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According to the critic of mysteries and thrillers for The Wall Street Journal, we are in a Golden Age of crime fiction

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Who better to discuss the state of mysteries and thrillers than a critic who specializes in the genre? The topics Tom discusses run the gamut: from the greats of yesteryear—Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald—to current authors writing historical mysteries—Kelli Stanley, Robert Harris, Alan Furst, Simon Sebag-Montefiore and Robert Olen Butler—and crime fiction writers now available in translation—Fuminon Nakamura and Shuichi Yoshinda. Oh, and along the way he also weighed in on Sophie Hannah’s turn as the grande dame of mysteries, Agatha Christie, and the consistent excellence of Michael Connelly.

Tom Nolan’s most recent book is Three Chords for Beauty’s Sake, a biography of Artie Shaw. Next summer, Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald, co-edited with Suzanne Marrs, will be published.

photo of Tom Nolan ©David Strick


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Murder, dismemberment, stalking and blackmail are all part of the journey The Forgers takes through the territory where love and books overlap.


Bradford Morrow - Jessamine Chan creditForgers dust jacket


If the first five words of The Forgers—”They never found his hands.”—don’t intrigue you, you might want to check to see if you have a pulse.

Photo of Bradford Morrow ©Jessamine Chan


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The man with—at least for fans of crime fiction and thrillers—one of the best jobs in the world, shares his opinions on the state of genre

Tom Nolan, whose biography of California noir writer Ross MacDonald was nominated for an Edgar Award, talks mysteries, thrillers, must-reads and gives his honest opinion of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Look for the interview soon on the SoM website and in iTunes.

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The Anthony Award-nominated YA writer talks about Hero Complex, the second novel in the Keaton School series.


Margaux FroleyHero Complex


Margaux’s main character, Devon Mackintosh, is a fish out of water at her boarding school, which gives her a unique perspective. Pretty handy when you’re trying to get to the bottom of a mysterious death school authorities would prefer everyone accept as accidental. Some of the best writing in genre fiction is being done in the YA category, so why should young people have all the fun?



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In The Empire of Night, we pick up the story of Christopher Marlowe Cobb, who survived the sinking of the Lusitania, as he hunts down German sympathizers in the British aristocracy during the early months of World War One.


Robert Olen Butler, Empire verticalEmpire of Night jacket


The idea of Christoper “Kit” Cobb, grew out of “The One in White,” a short story written in 2004 for The Atlantic. In our interview Robert tells us what sparked the idea for the story, as well as why a series that takes place in World War One is more timely than you might suspect.

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The postcard that inspired “The One in White.”

Review of The Empire of Night in the Tampa Bay Times.


Photo of Robert Olen Butler © Kelly Lee Butler.


Posted by & filed under Updates & Coming Attractions.

Having survived the sinking of the Lusitania, American Secret Agent Christopher Marlowe Cobb returns in The Empire of Night.

For this mission, Kit must find a German mole in the British aristocracy and for this he has help—from his mother, Isabel Cobb, one of the world’s most famous stage actresses.

Look for our interview with Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Olen Butler here on the site and in iTunes, Monday, October 6.

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Billy Boyle is back in The Rest Is Silence, the ninth installment in the series of Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries.


Jim Benn for Rest Is Silence (credit D. Mandel)978-1-61695-266-2 (1)


James. R. Benn first book, On Desperate Ground, took place during World War II, but was not a mystery. But one of the story’s secondary characters, police detective Billy Boyle, stayed with him. And James has returned the favor by staying with him: the ninth in the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries, The Rest Is Silence, was published a few weeks ago. And the next one, The White Ghost, due in 2015, has just been completed. In his interview James provides a tantalizing preview to Billy Boyle’s next adventure. Or rather, tells the story of an adventure Billy had back in 1943 in the Pacific investigating another Bostonian who had lost his ship. His PT boat to be exact.

Photo of James R. Benn © D. Mandel