Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Posted by Will Hanisko at 8:42 PM
Bloodstains takes place in 1926 Edinburgh, where we find Dandy living belowstairs as lady’s maid after receiving a letter from Mrs. Philip Belfour, begging Dandy to protect her from her husband, who has threatened to kill her. Unable to ignore the lady’s entreaty, Dandy infiltrates the house only to discover Mr. Belfour with his throat cut, and a bevy of terrorized servants. The logical (though unpredictable) twists and turns give the book a very classic feel, but Dandy can’t be pigeonholed in any particular genre. With its honest look at social status, Bloodstains is stronger fare than some similar series. However, the modernized (yet true to period) heroine is so likable and funny, in addition to being historically accurate, the book is also a delight to read.
|Catriona will be signing August 31 at 7pm|
Click here for details.
If you like Catriona McPherson’s (http://www.dandygilver.co.uk/) Dandy Gilver series, you may also enjoy:
Carola Dunn (Daisy Dalrymple series)
Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher series)
Amy Patricia Meade (Marjorie McClelland series)
Dorothy L. Sayers
Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs series)
Posted by Will Hanisko at 8:12 PM
Monday, August 29, 2011
(Laurie R. King is the bestselling author of 21 crime novels, including a historical series featuring “The worlds greatest detective…and her husband, Sherlock Holmes.” Mary Russell and her slightly more famous husband feature in King’s upcoming novel Pirate King, set in 1924 London, Lisbon, and Morocco. Why Pirates? Haven’t you heard? Pirate is the new Vampire.)
|Laurie ARrrgh!King will be signing, singing and speaking|
at The Scottsdale Community College Sept. 10 at 5pm. (Details)
apprentice, then partner, and eventually wife. I mean, sure, my own husband was 30 years my senior, but if you don’t think I was oblivious to the humor in that situation, you’ve never met me. Or indeed, him.
Early on, the thread of acknowledged ridiculousness was woven into the edges of all the Russell stories, although I took care not to let it get in the way of the adventure, and to keep the silliness out of those parts that addressed more serious matters. However, between one thing and another, after ten books the Russell series was becoming more and more solemn. The last pair of books might as well have been mainstream suspense novels.
Time to hit the re-set button.
Time to embrace my inner whimsy, to pull out the stops, to grab farce with both hands. And what better partner-in-silliness than that most English of clowns, dignified and colorful and with tongue oh-so-firmly in cheek, W. S. Gilbert?
Readers of the Mary Russell stories have seen Sherlock Holmes interact with Gilbert and Sullivan before this, in Monstrous Regiment of Women:
…a massive woman whose full bust strained the bright yellow satin of her dress above the try she bore, a selection of glittering geegaws. With the ponderous dignity of the profoundly intoxicated, she took up a strategic position across the street from the doors, and no sooner had they opened with the first of the released crowd than she burst into full-throated song.
“‘I’m called Little Buttercup—dear Little Buttercup, tho’ I could never tell why,’” she warbled in a nearly accurate contralto, the jet beads on her primrose bonnet quivering with effort.
That is one of Sherlock Holmes’ more effective disguises. For an illustration of Buttercup, see below.And it was precisely the effect I was aiming for in the new novel. I had already decided to set the story in Lisbon and Morocco, which offered me color aplenty. But instead of the strictly nautical themes of H.M.S. Pinafore, I thought I might find more scope for a Russell and Holmes adventure in The Pirates of Penzance.
Thus was born Pirate King.
But not just any Pirates of Penzance, oh no. This would be a Twenties version of the classic, a jazz-age updating, a moving picture version that not only embraced the Gilbert & Sullivan level of frenetic absurdity, but added men with movie cameras and megaphone-wielding directors, chewing-gum snapping young actresses and romantic leads of uncertain sexuality, actors who were pirates and pirates who were actors and pirate-actors who were something else entirely. And in the middle of this muddle would be Miss Mary Russell and that epitome of Victorian rectitude, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
As you probably can tell, I had a whole lot of fun with this, and still am, especially online. The Laurie ARrrgh! King page tells all about it, including a version of Penzance’s Major-General’s song that I ravaged—er, rewrote for the purpose of the Pirate King book tour. It begins, “I am the very model of the modern major criminal…”
Prizes, pirates, and a singalong. A book signing should be memorable, right?
Laurie’s web site, with newsletter signup, is at www.LaurieRKing.com. To order a signed copy of the upcoming Pirate King, go here:
LINKS used in post (where words are underlined):
Laurie ARrrgh! King page: http://www.laurierking.com/events/ten-weeks-of-laurie-arrgh-king
Posted by Will Hanisko at 2:18 PM
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
A SHADOW REVIEW
Besides the compelling relationship between Quinn and Lillie Virgil, the deputy, the book is rife with colorful Southern characters. Atkins strength has always been his ability to bring his settings to life and deliver "pulse of place" to his readers. Tibbehah county comes alive under Atkins pen and is as much a character in the book as the humans are. The pace is quick, the action non-stop, and the western vibe shimmers above it all. I look forward to the next chapter in Quinn Colson's life.
Ace Atkins started on his road to fame as a star football player for Auburn University. His team won a national title and Ace was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Not many writers can lay that claim. Rather than try the NFL Ace became a newspaper reporter which led to his becoming a novelist. His first series, featuring Nick Travers, combined music, mystery, and the Deep South. Ace followed that up with four outstanding crime novels. These books covering Phenix City, Tampa, The Fatty Arbuckle trial, and Machine Kelly stand as unique and superb historical fiction. Each book is beautifully rendered with Ace's ability to evoke both character and setting in a way that makes the reader feel he is there. In particular I found "White Shadow", about organized crime in Tampa, Florida masterfully executed. In "Devil's Garden", the story of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, we see the action through the eyes of Dashiell Hammett; a unique perspective indeed.
