Wednesday, May 31, 2017

PWA Shamus Award Nominees

PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA SHAMUS AWARD NOMINEES 2017 for works published in 2016. (The lists below are in alphabetical order by author.) The winners will be announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in Toronto, Canada.

Best Original Private Eye Paperback
Michael Craven, The Detective and the Chinese High-Fin. Harper Collins
O'Neil De Noux,  Hold Me, Babe. Big Kiss Publications
Erle Stanley Gardner,  The Knife Slipped. Hard Case Crime
Vaseem Khan, The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown. Red Hook Books  
Manuel Ramos, My Bad. Arte Publico Press

Best First Private Eye Novel
Tim Baker, Fever City. Europa Editions
Joe Ide, IQ.  Little, Brown
D. P. Lyle, Deep Six.  Oceanview Publishing
David Swinson, The Second Girl. Little, Brown
Richard Vine, Soho Sins. Hard Case Crime

Best Private Eye Short Story
Lawrence Block, “Keller’s Fedora” (e-publication)
Brendan DuBois, “A Battlefield Reunion” in AHMM, June
Ake Edwardson, “Stairway From Heaven” in Stockholm Noir, Akashic
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, “A Dangerous Cat” in The Strand. Feb-May
Dave Zeltserman, “Archie On Loan” in EQMM, Sept.-Oct.

Best Private Eye Novel
Reed Farrel Coleman, Where It Hurts. Putnam
Lindsey Davis, The Graveyard of the Hesperides. Minotaur
Timothy Hallinan, Fields Where They Lay. Soho Crime
Al Lamanda, With 6 You Get Wally. Gale Cengage
Robert S. Levinson, The Stardom Affair.  Five Star

Marlys Millhiser: R.I.P.

Just saw this.. So sad. I spent time with Marlys Millhiser at Malice Domestic, rooming with her once. She was always so animated and fun. I enjoyed her mysteries and her ghost stories and her effervescent personality.

Marlys Millhiser was an American author of sixteen mysteries and horror novels. She served as a regional vice president of the Mystery Writers of America and is best known for her novel The Mirror (1978) and for the Charlie Greene Mysteries. Millhiser lived in Boulder, Colorado. 


Marlys J. Millhiser left us on April 20, 2017. Marty dealt with Alzheimer's for the last seven years, but before that, she worked hard at her chosen craft of mystery writer. Marty published 14 novels, "The Mirror" being the most famous. She also published several short stories and had the writers' usual unpublished manuscripts in the drawer for when the market changed again. 

Born in Charles City, Iowa, she moved with her parents to wherever her dad could find work in those Depression and war years, finally settling in Clear Lake, Iowa where Marty graduated from high school. She entered the University of Iowa where she took a Bachelors of Arts in History in 1960. Next stop was Boulder, CO with her new husband and graduate school at the University of Colorado where she received a Masters of Arts degree in History in 1963. A teaching position in Lafayette, Colorado followed. But the writing urge and the impending birth of a son forced her to resign after three years. A baby girl joined the family in 1969, and she successfully managed a family of two children, a husband, and a household while also pursuing her stories. Survivors include husband, David. Son Jay and his wife Kathy, daughter Joy Ransom and her companion Carolyn and two grandchildren. 

A memorial service was held Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 10 am at Crist Mortuary. Please visit to leave condolences. 

Published in The Daily Camera on Apr. 23, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Summer Reading

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Murder in Saint-Germain: Guest Post by Cara Black

Cara Black is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture—and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime. Pre-order Cara Black’s Murder in Saint-Germain from any bookseller before 6/6/2017 and send proof of purchase to to receive a free Eiffel Tower USB pre-loaded with Cara Black’s tour guide inspired by her latest book!

Cara Black:
Murder in Saint-Germain

Utter the phrase Left Bank in Paris and one thinks of world renowned locations; the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts, Picasso’s studio where he painted Guernica, back offices of the Sénat, the church of Saint Germain des Pres, and the Closerie des Lilas, famous as one of Hemingway's favorite cafés to name a few. We think of the artists and writers at outdoor cafes where they nursed a coffee all day, the chic passersby, the tang of Gauloise. It all called to me. Especially the Jardin du Luxembourg, the spreading lawns, chalky gravel paths, with the pond and boats, statues staring from flower beds, the quiet spots under the leafy trees for reading. So ripe for murder.

A few books back while researching in Paris, I was lucky to meet Catherine, a former Brigade Criminelle officer (the elite Paris homicide squad) who then worked part-time at the Comissariat in the 14th arrondissement. I wanted to know what her experiences were as a woman, in the late 80’s into the 90’s, in a male dominated team. I’ve learned success comes from finding the right question to ask an interviewee. Even more interesting, that when I think I do, the person relates experience much more fascinating, giving a me a kernel of thought for a new idea or a story. I’ve learned it’s always better to go with the conversations and where they drift and learn new things and tidbits.

