Saturday, May 31, 2014

ENDEAVOR, Series 2: PBS Masterpiece

I've just finished viewing the first two episodes of Endeavor, Series 2, which will be shown in the U.S. on PBS Masterpiece, starting on June 29. There are 4 new episodes that comprise the series. Well done! Shaun Evans does a great job of playing the young Inspector Morse. The series, as you may remember, is set in the 1960s in Oxford. Except for a few references, it has a timeless quality. Not as riveting as The Escape Artist, but certainly solid and enjoyable. Love matching wits with Morse. I've been watching the entire older "Morse" series again  to complement my viewing.

Shaun Evans (The Take, The Last Weekend, Silk), portrays the young cerebral and solitary Detective Constable Morse. He returns in Series 2 with four new mysteries written by Inspector Lewis creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis.

In Trove (June 29), Nocturne (July 6), Sway (July 13), and Neverland (July 20), Endeavour Morse contends with the aftershocks of his terrifying brush with death as he conducts his dogged, incorruptible pursuit of justice from the shadows of Oxford and the fringes of the police force.

Roger Allum costars as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, and Abigail Thaw, daughter of Inspector Morse star John Thaw, makes special guest appearances as Dorothea Frazil.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bouchercon Dreams

I love Bouchercon, the world mystery convention. Bouchercon is a fan-tastic 4 day fan convention for readers, writers, editors, publishers and everyone who loves mysteries. What you might not know is that I actually attend Bouchercon many nights during the year. How is that possible? Because I “dream of Bouchercon.” Yes, I’d say at least once a week I have a dream in which I’m with friends at Bouchercon, checking into hotels, attending panels, meeting up at the bar, sightseeing, and more. Now, just to be clear, these dreams are not nightmares.

O.K. so why do I dream about Bouchercon? Probably because it is only takes place one weekend a year, and I have to pack up all those dreams and make them a reality in a mere 4 or 5 days! Those days are so much fun and so full of crime fiction and friends, that they fly by all too quickly. So my dreams fill in the gaps. LOL

I’ve been attending Bouchercon for over 30 years, and each Bouchercon is fresh and new, specifically because of new programming, new writers and the fact that B'con is always held in a different location. What I like best about Bouchercon is meeting old friends, making new ones, and spending time with people who are passionate about reading, and mysteries, in particular. So when I was asked to be part of the blog tour for the Long Beach Bouchercon, I said yes!

This year Bouchercon will be in Long Beach, November 13-16, 2014. Check out the website for Guests of Honor, Hotels, Trips, Attendees and more.

There will be over 2000 attendees this year, so I have a few tips (or refreshers for past attendees) to make your Bouchercon experience the very best! There’s multi-panel programming, so you’ll need to make some tough decisions. You won’t be able to see or hear it all. That being said, enjoy what you do see, and don’t worry about the rest. Be sure to attend special events, such as opening ceremonies, the banquet, guest of honor interviews, special luncheons. Come early, stay late. There will be side-trips.

Places to meet other readers and writers in a casual way: 
 1) The lobby. Have a seat and watch the world go by or strike up a conversation with the person next to you. That person might be a best selling thriller writer or someone who will become a life-long friend.
 2) The Bookroom: good for ‘grazing’ and interacting with others who are buying books and might need your expert advice. Be sure and buy some books!
3) The bar: even if you’re not a drinker, it’s all happening at the bar! Be sure and stop by.. mostly later in the evening, but any time works! Don't be shy.
4) Restaurants and coffee shops: If someone’s wearing a Bcon tag when you’re out and about, be sure and say hi! Or put together a small group for dinner and ask anyone standing around the hotel lobby to join you.

I volunteered to be on the committee of the first Bouchercon I attended. Since then I’ve been on 5 host committees, and now I’m on the Bouchercon Board. Maybe that’s more than you want to do, but there are many other fun ways to volunteer onsite at the convention. Check out the possibilities to volunteer at B'con: Murder at the Beach- Long Beach. It’s great fun!

So those are just a few tips for enjoying yourself at Bouchercon this year. Over the next few months I’ll be posting more. And, I just might be on the Bouchercon 101 panel. Or maybe Bouchercon 202… how to get even more out of your Bouchercon experience!

Hope to see you at Bouchercon: Murder at the Beach in November.

In the meantime, see you in my dreams….

Audie Awards

The Audie Awards (Audio Publishers Association) were announced last night. To see the winners in all categories, go HERE. Congratulations to all!

Doctor Sleep By Stephen King
Read by Will Patton
Simon & Schuster Audio

The Complete Sherlock Holmes By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Read by Simon Vance
Brilliance Audio

Sherlock Holmes in America By John L. Lellenberg et al.
Read by Graham Malcolm
Audible, Inc.

Unleashed By David Rosenfelt
Read by Grover Gardner
Listen & Live Audio

The Hit By David Baldacci
Read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy
Hachette Audio

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bus Stop Library

This Bus Stop Library is in Bogoa, Columbia. "Making books available to everyone who patiently waits for public transport."

