Tuesday, December 31, 2019

M. C. BEATON: R.I.P.

Such sad news. Prolific writer, M.C. Beaton, creator of the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series, as well as Edwardian Murder Mysteries, Stand-alones, and historical romances, passed away yesterday at the age of 83 after a short illness.

From the Bookseller:

"Success came to her later in life but she made up for lost time - since 2011 she had been the most borrowed UK adult author in British libraries and her M C Beaton titles have sold in excess of 21 million copies worldwide," a spokesman from her publisher Little Brown said in a statement. "However, she hated being referred to as a ‘cozy’ writer, saying that if anyone called her books cozy she’d give them a Glasgow Kiss. She always saw herself more as an entertainer than author."

M C Beaton's editor Krystyna Green commented: "I’m going to miss her dreadfully as after 23 years I’d grown from being in awe of her, to thinking she was absolutely wonderful - and very kind under her rather fierce exterior. She was forthright and uncompromising and never afraid to express a view, no matter how unfashionable. She was funny, wise, and truly an inspiring, utterly unique individual. This is just such a sad end to the year."
 
From M.C. Beaton's website: 

M.C. Beaton was born in Glasgow, Scotland. She started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department at John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she received an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to become their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing experience, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter.

After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion moved to the United States where Harry had been offered the position of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. They subsequently moved to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs at Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York. Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, supported by her husband, started to write Regency romances. After she had written close to 100, and had gotten fed up with the 1811 to 1820 period, she began to write detective stories under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Hamish Macbeth story. Marion and Harry returned to Britain and bought a croft house in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. When her son graduated, and both of his parents tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds, where Agatha Raisin was created.

While Marion wrote her historical romances under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, as well as several pseudonyms (Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, and Charlotte Ward), because of her great success with mystery novels as M. C. Beaton, most of her publishers both in the U.S. and abroad use the M. C. Beaton pseudonym for all of her novels.

Cara Black's Recipe for Champagne Stiletto

Toast the New Year with Cara Black's recipe for  Champagne Stiletto. Love Cara's Aimee Leduc mystery series. The books are set in different arrondissements in Paris. What's not to love?



CHAMPAGNE IN CRIME FICTION//MYSTERIES: National Champagne Day

If you follow this blog or if you know me in real time, you know that I'm a list maker. And, since today is National Champagne Day, I'm posting an updated list of mysteries in which Champagne plays a prominent role. I know that Champagne appears many times in Dashiell Hammett's Thin Man books. Nick and Nora drink a lot of champagne in the movies, too. So here's a short list of 'Champagne' books to toast (and read) on New Year's Eve. Check out my New Year's Crime Fiction and Movie list, too. Champagne is featured in some of them, although not necessarily as the main focus. Please comment with any additional titles.

CHAMPAGNE IN MYSTERIES

Champagne Widows by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen
Murder & Champagne by Ashok Banker
The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell
The Charlemagne Connection by R.M. Cartmel
Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie
Tug of War by Barbara Cleverly
The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby
Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson
Murder Can Crash Your Party by Selma Eichler
Champagne Fuhrern by Kare Hallden (in Swedish)
The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel
Champagne: The Farewell by Janet Hubbard
Secret Lies and Champagne Highs by Jeanette Hubbard
The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Champagne Blues by Ivan and Nat Lyons
Dry Bones by Peter May
Champagne and a Gardener by B.J. Morison
Design for Dying by Renee Patrick
Champagne for Buzzards by Phyllis Smallman
Murder by Champagne by Keith Spicer
Champagne and Cocaine by Richard Vetere
Champagne for One by Rex Stout

And here's a true mystery related story about Champagne, especially for history mystery folks. This was reported in The Daily Mail (UK) July 2010. Talk about a vintage that holds its own!

Divers have discovered what is thought to be the world's oldest drinkable champagne in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.
  They have already tested out the contents of one bottle and claim it tastes 'fantastic' despite dating back to the late 18th century.
   Diving instructor Christian Ekstrom said the bottles are believed to be from the 1780s and likely were part of a cargo destined for Russia.
   'We brought up the bottle to be able to establish how old the wreck was. We didn't know it would be champagne. We thought it was wine or something,' he said.
   Ekstrom said the divers were overjoyed when they popped the cork on their boat after hauling the bubbly from a depth of 200 feet (60 meters).
   'It tasted fantastic. It was a very sweet champagne, with a tobacco taste and oak,' Ekstrom said.
   The divers discovered the shipwreck near the Aland Islands, between Sweden and Finland. About 30 bottles are believed to be aboard the sunken vessel.
Read More Here.

And, then, of course, there's always Sabering Champagne, as opposed to savoring Champagne. Sabering is opening the champagne bottle with a saber. A talent a mystery reader and writer might have or at the very least figure in a plot---sabering gone wrong!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

NEW YEAR'S MYSTERIES, CRIME FICTION, THRILLERS, AND MOVIES!

New Year's Mysteries! Mysteries, Crime Fiction, Thrillers and Movies that take place at the New Year. 

I wish you a safe, healthy and prosperous 2020. May Mystery and Mayhem only happen in crime fiction!

Crime Fiction Set at the New Year
As always, let me know if I've missed any titles.

Marian Babson: Line up for Murder
Bain, Donald and Jessica Fletcher. Murder She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood
T. L. Barnett: Murder for the New Year
George Baxt: The Marlene Dietrich Murder Case
George Bellairs: The Case of the Headless Jesuit
Nero Blanc: A Crossworder's Gift
Brazil, Paul: Guns of Brixton; Cold London Blues
Jon L. Breen: Touch of the Past
Rita Mae Brown: Full Cry
Alison Cairns: New Year Resolution
Lillian Stewart Carl: The Blue Hackle
C.S. Challinor: Murder at Midnight
Lee Child (ed): Killer Year: Stories to Die for
Anne Cleeves: Raven Black
Anna Ashwood Collins: Deadly Resolutions
Patricia Cornwell: Cause of Death
Mark Costello: Bag Men
Alisa Craig: Murder Goes Mumming
Jeffrey Deaver: The Devil's Teardrop
Colin Dexter: The Secret of Annexe 3
Carter Dickson: Death and the Gilded Man
Carole Nelson Douglas: Cat on a Hyacinth Hunt
Loren D. Estleman: Stress
Janet Evanovich: Plum New Year
J. Jefferson Fargeon: Death in Fancy Dress (aka The Fancy Dress Ball)
Quinn Fawcett: Siren Song
Jerrilyn Farmer: Dim Sum Dead
Frederick Forsyth: The Fourth Protocol
Janet Gleeson: The Grenadillo Box
J.M. Gregson: The Lancashire Leopard
Jane Haddam: Fountain of Death
Karen Harper: The Queene's Christmas
Lee Harris: The New Year's Eve Murder
Ellen Hart: Hallowed Murder, Merchant of Venus
Roy Hart: Seascape with Dead Figures
Lauren Henderson: Pretty Boy
Reginald Hill: Killing The Lawyers
J.A. Jance: Name Withheld
Rufus King: Holiday Homicide
Frances and Richard Lockridge: The Dishonest Murderer
Heather Dune Macadam: The Weeping Buddha
Ed McBain: Lullaby
Johnston McCulley: New Year's Pardon; New Year's Duty
Philip McLauren: Scream Black Murder
Elisabeth McNeill: Hot News
Leslie Meier: New Year's Eve Murder
James Melville: Body Wore Brocade
David William Meredith: The Christmas Card Murders
Miriam Ann Moore: Stayin' Alive
Tamar Myers: A Penny Urned
Leonardo Padura: Havana Blue (starts with a New Year's Eve hangover)
Elizabeth Peters: The Golden One
Edward O. Phillips: Sunday's Child
Ellery Queen: Calamity Town
Craig Rice: The Right Murder
Gillian Roberts: The Mummer’s Curse
Cindy Sample: Dying for a Date
Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (begins on New Year's Eve)
Catherine Shaw: Fatal Inheritance
Joan Smith: Don't Leave Me This Way, Why Aren't They Screaming
Meg Taggart: Murder at the Savoy
Kathleen Taylor: Cold Front
Charles Todd: A Long Shadow
Auralee Wallace: Ring in the Year with Murder
Patricia Wentworth: Clock Strikes Twelve
Valerie Wolzein: 'Tis the Season to be Murdered (aka And a Lethal New Year)
James Ziskin: Stone Cold Dead
Mark Richard Zubro: The Truth Can Get You Killed

Short Story:
Q. Patrick: "Murder on New Year's Eve"

You might also want to check out my Christmas list (Christmas Mysteries, Authors A-Z). Some of the books' action spills over into the New Year.

And here's a list of Mystery Movies that take place at the New Year.

Happy Viewing:


After the Thin Man (1936)
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Entrapment (1999)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Little Caesar (1931)
Money Train (1995)
New Year's Evil (1980)
Night Train to Paris (1964) 
Ocean's 11 (1960)
Strange Days (1995)
Survivor (2015)

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Horoscope

Happy Caturday!


The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2019 Winners & Dishonorable Mentions


Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels.

The contest was the misbegotten brainchild of Professor Scott Rice, whose graduate school excavations unearthed what he took to be the source of the line “It was a dark and stormy night.” Sentenced to write a seminar paper on a minor Victorian novelist, he chose the man with the funny hyphenated name, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. Best known for The Last Days of Pompeii, his novel Paul Clifford began with the famous opener that has been plagiarized repeatedly by the cartoon beagle, Snoopy.

The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest 2019

2019 Grand Prize

Space Fleet Commander Brad Brad sat in silence, surrounded by a slowly dissipating cloud of smoke, maintaining the same forlorn frown that had been fixed upon his face since he’d accidentally destroyed the phenomenon known as time, thirteen inches ago.
-- Maxwell Archer, Mt Pleasant, Ontario, Canada

Grand Panjandrum's Special Award

Emile Zola wandered the dank and soggy streets of a gloomy Parisian night, the injustice of the Dreyfus affair weighing on him like a thousand baguettes, dreaming of some massage or therapy to relieve the tension and pain in his aching shoulders and back, and then suddenly he thought of his Italian friends and their newly invented warm water bath with air jets and he rapturously exclaimed that oft misquoted declaration — "Jacuzzi!" ​
-- Robert R Moore, North Falmouth, MA

Crime/Detective:

Winner

Realising that his symptoms indicated a virtually undetectable, fast acting neurotoxin, CIA coroner Quinn Abner frantically wrote up the details, lay on the floor and, as a professional courtesy, did his best to draw a chalk outline of himself.
-- Jeremy Das, Loughborough, England

Dishonorable Mentions

Olivia followed her breasts into my office where I was studying the dead flies on the window sill and dropped a large brown envelope on my desk, which rearranged the dust as it came to rest next to my right elbow, causing me to lose interest in the flies as I watched her walk away, watched carefully while wondering if the motion of her hips could bring a dead man back to life, which led to wondering what she could do to a man who was still alive.
--Will Dennehy, Cambridge, MD

As he pounded on the door, Billy ‘Four-Toes’ Capalone, wondered, not for the first time, if he wouldn’t have been better off in the joint, or even taking a concrete nap, but instead, he straightened his tie and gripped his bible, determined not to blow his cover in the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program.
--Arlen Feldman, Colorado Springs, CO

Eyes bleary from yet another night of fruitlessly staking out the Ritz Motel in West Hollywood’s seedier quarter, hoping to get some usable dirt on Mrs. Hennigan’s wayward hubby Bill, Niles Cranworth, P.I., pushed the start button, cranked the wheel over, and pointed his well-traveled Chrysler 300 southward on La Cienega Boulevard (“La Cienega,” he noted with irony, being Spanish for “the cienega”).
--Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA

Detective Wilhelm Schmidt’s raspy voice poured through the telephone receiver like a dump truck of gravel unburdening its load—much like the trucks that worked around the clock at Rohrer’s Quarry off of 1-81, transporting payloads of lime, sandstone, crushed rock, and gypsum—though with Detective Schmidt’s heavy German accent, excavation on its own would not suffice, and a second, albeit entirely different industry would need to be invoked to really paint a crystal clear picture of his voice.
--Cody Hanna, Lancaster, PA

Prisoner #4420991 selected two large snow cones for his pre-execution last meal, much to everyone’s surprise, but #4420991 knew that death by lethal injection would come as sweet relief when balanced against the snow cone headache he expected to have.
--Greg Homer, Diamond Springs, CA

“I remember the moon had a face like Hannibal Lecter and that the wind blowing through the trees reminded me of the music from Psycho,” stated Effie Laudermilk as she sat in the courtroom stand on trial for the murder (which she vehemently denied) of her boyfriend whose partially eaten body was found in his car at the bottom of a pond.
--Randy Blanton, Murfreesboro, TN

Dark & Stormy 

Winner 

It was a dark and stormy night, and since this was Miami in July and everyone had left their convertible tops down, the rain fell in Cadillacs.
--Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA

Dishonorable Mentions 

It was a Dark & Stormy Night; the rain fell in torrents outside the Breast Western—the country-themed strip club where the exotic dance duo of Stormy and Dark rattled the house (for it was a Tuesday), and fiercely agitated the lustful flames of the patrons who struggled in the darkness to rearrange their Wranglers.
-- Coby J. Scott, Hollywood, CA

It was a dark and stormy night; the suburb was devoid of most life and color, and all you could see was the dull gaslights, dark clouds, and deep indigo sky; but to Jade, it was almost the same, because, you know, according to modern studies, dogs can see only blue, yellow, and grey. Saraswathy Ashok, Trivandrum, India

He was a dark and stormy knight; his blows fell in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when they were checked by a violent gust of wind to which he fiercely agitated a scanty flame in his struggle to light it, for there was jesting in his jousting.
--John Change, Crafers, Australia

It was a bright and shiny day, the sun scorched the pavement—except under a spreading chestnut tree, where it flattened the shadows and starkly enhanced the contrasts (for it is in Hollywood that the script begins), illuminating the story line, and manifestly motivating the florid actors who fussed and fumed about their lines.
S--Kevin Anderson, Kiel, Germany

Read the winners and dishonorable mentions in other categories here.

Friday, December 27, 2019

MARGALIT FOX: Lecture and Signing, January 12, Walnut Creek (CA)

Margalit Fox, author of Conan Doyle for the Defense, will be speaking at Congregation B'Nai Shalom, Walnut Creek, on Sunday January 12 at 3 p.m. Books will be available for signing. Light refreshments will be served. Open to the public.


Cartoon of the Day: Dogs & Newspapers


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Mistletoe


BOXING DAY MYSTERIES // BOXING DAY CRIME FICTION

December 26 is Boxing Day. I've put together a list of over 1400 mysteries that take place at Christmas, and although I'm sure several of the mysteries on the list continue mystery and mayhem through Boxing Day, I've only found a few mysteries that focus or start specifically on Boxing Day.

One Boxing Day Mystery is Nicholas Blake's Thou Shell of Death (1936). Nicholas Blake is the pseudonym of Cecil Day Lewis, the late British poet laureate.

Thou Shell of Death features Fergus O'Brien, WWI flying ace. Fergus receives four letters predicting that he will be murdered on Boxing Day. Despite this, or maybe because of this, he plans a party and invites all the suspects (there are several people who might want to do him in) plus private detective Nigel Strangeways. O'Brien does die, and it's up to Nigel Strangeways with the help of Inspector Blount of Scotland Yard to solve the crime. This is Blount's first appearance in the series. Thou Shell of Death is an oldie but goodie, especially if you like houseparty mysteries.

There are three other novels that focus on Boxing Day. A frozen body is found on Boxing Day in Viveca Sten's In Harm's Way. Another mystery is Gilbert Adair's The Act of Roger Murgatroyd that takes place entirely on Boxing Day. This is part of his series of novels about Evadne Mount, and is clearly a play on Agatha Christie novels. In another Boxing Day mystery, Death at Sandringham House by C.C. Benison, Her Majesty the Queen, along with her housemaid Jane Bee, investigates.

And, if you're unfamiliar with Boxing Day, it's the day after Christmas, when "servants and tradesmen traditionally would receive gifts from their superiors." Today it's a National Holiday in most of the British Commonwealth and former British colonies. As far as why it's called Boxing Day, there are several different theories:

A ‘Christmas Box in Britain is a name for a Christmas present.

Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.

A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas day then opened the next day.

Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.

Are there any other Boxing Day Mysteries I've forgotten?

And, if you're not tired of cooking and baking, today is also Candy Cane Day. Here are some great ideas of What to do with Leftover Candy Canes!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Letters from Santa


P.J. Nunn: R.I.P.

Sad news: P.J. Nunn: R.I.P. 

Kate Nunn, PJ Nunn’s oldest daughter, posted on her Facebook wall:

I am sad to say that PJ passed away on Thursday night. It was very sudden and unexpected. She was sick but doing as well as could be expected that morning. Late that afternoon, the combination of 2 infections she was fighting and the medicine to fight them became too much for her heart. She had a heart attack and they were never able to stabilize her after that. She was gone within a couple of hours. She truly loved the people she worked with, worked for, and worked alongside. 

Some of you know her as your publicist (past or present) and some of you knew her from her activity as a book lover, book reviewer, and author. She edited. She supported. She had great ideas and a wonderful sense of humor. She will be missed by many people that knew her to wear so many different hats. 

In 1998, P.J. Nunn founded BreakThrough Promotions, now a national public relations firm helping authors, mostly of mystery novels, publicize themselves and their work. P. J. was the author of Private Spies and Shadow in the Pines.

Go FundMe for Patti Nunn family.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Best Cat Christmas Ever

Happy Caturday Christmas!

WINTER SOLSTICE CRIME FICTION

I love the Winter Solstice. I love light, so I'm glad the days will now begin to lengthen.

I put together a huge list of Christmas Mysteries again this year, and I'm sure some of those authors/titles reference the Winter Solstice, too. Here are a few that really center on the Winter Solstice. Any titles/authors you can add?

Winter Solstice Mysteries

Fitt, Mary: Death and the Shortest Day
Joan Hess: A Holly Jolly Murder
Jane Langton: The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels
Henning Mankel: Italian Shoes
Ngaio Marsh: Off with His Head
Gladys Mitchell: The Dancing Druids

And, if you want to celebrate your Winter Solstice in chocolate, check out How to Make a Yule Log aka Buche de Noel on my other blog, DyingforChocolate.com.

Also, Trader Joe's has a new seasonal ice cream flavor: Buche de Noel.
 

Friday, December 20, 2019

CHRISTMAS CRIME: Short Stories, Novellas, & Anthologies

Here's my Christmas Mystery Short Stories, Novellas, and Anthologies from the Christmas Mystery Novel lists. There may be some overlaps with the Christmas Novel Lists. Let me know, and I can easily update this list with additions.

For the Christmas Novel lists by Author, go here: Authors A-EAuthors F-L, Authors M-Z.

SHORT STORIES & ANTHOLOGIES

Adrian, Jack: Crime at Christmas.
Andrews, Donna, Barb Goffman & Marcia Talley (editors): Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment.
Asimov, Isaac (ed.): Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Bedfprd. Jean (ed): Moonlight Becomes You.
Benedict, Laura, Carolyn Haines, & Lisa Morton (ed): Haunted Holidays.
Bennett, Jenna: Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries.
Browning, Abigail (ed.): Murder Most Merry.
Burton, Tony (ed.): By the Chimney with Care; Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters; Dying in a Winter Wonderland.
Cornwell, Bernard: Sharpe's Christmas--Two Short Stories.
Bill Crider, Terence Faherty, Wendi Lee, & Aileen Schumacher: Murder, Mayhem, and Mistletoe
Dalby, Richard (ed.): Crime for Christmas; Mistletoe & Mayhem.
Doyle, Arthur Conan: "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle".
Edwards, Martin (ed.): Crimson Snow (British Library Crime Classics).
Floyd, John (ed.): The Gift of Murder.
Fowler, Christopher: "Bryant & May and the Secret Santa".
Gayford, Cecily (ed): Murder Under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season.
Godfrey, Thomas (ed.): Murder for Christmas--26 Tales of Seasonal Malice.
Goffman, Barb (et al., eds.): Chesapeake Crimes--Homicidal Holidays.
Greenberg, Martin H (ed.): Cat Crimes for the Holidays; Holmes for the Holidays; Santa Clues; More Holmes for the Holidays; Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Halliday, Gemma (ed): Cozy Christmas Capers: 19 Holiday Short Stories.
Harris, Charlaine (ed.): Wolfsbane and Mistletoe.
Heald, Tim (ed.): A Classic Christmas Crime.
Hochensmith, Steve: Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime.
Holmes, Dee: Silent Night.
James, P.D.: The Mistletoe Murder and other stories.
Knight, Stephen (ed.): A Corpse at the Opera House; Murder at Home; Crimes for a Summer Christmas; More Crimes for a Summer Christmas.
Lovesey, Peter (Forward by): The Usual Santas: A Collection of Crime Christmas Capers.
MacLeod, Charlotte (ed.): Mistletoe Mysteries--Tales of Yuletide Murder; Christmas Stalkings--Tales of Yuletide Murder.
McCoy, Judi, Katherine Hall Page, Joanne Pence, et al: Mistletoe and Mayhem.
Manson, Cynthia (ed.): Christmas Crimes; Merry Murder; Murder Under the Mistletoe; Mystery for Christmas; Murder at Christmas.
Marks, Jeffrey (ed.): Canine Christmas.
Penzler, Otto (ed.).: Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop; The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries.
Slater, Susan: Crooks, Crimes and Christmas.
Soles, Caro (ed.).: Blood on the Holly.
Wilson, Gahan: Murder for Christmas: 26 Tales of Seasonal Malice.

Christmas Crimes: Stories from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchocok Mystery Magazine: stories by Ron Goulart, Edward D. Hoch, John Dickson Carr, Anne Cleeves, and more.

NOVELLAS

Allan, Barbara: Antiques Fruitcake.
Avocato, Lori (and others): Sugarplums and Scandal.
Baker, Deb: Murder Trims the Tree.
Barritt, Christy. Pranced.
Bennett, Jenna: Contingent on Approval.
Berry, Linda (and others): The Last Noel.
Block, Barbara (and others): Murder Most Merry.
Brewer, Steve (and others): The Last Noel; Sanity Clause (e-novella).
Burke, Christina: Queenie Baby: Pass the Eggnog.
Calhoun, Lynn: Santa Puppy.
Coco, Nancy: All I Want for Christmas is Fudge.
Collins, Kate:  Missing Under the Mistletoe.
Coward, Mat (and others): The Last Noel.
Dane, Catherine (and others): The Last Noel.
Early, Barbara: Gold, Frankincense, and Murder.
Emrick, K.J.: The Ghost of Christmas.
Faherty, Terence (and others): Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe.
Fluke, Joanne (and others): Candy Cane Murder; Gingerbread Cookie Murder.
Genova, Rosie: The Seven-Course Christmas Killer.
Hathaway, L.B.: A Christmas Case: A Posie Parker Novella.
Jaffarian, Sue Ann: The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary. 
Kelly, Diane: Death, Taxes, and Mistletoe Mayhem.
Kelner, Toni L.P. (and others): Murder Under the Tree.
Martin, Nancy: Slay Belles.
Mitcheltree, Tom (and others): How Still We See Thee Lie.
O'Donohue, Clare: Cathedral Windows.
Pence, Joanne: Cook's Christmas Capers.
Raybourn, Deanna: Silent Night--A Lady Julia Christmas Novella.
Robb, J.D. (and others): Silent Night.
Shelton, Connie: Holidays Can Be Murder.
Walker, Martin: Bruno and the Carol Singers.
Ward, Tamara: Jade O'Reilly and the 12 Days of Christmas.
Winston, Lois: Elementary, My Dear Gertie.

Cartoon of the Day: Scrabble


Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Christmas Book Flood: ICELAND

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 traditions,  Easter Norwegian reading tradition - Paskekrim. But this one in Iceland also involves chocolate!


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Holiday Stress


CREATURES, CRIMES & CREATIVITY CON

Creatures, Crimes & Creativity Con is being held on August 28-30, 2020 at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center in Columbia, MD. The purpose is to gather readers and writers of all genre fiction; including mystery, suspense, romance, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal etc. There will be panels to interest both writers and fans. All meals will be included and everyone will eat all of their meals together. There will be keynote speeches, guest interviews and Friday night we will have Noir At The Bar! All of this and so much more!

Hank Phillippi Ryan will be the keynote speaker.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV. She’s won 36 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. The bestselling author of 11 mysteries, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a master of suspense” and “a superb and gifted storyteller” and she is the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her novels have been named Library Journal’s Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her highly-acclaimed first standalone psychological suspense, TRUST ME, is an Agatha Nominee and was also named a Best Thriller by New York Post, BOOK BUB, Real Simple Magazine, CrimeReads and Criminal Element. Hank’s newest book is THE MURDER LIST. NYT bestseller Liv Constantine calls it “an exhilarating thrill ride,” A.J. Finn says, “exciting, explosive, relentless,” B.A. Paris says it’s “her best yet,” and Library Journal starred review says, Masterly plotted—with a twisted ending—a riveting, character-driven story.” Hank is a founder of MWA University and past president of National Sisters in Crime.

Second local guest will be none other James Grady! 

JAMES GRADY has published more than a dozen novels, a handful of short stories, and worked in both feature films and television. His first novel, Six Days of the Condor, was made into a classic Robert Redford movie. Grady’s been both a U.S. Senate aide and a national investigative reporter. Grady’s writing honors include France’s Grand Prix du Roman Noir (2001) and Italy’s Raymond Chandler Medal (2003). He has two children and lives with his wife inside Washington, D.C.’s beltway.

Starting off the 2020 lineup is the first guest author: Kathleen Barber.

KATHLEEN BARBER is a former attorney, incurable wanderer, and yoga enthusiast. Originally from Galesburg, Illinois, she is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law. She now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and son. Her first novel ARE YOU SLEEPING (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster, August 2017) is being adapted into a series called “Truth Be Told” for Apple TV+ by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Her second novel FOLLOW ME is forthcoming from Gallery Books on February 25, 2020. More to come on Kathleen and the class she will be teaching at C3 2020!

Register here: http://creaturescrimesandcreativity.com/?page_id=2249

THE BUCHBINDER NEW AUTHOR SCHOLARSHIP!


Are you a new writer just starting out? Are you interested in attending the C3 Con but just can’t afford it? Then you are in luck! Sharon Buchbinder is sponsoring a full price scholarship for one new author to attend the C3 con in 2020! In order to be eligible for this scholarship you must be a new author wanting to learn more about becoming an author, developing your craft or may have just finished your first novel and need some help to figure out this crazy industry. Send a brief paragraph about why you think you deserve this scholarship to info@intriguepublishing.com. Entries for the scholarship need to be in no later than June 30,  2020. We will announce the winner in the newsletter and on our Facebook page July 1st!


Win a new Kindle at the 2020 C3 Con just for tweeting.  Here’s how!


Join in on the conversations on the C3 Facebook page!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: The Donner Party


HANUKKAH CRIME FICTION// Chanukkah Mysteries

Chanukah (no matter how you spell it - Hanukah, Hanukkah) is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah starts on Sunday night, so you have plenty of time to read all these books! Let me know if I've missed any mysteries. This is an updated list.

Hanukkah Mystery Novels
A Crafty Christmas by Molly Cox Bryan
Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned)
Beautiful Lie the Dead by Barbara Fradkin
Strength to Stand by Sheyna Galyan
Festival of Deaths by Jane Haddam
Hanukkah Gelt by T. Lee Harris
Out of the Frying Pan into the Choir by Sharon Kahn
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Murder at the Minyan by Shlumat E. Kustanowitz
The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned)
Dog Have Mercy by Neil Plakcy
Chanukah Guilt by Ilene Schneider
The Tattooed Rabbi by Marvin J. Wolf
Mom Lights a Candle by James Yaffe

Children's Hanukah Mysteries
Rabbi Rocketpower and the Mystery of the Missing Menorahs - A Hanukkah Humdinger! by Rabbi Susan Abramson and Aaron Dvorkin and Ariel DiOrio
Too Many Latkes: A Chanukah Mystery by Sonia Zylberberg
The Mohel from Mars by Miri Ariel
The Case of the Disappearing Chanukah Candles by Ellen Roteman
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket.

Mystery Short Stories
"Mom Lights a Candle" by James Yaffe, appeared in Mystery: The Best of 2002, ed. by Jon L. Breen.
"Hanukah" by Morris Hershman in Cat Crimes for the Holidays, ed. by Martin Greenberg, Edward Gorman and Larry Segriff
"The Worse Noel" by Barb Goffman in The Gift of Murder, ed. by John M. Floyd
"Death on the List" by B.K. Stevens (AHMM, January 1999)
For more info on Jewish short story mysteries, check out Steven Steinbock who blogs on Criminal Brief, the Mystery Short Story Web Log Project.
"Navidad" by Elizabeth Zelvin, EQMM, January 2011
"No Candles for Antiochus" by Barry Ergang
Murder is no Mitzvah: Short Stories about Jewish Occasions, edited by Abigail Browning
The Latke in the Library & Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah by Libi Astaire

Mystery Anthologies
The Melancholy Menorah (Jewish Regency Mystery Stories Book 4), Libi Astaire
The Latke in the Library and Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah, Libi Astaire
36 Candles: Chassidic Tales for Chanukah, Libi Astaire
Murder is No Mitzvah: Short Mysteries About Jewish Occasions, Abigail Browning
Jewish Noir, Edited by Kenneth Wishnia

Mystery Games
Children's software mystery game: Who Stole Hanukkah? offered in five languages: English, Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish
Other Games for Children: The Case of the Stolen Menorah: An Enlightening Hanukkah Mystery

Monday, December 16, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Christmas Shopping


Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore is Saved!

Great News! San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore is saved!

With just days to go before it would have to close its doors forever, San Diego's science fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery & Horfor bookstore Mysterious Galaxy has found a new location and new owners: Jenni Marchisotto and Matthew Berger have bought the store and will run it at its new home, 3555 Rosecrans St. Suite #107 San Diego, CA 92110.

Everyone's keeping their jobs, too. It's a Christmas miracle. I'm looking forward to having lots more events with them in the years to come!

From BoingBoing:
From Jenni: The first books I ever loved, the ones I read over and over again until the bindings practically disintegrated, were The Song of the Lioness and The Immortals quartets by Tamora Pierce. I spent much of my childhood dreaming about having purple eyes and debating whether Alanna should have ended up Jonathan or George with my cousin Courtney. As an adult I still get carried away by reading. For my degree I focused on disability in 20th century Anglophone literature. I could talk about James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Shani Mootoo for hours. I’m also a sucker for romance and fantasy. Some of my favorites include Helen Hoang, Sarah J. Maas, J. R. Ward, Richelle Mead, and Jasmine Guillory. I'm currently reading Arora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik & Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab by Shani Mootoo.
From Matt: I have spent far too much time trying to figure out how to make a lightsaber work. Like, how do you get light to take a shape? Growing up, my days were filled with thoughts about the worlds authors built in my favorite series: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Feist’s Magician series, Eragon, and countless others. In college, I decided to think some more about books, so I studied literature, including Latin American authors such as Jorge Luis Borges and Ricardo Piglia, and classic authors like James Joyce and Franz Kafka. I’m always looking for a new world to stumble upon. I'm currently reading: Iron Gold by Pierce Brown & The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
We are both unbelievably thankful to Terry Gilman, Maryelizabeth Yturralde, and Jeff Mariotte, for creating a space welcoming science fiction and fantasy lovers of any age. They have given us, as the bookstore's name suggests, countless galaxies to explore through reading. Ones that just happen to exist every time you open a book and are never farther away than the next page. We would also like to thank store manager Kelly Orazi, and the rest of the Mysterious Galaxy staff for their support through this transition. We know the expert team of booksellers is much of what makes Mysterious Galaxy special. The store wouldn’t be the same without them. They are always ready with the perfect recommendation for any customer. We wouldn’t want to embark on this journey with anyone else. *insert Lord of the Rings pun here*
Moving forward, we plan to uphold all that makes Mysterious Galaxy special. We respect and value the store’s reputation as an integral part of the literary community in San Diego. We hope that as we enter this new chapter, you will trust us to preserve that identity. We have always seen Mysterious Galaxy as a safe place for anyone interested in exploring new worlds and never want that to change.
New owners and location for Mysterious Galaxy in 2020 
[Jenni Marchisotto & Matthew Berger/Mysterious Galaxy]


Sunday, December 15, 2019

CHRISTMAS MYSTERIES: AUTHORS M-Z

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!

AUTHORS M-Z

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.
Marston, Edward: A Christmas Railway Mystery.
Matesky, Amanda: Murder is a Girl's Best Friend.
Maughman, W. Somerset: Christmas Holiday.
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.
Meade, Amy Patricia: The Christmas Fair Killer
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.
Morton, Mandy: Ghost of Christmas Paws.
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.
Pelecanos, George: Nick's Trip.
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; Festive 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.
Shea, Susan: Dressed for Death in Burgundy.
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.
Tate, Valerie: The Reindeer Caper.
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. 
Wescott, T.C.: Slay Bells ... are you Listening?
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.
Winston, Lois: Drop Dead Ornaments.
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.

Cartoon of the Day: An Alfred Hitchcock Christmas

Friday, December 13, 2019

Left Coast Crime: 2020 MWA Raven Award Recipient


We are all agog here at Left Coast Crime by the news that we have been awarded the Raven Award by Mystery Writers of America. We are truly thrilled and honored to be recognized.

Since 1991 Left Coast Crime has been holding annual conventions where readers, authors, critics, librarians, publishers, and other fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interest in the mystery/crime genre. We strive to create an inclusive environment with many opportunities to build warm and caring friendships through a variety of programming.

Left Coast Crime is an all-volunteer organization that raises money each year to support a local literacy organization with funds collected through silent and live auctions, and the annual Quilt Raffle. Our thanks to the hordes of volunteers and the amazing teamwork of the local and national committees that have allowed us continue the Left Coast Crime tradition — and thanks to MWA for this incredible award.

Our congratulations to Barbara Neely,  2020 Grand Master, and Kelley Ragland, 2020 Ellery Queen Award.

MWA Announcement

The Left Coast Crime Permanent Committee: Bill & Toby Gottfried, Noemi Levine, Janet Rudolph, Lucinda Surber, Stan Ulrich

 

If you are interested in learning more about hosting or helping with a future Left Coast Crime Convention, please let us know! The LCC Standing Committee would love to help you with your bid and answer all your questions. You will receive all the support you need!

MWA 2020 Grand Master, Raven, & Ellery Queen Awards Recipients

MWA Announces 2020 Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Award Recipients

I'm particularly thrilled that Left Coast Crime is receiving the Raven!!!! Caw! Caw! Caw!

Today Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announced the recipients of its three special awards. The board chose Barbara Neely as the 2020 Grand Master, the 2020 Raven Award recipient is Left Coast Crime, and Kelley Ragland will receive the Ellery Queen Award at the 74th Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 30, 2020. 

“Mystery Writers of America is thrilled that Barbara Neely is MWA’s 2020 Grand Master,” MWA board president Meg Gardiner said. “Neely is a groundbreaking author, and MWA is delighted to recognize her work, in which she tackles tough social issues with an unflinching eye and a wry sense of humor.”

MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Barbara Neely is best known for her Blanche White mystery series, and her debut, Blanche on the Lam, received the Agatha Award, Anthony Award, and the Macavity Award for best first novel, as well as the Go on Girl! Award from Black Women’s Reading Club. Neely published her first short story, “Passing the Word” (1981) in the magazine Essence. Her Blanche White novels, which featured the first black female series sleuth in mainstream American publishing, followed a decade later beginning with Blanche on the Lam (1992), followed by Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (1994), Blanche Cleans Up (1998), and Blanche Passes Go (2000) and are beloved by fans in part because of her unique heroine—an amateur detective and domestic worker who uses the invisibility inherent to her position to her advantage in her pursuit of the truth.

“MWA Grand Master! I hope this doesn’t mean I have to relinquish my position as Empress Regnant of the Multiverse,” Neely said on learning of the award.

Neely’s nomination cited the stories of Blanche White for containing themes and issues that extends beyond mystery and into political and social commentary. “Blanche allows Neely to explore the female beauty. There are other issues that Neely is able to tackle through her writing—such as violence against women, racism, class boundaries, and sexism. Barbara Neely is quoted as saying, ‘That as a feminist mystery writer it is not enough to create strong women, and that maybe the term ‘feminist mystery writer’ is being used too loosely.’”

Neely was born in 1941 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. According to her biography, she was the only child of African-American descent to attend her elementary and high school in this heavily German influenced community. She attended the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her master’s degree in Urban and Regional planning before beginning a career in the public sector. Neely served as director of Women for Economic Justice, worked in the Philadelphia Tutorial Project, became the director of a YWCA, and headed a consultant firm for nonprofits. In addition, she became a radio producer for Africa News Service, and later, a staff member at Southern Exposure magazine.

Previous Grand Masters include Martin Cruz Smith, William Link, Peter Lovesey, Walter Mosley, Lois Duncan, James Ellroy, Robert Crais, Ken Follett, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie, to name a few.

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Left Coast Crime will receive the 2020 Raven Award. Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors, first held in San Francisco in 1991. It is an all-volunteer organization that raises money each year to support a local literacy organization with funds collected through silent and live auctions, and the annual Quilt Raffle. The Left Coast Crime Permanent Committee is Bill and Toby Gottfried, Noemi Levine, Janet Rudolph, Lucinda Surber, and Stan Ulrich. 

“We are all agog here at Left Coast Crime by the news that we have been awarded the Raven Award by Mystery Writers of America,” said Surber. “We are truly thrilled and honored to be recognized. Since 1991 Left Coast Crime has been holding annual conventions where readers, authors, critics, librarians, publishers, and other fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interest in the mystery/crime genre. We strive to create an inclusive environment with many opportunities to build warm and caring friendships through a variety of programming.” 

Previous Raven winners include Marilyn Stasio, Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, Dru Ann Love, Sisters in Crime, Margaret Kinsman, Kathryn Kennison, Jon and Ruth Jordan, Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in 1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.” This year the Board chose to honor Kelley Ragland, associate publisher and editorial director of Minotaur Books. Ms. Ragland came to Minotaur Books in 1993.

On learning she would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Ragland said, “I'm honored and not a little bit stunned to have been recognized by MWA with the Ellery Queen Award. To be added to a list that includes such inspiring professionals in our community, especially St. Martin’s own Ruth Cavin, is truly humbling. My work with mystery authors at Minotaur Books, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and within the mystery community—what I have always found to be the most supportive, generous, and dedicated slice of the publishing world—is a source of great joy to me. Thanks to MWA for this recognition, and their support of all facets of the mystery community, including publishers, writers—especially new writers—and readers.”

Fresh out of college and newly relocated to NYC after growing up in the Midwest, Kelley Ragland started as an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s Press in 1993, became an editor in 1998, and took part in the creation of the St. Martin’s Publishing Group’s crime and suspense imprint, Minotaur Books, in 1999. She became Editorial Director of Minotaur in 2009 and Vice President and Associate Publisher in 2015. Over her twenty-six years at SMPG, she has worked with such authors as Jeffrey Archer, Kelley Armstrong, Linda Barnes, Steve Berry, Allison Brennan, Chelsea Cain, Andrew Gross, Charlaine Harris, Louise Penny, Dana Stabenow, Olen Steinhauer, and many others.

Previous Ellery Queen Award winners include Linda Landrigan, Robert P├ępin, Neil Nyren, Janet Rudolph, Charles Ardai, Joe Meyers, Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald, Brian Skupin and Kate Stine, Carolyn Marino, Ed Gorman, Janet Hutchings, Cathleen Jordan, Douglas G. Greene, Susanne Kirk, Sara Ann Freed, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Jacques Barzun, Martin Greenburg, Otto Penzler, Richard Levinson, William Link, Ruth Cavin, and Emma Lathen.

***

The Edgar Awards, or “Edgars,” as they are commonly known, are named after MWA’s patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. 

For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website: www.mysterywriters.org