Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

Doyle’s Master Sleuth

by Author Maggie-Sefton 

 

Something about Sherlock Holmes fascinated me. Maybe it was the way Holmes approached a murder scene or the distinctive way he interrogated witnesses.

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/Doyle-s-Master-Sleuth/ba-p/456988

 

Excerpt:

 

To my surprise, there was a “celebration” of Sherlock Holmes being staged with the actual stars of the television series---Jeremy Brett as Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as his trusted friend and associate, Watson.  I made sure to buy tickets for that evening’s performance.  It was wonderful to see “old friends” live onstage.  I’m a committed devotee of live theatre anyway, so I was delighted.

 

After the performance I decided to join a small group of audience members in the alley outside the stage door.  What better souvenir of my London visit than an autograph from Jeremy Brett?  I knew my now eleven-year old daughter Maria would be beyond excited.  Only a half hour or so passed, and Jeremy Brett appeared.  He was charming and gracious and actually invited a few of us inside to see his dressing room.  It was a fascinating experience.  And, I even scored a personalized autograph for Maria. 

 

What actor is your favorite Holmes?

 

 

Editor's Note: Maggie Sefton is the author of the Knitting Mystery seriesClick here to read more about her latest book, Dropped Dead Stich.

 


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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

An Armchair Hero Confronts Her Fears

by Author Sandra-Ruttan

 

Truth is, I’m a bit of a chicken. I’m not as courageous as the characters I read and write about.

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/An-Armchair-Hero-Confronts-Her-Fears/ba-p/453927

 

Excerpt:

 

As a child, more noble heroes remained pure, despite confronting undeniably evil villains.  The world was black and white, and it was easy to know who the good guys were.  As an adult, the books I’m drawn to feature heroes that are tainted by the crimes they confront.  They wrestle with dark side of human nature, opening the door to the personal demons that plague them on and off the job.

 

The cops in the police procedurals I write and read aren’t that different from the heroes of my childhood.  They just operate in the real world, one that’s shades of grey.  Sometimes it isn’t always as easy to tell which side is the right side, but they’re standing up to the bad guys, trying to right wrongs, and let me come along for the ride from the safety of my home.  On a cold winter night, in front of the fireplace with a blanket and a mug of tea I can slip into a world where people fight for justice, and to me, that’s time well spent.

 

What book made you confront your worst fears?

 

 

Editor's Note: Sandra Ruttan's books include The Frailty of Flesh and What Burns Within. Her latest novel, Lullaby for the Nameless has been called "a vivid, noir portrait."

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

Sleuthing and Stirring the Pot

by Author dave-zeltserman

 

Dashiell Hammett's the Continental Op was the first hardboiled detective who seemed authentic and would become the prototype for many other literary detectives.

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/Sleuthing-and-Stirring-the-Pot/ba-p/452195

 

Excerpt:

 

There’s a dark and cynical side to the Op, as anyone reading ‘$106,000 Blood Money’ will figure out. He’s not above fixing it so that a murderer escaping a conviction for a triple slaying swings for a crime he’s innocent of, or critically shooting a bad guy in the back so that he can be brought back to the guy’s accomplices. And the last thing you want to do is try to knock the Op off, because if you try and fail he’ll blow up a town if he has to to settle the score. This quote about the Op from the Big Knockover explains as much as anything why I love these stories:

 

"Biggest-hearted dick in San Francisco. This little fat guy will do anything for anybody, if only he can send 'em over for life in the end'

 

Who is your favorite hardboiled detective?

 

 

Editor's Note: Dave Zeltserman is the author of Small CrimesPariah and the forthcoming Killer

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

Looking for Logic

by Author JoAnna-Carl

 

I'm a writer who values storytelling above philosophy and who wants the story to come out “right.”

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/Looking-for-Logic/ba-p/450169

 

Excerpt:

 

That’s the other thing I like about traditional mysteries – they have rules to follow. As a reader I know that the mystery I read will have a crime, a criminal, a detective.

 

Does this make mysteries a dull literary form? Absolutely not.

 

Within that framework there are millions of variations. The crime may be a murder – or the theft of a church tract. The criminal can be a child or an old woman. And so can the detective. The background of the story may be a Neanderthal tribe, a modern city, a medieval monastery, a space station five centuries in the future.

 

It can even be a chocolate company in a West Michigan resort town.

 

Do you like your mysteries tied up cleanly?

 

 

Editor's Note: JoAnna Carl is the author of the Chocoholic series. Kirkus Reviews said that the recently releasedChocolate Cupid Killings "has enough mystery and chocolate trivia to keep fans happily turning pages while munching on bonbons (not supplied)."

