3 Picks for November

Crime Fiction Coordinator, Scott Montgomery, has your November Mystery Syllabus ready — three reads that are sure to thrill you as the days get colder!

9781250317926_91e7cMurder Off The Page by Con Lehane

Raymond Ambler, the crime fiction curator for the New York Public Library, gets pulled into another mystery when bartender McNulty becomes a murder suspect.

It becomes even more sordid when the victim is discovered to have had a double life. Con Lehane develops a well crafted mystery populated by believable, lived-in characters.

Spenser revisits L.A., tracking a missing starlet with the help of his protege’ Sixkill and a few friends from the past.
Atkins has great fun with the Boston P.I.’s take on La-La Land.

Ace Atkins will be at BookPeople November 18th, 7PM to sign and discuss the novel.

9781785659454_a9d80Killing Quarry by Max Alan Collins

Collins goes back to his hitman Quarry’s past when he discovers someone has put a contract out on him. Teamed with a beautiful and deadly colleague, he tries to turn the tables on him. A fun package of sex, violence, and hard-boiled dialogue delivered in Collin’s well crafted style.

These titles are all available to order now from BookPeople in-store and online at bookpeople.com.

Three Picks for October

Crime Fiction Coordinator, Scott Montgomery, has your required reading for October set with three picks you shouldn’t sleep on.


G. I. Confidential by Martin Limón

Seventies Seoul-stationed CID cops Sueno and Bascome make some new enemies, going after G.I. bank robbers and dealing with a General who has a Colonel Kurtz bent. Limón continues to flesh out his lifers while depicting Korean and army life, along with a slam bang thriller.




9781641290807_0d283 Sarah Jane by James Sallis

This book combines character study, police procedural , and regional novel for this tale of a female deputy in the Ozarks who becomes sheriff when the previous one is murdered. Sallis captures both the voice and heart of a survivor.





9781643960319The Dead Beat Scroll

August Riordan returns to San Fransisco to find his former partner murdered. His search for justice leads to Chinatown gangsters, sugar daddies, and scroll manuscript of Kerouac. A fun traditional P.I. novel that uses its setting for all it’s worth. Mark will be at BookPeople October 28th at 7PM with authors L.A. Chandlar and Heather Harper Ellet.



You can grab copies of all three of Scott’s picks this month in-store and online at BookPeople.

Three Picks for September

9780399574979 Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill by Reed Farrel Coleman

Paradise police chief Jesse Stone takes on a opioid ring while fighting the day to day battle with alcohol. Coleman delivers a strong procedural thriller on a topical subject, hitting all the human notes without sacrificing the entertainment value.




9781947993679_3c3ed Three-Fifths by John Vercher

A young mixed race man, passing for white, in early nineties Philly is confronted with his identity when he witnesses his white supremacist friend commit murder and his black father comes back into his life. Vercher captures the lives and emotions of his working class people in this meditation on race, friendship, and comic books. John Vercher will be joining Jamie Mason on Saturday, September 22nd at 2PM to sign and discuss their books.


9780316479837_7c0c6The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pellecanos

My favorite of 2018 is out in paperback. A young man gets out of jail, trying to get his life together and indulge in his newfound love of reading. When a private detective blackmails him into being a driver for robberies of pimps and dealers, he must navigate his former life of crime and the life he wants. A humanist crime novel that also delves into the pleasure of reading. Our Murder In the Afternoon Book Club will be discussing The Man Who Came Uptown on October 21st at 1PM, with George Pelecanos calling in.

