Saturday, October 3, 2015

Murder, She Wrote: Queens of the Mystery Bookshelf

Quiet as it’s kept, women writing mysteries rock.  While 35 percent of killings in real-life America go unsolved, writing fiction, let’s you get a rate of 100 percent serving the cause of justice. Today, a handful of females rival the success of their predecessors Agatha Christie and P. D. James.  They consistently make the best seller lists and garner accolades from their loyal readers.
Mary Higgins Clark
One of the reigning queens of suspense has sold more than 100 million books in the United States alone. That’s a number just a bit smaller than the population of Mexico. Meet Mary Higgins Clark, who at 87 remains the monarch of mystery. A widow with five children, she was first published in 1975. Her blockbuster “Where Are the Children” launched a career that has lasted 40 years and produced 49 award winning books. A new novel, The Melody Lingers On, was scheduled for publication in 2015.
Janet Evanovich
Nobody mixes death and humor better than Janet Evanovich, combining comedy and the occasional killing. She began writing romance novels, but after book 12, she turned to another path. In 1995, big- haired bounty hunter Stephanie Plum propelled Evanovich to the best-seller list. Twenty-five books later, Plum continues to keep the 72 year old author fresh and relevant, still at the top of her game. Even after 21 years, “One for the Money” is still hilarious. Wicked Charms: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Evanovich and Phoef Sutton went on sale June 23, 2015.

Tess Gerritsen
Alias the Doctor, Tess Gerritsen hitched her star to medical suspense and made it scary enough to garner legions of fans. A graduate of Stanford University and UCSF School of Medicine, she started writing mysteries while on maternity leave. Gerritsen terrifies readers with tales of grisly death and medical malfeasance. Her dynamic duo of Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Dr. Maura are her principal tools in catching killers and serving the cause of justice. The famous pair is played by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander on TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles. Die Again: A Rizzoli and Isles Novel by Gerristen was launched by Ballantine Books in 2014.

Sue Grafton
Some call her the Alphabet P. I.  Former screenwriter turned mystery author Sue Grafton dishes readers a female twist in a hard-boiled fictional private investigator.  A new kind of gumshoe, Kinsey Millhone hit the street running in 1982 in Grafton’s first book A is For Alibi. This P. I. is “smarter, younger, and thinner” than her creator now 75 years old and contrary to Grafton’s real -life marriage of 20 years, Millhone is a twice- divorced loner.  Through the years, the author blasted through the alphabet and X is for... published in August 2015.

Sara Paretsky
Kansas- raised Sara Paretsky, 68, alias “The Crusader” made her bones with V. I. Warshawski, ex-defender turned P.I.  “Vic” for Victoria is smart, tough, and though often outraged, always in control. Published in 1982, Indemnity Only showcases a fearless female pathfinder in a rough job.  Paretsky, who holds a MBA and a history PH.D., founded Sisters in Crime to support women mystery writers and readers.  Her new novel, Brush Back, was scheduled for publication July 28, 2015 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Tantalizing Trio: Authors Julie Garwood, Jayne Ann Krentz and Elizabeth Lowell

So many books.  So many authors. What to do? Why not go for the” big thrill” and try romantic suspense.  You’ll find novels sparked by danger and fueled by passion. The villains are dark and some are even demented. The stakes are high, yet crystal clear. Here’s romance skillfully blended with a bit of mystery, intrigue and suspense. The pressure for survival drives the characters while the heat of attraction clouds the mind and tantalizes the senses.  
The trio that follows showcases a few of the best authors in the genre and some of their hottest novels to hit the shelves. Let’s hear it for romantic suspense.

Urban Fantasy Meets Steamy Romance:J D Robb-"In Death" Series

J D Robb, A pseudonym used by Nora Roberts

With a phenomenal career full of bestsellers, Nora Roberts was ready for a new writing challenge. As her agent put it, like Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and caffeine-free Pepsi, a pseudonym offered her the opportunity to reach a new and different group of readers. The first futuristic suspense J. D. Robb book, Naked in Death, was published in paperback in 1995, and readers were immediately drawn to Eve Dallas, a tough cop with a dark past, and her even more mysterious love interest, Roarke.

