THE COLOR RED by A.M. Potter, the first novel in a detective/mystery series set in contemporary New England, will be released by Stark House Press on MARCH 20, 2023.
The Color Red brings the twisted Balkans to Boston and Cape Cod. A Slovenian-born billionaire and his second wife are found dead, hanging side-by-side at their pool. Some say the man was giving away his fortune; others say he was once an oligarch. Who’s the killer? Old Soviet operatives? His butler, his son? His first wife or Balkan relatives? Detective Ivy Bourque and her team encounter many suspects, but none of them have a motive. Why would someone kill a benevolent rich man without an apparent enemy in the world?
To preview The Color Red, download a free teaser starting March 14, 2023. Check back under NEWEST Blog Post.
PUBLISHING NEWS: The first novel in a DETECTIVE/MYSTERY series set in New England will be published by Stark House Press, California, USA. The novel turns on CAPE COD, BOSTON, and the BALKANS, and features Detective Lieutenant Ivy Bourque.
Book One RELEASE DATE: Spring 2023. Title and cover reveal in early 2023.
Stark House has also optioned the next book in the series.
A few weeks ago, Ben Fox of Shephard.com asked for a curated list of books for his new site. The site was created to link readers to books, not just any books, but books recommended by authors as opposed to algorithms (which are used extensively by sites like Amazon).
Ben asked for a focused theme. I chose “the best Canadian detective and mystery novels.” My top five 📚 recommendations are:
A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
Until the Nightby Giles Blunt
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
Click the link below to see the full recommendations and a review of each title.
I’m late to the game. I started reading Jo Nesbo in 2021. He’s been an international bestseller for years. Maybe that’s why I avoided him: I thought he could be a prolific writer who churned out serviceable but boring novels.
Although Nesbo is certainly prolific, he’s anything but boring. He writes consistently intriguing crime novels, not to mention work in other genres, such as children’s literature.
So, what is it about Jo? In short, the settings and the characters. Take the Detective Harry Hole novels, centered in Oslo. In that series, Nesbo switches effortlessly between description — of both people and places — and action, between local colour and the colour red: blood and guts.
Some readers find that Nesbo overdoes the blood and guts. Admittedly, there’s never a shortage of corpses in his crime novels but I accept his version of the Norwegian underworld, overblown though it may be. As for Nesbo’s characters, Harry Hole is a flagship protagonist: dark, at times unlikeable, yet uncompromising and driven, a man with raging booze and drug habits encased in a solid ethical core. In a sense, Nesbo’s Hole novels are morality tales; good struggles against evil, not only within Hole himself but also outside of Hole, in the world at large.
If I have to pick a representative Harry Hole novel, it’s The Son (2014), which, on one level, is a retake of a central Christian myth — the Son trying to please the Father. To be expected with Nesbo, there’s a tsunami of blood. On the other hand, there’s a deep story here, a saga of good and evil full of pithy observations and a flood of emotional scenes.
Not a fan of blood and guts? Try a non-Harry-Hole novel like Midnight Sun (2015). Although certainly not a cozy mystery, to quote the LA Times, it’s a “softer, gentler Nesbo – as far as that goes.”
During the course of 2021, I discovered a fine Irish-American novelist: Tana French, who writes literary detective novels set in or near Dublin (the Dublin Murder Squad series).
French’s dialog delivers the magic elixir of story-telling: presence. She can capture the essence of a character with a line or two of craic (conversation). She has the gift of the gab; like Elmore Leonard, her dialog will hook you.
French’s latest book, The Searcher (2020), is a stand-alone novel featuring retired cop Cal Hooper, a sympatico Yank who has washed up in the west of Ireland, looking to leave the mean streets of Chicago behind. Hooper worked Missing Persons in Chicago; as luck would have it, he becomes embroiled in a local misper case.
The story unfolds in rural Ireland, sans a slew of high-octane car chases or bloody gun battles. However, there’s no lack of drama. If you like stories told with a slow burn, yet plenty of flareups along the way, The Searcher is for you. If you want a policier with forensics and hardened criminals, look for French’s Dublin novels.