Scott’s Top Five Debuts of 2016

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

What surprised me this year was the variety of genres in which new talented authors popped up – from hard boiled, to historical, to rural. I usually want authors to take their time, but I really hope to see a follow up from everybody on this list by the end of 2017.

97803162641741. The Second Girl by David Swinson

A former D.C. cop turned private investigator and junkie inadvertently saves a girl while searching for a fix. Soon he is hired to find another girl who disappeared under similar circumstances. As the clock runs out, he battles the need for a fix, while trying find her. A streetwise and human PI novel. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

97801431287172. Speakers Of the Dead by J. Aaron Sanders

In 1840s New York, a young reporter, Walt Whitman, attempts to clear the name of a friend hung for a crime she didn’t commit. His search leads to a grave robbing ring, politics, religion, and Edgar Allen Poe. A ripping historical yarn yarn that fully uses time and place. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

97803991672633. Out Of The Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce

Newly minted Atlanta police detective Sarah Alt (aka Salt) catches a cold case involving the death of a bluesman. Her investigation involves a point in her city where race, politics, religion, and art meet in this involving procedure that any fan of Michael Connell’s harry Bosch should respect. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

4. Graveyard Of The Gods by Richard Newman9781943075201

A farmer makes ends meet by tossing his criminal war buddy’s murder victims to his hogs. When he recognizes one of the bodies he goes to a dirty little town for answers. Newman takes the structure and tightness of a paperback crime story and uses it as a elegy for a dying Midwest. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

97812500502295. The More They Disappear by Jesse Donaldson

A rural noir why-dunnit using a Kentucky town at the beginning of the Oxycontin crisis. As the interim sheriff looks into who killed his predecessor and the woman who did finds everything closing in on her, we see the the moral rot of small town America. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

If you like Michael Connelly…

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Michael Connelly is the current king of the police procedural. His dogged and damaged Detective Harry Bosch is a character we not only root for, but care for. Here are books with several protagonists in that mold.

9780399167263Out Of The Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce

Boyce, a former Atlanta police officer herself, has her newly minted APD detective Sarah Alt, aka Salt, catch a cold case of a blues musician’s murder. She ends up unraveling a part of the city’s shadow history where race, religion, politics, and music all meet. A great example of a protagonist interacting with her environment.  You can find copies of Out of the Blues on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

9781455527410The Abbey by Chris Culver

Ash Rashad, a Muslim cop in Indianapolis, learns the body of his niece was found in a rich man’s apartment and written off as an overdose. Compromising his job and faith, his investigation leads to many of the city’s power players and one mysterious club. An intriguing hero melded with a great plot. You can find copies of The Abbey on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

9780399173035Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

The first in what I hope will be a long series featuring Gus Murphy, a former Suffolk County cop licking the wounds life gave him as he works as a courtesy van driver for a hotel. When asked by a petty criminal he used to arrest to look into the murder of his son, not only has to put his life on the line, he is confronted with who he has become. Looking forward to where this character is going. You can find copies of Where It Hurts on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

MysteryPeople Q&A with Trudy Nan Boyce

  • Interview conducted via email by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

We are happy to be hosting Trudy Nan Boyce along with Minerva Koenig for our New Hard-boiled Voices panel this Friday, February 26th, at 7 PM. Miss Boyce’s debut novel, Out Of The Blues, follows newly minted Atlanta homicide detective Sarah Alt (nicknamed Salt) as she stumbles into a cold case that unlocks secrets involving race and city politics. We asked Miss Boyce a few questions about the book and how her dual professions of police officer and psychologist shaped it.


MysteryPeople Scott: Atlanta plays like a fascinating character itself. What did you want to explore about the city?

Trudy Nan Boyce: Atlanta is my home. I’ve lived here for more than fifty years. I went to undergrad and grad school at the downtown university. I policed the city for more than thirty years. And I’ve lived in my downtown neighborhood for at least thirty years. And I continue to be delighted by Atlanta, its sweet and tragic mysteries seem endless. It is a city without geographic gifts; no bays or oceans, no mountains, no river flows through it. It is a city built at a crossroads, built around the intersections of railroads which were built primarily by black people, slaves and those conscripted though the “justice system.” The more I learn about Atlanta the more I realize that as a white person much of the history and culture of the city has remained segregated. Atlanta is soulful and exemplifies much about the racial divide in the United States. Most white people have no idea about the importance of the blues to our culture. Atlanta was and is a crossroads for the blues and our nation.

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MysteryPeople Q&A with Minerva Koenig

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Minerva Koenig will be speaking and signing her second Julia Kalas book, South of Nowhere, on Friday, February 26th, at 7 PM. She is joined by Trudy Nan Boyce, speaking and signing her debut, Out of the Blues. You can find copies of Koenig’s latest on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.  

With her second Julia Kalas book, South Of Nowhere, the short, round, and tough heroine finds herself with a body in a barn she’s converting, her boyfriend stuck in Cuba, and a wild adventure south of the border. We caught up with her to ask her a few questions about the book.

MysteryPeople Scott: How do you think Julia has changed in your mind since Nine Days?

Minerva Koenig: If you mean how has she changed from my first book to the 2nd, I would say that she’s become more cautious. My intent was always to have my sleuth start out very ballsy and brash, and develop into someone softer as she matures throughout the series ~ she gets some hard edges knocked off in South of Nowhere, and I intend to continue that trend. Which is not to say that she’s going to turn into Miss Marple. I want to create a character who is tough in an unusual way ~ she can do the hard thing when necessary, but it costs her, and it makes her a wiser and more compassionate human being in the process.

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2016 Preview: Back to Back Events!

  • Post by Molly Odintz

As we wait patiently for the wild mood swings of a Texas winter to die down, we’ve got plenty of events coming up to strike a mystery lover’s fancy – no matter the weather outside. Jeff Abbott ushered in our 2016 events this past Tuesday, speaking and signing his latest thriller, The First Order.

Coming up at the end of the month, Reed Farrel Coleman, a long-time favorite, comes to visit with two new books: Robert B. Parker’s The Devil Wins,  a Jesse Stone novel, and Where It Hurtsthe first in a new series and our Pick of the Month for January. He’ll be here to speak and sign his latest on Saturday, January 30th, at 5 PM.

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