Jun 25, 2009

Laura Lippman on Craig Ferguson.

There are many reasons to like Craig Ferguson, the primary being he is damn funny. But another is that he has authors on his show.

Jon has been putting up stuff from Craig's show recently so I thought I would start putting up clips of authors on Craig.

We are going to start off with the very nice, award-winning Laura Lippman. This is from May 14th, 2009.

Jun 23, 2009


You’ve been to the gas pump and the price is still hovering at 50 dollars a tank and not the seventy you’ve been afraid of. Spring was cold with the only advantage being those gas and electric bills were low despite increased cost. Fresh produce is here and that means the grocery bills have taken a dip. What am I getting at? Well, none of us have extra money right now, but for those of us who’ve planned out how much we’re going to need, it almost feels like there’s a surplus flowing (at least and heaven forbid until the truck says I’ve had enough). So buy a book. Did you pick up the Connelly or the Child yet? Are you caught up with Sookie Stackhouse? Last week hubby picked up the Entertainment Weekly, looked at the best sellers and declared, “Holy S8#t, look at this list, It’s true when all goes to pot, people turn to the Crime Novel.”

But go beyond that best seller list, help create a strong sales base for a great book.

TREAT YOURSELF; Out this week is TRUST NO ONE by Gregg Hurwitz. Jon gave you his opinion right here and my review is in the magazine for all to see. Those of you who know of my penchant for this writer may be going what else do you recommend Ruth? Ready to move on. But let me say again, a writer I’ve loved from the beginning has hit a stride. The story is about a man who’s been escaping his past for half a life time. Full of politics, terrorist threats, a “non” love story, and a past that may not be as it seems, Hurwitz plays every chord and you’ll kick yourself if you miss it. This book, is for me, like Rankin’s BLACK BOOK, Lippman’s SUGARHOUSE. When I read it months’ ago I facebooked and people agreed, Hurwitz has hit the mainstream while remaining true to himself as a writer.
Get Trust No One

And now you can get a signed copy of Greg Rucka’s WALKING DEAD. He’s been on an abbreviated tour, due entirely to the economy. Go to his website for a list of bookstores with signed copies. This book sits with me still and for anyone who loves a great mystery is a must book.
Get Walking Dead

Also, if you’re a Jeffrey Deaver fan and even if you’re not ROADSIDE CROSSES is a must read. I’m always wary of saying, “It’s my favorite in forever” but if you’re a Deaver fan you’ll understand. His books hit different points and in this book about the blogosphere he peppers information with a great mystery in perfect proportions.
Get Roadside Crosses

Once again I’ll mention the Adrian McKinty’s FIFTY GRAND. Here’s a writer with chops to spare. This book, about a murder in Colorado and its international repercussions will win over anyone not already a fan.

Get Fifty Grand

And I’ve been working on a piece about Elaine Viets for two months now. Why isn’t it done? Well, every time I get stuck in my “article” I pick up another book. For those of you who like a great cozy, everything this woman has written is outstanding. Pick up her newest, KILLER CUTS and visit the blog again, I should get this article done before too much longer. I only have three books...
Get Killer Cuts: A Dead-End Job Mystery

Jun 21, 2009


You’ve arrived at this destination because you are a mystery fan. You are also a fan of Crimespree. Many have looked at Jon and Ruth over the years and thought they are the perfect couple. Mainly, mostly, we agree. But sometimes we look at each other and wonder, “Why doesn’t she/he get it?”
It happens a lot when the T.V. goes on. This is an area where my husband’s level of tolerance is much higher than my own. The one thing we’ve always agreed upon is no reality T.V. Granted, we’ve both strayed…. Queer Eyes for the Straight Guy, Trading Spaces, Project Runway (me) , Dancing with Stars (me). We quickly regroup. Time sucks are at a minimum.
When we discovered we had the Food Network on our most basic of cable packages we checked it out. And we’re hooked. And so it was with anticipation we looked forward to the “Next Food Network Star-season 5”.
Our virgin voyage and no, I don’t think we’ll go back but we are entertained and at this point invested. We agree or not on many points about the remaining seven chefs but we both agree….
The main reason…. Teddy is trying to play the Richard Hatch strategy. You remember him? The naked fat guy who lost a lot of weight on Survivor, season one and was later jailed for tax evasion.
I’ll sit down for dinner with Richard Hatch before I’ll eat one or attempt to cook one conceived by Teddy…. Attention waning, Jordan’s regrouping. About to take channel 67 off of the favorite list.
He is evil, a personality who knows how to cook but plays his fellow competitors in the way of the worst master chef. Now Teddy was saved from elimination this week by Bobby Flay (we love you Bobby). Bobby’s argument was that Teddy is a better Chef than Eddie. What the hell does that have to do with it? This man has intentionally undermined competitors in each of the first three weeks of the challenge. Helping Mom Melissa plate her dish and then letting Brett present a competence question during evaluation? HISSSSS. This week, after a week where he managed to get one cook tossed off and another’s integrity questioned he had a partner. Good luck to her. Debbie managed to shine. The appetizer she presented to the dinner party sang to all. Then came the collaborative effort. The fact that these two chefs created a meatloaf that foodies raved over? Amazing. And then the words.. from Teddy… “I consider this my dish” Okay, so
Debbie only created the sauce and conceived of the spices, Teddy actually mixed the meat and egg… PLEAAZE.
And here’s a question. Why, when we all know that the most quickly a meatloaf (at any temp.) can cook is thirty minutes, why oh why did Teddy not start on his dessert any sooner than the five minute mark? It was the worst dish I’ve ever seen presented on Food Network (like all five months worth, ever). Could he have worked on it, conceptualized it and made it great? Shortcake, Vanilla, fresh strawberries and whipped cream?
It must also be noted that Debbie (pre-backstabbing) made Teddy shine, she allowed him to reach a presentation level where he came off as pure and not phony for the first time. And then he dissed her. He failed, miserably. Don’t drag this out Food Network. Don’t allow him to succeed with a season one trick in season five. All of us who have been or worked with chefs know about personality. We’ve dealt with it and stood or run.
His personality is unacceptable and would make any kitchen in this country an unhappy one. Happy food never comes from an unhappy kitchen. This is a truth. I’d never work in a TEDDY kitchen and JON would never sous.
Back to the mystery of it all….. Ladies and Gents who write “culinary” or “recipe” mysteries… if the food network doesn’t see the light could you PLEASE put this in words for us?


Jordans x 2

We noted that only four percent of the food networkers are voting for a TEDDY ELIMINATION, but come on people, do not take away our reality TV.

Jun 17, 2009

Will Eisner's The Spirit Archives Volume 26

Well, it's at an end, this wraps up the archive series for The Spirit by Will Eisner. This final hardbound collection has everything from 1952 to 2005.

After the strip stopped running in 1952 it looked as though that was it, but like his character Denny Colt, The Spirit, Will Eisner and his creation did not lie down and softly into that sweet night go. Eisner's creation was in a number of homes, one of the most notables was Kitchen Sink Press, but also had two issues at harvey comics. Volume 26 has the last of the original stories, a mother load of semi finished pieces and a lot, I mean A LOT of great comics covers. There are also a nice selection of pieces done for various publications including the overstreet guide.Coming in at 252 pages this is a fitting end to the run of Archived editions. And I think I can safely say that if for some reason you are not a huge fan of this man's work already, this is a perfect book to introduce you to the genius that is Will Eisner.

The fact that DC has gone and published 26 volumes of this work, plus a number of related titles shows how much they love what they do. There is a reason this man has an award named after him. The work holds up, it looks great and is still great reading.

Treat yourself and pick this up.
And maybe treat yourself a lot and get some of the earlier volumes too!
And I would also check out Darwyn Cooke's run on The Spirit as well.

Buy The Spirit Archives, Volume 26
Buy The Spirit Archives, Volume 25
Buy The Spirit Archives, Volume 24
Buy The Spirit: Femmes Fatale
Buy Spirit Vol. 1 by Darwyn Cooke
Will Eisner's The Spirit, Vol. 2 by Darwyn Cooke

Whiteout Trailer (2009)

Can't wait.

True Crime books for summer reading fun!

We get a lot of books to review. More and more lately we are getting true crime books. Strange I know, a magazine called Crimespree getting true crime books. I've been a reader of true crime since right after I started reading fictional crime. Some of it's quite well done, other screams of sensationalism. I know longer get those paperbacks at the grocery store with a few black and white photos in the middle, I find most of them bore me. I do still enjoy the bigger books and the famous cases.

Here's a few we've been sent recently.

My number one pick came in last year but I loved it. Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 from Penguin is a great book. Hell, it inspired a movie and stars Johnny Depp. There are a lot of Dillinger books out there, some good, some not so much. But this book does more than report facts, it tells the story. It is a terrific look at one of America's most notorious outlaws. See the movie, but read the book!
BUY Public Enemies RIGHT NOW!!!

EVIL is a over sized trade paperback with a gorgeous layout. It covers cases from Abe Lincoln to the unabomber and all points in between. Lots of photos connecting it all and it has a real nice angle on the cases presented. It's from Hammond a division of Langenscheidt Publishing and is written by Colin Wilson with Damon Wilson. Wilson and Wilson will turn up with a long list if you Google books they've done and they are obviously authorities on true crime. I especially love the suggested reading at the back.
BUY - Evil: Spine Tingling Stories of Murder and Mayhem (Hammond Atlas)

THE MAD ONES is a book by Tom Folsom from Weinstein books. The story of hipster mob boss Joe Gallo. At his peak in the 60's and 70's Gallo was a unique man and this book seems to celebrate that. Maybe too much, maybe not. But it is informative and interesting and really entertaining. And like all good true crime, loaded with photos. Cool photos daddy-io.
BUY The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld

WYATT EARP SPEAKS (Fall River) is written by Wyatt Earp and friends and edited by John Richard Stephens. A look at the other side of crime this book uses Wyatt's own words to tell his tales and it's a great look at the realities of the legend. I've sen the movies and liked a lot of them, but finding the truth behind the fiction was satisfying and actually makes me respect the man more. This would be a great book to give a s a gift.
Buy Wyatt Earp Speaks!

