Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 Ngaio Marsh Award Nominees

The Ngaio Marsh Awards celebrate the best of New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing. “It’s been a really remarkable year for our international judging panels across all three categories,” says awards founder Craig Sisterson. Congratulations to all, and a special congrats to Craig for organizing these awards!

Best Novel:
THIS MORTAL BOY by Fiona Kidman (Penguin)
MONEY IN THE MORGUE by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy (HarperCollins)
THE QUAKER by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins)
CALL ME EVIE by JP Pomare (Hachette)
THE VANISHING ACT by Jen Shieff (Mary Egan Publishing)

Best First Novel: 
ONE FOR ANOTHER by Andrea Jacka (Red River Pony Publishing)
CRYSTAL REIGN by Kelly Lyndon (Remnant Press)
CALL ME EVIE by JP Pomare (Hachette)

Best Non-Fiction 
THE GREAT NEW ZEALAND ROBBERY by Scott Bainbridge (Allen & Unwin)
BEHIND BARS by Anna Leask (Penguin)
THE CAUSE OF DEATH by Cynric Temple-Camp (HarperCollins)

The 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award finalists will be celebrated with two special events in Christchurch on 14 September, as part of the WORD Christchurch special spring season. Following a free ‘Meet the Ngaio Marsh finalists’ at 1pm, the Great Ngaio Marsh Game Show & Awards event will be held at 7.30pm in the TSB Space at Tūranga. The winners of the 2019 Ngaios will be announced following a hilarious night of brain teasers and laughs as two teams of local and international criminal minds compete for the title of Sharpest Knives. “

For more information on any or all of this year’s finalists or the Ngaio Marsh Awards in general, please contact founder and judging convenor Craig Sisterson,

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

2019 Ned Kelly Award Winners

The Australian Crime Writers Association announced the winners of the 2019 Ned Kelly Awards.

Longlist: 2019 Best Fiction

The Rip by Mark Brandi
Kill Shot by Garry Disher
Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox
The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood
Scrublands by Chris Hammer
The Lost Man by Jane Harper
The Other Wife by Michael Robotham
Preservation by Jock Serong
Under Your Wings by Tiffany Tsao
Live and Let Fry by Sue Williams

Longlist: 2019 Best True Crime

Trace by Rachael Brown
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
Southern Justice by Colin McLaren
Siege by Deborah Snow
The Prisoner by Kerry Tucker with Craig Henderson
The Court Reporter by Jamelle Wells
Waiting for Elijah by Kate Wild

Longlist: 2019 Best First Fiction

Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander
The Practice Baby by L.M. Ardor
The Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic
The Yellow House by Emily O'Grady
Lonely Girl by Lynne Vincent McCarthy
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare
Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson
The Nowhere Child by Christian White

Cartoon of the Day: The Poetic Justice System

Monday, July 29, 2019

Personal Loss and a New Series: Guest post by NANCY LYNN JARVIS

Personal loss Ends the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series but gives Birth to Private Investigator Pat and a lot more cozy fun.

When I started writing the first of seven books in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series, everyone was someone I knew and all locations were real, too. As I wrote, characters quickly got renamed and became my creatures. They were free to do what I wanted them to do; free to sometimes become murderers.

I was an active real estate agent when I began the series, so telling stories about my profession was easy and the books had an authentic ring. But time passed and I let my license lapse. Technology had so greatly modified the day to day workings of the business that my stories were in danger of becoming dated and stale, and after a decade, I was having less fun with Regan.

But the end of my Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series came about because of the death of my husband. Regan was happily married to Tom Kiley, her business partner. I was happily married to Craig, my computer savvy /beta reader/cover implementer. Craig wasn’t Tom, but in my mind, Tom’s blue eyes were exactly the same color as my husband’s eyes were. I saw them as I wrote Tom.

I did do one more book, The Two Faced Triplex, after Craig died, but it was painful to write. And when it was time to do the cover, always our favorite shared activity, the man I hired to help me made me cry. It was time to retire Regan and Tom and start a new series.

I have a good friend who is an unlicensed private investigator. She never wants to become licensed because she doesn’t care to spend three years as an apprentice working for a licensed private investigator, but mostly, she often works outside the box and doesn’t want to be limited by the codes that go along with a license.

Her name is Pat and she’s a mesmerizing story teller. I’ve used things she’s told me about her work for several books, especially The Two Faced Triplex and I have enough story plots from her adventures to do several books. I suggested we should collaborate: she could supply details and authenticity about how she works, and I would make up stuff for the sake of the story. The concept of PIP (private investigator Pat) Inc. was born with The Glass House, the first book in a planned series.

I’ve taken liberties with her character just like I always have before, but an awful lot of who Pat Pirard is comes directly from my friend. The real Pat loves bright clothing, jewelry, sunburst yellow Mercedes convertibles and .357 magnums; so does Private Investigator Pat. The real Pat was a law librarian who retired. PI Pat was a law librarian who was downsized. Both are fearless, intuitive, quite clever, and see connections others might overlook.

Pat’s best friend, Syda Gonzales, is a not-very-accomplished artist who thinks she may have found her true artistic medium in writing. She suggests she might become Watson to Pat’s Sherlock Holmes and write stories about their adventures. Any similarities to me are, of course, purely fictional.

Nancy Lynn Jarvis finally acknowledged she was having too much fun writing to ever sell another house, so she let her license lapse in May of 2013, after her twenty-fifth anniversary in real estate. After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC. Real estate details and ideas come from Nancy's own experiences. Be sure and read her essay above about her new series!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

2018 Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing

2018 Dashiell Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing

WINNING NOVEL Lou Berney, November Road (William Morrow) 

William Boyle, The Lonely Witness (Pegasus)
Robert Olen Butler, Paris in the Dark (Mysterious Press)
Lisa Unger, Under My Skin (Park Row)
Sam Wiebe, Cut You Down (Random House Canada)

This years’s finalist judges: Gary Giddins, jazz critic and author Steven Beattie, editor of Quill and Quire Kristen Bates, bookseller at McLean & Eakin Join IACW as they honor Mary Frisque and all the nominees as the Hammett is presented. 11 a.m., Friday, November 1, 2019 at Bouchercon in Dallas, Texas.


The Winner of the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, sponsored by the American Bar Association's ABA Journal, has been announced:

The Boat People by Sharon Bala

Also nominated:

Class Action by Steven B. Frank
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction "was authorized by the late Harper Lee [and was] established in 2011 by the University of Alabama Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. 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.”

HT: BV Lawson, Reference to Murder 

Saturday, July 27, 2019


What a sad week this has been. Janet Dawson just posted on Facebook that mystery author Sarah Andrews (Brown), her husband, Damon Brown, and her son, Duncan Brown were killed in a plane crash on Wednesday. All three were pilots.

Sarah Andrews was a geologist who wrote 11 mysteries about forensic geologist Em Hansen. She lived in Graton, CA. I knew Sarah for many years. She will be missed.

Partial Bio from her website:

In 1969, the year of Armstong’s and Aldrin’s moon walk, Sarah left the East Coast to attend college in Colorado, where she developed an abiding love for the tall skies and open heart of the West. She graduated from Colorado College (where she studied with John Lewis, William A. Fischer, and Richard M. Pearl) with a B.A. in Geology and headed up to Denver to work for the U.S. Geological Survey.
There she had the great fortune being taken under the mentoring wing of fabled mega-geologist Edwin D. McKee, who had started his career as Chief Naturalist at Grand Canyon National Park in 1929. Eddie McKee took the lump of proto-geologist that was Sarah and formed her into a dedicated professional using love, kindness, and a wealth of humor and storytelling.

Under his tutelage, she developed expertise in eolian sedimentology. Eddie taught her how to do research and write up results. He taught her to write clearly and concisely, and with a dictionary open beside her. He taught her how to give public speeches. He opened professional doors for Sarah, helped her build her ever-growing professional network, taught her professional comportment and gratitude, and, most importantly, he told Sarah, “Whatever you do, I just want you to be happy.
Sarah next earned an M.S. from Colorado State University, studying with the immensely talented Frank Ethridge. Frank added an important layer of pragmatism to Sarah’s repertoire, teaching her to apply her USGS research to the practical issues of earth resources exploration and management. Frank believed in matching students to jobs and helping them further their careers. Sarah did her Master’s research in uranium ore deposition in alluvial fans.
Sarah in WY 
M.S. in hand, Sarah became one of Frank’s “famous former students,” and headed out into the oil patch and her first encounter with corporate America and its fabled glass ceiling. She worked first for Amoco Production Company and then ANGUS Petroleum Corporation, both in Colorado, where she applied her knowledge of terrigenous clastic sedimentology to enhanced recovery of hydrocarbons (got oil out of rocks formed by wind and rivers).
Sarah doing field work at Killpecker Dunes, WY
During her years working in the Rockies, Sarah repeatedly found her way into Wyoming, first as a traveler and later as a geologist for both the USGS and Amoco.
She then moved to California with the man she would marry—fellow geologist Damon Brown—and began to write the Em Hansen mysteries. As she refined the first books (Tensleep and A Fall in Denver, set in the oil business) she worked as an environmental geologist, gaining the experience to write Mother Nature.
While directing site contamination characterization at a Superfund site (Castle Air Force Base), Sarah finally achieved her most important job…at last becoming a mother at age 42. Tensleep was published seven weeks after son Duncan was born.
Delighting in motherhood, Sarah simplified her task list somewhat, quitting office-bound work so that she could stay home and immerse herself in raising this delightful and fascinating child. After six months, sleep deprivation gave way to storytelling deprivation, and Sarah began to write Mother Nature and did the final edits on A Fall in Denver.
As Only Flesh and Bones (in part inspired by complaints voiced by fellow superannuated mothers pushing strollers, and otherwise again set in the oil business) entered the editorial pipeline, Sarah began once again to attend professional geological conventions. This was at the urging of J. David Love, another geologist with Scottish surname and lineage (there is an uncannily long list of same who have influenced Sarah’s career, but perhaps Scots are the quintessence of the kind of “prove-it-to-me” irascibility that makes a good geologist great), who kindly performed technical review on the early books in the series.

At the conventions, Sarah’s geological colleagues began to approach her with material from their various specialties. First and foremost was M. Lee Allison (yet another Scot) who suggested the setting for Bone Hunter, which visits the world of paleontology. Beginning with that book, Sarah formed the series into a vehicle for educational outreach, teaching the public about geology and geologists. An Eye for Gold tunnels underground into mining, Fault Line shakes things up with earthquakes, and Killer Dust travels back into the pure research world of the USGS. Earth Colors is a pentimento for Sarah's dad with its forensic examination of the geology of artists’ materials.
Concurrent with writing Bone Hunter, Sarah began to lecture part time in the Geology Department at Sonoma State University, and returned to the lecture circuit for public events and geological symposia.


Friday, July 26, 2019

CWA Dagger Awards Shortlist

British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) announced the 2019 Dagger Awards Shortlist. The winners will be announced in London, England, on October 24.

CWA Gold Dagger:
 All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew (Hodder & Stoughton)
 The Puppet Show, by M.W. Craven: (Constable)
 What We Did, by Christobel Kent (Sphere)
 Unto Us a Son Is Given, by Donna Leon (Heinemann)
 American by Day, by Derek B Miller (Doubleday)
 A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better, by Benjamin Wood (Scribner)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood):
 All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew (Hodder & Stoughton)
 The Boy at the Door, by Alex Dahl (Head of Zeus)
 Scrublands, by Chris Hammer (Wildfire)
 Turn a Blind Eye, by Vicky Newham (HQ)
 Blood & Sugar, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle)
 Overkill, by Vanda Symon (Orenda)

CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-fiction:
 All That Remains: A Life in Death, by Sue Black (Doubleday)
 An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere, 
by Mikita Brottman (Canongate)
 Murder by the Book: A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime, 
by Claire Harman (Viking)
 The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, by Kirk Wallace Johnson (Hutchinson)
 The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War, by Ben Macintyre (Viking)
 The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Doubleday)

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:
 Give Me Your Hand, by Megan Abbott (Picador)
 Safe Houses, by Dan Fesperman (Head of Zeus)
 Killing Eve: No Tomorrow, by Luke Jennings (John Murray)
 Lives Laid Away, by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Crime)
 To the Lions, by Holly Watt (Bloomsbury)
 Memo from Turner, by Tim Willocks (Jonathan Cape)

CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger:
 The Quaker, by Liam McIlvanney (Harper Fiction)
 Destroying Angel, by S.G. MacLean: (Quercus)
 Smoke and Ashes, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
 The House on Half Moon Street, by Alex Reeve (Raven)
 Tombland, by C.J. Sansom: (Mantle)
 Blood & Sugar, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle)

CWA International Dagger:
 A Long Night in Paris, by Dov Alfon;
translated by Daniella Zamir (Maclehose Press)
 Weeping Waters, by Karin Brynard;
translated by Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon (World Noir)
 The Cold Summer, by Gianrico Carofiglio;
translated by Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
 Newcomer, by Keigo Higashino;
translated by Giles Murray (Little, Brown)
 The Root of Evil, by Håkan Nesser;
translated by Sarah Death (Mantle)
 The Forger, by Cay Rademacher;
translated by Peter Millar (Arcadia)

CWA Short Story Dagger:
 “Strangers in a Pub,” by Martin Edwards (from Ten Year Stretch, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller; No Exit Press)
 “Death Becomes Her,” by Syd Moore (from The Strange Casebook, 
by Syd Moore; Point Blank Books)
 “The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing,” by Danuta Reah (from The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and Other Fantastic Female Fables, 
by Danuta Reah [aka Danuta Kot]; Fantastic)
 “I Detest Mozart,” by Teresa Solana (from The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories, by Teresa Solana; Bitter Lemon Press)
 “Bag Man,” by Lavie Tidhar (from The Outcast Hours, 
edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin; Solaris)

Dagger in the Library:
 M.C. Beaton
 Mark Billingham
 John Connolly
 Kate Ellis
 C.J. Sansom
 Cath Staincliffe

Debut Dagger
(for the opening of a crime novel by an uncontracted writer):
 Wake, by Shelley Burr
 The Mourning Light, by Jerry Krause
 Hardways, by Catherine Hendricks
 The Firefly, by David Smith
 A Thin Sharp Blade, by Fran Smith

Diamond Dagger Recipient: Robert Goddard

HT: TheRapSheet