Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Rebecca Cantrell

Photo of Rebecca Cantrell

Knowing she wanted to be a writer since the age of seven, Cantrell finally found the nerve to give up her career, sell her home, and move to Hawaii to write. What came of that was a series of books featuring crime reporter Hannah Vogel in pre-WWII Berlin. Recently, with the success of the Hannah Vogel series, Cantrell and her family decided to move to Berlin from Hawaii to immerse themselves more in Hannah’s world and culture. Cantrell is far from a stranger to Berlin – she attended high school and college in Berlin, finally coming back to the US to finish her degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

What she writes: Cantrell is best known for her Hannah Vogel series about a crime reporter in 1930s Berlin. Starting in 2013, she also began writing the Order of the Sanguines series with bestselling author James Rollins. The first book the series, The Blood Gospel, was published in January 2013, though a short story titled City of Screams was electronically available in October 2012. Cantrell also writes the teen fiction series iMonster under the pseudonym Bekka Black. These young adult books feature modern retellings and reinterpretations of classic horror monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein.


List of works
Hannah Vogel series
  A Trace of Smoke (2009)
  A Night of Long Knives (2010)
  A Game of Lies (2011)
  A City of Broken Glass (2012)
Order of the Sanguines series (with James Rollins)
  City of Screams (2012)
  The Blood Gospel (2013) -- Large type -- CD
iMonster series (as Bekka Black)
  iDrakula (2010)
  iFrankenstein (2012)
Short stories in anthologies
  Missing (2009)
  First Thrills (2011) -- CD
For A Trace of Smoke...
Winner of the Macavity Award: Sue Federer Historical Mystery
Winner of the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award
Nominated for the Barry Award: Best First Novel
For A Night of Long Knives...
Nominated for the Bruce Alexander Award
Nominated for the DAHWAHA Crossover Award
For A Game of Lies...
Nominated for the Bruce Alexander Award
For A City of Broken Glass...
Nominated for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award
Nominated for a Mary Higgins Clark award as part of the Edgars
What the critics say
"This series is very well researched and it is the details that give the reader the atmosphere of the 1930s, when the world was on the brink of a great tragedy." - Crime Scraps
"Cantrell mixes history and human drama effectively, and series fans will willingly stay the course." - Booklist
"Compulsively readable… In an increasingly crowded genre period, Cantrell’s series stands tall." - Library Journal
For A Trace of Smoke...
  "[A] bold narrator and chilling historical setting… unusually vivid." - New York Times Book Review
  "Rebecca Cantrell’s debut novel…is that rare beast that blends meticulous research with old-fashioned novel-writing skill." - The Edge New York
  "Ms. Cantrell writes poignantly of the mounting misery of existence in Hitler’s Germany." - The Washington Times
  "Cantrell’s debut offers up a grittily realistic portrayal of 1930s Berlin as the Nazis come to power…strongly recommended." - Caroline Mann in Library Journal (starred review)
  "Prepare to be transported back to 1930s Berlin in this terrific debut. Cantrell’s atmospheric mystery keeps you off-balance; there’s a sense of dread as to what might be waiting around every corner. Vivid and dramatic descriptions allow readers to easily conjure up the imagery, as if you were watching a great old black-and-white film on the big screen." - Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars, and a Top Pick)
  "Cantrell’s scrupulously researched debut tolls a somber dirge for Weimar Germany in its last days…this unforgettable novel, which can be as painful to read as the history it foreshadows, builds to an appropriately bittersweet ending." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  "[A] haunting debut novel…evocative, compassionate and compelling." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  "Cantrell nails both the ‘life is a cabaret’ atmosphere and the desperation floating inside the champagne bubbles… a promising debut." - Booklist
For A Night of Long Knives...
  "A race-against-the-clock thriller… Cantrell keeps the close calls and cliffhangers coming." - Kirkus Reviews
  "Once again, Cantrell nails the prewar German landscape, although this time, with the Nazis in power, the mood has gone from Weimar decadence to tight-lipped uncertainty… the appeal here is all about atmosphere and the historical moment." - Booklist
For A Game of Lies...
  "[The third entry in Cantrell’s award-winning historical series… is a fast-paced, action-packed tale…meticulous research…vivid characters and strong plot." - Library Journal
  "Well-paced… Cantrell does a fine job evoking the period." - Publishers Weekly
  "Cantrell uses the Olympics backdrop to good effect here, setting Jesse Owens’ triumphs against the gathering storm… the prewar mood of uncertainty turning to terror remains palpable, and the climax contains some genuine surprises." - Booklist
  "Hannah’s third adventure is an uneasy mix of romance, complicated thriller and mystery, greatly enhanced by the author’s vivid portrait of prewar Berlin." - Kirkus Reviews
For A City of Broken Glass...
  "...loaded with action, intrigue, a very real dose of human characters and humanity, all of which is set in a world that is quickly spinning out of control and into the inevitable bloodshed that was World War II… will keep you turning page after page. If you are looking for a good mystery, high speed thriller, something that will not only keep you interested but have you rooting for Hannah Vogel, all the way to the end, then “A City of Broken Glass” is for you" - Berlin Brigade (book of the month)
  "...compelling characters and a narrative… makes it hard to put down." - Historical Novel Society
  "...Cantrell’s prose is so vivid that the reader feels involved in incidents that could quite easily be real, especially since the narrative is written in the first person from Hannah’s point of view. The next book in the series… can’t come soon enough!." - Crime Fiction Collective


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