Monday, July 31, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Dogs

Scribe Awards: International Association of Media Tie-In Writers

The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers announced the winners of the 2017 Scribe Awards. These prizes are intended to “honor licensed (published) works that tie in with other media such as television, movies, gaming, or comic books. These include original works set in established universes, and adaptations of stories that have appeared in other formats and that cross all genres.” Among the five categories of Scribe are these of interest to mystery readers:

Adapted—General and Speculative:
• Assassin’s Creed, by Christie Golden

General Original:
• Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn, by Ace Atkins

Winners were announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego, (July 20-23).

For the nominees in these categories, go Here.

Hat Tip: The Rap Sheet

Friday, July 28, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Dogs

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Finalists

Killer Nashville, the premier forum for all genres incorporating mystery, thriller, and suspense announced the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion finalists. The winners will be announced at the Killer Nashville Awards dinner at the Killer Nashville International Writers' Conference on Saturday, August 26, in Nashville.

A Chinese Monster: Guest Post by Matt Rees

After graduating from Oxford, Matt Rees served as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East before becoming an award-winning British crime novelist for his Omar Yossef mysteries. He currently resides in Luxembourg with his wife and two children. CHINA STRIKE: An ICE Thriller  (Crooked Lane Books) is the second in his Dominic Verrazzano series.

A Chinese monster that warrants the fear we have of it

“There are very few monsters that warrant the fear we have of them.” The French Nobelist André Gide might just as well have aimed his phrase at current American politics and economics. Of course, it depends what you’re afraid of. China is often portrayed as the villain today, cited by Donald Trump (during his campaign) for “the greatest theft in the history of the world,” stealing American jobs by dumping manufactured goods and running up a mammoth trade surplus.

Let’s set aside the labor camps and the persecution of Christians and Tibetan Buddhists and the Falun Gong and…Yeah, let’s put it all aside and focus on things that might make you respond with more than just a shake of the head (I’m not trying to underestimate your compassion; I’m just assuming you’re human and you’re more likely to feel threatened when it’s close to home). China’s not playing fair, that’s for sure. Why should they? Some time I’ll tell you all about how diplomacy works and where it intersects with intelligence work, but in brief: everyone wants an unfair advantage in everything all the time everywhere, yet they like to tell each other to their faces that they’re cooperating. Right now there’s a big knife at the throat of the world and it’s held by Beijing.

The backdrop to my new thriller CHINA STRIKE is a negotiation between the US and China over trade. Right at the start of the novel, China makes a threat that’s backed up by a horrific piece of cyberwarfare. The novel’s hero, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Dom Verrazzano, has to track the hackers behind the cyberplot, otherwise there’ll be consequences even more devastating than the US caving at the trade talks.

The chase takes Verrazzano from Detroit and New York through several German cities and on to a Spanish island. In other words, when China strikes, the reverberations are everywhere.

That’s a concern—to diplomats, but also to you and me—right now, because China’s capacity to strike is getting bigger.

Much of the world sees China very differently to the way they did a few years ago. The withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accord is an opening for China—current king of smog—to become the world leader on fighting climate change, because it has the capacity to make massive investments in climate technology and, of course, to sell it to everyone else. That will put China in the driving seat of a lot of other international forums as a result, so that Beijing gets still more powerful.

Why would you care? Because it’s a problem for international trade (which in the end means it’s a problem for jobs and living standards in countries that happen not to be China) and—as Agent Verrazzano discovers in CHINA STRIKE—it’s also a big problem for world security.

And your security.

Chinese military intelligence has an entire skyscraper in Beijing filled with programmers and hackers whose main aim is to get inside the computer systems of international companies. US companies are top of that list. Computer firms like to talk about “disruption,” by which they mean new products that question and change the entire playing field in a particular industry. China likes to disrupt, but it mainly does so by stealing someone else’s ideas.

China is building a massive infrastructure to exploit all this. Its policy is to develop a “New Silk Road” and a “Maritime Silk Road” across Asia. It plans to spend $1.4 trillion on the project.

Did you just say, why would you care again? Because when China steals industrial secrets (and uses them to create massive trade networks across Asia), they’re stealing from your economy. Now, your economy doesn’t share out the wealth as well as it could and chances are you’re getting less of the big cake than you think you’re due. But when there’s less to share out, you can be sure you aren’t going to get a better slice.

