Friday, October 23, 2009

The Bouchercon 21 -- 2009 First Novelists -- Part 5

Today I'm featuring the last four debut novels from the 2009 First Novelists speed-dating event at Bouchercon in Indianapolis. If you haven't found at least one book to add to your reading list, then I'm betting you don't read mysteries or thrillers. Here are the last four novels in this series:


Boulevard, published by Forge Books, is the title of Stephen Jay Schwartz's novel, a dark and gritty thriller set in Los Angeles.

"Hayden Glass never had it easy. After losing his father at a young age, he fought hard for everything he got, haunted by a shame that he could never define or conquer. Now a Los Angeles Police Robbery and Homicide detective, Glass is still haunted by the scars that formed in his childhood and left a permanent void in his soul. He deals with it in a very defeating way . . . . he strolls Sunset Boulevard, picking up prostitutes. Hayden Glass is a sex addict."

Buy this novel at,, and through most other booksellers.


Dennis Tafoya's novel from St. Martin's Press, Dope Thief, is about a small-time crook who makes a big mistake:

"Ray and his best friend, Manny, close ever since they met in juvie almost twenty years ago, have a great scam going: With a couple of fake badges and some DEA windbreakers they found at a secondhand store, they pose as federal agents and rip off small-time drug dealers, taking their money and drugs and disappearing before anyone is the wiser. It’s the perfect sting: the dealers they target are too small to look for revenge and too guilty to call the police, nobody has to die, nobody innocent gets hurt, and Ray and Manny score plenty. But it can’t last forever."

Dope Thief may be purchased at,, and through most other booksellers.


In the Shadow of Gotham is Stefanie Pintoff's debut mystery, a historical novel set in New York City in the early 1900's. The Darkest Verse also features Simon Ziele and will be released in 2010.

"Detective Simon Ziele loses his fiancée and shortly thereafter heads to Westchester County to escape the violence of the city. But just a few months into his tenure, he catches the worst homicide of his career: a young woman is brutally murdered in her own bedroom in the middle of a winter afternoon..."

In the Shadow of Gotham is available from,, and through most other booksellers.


Originally published in the UK as The Twelve, Stuart Neville's thriller was released in the U.S. from Soho Press as The Ghosts of Belfast.

"Former paramilitary killer Gerry Fegan is haunted by his victims, twelve souls who shadow his every waking day and scream through every drunken night. Just as he reaches the edge of sanity they reveal their desire: vengeance on those who engineered their deaths. From the greedy politicians to the corrupt security forces, the street thugs to the complacent bystanders who let it happen, all must pay the price. When Fegan's vendetta threatens to derail Northern Ireland's peace process and destabilise its fledgling government, old comrades and enemies alike want him gone. David Campbell, a double agent lost between the forces of law and terror, takes the job. But he has his own reasons for eliminating Fegan; the secrets of a dirty war should stay buried, even if its ghosts do not."

Purchase The Ghosts of Belfast from,, and through most other booksellers.

Twenty-one seems like a lot of new novels to read, doesn't it? The trouble is, there were even more first novelists at Bouchercon who didn't participate in the speed-dating event. One was Andrew Grant (younger brother of Lee Child) who wrote Even. Another was Matt Hilton, author of Dead Men's Dust. I'm sure there were many more. So many books, so little time.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I swear I've seen "In the Shadows of Gotham" in the library. I'll have to find it. Thanks for giving us the run down on all the debuts, Patricia!

Mystery Writing is Murder

The Old Silly said...

These ALL sound good. Soooo much talent out there! Thanks for this post and the pointers.

Marvin D Wilson

Patricia Stoltey said...

I guess I'll be starting with The Ghosts of Belfast which I found in my local library.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

While I'd love to read every book in your five-part series, I barely have time to do the basics of revision, writing, bloging, and everyday life. My hat is off to those who do more. Dunno how they do it, but, they do.

Best Regards, Galen

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It's more like TOO many books, TOO little time!

Anonymous said...

This conference sounds wonderful. I've already put it on my calendar for next year. Now if I can just find some $$$ around here . . . : )

GutsyWriter said...

Thanks Pat for the reviews. As Galen Kindley said above, I don't read as much as I would like to. Only on plane trips and at the gym in the morning. I do like the synopsis, which helps me think of ways to write my own.