Win the January ’15 bookshelf of signed thrillers!

January 1, 2015

Jan 15 Contest collage
Happy New Year, dear readers! I updated the Win Books page with some fantastic books. As always, there are NY Times bestsellers, favorite series, and a debut.

First up is Cane and Abe, a spellbinding novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author (and one of my favorites!) James Grippando, in which Miami’s top prosecutor becomes a prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, which may have a chilling connection to the woman he can’t forget.

Thomas Perry’s Jane Whitefield is back in A String of Beads, an addictive, fast-paced thriller about how abandoning the past can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, even when your life—and the life of those you love—depends on it.

Bill Loehfelm is a rising star in crime fiction and Doing the Devil’s Work only ups the ante. Maureen Coughlin is the perfect protagonist: complicated, strong-willed, sympathetic (except when she’s not), and as fully realized in Loehfelm’s extraordinary portrayal as the New Orleans she patrols.

On every police force in the country, there’s a SWAT sniper going about his daily life. Grant Jerkins and Jan Thomas’s Done in One pulls back the curtain on their world. Suspenseful, lightning–quick, and endlessly entertaining, Viking Bay is the pitch-perfect new adventure in the Kay Hamilton series from M.K. Lawson, who also writes the terrific Joe DeMarco series as Mike Lawson.

Patricia Gussin’s latest is After the Fall. In a starred review, Booklist said, “Gussin completes her Laura Nelson series with an action-packed medical thriller…Gussin uses her experience as a surgeon and medical researcher to create a complex, realistic story that will appeal to readers with a taste for thrillers centering on science and politics.”

If you love paranormal cozy mysteries, you won’t want to miss Shadow of Doubt, the first book in the Carol Childs Mystery series by Nancy Cole Silverman. In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide in Buried by Elizabeth Goddard.

Jeanne Matthews “makes fine use of Berlin’s turbulent history and the enduring German fascination with Indian culture,” (Publisher’s Weekly) in her latest Dinah Pelerin mystery, Where the Bones are Buried.

Finally, romance and action come crashing together in Susan Adrian’s debut young adult thriller Tunnel Vision, in which a teenage boy with incredible powers is brought to the attention of the government.

You can win autographed copies of all these books! If you are new to the site, each month I run a contest in conjunction with the International Thriller Writers group. We put together a list of books including bestsellers and debut authors, so you can win some of your favorites and find some new favorites.

What makes this contest really special is that all of the books (except eBooks) are signed by the author!

Don’t forget, if you subscribe to the newsletter or follow this blog, you get an extra entry into every contest you enter.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

BIRD BOX by Josh Malerman

January 30, 2015

Four years ago something devastating began infecting people around the world. The outbreak was so baffling and odd that at first no one was quite aware of what was happening. People turned on one another – reports of violence in remote areas expanded and spread until those left began barricading themselves indoors. It was a viral madness, the cause of which seemed to be as simple as seeing something so horrible that it drove the viewer insane.

Malorie has lasted this long by living in perpetual blindness. It’s an awful and horrifying existence, one that her two children have only ever known. But Malorie knows they can’t continue like this and decides it’s time to try and move on. To do so means exposing them all to whatever caused this plague of insanity and hoping they can get to their final destination without laying eyes on it.

Josh Malerman’s debut is crazy fabulous. From page one I knew it was going to be unique but quite soon after that I realized it was going to be amazing.

Malorie’s world is cut off. She lived with her sister when the outbreak started, discovering that she was pregnant just as things got really bad. And then she was alone. But she was able to find others. She was able to find a safe haven. And they learned more about what was going on around them. All of this is revealed to the reader as the story progresses. Malerman begins the book with Malorie facing her coming journey with the kids, unfolding the past and present portions of the story through alternating chapters.

As the book progresses, we learn just how strong Malorie is and just how determined she’s had to be to get by this long. It’s a tense and terrifying tale. In fact, Bird Box is one of the outright creepiest horror reads I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

01/15 Becky LeJeune

Read on for the BookBitch review:

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Malorie is a young mother of two children known simply as Boy and Girl, and she is a survivor living in a post-apocalyptic world, raising her children to use all their senses, especially their listening skills, as sight is not an option here.

