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Position: Special to the Herald

Email: jeff@JeffMannix.com

A debut novel in the spirit of ‘Gone Girl’

“The Widow,” by Fiona Barton The crime fiction market these days is being flooded, astonished and forever changed by first-time novelists. When reading these days largely means looking at pictures...

DATE: Oct. 31, 2016 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

‘You’ pushes the reader closer to the cliff

It was timed for today to bring to your attention another charming Samuel Craddock mystery by the easygoing and marvelous storyteller Terry Shames. She is uncomplicated and a pleasure to read. Her...

DATE: Jan. 20, 2016 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

“Woman with a Blue Pencil”: A disorienting, dazzling rabbit-hole of a book

Sometimes it’s mind-cleansing to see how long you can hold your breath swimming underwater, or to peer over the ledge of a skyscraper and wonder what you’d be thinking on the way down if you...

DATE: Dec. 24, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Debut is a gritty, sexy romp around early 20th century L.A.

Anna Blanc is a petulant, over-privileged, coming-of-age daughter of a Los Angeles banking tycoon, circa 1907. “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe is all about Anna and is yet...

DATE: Dec. 3, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Blindsided by the ingenious ‘Rubbernecker’

In life, sometimes you just can’t believe the luck. Sunsets are always beautiful, but some are awesome; vistas can be inspiring, but many are astonishing; and books of fiction are often exciting,...

DATE: Oct. 22, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Mystery will pull your strings

Disclaimer by Renée Knight is another debut novel by yet another British author fresh out of another fiction writing workshop. Knight explains how she practiced writing a book about a character...

DATE: Sept. 24, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Strange, new mystery requires a strong stomach

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari is nearly 500 pages long, published by Mulholland Books, a division of prestigious Little Brown and Co., and was released in cloth cover last April. This is what...

DATE: Aug. 31, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Crime fiction newcomers are close to perfect

It's like asking which child is a mother's favorite, or whether a 1959 bottle of Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru from Cote de Nuits is better than a 1971 Château Mouton Rothchild first-growth...

DATE: July 23, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

A gripping new trilogy from an unlikely author

Malcolm Mackay and his Glasgow Trilogy have made a chump of me and must be an embarrassment to publisher Mulholland Books. I had never heard of Malcolm Mackay – not too surprising because he is a...

DATE: June 25, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

New mysteries are entertaining summer reads

Stone Cold Dead, James Ziskin’s third Ellie Stone mystery, is every bit as good as his first two books, which were excellent. Ziskin is a natural storyteller and a very accomplished writer. Also...

DATE: May 25, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Mystery explores old murders in fact and fiction

Life is full of surprises, and The Strange Case of Dr. Doyle – written by a father-and-son pair of physicians and published by Square One Publishers, a small, indie book publisher in a town of...

DATE: April 27, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

Weak endings don’t diminish crime thrillers

Here’s a twofer today of superb books by two talented mystery writers whom I just couldn’t choose between because both stories have lousy endings. Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger was going to be my...

DATE: March 23, 2015 | COLUMN: Murder Ink

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