Sunday, December 8, 2019

Black Orchid and Nero Wolfe Awards: The Wolfe Pack

The Wolfe Pack, the society of fans of Rex Stout's mysteries featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, held their 42nd annual Black Orchid Banquet this weekend.

The Nero Award was presented for Best American Mystery to Walter Mosley for Down the River Unto the Sea

The Black Orchid Novella Award went to author Ted Burge for his novella, "The Red Taxi." The award is presented jointly by The Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. It is designed to encourage writers to create a new and hitherto unpublished mystery story at novella length, the length and format which Rex Stout so often used for his shorter stories. Among other honors, the winning novella will be published next summer in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

HT: Classic Mysteries


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Happy Caturday!


Crime for the Holidays. Christmas time is a major time for murder! Every year I post a mystery list that's set during the Christmas holidays. It's such an extensive list, that I divide it into multiple parts. Here's the first installment, Authors A-E, of what will be a huge Christmas Crime Fiction list. I'll be posting the rest of the list over the next week or so. 

Although the list is updated every year, I'm sure I've still managed to miss a few authors and titles. Let me know, and I'd be glad to add them. 

I'll also be adding a separate section on Short Story Anthologies and Novellas. More to come! Be sure and check back.

Christmas Crime Fiction: 
Authors A-E

Abbott, Allyson: Shots in the Dark 
Abbot, Anthony: About the Murder of a Startled Lady; About the Murder of Geraldine Foster.
Abresch, Peter: The Faltese Malcom.
Adams, Deborah: All the Crazy Winters.
Adamson, Lydia: A Cat in the Manger; A Cat in the Wings; A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock; A Cat Under the Mistletoe.
Alan, Isabella: Murder, Served Simply.
Albert, Susan Wittig: Mistletoe Man; Rueful Death; Holly Blues: The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsetta Puzzle.
Alexander, David: Shoot a Sitting Duck.
Alexander, Ellie (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley): A Cup of Holiday Fear.
Alexander, Hannah & Jill Elizabeth Nelson: Season of Danger; Silent Night; Deadly Night/Mistletoe Mayhem.
Alexander, Maria: Snowed.
Alexander, Victoria: What Happens at Christmas.
Allan, Barbara: Antiques Flee Market.
Allen, E.A.: The Fifth Christmas; The Dandridge Charter.
Allen, Michael: Spence and the Holiday Murders.
Ambrose, Terry: The Killer Christmas Sweater Club.
Amo, Gary: Silent Night.
Amsden, Pat: A Christmas to Die For.
Andre, Joel: A Death at the North Pole.
Andrews, Donna: How the Finch Stole Christmas; Six Geese A-Slaying; Duck the Halls; The Nightingale Before Christmas; Lark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Andrews, Mary Kay (Kathy Hogan Trocheck): Fatal Fruitcake; Blue Christmas; Christmas Bliss; Midnight Clear.
Traci Andrighetti & Elizabeth Ashby: A Poison Manicure and Peach Liqueur.
Angela, Mary. A Very Merry Murder.
Appignanesi, Lisa: The Dead of Winter.
Armstrong, Vivien: Fly in Amber.
Arnold, Carolyn. Christmas is Murder.
Arsenault, Emily: The Broken Teaglass.
Arts, David Jay: Quiet Desperation.
Ash, Maureen: Murder for Christ's Mass.
Ashe, Ellie: Chasing Tinsel.
Atherton, Nancy: Aunt Dimity's Christmas.
Atkins, Ace: Leavin' Trunk Blues.
Aubert, Rosemary: The Feast of Stephen.

