Archive for the ‘Mystery & Detective’ Category

Edgar Nominees Announced

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Today is the 208th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, excellent timing for the announcement of the 2017 Edgar Nominees.

9781455561780_72e84The buzziest title among the five nominees for Best Novel is Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample).

It debuted at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list and racked up impressive holds queues when first released. Written by the creator of the Fargo TV series on FX, it earned multiple starred reviews in advance of publication and made a number of end-of-year best lists.

Somewhat more under the radar,9780399169496_dec56 Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; BOT; OverDrive Sample), also a Best Novel nominee, caught the attention of library staff, as a LibraryReads choice in March and a #libfaves2016 title. One librarian summed it up well:

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye – excellent re-imagining of Jane Eyre if Jane killed off all the people who deserved it. — Jane Jorgenson@madpoptart

9781101903735_a6beaThe Best First Novel category includes Dodgers by Bill Beverly (PRH/Crown; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which made both Amazon and Booklist‘s end-of-year selections and was among the Carnegie Medal’s longlist titles. It was an Indie Next choice and a B&N Discover pick as well. The Bookreporter writes “Those who enjoy reading George Pelecanos and Cormac McCarthy, or viewing Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, will find much to love here.”

9780316267724_1a04aAnother first novel nominee that received strong critical attention this year, IQ by Joe Ide (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), was on The New York Times best of the year list. Entertainment Weekly called it a “crackling page-turner” in their Fall Book Preview.

9781594205781_2dcf5Kate Summerscale, as the NYT notes, has found a “nifty literary specialty: resurrecting and reanimating, in detail as much forensic as it is novelistic, notorious true-life tales of the Victorian era.” Her latest, The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample) is a contender in the Best Fact Crime category. The Atlantic wrote that Summerscale “expertly probes the deep anxieties of a modernizing era. Even better, she brings rare biographical tenacity and sympathy to bear.”

9780871403131_8fe66The critically praised biography of the author of “The Lottery” is among the Best Critical/Biographical nominees. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (Norton/Liveright; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is on multiple year-end best lists, including those by Booklist, Kirkus, NYTBR, Publishers Weekly, and The Washington Post.

The award winners will be named on April 27 in a ceremony to be held in NYC, a city that claims him as their own, as the NYT points out today (Boston, Richmond, and Baltimore will beg to differ). The dress code? The Mystery Writers of America says “Dress to Kill – Black Tie Preferred.”

The full list of nominees is now online.

THE ALIENIST Adds A Star

Monday, January 16th, 2017

9780812976144TNT’s upcoming adaptation of Caleb Carr’s 1994 long-running best seller,  The Alienist (PRH/Random House) is moving along. Entertainment Weekly announces that Dakota Fanning (the Twilight films, War of the Worlds) has been cast as the female lead, “Sara Howard, a headstrong secretary on [Police commissioner Theodore] Roosevelt’s staff who is determined to become the first female police detective in New York City.”

She joins Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglorious Bastards, The Zookeeper’s Wife) who plays criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train, The Hobbit trilogy) who stars as newspaper reporter John Moore.

The 8-part series, set during NYC’s Gilded Age, is expected to premiere in late 2017. No tie-in has been announced.

Pennie Picks:
GIRL WAITS WITH GUN

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

9780544800830_7bf78Influential book buyer, Costco’s Pennie Clark Ianniciello, selects Amy Stewart’s debut novel, and a LibraryReads selection, as her first recommendation of 2017: Girl Waits with Gun (HMH/Mariner Books, trade pbk. May 3, 2016; OverDrive Sample).

Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, MA wrote the LibraryReads annotation:

“When the Kopp sisters and their buggy are injured by Henry Kaufman’s car, Constance Kopp at first just wants him to pay the damages. As she pursues justice, she meets another of Kaufman’s victims, the young woman Lucy. Stewart creates fully developed characters, including the heroine, Constance, who is fiercely independent as she faces down her fears. The time period and setting are important parts of the story as well, providing a glimpse of 1914 New Jersey.”

Ianniciello says she “can’t help but praise Stewart not only for how she fleshes out the events in this story, but also for the way she brings to life these highly unusual sisters and the times in which they live.”

The novel got review attention when it was published. The NYT gave it a strong review, asking for a sequel (which was granted this September with Lady Cop Makes Trouble) and writing “Stewart has spun a fine, historically astute novel … [integrating] the beliefs and conditions of a vanished way of life into the story, enriching it without playing the intrusive docent.” The Guardian called it “a marvellous debut.” NPR, PW, the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Dispatch all picked it as among the best or most notable books of the year.

Even with all that praise, the novel did not hit many bestseller lists. Ianniciello has long been recognized in the book business for not only influencing sales, but for  giving debuts a new life in trade paperback. 

The article accompanying the pick positions the novel along side Downton Abbey. Although the setting is different, it examines “conflicting ideas about women’s roles as modernization begins to take hold … The more the reader gets to know Constance Koop – not just her spunky side, but also her hidden past – the more interesting the story gets.”

 

NORTH WATER Surges

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

9781627795944_e366cIan McGuire’s blend of history, adventure, and thriller is still rising on Amazon.

Of the NYT‘s “10 Best Books of 2016,” The North Water (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample) showed the most impressive strength in terms of staying power, and now The Wall Street Journal has named it one of “The Best Mysteries of 2016,” helping the book jump again on the Amazon ratings.

WSJ writes, “The ghosts of Melville, Coleridge and Conrad haunt The North Water, Ian McGuire’s mesmerizing account of an 1859 whaling expedition plagued by ill fortune and its own bad intentions.”

Holds are surging in most systems we checked, with some showing ratios as high as 5:1.

In a recent Inside the NYT Book Review podcast, hosted by editor Pamela Paul, McGuire talks about the novel’s high-tension plot. Set in the mid-19th century on a whaling ship headed for the Arctic Circle. it features a ruthless, violent murderer and a troubled ship’s surgeon who fights him. McGuire said the idea came to him in stages. First as he worked on a biographical novel about Melville and then when he found a diary kept by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who served as a surgeon on a whaling ship.

NYTBR says “if you have read all of Conrad and Cormac McCarthy” you will want to turn to McGuire. For “all its harrowing bloodiness” the novel “is a huge amount of fun too.”

The novel is written as a tight thriller, continues NYTBR, with a gripping, quickly moving plot plot, interesting characters, and a deep thematic richness – topped by lots of twists and turns and a surprising ending.

Listen to the full podcast below. If you want to listen to just the North Water segment, listen to it on the NYT site. It begins around time stamp 34:00 (turn the little dial to fast forward).

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

9780316317160_fec61.b0ee5c762a0dd4cacabe80d1b60d59a3

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: