Mar 12 2019

Out Now: “Honor Thy Father” in Mystery Tribune

I’ve been deep in my writing cave, working on a new book, so I’ve neglected to share some news I’m thrilled about: my story “Honor Thy Father” is in the Winter 2019 edition of Mystery Tribune. If you haven’t had the pleasure of discovering Mystery Tribune, do yourself a favor: it’s a gorgeous magazine—available in print and online—filled with short fiction, interviews, reviews, art, and photography.

Here’s how “Honor Thy Father” opens:

“You want a Coke or something?” the cop asked.

“No, thanks.” Jacob looked down. They were seated across from each other at a blond-wood table that bore deep scars from years of abuse. There was a sticker with a shiny palm tree affixed to one sturdy leg, likely covering up some particularly offensive graffiti. Jacob wondered if it was the same table from the last time he’d been in that windowless interview room. It bothered him that he couldn’t remember, even though it had been five years ago. Another lifetime, almost.

“Because you’re going to be here for a while,” the cop added. “You should know that, in case nobody warned you. They got a lot of questions for you.”

Jacob eyed him warily. He was so nervous, the cop’s name had slipped out of his mind as soon as he’d heard it, like a drop of water through a sieve. That bothered him, because details were important. He had to focus, so he studied the man in front of him. The cop was almost as broad as he was tall, with a furry fringe of graying hair, sunburned red skin, and a walrus mustache. Jacob had no doubt the man was tapped to play Santa Claus year after year at Christmas.

“We also got a vending machine with a lotta stuff, like chips, gummy bears, Oreos,” the cop went on. “We get a lotta kids in here, you know, so we try to make sure we have that stuff around. Because what kid doesn’t like Oreos?”

He gave Jacob a broad grin, like he thought the two of them were bonding over a shared love of cookies. But Jacob grimaced at being called a kid. He was only fifteen, but he was already almost six feet tall, with a deepening voice that people were starting to mistake for his father’s over the phone.

“Anyhow,” the cop continued, “you should know we’re all appreciative that you’re here today.”

“I didn’t have a choice,” Jacob said. “You brought me in.”

“Sure, but you’re going to do the right thing now, aren’t you? Because you’re a good kid, I can see that. You don’t want anybody walking away free from a murder.”

Jacob realized the cop wasn’t as dumb as the goofy chatterbox he played. His chin sank towards his chest and he took a shuddering breath. Suddenly there was a beefy hand, deep red as a lobster claw, on his shoulder.

“We don’t get to choose our parents, kid,” the cop said. “Nobody does. We’re not responsible for what they do.”

Here’s hoping you’ll want to know where “Honor Thy Father” goes from there. Print editions of Mystery Tribune are available from Artbook @ MoMA PS1 and The Mysterious Bookshop, and directly from Mystery Tribune’s own site, where there’s also a digital edition.


Jan 8 2019

Advance Praise for One Small Sacrifice

Some people are afraid of snakes. Some fear spiders. For me, there’s nothing more terrifying than asking writers I admire to read an advance copy of my book, with an eye to blurbing it it they like it. When ONE SMALL SACRIFICE was in galleys, I decided to swallow that fear and reach out to some of my writing heroes. I assumed that most would be too busy, but to my amazement, all nine superstars who agreed to read the book wrote back with praise. Here’s what they had to say:

One Small Sacrifice is a terrific thriller with a big heart. A smart, compelling examination of guilt, blame, and responsibility that will keep you turning the pages. Hilary Davidson is a rising star of suspense.” —Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of The Three Beths

“Hilary Davidson’s One Small Sacrifice is both heart-pounding procedural and a rich, mesmerizing tale of the weight of trauma and the elusive nature of memory. Twisty, absorbing and deeply humane, it’s a thriller you won’t want to miss.” —Megan Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Give Me Your Hand

One Small Sacrifice hooked me hard. Hilary Davidson has written a riveting and beautifully layered thriller that satisfies on every level. The characters surprise, the plot twists, and the pages turn themselves.” —Lou Berney, Edgar Award–winning author of November Road

“Davidson has crafted a tightly woven mystery. Each thread of the intricate plot draws you toward one surprising revelation after another.” —Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Tailspin

“Davidson’s latest novel is her best work yet. One Small Sacrifice is a fast-paced winner. Highly recommended.” —Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away

“I tore through this book! Hilary Davidson is at the top of her game with this masterful and twisty new novel that’s jam-packed with suspense. Filled with wonderfully diverse characters, breakneck pacing, and surprises at every turn, this modern mystery will thrill even the most old-school crime fiction lovers. This book satisfied me on so many levels.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts and Creep

“Hilary Davidson is one of the best crime writers on the planet. This novel is a dazzling work by a master operating at the height of her abilities. Dark, twisty, and psychologically complex, One Small Sacrifice kept me guessing and gasping until the final page. I couldn’t put it down, even though I didn’t want it to end.” —Chris Holm, Anthony Award-winning author of The Killing Kind

