Thursday, December 29, 2016

Auld List Syne

As 2016 draws mercifully to a close, I bring thee links to three new lists on which RED RIGHT HAND appears.
My thanks to Jenn, Ayo, and Alex. And to everybody reading this, best wishes for the coming year. 2016 was tough for many, but—like any year—it had its shining moments. Here's hoping 2017 has a whole bunch more of 'em and eases way up on the hardship. Catch you on the flipside*.

*Nope. Can't pull that phrase off. Eh. Next year, maybe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hand-y Links

Yeah, yeah. As blog post titles go, that was pretty awful. Gimme a break. I've been writing here since 2005, and have only so many link-based jokes at my disposal.

Anyway. I know you're all busy decking halls and nogging eggs, so here, in bullet form, is all the news that's fit to print from the land o' me:
Many thanks to Sarah, Richard, and Brandon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Boston Globe Best Of!

I'm honored (see also: stunned, floored, elated) to report that The Boston Globe has named RED RIGHT HAND one of the Best Books of 2016! Here's what Daneet Steffens, curator of their mystery selections, had to say:
In his second Michael Hendricks thriller, Holm performs authorial acrobatics, elegantly and nimbly leaping between various locations and voices to produce not just a suspenseful tale kicked off by a San Francisco terrorist attack, but one imbued with multiple fine characters to boot.
Many thanks to Daneet, and congratulations to everyone who made the list. I'm incredibly grateful to feature alongside such talented authors.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


List season is upon us. Today, I bring you news of four. Take cover, 'cause here come the bullets:
Thanks to Steph, Rob, J. Kingston, and Kristopher! Apologies to Phoenix for stealing (and corrupting) their title.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Poets of the Tabloid Murder Redux

Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Steven Nester of PRX's Poets of the Tabloid Murder about all things RED RIGHT HAND. That interview is now streaming if you'd like to check it out. And if you missed my last appearance on Steven's show, in which we talked about THE KILLING KIND, you can listen to that here.


BOLO Book's Top Reads of 2016 is a stellar list. Four of his selections were among my favorite books of the year. Four others, I've been dying to read. One wasn't even on my radar, but sounds right up my alley. One is the latest entry in a series I keep meaning to check out. And one, to my delight, is RED RIGHT HAND.

If you're looking to buy gifts for the crime-fic fans in your life, give Kristopher's full post a read. It's chock full of great books by talented authors. I'm honored to be counted among them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hendricks in the Austin Chronicle

Today, the Austin Chronicle's Wayne Allen Brenner highlighted THE KILLING KIND and RED RIGHT HAND alongside fellow Mulholland author Joe Ide's IQ in his feature about thrillers that'd make killer presents. To say I'm honored is an understatement—and the fact that Brenner's piece crackles with style and wit makes his praise doubly satisfying. Thanks, Wayne. Glad you dug 'em.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Appearance: Letterpress Books, 11/26

This Saturday, 11/26, is Small Business Saturday. Conceived as something of an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's intended to encourage holiday shoppers to buy local.

Personally, I think it's a terrific idea... which is why you'll find me at Letterpress Books in Portland's Northgate Plaza this Saturday from 12PM to 3PM.

This isn't a big, formal reading or anything. I'll just be hanging out, chatting, and signing books. Know someone who'd like a personalized copy of THE KILLING KIND or RED RIGHT HAND this holiday season? Swing on by! And if that someone is you, I promise I won't judge...

Friday, November 04, 2016

RED RIGHT HAND a Daily Express Best!

I'm chuffed (yes, chuffed) to report that the UK's Daily Express named RED RIGHT HAND a Best New Thriller! Here's a taste of what they had to say:
"RED RIGHT HAND is an explosive, fast-paced follow-up to THE KILLING KIND... With strong characters and a complex plotline, RED RIGHT HAND has the essence of a great action movie. Ultimately, Holm has done exactly what a good writer should do: he makes you desperate to know what’s coming next."
I confess, I didn't expect to find myself in a British tabloid today, much less that I'd be so happy about it. Oh, and don't take the fact that they also championed the Brexit as evidence my book is terrible; I'm pretty sure that wasn't their Arts Editor's doing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Lovereading Reviews RED RIGHT HAND!

Author, editor, and critic Maxim Jakubowski was kind enough to take a peek at the UK edition of RED RIGHT HAND for Lovereading, and had this to say (click through to read the rest):
"Fast-paced, full of twists that ingeniously come together for a thunderous finale, this is commercial thriller writing at its best and grand entertainment."
He also featured it in this roundup of his favorite recent reads. Many thanks, Maxim! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

San Francisco Book Review on RED RIGHT HAND

Today, the San Francisco Book Review took a look at RED RIGHT HAND... and awarded it five stars! Here's a taste of what they had to say:
"A very enjoyable read. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes a taut and complex plot line and characters to whom they can relate... Star Count: 5/5"
Given that the book takes place almost entirely in San Francisco, I'm elated that they enjoyed it. Speaking of, SFBR, I'm sorry I blew up your bridge; thanks for not holding it against me.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Massive RED RIGHT HAND Discount!

This is not a drill, people. For a very limited time, RED RIGHT HAND's ebook is on sale for only $2.99! That's $11 off, and $23 cheaper than the hardcover list price!

RED RIGHT HAND is the followup to my Anthony Award winning thriller, THE KILLING KIND. It garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and Barnes & Noble called it one of the best thrillers of September. If you've been thinking about downloading it, now's your chance. And if you've been holding off because you haven't read THE KILLING KIND yet, you can download 'em both for under $11... provided you act fast.

RED RIGHT HAND ($2.99) Kindle / Kobo / iBooks / Nook

THE KILLING KIND ($7.99) Kindle / Kobo / iBooks / Nook

Friday, October 14, 2016


Today, I'm at Literary Hub, talking about the dark side of viral fame. I find virality fascinating. It's one of the stranger consequences of spending so much of our lives online.

Too often, writers concoct excuses to avoid incorporating technology into their stories. Think of all the times you've seen someone's cell phone signal drop out in a horror movie, and you'll know precisely what I mean. One of my goals when I sat down to write RED RIGHT HAND was to incorporate the technology we rely upon in interesting ways. That's why a viral video is essential to the story, and why the thrilling climax of the story hinges on—

You know what? On second thought, I'll let you discover what it hinges on for yourself. In the meantime, click through to read my Lit Hub piece.

Oh, and if you'd like to see an example of a horror movie that uses technology (and its failings) brilliantly, check out Hush on Netflix. But maybe don't watch it alone.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Appearances: Union, ME; Boston, MA; and Brunswick, ME

Whoa. In the next seven days, I've got not one, not two, but three scheduled appearances!

Thursday, October 13th, I'll be in Union, Maine for the Vose Library's Soup and Suspense author series. Come sample tasty soups prepared by library volunteers, and hear me chat about RED RIGHT HAND. The event kicks off at 6:30PM. For more information, check out the Vose Library's website or the event page on Facebook.

Then, on Saturday, October 15th, I'm delighted to be participating in the Boston Book Festival! It's an amazing event featuring some of the finest writers on the planet (this year's keynote speaker is Colson Whitehead, who was just named a National Book Award finalist for THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD) and it's also 100% free. Join me, Joseph Finder, Amy MacKinnon, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, for what promises to be an excellent discussion about "novels of murder and mayhem" at 11:15AM at the Emmanuel Church. Click through for details.

Finally, at 7:00PM on Tuesday, October 18th, I'll be reading, chatting, and signing at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine. Bohemian Coffee House is supplying free refreshments, and Gulf of Maine Books will be on hand in case you're moved to buy a little something while you're there. Details here.

Steph Post Interview

Yesterday, Steph Post—author of A TREE BORN CROOKED and LIGHTWOOD—had me by her blog to talk all things RED RIGHT HAND. You can check out our conversation here.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Appearance: Books in the 'Brook, 10/8

Mainers: I'm delighted to help the Westbrook-based Books in the ‘Brook kick off its second season this Saturday, October 8th from 4PM to 5PM!

Books in the ‘Brook is a monthly reading series aimed at nurturing the local writing and reading community. Continuum for Creativity, LLC (863 Main Street, Westbrook ME) is hosting this installment, which is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, and Kelly's Books to Go will be on hand if you'd like to buy a little something while you're there. (Autographed books make excellent gifts. Just sayin'.)

I'll be reading alongside Westbrook-based poet and publisher Alice Persons, whose work has frequently been featured on NPR's The Writer's Almanac.

For more details, check out this event page on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Five Quick Questions

Today, I'm at Crimespree Magazine's website, talking about the pressure to follow up THE KILLING KIND, the educational value of RED RIGHT HAND, and my not-so-secret love of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. You can read it here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Jesup Library's Murder by the Book

Will you be in the Bar Harbor area this weekend? If so, I hope to see you at the Jesup Memorial Library's Murder by the Book!

On Saturday, 10/1 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, a veritable boatload of mystery and thriller writers will be reading, signing, paneling, and workshopping... and the best part is, the whole day's programming is free!

So, if you'd like to hang out with me, Dorothy Cannell, Gayle Lynds, Kate Flora, Bruce Robert Coffin, Roger Guay, Vaughn Hardacker, Maureen Milliken, Katrina Niidas Holm, Katherine Hall Page, Lynne Raimondo, Brendan Rielly, Barbara Ross, John Sheldon, Lea Wait, and keynote speaker Hank Phillippi Ryan, be sure to swing on by! You can find the schedule here.

And, as an added bonus, several of those fine writers will be reading from upcoming works at a wine reception the night before. Tickets are a steal at $25, and benefit the Jesup.

Need further convincing? Check out this piece in the Mount Desert Islander. Bottom line: this is an event not to be missed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

BookPeople Interview

It's safe to say that Scott Montgomery of BookPeople was ahead of the curve when it comes to Michael Hendricks. He was among the first to suggest that my proto-Hendricks short story, "The Hitter," might be worth expanding into a novel. Turns out, he was right. So when he asked if I'd be willing to answer some questions for the MysteryPeople blog, I happily obliged.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Authors on the Air

On Monday, 9/26, at 8PM Eastern, I'll be chatting live with Pam Stack, host of Authors on the Air. If you'd like to listen, you can do so here. You can even call in to ask a question if you'd like.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Quintessential Interview

Reviewer extraordinaire Daneet Steffens recently launched a new column at The Seattle Review of Books, aimed at covering "the latest goings on in mystery, suspense, and crime fiction." Each column will feature a (cheekily named) Quintessential Interview comprising five "top five" questions. To my delight, she invited me to participate in the first one. If you'd like to know my top five places to write, tunes to write to, or hometown spots, you can find out here. And be sure to read the rest of Daneet's column while you're at it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Appearance: Raymond Village Library, 9/28

Mainers: I'll be chatting/reading/signing at the Raymond Village Library next Wednesday, 9/28, at 6:30PM. If you've already got copies of my books you'd like signed, feel free to bring 'em along. If not, I'm told Bridgton Books will have some on hand. Hope to see you there! Click through for details.

Monday, September 19, 2016

An Anthony Win!

I've just returned from Bouchercon New Orleans, and it was every bit as crazy as you might imagine. Good food, good drink, good programming, and good company—all in such excess that I'm utterly exhausted now.

I won't dare try to summarize my convention here, for fear I'll inadvertently omit someone or something and wind up feeling like an idiot. There is one thing I ought to mention, though: THE KILLING KIND won the Anthony Award for Best Novel.

To say I'm honored is an understatement. My fellow nominees—Catriona, Hank, Louise, and Matt—are such talented writers, I'm grateful to be counted in their company. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, and congratulations to everyone who took home an award last week (Anthony, Barry, Derringer, Macavity, Shamus, or otherwise), with particular shout-outs to Megan Abbott, Lou Berney, Susanna Calkins, Joelle Charbonneau, Glen Erik Hamilton, Jon Jordan, Ruth Jordan, David Morrell, Taylor Stevens, and Art Taylor.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

RED RIGHT HAND Is Now Available!

US hardcover edition pictured (Mulholland Books, September 2016)
As of today, RED RIGHT HAND is now available wherever books are sold. I really hope you guys enjoy it. If you'd like a copy, you can order one at the links below or hit up your local bookseller. And if you're stuck at work, unable to pleasure-read, this annotated soundtrack for RED RIGHT HAND might help pass the time.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Day Before

As I write this, we're officially eight hours away from RED RIGHT HAND's release. Much as I'd like to wait out the big day in a fallout bunker with a crate of whiskey and a stack of DVDs, the links are coming fast and furious. Today alone, I stopped by the ITW's The Thrill Begins to talk about a technique I like to call the second idea, nerded out about craft with Rob Hart at LitReactor, and received a lovely review from David Cranmer at Criminal Element.

Thanks to Ed, Rob, and David for their time, space, and kind words. Now, where'd I put that whiskey?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Hometown Rave

My mom, a fellow Portlander, is an early riser who loves flipping through the Sunday paper. Thanks to her, I don't have to read the Maine Sunday Telegram's review to find out if they liked my book; if it's favorable, I'll wake to find a copy on my porch. This morning, I woke to find a copy on my porch. Here's a peek at what reviewer Michael Berry had to say:
"In RED RIGHT HAND, Holm succeeds in developing Michael Hendricks as a complexly conflicted protagonist, while keeping the level of action and intrigue running high. Smart, unpredictable and well-constructed, the novel is a worthy follow-up to THE KILLING KIND, a satisfying thriller on its own terms and likely a harbinger of pulse-quickening adventures still to come."
I'm thrilled that he enjoyed it. There's something doubly sweet about getting a rave from your hometown paper.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Hachette Q&A

Recently, I was interviewed for Hachette's newsletter. If you'd like to read the interview, but you're not subscribed, you'll find it here. Fair warning: the author pic is damn near actual size.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Two New Reviews (One Starred!)

