Friday, November 30, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Dogs


Chanukah (no matter how you spell it - Hanukah, Hanukkah) is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah starts on Sunday night, so you have plenty of time to read all these books! Let me know if I've missed any mysteries. This is an updated list.

Hanukah Mystery Novels
A Crafty Christmas by Molly Cox Bryan
Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned)
Beautiful Lie the Dead by Barbara Fradkin
Strength to Stand by Sheyna Galyan
Festival of Deaths by Jane Haddam
Hanukkah Gelt by T. Lee Harris
Out of the Frying Pan into the Choir by Sharon Kahn
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Murder at the Minyan by Shlumat E. Kustanowitz
The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned)
Dog Have Mercy by Neil Plakcy
Chanukah Guilt by Ilene Schneider
The Tattooed Rabbi by Marvin J. Wolf
Mom Lights a Candle by James Yaffe

Children's Hanukah Mysteries
Rabbi Rocketpower and the Mystery of the Missing Menorahs - A Hanukkah Humdinger! by Rabbi Susan Abramson and Aaron Dvorkin and Ariel DiOrio
Too Many Latkes: A Chanukah Mystery by Sonia Zylberberg
The Mohel from Mars by Miri Ariel
The Case of the Disappearing Chanukah Candles by Ellen Roteman

Mystery Short Stories
"Mom Lights a Candle" by James Yaffe, appeared in Mystery: The Best of 2002, ed. by Jon L. Breen.
"Hanukah" by Morris Hershman in Cat Crimes for the Holidays, ed. by Martin Greenberg, Edward Gorman and Larry Segriff
"The Worse Noel" by Barb Goffman in The Gift of Murder, ed. by John M. Floyd
"Death on the List" by B.K. Stevens (AHMM, January 1999)
For more info on Jewish short story mysteries, check out Steven Steinbock who blogs on Criminal Brief, the Mystery Short Story Web Log Project.
"Navidad" by Elizabeth Zelvin, EQMM, January 2011
"No Candles for Antiochus" by Barry Ergang
Murder is no Mitzvah: Short Stories about Jewish Occasions, edited by Abigail Browning
The Latke in the Library & Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah by Libi Astaire

Mystery Anthologies
The Melancholy Menorah (Jewish Regency Mystery Stories Book 4), Libi Astaire
The Latke in the Library and Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah, Libi Astaire
36 Candles: Chassidic Tales for Chanukah, Libi Astaire

Mystery Games
Children's software mystery game: Who Stole Hanukkah? offered in five languages: English, Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish
Other Games for Children: The Case of the Stolen Menorah: An Enlightening Hanukkah Mystery

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Jane Harper's The Dry coming to the Big Screen!

Jane Harper's The Dry was one of my favorite reads last year. If you haven't read it, put it on your TBR immediately. The Dry won the Ned Kelly Award, the Sunday Times crime book of the year, best crime and thriller in the 2018 British Book Awards, the Davitt Award, the CWA Award, the Barry Award and numerous other awards and nominations.

Now comes the news that producer Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies, Gone Girl, Wild) had an option to develop the story for the screen even before the book was published. Eric Bana is set to star and shooting begins in Australia in February. Woo-hoo!

Read more here.

MWA withdraws Fairstein Grand Master Award

Mystery Writers of America Withdraws Fairstein Award

On Tuesday, November 27, Mystery Writers of America announced the recipients of Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Awards, special awards given out annually. Shortly afterwards, the MWA membership began to express concern over the inclusion of Linda Fairstein as a Grand Master, citing controversy in which she has been involved.

When the MWA Board made its selection, it was unaware of Ms. Fairstein’s role in the controversy.
After profound reflection, the Board has decided that MWA cannot move forward with an award that lacks the support of such a large percentage of our members. Therefore, the Board of Directors has decided to withdraw the Linda Fairstein Grand Master award. We realize that this action will be unsatisfactory to many.

We apologize for any pain and disappointment this situation has caused.
MWA will be reevaluating and significantly revising its procedures for selecting honorary awards in the future. We hope our members will all work with us to move forward from this extremely troubling event and continue to build a strong and inclusive organization.

Call for Articles: Murder & Mystery in the American South

CALL FOR ARTICLES: Murder & Mystery in the American South 

The next issue of Mystery Readers Journal (Volume 34:4) will focus on mysteries featuring crime fiction set in the American South.

We're looking for Reviews, Articles, and Author! Author! essays.

Reviews: 50-250 words; Articles: 250-1000 words; Author! Author! essays: 500-1500 words.

Author essays are first person, about yourself, your books, and the 'American South' connection. Think of it as chatting with friends and other writers in the bar or cafe about your work and your American South connection. Add title and 2-3 sentence bio/tagline.

Deadline: January 5.
Send to: Janet Rudolph, Editor. janet @

Please forward this request to anyone you think should be included.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Inaugural Staunch Book Prize won by Jock Serong for On the Java Ridge.

The £2,000 Staunch Book Prize was launched by screenwriter Bridget Lawless in January to find the best thriller in which no woman gets beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

From The Guardian.
A thriller in which a group of Australian surfers and a boat carrying refugees are caught in a storm off Indonesia has won the inaugural Staunch prize, which goes to a thriller “in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered”.

A reaction to the prevalence of violence against women in fiction, the £2,000 award went to Australian author Jock Serong for his third novel, On the Java Ridge. Taking on Australia’s refugee policy, the thriller sees a group Australians on holiday in Indonesia rescue shipwrecked refugees from stormy waters.

Read the rest of the Guardian article here.

