5 Books to Look Forward to in 2013

Wrath of Angels by John Connolly
Many of the characters and histories from several of the Charlie Parker novels, especially The Black Angel, culminate in this story involving a list of names of people who may have made a deal with the devil. Connolly has a way of weaving the supernatural with a private eye novel and making them both seem  uniquely his own.

Hammett Unwritten by Owen Fitzstephen
I’m curious about this debut since it uses the life of my favorite writer, Dashiell Hammett, for a mystery that runs through his days as a Pinkerton detective, author, and member of the Hollywood Ten during the red scare, all linked to his book, The Maltese Falcon. It’s also from Seventh Street Books, who discovered author Mark Pryor who has become a store favorite with his debut, The Bookseller.

PENANCEPenance by Dan O’Shea
Ever since I met Dan at a Bouchercon a few years ago, I’ve been following his short work and his career. This debut novel featuring a Chicago cop going up against political corruption and a deadly sniper could introduce him to a larger number of mystery readers

Evil In All It’s Disguises by Hilary Davidson
Davidson’s series with her heroine, travel writer Lily Moore, is fast making her one of my favorite thriller writers. Her latest, dealing with a missing colleague and friend in Acapulco, reinforces her strong heroine and strong narrative.

Donnybrook by Frank Bill
Every author I know has been raving about Donnybrook, Frank Bill’s first novel with characters who move in and out of a bare knuckles competition. His short story “Cold, Hard Love” in his collection Crimes In Southern Indiana serves as a prequel to the book.

If You Like Jack Reacher…

~Post by Scott

A couple weeks ago, A Wanted Man by Lee Child came out. By now, most fans have devoured it, looking for their next fix. Here are five series characters who can get you through to the next book-

TRAVIS MCGEE created by John D. Macdonald
First Book: Deep Blue Good-by
Reacher’s off the grid lifestyle and philosophy owes a lot to McGee. Macdonald was the first to take the men’s adventure novel to a new level.
CHARLIE FOX created by Zoë Sharp
First Book: Killer Instinct
More than a female Reacher, this British Special forces veteran and self defense expert, has to struggle to keep her aggression in check at times. Zoë Sharp proves that women writers and characters can get just as rough and tumble as the boys. These are some of the best action sequences in print.
QUINN COLSON created by Ace Atkins
First Book: The Ranger
This series brings back memories of the Southern set action movies of the Seventies, with Army ranger Colson out to clean up his corrupt Mississippi town. A well written mix of hard boiled crime and current events.
MERCY GUNDERSON created by Lori Armstrong
First Book: No Mercy
Gunderson used to be part of an elite group of female snipers. Sidelined stateside to the family’s South Dakota ranch, she has to use her old skills to protect it and her clan. Armstrong brings thriller elements to the modern western with a fun and at times even humorous look at her region.
First Book: Even
This is truly Reacher as a fish out of water. Tied to British Naval Intelligence, Trevellyn navigates his way around danger as well as the U.S., Andrew Grant proves he can write a man of action as well as his brother Lee Child.

Big News for Elmore Leonard

The Library of America will be printing a collection of Elmore Leonard’s early crime fiction. For someone who has influenced two generations in the genre as well as authors outside of it with his approach to plot, character, and dialogue, this is an honor well earned. Check out the complete Reader’s Almanac article HERE.

November 14 “The National Book Foundation will present its 2012 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Elmore Leonard… Martin Amis will present the medal to Leonard, who is the twenty-fifth winner of the award that has previously gone to John Ashbery, Toni Morrison, John Updike, and Joan Didion.” Read the full article HERE.

A pilot is also in the works over at USA based off of one of Elmore’s short stories from When the Women Come Out to Dance. “The project centers on a Miami businessman who, contemplating a run for political office, tries to increase his chances of being elected by marrying a Colombian woman who is on the run from her troubled past. What starts as a marriage of convenience quickly escalates into much more as his new wife proves to be more resourceful at “fixing” any problem the corrupt South Miami political scene throws at her husband.” Read the full article HERE.