While I can't link to it directly, Library Journal's starred (!) review of RED RIGHT HAND was reprinted in its entirety at Barnes & Noble, so I think it's safe for me to share it here.
"★ Years ago, FBI informant Frank Segreti was presumed to be dead when his safe house was blown up. Yet, the video of a terrorist attack in San Francisco shows Segreti to be very much alive. Determined to protect her witness until he can testify, FBI Special Agent Charlie Thompson hires Michael Hendricks, a military covert operative-turned-hit man (of bad guys). His best friend and tech guru was killed by the same mob organization that's trying to take down Segreti, and now Hendricks is determined to burn down the group. VERDICT This follow-up to the acclaimed THE KILLING KIND (nominated for four major mystery awards, including the Anthony) is a real thrill ride. Jeff Abbott fans and adrenaline fiction junkies will appreciate how vividly the shadowy world of military contractors comes to life in Holm's skillful hands."
For those playing along at home, RED RIGHT HAND has now received two starred reviews! (Speaking of "at home," my neighbors—who are frequently subjected to my terrible guitar playing when it's warm enough to leave the windows open—will be surprised to discover I have "skillful hands.") And as a fan of Jeff Abbott, the lone comparison in the review made me smile.

But wait! There's more! David at Blue Book Balloon got an early peek at the UK edition and declared it "an explosive followup to THE KILLING KIND... an electrifying read, a book that pretty much demands your total attention till it's finished." Thanks, David!

UPDATE: Library Journal's review is now live on their site. You can see it here.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

RED RIGHT HAND a Barnes & Noble Best!

I'm delighted to report that Barnes & Noble included RED RIGHT HAND on its list of September's Best New Thrillers! Here's a peek (click through to read the rest):
"Hendricks is back in a complex new thriller from Holm that combines several irresistible threads into one near-perfect story... an amazing balancing act."
Not too shabby, that—and I'm truly honored to be in such fine company.

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Stalker's Guide to Finding Chris (and Kat!) at B'con 2016

Bouchercon is right around the corner, and by all accounts it's gonna be a crazy one for me. RED RIGHT HAND comes out two days before. THE KILLING KIND is up for an Anthony, a Barry, and a Macavity. My publisher is turning five. And, of course, it's being held in New Orleans.

So... where's an enterprising stalker to find me (and, more importantly, my lovely bride*)?

Friday, September 16

11:40 AM to 12:10 PM
Mystery Mike's Table
The Book Room

We Don't Need Another Hero: Author Thunderdome
Dana Cameron, Chris Holm, Catriona McPherson, Brad Parks, Lori Rader-Day, Johnny Shaw, Duane Swierczynski, F. Paul Wilson, and Bryan VanMeter (m)
2:00 to 2:50 PM
Mardi Gras D
(signing to follow)

Saturday, September 17

What Is And What Should Never Be: Ever-changing Trends In Genre Fiction
Frankie Bailey, CJ Box, Wendy Corsi Staub, Owen Laukkanen, Kelli Stanley, and Katrina Niidas Holm (m)
10:30 to 11:20 AM
Mardi Gras D
(okay, technically I'm not on this panel, but my wife is moderating, so I'll for damn sure be sitting front and center)

Bad To The Bone: Antiheroes
David Corbett, Rory Flynn, Ian Hamilton, Peter Spiegelman, David Swinson, and Chris Holm (m)
12:00 to 12:50 PM
Mardi Gras ABC
(signing to follow)

It's a safe bet you'll see me at the opening ceremonies (Thursday, September 15 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM) and the Anthony Awards (Friday, September 16 from 8:00 to 9:30 PM), too. And, as ever, I'm always** happy to chat, so if you'd like to say hello and/or get a book signed, please feel free. See you in New Orleans!

*But seriously, don't stalk said lovely bride
**Restrooms excluded from this offer—and lurking in my hotel room is strongly discouraged***
***Unless you bring pie****
****Or promise to vote for THE KILLING KIND for the Anthony Award for Best Novel*****
*****And also bring pie

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Breakfast Links

This morning, the interwebs are positively lousy with new mentions of me.

First up is this terrific Library Journal profile, courtesy of Jordan Foster. In it, we talk violence, morality, and Hitchcock, because of course we do.

And finally, Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review posted a lovely review of THE KILLING KIND, declaring it "about as close as you can get to a perfect thriller experience."

Many thanks to Jordan, J. Kingston, and Lauren.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekend Update

As I write this, it's a glorious Friday morning in Maine. The sun is shining. The breeze is cool and steady. And, it seems, the interwebs are chock full o' me.

Drew at Raging Biblioholism wrote a lovely review of RED RIGHT HAND, declaring it "pretty much the perfect thriller." Many thanks, Drew! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

RED RIGHT HAND also popped up in Jenn's Bookshelves' Fall Book Preview. Thanks, Jenn! Here's hoping it lives up.

And finally, Art Taylor invited several Anthony and Macavity Award finalists, including yours truly, to talk about their favorite debut novels at SleuthSayers. I cheated and mentioned several, because the idea of picking a single favorite gives me hives.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

"The Approach" Now Available!