Favorite Hard-Boiled Noir: Remaining Contingent

9781944520687 Tomorrow, Saturday, August 31st at 2PM on BookPeople’s third floor, we will be holding our Tough Guys and Dangerous Dames: A Discussion of Hard-boiled Fiction panel to celebrate twenty years of Stark House publishing and the release of the book, The Best Of Manhunt. Leading up to it this week, we’ve had all the participants list three or five hard-boiled favorites. We’ve heard from Stark House Press’s Jeff Vorzimmer and Rick Ollerman and from Nacogdoches, Texas’ Tim Bryant and Joe R Lansdale. All that is left is modern hard-boiled master Josh Stallings, author of the Moses McGuire series that follows an ex-biker turned bouncer on a war against sex traffickers, and Young Americans, a coming of Age heist tale. Also chiming in with his opinion, crime fiction coordinator Scott Montgomery who will be serving as moderator on the panel.

FINAL Josh’s Picks:

Dancing Bear by James Crumley

This isn’t country noir, it’s Montanan hard-boiled. It combines flavors of Raymond Chandler and Hunter S. Thompson with a poetry that is Crumley’s own. It also has my favorite last line, “I have learned some things. Modern life is warfare without end: take no prisoners, leave no wounded, eat the dead–that’s environmentally sound.”

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Chandler writes like a drunken angel. I was 16 when this book started my lifelong love of hard-boiled fiction. Detective Philip Marlowe is a deeply flawed man fighting to do the best he can. Corruption, blackmail, dangerous dames, it is both of it’s time, and frighteningly timeless.

Already Dead by Charlie Huston

In the underbelly of New York lives a dark and dangerous world of blood suckers. Joe Pitt is a hard-boiled, vampire detective fighting to keep the world from falling into chaos. It is funny but never crosses into silliness. It is serious as dynamite, violent and brilliant. Huston creates characters worth giving a damn about.

Scott’s Picks:

The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett

Hammett may have not invented the hard-boiled story, but he made it into something worth pursuing for authors. Often considered his most personal book, the story follows the right hand man of a political boss, trying to solve a murder that could ruin his boss while falling for his boss’s woman. Hammett delivers a cynical tale featuring a tarnished hero with a code and a strong male friendship at it’s center. A huge influence on The Coen Brother’s Millers Crossing.

Blue City by Ross Macdonald

Before his sensitive PI Lew Archer, Macdonald wrote this tough as nails postwar tale (originally under his real name Kenneth Millar) about a soldier who returns home to find his father, the town fixer, murdered and few, including the sheriff and his step-mother, giving a damn. He hunts down those responsible with the help of a sex worker and leftist bookstore owner. You know it’s a hard-boiled novel when the hero’s name is Johnny Weather.

The Outfit by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake)

I had to include a book about professional robber Parker and this heist novel with about a half dozen heists. To bring things to a head with the organized crime outfit he’s been at war with, Parker goes on a crime spree and tells his peers if they know of an outfit place to rob do it, it will be pinned on him. Westlake wrote the Parker books with a precision that created diamond hard books with no fat.

Unknown Man #89 by Elmore Leonard

One Leonard’s early and grittier Detroit-based novels about a process server with a reputation of tracking down anyone, is hired to locate a man for a sleazy guy who deals in stocks. Others are also on the hunt with deadly aim. Great examples of Leonard’s sense of character and dialogue in a darker story than he was later known for.

Two Bear Mambo by Joe R. Lansdale

Also had to have a Hap and Leonard. This one has the boys going into a racist town to find out what happened to Hap’s ex, a lawyer working on a case.  Funny, with great action and a great male friendship at it’s center, this and the other books in the series show how an author takes his or her influences and makes them his own.

Don’t forget about our hard-boiled mystery fiction panel happening on BookPeople’s third floor this Saturday, August 31st at 2PM featuring a bevy of Crime fiction’s best.

3 Picks for August, Stark House Style

With us celebrating Stark Houses twenty years this month, we decided to draw attention to the three books they all have coming out in August. All have the stamp of fifties hard boiled crime and noir told with style and raw emotion. Take on any of these three if your tough enough.

9781944520816Stool Pigeon by Louis Malloy

An angsty, gritty tale of  a Little Italy cop obsessed with nailing the the gangster he grew up with. His quest risks both his life and morality. Louis blends the story’s dense emotions and New York street life into an entertaining cop tale. How this didn’t get turned into a film with Rod Stieger, Lee J. Cobb, or Brando, I don’t know.





