Thursday, April 17, 2014

BARRY AWARD NOMINATIONS

George Easter announced Deadly Pleasures Magazine's Barry Award Nominations. Congratulations to all!


Best Novel 
A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH, Jussi Adler-Olsen
TAP ON THE WINDOW, Linwood Barclay
SANDRINE'S CASE, Thomas H. Cook
SUSPECT, Robert Crais
ORDINARY GRACE, William Kent Krueger
STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE, Ian Rankin

Best First Novel
BURIAL RITES, Hannah Kent
JAPANTOWN, Barry Lancet
THE BOOKMAN'S TALE, Charlie Lovett
RAGE AGAINST THE DYING, Becky Masterman
COVER OF SNOW, Jenny Milchman
NORWEGIAN BY NIGHT, Derek B. Miller

Best Paperback Original
JOE VICTIM, Paul Cleave
DISCIPLE OF LAS VEGAS, Ian Hamilton
THE RAGE, Gene Kerrigan
I HEAR THE SIRENS IN THE STREET, Adrian McKinty
FEAR IN THE SUNLIGHT, Nicola Upson
FIXING TO DIE, Elaine Viets

Best Thriller 
DEAD LIONS, Mick Herron
GHOSTMAN, Roger Hobbs
RED SPARROW, Jason Matthews
THE SHANGHAI FACTOR, Charles McCarry
RATLINES, Stuart Neville
THE DOLL, Taylor Stevens

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Norway's Paaskekrim: Crime Reading during Easter Week

I posted about Paaskekrim several years ago, but with the increased interest in Scandinavian crime, especially the large number of Scandinavian authors now available in English, I thought I should repost about Norway's Paaskekrim (Easter Crime)! Holy Thursday through Easter Monday is a public holiday in Norway, but it's also a time when just about everyone in Norway reads crime novels. Bookstore displays are full of detective novels, television and radio stations run crime serials and newspapers publish special literary supplements.

This is a very peculiar national activity. Publishers in Norway actually time series of books known as "Easter-Thrillers" or PĂ„skekrim, and dates of publication are moved to Spring and released at this time when the sale of mysteries goes up 50%. TV stations, radio and newspapers follow suit by running detective series based on the works of famous crime novelists such as Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Simenon and Ruth Rendell.

 Why does Norway choose Easter to delve into crime solving? According to one widely accepted theory, the tradition began in 1923 as the result of a marketing coup. Advertisements that resembled news items were published on the front pages of several newspapers, shocking readers who failed to grasp that it was a publicity stunt. This idea spread like wildfire among other publishing houses, and the crime novel became one of the few forms of entertainment available during the Easter break. Cafes, restaurants and movie theatres were closed during Easter, which was supposed to be a time of introspection and repentance. There was no radio, and of course no television either. But everyone could read, and so the Easter crime novel was born.

Norwegian Crime Writers
Karin Fossum
Jo Nesbo 
Kjersti Sceen Gunnar Staalesen Jon Michelet
Anne Holt
 
Kjell Ola Dahl Pernille Rygg K.O. Dahl
Jorn Lier Horst
Thomas Enger 
Unni Lindell

Great websites about Norwegian crime writers
Scandinavian Crime Fiction
Scandinavian Books
International Noir Fiction
Detectives without Borders
Euro Crime
 
Scandinavian issue of Mystery Readers Journal 
Hardcopy and PDF -- over 92 pages of reviews, articles and Author! Author! essays, many by and about Norwegian crime writers.

Mystery Readers Journal will have another issue on Scandinavian Crime Fiction in 2014. Subscribe to Mystery Readers Journal HERE.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Death and Taxes: Tax Day Crime Fiction/Tax Day Mysteries

A few years ago I did a post about Tax Day Mysteries. There weren't  a lot of mysteries on that list. I found several that dealt with Finance, and high finance at that, but not many about the average Joe filing his taxes on April 15. Surely it's enough to commit murder. So here are a few mysteries that deal specifically with Tax Day.. and at the end of this post, a list of several accounting/accountant mysteries. And a reminder--if you haven't filed your taxes yet, be sure and send in an extension!

The most well known Tax Day Mystery is David Dodge's Death and Taxes--an oldie but goodie (1941). It's been reissued.  Read Librarian and Editor Randal Brandt's posts on David Dodge HERE and HERE.

