Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day Mysteries: Labor Unions

There aren't a lot of mysteries set during the Labor Day Holiday: Lee Harris' Labor Day Murder and Sharyn McCrumb's Highland Laddie Gone. There's also the short story "Labor Day" by R.T. Lawton in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

I posted a list of Crime Fiction involving Labor Unions last year, and I'm adding to it this year. Hat Tip to Murder, Mystery & Mayhem for putting together the original list of Labor Day Mysteries involving unions, tradesman and works.


For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen (Garment Workers)
White Hot by Sandra Brown (Labor Dispute)
Big Boned by Meg Cabot (Graduate Student Union)
Airframe by Michael Crichton (Union Trouble)
Cactus Blood by Lucha Corpi (Farm Workers' Union)
The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle (Union Group called the Scowrers)
Third Strike by Philip Craig and William Tapply (Steamship Authority Strike)
October Heat by Gordon DeMarco (1934 San Francisco General Strike-Longshoremen)
Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle (The Scowrers)
The Bramble Bush (aka Worse than Murder) by David Duncan (San Francisco General Strike)
American Tabloid by James Ellroy (Teamsters)
LA Quartet by James Ellroy (Movie Unions)
A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett (Coal Mines)
Dead Reckoning by Patricia Hall (Union Strike)
The Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (IWW organizer & Strike Breaking)
A More Perfect Union by J.A. Jance (Iron Workers' Union)
As Dead As it Gets by Cady Kalian (Creative Artists' Union) 
Death at the Old Hotel by Con Lehane (Hotel Workers' Union)
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (Police Union)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (Labor Union)
Deadly Dues by Lulu Malone (Actors' Union)
Stiff by Shane Maloney (Meat Packing)
Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti  (Union rep in Cathode-ray Tube industry)
Conferences are Murder by Val McDermid (Journalists' Union)
Death at Pullman by Frances McNamara (American Railway Union)
The Viewless Winds by Murray Morgan (Murder of a Labor Leader's wife)
A Red Death by Walter Mosley (Aircraft Manufacturer and Labor Union organizer)
A Bitter Feast by S. J. Rozan (Restaurant Workers' Union)
Some Cuts Never Heal by Timothy Sheard (Shop Steward)
Absolute Rage by Robert K. Tanenbaum (Coal Miners' Union)
The Porkchoppers by Ross Thomas (Politics & Unions)
Killy by Donald Westlake (Manufacturing Union)

Have a great Labor Day Holiday!

2012 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference

November 8–10. 2012: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM. 2012 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. Established to honor mystery author Tony Hillerman, the conference keeps Hillerman's legacy alive with workshops on the art and craft of writing and welcomes writers of all genres and abilities.

Among its faculty:
Johnny Boggs, recipient of multiple awards most recently two 2012 Spur Awards from Western Writers of America for his fiction.
David Morrell, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.
James McGrath Morris, recipient of two New Mexico Book Awards and the Eagleton-Waters Book Award for his biographies.
Michael Orenduff, winner of Left Coast Crime's Lefty Award for best humorous mystery.
Tom Chavez, recipient of the Distinguished History Award Medal from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Excellence in the Humanities Award.
Andrew Hunt, winner of the 2011 Tony Hillerman Prize for best first mystery novel.
Jo-Ann Mapson, recipient of the American Library Association's 2011 RUSA Award for women's fiction.

Registration information and complete schedule:

Conference includes all-day workshop for authors on pacing their work with plenty of opportunity for writing and discussion, a day on the craft of writing and a day on the business of writing with faculty members such as editor Peter Joseph of St. Martin's Press in New York. A morning-long session for writers on publishing their own e-books with Bill O'Hanlon, a look at the process of bring a book to the screen with director/producer Chris Eyre, and an opportunity for a "flash" critique from a literary agent and Rambo creator and thriller writer David Morrell are other conference highlight. Chris Eyre, the award-winning, nationally recognized film and television director and producer who has been called the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time. Authors Richard Peck, Steve Brewer and Judi Hendrix will share their expertise about writing and answer questions from the audience.

The Tony Hillerman Writer's conference began in 2004. Hillerman offered ideas and encouragement to Schaumberg and co-founder Anne Hillerman until his death in 2008. After a year's hiatus, the conference resumed in 2010. In selecting faculty, the conference focuses on highlighting the wealth of literary talent in New Mexico.

 "The small size of the conference enables students to interact informally with each other and our faculty," Anne Hillerman said. "We have students from all over the country who join us each year. We began the conference to honor my Dad and it has blossomed into a way to support New Mexico authors and encourage good writing."

           For further details, visit

Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Ned Kelly Award Winners

Crime Writers' Association of Australia announced the winners of the Ned Kelly Awards:

Best Novel: Pig Boy by J.C. Burke (Random House)

Best First Novel: The Cartographer by Peter Twohig (HarperCollins)

Best True Crime: Sins of the Father by Eamonn Duff (Allen & Unwin)

S.D. Harvey Short Story Award: “Summer of the 17th Poll,”
by A.J. Clifford

Lifetime Achievement: Gabrielle Lord

Hat Tip: Omnimystery News

Nielsen Booksellers' Choice Award: 7 Dae

Books Live Reports that Crime writer Deon Meyer won this year’s Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award for his latest thriller, 7 Dae (7 Days).  7 Dae will be published in English as 7 Days later this year. I'm reading it now, and it's fabulous!

The Booksellers’ Choice Award and a check for 20,000 RSA was presented to Deon Meyer at a gala celebration which was part of the Publishers and Booksellers Associations of South Africa’s Annual Conference. 

This award has run for twelve years. Each year booksellers are asked to choose the books they have most enjoyed reading, promoting and selling, from these submissions. The Booksellers’ Choice Award is chosen and presented by the South African book trade in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry. The award is only open to South African authors who are published in South Africa and celebrates the excellence and high standard of South African writing.

Hat Tip: BV Lawson

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The Mystery Readers NorCal Book Group has been meeting every Tuesday night, September-June, for over 30 years. Thought I'd post the books for this Fall. We meet in Berkeley (CA) on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. Feel free to read along and make comments. We have one book group member joining us on a regular basis via Skype!


Most of the books this session came out in 2011 in the U.S.

September 11: Jacqueline Winspear’s A Lesson in Secrets

September 18  Camilla Lackberg's The Ice Princess

No Meeting September 25 or October 2 

October 9:   Emily Arsenault’s In Search of the Rose Notes

October 16: Lawrence Block A Drop of the Hard Stuff 

October 23: George Pelecanos’ The Cut

October 30: Val McDermid’s Trick of the Dark 

 November 6: Harry Dolan’s Bad Things Happen

November 13: Possible: Mo Hayder’s Gone or Reginald Hill’s The Spy’s Wife 

November 20: Steven Wetta’s If Jack’s in Love 

November 27: Philip Kerr’s Field of Gray

READ Scrabble Tile Pillows

These Scrabble Tile Pillows may not add up to a lot of points, but they add up in my 'book'... Love them.

Available from littlehousefrau on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Killer Nashville 2012 Award Winners

Killer Nashville 2012 announced its Award winners this past weekend.

2012 Claymore Award Winner: Jonathan Stone for "Again"
2nd Place: V.R. Barkowski for "A Twist of Hate"
3rd Place Tie: Carol Baier for "Wicked Schemes" & Mark Troy for "The Law of the Splintered Paddle"

2012 Silver Falchion Award:  C.Hope Clark for "Lowcountry Bribe"

Crime Scene Detective Award:  Lee Masterson ​

SEMWA Magnolia Award Chester D. Campbell 

Congratulations to all!

Tim Hallinan/Jeff Siger Lit Salon September 7

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening of International Mystery with authors Timothy Hallinan and Jeffrey Siger. Friday, September 7, 7 p.m. Berkeley, CA. Please comment with your email to RSVP and for directions.

Thailand: Timothy Hallinan is the Edgar and Macavity nominated author of three widely praised fiction series: the Bangkok thrillers featuring Poke Rafferty, the Simeon Grist mysteries, set in Los Angeles, and the new Junior Bender comic mysteries, featuring a burglar who works as an investigator for other crooks.

Hallinan has lived on and off in Southeast Asia for more than 25 years. He began writing books while enjoying a successful career in the television industry. He wrote songs and sang in a rock band while in college, and many of his songs were recorded by by well-known artists who included the platinum-selling group Bread. For years he has taught a course on “Finishing the Novel”. Tim currently maintains a house in Santa Monica, California, and apartments in Bangkok, Thailand; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

His latest Poke Rafferty novel is The Fear Artist. Read a guest post here.

Greece: Jeffrey Siger left his life as a lawyer in New York City to write of mystery and intrigue on his beloved Greek island paradise of Mykonos -as only a local could. His work is a best selling phenomenon throughout Greece - among tourists and natives alike.

Jeff was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received degrees in political science and biology from Washington and Jefferson College and in law from Boston College Law School. He began practicing law at a major Wall Street law firm. While there, he helped establish the leading organization in New York City for private-practice lawyers seeking to volunteer for public service, and served as Special Counsel to the citizens group responsible for reporting on New York City prison conditions.

He left Wall Street to join his own New York City law firm. There he continued as one of its name partners-litigating high-stakes society scandals and other delicate public and private matters of domestic and international consequence-until giving it all up to write full-time among the people, life, and politics of his beloved Mykonos, and spearfish in its Aegean waters.

His latest novel is: Target: Tinos

Both Tim and Jeff blog at Murder is Everywhere, Seven renowned crime writers blog from different corners of the world.

Cartoon of the Day: Book

Sunday, August 26, 2012

AK Bullet Ice Cube Tray

From Fab, one of my favorite fab websites comes this AK Bullet Ice Cube Tray by Mustard. On sale for $13.

When filled and frozen, the AK Bullet Ice Cube Tray looks just like the magazine of the venerable AK-47. Each crystalline, deadly, and delicious ice bullet will serve up a killer cocktail.

Wallander III: Masterpiece Mystery!

Wallander III returns on MASTERPIECE Mystery! PBS
Sundays, September 9-23, 2012, 9 to 10:30pm ET on PBS

Kenneth Branagh returns as Inspector Kurt Wallander, the moody Swedish detective created by mystery author Henning Mankell.

An Event in Autumn — Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 9pm ET
A pregnant woman leaps to her death from the side of a ferry. Or was she pushed? The routine case barely disturbs Wallander's newly blissful life with Vanja (Saskia Reeves, Page Eight), his lover from the end of series 2. But then the happy couple discovers a decade-old corpse of a murdered woman on their property. With Wallander's work now getting too close to home, he follows the leads of two investigations that get increasingly entangled. On top of it, tragedy strikes one of his colleagues, and Wallander blames himself — with good reason.

The Dogs of Riga — Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 9pm ET
A raft adrift in Swedish waters has a grisly cargo: two horribly tortured Latvian corpses. Arriving to investigate from Latvia's capital, Riga, is an enigmatic police major. He reports back to headquarters and then disappears. After hearing reports of his death, Wallander goes to Riga and meets the major's wife, Kristina (Rebekah Staton, Tess of the D'Urbervilles). Together, they get embroiled in a desperate search for files that may document high-level corruption that threatens to make Wallander and Kristina the next victims.

Before the Frost — Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 9pm ET
An escapee from a psychiatric hospital sets fire to a flock of geese and then incinerates a passing hiker. And he's far from finished. While investigating, Wallander is unexpectedly visited by Anna, an old friend of his estranged daughter, Linda (Jeany Spark). Then Anna disappears. As the arson attacks mount, it appears that Anna may be connected. Duty demands that Wallander reconcile with Linda and join forces to find Anna at all costs. But father-daughter concord is hardly helped by Linda's memory that her dad once had an affair with Anna's mother.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Benjamin Black's Quirke Novels Adapted for BBC One

Gabriel Byrne to play Quirke

Based on the books by Benjamin Black (pseudonym of award-winning Irish writer John Banville), Quirke is a new series for BBC ONE adapted by screenwriters Andrew Davies and Conor McPherson and starring Gabriel Byrne in the title role.

Quirke (we never get to know his Christian name) is the chief pathologist in the Dublin city morgue – a charismatic loner whose job takes him into unexpected places as he uncovers the secrets of sudden death in 1950s Dublin. 

The three feature length episodes each take their stories from different books in the series, ‘Christine Falls’ and ‘The Silver Swan’ by Andrew Davies and ‘Elegy for April’ by Conor McPherson.  Commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller Drama Commissioning.

John Banville said:  “I am very excited by the prospect of seeing my character Quirke incarnated by Gabriel Byrne, a perfect choice for the part. I know both Quirke and Benjamin Black will be wonderfully served by Andrew Davies and Conor McPherson, two masters of their craft. “ 

John McColgan, Founding Director, Tyrone Productions adds:   “As a friend and colleague of Gabriel Byrne over the years I am thrilled to see him bringing the brilliant mercurial character of Quirke as created by John Banville to screens worldwide.  BBC Drama has brought an incredible pool of writing talent to this project and I’m looking forward to seeing their scripts going into production.”

The series is a co-production between BBC Drama Production and Dublin-based companies Element Pictures and Tyrone Productions.  It is 3 X 90 minutes and filming begins in Dublin later this year. The Executive Producers are Jessica Pope for the BBC, Ed Guiney for Element Pictures and Joan Egan for Tyrone Productions.  Lisa Osborne is the BBC Producer and John Alexander is the director of the first film ‘Christine Falls’.

The latest novel in the Quirke series "Vengeance" was just released from Henry Holt.

CWA Dagger Nominations

The British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has announced its lists of finalists for three prestigious annual commendations, along with the names of contenders for a number of Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards. Winners will be announced October 18.

The CWA Gold Dagger:
• Vengeance in Mind, by N.J. Cooper (Simon & Schuster)
• The Flight, by M.R. Hall (Mantle)
• The Rage, by Gene Kerrigan (Harvill Secker)
• Bereft, by Chris Womersley (Quercus)

The CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger:
• Heart-Shaped Bruise, by Tanya Byrne (Headline)
• Land More Kind than Home, by Wiley Cash (Bantam)
• Good People, by Ewart Hutton (Blue Door)
• What Dies in Summer, by Tom Wright (Canongate)

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:
• Dare Me, by Megan Abbott (Picador)
• A Foreign Country, by Charles Cumming (HarperCollins)
• The Fear Index, by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
• Reamde, by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic Books)

The Specsavers Bestseller Dagger (public vote):
• Ann Cleeves
• Anthony Horowitz
• Stuart MacBride
• Jo Nesbø
• Kathy Reichs

According to a press release, “This award honors the success of authors throughout their careers, and is chosen by the reading public. Readers can check out the official Web site at and register their vote for the favorite best-selling author online. The winner will be presented with the Bestseller Dagger at the awards ceremony on the 18 October, after all the votes are counted on 12 October.