In this world, the survivors struggle to stay alive by living indoors with all the windows boarded up; the sight of whatever is outside is causing people to become violent murderers, as well as suicidal, in the most horrific ways possible.

The book moves back and forth over a four year period when all the insanity began, exploring the personalities of the people that came together and survived, and how they managed to live after all ways of communication effectively withered and died with most of the population. It ends with Malorie rowing her children down a river while blindfolded in hopes of taking them to safety.

The characters are interesting, the story moves along very rapidly as the suspense builds, but unfortunately, the ending is a disappointment; the reason for all the bloodshed is never explored or explained. Recommended for readers who enjoy horror and post-apocalyptic fiction.

Copyright ©2014 Booklist, a division of the American Library Association.

5/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

BIRD BOX by Josh Malerman. Ecco (May 13, 2014). ISBN 978-0062259653. 272p.


January 29, 2015

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It’s Spring Break and Neptune is the place to be. But when a partying coed goes missing, travel plans to the beachside city start to go south… and north. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce is worried that the missing girl and the town’s inept sheriff’s lack of action could be pretty detrimental to the season’s tourist dollars. Out of desperation they turn to Mars Investigations for help.

Business has been slow since Veronica chucked her plans to return to New York City and the chamber’s case is a welcome one. Keith is still recuperating and under orders to take it easy so no matter how much he’d prefer his daughter return to the big city and her potentially big career as a lawyer, even he can’t muster up too much of a fuss in her handling this one. And it’s not like either Mars is going to miss out on a chance to show up Sheriff Lamb.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is a solid new installment in the seemingly ever-growing (YAY.) Veronica Mars franchise. The plot is definitely worthy of Mars and sure to please Marshmallows, but newbies will probably want to start with the show before diving into the novels. For one thing, there are the characters’ established histories and the town of Neptune itself to consider. For another, Thousand Dollar Tan Line continues plot lines started in both the series and the movie.

1/15 Becky LeJeune

VERONICA MARS: THE THOUSAND DOLLAR TAN LINE by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. Vintage (March 25, 2014). ISBN: 978-0804170703. 336p.

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

January 28, 2015

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The Ares 3 surface mission to mars was supposed to last thirty-one days. While there, a team of six scientists would live on and study the Red Planet, the third of a projected five missions to Mars. Just six days in, however, Ares 3 is forced to abandon their assignment when an unexpectedly strong storm hits their landing site.

One of them doesn’t make it.

Mark Watney’s crewmates saw him impaled by an errant antenna. They thought he was dead in an instant. They were wrong. Through a freak and fortunate series of coincidences and pure science, Watney lived. But his injury is just the beginning. Now, with very limited resources and no way to contact Ares 3 or NASA, Watney must figure out a way to survive long enough to be rescued.

The Martian is the perfect science fiction read for a mass audience. It’s wholly approachable and highly entertaining. Watney is charming and clever; watching him theorize ways to survive and attempt to put those theories into action is just part of the fun with this book. The other part is believing that it could happen. Weir takes definite care in explaining the science of The Martian in a way that even the most non-science minded reader can swallow. And he does so while keeping the pace of the book constantly moving.

Originally self-published, Weir caught the attention of Crown with his debut, earning him not only a publishing deal, but a movie deal to boot. The Martian is currently under production and set to hit theaters this year with Matt Damon starring in the lead.

1/15 Becky LeJeune

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir. Broadway Books; Reprint edition (October 28, 2014). ISBN: 978-0553418026. 387p.

Guest Blogger: D.J. Donaldson

January 27, 2015

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Nursery Rhymes and Murder-Suicides Haunt New Orleans

Black magic releases ancient curse in the Big Easy

“Action-packed, cleverly plotted topnotch thriller. Another fine entry in a consistently outstanding series.” –Booklist

 “D. J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense. With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.” –Tess Gerritsen, NY Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels

 Andy Broussard, the “Plump and Proud” New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food.  Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, Broussard forms a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.

 Astor + Blue Editions is proud to release Cajun Nights (ISBN: 978-1941286-38-8; Fiction/Mystery & Suspense; $5.99 E-Book), the latest Broussard mystery by D.J. Donaldson. 

Young and vibrant New Orleans criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn has just been assigned her most challenging case yet—a collection of victims with type O blood who drove an antiquated car, humming a nursery rhyme right before committing murder and then suicide. Welcoming the help of her jovial boss, chief medical examiner Andy Broussard, the two set out to solve the case devising strictly scientific possibilities. Not once do they consider the involvement of black magic until an ancient Cajun sorcerer’s curse surfaces—“Beware the songs you loved in youth.”

Written in his unique style, Donaldson’s Cajun Nights combines hard-hitting, action-packed prose with brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics and the sultry flavor of New Orleans. The result is a gripping mystery involving murder and some occult flare in the creole heartland.



by D.J. Donaldson


Cajun Nights was my first novel featuring New Orleans medical examiner, Andy Broussard, and his suicide/death investigator, Kit Franklyn.  A few weeks after the book was published, I got a call from my agent with the surprising news that, “There’s been a flurry of movie and TV interest in your book.”  I’d never considered that such a thing was possible. So that was one of the best phone calls I ever had.

Subsequently, a production company headed by the former director of programming at CBS took an option on the series, planning to shape it into a TV show.  As perhaps some of you know, this phase of things is known as “development hell”, because it takes a very long time to make anything happen. So a year went by with no news.  I figure, okay, the thing is dead.  But, the producers renewed their option for another year, which meant I got paid again.  It wasn’t a lot of money, but with that check, I’d made more money from the two option years than the advance I was given on the book by the publisher.

So more time goes by with no news.  Now, I’m not even thinking about it anymore. Then, while I was attending a scientific meeting in Dallas, I got a call from the agent in Hollywood who was handling the dramatic rights.  CBS had agreed to pay for a pilot screenplay. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but if this guy had tracked me down in Dallas just to tell me that, it must be a big deal.  And guess what… I got another check as an advance on the screenplay even though I wasn’t gonna write it.  I was beginning to love the agent who created that contract.

They chose as a writer someone who’d had several movies produced.  That may seem like something not worth mentioning, but I’d read an article once that said it was possible to have a career as a screenwriter and never have anything produced.  (Yeah, I don’t quite get that either, but it sure seemed like the writer we had, was the better kind.) With her experience and success, I was sure we’d get a great screenplay.

 A few months later, a package arrives in the mail.  IT’S THE SCREENPLAY.  I’m so excited, I quickly skim the enclosed letter from the producers: “Read this over and tell us three things you don’t like about it.”  That’s ridiculous, I’m gonna love it.  After all, it was written by a pro.

Well, I hated all of it.  The writer didn’t seem to “get” the relationship between Andy and Kit.  I couldn’t believe it.  The books show that non-romantic love is possible between an unrelated man and woman of greatly differing ages. Though he can’t admit it, Broussard loves Kit like the daughter he never had.  Kit loves Broussard like a father, even though she has a father.  How do I boil all the things I hate down to just three items? Somehow I manage and send my reply back.

As it turned out, the producers didn’t really care about any of my thoughts.  Was I upset?  Not really, because I figured they know TV, I don’t.  And… surprise, when they gave the script to CBS, I got another check.  Now I definitely love my agent.

The producers are sure the script will be approved and we’ll soon be shooting a pilot.  They invite me to watch them film in New Orleans.  They say they’ll even find a bit part for me.  They predict that the series will run for ten years. And they should know. Their show, Cagney and Lacey, ran for seven seasons. Now I’m excited.

But… later, I get another call.  CBS didn’t like the script. And they didn’t want to see a rewrite with the same story. The producers asked me if I had any ideas.  The screenplay was based on the second book in the series. When I got this call I was sitting at my desk looking at the rough draft of book number three.  I pitched them the story and they said, “Send us a copy by overnight mail.” This was back before manuscripts could be sent by e-mail. (I know, I can hardly remember those days myself.)

So another screenplay was written, which didn’t fare any better than the first. Thus life #1 of my hoped-for TV series went to a quiet demise.


