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March 31, 2010

The Ice Harvest

Film critic Roger Ebert champions THE ICE HARVEST for his Overlooked DVD of the Week.

"It's a busy Christmas Eve for Charlie Arglist, who visits his former in-laws, steers his drunken buddy out of trouble, buys toys for his kids, waives the stage rental for a stripper at his topless club, and cheats, lies, steals and kills...

I [Ebert] liked the movie for the quirky way it pursues humor through the drifts of greed, lust, booze, betrayal and spectacularly complicated ways to die. I liked it for Charlie's essential kindness, as when he pauses during a getaway to help a friend who has run out of gas. And for the scene-stealing pathos of Oliver Platt's drunk, who like many drunks in the legal profession achieves a rhetorical grandiosity during the final approach to oblivion. And I liked especially the way Roy, the man in the trunk, keeps on thinking positively, even after Vic puts bullets through both ends of the trunk because he can't remember which end of the trunk Roy's head is at."

International best-selling author Michael Koryta!

A WELCOME GRAVE, the 3rd book in Koryta's Lincoln Perry series, is a best-seller in the Netherlands!

The Dutch publisher Mynx has created lovely covers for A WELCOME GRAVE; ENVY THE NIGHT; and THE SILENT HOUR (left to right).

March 30, 2010

Stefanie Pintoff continues to shine

Harriet Klausner (The Mystery Gazette) says "The latest Ziele historical police procedural (see In the Shadow of Gotham) is an excellent period piece with a strong whodunit.

Readers will enjoy the cankerous camaraderie between Ziele and Sinclair who respect each other professionally but also distrust one another personally especially with the former guilt-laden attracted to the latter’s widow daughter-in-law. With insight into the beginnings of the Great White Way becoming the American Theater District inside a strong cop case, Stefanie Pintoff provides sub-genre fans with another superb early twentieth century mystery."

Melissa at the Deerfield, IL public library is a big fan of Stefanie's too:

"I came across a new mystery recently that was so satisfying, I had to share. Stefanie Pintoff's debut novel In the Shadow of Gotham won the 2008 Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Award, and is well deserving of the award.

This has a similar feel to Caleb Carr's novel The Alienist, which is one of my all-time favorites. Fans of Carr should enjoy the historical details of New York City, the early forensic methods, the partnership between detective and scientist, the young female character in a male-dominated profession, and of course, the edge-of-your-seat chase to catch the killer.

I am happy to report that Pintoff is planning a series around Ziele and Sinclair, and the second novel, A Curtain Falls, will be out in May. This author is one to watch."

March 22, 2010

On the Dr. Oz show tomorrow

Registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer will be helping a morbidly obese couple get back on track with their eating habits.

Elizabeth's newest book EAT YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS is a great resource full of tips and lessons that you can incorporate into your own life.

Check Dr. Oz's website for your local broadcast info!

March 18, 2010

Ear candy

Take a break from the tunes and ease yourself into the world of private investigator Lincoln Perry, created by critically-acclaimed author Michael Koryta.

"Narrator Scott Brick can make even the most mundane story exciting, which is why it's such a pleasure when he starts with a strong novel. Brick performs THE SILENT HOUR, which features P.I. Lincoln Perry, who is shanghaied into solving an old murder.

The sense of urgency and depth of passion that Brick adds to the story create an atmosphere of palpable tension. The book dramatizes the theme of redemption as the daughter of a criminal tries to prove that convicted killers can be rehabilitated by a return to nature and hard work. But when the woman's husband is murdered, everything falls apart. It's left to Perry to put the pieces back together and solve the mystery."
- AudioFile magazine

Jedidiah Ayres' feminine side

A couple weeks ago on B&N's mystery blog, Ransom Notes, Ayres got into the Oscar mood by thinking up some powerhouse female characters worthy of the red carpet:

"Theresa Schwegel wrote a fierce debut novel, Officer Down about a rookie female cop in Chicago and the royal mess her already less than tidy life becomes when her partner is killed in a possible friendly fire episode. As big a fan I am of [then Oscar nominee, now Oscar winner] Kathryn Bigelow, I'd love to see her tackle this one. Though she visited similar (just barely really) territory in Blue Steel, I guarantee this one'd be better. A lot better.

And for the really adventurous, I propose the dark, sexy riff on the legacy of James M. Cain, Miami Purity by Vicki Hendricks. This one calls for a really gutsy actress, but the pay off could be huge."

March 17, 2010

Books that need to be movies

ScriptShadow believes we should all be able to enjoy these stories on the big screen with popcorn and candy!

"Duane Swierczynski is the wheelman for a crew of noir writers that includes the criminal minds of Ken Bruen, Charlie Huston, and Meg Abbott. His sentences pop like strings of firecrackers and his characters are literal time-bombs and human weapons. His plots, which meld noir and espionage, operate like clever traps whose ticking clocks and high-stakes make Crank seem like it moves in molasses-slow bullet-time.

...[Severance Package] is an exciting premise. To mention Diehard, Alias, Hostel and The Most Dangerous Game almost cheapens the experience, but since this is a blog about movies, I guess I should throw that out there.

Severance Package is the ultimate "contained thriller".

Secret Dead Men is my fave. It’s the one they’re gonna have to reunite Spike Jonez and Charlie Kaufman to pull off. It’s one of the most surreal, metaphysical novels I’ve ever read.

And, it’s framed as a detective thriller."

March 16, 2010

ForeWord's Book of the Year awards

Why, look which super-duo is a finalist in the mystery category...

Kudos to Reed Farrel Coleman and Ken Bruen!

Updates from the Blogpocalypse

Victor Gischler has been crankin' it out!

He has two -- count 'em, uno, dos -- comics out tomorrow:

DEADPOOL: Merc with a Mouth #9 has the luscious mix of Dr. Betty and Professor Veronica... and a can of "stink spray"...? (Preview pages via BSC Review)

PRELUDE TO DEADPOOL CORPS #3 gives us a super hero team that is both fabulously dysfunctional and immensely kickass (Evidenced here). You might also want to brush up via a Mighty Marvel podcast.

On the novel side of things, the pub date for THE DEPUTY is right around the corner -- a corner sweetly padded with great reviews like this one from Indie Crime Blog:

"[In "The Deputy",] Gischler’s prose is deceptively simple. The book is short and to the point, and once it picks up momentum, it doesn’t slow down. Gischler’s been at this novel writing thing for a while now, and it shows. This outing is all muscle and no fat."

Gischler also has a Free Film Option Contest up and running. It is for cool, creative types who want to do something for the greater good. Might that be you?

A worthy encore for Stefanie Pintoff

Publishers Weekly applauds A CURTAIN FALLS:

"Set in New York City in 1906, Pintoff's worthy sequel to her Edgar-finalist debut, In the Shadow of Gotham (2009), finds Det. Simon Zeile pursuing another sensational case...the convincing period detail and expert storytelling will hook most readers. "

It's my life, and I've got questions

Puberty can be "confusing, scary, embarrassing, and downright oogy". And that's exactly why Dr. Jennifer Ashton wrote THE BODY SCOOP FOR GIRLS.

PBS Kids' It's My Life blog and Dr. Ashton take on the 5 most common questions that girls often feel weird asking their parents or other adults.

March 15, 2010

Loving the Philly pulp

“Swierczynski (Severance Package, 2007) originally planned to write this beguiling, pulp-style mix of fantasy and mystery as a magazine serial, but when the New York Times Magazine bowed out of the fiction business, he turned it into a stand-alone novel.

Mickey Wade, an unemployed journalist, moves into his grandfather’s apartment in the family’s old Philadelphia neighborhood and, after gobbling a few aspirin to fight a hangover, finds himself beamed back to the day of his birth in 1972. Turns out those weren’t your garden-variety aspirin but, rather, the pills a crackpot scientist had created as part of a government-funded plan to investigate out-of-body travel. Only, in Mickey’s case, he can only go back to the early 1970s. But there’s plenty to do there: if he can somehow divert the young boy who will eventually murder Mickey’s father, he can change his family’s history.

