Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eion Colfer's Artemis Fowl to the Big Screen

Eion Colfer's Artemis Fowl, a terrific and extremely popular YA series, is coming to the big screen. 

Walt Disney Studios announced yesterday that it's in development on the film adaptation of Eoin Colfer's “Artemis Fowl” series with Harvey Weinstein (“Django Unchained”) producing. Variety reports Weinstein initially bought the film rights back in 2000.

“I feel as though everything is coming full circle considering Bob De Niro and Jane Rosenthal brought me this book while I was still at Miramax and within hours I told them I wanted the rights to the film,” said Weinstein. “… This is a special project for me because my children absolutely love this book. This story is for everyone and there is no one better than Disney to make a film that will excite people young and old.”

Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal will executive produce the project, and Michael Goldenberg (“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”) will be writing the screenplay.

According to the Walt Disney Studio press release, the movie will be based on the first two books in the series: Artemis Fowl and Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident.

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius – and a criminal mastermind.

The Artemis Fowl books have sold more than 21 million copies in 44 language worldwide.

Book Geek

Shared via Lesa Holstine from Cozy Chicks. Hold up your hand if this refers to you!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Leighton Gage Obituary from SOHO Press

From Juliet Graves, Senior Editor, SOHO Press

I grieved to learn of the passing of Leighton Gage on Saturday, July 27th. I speak not only as his editor but on behalf of Soho Press, his publisher, and his Soho Crime confederates when I say we are bereft, both at the loss of the gentleman himself and at the reality that his last book will, indeed, be his last book. Each of Leighton’s six published novels—Blood of the Wicked, Buried Strangers, Dying Gasp, Every Bitter Thing, A Vine in the Blood, Perfect Hatred—have each been critical gems, and I am heartbroken to think that Leighton will not witness the critical reception of his forthcoming The Ways of Evil Men, which is due to be published in January 2014—I am certain it will be the warmest yet.

Leighton’s work is quite unlike anything else being written or published, and time will only prove its mettle. The novels—procedurals following a team of Brazilian federal police investigators under the phlegmatic command of Chief Inspector Mario Silva—are simultaneously taut and cinematic in their execution, noir confections of sharply drawn scenes and grisly ethical choices. I love them for their clever balance of thought-provoking social commentary and sheer entertainment. As Tom Nolan wrote in March 2012 in a Wall Street Journal piece on the entire Silva series, “Despite their social conscience and ambitious reach, there’s nothing stiff or programmatic about Mr. Gage’s lively, action-filled chronicles. They have finely sketched characters, vivid geographic detail and their own brutal sort of humor.” That vivid geographic detail is another very special feature of the books: Leighton takes the reader all over the massive country of Brazil and deep into its microcosms and remotest pockets in a way that only someone intimately and lovingly familiar with a subject can. His expertise allows him to offer the reader an immersive experience of something unfamiliar as well as a critical lens for observing our own respective societies—the noblest achievement, in my opinion, toward which modern fiction can aspire.

Leighton was a backbone of the crime fiction community as well as the Soho Crime family. A tireless author advocate with a powerful social media presence (he founded the blog Murder Is Everywhere, which is devoted to international crime fiction), Leighton was a mentor and friend to many authors at various stages in their careers. I only had the privilege of working with Leighton editorially on his three most recent books, and I am of heavy heart in acknowledging there will be no more, that we will not be toasting to his success at future crime conventions. On behalf of everyone at Soho, I extend our deepest condolences to Leighton’s lovely and gracious wife, Eide, and to the rest of his family.

In lieu of flowers, the family would truly appreciate donations to pancan.org, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Juliet Grames
Senior Editor, Soho Press

Cartoon of the Day: Why I'm not getting any writing done

WHY I'M NOT GETTING ANY WRITING DONE on my so-called novel.
Shared from QuirkBooks Blog.. via Kirsten Saxton.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Leighton Gage: Fiction vs. Reality vs Fiction

I haven't quite gotten my head and heart around the passing of Leighton Gage on Saturday. I will be posting a link to tributes and an official obitutary, but in the meantime I thought I'd repost a guest blog he wrote for Mystery Fanfare in 2011. Leighton Gage: R.I.P.


Leighton Gage livee near São Paulo and wrote The Chief Inspector Mario Silva Series, novels featuring the exploits of the Brazilian Federal Police.


Do you know the question asked of more authors, more times, and in more situations, than any other?

It’s this: Where do you get your ideas?

No kidding. Ask any author.

A number of years ago, I was in a bookshop, doing a dual event.

And, sure enough, someone in the audience popped the question.

My fellow author, an old pro, had an answer on the tip of her tongue. She claimed she got all her ideas out of something she called the Author’s Idea Book. And she went on to spin a ludicrous tale, much appreciated by the audience.

I, a newbie and less-prepared, told them I got mine from television newscasts.

That, too, was received with laughter.

But I didn’t mean it to be funny, and I was perplexed.

Until I realized that many readers in America (and this appearance was in America) find it hard to believe that some of the things I write about actually happen.

They think I make them up.

But now, two movies have been produced that show it like it is.

Like it really is.

The movies are Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within. (Portuguese titles: Tropa da Elite I and Tropa da Elite II.)

Both deal with the activities of the BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais) the Special Operations Battalion of the State of Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police.

The BOPE is an institution that’s absolutely merciless when it comes to dealing with criminals.

And they don’t take bribes.

Those two facts, acting together, make them the only cops the drug gangs of Rio truly fear.

This is their symbol:
Nicknamed the caveiras (skulls), the men of the BOPE also use that word as their war cry.

Have a look at this, the film trailer for Elite Squad, a work based on events that occurred in Rio back in 1997. Please be patient while the video scrolls through the credits. That takes about fifty seconds.

Next, watch some actual news footage, shot on the Morro dos Macacos, a hill upon which one of Rio’s many shantytowns is situated.

The puffs of smoke are hand grenades being used by a drug gang. You can hear one cop warning the others by screaming the word granada (grenade).

This, folks, is real warfare.

Journalists have yet to capture BOPE’s abuse and murder of prisoners.

But José Padilha, the director of the film, has chosen to include such scenes – because, in reality, they happen all the time.

Here’s another trailer, this one for Elite Squad: The Enemy Within:

Fiction vs. Reality vs. Fiction.

And all of them remarkably alike.

You can get a more in depth-look, and absorb more of this very real picture, by renting Elite Squad, now available from Netflix and Blockbuster in the U.S.

Leighton Gage's homepage www.leightongage.com 
Until recently he blogged with several other authors of “international” mysteries at murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Leighton Gage: R.I.P.

Such very sad news. Leighton Gage has passed away.

He was such a wonderful man and writer. My sympathy goes out to Eide, the family and all his friends. He will be missed.

