Monday, January 30, 2012

Next week: Chris Well's THRILL OF IT ALL podcast!

'Dad's Radio' photo (c) 2011, Alan Levine - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Well, I just spent the weekend putting together the pilot episode of "Chris Well's Thrillercast." Although the long-term goal is to serialize my fiction through all sorts of audiobook and/or podcast outlets ... I really want a chance to do some episodes locally and work out all the kinks. Figure out how to make them before I start sending them around.

So, think of this first series as the "cable access" version of the show. Just for you and me, right? See you next week for the world premiere...

Related links:
How to Podcast
HowStuffWorks "How to Create Your Own Podcast"
How To Create A Podcast - YouTube
How to Publish your Podcast on iTunes | eHow.com
Create your own podcast – Weekend Project - CNET Reviews

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crime Fiction News (Jan 28)

The big ticket at Thrill of it All this week were new entries in our ever-growing catalog of mystery series -- with a complete list of Steven James' mysteries starring FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers at the top of the list. Other new additions this week were lists of Jessica Beck's Donut Shop Mysteries and Lisa Lutz's series starring the Spellman family. Below, you'll find the whole Top 20 links this week at The Thrill of it All.

But first, recent crime and mystery fiction news, reviews, and interviews from around the web:
01 Edgar Allan Poe 'toaster' tradition is no more (Washington Post)
02 'The Raven': New poster for thriller starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe (EW)
03 The Making of a Mystery (Spyglass Lane Mysteries)
04 First ever crime writing MA launched‎ (The Guardian UK)
05 Exclusive Interview: A Conversation with Carol Higgins Clark‎ (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
06 Pulp Fiction: Audio Edition (Publishers Weekly)
07 Dashiell Hammett's San Francisco (San Francisco Chronicle)
08 Between the Lines: Crime fiction author Robert Crais is no detective‎ (Sacramento Bee)
09 The English love affair with the murder mystery (Telegraph.co.uk)
10 Book Review: The James Bond Bedside Companion [Kindle Edition] (Blogcritics Books)
11 Interview: Jeri Westerson, Author of the Crispin Quest Series (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
‎12 'Haywire': Soderbergh thriller a cracking good time, critics say‎ (Los Angeles Times)
13 One For The Money: Number's up for comedy thriller (The Province)
14 Review: Kojak: The Complete Movie Collection (DVD Talk Review)

THRILL OF IT ALL'S TOP 20 (new entries in bold)
01 Complete PATRICK BOWERS by Steven James
02 Spyglass Lane Mysteries for less than a dollar!
03 In two weeks: Chris Well's THRILL OF IT ALL podcast!
04 Complete DETECTIVE MURDOCH by Maureen Jennings
05 All Aboard For Murder: 10 Mysteries and Thrillers On Trains
06 In stores: RAYLAN by Elmore Leonard
07 The Complete PARKER by Richard Stark
08 Complete SUZANNE HART (Donut Shop Mysteries) by Jessica Beck
09 Crime Fiction News (Jan 21): Elmore Leonard
10 Complete THE SPELLMANS by Lisa Lutz
11 Janet Evanovich: "Katherine Heigl is the perfect Stephanie Plum."
12 Mystery TV Themes: HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW
13 Murder Mystery in Nashville Feb 17
14 How to write a cozy mystery
15 150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010
16 Complete U.S. MARSHAL KAREN SISCO (Out of Sight) by Elmore Leonard
17 5 Questions: Susan Sleeman on NIPPED IN THE BUD
18 The Mysterious Disappearance of Edgar Allan Poe's Admirer
19 The changing face of traditional mystery fiction
20 Milton Caniff’s STEVE CANYON at Christmas

Friday, January 27, 2012

Murder Mystery in Nashville Feb 17

Mystery fiction fans in the Nashville area should know the treasure that is Mysteries & More News & Used Books, a great little bookstore in Lenox Village. In February, the store will be hosting a murder mystery party. Here are the details straight from their email:
Fellow Mystery Lovers, how good are your sleuthing skills? We’re asking this because on Friday night, February 17th, beginning at 7:00 PM, we will host our second Murder Mystery Party. Here are the details:

- The cost is $10.00 per person.
- Attendees will listen to a brief introduction and police report about a murder.
- Eight suspects (volunteers) will make accusations and defend their own innocence.
- Everyone will get a chance to vote for “whodunit”.
- Those that correctly identify the killer will win a $10.00 gift certificate to the store.
- Wine and light refreshments will be served so attendees must be over 21.
- Due to space limitations, a maximum of 24 persons can attend this event.
- Reservations can be accepted only when accompanied by payment.
- No refunds after February 10th unless seats can be refilled.