9781944520755Tall Dark And Dead by Kermit Jaedecker/ The Savage Chase by Frederick Lorenz/ Run The Wild River by D.L. Champion

Three books from Lion Books, right next to gold medal when it came to producing great fifties crime fiction. Whether the New York private eye yarn, a funny take on a missing gambler and the hustlers on the look out to use him, or the rise and fall of a border vice lord, these stories move fast and take no prisoners, embracing their quirks. Reading all three is like getting into a fiction propelled time machine.



9781944520779Death Is A Private Eye: The Uncollected Stories Of Gil Brewer edited by David Rachels

Gil Brewer delivered believable menace with a muscular yet lean prose style that followed lower middle class types driven by lust or greed, and often both to their dark fates. Here Rachels unearths a treasure of his writing, mainly from the seventies, seeing light for the first time.


This month all three book are from authors who will be stopping by.

Never Look Back: A Novel Cover ImageNever Look Back by Alison Gaylin

Gaylin’s latest psychological suspense novel ties a podcaster and film columnist whose families were both affected by two young thrill killers in 1976. Gaylin’s clean style allows her to put the reader on less than solid footing as the story bobs and weaves, with protagonists trading positions, toward one hell of an ending. Alison Gaylin will be at BookPeople July 15th to sign and discuss the book.


This Side of Night Cover ImageThis Side of Night by J. Todd Scott

Scott teams up sheriff Chris Cherry and DEA Joe Garrison again when violence from a vicious drug cartel spills over to this side of the border. Scott uses the Texas local, well defined characters, and some fantastic action sequences  to deliver a gritty crime novel that is both epic and intimate. J. Todd Scott will be at BookPeople July 18th to sign and discuss the book.


The Best of Manhunt Cover ImageThe Best of Manhunt edited by Jeff Vorzimmer

47 stories from one of the best crime fiction magazines ever. Manhunt published the greats Mickey Spillane, David Goodis, and Even Hunter and gave a start to the likes of  Donald Westlake and Lawrence Block. The collection showcases these writers and many others from the fifties and sixties worth discovering. Editor Jeff Vorzimmer will be joining Rick Ollerman, Jesse Sublett, Josh Stallings, Tim Bryant, and Joe Lansdale for Tough Guys and Dangerous Dames: A Discussion Of Hard Boiled Fiction on BookPeople’s third floor 2PM August 31st.

3 Picks for June

Peccadillo at the Palace: An Annie Oakley Mystery Cover ImagePeccadillo at the Palace

By Kari Bovee:

The second book in The Annie Oakley series focuses on The Buffalo Bill Wild West Show performing in England for The Queen. When one of her majesty’s emissaries is murdered on the voyage over, Annie finds herself dealing with Irish rebels and an assassination plot. Bovee continues to meld historical detail, human behavior and suspense into an entertaining read.


Girl in the Rearview Mirror: A Novel Cover ImageGirl in the Rearview Mirror

By Kelsey Rae Dimberg:

When Finn Hunt, a young woman with a past, finds work as a nanny for a politically connected family in Arizona, she believes she has found solid footing. It all becomes overturned when a mysterious woman approaches Finn to get a message to the father, unraveling everyone’s secrets that lead to deadly consequences. Dimberg uses minute human behavior and the harsh desert light to build mood and suspense that leads to a killer ending.


This Storm: A novel Cover ImageThis Storm

By James Ellroy:

The second book in the Demon Dog Of Crime Fiction’s World War Two Quartet has fascist cop Dudley Smith and his corrupt gang violently careening through L.A. and Mexico in search of killers, fifth columnists, and stolen gold as they smuggle heroin and illegal labor. A stylish, sinful, sexy as hell read that will have you questioning whoever’s side you take.