May 25, 2005

Of Dark And Stormy Nights

Dark and Stormy is almost upon us! For those of you who live in the Midwest
or anyone who wants to experience one of the most intense, rewarding days
you could possibly imagine, this mystery writing conference will take place
Saturday, June 11 at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield, in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The day is jam packed with workshops and presentations by Midwest authors,
police officers, and experts in everything from poisons to suspense to point
of view to plotting. Yes, even short stories! And the best part will be
presentations and interviews by our guests of honor: Laura Lippman and
Charlaine Harris.

Please go to http:// for more information and
to download a registration form. The price is reasonable -- so are the rates
at the hotel. You can also email Jeanne Dams at

There are still slots available, but it's coming up fast... so don't delay.
Hope to see you there!

Dark and Stormy is sponsored by the Midwest Chapter of MWA.

Libby Hellmann
Chapter President

May 22, 2005

More on Arcs

I find it curious the type of things they put on Arcs and the flyers that go with them. I totally understnad that they are trying to sell books. To do this they hope to acheive two main things with the advance reading copies, Get bookstores to order the books, and get reviewers to read and review the books (thus generating sales).

Some of the things included help, some don't.

Things that help:
Information on the author; this can include bio material and interviews. PJ Nunn at Breakthrough promotions is great about this.
Touring information; this is handy to booksellers and it also shows how much the publisher is investing in the book.

Things that I don't quite get:
A lot of new books mention a "Webmarketing campaign". What the hell is that exactly? Is it the emails I get from the publishers people reminding the book is coming out and asking if I'm going to review it? Is it sending out mass emails to a list? Is it getting the book reviewed on various websites? Maybe even paying for banner ads?
And how effective is any of that in actually helping to sell extra copies?

They also mention national review attention. I undertand that this helps the bookseller know that people will be aware of a book, but does it do any more thab that? I don't think so. My knowing it is getting national review attention isn't going to guilt me into reviewing it.

Also, some publishers get really weird when they find out some bookstores sell copies of Arcs.
I've never sold one, nor do I plan to. But I understand why bookstores do. And the truth is, if someone is willing to pay for an advance copy, they will definitly buy the hardcover as well. These people buying arcs are fans and/or collectors. These sales will not cut into the books actual sales, and may actually help promote buzz about the book. I've heard arguements on both sides of this practice, and while I don't and won't sell arcs, I don't think it's really a problem.

Best use of Arcs?
Get them out early enough to be reviewed. Getting a book a week before the release means it won't be reviewed in time. I can't stress how important getting them out early is.
Get them to the right reviewers and to as many bookstores as possible. Bookstores who get a lot of arcs from companies tend to buy more of their books from the same company.

Arcs are A great tool and when used right they can help a lot. Sending out a lot of arcs really helped get John Connolly's latest book BLACK ANGEL a lot of extra buzz.

May 17, 2005

My Mailman Must Hate Me

We've been getting flooded with books. It's that time of year and all the publishers are sending out books to get reviewed.

Gregg Hurwitz - The Trouble Shooter great addition to the Rackley series.
Blake Crouch - Locked Doors - super second book.
Mark Billingham - Burning Girl in the US and Lifeless in the UK. Both outstanding
Denise Swanson - Death Of A Smart Cookie - a really fun and superb classic mystery
Laura Lipmann - Power Of Three - my wife calls it her best work yet
Michael Black has a stand alone called The Heist. It's terriffic.
John Connolly - Black Angel - He gets better and better and better.
Berry Eisler - Killing Rain - # 4, and it should be #1 with a bullet
JA Konrath - Bloody Mary. - More fun and games with Jackie Daniels. I love this series.
Charlie Williams - Fags and Lager - Find this book Read this book. It rocks!
Will Staeger - Painkiller - Great new author, check him out
Denise Mina - Feild Of Blood - another wonderful book From a great writer.

The list goes on and on, but Iwill say this, anyone who goes to a book store in the next month or two should be able to find lots to read.
will have reviews of all of these and more

Also.... the Anthony nominees are out:

Nominees for the Anthony Awards for works published in 2004 have been announced.
The Anthony Awards, named for mystery's premier reviewer and critic, Anthony Boucher, will be presented on Saturday, September 3, at Bouchercon 2005, the World Mystery Convention at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Chicago.
Best Novel
Bruen, Ken -- The Killing of the Tinkers (St. Martins/Minotaur)
Katzenbach, John -- The Madman's Tale (Random House/Ballantine)
Krueger, William Kent -- Blood Hollow (Simon & Schuster/Atria)
Lippman, Laura -- By a Spider's Thread (HarperCollins)
Parker, T. Jefferson -- California Girl (HarperCollins)
Spencer-Fleming, Julia -- Out of the Deep I Cry (St. Martins/Minotaur)

Best First Novel
Balzo, Sandra -- Uncommon Grounds (Five Star)
Clemens, Judy -- Until the Cows Come Home (Poisoned Pen Press)
Hoffman, Juliane P -- Retribution (Putnam)
Konrath, JA (Joe) -- Whiskey Sour (Hyperion)
Kozak, Harley Jane -- Dating Dead Men (Random House/Doubleday)

Best Non Fiction
Frankie Bailey & Steven Chermak -- Famous American Crimes & Trials (Greenwood Publishing) Collins, Max Allan (et al) -- Men's Adventure Magazines (Taschen)
Conlon, Edward -- Blue Blood (Penguin Putnam/Riverhead)
Klinger, Leslie S (ed) -- The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (Norton)
Rubinstein, Julian -- The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber (TimeWarner/Little, Brown)

Best Paperback Original
Burcell, Robin -- Cold Case (HarperCollins/Avon)
Isleib, Roberta -- Putt to Death (Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime)
McBride, Susan -- Blue Blood (HarperCollins/Avon)
Rose, M.J. -- The Halo Effect (Harlequin/Mira)
Starr, Jason -- Twisted City (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Best Short Story
Bowen, Rhys -- "Voodoo," Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Nov. 2004
Faherty, Terence -- "The Widow of Slane," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2004
Hertel, Ted Jr -- "It's Crackers to Slip a Rozzer the Dropsey in Snide," Small Crimes; Bracken, ed (Betancourt/Wildside)
Nersesian, Arthur -- "Hunter Trapper," Brooklyn Noir (Akashic Books)
Viets, Elaine -- "Wedding Knife," Chesapeake Crimes (Quiet Storm)

Best Cover Art
Brooklyn Noir -- Sohrab Habibion; Tim McLoughlin (Akashic)
Fade to Blonde -- cover by Gregory Manchess; Max Phillips (Hard Case Crime)
Whiskey Sour -- Sal Barracca/Bradford Foltz Design; JA Konrath (Hyperion)
Good Morning Darkness -- Robert Santora; Ruth Francisco (TimeWarner/Mysterious)
Monkology -- Michael Kellner; Gary Phillips (Dennis McMillan)
For more information on the Anthony Awards and Bouchercon, please visit:

May 12, 2005

Rick Riordan

July will see Rick Riordan 's first young adult book hit the shelves. I got an arc and it is wonderful.

Buy it, read it, buy another for soemone you love.

All West Wing, All The Time

Next week starting Monday Morning at ten am Bravo is showing all the episodes of West Wing starting with the pilot episode.

If you need me I'll be in the recliner with a couple bags of Doritos and a stack of comics under comforter.

May 10, 2005

Crimespree Editor to Marry

Our Entertainment Editor Jeremy Lynch is getting married this Friday.

He and Jill are a perfect match and we wish him all the best.

If you'd like to send a card or gift, email me and I'll get you the address.

May 2, 2005

Another one done

Issue 6 is going to the printer tomorrow

And Here's what's in it:
Letter From The Editor

Jennifer Jordan
On The Road
featuring Michael Martinez, photos, and awards
Interview with Harlan Coben
Tony Perona
Ruth Jordan
It Takes A Village; The Team behind John Connelly
Jon Jordan
Why I Love New York
Rhys Bowen
Rawhead In The Cathedral
Fiction by David Bowker
more photos
Rants and Raves
Robert Randisi
Ugly Eye For The Mystery Guy
Jim Pascoe
Weather in Your Novel
<>Arlis Whittier
Even More photos
Cover Stories with Julia Spencer-Fleming and Bill Fitzhugh
Denise Hamilton, Ross Hugo-Vidal, Jeremy Lynch
Murder,Plain and Simple
Bill Fitzhugh
El Detective Latino - Vida en el borde (english version to appear on the website)
Steven Torres
Dead Money
Fiction by David White
The Day Job
Zoe Sharp
Charlie Stella
Killing For England
A chapter Excerpt from Iain McDowel
Collecting Paperbacks
Bill Crider
rimespree at the movies

Jeremy Lynch and Sean Doolittle ( the greatest eam since Martin and Lewis) <>
Rape! Murder! Opera!

David Corbett
Hate The Character, Love the Book
Dave Zeltserman
Courts ,Knights and Treachery
Ayo Onatade
The “CSI” Effect
Jennifer Jordan
Reviews, reviews, and more reviews
Requiem For Jack
Reed Farrel Coleman
iss Terious

The Brothers Lemmer. Joe and Sam