Friday, April 20, 2018

EARTH DAY CRIME FICTION: Environmental Mysteries

Earth Day 2018

Earth Day! Today the world considers climate change, environmental issues, and how we can save our planet. At least I hope we do. Living in Berkeley, this is a daily concern, and it should be with everyone everywhere. A few years ago I started posting a list of environmental/ecological mysteries. The list has grown. Crime fiction is an excellent way to make readers aware of issues. Done well, of course. So for Earth Day 2018, I have an updated Earth Day/Environmental Mysteries list.  The list is most likely incomplete. There are many more authors, and certainly more books by many of the authors on the list. As always, I welcome additions. I took a few liberties on the list, too, but I think they all fall under the umbrella of environmental mysteries. Scroll down for a second list that deals exclusively with Drowned Towns aka Reservoir Noir.

Mystery Readers Journal had an issue on Environmental Mysteries. It's available as both a PDF and hardcopy. This is a great source for more titles.

Be kind to the Earth. It's the only one we have.


Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang' Hayduke Lives!
P.D. Abbey's H2Glo
Liz Adair's Snakewater Affair
Glyyn Marsh Alam's Cold Water Corpse; Bilge Water Bones
Grace Alexander's Hegemon
Suzanne Arruda's Stalking Ivory
Sarah Andrews' Em Hansen Mystery series
Lindsay Arthur's The Litigators
Anna Ashwood-Collins' Deadly Resolution; Red Roses for a Dead Trucker
Sandi Ault's Wild Inferno; Wild Indigo; Wild Penance; Wild Sorrow
Shannon Baker's Tainted Mountain; Broken Trust; Tattered Legacy
J. G. Ballard's Rushing to Paradise
Michael Barbour's The Kenai Catastrophe; Blue Water, Blue Island
Nevada Barr's Track of the Cat; Ill Wind; Borderline; and others
Lee Barwood's A Dream of Drowned Hollow?
Pamela Beason's Sam Westin wildlife biologist series
Robert P. Bennett's Blind Traveler's Blues
William Bernhardt's Silent Justice
Donald J Bingle's GreensWord
Michael Black's A Killing Frost 
Jennifer Blake's Shameless
C J Box's Winterkill; Open Season; Below Zero; Savage Run; Out of Range; Trophy Hunt; Free Fire; In Plain Sight
Alex Brett's Dead Water Creek
Tobias S. Buckell's Artic Rising
James Lee Burke's Creole Belle
Rex Burns' Endangered Species
Robin Cook's Fever
Donna Cousins' Landscape
Ann Cleeves' Another Man's Poison
Eileen Charbonneau Waltzing in Ragtime
Anna Ashwood Collins's Metamorphis for Murder; Deadly Resolutions
Peter Corris's Deep Water
Donna Cousin's Landscape
Michael Crichton's State of Fear
James Crumley's Dancing Bear
Janet Dawson's Don't Turn Your Back on the Ocean
Barbara Delinsky's Looking for Peyton Place
Lionel Derrick's Death Ray Terror
William Deverell's April Fool
Karen Dionne's Boiling Point; Freezing Point
Paul Doiron's The Poacher's Son; Trespasser; Bad Little Falls; The Bone Orchard and others
David Michael Donovan's Evil Down in the Alley
Mark Douglas-Home's The Sea Detective
Rubin Douglas' The Wise Pelican: From the Cradle to the Grave
Jack Du Brul's Vulcan's Forge; River of Ruin; and others
Kerstin Ekman's Blackwater
Aaron J Elkins' The Dark Place; Unnatural Selection
Howard Engel's Dead and Buried
Eric C. Evans' Endangered
Nancy Fairbanks's Acid Bath; Hunting Game; and others 
Cher Fischer's Falling into Green
G M Ford's Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca?
Clare Francis's The Killing Winds (Requiem)
Jean Craighead George's The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Limbo; Who Really Killed Cock Robin?; The Case of the Missing Cutthroats (young readers)
Matthew Glass's Ultimatum
Kenneth Goddard's Double Blind; Prey; Wildfire
Steven Gould and Laura J. Mixon's Greenwar
Alexander M. Grace's Hegemon
Robert O. Greer's The Devil's Hatband
John Grisham's The Pelican Brief; The Appeal; The Litigators
Jean Hager's Ravenmocker
William Hagard's The Vendettists
