Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tom Franklin's "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" Nominated for Best Novel Anthony Award

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin has been nominated for a 2011 Anthony Award as Best Novel. The Anthony Awards are given at each annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention with the winners selected by attendees. The award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. This year's Bouchercon will be held this September 15-18 right here in St. Louis.

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was also nominated for an Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America.

Reviewing Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter in the Washington Post, Ron Charles said
The incantatory title of Tom Franklin's terrific new novel comes from the way children in the South are taught to spell Mississippi: "M-I crooked letter crooked letter I crooked letter crooked letter I humpback humpback I." But letters aren't the only thing twisted in the rural town of Chabot, Mississippi, where this story of long-delayed repercussions and revelations takes place. Franklin, an Edgar-winning writer of atmospheric tales, deserves an audience to match the praise he's attracted for [his previous books]. If you're looking for a smart, thoughtful novel that sinks deep into a Southern hamlet of the American psyche, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is your next book.

The opening chapter introduces us to Larry Ott, a gentle weirdo -- "Scary Larry" to the locals -- who lives his simple, strictly ritualized life in withering isolation. The fact that his house is full of books -- mostly horror novels -- does little to discourage the rumors about him. Every morning, he puts on a clean uniform and goes to his auto repair shop, hoping someone will stop in. But no one ever has, which renders "his shop more a tradition than a business." Not that such economic stagnation is uncommon in this town marked by touches of Gothic decay. The local clothing store, for instance, "had gone so long without customers it'd briefly become a vintage clothing store without changing stock."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Robert J. Randisi Book Signing on Saturday, July 23, at 1:00 p.m.

Big Sleep Books, 239 North Euclid Avenue in the C.W.E., is pleased to welcome author Robert J. Randisi to the shop for a book signing on Saturday, July 23, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Randisi will be signing and discussing his newest Rat Pack mystery, featuring Frank and the gang; Fly Me To the Morgue. Randisi is author of the Nick Delvecchio series and the executive director of Private Eye Writers of America.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death" by Charlie Huston

Charlie Huston's The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death has been a Big Sleep favorite since it came out as a trade paperback in December 2009.

Random House's blurb:
With his teaching career derailed by tragedy and his slacker days numbered, Webster Fillmore Goodhue makes an unlikely move and joins Clean Team, charged with tidying up L.A.'s grisly crime scenes. For Web, it's a steady gig, and he soon finds himself sponging a Malibu suicide's brains from a bathroom mirror and flirting with the man's bereaved and beautiful daughter.

Then things get weird: The dead man's daughter asks a favor. Every cell in Web's brain tells him to turn her down, but something makes him hit the Harbor Freeway at midnight to help her however he can. Soon enough it's Web who needs the help when gun-toting California cowboys start showing up on his doorstep. What's the deal? Is it something to do with what he cleaned up in that motel room in Carson? Or is it all about the brewing war between rival trauma cleaners? Web doesn't have a clue, but he'll need to get one if he's going to keep from getting his face kicked in. Again. And again. And again.
Charlie Huston reported on his blog in January of this year that
The pilot for The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death was shot, edited, submitted and passed on by HBO. In simple terms this means there will be no profit generating TV series based on one of my books premiering on a pay cable channel near you.

There are obvious negatives to this end, most of them revolve around money (though, in all honesty, I had a tremendous amount of fun in the process and would have liked to have had more), the positives are more subtle, but, seeing as they revolve around family and not having a boss, they are also highly prized.

I was shocked to discover that I was interested in adapting All Signs of Death, and even more surprised to discover that the idea of working on a TV show in a day to day manner became appealing. Would have been nice to take a crack at that, but I still feel very much as if I walked into the casino, pushed my bet well beyond the point of sanity, and walked out with a great deal of the house’s filth lucre in my pocket. Plus I got comped a suite and tickets to a great show.

Speaking of great shows, the pilot itself was pretty damn good. Whenever you endeavor to do something very complicated in a very short period of time with somewhat limited resources there are going to be compromises and mistakes that you just have to deal with. I think both were minimized beyond any reasonable expectation. Someday the hunger for content may induce someone to create an archive of pilots that never went to series. Short of that, I don’t think too many people are going to get to see the All Signs of Death pilot. I consider that a damn shame. Probably my one real regret from not putting this thing on the air is that folks will miss out on Ben Whishaw as Web Goodhue. The cast was pretty fucking great top to bottom, but Mr. Whishaw was remarkable

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Claire Applewhite To Sign "St. Louis Hustle" on Saturday, July 16

Author Claire Applewhite signs and discusses the second entry in her 'Nam Noir series, St. Louis Hustle at Big Sleep Books, 239 N. Euclid, St. Louis, on Saturday, July 16, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. For more information, call 314-361-6100.

