Archive for the ‘Mystery & Detective’ Category

Seeing Double: MAGPIE MURDERS

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Anthony Horowitz, the author of the #1 LibraryReads pick for June, Magpie Murders (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), is profiled today in the NYT. His novel is also one of eight titles on People magazine’s list of “Summer’s Best Books” in the new issue. The book is moving up Amazon’s sales rankings and holds are growing.

Horowitz is well-known for his Sherlock Holmes novels, Moriarty and The House of Silk, his James Bond book Trigger Mortis, and the YA Alex Rider spy series (soon to be a TV show), leading the NYT to call the Magpie Murders his “first original murder mystery novel.”

“I’ve always loved the genre, and I’ve written dozens of murder mysteries on TV [among them, the Foyle’s War series], but have resisted writing one as a book until now” says Horowitz. “Writing for me has always been about pushing the envelope … I don’t think anyone has done a story within a story, with two interlinked crimes, like this, so I’m pleased.”

He also reveals that he has written a second adult mystery, writing himself in as the sidekick, “Of course, I’m the one who is constantly fooled,” he says. While it has not yet been announced for US publication, The Word is Murder is due out in the UK this August.

During the interview Horowitz also talks about his love of magic tricks and says “A book does magic without saying, ‘Pick a card.’ A whodunit is, at its best, a huge magic trick that says, ‘I’m going to tell you a story.'”

Grisham on CBS This Morning

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

On the day of the release of his latest novel, Camino Island (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH and BOT Audio). John Grisham appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss his first “beach book.” Much is being made about Grisham departing from his usual style, but the departure is relatively small, described as a “mystery without lawyers.”

Grisham also discussed his “Do’s and Don’ts For Writing Popular Fiction,” published last week by the New York Times.

Grisham also has a new title coming in October. Reassuring fans that it will mark a return to his usual style, it’s titled at this point simply New Legal Thriller.

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, First Trailer

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

The first trailer has been released for Kenneth Branagh’s star-studded film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

It quickly became the #1 Tending video YouTube (it is now #2) and also gave the book a boost, sending it roaring up the Amazon charts.

Entertainment Weekly quotes Branagh calling the film darker than other adaptations: “I think what I found in the book … was that it unleashed something very primal, very kind of grisly. I realized that we could find a way to have the fun of Agatha Christie, but have the absolutely deadly intention behind it … I think we’re making a scarier film than people might imagine.” The blood red smoke of the train, revealed in the newly released film poster, echoes that tone.

The movie premieres on November 10. Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot and is joined by Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley, playing suspects and murder victim.

HarperCollins is publishing mass market and trade paperback tie-ins on Oct. 31st.

 

Gabriel Allon to TV

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Time to crank up the betting on which actor will play Israeli art restorer, spy and assassin Gabriel Allon from Daniel Silva’s New York Times bestselling novels. Deadline reports that MGM Television, has bought the rights to the books.

Silva has published 16 titles in the series beginning with The Kill Artist in 2000, but says he’s been waiting for the “right time and the right partner” to adapt the books. The partner he chose is currently hot, having produced Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and FX’s Fargo. As MGM Motion Pictures president Jonathan Glickman notes, the books have been hot for some time, saying bidding was “highly competitive” and the rights “have been sought after for years.”

The 17th title in the series, House of Spies will be published on July 17th (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

Patterson’s Latest Partner in Crime

Monday, May 8th, 2017

51aCWVVUNDL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_James Patterson’s newest co-author is getting top billing. According to the Associated Press, Patterson and former president Bill Clinton are writing a thriller together, appropriately titled The President is Missing.

The Amazon listing shows that it will be released on June 11, 2018, ISBN 978-0316412698. In an unusual move, it will be published jointly by PRH/ Knopf, which has published Clinton’s most recent books, and Patterson’s publisher, Hachette/Little, Brown.

In a the press release announcing the book, the publishers say it will be “a unique amalgam of intrigue, suspense and behind-the-scenes global drama from the highest corridors of power. It will be informed by details that only a president can know.”

Clinton adds, “Working on a book about a sitting president — drawing on what I know about the job, life in the White House and the way Washington works — has been a lot of fun. And working with Jim has been terrific. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time.”

The Hill adds that Clinton and Patterson will go on a national book tour to promote their novel.

Hearing the news, we had to check the date, but April Fools Day was over a month ago. Further backing it up, the story is being reported by several other sources, including the Washington Post. and the New York Times, which quotes unnamed sources saying the idea was cooked up by the agent the two men share.