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

Running towards the Unknown

by Author Perri-OShaughnessy 


The farther we roamed from home, the more frightened we became. Something amazing awaited us up there, worth the fear.

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/Running-towards-the-Unknown/ba-p/464707

 

Excerpt:

 

As adults, we chose to write about the mystery as well as the adventure. I became a lawyer, and we chose to write legal thrillers for that reason. We’re still sure there is wonder ahead. We have had incredible company – Erle Stanley Gardner, Ross MacDonald, Daphne du Maurier, Edgar Allen Poe, and so many more adventurers of the mind. Now we hope we are also company for our readers running away from – no, toward something unknown, carrying our torches together, pinpoints of fire in the gloom.

 

~Pam O'Shaughnessy

 

 

Editor's Note: Pam O'Shaughnessy -- along with her sister Mary -- writes the Nina Reilly books.

 


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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

 

Lebowski & Bone

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres

 

The Coen Brothers said in their Oscar acceptance speech that perhaps their success with adaptations was due to their pickiness in material saying they'd only adapted Cormac McCarthy and Homer. But that didn't ring true to me.

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/Lebowski-amp-Bone/ba-p/468184

 

Excerpt:

 

In both films, Jeff Bridges plays the lead which could be the same character aged in real time. Both Lebowski and Bone are laid back societal dropouts drifting aimlessly through their lives until coincidence railroads them into intrigue and their unstable veteran best friends take over from there.

 

Watch Cutter's Way and The Big Lebowski back to back and try not to see the parallels.  Is Lebowski a sequel? Or a remake, (Of the film Cutter’s Way - I should say – Not the book Cutter and Bone)? I think it goes way beyond homage. The Dude and Walter are far less tragic than Bone and Cutter, but they carry the faint echo into the 1990's of the original 1970's scream.

 

I don't think the Coens will ever comment on it, but the glazed smirk of Jeff Bridges' Lebowski says it all. A wink's as good as a nod, Dude.

 

 

 

Cutter and Bone 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

Pride & Prejudice or Plain Unfettered Neglect

 

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres 

 

You know how it goes? You finally pick up a book by that author that’s been haunting the periphery of your subconscious for too long and suddenly you can’t imagine life before them? 

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/Pride-amp-Prejudice-or-Plain-Unfettered-Neglect/...

 

Excerpt:


 I’m not sure what eventually convinced me to put aside my gender bias and read Patricia Highsmith or my equally baseless age-related issues with James Crumley’s high-octane, Milo and Sughrue books, (God bless him – he aged his characters in real time and by the end they were some well worn pieces of humanity), but once again, what everybody said turned out to be right. These books rocked.

 

So, whether it’s a low opinion of the person who recommended it, a lousy movie adaptation or one of the aforementioned biases, I’m curious what kept you from trying your favorite books or writers earlier?


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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

N.O. Way!

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres

 

Okay, so everybody knows Anne Rice is from The Big Easy, but for anybody looking to soak up a little more of the Louisiana region -- and to celebrate the Saints' Super Bowl victory! -- check out these crime classics.

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/N-O-Way/ba-p/474026

 

Excerpt:

 

. . . for those displaced natives of New Orleans and the region, I highly recommend Anthony Neil Smith’s Yellow Medicine  about a dirtyish cop from Mississippi exiled to Minnesota after his actions during the chaos of Katrina get him kicked off the force. Billy Laffitte jumps off right the page and straight up your nose, the most compelling anti-hero since The Shield’s Vic Mackey. Those inclined toward sympathy for this devil would do well to check up the follow up, last year’s sorely overlooked, Hogdoggin' .

 

Hmmm. Seems like I’m leaving out something obvious, but congratulations to the Saints (and the sinners) of a great American city. And thank god my week at work will be tolerable. Maybe even pleasant, who knows?

 

What are your favorite book and authors from The Big Easy?

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

During the Month of Romantic Suspense, I couldn't keep up with the Ransom Notes posts. Here's what you missed if you didn't check out the BN blog:

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Ransom-Notes/bg-p/RN

 

On a Bender

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres

 

Sometimes it’s those irreverent or subversive elements and lenses through which genre is channeled that provide the greatest thrills.

 

Sympathy for the Weasel

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres 

 

Snitching is one of those oft-maligned professions that just doesn't get a fair shake in fiction.

 

 

The Not So Funny Pages

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres 

 

The funny papers aren’t always funny you know. In fact there is some pretty doggone emotionally charged, hard hitting stuff being published these days in the funnies.

 

The Legend in Print

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres

 

The bulk of Craig McDonald's brilliantly conceived "Print the Legend" is set in 1965 and places his chief literary creation, Hector Lassiter, in uncomfortable proximity to the legion of vultures descended upon Ketchum, Idaho to feast on the body of work left behind by Ernest Hemingway.