Baantjer, Albert: Murder in Amsterdam.
Babson, Marian: Twelve Deaths of Christmas; Line Up for Murder; Murder on a Mystery Tour.
Bailey, Jodie, Debby Giusti & Susan Sleeman: Holiday Defenders.
Bain, Donald (as Jessica Fletcher): A Little Yuletide Murder; Manhattans and Murder.
Baker, Deb: Murder Trims the Tree.
Baker, North: Dead to the World.
Baldacci, David: The Christmas Train.
Ball, Donna: Silent Night.
Ballard, Mignon F.: Deadly Promise; Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed.
Banks, Carolyn: Horse to Die For.
Barnard, Robert: Death in a Cold Climate; The Habit of Widowhood.
Barnett, T.L.: Murder for the New Year.
Barre, Richard: Bethany.
Barrett, Kathleen: Homicide for the Holidays.
Barritt, Christy. High-Stakes Holiday Reunion; It Came Upon a Midnight Crime.
Barron, Stephanie: Jane and the Wandering Eye; Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Bartlett, Lorraine & Gayle Leeson: Yule Be Dead.
Battison, Brian: The Christmas Bow Murder.
Baxt, George: Scheme and Variations; A Christmas Story.
Bayard, Louis: Mr Timothy.
Beaton, M.C.: Death of A Snob; A Highland Christmas; Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye; Death of a Prankster; Christmas Crumble; Busy Body.
Beaumont, Cyril: The Mysterious Toyshop.
Beechy, Alan: Murdering Ministers.
Bell, Cindy: Mistletoe, Makeup and Murder; Christmas Chocolates and Crime.
Belle, Josie: Buried in Bargains.
Bennett, Jenna: A Done Deal.
Benrey , Ron & Janet: Season of Glory.
Bentley, Jennie: Home for The Homicide.
Berenson, Laurien: Jingle Bell Bark; Once Bitten; Wagging through the Snow.
Bernhardt, Susan: Murder Under the Tree.
Bernhardt, William: The Midnight Before Christmas.
Berry, Carole: This Year Will Be Different; The Year of the Monkey.
Bingham, John: Crime at Lark Cottage.
Bishop, Claudia: A Carol for a Corpse.
Black, Gavin: Dragon for Christmas.
Black, Sarah & John Lanyon: I'll be Dead for Christmas.
Blackburn, Cindy: Three Odd Balls.
Blackstock, Charity: The Foggy, Foggy Dew.
Blake, Bethany. Paw Prints and Predicaments; A Midwinter's Tale.
Blake, Nicholas: The Corpse in the Snowman; The Smiler With the Knife; Thou Shell of Death.
Blanc, Nero: A Crossworder's Delight; A Crossworder's Gift; A Crossworder's Holiday; Wrapped Up in Crosswords.
Boatwright, Alice K.: What Child is This?.
Bodelson, Anders: Think of a Number.
Bohart, Lynn: Inn Keeping with Murder.
Bolen, Cheryl. The Theft before Christmas.
Borger, Gale: Totally Decked.
Borthwick, J. S.: Dude on Arrival; The Student Body.
Boucher, Anthony: The Night Before Christmas.
Bowen, Rhys: The Twelve Clues at Christmas; Away in a Manger; The Ghost of Christmas Past.
Boylan, Eleanor: Pushing Murder.
Boyle, Thomas: Post-Mortem Effects.
Bradley, Alan: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches; I Am Half Sick of Shadows; As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.
Brady, James: Hampton's Christmas.
Bramble, Forbes: Dead of Winter.
Bran, Helen. Silent Night.
Braun, Lilian Jackson: The Cat Who Turned On and Off; The Cat Who Went into the Closet.
Bredes, Don: Cold Comfort.
Breen, Jon: Probable Claus.
Brett, Simon: The Christmas Crimes at Puzzle Manor; The Shooting in the Shop; The Cinderella Killer.
Brightwell, Emily: Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen; Mrs. Jeffries & the Yuletide Weddings; Mrs. Jeffries & the Mistletoe Mix Up; Mrs. Jeffries and the Silent Knight; Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women.
Brockman, Suzanne: All Through the Night.
Brook, Allison. Read and Gone.
Brown, Carter: A Corpse for Christmas.
Brown, Frederic: Murder Can be Fun.
Brown, Rita Mae: Rest in Pieces; Santa Clawed; Homeward Hound.
Bruce, Leo: Such is Death.
Brunette, Lisa: Framed and Burning.
Bryan, Mollie Cox: A Crafty Christmas.
Buchanan, Edna: The Ice Maiden.
Buckley, Julia: Cheddar Off Dead.
Budewitz, Leslie: As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles. 
Burdette, Lucy: Death with all the Trimmings.
Burke, Anna Celeste: A Merry Christmas Wedding Mystery.
Burke, Declan: Eightball Boogie.
Burke, James: A Present for Santa.
Burley, W. J.: Death in Willow Pattern; Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin.
Byerrum, Ellen: Grave Apparel
Byron, Ellen: A Cajun Christmas Killing.

Authors C-E

Cahoon, Lynn: If the Shoe Fits.
Caine, Leslie: Holly and Homicide.
Cairns, Alison: New Year Resolution.
Callaghan, Hope. Reindeer & Robberies; Merry Masquerade in Savannah.
Carl, Joanna: The Chocolate Bear Burglary; The Chocolate Snowman Murders.
Carlisle, Kate. Deck the Hallways.
Carmack, Amanda. Murder at Whitehall. 
Carr, Carol K.: India Black and the Widow of Windsor.
Carrier, Warren: Justice at Christmas.
Carrington, Tori: Queen's Ransom.
Carter, John Franklin: The Corpse on the White House Lawn.
Carter, Nick: The Christmas Kill.
Casey, Elizabeth Lynn: Let It Sew.
Caunitz, William J.: Exceptional Clearance.
Challinor, C. S.: Christmas is Murder.
Chan, Cassandra: Spider on the Stairs.
Chapman, Brenda: Cold Mourning.
Chaput, W. J.: The Man on the Train.
Chase, Erika: Read and Buried.
Chastain, Thomas: 911 (aka The Christmas Bomber).
Chaze, Elliott: Goodbye Goliath.
Cheever, Sam: Christmas Grift.
Chesbro, George C.: Second Horseman Out of Eden; Colde Smell of Sacred Stone.
Childs, Laura: The Teaberry Strangler; Eggs on Ice.
Christie, Agatha: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (aka Murder for Christmas, aka Holiday for Murder); The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (novella); The Sittaford Mystery.
Christmas, Joyce: Dying Well; Fete Worse than Death.
Churchill, Jill: Farewell to Yarns; The Merchant of Menace; From Here to Paternity.
Clad, Noel: Savage.
Claire, Edie: Never Mess with Mistletoe.
Clark, Carol Higgins: Iced.
Clark, Mary Higgins: All Through the Night; Silent Night; My Gal Sunday; Silent Night.
Clark, Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark: Deck the Halls; The Christmas Thief; He Sees You When You're Sleeping; Dashing Through the Snow; Santa Cruise.
Cleland, Jane: Ornaments of Death.
Cleverly, Barbara: Fall of Angels.
Coco, Nancy: All I Want for Christmas is Fudge.
Coggin, Joan: Who Killed the Curate; Dancing with Death.
Cohen, Charles: Silver Linings.
Cohen, Tammy: Dying for Christmas.
Collier, Christine: Christmas at Cliffhanger Inn; A Holiday Sampler.
Collings, Rex: Clerical Crimes for Christmas.
Collins, Kate: Missing Under the Mistletoe.
Collins, Max Allen: Blue Christmas and Other Holiday Homicides (collection); No Cure for Death; Spree.
Colt, Jennifer: The Con Artist of Catalina Island.
Conant, Susan: Gone to the Dogs.
Connolly, Sheila. Gone to the Dogs.
Constantine, K.C.: Upon Some Midnights Clear.
Cook, Sharon Love: A Deadly Christmas Carol.
Cooper, Natasha: Evil is Done.
Cornish, Constance: Dead of Winter.
Cornwell, Patricia: Scarpetta's Winter Table.
Cortez, Donn: Miami--Harm for the Holidays.
Cousins, Caroline: Fiddle Dee Death.
Coyle, Cleo: Holiday Grind; Holiday Buzz; Latte Trouble.
Craft, Michael: Body Language.
Craig, Alisa: Murder Goes Mumming.
Craig, Philip R.: A Deadly Vineyard Holiday; Off Season.
Crane, Hamilton: Starring Miss Seeton.
Cranston, Kathy: Mistletoe is Murder.
Crawford, Isis: A Catered Christmas; A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange.
Creasey, John: Death of a Postman.
Crespi, Trella: Trouble with Thin Ice.
Crider, Bill: Cursed to Death.
Crighton, Michael: Coma.
Crockett, Jessie: Live Free or Die.
Crombie, Deborah: Water Like a Stone; And Justice There is None.
Cross, Amanda: No Word from Winifred.
D'Amato, Barbara: Hard Christmas.
Daheim, Mary: The Alpine Christmas; Nutty as a Fruitcake; The Alpine Winter.
Dain, Catherine. The Last Noel.
Daley, Kathi: Christmas Cozy; The Cat of Christmas Past; Alaskan Alliance.
Dams, Jeanne M.: The Body in the Transept; Indigo Christmas; Winter of Discontent.
Dane, Joel: The Christmas Tree Murders.
Danielewski, Cynthia: Night Fire.
Darrell, Elizabeth: Czech Mate.
Davenport, Chari: The Christmas Party.
Davidson, Diane Mott: Sweet Revenge.
Davidson, Mary Janice: Undead and Unreturnable.
Davis, Frederick: Drag the Dark.
Davis, Krista: The Diva Runs Out of Thyme; The Diva Cooks a Goose; Not a Creature was Purring; The Diva Wraps It Up.
Davis, Mildred B.: Tell Them What's Her Name Called; Three Minutes to Midnight.
Dawson, Janet: Nobody's Child.
Day, Marlis: Curriculum Murders.
De Castrique, Mark: Grave Undertaking.
Dean, Spencer: Credit for a Murder.
DeAndrea, William L.: Killed on the Ice.
Dee, Ed: Little Boy Blue.
Deeb, Mary Jane: Christmas Mystery in Provence.
Delany, Kathleen: Murder Half-Baked; Purebred Dead.
Delany, Vicki: Winter of Secrets; Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen; We Wish You a Murderous Christmas; Hark the Herald Angels Slay.
Demaree, Steve. A Body under the Christmas Tree.
Dengler, Sandy: Murder on the Mount.
Dentinger, Jane: The Queen is Dead.
Deverell, Diana: Twelve Drummers Drumming.
Dexter, Colin: The Secret of Annexe 3; Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (collection).
Dickson, Carter: The White Priority Murders.
Dobson, Joanne: Quieter Than Sleep.
Donnelly, Deborah: Died to Match; May the Best Man Die.
Dorsey, Tim: When the Elves Attack.
Douglas, Carole Nelson: Cat in a Golden Garland.
Douglas, Charlotte: Holidays are Murder.
Downing, Todd: The Last Trumpet.
Driscoll, Patricia: Shedding Light on Murder.
Drummond, John Keith: Tis the Season to be Dying.
Dubois, Brendan: The Gift of King Herod.
Duffy, James: The Christmas Gang.
Dunbar, Sophie: Shiveree.
Duncan, Elizabeth: A Killer's Christmas in Wales.
Duncan, Francis: Murder for Christmas.
Dunn, Carola: Mistletoe and Murder; Death at Wentwater Court.
Dunnett, Kaitlyn (Kathy Lynn Emerson): A Wee Christmas Homicide; Ho-Ho-Homicide.
Durham, Laura: Marry and Bright.
Durham, Mary: Keeps Death His Court.
Early, Barbara: Murder on the Toy Town Express; Death of a Russian Doll.
Eason, Lynette: Holiday Hideout.
Eberhart, Mignon G.: Postmark Murder.
Eddenden, A. E.: A Good Year for Murder.
Egan, Lesley: Crime for Christmas.
Ehrhart, Peggy: Silent Knit, Deadly Knit.
Eickhoff, Randy Lee: Then Came Christmas.
Ekwensi, Cyprian: Restless City; Christmas Gold.
Emerson, Kathy Lynn (as Kaitlyn Dunnett): A Wee Christmas Homicide; Ho-Ho-Homicide.
Emrick, K.J.: Murder, Wrapped Up; Christmas Spirit; The Naughty List.
Englehart, Steve: Christmas Countdown.
Erickson, Alex: Death by Eggnog.
Erskine, Margaret: A Graveyard Plot.
Estleman, Loren D.: The Glass Highway.
Evanovich, Janet: Visions of Sugar Plums.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Writer

