Category Archives: crime stories

Author of the Week, Ann Cleeves, November 1

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK    November 1

Ann Cleeves

(Mystery, Crime, and Detective Novels)

“I write like a reader, without any planning. I have to write the next scene to know where the story is going.

“I get my greatest ideas By listening to other people. That’s what I’ve missed most during the pandemic: the overheard conversations in trains or restaurants. Places often trigger ideas for books too.”

“I like really complex locations, places that hit you and strike you.   I grew up in North Devon so I know it quite well and I like that mix of cosiness – we think of Devon as having cream teas and thatched cottages.”

 

Ann Cleeves (born 1954)  is a British author of crime fiction. She has written 30 novels in 30 years, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez  dramatised as the TV detective series Vera, and the Jimmy Perez Shetland novels as the series Shetland. Her latest novel is The Heron’s Cry and it features Detective Matthew Venn. For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden.

“Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers.”—Louise Penny

 

Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny on Writing at Politics and Prose (1 hour):

This is delightful video if you are a writer or lover of reading crime fiction. Worth the hour indulgence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Ann Cleeves Amazon Book Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Cleeves/e/B001IOF9MG

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, Dan Simmons, August 9

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   August 9

Dan Simmons

(Short Stories and novels in Suspense, Noir Crime, Supernatural, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Historical and Mainstream Fiction)

 

“I knew that I wanted to be a writer even before I knew exactly what being a writer entailed.”

“There’s a unique bond of trust between readers and authors that I don’t believe exists in any other art form; as a reader, I trust a novelist to give me his or her best effort, however flawed.”

“I find that I write more slowly and carefully, even as the deadlines come more frequently. I’ve never been satisfied with the final form of any of my work, but the dissatisfaction may be deeper now — even as some of the quality goes up — because I know I have fewer years ahead of me in which to improve and make-up for my shortcomings.”

 

Dan Simmons (Born 1948)  is a multi-award winning American author.  His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award; his first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award. Most readers know him for winning four Bram Stoker Awards, among many other fiction prizes. One of his favorite authors is Charles Dickens (Drood). His short story The River Styx Runs Upstream was awarded first prize in Twilight Zone Magazine story competition. The Terror and The Abominable are his historical fiction novels.  Stephen King had significant praise for Simmons novels:  “Simmons writes like a hot-rodding angel.”

See all Simmons’ literary awards here, 35+  https://www.sfadb.com/Dan_Simmons

Dan Simmons Interview – Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast #96 (Discusses horror)

 

Steven Silver interviews Simmons on ScienceFiction.com:

https://www.sfsite.com/09b/ds160.htm 

 

The Crook Factory is about Ernest Hemingway while living in Cuba in the 1940s. Simmons states in the afterward that 95% of the novel is true. The story is a thrilling plot about an FBI agent and Hemingway’s amateur spy ring called Crook Factory in Cuba at the beginning of WW II. “Simmons spins, the zesty characters it entangles and its intricate cross-weave of fact and fiction .” Publishers Weekly

 

In A Winter Haunting, college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart,  has been followed to this house of shadows by private demons who are now twisting his reality into horrifying new forms. And a thick, blanketing early snow is starting to fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Dan Simmons Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Simmons/e/B000APQZD6/

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author

on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

Comments and LIKES Welcomed!

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Author of the Week, Jeff VanderMeer, July 19

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 19

 

Jeff  VanderMeer

(Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Weird Fiction, Novels and Short Stories, Literary Critic, Editor, Publisher)

 

“Imbuing fiction with a life that extends beyond the last word is in some ways the goal: the ending that goes beyond the ending in the reader’s mind, so invested are they in the story.”

“A dream inspiring a story is different than placing a description of a dream in a story. When you describe a character’s dream, it has to be sharper than reality in some way, and more meaningful. It has to somehow speak to plot, character, and all the rest. If you’re writing something fantastical, it can be a really deadly choice because your story already has elements that can seem dreamlike.”

