Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Goodreads

2016 McIlvanney Prize Longlist: Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival announced their longlist of nominees for the 2016 McIlvanney Prize, previously known as the Scottish Crime Book of the Year award. This award “recognizes excellence in Scottish crime writing, [and] includes a prize of £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.” The winner will be announced at Bloody Scotland’s opening night, September 9 in Stirling (Scotland)

2016 McIlvanney Prize

Even Dogs in the Wild, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
Open Wounds, by Douglas Skelton (Luath)
The Damage Done, by James Oswald (Michael Joseph)
The Special Dead, by Lin Anderson (Macmillan)
In the Cold Dark Ground, by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins)
Black Widow, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
The Jump, by Doug Johnstone (Faber)
Splinter the Silence, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
Beloved Poison, by E.S. Thomson (Little, Brown)
A Fine House in Trinity, by Lesley Kelly (Sandstone)

HT: The Rap Sheet

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Literary Salon Wednesday, July 6: Bill Crider

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an afternoon Literary Salon with award winning Texas author Bill Crider. A prolific writer, Bill Crider has been an Edgar Award Nominee, a Two-time Anthony Award Winner, and a Derringer Award Winner.

Bill Crider has written over 75 novels. He is the author of the Professor Sally Good series, the Carl Burns mysteries, the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, the Truman Smith PI series, and  three books in the Stone: M.I.A. Hunter series under the pseudonym "Jack Buchanan." He has also written stand-alone mystery and suspense novels, as well as Westerns, Horror, Short Stories, and books for Young Readers.

Bill Crider is a native Texan who’s lived in that state all his life. He’s been reading, writing, and collecting mystery and western fiction for most of that time. He received a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin, where he wrote his dissertation on Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald. He taught both high school and college before his retirement, and he combined his teaching career with his writing career, publishing more than 75 novels and an equal number of short stories. He’s best known for the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, which features a sheriff in a small Texas county. Though contemporary in setting, the Sheriff Rhodes books have many of the qualities of the classic western.

Crider is also a fan. He has contributed to fanzines for decades, has been to just about every Bouchercon, publishes a daily Blog about Pop Culture, watches and enjoys noir and Western films, and so much more.  He recently took in three rambunctious kittens aka The VBKs (the Very Bad Kittens). You can follow their antics on his Facebook page.

And, did I mention he's a nice guy!

I'm thrilled that he'll be in Berkeley for a Literary Salon next week!

Wednesday, July 6, Berkeley, California, 3 p.m.
Please RSVP for directions and to attend. Make a comment below with your email address.

Laughter is Good Medicine by DP Lyle

D. P. Lyle is the Macavity and Benjamin Franklin Silver Award winning and Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Scribe, Silver Falchion, and USA Best Book Award nominated author of both non-fiction and fiction (the Samantha Cody, Dub Walker, and Jake Longly thriller series and the Royal Pains media tie-in series). Along with Jan Burke, he is the co-host of Crime and Science Radio. He has served as story consultant to many novelists and the screenwriters of shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars. 
Website: Blog: Crime and Science Radio: 

DP Lyle:
Laughter is Good Medicine

I love to laugh. Bet you do too.

It’s good for you. It relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and might even boost your immune system and make you healthier, definitely happier. I use it every day in my practice. With virtually every patient I see, after going through all the medical stuff, the last thing I say to them as they leave the office is: “Laugh a lot.” It’s that important.

I grew up with humor. My mom could turn anything into a party and always seemed to find the funny in everything. Dad had a drier sense of humor, but a sense of humor none the less. My sisters, cousins, and friends each had great wit.

In my early teens, as I began reading novels, I was captured by the usual suspects—Hemingway, Steinbeck, Verne—but also by the great humorists Mark Twain and Will Rogers. Later I dug into more modern humor writers like Carl Hiaasen and Tim Maleeny. I admired how each employed humor and downright knee-slapping funny in their essays and works of fiction.

Most of my early work is harsher—darker stuff with very bad guys—but I always included splashes of humor. I couldn’t help myself. Besides, humor is a great way to diffuse tension and humanize characters. But I had long wanted to write a more comedic thriller. And finally, I did.

DEEP SIX is a humorous thriller starring Jake Longly, ex professional baseball player, Gulf Coast bar/restaurant owner, and someone who’d rather run his dive and chase bikinis than do “honest work.” At least that was his father Ray’s take. Ray has a gray past, being involved in government secret ops of some kind—Jake never knew and Ray never shared—but is now a P.I. He wants Jake to work for him. Not a chance.

But, Ray does talk Jake into doing a bit of surveillance work—watching the house of a suspected adulteress. Of course, the woman gets murdered practically under Jake’s nose. And the story is off and running.

Jake, and his latest girlfriend Nicole Jemison. turn out to be fairly effective P.I.s—though Jake is reluctant to wear that mantel. But they can’t seem to stay out of trouble, and out of the crosshairs of the ruthless Victor Bookoff and his minions. Throw in Jake’s ex Tammy and her new husband and attorney Walter, who it turns out was having an affair with the deceased woman and naturally becomes the primary suspect, along with a couple of thugs and cartel hitmen, and well—-the pot boils.

After I finished DEEP SIX, I loved it. But would others? I mean, humor is hard to judge. One person’s funny is another’s ho hum. Very tricky stuff. Turned out my agent Kimberley Cameron and publishers Bob and Pat Gussin at Oceanview did indeed love it.

Now that makes me laugh.

As Lee Child said: “We all know Lyle’s erudition and expertise—-but who knew he was this funny?”

Certainly not my cat, who sees all this as annoying and not about him—the prerequisite for him to find anything interesting. Well, you can’t make everyone laugh.

DEEP SIX is available July 5, 2016.