Worse, when China gets inside the computer systems of US companies they get all the data you’ve deposited with your credit card companies, your hospital, your social media profiles, and a whole bunch of other things that are presumably even more shameful than your bank account. Do you want the Chinese Communist Party to have access to your children’s social security numbers? You don’t know what they’ll do with that data, but they sure aren’t going to send out any lottery winnings.

The battle Special Agent Verrazzano wages in CHINA STRIKE is tied up with the dirty game of international diplomacy. It’s being fought out in more places than you’d know—right now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

CWA Dagger Awards Shortlist

The CWA (Crime Writers Association) just announced The Dagger Award Shortlists. The winner will be announced at our Awards Dinner in October. Congratulations to All.

CWA Gold Dagger
The Beautiful Dead (Bantam Press) by Belinda Bauer
Dead Man's Blues (Mantle) by Ray Celestin
The Dry (Little, Brown) by Jane Harper
Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee
The Girl in Green (Faber & Faber) by Derek B. Miller

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
You Will Know Me (Pleador) by Megan Abbott
The Killing Game (Bookouture) by J S Carol
We Go Around in the Night and are Consumed by Fire (Myraid Editions) by Jules Grant
Redemption Road (Nodder & Stoughton) by John Hart
Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
The Constant Soldier (Mantle) by William Ryan

CWA John Creasey (NewBlood) Dagger
The Pictures (Point Break) by Guy Bolton
Ragdoll (Trapeze) by Daniel Cole
Distress Signals (Corvus) by Catherine Ryan Howard
Sirens (Doubleday) by Joseph Knox
Good Me, Bad Me (Michael Joseph) by Ali Land
Tall Oaks (Twenty7) by Chris Whitaker

CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
The Devil's Feast (Fig Tree) by M J Carter
The Ashes of Berlin (No Exit Press) by Luke McCallin
The Long Drop (Harvill Seeker) by Denise Mina
A Rising Man (Harvill Seeker) by Abir Mukherjee
By Gaslight (Point Blank) by Steven Price
The City in Darkness (Constable) by Michael Russell

CWA International Dagger
A Cold Death (4th Estate) by Antonio Manzini, Tr Antony Shugaar
A Fine Line (Bitter Lemon Press) by Gianrico Carofiglio, Tr Howard Curtis
Blood Wedding (MacLehose Press) by Pierre Lemaitre, Tr Frank Wynne
Climate of Fear (Harvill Seeker) by Fred Vargas, Tr Sian Reynolds
The Dying Detective (Doubleday) by Leif GW Persson, Tr Neil Smith
The Legacy of the Bones (HarperCollins) by Delores Redondo, Tr Nick Carter and Lorenza Garcia

CWA NonFiction Dagger
A Dangerous Place (The History Press) by Simon Farquhar
Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro's Cuba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Stephen Purvis
The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of Marriage (Text Publishing) by Anja Reich-Osang
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (Bloomsbury Publishing) by Kate Summerscale
A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II (Jonathan Cape) by A T Williams
Another Day in the Death of America (Guardian Faber Publishing) by Gary Younge

CWA Short Story Dagger
The Assassination by Leye Adenle in Sunshine Noir (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri and Michael Stanley
Murder and its Motives by Martin Edwards in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
The Super Recogniser of Vik by Michael Ridpath in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
What You Were Fighting For by James Sallis in The Highway Kind (Mulholland Books) Edited by Patrick Millikin
The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
Snakeskin by Ovidia Yu in Sunshine Noir (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri and Michael Stanley

CWA Debut Dagger
Strange Fire by Sherry Rankin
The Reincarnation of Himmat Gupte by Neeraj Shah
Lost Boys by Spike Dawkins
Red Haven by Metter McLeod
Broken by Victoria Slotover

Cartoon of the Day: Epiphany

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Murder in Wartime: Mystery Readers Journal (33:2)

The latest issue of Mystery Readers Journal: Murder in Wartime is now available. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. We had so many articles that we increased the size of this issue to 110 pages! Same cost. Same quality. Different binding (but same size). Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue.

MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL: Murder in Wartime (Volume 33:2)

Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

  • World War II and the Golden Age Tradition by Kate Jackson
  • The Making of Heroes by Suzanne M. Arruda
  • It Never Happened by Mary Adler
  • On Edge by Albert Ashforth
  • Between Lost and Dead by Rona Bell
  • A Half Century Later, Vietnam Is Still a Mystery by R.G. Belsky
  • Harry Lime Was Wrong by James Benn
  • My Wartime Connection by Cara Black
  • The Secrets of Bletchley Park by Rhys Bowen
  • Passing On the Memory of Wars I Never Knew by William Broderick
  • Don’t Mention the War by Frances Brody
  • Why Care About a Murder in Wartime? by Rebecca Cantrell
  • The Green Corn Rebellion by Donis Casey
  • War Is Hell… but Hell Makes Good Mysteries by John A. Connell
  • Murder and Ancient War by Gary Corby
  • The Real and Recent Wars Behind My Fiction by Diana Deverell
  • Spoils of War by David Edgerley Gates
  • You Say Conflict, I Say War by Chris Goff
  • Mystery in The First World War by Dolores Gordon-Smith
  • Civil War Crime by Paul E. Hardisty
  • War Stories by Libby Hellmann
  • Body of Evidence by Graham Ison
  • Wartime in England by Maureen Jennings
  • The Mysteries of War by Kay Kendall
  • From Bomb Shelters to a B&B by Kate Kingsbury
  • Bombs and Short Legs by Joan Lock
  • Rough Cider in the Making by Peter Lovesey
  • If It’s War, It Can’t Be Murder? by Michael Niemann
  • Echoes of Vietnam by Neil Plakcy
  • When the Investigator Wears Boots by Ben Pastor
  • His Debts Were Settled At Last by Mary Reed
  • Murder in Wartime by Gavin Scott
  • The Time Traveler As Writer by Sarah R. Shaber
  • A Coin for the Hangman: The Home Front and the Returning Soldier by Ralph Spurrier
  • The Solitary Soldier by Kelli Stanley
  • Wartime in New York by Triss Stein
  • Writing About War by Charles Todd
  • It’s Not Our War: Writing a WWI-Era Mystery Series Set in New York by Radha Vatsal
  • Fading Away by Sharon Wildwind
  • Bloodshed Behind the Lines by Sally Wright
  • Fate, Facts, and War Stories by Ursula Wong
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Kristopher Zgorski, Craig Sisterson, L.J. Roberts, Sandie Herron, Kate Jackson, Kate Derie
  • Khaki Cops by Jim Doherty
  • True Crime in Wartime by Cathy Pickens
  • The Children’s Hour: War Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Just the Facts: The Military Mutilator by Jim Doherty
  • Crime Scene: Murder in a Time of War by Kate Derie
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet Rudolph

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Books

James Ziskin and Marla Cooper Lit Salon: July 26 in Berkeley

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening with Mystery Authors James Ziskin and Marla Cooper

When: Wednesday, July 26, 7 p.m.
Where: RSVP for venue address (Berkeley, CA)
This is a free event, but YOU MUST RSVP to attend.
RSVP required. Address of venue sent with acceptance.
RSVP: janet @

JAMES ZISKIN is the author of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Lefty, and Macavity-nominated Ellie Stone Mysteries. A linguist by training, he studied Romance Languages and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his graduate degree, he worked in New York as a photo-news producer and writer, and then as Director of NYU’s Casa Italiana. He spent fifteen years in the Hollywood post production industry, running large international operations in the subtitling/localization and visual effects fields. His international experience includes two years working and studying in France, extensive time in Italy, and more than three years in India. He speaks Italian and French. James grew up in Amsterdam, New York. He now lives in Seattle.

MARLA COOPER was astonished when, at the age of 18, she realized people could actually get paid to write things. So she switched her major from business to advertising—much to the relief of her accounting professor—and began her career as an advertising copywriter. She later became a freelancer so she could take advantage of perks like working in her pajamas, and now she writes a little bit of everything. It was while she was ghostwriting a book on destination weddings that she found inspiration for her first novel, Terror in Taffeta. Her latest in the Kelsey McKenna Destinationa Wedding series is Dying on the Vine. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Upcoming Literary Salons in Berkeley:

September 13: Amy Stewart, 7 p.m.

The 50 Best TV Detectives and Sleuths

I love lists. Here's one from The Telegraph for the 50 best TV detectives and sleuths. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have more you'd add?

