Saturday, December 31, 2011

Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 5) by M.C. Beaton

Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 5)
M.C. Beaton
St. Martin's Press
Originally published: 1990

The fifth mystery story featuring Hamish Macbeth from the author of the bestselling Agatha Raisin series

A tart with a heart of stone...

Maggie Baird is neither kind or generous, but she is very, very rich. So when her car catches fire, with her inside it, there are five likely candidates for the role of murderer. All five had been houseguests at her luxurious Highlands home - Maggie's timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for a husband.

All five are utterly broke and all had ample opportunity to tamper with Maggie's car. So finding out who did it will require all of PC Hamish Macbeth's extraordinary common sense and insight into human nature; especially when the killer appears to be the wrong person entirely...

Related links:
A Highland Christmas (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 16) by M. C. Beaton
Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 4)
Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 3)
Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 2)
Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 1)
Complete HAMISH MACBETH by MC Beaton
Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth and the novels of M.C. Beaton (official site)
Mystery TV Themes: HAMISH MACBETH (Crime TV)
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christian fiction news: FamilyFiction launches spin-off FAMILYFICTION EDGE

Frank Peretti on the cover of FamilyFiction Edge
Here's some news from my day job at Christian fiction news magazine FamilyFiction -- in February, we're launching the companion digital magazine FamilyFiction Edge, focusing on Christian authors who write suspense (including thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense); speculative fiction (which covers science fiction, fantasy, end-times fiction, and supernatural fiction); young adult and teen fiction; movies & DVDs; and comics & animation.

Top thriller, suspense, and mystery authors in the Christian market include Frank Peretti, Brandilyn Collins, Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Ted Dekker, Ronie Kendig, Randy Singer, Marta Perry, Robert Liparulo, and Mindy Starns Clark.

The FamilyFiction brand also includes a comprehensive website, and the email newsletter FamilyFiction Weekly. For more information on the latest in Christian fiction, movies, comics, and DVDs, please visit the FamilyFiction website at

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Official US Trailer

For Christmas, my wife gave me the "Karla" espionage trilogy of novels starring George Smiley: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), The Honourable Schoolboy (1977), and Smiley’s People (1980). And, having read Tinker, Tailor in a day-and-a-half, I am really looking forward to seeing the new film.

Here's the official description from the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy page on Facebook: Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government–which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets.

Related links:
Complete GEORGE SMILEY by John le Carré
John le Carré: “Tinker Tailor” the movie of a lifetime (Salon)
Video: The Genius of John le Carré (Focus Features)
John Le Carre Interview (two episodes) (CBC Radio)
INTERVIEW: John le Carre at 80: Finding out whether I can still write (Monsters & Critics)

Milton Caniff’s STEVE CANYON at Christmas

Comic strip magazine Hogan's Alley reprints this article from the Henderson (N.C.) Daily Dispatch, outlining the special Christmas message to support the troops that cartoonist Milton Caniff would include every year in his classic series Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon:
Milton Caniff’s Christmas Strips: During World War II, comic strip artist Milton Caniff interrupted the story line of his comic strip, “Terry and the Pirates,” to offer a Christmas tribute to the pilots ferrying supplies from India to our Chinese allies. On Dec. 25, 1944, his strip was titled “White Christmas–Himalayas Version.” It pictured a transport plane flying between snow-covered peaks. Caniff wrote that the pilots were doing their job so the folks back home “can look at the American sky and see nothing more dangerous than snow.”
That was the start of an annual tradition. Each year, Caniff devoted the Christmas installment of “Terry”–and later of his other creation, “Steve Canyon”–to a special message. He combined pictures and words into a continuous theme of support for our troops, acknowledging their sacrifices and remembering those who died–and relating it to the meaning of Christmas.
Read the whole article here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Highland Christmas (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 16) by M. C. Beaton

A Highland Christmas (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 16)
M. C. Beaton
Grand Central Publishing
November 2002

Hamish's toughest case to date—to bring some festive cheer to a town long dampened by the spirit of Scrooge.

In dark, wintry Lochdubh, Christmas Cheer is about as welcome as a flat tyre on a deserted road. The Calvinist element in town has always resisted what they view as secular frivolity, so for most of the townsfolk there'll be no carols, feasting, gifts—or even whisky on Christmas Day!

And for PC Hamish Macbeth there's no holiday from crime—he finds himself hunting for a missing cat belonging to a lonely spinster. Curt and unfriendly, the woman is convinced her pet has been stolen but once behind her heavily-bolted door, Hamish can spot her true problem—she lives in fear, though of who or what he cannot guess.

