Bouchercon Recap, Part 2: New Author Breakfast

– Post by MysteryPeople Contributor Meike Alana

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Bouchercon, the world’s largest convention of mystery readers and writers.  Between Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery and Director of Suspense Molly Odintz, I was the most seasoned (OK, I was the oldest) member of the BookPeople team in attendance, so I think I was the only one vertical at breakfast time.  Thus I was lucky enough to attend the New Author Breakfast and learned about some exciting new talents to watch for.  Here are just a few names and titles:

  • Matthew Betley – Over Watch:  Former Marine officer Betley introduces unyielding Marine Logan West in this action-packed, globe-trotting, edge-of-your-seat debut thriller.
  • Susan Alice Bickford – A Short Time to Die:  Two women from opposite sides of the country find their lives inextricably bound by a murderous quest for revenge. A Short Time to Die comes out this upcoming January!
  • Grant Bywaters – The Red Storm:  Winner of the Minotaur Books/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Private Eye Novel Competition introducing a black ex-boxer PI working in 1930’s New Orleans.
  • Ross Carley – Dead Drive:  Set in Indianapolis, this well-crafted mystery showcases protagonist Wolf Ruger, a single Iraqi vet, investigating foul play in the high- technology industry. 
  • Dana Chamblee Carpenter – Bohemian Gospel:  Set against the historical reign of the Golden and Iron King, this riveting debut follows an unusual girl’s quest to discover her past and define her destiny.
  • Bruce Robert Coffin – Among the Shadows:  With the last name “Coffin,” Bruce was destined to draw on his many years of law enforcement experience to write this first installment in the John Byron mystery series.

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500,000 Bikers and one Sheriff: MysteryPeople Q&A with Craig Johnson

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Our Pick Of The Month is Crag Johnson’s latest, An Obvious Fact, one of the best to date in his sheriff Walt Longmire series. The Wyoming sheriff, his Cheyenne buddy, and his foul mouthed deputy (and sometimes love interest) from Philly have to solve a mystery during The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in a small town with connections to a woman from Henry’s past.

Craig will be with us on Tuesday, September 13th, at 7 PM, the same day as the book’s release, so come by BookPeople for a chance to be one of the first to get a signed copy! To get everyone excited for Craig’s visit, we got in a few questions in early to one of our favorite authors.

MysteryPeople Scott: I saw this book as your acoustic set, stripping the series down to its three main characters and solving the mystery with little of the drama that has been building in the series. Was this an intentional shift?

Craig Johnson: Well, I try and do something different with each book and I think the stripping down was a result of that, but the drama in the characters lives is always going to be subjugated by the action and pace of the plot. Strangely enough, this may be the funniest and best- paced novel I’ve written–I wish I knew why.

MPS: There is a lot of focus on Walt and Henry’s friendship. What do they provide each other, aside from back up?

CJ: It’s the backbone of the series ever since The Cold Dish when I had to have two individuals who represented their different cultures. I think the bond and most important the easy banter between the two characters is what I enjoy the most. This was a departure in the sense that we learn a little more about Henry’s personal past and that provides a few conflicts between the two men, but even with all the hurdles they face, there’s a camaraderie and a true friendship that never fails.

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Three Picks for September

Only the Hunted Run by Neely Tucker9780525429425

D.C. reporter Sully Carter is back, caught in the middle of a mass shooting at the capitol that ends with the murder of an Oklahoma congressman. When the captured killer forms a bond with Sully, Carter becomes embroiled in a whydunnit involving identity, madness, and those ignored by society. This series gets better and deeper with each book. You can find copies of Only the Hunted Run on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

9780399171437


Robert B Parker’s Debt To Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman

When a psychotic hitman returns to Jesse stone’s life, looking for revenge, the Paradise police chief has to go to Dallas to protect his ex wife from him. Coleman uses a simple, suspenseful plot to as a sturdy narrative line to hold some messy, complex emotions to light in this game changer for the series. Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay comes out Tuesday, September 13th. Pre-order now!

9780062369857


What Remains Of Me by Alison Gaylin

One of my favorite thrillers so far in 2016 is already out in paperback. Gaylin examines celebrity and crimes in the spotlight, looking at murders in two different decades and families connected by the woman accused of both. A deep, dark, psychological tale that keeps twisting until the final sentence. What Remains of Me comes out in paperback Tuesday, September 27th. Pre-order now!

Three Picks for August

 

  • Post by Scott Montgomery

August brings us new works from favorite authors, new explorations of old cities, and new variations on old themes for a set of books that do justice to the classics while forging their own path.

