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Robert Galbraith Returns with The Silkworm

Silkworm by Robert GalbraithMulholland Books is pleased to announce that The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith will be published on June 24.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Praise for the first Cormoran Strike novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling

“Robert Galbraith has written a highly entertaining book….Even better, he has introduced an appealing protagonist in Strike, who’s sure to be the star of many sequels to come….Its narrative moves forward with propulsive suspense. More important, Strike and his now-permanent assistant, Robin (playing Nora to his Nick, Salander to his Blomkvist), have become a team—a team whose further adventures the reader cannot help eagerly awaiting.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Rowling’s literary gift is on display in this work. She crafts an entertaining story with characters who hold the reader’s interest, and comes up with an ending that, I’ll admit, I was surprised by.” —Deepti Hajela, Associated Press

“The master is back.” —Charles Finch, USA Today

“Rowling switches genres seamlessly, telling a gritty, absorbing tale.” —Ellen Shapiro, People

The Cuckoo’s Calling is decidedly old-fashioned. Rowling serves up a sushi platter of red herring, sprinkling clues along the way, before Strike draws a confession out of the killer in a climax straight out of Agatha Christie.” —Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

“One of the great pleasures of The Cuckoo’s Calling, as with most detective stories, is observing the gumshoe’s Aha! moments, without being told what they are….Money and general fabulousness do for The Cuckoo’s Calling what magic did for Harry Potter, creating an extravagant, alien, fascinating world for its characters to explore….The Cuckoo’s Calling is fun.” —Katy Waldman, Slate

Listen to Ship of Theseus

Ship of Theseus by V.M. StrakaExperience V.M. Straka’s Ship of Theseus in a way the author could never have imagined: as a downloadable audiobook. Award-winning actor Grame Malcolm reads the forgotten classic from 1949, in which a mysterious figure, known only as S., struggles to discover, remember, or invent his identity.

Sample the audiobook below—and who knows? Perhaps by listening, you’ll be able to contribute to the conversation about Straka that unfolds in the margins of S., created by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst.

Download it now: Audible | Barnes & Noble | Downpour | eMusic | iTunes

Start Reading SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon

SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon by Don Mann with Ralph PezzulloToday the newest adventure in Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo’s SEAL Team Six series featuring Captain Thomas Crocker lands in bookstores, and reviewers are saying it “delivers exactly what fans want” (Publishers Weekly) and “puts the reader in the center of the action—the smells, sounds, savagery of war” (Kirkus Reviews). Below is an excerpt from Hunt the Falcon—enjoy, and don’t blame us if your heart starts racing!

Chapter One

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. —Rabindranath Tagore

John and Lenora Rinehart had just watched their thirteen-year-old son Alex dress himself for the first time. It was a special morning. Usually days at the Rinehart house started with a delicate dance, determined by their son’s moods.

Just because his son Alex was autistic didn’t mean he wasn’t smart, John Rinehart reminded himself as his shoes met the uneven surface of the slate walk and he punched the electronic button that opened the door to his dark blue Saab 900. His son was exceptional in the IQ department. But his brain’s ability to control the warp-speed flow of information, and his emotional impulses, was out of whack. When it didn’t work the way Alex wanted it to, the boy got frustrated. And when he got frustrated, he got mad as hell. Screaming, beat-the-shit-out-of-whatever-he-could-get-his-hands-on angry sometimes.

Ask him to find the positive difference of the fourth power of two consecutive positive integers that must be divisible by one more than twice the larger integer? No problem. But little things like buttoning a shirt or fastening a zipper often tripped him up.

“Little things…little victories,” forty-two-year-old John Rinehart said as he reached across the console between the front seats and squeezed his wife Lena’s hand.

She smiled past the straight black bangs that almost brushed her eyes and said, “I credit Alex’s new school. It’s been a major positive.”

“Yes,” John whispered back. His heart felt like it might leap out of his chest with delight.

John felt things strongly. Like his son. Sometimes so strongly that it scared him and he, too, had to fight hard to control himself.

His half-Asian wife was the more emotionally balanced of the two. She understood that tomorrow morning might be completely different; that life with a child like Alex was unpredictable at best.

John found it much harder to let go of the hope that his son would one day lead a normal life. He kept looking for a path, or an unopened doorway in his son’s psyche, that would lead to that result. Which made sense, because part of what he did for a living as the economic counselor at the U.S. embassy was to look for patterns of activity and use them to try to predict future events—Chinese-Thai trade, baht volatility, Thai-U.S. trading algorithms.

He was a brilliant man who studied the world and saw tendencies, vectors, roads traveled, like the one he steered the highly polished car onto now, into the knot of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles on what the Thais called Thanon Phetchaburi.

He’d learned to expect the eight-mile ride to the embassy to take forty minutes because of the traffic, but he didn’t mind. It gave him and his wife a chance to listen to music and spend some quiet time together.

This morning he didn’t want to think about the embassy where she also worked, as an administrative assistant in the CIA station. Nor did he want to consider the problems he’d deal with when he got there.

Instead he listened as Stan Getz played a smooth, moving “Body and Soul” over the stereo, and he hummed along, feeling unusually optimistic and calm. He even entertained the possibility that when his tour in Thailand ended in a year, he would return to teaching. Maybe even accept the position on the faculty of University of California, Berkeley that had been offered him a little while back. Lena would like that.

The sky above was a murky, almost iridescent yellow. Bangkok was a surreal blend of staggeringly beautiful and disgusting, rich and poor, spiritual and depraved, all living pressed together. He found the yin-yang dynamic of the city fascinating.

Adjusting the air-conditioning, he turned to his wife. “I’m proud of you, darling,” he said.

“I’m proud of you. And Alex, too.”

“Our Alex,” he added.

Through the windshield John noticed a battered blue truck squeezing into the little space between his front bumper and the Nissan taxi four feet to the right. He applied the brake, hit the horn, then turned to his wife.

He noticed the way the light accentuated her cheekbones, then out of the corner of his right eye glimpsed a motorcycle near the back bumper. Two helmets, both black with mirrored visors. The driver and rider looked like aliens.

Past the soaring saxophone solo and through the soundproof door panels, he heard a metal click. Seconds later the motorcycle roared past, narrowly avoiding a bus.

He was thinking about the first time he had seen Lena, standing near the entrance to the Georgetown University library. She was a sophomore; he was pursuing a master’s degree in economics.

He remembered how he had stopped to ask her for directions to White-Gravenor Hall even though he knew where it was. And how when she turned, he was struck by her beauty, and the strength and intelligence in her eyes.

John Rinehart opened his mouth to tell Lena how he had felt at that moment, how certain he had been that something important was happening. But before he could get the words out, the small but powerful explosive device that had been magnetically attached to the car’s rear fender exploded, tearing through the chassis, igniting the high-octane fuel in the gas tank and causing the car to burst into flames.

John and Lenora Rinehart were dead within seconds. Another eight poor souls riding bicycles and motorbikes in the vicinity also died. Twenty-three were seriously injured.

Continue reading “Start Reading SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon”

S. Cipher Contest Winner

S. from J.J. Abrams and Doug DorstTo celebrate the publication of S., created by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, Mulholland Books hosted a very special contest: if someone was able to decrypt the hidden message within the following poem, he or she could win lunch with Abrams and Dorst in New York City. Here were the instructions and the message:

Follow these lines, from first to last, and play fair—the bearded sailor sees all:

Midnight in the Old Quarter of a city where river meets sea. Hypnotic

fog caresses stone, glides over water, pulses in the dark beyond the harbor.

Never cry out when you’re shoved from the dock; never fear the sharks, the storms, the depths. This is the closest thing to freedom.

Swim like you still have power. Swim like they fear you’re able. Swim with

xebec swiftness through chop and wind, through blistering sun and frigid gloom.

Cherish each stroke, each breath, each gulp of ocean–the music of a mortally beautiful waltz, ever to ring through seas and skies.

Our winner, Kristopher Zgorski, not only decrypted the poem’s hidden meaning—STRAKA LIVES—but also presented his explanation as an acrostic spelling out the name of his book review blog, BOLO BOOKS:

Begin with the directions.
Obviously they provide cipher clues.
Luckily playfair was the encryption method and
Of course sailor Maelstrom was the keyword.
But digraphs came from the poem itself.
Oddly important, each lines first and last letters.
Omit “Z”.
Kindly read vertically to
See who wishes to dine.

For more detail on how the playfair cipher can be applied to the poem above, visit the contest page. And thank you to all who entered! If you’d like to read how Kristopher’s lunch with Abrams and Dorst went, check out this post on BOLO BOOKS.

New Michael Robotham Novella for $2.99

Bombproof by Michael RobothamToday marks the release of Bombproof, a novella-length eBook by internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham. If that weren’t exciting enough, we’re selling it for just $2.99 during the month of October!

Bombproof follows the misadventures of Sami Macbeth, wannabe rock god, who was released from prison fifty-four hours ago. Thirty-six hours ago, he slept with the woman of his dreams at the Savoy. An hour ago, his train blew up.

Now Sami is dashing through London’s West End, identified as the most wanted terrorist in the country. Can he get himself out of this desperate, hopeless situation? You’ll have to download the eBook to find out.

Google Play | iBookstore | Kindle | Kobo | Nook | Sony

READERS ARE SAYING:

“Robotham’s books need to come with a health-warning: inclined to induce insomnia. . . . A great read that really pulls no punches when exposing the role of the media in construction heroes and villains.” —Karen on Goodreads

“Michael Robotham’s books just keep getting better and better. I love his characters. Vincent Ruiz in this book is awesome.” –Dennis on Amazon

The Lineup: Links for Joe R. Lansdale’s The Thicket

Contrasted ConfinementJoe R. Lansdale’s THE THICKET kicks off our Fall 2013 season this week, and the coverage of Joe’s newest has been absolutely astounding. Kirkus gave THE THICKET a rave review, praising Lansdale’s newest as “alternately violent and tender, with a gently legendary quality that makes this tall tale just about perfect.”  Publishers Weekly called the book “satisfying” and remarked upon Lansdale’s ability to tale a tale by turns “grim” and “hilarious.”

But it’s not just the trades that love Lansdale’s newest! MysteryPeople, blog of the famed Austin, TX store, says THE THICKET at once has “echoes of True GritThe Searchers, and Lonesome Doveand is also “the perfect story for Lansdale.” Not to be outdone, LitReactor writes: “If you like dialogue – gritty, sharp, well-written dialogue – then The Thicket is a must-read. ”

Jenny Dial Creech at The Houston Chronicle also absolutely loved THE THICKET, writing:  ““Opening lines don’t get much better than this…Let the comparisons continue with this latest work, which reads like a dark version of The Adventure of Tom Sawyer and feels like a Coen brothers movie. It’s the perfect mix of light and dark, with plenty of humor mixed in.”

Looking for more than just review coverage? Read to Write has an interview up with Lansdale in which Lansdale discusses writing for the region and period and much more. Den of Geek has an interview with Lansdale in which he discusses his writing process.

Audio’s more your thing? Check out this interview with Joe on the Reading and Writing podcast that really demonstrates his abilities as a storyteller.

Finally, right here on MulhollandBooks.com, Joe shared with us his inspirations for THE THICKET, and we’ve also got up an excerpt from the novel’s first chapter. More to come as the press rolls in and Lansdale, the Mulholland team, and several other of our esteemed authors head off to Bouchercon next week in Albany!

Making Sense of Nothing and Making Nothing of Sense: A Maundering on the Taxonomy of Writing and I Forget What Else

Today marks the three-year anniversary of MulhollandBooks.com! To celebrate where we’re going with where we’ve been, we’ll be re-featuring our very first guest posts throughout the day. Some authors we’ve gone on to publish; all of them we’ve continued to admire. What’s next? You never know what’s coming around the curve…

“Fair is where you go to see the pigs race.”
— James Luther Dickinson

We are uncomfortable with works that can not be placed comfortably into a category. The English-speaking literary establishment has embraced the French word genre since the eighteenth century. We would do well to remind ourselves that the term, via the Latin genus, is a cognate of another French word, générique, whence the English generic. And, for example, noir, given generic catch-all meaning by American critics in the 1940s, is but another blanditude that consigns to the supermarket-aisle school of literary values many books whose unique qualities are thus obscured.

As George Eliot said in her 1856 essay on Heine: “In every genre of writing it preserves a man from sinking into the genre ennuyeux.” The “it” refers to wit, and the French phrase displays her own subtle wit: “the boring genre.” And it is true that most books consigned to one genre or another belong to the far-encompassing genre of boredom, even if there are no Boring sections designated as such in bookstores.

Most best-selling books belong to one genre or another—espionage, crime, horror, suspense, romance, mystery, self-help, ghost-written political memoirs that take the genre of boredom to a ghastlier realm. Best-sellers that perfume themselves with a contrived literary air fall short of what good genre writing offers. What, after all, was The Name of the Rose but a bad mystery whose plot-workings could not be believed at any turn? I actually read that one. We speak of putting the wounded out of their misery. I have now long felt the same about semiologists. As for something like The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which was said to far transcend the romance genre, I would never read a book with such a pretentious title so like the whine of a moon-calf. Semiologists and moon-calves aside, even straightforward attempts at genre by real writers of true greatness often fail dismally: William Faulkner’s 1949 volume of mystery stories, Knight’s Gambit, is one of the worst books he did.

I am not saying that any genre writers, be they scriptomanic pulp hacks or masters of their corner of the marketplace, could ever beat out, except maybe financially, the few writers of our time who have doomed themselves, or been doomed, to the lower-paying racket of greatness.

But what of the latter, the great, or of those who walked the edge of greatness, who have been relegated to the ranks of the former? That’s what I want to talk about here.

Specifically I want to talk about Patricia Highsmith and George V. Higgins. Why these two? As I’m not auditioning for a creative-writing teaching job—I’m too old to look up girls’ skirts and fill them with the unbearable lightness of being—I’ll tell you the truth.

Continue reading “Making Sense of Nothing and Making Nothing of Sense: A Maundering on the Taxonomy of Writing and I Forget What Else”

Won’t You Like Us?