The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus: Guest Post & Recipe by Marcia Rosen

The Gourmet Gangster Mysteries and Menus by The Family 
Mysteries by Marcia Rosen Recipes by Jory Rosen 
Level Best Books, November 5, 2019 $15.95

My son Jory and I had a great time collaborating on this book. I wrote the mysteries, and he provided the recipes. Together we created some murderous titles for the recipes and decided which types of food would best fit the various mystery stories.

The book is a series of short mysteries all taking place in a restaurant called Manhattan Shadow. The character, Zero the Bookie, is fashioned after my father. He also appears in my Senior Sleuths Mystery Series along with Dick and Dora Zimmerman, reminiscent of the Thin Man characters.

Level Best Books, our publisher, suggested putting the recipes before each story and they are spread throughout the book.

When my parents came to visit us after we moved to Long Island, my father brought along a small donut-making machine.

He and my two sons had such fun together!

These are some of Jory’s thoughts concerning his love of cooking: “Some of my earliest memories about my grandfather includes making donuts with him. I remember his kindness, patience, and love for the process as well as the end result. It gave me a lifetime passion for cooking. It did, of course, also have the effect of creating a lifetime love affair with donuts (come on, they are nature’s perfect food). I have three kids (2 girls, 9 and 7, and a boy 3): my grandfather would have adored them. What I cook allows my children to get know my grandfather, and for him to live on through every bite of the cuisine he created. I hope these recipes inspire good memories and experiences in others, too.”