For more details and to read Chapter 1, go here:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Required Summer Reading

From the amazing Grant Snider:

2016 David Thompson Special Service Award to Otto Penzler

The Bouchercon Board of Directors is proud to announce that Otto Penzler is the recipient of its 2016 David Thompson Special Service Award for “extraordinary efforts to develop and promote the crime fiction field.”

Founded in 1970, and named after distinguished mystery critic, editor, and author, Anthony Boucher, Bouchercon is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that each year brings together fans, authors, publishers, editors, agents, and booksellers from around the world in a different location for a four-day celebration of their shared love of the crime genre. This year’s convention, “Blood on the Bayou—Bouchercon 2016,” takes place in New Orleans, September 15-18 (

The David Thompson Special Service Award was created by the Bouchercon Board to honor the memory and contributions to the crime fiction community of David Thompson, a much beloved Houston bookseller who passed away in 2010. Past recipients of the award are Ali Karim, Marv Lachman, Len & June Moffatt, Judy Bobalik, and Bill and Toby Gottfried.

This year’s honoree, Otto Penzler, is the proprietor of New York City’s The Mysterious Bookshop and founder of The Mysterious Press (1975). A publisher of original works and classic crime fiction in the U.S. and abroad, Mr. Penzler also published The Armchair Detective, a quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, and created the publishing firms of Otto Penzler Books and The Armchair Detective Library. He is a prolific editor, and his most recent anthologies include The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, The Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries, The Best American Mystery Stories of the 19th Century, and The Best American Noir of the Century. Since 1997 he’s also been the Series Editor of The Best American Mystery Stories of the Year.

The Mystery Writers of America has bestowed on Mr. Penzler two Edgar Awards, its 1994 Ellery Queen Award, and the 2003 Raven Award. He’s also received Lifetime Achievement awards from Noircon and The Strand Magazine. In addition, Mr. Penzler co-chaired two Bouchercon Conventions (1977 and 1983) and served on Bouchercon’s Board for ten years.

Michael Koryta throws out first pitch!

Here's a great book marketing idea, and I'm so glad it features the fabulous Michael Koryta. The question remains, however,  Will Mike have his own baseball card?

From Shelf Awareness:

In an unusual book-and-baseball promotion, the first 10,000 fans 18 years and older at tonight's game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., will receive a free e-book edition of The Prophet by Michael Koryta, who will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The giveaway is part of the Yankees' New York Times First Pitch Series and is sponsored by Little, Brown and Hachette Book Group, which calls this "the first e-book giveaway ever at a major sporting event."

Fans will receive cards with a promotion code. On Bookshout, the publisher's redemption partner, fans can enter the promotion code and receive the e-book, which can be read on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet.

"Reading today takes place in so many places--at home before bed but also in line at the grocery store. Why not during the seventh inning stretch?" said Heather Fain, senior v-p, marketing strategy, Hachette Book Group. "Hachette is always looking for new ways to engage readers, introduce them to writers they haven't tried, and make it easy to always have a great book on hand. Working with the Yankees allows us to challenge the notion of what is and isn't the 'right' time to read."


Cartoon of the Day: Cats

HT: Jayna Monroe

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Text Readings

Summer Sleuthing: Lazy, Hazy, Murderous Days of Summer

Summertime, and the living is easy. Or is it? I got to thinking about all those mysteries that take place during Summer--on the Beach, at the Lake, and in the City that are filled with murder and mayhem! What follows is a list of Summer Crime Fiction that exudes the heat and the accompanying crime of Summertime.  I've omitted Fourth of July and Labor Day from this list. I'll be updating those lists later this Summer. As always I invite you to add any titles I've missed. This is far from a definitive list.

Summer Mysteries 

Foxglove Summer by Ban Aaronovitch
The Corpse with the Garnet Face by Cathy Ace
A Cat on a Beach Blanket by Lydia Adamson
Moon Water Madness by Glynn Marsh Alam
A Tangled June by Neil Albert
Gold Medal Threat by Michael Balkind (Kids: 7-15)
A Midsummer Night's Killing by Trevor Barnes
Milwaukee Summers Can Be Deadly by Kathleen Anne Barrett
Summertime News by Dick Belsky
The Summer School Mystery by Josephine Bell
Jaws by Peter Benchley (maybe not quite a mystery, but a good read, especially at the Beach)
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Murder by Fireworks by Susan Bernhadt
A Death in Summer by Benjamin Black
The Down East Murders by J.S. Borthwick
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Cat Who Saw Stars, The Cat Who Went Up the Creek by Lilian Jackson Braun
Chill of Summer by Carol Brennan
Devils Island by Carl Brookins
Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
Death on a Summer Night by Matthew Costello
A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard by Philip Craig
The Trouble with a Hot Summer by Camilla Crespi
A Summer in the Twenties by Peter Dickinson
The Gold Coast, Plum Island by Nelson DeMille
Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein
The Angel of Knowlton Park by Kate Flora
Lord James Harrington and the Summer Mystery by Lynn Florkiewicz
Beneath the Skin by Nicci French
Murder Makes Waves by Anne George
The Caleb Cove Mystery Series  (3 in the series) by Mahrie Reid Glab
The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill
Summer of the Big Bachi by Naomi Hirahara
Murder at Wrightsville Beach by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter
Magic Hour by Susan Isaacs
Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James
A Summer for Dying by Jamie Katz
The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly (YA)
Rainy Day Women by Kay Kendell
Midsummer Malice by M.D. Lake
Dark Nantucket Noon by Jane Langton
The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale
Murder on the Ile Sordou by M.L. Longworth
Nun But the Brave by Alice Loweecey
Swimming Alone by Nina Mansfield (YA)
The Body in the Lighthouse by Katherine Hall Page
Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker
The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall
Beach House by James Patterson
Summer of the Dragon by Elizabeth Peters
5 Dan Marlowe/Hampton Beach, NH mysteries by Jed Power
In the Dead of the Summer; How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Gillian Roberts
Hang My Head & Cry by Elena Santangelo
Miss Lizzie by Walter Satterthwait
Vacations Can Be Murder by Connie Shelton
A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd
Trail of Secrets by Laura Wolfe (YA)
An Old Faithful Murder by Valerie Wolzien
Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods
Sins of a Shaker Summer by Deborah Woodworth
Summer Will End by Dorian Yeager
Heart of Stone by James Ziskin

