Friday, February 28, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: Metaphor

HT: Hank Phillippi Ryan


From BBC News:

Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and her lesser known (not to us) sleuths Tommy and Tuppence are to be brought to the screen as part of a series of BBC programs marking the 125th anniversary of her birth.

And Then There Were None, her most-read book, is to be adapted by Sarah Phelps into a three-part drama.

David Walliams will play Tommy (Tommy & Tuppence) in a six-part series Partners in Crime.

A series of documentaries about the British crime writer are also planned.

It is not yet known who will play Tuppence to Walliams's Tommy in the latest adaptation of their crime-solving adventures.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Murder at the Academy Awards

Just in time for the Academy Awards, here's my Murder at the Oscars list! Several mysteries take place during the Academy Awards or the time period surrounding the Oscars!

No updates, so let me know if I'm missing any titles.

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

Want something CHOCOLATE to enjoy during the Awards? Make some Chocolate Covered Popcorn!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


First Annual Ladies Of Intrigue Event  
Featuring Remarkable Women Mystery Writers

Come meet your favorite *nationally-known* authors and find some fantastic new *local* favorites
Saturday, March 29th 2014

** Hotel Huntington Beach (Near Bella Terra) **

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.
Program 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Registration required:
$60 for Sisters in Crime members
$70 for non-members
Ladies of Intrigue Flyer
Registration Form

2014 Headliners
Carolyn Hart, an accomplished master of mystery, has been given the honor of being one of the prestigious Grand Masters at the 2014 Edgar Awards. She is the author of 49 mysteries, and her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards. Hart was also one of ten mystery authors featured at the National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington D.C. in 2003 and again in 2007. Her three mystery series include her Death on Demand series featuring Annie Darling, the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series, and the Henry O series.

Rhys Bowen has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar, and has won seven, including both the Agatha and the Anthony. Her Royal Spyness mysteries are set in the 1930s and feature penniless minor royal Lady Georgiana. She is also the author of the Molly Murphy series, set in turn of the century New York, and the Constable Evans mysteries set in Wales.

Mystery Author Panels

** Aileen Baron
** Terri Nolan
** Patricia Smiley

** Jill Amadio
** Cara Black
** Lisa Brackmann
** Jan Burke
** Carol Higgins Clark
** Kim Fay
** Naomi Hirahara
** Tammy Kaehler
** Sheila Lowe
** Jeanne Matthews
** Jeri Westerson
** Patricia Wynn

2014 Audie Award Finalists

The Audio Publishers Association announced the finalists for audiobooks for the 2014 Audie Awards. Many categories, but of interest to Mystery Fanfare readers. All categories and finalists here.

Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet (narrated by Davina Porter; Dreamscape Media, LLC)
The Enemy of My Enemy by Richard Bard (narrated by R.C. Bray; Richard Bard)
Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (narrated by Katherine Kellgren; Audible Inc.)
He’s Gone by Deb Caletti (narrated by Cassandra Campell; Tantor Media)
Rage Against the Dying, by Becky Masterman (narrated by Judy Kaye; Macmillan Audio)
Unleashed by David Rosenfelt (narrated by Grover Gardner; Listen & Live Audio)

The Book of Obeah by Sandra Carrington-Smith (narrated by Dave Fennoy; Cherry Hill Publishing)
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer (narrated by Scott Brick; Hachette Audio)
The Hit by David Baldacci(narrated by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy; Hachette Audio)
Suspect by Robert Crais (narrated by MacLeod Andrews; Brilliance Audio)
Sycamore Row by John Grisham (narrated by Michael Beck; Random House Audio/Books on Tape)

Winners will be announced at the Audies Gala, May 29 in New York.

Hat Tip: Jen's Book Thoughts

Monday, February 24, 2014

Keith Thomson: 7 Grams of Lead

Today I welcome author Keith Thomson. Keith played semi-pro baseball in France and drew editorial cartoons for New York Newsday before becoming a writer. His novels include the New York Times Best-Selling Once a Spy and 7 Grams of Lead.


I think I can finally talk about it. On December 13, 2008, I went to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and interviewed General Michael Hayden for The Huffington Post. One of the things Hayden told me, repeatedly, was that in his experience, journalists too often lacked discretion and were a liability. Of note, in his previous gig, director of the NSA, he ran the controversial warrantless surveillance program.

A few days later, I was walking out of a movie theater when it felt like lightning struck my left arm. Nearly floored me. In the fleshy gulley beneath the pisiform bone, the knob on the outside of the wrist, I discovered a small lump. I figured it was a sebaceous cyst, a pea-size accumulation of keratin beneath the skin; I’d had two or three before. They’re harmless. Go away in a couple of months. This one was unusually smooth, though. Oddly symmetrical too, like a Tic Tac.

I wondered: Could the lump be an eavesdropping device? For several years, I knew, CIA drones had been dropping undetectable “smart dust” particles that adhered to intelligence targets, enabling an officer halfway around the world to track them. Given ultra-miniaturization trends, was a particle that also transmitted audio all that far-fetched? And if you’re going to implant someone with such a particle—say, while he’s asleep in his DC hotel room following a interview at the CIA—the gulley beneath the pisiform bone would be a great place because people hardly ever have reason to poke around that area, much less look at it.
I knew an electrophysicist with experience in subminiature eavesdropping devices, but if I called him, Hayden’s people would have known I was onto their secret, and you know what that would have meant. I ended up going to an orthopedic surgeon. A few months earlier, I’d made the mistake of trying to push a squash court wall out of the way while running full speed after a ball and tore the cartilage in my left wrist. The lump in my left wrist now, the surgeon said, was an absorbable suture from the operation that hadn’t dissolved properly. Which fit the facts. Or the CIA had gotten to the surgeon.
The experience gave me the idea for a story: A national security reporter discovers that a subminiature electronic device is implanted in his head. He investigates, propelling him into a life-or-death struggle with the spy who’d bugged him. That idea became my new book, 7 Grams of Lead. I worked with my intelligence community sources and the electrophysicist to make everything as realistic as possible. Still 7 Grams of Lead is only fiction. I hope.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nominees: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

The finalists were announced for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes in 10 categories. Winners will receive their awards during a ceremony on April 11.

For the Crime Fiction reader:


Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton (Sarah Crichton)
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland)
Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Doubleday)
The Rage by Gene Kerrigan (Europa Editions)
The Collini Case by Ferdinand von Schirach (Viking)

Also: Daniel Woodrell’s The Maid’s Version (Little, Brown) is a nominee in the Fiction category.

See all Categories and Nominees here.

HT: The Rap Sheet

Cartoon of the Day

Not exactly a cartoon, but one of my favorites. From Edward Gorey, of course!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Harper Lee settling suit against Museum

USA Today reports:

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has settled the federal lawsuit she filed against the Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville, Alabama, her hometown, over its sale of souvenirs featuring her name and the title of her book, court documents show.

An attorney for Harper Lee filed a motion Tuesday in federal court in Mobile saying Lee had reached an agreement with the Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville.

The settlement notice came days after a judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit, filed last fall, that said the museum uses Lee's name and the title of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel without compensating her.


Monday, February 17, 2014

J.K. Rowling to release another crime novel

Mashable reports:

Acclaimed British author J.K. Rowling, best known for the Harry Potter series, is releasing another book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Titled The Silkworm, the novel will be released on June 19 in the UK (June 24 in the U.S.) by publishers Little, Brown, The Telegraph reports. The book, which serves as a follow-up to her 2013 crime fiction novel The Cuckoo's Calling, will follow PI Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott as they investigate the death of novelist Owen Quine. 

Read more HERE.

Cartoon of the Day: The Constant C

A common problem at my house...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mystery Readers Journal: Medical Mysteries

The latest issue of the Mystery Readers Journal: Medical Mysteries (Volume 29:4) is available as a PDFHardcopy to follow.

Click here to order the PDF.