As for me, when I considered mysteries stories for the book I thought about places familiar to me, or I enjoy going to like a local, coffee shop here in Carmel, California, The Coffee Bank. So, I wrote Make Mine Murder. Here’s a delicious recipe to enjoy:

Pasta with Truffle Butter, Almost Criminal It’s So Good 

½ cup Heavy Cream
3 ounces white truffle butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon of salt
1 package (about 8 ounces) of fresh pasta such as tagliatelle or egg fettuccine. (Dried pasta ok)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Several tablespoons of parmesan (how much is really too much?)

Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

In a large (12-inch) sauté pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low, and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook. When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan and toss it with the truffle-cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water, as necessary, to keep the pasta very creamy.

Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and garnish each serving with a generous sprinkling of chives and shaved Parmesan.

Side: Nice crusty Italian bread, warmed and soft.

Wine: Crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019


If you read my blog, you know I'm a LISTMAKER. So here we are at the end of the year, and the "Best Crime Fiction of 2019" lists are coming out. Time to do a round-up of these lists since you're probably ready to buy books for the holidays (and catch up on mysteries for yourself). The following links are culled from Best of Lists from newspapers, periodicals, bookstores, bloggers, and crime writers. Be sure and check back to this post over the next few weeks . Have a list of your own favorites? one yourself? Make a comment below with a link! Happy Reading!

Laura Wilson's Best Crime and Thrillers: The Guardian

Ian Rankin's Favourite Reads of 2019

Washington Post Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2019 (by Washington Post reviewers)

19 Authors Pick the Best Crime Novels of 2019: Dead Good

 Kristopher Zgorski's Top Reads of 2019: BOLO Books

New York Public Library Best 100 Books of the Year:  (Mystery and Suspense included as category)

Best of 2019: Aunt Agatha's

NPR's Best Concierge 2019 Mysteries & Thrillers 

Amazon Best Mysteries & Thrillers of 2019 

Oline Cogdill's Best Mystery Books of 2019: SunSentinel 

Marilyn Stasio's Best Crime Novels of the Year: New York Times 

(Decade/not only 2019) Best Psychological Thrillers of the Decade: BookBub

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: NapBook Pro


Such sad news. Willetta Heising, mystery historian, list maker, and fan, passed away last April. Alas, I just learned of this. I always enjoyed chatting with Willetta at Malice, at Left Coast Crime, and at Bouchercon..but it's been many years. The information on her passing is scant, but the legacy she leaves to the mystery community is great. I am a list maker, so I've appreciated all her work on mystery author series lists. R.I.P., Willetta.

From the Querfeld Funeral Home site. I've added a bit.

On April 25, 2019, Willetta Louise Heising died at home in Dearborn,  Michigan. She was born in Coronado, CA on October 4, 1947 to the late Rev. Willetta B. Heising and late Capt. Kenneth W. Heising (USN, Ret.). She is survived by four siblings, Ken (Theresa) Heising, Jr of Fairfax Station, VA, Evelyn (Tom) Ford of Appomattox, VA, Ellen (David) Barlow of Charlottesville, VA and John (Jessica) Heising of Richmond, VA, nine nieces and nephews, five great nieces and nephews, an aunt Jewel Wagner of Kirkwood, MO, and twelve cousins.
Growing up in a Navy family, Willetta attended school in six states, Norway, and France. She earned her BA degree in geography and sociology from Valparaiso University and attended graduate school at Wayne State University. Willetta held jobs in the business world for a total of twenty years as a city planner for Detroit; site location analyst for Chatham Supermarkets; and facilities planning, market research and product management for National Bank of Detroit. 

Then following her love of reading, she became the author and publisher of reader’s guides  to mystery fiction, nominated for the Edgar, the Agatha,and the Macavity award. Her guides include:

Detecting Women
Detecting Men
Detective Women 2: Reader's Checklist for Mystery Series Written by Women
Detecting Women: A Reader's Guide and Checklist for Mystery Series Written by Women
Willetta's Guide to Private Eye Series

In addition to being a voracious reader, Willetta was a past president of the Detroit Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, enjoyed moderating author panels and has spent countless hours researching family genealogy.

Read an interview with Willetta Heising in BookReporter.