Friday, February 6, 2015

Night Tremors (Rick Cahill) by Matt Coyle

Every time I seem to think I am tiring of the PI genre maybe another novel like this one pops up and affirms my love of the genre.
I loved the first one in this series so I was excited to read this one and it didn't disappoint. In fact, I loved it even more than the first book. The story flows better and faster, the prose is even tighter and the mystery more interesting.
Haunted by the memories of the man he killed and the death of his wife Rick Cahill now works as a PI for a larger firm, snapping pictures of cheating husbands and wives. When a lawyer (great, fun character) asks him to prove a young man did not murder his family he gets involved with a dangerous group of bikers.
As he investigates the case gets more and more personal and in the end Cahill is forced to face his demons and embrace his dark side. The ending might really surprise you and had me anxiously awaiting book 3.
This is shaping up to be one of my favorite new series.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I'm going to try something with you all on my blog. You can help me choose what my next short story will be about and which hardboiled detective it will star. I will use polls here and on Facebook to ask you what you want to see. First we choose the basics of the detective, next poll we will go into further detail.
So, all of you... Please vote and ask your friends to vote as well. Just have a look at the poll at the right frame...

Windy City Blues (Jules Landau) by Mark Krulewitch

I pretty much enjoyed the first one in this series so I was eager enough to read this one.
When a parking cop is killed Jules Landau is hired to find out who did it. Jules is still pretty new at this game, but he's got a good mentor who is unfortunately very old so might not be around for long.
His investigation takes him into Chicago corruption and has him falling for a beautiful Georgian baker while he is forced to take on the Georgian Mob as well.
It's all pretty standard modern day PI stuff but written with heart and I fell in love with the Georgian baker a bit. I have to admit I didn't enjoy it as much as the first novel which had that special first novel energy this one lacks.
Still, if you want a solid PI series that ticks all the necessary boxes of the genre you will like this one.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Q & A with Lynn Chandler Willis

I was very happy with the first Gypsy Moran novel, Gypsy was my favorite new PI of 2014 even. A good reason to talk to his creator, Lynn Chandler Willis...

Q: What's next for you and Gypsy?
I'm working now on the second book in Gypsy's story and am super excited about the story direction. He revisits the situation with his father and the missing girls.

Q: What do you do when you're not writing?
Chase toddlers, change diapers, and supervise art and playdough time. I'm the granny nanny to eight of my nine grandkids which gives me a tremendous amount of blog material. Did you know the easiest way to get a fruit snack out of a nasal cavity is to tell them to blow?

Q: How do you promote your work? 
Social media, social media, and social media. I hear so many writers complain about the time vacuum social media can be, but I think it's great. We as writers have never before been giving such an opportunity to share our work with potential readers. I'm also doing the more traditional things like media interviews and book signings.

Q: What other genres besides crime do you like? 
I like general fiction and am a sucker for very well written literary fiction. The beauty of way words work together in some pieces can take my breath away.

Q: What's your idea about the psychotic sidekick in PI novels like Hawk and Joe Pike? 
I adore Joe Pike! Love him. I think the role of the sidekick should be to compliment the main character and offer a good balance. The psychotic sidekick, like Pike and Hawk, offer ways for the main character to get things done that he/she may not be able to otherwise.

Q: In the last century we've seen new waves of PI writers, first influenced by Hammett, then Chandler, Macdonald, Parker, later Lehane. Who do you think will influence the coming generation?
Robert Crais, Harlan Coben, Lee Child...and I think, like with each of these great authors, their characters are in an "investigative" field but not necessarily the "private investigator" of days gone by.

Q: Why do you write in this genre? 
I've always enjoyed digging a little deeper to see what else can be unearthed—thus, uncovering the mystery page by page. The "why" a crime is committed is more fascinating to me than how, when, where, etc...I think many people share an interest in what makes people do the things they do. It's like driving by a car wreck and not being able to look away. It doesn't make us morbid, just curious.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Forgotten Addiction (Bird) by Michael Lion

This is one dark tale...
Protagonist Bird is an information broker, not an official PI. In this book he is hired to find a missing daughter but ends up investigating her father's death.
While that in itself is not the most original plot the satisfying slow but gritty way the story is told as well as the originality of Bird's occupation and the sheer coolness of this character makes this one a great read.
Often I was reminded of Vachss' Burke novels or Lawrence Block's Scudder series. Yep, that good.
Bird is really a hardboiled detective, owing more to the Black Mask boys then Parker or Crais. The story is set in the nineties which makes sure the internet and cell phones don't spoil some of the story, so Bird has to knock on a lot of doors to find the answers he needs.