Friday, January 28, 2011

Geoff Stults Cast as The Locator in Proposed Bones Spin-Off

Telemystery: Mystery and Suspense on Television

Last week we reported that Michael Clarke Duncan had been cast in one of the lead roles in Fox's planned spin-off from its popular crime drama Bones, this new series to be based on "The Locator" mysteries by Richard Greener.

Now we're learning (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Geoff Stults (7th Heaven, October Road, Happy Town) will play Walter Sherman (the "Locator"), a former military policeman who has a reputation of finding anyone and anything.

A Bones episode introducing the characters is expected to air later this spring.

New Trailer for Interactive Crime Drama L.A. Noire

LA Noire (Rockstar Games, May 2011)

We've been following the development of the "interactive crime novel" L.A. Noire for some time now, most recently reporting on some of the gameplay details. Now the developer, Rockstar Games, has released a second promotional trailer for the game (embedded below).

The game tells the story of WWII hero and aspiring young detective, Cole Phelps, as he solves cases and climbs the ranks of the LAPD. Focusing on Cole's experiences working the various desks of the LAPD and attempting to solve a series of potentially linked gruesome murders, the scenes in the trailer are comprised completely of in-game footage.

L.A. Noire will be released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in May 2011.

New Hardcover Mysteries for February 2011

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has updated its list of new hardcover mysteries with books scheduled for publication in February 2011. Please note that some titles may publish early (and may already be available) and some may be delayed, published at a later date.

Below we're listing those authors with returning series characters, new series characters, and non-series or stand-alone mysteries in separate sections. All titles are available on our February new mystery books page (which will become the default home page for the site on February 1st).

• Authors with mysteries featuring returning series characters (in italics) this month:

Jane Adams, Naomi Blake (6th)Mark Alpert, David Swift and Monique Reynolds (2nd)Nancy Atherton, Aunt Dimity (16th)M. C. Beaton, Hamish Macbeth (27th)Alex Berenson, John Wells (5th)Noah Boyd, Steve Vail (2nd)Alan Bradley, Flavia de Luce (3rd)Tori Carrington, Sofie Metropolis (5th)Donis Casey, Alafair Tucker (5th) — Kent Conwell, Tony Boudreaux (12th)Deborah Coonts, Lucky O'Toole (2nd) — Stephen Coonts and William H. Keith, Deep Black (9th) — Judith Cutler, Lina Townend (3rd)Tim Dorsey, Serge Storms (13th)Sam Eastland, Inspector Pekkala (2nd)David Ellis, Jason Kolarich (2nd)Martha Grimes, Emma Graham (4th)Elizabeth Gunn, Sarah Burke (3rd)Michael Haskins, Mick Murphy (2nd)Steven F. Havill, Thomas Parks (2nd)Mo Hayder, Jack Caffery (5th)Victoria Houston, Loon Lake (11th)J. A. Jance, Ali Reynolds (6th)Chris Knopf, Jackie Swaitowski (2nd)Joe R. Lansdale, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (8th, novella)Liza Marklund, Annika Bengtzon (5th)Craig McDonald, Hector Lassiter (4th)G. A. McKevett, Savannah Reid (16th)Nick Oldham, Henry Christie (15th)Brad Parks, Carter Ross (2nd)Jonathan Rabb, Nikolai Hoffner (3rd) — J. D. Robb, Eve Dallas "In Death" (40th)Kirk Russell, John Marquez (4th)Zoë Sharp, Charlie Fox (8th)Dana Stabenow, Kate Shugak (18th)Kelli Stanley, Arcturus (2nd) — Peter Tonkin, Richard Mariner (23rd) — Peter Turnbull, Hennessey and Yellich (19th)Randy Wayne White, Doc Ford (18th) — Kate Wilhelm, Barbara Holloway (12th)Richard Yancey, Highly Effective Detective (4th).

• Authors with mysteries introducing characters (in italics) in a new series this month:

Darynda Jones, Charlotte DavidsonGraeme Kent, Ben KellaDouglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Gideon CrewImogen Robertson, Harriet WestermanDana Stabenow, Kate ShugakBrad Taylor, Pike LoganJ. C. Weeks, Ben LoganTina Whittle, Tai Randolph.

