Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sara J. Henry Literary Salon March 7

Join Mystery Readers Norcal for an evening with Award Winning author Sara J. Henry at 7 p.m. March 7 in Berkeley, CA. To RSVP and directions, leave a comment with your email.

SARA J. HENRY is the author of the award-winning Learning to Swim. She was a newspaper sports editor in the Adirondacks and has been a book and magazine editor, freelance writer, and webmaster. A native of Tennessee, she also lived in Ontario and Florida, and now calls southern Vermont home.

Henry’s second novel is A Cold and Lonely Place:

Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body—a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy’s assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim’s sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it’s clear someone doesn’t want the investigation to continue.

“Henry follows up her award-winning debut novel, Learning to Swim, with a strong second effort also featuring freelance reporter Troy Chance….Featuring a strong cast of female characters and a measured pace, this sophomore novel also perfectly conjures the lure of living in a small and beautiful mountain town during a bitterly cold winter. Featuring an independent and immensely likable lead, riffing on the complicated nature of friendship, and boasting a solidly plotted mystery, this may well appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn.” –Booklist.
“At the start of Henry’s haunting follow-up to her Agatha-winning debut, Learning to Swim, reporter Troy Chance stumbles onto what could be the story that changes her career – as well as several lives. Adding considerably to the compulsively readable mystery that unfolds…is Henry’s bone-deep sense of this terribly beautiful place.” —PW
Read the First Four Chapters Here

Cartoon of the Day: Sherlock Holmes

From Hilary Price at Rhymes with Orange:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Old Library in The Hague, Netherlands

Love this photo of the Old Library in The Hague, Netherlands. Posted by Kepler's Books

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hammett Prize Nominees

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers just announced the nominees for their annual HAMMETT PRIZE for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author. 
William Landay, Defending Jacob: A Novel (Delacorte)
Jim Lynch, Truth Like the Sun: A Novel (Knopf)
Howard Owen, Oregon Hill (Permanent)
Kurt Palka, Patient Number 7 (McCelland & Stewart) 
G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen (Emblem/Canada; Grove/US)

The organization will name the HAMMETT PRIZE  winner, during  the  New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Fall Conference, in Somerset, New Jersey, September 30-October 2. The winner will receive a bronze trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.

Bram Stoker Award Nominees

Each year, the Horror Writers Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards® for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula.

The Bram Stoker Awards® are given "for superior achievement," not for "best of the year," and the rules are deliberately designed to make ties possible. The first awards were presented in 1988 (for works published in 1987) and they have been presented every year since. The award itself is an eight-inch replica of a fanciful haunted house, designed specifically for HWA by sculptor Steven Kirk. The door of the house opens to reveal a brass plaque engraved with the name of the winning work and its author.

Any work of Horror first published in the English language may be considered for an award during the year of its publication. The categories for which a Bram Stoker Award® may be presented have varied over the years, reflecting the state of the publishing industry and the horror genre.
Ethridge, Benjamin Kane - Bottled Abyss (Redrum Horror)
Everson, John - NightWhere (Samhain Publishing)
Kiernan, Caitlin R. - The Drowning Girl (Roc)
Little, Bentley - The Haunted (Signet)
McKinney, Joe - Inheritance(Evil Jester Press)
Boccacino, Michael - Charlotte Markham and the House of Darklings (William Morrow)
Coates, Deborah - Wide Open (Tor Books)
Day, Charles - The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief (Noble YA Publishers LLC)
Dudar, Peter - A Requiem for Dead Flies (Nightscape Press)
Gropp, Richard - Bad Glass (Ballantine/Del Rey)
Soares, L.L. - Life Rage (Nightscape Press)
Bray, Libba - The Diviners (Little Brown)
Lyga, Barry - I Hunt Killers (Little Brown)
Maberry, Jonathan - Flesh & Bone (Simon & Schuster)
McCarty, Michael - I Kissed A Ghoul (Noble Romance Publishing)
Stiefvater, Maggie - The Raven Boys (Scholastic Press)
Strand, Jeff - A Bad Day for Voodoo (Sourcebooks)
Bunn, Cullen - The Sixth Gun Volume 3: Bound (Oni Press)
Moore, Terry - Rachel Rising Vol. 1: The Shadow of Death (Abstract Studio)
Thornton, Ravi - The Tale of Brin and Bent and Minno Marylebone (Jonathan Cape)
Wacks, Peter J., and Guy Anthony De Marco - Behind These Eyes (Villainous Press)
Wood, Rocky, and Lisa Morton - Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times (McFarland)
Burke, Kealan Patrick - Thirty Miles South of Dry County (Delirium Books)
Ketchum, Jack, and Lucky McGee - I'm Not Sam (Sinister Grin Press)
McKinney, Joe, and Michael McCarty - Lost Girl of the Lake (Bad Moon Books)
O'Neill, Gene - The Blue Heron (Dark Regions Press)
Prentiss, Norman - The Fleshless Man (Delirium Books)
Boston, Bruce - "Surrounded by the Mutant Rain Forest" (Daily Science Fiction)
McKinney, Joe - "Bury My Heart at Marvin Gardens" (Best of Dark Moon Digest, Dark Moon Books)
Ochse, Weston - "Righteous" (Psychos, Black Dog and Leventhall Publication)
Palisano, John - "Available Light" (Lovecraft eZine, March 2012)
Snyder, Lucy - "Magdala Amygdala" (Dark Faith: Invocations, Apex Book Company)
Goldman, Jane - The Woman in Black (Cross Creek Pictures)
Kim, Sang Kyu - The Walking Dead, "Killer Within" (AMC TV)
Minear, Tim - American Horror Story: Asylum, "Dark Cousin" (Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, Ryan Murphy Productions)
Ross, Gary, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray - The Hunger Games (Lionsgate, Color Force)
Whedon, Joss, and Drew Goddard - The Cabin in the Woods (Mutant Enemy Productions, Lionsgate)
Castle, Mort, and Sam Weller - Shadow Show (HarperCollins)
Guignard, Eric J. - Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations (Dark Moon Books)
Miller, Eric - Hell Comes to Hollywood (Big Time Books)
Scioneaux, Mark C., R.J. Cavender, and Robert S. Wilson - Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology (Cutting Block Press)
Swanson, Stan - Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books)
Carroll, Jonathan - Woman Who Married a Cloud: Collected Stories (Subterranean Press)
Castle, Mort - New Moon on the Water (Dark Regions)
Hand, Elizabeth - Errantry: Strange Stories (Small Beer Press)
Hirshberg, Glen - The Janus Tree (Subterranean Press)
Oates, Joyce Carol - Black Dahlia and White Rose: Stories (Ecco)
Collings, Michael - Writing Darkness (CreateSpace)
Klinger, Les - The Annotated Sandman, Volume 1 (Vertigo)
Morton, Lisa - Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween (Reaktion Books)
Paffenroth, Kim, and John W. Morehead - The Undead and Theology (Pickwick Publications)
Phillips, Kendall R. - Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film (Southern Illinois University Press)
Addison, Linda, and Stephen M. Wilson - Dark Duet (NECON eBooks)
Boston, Bruce, and Gary William Crawford - Notes from the Shadow City (Dark Regions Press)
Collings, Michael - A Verse to Horrors (Amazon Digital Services)
Simon, Marge, and Sandy DeLuca - Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls (Elektrik Milk Bath Press)
Turzillo, Mary A. - Lovers & Killers (Dark Regions)