Staunch Book Prize Nominees
The Appraisal by Anna Porter (ECW press)
East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman (HQ),
If I Die Tonight by A L Gaylin (PRH)
On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong( Text Publishing).
The Kennedy Moment by Peter Adamson (Myriad Editions)
Cops and Queens by Joyce Thompson (seeking publisher)

MWA Announces 2019 Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Award Recipients

MWA Announces 2019 Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Award Recipients

*** Update: MWA has withdrawn Linda Fairstein's Grand Master Award ***

Linda Fairstein and Martin Cruz Smith have been chosen as the 2019 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Ms. Fairstein and Mr. Smith will receive their awards at the 73rd Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 25, 2019.

Martin Cruz Smith, the son of a jazz musician and a Native American chanteuse, is perhaps best known for his eight-novel series featuring Arkady Renko, who first appeared in Gorky Park. That book was turned into an award-winning motion picture starring William Hurt and Lee Marvin. Even before his breakout with the Arkady series, Smith had received two Edgar nominations for books in his Roman Gray series, Gypsy in Amber (1971) and Canto for a Gypsy (1972). Both books were originally published under his birth name, Martin Smith, but when he learned that there were six other Martin Smiths who wrote novels he adopted Cruz, his paternal grandmother's surname, to differentiate himself. Smith also received an Edgar nomination in 1978 for Nightwing, a standalone that drew upon his own tribal ancestry, and has written more than thirty novels in a career that spans nearly five decades.

Linda Fairstein became a sex-crimes prosecutor during a time when sex crimes were almost impossible to prosecute. In her 30-year tenure at the Manhattan DA’s Office, she was a pioneer in the war against rape, fighting for historic changes to the criminal justice system and for justice on behalf of victims of the most heinous crimes. When she left the District Attorney's office in 2002, she became a novelist – writing about her alter-ego, Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Ms. Fairstein’s first novel, Final Jeopardy, was a New York Times bestseller and made into an ABC Movie of the Week starring Dana Delaney. Ms. Fairstein has since written twenty Alexandra Cooper mysteries, most of which have become instant New York Times bestsellers, and which have been translated into dozens of languages. Her novels draw on Ms. Fairstein's legal expertise as well as her knowledge of and affection for the rich history of the city of New York.

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Marilyn Stasio will receive the 2019 Raven Award. Ms. Stasio has been the mystery critic for the New York Times Book Review (and other magazines) for thirty years—since 1988—with hundreds of books coming under her loving, unforgiving, eye. Whether her judgment is elegiac or brutal, when it comes to the mystery genre, a Stasio review is a thing to be treasured or feared, but always learned from.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in 1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.” This year the Board chose to honor Linda Landrigan. Ms. Landrigan came to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine in 1997 as an associate editor and has been its editor since 2002. Under her leadership, the magazine has not only continued to thrive but has also navigated dramatic changes in the publishing industry—she has overseen the introduction of AHHM in digital formats as well as the creation of a podcast series featuring audio recordings of stories from the magazine as well as interviews with authors.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Assassin

NOIR CITY XMAS: San Francisco

Ring in the holidays with a Cruel Yule courtesy of the Film Noir Foundation! Wednesday, December 19, 7:30 p.m., at San Francisco's Castro Theatre for Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter (1955). The holiday season is the perfect time to share this timeless noir fairytale about the eternal human struggle—between avarice and atonement, sinners and saviors, good and evil. Robert Mitchum gives a legendary performance as a vile and conniving ex-con masquerading as a man of the cloth. He's not about to let two innocent children come between him and a long-hidden bounty. Shelley Winters may be a gullible mark for this faux preacher, but spinster Rachel Cooper (a memorable portrayal by Lillian Gish) knows the devil when she sees it. Actor Charles Laughton created a stunning work of magical realism, the only picture he'd ever direct. Why not quit while you're ahead? This is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece not to be missed.
In addition to bearing gifts of compelling cinematic artistry at NOIR CITY Xmas, host Eddie Muller will reveal the program for the upcoming NOIR CITY 17 festival January 25–February 3, 2019 at the Castro Theatre. Plus, for your holiday shopping pleasure, there will be NOIR CITY 17 Passports (all-access passes) for sale, along with select FNF merchandise, on the Castro mezzanine.
Holiday Giving at NOIR CITY Xmas
Here's your chance to prove it's not such a bitter little world after all! At this year's NOIR CITY Xmas, there will be collection bins available for both the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program and the SF-Marin Food Bank. The San Francisco Firefighters are looking for toys and books for kids, infants through 12 years old. Items must be not be gift wrapped. The SF-Marin Food Bank needs the following: peanut butter, low-sugar cereal, whole-grain rice, pasta, oats, low-sodium soups and stews, tuna and other canned meats, and canned fruits and vegetables. Please no glass, opened items, perishables, or items past their "use before" date. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

"Reading" The Past: Crime Fiction and History: Guest Post by Brian Stoddart

Brian Stoddart:
“Reading” The Past: Crime Fiction and History 

Among the exhilarations of writing historical fiction, including crime, is learning from readers that they not only enjoyed the story but learned something new about people and places unknown to them previously, or on which their earlier views were now changed.

All good historical crime fiction does that. Cathi Unsworth’s work set around World War II Britain points out the “stiff upper lip” history flaws by highlighting collaborators and saboteurs, con artists and opportunists who exploited wartime opportunities. Two very different British television series demonstrate that important difference. Dad’s Army framed small town England’s imagined positive response. Foyle’s War mirrored Cathi Unsworth. Foyle, significantly was written by Anthony Horowitz who wrote Poirot for television, recently produced a James Bond novel, and has his own crime fiction series.

In The Past Is A Foreign Country, David Lowenthal riffed elaborately on L.P. Hartley’s famous The Go-Between opening, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Both authors pointed us to an important historical fiction maxim: the broad picture inevitably looks different from and may even contradict the detailed one. And that is without even beginning to consider the professional historian’s starting point: what does the extant factual record omit, conceal, or ignore?

English dramatist Hugh Whitemore, in his A Letter of Resignation, suggested Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s own personal situation influenced his handling of the John Profumo/Christine Keeler political crisis. In A Marvellous Season For Plums, Whitemore did the same for Anthony Eden during the Suez crisis. In Breaking The Code, Whitemore was the first writer to note that Alan Turing’s gay identity lay at the heart of his tragic story.

Historical fiction, then, should challenge monolithic, generalised views. That is really important now as the world’s popular media reverts to terms like “Muslims” to ascribe sameness to vast numbers of people. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has fifty seven nation state members who hold vastly different outlooks and attitudes, yet we are still regaled with usually negative blanket suggestions that “Muslims” subscribe to one view or another.

My Chris Le Fanu mystery series set in colonial India tries to disrupt both British and Indian monolithic views of the Raj, and place discordant personal trajectories against received views of history. That, in turn, interacts with shifting modern views about imperialism, colonialism and contemporary consequences - the argument now traverses the impact of British rule and, again, that is no one-sided debate despite politicians desiring to make it so.

A Greater God, Le Fanu’s latest outing, starts from a position many casual observers find surprising: India being the world’s third largest Muslim nation, well short of Indonesia and just fractionally behind Pakistan. The Madras Presidency, Le Fanu’s south Indian home, had a substantial Muslim presence. His loyal sidekick, Muhammad Habibullah, is Muslim and speaks all the necessary languages because not all Muslims there spoke the same one.

The book is set in the mid-1920s when opinion inside the Raj was splintering over the direction in which India should develop politically. Most official and non-official Europeans, represented here by Le Fanu’s bombastic boss Arthur “The Jockey” Jepson, opposed any form of independence but others, like Chief Secretary Sir Charles Whitney, considered concessions inevitable.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders wondered where their best interests lay. Many lamented Britain’s wartime aggression against the Ottoman (Muslim) Empire; the use of Indian troops in Mesopotamia; the lack of concern for Muslim interests following the war; and rising anti-Muslim sentiment within the Indian National Congress. This began the idea of a separate Muslim state, the pathway to Pakistan, and was aggravated by parallel demands for a Hindu nationalist state promoted by radicals like V.D. Savarkar.

In that context, Le Fanu is challenged personally and professionally by Habibullah’s concern with British disregard for Muslims; by increasing opposition to rather than embracing of unstoppable social and political change; by emerging doubts about the benefits of British rule; by worsening Hindu-Muslim communal relations; by ongoing public resentment of his own cross-cultural personal relationships; and by uncertainty about what might come next.

The fictional Le Fanu interacts with “real” historical figures including Madras Governor Lord Willingdon who was incensed by the local Indian Civil Service’s conservatism. Hilton Brown (renegade novelist and long time Punch contributor) and Arthur Galletti (a pro-Indian maverick whose biography I wrote) appear, contrasting those recalcitrants and underpinning important discordant inflections in the received record.

A Greater God, then, is hopefully not just a good story but a pointer to the intensity of debate inside the Raj about what best to do, and to how individuals in different life stations came to see and deal with change. And along that way, many of those personal and institutional decisions set the scene for contemporary India where the Hindu-Muslim relationship is again under pressure.

Professor Brian Stoddart is an international consultant who works mainly on higher education reform in Asia and the Middle East, and is currently Distinguished Fellow of the Australia India Institute based at the University of Melbourne. He trained as a South Asianist then also became an international authority on sport and culture.  His academic career was spent in Australia, Malaysia, Canada and Barbados, and he finished his formal career with a term as Vice-Chancellor and President at La Trobe University in Australia.  In addition to his formal work he is a regular contributor to regular and new media as a columnist and commentator. 

Brian Stoddart is also a crime novelist. A Madras Miasma was the first in a series set in 1920s Madras in India, and featuring Superintendent Chris Le Fanu. The Pallampur Predicament was the second and A Straits Settlement appeared in 2016. A Greater God is the fourth in the Le Fanu series and appeared in 2018.

Stoddart has published extensively in non-fiction, too. A House in Damascus: Before the Fall recounts his experience of living in an old house in the Old City of Damascus immediately before the outbreak of the war in Syria. That memoir became an Amazon #1 in Middle East Travel, and won gold and silver medals at the 2012 e-Book Awards for Creative Non-Fiction and Travel respectively


Thursday, November 22, 2018

THANKSGIVING RETRO AD: For Digestion's Sake - Smoke Camels

This Retro Thanksgiving Advertisement for Camel Cigarettes does not have a chocolate recipe, although it mentions chocolate layer cake, but I couldn't help but post it because it shows how far we've come--and where we've been.

"Thanksgiving Dinner.. and then the peaceful feeling that comes from good digestion and smoking Camels. ... For Digestion's Sake--Smoke Camels."