Then someone steals a Christmas tree and lights from the nearby village of Cnothan. So it is up to Hamish to sort all these problems out—and he had better do it quickly, for the church bells will soon peal on the eve of Christmas.

More Christmas Stories:
Slay Ride: 12 Mystery Titles For Christmas
10 Free Christmas Crime Stories: Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, and more!

Related links:
Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 4)
Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 3)
Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 2)
Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 1)
Complete HAMISH MACBETH by MC Beaton
Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth and the novels of M.C. Beaton (official site)
Mystery TV Themes: HAMISH MACBETH (Crime TV)
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Slay Ride: 12 Mystery Titles For Christmas

As we move into the final days before Christmas, here are a dozen mysteries that feature Christmas-themed stories. The list includes a selection of sleuths old and new, ranging from Constable Hamish Macbeth, caterer Goldy Schulz, and senior sleuth Jessica Fletcher, to classic holiday outings with Nero Wolfe, Ellery Queen, and Hercule Poirot.

What are your favorite seasonal mystery and crime fiction titles? Let us know! Post your own favorites in the comments below!

01. A Highland Christmas (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 16)
by M. C. Beaton (Mysterious Press)
In the dark, wintry highlands of Lochdubh, Scotland, where the local Calvinist element resists the secular trimmings of Christmas, the spirit of Old St. Nick is about as welcome as a flat tire on a deserted road. Nor is crime taking a holiday, as Constable Hamish Macbeth soon finds himself protecting an unhappy girl, unlocking the secrets of a frightened old woman, and retrieving some stolen holiday goods. Now the lanky lawman must use all his Highland charm and detective skills to make things right. And he had better do it quickly, for the church bells will soon toll and all of Lochdubh will be forced to face another dreary winter without the comforting embrace of Yuletide cheer.

02. Hercule Poirot's Christmas: A Holiday Mystery
by Agatha Christie (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)
The wealthy Simeon Lee demands all four of his sons and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not what he has in mind -- he announces he's cutting off their allowances and changing his will. So, when the old man is found lying in a pool of blood on Christmas Eve, the great Hercule Poirot finds no lack of suspects. But how did the murderer escape from the locked room?

03. Iced (Regan Reilly Mysteries, No. 3)
by Carol Higgins Clark (Grand Central Publishing)
It's Christmas in Aspen and P.I. Regan Reilly is vacationing with her parents and hoping to meet an unmarried man. But all thoughts of romance turn to sleuthing when million-dollar paintings start disappearing, along with an old friend of Regan's -- who happens to be an ex-con. The snow is falling, the plot is thickening, and the danger is closing in on Regan ...

04. Tough Cookie (Goldy Culinary Mysteries, Book 9)
by Diane Mott Davidson (Bantam)
When caterer Goldy Schulz is offered a temporary stint hosting a cooking show for PBS before the Christmas holidays, she jumps at the chance. After all, she could use the money—not to mention the great exposure. Plus taping the shows at Colorado's posh Killdeer Ski Resort will be fun. A little cooking, a little chitchat. What could go wrong? The answer: everything! When Goldy has to do one of her shows live for a PBS telethon, the broadcast is riddled with culinary catastrophes—from the Chesapeake Crab Cakes right down to the Ice-Capped Gingersnaps. But the deadliest dish of all comes after the cameras go off—and a baffling accident claims a life. Then a series of suspicious mishaps places Goldy's own life in jeopardy, and she knows she'd better whip up her own crime-solving recipe, and fast—before a deadly dash of danger ends her cooking career once and for all....

05. Between the Plums (Stephanie Plum)
by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's Press)
This brand-new 3-in-1 holiday collection includes Visions of Sugar Plums: Five days before Christmas, things are not looking merry for Stephanie Plum. She hasn’t got a tree. She hasn’t bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There's not a twinkle of light anywhere to be seen in her apartment ... and there’s a strange man in her kitchen. (The collection also includes Plum Lovin' and Plum Lucky.)

