Friday, January 20, 2017

Thank You So Much, Mr. President!



READ MORE:The Most Successful Democrat Since FDR,” by David Leonhardt (The New York Times); “The ‘Most Successful’ Dem President Since FDR Ends on a High Note,” by Steve Benen (The Maddow Blog); “How the Presidency Changed Obama,” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis (The New York Times); “To Obama with Love, and Hate, and Desperation,” by Jeanne Marie Laskas (The New York Times Magazine); “Lessons Taught: Obama’s Legacy as a Historian,” by Jennifer Schuessler (The New York Times); “Pete Souza’s Intimate Portraits of the Barack Obama Years,” by William Boot (The Daily Beast); “Goodbye to All That: What We’ve Learned from Obama’s Presidency,” by Julie Azari (Vox); “The Challenge Posed by Obama’s Calm, Dignified Competency,” by Nancy LeTourneau (Washington Monthly); “The Literary Dividing Line Between Trump and Obama,” by Steve Benen (The Maddow Blog); “Every Book Barack Obama Has Recommended During His Presidency,” by Ruth Kinane (Entertainment Weekly); “Obama to the Press: ‘America Needs You,’” by James Warren (Poynter); “Obama Granted Clemency Unlike Any Other President in History,” by Charlie Smart (FiveThirtyEight); “Obama Has Now Granted 212 Pardons, and More Commutations Than Any President in U.S. History,” by Jen Kirby (New York); “The Time Has Come to Say Goodbye to Obama. ‘Godspeed, Brother. You Did Us Proud,’” by Leonard Pitts Jr. (Miami Herald); “Thanks for Everything, President Obama. We’re Going to Miss You,” by Kevin Drum (Mother Jones); “Saying Goodbye: President Obama, Michelle Obama Thank America in Farewell Posts,” by Matthew Rozsa (Salon).

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rosemary’s Baby Is Gone

This is sad news, indeed. From Variety:
Miguel Ferrer, the character and voice actor who appeared in shows including “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Crossing Jordan,” and films such as “RoboCop” and “Iron Man 3,” died on Thursday of throat cancer. He was 61.

Ferrer was the son of top 1950s singer Rosemary Clooney and actor José Ferrer, and first cousin to George Clooney. He appeared on “NCIS: Los Angeles” for seven seasons. …

Born in Santa Monica, Calif., he started out as a studio musician, touring with his mother and Bing Crosby, and recording with Keith Moon of The Who, before moving into television and film.
Among Ferrer’s other performance credits, Variety lists appearances in the TV shows Bionic Woman, Desperate Housewives, Twin Peaks, and the long-forgotten Shannon’s Deal. It might also have mentioned that he appeared on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Third Rock from the Sun, ER, Miami Vice, T.J. Hooker, and Magnum, P.I.

READ MORE:R.I.P., Miguel Ferrer,” by Ken Levine.

The Choice Is Up to You

In case you haven’t been paying close attention, note that The Rap Sheet has posted its 15 finalists for the title of “Best Crime Fiction Cover of 2016.” Over the last week, two of the nominees—Carl Hiaasen’s Razor Girl and Todd Moss’ Ghosts of Havana—have established early leads, though the British fronts of Thomas Mullen’s Darktown and E.S. Thomson’s Beloved Poison are in hot pursuit. You have until midnight next Wednesday, January 25, to make your own preferences known. What are you waiting for?

Angling for the Edgars

A new year, a new season of awards-giving. On this day, the 208th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the Mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees for its 2017 Edgar Awards. These prizes honor what the MWA says are “the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2016.” Winners will be announced and the awards presented during a banquet in New York City on April 27. Here are all of this year’s contenders:

Best Novel:
The Ex, by Alafair Burke (Harper)
Where It Hurts, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Putnam)
Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye (Putnam)
What Remains of Me, by Alison Gaylin (Morrow)
Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley
(Grand Central)

Best First Novel by an American Author:
Under the Harrow, by Flynn Berry (Penguin)
Dodgers, by Bill Beverly (Crown)
IQ, by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
The Drifter, by Nicholas Petrie (Putnam)
Dancing with the Tiger, by Lili Wright (Marian Wood Book/Putnam)
The Lost Girls, by Heather Young (Morrow)

Best Paperback Original:
Shot in Detroit, by Patricia Abbott (Polis)
Come Twilight, by Tyler Dilts (Thomas & Mercer)
The 7th Canon, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)
Rain Dogs, by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street)
A Brilliant Death, by Robin Yocum (Seventh Street)
Heart of Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)

Best Fact Crime:
Morgue: A Life in Death, by Dr. Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell
(St. Martin’s Press)
The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan, by Laurence Leamer (Morrow)
Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder that Shocked Victorian England, by Paul Thomas Murphy (Pegasus)
While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness, by Eli Sanders (Viking)
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer, by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Press)

Best Critical/Biographical:
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life, by Peter Ackroyd (Nan A. Talese)
Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden Since 1967, by Mitzi M. Brunsdale (McFarland & Company)
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, by Ruth Franklin (Liveright)
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula, by David J. Skal (Liveright)