One of the "authorities" in this ad is a Food Editor. Hope you don't have a Camel after Thanksgiving Dinner.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Roz Chast's "Thankfulness" - The New Yorker

From the amazing Roz Chast...Thankfulness: The New Yorker Thanksgiving Cover:

Read The New Yorker Story here

MYSTERY IN ASIA: Mystery Readers Journal (34:3)

The third issue of Mystery Readers Journal: Mystery in Asia (Volume 34: 3) is available now as a PDF and will be shortly available in hardcopy. Subscriber copies have been mailed. Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

Below is the Table of Contents, as well as some sample articles from the new issue.
  • Judge Dee: a Look at Van Gulik’s Chinese Master Detective by Michael Kurland
  • Ethel Proudlock and the Murder of William Steward by Roberta Rood
  • A Yen for Mystery: Four Japanese Women by John Apostolou
  • Flatfoots in the Far East by Jim Doherty
  • White House Travel and Intrigue in Asia by Karna Small Bodman
  • Panic and Desperation in Hong Kong by Susan Blumberg-Kason
  • The Apothecary Shop by Laura Boss
  • The East Is Different by John Burdett
  • Digging into the Thai Underbelly by Colin Cotterill
  • The Crimson Masquerade by Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson
  • The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
  • Writing the Past by Dale Furutani
  • Armchair-Traveling in China by Chris Goff
  • Darkness in the Land of Smiles by Timothy Hallinan
  • Murder at the Grand Raj Palace: Why Crime Writers Love a Good Hotel by Vaseem Khan
  • From the Mountain to the City by Elsa Hart
  • Talking Story—Japan by Barry Lancet
  • Mysteries of the Orient by Joan K. Lacy
  • Prawns in the Game by Ed Lin
  • Murder, Money and Music in Hong Kong by Charles Philipp Martin
  • Adventures in South Korea by J. R. Lindermuth
  • Noodle in a Haystack by Saul Maskell
  • One Morning in Mumbai by Sujata Massey
  • The World of Vincent Calvino, P.I., Bangkok by Christopher G. Moore
  • Some Notes From a Long, Strange Journey by Jake Needham
  • Up Like Thunder by Colin T. Nelson
  • Murder and Mayhem in Imperial Japan by I.J. Parker
  • It’s Good to Be Thought Stupid by 22 Million People by David Rotenberg
  • Tokyo—Stories, Culture, Murder by Michael Pronko
  • China, Korea, Macao, Hong Kong and the Rabbit in the Moon by Deborah Shlian
  • Sumatra: Perfect Scene For A Crime by Nancy Raven Smith
  • Art Leads to Mystery in Southeast Asia by Nancy Tingley
  • Durian Days by Ovidia Yu
  • Murder in Retrospect: Reviews by L.J. Roberts, Craig Sisterson, Jonathan Woods, Lesa Holstine, and Tuhin Giri
  • The Children’s Hour: Mystery in Asia by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Crime Seen: Sherlock in Japan by Kate Derie
  • Real Crime in East Asia by Cathy Pickens
  • A Personal Overview of Asian Mysteries by Thom Walls
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

Subscribe or renew Mystery Readers Journal for 2018 and receive all four issues for '18: Gardening Mysteries; Spies & Special Agents; The Far East; The American South
Many back issues of Mystery Readers Journal are available as single copies in hardcopy or PDF.

Check out the Holiday Mystery Lists on the MRI website. Everything from New Year's through Boxing Day Mysteries. Over 6500 titles.

Are you in a mystery bookgroup? Check out our International Mystery Book Group list. Want to add a book group or delete one? Make a comment below.

Check out the daily Chocolate Recipes, Reviews, and News on Janet Rudolph's DyingforChocolate Blog.

Call for Articles for 2018: Murder in The American South. First issue in 2019: Murder Down Under.

Monday, November 19, 2018


Thanksgiving. I have a lot to give thanks for -- my family, my friends, and the wonderful mystery community.

I'll be going to my sister's home for a multi-generational Thanksgiving. My family is as dysfunctional as most, but we don't stoop to murder! That can't be said for the families in the following updated List of Thanksgiving Crime Fiction. As the saying goes, "Families are like Fudge, Sweet with a few Nuts thrown in."As always, please let me know about any titles I've missed.

And speaking of Chocolate, I'm posting daily recipes for Chocolate Thanksgiving desserts, sides, and main course (Chocolate Turkey Rub!) on

