Thursday, October 31, 2019


The Macavity Awards 2019 
(for works published in 2018)

The Macavity Awards were announced tonight! The Macavity Awards are nominated by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal and friends of MRI. Congratulations to all.

Best Novel 
November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)

Also nominated
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow)
The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Flat Iron Books)
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur Books)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger (Harlequin - Park Row Books)

Best First Novel 
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)

Also Nominated
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine)
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (Crown)

Best Nonfiction 
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (HarperCollins)

Also nominated
The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction by Laird R. Blackwell (McFarland)
Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox (Random House)
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)

Best Short Story 
 “English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2018)

Also nominated
“Race to Judgment” by Craig Faustus Buck (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
“All God’s Sparrows” by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/Jun 2018)
“Bug Appétit” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
“Three-Star Sushi” by Barry Lancet (Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol.1, No. 3)
“The Cambodian Curse” by Gigi Pandian (The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery 
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)

Also Nominated
A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
City of Ink by Elsa Hart (Minotaur)
Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
A Dying Note by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen)
A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd (William Morrow)


Happy Halloween!! Bloody Cocktails, Deadly Wine, and Boo-tiful Beers!


Chateau Du Vampire Wines Bordeaux Style Cabernet Blend (Vampire Vineyards – Paso Robles, California): blend of cabernet sauvignon (60%) with cabernet franc (30%), and 10% malbec to finish it off.

Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon (Vampire vineyards – Paso Robles, California): Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several small-berry clones of this traditional Bordeaux varietal, grown in the Paso Robles region of California’s Central Coast.

Dracula Wines: Zinfandel and Syrah (originally the grapes for this wine were grown on the Transylvanian plateau, now they're made from California grapes).

Trueblood Napa Valley Syrah: This wine will "bruise your soul" with its palate crushing cherry, plum smoke and spice.

Ghost Block: 100% cabernet from Rock Cairn Vineyard in Oakville, next to Yountville's Pioneer Cemetery.

Twisted Oak 2011 River of Skulls in Calaveras County. Limited production vineyard mouvedre (red wine grape). Label has a bright red skull. English translation of calaveras is "skulls."

Ghostly White Chardonnay and Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon. Elk Creek Vineyards in Kentucky

Poizin from Armida Winery in Healdsburg is a 'wine to die for..". This Zinfandel sold in little wooden coffins

Big Red Monster  Red wine made from Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah.

Spellbound 2012 Merlot. Full Moon on the label. 

Ravenswood 2013 Besieged Red Blend. Ravens on the label.

Michael David 2012 Freakshow Cab.

Other Wines, Beers and Ales: Witches Brew, Evil (upside down and backwards label), Sinister Hand, Toad Hollow Eye of the Toad, Zeller Schwarz Katz.

Want to give the personal touch to your Halloween wines? Add ghoulish labels or rebottle in cool jars with apothecary labels from Pottery Barn (or make them yourself). For a great article, go to Spooky Halloween Bottle & Glass Labels.


And what about an awesome cocktail? Make Nick and Nora proud! They always loved a good party. Throw in some rubber spiders or eyeballs as garnish. Want to make your own Halloween Cocktail Garnish--some eyeballs and fingersClick HERE.

Blood Bath
1 Part Tequila Silver
1 Part Strawberry Liqueur

Shake with ice, and strain into shot glass.

Blood Test
1 Part Tequila Reposado
1 Part Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into shot glass

Blood Shot
1 part Iceberg Vodka
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Jagermeister
1 part cranberry juice

Chill all ingredients. Combine in shaker with ice. Strain into shot glass. shoot!

2 oz VeeV Acai Spirit
1 oz acai juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Top with fresh champagne
lime wedge for garnish

Combine VeeV, Acai juice and fresh lime with fresh ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into chilled martini glass and top with champagne.
Serve with fresh lime wedge.