High Tide For INTO THE WATER

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Into the WaterReviews are pouring in for Paula Hawkins’s second novel, Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). So far, seven are pans, as Literary Hub’s Book Marks characterizes them, with just one rave, one positive and one mixed.

In The Guardian, crime writer Val McDermid gives Hawkins some sympathy, “The second novel is a notorious challenge to a writer. Hawkins had a mountain to climb after the success of The Girl on the Train and no doubt the sales of her second thriller will be massive. I suspect her readers’ enjoyment may be less so.”

Entertainment Weekly offers a rare life raft, giving the novel a B-, writing, “The book’s piled-on storylines lack the feverish, almost subdermal intimacy of Train, and Hawkins’ pulp psychology has only the soggiest sort of logic. Still, buried in her humid narrative is an intriguing pop-feminist tale of small-town hypocrisy, sexual politics, and wrongs that won’t rinse clean.” (They gave The Girl on the Train an A-).

USA Today is also on board, writing,”The various plot currents eventually converge, and when they do Into the Water takes off with a rush … So do dive in. The payoff is a socko ending. And a noirish beach read that might make you think twice about dipping a toe in those dark, chilly waters.”

Reviews are predictors of popularity only to the extent that they anticipate word of mouth an this book has legs. Movie rights were sold to Dremaworks, it is rising on Amazon’s rankings, and is currently in the top ten. Although holds were light prepub, they have risen dramatically in several libraries, jumping from ratios of 2:1 to 5:1, and in one case from 4:1 to 12:1.

We expect it to to hit the NYT bestseller list in the top five next week and stay there the next month or so, sliding down and settling in for the rest of the summer. In other words, while not at the level of The Girl on the Train, it will do as well as most books by established best selling authors.

UPDATE: Hawkins was interviewed today on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Dying to Get In

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

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A new adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved cases, Murder on the Orient Express (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), directed by Kenneth Branagh, is steaming towards us, scheduled to arrive on Nov. 22, 2017, ideal timing for awards considerations.

To fit the enormous cast onto the cover of their new issue, Entertainment Weekly took the unusual approach of rotating the image, asserting, “a goodly portion of planet Earth’s most famous residents have gathered” for the shoot (we did what everyone at the newsstands will be doing, flipped it sideways).

According to the magazine, “The book’s large number of supporting characters allowed Branagh to cast stars keen to take roles that were chunkier than cameos but did not demand too much of their time.” In addition to Branagh, who both directs and plays Hercule Poirot, among the others featured on the cover are Daisy Ridley (Star Wars), Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), Penélope Cruz, and Johnny Depp.

The mystery places the meticulous Hercule Poirot on the famed Orient Express. The train is delayed by a snowstorm, a perfect setting for murder.  Branagh tells The Hollywood Reporter that “This is not only a who dunnit and how dunnit, it’s crucially a why dunnit.”

Underlining Christie’s timeless appeal, the NYT highlighted her recently in one of their “Enthusiast” features (“an occasional column dedicated to the books we love to read and reread”), describing why reading Christie is so pleasurable:

“[Christie] captures something elemental about mysteries: that motive and opportunity may suffice for a crime, but the satisfying part is the detective’s revelation of whodunit, how and why. I never tried to piece together the clues. I vastly preferred to hear it from Hercule Poirot or Jane Marple. Why spend time with such endearing, clever characters if you’re not going to let them do their job? And while their job was ostensibly solving crimes, really it was storytelling.”

The trailer is not yet been released. HarperCollins is publishing mass market and trade paperback tie-ins on Oct. 31st.

Mystery Writers Name the Year’s Best

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Edgar MWAEdgar Allan Poe would marvel that there is an award for outstanding mystery fiction given in his honor, and even more that the Edgar Awards,  awarded by the Mystery Writers of America, is now in its 71st year.

There was unexpected drama at the Awards banquet on Thursday, reports Publishers Weekly, when Jeffery Deaver halted in the midst of presenting an award. He was taken to the hospital, and happily, tests showed he was OK.

Among this years winners are:

9781455561780_72e84Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample; pbk. coming June 2017) wins the top prize, for Best Novel.