Best Short Story:
“Oxford Girl,” by Megan Abbott (from Mississippi Noir,
edited by Tom Franklin; Akashic)
“A Paler Shade of Death,” by Laura Benedict (from St. Louis Noir, edited by Scott Phillips; Akashic)
“Autumn at the Automat,” by Lawrence Block (from In Sunlight or in Shadow, edited by Lawrence Block; Pegasus)
“The Music Room” by Stephen King (from In Sunlight or in Shadow)
“The Crawl Space,” by Joyce Carol Oates (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September-October 2016)

Best Juvenile:
Summerlost, by Ally Condie (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
OCDaniel, by Wesley King (Paula Wiseman)
The Bad Kid, by Sarah Lariviere (Simon & Schuster Books for
Young Readers)
Some Kind of Happiness, by Claire Legrand (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Framed! by James Ponti (Aladdin)
Things Too Huge to Fix, by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
(Paula Wiseman)

Best Young Adult:
Three Truths and a Lie, by Brent Hartinger (Simon Pulse)
The Girl I Used to Be, by April Henry (Henry Holt)
Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse (Little, Brown Books for
Young Readers)
My Sister Rosa, by Justine Larbalestier (Soho Teen)
Thieving Weasels, by Billy Taylor (Dial)

Best Television Episode Teleplay:
Episode 1: “From the Ashes of Tragedy,” The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, teleplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (FX Network)
“The Abominable Bride,” Sherlock, teleplay by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)
Episode 1: “Dark Road,” Vera, teleplay by Martha Hillier (Acorn TV)
“A Blade of Grass,” Penny Dreadful, teleplay by John Logan (Showtime)
“Return 0,” Person of Interest, teleplay by Jonathan Nolan and Denise The (CBS/Warner Bros.)
“The Bicameral Mind,” Westworld, teleplay by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (HBO/Warner Bros.)

Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: “The Truth of the Moment,” by E. Gabriel Flores (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2016)

Grand Master: Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart

Raven Award: Dru Ann Love

Ellery Queen Award: Neil Nyren

The Simon & Schuster–Mary Higgins Clark Award:
The Other Sister, by Dianne Dixon (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Quiet Neighbors, by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
Say No More, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)
Blue Moon, by Wendy Corsi Staub (Morrow)
The Shattered Tree, by Charles Todd (Morrow)

While this list doesn’t overlap at all with my own choices for Best Crime Novels of 2016, it just makes clear how wonderfully diverse crime fiction is nowadays. I’m especially pleased to see Patricia Abbott nominated in the Best Paperback Original category, since I thought her first novel, Concrete Angel (2015), should have been a contender last year. Meanwhile, I’m surprised not to see You Will Know Me, by her daughter, Megan Abbott, make the Best Novel cut.

(Hat tip to Shotsmag Confidential.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Revue of Reviewers, 1-17-17

Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases. Click on the individual covers to read more.



Monday, January 16, 2017

Plaudits in Paradise

Organizers of this year’s Left Coast Crime convention (“Honolulu Havoc”) have announced the competing books and authors in four categories of Lefty Awards. LCC 2017 will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, from March 16 to 19, with the Leftys scheduled to be presented on Saturday, March 18. Here are all of the nominees:

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel:
Die Like an Eagle, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Body on the Bayou, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
Fields Where They Lay, by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime)
The CEO Came DOA, by Heather Haven (Wives of Bath Press)
Floodgate, by Johnny Shaw (Thomas & Mercer)
A Disguise to Die For, by Diane Vallere (Berkley Prime Crime)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial), for books covering events before 1960:
Crowned and Dangerous, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley Prime Crime)
A Death Along the River Fleet, by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur)
The Murder of Mary Russell, by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
The Reek of Red Herrings, by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur)
What Gold Buys, by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel:
Cleaning Up Finn, by Sarah M. Chen (All Due Respect)
Terror in Taffeta, by Marla Cooper (Minotaur)
Murder in G Major, by Alexia Gordon (Henery Press)
Decanting a Murder, by Nadine Nettmann (Midnight Ink)
Design for Dying, by Renee Patrick (Forge)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel (not in other categories):
Dark Fissures, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview)
Michelangelo’s Ghost, by Gigi Pandian (Henery Press)
A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake, by Terry Shames
(Seventh Street)
Heart of Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)

Also during March’s Hawaii conference, husband-and-wife authors Faye Kellerman and Jonathan Kellerman will be honored with Left Coast Crime Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Get Riel

The information is received a bit (or more than a bit) tardily, but thanks to Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare, we now know that Danish author Ane Riel won the 2016 Glass Key Award for her second novel, Harpiks. The Glass Key has been given out annually since 1992 by the Scandinavian Crime Society and is named in honor of Dashiell Hammett’s 1931 novel of that same name. Last year’s winner was Thomas Rydahl for The Hermit.

A Web site called Danish Arts reports that the Glass Key jury described Harpiks as “not your typical crime novel … Just look at the first sentence, ’It was dark in the white room, where my father killed grandmother.’” The site goes on to offer this plot synopsis: “Jens Haarder lives an isolated life on a little island. He runs a small carpentry business, and lives with his family in a fragrant pine forest. Haarder’s life doesn’t unfold as planned, though, as loss upon loss gradually breaks him. His mania for collecting becomes increasingly obsessive and grotesque, and his daughter Liv must fervently struggle to free herself from her father’s view of the world. It is a tale of illness and betrayal, as well as loyalty and caring. It is also a small introduction to the pleasures of lying in a coffin.”