It should be a fun evening, but make your reservations early as our last event sold out in just three days!
Contact information for Mysteries & More can be found on their official website.

Related links:
Host-Party.com - Murder Mystery Games And Parties
Dinner and a Murder Mystery Games Complete Party Kits
Host your own great murder mystery games for your friends and family.
The Dinner Detective® Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Nashville Dinner Theatre Resources

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Complete SUZANNE HART (Donut Shop Mysteries) by Jessica Beck

Complete list of mysteries to date of culinary mysteries starring amateur sleuth Suzanne Hart, owner of North Carolina donut shop Donut Hearts. Written by Jessica Beck:

Glazed Murder (Donut Mystery #1) - March 2010
When a body is dumped in front of Donut Hearts, Suzanne must find out what happened to her customer!

Fatally Frosted (Donut Mystery #2) - August 2010
When Suzanne Hart agrees to make donuts for the Kitchens Extraordinaire Home Tour, she has no idea that murder will be on the menu!

Sinister Sprinkles (Donut Mystery #3) - November 2010
Suzanne is mixed up in her ex husband's love life, whether she likes it or not!

Evil Eclairs (Donut Mystery #4) - April 2011
A radio show targets donuts, and Suzanne fights back, only to have her foe murdered!

Tragic Toppings (Donut Mystery #5) - August 2011
When friend and fellow shopkeeper Emily Hargraves disappears, Suzanne sets out to find her!

Killer Crullers (Donut Mystery #6) - January 2012
Can Suzanne prove her role in a cruller-vandal's killing is a cruel, albeit sugar-coated, twist of fate?

More detectives:
GOLDY SCHULZ by Diane Mott Davidson (1992)
CLARE COSI (Coffeehouse Mysteries) by Cleo Coyle (2003)
CHLOE CARTER (Gourmet Girl) Jessica Conant-Park, Susan Conant (2006)
PHYLLIS NEWSOM (Fresh Baked Mysteries) by Livia J. Washburn (2006)
OLLIE PARAS (White House Chef Mysteries) by Julie Hyzy (2008)
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Monday, January 23, 2012

In two weeks: Chris Well's THRILL OF IT ALL podcast!

One week closer. Did some preliminary recording and determined that I need to get a new microphone. For a variety of reasons, I won't have this new microphone until first week of February at the earliest. So...if I am able to do episode #001 over the following weekend (and that's assuming there aren't any more technical problems, and that I also figure out all the other stuff)...we can still make our launch date.

We'll see.

Previously:
Coming next month: Chris Well's THRILL OF IT ALL podcast!

Image courtesy
Image: tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Related links:
Podiobooks.com - Serialized audio books in podcast form
Publish an audio book via Podiobooks! (Smashwords)
Post Complete Podiobook (Podcast audiobook) directory (iLounge)
Can Publishing a Podiobook Help You Sell More Books? (Lindsay Buroker)
Release A Free Podcast Novel With Podiobooks.com (How To Publish Books)
Guest Post by Scott Sigler (A Newbie's Guide to Publishing)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crime Fiction News (Jan 21)

Thrill of it All readers were rabid for crime fiction legend Elmore Leonard this week, as he appeared in no fewer than four of this week's top 20 blog entries. Below, you can find the whole list of the most-read mystery and crime fiction entries at Thrill of it All for the week.

