Looking to add another program to its growing lineup of book-driven podcasts, Macmillan Podcasts is turning to true crime, a longtime specialty at Macmillan’s St. Martin’s Press division. In January, Macmillan debuted Case Closed, a weekly eight-episode podcast focused on true crime cases that have been solved.
The first season of Case Closed showcases Secrets of a Marine’s Wife by Shanna Hogan, a new title released in February that examines the murder of a 19-year-old in California’s Joshua Tree National Park in 2014. Case Closed is hosted by St. Martin’s executive editor Charles Spicer, who interviews Hogan and significant figures from the book throughout the first season.
The second season of Case Closed kicks off April 2 and features Spicer and Michael Fleeman, author of 2015’s Crazy for You: The True Story of a Family Man’s Murder, a Wife’s Secret, and a Deadly Obsession, which documents the murder of an Atlanta businessman. In a test, the Crazy for You episodes were made available early on Stitcher, a podcast app, and generated “a very positive response,” according to Spicer.
Case Closed will focus on books about solved crimes, Spicer said, “so each podcast will have a beginning and an end.”
Titles featured in the podcast are published by the St. Martin’s True Crime Library, a line of titles overseen by Spicer. True Crime Library publishes hardcover titles, all focused on “high-profile, big-publicity cases,” Spicer said.
SMP’s True Crime Library was a leader in the genre in the 1980s. In recent years, Spicer said, “there’s been a resurgence in the category thanks to podcasts such as Serial and streaming TV series such as The Jinx and Making a Murderer.” Forthcoming SMP true crime titles include John Glatt’s The Family Next Door: The Heatbreaking Imprisonment of the 13 Turpin Siblings and their Extraordinary Rescue, which will be published in August 2019.
Macmillan Podcasts is also developing a second crime podcast, Murder in the Priory, which will focus on historical nonfiction. Although there is as yet no launch date, Murder in the Priory will be hosted by bestselling author Charles Finch; it is not based on a specific book and will investigate a real Victorian-era murder.
Macmillan Podcasts associate director Alyssa Martino described Case Closed as “Macmillan Podcasts’ fastest-growing show of the past year,” noting that “just two weeks after launch, Case Closed has already garnered a significant number of listens and appears poised to continue this growth throughout seasons one and two.”
St. Martin’s, Spicer explained, wants the podcasts to serve as lead-ins to books’ publications. “Podcasting is a new media that coordinates well with books,” Spicer said. “Podcasts can reach the true crime audience, and they’re a real plus for authors.”