• Authors with non-series or stand-alone mysteries this month:

Charles Davis — Elizabeth Engstrom — Joy Fielding — C. W. Gortner — Gerald Hammond — Gerald Hammond — Deborah E. HarknessSara J. HenryKeigo HigashinoLisa Jackson and Nancy Bush — Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton — Andrew Miller — Gerard MurrinMichael PalmerD. M. PirroneSharon PottsDavid RosenfeltRalph Sassone — Gerald Seymour — P. G. SturgesUrban WaiteLouise Welsh.

For more information on any of these titles, please visit the February new mysteries page on our website. If you're interested in new paperbacks, visit The Mystery Bookshelf where you can discover a library of new mysteries, also updated with February 2011 releases.

Please visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of mystery books with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Mystery Bestsellers for January 28, 2011

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending January 28, 2011 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

For the second week in a row, no newly published titles enter the week this week, though one published the previous week moves up into the top 15. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson remains atop the list.

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Strategic Moves by Stuart Woods
More information about the book

Moving up 8 into the 11th position is the 19th mystery to feature Stone Barrington, Strategic Moves by Stuart Woods.

Stone is enjoying his usual dinner at Elaine's when his boss at Woodman & Weld, the law firm where Stone is "of counsel," walks in, sits down, and hands Stone a check for one million dollars. It seems Stone's undercover dealings with MI6 have brought in a big new client for the firm, and they're willing to pay Stone a huge bonus and make him a partner.

But almost as soon as he's taken the deal, Stone gets wind of an impending scandal that might torpedo his big promotion: It may be that the lucrative new client whom he's introduced to the firm might be a Bernie Madoff in disguise ...

— ◊ —

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonThe Sentry by Robert CraisThe Confession by John GrishamThe Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer

Please visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of mystery books with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lead Role Cast in Film Adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
More information about the book

After what has semed to be an exhaustive search, the role of the 16th US President in the film adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith has been cast. It is (according to The Hollywood Reporter) British actor Benjamin Walker. The other major role in the film, the part of Henry Sturges, who mentors and trains Abe in the ways of vampire hunting, has yet to be cast. Production is expected to begin later this spring from a screenplay also written by Grahame-Smith; the release date is currently set to be June 22nd, 2012.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon "The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln," and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years. Using the journal as his guide, he has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time -- all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

You can read the first chapter(s) of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter below. Use the Aa button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

The Mechanic Opens in Theaters Friday, January 28th

The Mechanic (2011)

Tomorrow, Friday January 28th, The Mechanic opens in theaters nationwide.

The action thriller (and a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film with the same title) stars Jason Statham as an elite assassin, who takes on an apprentice (Ben Foster) when he seeks to get revenge on those who murdered his close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland). But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves.

The trailer, which you can see below, focuses heavily on the action sequences in the film, so much so that one wonders if there's any plot left to follow between these scenes.

Brian De Palma To Direct Remake of French Thriller Crime D'Amour

Crime D'Amour (2010)

Variety is reporting that Brian De Palma will direct a remake of the 2010 French thriller Crime D'Amour, retitled Passion.

"Not since Dressed to Kill have I had a chance to combine eroticism, suspense, mystery and murder into one spellbinding cinematic experience," said De Palma.

Crime D'Amour stars Kristin Scott Thomas as the executive of a multinational company and Ludivine Sagnier as her protégé. But when the younger woman starts to take credit for her mentor's ideas, a dangerous game is played out between the two -- one that ultimately goes too far.

Casting for Passion is expected to be announced by the start of the Cannes Film Festival in May, with principal photography beginning during the summer.

Film Adaptation Planned for PS3 Noir Thriller Game Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain (PlayStation 3)
More information about the DS game

Variety is reporting that David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood) is writing a film adaptation of the PlayStation 3 noir thriller game Heavy Rain.

In the game, which spans four days of mystery and suspense, the hunt is on for a murderer known only as the Origami Killer — named after his macabre calling card of leaving behind folded paper shapes at crime scenes. Even more chilling is the fiend's well established pattern of killing his victims four days after abducting them. The public is gripped with fear as the police seem powerless to stop the carnage, and another potential victim — Shaun Mars — has gone missing.

