Get your crime, here!

The world of mystery writing is a deep and winding one, with one author leading you to the next and genres spilling into one another.

It’s easy to find one author you love and go from there, but how do you discover brand new authors, unique and varied in their style?

The QuebeCrime Festival offers an opportunity to hear authors read from and discuss their work. This year’s event is happening from October 25-27 — submerse yourself and emerge with a list of new writers, genres and a gang of other mystery-loving readers.

While you’re there, be sure to check out Brad Smith, Robert Pobi and John Connolly — event details, below.


Living the Double Life: to Work and to Write

Saturday, October 27
3:30 PM EST

Anglophone Reading and Book Signing
Friday, October 26

8:30PM EST

Living the Double Life: to Work and to Write
Saturday, October 27


Anglophone Reading and Book Signing
Friday, October 25

Anglophone Panel and Book Signing
Books to Die for: What do Writers Read?
Saturday, October 27

Luther: The Calling

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the British psychological crime drama television series Luther, starring Idris Elba. Idris Elba won the Golden Globe award for best actor in a miniseries at the 2012 awards.

Idris Elba as DCI Luther

But did you know that Luther was originally a book? Luther: The Calling, a novel written by Neil Cross, is a prequel to the first television season. Season 3 is expected to air late 2012 or early 2013.

In The Calling we meet Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. He’s a murder detective. A near-genius. He’s brilliant; he’s intense; he’s instinctive. He’s obsessional. He’s dangerous.

DCI John Luther has an extraordinary clearance rate. He commands outstanding loyalty from friends and colleagues. Nobody who ever stood at his side has a bad word to say about him. And yet there are rumours that DCI Luther is bad—not corrupt, not on the take, but tormented. Luther seethes with a hidden fury that at times he can barely control. Sometimes it sends him to the brink of madness, making him do things he shouldn’t; things way beyond the limits of the law.

The Calling, the first in a new series of novels featuring DCI John Luther, takes us into Luther’s past and into his mind. It is the story of the case that tore his personal and professional relationships apart and propelled him over the precipice. Beyond fury, beyond vengeance. All the way to murder…

One of our Goodreads ARC winners wrote us with her feedback about the novel and it was just too good not to share. Sandra writes:

Thanks to Mr. Cross, I got nothing done this past Saturday.  I picked up my advance copy of “Luther: The Calling” from my mailbox Friday evening and, being a huge fan of the television series already, the book called my name all Friday night.  I started reading on Saturday morning and didn’t put it down again until I had finished it that same day.  I absolutely loved it! 
Mr. Cross wondered if he had done justice to Idris Elba’s portrayal of Luther and he most certainly did.  I could see Mr. Elba from the very first line of the book where Luther is striding into the hospital.  There have only been a couple of instances where I have seen a TV series or movie and THEN read the book(s) and this is one of them.  I think I actually prefer this way around, particularly when you have someone of Idris Elba’s calibre playing the title role.  He added much to the character and the book added much to my understanding of him as well.  If you have not seen the television series, the book will certainly give an excellent introduction to all of the characters as well as a lot of insight into their motivations.
The writing was top-notch and, as I said, I could not put it down.  The fractures in the Zoe/John relationship are there just waiting to crack wide open and it was almost painful to read.  I wanted to yell at the both of them to talk to each other properly.  Bill Tanner and Paddy broke my heart.  I had to literally turn my head away from the page when Paddy was picked up by the thug.  I get shivers thinking about that terrible scene.  I keep telling myself it was only a book but it is still invading my thoughts.  And, of course, the killer was about the most chilling I have ever encountered in my travels through the murder mystery genre.  I don’t think I will ever listen to a missing child report the same way again having read about “Henry” and his crimes.
Thank you for sending me the advance copy!  

And thanks to Sandra for sharing her review with us. Luther: The Calling is available wherever books are sold.

Satisfy your Hunger Games cravings with Battle Royale

Battle Royale: The Novel

Before The Hunger Games, there is Koushun Takami’s thriller Battle RoyaleBattle Royale is set in an alternative future Japan ruled by an oppressive government. As part of a ruthless authoritarian program, a class of junior high students are taken to a deserted island to fight to the death until one survivor is left standing. Each student is given a bag of supplies, a tracking collar, and a weapon before the games. If students refused to fight or follow the rules, their tracking collar detonates, effectively killing them. Continue reading

Bloodman: The new Luther?


I love Luther. This BBC show has a style to which I’m not accustomed. It has a smoothness about it, an addictive pacing and more than anything, a darkness. It’s this darkness that grabbed me first and it’s this same darkness that I find myself looking for in other mediums. I’ve since found it in books like Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer and in the works of James Lee Burke. Now, I’ve found it again. Continue reading

The Placebo Effect

What would you do if you had the gift of being able to detect whether or not people were telling the truth? Would you use it to your advantage or would you keep your secret hidden? What if your secret power was potentially causing harm to those you loved?

These are the issues faced by Decker Roberts in David Rotenberg’s new novel The Placebo Effect, first in The Junction Chronicles series.

Here’s a little bit more about the book…

Decker Roberts has the dangerous gift of detecting the truth. For years this talent has proven to be a lucrative sideline to his acting teaching. Only his closest friends know, and he keeps his identity secret from the companies that pay him to tell them if the people they are planning to hire are truthful.

But Decker’s carefully compartmentalized life suddenly starts to fall apart. His house burns down, his credit cards are cancelled, his bank loan is called and his studio is condemned. He realizes that he must have heard something in one of his ‘truth telling’ sessions that someone didn’t want him to know.

Decker has to go on the run and figure out what he’s being targeted. There’s also a government agent hunting him who seems to know absolutely everything about Decker Roberts’ identities, real and false–and other people of “his kind.”

How will Decker find out which truth is endangering his life? Who betrayed him and revealed all his secrets? Decker needs to find answers quickly, before knowing the truth turns from a gift into a deadly curse.

The topic of synaesthesia is dealt with in this book. It is something I’d heard of but never really understood until now. It lends a very interesting, very real quality to some of the more fantastical things that happen.

In addition to being an author, David Rotenberg is also a director and acting teacher and is the Artistic Director of the internationally renowned Professional Actors Lab. The roster of his students reads like a who’s who in ranks of Canadian actors, including Scott Speedman, Rachel McAdams, James McGowan, Polly Shannon, David Hirsh, Jonas Chernick and Shawn Doyle. You will notice the theme of acting and acting methods also feature prominently in the novel.

Here are what people are saying about The Placebo Effect

“I think it’s fantastic. Right, taut, lean, exciting, thrilling, really.” -Jurgen Gothe, CBC host & newspaper columnist

“…great storytelling, juicy characters, and a wonderful theatricality.” -Marc Routh, Broadway producer

“Kept me on my toes and awaiting the next turn of events.” – Erin Karpluk, actress and star of “Being Erica”

You can visit for more info about the author, his other books, and to read an excerpt. There’s also a reading group guide available here.

We are hosting a blogger tour for David and The Placebo Effect starting January 16th. Check out the following blogs on their corresponding dates for exclusive Q&A’s with the author and reviews.

Canadian Authors-Jan 16

Mysteries and More-Jan 18

BookBound-Jan 20

Workaday Reads-Jan 25

Beyond Books-Jan 27

Wicked Little Pixie-Jan 30

Wagging the Fox-Feb 1

The Crazy Bookworm-Feb 3

Serendipitous Readings-Feb 6

Purple Jelly Bean Chair Reviews-Feb 7

The Placebo Effect is in stores February 7th.