Blood and Sand
3/4 ounce Scotch
3/4 ounce cherry liqueur
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce orange juice
1 thin strip orange zest

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the strip of zest. (recipe from Bank Cafe & Bar in Napa)

Corpse Reviver
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet (blanc)
1 ounce triple sec
Juice of half a lemon
5 drops of absinthe
1 thin slice orange

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the orange slice.
(Recipe from Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco)

Vampire Blood Punch
4 cups cranberry raspberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 cups natural pineapple juice (100% juice)
2 cups raspberry-flavored seltzer water
wormy ice cubes (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into large, decorative punch bowl.
Serve punch with wormy ice cubes, if desired

Corzo Bite
1-1/2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
1/2 parts Campari
1 part fresh blood orange juice
1/4 parts blood (aka home-made grenadine) **
2 parts Jarritos Tamarindo Soda

Build all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Add “blood” at the end.
Garnish: Blood orange wheel and strawberry syrup

** Home-made grenadine: Add equal parts white sugar and POM pomegranate juice together and dissolve sugar over high on stove-top

Midori Eye-Tini (from Rob Husted of Florida)
1-1⁄4 parts Midori Melon liqueur
3⁄4 parts SKYY Infusions Citrus
1⁄2 part Finest Call Agave Syrup
2 parts of Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
2 parts Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix
3 Orange Wedges
2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves
Strawberry Sundae Syrup

In shaker glass combine Midori Melon liqueur, SKYY infusions Citrus, Finest Call Agave Syrup, 3 Orange Wedges and 2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves.
Muddle ingredients together. Add ice and Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix.
Shake for 10 seconds.
Add Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale and roll drink back and forth between your mixing tin and shaker glass.
Strain into a chilled martini glass drizzled with Strawberry Sundae Syrup to give an effect of a bloodshot eye.

Garnish: Chilled red seedless grape at bottom of glass (to look like an eyeball) and bruised basil leaf floated on top of cocktail for aroma.

Black Martini
The Black Martini replaces vermouth with either blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur.
3 1/2 oz gin or vodka
1/2 oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur
lemon twist or black olive for garnish or gold flakes

Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist or black olive or sprinkle in gold flakes.



Evil Dead Red from AleSmith Brewing Company

Dead Guy Ale from Rogue

Dead 'n' Dead from Rogue

Witch's Wit from Lost Abbey

Cuvee des Trolls from Brasserie Dubuisson

Black Death Chili from Fallen Angel

Black Heart from 3 Floyds Brewing

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment

Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing

Zombie Dust from Three Floyds Brewing Company

Krieky Bones from Firestone Walker Brewing

The Fear Imperial Ale from Flying Dog

Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin from New Belgium

Dead Ringer from Ballast Point

Monday, October 28, 2019


Happy Halloween! Halloween so lends itself to crime fiction! Here's my updated 2019 list of Halloween Mysteries. Let me know if I've missed any titles. I'd like to have this list as complete as possible. Boo!!


Behind Chocolate Bars by Kathie Aarons
The Root of All Evil by Ellery Adams
The Pumpkin Killer by Stacey Alabaster
Green Water Ghost by Glynn Marsh Alam
Witches Bane by Susan Wittig Albert
Antiques Maul by Barbara Allan
The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander
In Charm's Way by Madelyn Alt
Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews
Strange Brew by Mary Kay Andrews
A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer
Killing Time by Amy Beth Arkaway 
Far to Go by May Louise Aswell
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming by Kathleen Bacus 
A Haunting Homicide: Halloween Cozy by Kathy Bacus and Sally J. Smith   
Trick or Treachery: A Murder She Wrote Mystery by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher by Donald Bain, Renee Paley-Bain, & "Jessica Fletcher"
Punked by the Pumpkin by Constance Barker
Last Licks by Cynthia Baxter
Scary Sweets by Jessica Beck
In the Spirit of Murder by Laura Belgrave 
The Long Good Boy by Carol Lea Benjamin
Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley 
Watchdog by Laurien Berenson
The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt
The Halloween Pumpkin Spell by Morgana Best
A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell
Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake
Ghost of a Potion by Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber)
The Scent of Murder by Barbara Block
Under an English Heaven by Alice K. Boatwright
Witches of Floxglove Corners by Dorothy Bodoin 
Night of the Living Thread by Janet Bolin  
Death of a Trickster by Kate Borden 
Post-Mortem Effects by Thomas Boyle
A Graveyard for Lunatics, The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Rebel without a Cake by Jacklyn Brady
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lilian Jackson Braun
Death Overdue by Allison Brook
The Hunt Ball; The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
Death on All Hallowe'en by Leo Bruce
Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan
The Big Chili by Julia Buckley
Halloween by Leslie Burgess
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Wycliffe and the Scapegoat by W.J. Burley
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Murder on All Hallows by Beth Byers
A Deadly Brew by Lynn Cahoon
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Ann Campbell
The Wizard of La-La Land by R. Wright Campbell
The Charm Stone by Lillian Stewart Carl
The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr
The Halloween Murders by John Newton Chance 
Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance

Death with an Ocean View by Nora Charles 
Frill Kill, Tragic Magic, Photo Finished, Bedeviled Eggs The Jasmine Moon Murder, Fiber and Brimstone, Bedeviled Eggs, Frill Kill, Gossamer Ghost, Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs
Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie
Hazelnuts and Halloween by Leena Clover
Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco
Haunted Hair Nights by Nancy J. Cohen
Poison Buried Punch; Boo Buried Cupcakes by Lyndsey Cole 
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Lost Souls by Michael Collins
A Gala Event; Search for the Dead by Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell)
Under the Hill by Sheila Connolly
Not in My Backyard by Susan Rogers Cooper
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
Deadly Magic by Elisabeth Crabtree
Trick or Treat by Caroline Crane
A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford
Spooky Business: Spooky Spider by Addison Creek
Newly Crimsoned Reliquary by Donna Fletcher Crow
Silver Scream, Bantam of the Opera, The Alpine Uproar by Mary Daheim
Halloween Hijinks, Pumpkins in Paradise, Haunted Hamlet, Legend of Tabby Hallow, Ghostly Graveyard, Costume Catastrope, Count Catula; Trick or Treason,  by Kathi Daley
The Dracula Murders by Philip Daniels
The Diva Haunts the House, The Ghost and Mrs Mewer by Krista Davis
Fatal Undertaking by Mark de Castrique
And Murder for Dessert by Kathleen Delaney
Murder on Halloween by Steve Demaree
Farmcall Fatality by Abby Deuel
Throw Darts at a Cheesecake by Denise Dietz
Trick or Treat, The Halloween Murder by Doris Miles Disney
A Map of the Dark by John Dixon
Ghostly Murders by P. C. Doherty
Died to Match by Deborah Donnelly
Cat with an Emerald Eye by Carole Nelson Douglas
Cupcakes, Bats, and Scare-dy Cats by Pamela DuMond
Not Exactly a Brahmin by Susan Dunlap 
Vampires, Bones and Treacle Scones by Kaitlyn Dunnett 
A Ghost to Die For by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox
Be Careful What You Witch For; Do No Harm by Dawn Eastman 
The Bowl of Night by Rosemary Edghill 
The Frozen Shroud by Martin Edwards
Ghost Story by K.J. Emrick
Death by Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson
Door of Death by John Esteven 
The Witchfinder by Loren D. Estleman 
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich 
Dead Ends by Anne C. Fallon 
Sympathy For The Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer
Five Dog Voodoo by Lia Farrell
Mulberry Mischief by Sharon Farrow
Dead in the Pumpkin Patch by Connie Feddersen 
It's Your Party Die if You Want To by Vickie Fee  
Blackwork, Hanging by a Thread, Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Scary Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Honora Finkelstein 
Trick or Treachery by "Jessica Fletcher" and Donald Bain
The Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Halloween Murder, Foul Play at the Fair, Trick or Deceit by Shelley Freydont
A Harvest of Bones by Yasmine Galenorn
The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany)
Broke by Kaye George
Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber
Trick or Treat by Leslie Glaister
Mommy and the Murder by Nancy Gladstone
Haunted by Jeanne Glidewell 
Blood & Broomsticks by Jean G. Goodhind (aka J.G. Goodhind)  
A Few Dying Words by Paula Gosling
The Black Heart Crypt; Hell for the Holidays by Chris Grabenstein
Monster in Miniature by Margaret Grace 
Nail Biter by Sarah Graves 
Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham 
Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood 
Halloween by Ben Greer 
The Snafued Snatch by Jackie Griffey 
Quoth the Raven; Skeleton Key by Jane Haddam
A Crime of Poison by Nancy Haddock
Hallowed Bones; Bone to Be Wild by Carolyn Haines
Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton
Black Light by Elizabeth Hand
Delicious Mischief by Marianne Harde
Southern Ghost, Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart 
Sweet Poison by Ellen Hart
Hide in the Dark by Frances Noyes Hart 
Revenge of the Cootie Girls by Sparkle Hayter
Town in a Pumpkin Bash by B.B. Haywood
Dead Pirates of Cawsand by Steve Higgs
Asking for the Moon by Reginald Hill  (SS)
The Fallen Man, The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman 
Death of a Pumpkin Carver by Lee Hollis
Delicious Mischief by Marianne Horden
The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes
A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes
Halloween Waffle Murder by Carolyn Q Hunter 
Murder on the Ghost Walk by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter 
From Bad to Wurst by Maddie Hunter  
Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs
Murder on Old Main Street, Dirty Tricks, Dying Wishes by Judith K. Ivie
The Pumpkin Thief, The Great Pumpkin Caper by Melanie Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Murder Among Us by Jonnie Jacobs
A Murder Made in Stitches by Pamela James
The Widow's Walk League by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
The Devil's Cat, Cat's Eye, Cat's Cradle, The Devil's Kiss, The Devil's Heart, The Devil's Touch by William W. Johnstone  
The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson
Muffins & Murder by Heather Justesen
A Charming Voodoo by Tonya Kappes
The Sacrifice by Karin Kaufman
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Wed and Buried, The Skeleton Haunts a House by Toni L.P. Kelner
Verse of the Vampyre by Diana Killian
Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack 
The Animal Hour by Andrew Klavan 
Paws for Murder by Annie Knox
The Spirit in Question by Cynthia Kuhn
Mean Girl Murder by Leslie Langtry
Murder in the Neighborhood by Janis Lane 
Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene 
The Stitching Hour by Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent)  
Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine 
Death Knocks Twice by James H. Lilley
The Legend of Sleepy Harlow by Kylie Logan (aka Miranda Bliss & Casey Daniels)
Smoke Screen by Marianne MacDonald
Pumpkin Pied; Deadly Brew by Karen MacInerney 
Poisoned by Elaine Macko 
Bear Witness to Murder by Meg Macy

