Suspense

2022 Left Coast Crime Awards (the Lefties)

Left Coast Crime 2022 will present four Lefty Awards at the rescheduled convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Titles must have been published for the first time in the USA or Canada during 2021, in book or ebook format. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
  °  Ellen Byron, Cajun Kiss of Death
  °  Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Cracks the Code
  °  Elle Cosimano, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
  °  Cynthia Kuhn, How To Book a Murder
  °  Raquel V. Reyes, Mango, Mambo, and Murder
  °  Wendall Thomas, Fogged Off

 

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel
(Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970
  °  Susanna Calkins, The Cry of the Hangman
  °  John Copenhaver, The Savage Kind
  °  Naomi Hirahara, Clark and Division
  °  Sujata Massey, The Bombay Prince
  °  Catriona McPherson, The Mirror Dance
  °  Lori Rader-Day, Death at Greenway

 

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel
  °  Alexandra Andrews, Who Is Maud Dixon
  °  Marco Carocari, Blackout
  °  Zakiya Dalila Harris, The Other Black Girl
  °  Mia P. Manansala, Arsenic and Adobo
  °  Wanda M. Morris, All Her Little Secrets

 

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel
  °  Tracy Clark, Runner
  °  S.A. Cosby, Razorblade Tears
  °  Matt Coyle, Last Redemption
  °  William Kent Krueger, Lightning Strike
  °  P.J. Vernon, Bath Haus

 

 

Book List: Author C. Hope Clark

Award winning mystery writer, C. Hope Clark, is the author of three series based in the American South.

 

The Carolina Slade Mysteries introduced me to this always engaging author. You’ll enjoy reading about Carolina Slade, a special projects officer with the US Department of Agriculture, and the well-developed, conniving characters in the books. Set in steamy South Carolina, Clark captures the atmosphere and the landscape so perfectly that you’ll be spooked right along with Slade as she conducts some of her investigations in the deep groves and low country coastline. The relationship between Slade and her love interest, loosely based upon Ms. Clark’s own experiences, adds to the fun of the solid mystery series. Click on the links for the ‘buy’ information and/or to learn more about the books.

 

 

 

Book One: Read review here


Tidewater Murder”  (Book Two)

 

 

 


Book Three: Read review here

 

Newberry Sin”  (Book Four)

Salkehatchie Secret”  (Book Five)

 

The Edisto Island Mysteries take place for the most part on Edisto Island, a real geographical location in South Carolina. Law enforcement officer Callie Jean Morgan is the complex, lead protagonist who becomes the Police Chief of Edisto Beach, while battling inner demons related to her Boston ties.

 

Murder on Edisto”  (Book One)

Edisto Jinx”  (Book Two)

 

 

 

 

 

Book Three: Read review here


Edisto Stranger”  (Book Four)

 

 

 

 

Book Five: Read review here

 

Edisto Tidings”  (Book Six)

Reunion on Edisto” (Book Seven)


Never one to rest on her previous successes, Clark recently launched a series featuring a new protagonist, Quinn Sterling, a private detective in the Carolina low country. The first two titles, “Murder in Craven,” and “Burned in Craven,” are out now. Click on the titles for more information.

 

In the meantime, please visit https://chopeclark.com/ for more information about Clark’s books and public events.

*Banner and head shot courtesy of C. Hope Clark.

 

2021 Barnes & Noble Best Genre Books of the Year

I’ve been told that the B&N editorial staff reads a lot of books during the year in various genres, then chooses from among those books to select their favorites of the year. The official quote from Barnes & Noble defines the ‘best books’ lists as stories that stay with us long after we finish them, and the ones we re-read again and again and pass on to friends. I would definitely agree with that definition. See if you agree with their choices in a range of genres and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

“Child of Light” by Terry Brooks

“Leviathan Falls” by James S.A. Corey

“Under the Whispering Door” by T.J. Klune

“A Marvelous Light” by Freya Marske

“The Last Graduate” by Naomi Novik

“ExtraOrdinary” by V.E. Schwab

“Lore Olympus: Volume One”  by Rachel Smythe

“Lesser Evil – Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy” by Timothy Zahn