Any titles you'd like to recommend?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Writer

HT: Don Bruns

When Selfies Kill

Looking for a new topic for your mystery novel? How about Death by Selfie. You may think this is funny, but given that there have been hundreds of documented deaths by selfie last year, I'm sure we'll see this method of death in a future crime novel. Of course the perpetrator needs to set it up with the victim, but that would be easy. "Why don't you take a selfie with the grand canyon in the background. Just step back a bit."  or "It would be fun to have a selfie with a shark"

From Silicon Beat:

Gruesome deaths are increasingly being attributed to society’s obsession with taking pictures of oneself having fun, going to envy-inducing places and posting it all on social media. Some governments and rule-makers are starting to think intervention, Reuters reports. 

“A cool selfie could cost you your life,” reads a poster from a campaign by Russia’s Interior Ministry, according to Reuters. The campaign uses videos and booklets, too, and is reportedly a response to “dozens of grisly selfie-related deaths and injuries in early 2015.” 

 It’s not hard to picture how some selfie-related deaths and injuries have involved grenades, bridges and wild animals. Also, guns: This week in Houston, Texas, a 19-year-old man reportedly died after posing with a gun while taking selfies. 

The sobering news comes after mostly lighthearted coverage of selfies. The word itself made its debut a couple of years ago in the Oxford dictionaries; selfie-takers have been chided for being rude; some museums have banned selfie sticks but are still encouraging selfies. Smile, there’s a selfie drone. 

But the urge to share photos on social networks has involved danger for a while: Last year, I wrote about “outlaw Instagrammers” who climb bridges and skyscrapers so they can post incredible images on the photo-sharing network. Speaking of incredible images: The Reuters article cited above says Europe is considering a law criminalizing social-media posts containing images of landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

And here's a link to: 17 Deadly Selfies

What do you think? How would you use selfies in a crime novel?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Authors & their Cats: Anaïs Nin

Happy Caturday! Authors & their Cats: Anaïs Nin. Isn't this an adorable photo?
"And in his eyes he had the look of the cat who inspires a desire to caress but loves no one, who never feels he must respond to the impulses he arouses."
     --Anais Nin, Delta of Venus

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Books

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Trailer

Here's the trailer for Jack Reacher 2 -- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back starring Tom Cruise. Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old Army unit, only to find he's accused of a 16 year old murder.

Based on Lee Child’s 18th book in the Jack Reacher series, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back also stars Cobie Smulder, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hebert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper and Holt McCallany.

Edward Zwick is directing from a script he co-wrote with Richard Wenk and Marshall Herskovitz. Cruise is producing with Don Granger, Skydance Media’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg, and Christopher McQuarrie. Paula Wagner and Herb Gains exec produce.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Booked Up

Literary Salon: Alexandra Sokoloff & Craig Robertson 6/29

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening Literary Salon in Berkeley, CA, for award winning authors Alexandra Sokoloff and Craig Robertston. 7 p.m. Comment below to RSVP & directions.

During noir author Craig Robertson's 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper, he interviewed three recent Prime Ministers; attended major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; been pilloried on breakfast television, beaten Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, been among the first to interview Susan Boyle, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India. Craig Robertson has written four novels set on the mean streets of Glasgow and one on the not-so-mean streets of Torshavn in the Faroe Islands.

His debut novel, RANDOM, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger and was a Sunday Times bestseller. The Last Refuge is his latest novel.

Alexandra Sokoloff is the bestselling, Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker and Anthony Award-nominated author of eleven supernatural, paranormal and crime thrillers. The New York Times has called her "a daughter of Mary Shelley" and her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre." As a screenwriter she has sold original suspense and horror scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios (Sony, Fox, Disney, Miramax), for producers such as Michael Bay, David Heyman, Laura Ziskin and Neal Moritz. She is also the workshop leader of the internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshops, based on her Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workbooks and blog. Bitter Moon, the fourth of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers is now available! The Huntress Moon series is now in development for TV.

Alex will be co-toastmistress at Bouchercon in New Orleans. Craig is the International Rising Star Guest of Honor.

Alex and Craig split their time between Los Angeles and Scotland.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

HT: Jayna Monroe

Max Allan Collins: The Unlikely Detective

MAX ALLAN COLLINS is the award winning author of crime fiction, including the acclaimed graphic novel Road to Perdition and the Perdition Saga. A frequent Mystery Writers of America “Edgar” nominee in both fiction and non-fiction categories, he has earned an unprecedented eighteen Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991), receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye, in 2007. His graphic novel Road to Perdition (1998) is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 2002 film starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig, directed by Sam Mendes. It was followed by two acclaimed prose sequels, Road to Purgatory (2004) and Road to Paradise (2005), and a graphic novel sequel, Return to Perdition (2011). He has written a number of innovative suspense series, including Nolan (the author’s first series, about a professional thief), Quarry (the first series about a hired killer), and Eliot Ness (four novels about the famous real-life Untouchable’s Cleveland years). He is completing a number of “Mike Hammer” novels begun by the late Mickey Spillane, with whom Collins did many projects; the fourth of these, Lady Go, Die!, was published in 2012.
He is the author of the Nathan Heller mysteries, including Bye Bye, Baby, Target Lancer and Ask Not. Collins also wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip for fifteen years, and is an independent filmmaker. For more information, visit  


The recent publication of the sixteenth Nathan Heller novel, BETTER DEAD, has once again reminded some reviewers and readers that my Chicago private detective has been involved in an unlikely number of famous cases. That’s true. But it didn’t start out that way.