It’s a great way to discover procedure and how the police operate in ways that I’d never have thought of asking about. Catherine spoke about the Eastern European criminals and gangs as a source of arms smuggled into France. Arms were brought in from the then recently collapsed Soviet Union through routes to Europe. Later, the arms came from the conflicts in Sarajevo, the Balkans. Also, a lot of these former soldiers took mercenary jobs, or just redirected their efforts to crime in Europe. The famous Pink Panther jewelry heist gang, very slick, organized, come from the Balkans. Catherine opened up about her secondment to the International Court Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and her tours of duty there. She made several years doing tours of duty and enforcement with an International team. She burned out there, suffered trauma and we’d call it PTSD. Looking at my notes about those conversations, I felt there was an issue to address and it intrigued me. I hadn’t set a book in Saint-Germain. It was perfect, full of history, charm and buckling cobblestones. Yet everyone probably knew it better than I did - who didn’t go to St Germain des Pres and have a coffee where Albert Camus and Sartre and de Beauvoir sat? What backdoor could I find for Aimée? Off the beaten track interests me more. I wondered what would she be doing there?

A real challenge. Then thinking about it, Aimée had gone to Ecole des Medicins in Saint-Germain, her grandfather had loved a model at Ecole des Beaux Arts…I’d been to that seedy hotel where Oscar Wilde had died. .. Complicating matters for Aimée is the fact that she is now the single mother of an 8-month old baby. So now I was off and running with Aimée and Murder in Saint- Germain. Fiction, especially crime fiction, can connect the past and present. We see historical themes and trends come to the forefront.

Crime novels encompass all levels of society, from the street cleaner to a countess, murder doesn’t respect class or upbringing. It’s a way to explore sociology, the issues facing today and breathe relevancy into present day as characters experience it.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Barbecue Mysteries

Hope you're having 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 yesterday, 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, not to mention the tiny wires on the barbecue brush (true crime!). 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
Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron
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
Murder Can Singe Your Old Flame by Selma Eichler
Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
The Politics of Barbecue by Blake Fontenay
Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber
Barbecue, Bourbon and Bullets by M.E. Harmon
The Big Barbecue by Dorothy B. Hughes
The Sheriff and..  (series) by D. R. Meredith
Hush My Mouth by Cathy Pickens
Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham
The King is Dead by Sarah Shankman
Stiffs and Swine by J.B. Stanley
Revenge of the Barbecue Queens by Lou Jane Temple
Barbecue by A. E.H. Veenman
Death on a Platter by Elaine Viets

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

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

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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Line-Up

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 an updated list of Mysteries set during Memorial Day Weekend. Let me know if I've forgotten any titles. You may also want to check out my Veterans Day Mystery List.

Memorial Day Mysteries

Death is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons
The Twenty Three by Linwood Barclay
Treble at the Jam Fest by Leslie Budewitz
Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
The Decoration Memorial Day War by David H. Brown
Memorial Day by Sandra Thompson Brown and Duane 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
Who Killed the Neanderthal by Cheryl Zelenka

Children's Mysteries:

Trixie Belden: The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire by Kahryn Kenny
Sam's Top Secret Journal: Memorial Day by Sean Adelman, Siri Bardarson, Dianna Border & Andrea Hurst

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bony Blithe Award aka The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award

The winner of the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe Award), an annual Canadian award that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries, was announced tonight. Now in its sixth year, this 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 – in short, books that are fun to read.

Elizabeth J. Duncan for Murder on the Hour (St. Martin’s Press)

Elizabeth J. Duncan will receive a cheque for $1,000 plus a colourful plaque.


Cartoon of the Day: Speeding Ticket

2017 Maine Literary Award Nominees: Crime Fiction

The Maine Literary Awards is an annual competition sponsored and coordinated by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Nominations are open to all Maine residents, including seasonal residents. The statewide competition is for published books, as well as drama, short works (either published or unpublished), and student writing. The Award Ceremony will take place on June 1 at the Space Gallery, Portland. 

Book Award for Crime Fiction

Straw Man by Gerry Boyle  
Solo Act by Richard J. Cass  
Led Astray by Kate Flora

To see the nominees in all categories, go HERE. 

HT: BV Lawson, In Reference to Murder

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Arthur Ellis Award Winners: Crime Writers of Canada

Announcing the Winners for the 2017 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing (Toronto, May 25, 2017)

Crime Writers of Canada is pleased to announce the winners for the 2017 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing.

Best Novel:  Donna Morrissey, The Fortunate Brother, Viking Canada

Best First Novel sponsored by Kobo: Elle Wild, Strange Things Done, Dundurn Press

Best Novella: The Lou Allin Memorial Award: Rick Blechta, Rundown, Orca Book Publishers

Best Short Story: Susan Daly, A Death at the Parsonage, The Whole She-Bang 3, Toronto Sisters in Crime

Best Book in French: Marie-Eve Bourassa, Red Light: Adieu, Mignonne, Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature, vlb éditions

Best Juvenile/YA Book: Gordon Korman, Masterminds: Criminal Destiny, HarperCollins Publishers

Best Nonfiction Book: Jeremy Grimaldi, A Daughter's Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story, Dundurn Press

Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel sponsored by Dundurn Press: S.J. Jennings, The Golkonda Project

CWC announces the 2017 Derrick Murdoch Award recipient Christina Jennings. 

The Derrick Murdoch Award is a special achievement award for contributions to the crime genre. This year's recipient is Christina Jennings, founder, Chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury Films. She has won a number of awards, including Genies, Geminis and Canadian Screen Awards, among several other nominations and accolades throughout her career. Christina founded Shaftesbury Films in 1987 as a feature film company. She has produced movies and television series based upon the work of several Arthur Ellis Award-winning Canadian crime writers including the late novelist and playwright Timothy Findlay (External Affairs), novelists Gail Bowen (the Joanna Kilbourn TV movies) and Maureen Jennings (Murdoch Mysteries), as well as historian Marjorie Freeman Campbell (Torso).

About Crime Writers of Canada 
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. Our members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing authors.

For more info about the Arthur Ellis Awards and the shortlists, or for contact information about the winners, contact Arthur Ellis Awards Administrator Alison Bruce, at

Cartoon of the Day: YouTube

HT: Jayna Monroe

International Historical Mystery Literary Salon: Annamaria Alfieri & Michael J. Cooper

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening International Historical Mystery Literary Salon with Annamaria Alfieri & Michael Cooper!

When: Wednesday, May 31, 7 p.m.
Where: RSVP for venue address (Berkeley, CA)
This is a free event, but YOU MUST RSVP to attend.
Bring books by Annamaria Alfieri & Michael J. Cooper if you'd like them to sign.
RSVP required. Address of venue sent with acceptance.
RSVP: janet @

Annamaria Alfieri set her first three historical mysteries in South America. Her debut garnered this praise from The Washington Post: "As both history and mystery City of Silver glitters."  Of the first of her Africa series, Strange Gods placed in British East Africa in 1911, the Richmond Times-Dispatch said "the flair of Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, the cunning of Agatha Christie and Elspeth Huxley." The Idol of Mombasa joined the series in 2016. Alfieri, along with Michael Stanley, edited the anthology Sunshine Noir, which Peter James called "a gem — a whole new movement," in crime fiction.

Michael J. Cooper, a native of Berkeley, California, graduated from Oakland High School in 1966 and emigrated to Israel. He lived in Jerusalem during the last year the city was divided between Israel and Jordan, and remained in Israel for the next decade. He studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and graduated from Tel Aviv University Medical School. Now a pediatric cardiologist at UCSF-Benioff Children's Hospital, he volunteers for medical missions in the West Bank at least twice a year serving children who lack access to care. His debut novel, Foxes in the Vineyard, set in 1948 Jerusalem, won the grand prize in the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest. The Rabbi’s Knight was a finalist for the 2014 Chaucer Award for historical fiction.

Upcoming Literary Salons in Berkeley:

June 8: R. Franklin James & Susan Spann. 7 p.m.

June 21: Barry Lancet, 7 p.m

July 13: Ellen Kirschman, 7 p.m.

July 20: Cara Black & Susan Shea, 7 p.m.

July 26: James Ziskin, 7 p.m.

September 13: Amy Stewart, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Uber

The Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year

The 2017 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year was announced at CrimeFest last weekend.

The award, established to celebrate the work of the late Maxine Clarke, one of the first online crime fiction reviewers and bloggers, is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.


Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen, translated by Don Bartlett (Orenda Books, Norway)

Also Nominated:

The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto, translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books, Finland)

The Dying Detective by Leif G.W. Persson, translated by Neil Smith (Doubleday; Sweden)

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn, translated by Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books, Norway)

Why Did You Lie? by Yrsa Sigurđardóttir, translated by Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton, Iceland)

The Wednesday Club by Kjell Westö, translated by Neil Smith (MacLehose Press; Finland)

The judges commented:
“It was difficult to choose just six crime novels for the Petrona Award shortlist this year, given the number of truly excellent submissions from around the Scandinavian world. Our 2017 Petrona Award shortlist testifies to the extremely high quality of translated Scandi crime, with authors from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden making expert use of police investigations, psychological thrillers, private eye novels and historical crime fiction both to entertain and to explore pertinent social, political and historical issues. We are extremely grateful to the translators for their skill and expertise in bringing us these outstanding examples of Scandinavian crime fiction.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Roger Moore: R.I.P.

Shaken, Not Stirred.

Sir Roger Moore died today at the age of 89. He will always be remembered as James Bond. He was the longest-serving actor in the role, his seven Bond films becoming the most commercially successful of the franchise. His tenure in the role also showcased an array of implausible gadgets and a host of new characters, designed to flesh out Ian Fleming's original plots.

Read more here.

What a treasure!


Cartoon of the Day: Writer

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bay Area Book Festival: Mystery, Crime, and Thrillers: June 3-4

The third annual Bay Area Book Festival will take place June 3-4 in Berkeley. The Festival will feature a full program of speakers, panels, and events focusing o Mystery, Crime, and Thrillers. Included will be Scott Turow, Walter Mosley, Bradley Spinelli, John Lescroart, Cara Black, Laurie King, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Hans Olav Lahlum, and more. These authors and others will participate in panels on topics such as Noir, Thrillers, and the Intersection of Journalism and Crime Writing.

The Bay Area Book Festival is a two-day indoor/outdoor weekend event that welcomes 200 local, national, and international  authors and speakers in 100 literary sessions (panels, interviews, keynotes, and performances) in auditoriums and theaters throughout downtown Berkeley. Outdoor sessions, booths, and activities are FREE to the public all weekend! Indoor sessions will require a ticket or Festival wristband, available here:

Highlights of this year’s conversations on mystery, crime, and thrillers, which will take place in venues in downtown Berkeley, include:

Master of the Legal Thriller: A Conversation with Scott Turow — Join bestselling author Scott Turow for a wide-ranging discussion of Turow’s legal thrillers and his long career in the law. This will be Turow’s only Bay Area appearance for his new book, Testimony. The author of Presumed Innocent and ten other widely praised novels, Turow has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. (Sunday, June 4, 5:00pm, at the Alta Stage at Freight & Salvage)

Walter Mosley – Walking the Wild Side — Twenty-five years ago, Walter Mosley introduced us to Easy Rawlins, an Army vet turned private eye, to tell the story of black postwar Los Angeles. Today, with 55 critically acclaimed books, Mosley is one of America’s best-known and most beloved living writers. (Former president Bill Clinton named Mosley one of his favorite authors.) Learn how Mosley crafts his trademark accessibility, along his penchant for creating narratives that both entertain and instruct. (Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm, at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza - Crystal Ballroom, sponsored by Northern California Chapter, Mystery Writers of America)

Noir at the Bar  — Join us to toast local and international mystery writers who have mastered the form. Make Dashiell Hammett proud by ordering a dirty martini (or some other hard-boiled cocktail) and listening to riveting short readings—no more than 8 minutes—from Walter Mosley, Hans Olav Lahlum, Bill Moody, Heather Haven, Nick Mamatas, Mysti Berry, Ann Parker, and Randal Brandt. This will no doubt prove an increasingly rowdy audience of fans and readers. (Saturday, June 3, 5:15pm, at Cornerstone, sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, NORLA - Norwegian Literature Abroad, and Norway House Foundation)

Thrillers: Secrets of the Craft — What are the essential ingredients in a captivating thriller? What kinds of characters do you need, and how do you build suspense, anticipation, and dread? Four bestselling thriller authors will reveal the trade secrets of the craft. John Lescroart’s newest book, Fatal, is “a psychological thriller in bed with a homicide investigation.” Danish writer Thomas Rydahl’s hero is “one of the most distinctive detectives you will meet this year.” Bradley Spinelli is not only a writer but film director, and prolific Chuck Wendig brings game design to our panel’s list of accomplishments. Moderator Keith Raffel, a mystery and thriller writer himself, formerly served as counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the CIA, NSA, and other clandestine three-lettered agencies. (Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm, David Brower Center - Tamalpais Room, sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Danish Embassy, and Mystery Writers of America, Northern California Chapter)

The Art of Investigation: Journalists Meet Crime Writers — There is a curious connection between crime novels and investigative reporting. Both are called “stories” by their practitioners. Both present victims and an evildoer, whether that be a person or a system, and both work with suspicion, suspense, and a constant assessment of the reliability of sources of information. Michael Montgomery is a journalist who has reported on some of the most heinous real-life mysteries around the world. Erik Axl Sund is the pseudonym of two Swedish writers whose blockbuster The Crow Girl is “a jolting examination of a cycle of abuse and revenge” that “builds a powerful indictment of society’s willingness to turn a blind eye toward powerful, privileged abusers preying on the weak” (Booklist, starred review). (Sunday, June 4, 1:15pm, at BAMPFA - Barbro Osher Theater, sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Margaret and Will Hearst)

Festival-goer favorite, Nordic Noir returns for the third year! Nordic masters Thomas Rydahl, Hans Olav Lahlum, Vidar Sundstol, and Erik Axl Sund illuminate what makes a thriller thrilling, and how these writers survive the experience (sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Danish Embassy, the Norway House Foundation, and NORLA - Norwegian Literature Abroad).

Hard-boiled mystery writers Wendy Hornsby, Ellen Kirschman, and Vidar Sundstol will clue you in on what makes a suspenseful “whodunit?” (sponsored by the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America).