Cartoon of the Day: Behind Every Great Novelist is..

I love Grant Snider, especially his "Book" comics. Be sure and visit his site for more comics, books, and posters.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Robin Hathaway: R.I.P.

Sad news. Robin Hathaway passed away on Saturday, Februarty 16, of cancer at a daughter's home in Reston, Va. She was 79.

From her website:
Robin graduated from Germantown Friends School and Smith College (BA/English). While her two daughters were young she owned and operated a printing/advertising firm Barnhouse Press from her home (there was a printing press in the barn and one in the house) and did freelance writing and photography. One daughter claims she was lulled to sleep by the methodical beat of a printing press in the kitchen and a close friend claimed she once found ink in her mashed potatoes!

But Robin had always wanted to write, and on her 50th birthday her husband told her, "It's now or never." So she began. She wrote three mystery novels in three years featuring Dr. Andrew Fenimore, an old-fashioned cardiologist who still made house calls. Robin's amateur sleuth was patterned after her husband, who just happened to also be a cardiologist.

For the next ten years she sent her mysteries out, and for ten years they bounced back like india rubber balls. On her sixtieth birthday, Robin became very discouraged. She was ready to give up when a member of the Delaware Valley Sisters in Crime told her about a contest --the St. Martin's Malice Domestic Contest for Best Traditional Mystery. .Deciding to give it one last try, she sent in her first Fenimore novel, THE DOCTOR DIGS A GRAVE, and promptly forgot all about it. Nine months later she received a mysterious phone call from a woman who told her, "You've won!" At first Robin thought it might be the lottery, until the woman revealed her identity as a senior editor at St. Martin's Press, and told her THE DOCTOR DIGS A GRAVE had won the contest and they wanted to publish it. Robin's reaction was to get a migraine headache that lasted for three days!

In 1998, this book won an Agatha Award. Four more books followed. In THE DOCTOR MAKES A DOLLHOUSE CALL each murder is preceded by a death set up in miniature in a dollhouse. The third novel, THE DOCTOR AND THE DEAD MAN’S CHEST, involves pirate treasure on the Delaware Bay. In THE DOCTOR DINES IN PRAGUE, the doctor solves a mystery in his mother's homeland, the Czech Republic. The fifth Fenimore mystery, THE DOCTOR ROCKS THE BOAT, is set on Philadelphia's famous Boathouse Row. Fenimore's effort to relax on the river results in murder and mayhem. To be released in June 2006.

In 2003, Robin launched a new suspense series with SCARECROW, introducing Jo Banks, a young woman doctor. Jo provides medical services at motels and makes her house calls on a motorcycle in the wilds of south Jersey. Her first adventure involved smugglers that exploited immigrants using them for slave labor. Workers who didn’t produce ended up as food for buzzards. In the sequel, SATAN’S PONY, ( Sept. 04) a motorcycle gang invades Jo's motel. When a biker is murdered, Jo defends an innocent suspect and helps find the real murderer. In the name of research, for this novel, Robin enticed a biker to let her mount his Harley and have her picture taken for the book jacket.

Her short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Arthur Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Death Knell.

I will miss her books, her sense of humor, and her support of everyone in the mystery community. She will be missed by many.

2013 Audie Award Nominees

Audio Publishers Association announced the nominees for the 2013 Audie Awards recognizing the best in spoken word entertainment. Winners  will be announced at the Audies Gala May 30, 2013, at the New York Historical Society in New York City. For nominees in all categories, go HERE.