The Film Dagger:
• Drive (Icon)
• The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros)
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sony)
• The Guard (Optimum)
• Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Studio Canal)

The TV Dagger:
• Appropriate Adult (ITV Studios/ITV1)
• Line of Duty (BBC/BBC2)
• Sherlock: Series 2 (Hartswood Films/BBC1)
• Wallander (Left Bank Pictures, Yellow Bird/BBC1)
• Whitechapel: Series 3 (Carnival/ITV1)

The International TV Dagger:
• Boardwalk Empire: Season 2 (HBO/Sky Atlantic)
• Dexter: Season 6 (Showtime Networks, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions/FX)
• Homeland (Teakwood Lane Productions, Showtime Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet Media Group, Fox 21/Channel 4)
• The Bridge (Danmarks Radio, Sveriges Television/BBC4)
• The Killing II: Forbrydelsen (Arrow Films/BBC4)

The Best Actress Dagger:
• Brenda Blethyn for Vera (ITV Studios/ITV1)
• Claire Danes for Homeland (Teakwood Lane Productions, Showtime Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet Media Group, Fox 21/Channel 4)
• Sofie Gråbøl for The Killing II (Arrow Films/BBC4)
• Sofia Helin for The Bridge (Danmarks Radio, Sveriges Television/BBC4)
• Maxine Peake for Silk (BBC/BBC1)

The Best Actor Dagger:
• Kenneth Branagh for Wallander (Left Bank Pictures,Yellow Bird/BBC1)
• Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire (HBO/Sky Atlantic)
• Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock (Hartswood Films/BBC1)
• Damien Lewis for Homeland (Teakwood Lane Productions, Showtime Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet Media Group, Fox 21/Channel 4)
• Dominic West for Appropriate Adult (ITV Studios/ITV1

The Best Supporting Actress Dagger:
• Frances Barber for Silk (BBC/BBC1)
• Kelly Macdonald for Boardwalk Empire (HBO/Sky Atlantic)
• Archie Panjabi for The Good Wife (Scott Free Productions, King Size Productions, Small Wishes, CBS Productions/More 4)
• Sarah Smart for Wallander (Left Bank Pictures, Yellow Bird/BBC1)
• Una Stubbs for Sherlock (Hartswood Films/BBC1)

The Best Supporting Actor Dagger:
• Alun Armstrong for Garrow’s Law (Shed Media/BBC1)
• Alan Cumming for The Good Wife (Scott Free Productions, King Size Productions, Small Wishes, CBS Productions/More 4)
• Phil Davis for Silk and Whitechapel (Silk: BBC/BBC1; Whitechapel: Carnival/ITV1)
• Laurence Fox for Lewis (ITV Studios/ITV1)
• Martin Freeman for Sherlock (Hartswood Films/BBC1)

Best Detective Duo (public vote):
The British public can recognize for their favorite TV detective duo in a phone vote, beginning on September 7.
• DCI Banks
DCI Alan Banks and DS Annie Cabbot -– call 090 16 16 14 01
• Above Suspicion
DC Anna Travis and DCS James Langton –- call 090 16 16 14 02
• Scott and Bailey
DC Jane Scott and DC Rachel Bailey –- call 090 16 16 14 03
• Lewis
DI Robbie Lewis and DS James Hathaway –- call 090 16 16 14 04
• Whitechapel
DI Joseph Chandler and DS Ray Miles –- call 090 16 16 14 05
• Vera
DCI Vera Stanhope and DS Joe Ashworth –- call 090 16 16 14 06

Hat Tip: The Rap Sheet via It's a Crime! [Or a Mystery...]

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Rhys Bowen and Sheldon Siegel: Guests of Honor

The day is broken into two segments: the craft of writing and the business of writing. In addition to our guests of honor, participating authors include David Corbett, Cara Black, Keith Raffel, Camille Minichino, Priscilla Royal, Reece Hirsch, Lisa Brackman, JJ and Bette Lamb, Robin Burcell, Michelle Gagnon, Julianne Balmain, Simon Wood, and Catriona McPherson.

Bookstore on premises, snacks, and time built in to chat with panelists.
Participation LIMITED to 75.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 8am - 5pm,
Downtown San Francisco at the law offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (courtesy of thriller author and partner Reece Hirsch).
Litquake is a co-sponsor of the event with MWA and SinC.

