Three-time Agatha Award and Derringer Award nominee for Best Short Story, Kindle Scout winning historical novelist
The latest from Liz: Great news! JOURNEY OF STRANGERS, Liz's new historical novel, a Kindle Scout winner, will be available for preorder on November 30 and out (e-book and trade paperback) on December 15. This sequel to Voyage of Strangers follows Diego and Rachel back to Europe and beyond and introduces a new heroine, Joanna, a Jewish girl torn from her home in Lisbon and sent as a slave to the Isle of Crocodiles off the West African coast.
Two new short stories in 2015: "The Man in the Dick Tracy Hat" in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and "A Shifting Plan" in Fish or Cut Bait, the new Sisters in Crime Guppies anthology.
Don't miss DEAD BROKE, the new Bruce Kohler mystery. In this one, Jimmy runs into money trouble just when Barbara, about to turn forty, is ready for a wedding and a baby. When Jimmy's Debtors Anonymous sponsor gets murdered, Barbara becomes a suspect. In the meantime, Bruce's girlfriend Cindy's new position as a homicide detective conflicts with Bruce's determination to protect his friends and find the real killer.
Early reviewers call it "a laugh-out-loud, profoundly compassionate page-turner," "delivering laughs along with a solid mystery." "[The] characters and their surroundings come to life as they sleuth their way through another dangerous mystery."
Bruce has a new look on the e-book covers, and the existing mystery novels have new titles. You can find DEAD SOBER, formerly Death Will Get You Sober, on Amazon now, along with DEAD WRONG (Death Will Help You Leave Him, DEAD IN THE HAMPTONS, (Death Will Extend Your Vacation),and DEAD GURU (Death Will Save Your Life). The short stories in the series are still "Death Will Clean Your Closet," "Death Will Tie Your Kangaroo Down," "Death Will Trim Your Tree," "Death Will Tank Your Fish," and "Death Will Fire Your Therapist." The first four are available on Amazon and the fifth is in the Sisters in Crime anthology Family Matters (Murder New York Style).
My short story, "A Breach of Trust," is listed among the "Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 2014" in Otto Penzler's Best American Mystery Stories 2014, guest editor, Laura Lippman, making it one of the year's top fifty mystery short stories. I'm in august company and proud to be included.
Readers seem to be enjoying VOYAGE OF STRANGERS. Readers can choose the e-edition, trade paperback, or audiobook.
Book blogger Stephanie M. Hopkins on Layered Pages called Voyage of Strangers "an amazing read...entertaining and exciting."
Historical Novel Society calls Rachel Mendoza of Voyage of Strangers "an enchanting protagonist, courageous, outspoken, and wise beyond her years" and says that the book itself offers "captivating fictionalized depiction of the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola [and] a vibrant and well-researched picture of Spain....The rich historical setting and the engaging Mendoza siblings combine with Zelvin's writing skills to make this a most enjoyable and thought-provoking read."
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine called the book "engaging and well researched."
What's Voyage of Strangers about? In this sequel to the Agatha-nominated "The Green Cross," the young marrano sailor Diego returns from the voyage of discovery to find that his sister Rachel is in danger from the Inquisition as a secret Jew. After failing to find safety in Spain, they sail with Admiral Columbus on the second voyage to Hispaniola, where they must struggle with divided loyalties as the Spaniards' greed for gold and conquest cashes with the local Taino people's way of life. Both Diego and Rachel find courage, love, and heartache as they come of age in a doomed paradise.
Kenneth Wishnia, author of the award-winning
Jewish-themed historical novel The Fifth Servant, said: "At times heartwarming, at times horrifying--two words that rarely appear together. A deft juggling act indeed."
Ilene Schneider, award-winning author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mysteries, said: "Zelvin combines two historical injustices into a compelling and meticulously researched narrative that brings the stories from the impersonal historical to the immediate personal."
Libby Fischer Hellmann, multiple award winning thriller/mystery author and historical novelist, said: "Beautifully written prose and meticulous research make each scene come alive. Zelvin ratchets up the conflict and suspense so I found myself reading late into the night to see how brother and sister would prevail. Anyone who loves a historical adventure rendered by an expert needs to read this novel."
KB Inglee, historical novelist and Colonial re-enactor, said: "Voyage of Strangers is well researched and well written. The characters are strong and believable; the landscape is alluring. This is a story about people with power being at their best and worst among people with none. I loved every minute I spent with Diego and Rachel."
And don't miss Liz's short stories.
"Death Will Clean Your Closet," the very first Bruce Kohler mystery story, has been re-released in Deadly Debut, a sampler anthology of stories from Sisters in Crime New York's first Murder New York Style, along with a new e-edition of Fresh Slices, including "Death Will Tank Your Fish," and paperback and e-editions of the brand new Family Matters, including "Death Will Fire Your Therapist," all from Glenmere Press. All but the last are also available for e-readers, along with Death Will Trim Your Tree and Death Will Tie Your Kangaroo Down.
DEATH WILL TANK YOUR FISH & Other Stories, a collection of stories never before available together, is out now for e-readers and e-reader apps. The title story is a Derringer nominee featuring Bruce and his friends.
A new story, "A Breach of Trust," appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Mysterical-E. Readers said:
"Chilling and very, very good. I like everything Zelvin writes, but this is very powerful."
"Sweet revenge. Very satisfying!"
"Great story! The voice never wavers, and I was hooked from the first sentence."
"Beautifully written and a very satisfying ending."
Audiobook versions of the three Bruce Kohler novels are available along with the hardcover and e-editions.
DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER (Dead Sober) is still a favorite with readers. How can Bruce stay sober? Don't drink, go to meetings, and investigate a murder. Library Journal called Death Will Get You Sober "a remarkable and strongly recommended first novel" and praised the author's "smooth prose and outstanding storytelling ability."
In DEATH WILL HELP YOU LEAVE HIM (Dead Wrong), Bruce is sober but still addicted to love. Which is worse, his crazy ex-wife or the prime suspect in a murder?
In DEATH WILL EXTEND YOUR VACATION (Dead in the Hamptons), Bruce and his friends take shares in a lethal clean and sober group house in the Hamptons.
In the e-novella DEATH WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE (Dead Guru), Bruce and his friends investigate the murder of an obnoxious relationship guru at Woo-Woo Farm.
"Bruce is a funny, smart guy who just happens to stumble over the occasional dead body. This time out Bruce lets his Nick-and-Nora-like best friends talk him into vacationing at a New Age spa filled with ersatz gurus, the not-very-enlightened and a relationship expert that everyone hates. Zelvin's wit is as sharp as ever as she leads her readers down a fast, 12 step path to humor and homicide."
- Rosemary Harris, Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated author
"Zelvin, having mastered the art of the short story, now tackles and subdues the even more difficult novella form, losing none of her trademark heart and humor."
- G.M. Malliet, Agatha Award-winning author
"A clever mystery peppered with intriguing characters and New York humor."
- Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author
Praise for Death Will Extend Your Vacation
"Zelvin's characters literally leap off the pages. A perfect beach book."
- Caryn St. Clair on DorothyL
"Will keep readers guessing until the end."
- Crime Fiction Examiner
"Zelvin brings [her characters] to life. A good plot, and action to keep readers glued to the pages. Good reading for the summer or anytime."
"Zelvin has mastered the male voice in a series that doesn't shy away from serious interpersonal issues. She has a natural ear for efficiently melodic prose."
- Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
"There are so many layers to this book that will draw readers of various genres in....Once you start reading it you will definitely be hooked, and what more could a reader want from a book!"
- C.A. Webb, Conversations Book Club
"Readers will enjoy the good-natured humor of the characters as well as some keen social satire."
"Read for her well-developed characters."
"The relationships between the three friends are as complex as they are fascinating. A credible and extremely interesting glimpse into the lives of the addicted."
- Cindy Chow on DorothyL
"Interesting characters, a complex mystery with twists and turns, and a summer on the beach to remember....Another solidly good one from the talented Elizabeth Zelvin."
- Kevin Tipple on Kevin's Corner
"Zelvin writes about dependency with a sure hand and her dialogue rings true. Terrific series."
- Melinda Drew on DorothyL
"Just the thing for an enjoyable beach read."
- Gloria Feit, Midwest Book Review
"It was a pleasure to run into Bruce Kohler again in this book. He's showing a great deal of emotional growth since he first came to readers' attention. Summer reading for those who don't mind a few bodies on the beach."
- Lesa Holstine on Lesa's Book Critiques
"A perfect vacation book! Full of heart, full of humor--this honest and believable mystery put its straight-talking characters into a page-turner of a plot. Suspense plus insight plus compassion--equals a great read!"
- Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity winner
"Empathetic and insightful, Elizabeth Zelvin celebrates the power of recovery against the backdrop of a holiday in the Hamptons. Well-drawn characters written with verve. Zelvin knows the human heart and all its struggles."
- Carolyn Hart, Malice Domestic Lifetime Achievement honoree
"The Hamptons plus a juicy murder, with the added twist of addiction and recovery--what more could the intelligent mystery reader want?"
- Rhys Bowen, multiple Anthony, Macavity, and Agatha winner
A reader who's a therapist says: "The important thing about Liz's books is that you read them. The topic of co-dependency and self doubt is beautifully and affectionately handled. A very difficult topic handled with grace. I am truly enjoying watch Bruce grow up and take risks."
Praise from readers for Liz's short stories:
"The Green Cross" - "Beautifully written and absolutely compelling."
"The Silkie" - "Appropriately spooky and chilling...the denouement was a surprise."
"Dress to Die" - "I loved it! What a satisfying conclusion! After reading it, however, I'm very glad I showed up to my prom date's house with a corsage."