Thanksgiving Mysteries

Victoria Abbott The Wolfe Widow
Susan Wittig Albert Bittersweet
Laura Alden Foul Play at the PTA
Deb Baker Murder Talks Turkey
S.H. Baker The Colonel's Tale
Mignon Ballard, Miss Dimple Disappears
Sandra Balzo Hit and Run
Bob Berger The Risk of Fortune
William Bernhardt, Editor, Natural Suspect
Kate Borden Death of a Turkey
Ali Brandon Twice Told Tail
Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat Who Went into the Closet, The Cat Who Talked Turkey
Lizbie Brown Turkey Tracks
Carole Bugge Who Killed Mona Lisa?
Sammi Carter Goody Goody Gunshots
Joelle Charbonneau Skating Under the Wire
Jennifer Chiaverini A Quilter's Holiday 
Laura Childs Scones & Bones 
Bobbi A. Chukran Short mystery stores in her Nameless, Texas series
Christine E. Collier A Holiday Sampler
Sheila Connolly A Killer Crop
Cleo Coyle Murder by Mocha
Isis Crawford A Catered Thanksgiving
Bill Crider with Willard Scott Murder under Blue Skies
Jessie Crockett Drizzled with Death
Amanda Cross A Trap for Fools
Barbara D'Amato Hard Tack, Hard Christmas
Mary Daheim Alpine Fury, Fowl Prey, The Alpine Vengeance
Kathi Daley Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies; The Trouble with Turkeys; Thanksgiving Trip
Jeanne Dams Sins Out of School
Claire Daniels Final Intuition
Evelyn David Murder Takes the Cake
Mary Janice Davidson Undead and Unfinished
Krista Davis The Diva Runs Out of Thyme
Michael Dibdin Thanksgiving
Joanne Dobson Raven and the Nightingale
Alice Duncan Thanksgiving Angels
Christine Duncan Safe House
Janet Evanovich Thanksgiving (technically a romance)*
Nancy Fairbanks Turkey Flambe
Christy Fifield Murder Ties the Knot 
Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain Murder She Wrote: A Fatal Feast
Joanne Fluke Raspberry Danish Murder
Katherine V. Forrest The Beverly Malibu
Shelley Freydont Cold Turkey
Noreen Gilpatrick The Piano Man
Martin H. Greenberg (editor) Cat Crimes for the Holidays
Jane Haddam Feast of Murder
Janice Hamrick Death Rides Again
Lee Harris The Thanksgiving Day Murder
Ellen Hart The Grave Soul
J. Alan Hartman, editor, The Killer Wore Cranberry, The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping; The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room for Thirds; The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem
Robin Hathaway The Doctor Makes a Dollhouse Call
Richard Hawke Speak of the Devil
Victoria Houston Dead Hot Shot
Dorothy Howell Fanny Packs and Foul Play
Linda Joffe Hull Black Thursday
Ellen Elizabeth Hunter Murder on the ICW
Melanie Jackson Death in a Turkey Town, Cornucopia
Sue Ann Jaffarian Cornucopia, Secondhand Stiff
J. A. Jance Shoot Don't Shoot
Madison Johns The Great Turkey Caper
Alex Kava Black Friday
Faye Kellerman Serpent's Tooth
Harry Kemelman That Day the Rabbi Left Town
John Lescroat The Keeper
Clyde Linsley Death of a Mill Girl
Georgette Livingston Telltale Turkey Caper
M. Louisa Locke Pilfered Promises
Nial Magill Thanksgiving Murder in the Mountains
G.M. Malliet Wicked Autumn
Margaret Maron Up Jumps the Devil
Evan Marshall Stabbing Stefanie
Ralph McInerny Celt and Pepper
Leslie Meier Turkey Day Murder
Deborah Morgan The Marriage Casket
Meg Muldoon Roasted in Christmas River 
Joan Lowery Nixon The Thanksgiving Mystery (children's)
Carla Norton The Edge of Normal
Carol O'Connell Shell Game
Nancy J Parra Murder Gone A-Rye
Louise Penny Still Life
Cathy Pickens Southern Fried
Michael Poore Up Jumps the Devil 
Craig Rice The Thursday Turkey Murders
Ann Ripley Harvest of Murder
J.D. Robb Thankless in Death
Delia Rosen One Foot in the Gravy
M.L. Rowland Zero Degree Murder
Ilene Schneider Chanukah Guilt
Maria E. Schneider Executive Retention
Willard Scott and Bill Crider Murder under Blue Skies
Sarah R. Shaber Snipe Hunt
Sharon Gwyn Short, Hung Out to Die
Paullina Simons, Red Leaves
Alexandra Sokoloff The Harrowing
Rex Stout Too Many Cooks
Denise Swanson Murder of a Barbie and Ken, Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
Marcia Talley Occasion of Revenge
Sharon Burch Toner Maggie's Brujo
Teresa Trent Burnout
Lisa Unger In the Blood
Jennifer Vanderbes Strangers at the Feast
Debbie Viguie I Shall Not Want
Livia J. Washburn The Pumpkin Muffin Murder
Leslie Wheeler Murder at Plimoth Plantation
Angela Zeman The Witch and the Borscht Pearl

Let me know if I've forgotten any titles!

Friday, November 16, 2018


William Goldman died last night. He was 87.

From Deadline:

William Goldman, who twice won screenwriting Oscars for All The President’s Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, passed away last night in his Manhattan home, surrounded by family and friends. His health had been failing for some time, and over the summer his condition deteriorated.

Goldman began as a novelist and transitioned to writing scripts with Masquerade in 1965. While his greatest hits were the indelible pairing of Robert Redford with Paul Newman in the George Roy Hill-directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the Alan Pakula-directed toppling of President Richard Nixon drama All The President’s Men, he wrote the scripts for many other great movies. The list includes the Hoffman-starrer Marathon Man and The Princess Bride, Flowers For Algernon, The Stepford Wives, The Great Waldo Pepper, A Bridge Too Far, Chaplin and Misery. He also did a lot of behind the scenes script doctoring where he didn’t take a screen credit, on films that included A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal.

Beyond that, Goldman was a renowned script doctor and memoirist. His travelogue through the movie business, Adventures In The Screen Trade was a primer for wannabe screenwriters and for journalists covering them. When I first got to Variety about 30 years ago, veteran reporters there told me that was the best book to understand the chaos, randomness, the headaches, futility and joy of the movie business. Goldman is probably best known for his apt description of Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” I still have the book on my shelf.

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Can I Keep the "God" in God Damn?: Guest post by John Edward Mullen

John Edward Mullen:
Can I Keep the ‘God’ in God Damn? 