Bestselling Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen (creator of the Department Q novels, the latest of which is The Hanging Girl) will share insights on his career and the process of crafting international sensations (Sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, and the Royal Danish Embassy).

Be sure and stop by the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime Booths to meet authors, buy books, and chat with writer members.

For info on other sessions focusing on mystery, crime, and thrillers see the full schedule.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Investigation

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award Shortlist

The Award nominations keep coming. Theakston Old Peculier Crime Festival (Harrogate) announced the Novel of the Year Shortlist. The shortlisted six were whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles published by British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback between May 1, 2016 and April 30,  2017.

• Lie With Me, by Sabine Durrant (Mulholland)
• Out of Bounds, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
• Black Widow, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
• After You Die, by Eva Dolan (Harvill Secker)
• Real Tigers, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
• Missing, Presumed, by Susie Steiner (Borough Press)

The winner will be announced on July 20 at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, England.

Hat Tip: Erin Mitchell

Saturday, May 20, 2017

CrimeFest Awards

CrimeFest 2017 announced the winners of its six award categories at the convention’s annual gala dinner this evening. The awards gala is the highlight of the UK’s biggest international crime fiction festival, with previous winners including Ian Rankin, Kate Atkinson, Stieg Larsson and Philip Kerr. The event is a celebration of a fantastic year in crime fiction, with Robin Stevens snapping up the first ever CrimeFest Award for Children’s Crime Fiction as one of the UK’s most popular children’s book authors for her Murder Most Unladylike series. Simon Mason won the first ever award for Young Adult Crime Fiction for his teenage murder mystery Kid Got Shot, beating American bestseller John Grisham’s lucrative YA Theodore Boone series.

Audible Sounds of Crime Award
WINNER: Clare Mackintosh for I See You, read by Rachel Atkins (Hachette Audio / Isis)

eDunnit Award
WINNER: Laura Lippman for Wilde Lake (Faber & Faber)

H.R.F. Keating Award
WINNER: Barry Forshaw for Brit Noir (Pocket Essentials)

Last Laugh Award
WINNER: Mick Herron for Real Tigers (John Murray)

Best Crime Novel for Children (8 – 12)
WINNER: Robin Stevens for Murder Most Unladylike: Mistletoe and Murder (Puffin)

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (12 – 16)
WINNER: Simon Mason for Kid Got Shot (David Fickling Books)

The ceremony took place at the Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel to mark the climax of a convention that saw hundreds of authors, publishers, agents and lovers of crime fiction descend on the city for four days of exciting panel discussions, author talks and interviews with award-winning, bestselling crime fiction authors. Highlights of this year’s convention included guest author appearances from Anthony Horowitz, Ann Cleeves, Peter Lovesey and Martin Edwards.

Cartoon of the Day: Trickery

Happy Caturday!

CWA Dagger Longlists Announced!

The CWA announced The Gold Dagger and Steel Dagger Longlists. For the International Dagger Longlist, go Here.

The Gold Dagger Longlist

The Beautiful Dead Belinda Bauer Bantam Press
Dead Man’s Blues Ray Celestin Mantle
The Girl Before J P Delaney Quercus
Desperation Road Michael Farris Smith No Exit Press
Little Deaths Emma Flint Picador
The Dry Jane Harper Little Brown
Spook Street Mick Herron John Murray
Sirens Joseph Knox Doubleday
Ashes of Berlin Luke McCallin No Exit Press
The Girl in Green Derek B. Miller Faber & Faber
The Rising Man Abir Muckerjee Harvill Secker
Darktown Thomas Mullen Little Brown

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Longlist

You Will Know Me Megan Abbott Picador
Kill the Next One Frederico Axat Text Publishing
The Twenty Three Linwood Barclay Orion Fiction
The Killing Game J S Carol Bookouture
The Heat Garry Disher Text Publishing
A Hero in France Alan Furst Weidenfeld & Nicolson
We Go Around in the Night Consumed By Fire Jules Grant Myriad Editions
Moskva Jack Grimood Michael Joseph
The One Man Andrew Gross Macmillan
Redemption Road John Hart Hodder & Stoughton
Spook Street Mick Herron John Murray Publishers
Dark Asset Adrian Magson Severn House
Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly Adrian McKinty Serpent’s Tail
The Constant Soldier William Ryan Mantle
The Rules of Backyard Cricket Jack Serong Text Publishing
Jericho’s War Gerald Seymour Hodder & Stoughton
The Kept Woman Karin Slaughter Century
Broken Heart Tim Weaver Penguin

The Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction Longlist

A Dangerous Place

Simon Farquhar The History Press Ltd
Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro’s Cuba Stephen Purvis Weidenfeld & Nicolson
The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage Anja Reich-Osang Text Publishing
Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes Michael Sims Bloomsbury Publishing
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer Kate Summerscale Bloomsbury Publishing
A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II A. T. Williams Jonathan Cape
The Ice Age: A Journey into Crystal-Meth Addiction Luke Williams Scribe Publications
Another Day in the Death of America Gary Younge Guardian Faber Publishing

