Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Here is the final post of my alphabetical by author Christmas Crime Fiction Lists. Christmas Mysteries: Authors M-Z. My next list will feature Anthologies and Novellas.

Here are the links that complete this list:
Check out Christmas Crime Fiction, Authors A-E,  Authors F-L  

As always, let me know if I've forgotten an author and title. Happy Holiday Reading!


Macbride, Stuart: Cold Granite; 12 Days of Winter.
MacDonald, John D.: Pale Gray for Guilt.
MacInerney, Karen: Mistletoe Murder; Mistletoe Murder
Macko, Elaine: Armed.
MacLeod, Charlotte: The Convivial Codfish; Murder Goes Mumming; Rest You Merry; Christmas Stalkings; Mistletoe Mysteries; Counterfiet Christmas.
MacPherson, Rett: A Comedy of Heirs; The Blood Ballad.
Malliet, G. M.: Death of a Cozy Writer.
Malmont, Valerie: Death, Snow, and Mistletoe.
Manos, Blanche: Moonlight Can Be Murder.
Marantz, Bill: Christmas Eve Can Kill You.
Markham, Marion: Christmas Present Mystery (juvenile).
Markowitz, Jeff: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder.
Marks, Jeffrey: Canine Christmas.
Maron, Margaret: Corpus Christmas; Rituals of the Season; Christmas Mourning.
Marsh, Carole: Haunted Christmas Tree Mystery.
Marsh, Ngaio: Tied Up in Tinsel; The Corpse in the Snowman.
Matesky, Amanda: Murder is a Girl's Best Friend.
McBain, Ed: And All Through the House; Downtown; Ghosts; Sadie When She Died.
McClintick, Malcolm: Death of an Old Flame.
McCloy, Helen: Mr Splitfoot.
McClure, James: The Gooseberry Fool.
McConnon, Maggie: Bel, Book, and Scandal.
McCrumb, Sharyn: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past.
McDonald, C.S.: Merry Murder.
McGinley, Patrick: Goosefoot.
McGowan, Claire: The Dead Ground.
McGown, Jill: Murder at the Old Vicarage.
McHugh, Mary: High Kicks, Hot Chocolate, and Homicides.
McKevett, G.A.: Cooked Goose; Poisoned Tarts; Murder in Her Stocking.
McKinley, Jenn: On Borrowed Time.
McLean, Donna: A Sparrow Falls Christmas.
McLintick, Malcolm: Death of an Old Flame.
McMullen, Mary: Death by Bequest.
McPherson, Catriona: The Reek of Red Herrings.
Mehl, Nancy: There Goes Santa Claus.
Meier, Leslie: The Christmas Cookie Murder; Mistletoe Murder; Mail Order Murder; A Winter Wonderland; Christmas Carol Murder; Eggnog Murder; Gingerbread Cookie Murder.
Meredith, Anne: Portrait of a Murderer.
Meredith, D. R.: Murder by Sacrilege.
Meredith, David W.: The Christmas Card Murders.
Michaels, Kasey: High Heels and Holidays; Bowled Over.
Miles, Terry: Dog Gone Christmas.
Milne, A.A.: A Table Near the Band; Christmas Party.
Mims, Jay: The Five Santas.
Miner, Valerie: Murder in the English Department.
Minichino, Camile: The Helium Murder; The Oxygen Murder.
Misto, Joh: The Devil's Companions.
Mitchell, Gladys: Dead Men's Morris; The Dancing Druids; Murder in the Snow; Groaning Spinney.
Monroe, Willow: Mall Santa Murder.
Moore, Christopher: The Stupidest Angel--A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.
Moore, Judy: Murder in Vail.
Morgan, Lorna Nicholl: Another Little Christmas Murder.
Morrell, David: The Spy Who Came for Christmas.
Mortimer, John: A Rumpole Christmas.
Moyes, Patricia: Season of Snows and Sins; Who Killed Father Christmas?.
Muldoon, Meg: Murder in Christmas River; Madness in Christmas River.
Muller, Marcia: There's Nothing to be Afraid Of.
Murphy, Shirley Rousseau: Cat Deck the Halls; Cat Coming Home; Cat Bearing Gifts.
Myers, Ann: Feliz Navidead.

Nabb, Magdalen: Death of an Englishman.
Nash, Anne: Said with Flowers.
Neel, Janet: Death's Bright Angel.
Nelson, Hugh: The Season for Murder.
Nesbo, Jo: The Redeemer.
Nesser, Hakan: Woman with Birthmark.
Nixon, Joan: The Christmas Eve Murder.
Norden, Robert: Death Beneath the Christmas Tree.
Norton, Jemima: The Mistletoe Bride.

O'Connell, Carol: Judas Child.
O'Marie, Sr. Carol Anne: Advent of Dying; Murder in Ordinary Time; A Novena for Murder.
O'Nan, Stewart: Last Night at the Lobster.
Oust, Gail: Ginger Snapped.

Page, Katherine Hall: The Body in the Big Apple; The Body in the Bouillon; The Body in the Sleigh.
Paige, Shelton: Merry Market Murder.
Painter, Kristen: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case.
Pajer, Bernadette: The Edison Effect.
Palmer, William: The Dons and Mr Dickens.
Papazoglou, Orania: Rich, Radiant Slaughter; Charisma.
Parker, Gary E.: Death Stalks a Holiday.
Parker, Robert: The Widening Gyre.
Parra, Nancy J: Flourless to Stop Him.
Patterson, James: Merry Christmas, Alex Cross.
Paul, Barbara: A Chorus of Detectives.
Pearl, Jack: Victims.
Pearson, Carol Lynn: A Stranger For Christmas.
Pence, Joanne: Two Cooks A-Killing; The Thirteenth Santa.
Penhallow, Sara: The Christmas Tree Farm Murders.
Penny, Louise: A Fatal Grace; How the Light Gets In.
Perry, Anne: A Christmas Beginning; A Christmas Grace; A Christmas Guest; A Christmas Journey; A Christmas Secret; A Christmas Visitor; Silence in Hanover Close; A Christmas Promise; A Christmas Garland; A Christmas Odyssey; A Christmas Secret; A Christmas Hope... and more.
Perry, Carl J.: Bells, Spells, and Murders.
Peters, Elizabeth: He Shall Thunder in the Sky; Trojan Gold.
Peters, Ellis: A Rare Benedictine; The Raven in the Foregate.
Philips, Scott: The Ice Harvest.
Plakcy, Neil: Dog Have Mercy.
Pomidor, Bill: Mind Over Murder.
Pronzini, Bill: Snowbound.
Pryce, Malcolm: Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth.
Pulver, Mary Monica: Original Sin.
Purser, Ann: Murder on Monday.

Quashie, Colin: Spirits in a Material World.
Queen, Ellery: The Finishing Stroke; Cat of Many Tails; Calamity Town; The Egyptian Cross Mystery; Murder at Christmas.
Quentin, Patrick: Follower.
Quilford, Sally: Mistletoe Mystery.

Raphael, Lev: Burning Down the House.
Rawlins, Linda. Misty Winter.
Rawls, Randy: Jingle's Christmas.
Ray, Robert J.: Merry Christmas, Murdock.
Reilly, Linda: Claws for Celebration.
Reinsmith, Richard: Body for Christmas.
Richards, Emilie: Let There be Suspects.
Rickman, Phil: Midwinter of the Spirit.
Riggs, John R.: Haunt of the Nightingale.
Riley, Kelly Ann: Homespun Holidays.
Ripley, Ann: The Christmas Garden Affair.
Ripley, J.R.: How the Finch Stole Christmas.
Rizer, Fran: A Corpse Under the Christmas Tree.
Rizzolo, S.K.: The Rose in the Wheel.
Robb, J.D.: Holiday in Death; Apprentice in Death; Brotherhood in Death.
Roberts, Gillian: The Mummer's Curse; Philly Stakes.
Roberts, Sheila: On Strike for Christmas; The Nine Lives of Christmas.
Robinson, David W: Christmas Crackers, A Murder for Christmas.
Robinson, Peter: Past Reason Hated; The Price of Love and Other Stories (collection).
Rockwell, Patricia: Papoosed.
Roosevelt, Elliott: The White House Pantry Murder.
Roper, Gail: Caught in the Act.
Rosenfelt, David: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas; Deck the Hounds.
Rosett, Sara: Mistletoe, Merriment and Murder; Menace at the Christmas Marker.
Rotch, Lawrence: Mistletoe and Murder.
Rowe, Jennifer: Death in Store; Love Lies Bleeding.
Rubino, Jane: Fruit Cake; Homicide for the Holidays.
Ruell, Patrick: Red Christmas.
Russell, Alan: St. Nick.
Russell, Michael: The City in Darkness.
Ryan, Annelise: Lucky Stiff.
Ryan, Jenna: Mistletoe and Murder.

Sample, Cindy: Dying for a Dance.
Salonen, Debra. Montana Secret Santa.
Sanders, Lawrence: The Fourth Deadly Sin.
Santangelo, Elena: Poison to Purge Melancholy; Double Cross.
Saums, Mary: When the Last Magnolia Weeps.
Sawyer, Corinne Holt: Ho Ho Homicide.
Sayers, Dorothy L.: The Nine Tailors.
Scherf, Margaret: The Gun in Daniel Webster's Bust.
Schneider, Maria: Executive Sick Days.
Schumacher, Aileen: Framework for Death.
Schweizer, Mark: The Alto Wore Tweeds; The Christmas Cantata.
Scott, Laura: Her Mistletoe Protector.
Sedaris, David: Holidays on Ice.
Sedley, Kate: The Christmas Wassail.
Sefton, Maggie: Fleece Navidad.
Sellars, M.R.: Perfect Trust.
Serafin, David: Christmas Rising.
Shaber, Sarah: Shell Game (aka Burying Ground).
Shannon, Dell: No Holiday For Crime.
Shaw, J.D: Yule Be the Death of Me.
Shaw, M.B.: Murder at the Mill.
Shelton, Connie: Sweet Holidays; Holidays Can Be Murder.
Shelton, Paige: Merry Market Murder; A Christmas Tartan.
Sibley, Celestine: Spider in the Sink.
Simenon, Georges: Maigret's Christmas.
Slan, Joanna Campbell: Handmade, Holiday, Homicide.
Sleeman, Susan: The Christmas Witness; Christmas Conspiracy; High-Caliber Holiday.
Smith, Barbara Burnett: Mistletoe From Purple Sage; Tis the Season for Murder (with Fred Hunter).
Smith, Frank: Fatal Flaw.
Smith, George Harmon: The Christmas Angel.
Smith, Joan: Don't Leave Me This Way.
Smith, Karen Rose: Slay Bells Ring.
Smith, Terrence: The Devil and Webster Daniels.
Smoak, Amanda: Generals' Row.
Sprinkle, Patricia: A Mystery Bred in Buckhead.
Stagge, Jonathan: The Yellow Taxi.
Stanley, J. B.: The Battered Body.
Stout, Rex: And Four to Go.
Strohmeyer, Sarah: Bubbles All the Way.
Swanson, Denise: Murder of a Barbie and Ken; Murder of a Stacked Librarian.
Symons, Julian: The Detling Secret.

Talley, Marcia: Occasion of Revenge.
Taylor, Elizabeth Atwood: The Cable Car Murder.
Taylor, Hudson: Death of a Christmas Tree Man.
Taylor, Sarah Stewart: O' Artful Death.
Temple, Lou Jane: Death is Semisweet.
Tesh, Jane: Mixed Signals.
Tesler, Nancy: Slippery Slopes and Other Deadly Things.
Thames, Nancy: Waiting for Santa.
Theorin, Johan: The Darkest Room.
Thomas, Billie: Murder on the First Day of Christmas.
Thomas, Lisa: Sharpe Edge.
Thompson, Carlene: The Way You Look Tonight.
Thompson, Victoria. Murder on St Nicholas Avenue.
Todd, Charles: The Walnut Tree.
Tooke, John: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
Tope, Rebecca: Trouble in the Cotswolds.
Tourney, Leonard D.: Knaves Templar.
Tremayne, Peter: The Haunted Abbot.
Trent, Gayle: Clause of Death.
Trent, Teresa: The Deadliest Christmas Pageant Ever.
Trocheck, Kathy: A Midnight Clear.
Trocheck, Kathy Hogan (as Mary Kay Andrews): Fatal Fruitcake; Blue Christmas; Christmas Bliss.
Tyson, Wendy: Seeds of Revenge.

Underwood, Michael: A Party to Murder.
Unsworth, Barry: Morality Play.

VanLeeuwen, Jean: The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper.
Verburg, C.J.: Silent Night Violent Night.
Victor, Cynthia: What Matters Most.
Viets, Elaine: Murder With All the Trimmings.

Wait, Lea: Shadows on a Maine Christmas; Thread the Halls.
Wainwright, Noreen: Crime at Christmas.
Walker, Persia: Darkness and the Devil behind Me.
Waller, Gail & Jim Gilber: A Kudzu Christmas.
Walsh, Thomas: The Resurrection Man.
Ward, Donald: Our Little Secret.
Washburn, Livia: The Gingerbread Bump-Off; The Christmas Cookie Killer.
Webb, Peggy: Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse.
Webber, Heather: Trouble Under the Tree.
Weir, Charlene: A Cold Christmas.
Weiss, Kirsten: Deja Moo.
Welk, Mary: Deadly Little Christmas; A Merry Little Murder.
Wenger, Christine: It's a Wonderful Knife.
Wentworth, Patricia: The Clock Strikes 12. 
White, Anne: Cold Winter Nights.
Wildwind, Sharon: First Murder in Advent.
Willan, Jane: The Hour of Death.
Williams, David: Murder in Advent.
Willig, Lauren: The Mischief of the Mistletoe.
Windsor, Patricia: The Christmas Killer.
Wingfield, R.D.: Frost at Christmas.
Wishart, David: Last Rites.
Wolzien, Valerie: Deck the Halls With Murder; 'Tis the Season to be Murdered; We Wish You a Merry Murder.
Wright, Eric: The Man Who Changed His Name.

Yaffe, James: Mom Meets Her Maker.
Young, Suzanne: Murder by Yew; Murder by Christmas.

Zelvin, Elizabeth: Death Will Get You Sober.
Zoltack, Nicole: Mistletoe, Marriage, & Murder.

Sunday, December 9, 2018


Iceland is a 'hot' spot for tourists, but did you know about Jolabokaflod or The Christmas Book Flood. Read on. Add this to your knowledge of Scandinavian book traidtions,  Easter Norwegian reading tradition - Paskekrim. But this one in Iceland involves chocolate!

Friday, December 7, 2018


Today, I continue the Christmas Mystery/Crime Fiction list. It's amazing how many mysteries are set during the holidays, but it's such a stressful time, I shouldn't be all that surprised.

Today Christmas Crime Authors F-L. Be sure and check the previous Christmas Mysteries list, Authors A-E. I've updated it. Please let me know if I've forgotten an author or book. And more authors and titles to come. Be Merry!


Fairstein, Linda A.: The Deadhouse; The Crime and the Crystal; A Small World of Murder.
Farjeon, J.J.: Mystery in White.
Farrow, John: City of Ice.
Fawcett, Quinn: Siren Song.
Fennelly, Tony: Home Dead for Christmas.
Ferrars, E.X.: Smoke Without Fire; The Small World of Murder; The Crime and the Crystal.
Ferris, Monica: Crewel Yule; A Stitch in Time.
Finch, Charles: The Fleet Street Murders.
Finnis, Jane: A Bitter Chill.
Fletcher, Jessica (Donald Bain): A Little Yuletide Murder; Manhattans and Murder.
Flower, Amanda: A Plain Disappearance.
Fluke, Joanne: Sugar Cookie Murder; Plum Pudding Murder; Candy Cane Murders; Gingerbread Cookie Murder; Christmas Caramel Murder; Christmas Cake Murder.
Flynn, Brian: The Murders Near Mapleton.
Foley, Rae: Hundreth Door; Where is Mary Bostwick?.
Follett, Ken: Whiteout.
Ford, Leslie: The Simple Way of Poison.
Fowler, Earlene: The Saddlemaker's Wife.
Fox, Sarah: Yeast of Eden.
Fraser, Anthea: The Nine Bright Shiners; White Christmas with a Wobbly Knee; Snowballs and Scotch Mist; Christmas Mourning.
Frazer, Margaret: The Servant's Tale; The Widow's Tale.
Freeburn, Christina: Not a Creature Was Stirring.
Freydont, Shelley: A Merry Little Murder; Silent Knife.
Frommer, Sara Hoskinson: Witness in Bishop Hill.
Frost, Jacqueline: Twelve Slays of Christmas; 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas.
Fruttero, Carlo & Franco Lucentini: Enigma in Luogo di Mare.
Furlong-Bolliger, S.: Christmas in Killarney.
Furst, Clyde Bowman: The Observations of Professor Maturin.
Fry, Patricia: A Picture-Purrfect Christmas.

Gaarder, Jostein: The Christmas Mystery.
Gagnon, Michelle: Kidnap and Ransom.
Galenorn, Yasmine: Ghost of a Chance.
Gano, John: Inspector Proby's Christmas.
Garner, James Finn: Politically Correct Holiday Stories--For an Enlightened Yuletide Season (collection).
Garnet, A. H.: The Santa Claus Killer.
George, Anne: Murder on a Bad Hair Day.
Gerber, Daryl Wood: Wreath between the Lines.
Giroux, E. X.: Death for a Dietician.
Gold, Ginny: Gingerdead Man.
Goldenbaum, Sally: A Holiday Yarn; Trimmed with Murder.
Goodhind, J.G.: The Ghost of Christmas Past.
Goodman, Jonathan: Murder on the Aisle.
Gordon, Alan: Thirteenth Night; The Moneylender of Toulouse.
Gorman, Edward: Murder on the Aisle.
Gouze, Roger: A Quiet Game of Bambu.
Grabenstein, Chris: Hell for the Holidays; Slay Ride.
Grace, Alexa: Deadly Holiday.
Grace, C.L.: The Merchant of Death.
Grace, Margaret: Mayhem in Miniature; Manhattan in Miniature.
Grafton, Sue: E is for Evidence.
Graham, Heather: The Last Noel; A Season of Miracles.
Granger, Ann: A Season for Murder; Dead in the Water.
Grant, Ellie: Treacherous Tart.
Graves, Sarah: Wreck the Halls.
Greeley, Andrew: The Bishop and the Three Kings.
Green, Christine: Deadly Partners.
Greenwood, Kerry: Murder in the Dark; Forbidden Fruit.
Gregory, Susanna: A Conspiracy of Violence.
Griffey, Jackie: The Nelson Scandal.
Griffiths, Elly. Smoke and Mirrors.
Grimes, Martha: Jerusalem Inn; The Old Fox Deceived; The Man with a Load of Mischief.
Guest, Judith: Killing Time in St. Cloud.
Gunn, Victor: Death on Shivering Sand.
Gunning, Sally: Ice Water.

Haddam, Jane: Not a Creature Was Stirring; A Stillness in Bethlehem.
Hager, Jean: The Last Noel.
Haines, Carolyn: Buried Bones.
Hall, Parnell: A Puzzle in a Pear Tree.
Hall, Robert Lee: Benjamin Franklin and a Case of Christmas Murder.
Halliday, Gemma: Christmas in High Heels.
Hallinan, Timothy: Fields Where They Lay.
Hamilton, Victoria: White Colander Crime.
Hammett, Dashiell: The Thin Man.
Handler, David: The Snow White Christmas Cookie.
Hardwick, Richard: The Season to be Deadly.
Hare, Cyril: An English Murder.
Harmon, Ken: The Fat Man--A Tale of North Pole Noir.
Harper, Karen: The Queene's Christmas.
Harris, Charlaine: Shakespeare's Christmas.
Harris, Joanne: Chocolat.
Harris, Lee: The Christmas Night Murder.
Harrison, Janis: Murder Sets Seed.
Hart, Carolyn: Sugarplum Dead; Merry, Merry Ghost.
Hart, Ellen: Vital Lies; Murder in the Air.
Hart, Roy: Seascape with Dead Figures.
Harvey, John: Cold Light.
Hay, Mavis Doriel: The Santa Klaus Murder.
Heald, Tim: Classic Christmas Crime.
Healy, Mel: Black Marigolds.
Heath, Sandra: Mistletoe Mischief.
Hechtman, Betty: You Better Knot Die.
Hellmann, Libby: Set the Night on Fire.
Hemlin, Tim: A Catered Christmas.
Hess, Joan: A Holly, Jolly Murder; O Little Town of Maggody.
Heyer, Georgette: Envious Casca; A Christmas Party.
Hiassen, Carl: Tourist Season.
Hill, Reginald: Death's Jest Book; A Clubbable Woman.
Hilton, John Buxton: Death in Midwinter.
Hinkemeyer, Michael: A Time to Reap.
Hochgatterer, Paulus: The Sweetness of Life.
Hodgkin, Marion Rous: Dead Indeed.
Holland, Isabelle: A Fatal Advent.
Holmes, Dee. The Unexpected Gift.
Holms, Joyce: Thin Ice.
Honigford, Cheryl: Homicide for the Holidays.
Howell, Dorothy: Slay Bells and Satchels.
Howie, Edith: Murder for Christmas.
Howlett, John: The Christmas Spy.
Hughes, Cledwyn: The Inn Closes for Christmas; The Different Drummer.
Hughes, Mary Ellen: Wreath of Deception.
Hume, Fergus: The Coin of Edward VII.
Hunter, Alan: Landed Gently.
Hunter, Ellen Elizabeth: Murder on the Candlelight Tour; Christmas Wedding.
Hunter, Evan: Come Winter.
Hunter, Fred: Ransom for a Holiday; 'Tis the Season for Murder; Homicide for the Holidays.
Husom, Christine: The Iced Princess.
Hyzy, Julie: Hail to the Chef.

Iams, Jack: Do Not Murder Before Christmas.
Indridason, Arnaldur: Voices.
Innes, Michael: A Comedy of Terrors; Christmas at Candleshoe.
Irving, Karen: Jupiter's Daughter.
Ivie, Judith: Drowning in Christmas.

Jackson, Melanie: Murder on Parade; Requiem at Christmas.
Jaffe, Jody: Chestnut Mare, Beware.
Jahn, Cathie: Add One Dead Critic.
Jahn, Michael: Murder on Fifth Avenue.
James, Miranda: Six Cats a Slayin'.
James, P. D.: The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories (collection).
Jarvis, Nancy Lynn: Buying Murder.
Jeffers, H. Paul: Murder on Mike.
John, Cathie: Add One Dead Critic.
Johns, Madison: The Great Christmas Caper; Meows, Magic & Elves.
Johnson, Craig: Death Without Company; Christmas in Absaroka; Spirit of Steamboat.
Jordan, Cathleen: A Carol in the Dark.
Jordan, Jennifer: Murder Under the Mistletoe.

Kales, Jenny: Spiced and Iced.
Kane, Henry: A Corpse for Christmas (aka Homicide at Yuletide).
Kaplan, Arthur: A Killing for Charity.
Kappes, Tonya: Freshly Ground Murder, Tangled Up in Tinsel; Christmas, Criminals, and Campers.
Katz, Fred: Not a Creature Was Stirring.
Kaufman, Karin: The Witch Tree.
Kavanaugh, Brian: A Canterbury Crime.
Kaye, M. M.: Death in the Andamans.
Kellerman, Faye: Sacred and Profane.
Kelley, Lee Charles: 'Twas the Bite Before Christmas.
Kelly, Mary: The Christmas Egg.
Kelly, Sofie: A Midwinter's Tail.
Kelner, Toni L.P.: Mad as the Dickens.
Kendrick, Stephen: Night Watch.
King, John: The Big Mouth.
King, Laurie R.: A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
Kingsbury, Kate: No Clue at the Inn; Ringing in Murder; Shrouds of Holly; Slay Bells; Decked with Folly; Mistletoe and Mayhem; Herald of Death; The Clue is in the Pudding; Mulled Murder.
Kisor, Henry: Season's Revenge.
Kitchin, C.H.B.: Crime at Christmas.
Kleinholz, Lisa: Exiles on Main Street.
Knight, Alanna: The Dagger in the Crown.
Knight, Bernard: Crowner's Quest.
Knight, Kathleen Moore: They're Going to Kill Me.
Koch, Edward I.: Murder on 34th Street.
Koontz, Dean R.: Mister Murder; Santa's Twin; Robot Santa.

Lake, M.D.: A Gift for Murder; Grave Choices.
Landreth, Marsha: The Holiday Murders.
Lane, Vicki: In a Dark Season.
Langley, Bob: Death Stalk.
Langston, Josh & Barbara Galler-Smith: Christmas Beyond the Box.
Langton, Jane: The Shortest Day--Murder at the Revels; The Memorial Hall Murder.
Lanyon, Josh: So This is Christmas.
Lanyon, Josh & Sarah Black: I'll be Dead for Christmas.
Lathen, Emma: Banking on Death.
Lavene, Joyce and Jim: Treacherous Toys.
Lawley, Cate: Makin' a List.
Lawrence, Alfred: A Christmas Killing.
Lawrence, David: Cold Kill.
Lawrence, Hilda: Blood Upon the Snow.
Lawrence, Treat: Q As in Quicksand.
Leach, Christopher: A Killing Frost.
Lee, Amanda: Better Off Thread.
Lee, Ashton: A Cherry Cola Christmas.
Leon, Donna: Blood from a Stone.
Levine, Joan & Gail Owens: The Santa Claus Mystery.
Levine, Laura: Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge.
Lewin, Michael Z.: The Enemies Within.
Lewis, Ted: Carter's Law.
Lin, Harper: Fur-Miliar Felines; Killer Christmas.
Little, Constance: The Black-Headed Pins.
Livingston, Nancy: Quiet Murder.
Loan-Wilsey, Anna: Anything But Civil.
Locke, M. Louisa: Kathleen Catches a Killer.
Locke, William J.: A Christmas Mystery.
Lockridge, Richard: Dead Run.
London, Collette: The Peppermint Mocha Murder.
Long, Manning: Vicious Circle.
Lord, Christopher: The Christmas Carol Murders.
Lourey, Jess: December Dread.
Luber, Philip: Deadly Convictions.
Ludwig, Ken: The Game's Afoot OR Holmes for the Holidays.
Lyttek, Susan. Plundered Christmas.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Dogs

Paco Taibo Takes over at Top Mexican Publisher

From PW:

On December 1, Andrés Manuel López Obrado was sworn in as the new president of Mexico; he is the first leftist politician to assume the role in 70 years. In October, shortly after his election, Obrador asked the writer Pablo Ignacio Taibo II to take over as director of Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico’s large state-owned publishing house. Taiblo agreed and assumed the job at Fondo on December 1.

Taibo has written more than 40 books and is best known abroad as a mystery novelist; numerous of his books have been published in English-language translations, most recently by Restless Books. He is viewed as a controversial choice to run Fondo, which is a cornerstone of the Mexican publishing industry, one with a backlist of more than 10,000 titles, including a majority of the classics of Mexican intellectual patrimony. In addition, Fondo runs 27 bookstores across Mexico, making it the country's third largest bookstore chain; the publisher also has 10 foreign subsidiaries, including ones in the U.S. and Spain.

“Taibo is seen as a political radical, a Zapatista and, to some, an anarchist. The fear is that he will not be a good steward of the house or its patrimony,” said one publisher who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals due to criticism in the close knit Mexican publishing community.

Read more here

Cartoon of the Day: The Literary Mafia

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Crime for the Holidays. Christmas time is a major time for murder! Every year I post a mystery list that's set during the Christmas holidays. It's such an extensive list, that I divide it into multiple parts. Here's the first installment, Authors A-E, of what will be a huge Christmas Crime Fiction list. I'll be posting the rest of the list over the next week or so. 

Although the list is updated every year, I'm sure I've still managed to miss a few authors and titles. Let me know, and I'd be glad to add them. 

And this year, I'll be adding a separate section on Short Story Anthologies and Novellas. More to come! Be sure and check back.

Christmas Crime Fiction: 
Authors A-E

Abbot, Anthony: About the Murder of a Startled Lady; About the Murder of Geraldine Foster.
Abbott, Allyson: Shots in the Dark
Abresch, Peter: The Faltese Malcom.
Adams, Deborah: All the Crazy Winters.
Adamson, Lydia: A Cat in the Manger; A Cat in the Wings; A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock; A Cat Under the Mistletoe.
Alan, Isabella: Murder, Served Simply.
Albert, Susan Wittig: Mistletoe Man; Rueful Death; Holly Blues: The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsetta Puzzle.
Alexander, David: Shoot a Sitting Duck.
Alexander, Hannah & Jill Elizabeth Nelson: Season of Danger; Silent Night; Deadly Night/Mistletoe Mayhem.
Alexander, Maria: Snowed.
Alexander, Victoria: What Happens at Christmas.
Allan, Barbara: Antiques Flee Market.
Allen, E.A.: The Fifth Christmas; The Dandridge Charter.
Allen, Michael: Spence and the Holiday Murders.
Amo, Gary: Silent Night.
Amsden, Pat: A Christmas to Die For.
Andre, Joel: A Death at the North Pole.
Andrews, Donna: How the Finch Stole Christmas; Six Geese A-Slaying; Duck the Halls; The Nightingale Before Christmas; Lark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Andrews, Mary Kay (Kathy Hogan Trocheck): Fatal Fruitcake; Blue Christmas; Christmas Bliss; Midnight Clear.
Angela, Mary. A Very Merry Murder.
Appignanesi, Lisa: The Dead of Winter.
Armstrong, Vivien: Fly in Amber.
Arnold, Carolyn. Christmas is Murder.
Arsenault, Emily: The Broken Teaglass.
Arts, David Jay: Quiet Desperation.
Ash, Maureen: Murder for Christ's Mass.
Atherton, Nancy: Aunt Dimity's Christmas.
Atkins, Ace: Leavin' Trunk Blues.
Aubert, Rosemary: The Feast of Stephen.

Baantjer, Albert: Murder in Amsterdam.
Babson, Marian: Twelve Deaths of Christmas; Line Up for Murder; Murder on a Mystery Tour.
Bain, Donald (as Jessica Fletcher): A Little Yuletide Murder; Manhattans and Murder.
Baker, Deb: Murder Trims the Tree.
Baker, North: Dead to the World.
Baldacci, David: The Christmas Train.
Ball, Donna: Silent Night.
Ballard, Mignon F.: Deadly Promise; Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed.
Banks, Carolyn: Horse to Die For.
Barnard, Robert: Death in a Cold Climate; The Habit of Widowhood.
Barnett, T.L.: Murder for the New Year.
Barre, Richard: Bethany.
Barrett, Kathleen: Homicide for the Holidays.
Barritt, Christy. High-Stakes Holiday Reunion; It Came Upon a Midnight Crime.
Barron, Stephanie: Jane and the Wandering Eye; Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Bartlett, Lorraine & Gayle Leeson: Yule Be Dead.
Battison, Brian: The Christmas Bow Murder.
Baxt, George: Scheme and Variations; A Christmas Story.
Bayard, Louis: Mr Timothy.
Beaton, M.C.: Death of A Snob; A Highland Christmas; Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye; Death of a Prankster; Christmas Crumble; Busy Body.
Beaumont, Cyril: The Mysterious Toyshop.
Beechy, Alan: Murdering Ministers.
Bell, Cindy: Mistletoe, Makeup and Murder; Christmas Chocolates and Crime.
Belle, Josie: Buried in Bargains.
Bennett, Jenna: A Done Deal.
Benrey , Ron & Janet: Season of Glory.
Bentley, Jennie: Home for The Homicide.
Berenson, Laurien: Jingle Bell Bark; Once Bitten; Wagging through the Snow.
Bernhardt, Susan: Murder Under the Tree.
Bernhardt, William: The Midnight Before Christmas.
Berry, Carole: This Year Will Be Different; The Year of the Monkey.
Bingham, John: Crime at Lark Cottage.
Bishop, Claudia: A Carol for a Corpse.
Black, Gavin: Dragon for Christmas.
Black, Sarah & John Lanyon: I'll be Dead for Christmas.
Blackburn, Cindy: Three Odd Balls.
Blackstock, Charity: The Foggy, Foggy Dew.
Blake, Bethany. Paw Prints and Predicaments; A Midwinter's Tale.
Blake, Nicholas: The Corpse in the Snowman; The Smiler With the Knife; Thou Shell of Death.
Blanc, Nero: A Crossworder's Delight; A Crossworder's Gift; A Crossworder's Holiday; Wrapped Up in Crosswords.
Boatwright, Alice K.: What Child is This?.
Bodelson, Anders: Think of a Number.
Bohart, Lynn: Inn Keeping with Murder.
Bolen, Cheryl. The Theft before Christmas.
Borger, Gale: Totally Decked.
Borthwick, J. S.: Dude on Arrival; The Student Body.
Boucher, Anthony: The Night Before Christmas.
Bowen, Rhys: The Twelve Clues at Christmas; Away in a Manger; The Ghost of Christmas Past.
Boylan, Eleanor: Pushing Murder.
Boyle, Thomas: Post-Mortem Effects.
Bradley, Alan: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches; I Am Half Sick of Shadows; As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.
Brady, James: Hampton's Christmas.
Bramble, Forbes: Dead of Winter.
Bran, Helen. Silent Night.
Braun, Lilian Jackson: The Cat Who Turned On and Off; The Cat Who Went into the Closet.
Bredes, Don: Cold Comfort.
Breen, Jon: Probable Claus.
Brett, Simon: The Christmas Crimes at Puzzle Manor; The Shooting in the Shop; The Cinderella Killer.
Brightwell, Emily: Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen; Mrs. Jeffries & the Yuletide Weddings; Mrs. Jeffries & the Mistletoe Mix Up; Mrs. Jeffries and the Silent Knight; Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women.
Brockman, Suzanne: All Through the Night.
Brook, Allison. Read and Gone.
Brown, Carter: A Corpse for Christmas.
Brown, Frederic: Murder Can be Fun.
Brown, Rita Mae: Rest in Pieces; Santa Clawed; Homeward Hound.
Bruce, Leo: Such is Death.
Brunette, Lisa: Framed and Burning.
Bryan, Mollie Cox: A Crafty Christmas.
Buchanan, Edna: The Ice Maiden.
Buckley, Julia: Cheddar Off Dead.
Budewitz, Leslie: As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles. 
Burdette, Lucy: Death with all the Trimmings.
Burke, Anna Celeste: A Merry Christmas Wedding Mystery.
Burke, Declan: Eightball Boogie.
Burke, James: A Present for Santa.
Burley, W. J.: Death in Willow Pattern; Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin.
Byerrum, Ellen: Grave Apparel.
Byron, Ellen: A Cajun Christmas Killing.

Authors C-E

Cahoon, Lynn: If the Shoe Fits.
Caine, Leslie: Holly and Homicide.
Cairns, Alison: New Year Resolution.
Callaghan, Hope. Reindeer & Robberies; Merry Masquerade in Savannah.
Carl, Joanna: The Chocolate Bear Burglary; The Chocolate Snowman Murders.
Carlisle, Kate. Deck the Hallways.
Carmack, Amanda. Murder at Whitehall. 
Carr, Carol K.: India Black and the Widow of Windsor.
Carrier, Warren: Justice at Christmas.
Carrington, Tori: Queen's Ransom.
Carter, John Franklin: The Corpse on the White House Lawn.
Carter, Nick: The Christmas Kill.
Casey, Elizabeth Lynn: Let It Sew.
Caunitz, William J.: Exceptional Clearance.
Challinor, C. S.: Christmas is Murder.
Chan, Cassandra: Spider on the Stairs.
Chapman, Brenda: Cold Mourning.
Chaput, W. J.: The Man on the Train.
Chase, Erika: Read and Buried.
Chastain, Thomas: 911 (aka The Christmas Bomber).
Chaze, Elliott: Goodbye Goliath.
Cheever, Sam: Christmas Grift.
Chesbro, George C.: Second Horseman Out of Eden; Colde Smell of Sacred Stone.
Childs, Laura: The Teaberry Strangler; Eggs on Ice.
Christie, Agatha: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (aka Murder for Christmas, aka Holiday for Murder); The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (novella); The Sittaford Mystery.
Christmas, Joyce: Dying Well; Fete Worse than Death.
Churchill, Jill: Farewell to Yarns; The Merchant of Menace; From Here to Paternity.
Clad, Noel: Savage.
Claire, Edie: Never Mess with Mistletoe.
Clark, Carol Higgins: Iced.
Clark, Mary Higgins: All Through the Night; Silent Night; My Gal Sunday; Silent Night.
Clark, Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark: Deck the Halls; The Christmas Thief; He Sees You When You're Sleeping; Dashing Through the Snow; Santa Cruise.
Cleland, Jane: Ornaments of Death.
Coco, Nancy: All I Want for Christmas is Fudge.
Coggin, Joan: Who Killed the Curate; Dancing with Death.
Cohen, Charles: Silver Linings.
Cohen, Tammy: Dying for Christmas.
Collier, Christine: Christmas at Cliffhanger Inn; A Holiday Sampler.
Collings, Rex: Clerical Crimes for Christmas.
Collins, Kate: Missing Under the Mistletoe.
Collins, Max Allen: Blue Christmas and Other Holiday Homicides (collection); No Cure for Death; Spree.
Colt, Jennifer: The Con Artist of Catalina Island.
Conant, Susan: Gone to the Dogs.
Connolly, Sheila. Gone to the Dogs.
Constantine, K.C.: Upon Some Midnights Clear.
Cooper, Natasha: Evil is Done.
Cornish, Constance: Dead of Winter.
Cornwell, Patricia: Scarpetta's Winter Table.
Cortez, Donn: Miami--Harm for the Holidays.
Cousins, Caroline: Fiddle Dee Death.
Coyle, Cleo: Holiday Grind; Holiday Buzz; Latte Trouble.
Craft, Michael: Body Language.
Craig, Alisa: Murder Goes Mumming.
Craig, Philip R.: A Deadly Vineyard Holiday; Off Season.
Crane, Hamilton: Starring Miss Seeton.
Crawford, Isis: A Catered Christmas; A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange.
Creasey, John: Death of a Postman.
Crespi, Trella: Trouble with Thin Ice.
Crider, Bill: Cursed to Death.
Crighton, Michael: Coma.
Crockett, Jessie: Live Free or Die.
Crombie, Deborah: Water Like a Stone; And Justice There is None.
Cross, Amanda: No Word from Winifred.
D'Amato, Barbara: Hard Christmas.
Daheim, Mary: The Alpine Christmas; Nutty as a Fruitcake; The Alpine Winter.
Daley, Kathi: Christmas Cozy; The Cat of Christmas Past; Alaskan Alliance.
Dams, Jeanne M.: The Body in the Transept; Indigo Christmas; Winter of Discontent.
Dane, Joel: The Christmas Tree Murders.
Danielewski, Cynthia: Night Fire.
Darrell, Elizabeth: Czech Mate.
Davenport, Chari: The Christmas Party.
Davidson, Diane Mott: Sweet Revenge.
Davidson, Mary Janice: Undead and Unreturnable.
Davis, Frederick: Drag the Dark.
Davis, Krista: The Diva Runs Out of Thyme; The Diva Cooks a Goose; Not a Creature was Purring; The Diva Wraps It Up.
Davis, Mildred B.: Tell Them What's Her Name Called; Three Minutes to Midnight.
Dawson, Janet: Nobody's Child.
Day, Marlis: Curriculum Murders.
De Castrique, Mark: Grave Undertaking.
Dean, Spencer: Credit for a Murder.
DeAndrea, William L.: Killed on the Ice.
Dee, Ed: Little Boy Blue.
Deeb, Mary Jane: Christmas Mystery in Provence.
Delany, Kathleen: Murder Half-Baked; Purebred Dead.
Delany, Vicki: Winter of Secrets; Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen; We Wish You a Murderous Christmas.
Demaree, Steve. A Body under the Christmas Tree.
Dengler, Sandy: Murder on the Mount.
Dentinger, Jane: The Queen is Dead.
Deverell, Diana: Twelve Drummers Drumming.
Dexter, Colin: The Secret of Annexe 3; Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (collection).
Dickson, Carter: The White Priority Murders.
Dobson, Joanne: Quieter Than Sleep.
Donnelly, Deborah: Died to Match; May the Best Man Die.
Dorsey, Tim: When the Elves Attack.
Douglas, Carole Nelson: Cat in a Golden Garland.
Douglas, Charlotte: Holidays are Murder.
Downing, Todd: The Last Trumpet.
Driscoll, Patricia: Shedding Light on Murder.
Drummond, John Keith: Tis the Season to be Dying.
Dubois, Brendan: The Gift of King Herod.
Duffy, James: The Christmas Gang.
Dunbar, Sophie: Shiveree.
Duncan, Elizabeth: A Killer's Christmas in Wales.
Duncan, Francis: Murder for Christmas.
Dunn, Carola: Mistletoe and Murder; Death at Wentwater Court.
Dunnett, Kaitlyn (Kathy Lynn Emerson): A Wee Christmas Homicide; Ho-Ho-Homicide.
Durham, Laura: Marry and Bright.
Durham, Mary: Keeps Death His Court.
Early, Barbara: Murder on the Toy Town Express; Death of a Russian Doll.
Eason, Lynette: Holiday Hideout.
Eberhart, Mignon G.: Postmark Murder.
Eddenden, A. E.: A Good Year for Murder.
Egan, Lesley: Crime for Christmas.
Eickhoff, Randy Lee: Then Came Christmas.
Ekwensi, Cyprian: Restless City; Christmas Gold.
Emerson, Kathy Lynn (as Kaitlyn Dunnett): A Wee Christmas Homicide; Ho-Ho-Homicide.
Emrick, K.J.: Murder, Wrapped Up; Christmas Spirit; The Naughty List.
Englehart, Steve: Christmas Countdown.
Erickson, Alex: Death by Eggnog.
Erskine, Margaret: A Graveyard Plot.
Estleman, Loren D.: The Glass Highway.
Evanovich, Janet: Visions of Sugar Plums.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Library

Dublin Murders adapted for TV from Tana French novels

Big news for Tana French fans! 

Starz acquired from Fremantle the eight-episode drama series Dublin Murders, adapted from Tana French’s novels In the Woods and The Likeness (both available from Penguin Books). Killian Scott (C.B. Strike) and Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful) lead the cast as detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox. Production is underway in Belfast and Dublin.

Dublin Murders follows Rob Reilly (Scott) – a smart-suited detective whose English accent marks him as an outsider – who is dispatched to investigate the murder of a young girl on the outskirts of Dublin with his partner, Cassie Maddox (Greene). Against his better judgment and protected by his friendship with Cassie, he is pulled back into another case of missing children and forced to confront his own darkness. As the case intensifies, Rob and Cassie’s relationship is tested to the breaking point and when Cassie is sent undercover for another murder case, she is forced to come face to face with her own brutal reckoning.

Dublin Murders will air on Starz in the U.S. and Canada as well as StarzPlay in Germany, France, Italy and Spain in 2019.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Chanukah



In an effort to find works by new and diverse authors, independent publishing house Polis Books is launching Agora Books, a diversity-focused imprint devoted to crime and noir fiction. Polis Books founder Jason Pinter said the new imprint will launch with three titles in fall 2019, and eventually publish six to 10 titles a year. 

The new imprint will be directed by Chantelle Aimée Osman, who has been named editor of Agora Books. Osman is the former editor-in-chief of RT Book Reviews Magazine, cohost of the Crime Fiction podcast, and the author of a variety of short fiction and nonfiction works. Pinter said Osman will acquire “about 75% of the Agora list and I’ll do the rest.”

The first three titles to be released from Agora in 2019 will be Three-Fifths by John Vercher, the story of a biracial man who discovers a childhood friend has become a neo-nazi; Remember by Patricia Smith, a novel about woman forced to reconcile with a painful past; and The Ninja Daughter by Tori Eldridge, the tale of a woman who dedicates herself to becoming a modern day ninja after the murder of her sister.


Philip Marlowe, Al Schwimmer, and the creation of Israel: Guest Post by Gavin Scott

Gavin Scott:
Philip Marlowe, Al Schwimmer, and the creation of Israel

When Raymond Chandler’s detective Philip Marlowe was investigating missing spouses, blackmailers, and wayward daughters in the Los Angeles of the late 1940s he might well have stumbled, in Burbank, across a real-life mystery of historic proportions. It involved the US Treasury, the FBI, the niece of the President of Panama, Nazi planes flown by Jewish pilots, and the creation of the air force that would change the shape of the Middle East.

To say nothing a limping former TWA flight engineer called Al Schwimmer.

As Chandler said “down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero – he is everything.” Al Schwimmer, I contend, was just such a man, and Philip Marlowe would have been proud to buy him a drink.

After the end of World War Two, Schwimmer, who had served in the Air Transport Command, was asked by his mother to go to the refugee camps in Europe to see if any of her family had survived the Final Solution. They hadn’t - and he was appalled to realise that the 300,000 survivors now in the camps had nowhere to go – except British-controlled Palestine, which the United Nations had decided should become a homeland for the Jews when British troops left in May 1948.

The problem was that the five well-armed Arab nations surrounding Israel had sworn to destroy it – and there was an international arms embargo which meant no-one could sell the Jews the weapons needed to defend themselves. Schwimmer foresaw a second Holocaust and was determined to do something about it.

This decision led him, of all places, to the Copacabana Nightclub in New York, a glamorous 1940’s hang-out full of busty show-girls, where Frank Sinatra often sang. But Al had not come to ogle the girls or hear Ole Blue Eyes: he slipped discretely through the crowd and was ushered backstage, away from the noise of the band. Here he was directed to a room in the hotel above, which was used by the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organisation, as their New York headquarters. If Israel is to survive an Arab attack it will need warplanes, Al told the Haganah men. America has thousands of surplus warplanes which they won’t sell to Israel – but what if I set up a dummy company and buy them on Israel’s behalf?

The Haganah men listened, and told Al to wait while they checked him out and checked him out again. Then, deciding he was on the up and up, they gave him the money to start buying planes.

He went to work straight away and purchased 10 semi-derelict C46s for $5,000 each and 3 C69 Constellations for $15,000 each. Then he hired crews to put them in working order. This is where Burbank airport comes into the story, as several of the planes came from US Air Force bases on Hawaii and the West Coast, and Burbank was a convenient place to refurbish them, with funds sent by Haganah via the Hollywood branch of the Bank of America.

This is the clue Marlowe might have picked up on, had he been drawn into the case. Certainly the State Department, which favoured the cause of the oil-rich Arab states, was trying to find out what was going on and stop it, aided by the US Treasury and the FBI. “The FBI was on our tail,” Schwimmer said in Boaz Dvir’s moving documentary On a Wing and a Prayer, not long before he died. “But when they were here, we were there, and vice versa. We were never available.”

While the planes were being readied, Al got in touch with pilots and technicians he had flown with during the war and persuaded them to join him – making it clear that saying yes would put them on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. In fact, if they were caught and found in breach of the Neutrality Act, they risked not only jail but losing their American citizenship. One man gave up a place at medical school he’d been working towards for three years to come aboard. Another had to escape a British prison to join the team. One said he’d decided to join when he talked to a cousin who’d been in the death camps and whose little daughter, deprived of water, had been so desperate the mother had used her own urine to wet the child’s lips. “How could I not do what Al was asking when I’d heard that?” he said later.

Meanwhile Haganah was desperately trying to find someone sell them weapons, and struck lucky in Czechoslovakia. Despite the international embargo, the Czechs, after years of Nazi occupation, agreed to sell them $12 million worth of weapons left behind by the fleeing Germans. These included 30,000 Mauser rifles stamped with the Nazi eagle, 15,000 machine guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition – and 25 rebuilt Nazi Messerschmitts.
It would be a game changer if they could reach Israel before the Arabs attacked – but that was a big if. Czechoslovakia was landlocked and surrounded by countries that wouldn’t break the embargo to let the arms through. And the Messerschmitts simply didn't have the range to be flown to the Middle East by themselves.

Could Al, asked Haganah, get his C46’s from California to Czechoslovakia, take the Messerschmitts to pieces, load them aboard with all the rifles, ammunition and machine guns they’d bought, and get to Israel after the British left but before the Arabs attacked?

Al was not the kind of man who ducked a challenge, but he knew the FBI was closing in, and he desperately needed a cover story to stop the planes being seized before they were ready to fly. He found one through a pilot pal with the wonderful name of Marty Belafonte, who, it turned out, was married to the niece of the President of Panama.

Panama had a large white elephant of an airport, but didn't have an actual airline.

The niece got Al through to the President of Panama, the President said yes to his offer of an airline, and Al assembled his pilots, painted a Panamanian logo on his planes, filled them with spare parts and prepared to fly out of Burbank.

At which point Customs agents got wind of what was going on, raced to the airport and blocked the runway with cars.

That should have been the end of it, for anybody else except Al. He told the Customs agents they would have to shoot the planes down if they wanted to stop them – and then told his pilots to fly their lumbering, over-laden transports right at the cars.

Minutes later, with just feet to spare, Al’s air force was headed south to Panama.

But despite the welcoming band (At last! We have an airline!) the planes didn't stop in there – they went right on to Brazil, bamboozled British South American Airways into helping them with radio support, and set off across the Atlantic to Dakar in Africa.

From Dakar they flew to Casablanca (of course, they had to come to Casablanca) refueled in Sicily and finally, after an epic journey, touched down in Czechoslovakia.

Here, after the pilots had been taught how to fly the Nazi fighter planes, the Messerschmitts (re-named Avias) were dismantled and stashed inside the C46s. But when Al’s Air Force took off again, they were really racing against time.

The British rule over Palestine would end at midnight on May 15th 1948.

The State of Israel would then come into being – and the five surrounding Arab nations were poised to attack immediately.

The planes just made it. Exactly ten minutes after Israel was born, the C46’s began landing at an airport near Tel Aviv, and before the engines had shut down their weapons were being unloaded and distributed to the beleaguered settlers.

But the Messerschmitts couldn't be reassembled in an instant – and by the time they were ready it was almost too late: the Egyptian army, backed by British built Spitfires, had almost reached Tel Aviv.
But not quite – and when Al’s planes appeared out of nowhere and rained a totally unexpected barrage of fire from the air, the Egyptian advance halted in its tracks – and never resumed. All over Israel, the newly-armed settlers fought the invaders to a standstill, and then turned the tide. Gradually, as Israeli soldiers took control of the ground, Israeli planes took control of the skies, and the fledgling state survived.

Al Schwimmer returned to the States, was tried along with others for violating the Neutrality Act, and though he escaped jail, was stripped of his rights as a US citizen. When David Ben Gurion asked him to come back to Israel and head up Israel Aerospace Industries, he did so, prospered, and died there in 2011, aged 94.

Many of the men he recruited lost their lives in the conflict, but others returned to civilian life as pilots, radio operators, doctors. Fascinatingly one of them, Harold Livingston, ended up in the same profession as Raymond Chandler and wrote, with perfect poetic symmetry, many episodes of a popular television series.

It was called Mission Impossible, and in my view, if anyone had the qualifications to write material like that, it was a member of Al Schwimmer’s Air Force.

I just wish Raymond Chandler had sent Philip Marlowe out to Burbank, to check out the mystery while it was still unfolding. Maybe it would have been his greatest adventure.


Gavin Scott came across Al Schwimmer’s story while researching his detective thriller The Age of Exodus, which is published by Titan Books/Random House in September. He is a former BBC reporter and his screenplays have been produced by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Nero Award Winner

The Wolfe Pack announced the Nero Award Winner for 2018.

The "Nero" is an annual award presented to an author for literary excellence in the mystery genre. The award was presented last night at the Black Orchid Banquet in New York City.

August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho)