May 31, 2008

Anthony Award Nominees

The 2008 Anthony Award Committee, led by John Purcell is pleased to present this year’s nominations for works published and done in the year 2007. The Bouchercon Membership of both 2007 and 2008 have determined this year’s nominees. All awards will be voted on and presented at Bouchercon 2008- Charmed to Death. Congratulations to the nominees and thank you to our membership.

The 2008 Anthony Award Nominees
Best Novel:
James Lee Burke-Tin Roof Blowdown- Simon and Schuster
Lee Child – Bad Luck and Trouble Delacorte Press
Robert Crais- The Watchman Simon and Schuster
William Kent Krueger-Thunder Bay Atria
Laura Lippman – What the Dead Know William Morrow

Best First Novel:
Sean Chercover- Big City, Bad Blood William Morrow
Tana French- In the Woods Viking Adult
Lisa Lutz-The Spellman Files Simon and Schuster
Craig McDonald- Head Games Bleak House Books
Marcus Sakey- The Blade Itself St. Martin Minotaur

Best Paperback Original
Megan Abbott- Queenpin Simon and Schuster
Ken Bruen and Jason Starr – Slide Hard Case Crime
David Corbett- Blood of Paradise Ballantine Books
Robert Fate- Baby Shark’s Beaumont Blues Capital Crime Press
P.J. Parrish- A Thousand Bones Pocket

Short Story
Rhys Bowen- Please Watch Your Step- (The Strand Magazine-Spring 07)
Steve Hockensmith-Dear Dr. Watson- (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
Toni L. P. Kelner - How Stella Got her Grave Back - (Many Bloody Returns edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner) for Ace Hardcover
Laura Lippman- Hardly Knew Her - (Dead Man’s Hand edited by Otto Penzler) for Harcourt
Daniel Woodrell -Uncle – (A Hell of A Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir edited by Megan Abbott) for Busted Flush Press

Critical Work
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower & Charles Foley Penguin
The Essential Mystery Lists Compiled by Roger Sobin Poisoned Pen Press
The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction – Patrick Anderson Random House
Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction- Christiana Gregoriou Palgrave MacMillan

Special Services
Jon and Ruth Jordan- Crime Spree Magazine
Ali Karim- Shotz Magazine
Maddy Van Hertbruggen- 4MA
Sarah Weinman- Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
Judy Bobalik- for being one of the best friends and supporters of mystery writers anywhere

Web Site
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind- Sarah Weinman
Rap sheet/January Magazine –J Kingston Pierce
Murderati – A Writer’s Blog
Stop You’re Killing Me- Stan Ulrich & Lucinda Surber
Crime Fiction Dossier- David Montgomery

May 19, 2008

Monday Monday, can't trust that day

I've been sober for over 12 years, but I occasionally still suffer from hangovers.
The difference is now they are what have become known around the Jordan house as book hangovers. These occur when I stay up much later than I should because I'm reading and force myself to stay up to keep reading. It's all good until I get that 1 or 2 hours of sleep and then have to get up for work. Upon waking I'm cranky, sore and usually headachey for a bit.

This morning it's a DVD hangover. We stayed up till we finished watching a show called Intelligence. It's from the makers of Da Vinci's Inquest and set in Vancouver. Jeremy reviewed it on our sister site Crimespree Cinema.
It's a really good show, smart and the plot moves at a nice pace. Great actors and being set in Vancouver they can actually show off the city that so often has to pretend to be other cites.
The general layout of the show is this, a career bad guy who sells pot and runs a few other schemes ends up helping out an organized crime unit with out compromising his own organization. The woman in charge at the OCU is looking to move up the ladder and is trying to rebuild an intelligence community in Canada.

The show is really good, a little bit of The Wire mixed with the Sopranos.
I would definitely recommend this show.

May 15, 2008

Pest Control The Musical

Bill Fitzhugh is a big fan of music, it comes through in his book and when you talk to him its a topic that will come up.

So it was really not that big a surprise when he announced this:
Pest Control The Musical
The cast includes Darren Ritchie, Beth Malone, Cleavant Derricks (of TV's Sliders),and Joanna Glushak.

I love this book and if you have not read it you should. Bill's website has a page about the novelHere.

I think this is really cool. The mystery genre is something that really has no bounds, and I hope this is the beginning of a trend. Can The Last Good Kiss as a musical be next?

May 14, 2008

New comics creator forums on line

There is a new home for some really great forums that went live not long ago.
It's a group of people that I enjoy not only for their work but for their honest and no bullshit approach to life.
The forum is called STANDARD ATTRITION and can be found RIGHT HERE.
Even if you don't post, it's worth the time to go and read.

The creators involved are:

Jason Aaron (seenhere with Tony Moore)

Brian Azzarello

Cliff Chiang


David Lapham

G. Willow Wilson
Writer of CAIRO, AIR

Brian Wood

Each one of these people is very well represented on my bookshelves and in my long boxes. They are all really talented. And most of them smell nice too.
So go! GO! Go now and support these groovy people.

And then go and buy books with their names on them.
The best thing you can do to show support to your favorite writers and authors and artists is buy the work they do.

May 12, 2008

B Clay Moore Interviewed

This is an interview that ran in the Mar/Apr edition of Crimespree Magazine.
We're big fans of Mr. Moore and if you haven't read his stuff yet, you really should

Jon Jordan: How did you get your start in comics?

B Clay Moore: A friend of mine named J. Torres, who now writes a lot of stuff for DC, was launching an anthology called Love in Tights with Slave Labor Graphics and asked if I wanted to help. I ended up handling most of the editorial duties for the six issue run, and that really introduced me to how comics worked. Got to know some people, and understand how the sausage was made, so to speak. The next thing I worked up was the Hawaiian Dick pitch, and when Image picked it up things started rolling.

JJ: What influenced Hawaiian Dick? Was it shows like Magnum PI and Hawaii Five-O and Hawaiian Eye or something less obvious?

BCM: I've honestly never sat through an episode of Magnum PI, and only discovered Hawaiian Eye after I started work on Hawaiian Dick (much to my shame). There was no direct influence, really. What I did was take elements of pop culture that turned me on: film noir, tiki kitcsh, detective fiction, fifties style, jazz, and throw them into one big melting pot. I'd read a bit about the Night Marchers (the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors), and that sparked the idea to toss in a dash of the supernatural.

The only real influence I can think of in terms of crime media is the Rockford Files. I always got a kick out of the way Jim Rockford stumbled through cases, generally getting his head handed to him along the way. Shortly after starting Hawaiian Dick I finally saw Robert Altman's brilliant (to my mind) The Long Goodbye, with Elliott Gould's Marlowe letting the events around him dictate virtually all of his actions (or lack of actions). There's a lot of Gould's Marlow in Byrd, although as the book goes on, he's becoming a bit more proactive.

JJ: You seem to have a real love of the era('50s) your write the series in. Why do you to tune it to it so well?

BCM: The fascinating thing about the fifties is this stark dichotomy between the brightly-colored plastic suburban dream that seemed to be presented in mass media and advertising and the undercurrent of paranoia and fear driven by the Cold War. On the one hand we have Doris Day and Father Knows Best, and on the other we have the emergence of the Beats and the rise of film noir. I thought Hawaii would be a good analogy for the decade as a whole. Surely the "Aloha!" Hawaiian travel brochures hid some seedier goings-on in the back alleys of Honolulu in 1953...

JJ: What kind of research do you do for the series?

BCM: Our main goal is to make sure we don't insult Hawaiian culture. We're not filming a documentary, we're creating a slice of entertainment. But we don't want to fall into lazy clich├ęs or completely lose site of the background. We'll do our best to make sure period details are correct (Steven Griffin and I once spent four hours verifying what mailboxes looked like in 1953 for a sequence in the first book), and I try not to get too crazy with the language. In general, the book has been well-received by Hawaiian readers, and that's been very gratifying.

JJ: How did you hook up with Steven Griffin? He is so dead perfect for this series.

BCM: Steven is coloring the new series, over the pencils and inks of Scott Chantler, who was made to create a book set in the fifties. When I first conceived Hawaiian Dick, I was working with an artist named J. Bone (who has recently spent his time inking and assisting Darwyn Cooke). When it became clear J. wasn't going to have the time for it, I started poking around online, and Steven was one of the first people I found. His style wasn't what I had in mind initially, but his color was amazing, and his creativity was clearly off the charts. I can't imaging where (or what) the book would be without him.

JJ: I've also heard you have a project coming up for DC, anything you can talk about?

BCM: I've got two things that debut in February. A three issue arc for JSA Confidential, which digs into the roots of Wildcat, a Golden Age hero who's still hanging around, and a three issue arc for Superman Confidential, which examines the early days of the Superman/Jimmy Olsen dynamic.

JJ:You also did a book called Leading Man for Oni in 2006 with the collection coming out this past year. I have to say I found it utterly charming and wonderful. The idea of actors and actresses being secret agents is really fun. Any plans to revisit this?

BCM: Not immediately. The writer’s strike in Hollywood has held up the screenplay on the film adaptation, but if there’s serious movement on a movie, I’d like to revisit it. Artist Jeremy Haun and I have kind of loosely plotted a single-issue follow-up, so it’s something we’ll probably get around to eventually.

JJ: Do you plan to keep moving forward With Hawaiian Dick? Story arcs self contained in different mini series kind of like Mike Mignola is doing with Hellboy? Because I for one can’t get enough.

BCM: We’re planning on doing the book as a continuing series now, developing subplots behind the primary story arcs as we go. I’m actually scripting issue eleven right now.

JJ: Wildcat seems like a great character for you to write, hard boiled bad ass, and actually a real fifties kind of guy. Is this the first writing you’re doing for a character you didn’t create? And did DC approach you?

BCM: I’ve written a few odds and ends featuring other people’s characters. I did a Vampirella mini-series a few years ago, a Marvel short story, and Jeremy and I collaborated on a GI Joe one-shot. But this, along with a Superman Confidential story arc I’m writing at the same time, is the first time I’ve been able to stretch out with DC or Marvel toys. Wildcat was a blast, and I did my best to set him up for the future, kind of examining him having a foot in the Golden and Modern ages. And, yeah. DC contacted me around Thanksgiving in 2006 and asked if I’d like to do something for them. So far it’s been great.

JJ: I have to agree that Gould did a great job as Marlowe. I actually think that time period had some really great movies. Redford and Newman together, Warren Beatty in The Parallax View. What are some of your other favorite movies?

BCM: A ton of film noir. Kiss Me Deadly is an all-time favorite. I do love a lot of late sixties and early seventies crime and genre movies. Things like Bullit, the Getaway, anything with Lee Marvin or Gene Hackman. Brit crime along the lines of Get Carter, the Italian Job. I’m partial to a pretty wide range of films, but those are my two favorite eras for crime flicks.

JJ: When we met briefly last summer it was at my very first comic convention. I had a great time. Do you enjoy getting out there and pressing the flesh and hanging with your fellow comic peers or would you rather be home working?

BCM: I love comic conventions. I love getting out and seeing people I only get to see at cons, and I love hanging out in different cities, meeting readers and fans. Trying to convert new ones. Working at home is great, aside from the nineteen month-old climbing up my pantleg all day.

JJ: Have you ever considered writing a short story or maybe even a novel?

BCM: Sure, but I don’t know when I’d have time. I actually approached the Hard Case Crime Library folks about submitting something, and they were supportive of the idea. The problem there is they want completed manuscripts (which is logical), and I don’t know when I’d have time to hack one out. Another publisher approached me about a Hawaiian Dick novel once, but, again...the time factor is the issue.

JJ: If you are in Chicago for Wizard World this June can I buy you a drink? Maybe something with an umbrella in it?

BCM: But of course! Preferably at the Hala Kahiki Tiki bar, just down the road from the convention center!

May 10, 2008

All Jazzed Up

So, I'm sitting here at the computer, gallons of coffee having flowed through my body today. I don't sleep much anyway but right now I'm just wide awake! Shannon Wheeler's Too Much Coffee Man has nothing on me!

Since I'm up anyway, lets talk about some books coming up on the horizon.

RED SKY IN MORNING is the latest from Patrick Culhane, also known to some of us as Max Allan Collins. This is a mystery set on a ammunition ship during WWII. The book is inspired the tales Collins heard from his Father who actually served on such a ship.
The mystery here is wonderful as is the detail that Collins brings to everything he does. And I have to say that the idea of a murder mystery set on a navy ship during a war sure seems unique to me, and even if it has been done, I'll bet it wasn't done this well. This has a August Drop Date.

Victor Gischler hits the shelves of the nations bookstores again in early July wit GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE. This is a must have just for the title alone kids. Of course Gischler is a hell of a writer so the fact that all of his previous books were asskickers should make the decision to buy a little easier.
In this crazy ass book we are in a future world ten years after the "BIG ONE". Mortimer Tate hid in the mountains and come back to the world to find things more than a little different. This is a quest/action/science fiction/adventure that is as close as you'll likely get to a pure unadulterated sheer fun reading experience this summer.
You need this book. And so do all your friends.

Mo Hayder's latest is available only in the UK so far, but I would get it now, order it from a bookstore in England or Canada. It rocks.
Here's part of the cover Jacket:
Just after lunch on a Tuesday in April, nine feet under water, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand. The fact that there's no body attached is disturbing enough. Yet more disturbing is the discovery, a day later, of the matching hand. Both have been recently amputated, and the indications are that the victim was still alive when they were removed.
DI Jack Caffery is the lead in this book and it is billed as the opening novel of the "Walking Man" series.
Mo Hayder is one of my very favorite writers working today. Every book I've read by here has left me unable to read other books for at least a week. Her books linger and poke around in your head long after you are done reading. Trust me, get this book.
By the by, Mo will be in Baltimore this year for Bouchercon.

Speaking of Bouchercon, Toastmaster and wordmaster Mark Billingham has a standalone hitting UK bookstores in Sept (US next year) called IN THE DARK.

I'm a huge huge HUGE(!) fan of Mr. Billingham, have been since I read his first book. He was on our first Crimespree Cover for a reason! SLEEPYHEAD was an extraordinary debut. The six books to follow it, all featuring Tom Thorne were also outstanding. Well Mark is taking a break from Thorne and his thriller will be breaking some new ground for him. I have to say, the book really moves and I would predict that it will raise Billingham's profile even higher.
Here in the States we will see Thorne #6. BURIED coming in paperback. I'm not sure what's up with DEATH MESSAGE being released here, thought #7 in the series is also available in the UK.

A newcomer to the shelves here at Casa Crimespree is Evan Kilgore. I love last year's debut from Bleak House, WHO IS SHAYLA HACKER?
The second book from this great new writer is THE CHILDREN OF BLACK VALLEY out in late June. Kilgore writes with a maturity that should put his age at about 85, trust me, he's n where near that age. His latest book involves a Father who has dealt with loss and come through it. Now he may have to face it again. To prevent that he's going to take a journey that will change who he is and what he believes. I'm not doing htis justice, but trust me, this is a one sitting book. It will put hooks into you and not let go till you finish.

Nathan Singer is an author that i would not even try to pigeon hole by labeling his work as belonging to any particular genre. I will however say that Singer is a truly gifted writer and one of those rare voices that speaks loud enough to be heard without having to yell.
IN THE LIGHT OF YOU is a book that really challenges the reader to face the world as it really is. Following a yong man struggling to figure out who he is IN THE LIGHT OF YOU see 16 year old Mikal Fanon hooking up with skin heads and then falling for a young black girl. The people around him can't all co exist and somethings got to give.
Brutally honest and moving this is quite simply brilliant.

If you get the chance to see Nathan on tour somewhere, go. He's a really great guy and interesting doesn't come close to describing him.

So, just a few books to keep an eye out for. And there are a hell of a lot more great books coming this summer which we will cover as well.

Stay tuned....

May 9, 2008

The Great Psychobilly Blog Road Trip of 2008: Day 5, Part 2

One of our favorite humans on the planet, Anthony Neil Smith has been driving around the country and defacing books, usually with his signature, and usually only in books he wrote. This travelling death squad (death to mediocrity!) is pulling into Milwaukee and Neil has hacked his way into Crimespree Central and left this for you:

Last stop:
Seth Harwood’s Crib

So far, the total we've spent in gasoline equals pretty much all the advances of my first three novels. And we're not finished yet.

A cry for help out of Milwaukee. The problem? A general sense of malaise. The solution? Joining our road trip.

But as a large number of crime fiction writers have learned, a stop at the Jordans in Milwaukee means getting the royal treatment. And so it is again--a blessing for all of us dirty, overstimulated, sleep-deprived, hallucinating trigger-happy travelers. Can we all please stay the night?

And boy, what a night. The walls lined with crime novels, the food is tasty, the conversations are heated, and the DVDs are full of extras. Yes, one truth about the editors of the required-reading Crimespree Magazineis that they treat us writers better than we deserve.

From the first minute you meet Jon, Ruth, and Jennifer, you realize they know more about your work than you do. Their enthusiasm and respect for the genre bowls you over, too. My friends since at least 2002, we've traveled the same roads for a long time now--Bouchercons, Mayhems, signings, taco shacks. Through them I've met more writers than I would have imagined when I started in this gig. And I'm sure many others can say the same. It's why we all flock to Crimespree--it's become a almost like a club newsletter so we can catch up with our friends. It's a brilliant idea: let's publish a magazine that actually builds a stronger community around crime fiction. Quite an achievement. I wish them more and more success and growth.

And we can't forget that Ruth is an up-and-coming author herself, winning lots of attention for her story "Little Blue Pill" in the great Expletive Deletedanthology (edited by Jen, and I'm in it, too). And we can see why: "He yanked off my sweater. The buttons of my blouse flew across the room. Don turned me around and pulled up my skirt. Rammed me from behind, pushing my head into the chair's armrest. I felt fear. Glorious fear." I'm sure she did! That last bit stabs at you, right? Nicely done.

Makes you afraid of Jen's forthcoming sequel to Ex Del: Sloppy Seconds (Or Uncaged, as they're calling it now. Damn. My guess: corporate pressure). She's a woman who knows how to coax some dirty out of otherwise mild-mannered authors.

The next morning, we're waiting in the Hummer-sine as they lock up the shop. Here they come: Jen's in the bad-ass leather boots while carrying a book of Henry Rollins Essays. Jon's face is hidden in a haze of dramatic cigarette smoke, Harley Davidson jacket warning enough for all of us. And Ruth, she just takes one look at the awful crew we're hauling, cocks her eyebrow, and says, "Bunch of pussy lightweights if you ask me. Maybe I'll show you a thing or two about road trippin'."

They've been nice to my books, too. Big fans of all three, saying wonderful (and unfortunately untrue) things about me in the pages of Crimespree. And they even let me and the boys have a cover, for god's sake. They wouldn't do that unless they really believed the work was good, right (unless they're cruel people who want to set me up for failure)? I'm just going to trust them when they say Yellow Medicine kicks a lot of ass. Well worth the investment of twenty-six or fifteen bucks (depends on if you like Hard or SOFTcover) at Barnes & Noble on Psychobilly Monday (May 12), or the cool and hip indie store of your choice, like Milwaukee's Mystery One, where you can often find the Jordans hanging out.

Onward, this time to Maine, where we hack our way through the underbrush of the forests to seek out the cabin of
Patrick Shawn Bagley. We've heard that as long as we keep our hands up and take slow steps up to the door, we should be okay.

Driving time: A quick one. 'Bout twelve minutes (give or take a day).

Tune for the leg: "This Ol’Wheel" by Shooter Jennings (not psychobilly, but definitely high-tech hillbilly)

Ashes to Ashes

Once upon a time this was only a great David Bowie song to me. Wonderful lyrics, cool almost spooky music.

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know major toms a junkie
Strung out in heavens high
Hitting an all-time low

Time and again I tell myself
Ill stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again
Im stuck with a valuable friend
Im happy, hope you're happy too
One flash of light but no smoking pistol

I'm Happy Hope Your happy too. What a great line!

Well what am I going on about? Two years ago another David Bowie song took a new importance in our lives here at Crimespree Central. Life on Mars. Great song.

And a wonderful television program from the UK. John Simms as a cop dropped into a coma and waking up in 1973. Two seasons of absolutely wonderful TV. Two seasons told the story they wanted to tell, and it worked.

But I missed the show. i was not encouraged when I heard that someone here in the states wanted to do an American version.

I was happy to hear they planned to do a follow up show, kind of a sequel but not quite. Enter Ashes to Ashes.
Philip Glenister returns as Gene Hunt along with Dean Andrews and Marshall Lancaster. And in a wonderful move they brought in Keeley Hawes as the displaced Di Alex Drake. This time in 1981. The boys have moved from Manchester to London and the world is a little bit different than it was in 1973.
The premise is similar, displaced cop, is it real or is it in her head.
Watch and find out and decide for yourself!
I was quite happy with this first series. It doesn't hurt that i loved the music of the eighties. The soundtrack is full of the Clash, XTC, and even Supertramp.

If you like Life on Mars. You'll like Ashes to Ashes.

May 2, 2008

Hooray hooray, Free Comics Book Day!!!!!

The First Saturday in may is celebrated by comics fans everywhere as Free Comic Book Day.

Started seven years ago, the day was begun to help bring awareness of the genre to non comic readers. All the companies participate by creating special comics just for the promotion.

It's a great way to bring new fans to the stores and its also a wonderful chance to try some really cool comics, and in some places it's a chance to meet comics writers and artists.

I've gone the last few years and it's great fun. Parents bringing their kids in to the store and helping them pick out comics, fans who already read talking with other fans. If you have some time tomorrow you should really go

You can locate a comics store near you by going here:
Free Comic Book Day Website Here