Stephen Usery interviews authors of mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction.
 
The Big Interrogation: Attica Locke. I was lucky enough to interview Attica back in 2009, when her first mystery, Black Water Rising, was released. It was nominated for many awards, the biggest being shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, which is the highest profile award in the world focusing on women writing in English. (Barbara Kingsolver won that year, and Hillary Mantel was a fellow shortlistee, so very impressive company, indeed.) 

2012 brings us her second mystery, The Cutting Season. It is set on a museum plantation down in Louisiana, where class and race conflict are part of the permanent collection. You can also listen to our interview for her book, Black Water Rising, by clicking here.
Tale of True Crime: Julie Cantrell is the former editor of the Southern Literary Review and the author of the NY Times bestselling coming-of-age novel, Into the Free.

Direct download: CASE015-ATTICA_LOCKE.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT
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The Big Interrogation: Michael Wiley just received a Shamus for best hardcover p.i. novel at last week's Bouchercon 2012 in Cleveland. I went to Bouchercon last year in St. Louis and interviewed Michael about his third Joe Kozmarski book, A Bad Night's Sleep, which just won the Shamus. During the interview, my microphone pre-amp started to die. About 15 minutes in, my channel starts to sound pretty rough, but Michael's sounds great all the way through. Because of the audio problems, I wasn't able to use the interview for Book Talk, but I thought it'd be a great time to resurrect it given his recent triumph. And here's my interview with him about his 2010 mystery, The Bad Kitty Lounge.



Tale of True Crime: Lawrence Norfolk is a journalist and award-winning novelist. His first novel in twelve years, John Saturnall's Feast, follows an orphan who becomes England's greatest chef during the period leading up to and including the English Civil War in the 17th century. You can hear my interview with him about John Saturnall's Feast on Book Talk.

Direct download: CASE014-MICHAEL_WILEY.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 10:44am EDT
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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 amazon.com 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
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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
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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
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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
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Megan Abbott is this week's Big Interrogation. Her new novel Dare Me looks at the dangerous world of competitive cheerleading, and in this world, acrobatic stunts aren't the only things that go bad. I've interviewed Megan twice before. Go here for our chat about The End of Everything and here about Bury Me Deep.



And in place of the regular feature segments this week, here's a sneak peek of my interview with New York Times best seller Peter Heller about his literary post-apocalyptic thriller, The Dog Stars, where almost everything has gone bad after a super-flu has decimated the world's population. The interview was conducted for my radio show Book Talk, but I'll give the Mysterypod faithful first crack at it.

Direct download: case008-megan_abbott_and_peter_heller.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT
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Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Keller is this week's Big Interrogation. A Killing in the Hills is the first thriller in her Bell Elkins series, which takes place in rural West Virginia, as the small town of Acker's Gap is going to hell in a handbasket due to the illegal prescription pain pill trade and it's attendant violence.



Steve Usery takes the BaD tour from ABQ Trolley Company in Albuquerque, which lets riders check out many of the locations from the hit TV show, Breaking Bad. For more of Steve's pictures from the tour click here.

Direct download: case007-julia_keller-a_killing_in_the_hills.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 8:47pm EDT
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This week's Big Interrogation is with award-winning playwright and novelist Jesse Kellerman about his new thriller Potboiler. We even talk a bit about guitars and bluegrass.

This week's Tale of True Crime comes from novelist Zoe Ferraris. You can hear our conversation about her novel Kingdom of Strangers on mysterpod case 002.
Film scholar and novelist Jake Hinkson reflects on the noir heart of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. You can read more of Jake's writing at thenighteditor.blogspot.com

Direct download: case006-jesse_kellerman-potboiler.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 3:32pm EDT
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The Big Interrogation this week is with multi-award-winner Sean Chercover author of the The Trinity Game. Daniel Byrne, a priest/investigator for the Vatican's Devil's Advocate Office is sent to debunk the miraculous claims about an American televangelist, Tim Trinity, who happens to be Byrne's uncle.


Domingo Samudio, better known as Sam from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, shares stories of growing up rough in Texas and hard livin' women and a couple of poems seeking redemption.

Direct download: case005-sean_chercover-the_trinity_game.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 6:00am EDT
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