Peggy Webb, author of the Southern Cousins mystery series, chats with RT's Morgan about crafting her lighthearted cozy mystery stories, how Elvis the crime-solving basset hound came to be and gives us an insider look at amateur sleuth Callie and her latest adventure in Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble. Plus, get an exclusive look at what's next for Callie and Elvis! New to the series? You can download a free e-copy of the first Southern Cousins mystery, Elvis and the Dearly Departed, from Amazon here!
Author Harlan Coben is one of the top names of mystery. Today the bestselling scribe chats with RT's Morgan about his early novels, the evolution of his beloved sports agent-turned-sleuth, Myron, and how his trademark writing style developed. Readers can get a blast from the past when Coben chats about his second novel, Miracle Cure, which has just been re-released. And then don't miss a behind the scenes look at the author's latest new endeavor, his first-ever YA novel!
Hard Case Crime will be releasing James M. Cain's final work, a never-before-published mystery titled The Cocktail Waitress in Fall 2012.
James M. Cain is widely considered one of the best noir authors — on par with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler at the top of this mystery subgenre. Best known for his gritty mystery novels including Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice, Cain revealed in the preface of his bestselling Double Indemnity that he did not deliberately write noir novels. Instead he said, "I make no conscious effort to be tough, or hard-boiled, or grim, or any of the things I am usually called. I merely try to write as the character would write, and I never forget that the average man, from the fields, the streets, the bars, the offices, and even the gutters of his country, has acquired a vividness of speech that goes beyond anything I could invent, and that if I stick to this heritage, this logos of the American countryside, I shall attain a maximum of effectiveness with very little effort."
In the October issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS RT's Stephanie Klose profiled a few of our favorite new cozy mystery series. We adore these fun stories that feature small-town amateur sleuths, so we are keeping the fun going! Today we asked award-winning author Peggy Webb why she loves the subgenre and to get us up to speed on her series just before Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble hits stores next month.
Who is your sleuth?
One of my sleuths is the basset hound Elvis, who thinks he's the King of Rock 'n' Roll reincarnated. I believe a sleuth with four legs instead of two definitely qualifies as different! He is also one of the two major narrators.
How does the music theme play into the stories?
The first thing I noticed about Hard Case Crime’s fantastic noir titles was the retro-looking covers featuring busty babes and firm-jawed men. The throwback look gave you a taste of what was inside, whether it was a carefully curated reissue of a long-out-of-print classic or a new hardboiled novel by a modern-day writer.
I’m not the only one to be struck by the covers, which were painted by such masters of the craft as Robert McGinnis, Glen Orbik and Gregory Manchess. Designer Hally McGehean incorporated these iconic covers into her “Hard Case Crime dress,” which was on display during New York’s Fashion Week. The Hard Case dress was one of 10 McGehean paraded down the runway at a fashion show at New York’s High Line and a Soho Gallery yesterday. The dress in question has every cover ever published by Hard Case in the series incorporated into the skirt, and an especially clever use of McGinniss’ horizontal cover painting for Losers Live Longer by Russell Atwood. McGehean made that image into a belt for the dress, and fashioned the top out of tiny interleaved copies of John Farris’ Baby Moll (another McGinnis cover).
Today mystery author Eileen Carr comes clean about her "shameless" habit of using situations around her for writing inspiration. Do you want to know how soccer, alcoholism and the relationships that adults have with their parents all figure into her newest book Vanished in the Night? The author stopped by RT to answer this questions and more!
I get asked a lot about where I get my ideas. I think it would be easier to tell people where I don't get them. I am shameless. I don't think there's anything or anyone I won't mine for material for a book.
For instance, I mined my kids' soccer careers to come up with the setting for the school in Vanished in the Night. It gets trickier when you start stealing people's emotional lives.
I have several questions about the newly released movie poster for the film adaptation of Janet Evanovich's book One For the Money starring Katherine Heigl, but before I pick your brains, let's get a good look at the artwork:
Nice, right? A pretty girl, colorful background and handcuffs. The poster does an admirable job of reeling us in. But there are some niggling thoughts that I hope die-hard Evanovich fans can help me with.
1) Does anyone else think that Katherine Heigl is perhaps a tad too young to be playing Stephanie Plum? I always imagined Stephanie a bit older and a bit more ... life weary. It doesn't look like Heigl has spent anytime at all in Plum's stomping grounds of New Jersey. But the leather jacket and the tall boots — those are Stephanie all the way!
2) Did everyone catch the insider-y joke the tag line makes? "She's looking for a few not-so-good men." Okay, I know that in the story Stephanie becomes a bail bondswoman and the line can refer to that. But I still think this is a subtle reminder of the love triangle between her, Morelli and Ranger.
Bestselling author David Baldacci's long-running King & Maxwell series is slated to be produced by Shane Brennan's CBS TV Studios-based production company. Brennan, who has worked with CBS for several years, is taking a hands-on approach to the adaptation of the P.I.s Sean King and Michelle Maxwell.
Readers first met King and Maxwell in 2003's Split Second, when the ex-Secret Service agents opened up shop as Private Investigators and has a reputation for cutting straight to the heart of cases that are too sensitive for standard law enforcement agents. Next came Hour Game and Simple Genius in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
Back in 2009 the team was called in to help unravel a murder and kidnapping case that involves the daughter of President of United States in First Family. The novel received 4 1/2 stars from RT reviewer Sandra Garcia-Myers who raved, "Baldacci's latest intense and action-packed thriller has an intricate plot that pulls readers right in and keeps them guessing. But the real pleasure here are Sean and Michelle, who pull no punches in carrying out their investigation ..."
Editor and author Andrew Gulli and his sister Lamia J. Gulli are the editors of No Rest for the Dead, an amazing new serial mystery that was co-penned by twenty six authors over a span of four years. Today Andrew Gulli chats with RT Web Editor Morgan Doremus about curating this tale and how a serial novel different from an anthology. (Here's a quick way to tell the two apart, unlike an anthology in a serial novel more than one author writes the story, but each tells a different part of a single tale.) Gulli also gives us an insider's look at the characters of No Rest for the Dead, and shares the inspiration behind this extremely intriguing mystery!
Brad Pitt will star in the film adaptation of Mark Greaney's The Gray Man. This 2009 thriller novel introduced readers to covert operative Court Gentry, who is known in spy circles as "The Gray Man". Gentry gained his reputation for his skill at completing seemingly impossible assignments in utter stealth. But when The Gray Man becomes an international target he must do his best to stay alive.
The script was adapted by Adam Cozad but we can't wait to see how Brad Pitt really makes Court Gentry his own. This will be the first time that Pitt has played a spy since 2005's Mr. & Mrs. Smith. We are looking forward to Pitt bringing to life the stealthy and deadly Court Gentry in comparison to his role as the much more affable Mr. Smith.
(Fun fact: Mark Greaney's The Gray Man novel was followed by On Target in 2010. So, if the movie does well fans are that much closer to getting a Gray Man sequel!)