NOTE: You will need PHOTO ID for security reasons, and we would like your confirmation by at least one day in advance so that we can have you listed on the security sheet for entrance.

MWA, SinC or Litquake member

Pre-paid: $50
At the door: $75 (no guarantee tickets will be available)

NOTE: Checks must be received by September 15th to guarantee your space, since there is a 75 person limit! Please send your checks to: Pat Morin, PO Box 2220 Sausalito, CA 94965. Checks payable to MWA NorCal

General Public
Pre-paid: $75
At the door: $100 (no guarantee tickets will be available)

The schedule:
8:00 - 9:00: Arrive, mingle
9 - 9:30: Introduction
Keynote Address [Special Guest of Honor: Rhys Bowen]

I. First Half of Day: The Craft of Writing
9:30 - 10:15: Genres and Subgenres: What's It All About? [David Corbett, JJ/Bette Lamb, Reece Hirsch]
10:15-10:30: Break, book signing
10:30-11:15: Stars of the Show: Characterization, Heroes and Villains [Keith Raffel, Rhys Bowen, Robin Burcell]
11:15-11:30: Break, book signing
11:30-12:15: The Race for Pace, the Vision of Voice [Catriona McPherson, David Corbett, Kelli Stanley]
12:15-12:30: Break, book signing

12:30 - 1:30: Lunch [on your own -- there are plenty of places nearby to eat!]

Second Half of Day: The Business of Writing
1:30 - 2:15: Make Yourself Irresistible [queries, PR pitches, etc.] [Lisa Brackman, Priscilla Royal, Sheldon Siegel]
2:15-2:30: Break, book signing
2:30 - 3:15: Creative Marketing: What Your Publisher Does and Doesn't Do [Reece Hirsch, Julianne Balmain, Michelle Gagnon]
3:15-3:30: Break, book signing
3:30 - 4:15: White Water Rafting: Career Navigation for a Writer [Simon Wood, Camille Minichino, Cara Black]
4:15-4:30: Break, book signing
4:30-5:00: Strike the set!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tony Scott: R.I.P.

From CNN: 

Director Tony Scott, best known for the films "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died in an apparent suicide yesterday when he jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California, a Los Angeles County coroner official said.

"There's nothing to indicate it is anything else at this time," said Lt. Joe Bale of the coroner's office.
Scott, 68, jumped from the bridge at about 12:30 p.m., Bale said. The bridge spans the Los Angeles Harbor, connecting San Pedro and Terminal Island.

A passerby who saw Scott jump from the bridge called 911, according to a statement released by the coroner's office late Sunday.

The coroner's office declined to comment or confirm a Los Angeles Times report that authorities found contact information in Scott's car parked on the bridge, and later found a suicide note in his office.

Scott cemented his reputation for big-budget action films with 1990's "Revenge" starring Kevin Costner and "Days of Thunder" with Tom Cruise. In 1998, he directed "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith and Gene Hackman.

Scott directed his last film, the train thriller "Unstoppable" starring Denzel Washington, in 2010.
"For me, it was the most challenging movie of my life, and the most dangerous because I'm shooting 90 percent of the movie on a train that is running between 50 and 70 mph," Scott told CNN at the time.

In 2002, the Scott brothers won an Emmy for the television movie "The Gathering Storm."
Scott also was nominated for the Emmy as a producer for the CBS drama "The Good Wife."

Among his last projects was serving as an executive producer on the TV miniseries, "Coma," which is due to air this year.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jeff Sherratt: R.I.P.

Sad news. Sue Ann Jaffarian mentioned today that mystery author Jeff Sherratt has passed away.

Jeff Sherratt was the author of the Jimmy O'Brien mystery series. The first in the series, Guilty or Else (2009), was nominated for the Left Coast Crime Panik Award. Soon after its initial release, the second novel in the series, The Brimstone Murders (2007), became the bestselling book of all time for Echelon Press. Detour to Murder (2010), published by Innova Press, is the latest in the Jimmy O'Brien film noir mystery series.

Jeff wrote nonfiction articles for corporate newsletters and his short stores were published in H2O Magazine and the anthology, The Heat of the Moment.

He was a past board member of Sisters in Crime/LA and a member of Mystery Writers of America. Jeff lived in Newport Beach with his wife Judy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book Table

So this is the day to post all the fun "Book" Furniture.  Here's another.

Book Table by Richard Hutten

Piano Bookcase

Although it's sad when a piano no longer is used as it should be, there might come a time when it is no longer viable as an instrument. Hence this repurposing. Music books?

Hat Tip: Doc Quartermass

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ma Barker Shoot-out House for sale

I love when 'famous' criminal houses come up for sale.

The Florida house where infamous 1930s gang leader Ma Barker made her last stand against FBI agents is for sale. Carson Good, one of 10 remaining descendants of Carson Bradford, who built the house in 1930, said the family has decided to put the Ocklawaha house up for sale for the first time since it was built, the Orlando Sentinel reported today.