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The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy

After almost a decade, The Monkeewrench crew is back! Here, they put their skills to use with a mystery that goes back to the cold war. The mother-daughter team of P.J. Tracy are masters of mixing humor and vivid characters into their suspense. The Sixth Idea comes out today! You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

9781617752988


St. Louis Noir edited by Scott Phillips

Finally Akashic looks to the city with the highest U.S. crime rate. Scott Phillips has assembled a talented group to explore the race, class, and social divisions of this decaying city, providing levity with some dark comic relief. St. Louis Noir comes out today! You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

9781943818006


Rough Trade by Todd Robinson

Robinson’s follow-up to Hard Bounce has his bouncers Boo and Junior pinned for the murder of a man they playing a hand in beating up. Using a touch of humor and humanity, Todd Robinson proves he is one of the masters of modern tough-guy fiction. Rough Trade comes out August 9th. Pre-order today! 

MysteryPeople Q&A with Amy Gentry

 

  • Interview by Molly Odintz

 

 

Come by BookPeople Thursday, July 28th, at 7 PM, for Amy Gentry’s official launch of her debut thriller, Good as Gone. Gentry is a journalist, novelist and long-time Austinite. Her debut follows a family as they are reunited with their long-lost daughter, kidnapped at a young age. Happy to have their daughter returned, yet skeptical of her story, they try to form new bonds, heal old wounds and unearth painful truths.

Molly Odintz: Your story, to me, was reminiscent of the story of the changeling – did you set out to play with fairy-tale archetypes?

Amy Gentry: I didn’t set out thinking specifically about fairy tales, although in an early draft I did have a scene of the mom Anna, who is a professor, teaching the Keats’s poem “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” not fairy tale exactly, but Arthurian legend type stuff. In the poem, a mysterious woman seduces knights and then disappears, leaving them to wander around looking for her for the rest of their lives. Keats is a great source for vanished ladies; I also thought about using “The Eve of St. Agnes.” I took all those scenes out because they were terrible, but they helped me think through some things. Princesses also kept popping up, especially the Frances Hodgson Burnett story The Little Princess, which I’ve always been obsessed with. Princess stories are often lost daughter stories.

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Three Picks for May

9780735220898The Highwayman by Craig Johnson

This novella featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire is as much ghost story as mystery. Walt and buddy Henry Standing Bear help out a Highway Patrolman who is receiving “officer needs assistance” calls from a trooper who died over thirty years ago. Johnson takes a unique riff on his entertaining series. The Highwayman comes out May 17th. Pre-order now!

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Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn by Ace Atkins

Boston private eye Spenser is back and up against an uncommon enemy. Looking into the fire of a church, he closes on a group of arsonists with a mysterious agenda. Once again, Atkins delivers everything you expect from Robert B Parker’s hero. You can find copies of Slow Burn on our shelves and  via bookpeople.com

9780802313607


St. Ernan’s Blues by Paul Charles

Irish Inspector Starrett and his colleagues must solve a murder with the most unusual suspects, priests in an Abbey where they have all been moved to for causing problems with The Church. A fun take on the classic whodunnit. You can meet Paul Charles with the authors who make up Miles Arceneux on May 11th. You can find copies of St. Ernan’s Blues on our shelves and via bookpeople.comFind out more about this event

Get to Know a Series: Joe R. Lansdale and the Origins of Hap and Leonard

Joe R. Lansdale will be reading from his latest and signing selections from his substantial oevre at MysteryPeople’s upcoming Noir at the Bar event. Noir at the Bar meets at Opal Divine’s at Penn Field and gets started at 7 PM. Lansdale’s latest novel, Honky Tonk Samuraiis our MysteryPeople pick of the month for February. In honor of this momentous occasion, here’s a look back at the origins of Hap and Leonard…

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Joe Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard series is going strong and only getting stronger. Not only is there a new novel, Honky Tonk Samurai, there will soon be a collection of the short stories and novellas, a TV show debuting on the Sundance Channel March 2nd, and even a graphic novel. The lethal East Texas ex-hippie Hap and his even more formidable gay, black, Republican friend and partner-in-crime Leonard have entertained readers for a quarter of a century. The Lone Ranger & Tonto, Batman & Robin, and Wyatt Earp & Doc Holiday have nothing on them.

“The wildness and menacing nature of Lansdale’s villains plays to the core theme of the books: friendship. Hap and Leonard have a bond that neither danger nor darkness can break. It transcends race, politics, and sexuality. One reason the books have continued is that they tap into the reader’s wish for a friendship that can endure anything, especially time.”

