Blood of the Oak, a mystery by Eliot Pattison

Blood of the OakNew York Times bestselling author Eliot Pattison joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his new book, the fourth in the Bone Rattler Mystery series, BLOOD OF THE OAK.

Show Notes for Eliot Pattison Interview

We discuss the time period for the Bone Rattler series, which began in the 1750s, around the time of the French and Indian War.

We discuss the series protagonist, a Scottish outcast named Duncan McCallum, as well Conawago, a Native American recurring character.

This book, BLOOD OF THE OAK, moves the series forward several years from the French and Indian War, to the year 1765, to the time of the Stamp Tax dissent.

We discuss the future for the Bone Rattler series, as well as Eliot’s other mystery series, the Inspector Shan set in Tibet.

From the Publisher:

Eliot PattisonThe fourth entry in the Bone Rattler series moves ever closer to the beginning of the American Revolution and advances the protagonist Duncan McCallum to 1765 and into the throes of the Stamp Tax dissent, which marked the beginning of organized resistance to English rule. As the story unfolds, Duncan is drawn into the mystery of ritualistic murders that are strangely connected to both the theft of an Iroquois artifact and an additional series of murders and kidnappings connecting to the network of secret runners supporting the nascent committees of correspondence—which are engaged in the first organized political dissent across colonial borders. In following the trail he encounters a powerful conspiracy of highly placed English aristocrats who are bent on crushing all dissent. Duncan is captured by its agents, and sent into slavery in Virginia beside the kidnapped runners. Inspired by an aged native American slave and new African friends Duncan decides not just to escape but to turn their own intrigue against the London lords.

Included in the novel’s cast of characters are figures from our history who have their own destinies to fulfill in the next decade, including Benjamin Franklin (writing from London), Samuel Adams, the early Pennsylvania rebel James Smith, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and, very briefly, a soft-spoken militia officer named Washington. The Blood of the Oak takes a fresh view on the birth of the new American nation, suggesting that the “freedom” that became the centerpiece of the Revolution was uniquely American, rising not just from unprecedented political discourse but also from the extraordinary bond with the natural world experienced by frontier settlers and native tribes.


Purchase BLOOD OF THE OAK at Amazon

Website for author Eliot Pattison

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Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo, by C. Joseph Greaves

51WELEqCzALAward-winning author C. Joseph Greaves joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his new book, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo).

(Note: I recorded a YouTube video of how this podcast was produced.)

Show Notes

Chuck tells the story of how he came to have access to George Martin Levy’s original 1936 file for the case of The People vs. Charles “Lucky” Luciano.

We discuss the way Chuck was able to tell a compelling story even if many readers already know the ending.

We discuss Chuck’s recent book tour which he did to support the release of Tom & Lucky.  It included an event in Las Vegas at the Mob Museum.

We discuss the difference for Chuck in writing historical stand-alone novels, versus writing his Jack McTaggart mystery series.

Chuck owns and operates a small vineyard and he’ll be able to taste his own wine for the first time in 2016.

From the Publisher:

61rS0shlnWLThe year is 1936. Charles “Lucky” Luciano is the most powerful gangster in America. Thomas E. Dewey is an ambitious young prosecutor hired to bring him down, and Cokey Flo Brown–grifter, heroin addict, and sometimes prostitute–is the witness who claims she can do it. Only a wily defense attorney named George Morton Levy stands between Lucky and a life behind bars, between Dewey and the New York governor’s mansion.

As the Roaring Twenties give way to the austere reality of the Great Depression, four lives, each on its own incandescent trajectory, intersect in a New York courtroom, introducing America to the violent and darkly glamorous world of organized crime and leaving our culture, laws, and politics forever changed.

Based on a trove of newly discovered documents, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) tells the true story of a singular trial in American history: an epic clash between a crime-busting district attorney and an all-powerful mob boss who, in the crucible of a Manhattan courtroom, battle for the heart and soul of a dispirited nation. Blending elements of political thriller, courtroom drama, and hard-boiled pulp, author C. Joseph Greaves introduces readers to the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel while taking readers behind the scenes of a corrupt criminal justice system in which sinners may be saints and heroes may prove to be the biggest villains of all.


Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) at Amazon

Author’s Website

Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links. You’ll pay the same price for anything you order, but CrimeFiction.FM will earn a small commission.

A conversation with M.L. Malcolm, the author of The Cuban Connection

The Cuban Connection CoverWe are delighted to welcome author M.L. Malcolm to CrimeFiction.FM’s digital interview booth today.

M.L.’s new novel is THE CUBAN CONNECTION (Good Reads Publishing, February 2015 softcover and ebook formats). This book introduces ace reporter Katherine O’Connor, who has a nose for news and an inclination to use it in very dangerous places.

THE CUBAN CONNECTION incorporates actual historical events into a page-turning tale that is by turns riveting, poignant, and hilarious—not unlike Katherine O’Connor herself.

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with M.L. to talk more about the book, her research process and her interesting life.


CFFM: Please tell us a little about your latest book, The Cuban Connection.