Unfortunately, Riel’s book is not yet available in English.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Black Dahlia: Long Legend of a Short Life


Elizabeth Short shown at age 19 in a police photo, taken in 1943 after she was arrested in Santa Barbara, California, for underage drinking—her first time living in Southern California.

She is more recognizable than any of Jack the Ripper’s victims, mostly because she was murdered at a time—after the Second World War, rather than in the late 1880s—when photography was far more advanced, but also because there are shots of what she looked like (smiling, no less) before her days were so cruelly ended. Although there was early gossip about her being in the escort business, it was wrong. Instead, she tried to make ends meet as a waitress, and like so many young women of her era, was said to dream of an acting career. She spent most of her life in Massachusetts (where she was born) or in Florida, and had been making her home in Los Angeles, California, for only about six months prior to her infamous slaying.

She was 22 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, with dark hair, blue eyes, and bad teeth. Her name was Elizabeth Short, but she’s best remembered as “The Black Dahlia.”

It was in the mid-morning of January 15, 1947—70 years ago today—that Betty Bersinger, a resident of the Leimert Park neighborhood, in south L.A., took a stroll outside with her 3-year-old daughter, only to happen across what she at first assumed must be a discarded mannequin tossed into a nearby vacant lot. Instead, it was Short’s corpse, naked and severed in twain at the waist, and drained of blood. The murderer had not only removed her intestines, but had slashed her mouth from ear to ear in a “Glasgow smile.”

The horrific, misogynistic nature of this crime, coupled with the victim’s attractiveness, drew widespread attention. While newspapers spared no ink on their shocking headlines (“Young L.A. Girl Slain; Body Slashed in Two”), police sought to identify the deceased and determine where she had most recently been seen, and by whom. Her fingerprints were matched to a set taken from Short back in 1943, when—during an earlier stay in Southern California—she was arrested for underage drinking. And police learned that she’d been missing since January 9, after last being seen in the lobby of downtown L.A.’s grand Biltmore Hotel. It wasn’t long before newspapers began fielding phone calls from people claiming to have information about Short or her killer, or to have murdered her themselves. As a true-crime Web site called The Lineup recalls,
Witnesses who had supposedly seen Short during her missing week were, one by one, questioned and dismissed by investigators, who determined they were either outright lying or had mistaken Short for another woman.

Some 60 people came forward and confessed to the crime. Of these, 25 were seriously considered by the LAPD. Many of the suspects were household names, including Fred Sexton, the artist who created the Maltese Falcon prop in the iconic movie of the same name; Norman Chandler, publisher of the
Los Angeles Times; [and] Jewish mobster Bugsy Siegel
Time magazine explained in a 2015 retrospective that “One promising admission came a few weeks after the murder, from an Army corporal who said he had been drinking with Short in San Francisco a few days before her body was discovered—then blacked out, with no memory of his activity until he came to again in a cab outside New York’s Penn Station. … Asked if he thought he had committed the murder, the corporal said yes, and became a prime suspect until evidence emerged that he had actually been on his military base the day of Short’s death.” That tippling serviceman, Joseph A. Dumais, was among dozens of people, men and women both, who’ve confessed over the decades to doing in Betty Short, though the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office deemed fewer than half that number to be viable suspects. One of the latter was George H. Hodel, a physician who died in 1999—four years before his own son, then-retired L.A. homicide detective Steve Hodel, claimed in Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder that his father was definitely Short’s slayer. (This 2004 episode of CBS-TV’s 48 Hours Mystery examines Hodel’s assertions.) Doubts as to the veracity of that charge have been raised, however, and the Black Dahlia case remains open to this day.

(Left) Mia Kirshner as Short in The Black Dahlia.

From the first, the nickname that came to be associated with Short’s liquidation—“The Black Dahlia,” which was a press concoction, or perhaps referred to the victim’s fondness for black attire, or was “a play on the then-current film The Blue Dahlia”—was guaranteed to draw public notice and incite macabre curiosity. That the killer was never identified or caught (just as with London’s Ripper) helped extend the notoriety of this case well past the lifetimes of its suspects and investigators. Fiction writers have long dined on the mysteries surrounding Betty Short’s gruesome demise. In 1962, Theodora Keogh—a granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt—published The Other Girl, which imagined Short engaging in an orgy and becoming the focus of sexual jealousy before finally losing her life. A fairly well-conceived 1975 NBC-TV film, Who Is the Black Dahlia? starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., with Lucie Arnaz playing Short, was followed by John Gregory Dunne’s Dahlia-inspired True Confessions (1977). The most popular retelling of this story, with lurid embellishments, is certainly James Ellroy’s 1987 novel, The Black Dahlia, though Max Allan Collins’ 2001 yarn, Angel in Black (which finds his series gumshoe, Nate Heller, a bit too deeply involved with Miss Short and the circumstances of her murder), provides no fewer twists and bizarre turns. Angel in Black would make a good movie someday. Let’s hope, though, that if one is ever made, it’s superior to director Brian De Palma’s 2006 big-screen adaptation of Ellroy’s tale, which proved confusing even to viewers who’d read the book and were well-steeped in the facts surrounding the Dahlia inquiry.

