Tag Archives: mystery

An Interview with 2014 Killer Nashville Attending Editor Bryon Quertermous

All the agents and editors who come to Killer Nashville are looking for new authors. We make sure of that before they are invited. Sometimes, though, we see a new house that is incredibly hungry. And, for us, that’s a … Continue reading

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Blending Humor and Tension in a Traditional Mystery / Author Nancy J. Cohen

There’s nothing funny about murder. Or is there? Mystery, romance, and how-to author Nancy J. Cohen navigates the delicate balance between bloodshed and laughter in her guest blog, “Blending Humor and Tension in a Traditional Mystery.” Here’s a great way … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Thursday, February 27, 2014 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

DEATH CANYON by David Riley Bertsch KILLER’S ISLAND by Anna Jansson THE LAST TIME I DIED by Joe Nelms Dear Murderous Reader – This week my reading was all over the place. I went from a mystery-western, to a Swedish version of a … Continue reading

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Killing Your Protagonist – Or At Least Trying To / Author Vic DiGenti (aka Parker Francis)

What makes us keep turning the pages? The same thing that makes us watch a train wreck. Award-winning author Vic DiGenti shares with us how he beats up his protagonists and how, if they didn’t have to appear in the … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Friday, February 14, 2014 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

DEATH NELL by Mary Grace Murphy FRAME-UP by Jill Elizabeth Nelson LOVE IS MURDER by Sandra Brown MEGAN’S MARK by Lora Leigh MOTIVE FOR MURDER by Carol J. Post SCORCHED by Laura Griffin THE SEARCH by Nora Roberts SILENCE by Debra Webb SWEET SURRENDER by Maya Banks TELL ME by … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Monday, February 10, 2014 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Beewitched by Hannah Reed Books, Cooks, and Crooks by Lucy Arlington Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames   Three must reads from Berkley Prime Crime’s lineup. Part 1 of 3. Dear Murderous Reader – It doesn’t get any better than Berkley Prime … Continue reading

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Outline or No Outline? / Author Rick Reed

Outline or no outline? That is the question. Sometimes it’s great to hear how other successful writers do it. Author Rick Reed, after writing several acclaimed books, has found his groove. Here’s his take on how he plots. Happy Reading! … Continue reading

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An Interview with Author Baron R. Birtcher / Killer Nashville Success Story

Killer Nashville is pleased to present an interview with author Baron R. Birtcher, whose novel Rain Dogs was acquired by The Permanent Press after being named a Killer Nashville Claymore Award finalist. KN: Baron, welcome, and thank you for joining … Continue reading

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The Checks Are Coming In: Why I Self-Published My Book and How I Did It / Author Helen Haught Fanick

Sometimes authors wonder when and if they should self-publish a book.  Author Helen Haught Fanick, a traditionally published author, had the same concerns.  As our Guest Blogger this week, Helen shares with us the decision to self-publish a book she … Continue reading

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An Interview with Agent Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Today, we have an interview with agent Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Jill has been attending Killer Nashville since 2010 and has been a staunch supporter of the conference ever since. She has a strong Internet and … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Wednesday, October 23, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Killer’s Art by Marji Jungstedt The Girl in Berlin by Elizabeth Wilson Death on Demand by Paul Thomas Styx & Stone by James W. Ziskin Today’s Killer Nashville Featured Books take me around the world, but they all have two things in common: non-stop … Continue reading

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An Interview with Author Eyre Price / Killer Nashville Success Story

Today, it’s my pleasure to interview Eyre Price, author of the Crossroads thriller series and Killer Nashville Success Story. So, Eyre, when did you know you wanted to be a writer? I’ve absolutely always wanted to be a writer. It … Continue reading

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2014 Guests of Honor Announced

Killer Nashville is please to announce bestselling authors Lisa Jackson and William Kent Krueger as the 2014 Guests of Honor for our 9th annual writers’ conference. Lisa Jackson is neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, USA … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Friday, September 27, 2013 / “SNAFU” by Glen C. Allison / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Discover why I’m a new fan of Glen C. Allison’s messed-up protagonist in SNAFU. SNAFU by Glen C. Allison For years I have been a friend of Glen C. Allison; now, I’m a fan. Glen has created an incredible series with New … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / “A Killing At Cotton Hill” by Terry Shames / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A retired chief of police is pulled into the investigation of an old friend in a Texas small town in A Killing at Cotton Hill, a debut novel you won’t want to miss. A Killing At Cotton Hill by Terry Shames This … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Wednesday, September 18, 2013 / “Theodore Boone: The Accused” by John Grisham / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A young wannabe lawyer finds himself on the wrong side of the law in “Theodore Boone: The Accused” by John Grisham. Read my review. Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham I grew up reading John Grisham books.  Now my son … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Monday, September 16, 2013 / “Until She Comes Home” by Lori Roy / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A murder and disappearance destroy the essence of a once-respectable neighborhood in “Until She Comes Home” by Lori Roy. Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy Winning an Edgar for your first novel is a hard setup for your second one.  … Continue reading

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Location, Location, Location: Should You Go? / Author Alana White

If the book you are writing is set in your hometown, details and interesting locations are relatively close to hand: a few days will go a long way in establishing tone, mood, and finding intriguing, unusual places for scenes to … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Thursday, September 5, 2013 / “Tell Me” by Lisa Jackson / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Who murdered a pregnant teenage girl? Her mother is not talking. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson Thriller author Lisa Jackson’s new book “Tell Me” sucked me in and disabled me like a snakebite.  Out of nowhere, from the first page of … Continue reading

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The Fictional Serial Killer / Criminologist & Author R. Barri Flowers

Many of today’s bestselling mystery and thriller novels revolve around serial killers. Makes sense as this type of killer seems to appeal most to the fear factor in us, or the bogeyman or bogeywoman come to fictional life, waiting to … Continue reading

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Time Of Death / Forensic Investigator Steve Rush

Accurate details prove important when including crime scenes in our prose. Three basic questions we want to answer when writing these scenes are: What was my character doing before incident? What altered and/or interrupted her/him at the inciting moment? What … Continue reading

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Critiques Are A Two-Edged Sword / Author Maggie Toussaint

Authors are polarized on the subject of critiques. For some, the idea of anyone criticizing any part of their baby is unthinkable. Other authors wouldn’t dream of turning in a manuscript unless it had been vetted by critique partners. So … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Wednesday, July 24, 2013 / “The Deadly Streets” by Harlan Ellison / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A collection of stories every short story writer and reader should know about:  Harlan Ellison’s The Deadly Streets. The Deadly Streets by Harlan Ellison Subterranean Press is the epitome of cool.  I have thought so for years.  Books such as The Deadly Streets a … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Tuesday, June 23, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

The senseless murder of children in Africa, an Amish love affair, a woman’s heart-tugging self-discovery, the financial industry’s crooked corporate deals, and the death of a police officer. Here are some books I think you might find of interest. Some I have … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Friday, June 19, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A man on death row, a second wife learning the startling truth about the first, a sister avenging the death of her sister, and how to write a killer thriller.  Here are some books I think you might find of interest. … Continue reading

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A Writer’s Training Ground / Writer Tom Wood

I always loved a good mystery, but never, ever, in my thirty-six-year career as a sports writer and copy editor at a major Southern daily newspaper did I imagine writing one. So when I decided it was time to write … Continue reading

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The Best Contest I Ever Lost / NYT bestselling author Lynn Viehl

In 2012 I entered Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award contest, but don’t bother checking the names of the finalists; I didn’t make that list.  There was no trophy or bragging rights for me; I’m just one of the many Claymore losers … Continue reading

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The Dark Side of Mystery Writing / Author Joyce Lavene

I was thinking about how much darkness mystery writers have to take in – and deflect – every day. What made me think about it were the shocked and horrified faces of friends and family after I’d related what I … Continue reading

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How to Slash Your Word Count by 20-50% / Editor & Author Jodie Renner

…and tighten up your story without losing any of the good stuff! Have you been told your story looks promising or even intriguing, but your novel is way too long? Today’s readers have shorter attention spans, and publishers don’t want … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “You Cannoli Die Once” by Shelley Costa / Thursday, May 30, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa An Italian food mystery series?  What could be better than this!  Get ready to sit down and indulge. Edgar Award-nominated author Shelley Costa has put the fine touches on the start … Continue reading

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Guns: Magic or Science / Author Ernest Lancaster

I wouldn’t dare presume to tell you how to define the weapons your characters use.  After all, Hollywood churns out films with magical guns and bullets that defy the laws of physics.  And heroes with implausible powers from Sherlock Holmes … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Rapscallion” by James McGee / Tuesday, May 28, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Rapscallion by James McGee It’s the early 1800s and espionage is alive and well in jolly old England. “Rapscallion” by James McGee is the third adventure for Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood and in this installment, without giving … Continue reading

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How Technology Helps & Hinders The Modern-Day Sleuth

Back in the good old days, a private detective or amateur sleuth could justify entering the villain’s secluded hideout alone because they were miles from a telephone. Now, when everyone has a cell phone (and probably an internet connection) in … Continue reading

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Are We There Yet – Where No Man Has Gone Before? / Author Tom Collins

I try to include some far out stuff in my mysteries, but I’m finding that is hard to dabble in science fiction when we keep catching up with it. Drones are becoming commonplace. The college where I received my undergraduate … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Green Light For Murder” by Heywood Gould / Saturday, May 18, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Green Light For Murder by Heywood Gould I’ve heard it said that the only good producer is a dead producer.  In “Green Light for Murder”, Heywood Gould takes that literally.  This is a true insider’s look at the … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Dead Insider” by Victoria Houston / Friday, May 17, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Dead Insider by Victoria Houston There is so much to like about Victoria Houston’s new novel, “Dead Insider,” I almost don’t know where to begin. Plot-wise, it is what I might call a suspenseful cozy, or maybe a … Continue reading

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My First Literary Advice / Award Winning Author/Screenwriter Heywood Gould

It’s 1963. I’m twenty- one and I have the best job in the world— police reporter for the New York Post. I’m making $95 a week and paying $53 a month in rent. A bowl of shrimp fried rice costs … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Another Sun” by Timothy Williams / Tuesday, May 14, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Another Sun by Timothy Williams I love taking trips to places I’ve never been and I think this is the first novel I’ve read set in Guadeloupe.  It is an underdog tale with a twist. “Another Son” by … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The House of Special Purpose” by John Boyne / Monday, May 13, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne If you are looking for a page-turning mixture of suspense and betrayal within a well-executed part love story, part historical epic, and part-tragedy, then “The House of Special Purpose” is … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Shadows On a Cape Cod Wedding” by Lea Wait / Monday, May 6, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Shadows On a Cape Cod Wedding – An Antique Print Mystery by Lea Wait A dead body on the beach, a second murder, and the looming hurricane amidst wedding preparations and a number of romantic and social issues … Continue reading

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Clichés and the Writer / Author Randy Rawls

So now you’re a writer. You qualify for the title because you’ve 1) published your first book, 2) finished your first book, 3) begun your first book, or 4) decided to begin your first book. Doesn’t matter which, you’re well … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Final Settlement” by Vicki Doudera / Tuesday, April 30, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Final Settlement by Vicki Doudera If cozies are your thing, you’ll be sold with “Final Settlement” by Vicki Doudera.  This is the fourth installment in her Darby Farr real estate mystery series. I love the characters and the … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The Bone Man” by Wolf Haas / Friday, April 26, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Bone Man by Wolf Haas In “The Bone Man” by Wolf Haas, former detective Simon Brenner no sooner gets on the job than his client goes missing.  Foul play (or fowl play – pardon me) is suspected, … Continue reading

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Paris Book Expo Showcase / Author Dennis Winstead

Now that all of our books, cards and catalogs are delivered and the U.S. Commercial Service folks in Paris have completed the March 21-25 Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, I’d like to take this opportunity to showcase the expo … Continue reading

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Make My People Go / Award-winning author Brad Crowther

At a writers’ conference several years ago, Michael Connelly was asked why he killed off Terry McCaleb, the protagonist in Blood Work and other books. Connelly said he no longer could see himself spending a year up close and personal … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The Mystery of Mercy Close” by Marian Keyes / Monday, April 15, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes Page-turning laughs await in the new mystery from Irish author Marian Keyes’ “The Mystery of Mercy Close.” This is the fifth Walsh Sister novel. Helen, the protagonist, is the youngest … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Farewell To Freedom by Sara Blædel / Thursday, April 11, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Farewell To Freedom by Sara Blædel Sara Blædel was voted as Denmark’s most popular novelist three times in a row. That’s no surprise. When it comes to police procedural, she’s always been one of my favorites. “Farewell to Freedom” … Continue reading

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Characters for Hire / Author Ken Vanderpool

  Key Players Everyone knows the most important people to any successful business are their customers. Running a close second and facilitating that success are the company’s employees. As a hiring manager in operations for the past forty years, I … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger / Friday, April 5, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger William Ken Krueger’s new deeply human grief-ridden novel “Ordinary Grace” is as much a literary novel as it is a mystery. Told from the point-of-view of a 13-year-old boy, Frank, an about-to-be … Continue reading

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Killer Idea / Author Warren Bull

Nothing is as hard for a fiction writer as reality. I’m not talking about the grim reality of searching for an agent, the marathon of trying to get something published or even the annoyance, carving out time to write between … Continue reading

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