 

Norse of a Different Color

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres 

 

Henning Mankell's latest book, "The Man from Beijing" is a stand alone, global thriller that solidifies his reputation as the Godfather of Nordic Noir.

 

R.I.P. Dick Francis

by Administrator PaulH

 

Dick Francis, the author of 42 books -- many of which were mysteries that centered around the equestrian world -- passed away today. He was 89 years old.

 

What's Love Got to Do With It?

by Blogger Jedidiah-Ayres

 

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre has come to represent the prohibition war in Chicago more than any other single act of violence and, eighty years later its legend, it is still grist for the mill of popular entertainment.

 


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Here's what's been happening over at B&N's Ransom Notes blog:

 

Green Day

 

For St. Patrick’s Day this week and rather than buying something green to wear, go get your hands on one of Ken Bruen’s books and get you caught up before everybody is calling him their favorite crime writer and you look like a Johnny come lately.

 

 Crossing the Line

 

I’m not usually one for crossing that line into supernatural territory, in the middle of a mystery. However there is something, there’s that tingly sensation I get sometimes when an author has got me invested, I’m getting into it without having done the research, realizing I’m live without a net here and absolutely anything is possible. 

 

The Pepsi-Challenge

 

A lot was made in the past year about supposed genre slumming done by some high profile "literary" authors. Some of the biggest examples were Thomas Pynchon's publishing of the PI. novel Inherent Vice and Denis Johnson's crime book Nobody Move, but whether you’re Michael Jordan playing minor league baseball, William Faulkner writing for the talkies or Emeril Lagasse starring in a sitcom, too much attention is often paid to the novelty of the thing and the work never gets a chance to succeed or fail on its own merit.

 

 

My Feminine Side

 

Rather than moan about the lopsidedness of the male dominated film industry, I thought we could make a quick list of books that could be adapted with “interesting” (notice I didn’t say “strong”) roles for women.

 

On a Bender

 

Sometimes it’s those irreverent or subversive elements and lenses through which genre is channeled that provide the greatest thrills.

 

Sympathy for the Weasel

 

Snitching is one of those oft-maligned professions that just doesn't get a fair shake in fiction.

 

The Not So Funny Pages

 

The funny papers aren’t always funny you know. In fact there is some pretty doggone emotionally charged, hard hitting stuff being published these days in the funnies.

 

The Legend in Print

 

The bulk of Craig McDonald's brilliantly conceived "Print the Legend" is set in 1965 and places his chief literary creation, Hector Lassiter, in uncomfortable proximity to the legion of vultures descended upon Ketchum, Idaho to feast on the body of work left behind by Ernest Hemingway.

 

 

Norse of a Different Color

 

Henning Mankell's latest book, "The Man from Beijing" is a stand alone, global thriller that solidifies his reputation as the Godfather of Nordic Noir.

 

 

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Re: "Ransom Notes"New Blog by PaulH

Here's what's been happening over at B&N's Ransom Notes blog:

(Jedidiah-Ayres is B&N's blogger there)

 

Die Laughing

 

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always focused on the hardcore (and) hardboiled books I gravitate toward these days. Actually, it was the comic mysteries that first got me interested in crime generally.

 

Revenge of the Nerd

 

If the genre gonzo-hard-boiled doesn’t exist already, it will have to be invented for Victor Gischler. His prose reads like a long interior monologue with his forever teenaged, nerdy id running the show. You can just about hear it chuckling and adding explosive sound effects and racing ahead of itself to tell the story it wants to, (and then, and then, and then). And it’s infectious. This week marks his return to crime fiction with The Deputy.

 

Fire in the Hole

 

Have you caught the first episodes of Justified on FX? It's based on the short story Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard. I'm pleased so far with the tone and it's showing potential to be a solid series. The question is, where does it go when it reaches the end of the source material? I'm curious, what do you Elmore Leonard fans think?

 

Totaled Recall

 

 

When Donald E. Westlake died on New Year’s Eve 2008, he left behind a body of work spanning nearly fifty years. Though he wrote many comedic crime thrillers, he is also the creator of one of the toughest hardboiled series ever, featuring his anti-hero known only as Parker. With the unveiling of his final unpublished novel, Memory , his range and depth as a writer are only deepened.

 

Black Friday

by Jedidiah-Ayres

 

Where the mystery is a bed time story, putting us in a position of control and placing upon ourselves a righteousness and cool headed logic to aspire to, and a crime story is an opportunity to vicariously blow off some steam, the noir is a cautionary tale.