Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Roger Moore: R.I.P.

Shaken, Not Stirred.

Sir Roger Moore died today at the age of 89. He will always be remembered as James Bond. He was the longest-serving actor in the role, his seven Bond films becoming the most commercially successful of the franchise. His tenure in the role also showcased an array of implausible gadgets and a host of new characters, designed to flesh out Ian Fleming's original plots.

Read more here.

What a treasure!


Cartoon of the Day: Writer

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bay Area Book Festival: Mystery, Crime, and Thrillers: June 3-4

The third annual Bay Area Book Festival will take place June 3-4 in Berkeley. The Festival will feature a full program of speakers, panels, and events focusing o Mystery, Crime, and Thrillers. Included will be Scott Turow, Walter Mosley, Bradley Spinelli, John Lescroart, Cara Black, Laurie King, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Hans Olav Lahlum, and more. These authors and others will participate in panels on topics such as Noir, Thrillers, and the Intersection of Journalism and Crime Writing.

The Bay Area Book Festival is a two-day indoor/outdoor weekend event that welcomes 200 local, national, and international  authors and speakers in 100 literary sessions (panels, interviews, keynotes, and performances) in auditoriums and theaters throughout downtown Berkeley. Outdoor sessions, booths, and activities are FREE to the public all weekend! Indoor sessions will require a ticket or Festival wristband, available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bay-area-book-festival-june-3-4-2017-tickets-32932055665.

Highlights of this year’s conversations on mystery, crime, and thrillers, which will take place in venues in downtown Berkeley, include:

Master of the Legal Thriller: A Conversation with Scott Turow — Join bestselling author Scott Turow for a wide-ranging discussion of Turow’s legal thrillers and his long career in the law. This will be Turow’s only Bay Area appearance for his new book, Testimony. The author of Presumed Innocent and ten other widely praised novels, Turow has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. (Sunday, June 4, 5:00pm, at the Alta Stage at Freight & Salvage)

Walter Mosley – Walking the Wild Side — Twenty-five years ago, Walter Mosley introduced us to Easy Rawlins, an Army vet turned private eye, to tell the story of black postwar Los Angeles. Today, with 55 critically acclaimed books, Mosley is one of America’s best-known and most beloved living writers. (Former president Bill Clinton named Mosley one of his favorite authors.) Learn how Mosley crafts his trademark accessibility, along his penchant for creating narratives that both entertain and instruct. (Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm, at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza - Crystal Ballroom, sponsored by Northern California Chapter, Mystery Writers of America)

Noir at the Bar  — Join us to toast local and international mystery writers who have mastered the form. Make Dashiell Hammett proud by ordering a dirty martini (or some other hard-boiled cocktail) and listening to riveting short readings—no more than 8 minutes—from Walter Mosley, Hans Olav Lahlum, Bill Moody, Heather Haven, Nick Mamatas, Mysti Berry, Ann Parker, and Randal Brandt. This will no doubt prove an increasingly rowdy audience of fans and readers. (Saturday, June 3, 5:15pm, at Cornerstone, sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, NORLA - Norwegian Literature Abroad, and Norway House Foundation)

Thrillers: Secrets of the Craft — What are the essential ingredients in a captivating thriller? What kinds of characters do you need, and how do you build suspense, anticipation, and dread? Four bestselling thriller authors will reveal the trade secrets of the craft. John Lescroart’s newest book, Fatal, is “a psychological thriller in bed with a homicide investigation.” Danish writer Thomas Rydahl’s hero is “one of the most distinctive detectives you will meet this year.” Bradley Spinelli is not only a writer but film director, and prolific Chuck Wendig brings game design to our panel’s list of accomplishments. Moderator Keith Raffel, a mystery and thriller writer himself, formerly served as counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the CIA, NSA, and other clandestine three-lettered agencies. (Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm, David Brower Center - Tamalpais Room, sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Danish Embassy, and Mystery Writers of America, Northern California Chapter)

The Art of Investigation: Journalists Meet Crime Writers — There is a curious connection between crime novels and investigative reporting. Both are called “stories” by their practitioners. Both present victims and an evildoer, whether that be a person or a system, and both work with suspicion, suspense, and a constant assessment of the reliability of sources of information. Michael Montgomery is a journalist who has reported on some of the most heinous real-life mysteries around the world. Erik Axl Sund is the pseudonym of two Swedish writers whose blockbuster The Crow Girl is “a jolting examination of a cycle of abuse and revenge” that “builds a powerful indictment of society’s willingness to turn a blind eye toward powerful, privileged abusers preying on the weak” (Booklist, starred review). (Sunday, June 4, 1:15pm, at BAMPFA - Barbro Osher Theater, sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Margaret and Will Hearst)

Festival-goer favorite, Nordic Noir returns for the third year! Nordic masters Thomas Rydahl, Hans Olav Lahlum, Vidar Sundstol, and Erik Axl Sund illuminate what makes a thriller thrilling, and how these writers survive the experience (sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Danish Embassy, the Norway House Foundation, and NORLA - Norwegian Literature Abroad).

Hard-boiled mystery writers Wendy Hornsby, Ellen Kirschman, and Vidar Sundstol will clue you in on what makes a suspenseful “whodunit?” (sponsored by the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America).

Bestselling Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen (creator of the Department Q novels, the latest of which is The Hanging Girl) will share insights on his career and the process of crafting international sensations (Sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, and the Royal Danish Embassy).

Be sure and stop by the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime Booths to meet authors, buy books, and chat with writer members.