The house was the scene of the FBI gun battle that ended the lives of Kate "Ma" Barker and her son, Fred Barker. The sale includes FBI documents about the incident, which is regarded as the longest shootout in the history of the bureau.

Stirling Sotheby's International Realty, which is handling the sale, said offers are being accepted through Oct. 5.

The Orlando Sentinel comments on the marketing of this property. Be sure and read the large type! As if...

Sales brochures for this lakefront house near The Villages highlight the bullet holes — patched over in the dining-room and bedroom walls after what is regarded as the longest shootout in FBI history.
Marketing materials include FBI reports describing 1930s gangland criminal Ma Barker and one of her sons "lying lifeless in pools of blood." One black-and-white photo shows a cache of weapons reportedly taken from the house on Lake Weir.

The blood-hyped pitch is aimed at selling — for the first time — the Ocklawaha retreat known for the infamous 1935 melee in which about dozen federal agents surrounded the two-story, wood-frame house and fired more than 2,000 rounds during an entire morning. Inside were Ma Barker and one of her four sons, Fred Barker. It's a story that has been the subject of books and movies, with Shelley Winters playing Kate "Ma" Barker in the 1970 film "Bloody Mama."

For the first time since it was built by Miami entrepreneur Carson Bradford in 1930, the vacation home once described by the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover as the "scene of the battle" is being offered for sale by Bradford's descendants. Orlando resident Carson Good, one of 10 remaining family members, said that, with the death of some older relatives, it's time to put the house on the market.

"We really would like to see it go into the right hands," said Good, who oversees retail-capital markets in Florida for the commercial-real-estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. "People have approached us over the years, but we never wanted to sell. We love the property."

The suggested starting price for the 10-acre property in southeast Marion County: $1 million. Offers are being accepted through Stirling Sotheby's International Realty through Oct. 5. Even if the property had no structures on it, the lakefront acreage might be worth $800,000, said Roger Soderstrom, broker for Heathrow-based Stirling Sotheby's.

"There's unbelievable interest around the world in crime memorabilia. People have never seen a property where everything is intact from the time of the event," said Soderstrom, who is overseeing the sale. "We think the buyer could be someone who has a passion for crime memorabilia and who wants to build their own house [on the property] and keep this as a collector's house. It could be a bed-and-breakfast. You could have weddings there.''

Aside from the home's well-preserved condition and period furnishings, including some original pieces, what sets this offering apart is the trove of related FBI documents that detail one of the highest-profile gangland shootouts of its era.

Ma Barker, leader of the Barker-Karpis gang, was labeled Public Enemy No. 1 by the federal government for a spree of murders, kidnappings and robberies throughout the Midwest in the early 1930s. After Barker rented the Ocklawaha house as a hide-out, federal agents learned of it when they found clues during a raid of the Chicago home of another son, Arthur "Doc" Barker, just a month before the siege.

A hand-drawn sketch from federal authorities shows an overview of the Central Florida house with the names and positions of the agents who surrounded it starting at 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 1935, armed with three machine guns, two rifles, two shotguns, gas canisters and other equipment, including bulletproof vests.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Midsomer Murders Episode Guide

I'm a big fan of Midsomer Murders, and I have been watching all the episodes again--this time in order (streaming on Netflix). There are more episodes to come (since we live in the USA) which is heartening, albeit the new ones are without John Nettles. I've loved watching the changes in the style and various 'sidekicks' throughout the many episodes. Warning: Don't move to Midsomer! Every town and village seems to be losing citizens right and left!

So for those who 'need' to know, and I count myself among them, here's a link to a website that lists all the episodes in order. You can click on the individual episode titles for synopsis, location photos, and the occasional actor's interview (particularly for the more recent episodes.)

Hat Tip: Kathleen Chalmers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

LEGAL MYSTERIES I: Mystery Readers Journal

The latest issue of Mystery Readers Journal: Legal Mysteries I (28:2)  has just been published. We had so many great articles, reviews and author essays that we decided to go to two issues of Legal Mysteries. So, there's still some time for you to contribute to this issue. Send me an email or comment below if you'd like to be included.

This Legal Mystery issue is available as hardcopy or PDF. Go here to order.  There are a few articles available to read online, so be sure and visit the site. I'll also be posting articles on Mystery Fanfare over the next few days. See below for Table of Contents.