Facebook LikeFacebook: Mulholland Books is on it. But if you follow us on this site, or even on Twitter or Tumblr, you might ask yourself, “Why should I also like your Facebook page?” Here are three reasons:

1. Often we give away books there.
Probably the #1 reason to like us on Facebook is that we’re frequently hosting sweepstakes to give away our latest titles—sometimes well before they’re available in bookstores. If you’re a mystery fan, and especially if you’re a fan of being ahead of the curve, you’ll want to like our page to receive updates about our new giveaways, many of which are only open to fans of our page.

2. Often we reveal excerpts there.
Our genius IT team has developed a way for us to showcase exclusive excerpts on our Facebook page, available only to our fans. This is a great way for you to sample our books before committing to them, and the excerpts are quite ample—often the first few chapters of a book. Right now we’re showcasing the first nine chapters of Weaponized by Nicholas Mennuti and David Guggenheim.

3. Sometimes we reveal covers there.
We’ve all wasted too much time looking at photos on Facebook. However, it’s justified when those photos are the first look at the cover of Charlie Huston’s or Joe Lansdale’s new book. Be sure to like our page to see new covers and leave a comment telling us what you think!

If you’re a fan of Mulholland Books in real life, make it official on the internet: head over our Facebook page, like us, leave us a message, and share us with your friends.

Mulholland Authors at San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic ConAre you headed to San Diego for Comic Con this week? So am I! (It’s my first Comic Con, so forgive me for leaning on the exclamation marks in this post.) On my SDCC agenda are panels and signings with three Mulholland authors: Austin Grossman, Duane Swierczynski, and Charlie Huston. I’ll also be making appearances at the Hachette Book Group booth (Booth 1116) to give away limited edition pieces from JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst’s forthcoming book, S. And I may have a few copies of a certain detective novel to give away, but you’ll have to follow @mulhollandbooks for the details on that. Here’s where to find Mulholland at the Con:

Thursday, July 18: 11am-noon
Duane Swierczynski
Author of Fun & Game, Hell & Gone, and Point & Shoot
Signing at the Hachette Book Group Booth (#1116)

Thursday, July 18: 1:45-2:45
Ode to Nerds Panel
Everyone knows that published science fiction authors reign on the Geek Heirarchy charts because the Internet tells us so! (See, The Brunching Shuttlcocks.) Join us on this epic panel as the genre’s top names in publishing celebrate all things geeky and nerdy with Charlie Jane Anders of io9.com! Geek out with Charlie Jane and Cory Doctorow (The Rapture of the Nerds), Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), Austin Grossman (You), DC Pierson (Crap Kingdom) and Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything).
Room 6A

Thursday, July 18: 3:15-4:15
Ode to Nerds Panel signing
Room AA09

Thursday, July 18: 4-5pm
Keep ‘Em at the Edge of Their Seats Panel
The gory, gruesome, and paranoia-inducing elements in these novels will take readers on a jet-fueled ride to the dark side. These writers spare no expense to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up with stories that will surprise you at every turn. Their protagonists solve crimes, kick ass, and don’t let anyone—or anything—stand in their way.  Thrill to the discussion with James Rollins (Eye of God), Duane Swierczynski (Point & Shoot), Stephen Blackmoore (Dead Things), Charlie Huston (Skinner), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Season of the Wolf) and Roger Hobbs (Ghostman), led by David Mariotte of Mysterious Galaxy.
Room 25ABC

Thursday, July 18: 5:30-6:30pm
Keep ‘Em at the Edge of Their Seats Panel signing
Room AA09

Friday, July 19: 12:30-1:30pm
The Pole with Soul: Spotlight on Duane Swierczynski
Comic-Con special guest Duane Swierczynski writes violent, bloody, pulpy comics (Judge Dredd, X, Bloodshot) and violent, bloody, pulpy novels (Fun & Games, Point & Shoot, Severance Package). But deep down inside, he’s a sweetheart. Which is why he’s inviting you to hang out with him for a special afternoon of prizes! Surprise guests! A soul-searching Q&A! And a hug. Okay, maybe not a hug.
Room 8

Friday, July 19: 1:30-2:30
Austin Grossman
Author of You
Signing at the Hachette Book Group Booth (#1116)

Friday, July 19: 3-4pm
Charlie Huston
Author of Skinner
Signing at the Hachette Book Group Booth (#1116)

Friday, July 19: 6:45-7:45pm
Science Fiction that Will Change Your Life Panel
What science fiction stories from the past year made you think, as well as entertaining you? Panelists talk about the year’s smartest books, comics, movies, and TV with io9 staffers Annalee Newitz, Charlie Jane Anders, Meredith Woerner, and Lauren Davis, joined by Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Middleman), Marc Bernardin (Alphas), Austin Grossman (You), Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy), and Jose Molina (Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow).
Room 5AB