CWA Short Story Dagger Longlist

The Assassination by Leye Adenle in Sunshine Noir

Murder and its Motives by Martin Edwards in Motives for Murder

Alive or Dead by Michael Jecks in Motives for Murder

The Super Recogniser of Vik by Michael Ridpath in Motives for Murder

What You Were Fighting For by James Sallis in The Highway Kind

The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder

Snakeskin by Ovidia Yu in Sunshine Noir

CWA Endeavor Historical Dagger Longlist

The Devil’s Feast

M.J. Carter Fig Tree
The Coroner’s Daughter Andrew Hughes Doubleday Ireland
The Black Friar S.G. MacLean Quercus
The Ashes of Berlin Luke McCallin No Exit Press
The Long Drop Denise Mina Harvill Secker
A Rising Man Abir Mukherjee Harvill Secker
Darktown Thomas Mullen Little, Brown
By Gaslight Steven Price Point Blank
The City in Darkness Michael Russell Constable
Dark Asylum E.S. Thomson Constable

CWA International Dagger 2017 Longlist

The 2017 CWA International Dagger Longlist was announced last night at CrimeFest.
A Cold Death by Antonio Manzini tr. Antony Shugaar (4th Estate)
A Fine Line by Gianrico Carofiglio tr. Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
A Voice In The Night by Andrea Camilleri tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Mantle)
Blackout by Marc Elsberg tr. Marshall Yarbrough (Black Swan)
Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre tr. Frank Wynne (Maclehose Press)
Climate Of Fear by Fred Vargas tr. Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker)
Death In The Tuscan Hills by Marco Vichi tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Bastards Of Pizzofalcone  by Maurizio De Giovanni tr. Antony Shugaar (Europa Editions)
The Dying Detective by Leif G W Persson tr. Neil Smith (Doubleday)
The Legacy Of The Bones by Dolores Redondo tr. Nick Caister & Lorenza Garcia (Harper Fiction)
When It Grows Dark by Jorn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

2016 Bram Stoker Awards Winners

Thanks to Aaron Bennett at Locus Online for the update. My former post of these awards was linked to last year's winners. Sorry.  

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced the winners for the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards on April 29, 2017 at a gala held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA during StokerCon 2017.
Superior Achievement in a Novel.
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Haven, Tom Deady (Cemetery Dance)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • Snowed, Maria Alexander (Raw Dog Screaming)
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • “The Crawl Space”, Joyce Carol Oates (Ellery Queen 9-10/16)
  • “Time is a Face on the Water”, Michael Bailey (Borderlands 6)
  • “A Rift in Reflection”, Hal Bodner (Chiral Mad 3)
  • “The Bad Hour”, Christopher Golden (What the #@&% Is That?)
  • “Arbeit Macht Frei”, Lisa Mannetti (Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories)
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Borderlands 6, Oliva F. Monteleone & Thomas F. Monteleone, eds. (Samhain)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Brothel, Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • The Witch
  • Penny Dreadful: “A Blade of Grass”
  • Stranger Things: “The Upside Down”
  • Stranger Things: “The Vanishing of Will Byers”
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
Active and lifetime HWA members were eligible to vote for winners. For more information, see the HWA website.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Anti-Muse

Anthony Award Nominations


The Anthony Awards are given at each annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention with the winners selected by attendees. Bouchercon is the World Mystery Convention. This year Bouchercon will take in Toronto, Canada, October 12-15, 2017.


Best Novel
You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott [Little, Brown]
Where It Hurts – Reed Farrel Coleman [G.P. Putnam's Sons] 

Red Right Hand – Chris Holm [Mulholland]
Wilde Lake – Laura Lippman [William Morrow]
A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
Dodgers – Bill Beverly [Crown]
IQ – Joe Ide [Mulholland]
Decanting a Murder – Nadine Nettmann [Midnight Ink] 

Design for Dying – Renee Patrick [Forge]
The Drifter – Nicholas Petrie [G.P. Putnam's Sons]

Best Paperback Original
Shot in Detroit – Patricia Abbott [Polis]
Leadfoot – Eric Beetner [280 Steps]
Salem's Cipher – Jess Lourey [Midnight Ink]
Rain Dogs – Adrian McKinty [Seventh Street]
How to Kill Friends and Implicate People – Jay Stringer [Thomas & Mercer] 

Heart of Stone – James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street]

Best Short Story
"Oxford Girl" – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir [Akashic]
"Autumn at the Automat" – Lawrence Block, In Sunlight or in Shadow [Pegasus]
"Gary's Got A Boner" – Johnny Shaw, Waiting to Be Forgotten [Gutter]
"Parallel Play" – Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning [Wildside]
"Queen of the Dogs" – Holly West, 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul and Payback [Moonstone]