While attending the 2018 Bouchercon, I received an email from an independent editor reviewing my current work in progress. She expressed a concern that I was “hitting the God stuff too hard.” My protagonist is an 18-year-old Catholic woman living in a California gold-mining town in 1892. I didn’t think having her pray to God to save her father who’d been shot, or saying grace, or attending church would be a commercial issue. The editor thought some agents and librarians find religion a touchy subject and she suggested I downplay that aspect of my character and the times. As it happened, one of the Bouchercon sessions the next day was devoted to religion and mysteries. I asked the panelists “Is religion relegated to only a small corner of the mystery world?” I got mixed responses. Two panelists felt that you could write about a character with a religion in any mystery. But Mette Ivie Harrison believed 100 agents declined to represent the second of her adult mysteries because there is a prejudice against religion in the publishing world. Harrison’s protagonist is a Mormon bishop’s wife.

Maybe I should have known religion could be an issue. In 2014, I submitted my mystery novel Digital Dick to be considered for the San Diego Book Awards Best Unpublished Novel Award. I won, but only after the organization intervened when one of the judges took offense with Dick, my A.I. sleuth, because in the book, Dick insists he has a soul. (“That’s not possible.” Well, um, it’s fiction.)

In thinking about novels I have read, I recall a number of mysteries I would consider mainstream in which characters at least profess a religion. Stuart Kaminsky’s Abe Lieberman series centers on two Chicago P.D. detectives, a Jew and his Catholic partner. Within the stories, they are referred to as the Rabbi and the Priest. Lieberman is often involved in activities at his synagogue. Frederick Ramsay wrote a three-book Jerusalem series in which the sleuth is the head rabbi of the city, circa 30 A.D. (Or should I say 30 C.E.?) Orhan Pamuk’s (more literary mystery) My Name is Red has the Ottoman Court and Islam as its backdrop. I just started reading August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. Chapter two of this Shamus Award-nominated novel begins with the hero going to mass at St. Al’s (Aloysius) Catholic Church. Religious fiction? I don’t think so.

So, I could use your help. How much religion is too much in a mainstream mystery? Can characters believe in God? Can they practice their religion on the page? Or, like murders in a cozy, must prayer occur offstage? What religious behavior or language would turn you off as a reader, agent, or editor?

Can I keep the ‘God’ in God Damn?

John Edward Mullen is the author of the self-published mystery Digital Dick. He is currently writing the first of a mystery series set in the 1890s involving Nell Doherty, a young woman with a wooden leg who dreams of becoming a Pinkerton detective. John lives in the San Diego area.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stan Lee: R.I.P.

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics' Real-Life Superhero, dies at 95.

From Hollywood Reporter:

The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four — 'nuff said. Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95. 

Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a source told The Hollywood Reporter.

Read more here.

Murder in Wartime: Mystery Readers Journal

For Veterans Day weekend, I thought I'd repost a link to Mystery Readers Journal: Murder in Wartime. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. 110 pages! Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue. Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

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

Lesley Horton: R.I.P.

Sad news. Yorkshire mystery author Lesley Horton died last week after a long illness. Horton was the author of the Bradford Based Detective Inspector John Handford and DI Khalid Ali series that included Snares of Guilt, On Dangerous Ground, Devils in the Mirror, The Hollow Core, and Twisted Tracks. She was a former chair of the Crime Writers Association.

Read an interview with Lesley Horton here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day), is November 11. Veterans Day commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, that took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day November 11, 1919. The U.S.  Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. The 11th of November is"a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." It was later changed to Veteran's Day.

I love to read mysteries that reflect regions and holidays, so I'm reposting about Veterans Day with a few additions. Julia Spencer-Fleming's Once Was a Soldier,  Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd's mystery series are at the top of my list of Veterans Day Mysteries. There's also the Joe Sandilands series by Barbara Cleverly. And Bulldog Drummond is a WWI veteran in the Sapper/H.C. McNeile books. Add to that Walter Mosley's WWII Vet Easy Rawlins. Don't miss Marcia Talley's All Things Undying in which Hannah Ives helps to locate the grave of a WWII serviceman. James Lee Burke is another great mystery author whose Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam Veteran. And, of course, the Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers where the mystery turns on the poppy in the lapel.

BV Lawson's 2007 post of Veteran's Day Mysteries is great. No need to duplicate her efforts. Be sure and read her blog, as well as all the comments. Another fine list is In Remembrance Fiction in Times of War (not all mysteries) from the St. Charles Public Library. I also did a Memorial Day post here on Mystery Fanfare that covers some of the same territory Mysteries in Paradise about Remembrance Day is also a great resource.

You'll want to read J. Kingston's Pierce's recent article 9 Mysteries Set in the Immediate Aftermath of WWI on CrimeReads.

Wikipedia has an entry about Veterans Day Mysteries. Several hardboiled heroes have been war veterans. Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and many others from World War II, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee from the Korean War. "The frequent exposure to death and hardship often leads to a cynical and callous attitude as well as a character trait known today as post-traumatic stress characterizes many hardboiled protagonists."

And, for the young set, one of the first Veteran-related mysteries: Cherry Ames: Veterans' Nurse by Helen Wells.

Read a Veterans Day mystery today and remember the men and women who have served and are serving our country now. Thank you.

In Memory of Captain Joseph Rudolph, M.D., WWII

Juris Jurjevics: R.I.P.

Juris Jurjevics, Publisher and Novelist, Dies at 75

From the New York Times:

Juris Jurjevics, a founder of Soho Press, an independent publisher that gambled on unsolicited manuscripts by emerging writers and produced serious novels and exotic crime stories, died on Wednesday in the Bronx. He was 75. The cause was heart disease. 

A Latvian-born refugee, Mr. Jurjevics (pronounced YUR-yeh-vitz) joined the publishing industry in 1968. He, Laura Chapman Hruska and her husband, Alan, founded Soho Press in 1986. 

“We want to publish the books that deserve to be published but that the bigger houses can’t afford to do,” Mr. Jurjevics told The New York Times at the time. Larger publishers needed to sell as many as 12,000 copies of a book just to break even, he said, but Soho, with lower overhead, could make a profit on sales of as few as 4,000. “Our ambitions,” he added, “are not to have a certain percentage of growth a year and not to be bought by anybody.” Soho, headquartered on Union Square in Manhattan, now publishes about 90 books a year under its imprints Soho Press, Soho Crime and Soho Teen. 

Mr. Jurjevics retired from Soho Press in 2006 to write full time. His first novel, The Trudeau Vector (2005), is a thriller that focuses on an American epidemiologist who travels to northern Canada, near the Arctic, to determine why scientists at a research center have mysteriously died. 

His Red Flags (2011) draws on his wartime experience in Vietnam, where an Army police officer finds himself in an American outpost seething with spies, South Vietnamese profiteers and battle-weary troops as Vietcong battalions prepare to descend from the hills.

Read more Here.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: The Jury

NOIR OR NOT: Guest post by J.L. Abramo


My latest novel, American History, is many things. In some respects, it is a work of historical fiction. A multi-generational, century-long saga. An epic tale of two Italian-American families related by blood but divided by hostility. It might be considered a mystery, a thriller, a crime novel, or a cops and robbers drama. What it is not is noir. Which, considering the recent flux of crime fiction calling itself noir, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Works featuring large doses of degradation—gratuitous violence, sex, and vulgar language—do not, I believe, automatically qualify as noir either.

Of all the sub-genres which huddle together under the umbrella known as crime fiction—mystery, private eye, thriller, police procedural—noir is possibly the most specific.

“Noir fiction is about losers, not private eyes,” says Otto Penzler, “the noir story with a happy ending has never been written, nor can it be.”

Dennis Lehane suggests, “Noir represents working-class tragedy—it is a genre of men and women unable to roll with the times, so the changing times instead roll over them.”

Strictly speaking, much of what I have heard read at Noir at the Bar gatherings (including my own readings) does not truly fit these descriptions. However, more and more lately, noir is hot. But what is noir and what is not? And are many crime writers trying to force square pegs into round holes?

Defining a category of writing—or of any art for that matter—too specifically, can create controversy. It is or it isn’t what you call it, so be careful what you call it. Either we redefine what is considered noir to make the label more inclusive, or we use more general terms like crime fiction, detective fiction, or simply good old fiction and not risk calling what is not a spade a spade. Otherwise, labeling a sub-genre—or in some cases a sub-genre of a sub-genre—has little meaning.

I’ve never considered my work noir. The Jake Diamond series is certainly not. Jake is more over-easy than hard-boiled. Gravesend and Coney Island Avenue are about NYPD detectives who are, for the most part, righteous. The closest I’ve come to noir is Brooklyn Justice. My protagonist, Nick Ventura, has a shady past and a subjective morality. But Nick is a private eye, a borderline professional, and he sometimes accidentally stumbles upon a happy ending.

Of late, I have been invited to contribute s short story to a noir anthology—and I have a decision to make. Pass—with the justification that it’s just not my thing—or try to round off the peg.

I have a general idea. More James M. Cain or Jim Thompson than Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. More After Dark, My Sweet or House of Games than Harper or The Rockford Files. But how much more. How many straight bourbons. How many non-filter cigarettes. How many sexy double-crossing dames. How much more than simply a body count.

When James M. Cain wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice, did he set out to pen noir fiction or did he—when he was a journalist covering the Snyder-Gray murder trial in 1927, where Ruth Snyder and her lover Henry Gray were accused of killing Snyder’s husband for the insurance money—simply get a good idea from a pair who had a terribly bad idea. When an interviewer for The Paris Review mentioned to Cain that he was so well-known for his hard-boiled manner of writing, Cain replied, “Let’s talk about this so-called style. I don’t know what they’re talking about—tough, hard-boiled. I tried to write as people talk.”

The question, for me, is can one write noir for noir’s sake? Can the gloom and desperation suggested by Penzler, Lehane and others be manufactured—or does it need to be called up from something authentic inside the writer? And what is the risk, psychologically, of stirring up such darkness?

In any case, I’ve decided to give the gracious invitation to contribute to a noir anthology my best shot. Start writing something I think might fit the bill, something noirish, and see where it takes me. And even if it only gets part way, I’ll at least have a little something to read if and when I’m invited to another Noir at the Bar event.

Meanwhile, readers can track down a copy of American History almost anywhere difficult-to-categorize novels are available.

J.L. ABRAMO was born and raised in the seaside paradise of Brooklyn, New York on Raymond Chandler's fifty-ninth birthday. Abramo is the author of Catching Water in a Net, winner of the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America prize for Best First Private Eye Novel; the subsequent Jake Diamond Novels Clutching at Straws, Counting to Infinity and Circling the Runway (Shamus Award Winner); Chasing Charlie Chan, a prequel to the Jake Diamond series; and the stand-alone thrillers Gravesend, Brooklyn Justice, and Coney Island Avenue, a follow-up to Gravesend. His latest novel is American History. Abramo is the current president of Private Eye Writers of America. For more please visit:


Monday, November 5, 2018


Remember, remember! 
The fifth of November 

Another holiday, another list! We may not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night here in the U.S., but this popular U.K. holiday is celebrated in several countries around the world and appears in many crime fiction novels.

