Upcoming: A MAN NAMED DOLL by Jonathan Ames (Mulholland/Pushkin)

AmesJ-AManNamedDollUSJonathan Ames seems to have quite a varied publishing history: he’s published two humorous novels, somewhat akin to Jeeves & Wooster or Withnail & I — Wake Up, Sir! and The Extra Man — and also the brutal noir You Were Never Really Here (which was adapted into the Joaquin Phoenix-starring movie of the same name). This year, he returns with A Man Named Doll, the first in a new LA-based noir series:

An idiosyncratic private detective Happy Doll and his quest to help a dying friend who is running out of time in sun-blinded Los Angeles

Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff drop beneath the Hollywood sign with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George. A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll supplements his meager income as a P.I. by working through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his sixteen-inch steel telescopic baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word “no.”

AmesJ-AManNamedDollUKDoll gets by just fine following his two basic rules: bark loudly and act first. But when things get out-of-hand with one particularly violent patron, even he finds himself wildly out of his depth, and then things take an even more dangerous twist when an old friend from his days as a cop shows up at his door with a bullet in his gut.

A MAN NAMED DOLL is more than just a fascinating introduction to one truly singular character, it is a highly addictive and completely unpredictable joyride through the sensuous and violent streets of LA.

Jonathan Ames’s A Man Named Doll is due to be published by Mulholland Books in North America (April 20th) and Pushkin Vertigo in the UK (April 29th).

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Quick Review: AND NOW SHE’S GONE by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)

HallRH-AndNowShesGoneUSA novice PI tries to unravel the mystery of a missing woman

Isabel Lincoln is gone.

But is she missing?

It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her. Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated and dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets and the truth she’s hidden from her friends and family.

Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat and mouse game, Rachel Howzell Hall’s And Now She’s Gone explores the nature of secrets — and how violence and fear can lead you to abandon everything in order to survive.

This is the first novel by Hall that I’ve read (which is a little strange, seeing as I have all of her previous novels…). Set in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, this is an engaging mystery about a woman’s disappearance and the novice PI tasked with finding her. Stitching together two parallel-yet-unconnected storylines, I quite enjoyed this. Continue reading

Trailer: STUMPTOWN (ABC)

Announced during the TV upfronts last week, ABC’s Stumptown is based on the graphic novels series of the same name. The series stars Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Marvel’s cinematic universe). There are a couple of other crime/cop shows that were announced, but this is definitely one of the more interesting, to me. Looking forward to watching it. Here’s the network’s synopsis:

Based on the “Stumptown” graphic novel series, follows Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders) as a strong, assertive, and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt, and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great P.I., but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police. Continue reading

Excerpt: VINYL DETECTIVE: WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX by Andrew Cartmel (Titan)

CartmelA-VD1-VinylDetectiveUKFollowing our interview with Andrew Cartmel, yesterday, Titan Books has sent us an excerpt from Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax. First, here’s the synopsis…

He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others.

Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client. 

Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our hero’s full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…

Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax is out now, published by Titan Books.

Continue reading

Upcoming: WINTER OF THE GODS by Jordanna Max Brodsky (Orbit)

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I can’t wait to read this! Winter of the Gods is the sequel to the excellent The Immortals. The cover was unveiled today by Orbit. Here’s the synopsis:

Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself.

Winter in New York: snow falls, lights twinkle, and a very disgruntled Selene DiSilva prowls the streets looking for prey.

But when a dead body is discovered sprawled atop Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull statue, it’s clear the NYPD can’t solve the murder without help. The murder isn’t just the work of another homicidal cult — this time, someone’s sacrificing the gods themselves.

While raising fundamental questions about the very existence of the gods, Selene must hunt down the perpetrators, tracking a conspiracy that will test the bonds of loyalty and love.

Jordanna Max Brodsky is absolutely an author to watch. If you enjoy crime novels, urban fantasy and Greek mythology, this is a must-read series.

Also on CR: Review of The Immortals

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Upcoming: THE SECOND GIRL by David Swinson (Mulholland)

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David Swinson‘s The Second Girl looks really interesting — the start of a new crime series, set in Washington, D.C. Here’s the synopsis:

He’s a good detective… with a bad habit.

Frank Marr may be a decorated former cop and the best private investigator Washington, D.C. has ever known, but the city doesn’t know his dirty secret.

A high-functioning drug addict, Frank has devoted his considerable skills to hiding his habit from others. But after accidentally discovering a kidnapped teenage girl in the home of a drug gang, Frank becomes a hero and is thrust into the spotlight.

Reluctantly, he agrees to investigate the disappearance of another girl — possibly connected to the first — all the time knowing that the heightened scrutiny may bring his own secrets to light…

The Second Girl is published by Mulholland Books in the UK and US, in June 2016.

Quick Review: THE IMMORTALS by Jordanna Max Brodsky (Orbit)

BrodskyJM-TheImmortalsUSThe first must-read novel of 2016

Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself. 

The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone — just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago — when her name was Artemis.

I read this quite a while ago, and rather stupidly didn’t write the review right away. The Immortals was at the top of my most-anticipated list for 2016 pretty much since I first spotted it on Edelweiss. I was extremely happy, therefore, to receive an advance review copy last year. It absolutely exceeded my expectations. Continue reading