The first Heller novel, TRUE DETECTIVE (1983), was designed to be a one-shot, and a much longer, bigger-landscape private eye novel than had yet been written. I had been toying with the idea of writing a period private eye story for some time, but noticing the 1929 date on the indicia page of THE MALTESE FALCON is what brought clarity to the concept: 1929 was the year of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, meaning Al Capone and Sam Spade were contemporaries. Just as Phillip Marlowe might meet an Al Capone type, now Al Capone could meet a Phillip Marlowe type, the hardboiled PI having been around long enough to exist in an historical context.

Shortly after that came the natural step of giving the detective a real, unsolved crime from history – in the case of TRUE DETECTIVE, the assassination of Mayor Anton Cermak.

Now I won’t say the possibility of continuing Nate’s story didn’t occur to me from the start – with an eye on possible future tales, I made Heller much younger (his early twenties) than most fictional P.I.’s. The notion of at least one sequel came about when the original plot for the novel, whose final section was to include the shooting of John Dillinger at the Biograph Theater, threatened to expand my manuscript to 1000 pages or more. I wanted to write the longest P.I. novel to date, but not that long....

The Dillinger novel, TRUE CRIME (1984), followed, and by that time a trilogy dealing with Heller’s uneasy relationship with Capone successor Frank Nitti seemed a necessity. It would jump decades and conclude with Nitti’s suicide (or was it?).

From the beginning, I had wanted Heller to be more real than the standard private eye of fiction, and had given him a detailed family history, including a leftist father who (unhappy that Nate had joined the corrupt Chicago police) committed suicide with his son’s gun. Heller continues to carry that gun, which he calls the only conscience he has.

I wanted to explore the various cliches of the genre and examine the kernels of truth that had formed those cliches. One trope was that almost every PI had suffered trauma during the war (whatever war was handy). I decided, in the third novel, to take Heller to war, making him a Marine at Guadalcanal. Again I was trying to expand the landscape of this kind of novel, but I also liked the idea of a murder happening behind enemy lines that Heller would solve at home. In addition, I wanted to contrast the cocky young Heller before the war with the traumatized Heller who came home with malaria and a Section 8. That book, THE MILLION-DOLLAR WOUND (1986), remains one of the novels of mine that I’m most proud of.

The fourth novel, NEON MIRAGE (1988), begins in Chicago but moves to Las Vegas for the story of gangster Ben “Bugsy” Siegel. I was still keeping to mob themes, and working to keep Heller a recognizable tough detective in the Marlowe/Hammer mode, but more real – for example, he is married by that novel’s end.

Still, as rich as Chicago is in crime lore, there was only so much I could do there, particularly since I also wanted a real-life unsolved crime or mystery for Heller to tackle each time. The next logical step was to involve him with the great unsolved crimes (and mysteries) of the 20th Century. The first of these novels was STOLEN AWAY (1991), which put Nate in the midst of the Lindbergh kidnapping...with a Chicago slant by way of Al Capone’s offer to get the Lindbergh baby back.

In the years that have followed Heller has solved the murder of Sir Harry Oakes, the assassination of Huey Long, the Thalia Massie rape/murder case, as well as found Amelia Earhart and uncovered the secrets of the Roswell incident. More recently he solved Marilyn Monroe’s murder and the assassination of JFK. If you don’t read the series, you’re probably thinking Heller and I jumped the shark a long time ago.

Here’s the thing. Each novel is researched as extensively as a non-fiction work on each subject, and strives to be wholly credible on its own terms. As for the many famous crimes he encounters, Heller makes something of a running gag of it, although in the context of his world, he gradually becomes famous. His one-room agency grows to a nationwide affair.

Incidentally, back in real life, a surprising number of historical figures turn up in more than one of these cases. For example, the IRS agents involved in the Capone case, Frank Wilson and Elmer Irey, also worked the Lindbergh kidnapping and the Huey Long assassination.

So how do I justify Heller’s FLASHMAN-like propensity for hobnobbing with the rich and infamous? I don’t, really. Basically, he’s a detective in the tradition of the fictional detectives who have gone before him...and how likely were they? How credible is it that Perry Mason won a hundred murder trials? That Poirot solved dozens of murders, and Archie and Nero almost seventy-five? How many best friends did Mike Hammer have who needed avenging? How did Columbo always know who did it right away, and why were they always rich people, for season after season?

What I promise you, with every Nate Heller novel, is a private-eye-witness view of a major crime, with a narrator who is good company as well as tough and somewhat randy, and of course to provide a new solution to an old crime.

BETTER DEAD finds Heller in the midst of the Red Scare era, solving two real-life mysteries, along the way dealing with Senator Joe McCarthy, working for Dashiell Hammett, and bedding Bettie Page. It’s not a bad place to start.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology

Bouchercon will be invading New Orleans for its annual world mystery convention this September where every year readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a weekend of education, entertainment, and fun! It is the world’s premiere event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community.

In conjunction with this year’s event, Down & Out Books will be publishing BLOOD ON THE BAYOU: Bouchercon Anthology 2016, edited by Greg Herren.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to edit this outstanding collection of stories,” said Herren, an award-winning author of mystery and suspense novels. “It demonstrates the deep appreciation each of the contributing authors has to their craft.”

“This is the third year that we have had the privilege of publishing Bouchercon’s official anthology,” added Eric Campbell, publisher of Down & Out Books, “and I share in Greg’s enthusiasm for these stories.”

Nearly 100 authors blindly submitted a story for consideration by three industry professionals, who had the incredibly difficult task of narrowing the list down to just 22 stories.  

Kaye Wilkinson Barley, Eric Beetner, G. J. Brown, Sheila Connolly, O’Neil De Noux, Barbara Ferrer, John Floyd, Alison Gaylin, Greg Herren, BV Lawson, R. T. Lawton, Deborah Lacy, Edith Maxwell, Liz Milliron, Terrie Moran, David Morrell, Dino Parenti, Mike Penn, Gary Phillips, Thomas Pluck, Paula Pumphrey and Elaine Viets were chosen to have their stories included in the anthology. New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham will write the introduction.

