Monday, 26 November 2012

Crime Fiction Grab Bag No. 7

It's time for another crime fiction grab bag here at The Overnight Bestseller, as we celebrate the news and views from the past few weeks in our favorite literary genre.

Why not begin at the top, with a feature by Kevin Nance of the Chicago Tribune on Michael Connelly and The Black Box, another Harry Bosch offering. While we're on the subject, here's a review of The Black Box by Patrick Anderson of the Washington Post, and a very amusing opinion piece on Harry Bosch by Julia Keller, cultural critic for the Chicago Tribune.

If you love pulp fiction, as I do, you won't want to miss this article for CNN by Christian DuChateau explaining how editor and publisher Charles Ardai tracked down and published The Cocktail Waitress, an unpublished novel by James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity) written at the end of his life.

Margaret Cannon's recent crime fiction roundup in the Toronto Globe and Mail includes reviews of Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery, Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin, and The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon.

Finally, Jack Batten of the Toronto Star offers another set of mini-reviews in his latest Whodunit column, including his takes on Port Vila Blues by Gary Disher, Cut to the Bone by Joan Boswell, Deadly Politics by Maggie Sefton, and Dare Me by Megan Abbott.

Speaking of Whodunit, you may not have caught Jack Batten's mini-review of Marcie's Murder this summer. If so, well, here it is again!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Book Review: The Banker Spy

Once again The Overnight Bestseller is pleased to host a Tribute Books November 2012 blog tour. This time we welcome William G. Byrnes as we take an inside look at The Banker Spy.

The Banker Spy: Book Summary
The Banker Spy weaves history into a contemporary thriller about ex-lovers who become entangled in a web of international intrigue. Investment banker Peter Armstrong believes he’s left his past in the States. He has an exciting new job in London and is managing the largest equity offering in European history. Behind him are an incident at his old employer and a broken engagement. He thinks his only problem is his client—an automobile company desperate for cash. Then he receives a phone call from his ex-fiancée, Dayna Caymus, a beautiful and unpredictable CIA agent. When Peter discovers that his client is secretly working for the German government the two ex-lovers enter into an uneasy alliance which their past sometimes helps and sometimes hurts, all the while sorting through their feelings for each other. Dayna puts her mission first, leading Peter into a labyrinth of deception and conspiracy. Peter loses his client, his job, and almost his life as they race to learn Germany’s secrets—secrets that could start a nuclear war.

Format/Price: $2.99 ebook
Publisher: Publish Green
ISBN: 9781938296345
Release: August 27, 2012
Kindle buy link ($2.99):

William G. Byrnes: Biography
Bill Byrnes was an investment banker with Alex. Brown & Sons for 17 years. After that he was a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Finance and, subsequently, member of the Board of Regents at Georgetown University. He's founded three companies and has served on the boards of six public companies. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Michigan. His interests include European and Meso-american history, wine collecting, and automobiles. He's happiest around the water and on the tennis court. Bill, his wife, and their two poodles divide their time between Washington, DC and West Palm Beach, FL.

Our Review of The Banker Spy
Since the end of the Cold War, writers of espionage novels have had difficulty in developing credible spy thrillers.  In his debut novel, William G. Byrnes has written a contemporary thriller based on the politics emerging after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, while artfully weaving in the history of Nazi Germany.  The “banker spy” is the novel's protagonist, Peter Armstrong,  who is caught between his duties as investment banker and his loyalties to his country and ex-lover Dayna Caymus, a CIA operative, in averting a potential war involving nuclear weapons.  The novel is well-researched with the historical elements explained in such a manner as to heighten interest in the storyline.  The result is a gripping narrative that begins with a car chase and continues along at a fast pace until its explosive conclusion!

This novel will appeal to fans of the espionage novel, as well as to followers of thriller writers such as Stephen Frey and Brad Meltzer.

Related Sites

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

The Banker Spy blog tour site:

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Fregoli Delusion: A Sneak Peek

The Fregoli Delusion, the third Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel, is now available in e-book format, and the trade paperback version is working its way through the distribution network to your favorite online bookseller via the Ingram and Baker & Taylor book catalogs, which are available to independent bookstores in most locations. Stop in today and ask them to order your copy!