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MysteryPeople Q&A with Joe R. Lansdale

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Honky Tonk Samurai heralds the return of Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard and all their friends. The redneck liberal and his gay, black, Republican buddy are now private eyes with a case involving used cars, prostitutes, bikers, and a clan of inbred psycho-assassins.

Joe will be reading from his latest and signing his substantial oeuvre at our Noir At The Bar on February 16th. Noir at the Bar meets at Opal Divine’s at Penn Field and starts at 7 PM. Joe R. Lansdale will be joined by authors George Wier, Jesse Sublett, and John Schulian.  Joe was kind enough to take a few questions from us.

MysteryPeople Scott: Other than the upcoming show on Sundance, what made you think this was a good time to return to Hap & Leonard?

Joe R. Lansdale: Hap and Leonard have been dormant for four years and it was time. The show encouraged the move, but was itching to do it anyway. Tachyon Press also has a short story and novella collection coming out titled Hap and Leonard. A graphic novel of Savage Season is in the works.

MPS: This book felt like old home week, practically every character we’ve gotten to know through the series makes and an appearance and you even pull characters from your other books, like Booger. What prompted you to catch up with everybody?

JRL: I felt since it had been awhile it was time to get the gang together. A kind of reunion novel. I wanted to define some of the characters in the Hap and Leonard universe and see how they interacted.

MPS: Like any good series that has been around awhile, you’re starting to deal with Hap and Leonard’s mortality. What have you enjoyed exploring about that?

JRL: It’s merely what we all think about as we age, but frankly that has always been a theme. I don’t age my characters as fast as I age. Leaving them about 50, but mortality is something I’ve been aware since a young age. It’s awareness is part of my drive.

MPS: This book, especially near the end when Hap and Leonard round up their allies that had a western feel to it. That’s been a genre you’ve be drawing from or down right diving into. What is it about that genre that you like to work with as a writer?

JRL: I grew up with western movies and tales about the old west, but read few westerns until I was in my twenties. I took to them like a duck to water. I think my finest two books are Westerns. The Thicket and Paradise Sky.

MPS: After all these years, what makes Hap and Leonard always worth coming back to?

JRL: I think of them as holidays, but they are also my favorites of all the characters I’ve created. They are so much me and my background, Hap in particular.

You can find copies of Honky Tonk Samurai on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Come by Opal Divine’s at Penn Field on Tuesday, February 16th for an evening of booze, books, murder ballads from Jesse Sublett, and readings from Joe R. Lansdale, John Schulian, George Wier, and Jesse Sublett. The event starts at 7 PM. 

Three Picks for February

  • Picks from Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

9780316403191


Canary by Duane Swierczynski

One of my Top 10 of 2015 is now in paperback. A college student is forced to become an informant for an ambitious narcotics cop. To escape she sets up a plan to play the police and dealers off of one another. A tight, human thriller that gives an interesting look at the war on drugs. You can find copies of Canary on our shelves or via bookpeople.com


9780062369857What Remains Of Me by Alison Gaylin

When the a celebrity murderess’ movie star father-in-law is found shot five years after her release, past and present smack into one another. A rich psychological thriller that looks into adolescence, privilege, and the media. Great for Megan Abbott fans. What Remains of Me comes out Tuesday, February 23rd. Pre-order now!


9781459806771Love and Fear by Reed Farrel Coleman

Coleman brings back little person PI Gulliver Dowd for what may be his last book. This time he is asked to look for a missing mob boss’ daughter, finding a history of betrayal and heartbreak. One of the most underrated series in detective fiction. Love and Fear comes out Tuesday, February 9th. Pre-order now!

Rainy Day Reads: The Murder in the Afternoon Book Club takes on Tartan Noir

  • Post by Molly Odintz

Please join us Tuesday, January 19th, at 2 PM as we discuss Knots and Crosses, by Ian Rankin. Ian Rankin will be speaking and signing his latest Rebus novel, Even Dogs in the Wild, on Sunday, January 31st, at 3 PM. All BookPeople events are free and open to the public. Pre-order a signed copy!

9780312536923Like many novels considered noir, Ian Rankin’s first Rebus novelKnots and Crosses, falls comfortably into the descriptive category of “starts bad, gets worse.” As the novel opens, Inspector John Rebus is divorced, ambiguously religious, living in Scotland, and still traumatized by his experiences training for special forces twenty years before.

Amidst a cloud of cigarette smoke and brooding, he works to solve a series of murders, each victim the same age and description as his own 12-year-old daughter, Samantha. Meanwhile, threatening notes arrive at the inspector’s door, referencing a betrayal clouded by Rebus’ significant memory gaps. As he fights to find the serial killer, John begins to suspect the carefully conducted crimes contain a message for Rebus himself.

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