Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Shortlist

Seems like we just had the longlist, but Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year came out with the shortlist today! Winner will be announced at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in July in Harrogate, England.

• Time of Death by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
• Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Sphere)
• Disclaimer by Renée Knight (Black Swan)
• I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere)
Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (Serpent's Tail)

Val McDermid will be presented with the Outstanding Contritbution to Crime Fiction Award

HT: The Rap Sheetwww.therapsheet.blogspot.com

Cartoon of the Day: Author Reading

Monday, May 30, 2016

Literary Salon June 2: Janet Dawson, J.J. and Bette Golden Lamb, Wendy Hornsby

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for a Literary Salon on Thursday, June 2, at 7 p.m. in Berkeley, CA. To RSVP and for address, please comment below with your email address.

Janet Dawson has written two novels featuring Zephyrette Jill McLeod and eleven novels with Oakland private investigator Jeri Howard. Her first Jeri Howard book, Kindred Crimes, won the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America contest for best first private eye novel. It was nominated in the best first category for three mystery awards, the Shamus, the Macavity and the Anthony. The California Zephyr series, a historical mystery series with Zephyrette Jill McLeod, includes Death Rides the Zephyr and the latest, Death Deals a Hand. The twelfth book in the Jeri Howard series, Water Signs, will be published by Perseverance Press in spring 2017. She has written twelve short stories, including Macavity winner “Voice Mail.” Janet has also written a stand-alone suspense novel, What You Wish For.

Bette Golden Lamb and J.J. Lamb are co-authors of eight crime novels, including The Killing Vote, a taut political thriller, and Bone Crack, sixth book in the Gina Mazzio RN medical thriller series. The LAMBS have also collaborated on Sisters in Silence, a medical thriller about a fertility counselor who goes on a mercy-killing spree of barren women; and Heir Today …a fast-paced suspense/adventure novel. Bette is a professional ceramicist, artist  and devoted gardener. J.J. is a journalist and skilled jack-of-all-trades.

Wendy Hornsby is the Edgar Award-winning creator of the Maggie MacGowen series. Her first novel, No Harm, was published in 1987, but it wasn’t until 1992 that Hornsby introduced her most famous character: Maggie MacGowen, documentarian and amateur sleuth. She has written ten MacGowen novels, most recently Disturbing the Dark. Besides her ten MacGowen novels, Hornsby has written dozens of short stories, and two novels in the earlier Kate Teague series.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Library

HT: Jayna Monroe

Authors and their Cats: Elinor Glyn

Happy Caturday! Authors and their Cats: Elinor Glyn

Elinor Glyn (née Sutherland; 17 October 1864 – 23 September 1943) was a British novelist and scriptwriter who specialized in romantic fiction that was considered scandalous for its time. She popularized the concept of It. Although her works are relatively tame by modern standards, she had tremendous influence on early 20th-century popular culture and perhaps on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow in particular. 

From Wikipedia: 
Glyn pioneered risqué, and sometimes erotic, romantic fiction aimed at a female readership, which was radical for its time, though her writing would not be considered scandalous by modern standards. She coined the use of the term "It", which is repeatedly yet erroneously described as a euphemism for sexuality or sex appeal. In 1919 she signed a contract with William Randolph Hearst's International Magazine Company for stories and articles that included a clause for the motion picture rights. She was brought over from England to write screenplays by the Famous Players-Lasky Production Company. She wrote for Cosmopolitan and other Hearst press titles, giving advice on how to keep your man and also some health & beauty tips. The Elinor Glyn System of Writing (1922) gives insights into writing for Hollywood studios and magazine editors at this time. From the 1927 novel, "It": "To have 'It', the fortunate possessor must have that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes.... In the animal world 'It' demonstrates in tigers and cats—both animals being fascinating and mysterious, and quite unbiddable."

From the 1927 movie, "It": "self-confidence and indifference as to whether you are pleasing or not". Glyn was the celebrated author of such early 20th-century bestsellers as "It", Three Weeks, Beyond the Rocks and other novels which were then considered quite racy. The screenplay of the novel “It” helped Glyn gain popularity as a screenwriter. However, she is only credited as being an author, adapter, and co-producer on the project. She also made a cameo appearance in the film. On the strength of the popularity and notoriety of her books, Glyn moved to Hollywood to work in the movie industry in 1920. She was one of the most famous women screenwriters in the 1920s. She has 28 story or screenwriting credits, three producing credits, and two credits for directing. Her first script was called The Great Movement and starred Gloria Swanson. She is credited with the re-styling of Swanson from giggly starlet to elegant star. The duo connected again when Beyond the Rocks was made into a silent film that was released in 1922; the Sam Wood-directed film stars Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino as a romantic pair. In 1927, Glyn helped to make a star of actress Clara Bow, for whom she coined the sobriquet "the It girl". In 1928, Bow also starred in Red Hair, which was based on Glyn's 1905 novel.

Apart from being a scriptwriter for the silent movie industry, working for both MGM and Paramount Pictures in Hollywood in the mid-1920s, she had a brief career as one of the earliest female directors. Her family established a company in 1924, Elinor Glyn Ltd, to which she signed her copyrights receiving an income from the firm and an annuity in later life. The firm was an early pioneer of cross-media branding. Glyn was responsible for many screenplays in the 1920s that included Six Hours (1923), Three Weeks (The Romance of a Queen) (1923) was one of her most famous pieces about a Queen in a struggling marriage that when on vacation, has a three week affair with a man. In addition to that, His Hour (1924), which was directed by King Vidor, Love’s Blindness (1925), a movie about a marriage that is done strictly for financial reasons only, Man and Maid (1925), about a man who must choose between two different women, The Only Thing (1926), Ritzy (1927), Red Hair (1928), which was a comedy vehicle to demonstrate the passion of red-haired people, and The Price of Things (1929).

Three screenplays based on Glyn's novels and a story in the mid to late twenties, Man and Maid, The Only Thing, and Ritzy did not do well at the box office, despite the success Glyn gained with her first project, The Great Movement, which was in the same genre. In 1930 she wrote her first non-silent film, called Such Men Are Dangerous, which was the last screenplay she did in the United States.

Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award

The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe Award), the annual Canadian award that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries announced that Victoria Abbott has won the 2016 award for The Marsh Madness, published by Berkley Prime Crime.

Now in its fifth year, the award is for a “mystery book that makes us smile” and includes everything from laugh-out-loud to gentle humor to good old-fashioned stories with little violence or gore.

Victoria Abbott is the nom de plume for the mother-daughter writing team of Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Maffini. Both mother and daughter live in Ottawa, ON.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Barbecue Mysteries

Hope you're planning a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Did you know that 53% of Americans will be barbecuing this weekend? Will you?

I posted my updated Memorial Day Crime Fiction list the other day, so I thought I'd update my Barbecue Mysteries list, too. 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 titles!

The illustration on the right--a cover from a Donald Duck comic book is a bit odd, don't you think? Had to post, though.

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' Fifteen 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: DyingforChocolate.com

S'mores on the Grill  
Banana Boats
3 Savory Chocolate Barbecue Sauces
Chocolate Ancho Chile Rub
Cocoa Spiced Salmon Rub 
Scharffen Berger Cacao Nib Rub for Tri Tip

Adaptation of Stephen King's Mr Mercedes: 10 episode series will air in 2018

From The Hollywood Reporter

AT&T's Audience Network is adding another high-profile scripted drama to its roster. The home of originals including Kingdom has handed out a 10-episode straight-to-series order for David E. Kelley's adaptation of Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes

Brendan Gleeson and Anton Yelchin have been tapped to star in the project produced by Sonar Entertainment. Mr. Mercedes will premiere in 2018 on both DirecTV and AT&T Uverse.

Read more here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Arthur Ellis Award Winners for Crime Writing in Canada

Crime Writers of Canada announced the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award winners. Congratulations to All

Best Novel: Peter Kirby, Open Season, Linda Leith Publishing

Best First Novel: Ausma Zehanat Khan, The Unquiet Dead, Minotaur

The Lou Allen Memorial Award for Best Novella: Jeremy Bates, Black Canyon, Dark Hearts, Ghillinnein Books

Best Short Story: Scott Mackay, The Avocado Kid, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

Best Book in French: Luc Chartrand, L'Affaire Myosotis, Québec Amérique

Best Juvenile/YA: Stephanie Tromly, Trouble is a Friend of Mine, Kathy Dawson Books

Best Nonfiction: Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception, Harper Collins Publishers

The Dundurn Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel: Jayne Barnard, When the Flood Falls

CWC also announced the 2016 Grand Master Winner Eric Wright. Eric Wright wrote eighteen crime novels, in four different series, as well as novels, a novella, and a memoir. Eric’s first novel, The Night the Gods Smiled (1983), won the first Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel, the John Creasey Award from the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), and the City of Toronto Book Award. The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn (2000) won an Arthur and was nominated for an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America (MWA). His writing career spanned over forty years and his contribution to Canadian crime writing was, without question, immense. This was recognized in 1998 when Eric received the Derrick Murdoch Award for lifetime contribution to Canadian crime writing. Eric Wright passed away in October, 2015, shortly after being notified that he had been selected for the Grand Master Award. Eric continued writing until shortly before his death, and in May 2016, Cormorant Books released The Land Mine, a historical novel loosely based on Eric’s own childhood in World War II London.

Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers from coast to coast. Members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing authors.

Cartoon of the Day: Why We Write

From the amazing Grant Snider:

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, the Beach, the Cabin, and S'mores.

But in memory of all who 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
Flowers for Bill O'Reilly: Memorial Day by Max Allan Collins
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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Book Cover

SleuthFest Awards

SleuthFest Announced the Freddie Awards for Writing Excellence. 

Winner - Melinda B. Pierce - Trouble in the Glades

Other Finalists
Merrilee Robson - Summer Smoke
Elisa Korentayer - Song of a Wood Turner
Joan Long - Lovebug Graveyard
Caroline Taylor - Dead Ringer

Winner - J.D. Allen - 19 Crimes

Other Finalists
L.D. Masterson - Hunter's Way
Fred Lichtenberg - Murder 1040
Dwight Jolivette - Searcher
Janece O. Hudson - Out of Sight

Florida Chapter of MWA awards the Flamingo Award to a chapter member for service to the chapter: Victoria Landis

And here's a very odd award that is given out:
The FlaMANgo Award: This award is given out at the Saturday night cocktail party to the guy who gets the most votes from the women at the conference.  Sometimes, it's about what they look like, and sometimes it's about what a mensch they are/have been for us. You never know.  C.J. Box won this year.

HT: Victoria Landis

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2015 Strand Magazine Critics Award

The Strand Magazine nominees for the 2015 Strand Magazine Critics Awards:

Best Novel:
• Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland)
• A Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George (Viking)
• The Lady from Zagreb, by Phillip Kerr (Putnam)
• Forty Thieves, by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press)
• The Whites, by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt (Picador)
• The Cartel, by Don Winslow (Knopf)

Best First Novel:
• The Truth and Other Lies, by Sascha Arango (Atria)
• Normal, by Graeme Cameron (Mira)
• The Marauders, by Tom Cooper (Crown)
• Past Crimes, by Glen Erik Hamilton (HarperCollins)
• The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead)
• Disclaimer, by Renée Knight (Harper)

The winners will be announced on July 5.

Colin Dexter and Jeffery Deaver have been chosen to receive this year’s Strand Critics lifetime achievement awards.

HT: The Rap Sheet

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Steeping Crime Fiction in a Strong Sense of Place: Guest post by Christine Carbo

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. How wonderful. I haven't been to all the Parks, but Glacier National Park is one of my favorites. Christine Carbo has written two books set in Glacier National Park--the Crown of the Continent, and I'm so pleased wrote a post for Mystery Fanfare about Glacier and a strong sense of place in crime fiction. Christine Carbo is the author of THE WILD INSIDE and MORTAL FALL, which take place in Glacier National Park. Visit her online at christinecarbo.com.

Christine Carbo:
Steeping crime fiction in a strong sense of place – where better than the Crown of the Continent? 

I love reading crime fiction, especially those novels steeped in a strong sense of place: Denise Mina’s Glasgow; Tana French’s Dublin; Dennis Lehane’s Boston, John Connelly’s Los Angeles… the list goes on. But when I began my first mystery novel, I thought, I just live in Montana with no dynamic, bustling cities around me. How was I supposed to write what I knew so that it was credible, but still interesting and evocative? Then it dawned on me that I lived only a half hour from a place that people from all over the nation and the world come to visit: Glacier National Park.

As we celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, I must say that I enjoy many of the nation’s parks, but I am partial to Glacier, not only because it’s in my back yard—and where I spent a significant amount of time growing up – but because it has, indeed, lived up to its label as the Crown Jewel of the Continent. I have hiked many, many miles of its gorgeous terrain, which includes high-elevation panoramas, glaciers, tundra, wildflowers, wildberries, waterfalls, rushing streams, talus slopes, huge boulders, avalanche shoots and spectacular gorges that cut through intricate gray and wine-colored rocks lit by smoldering alpenglow. Glacier is a million acres of topography pushing up from the seafloor, indeed built from a primeval ocean bottom.

And it is not only stunning; it’s haunting at times. Some areas are desolate with wind-swept terrain allowing very little foliage to grow. A sense of danger lurks – that things could take a turn for the worse quite easily, either from bears, inclement weather, falling rock, steep ridgelines or forces you can’t predict. When hiking in grizzly country, it often feels as if you are testing fate, committing to a surreal experience in a place where bravery cannot be faked, especially if you accidentally come between a mama grizzly bear and her cubs. There are no brownie points for acting tough. A place like Glacier, breathtaking in its scale, reminds you that nature is always far more intricate and beautiful than any artist, writer, or scientist can ever convey. Its topography – over a billion years old – speaks of remarkable forces at play and reminds you of our threadbare existence on our planet. In some areas, you may find yourself feeling uneasy or moved despite the incredible beauty, and I believe this stems from our sense of impotency in the face of nature’s great forces, in the face of all that it is.

Plus, since so many of our nation’s national parks are located in rural areas, many of the small towns that are outside national parks are sometimes economically depressed and tend to have crime, often born from illegal drug use and production. The small towns outside the park definitely have their share of law-breaking, which made the park’s setting and its surroundings that much more ripe for crime fiction. Just driving to Glacier includes going through areas such as Hungry Horse or Coram, or the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, where opportunities for employment and economic security are rare. Glacier National Park can be a joyous, happy place where people from all over the world come to visit, but it can also be an unforgiving, rugged place where many of its surrounding communities struggle for survival.

Since many parts of the park are as desolate as they are beautiful, I wanted to tap into this sense of both splendor and austerity. I felt like the landscape required it, just as a bleak northern setting pervades much of Scandinavian crime fiction in order to move beyond genre to a sense of the human condition as evidenced by the way its people interact with their stark environment. When people go to Glacier, they often want to escape in its beauty, but people are also reminded when visiting such wild places that they cannot completely disconnect from nature. They want to flee the concrete, but they still want a glimpse of what communities nestled beside such wilderness areas must deal with to survive, both in terms of the wild and their own economic and cultural situations.

And part of the draw to Glacier includes its many wild animals. Along with Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Tetons, it is one of the main homes for the grizzly bear. It also is home to wolverines, fishers, weasels, fox, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolves, mountain lions, marmots and many other fascinating creatures. Since national parks are undeveloped and unspoiled by logging roads and other manmade dangers and nuisances to wild animals, they remain places were you can study species in their natural, untouched habitats. When I first began to think of setting a story in Glacier, the awe and fear-inspiring grizzly came to mind. I began to ponder what would happen if my main character had issues with bears and the very park he needed to conduct an investigation in. Hence, my first book, The Wild Inside, is as much about whether the protagonist will find some emotional peace as it is about who committed the crime. My second book, Mortal Fall, features a secondary character from the first book, and also takes place in Glacier. The park, in essence, has remained a strong secondary character in all my books, including the third novel I am currently working on.

So, for a crime writer, the northern mountain communities near Glacier provide ample material. I feel privileged to be able to share a picture of the interdependencies between our communities and the natural world through my fiction and to invite readers to come experience the unforgettable beauty—and drama—of the world I love so much. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Agent

Why All Writers Should Write Mysteries (at least once) by Martha Conway

Martha Conway’s  first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award, and her second novel, Thieving Forest, won the 2014 North American Book Award for Best Historical Fiction. Her short fiction has been published in The Iowa Review, The Carolina Quarterly Review, The Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Folio, and other journals. She teaches creative writing for Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension, and is a recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship for Creative Writing. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she is one of seven sisters. She currently lives in San Francisco. Find Martha on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her website: www.marthaconway.com  Her latest novel just launched: Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery

Why All Writers Should Write Mysteries (at least once)
by Martha Conway, author of Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery

Far be it from me to say that writers should try different genres—or write anything other than what they want to write—but I have recently heard myself say to two different writers that everyone should write at least one mystery, for the purposes of craft.

I’ve written in a few different genres now: mystery, historical mystery, and historical fiction. My earliest publications were literary short stories, and my first novel fell into the chick-lit category (I didn’t even know what that was when I was writing it). But I think I really began to understand plot when I set out to write a mystery.

Mysteries have to be built scene by scene, with each development causing its own set of consequences. You have to keep the characters’ state of knowledge or ignorance in mind at all times. But most importantly, you have to keep your reader in mind. Are you, the writer, giving enough information, but not too much? Are you encouraging their questions? Are you allowing yourself to feel your way with them, even though you know the all the answers, so you can anticipate what they might wonder and exploit that?

It’s easy enough to say: when you write a novel, any novel, you want each scene to address what is happening in the plot and move that forward. But sometimes writers think, Oh I have to establish that the character is sympathetic, or a hypochondriac, or afraid of mice, so that a later scene is understandable. In a mystery, it’s a given that you are going to show that fear of mice while your detective is searching around an abandoned basement for a clue. And he or she will find a clue—or find something. In addition to revealing this phobia.

What I have found, and what’s been most helpful to me no matter what I write, is that writing a mystery forces me to create characters whose inner lives direct their actions. This is especially true of the bad guy, sure, but it can be applied to every character (and usually with interesting results). We sift through traits and experiences just as thoroughly as we check all the alibis for the night of the crime. Character is fate, as the Greeks would say. And isn’t that what a good mystery is all about? When we get to the end, we want readers to say, Ah, of course.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

CrimeFest Award Winners 2016

CRIMEFEST announced the following Award winners at the banquet in Bristol this evening. Congratulations to all!

Audible Sounds of Crime Award:
Paula Hawkins for The Girl on the Train, read by Clare Corbett, India Fisher & Louise Brealey (Random House Audiobooks)

Kobo eDunnit Award:
Michael Connelly for The Crossing (Orion Publishing Group)

Last Laugh Award:
Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May and the Burning Man (Transworld)

H.R.F. Keating Award:
Martin Edwards for The Golden Age of Murder (HarperCollins)

Petrona Award:
Jørn Lier Horst for The Caveman, translated by Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway)

Authors and their Cats: Ezra Pound

Happy Caturday. Authors and their Cats: Ezra Pound

Tame Cat
by Ezra Pound

It rests me to be among beautiful women
Why should one always lie about such matters?
I repeat:
It rests me to converse with beautiful women
Even though we talk nothing but nonsense,

The purring of the invisible antennae
Is both stimulating and delightful. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

CWA Dagger Award Longlists

The CWA (Crime Writers Association) 2016 Dagger Award Longlists were announced at Crimefest tonight.

Dodgers, Bill Beverly, No Exit Press
Black Widow, Christopher Brookmyre, Little Brown
After You Die, Eve Dolan, Harvill Secker
Real Tigers, Mick Herron, John Murray
Finders Keepers, Stephen King, Hodder & Stoughton
Dead Pretty, David Mark, Mulholland books/Hodder & Stoughton
Blood Salt Water, Denise Mina, Orion
She Died Young, Elizabeth Wilson, Serpent’s Tail

The Cartel, Don Winslow, William Heinemann
The English Spy, Daniel Silva, HarperCollins
Bone by Bone, Sanjida Kay, Corvus
Rain Dogs, Adrian McKinty, Serpent’s Tail
Real Tigers, Mick Herron, John Murray
The Hot Countries, Timothy Hallinan, Soho Crime
Black Eyed Susans, Julia Hearberlin, Michael Joseph
Make Me, Lee Child, Bantam Press
Spy Games, Adam Brookes, Sphere
The American, Nadia Dalbuono, Scribe UK

Title,  Author,  Translated by,  Publisher

The Truth and Other Lies, Sascha Arango, Imogen Taylor, Simon & Schuster
The Great Swindle, Pierre Lemaître, Frank WynnE, Quercus/Maclehose
Icarus, Deon Meyer, K L Seegers, Hodder & Stoughton
The Sword of Justice, Leif G.W. Persson, Neil Smith, Doubleday
The Murderer in Ruins, Cay Rademacher, Peter Millar, Arcadia
The Father, Anton Svensson, Translation not credited, Sphere
The Voices Beyond, Johan Theorin, Marlaine Delargy, Transworld
Six Four, Hideo Yokoyama, Jonathan Lloyd-Davis, Quercus


As Alice Did, Andrea Camilleri Montalbano’s First Cases, Pan Macmillan
On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier, John Connolly, Nocturnes 2: Night Music, Hodder and Stoughton
Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository,  John Connolly, Nocturnes 2: Night Music, Hodder and Stoughton
Bryant & May and the Nameless Woman, Christopher Fowler, London’s Glory, Bantam
Stray Bullets, Alberto Barrera, Tyszka Crimes, MacLehose Press
Rosenlaui, Conrad Williams, The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Constable & Robinson


The Golden Age of Murder, Martin Edwards, HarperCollins
Sexy Beasts: The Hatton Garden Mob, Wensley Clarkson, Quercus
You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat), Andrew Hankinson, Scribe
A Very Expensive Poison, Luke Harding, Faber
Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories, Thomas Grant, John Murray
John le Carré, the biography, Adam Sisman, Bloomsbury

For 15 years the CWA has been encouraging new writing with its Debut Dagger competition for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents, and the short listed entries are sent to publishers and agents.

Dark Valley John Kennedy
Death by Dangerous Oliver Jarvis
The Devil’s Dice Roz Watkins
Hardways Catherine Hendricks
Let’s Pretend Sue Williams
Misconception Jack Burns
A Reconstructed Man Graham Brack
A State of Grace Rita Catching
The Tattoo Killer Joe West
Wimmera Mark Brandi


Fever City, Tim Baker, Faber&Faber
Dodgers, Bill Beverly, No Exit Press
Mr Miller, Charles Den, Tex World Editions
The Teacher, Katerina Diamond, Avon
Wicked Game, Matt Johnson, Orenda Books
Freedom’s Child, Jax Miller, HarperCollins
Eileen, Ottessa Moshfegh, Jonathan Cape
The Dark Inside, Rod Reynolds, Faber&Faber
The Good Liar, Nicholas Searle, Viking


The House at Baker Street Michelle Birkby Pan Books
A Death in the Dales Frances Brody Piatkus
A Man of Some Repute, A Question of Inheritance Elizabeth Edmondson Thomas & Mercer
Smoke and Mirrors Elly Griffiths Quercus
The Last Confessions of Thomas Hawkins Antonia Hodgson Hodder & Stoughton
The Other Side of Silence Philip Kerr Quercus
A Book of Scars William Shaw Quercus
The Jazz Files Fiona Veitch Smith Lion Fiction
Striking Murder A. J. Wright Allison & Busby
Stasi Child David Young Twenty7Books

Crime fans everywhere can nominate their favourite authors online and the ten authors with the most votes will make up the longlist. The response received last year was staggering, with 1,384 crime fans voting for 636 different authors, highlighting the extraordinary quality and variety in crime writing.
Unlike most other literary prizes, the Dagger in the Library is awarded not for an individual book but for an author’s entire body of work and is one of six highly prized CWA Dagger Awards awarded to crime writers since 1955.

RC Bridgestock
Tony Black 
Alison Bruce 
Angela Clarke 
Charlie Flowers 
Elly Griffiths 
Keith Houghton 
Quintin Jardine 
Louise Phillips 
Joe Stein 

CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition

Photo: Bill Gottfried
Peter Guttridge just won the Margery Allingham Short Story Competition. The award was presented at CrimeFest in Bristol. The Award is given to the best unpublished short story – one that fits into Margery’s definition of what makes a great story.

“The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”

Bottling Old Book Smells: Library Perfumes

I love the smell of old books. Don't you? I've posted before that there have been several different Book Smell perfumes, so I was pleased to see that there are even more! Of course, nothing beats being with the actual books!

“Book smell” is now a thing in the perfume world, like vanilla or sandalwood. In the last few years, dozens of products have appeared on the market to give your home or person the earthy scent of a rare book collection.

Sweet Tea Apothecaries sells Dead Writers Perfume, which promises to evoke the aroma of books old enough for their authors to have passed to the great writers’ retreat in the sky. Perfumer Christopher Brosius’s “In the Library” product line makes your home and body smell just like that. The high-end fragrance Paper Passion claims to capture the “unique olfactory pleasures of the freshly printed book,” though for roughly $200 per bottle it’s a lot cheaper to just buy a freshly printed book.

The appeal of old books’ smell has been studied in depth. Wood-based paper contains lignin, a chemical closely related to vanillin, the compound that gives vanilla its fragrance. As the pages age and the compounds break down, they release that signature scent. An experienced rare book handler can date a volume by scent alone, according to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Read more here!

Which one will you order?

Cartoon of the Day: Writer

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Noir City: Austin

NOIR CITY: Austin returns to its home at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz this weekend, May 20-22, with a one-two punch of justly famous noirs and lesser-known gems awaiting discovery. Each of the seven screenings feature a double bill of 1940s films — for a total count of 14 films. FNF president Eddie Muller will be on hand throughout the entire festival to guide Austin's denizens down the blind alleys of NOIR CITY. View the festival trailer.

The festival kicks off with This Gun for Hire, notable for the first pairing of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, followed by Robert Siodmak's remarkable early B-feature Fly-By-Night. One of the highlights of the weekend-long festival is Saturday afternoon's screening of Julien Duvivier's anthology Flesh and Fantasy featuring an all-star cast, including noir favorites Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson. The rarely screened Destiny follows; originally shot as the first of the stories in the anthology, it was cut for running time and then developed into a stand-alone feature. Universal Studios is providing 35mm archival prints of both films, and neither is available on DVD or Blu-ray.

Visit the Alamo's website for the full schedule and to buy tickets.

Alamo Drafthouse & Austin Film Society present: NOIR CITY AUSTIN 2016 from Alamo Drafthouse on Vimeo.

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Mystery Writer

Agatha Christie: An Action-Adventure Film - Script by Tom Shepherd

One of the world’s most famous crime novelists may, once again, be headed to the big screen. AGATHA CHRISTIE, from a script by , is in the works at with set to produce.

The action-adventure pic, which is being pitched as Sherlock Holmes meets The Thomas Crown Affair, finds a young, adventurous Agatha Christie joining Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on a mission to track down the whereabouts of a missing oil tycoon.

According to The Tracking Board:

Shepherd’s script is reminiscent of another Agatha Christie-inspired project, Agatha from writer . Schroeder’s spec similarly sees the crime novelist set in an action-adventure story, but surmises what happened during a period of 11 days during which she went missing. That project was set up at Paramount with Mary Parent set to produce through her Disruption Entertainment, but in the wake of Parent’s move to Legendary, the project’s fate – like many Disruption projects – remains unclear. Furthermore, Will Gluck, who was previously attached to direct Agatha, appears to have fallen off. That gives Columbia an opportunity to develop their competing Christie project, which is seeking a Margot Robbie-type for the titular heroine.

HT: BV Lawson - In Reference to Murder

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Knowledge

Living Lucky (Luciano) by Chuck Greaves

Chuck Greaves spent 25 years as a trial lawyer in Los Angeles before moving to Santa Fe in 2006 to pursue a writing career. He was, while still in practice, a frequent contributor of feature articles for Los Angeles Lawyer magazie. He chaired his firm’s litigation department and served as President of the Pasadena Public Library Foundation. His debut novel Hush Money (Minotaur), the first installment in the Jack MacTaggart series of legal mysteries, won the SouthWest Writers’ International Writing Contest and was named a finalist for numerous national honors including the Rocky Award from Left Coast Crime, the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, the Reviewers’ Choice Award from RT Reviews, and the Audie Award for Best Mystery Audiobook of 2012. In 2013, Jack returned in Green-Eyed Lady. Chuck’s second novel Hard Twisted (Bloomsbury) was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in Fiction. His third MacTaggart novel, The Last Heir, was a finalist for the 2015 Colorado Book Award for Best Mystery, while his latest novel Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo (Bloomsbury), a novelization of the colorful and controversial 1936 vice trial of gangster Lucky Luciano, was named by the Wall Street Journal to its year-end list of the “Best Books of 2015,” and is a finalist for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

Chuck Greaves:
Living Lucky (Luciano)

When not plotting the next installment in my Jack MacTaggart series of legal mysteries as Chuck Greaves, I’ve been known to summon my more intrepid alter ego and tackle panoramic historical/true-crime fiction as C. Joseph Greaves. These sorts of novels, properly done, can involve years of intensive research before the words “Chapter One” are ever written. So you might be wondering what it’s like to immerse yourself in a project of that magnitude, and, more importantly, why anyone would undertake to do so in the first place.

To the latter question I would answer that sometimes fate leaves you little choice. Such was the case with my 2012 novel Hard Twisted (Bloomsbury), which was born in 1994 on a snowy hike in a remote Utah canyon with the discovery of two human skulls. But that, as they say, is another story. More recently I undertook to fictionalize one of the most colorful and controversial criminal trials in American history, Thomas E. Dewey’s 1936 vice prosecution of mob boss Lucky Luciano. There again, fate opened a door to me from which, some 15 years later, a novel emerged.

The year was 1999, and the setting was a sun-drenched patio in Southern California. My luncheon companion, the daughter of a prominent Depression-era criminal defense attorney named George Morton Levy, casually mentioned that following her father’s death in 1977, all of his office files had been moved into storage in a barn in upstate New York. Knowing as I did that my companion’s father had defended Luciano in the trial that had riveted the nation and launched Dewey’s political career, I asked if I might have a peek at those files. “Feel free,” she told me. “Nobody’s even seen them for over twenty years.”

Within the week I was on a plane for JFK and, after a long and torturous drive, found myself in the aforesaid barn where, as advertised, a moldering tarp covered some fifteen rusted file cabinets. It took the better part of a day to sift through all the drawers, all the files, but the effort paid dividends when, nestled in the back of a bottom drawer, I found a battered redwell file bearing the handwritten inscription People v. Charles “Lucky” Luciano.

Just because a door opens, however, doesn’t mean you have to walk through it. My personal litmus test is whether the subject matter of a potential book is sufficiently engaging to sustain my undivided attention for the several years I know it will take to spin source-material dross into some semblance of literary gold. For the Luciano project this proved a no-brainer, since the trial’s cast of characters included – in addition to Luciano, Dewey, and Levy – a Runyonesque assortment of gangsters, cops, prostitutes, addicts, politicians, madams, and lawyers, all working their own angles to advance ends that, in the final analysis, had little to do with achieving criminal justice.

Although at least two nonfiction books had already been written about the trial – Hickman Powell’s Ninety Times Guilty (1939) and Ellen Poulsen’s The Case Against Lucky Luciano (2007) – and although many more reference the trial in passing, all were either heavily influenced by the Dewey propaganda machine (Powell, for instance, was a personal friend and later a speechwriter for Dewey) or else were crafted from source material, such as Dewey’s papers housed in the New York City Department of Records, calculated to flatter the prosecution. Most of these books mention Levy, for example, only in passing. None, to my knowledge, was written by an actual trial lawyer. And no previous author had access to the materials I now had in my possession.

