RT Daily Blog

Soup's On! Mystery Authors Share Their Favorite Turkey Day Soup Recipes

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 18, 2013 | PERMALINK

Have you made your Thanksgiving menu yet? We’re mostly done, but we’re always open to suggestions. Which is why we turned to some mystery authors to cook up some intrigue for us! Today we’ve got two soup recipes for you, one from Ellen Marie Wiseman, whose Top Pick! rated What She Left Behind hits shelves this January — and the other from Laura Levine, whose latest, "Nightmare on Elf Street" appears in Secret Santa and features elves, cats and murder. We know what we’ll be reading once the holidays are over! In the meantime, we’re heading to the kitchen to start cooking.

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Ellen Marie Wiseman’s Butternut Squash Soup

6-8 strips bacon (can you ever have enough bacon?)

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups mashed, cooked butternut squash (I bake mine for the best flavor, frozen squash doesn't do this soup justice!)

2 tablespoons flour


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Dueling Interview: Nina Croft vs. Tracy March

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 13, 2013 | PERMALINK

Nina Croft and Tracy March have a lot in common, seeing as they both write contemporary romance and romantic thrillers. But how do these authors approach writing in diverse genres? Find out in this fun, dueling interview!

Tracy: How does each subgenre influence how you name your characters — or does it?

Nina: The subgenre doesn’t influence my choice of names, as my character types tend to be the same, alpha heroes and strong heroines, but I do get fixated on certain choices. I once had four stories on the go, all with a character called Callum. I love the name, but obviously some had to go.

So Tracy, what affects your decision to write a particular genre at a particular time?

Tracy: Contracts and deadlines! I do find it challenging to transition from writing a sweet-and-sassy romance to a gritty thriller. My thriller characters get tempted to crack jokes, and I have to say, “This is serious. People are dead here! And there’s a mystery to solve, so get to work!”

Nina: I know what you mean — there’s a lot of snarky humor in my writing, but there is no place for snarkiness when the world is about to end.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Romance
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Bookstore-Owner-Turned-Author: William Petrocelli on Social Inspiration

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, OCTOBER 22, 2013 | PERMALINK
As avid readers, booksellers occupy a place near and dear in our hearts — second only to authors and beloved characters. So our interest was piqued when we heard of thriller author William Petrocelli, who also co-owns Book Passages Bookstore in San Fransisco and Marin County, California, with his wife, Elaine. We had to know how these dual roles played into the creation of William's futuristic thriller, The Circle of Thirteen. Here's what he had to say: 

Writing — particularly fiction writing — is a social craft. Every scene is a distilled, re-worked version of some observation I’ve had or some interaction with someone else during my lifetime. In The Circle of Thirteen, Julia Moro, who was then thirteen years old, is caught up in a huge peace march in San Francisco. The year is 2055, but it might as well be today. The protests, the placards, the chants, the visceral impact of that that peace march are pretty much the feelings I absorbed from those around me in 1969, when I marched to protest the invasion of Cambodia, or in 2003, when hundreds of thousands of us marched to protest the war in Iraq.


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Tags: Futuristic, Thriller, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Mystery Overview: October

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, OCTOBER 15, 2013 | PERMALINK

Is your favorite TV crime show Cold Case? Do you love the thrill of discovering whodunit in a long ago case, when victims and their family finally get closure after decades or wondering? If so, then this month’s mystery recommendations are just for you. Take a look at these titles, featuring cold cases, and enjoy!

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First up is Sara Paretskey’s Critical Mass, her latest V.I. Warshawski novel that delivers yet another suspenseful tale. This one features a complex missing persons case and a drug deal crime that has ties to a family in Vienna during World War II — and the first atomic bomb.

Meanwhile, in Peter JamesDead Man’s Time, a pocketwatch is the only clue to the 1922 murder of Gavin Daly’s father. Years later, in 2012, Detective Grace is investigating a murder and discovers a pocketwatch missing from the scene. When Gavin gets involved, he and Grace race to solve the case.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Author Q&A: Elissa Wald On The Secret Lives Of Married Women

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, OCTOBER 09, 2013 | PERMALINK
Two sisters — identical twins. Secrets. Shocking passion. Those are the circumstances for Elissa Wald's latest release, The Secret Lives of Married Women. This dark and erotic tale dives into the power dominance and submission have in our everyday lives — and the people who crave such dynamics. Today, Elissa discusses the inspiration for the new book, the darker elements of her work and how she's grown as a writer.