 

Mystery/Thrillers

“While Justice Sleeps” by Stacey Abrams

“The Heron’s Cry” by Ann Cleeves

“Mrs. March” by Virginia Feito

“Clark and Division” by Naomi Hirahara

“The Guilt Trip” by Sandie Jones

“Silverview” by John Le Carre

“The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides

“The Man Who Died Twice” by Richard Osman

“The Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny

“False Witness” by Karin Slaughter

 

Best YA

“Ace of Spades” by Faridah Abike-lyimide

“Realm Breaker” by Victoria Aveyard

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley

“Lore” by Alexandra Bracken

“Blackout” by Dhonielle Clayton

“Small Favors” by Erin A. Craig

“Once Upon A Broken Heart” by Stephanie Garber

“Defy the Night” by Brigid Kemmerer

“The Lake” by Natasha Preston

“Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World” by Benjamin Alire Saenz

 

 Best Fiction

“Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr

“The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich

“The Paper Palace” by Miranda Cowley Heller

“Greek Myths: A New Retelling” by Charlotte Higgins

“Fault Lines” by Emily Itami

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner

“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers

“Beautiful World, Where Are You?” by Sally Rooney

“The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

“Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead

 

Best Romance

“While We Were Dating” by Jasmine Guillory

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

“Fifty Shades Freed” by E. L. James

“The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren

“It’s Better This Way” by Debbie Macomber

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

“The Lady Has A Past” by Amanda Quick

“Neon Gods” by Katee Robert

“Legacy” by Nora Roberts

“Lover Unveiled” by J.R. Ward

 

Best Cookbooks

“Death & Co: Welcome Home” by Alex Day

“Pizza Czar” by Anthony Falco

“Nadiya Bakes” by Nadiya Hussain

“Mother Grains” by Roxana Jullapat

“Maman: the Cookbook” by Elisa Marshall

“Burnt Toast and Other Disasters” by Cal Peternell

“Vegetable Simple” by Eric Ripert

“Rodney’s World of BBQ” by Rodney Scott

“Cook Real Hawai’I” by Sheldon Simeon

“The Japanese Art of the Cocktail” by Masahiro Urushido

 

Nancy G. West’s “The Plunge” – Guest Review by Kathy Waller

Guest Reviewer, Kathy Waller, joined us from Texas while she recovered from total knee replacement surgery. Coincidentally to the surgery she had won a copy of Nancy G. West’s book, “The Plunge,” in a Nightstand Book Reviews drawing and had then reviewed it on her own blog. I asked if she would honor us with her review, she agreed, and here it is, including her humorous take on her surgery and recovery.

 

“I had a total knee replacement two days ago. It isn’t as much fun as it sounds.

 

Lying in bed at Ascension Seton is delightful. Nurses are wonderful. The cafeteria is too good for my good.

 

But physical therapists won’t leave me alone. They keep showing up and wanting me to get out of bed and walk.

 

The one who came in the morning after surgery asked if I was ready to get up and move. I said I never wanted to get up and move again. That was the wrong answer.

 

The afternoon PT had me walk halfway to El Paso. And back. He taught me–or tried to teach–me to use the two-wheeled walker (as opposed to the four-wheeler I’ve been using). (In British literature, two-wheeled walkers are referred to by the brand name, Zimmer frames. The phrase sounds so sophisticated that I may adopt it.)

 

This morning I walked to Santa Fe. The pain people had awakened me at eight and I said I had no pain. After the walk, I told the nurse to tell them I’d changed my mind. She gave me something to go with the something I’d already had. They’re free with the pain meds, which I appreciate.

 

I hope to go to inpatient rehab. Doctors are on board. I’m convinced going straight home would be a recipe for a fall, considering I have to have someone with me every time I stand and walk. And for transport home, they’ll have to tie me to the top of the car. The knee bends a bit but on a good day it doesn’t like to get in and out of the car.

 

But enough of my griping. I’m fine.

