Editors’ Mystery Picks: Top Titles from Top Publishers | Day of Dialog 2018

Moderated by LJ Fiction Editor Wilda Williams, the inaugural Mystery Editors’ Picks panel opened with industry veteran Tom Colgan, VP and editorial director of Berkley’s lauded Prime Crime imprint, presenting the irresistible combination of clever librarian sleuths and cute, crime-solving cats, as featured in Jenn McKinlay’s Hitting the Books (“Library Lovers” series) and Sofie Kelly’s The Cats Came Back (“Magical Cats” series, now in hardcover). At the other end of the mystery spectrum and proving equally appealing were edgy, authentically drawn historicals featuring one-of-a-kind female protagonists, as exemplified by Rhys Bowen’s 1930s-set Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding: A Royal Spyness Mystery and Victoria Thompson’s series launch City of Secrets, set during the suffragette era.

Three-year-old upstart Crooked Lane—now publishing 75 titles a year—has seen an increase in its thriller entries, said publisher Matt Martz, highlighting debut author Laurie Petrou’s dark psychological thriller Sister of Mine. But he stressed that new installments in well-respected (and LJ-acclaimed) series will continue to head the company’s frontlist, including P.J. Tracy’s The Guilty Dead, the latest in a long-running police procedural series from a mother/daughter writing team, with this volume written by daughter Tracy after P.J.’s recent death, and Ellen Byron’s Mardi Gras Murder, next in the “Cajun Country Mystery” series that launched the publisher with the best-selling Plantation Shudders.

Pictured in above photo clockwise: Dan Zitt, Catherine Richards, Juliet Grames,
Matt Martz, Tom Colgan, and Wilda Williams (moderator)

Ensuring Soho Crime’s commitment to its 30-year-old motto, “crime has no time zone,” senior vice president/associate publisher Juliet Grames’s list spanned continents, cultures, and cuisines, as well as an array of narrative styles. Consider Shamus Award–winning John Straley’s Alaska-set Baby’s First Felony, Stephen Mack Jones’s Detroit-based Lives Laid Away, rising star Mick Herron’s London Rules (blurbed as the John le Carré of our generation), and fan favorite Sujat Massey’s The Satapur Moonstone, the second in the series starring Perveen Mistry, India’s first female lawyer.

Having worked with authors such as Jeffrey Archer, Lucinda Riley, and Ann Cleeves before joining St. Martin’s Minotaur Books in 2017 to head the development of crime fiction, Catherine Richards spent nearly a decade as the senior editor of commercial fiction at the UK-based Pan Macmillan. Here she debuted an impressive, all-female list, which ranged from newcomer Sandie Jones’s chilling domestic suspense The Other Woman, to gorgeous, sweeping historicals by Jess Montgomery (The Widows) and Kate Mosse (The Burning Chambers), to Zoje Stage’s fantasy-tinged thriller Wonderland.

Lastly, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” series, Dan Zitt, VP, content production, Penguin Random House Audio/Books on Tape, announced the release of Evanovich’s Look Alive Twenty-Five, narrated by Lorelei King, and Lee Child’s latest “Jack Reacher” novel, Past Tense, read by Scott Brick. Zitt also shared the ins and outs of casting a mystery audio and for podcast fans recommended This Is the Author, a brief, ten-minute podcast with authors discussing the experience of narrating their own book. Click here for a full list of titles.

Photos ©2018 William Neumann

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Annalisa Pesek About Annalisa Pesek

Annalisa Pesek (apesek@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor, LJ Book Review
[photograph by John Sarsgard]

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