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The fourth in our series of interviews conducted at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Jeff Parker lets us in on his feelings about ending his Charlie Hood series after having the characters as companions through almost a decade and six books.



I find adjectives woefully inadequate when it comes to describing Jeff Parker’s work. I guess absorbing, captivating and terrific are good starts. I’m in no way unique in my praise: Jeff has won three Edgar Awards, which puts him in rarefied territory indeed. Jeff’s career has been fiction for about 30 years now, but he started out as a journalist. When I was editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he revisited his former occupation to write “Traffic Stop,” a piece on ATF agents working against the seemingly unstoppable flow of guns.


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Darrell James started his mystery writing career with short stories for which he garnered a shelf full of awards. His first full-length mystery, Nazareth Child, which introduced private investigator Del Shannon and is one of those stories that taps into at least one of everyone’s worst fears, won the Left Coast Crime Eureka Award for Best First Novel. Darrell has added two more to the series, Sonora Crossing and Purgatory Key.


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SoM’s third installment recorded at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Welcome back! Les and I do our best to make sure our podcasts are published at the beginning of each week, but last week he and I were otherwise engaged in New York City at the Edgar Award’s banquet. I talk about it a bit on the podcast, so I won’t repeat myself here. Needless to say, if you are fan of mysteries and thrillers, the Edgar Awards is a slice of heaven. And this particular Edgar’s (I’ve been twice before) was especially good. Master of Ceremonies Brad Meltzer was superb.

April Smith’s next book is not part of her FBI Special Agent Ana Grey series. It’s a stand-alone novel titled A Star for Mrs. Blake. I’ll let April explain more in her interview.

Stephen Jay Schwartz has also stepped away from his series featuring the troubled LAPD Detective Hayden Glass to write a stand alone. Stephen’s new mystery, Triple X, centers around a young FBI agent who goes to Amsterdam to escort a fugitive back to the U.S. In his own words, Stephen describes it as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold meets 3:10 to Yuma.

Episode Six, scheduled for publication on May 12, includes our interview with T. Jefferson Parker, who talks about his stand-alone novel—I’m sensing a trend here. We also speak to Darrell James, who talks about the third in his Del Shannon series of mysteries. I don’t recall him mentioning a stand-alone, but he does discuss how he’s about to embark on a  series of novellas with a new protagonist.

As soon as it’s edited, we’ll be publishing our interview with Jo Nesbø—former soccer star, rock star and Norway’s most famous author—scheduled on May 13. Check back here and on Facebook for further details.




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The Norwegian Mystery Phenom Is Scheduled for an Interview.

jonesboHe’s one of the world’s best-selling authors. In a past interview I did with Jo for the Los Angeles Review of Books, I noted the following, “One statistic I’ve heard is that a Jo Nesbø book in one of at least 40 languages is sold somewhere in the world every 23 seconds. I did the math: that works out to 3,756.5 books a day; 1,371,130 a year.” Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Most mystery readers discovered Nesbø through his Harry Hole series (The Snowman, Phantom and the most recent Hole, Police). His next release in the United State is going to be a stand-alone, The Son(pub. date May 13, 2014). I’ve just started the Advanced Readers Copy and I can barely put it down long enough to write this post.

Let us know if you have any questions you’d like us to ask Jo.



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Our second installment of interviews recorded at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books features Lee Goldberg and Stuart Woods.

stuart with carnal curiosityLes and I are off to the Edgar Awards being held Thursday, May 1 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. If you are looking for a reading list of epic caliber, you can’t go wrong reading through the nominees. Between the two of us, Les and I have read almost all of them. I don’t want to play favorites—and they are all so different—but while the nominees for Best Novel are familiar names, you might want to take a look at the nominees for First Novel. They are all stellar. The judges will have a challenging time picking an overall winner. But, as they say, it’s an honor to be nominated. And it’s excellent reading for fans of the genre.



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Mysteries in all mediums!

The organizers of Dark & Stormy are whipping up a perfect storm of crime writers–including Brighton homie Peter James–spies, music, film, TV and music. Listen to Peter talk about his home town of Brighton in SoM’s Episode Three and you’ll get a glimpse into why it’s not just the perfect backdrop for crime fiction, but a why-didn’t-we-think-of-this-sooner location for a festival for the genre.