San Francisco tax accountant James “Whit” Whitney is summoned home from a vacation in Santa Cruz to help his partner, George MacLeod, recover a hefty tax refund for a beautiful blonde client named Marian Wolff. When he returns to his office, Whit finds MacLeod dead in the firm’s vault, “with a small hole in the bridge of his nose.” In order to complete the tax return and uncover the murderer, Whit becomes a reluctant detective and nearly gets himself killed in the process. To prevent Whit’s murder, if possible, the SFPD assigns him a bodyguard named Swede Larson. Whit and Swede tangle with ex-bootleggers and Telegraph Hill gangsters in their efforts to unravel the mystery, which climaxes with a shootout in the Mission District and a dramatic car chase across the Bay Bridge. Along the way, Whit resists the advances of Marian Wolff and begins a romance with Kitty MacLeod, George’s widow.

Before becoming a novelist, David Dodge worked as a Certified Public Accountant. No wonder his first fictional hero was also a tax man. A notable aspect of the Whitney novels is the volume of information about taxes and finances that Dodge effortlessly weaves into his plots. To read more about David Dodge, go HERE.

Sue Dunlap's 7th Jill Smith mystery is also entitled Death and Taxes

Until someone put a poisoned needle in his bicycle seat, Phil Drem was the meanest, most nit-picking IRS agent in Berkeley, California.

But when Detective Jill Smith began searching Berkeley's backwaters for the tax man's killer, she found a different picture of Drem: a caring Drem, whose once-beautiful wife was "allergic to the world" and whose friends and enemies, old hippies and would-be entrepreneurs, enjoyed a ghoulish pastime called The Death Game. Did the Death Game KO Drem? Was someone's schedule a motive for murder? And what about a CPA who drove a red Lotus ruthlessly and guaranteed his clients they'd never be audited?


Only one thing is for sure, —somewhere in Berkeley's backwaters, a killer is still on the loose. And for a detective who loves her city, doubts her lover, and has a knack for solving the toughest of crimes, finding the truth is about as inevitable as...Death And Taxes.


A continued search revealed one other title: A Little Rebellion: April 15 Surprise by Rodney Sexton published by Writers Club Press (2000) an iUniverse book. Not having read it, I thought I'd post the Editorial Review:

After a client’s suicide and an unprecedented IRS attack on his tax practice, Certified Public Accountant Karl Mendel plans what he hopes will be the final solution to an income tax system out of control.

Assisted by close friends and professional associates, Mendel uses a personal tragedy and his belief in American freedom to fuel his war on what he refers to as the American KGB. With flying skills honed as a Marine pilot in the Vietnam War Mendel takes to the air in his planned assault on the U.S. income tax system. Help from Beatrice Gimble, a former IRS programmer and current CPA partner of his best friend, Terry Garcia, leads Karl inside the main computer facility run by the IRS. Unaware that he is being watched by powers beyond the IRS, his “forced” dealings with a Russian “mole” leads Karl and his partners into dangers they had not considered and threatens the woman he loves more than life itself.

About the Author: Rod Sexton is a practicing Certified Public Accountant living near Houston, Texas with his wife. While in Vietnam, Sexton was attached to the First Marine Air Wing. After active duty, he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Taxation degrees. A Little Rebellion is his first work of fiction.

Sure sounds like this fits the bill!  Anyone read it? Any comments?

A further search for other mysteries uncovered a few other titles maybe a bit further afield but with an accounting theme, so in honor of Tax Day, I thought I'd post a few Accounting-Accountant crime fiction titles.

ACCOUNTING FOR MURDER: A List

Paul Anthony: Old Accountants Never Die
Paul Bennett: Due Diligence, Collateral Damage, False Profits, The Money Race
Ann Bridge: The Numbered Account 
David Dodge --in addition to Death and Taxes, he wrote three more novels about San Francisco tax accountant James "Whit" Whitney: Shear the Black Sheep, Bullets for the Bridegroom and It Ain't Hay.
Marjorie Eccles: Account Rendered and other Stories
Gail Farrelly: Beaned in Boston
Dick Francis: Risk
Kate Gallison: Unbalanced Accounts
John Grisham: Skipping Christmas
Ian Hamilton: The Water Rat of Wanchai
Carolyn Hart: A Settling of Accounts 
James Montgomery Jackson: Bad Policy
Marshall Jevons: Murder at the Margin, The Fatal Equilibrium, A Deadly Indifference
Emma Lathen: Accounting for Murder
Linda Lovely: Final Accounting
Peter Robinson: Final Account
Karen Hanson Stuyck: Held Accountable
William C. Whitbeck: To Account for Murder

Anyone have a favorite mystery with a Tax Day theme?