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Spenser flies to Los Angeles to join the ten-day-old search for model-actress Gabby Leggett at her estranged mother's request. With former apprentice Sixkill and gunman friend Chollo, he discovers Gabby's involvement with a powerful studio executive and a shady empowerment group.

Based on the downfalls of Smallville actress Allison Mack and Warner Bros. chairman Kevin Tsujihara, Ace Atkins' eighth Parker continuation recalls Spenser's past rescuing children. Only Gabby is twenty-four, harder to bring back if found. A ripped-from-the-headlines feel fits this Hollywood novel, balanced by Atkins' record reporting and adapting true crime.

Thanks again to G.P. Putnam's Sons' Katie McKee for the galley. Robert B. Parker's Angel Eyes goes on sale November 19.
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On sale August 13, BELOW THE RADAR by Dana Ridenour

Publicist Wiley Saichek brings to my attention another book that may interest readers of my blogs, the third in retired FBI agent Dana Ridenour's Lexie Montgomery series:

After her last assignment went horribly wrong, everyone tells FBI Special Agent Lexie Montgomery she needs a break. But Lexie is determined to keep going with her undercover work-so when a Dutch constable goes missing, she jumps at the chance.

Along with Blake Bennett, her unfamiliar new partner, Lexie is thrown into the Gathering, a haven for environmental activists planning illegal activity. It's a dangerous situation, but she blends right in-a little too well, Blake thinks. As the pair of them try to get closer to the vanished constable, he begins to suspect that Lexie may be hiding an affinity for the eco-extremists' cause.

With her loyalties in question from both sides, Lexie will be forced to prove herself as an undercover agent and as a new recruit for the terrorists' cause. But as time starts t…


To be published September 10, Coleman's sixth Jesse Stone continuation novel explores the opioid epidemic as Stone looks into the apparent overdose death of Paradise High School student Heather Mackey.

The third-person style Parker used in his Stone books lets Coleman present a detailed picture, including the families affected and the kind of people who prey on high school students and exploit addicts.

Coleman also effectively draws on the backstory he's written into the series to obscure a key suspect and raise Jesse's personal stake when the suppliers try to end his interference.

Four months ago, it was announced Coleman was leaving Parker publisher G.P. Putnam's Sons for Blackstone Publishing. As ever, I'm glad he put his stamp on Jesse Stone.

My thanks as always to Putnam's Katie McKee for the review copy.

PAPER SON by S.J. Rozan

I'm a longtime fan of S.J. Rozan's Lydia Chin and Bill Smith private eye novels, each of which she writes from the viewpoint of either twentysomething American-born Chinese Lydia or fortysomething white ex-Navy man Bill. As soon as I heard Rozan was returning to the series after eight years, I pre-ordered Paper Son, published July 2 by Pegasus Books.

On her mother's orders, Lydia and Bill leave their home base of New York City for the Mississippi Delta to help a cousin Lydia didn't know she had, who's been arrested on suspicion of killing his father. The partners' investigation uncovers other families' secrets just as shocking.

Though Mississippi is uncharted territory for Lydia and Bill, Rozan reliably evokes place and its impact on character to refresh the series and push the hot buttons of immigration, identity politics, and fantasy sports betting.


In Atkins' ninth Quinn Colson novel, on sale July 9, a pair of New York journalists arrives in Tibbehah County, Mississippi questioning the twenty-year-old apparent suicide of teenager Brandon Taylor. Competing for Sheriff Colson's attention are various criminal elements that have sprung up since supervisor Johnny Stagg has been in prison.

Ace Atkins sent me a copy of the first Colson book, The Ranger, after I interviewed him about being named to continue Robert B. Parker's Spenser in April 2010. Having been a Colson fan since then, I've seen the series naturally expand beyond Quinn and the the central case of each book. With long-running subplots and continuing characters' lives, there's less a feeling of resolution, more a feeling that what happens in the moment will reverberate in the future.

Thanks to G.P. Putnam's Sons' Katie McKee for the galley.

On sale June 11, NO RIGHT WAY by Michael Niemann

Publicist Wiley Saichek sends word of Michael Niemann's fourth international thriller, on sale in three weeks from Coffeetown Press:

It is the fall of 2015. The refugee stream from Syria into Turkey has swelled to unprecedented numbers. Valentin Vermeulen, investigator for the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, is sent to check that the money sent to alleviate the crisis is spent for the intended purposes.

He visits a newly established UN sub-office in Gaziantep, southern Turkey. After being stood up by the local administrator, Vermeulen spends the weekend in Kilis to see if the refugees not living in official camps receive proper aid. He makes his way to a rough tent camp. None of the refugees there have received any aid.

At the camp, he meets Rima, who’s questioned by the police in connection with the murder of her friend. His decision to help her sets in motion a violent confrontation from which they barely escape. Despite her plea for help, he has to go back …

2019 Derringer Finalist Sylvia Maultash Warsh

I'm a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, an informal association of writers, publishers, and fans that has kept mystery & crime short stories in the public eye since 1996. On April 4, the Society announced the finalists for its 2019 Derringer Awards. An April 15–30 vote of the membership determined the winners, announced May 1.

I still hope to interview any 2019 finalists I've missed. Email me your answers to the following questions.

Sylvia Maultash Warsh's Mystery Most Geograpical story "The Cabin in the Woods" was one of four Best Short Story Derringer finalists from the 2018 Malice Domestic anthology.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

A woman stays in the cabin she inherited from her estranged mother and learns the painful truth about her father.

What were the most difficult and most enjoyable parts of writing the story?

I had a lot of backstory and had to decide whether to use narrative or “show” it in scenes. At first, I wrote scenes for some…