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