06. Murder Never Takes a Holiday (Murder She Wrote)
by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain (Signet)
Although her TV show ended years ago, amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher continues to solve murders in a series of original novels. (More than three million copies in print!) This brand-new two-in-one collection includes a nifty pair of seasonal whodunits: In Manhattans & Murder, Jessica's new book tour brings her to New York for Christmas, where she sees notorious Cabot Cove crook Waldo Morse dressed as a sidewalk Santa -- and ends up witnessing a murder. In A Little Yuletide Murder, Santa is found murdered shortly before Christmas. Actually, it's farmer Rory Brent, who's played St. Nick at Cabot Cove's annual holiday event for years. Everyone assumes the culprit is Brent's longtime enemy, Jake Walther, the meanest man in town. But Jessica thinks otherwise, and she's determined to deliver the real killer before Christmas ...

07. The Thin Man
by Dashiell Hammett (Vintage)
Nick and Nora Charles -- he's an ex-private eye, she's the heiress who made him respectable -- are lounging in their suite in New York City for the Christmas holiday. When a friend asks Nick to help find a killer, and reintroduces him to one of his old cases, soon Nick and Nora their faithful schnauzer Asta are drawn into a maelstrom of suspicious gangters, trigger-happy hoodlums, and overeager coppers. It's a holiday to remember!

08. A Rumpole Christmas: Stories
by John Mortimer (Viking)
For fans lamenting the death of mystery writer Sir John Mortimer this year, here's a welcome present: The first-ever collection of Christmas stories starring English barrister Horace Rumpole, with five stories never before published in book form. In “Rumpole and Father Christmas,” the  Old Bailey Hack encounters a familiar-looking Santa who he thinks is a thief. In “Rumpole’s Slimmed Down Christmas,” he goes to a spa when “She who must be obeyed” insists he lose a few pounds. In “Rumpole and the Christmas Break,” he protects Hilda as a shady judge flirts with her while on a holiday that turns out to be anything but relaxing. In “Rumpole of the Bailey’s Christmas Party,” Rumpole celebrates the holiday with Old Bailey colleagues and Hilda surprises him with an unexpected gift. And in “Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces,” he uses a former client’s seedy past to aid a church in the name of Christmas spirit.

09. A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)
by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone in the hamlet of Three Pines, right up to the moment she died. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache begins his investigation, it seems like an impossible murder: CC was electrocuted on a frozen lake, in front of the entire town, during the Christmas curling tournament. With compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find long buried secrets, while his own enemies threaten to bring something even more chilling than the bitter winter winds to Three Pines.

10. Calamity Town
by Ellery Queen (Mysterious Press)
In the small town of Wrightsville, Ellery Queen has rented a house under an assumed name. He's hoping for some some peace and quiet so he can write a book. At first, the town seems ideal–the neighbors are friendly, and there's little crime to distract him from his writing. Until the tranquility is broken by a series of arsenic poisonings during the holidays ...

11. And Four to Go (Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
by Rex Stout (Crimeline)
This collection of four stories starring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin includes the entry "Christmas Party": Archie tells Nero he'll be announcing his engagement at a Christmas party -- but is shocked when his fiancee announces she's actually marrying their host. Things go from bad to worse when Archie's rival is soon lying on the floor dead ... (The collection also includes "Easter Parade," "Fourth of July Picnic," and "Murder Is No Joke.")

12. Murder for Christmas: 26 Tales of Yuletide Malice
by various, edited by Thomas Godfrey (Castle Books)
Sometimes the holidays bring out the worst in people -- as these 26 tales of "seasonal malice" demonstrate. Includes a wide selection of legendary authors, including Margery Allingham, G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, Carter Dickson, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edward D. Hoch, Ellery Queen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Georges Simonen, Rex Stout, and more! With illustrations by Gahan Wilson.

More lists of Christmas crime fiction:
10 Free Christmas Crime Stories: Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, and more!
Holiday Mystery Book Lists (Cozy Mystery List)
Crime for the Holidays: Christmas Mysteries, Authors A-D (Mystery Fanfare)
Christmas Mysteries, Authors E-H (Mystery Fanfare)
Christmas Mysteries, Authors I-N (Mystery Fanfare)
Christmas Crime Fiction, Mystery Authors O-R (Mystery Fanfare)
Christmas Mysteries, Crime Fiction Authors, S-Z (Mystery Fanfare)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 4) by M. C. Beaton

Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 4)
M. C. Beaton
St. Martin's Press
First published: 1989

The fourth in the much loved Hamish Macbeth series from the author of the bestselling Agatha Raisin series

Hamish Macbeth is savouring the delights of a Highland summer, but as fast as the rain rolls in from the loch his happy life goes to hell in a handbasket.