“A taut, compelling narrative with a nerve-tingling climax. Davidson turns clichés of the contemporary novel on their heads to create a wholly believable cast of characters. I hope we’ll see more of detective Sheryn Sterling.” —Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author of Shell Game

“Packed with secrets, lies and suprises, ONE SMALL SACRIFICE kept me guessing to the very end. A gritty kaleidoscope of a thriller.” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Time I Lied

“Hilary Davidson’s ONE SMALL SACRIFICE has it all — a can’t-miss protagonist in NYPD detective Sheryn Sterling, mysterious murders caught up in a web of lies, and an unforgettable, pulsating New York backdrop. Unsettling, layered and impossible to ignore, ONE SMALL SACRIFICE shows us Davidson at the top of her game — proving once again that she’s one of the most unique, talented voices in modern crime fiction.” —Alex Segura, author of Dangerous Ends and Blackout

I can’t tell you how grateful I am — it’s like winning the lottery, only better. ONE SMALL SACRIFICE will be out on June 1, 2019, from Thomas & Mercer. Pre-order from Amazon and Indiebound.


Nov 5 2018

One Small Sacrifice Cover!

Words fail me, except to say that the designer, Christopher Lin, is a genius. ONE SMALL SACRIFICE will be published by Thomas & Mercer in May 2019.

Pre-order links: Amazon and Indiebound.


Sep 11 2018

Anthony Award Win!

Bouchercon was a blast, as it always is (seriously, it would be a shocker if it weren’t). It was filled with amazing moments, but my biggest surprise of the weekend was that I won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story for “My Side of the Matter” (!!!) I’m pictured above with Kate and Dan Malmon, editors of the exceptional KILLING MALMON anthology—get it now if you haven’t already!—and my very beautiful (also very heavy) award. It was such an honor to win, especially because all of the finalists is my category were brilliant. Thank you!


Aug 29 2018

Where to Find Me at Bouchercon

It’s the end of August, and Bouchercon is just around the corner. For me, the conference is always a reunion with my tribe. This year’s con is going to be a little hectic, because I don’t land until Thursday afternoon and I leave Sunday morning. That said, I’ve got a lot packed into the time I’m there:

Thursday, September 6, 8:30pm: Noir at the Bar: Bouchercon Edition! This is going to be a highlight of the entire conference. Take a look at the poster above, designed by Alex Segura, who’s co-hosting with Eric Beetner. That’s one helluva lineup. We’ll be at the Vinoy bar, which better be stadium-sized.

Friday, September 7, 10:15-10:30am and 11am-11:30am: Thomas & Mercer hospitality suite. Stop by to say hi, grab treats, and pick up some swag. (The odd timing is thanks to another commitment I have, so I’ll be popping in and out of the suite.)

Friday, September 7, 12pm-12:45pm: “A Nooner — The Sex Panel.” Christa Faust, Heather Graham, Greg Herren, Catriona McPherson, and I talk sex with moderator Helen Smith. If we don’t make you blush, nothing will.

Friday, September 7, 1pm-1:45pm: “Anthony Nominated Short Stories.” Yes, immediately after the Sex Panel, I’m on another panel, this time with my fellow nominees for Best Short Story: Susanna Calkins, Barb Goffman, Debra Goldstein, and Art Taylor (Art’s wife, Tara Laskowski, will moderate).

Saturday, September 8, 7pm: Anthony Awards. I’m up for Best Short Story for “My Side of the Matter” from the KILLING MALMON anthology. Read it for free!

I am incredibly sad that I’m going to miss the signing event for FLORIDA HAPPENS, the Bouchercon Anthology. It’s on Thursday starting at 1pm, and my plane lands about half an hour later. Bad timing on my part! Anyone who does want me to sign the book, please stop by one of my other events. I’d love to see you!


Aug 27 2018

Anthony Award Interviews

When I wrote “My Side of the Matter” for the KILLING MALMON anthology, I never dreamed it would end up as a finalist for an Anthony Award. It was an unusually tricky story to bring to life, for reasons that I talk about in the interviews below. I’m so grateful to Paula Benson and Debra H. Goldstein for taking this year’s Best Short Story finalists on a mini blog tour. Check out these pieces:

The Stiletto Gang: “Meet the 2018 Anthony Short Story Author Nominees!”

Writers Who Kill: “An Interview With the 2018 Anthony Nominated Short Story Authors”

Debra H. Goldstein: “2018 Anthony Awards — Short Stories”

Also you can read all of the finalists’ stories online. Here’s a direct link to “My Side of the Matter,” courtesy of Down & Out Books:

Read “My Side of the Matter” for free

At Bouchercon, the Best Short Story nominees have a panel together on Friday, September 7th, at 1pm. I’ll be posting my complete (crazy) conference schedule in the next couple of days. Hope to see you in St. Pete’s!


Aug 1 2018

Publishers Weekly on Florida Happens

The first review is in for Florida Happens, the 2018 Bouchercon anthology, and it is fantastic! Here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say:

Florida Happens: Tales of Mystery, Mayhem, and Suspense from the Sunshine State Edited by Greg Herren. Three Rooms, $15.99 trade paper (284p) ISBN 978-1-941110-74-4

Big-name Florida crime authors such as Carl Hiassen, Randy Wayne White, and James W. Hall may be absent from this anthology of mostly current stories—a rather insipid Bernie Rhodenbarr story excerpted from a 1979 Lawrence Block novel and a strong 1956 story, “Hangover” by John D. MacDonald, being the exceptions—but Herren (Blood on the Bayou) still mines a lot of gold. In Hilary Davidson’s “Mr. Bones,” a pet owner finds poetic justice when her cat disappears. An ex-con tries to help a fellow resident of the Palm Heights Senior Assisted Living Center in Angel Luis Colón’s moving “Muscle Memory.” Eleanor Cawood Jones pulls a neat twist in “All Accounted for at the Hooray for Hollywood Hotel.” Debra Lattanzi Shutika’s “Frozen Iguana,” about a pair of amateur sleuths, offers an offbeat slice of Florida life. In Reed Farrel Coleman’s “The Ending,” old lovers part in surprising fashion, while Brendan DuBois’s heroine suffers an inconvenient flat tire in “Breakdown.” These 21 tales are testimony to the wealth of notable crime fiction rooted in the Sunshine State.(Sept.)

In case you’re not yet sold on this excellent collection, keep in mind that a portion of the proceeds from the anthology will go to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that provides free books to children from birth to school age regardless of family income. Ready to pre-order? Click here.

 


Jul 11 2018

Two Events This Week

It’s been a whirlwind of a summer so far, and that shows no signs of slowing down! I’ve got two events coming up this week:

Thursday, July 12th, 7pm: Crime Night at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, New Jersey! Come see me in conversation with my pals Alex Segura, Thomas Pluck, and Dave White. You know this one’s going to be a fun night.

Sunday, July 15th, 6pm: Noir at the Bar returns to Shade (241 Sullivan Street, NYC). Manhattan’s best bar hosts a stellar reading crew, including Rob Hart, Jennifer Hillier, Alex Segura, Danny Gardner, Kenneth Wishnia, James McCrone, Rick Ollerman, and me. Come one, come all.

 


May 16 2018

“Answered Prayers” in Ellery Queen

I grew up reading Ellery Queen, so there’s always a special thrill when I end up in its pages — and on its cover! My story “Answered Prayers” is in the current issue. The title is from a quote by Teresa Avila, a 16th-century Carmelite nun who said, “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” Here’s how the story begins:

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” Mark said, leaning toward me across the table. In the warm candlelight of the restaurant, he looked like a movie star.
     “A surprise?” I asked nervously. Lately, his passion for me had been cooling, and we’d seen less of each other. I’d been devastated at the thought he was losing interest, and I hadn’t been sleeping well.
     “Do you want to guess?”
     “Did you get a new job? At a new magazine?”
     He shook his head. “It’s not about work. Not this time.”
     “Is… is your wife going away for a conference?” My voice was tentative. “So we’ll be able to spend more time together?”
     He smiled at me. “We will be spending a lot more time together, Carrie, but not because of any conference. I’m leaving my wife.”
     I watched Mark, waiting for him to burst my bubble. He’d said these words before, but they’d always been neutered when he added “next year” or “in a few months.” We’d been dating for three years, during which my heart had seesawed up and down as my hopes rose and ebbed. I’d finally admitted to myself that he’d never leave his wife, that I was just like all the foolish lovers who believed a cheater’s promise. Only it suddenly seemed that I had him all wrong.

If you want to read more, the May/June 2018 issue of Ellery Queen is on newsstands now. You can also buy the issue online… but why not get a subscription?

 


May 9 2018

Two Award Nominations!

I have not one but two thrilling pieces of news: my story “Jerusalem Syndrome” is up for an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada… and my story “My Side of the Matter” is up for an Anthony Award! I couldn’t be happier or more grateful.

Short stories are my first love, and I’m honored that these two are getting so much attention, especially because they were written for anthologies dedicated to raising money for charity: “Jerusalem Syndrome” appears in Passport to Murder: Bouchercon Anthology 2017, with proceeds going to Frontier College, and “My Side of the Matter” appears in Killing Malmon, which raises funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. My thanks to everyone who has supported these causes! Also, congrats to Dan and Kate Malmon, who are also finalists for an Anthony Award for the Killing Malmon collection.