Halloween Flight 77 by Debbie Madison
The Haunted Season by G.M. Malliet  
Baby Doll Games by Margaret Maron
A Halloween Hookup by Jennie Marts
Satan's Silence by Alex Matthews 
Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain 
Poisoned Tarts by G.A. McKevett 
Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay

Death on All Hallows by Allen Campbell McLean
A Sparrow Falls Holiday by Donna McLean
Witch of the Palo Duro by Mardi Oakley Medawar  
Trick or Treat Murder, Wicked Witch Murder, Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier 
Dancing Floor, Prince of Darkness by Barbara Michaels
Monster in Miniature by Camille Minichino 
The Violet Hour by Richard Montanari
Bobbing for Bodies by Addison Moore
Death by Jack O'Lantern by Alexis Morgan
A Biscuit, a Casket by Liz Mugavero
Send in the Crows by Julie Mulhern
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers 
Dead End by Helen R. Myers
Nightmare in Shining Armor by Tamar Myers 
Hatchet Job by J.E. Neighbors
Oink by Judith Newton
What Doesn't Kill Here by Carla Norton
Retribution by Patrick J. O'Brien
Deadly Places by Terry Odell
Halloween House by Ed Okonowicz
Curried Away by Gail Oust
The Body in the Moonlight by Katherine Hall Page 
Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
Caught Dead Handed; Grave Errors by Carol J. Perry
The Skeleton Haunts a House by Leigh Perry
Flight of a Witch by Ellis Peters 
Twilight by Nancy Pickard
Strange Halloween by Horace Poulin
Pumpkin Spice Murder by Summer Prescott
Charmed Again by Rose Pressey
Murder at Witches Bluff by Silver Ravenwolf
Poltergeist by Kat Richardson 
Death Notice by Todd Ritter 
Spook Night by David Robbins 
A Hole in Juan by Gillian Roberts
Murder in a Nice Neighborhood by Lora Roberts
Magnolias, Moonlight, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Scared Stiff by Annelise Ryan
Death of Halloween by Kim Sauke
Mighty Old Bones by Mary Saums 
Murder Ole! by Corinne Holt Sawyer
Tracking Magic by Maria E. Schneider
The Tenor Wore Tapshoes by Mark Schweizer
Trick or Treat or Murder by Kendall Scott
Phantoms Can be Murder by Connie Shelton
A Killer Maize by Paige Shelton
Dance of the Scarecrows by Ray Sipherd
The Sterling Inheritance by Michael Siverling
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Susan Smily
Recipe for Murder by Janet Elaine Smith
Town Haunts by Cathy Spencer
Carbs and Cadavers by J.B. Stanley
In the Blink of an Eye, Halloween Party by Wendy Corsi Staub
Tiaras & Terror by Anne Marie Stoddard
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Ripping Abigail by Barbara Sullivan
Candy Coated Murder by Kathleen Suzette
Murder of a Royal Pain by Denise Swanson
Mourning Shift by Kathleen Taylor
Halloween Homicide by Lee Thayer
Inked Up by Terri Thayer
Sharpe Point by Lisa B. Thomas
Charlie's Web by L.L. Thrasher
Gods of the Nowhere by James Tipper
Death in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
A Room with a Brew by Joyce Tremel
A Dash of Murder by Teresa Trent
Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson
Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere
Pineapple Mystery Box by Amy Vansant
I Will Fear No Evil by Debbie Viguié
Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait
Haunted Hayride with Murder by Auralee Wallace
How to Party with a Killer Vampire by Penny Warner
Murder by the Slice, Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn 
Five-Minute Halloween Mysteries by Ken Weber
The Scarecrow Murders by Mary V. Welk
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner  
Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells
Ghoul of My Dreams by Richard F. West 
Sweet Fire & Stone by J.A. Whiting

