On Deck…

Hot New Titles we’re reading now. STAY TUNED.










Lost and FOUND!

I hope you’ll forgive a bit of self-promotion here,  as this has been a long time coming.

I’ve been on the missing persons list for a few months, putting the finishing touches on my book MISSING MYSTERIES: A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF NONEXISTENT MYSTERIES. I began this massive satirical reference back in 2011 and it has finally launched—in a shiny,  full-color, large format paperback edition from Black Scat Books.


I might as well let the blurbs speak for themselves because—frankly—I’m pooped.


“Derek Pell is quite mad, in rather a brilliant way.”Lawrence Block

“Pell’s satire doesn’t lack for sharp edges. His twisted humor is sure to appeal to crime-fiction lovers.”J. Kingston Pierce, THE RAP SHEET

“This book is a lot of fun!” —Steven Heller


Copies are now available worldwide on Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Another Mysterious Summer Ahead

Memorial Day has come and gone which means it’s almost time for my “Summer Mysteries” round-up. I’ll whet your appetite with a few titles I’ve enjoyed recently.


Whenever Hercule Poirot appears on the scene it’s cause for celebration, if not a beach party. Hercule’s presence usually means a dead body has turned up and in the case of THE MONOGRAM MURDERS there are a whole bunch of bodies at once – all found in their rooms at a posh London hotel. Sophie Hannah was given the honor of continuing the series by Agatha Christie’s estate, and she does an admirable job of bringing our favorite Belgian detective back to life. Watching Poirot’s mind at work is always a lot of fun – especially when the plot is a complex as this one. Is it plausible?  I daresay it’s not, but that won’t stop fans from enjoying the ride. (Note: the book will be available in paperback June 9th.)

Sophie Hannah
William Morrow



If you haven’t discovered  Peter Lovesey’s Peter Diamond  series yet, you’ve missed a lot. Fortunately Soho Crime keeps the titles in print – so you have about 14 books to look forward to. DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN will be available soon and it’s one of the author’s best. This time around Diamond finds himself trapped in Sussex with his annoying supervisor, Assistant Chief Constable Gorgina Dallymore. Yes, even her name is annoying, and this set-up provides Lovesey with some nice humorous opportunities. The crime(s) here, however, are no laughing matter. The novel is fast-paced, suspenseful, with enough twists to keep you awake in the hammock.

Peter Lovesey



If you want laughter with your crime, then you’ll have to investigate Timothy Hallinan’s Junior Bender series. The L.A. burglar is in good form in HERBIE’S GAME —  a definite “beach read”  —  packed with enough cynical humor to keep you laughing through Labor day.

Timothy Hallinan


EDITOR’S NOTE: Soho Crime has also released a reprint of the novel GBH by Ted Lewis, the author of GET CARTER. Haven’t read this one yet, but it looks very promising and into the picnic basket it goes.

More soon!

—Carla M. Wilson

Look Out—Bernie’s Back in Town.

Lawrence Block said he wasn’t going to write another Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery, which was sad news around here. But—thank Ra!—he changed his mind. 

Christmas morning we’re looking forward to this…



Watch for a review here, and while you’re waiting you can pre-order the book here.

Elmore Leonard, RIP


Ten Tips from the Master

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” … he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.



Back in October, 2011, John Nickle was the featured artist in Zoom Street’s gallery. Here’s the link to the original post.

Today, over at Black Scat Books, they’ve published a delicious collection of this illustrator’s best work from the past 25 years—NICKLE NOIR: THE ART OF JOHN NICKLE. His crime book covers are legend, including (my personal favorites) his drawings for the “Martin Beck” mysteries by Sjöwall and Wahlöö published by Black Lizard.

This limited edition is a real treat. The writer P.G. Sturges calls it  “a book of dark joy.” and that’s right on the money.

Order a copy on Amazon here.

Thai Wire Act

I discovered John Burdett’s novels at a time when I was suffering from hard-boiled mystery burnout. I’d pick up a book, read a few pages and think ‘been there whodunthat.’ But here was a breath of fresh air in the form of a series unlike any I’d encountered. All set in lush, looney Bangkok and featuring Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a devout Buddhist cop with a witty, Zen-like approach to life and crime. A cop rooted in an inner life that breaks to the surface and shines in Thai style—conjuring emotions that defy understanding by us craven farangs.

How he manages to solve the ornate and insideously complex crime in, for example, the novel Bangkok 8  is beyond my ability to describe. How does one turn death by snake bites into a sound bite for the blogosphere?  Besides, trying to do so is beside the point since “getting there is half the fun” in Burdett’s exotic world. Once inside, you discover getting out is nearly impossible.

Did I yearn to read a book about a Thai cop with a name worthy of Mark Twain? No way. But now like a tourist blitzed on Yaa baa, I’m hooked. Hell, you get used to the heat and the thumping beat of eros. You begin to relish the traffic jams and sweaty crowds jostling in the hooker bars. The jungle dreams that bring fever to the city. The danger that arrives unexpectedly in the form of a indecipherable smile or a bow.

But, trust me, it’s okay. Long as Sonchai is with you.

Man, what a trip.

Burdett’s latest is The Godfather of Kathmandu and you can order it here from Amazon.