It’s impossible now to look back at Elizabeth Short’s photos and not wonder what might have become of that young woman had her life not been terminated in violence and sensationalism. Seventy years on, her death and dismemberment are no less shocking than they were for Californians still trying to shed the fears brought on by World War II. Had she lived to see birthdays past her 22nd, might Short have eventually become the cinematic figure she hoped one day to be—a bit player, a character actress, or maybe a genuine star? Or was her path into the history books destined to be marked by torment and mutilation at the hands of an unknown party or parties? Like so many questions in this story, that one too is left unanswered.

READ MORE:The Black Dahlia: Los Angeles’ Most Famous Unsolved Murder,” by James Bartlett (BBC News); “After 70 Years, the Black Dahlia Murder Still Haunts Los Angeles,” by Layla Halabian (LAist); “Nearly 70 Years After Her Murder, Here Are the Things We Still Don’t Know About Black Dahlia,” by Keri Blakinger (New York Daily News); “The Murder of the Black Dahlia: The Ultimate Cold Case,” by Stephen Karadjis (Crime Magazine); “I Never Knew Her in Life: The Black Dahlia Case in Popular Culture,” by Steven Powell (The Venetian Vase); “A Slaying Cloaked in Mystery and Myths,” by Larry Harnish (Los Angeles Times); “The Spot Where the Black Dahlia’s Body Was Found” (IAmNotaStalker.com); The Black Dahlia in Hollywood.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Vote Counts: Best Crime Covers, 2016



One of the first things I do at the start of every year now is create a fresh computer folder into which I begin depositing scans of especially creative and interesting covers taken from new works of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction. Twelve months later, I extract from that folder what I believe (and what other folks in the publishing business have suggested) were the genre’s most engaging book fronts, released both in the United States and Britain. Occasionally, as in 2015, the candidates are especially numerous. In other years, the picks are fewer—not necessarily as a result of less artistic talent being demonstrated in this field, but as in 2016, because there were so many novels styled quite similarly to one another, employing what have become all-too-familiar components: shadowy figures, running figures, and men or women photographed from behind.

From a preliminary lineup of almost three dozen choices, I culled out 15 finalists for The Rap Sheet’s Best Crime Fiction Cover of 2016 competition. Some of these contenders are built principally around photos, while others deserve attention for their typographical innovation or the appeal of their illustrations. Several are deliberately ominous, while others are considerably more playful in their conception. Every one of them, however, catches the eye, whether being displayed on a bookstore shelf or a Web page.

This is the ninth year The Rap Sheet has asked its discriminating readership to judge crime novel façades. Below, you will find all of the 2016 nominees—arranged alphabetically—followed by a simple electronic ballot on which you can vote for the cover you think deserves top honors. As a consequence of suspected ballot-stuffing shenanigans last year, I am limiting each poll participant this time to one chance at choosing his or her favorites; however, you can register your support for more than one cover on that single occasion. So make this opportunity count! We’ll keep the voting open here for the next week and a half, until midnight on Wednesday, January 25, after which the results will be announced.

Click on any of the jackets below to open an enlargement.



















ONE THING MORE: If you think we have neglected to mention some other crime-fiction cover from 2016 that is also deserving of widespread acclaim, please post a comment about it at the end of this piece. Just be sure to include a link to where on the Web other Rap Sheet readers can see that additional cover for themselves.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sherlock Giving Way to the Queen

Following “The Lying Detective,” last week’s frenetic and rather weird Season 4 episode of BBC One’s Sherlock—broadcast in the States under the umbrella of PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery series—this coming Sunday’s installment promises still more upheaval in the lives of London crime-solvers Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. “[L]ong-buried secrets finally catch up with the Baker Street duo,” teases the Masterpiece Web site. “Someone has been playing a very long game indeed and Sherlock and John Watson face their greatest ever challenge. Is the game finally over?”

That January 15 show—the third and concluding Sherlock of the new season—is titled “The Final Problem.” If, like me, you’re confused by this fact, recalling that a previous episode, Season 2’s “The Reichenbach Fall,” was already inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story of that same name … well, I guess we’ll all just have to tune in to find out how the show’s writers have dissected Conan Doyle’s 1893 yarn for multiple purposes.

By the way, this weekend’s Sherlock is scheduled to start earlier than normal—at 7 p.m. ET/PT—after which will premiere Victoria, a seven-episode drama recalling the life and monarchy of Britain’s Queen Victoria. It stars the magnetic Jenna Coleman, previously familiar from Doctor Who and Death Comes to Pemberley, and Rufus Sewell of Zen and The Man in the High Castle fame.

READ MORE:BBC Sherlock Canonical References—‘The Lying Detective’” (Buddy2Blogger).