As a youngster Ace's literary hero was Robert Parker. Oddly Parker's nickname was "Ace". And in a final and fortuitous chain of events Ace has been chosen by the Parker family to continue the "Spenser" series. Look for the first new Atkin's penned "Spenser" later this year.
We wish Ace good luck with the new challenge and while he hopefully reaps monetary rewards, we his readers, now reap literary rewards by having two series to look forward to.
STEVE SHADOW SCHWARTZ
Browse available Ace Atkins titles at poisonedpen.com (click here)
Find out more about Ace at http://aceatkins.com/
Posted by Will Hanisko at 5:02 PM
TNT TO PRODUCE GOOD MORNING, KILLER
FILMING STARTS SEPT.7 IN VANCOUVER, B.C.
CLICK IMAGE TO PURCHASE
It's a dream come true for FBI Special Agent Ana Grey fans - and the author!
TNT is about to film a two-hour television movie of the second Ana Grey novel, Good Morning, Killer. April wrote the script and is executive producer, along with her friend and colleague, the great Frank Von Zernek. She's heading up to Vancouver for four weeks of prep and eighteen days of shooting.
Catherine Bell has just been signed to star as Ana.
She is currently appearing on Army Wives, and is
famous for her role on JAG.
The movie will air this fall as part of TNT's new series, "Tuesday Night Mysteries," which will include adaptations of books by Scott Turow, Mary Higgins Clark, Richard North Paterson, and Sandra Brown. April is thrilled to be part of this distinguished line-up.
Good Morning, Killer puts Ana Grey on the trail of a serial sexual predator who has abducted a young woman from the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. At the same time, Ana is involved in an intense relationship with a detective assigned to the case, Andrew Berringer. Worlds collide when she becomes too involved with the psyche of the victim - as well as her volatile lover's mind. Good Morning, Killer is currently available as an e-book and will be re-issued by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard in conjunction with the movie this fall.
Posted by Will Hanisko at 4:56 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Garden Party TwInvitation
You say your Royal Wedding invite got lost in the mail? The White House staff seems to be ignoring you this summer? Well, fret no longer, your invitation to the social event of the season–nay, the year, is here. If you’re feeling social, drop in and chat with Mary Russell and friends (Will that husband of hers make it this year?) If you think you’ll be too shy, we’re leaving a virtual gap in the fence for you to watch through.
When and where is this happening? This Sunday afternoon, on the terrace of Russell & Holmes’ house in Sussex–or, on a computer screen near you. And now, from the virtual engraved envelope, your invitation to join us for the Twitter Garrrrden Party:
Explanation and links are here. Come and have a great time, although I’d watch out for the honey wine, if I were you. Holmes makes it powerful.
Posted by Will Hanisko at 7:56 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
A SHADOW REVURB...
|Barry Graham's THE WRONG THING is available,|
signed from The Poisoned Pen. (PM Press $14.95)
Barry Graham, a local writer by way of Scotland, has just had a new novel published by PM Press under the Switchblade imprint. PM Press is a group of publishers and media people using every means possible to encourage new and challenging ideas. Check out the web site. Switchblade is the arm that puts forth the hardest of the hard-boiled works of fiction. They publish what I call "heart-break noir", stories that take us to the edge of human longing and it's often disastrous results.
Graham, a well known journalist and novelist, takes us to these far shores where societies castaways dwell unseen and uncared for. In "The Wrong Thing" we get the American nightmare rather the the American dream. The main character in the book is known only as the Kid, his story bracketed by prologue and elegy. He comes to us a fully realized human being who never gets a break. Unloved and unwanted he must try and find a path through a world he is ill prepared to face. Uneducated but bright, talented but directionless, unaware and unguided he tries his best to adapt.
The novel is set in Santa Fe and Phoenix and shows a side of these cities we are barely aware of. The barrio of the hispanic underclass is presented by Graham as a place of richness and kindness. It can also be a trap and a road to a life of pain and grief. The Kid's journey through this minefield is riveting and tragic. His story is short, compact, and powerful. The writing is deceptively simple and straight forward. Graham's subtle style weaves a spell-binding web that left me mesmerized. The violence and sex are graphic and presented without judgement. This is strong material wrapped in the cloth of truth. Obviously Graham knows this world well and it shows.
|Barry Graham will speak at The Poisoned Pen Saturday,|
August 20th at 5pm. Click for details.
Barry Graham also happens to be a Zen monk and Abbot of the Sitting Frog Zen Center in Phoenix. His story in the "Phoenix Noir" anthology was an early version of what became the new novel. His early work has recently been made available on Amazon for download. I recommend his novel "The Book of Man" and "Scumbo: a Novella and Stories".
- STEVE SHADOW SCHWARTZ
For further reading try last years Switchblade release "Pike" by Benjamin Whitmer. It is a hard-boiled neo-noir knockout of a book.
Posted by Will Hanisko at 2:32 PM
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I thought I would post the new trailer for DRIVE, which won Best Director at this year's Cannes Film Festival. This has been a great adventure for James as well as The Poisoned Pen Press. The novel originally publishing with them in 2005. On August 19th at 7pm Mr. Sallis will be signing his latest novel
The Killer is Dying($24 Signed) at the store.
The Killer is Dying($24 Signed) at the store.
He will also be performing with his band Three-Legged Dog. (That's him on the right)
Posted by Will Hanisko at 3:50 PM