If you're a fan of the series, you'll be pleased to learn that Hank Donaghue and Karen Stainer are once more back home in Glendale and on the job in the hottest homicide investigation they've faced yet.

Billionaire H.J. Jarrett, president and CEO of a large health care corporation, has been shot to death on a bike path near his mansion in prestigious Granger Park. The good news for Karen is that she has an eyewitness who tells her he saw a man running away from the scene moments after the fatal shot was fired. The bad news for Karen, however, is that the eyewitness suffers from Fregoli syndrome, a rare disorder that makes his testimony useless to her.

While Hank leads their investigation into the top one percent of Glendale's economic and social strata, which include close friends of his own mother, Karen becomes more and more convinced that their eyewitness has been telling the truth all along!
Before you take a look at the sneak peek below, remember that if you'd like to sample the beginning of the novel (or purchase it in whole), you can simply follow one of these links:

The Fregoli Delusion: A Sneak Peek!

In this sneak peek, Karen and Hank have just left Jarrett Tower, where crime scene technicians are gathering forensic evidence related to the victim's business and security arrangements. The scene is under the control of Midtown district Sergeant John Graham, also known as Johnny Go, who had the dubious distinction of being Karen's mentor when she was an up-and-coming uniformed officer.

“Funny story,” Karen said as she floored the accelerator of the unmarked black Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and shot over to the inside northbound lane of Howard Boulevard. “Johnny Go was having a coffee the other day at this little sidewalk place down on Pritchard Street in Little Italy. Across the street he sees one of his guys come out of a shoe store, walking his beat. As he heads up the street, the guy’s firearm suddenly falls off his belt and drops onto the sidewalk behind him. Apparently the holster was one of the swivel types. The swivel broke and the gun fell right out. The guy never even noticed.”

“Good lord,” Hank said.

“I’m just getting started. A little old lady is walking behind him. Short little thing with the long black dress, big black shoes and a black kerchief over her head, big black purse on her arm. Typical Italian grandmother. She bends down, picks up the gun, and starts after the guy with it, holding it out in front of her.”

“Oh, oh.”

“You got it. The guy’s partner comes out of the next store, sees this short person with a black robe and black headdress trotting after his partner, holding out a gun, and he thinks he’s suddenly in the middle of some kind of terrorist action.”


“Now I’m thinking, Johnny’s gonna tell me the partner drew his weapon and shot the old lady dead.” She shook her head. “The guy tackles her from behind, down onto the sidewalk. Bam.”

Hank smiled.

“By this time Johnny Go’s dodging traffic to get across the street. When he gets there the guy’s still lying on top of her, and he’s trying to pull the gun out of her hand. She won’t let go, and she’s yelling, “Is his, is his!”

Hank started to laugh.

“Johnny gets there and pulls them both up. By this time, the first guy’s turned around and walking back, trying to figure out what the hell’s going on. The old lady holds out the gun to him and he stops dead, thinking that whatever it is, it ain’t over. So he reaches for his sidearm and, what do you know, it ain’t there.

“The old lady says, ‘Hey you, you droppa you gun! Take it!’”

Hank looked out the window, laughing.

“So the guy takes his gun and Johnny says to the other guy, ‘Apologize to the lady for knocking her down.’ So the guy apologizes. She hauls off and hits him right in the marbles with her purse.”


“Johnny says to me, ‘Lesson Number One, Stains, be aware of your firearm at all times. Lesson Number Two, make sure your equipment never lets you down. Check it before and after every shift.’ And Lesson Number Three?”

Hank looked at her.

“Never judge by appearances.”


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Book Review: Under the Eye of God

The Overnight Bestseller is pleased to host the Tribute Books November 2012 blog tour for Under The Eye of God: An Isaac Sidel Novel, by Jerome Charyn.

Under The Eye of God: Book Summary
After decades of madness in the Bronx, Isaac Sidel visits the craziest state in the country.

Isaac Sidel is too popular to be America’s vice president. Once the New York Police Department commissioner, he became the most beloved mayor in the city’s history—famous for his refusal to surrender his Glock, and for his habit of disappearing for months at a time to fight crime at street level. So when baseball czar J. Michael Storm asks Sidel to join him on the election’s Democratic ticket, the two wild men romp to an unprecedented landslide. But as the president-elect’s mandate goes off the rails—threatened by corruption, sex, and God knows what else—he tires of being overshadowed by Sidel, and dispatches him to a place from which tough politicians seldom return: Texas.

In the Lone Star state, Sidel confronts rogue astrologers, accusations of pedophilia, and a dimwitted assassin who doesn’t know when to take an easy shot. If this Bronx bomber doesn’t watch his step, he risks making vice-presidential history by getting killed on the job.
Price: $14.99
Release: October 30, 2012

Jerome Charyn: Biography
Jerome Charyn (b. 1937) is the critically acclaimed author of nearly fifty books. Born in the Bronx, he attended Columbia College, where he fell in love with the works of William Faulkner and James Joyce. After graduating, he took a job as a playground director and wrote in his spare time, producing his first novel, a Lower East Side fairytale called Once Upon a Droshky, in 1964.

In 1974 Charyn published Blue Eyes, his first Isaac Sidel mystery. Begun as a distraction while trying to finish a different book, this first in a series of Sidel novels introduced the eccentric, near-mythic detective and his bizarre cast of sidekicks. Charyn followed the character through Citizen Sidel (1999), which ends with his antihero making a run at the White House. Charyn, who divides his time between New York and Paris, is also accomplished at table tennis, and once ranked amongst France’s top Amazon10 percent of ping-pong players. 

Our Review of Under The Eye of God
Jerome Charyn's Under the Eye of God is the eleventh novel to feature his beloved character Isaac Sidel, who in his various incarnations has progressed from detective to commissioner to mayor and now to the VP-elect of the United States. The novel follows the “Big Guy with the Glock” from New York to Texas as he dodges bullets while dealing with love, betrayal, corruption, conflicting loyalties, and self-doubt.  The story contains enough plot twists and conspiracies to keep even Oliver Stone fans delighted.   Along the way, Sidel attracts a motley crew of misfits and reluctant assassins, who are “madmen and freaks”drawn into the “undercurrent of his [Sidel's] own mad wake”  (p. 112).  At risk is Sidel's (and Charyn's) beloved Bronx, which faces a threat in the form of a land grab from the highest levels of power: the White House and the Pentagon. 

This novel will appeal not only to devotees of the Sidel novels, but also to readers  who enjoy clever and colorful prose, fast-paced action, and manic misadventures in the style of Donald Westlake.

Related Sites
Jerome Charyn's web site:

Jerome Charyn's Facebook:!/jerome.charyn

Jerome Charyn's Twitter:

Isaac Sidel's Facebook:

Isaac Sidel's Twitter:!/IsaacSidel

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

Under the Eye of God blog tour site:
Video Trailer:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

New, Lower Prices for D&S Series E-Books

To celebrate the publication of The Fregoli Delusion, The Plaid Raccoon Press has reduced the price on the e-book editions of Blood Passage and Marcie's Murder, the first two books in the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel Series.

Blood Passage is now available for the new low price of $1.99 USD, while Marcie's Murder may be purchased for $2.99 USD.

These new prices have already been implemented, but may not have reached all distribution points at this printing. If you see the old price still listed, feel free to follow the Smashwords link listed below, where you may obtain copies for the device of your choice, and the new prices are already in effect.

Blood Passage e-book links:

Kindle                        Nook
Kobo                         Sony

Marcie's Murder e-book links:
Kindle                       Nook
Kobo                        Sony

A Note on the Pricing
The Fregoli Delusion is the third novel in the series, and many e-book authors have discovered that their sales jump noticeably once they publish their third book. One of the techniques used by many authors includes dropping the price of the first book to Free, which increases the volume of downloads they see and helps hook readers into the series.

We've decided not to make Blood Passage available for Free.  We're hoping that being able to purchase all three titles in the series for a grand total of $9.97 USD will be enough of an incentive to entice more readers to take the plunge.