 A few years later, while I was at the Kentucky book fair promoting book number five in the series, a young blonde fellow bought a book.  We spoke for a few minutes and he moved on.  Later, back in Memphis, I get a call from this guy.  He wants to option the series for TV.  I tell him about my earlier experience with the other producers, who failed, but he’s unfazed.  We strike a deal. There’s talk about John Goodman playing Broussard.  John Goodman… he lives in New Orleans and he’d be a great fit.  I love it.

Within a few weeks the producer calls to say he’s on his way to Memphis and could I meet him and John Goodman’s “best friend,” at the Peabody Hotel.  (The Peabody lobby is where William Faulkner and his mistress used to have drinks.)  The meeting takes place and I give the best friend a copy of the latest book, which he assures us, will be in John Goodman’s hands within twenty-four hours. That was the last time I ever heard from him or the producer.  So I guess the deal is off.


In my primary occupation, I taught medical and dental students microscopic anatomy.  One day I get a call from a former dental student.  He’s now a part-time actor who’s been in a couple of notable films.  He says that he and a long-time Hollywood promoter have formed a production company and are looking for material. He remembers that I wrote a few novels and wonders what I’ve been doing since he last saw me. I talk about my work and send him some books.

Very soon thereafter he calls me again and says he and his partner “are on fire over these forensic books.”  They believe the series would make a great TV SERIES.  He asks me who I’d like to play Broussard.  I tell him I’ve always believed Wilford Brimley would be perfect.  Incredibly, my former student says that his partner had lunch with Wilford just last week.  He’s sure they can get him to sign on.  With an actor of Wilford’s stature attached to the project, we’ll surely get a deal.

Was all this talk about Brimley just smoke?  No.  Because they actually got him on board.  And what’s even better, my former student and his partner were working with another producer who had a development deal with the Sci-Fi network.  They planned to present my series to the network three weeks hence, focusing on the real and apparent paranormal aspects of the first two books.

On presentation day at the Sci-Fi Network my student calls me just before they go in.  I wait anxiously the rest of the day to hear how it went.  Years later, I’m still waiting.  The only contact I’ve had since presentation day is a big envelope from the producer who had the development deal.  In the envelope is a bunch of stuff I wrote for the presentation along with a note from the producer that says, “Sorry we couldn’t have worked longer on this together.”


Early in the machinations of the first development deal, I used to caution myself not to spend any time thinking about how great it would be if every week I could watch my characters living and breathing on a TV show.  My thinking was that if I kept a tight rein on my expectations, it’d be much easier on my psyche if things didn’t work out.

But then I realized I was missing out on the excitement of the possibility.  Why not let my mind run with it?  Then, even if none of the deals came to fruition I would still have the pleasure of being part of a great endeavor.  So that’s what I did.  And now, even though I never played that bit part in a pilot and I’ve never seen John Goodman or Wilford Brimley bring Broussard to life, I sure had a lot of fun along the way.

(By the way, if you’re a TV/film producer, the rights are available.)



D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

THE GHOST SHIFT by John Gapper

January 26, 2015

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John Gapper’s first novel is a riveting express paced book taking us into the world of modern day China.

Song Mei is a young woman who has been taken into the government Commission for Discipline Inspection and been in training to probe political corruption. She is considered a member with a bright future. Out of the blue she is taken to the scene of a police investigation of the death of a young woman and is jolted by the dead girl.

The woman is the exact replica of Song Mei, both in features and body form. Song immediately comes to the inescapable conclusion that the dead girl is related to her since any other explanation would not be creditable. Her superiors tell her to not attempt any investigation of the crime but Song’s every thought is to find out about her and what were the factors causing her death.

The novel takes us into the higher echelons of the party, a connection with the American CIA, the finding of Song’s parents and identifying the dead girl. Action involves a trip to the United States, the investigation of a Chinese manufacturer of electronic control boards and the discovery of an international conspiracy to spy on key figures in both the US and China.

Gapper has created a fascinating young lady about whom another book should be written following her adventures and providing more sleepless nights for his readers. A very well done book by a very promising author.