HT: Paul D. Marks

Monday, May 26, 2014

Literary Salon: Joseph Finder- Sunday, June 1 in Berkeley

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening with award winning thriller writer Joseph Finder on Sunday, June 1, at 7 p.m, in Berkeley, CA. This is one of only two Bay Area appearances--the other is at Copperfield's in Santa Rosa.

Comment below with email address for directions and to RSVP. This event is FREE, but limited. Potluck hors d'oevres.


Joseph Finder’s plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer, and winner of the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for BURIED SECRETS (2011), winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for KILLER INSTINCT (2006) and winner of the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller for COMPANY MAN (2005).  
Born in Chicago, Joe spent his early childhood living around the world, including Afghanistan and the Philippines. In fact, Joe’s first language — even before English — was Farsi, which he spoke as a child in Kabul. After a stint in Bellingham, WA, his family finally settled outside of Albany, NY.  

After taking a high school seminar on the literature and history of Russia, Joe was hooked. He went on to major in Russian studies at Yale, where he also sang with the school's legendary a cappella group, the Whiffenpoofs (and likes to boast that he sang next to Ella Fitzgerald, an honorary Whiffenpoof). Joe graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, then completed a master’s degree at the Harvard Russian Research Center, and later taught on the Harvard faculty. He was recruited to the Central Intelligence Agency but eventually decided he preferred writing fiction.

His first book, published in 1983 when Joe was only 24, was RED CARPET: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE KREMLIN AND AMERICA'S MOST POWERFUL BUSINESSMEN, the first book to reveal that the controversial multi-millionaire Dr. Armand Hammer, the CEO of Occidental Petroleum, had worked for Soviet intelligence in the 1920s and 1930s. (This book is no longer in print.)  

But RED CARPET was only part of the story that Joe wanted to tell. So he wrote his first novel – the only way he could legally tell the whole Armand Hammer saga. Published in 1991, THE MOSCOW CLUB described events whose factual truth would only be revealed many years later. THE MOSCOW CLUB was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best spy thrillers of all time and was published in thirty foreign countries.

What followed were three more critically-acclaimed thrillers – EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, THE ZERO HOUR (sold to Twentieth-Century Fox for a record sum) and HIGH CRIMES, which became a 2002 Fox film starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Joe was invited on the movie set and even cast for a nonspeaking role as a JAG prosecutor.

Published in 2004, PARANOIA represented a major turning point in Joe’s career, landing on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. It was his first book to use the ruthless drive, corruption and conspiracy of the corporate world as riveting plotline. PARANOIA was called “[with] twists aplenty...” by Entertainment Weekly. A major motion picture based on PARANOIA was released summer of 2013 and starred Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford.

Joe’s next three novels – COMPANY MAN, KILLER INSTINCT and POWER PLAY – were all bestsellers in which things were decidedly not business as usual. He was quickly hailed as “the CEO of suspense.”

In VANISHED, published August 2009 by St. Martin's Press and an immediate bestseller, Joe introduced his new continuing character, "private spy" Nick Heller. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator – exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He's a guy you don't want to mess with. He's also the man you call when you need a problem fixed. The second novel in the series, BURIED SECRETS, was published June 2011.
Joe’s latest book  SUSPICION is a stand-alone novel about a single father who, to protect his daughter, makes a choice with dire consequences. 

In addition to his fiction, Joe does occasional work for Hollywood, is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and Council on Foreign Relations, and has written on espionage and international affairs for a number of publications, including, Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. In an April 2006 New York Times Book Review article, Joe discussed his fascination with ambition as a subject for fiction. He roots for the Boston Red Sox and lives in Boston with his wife, daughter, and a needy golden retriever, Mia, a dropout from seeing-eye-dog school.

Hope you can join us next Sunday evening for a 'thrilling' Literary Salon in Berkeley with Joseph Finder!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Mysteries// Memorial Day Crime Fiction

Memorial Day aka Decoration Day is a day of remembrance of those men and women who who fell protecting us, of those who didn't come home. Many people go to cemeteries and memorials on the last Monday in May, and there's a tradition to fly the flag at half mast .Memorial Day in the U.S. is part of a three day holiday weekend. Many think of this weekend as the beginning of Summer, a time for Barbecues (Barbecue Mysteries), the Beach, the Cabin, and S'mores.

But in memory of all you served their country and didn't come back, here's a list of Mysteries set during Memorial Day Weekend (and a few others). Here's an updated list. Let me know if I've forgotten any titles. You may also want to check out my Veterans Day Mystery List.

Memorial Day Mysteries

Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
The Decoration Memorial Day War by David H. Brown
Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors
One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer Fleming (not technically Memorial day, but it fits the theme)
Memorial Day by Harry Shannon
Beside Still Waters by Debbie Viguie
Shadows at the Fair by Lea Wait
The Memorial Day Mystery short stories on the web.

For the young set: The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire by Kathryn Kenny, a Trixie Belden mystery.

Have a good holiday. Be safe and Remember.

Friday, May 23, 2014

PBS Masterpiece! The Escape Artist, June 15 & 22

PBS MASTERPIECE!: David Tennant in The Escape Artist. It's fabulous! I watched both episodes last night, and I was on the edge of my seat. Fabulous acting, terrific production values, and very suspenseful story. Some of the dialogue got past Frank.. Scottish accent and all, but that just added to the production for me. Don't miss it! Scroll down for the trailer.