Best Critical Nonfiction Work
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life – Peter Ackroyd [Nan A. Talese]
Letters from a Serial Killer – Kristi Belcamino & Stephanie Kahalekulu [CreateSpace]
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin [Liveright]
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker – David J. Skal [Liveright]
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer – Kate Summerscale [Bloomsbury/Penguin]

Best Children’s/YA Novel
Snowed – Maria Alexander [Raw Dog Screaming] 
The Girl I Used to Be – April Henry [Henry Holt] 
Tag, You're Dead – J.C. Lane [Poisoned Pen]
My Sister Rosa – Justine Larbalestier [Soho Teen] 

The Fixes – Owen Matthews [HarperTeen]

Best Anthology
Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns – Eric Beetner, ed. [Down & Out]
In Sunlight or in Shadow – Lawrence Block, ed. [Pegasus]
Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens – Jen Conley [Down & Out]
Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – Greg Herren, ed. [Down & Out]
Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by the Replacements – Jay Stringer, ed. [Gutter]

Best Novella (8,000-40,000 words)
Cleaning Up Finn – Sarah M. Chen [All Due Respect Books]
No Happy Endings – Angel Luis Colón [Down & Out]
Crosswise – S.W. Lauden [Down & Out]
Beware the Shill – John Shepphird [Down & Out]
The Last Blue Glass – B.K. Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2016 [Dell]


About the Anthony Awards
The Anthony Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. Anthony Award Categories. 

About Bouchercon: 
Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention where readers, writers, fans, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a 4-day weekend of education, entertainment, and fun! It is the world’s premiere event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community, and is pronounced [bough’·chur·con]. 

For more information about the Anthony Awards and voting procedure contact our Anthony committee, Cathy Astolfo, John Purcell or B.G. Ritts at

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Chaperone: New PBS Movie

PBS and MASTERPIECE have announced that MASTERPIECE is producing its first feature film which will reunite the writer, director and star of Downton Abbey. The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s best-selling American novel, will be scripted by Julian Fellowes, directed by Michael Engler, and star Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lady Grantham in the hit series. It will air on PBS stations nationwide after its initial theatrical run.

The Chaperone takes place against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the early 1920s. A Kansas woman (McGovern) is forever changed when she chaperones a beautiful and talented 15-year-old dancer (Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair) named Louise Brooks to New York for the summer. One of them is eager to fulfill her destiny of dance and movie stardom; the other is on a mission to unearth the mysteries of her past.

Julian Fellowes said, “I am absolutely delighted to be working with MASTERPIECE and Elizabeth McGovern on The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s novel, which is captivating and beguiling and resonant in so many ways.”

“It is a thrill and an honor to be working with MASTERPIECE and Julian again on his beautiful adaptation of The Chaperone, and to be in the expert hands of director Michael Engler,” said McGovern.

Exploring the Roots of the Baby Boomer Era: Guest post by Gavin Scott

Gavin Scott is a novelist, broadcaster and writer of the Emmy-winning mini-series “Mists of Avalon”, Dreamworks’ “Small Soldiers”, Working Title’s “The Borrowers” and Sci Fi’s “Legends of Earthsea” He produced and directed more than two hundred documentaries and short films for BBC and the commercial TV in the UK before moving to the United States, where his first assignment was with George Lucas, developing and scripting “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”. His screenplay “The Last Summer”, a thriller about how World War One began is being produced by Aristos Films, to be directed by Downton Abbey’s Philip John. He wrote and directed the New Zealand film “Battle of Treasure Island”, starring Randy Quaid, for Limelight Films. “Absolutely Anything”, the script he wrote with Terry Jones starring Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale, with Eddie Izzard, Rob Riggle and Joanna Lumley and the voices of Robin Williams and most of the Python team, will be released in the US this year by Lionsgate. Archetype Productions and Lucas Foster are set to produce Gavin’s World War Two supernatural adventure “Lost Squad”, a combination of “The Matrix” and “Where Eagles Dare”, inspired by the graphic novels of Chris Kirby. For Germany’s Gruppe 5 productions he will be show-running a ten part series about Dona Gracia Nasi, a 16th century female Schindler who negotiated with Popes, Sultans and Emperors, set up a continent-wide escape route, set up a colony on the coast of what had been ancient Israel and saved thousands of Jews from the Inquisition. He created and executive produced “The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne” a 22 part sci-fi adventure series set in the nineteenth century about, which was broadcast around the world. 

Gavin Scott describes how he came to explore the roots of the Baby Boomer era in his Duncan Forrester detective adventure series. His latest, The Age of Olympus, has just been published by Titan Books. Read more here.

Gavin Scott:
Exploring the Roots of the Baby Boomer Era

Someone asked me recently why I have set my Duncan Forrester detective adventures in the late 1940s, the period immediately after World War II, and I realised it was because it gave me the chance to go to the heart of the experience of the baby boomer generation.