The game features four playable characters: a father, a photographer, an FBI agent with a special skill set, and a retired cop turned private investigator. Each character have different paths, means and motives to ending the reign of terror that the Origami Killer has imposed on their city.

Though we haven't played the game, it sounds like an interesting premise for a film to us; watch the game trailer below.

Singer-Songwriter Patti Smith Writing Crime Novel

Sherlock Holmes

The Guardian is reporting today that singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist Patti Smith is writing a crime novel inspired by Sherlock Holmes and Mickey Spillane.

"For the last two years ... I've been working on a detective story that starts at St Giles-in-the-Fields in London," she said, adding that the book is more than 68% complete.

Her previously published work include more than a dozen books of poetry, plus collections of artwork and lyrics. This would be her first novel.

OMN Welcomes Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, Authors of the Darkly Romantic Mystery, The Cowboy and the Vampire

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is delighted to welcome Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall as our guest bloggers. The writing duo's first "darkly romantic" mystery is The Cowboy and the Vampire (Midnight Ink, October 2010 Trade Paperback, 978-0-7387-2161-3).

Today, Clark and Kathleen discuss "writing off into the sunset together" (and a top ten list of why cowboys should not fall in love with the undead).

— ◊ —

The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
Photo provided courtesy of
Clark Hays and
Kathleen McFall; Photo credit Ted Miller Jr.

We met while slogging away in a militantly vegetarian restaurant in Portland, Ore. Clark, recently expatriated from a Montana cattle ranch, worked as a line cook while Kathleen — arriving after a cross-country trek from the urban east — was a waitress. The moment we laid eyes on each other, the proverbial sparks flew. But we were both married to other people at the time and locked the attraction away, leaving it to smolder beneath the surface.

Years later we met again by chance and this time, both having been through nasty divorces, rekindled the embers into a blaze. We fell in love fast, furiously and passionately, but — cautious about commitment — thought a pre-marriage test-drive might be in order. Both writers, we decided to try and write a book together figuring if could make it through that without killing each other, we could make it through anything.

Our first (and so far, only) book – The Cowboy and the Vampire, a Darkly Romantic Mystery – was published in 1999, well after the erotic vampire craze started by Anne Rice and well before the sparkly vampire craze started by Twilight. Somehow, we managed to be both ahead of and behind our time!

Still, it sold well. We took it as a sign and got married. We continued to write, but mostly on separate projects, eventually losing our publishing momentum. To our pleasant surprise, our publisher (Midnight Ink) brought out the book again in October 2010 — and bam, we’re back from the dead. We tightened it up a little and they sexed up the cover, a lot, which seems to have upped sales. (You read it here first, folks: sex sells.)

So how do two people write a story together? That old cliché about writing what you know falls flat when you’re writing about vampires, but Clark definitely was dialed in on the western thing. We researched the vampire myth, reading everything we could get our hands on and watching some great (and some not so great) movies — immersing ourselves in the world of the undead. And once we had a pretty good understanding, we turned it all on its pointy ears — reimagining the myth in a brand new way. In our world, vampires are a chosen people motivated by a deep religious like fervor, with an unholy scripture — and lineage — dating back to the Garden of Eden. And like human religion, vampire religion is open to interpretation. Some of the vampires believe their unholy scriptures charge them with destroying evil while others interpret it as a charge to “be evil.” And of course, humans are caught right in the middle.

So what is the book about? Authors come fully equipped with a pocket full of pitches always at the ready to describe their work. The Cowboy and the Vampire is:

• Bram Stoker meets Louis L’Amour
• “He’s a little bit country, she’s a little bit undead”
• Dracula meets Tombstone
• The clash of the iconic titans: Cowboys (good) vs. Vampires (evil)
• (insert your own play on fangs and boots)

But at its heart, the book is really just a love story between opposites, capturing the weirdness and wonder, the intrigue and drama of our own romantic entanglement … only ours had less dripping blood and fewer six shooters.