In February, 2016, Brotherhood in Death, the forty second novel in this series, will be released. Now is a great time to catch up on the several of the preceding books, Concealed in Death (#38), Festive in Death (#39), Obsession in Death (#40) and Devoted in Death (#41). If you haven’t followed Eve Dallas and her “love interest”, Roarke, there’s no time like the present to take the plunge. You’ll find drama, murder, mystery, and steamy romance.  It’s romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and a taste of the future. Get on board!

Concealed in Death, J D Robb
(Book #38)
In a decrepit, long-empty New York building, Lieutenant Eve Dallas's husband begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, there are two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. He summons his wife immediately - and by the time she's done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.

The place once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, back in the mid-2040s, and Eve tracks down the people who ran it. Between their recollections and the work of the force's new forensic anthropologist, Eve begins to put names and faces to the remains. They are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.
Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary - and the evil concealed in one human heart.

Festive in Death, J D Robb
(Book # 39)

Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition, if you didn't count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who'd been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler's enemies, she's also dealing with her Christmas shopping list plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband's upcoming holiday bash.
Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year's 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

Obsession in Death, J D Robb
(Book #40)

J D Robb is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She and her billionaire husband are getting accustomed to being objects of attention. But now Eve has become one person’s obsession: someone who thinks about her every hour of every day and who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Here’s someone who would kill for her again and again. And Eve knows that underneath the worship, a terrible threat lies in wait.
An aggressive defense attorney who's sparred with Eve in the courtroom is the first victim, but she isn't the last. The messages left for Eve at the crime scenes chill her and turn her stomach. It doesn't get much more personal than this - and Eve refuses to hand the investigation over to anyone else. With a murderer reading meaning into her every move, handling this case will be a delicate - and dangerous - psychological dance.

Devoted in Death, J D Robb
(Book #41)
The incomparable J. D. Robb presents the latest moving and suspenseful novel in the #1 New York Times - bestselling Eve Dallas series.
Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutality in the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times - bestselling author of Obsession in Death and Festive in Death.  When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim's injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart and the initials inside read E and D.
Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don't ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo's got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else's. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone, an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo-a desire for Darryl and a desire to kill again. As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they've landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. With her husband, Roarke, at her side, Eve has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Murder, Mystery and Mayhem: Old Friends from James Patterson

Over the years, I've established strong relationships with popular characters in James Patterson's novels. Alex Cross, my first love, followed by Michael Bennett, Lindsay Boxer, Jack Morgan and several others. As new plots are developed and fresh material hits the market, avid readers keep their eyes open and their spectacles near by. Mystery, murder and mayhem are themes for any day while flipping the pages of James Patterson's latest thrillers.

Hope to Die, James Patterson
Detective Alex Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius, forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Cross's family—his loving wife Bree, the wise and lively Nana Mama, and his precious children—have been ripped away. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this mad man what he wants if he has any chance of saving the most important people in his life. The stakes have never been higher: What will Cross sacrifice to save the ones he loves?

Widely praised by the greatest crime and thriller writers of our time, Cross My Heart set a jaw-dropping story in motion. Hope to Die propels Alex Cross's greatest challenge to its astonishing finish, proving why Jeffery Deaver says "nobody does it better" than James Patterson.

Alert, James Patterson & Michael  Ledwidge
"This is not a test"—every New Yorker's worst nightmare is about to become a reality.

New Yorkers aren't easily intimidated, but someone is doing their best to scare them, badly: why? After two inexplicable high-tech attacks, the city that never sleeps is on edge. Detective Michael Bennett, along with his old pal, the FBI's Emily Parker, have to catch the shadowy criminals who claim responsibility—but they're as good at concealing their identities as they are at wreaking havoc.

In the wake of a shocking assassination, Bennett begins to suspect that these mysterious events are just the prelude to the biggest threat of all. Soon he's racing against the clock, and against the most destructive enemy he's faced yet, to save his beloved city--before everyone's worst nightmare becomes a reality.

14th Deadly Sin, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three best friends are back and recovering from the events that pushed them all to the edge. After her near-death experience, Yuki is seeing her life from a new perspective and is considering a change in her law career. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy has healed from her gunshot wound and has published a book on the infamous serial killers she helped to bring down. Lindsay is just happy that the gang are all still in one piece.
But a new terror is sweeping the streets of San Francisco. A gang dressed as cops are ransacking the city, and leaving a string of dead bodies in their wake. Lindsay is on the case to track them down and needs to discover whether these killers could actually be police officers. Maybe even cops she already knows...

Private Vegas, James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Las Vegas is a city of contradictions: seedy and glamorous, secretive and wild, Vegas attracts people of all kinds—especially those with a secret to hide, or a life to leave behind. It's the perfect location for Lester Olsen's lucrative business. He gets to treat gorgeous, young women to five-star restaurants, splashy shows, and limo rides—and then he teaches them how to kill.
Private Jack Morgan spends most of his time in Los Angeles, where his top investigation firm has its headquarters. But a hunt for two criminals leads him to the city of sin—and to a murder ring that is more seductively threatening than anything he's witnessed before. PRIVATE VEGAS brings James Patterson's Private series to a sensational new level.

NYPD Red 3, James Patterson & Marshall Karp
A chilling conspiracy leads NYPD Red into extreme danger.
Hunter Alden, Jr., a billionaire businessman, has it all: a sexy wife, a brilliant teenage son, billions in the bank and an ever-growing fortune. But his perfect life shatters one horrific night when he discovers the severed head of his chauffeur, stuffed in a bag marked, in blood, with his son's initials. Now his son is missing, and the price to get him back might be too high—even for one of the world's richest men. The kidnapper knows a horrific secret that could change the world as we know it. A secret worth killing for. A secret worth dying for.
When NYPD Red, the elite task force for New York City's most high-profile crimes, takes the case, Detective Zach Jordan and his partner—and ex-girlfriend—Kylie MacDonald have never seen anything so unspeakable. As the investigation continues, Zach and Kylie realize that the closer they get to the truth, the more their own lives are in danger. NYPD RED 3 is the next sensational thriller by James Patterson, the man Ian Rankin hails as "The Boss."

Meet Author/Producer Marshall Karp
Before collaborating with best selling author James Patterson, Marshall Karp was in advertising, where the punishment for creating award-winning TV campaigns is to put the writer in charge of an entire department and tell him to stop writing ads. Trapped in a corner office, Karp wrote a play, "Squabbles," which attracted the attention of network executives. He created "Everything's Relative," a CBS comedy starring Jason Alexander, moved to LA to become writer/producer for the NBC hit, "Amen," then served as writer/co-executive producer for ABC's "Baby Talk" and several other long forgotten TV series. A feature film, "Just Looking," directed by Jason Alexander, was released in 2000.
Karp returned to NY, and in 2006 he fulfilled a long-time fantasy by killing many of the people he worked with in Hollywood. His first novel, "The Rabbit Factory," set in a Disneyesque studio, introduces LAPD Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs. Three more Lomax and Biggs mysteries followed ("Bloodthirsty," "Flipping Out," and "Cut, Paste, Kill"). In 2011 he coauthored the #1 NY Times bestseller "Kill Me If You Can" with James Patterson. A second collaboration, "NYPD Red," followed in 2012. "NYPD Red 2" was released in March 2014. In 2002 Karp joined the Board of Advisors of Vitamin Angels and is one of the architects of Operation 20/20, whose goal is to prevent blindness and dramatically reduce mortality rates among the 200 million children around the world who suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.