And the novels:
"This is definitely a character-driven series, and the relationships between the three friends are as complex as they are fascinating." - Cindy Chow
"Death Will Get You Sober and Death Will Help You Leave Him are suspenseful, fast-paced
mysteries that offer readers real insight into alcoholism and the process of recovery. I don't think I ever realized just how difficult recovery is until
I read these books. I recommend them highly." - B.K. Stevens
Hear Liz read her story, "The Green Cross," as a podcast from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
Praise for Death Will Help You Leave Him:
"Definitely up to her previously high standard....characters who are wonderfully drawn and three dimensional.
I also very much enjoyed the New York setting and the many moving moments in the story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
- Eden Embler, I Love A Mystery
"Zelvin [has the] ability to bring us both tragedy and humor, sometimes in the same sentence...I've
become addicted to the series."
- Lourdes Fernandez, Lost in Books
"A unique mystery that sucks the reader in and refuses to let go."
- Cindy Chow, Mystery Rat's Closet
"What sets this book and this series apart from the many other mysteries set in New York City is the protagonist's
life in recovery....the first book took a very real social problem and dealt with it head on...This [book] shows real growth for Bruce as a character....real without
becoming preachy." - Caryn St.Clair, Bestsellers World
"Zelvin's characters continue to grow....The tangled web of relationships that Bruce steps into reads like some of the stories one hears at
the beauty parlor or while working out: convoluted, full of angst, and all too real. Zelvin excels at this."
- P.J. Coldren, Reviewing the Evidence
"The detailed insights...are penetrating and...full of understanding. The author writes with compassion and wisdom...recommended."
- Ted Feit, Midwest Book Review; also, Crimespree, Mystery Women, Spinetingler
"Wow....Awesome book and an emotional wallop at the end." - A librarian in rural Ohio
"The pages flew through my fingers... deeper meanings lingered after I finished.
The characters are people you want to spend time with. I can't recommend it enough!" - A reader in Pennsylvania
"A wonderful book--authentic, compassionate, and tough."
- Barbara D'Amato, two-time Anthony & Agatha winner
"Her dialogue sparkles...she's created characters who are both over
the top and completely believable. Just like real people!"
- SJ Rozan, Edgar award winner, author of The Shanghai Moon
"Readers will care deeply about Bruce and his feelings and relationships."
- Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critiques
"A heartbreaker of a novel...seamless prose....Much more than a mere whodunit...
the 'whys' will haunt you long after the book is read."
- Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series
"With humor and heart, Zelvin writes about the challenges of sobriety
and the beat of New York City with impressive accuracy.
Death Will Help You Leave Him
is a terrific read."
- Alafair Burke, author of Angel's Tip
"Zelvin proves with this second outing that she is... here to stay....A wondrous read."
- Ken Bruen, Shamus award winner and multiple Edgar nominee
"Even more addictive than Death Will Get You Sober."
- Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus award winner
What reviewers said about Death Will Get You Sober:
"Smooth prose and outstanding storytelling ability....a remarkable and strongly recommended first novel."
- Library Journal
"A hell of a job....Great characters and a wonderful voice.
Zelvin is an author to keep your eye on. - Crimespree Magazine
"An extremely original debut mystery with unique and
engaging characters." - No Name Cafe
"Dry humor and original characters....
a welcome addition to the mystery field." - Lesa Holstine, Blogcritics and Lesa's Book Critiques
"A well-plotted mystery filled with believable characters and realistic situations...
.Without being maudlin, cliched or clinical, Zelvin delivers a poignant story." - Oline H. Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel
"Her dialog sparkles." - Mystery Scene
"A novel full of rich and complicated characters....an engrossing and complex
tale." - Kevin R. Tipple, Kevin's Corner
""Zelvin has managed to capture the reality of alcoholism and detox, with its black humor and tragedy.
Her pictures of AA meetings are very realistic. Death Will Get You Sober will strike home with
anyone familiar with alcoholism or the addictions field." - The AA Blog
What readers said:
"I enjoyed the book so much that I bought two copies to give to my brothers who have been in AA
for over 20 years each."
"You are the first professional that I have come across that really seems to get it...
I'm coming up on thirty five years of continuous sobriety....a delightful read."
"I lent the book to a friend, who also couldn't put it down....This is a really well-written story that
nails the experience of alcoholism, even if you aren't connected to drinking."
"Everyone in our book club really liked your book....your characters, their friendship, and their interactions."
"It really is funny....I can't figure out which line makes me chuckle most."
"I was profoundly moved by the struggle of the recovering addict. I finally got what
it means to crave something so bad for you."
"As a judge, my experience with the addicted is mostly with failure. Your characters seem...unique and realistic....
They are also funny. I was entertained by your realism,
and happy at your hopefulness."
"Realistic, direct, concise, droll--love it."
From a librarian: "I spent much of the time I read the book laughing, and I hope for a sequel."
From a clergywoman: "I loved it because the plot was well thought out and the...the journey to sobriety
rang true to my experiences as a pastor."
"A great read, fast, funny."
"Loved the characters and the smooth, page-turning style."
"Page turning. I loved the characters. I loved the setting...and I loved the plot. What a great writer!"