Crime Fighting Duos with Faye Kellerman’s Murder 101

Category: Featured

LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker and his wife and crime-solving partner Rina Lazarus are back in Faye Kellerman’s newest thriller, Murder 101! The couple moved from the chaos of their earlier life by moving to a quiet town in upstate New York, but being semi-retired lacks the excitement of crime solving in L.A. So when two beautiful stained glass windows are stolen from The Bergman crypt, Decker and Lazarus are back on the case!

With the release of Murder 101 today, it’s a good time to take a look at some of our favourite literary crime duos!

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Holmes & Watson

The brilliant and eccentric consulting detective and his flatmate, assistant and friend’s placement on any list of crime duos is simply, well…elementary. The well-loved pair continue to live on today through new novels, TV and movies thanks to the incredibly great public outcry when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle attempted to kill off Holmes that eventually convinced him to bring the iconic detective back from the dead—much to the joy of his audience and dear Watson.

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Alex Cross & John Sampson

Alex and John have been friends since childhood; who better to have at your side while fighting crime in Washington, D.C.? The pair’s younger years were full of troubles and morally questionable behaviour, and even today they’re not always the most law abiding detectives (revenge is a tricky business after all). But together they do everything they can to protect their community and each other, even at risk of their own lives.

Lisbeth Salander & Mikael Blomkvist

A tattooed, pierced computer hacker and a middle aged, disgraced investigative journalist hardly seem like the perfect crime solving team, but the two make almost easy work of solving some of the most brutal murders in Sweden in the Millennium trilogy.  Despite their unlikely and often rocky relationship, the nearly fearless pair regularly put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of the truth and each other’s safety.

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Buy your very own copy of the new Peter Decker and Rina Lazurus novel, Murder 101 here

Written by Lauren Nettles @LaurenRNettles

Alafair Burke

Category: Author Post

Alafair Burke is the author of what the Sun-Sentinal has hailed as “two power house series” featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair’s novelsgrow out of her love for writing, her experience as a prosecutor in America’s police precincts and criminal courtrooms, and her ability to create strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters. According to Entertainment Weekly, Alafair “is a terrific web spinner” who “knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy.”

Her most recent novel, Angel’s Tip, has been praised by Faye Kellerman as “a riveting read that snaps with the beat of New York. Be prepared for a knuckle-biting journey that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end.” Tami Hoag says, “Alafair Burke has created a winning heroine in Ellie Hatcher, someone to root for not only in this book, but I hope in many more tales as yet untold.” According to Sandra Brown, “Alafair Burke is one of those rare writers whose books are both scary and cerebral. Complex plotting, multi-layered characters, a creepy serial killer – in Angel’s Tip, Burke has once again proven herself a terrific storyteller.”

A Fascination With Crime

Alafair’s professional life stems from a long fascination with all things crime-related: the horrible acts of which human beings are capable, the strategies used to solve and prosecute crimes, and the punishments doled out upon the convicted.

Alafair’s immersion into those questions began in childhood when her parents moved the family in the late 1970’s from the chaos of a changing southern Florida to a supposedly quiet and provincial neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas. The moving boxes had just been unpacked when Wichita police announced a connection among seven unsolved murders of women and even children. The man who claimed responsibility called himself BTK, a gruesome acronym, short for “Bind, Torture, Kill.” The Burke’s new home fell squarely within the serial killer’s stalking territory. Like other children in Wichita in that era, Alafair learned to check the phone lines to be sure they weren’t cut, to keep the basement door locked at all times, and to barricade herself in the bathroom with the phone if she had to call 911.

In a world where the killer could be anyone, and where an arrest appeared hopeless, Alafair found comfort in crime fiction. Her mother, Pearl, was a school librarian and would take her each week to the public library for a new stack of books. She moved from the Encyclopedia Brown series to Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie and eventually to Sue Grafton. In the books, as opposed to Wichita, smart sleuthing always paid off, and order was always restored.

Meanwhile, she read everything she could find about the unsolved murders, believing (ridiculously, she now realizes) that she could break the case if she only had access to all of the evidence. Unfortunately, police would not make an arrest for another thirty years.

The Road to the Courtroom

Alafair attended Reed College, where she fell in love with Portland, Oregon. Considered rebellious and off the beaten path in Wichita, she was perceived quite differently at the college whose unofficial slogan was “Atheism, Communism, Free Love.” Fellow dormies (lovingly) called her Nancy Reagan and The Cheerleader. In Judgment Calls, Alafair takes a (loving) jab at Reed when Samantha Kincaid notes that the locals refer to Reed as “that hippie school.”

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Reed, Alafair went to the decidedly less hippy-ish Stanford Law School. Although she momentarily flirted with the idea of becoming an entertainment lawyer so she could make deals at the Palm and get tickets to the Oscars, she eventually realized she had watched Robert Altman’s “The Player” one too many times, and instead decided to pursue criminal law after spending a semester in an externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland. She graduated from Stanford with distinction, earning admission into the Order of the Coif, and then accepted a coveted judicial clerkship with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before turning to an appointment as a Deputy District Attorney in Portland.

As a prosecutor, Alafair worked primarily in two positions, as a trial lawyer prosecuting domestic violence offenses and as a liaison to the police department, where she worked directly out of the police precinct, trained officers in search and seizure, and wore a Kevlar vest for night-shift ride alongs.

The Books

After five years of working at the District Attorney’s Office, Alafair was ready to marry her love of crime fiction with the stories and knowledge she had gathered as a prosecutor. By then, she could imagine the kinds of settings, characters, and dialogue that should color a series set in the Portland prosecutor’s office. She also had a plot, inspired by two actual cases that arose while she was in the office

Visit Alafair Burke’s official site

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Click on the jackets below for more information.

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October Newsletter Round Up

Category: News

For those of you not signed up for the Killer Reads newsletter – all you need to do is go to Win and enter the your details to receive our montly catch-up and you might also be lucky enough to win the selection of top titles we’re currently giving away.

So if you missed October’s update here’s a quick round-up….

Jilliane Hoffman – we have an exclusive extract of her eagerly awaited 4th novel the truly chilling Pretty Little Things due for publication in Feb 2010. Read it here.

Jack Higgins – Legendary thriller writer Higgins is back with two brand new Sean Dillon titles. Read extracts of both books here.

Faye Kellerman – Returns with another title to add to the Peter Decker series. Read an extract here.

Ngaio Marsh – We celebrate one of the Queens of the Golden Age of Crime Writing and let you take a look inside her latest collection of stories.

Terry Goodkind Read about his for foray into the world of thrillers

Also: Check out the books section for a new Q&A from Fragment author Warren Fahy.