Crime Fiction: Blackout by Simon Scarrow

April 8, 2022 J. Kingston Pierce 1

I’m a huge fan of crime novels set in Europe during World War II. Although the deaths of Philip Kerr and, more recently, J. Robert Janes have lessened the supply of high-quality stories in that field, British author Simon Scarrow has stepped up with Blackout (Kensington), the top-notch opening installment in a Berlin-set series featuring Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke of the Kriminalpolizei. Like Kerr’s protagonist, Bernie Gunther, Schenke steers clear of Nazi affiliations. That makes […]

Crime Fiction: The Goodbye Coast by Joe Ide

February 12, 2022 J. Kingston Pierce 1

Let’s get one thing straight first: This is not “a Philip Marlowe novel.” Yes, that claim is made on the cover; and yes, there is a Los Angeles private eye in these pages bearing said moniker. But Joe Ide’s The Goodbye Coast (Mulholland) isn’t a Marlowe yarn in the same way as some other previous works of note. There is no intimate, first-person narration in these pages, and no indelible metaphors. Instead, this book imagines […]

This Just In

This Just In… Hubba-Hubba Holiday by Kirk Alex

December 23, 2021 News Editor 0

Obsession, fame, murder. Hollywood could destroy them all. It’s beating down with rain as Private Investigator Edgar “Doc” Holiday drives past the sprawling mansions of Beverly Hills to meet with renowned movie producer Francis Tracton. The star of his latest project is missing; an invaluable dog named Titus. But when Doc reaches Tracton’s illustrious property, he discovers something far more fitting for a horror film than real life: a dead body that’s so severely disfigured […]

Arresting Crime Fiction of 2021

December 20, 2021 J. Kingston Pierce 0

Just yesterday morning, I posted — in The Rap Sheet — my selections of a dozen favorite crime, mystery, and thriller works from 2021. But those were certainly not all of the genre books I enjoyed reading over the last year. Below are five more that were also contenders for my list. Blood Grove, by Walter Mosley (‎Mulholland): Mosley had a good thing going with his African-American series sleuth, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, when he considered […]

Aussie Women in the Spotlight

August 1, 2021 J. Kingston Pierce 0

First came the finalists for this year’s Ned Kelly Awards. Now we have what’s being billed as the “rather long shortlist” of contenders for the 2021 Davitt Awards, organized by Sisters in Crime Australia and intended to recognize to “the best crime and mystery books by Australian women.” The Davitt Awards take their name from Ellen Davitt (1812-1879), Australia’s first crime novelist. From a total of 127 books in contention, 25—including a dozen debut novels—have […]

Two Can Play at That (Spy) Game!

July 21, 2021 J. Kingston Pierce 0

It’s not easy keeping up with Max Allan Collins’ literary production. Over the last nine months alone, that Iowa-based author has come out with Skim Deep, his ninth novel starring a professional thief known only as Nolan; what I believe is the 15th “Trash ’n’ Treasures mystery,” Antiques Carry On, penned by Collins and his wife under the joint pseudonym Barbara Allan; his sixth Caleb York western adventure, Shoot-Out at Sugar Creek (on which the […]

Crime Fiction: Moonflower Murders
by Anthony Horowitz

November 19, 2020 J. Kingston Pierce 0

Three years ago, author-screenwriter Anthony Horowitz’s Golden Age-style whodunit, Magpie Murders, won critical applause on both sides of the Atlantic. And not without ample justification. The novel introduced us to Susan Ryeland, one of the editors at a minor London publishing house, who was busily working her way through the manuscript of the ninth, and apparently concluding, entry in author Alan Conway’s best-selling mystery series starring Atticus Pünd, a 65-year-old half-Greek, half-German concentration camp survivor […]

The Woods by Harlan Coban

Harlan Coban’s The Woods to Netflix

June 10, 2020 News Editor 0

Harlan Coban fans (and there are a lot of them) should keep their eyes out for a six-part Netflix mini-series based on The Woods, Coban’s 2007 novel, transformed here from New Jersey to Poland. The switch creates some real magic: Coban’s terrific storytelling reimagined here with a gritty European sensibility. “The Woods from Netflix Poland is really different from The Stranger,” Coban told Variety back in February. “Much more atmospheric and moody and centered on […]

Investigating Crime for the Holidays

December 17, 2019 J. Kingston Pierce 1

Among the changes I made in my life during these last 12 months was to accept an invitation to join the staff of an independent bookshop serving one of Seattle, Washington’s more upscale neighborhoods. This has succeeded in getting me out of my often lonely office, increasing my contacts with other human beings, and further enlarging my reading tastes beyond crime, mystery and thriller fiction. Nonetheless, my interest in tales of criminality and espionage has […]

Souless Rambo Draws Author’s Ire

September 22, 2019 admin 0

Critics have been hating on the latest Rambo movie, calling it “MAGA fantasy,” an “orgy of death” and worse. But critics aren’t the only ones. Author David Morrell, who created the character and has had input into several of the films, agrees with negative reviews of the film. “I agree with these RAMBO: LAST BLOOD reviews,” the author reported on Twitter a few days ago. “The film is a mess. Embarrassed to have my name […]