 

Because I have a killer painkiller–a new book. A book book, paper and everything.

 

I won it in a drawing from Nightstand Book Reviews.

 

Nightstand Book Reviews is, in its own words, a site devoted to reviews of books that are great reads. Under this umbrella are books written by bestselling authors as well as by debut novelists in both ebook and paper format. Some are traditionally published authors and some are indies.

 

It’s for recommendations, not rants.

Now to my new book. It’s The Plunge by Nancy G. West, author of the
Aggie Mundeen mysteries. Aggie and her good (very good) friend, Sam
Vanderhoven, live in San Antonio, where Sam is a detective with the police
force. Aggie’s penchant for helping Sam with his cases sometimes gets in his
way–at least he thinks so–but that doesn’t discourage Aggie. She’s willing to stay out of his business, but when she thinks she can help . . . and she’s impulsive . . . and when she has the opportunity to check out a new acquaintance’s medicine cabinet . . . impulsive or not, she’s a pretty good amateur detective.

 

The Plunge takes Aggie in a new direction–away from San Antonio, east about thirty miles to the Guadalupe River in Central Texas. When the Guadalupe floods, the effects can be disastrous, especially for people living nearby. And when there’s so much rain that surrounding creeks, and sometimes even the San Antonio River, overflow, results are devastating for miles around. That happened in 1998.

It’s in October of 1998 that Aggie and Sam plan a getaway at the home of Sam’s friend on Lake Placid, one of the river’s several lakes, ostensibly for pleasure but really so Sam can quietly investigate the disappearance of his friend’s boat. Even a little rain won’t ruin the retreat. But the pleasure weekend quickly turns into a rapid–critical–evacuation. Sam has left Aggie at the cottage to start his investigation and must reach her before the water does. Car motors stall, and at one time Aggie is looking for trees to climb.

 

Complicating things is that while on the water, in the dark, they see something–a drowning? Or a murder? Now there’s more than a missing boat to investigate.

 

As they say in fourth-grade book reports, if you want to know how the story ends, you’ll have to read the book. It’s a good one.

 

The Plunge touches me personally because I drove across the Guadalupe River near Lake Placid nearly every working day for twenty-eight years. I worked with people who lost everything, one whose house floated off its foundation. Another, who lived west near San Antonio, watched a car almost wash away on Interstate 10; her son raced to pull it out with a tractor, and the tractor floated. Even where I lived, thirty miles east of the Guadalupe on a smaller, quieter river, houses flooded, and several people were airlifted out.

 

Using this setting, Nancy G. West combines a first-rate mystery with the urgency and personal toll of the ’98 flood. The Plunge makes for a suspenseful read.

 

 

Please visit Kathy Waller at https://kathywaller1.com/ where she “tells the truth, mainly,” and shares information about her own writing life and her award winning books.

Many thanks to Kathy for sharing her review and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

 

 

Book List: Author Craig Johnson

Craig Allen Johnson’s writing career has centered around his iconic lead character, Walt Longmire, a modern American sheriff from Wyoming. What makes Sheriff Walt Longmire so immediately likable? Middle-aged, experienced at his job, widower of a woman he loved more than life itself, an attorney daughter of whom he is so very proud, and a Cheyenne best friend/sidekick whom he has known since childhood. Longmire mostly follows the rules, but when justice is in question, the rules are sometimes open to interpretation.

 

The stories are full of wonderful dialogue, intriguing mysteries, life and death situations, and a core set of characters with whom you’d like to spend as much time as possible. Johnson’s obvious love of the wide-open spaces of Wyoming spills onto the pages when the landscape becomes a character, as suddenly dangerous as any killer could be or as mesmerizing as a beautiful painting.


Read the first in the series, “The Cold Dish,” and you’ll want to follow this lawman throughout the rugged Wyoming hills.
Here is the list of the Longmire books, in order of publication.

