Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mysteries on This Week's Realgoodwords

On this week's episode of Realgoodwords, we're talking to two Minnesota mystery/suspense authors.

Brian Freeman
is back with us. Brian writes the series of books about Jonathan Stride, a detective in Duluth. In his latest, "In the Dark" Jonathan's past is back. A murder that was committed when Jonathan was young was never solved and a woman who comes to town and is writing about it is determined to get him to look into the case. Reviewers said,

"Edgar-finalist Freeman's fourth thriller to feature Duluth, Minn., police lieutenant Jonathan Stride (after Stalked) may be his most ambitious—and accomplished—work to date.... Powered by darkly poetic atmospherics and deep character development (especially Stride, whose understated intensity, dignity and resilience are emblematic of the Twin Ports area itself), this harrowing and heartrending novel will leave readers guessing until the very last pages." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Brian has also embarked on a new writing journey - writing under a pseudonym (Ally O'Brien) and with a partner (his literary agent from London). His new "chick-lit" mystery series begins with "The Agency". It's the story of a tough, funny, British literary agent with a boss who turns up dead.

With an insider's take on the book biz, and an appealingly foul-mouthed heroine, this debut is fast, funny and a bit nasty not unlike Tess. A naughty, catty good time. --Kirkus

First time mystery writer Julie Kramer is also joining us. Though it is her first novel, the world of uncovering clues and motive and crime is far from new for author Julie Kramer. Julie is a television producer who worked for WCCO's I-team for many years and now works independently for NBC News. In her first novel, her sleuth is television news reporter Riley Spartz. Riley, always looking for ratings, has uncovered some cold cases that she hopes she can link together and solve in times for sweeps month.

"STALKING SUSAN is a fantastic debut. Julie Kramer has crafted a thriller that will get your heart racing."

These three novels I've mentioned run the gamut in terms of mystery - Brian's Jonathan Stride books are gritty - his new alter ego of Ally O'Brien and main character Tess Drake are flippy and fun with an edge - and Julie Kramer's Riley Spartz is smart and intense and working hard to make sure she can stay in the TV game. What kind of mystery appeals to you? What are your favorites? Here's some mystery websites to check out:

Minnesota Crime Wave
Uncle Hugo's Bookstore
Once Upon a Crime Bookstore
Reviewing the Evidence
Detectives Beyond Borders
Notes from the Handbasket

How do you find a new mystery to read?

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