Page to Screen On the Radio

(Hopeton Hay and Ace Atkins here at BookPeople)

~post by Scott M.

I’ll be doing Hopeton Hay’s Book Review on Austin’s KAZI 88.7 this Sunday, September 2 at 12:30P discussing books and their translation to film. Click here to listen to KAZI 88.7 live, and be sure to tune into Hopeton Hay’s show.  Hopeton will be focusing on Devil In A Blue Dress, I’ll be taking Double Indemnity. This made me wonder what some of my favorite authors considered their favorite book to film adaptations.

Author of  Dutch Curridge
The Maltese Falcon, John Huston got the tenor of Hammett’s story note-perfect, and Bogart was Bogart, i.e. the quintessential Sam Spade.

Author of Last Call For The Living
The Night of the Hunter, Adapting Davis Grubb’s novel, Charles Laughton directs an absolutely frightening Robert Mitchum in a masterwork of mood and style.

Author of Still River
–  Mystic River (Dennis Lehane)  and The Town (The Prince Thieves by Chuck Hogan) and emotional highs and low of both stories while being true to the plot and spirit of the novels.

Author of When It All Comes Down To Dust
The Friends of Eddie Coyle. It’s my all-time favorite novel, so I avoided the film until last year – and it turns out it might be as good as the book. Beautifully faithful to what Higgins wrote, and definitely Mitchum’s greatest performance.

Author of Bahama Burnout
Get Shorty. Elmore Leonard has had some pretty good movie adaptions, but John Travolta nailed the role of Chilly Palmer!

Author of Late Rain
– Willeford’s The Woman Chaser and/or Miami Blues; both films caught Willeford’s offbeat vision.

Author of Amarillo
The Last Picture Show. How a New York boy like Peter Bogdanovich could perfectly recreate a small Texas town’s denizens is a tribute to both him and Larry McMurtry, who wrote the book.

Author of The Prophet
A Simple Plan. Stunning novel, Oscar-nominated script, and Scott Smith was a rookie at both forms. That’s rare air.

Author of Gun Church
Winter’s Bone. A chilling novel with a veiled message of hope and determination. The movie is true to the book in spirit and in deed.

Author of The Lost Sister
Point Blank (adapted from The Hunter)may be one of my favorite adaptations. More than anything, its about Lee Marvin’s performance. With barely a word, he makes you believe utterly in his ruthlessness and single-mindedness. And somehow, he colors the role so that, for me, Parker becomes Marvin no matter which book I’m reading; that walk, that glare, that tightly coiled menace that makes you glad you’re not the one standing between him and money.


MysteryPeople Pick of the Month: GONE by Randy Wayne White

MysteryPeople Pick for September: Gone by Randy Wayne White
Reviewed By: Scott M.

For over two decades Randy Wayne White has carried John D MacDonald’s torch of the Key West crime writer with his Doc Ford series, giving readers laid back, devil-may-care adventure, along with some great writing. With Gone, White promises a new series character who could be just as exciting, Hannah Smith.

Hannah is a fishing guide, in her early thirties, who comes from a line of hearty independent woman from the Keys. She’s likable, capable, and is getting used to her good looks that she has recently and awkwardly grown into. She recently bought a fast boat from a certain marine biologist and has reluctantly inherited her uncle’s investigation business.

To avoid a winter job, Hannah takes on a sort of missing persons case. Olivia Seasons left home with little notice, only contacting the executor of her trust every two weeks with the proper information to collect money. Hannah soon learns Olivia is with a horrific misogynist. He’s a man known for degrading women,and scarring them for life, and this looks like it might be the time he’s pushed to murder, making her search a race against time.

Hannah is what makes the book tick. Narrating in her voice, White delivers one of the best female characters created by a male writer I’ve ever read. Not scared by political correctness, he gives us a thoroughly complex and capable heroine. The banter between her and her mother, Loretta, recalls that of Jim Rockford and his dad.

Gone works as fresh take on the Florida regional novel. The characters are colorful, the setting pops, and, most of all, you have a lead character you’d like to hang out with. I hope Hannah has many more adventures.