NelizaDrew

Write What You Know, Y’all by Neliza Drew

It’s a tremendous pleasure to welcome Neliza Drew to the site today. I had the honor of working with Neliza on her debut novel, All the Bridges Burning, which was released on July 1st. Accomplished authors and respected reviewers are already weighing in with raves and kudos for Neliza and her lead character, Davis Groves. Author Josh Stallings calls the book “heartbreakingly real. Neliza Drew understands pain and alienation. She sees the scars we inflict on ourselves and the ones the world gifts us with.” Author Thomas Pluck says Davis Groves is “tattooed, with scars inside and out, and armed with brutal experience, an unfazeable demeanor, and a wicked sense of humor.” And reviewer Benoit Lelievre calls All the Bridges Burning “a very good mystery” that has “a powerful sense of realism.” So how did Neliza create that pain and alienation for Davis Groves, that sense of realism that permeates All the Bridges Burning? I’ll let her explain.
Tantra Bensko

Shakedown of the CIA in Books and Movies by Tantra Bensko

Today author Tantra Bensko is here in conjunction with the release of Glossolalia: Psychological Suspense, the first book in her Agents of the Nevermind series. Both Glossolalia and the series use the shady history of spy organizations, like the CIA, as the jumping off point for a trip down the rabbit hole into areas like mind control, false flags, virtual reality abduction, cultural orchestration as espionage, the collusion of church and state and more. It’s bound to be a wild ride, so buckle up.
Archer Hunt

Reboot/Reborn by Arlene Hunt

I’m very pleased to welcome Arlene Hunt back to the site today. Arlene is the author of numerous books, including one of my favorite reads ever, The Outsider, an emotional sledgehammer of a story that dissects life in a small, rural Irish village by delving into aspects of human behavior that are at times extremely unpleasant: bigotry, sexism, religious intolerance, callousness, casual cruelty. Arlene previously guest posted in conjunction with her book The Chosen, in which she talked about how an Irish author went about writing a psychological thriller set in North Carolina. Today she’s here to talk about how that same book came to have a second life with a new publisher, this time under the title Last to Die, available now in the US and in the UK.
Marie Crosswell

Women’s Humanity in Crime Fiction by Marie Crosswell

It’s a pleasure to welcome Marie Crosswell to the site today. Her novella Texas, Hold Your Queens was recently released by One Eye Press Singles. Today, Marie is here to talk about the treatment of women in crime fiction, both the victims as well as the heroines/leads, and the challenges presented in making sure neither group is there merely to serve as a prop or jumping off point for other events (and male characters) in the story.
Andrez Bergen4

Wake From Death and Return to Life by Andrez Bergen

It’s always a pleasure to welcome Andrez Bergen back to the blog. Andrez is one of my all-time favorite authors, and someone who I believe consistently produces some of the most creative, complex, and challenging fiction around. He’s also a machine when it comes to producing said fiction, so much so it’s hard to keep up with the guy. His latest, Black Sails, Disco Inferno, co-authored with Renee Asher Pickup, is out now and he’s here to talk about an old friend who makes an appearance in it.
Joe Clifford

A Lot of the Story Left to Tell by Joe Clifford

It’s an honor to welcome Joe clifford to the site today. Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the crime fiction community has known about Clifford’s work for quite some time. From getting short stories published places like Shotgun Honey, Thuglit, and A Twist of Noir, to working as the editor of the The Flash Fiction Offensive, to his first two novels Wake the Undertaker and Junkie Love, Clifford has been a mainstay in the crime fiction community. He took things to the next level, however, with the release of the first book in his Jay Porter series, Lamentation, in late 2014. Lamentation was well received by readers and critics alike, garnering a starred review from Publishers Weekly and earning an Anthony Award nomination for Best Mystery Novel. Now, with the second Jay Porter book, December Boys, about to drop and the writing of the third already under his belt, Clifford has stopped by to talk about what it’s like to settle in to writing a series.
Les Edgerton

My Journey With Hard Times by Les Edgerton

It’s truly an honor to welcome Les Edgerton to the site today. There are a lot of people out there writing noir, but Les is the real deal. His life experiences give his writing a verisimilitude you can’t learn from a book or earn via an MFA (though he also has one of those), and his razor-sharp way with words and highly tuned sense of pacing is nothing short of masterful. His latest novel, Bomb, is out now, but not one to let grass grow under his feet, Les is already deep in the writing process for his next book, Hard Times. In fact, it’s a story that’s been haunting him, waiting to be written, for over sixty years.
Marshall Karp - Terminal

Terminal by Marshall Karp

“You started out this morning in the morgue, and you ended with a room full of people who are getting ready to take the big dirt nap. If you work homicide, it doesn’t get any more fun than that.” — Terry Biggs

As much as Detective Mike Lomax really doesn’t want to undergo his prostate exam, finding himself in the middle of an active shooter situation is not the way he’d have preferred to get out of it. Yet, in perhaps the ultimate case of being in the wrong place at the right time, Lomax springs from the exam table and responds, complete with ass hanging out of a flimsy exam gown, to the unmistakable sound of shotgun fire in the medical office complex where his doctor is located.

He arrives just in time to witness the shooter kill himself while standing over the body of the doctor he’s gunned down. Investigation reveals the shooter, Cal Bernstein, was terminally ill with a brain tumor, and though there was no connection between him and his victim, a fertility doctor, it still seems like an open and shut case.

Tom Pitts - Hustle

Hustle by Tom Pitts (Down & Out edition)

Hustle by Tom PittsIf you missed Hustle by Tom Pitts when it was first released, good news—a new edition is now out from Down & Out Books! Jacket copy:

Two young hustlers, caught in an endless cycle of addiction and prostitution, decide to blackmail an elderly client of theirs. Donny and Big Rich want to film Gabriel Thaxton with their cell phones during a sexual act and put the video up on YouTube. Little do they know, the man they’ve chosen, a high-profile San Francisco defense attorney, is already being blackmailed by someone more sinister: an ex-client of the lawyer’s. A murderous speed freak named Dustin has already permeated the attorney’s life and Dustin has plans for the old man. The lawyer calls upon an old biker for help and they begin a violent race to suppress his deadly secret.

I reviewed the book when it first dropped, and here’s a taste of that:

Ian Ayris - April Skies

April Skies by Ian Ayris

Ian AyrisSomething’s movin towards me. Gettin closer. Feelin its way in the dark. It’s took two years. But it’s comin.— John Sissons

John Sissons is working hard to put the events of the past behind him, events that landed him in prison for a seven-year stretch. (Abide With Me) Out for two years, he’s been working at a market stall several days a week selling produce.

When that job dries up, John signs on with a job placement agency that gets him in working at a door factory. It’s dreary, repetitive, soul-crushing work, but twenty-five years old and knowing it’s time to get on with being a man, John sucks it up and sticks things out.

Slowly, things seem to be taking a turn for the better. John settles into the pattern of the work, the money’s coming in, and he even starts dating a young woman who works in the factory office. And then news arrives that changes John’s world forever.

Lost Found2016

The Office of Lost and Found by Vincent Holland-Keen

Ian Ayris“My name is Thomas Locke. I am a private detective and what I’m about to say might sound strange, but it is absolutely true.”

Vincent Holland-Keen’s (Billy’s Monsters) debut novel The Office of Lost and Found is fueled by a cast of wonderfully quirky and endearing characters, and unfolds as several parallel, if time-bending, plots.

Thomas Locke is not just a detective, he’s a detective capable of finding anything, anywhere, no matter how long lost or how well hidden. He is the “found” half of The Office of Lost and Found.

Locke’s partner, Lafarge, brings new meaning to the term shadowy, literally appearing only as a tall, dark figure cloaked deep in shadows. He is the “lost” half of The Office of Lost and Found, and you better be sure you really want something lost before seeking his help, because things Lafarge loses stay lost. Permanently.

Alex Segura - Down The Darkest Street

Down the Darkest Street by Alex Segura

This was old Miami, classic, historic, with a coat of paint over something darker and more dangerous.

It’s been a year since we last saw Pete Fernandez in Silent City. And while he made it out of the events of that book alive, he may wish he hadn’t.

Fernandez has lost his job as a journalist, his marriage has fallen apart, his best friend was killed, and he’s learned those closest to you are the ones whose betrayal hurts the most—and are the ones that you never see coming.

Hey, Kids, Collect them All: The Awful Truth About Completism by Gavin Scott

It’s a pleasure to welcome Gavin Scott to the site today. Gavin has extensive experience in radio, film and television, having spent twenty years working as a reporter for the BBC and ITN, as well as in Hollywood as a screenwriter on projects with such film royalty as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Gavin’s new novel, The Age of Treachery, first in a new series set in post WWII England and featuring ex-Special Operations Executive agent Duncan Forrester, is out now from Titan Books.

Hey, Kids, Collect them All: The Awful Truth About Completism

I suspect the syndrome began when I read the backs of serial packets in the 1950s and was urged by the manufacturers of Shredded Wheat and Rice Crispies to make sure that I had the complete set of the plastic Space Men/Pirates/Guardsmen/Divers/Miniature Nuclear Submarines that they were offering. Sadly, I was rarely able to eat enough Rice Crispies or Shredded Wheat to succeed: but the lust for the complete set was planted.

I think in literature the process began with the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge, if only because the art on the dust jackets of the adventures of the boys at Jennings school was so colorful and full of delight.

Interestingly, although I loved Captain W.E.Johns’ Biggles books, I was never tempted to try to collect them all because there was simply so many– and the same applied to Richmal Compton’s magnificent William books.

I think the enthusiasm for complete sets really took hold courtesy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. At the age of 11, a newly arrived emigrant in New Zealand and staying at a Salvation Army hostel in Cuba Street, Wellington, I discovered in the window of the bookstore opposite a hardback copy of the John Murray edition of His Last Bow. It had a white cover decorated with the magnificent painting of Sherlock Holmes holding, of all things, a cockerel. It was some years before I was able to get a copy for myself and by that time I had discovered that the painting was one of a whole series of Holmes which decorated the covers of all the books in the Collected edition from The Adventures onwards.