St. Louis Hustle features two St. Louis landmarks, the Coral Court Motel, and the City Hospital, as Vietnam Vet turned detective Elvin Suggs trails a philandering husband only to find himself entangled in a web of lethal deception.

You can read an excerpt from St. Louis Hustle by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Dark Dreams" by Michael Genelin Out Now In Paperback

Michael Genelin's Dark Dreams is out now in paperback, and Big Sleep has it in stock.

USA Today said:
“Readers hungry for a fresh crime setting will be enormously satisfied with Michael Genelin’s Jana Matinova novels based in Bratislava, Slovakia, a place relatively unknown to Westerners. Matinova goes head-to-head with a beloved childhood friend whose budding political career is in crash mode because of an affair. The portrayal of life in post-Communist Slovakia is riveting.”

Soho Press' Synopsis:
Prudent Jana and impetuous Sofia were best friends when they were schoolmates. One day Sofia approached a man in a car when she shouldn't have and ended up being raped by a nefarious Communist Party bigwig. Jana pursued the culprit's car, identified him, and vowed someday to bring him to justice.

Now Jana is a Commander in the Slovak police force and Sofia, having made a name as a reformer, is a member of parliament. Jana has fallen in love with an upright government prosecutor and Sofia is carrying on a notorious affair with a suave, married fellow MP.

One day Jana finds an enormous diamond dangling from a string fixed to the ceiling of the living room of her house. Was it put there as a present? Or, more likely, to entrap her? Where did this magnificent jewel come from? And why was it left for her to find? The answer leads Jana across Europe to unravel a criminal conspiracy involving multiple murders which has entangled her hapless, impulsive friend, Sofia, in its web, and ultimately to the criminal mastermind, the onetime Communist Party boss.
You can read the first chapter of Dark Dreams by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Fun and Games" by Duane Swierczynski

Mulholland Books' Blurb:
Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop still reeling from the revenge killing of his former partner’s entire family, fears one thing above all else: that the same thing will happen to him.

Languishing in self-imposed exile, Charlie has become a glorified house sitter. His latest gig comes replete with an illegally squatting B-movie actress who rants about hit men that specialize in making deaths look like accidents. Unfortunately, it’s the real deal. Hardie finds himself squared off against a small army of the most lethal men in the world.

It’s nothing personal -- the girl just happens to be the next name on their list. For Hardie, though, it’s intensely personal. He’s not about to let more innocent people die. Not on his watch.
You can read an excerpt on Mulholland Book's web site.

Duane Swierczynski -- pronounced "sweer-ZIN-ski" -- is currently chronicling his across-the-nation book tour on Secret Dead Blog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Poisoner's Handbook" by Deborah Blum Out Now in Paperback

The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum is now out in paperback, and Big Sleep Books has it in stock.

The Poisoner’s Handbook has been nominated for a Macavity Award as best nonfiction book by the members of Mystery Readers International. The Macavity winners will be announced at this year’s Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, September 15-18, in St. Louis, Missouri.

New York Times: "The Poisoner’s Handbook is an inventive history that, like arsenic mixed into blackberry pie, goes down with ease."

Washington Post: "Not only is The Poisoner's Handbook as thrilling as any CSI episode, but it also offers something even better: an education in how forensics really works."

Dallas Morning News: In this bubbling beaker of a book, [Blum] mixes up a heady potion of forensic toxicology, history and true crime. Her account of the ongoing battle between scientists and killers in Jazz Age New York is more startling than any CSI: NY script.

BookPage: The Poisoner’s Handbook is that rare nonfiction book that has something for everyone, whether you are a true-crime aficionado, a political-history buff, a science geek or simply a fan of well-written narrative suspense.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Macavity Awards Nominees

Presented annually by Mystery Readers International, the Macavity Awards honor the best in mystery as voted by MRI members. The winners will be announced at this year’s Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, September 15-18, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Best Mystery Novel

The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke

Faithful Place by Tana French

The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan

Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

Best First Mystery Novel

The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva

The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron

Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill

A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic

Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction

The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum

Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran

Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction, edited by Maxim Jakubowski

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang

Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank W. Wagner

Best Mystery Short Story

“The Scent of Lilacs” by Doug Allyn in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

“Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron in Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side

“Devil’s Pocket” by Keith Gilman in Philadelphia Noir

“The Gods for Vengeance Cry” by Richard Helms in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

“Bookworm” by G.M. Malliet in Chesapeake Crimes: They Had It Comin’

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery

A Marked Man by Barbara Hamilton

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley

The Red Door by Charles Todd

The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia