Friday, October 31, 2014

Meet Me at Bouchercon: Panels and More!

I’m gearing up for Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, that will be held in Long Beach, CA, November 13-16. This convention is going to be fabulous! 2000 fans, readers, writers, editors, and publishers. It can be overwhelming, so if you plan to go, check out the programming to decide in advance what you’d like to see. Spend time in the main Lobby and Bookroom and Bar, too. Great places to make new friends and meet new authors.

At Bouchercon, I’ll be facilitating the Kick-Off to Bcon: Author Speed Dating. 8:30 a.m., Thursday, November 13. This is a frenzied event in which authors in pairs circulate to tables of fans and readers and pitch their books (2.5 minutes each!).

I’ll also be facilitating Bouchercon 101 (Regency A) at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 13. All you need to know about Bcon to get the most out of the convention.

On Friday, November 14 I’ll be on the panel “All about the Fans: Super Fans and How They Got Involved.” 10 -11 a.m. (Regency D) with Al Abramson, Kerry Hammond, Dru Ann Love, Doris Ann Norris, moderated by Brad Parks.

On Sunday, November 16, I’ll facilitate (not moderate) “Do You Write What You Know? A Conversation with Jan Burke, Barry Eisler, Laurie R. King and Elaine Viets.” Please drop by.

And, if that isn’t enough, I’ll be presenting the Macavity Awards at the opening ceremonies on Thursday night! That’s the Mystery Readers International Award for the BEST!

FYI: Day passes will be available for Bouchercon, so if you haven't registered for the convention yet, and you're not sure you can be there every day, come on by.

Can’t make it to Bouchercon? Left Coast Crime, one of my favorite conventions, will be held in Portland in 2015. Tim Hallinan will be one of the guests of honor, along with Chelsea Cain. Toastmaster: Gar Haywood.
Crimelandia: Left Coast Crime, March 12-15, 2015. Don’t miss it.
To find out more, go here!

See you at Bouchercon!

Irish Book Award Crime Fiction Shortlist

The Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award Shortlist

Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley
Last Kiss by Louise Phillips
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville
The Kill by Jane Casey
The Secret Place by Tana French
Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent

HT: Declan Burke- Crime Always Pays

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooky Wines and other Halloween Libations!

Happy Halloween!! Bloody Cocktails and Deadly Wine!


Chateau Du Vampire Wines Bordeaux Style Cabernet Blend (Vampire Vineyards – Paso Robles, California): blend of cabernet sauvignon (60%) with cabernet franc (30%), and 10% malbec to finish it off.

Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon (Vampire vineyards – Paso Robles, California): Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several small-berry clones of this traditional Bordeaux varietal, grown in the Paso Robles region of California’s Central Coast.

Dracula Wines: Zinfandel and Syrah (originally the grapes for this wine were grown on the Transylvanian plateau, now they're made from California grapes).

Trueblood Napa Valley Syrah: This wine will "bruise your soul" with its palate crushing cherry, plum smoke and spice.

Ghost Block: 100% cabernet from Rock Cairn Vineyard in Oakville, next to Yountville's Pioneer Cemetery.

Twisted Oak 2011 River of Skulls in Calaveras County. Limited production vineyard mouvedre (red wine grape). Label has a bright red skull. English translation of calaveras is "skulls."

Ghostly White Chardonnay and Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon. Elk Creek Vineyards in Kentucky

Poizin from Armida Winery in Healdsburg is a 'wine to die for..". This Zinfandel sold in little wooden coffins

Big Red Monster  Red wine made from Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah.

Spellbound 2012 Merlot. Full Moon on the label. 

Ravenswood 2013 Besieged Red Blend. Ravens on the label.

Michael David 2012 Freakshow Cab.

Other Wines, Beers and Ales: Witches Brew, Evil (upside down and backwards label), Sinister Hand, Toad Hollow Eye of the Toad, Zeller Schwarz Katz.

Want to give the personal touch to your Halloween wines? Add ghoulish labels or rebottle in cool jars with apothecary labels from Pottery Barn (or do them yourself). For a great article, go to Spooky Halloween Bottle & Glass Labels.


And what about an awesome cocktail? Make Nick and Nora proud! They always loved a good party. Throw in some rubber spiders or eyeballs as garnish. Want to make your own Halloween Cocktail Garnish--some eyeballs and fingersClick HERE.

Blood Bath
1 Part Tequila Silver
1 Part Strawberry Liqueur

Shake with ice, and strain into shot glass.

Blodd Test
1 Part Tequila Reposado
1 Part Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into shot glass

Blood Shot
1 part Iceberg Vodka
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Jagermeister
1 part cranberry juice

Chill all ingredients. Combine in shaker with ice. Strain into shot glass. shoot!

2 oz VeeV Acai Spirit
1 oz acai juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Top with fresh champagne
lime wedge for garnish

Combine VeeV, Acai juice and fresh lime with fresh ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into chilled martini glass and top with champagne.
Serve with fresh lime wedge.

