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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


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In Pleasantville, Attica Locke picks up the story of activist-turned-environmental lawyer Jay Porter, who she introduced to us in her debut thriller, Black Water Rising


Attica Locke 2015, credit Jenny Walters Pleasantville jacket


In her own words, Attica was thrilled that Pleasantville was published when it was. You see, for the foreseeable future she plans to be otherwise engaged with another writing project: being a writer and producer of the breakout hit Empire, which has just been renewed for its second season.

Photo of Attica Locke ©Jenny Walters


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The Glasgow Trilogy—The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, How a Gunman Says Goodbye and The Sudden Arrival of Violence—is a trio of crime fiction tales told from the other side of the law


lewis winter howagunmansaysgoodbyesuddenarrival


The first installment in Malcolm Mackay’s Glasgow Trilogy, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and longlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year Award. The second installment, How a Gunman Says Goodbye, won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award at Bloody Scotland in 2013. It’s worth noting that the other nominees for that year’s Deanston Award included Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid, Denise Mina and Ian Rankin.


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This week Speaking of Mysteries takes a break to catch up on its reading

books for SoM

But we’ll be back on Monday April 20 with our next series of interviews:

  • Christopher Brookmyre on Dead Girl Walking, his most recent Jack Parlabane mystery
  • Marsha Clark on her foreword for the new edition of Meyer Levin’s Compulsion from Fig Tree Publishing
  • Tom Nolan makes a return visit to discuss Ross Macdonald: Four Novels of the 1950s, which he edited for The Library of America
  • Attica Locke on Pleasantville, the sequel to her debut novel Black Water Rising.


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Exotic doesn’t even begin to describe the setting of The Strangler Vine, M.J. Carter’s debut crime fiction novel: India in the mid-1830’s complete with tiger hunts, bags of jewels and the pursuit of the mysterious Thuggee cult through the jungles and along the Grand Truck Road


Miranda Carter_©Roderick Field The Strangler Vine jacket


Photo of M.J. Carter ©Roderick Field


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In 1982 when most female characters in mystery fiction were femme fatales, victims or nosy neighbors, Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski started investigating on the mean streets of Chicago


Sara Paretsky Author Photo- Credit Steven E. Gross CRITICAL MASS Jacket


Sara talks about how characters reveal things about themselves, as was the case with V.I.’s close friend Lotty in her current Critical Mass, her tenure as president of the Mystery Writers of America as well as her upcoming novel featuring V.I.—the 17th—Brush Back, which is due out in July.


high res jacket image_BRUSH BACK













Photo of Sara Paretsky © Steven E. Gross


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According to Cat, when she learned about the Edgar Award nomination for her stand alone mystery, The Day She Died, the Scottish crime fiction writer lost complete control of her dialect and wrote to a U.S. editor that she was “chuffed as little mince balls”

cat mcphersonDay She Died (2)


Les Klinger and I also spoke to Cat about her Dandy Gilver series and her next stand-alone mystery, Come to Harm, due out on May 8, 2015, as well as her presidency of Sisters in Crime, which is dedicated to the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.


Come to Harm