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Why You Need to Drop Everything and Start Reading This 2018 Edgar Award-Winner

It would probably be impossible for 2018 Edgar Award-winner Attica Locke to put out enough books to satisfy me. She is one of those authors where I will drop everything in order to read any new work of hers. She’s also one of the crime authors I most recommend.

While the reasons are many—including her excellent writing—I most often recommend her books for two reasons: people ask me a lot for a book to read after Tana French (Locke’s Jay Porter series) and for a book where the setting is very much alive (The Cutting Season and Bluebird, Bluebird). These Attica Locke books have great characters, settings, and mysteries that will completely draw you in. 

So, pour yourself a super cold drink and crank the AC, because we’re going to hot, hot Houston, Texas:

Travel to Belle Vie, an eighteen-acre plantation in Louisiana, where Locke expertly uses the land—and all its dark history—to stage a murder mystery.

We’re headed back to Texas and we’re going to sweat like it’s nobodies business! Seriously, hold an ice cube to the back of your neck.

Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.


A Gripping Noir Novel for True Crime Readers


Paul Whitlatch is Executive Editor at Hachette Books.


Top Ten Fantasy Crime Novels


Let’s face it: we love crime stories, and this holds just as true in the genre of fantasy fiction as it does in contemporary thrillers, mysteries, and non-fiction. Sometimes we’re hoping for the cop, the detective, or the private investigator to hunt down that rogue necromancer; sometimes we’re rooting for the clever thief to pull off that daring airship heist. All well-designed magical worlds have norms and rules…as well as characters who would break them.

My forthcoming novel, Jade City, is a gangster family saga that I’ve been calling “the Godfather with magic and kung fu,” and that author Ken Liu describes as “epic drama reminiscent of the best Hong Kong gangster films.” On the island of Kekon, magical jade is controlled by clans that bear resemblance in different ways to Triads, Yakuza, and Mafia organizations in our own world. The fun for me came in taking inspiration from modern day crime syndicates and throwing superhuman martial arts, Asian culture, and magical substance turf wars into the mix.

There are enough fantasy crime novels to keep any crime fiction and fantasy buff well occupied. It wasn’t easy to narrow down the field (I could easily have written a list just of fantasy heist novels, another list focused only on fantasy detective fiction, etc), but you’re unlikely to go wrong with these: ten of the top fantasy crime fiction novels.



So, there you have it: a mix of old and new, capers and noir, lawmen and lawbreakers. More than enough literary proof that where there’s magic, there’s magical crime. Spread the word about your favorite fantasy crime novels, and if my list isn’t enough for you already—there are over eighty books there by my count—check out the five honorable mentions I couldn’t resist including below.

Honorable mentions:
Finch by Jeff VanderMeer
Steal the Sky by Megan O’Keefe
California Bones by Greg van Eekhout
The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron
Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells

With thanks to the Codex Writers forum and Twitter for recommendations.


Fonda Lee is the award-winning author of the YA science fiction novels Zeroboxer and Exo. Born and raised in Canada, Lee is a black belt martial artist, a former corporate strategist, and action movie aficionado who now lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. Jade City is her adult debut.

Brian Michael Bendis Interviews Greg Rucka

iraqOur post-Comic Con celebration of come of our enormously talented, cross-media authors continues with an interview between Brian Michael Bendis, writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four and The Avengers, and Greg Rucka, whose first new thriller series in a decade kicked off with ALPHA, now in bookstores everywhere.

Brian Michael Bendis: So we’re being honest with our reading audience. Last week you were cool enough to come to my class—I teach a class at Portland State—and you came there and dropped some truth bombs on them, and rattled them to the core. It was a lot of fun. But I had questions left over that we never got to because it was more of a free floating conversation, so there was questions I was going to ask, and I didn’t. And the primary question I had that I think is more pertinent to this conversation than the one we were going to have in front of the students, was if you’ve given thought to your goals as a novelist at this point. Like, there’s the goals that you had when you started, which was to get published—and now you’re starting a new kind of phase in your career, in that age we’re in, we get more introspective. OK, we’ve been published—now what? OK, I get to do this—now what am I going to do with it? So I was curious if you had given thought to that, or if you were bring more take it as it comes.

Greg Rucka: You know, it’s weird, because coming into Mulholland, and Alpha is the first new series that I’ve done in over decade in novels, in prose.  Stumptown was sort of the next step, but Alpha is the first in what is initially conceived of as the first of three novels, and may grow beyond that. I did give it some thought. There were two factors at work. The first is the obvious commercial one—you want to write something that’s going to be successful and you want to justify the publisher’s faith in you. You want to return them the money they’re willing to extend to you to write this thing, and most of the other novels are selling pretty well, but none of them have really broken out, and I’m not sure that’s a top agenda point.

But I would like to be able to write something that rewards the publisher’s faith. That actually does matter to me. I don’t hear a lot of writers talk about it. But self publishing is so viable that if you do go with a publisher you do want to make it worth everybody’s time. Content-wise, you touched on it, you know—I’m older. Like you, I’ve got kids. I have a different perspective than I did when I was 24, when my first novel was published. Continue reading “Brian Michael Bendis Interviews Greg Rucka”