Blood and Sand
3/4 ounce Scotch
3/4 ounce cherry liqueur
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce orange juice
1 thin strip orange zest

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the strip of zest. (recipe from Bank Cafe & Bar in Napa)

Corpse Reviver
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet (blanc)
1 ounce triple sec
Juice of half a lemon
5 drops of absinthe
1 thin slice orange

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the orange slice.
(Recipe from Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco)

Vampire Blood Punch
4 cups cranberry raspberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 cups natural pineapple juice (100% juice)
2 cups raspberry-flavored seltzer water
wormy ice cubes (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into large, decorative punch bowl.
Serve punch with wormy ice cubes, if desired

Corzo Bite
1-1/2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
1/2 parts Campari
1 part fresh blood orange juice
1/4 parts blood (aka home-made grenadine) **
2 parts Jarritos Tamarindo Soda

Build all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Add “blood” at the end.
Garnish: Blood orange wheel and strawberry syrup

** Home-made grenadine: Add equal parts white sugar and POM pomegranate juice together and dissolve sugar over high on stove-top

Midori Eye-Tini (from Rob Husted of Florida)
1-1⁄4 parts Midori Melon liqueur
3⁄4 parts SKYY Infusions Citrus
1⁄2 part Finest Call Agave Syrup
2 parts of Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
2 parts Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix
3 Orange Wedges
2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves
Strawberry Sundae Syrup

In shaker glass combine Midori Melon liqueur, SKYY infusions Citrus, Finest Call Agave Syrup, 3 Orange Wedges and 2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves.
Muddle ingredients together. Add ice and Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix.
Shake for 10 seconds.
Add Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale and roll drink back and forth between your mixing tin and shaker glass.
Strain into a chilled martini glass drizzled with Strawberry Sundae Syrup to give an effect of a bloodshot eye.

Garnish: Chilled red seedless grape at bottom of glass (to look like an eyeball) and bruised basil leaf floated on top of cocktail for aroma.

Black Martini
The Black Martini replaces vermouth with either blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur.
3 1/2 oz gin or vodka
1/2 oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur
lemon twist or black olive for garnish or gold flakes

Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist or black olive or sprinkle in gold flakes.


Not ghoulish, but delicious! 
 Check out my post on for Chocolate Pumpkin Cocktails.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Author Speed Dating at Bouchercon: 11/13

Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach  (November 13-16, 2014) Kicks Off with one of my favorite events: Author Speed Dating. I'll be hosting this riotous and informative event with Ingrid Willis, Chair of Bouchercon. Join us at the Hyatt, Promenade 104 A-B-C at 8:30 on Thursday, November 13.  Grab your continental breakfast (free breakfast to Bcon attendees starts at 8 am) and find a table. You will love this exhausting marathon of over 100 authors "pitching" their books. Authors in pairs will make the rounds to each table. Authors will have 5 minutes (2 1/2 minutes each) to share their latest book(s) with attendees. I've attended several Author Speed Dating events, and I can't tell you how many new authors I've found through this special extravaganza. This event is a life changer--or reader changer!

Who Should attend: Everybody.
What a great chance to find new authors and to meet your favorites.

Authors: This is a great place to pitch your books to dedicated readers and fans.

There are still a few spots open for authors, so if you'd like to be included in this round-robin author speed dating event, contact:

For authors: This is your chance to introduce yourself and your book (s) to 500 dedicated readers, including librarians, bloggers, reviewers and fans!

A few hints to Authors: 
1. Be sure and introduce yourself with your full name.
2. Bring your book to show while you speak.
3. Bring bookmarks or postcards to hand out, but remember to wait until you're both finished (you will be paired in this event with another author with 2 1/2 minutes each to pitch) to distribute them. Otherwise, the 'reader' will be reading the postcard and not listening to you.
3. Focus on the story of your book and share something fun about how you came to write the book or something fun about yourself (this will help the attendees remember you and your book).
5. Be confident! You wrote a great book. Now tell the attendees about it!
6. You will be tired as the rounds continue, but keep up your spirit and enthusiasm. Your 20th table may be filled with bloggers, librarians, publishers, readers and fans. You want them to remember you and your book in a positive way, not as the author who flagged at the end!

Questions? Make a comment below or send a note to:

Not registered for Bouchercon? It's not too late.  Register now! 


Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire

I'd love to see this exhibit that opened October 21 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning will run from now until February 1, 2015.

Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, The Costume Institute’s first fall exhibition in seven years, is on view in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center from October 21, 2014, through February 1, 2015. The exhibition explores the aesthetic development and cultural implications of mourning fashions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Approximately 30 ensembles, many of which are being exhibited for the first time, reveal the impact of high-fashion standards on the sartorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over a century. 

Exhibition Overview
The thematic exhibition is organized chronologically and features mourning dress from 1815 to 1915, primarily from The Costume Institute’s collection. The calendar of bereavement’s evolution and cultural implications are illuminated through women’s clothing and accessories, showing the progression of appropriate fabrics from mourning crape to corded silks, and the later introduction of color with shades of gray and mauve. 

Read more HERE.

Friday, October 24, 2014


The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards were announced tonight. Now in their seventh year, they mark the culmination of ITV3’s six-week prime time series, The Specsavers Crime Thriller Club. The ceremony will be shown on ITV3 at 9pm, Monday 27 October 2014.

Crime Writers’ Association Goldsboro Gold Dagger for the Best Crime Novel of the Year:
Wiley Cash, This Dark Road to Mercy (Doubleday/Transworld)

Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey New Blood Dagger for the Best New Crime Writer of the Year: Ray Celestin, The Axeman’s Jazz (Mantle)

Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the Best Thriller of the Year: Robert Harris, An Officer and a Spy (Arrow)

The Specsavers ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read: Peter May, Entry Island (Quercus)

The International TV Dagger: True Detective

The Best Actress Dagger: Keeley Hawes, Line of Duty

The Best Actor Dagger: Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

The TV Dagger: Happy Valley

The Film Dagger: Cold in July 

The Best Supporting Actor Dagger: James Norton, Happy Valley

The Best Supporting Actress Dagger: Amanda Abbington, Sherlock

HT: Rhian Davies at It's a Crime! (Or a mystery...)

Volunteer at Bouchercon!


Coming to Bouchercon, November 13-16? Want to meet like minded people--fans, readers, and authors-- while helping out at Bouchercon: Murder at the Beach, in Long Beach? Then we have a job for you! So many volunteer jobs to choose from and at different times. Or sign up for more than one!

Please respond to Lucinda Surber (, Volunteer Chair.

See you at Bouchercon!

Call for Volunteers from Lucinda Surber, Volunteer Chair:  If you’re looking for a way to have fun, meet fellow mystery lovers, and contribute to the Bouchercon convention — volunteer!

Here are some areas where we need help. Please email Lucinda Surber to choose a volunteer job (or two!). Be sure to mention what days/times you are available. 

Book Bag Setup: We will be organizing the books for bag stuffing on Tuesday from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Volunteers will need to lift some boxes and unpack the books onto tables. There will also be some smaller things to organize. Please indicate when you would be available to help. 

Book Bag Stuffing: We will be stuffing books into the book bags on Wednesday from 9:00 AM until done, hopefully by 3:00-4:00 PM. Please indicate when you would be available to help. 

Registration Desk: Sign up for a two-hour shift helping to manage the registration desk. We need both experienced Registration Desk volunteers and those who have never done this fun job of welcoming convention registrations and handing out the registration envelopes. We need volunteers Wednesday from 3:00-7:00 PM, Thursday from 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM, Friday from 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM, and Saturday 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Please let me know the approximate time you would be available to help. 

Book Bag Distribution: Sign up for a shift distributing the book bags to registrants during the hours that registration is open on Wednesday through Friday. Please let Lucinda know the approximate time you would be available to help. 

Volunteer Table Helper: Sign up to take a shift at the volunteer table, distributing packets to the Panel Room and Book-Signing volunteers. The Volunteer Table will be open from 15 minutes before the first panel of the day until 15 minutes before the final panel of the day. This job is even more fun if you sign up with a friend you would like to catch up with during the lulls. 

Panel Room Volunteer: Sign up for a shift managing a program room. Responsibilities include making sure the panelists have water, holding up signs so the panel moderator knows how much time is left before the end of the program, and escorting the panelists to the signing space after the panel. Written instructions will be provided. If you are interested, please check the panel schedule and let Lucinda know which panels you would like to help with. It's fine to give a long list of panels you want to attend with a note about how many total panels you would be willing to help with. 

Author Focus Volunteer: Sign up for a shift helping manage a track of Author focus sessions. If you are interested, please check the panel schedule and let Lucinda know which track you would like to help with. It's fine to give a long list of tracks you would be willing to manage along with a note about how many total tracks you would be willing to help with. 

Book-Signing Volunteer: Sign up for a shift helping with the book signing after panels. Duties include placing signage, greeting and directing authors to their seats, and managing lines to avoid congestion. The signings follow each panel track for about half an hour. The signing shifts last about an hour — half an hour before the panel ends to organize the signs and half hour of signing. Please indicate how many shifts you would like to do and when you are available. 

Silent Auction Room Setup: Sign up to help organize the Silent Auction Room on Wednesday. 

Silent Auction Monitor: Sign up for a shift monitoring the Silent Auction Items on Thursday (10:00 AM - 6:00 PM), Friday (8:00 AM - 5:30 PM), Saturday (8:00 AM - 3:00 PM). Please let me know the approximate time you would be available to help. 

Silent Auction Item Distribution: Sign up to help distribute the Silent Auction items to the winning bidders on Saturday from 3:00-5:00 PM. 

As an all-volunteer organization, Bouchercon can’t hold conventions without willing volunteers like you! Thanks in advance for pitching in to help with this great convention.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley Twitter Event

Death Comes to Pemberley starts this Sunday night on PBS's Masterpiece! This wonderful homage to Austen is adapted from P.D. James's mystery and stars Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Rhys, Mtthew Goode, and Jenna Coleman. 

Join MASTERPIECE for a live Twitter event Sunday, October 26 and Sunday November 2 during the broadcast, 9-10:30 Eastern Time. Of course, you can watch it any time...and you don't have to join the Twitter Event...but it will be fun, and we'd love to have you! I'm one of the hosts, but I may not be able to join on October 26...but I've seen the production, and I'll definitely be there on November 2! Some of my favorite actors, of course, and any and everything Jane Austen is terrific ..and a mystery? well even better!

Here's a link to a scene from Part I. 

Tag you posts with the hashtag #PemberleyPBS using Twitter or your favorite aggregator.

WHAT: PBS and MASTERPIECE are hosting a live Twitter discussion (#PemberleyPBS)

WHEN: Sundays, October 26 and November 2, 2014, 9-11pm Eastern and Pacific time

WHERE: Join us using our hashtag  (#PemberleyPBS).

TOPICS: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, P.D. James, MASTERPIECE Mystery!

WHO: @PBS@masterpiecepbs; Vintage & Anchor Books (@VintageAnchor); Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose) of Austenprose; Janet Rudolph (@JanetRudolph) of Mystery Readers International – and YOU!

