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Archive for July, 2011

David Hewson is the bestselling author of more than sixteen books published in more than twenty languages. His popular Nic Costa contemporary crime series, set in Rome, is in development for a television series. That series began with A Season for the Dead,  featuring Nic Costa, son of an infamous Italian Communist, a connoisseur of Caravaggio, and a cop who barely looks his age.

The Costa series is nine novels strong, and the latest, The Fallen Angel, is earning rave reviews. USA Today noted: “This international mystery is as good as it gets.” Booklist gave it a starred review, commenting, ” Perhaps no other contemporary mystery author mixes both history and landscape so completely into the fabric of his stories… it is finally Hewson’s ability to meld that ancient context into equally compelling, character-centered human dramas in the present day that makes his work so special.” And the Times of London wrote: “Hewson presents an atmospheric portrait of a dark, corrupt Rome behind the jolly tourist façade, astutely mixing the historical and the present. This is the ninth in the Nic Costa series, and possibly the best.” (more…)

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Les Roberts is the author of fifteen novels in the crime series featuring Cleveland PI Milan Jacovich. Roberts turned to mysteries after a successful career of over twenty years in Hollywood, writing and/or producing more than 2500 half-hours of network and syndicated television, including The Lucy Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., to name just a few.

The Jacovich series launched with the 1988 title, Pepper Pike, which introduces Milan, an ex-cop, Vietnam veteran, and former football player, who is now a private investigator with a master’s degree, a taste for klobasa sandwiches and Stroh’s beer, and a knack for finding trouble. Since that debut, Milan has made fourteen more appearances, earning such critical praise as this from Booklist for his twelfth outing, The Dutch: “Brilliantly plotted, with a powerhouse climax.” Book thirteen in the series, The Irish Sports Pages, was dubbed a ” roller-coaster ride of a mystery,” by Publishers Weekly. And his fifteenth series installment, The Cleveland Creep, was published this spring. (more…)

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Peter Guttridge needs little introduction to crime buffs. The author of the satirical six-book series featuring Nick Madrid, Guttridge was also the crime fiction critic for the London Observer for eleven years and film critic at Shots magazine. These days he is focusing on a new series of novels set in Brighton.

The first of the series, City of Dreadful Night, won praise on both sides of the Atlantic. Kirkus Reviews gave the novel a starred review, noting: “Be prepared for a long night. Guttridge combines period mystery, police procedure and noir in a fascinating tale whose only blemish is that you’ll have to wait for the next in the series for its resolution.” London’s Daily Mirror added further praise: “Guttridge has long been one of the UK’s most accomplished crime writers.  This complex, part-historical, part-contemporary tale of a reworking of a notorious but very cold case is the very welcome first of a new Brighton series.” Lee Child, who seems to know a thing or two about thrillers, had this to say of City of Dreadful Night: “It’s always exciting to see a fine writer flexing new muscles and heading into new territory, which Guttridge does here with complete conviction. I don’t need the competition, but honesty demands I confess – this is a great thriller.” (more…)

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Former private investigator, David Corbett is the author of four widely praised novels that carve out a territory somewhere between traditional crime novels and nuanced thrillers. Of his first novel, The Devil’s Redhead, Publishers Weekly noted: “Corbett thunders out of the gate with this gritty, moving debut about an ex-con’s readjustment to freedom and his efforts to reunite with a former lover.” That book was nominated for both the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best First Novel of 2002. His second novel, Done for a Dime, set near San Francisco, pays tribute to Dashiell Hammett and Ross Macdonald in a suspense novel that employs “some of the traditional tools of genre fiction in bold new ways in [a] sharp and exceptionally poignant second suspense novel,” according to Publishers Weekly. That novel was  called “the best in contemporary crime fiction” by the Washington Post, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Novel of 2003.

With his third novel, Blood of Paradise, Corbett moved further afield geographically, to El Salvador, and also into the thematic territory of Graham Greene and Robert Stone. That book was selected one of the Top Ten Mysteries and Thrillers of 2007 by the Washington Post. Corbett’s fourth book, Do They Know I’m Running?, appeared in 2010 and earned starred reviews in Publishers Weekly (“Corbett…delivers a rich, hard-hitting epic that illuminates the violent and surreal landscapes of Central America and Mexico”) and Booklist (“Readers who devour and then forget formulaic crime novels won’t soon forget this one”). Agony Column sums up this recent work succinctly, terming the novels “a new sort of noir, set in the desert of the human heart.” (more…)

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Jason Goodwin is a British historian and author of the popular historical mystery novels featuring the eunuch detective Yashim and set in Istanbul during the early nineteenth century. The world of the Ottoman Empire figures importantly in the series, and Cambridge-educated Goodwin brings that world vividly to life in his novels, having already dealt with it in has narrative history, Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. The Yashim series debut, The Janissary Tree, earned Goodwin an Edgar Award for the Best Novel in 2007.

Second in the series, The Snake Stone, won critical praise from many quarters. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio noted: “When you read a historical mystery by Jason Goodwin, you take a magic carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth.” The Washington Post also commended that series addition, observing: “The real pleasure of The Snake Stone lies in its powerful evocation of the cultural melting pot that was nineteenth-century Istanbul. . . . Goodwin’s sharp eye combines with a poetic style to bring the city vividly to life.” Book three in the series, The Bellini Card, prompted laudatory words from Publishers Weekly: “Goodwin skillfully blends deduction, action sequences and period color.” The fourth series installment, An Evil Eye, is just out, and Publishers Weekly dubbed it “masterful.” (more…)

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