James W. Hall's Bones of Coral
Patricia Hall's The Poison Pool
Joseph Hall's Nightwork
Karen Hall's Unreasonable Risk, Through Dark Spaces
Matt Hammond's Milkshake
Sue Henry's Termination Dust
Robert Herring's McCampbell's War
Joseph Heywood's Blue Wolf in Green Fire, Ice Hunter, Chasing a Blond Moon
Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip; Stormy Weather; Sick Puppy; Strip Tease; Scat; Star Island
Tami Hoag's Lucky's Lady
John Hockenberry's A River out of Eden
Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow
John Holt's Hunted
Dave Hugelschaffer's Day into Night, One Careless Moment
Judy Hughes' The Snowmobile Kidnapping
Mary Ellen Hughes' A Taste of Death
Dana Andrew Jennings' Lonesome Standard Time
M.T. Kingsley's With Malicious Intent
Linda Kistler's Cause for Concern
Lisa Kleinholz's Dancing with Mr. D. 
Bill Knox's The Scavengers, Devilweed, and others in the Webb Carrick series
Dean Koontz's Icebound
William Kent Krueger's "Cork O'Connor" series
Janice Law's Infected Be the Air
Stephen Legault's The Darkening Archipelago
Donna Leon's Death in a Strange Country; About Face
David Liss' The Ethical Assassin
Sam Llewellyn's Deadeye
L & C Lopinto's Countdown in Alaska; Nukes
Robert Lopresti's Greenfellas
Jim Lynch's The Highest Tide
John D MacDonald's Barrier Island (and other titles)
Ross Macdonald's Sleeping Beauty
Jassy Mackenzie's The Fallen
Larry Maness' Once a Perfect Place
Elizabeth Manz's Wasted Space
John Marsden's A Killing Frost
Margaret Maron's High Country Fall, Shooting at Loons, Up Jumps the Devil, Hard Row
John Martel's Partners
Steve Martini's Critical Mass
John McGoran's Drift, Deadout, Dust Up
Karin McQuillan's Deadly Safari, Cheetah Chase, Elephant's Graveyard
Anne Metikosh's Undercurrent 
Deon Meyer's Blood Safari, Thirteen Hours
Shanon Michaud's Still Water
Kirk Mitchell's High Desert Malice, Deep Valley Malice
Laura J. Mixon & Steven Gould's Greenwar
Skye Kathleen Moody's Blue Poppy, and other Venus Diamond mysteries
C. George Muller's Echoes in the Blue
Marcia Muller's Cape Perdido
Judith Newton's Oink
Michael Norman's Skeleton Picnic
Dan O'Brien's Brendan Prairie
Michael Palmer's Fatal
Sara Paretsky's Blood Shot
Brad Parks' The Player
T. Jefferson's Parker's Pacific Beat
Cathy Pickens' Southern Fried
Carl Posey's Bushmaster Fall
David Poyer's As the Wolf Loves Winter, Winter in the Heart
Katherine Prairie's Thirst
Bob Reiss's Purgatory Road
Ruth Rendell's Road Rage 
Geoffrey Robert's The Alo Release
Rebecca Rothenberg's The Shy Tulip Murders
Patricia Rushford's Red Sky in the Mourning
Alan Russell's The Forest Prime Evil 
Kirk Russell's Shell Games
Brenda Seabrook's The Dragon That Slurped the Green Slime Swamp (Children's)
Frank Schätzing's The Swarm
Barry Siegel's Actual Innocence
Sheila Simonson's An Old Chaos 
Jessica Speart's Bird Brained, Blue Twilight, Gator Aide, Tortoise Soup
Dana Stabenow's A Cold Day for Murder, A Deeper Sleep, A Fine and Bitter Snow, Midnight Come Again, A Taint in the Blood, and many others
John Stanley's The Woman Who Married a Bear, The Curious Eat Themselves, 
Neal Stephenson's Zodiac
Mark Stevens' Buried by the Roan 
David Sundstrand's Shadow of the Raven
William Tapply's Cutter's Run
Peter Temple's The Broken Shore
Craig Thomas's A Wild Justice
Antti Tuomainen's The Healer
Judith Van Gleson's "Neil Hamel" series
David Rains Wallace's The Turquoise Dragon
Lee Wallingford's Clear-Cut Murder
Joseph Wambaugh's Finnegan's Week
Sterling Watson's Deadly Sweet
Betty Webb's Desert Wind 
Randy Wayne White's White Captiva
Robert Wilson's Blood is Dirt
K.J.A. Wishnia's The Glass Factory
John Yunker's The Tourist Trail

Reservoir Noir
Crime Fiction that deals with intentional flooding of towns and villages because of building dams and reservoirs for water supply, irrigation, power and other reasons--a sad addition to the environmental crime fiction list.

Alan Dipper's Drowning Day
Eileen Dunlop's Valley of the Deer (YA)
Lee Harris's Christening Day Murder
Reginald Hill's On Beulah Height
Donald James' Walking the Shadows
James D. Landis' The Talking (Artist of the Beautiful)
Jane Langton's Emily Dickenson is Dead
Julia Wallis Martin's A Likeness in Stone
Sharyn McCrumb's Zombies of the Gene Pool
Michael Miano's The Dead of Summer
Ron Rash's One Foot in Eden
Rick Riordan's The Devil Went Down to Austin
Peter Robinson's In a Dry Season
Lisa See's Dragon Bones
Paul Somers' Broken Jigsaw
Julia Spencer-Fleming's Out of the Deep I Cry
Donald Westlake's Drowned Hopes
John Morgan Wilson's Rhapsody in Blood
Robert Wilson's Blood is Dirt
Stuart Woods's Under the Lake

Let me know any other titles you think should be included.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

CrimeFest Shortlists Announced

And the award shortlists keep coming!

CrimeFest co-director Adrian Muller said: “CrimeFest announces the shortlist for the tenth CrimeFest Awards. Over the past decade the awards have highlighted breakthrough debut novelists as well as a number of established crime fiction authors delving into children’s fiction and nonfiction. We are also pleased to continue showcasing audiobooks which have undergone a meteoric rise since we began presenting our awards. We are all extremely proud and excited to present the 10th annual CrimeFest awards, and find out who wins on 19th May.”

The 10th anniversary of CrimeFest this year will host crime fiction royalty Martina Cole, Lee Child and Peter James as some of the top names set to speak at this year’s convention. Close to 500 attendees, including more than 150 authors, agents, publishers and crime fans from across the globe, will descend on the city for a jam-packed four days of over 60 speaking events and panel discussions.


Best Unabridged Crime Audiobook:
Fiona Barton, The Child (Audible Studios), read by Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, Fenella Woolgar & Steven Pacey
Lee Child, The Midnight Lane (Transworld), read by Jeff Harding
J.P. Delaney, The Girl Before, (Quercus), read by Emilia Fox, Finty Williams & Lise Aagaard Knudsen
Sarah A. Denzil, Silent Child (Audible Studios), read by Joanne Froggatt
Alice Feeney, Something I Lie (HQ – Harper Collins), read by Stephanie Racine
Michelle Frances, The Girlfriend (Pan Macmillan Audio), read by Antonia Beamish
Anthony Horowitz, The Word is Murder (Penguin Random House Audio), read by Rory Kinnear
David Lagercrantz, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Quercus), read by Sail Reichlin

Chris Brookmyre, Want You Gone (Little, Brown Book Group)
Ken Bruen, The Ghost of Galway (Head of Zeus)
Michael Connelly, The Late Show (Orion)
Joe Ide, IQ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Dennis Lehane, Since We Fell (Little, Brown Book Group)
Steve Mosby, You Can Run (Orion)
Gunnar Staalesen, Wolves in the Dark (Orenda Books)
Sarah Stovell, Exquisite (Orenda Books)

Simon Brett, Blotto, Twinks and the Stars of the Silver Screen (Little, Brown Book Group)
Christopher Fowler, Bryant & May - Wild Chamber (Doubleday)
Mick Herron, Spook Street (John Murray)
Vaseem Khan, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star (Mullholland Books)
Khurrum Rahman, East of Hounslow (HQ – HarperCollns)
C.J. Skuse, Sweetpea (HQ – HarperCollins)
Antti Tuomainen, The Man Who Died (Orenda Books)
L.C. Tyler, Herring in the Smoke (Allison & Busby Ltd)

Martin Edwards, The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (British Library)
Barry Forshaw, America Noir (No Exit Press)
Sam Naidu, Sherlock Holmes in Context (Palgrave Macmillan)
Benjamin Poore, Sherlock Holmes from Screen to Stage (Palgrave Macmillan)
Mike Ripley, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (HarperCollins)
Christopher Sandford, The Man Who Would Be Sherlock (The History Press)
Michael Sims, Arthur & Sherlock (Bloomsbury)
Nick Triplow, Getting Carter (No Exit Press)

Linwood Barclay, Chase (Orion Children's Books)
Kieran Crowley, The Misfits Club (Macmillan Children's Books)
Helena Duggan, A Place Called Perfect (Usborne Publishing)
Santa & Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Royal Rabbits of London: Escape from the Tower (Simon & Schuster)
Dermot O'Leary, Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape (Hodder Children's Books)
Alex T. Smith, Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure (Hodder Children's Books)
Harriet Whitehorn, Violet and the Mummy Mystery (Simon & Schuster)

Cat Clarke, Girlhood (Quercus Children's Books)
Zana Fraillon, The Ones That Disappeared (Orion Children's Books)
Will Hill, After the Fire (Usborne Publishing)
Patrice Lawrence, Indigo Donut (Hodder Children's Books)
E. Lockhart, Genuine Fraud (Hot Key Books)
Sophie McKenzie, SweetFreak (Simon & Schuster)
Teri Terry, Dark Matter: Contagion (Orchard Books)
Teresa Toten, Beware That Girl (Hot Key Books)

The Bony Blithe Shortlist 2018

More news from our neighbors to the North.

The Bony Blithe Short List: 2018: 
The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award

Cathy Ace, The Case of the Unsuitable Suitor
E.C. Bell, Dying on Second
Rickie Blair, Digging up Trouble
Vicki Delany, Hark the Herald Angels Slay
Elizabeth J. Duncan, Much Ado About Murder

The award will be presented at the Bony Blithe Mini-con  & Award Gala on May 25th, at the High Park Club, 100 Indian Road, Toronto, Canada. 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. includes lunch, panels and/or round-table discussions, afternoon nibblies, a dealers room, loot bags, and the award banquet where the monarch of merry murder will be crowned. 10 hours of criminous capering, all for $65. For more information or to buy a ticket for the mini-con/gala, go to or go to the Registration page. The winner will receive a check for $1,000 plus a colourful plaque.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

ARTHUR ELLIS AWARDS Shortlist: Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing

2018 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing Shortlists

Annual Arthur Ellis Awards by Crime Writers of Canada recognizes the best in mystery, crime, and suspense writing in fiction and non-fiction by Canadian writers. Winners will be announced on May 24th at Arthur Ellis Awards Gala in Toronto. Congratulations to all!

The Winners’ Circle, by Gail Bowen, publisher McClelland & Stewart
The Party, by Robyn Harding, publisher Gallery/Scout Press
The White Angel, by John MacLachlan, publisher Gray Douglas and McIntyre
Sleeping in the Ground, by Peter Robinson, publisher McClelland & Stewart
The Forgotten Girl, by Rio Youers, publisher St. Martin’s Press

BEST FIRST CRIME NOVEL sponsored by Rakuten Kobo

Puzzle of Pieces, by Sally Hill Brouard, publisher FriesenPress
Full Curl, by Dave Butler, publisher Dundurn Press
Ragged Lake, by Ron Corbett, publisher ECW Press
Flush, by Sky Curtis, publisher Inanna Publications
Our Little Secret, by Roz Nay, publisher Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.

BEST CRIME NOVELLA – The Lou Allin Memorial Award

Snake Oil, by M.H. Callway, published in 13 Claws by Carrick Publishing
How Lon Pruitt Was Found Murdered in an Open Field with No Footprints Around, by Mike Culpepper, published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, by Dell 
Blood & Belonging, by Vicki Delany, publisher Orca Book Publishers
Dead Clown Blues, by R. Daniel Lester, publisher Shotgun Honey
Money Maker, by Jas R. Petrin, published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, by Dell


There be Dragons, by Jane Petersen Burfield, published in 13 Claws by Carrick Publishing
Jerusalem Syndrome, by Hilary Davidson, published in Passport to Murder Bouchercon Anthology 2017 by Down & Out Books
The Ranchero’s Daughter, by Sylvia Maultash Warsh, published in 13 Claws by Carrick Publishing
The Sin Eaters, by Melissa Yi, published in Montreal Noir by Akashic Noir


Murder in Plain English, by Michael Arntfield and Marcel Danesi, publisher Prometheus Books
The Whisky King, by Trevor Cole, publisher HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Blood, Sweat and Fear, by Eve Lazarus, publisher Arsenal Pulp Press
The Dog Lover Unit, by Rachel Rose, publisher St. Martin's Press
Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence, by Alex Roslin, publisher Sugar Hill Books


Missing, by Kelley Armstrong, publisher Penguin Random House Doubleday Canada
Chase - Get Ready to Run, by Linwood Barclay, publisher Penguin Random House Puffin Canada
The Disappearance, by Gillian Chan, publisher Annick Press Ltd.
Thistlewood, by Donna Chubaty, publisher Grasmere Publishing
The Lives of Desperate Girls, by MacKenzie Common, publisher Penguin Random House Penguin Teen Canada


Amqui, by Éric Forbes, publisher Héliotrope Noir
La vie rêvée de Frank Bélair, by Maxime Houde, publisher Éditions Alire Inc.
Les clefs du silence, by Jean Lemieux, publisher Québec Amérique
La mort en bleu pastel, by Maryse Rouy, publisher Éditions Druide
Les Tricoteuses, by Marie Saur, publisher Héliotrope Noir

BEST UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT sponsored by Dundurn Press

The Alibi Network by Raimey Gallant
Finn Slew by Ken MacQueen
Destruction in Paradise by Dianne Scott
Dig, Dug, Dead by Sylvia Teaves
Condemned by Kevin Thornton

The Crime Writers of Canada Grand Master Award for 2018 will be presented to Gail Bowen
Gail Bowen is being recognized by Crime Writers of Canada for her long and illustrious career as a crime fiction author. She has almost 20 books in her long running Joanne Kilbourn series, several of which were either nominated for or received awards, including the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 1994, for A Colder Kind of Death. She has also written four Rapid Reads novellas and several plays. She is well established in Canada, highly respected in the writing community and much sought after by readers. She is frequently a guest at literary events. Several of her Joanne Kilbourn books were turned into a TV series.

About Crime Writers of Canada                            
Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers. Our members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing authors. 

Cartoon of the Day: Benefits of Books

Mystery Blogs

Last night at my Mystery Book Group, we talked about mystery blogs. How do you find them? How do you remember them? What is special about them? And more. Some mystery blogs are filled with information and links and special features such as J. Kingston Pierce's The Rap Sheet. Some are all reviews, some focus on special topics such as cozy mysteries, noir, thrillers, or food and mysteries, but the bottom line is everyone posts to share with the community. And, this year Bouchercon has a new award: Best Online Content: for a website/blog focused on mystery/crime fiction.

On Monday Jungle Red Writers contributors posted their favorite Mystery Blogs. I was totally surprised to find Mystery Fanfare there. Check out the favorites of Jungle Red Writers Ingrid Thoft, Jenn McKinlay, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen, Hallie Ephron, Lucy Burdette, and Julia Spencer-Fleming. Thanks for including Mystery Fanfare.

Want to make sure you don't miss a post of your favorite blog? Subscribe to that blog.You'll receive an email every time there's a new post.

What are your favorite mystery blogs? Why?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Deductions

Harry Anderson: R.I.P.

Harry Anderson who played Judge Harry Stone on the long running comedy Night Court was found dead early Monday at his home in Asheville, NC. He was 65. No foul play was suspected. He had been hospitalized with the flu a few months ago and remained sick.

I loved Harry Anderson on Night Court. Yes, the show was silly, but sometimes that's what you need to watch. He received three Emmys from 1985 to 1987. The show ran from 1984 to 1992. Harry Anderson like the character he played was a magician with a love for loud ties and a superfan of jazz. He appeared in many other sitcoms, again playing characters that took instruction from his own life.

Read more from the NYT here:

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Longlist

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year was announced. The prize was created to celebrate the very best in crime fiction and is open to UK and Irish crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018.

2018 marks the 14th year of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, hosted in Harrogate each July. 

The longlist of 18 titles were selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers and members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee. The shortlist of six titles will be announced on 27 May, followed by a six-week promotion in libraries and in WHSmith stores nationwide. The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, alongside a public vote. The public vote opens on 1 July and closes 14 July at

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on 19 July at the opening night of the 16th Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. They’ll receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier. The awards night will also feature the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.


Want You Gone, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
The Midnight Line, by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
The Seagull, by Ann Cleeves (Macmillan)
Little Deaths, by Emma Flint (Picador)
The Chalk Pit, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
The Dry, by Jane Harper (Macmillan)
Spook Street, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
Death at Fountains Abbey, by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder & Stoughton)
He Said, She Said, by Erin Kelly (Hodder & Stoughton)
Sirens, by Joseph Knox (Doubleday)
The Accident on A35, by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband)
You Don’t Know Me, by Imran Mahmood (Michael Joseph)
Insidious Intent, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
The Long Drop, by Denise Mina (Harvill Secker)
A Rising Man, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
Rather Be the Devil, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
The Intrusions, by Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber)
Persons Unknown, by Susie Steiner (The Borough Press)
HT: The Rap Sheet

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: The External Revenue Service

2018 Derringer Award Finalists

2018 Derringer Award Finalists announced by the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Congratulations to all! Winners will be announced May 1.
For Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words)
  • "Cold Turkey" by Patricia Dusenbury, Flash Bang Mysteries ed. Brandon Bourg (Summer 2017)
  • "Happy Birthday" by Alan Orloff, Shotgun Honey ed. Ron Earl Phillips (June 15, 2017)
  • "Final Testimony" by Travis Richardson, Flash Fiction Offensive ed, Hector Duarte Jr. and Rob Pierce (July 10, 2017)
  • "Fishing for an Alibi" by Earl Staggs, Flash Bang Mysteries ed. Brandon Bourg (Fall 2017)
  • "Flash Point" by Elizabeth Zelvin, A Twist of Noir ed. Christopher Grant (March 20, 2017)
For Best Short Story (1,001-4,000 words)
  • "The Kids Keep Coming" by David H. Hendrickson, Fiction River: Tavern Tales ed. Kerrie L. Hughes, WMG Publishing Inc. (January 2017)
  • "The Cop Who Liked Gilbert and Sullivan" by Robert Lopresti, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #23, ed. Marvin Kaye, Wildside Press (October 2017)
  • "The New Score" by Alison McMahan, Fish Out of Water: A Guppy Anthology ed. Ramona DeFelice Long, Wildside Press (March 2017)
  • "The Bank Job" by Stephen D. Rogers, Trigger Warning Short Fiction with Pictures ed. Eric Lindbom and John Skewes (March 16, 2017)
  • "Every Picture Tells a Story" by Cathi Stoler, Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 ed. Elizabeth Zelvin, Level Best Books (September 2017)
For Best Long Story (4,001-8,000 words)
  • "El Asesino" by Rusty Barnes, BULL ed. Ben Drevlow (May 22, 2017)
  • "The #2 Pencil" by Matt Coyle, Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea ed. Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks, Down & Out Books (January 2017)
  • "Death in the Serengeti" by David H. Hendrickson, Fiction River: Pulse Pounders: Andrenaline ed. Kevin J. Anderson, WMG Publishing, Inc. (July 2017)
  • "Matricide and Ice Cream" by William Burton McCormick, The CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour ed. Martin Edwards, Orenda Books (November 2017)
  • "The Drive-By" by Alison McMahan, Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat ed. Verena Rose, Harriette Sackler, and Shawn Reilly Simmons, Level Best Books (April 2017)
For Best Novelette (8,001-20,000 words)
  • "Flowing Waters" by Brendan DuBois, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine ed. Janet Hutchings, January/February 2017
  • "Windward" by Paul D. Marks, Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea ed. Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks, Down & Out Books (January 2017)
  • "King's Quarter" by Andrew McAleer, Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea ed. Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks, Down & Out Books (January 2017)
  • "Kill My Wife, Please" by Robert J. Randisi, Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea ed. Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks, Down & Out Books (January 2017)
  • "Trouble Like a Freight Train Coming" by Tina Whittle, Lowcountry Crime: Four Novellas ed. James M. Jackson and Jan Rubens, Wolf's Echo Press (February 2017)
Hat Tip: Gerald So

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Accountants

DEATH AND TAXES: Tax Day Mysteries

The Tax Man Cometh! I've done several posts over the years about Tax Day Mysteries. Surprisingly there are many that deal with Finance, and high finance at that, but not all that many that deal with about the average Joe filing his taxes on April 15. Surely it's enough to commit murder. So here are a few mysteries that deal specifically with Tax Day.. and at the end of this post, an updated list of several accounting/accountant mysteries. And a reminder--if you haven't filed your taxes yet, be sure and send in for an extension!

Perhaps the most well known Tax Day Mystery is David Dodge's Death and Taxes--an oldie but goodie (1941). It's been reissued. Read Librarian and Editor Randal Brandt's posts on David Dodge HERE and HERE.

San Francisco tax accountant James “Whit” Whitney is summoned home from a vacation in Santa Cruz to help his partner, George MacLeod, recover a hefty tax refund for a beautiful blonde client named Marian Wolff. When he returns to his office, Whit finds MacLeod dead in the firm’s vault, “with a small hole in the bridge of his nose.” In order to complete the tax return and uncover the murderer, Whit becomes a reluctant detective and nearly gets himself killed in the process. To prevent Whit’s murder, if possible, the SFPD assigns him a bodyguard named Swede Larson. Whit and Swede tangle with ex-bootleggers and Telegraph Hill gangsters in their efforts to unravel the mystery, which climaxes with a shootout in the Mission District and a dramatic car chase across the Bay Bridge. Along the way, Whit resists the advances of Marian Wolff and begins a romance with Kitty MacLeod, George’s widow.

Before becoming a novelist, David Dodge worked as a Certified Public Accountant. No wonder his first fictional hero was also a tax man. A notable aspect of the Whitney novels is the volume of information about taxes and finances that Dodge effortlessly weaves into his plots. To read more about David Dodge, go HERE.

Sue Dunlap's 7th Jill Smith mystery is also entitled Death and Taxes

Until someone put a poisoned needle in his bicycle seat, Phil Drem was the meanest, most nit-picking IRS agent in Berkeley, California.

But when Detective Jill Smith began searching Berkeley's backwaters for the tax man's killer, she found a different picture of Drem: a caring Drem, whose once-beautiful wife was "allergic to the world" and whose friends and enemies, old hippies and would-be entrepreneurs, enjoyed a ghoulish pastime called The Death Game. Did the Death Game KO Drem? Was someone's schedule a motive for murder? And what about a CPA who drove a red Lotus ruthlessly and guaranteed his clients they'd never be audited?

Only one thing is for sure, —somewhere in Berkeley's backwaters, a killer is still on the loose. And for a detective who loves her city, doubts her lover, and has a knack for solving the toughest of crimes, finding the truth is about as inevitable as...Death And Taxes.

A continued search revealed another title: A Little Rebellion: April 15 Surprise by Rodney Sexton published by Writers Club Press (2000) an iUniverse book. Not having read it, I thought I'd post the Editorial Review:

After a client’s suicide and an unprecedented IRS attack on his tax practice, Certified Public Accountant Karl Mendel plans what he hopes will be the final solution to an income tax system out of control.

Assisted by close friends and professional associates, Mendel uses a personal tragedy and his belief in American freedom to fuel his war on what he refers to as the American KGB. With flying skills honed as a Marine pilot in the Vietnam War Mendel takes to the air in his planned assault on the U.S. income tax system. Help from Beatrice Gimble, a former IRS programmer and current CPA partner of his best friend, Terry Garcia, leads Karl inside the main computer facility run by the IRS. Unaware that he is being watched by powers beyond the IRS, his “forced” dealings with a Russian “mole” leads Karl and his partners into dangers they had not considered and threatens the woman he loves more than life itself.

About the Author: Rod Sexton is a practicing Certified Public Accountant living near Houston, Texas with his wife. While in Vietnam, Sexton was attached to the First Marine Air Wing. After active duty, he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Taxation degrees. A Little Rebellion is his first work of fiction.

Sure sounds like this fits the bill! Anyone read it? Any comments?

And then there's the cozy tax series that includes Death, Taxes, and a Chocolate Cannoli by Diane Kelly. This mystery fits with both this blog and my blog. Diane Kelly's series --Death, Taxes, and ... are about IRS special Agent Tara Holloway. Can't get more tax-related than least in the U.S. There are 13 books to keep you reading.

A further search for other mysteries uncovered a few other titles maybe a bit further afield but with an accounting theme, so in honor of Tax Day, I thought I'd post a few Accounting-Accountant crime fiction titles.


Paul Anthony: Old Accountants Never Die
Cindy Bell: Birthdays Can Be Deadly
Paul Bennett: Due Diligence, Collateral Damage, False Profits, The Money Race
Leeann Betts: Petty Cash
Ann Bridge: The Numbered Account 
David Dodge: In addition to Death and Taxes, he wrote three more novels about San Francisco tax accountant James "Whit" Whitney: Shear the Black Sheep, Bullets for the Bridegroom and It Ain't Hay.
Marjorie Eccles: Account Rendered and other Stories
Gail Farrelly: Beaned in Boston
Dick Francis: Risk
Kate Gallison: Unbalanced Accounts
John Grisham: Skipping Christmas
Ian Hamilton: The Water Rat of Wanchai 
Carolyn Hart: A Settling of Accounts
Mary Ellen Hughes: Scene of the Brine
James Montgomery Jackson: Bad Policy
J.A. Jance: Duel to the Death
Marshall Jevons: Murder at the Margin, The Fatal Equilibrium, A Deadly Indifference
Emma Lathen: Accounting for Murder
Linda Lovely: Final Accounting
Sharon Potts: In Their Blood
Chrisopher Reich: Devil's Banker
Peter Robinson: Final Account
Maris Soule: Eat Crow and Die; As the Crow Flies
Karen Hanson Stuyck: Held Accountable
Maggie Toussaint: In for a Penny
William C. Whitbeck: To Account for Murder
M.K. Wren: Nothing's Certain but Death 
Short Story: "The Ides of Mike Magoon" in Ellery Queen's The Calendar of Crime (written when tax day was March 15, not April 15)  

And one of my favorite films on the subject: The Accountant

Anyone have a favorite mystery with a Tax Day theme? Any titles I've missed?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: When You Are Gone

Harlan Coben's SAFE on Netflix: May 10

I can't wait for the Netflix launch (May 10) of Harlan Coben's Safe. I posted about this before, but wanted to give you a heads up of where to watch in the US.

I really enjoy Harlan Coben's books, and I've enjoyed the translations into TV series. Now we have another series, this one a UK series but with Michael C. Hall at the center of the production.

From Variety:

Like his new TV thriller “Safe,” they are efficient suspense delivery systems, and any deficiencies in character development are usually overshadowed by the satisfying tick-tock nature of the plot and the interlocking mysteries threatening upscale people who find themselves spiraling into trouble.

Safe, Coben’s second foray into TV after the U.K. series The Five, has a mostly British cast, and takes place in a luxury gated community in the English suburbs. At the center of this drama, however, is Michael C. Hall, an American actor who speaks here with a British accent. This will be jarring for viewers who watched him on “Six Feet Under” and “Dexter”: It’s hard to get Dexter Morgan’s flat American pronunciation out of your head as you watch Hall play a middle-class English surgeon.
Hall’s attempt at an English accent is reasonably successful, even if it sounds a bit forced at times. 

The good news is Safe is a plot-driven drama that doesn’t rely all that much on extensive conversation, and what dialogue it does have is workmanlike at best. But in its first two episodes, it delivers on what it promises in its taut opening scenes: It’s a slick portrait of one man’s descent into a nightmare, one that threatens to damage the fragile connections within several families. It’s essentially a propulsive nighttime soap opera littered with crimes, well-appointed kitchens, and surveillance cameras everywhere.
Harlan Coben's 'Safe' on Netflix; 8 episodes Netflix launch date, May 10
Executive producers, Harlan Coben, Danny Brocklehurst, Richard Fee, Nicola Shindler, Michael C. Hall.
Cast: Michael C. Hall, Audrey Fleurot, Amanda Abbington, Marc Warren, Emmet J. Scanlan, Hannah Arterton, Nigel Lindsay, Laila Rouass.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

GRANTCHESTER TO RETURN: Fourth Season on Masterpiece PBS

MASTERPIECE on PBS and ITV have announced a fourth season of the popular mystery series starring James Norton and Robson Green as the unlikely clergyman/cop duo fighting crime in the English hamlet of Grantchester in the 1950s.

These will be the final episodes for Norton’s character Sidney Chambers, the charismatic, jazz-loving vicar who has captured the hearts of millions of viewers. Casting of a new vicar will be announced at a later date. In addition to Mr. Green, returning members of Grantchester’s ensemble cast include Al Weaver, Tessa Peake-Jones and Kacey Ainsworth.

“I’m ecstatic that - with Masterpiece and ITV - we are returning to Grantchester with all our favourite characters,” says Kudos Executive Producer Diederick Santer. “While I’m sad that these will be James Norton’s final episodes, we will make sure he goes out with a bang. We’ve got exciting plans for where the show is heading and the vicarage won’t be vacant for long.”

MASTERPIECE has commissioned Grantchester’s fourth season, which begins production in June in London, Cambridge, and Grantchester. It will air on MASTERPIECE on PBS in 2019.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Bookmobile

Happy National Bookmobile Day!

National Bookmobile Day

Today is National Bookmobile Day! What a great source of library outreach. I've posted several photos of Bookmobiles before, but thought in honor of the day, I'd post a few more!

National Bookmobile Day celebrates our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated library professionals who provide this valuable and essential service to their communities every day. We honor the access to information and resources our nation’s bookmobiles make available to our communities and the professionals who work diligently to provide these services. For more than 100 years bookmobiles have brought a library to those that otherwise may not have access to one.