Here's the link to the list.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dashiell Hammett Award: AIEP

David Llorente has won the Dashiell Hammett Award for Madrid: frontera. It was awarded last week at Semana Negra in Gijon, Spain.  The Hammett Award is given by AIEP (Asociación Internacional de Escritores Policíaco) for the best crime novel.

"Although any of the finalists would have been worthy of the prize, the jury stress that the winning novel stood out for its originality and daring style, as well as its ability to use literature as a tool for protest,” jury chairwoman and crime writer Noemí Sabugal said at a packed  news conference called to announce the prizes.

From: Black & Noir
In translation: Madrid: frontier was published in January 2016 and since then has not stopped traveling from the noir genre to science fiction, from science fiction to fantasy, from fantasy to social novel, from social novel to novel terror. No one knew where to put it. No one knew what springs of the novel gave the key of what would be his genre. The Black Week of Gijón has awarded him the Hammett. Clearly, the organization (AIEP) and the jury have understood that the black novel is elastic and versatile enough to move around the surface of other genres, enter their homes and take everything they need without having forgotten their essence of criticism Social and finger pointing to everything that begins to rot. 

FYI: In case you're confused. The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers awards their Hammett Prize for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author.

Dead Good Reader Awards 2017

The winners of the Dead Good Reader Awards 2017 were announced at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate,

At a ceremony presided on by Mark Lawson with a guest appearance from Kathy Reichs, six authors were honored with being best in class as voted for by crime readers.

The Kathy Reichs Award for Fearless Female Character:
Winner: Helen Grace, M J Arlidge

Lori Anderson, Steph Broadribb
Erika Foster, Robert Bryndza
Ruth Galloway, Elly Griffiths
Helen Grace, M J Arlidge
Isabella Rose, Mark Dawson
Jane Rizzoli, Tess Gerritsen

The Case Closed Award for Best Police Procedural:
Winner: The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey
Love You Dead by Peter James
Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin
The Taken by Alice Clark-Platts
Written in Bones by James Oswald
The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

The Hidden Depths Award for Most Unreliable Narrator:
Winner: The Escape by C L Taylor

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
The Escape by C L Taylor
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

The Page to Screen Award for Best Adapted Book:
Winner: Never Go Back by Lee Child

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Never Go Back by Lee Child
The Night Manager by John le Carré

The Cat Amongst The Pigeons Award for Most Exceptional Debut:
Winner: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb
The Dry by Jane Harper
Rattle by Fiona Cummins
Sirens by Joseph Knox
The Dead Good Recommends Award for Most Recommended Book
Winner: The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
The Escape by C L Taylor
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: New Books

Cartoon of the Day: Short Story

Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was announced yesterday. The prize was authorized by the late Harper Lee, and established in 2011 by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. It is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction:
Gone Again, by James Grippando

The award ceremony will take place in September at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

HT: The Rap Sheet via The Gumshoe Site

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Striking Out: Series 2 in Production

Striking Out: I love this Irish Legal Drama, so I was thrilled to learn that it is now in Production for Series 2! Yay!!! The following is from The British TV Place. Thanks to Marie Causey for posting the news!

Series 2 of Striking Out will have six episodes, up from four in Series 1.

Striking Out stars Amy Huberman (The Clinic, Threesome) as Tara Rafferty, a successful barrister in Dublin whose life is upended when she catches her fiancé in flagrante delicto with another woman. Making matters more complicated is the fact that the other woman is a colleague at the law firm where both Tara and her now-ex-fiancé, Eric Dunbar (Rory Keenan, War & Peace, Peaky Blinders), work.

Huberman won the coveted Best Leading Actress in a Drama Award for her portrayal of Tara Rafferty at this year’s IFTA Awards.

And as of today, she’s on a twelve-week shoot for Series 2 with the rest of the cast, which includes Neil Morrissey (Line of Duty, Men Behaving Badly) as Tara’s mentor and friend, Senior Counsel Vincent Pike; Emmet Byrne (Red Rock, Twice Shy) as Tara’s street-smart client-turned-assistant Ray Lamont; and Fiona O’ Shaughnessy (My Mother and Other Strangers, Utopia) as tech guru and private detective Meg Riley.

Series I is available on Acorn TV.    Read more here.