I myself was born in 1950 and only really became aware of politics in about 1960: one of my earliest political memories is learning in Reader’s Digest about the Chinese mistreatment of Tibetan monks after the invasion of Tibet. Then came the excitement of Kennedy’s election, followed by the terror of the Cuban missile crisis, the shock of the Kennedy assassination and the escalating disaster of the Vietnam War, buy which time I would say I was thoroughly politically aware.

But even then I realised that the roots of these events lay in the years before I was born - not just in the World War in which my father had fought and the town where I grew up (Hull, Yorkshire) had been devastated by the Luftwaffe – but in the years just afterwards during which the Peace had been forged.

So I decided to set my detective mysteries when the Cold War was coming into being, the colonial empires were being dismantled and the atomic age beginning thus giving me a compelling reason to plunge down into the roots of the modern era and find out what was really going on.

I chose as my hero someone the same age as my father, so that I felt confident in describing the world where he had grown up – and perhaps so that I could give my father the kind of war he would have had if he’d been educated at Oxford and been a specialist in ancient history. Duncan Forrester had broken off his academic life when war broke out and volunteered for what became the Special Operations Executive, parachuting into Nazi occupied territory to help, in Churchill’s words “set Europe ablaze”.

Which meant that he had seeing action in almost every theatre of the war and met an extraordinary range of people. In the first Duncan Forrester adventure, The Age of Treachery, he’s returned to Oxford hoping to resume his peacetime life but finds himself having to become a man of action once more to save the friend falsely accused of murder. In this year’s book, The Age of Olympus, he returns to his old wartime haunts in Crete and finds himself coming up against Stalin’s plans to turn all Europe into a Communist satrapy.

Researching both of these books and The Age of Exodus, which is due out next year, has involved to me reading not just political and military history but also the diaries, memoirs, official reports, letters and biographies by and about an extraordinary range of people.

Realising how all these lives overlap is a bit like doing a gigantic jigsaw puzzle and I find myself crying out with delight as I discover yet another connection that’s quite possibly no one else has noticed. In the first book I realised that Margaret Thatcher, then known as Margaret Roberts was studying x-ray crystallography in Oxford at the same time that J.R.R. Tolkien was struggling to finish writing The Lord of the Rings, while his friend C.S. Lewis was becoming sufficiently impatient that he decided to write his own fantasy sequence - which has given us the Narnia novels.

Ian Fleming was the Foreign Manager of the Sunday Times and a pleasure-loving, gossipy man-about-town long before he thought of James Bond and the great adventurer Thor Heyerdahl was in the process of raising the money for his extraordinary Kon Tiki expedition. None of them was famous yet for the things we know them for today but they were all already living rich lives with which Duncan Forrester could interact.

When I began researching The Age of Olympus and reading any material I could get my hands about Greece in 1946, where it was set, I found almost an embarrassment of riches. Lawrence Durrell, long famous for his great Alexandria Quartet novels and with new-found fame through the Durrells of Corfu television series, was based in Rhodes during this time, running newspaper for the British Army. He wrote a wonderfully revealing book about his experiences in Rhodes called Reflections in a Marine Venus, as a result of which I know a surprising amount about what he was doing, seeing and feeling at exactly the period my novel is set. Osbert Lancaster the architectural historian and cartoonist, was also working in Greece in 1946, based in the British Embassy in Athens. He too wrote a book about what the country was like then, a delightfully witty account called Classical Landscape with Figures. Packed with just the kind of detail I needed about the people and places of my story. Stephen Runciman, the historian of the Crusades was there too, and the exuberant Oxford don Maurice Bowra – to say nothing of the extraordinary, legendary Patrick Leigh Fermor, played by Dirk Bogarde in the movie Ill Met by Moonlight.

Here I had a fantastic piece of luck because in The Age of Treachery I had made Duncan Forrester briefly a member of the guerilla band led by Leigh Fermor in Crete during the war. Leigh Fermor had pulled off the extraordinary feat of kidnapping a German general and spiriting him off to Egypt, (that’s what the Bogarde movie is about) and I had imagined that Duncan Forrester had helped him do it. Now, while researching the book in which Forrester returned to Greece, it turned out that Leigh Fermor had himself come back here at exactly this time - and that the great biographer Artemis Cooper, had written a book, Leigh Fermor, which told me exactly what he was doing there.

Before long, surrounded by my piles of weighty tomes and stacks of notes I began to feel like a child in a sandpit with every imaginable toy to play with. And as Duncan Forrester’s own life became more complicated I found the process of weaving his adventures within those of his real-life contemporaries more and more absorbing.

I like to think I have created a murder mystery which will keep you fairly close to the edge of your seat as the action unfolds – but the pleasure I hope The Age of Olympus also gives readers is the feeling of what it was like to be in the Aegean Islands long before the age of mass tourism – in the company of some of the most interesting people of that, or any other time.