Job one, I decided, was to separate fiction from fact and spin from substance – no easy task in the case of a man like Luciano, whose life was lived mostly in secret and chronicled mostly in hindsight. And so I immersed myself in every book and article I could find about Luciano, Dewey, Levy, or the trial itself. Then, once I’d gotten a handle on my three protagonists, I dove headlong into the tens of thousands of pages – including the verbatim transcript of the month-long trial – that constitute the appellate record. Finally, beginning in 2013, I began to write.

I should add here that a curious thing happened along the way, when a fourth character named Cokey Flo Brown began elbowing her way onto the page. Cokey Flo was a grifter, a New York madam, a heroin addict, a sometimes prostitute, and ultimately the star trial witness on whose testimony the verdict turned. Her distinctive first-person voice became the glue that, in the final analysis, held the entire novel together.

History tells us that Dewey rode his fame from the Luciano verdict first to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, then to the New York governor’s mansion, and then very nearly, in 1948, to the White House itself. Levy, disillusioned by the Luciano verdict, left the law to start a nighttime harness racing venture called Roosevelt Raceway. Luciano spent almost ten years in prison before winning his freedom by assisting the U.S. war effort in Europe. Deported to Italy, he briefly resided in Havana, Cuba where he, along with his boyhood chums Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, helped finance construction of the Flamingo hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Cokey Flo, after seeing herself portrayed by Bette Davis in the 1937 film Marked Woman, disappeared into obscurity and addiction in the brothels of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Telling the story of their dramatic and historic convergence proved a labor of love. That Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo (Bloomsbury) would become a Wall Street Journal “Best Books of 2015” selection and, more recently, a finalist for the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was simply icing on this lawyer’s cake.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Summer Reading Group

Lawrence Block to speak at World Stamp Show

Award winning author Lawrence Block has written five books -- Hit Man, Hit List, Hit Parade, Hit and Run, and Hit Me-- about Keller -- an “urban lonely guy” who earns a living killing strangers. Contemplating retirement, Keller returns to the stamp collecting hobby that brightened his childhood. But he really gets into it, and it puts enough of a dent in his retirement fund to keep him at his trade.

What some people don’t know is that Larry Block’s knowledge of stamp collecting comes from his own passion for the hobby. As an avid stamp collector, Block will be talking about the joy of finding a treasured stamp and how stamp collecting ties in to his travels, his writing and his life.  He will be a speaker at the upcoming World Stamp Show (May 28th- June 4th in NYC (see below). He'll talk about the lethal philatelist Keller, and explain how Keller is a character readers are genuinely fond of -- even though they don't think they should be.

Block will be speaking at the World Stamp Show at the Javits Center in NYC on May 31 at 4 p.m.


International Stamp Exhibition Held Once Every Ten Years

Every ten years, the United States hosts an historic event in which people from around the world come together to honor the postage stamp. This year’s eight-day celebration entitled: World Stamp Show-NY 2016 is scheduled from May 28th to June 4th, 2016, at the Javits Center located at 655 West 34th Street in New York City. In addition to hundreds of thousands stamps from around the world, this year’s exhibition will include the world’s most valuable postage stamp, John Lennon’s childhood stamp album, vintage postal vehicles, and much more.

Visitors from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are expected to attend the free exhibition and retail event at which they can buy from more than 200 of the world’s most notable and respected stamp dealers, bid on rarities through revered auction houses, view nearly 60,000 pages of stamp exhibits, attend seminars, or just “Take a Walk Around the World” through the 60+ country post offices participating in the exhibition.

On display will be very valuable and rare stamps, including the British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp, produced in 1856, sold in 2014 for $9.5 million, and considered to be the world’s most valuable object by weight.

Those new to the hobby of stamp collecting will receive complimentary stamps and guidance from “stamp buddies” on how to begin collecting in the “Beginner’s Area,” with planned activities for those attendees from six years of age to 96. “For more than 150 years, postage stamps have connected people from all over the world,” says Wade Saadi, President of World Stamp Show-NY 2016. “Just as Passport stamps show where people have traveled to in the world, postage stamps are a unique way of learning about history, geography and even pop culture.

Collectors are able to tell stories of the past, such as who was the president of the US in any given year; what cars were popular when; or when the world was at war, as well as to commemorate a wide variety of themes, including artwork, inventions, animals, sports, and world leaders.”

Throughout the ages, stamp collecting has been a passionate hobby of some very famous people from all walks of life including: Pope Francis (boyhood collector), Queen Elizabeth, Patrick Dempsey, Warren Buffet, Maria Sharapova, Nicolas Sarkozy, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Ronnie Wood, Bill Gross, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jacques Costeau, and George Bernard Shaw, among others. 

“For generations, letters have delivered news of events, both happy and sad occasions, business, politics, discoveries, and family history. By the same token, postage stamps reflect the times and teach us about people, places and events, reflecting on the talk of the day,” continued Mr. Saadi. “Stamp collecting is a great way to connect with the past and present, obtaining valuable knowledge that requires being mindful -- without the need for technology.”

The World Stamp Show-NY 2016 opens on Saturday, May 28th from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm (the opening ceremony begins at 9am). From Sunday, May 29th through Friday, June 3rd, show hours are from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Saturday, June 4th the hours are 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Admission is free. For more information, visit: www.ny2016.org.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Writer

HT: Ken Van Durand

Toby Jones joins Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman on Sherlock

Toby Jones (Infamous, The Secret Agent, The Girl) is confirmed to star in the fourth season of Sherlock on MASTERPIECE PBS, produced by Hartswood Films for BBC One and co-produced with MASTERPIECE.