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Festival: Crime Novel of the Year

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Festival (Harrogate) announced the Novel of the Year just now. Thanks, Erin Mitchell, for providing live coverage. Such great fun. Almost--almost--like being there!

• Black Widow, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)

In addition at tonight's Awards ceremony Lee Child received Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.

Here is the shortlist for Novel of the Year: Crime Novel 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)

Hat Tip: Erin Mitchell. 

Thanks, Erin, for providing live coverage. How fun!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Library

Links to the Macavity Award Short Story Nominees

Thanks to Paul D. Marks for collating the links to the Macavity Award Nominated Short Stories.
Macavity ballots will come out on August 1st. Here's your chance to read the nominated short stories. They're listed below, alphabetically by author’s last name. Just an FYI: The stories by Craig Faustus Buck, Paul D. Marks, and Art Taylor are free to read. The others are links to books in which they appear.

Lawrence Block, “Autumn at the Automat”:

Craig Faustus Buck, “Blank Shot”:

Greg Herren, “Survivor’s Guilt”:…/…/1943402345

Paul D. Marks, “Ghosts of Bunker Hill”:

Joyce Carol Oates, “The Crawl Space”:

Art Taylor’s, “Parallel Play”:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amazon to stream Agatha Christie Adaptations: Ordeal by Innocence

From Hollywood Reporter:

Amazon is adding a series of adaptations to its 'originals' lineup from Agatha Christie Limited, the company that manages the literary and media rights to the late English crime novelist's works.

The first show to come from the deal is an adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence, which began production earlier this month in the U.K. The drama will feature an ensemble cast that includes Bill Nighy (Love Actually), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness), Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Matthew Goode (The Good Wife), Catherine Keener (Get Out), Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl), Luke Treadaway (Fortitude), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark) and Morven Christie (The A Word). This will be a series.

Read the article here.

Cartoon of the Day: Edgar Allan Poe Boy

Monday, July 17, 2017

Surrounded by Unreliable Narrators: Jeff Abbott

Jeff Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. He is the winner of an International Thriller Writers Award (for the Sam Capra thriller The Last Minute) and is a three-time nominee for the Edgar award. He lives in Austin with his family. 

I asked Jeff for a guest post a few weeks ago, but given the devasting loss of his home last week, I was surprised he found time to write this post. Jeff lost his home and all it contained to a fire caused by a lightning strike. His family is safe, but there was considerable damage and loss. I, along with the entire mystery community, encourage you to purchase Blame now (it publishes tomorrow) as a way of helping Jeff and his family. You'll love the novel. Thanks, Jeff, for writing Blame and for writing a guest post for Mystery Fanfare. Wishing you the very best at this difficult time.

Jeff Abbott:
Surrounded by Unreliable Narrators

When I decided to write BLAME, a novel about an amnesiac trying to solve her own attempted murder, my starting point was how Hollywood treats amnesia—often as a temporary condition that magically goes away at critical plot points. But I found there is as much drama and suspense in treating amnesia realistically—in having a protagonist who must rely on the world to explain her past. Because sometimes the world is full of people with an agenda.

I didn’t want to get bogged down in the technical aspects of amnesia in terms of brain function when writing about the condition for BLAME. It didn’t sound right for the voice of Jane Norton, a once-promising student who was the driver in a terrible one-car crash that killed her neighbor, David Hall, and who two years later is an amnesiac living on the streets of Austin. Jane has self-exiled from the wealthy suburb she grew up in. When someone posts to her abandoned Facebook page that they “know what she claims to have forgotten” and the menacing promise “all will pay”, Jane decides to investigate herself the accident that robbed her of her memory. So in researching Jane, I read firsthand accounts of amnesiacs: from a young mother who shielded her child from a falling ceiling fan and then forgot she even had children to a businessman who slipped in a bathroom and hit his head, returning to a business he had no memory of running and a wife and children he had no memory of loving.

And this struck me: the amnesia was a chance for those around the patient, for good or bad, to entirely shape the patient’s view of themselves. They could be honest or be deceptive; they could be direct or manipulative; they could be kind or cruel. A husband who tries to reshape a wife into what he wants her to be; a mother who insists her child is the way she’s always viewed him or her, without regard to reality.