This was posted by Melina Gage Ratcliffe, daughter of my Murder is Everywhere colleague, mentor, and friend, Leighton Gage:

My mother, my sisters and I are devastated to announce the passing of our father, Leighton Gage. Thank you friends and family for all the love and support.

A message from Eide Gage:
My Dearest Friends,
The light of my life was extinguished last night.
Leight passed to eternity peacefully in his sleep.
Should we cry because he died or smile because he lived?"

May God bless Leighton's wonderful, giving, caring soul. There has never been another like him. We shall miss him dearly.

Read the Soho Press Obituary Here. 

Read a repost of a 2011 guest blog by Leighton Gage on Fiction vs Reality vs Fiction HERE.

Marcus Sakey: Chicago

The latest issue of the Mystery Readers Journal focuses on Chicago Mysteries (Volume 29:2). Here's Marcus Sakey's contribution to this issue.

Marcus Sakey's thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Times Editor's Picks, and selected among Esquire's Top 5 Books of The Year. His novels Good People and Brilliance are both in development as feature films. Marcus is also the host and writer of the acclaimed television show Hidden City on Travel Channel. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. Brilliance, his latest thriller, just launched last week.

Marcus Sakey:
Woman With A Broken Nose

Chicago isn't a city.

It's a hundred cities, a thousand. Bustling and bumping up against one another. Cities that coexist, that overlap not only in space but in time. Chicago is a storied place, and every one of those celebrated stories made its own reality, realities that continue to exist in flashes and fragments even as the city they were based on changes.

The Chicago of Nelson Algren, who wrote that loving it was "like loving a woman with a broken nose"—that place is no longer on a map. It's been paved over and polished up. But even so, Algren's Chicago exists. You can catch a glimpse on a snowy night when the El rattles overhead, blasting sparks as it rounds a curve. In the quiet dignity of an old man, bent and tired but nattily dressed, out for a slow stroll around a block he used to walk with his wife. In the roar of the crowd at the Golden Gloves, cheering for a kid they don't know as he swallows his fear and steps into the ring.

Mine is a city of contradictions. The parks and beaches of the gorgeous lakefront were built atop smoldering wreckage, the remnants of the Great Fire hauled in horse-drawn carts to be dumped in Lake Michigan. Donald Trump's mirrored tower stretches to the heavens, but the shadow it casts falls on Rossi's, a dive bar where you can buy beer by the six pack. Wander the streets of Lakeview, past the cafes and noodle bars, bookstores and head shops, and you'll see a clean bright place as welcoming as a college campus. But hop the Red Line south a dozen stops and you're in Englewood, a once-proud neighborhood ravaged by gang warfare and narcotics, where more than 50% of boys drop out of high school.

While New York looks east and Los Angeles looks west, Chicago is perhaps the most truly American city. Founded by traders who stole it from the Indians, raised to greatness on the back of stockyards that supplied the country and filled the air with the scent of cow shit, shaken by riots that exemplified the changing mores of a changing world, governed even today by wolves in wolves' clothing, this is a city with swagger. You don't like the Chicago way? Fuck you.

In the space of a weekend, I could take you to a dozen Chicagos. We could catch a world premiere show in a storefront theatre and follow it with a 22-course meal, each a sparkling gem of edible art. Or stroll the Maxwell Street Market on a Sunday afternoon, munching on tacos de lengua—seared beef tongue with cilantro, wrapped in fresh corn tortillas—and poking through junk-market stalls filled with stolen goods. Slather on sunscreen and join the party at North Avenue Beach, where bikini-girls and volley-boys flirt in the skyline's reflected glare. Wander the cool halls of the Art Institute in the quiet of a weekday morning, and bathe in the blue holiness of Chagall's stained windows. Lounge in a hundred-year-old pub and sip a Guinness as snow buries the cars outside.

No, Chicago isn't a city. It's a hundred, a thousand.

And for me, it's the city.

Read more about Chicago Mysteries HERE.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Where Are We Now? guest post by Les Roberts

Today I welcome back crime writer Les Roberts. Les Roberts is the author of 17 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich, as well as 11 other books of fiction. The past president of both the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer’s League, he came to mystery writing after a 24-year career in Hollywood. A native of Chicago, he now lives in Northeast Ohio and is a film and literary critic. Roberts’s newest book, Win, Place, or Die, is available at Amazon.com, BN.com and other online retailers, in both print and eBook editions. Les Roberts blogs at: LesRoberts.com. Read a sample chapter here.

Where Are We Now?

Every single piece of fiction, from pre-"Oedipus Rex" to post-"Harry Potter," has to take place somewhere.  Even if the author creates a fictional setting, it has to be real to the reader---to come alive and be vivid and truthful.

All seventeen of my mystery novels featuring Slovenian-American private eye Milan Jacovich are set in and around Cleveland, Ohio.  That's where I've lived for more than two decades; that's the place I know best.

I suppose I could write about somewhere exotic that I've never visited, like Bora Bora or Timbuktu or Sofia, Bulgaria---but then I'd have to create these place from memories of all those films in the 50s and 60s (most of which were filmed in Hollywood anyway) and they just wouldn't FEEL right.

My latest Milan Jacovich novel is Win, Place or Die.  The main setting is a harness racing track in a Cleveland suburb, and I confess that before beginning this book, my only race track experience was visiting one perhaps five times in my life and wagering no more than five bucks on any race.

But for research, my collaborator on this book (first time I've ever collaborated with ANYONE), Dan S. Kennedy, was kind enough to invite me "backside," where customers never go but where the horses are all cared for, trained, fed and very often LOVED by the grooms and trainers who might as well live back there and never stick their noses beyond the barns. I got to travel the long length of the barn with a bag of baby carrots so I could feed each one of the horses, and more importantly, to hug and nuzzle with them.

I was amazed at how feeling and emotional horses are. One of the guys actually laid his huge head on my shoulder and soulfully sighed into my ear, so glad was he to meet someone else who obviously loved him, too.

I also learned a great deal about the mechanics of harness racing, and got to ride around the track several times aboard a "jog cart."  I also talked to many of those whose lives revolve around the animals and the sport. It was an exciting experience, and again, I labored long and hard making the track---both the sections where customers can hang out, eat, socialize, and of course bet, and "backside" which gave me much of the "meat" for the book. 

I find I relate the most to mystery novels painting astonishing pictures of the places being written about.  Nobody knows Boston better than Dennis Lehane. Sara Paretsky is even more comfortable in my birth town, Chicago, than I ever was. Karin Slaughter's works in the suburbs of Atlanta make that area gripping for me. And Lawrence Block OWNS New York City.

My next book, now finished, is NOT about Milan Jacovich, but a sequel to The Strange Death of Father Candy, a book I wrote in 2011 which was set completely in Youngstown, Ohio. The new book is set all over the place (in the late 20th century) in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Muncie Indiana, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, the mountains of North Carolina, the Atlantic Coast of Florida, a jungle town in Costa Rica, and in Saigon. My only regret is that the novel is not long enough for me to make the reader feel comfortably at home in all those places.

Now that the Father Candy book is complete, I'm currently 20,000 words into my NEXT Milan Jacovich novel and I feel once more that, on these pages, this is where I belong---in Cleveland. 

Where do YOU live???

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

1958 Ian Fleming Raymond Chandler Interview

Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler!

1958 BBC interview (second YouTube).
Part I: Introductions. Part II: Ian Fleming interviews Raymond Chandler.

Introduction to Raymond Chandler:

Ian Fleming/Raymond Chandler Interview:


Monday, July 22, 2013


From USA Today:

Actor Dennis Farina, a real-life Chicago police officer who went on to play a detective on NBC's Law & Order, died Monday morning in a Scottsdale, AZ, hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69.

"The mustachioed Farina was accustomed to playing characters on either side of the law, such Lt. Mike Torello on TV's Crime Story as well as mobsters like Jimmy Serrano in 1998's Midnight Run and Albert Lombard on Miami Vice. He had a fruitful partnership with that show's creator, Michael Mann, having also starred in his films Thief and Manhunter.

The 1990s were a prolific period for Farina. In addition to Steven Spielberg, Farina also worked with directors Steven Soderbergh (1998's Out of Sight) and Barry Sonnenfeld (1995's Get Shorty).

By the time he was chosen to replace the late Jerry Orbach on Law & Order in 2004, Farina had transitioned from a "hey-it's-that-guy" character actor to being recognized in his own right. His character, Detective Joe Fontana, drew heavily from Farina's own life in Chicago, even sharing the same neighborhood and alma mater.

After leaving Law & Order in 2006, he went on to host NBC's resurgent Unsolved Mysteries, as well as starring opposite Alan Rickman in 2008's Bottle Shock.

Most recently, he had guest-starred on the Fox sitcom New Girl as the con-man father of Nick (Jake Johnson). He had two more films in the pipeline, as well — Authors Anonymous, currently in post-production, and Lucky Stiff, which was in the midst of filming.

Farina is survived by partner Marianne Cahill and three sons from his marriage to Patricia. They were married 10 years before they divorced in 1980."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Storefront' Police Station in Public Library

From the Library Journal:

The San Diego Police Department Tuesday opened a 'storefront station' at the Rancho Bernardo Library. The facility will allow officers access to the SDPD’s computer network, allowing them to file reports and handle other paperwork in a location close to their beats. Previously, officers had to write reports in their cars because the police station in the far Northeastern Division is in Rancho Penasquitos.

“As the city begins to emerge from its fiscal woes, we must improve public safety in our neighborhoods,” said Councilman Kersey, who represents the area. “This includes a new location where police can connect with community volunteers and resources to help them protect neighborhoods in north San Diego.”

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sofa Bookshelf

I love this couch! It would certainly take care of the piles of books around my present sofa. I've posted chair/bookshelves, but this sofa really seems to float above the books.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Theakstons Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year

Theakstons Peculier Crime Novel of the Year:

Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina (Orion)

Other Nominees:
Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)  
Safe House by Chris Ewan (Faber and Faber)
The Lewis Man by Peter May (Quercus)  
Stolen Souls by Stuart Neville (Vintage)
A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber)

The winner was announced tonight at the Opening Night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

HT: Erin Mitchell who was lucky enough to be there tonight!

Edward Finstein: The Wine Doctor

Today I welcome, Edward Finstein, The Wine Doctor. Edward Finstein is a renown wine writer, author, TV & Radio host, international wine judge, wine educator, lecturer, appraiser, consultant and tour guide. His first novel, Pinot Envy, is set in Napa Valley and is filled with deceit, blackmail, intrigue, murder and fun. Not a stretch for Napa!

Giveaway: What's your favorite Pinot? Comment below to win a copy of Pinot Envy. One person will be chosen randomly. Be sure to leave a contact email.

Edward Finstein, The Wine Doctor:

Allow me to introduce you to my alter ego, Mr. Woody Robins (I can hear shrinks the world over pulling out their note pads). Like myself, he’s a wine expert who teaches, consults, writes, judges, eats, drinks, loves, makes merry and has traveled the world over in pursuit of the nectar of the grape (It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it).

We both have a passion for vintage clothes, hats, old music and movies and possess a devil-may-care attitude toward life. However, unlike moi, my San Francisco-based chum’s career in the wine biz has taken an unusual turn as of late. Simply by chance, he has gone into investigatory work involving rare artifacts of a vinous nature. Neat stuff…huh? One such adventure involves trying to find a stolen, very rare, priceless, large bottle of red Burgundy that once belonged to the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, for a wealthy Napa Valley grape grower. An unsurmountable task, you say? Not for my quirky pal. In his inimitable style, which is anything but traditional, he encounters all kinds of unusual characters, none of whom can be trusted. Deceit, blackmail, intrigue, connections to the mob and even murder result. Does this shake my bon vivant comrade? Not in the least! He prods on in search of the rare gem, causing havoc wherever he goes. Word on the street is that the missing red pop is cursed. Fear not, this frightening morsel of info doesn’t phase our unusual gumshoe at all. “That’s nonsense,” says Woody. “Pinot Noir is a finicky grape, laced with mystique and erraticism, but cursed? I think not. However, once you’ve been bitten by the ‘Pinot Fairy’, you’re done for. Taste a great one, especially red Burgundy, and you’re hooked. You can spend a lot of time and mucho dollars after the fact trying many others and being totally underwhelmed. Then, just as you’re ready to give up on this heartbreaker of a grape and shake the vinous monkey off your back, Bacchus throws another winner your way and, ‘holy moley’, you’re pulled back in. It’s more like a drug, but it washes down roast duck like nobody’s business.”

As a rule, Woody likes to work alone, but does enlist the help of his jealous girlfriend, dizzy boyhood chum, hip older aunt and long-time mate with the San Francisco police department. They certainly bring something to the table for him, but you see, Woody has a problem, or rather several. First of all he’s forgetful. Has to use a tape recorder to remember stuff. Even forgets where the tape recorder is sometimes! Secondly, he has a commitment phobia, much to the dismay of his girlfriend. Thirdly, he doesn’t like being treated the way his father treated him. So what else is new? He’s flawed and has baggage like the rest of us. Only goes to make him more vulnerable, real and easy to relate to! Perhaps most emphatically though, because of his dress, manner, and unorthodox investigatory methods, he stands out like a sore thumb and tends to draw attention to himself wherever he goes. He just can’t seem to blend into any situation no matter what and falls into mess after mess that he has to get himself out of, often with comic results. Not exactly the ideal cover for a sleuth to say the least!

Wondering at this point whether he solves the case or not? Oh ye of little faith! Doubt not, our fair hero comes through with flying colors, even surprising himself.

So why am I telling you all this? Because Mr. Robins has graciously agreed to allow yours truly, Edward Finstein (TV and Radio host as well), to document his incredible escapade in a new, comic, wine mystery novel called Pinot Envy, just released by Bancroft Press. It possesses much of the same kind of wit and humor that my last award winning, non-fiction wine book, Ask the Wine Doctor, displays. In fact, reviews of Pinot Envy have been extremely favorable thus far (www.winedoctor.ca/mybook.html) and numerous folks have commented that it would make a great feature film or made-for-TV movie. (Take that Sideways!) And guess what? Woody has relayed yet another wine-soaked, mysterious tale to me that I am busy documenting for future publication (More scribbled notes on pads by shrinks!). Are you ready for the title? It’s a good one… Mortal Zin.

For more about Woody and me, like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EdwardDocFinstein or follow me on Twitter @DrWineKnow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

San Francisco: The True Home of Fremont Jones by Dianne Day

I was so sad to learn that Dianne Day, author of the award winning Fremont Jones historical San Francisco mystery series, passed away last week. I really enjoyed her books, and I especially enjoyed our talks over the years. Mystery Readers Journal has had several issues devoted to San Francisco Mysteries, and Dianne Day contributed to the Author! Author! section of the earliest: Volume 11, No. 2 in Summer 1995. I thought I'd post the article as it appeared then.  Sorry for the poor quality. Need to figure out how to scan to print. I think if you click on it, it will get bigger.

Dianne Day: R.I.P.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dianne Day: R.I.P.

Very sad news. Dianne Day, award winning author of the Fremont Jones San Francisco historical mystery series, passed away July 11 in Eureka, CA.

Read San Francisco: The True Home of Fremont Jones by Dianne Day. This originally appeared in the Mystery Readers Journal (Vol 11:2) Summer 1995.

Read an interview with Dianne Day here

7/30 update: Obituary distributed by MWA NorCal:

Dianne Day, 75, died in Eureka, CA on July 11, 2013. She was born in the Mississippi delta in 1938 but moved to the San Francisco Bay Area as a young adult. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in English with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She married and moved east to Cambridge, MA. She worked while studying a year at the Radcliffe Institute and began graduate study in Psychology at Tufts University.
After her sons were born, she moved with the family to Chapel Hill, NC. She earned a certificate in hospital management from Duke and worked in mental health counseling as well as hospital administration.

She had written for years, but began to write seriously when the younger of her sons was in college. She published Obsidian in 1987, and The Stone House in 1989, and followed these with several books under the pseudonyms Madelyn Sanders and Diana Bane. In 1993, she was at last able to return to Northern California and began work on her signature mystery series featuring the intrepid Fremont Jones. She is best known for these, beginning with The Strange Files of Fremont Jones, 1995, which introduced fans and friends to Fremont Jones and brought her critical acclaim. Five books followed with Fremont Jones. Her last stand-alone book in was published in 2000, Cut to the Heart, set in the sea islands of South Carolina, with Clara Barton at the beginning of the Civil War. She has been part of online mystery blogs and writers groups who all sorely miss her presence.

She died in Eureka from complications of rheumatoid arthritis and congestive heart failure. She is survived by two sons and several grandchildren. Her ashes were scattered off the coast of northern California. She is also survived by numerous friends and neighbors who mourn her passing, each the richer for having known and loved her.

Masterpiece Mystery! Endeavor star Shaun Evans video

I'm enjoying the Endeavor series on PBS Masterpiece Mystery! and thought you'd like to see this video interview in which Endeavour star Shaun Evans (Endeavour Morse) discusses bringing a young version of the iconic Inspector Morse to life. Actress Abigail Thaw (daughter of Morse's John Thaw) also describes her father's connection to the character of Morse and her moving experience in her cameo role. Thanks, PBS Masterpiece Mystery!

See more from Masterpiece.

Monday, July 15, 2013


The UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger Awards. were presented this evening in London. Congratulations to all!

The CWA International Dagger:
Alex, by Pierre Lemaitre, translated by Frank Wynne (Quercus)
Ghost Riders of Ordebec, by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker)

The CWA Non-Fiction Dagger:
Midnight in Peking, by Paul French (Penguin Viking)

The CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger:
The Scent of Death, by Andrew Taylor (HarperCollins)

The CWA Short Story Dagger:
 “Come Away with Me,” by Stella Duffy (from The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Volume 10)

The CWA Dagger in the Library:
Belinda Bauer

The CWA Debut Dagger:
Finn Clarke (UK), Call Time

Lee Child received the Diamond Dagger. 

The following Dagger Longlists were also announced:

  • Belinda Bauer for Rubbernecker (Bantam/Transworld)
  • Lauren Beukes for The Shining Girls (HarperCollins)
  • Sam Hawken for Tequila Sunset (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Mick Herron for Dead Lions (Soho Crime)
  • Becky Masterman for Rage Against the Dying (Orion)
  • Sara Paretsky for Breakdown (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Michael Robotham for Say You’re Sorry (Sphere)
  • Don Winslow for The Kings of Cool (Heinemann).
  • Roger Hobbs for Ghostman (Transworld)
  • Liz Jensen for The Uninvited (Bloomsbury)
  • Malcolm Mackay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Pan Macmillan)
  • Stuart Neville for Ratlines (Random House)
  • Mark Oldfield for The Sentinel (Head of Zeus)
  • Andrew Williams for The Poison Tide (John Murray)
  • Robert Wilson for Capital Punishment (Orion).
John Creasey
  • Roger Hobbs for Ghostman (Doubleday)
  • Hanna Jameson for Something You Are (Head of Zeus)
  • Malcolm Mackay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Mantle)
  • Becky Masterman for Rage Against the Dying (Orion)
  • Derek B Miller for Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber)
  • Thomas Mogford for Shadow of the Rock (Bloomsbury)
  • Michael Russell for The City Of Shadows (Avon)
  • M D Villiers for City of Blood (Harvill Secker).
Hat Tip: Rhian Davies It's a Crime! (Or a mystery...)

Gone Girl on the Big Screen

In case you missed it: 

David Fincher is directing an adaptation of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" and has selected Ben Affleck for the lead role. Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt are being considered for the female lead.


Point and Shoot. Not sure this camera idea would fly now, given the present day feelings and response to guns. This is a 1938 Revolver Camera.

Hat Tip: Retronaut

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bastille Day: Mysteries set in France

Celebrate Bastille Day with a copy of  Mystery Readers Journal: Mysteries Set in France (Volume 28:1)! Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.



  • A Brief Panorama of Early French Crime Fiction by Jean-Marc Lofficier
  • Sex and the Country: Some Thoughts on Pierre Magnan by Peter Rozovsky
  • An Interview with Sîan Reynolds by Peter Rozovsky
  • My Affair With the Birthplace of Crime Fiction by Bernadette Bean
  • Tale of Two Dominiques by Cary Watson
  • The Father of the Detective Story: Emile Gaboriau by Nina Cooper
  • Passion, Bloodshed, Desire, and Death by Susanne Alleyn
  • How I Got Into My Life of Crime French Style by Cara Black
  • Honest! I Was in Paris Working Very Hard! by Rick Blechta
  • Having a Nice Time? by Rhys Bowen
  • Inspector Aliette Nouvelle by John Brooke
  • The French Adventure of a Full-time Lawyer and Part-time Fool by Alan Gordon
  • Escape From Paris by Carolyn Hart
  • Maggie MacGowen Goes to France by Wendy Hornsby
  • France on Berlin Time by J. Robert Janes
  • Experiencing Provence by M.L. Longworth
  • Writing a French Police Series by Adrian Magson
  • France, the Write Country by Peter May
  • Travel + Fiction: You Want to Go There by Lise McClendon
  • Hemingway's Paris Remains 'A Moveable Feast' by Craig McDonald
  • Inspired by the "Where" by Tom Mitcheltree
  • It's All About Me? by Sharan Newman
  • Drinking Tea From a Bowl: Getting France Right by D-L Nelson
  • Mysteries Set in France: Vive la Différence! by Katherine Hall Page
  • Provence—To Die For by Renée Paley-Bain
  • Mick Jagger, Kirs Royales, and Paris by P.J. Parrish
  • Paris Shadows by M.J. Rose
  • Diplomatic Mystery by William S. Shepard
  • Alpine Beach: My French Connection by Susan Steggall
  • She Lost Her Head in La Belle France by Nancy Means Wright
  • Crossword: The French Connection by Verna Suit
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lesa Holstine, L.J. Roberts, Alana White, Marlyn Beebe
  • Children's Hour: Where's Madeleine? by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Glimpses of France by Marvin Lachman
  • The Art of French Crime by Cathy Pickens
  • Crime Seen: Le Crime Vu by Kate Derie
  • Mysteries Set in France by British Authors by Philip Scowcroft
  • From the Editor's Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

Thriller Awards: ITW

ITW (International Thriller Writers) announced the winners the 2013 Thriller Awards last night. Congrats to all.

Brian Freeman – SPILLED BLOOD (SilverOak)

Matthew Quirk – THE 500 (Reagan Arthur Books)


Sean Doolittle – LAKE COUNTRY (Bantam)

John Rector – “Lost Things” (Thomas & Mercer)

Dan Krokos – FALSE MEMORY (Hyperion Books CH)

CJ Lyons – BLIND FAITH (CJ Lyons)

Also honored:
Anne Rice, ThrillerMaster: in recognition of her legendary career and outstanding contributions to the thriller genre
Steve Berry, Literary Silver Bullet Award
USO, Corporate Silver Bullet Award

Friday, July 12, 2013

GIANRICO CAROFIGLIO: The Silence of the Wave

Today I welcome Italian thriller writer Gianrico Carofiglio. Gianrico Carofiglio was born in 1961 in Bari where for many years he has worked as an anti-Mafia prosecutor. From 2008 to 2013, he served as senator of Italy’s Democratic Party. He is best known as the author of the award-winning Guido Guerrieri crime novels that include Involuntary Witness, A Walk in the Dark, Reasonable Doubts and Temporary Perfections. The Silence of the Wave (Rizzoli Ex Libris) will be published in September in the U.S. Translated by Howard Curtis. Carofiglio has also written a stand-alone, The Past is a Foreign Country.

Gianrico Carofiglio: 
The Silence of the Wave

I’ve have always been fascinated by psycho-therapy and its different approaches – about five hundred, as far as I know. For a long time I thought about writing a story inspired by the dialogues between a psychiatrist and his patient, so when I set about to writing The Silence of the Wave, I wanted to feature a psychiatrist who specializes in word therapy.

To explain the title I will refer first to the main character in the novel, Roberto, a man whose life has been devastated and who tries to achieve a true rebirth. He is visiting the doctor twice a week, and in these sessions silence is all around them - between them at times, but also in Roberto’s soul and in the city the novel is set in, Rome. He crosses the streets of Rome everyday in endless and lonely walks, and the city acts as the prefect mirror of his mood. The psychiatrist Roberto sees twice a week tries to explain his mental disorder and existential discomfort by using the metaphor of the wave. Sometimes, he says, life is like ending up underwater. The important rule is to be reassured that, sooner or later, the wave will pass and we will come out of it. Life has a swinging rhythm. One should be able to float, to take a breath at the right moment; if you panic you will easily drown. Roberto perfectly understands this reference as he used to surf with his father when he was a young boy. He knows that to be a good surfer, you need to be in tune with the motion and the energy of the wave. It demands that you become a part of its force, so that you can conquer it. It is a pursuit that is solitary in nature, but reveals much about character; it is not enough to be a wave watcher. There is a moment when you are under the weight of the water, gliding along and in balance, and then you fall off the surfboard. A good surfer is compelled to get back up on the surfboard to catch another wave, but no two waves are alike.

On a personal note, I am attracted to surfing, even tough I have never tried to stand on a surfboard or catch a wave. I once tried bodysurfing in the ocean and found it to be very exciting, exhilarating. My passion for surfing comes from movies, namely Big Wednesday, a cult favorite, and Point Break, ironically, a story about an FBI undercover agent, like Roberto, starring Keanu Reeves. Surfing represents to me the myth of eternal adolescence. And here is how I come to my other character, Giacomo. The original idea was to tell the story of a melancholy boy who lives in his dreams rather than in the reality. Then I decided to connect this story to Roberto’s pain: the challenge was to put together two stories that were in no way related to each other.

Giacomo and Roberto, their loneliness and redemption, connect their stories and Rome serves as the perfect backdrop; is there a better city than Rome to walk through and get lost in? My novels are usually set in Bari but recently I’ve been spending more of my time in Rome, so I felt ready to write about it. The Silence of the Wave is about awareness, about finally opening your eyes. And making it in the most beautiful city in the world is such a great opportunity: Roberto lives surrounded by incredible wonders, and he doesn’t recognize them. He will discover them along with the story.

Tel Aviv Beach Library

From the Jerusalem Post:

The Tel Aviv Municipality inaugurated a new library on Tuesday at the Metzitzim Beach, near the city’s port, allowing tourists and beachgoers to check out books for free during their leisure time there this summer.

The library, which consists of a two-wheeled cart stationed on the promenade, contains 523 books in five languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian and French.

Visitors who do not wish to read print books will also be able to use their personal tablets to connect to the free WiFi that the municipality provides all over the city, and download electronic reading material.

“In fact, the general goal is to make sure that people read and that they don’t see books as this far-away thing, but as something which is present everywhere,” Iris Mor, head of the municipality's culture department, explained. The inspiration for the project, that she developed in collaboration with the municipality’s library department, had come from similar initiatives in other cities around the world, such as Barcelona, Spain. 

According to Mor, the beach library will not have a librarian supervising it, and there will be very little control over the books. Beach-goers will simply have to return the items on their own. “We are doing an experiment of making a service available to the public without being policemen, and we hope it will succeed,” she said, adding with a smile, “If they take a couple of books, it’s okay – we will bring new ones.” She also expressed hope that the project would expand to more beaches next year. 

Hat Tip: Shelf Awareness

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Le French Book Bastille Day Sweepstakes

Le French Book is celebrating Bastille Day! The ebook-first publisher focuses on fiction in translation from France, with a special emphasis on the country’s top-selling mysteries and thrillers. To mark the date, Le French Book is running Bastille Day Sweepstakes for an ereader and a number of summer ebook reads with a French flair.

“With our focus on entertaining reads from France, we couldn’t miss out on this Bastille Day opportunity to share what we are doing with new readers,” says Anne Trager, the company’s founder. She started Le French Book with the goal of sharing what she loves about the Gallic nation and its fiction.

Le French Book is offering up:
  • An ereader. The top prize is a Nook ereader with ebook titles from its mystery and thriller collection.
  • Suspense and authentic police procedure in Paris with ebook copies of The 7th Woman by Frédérique Molay. In this "taut" and "lightning-quick" thriller, readers get to go to the French capital for “a slick, highly realistic, and impeccably crafted thriller.”
  • Secrets and mystery in French countryside with ebook copies of The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier, a psychological thriller set between the sophisticated corridors of the Paris courts and a small backwater in central France, where rolling hills and quiet country life hide dark secrets.
  • A perfect summer wine and crime whodunit, with ebook copies of Treachery in Bordeaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen. This wine novel immerses readers in French countryside and gourmet attitude with two amateur sleuths gumshoeing around Bordeaux wine country.
  • An adrenaline-pumping thriller for Bond lovers with ebook copies The Bleiberg Project by David Khara. A World War II conspiracy resurfaces today in this fast-paced read that was an instant success in France.
The sweepstakes runs from July 11 through July 14.
People can enter via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/lefrenchbook
Or directly here: http://www.lefrenchbook.com/bastille-day-sweepstakes/
Click here for a Bastille Day short story by seven of France's top writers.

About Le French Book
Le French Book (http://www.lefrenchbook.com) is a New York-based digital-first publisher specialized in great reads from France. Founder Anne Trager says, “There is a very vibrant, creative culture in France, and the recent explosion in e-reader ownership provides a perfect medium to introduce readers to some of these fantastic French authors.” The company's motto is "If we love it, we'll translate it."


The Strand Magazine Critics Awards were announced:

Best Novel: Defending Jacob by William Landay won the Strand Magazine Critics Award.

Best Debut Novel: The 500 by Matthew Quirk

Faye Kellerman was given The Strand’s Lifetime Achievement award for excellence in crime writing

This award recognizes excellence in the field of mystery fiction. The Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists, from news venues such as The Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, The Guardian, and several other daily papers.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Richard Helms: The Mojito Coast

Today I welcome crime writer Rick Helms. Richard Helms, a retired forensic psychologist, now teaches psychology at a college in North Carolina. He has been nominated three times for the PWA Shamus Award, four times for the SMFS Derringer Award, and once each for the MRI Macavity Award and the ITW Thriller Award. He is the only author ever to win the Derringer Award in two different categories in the same year (2008, for Paper Walls/Glass Houses, written as Eric Shane; and for The Gospel According to Gordon Black) He won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Short Story in 2011 for The Gods For Vengeance Cry. He is a former member of the MWA Board of Directors, and a former President of the Southeast Regional Chapter of MWA. The Mojito Coast is his sixteenth novel. Richard Helms and his lovely and patient wife Elaine live—as he refers to it—Back In The Trees in a small North Carolina town somewhere between Charlotte and Havana.


When I was in elementary school, a couple of jokers named Khrushchev and Castro hatched a plan to base ICBMs in Cuba, from which they could strike any point in the US in a matter of minutes. For two weeks in October 1962 everyone on the East Coast held their collective breath. Every siren sent hearts aflutter. Our TV had four channels, and you couldn’t watch for a half hour on any of them without a breathless special report breaking in to remind you that we were all separated from being glowing ashes by nothing more than the whimsy of a Cuban general. Each day in school began with ‘duck and cover’ exercises, because everyone knew that the only protection from a thermonuclear holocaust was the half-inch plywood tops of our desks.

This was the beginning of my fascination with Cuba. While the crisis was long over by Thanksgiving, I’ve followed events in our neighbor in the Greater Antilles closely ever since. Now, over half a century later, I am amazed that feelings between our two countries remain as chilly as a jilted girlfriend’s glare, while we’ve normalized our diplomatic relations with every other country in the world.

But this isn’t a political article. I mention the Cuban Missile Crisis and our ongoing antipathy toward a third world island nation only because it serves to explain, at least partly, why I decided to write a private eye novel set in pre-Castro Havana.

Cuba prior to Castro may not have been much better off than it has been since the revolution. In the early 1950s. The Batista administration was described by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: "The corruption of the Government, the brutality of the police, the regime's indifference to the needs of the people for education, medical care, housing, for social justice and economic justice ... is an open invitation to revolution."

What better setting for a detective thriller? From the time I started writing crime fiction, I knew I wanted to set a piece in pre-Castro Havana.

In fact, for years I dreamt that I already had. I had a recurring dream in which I had written a private eye novel with a Cuban setting, but I had misplaced it. In my dream, it was a really cool book, but I couldn’t find my masterpiece anywhere. Then, one night in my dream, I found it. I dreamed that I sat down and began to read it, and—as happens in dreams—instead of reading it, I began to dream the actual story. That dream formed the foundation for the book that became The Mojito Coast.

The plot synopsis is simple. Jaded Miami PI Cormac Loame is hired a few days before Christmas 1958 to find the daughter of former heavyweight punching bag Cecil “The Madman” Hacker, who has become a wealthy money launderer for the Santo Trafficante mob. Hacker’s fourteen-year-old daughter Lila has run off to Havana with one of Hacker’s bodyguards, another ex-fighter named Danny McCarl. Loame hasn’t been to Cuba since 1952, when he fled the island with a possible murder rap riding his shoulders, leaving behind a beautiful woman named Marisol. Back in Cuba, he discovers that Marisol has married one of his rivals, a sugar baron who is now one of Batista’s closest advisors. Castro and Che are carving their way across the island, and the end of the revolution is scant days away. This is the chaotic world in which Loame must find the girl, resume his love affair with Marisol, and somehow escape with all their lives.

Writing this book was a wonderful experience. The background research alone comprised over a hundred pages, culled from reminiscences posted online by Cuban ex-pats and Americans who lived through this turbulent period. I read Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s Three Trapped Tigers, a novel that focuses on the convoluted world of pre-Castro Havana cabaret life. I downloaded and posted maps of Havana in my office, so that Cormac Loame could navigate his way around the city without making too many stupid errors.

I created an Afro-Cuban channel on Pandora, so that I could listen to music by people like Tito Puente, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Tumba Palo Concuye as I wrote, just to set the mood. I learned all I could about the game of jai alai, and—since I am a huge food enthusiast and gourmet cook—I learned to make a mean ropa vieja with saffron rice and fried plantains, one of the traditional dishes in Cuba. I even learned how to make a mojito from scratch, and discovered that I absolutely hate them. Give me a decent margarita or caiparinha any day!

Far and away, though, my favorite part of the preparation for this book was the opportunity to delve into the life of Ernest Hemingway. Initially, I wrote him in as a cameo in an early scene in the El Floridita bar. I didn’t even identify him by name, presuming that my description would be enough for ‘the right people’ to recognize him. As the book went on, his role grew and grew, until he and his beloved boat Pilar became central to the plot. I read Paul Hendrickson’s amazing biography Hemingway’s Boat from cover to cover to gain insight into Hemingway’s decline into dementia over the last decade of his life.

In late 1958, Hemingway was already beginning to lose it. As a professional psychologist, I’m very familiar with the symptoms and behaviors associated with dementia, and one of the things I wanted to portray in this book was Hemingway trying desperately—and frequently failing—to cling to his memories, and his desire to ride out just one more insurrection that he might use to pen just one more masterpiece. In the end, I think Hemingway comes off as a sympathetic character in this book. One of my favorite scenes involves Hemingway and Loame taking off on Pilar for a marlin fishing expedition early on Christmas morning. Their conversation out on the Caribbean reveals a great deal about both their characters, and allows Hemingway to enjoy a brief period of clarity as he analyses Loame’s motives.

The Mojito Coast isn’t a long book. It makes for a quick read, just the perfect length for a day at the beach or a cross-country airplane ride. So far, I’ve been very gratified at the readers’ responses to it, and I’m excited to see how the book fares when it comes out on July 17th! Buy the book, folks. I’m running out of relatives!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm Not the One With the Accent: Simon Wood Guest Post

Today I welcome my friend author Simon Wood. A former racecar driver, licensed pilot, animal rescuer, endurance cyclist, and occasional private eye, Simon Wood is also an accomplished author with more than 150 published stories and articles under his belt. His mystery fiction, which has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, has earned him both the prestigious Anthony Award and a CWA Dagger Award nomination. In addition to No Show, his books include Accidents Waiting to Happen, Working Stiffs, Asking for Trouble, Paying the Piper, We All Fall Down, and Terminated. Originally from England, he lives in California with his wife, Julie. People can learn more at www.simonwood.net and you can find No Show here.


My new book, NO SHOW, deals with an Englishman coming to the US and his life being thrown into turmoil when his American wife goes missing the day he arrives in America. His search for her is hampered by his foreigner status. This is a topic I am well-informed about. I’m English, married to an American. I now live in the US. One obstacle I faced when I first moved to the US is the language.  George Bernard Shaw said, 'England and America are two countries divided by a common language.' and despite the fact we watch each other’s TV shows on a regular basis, that truism is as true today as it was then. And it’s something I learned the hard way.

American-English and English-English are very different. It’s more than the US’s predilection to drop the letter U from words like colour and to ration double L’s. Slang is different. Sentence structure is different. Pronunciation is different for the same words. The English accent, despite everything, is still relatively unfamiliar to the American ear. All these things made life difficult for me as an immigrant in the US.

I must admit I had a hard time adjusting when I moved to the US.  I would ask for something in a store, and watch the person nod, but see they didn’t have a clue what I was saying.  I remember being asked to write down what I wanted in a Starbucks after saying “Coffee, coffee, coffee” in a number of different ways. After handing the note over, the barista said, “Oh, you mean, coffee.” It was quite a humiliating experience. For about six months, I used hand gestures instead of words to get what I wanted, which seemed to get me further with fewer incidents.

This was a pretty sorry state of affairs. It wasn’t like English was my second language, but it was proving that American was. In a state of frustration, I complained to my wife. “What is wrong with everybody? I’m not speaking a different language.”

“Well, you kind of are,” she said tactfully. “You do have an accent.”

“A what? An accent? I don’t have a bloody accent. You people have the accent.”

“Yes, I know, but you have to appreciate the differences.”

“What differences?”

“You are a low talker. All English people are. You speak on a low and level tone. We don’t.”

You mean Americans are loud, I thought unkindly, but I accepted the point. I looked at the way I spoke and listened to Americans in conversation. I changed my lexicon so at least the words I used were the same ones everyone else used. I also changed the way I spoke. I didn’t affect an American accent, but I did speak up a tad and develop a Hugh Granty kind of an accent which was a little more formal than the way I spoke, because Americans seemed to understand him.

Fifteen years later, I speak fluent American, although I still speak it with an accent. My accent is now a little mellower on the American ear. I can laugh (most of the time) about my past problems, and I can even see where you lovely Americans are coming from and where my people go wrong when they visit the US. A little while ago I was having lunch with another ex-pat friend of mine, and we saw an English family having a hard time getting their order over to the waitress. My friend and I smiled.

“Fresh off the boat,” I remarked.

My friend nodded, and we offered our assistance.

This isn't the first time I’ve offered my translation services to English newbies. It’s almost like the scene from AIRPLANE where the old woman proclaims that she speaks Jive.

So now I’m very comfortable when speaking around Americans. Now I just wish they wouldn’t confuse me with an Australian nine times out of ten.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


The Macavity Award Nominees 2013!

Novels/stories were published for the first time in the U.S. in 2012. This award is nominated by and voted on by members and supporters of Mystery Readers International, as well as subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in September, in Albany this year. The Macavity Award is named for the "mystery cat" of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats). Congratulations to all!

Macavity Nominations 2013

Best Mystery Novel: 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)
The Black House by Peter May (Silver Oak)
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Other Woman by Hank Philippi Ryan (Forge)
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (Algonquin Books)
The Twenty Year Death by Ariel S. Winter (Hard Case Crime)
The Last Policeman: A Novel by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)

Best First Mystery Novel: 

Low Country Boil by Susan M. Boyer (Henery Press)
Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman (Minotaur Books-Thomas Dunn) 
Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (Random House -Bantam)
The Expats by Chris Pavone (Crown)

Best Mystery Non-Fiction: 

Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke (Simon & Schuster - Atria/Emily Bestler)
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China by Paul French (Penguin)
In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero, edited by Otto Penzler (BenBella/Smart Pop)

Best Mystery Short Story: 

"The Lord Is My Shamus" by Barb Goffman in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder (Wildside)
"The Unremarkable Heart" by Karin Slaughter in Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance (Little, Brown - Mulholland Books)
"Thea's First Husband" by B.K. Stevens in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2012
"When Duty Calls" by Art Taylor in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder (Wildside Press)
"Blind Justice" by Jim Fusilli in Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance (Little, Brown - Mulholland Books)
"The Sequel" (a novella) by Jeffrey Deaver in The Strand Magazine, November-February 2012-2013

Sue Feder Historical Memorial Award: 

A City of Broken Glass by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge)
Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (Random House-Bantam)
The Confession by Charles Todd (HarperCollins)
An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (HarperCollins)
Elegy For Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear (HarperCollins)

Fourth of July Crime Fiction: Fourth of July Mysteries

Another holiday, another list! The Fourth of July (Independence Day) is one of my favorite holidays, maybe because I was born in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation. If you've been to my house you know I collect patriotic embroideries and pottery. I'm big on Red, White, & Blue!

In all of the mysteries below, the Fourth of July plays a major part. Even if you're not celebrating Independence Day, you can celebrate this (updated) great group of mysteries! Something for everybody's taste!

Fourth of July Mysteries

The Fourth of July Wake by Harold Adams
Murder on Parade by Donald Bain (as Jessica Fletcher) 
Hair of the Dog by Laurien Berenson 
The Cat Who Went Underground by Lilian Jackson Braun
Dead on the 4th of July by Meg Chittenden
Someone to Watch Over Me by Jill Churchill
Independence Day by Anne-Marie Clark
Twanged by Carol Higgins Clark
Red, White, and Blue Murder
by Bill Crider
Dead on the Fourth of July by R. E. Derouin
Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Tool & Die by Sarah Graves
Act Of Darkness by Jane Haddam
Yankee Doodle Dead; Dead, White and Blue by Carolyn Hart
Past Imperfect by Kathleen Hills
Exit Wounds by J. A. Jance
The Fourth of July by J.D. Kincaid
A Timely Vision by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Die Like a Hero by Clyde Linsley
Knee High by the Fourth of July by Jess Lourey
Star Spangled Murder by Leslie Meier
Iron Ties by Ann Parker
4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
King Suckerman by George P. Pelecanos
Can't Never Tell by Cathy Pickens
Death by Deep Dish Pie by Sharon Short
Independence Day Plague by Carla Lee Suson
And Four to Go ("Fourth of July Picnic") by Rex Stout  
Some Welcome Home by Sharon Wildwind
Star Spangled Murder by Valerie Wolzien

Short Story:
Rex Stout's "Fourth of July Picnic" in Century of Great Suspense Stories, Edited by Jeff Deaver

Children’s Mysteries
Fireworks at the FBI (Capital Mysteries Series #6) by Ron Roy, Timothy Bush (Illustrator)
Murder On The Fourth of July by Carolyn Keene

True Crime:  
Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Betrayal, and Hate Crime in America by David A. Neiwert

As always, I welcome additions and comments.

Have a great holiday!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Theakstons Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Short List

Theakstons Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Short List:

Rush of Blood, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)  
Safe House, by Chris Ewan (Faber and Faber)
The Lewis Man, by Peter May (Quercus)  
Gods and Beasts, by Denise Mina (Orion)
Stolen Souls, by Stuart Neville (Vintage)
A Dark Redemption, by Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber)

The winner will be decided by a judging panel, comprising David Swillman, WHSmith’s Head of Fiction, The Guardian’s Associate Media Editor, John Dugdale, Author and Festival Chair, Val McDermid, Executive Director of T&R Theakston and title sponsor, Simon Theakston, and ‘Citadel’ author and co-founder of The Orange Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse.

The public vote will also count for 20% of the final decision and will be able to cast their vote online at www.theakstons.co.uk from  July 4 – 16. The winner will be announced at the Award ceremony on the Opening Night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate on Thursday 18 July at 8pm.

HT: ShotsMag

Carolyn Hart: Dead, White, and Blue

I'll be posting my Fourth of July Crime Fiction List later today or tomorrow, but in the meantime, I asked award winning mystery author Carolyn Hart to tell us about her new mystery Dead, White, and Blue. It's the perfect read for the holiday!

Hart writes the Death on Demand series set in a mystery bookstore on a South Carolina sea island and the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series featuring a lively redheaded ghost. She is also the author of several WWII novels, including ESCAPE FROM PARIS which is now available from Seventh Street Books. Letter from Home, a WWII novel set on the home front, received the Agatha Award for Best Mystery of 2003. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers. Hart has been nominated 9 times for the Agatha Award for Best Novel and has won 3 times. In 2007 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic.


I loved writing Dead, White, and Blue because I tried something different. This is the 23rd book in the Death on Demand series, and I wanted to offer readers a different kind of puzzle. Instead of beginning with murder, we have a disappearance. The brash, sexy second wife of a very rich man walks into the pines as fireworks explode above the country club on the Fourth of July. She doesn’t go home. No one knows where she is or whether she is living or dead.

The husband doesn’t look for her. The only person who cares is a troubled teenage step-daughter who comes to Max Darling and asks him to find Shell Hurst the week after the Fourth.

Max, of course, can’t take a young girl’s money and this is obviously a family affair. He declines to get involved though he is upset when she runs from his office in tears.

Annie Darling insists no one can simply disappear into thin air and not be seen again. .

Max reminds her of Judge Crater and Jimmy Hoffa.

Annie decides to find out more about what happened the night of the Fourth. Who was Shell Hurst? Who loved her or hated her? Would she leave the island with a word to anyone? Was she the kind of woman to sail away on a rich man’s yacht?

Annie and Max were at the 4th of July country dance where Shell Hurst made a dramatic entrance - and exit. She taunted her husband, blew off a man who was infatuated with her, insisted on dancing with another woman’s husband who obviously wanted to disappear from view.

A waiter from the country club disappears.

Annie and Max follow a twisting tale of deceit, adultery, panic, and despair and ultimately only they can save an appealing teenage golf whiz from a murder charge.

Max’s mother, mystery expert Henny Brawley, and crusty mystery author Emma Clyde aren’t on the island but they follow Annie and Max’s progress and send challenging texts: WTB? (Where’s the body?)

My favorite part of the book was the deception involved in the trenching of two golf course holes by a stolen classic MG found wrecked on a bridge across a lagoon.

I hope readers are intrigued by DEAD, WHITE, AND BLUE and find it a twisty, unusual story as they celebrate the Fourth, picturing Shell Hurst striding triumphantly toward the pines as fireworks explode in the sky.

Read Carolyn Hart's guest post on Escape from Paris HERE.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Titles with One Letter Missing

The hashtag #bookswithalettermissing has been trending on Twitter. In response, @darth Photoshopped some of the best entries. HT: Doc Quartermass for sending this link!

Here are a few. Be sure and check out the rest at: http://www.pleated-jeans.com/2013/07/01/book-titles-with-one-letter-missing-20-pics/