Sundays, June 15-22, 2014, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET  (Always check your local station)

David Tennant (Dr Who, Broadchurch) stars as a brilliant defense lawyer with a storybook family and a potent nickname, "The Escape Artist," for his ability to spring the obviously guilty. Then he gets a trial that changes his life forever. This gripping legal thriller costars Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) as the hero's rival, along with a courtroom full of ambitious attorneys and one very unnerving defendant. Created and written by David Wolstencroft, the three-part drama originally aired in the UK last Fall. It stars Tennant alongside a great cast that includes Tony Kebbell  and Ashley Jensen. 

The law often seems like an intellectual exercise,” said Wolstencroft. “But scratch under the surface, and it’s all blood and guts. I wanted to write a thriller set in the legal world that’s as much about those primal feelings as it is about the twists and turns of the case. David Tennant is one of the most accomplished and iconic actors of his generation. Seeing him in Will's shoes is incredibly exciting."

Cartoon of the Day: Punctuation

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Barbecue Crime Fiction for Memorial Day!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be posting a Memorial Day Crime Fiction list, but in the meantime, I thought I'd update my Barbecue Mysteries list. Let me know any titles I've missed, and I'll add them.

So many ways one can murder someone at a barbecue, from the sauce to the skewers to the grill. Here's an updated short list of Barbecue Mysteries. Let me know if I've forgotten any!

Barbecue Mysteries

Delicious and Suspicious, Hickory Smoked Homicide, Finger Lickin' Dead, Rubbed Out by Riley Adams  (Elizabeth Craig Spann) - The Memphis BBQ Mystery Series
Bad Move by Linwood Barclay
Murder Well-Done by Claudia Bishop
Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette
Several of the recent Dan Rhodes books by Bill Crider
Murder at the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival by Gene Davis
The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
Memphis Ribs by Gerald Duff
Finger Lickin' Fifteens by Janet Evanovich
The Politics of Barbecue by Blake Fontenay
The Big Barbecue by Dorothy B. Hughes
The Sheriff and..  (series) by D. R. Meredith
Say Your Sorry by Michael Robotham
The King is Dead by Sarah Shankman
Stiffs and Swine by J.B. Stanley
Revenge of the Barbecue Queens by Lou Jane Temple
Barbecue by A. E.H. Veenman
Death on a Platter by Elaine Viets

Short Stories: "Gored" by Bill Crider in Murder Most Delicious
Young Readers: The Barbecue Thief by Starike

Want a little chocolate on the barbie this weekend? 
Check out recipes on my other blog:

S'mores on the Grill  
Banana Boats
Chocolate Barbecue Sauces
Spicy Chocolate Rub
Cocoa Spiced Salmon Rub 
Scharffen Berger Cacoa Nib Rub for Tri Tip

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Anthony Nominations: Bouchercon 2014-Murder at the Beach

Anthony Nominees 2014: Bouchercon 2014 -- Murder at the Beach
Winners will be at announced at Bouchercon. Congratulations to all! See you in Long Beach!

Best Mystery Novel
° Suspect by Robert Crais
° A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry
° Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
° The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan
° Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Best First Mystery
° Yesterday’s Echo by Matt Coyle
° Ghostman by Roger Hobbs
° Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman
° Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
° The Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson

Best Paperback Original
° The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm
° Purgatory Key by Darrell James
° Joyland by Stephen King
° The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood
° As She Left It by Catriona McPherson

Best Short Story
° “Dead Ends” by Craig Faustus Buck, Untreed Reads
° “The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” by John Connolly
Bibliomysteries, The Mysterious Bookshop
° “Annie and the Grateful Dead” by Denise Dietz, The Sound and the Furry
° “Incident on the 405” by Travis Richardson, Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble
° “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March-April 2013

Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work
° Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
° The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines by Cate Lineberry
° All the Wild Children by Josh Stallings
° The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower
° Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives edited by Sarah Weinman

Best Children’s or Young Adult Novel
° The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
° Escape Theory by Margaux Froley
° Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
° Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem
° The Code Busters Club: The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner

Best Television Episode Teleplay First Aired in 2013
° The Blacklist, Pilot, by Jon Bokenkamp
° Breaking Bad, “Felina,” by Vince Gilligan
° The Fall, “Dark Descent,” by Allan Cubitt
° The Following, Pilot, by Kevin Williamson
° Justified, “Hole in the Wall,” by Graham Yost

Best Audio Book
° Crescendo by Deborah J Ledford, read by Christina Cox
° The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister
° Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet, read by Davina Porte
° Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann, read by Tracy Sallows
° Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell, read by Mauro Hantman

Canadian Mysteries: Mystery Readers Journal

The current issue of the Mystery Readers Journal focuses on Canadian Mysteries (Volume 30:1/Spring 2014). This issue is available in hardcopy and as a downloadable PDF. Thanks to all the contributors to this wonderful issue!

Canadian Mysteries
Volume 30, No. 1, Spring 2014 Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.


