Cops and Private Eyes ~ Show September 12 and 13


“Black” by Russell Blake
“Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter
“Brush Back” by Sara Paretsky
“Cross and Burn” by Val McDermid
“X” by Sue Grafton
“Dexter is Dead” by Jeff Lindsay
“Bum Rap” by Paul Levine

Sara Paretsky, Author

An arresting mix of new titles with amateur sleuths, private eyes and cops in the line up. Sara Paretsky drops by to speak about her newest title in the VI Warshawski series, “Brush Back.”

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Hispanic Authors ~ Show September 5 and 6


“Ripper” by Isabel Allende
“The Water Museum” by Luis Alberto Urrea
“Rag and Bone” by Michael Nava
“It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris” by Patricia Engel
“At Night We Walk in Circles” by Daniel Alarcon
“Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass” by Meg Medina
“The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho” by Anjanette Delgado

Michael Nava, Author

New works by Hispanic authors, tales told with atmospheric prose, carefully crafted characters and old fashioned storytelling. Michael Nava stops by to speak about his new title, “The City of Palaces.”

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Literary Potpourri ~ August 29 and 30


“Barbarian Days” by William Finnegan
“Paper Towns” by John Green
“The Jezebel Remedy” by Martin Clark
“Wicked Charms” by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
“Crooked” by Austin Grossman
“Oregon Trail” by Rinker Buck
“Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party” by Alexander McCall Smith

Patrick Nolan, Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief, Penguin Books

A preview of the summer’s hottest books in wide range of genres: fiction, nonfiction, travel and occult. Elaine speaks with Patrick Nolan of Penguin Books about the publishing house’s distinguished 80 year anniversary.

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Books On Crooks ~ Show August 22 and 23


“Grandissimo” by David G Schwartz
“Blood Aces” by Doug Swanson
“Spam Nation” by Brian Krebs
“The Cartel” by Don Winslow
“The Marauders” by Tom Cooper
“Gangland New York” by Anthony DeStefano
“A Man Without Breath” by Philip Kerr

Doug Swanson, Author

Books on crooks offers up a literary look at the dons, godfathers and swindlers – from Vegas to the Big Apple – who made mob history. We’ll preview new nonfiction and fiction about flawed, fascinating men, including a riveting bio on Benny Binion by this week’s guest, Doug Swanson.

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Spies, Detectives and Cops ~ Show August 15 and 16


“The English Spy” by Daniel Silva
“Die Again” by Tess Gerritsen
“Thin Air” by Ann Cleeves
“Devil’s Bridge” by Linda Fairstein
“Nemesis” by Catherine Coulter
“Palace of Treason” by Jason Matthews
“Code of Conduct” by Brad Thor

Tess Gerritsen, Author

As summer winds down, publishers offer up a super selection of one of our favorite beach-worthy genres: spies, detectives and cops. Tess Gerritsen stops by to chat about two subjects she’s passionate about: her Alzheimer’s Research support initiative and her new Rizzoli and Isles adventure.

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Stephen King Wins The Edgar Award

Master of horror Stephen King has won America’s top crime-writing award for his serial killer thriller “Mr Mercedes.” The novel sees King steer clear of paranormal elements to focus on a very human evil. The book beat titles by more traditional practitioners of crime writing including Ian Rankin, Stuart Neville and Karin Slaughter was named best novel at the Edgar Awards in New York at the end of April.

“He represents a plausible evil; it’s impossible not to hear echoes in his story of other troubled young American men who have opened fire in crowded schools or cinemas, as King peels back the layers to understand how a killer like Brady is formed,” said the Observer review of the novel.

Run by the Mystery Writers of America, the Edgars, named for Edgar Allan Poe, have been running for over 60 years, with the best novel prize won in the past by Patricia Highsmith, John le Carré and Raymond Chandler.