Here are the Mystery/Thriller/Crime Fiction Related Nominees:

For excellence in narration, direction, engineering, mix and abridgment when applicable of an unabridged or abridged mystery audiobook, usually featuring a protagonist trying to solve a crime, usually a murder committed early in the story.
The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan, read by Simon Vance (AudioGO)
Hush Money by Chuck Greaves, read by Dan Butler (AudioGO)
The Nightmare by Lars Kepler, read by Mark Bramhall (Macmillan Audio)
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman, read by Linda Emond (Harper Audio)
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, read by Ralph Cosham (Macmillan Audio)

Red, White, and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth, read by Bronson Pinchot (Blackstone Audiobooks)
The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, read by Katherine Kellgren (AudioGO)
Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz, read by David Aaron Baker (Brilliance Audio)
The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell, read by Barbara Rosenblat (Recorded Books)
Rise Again by Ben Tripp, read by Kirsten Potten (Tantor Media)

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes, read by Samuel L. Jackson (Audible)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, read by Edoardo Ballerini (Harper Audio)
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, read by Claire Danes (Audible, Inc)
The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig, read by David Aaron BAker (Recorded Books)
Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon, read by Edoardo Ballerini (Audible)

Original Work
Gun Church by Reed Farrel Coleman, read by Joe Barrett, John Keating (Audible)
(see other nominees here)

Package Design: 
Savages by Don Winslow, Read by Michael Kramer (Tantor Media)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Murder at the Academy Awards

Enjoy the Academy Awards tomorrow night. Almost forgot to post this updated list! Several mysteries take place during the Academy Awards or the time period surrounding the Oscars!

Murder at the Academy Awards by Joan Rivers and Jerilyn Farmer
Oscar Season by Mary McNamara
Murder at the Academy Awards by Joe Hyams
Best Murder on the Year by Jon P. Bloch
Best Actress by John Kane
Jack Hightower by Will Vinton & Andrew Wiese
Screenscam by Michael Bowen
Tight Shot by Kevin Allman

Am I missing any titles?

Want something CHOCOLATE to enjoy during the Awards? Try some Chocolate Covered Popcorn or Homemade Junior Mints!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lincoln Assassination "Wanted Poster" Discovered at Princeton University Library

A wanted poster offering a $100,000 reward for Lincoln's murder was 'rediscovered' at the Princeton University Library. The poster was found as the Curator of Manuscripts and his team were completing descriptive labels for a new exhibition, “A Republic in the Wilderness: Treasures of American History from Jamestown to Appomattox,” opening this Friday, February 22 in the main gallery of the University’s Firestone Library.

“It’s a wonderful item that came to us with the Livingston and Delafield Family Papers in the mid-1980s,” says Mr. Skemer (Curator): “Because of its size, it was housed in a flat file, separate from the rest of the papers when they were being arranged and described; we rediscovered it in December when rehousing collections as part of the ongoing renovation of Firestone Library.”

Read more here.

LA Times Book Prize Finalists

The finalists for the 33rd L.A. Times Book Prizes were announced this morning. Following are the Mystery/Thriller. In addition to the 50 books in 10 categories that are in the running for the awards, two authors -- Margaret Atwood and Kevin Starr -- will receive special recognition.


Tana French / Broken Harbor (Viking)
 Nick Harkaway/Angelmaker (Knopf)
 Fuminori Nakamura/The Thief (Soho Crime)
 Chris Pavone / The Expats (Crown)
Ariel S. Winter / The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime)

For the Complete List in all categories, go HERE.

Jane Austen Postage Stamps

From the Huffington Post UK:

A special set of stamps go on sale today featuring Jane Austen novels, including newly-commissioned artwork showing scenes from her books. All six published novels are included in the new stamps, which mark the 200th anniversary of Pride And Prejudice.

The Royal Mail also announced that letters posted in Chawton in Hampshire, where Austen spent her last years, and Steventon, near Basingstoke, where she was born, will have a special postmark for a week, featuring the Pride And Prejudice quote "Do anything rather than marry without affection."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Victorian Tea Party

As a tea drinker, I just have to share this Antique Victorian Postcard from Great British Tea Party.

 There are few hours in life more agreeable
Than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
                           --Henry James

Cartoon of the Day: Books

Another great 'book related' comic:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TV News: David Baldacci Series

From the TNT Newsroom:

TNT has given the greenlight to a new untitled private-eye drama starring Jon Tenney (The Closer) and Rebecca Romijn (X-Men) and based on bestselling author David Baldacci‘s popular characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell.

TNT has ordered 10 episodes of the series, which is being produced by CBS Television Studios. Shane Brennan (NCIS: LA), who penned the pilot, and Grant Anderson (Third Watch) serve as executive producers, with Karen Spiegel (Absolute Power) as producer. Baldacci is a consultant on the series, which is slated to premiere in summer 2013.

Sean King (Tenney) and Michelle Maxwell (Romijn) aren’t your typical pair of private investigators. Both are former Secret Service agents, and their unique skills – not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry – often give them a leg up on suspects and conventional law enforcement.

The untitled private-eye drama also stars Michael O’Keefe (Michael Clayton) as Rigby and Chris Butler (The Good Wife) as Carter, two FBI agents who occasionally cross paths with King and Maxwell. In addition, Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy, TNT’s Wanted) stars as Edgar Roy, a savant who helps King and Maxwell solve cases.

Baldacci, who has written more than 25 novels, first introduced readers to Sean King and Michelle Maxwell in his 2003 bestseller Split Second. The pair returned the following year in Hour Game and subsequently appeared in 2007′s Simple Genius, 2009′s First Family and 2011′s The Sixth Man.

HT: Shelf Awareness

Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidents Day Bookshelf

Perfect for Presidents Day: The United States of Books. Of course, my shelves would be packed!

HT: Dutton Books. I've posted this before, but Dutton brought it back to mind...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Presidents Day Crime Fiction

Presidents Day: This is an updated list that features the U.S. President in mysteries, thrillers and crime fiction. This is not a definitive list, and I welcome any additions. I've divided the list into categories, but added more at the end under 'other'. I will have a separate list of Abraham Lincoln Mysteries on Monday.