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Cara Black’s character, Paris private detective Aimee Leduc, went to great lengths to find the right gun. She picked the sleek little Beretta Nano because it fits in her vintage Valentino clutch.

When Les and I were having this discussion of weaponry with Cara, Les wondered if Aimee might be interested in the Flashbang Bra Holster.  Who knows, it could trend with fictional female detectives everywhere.



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At the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Les Klinger and I spoke first to Peter James and later to Cara Black.

Peter James - black coat

Peter James talks about his character Roy Grace’s missing wife, how he found the inspiration for his most recent Grace novel, Dead Man’s Time, his research methods and gives us a preview of the next Roy Grace novel.










Cara Black travels from her home in San Francisco, California to Paris, France to research her Aimee Leduc series of mysteries, each set in a different neighborhood in the City of Light.



Her most recent, Murder in Pigalle, is the 14th in the series. Number 15 is currently on her laptop undergoing editing and Cara is currently in Paris researching Aimee Leduc number 16. Les and I agree it’s tough assignment—spending time in Paris drinking wine and doing research—but someone has to do it. And very few do it as well as Cara.

Next in our series recorded at the Mystery Ink Bookstore booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books are interviews with Stuart Woods and Lee Goldberg. It will be posted in iTunes next week on April 28, 2014.


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Looking forward to mysterious insights April 12-13

Lee Goldberg, Sara Gran, Denise Hamilton, Attica Locke, Peter James, T. Jefferson Parker, Lisa Scottoline, April Smith and Stuart Woods are just some of the mystery writers from all over the world who will be at the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend at USC. (Les will also be there in his official capacity, moderating “Dark Fantasy: Things That Go Bump in the Night.”) Les and I have reached out to all of them for some quality interview time to share with you on future podcasts. Many thanks to Mystery Ink Bookstore in Huntington Beach, CA for opening their booth to SoM so we can record.

Visit “Speaking of Mysteries” on FB and let us know if you have any questions for anyone and we’ll ask ’em! (And feel free to “like” us while you’re there.)

Stay tuned.

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Our first guest on the program is Robert Crais!

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In our exclusive interview, we ask Bob about his reaction to being named one of this year’s Mystery Writer of America’s Grand Masters and about his work to date, including observations on the reaction to last year’s best seller, Suspect.



And Bob gives us an inside look at his next book that, hopefully, will be out later this year. It was a great interview to do and we hope you enjoy listening to Bob as much as we did.

Nancie conducted the interview at World Headquarters, which is a shoe free environment. She wore white, nondescript socks not worth noting. Bob set the tone and raised the bar as he always does, whether it’s writing a mystery or shoeless sartorial-ism.


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Welcome to the first ever Speaking of Mysteries podcast. If you are a fan of any of the many permutations of the mystery-thriller genre, Nancie Clare and Leslie Klinger are confident that you will enjoy listening. Every week we’ll bring you the news and views from those who write, act and produce mystery and thrillers in all mediums—novels, graphic novels, TV, film and video games—from all over the world.

Because Les is an eminent Sherlockian (a member of the Baker Street Irregulars and author of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and, along with Laurie R. King, is the editor of A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon and its upcoming followup In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon due out this November), look for lots of insight into one of the most famous detectives of all time.

Nancie Clare, former editor in chief of LA, The Los Angeles Times Magazine and co-founder of the single issue iPad publication, Noir Magazine, has interviewed and edited interviews of mystery writers including Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Lee Child, Denise Mina, Jo Nesbø and Val McDermid. For her, mysteries are much more than “entertainment fiction,” they are windows into good, evil, crime, punishment, guilt and redemption. And, all over the world, some of the best writing being done today .

Episode 1:

Part One: Nancie Clare and Leslie Klinger introduce themselves and explain to the mystery-loving world at large why this podcast is a must listen.

Part Two: Les Klinger explains the court case he and Laurie R. King fought to free Sherlock Holmes! Or at least free the rights to the character.

For more information on the case and to see copies of the filings, visit

We want to hear from you! Let us know if there is a writer, actor and/or director you’d like us to interview and we’ll get on the case; take a look at our upcoming schedule and tell us what you are dying to know about the interviewee and/or his or her characters! Please subscribe to our podcast and tell all of your friends.