RSVP: Please follow and be followed (on Twitter, of course!) by other #PemberleyPBS tweeters

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: Dogs

Sleepover at Waterstones Piccadilly: Serious Readers Should Apply

After an American tourist was accidently locked in Waterstones in Trafalgar Square in London last week, the Piccadilly Waterstones is offering an overnight stay for up to 20 people this Friday. Waterstones was struck by the many people who tweeted that being locked in a store after hours would be a dream.

Interested book lovers can apply via an Airbnb listing for 10 spots (each winner can bring a friend) on Friday, October 24. The listing reads: "With Waterstones Piccadilly all to yourself, saunter up and down our beautiful central staircase, from our Ground Floor Bestsellers to our Fourth Floor's Russian Bookshop, and let your imagination loose. Settle down on the comfy airbeds and sleeping bags provided and drift off surrounded by the fantastical tales, incredible true stories and beautiful books of all shapes and sizes that are packed into the more than eight and a half miles of book shelves.

"That's not all though--there's plenty of treats and surprises in store. Food (Grazebox and Weetabix to name a few), entertainment, bedding--we got you covered! The only thing you need to worry about is what to read next. And if someone will let you out in the morning... But that wouldn't be a problem would it?

"House Rules: Only serious book lovers need apply. Be considerate--other guests may be trying to read. And why wouldn't they, they're in a bookshop after all?"

A Waterstones bookseller will give a tour of the store at 9 p.m.

Bookstore overnights seem to be the new international trend. On November 1, Japanese bookstore chain Junkudo will host six people overnight at the company's store in the Chiyoda section of Tokyo--with the proviso that they buy at least one book by the time they leave. Depending on the experience, Junkudo may hold more bookstore overnight events.

HT: ShelfAwareness

3D Skull Gothic Studded Doctor Style Handbag

Do you say purse or handbag? I say purse, but this is definitely something else!
3D Skull Studded Handbag. Perfect for Halloween or any time!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award: Naomi Hirahara

Naomi Hirahara won the T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award for Murder on Bamboo Lane.

The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) recognizes excellence in books that reflect Southern California culture or lifestyle, with authors/illustrators living within the SCIBA region. The mystery award is named after T. Jefferson Parker, a life-long resident of Southern California and Edgar Award-winning author.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

US Tourist trapped in London bookstore: What could be bad?

In case you missed this story, a Texas tourist was in the Trafalgar Square London Waterstones on Thursday evening when he got locked in. He only went in to use their free Internet..perhaps there's a certain amount of justice there. He should have bought a book.

Although he set of the alarm trying to open the doors and spoke to a security guard and police via telephone, no one came to his aid. He ended up tweeting his way out. He posted on social media--Twitter and Instagram. Eventually the tweet was retweeted so many times that an employee saw it and went and let him out.

Three hours alone in a bookstore and all he wanted was out? Clearly he's not one of us!

Read the entire story here.

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sherlock Holmes Exhibit at Museum of London

Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die

From BookTrade:

The Museum of London opened the exhibit Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die today. This exhibit celebrates the world of the greatest fictional detective of all time. The exhibit will run through April 12, 2015 with a variety of rare treasures.

Highlights include:
•A rare oil on canvas portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle painted by Sidney Paget in 1897, which has never been on public display in the UK
•Original pages from Edgar Allan Poe's manuscript of The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) never before seen in the UK
•The original manuscript of The Adventure of the Empty House (1903)
•The iconic Belstaff coat and the Derek Rose camel dressing gown worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the Sherlock BBC television series

Visitors enter through the  bookcase-come-secret-doorway. Tracing the history of Sherlock Holmes through the ages, the comprehensive exhibition navigates its viewers through London-esque pathways displaying original manuscripts written in Conan Doyle's hand (in a section entitled 'The Genesis of Sherlock Holmes') right through to his globally recognized protagonist's portrayals in modern culture (The Many Sides of Sherlock Holmes). Other treats include first copies of The Strand magazine in 1891 alongside drawings by the original illustrator, Sidney Paget.

Alex Werner, Head of History Collections at the Museum of London and lead curator of Sherlock Holmes said: "Peeling back the layers of Sherlock Holmes, we will reveal the roots of this global icon who has continued to enthral audiences for over 125 years. It is fitting that it be hosted here, in the city which shaped the stories and created such a rich source for its success."

Those more recently engaged with the Holmes phenomenon through the BBC's popular 'Sherlock' adaptation will not only appreciate the vast history behind the 21st century detective, but also see his famous costume Belstaff coat and the Derek Rose camel dressing gown, worn by Benedict Cumberbatch himself, on loan from Hartswood Films.

A particularly fascinating section of the exhibition focuses on The London of Sherlock Holmes bringing together paintings, drawings, illustrations and photographs to examine how Victorian London and the cultural climate of the day informed Conan Doyle's stories and characters, interpreting renowned artists and photographers through the prism of Sherlock Holmes and identifying key locations. The stories and images reinforce each other to create the seminal views of Holmes's London embedded in our cultural memory; a particularly enjoyable journey having stepped in from the very same city from which Conan Doyle took his inspiration.

As you walk through the door of 221B Baker Street, recreated to mark the final section of the exhibition, Holmes, the man, is analyzed through a series of studies on his analytical mind, his forensic and scientific approach to solving crimes, his ability to go undercover as a master of disguise, and his characterisation as a Bohemian drug taker yet model English gentleman. This is enhanced by a vast collection of objects from the period when Conan Doyle was writing, including costume, to provide a further understanding of the detective's notorious traits. The exhibition will explain where the ideas originally came from, and their real-world precedence, including the instantly recognisable symbols of the magnifying glass, pipe and deerstalker.

Many of these iconic objects have been replicated for purchase in the MoL shop, most notably the 'Museum of London Tweed' specially commissioned in collaboration with Christys' Hats and Lovat Mill. Inspired by the color palette described in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, along with late Victorian tweed and current menswear trending forecasting data, the 'sophisticated, contemporary design' as described by Sean O'Sullivan, Interim Director of Enterprise at MoL, is currently on sale in the form of the deerstalker and flat cap but will soon be appearing at Liberty and Christys' Hats.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Happy Halloween! Here's my updated 2014 list of Halloween Mysteries. Let me know if I've missed any titles. I'd like to make this list as complete as possible. Boo!!


Green Water Ghost by Glynn Marsh Alam
Witches Bane by Susan Wittig Albert 
Antiques Maul by Barbara Allan
In Charm's Way by Madelyn Alt
A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer
Far to Go by May Louise Aswell
Killing Time by Amy Beth Arkaway
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming by Kathleen Bacus 
Trick or Treachery: A Murder She Wrote Mystery by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
In the Spirit of Murder by Laura Belgrave 
The Long Good Boy by Carol Lea Benjamin
Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley 
Watchdog by Laurien Berenson
The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt
A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell
Witches of Floxglove Corners by Dorothy Bodoin 
Death of a Trickster by Kate Borden 
Post-Mortem Effects by Thomas Boyle
A Graveyard for Lunatics, The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Rebel without a Cake by Jacklyn Brady
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lilian Jackson Braun
The Hunt Ball, The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
Death on All Hallowe'en by Leo Bruce
Halloween by Leslie Burgess
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Wycliffe and the Scapegoat by W.J. Burley
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Ann Campbell
The Charm Stone by Lillian Stewart Carl
The Wizard of La-La Land by R. Wright Campbell
The Halloween Murders by John Newton Chance 
Death with an Ocean View by Nora Charles 
Frill Kill, Tragic Magic, Photo Finished, Bedeviled Eggs The Jasmine Moon Murder, Fiber and Brimstone, Bedeviled Eggs, Frill Kill, Gossamer Ghost by Laura Childs
Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie 
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Lost Souls by Michael Collins
Not in My Backyard by Susan Rogers Cooper
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
Deadly Magic by Elisabeth Crabtree
A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford
Silver Scream, Bantam of the Opera, The Alpine Uproar by Mary Daheim
Halloween Hijinks, Pumpkins in Paradise, Haunted Hamlet by Kathi Daley
The Dracula Murders by Philip Daniels
The Diva Haunts the House, The Ghost and Mrs Mewer by Krista Davis
Fatal Undertaking by Mark de Castrique
Throw Darts at a Cheesecake by Denise Dietz
Trick or Treat, The Halloween Murder by Doris Miles Disney
A Map of the Dark by John Dixon
Ghostly Murders by P. C. Doherty
Died to Match by Deborah Donnelly
Cat with an Emerald Eye by Carole Nelson Douglas
Farmcall Fatality by Abby Deuel
Not Exactly a Brahmin by Susan Dunlap 
Vampires, Bones and Treacle Scones by Kaitlyn Dunnett 
A Ghost to Die For by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox
The Bowl of Night by Rosemary Edghill 
The Frozen Shroud by Martin Edwards

