Friday, November 16, 2018


William Goldman died last night. He was 87.

From Deadline:

William Goldman, who twice won screenwriting Oscars for All The President’s Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, passed away last night in his Manhattan home, surrounded by family and friends. His health had been failing for some time, and over the summer his condition deteriorated.

Goldman began as a novelist and transitioned to writing scripts with Masquerade in 1965. While his greatest hits were the indelible pairing of Robert Redford with Paul Newman in the George Roy Hill-directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the Alan Pakula-directed toppling of President Richard Nixon drama All The President’s Men, he wrote the scripts for many other great movies. The list includes the Hoffman-starrer Marathon Man and The Princess Bride, Flowers For Algernon, The Stepford Wives, The Great Waldo Pepper, A Bridge Too Far, Chaplin and Misery. He also did a lot of behind the scenes script doctoring where he didn’t take a screen credit, on films that included A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal.

Beyond that, Goldman was a renowned script doctor and memoirist. His travelogue through the movie business, Adventures In The Screen Trade was a primer for wannabe screenwriters and for journalists covering them. When I first got to Variety about 30 years ago, veteran reporters there told me that was the best book to understand the chaos, randomness, the headaches, futility and joy of the movie business. Goldman is probably best known for his apt description of Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” I still have the book on my shelf.

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Can I Keep the "God" in God Damn?: Guest post by John Edward Mullen

John Edward Mullen:
Can I Keep the ‘God’ in God Damn? 

While attending the 2018 Bouchercon, I received an email from an independent editor reviewing my current work in progress. She expressed a concern that I was “hitting the God stuff too hard.” My protagonist is an 18-year-old Catholic woman living in a California gold-mining town in 1892. I didn’t think having her pray to God to save her father who’d been shot, or saying grace, or attending church would be a commercial issue. The editor thought some agents and librarians find religion a touchy subject and she suggested I downplay that aspect of my character and the times. As it happened, one of the Bouchercon sessions the next day was devoted to religion and mysteries. I asked the panelists “Is religion relegated to only a small corner of the mystery world?” I got mixed responses. Two panelists felt that you could write about a character with a religion in any mystery. But Mette Ivie Harrison believed 100 agents declined to represent the second of her adult mysteries because there is a prejudice against religion in the publishing world. Harrison’s protagonist is a Mormon bishop’s wife.

Maybe I should have known religion could be an issue. In 2014, I submitted my mystery novel Digital Dick to be considered for the San Diego Book Awards Best Unpublished Novel Award. I won, but only after the organization intervened when one of the judges took offense with Dick, my A.I. sleuth, because in the book, Dick insists he has a soul. (“That’s not possible.” Well, um, it’s fiction.)

In thinking about novels I have read, I recall a number of mysteries I would consider mainstream in which characters at least profess a religion. Stuart Kaminsky’s Abe Lieberman series centers on two Chicago P.D. detectives, a Jew and his Catholic partner. Within the stories, they are referred to as the Rabbi and the Priest. Lieberman is often involved in activities at his synagogue. Frederick Ramsay wrote a three-book Jerusalem series in which the sleuth is the head rabbi of the city, circa 30 A.D. (Or should I say 30 C.E.?) Orhan Pamuk’s (more literary mystery) My Name is Red has the Ottoman Court and Islam as its backdrop. I just started reading August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. Chapter two of this Shamus Award-nominated novel begins with the hero going to mass at St. Al’s (Aloysius) Catholic Church. Religious fiction? I don’t think so.

So, I could use your help. How much religion is too much in a mainstream mystery? Can characters believe in God? Can they practice their religion on the page? Or, like murders in a cozy, must prayer occur offstage? What religious behavior or language would turn you off as a reader, agent, or editor?

Can I keep the ‘God’ in God Damn?

John Edward Mullen is the author of the self-published mystery Digital Dick. He is currently writing the first of a mystery series set in the 1890s involving Nell Doherty, a young woman with a wooden leg who dreams of becoming a Pinkerton detective. John lives in the San Diego area.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stan Lee: R.I.P.

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics' Real-Life Superhero, dies at 95.

From Hollywood Reporter:

The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four — 'nuff said. Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95. 

Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a source told The Hollywood Reporter.

Read more here.

Murder in Wartime: Mystery Readers Journal

For Veterans Day weekend, I thought I'd repost a link to Mystery Readers Journal: Murder in Wartime. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. 110 pages! Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue. Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL: Murder in Wartime (Volume 33:2)

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

  • World War II and the Golden Age Tradition by Kate Jackson
  • The Making of Heroes by Suzanne M. Arruda
  • It Never Happened by Mary Adler
  • On Edge by Albert Ashforth
  • Between Lost and Dead by Rona Bell
  • A Half Century Later, Vietnam Is Still a Mystery by R.G. Belsky
  • Harry Lime Was Wrong by James Benn
  • My Wartime Connection by Cara Black
  • The Secrets of Bletchley Park by Rhys Bowen
  • Passing On the Memory of Wars I Never Knew by William Broderick
  • Don’t Mention the War by Frances Brody
  • Why Care About a Murder in Wartime? by Rebecca Cantrell
  • The Green Corn Rebellion by Donis Casey
  • War Is Hell… but Hell Makes Good Mysteries by John A. Connell
  • Murder and Ancient War by Gary Corby
  • The Real and Recent Wars Behind My Fiction by Diana Deverell
  • Spoils of War by David Edgerley Gates
  • You Say Conflict, I Say War by Chris Goff
  • Mystery in The First World War by Dolores Gordon-Smith
  • Civil War Crime by Paul E. Hardisty
  • War Stories by Libby Hellmann
  • Body of Evidence by Graham Ison
  • Wartime in England by Maureen Jennings
  • The Mysteries of War by Kay Kendall
  • From Bomb Shelters to a B&B by Kate Kingsbury
  • Bombs and Short Legs by Joan Lock
  • Rough Cider in the Making by Peter Lovesey
  • If It’s War, It Can’t Be Murder? by Michael Niemann
  • Echoes of Vietnam by Neil Plakcy
  • When the Investigator Wears Boots by Ben Pastor
  • His Debts Were Settled At Last by Mary Reed
  • Murder in Wartime by Gavin Scott
  • The Time Traveler As Writer by Sarah R. Shaber
  • A Coin for the Hangman: The Home Front and the Returning Soldier by Ralph Spurrier
  • The Solitary Soldier by Kelli Stanley
  • Wartime in New York by Triss Stein
  • Writing About War by Charles Todd
  • It’s Not Our War: Writing a WWI-Era Mystery Series Set in New York by Radha Vatsal
  • Fading Away by Sharon Wildwind
  • Bloodshed Behind the Lines by Sally Wright
  • Fate, Facts, and War Stories by Ursula Wong
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Kristopher Zgorski, Craig Sisterson, L.J. Roberts, Sandie Herron, Kate Jackson, Kate Derie
  • Khaki Cops by Jim Doherty
  • True Crime in Wartime by Cathy Pickens
  • The Children’s Hour: War Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Just the Facts: The Military Mutilator by Jim Doherty
  • Crime Scene: Murder in a Time of War by Kate Derie
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet Rudolph

Lesley Horton: R.I.P.

Sad news. Yorkshire mystery author Lesley Horton died last week after a long illness. Horton was the author of the Bradford Based Detective Inspector John Handford and DI Khalid Ali series that included Snares of Guilt, On Dangerous Ground, Devils in the Mirror, The Hollow Core, and Twisted Tracks. She was a former chair of the Crime Writers Association.

Read an interview with Lesley Horton here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day), is November 11. Veterans Day commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, that took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day November 11, 1919. The U.S.  Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. The 11th of November is"a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." It was later changed to Veteran's Day.

I love to read mysteries that reflect regions and holidays, so I'm reposting about Veterans Day with a few additions. Julia Spencer-Fleming's Once Was a Soldier,  Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd's mystery series are at the top of my list of Veterans Day Mysteries. There's also the Joe Sandilands series by Barbara Cleverly. And Bulldog Drummond is a WWI veteran in the Sapper/H.C. McNeile books. Add to that Walter Mosley's WWII Vet Easy Rawlins. Don't miss Marcia Talley's All Things Undying in which Hannah Ives helps to locate the grave of a WWII serviceman. James Lee Burke is another great mystery author whose Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam Veteran. And, of course, the Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers where the mystery turns on the poppy in the lapel.

BV Lawson's 2007 post of Veteran's Day Mysteries is great. No need to duplicate her efforts. Be sure and read her blog, as well as all the comments. Another fine list is In Remembrance Fiction in Times of War (not all mysteries) from the St. Charles Public Library. I also did a Memorial Day post here on Mystery Fanfare that covers some of the same territory Mysteries in Paradise about Remembrance Day is also a great resource.

You'll want to read J. Kingston's Pierce's recent article 9 Mysteries Set in the Immediate Aftermath of WWI on CrimeReads.

Wikipedia has an entry about Veterans Day Mysteries. Several hardboiled heroes have been war veterans. Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and many others from World War II, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee from the Korean War. "The frequent exposure to death and hardship often leads to a cynical and callous attitude as well as a character trait known today as post-traumatic stress characterizes many hardboiled protagonists."

And, for the young set, one of the first Veteran-related mysteries: Cherry Ames: Veterans' Nurse by Helen Wells.

Read a Veterans Day mystery today and remember the men and women who have served and are serving our country now. Thank you.

In Memory of Captain Joseph Rudolph, M.D., WWII

Juris Jurjevics: R.I.P.

Juris Jurjevics, Publisher and Novelist, Dies at 75

From the New York Times:

Juris Jurjevics, a founder of Soho Press, an independent publisher that gambled on unsolicited manuscripts by emerging writers and produced serious novels and exotic crime stories, died on Wednesday in the Bronx. He was 75. The cause was heart disease. 

A Latvian-born refugee, Mr. Jurjevics (pronounced YUR-yeh-vitz) joined the publishing industry in 1968. He, Laura Chapman Hruska and her husband, Alan, founded Soho Press in 1986. 

“We want to publish the books that deserve to be published but that the bigger houses can’t afford to do,” Mr. Jurjevics told The New York Times at the time. Larger publishers needed to sell as many as 12,000 copies of a book just to break even, he said, but Soho, with lower overhead, could make a profit on sales of as few as 4,000. “Our ambitions,” he added, “are not to have a certain percentage of growth a year and not to be bought by anybody.” Soho, headquartered on Union Square in Manhattan, now publishes about 90 books a year under its imprints Soho Press, Soho Crime and Soho Teen. 

Mr. Jurjevics retired from Soho Press in 2006 to write full time. His first novel, The Trudeau Vector (2005), is a thriller that focuses on an American epidemiologist who travels to northern Canada, near the Arctic, to determine why scientists at a research center have mysteriously died. 

His Red Flags (2011) draws on his wartime experience in Vietnam, where an Army police officer finds himself in an American outpost seething with spies, South Vietnamese profiteers and battle-weary troops as Vietcong battalions prepare to descend from the hills.

Read more Here.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: The Jury

NOIR OR NOT: Guest post by J.L. Abramo


My latest novel, American History, is many things. In some respects, it is a work of historical fiction. A multi-generational, century-long saga. An epic tale of two Italian-American families related by blood but divided by hostility. It might be considered a mystery, a thriller, a crime novel, or a cops and robbers drama. What it is not is noir. Which, considering the recent flux of crime fiction calling itself noir, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Works featuring large doses of degradation—gratuitous violence, sex, and vulgar language—do not, I believe, automatically qualify as noir either.

Of all the sub-genres which huddle together under the umbrella known as crime fiction—mystery, private eye, thriller, police procedural—noir is possibly the most specific.

“Noir fiction is about losers, not private eyes,” says Otto Penzler, “the noir story with a happy ending has never been written, nor can it be.”

Dennis Lehane suggests, “Noir represents working-class tragedy—it is a genre of men and women unable to roll with the times, so the changing times instead roll over them.”

Strictly speaking, much of what I have heard read at Noir at the Bar gatherings (including my own readings) does not truly fit these descriptions. However, more and more lately, noir is hot. But what is noir and what is not? And are many crime writers trying to force square pegs into round holes?

Defining a category of writing—or of any art for that matter—too specifically, can create controversy. It is or it isn’t what you call it, so be careful what you call it. Either we redefine what is considered noir to make the label more inclusive, or we use more general terms like crime fiction, detective fiction, or simply good old fiction and not risk calling what is not a spade a spade. Otherwise, labeling a sub-genre—or in some cases a sub-genre of a sub-genre—has little meaning.

I’ve never considered my work noir. The Jake Diamond series is certainly not. Jake is more over-easy than hard-boiled. Gravesend and Coney Island Avenue are about NYPD detectives who are, for the most part, righteous. The closest I’ve come to noir is Brooklyn Justice. My protagonist, Nick Ventura, has a shady past and a subjective morality. But Nick is a private eye, a borderline professional, and he sometimes accidentally stumbles upon a happy ending.

Of late, I have been invited to contribute s short story to a noir anthology—and I have a decision to make. Pass—with the justification that it’s just not my thing—or try to round off the peg.

I have a general idea. More James M. Cain or Jim Thompson than Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. More After Dark, My Sweet or House of Games than Harper or The Rockford Files. But how much more. How many straight bourbons. How many non-filter cigarettes. How many sexy double-crossing dames. How much more than simply a body count.

When James M. Cain wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice, did he set out to pen noir fiction or did he—when he was a journalist covering the Snyder-Gray murder trial in 1927, where Ruth Snyder and her lover Henry Gray were accused of killing Snyder’s husband for the insurance money—simply get a good idea from a pair who had a terribly bad idea. When an interviewer for The Paris Review mentioned to Cain that he was so well-known for his hard-boiled manner of writing, Cain replied, “Let’s talk about this so-called style. I don’t know what they’re talking about—tough, hard-boiled. I tried to write as people talk.”

The question, for me, is can one write noir for noir’s sake? Can the gloom and desperation suggested by Penzler, Lehane and others be manufactured—or does it need to be called up from something authentic inside the writer? And what is the risk, psychologically, of stirring up such darkness?

In any case, I’ve decided to give the gracious invitation to contribute to a noir anthology my best shot. Start writing something I think might fit the bill, something noirish, and see where it takes me. And even if it only gets part way, I’ll at least have a little something to read if and when I’m invited to another Noir at the Bar event.

Meanwhile, readers can track down a copy of American History almost anywhere difficult-to-categorize novels are available.

J.L. ABRAMO was born and raised in the seaside paradise of Brooklyn, New York on Raymond Chandler's fifty-ninth birthday. Abramo is the author of Catching Water in a Net, winner of the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America prize for Best First Private Eye Novel; the subsequent Jake Diamond Novels Clutching at Straws, Counting to Infinity and Circling the Runway (Shamus Award Winner); Chasing Charlie Chan, a prequel to the Jake Diamond series; and the stand-alone thrillers Gravesend, Brooklyn Justice, and Coney Island Avenue, a follow-up to Gravesend. His latest novel is American History. Abramo is the current president of Private Eye Writers of America. For more please visit:


Monday, November 5, 2018


Remember, remember! 
The fifth of November 

Another holiday, another list! We may not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night here in the U.S., but this popular U.K. holiday is celebrated in several countries around the world and appears in many crime fiction novels.

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, is an annual celebration, primarily in Great Britain, traditionally and usually held on the evening of November 5.  Festivities are centered on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

Historically, the celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, the failed conspiracy by a group of provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. The survival of the king was first celebrated on 5 November 1605, after Guy Fawkes, left in charge of the gunpowder placed underneath the House of Lords, was discovered and arrested.

Traditionally, an effigy (or "guy") representing Fawkes is ritually burnt on the bonfire. In the weeks before bonfire night, children traditionally displayed the "guy" and requested a "penny for the guy" in order to raise funds with which to buy fireworks. This practice has diminished greatly, perhaps because it has been seen as begging, and also because children are not allowed to buy fireworks. In addition there are concerns that children might misuse the money. And another reason might be that Halloween is becoming more popular and replacing Guy Fawkes Night in many British communities.

In Britain, there are several foods that are traditionally consumed on Bonfire Night:
Bangers and mash
Black treacle goods such as bonfire toffee
Toffee apples
Baked potatoes which are wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked in the bonfire or its embers
Black peas with vinegar
Potato pie with pickled red cabbage

Check out for an easy recipe for Guy Fawkes Night Chocolate Sparklers

Guy Fawkes Night Crime Fiction

The Wrong Boy by Cathy Ace (January 2019)
Murder on  Bonfire Night by Margaret Addison
Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie
The Powder Treason by Michael Dax
Gunpowder Plot by Carola Dunn
Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler
V is for Vendetta by Alan Moore
A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell
The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot by Martin Stephen
The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons
A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd 
The Mystery of Mr. Mock (aka The Corpse with the Floating Foot) by R.A. J Walling

Any titles missing? Let me know, so I can add to the list.

MYSTERY BYTES: Interesting and Quirky Mystery-Related Links

Here's my weekly Round-Up of interesting and quirky mystery-related articles and postings on the Internet. Just wanted to share in case you missed these. Click on the link to read the entire story.

Ms Fisher MODern set to Swing onto TV screens. Screen Australia.
The Seven Network, Screen Australia and Every Cloud Productions today announced that Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries, a glamorous new television series set in swinging 60’s Melbourne, will go into production in October. Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries is the spin-off from one of Australia’s most loved and successful television series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Set in 1964, audiences will meet the gorgeously reckless Peregrine Fisher who inherits a windfall when the famous aunt she never knew goes missing over the highlands of New Guinea. Peregrine must prove herself brilliant enough to become a world class private detective in her own right. Read more HERE.

Stephen  King's Joyland being adapted for TV. Deadline
Stephen King’s Joyland is in the works for the small screen. Freeform has put into development Joyland, a series based on the King novel, from writers Chris Peña (Jane the Virgin) and Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M.) and Bill Haber’s Ostar Productions (Valor). Read more HERE.

9 Great Medical Thrillers Chosen by a Physician. CrimeReads. 
Pandemics, Epidemics, Viruses and Medical Mysteries.   Read More Here.

The Capture: Holliday Grainger to lead new BBC crime Drama. Cultbox. 
The BBC have announced a new crime drama, The Capture, which is set to star Holliday Grainger and Fantastic Beasts‘ Callum Turner.
Grainger, known for her role on Strike, will play Rachel Carey, a detective inspector sent in to investigate the case of ex-British soldier, Shaun Emery (played by Turner) recently accused of murder in Afghanistan. After the initial investigation is abandoned due to flawed evidence, CCTV footage regarding an incident with Emery in London causes the case to be reopened. Read more Here.

Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming Talk Thrillers. CrimeReads
The world of mysteries and thrillers has produced some memorable friendship but perhaps none quite so distinguished as the one struck up later in life between between Raymond Chandler, the laureate of American hardboiled fiction, and Ian Fleming, the legendary English author of the James Bond novels. The relationship began when Fleming wrote to Chandler asking for an endorsement that would be used to help market the Bond novels in America. Chandler ultimately reviewed two books from the 007 series—Diamonds Are Forever and Dr. No—for The Sunday Times, and the two authors, both on their way to legendary status, struck up a warm personal relationship. In 1958, celebrating Chandler’s 70th birthday, the BBC asked Fleming to “interview” his eminent friend. The result was a rollicking, far-ranging conversation in which the authors discussed the state of the thriller, heroes and villains, the struggle for literary credibility, and how a murder is planned and executed. Read more HERE

There is no mistaking the popularity of mystery novels. But scan the New York Times bestseller list and you will find little diversity. However, if instead of looking at bestsellers, we explore one of the awards focused on mystery books, we find a very different picture. Take the Anthony Awards. Examining the fiction winners, we find two women of color, three other women, and an anthology filled with diverse writers. And in the list of nominees, indie presses outnumber the “Big Five” publishers fourteen to eleven. Read more Here.

An academic treatise on dung, a how-to guide of acupuncture for horses and the first-ever German language entry are among the six books in the running for the 40th edition of The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. 
The prize, founded by Trevor Bounford and the late Bruce Robinson of publishing solutions firm the Diagram Group, is the annual celebration of the book world's strangest and most perplexing titles. The Bookseller and its legendary diarist Horace Bent have been custodians of the prize since 1982. Read more Here.

And here's a quirky, but possibly understandable, news item! 

Antarctic scientist 'stabs colleague who kept telling him endings of books he was reading.' Mirror.
A scientist plunged a kitchen knife into his colleague as he was fed up with the man telling him the endings of books, say investigators. Sergey Savitsky, 55, and Oleg Beloguzov, 52, would pass the lonely hours during four harsh years together in a remote outpost in Antarctica by reading. However Savitsky became angry after Beloguzov kept telling him the endings, it has been claimed. READ MORE HERE.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Happy Caturday!


From The Bookseller

Here's a controversial crime fiction award. What do you think? Feel free to make comments below.

The £2,000 Staunch Book Prize was launched by screenwriter Bridget Lawless in January to find the best thriller in which no woman gets beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

At launch, the prize attracted some criticism from authors such as Sophie Hannah and Val McDermid with accusations of censorship and “missing the point”. Organizers of CrimeFest in Bristol subsequently withdrew its offer of a offered a complimentary pass and panel appearance for the winning writer.

However nine months on, a six-strong international shortlist has been revealed, featuring titles from Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and a number of indies from across the globe as well as one unpublished manuscript. Read more here.

Staunch Book Prize Shortlist

The Appraisal by Anna Porter (ECW press)
East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman (HQ),
If I Die Tonight by A L Gaylin (PRH)
On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong( Text Publishing).
The Kennedy Moment by Peter Adamson (Myriad Editions)
Cops and Queens by Joyce Thompson (seeking publisher)

Irish Book Awards Crime Fiction Book of the Year Shortlist

Finalists have been selected in 16 categories for the 2018 An Post Irish Book Awards. Here are the nominees in the Crime Fiction Category.

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year Shortlist 

A House of Ghosts, by W.C. Ryan (Zaffre)
One Click, by Andrea Mara (Poolbeg Press)
Skin Deep, by Liz Nugent (Penguin)
The Confession, by Jo Spain (Quercus)
The Ruin, by Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)
Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion)

HT: The Rap Sheet

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Author Reading

And Then There Were Six: Guest Post by Miranda James

Miranda James:
And Then There Were Six 

One cat in the house can be handful enough, but what about … six? That’s the case in the latest “Cat in the Stacks” mystery, when Charlie finds a box with five kittens on his doorstep one December morning.

In this case, the title of the book came to me before the storyline. I knew the book would be set at Christmastime, and the title Six Cats A Slayin’ popped right into my head. Once I had that title, I had to come up with a way for six cats to enter into the story.

Hence the box of kittens on the doorstep. Charlie, softie that he is, wouldn’t just take the kittens to the shelter, especially after the mysterious person who left them included a note begging for his help.

Then there’s Diesel. How would Diesel react to five frisky kittens in his domain? He’s used to putting up with Stewart Delacorte’s little poodle, Dante, but kittens? Well, turns out Diesel doesn’t seem to mind them at all.

Besides the mystery of who left the kittens on the doorstep, there is also the mystery of the new neighbor across the street. Geraldine Albritton claims to have grown up in Athena, Mississippi, but Charlie’s friend Melba Gilley has never heard of her. So who is Geraldine Albritton? And what could possibly go wrong at her open house/holiday party when all the neighbors are invited?

Miranda James is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, including Claws for Concern, Twelve Angry Librarians, and No Cats Allowed as well as the Southern Ladies Mysteries, including Fixing to Die, Digging Up the Dirt, and Dead with the Wind. James lives in Mississippi.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


What holiday could be more fitting to Mysteries than El Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead? You'll love this list. Be sure and check my updated Halloween Crime Fiction list for other mysteries that start on Halloween and include Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead Crime Fiction

Day of the Dead by Kristi Belcamino
Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan
The Day of the Dead by John Creed
Trick or Treason by Kathi Daley
Day of the Dead by Brenda Donelan
A Cemetery, a Cannibal, and the Day of the Dead by CC Dragon
The Day of the Dead by Nicci French
The Day of the Dead: the Autumn of Commissario Ricciardi by Maurizio de Giovanni
Days of the Dead by Barbara Hambly
Sugar Skull by Denise Hamilton
Dios De Los Muertos by Kent Harrington
The Wrong Goodbye by Chris Holm
Day of the Dead by J.A. Jance
Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson
Devil's Kitchen by Clark Lohr
Weave Her Thread with Bones by Claudia Long
Day of the Dead by Manuel Luis Martinez
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers
Oink by Judith Newton
Day of the Dead by Mark Roberts
The Day of the Dead by Bart Spicer
The Day of the Dead Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Any titles missing?