Political Election and Thrillers
Rubicon by Lawrence Alexander
Saving Faith by David Baldacci
Political Suicide and Touched by the Dead by Robert Barnard
Capitol Conspiracy by William Bernhardt
Collateral Damage by Michael Bowen
Three Shirt Deal by Stephen J. Cannell
Impaired Judgement by David Compton
Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Term Limits by Vince Flynn
The Scandal Plan by Bill Folman
The Power Broker by Stephen W. Frey
Spook Country by William Gibson
Fast Track, Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman
The Fourth Perimeter by Tim Green
The People's Choice by Jeff Greenfield
The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
The President's Daughter and The White House Connection by Jack Higgins
The Enemy Within  by Noel Hynd
First Daughter by Eric Lustbader
Executive Privilege by Philip Margolin
The Race, Protect and Defend, Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson
Politics Noir: Gary Phillips, Editor
Missing Member by Jo-Ann Power
Dark Horse by Ralph Reed
Dead Heat, The Last Jihad by Joel C. Rosenberg
Dead Watch by John Sandford
State of the Union by Brad Thor
Capital Crimes by Stuart Woods

Assassination Attempts
American Quartet by Warren AdlerSherlock Holmes in Dallas by Edmund Aubrey
Primary Target by Max Allan Collins
Campaign Train (Murder Rides the Campaign Train) by The Gordons
Glass Tiger by Joe Gores
The President's Assassin by Brian Haig
Murder at Monticello by Jane Langton
The Surrogate Assassin by Christopher Leppek
Gideon's March by J.J. Marric
The Kidnapping of the President by Charles Templeton
Pursuit by James Stewart Thayer
Primary Target by Marilyn Wallace
Watchdogs by John Weisman

We are Holding the President Hostage by Warren Adler
The Camel Club by David Baldacci
Line of Succession by Brian Garfield
Madam President by Anne Holt
Oath of Office by Steven J. Kirsch
The Kidnapping of the President by Charles Templeton

Presidential Disappearances
Missing! by Michael Avallone
The President's Plan is Missing by Robert J. Serling
The President Vanishes by Rex Stout

Fixing the Election
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
The 13th Directorate by Barry Chubin
Atropos by William DeAndrea
The Red President by Martin Gross
The Ceiling of Hell by Warren Murphy
The Trojan Hearse by Richard S. Prather
 President Fu Manch by Sax Rohmer
The Big Fix by Roger L. Simon

Presidential Crisis
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II
Vanished by Fletcher Knebel

The President as Detective
Speak Softly by Lawrence Alexander
Lincoln for the Defense by Warren Bull
Mr President, Private Eye, edited by Martin Greenberg & Francis M. Nevins
Bully by Mark Schorr 

The JFK Plot
Too many to list, but...
Mongoose, RIP by William F. Buckley
Executive Action by Mark Lane, Donald Freed and Stephen Jaffe
The Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarry

Presidential Families
Deadly Aims by Ron L. Gerard
The President's Daughter by Jack Higgins
The Devil's Bed by William Kent Krueger
The First Lady Murders, edited by Nancy Pickard
Murder and the First Lady (and other novels) By Elliot Roosevelt
Murder in the White House (and other novels) by Margaret Truman
They've Shot the President's Daughter by Edward Stewart

The President's Mind, The 20th Day of January by Ted Allbeury
Enslaved by Ron Burns
The Plan by Stephen J. Cannell
Killing Time by Caleb Carr
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
Ex Officio by Timothy Culver (Donald Westlake)
The President's Vampire, Blood Bath by Christopher Farnsworth
The President's Henchman, The Next President by Joseph Flynn
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series
The First Patient by Michael Palmer
Treason at Hanford by Scott Parker
Keeping House by Tucker and Richard Phillips
Acts of Mercy by Bill Pronzini and Barry Malzberg
The President's Daugher by Mariah Stewart
Put a Lid on It by Donald Westlake
President Lincoln's Spy by Steven Wilson

An Anthology
Mr President, Private Eye, edited by Martin H. Greenberg. Different historical presidents in the role of sleuth

Cartoon of the Day

Friday, February 15, 2013

Very Specific Library Rules

From, one of my favorite sites, comes this article: 9 Very Specific Rules from Real Libraries.

We've all seen signs banning cell phones, food, and drinks. But these rules cover issues that might not be common to all libraries.

1. Keep the door closed due to bats.


2.  No Balloons

There are more, but my personal favorite since I know many people who do this.

# 8. No re-shelving, even by library majors

Read the rest HERE. Any interesting rules at your local library? Don't forget to read the comments at the end of the article!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Mysteries

Valentine's Day Crime Fiction list. Be sure and check out my other blog: DyingforChocolate for Valentine's Chocolate Reviews, Recipes, and Vintage Chocolate Ads.  

Books are the perfect Valentine's Day gift, so bundle some of the following mysteries, add a red ribbon and a box of chocolate truffles, and you're good to go!

Valentine's Day Mysteries

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair
Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
Death of a Valentine by M. C. Beaton
The Broken Hearts Club by Ethan Black
Claws and Effect by Rita Mae Brown
How To Murder The Man Of Your Dreams by Dorothy Cannell
The Chocolate Cupid Killings by JoAnna Carl
Red Roses for a Dead Trucker by Anna Ashwood Collins
A Catered Valentine's Day by Isis Crawford
Hard Feelings by Barbara D’Amato
Love With The Proper Killer by Rose Deshaw
The Saint Valentine's Day Murders by Ruth Dudley Edwards
Plum Lovin’ by Janet Evanovich
Happy Valentine’s Day by Michelle Fitzpatrick
The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming
St. Valentine's Night by Andrew M. Greeley
Caveman's Valentine by George Dawes Green
Bleeding Hearts by Jane Haddam
The Valentine's Day Murder by Lee Harris
Deadly Valentine, Crimes of the Heart by Carolyn G. Hart
Deadly Valentine by Jenna Harte
Cupid's Revenge by Melanie Jackson
 Sugar and Spite by G.A. McKevett
Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz 
The Scent of Murder by Jeffrey Marks
Sugar and Spite by G.A. McKevett
The Valentine Victim by Dougal McLeish
Valentine Murder by Leslie Meier
Love You to Death by Grant Michaels
Cat Playing Cupid by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
The Body in the Attic by Katherine Hall Page
A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
Valentine by Tom Savage
Sweet Hearts by Connie Shelton
One Rough Man by Brad Taylor
Murder of a Pink Elephant by Denise Swanson
Daughter Of The Stars by Phyllis A. Whitney

Short Stories
Crimes of Passion with stories by Nancy Means, B.J. Daniels, Jonathan Harrington and Maggie Right Price
My Heart Cries Out for You by Bill Crider
Valentine's Day Is Killing Me edited by Leslie Esdaile, Mary Janice Davidson, Susanna Carr
Crimes of the Heart edited by Carolyn G. Hart
Valentine’s Day: Women Against Men-Stories of Revenge edited by Alice Thomas Editor

As always, let me know if I've missed any titles!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


From the Archives:

Mardi Gras and New Orleans Crime Fiction

Today is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras or Carnivale, whatever you call it, is a great setting for Murder! Busy streets, crowds, costumes, drinking.. mix it all together, and you have a recipe for the perfect crime novel.

I've expanded my list again to include more New Orleans books that might not take place exactly at Mardi Gras, as well as several eBooks. As always, I welcome additional titles.

The Mardi Gras Mystery by Henry Bedford-Jones
Death Visits Mardi Gras by J.J. Boortz
Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
Purple Cane Road, Dixie City Jam, The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke 
Gumbo Justice, Jambalaya Justice by Holli Castillo 
Murder Comes to Mardi Gras, Death Swatch, Keepsake Crimes, Death by Design by Laura Childs
Mardi Gras Murders by Nicole Daines and Robert Daines
The Mardi Gras Murders by Ricardo S. Dubois
No Mardi Gras for the Dead by D.J. Donaldson
Shelter from the Storm by Tony Dunbar
The Big Uneasy-Terror Strikes Mardi Gras by Murray C. Fincher
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan
Carnaval Capers by Jody Ford
Carnival by Charlotte Foryan
Venetian Mask by Mickey Friedman
Jass, Rampart Street by David Fulmer
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
A Free Man of Color, Fever Season, Sold Down the River by Barbara Hambly
Mardi Gras Mamo by Greg Herren
A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag
The Mardi Gras Mystery by Carolyn Keene
Storm Damage by Ed Kovacs
The Mardi Gras Murders by Gwen Bristow & Bruce Manning
by Gilbert Morris
Mardi Gras Eyes by Phyllis Morris
Masques by Bill Pronzini
Mardi Gras Murders by Phillip Scott
New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
A Diamond Before You Die by Chris Wiltz

Other Mystery Authors who set Novels in New Orleans: Laura Childs, Robert Crais (The Voodoo River) Gilbert Morris, James Sallis
Short Stories
New Orleans Noir, edited by Julie Smith
Mardi Gras Madness: Tales of Terror and Mayhem in New Orleans, edited by Russell Davis and Martin Harry Greenberg

Kindle eBooks:
A Venetian June by Anna Fuller and Frederick Simpson Coburn 
Mask of the Betrayer by Sharon Donovan 
Novel Noir by Lewis Faulkner 
Bourbon Street by Leonce Gaiter 
Bourbon Street Blues, Jackson Square Jazz, Mardi Gras Mambo by Greg Herren
Mardi Gravestone by Sandy Semerad
love, murder, etc by Kahtleen Valentine
Cruel Woman Blues, Cities of the Dead, Wild Magnolias, Pontchartrain by Eric Wilder
Fair Warning by Bob Zimmerman

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, you might want to have some Chocolate Chip Pancakes or Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie or Chocolate "Cupped" Cakes with Coffee & Chicory. If you're celebrating Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, or along the Gulf Coast, have a Moon Pie. Read more here. They're a favorite 'throw' in Mobile.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cartoon of the Day: Cats vs Dogs

Having nothing to do with mystery, except maybe the mystery of the difference between cats and dogs... from Hilary Price at Rhymes with Orange:

Dog Mysteries: Westminster, Deborah Crombie and Dogs

The Westminster Dog Show, one of the preeminent shows in the world, starts today in New York. I'll be watching on TV, of course, but for those dog lovers who love dogs in mysteries, here's an essay by Deborah Crombie that appeared in Mystery Readers Journal: Animal Mysteries (Volume 27, No. 3, Fall 2011). Be sure and check out the table of contents of this issue HERE for other articles or to order.

Deborah Crombie writes the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James crime novels set in the United Kingdom. Latest in the series comes out in a matter of days: The Sound of Broken Glass (Wm. Morrow). Crombie lives in North Texas with her husband, German shepherds, and cats, and divides her time between Texas and Britain.

Deborah Crombie:
Animals In and Out of Books

The German shepherds were my husband's fault.

When he was very small, his parents kept a German shepherd for friends who had to go overseas for a summer. My dear hubby adored the dog, which was very gentle with him, as shepherds usually are with small children. He would put his hand in the dog's mouth and pretend he was a lion tamer. (I can imagine the little blond imp shrieking with glee at his daring, and it has just occurred to me that my fictional little blond imp, Toby, might bear some relation to my real-life husband as a child.)

The German shepherd went back to his owners, and my husband grew up with other dogs; a bloodhound, a boxer. But none replaced the German shepherd in his imagination or affections.

I, on the other hand, did not grow up in a pet-friendly household. My mother did not care for cats. She was afraid of big dogs—she'd been bitten as a small child—and above all she didn't want anything in the house that shed!

When I was nine, my parents gave in to what I'm sure was my incessant and annoying whining, and took in an adult toy poodle (no shedding) from some elderly relatives who could no longer care for her. Oh, dear, oh dear. The disappointment on all sides. The poor dog, Jolie, had been raised as a faux-human, and never adjusted to the deterioration in her circumstances, although she bore with us bravely for a good many years.

But this dog, who didn't care for children and had never been taught to play, was not Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, and my heart was broken. I consoled myself by reading books about imaginary dogs, and spending hours poring over dog encyclopedias trying to decide on the perfect pup.

By my late teens, I'd rebelled (well, I was still living at home so perhaps not all that rebellious) and had finally talked my mother into letting me adopt a kitten, a six-week-old tiny orange ball of fluff. That sweet little thing grew up into the cat from hell, which terrorized everyone and everything in the household, including my second acquisition, an enormous and completely goofy Great Dane.

Eventually I went away to college, the Great Dane went to a family with small children and a big yard, and the hellcat stayed with me until I moved to England a number of years later.

And I've continued ever since to make up for my pet-free childhood. There have been a great number of cats—one, a purebred Himalayan, brought back from England. I was living in Chester at the time with my then-husband, and we'd found the kitten in a newspaper advert. Her breeders lived in a farmhouse near the Cheshire market town of Nantwich. Here reality bleeds into fiction again—that farmhouse, and that town, made such an impression on me that a decade later they became the models for Duncan Kincaid's parents' home.

Then came the dogs. My first dog as an adult was a buff cocker spaniel, bought as a surprise for our seven-year-old daughter. His name was Taffy. He had every bad trait that plagues cocker spaniels. I adored him, and he me. We lost him to cancer when he was nine, and we found we couldn't bear being dogless, even for a week.

I'd had visions of an English cocker, perhaps a bi-color or a blue roan, but my husband had his heart set on a German shepherd, and so Hallie came into our lives. She's thirteen now, and frail. Our younger shepherd, Neela, is five, and they have been everything that that long-ago little girl imagined as the ideal dog—brave, loving, loyal, smart, playful, and funny. Oh, and we live in a sea of dog hair.

Gemma, of course, got the blue roan cocker spaniel, Geordie, and he is the dog of her heart. Kit's Tess, on the other hand, the little foundling who might be a Norfolk terrier, sprang out of nowhere, just as dogs sometimes do in real life. A frightened boy seeking shelter and solace found a frightened little dog behind a supermarket, and a match was made.

Before the fictional dogs, however, Duncan acquired a cat, Sid, a big black fellow who had belonged to his late friend and neighbor in Hampstead.
Having resisted the temptation to give my primary fictional characters German shepherds, I've given the GSDs walk-on roles in a number of novels. Dogs and cats weave in and out of all the books in the series. I notice I've had a particular fondness for black Labrador retrievers, which pop up in a number of books. Duncan's parents have a lovely border collie. One of my favorite fictional dogs has been Mo, the English mastiff in Where Memories Lie (Wm. Morrow, 2008). Mo was modeled on a real English mastiff named Big Mo. Big Mo's owners bid at a Humane Society auction for the opportunity to have him appear in a book, and I hope I did him justice. I certainly enjoyed spending a book with him, drool and all. I particularly love the scene where he eats the tub of ice cream.

But if the working dogs have had minor roles in the previous books, they get their due in No Mark Upon Her. Finn, a black Lab, and Tosh, a female German shepherd who just happens to look exactly like our Neela, are search and rescue dogs with a volunteer organization I've called Thames Valley SAR in the book. TVSAR is based on a real volunteer group called Berkshire SAR, whose members were extremely helpful when I was researching the book. They allowed me to handle a search dog in training exercises, and to hide and pretend to be a victim. (In the dark, in the mud, I might add. All the more fun.)

I have tremendous respect for both dogs and handlers, and if the dogs in my book are heroes, their real-life counterparts are more so.

Will there be dogs and cats in future books? Undoubtedly. I can't imagine my own life without their companionship, and my characters deserve to be equally blessed.

There is one caveat, however—the dogs and cats are not allowed to talk.


From CWA:

The Crime Writers’ Association is delighted to announce that the 2013 Diamond Dagger will be awarded to Lee Child. He will receive the diamond-studded Dagger at a gala dinner in the summer.

The CWA Diamond Dagger is voted for by members of the CWA and celebrates an author with an outstanding body of work in crime fiction. Past winners include Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, and Elmore Leonard. In 2012 the award went to Frederick Forsyth.

Chair of the CWA Peter James said: “I am delighted that the CWA has chosen Lee Child as this year’s recipient. Lee is one of the few British crime thriller authors to have become a global brand name; he is also an extremely charming and open person and a tireless promoter of our genre.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013


恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Snake. Chinese New Year begins today.

I've put together Chinese New Year's Mystery Lists for the past few years, as well as some titles (scroll down) that take place in China, not necessarily during the New Year. As always, I welcome any additions.


