Friday, September 30, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gigi Pandian & Diane Vallere Literary Salon October 14 Berkeley

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an afternoon (2 p.m.) Literary Salon in Berkeley (CA) for Gigi Pandian & Diane Vallere. Please make a comment below with your email address to RSVP and for location.

Gigi Pandian
Gigi Pandian spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the garden. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Award, and nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards. Gigi's latest novel, Michelangelo's Ghost, involves a centuries-old ghost story connected to a present-day crime.

Diane Vallere
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. MASKING FOR TROUBLE, #2 in her national bestselling Costume Shop Mystery Series, comes out October 2016, and tackles developer greed, small town expansion, and Halloween. Diane is the president of Sisters in Crime. She also writes the Samantha Kidd, Madison Night, and Lefty Award-nominated Material Witness mystery series. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. 

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Burglar

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Death al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Death al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery premieres Sunday, October 9 (9 p.m. ET/PT) on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. San Francisco homicide detective Maggie Price (Brooke Burns, “The Chase”) and former, world-class chef Henry Ross (Dylan Neal, 50 Shades of Grey, “Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”) are on the case once again. 

The crime-solving odd couple investigates the murder of Henry’s friend, a well-known local chef found dead in his kitchen.  As they begin to unravel an old family secret, Maggie has to stay one step ahead of a mysterious man in the shadows who appears to be stalking her.  Meanwhile, her blossoming relationship with Henry is threatened by the arrival of an ex-love from Maggie’s past.
Terry Ingram directs from a script by Becky Southwell and Dylan Neal based on The Gourmet Detective series of books by Peter King.

Cartoon of the Day: The Writer's Life

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

William Kent Krueger Literary Salon 10/6

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening Literary Salon with William Kent Krueger on Thursday, October 6, at 7 p.m. in Berkeley, CA. Please RSVP (make a comment below with your email address) for directions and to attend.

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is a retired attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist Cork O’Connor is the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. Krueger's work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.
Ordinary Grace, his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America for  best novel published in that year. Windigo Island, number fourteen in his Cork O’Connor series, was released in August 2014 and was chosen by as one the best books of the year.

Cartoon of the Day: The Crime Novel

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Punctuation

Today is National Punctuation Day! 

Women in Crime Fiction: September 27


If you're in New York City next Tuesday, you'll want to join four of the genre’s most acclaimed and celebrated writers for a very special panel at the Center for Fiction.

Edgar Award-winners Megan Abbott and Laura Lippman, NYTbestseller Alafair Burke, and USA Today bestseller Alison Gaylin will discuss what the prevalence of women writers says about the current state of crime fiction. The event will be moderated by Slate’s Laura Miller.

Of Megan Abbott’s latest novel You Will Know Me (Little, Brown and Company), The New York Times says, “Ms. Abbott…resumes her customary role of black cat, opaque and unblinking, filling her readers with queasy suspicion at every turn.”

In their review of Wilde Lake (William Morrow), the Washington Post celebrates Laura Lippman as “one of today’s essential writers,” adding, “(y)ou rarely find characterizations as sensitive as these in genre fiction or, indeed, any fiction.”

Publishers Weekly says of Burke’s novel The Ex (Harper), “Burke keeps the suspense high throughout, prying open mysteries of relationships and perception.”

Of What Remains of Me (William Morrow), Huffpost Books praises Alison Gaylin’s “highly imaginative tale of revenge, betrayal, family ties and forbidden secrets.” Lippman says of the novel, “You’ll stay up late to read it, then hound your friends to follow suit so you can stay up late to talk about it,” Abbott says, “you’ll be left gasping for air,” and Burke describes it as “a riveting, emotionally complex thriller.” High praise indeed!

17 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017

Sleuthfest: February 23-26, 2017

Mystery Writers of America’s Florida Chapter announces Sleuthfest 2017 Writers ConferenceFebruary 23-26, 2017  in Boca Raton, Florida

Sleuthfest is an intensive four day writers conference featuring writing workshops, social events, and pitch sessions. SleuthFest includes four tracks of workshops, presentations, and panels on the craft of writing, business, traditional and self-publishing, marketing, and forensics. In addition, top literary agents and editors will be available to hear pitches from aspiring writers, offer troubleshooting sessions, and manuscript critiques.

The 2017 SleuthFest Writers Conference features a host of authors and industry insiders, including Keynote Speaker David Baldacci; Forensic Guest of Honor Dr. Vincent Di Maio, publisher Neil Nyren, and special guest authors, including Jeff Lindsay, Reed Farrel Coleman, SJ Rozan, Joe Lansdale, and Jane Cleland.