  • Murder, Eh? by Lou Allin
  • Becoming Canadian by Cathy Ace
  • Setting Out From Saskatoon by Anthony Bidulka
  • Land of Ice and Snow, Smoggy Steeltown, and the Italian Mob! Or, how to write mob comedies... by Melodie Campbell
  • Mysteries in the Canadian North by Brenda Chapman
  • An Insider's Take by Miriam Clavir
  • A Quiet Courage by Peter Clement
  • Writing Canadian Cops by Vicki Delany
  • Sleeping With an Elephant by Ruth Donald
  • Research Made Fun With Vancouver's Police Dogs by Elizabeth Elwood
  • Mystery Is in the Mind by A.R. Grobbo
  • Exploring the Canadian Wilds with Meg Harris by R.J. Harlick
  • France on Berlin Time, Part II: The Canadian Connection by J. Robert Janes
  • Canadian From Coast to Coast by Amber Harvey
  • The Canadian Conundrum by Tim Heald
  • Left Coast Noir by Dietrich Kalteis
  • The Canadian Mystery Writer's Wardrobe by Linda Kupecek
  • Ordinary People, Like You and Me, Interrupted by Murder by J. A. Menzies
  • Thoughts About Killing the Canadian Way by John Moss
  • Canadianese by Louise Penny
  • The Canadian Who Came in From the Cold (But Just for a Short Time) by Steve Shrott
  • The Inferiority Complex of a Canadian Mystery Author by Cathy Spencer
  • From Rangers to Red Serge by Kay Stewart
  • Canadian as Maple Murder Pie by Robin Timmerman
  • APOK? by Mike Walton
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Madeleine Harris-Callway, Lesa Holstine, Gay Toltl Kinman, L.J. Roberts, Lou Allin, Margaret Blair
  • Children's Hour: Canada by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Canadian Capers by Marv Lachman
  • Crime Seen: North of the Border by Kate Derie
  • From the Editor's Desk by Janet Rudolph

Saturday, May 17, 2014

CrimeFest Awards

The CrimeFest Awards were announced tonight in Bristol.

Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year: Linda, As in the Linda Murder, by Leif G.W. Persson, translated by Neil Smith (Doubleday)

eDunnit Award for “best crime fiction ebook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the British Isles in 2013”: Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller (Faber and Faber) Goldsboro

Last Laugh Award for“best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2013: Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller (Faber and Faber) 

Audible Sounds of Crime Award for "best unabridged crime audiobook first published in the UK in 2013 in both printed and audio formats, and available for download from Audible UK”: The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister (Hachette Audio)

HT: Ali Karim via The Rap Sheet  and various Tweeters!

CWA Dagger Nominations

I posted the CWA International Dagger Nominees yesterday. Here are ALL the nominations that were announced last night at CrimeFest. The winners awarded June 30.

The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger:
 Devil in the Marshalsea, by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder & Stoughton)
 The Late Scholar, by Jill Paton Walsh (Hodder & Stoughton)
 Treachery, by S.J. Parris (HarperCollins)
 The City of Strangers, by Michael Russell (Avon)
 Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders, by Kate Griffin 
(Faber & Faber)
 Theft of Life, by Imogen Robertson (Headline Review)
 The Dead Can Wait, by Robert Ryan (Simon & Schuster)

The CWA Non-Fiction Dagger:
 Did She Kill Him, by Kate Colquhoun (Little, Brown)
 Life After Death, by Damien Echols (Atlantic)
 Undercover, by Rob Evans & Paul Lewis (Faber & Faber/Guardian)
 The Girl, by Samantha Geimer (Simon & Schuster)
 Manson, by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)
 The Seige, by Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark (Viking)

The CWA International Dagger:
 Strange Shores, by Arnaldur Indridason; translated by Victoria Crib (Harvill Secker)
 Irène, by Pierre Lemaître; translated by Frank Wynne (Quercus/MacLehose)
 The Siege, by Arturo Perez-Reverte; translated by Frank Wynne (Weidenfeld)
 Forty Days Without Shadow, by Oliver Tru; translated by Louise Rogers LaLaurie (Little, Brown)
 Plan D, by Simon Urba; translated by Katy Derbyshire (Harvilll Secker)
 Dog Will Have His Day, by Fred Vargas; translated by Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker)

The CWA Short Story Dagger:
 “Judge Surra,” by Andrea Camilleri (from Judges, by Andrea Camiller, Carlo Lucarelli, and Giancarlo De Cataldo; MacLehose Press)
 “Reconciliation,” by Jeffery Deaver (from Trouble in Mind, by Jeffery Deaver; Hodder & Stoughton)
 “In Our Darkened House,” by Inger Frimansson (from A Darker Shade: 17 Swedish Stories of Murder, Mystery, and Suspense, edited by John-Henri Holmberg; Head of Zeus)
 “Fedora,” by John Harvey (from Deadly Pleasures, edited by Martin Edwards; Severn House)
 “Night Nurse,” by Cath Staincliffe (from Deadly Pleasures)

The CWA Debut Dagger:
 The Long Oblivion, by Tim Baker
 A Convenient Ignorance, by Michael Baker
 Under the Hanging Tree, by Barb Ettridge
 The Father, by Tom Keenan
 Motherland, by Garry Abson
 The Allegory of Art and Science, by Graham Brack
 Convict, by Barb Ettridge
 The Dog of Erbill, by Peter Hayes
 Burnt, by Kristina Stanley
 Deviant Acts, by John J.White
 Seeds of a Demon, by Anastasia Tyler
 Colours, by Tim Emery
 The Movement, by Jody Sabral

 Martin Edwards was honored with the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham Prize.