M.L. Malcolm: The Cuban Connection incorporates real historical events into a page-turning novel that sheds light on how Castro’s takeover of Cuba evolved from a promise of peace and democracy to a tyrannical dictatorship. The main character, ace reporter Katherine O’Connor, has a nose for news and a tendency to use it in very dangerous places. She goes undercover to report what’s really going on as Castro consolidates his power, and ends up running some errands for the CIA, which unfortunately brings her to the attention of Castro’s secret police. At the same time, she’s trying to save the life of a little boy whose parents are fighting against Castro, and she falls for a guy who may be a Soviet spy. It’s an espionage thriller, but also a very human story about what was happening in Cuba in 1960.

CFFM:  Wow – that sounds marvelous, and 1960 Cuba, what a great setting. What’s your process for researching the settings for your books?

ml-malcolm-bwM.L. Malcolm: The heart of my research is always focused on personal stories, written during the time period about which I’m writing. I go to original sources, and read many out-of-print memoirs. For The Cuban Connection, I spent a lot of time at the National Archives reading recently declassified documents, and at the Cuban Heritage Library at the University of Miami. If I can, I visit the location. My first novel, Heart of Lies, evolved from a visit I made to Shanghai. I went to Cuba (legally!) in 2012. My next book is set in Paris during the Belle Époque, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in France.

CFFM:  What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing?

M.L. Malcolm: There’s no such thing as good writing, only good re-writing, so just get started and don’t worry about how the first draft turns out. It’s only the beginning of your journey. Accept criticism gracefully.

CFFM:  That’s great advice for any writer.  What hobbies do you have that might surprise your readers?

M.L. Malcolm: I scuba dive, and have done so in some pretty amazing (more…)

The Silence of Stones, by Jeri Westerson

Silence of StonesAuthor Jeri Westerson joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss her new book, the eighth in her Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Mystery series, THE SILENCE OF STONES.

Show Notes

Crispin Guest is in some ways a traditional hard-boiled private investigator set in a non-traditional setting. While many PIs are white nights, Crispin is an actual knight in 14th century England.

Jeri describes the style of the series as historically accurate noir mysteries. The series has been nominated for multiple awards in the mystery genre, but since she hasn’t (yet) won, Jeri refers to herself as the Susan Lucci of mystery authors.

Jeri shares the story of THE SILENCE OF STONES and uses the phrase “ticking sundial” to describe the pressure that Crispin is under to solve the case.

We discuss Jeri’s love of history, where it came from and why she’s specifically interested in England during the Middle Ages. She differentiates between historically accurate fiction and historical fantasy.

Jeri shares her long-term love affair with Geoffrey Chaucer and how that plays into her series.

From the Publisher:

Jeri Westerson_London, 1388. When the mythical Stone of Destiny disappears from the throne of England during mass in Westminster Abbey, the populace takes it as a sign to side with King Richard II’s rebellious barons. The last thing the king needs is for his authority to be put in question, especially after his army suffers a crushing defeat against a Scottish uprising.

Desperate, Richard calls in Crispin Guest to find the missing stone. And to ensure that he will do the deed, the king imprisons Jack Tucker and orders Crispin to find the stone before Parliament convenes in three days’ time – or Jack will hang for treason.


Purchase THE SILENCE OF STONES at Amazon

Author’s Website

Try the audiobook version of the first book in the series at Audible for free at Audible by signing up for a free trial.

Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links. You’ll pay the same price for anything you order, but CrimeFiction.FM will earn a small commission.

Lincoln’s Bodyguard, by TJ Turner

Lincoln's Bodyguard by TJ Turner Oceanview Publishing, April 2015

Lincoln’s Bodyguard
by TJ Turner
Oceanview Publishing, April 2015

TJ Turner joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his riveting new historical thriller, LINCOLN’S BODYGUARD.

Show Notes

TJ examines the “what if” scenario behind LINCOLN’s BODYGUARD.

TJ is a history buff who has always been fascinated by the Civil War.

We discuss some of the parallels between what’s taken place in Afganistan with what could have happened after the Civil War.

TJ shares the story of how he got the news that he’d finally found an agent to represent him while he was in Afganistan.

From the Publisher:

TJ TurnerIn Lincoln’s Bodyguard, an alternative version of American history, President Lincoln is saved from assassination. Though he prophesied his own death—the only way he believed the South would truly surrender—Lincoln never accounted for the heroics of his bodyguard, Joseph Foster. A biracial mix of white and Miami Indian, Joseph makes an enemy of the South by killing John Wilkes Booth and preventing the death of the president.

His wife is murdered and his daughter kidnapped, sending Joseph on a revenge-fueled rampage to recover his daughter. When his search fails, he disappears as the nation falls into a simmering insurgency instead of an end to the War.

Years later, Joseph is still running from his past when he receives a letter from Lincoln pleading for help.  The President has a secret mission. Pursued from the outset, Joseph turns to the only person who might help, the woman he abandoned years earlier.  If he can win Molly over, he might just fulfill the President’s urgent request, find his daughter, and maybe even hasten the end of the War.


Purchase LINCOLN’S BODYGUARD at Amazon

TJs Website

TJ’s Facebook Page

TJ’s Twitter Page

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