1/15 Paul Lane

THE GHOST SHIFT by John Gapper. Ballantine Books (January 20, 2015). ISBN: 978-0345527929. 320p.

CANE AND ABE by James Grippando

January 25, 2015

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Grippando, a south Florida resident, presents a stand alone novel involving an indictment of the sugar growing companies harvesting cane in the mid section of Florida. These companies, collectively known as “Big Sugar,” have been there for many years and have the reputation of being laws unto themselves.

Abe Beckham, a prosecutor for the state of Florida, becomes involved with an ongoing investigation seeking a serial killer targeting white women who are married or are dating a black man.  At one point in his past, Abe had been married to a black woman that was killed by cancer.  At the present time he is married to a girl he had been involved with prior to his meeting Samantha Vine, his deceased wife.
The serial killer had left the mutilated bodies of his victims on the cane fields of the sugar companies. Grippando incorporates an unofficial history of the horrible conduct of the sugar companies towards the people hired to harvest the cane as cutters. Alleged crimes include putting the workers into debt as soon as they start by charging for basic tools, eatable food and drinkable water, causing these people to become hopelessly indebted to their employers.
The search for the killer proceeds coupled with the sudden disappearance of Abe’s wife, Angelina, giving rise to the possibility of a copy cat killer  This might be a copycat because another victim is found, a  black girl, while the others were all white.
In typical Grippando fashion, the pace of the story is fast and absorbing with principal characters well sketched out.  Like most of his other novels the reader will find him or her self in an all nighter and caught in the action at the start.

1/15 Paul Lane

CANE AND ABE by James Grippando . Harper (January 20, 2015). ISBN: 978-0062295392. 368p.

SAVING GRACE by Jane Green

January 24, 2015

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I’ve been reading Jane Green since Jemima J., and have really loved how her books have evolved over the years. Saving Grace is another step forward for this terrific author.

Grace and Ted Chapman have been married for twenty years, living an idyllic life in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is a hugely successful literary author, and she is part of his support system; his beautiful, gracious wife, hostess of lavish dinner parties, and board member of a local charity where she teaches women to cook.

But unbeknownst to outsiders looking in at this power couple, Ted has some anger issues, and Grace lives her life walking on eggshells. Ted has an assistant who really keeps it all together, so when she needs to retire, they need a replacement and fast.

Enter Beth, the perfect assistant. She moves in and takes over and Ted is happy; Grace is uneasy but can’t quite put her finger on the problem. Then odd things start to happen, and Grace finds her life spiraling out of control. Beth is playing devious, diabolical games with this family and as the story unfurls, one shocking disaster after another, there doesn’t seem to be a way out for any of them.

Until Grace takes off for home – England. There she slowly recovers from all the damage and learns how to put her life back together. But even with that success, there are still more shocking revelations ahead.

This book was completely unputdownable. The characters are well developed, real, and memorable. The suspense builds throughout, never letting up, until the dramatic ending. Green focuses on problems of mental illness and the prescription drug epidemic in this country, in a way that inspires thoughtful discussion. A great read for book groups for sure.

1/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

SAVING GRACE by Jane Green. St. Martin’s Press (December 30, 2014). ISBN 978-1250047335. 320p.

LIFE OR DEATH by Michael Robotham

January 23, 2015

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What would cause a man to escape from prison one day before he is to be released?

A perplexing question seeing that if caught escaping, he faces another 20-25 years behind bars. Audie Palmer does just that. After 10 years in jail, subject to constant physical and mental harassment, and without telling anyone, Audie escapes.  He was imprisoned after being caught at a holdup of an armored car carrying seven million dollars in which four people were killed.  He pled guilty to participation in the crime and a plea bargain sent him away for the 10 years.  During the robbery he was shot in the head by police arriving at the scene but survived after months in the hospital.