Why have we decided not to reset the price of Blood Passage to Free? Last year The Plaid Raccoon Press published several short stories featuring Donaghue and Stainer, and these were all made available at no cost to the reader. While the stories saw a great many downloads, there was never any way of telling whether or not people were actually reading the stories or just collecting "freebies."

More importantly, though, the comments and "reviews" we did receive were occasionally very nasty. Every independent author experiences this phenomenon, of course, and one soon learns to grow a thick skin, but it seemed that many people felt getting something for nothing entitled them to say whatever popped into their head, including vulgarisms, racist remarks, and other slurs that made it obvious the person either hadn't read the story or else had read it very carelessly. It wasn't making very good business sense to keep these stories posted with such negativity attached to them.

The final straw came in a bizarre twist when two people started using one of the free stories as a mail drop. The good news was that each time they entered a comment they gave the story a five-star rating, but the messages they exchanged were in some kind of cryptic code that soon began to creep us out. It was time to remove the free stories altogether and rethink this strategy.

As a result, Blood Passage is listed at $1.99 USD. While we may occasionally offer it for a lower price, and perhaps even for free during promotional events through the use of coupon codes, The Plaid Raccoon Press has implemented a policy of never again setting an e-book price at Free in the future. If readers feel an overwhelming desire to register their outrage, hatred, and anger at what they read, well, frankly, they can pay two bucks for the privilege.

Meanwhile, we can rest easier at night in the knowledge that the comments section of our publications are not posing any kind of security risk!

Thanks to you all for your patience and understanding.

M.J. McCann
L.L. Clark
The Plaid Raccoon Press

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Announcing the Publication of The Fregoli Delusion

The Plaid Raccoon Press is very pleased to announce the publication of  The Fregoli Delusion, the third Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel by Michael J. McCann.

The e-book version of the novel is currently available from Amazon for Kindle e-readers and from Smashwords for the e-reader of your choice. It has been approved for Smashwords' premium catalogue and will soon be available for purchase directly from Barnes & Noble for the Nook, as well as from Kobo, Apple (iBooks), and Sony.

The paperback version of the novel will be available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and may also be ordered from the independent bookseller of your choice through the Ingram Book Catalog. An update on the availability of the paperback will be provided as soon as distribution is complete.

Synopsis: When billionaire H.J. Jarrett is shot to death on a bike path in prestigious Granger Park, the killer is seen running away by a man who is apparently in the right place at the right time. However, Glendale Homicide Lieutenant Hank Donaghue and Detective Karen Stainer discover to their dismay that their only eyewitness suffers from a rare psychotic disorder that makes his testimony useless.

As Donaghue’s investigation focuses on the top one percent of Glendale’s social stratum, including close friends of his own mother, Stainer finds herself alone when her gut instinct tells her that their eyewitness is right after all!

Publication Date: November 8, 2012
Approx. Words: 88,184
Pages (Paperback): 266

Cover photograph copyright by René Mansi / iStockphoto. Used under license.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Crime Fiction Grab Bag No. 6

Now that The Fregoli Delusion has been sent off to the printers and the e-book version has been uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon, I can turn my attention to some serious blogging. Watch for an upcoming post in which I present the new Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel, and offer a free sample!

Today, however, it's time to catch up on the news in the world of crime fiction.

Mark Shanahan of the Boston Globe offers this very interesting article on Dennis Lehane's efforts to move beyond the stereotypical expectations of crime fiction in his recent work, including the novel Live by Night.

Time for controversy? Mark Lawson of RadioTimes presents his list of the seventeen greatest European fictional detectives.  Personally, I think Maigret should have been given the nod ahead of Poirot for top spot, but that's just me....

Just for fun, and because it's impossible to ignore Scottish crime fiction these days, here's Brian Donaldson of The List with "Tartan Noir: An A-to-Z of Scottish Crime Fiction."

In a different direction, Terry Ambrose of offers us a look at Edith Maxwell, a Quaker who writes murder mysteries as Tace Baker. She's the author of Speaking of Murder, about a Quaker linguistics professor who finds her star student dead.

Finally, fans of Patricia Cornwell may be interested in this article by David Connett of the Independent covering the well-known mystery author's current legal battle involving a $180 million law suit.

Enjoy, and stay with me for more exciting news over the next few days!