Medical Mysteries
Volume 29, No. 4, Winter 2013-14
Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

  • Married to a Mystery by Claire Applewhite
  • My Days of Medicine and Murder by John Burley
  • Medicare Fraud Leads to Murder by Chester Campbell
  • DNA: The True Pandora's Box by Janie Chodosh
  • E.R. Meets Agatha Christie by Peter Clement
  • Every Doctor Is a Storyteller by Leonard Goldberg, MD
  • When We Are Most Vulnerable by Patricia Gussin
  • The Rest of the Story: On Physicians and Other Biologists Who Become Writers by J. L. Greger
  • Medical Mysteries! Isn't Thinking About That Enough To Put You Into a Cold Sweat? by Bev Irwin
  • About Strange Bird: The Plot, the Questions It Poses, and My Own Personal History by Anna Jansson
  • Storytelling With a Dose of Science by Lydia Kang
  • Wimps Don't Write Medical Thrillers by J.J. Lamb & Bette Golden Lamb
  • Controlling Chaos by CJ Lyons
  • To Be a Crime Writer—Nature or Nurture? by Priscilla Masters
  • An Unnatural Profession by Cuyler Overholt
  • When the Unthinkable Happened by Kira Peikoff
  • Sinners Among the Angels: How Criminals Spin Their Mischief in the British Health Service by Andrew Puckett
  • Expert Witness by Lynne Raimondo
  • Five Razor Cuts by Ryn Pitts
  • The Pen is Mightier than the Stethoscope by Linda Reid & Deborah Shlian
  • A Rallying Cry for Hope by Susan Arnout Smith
  • Morgue Date, Anyone? by Laurie Stevens
  • A 19th Century Medical Mystery Series by Eleanor Sullivan
  • A Primer for Identifying Bodies by Mike Tabor
  • Got Stress? Author, Heal Thyself! by Nancy Tesler
  • Digging Up Dead Doctors by E.J. Wagner
  • Two Doctors: Ben Candidi, PhD, and Rebecca Levis, MD by Dirk Wyle
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Gay Kinman, Sandie Herron, Jane Mattisson, L.J. Roberts
  • Children's Hour: Medical Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Good and Bad Medicine by Marv Lachman
  • Crime Seen: Medical Examiners by Kate Derie
  • Stranger Than Fiction: Real Medical Mysteries by Cathy Pickens
  • From the Editor's Desk by Janet Rudolph

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Andrea Camilleri Awarded Pepe Carvalho Prize

Italian Crime Writer Andrea Camilleri received the Pepe Carvalho Prize for lifetime work at the BCNegra noir literary festival in Barcelona last week.

From the LA Times:

He made it clear that, at 88, he’s still got a lot of crime writing left in him. Camilleri was born and raised in Sicily and writes in a mixture of Italian and Sicilian. His novels are populated with a host of characters and settings, including corrupt politicians, illegal trash dumps, goat herders, the underground sex trade and, of course, the Mafia. Camilleri’s alter ego is Inspector Salvo Montalbano, the protagonist of more than a dozen novels published in English by Picador and Mantle.

The fictional Montalbano also lives in Sicily. Born in 1950, the fictional Montalbano is getting on in years too. And, like his creator Camilleri, he has no plans of retiring.

“He feels older than he is because he’s spent his whole life surrounded by imbeciles,” Camilleri told the Madrid newspaper ABC. “That’s what 90% of criminals are, and if you live surrounded by imbeciles, life isn’t very nice, but he’s terrified of retirement. What will he do? Walk the dog?”

Camilleri told his Spanish audiences that he writes every morning in his home in Sicily, sending his aging protagonist into battle. And he has a unique method for fighting writer’s block.

“When I don’t have any ideas I might write a letter, for example, to a man I’ve just encountered at a kiosk. It’s a letter I know I’ll never send, but it serves as an exercise. Without that, you get stuck. What’s behind writing? It’s not that the artist writes when he gets inspiration -- it’s the work of each day.”

The Pepe Carvalho prize is named after the protagonist of the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s detective novels. Camilleri named his protagonist after Montalbán.

Reviewing Camilleri's most recent novel, "The Age of Doubt," the Daily Telegraph wrote of the fictional Montalbano: "It's hard not to like a man whose main loves are wry humor, eating and womanizing -- even though his advancing years are causing him some self-doubt with the latter. And, as always, his next favorite pastime is antagonizing his superiors"

HT: In Reference to Murder

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Retro Valentine's Day Cards: Shoot 'em & Book 'em

For Valentine's Day this year, I thought I'd post a few Retro Mystery-Related Valentine's Day Cards. Be sure and view them all. LOL!

And then there are the bookish Valentines...

And my Favorite

Alfred Hitchcock: Tea for Two

Alfred Hitchcock having tea with the MGM Lion. 1958. 

Photo: Clarence Sinclair Bull


Shirley Temple Black died last night at her home in Woodside, CA. She's remembered for many things including her stardom int he 1930s--singing and tapping her way into the hearts of America and the world! She starred in 23 movies. And from 1935 to 1939 she was the most popular movie tar in America, outdistancing Clark Gable. In the 1960s she began a new role as a diplomat.

A statement released by her family said, “We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and adored wife for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black.”


Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day Mysteries

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

February 14, Valentine's Day, is also International Book Giving Day, so books are the perfect Valentine's Day gift. Bundle some of the following mysteries with a box of chocolate truffles, tie it all up in a red ribbon, 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
Sucker Punch by Sammi Carter
Lethal Treasure by Jane Cleland
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Red Roses for a Dead Trucker by Anna Ashwood Collins
A Catered Valentine's Day by Isis Crawford
Cupid's Curse by Kathi Daley
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
Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke
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 by Carolyn G. Hart
Deadly Valentine by Jenna Harte
Death of a Chocoholic by Lee Hollis
Cupid's Revenge, The Sham by Melanie Jackson
Sugar and Spite by G.A. McKevett
Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz 
Killing Cupid by Laura Levine  
A Fatal Slip by Meg London 
The Scent of Murder by Jeffrey Marks
Sugar and Spite by G.A. McKevett
Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay
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, The body in the Snowdrift by Katherine Hall Page
A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
Valentined by Patricia Rockwell
Valentine by Tom Savage
The Treble Wore Trouble by Mark Schweizer
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

Children's Literature
Valentine's Day Disaster by Geronimo Stilton
Scooby-Doo! A Very Scary Valentine's Day

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

Lovey Awards 2014

Love is Murder Mystery Conference announced the 2014 Lovey Awards:

Best First Novel: One Man’s Castle by J. Michael Major (Five Star)

Other nominees: Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold, by Tim Chapman (Allium Press); The Butterfly Sister, by Amy Gail Hansen (Morrow); Bad Policy, by James M. Jackson (Barking Rain Press); Buried Truth, by Gunter Kaesdorf (Cambridge); Rim to Rim: Death in the Grand Canyon, by Jeanne Meeks (CreateSpace); and Deception, by Sue Myers (CreateSpace)

Best Traditional/Amateur Sleuth: Peak Season for Murder, by Gail Lukasik (Five Star)

Other Nominees: Death of a Garden Hoe, by Gale Borger (Echelon Press); Dangerous Threads, by Dave Ciambrone (L & L Dreamspell); Murder by the Seaside, by Julie Anne Lindsey (Carina Press); and Locked Within, by Helen Macie Osterman (Dark Oak Mysteries)

Best Suspense: The Black Stiletto: Stars & Stripes by Raymond Benson (Oceanview)

Other Nominees: Fear of Beauty, by Susan Froetschel (Seventh Street); Havana Lost, by Libby Fischer Hellmann (Red Herrings Press); Deceived, Julie Anne Lindsey (Merit Press); Inconspicuous, by M.E. May (CreateSpace); Brilliance, Marcus Sakey (Thomas & Mercer); and The Fate of Mercy Alban, by Wendy Webb (Hyperion)

Best Paranormal/Sci-fi: Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by Christine Verstraete (Intrigue)

Other Nominees: Blood Red, by Heather Graham (Mira); How I Started the Apocalypse, Book Two, by Brian Pinkerton (Severed Press); and The Vanishing, by Wendy Webb (Hyperion)

Best Series: Close-Up on Murder (Murder, She Wrote) by Donald Bain (NAL)
Other Nominees: Totally Evil (The Miller Sisters Mysteries), by Gale Borger (Echelon Press); The Ice Woman Assignment (The Stark & O’Brian Series), by Austin Camacho (Intrigue); Emma Caldridge Series by Jamie Freveletti (Morrow), and the Krewe of Hunters Series by Heather Graham (Mira)

