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Archive for April, 2012

Philip Gooden is a versatile British author of fiction and nonfiction. Former chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association, he is known for his Nick Revill series, set in Elizabethan London, sometimes referred to as the Shakespearian Murder Mystery Series. More recently he has penned the Thomas Ansell Victorian sequence, featuring this London attorney and set in various cathedral towns from which the books in the series take their titles. Also, working with  fellow authors Susanna Gregory, Michael Jecks, Bernard Knight, Karen Maitland, Ian Morson, and C.J. Sansom under the joint pseudonym of the Medieval Murderers, he has helped to write a number of well-received historical mysteries.

The London Guardian has dubbed Gooden’s historical mysteries “great fun,” while Publishers Weekly declared: “Gooden will give you a gratifying taste of the danger and excitement of that lusty place and time.” (more…)

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Homicide inspector Ben Raveneau is the focus of novelist Kirk Russell’s San Francisco-based procedural series. First in the series, A Killing in China Basin, won kudos from Booklist: “A plot that’s chock-a-block with red herrings and unexpected twists, an appealingly hard-bitten hero, and plenty of action make this solidly written police procedural a good choice for all fans of the genre.” Novelist Michael Connelly also had praise for this new series and its protagonist, noting, “A city storied with characters gains a relentless new hero with Ben Raveneau.” Second in the series, Counterfeit Road, comes out in May.

Former DEA agent and now head of a special operations unit of the California Department of Fish and Game, John Marquez is the unlikely protagonist of Russell’s first series, which began with the 2003 title, Shell Games, and continued with Night Game, Dead Game, and the 2011 installment, Redback. Booklist called Marquez “far and away the most inventive new detective hero,” and of the fourth installment that same periodical declared: “Readers looking for a superbly crafted, cleverly plotted, highly suspenseful thriller with a larger-than-life hero need look no further than Redback—or, indeed, the entire John Marquez series. Outstanding!” (more…)

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Roz Southey is a British musicologist who has also turned to crime. Crime fiction, that is, in her series featuring Charles Patterson, a “determined but impoverished musician in 18th century Newcastle upon Tyne,” as she describes him on her home page. The Patterson series was inaugurated in 2007, with Broken Harmony, followed by Chords and Discord, Secret Lament, Sword and Song, The Ladder Dancer, and the 2012 installment, Airs and Graces. Of Sword and Song, Library Journal declared in a starred review: “This unusual historical series just keeps getting better.” In a starred review of Chords and Discords, Publishers Weekly praised Southey’s “realistic but wickedly pointed characterizations and the convincing evocation of the sounds and stink of a preindustrial city.” (more…)

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