May 26th, 2011
Eragon by Christopher PaoliniPeople have an annoying habit of remembering things they shouldn't.

The Drop

May 18th, 2011

The Drop by Michael Connelly

The Drop by Michael ConnellyHarry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two.

DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab's DNA cases currently in court.

Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving's son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch's longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation.

Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

This book will be available on November 29, 2011.

Pre-order your copy.

May 17th, 2011
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise - 163SHE: Let's pretend.
HE: No -- I can't -- it's sentiment.
SHE: You're not sentimental?
HE: No, I'm romantic -- a sentimental person thinks things will last -- a romantic person hopes against hope that they won't. Sentiment is emotional.

The Jefferson Key - Steve Berry

May 16th, 2011

The Jefferson Key by Steve BerryFour United States presidents have been assassinated—in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963—each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time.

But what if those presidents were all killed for the same reason: a clause in the United States Constitution—contained within Article 1, Section 8—that would shock Americans?

This question is what faces former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone in his latest adventure. When a bold assassination attempt is made against President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the killing—only to find himself at dangerous odds with the Commonwealth, a secret society of pirates first assembled during the American Revolution. In their most perilous exploit yet, Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt race across the nation and take to the high seas. Along the way they break a secret cipher originally possessed by Thomas Jefferson, unravel a mystery concocted by Andrew Jackson, and unearth a centuries-old document forged by the Founding Fathers themselves, one powerful enough—thanks to that clause in the Constitution—to make the Commonwealth unstoppable.

Intelligence operative, and Berry's cash-cow and serial hero, Cotton Malone has to match wits with Jonathan Wyatt while attempting to solve a conspiracy that has roots as deep as the US Constitution. (Wyatt is first introduced in Berry's e-book The Devil's Gold; a 40-page teaser that is not required reading, but still worth your time.)

This is not my first Steve Berry, but it is my first Cotton Malone. I normally pass on this type of character because this guy can literally do anything...think action-hero Robert Langdon in Angels and Demons (yes I'm still bitter about that). But I was drawn in by the intriguing concept of the Commonwealth; I am a BIG fan of conspiracy theory.

The Jefferson Key avoided that "action hero" story line...for the most part. And I greatly appreciated it. The suspense in this book was intense. I would provide an audible "dun dun dunnnnn!" at the end of a large number of chapters. Though I will admit that there were almost too many cliff-hanger chapter endings if you can imagine a suspense author's version of crying wolf.

I thought that Mr. Berry did a commendable job of balancing history with fiction. He wove an intricate web and it made for a great read. I liked this book and have been recommending it to others like I recommend it to you.

Amazon.

May 9th, 2011
Bram Stoker - Dracula - 26I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things which I dare not confess to my own soul. God keep me, if only for the sake of those dear to me!

The Devil's Gold - Steve Berry

May 5th, 2011

The Jefferson Key by Steve BerryOnce he was called the Sphinx, a man so inscrutable that neither his adversaries nor fellow intelligence operatives could predict his next move. Now a contract agent with a secret mission, Jonathan Wyatt has gone rogue. For eight years he’s been plotting. Waiting. Scheming to kill Federal agents Christopher Combs and Cotton Malone, whom he blames for the loss of his career. But as Wyatt prepares for a final confrontation in a remote South American village, he makes a discovery that stretches back to the horrors of World War II, to the astounding secret of a child’s birth, to Martin Bormann and Eva Braun—and to a fortune in lost gold.

Jonathan Wyatt is hot on the trail of one of the two man against whom he will exact his revenge. Eight years ago Christopher Combs and Cotton Malone participated in the administrative hearing that signaled the end of Wyatt's career. In The Devil's Gold, Wyatt has tracked Combs to South America and is closing in.

I will keep this review about this short story and not get into the economics of selling this as a stand-alone short story for less than 40 pages of material. Super short. But as Steve Berry can be counted on for, this reels you in. It is clear that this story was just to introduce Wyatt. The story is a fast-paced thrill ride, but it is over too quickly. Many things could have been developed more thoroughly, but remember that this is not its own full-length novel. Read it. You'll like it, but you'll wish it had been longer.

Note: This is available as an e-book only.

Amazon

May 3rd, 2011
The Finkler Question by Howard JacobsonTreslove looked up at the moon and let his head spin. He loved these warm high evenings, solitary and excluded. He took hold of the bars as though he meant to tear the gates down, but he did nothing violent, just listened to the park breathe. Anyone watching might have taken him for an inmate of an institution, a prisoner or a madman, desperate to get out. But there was another interpretation of his demeanor: he could have been desperate to get in.

2011 Edgar Winners

May 2nd, 2011
Edgar Awards

Mystery Writers of America is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. MWA is dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre...

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce ... the Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2010.
- Mysterywriters.org

- Best Novel -
Caught by Harlan Coben
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Faithful Place by Tana French
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan
WINNER! The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

- Best First Novel -
WINNER! Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva
The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
The Serialist: A Novel by David Gordon
Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto
Snow Angels by James Thompson

- Best Paperback Original -
WINNER! Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard
The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
Vienna Secrets by Frank Tallis
Ten Little Herrings by L.C. Tyler

- Best Fact Crime -
WINNER! Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry
The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in Jim Crow South by Alex Heard
Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz
Hellhound on his Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr and the International Hunt for his Assassin by Hampton Sides
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr

- Best Critical/Biographical -
The Wire: Truth Be Told by Rafael Alvarez
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Steven Doyle and David A. Crowder
WINNER! Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvouz with American History by Yunte Huang
Thrillers: 100 Must Reads edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner

- Best Short Story -
WINNER! "The Scent of Lilacs" by Doug Allyn
"The Plot" by Jeffery Deaver
"A Good Safe Place" by Judith Green
"Monsieur Alice is Absent" by Stephen Ross
"The Creative Writing Murders" by Edmund White

- Best Juvenile -
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon
WINNER! The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler
The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee
Griff Carver: Hallway Patrol by Jim Krieg
The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman by Ben H. Winters

- Best Young Adult -
The River by ary Jane Beaufrand
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
WINNER! The Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

- Best Play -
WINNER! The Psychic by Sam Bobrick
The Tangled Skirt by Steve Braunstein
The Fall of the House by Robert Ford

- Best TV Episode -
WINNER! "Episide 1" - Luther by Neil Cross
"Episode 4" - Luther by Neil Cross
"Full Measure" - Breaking Bad by Vince Gilligan
"No Mas" - Breaking Bad by Vince Gilligan
"The Next One's Gonna Go In Your Throat" - Damages by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler & Daniel Zelman

- Mary Higgins Clark Award -
Wild Penance by Sandi Ault
Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton
Down River by Karen Harper
WINNER! The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub

April 25th, 2011
Per Petterson - Out Stealing Horses - 186But of course, if you want a life of leisure, you have to take a big risk once in a while, according to Franz.

The Jefferson Key

April 21st, 2011

The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry

The Jefferson Key by Steve BerryFour United States presidents have been assassinated—in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963—each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time.

But what if those presidents were all killed for the same reason: a clause in the United States Constitution—contained within Article 1, Section 8—that would shock Americans?

This question is what faces former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone in his latest adventure. When a bold assassination attempt is made against President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the killing—only to find himself at dangerous odds with the Commonwealth, a secret society of pirates first assembled during the American Revolution. In their most perilous exploit yet, Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt race across the nation and take to the high seas. Along the way they break a secret cipher originally possessed by Thomas Jefferson, unravel a mystery concocted by Andrew Jackson, and unearth a centuries-old document forged by the Founding Fathers themselves, one powerful enough—thanks to that clause in the Constitution—to make the Commonwealth unstoppable.

This book will be available on May 17, 2011.

Pre-order your copy.

My review