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, is an annual celebration, primarily in Great Britain, traditionally and usually held on the evening of November 5.  Festivities are centered on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

Historically, the celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, the failed conspiracy by a group of provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. The survival of the king was first celebrated on 5 November 1605, after Guy Fawkes, left in charge of the gunpowder placed underneath the House of Lords, was discovered and arrested.

Traditionally, an effigy (or "guy") representing Fawkes is ritually burnt on the bonfire. In the weeks before bonfire night, children traditionally displayed the "guy" and requested a "penny for the guy" in order to raise funds with which to buy fireworks. This practice has diminished greatly, perhaps because it has been seen as begging, and also because children are not allowed to buy fireworks. In addition there are concerns that children might misuse the money. And another reason might be that Halloween is becoming more popular and replacing Guy Fawkes Night in many British communities.

In Britain, there are several foods that are traditionally consumed on Bonfire Night:
Bangers and mash
Black treacle goods such as bonfire toffee
Toffee apples
Baked potatoes which are wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked in the bonfire or its embers
Black peas with vinegar
Potato pie with pickled red cabbage

Check out for an easy recipe for Guy Fawkes Night Chocolate Sparklers

Guy Fawkes Night Crime Fiction

The Wrong Boy by Cathy Ace (January 2019)
Murder on  Bonfire Night by Margaret Addison
Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie
The Powder Treason by Michael Dax
Gunpowder Plot by Carola Dunn
Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler
V is for Vendetta by Alan Moore
A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell
The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot by Martin Stephen
The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons
A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd 
The Mystery of Mr. Mock (aka The Corpse with the Floating Foot) by R.A. J Walling

Any titles missing? Let me know, so I can add to the list.

MYSTERY BYTES: Interesting and Quirky Mystery-Related Links

Here's my weekly Round-Up of interesting and quirky mystery-related articles and postings on the Internet. Just wanted to share in case you missed these. Click on the link to read the entire story.

Ms Fisher MODern set to Swing onto TV screens. Screen Australia.
The Seven Network, Screen Australia and Every Cloud Productions today announced that Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries, a glamorous new television series set in swinging 60’s Melbourne, will go into production in October. Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries is the spin-off from one of Australia’s most loved and successful television series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Set in 1964, audiences will meet the gorgeously reckless Peregrine Fisher who inherits a windfall when the famous aunt she never knew goes missing over the highlands of New Guinea. Peregrine must prove herself brilliant enough to become a world class private detective in her own right. Read more HERE.

Stephen  King's Joyland being adapted for TV. Deadline
Stephen King’s Joyland is in the works for the small screen. Freeform has put into development Joyland, a series based on the King novel, from writers Chris Peña (Jane the Virgin) and Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M.) and Bill Haber’s Ostar Productions (Valor). Read more HERE.

9 Great Medical Thrillers Chosen by a Physician. CrimeReads. 
Pandemics, Epidemics, Viruses and Medical Mysteries.   Read More Here.

The Capture: Holliday Grainger to lead new BBC crime Drama. Cultbox. 
The BBC have announced a new crime drama, The Capture, which is set to star Holliday Grainger and Fantastic Beasts‘ Callum Turner.
Grainger, known for her role on Strike, will play Rachel Carey, a detective inspector sent in to investigate the case of ex-British soldier, Shaun Emery (played by Turner) recently accused of murder in Afghanistan. After the initial investigation is abandoned due to flawed evidence, CCTV footage regarding an incident with Emery in London causes the case to be reopened. Read more Here.

Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming Talk Thrillers. CrimeReads
The world of mysteries and thrillers has produced some memorable friendship but perhaps none quite so distinguished as the one struck up later in life between between Raymond Chandler, the laureate of American hardboiled fiction, and Ian Fleming, the legendary English author of the James Bond novels. The relationship began when Fleming wrote to Chandler asking for an endorsement that would be used to help market the Bond novels in America. Chandler ultimately reviewed two books from the 007 series—Diamonds Are Forever and Dr. No—for The Sunday Times, and the two authors, both on their way to legendary status, struck up a warm personal relationship. In 1958, celebrating Chandler’s 70th birthday, the BBC asked Fleming to “interview” his eminent friend. The result was a rollicking, far-ranging conversation in which the authors discussed the state of the thriller, heroes and villains, the struggle for literary credibility, and how a murder is planned and executed. Read more HERE

There is no mistaking the popularity of mystery novels. But scan the New York Times bestseller list and you will find little diversity. However, if instead of looking at bestsellers, we explore one of the awards focused on mystery books, we find a very different picture. Take the Anthony Awards. Examining the fiction winners, we find two women of color, three other women, and an anthology filled with diverse writers. And in the list of nominees, indie presses outnumber the “Big Five” publishers fourteen to eleven. Read more Here.

An academic treatise on dung, a how-to guide of acupuncture for horses and the first-ever German language entry are among the six books in the running for the 40th edition of The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. 
The prize, founded by Trevor Bounford and the late Bruce Robinson of publishing solutions firm the Diagram Group, is the annual celebration of the book world's strangest and most perplexing titles. The Bookseller and its legendary diarist Horace Bent have been custodians of the prize since 1982. Read more Here.

And here's a quirky, but possibly understandable, news item! 

Antarctic scientist 'stabs colleague who kept telling him endings of books he was reading.' Mirror.
A scientist plunged a kitchen knife into his colleague as he was fed up with the man telling him the endings of books, say investigators. Sergey Savitsky, 55, and Oleg Beloguzov, 52, would pass the lonely hours during four harsh years together in a remote outpost in Antarctica by reading. However Savitsky became angry after Beloguzov kept telling him the endings, it has been claimed. READ MORE HERE.