One of the most popular tropes in recent suspense fiction has been the “unreliable narrator”—the central character who tells a compelling story but may not be telling the reader the whole truth. I realized in my research that amnesiacs can be surrounded by unreliable narrators—people who may have a motive, and a means, to shape the amnesiac’s “truth” to their own means. So Jane was a protagonist surrounded by unreliable narrators—friends, neighbors, family, all of whom had good reason for concealing elements of that fateful night from her. Out of shame, or fear, or guilt.

So what at first seemed to me a simple (and for me as a writer, fun) inversion of a suspense novel staple became a more detailed story involving the nature of memory (and how it shapes us), the relationship between guilt and blame, and one young woman’s rediscovery of who she really is—and who she really was, in that forgotten past. The suspense derives from Jane overcoming the unreliable narrators to arrive at the real truth. Jane has to solve the mystery not only of the crash, but the mystery of herself. To me that made her much more of a believable amnesiac than the versions we sometimes see on television.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Martin Landau: R.I.P.

Martin Landau: R.I.P. 

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Martin Landau, the all-purpose actor who showcased his versatility as a master of disguise on the Mission: Impossible TV series and as a broken-down Bela Lugosi in his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, has died. He was 89. 

Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest, died Saturday of "unexpected complications" after a brief stay at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

After he quit CBS’ Mission: Impossible after three seasons in 1969 because of a contract dispute, Landau’s career was on the rocks until he was picked by Francis Ford Coppola to play Abe Karatz, the business partner of visionary automaker Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges), in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988).

Landau received a best supporting actor nomination for that performance, then backed it up the following year with another nom for starring as Judah Rosenthal, an ophthalmologist who has his mistress (Angelica Huston) killed, in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

Landau lost out on Oscar night to Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington, respectively, in those years but finally prevailed for his larger-than-life portrayal of horror-movie legend Lugosi in the biopic Ed Wood (1994), directed by Tim Burton.

Read the rest of the article, Here.

Cartoon of the Day: Murder

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thriller Awards 2017

The International Thriller Writers announced the winners of the Thriller Awards this evening at ThrillerFest in NYC. Congratulations to all!

Noah Hawley — BEFORE THE FALL (Grand Central Publishing)

Nicholas Petrie — THE DRIFTER (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Anne Frasier — THE BODY READER (Thomas & Mercer)

Joyce Carol Oates — “Big Momma” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)

A.J. Hartley — STEEPLEJACK (TOR Teen)

James Scott Bell — ROMEO’S WAY (Compendium Press)

Tom Doherty

SILVER BULLET LITERARY AWARD (for charitable work)
Lisa Gardner

Cartoon of the Day: Botanical Gardens

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Bastille Day

Bastille Day: Mysteries Set in France

Celebrate Bastille Day with a copy of  Mystery Readers Journal: Mysteries Set in France (Volume 28:1)! Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.



  • A Brief Panorama of Early French Crime Fiction by Jean-Marc Lofficier
  • Sex and the Country: Some Thoughts on Pierre Magnan by Peter Rozovsky
  • An Interview with Sîan Reynolds by Peter Rozovsky
  • My Affair With the Birthplace of Crime Fiction by Bernadette Bean
  • Tale of Two Dominiques by Cary Watson
  • The Father of the Detective Story: Emile Gaboriau by Nina Cooper
  • Passion, Bloodshed, Desire, and Death by Susanne Alleyn
  • How I Got Into My Life of Crime French Style by Cara Black
  • Honest! I Was in Paris Working Very Hard! by Rick Blechta
  • Having a Nice Time? by Rhys Bowen
  • Inspector Aliette Nouvelle by John Brooke
  • The French Adventure of a Full-time Lawyer and Part-time Fool by Alan Gordon
  • Escape From Paris by Carolyn Hart
  • Maggie MacGowen Goes to France by Wendy Hornsby
  • France on Berlin Time by J. Robert Janes
  • Experiencing Provence by M.L. Longworth
  • Writing a French Police Series by Adrian Magson
  • France, the Write Country by Peter May
  • Travel + Fiction: You Want to Go There by Lise McClendon
  • Hemingway's Paris Remains 'A Moveable Feast' by Craig McDonald
  • Inspired by the "Where" by Tom Mitcheltree
  • It's All About Me? by Sharan Newman
  • Drinking Tea From a Bowl: Getting France Right by D-L Nelson
  • Mysteries Set in France: Vive la Différence! by Katherine Hall Page
  • Provence—To Die For by Renée Paley-Bain
  • Mick Jagger, Kirs Royales, and Paris by P.J. Parrish
  • Paris Shadows by M.J. Rose
  • Diplomatic Mystery by William S. Shepard
  • Alpine Beach: My French Connection by Susan Steggall
  • She Lost Her Head in La Belle France by Nancy Means Wright
  • Crossword: The French Connection by Verna Suit
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lesa Holstine, L.J. Roberts, Alana White, Marlyn Beebe
  • Children's Hour: Where's Madeleine? by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Glimpses of France by Marvin Lachman
  • The Art of French Crime by Cathy Pickens
  • Crime Seen: Le Crime Vu by Kate Derie
  • Mysteries Set in France by British Authors by Philip Scowcroft
  • From the Editor's Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

La Marseillaise

Listen and watch La Marseillaise from Casablanca.

One of the best scenes in the film!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Strand Critics Award Winners

The Strand Critics Awards, recognizing excellence in the field of mystery fiction, were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists. They were presented last night in New York City. Congratulations to All!

Best Novel
The Trespasser by Tana French (Viking) 

Best Debut Novel:
The Lost Girls by Heather Young (William Morrow)

Clive Cussler was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

To see the nominees in both categories, go HERE.

Post-Bastille Day Literary Salon: Cara Black and Susan Shea

Immerse yourself in France at this Post-Bastille Day Literary Salon: An Evening with Mystery Authors Cara Black and Susan Shea. Both authors set their mysteries in France. Drink and eat and enjoy the discussion  and readings about France, books, people, and more!

When: Thursday, July 20, 7 p.m.
Where: RSVP for venue address (Berkeley, CA)
This is a free event, but YOU MUST RSVP to attend.
RSVP required. Address of venue sent with acceptance.
RSVP: janet @

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today 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. 

Susan Shea spent more than two decades as a non-profit executive before beginning her critically praised mystery series featuring a professional fundraiser for a fictional museum. Love & Death in Burgundy is the first in her new French Village series. She’s a regular on the 7 Criminal Minds blog, is secretary of the national Sisters in Crime board, on the board of the Northern California chapter of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America. 

Upcoming Literary Salons in Berkeley

July 26: James Ziskin and Marla Cooper, 7 p.m.

September 13: Amy Stewart, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Author's Purpose

Hat Tip: Jayna Monroe

WriteNow! 2017: Conquer the Publishing Jungle: August 11-12

WriteNow! 2017, the annual writers conference held by Desert Sleuths, the Phoenix Chapter of Sisters in Crime, will be held August 11-12 at Changing Hands Book Store and Embassy Suites, 4415 E. Paradise Valley Parkway South, in Phoenix. You won't want to miss the great workshop and conference. Read on:

Clive Cussler is the headliner. Cussler has turned out adventure-mysteries that inevitably hit best seller lists. Known primarily for his novels featuring Dirk Pitt, Mr. Cussler began with, “The Mediterranean,” published in 1973 and soon followed with such famous titles as “Raise the Titanic!,” “Sahara,” and many others.His latest work, “Nighthawk,” was released May 30, the press release stated.. Like many writers, however, his range of writing extends beyond Dirk’s manly escapades to non-fiction and children’s stories. At Writer Quest: Conquer The Publishing Jungle, the title of this year’s conference, Cussler will share his techniques, secrets and strategies for conquering the literary jungle.

The conference will also feature Lee Goldberg. Goldberg is a two-time Edgar & Shamus Award nominee and a NYT bestselling author who’s written over 40 novels and non-fiction works. He has also written and produced several TV series as well as having co-written with Janet Evanovich, the press release stated.

Also featured will be Robin Burcell. For 30 years of her life Robin Burcell served in law enforcement as a police officer, criminal investigator, and hostage negotiator before writing the Kate Gillespie police procedural series, the Sydney Fitzpatrick series, and a Streets of San Francisco novel. She now writes thrillers and works with Cussler on his latest offerings.

Dana Kaye a publicist, social media pro and brand manager, specializes in coaching clients on how to establish their personal brand. She has authored a book, and she created “Branding Outside the Box,” an online resource to help people launch their personal brand.