Year of the Dog, Red Jade by Henry Chang 

Year of the Dragon by Robert Daley 
Neon Dragon by John Dobbyn
Dim Sum Dead by Jerrilyn Farmer 
The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen
Chop Suey by Ty Hutchison

The Skull Cage Key by Michael Marriott
The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan
City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley
The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee by Robert Van Gulik (7th Century china) "New Year's Eve in Lan-Fang"

Short story by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer: "The Lady Fish Mystery", EQMM, September/October 1996.

The Nancy Drew Notebooks: The Chinese New Year Mystery by Carolyn Keene

A good reference book for contemporary crime fiction in China: Chinese Justice, the Fiction: Law and Literature in Modern China by Jeffrey C. Kinkley (Stanford University Press)

Not specifically about Chinese New Year, here's a short list of authors/mysteries that are set in China:

Ralph Arnote, Hong Kong, China
Biggers, Earl Derr, Charlie Chan: The House Without a Key, The Chinese Parrot, Behind the Curtain, The Black Camel, Keeper of the Keys
Lisa Brackmann, Rock Paper Tiger
Stephen Coonts, Hong Kong
Charles Cumming, Typhoon
Xiaolong Qiu, Death of a Red Heroine (and other titles)
Wang Shuo, Playing for Thrills
Jim Michael Hansen, Bad Laws
S.G. Kiner, The Hong Kong Connection
Diane Wei Liang, The Eye of Jade
Paul French, Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
John L. Mariotti, The Chinese Conspiracy
Peter May, The Firemaker
Eliot Pattison, Many novels set in Tibet
Catherine Sampson, The Pool of Unease
Lisa See, Flower Net
Deborah Shlian, Rabbit in the Moon
Eric Stone, Shanghaied
Nury Vittachi, The Feng Shui Detective

Yin-Lien C. Chin, The "Stone Lion" and Other Chinese Detective Stories
Chen Xiaoquing, Sherlock in Shanghai

Here's a wonderful blog on Writing in China by Bertrand Mialaret (in French)

Also I'll have more recipes on my other blog, Dying for Chocolate, for a Chocolate Chinese New Year

Friday, February 8, 2013


Agatha Award Nominees. Winners will be announced at Malice Domestic in May. Congratulations to all.

Best Novel:
The Diva Digs Up the Dirt by Krista Davis
A Fatal Winter by G.M. Malliet
The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Best First Novel:
Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer
Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown
A Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan
A Killer Read by Erika Chase
Faithful Unto Death by Stephanie Jaye Evans

Best Non-fiction:
Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels by John Connolly/Declan Burke
Blood Relations: The Selected Letters of Ellery Queen, 1947-1950 by Joseph Goodrich, Editor
More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered by D.P. Lyle
Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre
The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery Agatha Christie by Mathew Prichard, Editor

Best Short Story:
"Mischief in Mesopotamia" by Dana Cameron (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
"Kept in the Dark" by Shelia Connolly (Best New England Crime Stories 2013: Blood Moon Anthology)
"The Lord is My Shamus" by Barb Goffman (Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder)
"Thea's First Husband" by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
"When Duty Calls", by Art Taylor (Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder)

Best Children's/Young Adult Novel:
Seconds Away by Harlan Coben
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Code Busters Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse by Penny Warner
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Best Historical Novel:
The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder by Catriona McPherson
Murder on Fifth Avenue by Victoria Thompson
An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear


The 2013 LOVEY Awards for mystery writing were presented at the 14th annual Love is Murder mystery writers and readers conference on Saturday, Feb. 2. The awards were presented in nine categories, with more than 40 entrants.


Best First Novel: PERFIDY by M.E. May
Best Traditional Amateur Sleuth: THE LIGHTKEEPER’S LEGACY by Kathleen Ernst
Best Thriller: COMPANY ORDERS by David J. Walker
Best Historical: ARCHIE MEETS NERO WOLFE by Robert Goldsborough
Best Police Procedural: PORTRAIT OF MURDER by Rob Riley
Best Suspense: A BITTER VEIL by Libby Fischer Hellmann
Best Paranormal/Sci-Fi: LAST WOOL AND TESTAMENT by Molly MacRae
Best Series: TRICKSTER’S POINT by William Kent Krueger
Best Short Story: HARRY’S FALL FROM GRACE by Luisa Buehler

Congrats to all!

For the list of nominees, go HERE.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Margaret Frazer: R.I.P.

Gail Frazer, known as Margaret Frazer, passed away in her sleep Monday night at the age of 66. She is survived by her two sons (Justin Alexander and Seth Gupton), her loving daughters-in-law, and the enduring legacy of her award-winning and nationally bestselling novels and stories.

Her son Justin writes on Margaret's website:

Twenty years ago, Frazer’s first novel – The Novice’s Tale – was published-- the same summer that she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She published her twenty-fifth novel – The Circle of Witches – last December at a time when she was struggling with the fifth recurrence of the cancer. She fought long, she fought stubbornly, and she refused to be defined by the disease which ultimately claimed her life. In her work, she sought the unique pleasure of thoroughly exploring the otherwhen and otherwhere.

Frazer grew up in Kewanee, IL, the daughter of Fred and Grace Brown. Her father was a labor attorney and later mayor; her mother was a proud homemaker. Frazer discovered a love of theater and her future husband with the Genesius Guild in Rock Island, IL. She appeared in theatrical productions throughout her life, including essentials roles on the Guthrie Stage and most recently as part of the Complete Readings of William Shakespeare with the American Shakespeare Repertory.

Margaret Frazer wrote the Sister Frevisse Mysteries and the Joliffe Player Mysteries, as well as Short Stories.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Geoffrey Rush & Emily Watson to Star in The Book Thief

From Hollywood Reporter:

Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are set to star in Fox 2000’s adaptation of Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel The Book Thief.