Door of Death by John Esteven 
The Witchfinder by Loren D. Estleman 
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich 
Dead Ends by Anne C. Fallon 
Sympathy For The Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer
Dead in the Pumpkin Patch by Connie Feddersen 
Blackwork, Hanging by a Thread, Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Scary Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Honora Finkelstein 
Trick or Treachery by "Jessica Fletcher" and Donald Bain
The Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Halloween Murder, Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont
Broke by Kaye George
Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber
Trick or Treat by Leslie Glaister
Mommy and the Murder by Nancy Gladstone
Haunted by Jeanne Glidewell 
A Few Dying Words by Paula Gosling
The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein (YA)
Monster in Miniature by Margaret Grace  
Hell for the Holidays by Chris Gravenstein 
Nail Biter by Sarah Graves 
Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham 
Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood 
Halloween by Ben Greer 
The Snafued Snatch by Jackie Griffey 
Quoth the Raven, Skeleton Key by Jane Haddam
Hallowed Bones by Carolyn Haines
Southern Ghost, Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart 
Sweet Poison by Ellen Hart
Hide in the Dark by Frances Noyes Hart 
Revenge of the Cootie Girls by Sparkle Hayter
Town in a Pumpkin Bash by B.B. Haywood
The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman 
The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes  
Murder on the Ghost Walk by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter 
Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs
Murder on Old Main Street, Dirty Tricks by Judith K. Ivie
The Pumpkin Thief, The Great Pumpkin Caper by Melanie Jackson
Murder Among Us by Jonnie Jacobs
A Murder Made in Stitches by Pamela James
The Devil's Cat, Cat's Eye, Cat's Cradle by William W. Johnstone  
The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson
Muffins & Murder by Heather Justesen
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Wed and Buried by Toni L.P. Kelner
Verse of the Vampyre by Diana Killian
Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack 
The Animal Hour by Andrew Klavan 
Paws for Murder by Annie Knox
Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene 
Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine 
Death Knocks Twice by James H. Lilley
The Legend of Sleepy Harlow by Kylie Logan
Poisoned by Elaine Macko 
Halloween Flight 77 by Debbie Madison 
Satan's Silence by Alex Matthews 
Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain 
Poisoned Tarts by G.A. McKevett
Death on All Hallows by Allen Campbell McLean
A Sparrow Falls Holiday by Donna McLean
Witch of the Palo Duro by Mardi Oakley Medawar  
Trick or Treat Murder, Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier 
Dancing Floor, Prince of Darkness by Barbara Michaels
Monster in Miniature by Camille Minichino 
The Violet Hour by Richard Montanari
A Biscuit, a Casket by Liz Mugavero
Dead End by Helen R. Myers
Nightmare in Shining Armor by Tamar Myers 
Hatchet Job by J.E. Neighbors
Retribution by Patrick J. O'Brien 
Halloween House by Ed Okonowicz
The Body in the Moonlight by Katherine Hall Page 
Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry
Flight of a Witch by Ellis Peters 
Twilight by Nancy Pickard 
Murder at Witches Bluff by Silver Ravenwolf
Poltergeist by Kat Richardson 
Death Notice by Todd Ritter 
Spook Night by David Robbins 
A Hole in Juan by Gillian Roberts
Murder in a Nice Neighborhood by Lora Roberts
Magnolias, Moonlight, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Scared Stiff by Annelise Ryan
Death of Halloween by Kim Sauke
Mighty Old Bones by Mary Saums 
Murder Ole! by Corinne Holt Sawyer
Tracking Magic by Maria E. Schneider
The Tenor Wore Tapshoes by Mark Schweizer
A Killer Maize by Paige Shelton
Dance of the Scarecrows by Ray Sipherd
The Sterling Inheritance by Michael Siverling
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Susan Smily
Town Haunts by Cathy Spencer
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Ripping Abigail by Barbara Sullivan
Recipe for Murder by Janet Elaine Smith
Carbs and Cadavers by J.B. Stanley
In the Blink of an Eye, Halloween Party by Wendy Corsi Staub 
Murder of a Royal Pain by Denise Swanson
Mourning Shift by Kathleen Taylor
Halloween Homicide by Lee Thayer
Inked Up by Terri Thayer
Charlie's Web by L.L. Thrasher
Gods of the Nowhere by James Tipper
Death in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
A Dash of Murder by Teresa Trent
Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
How to Party with a Killer Vampire by Penny Warner
Murder by the Slice by Livia J. Washburn 
Five-Minute Halloween Mysteries by Ken Weber
The Scarecrow Murders by Mary Welk
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner  
Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells
Ghoul of My Dreams by Richard F. West 
All Hallow's Eve by Charles Williams
Mayhem, Marriage, and Murderous Mystery Manuscripts by J.L. Wilson
Killer See, Killer Do by Jonathan Wolfe
All Hallow's Evil by Valerie Wolzien

And here's a list of Halloween Mystery Short Story anthologies:

Deadly Treats: Halloween Tales of Mystery, Magic and Mayhem, Edited by Anne Frasier 
Trick and Treats edited by Joe Gores & Bill Pronzini
Asking for the Moon (includes "Pascoe's Ghost" and "Dalziel's Ghost") by Reginald Hill
Murder for Halloween by Cynthia Manson
The Haunted Hour, edited by Cynthia Manson & Constance Scarborough
Murder for Halloween: Tales of Suspense, edited by Michele Slung & Roland Hartman.
Mystery for Halloween (an anthology), edited by Donald Westlake
Halloween Horrors, edited by Alan Ryan
All Hallows' Evil, edited by Sarah E. Glenn
Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman and Marcia Talley
Halloween Thirteen-a Collection of Mysteriously Macabre Tales, by Bobbi Chukran

Monday, October 13, 2014

10 Best Fictional Detectives

From Publishers Weekly:

Lucy Worsley's The Art of the English Murder is a fascinating look at how the detective novel was born from crime reporting, and how, eventually, detective fiction gave way to the darker American-style thriller of the Cold War era. Here, Worsley picks the 10 best fictional detectives.

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, Britons were flooding from the countryside into towns and cities. Their lives were safer now from nature and its dangers — famine, wild animals, disease. Their thoughts turned instead to the stranger living next door. Who was he? What might he do? Could he be a murderer, like the criminals who filled the pages of the cheap newspapers they read? 

And so crowded cities like London needed a new professional: the detective. He, or she, was a super-hero for the age. In their scary new urban world, the Victorians found it reassuring to read about crimes being solved and justice served, which is why so many of our great fictional detectives were birthed during that period. Here is a list of the best of them.

Read her picks HERE.

What do you think?

Bouchercon 101

Coming to Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention? November 12-16, Long Beach, CA

It's not too late to register.

There will be a lot of programming and special events, so if this is your first Bouchercon, you'll want to attend Bouchercon 101. I'll be moderating this panel with Ingrid Willis, chair of Bouchercon, Long Beach. Everything you want to know to make the most of this stupendous four-day celebration of crime fiction.

Thursday, November 13, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Regency A, Hyatt Hotel

Joanne Dobson Honored by Hudson Valley Writers Center

Joanne Dobson was honored last week at the Hudson Valley Writers Center’s annual gala at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, New York. Dobson, author most recently of the historical novel, The Kashmiri Shawl, was recognized for her multifaceted career as novelist, teacher, scholar, and editor.

Dobson is an internationally-known scholar of American women’s literature, having published on Emily Dickinson and 19th-century women writers, co-founded the scholarly journal Legacy, and edited for reprint the work of forgotten women writers. She was for many years an English professor at Fordham University and now teaches writing at the Hudson Valley Writers Center.

Her most recent novel, The Kashmiri Shawl, was published earlier this year. Dobson is the author of the six-book Karen Pelletier mystery series, published by Doubleday and Poisoned Pen Press. Quieter than Sleep, the first book in the series, was nominated for an Agatha Award. She was named the Noted Author of the Year by the New York Library Association, has been a Creative Arts Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society, and was granted a Research Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The "Coolest" Hotels in Every State

Thrillist has compiled a list of the 'coolest' Hotel in Every State. You have to see them all. Makes me want to travel! Stay in Grand Hotels, helicopters, caves, trailers, wigwams, lighthouses, railroad cars and more...all incredibly COOL. As Matt Meltzer says in the intro, "we tried to figure out just how each state would define cool, and then applied that spirit to their hotels. In the end, we came up with what we think is each state's coolest, most emblematic hotel. Or we were wildly off. You decide."

Here are two that are very apt for this blog. Have a look at all of them, here.

Massachusetts: The Liberty Hotel, Boston.

A mere 24 years ago, if you said you were spending a night at 215 Charles Street, it meant someone was gonna have to bail you out in the morning. The former Charles Street Jail, which opened in the 1850s (and closed in 1990), was completely overhauled into a luxe, 298-room granite masterpiece, complete with 19 rooms that're actually IN a former cell block. It also maintains five bars and restaurants, including Alibi, which's situated in what used to be the overnight holding area for folks who had a few too many. 

New York: Library Hotel, New York, NY

This list is of the coolest, not the grandest. So please try and keep your head from exploding because the Plaza, or the Waldorf, or the Essex House isn’t here. But this place is themed around the Dewey Decimal system (!!), something that takes a lot more thought than crystal chandeliers. Each floor is centered on a different category of the system, with each room containing a collection of books that explain some aspect of said category. So you can learn while you’re on vacation! Or read nothing and just walk outside to see New York City. Either way, if you like books and/or watching front desk clerks slyly flirt with bashful bookworm guests, this could be your favorite hotel in the world.


Friday, October 10, 2014

CrimeCONN: All Day Mystery Conference, 10/25

CrimeCONN: Connecticut mystery authors featured along with panel discussions, forensic, police experts and more. Fee, $25, includes lunch and a post-conference reception. Co-sponsored with Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter. 
Register online.  
The Wesport Library, 20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT
Saturday, October 25, 2014: 9 am-6:30 pm  


9 am: Registration
9:30-10:15 am: Panel 1: Topic: Google vs. Old Fashioned Shoe Leather. How do you keep mysteries exciting in the digital age? Moderator: Tim Hall 
Panelists: Justin Scott, Steve Liskow, Jonathan Stone
10:15-10:30 am: Break / Book sale
10:30-11:15 am: Panel 2: Topic: Writers have been described as egoists, chameleons or channelers. Which are you... or none of the above Moderator: Joe Meyers, Panelists: Dan Burstein, Jim Benn, H.T. Narea, A.J. Pompano
11:15-11:30 am: Break / Book sale
11:30-12:30 am: Panel 3: Insights from an Expert: “Cold Case Investigations - History and the Use of New Technology”
Speaker: Lieutenant Art Weisgerber, Crime Scene/ID Unit Norwalk Police Department
12:30-1:45 pm: Lunch (included with registration)
1:45-2:30 pm: Panel 4: Topic: Research, imagination and life experience. How do you find your greatest inspirations? Moderator: John Valeri
Panelists: Jessica Speart, Karen Olson, Lee Barwood, Rosemary Harris
2:30-2:45 pm: Break / Book sale
2:45-3:30 pm: Panel 5: Insights from an Expert: Death Investigation: It's Not Exactly What You See on TV"
Speaker: Michelle Clark, Death Investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Connecticut
3:30-3:45 pm: Break / Book sale
3:45-4:30 pm: Panel 6: Topic: Head case, escape artist, moral crusader? Describe your writer's temperament. Moderator: David Handler
Panelists: M.J. Rose, Chris Knopf, David Rich
4:30-6:30pm: Wrap Up Celebration

Read more HERE. 

HT: David Handler

Crimelandia News: Left Coast Crime, March 12-15, 2015

LEFT COAST CRIME: Crimelandia, March 12-15. Portland, OR.

Noir, cozy, thriller, historical, graphic novels, and more… Left Coast Crime, a fan convention, will encompass programming and events to meet a wide variety of reading tastes. Festivities open Thursday afternoon, March 12, 2015, and continue through noon on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Guests of Honor: Chelsea Cain and Tim Hallinan. Toastmaster: Gar Haywood.

Don’t Forget to Register for Crimelandia! 

Crimelandia registration fee is $175 through December 31, 2014, and then will increase to $195. The registration fee includes the Welcome Reception, two Breakfasts, the Awards Banquet, and access to all panels and programming.

Not sure if you have registered yet? Check the Crimelandia Attendee list.
Register here.


Although Left Coast Crime is a Fan Convention, there will be authors, writers and pre-published writers in attendance. Come early and register for LCC's Writing Workshop.

Left Coast Crime 2015 just announced a day of instruction on writing mystery/suspense/thrillers. April Henry and Bob Dugoni will share their bestselling craft wisdom. Whether you’re a published or aspiring novelist, you won’t want to miss out on the chance to learn from two of the best.

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2015, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Where: Doubletree by Hilton Portland, the location of LCC 2015
Price: $70 for LCC registrants, $120 for non-LCC registrants
Register for the workshop

Writing Workshop Schedule

Turn up the Tension and Plot Your Way to Success: 9:00 AM – noon
Instructor: April Henry

Mysteries and thrillers are all about plot, and this workshop is all about providing tips for writing books readers can’t put down. April will share the techniques she uses to write her award-winning novels, including tips for getting your story started, growing your plot, and adding subplots. In addition, you will learn the key ingredient you only want in a book (and not in real life), traps you should avoid, how to fix stories that have stalled, and 47 ways to turn up the tension.

Playing God: Creating Memorable Characters: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Instructor: Robert Dugoni

What is it about certain books that when we finish the final page the characters stay with us for days? What is it about these characters that makes them so memorable? Using examples from his own books and from other writers, Bob will teach techniques to make your characters well-rounded individuals who will keep readers wondering about them long after they have finished reading your novel.

See you at Crimelandia!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NBC/Universal options Tim Hallinan's Junior Bender Series!

Yay for Tim Hallinan, one of my favorite authors and all around great guy!

Universal Television has optioned the Junior Bender series of comic crime novels by Timothy Hallinan for an NBC series produced by Eddie Izzard. "Royal Pains" co-executive producer, Jessica Ball, is onboard to write the pilot based on the literary franchise of titles, published by Soho Press, that include Crashed, Little  Elvises, The Fame Thief and Herbie's Game.

Hallinan's series of novels, which NPR in their Best Books of 2013 post called "Splendidly entertaining" and which has been nominated for multiple awards, follows the adventures of Junior Bender, a world-class burglar who acts as an unwilling private eye for some of LA's most powerful crooks. If you can't turn to the police for help, you turn to Junior--if you can find him.

According to "The Hollywood Reporter," Izzard has not yet been attached to act in the series but the actor had a holding deal with the network.

Tim Hallinan will be the Guest of Honor at the Left Coast Crime convention in 2015.

Cuffed: A New Canadian Crime Festival 2016

Cuffed: Vancouver International Crime Fiction Festival a new crime fiction festival

March 11-13, 2016 

Location: Performance Works on Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada

Mastermind Behind Cuffed: Alma Lee, former creative director of The Vancouver International Writers Festival

Slated to attend: Linwood Barclay, Ian Rankin, Quintin Jardine (and it's not even up and running yet!)

Read More at the Rap Sheet

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

John LeCarre's The Night Manager to be BBC production

Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston will star in BBC's television adaptation of John le Carre's The Night Manager, "with WME fielding multiple offers from U.S. networks for a straight-to-series pickup," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Ink Factory (A Most Wanted Man) is producing, with David Farr (Hanna, Spooks) writing the script.

HT: ShelfAwareness

Monday, October 6, 2014

Agatha Christie Lost Diamonds found in old Trunk!

Thanks to Brenda Martin for this story!  I don't know about you, but if I bought a trunk from the Agatha Christie estate and found there was a strongbox bolted inside, I would have knocked it open immediately. I wouldn't have expected diamonds and gold coins, but I would have hoped for an unpublished manuscript.

This article is from

A hidden treasure from the home of author Agatha Christie comes to light at the Bonhams, Knightsbridge Jewellery auction on October 8. 

Amongst the trees that line the banks of the sparkling Dart estuary, stands Greenway, the handsome Devon home of Agatha Christie. Even after the murder-mystery writer has long departed, her house continues to reveal secrets of its own: 

When a die-hard Agatha Christie fan, Jennifer Grant, took part in the 2006 house contents sale of the Greenway estate, she paid £100 for an old travelling trunk which had belonged to Agatha Christie’s mother. She had no idea that locked inside lay £10,000 worth of the Christie family jewels. 

When the trunk arrived at her home, she found it contained a heavy strongbox which was locked shut and bolted to the base of the trunk, but no key was to be found. Years passed and the box remained sealed. 

Mrs Grant said: "The strongbox made the trunk a great heavy thing, so it sat at the bottom of the stairs for years. I almost didn't want to open it because then the mystery would be over. When friends came round we would tip the trunk from one side to the other and listen to hear if anything rattled. If you were very quiet you could just about hear something light sliding inside". 

It wasn’t until four years later that the owner of the suitcase was having building work done and saw the opportunity to wrench open the box with a crowbar. To her delight, inside she discovered a purse of gold coins, a diamond brooch and a three stone diamond ring. 

"I had read Agatha Christie's biography and so I knew exactly what I was looking at." Mrs Grant continued, "They matched the description exactly. I was nearly hyperventilating!" 

The jewels are mentioned in Agatha Christie’s biography as pieces that were earmarked for Agatha and her sister Madge to inherit from their mother’s collection. Christie writes: “My mother’s valuable jewellery consisted of ‘my diamond buckle' and ‘my diamond engagement ring’…Madge was to have the diamond crescent, I was to have the diamond buckle…” 

“…my mother sorted amongst an array of odds and ends…all these required hours of sorting before they were packed in the trays in the various trunks.” 

• The diamond 19th century diamond brooch is offered at £6,000-8,000 
• The diamond three-stone ring is offered with estimate of £3,000-5,000