Exchange Value

Nancie Clare has done a terrific job over the last few years of amassing author interviews for Speaking of Mysteries, the podcast series she created with Leslie S. Klinger. The latest victims … er, focuses of her questioning are Rennie Airth, South Africa-born writer of the John Madden historical mysteries (The Death of Kings), and Ingrid Thoft, the author of books featuring private investigator Fina Ludlow (Duplicity). Give these and Clare’s dozens of previous conversations a listen when you have the chance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Settle in for a Long, Cold Winter’s Reading



Seeing as how I’m in the midst of a major library reorganization—relocating hundreds of non-fiction volumes from my home office into a remodeled sitting room, and packing more crime fiction onto my office shelves—the prospect of additional, new books winging through the door is rather daunting. However, my luck might be worse: I could be deprived of fresh novels to enjoy in the near future.

There seems little chance of that, after paging through publisher catalogues and researching forthcoming releases online. I already recommended, in a recent Kirkus Reviews column, seven crime, mystery, and thriller yarns—all due out in the United States over the next three months—that I think deserve special attention. But those represent the merest fraction of what is scheduled to become available, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, during that period. Below, I have compiled more than 300 entries in this genre that are soon to debut in bookstores. Some of them (such as Jane Harper’s The Dry, Dan Chaon’s Ill Will, Reed Farrel Coleman’s What You Break, Edward Marston’s Date with the Executioner, E.S. Thomson’s Dark Asylum, and Ausma Zehanat Khan’s Among the Ruins) stir my personal curiosity, while others should satisfy different tastes. This list is not intended to be comprehensive; there will be many more crime and thriller works going on sale between now and April Fool’s Day (consult The Bloodstained Bookshelf and Euro Crime for supplementary options). Enough, I hope, to please all Rap Sheet readers.

Non-fiction titles are identified below with asterisks (*). The rest are fiction.

JANUARY (U.S.):
The Absence of Guilt, by Mark
Gimenez (Sphere)
Afternoons in Paris, by Janice Law (Mysterious Press/Open Road)
Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, by Michael Sims (Bloomsbury USA)*
The Beautiful Dead, by Belinda Bauer (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough (Flatiron)
The Believer, by Joakim Zander (Harper)
The Bid, by Adrian Magson (Midnight Ink)
Big Law, by Ron Liebman (Blue Rider Press)
Blind Man’s Bluff, by Sadie and Sophie Cuffe (Five Star)
Blood and Bone, by V.M. Giambanco (Quercus)
Clownfish Blues, by Tim Dorsey (Morrow)
Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, edited by Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks (Down & Out)*
Coco Butternut, by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean)
Cold Heart, by Karen Pullen (Five Star)
The Couturier of Milan, by Ian Hamilton (House of Anansi)
Crimson Snow, edited by Martin Edwards (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Dangerous Ladies Affair, by Marcia Muller and
Bill Pronzini (Forge)
Dead Secret, by Ava McCarthy (Harper)
Death Notes, by Sarah Rayne (Severn House)
Devil’s Breath, by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur)
Different Class, by Joanne Harris (Touchstone)
The Dry, by Jane Harper (Flatiron)
Duplicity, by Ingrid Thoft (Putnam)
Everything You Want Me to Be, by Mindy Mejia (Atria/Emily Bestler)
Falling into the Mob, by Steve Zousmer (Permanent Press)
False Friend, by Andrew Grant (Ballantine)
Fatal, by John Lescroart (Atria)
Fever in the Dark, by Ellen Hart (Minotaur)
Fever Dream, by Samanta Schweblin (Riverhead)
The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry (Crown)
The Final Day, by William R. Forstchen (Forge)
For Time and All Eternities, by Mette Ivie Harrison (Soho Crime)
The Futures, by Anna Pitoniak (Lee Boudreaux)
The Girl Before, by J.P. Delaney (Ballantine)
The Girl in Green, by Derek B. Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Heretic’s Creed, by Fiona Buckley (Crème de la Crime)
Her Every Fear, by Peter Swanson (Morrow)
Home Sweet Home, by April Smith (Knopf)
Hope’s Peak, by Tony Healey (Thomas & Mercer)
The House of Fame, by Oliver Harris (Harper)
Human Acts, by Han Kang (Hogarth)
Killing Adonis, by J.M. Donellan (Poisoned Pen Press)
Kill the Father, by Sandrone Dazieri (Scribner)
Kill the Next One, by Federico Axat (Text)
K Street, by M.A. Lawson (Blue Rider Press)
Lightwood, by Steph Post (Polis)
Little Deaths, by Emma Flint (Hachette)
Little Heaven, by Nick Cutter (Gallery)
Lock the Door, by Jane Holland
(Thomas & Mercer)
Maigret at the Coroner’s, by Georges Simenon (Penguin)
A Merciful Death, by Kendra Elliot (Montlake Romance)
The Midnight Man, by David Eric Tomlinson (Tyrus)
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth, by Lindsey Lee Johnson (Random House)
My Husband’s Wife, by Jane Corry (Pamela Dorman)
Mystery in the Channel, by Freeman Wills Crofts (Poisoned Pen Press)
Nasty Cutter, by Tim O’Mara (Severn House)
The Nowhere Man, by Gregg Hurwitz (Minotaur)
The Old Man, by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press)
The Ottoman Conspiracy, by Thomas Ryan (Thomas & Mercer)
Paris Spring, by James Naughtie (Overlook Press)
A Perilous Undertaking, by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)
A Pilgrimage to Murder, by Paul Doherty (Crème de la Crime)
The Prisoner, by Alex Berenson (Putnam)
The Prometheus Man, by Scott Reardon (Mulholland)
A Puzzle to Be Named Later, by Parnell Hall (Minotaur)
Quick Off the Mark, by Susan Moody (Severn House)
Rather Be the Devil, by Ian Rankin (Little, Brown)
The Return of the Raven Mocker, by Donis Casey
(Poisoned Pen Press)
Right Behind You, by Lisa Gardner (Dutton)
The Ripper’s Shadow, by Laura Joh Rowland (Crooked Lane)
The River at Night, by Erica Ferencik (Gallery/Scout Press)
The Second Mrs. Hockaday, by Susan Rivers (Algonquin)
She Stopped for Death, by by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (Crooked Lane)
The Sleepwalker, by Chris Bohjalian (Doubleday)
Snowblind, by Ragnar Jonasson (Minotaur)
Southern Gothic, by Dale Wiley (Vesuvian)
This Is Not Over, by Holly Brown (Morrow)
The Trapped Girl, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)
Trojan, by Alan McDermott (Thomas & Mercer)
Two Days Gone, by Randall Silvis (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Under a Watchful Eye, by Adam Nevill (Macmillan)
Unpunished, by Lisa Black (Kensington)
An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock, by Terry Shames
(Seventh Street)
Very Important Corpses, by Simon R. Green (Severn House)
Walk Away, by Sam Hawken (Mulholland)
Where I Can See You, by Larry D. Sweazy (Seventh Street)
World, Chase Me Down, by Andrew Hilleman (Penguin)