For info on other sessions focusing on mystery, crime, and thrillers see the full schedule.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Investigation

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award Shortlist

The Award nominations keep coming. Theakston Old Peculier Crime Festival (Harrogate) announced the Novel of the Year Shortlist. The shortlisted six were whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles published by British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback between May 1, 2016 and April 30,  2017.

• Lie With Me, by Sabine Durrant (Mulholland)
• Out of Bounds, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
• Black Widow, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
• After You Die, by Eva Dolan (Harvill Secker)
• Real Tigers, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
• Missing, Presumed, by Susie Steiner (Borough Press)

The winner will be announced on July 20 at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, England.

Hat Tip: Erin Mitchell

Saturday, May 20, 2017

CrimeFest Awards

CrimeFest 2017 announced the winners of its six award categories at the convention’s annual gala dinner this evening. The awards gala is the highlight of the UK’s biggest international crime fiction festival, with previous winners including Ian Rankin, Kate Atkinson, Stieg Larsson and Philip Kerr. The event is a celebration of a fantastic year in crime fiction, with Robin Stevens snapping up the first ever CrimeFest Award for Children’s Crime Fiction as one of the UK’s most popular children’s book authors for her Murder Most Unladylike series. Simon Mason won the first ever award for Young Adult Crime Fiction for his teenage murder mystery Kid Got Shot, beating American bestseller John Grisham’s lucrative YA Theodore Boone series.

Audible Sounds of Crime Award
WINNER: Clare Mackintosh for I See You, read by Rachel Atkins (Hachette Audio / Isis)

eDunnit Award
WINNER: Laura Lippman for Wilde Lake (Faber & Faber)

H.R.F. Keating Award
WINNER: Barry Forshaw for Brit Noir (Pocket Essentials)

Last Laugh Award
WINNER: Mick Herron for Real Tigers (John Murray)

Best Crime Novel for Children (8 – 12)
WINNER: Robin Stevens for Murder Most Unladylike: Mistletoe and Murder (Puffin)

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (12 – 16)
WINNER: Simon Mason for Kid Got Shot (David Fickling Books)

The ceremony took place at the Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel to mark the climax of a convention that saw hundreds of authors, publishers, agents and lovers of crime fiction descend on the city for four days of exciting panel discussions, author talks and interviews with award-winning, bestselling crime fiction authors. Highlights of this year’s convention included guest author appearances from Anthony Horowitz, Ann Cleeves, Peter Lovesey and Martin Edwards.

Cartoon of the Day: Trickery

Happy Caturday!

CWA Dagger Longlists Announced!

The CWA announced The Gold Dagger and Steel Dagger Longlists. For the International Dagger Longlist, go Here.

The Gold Dagger Longlist

The Beautiful Dead Belinda Bauer Bantam Press
Dead Man’s Blues Ray Celestin Mantle
The Girl Before J P Delaney Quercus
Desperation Road Michael Farris Smith No Exit Press
Little Deaths Emma Flint Picador
The Dry Jane Harper Little Brown
Spook Street Mick Herron John Murray
Sirens Joseph Knox Doubleday
Ashes of Berlin Luke McCallin No Exit Press
The Girl in Green Derek B. Miller Faber & Faber
The Rising Man Abir Muckerjee Harvill Secker
Darktown Thomas Mullen Little Brown

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Longlist

You Will Know Me Megan Abbott Picador
Kill the Next One Frederico Axat Text Publishing
The Twenty Three Linwood Barclay Orion Fiction
The Killing Game J S Carol Bookouture
The Heat Garry Disher Text Publishing
A Hero in France Alan Furst Weidenfeld & Nicolson
We Go Around in the Night Consumed By Fire Jules Grant Myriad Editions
Moskva Jack Grimood Michael Joseph
The One Man Andrew Gross Macmillan
Redemption Road John Hart Hodder & Stoughton
Spook Street Mick Herron John Murray Publishers
Dark Asset Adrian Magson Severn House
Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly Adrian McKinty Serpent’s Tail
The Constant Soldier William Ryan Mantle
The Rules of Backyard Cricket Jack Serong Text Publishing
Jericho’s War Gerald Seymour Hodder & Stoughton
The Kept Woman Karin Slaughter Century
Broken Heart Tim Weaver Penguin

The Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction Longlist

A Dangerous Place

Simon Farquhar The History Press Ltd
Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro’s Cuba Stephen Purvis Weidenfeld & Nicolson
The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage Anja Reich-Osang Text Publishing
Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes Michael Sims Bloomsbury Publishing
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer Kate Summerscale Bloomsbury Publishing
A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II A. T. Williams Jonathan Cape
The Ice Age: A Journey into Crystal-Meth Addiction Luke Williams Scribe Publications
Another Day in the Death of America Gary Younge Guardian Faber Publishing

CWA Short Story Dagger Longlist

The Assassination by Leye Adenle in Sunshine Noir

Murder and its Motives by Martin Edwards in Motives for Murder

Alive or Dead by Michael Jecks in Motives for Murder

The Super Recogniser of Vik by Michael Ridpath in Motives for Murder

What You Were Fighting For by James Sallis in The Highway Kind

The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder

Snakeskin by Ovidia Yu in Sunshine Noir

CWA Endeavor Historical Dagger Longlist

The Devil’s Feast

M.J. Carter Fig Tree
The Coroner’s Daughter Andrew Hughes Doubleday Ireland
The Black Friar S.G. MacLean Quercus
The Ashes of Berlin Luke McCallin No Exit Press
The Long Drop Denise Mina Harvill Secker
A Rising Man Abir Mukherjee Harvill Secker
Darktown Thomas Mullen Little, Brown
By Gaslight Steven Price Point Blank
The City in Darkness Michael Russell Constable
Dark Asylum E.S. Thomson Constable

CWA International Dagger 2017 Longlist

The 2017 CWA International Dagger Longlist was announced last night at CrimeFest.
A Cold Death by Antonio Manzini tr. Antony Shugaar (4th Estate)
A Fine Line by Gianrico Carofiglio tr. Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
A Voice In The Night by Andrea Camilleri tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Mantle)
Blackout by Marc Elsberg tr. Marshall Yarbrough (Black Swan)
Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre tr. Frank Wynne (Maclehose Press)
Climate Of Fear by Fred Vargas tr. Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker)
Death In The Tuscan Hills by Marco Vichi tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Bastards Of Pizzofalcone  by Maurizio De Giovanni tr. Antony Shugaar (Europa Editions)
The Dying Detective by Leif G W Persson tr. Neil Smith (Doubleday)
The Legacy Of The Bones by Dolores Redondo tr. Nick Caister & Lorenza Garcia (Harper Fiction)
When It Grows Dark by Jorn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

2016 Bram Stoker Awards Winners

Thanks to Aaron Bennett at Locus Online for the update. My former post of these awards was linked to last year's winners. Sorry.  

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced the winners for the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards on April 29, 2017 at a gala held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA during StokerCon 2017.
Superior Achievement in a Novel.
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Haven, Tom Deady (Cemetery Dance)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • Snowed, Maria Alexander (Raw Dog Screaming)
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • “The Crawl Space”, Joyce Carol Oates (Ellery Queen 9-10/16)
  • “Time is a Face on the Water”, Michael Bailey (Borderlands 6)
  • “A Rift in Reflection”, Hal Bodner (Chiral Mad 3)
  • “The Bad Hour”, Christopher Golden (What the #@&% Is That?)
  • “Arbeit Macht Frei”, Lisa Mannetti (Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories)
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Borderlands 6, Oliva F. Monteleone & Thomas F. Monteleone, eds. (Samhain)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Brothel, Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • The Witch
  • Penny Dreadful: “A Blade of Grass”
  • Stranger Things: “The Upside Down”
  • Stranger Things: “The Vanishing of Will Byers”
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
Active and lifetime HWA members were eligible to vote for winners. For more information, see the HWA website.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Anti-Muse

Anthony Award Nominations


The Anthony Awards are given at each annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention with the winners selected by attendees. Bouchercon is the World Mystery Convention. This year Bouchercon will take in Toronto, Canada, October 12-15, 2017.


Best Novel
You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott [Little, Brown]
Where It Hurts – Reed Farrel Coleman [G.P. Putnam's Sons] 

Red Right Hand – Chris Holm [Mulholland]
Wilde Lake – Laura Lippman [William Morrow]
A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
Dodgers – Bill Beverly [Crown]
IQ – Joe Ide [Mulholland]
Decanting a Murder – Nadine Nettmann [Midnight Ink] 

Design for Dying – Renee Patrick [Forge]
The Drifter – Nicholas Petrie [G.P. Putnam's Sons]

Best Paperback Original
Shot in Detroit – Patricia Abbott [Polis]
Leadfoot – Eric Beetner [280 Steps]
Salem's Cipher – Jess Lourey [Midnight Ink]
Rain Dogs – Adrian McKinty [Seventh Street]
How to Kill Friends and Implicate People – Jay Stringer [Thomas & Mercer] 

Heart of Stone – James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street]

Best Short Story
"Oxford Girl" – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir [Akashic]
"Autumn at the Automat" – Lawrence Block, In Sunlight or in Shadow [Pegasus]
"Gary's Got A Boner" – Johnny Shaw, Waiting to Be Forgotten [Gutter]
"Parallel Play" – Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning [Wildside]
"Queen of the Dogs" – Holly West, 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul and Payback [Moonstone]

Best Critical Nonfiction Work
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life – Peter Ackroyd [Nan A. Talese]
Letters from a Serial Killer – Kristi Belcamino & Stephanie Kahalekulu [CreateSpace]
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin [Liveright]
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker – David J. Skal [Liveright]
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer – Kate Summerscale [Bloomsbury/Penguin]

Best Children’s/YA Novel
Snowed – Maria Alexander [Raw Dog Screaming] 
The Girl I Used to Be – April Henry [Henry Holt] 
Tag, You're Dead – J.C. Lane [Poisoned Pen]
My Sister Rosa – Justine Larbalestier [Soho Teen] 

The Fixes – Owen Matthews [HarperTeen]

Best Anthology
Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns – Eric Beetner, ed. [Down & Out]
In Sunlight or in Shadow – Lawrence Block, ed. [Pegasus]
Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens – Jen Conley [Down & Out]
Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – Greg Herren, ed. [Down & Out]
Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by the Replacements – Jay Stringer, ed. [Gutter]

Best Novella (8,000-40,000 words)
Cleaning Up Finn – Sarah M. Chen [All Due Respect Books]
No Happy Endings – Angel Luis Colón [Down & Out]
Crosswise – S.W. Lauden [Down & Out]
Beware the Shill – John Shepphird [Down & Out]
The Last Blue Glass – B.K. Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2016 [Dell]


About the Anthony Awards
The Anthony Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. Anthony Award Categories. 

About Bouchercon: 
Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention where readers, writers, fans, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a 4-day weekend of education, entertainment, and fun! It is the world’s premiere event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community, and is pronounced [bough’·chur·con]. 

For more information about the Anthony Awards and voting procedure contact our Anthony committee, Cathy Astolfo, John Purcell or B.G. Ritts at Anthonys@bouchercon2017.com

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Chaperone: New PBS Movie

PBS and MASTERPIECE have announced that MASTERPIECE is producing its first feature film which will reunite the writer, director and star of Downton Abbey. The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s best-selling American novel, will be scripted by Julian Fellowes, directed by Michael Engler, and star Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lady Grantham in the hit series. It will air on PBS stations nationwide after its initial theatrical run.

The Chaperone takes place against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the early 1920s. A Kansas woman (McGovern) is forever changed when she chaperones a beautiful and talented 15-year-old dancer (Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair) named Louise Brooks to New York for the summer. One of them is eager to fulfill her destiny of dance and movie stardom; the other is on a mission to unearth the mysteries of her past.

Julian Fellowes said, “I am absolutely delighted to be working with MASTERPIECE and Elizabeth McGovern on The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s novel, which is captivating and beguiling and resonant in so many ways.”

“It is a thrill and an honor to be working with MASTERPIECE and Julian again on his beautiful adaptation of The Chaperone, and to be in the expert hands of director Michael Engler,” said McGovern.

Exploring the Roots of the Baby Boomer Era: Guest post by Gavin Scott

Gavin Scott is a novelist, broadcaster and writer of the Emmy-winning mini-series “Mists of Avalon”, Dreamworks’ “Small Soldiers”, Working Title’s “The Borrowers” and Sci Fi’s “Legends of Earthsea” He produced and directed more than two hundred documentaries and short films for BBC and the commercial TV in the UK before moving to the United States, where his first assignment was with George Lucas, developing and scripting “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”. His screenplay “The Last Summer”, a thriller about how World War One began is being produced by Aristos Films, to be directed by Downton Abbey’s Philip John. He wrote and directed the New Zealand film “Battle of Treasure Island”, starring Randy Quaid, for Limelight Films. “Absolutely Anything”, the script he wrote with Terry Jones starring Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale, with Eddie Izzard, Rob Riggle and Joanna Lumley and the voices of Robin Williams and most of the Python team, will be released in the US this year by Lionsgate. Archetype Productions and Lucas Foster are set to produce Gavin’s World War Two supernatural adventure “Lost Squad”, a combination of “The Matrix” and “Where Eagles Dare”, inspired by the graphic novels of Chris Kirby. For Germany’s Gruppe 5 productions he will be show-running a ten part series about Dona Gracia Nasi, a 16th century female Schindler who negotiated with Popes, Sultans and Emperors, set up a continent-wide escape route, set up a colony on the coast of what had been ancient Israel and saved thousands of Jews from the Inquisition. He created and executive produced “The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne” a 22 part sci-fi adventure series set in the nineteenth century about, which was broadcast around the world. 

Gavin Scott describes how he came to explore the roots of the Baby Boomer era in his Duncan Forrester detective adventure series. His latest, The Age of Olympus, has just been published by Titan Books. Read more here.

Gavin Scott:
Exploring the Roots of the Baby Boomer Era

Someone asked me recently why I have set my Duncan Forrester detective adventures in the late 1940s, the period immediately after World War II, and I realised it was because it gave me the chance to go to the heart of the experience of the baby boomer generation.

I myself was born in 1950 and only really became aware of politics in about 1960: one of my earliest political memories is learning in Reader’s Digest about the Chinese mistreatment of Tibetan monks after the invasion of Tibet. Then came the excitement of Kennedy’s election, followed by the terror of the Cuban missile crisis, the shock of the Kennedy assassination and the escalating disaster of the Vietnam War, buy which time I would say I was thoroughly politically aware.

But even then I realised that the roots of these events lay in the years before I was born - not just in the World War in which my father had fought and the town where I grew up (Hull, Yorkshire) had been devastated by the Luftwaffe – but in the years just afterwards during which the Peace had been forged.

So I decided to set my detective mysteries when the Cold War was coming into being, the colonial empires were being dismantled and the atomic age beginning thus giving me a compelling reason to plunge down into the roots of the modern era and find out what was really going on.

I chose as my hero someone the same age as my father, so that I felt confident in describing the world where he had grown up – and perhaps so that I could give my father the kind of war he would have had if he’d been educated at Oxford and been a specialist in ancient history. Duncan Forrester had broken off his academic life when war broke out and volunteered for what became the Special Operations Executive, parachuting into Nazi occupied territory to help, in Churchill’s words “set Europe ablaze”.

Which meant that he had seeing action in almost every theatre of the war and met an extraordinary range of people. In the first Duncan Forrester adventure, The Age of Treachery, he’s returned to Oxford hoping to resume his peacetime life but finds himself having to become a man of action once more to save the friend falsely accused of murder. In this year’s book, The Age of Olympus, he returns to his old wartime haunts in Crete and finds himself coming up against Stalin’s plans to turn all Europe into a Communist satrapy.

Researching both of these books and The Age of Exodus, which is due out next year, has involved to me reading not just political and military history but also the diaries, memoirs, official reports, letters and biographies by and about an extraordinary range of people.

Realising how all these lives overlap is a bit like doing a gigantic jigsaw puzzle and I find myself crying out with delight as I discover yet another connection that’s quite possibly no one else has noticed. In the first book I realised that Margaret Thatcher, then known as Margaret Roberts was studying x-ray crystallography in Oxford at the same time that J.R.R. Tolkien was struggling to finish writing The Lord of the Rings, while his friend C.S. Lewis was becoming sufficiently impatient that he decided to write his own fantasy sequence - which has given us the Narnia novels.

Ian Fleming was the Foreign Manager of the Sunday Times and a pleasure-loving, gossipy man-about-town long before he thought of James Bond and the great adventurer Thor Heyerdahl was in the process of raising the money for his extraordinary Kon Tiki expedition. None of them was famous yet for the things we know them for today but they were all already living rich lives with which Duncan Forrester could interact.

When I began researching The Age of Olympus and reading any material I could get my hands about Greece in 1946, where it was set, I found almost an embarrassment of riches. Lawrence Durrell, long famous for his great Alexandria Quartet novels and with new-found fame through the Durrells of Corfu television series, was based in Rhodes during this time, running newspaper for the British Army. He wrote a wonderfully revealing book about his experiences in Rhodes called Reflections in a Marine Venus, as a result of which I know a surprising amount about what he was doing, seeing and feeling at exactly the period my novel is set. Osbert Lancaster the architectural historian and cartoonist, was also working in Greece in 1946, based in the British Embassy in Athens. He too wrote a book about what the country was like then, a delightfully witty account called Classical Landscape with Figures. Packed with just the kind of detail I needed about the people and places of my story. Stephen Runciman, the historian of the Crusades was there too, and the exuberant Oxford don Maurice Bowra – to say nothing of the extraordinary, legendary Patrick Leigh Fermor, played by Dirk Bogarde in the movie Ill Met by Moonlight.

Here I had a fantastic piece of luck because in The Age of Treachery I had made Duncan Forrester briefly a member of the guerilla band led by Leigh Fermor in Crete during the war. Leigh Fermor had pulled off the extraordinary feat of kidnapping a German general and spiriting him off to Egypt, (that’s what the Bogarde movie is about) and I had imagined that Duncan Forrester had helped him do it. Now, while researching the book in which Forrester returned to Greece, it turned out that Leigh Fermor had himself come back here at exactly this time - and that the great biographer Artemis Cooper, had written a book, Leigh Fermor, which told me exactly what he was doing there.

Before long, surrounded by my piles of weighty tomes and stacks of notes I began to feel like a child in a sandpit with every imaginable toy to play with. And as Duncan Forrester’s own life became more complicated I found the process of weaving his adventures within those of his real-life contemporaries more and more absorbing.

I like to think I have created a murder mystery which will keep you fairly close to the edge of your seat as the action unfolds – but the pleasure I hope The Age of Olympus also gives readers is the feeling of what it was like to be in the Aegean Islands long before the age of mass tourism – in the company of some of the most interesting people of that, or any other time.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother's Day Mysteries: A List

Mother's Day: So many Mothers in Mysteries, but the following is a sampling with emphasis on the Mother's Day Holiday. If I listed all the mysteries and crime fiction with famous and infamous mothers, the list would be way too long. Be sure and scroll down to view the Psycho Trailer!


Angel at Troublesome Creek by Mignon F. Ballard
How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law, Mum's the Word by Dorothy Cannell
Mother's Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
A Catered Mother's Day by Isis Crawford 
A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow
Motherhood is Murder (Short Stories) by Mary Daheim, Carolyn Hart, Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Jane Isenberg
Murder Can Upset Your Mother by Selma Eichler
A Mother's Day Murder by Dee Ernst
Bon Bon Voyage by Nancy Fairbanks
Murder for Mother: Short Story collection, edited by Martin S. Greenberg
Murder Superior by Jane Haddam
A Gift for Mother's Day by K.C. Hardy
The Mother’s Day Murder by Lee Harris
"Pull my Paw"(short story) by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Mother’s Day by Patricia MacDonald
Mother's Day by Dennis McDougal
Mother’s Day Murder by Leslie Meier
Mother's Day Out by Karen MacInerney (not on Mother's Day exactly)
Mom, Apple Pie & Murder: A collection of New Mysteries for Mother’s Day, edited by Nancy Pickard
Mother's Day, Muffins, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Mother’s Day by Joshua Quittner and Michelle Slatalla
A Mother's Day Murder by Genevieve Scholl
Mother's Day by Ron Vincent

True Crime: 
The Mother's Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson

Who's your favorite Mother in Crime Fiction?

Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Finalists

Finalists for the seventh annual Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The prize was authorized by the late Harper Lee, and established in 2011 by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. It is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Finalists

Gone Again, by James Grippando
The Last Days of Night, by Graham Moore
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult

“The ABA Journal is honored to be a continuing part of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction,” says Molly McDonough, the editor and publisher of the ABA Journal. “We’re particularly excited about the diversity of topics in this year’s finalists: a compelling narrative on race in America, a riveting piece of historical fiction on the lawyering behind the electrification of America, and a gripping legal thriller with a race against the death penalty at the center of the story.”

A four-person panel will vote on which novel should take the prize, with the result of a public poll counting as a fifth vote. The poll will remain open through June 30. The judges on the panel are Deborah Johnson, winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for The Secret of Magic; Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life; Don Noble, host of Alabama Public Radio’s book-review series and host of Bookmark, which airs on Alabama Public Television; and Han Nolan, author of Dancing on the Edge.

The award ceremony will take place at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

To vote for one of the books, go here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Librarian Position Available: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Here's a great job opening I came across this morning. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is looking for a Librarian! What a fabulous job! O.K. you'd probably have to move to Cleveland, but....

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, or “Rock Hall,” is best known for their annual selection of new inductees, but the museum also boasts an incredibly comprehensive library and archive chock full of scholarship and memorabilia, from photonegatives of Aretha Franklin in the studio to Jimi Hendrix’s handwritten ‘Purple Haze’ lyric sheet to a full drawer of Kid Rock posters.

From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website:

LibrarianJob No. 1702 - The Librarian reports to the Senior Director of Library and Archives and performs descriptive cataloging of library resources; assists in providing instruction and reference service and engaging users through outreach activities; assists in the collection development of library resources; and supervises the work of the Library Assistant, interns, and volunteers.


Photo: Janet Rudolph & Lola Fiur at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Opening Ceremonies of Bouchercon, Cleveland

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: How Book Lovers Pack for a Road Trip

Call for Articles: Murder in Wartime

Murder in Wartime

The next issue of Mystery Readers Journal (Volume 33:2) will focus on crime fiction during Wartime. Looking for reviews, articles, and Author! Author! essays. Reviews: 50-250 words; Articles: 250-1000 words; Author! Author! essays: 1000-2500 words. Author essays are first person, about yourself, your books, and the 'Wartime' connection. Think of it as chatting with friends and other writers in the bar or cafe about your work and your Wartime (any war) connection. Add title and 2-3 sentence bio/tagline. Deadline: June 1. 

Send to: Janet Rudolph, Editor. janet @ mysteryreaders.org
Please forward this request to anyone you think should be included.

Call for Articles for 2017 (Volume 33): Murder in Wartime, Big City Cops 1, Big City Cops 2). Have titles, articles or suggestions for these upcoming issues? 
Want to write an Author! Author! essay?  
email Janet Rudolph  janet @ mysteryreaders.org

Monday, May 8, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Signing

2017 Scribe Award Nominees

The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers announced the nominees for the 2017 Scribe Awards. These prizes are intended to “honor licensed (published) works that tie in with other media such as television, movies, gaming, or comic books. These include original works set in established universes, and adaptations of stories that have appeared in other formats and that cross all genres.” Among the five categories of Scribe nominees are these of interest to mystery readers:

Adapted—General and Speculative:
• Assassin’s Creed, by Christie Golden
• Road to Perdition, by Max Allan Collins
• Suicide Squad, by Marv Wolfman

General Original:
• 24: Trial by Fire, by Dayton Ward
• Don Pendleton’s The Executioner: Missile Intercept, by Michael Black
• Murder Never Knocks, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
• Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn, by Ace Atkins
• Tom Clancy’s True Faith and Allegiance, by Mark Greaney

Winners will be announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego, (July 20-23).

Hat Tip: The Rap Sheet

Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 Dagger in the Library Shortlist

The British Crime Writers’ Association has announced its shortlist for the 2017 Dagger in the Library Award. This Award celebrates “a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire.”

CWA Dagger in the Library Shortlist
Andrew Taylor

C.J. Sansom
James Oswald
Kate Ellis
Mari Hannah
Tana French

The winner of this year’s Dagger in the Library award will be announced as part of the Bodies from the Library event at London’s British Library on Saturday, June 17.

Previous recipients of the Dagger in the Library include Christopher Fowler, Sharon Bolton, Stephen Booth, Belinda Bauer, Mo Hayder, Peter Robinson, Stuart MacBride, Craig Russel, Alexander McCall Smith, and of course last year’s winner, Elly Griffiths.

My weekly Tuesday Night Book Group has been reading books by the previous winners this Spring. It's been great fun.

HT: The Rap Sheet via The Gumshoe Site

Friday, May 5, 2017


The 143nd Kentucky Derby takes place Saturday. To celebrate, I've dusted off last year's list of Kentucky Derby mysteries and added a few more titles. You'll want to read some horse-racing mysteries to get in the mood and enjoy the day --  or watch the movie The Kentucky Derby (1922). It's full of grit and crime. Have a piece of Derby Pie (recipes on DyingforChocolate.com), filled with chocolate, bourbon and nuts. Or make some Mint Julep Truffles or Kentucky Derby Bourbon Truffles. Planning on attending the Kentucky Derby this year? Don't forget your hat: "Crowning Glory: The Art of Kentucky Derby Hats"

Kentucky Derby Mysteries
King of the Roses by V.S. Anderson
The Silver Falcon by Evelyn Anthony
Triple Crown by Jon Breen
Death in Lilac Time by Frances Crane  
Triple Cross by Kit Ehrman
Intercept by Mary Jane Forbes
Triple Crown by Felix Francis
Silent Partner by Karen Jones
Snip by Doc Macomber
Murder at the Kentucky Derby by Charles Parmer
Dark Horse by Bill Shoemaker (Triple Crown)
The Accurst Tower by John Winslow

Kentucky Derby Short Stories
"The Gift" by Dick Francis is set at the Kentucky Derby. It is in the collection Field of Thirteen. "The Gift" first appeared as "A Day of Wine and Roses" in Sports Illustrated, 1973.
Derby Rotten Scoundrels: A Silver Dagger Anthology, edited by Jeffrey Marks
Low Down and Derby, a collection of fast paced mystery stories set around the Kentucky Derby, by fifteen authors from the Ohio River Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime, edited by Abigail Jones.
Murder at the Races, a collection of Short Stories including "A Derby Horse", edited by Peter Haining.

Children's Mysteries
The Mystery at the Kentucky Derby by Carole Marsh

Great Horse Racing Mysteries: Tales from the Track by John McEvoy
Dancer's Image: The Forgotten Story of the 1968 Kentucky Derby (and 5 other non-fiction books about Thoroughbread racing and equine law) by Milton Toby

And there once was a thorough-bred named Mystery Novel. He did not win the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby (1922)

Authors who Write Horse Mysteries 

(not necesssarily about the Kentucky Derby)

Gabriella Herkert, Sasscer Hill, Jody Jaffe, Bruce Alexander, Fern Michaels, Carolyn Banks, Michelle Scott, Laura Crum, J.R. Lindermuth, William Murray, Mary Monica Pulver, Rita Mae Brown, Janet Dawson, Maggie Estep, Dick Francis, John Francome, Alyson Hagy, Michael Kilian, Peter Klein, Lynda La Plante, John McEvoy, Jassy Mackenzie, Robert Nicholas Reeves, Bill Shoemaker, Laura Young, Lyndon Stacey, JD Carpenter, Lisa Wysocky, Sally Wright

Murder at the Racetrack, edited by Otto Penzler

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Dog's Night Out

UNSUB: When Cold Cases Kill: Guest post by Meg Gardiner

Edgar-winning novelist Meg Gardiner writes thrillers. Fast-paced and full of twists, her books have been called “Hitchcockian” (USA Today) and “nailbiting and moving” (Guardian). They have been bestsellers in the U.S. and internationally and have been translated into more than 20 languages. UNSUB will be released on June 27, 2017.

Meg Gardiner:
UNSUB: When Cold Cases Kill

UNSUB is about a legendary killer and the young cop who hunts him. In my thriller, the UNSUB—an unknown subject in a criminal investigation—starts killing again after twenty years, and Caitlin Hendrix must decipher his coded plan before he drags more innocents to the abyss.

The novel was sparked by the unsolved case that has haunted California for decades, and me since childhood: the Zodiac. That infamous UNSUB shot and stabbed seven people in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Zodiac sent dozens of messages to the police and media, including cryptograms that have never been broken. The terror wrought by the killings still lingers today.

I grew up in California, spooked by the knowledge that the Zodiac could strike at any time. Today, I’m spooked by the thought that the killer hasn’t been caught. The Zodiac could still be out there.

And, being a thriller writer, spooky thoughts lead me to spooky ideas. What if a terrifying cold case turned hot again? What if a killer who’d disappeared—as the Zodiac did—resumed killing decades later?

I turned that unnerving idea, that they-never-caught-him fear, into this novel.

In UNSUB, Bay Area sheriff’s detective Caitlin Hendrix is pulled into the chilling world of the serial killer known as the Prophet. This UNSUB posed his victims in garish crime scene displays, and marked their bodies with the ancient sign for Mercury. He’s given Caitlin nightmares since she was a small girl. Her father, Mack, was the lead detective on the original case. The investigation shattered Mack emotionally and tore his family apart.

To write the novel, I had to create the killer’s secret world. I delved into codes, puzzles, astrology, poetry, ancient symbolism—and 21st century hacking. The Prophet is a master of mind games. To stop him, Caitlin must do what her father couldn’t. She must decipher both the Prophet’s old, taunting messages and his strange new rhymes. What do the crime scene tableaus signify? What does the Mercury sign mean? And what is the Prophet’s end game?

Readers ask if I write to exorcise my demons. I don’t. As a writer, I take what frightens me and try to turn it into gripping fiction. I put my demons on the page, and turn them loose for readers to experience in the most exciting and suspenseful ways I can create.

UNSUB is a psychological thrill ride. Enjoy it.

But, if it gets you thinking about what’s out there, don’t turn off the lights.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Wishing Well

Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Crime Fiction

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Read a mystery!

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, the 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It's primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some recognition in other parts of the Mexico, and also in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It's not, as many people believe, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

I've blogged about Cinco de Mayo Mysteries before, but I think it's always good to run this post again -- with a few additions for those who missed it or won't take the extra step to click. :-)

This list is supplemented with Mexican mystery writers and books set in Mexico. Let me know any titles or authors you think should be included.

Add to your Cinco de Mayo reading pleasure with a Mexican Chocolate Celebration. Check out my other Blog, Dying for Chocolate, for recipes and suggestions of great Chocolate for Cinco de Mayo. Entrees, drinks and desserts and more desserts.  I've also posted several recipes for different versions of Mole Poblano and Mexican Chocolate Truffles (including Tequila Truffles).

Cinco de Mayo Mysteries:
The Cinco de Mayo Murder by Lee Harris
A Corpse for Cuamantla by Harol Marshall
Cinco de Mayo by Michael Martineck (science fiction/but cross-over)
Cinco de Mayhem by Ann Myers 
The Bane of Cinco de Mayo by Nathan S. Mitchell
The Cinco de Mayo Reckoning by Terry Money

And a few Mexican crime writers who set their mysteries in Mexico but not Cinco de Mayo. They have not all been translated into English.

Mexican Crime Writers:
Paco Ignacio Taibo II The Uncomfortable Dead (and numerous other novels)
Eduardo Monteverde
Juan Hernandez Luna
Martin Solares
Elmer Mendoza
Rolo Diez
Juan Hernandez Luna

Hardboiled fiction on the Mexican-American frontier: 
Gabriel Trujillo Munoz-known for his science fiction and literary criticism, also writes detective fiction: Mesquite Road, Tijuana City Blues
Carlos Fuentes: Cabeza de la Hidra (The Hydra Head)
Joaquin Guerrero-Casaola: The Law of the Garrotte
Rolando Hinojosa: Partners in Crime, Ask a Policeman

Other Crime Fiction set in Mexico
Lili Wright: Dancing with the Tiger

Want to find out more?

Read G.J. Demko's Landscapes of Crime.
Read Lucha Corpi's: La Bloga on Chicana Crime Fiction: Where to?
Read an essay by Jennifer Insley "Border criminals, border crime: hard-boiled fiction on the American Frontier in Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura

YA Literature? You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, edited by Sarah Cortez (Arte Publico Press)

Interested in Crime for the Holidays? Check out Mystery Readers Journal, Volume 25:1.

And a fun fact: Five most popular Tequilas in the U.S.
1. Jose Cuervo
2. Patron
3. Sauza
4. Herradura
5. Cabo Wabo

And, here's one of my favorite roses: Cinco de Mayo! a repeat bloomer with a unique shape, color, and scent!

2016 Ellery Queen Readers Poll

Congratulations, Paul D. Marks. His short story, “Ghosts of Bunker Hill,” was voted #1 in the 2016 Ellery Queen Readers Poll. If you’d like to read it, you can read it FREE by clicking here.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Midwest Mysteries: Mystery Readers Journal (33:1)

The lastest issue of Mystery Readers Journal: Midwestern Mysteries is now available. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. We had so many articles that we increased the size of this issue to 110 pages! Same cost. Same quality. Different binding (but same size). Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue.

MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL: Midwestern Mysteries (Volume 33:1)

Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

  • Big Cities Have Nothing on The Mysterious Midwest by Lori Rader-Day
  • What I Know by Sandra Balzo
  • Country (Midwestern) Music by Claire Booth
  • A Forest of Trees, a Murder of Crows, and a Few Dead Bodies by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
  • Lessons From Limestone by P.M. Carlson
  • Homicide in the Hoosier Heartland by Sally Carpenter
  • Horses and Humor and Mystery, Oh My! by Candace Carrabus
  • Homicide and Havoc Midwestern Style by Jessie Chandler
  • The Joys and Perils of Writing Cozy Murder Mysteries by Kate Collins
  • The Midwest—It’s all About the Vibe by Casey Daniels
  • Power of the Midwest by Jo Dereske
  • On Taking Risks by Karen Dionne
  • Call Me “Birder Murder Mama”… Please! by Jan Dunlap
  • The Cottage by Brian Freeman
  • From Oh, Ya, You Betcha to Dem Guys Over Dere: How to Write Midwestern by Shane Gericke
  • Ohio’s Amish Country—The Far Back End of Nowhere by P.L. Gaus
  • Skull and Crossroads by Chuck Greaves
  • Starvation Lake Isn’t a Memoir, Except… by Bryan Gruley
  • My Nephew, the Chief by Elizabeth Gunn
  • The Ohio Connection by Karen Harper
  • Midwestern Roots by Russell Hill
  • A Year and Change in a Game Warden’s Truck by Joseph Heywood
  • When the State is a Character by Charlotte Hinger
  • Don’t Believe Everything You Read by David Housewright
  • On Writing Midwest Mysteries by Victoria Houston
  • From Ayuh to Uff-Da by Maddy Hunter
  • My Life and My Books by Christine Husom
  • Small Towns by Sofie Kelly
  • Home: It’s That Simple by William Kent Krueger
  • Heiress Slain… Body Found in Road After Drinking Party… Married Man Held by Georgia Jeffries
  • Archaeology and Mystery in the Midwest: Digging into the Past… Can Lead to Trouble! by Steven Kuehn
  • Midwesterner in Exile by K.A. Laity
  • Resorting to Murder by Gail Lukasik
  • Give Me Land, Lots of Land… by Adrian Magson
  • Chicago as a Setting for Historical Mysteries by Frances McNamara
  • The Lou and Me by Paul D. Marks
  • Crime with a Twist in Dayton, Ohio by M. Ruth Myers
  • Suburbia Is Murder by Leslie Nagel
  • The Exotic Midwest by Nancy Pickard
  • Writing a Place With Grit, Not Glamour by D.M. Pulley
  • Making Michigan Mysterious by Lev Raphael
  • Milwaukee—the “Other” City on Lake Michigan by Nanci Rathbun
  • Home Is Where You Choose to Live by Les Roberts
  • Minnesota—You Betcha! by Barbara Schlichting
  • The Lake Effect by Elizabeth Sims
  • Cleveland: Drownings, Ghosts, and Rock and Roll by B.K. Stevens
  • North Dakota: The Birthplace of Marjorie Trumaine by Larry D. Sweazy
  • Mysteries of a Midwestern Mindset by Sally Wright
  • My Lifelong Love Affair with the Ohio River Valley by Robin Yocum
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Sandie Herron, Lesa Holstine, L.J. Roberts, and Judith Overmier
  • The Children’s Hour: Midwest Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Real Midwestern Mysteries by Cathy Pickens
  • Corn Belt Cops by Jim Doherty
  • In Short: In the Midst of Midwest Mysteries by Marvin Lachman
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet Rudolph