Thursday, June 30, 2011

Police Box Mug

O.K. this is really a TARDIS mug from Dr. Who, but it's a Police Box, so crime fiction folks will love it, too! It's dark blue and painted to be a perfect replica of a 1950's British police box!
To order, go HERE.

Hat Tip:

Rebecca Cantrell in Berkeley: July 7, 2 p.m.

Join Mystery Readers International, NorCal, July 7 for an Afternoon Tea with Rebecca Cantrell, author of A Trace of Smoke, A Night of Long Knives and out next week, A Game of Lies. Trace of Smoke won the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award from MRI and the Bruce Alexander Award from Left Coast Crime.  I've read A Game of Lies, and it's truly terrific.

2 p.m. July 7, Berkeley, CA. To RSVP, leave a comment with your email address (can be encrypted)

About the Author from Rebecca Cantrell's website: A few years ago Rebecca Cantrell quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Hawaii to write a novel because, at seven, she decided that she would be a writer. Now she writes the Hannah Vogel mystery series set in Berlin in the 1930s.

A faded pink triangle pasted on the wall of Dachau Concentration Camp and time in Berlin, Germany in the 1980s inspired “A Trace of Smoke.” Fluent in German, she received her high school diploma from the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin and studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin and the Georg August Universität in Göttingen before graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.

When she visited Berlin in the summer of 2006, she was astounded to discover that many locations in her novel have been rebuilt and reopened in the last few years, including the gay bar El Dorado and the Mosse House publishing house.

Her short story “Coffee” appear in the “Missing” anthology, and her short story “On the Train” will be in the “First Thrills” anthology in June 2010.

Her screenplay “The Humanitarian” was a finalist at Shriekfest 2008: The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-fi Film Festival. Her screenplay “A Taste For Blood” was a finalist at the Shriekfest 2007: The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-fi Film Festival.

Don't miss this return visit with a truly entertaining and informed author!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

M.L. Longworth: Death at the Château Bremont, Guest Post & Book Giveaway

I admit it, I'm a Francophile. Knowing that, you won't be surprised that I couldn't resist picking up Death at the Chateau Bremont with a cover complete with chateau, spilled wine and a dead body! What's more, the book is set in historic Aix-en-Provence! Billed as a Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery, it portends to be a series. Great! Death at the Chateau Bremont has wonderful characters and fabulous setting, with new insights into the French police system. Thoroughly enjoyed Death at the Chateau Bremont.

BOOK GIVEAWAY: WIN A COPY OF DEATH AT THE CHATEAU BREMONT. Comment on your most "French" experience.

M.L. Longworth has written for The Washington Post, The Times (London), The Independent, and Bon Appétit magazine. She divides her time between Aix-en-Provence and Paris, where she teaches writing at New York University's Paris campus.

M.L. Longworth:

I was once stuck on an article I was writing about the Aix-en-Provence of Paul Cézanne, and a very generous editor at The Washington Post gave me this advice: Okay, so you’re writing about this new place that you love. But what did Cézanne see and hear when he walked from his studio in Aix, along a country road, to the village of Le Tholonet? What did he smell when he climbed the paths of Mont Ste-Victoire? What did he taste when he ate lunch at Les Deux Garçons? These words are always in the back of my head, regardless of whether I’m writing an article about a local restaurant or a chapter in my next book. I really want the reader to experience Aix-en-Provence the way I do, as if they were beside me.

We moved to Aix in 1997 and I immediately began writing articles about the region. I couldn’t get enough of Provence. But after a few years I began to grow restless; not with the area, but with the restrictions of writing non-fiction. I began having conversations in my head and realized that if I wrote fiction then my characters could live in, and experience, Provence as I do. Aix is a law town—it has been since the Middle Ages—which seemed to me a good place to situate a mystery, and I imagined my protagonists involved in the law profession.

But before you begin writing a novel, you need characters. From the start I had a clear picture of Antoine Verlaque in my head: he would be troubled but savable, a snob but with a sense of humor. He’s a gourmet, and a gourmand (for the French, someone who eats too much), just like I am, and we both love good wines and Cuban cigars. I didn’t have a role model for the heroine; I just knew that I wanted her to be very unlike myself. One afternoon, while I was trying on clothes in my friend Joelle’s shop, her sister hurried in. She was tall, beautiful, sweet and a little anxious, and a law professor. She became Marine. I thought it might be a good idea to develop a mystery series where there’s a couple doing the sleuthing, not yet married. Their relationship may be exciting, but it has lots of ups and downs.

The other characters were easier to fill in, as Aixois are so willing to chat, and after a few conversations you’ll discover that the cheese seller knows more about contemporary theatre than anyone you’ve ever met; or that your hairdresser is also a competitive cyclist. I didn’t have to exaggerate for the book; Bruno Paulik (the Commissioner) is a policeman but is an opera aficionado and loves plant life. Fabrice, the cigar-club president, is a plumber with a vast knowledge of Cuban music. There’s often more to people than meets the eye, I think, regardless of where you live.

I originally began the book with what is now chapter three: the morning of a typical work day for Marine, beginning with coffee at her favorite café—where she will discover that a childhood friend has died. Etienne de Bremont’s death again came to me thanks to a friend, who had dragged me to her in-law’s big country house to look for something her husband had misplaced in the attic. It was an antique dealer’s dream: full of gilded mirrors too heavy to move, sets of mismatched porcelain, paintings of seascapes and ancestors leaning against the stone walls. The attic was a perfect setting for a murder (it had a huge, open window, and I pointed out its danger to my friend). We never did find what she was looking for, but that evening I began writing ‘Death at the Château Bremont.’

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Macavity Award Nominations

The Macavity Awards are nominated and voted on by members of Mystery Readers InternationalMystery Readers Journal is MRI's publication. The winners will be announced at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. Bouchercon will be held in St. Louis in September. This award is named for the "mystery cat" of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats).

Congratulations to all!

Macavity Award Nominees:

Best Mystery Novel
The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
Faithful Place by Tana French (Viking)
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan (HarperCollins-William Morrow)
Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer (Grove Atlantic)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)

Best First Mystery Novel
The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson (Forge)
Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva (Forge-Tom Doherty Associates)
The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill (Wildside)
A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic (Viking)

Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction
The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (Penguin)
Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (HarperCollins)
Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction edited by Maxim Jakubowski (New Holland)
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton)
Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank W Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)

Best Mystery Short Story
“The Scent of Lilacs” by Doug Allyn (EQMM)
“Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron in Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side (Berkley)
“Devil’s Pocket” by Keith Gilman in Philadelphia Noir (Akashic)
“The Gods for Vengeance Cry” by Richard Helms (EQMM)
“Bookworm” by G.M. Malliet in Chesapeake Crimes: They Had It Comin’ (Wildside)

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery
A Marked Man by Barbara Hamilton (Berkley)
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (Random House)
City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur)
The Red Door by Charles Todd (HarperCollins- William Morrow)
The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia (HarperCollins-William Morrow)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ngaio Marsh Award Longlist

Craig Sisterson (Crime Watch) announced the Longlist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel (New Zealand). The award is given for the best crime, mystery, or thriller novel written by a New Zealand citizen or resident, published in New Zealand during 2010. 

The presentation of the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award will be held at the TelstraClear Club in Hagley Park on Sunday August 21, 2011, as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival. International Best selling mystery authors Tess Gerritsen and John Hart will be in attendance. Keep up to the minute on these awards by going to the Ngaio Marsh Award Facebook page.

The following is the longlist for the Ngaio Marsh Awrd. The shortlist will be announced by August 1 and will be determined by a panel of local and international judges. I'm thrilled to be one of them. Love Kiwi writers!

Ngaio Marsh Award Longlist

BLOOD MEN by Paul Cleave
CAPTURED by Neil Cross
SURRENDER by Donna Malane
HUNTING BLIND by Paddy Richardson
THE FALLEN by Ben Sanders

There were other books that were eligible for the 2011 Award, so this is a 'longlist' (ie there has been an initial cut prior to the entire judging panel reading these novels).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Art Moves and Art Heists: The Barnes and more

Cezanne's The Card Players (Barnes)
With a graduate degree in art history and a strong interest in mysteries, I'm drawn to the art heist--the books about them and the real heists. The Wall Street Journal had a great article about the $25 Billion Move. It was all about how to transport priceless art, specifically focusing on Philadelphia's Barnes Foundation move from Merion, PA to a new downtown museum. As Philadelphia's Barnes Foundation begins a controversial relocation, it confronts the question that has long tantalized thieves and challenged security experts.

This move is even more fascinating to me personally since the Barnes Foundation was in my backyard when I was growing up. Although admittance was limited in those days, I managed to view the collection many many times. I did a major (2 periods) of art (forgoing physics which was only offered at the same time) at Lower Merion High School, and we often took 'field trips' to the Barnes. Once the Barnes was opened to the public, I continued to visit several times a year.

If you've never been to the Barnes, the collection has over 181 Renoir, 69 Cezanne, 59 Matisse and so much more. I always thought the paintings and sculpture at the Barnes were displayed in a very haphazard way, but that's what Dr. Barnes wanted. Now after many decades of contention between the estate and the public--filled with the stuff of mysteries--politics, art, money, race and sex--the collection will be moved to its new site starting on July 3. How does one move such a collection? Read the article HERE. I found it fascinating. It may only be 6 miles to the Barnes' new location, but with over $25 billion of fine art moving through Philly... well you can imagine.

View a Slide Show of Amazing Art Thefts HERE

Stolen Art Movies: 
Dr. No (1961): Stolen: Goya's Portrait of the Duke of Wellington
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999): Stolen: Monet's San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Entrapment (1999): Stolen: First a $40 million Rembrandt, then an ancient Chinese mask
Ocean's Twelve (2004) Stolen: The Faberge Corontation Egg from a Rome Museum.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Martin Greenberg, Editor: R.I.P.

Just heard from John Lutz that the fabulous Marty Greenberg passed away today after a lengthy battle with cancer. Martin Greenberg was a writer and editor of mystery, speculative fiction and horror. His many anthologies encouraged so many writers. He was born in 1941. Need to process this sad news.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peter Falk: R.I.P.

Actor Peter Falk,  best known for his role in the TV series "Columbo," died yesterday at the age of 83.

Falk suffered from Alzheimer's disease and advanced dementia that intensified after a series of dental operations in 2007. In 2009, his wife, Shera, and daughter, Catherine, engaged in a legal tug-of-war over who should be in charge of his personal affairs; a judge ruled that Shera would retain control.

Falk was best known for his role as iconic cop Lieutenant Columbo in the long-running TV series. He won four Emmy awards for his work on the show.

Falk also found success on the big screen. He was nominated for Oscars for his roles in "Murder, Inc."(1960) and "Pocketful of Miracles" (1961).

He began his career in theater and returned to the stage late in his career. In 1972, Falk won a Tony for Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue."

Read Lee Goldberg's article in the Wall Street Journal "How Peter Falk made Lt. Columbo Iconic"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alfred Hitchcock Reading

Couldn't pass on this photo of Alfred Hitchcock Reading.
What's he reading? The World of Birds, of course!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gun Shaped Makeup Kits

Dior and Chanel makeup kits designed by famous Dutch artist Ted Noten.

 Chanel001 gun conceals lip gloss, antique hairpin, gold toothpick, bottle of perfume, USB flash drive, medicine compartment, and a gold bar.

Dior001 gun comes loaded with lip gloss, antique hairpin, collection of pills, USB stick with secret information, and a silver bar.

Hat Tip:

Weekly Lizard

Vintage Crime/Black Lizard today launches Weekly Lizard, a content-driven, mobile-enabled site featuring news and features from the world of crime, thrillers, suspense, and mystery novels.

Regularly updated features and news articles (daily, weekly, and monthly) on Weekly Lizard will include in-depth author profiles (In the Lineup); essays and profiles of great mystery characters (Tough Guys and Dangerous Dames), a selection of quotations from classic and contemporary mystery and thriller novels (Wiseguy Quotes), and early excerpts from forthcoming novels.  Site will draw on Vintage Crime/Black Lizard’s backlist and lineup of contemporary authors

Weekly Lizard will include information on Vintage Crime/Black Lizard’s classic crime writers Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Eric Ambler, Chester Himes, Ross Mcdonald, and Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö; as well as current bestsellers Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, James Ellroy, Jeff Lindsay, John Burdett, and Ruth Rendell.  Features articles will also be derived from books and news across the publishing industry.

Weekly Lizard will also include book-to-film news and features, as well as classic film noir.  Exclusive and original articles on upcoming releases will include major motion pictures such as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, and directed by David Fincher; George V. Higgins’ Cogan’s Trade starring Brad Pitt; Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters; and the upcoming remakes of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man starring Johnny Depp, and Gregory Mcdonald’s Fletch

Site will cover current popular crime television series such as Showtime’s’ “Dexter” series starring Michael C. Hall based on Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter character; PBS’s “Wallander” series starring Kenneth Branagh, and based on Henning Mankell’s best-selling novels; HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” series starring Kate Winslet and based on the classic novel by James M. Cain; and PBS’s Masterpiece/Mystery!’s upcoming “Zen” series starring Rufus Sewell and based on Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen detective novels.

And social media sites…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Paul Levine: For the Kids


“Flesh & Bones” a bestselling Jake Lassiter thriller, is now an e-book priced at 99 cents for a short time. Author Paul Levine explains why he has pledged all royalties to childhood cancer treatment.

Paul Levine:

In the United States today, one in 300 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. All of us have friends or family members who have fought that grueling battle. These days, with great advances in medicine, there’s a increasing chance the fight has been successful.

Yet, progress seems excruciatingly slow for those on the front lines.

A few years ago, one of my dearest friends, the godfather of my son, lost his daughter Margaux to Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare but vicious bone cancer. Another friend, a well-known author, has lost both a child and a grandchild to the disease. The survival rate for Ewing’s sarcoma that metastasizes is a disheartening 10 per cent.

Ten per cent!

In this age of medical miracles, how can that be?

After Margaux’s death at age 14, I dedicated a book to her. Such a feeble gesture. I wanted to do more. Still do. Here’s how.

“Flesh & Bones,” a legal thriller in which Jake Lassiter falls for his client, a woman who may have murdered her own father, was published internationally to wide acclaim in 1997. Out of print for many years, it’s now a 99-cent e-book, with all proceeds going to the Four Diamonds Fund, a charity that pays for treatment of pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

This is my second venture into publishing for charity. Last summer, my first novel, “To Speak for the Dead,” was brought out of retirement as an e-book and produced thousands of dollars for the Four Diamonds Fund. That book introduced the world to Jake Lassiter, a linebacker-turned-lawyer who searches for justice but seldom finds it.

Penn State students have adopted the Four Diamonds Fund as their cause and have contributed an astonishing $78 million through their annual dance marathon, which goes by the slogan: “For the Kids.” This year’s event raised more than $9 million alone.

One more thing. If each of us can contribute – just a bit – we may help do something everlasting “for the kids” by conquering childhood cancer.

“Flesh & Bones,” priced at 99 cents for a short time, is available on Kindle, Nook, and at Smashwords. More information on Paul Levine’s Website.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shaken not Stirred: The Vesper Martini

Today is National Martini Day, and perhaps the most iconic Martini is that of James Bond aka 007! The Vodka Martini is as synonymous with 007 as the Walther PPK and the Aston Martin DB5. James Bond first ordered his trademark drink  in Ian Fleming's debut novel Casino Royale (1953):

'A dry martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.'
'Oui, monsieur.'
'Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?'
'Certainly, monsieur.' The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
'Gosh, that's certainly a drink,' said Leiter.
Bond laughed. 'When I'm . . . er . . . concentrating,' he explained, 'I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name.'

Having invented his own signature drink for Bond, Fleming leaves the reader hanging for a name of the drink until Vesper Lynd enters the novel. Bond thought her name was perfect for his preferred drink:

'Vesper,' she said. 'Vesper Lynd.'... She smiled. 'Some people like it, others don't. I'm just used to it.'
'I think it's a fine name,' said Bond. An idea struck him. 'Can I borrow it?'
He explained about the special martini he had invented and his search for a name for it. 'The Vesper,' he said.
'It sounds perfect and it's very appropriate to the violet hour when my cocktail will now be drunk all over the world. Can I have it?'
'So long as I can try one first,' she promised. 'It sounds a drink to be proud of.'

The 'Vesper' Martini created by Bond in Casino Royale and liked by Fleming:
Add 3 measures Gordon's Gin
Add 1 measure Vodka
Add 1 measure blond Lillet vermouth
Shake very well until it's ice cold
Garnish with a slice of lemon peel

The medium-dry Vodka Martini preferred by James Bond in the films:
4 measures Vodka (use a tbsp or an oz as a measure to fill one cocktail glass)
Add 1 measure dry Vermouth
Shake with ice. Do not stir. (Shaking gives the misty effect and extra chill preferred by Bond)
Add 1 green olive ( James Bond prefers olives)
Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel
Serve in a cocktail glass

Thanks to for the citations

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Retro Father's Day Ad: A Tie for Dad

From Daffy's, formerly Daffy Dan's Bargain Town, in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia

Friday, June 17, 2011

Killer Cookbooks: Collecting Mystery Cookbooks

Some of you may know me as the Editor of the Mystery Readers Journal, blogger at Mystery Fanfare and As such you’ll assume, and you’d be right, that I’m a book collector. I have a passion for collecting ‘things’-- books, to be sure, patriotic Americana embroideries, rugs, American folk art, and the occasional cat and dog. I love flea markets and garage sales, and the occasional dumpster. Don’t leave something by the road, because I’m bound to find it.

Besides the 15,000 mysteries I have collected that are stored both here and in Bodega Bay…yes, that Bodega Bay-- no birds in the belfry, as far as I know, but not sure about the garage where many of my books are stored-- I have a passion for food and the written word.

Mystery Readers Journal has had four issues devoted to Culinary Crime. The last two issues on the subject were divided into courses. Each contributing author who wrote an Author! Author! essay, also included a recipe.

Over the years of moderating my weekly mystery book group, I have assigned four 10-week sessions on food mysteries (culinary crime). In two of the sessions I led, I prepared the ‘suspect’ food in the book for our dining pleasure…sans poison, of course. This was over 20 years ago, and it was quite unique for its time. I also set up a Lord Peter Wimsey dinner at a local restaurant where everything was prepared from the recipes in the Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook. Harriet Vane appeared half way through the dinner! Very exciting! I was able to arrange this since I write and produce mystery events. My company’s name? Murder on the Menu®! I also set up a Nero Wolfe Dinner. Everyone came in costume, and I wore Yellow Silk Pajamas. Perhaps my other love of orchids came from the Nero Wolfe books? But that’s ‘another’ collection.

And this leads me to one of my favorite collections: Literary Cookbooks, books that tie in with famous mysteries, writers, detectives, TV shows, art, and movies.

I've been collecting Themed Cookbooks for years. For purposes of this post, I’m confining the list to my mystery cookbooks. This list of titles is in no particular order and certainly not definitive. I have over 150 mystery themed cookbooks. My complete Tie-In Cookbook Collection is over 700 and extends to cookbooks such as Linda Wolfe's The Literary Gourmet which I've bought at least three times -- it's always so intriguing at the used bookstores that I forget I already have multiple copies, The George Bernard Shaw Vegetarian Cookbook, The Pooh Cookbook, Miss Piggy's Cookbook, Dining with Proust, Blondie's Cookbook, The Cross Creek Cookery, The Rock & Roll Cookbook, and many, many more.

Mystery Cookbooks: A Sampling

The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook by Elizabeth Bond Ryan & William J. Eakins (Ticknor & Fields,1981). This is a classic and a must-have for any fan of Dorothy L. Sayers.

Cooking with Malice Domestic, edited by Jean McMillen & Ron McMillen (Mystery Bookshop Bethesda, 1991). I bought this book at Malice the year it came out, and it's filled with great recipes by authors and fans of the malice domestic subgenre. I attended the first Malice Domestic conference, and this year I received the Poirot Award. I was very honored.

Sneaky Pie's Cookbook for Mystery Lovers by Sneaky Pie Brown co-written by Rita Mae Brown (Bantam, 1999). I envy Rita Mae Brown having a cat who not only cooks but also writes about it! My cats are much more stereotypical and depend on me to prepare and serve their food.

The Murder She Wrote Cookbook, edited by Tom Culver and Nancy Goodman Iland (Chicago Review Press, 1996). This is a  compilation of recipes from the cast and crew.

The Cop Cookbook: Arresting Recipes from the World's Favorite Cops, Good Guys and Private Eyes, by Greta Garner-Hewitt, Ken Beck and Jim Clark, with foreword by Robert Stack (Rutledge Hill Press, 1977). TV, movie and real cops contribute to this cookbook with great archival photos of CHiPS, various Femmes Fatales and more. Take a ride down memory lane.

Cooking to Kill: The Poison Cook-book, concocted by Prof. Ebenezer Murgatroyd with Comic Drawings by Herb Roth (Peter Pauper Press 1951). A cookbook to "end" all cooks. Very funny humorous collection of deadly recipes with great illustrations.

The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout and the Editors of Viking Press (Viking 1973). This is another of my favorites. Any collection would be incomplete without recipes prepared by Fritz Brenner, Wolfe's world-class personal chef. Too Many Cooks is my favorite of the food Nero Wolfe mysteries, and this cookbook contains several recipes from that novel. The photographs in this cookbook alone are worth the price. There are 44 museum-quality images of New York in the '30s, '40s, and '50s -- very art deco.

The Kitchen Book by Nicolas Freeling (David Godine, 1970) and The Cookbook by Nicolas Freeling (David Godin, 1972). Wonderful cookbooks filled with great recipes encapsulated within cooking text. If you are a fan of Freeling as I am, you'll want to have these two books in your collection to read on a cold winter's day.

The Cat Who Cookbook by Julie Murphy & Sally Abney Stempinski with a special note from the late Lilian Jackson Braun (Berkeley Prime Crime, 2000). Recipes from the Cat Who series. Koko and Yum Yum are not the cooks. Perhaps Qwilleran will become inspired. Includes a special section on feline fare.

Food To Die For by Patricia Cornwell and Marlene Brown (G.P. Putnam, 2001). Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen. We know that Kay loves to cook and this clever cookbook with glossy color illustrations capitalizes on just that.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin Books, 1994). Unfortunately no Lamb Recipe. Although a kid's cookbook, I had to include this as Roald Dahl is a master storyteller. Recipes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and more.

Dishes to Die For... A Compendium of Culinary Concoctions Collected from Canadian Crime Writers (Crime Writers of Canada, 1996). Novel format with suspect statements, backgrounds and previous record.

The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking by Carolyn Keene (Grosset & Dunlap, 1973). Reads like Nancy Drew. How can you become a really good cook? "It's no mystery, " Nancy Drew reveals. "You must do what fine cooks have always done -- add your own special touch."

Cauldron Cookery: An Authentic Guide for Coven Connoisseurs by Marcello Truzzi, illustrated by Victoria Chess (Meredith Press, 1969). Must be initiated into a coven in order to procure ingredients such as eye of newt.

Murder on the Menu: Food and Drink in the English Mystery Novel by Jeanine Larmoth, with recipes by Charlotte Turgeon (Scribner's, 1972). This is a true classic and one to snap up when you find it at a garage sale, used bookstore or online. Includes a wonderful analysis of the genre, citing authors such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and more, with 160 recipes ranging from potted shrimp to gooseberry fool.

Desserticide, aka Desserts Worth Dying For, edited by Claire Carmichael, Paulette Mouchet and Mary Jerrill (Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter, 1995). Who doesn't like a dessert cookbook? And Sisters in Crime Los Angeles put together a mouthwatering collection of recipes from Swift Dispatch Cake to Layer Me in the Grave Cookies to In for the Kill Tiramisu. Unfortunately individual recipes are not attributed. Fun, interwoven writings about oleander and other deadly ways to die.

The Lucretia Borgia Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of Infamous People by Dorothy and Martin Blinder (Price/Sloan/Stern, 1971). A small volume originally priced at $1.95. Nothing particularly new to shed on Lucretia Borgia but it found its way into my collection based on title.

A Taste of Murder: Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers by Jo Grossman and Robert Weibezahl (Dell, 1999) including Lillian Jackson Braun, Harlan Coben, Sue Grafton, Tony Hillerman and dozens more. Great recipes and mystery writer anecdotes. This is a great cookbook for any and every mystery reader. Just about every contemporary mystery writer at the time it was published contributed to this cookbook and its successor, A Second Helping of Murder: More Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers. I have a ‘Flourless Chocolate Cake to Die For” recipe in this 2nd volume.

Madame Maigret's Recipes presented by Robert J. Courtine with a Letter-Preface by Georges Simenon (Harcourt Brace Jovanich, 1974). As we all know, Madame Maigret is an excellent cook and Simenon's Inspector Maigret has enjoyed her cooking for many years. This is a classical French cookbook. Delicious.

Sherlock Holmes Cookbook by Sean Wright and John Farrell (Bramell House, 1976). One of several Sherlock Holmes cookbooks with typical English fare.

Cooking with the Bad Guys: Recipes from the World's Most Notorious Kitchens by Don Abel (Overlook Press, 1995). Where else would you find recipes fit for Al Capone, Marie Antoinette, Jack the Ripper and Rasputin?

Plots & Pans: Recipes and Antidotes from The Mystery Writers of America, edited by Nancy & Jean Francis Webb, illustrated by Gahan Wilson, introduction by Isaac Asimov (Wynwood Press: Mystery Writers of America, 1989). One of my all-time favorites with terrific illustrations by Gahan Wilson. Subtitled: Hundreds of Delicious recipes from the Most Imaginative Writers in America -- Spiced with their Wit, Leavened with their Malice, and Served with their Own Distinctive Style. Oh yes!

Où Est Le Garlic: French Cooking in 50 Lessons by Len Deighton (Harper & Row, 1965). Len Deighton, like Nicholas Freeling, was a chef and this book shows it. Wonderful "cookstrips" (hand-drawn illustrations) bring the recipes to life.

Writers' Favorite Recipes compiled by Gillian Vincent and the National Book League of Great Britain (St. Martin's: 1979). Recipes by Len Deighton, Edward Gorey, Graham Greene and others. Breezy anecdotes as well as recipes.

The Gun Club Cookbook by Charles Browne (Scribner's, 1930). Not a mystery cookbook, really, but wonderful illustrations and a great period piece.

The Sopranos Family Cookbook as compiled by Artie Bucco by Allen Rucker (Warner Books,  2002). Yes, “family” recipes..

Brunetti’s Cookbook: Recipes by Roberta Pianaro with Culinary Stories by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010), with anecdotes, recipes and beautifully drawn illustrations! There are also excerpts from the novels and original essays by Donna Leon on food and life in Venice, the perfect addition to this wonderful cookbook. I reviewed this cookbook on both and Mystery Fanfare.

Recipe for Murder: Frightfully Good Food Inspired by Fiction by Esterelle Pavany, Illustrations by Jean-Francois Martin. One of my most recent acquisitions, and a must for Mystery Cookbook Collectors. I still need to review this cookbook. Hannibal’s Express Sweetbreads should give you an idea about the type of recipes! Illustrations are marvelous.

Reading these cookbooks can be as intriguing as reading a mystery.


I originally wrote this post for the wonderful Kaye Barley's Meanderings and Muses.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day Crime Fiction

I post a list of mysteries every year for Father's Day and thought I'd update the post today. Last year I also posted about my father, Joseph Rudolph. My father passed away several years ago, but I think about him every day. He encouraged and supported me throughout my varying careers and educational pursuits, and he always told me I could accomplish anything and succeed in whatever I tried.

One thing we shared in common was our love of mysteries. Over the years my taste in mysteries has changed. I read more hardboiled, dark mysteries now as he always did. So many times I finish a book and say to myself, "I have to send this to Dad. He'll love it." My father engendered a love of mysteries in me through his collection of mystery novels and Ellery Queen Magazines. Here's to you, Dad, on Father's Day!


Father’s Day by John Calvin Batchelor
Father’s Day by Rudolph Engelman
Father’s Day Keith Gilman
Dear Old Dead by Jane Haddam
The Father’s Day Murder by Lee Harris
Day of Reckoning by Kathy Herman
Dead Water by Victoria Houston
Father’s Day Murder by Leslie Meier
Father’s Day by Alan Trustman

Murder for Father, edited by Martin Greenberg (short stories)
"Father's Day" by Patti Abbott --short story at Spinetingler
Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection  e-book of Father's Day themed short stories.

Let me know if I forgot any titles.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

TV Rights bought to work by 3 Canadian Mystery Writers

The National Post reports that Bell Media, which owns CTV as well as 29 other specialty channels, is working to adapt novels by William Deverell, Giles Blunt and Robert Rotenberg for a TV audience.

1. William Deverell’s series about lawyer Arthur Beauchamp (Kill All the Judges, April Fool, and Mind Games. Set in BC’s Gulf Islands, the series is a comedic twist on crime fiction, and features Beauchamp trying to balance his personal life with courtroom drama. Deverell won the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North America for Crime Writing in 1997. Deverell created the popular CBC series Street Legal. Andrew Wreggitt, the Canadian screenwriter responsible for One Dead Indian, Shades of Black, and Mayerthorpe has signed on to write the script.

2. Toronto author Giles Blunt’s Detective John Cardinal series (Crime Machine, Black Fly Season, and Forty Words for Sorrow). Blunt’s series is grittier, and follows both a serial killer and the tormented policeman tasked with finding him. Blunt, who won Britain’s Silver Dagger Award for Fiction in 2001, will adapt his own work for TV.

3. In partnership with production company Shaftesbury, Bell Media will adapt Toronto writer Robert Rotenbergs debut novel Old City Hall, which tells the story of a popular radio host who is arrested for murdering his wife. Open and shut or more nuanced than it looks? Shaftesbury is on the lookout for a screenwriter up to the challenge of adapting the novel. Rotenberg’s second novel, The Guilty Plea, came out in May.

Hat Tip: Suspense Sirens

Steve Brewer: Calabama

Today I welcome guest blogger Steve Brewer.

Steve Brewer is the author of more than 20 books, including the recent crime novels CALABAMA, FIREPOWER and CUTTHROAT. His first novel, LONELY STREET, was recently made into an independent Hollywood comedy starring Robert Patrick, Jay Mohr and Joe Mantegna. BOOST currently is under film/TV option. Brewer's short fiction appeared in the anthologies DAMN NEAR DEAD, THE LAST NOEL and CRIMES BY MOONLIGHT, and he's published articles in magazines such as Mystery Scene, Crimespree and Mystery Readers Journal.

A writing coach, Brewer has taught at the University of New Mexico, the Midwest Writers Workshop and the Tony Hillerman Writers Seminar. He regularly speaks at mystery conventions, and was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe, NM, in 2011.

Brewer worked as journalist for 22 years, then wrote a weekly syndicated column for another decade. The column, called The Home Front, produced the raw material for the humor book TROPHY HUSBAND.

Steve Brewer:

Sometimes, it starts with the title.

You need certain key ingredients to get going on a new novel -- a setting, a notion of the plot, a good opening line, a protagonist that speaks to you. I also like to have a title in mind before I start writing, though we all know they sometimes change.

Occasionally, the title is the spark that sets an idea on fire. That was certainly the case with my 18th crime novel, CALABAMA.

I first heard the term from a friend in Redding, California, where I lived from 2003 to 2010. Redding is an isolated city of ninety thousand people, way up north near Lake Shasta, and it's the setting for one of my other novels, BANK JOB.

Soon as I heard the word "Calabama," I knew I must write a novel to go under it. It was the perfect description for life in inland California.

When most people think of California, what comes to mind is Los Angeles or San Francisco or beach towns like Santa Cruz, where I live now. But the state's vast interior is rural and socially traditional and politically conservative and prone to pickup trucks. It resembles Arkansas (where I grew up), but with palm trees.

I've bucked that redneck mentality my whole life, so it was easy to create a character who'd do the same. Eric Newlin is a dope-smoking slacker who landed in Redding by accident. He's unhappily married, works for his father-in-law and dreams of escaping Calabama.

Eric survives a traffic accident, one of those near-misses that feel like an omen, and he decides his life is going to change. It does. It goes straight to hell. Jobless and broke, Eric gets mixed up in a kidnapping scheme with a local crimelord named Rydell Vance, and things go very wrong.

The novel's a hillbilly noir, full of violence and greed and backwoods bitterness, but leavened with dark humor.

Kind of like Calabama itself.

Steve Brewer's new novel CALABAMA debuts June 15 via Kindle, Smashwords and other e-book platforms. Only $2.99.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Craig Johnson: Guest Post

Craig Johnson will be our guest at a Literary Salon this Sunday, June 19, at 7 p.m. in Berkeley. I'm thrilled that his latest Walt Longmire mystery, Hell is Empty, just hit the NYT Best Seller List. Craig sent out a note this morning about it to all his fans, and I was among them. I asked Craig if I could post this here on Mystery Fanfare. Of course, he said!

Please join us on June 19 in Berkeley, CA. RSVP for directions.


Go figure.

When I was writing Hell is Empty, the latest Walt Longmire mystery, an allegorical thriller fraught with Dante and Indian mysticism, it dawned on me that this might not be the most sales-successful book of the series… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t write these novels with the idea of them becoming bestsellers (well, a little, of course, because I love writing them and wouldn’t be able to if they didn’t sell at all). My trusting publisher adds to my enjoyment by granting me freedoms that I don’t think many other authors have; my contract boils down to one sentence--It must be a mystery novel and have Walt Longmire in it. Well, that pretty much leaves things up for grabs, doesn’t it?

The other freedom comes from you—the reader. I’ve always said that I’d rather anger you folks by doing something different with each novel rather than insult your intelligence by writing the same book over and over again, a syndrome not unknown in genre fiction. Again, I’m not completely altruistic in the sense that I’m pretty sure I’d get bored writing formulaic books, too.

There have only been a couple of soreheads who wrote me back and gave me questionable, on-line reviews over the years, the curious thing being that they keep reading and reviewing me—what’s up with that? Most of you, especially if you’re on this newsletter mailing list, have ridden along with the sheriff and put up with my shenanigans with enthusiasm. Every once in a while we’d look back and see that there appeared to be more of us in the saddle, which was fine because we enjoy company and the more the merrier. Well, it would appear that there’s a passel to the posse these days.

Go figure.

When I started a string of novels that took place in the least populated county in the least populated state in the U.S., I kind of figured the following for such a series might be relatively limited. But I always remember a piece of advice Tony Hillerman gave me when I first met him, “Follow your heart and write what you enjoy.”

So I continued to write about a sadder but wiser sheriff, a detective for the disenfranchised, a little over-aged, a little over-weight, but with a considerable amount of miles left in him. It would appear that there are a lot of us out there like that, folks who look at themselves in the mirror every morning and aren’t completely satisfied with what they see—but we try, and in that there’s a certain, worn-to-perfection dignity.

People ask me sometimes if I suspected, with the awards, foreign sales and TV stuff, if I ever thought the books would be as popular as they’ve become—and the honest answer is no, I didn’t. But there’s a group of people that seemed to have held an absolute certainty that they would be a success. You.
This Post-It is a little different from all the others, a thank you note to the thousands of people who thought that a beat-up ol’ sheriff with a sense of humor, his Cheyenne buddy, and a smart-mouthed deputy up on the high plains might be worth giving a read.

Hell is Empty hit #24 this week on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Go figure.

See you on the trail (see below)

PS: Hell may be empty, but the shelves are full; if you haven’t gotten out there and grabbed your copy, jump on it!
June 14, Booked for Murder, Madison, WI, 6 PM
June 15, Once Upon a Crime, Minneapolis, MN, 7 PM
June 16, Book People, Austin, TX, 7 PM
June 17, Poisoned Pen, Phoenix, AZ, 7 PM
June 18, M is for Mystery, San Mateo, CA, 2 PM
June 19, Literary Salon, Berkeley, CA 7 p.m. Private Location. RSVP: for more information and directions
June 20, Viking Rep Dinner (private event)
June 21, Boulder Bookstore, 12:30 PM, lunch stock signing
June 21, Tattered Cover (Colfax), Denver, CO, 7:30 PM
June 22, Murder by the Book, Denver, CO, Noon
June 22, High Crimes, Longmont, CO, 7 PM
June 23-26, Jackson Writer’s Conference, Jackson, WY
June 28, Red Lodge Books, Red Lodge, MT, 4:00 PM
June 29, Fact and Fiction, Missoula, MT, 7:00 PM
July 1, Seattle Mystery Book Shop, Seattle, WA, Noon
July 1, Whodunit Books, Olympia, WA, 7 PM
July 2, Murder by the Book, Portland, OR, Noon
July 2, Powell’s Books (Cedar Hills Crossing), Beaverton, OR, 4 PM
July 3, Sun River Books, Sun River, OR, 5 PM
July 4, Sun River Books, Sun River, OR, private party
July 5, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR, 4 PM
July 5, Paulina Springs Books, Redmond, OR, 7 PM
July 6, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID, 7 PM
July 7, The King’s English Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 7 PM
July 8, Main Street Books, Lander, WY, 6 PM
July 9, Powell Library, Powell, WY, Noon
July 9, Cody Newstand, Cody, WY, 2 PM
July 9, Cowboy Bar, Meeteetse, WY, 7 PM
July 10, Cody Library, Cody, WY, 1:30 PM

What, you want more..? Gettaoutahere.

Mystery Bytes: TV news

1. This is so wrong! Tom Cruise is in negotiation to play the lead role in the upcoming action movie ‘One Shot’, adapted from the best-selling crime novel by Lee Child. Cruise is in negotiations with Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. The movie will be directed by Christopher McQuaire, who also provides the script for the movie.

The story of the movie is about a former military policeman, Jack Reacher, who investigates a case, where a sniper is accused of killing five people. The character of Reacher in the book is of 6’5” and weighs 250 pounds. That should tell you why this just isn't right!

2. HBO and BBC2 plan to create a new miniseries based on I, Claudius by Robert Graves. The acquisition deal "ends a long series of twists and turns for the rights to a book that was previously turned into an Emmy-winning 13-part miniseries in 1976 by BBC." Although BBC controls the rights to the original TV miniseries, the new HBO/BBC2 production will focus primarily on Graves's books I, Claudius: From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius Born 10 B.C. Murdered and Deified A.D. 54 and Claudius The God: And His Wife Messalina.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You'll NEVER guess what this Ad is about

Thanks to Carol Fairweather for this link. You'll NEVER guess what this ad is about!
Leave a comment at the end of this post. I'd love to know what you thought this Ad was for...

Dirt Devil-The Exorcist from MrPrice2U on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

John Mackenzie: R.I.P.

John Mackenzie, Film Director, known as Frenzy Mackenzie, died on June 8, 2011 in London.

John Mackenzie's film The Long Good Friday is not only acknowledged as his most compelling film but it is widely considered the UK's greatest gangster movie. Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) is a ferocious East End gangster who tries to do a deal with the American mafia. But into this hectic atmosphere Mackenzie brought a sense of balanced realism; he was keen to let Hoskins display a more vulnerable quality for, as he said, "the worst villains in the world have certain qualities that are liked, and Bob had the personality and humour to pull it off".

Read about John Mackenzie here.

Stalker Awards

Popculturenerd announced the winners of the inaugural Stalker Awards, given to crime fiction books and authors readers are obsessed with, voted on by genre fans at large.

Favorite Novel
The First Rule by Robert Crais

Favorite Lead Character
Joe Pike from The First Rule

Favorite Supporting Character
Elvis Cole from The First Rule (47%)

Best Opening Sentence
“The night they were hijacked, Roxy Palmer and her husband, Joe, ate dinner with an African cannibal and his Ukrainian whore.” —Wake Up Dead by Roger Smith

Most Memorable Dialogue
Savages by Don Winslow

Best Title
Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi

Most Eye-Catching Cover
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynsk

Favorite Author on Social Media — Tie
Hilary Davidson and Duane Swierczynski

Most Underrated Author
Charlie Huston

Friday, June 10, 2011

Clark Lohr: Guest Post & Giveaway

Today I welcome first time mystery author, Clark Lohr as Guest Blogger. Be sure and scroll down to enter his Giveaway. His novel Devil's Kitchen was just published by Oak Tree Press. The cover is one of his own photos! Congratulations, Clark!

Clark Lohr was born in Montana. He has a farm and ranch background and is a Vietnam Vet. Lohr, a professional photographer, has a degree from the University of Arizona. Devil's Kitchen has just been published by Oak Tree Press and is available from Amazon and local booksellers. Susan Cummins Miller called Devil's Kitchen "Tucson noir with a generous dollop of magical realism." 


I started Devil’s Kitchen after reading about a human head found in a Pima County landfill. The victim, an aging alcoholic, was a retired military officer. He’d been murdered and dismembered by a reptilian idiot who hoped to then receive the victim’s retirement checks for, like, a really really long time. Later, when I talked to the Pima County medical examiner’s office, they mentioned using the landfill head incident in training their employees.

These days, it’s not just one head in a dump. Mexican drug cartels leave large beer coolers full of heads by the sides of the roads. In the time since I began Devil’s Kitchen decapitation has become fashionable.

The head story stayed in mine. I amused myself with a comedy routine where a Pima County Sheriff’s Detective talks to an attractive woman at a party. “They call me the dump cop,” he says, ruefully, because he’s the guy who gets stuck with investigating heads in landfills. “Did you say dumb cop?” she replies. I got Manuel Aguilar, the detective hero of Devil’s Kitchen, and Reina, the heroine, from telling myself a joke that I’m pretty sure nobody else thinks is funny.

Manuel Aguilar has, deep down, what I like to believe good cops have, cops who avoid the snares of cynicism, prejudice, and complacency. Manny Aguilar will sacrifice to be an agent of decency. Indeed, Aguilar is fired from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department when he won’t back off a particular case—a case about a head in a landfill. Still, by his nature and training, he’s focused on ordinary crimes and criminals. Exotic world views turn him off.

Reina, his mate, and his employer, Jeff Goldman, a criminal defense attorney, have wider agendas. They wrangle with the vagaries of a criminal justice system that will sentence a little dope dealer to more time than a guy who kills his own wife and they’re environmentalists, besides. They see their Sonoran Desert being destroyed, broken in their laps, by development and developers.

Manny sits out their rants, but he can’t blow Reina off when he starts having hallucinations of his departed Yaqui grandmother, the witch. Then he needs the help only Reina can give. She’s a practicing pagan with a good handle on the world beyond the veil. She’s got lots of advice: Respect the workings of the unconscious mind. Treat the scary Yaqui grandmother as a manifestation of the Sacred Feminine. Be guided by your hallucinations, and so on. It’s not what Manny wants to hear, but he doesn’t have a choice. He’s rolled up in a criminal conspiracy. It’s fight or die and there’s a showdown coming in Skeleton Canyon.

I’m not the first crime writer to use Skeleton Canyon. Not everybody who gets killed there gets buried—thus the name. Skeleton Canyon sits in southeastern Arizona, straddling the border with New Mexico. The gates to it were locked the last time I showed up. It’s an old smuggling route that is still in use and nobody will guarantee your safety if you go there. Geronimo surrendered in Skeleton Canyon. The Earps and the Clantons rode through it. It’s a quiet, wild place. You can get water if you dig in the sand. In my experience, people are the canyon’s only real problem. At its center, geologically young rocks ring a meadow. I once photographed a metal sign that put a name to this tableau. I worked at night, used a Hasselblad on a tripod, and painted the sign with light. The sign read “Devil’s Kitchen.” Billie Johnson at Oak Tree Press liked that photo and used it on the cover of the book.

Susan Cummins Miller, who writes the Frankie McFarlane geology mysteries, suggested Oak Tree Press, just as I was getting ready to do another round of submissions. I sent in whatever hard copy OTP wanted and forgot about it. Then my daughter told me to get on Facebook. When I did, one of the first messages was: Are you the author? I replied along the lines of: Who wants to know? Turned out it was Sunny Frazier, a crime writer working as an acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press. She’d taken over the job, arranged the slush pile in date order, oldest first, and started reading. My manuscript was the oldest. She liked it. “Luck,” she replied, when I asked why I got chosen, “Kismet.”


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nero Wolfe Award Finalists 2011

The Nero Award is presented by the Wolfe Pack each year to an author for the best mystery written in the tradition of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories. It is presented at the Black Orchid Banquet, traditionally held on the first Saturday in December in New York City. The Nero Award celebrates literary excellence in the mystery genre.

Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen -- Ballantine Books
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds -- St. Martin’s Press
Bury Your Dead byLouise Penny -- Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group
The Midnight Show Murders  by Al Roker -- Delacorte
Think of a Number by John Verdon -- Crown

The Wolfe Pack, the literary society that celebrates all things Nero Wolfe, also presents the Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA) in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine to celebrate the Novella format popularized by Rex Stout. The BONA is also announced at the Black Orchid Banquet in December.

To learn more, visit or send mail to Jane K. Cleland:

Mystery Bytes: Crime Fiction News

Every once in awhile I have a few items that I collect in one post. I twitter about this news when it happens, but not everyone is on Twitter. If you are, follow me @JanetRudolph, and you'll have crime fiction news as it happens. Some great sites for mystery news round-ups: The Rap Sheet, Omnimysterynews, Shotsmag Confidential. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments following this post.

1. Pan Macmillan announced that David Hewson, author of the Nic Costa mysteries, will be novelizing the Danish crime series The Killing. David Hewson told Shotsmag Confidential: David Hewson says:

“It’s a great honour to be asked to turn the best crime series on TV – and the fascinating character of Sarah Lund – into books, alongside my own novels set in Italy. The richness, innovation and complexity of THE KILLING have captured the imaginations of TV viewers around the world. I’m flattered to know that it’s going to be my task to bring this acclaimed classic series to the printed page. Rome and Copenhagen are very different places, but both wonderful stages for compelling crime fiction. I can’t wait to start work with my first trip to Denmark in a few weeks.”

2. Vince Flynn's American Assassin to made ito CBS Film: Hollywood Reporter notes that Edward Zwick willdirect CBS Films’ adaptation of American Assassin. Zwick is teaming up with Marshall Herskovitz to write the screenplay, which is based on Vince Flynn’s No. 1 NY Times best-selling novel about CIA agent Mitch Rapp’s adventures working for the nation’s most elite covert operations program. Read more Here.

3. Don't miss Roberta Alexander's Article at The Rap Sheet on "Celebrity Mysteries".. Authors who employ real (dead) people as detectives.

4. Forbes' Avril David listed the 10 Most Powerful Women Authors. Among them was mystery author Mary Higgins Clark.

   "The women selected for this list are powerful because of their ability to influence us through their words and ideas. "Collectively, these women hold readers captivated with stories of fantastical worlds, suspense and drama, insights into the complexities of minority experiences and cultures, and fresh takes on societal issues and expectations…not to mention, book sales of up to 800M copies sold and a wealth of prestigious awards and recognition including Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes."

Mary Higgins Clark
Sales:100 million books sold
Clout: Each of her 42 books has been a best-seller

Her debut novel, Where Are The Children, is in its 75th printing; suffice to say that Mary Higgins Clark’s suspense novels continue to keep readers on the edge of their seats across the globe.

Read the Entire List Here

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Mystery for the Bath: Shower Curtains & More

Around Halloween, I posted a Psycho shower curtain complete with "Psycho" theme music. Definitely something a 'true' mystery lover might want.

 Thought you might fancy the companion Bloody Bath Mat.  
And here's a Shower Curtain to match the Sheets I posted the other day.

I think I have you covered!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rosamund Lupton:Guest Post & Book Giveaway

I read Sister last Fall, I guess when it came out in the UK, and I couldn't put it down. Rosamund Lupton is a fresh new voice on the mystery scene. So, I asked Rosamund Lupton to contribute a post to Mystery Fanfare. Waited until today to post since today is the launch of Sister in the US.


When Rosamund Lupton set out to write her first novel, she had two objectives in mind: the first was to create a good old-fashioned detective story that would keep readers glued to the page; the second was to write about the incredibly deep and powerful bond shared by sisters. While at first seemingly disparate goals, in the hands of Lupton, they form the framework of her brilliant debut, SISTER: A Novel (June 7, 2011; Crown Publishers).

When SISTER was released this past fall in the UK, it became the fastest-selling debut novel in WH Smith’s sales history and made Lupton the fastest-selling British debut of 2010. The novel has received endless critical praise (the Daily Mail called it “stunningly accomplished . . . it’s devastatingly good and announces the arrival of a truly original talent”), was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club for 2010 (and was subsequently selected as one of Richard and Judy’s top 100 Books of the Decade), and spent weeks on a number of bestseller lists with more than 400,000 copies sold to date and foreign rights sold into twenty-seven territories. Lauded for expertly combining the pacing and suspense of crime fiction with the elegant prose and poignant tone of a literary narrative, Lupton has created a story that is dark, surreal, and utterly haunting.

Rosamund Lupton lives with her husband and two sons in London. Sister is her debut novel.

ROSAMUND LUPTON: The Story of Writing Sister

When I was working as a screenwriter, an exasperated director once said to me ‘You just write far too much stage direction! I want a script not a novel!’ Five years later I decided to try and write a book. I had the germ of an idea, but I thought as a screenwriter so it was a scene I imagined. I saw an uptight conservative young woman in a designer suit change into scruffy clothes so she could play the part of her missing little sister in a police reconstruction of her sister’s last known movements. I saw the older starchy sister – Beatrice – put a long wig over her own immaculately cut hair; I saw her exchanging her designer suit for her sister’s scruffy bohemian clothes. But despite their differences, I knew I wanted these two sisters to be devoted to each other. Close to my own younger sister, I wanted to write about the strength of that bond and a detective story – with Beatrice as detective – would be the ideal way to show it.

So the next scene I imagined was Beatrice having a dull and conventional lunch party, despite being in the glamorous city of New York, with her dull fiancée and dull conversation. And then the phone goes. It’s her mother saying that her sister, Tess, hasn’t been seen for five days. Beatrice gets on the first flight to London to look for her. She doesn’t for a moment think of doing anything else. It’s her job as older sister to look after Tess. It’s the start of the detective story but that desperate immediate flight to London also shows Beatrice’s fierce protectiveness. As I wrote the story this love and protectiveness makes Beatrice jettison her old safe life and take huge risks – eventually putting her own life in danger – as she hunts for the truth about what happened to Tess. During the book, Beatrice discovers courage she never knew she possessed.

I wrote the novel while my two children were at school and at weekends and into the nights. It was far harder work than I could possibly have imagined. I could read through a screenplay in a couple of hours, but it took longer than a day to read through a novel. I found I could quite literally lose the plot! And then there was the nail-biting time of sending it off to agents and publishers. Eventually in the UK a publisher took it but wanted me to re-write a huge chunk – effectively throwing the last two thirds in the bin. And I had three months to do it. It was all hands to the pumps, with my friends looking after my children, my mother coming to stay, and I made the deadline with a day to spare. A few months later it was published in the UK and amazingly, went into the best seller list and stayed there for 14 weeks. It has now sold over 420 thousand copies in the UK and has been translated into twenty seven languages.

On the eve of Sister’s publication in the US I owe that exasperated director a huge thank you for pointing me in the right direction and an apology. You were right. I was always, secretly, trying to write a novel.