Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Summarizing the Harpercollins Mystery Sales for Kindle (12/17/14)

With a little over a week to go before Christmas, Harpercollins has just dropped the prices on many of their mystery books for Kindle. The vast number of books on sale is a bit overwhelming, so we have tried to summarize some of the better sales by author. We have no idea how long these prices will last so grab them while you can:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mystery Book Fair

Mrs. MRM, here!  I hope you're enjoying the weekend with a good book or two.  We are cuddled up inside and staying out of the cold rain!  I spent the week running an elementary school book fair in a huge gymnasium, surrounded by books of every shape and size on every topic that might appeal to 5-12 year old children.  In other words, I had one of the sweetest volunteer opportunities ever.  As a book lover, it was tons of fun to spend my days watching kids' eyes get wide when they walked in the door and to hear them gasp with delight when they spotted a sought-after book.  It is also pretty special to watch a child get excited over a book in a culture that is inundated with video games and electronics.  Every year at book fair there are a few titles that fly off the shelves and create a little whirlwind of competition for the last copy.  (In case you were wondering, this year's titles were SistersSmile, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.)   There were also some interesting "kid mystery" titles, including:

 Anyway, the experience made me think about what my dream mystery-themed book fair would look like, and I thought I'd share some of my musings with you.  Here's a peek at what the shelves might contain (the L.L. Bartlett is free as of this posting!):

Please post in the comments and let me know what your mystery book fair might look like!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Mysteries on Sale for Kindle, 12/3/14

Several of the major publishers have dropped the prices on Christmas mysteries and thrillers from popular authors.  As of today, 12/3/14, the following Christmas mysteries are on sale for Kindle:

 Let me know if there are any Christmas mystery sales that I am missing!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Mystery Release Roundup: December 1-2, 2014

There have been a bunch of terrific new mystery releases and reissues in the past 2 days, both from the indies and the major publishers. Among the interesting new titles are:

 If I have missed any, please let me know!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Mystery Deals for Kindle

With over 600 mysteries and thrillers on sale for up to 80% off for Kindle on Cyber Monday, it was very difficult to scroll through them to see what I wanted to buy.  I figured others were having the same problem so I have tried to summarize the best of today's deals below. All prices are good through midnight PST this evening, 12/1/2014.

  • Aaron Elkins has 13 mysteries on sale for $1.99 for Kindle, including all three from his Chris Norgren series and 8 from his series with anthropology professor Gideon Oliver 

Let me know what I have missed! There was no way to get to everything.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 4th 2013 New Mystery Release Roundup

As has become our custom here on the MRM blog, here is this month's batch of "first Tuesday" new mystery releases just in case you missed one:

  • Jeffrey Allen's Father Knows Death, the third book in his Stay at Home Dad humorous cozy mystery series
  • Lauren Beukes' buzzed about time travel mystery/thriller The Shining Girls
  • Janet Bolin's Thread and Buried, the third book in her Agatha Award nominated Threadville cozy mystery series with Willow Vanderling 
  • Allison Brennan's Stolen, the sixth book in her Lucy Kincaid romantic thriller series 
  • Alafair Burke's new mystery/thriller If You Were Here
  • Kate Carlisle's A Cookbook Conspiracy, the seventh book in her Bibliophile cozy mystery series
  • Grace Carroll's Murder After a Fashion, the third book in her Accessories mystery series with fashionista Rita Jewel 
  • Anne Cleeland's Tainted Angel, a historical mystery/suspense novel set in Regency England
  • Peg Cochran's Steamed to Death, the second book in her Gourmet De-Lite cozy mystery series
  • Sheila Connolly's Monument to the Dead, the fourth book in her Museum mystery series with fundraiser Nell Pratt
  • Krista Davis' The Diva Frosts a Cupcake, the seventh book in her Agatha Award nominated Domestic Diva series
  • Jeffery Deaver's The Kill Room, the tenth book in his popular series with Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs
  • Alex Grecian's The Blue Girl, a historical mystery short story set in 1889 and featuring Scotland Yard's Murder Squad
  • Beth Groundwater's Fatal Descent, the third book in her RM Outdoor Adventures whitewater rafting mystery series
  • Craig Johnson's A Serpent's Tooth, the ninth book in his acclaimed series with Sheriff Walt Longmire that is the inspiration for the A&E show
  • Linda O Johnston's Nonstop Spaniels, an inexpensive e-book only novella in her Pet Rescue mystery series 
  • Diane Kelly's humorous mystery Death, Taxes, and Hot Pink Leg Warmers, the fourth book in her series with IRS Agent Tara Holloway
  • Stephen King's Joyland, a brand new mystery/crime novel from Hard Case Crime.  For now this one is only in print and is not available as an e-book
  • Allison Kingsley's (aka Kate Kingsbury) Trouble Vision, he third book in her Raven's Nest Bookstore paranormal cozy mystery series
  • Kylie Logan's Mayhem at the Orient Express, the first book in the League of Literary Ladies cozy myster series
  • Carol Ann Martin's Looming Murder, the first book in her new Weaving mystery series
  • Jason Matthews' debut spy thriller Red Sparrow
  • Maggie Sefton's Close Knit Killer, the eleventh book in her Agatha Award nominated Knitting mystery series
  • Taylor Stevens' The Doll, the third book in her Barry Award winning series with the informationist Vanessa Michael Munroe
  • Kate Watterson's Charred, her second book featuring Milwaukee, WI Homicide Detective Ellie MacIntosh
  • CM Wendelboe's Death on the Greasy Grass, the third in the series with tribal cop turned FBI agent Manny Tanno
Let us know if there are any that we missed!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Andrew Peters Guest Post: Breaking the "Fourth Wall"

Mr Must Read mysteries (or Musty, as we famous writers call him) has asked me to write a little something for you all on one of the techniques I use a lot in my brilliant books.  
                           Breaking the “fourth wall”

Goodreads 5 Star review “I really like the way he involves the reader, it’s like he’s sitting in front of you talking to you”

Goodreads 2 Star review “Not really my sort of thing, he keeps addressing the reader directly”

Well, my friends, it appears that you surely can’t please everyone, and one of the things I seem to do which divides opinion on my literary masterpieces is my habit of talking to people. Yes, you. Pay attention.

Maybe it starts with the fact that I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. Before last June I’d never written a story in my life, and certainly never attended a creative writing class or read anything at all about writing technique.  I had done plenty of story-telling, in comedy clubs, folk clubs and when making a living as an entertainer, so maybe that was what influenced me most when I decided to tell some stories via the Kindle machine.

That was what I wanted to do, not write things, but tell stories, and I never really gave much thought to how I should do it. I just thought up a situation, sat down at the computer and told someone about it. You. The reader.

I suppose it’s my Blues Detective stories where the reader's most important, as Otis King the narrator takes you into his world, shares his thoughts with you, helps you along with a clue or two, and quite often expects you to guess the answer before he does.

“Well, you’ve guessed it by now, haven’t you my dears? It’s hardly worth explaining it. What? No? Well, it’s a good thing you’re not trying to make a living in the detecting business. Allow me to elucidate...”

Otis is always at pains to point  out that he’s not writing a book, he’s making a report, and the effect I want is for you to hear his voice in your head, see things through his eyes, maybe even ask the odd question if you’d care to. He’s a helpful narrator too, always happy to gloss over the dull bits, like the coffees, meals and train journeys, but he’ll put them back in if he needs to pad a story out to novel length.

Much the same thing happens in “Joe Soap”, though here the narrator is quite happy to inform you that he’s writing a book, even if it’s one that nobody will ever be allowed to read. He even refers to the clumsiness of some of the construction, since he isn’t able to send it to his editor. Again he tries to anticipate your questions and explain himself to you at critical moments.

No, I don’t always do it, and there are ways to do it without being quite so obvious. In “The Barry Island Murders” the policeman narrator is telling the whole story to a newspaper reporter, who interrupts with questions and points of his own. Not that he’s allowed to speak in the book, you have to infer his contributions from Inspector Williams’ reactions.

I like this technique. It makes the whole story-telling business  a little friendlier. It makes for informality in the narration, and you get to join in with the story a bit. The narrator can use you as a sounding-board for his own opinions.  It can be lonely telling a whole story by yourself. Maybe I should just record them and then you’d really have the voice in your head.

I don’t claim to be the inventor of this technique. I’m not the best-read man on the planet, so I have no idea to what extent other people have used it. Charlotte Bronte did for one...“Reader, I married him”.  PG Wodehouse was prone to it here and there. Damon Runyon too. Maybe most first -person narrations have a little bit of it.

It gets used far more often in film and TV. Any of you remember “It’s Gary Shandling’s Show”? He’d sit down and tell the audience what was going to happen, before walking past the cameras and onto the set. Then there’s “Blazing Saddles”, where Sheriff Bart frequently talks to you.

The important thing about it is to be consistent. Once you start, you have to keep at it, as an occasional one will jar. Remember “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, where George Lazenby finishes the fight, stares at the camera and says, “This never happened to the other feller.”? Didn’t really work, did it? You think? I beg to differ.

Now, I’m not in a position to give you advice on writing technique, and this one has its limitations. You can really only use it with a first person narrator but then a first person narration is the only logical way to tell a story. The third-person idea is a literary invention.I can’t be doing with those telepathic people reading everyone’s thoughts. I mean, you can’t really describe anyone else’s thoughts but your own, you can only infer them from their actions. And all that dashing across to the other side of town to take a look inside the villain’s head? No, it can’t happen...only in books.

The other limitation, is, as you saw at the beginning, some people don’t like it. They much prefer everything kept impersonal. Me, I love the extent that if I ever write anything else, it’ll take a mighty effort to avoid using it. Still, at least you’ll know it’s one of my books.

Andrew Peters is the author of the Blues Detective series of humorous mysteries, as well as the mystery/thriller novels Joe Soap and The Barry Island Murders.  His short story collections Solos and Monophonic are also available for Kindle.