But first, this week's mystery and crime fiction news and reviews:
01 Edgar Nominees Announced (A Writer's Life)
02 Dalziel and Pascoe creator Reginald Hill Dies at 75 (New York Times)
03 PD James Kills Jane Austen (Poe's Deadly Daughters)
04 Get Justified with Elmore Leonard (Mystery Scene)
05 Cozy Mystery Books Recommendations – January 2012 (Cozy Mystery List)
06 Forgotten Book: A BOX OF TRICKS, Simon Brett (Mysteries in Paradise)
07 Madison murder mystery author back with a vengeance (Wisconsin State Journal)
08 Crime fiction: Nothing like a good 19th-century mystery (The Seattle Times)
09 Crime writer Ann Cleeves' Blue Lightning most borrowed book in 2011 (Shetland Times)
10 Casting the Detectives: Crime Fiction's Biggest Movie Stars (Wall Street Journal)

THRILL OF IT ALL'S TOP 20
01. 25 Crime Fiction Series
02. Complete KURT WALLANDER by Henning Mankell
03. Coming next month: Chris Well's THRILL OF IT ALL podcast
04. Spyglass Lane Mysteries for less than a dollar!
05. Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 5) by M.C. Beaton
06. Dark Horse Presents 'Miss Marple meets Dexter'
07. Complete ANNA PIGEON by Nevada Barr
08. In stores: RAYLAN by Elmore Leonard
09. 5 Questions: Susan Sleeman on NIPPED IN THE BUD
10. Complete DETECTIVE MURDOCH by Maureen Jennings
11. Star Island by Carl Hiaasen (book trailer)
12. Complete U.S. MARSHAL KAREN SISCO (Out of Sight) by Elmore Leonard
13. Complete PETER DECKER and RINA LAZARUS by Faye Kellerman
14. Complete NANCY DREW by Carolyn Keene
15. Complete U.S. Marshal RAYLAN GIVENS (Justified) by Elmore Leonard
16. Print-to-Screen: HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
17. Janet Evanovich: "Katherine Heigl is the perfect Stephanie Plum."
18. All Aboard For Murder: 10 Mysteries and Thrillers On Trains
19. 150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010
20. Amateur Sleuth KAREN MAXWELL by K.D. Hays

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spyglass Lane Mysteries for less than a dollar!

Hey, gang, here is some vital info from my publisher, Spyglass Lane Mysteries:

Ready to laugh? Swoon? Put on your thinking cap? Spyglass Lane Mysteries has a new line of cozy mysteries for e-readers for only 99-cents each. These Christian cozy mysteries are modern-day whodunits with colorful characters and plenty of wholesome romance. New mysteries release every Thursday, with 21 mysteries now available for just 99-cents.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the books below and click the link to purchase for your e-reader. If you would like to be notified each week of the latest book release click here to sign up for our email newsletter or here for our RSS feed.

A Suspicion of Strawberries

A Suspicion of Strawberries (The Scents of Murder Series)
By Lynette Sowell
A facial gone wrong, or murder? Andromeda Clark must uncover the truth to save her handmade soap business. The heartbreaker diva of Greenburg, Tennessee is dead. Andromeda Clark knows that her cherry facial scrub didn't accidentally kill Charla Rae Thacker from anaphylactic shock. But Andi's soap business is in trouble and tongues are a-waggin'. To save her business, she searches for the one who tampered with her product. And now Andi's long-time, long-haul trucker boyfriend Ben decides it's time to settle down and stay in Greenburg for good. How can a woman breathe?
Buy for Kindle
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Another Grave Matter
Another Grave Matter (The Volstead Manor Series)
By Anita Higman
Volstead Manor has caught on fire, and the last of its murderous secrets flare hot enough to drive Bailey back to her sleuthing. A villain, who remains shrouded in darkness until the end, threatens to destroy Bailey, and once again, the mansion ignites with malevolent mischief. While she unearths a family secret from Prohibition that’s hidden deep within the cellar, she becomes entangled in a ticking-clock race to save her own life. Will the foul surprises never end at Volstead Manor, and will Bailey’s burning desire to marry Max go up in smoke?
Buy for Kindle

