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