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

Jayne Anne Phillips is best known as a respected writer of literary fiction, having won the Sue Kaufman Prize and and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and she's been a finalist or shortlisted for other prestigious awards such as the Orange Prize and the National Book Award. 2013 brings us her fifth novel, Quiet Dell. It is based on a true crime; back in the early 1930s, an unsavory Bluebeard type conned women via lonely-hearts matrimony services and killed them and stole their money. Quiet Dell focuses on one of his last victims, Chicago-area widow Asta Eicher and her three children, including the precocious Annabel. Emily Thornhill, a reporter from Chicago, travels to West Virginia for the subsequent trial to help bring the killer to justice and to make sense of the incomprehensible actions of the killer.

Direct download: Case045-JayneAnnePhillips.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 5:05pm EDT

I recently spoke with George Pelecanos. He is known for his high quality work as a novelist, as well as writing for some of the most-respected television shows around like The Wire and Treme. He's written over 20 novels including the Nick Stefanos series, The Night Gardener, The D.C. Quartet, and 2011 brought us The Cut, the first novel in the Spero Lucas series. Little, Brown has recently released the second book, The Double.

In June, Amazon announced the winners of its annual Breakthrough Novel Awards. Journalist and formerly self-published novelist Jo Chumas won the mystery and suspense category with her historical thriller, The Hidden. It's the story of a young widow named Aimee in Egypt in 1940. WWII is on the verge of spilling into the land of the Nile. She receives a journal written by her mother, whom she never knew, from her life in 1919 during similarly turbulent times in Cairo. Conspiracy, secrets, and danger are all afoot in this prize-winning novel.

Direct download: CASE044-PELECANOS-CHUMAS.mp3
Category:Arts - Literature -- posted at: 11:19am EDT