Stephen Usery interviews authors of mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction.

For the big interrogation this week, we wade into the swamp that is southern gothic. Michael Morris's third novel, Man in the Blue Moon, offers up transgression, revenge, and a crooked preacher. Set in Florida's panhandle during the closing weeks of World War I, this is not the genteel south; this is a land full of drinkers, scheming bankers, and mysterious strangers.

Gregg Hurwitz gets a little too much local color at a Moscow bar in this week's tale of true crime. His latest novel is The Survivor, which is available from St. Martin's press.

And finally this week is a bit of my conversation with Tim Hallinan from our interview this past summer that didn't make it into the podcast. He recently published the e-book Making Story: Twenty-One Writers on How They Plot. It's available for Kindle from for 3.99, for free if you have an Amazon Prime account.

Direct download: case012-michael_morris.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 4:54pm EDT

Gregg Hurwitz is a man on fire. He just took over scripting the comic book series Batman:The Dark Knight. Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Lie to Me) and Gregg are teaming up to turn his U.S. Marshal Tim Rackley books into a series for TNT, and St. Martin's has just published his twelfth novel, The Survivor, about an Army vet who thinks he has nothing to lose when he gets caught in the middle of a bank robbery. 

Julia Keller offers up this week's Tale of True Crime. A Killing in the Hills, her first mystery starring West Virginia prosecutor Bell Elkins, is available from Minotaur.


 The team behind the late Los Angeles Times Magazine, Nancie Clare and Rip Georges, have decided to turn to a life of crime. Well, not quite, they're developing the first tablet magazine dedicated to thrillers, mysteries, and true crime, and it's called Noir. Currently in the process of raising funds, you can check out their Kickstarter page for more info on the project.

Direct download: Case011-Gregg_Hurwitz.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

The Big Interrogation this week is with Blake Fontenay who was a newspaper reporter and columnist for more than 25 years, ten of them at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. John F. Blair has just published his debut, The Politics of Barbeque, a comic crime novel full of corruption, greed and slow-cooked meat. With the book set in Memphis and up to its hocks in barbeque, I couldn’t resist doing the interview in one of Memphis’ best known joints, The Bar-B-Q Shop on Madison Avenue, home of the best pulled pork sandwich in the world. Many thanks to Eric Vernon for letting us conduct the interview there. Blake will also be signing his novel at The Booksellers at Laurelwood on Tuesday, September 18 at 6:00 p.m.
Sean Chercover offers up a tale of true crime. He got into the p.i. business to help him with his writing, and he found out quickly that stories in real-life can have a different type of ending. His latest novel is The Trinity Game, a religious thriller where the Catholic Church, the U.S. Government, and organized crime get very nervous when a TV  preacher's prophecies actually start coming to pass. You can listen to our full interview on Case 005.

And a special best-seller interview this week with Kevin Powers. He joined the U.S. Army at seventeen and was a machine gunner in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. His debut novel, The Yellow Birds, follows an Iraq war veteran coming home and dealing with PTSD and survivor's guilt and weaves that story together with the events leading up to a horrific incident that changed his life forever.

Direct download: case010-blake_fontenay.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 5:15pm EDT

This week's big interrogation is with Andrew Cotto about his second novel, Outerborough Blues: A Brooklyn Mystery. Caesar is a young man in a rough section of Brooklyn in the early 1990s. He's just trying to cook good food and fix up his house when a beautiful stranger walks into his boss's restaurant and changes the neighborhood forever.

Courtney Miller Santo looks back at her great-grandparents who had too much felonious fun in San Francisco back in the day. Courtney's novel, The Roots of the Olive Tree, is about five generations of women who are being studied for a possible genetic link for longevity, and secrets and crimes are unearthed along the way.

Direct download: case009-andrew_cotto.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 5:33pm EDT