(Mulholland Books, August 9)
Wanna read a brand new Michael Hendricks short story and get a sneak peek at RED RIGHT HAND? Then today's your lucky day! "The Approach" is now available in all e-formats for the rock bottom price of $0.99! And as an added bonus, the ebook features an excerpt of RED RIGHT HAND! So what're you waiting for? Download a copy today:

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

THE KILLING KIND Paperback Now Available!

C'mon. That cover is badass.
Today's the day! THE KILLING KIND is now available in trade paperback! And look, I know I'm biased, but damn if that ain't a pretty cover. You might want to pick up one to read and another to display.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Booklist Reviews RED RIGHT HAND!

Though their complete review is paywalled, I'm thrilled to report that Booklist gave RED RIGHT HAND a big thumbs-up! Here's a taste of what they had to say:
"The novel brims with nice turns on genre conventions, like Hendricks' PI code—similar to Sam Spade's—and the wisecracking moll, here a computer whiz mocking Hendricks' efforts to sound hip. Good story, good action, some startling turns of phrase: 'The last thing you'll ever see,' Hendricks warns a baddie, 'is your teeth leaving your face.'"
Not too shabby, that. I wish I could share the rest!

Kind Words

Today brings two updates from the Land of Me:

Thriller writer Stuart Neville, of whom I've been a fan ever since I read his first short story, "The Last Dance," gave me a shout-out in yesterday's Sunday Independent. Stuart's most recent book, THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND, was one of my favorite reads of last year. I can't wait to get my hands on SO SAY THE FALLEN, which comes out in the US this September.

And this morning, The Real Book Spy posted a review of RED RIGHT HAND, in which they (er, he) declared it "perfect for readers in search of a high-octane, action-packed thriller." Click through to read the rest of the review!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"The Approach"

(Mulholland Books, August 9)
Those of you who've followed my career from the very beginning know that I built my reputation (inasmuch as I have one) writing short stories. Nearly thirty of them, by last count. In fact, my best-known creation, Michael Hendricks, had his roots in a short story called "The Hitter," which appeared in Needle Magazine many moons ago, and was reprinted in THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011.

I confess, I haven't written as many short stories as I'd like of late. That's mostly because writing RED RIGHT HAND took up a lot of bandwidth, so I can't complain. Still, it makes this announcement all the more sweet.

My first short story in eighteen months, "The Approach," drops August 9th as a Mulholland digital release. Not only that, it's a Hendricks short. Not only that, it'll be available for download for the low, low price of $0.99!

Wanna learn more (or, you know, preorder)? Mulholland's got the details here. (The eagle-eyed among you might notice the return of an old friend in the description.)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

RED RIGHT HAND Garners A Rave From Publishers Weekly!

I'm elated to report that Publishers Weekly awarded RED RIGHT HAND a starred, boxed review! Here's a taste of what they had to say (click through to read the rest):
"Explosive and timely... Holm expertly balances weighty issues of national security with more intimate personal losses, and makes it clear that the best stories happen in the gray area between good and evil."
I'll admit to being honored, stunned, and relieved in equal measure. I feel as if I took some big risks writing RED RIGHT HAND. I'm glad to hear that they (might've) paid off.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gregg Hurwitz On RED RIGHT HAND

Gregg Hurwitz knows a thing or two about writing a thrilling tale. His books, the most recent being ORPHAN X, have topped bestseller lists worldwide. He's written such iconic comic characters as Batman and Wolverine. (His limited PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE run is a favorite of mine.) He's even got a master's in Shakespearean tragedy. So imagine my delight when he had this to say about RED RIGHT HAND:
"Like most people in Crime Fiction Land, I’ve been hearing about the talented Chris Holm for some time—and now I understand why. RED RIGHT HAND is that rare treat—a tightly constructed, crisply written, fast-as-hell thriller. Strap in tight because the chapters whip by in a blur. Such is the view from a roller coaster."
Many thanks, Gregg! So glad you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Pssst. Wanna see me read the opening of RED RIGHT HAND? I posted a short video on my Facebook author page. Click through to give it a watch, and feel free to like my page while you're there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway!

Do you like free stuff? Are you on Goodreads? Then today's your lucky day, because that's where Mulholland Books is giving away 25 early copies of RED RIGHT HAND! Want one? Click through to enter, and good luck!

Maine Crime Writers: A (Choose Your Own Adventure) Day In Portland, Maine

Today, as part of Maine Crime Writers' A Day In... series, I talk about all my favorite stuff in Portland, Maine, and fail miserably at narrowing it down to twenty-four hours' worth of activities. (Spoiler: many shout-outs to good food, good booze, and good book stuff. Also, a secret waterfall!)

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

THE KILLING KIND Only $1.99 For A Limited Time!

