Monday, December 29, 2014

A Word Nerds Best-of

The Word Nerds kicked off their Best of 2014 today with their Best First Book in a Series, and I'm delighted to report DEAD HARVEST tied Lyndsay Faye's THE GODS OF GOTHAM for the honor! Thanks to the titular Word Nerds, Bethany and Stacie, for the nod.

Monday, December 08, 2014

CRIMINAL WORDS, A Free Short Story Audiobook, Now Available!

A month or so ago, you may recall, my short story "Pretty Little Things" was featured on Erik Arneson's Word Crimes podcast. Today, a free (yes, free!) audiobook version of the Word Crimes podcast, CRIMINAL WORDS, is now available! CRIMINAL WORDS features my aforementioned short as well as stories from such talented writers as Erik Arneson, Joe Clifford, Jen Conley, David Cranmer, Chris Irvin, Tom Pitts, and Steve Weddle. All stories are narrated by public radio veteran Scott Detrow. Download a copy today!

Monday, December 01, 2014


Every once and a while a project comes along that's too cool to turn down, no matter how swamped I am with other stuff. So it was with TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND, which is out today.

TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND is an anthology of crime fiction inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen. It features such talented writers as Dennis Lehane, Hilary Davidson, Todd Robinson, and Steve Weddle, to name but a few (click through to take a gander at the full list of contributors). And a portion of the proceeds benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping veterans.

I was lucky enough to get my pick of songs to use as inspiration. The song I chose was "Mansion on the Hill." It's an achingly beautiful track off one of the most haunting records of all time, and I hope I did it justice. You can check out the tune below.
Thanks to Joe Clifford, Zelmer Pulp, and Gutter Books for their hard work on this project. If you'd like a copy, or you've got a Springsteen fan on your Christmas shopping list, TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Or, if you'd prefer, ask your local independent bookstore to order you a copy.

Friday, November 07, 2014

A Would-Be Stalker's Guide to Chris' Bouchercon 2014

Bouchercon 2014 is almost upon us, and my schedule's rounded out a bit since last I posted, so I thought a new post telling y'all where to find me might be in order. (Remember, stalkers: I like pie.*)

On Thursday, 11/13 at 4 PM, I'll be appearing on the "Noir Comes in Many Flavors" panel in Regency C alongside Jon Bassoff, Steph Cha, Robert Lewis, Fuminori Nakamura, and Chantelle Aimee Osman (m). It promises to be a terrific conversation.

Then, at 5:30PM Thursday, also in Regency C, I'll be reading as part of Noir at the Bar. More than twenty authors will be participating, and each of us is bringing a book to give away, so be sure to swing by. My contribution will be a signed copy of THE BIG REAP, which is up for an Anthony this year in the category of Best Paperback Original (hint hint please vote for me).

I expect I'll spend some portion of Saturday (11/15) morning loitering around the Little, Brown/Mulholland table, if only to score some of the advertised books, coffee, and pastries (but not, it should be noted, any of the authors; publishers get tetchy when you abscond with those). It runs from 7AM to 12:30PM, but if I were a betting man, I'd say 7AM is a tad early to expect me.

Finally, on Saturday night from 6:30PM to 8PM, you can catch me looking vaguely queasy at the Anthony Awards Reception. Did I mention THE BIG REAP was up for an award? I did? Well, did I mention my insanely talented fellow nominees are Catriona McPherson, Alex Marwood, Stephen King, and Darrell James? Lists like that are why folks always (quite rightly) say it's an honor to be nominated. But if you're attending B'con and you're inclined to vote for me, I sure won't try to dissuade you.

That's it for my official schedule. But, as ever, if you see me and want to say hello, please feel free.**

*Please don't actually stalk me.
**Restrooms excluded. Lurking in my hotel room strongly discouraged, unless you bring pie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pretty Little Word Crimes

A few years ago, I got a series of odd texts from an unfamiliar number. They led to an even odder phone call, and inspired me to write a short story called "Pretty Little Things," which wound up in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and garnered a Derringer nomination.

Today, that short story is featured in Erik Arneson's Word Crimes podcast. It's read by public radio reporter Scott Detrow, and I think he (and Erik!) did a bang-up job bringing this story to life. Go give it a listen! And if you want to read more about the inspiration for this story, I wrote a post about it a while back.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Simple Art of Reaping

University Book Store, Seattle's oldest and largest independent bookseller, wrote a terrific piece about my Collector books as part of their recommended Halloween reading series. (The title, which I've appropriated for this post, made my Chandler-geek heart soar.) Here's a taste (click through to read the rest):

"Imagine Philip Marlowe on permanent retainer with the Grim Reaper... Slick, witty, and inventive, The Collector series are supernatural thrillers, par excellence."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Upcoming Appearances

November is shaping up to be action-packed, appearance-wise. Here's where you can catch me in the coming weeks:

Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee
Saturday, November 1
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Anybody lucky enough to have attended Murder and Mayhem in Muskego, whether writer or reader, will tell you it was one of the finest book events around. I've been to two, and was heartbroken to hear that they'd lost their venue this year. But apparently, you can't keep a good event down, because from its ashes rose Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee! Boasting a slew of terrific authors including Sean Chercover, Julie Hyzy, Dana Cameron, and Marcus Sakey, just to name a few, Murder and Mayhem looks as though it's back and better than ever. And at a mere $35, the price can't be beat. Here are the panels I'll be participating in:

Psycho Started Here
w/ Jessie Chandler, Matthew Clemens, Todd Robinson, and Jeremy Lynch (moderator)

Schlitz, The Breakfast of Champions
w/ Dana Cameron, Julie Hyzy, Tom Schreck, Patricia Skalka, and (the lovely, talented, and also married-to-me) Katrina Niidas Holm (moderator)

Bouchercon 2014
Thursday, November 13 to Sunday, November 16
Long Beach, California

There's no two ways about it: If you're a fan of mysteries, Bouchercon is the big show. It's Comic Con for crime-fic geeks. My first was back in 2011, and I haven't missed one since. I'll be around all weekend, but to make things easy for any potential stalkers (remember, stalkers, I like pie!), here are two places you're sure to find me:

"Noir Comes in Many Flavors"
Thursday, 11/13 at 4 PM
w/ Jon Bassoff, Steph Cha, Robert Lewis, Fuminori Nakamura, and Chantelle Aimee Osman (moderator)

Noir at the Bar
Thursday, 11/13 at 5:30 PM
Tons of authors, me included, will be reading and giving away free books!

Oh, and I should mention THE BIG REAP is up for an Anthony Award in the category of Best Paperback Original, so if you're attending B'con this year and dug the book, I'd love your vote!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Interview

Josh, the titular guy at Just A Guy That Likes To Read, shot me some questions the other day about the Collector series; pop by his blog to check out the results!