Librarians got to know this author when he spoke at last year’s AAP Librarians lunch held at BEA. His fight novel arrived with enviable buzz. In a NYT Sunday Book Review, author Kristin Hannah called it “a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel.” It debuted at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, remaining on the list for 13 weeks and appeared on several year-end best books lists. A film deal was announced well in advance of publication, and appears to still be in development, but Hawley has been occupied with his other gig, as the creator of the popular FX seres Fargo.

9780143108573_b2529The winner for Best First Novel was a LibraryReads pick last June, Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (PRH/Penguin, pbk original; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). Below is the LibraryReads annotation from Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX,

“Nora leaves London to visit her sister, Rachel, in the countryside often. But this trip is different – a silent house, a dead dog hanging from the railing and so much blood. Nora stays, trying to help the police solve the case. She thinks it might have something to do with the unsolved attack on Rachel when she was just a teen but it could be someone new. This story is thrilling and quietly gripping. We become as obsessed as Nora in finding her sister’s killer and what if he strikes again?”

9781594205781_2dcf5Kate Summerscale, shortlisted before for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, wins the Best Fact Crime category this year for The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample; pbk. comes out July 2017). It re-tells the story of Robert and Nattie Coombs who killed their mother in 1895. 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.” PW said it “reads like a Dickens novel, including the remarkable payoff at the end.”

A full listing of all winners and nominees is online, a great resource for both RA and creating displays.

MISSISSIPPI BLOOD Tops The Lists

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

9780062311153_82abcDebuting at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list is the conclusion to Greg Iles’s Natchez Burning trilogy, Mississippi Blood (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Moreover, it’s #1 on the USA Today list, indicating that it’s the top-selling book regardless of format or category.

This is Iles’s first time at #1 for both lists. The previous titles in the series rose as high as #2 on the NYT list for the first book, Natchez Burning and as high as #3 on the USA Today list, for second book,  The Bone Tree.

The NYT Book Review‘s “Behind the Best Sellers” columnist Gregory Cowles interviews Iles asking how it feels to complete this over 2,300 page long series about “race, murder and a fraught father-son relationship spanning half a century in the Deep South.” He replies,

“… when I started writing the trilogy, people were talking about America becoming a ‘postracial’ society, and I worried that my epic exploration of the secret realities of race had begun too late. Today, no one on earth would argue that America is postracial. Race is the wound in America’s side, and we still have far to go to heal it. ”

USA Today calls the book “searing” and quotes the Booklist review which says “This trilogy is destined to become a classic of literary crime fiction.”

Mystery Great Colin Dexter Dies

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

9780804114905_1e4b39780804119542Colin Dexter has died, age 86. He created the character Chief Inspector Morse, the beloved, curmudgeonly detective based in Oxford who likes opera, poetry, and has a fiendishly clever mind.

The first book in the series is Last Bus to Woodstock was published in 1975. The final book, #13, The Remorseful Day, was published 24 years later in 1999. The books were adapted into the Inspector Morse TV series that ran on PBS from 1987 until 2000. The show spun-off two sequels, one about Morse’s partner, Inspector Lewis, and one about a younger Morse, Endeavour.

“He was one of the greatest crime novelists of the 20th century and deserves to be ranked alongside Chandler, Christie and Doyle,” Andrew Gulli, the editor of the mystery magazine The Strand, told the NYT.

The paper also reports that he won two Golden Dagger awards from the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain and, in 1997, he received the organization’s lifetime achievement award, the Diamond Dagger.

Dexter killed off Morse in his last book, using for the title a line from an A. E. Housman poem, “How Clear, How Lovely Bright,” as a way of saying goodbye:

How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

The Next CORMORAN STRIKE Novel

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Today, J.K. Rowling fans are pondering the meaning of the title of her next book, which she revealed yesterday in an online contest.

The next in the Cormoran Strike series, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, it’s titled Lethal White. So far the leading guess is that the title refers to a rare genetic disorder among horses.

At this point, there’s no ISBN and it’s not listed on wholesaler or retailer sites. Rowling did not give a publication date, but said that she is at work on chapter 23. Based on that, there is a slim possibility that it will be released this fall, which would be good timing since the first in the TV series adaptation of the books is expected to air on HBO later this year.

9781338132311_cc2efShe has plenty of other projects to occupy her time, including the screenplays for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies, with the second scheduled for November, 2018. There may also be another non-HP book in the works under her own name, as she teased back in December.

Yesterday’s release of an updated version of the faux Hogwarts text book, Fantastic Beasts, also set the internet ablaze because it contains some new details about the HP universe.

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).