Ain't my paperback cover snazzy?
Are you an ebook fan looking for your next cheap beach read? Then today's your lucky day. My Anthony, Barry, Lefty, and Macavity Award nominated thriller THE KILLING KIND is only $1.99 for a limited time! That's twelve damn dollars off the list price!

The sale is part of Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals, but Nook and iBooks have slashed their prices in response. If you wanna grab a copy of the novel Benjamin Percy of the New York Times declared "my favorite thriller of the fall" for less than it'd cost you to get a decent cup of coffee, here are the pertinent links:

Oh, and if you've already read THE KILLING KIND, pop over to my Facebook page for a chance to win a signed early copy of RED RIGHT HAND!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cover Reveal

I just got the go-ahead from the fine folks at Mulholland to reveal the cover for the paperback edition of THE KILLING KIND! So, without further ado...

Personally, I love it. If you do too, keep your eyes peeled; it hits shelves August 2nd.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

THE KILLING KIND Nominated For A Macavity!

I'm honored to report that THE KILLING KIND has been nominated for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery! (Yes, I've written three prior books in a different genre. The organizers assure me that's why it's called Best First Mystery.) Many thanks to all who voted, and congratulations to my fellow nominees!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Maine Crime Writers: The Devil's On His Way

In honor of Friday the 13th, I'm talking about superstition (writerly and otherwise) at Maine Crime Writers today. Click through to give it a read!

Friday, May 06, 2016

THE KILLING KIND Nominated For An Anthony!

I'm elated to report that THE KILLING KIND has been nominated for the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Novel! Many thanks to everyone who included it on their ballots, and congratulations to my fellow nominees! I'm psyched to be in such terrific company.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Maine Crime Writers: Novel Architecture

Today at Maine Crime Writers, I'm talking about one of my favorite places to go when my creative batteries need recharging. Click through to give it a read.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Final Cover For RED RIGHT HAND

Forgive me, blog-followers, for I have sinned. A few weeks ago, I shared a draft cover for RED RIGHT HAND... and then forgot to post the final version here (although I did put it up on social media). So, without further ado: behold!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crime Wave Canceled

Unfortunately, I'm told that this year's Maine Crime Wave, originally scheduled for April 9, has been canceled. I'm afraid I don't have any more details than that yet, but if you'd already registered, I'm sure you'll be contacted soon (if you haven't been already). Thanks to Joshua Bodwell, Brenda Buchanan, Richard Cass, Kate Flora, and Gayle Lynds for their hard work planning the event, and fingers crossed it'll be back in 2017 bigger and better than ever.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Upcoming Events

Spring has sprung in Maine, and with it come a spate of upcoming events! Here's where you can find me in the coming weeks...

First, join me Wednesday, April 6 from 12PM to 1PM at the Portland Public Library, where I'll be participating in their Brown Bag Lecture Series. I'll be reading, chatting, and answering questions. The event is free and open to the public. You're encouraged to bring a lunch, and Coffee By Design will be supplying coffee.

Then, on Saturday, April 9, I'll be participating in Maine Crime Wave. This one requires registration, so if you're interested, be sure to do so by April 5. I'll be moderating a discussion with Jen Blood and James Hayman on the pros and cons of traditional and indie publishing, as well as leading an hourlong workshop (details below):
Thanks to the siren songs of YouTube, Netflix, and social media, it’s more imperative than ever that writers grab their audience by the throat and never let go. Sure, plot and character are important—but neither matters if your scenes don’t set the hook. This workshop will focus on the tips and tricks the masters use to do exactly that, and make their readers miss their bus stops.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

THE KILLING KIND Nominated For A Barry!

I'm delighted to report that THE KILLING KIND has been nominated for the Barry Award for Best Thriller! Thanks to the fine folks at Deadly Pleasures, and congrats to my fellow nominees. It's an honor to be in such terrific company.

Monday, February 29, 2016


In Benjamin Percy's review of THE KILLING KIND for The New York Times, he said: "Read it. Or else." Well, if you've been holding out, now's your chance.

For one week only, the e-version of THE KILLING KIND is on sale for a paltry $2.99! Since THE KILLING KIND is still in hardcover, that's 89% off the cover price. Here are the appropriate links:

Snatch it up now, because this offer will only be available until 3/7, at which point THE KILLING KIND turns into a full-priced pumpkin. And remember, if you've already read it, ebooks make great gifts!

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Work In Progress

As RED RIGHT HAND inches toward a final cover, my publishing overlords have given me permission to share this work-in-progress version. It'll give you an idea of the direction we're heading, and a glimpse into the creative process as it evolves. This process is always loads of fun for me, so I'm delighted for the opportunity to loop you in. I've hidden the (again, preliminary) cover after the break for maximum drama.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


My buddy Jon McGoran (you're reading him, right?) clued me in to one of Microsoft Word's stranger functions: AutoSummarize. It combs your document and spits out a computer-generated... synopsis? Tone poem? Schizophrenic rambling?