“Trust your imagination. Don’t be afraid to fail. Write. Revise. Revise. Revise.”

“It is the nature of the writer to question the validity of his world and yet rely on his senses to describe it. From what other tension can great literature be born?”

“Fiction is in constant conversation with itself.”

Jeff  VanderMeer (born  1968) is an American author, NYT bestselling writer, called “the weird Thoreau” by the New Yorker for his engagement with ecological issues. Initially associated with the New Weird literary genre, VanderMeer crossed over into mainstream success with his bestselling Southern Reach trilogy. He also wrote the world’s first fully illustrated creative-writing guide, Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction.  Among VanderMeer’s  novels are Shriek: An Afterword and Borne. He has also edited with his wife Ann VanderMeer such influential and award-winning anthologies as The New Weird, The Weird, and The Big Book of Science Fiction. His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic.com.

Interview with Jeff VanderMeeer (7 minutes):

 

 

The Fictive Imagination in the Dusk of the Anthropocene. Sonic Arts Festival:

 

 

Detective John Finch is about to come face-to-face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever. Why does one of the victims most resemble a man thought to have been dead for a hundred years? What is the murders’ connection to an attempted genocide nearly six hundred years ago? And just what is the secret purpose of the occupiers’ tower? A three-book series.

Visit VanderMeer’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-VanderMeer/e/B000APJW4U

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on

Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

Leave a comment

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Author of the Week, Anthony Horowitz, July 5

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 5

Anthony Horowitz

(Mystery, Suspense, Crime Novelist, Screenwriter, and Television Series Author)

“My writing has always been what you call ‘narrative fiction’ in the sense that it’s got very strong plots and twists at the end.”

“Throughout history, story-telling was at the very beginning of life.”

“I fear dying in the middle of a book. It would be so annoying to write 80,000 words and not get to the end. I’m phobic about it. So when I’m writing a book I leave messages all over the house for people to know how the story ends, and then someone can finish it for me.”

“I had three brilliant English teachers at secondary school. They found the writer in me.”

 

 

Anthony Horowitz (born 1955),  English novelist, screenwriter, and children’s novelist, has written more than 50 books including The Magpie Murders,  The Power of Five series, the Alex Rider series, The Diamond Brothers series, and has adapted many of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels for TV.  He is the creator and writer of  Foyle’s WarMidsomer MurdersCollision, and Injustice.  Also the Hawthorne and Horowitz Mysteries: The Word is Murder; The Sentence is Death; A Line to Kill. In October 2014, the Ian Fleming estate commissioned Horowitz to write a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, and Forever and A Day. A third Bond novel is expected to be released sometime in 2022. An underachiever at school, Horowitz started writing at the age of 8 or 9 and he instantly “knew” he would be a professional writer.

 

Interview with Anthony Horowitz about Magpie Murders, film to be released in 2022:

 

Quickfire interview with Horowitz:

https://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/journalism/article/quickfire-interview-anthony-horowitz

 

 

 

 

View his profile page on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Anthony-Horowitz/e/B000AP7TDG

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at

Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a

FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, David Baldacci, May 10

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   May 10

David Baldacci

(Fiction: Thrillers, Mysteries, Crime, Adventure)

“If I worried too much about publishers’ expectations, I’d probably paralyze myself and not be able to write anything.”

“What I do in my thrillers is to try and tell a story with characters you care about. A thriller can’t be just plot or just characters, it has to be a combination of both. I could concoct a really great plot but if I put in characters readers don’t really care about, they are not going to finish the book.”

“Why waste time trying to discover the truth, when you can so easily create it?”

Writing Tip: “Don’t know the ending before you start.”

 

David Baldacci (born August 1960) published his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER, in 1996. A feature film followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 41 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers and several have been adapted for film and television. His works of fiction include  The Camel Club, and The Innocent. Baldacci has also published six novels for younger readers.

 

David Baldacci Speaking at Book Event (20 minutes):

Baldacci’s Amazon’s page:

https://www.amazon.com/David-Baldacci/e/B000AQ0STC

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, Martha Grimes, May 3

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK    May 3

Martha Grimes

(Novels and Detective Mysteries: Richard Jury Series, Emma Graham Series)

 

“I enjoy these characters a lot. I really like thinking about them, watching them, seeing what they’re going to do. I write about these people, and I get really connected to them and I just cannot let them go.”

“The plot is not there in advance. It’s just not there.”

“You’re not really a writer unless you’re actually writing. So that’s why I continue to do it: because I want to continue to think of myself as a writer.”

 

Martha Grimes (born May 2, 1931) is an American writer of detective fiction, author of more than thirty books. She is the bestselling author of twenty-one Richard Jury novels (Scotland Yard inspector), as well as the novels Dakota and Foul Matter. Her character-driven mysteries fall into the subgenre of  cozy mysteries.  She is also the author of Double Double, a dual memoir of alcoholism written with her son. The winner of the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award, Grimes lives in Bethesda, Maryland.  Newsweek named her “one of the established masters of the genre.”

Interview with Martha Grimes at AuthorMagazine.org

 

 

 

Visit Grimes’ Amazon.com page:

https://www.amazon.com/Martha-Grimes/e/B000APFU50

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Bloody Fingerprints

Slippery Fingers by Dashiell Hammett (1923)

Tuesday’s Detective Tale       Tuesday, April 27, 2021

 

How about reading an old-fashioned murder mystery? Why do we love murder mysteries with snappy detectives or even bumbling detectives? Maybe killers are fascinating. Maybe cheeky detectives beating after the killers are fascinating. Or maybe we love living vicariously inside the killer or detective’s head for an hour or two. I’m betting on the third reason for most of us. Come on, there must be somebody in your life you’ve had moments where you wanted to kill that person and get away with it. Everybody has a  killer inside them according to noir detectives. Noir fiction is filled with greed,  lust, or juicy jealousy; femmes fatales in seedy bars, guys drinking cheap gin, and everything is shrouded in cigarette smoke.  Nobody does this better than author Dashiell Hammett (except maybe Raymond Chandler, my favorite); the prose is sparse and the storytelling exact.

In Slippery Fingers, we have a dead body, Frederick Grover, stabbed in the throat with a brass paperknife, in the library, and found by the butler Barton. Murder during a burglary, you say? No dice. Blackmail maybe? A lovers quarrel? Naa. How about the butler did it? That cliche will kill the reader. Maybe we should follow the money-spending of Mr. Grover … and fingerprints.

 

 

 

Dashiell Hammett (1894 – 1961) the master of detective fiction, an American writer who created the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Pulp magazines, films, television, Hammett’s most famous titles are The Glass Key, The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon. His most memorable characters were the Continental Op, Nick and Nora Charles, and Sam Spade.

Read the short story here:

https://loa-shared.s3.amazonaws.com/static/pdf/Hammett_Slippery_Fingers.pdf

Listen to the audio here (25 minutes). This is a very entertaining audio!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vec6iW6bak 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

   Fangoria.com      Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

      Monster Librarian        The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Author of the Week, Robert Bloch, April 5

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   April 5

Robert Bloch

(Short Stories and Novels: Crime, Horror, Science Fiction Writer)

 

 

“Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

“Horror is the removal of masks.”

“There’s a great desire to communicate, I think, on the part of all of us. And if we are in situations where the communication is difficult due to difficult circumstances or shyness or an introversion, this is a wonderful outlet. And a direct one.”

 

Robert Albert Bloch (1917 — 1994) was a prolific American writer. Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories, over twenty novels of crime and science fiction, but was most famous for his horror fiction Psycho.

