Walter Mosely’s appearance at our store this Tuesday, May 28th, at 7PM to sign Little Green, his resurrection of Easy Rawlins, it also made me think of some of my favorite books he has written.

Devil In A Blue Dress– The one that started it all. Easy Rawlins gets pulled into being a private eye, when to make ends meet he’s hired to find a missing white woman who frequents black clubs. Everything we associate with the series, the jazz poet prose style, blunt look at race relations, and one of the most vicious sidekicks to hit the page, Mouse, is here.


White Butterfly– Plot, prose, and politics blend beautifully in this third Easy novel that have the police forcing him to track down a serial killer in Watts. great suspense and action are delivered as Mosely looks at the subtleties of individual and institutionalized racism.



 Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned– Mosely’s first contemporary novel and first to feature Socrates Fortlow, a homeless, ex-con struggling to get a job, protect his own, and find dignity on the South Central streets. Told as a collection of vignettes, in a tight and terse style, the heart break and hope are earned in this book.


Fearless Jones– Mosely gets a chance to show off his humorous side in this first of three novels featuring Paris, a meek used bookstore owner, and his brave-to-the-point-of-stupid buddy, Fearless Jones. Set in 1950’s Watts, these are great for readers who were disappointed that Easy Rawlins didn’t spend enough time n the post war era.


The Long Fall– The first book with Leoniod McGill, ex-boxer and private detective, trying  to turn over a new leaf after years of operating on the shady side. A unique case challenges his newfound morality as he hits the streets of modern New York. Full of danger and great dialogue, this launched a great new series.


Other books could be on this list, RL’s Dream, Bad Boy Brawley Brown, Little Scarlet, and  any of the Fearless Jones series. Mosely’s is an incredible body of work where the quality matches the quantity.


Crime Fiction Friday: JOE CLIFFORD

Joe Clifford is a rising star in the world of crime fiction. His new novel Junkie Love is getting great reviews, and his short story collection Choice Cuts is a barrel full of seedy goodness. Joe was kind enough to give us a link to one of his stories. It’s titled “One Good Reason” and is the last story in Choice Cuts.



In preparation for Ace Atkins May 31st signing of Wonderland and The Broken Places, The Hard Word Book Club is looking at his second historical crime novel, Wicked City. Atkins looks at Phenix City, Alabama, a town that was so corrupt, General George Patton wanted it leveled because of the affect it had on the nearby army base. When the newly elected, reform minded DA was was shot in front of his home, a group of citizens took matters (and guns) into their own hands.
In many ways the story is as much western (Hard Word’s other favorite genre) as much as crime fiction, with a pretty clean line of good guys and bad guys, with a few ugly ones operating between. It’s also a great example of Atkins ability to create a world. He evokes time and place with fun dialogue, great characters, and a sweaty, Southern feel.

This Hard Word is all out, including a conference call-in from Ace for the discussion and a viewing of Phenix City Story, the Phil Karlson directed movie inspired by the same events. We’ll be meeting at 7PM, Wednesday, May 29th. Copies of Wicked City are 10% off for those who attend.


The snubnose is easy to conceal and carry
The snubnose is powerful
The snubnose is compact

That’s how we like our fiction

That is part of the mission statement of Snubnose Press, a great imprint started a few years ago by the folks at the online zine Spinetingler. They take the crime fiction genre and hard boil it down to its down and dirty essence. Needless to say, we at MysteryPeople had been wanting to work with them and we’re happy to announce we have the opportunity.

Most of the books are tight and under two hundred pages. Many are modern takes on the classic hard boiled style, focusing on the criminals like Tom Pitts Piggyback with two drug runners on a road trip to Hell, looking for thier missing stash or Dig Two Graves, Eris Beetner’s tale of a night of desperation and revenge for a robber hunting down the prison lover who set him up. There’s even a noir memior, All The Wild Children, that proves Josh Stalling’s life was as rough as his detective novels.

Since Spinetingler is partly known for showcasing some of the best short fiction, it’s no surprise they have about a half dozen collections from some of the edgiest authors. Court Merrigan takes us from the wild west to South east Asia in Moondog Over The Mekong.  A dark sense of humor runs through both Johns Kenyon’s First Cut and Joe Clifford’s Choice Cuts and if your offended by the title of Jedidiah Ayers A F*ckload Of Shorts, don’t even bother cracking it open.