JANUARY (UK):
All of a Winter’s Night, by Phil Rickman (Corvus)
Athenian Blues, by Pol Koutsakis (Bitter Lemon Press)
Before the Dawn, by Jake Woodhouse (Penguin)
The Bone Field, by Simon Kernick (Century)
The Book of Mirrors, by E.O. Chirovici (Century)
Cast Iron, by Peter May (Riverrun)
Corpus, by Rory Clements (Zaffre)
Deep Blue, by Alan Judd (Simon & Schuster)
Deep Down Dead, by Steph Broadribb (Orenda)
Defender, by G.X. Todd (Headline)
Essex Poison, by Ian Sansom (Fourth Estate)
Everything You Told Me, by Lucy Dawson (Corvus)
The Executioner of St Paul’s,
by Susanna Gregory (Sphere)
Good Me Bad Me, by Ali Land
(Michael Joseph)
A Harvest of Thorns, by Corban Addison (Thomas Nelson)
The House of Four, by Barbara Nadel (Headline)
Jericho’s War, by Gerald Seymour
(Hodder & Stoughton)
A Life to Kill, by Matthew Hall (Mantle)
The Ninth Grave, by Stefan Ahnhem
(Head of Zeus)
Perfect Remains, by Helen Fields (Avon)
Puritan, by David Hingley (Allison & Busby)
Rattle, by Fiona Cummins (Macmillan)
Run, by Mandasue Heller (Macmillan)
Rupture, by Ragnar Jonasson (Orenda)
Safe From Harm, by R.J. Bailey (Simon & Schuster)
Sirens, by Joseph Knox (Doubleday)
Tell Me a Lie, by C.J. Carver (Zaffre)
The Vanishing, by Sophia Tobin (Simon & Schuster)
Watch Her Disappear, by Eva Dolan (Harvill Secker)
Watch Me, by Angela Clarke (Avon)
What Dark Clouds Hide, by Anne Holt (Corvus)

FEBRUARY (U.S.):
Amberlough, by Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
Among the Ruins, by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur)
Angel’s Flight, by Lou Cameron (Stark House/Black Gat)
August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Crime)
Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales, edited by Ellen Datlow (Pegasus)
Black Water Lilies, by Michel Bussi (Hachette)
Bone Box, by Faye Kellerman (Morrow)
A Book of American Martyrs, by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)
The Crow Trap, by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)
Cruel Mercy, by David Mark (Blue Rider Press)
The Dalliance of Leopards, by Stephen Alter (Arcade)
A Darkness Absolute, by Kelley Armstrong (Minotaur)
Dead Letters, by Caite Dolan-Leach (Random House)
A Death in the Dales, by Frances Brody (Minotaur)
Death of a Ghost, by M.C. Beaton (Grand Central)
Desert Vengeance, by Betty Webb (Poisoned Pen Press)
Desperation Road, by Michael Farris Smith (Lee Boudreaux)
The Devil Crept In, by Ania Ahlborn (Gallery)
The Dime, by Kathleen Kent (Mulholland)
A Divided Spy, by Charles Cumming (St. Martin’s Press)
The English Agent, by Phillip DePoy (Minotaur)
Facials Can Be Fatal, by Nancy J. Cohen (Five Star)
A Falling Knife, by Andrew Case (Thomas & Mercer)
The Fifth Element, by Jørgen Brekke (Minotaur)
The Freedom Broker, by K.J. Howe (Quercus)
Garden of Lamentations, by Deborah Crombie (Morrow)
The German, by James Patrick Hunt
(Five Star)
The Good Daughter, by Alexandra Burt (Berkley)
Gunmetal Gray, by Mark Greaney (Berkley)
In the Shadow of Lakecrest, by Elizabeth Blackwell (Lake Union)
I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (Berkley)
Koreatown Blues, by Mark Rogers (Brash)
The Last Night at Tremore Beach, by Mikel Santiago (Atria)
Leon’s Legacy, by Lono Waiwaiole (Down & Out)
The Lioness Is the Hunter, by Loren D. Estleman (Forge)
The Lost Woman, by Sara Blaedel (Grand Central)
Lucidity, by David Carnoy (Overlook Press)
Maigret and the Old Lady, by George Simenon (Penguin)
Marked for Revenge, by Emelie Schepp (Mira)
Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars, by Miranda Emmerson (Harper)
Most Dangerous Place, by James Grippando (Harper)
Murder, Stage Left, by Robert Goldsborough (Mysterious Press/
Open Road)
The Night Bird, by Brian Freeman (Thomas & Mercer)
The Nightwalker, by Sebastian Fitzek (Pegasus)
The Origins of Benjamin Hackett, by Gerald M. O’Connor
(Down & Out)
Outside the Law, by Phillip Thompson (Brash)
The Possessions, by Erin Moon (Harper)
Prayer for the Dead, by James Oswald (Crooked Lane)
Racing the Devil, by Charles Todd (Morrow)
Road to Purgatory, by Max Allan Collins (Brash)
Rush of Blood, by Mark Billingham (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Rusty Puppy, by Joe R. Lansdale (Mulholland)
Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma, by Larry Millett (University of Minnesota Press)
The Shimmering Road, by Hester Young (Putnam)
Shining City, by Tom Rosenstiel (Ecco)
Six Four, by Hideo Yokoyama (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Snatch, by Gregory Mcdonald (Hard Case Crime)
Spook Street, by Mick Herron (Soho Crime)
Swiss Vendetta, by Tracee de Hahn (Minotaur)
Under the Knife, by Kelly Parsons (St. Martin’s Press)
The Undesired, by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (Minotaur)
The Unseeing, by Anna Mazzola (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Universal Harvester, by John Darnielle (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
What You Break, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Putnam)
Where the Lost Girls Go, by R.J. Noonan (Crooked Lane)
Whirlwind, by Hilary Norman (Severn House)
Winterlong, by Mason Cross (Pegasus)
The Winter Over, by Matthew Iden
(Thomas & Mercer)
Zodiac, by Sam Wilson (Pegasus)

FEBRUARY (UK):
Agents of the State, by Mike
Nicol (Old Street)
All the Missing Girls, by Megan
Miranda (Atlantic)
The Black Sheep, by Sophie McKenzie (Simon & Schuster)
The Caller, by Chris Carter (Simon & Schuster)
The Chalk Pit, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
Cursed, by Thomas Enger (Orenda)
Date with the Executioner, by Edward Marston (Allison & Busby)
Dead Girls Dancing, by Graham Masterton (Head of Zeus)
The Doll Funeral, by Kate Hamer (Faber and Faber)
The Draughtsman, by Robert Lautner (Borough Press)
Every Pretty Thing, by Chris Mooney (Penguin)
Exposure, by Aga Lesiewicz (Macmillan)
The Fatal Tree, by Jake Arnott (Sceptre)
Incendium, by A.D. Swanston (Bantam Press)
The Intrusions, by Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber)
The Killing Bay, by Chris Ould (Titan)
The Mermaid’s Scream, by Kate Ellis (Piatkus)
My Sister’s Bones, by Nuala Ellwood (Penguin)
The Name of the Game Is a Kidnapping, by Keigo Higashino (Vertical)
Purged, by Peter Laws (Allison & Busby)
Ragdoll, by Daniel Cole (Trapeze)
The Riviera Express, by T.P. Fielden (HQ)
Stasi Wolf, by David Young (Zaffre)
Under the Harrow, by Flynn Berry (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
What You Don’t Know, by JoAnn Chaney (Mantle)
The Women of Baker Street, by Michelle Birkby (Pan)
Written in Bones, by James Oswald (Michael Joseph)
Wrong Place, by Michelle Davies (Macmillan)
The Wychford Poisoning Case, by Anthony Berkeley
(Collins Crime Club)

