Jeff Mannix   

Jeff Mannix is the owner and operator of Santa Rita Ranch and Santa Rita Press in Durango, CO. Jeff has been writing performance art and book reviews, as well as feature articles, for more than 20 years. Murder Ink, now in the Durango Telegraph online, has been his column for the past 3 years.

Be a part of our Murder Ink Book Club

No sign up necessary

Check out Murder Ink in the Durango Telegraph the first Thursday of every month. The book reviewed by Jeff Mannix will be 15% off for the entire month


Under a Dark Sky: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062560308
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 7th, 2018

Under a Dark Sky is what the sloganeers refer to as a “locked-room” murder mystery. It’s the type made famous by Agatha Christie, Anne Holt, Peter Lovesey, most of the French noir writers, and even Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes. The setting is inescapable for any number of characters, a murder occurs, and after frightened disbelief, everybody is suspect. A locked-room mystery is a puzzle, and with every puzzle, one false or imprecise clue is unforgivable and ruinous of the entire effort. It’s a risky venture and takes great confidence to attempt a locked-room mystery. Most mystery writers borrow some of the claustrophobic elements to create suspense, but few can make a locked-room mystery more engaging than tedious and predictable. And ultimately, most are boring. MORE...

Robicheaux: A Novel (Dave Robicheaux ) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501176845
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 2nd, 2018

The big news in fiction publishing for 2018 is the Simon & Schuster January release of a new book by America’s best known and unarguably most skilled crime fiction writer, James Lee Burke. His new book, Robicheaux, is a long-awaited return to the atmospheric New Iberia/New Orleans domain of all things that lie then bite or sting to kill. MORE...



The Bomb Maker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127488
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mysterious Press - January 2nd, 2018

Every critic reviewing crime fiction this month will likely fall prey to the massive publicity blitz for A.J. Finn’s debut novel, The Woman in the Window. The publicity department of William Morrow/HarperCollins boasts that The Woman in the Window is the most widely acquired debut novel of all time prior to publication. It has been sold in 38 territories around the world (that’s a lot of strange languages), with Oscar winner Scott Rudin pre-empting the film rights for Fox and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts contracted to do the movie script. MORE...

Leona: The Die Is Cast Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590518823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press - August 1st, 2017

Leona: The Die is Cast by Jenny Rogneby is one terrific book, so why haven’t we heard more about it? Released in August 2017, Leona is the debut novel from Swedish author Jenny Rogneby. Born in Ethiopia, she was adopted when she was a year old to a couple in the northern reaches of Sweden. Published by off-the-grid, avant-garde Other Press in New York City, it is the first in a three-book deal, Leona should garner an award or two from the mystery writers’ guilds. I will even go so far as to say it can absolutely take its place alongside Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and even any of Steig Larsson’s Girl with a Dragon Tattoo triad. MORE...

My Sister's Bones: A Novel of Suspense Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062661968
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 11th, 2017

My Sister’s Bones is foremost and fiercely a suspense drama that can run with the big dogs. Ellwood isn’t teaching or focusing on the forensics or haranguing over unrecognized or under-served PTSD casualties. Instead, she populates a drama with caricatures of damaged people with hollow cores and fragile crusts that pull on the reader to stay up way past bedtime.

She delves into what crazy meant before it lost its meaning as a wisecrack. MORE...


The Long Drop (Alex Morrow Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316380577
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 23rd, 2017

Murder Ink: Hard to quit 
The Long Drop by Denise Mina will keep finding it's way back into your hands

The Long Drop is Mina’s new offering from Little, Brown and Co., and like the other four or five Mina books I’ve read, I put it down, picked it back up and couldn’t believe I was reading it again. And, as always, I can’t get over how brilliant a writer and how utterly insane she is, and how perfectly insane I am for reading and cherishing her work.

The Long Drop is atmospheric if it is anything: you can smell the Glaswegian damp- ness on the wool coats of her disheveled characters. The redolence of beer and tobacco seeps from everyone’s skin, men are drunk and broke and dismissive of wives and children. Her stories are about the underworld, spelled G-l-a-s-g-o-w, where nobody expects but only endures. MORE...

The Smack Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316327626
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - July 18th, 2017

The Smack, by Richard Lange, is yet another diamond found by the haystack sifters at Mulholland Books. This crime fiction tour de force comes complete with murders, thefts in the millions of dollars, kidnapping, hit men, con mean, and a beautiful whore named Tinafey made from the mold of Marisa Tomei. And despite crime after crime, the book has no cops, no arrests, and no punishment or executions but what’s deserved. MORE...

Burntown: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385541367
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 25th, 2017

The first offering, Burntown, written by veteran novelist Jennifer McMahon, was released last April by Doubleday and is a hands-down must read. With scrupulous writing and high-wire plotting, this is a stunning story of the underbelly in the quaint college town of Ashford, Vt. The life of Eva Sandeski has come unhinged after a big flood has killed her beloved and inventive husband and her father. Homeless, Eva and her mother, Lily, are living rough among street urchins in the subculture called Burntown, down by the river. McMahon’s characters fall together seamlessly with depth and personality, and street life turns all too colorful and all too real. Burntown is a must read for veteran crime fiction readers and followers of “Murder Ink.” And if you’re just exploring the genre, McMahon stands with the best and Burntown competes with any of the most memorable novels.

IQ (IQ Novel #1) Cover Image
By Joe Ide
Email or call for price and availability
ISBN: 9780316267724
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Mulholland Books - October 18th, 2016

IQ is the name of today’s nonpareil, written by Japanese-American writer Joe Ide. Although the Los Angeles resident has been a screenwriter, this is his first book. Now, notwithstanding my confessed penchant to wax lyrical, IQ will make Ide deservedly rich. It will be nominated for every crime fiction prize in the country, set the standard for veteran writers every-where and be the litmus test that shames away newcomers who can’t face the dross they’re capable of cobbling together. MORE...

Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781633882591
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Seventh Street Books - March 7th, 2017

Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Irishman Adrian McKinty is another gem from what’s beginning to look like the best of Great Britain’s fabulous and famous procedural mystery writers. Detective Sean Duffy is McKinty’s puppet, a Catholic cop in Protestant North Ireland during the 1980s’ “troubles.” This is McKinty’s seventh Sean Duffy novel, and they just keep getting better. This one has lots of action with real characters and three-dimensional mystery. McKinty continues to take home awards for the “best-of” categories from all the crime writers organizations, including the 2017 “Best Paperback Original Edgar Award” from the Crime Writers of America for 2016’s Rain Dogs. Just the title of this new outing is reason enough to brown bag lunch tomorrow and slip by Maria’s and use the savings to buy this paperback. Then go down by the river to get started.

In a Lonely Place Cover Image
By Dorothy B. Hughes, Megan Abbott (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781681371474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NYRB Classics - August 15th, 2017

We need to slow this down a wee bit before we blow pistons through the block with the high octane “Murder Ink” fuel of the past six months. You’ve been reading the latest and the best in crime fiction: James Lee Burke’s crafty Robicheaux; Tom Perry’s amazing The Bomb Maker; Jenny Rogneby’s delightfully surprising Leona; Attica Locke’s new heights with Bluebird, Bluebird; Richard Lange’s crafty The Smack; and Denise Mina’s way-out-there The Long Drop. So put away the blood pressure meds for March and treat yourself to two books reissued by the publishing arm of the New York Review of Books – the world’s leading literary periodical. Feel your pulse slow, your mind clear and your pride swell with the knowledge that you are reading what attracted many great modern novelists and discerning readers such as yourself to noir fiction in the first place.  MORE...


Maria's Bookshop

960 Main Avenue
Durango, CO 81301


Indie Bestsellers

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.

Indie Next List: Bookseller recommendations from across the country

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.

Kids Indie Next List

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.