Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day Crime Fiction & Morris Dancing

"What potent blood hath modest May."- Ralph W. Emerson

For the past few years, I've posted a list of May Day Mysteries. I love May Day with its Morris Dancing and the Maypole, all dating back to pagan Celtic times. And, although May may seem idyllic with its flowers and showers, it can actually be murderous! Later this month, I will have an updated list of Mother's Day Mysteries and Memorial Day Mysteries. Both take place in May.

I've expanded my May Day list to include a few other May mysteries. Let me know if I've forgotten any titles. Be sure and check out the Morris Dancing Mysteries at the end of the list.

May Day Mysteries

Five Days in May by Paul Eiseman
30 Days in May by Wayne Hancock
Five Days in May by Christopher Hartpence
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel 
The Moonlit Door by Deryn Lake  
May Day by Jess Lourey
May Might Mean Murder by Bill McGrath 
A Hearse on May-Day by Gladys Mitchell  
May Day in Magadan by Anthony Olcott 
The Merry Month of May by Elvi Rhodes
A Hot Day in May by Julian Jay Savarin
The May Day Murders by Scott Wittenburg

Morris dancing is one of the Great English Mysteries, like cricket and warm beer. 
--Rosemary Edghill, mystery writer, in Book of Moons, 1995 

For over 35 years at dawn on May Day, Berkeley Morris Dancing takes place at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park. The Berkeley Morris Dancers also perform at the University of California Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 1, 12:30-1pm. Free with Garden Admission. Check for Morris Dancing in your area.

Morris Dancing Mysteries

As the Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate by M.C. Beaton
Blind to the Bones by Stephen Booth
Thieves by Hannah Dennison
The Moonlit Door by Deryn Lake
Death of a Fool (Off with his Head) by Ngaio Marsh
Dead Men's Morris by Gladys Mitchell 
The Death-Cap Dancers by Gladys Mitchell
The Lazareth Pit by Elizabeth Patterson

Agatha Award Winners

Malice Domestic announced the Agatha Award Winners. Congratulations to all!

Best Contemporary Novel
Margaret Maron, Long Upon the Land (Grand Central Publishing)

Best Historical Novel
Laurie R. King, Dreaming Spies (Bantam)

Best First Novel
Art Taylor, On the Road with Del and Louise (Henery Press)

Best Non-Fiction
Martin Edwards, The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story  (HarperCollins)

Best Short Story
Barb Goffman, “A Year Without Santa Claus?” (AHMM)

Best Children’s/Young Adult
Amanda Flower, Andi Unstoppable  (Zonderkidz)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Authors and their Cats: Jean Cocteau

Happy Caturday! For today's "Authors and their Cats", here's a photo of French poet, novelist, and filmmaker (as well as playwright, designer, and artist) Jean Cocteau and his cat. Cocteau is most famous for his novel Les Enfants terribles (The Holy Terrors) and his films, including Blood of a Poet, Beauty and the Beast, and Orpheus

Cocteau was additionally a cat devotee who helped to found a club in Paris called the “Cat Friends Club” that had a membership pin and sponsored cat shows. 

Here's the Cat Friends Club membership pin designed by Jean Cocteau. I'd love to have one of these.