MARCH (U.S.):
Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted, edited by Laura Caldwell and Leslie S. Klinger (Liveright)*
The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor (HarperCollins)
The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story, by Miriam C. Davis (Chicago Review Press)*
The Black Tortoise, by Ronald Tierney (Raven)
Blue Light Yokohama, by Nicolás Obregón (Minotaur)
Bone White, by Wendy Corsi Staub (Morrow)
Bound by Mystery: Celebrating 20 Years of Poisoned Pen Press, edited by Diane DiBiase (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Bridge, by Stuart Prebble (Mulholland)
Bum Luck, by Paul Levin (Thomas & Mercer)
Catalina Eddy: A Novel in Three Decades, by Daniel Pyne
(Blue Rider Press)
Celine, by Peter Heller (Knopf)
Conviction, by Julia Dahl (Minotaur)
The Cutaway, by Christina Kovac (Atria/37 INK)
Cut to the Bone, by Alex Caan (Skyhorse)
Dead Man Switch, by Matthew Quirk (Mulholland)
A Death by Any Other Name, by Tessa Arlen (Minotaur)
The Devil’s Feast, by M.J. Carter (Putnam)
The Devil’s Triangle, by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison (Gallery)
Duplicity, by Jane Haseldine (Kensington)
Dying on the Vine, by Marla Cooper (Minotaur)
The Fall of Lisa Bellow, by Susan Perabo (Simon & Schuster)
Find Me, by J.S. Monroe (Mira)
The Forgotten Girls, by Owen Laukkanen (Putnam)
Girl in Disguise, by Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Hap and Leonard: Blood and Lemonade, by Joe R. Lansdale (Tachyon)
Ill Will, by Dan Chaon (Ballantine)
Imperial Valley, by Johnny Shaw
(Thomas & Mercer)
In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen
(Lake Union)
In This Grave Hour, by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)
Lenin’s Roller Coaster, by David Downing (Soho Crime)
Lola, by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown)
Madame Maigret’s Friend, by Georges Simenon (Penguin)
Make Them Pay, by Allison Brennan (St. Martin’s Paperbacks)
Mangrove Lightning, by Randy Wayne White (Putnam)
Mississippi Blood, by Greg Iles (Morrow)
Mister Memory, by Marcus Sedgwick (Pegasus)
Murder on the Serpentine, by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
My Darling Detective, by Howard Norman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Never Let You Go, by Chevy Stevens (St. Martin’s Press)
One by One, by Sarah Cain (Crooked Lane)
Only the Truth, by Adam Croft (Thomas & Mercer)
The Outsider, by Anthony Franze (Minotaur)
Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street)
The Road to Ithaca, by Ben Pastor (Bitter Lemon Press)
Saratoga Payback, by Stephen Dobyns (Blue Rider Press)
Say Nothing, by Brad Parks (Dutton)
Signature Wounds, by Kirk Russell (Thomas & Mercer)
Silent Approach, by Bobby Cole (Thomas & Mercer)
A Simple Favor, by Darcey Bell (Harper)
Skeleton God, by Eliot Pattison (Minotaur)
The Trophy Child, by Paula Daly (Grove Press)
A Twist of the Knife, by Becky Masterman (Minotaur)
Unquiet Spirits, by Bonnie MacBird (Collins Crime Club)
Vicious Circle, by C.J. Box (Putnam)
The Violated, by Bill Pronzini (Bloomsbury USA)
Wait for Dark, by Kay Hooper (Berkley)
The Weight of This World, by David Joy (Putnam)
The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, by Lyndsay Faye (Mysterious Press)
The Widow’s House, by Carol Goodman (Morrow)
The Will to Kill, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Titan)
Wrath, by T.R. Ragan (Thomas & Mercer)

MARCH (UK):
The Adventuress, by Arthur B. Reeve (Collins Crime Club)
Arrowood, by Mick Finlay (HQ)
Bryant & May: Wild Chamber, by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
A Dangerous Crossing, by Rachel Rhys (Doubleday)
Dark Asylum, by E.S. Thomson (Constable)
Deadly Game, by Matt Johnson (Orenda)
Death at Melrose Hall, by David Dickinson (Constable)
Ed’s Dead, by Russel D. McLean (Saraband)
Falling Creatures, by Katherine Stansfield (Allison & Busby)
Follow Me Down, by Sherri Smith (Titan)
Follow My Leader, by M.J. Arlidge (Michael Joseph)
The Fourth Victim, by Mari Jungstedt (Corgi)
The G-String Murders, by Gypsy Rose Lee (Saraband)
A Handful of Ashes, by Rob McCarthy (Mulholland)
Hoffer, by Tim Glencross (John Murray)
The Legacy, by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (Hodder & Stoughton)
Let the Dead Speak, by Jane Casey (HarperCollins)
The Long Drop, by Denise Mina (Harvill Secker)
The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork (Doubleday)
Parallel Lines, by Steven Savile (Titan)
The Pictures, by Guy Bolton (Oneworld)
Quieter Than Killing, by Sarah Hilary (Headline)
Sherlock Holmes in Context, by Sam Naidu (Palgrave Macmillan)*
The Silence Between Breaths, by Cath Staincliffe (Constable)
Six Stories, by Matt Wesolowski (Orenda)
The Surgeon’s Case, by E.G. Rodford (Titan)
Tattletale, by Sarah J. Naughton (Trapeze)
The Venetian Game, by Philip Gwynne Jones (Constable)
When It Grows Dark, by Jørn Lier Horst (Sandstone Press)
The Witchfinder’s Sister, by Beth Underdown (Viking)

So, have I missed anything? Please feel free to suggest other promising, upcoming crime and thriller works in the Comments section at the bottom of this post.