“Well, on the minus side I didn’t win the Edgar award – some young ruffian called Stephen King did. On the plus side … I got to meet Mr King,” tweeted Rankin after King’s win. The Scottish writer had been shortlisted for “Saints of the Shadow Bible,” part of his series of crime novels about the detective John Rebus. Neville, shortlisted for “The Final Silence,” in which a woman discovers a catalogue of victims in her late uncle’s house, wrote on Twitter: “I didn’t win the Edgar, but I got to meet @StephenKing, who was very gracious in tolerating my fawning.”

The best first novel by an American author award went to “Dry Bones in the Valley” by Tom Bouman. Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl,” took the best short story prize for “What Do You Do,” from the Rogues anthology. The ceremony also saw James Ellroy and Lois Duncan named grand masters, an honor the Mystery Writers of America says represents “the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing”.

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Ruth Rendell Dies At Age 85

Ruth Rendell, one of Britain’s best-loved authors, who delighted fans for decades with her dark, intricately plotted crime novels, passed away on May 2. Baroness Rendell of Babergh, the creator of Inspector Wexford and author of more than 60 novels, had been admitted to hospital after a serious stroke in January and died in London.

The crime writer Val McDermid voiced the sorrow of many Rendell fans when she heard the news. “Ruth Rendell was unique. No one can equal her range or her accomplishment; no one has earned more respect from her fellow practitioners. Current British crime writing owes much to a writer who over a 50-year career consistently demonstrated that the genre can continually reinvent itself, moving in new directions, assuming new concerns and exploring new ways of telling stories.”

Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House UK, said: “Ruth was much admired by the whole publishing industry for her brilliant body of
work. An insightful and elegant observer of society, many of her award-winning thrillers and psychological murder mysteries highlighted the causes she cared so deeply about. She was a great writer, a campaigner for social justice, a proud mother and grandmother, a generous and loyal friend and probably the best read person I have ever met. Her many close friends in publishing and the House of Lords will greatly miss her wonderful company and her truly unique contribution to our lives.”

Rendell’s novels included the Inspector Wexford crime series and the psychological thrillers she wrote as Barbara Vine. Her debut, “From Doon with Death,” introduced Wexford in 1964. “He sort of is me, although not entirely,” the author told the Observer in 2013 when the inspector made his 24th outing, in “No Man’s Nightingale.” “Wexford holds my views pretty well on most things, so I find putting him on the page fairly easy.”

Rendell landed her £75 publishing deal after a decade of life as a mother and housewife. She had been a journalist on the Chigwell Times, but resigned after it emerged that her report of a local tennis club dinner had been written without attending the event, meaning she missed the death of the after-dinner speaker during his speech.

Ian Rankin said he’d viewed Rendell as “probably the greatest living crime writer” and added that “if crime fiction is currently in rude good health, its practitioners striving to better the craft and keep it fresh, vibrant and relevant, this is in no small part thanks to Ruth Rendell”.

Rendell’s death closely follows that of fellow crime writer PD James, her good friend and political opponent in the House of Lords. A tribute by the broadcaster and writer Mark Lawson this weekend called them “the George Eliot and Jane Austen of the homicidal novel: different minds and style but equal talent”. He credited them with saving British detective fiction from the disdain of serious literary critics.

Rendell won prizes including the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for “sustained excellence in crime writing”, and, as a Labour life peer, helped pass a law preventing girls being sent abroad for female genital mutilation.

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Courtroom Thrillers ~ show June 13 and 14


“The Fall” by John Lescroart
“The Enemy Inside” by Steve Martini
“Illegal” by Paul Levine
“A Crime of Passion” by Scott Pratt
“Killer Ambition” by Marcia Clark
“A Case of Redemption” by Adam Mitzner
“The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connelly

Steve Martini, Author

A great selection of courtroom thrillers. Which to read first? You be the judge. Elaine speaks to Steve Martini about his new title, “The Enemy Inside.”