Each of the selected authors contributed their stories to the anthology and the Bouchercon Committee and Down & Out Books have agreed that all proceeds from the sale of BLOOD ON THE BAYOU will go to support the New Orleans Public Library system and by extension readers and writers everywhere. 

Scheduled for publication September 1, but book will be available for pre-order (no date yet). It will be available in Trade Paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in Kindle, Nook, and Kobo ebook formats. Blood on the Bayou Anthology will also be available at Bouchercon in the Dealers Room. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Book Group

HT: David Niver

Kathleen Taylor: Coming Around Again

Kathleen Taylor is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, artist, knitter, and spinner. She has written six Tory Bauer Mysteries, one mainstream Novel, five knitting books, two paper doll coloring books, and will release a Santa paper-craft coloring book in the fall of 2016. O.K., Kathy is so much more than that. She's in my on-line photography group, and I never tire of seeing her amazing photos, and hearing about her creative artistic endeavors.

Kathleen Taylor:
Coming Around Again 

Way, way back in time, when Social Media consisted of mimeographed zines snail-mailed to subscribing members (or folks you hoped would subscribe to your newsletter, or random people chosen from the phone book because you needed a certain number of pieces to qualify for bulk mail discounts), I wrote the first two Tory Bauer mysteries on a Commodore 128 computer.

Though I had been a magazine craft designer for years, I had absolutely no contacts in the fiction world, and no knowledge of how to go about finding an agent, or a publisher, for the stories that were rattling around in my head. That I found both, and that Tory and the crew had a six book run with a Big Name publisher, was (and still is) nothing short of amazing. I was sad when the series ended in 2001, but so very grateful for the adventure. I moved on to writing knitting instruction books (a circle of sorts) and had a pretty wonderful time racking up five books (including a sock knitting book that was translated into Finnish), and a side-gig teaching workshops and classes all over the country (and on a couple of cruise ships).

Though I never officially ended the Delphi series, I was fairly certain that part of my career was over. Tory's fans, however, weren't quite ready to let her go. A couple of times a month, folks would email (the cyber world had evolved and took me along with it) to ask if I had plans to write another installment. I always replied with a vague *you never know*, and then went back to my knitting.

Or that's how it worked until somewhere around 2006, when my older son, a writer and artist in his own right, insisted that I release the entire series in electronic format. He offered to do the covers for me (the rights to the words had reverted to me, the original covers belonged to Avon. Or maybe to the original artist, I don't know for sure). I told him that was a good idea, and then went back to my knitting. It wasn't until 2010, when a friend asked if he could have his university grad students format the series for electronic platforms as a semester project, that we actually started the conversion work.

The mass market paperbacks were long out of print, and despite the occasional email asking for more, I assumed the e-reissues, with my son's amazing new covers, would be an amusing novelty and nothing else.

I was wrong. Between 2011-2015, all six of the books were released on all of the electronic platforms, and sales of this almost twenty-year-old series have been steady ever since.

The advent of the eBooks triggered a renewal in requests, not only for more Tory adventures, but for a reissue of the books in print (for those who don't do eReaders). A few months ago, I began the slow(ish) process of converting the electronic files back to print.

The first five Tory Bauer mysteries (Funeral Food, Sex and Salmonella, The Hotel South Dakota, Mourning Shift, and Cold Front) are now available as trade paperbacks through Amazon, and the sixth (Foreign Body) will be up and running in another week or so. 

I can't tell you how exciting it has been to see them in paper again, especially with those fantastic covers (which I would love, even if my son wasn't the artist).

And you know what else? I've started thinking about Delphi again. Seriously thinking.

Yeah, I'm going to write another one. The first book in the series came out (under the title The Missionary Position, in a very limited edition) in 1993, the seventh, if all goes well, in early 2017.

Coming around again, I guess!

Kathleen Taylor

Kathleen Taylor's Dakota Dreams

On Instagram: kathleenmtaylor1952

Trade Paperback Editions of the Tory Bauer Mysteries:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Humpty Dumpty-the Untold Story

HT: Jayna Monroe

Authors and their Cats: Barbara Pym

Happy Caturday. Authors and their Cats: Barbara Pym. Barbara Pym is one of my favorite authors, one of those writers whose books I reread every few years. Many of the 'distressed gentlewomen' in her books have cats.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Dead Good Reader Awards Shortlist 2016

The UK crime fiction website Dead Good announced its shortlist of nominees in 6 categories for the 2016 Dead Good Reader Awards. Readers anywhere can vote for their favorites HERE. Winners will be announced on July 22 at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, England. 

The Dead Good Recommends Award for Most Recommended Book:
• Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith (Little Brown)
• Die of Shame, by Mark Billingham (Little Brown)
• In Her Wake, by Amanda Jennings (Orenda)
• The Missing, by C L Taylor (Avon)
• Tastes Like Fear, by Sarah Hilary (Headline)
• Untouchable Things, by Tara Guha (Legend Press)

The Tess Gerritsen Award for Best Series:
• Jack Reacher, created by Lee Child (Transworld)
• Roy Grace, created by Peter James (Macmillan)
• Marnie Rome, created by Sarah Hilary (Headline)
• Logan McRae, created by Stuart MacBride (Harper Collins)
• Ruth Galloway, created by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
• George Mackenzie, created by Marnie Riches (Maze)

The Linwood Barclay Award for Most Surprising Twist:
• Disclaimer, by Renee Knight (Transworld)
• The Ice Twins, by S.K. Tremayne (Harper Collins)
• I Let You Go, by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere)
• The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson (Faber & Faber)
• Little Black Lies, by Sharon Bolton (Transworld)
• When She Was Bad, by Tammy Cohen (Transworld)

The Papercut Award for Best Page Turner:
• Broken Promise, by Linwood Barclay (Orion)
• Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith (Little Brown)
• Follow Me, by Angela Clarke (Avon)
• The Girl in the Ice, by Robert Bryndza (Bookouture)
• In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware (Vintage)
• Splinter the Silence, by Val McDermid (Little Brown)

The Hotel Chocolat Award for Darkest Moment:
• Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris (Mira)
• The Darkest Secret, by Alex Marwood (Sphere)
• In the Cold Dark Ground, by Stuart MacBride (Harper Collins)
• Little Boy Blue, by M.J. Arlidge (Michael Joseph)
• The Teacher, by Katerina Diamond (Avon)
• Viral, by Helen Fitzgerald (Faber & Faber)

The Mörda Award for Captivating Crime in Translation:
• Camille, by Pierre Lemaitre (MacLehose Press)
• The Crow Girl, by Erik Axl Sund (Vintage)
• The Defenceless, by Kati Hiekkapelto (Orenda Books)
• I’m Travelling Alone, by Samuel Bjork (Doubleday)
• Nightblind, by Ragnar Jonasson (Orenda Books)
• The Undesired, by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (Hodder & Stoughton)

HT: J. Kingston Pierce, The Rap Sheet

Cartoon of the Day: Writer

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Father's Day Mysteries - Fathers and Sons & Fathers and Daughters in Crime Fiction

Father's Day. My father passed away 13 years ago, but I still think about him every day. He encouraged and supported me throughout my various careers and educational pursuits, and he always told me I could accomplish anything and succeed in whatever I did.

My father was the ultimate reader. His idea of a good vacation was sitting in a chair, reading a good mystery. It never mattered where he was, the book took him to other places.

My father and I shared a love of mysteries. Over the years my taste in mysteries has changed. I now read more hardboiled, darker mysteries. So many times when I finish a book, I say to myself, "I have to send this to Dad. He'll love it." My father engendered my love of mysteries through his collection of mystery novels and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines. I like to think he's up there somewhere in a chair surrounded by books and reading a good mystery.

Here's to you, Dad, on Father's Day!

Me and my Father, several years ago

Father’s Day by John Calvin Batchelor
Father’s Day by Rudolph Engelman
Father's Day: A Detective Joe Guerry Story by Tippie Rosemarie Fulton
Father’s Day Keith Gilman 
Dear Old Dead by Jane Haddam
The Father’s Day Murder by Lee Harris
Day of Reckoning by Kathy Herman
Dead Water by Victoria Houston
Father’s Day Murder by Leslie Meier
On Father's Day by Megan Norris
Father’s Day by Alan Trustman

Murder for Father, edited by Martin Greenberg (short stories)
"Father's Day" by Patti Abbott --short story at Spinetingler
Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection  e-book of Father's Day themed short stories.

Let me know if I missed any titles.  

And a very short list of Crime Fiction that focuses on Fathers and Sons. Perhaps this will be the theme of next year's Father's Day post. Have a favorite Father and Son Mystery? Post below in comments.


His Father's Son by Tony Black
Secret Father by James Carroll
The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
Hot Plastic by Peter Craig 
The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
Lars and Little Olduvai by Keith Spencer Felton  
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
King of Lies by John Hart
The Good Father by Noah Hawley
A Perfect Spy by John LeCarre 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Son by Jo Nesbo
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The Roman Hat Mystery; other novels by Ellery Queen (Manfred B. Lee and Frederic Dannay)
Paperback Original by Will Rhode
The Father by Anton Swenson

Cartoon of the Day: Paperback

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lois Duncan: R.I.P.

Sad News. Lois Duncan: R.I.P.

Lois Duncan grew up in Sarasota, Florida, the daughter of internationally known magazine photographers, Joseph and Lois Steinmetz.

From early childhood, she knew she wanted to be a writer. She submitted her first story to a magazine at the age of ten and made her first sale at thirteen to a magazine called Calling All Girls. Throughout her high school years she wrote regularly for young people's magazines, particularly Seventeen.

In 1962, Lois moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she taught for the Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico and continued to write for magazines. Over 300 of her articles and short stories appeared in such publications as Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest, and for a number of years she was a contributing editor for Woman's Day. Lois was the author of 48 books, ranging from children's picture books to adult novels, but she is best known for her young adult suspense novels.

Some of her works were adapted for the screen, the most famous example being the 1997 film I Know What You Did Last Summer, adapted from her novel of the same title. In interviews she stated her distaste at her young adult novel becoming a horror comedy film.

Many of her YA books have been chosen as American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults" and Jr. Literary Guild Selections, and they have won Young Readers Awards in 16 states and three foreign countries. In 1992, Lois received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, presented by the School Library Journal and the Young Adult Library Services Association, to honor a living author for a distinguished body of adolescent literature.

Lois Duncan also wrote novels and non-fiction books for adults, including Who Killed My Daughter?, the true story of her search for the truth behind the brutal murder of the youngest of her five children, eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn. Although written for adults, this book has been embraced by young people.

She was named Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award in 2015. Well deserved. Her books were an inspiration to so many other writers.

Rest in Peace, Lois.

Cartoon of the Day: The Manuscript

From Rhymes with Orange, my favorite comic strip!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Mystery of Place: Guest Post by Ben H. Winters

Ben H. Winters is the author of eight novels, including most recently World of Trouble (Quirk), the concluding book in the Last Policeman trilogy. World of Trouble was nominated for the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Countdown City was an NPR Best Book of 2013 and the winner of the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished Science Fiction. The Last Policeman was the recipient of the 2012 Edgar Award, and it was also named one of the Best Books of 2012 by and Slate. Ben’s other books Literally Disturbed, a book of scary poems for kids; the New York Times bestselling parody novel Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (Quirk) and a novel for young readers, The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman (HarperCollins), which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2011 as well as an Edgar Nominee in the juvenile category. In July 2016 he will publish a new novel, Underground Airlines (Mulholland).

Ben H. Winters:
The Mystery of Place 

My about-to-be-published novel Underground Airlines is set in Indianapolis, where I lived while I was writing it. My next novel (the one I'm starting right now which as of yet has no title) is set in Los Angeles because that's where I'm living now. I'm one of those writers (are there other kinds?) who is deeply influenced by where he is—actually, I'll go further than that, and say that for me, an active physical and emotional engagement with where I am is a first step in the writing process. I can't imagine writing a book that is set in some place and not being able to wander around that place, checking out buildings, taking pictures, talking to people.

When I was writing The Last Policeman and its sequels I spent a lot of time in Concord, New Hampshire, where those books take place. I was living in Cambridge, Mass. when I started the series (yes, I've moved a lot), so I would drive the hour up to Concord and pass pleasant afternoons rambling around the city like a location scout. Oh, hey, there's a little playground—nice spot for a foot chase. This McDonald's bathroom seems like a good place for a corpse to be discovered. There's the hospital, guess I'll just go in there and see if I can find the morgue. Maybe I'll wander into the police station and ask if I could just take a look around (Answer: "Absolutely not.")

Because Underground Airlines is an alternative history, set in a version of contemporary America where slavery still exists, the Indianapolis of the novel (like the wider America of the novel) is significantly altered, but nevertheless recognizable. The old mansions of Meridian-Kessler; the bars and clubs of Broad Ripple; the black neighborhoods north and west of downtown. To get this stuff right, to understand these locations and render them faithfully, took living there for a while—getting a feel for the place—meeting people who had grown up there or built their lives there.

I hope that Indy readers will be interested in seeing their city transformed by my high-concept thriller. The most striking of these transformations is no doubt Monument Circle, one of the city's trademarks, an obelisk in the precise geographical heart of downtown that commemorates Indiana's Civil War dead. But because in my book there was no Civil War, there is no Monument Circle. In the downtown Indianapolis of Underground Airlines there is instead a statue of Lincoln, who was shot there in 1861.

When people say of a novel that "the setting was like a character," it's not just because a certain mood was as striking and memorable as the people in the story, but because there was something about the workings of that particular place, aesthetically or politically or characterologically, that meant this particular story could only be told there. Indianapolis has a very specific feel, which permeates Underground Airlines. There's a certain big-hearted midwestern gentleness about it (exemplified by the way people say"you're fine" instead of glaring when someone bumps into them) and also an urban grittiness, a rough, practical, get-things-done mentality. It's a city of cars and drivers, a city with a distinct urban identity that is nevertheless surrounded by farmland, a just-center-left city that is the political and cultural capitol of a deeply conservative state. All of these factors (and its particular history of race relations, which I learned about in a book called Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis 1920-1970), came to bear, consciously and unconsciously, on the novel I set there.

It would be hard to enumerate exactly how this is a "novel of Indianapolis," but I know that it is. I know that if I had set it in Cleveland or in Chicago, more than the names of the streets would be different.

I want readers to come away from my work with strong specific memories not just of the characters and story, but of the places—as I have come away from George Pelacanos novels with strong specific memories of his Washington, D.C.; from Richard Price novels with strong specific memories of his imagined New Jersey town of Dempsey; from Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels with strong specific memories of its various Europeans locales.

Part of why I'm proud of this book is that there aren't a lot of great novels of Indianapolis, The Magnificent Ambersons and The Fault in Our Stars being the two remarkable exceptions. Among my hopes for Underground Airlines is that some readers—maybe even some readers who live in the real place—will see it as another.

Cartoon of the Day: Dramatic Tension

Monday, June 13, 2016

Whodunit Award: 2016 Key West Fest

2016 Mystery Writers Key West Fest: WHODUNIT AWARD

Winner: Tequila Mockingbird by Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, FL

Coronado’s Trail by Carl Bock of Loveland, CO
Murder with Kayaks in the Florida Keys by Elia Chepaitis of Grassy Key, FL
The Crayon Box by Paul Marion Geiger of Ocean City, MD

Candidates for the Award, which is supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, were required to submit the first three pages of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to a judging committee led by mystery author Sandra Balzo. Ted Hertel, an attorney, author, reviewer and past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America; Gary Warren Niebuhr, library director, reviewer and author of numerous nonfiction works on the subject of crime fiction; and Shirrel Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks completed the judging team.

Map Back Monday: Helen McCloy's Do Not Disturb

It's been awhile since I've posted a Dell Mapback cover and Map for MapBack Monday. Love these old books.. great stories and great graphics. The perfect match. Today's Mapback is Helen McCloy's Do Not Disturb (1943). The book also has a cast of characters with descriptions. The Hotel Majestic is another hotel I won't be checking into any time soon.

I really like the Helen McCloy books. 
Check out the Mapback covers and maps I've posted for:
Helen McCloy (June 6, 1904 – December 1, 1994), is the pseudonym of Helen Clarkson. She was an American mystery writer, whose series character Dr. Basil Willing debuted in Dance of Death (1938). Willing believes, that "every criminal leaves psychic fingerprints, and he can't wear gloves to hide them." He appeared in 13 of McCloy's novels and in several of her short stories. McCloy often used the theme of doppelganger, but in the end of the story she showed a psychological or realistic explanation for the seemingly supernatural events. 

Read J F Norris's review of Do Not Disturb on Pretty Sinister Books.

Lambda Literary Award Winners

Here's an important award that I forgot to post last week. The 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards–or the “Lammys,” as they are affectionately known–announced the winners at a gala ceremony last Monday evening, June 6, 2016 in New York City. These awards honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books published in 2015. The following are of interest to readers of this blog, but be sure to go to the Lambda Literary Awards website for other categories.