Best Short Story: “Harry’s Loss of Grace” by Luisa Buehler

Other Nominees: “Once Upon a Time in the Woods,” by Raymond Benson (from Kwik Krimes, edited by Otto Penzler; Thomas & Mercer); “War Secrets,” by Libby Fischer Hellmann (from Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box, edited by Brad Meltzer; Grand Central) and “A Letter to My Ex,” by J. Michael Major (in Splatterlands: Reawakening the Splatterpunk Revolution, edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson; Grey Matter Press)

HT: Ominmystery News

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Westminster Dog Show, Valentine's Day, & Cupid's Canine Cookies

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, now in its 138th year, will be held February10-11. In honor of the Dog Show and Valentine's Day, and keeping in mind how important dogs can be to mysteries and in our lives, I am posting a recipe for Valentine's Day Dog Treats that you can make for your 'special' friend.

Just an FYI, I watch the Westminster Dog show on TV, and so does Topper. It's so funny! He doesn't care much for other TV shows, but this one always has him mesmerized. Perhaps memories of his early days as a show dog before I adopted him? It will be interesting to see if Rosie, our latest golden retriever rescue, also watches. I'll keep you posted!

The illustration above is from Tyler Hmphreys at TylersWorkshop (posted with permission). Here's a link to the etsy site where you can buy this card or order lots of other cards, pictures and sculptures. I love this Valentine's Day Card because it reminds me of Topper and Belle au Bois Dormant.

And, to keep this post to a mystery theme, here's a link to the Mystery Readers Journal Animals in Mysteries issue. Available as a PDF or hardcopy. Here's a link to an article by Spencer Quinn, author of the Chet the Dog series.

Valentine's Day is all about chocolate. If you want Chocolate People treats, here's a link to Walker's Shortbread Scottie Dogs with Muddy Boots. This is a HUMANS ONLY RECIPE. Be sure and keep the chocolate away from Fido. I posted an article at Halloween about Animals and Halloween Treats, and the same warnings are in effect for Valentine's Day.

Finally the Valentine's Day Dog Treat Recipe for your four footed faithful friend. 

Cupid’s Canine Cookies 
From the Home Alone Website, recipe by Ariel Waters (my comments are in italics)
Warning: Don't overfeed

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 to 35 minutes
Yield: 2 pounds of heart-shaped dog treats

5 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth  (choose one with no or low salt or make your own)
1/2 cup corn oil
2 eggs
+ heart-shaped cookie cutter  (of course I've got plenty of these)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet using 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
2. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. With clean hands, roll dough out to 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness and use heart-shaped cookie cutter in honor of the holiday. If you have a larger dog (or a piggy dog like Topper) use a larger heart-shaped cookie cutter, Perforate the cookies with a fork down the middle to break apart easily after baking. Instead of a cookie cutter, you can always roll the dough into 1/2 to 2-inch balls and place them one inch apart on the greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 25 - 35 minutes until they turn golden brown. Baking times will vary based on size of treats,  altitude, and your oven.
5. Cool cookies on wire racks, as far away from your dog as possible.

After treating your dog, store the rest in the refrigerator or freeze until the next visit from Cupid.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Rosie and Topper
Stephen Huneck, Dog Mountain

Friday, February 7, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: Writing


Open Road Media announced that 22 works by pioneering crime writer Dorothy Salisbury Davis are now available as ebooks.

Davis’s novels tackle humanity’s imperfections and our capability for violence.

Sara Paretsky wrote about Salisbury, “She is one of the most deeply insightful thinkers into the human condition I’ve ever known. An awareness of how easy it is for ordinary people to do nasty or wicked deeds is the hallmark of her writing.”

The majority of Dorothy Salisbury Davis's novels and stories were published during the 1950s and 1960s.

Davis is a recipient of MWA's Grand Master Award, as well as lifetime achievement awards from Bouchercon and Malice Domestic. She has served as president of the Mystery Writers of America and is one of the founders of Sisters in Crime. Most recently, her story “Lost Generation” was included in Sarah Weinman's Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives.

New Dorothy Salisbury Davis ebooks from Open Road Media include the Julie Hayes Mysteries, beginning with A Death in The Life (1976), as well as standalone mysteries A Gentle Murderer (1951), The Pale Betrayer (1965), and Enemy and Brother (1967).

A complete list of titles is available on the author’s page here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Penguin to reissue ALL 75 Inspector Maigret Mysteries

Penguin is reissuing, in new translations, all 75 of Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret mysteries -- some of the bleakest, and best, works ever produced in the genre.

The first two are out already, including “Pietr the Latvian,” originally published in 1930, the earliest book to feature the iconic Paris police inspector.

Simenon was very prolific; in addition to his Maigret novels, he also produced 117 romans durs, or hard novels, which Luc Sante describes in a 2007 Bookforum essay as “punishing studies of human beings driven by circumstance and personality to the ends of their tethers” -- a total of 400-plus books in all.

HT Bill Gottfried

CWA Diamond Dagger for Simon Brett

Simon Brett to receive the CWA (British Crime Writers Association) 2014 Diamond Dagger. Congratulations, Simon. Well done!

CWA chair Alison Joseph was quoted as saying: “I am delighted that the CWA Diamond Dagger for 2014 is to be awarded to Simon Brett. He is a writer of great wit and integrity, and his success over the years has been very well deserved. The Diamond Dagger is awarded not only for a writer’s work but also for their contribution to the genre, and Simon has always been a stalwart supporter of his fellow writers. I am sure I am not alone in feeling that it is entirely appropriate and merited that Simon should be receiving this award.”

The award will be presented in June.

HT: The Rap Sheet

Monday, February 3, 2014

Watching You: Michael Robotham

I'm a huge fan of Michael Robotham, and he hits it out of the park again with Watching You. It's a suspenseful thriller with a twist. 

Michael Robotham grew up in small Australian country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney. For the next fourteen years he wrote for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin’s Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled. 

In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies. His first novel The Suspect, a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”.  His second novel Lost won the Ned Kelly Award for the Crime Book of the Year in 2005, given by the Australian Crime Writers Association. It was also shortlisted for the 2006 Barry Award for the BEST BRITISH NOVEL published in the US in 2005. Michael's subsequent novels The Night Ferry and Shatter were both shortlisted for UK Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger in 2007 and 2008. Shatter was also shortlisted in the inaugural ITV3 Thriller Awards in the UK and for South Africa's Boeke Prize. In August 2008 Shatter won the Ned Kelly award for Australia's best crime novel. More recently, Bleed for Me – Michael's sixth novel – was shortlisted for the 2010 Ned Kelly Award. His novel The Wreckage won universal praise and was described by Nelson De Mille as 'one of the best novels to come out of the chaos of Iraq.' In 2012 he released Say You're Sorry – a dark psychological thriller that marked the return to center stage of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin. Michael's latest novel is Watching You  - a suffocatingly tense story about a woman who has been stalked her entire life. Released in 2013 in the UK and March 2014 (Mulholland Books) in the US, it again features psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and ex-detective Vincent Ruiz

Michael lives on Sydney's northern beaches, where he recently moved house, swapping his 'pit of despair' (basement office) for a 'cabana of cruelty.' 


As a kid I used to sometimes pick someone out in the crowd and secretly follow them, ducking into doorways, taking shortcuts, trying not to be seen. If possible, I followed them all the way home, imagining I was a spy on a secret mission, tailing a Russian sleeper agent or a hitman living under a false identity in a small country town.

A few years later, I used to follow a girl called Madonna Reynolds. I could see Madonna’s house from the branches of a Jacaranda Tree in our back garden. Perched in the branches, I could tell when she left for school or to walk into town. And then I timed my walk so that we accidentally bumped into each and could walk together. This was love rather than stalking, but I always felt a frisson of excitement about watching someone who didn’t know I was there.

Alfred Hitchcock once said: ‘I'll bet you that nine out of ten people, if they see a woman across the courtyard undressing for bed, or even a man puttering around in his room, will stay and look; no one turns away and says, “It's none of my business.” They could pull down their blinds, but they never do; they stand there and look out.’

Hitchcock was one of history’s great voyeurs and explored his fascination in the classic film Rear Window in which Jimmy Stewart watches the lives his neighbours in an apartment block across the square. Stella, the nurse in that film, states very early that ‘we are a race of peeping toms.’ Even though we feel it’s a violation of our privacy; there is still a strong curiosity to watch others, whether it be on the screen or at the park or inside their homes.

This isn’t voyeurism in the sexual sense. It’s not about spying on someone undressing or engaging in sex. For most of us the thrill is the secretive nature of the act, not the sex or nudity.

How often do we catch a glimpse of someone who doesn’t know we’re watching? They could be sitting in the car opposite at the traffic lights. Maybe they’re crying or having an argument or singing along to a song on the radio. Or maybe you’re walking along the street and you glance into a house where the front curtains are open. We might catch a glimpse of a family having dinner, or watching TV, or simply make a note of how they’ve decorated their front room. It’s a secret glimpse into another life.

This is one of the ideas that I wanted to explore in my latest thriller WATCHING YOU. It concerns a woman called Marnie Logan – an abandoned wife and mother, whose husband has been missing for more than a year. One afternoon Marnie arrived home and found a half made cup of coffee on the kitchen counter and a cooling kettle – Daniel was gone, vanished. There have been no messages, no calls, no sightings, no bank withdrawals; he has simply dropped off the face of the earth.

Because the law regarding missing persons, Marnie can’t access his bank accounts, cancel his direct debits, claim his life insurance or open his office locker. She’s caught in a legal limbo, unable to move forward. Feeling increasingly suicidal, she turns to psychologist Joe O’Loughlin for help.

Joe discovers that Marnie has always sensed – even as a little girl – that someone has been watching her. It is nothing she can put her finger on – it’s a fleeting glimpse of something in the corner of her eye, footsteps behind her, a weight upon her chest, a prickling on her skin. Joe begins to investigate and question whether Marnie is paranoid, or if somebody is truly watching her.

The seeds for WATCHING YOU were sewn a dozen years ago when I was staying with a friend in London – in the same mansion block where I set the novel. It was the middle of summer and the second bedroom was small and airless. I opened the window and curtains to get some breeze and noticed a woman sitting in the identical window opposite, only twenty feet away. She was smoking a cigarette and examining her face in mirror with a bright light in her eyes.

And the look of sadness on her face was haunting. It was as though she could see the years taking their toll. She began to cry and I wondered what had happened. Had her husband left her? Had a parent died? Had she been jilted? It was painful and mesmerising to watch her dab her eyes and then examine the fine lines.

This woman wasn’t naked, but it wouldn’t have mattered because her emotion was as stark and undressed as anything I had ever seen. Yes, it was deeply personal. Yes, I should have turned away. But I didn’t. I kept watching and imagining what sort of life she lived and what had caused her pain.

Maybe I have an excuse being a novelist. The great Ray Bradbury once said: ‘I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and look at them and listen to them. I just want to figure out who they are and what they want and where they are going.’

I don’t think we need an excuse to be fascinated by other lives. That’s why we read novels. It’s why we look at paparazzi photographs in magazines, or watch the latest celebrity trial, or follow the Kardashians, or look at stranger’s photographs on Facebook, or laugh at Judge Judy, or pause when we see a silhouette in a lighted window.

We love to see how the other half lives…and dies. We love to watch.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: R.I.P.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, was found dead in his apartment this morning at 11:30 a.m., of an apparent overdose of heroin. He had undergone treatment for drug addiction in the past, and spoke in interviews about “falling off the wagon” last year after remaining clean for 23 years.

Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor his role in the 2005 film “Capote,” in which he portrayed the writer Truman Capote.

Hoffman broke through in 1997′s “Boogie Nights” and made an impression in indie and major studio roles such as “Happiness,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,”  “Magnolia,” “Almost Famous” and “State and Main.” In addition to supporting actor nominations for “The Master,” “Doubt” and “Charlie Wilson’s War,” he received two Tony nominations for his work on the stage in “True West” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

Most recently, he starred as Plutarch Heavensbee in the summer blockbuster "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." He will reprise the role in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I," set for a November release. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II is currently filming.