Monday, October 16, 2017

Crime Does Not Pay.. .Enough! MWA NorCal, Yesterday and Today

Wednesday, October 18
6-8 PM
Crime Does Not Pay… Enough! MWA NorCal, Yesterday and Today
Morrison Library (UC Berkeley)
Berkeley, CA
Randal Brandt, Laurie R. King, Sheldon Siegel & Kelli Stanley
RSVP if you’re thinking of attending, here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017



The Anthony Awards were given out at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Toronto, Canada today.


Best Novel
A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
IQ – Joe Ide [Mulholland]

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

Best Short Story
"Oxford Girl" – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir [Akashic]

Best Critical Nonfiction Work
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin [Liveright]

Best Children’s/YA Novel
The Girl I Used to Be – April Henry [Henry Holt] 

Best Anthology
Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – Greg Herren, ed. [Down & Out]

Best Novella (8,000-40,000 words)
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]. 

Friday, October 13, 2017


Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announced the winners of the 2017 Barry Awards last night at the opening session at Bouchercon. Congratulations to all!

Best Novel:
• A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Novel:
• The Drifter, by Nicholas Petrie (Putnam)

Best Paperback Original:
• Rain Dogs, by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street)

Best Thriller:
• Guilty Minds, by Joseph Finder (Dutton)

Thursday, October 12, 2017


The Macavity Award Winners 2017

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal and friends of MRI. The winners were announced tonight at opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in Toronto. Congratulations to all.

Best Novel
• A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Novel
• IQ, by Joe Ide (Mulholland Books)

Best Short Story
• “Parallel Play,” by Art Taylor (Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning, Wildside Press)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Novel
• Heart of Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Best Nonfiction
• Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, Margaret Kinsman (McFarland)

Cartoon of the Day: Editor

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Meet the Author

Tana French's The Dublin Murders: BBC

From In Reference to Murder:

BBC One has given the greenlight to an eight-part crime drama The Dublin Murders, based on Tana French’s award-winning series of mysteries. Sarah Phelps, who recently re-imagined several Agatha Christie novels for the BBC, will adapt the first two books about the fictional Dublin Murder Squad, drawn from French’s In The Woods and The Likeness. Blending psychological mystery and darkness, each novel is led by a different detective or detectives from the same Dublin squad.

Maybe we'll find out what happened in the Woods!!!??

Monday, October 9, 2017

Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive

Mark your calendars for this film on PBS: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive. Premieres October 30. Perfect for Halloween! Check your local listing. Scroll down for a preview.

After his death, writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) became a global icon of modern literature and a pop culture brand. Best known for his Gothic horror tales and narrative poem “The Raven,” Poe’s stories are the basis of countless films and TV episodes, and have inspired even more, as has his name and image.

At least four American cities claim this literary legend as their own – Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia and New York: an NFL football team is named after one of his poems, and his image appears on everything from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover to lunchboxes, bobbleheads and socks.

Written and directed by Eric Stange, the new documentary American Masters-Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive draws on Poe’s evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author. The film premieres nationwide Monday, October 30 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and will be available to stream the following day, Halloween, via and PBS OTT apps.

Starring Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated actor Denis O’Hare and narrated by Oscar- and Tony-nominated, two-time Golden Globe-winner Kathleen Turner, American Masters – Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive explores the misrepresentations of Poe as a drug-addled madman akin to the narrators of his horror stories.

This caricature is thanks, in large part, to a high-profile obituary filled with falsehoods, written by his literary rival Rufus W. Griswold. Determined to re-invent American literature, Poe was an influential – and brutally honest – literary critic and magazine editor, who also invented the detective protagonist with his character C. Auguste Dupin, refined the science fiction genre and popularized short stories, actually writing more comedies than horror.

An orphan in search of family, love and literary fame, Poe struggled with alcoholism and was also a product of early 19th century American urban life: depressed from the era’s culture of death due to the high mortality rate and the struggles of living in poverty. Poe famously died under mysterious circumstances and his cause of death remains unknown.

“The mystery around Poe’s death is the least of it,” said filmmaker Eric Stange. “The real question at the heart of this film is why Edgar Allan Poe continues to be one of the most popular writers in the history of Western literature – and one of the most misunderstood.”

Filmed in Boston Harbor’s historic Fort Independence at Castle Island, Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive combines dramatized re-enactments with O’Hare of key moments in Poe’s life, readings from Poe’s works by O’Hare, Oscar-nominated actor Chris Sarandon (The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Princess Bride, Dog Day Afternoon) and actor Ben Schnetzer (Snowden, Goat, Pride) and interviews with authors including Marilynne Robinson (Gilead), Matthew Pearl (The Poe Shadow), Jeffrey Meyers (Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy) and Zach Dundas (The Great Detective), director Roger Corman (Poe film cycle including House of Usher) and others to reveal how Poe tapped into what it means to be human in a modern and sometimes frightening world.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hammett Prize Winner

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers announced last night the winner of theannual HAMMETT PRIZE -- for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author.

The White Devil, by Domenic Stansberry (Molotov Editions)

Other Books nominated for the 2016 Hammett Prize:
The Second Life of Nick Mason, by Steve Hamilton (G.P. Putnam's Sons) 
The Drifter, by Nicholas Petrie (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Revolver, by Duane Swierczynki (Mulholland Books) 
The Big Nothing, by Bob Truluck (Murmur House Press)

The organization named the HAMMETT PRIZE winner, during the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s (NAIBA) Fall Conference, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, last night. The winner received a bronze trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.

The Darker Side of Oz: Guest Post by Guy Bolton

Guy Bolton is a novelist and screenwriter; he lives in London. The Pictures (Oneworld/Point Blank) is his first novel, a noir thriller about a detective who investigates the mysterious death of one of the producers of The Wizard of Oz. It has been shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award

Guy Bolton
The Darker Side of Oz

Movies about movies are common. From recent hits The Artist and Hail Caesar! to classics Singin’ In The Rain and Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood loves to interrogate and applaud itself. And yet oddly, I’ve not read or come across many novels about Hollywood, at least not many about the Hollywood Golden Age.

Those years roughly between ‘30s and 50s produced thousands of movies. Television was very much in its infancy so the movie theater was the center of people’s social lives. In fact, most people in the US went once or twice a week, with a new movie released on average every single day.

And despite marking the beginning of World War II, 1939 is widely considered to be the greatest year in cinema history. In no other year has there been such a string of great films that people still watch and talk about today: Stagecoach, Gone With The Wind, Babes in Arms, Goodbye Mister Chips and of course, The Wizard of Oz, the centerpiece of my crime fiction novel The Pictures.

But whilst the 1939 setting seemed apt, many people have asked me why I decided to write a noir about the making of a musical. As genres go, musicals and films noir are arguably at different ends of the spectrum. Darkness versus color. Cynicism versus optimism. Singing versus… well, killing.

I’ve always thought that the two have a lot in common. In The Wizard of Oz, a young girl is dragged into a dangerous world where she has to navigate a series of terrors and a psychopathic matriarch before she can return home. Cast a different light on it and it could be straight out of a James M. Cain novel.

Besides, it’s pretty remarkable that a film that’s over 75 years old is still being watched by people the world over, let alone an icon of American popular culture. It’s a testament to the unique characters and world, to the memorable songs and simple and heart-warming message that “there’s no place like home.”

And what many people don’t realize is that the making of The Wizard of Oz is in itself an incredible story, with a series of unusual and almost unbelievable events that seem too outrageous to be true: the first time they painted the yellow brick road it showed up as green in early Technicolor tests; Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch received second degree burns on her hands and face in an on-set accident; the actor who originally played the Tin Man had to be replaced because he suffered an allergic reaction to the aluminum powder in his make-up.

And then there were the Munchkins; MGM scoured the Western world for little people who could play the cutesy Lullaby League and Lollipop Guild who send Dorothy off on the yellow brick road. But many of the Munchkin actors had never met another little person before. Tales of debauchery are rife, with rumours of gambling, prostitution and drunken orgies that many – including Judy Garland – swore were true.

But perhaps, the thing that surprises me the most: “Over the Rainbow,” one of the most celebrated songs of the last century, was almost cut from the picture entirely. Louis Mayer thought it slowed the pacing down and was worried about how people would accept one of his stars singing in a barnyard. Only producer Arthur Freed fought for it to stay in. It could have all been so different.

There’s some pathos too when you watch The Wizard Of Oz with the benefit of hindsight. Sadly, at sixteen, Garland was well on her way to being a drug addict, with the studio giving her amphetamines to control her weight and keep her buoyant for the hectic filming schedule and barbiturates to bring her down and get her to sleep at night. Less than ten years later Garland had a nervous breakdown and placed in a psychiatric ward after attempting suicide. She was dead at 47.

The Wizard of Oz is endlessly quotable. But my favourite line has always been “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. Because sometimes, behind the curtain is where the true drama lies.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: How to Train Your Cat

Happy Caturday!

Librarian Mystery Writers

You'll want to read this great post "The Librarian Murder Mysteries" by Robert Lopresti on SleuthSayers. He focuses on mystery writers, past and present, who happen to be librarians. (He limits this to fiction writers with MLS degrees). As a list maker, I covet this list! Be sure and read the comments.

Read the article HERE. Quite a few surprises.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Sherlock Holmes

NOIReland International Crime Festival

Here's a new Crime Festival: NOIRELAND. October 27-29: Europa Hotel, Belfast. Sounds fabulous!

It's a weekend full of interviews, discussions and ebates with great crime writers. Adrian McKinty, Liz Nugent, Benjamin Black, Robert Crais, Sophie Hannah, Ruth Ware, Stuart Neville, Arne Dahla and more.

Check out the program here

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Fantasy Congress

From the New Yorker:

The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty's House for Sale

I love when 'famous' houses go on the market. For me, these are usually connected to authors, artists, historical people, or popular culture folk. Here's a new one that just came on the market: Exorcist author William Peter Blatty's house is on sale, just in time for Halloween.

From the LA Times:

Just in time for Halloween, the Maryland house where “The Exorcist” author William Peter Blatty lived for 16 years is on the market. And it could be yours for just $3.2 million.

The six-bedroom Georgian Colonial in the Burning Tree neighborhood in Bethesda was home to 

Blatty and his wife, actress and former Los Angeles Rams cheerleader Julie Blatty, from 2001 until the author's death in January.

William Peter Blatty was a prolific novelist and screenwriter best known for his 1971 novel The Exorcist, about two priests determined to chase away a demon that has possessed a 12-year-old girl in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. The book has sold more than 13 million copies.

Read More here:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Ghostwriter

Free Jeffery Deaver story Download: New MWA Presents Anthology

To launch its new e-book program of classic MWA anthologies, Mystery Writers of America Presents, is the e-book release of 2003’s bestselling A HOT AND SULTRY NIGHT FOR CRIME, edited by MWA president Jeffery Deaver.  This month Jeff’s own story is available free, to members and non-members alike.

Go HERE for a free download of Jeffery Deaver's story.

This anthology contains the following award-winning or nominated stories: "Lady on Ice" by Loren D. Estleman, winner of the 2003 Shamus Award for Best Short Story; "Green Heat" by Angela Zeman, selected for The Best American Mystery Short Stories 2004, edited by Nelson DeMille and Otto Penzler; "War Crimes" by G. Miki Hayden and "Child Support" by Ronnie Klaskin were both nominated for the Best Short Story Macavity Award.

Contributing authors are David Bart, Gary Brandner, Sinclair Browning, Alan Cook, Mat Coward, Jeffery Deaver, Loren D. Estleman, Robert Lee Hall, David Handler, G. Miki Hayden, Jeremiah Healy, Suzanne C. Johnson, Toni L.P. Kelner, Ronnie Klaskin, John Lutz, Tim Myers, Ana Rainwater, Marilyn Wallace, Carolyn Wheat, and Angela Zeman.

To purchase the anthology:

Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Organize Book Shelves with a LOT of Books

If you're like me you have books everywhere - on shelves, in stacks, out and about. I understand my own order, but I doubt others could. Part of my problem is lack of space and not enough shelving, but it's also because of my penchant for buying and collecting books. Even when I do organize, the shelving is completely changing all the time.

How do you organize your book shelves?

Here's an interesting article on How to Organize Bookshelves with A LOT OF Books from BookRiot.

Tracy Shapley gives the pros and cons of organizing:

By Genre
By Color (No!!)
Other tips for extreme book hoarding!

Leave a comment about your own preference for organizing your shelves!