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Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

The 12 essays in this superlative collection from New Yorker staff writer Keefe reflect, as he says in his preface, his abiding preoccupations: “crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.” … Every one of these selections is a journalistic gem. Immensely enjoyable writing married with fascinating subjects makes this a must-read. Read more

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How a Death-Row Inmate’s Embrace of Conservatism Led to His Release

In 1957, Edgar Smith, a 23-year-old former Marine who was both a husband and a new father, confessed to the bludgeoning murder of 15-year-old Vickie Zielinski in New Jersey. After deliberating for two hours, a jury convicted him. The judge sentenced him to death and he was sent to Trenton State Prison. What interests Weinman, who writes the Crime column for The New York Times Book Review, is not the murder but what transpired in its wake. Through a confluence of events, William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of National Review and one of the architects of the 20th-century conservative movement, learned that Smith was a fan of his publication. Flattered, Buckley began to mail the inmate the latest issues. These communications initiated a relationship that would add up to nine years and 1,500 pages of correspondence — and, ultimately, Smith’s release from prison. Read more

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C. J. Sansom Awarded Diamond Dagger

CJ Sansom has been announced as the recipient of the highest honour in British crime writing, the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger. One of Britain’s bestselling historical novelists, Christopher John Sansom was born in 1952 in Edinburgh. He was educated at Birmingham University with a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. Read more

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An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten

Tursten effectively juxtaposes a cozy, Agatha Christie–like tone against the often surprisingly dark nature of Maud’s recollections, which are rife with clever satirical jabs and delicious ironies. This absorbing dive into the mind of a ruthless pragmatist posing as a Swedish Miss Marple will please psychological-thriller fans, once they realize that Maud isn’t nearly as cozy as she looks. Read more 

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Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead adds another genre to an ever-diversifying portfolio with his first crime novel, and it’s a corker … Whitehead delivers a portrait of Harlem in the early ’60s, culminating with the Harlem Riot of 1964, that is brushed with lovingly etched detail and features a wonderful panoply of characters who spring to full-bodied life, blending joy, humor, and tragedy. A triumph on every level. Read more

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Announcing the 2021 Anthony Award winners

Over the weekend, during a virtual celebration of “Bouchercon,” the world mystery convention, the winners of the Anthony Awards were announced. The “Anthonys” honor the year’s best achievements in mystery and crime fiction. This is the thirty-sixth year the awards have been handed out. Keep scrolling below for a list of the year’s Anthony winners and nominees. Congratulations to all the authors. Read more

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