    Michael Robotham, in a mesmerizing novel, answers the questions posed and treats his readers to an excellent read.  The seven million dollars stolen from the armored car never reappeared and Audie is suspected of knowing where it is.
Moreover, the cash is old bills, unmarked and destined for destruction by the authorities as a normal activity to keep the money supply clean. This means that it is easily spendable and untraceable. The armored car company has a contract to collect these bills from several banks at set periods and transport them to the site where they will be burned.
Robotham fleshes out the characters involved in his book quite well.  Audie is a complex individual with a very high I.Q. who thinks things out and does not act rashly.  We meet the authorities chasing him and learn to understand their motives in what is happening.
This is definitely a book to finish in one sitting in order to satisfy the interest in what is really happening.  Easily a five star novel and one that, if the reader has not read a book by Michael Robotham yet,  will make sure that his future writings are anticipated and obtained.

1/15 Paul Lane

LIFE OR DEATH by Michael Robotham. Hachette India (January 1, 2015). ISBN: 978-1414336275. 448p.


January 22, 2015

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A new contest!

I am delighted to offer An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey, a novel with recipes, to one lucky winner.

“That’s how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you’re invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. Then you find something, something you should not have found.”

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at forbidding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets, and lies. Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, she documents her adventures and culinary discoveries in an old household book of recipes, The Cook’s Jewel. Biddy grows intrigued by her fellow travelers, but her secretive and unconventional mistress is the most intriguing of all.

In London, Biddy finds herself attracted to her mistress’s younger brother. In France, she discovers her mistress’s dark secret. At last in Italy, Biddy becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, knowing the secrets she holds could be a key to a better life, or her downfall.

Inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes and set at the time of the invention of the first restaurants, An Appetite for Violets is a literary feast for lovers of historical fiction. Martine Bailey’s novel opens a window into the fascinating lives of servants, while also delivering a suspenseful tale of obsession and betrayal.

Martine Bailey¹s An Appetite for Violets is the perfect recipe of a novel. Biddy is an irresistible heroine, and readers will delight in her 18th century recipes, which are actual, real, researched recipes that Martine transcribed.

 If you would like to win a copy, please send an email to with “WIN VIOLETS” as the subject. You must include your snail mail address in your email.

All entries must be received by February 4, 2015. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States and Canada only. Your book will be sent by the publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martins Press.

One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.

2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Nominees

January 21, 2015

mwaMystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 206th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the Nominees for the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2014. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 69th Gala Banquet, April 29, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.



This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)

The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown)

Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse – Ballantine Books)


Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton)

Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown Publishers)

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)


The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Albani (Penguin Randomhouse – Penguin Books)

Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Barkeep by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)

The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)

The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)



Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America

by Kevin Cook (W.W. Norton)

The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Other Side: A Memoir by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House Books)

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

by William Mann (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)

The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation

by Harold Schechter (Amazon Publishing – New Harvest)




The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis

by Charles Brownson (McFarland & Company)

James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction

by Jim Mancall (Oxford University Press)

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch (University of Illinois Press)

Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film

by Francis M. Nevins (Perfect Crime Books)

Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe

by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton – Countryman Press)



“The Snow Angel” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)

“200 Feet” – Strand Magazine by John Floyd (The Strand)

“What Do You Do?” – Rogues by Gillian Flynn

(Penguin Randomhouse Publishing – Ballantine Books)

“Red Eye” – Faceoff  by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly (Simon & Schuster)

“Teddy” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Brian Tobin (Dell Magazines)


Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

 (Clarion Books – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder

and Steve Hockensmith  (Quirk Books)

Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)


 The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group – Kathy Dawson Books)

Fake ID by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Amistad)

The Art of Secrets by James Klise (Algonquin Young Readers)

The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


“The Empty Hearse” – SherlockTeleplay by Mark Gatiss (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)

“Unfinished Business” – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor (CBS)

“Episode 1” – Happy Valley, Teleplay by Sally Wainwright (Netflix)

 “Dream Baby Dream” – The Killing, Teleplay by Sean Whitesell (Netflix)

“Episode 6” – The Game, Teleplay by Toby Whithouse (BBC America)


“Getaway Girl” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine By Zoë Z. Dean (Dell Magazines)


Lois Duncan

James Ellroy


Ruth & Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine

Kathryn Kennison, Magna Cum Murder


Charles Ardai, Editor & Founder, Hard Case Crime

* * * * * *


(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Tuesday, April 28, 2015)

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books)

The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey (Minotaur Books)

Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)

Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)


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