Saturday, July 31, 2010

TIED IN: Screen to Page

Tied In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In WritingTie-in novels are books based on pre-existing media properties -- like TV shows, movies and games -- and they regularly top the national bestseller lists. But as popular as tie-ins books and novelizations are among readers, few people know how the books are written or the rich history behind the hugely successful and enduring genre.

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers fills in some of the gaps with TIED IN: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing. Edited by Lee Goldberg (Monk and Diagnosis Murder), the book is a collection of essays and interviews with some of the best tie-in writers in the business. Contributors include Donald Bain (Murder She Wrote), Max Allan Collins (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Greg Cox (Alias), Tod Goldberg (Burn Notice), William Rabkin (Psych), and many more.

Related links:
Detectives: HARRY CALLAHAN (Dirty Harry) by Dane Hartman
Detectives: JESSICA FLETCHER (Murder She Wrote) by Donald Bain
Detectives: DR. MARK SLOANE (Diagnosis: Murder) by Lee Goldberg
Detectives: ADRIAN MONK by Lee Goldberg
Detectives: SHAWN SPENCER and "GUS" GUSTER (Psych) by William Rabkin

Friday, July 30, 2010

Janet Evanovich a hit at Comic-Con

Last weekend, Janet Evanovich was at San Diego Comic-Con to celebrate the blockbuster release of her first graphic novel, Troublemaker: Book 1 (Dark Horse). She and co-author Alex (her daughter) participated in the Dark Horse panel and signed in the publisher's booth later that day. Janet and Alex greeted hundreds of excited fans, hosting one of the largest crowds of the convention.

Troublemaker is the third in her series about mechanic Alexandra Barnaby and Nascar driver Sam Hooker, following prose novels Metro Girl and Motor Mouth. The book, co-written by Janet and Alex, is illustrated by Joelle Jones. Given Evanovich's sales history, it's no surprise the comic has topped the New York Times graphic novel hardcover charts.

“I’ve loved comics all my life and it’s really exciting to be working with Dark Horse to produce my very own graphic novel,” said Janet Evanovich. “I’m also excited that I could do this with my daughter Alex, the family comicaholic.”

“This is a groundbreaking project in which Janet and Alex are telling the third chapter of an established prose series in graphic-novel format,” said Dark Horse president Mike Richardson. “We feel that this book will open up the characters to a brand-new audience, as well as expanding the authors' fan base.”

Troublemaker Book 2 hits stores November.

Meanwhile, Evanovich is apparently headed to the Random House for her next two Stephanie Plum adventures. According to the publisher, the author’s novels have combined sales of more than 75 million copies.

Related links:
Janet Evanovich leaves publisher over $50M?
"Why is the next Alex Barnaby novel a a comic book?"
Stephanie Plum: New Book, New Movie
Janet Evanovich and Michael Connelly: Author One-to-One
Janet Evanovich brings Alex Barnaby to Dark Horse Comics

Agatha Christie Blog Tour Sep 2010

To celebrate the 120th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth, the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival is hosting a special month-long blog tour Sep 1-30. (Sep 15 is Agatha Christie's birthday.) To see participating blogs -- or to sign up to host one of the days -- check out the official page here.

Related links:
Retirement is Murder: 10 Senior Sleuths
David Suchet on the Orient Express
All Aboard For Murder: 10 Mysteries On Trains
Agatha Christie Blog Carnival 2010 #3
Agatha Christie: Partners in Crime

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Best Mann for the Job #66: I called in your demands

Now online at -- Best Mann For The Job #66: While the desperate gunmen threaten the hostages, Sheriff Mann has a plan ...

Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. The series is created by mystery novelist Chris Well (Nursing a Grudge) and comics veteran Erica Well (The Miller Sisters).

Read the story from the beginning at
Become a fan on Facebook.
More free online comics at

More crime and mystery comics:
The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne
What's next for Richard Stark's PARKER
Janet Evanovich: "Why is the next Alex Barnaby novel a a comic book?"

More detectives:
EARL WALKER (Hometown Mysteries) by Chris Well
100 Mystery Series: 1887-2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Complete PSYCH by William Rabkin

Psych: A Fatal Frame of MindComplete list to date of mysteries based on the comedy detective series Psych, starring James Roday as crime consultant (and fake psychic) Shawn Spencer and Dule Hill as his best friend and reluctant partner. Tie-in novels written by William Rabkin:

Psych: A Mind is A Terrible Thing to Read (2009)
Psych: Mind Over Magic (2009)
Psych: The Call of the Mild (2010)
Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (2010)
Psych: Mind-Altering Murder (2011)

Related link: Watch PSYCH episodes free online! (Crime TV)

More detectives:
ADRIAN MONK by Lee Goldberg
FLETCH by Gregory Mcdonald
BRYANT & MAY by Christopher Fowler (2003)
EARL WALKER (Hometown Mysteries) by Chris Well
100 Mystery Series: 1887-2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne

During the recent Comic-Con International in San Diego, one of the more interesting comics pitches making the rounds was the mystery project The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, by writer Rich Johnston and artist Simon Rohrmuller. As Johnston describes it:
Taking the trope stand up comedian line "Miss Marple/Inspector Morse/[Jessica Fletcher] ... wherever they go there's a murder. I reckon they're doing the murders themselves and framing innocent patsies" and doing it straight. Dexter, via Agatha Christie, in nineteen forties English villages. A woman who seeks to winnow the wicked, be they murderer, paedophile, adulterer, communist or homosexual. And use the British legal system to do her dirty work ...
Read some preview pages here.

Post-convention, Johnston reported that some publishers have expressed interest. Hopefully, we'll be able to read the whole story soon!

By the way, readers of this blog may remember that Johnston wrote the Doctor Who murder mystery comic Room With a Deja View (IDW Publishing).

Related links:
Dr. Whodunit
Agatha Christie meets Doctor Who

More about crime and mystery comics:
What's next for Richard Stark's PARKER
Janet Evanovich: "Why is the next Barnaby/Hooker novel a a comic book?"
Sherlock Holmes: Don't Call It A Comeback
BEST MANN FOR THE JOB comic strip free online!

Monday, July 26, 2010

STAR ISLAND by Carl Hiaasen

This week Carl Hiaasen returns to bookshelves with Star Island (Knopf), his latest mix of crime, comedy, and just general wacky hijinks:
Pop star Cherry Pye, about to attempt a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster, is replaced by "undercover stunt double" Ann DeLusia whenever the singer is too “indisposed” (i.e., wasted) to go out in public. When Ann-mistaken-for-Cherry is kidnapped from a South Beach hotel by an obsessed paparazzo, the challenge for Cherry's handlers is to rescue Ann while keeping her existence a secret from Cherry’s public ... and from Cherry herself.

The situation is more complicated than they know: Ann has had a bewitching encounter with the unhinged former governor of Florida, living wild in a mangrove swamp -- and now he’s heading for Miami to find her ...
Read a free excerpt from Star Island.
Read Carl's Star Island FAQ.

More from The Thrill of it All:
Great New Mystery Reads in July
Detectives: EARL WALKER (Hometown Mysteries) by Chris Well
Mysteries: Lawrence Block: BERNIE RHODENBARR
Donald Westlake: Gone, Not Forgotten
Elmore Leonard's three-peat: Lovable losers resurface in 'Road Dogs'

Friday, July 23, 2010

Still Kicking: 10 More Senior Sleuths

In honor of my new cozy mystery Nursing a Grudge, here are 10 more detectives all solving mysteries in their golden years. Click through for more information or complete lists of mysteries.

Still Kicking: 10 More Senior Sleuths

01 DRURY LANE by Ellery Queen
Shakespearean actor in his 60s who retired from the stage when he lost his hearing

02 DR. MARK SLOANE (Diagnosis: Murder) by Lee Goldberg
Medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son, homicide detective Steve Sloan

03 HENRIE O (Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins) by Carolyn Hart
Retired newswoman Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins

04 MRS. POLLIFAX by Dorothy Gilman
Grandma and CIA spy

05 HORACE RUMPOLE (Rumpole of the Bailey) by John Mortimer
Elderly London barrister and Old Bailey hack

06 MAXIE and STRETCH by Sue Henry
Alaskan widow Maxine McNab travels in her RV with her dachshund Stretch

07 MRS. JEFFRIES by Emily Brightwell
Housekeeper and widow who secretly helps Scotland Yard's Inspector Witherspoon solve his cases

08 MELITA PARGETER by Simon Brett
Burglar's widow who takes justice into her own hands with the help of her late husband's old gang

British bird-watchers George Palmer-Jones and wife Molly

10 IVY MALONE by Lorena McCourtney
Senior citizen amateur sleuth

Nursing a Grudge (The Earl Walker Mysteries)Nursing a Grudge (The Earl Walker Mysteries)
With the nursing home about to close for good, can grumpy old man Earl Walker find a killer—and figure out his relationship with his new lady friend—before all the suspects move away? Nursing a Grudge is a "fair play" mystery—a light-hearted whodunit where the reader gets all the clues. For fans of Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, and M.C. Beaton.
Buy for Kindle
Buy for other eBook formats -- including NOOK, Kobo, and more

More detectives:
Retirement is Murder: 10 Senior Sleuths
10 Senior Sleuths on TV
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010
Murderous Beginnings: 40 Detective Fiction Firsts
All Aboard For Murder: 10 Mysteries on Trains
Christmas Can Be Murder: 10 Seasonal Mystery Titles
Spyglass Lane Mysteries under a dollar!
'Til Death: 10 Sleuth Couples

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Detectives: HARRY CALLAHAN (Dirty Harry) by Dane Hartman

Complete list of original crime novels featuring police inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan, inspired by the film series starring Clint Eastwood. Written by Dane Hartman:

Duel for Cannons (1981)
Death on the Docks (1982)
The Long Death (1981)
The Mexico Kill (1982)
Family Skeletons (1982)
City of Blood (1982)
Massacre at Russian River (1982)
Hatchet Men (1982)
The Killing Connection (1982)
Blood of Strangers (1982)
Death in the Air (1983)
The Dealer of Death (1983)

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.