Also on hand will be literary agent, Jill Marr, who will take pitches, and editor, Holly Lorincz, who will do editing sessions with attendees, the press release stated.

The conference, open to the public, will be held on Aug. 11 and 12. It begins with a reception on Friday evening at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road. The reception will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Sisters in Crime, begun in 1987 by author Sara Paretsky, who organized a group of women mystery writers.

The day-long conference on Saturday will include the aforementioned speakers, panel discussions, editing and pitching sessions, as well as the opportunity for attendees to buy the speakers’ books. Lunch and snacks are included in the entry fee and a silent auction will be held.

For registration visit For more information email

Book Clubs: Even in the 1700s, Book Clubs Were Really About Drinking and Socializing

Our Mystery Book Group has been meeting every Tuesday night, September-June, for over 40 years. We read and discuss a book a week. As one can imagine, we have become family. Our discussions can be tempestuous, but always fun, and they are always complemented by good food and drink. So I was particularly taken by Sarah Laskow's article about the history of Book Clubs on Atlas Obscura last week.

Even in the 1700s, Book Clubs Were Really About Drinking and Socializing

In theory, book clubs are supposed to be about reading and discussing books. In practice, they are often more about hanging out with a group of people, drinking, gossiping, and generally having a nice evening. Depending on the percentage of the group that has actually read the book, it may be discussed, or it may not. The book is the excuse, not necessarily the point.
It turns out it’s always been this way.

Ever since the advent of book clubs in 18th-century England, when books were scarce and expensive, these organizations have been about more than reading. Book clubs were organized to help members gain access to reading material and to provide a forum for discussion of books the club held. But they were also about gossip and drinking. As the University of St. Andrews’ David Allan writes in A Nation of Readers, “In most cases, food and alcohol in copious quantities, accompanied we may suspect by a considerable element of boisterous good humour, played an important part in the life of the book clubs.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Library Science

Harlan Coben thriller "Safe" coming to Netflix

From Variety:

Netflix and Canal+ in France have ordered “Safe,” a thriller from author Harlan Coben starring Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”). Hall was the star of Showtime series “Dexter” from 2006 to 2013, and in “Safe” will play a British pediatric surgeon raising two teenage daughters, Jenny and Carrie, alone after the death of his wife. The family is seemingly safe inside a gated community when the elder daughter sneaks out to a party and a murder and disappearance follow, changing all of their lives. 

Amanda Abbington (“Sherlock”) will also star in the show. Studiocanal’s U.K.-based production company Red will make the series, which will be on Canal+ in France and Netflix globally. 

Danny Brocklehurst (“Shameless”) has written the script for the eight-part drama, which is now shooting in the British cities of Manchester and Cheshire. 

Bestselling author Coben has moved steadily into TV. His first small-screen project was “The Five” for Sky in the U.K. That show was written by Brocklehurst, produced by Red and acquired by Canal+. “Safe” sees that team reunited. 

Netflix acquired “Happy Valley” from Red, but “Safe” will be the production’s first original for the streaming giant.  

Coben’s style lends itself to watching multiple episodes, which attracted Netflix, Shindler told Variety. “The serialized nature of this, and Harlan’s way of storytelling, lends itself to streaming. He’s all about the hook of a story,” she said. “After ‘The Five,’ he wanted to write something about family and how we build walls to keep out the bad people, but what if they’re on the inside? It’s about how far you’d go to protect your family.” 

Read more Here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Chaos

Sacramento Light & Noir Film Festival: July 22

The California Museum and Film Noir Foundation will present its "Light & Noir Film Festival" at the historic Crest Theatre in Sacramento on Saturday, July 22, 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. The event will include screenings of Billy Wilder's film noir classics Double Indemnity (1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950), both featured in the California Museum's installation of the traveling exhibit Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950. Between films, a Q&A with Eddie Muller at 7:00 p.m. will explore the contributions of legendary director Wilder, a refugee from Nazi persecution during WWII whose legacy of achievements helped define the film noir genre.

Festivities include a 1940s-1950s costume contest plus custom cocktails from the theatre's adjoining Empress Tavern.  Prior to going to the theatre, you can attend a book signing with Eddie Muller, taking place 3–4 p.m at the California Museum. The Light and Noir Film Festival Pass, which includes museum admission, is now on sale on the Crest's website.