Another Hour to Kill
Another Hour to Kill (The Volstead Manor Series)
By Anita Higman
Where Bailey Walker lives, being neighborly takes on a whole new meaning. Bailey has survived the mysteries of Volstead Manor, but her latest threats are more ominous than ever. Did her neighbor B.J. die of natural causes? Or was he murdered? And why does the new neighbor, Vlad Tepes, always seem to be watching her? While searching for a lost treasure and planning a wedding the size of an amusement park, Bailey must discover what monster is still lurking in the neighborhood. Will she unravel the puzzle in time, or will Bailey merely provide the villain with Another Hour to Kill?
Buy for Kindle
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Another Stab at Life
Another Stab at Life (The Volstead Manor Series)
By Anita Higman
Bailey Walker has just lost everything—her family, her job, and her home. She has nowhere to go except the dilapidated mansion she’s just inherited from her granny Minna. Unfortunately, Bailey discovers that the house has a history as shadowy as its hidden passages and finds the neighborhood overflowing with some rather quirky folks—as well as one particularly appealing bachelor. Bailey feels like she’s trapped inside the pages of a gothic novel but with a comedic twist. In order to honor her grandmother’s wishes and stay at Volstead Manor, Bailey must unravel a string of mysteries and secrets, which all seem determined to stay happily ever buried.
Buy for Kindle
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Band Room Bash
Band Room Bash (The Mayhem in Maryland Series)
By Candice Speare Prentice
This murderer is playing for keeps. When Trish Cunningham and her oldest stepson, Tommy, find Georgia Winters, the English teacher at Four Oaks High School, dead in the band room, the suspect list is lengthy. The teacher had a number of enemies—including Tommy Cunningham. Once again, Trish pulls out her notebook to collect clues. Detective Eric Scott, suffering from unrequited love for Trish’s best friend, Abbie, pointedly asks Trish to butt out. But despite the detective’s warnings, she jumps in as usual and finds herself embroiled in a mystery that has its roots in thwarted love and revenge. The finale could be Trish’s swan song.
Buy for Kindle
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Died in the Wool
Died in the Wool (The Massachusetts Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery
Hone your investigative skills with Died in the Wool, a mystery filled with humor, suspense, and romance. Monah Trenary is battling for city funds for her beloved library. When a rival for the much-needed monies winds up dead, Monah is considered one of the prime suspects. When a second corpse weighs in, police detective Mike Brockman discovers that, according to the evidence, Monah and monkshood are a lethal combination. Can Monah and proven sleuth Casey Alexander find the real killer before this librarian is booked for murder?
Buy for Kindle
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Everybody Loved Roger Harden
Everybody Loved Roger Harden (Everybody’s Suspect in Georgia)
By Cecil Murphey
Psychologist Julie West and Reverend James Burton arrive late for dinner on Palm Island – but just in time to discover their host, millionaire Roger Harden, murdered. Ten possible suspects share closed quarters on the secluded island, all of them with deep secrets and sufficient motive to have wanted the wealthy benefactor dead. Can Julie and Burton ignore the mysterious attraction developing between them long enough to discover who among them didn't love Roger Harden enough to let him live?
Buy for Kindle
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Fudge Laced Felonies
Fudge-Laced Felonies (A Summer Meadows Mystery)
By Cynthia Hickey
While transplanting the rosebush her church’s handsome greeter, Ethan Banning, inadvertently killed, Summer and Ethan discover a hidden stash of diamonds, a rusty can full of cash, and a bloody-gardening glove. This discovery sets Summer and her candy-making aunt on a search for a killer. As Summer gets closer to the truth-not only of the theft but of her true feelings for Ethan-the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth.
Buy for Kindle
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George Washington Stepped Here
George Washington Stepped Here (The Karen Maxwell Mystery Series)
By K. D. Hays
For years after her divorce, Karen Maxwell handled administrative paperwork for her brother’s private investigation agency while he ran around town doing the “fun” part—the investigation. When his partner retires, he finally offers her a chance to take a case of her own. She soon finds out why. The assignment involves the theft of the local historical society’s most treasured artifact, and her brother figures everyone involved is a little crazy. While Karen poses as a volunteer at the site to catch the thief, she meets a host of dedicated historical re-enactors, one of whom happens to be tall, handsome and unmarried.
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Homicide At Blue Heron Lake Homicide at Blue Heron Lake (The Mainely Mysteries Series)
By Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis
Emily Gray returns to the lakeside community of Baxter, Maine, expecting a peaceful week in her family's island cottage. Instead, she and her high school crush, Nate Holman, discover the body of Henry Derbin, an elderly island resident. Amid rekindling her old friendship with Nate and trying to make sense of the murder, Emily shares her faith with an old schoolmate. When a second body turns up, the cottagers on Grand Cat Island are frightened and baffled. Is this why Mr. Derbin forbade everyone from going on his land? Can Emily and Nate overcome past hindrances to their romance long enough to dig up clues that will help solve both murders?
Buy for Kindle
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Inn Plain Sight
Inn Plain Sight (The Massachusetts Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery
Come along as bride-to-be Casey Alexander works to solve the murder that hijacked her shower. She’ll find that the victim’s propensity for blackmail, gossip, and downright meanness has created a long list of suspects. Unfortunately, Casey’s fiancé is at the top of the list. Armed with her ever present Post-It Notes and the help of her best friend, Casey follows the clues to a killer hiding in plain sight.
Buy for Kindle
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Kitty Litter Killer
Kitty Litter Killer (The Mayhem in Maryland Series)
By Candice Speare Prentice
Trish Cunningham is pussyfooting with a murderer. Amateur sleuth Trish has retired from her short-lived crime-solving foray. No more walking deliberately into danger. Now her short-term goal is to see her best friend, Abbie, marry fiancé, Eric Scott, in three weeks. But the brutal murder of Abbie’s ex-husband could ruin the nuptials, especially since Abbie was the last one seen with him—when they had a hostile argument at the local convenience store. With evidence pointing at Abbie and the possibility of jail looming in her best friend’s future, Trish comes out of her self-imposed sleuth retirement. And as the clock ticks down to the wedding date, Trish once again puts herself in reach of a murderer’s claws—this time to protect her best friend.
Buy for Kindle
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Murder in the Milk Case
Murder in the Milk Case (The Mayhem in Maryland Series)
By Candice Speare Prentice
Will Trish Cunningham’s discovery sour her on milk forever? When mommy and wife Trish Cunningham finds the body of pharmacist Jim Bob Jenkins behind the two-percent milk, she know she’s having a bad day. Worse, she’s a suspect in the murder. Sleuthing to exonerate herself from criminal charges, she shakes up a murderer who has nothing to lose by killing anyone in the way—including Trish.
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Nipped in the Bud
Nipped in the Bud (Garden Gate Mysteries)
By Susan Sleeman
WHEN YOU FIND YOUR BOSS PUSHING UP DAISIES...YOU’VE GOT TO FORMULATE A PLANT OF ATTACK.
Life in full bloom, landscape designer, Paige Turner, scores her first landscaping contract to spruce up the park, her radio talk show shoots to number one, and her retail shop is simply blossoming. Yes, her life is a bed of roses. Until she finds City Manager, Bud Picklemann served up on the blade of her favorite shovel mere hours after she’s threatened to have his head on a platter, then the thorns come out. And there is none thornier than the local police chief declaring Paige the one and only suspect and threatening to plow her under. Paige teams up with dashing attorney, Adam Hayes to weed through the list of suspects, and clear her soiled reputation. A bigmouthed Parrot who often spouts Mr. T-isms, and a giant pickle mascot join in quirky Paige’s quest to once again cultivate control of her life.
Buy for Kindle