When we got together for good, there was a huge cultural divide to bridge (not too much common ground between Whitehall, Mont., and Washington, DC). We did it through writing. Seems to have worked so far; we’re going on 11 years now and it’s a work in progress, just like the sequel, Blood and Whiskey. But oh, the fights we have about ridiculous things, like whether “em dashes” are too phallic or semicolons too sensual (yes, that’s a real fight).

The publishing magic for us clearly seems to be tied to writing together. Together, we must make one awesome storyteller. Check out The Cowboy and the Vampire, visit our website (www.cowboyandvampire.com) and our Facebook page for lots of fun stuff.

Speaking about fun stuff, and in recognition of the humor running through the book, we’d like offer our list of why cowboys should not fall in love with vampires. On February 10, we will be back again for another guest appearance and we’ll be looking at the other side of the equation — why vampires should fall in love cowboys. Valentine’s Day is a few weeks away and it seemed like a good time to discuss the romantic side of writing together.

Top ten reasons a Cowboy should not fall in love with a Vampire:

1. Hard to make a living when your cattle is constantly anemic.
2. Say goodbye to most cowboy activities (rodeos don’t tend to be at night).
3. Also say goodbye to morning sex, unless you are into “that” kind of sex (and if you are, eewww).
4. Cold, cold feet — seriously cold; dead, in fact.
5. She’s a better shot — vampires have great eyesight.
6. She can out drink you — alcohol doesn’t really have any effect.
7. You may have to occasionally rob a Red Cross for snacks.
8. Camping trips lasting more than one night are BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffin).
9. Casual acquaintances tend to vanish.
10. You can’t ever share a sunrise together … which also happens to be what our Tucker, our cowboy, is pondering right on the first few pages of the book. Check it out here.

(And also check out this recent article about us by Jeff Baker of The Oregonian: “The Cowboy and the Vampire get new blood.”)

— ◊ —

The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
More information about the book

About The Cowboy and the Vampire: Reporter Lizzie Vaughan doesn’t realize it, but she has 2,000 years of royal Vampiric blood coursing through her veins. Neither she nor Tucker, her cowboy lover, has any idea that Julius, the leader of the undead, has a diabolical plan to reign over darkness for all eternity — with Lizzie at his side.

Lizzie battles for her life — and her soul — as she and Tucker find themselves caught up in a vampire war, pursued by hordes of Julius’ maniacal, bloodthirsty followers.

Who will be left standing when the sun rises?

The Cowboy and the Vampire is available in Trade Paperback and popular eBook formats, including Kindle Edition and NookBook.

Solve a Series of Mysterious Murders in Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of the Full Moon (Collector's Edition)

Games of Mystery

Games of Mystery is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery casual game from Big Fish Games released today and available to BFG Club members. You can find out more about these games by visiting our Mystery Games: Big Fish Download Games page or by clicking on the links provided below.

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Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of the Full Moon (Collector's Edition)
Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of the Full Moon (Collector's Edition)

In the dark lane lit by a dim lantern we hear a scratching sound and we see a shadow of the opening door. Someone is coming outside. The person approaches his horse and mounts it. Suddenly a shadow of the wolf attacks the man and we see a shadow of the horse rearing, we hear horse roar, a sound of desperate struggle and an agonal shout ... Then it is all quiet ... and only the howl of the lonely wolf pierces the night ...

Called into a small city from the capitol, you have been put in charge of solving a string of mysterious murders! Around the same time as the murders, a wolf has been appearing around town and spooking the townsfolk. With rumors of a werewolf swirling, it’s up to you to get to the bottom of the mystery and set the record straight.

This is a special Collector's Edition, full of exclusive extras not found in the standard version, including an integrated strategy guide, bonus gameplay, wallpapers and screensavers, concept art, original soundtrack, and more.

Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of the Full Moon (Collector's Edition) may be downloaded and purchased for $13.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (215.20 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour; the full version is 572.74 MB.

Watch a preview video below:

Get any standard game for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. Other benefits include the $2.99 Daily Deal, Tomorrow's Game Today, and special member rewards. And if you purchase any 6 games within a single month, you earn a free game with the Big Fish Game Club Monthly Punch Card! (Collector's Editions earn 3 punches each, half-way towards your free game!)