To Register: Space is limited. For more information please contact SleuthFest 2017 Co-chairs: Joanne Sinchuk  561-279-7790 or Victoria Landis 561-716-3481

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: The Arrest

Deceptive Practices and Divine Intervention? Guest post by Simon Wood

Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He's a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist, an animal rescuer and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and six cats. He's the Anthony Award winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Asking For Trouble, We All Fall Down and the Aidy Westlake series. His last thriller THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY has been optioned for a movie adaptation. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. Curious people can learn more at


Damn my dyslexia!!! Usually it's a problem (a.k.a. a pain in the arse) but for once, it did me a good turn. The idea for my new book DECEPTIVE PRACTICES came from a misread. A couple of years ago I was flipping through the TV Guide on my television and I came across a TV movie called The Green-Eyed Monster. The description said it was about a wife who hires an organization to beat up her cheating husband. That was right up my alley so I watched it. The movie had nothing to do with what I'd read. It was about a woman who fixates on her next-door neighbor’s husband. I went back through the TV Guide and found the description was accurate to the movie I just watched. How the hell I'd read what I thought I read I have no idea. The descriptions weren't even close. It's one of those frustrating things that comes with dyslexia. You start reading something, your imagination takes over and rewrites it all for you, and you end up with something completely different. I remember being in engineering school during a class where we had to read some chapter from a book and when we came to dissect it I seem to have been the only one in the class who'd read something completely different. Like I say, dyslexia is a pain in the arse.

When something like this happens, it usually comes with a large chunk of frustration. How can my brain be that far off on its interpretation of just a few sentences? What is wrong with me? Why can't I just read the words in front of me? You really shouldn’t be let out in public without a seeing eye person to help you! But this time around I wasn't so pissed off. Had my brain just handed me a book idea? What if a woman did hire an organization to beat up her cheating husband? I did a quick search on IMDb to make sure I hadn't read the right thing but on the wrong channel and found there was no movie like that made. I let this idea grow for a bit and came up with the concept that there was an underground business that operated on a similar basis to the scared straight documentaries in that if you hired them, they would beat some sense into a wayward spouse with the aim of turning them around or getting some marital revenge. The ideas started coming and I developed a company name and their sales pitch: Do you have a cheating spouse? Has counseling failed? Want to get even with them? Then hire Infidelity Limited to teach them a lesson…

And DECEPTIVE PRACTICES was born. I know, I know it sounds like a crazy business idea but if I were to attach an app to the concept, I probably have a billion-dollar company. If it's got an app then it's legitimate. I think that's how it works.

Naturally I can't have a plot line that is that straightforward. I have to toss a few hand grenades into the mix. So the plot line for the book goes like this: Olivia Shaw is living a nice suburban life until she discovers her husband is cheating on her. When her sister suggests Infidelity Limited can offer some closure, Olivia buys their sales pitch. Olivia learns how Infidelity Limited really works when her husband turns up dead and she’s drawn into a dark web of blackmail and murder — just like all their other clients. Now, Olivia finds herself the prime suspect in her husband’s death and as the police close in on her, she has only one option—take down Infidelity Limited.

Usually dyslexia is nothing but a problem for me, but for once it gave birth to a book so I can't knock it too much. So here's to the next misread and all the ideas it conjures up!

I encourage you pick up the book, and I hope you like it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Cheshire Cat

HT: Jayna Monroe

Agatha Christie Stamps with Clues

This is so cool. Thanks to Paul D. Marks for posting. Britain has released Postage Stamps embedded with hidden clues to honor Agatha Christie. Love that there are clues within the stamps. Mystery lovers can use UV light, body heat, or a magnifying glass to search for clues from each book that are embedded into the stamps using microtext and heat-sensitive and UV inks.

From Slate:
It’s been 100 years since Agatha Christie wrote her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (published in 1920), giving life to Hercule Poirot. To mark the occasion, the U.K.’s Royal Mail has released a set of innovative stamps dedicated to six of her most famous works.

Designed by London-based Studio Sutherland in collaboration with British illustrator Neil Webb, the stamps are dedicated to key scenes and principal characters from Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Body in the Library, And Then There Were None, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and A Murder Is Announced. 

Read and see more stamps here. 

Cartoon of the Day: Pavlov's Cat

HT: Jayna Monroe

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Tattoos: Guest post by Joe Clifford

This year's Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, was held in New Orleans last week. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the city, but it seemed to me that writers and readers were sporting more tattoos than I remembered from past years. Three of my close friends had tattoos done while there. I abstained, but have a look at yesterday's post on the Tattoos of Bouchercon. Joe Clifford has an amazing sleeve, as well as other individual tattoos. Joe Clifford is acquisitions editor for Gutter Books and producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. He is the author of several books, including Junkie Love, Lamentation, and December Boys, as well as editor of Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen. Here's his guest post!

Joe Clifford:

I was asked by Janet Rudolph—or to avoid the dreaded passive voice, Janet Rudolph asked me—to write a piece about my tattoo for her Mystery Fanfare blog. Since I am between novels, teaching, and editing—a span that lasts about a week—I figure this is a great chance to keep my chops up. Plus, I fucking love tattoos.

Janet and I started talking shop after she stopped by Mystery Mike’s at this year’s Bouchercon, where I was signing with my fellow Oceanview authors. Janet was snapping pics of tattoos—and it’s hard to miss mine, a full, bio-mech sleeve. I was there promoting my latest Jay Porter novel, December Boys. (If you like Jay Porter, you’re in luck; we’ve are contracted for three more. If you hate Jay Porter, you probably would get along with my ex-wives.)

I gave author Rob Hart a testimonial about the significance of the tattoo for an article he published over at Electric Literature. Like I told Rob, the tattoo, which I got when I sold my Jay Porter books, represents a transition in my life.

I live in the Bay Area but hate hippies. Still, it is hard not to have a little hippie sneak in when your father-in-law was on the cover of Newsweek in a loincloth at (the original) Woodstock.

To me, tattoos are biographical footnotes on my life. It’s why I would never, for instance, get a cover-up. Whatever happened happened; nothing can change that. My wife, the lovely Justine—my soulmate and honestly the reason my life stopped sucking—doesn’t necessarily share that point of view. Justine had asked, politely but firmly, to please please please consider covering up my ex-wives names. (Side note: when Justine and I first started dating, she asked why on Earth I would get a woman’s name tattooed on my body. My response: “There are certain kinds of men who will get a woman’s name tattooed on their body,” I said. “I am that kind of a guy.” That answer seemed to suffice. For a while.)

When the Porter books sold, a lot was happening in my life. I’d met Justine. We’d had our first son, Holden (#2 Jackson Kerouac was still a few years away), I bought a house, and, perhaps most significantly, I knew I was back for good.

In the 1990s I had a slight drug problem. And by “slight,” I mean I was a lowlife, homeless, scumbag junkie. In and out of jail and rehab, I was pretty certain I was going to die there (in between bouts of baseless optimism). If you want to hear more about those wacky adventures, I wrote about it in my first book, Junkie Love. But for our purposes here, I can say that even after I stopped shooting junk and living that way, there was no guarantee I’d last. Recovery is a rocky road filled with lots of stumbles, falls, and face-plants. When 2010 rolled around, suddenly everything began going right for me, and I knew the years I’d borrowed had been paid back. That’s the thing with addiction, you are borrowing time, and when you hope to turn shit around, just like a bank and credit cards, student loans, whatever, any source of lending, the hands (of time) are first in line to get theirs.

That is what this tattoo represented. A permanent change for the better. Besides making Justine happy and covering up a name, the piece illustrated two parts of me, the organic and the mechanical, who I am, was, and will be, a journey equal parts machine (literally. I was in a bad motorcycle accident; half my body feels like it’s made of metal), and whatever that thing in me is, the good and the bad, the parts of my person that brought me to where I am today. And where I am today is a pretty goddamn good place. I wanted that carved in my skin for the rest of my life. It’s a reminder of the hardships and the promise.

The next Jay Porter book, Give Up the Dead, is out in June 2017. Maybe I’ll get the other arm done up to celebrate its release. Who knows? Tattoos, like drugs, are addictive.

Cartoon of the Day: Crow

HT: Sarah RH

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tattoos of Bouchercon

Last week Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, convened in New Orleans for the first time. What a fabulous Bcon! Parades, Awards, Panels, and so much more. Hats off to Connie Perry and Heather Graham for throwing such a fantastic party!!

Since it was the tattoos were showing! Some friends even got tattoos while they were there. So here are a few on some of the participants at Bouchercon. Go Mystery Writers and Readers! Did you see any others? Post below...or send me to add to the astonishing array. Some of the tattoo hosts: Josh Stallings, Katrina Holm, Kay Wilkinson Barley, Joe Clifford, Nikki Bonanni, Jordan Foster, Erica Ruth Neubauer...

Cartoon of the Day: Author Photos

HT: BV Lawson

Monday, September 19, 2016

Michael Whitehead: R.I.P.

Sad news. Louise Penny's husband Michael Whitehead has passed away at the age of 82. He was such a lovely man--witty, kind, and so proud of Louise. I always enjoyed talking with him at conventions.

Dr. Michael Whitehead, former Director of Hematology at the Montreal Children's Hospital and husband of bestselling author Louise Penny, died at his home Sunday night at the age of 82.
Whitehead's health had been declining over the last few years, ever since he was diagnosed with dementia.

"Michael passed away last night, at home, at peace, with love," his wife Louise Penny posted on her Facebook page on Monday afternoon. "'It's not so much that his heart stopped, as that he'd finally given it all away. Surprised by joy."

Read Louise Penny's comments about life after her husband's dementia diagnosis.

Cartoon of the Day: Linguistics 101: Talk Like a Parrot Day

Cartoon of the Day: Bookstore

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Shamus Award Winners

for works published in 2015.

The winners were announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in New Orleans.

Best Original Private Eye Paperback 
CIRCLING THE RUNWAY by J.L. Abramo. Down & Out Books

Best First Private Eye Novel:
THE DO-RIGHT by Lisa Sandlin. Cinco Puntos Press

Best Private Eye Short Story
“The Dead Client” by Parnell Hall in  Dark City Lights: New York Stories (edited by Lawrence Block)

Best Hardcover Private Eye Novel
BRUTALITY by Ingrid Thoft. G.P. Putnam's Sons

The Eye: Lifetime Achievement Award
S.J. Rozan