 

“The Cold Dish”  review here

“Death Without Company”

“Kindness Goes Unpunished” review here

 “Another Man’s Moccasins”

“The Dark Horse”

“Junkyard Dogs”

“Hell Is Empty”

“As the Crow Flies”

“A Serpent’s Tooth”

“Any Other Name”

“Dry Bones”  review here

“An Obvious Fact”

“The Western Star”

“Depth of Winter”

“Land of Wolves”

“Next to Last Stand”

“Daughter of the Morning Star”

Please visit https://www.craigallenjohnson.com for the ‘buy’ links for each of the books and to see the list of novellas that fill the gaps between the novels. Discover what he is doing virtually and in a few months, in person. There is a goodies store on the site, as well as a portal for ordering the DVDs from the TV series. Enjoy!

 

 

*Photos of Craig Johnson taken at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh, NC, by Patti Phillips.

 

Book List: Fiona Quinn

 

Fiona Quinn writes “smart, sexy suspense with a psychic twist.” The series that started her path to becoming a USA Today bestselling author, the Lynx Series, is centered around a character that her readers love. Click on the titles in Fiona Quinn’s Book List to find out more about each of them.

In the Lynx Series, Lexi Sobado protects the greater good through her finely tuned psychic awareness and the expert operators charged with protecting her.

 

 

Weakest Lynx”  read my review here, one of the NBR ‘beach read’ choices that year.

Missing Lynx

Chain Lynx

 

 

 

Cuff Lynx”  read my review here.

Gulf Lynx

Hyper Lynx

 

The FBI Joint Task Force Series Iniquus, the ex-special forces teams that Lexi works with, partners with an FBI Joint Task Force. Pulse pounding series.

Open Secret

Cold Red

Even Odds

 

Panther Forcefocuses on international action adventures. So much fun!

Wasp

 

 

 

 

 

Relic”   read my review here.

Deadlock

Thorn

Strike Forcethe members of the Iniquus strike force are highlighted in each book. With psychic suspense, romance, murder, and mystery woven into each, Quinn’s fans have loved the guys tasked to discover the truth behind various operations.
In Too Deep

Jack Be Quick

Instigator

 

Delta Force Echo Series – The guys of Iniquus star in Action Adventure Romance.
Danger Signs

Danger Zone

Danger Close

 

Cerberus Tactical K9the K9s steal the show in the Iniquus K9 romantic suspense mystery thrillers.
Survival Instinct

Protective Instinct

Defender’s Instinct

 

The Kate Hamilton Novella SeriesA former science teacher from Boston goes to Virginia to hide out, but finds that danger follows her even to the small town where she grew up. Excellent novella series.  🙂

Mine

Yours

 “Ours” 

 

Fiona Quinn (as Lexi Sobado) has also been a Visiting Detective at Kerrian’s Notebook. Click on the links to take you to the individual posts.

Read “Visiting Detective Lexi Sobado

and “Everyday Carry (EDC) for Police,” one of KN’s most popular Visiting Detective pieces.

 

If you like strong women with unusual talent, danger, a bit of romance, and lots of action, check out Fiona Quinn’s always entertaining books.

 

 

 

Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year 2021 – McIlvanney Prize

Bloody Scotland Debut Prize for Crime Novel of the Year:

In 2019, Bloody Scotland introduced a new prize, the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. To qualify for the award, the book must either be written by an author that was born or lives there, or is set in Scotland. The winner is awarded a cheque of £500 and a trophy sponsored by Glencairn Glass.

Introducing this year’s exciting finalists, with the winner indicated in red:

The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie

No Harm Done by Alistair Liddle

Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison

Waking the Tiger by Mark Wightman

 

The McIlvanney Prize is Bloody Scotland’s annual prize awarded to the Best Scottish Crime Book of the Year. As with the Debut novel award, authors must either be born or have lived in Scotland, and their book must be set in Scotland. The winner of The McIlvanney Prize will receive £1,000 and a Glencairn trophy.

Here are the finalists, with the winner indicated in red:

The Silent Daughter, Emma Christie

The Coffinmaker’s Garden, Stuart MacBride

Edge of the Grave, Robbie Morrison

The April Dead, Alan Parks

Hyde, Craig Russell

Congratulations to all!

 

 

 

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