Mystery Readers Journal: Legal Mysteries I


  • Better Talk to the Lawyer by Margot Kinberg
  • Yrsa Sigurdardóttir: Iceland's Queen of Suspense by Mitzi M. Brunsdale
  • Prosecutors Who Turned To Crime (Fiction) by Karen Catalona
  • Missing Maidens, Weeping Paintings, and the Law in Renaissance Florence
    by Alana White
  • The Legal Thrill of It All by James Scott Bell
  • The Curious Career of Martin H. Ehrengraf by Lawrence Block
  • Celebrating (and Lampooning) the Fictional Courtroom by Jon L. Breen
  • Criminal Justice—Not Just an Oxymoron by Holli Castillo
  • Law, Life and Liverpool by Martin Edwards
  • "Ain't No Holt What Can't Be Broke" by Flo Fitzpatrick
  • Me & Brehon Law by Cora Harrison
  • Arthur! Arthur! by William Deverell
  • The Legal Formula and How to Avoid It by John Lescroart
  • Fiction Cured My Courtroom Blues by Paul Levine
  • Short Stories, Novels, What Ifs, and Skip Tracing by D.P. Lyle
  • Your Doctor Did What? by Liz Osborne
  • Mystery and the Law by Una Tiers
  • For the Love of the Law by Pamela Samuels Young
  • Crossword: The Case of the Diligent Defender by Verna Suit
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Donald J. Bingle and L.J. Roberts
  • Legal Mysteries Line-Up by Cathy Pickens
  • Crime Seen: On Trial by Kate Derie
  • Just the Facts: A Fool for a Client by Jim Doherty
  • Children's Hour: Legal Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • From the Editor's Desk by Janet Rudolph

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award

The shortlist for the inaugural Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Book of the Year award
• A Foreign Country, by Charles Cumming (Harper Collins)
• Dead Men and Broken Hearts, by Craig Russell (Quercus)
• Gods and Beasts, by Denise Mina (Orion)
• The Lewis Man, by Peter May (Quercus)
• Prague Fatale, by Philip Kerr (Quercus)
• Redemption, by Will Jordan (Random House)

The winner will be announced on Sunday September 16th during Bloody Scotland, where the winner will be presented with a trophy and a cheque for £3,000.
The Award seeks to recognise and reward excellence in Scottish crime writing, first published between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012. Over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction were submitted by UK publishers. Eligible books were by writers born in Scotland, by writers living in Scotland, or books set in Scotland.
Bloody Scotland which is Scotland's first International Crime Writing Festival will take place in Stirling September 14-16, 2012.
Congratulations to all.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Garage Door Library

I missed this photo and article by Barbara Thornburg of a trompe l'oeil garage door painted as if it were a library when it was published on 9/17/09, but I love that mystery author Robert Crais came upon the house and "library door' the other day. This mural was painted in 2005 by artist Don Gray on Lee Dembart's garage door. Lee Dembart was a fromer editorial writer and book reviewer for the LA Times.

I was going to paint my garage door green, but this is so much more intriguing!

HT: Sal Towse for the link to the original article and photo.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Book Lovers Day!

Thanks to Lesa Holstine for this reminder.. and for posting this poster. Celebrate Books!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ngaio Marsh Award Finalists

THE FINALISTS for the 2012 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel have been announced.

COLLECTING COOPER by Paul Cleave (Simon & Schuster)
LUTHER: THE CALLING by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster)
BY ANY MEANS by Ben Sanders (HarperCollins)
BOUND by Vanda Symon (Penguin)

The award, now in its third year, is made annually for the best crime, mystery, or thriller novel written by a New Zealand citizen or resident.

 “It has been a really tough decision for the judging panel,” said convenor Craig Sisterson. “There was some top notch crime, mystery, and thriller fiction penned by New Zealanders last year. All of the books on this year’s longlist received high praise from judges. It is great to see one of the world’s most popular forms of writing starting to flourish here on our own shores, though it does make our job harder.”

The judging panel included authors, reviewers, publishers, editors, and festival organizers from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. I was so pleased to be a judge!

The judges praised COLLECTING COOPER as “dark and poetic” with “great characters and a great sense of place”; said LUTHER: THE CALLING was a “superbly crafted, brilliant novel” written in “vivid prose that brings the characters and world to startling life”; called BY ANY MEANS a “real page turner” and Sanders “a master of the short sentence and crisp dialogue”, reminiscent of Elmore Leonard; and rated BOUND as “full of surprises” and “the best yet” in Symon’s excellent Sam Shephard series, filled with “great pacing, characters, and dialogue”.

This year’s winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will be announced at the upcoming Christchurch Writers Festival at the conclusion of “The Great New Zealand Crime Debate” on September 1, 2012.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SKY to launch James Bond 007 Movie Channel

Sky has announced it will launch a dedicated James Bond 007 movie channel in October.

Every film, including the original 1967 'Casino Royale' and 'Never Say Never Again' will be available to Sky subscribers in both standard and HD.

“The Bond movies are a very special franchise and we want to ensure that our customers will be able to experience it in a way they've never been able to before, and so we're going to create a dedicated channel Sky Movies 007 HD devoted entirely to James Bond showing the entire catalogue of films and loads of extra material,” said Sky Movies director Ian Lewis.

The Channel will launch on October 5 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of 'Dr No'.