The Wedding Caper (The Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series)
The Wedding Caper (The Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Janice Hanna
When a $25,000 night deposit mysteriously disappears from the Clark County Savings and Loan, Annie Peterson, has reason to be concerned and to assume the role of amateur sleuth. Her husband’s job at the bank makes him a potential suspect, but knowing him to be a godly man, she can’t imagine it. Then again, there is that matter of the weddings to factor in. Twin daughters Brandi and Candy have just received proposals and two weddings are pending. Sure, Warren occasionally jokes about robbing the bank to pay for the ceremonies, but Annie knows him better than that…doesn’t she?
Buy for Kindle
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Treasure at Blue Heron Lake
Treasure at Blue Heron Lake (The Mainely Mysteries Series)
By Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis
Emily Gray has accepted a job working for the Baxter Journal and plans a feature story on Lakeview Lodge. Owner Jeff Lewis tells her and Nate Holman a mysterious legend about a hidden treasure and murder. Now the hunting lodge is plagued by an intruder who thumps around in the night. Nate and Emily try to help their friend discover who is invading the resort. Things turn more sinister over the Christmas holidays, when one of Jeff’s employees is murdered, with Jeff as a suspect. Is the legend of an old lumber baron’s lost treasure behind the crimes? Jeff’s faith is shaky, and his family rejects him. Nate and Emily try to help him through the crisis. In the midst of the turmoil, Nate graduates from the Police Academy and proposes to Emily. Their life together begins with unmasking the murderer at Lakeview Lodge.
Buy for Kindle
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Where the Truth Lies Where the Truth Lies (The Massachusetts Mayhem Mystery Series)
By Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery
Casey Alexander refuses to believe her aunt committed suicide. Convinced a murderer is hiding out in her aunt’s sleepy hometown, she’ll do anything to uncover the truth. But as her personal investigation produces mounting evidence, the danger to Casey grows. Now she’ll be forced to trust certain residents of Pine Mills for help, including local nursery owner, Luke Kerrigain…the man with whom she’s falling in love with…and who may be stalking her. Prompted by strange clues and a mysterious stranger, Casey does a little more digging. The secrets she unearths will turn lives upside down and threaten the peace in Pine Mills’ small community—especially when she discovers that the truth can sometimes be hidden in a lie.
Buy for Kindle
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Worth Its Weight in Old Worth Its Weight in Old (Karen Maxwell Mystery Series)
By K.D. Hays
Paintings slashed... Furniture broken… Someone is wreaking havoc at the Blue Moon Art & Antiques Gallery. Fledgling private investigator Karen Maxwell goes undercover as a salesclerk to find out who’s behind the vandalism, and why. She learns little from friendly clerk Vicki and Eric, the shop’s surly, tight- lipped porter, would run over her with a hand truck before he’d answer any questions. The guilt may even lay with the shop owners themselves, despite the fact that they’re the ones who hired her.

Karen’s investigation seems to be going nowhere—just like her once-promising relationship with Brian, the handsome blacksmith who could sweep her off her feet in a minute… if he’d ever take a break from working with the church youth group. Frustration mounts as her dreams of romantic evenings turn into endless rehearsals for the church Christmas play. If Karen can’t crack the case soon, she may find herself busted back to plain, old office manager, her dreams of a career as a private investigator—and a life with Brian—as old and busted as the Blue Moon’s vandalized antiques...
Buy for Kindle
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Coming next month: Chris Well's THRILL OF IT ALL podcast!

'[Kerns ? in front of microphone] (LOC)' photo (c) 1925, The Library of Congress - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/Well, friends, one of my resolutions for 2012 is to be more proactive about my career as a novelist. And part of achieving that is launching a podcast series: The working title is "Chris Well's Thrillercast" and it will appear here on The Thrill of it All every week. (Give or take.)

Each episode will be built around serializing a free audiobook of my crime and mystery fiction, plus assorted news and the like. (And credit where it's due: I am stealing the format for the podcast from author Scott Sigler.)

The first Monday in February, we kick things off with a 10-part audiobook serializing my mystery story "Don't Fall For That Trick." And then future episodes will serialize my novels.

I've got a whole author's to-do list for 2012—and my podcast is just the beginning! So let's all meet back here on Monday, Feb 6, and we'll see whether I make my first deadline. :)

Related links:
Podcasting Toolbox: 70+ Podcasting Tools and Resources (Mashable.com)
Podcasting Tools
5 Steps To Make Your Own Author Podcast (The Creative Penn)
Use Skype and GarageBand to make a podcast that sounds great (Macworld)
DIY RiffTrax: MAKE Interviews MST3K's Mike Nelson (MAKE)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

5 Questions: Susan Sleeman on NIPPED IN THE BUD

Mystery author Susan Sleeman grew up reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mysteries and suspense fiction. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the Christian suspense fiction site TheSuspenseZone.com. Her latest publication is the cozy mystery Nipped in the Bud (Spyglass Lane Mysteries), currently only 99-cents on Amazon.

Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE "NIPPED IN THE BUD"?
My love of gardening inspired me to write Nipped in the Bud. I wanted to create a character who loved it as much as I do, but then of course, I took it to the extreme and made her even more zealous than I am. It was such fun to write, and I’m looking forward to the February release of Read Between the Tines, the second book in the series in e-book form.

Q: YOU WRITE SUSPENSE AND MYSTERY TITLES FOR THE CHRISTIAN MARKET -- HOW DOES THAT IMPACT THE WAY YOU APPROACH YOUR CHARACTERS AND YOUR STORIES?
Though I am a Christian writer, I try very hard to make my characters real people. People who struggle to get by in this very difficult world. People who don’t always do the right thing and wish they were better people. But I also make sure that in the book these characters make progress in their spiritual walk. They are by no means perfect when the book ends, but they are trying. And isn’t that what Christians are doing in the world today? Trying to be more like Christ.

Q: YOUR TITLES ALSO TEND TO BALANCE THE SUSPENSE AND/OR MYSTERY WITH ROMANCE -- SO DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A "SUSPENSE WRITER WHO INCLUDES ROMANCE" OR A "ROMANCE WRITER WHO INCLUDES SUSPENSE"?
Okay if you’re going to make me choose, I would have say I’m a suspense writer who includes romance. I started out writing strictly suspense, but along the way I began reading romantic suspense. Now, I have to say, I prefer to read and write an equal blend of romance and suspense.

Q: IN ADDITION TO BEING AN AUTHOR, YOU ALSO HOST THE SITE "THE SUSPENSE ZONE." TELL US ABOUT IT.
TheSuspenseZone.com was birthed when I began looking for Christian suspense novels to read. This was when I first started writing and didn’t know much about Christian fiction in general. However, I read several of Linda Hall’s earlier novels and I wanted to find writers who wrote in a similar vein. So I started searching the internet and came up with a listing of several hundred books. I thought it would be good to share this information with others and so I created TheSuspenseZone.com. The site had grown from twenty or so pages to hundreds of pages with a library of over 900 Christian suspense books. In addition to listing upcoming books, new releases, and author bios, we review books, do author interviews, and always have a contest to win books. We’ve given away hundreds of books on the site and I am thrilled that it has developed a regular following and new readers sign up every day for our monthly newsletter.

Q: WHAT OTHER BOOK(S) ARE YOU WORKING ON THAT WE CAN WATCH FOR?
I have a new romantic suspense series called The Justice Agency releasing in 2012. This series is about five adopted siblings who work in various fields of law enforcement until their adoptive parents are murdered. When the police can’t figure out who killed their beloved parents the Justice siblings come together to solve the case. They discover in the process that they like working together and they form an investigative agency called The Justice Agency. They dedicate the agency to helping people who traditional law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to help. Double Exposure, the first book of this series will release in June and Dead Wrong will release in November.

Catch up with Susan online at SusanSleeman.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter

Related links:
Spyglass Lane Mysteries (Official Site)
Q&A: Susan Sleeman (Nipped in the Bud) (FamilyFiction)
21 Cozy Mysteries Now Available for only .99 each

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dark Horse Presents 'Miss Marple meets Dexter'

In February, Rich Johnston has written a new mystery story in comics anthology Dark Horse Presents, featuring an elderly women who "solves" murders...well, she commits them and then pins them on someone else. The three-part The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne, illustrated by Simon Rohrmuller, is described as "Dexter meets Miss Marple."

From the Dark Horse site:
From the mind of the infamous editor of Bleeding Cool, Rich Johnston, comes a three-part tale of gruesome gossip: The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne, set to premiere in Dark Horse Presents #8!

Have you ever wondered how amateur detectives keep stumbling over dead bodies? Miss Cranbourne doesn’t. Because she kills them. Then finds someone else to pin the blame on.

