Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Poison Lady Luci Zahray

I happened tacross this great interview with Poison Lady, Luci Zahray. I've met Luci several times, and each time I'm amazed at her knowledge of poisons. Wouldn't want to become her enemy. Thanks to Kate Flora for this interview. Kate's latest Thea Kozak mystery is Stalking Death.

Revisiting Older Mystery Authors/Mystery Readers Winter Book Group

Mystery Readers International's Book Group has been meeting for over 30 years. We meet every Tuesday night at my home in Berkeley. After reading a series of terrific but very dark books this past Fall with a recurrent theme of children in jeopardy (not planned as a theme for our reading), I've decided that it's time to revisit some earlier authors. I've put together a list that will be a great springboard for more reading.

New members to the group are welcome. We meeting on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or are passing through, please join us.

January 6 K.C. Constantine The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes
January 13 Sharyn McCrumb If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O
January 20 Colin Dexter Last Bus to Woodstock
January 27 Ross Thomas Chinaman’s Chance
February 3 James McClure The Steam Pig
February 10 Arthur Upfield The Sands of Windee
February 17 Elizabeth Peters Crocodile on the Sandbank
February 24 Bartholomew Gill: The Twelfth Juror
March 17 Rex Stout The Doorbell Rang
March 24 Craig Rice Home Sweet Homicide

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Thanksgiving mysteries/Mystery Book Groups

To add to the Turkey Talk, the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library in Wakefield, MA, has a great list of Thanksgiving mysteries. The Rap Sheet, one of the best blogs out there, brought this to my attention.

Being that I love to read books on certain themes, the Supper Sleuths, the library's mystery discussion group, is right up my alley. This group meets the second Tuesday at 6 p.m. December 9, 2008 at 5:45pm to 7:30 pm. January 13, 2009: Scottish Detectives; February 10, 2009: Victorian Mysteries; March 10, 2009: Journalists as Authors of Mysteries; April 14, 2009: Treasure Hunts; May 12, 2009: Fiscal Fandangos: Financial Mysteries; June 9, 2009: Free Read/ Potluck.

For more mystery reading groups, go to the Mystery Readers Journal Listing of Mystery Book Groups.

Want your book group listed? Send me the contact info with name, time, location, book selections (if you have them), contact name, email, phone. Love to add your group to our list.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Mysteries

The Cozy Mystery List has a wonderful list of Thanksgiving Mysteries. With dysfunctional families coming together for a big turkey dinner, it's no surprise there should be so many on this list. Here's a sampling:

Bob Berger The Risk of Fortune
William Bernhardt Natural Suspect

Kate Borden Death of a Turkey
Carole Bugge Who Killed Mona Lisa?

Sammi Carter Goody Goody Gunshots
Christine E. Collier A Holiday Sampler

Bill Crider w/Willard Scott Murder under Blue Skies
Barbara D'Amato Hard Tack
Mary Daheim Alpine Fury and Fowl Prey
Jeanne Me. Dams Sins Out of School
Claire Daniels Final Intuition

Michael Dibdin Thanksgiving
Joanne Dobson Raven and the Nightingale
Janet Evanovich Thanksgiving (technically a romance)*
Katherine V. Forrest The Beverly Malibu
Noreen Gilpatrick The Piano Man
Martin H. Greenberg (editor) Cat Crimes for the Holidays
Jane Haddam Feast of Death, Feast of Murder
Lee Harris The Thanksgiving Day Murder
Robin Hathaway Doctor Makes a Dollhouse Call
Richard Hawke Speak of the Devil
Ellen Elizabeth Hunter Murder on the ICW
J. A. Jance Shoot Don't Shoot
Faye Kellerman Serpent's Tooth
Harry Kemelman That Day the Rabbi Left Town
Clyde Linsley Death of a Mill Girl
Georgette Livingston Telltale Turkey Caper
Margaret Maron Up Jumps the Devil
Evan Marshall Stabbing Stefanie
Ralph McInerny Celt and Pepper
Leslie Meier Turkey Day Murder
Deborah Morgan The Marriage Casket
Louise Penny Still Life
Cathy Pickens Southern Fried
Ann Ripley Harvest of Murder
Willard Scott w/Bill Crider Murder under Blue Skies
Sarah R. Shaber Snipe Hunt
Denise Swanson Murder of a Barbie and Ken, Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
Marcia Talley Occasion of Revenge
Angela Zeman The Witch and the Borscht Pearl

Have a Great Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Left Coast Crime 2009: Say Aloha to Murder

The November Newsletter is just out for Left Coast Crime 2009. This year Left Coast Crime will be held in the very far West coast--the West Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii at the Marriott Waikoloa Beach Resort. March 7-12, 2009. March is high-season, but the LCC committee was able to snag some great rates.

There's some fantastic programming for fans, readers and writers. Critique workshops, Book discussion groups, The Play: House without a Key, Luau, chocolate, 15 minutes under the Palms, forensic experts, and so much more. Great pre- and post- trips. This is one mystery convention you won't want to miss!

Register now and Say Aloha to Murder!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

San Francisco Mysteries/Mystery Readers Journal

Coming soon, Mystery Readers Journal: San Francisco Mysteries, II. As I mentioned, once again we had so much material for the San Francisco issue of Mystery Readers Journal that we had to go to two issues. I'll let people know when the next issue comes out. There will be author! author! essays from Marcia Muller, Peri O'Shaughnessy, Steve Brewer, Janet La Pierre, and many more. Stay tuned.

Janet Rudolph, Editor

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe stamp

More news on Edgar Allan Poe.

The United States Postal Service will be issuing a stamp honoring Poe on January 16, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia, where the Boston-born Poe spent most of his youth.

The portrait for this new stamp was painted by Michael J. Deas, a veteran stamp designer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe Society/Poe House MWA Raven Award

November 12, 2008 -- New York, NY: Mystery Writers of America (MWA) has chosen the Edgar Allan Poe Society and The Poe House in Baltimore, Maryland, as the 2009 recipients of the organization's prestigious Raven Award.

To be presented at Mystery Writers of America's 63rd Annual Edgar® Awards Banquet at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 30, 2009, the Raven Award is bestowed by MWA's Board of Directors for outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Among past recipients of the award are the Library of Congress, Center for the Book, and two United States Presidents – Bill Clinton and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

According to MWA's President Harlan Coben, the dual choice of the Poe Society and the Edgar Allan Poe House is doubly appropriate: "Not only does 2009 mark the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday, but Mystery Writers of America has long-considered Poe a patron saint. In fact, the Raven Award, itself, is named after Poe's famous poem, and our Edgar® Awards -- or 'Edgars,' as they're more popularly known -- are awarded annually to authors of distinguished work."

Formed in 1923, the Edgar Allan Poe Society organized an annual series of public programs that included musical settings of Poe's poems, readings from his works, exhibitions of information and memorabilia, and lectures about his life and writings. In 1938, the Poe Society led efforts to save a house in Baltimore where Poe lived from 1833 to 1835. The efforts were successful and a bronze plaque was erected at The Poe House to commemorate the location in 1940. A full restoration of the home began in 1947, proceeding as funds and ingenuity permitted.

The Poe Society provided tours of The Poe House from 1950 until 1977, when responsibility for the museum was assumed by the City of Baltimore. Since 1977, the Poe Society has returned its focus to annual commemorative lectures and associated publications. They continue to maintain a website and respond to as many inquires about Poe's life and works as possible. Each year, the society receives letters from around the world, particularly from school children seeking general guidance for reports and other projects on Poe. The Edgar Allan Poe Society is a non-profit organization with no paid employees, relying purely on voluntary efforts.

"The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore is especially proud to receive the honor of the Raven Award during the bicentennial of Poe's birth," says Jeffrey Savoye, secretary/treasurer of the Poe Society. "Generally, we have been quietly carrying out our mission since 1923, promoting the best information available about Poe's life and works. It is gratifying to find that, occasionally, our efforts do not go unrecognized."

The Poe House is now under the control of Baltimore City's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and continues to provide tours and education at the site.

“I’m honored beyond words to be chosen for such a prestigious award," says Jeff Jerome, curator of Poe House. "For 30 years I’ve been aggressively promoting the life and works of Eddie and this award has validated these efforts. The first thing I’m planning to do after receiving this award is to visit the Poe Grave and share it with Eddie.”

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Publishers Weekly Best of '08

Once again, I need to thank The Rap Sheet for bringing my attention to mystery news. Linda Richards blogged last week about the Publisher's Weekly Best of '08

Not only did PW choose their best mysteries of '08, but there were several mysteries listed under 'general fiction'. Three of the general fiction books made my top 10 mystery list for '08, so far. I haven't finished reading everything, so I haven't put my list together yet.

So the mysterious works PW included under 'general fiction' are:

These are the books PW chose as its best mysteries of 2008:
  • Wild Inferno, by Sandi Ault (Berkley Prime Crime)
  • Lie Down with the Devil, by Linda Barnes (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
  • Ghost at Work, by Carolyn Hart (Morrow)
  • The Private Patient, by P.D. James (Knopf)
  • The Messengers of Death: A Mystery in Provence, by Pierre Magnan, translated from the French by Patricia Clancy (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
  • Death’s Half Acre, by Margaret Maron (Grand Central)
  • Salt River, by James Sallis (Walker)
  • Fear of Landing, by David Waltner-Toews (Poisoned Pen)
  • The Calling, by Inger Ash Wolfe (Harcourt)
The entire list with comments about each book is available Here

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton, R.I. P.

Went to The Rap Sheet this morning, only to read more sad news. Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park author and numerous mystery novels, died of cancer. He was 66.

Michael Crichton was a real cross-over writer. Crichton was the author of The Andromeda Strain, the Great Train Robbery, and so many more terrific novels. He created the award-winning TV hospital series ER. and wrote for film. A real Renaissance man. Read "The Admirable Mr. Crichton " by Ali Karim in the Rap Sheet (2006) and this from Hillel Italie in the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More International Mysteries

I'm a big fan of mysteries set in other countries, as you know from reading my blog. I love to 'travel' to other parts of the world through mystery novels. Sometimes I do this before I go to another country in order to familarize myself with the area. Sometimes I read mysteries set in other countries when I return to reinforce my travels. But, more likely, I'll read about countries I'll never get to visit. Whatever the reason, I enjoy reading mysteries set in other places. Mystery Readers Journal has had issues on Irish Mysteries, Scandinavian mysteries, Italy, France, and other countries. I always love finding new books.

Publishers Weekly had an article last week on the rise of thrillers in France and Sweden. This article introduced me to Jean-Christophe Grange (France) and Jan Guillou (Sweden) and several others. Interesting to note that Harlan Coben's The Final Detail (Fleuve Noir) was #3 on the French charts the week ending September 28.

For more info on mysteries set in other countries, go to: Around the World in 80 Sleuths.