Hat Tip: Omnimystery News

New Philip Marlowe novel by John Banville

Henry Holt announced today that John Banville, the Man Booker Prize-winning Irish novelist, will write a new Philip Marlowe novel for publication in 2013 featuring the hero-detective of Raymond Chandler’s best-selling books.

Under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, Banville currently writes a series of crime novels for Holt that features Quirke, his one-named, hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. The fifth book in the series, Vengeance, will be published this week.

John Sterling, an editor at large for Macmillan and editor of the Black novels, acquired the book, which will be written under an arrangement with the Chandler estate. Along with Marlowe, Banville will bring back policeman Bernie Ohls, the gumshoe’s good friend.

The book will have an original plot and take place in the 1940s. The setting will remain in Bay City – Chandler’s fictional stand-in for Santa Monica, California – and feature Chandler’s hallmark noir ambience.

“I love the challenge of following in the very large footsteps of Raymond Chandler,” Banville said. “I began reading Chandler as a teenager, and frequently return to the novels. This idea has been germinating for several years and I relish the prospect of setting a book in Marlowe’s California, which I always think of in terms of Edward Hopper’s paintings. Bay City will have a slightly surreal, or hyper-real, atmosphere that I look forward to creating.”

“John Banville writing as Benjamin Black recreating Raymond Chandler is a perfect literary hand-off,” said Sterling. “There is no one better to bring Philip Marlowe back to life for the vast readership that loves noir crime fiction.”

Chandler wrote screenplays, short stories and novels. He perfected the genre of  crime fiction that featured hard-boiled detectives like Marlowe, a wise-cracking private eye who spoke to the reader in a signature, first-person staccato voice and was the protagonist of “The Big Sleep” (1939), “Farewell, My Lovely” (1940), “The High Window” (1942), “The Lady in the Lake” (1943), “The Little Sister” (1949), “The Long Goodbye” (1953) and “Playback” (1958). His eighth Marlowe novel, “Poodle Springs” was unfinished at the time of his death in 1959, and completed by best-selling mystery writer Robert B. Parker, author of the successful “Spenser” series, in 1989. 

Marvin Hamlisch: R.I.P.

Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of movies including The Sting and won a Tony for A Chorus Line, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 68, after a brief illness.

Composer Marvin Hamlisch won three Oscars, four Emmys and a Tony Award. Hamlisch's career included composing, conducting and arranging music from Broadway to Hollywood. Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores and songs, including The Spy Who Loved Me, Sophie's Choice, The Sting, The Way We Were, Ordinary People and Take the Money and Run. He won his third Oscar for his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for The Sting.

On Broadway, Hamlisch received the Pulitzer Prize for long-running favorite A Chorus Line and wrote The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success.

As recently as last month, Mr. Hamlisch was working on a musical adaptation of the Jerry Lewis comedy The Nutty Professor, for which he wrote the score. His press representatives said he was also working on a new Broadway musical called Gotta Dance, and had written the score for an upcoming HBO movie, Behind the Candelabra, about the life of Liberace.

Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego. He was to be announced to the same position with the Philadelphia Orchestra and also was due to lead the New York Philharmonic during its upcoming New Year's Eve concert.

He leaves behind a legacy in film and music that transcended far beyond notes on the page. As illustrative as the scenes playing out in front of the music, his scores helped define some of Hollywood's most iconic works.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Partners & Crime to Close

More sad bookstore news. New York City's Partners & Crime has posted the following on their website:

After 18 years in the shop on Greenwich Avenue, Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers is closing its doors on September 20th. 

We've had a great run and have enjoyed helping a generation of readers find the books they love. 

We've had a lot of fun, learned a tremendous amount, and enjoyed our time with all of you - customers, authors and publishers. 

Stop by, reminisce and check out our THANK YOU sale -- and maybe find that favorite title you really can't live without! Couldn't have done it without you! 

With our great appreciation to all , and a special thank you to Bernard Charles, our landlord, for all their support. 

All of us at Partners & Crime

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ned Kelly Awards Shortlist

Crime Writers’ Association of Australia announced the shortlist for the 2012 Ned Kelly Awards

Best Fiction:
• The Life, by Malcolm Knox (Allen & Unwin)
• Chelsea Mansions, by Barry Maitland (Allen & Unwin)
• Pig Boy, by J.C. Burke (Random House)

Best First Fiction:
• The Courier’s New Bicycle, by Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
• The Cartographer, by Peter Twohig (HarperCollins)
• When We Have Wings, by Claire Corbett (Allen & Unwin)

Best True Crime:
• Cold Case Files, by Liz Porter (Pan Macmillan)
• Call Me Cruel, by Michael Duffy (Allen & Unwin)
• Sins of the Father, by Eamonn Duff (Allen & Unwin)

Hat Tip: The Rap Sheet via Shotsmag

Pencil Fence

Not sure where this is, but I had to post it.

Hat Tip: Christine McCann