MURDERS UNSPEAKABLE by Georgina Lloyd is a book for die hard fans of true crime. It didn't grab me, and not just because it has no photos. It's dry and it is rather typical of the books I stopped buying. It seems like sensationalism to me. I do like the cover. And I'm not saying don't buy it, b
ut this really is only for the true aficionados.

Jun 12, 2009

Minotaur Books and St. Martin's Summer Reading List

Here are a few of the fine books coming from Minotaur Books this summer.
Also keep your eyes open for Joseph Finder's VANISHED in Aug!

THE ASSAILANT by James Patrick Hunt is a police procedural which is a study in suspense. While tracking a killer Lt. Hastings is frustrated by slow movement on the case, so is the killer who decides to move things a long by contacting the police. Escorts are dropping and Hastings needs to put a stop to this cat and mouse game with a suspect whop enjoys what he does a little too much. Dark fun with great characters.
Buy the The Assailant
Buy last summer book by Hunt; Goodbye Sister Disco

AWAKENING by S.J. Bolton is everything I love about British books, Gothic and creepy, great characters and a wonderful small village setting.Clara Benning lives and works in a small village as a vet for wild animals. She likes her job and is good at it working day to day saving badgers and other critters injured in the area. The book opens with a typical starting day going south quickly as she is called in to rescue an infant from a venomous snake. She soon discovers that there is a rash of the snake incidents and there is obviously something behind them besides nature striking back, this is confirmed when she captures a deadly snake native only to Australia. She teams up with a strange neighbor to discover what is going on and as it’s a small town feathers are ruffled as they uncover some old secrets. Danger ensues. Bolton is a strong writer and this story drew me in quick because the characters are compelling and real. She does a job with the suspense worthy of Hitchcock and keeps you on edge right to the end. She also manages to make feel damn uneasy and , well the only word for it is squirmy. A truly masterful piece of work.
Buy Awakening
Buy her first book; Sacrifice

Steve Hockensmith's series with Big Red and Old Red solving mysteries out west because they love Sherlock Holmes is such a great series. Book four is out in Huky and it is another winner. The boys are heading to Texas to find out what really happened to a girlfriend who was murdered.
You can Buy The Crack in the Lens
and his earlier books as well
Buy Holmes on the Range
Buy On the Wrong Track
Buy The Black Dove

DOPE THIEF by Dennis Tafoya is a crime fiction book that plays on the idea that if you rob bad guys they won't go to the cops. The main characters Ray and Manny aren't hardened criminals and it is easy to want to like them. But like most plans of this sort things go wrong. Tafoya does a nice job of increasing the tension with our boys on the run and wronged drug dealers on their tail. The book also explores the whys of the criminal endeavor and lets us look in to the Ray's head to see his reasons for taking this crazy chance.
A very nice debut novel for this author.
Buy Dope Thief

THE EXTRA (Minotaur Books) by Elizabeth Sims is another in her series featuring amateur sleuth Rita Farmer. Working on a movie as an extra dressed like a cop Rita stumbles across an assault and steps in to help. Things lead her back to a place she turned to for help years ago, a mission run by the assault victim’s grandmother, the it’s a different place now and something is wrong. Rita steps in to help. Written with a strong voice and wonderful characters THE EXTRA as a book that goes down easy, like a perfect cup of coffee. This is on the heels of last year's The Actress.
Buy The Extra (A Rita Farmer Mystery)
Buy The Actress (A Rita Farmer Mystery)

LAST KNOWN ADDRESS is the latest from Theresa Schwegel. Detective Sloane Pearson is a cop who is used to getting treated like she's inferior because she's blond, but in her latest case she does a bit more to cause problems at work. In particular while working a rape case she tells a reporter that they have a serial rapist on the loose and causes a panic. The only thing she can do to redeem herself is catch the bad guy.
Schwegel is a great new author and this latest is fast paced and edge of your seat reading.
Buy Last Known Address
Get her earlier books too:
Buy Probable Cause
Buy Officer Down
Buy Person of Interest

Alexandra Sokoloff once again keeps sleep from coming with this “read in one sitting” book. THE UNSEEN (St. Martin’s Press) is set at Duke University and uses the Rhine experiments as it’s spark. Laurel wants to duplicate the experiment but is unaware of just how horribly it ended the first time. Sokoloff has delivered a book that is both suspenseful and creepy as Hell. Read this book, but leave the lights on.
Buy The Unseen
Also by Alexandra: Buy The Harrowing Buy The Price