New Crime Fiction Discounts and Recommendations

Feb 20, 2024 4:20 pm

For the next month I’m taking part in another BookFunnel Mystery/Thriller/Suspense series sales promo, which features book #6 in my Casey Holland Mysteries, The Blade Man. A small number of authors are taking part in this promo offer, so you’ll be able to glance easily at the roster of novels HERE.

There are differing opinions about how to start a mystery novel. Some say a slow buildup to set up the characters, tension, and subsequent murder works best. Others say that jumping right into the action is what readers like. I’ve used both approaches in my series. The Blade Man is probably the most suspenseful and most action-packed of all my books and I wanted to get right into the action with this one. To give you an idea, I’ve included a short excerpt from the book’s opening. Readers who’ve read the previous books will be familiar with the protagonist, Casey Holland and will have met bus driver Wesley in book #2. Here are the opening lines:

image“Wesley, look out!” Casey Holland ducked behind the bus driver’s seat and glanced over her shoulder. “Everyone down, now!

A Molotov cocktail bounced off the driver’s window next to Wesley Axelson’s head, but Wesley merely revved the idling bus engine and blasted the horn. “Candy-ass punks!”

Casey didn’t know why Wesley bothered with the yelling or the horn. Minutes ago, a mob of teens and young adults had overtaken the road, ignoring his earlier blasts. Why would they listen now?

The Molotov cocktail exploded on the road, rocking the bus slightly. Somewhere outside, a woman screamed. Casey peeked out the window to see a woman running from the flames flaring up just a few feet from the bus. If they had to evacuate, she’d make damn sure that the half dozen passengers who’d decided to stay on board got out of here safely. A decade of security work had taught her to stay calm in tense situations. She’d be deceiving herself if she wasn’t worried, though. A drunken mob was a new experience she’d rather live without.

I’d love to know your thoughts about opening scenes in crime novels. Also, I want to recommend three of my favourite authors

Sue Grafton (famous for her Kinsey Millhone alphabet PI series, and I’ve read them all)

Tony Hillerman (whose Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn police procedurals are excellent)

John Sandford (whose Lucas Davenport series is also great, although I’m just getting started)

If you have other great authors you’d love to share, let me know, and I’ll post them next time.

Until then,

Debra Purdy Kong

Mysteries on the Move…