Whatever it is, it's a riot. I ran THE KILLING KIND through the AutoSummarize wringer a few times, and achieved maximum hilarity by selecting "500 words or less" for the output. (Check your Tools menu for for AutoSummarize if you'd like to play along.) The results are below. Spoilers, I guess?

by Chris Holm and Microsoft Word

“We’re a go,” Hendricks said. When Hendricks pulled the trigger, Cruz’s head exploded. “Good,” said Hendricks. Hendricks asked.

“This Engelmann?” Engelmann asked. Evie called. The man shrugged. The man bristled. Engelmann did. Engelmann asked.

Engelmann smiled, showing teeth. “Excellent,” said Engelmann. Thompson swore. Garfield grinned. Garfield shrugged. “This time,” Thompson amended. Thompson asked.

“Nope,” said Hendricks. Hendricks shrugged. “I didn’t,” Hendricks said.

Lester was right. “Agent Thompson? Agent Garfield? Thompson winced. Garfield snorted. Garfield replied.

Engelmann smiled. “Pass,” Hendricks said. Hendricks finished his beer. “I’m fine, Les,” Hendricks replied. Engelmann tsked. Hendricks felt for the kid. The thought pleased Hendricks. No point dwelling, Hendricks thought. Hendricks smiled. Lester laughed. Leonwood. Hendricks asked.

Hendricks wasn’t here to shop, or to kill time. Hendricks wasn’t surprised. Hendricks flashed him a smile. Purkhiser cursed.

Hendricks sighed. Purkhiser replied. Hendricks raised his hands above his head.

“Sure,” Hendricks said. Purkhiser laughed. “Please, Officer, call me Kent,” Hendricks replied. “No,” Hendricks said, fixing Purkhiser with his gaze. Hendricks asked.

“No,” Hendricks replied. “Yeah,” Hendricks said. Purkhiser shrugged. Hendricks told him so.

“Damn right. Hendricks shook his head. Purkhiser said. Garfield gulped. The man smiled. Purkhiser exclaimed. The man smiled. Like Purkhiser.

Hendricks wasn’t surprised Purkhiser called. Hendricks asked without preamble.

So Hendricks played it calm, cool.

Hendricks should have said no.

Hendricks didn’t like it.

“If?” Thompson said.

Thompson asked.

Figures, Thompson thought. Purkhiser whined. “All right, all right,” he said, showing Hendricks his hands. “Then?” prompted Hendricks.

“Eddie,” Hendricks echoed. “Right. Hendricks had Leonwood in sight as well. Garfield, perplexed.
Hendricks never saw the waitress coming. Garfield, worried. Purkhiser, Hendricks thought, must still be alive.

Purkhiser reached the door. Purkhiser closed his eyes. Thompson frowned. Hendricks had hoped to sever Leonwood’s spine. Hendricks didn’t even flinch. No doubt the female agent’s doing, Hendricks thought. Hendricks was in the stairwell.

That weasely bastard, Hendricks thought. Hendricks was on the seventh floor. Hendricks wondered if they’d ever take another one.

Hendricks asked.

Right. “So arrest me,” Hendricks said. “Agent Garfield? Right.” “Careful,” Engelmann said.
Engelmann smiled as well. Hendricks asked.

“An accident,” Hendricks echoed. Garfield paled. Hendricks smiled too. Hendricks asked her. Hendricks plugged in the phone. Hendricks sighed. “Yeah,” Hendricks replied.

“No,” Hendricks said. “Sure,” Hendricks said. “Thanks,” Thompson replied.

Thompson shrugged. Thompson nodded. Thompson asked.

Hendricks turned on the radio. A helpless dread gripped Hendricks. Hendricks sized him up.
Hendricks exclaimed. Hendricks mistook Lester’s gesture as protective of Hendricks.

Hendricks froze. Hendricks assumed Engelmann would be on it. So Hendricks took the bat. “Coming for you,” Hendricks corrected. Engelmann needs Evie. Hendricks shrugged, his nonchalance forced. “No,” Hendricks replied. Hendricks asked Evie. Hendricks shut it off.

“Right. Hendricks called Stuart into the room. Eventually, Hendricks knew, he’d come. Engelmann grinned. Engelmann smiled luxuriously. Hendricks asked. Hendricks shrugged as if to say we’ll never know. Engelmann laughed. “I’ve paid my share,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said nothing.

Thompson wheeled.

It was Hendricks.

“Evie’s stubborn,” Hendricks said. “Save your breath,” Hendricks said.