All Hallow's Eve by Charles Williams
Mayhem, Marriage, and Murderous Mystery Manuscripts by J.L. Wilson
A Stitch to Die For by Lois Winston
Killer See, Killer Do by Jonathan Wolfe
All Hallow's Evil by Valerie Wolzien
Trick or Murder? by Debbie Young

And here's a list of Halloween Mystery Short Story anthologies:

Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, & Marcia Talley
Deadly Treats: Halloween Tales of Mystery, Magic and Mayhem, Edited by Anne Frasier 
Trick and Treats edited by Joe Gores & Bill Pronzini
Asking for the Moon (includes "Pascoe's Ghost" and "Dalziel's Ghost") by Reginald Hill
Murder for Halloween by Cynthia Manson
The Haunted Hour, edited by Cynthia Manson & Constance Scarborough
Murder for Halloween: Tales of Suspense, edited by Michele Slung & Roland Hartman.
Mystery for Halloween (an anthology), edited by Donald Westlake
Halloween Horrors, edited by Alan Ryan
All Hallows' Evil, edited by Sarah E. Glenn
Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman and Marcia Talley
Halloween Thirteen-a Collection of Mysteriously Macabre Tales, by Bobbi Chukran
Happy Homicides 4: Falling into Crime, edited by Joanna Campbell Slan et al.

Want some Chocolate Treats to accompany your reading? Head on over to my Chocolate Blog

Friday, October 25, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Prison Library

CWA Dagger Awards

CWA (the British Crime Writers’ Association) announced the winners of the 2019 Dagger Awards last night in London. 

CWA Gold Dagger: 
The Puppet Show, by M.W. Craven: (Constable) 

Also nominated: All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew (Hodder & Stoughton); 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): 
Scrublands, by Chris Hammer (Wildfire) 

Also nominated: All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew (Hodder & Stoughton); The Boy at the Door, by Alex Dahl (Head of Zeus); Turn a Blind Eye, by Vicky Newham (HQ); Blood & Sugar, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle); Overkill, by Vanda Symon (Orenda)

Gold Dagger for Non-fiction: 
The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War, by Ben Macintyre (Viking) 

Also nominated: 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 Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Doubleday) 

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: 
To the Lions, by Holly Watt (Bloomsbury)

Also nominated: 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); Memo from Turner, by Tim Willocks (Jonathan Cape)

CWA International Dagger: 
A Long Night in Paris, by Dov Alfon; translated by Daniella Zamir (MacLehose Press)

Also nominated: 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 Sapere Books Historical Dagger: 
Destroying Angel, by S.G. MacLean: (Quercus) 

Also nominated: The Quaker, by Liam McIlvanney (Harper Fiction); 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 Short Story Dagger: 
“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).

Also Nominated: “I Detest Mozart,” by Teresa Solana (from The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories, by Teresa Solana; Bitter Lemon Press) Also nominated: “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); “Bag Man,” by Lavie Tidhar (from The Outcast Hours, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin; Solaris) 

Dagger in the Library: 
Kate Ellis 

Also nominated: M.C. Beaton, Mark Billingham, John Connolly, C.J. Sansom, Cath Staincliffe 

Debut Dagger (for the opening of a crime novel by an uncontracted writer):
Wake, by Shelley Burr 

Also nominated: The Mourning Light, by Jerry Krause; Hardways, by Catherine Hendricks; The Firefly, by David Smith; A Thin Sharp Blade, by Fran Smith 

Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year: 
No Exit Press (Oldcastle Books) 

Also nominated: Faber and Faber, Harper Fiction (HarperCollins), HQ (HarperCollins), Orenda Books, Pushkin Vertigo (Pushkin), Raven (Bloomsbury) 