HT: The Rap Sheet via Shotsmag Confidential

Martin Meyers: R.I.P.

Sad mews. Martin Meyers (Marty) passed away two days ago.  After a long career as an actor, Marty began writing in the 1970s with a series featuring detective Patrick Hardy. Later he collaborated with his wife Annette as Maan Meyers on the Dutchman series, set in 17th, 18th and 19th century New York. Marty also novelized the Cher movie, Suspect, and wrote the YA Federal Case. Marty Meyers also wrote many short stories.

It was always great to spend time with Marty at mystery conventions. I'll miss his wit and charm. Condolences to Annette and his family and friends.

Marty and Annette wrote an article for the Mystery Readers Journal (Vol 17:3: 2001--Partners in Crime) about the Maan Dutchman mystery series. Read it HERE.

Friday, May 16, 2014

CWA International Dagger Shortlist

The CWA International Dagger Shortlist was announced at CrimeFest today.

Arnaldur Indridason - Strange Shores translated by Victoria Cribb
Pierre Lemaitre - Irene translated by Frank Wynne
Arturo Perez-Reverte - The Siege, translated by Frank Wynne
Olivier Truc - Forty Days without Shadow, translated by Louise Rogers
LaLaurie Simon Urban - Plan D translated by Katy Derbyshire
Fred Vargas - Dog Will Have His Day, translated by Siân Reynolds

HT: Karen Meek (Eurocrime)

Bram Stoker Awards

Winners of the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards were announced at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon.

Superior Achievement in a NOVEL: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Scribner)

Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL: The Evolutionist by Rena Mason (Nightscape Press)

Superior Achievement in a YOUNG ADULT NOVEL: Dog Days by Joe McKinney (JournalStone)

Superior Achievement in a GRAPHIC NOVEL: Alabaster: Wolves by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Dark Horse Comics)

Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION: “The Great Pity” by Gary Braunbeck (Chiral Mad 2, Written Backwards)

Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION: “Night Train to Paris” by David Gerrold (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science
Fiction, Jan./Feb. 2013)

Superior Achievement in a SCREENPLAY: The Walking Dead: “Welcome to the Tombs” by Glen Mazzara (AMC TV)

Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY: After Death… edited by Eric J. Guignard (Dark Moon Books)

Superior Achievement in a FICTION COLLECTION: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron (Night
Shade Books)

Superior Achievement in NONFICTION: Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing About the Master of Science Fiction by
William F. Nolan (Hippocampus Press)

Superior Achievement in POETRY: Four Elements by Marge Simon, Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob, and Linda Addison
(Bad Moon Books/Evil Jester Press)

HWA also presented

Editor Stephen Jones and R. L. Stine -- Lifetime Achievement Award

The Specialty Press Award -- Gary Fry of Gray Friar Press.

The Silver Hammer Award, for outstanding service to HWA, was voted by the
organization’s board of trustees to Norman Rubenstein.

The President’s Richard Laymon Service Award was given to JG Faherty.

David Downing - Wednesday May 21

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for a Literary Salon with Award Winning Historical Thriller Writer David Downing on Wednesday, May 21 in Berkeley, CA, 7 p.m.. Please comment below with email address for location and to RSVP.

Wednesday, May 21, 7 p.m., Berkeley, CA

British espionage writer David Downing is the author of six books in the John Russell espionage series, set in WWII Berlin: Zoo Station, Silesian Station, Stettin Station, Potsdam Station, Lehrter Station, and Masaryk Station and the nonfiction work, Sealing Their Fate: The Twenty-Two Days That Decided World War II. His latest novel Jack of Spies is the first in a new series set on the eve of WWI and stars British spy Jack McColl. Downing is on his first North American tour and Mystery Readers NorCal is thrilled that we're on his schedule! David Downing lives in the U.K. with his family.

Read the WSJ profile of David Downing and Jack of Spies here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mary Stewart: R.I.P.

Romantic suspense novelist Mary Stewart has died at the age of 97. Known for much-loved novels including Touch Not the Cat, This Rough Magic and Nine Coaches Waiting, Stewart was among the first novelists to integrate mystery and romance. Mary Stewart was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time.

Stewart was best known for her Arthurian fantasies, such as The Crystal Cave and The Last Enchantment, but also wrote many other novels, including children’s books. Her novel The Moon-Spinners was made into a film by Disney. With over twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she was admired for both her contemporary stories of romantic suspense and her historical novels. Born in England, she lived for many years in Scotland.

Source: The Guardian.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Naomi Hirahara: 2 events in SF Bay Area this weekend!

Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara will be in Northern California this wekeend for two special events. Naomi is the creator of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes.  In April 2014, she launched MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE (Berkley Prime Crime), the first in a new series with a multiracial LAPD bicycle cop, Officer Ellie Rush.

Come and hear why she started a new series that she describes as "cozy police procedural" and the challenges she faces in bringing Asian American protagonists to mainstream audiences.
Saturday, May 17
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 North Fifth St.
San Jose
1 PM
Free with museum admission, $5

Sunday, May 18
Talk sponsored by the Nichi Bei Foundation
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California

1840 Sutter St.
San Francisco Japantown
3 PM

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Shirley Jackson Award Nominations

The 2013 Shirley Jackson Award Nominations. This award is named in honor of Shirley Jackson whose classic works include The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Thee awards are intended to recognize “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”

The Accursed, by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)
American Elsewhere, by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
The Demonologist, by Andrew Pyper (Simon & Schuster)
The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo (Morrow)
Night Film, by Marisha Pessl (Random House)
Wild Fell, by Michael Rowe (ChiZine Publications)

Burning Girls, by Veronica Schanoes (
Children of No One, by Nicole Cushing (DarkFuse)
Helen’s Story, by Rosanne Rabinowitz (PS Publishing)
It Sustains, by Mark Morris (Earthling Publications)
“The Gateway,” by Nina Allan (from Stardust, by Nina Allan;
PS Publishing)
The Last Revelation of Gla’aki, by Ramsey Campbell (PS Publishing)
Whom the Gods Would Destroy, by Brian Hodge (DarkFuse)

"Cry Murder! In a Small Voice," by Greer Gilman (Small Beer Press)
“A Little of the Night,” by Tanith Lee (from Clockwork Phoenix 4, edited by Mike Allen; Mythic Delirium)
“My Heart Is Either Broken,” by Megan Abbott (from Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois; Tor)
“Phosphorus,” by Veronica Schanoes (from Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri
Windling; Tor)
“Raptors,” by Conrad Williams (Subterranean Press Magazine,
Winter 2013)

Short Fiction:
“57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides,” by Sam J. Miller (Nightmare Magazine, December 2013)
“Furnace,” by Livia Llewellyn (from Grimscribe’s Puppets, edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.; Miskatonic River Press)
“The Memory Book,” by Maureen McHugh (from Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy)
“The Statue in the Garden,” by Paul Park (from Exotic Gothic 5,
Vol. 2, edited by Danel Olson; PS Publishing)
“That Tiny Flutter of the Heart,” by Robert Shearman (from Psycho-Mania!, edited by Stephen Jones; Constable & Robinson)
“The Traditional,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed, May 2013)

Single-Author Collection:
Before and Afterlives, by Christopher Barzak (Lethe Press)
Everything You Need, by Michael Marshall Smith (Earthling Publications)
In Search of and Others, by Will Ludwigsen (Lethe Press)
North American Lake Monsters, by Nathan Ballingrud
(Small Beer Press)
The Story Until Now, by Kit Reed (Wesleyan)

Edited Anthology:
The Book of the Dead, edited by Jared Shurin (Jurassic London)
End of the Road, edited by Jonathan Oliver (Solaris)
Grimscribe’s Puppets, edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. (Miskatonic River Press)
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (Tor)
Where thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Steve Berman (Lethe Press)

Prizes will be awarded on July 13, at Readercon 25, Conference on Imaginative Literature

HT: The Rap Sheet

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eoin Colfer awarded Laureate na nÓg


Eoin Colfer became the third Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s laureate for children’s literature. He was awarded his Laureate’s ‘medal’ by Minister Fergus O’Dowd who said Eoin was a ‘magical’ writer who would open up the minds of young people over all the world in his new role. 

Read More HERE

Eoin Colfer will be YA Guest of Honor at Bouchercon 2014.  

Cartoon of the Day

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Crime Fiction

Mother's Day: So many Mothers in Mysteries, but this is just a sampling with emphasis on the Mother's Day Holiday. If I listed all the mysteries and crime fiction with famous and infamous mothers, the list would be way too long. Be sure and scroll down to the Psycho Trailer!


Angel at Troublesome Creek by Mignon F. Ballard
How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law, Mum's the Word by Dorothy Cannell
Mother's Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson
A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow
Motherhood is Murder (Shorts) by Mary Daheim, Carolyn Hart, Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Jane Isenberg
Murder Can Upset Your Mother by Selma Eichler
Bon Bon Voyage by Nancy Fairbanks
Murder for Mother: Short Story collection, edited by Martin S. Greenberg
Murder Superior by Jane Haddam
The Mother’s Day Murder by Lee Harris
Mother’s Day by Patricia MacDonald
Mother's Day by Dennis McDougal
Mother’s Day Murder by Leslie Meier
Mother's Day Out by Karen MacInerney (not on Mother's Day exactly)
Mom, Apple Pie & Murder: A collection of New Mysteries for Mother’s Day, edited by Nancy Pickard
Mother’s Day by Joshua Quittner and Michelle Slatalla
A Mother's Day Murder by Genevieve Scholl

And, over at KingsRiverLife, there are several original Mother's Day mystery short stories.

Who's your favorite Mother in Crime Fiction?


Saturday, May 10, 2014

That Old French Feeling: Lise McClendon Guest Post

Today I welcome mystery author Lise McClendon. Lise McClendon is the author of 11 mysteries and thrillers, and also writes as Rory Tate. The Girl in the Empty Dress is now available in print and e-book, at all major retailers. 

Make a comment below to win an ecopy of The Girl in the Empty Dress.

Lise McClendon: That Old French Feeling

You may have been to France. Probably to Paris or the Côte d’Azur. But there is another France far from beaches or art museums or fashion runways -- that’s where I chose to set my suspense novels, Blackbird Fly and The Girl in the Empty Dress.

Does setting matter? Yes, very much to me as reader and writer. Although both books feature five American sisters, the novels rely as much on their setting as almost anything else. My “other” France, the Dordogne region of southwest France, originally called the Perigord, is a fertile region known for its foie gras, duck confit, and black truffles. Its back roads wind through deep canyons, with villages clinging to cliffs. Here the Hundred Years War was fought and Nazis laid waste to the land. Remnants of war and violence remain.

Much of Blackbird Fly is centered around small village life. In the second book, out this month, the Bennett sisters, all five lawyers, take on a walking tour of the Dordogne. Merle Bennett, the middle sister, is turning fifty. In Blackbird Fly she goes to the Dordogne to fix up the house she inherits. She needs to sell it but she is strangely drawn to the little town and hasn’t sold out yet. The sisters use the house as home base for their walking tour in the second book. The “girl” in the title of the sequel, The Girl in the Empty Dress, is a law colleague of one sister. Secretive, demanding, and a bit rude, she hasn’t made many friends among the Bennett girls as the story starts. Her secrets become the key to unraveling several mysteries.

History really comes alive in these old places where the village walls are still solid after 800 years. But the delicacies of this area are the real delights. Black Perigord truffles are famous around the world. They’re a fungus, like mushrooms, that grow underground in the roots of oak, hazel, and cherry trees. Difficult to harvest, they are becoming more scarce as climate change alters their natural habitat in these sunny hills and valleys.

To harvest truffles originally pigs were used. Unfortunately pigs liked to eat them on the spot. Now dogs are more often trained to follow the scent of the truffle. You can imagine that a highly-trained truffle dog would be essential to any truffle hunter, and worth its weight in gold. In The Girl in the Empty Dress the women come across an injured dog in the ditch. This dog, they soon find out, is famous for its truffling exploits. How it got to be injured and out on its own sets off the mystery.

I went on a French walking tour myself, in Burgundy a couple years ago. Six women, a love of wine and cheese, and winding trails through the vineyards made for a fabulous time. Afterward I saw a ‘Sixty Minutes’ story on truffles. One man, a dog owner who had his prized truffle dog stolen, really got to me. He searched for years for his dog, never to find her. I decided to write about a stolen truffle dog. I couldn’t figure out how to come at the story, then the walking tour came back to me. The dynamics of a small group are always interesting. The sixth wheel, the woman who is secretive and annoying, sets up the conflict. As a writer once you come up with the central conflict you’re off to the races. Plus a luscious setting of course. I’m taking suggestions for wine pairings. Mysteries and a crisp Sancerre anyone?

Friday, May 9, 2014

MY WRITING LIFE: Guest post by Allan Topol

Today I welcome Allan Topol, the author of ten novels of international intrigue. Two of them, SPY DANCE and ENEMY MY ENEMY, were national best sellers. One was optioned and three are in development for movies. His new novel, THE ARGENTINE TRIANGLE, is the next in the Craig Page series, following the successful THE RUSSIAN ENDGAME, SPANISH REVENGE and CHINA GAMBIT.

In addition to his fiction writing, Allan Topol co-authored a two-volume legal treatise entitled SUPERFUND LAW AND PROCEDURE. He is a partner in a major Washington law firm, and an avid wine collector, he has traveled extensively, researching dramatic locations for his novels. He wrote a weekly column for and has published articles in numerous periodicals including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Yale Law Journal. He is currently a blogger for Huffington Post. For more information, visit

Allan Topol: My Writing Life

My goal in writing fiction is to have the reader learn something and be informed as well as turning pages.  This is also true for The Argentine Triangle, my tenth novel, which was published on April 15.  While this represents a milestone, I have decided to pick up the pace.  My next novel, The Washington Lawyer, will be out in March, and I am now putting the final edits on a novel about contemporary Italy.

I always wanted to write fiction from the time I was in college at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon).  That school did not have a creative writing class so I persuaded an English professor who had taught creative writing elsewhere to give me a private tutorial. I was also interested in history and geopolitical affairs. Once I finished law school and began working as a Washington lawyer, I also wrote nonfiction articles on world events. Some of them appeared in periodicals, like the NY Times and Washington Post. However, I realized that fiction could be a better vehicle for getting across an idea while engaging the reader in a story. So I began writing fiction.  The first of my 10 novels, The Fourth of July War, was published in 1978. It is a novel that deals with the U.S. energy crisis as a background issue.

I have frequently been asked why I picked the thriller genre. For me, that was a logical choice. The thriller is a very effective vehicle for dealing with a geopolitical issue while telling an exciting story.  I also think it permits me to live a secret, exciting life taking on challenges, solving problems, and dealing with major issues affecting the United States. Often, I feel as if I am living vicariously through one of my heroes. I have not been in the CIA, but I know many people in the intelligence community. Writing thrillers is my way of becoming a part of their world. Graham Greene is one of my favorite writers and he has served as a model for me because his novels dealt with different parts of the world and international geopolitical issues. In doing this, it is critical that the international issue not interfere with the flow of the story.  My objective is to write a fast moving page turner.

In my first nine novels, I dealt with various foreign locales: China, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel, and Russia.  lso Washington, which is my home which some Americans regard as a foreign country.
My new novel deals with Argentina, and that was an accidental choice. Several years ago, my wife and I traveled to Argentina for vacation. I was so excited and inspired by this exotic country and its history that I visited several more times to do research for a novel. At the same time, I researched its history in books and on the internet. The diversity of the people and their political struggles became the basis for  my new novel, The Argentine Triangle.

The country has an amazing history. A hundred years ago, it was the fourth largest economy in the world.  Now it is only third in Latin America. I became intrigued by what has happened to this country and its wonderful people who have so much potential. I also became interested in the Dirty War and wanted to include that in my novel.

The Argentine Triangle is the fourth novel in which Craig Page is the lead character.  Craig was formerly in the CIA. He is courageous and patriotic, but refused to accept the layers of bureaucracy in the agency. He refused to take orders from people who failed to appreciate the true dangers facing the United States. He managed to prevent a terrorist attack in Madison Square Garden, but was reprimanded for not following orders so he resigned from the agency.  Craig is not based on anyone specific whom I now in real life. On the other hand, all of my characters are composites to some extent of people I have known.

Utilizing the same character in multiple novels poses a challenge. He has to develop with each novel, but still I worked hard to ensure that the reader can pick up The Argentine Triangle without having read one of the earlier Craig Page novels. Like all my other novels, The Argentine Triangle is a stand-alone. In this novel, Craig is in a different place and different situations than in any of my prior novels.

I also wanted to write a novel focused on South America, and The Argentine Triangle involves Brazil as well as Argentina. I believe that what happens in South America is critical to the United States. This is our backyard and much closer in many respects than Ukraine, Iraq, or Southeast Asia.
Gina and Nicole, the two Argentine women, who, along with Craig, dominate the action, are both products of Argentina’s history. I want the reader to understand and to feel their pain, desires, and aspirations, just as Craig does.

As a secondary matter, The Argentine Triangle deals with an important Washington issue. All of our presidents have had informal advisors with whom they are very close, like Edward Bryce in The Argentine Triangle. These advisers, usually lawyers, are not elected and not confirmed by the Senate. There is a great risk that these advisors will use their relationships with the president for their own personal gain as Edward Bryce does. I want to draw attention to this fact of Washington political life.

If you read The Argentine Triangle, I hope you will forward comments to me on the reader mail of my website, Writing is often a lonely activity and reader feedback is always very much appreciated.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Damian Lewis joins cast of Wolf Hall on MASTERPIECE!

Damian Lewis will play Henry VIII opposite Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in the adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novels which has begun filming. Wolf Hall will air in the U.S. on MASTERPIECE on PBS.

Wolf Hall is a Company Pictures and Playground co-production for BBC Two and MASTERPIECE in association with BBC Worldwide.

Director  Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander) will direct the flagship drama that charts the meteoric rise of Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as a blacksmith's son to Henry VIII's closest advisor.

Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) will play the calculating and ambitious Anne Boleyn in the six-part mini-series written by Oscar®-nominated Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

Other casting includes Jonathan Pryce (Cranford) as the ostentatious and powerful Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Joanne Whalley (The Borgias) as Henry's first wife Katherine of Aragon, Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as the haughty Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King, Anton Lesser (Endeavour), as the heretic hunter Thomas More, Mathieu Amalric (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Ambassador of Spain Chapuys, Charity Wakefield (Sense & Sensibility) as Anne's sister Mary Boleyn, Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) as Anne's sister-in-law Jane Rochford, Bernard Hill (Five Days) as the King's military commander the Duke of Norfolk, Richard Dillane (The Dark Knight) as the King's brother-in-law the Duke of Suffolk, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) as Cromwell's ward Rafe Sadler, Natasha Little (Case Histories) as Cromwell's wife Liz and Saskia Reeves (Wallander) as her sister Johane.

Mark Rylance says: "I love it when an author, such as Hilary Mantel, does her research and discovers an original understanding of a very familiar piece of history. Even during our rehearsals her detailed imagination of the world of Thomas Cromwell is alive in Peter Straughan's ingenious and faithful adaptation. I have to say, after my experience on The Government Inspector, I would gladly take part in any film that Peter Kosminsky makes. His ability to grasp complex political situations and bring them to life on film seems particularly suited for this material. Myself aside, I feel he has cast Wolf Hall with a superb eye for character and all the nuanced humanity Ms. Mantel's masterpieces deserve."

Filming has begun in the South West of England for broadcast in 2015 on MASTERPIECE on PBS and BBC2. Locations include six National Trust properties across the region.