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Where did the idea for The Secret Lives of Married Women originate?

My husband and I bought a house several years ago, and there really was an overbearing worker next door whose attention made me very uncomfortable. Though I wasn’t alarmed by him at first, my husband was, and I’d kind of laughed this off. Then by the time I no longer thought it was funny, I was hesitant to tell my husband how I felt because I didn’t want to create this instant enmity between him and a person who was essentially — at least for the time being — our neighbor.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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On Marriage, Mothers and Murder: Meg Cabot Tells All

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 | PERMALINK

Meg Cabot doesn’t just do princesses, she also writes madcap murder mysteries! And this week the erstwhile protagonist of her Heather Wells mystery series finally gets down the altar — or tries to anyway, as corpses and family drama stand in the way of Heather’s HEA in The Bride Wore Size 12. We caught up with Meg for the scoop, and some pointers on wedding planning — and murder solving.

The element of surprise is useful — even necessary — while catching a killer, but surprises are definitely not something you want while planning your 400 guest wedding to the man of your dreams.

But that’s exactly what my heroine gets in The Bride Wore Size 12. I’ve been writing these books since 2005’s Size 12 Is not Fat, the first book in the series, in which former teen pop star Heather Wells gained a few pounds …. then lost her boyfriend, her home, her recording contract and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina), in rapid succession.


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Tags: Mystery, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison: Co-writing (potential) jewel thieves!

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 | PERMALINK

We’ve long been fans of Catherine Coulter’s FBI series, so when we heard she was writing a spin-off series with J.T. Ellison, we had to know more! We caught up with the ladies to hear all about the Top Pick! rated The Final Cut, writing together and stealing those jewels.

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How did the decision to co-write a series come about?

Catherine: A year and a half ago, I realized I wanted to write another series, no, not stop the FBI series with Savich and Sherlock, but I had this other character in my head and he was yelling at me, Hey, my turn! His name is Nicholas Drummond, and he's an inspector with Scotland Yard. More than that I even had the series name — A Brit in the FBI.


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Tags: Suspense, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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September Mystery Overview

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 | PERMALINK

People usually turn to books for a comfortable and safe means of escape. But this month’s mystery recommendations finds booklovers, literary establishments and famous characters cast in a darker light when they became entangled with murder. Take a look:

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In Louise Penny’s How the Light Gets In, a bookstore owner winds up dead and when her identity as one of a set of famous quintuplets is revealed. Inspector Gamache must figure out why she was in hiding and if her death is related to her past or present. As if that isn’t enough to deal with, Gamache’s enemies are still out to get him. Retirement certainly isn’t treaing him well.


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Tags: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Dynamic (Female) Duos: Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin Team Up

BY Elissa Petruzzi, SEPTEMBER 03, 2013 | PERMALINK

As much as we at RT love romance, we also love reading about female friendships, real relationships that aren't mainly focused on discussing the hero's abs. So of course we were thrilled to hear that two of our favorite mystery authors were teaming up — to write a PI duo that teams up. Meta! 

Today Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin are self-publishing Crash and Burn, the first in their Moreno and Hart series, starring Krista Hart and Scarlet Moreno, two former cops trying to make their PI business work in sunny Southern California. The tough ladies fight crime and make a little time for romance — and they always have each other's backs.

The female dynamic duo is such an awesome, albeit underused, trope, we asked the ladies for their favorite fictional pairings, and here's what they had to say. 


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Web Extras: More Questions For Jeffery Deaver

BY Liz French, AUGUST 20, 2013 | PERMALINK

It was great fun sending questions to twisty thriller writer Jeffery Deaver for RT's October issue Q&A, where we talked about his July Lincoln Rhyme novel, The Kill Room and his October stand-alone thriller, The October List. One remarkable thing about The October List is the fact that it's written backwards, starting at the end of the story and working back in increments. As usual, I wanted to know so much from my interview subject that I asked too many questions! Here are Deaver's answers to two bonus questions that didn't fit into the print magazine, I hope you enjoy seeing how he plots his novels — this time in reverse!

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You’re the king of plot twists; how much more difficult was it to include them in a reverse narrative?  Do you have a quota, like OK, we’ve had five pages or three chapters without a big twist, time to give readers a doozy?


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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