In “The Vicar Slash’d from Side to Side,” Miss Cranbourne is at odds with the local man of God, and so introduces him to his maker. But in a 1940s English village held together by gossip and sharp looks, how will Miss Cranbourne ensure people look in the direction she’d prefer? And what happens when a man from Scotland Yard arrives to take over the case? This is Dexter meets Miss Marple.
Dark Horse Presents #8 is on sale February 1. The publisher, Dark Horse Comics, is the same publisher who brought Janet Evanovich's Alex Barnaby to the comics page.

Johnston is no stranger to murder mysteries: The longtime comics columnist played a key role in a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation story where he was murdered. (He got better.) Johnston now hosts the comics site Bleeding Cool, serving all your comics news, conjecture, and rumor-mongering needs.

Related links:
Dr. Whodunit
Sherlock Holmes: Don't Call It A Comeback
The return of FEMME NOIR
Crime writers on PUNISHER (Gregg Hurwitz, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler)
Adapting Richard Stark's PARKER

Monday, January 09, 2012

Star Island by Carl Hiaasen (book trailer)

Here's an amusing approach to a book trailer, created for 2010's Star Island by Carl Hiaasen: Pop star Cherry Pye (née Cheryl Bunterman) is about to attempt a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster. But then her "undercover stunt double," Ann DeLusia, is kidnapped (by mistake) from a South Beach hotel by an obsessed paparazzo...



Related links:
Paparazzi Take Center Stage In Hiaasen's 'Star Island' (NPR)
It's retribution time, Hiaasen-style (LA Times)
Hiaasen's 'Star Island' is celeb satire yummy as Cherry Pye (USA TODAY)
Book Reviews | "Star Island" by Carl Hiaasen (The Lit Review)
Book Review: Carl Hiaasen's Star Island (Creative Loafing Charlotte)

Monday, January 02, 2012

25 Crime Fiction Series

'gun' photo (c) 2004, Gideon Tsang - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/As a companion to our big list of 150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010, here is a list of crime series from authors like Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, Harlan Coben, Robert B. Parker, Janet Evanovich, Gregory  Mcdonald, Ross Thomas, Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, and more. Although there is some overlap with the other list, several of these series are not "mysteries" and/or do not star a "detective" (professional or amateur). In order of first publication:

01. CONTINENTAL OP by Dashiell Hammett (1923)
02. PHILIP MARLOWE by Raymond Chandler (1939)
03. MIKE HAMMER by Mickey Spillane (1947)
04. PARKER by Richard Stark (1962)
05. MODESTY BLAISE by Peter O'Donnell (1965)
06. PHILIP ST. IVES by Oliver Bleeck (1969)
07. DORTMUNDER by Donald Westlake (1970)
08. HARRY CALLAHAN (Dirty Harry) by Dane Hartman (1971)
09. SPENSER by Robert B. Parker (1973)
10. NOLAN by Max Allan Collins (1973)
11. FLETCH by Gregory Mcdonald (1974)
12. MATTHEW SCUDDER by Lawrence Block (1976)
13. FLYNN by Gregory Mcdonald (1976)
14. QUARRY by Max Allan Collins (1976)
15. BERNIE RHODENBARR (Burglar) by Lawrence Block (1977)
16. ARTIE WU and QUINCY DURANT by Ross Thomas (1978)
17. CHILI PALMER by Elmore Leonard (1991)
18. U.S. MARSHAL RAYLAN GIVENS (Justified) by Elmore Leonard (1993)
19. STEPHANIE PLUM by Janet Evanovich (1994)
20. MYRON BOLITAR by Harlan Coben (1995)
21. U.S. MARSHAL KAREN SISCO (Out of Sight) by Elmore Leonard (1996)
22. JESSE STONE by Robert B. Parker (1997)
23. KELLER by Lawrence Block (1998)
24. SUNNY RANDALL by Robert B. Parker (1999)
25. U.S. MARSHAL CARL WEBSTER by Elmore Leonard (2005)

Related links:
Thrilling Detective
Murderous Beginnings: 40 Detective Fiction Firsts
150+ Mystery Series: 1841-2010

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.