Swierczynski cleverly melds the thriller and fantasy elements (especially the notion of nonlinear time), producing a thoroughly readable, suspenseful romp that evokes John D. MacDonald’s pulp classic The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything.”

- Booklist

A horror convert

"I must be up front and state at the outset that I normally don't like thrillers that feature a lot of graphic violence - gore isn't really my thing!

What, then, kept me reading long after I would normally have tossed the book aside? Tom Piccirilli created a character and story so unusual and enticing I couldn't help but finish it once I read the first couple of chapters.

The great attraction is a blind ex-cop named Finn, the story's protagonist. Finn is such an unusual character and so beautifully conceived that I couldn't bear to part company with him until I knew his whole story - and what a story it is!

What sets SHADOW SEASON apart from similar thrillers is the fact that Finn is blind. I have to admire an author who would even think of placing a sightless character at the center of a tale like this and then pit him against two able-bodied, sighted villains who obviously have a huge advantage. It's a challenge from which most writers would shy away.

To his credit, Piccirilli makes the scenario work and that in itself is a major accomplishment. In a nutshell, that's also why I kept reading. I kept saying to myself, "Ok, Piccirilli, let's see how you are going to get Finn out of this horrendous mess!"

- Bob Walch, I Love a Mystery

Detective Comics wins GLAAD Media Award

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) awarded Greg Rucka the Media Award for for his work on DETECTIVE COMICS featuring Batwoman and The Question!

"The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives."

Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III will be working on a Batwoman solo series later this year.

March 4, 2010

March is Women's History Month

Library Journal highlights Greg Rucka's comics as part of their graphic novel recommendations for Women's History Month.

STUMPTOWN and BATWOMAN: Elegy are "Gritty tongue-in-cheek action with noirish color art" and "Especially striking black-and-red-heavy art", respectively.

The Prince of Power on Twitter

Amadeus Cho headlines his own miniseries, HEROIC AGE: Prince of Power, this May!

"The Lion of Olympus has fallen. And as the Heroic Age dawns, the Golden Mace of Hercules passes to a new Prince of Power... who just happens to be Herc's best friend, Korean-American kid genius, Amadeus Cho. But when Amadeus finally reveals what he plans to do with his new power, the heavens themselves may shatter as Marvel's mightiest pantheons are shaken to the core! And wait a minute... what's THOR doing on the cover of this book?

Fan fave writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and beloved "Thorcules" artist Reilly Brown bring the thunder with the next essential chapter in the mind-blowing, heart-wrenching, and gut-busting epic that is the "Incredible Hercules" experience!"

Check out Amadeus Cho's very own Twitter here.

The best of the decade

Robin Agnew (Aunt Agatha's Bookstore) chooses Michael Koryta's TONIGHT I SAID GOODBYE as one of the top 10 of the decade!

"Koryta very simply instantly catapaulted the P.I. novel into the 21st century. All the classic tropes are there, with his own twists, in this first tale of PI and gym owner Lincoln Perry. The ending is one of the best ever. Great Cleveland setting, as a bonus."

March 3, 2010

EXPIRATION DATE memorabilia!

Duane Swierczynski pulls the trigger on a very cool sweepstakes! Check out his site Secret Dead Blog for more info.

In other cool news, SEVERANCE PACKAGE is one of the Top Ten Books That
Need to Be Movies
: "Severance Package is the ultimate 'contained thriller'."

A podcast from Tyrus Books

For your listening pleasure, we herewith enclose a chat between Ben LeRoy and Edgar Awar- winning author Theresa Schwegel.

"Theresa tells us about growing up near Chicago, the differences in writing for print vs. tv/film, and how she gets the police procedural elements of her novels to be so authentic. That, and a whole bunch of other things including Ben totally nerding out because she's read Shot in the Heart, and he always wants to talk about it."

Download here.