Since Snubnose started, you’ve only been able to get them online or by print on demand. Recently, we worked out a deal with many of the authors and are carrying them exclusively at MysteryPeople. Check our website this month for reviews of the books and interviews with some of the Snubnose writers and check out our display of the books with covers done by the artist and author, Eric Beetner.


Alex Grecian’s debut novel The Yard was a big hit with us. As Tommy said in his review, “He makes us feel as if we are walking the gas lit, refuse choked streets of Whitechapel, shoulder to shoulder with London’s finest. The Yard is one of my favorite mysteries of the last few years. Alex Grecian takes us on a dark journey that includes grisly murder, a visit to a 19th century sanitarium, and enough bone chilling tension to fill three books.”

The good news is that Grecian in fact has filled a second book with a new story of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, The Black Country, and it’s on shelves today! Alex answered a few questions for his publisher, which they were kind enough to send along. They were also kind enough to agree to send Alex here to BookPeople – you can catch him speaking about and signing The Black Country here this Friday, May 24 at 7PM.

Q: THE BLACK COUNTRY is the second book in your series about Scotland Yard’s first Murder Squad in Victorian England. This time you’ve left London for the Midlands…what’s THE BLACK COUNTRY about?
A: In the Midlands village of Blackhampton, a couple and their toddler go missing. Then a little girl finds an eyeball in a bird’s nest and the local constable sends for help from Scotland Yard. When the detectives get there, they discover that the village itself is sinking into the mines beneath it and half the population has been stricken with a plague. To top it off, there’s a mysterious figure lurking in the woods and the villagers are convinced it’s a monster from a local children’s rhyme: Rawhead and Bloody Bones.

Q: Which characters from The Yard return in this novel?
A: All three of the main characters from The Yard return for this second outing. Inspector Walter Day is back, along with Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. And they call in Dr Kingsley and his assistant Henry for some help with forensics. A handful of the supporting characters from the first book make appearances here, too, but they’re only seen briefly.

Q: You have said that you were somewhat inspired by the old British horror films put out from the Hammer Studios in the 1960s and 70s. How so? Did elements of those films make their way into THE BLACK COUNTRY?
A: The Hammer horror films I remember seeing as a child were more like creepy adventure stories. At least, that’s how they’ve survived in the back of my head somewhere. I’m sure they were influential on me because I tend to write creepy adventure stories now. That said, if there’s a film that influenced THE BLACK COUNTRY, it would have to be The Wicker Man, which used some of the same stock actors as the Hammer movies, but was a little more sophisticated and disturbing than most of the Hammer Studio’s films were. In The Wicker Man, a policeman goes to a Scottish island that’s cut off from the mainland. A girl’s gone missing and he’s got to find her, but runs afoul of the villagers’ superstitions. It’s incredibly atmospheric and among my favorite films of that period. Aside from the obvious surface similarities, though, THE BLACK COUNTRY is a very different sort of story.

MP Pick of the Month: ONION STREET by Reed Farrel Coleman

I’ve stated before that Reed Farrel Coleman is the greatest living private eye writer. We have watched his character, Moe Prager, struggle to find grace while dealing with moral compromise, and feeling every emotional bump along the way. Coleman has said he will be winding up the series with two more books. The second to last, Onion Street, takes us to the past, before Moe was a private eye or even a patrolman.

As with some of the Moe Prager novels, Onion Street is book-ended in a time long after the main story. Moe and his daughter, Sarah, attend the funeral of his friend Bobby Friedman. He tells Sarah that Bobby is the reason he became a cop. She she asks how that happened, Moe tells her they need to go back to his apartment and put on a pot of coffee for that.

We then go back to 1968 when Moe is a college student, still living at home. He and his girlfriend, Mindy, are dealing with the deaths of their friends, Martin and Samantha, Bobby’s girlfriend. The two were activists who apparently died when a bomb they built went off. After a night of desperate sex with Moe, Mindy isfound beaten into a coma. Moe goes out looking for answers, revenge, and Bobby, who has gone missing.

The story is probably some of the best plotting Reed has ever done. With the help of Lids, a burnt out prodigy turned drug dealer, young Moe finds links to Mindy’s beating and Bobby’s disappearance to a group of underground radicals, a holocaust survivor, and a local mafioso. The tale reflects place and time perfectly, with reveals that move at a strong pace, never seeming forced or contrived.

That said, we read the Moe books for detailed characters and emotion and Coleman delivers. With great, subtle skill he gives us a young Moe by doing more than just taking away his limp. He’s less grounded with less understanding of love and friendship, falling into their traps that many of us do at that age. We also get a better understanding of his obsession with getting a detectives shield. Once again, Moe is a personification of sins and sorrows we can identify with.

Coleman has created Onion Street as a young man’s story. It moves a bit quicker than most of the others in the series, set in a time in our country when the youth were finding their voice. In Onion Street Moe gains knowledge, if not wisdom. We know there’s a long road for that. Onion Street is a vivid account of his first steps on that road.

New Releases in MysteryPeople: May 21st 2013

The Double Game by Dan Fesperman (paperback)

A few years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, spook-turned-novelist Edwin Lemaster revealed to up-and-coming journalist Bill Cage that he’d once considered spying for the enemy. For Cage, a Foreign Service brat who grew up in the very cities where Lemaster’s books were set, the news story created a brief but embarrassing sensation and heralded the beginning of the end of his career in journalism.

More than two decades later, Cage, now a lonely, disillusioned PR man, receives an anonymous note hinting that he should have dug deeper into Lemaster’s pronouncement. Spiked with cryptic references to some of Cage’s favorite spy novels, the note is the first of many literary bread crumbs that lead him back to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, each instruction drawing him closer to the complex truth, each giving rise to more questions: Why is beautiful Litzi Strauss back in his life after thirty years? How much of his father’s job involved the CIA? As the events of Lemaster’s past eerily—and dangerously—begin intersecting with those of Cage’s own, a “long stalemate of secrecy” may finally be coming to an end.

A story about spies and their secrets, fathers and sons, lovers and fate, duplicity and loyalty, The Double Game ingeniously taps the espionage classics of the Cold War to build a spellbinding maze of intrigue. It is Dan Fesperman’s most audacious, suspenseful, and satisfying novel yet.

Pale Gray For Guilt by John D. MacDonald

From a beloved master of crime fiction, Pale Gray for Guilt is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat. Travis McGee’s old football buddy Tush Bannon is resisting pressure to sell off his floundering motel and marina to a group of influential movers and shakers. Then he’s found dead. For a big man, Tush was a pussycat: devoted to his wife and three kids and always optimistic about his business—even when things were at their worst. So even though his death is ruled a suicide, McGee suspects murder . . . and a vile conspiracy.

“As a young writer, all I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me.”—Dean Koontz

Tush Bannon was in the wrong spot at the wrong time. His measly plot of land just so happened to sit right in the middle of a rich parcel of five hundred riverfront acres that big-money real estate interests decided they simply must have. It didn’t matter that Tush was a nice guy with a family, or that he never knew he was dealing with a criminal element. They squashed him like a bug and walked away, counting their change. But one thing they never counted on: the gentle giant had a not-so-gentle friend in Travis McGee. And now he’s going to make them pay.

Angel Baby by Richard Lange

A woman goes on the run in this intense and cinematic thriller by an award-winning writer. To escape the awful life she has descended into, Luz plans carefully. She takes only the clothes on her back, a Colt .45, and all the money in her husband’s safe. The corpses in the hallway weren’t part of her plan. Luz needs to find the daughter she left behind years earlier, but she knows she may die trying. Her husband is El Principe, a key player in a high-powered drug cartel, a business he runs with the same violence he has used to keep Luz his perfect, obedient wife. With the pace and relentless force of a Scorsese film, ANGEL BABY is the newest masterpiece from one of the most ambitious and talented crime novelists at work today.

Here are a few recent releases that we want to remind you about:

Onion Street by Reed Farrel Coleman

Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland by Ace Atkins

Point & Shoot by Duane Swierczynski