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Beach Reads 2015 ~ Show June 6 and 7


“Finder’s Keepers” by Stephen King
“Radiant Angel” by Nelson DeMille
“My Sunshine Away” by M.O. Walsh
“Cash Landing” by James Grippando
“Inside the O’Briens” by Lisa Genova
“The Road to Character” by David Brooks
“The Year I Met You” by Cecelia Ahern

Nelson DeMille, Author

A first look at “beach reads” for your early summer enjoyment – everything from Stephen King’s newest to “chick lit” titles worth your time. Elaine speaks with Nelson DeMille, who’s back with another great John Corey adventure, “Radiant Angel.”

Did Police Attempt To Discredit An Arthur Conan Doyle Investigation?

Sherlock Holmes would never have stood for this: newly discovered documents show the Staffordshire police fabricated evidence to try to discredit Arthur Conan Doyle’s investigation into the curious case of George Edalji, a Birmingham solicitor accused of maiming horses and sending poison-pen letters at the turn of the 20th century.

In a printed report discovered in a collection of letters, chief constable of Staffordshire police, GA Anson, admits attempting to discredit Doyle by creating an elaborate ruse. This involved him fabricating a letter to the writer signed “A Nark, London” and setting up various informers to make Conan Doyle believe the letter had been sent by one Royden Sharp, the man the Sherlock Holmes creator had tapped for the so-called “Great Wyrley Outrages”.

“This letter is very well known to writers on the subject, and this document proves the letter was sent by Anson to Conan Doyle to try and discredit him,” said Sarah Lindberg of Bonhams, which put the report up for auction alongside 30 autographed letters from Doyle about the case, 24 of which are to Anson.

Julian Barnes, whose Booker-shortlisted novel Arthur and George retells the Edalji story, said he “knew Doyle had received a threatening letter in London, and he drew the obvious conclusion that it was one of the bad guys who was trying to warn him off.”.“The notion that it was actually the chief constable is quite discombobulating,” said Barnes, whose novel has been adapted by ITV into a series starring Martin Clunes as Conan Doyle and Arsher Ali as Edalji.

The twists and turns of Edalji’s case were complicated enough as it was. Son of an Indian father and English mother, the solicitor had been given seven years’ hard labor in 1903 for animal mutilation and anonymous letter writing. When he was released after three years of his sentence, he asked for help from Conan Doyle to prove his innocence. The novelist believed Edalji, and was convinced that “color was involved [in his conviction],” what we would now call ‘institutional racism.’ Conan Doyle bombarded Anson with almost daily letters between August and October 1907, providing new forensic evidence and offering alternative suspects, petitioning the Home Office, and speaking out publically about the conviction – no small thing, from the creator of the world’s most famous sleuth.

“You could see [Anson] would have been incredibly irritated by this case, which had been long solved,” said Barnes. “But to go as far as fabricating evidence … He was obviously a very self-confident man, which is partly why he and Doyle fell out so badly. Despite being two British gentlemen, they ended up locking horns like two mad, rutting stags.”

The letters, from a private collection that Bonhams put up for auction in March, reveal the breakdown in the relationship, and show Conan Doyle’s increasing frustration with the situation: He would later write of his regret that, “to the deep disgrace of the British Administration”, he was unable to secure compensation for Edalji, telling Anson: “Your letter is a series of inaccuracies mixed up with a good deal of rudeness.” Conan Doyle eventually demanded through his solicitors that Anson should not contact him again unless through legal channels. Anson’s growing anger is also revealed. In one note, he writes: “Is CD mad?” In another, he has it that “this matter is a personal one between Sir A Doyle and myself
The Sherlock Holmes creator remained convinced of Edalji’s innocence, as is Barnes today. In 1934, a laborer, Enoch Knowles, confessed to the letter writing, and was imprisoned, but the mutilator of horses remains unknown. Barnes, meanwhile, has no plans to revisit “Arthur and George” in the wake of the new evidence, but he may include the revelation in an afterword for the next edition. “I don’t think it changes the substantive outlines of the case, but it’s an interesting detail which tells us a lot about Anson.”

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