Toby Jones will star in the second episode of the brand new three-part season, which starts filming today. Episode two will be directed by Nick Hurran, who was Emmy®-nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries for "His Last Vow", a season three Sherlock episode.

Toby Jones said: “I'm excited and intrigued by the character I shall be playing in Sherlock..." Rumor has it that he will be a villain.

Promising laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases, it was announced last month that season four will begin with the nation’s favorite detective, the mercurial Sherlock Holmes, back once more on British soil, as Doctor Watson and his wife, Mary, prepare for their biggest ever challenge - becoming parents for the first time.

Sherlock is written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock is produced by Sue Vertue and the executive producers are Beryl Vertue, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for Hartswood Films, Bethan Jones for BBC Cymru Wales and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE. It is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the American Twins

The Baker Street Players will present the world premiere of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of The American Twins on Fridays and Saturdays between May 20th and June 11th. The venue, Baker Street West, is located on the second floor above Hein & Company Bookstore at 204 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642. Beth Barnard is directing the limited run. Hein & Company co-owner Linda Hein is producing the show.

Contact:  Hein at  209-223-2215 or info@bakerstreetwest.com for tickets. 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bakerstreetwest

Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The American Twins is a traditional Sherlockian adventure that begins, as one always seems to, at 221B Baker Street where a distressed female client (Miss Phoebe Dillingham) consults with Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson on the whereabouts of her twin brother.  What follows is a trail that leads to Mycroft Holmes (Sherlock's more intelligent brother) and on to Colonel Collins (retired intelligence officer from the Army) who sends Sherlock to Madam Flora Yao (a provocative connoisseur of information).  The denouement of the case turns ruckus in Mrs. Hudson's sitting room and yet there is more . . .

Baker Street West is a Victorian tribute to Sherlock Holmes. The setting includes eight storefronts relating to characters or subjects drawn directly from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's four novels and 56 short stories of Sherlock Holmes. It is an event-oriented venue that includes eight retail storefronts and a recreation of Sherlock Holmes' flat:  221B Baker Street.

An interview with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
(Reprinted with permission of Saichek Publicity)

Some people may not realize you began your career writing children's plays. How does it feel to return to this medium?

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: I've written plays since I was eight, and for the last four decades, I do one about every ten years. There's nothing like writing plays to sharpen the ear to dialogue, and I find it refreshing to think theatrically from time to time.

Tell us how your association with Hein & Company and the Baker Street Players came about

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: When my old friends, Cedric and Jan Clute, moved from Volcano to Jackson, they became involved with the Hein & Company Bookstore (the largest used bookstore in northern California), whose owners, Linda and Wolf Hein, were starting a Holmesian society. They put on a play about the Houdini seance, which I attended, and mentioned that they would like to do more productions with ties to Holmesian literature. I had been doing some Tarot readings at the store as part of the publicity for the play and since there was a bit of an opening in my schedule, I offered to do them a Holmesian play --- after all, Bill Fawcett and I had done four Mycroft novels and two Victoire Vernet novels Napoleon Must Die and Death Wears a Crown (Victoire being the Holmes brothers' French grandmother) --- and they could perform it if it suited their purposes. So I wrote the play, and then wrote a novelette from it which is available and the Baker Street Players will be performing it on Friday and Saturday nights from May 20th through June 11th.

What was the inspiration for this play?

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: American Twins arose out of some of the gaps in the Doyle stories about the early days of Sherlock's career, plus I wanted to play around with the underworld of London.

In addition to this play (and the companion "novella-ization" available digitally) you co-wrote the aforementioned novels with Bill Fawcett featuring Mycroft Holmes (Against the Brotherhood, Embassy Row, The Flying Scotsman and The Scottish Ploy). These have been re-released digitally. Why do you think people continue to find the Holmes brothers so fascinating?

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: To me, the Holmes stories are artifacts of the late Victorian era, and as such have social echos that have become iconographic of an age that is just long enough gone that we can be caught up in it as a gesture of affection. I would like to think that the play touches on this aspect of Doyle's original work.

Along those lines, what do you hope Holmes' fans take away with them, after seeing your play or reading the digital story?

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: I hope that the audience/readers enjoys the story and that seeing/reading it was time well spent. When you've been writing as long as I have, you know that what readers/audiences take away from your work may have nothing to do with your intention, but that whatever they find in it, that is what it means to them.

What are you working on now? Do you have any plans to write another play? Will Sherlock Holmes or Mycroft Holmes appear in a new adventure by you, whether it's on-stage or in print?

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: I'm currently working on the third Chesterton Holte mystery novel (following Haunting Investigation and Living Spectres), and on the 28th Saint-Germain book. I have no plans at this point to do another play, Holmesian or otherwise, but the decade is young and that may change.

Avalerion Books has released Yarbro's "novella-ized" version of The Case of The American Twins in all digital formats. Avalerion also just released Yarbro's original Holmesian story Brother Keeper (not connected with the play).

While she is best known for her historical horror novels featuring the vampire Saint-Germain, Yarbro is no stranger to the Holmes universe. In addition to the above works she and Bill Fawcett co-wrote four novels featuring Mycroft Holmes that are available again digitally: Against the Brotherhood, Embassy Row, The Flying Scotsman and The Scottish Ploy. These four novels were authorized by Dame Jean Conan Doyle.