Read Ms. Terri's reviews of the adventure and casual mystery games featured on this site, including Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy, Nancy Drew Dossier: Lights, Camera, Curses!, Enlightenus, and many more!

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

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Games of Mystery is your source for mystery-themed video, electronic, and board games, parties for kids and adults, and murder mystery weekends and mystery getaway vacations!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Foxy Roxy by Nancy Martin, A Roxy Abruzzo Mystery

The Mystery Bookshelf: Discover a Library of New Mysteries

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, is pleased to feature a new mystery series title we recently received from the publisher.

— ◊ —

Foxy Roxy by Nancy Martin
A Roxy Abruzzo Mystery (1st in series)
Minotaur Books (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: January 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-67318-5

Foxy Roxy by Nancy Martin
More Information About Foxy Roxy by Nancy Martin

About Foxy Roxy (from the publisher): Big truck, big dog, big hair. Bad attitude.

Roxy Abruzzo is the sexy, streetwise niece of a Pittsburgh crime boss, and she’s trying to stay on the straight and narrow ... most of the time. But now and then temptation is just too much for hot-blooded Roxy. As she prowls the mean streets looking for architectural treasures, she can't help swiping an ancient Greek statue that's not exactly hers. Then the statue's owner, heir to a billion-dollar steel fortune, gets himself killed, and the police investigation sweeps Roxy into a mess that requires all of her wits and wiles to escape. All this plus a dotty grand dame, a slippery lawyer, and an avaricious socialite or two makes for a lethal combination of danger and desperation—with Roxy in the middle.

Foxy Roxy was originally published in hardcover as Our Lady of Immaculate Deception.

— ◊ —

About Nancy Martin: The author of 48 pop fiction novels in mystery, suspense, historical and romance genres, she created her first mystery series in 2002 featuring the Blackbird Sisters, three impoverished Main Line heiresses who adventure in couture and crime. Nancy lives in Pittsburgh, serves on the board of Sisters in Crime and is a founding member of Pennwriters. Visit her website at NancyMartinMysteries.com.

Read the first chapters of Foxy Roxy below.

Second Season of Archer Premieres Thursday, January 27th on FX Networks

Archer (FX Networks)

FX Network's animated comic spy caper series, Archer, returns for its second season tomorrow, Thursday, January 27th at 10 PM (ET/PT).

The series features the voices of H. Jon Benjamin as the highly skilled yet incredibly vain master spy Sterling Archer; Aisha Tyler as fellow agent provocateur Lana Kane; and Jessica Walter as Archer;s domineering mother and the rapacious CEO of International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), Malory Archer. Although their work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, wiretapping and undercover surveillances is daunting and enigmatic, every covert operation and global crisis are actually unmitigated occasions for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage and betray each other for personal gains, pleasures and prosperity.

In the second season opener, titled "Swiss Miss", another attempt to secure funding for ISIS has Malory dragging her agents to the luxury winter resort town of Gstaad to protect a Swiss billionaire's daughter from a kidnapping threat. But Archer soon finds out the real threat is his protectee.

The first season of the series is available from Telemystery: Archer.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nominations for the 2010 Hammett Prize Announced

Mystery Book Awards

In more Mystery Award news today, the North American branch of the International Association of Crime Writers have announced the nominees for the annual Hammett Prize, given for literary excellence in the field of crime writing.

The winner will be announced during the 2011 New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Fall Conference.

The nominees are:

• Get Capone: The Secret Plot that Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster)
• Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (William Morrow)
• Iron River by T. Jefferson Parker (Dutton)
• The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer (Minotaur Books)

Hat tip to Mystery Fanfare for posting this information.

Film Adaptation of The Hunger Games Set to be Released in March 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
More information about the book

We've been following the news surrounding the film adaptation of the young adult thriller The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins with great interest. It hasn't been cast, nor has any production begun, but the producers have set a release date: March 23rd, 2012.

Collins is reportedly writing the screenplay, to be directed by Gary Ross.

The first in the futuristic Hunger Games trilogy, the storyline features Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called "The Hunger Games."

You can read the first chapter(s) of The Hunger Games below. Use the Aa button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

 

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