The trouble begins when his beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns to Lochdubh with a new fiancé on her arm. His miseries multiply when clouds of midges descend on the town. And then a paragon of housewife perfection named Trixie Thomas moves into Lochdubh with her cowed husband in tow.

The newcomer quickly convinces the local ladies to embrace low-cholesterol meals, ban alcohol and begin bird-watching. Soon the town's menfolk are up in arms and Macbeth must solve Lochdubh's newest crime - the mysterious poisoning of the perfect wife.

Related links:
Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 3)
Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 2)
Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 1)
Complete HAMISH MACBETH by MC Beaton
Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth and the novels of M.C. Beaton (official site)
Mystery TV Themes: HAMISH MACBETH (Crime TV)
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chevy Chase: "I'm not gonna do Fletch unless I'm Fletch."

I just came across this Chevy Chase interview at Collider, conducted last August on the set of Community. In the interview, Chase shares his thoughts on Hollywood's on-again, off-again plans to do a new Fletch film with a younger actor. (The project is usually suggested to be based on Gregory Mcdonald's prequel novel Fletch Won, set during the earlier days of Fletch's career.) Chase is quoted as saying:
I mean look, I’m not gonna do Fletch unless I’m Fletch, if they start writing something for a kid who’s Fletch and I’m just helping out, “Bye.” I mean, there’s no reason why, at my age, I can’t still be Fletch.
I recently re-read the original novel Fletch and also watched the film. It fascinates me how two versions of the same work can be so much alike and yet also so different. And I consider both the book and the movie to be hilarious. (Just please don't tell this guy at Salon.)

By the way, the above interview also includes some info about Chase's plans to revisit the Vacation series as well.

Related links: 
Complete FLETCH by Gregory Mcdonald 
List: Murderous Beginnings: 40 Detective Fiction Firsts
Obituary: 'Fletch' author Mcdonald 1937-2008

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Q&A: Janice Hanna (Bridal Mayhem Mysteries)

Here's a revised version of a Q&A we did in 2009 with mystery writer Janice Hanna -- whose Bridal Mayhem Mysteries are getting a second life from Spyglass Lane Mysteries.

Janice Hanna Thompson writes novels, non-fiction books, magazine articles and musical comedies for the stage. A resident of the Houston area, she also works as a freelance editor and a ghostwriter, and enjoys public speaking. Her latest titles include the inspirational romantic comedy Hello, Hollywood (Revell), and the historical romantic comedy Love Finds You in Groom, Texas (Summerside Press). Her Bridal Mayhem mysteries include The Wedding Caper and Gone With the Groom. Find out more about Janice and her (many) books on her Website,

* * *

My "big break" came in small snatches. I started pounding on doors in the late '90s and finally got an answer in 2000 when Promise Press (Barbour Publishing) purchased my first book, Duty To Die. Since then, I've continued to pound on doors, continued to work on the craft of writing, and continued to seek God about my story ideas. In 2004, the sale of my historical Hurricane (River Oak Publishing), about the Galveston hurricane of 1900) opened many doors along the Gulf Coast for speaking engagements. Perhaps my biggest break, to date, came with the sale of my first mystery (The Wedding Caper) to Barbour in 2005. It opened the doors for more mysteries and opened my eyes to writing in first-person (which I now love).

I'd say a 50/50 mix. I write the stories the Lord puts on my heart, so, in that sense, I'm writing for myself. But as I write, I'm conscious of the fact that people are going to read my books and expect certain things from me. I've become known as something of a wedding expert, so most readers expect my books to have some sort of wedding theme. I'm also a dog lover (dachshunds, to be precise) so I try to incorporate dogs into my stories. I don't want to disappoint my readers. But I'm always looking for fresh ideas and, as I cross genre lines, hope the readers can keep up with me!

1. Anything by O'Henry. Might sound odd, but he had a lot of mystery elements in his stories and could get you in the end with a real "grabber."
2. Edgar Allen Poe
3. Agatha Christie
4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
5. The Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mysteries for children
I'd like to add a 6th one: The Bible. It's loaded with mystery elements and quite a few who-dunnits!  