Lesbian Mystery 
Ordinary Mayhem, Victoria Brownworth, Bold Strokes Books
Tarnished Gold, Ann Aptaker, Bold Strokes Books

Gay Mystery
Boystown 7: Bloodlines, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books

For Nominees, go here

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Superman 2016

HT: Jayna Monroe

Little Free Library: Sonoma County

I love the Little Free Libraries I find scattered around town and the countryside. Came up on this one yesterday on a Sonoma county country road. Isn't it an idyllic setting? Love the variety of these 'libraries'... building literacy-friendly neighborhoods.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Macavity Award Nominees 2016

The Macavity Award Nominees 2016

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal and friends of MRI. The winners will be announced at opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in New Orleans in September. Congratulations to all.

If you're a member of MRI or a subscriber to MRJ or a friend of MRI, you will receive a ballot on August 1, so get reading. To check if you're eligible to vote, leave a comment below with your email.

Best Mystery
Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur)
The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney  (Morrow)
The Hot Countries by Tim Hallinan (Soho)
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Mulholland)
The Cartel by Don Winslow (Knopf)

Best First Mystery
Concrete Angel by Patricia Abbott (Polis)
Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (Morrow)
The Killing Kind by Chris Holm (Mulholland)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy  (Putnam)
The Unquiet Dead  by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur)
On the Road with Del and Louise by Art Taylor (Henery)

Best Critical/Biographical
The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins)
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup (Bloomsbury Sigma)
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald, edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan (Arcade)
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid (Grove)
The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury)

Best Short Story
"The Little Men" by Megan Abbott ( Road)
"On Borrowed Time" by Mat Coward (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, June 2015)
"Sob Sister" by Loren D. Estleman (Detroit Is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen, Tyrus)
"A Year Without Santa Claus" by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, January/February 2015)
"Quack and Dwight" by Travis Richardson (Jewish Noir, ed. Kenneth Wishnia, PM Press)
"A Joy Forever" by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March 2015)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award
The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins  (Minotaur)
A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont (Berkley Prime Crime)
Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo by C. Joseph Greaves (Bloomsbury)
The Lady from Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Marian Wood/Putnam)
Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe (Seventh Street)
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King (Bantam)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Shamus Award Nominees: Private Eye Writers of America

for works published in 2015.

The winners will be announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in New Orleans.

Best Original Private Eye Paperback 
CIRCLING THE RUNWAY by J.L. Abramo. Down & Out Books
THE LONG COLD by O'Neil De Noux. Big Kiss Productions
SPLIT TO SPLINTERS by Max Everhart. Camel Press
THE MAN IN THE WINDOW by Dana King. Independent
RED DESERT, Clive Rosengren by Moonshine Cove Publishing

Best First Private Eye Novel:
THE RED STORM by Grant Bywaters. St. Martins/Minotaur
NIGHT TREMORS by Matt Coyle. Oceanview Publishing
TROUBLE IN ROOSTER PARADISE by T.W. Emory. Coffeetown Press
DEPTH by Lev Ac Rosen. Regan Arts
THE DO-RIGHT by Lisa Sandlin. Cinco Puntos Press

Best Private Eye Short Story
“The Runaway Girl from Portland, Oregon” by C.B. Forrest in  Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, October 2015
 “The Sleep of Death” by David Edgerley Gates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, December 2015
“The Dead Client” by Parnell Hall in  Dark City Lights: New York Stories (edited by Lawrence Block)
“The Dead Detective” by Robert S. Levinson in Coast to Coast: Murder from Sea to Shining Sea (edited by Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks)
“The Continental Opposite” by Evan Lewis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May 2015

Best Private Eye Novel
THE PROMISE by Robert Crais. G.P. Putnam's Sons
DANCE OF THE BONES by J.A. Jance.  William Morris
GUMSHOE by Robert Leininger. Oceanview Publishing
BRUSH BACK by Sara Paretsky. G.P. Putnam's Sons
BRUTALITY by Ingrid Thoft. G.P. Putnam's Sons

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

And Then There Were Nine: Ngaio Marsh Award Longlist

Craig Sisterson announced on Crime Watch the Longlist for the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Award. What fabulous books. I'm a judge for this Kiwi Award, so I've been reading these great books! Such fun!

From Craig:
A record number of entrants and a kaleidoscopic range of crime tales illustrates the growth of New Zealand crime writing but provided a real challenge for the judges of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, who have revealed the longlist for their 2016 award today. 

“In past years our judging panels have had some very close calls when it came to picking the winner, or tough choices for who’d be finalists, but this is the first time we’ve had such a log-jam of good books battling for the longlist,” says Judging Convenor Craig Sisterson. “Even with nearly a dozen debutant authors entering our new Best First Novel category instead, and the majority of our past winners and finalists not being in the running this year, the pool has never been broader or deeper.”

“That’s terrific for our local crime writing scene, of course, but does make life hard for the judges, and means some good novels that judges’ enjoyed have missed out. So I’d like to thank all the entrants this year, along with everyone who has come out and supported our Murder in the Library series of events up and down the country, celebrating local crime writers, the past few weeks.”

The longlist for the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime novel is:

INSIDE THE BLACK HORSE by Ray Berard (Mary Egan Publishing);
MADE TO KILL by Adam Christopher (Titan Books);
TRUST NO ONE by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press);
STARLIGHT PENINSULA by Charlotte Grimshaw (Vintage);
COLD HARD MURDER by Trish McCormack (Glacier Press);
THE MISTAKE by Grant Nicol (Number Thirteen Press);
AMERICAN BLOOD by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin);
SOMETHING IS ROTTEN by Adam Sarafis (Echo Publishing).

The judging panel of seven crime writing experts from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Nordic countries, will announce the finalists in late July. The winner will be announced at the 2016 WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival on 27 August.

The Ngaio Marsh Awards were established in 2010 and are made annually for the best crime, mystery, or thriller novels written by New Zealand citizens and residents. For more information, visit the Awards' Facebook page here or email