French-Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse, who appeared in Monsieur Lahzar, will make her English-language debut as the title character in the World War II drama being directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).

Ben Schnetzer and Nico Liersch are also cast in the screen translation of the novel, which spent more than 280 weeks on best-seller charts.

Thief centers on Liesel (Nelisse), a spirited young girl who witnesses the horrors of Nazi Germany while in the care of foster parents (Rush and Watson). The girl arrives with a stolen book and begins collecting other tomes, learning to read while her stepparents harbor a Jewish refugee (Schnetzer) under the stairs.

Rush’s character first takes on the young girl for money but soon comes to love her. Watson’s character is described as being very tough on Liesel, but her kindness occasionally shows through.

The film will start production this month in Berlin.  

Karen Rosenfelt and Ken Blancato are producing.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Left Coast Crime Award Nominations

2013 Left Coast Crime Award Nominations

Left Coast Crime 2013, “Where Murder Is the Last Resort,” will be giving four awards at the 23rd annual LCC convention to be held in Colorado Springs. The awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at a banquet on Saturday, March 23, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. The nomination period has just concluded, and LCC is delighted to announce the nominees for books published in 2012:

The Lefty has been awarded for the best humorous mystery novel since 1996. This year’s nominees are:
    • Mike Befeler, Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder (Five Star)
    • Laura DiSilverio, Swift Run (Minotaur)
    • Jess Lourey, December Dread (Midnight Ink)
    • Lisa Lutz, Trail of the Spellmans (Simon & Schuster)
    • Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door (Minotaur)
    • Nancy Glass West, Fit To Be Dead (Southwest Publications)
The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award (first awarded in 2004) is given to mystery novels covering events before 1960. This year’s nominees are:
    • Rhys Bowen, The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Berkley Prime Crime)
    • Rebecca Cantrell, A City of Broken Glass (Forge)
    • Dennis Lehane, Live by Night (William Morrow)
    • Catronia McPherson, Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder (Minotaur)
    • Jacqueline Winspear, Elegy for Eddie (HarperCollins)
The Rocky, for the best mystery novel set in the Left Coast Crime Geographical Region (first awarded in 2004). The nominees are:
    • Margaret Coel, Buffalo Bill’s Dead Now (Berkley Prime Crime)
    • Chuck Greaves, Hush Money (Minotaur)
    • Beth Groundwater, Wicked Eddies (Midnight Ink)
    • Darrell James, Sonora Crossing (Midnight Ink)
    • Craig Johnson, As the Crow Flies (Viking)

The Watson, for the mystery novel with the best sidekick (first awarded in 2011). The nominees are:
    • Juliet Blackwell, In a Witch’s Wardrobe (Obsidian)
    • Robert Crais, Taken (Putnam)
    • Chris Grabenstein, Fun House (Pegasus)
    • L.C. Hayden, When the Past Haunts You (CreateSpace)
    • Rochelle Staab, Brouja Brouhaha (Berkley Prime Crime)

The Left Coast Crime Convention is an annual event sponsored by fans of mystery literature for fans of mystery literature, including both readers and authors. Usually held in the western half of North America, LCC’s intent is to provide an event where mystery fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interests.

The 23rd annual Left Coast Crime Convention will take place in Colorado Springs, CO, March 21–24, 2013. This year’s Guests of Honor are authors Craig Johnson and Laura Lippman. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is a Special Guest. Tom and Enid Schantz are the Fan Guests of Honor. Author David Corbett will serve as Toastmaster, and Parnell Hall will entertain as the “Last Resort” Troubadour.

For more information on Left Coast Crime 2013, please visit

Victorian Spy Camera

Victorian Spy Camera: 1886-1890.  Isn't this fabulous?
Hat Tip:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013


There's a lot of real crime surrounding the Super Bowl: drugs, money, egos, etc. Lots of fodder for the crime writer. So in 'honor' of Sunday's Game, I've updated my short lists of Super Bowl and other Football Mysteries. This is in no way definitive--just some football mysteries for you to enjoy in case you're not watching the Super Bowl Game. Go, Niners! As always, I welcome additions!

If you're interested in other Sports Mysteries and essays on Football Mysteries, Mystery Readers Journal has had several Sports Mysteries issues. The last Sports Mysteries Issue of MRJ was Volume 25:4 (Winter 2009-2010). Available in Hardcopy and .pdf download

Super Bowl Mysteries

Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl by John Feinstein (YA)
The Hidden Key by George Harmon Coxe
Super-Dude by John Craig
Black Sunday by Thomas Harris
Paydirt by Paul Levine
The Last Super Bowl by Robin Moore & David Harper
4th and Fixed by Reggie Rivers
Murder at the Super Bowl by Fran Tarkenton and Herb Resnicow
Life's Work by Jonathan Valin
Killerbowl by Gary K. Wolf
Other Football Mysteries (not British Football, of which there are many titles)

The Professor by Robert Bailey
Rough and Tumble by Mark Bavaro
Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben
Coliseum by Barney Cohen
Day of the Ram by William Campbell Gault
Murder at Cleaver Stadium by Douglas Lee Gibboney
Double Reverse; Ruffians by Tim Green
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Bleeding Maize and Blue by Susan Holtzer
The Prophet by Michael Koryta
Bump and Run by Mike Lupica
The Draft by Wil Mara
Dead Ball Foul by Kayla McGrady
A Cardinal Offense by Ralph McInerny
Parker's Blood by William Miller
Winter and Night by S. J. Rozan
Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt
Marked Man; Red Card by Mel Stein
A Touch of Death by Charles Williams

Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry