Printer’s Row 2017—Bloodshed at the MWA Tent Jun12

Printer’s Row 2017—Bloodshed at the MWA Tent

  You’re dying to know about the bloodshed, aren’t you? I’m sorry to tell you you’ll have to keep reading. I’m burying the lead on that one. Aren’t I the worst? Here’s a chalk outline to keep you until then.           I’ve never had the pleasure to attend Printer’s Row in Chicago before, and it was basically catnip for book lovers. Stalls lining several streets in the shadow of gorgeous art deco buildings where the publishing industry used to reside in downtown Chicago. And those stalls. Publishers and booksellers side by side—it was a dangerous place. I recommend bringing lots of cash—I had to hit the...

Ten Writing Lessons From Krav Maga

When I started taking Krav Maga my writing pal James Queally asked if I was taking it because I wanted to more accurately write about throwing a punch. I told him, no, that’s ridiculous. I was doing it because I was afraid of my daughter. She’s two and a half now. It’s like living with Leatherface. Peril in every direction. I’ve been doing it for a year and passed the test for P1 (there are five practitioner levels). Not to say I’m proficient in any of this—a lot of the time I still feel like Bambi slipping on the ice, sliding into a snowbank. Turns out though, James was on to something—I’ve discovered a couple of writing lessons courtesy...

The Birth of a Thriller Jun09

The Birth of a Thriller

Forget Nancy Drew. When I was twelve years old my favorite book series featured Bond, James Bond. Not that I was supposed to be reading Ian Fleming’s books. They were written for adults, as my mother would have told me while confiscating the book if she’d caught me, and I wasn’t one. But my father, an orthodontist, had a den that he used as a home office. In that den was a wall of built-in bookshelves. On those bookshelves were the books that he read. The first of those books that I snuck off the shelves was Doctor No. I read it in my bed, under the covers, by flashlight. The sexual references were lost on me. What I loved was the action,...

James Ziskin’s CAST THE FIRST STONE is featured in this week’s giveaway Jun09

James Ziskin’s CAST THE FIRST STONE is featu...

This week,  CrimeSpree and  Friday Reads Facebook page, are giving away copies of  CAST THE FIRST STONE by James Ziskin February 1962: Tony Eberle has just scored his first role in a Hollywood movie, and the publisher of his hometown newspaper in upstate New York wants a profile of the local boy who’s made good. Reporter Ellie Stone is dispatched to Los Angeles for the story. But when she arrives on set to meet her subject, Tony has vanished. The director is apoplectic, Tony’s agent is stumped, and the producer is found murdered. Ellie is on the story, diving headfirst into a treacherous demimonde of Hollywood wannabes, beautiful young men,...

Joseph Kanon’s DEFECTORS reviewed Jun07

Joseph Kanon’s DEFECTORS reviewed

Defectors Joseph Kanon Atria Pub 6/6/17 One of the greatest crimes against a country is treason, spying for the enemy. A recent brilliantly written espionage book, Defectors, by Joseph Kanon, is both fast paced and realistic. This Cold War thriller shows the moves and plays as if the characters are in a chess game. Beyond that it emphasizes the human side, what it is like for family members of a traitor, as well as the motivations of someone who is willing to betray and lie to everyone. Taking place in 1961 Moscow, during the height of the Cold War, readers learn about the history within a fascinating plot. It becomes obvious very early on...

Joseph Kanon talks about DEFECTORS

Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story? Joseph Kanon: The origin came out of something personal. Years ago I worked with a man who actually had a brother that defected. It was a fascinating story to me, and I realized no one talked about the family left behind. Once he had defected, that was the last heard of him. I thought about the after story, since he did not just vanish. I wondered what kind of life did he have, and what did he do all day. EC: How did you do the research? JK: I read about Kim Philby, a high-ranking member of British intelligence who was a Soviet agent. He defected in 1963 after working for the KGB. I had...

CROSSING GENRES BY NIK KORPON Jun06

CROSSING GENRES BY NIK KORPON

I used to collect a lot of records when I was in my teens and early twenties. Not as many as my friends, who’d have whole bookcases full of them, but I had a couple hundred or so. Some of them were bad hardcore and punk bands I picked up at various shows, some were great, dusty jazz and blues records I found in the dollar bin. Some I’d picked up specifically because I knew that the girl who sat next to me in freshman math liked those bands, and we had a standing arrangement where I’d trade her records in exchange for her helping me not fail the class. (I’m really, really bad at math.) Some—like my limited edition “Do the Bartman”...

THE WINTER OVER BY MATTHEW IDEN

Thomas & Mercer 2017   Dog bites man is not news. But, man bites dog? Now you’ve got my attention. There’s nothing new under the sun, or in between the covers of a book. What grabs a readers attention is not the lack of tropes, but what new spin an author puts on those tropes. This is an idea author Matthew Iden takes full advantage of in his tension filled novel THE WINTER OVER. The trope that Iden is working with here is the standard locked room mystery. But when your “locked room” is in fact a research facility located at the bottom of the world, completely shrouded in darkness for months on end and totally cut off from the rest...