Bloch was one of the youngest members of the Lovecraft Circle, a contributor to pulp magazines such as Weird Tales in his early career.  He received a Hugo Award  for That Hell-Bound Train, the Bram Stoker Award, and the World Fantasy Award. A good friend of the science fiction writer Stanley G. Weinbaum, Bloch wrote three stories for Star Trek.

Listen to Bloch’s Psycho, an audio preview of the novel (15 minutes):

 

Interested in the backstory, the inspiration for Psycho? Read it here at Galaxy Press about the Butcher of Plainfield:

The Backstory to Robert Bloch’s “Psycho”

 

“Horror is not about supernatural forces or things that go bump in the night; horror is about the fear we have within, buried deep in our brains.”

Read more at Lit Reactor about Robert Bloch: https://litreactor.com/columns/footnotes-psycho

 

 

 

More at Bloch Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Bloch/e/B001K6Q4QW

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog! And browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, Kathryn Craft, March 1

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   March 1, 2021

 

Kathryn Craft

(Author of Psychological and Women’s Literary Fiction)

“Themes of love, death, coming of age, corruption, survival, and heroism were just as riveting to William Shakespeare in the 16th century as they are to today’s novelists. The window dressing may change, but throughout the ages we’ve all been framing the same big ideas.”

For Writers: “Dancers communicate stories all the time without speaking a single word, and the effect can be stunning. Study how they do that.”

“I turned to writing fiction after my first husband’s suicide, sixteen years ago. I had a lingering need to use my writing to form a more hopeful story from the chaos of those events. Penelope Sparrow was my path.”

 

Kathryn Craft writes stories that seek beauty and meaning at the edge of darkness. A native of Syracuse, NY she was a dancer, choreographer, and  dance critic before becoming a writer. Craft is an active member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and leads writing workshops and retreats. She is published by Sourcebooks Landmark.

 

Cathy Lamb interviews Craft:

Author To Author Interview: Kathryn Craft

The Art of Falling is her first novel. “A sensitive study of a woman choreographing her own recovery.”—Kirkus Reviews.

All Penny has ever wanted to do is dance—and when that chance is taken from her, it pushes her to the brink of despair, from which she might never return. 

 

The Far End of Happy was named as the Ten Books You Should Be Reading by the Huffington Post.

Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell.

 

“Craft presents her mesmerizing characters with depth, understanding, and ethos.” – Lana Kay Rosenberg, artistic director, Miami University Dance Theatre

 

Visit Kathryn Craft’s Amazon page here: https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Craft/e/B00DLI9GE4

Blog and website: http://www.kathryncraft.com/

You can find her blog posts at Writer Unboxed: https://writerunboxed.com/kathryn/

 

Craft is also a contributor in Author in Progress, from the Writer Unboxed Community.

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog! Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by

contemporary and classic authors.

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Daggers in His Smile

The Golden Bough by Salman Rushdie

Tuesday’s Tale   January 12, 2021

 

“As the interview progressed I became convinced that I would not get the job.”

 

This story opens with a common feeling we’ve all experienced. Knowing your job interview begins and ends nowhere. Whatever failures or miscalculations occurred, after too many disappointments and self-blame, what might you do? How desperate might you become when you experience eternal rejection? And there’s an interesting twist here causing that repeated rejection.  Our narrator David Gularski goes pretty wild.

Author Salman Rushdie is famous for his stylistic magical realism. This fiction has fascinating flavors of dark humor and an ending that will make you grin.

 

Read the short story (10-minute read) at Granta

https://granta.com/the-golden-bough/

 

Watch the film (24 minutes). Worth your time for sure!

 

 

Salman Rushdie is a British-Indian novelist best known for the novels ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘The Satanic Verses,’ for which he was accused of blasphemy against Islam. In 1988 Rushdie published The Satanic Verses, a novel drenched in magical realism. He’s written eleven novels and collections of essays and works of non-fiction.

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine    HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

   Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian       The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

 

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

Leave a comment

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