1. Anything by Dorothy Cannell (especially The Thin Woman, one of my personal favorites)
2. Anything from Spyglass Lane Mysteries
3.To learn the craft of mystery writing: Just The Facts, Ma'am: A Writer's Guide to Investigators and Investigation Techniques (Howdunit), by Greg Fallis
4. For technique: Getting Into Character, by Brandilyn Collins
5. Also for technique: Writing The Breakout Novel, by Donald Maas

Q: BEFORE BEING SIGNED, WHAT'S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION YOU HAD ABOUT BEING AN AUTHOR? Like many others, I thought selling my first book would do two things: put lots of cash in my pockets and assure future book sales with that same house (or other interested houses). I have since learned there's not a huge amount of money to be made in the CBA (sorry, folks) and I have to keep "plugging my product" (as it were), no matter how many books I sell. (I've sold over thirty now, with several more projects in the works.)

Related links:
Complete ANNIE PETERSON (Bridal Mayhem Mysteries) by Janice Hanna  

5 Questions: Janice Hanna (FamilyFiction)
Spyglass Lane Mysteries (Official Site)

EMILY GRAY (Mainely Mysteries) by Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis
BAILEY WALKER by Anita Higman
SUMMER MEADOWS by Cynthia Hickey
JESSICA FLETCHER (Murder She Wrote) by Donald Bain
DR. MARK SLOANE (Diagnosis: Murder) by Lee Goldberg
ADRIAN MONK by Lee Goldberg

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery hitting these shores March 2012

Already published overseas, the ninth mystery starring Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit, The Memory of Blood (Bantam), hits American bookshelves (and eReaders) on March 27, 2012. The official description:
Christopher Fowler’s acclaimed Peculiar Crimes Unit novels crackle with sly wit, lively suspense, and twists as chilling as London’s fog. Now the indomitable duo of Arthur Bryant and John May, along with the rest of their quirky team, return to solve a confounding case with dark ties to the British theater and a killer who may mean curtains for all involved.

For the crew of the New Strand Theatre, the play The Two Murderers seems less performance than prophecy when a cast party ends in the shocking death of the theater owner’s son. The crime scene is most unusual, even for Bryant and May. In a locked bedroom without any trace of fingerprints or blood, the only sign of disturbance is a gruesome life-size puppet of Mr. Punch laying on the floor. Everyone at the party is a suspect, including the corrupt producer, the rakish male lead, the dour set designer, and the assistant stage manager, who is the wild daughter of a prominent government official.

It’s this last fact that threatens the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s investigation, as the government’s Home Office, wary of the team’s eccentric methods, seeks to throw them off the case. But the nimble minds of Bryant and May are not so easily deterred. Delving into the history of the London theater and the disturbing origins of Punch and Judy, the detectives race to find the maniacal killer before he reaches his even deadlier final act.

Whip-smart and endlessly entertaining, The Memory of Blood is an ingeniously intricate mystery from the deliciously inventive Christopher Fowler.
I love this series. Christopher Fowler does such a great job of conjuring up the Golden Age of detective fiction—in particular, the "impossible crimes" of John Dickson Carr—and yet makes it all fresh and new. These stories are as brilliant as they are funny.

Book Review: Bryant & May And The Memory Of Blood By Christopher Fowler (Londonist)
Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood (Financial Times)
Bryant & May and The Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler (Milo's Rambles)

Related links:
Complete BRYANT & MAY (Peculiar Crimes Unit) by Christopher Fowler
Retirement is Murder: 10 Senior Sleuths
Crime Fiction Alphabet: L is for LOCKED ROOM PUZZLES
Merry Christmas From Bryant & May
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Complete GEORGE SMILEY by John le Carré

Complete list of espionage novels in which British intelligence officer George Smiley appears—either in a starring or supporting role. Written by John le Carré:

Call for the Dead (1961)
A Murder of Quality (1962)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)
The Looking Glass War (1965)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974) - Karla trilogy #1
The Honourable Schoolboy (1977) - Karla trilogy #2
Smiley’s People (1980) - Karla trilogy #3
The Secret Pilgrim (1991)

Related links:
John le Carré: “Tinker Tailor” the movie of a lifetime (Salon)
Video: The Genius of John le Carré (Focus Features)
John Le Carre Interview (two episodes) (CBC Radio)
INTERVIEW: John le Carre at 80: Finding out whether I can still write (Monsters & Critics)
John le Carre gives his final (American) interview ever (CBS News)


Friday, December 09, 2011

Complete MR. AND MRS. NORTH by Frances and Richard Lockridge

Complete list of mysteries starring publisher Jerry North and wife Pam. Written by husband-wife author team Frances and Richard Lockridge:

The Norths Meet Murder (1940)
Murder Out of Turn (1941)
Mr. and Mrs. North and a Pinch of Poison (1941)
Death on the Aisle (1942)
Hanged for a Sheep (1942)
Death Takes a Bow (1943)
Killing the Goose (1944)
Payoff for the Banker (1945)
Death of a Tall Man (1946)
Murder Within Murder (1946)
Untidy Murder (1947)
Murder Is Served (1948)
The Dishonest Murderer (1949)
Murder in a Hurry (1950)
Murder Comes First (1951)
Dead As a Dinosaur (1952)
Curtain for a Jester (1953) a.k.a. Death has a Small Voice
Key to Death (1954)
Death of an Angel (1955) a.k.a. Mr & Mrs North and the Poisoned Playboy
Voyage into Violence (1956)
Long Skeleton (1958)
Murder Is Suggested (1959)
The Judge Is Reversed (1960)
Murder Has Its Points (1962)
Murder by the Book (1963)

Related links:
'Til Death: 10 Sleuth Couples
Pam and Jerry North: Married Sleuths by Frances and Richard Lockridge (Mystery Net)
DEATH ON THE AISLE (1942) by Frances and Richard Lockridge (Tipping My Fedora)

More detectives:
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford by Agatha Christie
Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man) by Dashiell Hammett
Jonathan and Jennifer Hart (Hart to Hart), starring Robert Wagner & Jennifer Powers
Regan Reilly and husband Jack "no relation" Reilly by Carol Higgins Clark
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hard Case unearths lost novel by James M. Cain

In fall 2012, Hard Case Crime will unveil the worldwide debut of The Cocktail Waitress, the final novel of famed writer James M. Cain, known for such classics as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. He was said to have been working on revisions to the final novel up to close to the time of his death in 1977.

When Charles Ardai, founder and editor of Hard Case Crime, learned of the book’s existence, he spent more than nine years tracking down the original manuscript and arranging to get the rights to publish the book.

The Cocktail Waitress tells the story of a young widow whose husband died under suspicious circumstances. Desperate to make ends meet after his death, she takes a job as a waitress in a cocktail lounge -- where he meets two new men: a handsome young schemer she falls in love with, and a wealthy older man she marries...

Friday, December 02, 2011

Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 3) by M.C. Beaton

Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 3)
M.C. Beaton
St. Martin's Press
First published: 1988

Murder is a Tasty Dish
The most hated man in the most dour town in Scotland is sleeping with the fishes, or-more accurately-dumped into a tank filled with crustaceans. All that remain of the murdered victim are his bones. But after the lobsters are shipped off to Britain's best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth. Exiled with his dog, Towser, to the dreary outpost of Cnothan, Macbeth sorely misses his beloved Lochdubh, his formerly beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, and his days of doing nothing but staring at the sheep grazing in a nearby croft. Now the lawman has to contend with a detective chief inspector who wants the modus operandi hushed up, a dark-haired lass who has an ulterior motive to seduce him, and a killer who has made mincemeat of his victim-and without doubt will strike again...

Related links:
Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 2)
Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 1)
Complete HAMISH MACBETH by MC Beaton
Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth and the novels of M.C. Beaton (official site)
Mystery TV Themes: HAMISH MACBETH (Crime TV)
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Matt Forbeck kickstarts 12 for '12

Author and game designer Matt Forbeck has an ambitious writing schedule worked out for 2012—he plans to write and self-publish a novel each month for the entire year. And he's using Kickstarter to fund the project.

How writing comics changed the way Duane Swierczynski writes crime fiction

In an interview with the Pittsburg Tribune, crime writer Duane Swierczynski shares how his recent experiences writing comics like Punisher (Marvel Comics) and Birds of Prey (DC Comics) has changed his approach to writing fiction:
“It’s funny, but before writing comics, I was more of the Elmore Leonard school of writing, very spare on description. I focused more on dialogue and how characters interact with each other, more than setting the scene and thinking about camera angles and such things. But after writing comics, I really thought more about painting word pictures. Not going overboard — I still keep it spare — but I do think readers like to have all their senses engaged.”
Read the whole interview here.

Swierczynski's latest novels star Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop-turned-security-expert who is almost impossible to kill. The three novels in the series include Fun & Games, Hell & Gone, and 2012's Point & Shoot.

Related links:
Crime writers on PUNISHER (Gregg Hurwitz, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler)
Crime writers who also write comics
The next 'Level' of thriller fiction

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.