Michael Hendricks was gone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Stalker's Guide to Finding Chris (and Kat!) at LCC 2016

Left Coast Crime is, without a doubt, one of my favorite conventions—and I'm not just saying that because THE KILLING KIND is up for a Lefty. (Thanks kindly to everyone who nominated me!) Its big-but-not-too size, gorgeous venues, and killer programming invariably conspire to create an awesome experience.

This will be my third straight year attending, and I've every faith it'll be as much fun as the last two... although I do have a bone to pick with the programmers. For the first time since Katrina and I started attending cons in 2011, we're scheduled opposite one another—and since she's way more charming than I am, I don't stand a chance at winning that head-to-head. (She also happens to review for Publishers Weekly, Mystery Scene, and Crimespree, which means every writer in attendance should be eager to hear what she has to say. But also, the whole charming thing.)

If you're headed to Phoenix next week, here's where you can find me (and Kat):

Thursday, February 25 (aka SPACEHOLM THUNDERDOME)

The Other Dimension: Paranormal Mysteries
Chris Holm, Eileen Magill, Margaret C. Morse, Kerry Schafer, and Jo Perry (m)
3PM to 4PM
Ellis East Room

Fans and Reviewers Talk Their Favorite Books
Katrina Niidas Holm, Lesa Holstine, Dru Ann Love, Lucinda Surber, and Bill Fitzhugh (m)
3PM to 4PM
Russell Room


Friday, February 26

Lefty Award Nominees: Best Novel Outside LCC Region
Lou Berney, Lisa Brackmann, Chris Holm, James Ziskin, and William Kent Krueger (m)
3PM to 4PM
Curtis Room


Saturday, February 27

Lefty Banquet Table Hosting
My good friend Hilary Davidson and I will be co-hosting a table at the Lefty Banquet. If you'd like to dine with us (and maybe get some cool freebies in the process), be sure to sign up at the registration desk! (Fair warning: I reserve the right to cry on your shoulder if I lose the Lefty.)
7PM to 9PM

That's it for my formal schedule, but—as ever—I'm always* happy to chat, so if you'd like to say hello and/or get a book signed, please feel free. I hope to see you in Phoenix!

*Restrooms are excluded from this offer—and lurking in my hotel room is strongly discouraged**
**Unless you bring pie***
***Or promise to vote for me for Best World Lefty

Friday, February 12, 2016

Maine Crime Writers: Please Stand By

Today, I'm at Maine Crime Writers, dropping hints about the second Hendricks novel, RED RIGHT HAND. Click through to pick 'em up!

Monday, February 08, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Release The Hound

Mainers! This month, Portland Stage is putting on a loving spoof of the classic Sherlock Holmes tale "The Hound of the Baskervilles." After the Sunday, January 31 matinee, I'll be talking all things Holmes with fellow crime writers Kate Flora, Gayle Lynds, Lea Wait, and Paul Doiron. Questions will be welcomed, and a complimentary wine and cheese reception will follow. I hope you'll join us!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Maine Crime Writers: In Which I Actually Talk About Maine Crime

Today, I'm at Maine Crime Writers, talking about my adopted home state's heroin problem, and our governor's recent (offensive, wrongheaded) remarks about it. Click through to give the piece a read.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

THE KILLING KIND Nominated for a Lefty!

This evening, I received word that THE KILLING KIND has been nominated for Left Coast Crime's Lefty Award for Best World Mystery Novel! I'm truly honored. Thanks to everyone who voted for THE KILLING KIND, and congratulations to my fellow nominees!

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Crimespree's Favorite Reads

I'm terrible at making Best Of lists, because it seems like I read everything way early or way late, and I can never remember what came out when. But Crimespree's editor, Jon Jordan, asked me to contribute one, so I did. (It turns out only two of five books I listed came out in 2015. Four, if you count paperbacks. In my defense, I also often don't remember what day it is, how old I am, or where I set down my phone.)

Thankfully, everybody else at Crimespree Magazine is way more on the ball than I am, and they put together some terrific lists. Thanks to Ayo, Erica Ruth, Jon, Katrina (who may be biased since she's married to me, but in which direction?!), and Ruth for selecting THE KILLING KIND!

There are so many books on these lists I haven't read yet, but hope to soon. One that popped up on several, though, made me smack my head and wish I'd put it on my own: Sean Chercover's THE DEVIL'S GAME. To say I loved it is an understatement, so I've added it to my list in the comment section.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Qwillery Best Of

I'm delighted to report that The Qwillery, which has supported my books from the get-go, declared THE KILLING KIND one of the Best Books of 2015! Many thanks to Sally and company.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Jenn's Best Of

Thanks to Jenn Lawrence of Jenn's Bookshelves for including THE KILLING KIND on her Best of 2015 (Suspense/Thriller) list! Jenn's been a supporter of my writing since the early days of my Collector series, so I'm glad she stuck with me through my genre-hop from fantasy to crime.