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In Dry Bones in the Valley, a body is found in the spring thaw and another murder occurs not long after in the
small town of Wild Thyme in rural Pennsylvania

Bouman, Tom Kirk © Lesli Van ZandbergenDry Bones in the Valley.indd


Tom Bouman’s protagonist, Henry Farrell—who has returned to the town to heal after a devastating loss of his own—needs to determine if the crimes relate to an old feud between two families or the fact that some of the county’s residents have sold the rights under their land to mining companies so they can extract natural gas by means of fracking. Or if it is something else entirely.

Photo of Tom Bouman ©Lesli Van Zandbergen


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Set in Las Vegas, the highly atmospheric, deeply noir Dragonfish, Vu Tran’s first mystery novel, takes its name from the Asian arowana, an endangered fish that’s supposed to bring good luck and keep evil away. But in the story of the intertwining lives of Robert, the Oakland cop, Suzy, his Vietnamese wife and Sonny, the Vietnamese gangster who is Suzy’s second husband, the promise of the fish’s power fails to fulfill either goal

Vu Tran © Chris Kirzeder_300dpiDragonfish mech 3p_r12.indd


Photo of Vu Tran ©Chris Kirzeder


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In The Redeemers, Ace Atkins’ newest crime novel, it’s the holidays and the about-to-be-ex Sheriff Quinn Colson encounters evil deeds and profound stupidity—and sometimes it’s hard to tell which is the more dangerous


Ace Atkins (c) Joe WorthemREDEEMERS


Ace also talks about writing for Garden & Gun, the award-winning magazine that covers the best of the South, including his essay in G&G‘s latest book, Good Dog.


good dog













Photo of Ace Atkins ©Joe Worthem


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Fina Ludlow is back in Brutality, Ingrid Thoft’s latest mystery about the thirtysomething Boston-based private investigator

Ingrid Thoft Credit Doug Berrett BRUTALITY


In a bit of a departure for Fina, she takes a case that doesn’t come through her family’s law firm. Initially, her dad isn’t happy about it. But then, when is Carl Ludlow, patriarch of the deeply dysfunctional Ludlow clan, ever completely happy with Fina?


Photo of Ingrid Thoft ©Doug Berrett


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I, Ripper, Stephen Hunter’s version of the story of Jack the Ripper, is a bloody good take on the timeless tale. And we mean that in every way


StephenHunter (c) Kelly CampbellI,Ripper CVR



Readers of Stephen Hunter’s three series about the Swagger clan, know he’s a firearms’ savant. In our interview, Steve discusses the Howdah (below), an unusual gun that plays a role in his novel.




Photo of Stephen Hunter ©Kelly Campbell


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Our next three interviews will take us all over time and geography

  • Sharon Bolton’s Little Black Lies is set in the Falkland Islands in the mid-1990s
  • In The Bomb Maker’s Son, Robert Rotstein stays close to home (at least for us) in L.A.’s Westside, but the story begins during the protests to the Vietnam War
  • Stephen Hunter’s I, Ripper explores unambiguously frightening territory: the mind of Jack the Ripper in late 19th century London.

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In her foreword to the re-publication of Compulsion, Meyer Levin’s remarkable novel based on the 1924 Leopold and Loeb trial in Chicago, Marcia Clark—who knows a thing or two about “Trials
of the Century”—reminds us that almost 60 years after its publication, Levin’s look at the justice system’s role in society continues to ring true


Marcia Clark photo by Claudia KuninCompulsion jacket


Far from being in any way dated, true-crime trial junkies as well as fans of legal procedurals will find Compulsion as fresh and compelling as anything being written today.

Photo of Marcia Clark ©Claudia Kunin