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Posts Tagged ‘Scene of the Crime’

Will Thomas is the author of the popular historical fiction series featuring detective Cyrus Barker and his apprentice, Thomas Llewelyn, set in London and parts of the British Isles in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The series starts off with Some Danger Involved, and is continued with To Kingdom Come, The Limehouse Text, The Hellfire Conspiracy, and last year’s The Black Hand. The books deal with vital topics of the day, from anti-Semitism to anarchism.

The books have received critical praise. Of Kingdom Come, Booklist noted, “Thomas places his cast of likeable even heroic characters within a complex political minefield and the waits for the explosion. Intense and insightful.” The Denver Post declared the same novel a “thorough delight.” Library Journal noted of The Hellfire Conspiracy: “Thomas knows his Victorian London and his way around the makings of a great mystery. Fans of Victorian historicals will snap this up.” The New York Times Book Review said of the Barker and Llewelyn books, ‘Will Thomas explores wonderful uncharted territory…true believers who go along for the ride will hate to see it end.” (more…)

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Paul Adam is the author of eleven can’t-put-them-down thrillers for adults (in addition to three earlier crime novels, featuring investigative journalist Mike McLean) that cover topics from people smuggling, to genetically modified crops, cigarette smuggling in the European Union, Chinese oppression in Tibet, corruption within the Vatican, and the 21st Century surveillance society in which we live. In Unholy Trinity, Adams looks at connections between the Catholic Church and Italian neo-Fascist groups in a tale that London’s Literary Review thought would have appealed to Eric Ambler. Of his Flash Point, novelist Nelson DeMille blurbed, “Wonderfully plotted, fast-paced and refreshingly original.” (more…)

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Kirkus Reviews praised her “intelligent, sensuous writing.” The Washington Post said she “adroitly tosses in period detail as well as romance, political intrigue and brutal battle scenes.” Booklist declared that “the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire, in the throes of political upheaval, … provides the vividly realized background” of her novels. Welcome to the world of Jenny White and her Turkish protagonist, Kamil Pasha.

White, a social anthropologist at Boston University, and author of several award-winning academic titles, also moonlights as the well respected author of three books featuring Kamil, an aristocrat and modernist who is a magistrate in the new secular courts. The adventures begin with The Sultan’s Seal in 2006, which Booklist gave a starred review, noting: “Court life and customs in old Istanbul are thrillingly captured here, with readers easily transported back to those days when mystery and intrigue lurked around every corner.” Shortlisted for the 2006 Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award, this debut was also named one of the top ten first novels of 2006 and one of the top ten historical novels of 2006 by Booklist. (more…)

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Author Lisa Black makes no bones about it. On her home page she declares that she “spent the happiest five years of my life in a morgue.” Fed up with a secretarial career, she re-tooled at Cleveland State University and got a job as a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, where she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes. (more…)

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Bob Morris is the author of the Caribbean-themed mysteries featuring Zack Chasteen, former Miami Dolphins linebacker and ex-con (wrongly convicted), who becomes an unwilling detective to save his own skin in the series opener, Bahamarama. An “edgy debut novel,” is how Publishers Weekly described that book. Booklist was also impressed, noting that “Morris knows how to put some bounce in his writing.” (more…)

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Photo by Ian Crysler

Canadian writer Louise Penny turned to novels after a successful career as a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She is the author of the acclaimed mystery series featuring Chief Inspector Gamache and his team from the Surete du Quebec. The sixth book in the series, Bury Your Dead, comes out in September. Penny’s mysteries have won awards and high critical praise.

Her first in the series, Still Life, won the New Blood Dagger in Britain and the Arthur Ellis Award in Canada for best first crime novel. The New York Times Book Review noted of her novels: “Although Penny is no slouch at constructing a whodunit puzzle, her great skill is her ability to create a charming mise-en-scène and inhabit it with complex characters.” Other reviewers have compared her to Dorothy L. Sayers, P.D. James, and Elizabeth George, not bad company. Of her sixth in the series, Booklist declared: “Penny’s first five crime novels in her Armand Gamache series have all been outstanding, but her latest is the best yet, a true tour de force of storytelling….Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed and remarkably moving mysteries in years.” “Bring on the awards,” said Kirkus Reviews. (more…)

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Gabriel Cohen’s debut novel Red Hook was nominated for the Edgar award, and he is also the author of The Ninth Step, The Graving Dock, and Neptune Avenue, all of which feature Detective Jack Leightner of the Brooklyn South Homicide Task Force. You know a crime author is on the right track when he gets praise not just from the usual suspects of industry mags, but when it comes from pros like John Cornicello, Lt. Commander of the NYPD’s Brooklyn North Homicide Squad, who said of The Graving Dock: “A story that engages the reader from the first page, and a gripping tale of mystery and suspense. You will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at a world known only to the New York detective.” (more…)

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“Nobody does unsettling undercurrents better than Ann Cleeves,” says Scottish writer Val McDermid, who knows a bit about unsettling undercurrents herself. British author Cleeves started her career in crime with the novels featuring George and Molly Palmer-Jones, a pair of “twitchers” or avid bird watchers, who travel the length and breadth of the British Isles managing to find murder and mayhem in the most bucolic of places. Cleeves published eight of the Palmer-Jones mysteries between 1986 and 1996, meanwhile also starting up a procedural series featuring Inspector Ramsay–a series of six books. (more…)

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Elizabeth Sims is the creator of two well-received mystery series: one featuring Detroit-based reporter, Lillian Byrd, and the more recent Rita Farmer books: The Actress, The Extra, and On Location (August 2010 release). Sims has earned high praise for the Farmer books, set in L.A. Of the first in the series, The Actress, Booklist noted, “Intricate and surprising, this is a gripping read and a promising start to a new mystery series.” Publishers Weekly termed The Extra, an “entertaining second Rita Farmer misadventure,” while of the just published  On Location, Kirkus Reviews commented, “You just have to love Rita.”

Ez, thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us on Scene of the Crime. Congrats also on the reception of the third in the series. (more…)

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Film critic and novelist Michael Atkinson is the author of the Hemingway Mysteries series. The first in the series, Hemingway Deadlights, finds “Hemingway on the verge of serious decline: the booze taking its toll, the writing stalled, the paranoia that would eventually lead to his suicide beginning to assert itself,” as a Booklist critic noted. The novel takes Hemingway from Key West to Cuba to solve the harpooning death of a fisherman friend in a novel that “deftly mixes fact and fiction with graphic sex and violence in a mystery sure to please Hemingway aficionados,” according to  Publishers Weekly. (more…)

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