eMissing, Presumed by Susie Steiner (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) got a big boost from NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, causing  the book to jump on Amazon’s sales rankings from 4,426 to 146.

The police procedural, a June LibraryReads pick, was inspired by Kate Atkinson’s approach to the Jackson Brodie mysteries, which Steiner says have “all the propulsion of mystery — so there’s that page-turning grit making you want to go back to it — but along with that is all the riffing and meandering and depth and relationship of a literary novel.”

The “riffing and meandering” in her case it is the character of detective inspector Manon Bradshaw, a very lonely woman who is suffering in her personal life, “in particular the tribulations of Internet dating, which she finds particularly miserable, as a lot of people do.”

The NPR interview also focused on Steiner’s process of writing. “I’m a huge rewriter,” she says, which helps her dose out the clues: “I do draft upon draft upon draft, and that provides an opportunity to backlay clues. So there was an awful lot of putting clues in, taking them out again, putting them back in, worrying it was then obvious … that’s a delicate balance because the reader wants to be co-sleuth — that’s part of the joy — but also not to work it out too early.”

NPR has been an early fan. In addition to the interview, Bethanne Patrick wrote an online only review in early July, saying “If you’ve binge-watched Happy Valley, The Fall or Prime Suspect, have I got a book for you … You might come to Missing, Presumed for the police procedural; you’ll stay for the layered, authentic characters that Steiner brings to life.”

Asked if there is a sequel in the works, Steiner told Weekend Edition, “There’s certainly another one.”

Holds are spiking at several libraries we checked, with ratios topping 5:1 in some locales.

Netflix Finds Their Grace

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

9780385490443The title role in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of  Margaret Atwood’s 1996 historical crime novel, Alias Grace (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample) will be played by Sarah Gadon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the novel, Atwood explores the true story of a double murder that took place in Canada in the 1840’s. Like a 19th century version of Serial, the question of whether the poor young Irish immigrant Grace Marks was guilty of killing her employer and his housekeeper captured public attention at the time.

The novel received critical acclaim winning The Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. It was also named to the ALA Notable Book list, and picked as one of the year’s best novels by The New York Times as well as by Booklist and Library Journal.

Reading Francine Prose’s description of the plot in the NYT Sunday Book Review, you can see what attracted the producers to the story about “a pretty young woman who was either the loathsome perpetrator or another innocent victim of an infamous crime” and imagine the pitch, “Making a Murderer meets Penny Dreadful.”

Netflix has not yet set a release date for the series.