Up and Coming Mystery Authors
I mentioned in an earlier post that many of our fiction and mystery titles are by authors so popular that we have them on Standing Order. This means that our book vendor automatically ships us a designated number of copies of new releases by these writers. Tops among the mystery authors on Standing Order, both in number of copies ordered and in high circulation figures are: Carol Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, Diane Mott Davidson, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, J. A. Jance, Faye Kellerman, and J. D. Robb.
I have recently been checking circulation statistics for authors who are fairly new on the scene (3 or less titles in a series) and I've found quite a few who have written books that are very popular with WPPL mystery readers. Their books may have received some positive advance publicity and reviews, but sometimes it's just readers getting the word out to friends that they ought to give these authors a try.
Here are some new series that have been flying off the shelves here at WPPL:
Hilary Davidson, herself a travel journalist, has created protagonist Lily Moore, a travel writer based in New York City. In the debut mystery, Moore is working in Spain when she is called back to New York where her younger sister has apparently died in an accidental drowning. Discovering that the corpse is not her sister, Moore sets out to find her sister and identify the victim who had assumed her sister's identity. The Damage Done (2010 - winnter of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel) was followed up by The Next One to Fall (2012). Due out in March, 2013 is Evil in All Its Disguises.
Brad Parks is writing a series featuring Carter Ross, an investigative reporter in Newark, New Jersey. If you like your mysteries on the gritty side, but with a sense of humor, this might be a series worthing checking out. Ross has been described as not only a first-rate investigative report, but also a first-rate comic. The titles in the series are Faces of the Gone (2009 - winner of the Nero and Shamus Awards for the Best First Novel), Eyes of the Innocent (2011), and The Girl Next Door (2012). Due out in March, 2013 is The Good Cop.
Bruce DeSilva, a journalist himself, writes about another investigative reporter, Liam Mulligan, in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan is both a cynic and an idealist, with a touch of humor thrown in, who loves his newspaper, hometown, and state. The first title, Rogue Island, (2010 - winner of the Edgar and Macavity Awards for Best First Novel) was followed by Cliff Walk (2012).
Sara J. Henry is also an award-winner for her first mystery Learning to Swim (2011 - Agatha Award for Best First Novel). Freelance writer Troy Chance witnesses a small child fall from a ferry into Lake Champlain and dives in after him. After swimming with the child to shore, she is able to learn that he only speaks French and that his name is Paul, but he will not speak after that. When no one reports the child missing, Troy is determined to protect him as well as find out what happened to him, using all her skills to help them both survive. The second title in the series, A Cold and Lonely Place, will be published in February, 2013.
Lene Kaaberbol is one of the writers of the popular Nordic Noir genre of mysteries. Her first novel, The Boy in the Suitcase, features another young child who is the victim in the story. Protagonist Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse, wife and mother of two who can't say no when someone asks for help. When a friend leaves her a key to a locker in the Copenhagen train station, she is stunned to find a suitcase with a 3-year-old inside, drugged, but alive. She desperately tries to find out who the child is, where he belongs, and who is trying to hunt him down. Kaaberbol's second novel, Invisible Murder, is due out October 2.
Lou Manfredo's popular series features veteran Brooklyn police detective Joe Rizzo. He is contemplating retirement after 27 years on the force, but remains on the job to break in new partners and rookie police officers. This series has been compared to the classic police procedural 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain. The titles are Rizzo's War (2009), Rizzo's Fire (2011), and Rizzo's Daughter (2012).
Carol McCleary has created an extremely popular series featuring real people from the Victorian era who work together to solve a mystery. Her main character is investigative reporter Nellie Bly, who is assisted at one time or another by Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde, Louis Pasteur, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Joseph Pulitzer. Books in this series are The Alchemy of Murder (2009), The Illusion of Murder (2010), and The Formula for Murder (2012).
I hope some of these "new" mystery authors will become old favorites for you.
Coming up: I am excited to report that I will have the privilege of attending Bouchercon 2012, the World Mystery Convention, being held this year in Cleveland Oct. 4-7. Beginning with the opening ceremonies at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to a librarians' breakfast with Mary Higgins Clark, special events featuring authors Les Roberts, Robin Cook, John Connolly, Mark Higgins Clark, and Elizabeth George, and ending with the presentation of the 2012 Anthony Awards, it should be an amazing experience. I'll share all the details of my adventures in the world of mystery writing in my next blog posting.