Diamond Dagger Recipient: 
Robert Goddard 

HT: The Rap Sheet

Thursday, October 24, 2019

On the Run: Australian Crime Writers in America

ON THE RUN: AUSTRALIAN CRIME WRITERS IN AMERICA will be in Berkeley, CA, for a Literary Salon on Thursday, November 14, 7 p.m. RSVP to attend. Space Limited. 
Not in Berkeley? Check out their other appearances below.
On the Run is a group of four highly acclaimed and award-winning Australian crime writers, who have recently been awarded a grant by the Australia Council for the Arts to tour the United States.  The tour seeks to take advantage of the recent worldwide interest in Australian crime to introduce America to some of Australia’s next international bestsellers.  It is the first tour of its kind, involving four established Australian writers from four separate Australian publishers.  On the Run is comprised of:
Jock Serong is the much lauded author of QUOTA, THE RULES OF BACKYARDCRICKET, ON THE JAVA RIDGE and PRESERVATION which between them have won many awards including the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, the JCU Colin Roderick Award, the HT Priestley Medal and the Staunch Prize.
Sulari Gentill is the critically acclaimed author of the multi-award winning ROWLAND SINCLAIR MYSTERIES, which has won one Davitt Award, and been shortlisted for a further four, as well as two Ned Kelly Awards, two Australian Book Industry Awards and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize;  and CROSSING THE LINES, a postmodern psychological thriller, which won the 2018 Ned Kelly Award.
Emma Viskics RESURRECTION BAY won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and an unprecedented three Davitt Awards. It was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Gold Dagger and New Blood Awards and is currently nominated for a Barry Award. AND FIRE CAME DOWN won the 2018 Davitt Award for Best Crime Novel and was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award
Dr. Robert Gott is the author seven historical crime novels (set in Australia in the 1940s) for adults. Two of these, AMONGST THE DEAD and THE HOLIDAY MURDERS have been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction. Gott has been invited to write several articles for THE AGE newspaper and wrote, too, a regular column, CLASS ACT, in the education section of that newspaper. He is the creator of the cartoon THE ADVENTURES OF NAKED MAN which ran weekly for 19 years in ‘The Age’ and appeared also in three newspapers in New Zealand.
The tour will take the On the Run team to New York (28 – 30 Oct), Dallas, (31Oct – 3 Nov), Phoenix (4 – 7 Nov), Los Angeles, (8 – 11 Nov) Santa Cruz (12 – 13 Nov) and San Francisco (14 – 15 Nov). 
On the Run will be featured at Bouchercon, in Dallas.  That panel will be livestreamed to the Terror Australis Festival in Tasmania. The team is already booked to appear at bookstores and literary events in Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco (Poisoned Pen, Flintridges, Book Carnival, Noir at the Bar, Vromans, GGP Books). The Australian reading public will join them on tour via vlogs, blogs, and social media.  On the Run will be send back daily pieces to be published on Arts Daily and other websites. 
“We hope to meet as many Americans as possible, make friends, establish links and celebrate all the colour and complexity of the mystery genre and record the experience for posterity… and our own amusement!”

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Very sad news. Bette Golden Lamb, talented writer, artist (both potter and painter), and warrior woman, passed away last night just after midnight. She leaves behind her husband JJ (Jim) Lamb, her family, and her many friends. I knew Bette for over 40 years. She was so special. My heart goes out to JJ and the family.

Bette was a friend and mentor. She was a nurse, a writer, and an artist. She was so creative in so many ways. Her art work has appeared in numerous show and is held in many private collections. Her books, of course, are everywhere.

Bette was from the Bronx, and she said that growing up in New York City coupled with being an RN was a clue as to why she loved to write dark and gritty medical thrillers. A Marin county writer and artist, she and JJ spent some time in the wilds of Virginia City, Nevada, an isolated throwback to the old West, where she was a trauma nurse while her husband was the editor of the The Territorial Enterprise, a newspaper Mark Twain once ran. And, at that time, she also ended up running a funky bar, The Silver Stope. Never a dull moment.

Bette and J. J. Lamb have written novels that include a female serial killer who thinks she’s on a noble mission to save barren women from a life of despair (Sisters in Silence) and the Gina Mazzio RN medical thriller “Bone” series (Bone Dry,  Sin & Bone,  Bone Pit, Bone of Contention, Bone Dust, Bone Crack, Bone Slice, Bone Point). She said that writing about Gina Mazzio and her boyfriend, Harry, also an RN, was a fun experience, as well as a privilege to write about people who dedicate their lives to helping others.

Bette's most recent novel The Russian Girl was based on a true story of a woman who escapes from a high security nursing home during the hottest day of the year. Her delirium reveals a harrowing story of a young immigrant Russian girl forced to come to America in the early 1900s. Her turbulent life is filled with upheaval, lost love, and activism in a crushing, brutal 20th century journey.

Bette was so encouraging to and supportive of new writers and artists.

I'll miss Bette -- at meetings, at parties, at shows, conventions. She was a special light in the mystery community. Rest in Peace, Bette. May your memory be a blessing.

As I receive information, I will update this post with information on a memorial and where to send donations in her honor.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Tim Maleeny & Joe Clifford Literary Salon: November 7

Upcoming Literary Salon in Berkeley, CA

When: Thursday, November 7, 2019, 7 p.m.

Who: Tim Maleeny & Joe Clifford

Where: RSVP for venue address (Berkeley, CA)

This is a free event, but YOU MUST RSVP to attend.
Space is limited. Venue address sent with acceptance.
Please make a comment below with your email address.

Tim Maleeny

TIM MALEENY is the author of the award-winning Cape Weathers series of mysteries and the bestselling comedic thriller JUMP. His short fiction appears in several major anthologies and has won the prestigious Macavity Award for best story of the year.  Tim currently lives at an undisclosed location in New York City with his wife and their two daughters. Boxing The Octopus, his latest mystery, is a runaway tour of San Francisco’s underworld which reminds us that when things get out of hand, having eight arms is always better than two.

Joe Clifford

Joe Clifford is the author of several books, including Skunk Train, The One That Got AwayJunkie Love, and the Jay Porter Thriller Series, as well as editor of the anthologies Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce SpringsteenJust to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, and Hard Sentences, which he co-edited. Clifford lives with his wife and two sons in the San Francisco Bay Area.

To RSVP,  make a comment below with email address or send DM.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Books to Movies: The Chain; The Secrets We Kept


I really enjoyed Lara Prescott's debut The Secrets We Kept. I highly recommend it. It's a well-written mystery about two typists drafted into the CIA to complete an unusual assignment- to smuggle the Doctor Zhivago Manuscript out of Russia. Who doesn't like a book about a book? It's about the Cold War, philosophy, spies, relationships and more. Now The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Productions have secured movie rights to The Secrets We Kept.

Adrian McKinty's The Chain is another great read that deserves to be made into a movie. So no surprise that movie rights for The Chain sold for seven figures to Paramount. The Chain, as I've mentioned before on this blog is a departure for McKinty, and a very successful one. It's a thriller, one that aims at the core- - what would you to do rescue your child from a kidnapper? Read it now.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019



The Left Coast Crime National Committee is offering FIVE scholarships to Left Coast Crime #30 in San Diego, California, March 12-15, 2020. The LCC Scholarships include a free registration to the convention in San Diego (currently $215) plus $500 expense money. For more info on LCC #30, visit the Murder’s a Beach website.

Purpose:  LCC Scholarships are intended for anyone needing financial assistance to attend the convention, and seek to encourage fandom and talent in crime writing of all types.

Qualifications:  The scholarships are open to everyone. Prior attendance at LCC is not required.

Application Process:  Simply email the following items in one email package to — and please include “Scholarship” in the subject line:
  1. Name and mailing address
  2. Telephone number
  3. Year of birth
  4. Brief description of your current occupation or circumstances
  5. A 200-500 word essay explaining your interest in crime fiction and what attending the convention would mean to you
  6. If you are a writer, please include a short sample of your fiction or non-fiction writing, blog post, or book review
DeadlineApplications must be received by November 30, 2019.

Decision and Announcement:  The scholarship committee will let each of the applicants know the results by December 15, 2019. We won’t publicize the names of those awarded scholarships, but recipients are free to make their own announcements.

Questions?  Email us at

The Fine Print:  The decision of the judges is final and if you aren’t awarded a scholarship, you promise to still say nice things about Left Coast Crime. 

If you are interested in learning more about hosting or helping with a future Left Coast Crime Convention, please let us know! The LCC Standing Committee would love to help you with your bid and answer all your questions. You will receive all the support you need!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Ghost Town Mortuary: MWANorCal at Bouchercon

Going to Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in Dallas? You won't want to miss The Ghost Town Mortuary, a radio play by Anthony Bouchercon, performed by members of Mystery Writers of America NorCal. Friday, November 1, 11 am. Landmark Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Dallas.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Monday, October 7, 2019

A SENSE OF PLACE: Guest Post by Marty Wingate

Marty Wingate
A Sense of Place 

I like to know where I am in the books I read, whether the world is entirely made up or real (literary license notwithstanding). When I set The Bodies in the Library (book one in the First Edition library series) in Bath, there could be no more solid setting than this World Heritage city of Georgian terraces and honey-colored stone, but I wanted to make sure readers believed that Bath was not only the perfect setting for the First Edition Society and its impressive library of books from the Golden Age of Mystery, and a murder or two, but also home to my protagonist, curator Hayley Burke. I looked to other authors for good examples.

First stop—the city of London, both the Square Mile and Greater London. Happily, two of my favorite series make good use of its pubs, squares, yards, and rivers. Bryant & May in the Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries by Christopher Fowler. Arthur Bryant knows London like the back of his hand, so in the books we walk the streets with him. Often, I’ve read passages aloud to my husband, and we both exclaim about the places we recognize. “Judd Street! The Skinners Arms!” When Arthur wanders off into a discourse about Boudicca, I pay great attention, because no one knows London’s history—ancient or modern—better than he.

In the Peter Grant books (aka the Rivers of London) Ben Aaronovitch creates a police procedural deeply rooted in the everyday. With a bit of magic. London is alive here, and let me just say that, although I know Russell Square well, I will still walk round the perimeter and try to guess which house is the Folly.

The Bodies in the Library is not a police procedural, but a traditional mystery, and so I do not try to write Peter Diamond’s Bath as Peter Lovesey does in his series. Instead, I stick to what the reader sees through the eyes of an amateur sleuth. Clues, yes, but also tea.

In At Bertram’s Hotel, Agatha Christie set Miss Marple down in London for a bit of sleuthing, and her surroundings were important to the story. Such a lovely, comfortable, never-changing hotel—apart from the usual difficulties—it was based on either Brown’s or Fleming’s in Mayfair. It’s an author’s prerogative to take a real place and tweak it slightly. Hotels such as Bertram’s are far beyond my main character’s budget, and she doesn’t have a niece to treat her to such extravagance as Miss Marple did, so I’ve had to limit Hayley’s enjoyment of the finer things in life to coffee at the Royal Crescent. Please do visit when you’re in Bath—it’s a classic.

It is not only the city and its buildings that create a sense of place, but also the landscape. Bath is at the bottom of the Avon valley—the river cuts a path through—and the terraces that rise in concentric arcs are built into the hills. Middlebank House, home to the First Edition library, is set in just such a terrace. That means that every walk out the door is up and down, whether Hayley is heading to the pub, Waitrose, or one of her favorite places for tea and cake. It isn’t always a murder investigation that causes her to be out of breath by the time she reaches her destination.

I want the landscape to seep into the story, much as it does in Elly Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway mysteries. She was inspired by the wildness of the Norfolk Broads and its ever-changing coastline. Somerset is a world away from that—the epitome of a green and pleasant land, but still, I want the reader to see both a city built of Bath stone and the Mendip Hills.

A community goes a long way to establishing a sense of place, especially in a series. Forgive me, fellow mystery and crime writers, but the first community that comes to mind are the villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green. Yes, Miss Read. Throughout those quiet books, the characters who populate the villages may be in the background in one book and step to the forefront in another.

More to the mystery point, this is what M. C. Beaton does in her Agatha Raisin series and Hamish Macbeth books. The stories are woven through the community. Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, may not have a big role in every book, but she’s always around.

Hayley Burke—newly hired curator and needing to prove her worth—must center her world within the First Edition Society and its library, and that means working closely with the Society’s irritating and enigmatic secretary, Glynis Woolgar, and the board members, only one of whom Hayley counts as a friend. Time to build her community.


Marty Wingate writes three mystery series set in England. The Potting Shed books (Alibi) feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and the Birds of a Feather series (Alibi) follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty’s newest series—The First Edition Library (Berkley)—presents Hayley Burke, the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. The Bodies in the Library, book one, will be released October 8, 2019. Marty prefers on-the-ground research whenever possible, and so she and her husband regularly travel to England and Scotland, where she can be found tracing the steps of her characters, stopping for tea and a slice of Victoria sponge in a café, or enjoying a swift half in a pub.