Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: New Year's Resolutions most easily broken by Cats

The Wolfe Pack: The Nero & Black Orchid Awards

Thanks to The Rap Sheet and The Gumshoe Site for the notice about the winner of the Nero Wolfe Award. I haven't seen a list, though, of all the nominees. If you know the other nominees, please let me know, and I'll update this post. Thanks.

The Nero Award is sponsored by The Wolfe Pack, the official Nero Wolfe society, named after the fictional character in the mystery series by Rex Stout. The Nero Award is presented annually for the best American mystery. The award is given to those books that are written in the tradition of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories.


One Good Dead by David Baldacci

BLACK ORCHID NOVELLA AWARD (given jointly with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

"El Cuerpo en el Barril ("The Body in the Barrel") by Tom Larsen. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020


More sad news. What a terrible year. 

William Link, co-creator of Columbo, Murder She Wrote, and more, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 87. 

From Deadline

Link was born in Elkins Park, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, on December 15, 1933.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Link was best known for his collaboration with the late Richard Levinson. The two – who first met at the age of 14 and began collaborating almost immediately on stories, radio scripts, and dramas – saw television’s potential to capture the current scene and contribute to the national discussion about such subjects as race relations, student unrest, and gun violence.

Co-created by Link and Levinson, Columbo, starring Peter Falk as LAPD homicide detective Columbo aired on NBC from 1971 to 1978. The character and show popularized the inverted detective story format, which begins by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator.

Steven Spielberg, who directed the first episode of Columbo in 1971, “Murder by the Book”, shared a personal remembrance of Link.

“Bill’s truly good nature always inspired me to do good work for a man who, along with Dick Levinson, was a huge part of what became my own personal film school on the Universal lot. Bill was one of my favorite and most patient teachers and, more than anything, I learned so much from him about the true anatomy of a plot,” Spielberg said in a statement. “I caught a huge break when Bill and Dick trusted a young, inexperienced director to do the first episode of Columbo. That job helped convince the studio to let me do Duel, and with all that followed I owe Bill so very, very much. My thoughts are with Margery and his entire family.”

With Levinson and Peter S. Fischer, Link created Murder, She Wrote, which made its network debut in 1984. The series, starring Angela Lansbury, followed mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher, who lives in Cabot Cove, Maine, but solves crimes wherever she travels. Although network executives weren’t keen on a show with no sex, little violence, and a female protagonist of a certain age, the series was hugely popular and ran for 12 years.

Other television series created by Link and Levinson include Jericho (1965), Mannix (1967), Tenafly (1973, one of the first TV shows featuring an African American lead), Ellery Queen (1975), and Blacke’s Magic (1986).

Link, with Levinson, also co-created several groundbreaking television movies including My Sweet Charlie (1970) about the burgeoning friendship between a white pregnant runaway in her late teens and an African American lawyer wrongly accused of murder; That Certain Summer (1972) one of television’s first sympathetic portrayals of homosexuality and The Execution of Private Slovik (1974), a powerful account of the only soldier executed for desertion during World War II. Both of the latter films featured a young Martin Sheen.

In addition to their television work, Link and Levinson wrote the scripts for the feature films The Hindenburg (1975), Rollercoaster (1977), and Steve McQueen’s last film The Hunter (1980)

Link and Levinson shared numerous awards including two Emmys, two Golden Globes, The Peabody, The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television Writing, The Image Award from the NAACP, The Media Award from the Alliance of Gay Artists in the Entertainment Industry, The Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame, four Edgar Allan Poe Awards and The Ellery Queen Award for Life Time Achievement in Mystery Writing from the Mystery Writers of America. Additionally, Link and Levinson were inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2018 Link was given the highest award MWA offers: Grand Master status for the longevity and quality of his contributions to the genre.

Read more here. 

Here's a link to William Link's Grand Master 2018 Edgar Awards speech. 

NEW YEAR'S Mysteries, Crime Fiction, Thrillers, and Movies!

New Year's Mysteries, Crime Fiction, Thrillers, and Movies that take place at the New Year. 

I wish you a safe, healthy, and better 2021. May Mystery and Mayhem only happen in crime fiction!

Crime Fiction Set at the New Year
As always, let me know if I've missed any titles.

Marian Babson: Line up for Murder
Bain, Donald and Jessica Fletcher. Murder She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood
T. L. Barnett: Murder for the New Year
George Baxt: The Marlene Dietrich Murder Case
George Bellairs: The Case of the Headless Jesuit
Nero Blanc: A Crossworder's Gift
Brazil, Paul: Guns of Brixton; Cold London Blues
Jon L. Breen: Touch of the Past
Rita Mae Brown: Full Cry
Alison Cairns: New Year Resolution
Lillian Stewart Carl: The Blue Hackle
C.S. Challinor: Murder at Midnight
Lee Child (ed): Killer Year: Stories to Die for
Anne Cleeves: Raven Black
Anna Ashwood Collins: Deadly Resolutions
Patricia Cornwell: Cause of Death
Mark Costello: Bag Men
Alisa Craig: Murder Goes Mumming
Jeffrey Deaver: The Devil's Teardrop
Colin Dexter: The Secret of Annexe 3
Carter Dickson: Death and the Gilded Man
Carole Nelson Douglas: Cat on a Hyacinth Hunt
Loren D. Estleman: Stress
Janet Evanovich: Plum New Year
J. Jefferson Fargeon: Death in Fancy Dress (aka The Fancy Dress Ball)
Quinn Fawcett: Siren Song
Jerrilyn Farmer: Dim Sum Dead
Frederick Forsyth: The Fourth Protocol
Janet Gleeson: The Grenadillo Box
J.M. Gregson: The Lancashire Leopard
Jane Haddam: Fountain of Death
Karen Harper: The Queene's Christmas
Lee Harris: The New Year's Eve Murder
Ellen Hart: Hallowed Murder, Merchant of Venus
Roy Hart: Seascape with Dead Figures
Lauren Henderson: Pretty Boy
Reginald Hill: Killing The Lawyers
J.A. Jance: Name Withheld
Rufus King: Holiday Homicide
Frances and Richard Lockridge: The Dishonest Murderer
Heather Dune Macadam: The Weeping Buddha
Ed McBain: Lullaby
Johnston McCulley: New Year's Pardon; New Year's Duty
Philip McLauren: Scream Black Murder
Elisabeth McNeill: Hot News
Leslie Meier: New Year's Eve Murder
James Melville: Body Wore Brocade
David William Meredith: The Christmas Card Murders
Miriam Ann Moore: Stayin' Alive
Tamar Myers: A Penny Urned
Leonardo Padura: Havana Blue (starts with a New Year's Eve hangover)
Elizabeth Peters: The Golden One
Edward O. Phillips: Sunday's Child
Ellery Queen: Calamity Town
Craig Rice: The Right Murder
Gillian Roberts: The Mummer’s Curse
Cindy Sample: Dying for a Date
Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (begins on New Year's Eve)
Catherine Shaw: Fatal Inheritance
Joan Smith: Don't Leave Me This Way, Why Aren't They Screaming
Meg Taggart: Murder at the Savoy
Kathleen Taylor: Cold Front
Charles Todd: A Long Shadow
Auralee Wallace: Ring in the Year with Murder
Patricia Wentworth: Clock Strikes Twelve
Valerie Wolzein: 'Tis the Season to be Murdered (aka And a Lethal New Year)
James Ziskin: Stone Cold Dead
Mark Richard Zubro: The Truth Can Get You Killed

Short Story:
Q. Patrick: "Murder on New Year's Eve"

You might also want to check out my Christmas list (Christmas Mysteries, Authors A-Z). Some of the action spills over into the New Year.

And here's a list of Mystery Movies that take place at the New Year.

Happy Viewing:

After the Thin Man (1936)
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Entrapment (1999)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Little Caesar (1931)
Money Train (1995)
New Year's Evil (1980)
Night Train to Paris (1964) 
Ocean's 11 (1960)
Strange Days (1995)
Survivor (2015)

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Alfred Hitchcock's Christmas


ELIZABETH IS MISSING kicks off PBS Masterpiece's 50th Anniversary--January 3. 

Returning to television for the first time in nearly three decades, two-time Academy Award®–winner Glenda Jackson stars as a woman desperately trying to solve two mysteries as she declines ever deeper into dementia, in Elizabeth Is Missing, an adaptation of Emma Healey’s acclaimed novel.

Playing feisty grandmother Maud Horsham, who lives alone despite early-stage Alzheimer’s, Jackson is joined by Maggie Steed as Maud’s only friend, Elizabeth, who ominously goes missing, leading to one of the mysteries at the heart of the drama. Helen Behan plays Maud’s dutiful daughter, Helen, and Nell Williams is Maud’s doting granddaughter, Katy.

Jackson astounded critics during the UK broadcast of Elizabeth Is Missing in late 2019. “Glenda Jackson shines in this heartrending whodunnit” (The Guardian); “Jackson gave one of the performances of her lifetime” (The Daily Telegraph); “Jackson is remarkable” (The Independent); “a devastatingly real performance” (The Times); “brilliant” (Radio Times).

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Christmas Sweater


December 26 is Boxing Day. I've put together a list of over 1400 mysteries that take place at Christmas, and although I'm sure several of the mysteries on the list continue mystery and mayhem through Boxing Day, I've only found a few mysteries that focus or start specifically on Boxing Day.

One Boxing Day Mystery is Nicholas Blake's Thou Shell of Death (1936). Nicholas Blake is the pseudonym of Cecil Day Lewis, the late British poet laureate.

Thou Shell of Death features Fergus O'Brien, WWI flying ace. Fergus receives four letters predicting that he will be murdered on Boxing Day. Despite this, or maybe because of this, he plans a party and invites all the suspects (there are several people who might want to do him in) plus private detective Nigel Strangeways. O'Brien does die, and it's up to Nigel Strangeways with the help of Inspector Blount of Scotland Yard to solve the crime. This is Blount's first appearance in the series. Thou Shell of Death is an oldie but goodie, especially if you like houseparty mysteries.

There are three other novels that focus on Boxing Day. A frozen body is found on Boxing Day in Viveca Sten's In Harm's Way. Another mystery is Gilbert Adair's The Act of Roger Murgatroyd that takes place entirely on Boxing Day. This is part of his series of novels about Evadne Mount, and is clearly a play on Agatha Christie novels. In another Boxing Day mystery, Death at Sandringham House by C.C. Benison, Her Majesty the Queen, along with her housemaid Jane Bee, investigates.

And, if you're unfamiliar with Boxing Day, it's the day after Christmas, when "servants and tradesmen traditionally would receive gifts from their superiors." Today it's a National Holiday in most of the British Commonwealth and former British colonies.

As far as why it's called Boxing Day, there are several different theories:

A ‘Christmas Box' in Britain is a name for a Christmas present.

Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.

A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas day then opened the next day.

Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.

Are there any other Boxing Day Mysteries I've forgotten?

Friday, December 25, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: The Gift

TYPEWRITERS: Retro Christmas Ads

I have a softspot for Typewriters. I often choose typewriters as my photo theme at the Flea Market (when we had flea markets--be gone pandemic!). I don't collect them (no space or I would), but I do take photos of them.. and occasionally post here on Mystery Fanfare. I also love Retro Ads, so here's the marriage of both... retro typewriter advertisements for the holidays!

The Typewriter: Perfect gift for Christmas from the 20s through the 70s. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Magical Moment


I love the Winter Solstice. I love light, so I'm glad the days will now begin to lengthen.

I put together a huge list of Christmas Mysteries again this year, and I'm sure some of those authors/titles reference the Winter Solstice, too. Here are a few that really center on the Winter Solstice. Any titles/authors I should add?

Winter Solstice Mysteries

Fitt, Mary: Death and the Shortest Day
Joan Hess: A Holly Jolly Murder
Jane Langton: The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels
Henning Mankel: Italian Shoes
Ngaio Marsh: Off with His Head
Gladys Mitchell: The Dancing Druids

And, if you want to celebrate your Winter Solstice in chocolate, check out How to Make a Yule Log aka Buche de Noel on my other blog,


Saturday, December 19, 2020


Here's the list of Christmas Mystery Short Story Anthologies and Novellas. There may be some overlaps and omissions. Let me know, and I can easily update.

For the Christmas Mystery Novel lists by author, go here: Authors A-EAuthors F-L, Authors M-Z.


Adrian, Jack: Crime at Christmas.
Andrew, Donna, Barb Goffman & Marcia Talley (editors): Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment.
Asimov, Isaac (ed.): Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Avocato, Lori. Sugarplums and Scandal.

Bedford, Jean (ed): Moonlight Becomes You.

Benedict, Laura, Carolyn Haines, & Lisa Morton (ed): Haunted Holidays.
Browning, Abigail (ed.): Murder Most Merry.
Burton, Tony (ed.): By the Chimney with Care; Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters; Dying in a Winter Wonderland.
Cornwell, Bernard: Sharpe's Christmas--Two Short Stories.
Bill Crider, Terence Faherty, Wendi Lee, & Aileen Schumacher: Murder, Mayhem, and Mistletoe
Dalby, Richard (ed.): Crime for Christmas; Mistletoe & Mayhem.
Doyle, Arthur Conan: "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle".
Edwards, Martin (ed.): Crimson Snow (British Library Crime Classics).
Floyd, John (ed.): The Gift of Murder.
Fowler, Christopher: "Bryant & May and the Secret Santa".
Gayford, Cecily (ed): Murder Under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season.
Godfrey, Thomas (ed.): Murder for Christmas--26 Tales of Seasonal Malice.
Goffman, Barb (et al., eds.): Chesapeake Crimes--Homicidal Holidays.
Greenberg, Martin H (ed.): Cat Crimes for the Holidays; Holmes for the Holidays; Santa Clues; More Holmes for the Holidays; Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Halliday, Gemma (ed): Cozy Christmas Capers: 19 Holiday Short Stories.
Harris, Charlaine (ed.): Wolfsbane and Mistletoe.
Heald, Tim (ed.): A Classic Christmas Crime.
Hochensmith, Steve: Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime.
Holmes, Dee: Silent Night.
James, P.D.: The Mistletoe Murder and other stories.
Knight, Stephen (ed.): A Corpse at the Opera House; Murder at Home; Crimes for a Summer Christmas; More Crimes for a Summer Christmas.
Lovesey, Peter (Forward by): The Usual Santas: A Collection of Crime Christmas Capers.
MacLeod, Charlotte (ed.): Mistletoe Mysteries--Tales of Yuletide Murder; Christmas Stalkings--Tales of Yuletide Murder.
McCoy, Judi, Katherine Hall Page, Joanne Pence, et al: Mistletoe and Mayhem.
Manson, Cynthia (ed.): Christmas Crimes; Merry Murder; Murder Under the Mistletoe; Mystery for Christmas; Murder at Christmas.
Marks, Jeffrey (ed.): Canine Christmas.
Penzler, Otto (ed.).: Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop; The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries.
Slater, Susan: Crooks, Crimes and Christmas.
Soles, Caro (ed.).: Blood on the Holly.
Wilson, Gahan: Murder for Christmas: 26 Tales of Seasonal Malice.

Christmas Crimes: Stories from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: stories by Ron Goulart, Edward D. Hoch, John Dickson Carr, Anne Cleeves, and more.


Allan, Barbara: Antiques Fruitcake.
Baker, Deb: Murder Trims the Tree.
Barritt, Christy. Pranced.
Bennett, Jenna: Contingent on Approval.
Berry, Linda (and others): The Last Noel.
Block, Barbara (and others): Murder Most Merry.
Brewer, Steve (and others): The Last Noel; Sanity Clause (e-novella).
Burke, Christina: Queenie Baby: Pass the Eggnog.
Calhoun, Lynn: Santa Puppy.
Coco, Nancy: All I Want for Christmas is Fudge.
Collins, Kate:  Missing Under the Mistletoe.
Coward, Mat (and others): The Last Noel.
Dane, Catherine (and others): The Last Noel.
Early, Barbara: Gold, Frankincense, and Murder.
Emrick, K.J.: The Ghost of Christmas.
Faherty, Terence (and others): Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe.
Fluke, Joanne (and others): Candy Cane Murder; Gingerbread Cookie Murder.
Genova, Rosie: The Seven-Course Christmas Killer.
Hathaway, L.B.: A Christmas Case: A Posie Parker Novella.
Jaffarian, Sue Ann: The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary. 
Kelly, Diane: Death, Taxes, and Mistletoe Mayhem.
Kelner, Toni L.P. (and others): Murder Under the Tree.
Martin, Nancy: Slay Belles.
Mitcheltree, Tom (and others): How Still We See Thee Lie.
O'Donohue, Clare: Cathedral Windows.
Pence, Joanne: Cook's Christmas Capers.
Raybourn, Deanna: Silent Night--A Lady Julia Christmas Novella.
Robb, J.D. (and others): Silent Night.
Shelton, Connie: Holidays Can Be Murder.
Walker, Martin: Bruno and the Carol Singers.
Ward, Tamara: Jade O'Reilly and the 12 Days of Christmas.
Winston, Lois: Elementary, My Dear Gertie.

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Happy Caturday!

Thursday, December 17, 2020


This is an obit I hoped wouldn't need to be posted. Parnell Hall, the mystery community's funny, supportive, musical, generous, and all around good guy, passed away Tuesday. He'd been very ill, but we all thought and hoped he'd pull through. He even posted a very funny song and dance 'marketing' video two weeks ago from the hospital. Always the showman!

I will miss chatting with and 'listening' to Parnell at conventions and meetings. He always cracked us up. In honor of Parnell, I'm buying a copy of Chasing Jack, his latest book. You should, too!

Parnell Hall was born on October 31, 1944. His works include the Puzzle Lady and the Stanley Hastings series, as well as the screenplay to the 1984 cult classic C.H.U.D. Parnell collaborated with Manny Nosowsky for crossword puzzles and with Will Shortz for sudoku puzzles incorporated in Puzzle Lady stories. He also has written under the pen name J.P. Hailey, under which he wrote the Steve Winslow series. He co-authored Smooth Operator with Stuart Woods. But Parnell was so much more. 

This is my favorite Parnell Hall video. Everyone loved him. We will miss him.

And, the video of his famous song, Signing in the Waldenbooks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Finding Characters: Guest Post by Michele Drier


Finding Characters 

Rosalind Jacobsen stood at the back of the UCLA lecture hall. She’d enrolled in Medieval Art History because it fulfilled requirements for her history major and shouldn’t have a lot of reading. 

The hall was maybe one-third full. She didn’t want the first row, too near the lecturer. She didn’t want the back row; too far away and besides, the lecturer might make everyone move closer to him if the class didn’t fill up. The move would draw attention to her. The middle rows were filling but she wanted an aisle seat to slip out unnoticed. 

As with most choices in her life, Rosalind, who preferred Roz, took all options into consideration before deciding. Until today. And this decision, seemingly as simple as where she’d sit in a hall of 150 seats, sealed her future. 

Roz found an outside seat about a quarter of the way up the tiers. As she was rifling through her backpack for a notebook and pen, a voice boomed out. 

“OK class, pick a seat and settle down.” She looked at the podium and lost her breath. This was the lecturer? 

A man, probably only a few years old than she, stood with a remote in his hand. He was gorgeous—surf-bleached blond hair, chocolate brown eyes, jeans and a stereotypical jacket with leather elbow patches. Any other time Roz would have been dismissive of the cliché, but on him, it worked. “I’m Winston Duke, and I’m the TA for this class.” 

Oh, please don’t let him catch me staring and before she fully realized that thought, he caught her eye and held it for seconds. 

Those few seconds sealed Roz’ fate. 

During that class, Roz fell in love with medieval stained glass and Winston Duke. 

Now she was an acclaimed stained glass artist, designing and installing windows for clients ranging from a software developer to churches, public buildings and shopping malls. And, after more than a decade of a stimulating and love-filled marriage, international travel and further study, she was a widow. 

Winston was killed in a drive-by shooting outside a Los Angeles shopping mall. His violent death was the first time Roz ran into murder…but it wasn’t the last. 


As an author, I sometimes get asked where my characters come from and if they’re autobiographical. 

Well, yes and no. 

The protagonist in my Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries is based on years of working as a reporter and editor for daily California newspapers, starting with the San Jose Mercury News. No character is precisely one of my co-workers, but there are traits and compilations. And one of the books, Labeled for Death, does hinge on a true case of a winery that passed off Barbera grapes as Zinfandels in the heady 1990 days of explosive growth (and profits). No one died, but fines paid. 

As the first Amy Hobbes, Edited for Death, was being published, my son-in-law said, “write a vampire book.” He’s a little crazy, so I took this with a grain of salt until I read a vampire book, one of Charlaine Harris’. Then read a couple of Jim Butcher’s wizard P.I. Dresden Files. There was whimsey, suspense, mystery and my son-in-law said, “You can do this.” 

And the Kandesky vampires were born. A family of vampires that rose in Hungary five hundred years ago and who’ve captured the international market of celebrity gossip media, both television and magazines. Now ten books into SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles (the eleventh, SNAP: Pandemic Games will be out in summer, 2021) I can say that none of the characters resemble anyone I’ve ever known. 

But the siren call of my first love, mysteries, pulled me back and I found a character I loved. Rosalind (Roz) Duke is a stained glass artist with a growing international reputation and penchant for finding murdered bodies. 

Two books in the series, Stain the Soul and Tapestry of Tears, are published and the third, Resurrection of the Roses, is in an early draft, slated for publication in the fall of 2021.


Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series. She is the past president of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime; past president of Guppies, the online Sisters in Crime chapter; Vice President of the NorCal Sisters chapter, and co-chaired Bouchercon 2020, the world’s oldest and largest convention for mystery writers and fans. The Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, Labeled for Death, and Delta for Death and a stand-alone, Ashes of Memories. The paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was named the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 by PRG.  The first book in the Stained Glass Mysteries, Stain on the Soul, was published in 2019 and the second one, Tapestry of Tears, in 2020.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


This is an obit I hoped wouldn't need to be posted. Parnell Hall, the mystery community's funny, supportive, musical, generous, and all around good guy, passed away Tuesday. He'd been very ill, but we all thought and hoped he'd pull through. He even posted a very funny song and dance 'marketing' video two weeks ago from the hospital. Always the showman!

I will miss chatting with and 'listening' to Parnell at conventions and meetings. He always cracked us up. In honor of Parnell, I'm buying a copy of Chasing Jack, his latest book. You should, too!

Parnell Hall was born on October 31, 1944. His works include the Puzzle Lady and the Stanley Hastings series, as well as the screenplay to the 1984 cult classic C.H.U.D. Parnell collaborated with Manny Nosowsky for crossword puzzles and with Will Shortz for sudoku puzzles incorporated in Puzzle Lady stories. He also has written under the pen name J.P. Hailey, under which he wrote the Steve Winslow series. He co-authored Smooth Operator with Stuart Woods. But Parnell was so much more. 

This is my favorite Parnell Hall video. Everyone loved him. We will miss him.

And, the video of his famous song, Signing in the Waldenbooks.

Chocolate Maker vs. Chocolatier: How Choosing a Protagonist’s Focus Changes the Parameters of Cozy: Guest Post by Amber Royer


Chocolate Maker vs. Chocolatier: How Choosing a Protagonist’s Focus Changes the Parameters of Cozy 

When you think of cozy mysteries set in a chocolate shop, you probably picture someone making bonbons and fudge, dipping candied oranges in coverture, and stacking toffee into glass cloches. These chocolatiers can be true artists, working with flavor, design and texture to create memorable experiences. And there are a number of excellent mystery series with chocolatiers at their centers. But when I decided to write a mystery about chocolate, I wanted to do something different. I wrote a science fiction trilogy about chocolate first, and while researching and publicizing those books, I met a number of people in the craft chocolate industry. These artisans have much in common with coffee roasters and wine makers. Many of them travel to the countries where chocolate is grown, or work with farmers to increase the quality of cacao beans. Chocolate makers often build or repair their own equipment, and some have developed the ability to judge bean roasts by smell alone. 

I chose a craft chocolate maker as my sleuth for the Bean to Bar Mysteries for several reasons. Obviously, I didn’t want to waste all that research. I’ve taken bean to bar chocolate making classes from some of the founders of the craft chocolate movement, winnowed cacao beans with a hairdryer on my patio, visited chocolate shops in multiple countries, taken a jeep down a dry-ish riverbed river to visit a cacao plantation, even started growing cacao trees as houseplants. 

But having a passion doesn’t make a good book – unless you have a protagonist who uses that passion to fulfill the needs of the plot. I needed this character to be a chocolate maker, because she has to feel a bit larger than life for some of the plots I have planned for later books – while at the same time being a 32-year-old widow who owns a lop-eared bunny and lives with her aunt and uncle. The drive to problem solve, and the innate taste for adventure I’ve seen in many of the real-world craft chocolate professionals I’ve interviewed seemed like a perfect fit. 

Every novel has a scope and a scale. Scope is the amount of time and space covered in a story. Scale is the magnitude of what is included (like the budget for a film – more characters, more settings = larger scale productions). Scale also includes the sweep – the grandness of the events at hand. In the cozy starring a character working in a shop, both of those elements are usually very small. Small scopes allow for a sense of intimacy, which is why the majority of these are written first person (the confessional voice, after all) and some of them are present tense (throwing the reader into the midst of the events). Limiting the number of settings and the size of the cast (at least as far as suspects) allows for a shorter book with a tighter focus. 

NOTE: With cozy series, there tend to be cameo appearances from characters that were important to earlier books who still live in the setting, but this doesn’t necessarily broaden the scale, as their stories have already been explored. 

I wanted to stick with a tight scope (most every book I’ve ever written takes place in less than a week), but I want to gradually broaden the scale. I tried to imply that with the plot of the first book, where the conflict turns out to be over more than a single murder. Almost immediately, Felicity finds herself teaming up with a guy who used to be private security to the stars – and who has a muddled past. As the series progresses, this is going to develop into larger scale conflicts, as his world starts colliding with hers – and she has to start making decisions about the scale of the world she’s prepared to live in. 

Several aspects of Felicity’s life make chocolate maker a better fit for her than chocolatier, because that different lens of looking at what chocolate is changes her way of looking at everything – and everyone. Her being a chocolate maker changes the parameters of what potential plots can fit into her ‘verse, because suddenly she’s dealing with import laws and international influences. It becomes a different KIND of cozy, than if she was ordering and working with pre-made chocolate. That difference is subtle in the first book, when she is still struggling with fitting back into the island community she left a decade before. But it will become more pronounced later on. 

The most important aspect of her character is her need for reinvention. Out of all the chocolate makers I’ve spoken with, not one of them said they grew up wanting to be Willie Wonka. This is a career that people fall into because something sparks a passion, and often they are giving up a career doing something only tangentially related. A number of the chocolate makers I’ve met started out as computer guys or engineers – so they geek out over the process or the machines. So it makes perfect sense to have Felicity give up a career as a physical therapist because she can’t stand being around people in pain due to her own grief – to turn to something that involves chemistry, which she excelled at in school, and also makes people happy. 

It has become a trope to have a cozy character returning home because of a job failure, often combined with a bad breakup. I wanted to step away from that, and explore other reasons for homecoming. Felicity’s move home doesn’t have failure at its root at all, but rather loss – her husband passed away, which prompts her move/career change. Which, ironically, gives her a less negative place to start from. This isn’t about re-building her self-esteem while others continually underestimate her (which is what the job loss trope lends itself to) – but rather, it is about her figuring out how to build a life that means something to her, since her compass has been stripped away. 


Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate at

Monday, December 14, 2020

John Daniel: R.I.P.

More sad news. John Daniel: R.I.P.

From Meredith Phillips, Editor Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Co:

It’s my sad task to report the death of my friend and colleague John Daniel yesterday, after a long illness. He died peacefully at home in McKinleyville, Calif., with his wife and publishing partner Susan by his side. 

During his long career in writing, ghostwriting, editing, bookselling, teaching, and publishing, he wrote four well-reviewed mysteries (the Guy Mallon series), ten other books in various genres, and published hundreds of books by other authors. He’d always wanted a mystery imprint; so after Perseverance Press joined forces with Daniel Publishing, we published over 80 mysteries, with John at the helm in charge of contracts and sub rights.

Cartoon of the Day: Dogs



Here is the final post of my alphabetical by author Christmas Crime Fiction Lists. Christmas Mysteries: Authors M-Z. My next list will feature Anthologies and Novellas.

Here are the links that complete this list:
Check out Christmas Crime Fiction, Authors A-E,  Authors F-L  

As always, let me know if I've forgotten an author and title. Happy Holiday Reading!


Macbride, Stuart: Cold Granite; 12 Days of Winter.
MacDonald, John D.: Pale Gray for Guilt.
MacInerney, Karen: Mistletoe Murder; Mistletoe Murder.
Macko, Elaine: Armed.
MacLeod, Charlotte: The Convivial Codfish; Murder Goes Mumming; Rest You Merry; Christmas Stalkings; Mistletoe Mysteries; Counterfiet Christmas.
MacPherson, Rett: A Comedy of Heirs; The Blood Ballad.
Malliet, G. M.: Death of a Cozy Writer.
Malmont, Valerie: Death, Snow, and Mistletoe.
Manos, Blanche: Moonlight Can Be Murder.
Marantz, Bill: Christmas Eve Can Kill You.
Markham, Marion: Christmas Present Mystery (juvenile).
Markowitz, Jeff: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder.
Marks, Jeffrey: Canine Christmas.
Maron, Margaret: Corpus Christmas; Rituals of the Season; Christmas Mourning.
Marsh, Carole: Haunted Christmas Tree Mystery.
Marsh, Ngaio: Tied Up in Tinsel.
Marston, Edward: A Christmas Railway Mystery.
Masson, Deborah. Hold Your Tongue.

Matesky, Amanda: Murder is a Girl's Best Friend.
Maughman, W. Somerset: Christmas Holiday.
McBain, Ed: And All Through the House; Downtown; Ghosts; Sadie When She Died.
McClintick, Malcolm: Death of an Old Flame.
McCloy, Helen: Mr Splitfoot.
McClure, James: The Gooseberry Fool.
McConnon, Maggie: Bel, Book, and Scandal.
McCrumb, Sharyn: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past.
McDonald, C.S.: Merry Murder.
McGinley, Patrick: Goosefoot.
McGowan, Claire: The Dead Ground.
McGown, Jill: Murder at the Old Vicarage.
McHugh, Mary: High Kicks, Hot Chocolate, and Homicides.
McKevett, G.A.: Cooked Goose; Poisoned Tarts; Murder in Her Stocking.
McKinley, Jenn: On Borrowed Time.
McLean, Donna: A Sparrow Falls Christmas.
McLintick, Malcolm: Death of an Old Flame.
McMullen, Mary: Death by Bequest.
McPherson, Catriona: The Reek of Red Herrings.
Meade, Amy Patricia: The Christmas Fair Killer
Mehl, Nancy: There Goes Santa Claus.
Meier, Leslie: The Christmas Cookie Murder; Mistletoe Murder; Mail Order Murder; A Winter Wonderland; Christmas Carol Murder; Eggnog Murder; Gingerbread Cookie Murder.
Menuhin, Karen Baugh: Murder at Malrose Court.

Meredith, Anne: Portrait of a Murderer.
Meredith, D. R.: Murder by Sacrilege.
Meredith, David W.: The Christmas Card Murders.
Michaels, Kasey: High Heels and Holidays; Bowled Over.
Miles, Terry: Dog Gone Christmas.
Milne, A.A.: A Table Near the Band; Christmas Party.
Mims, Jay: The Five Santas.
Miner, Valerie: Murder in the English Department.
Minichino, Camile: The Helium Murder; The Oxygen Murder.
Misto, Joh: The Devil's Companions.
Mitchell, Gladys: Dead Men's Morris; The Dancing Druids; Murder in the Snow; Groaning Spinney; Death Comes at Christmas.

Moncrieff, Ada: Murder Most Festive
Monroe, Willow: Mall Santa Murder.
Moore, Christopher: The Stupidest Angel--A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.
Moore, Judy: Murder in Vail.
Morgan, Lorna Nicholl: Another Little Christmas Murder.
Morrell, David: The Spy Who Came for Christmas.
Mortimer, John: A Rumpole Christmas.
Morton, Mandy: Ghost of Christmas Paws.
Moyes, Patricia: Season of Snows and Sins; Who Killed Father Christmas?.
Mugavero, Liz: Purring Around the Christmas Tree.

Muldoon, Meg: Murder in Christmas River; Madness in Christmas River.
Muller, Marcia: There's Nothing to be Afraid Of.
Murphy, Shirley Rousseau: Cat Deck the Halls; Cat Coming Home; Cat Bearing Gifts.
Myers, Ann: Feliz Navidead.

Nabb, Magdalen: Death of an Englishman.
Naigle, Nancy: Christmas Joy.

Nash, Anne: Said with Flowers.
Neel, Janet: Death's Bright Angel.
Nelson, Hugh: The Season for Murder.
Nesbo, Jo: The Redeemer.
Nesser, Hakan: Woman with Birthmark; The Darkest Day.
Nixon, Joan: The Christmas Eve Murder.
Norden, Robert: Death Beneath the Christmas Tree.
Norton, Jemima: The Mistletoe Bride.

Ockley, Martha: The Advent of Murder.

O'Connell, Carol: Judas Child.
Oldham, Nick: Bad Tidings.

O'Marie, Sr. Carol Anne: Advent of Dying; Murder in Ordinary Time; A Novena for Murder.
O'Nan, Stewart: Last Night at the Lobster.
Oust, Gail: Ginger Snapped; The Twelve Dice of Christmas.

Page, Katherine Hall: The Body in the Big Apple; The Body in the Bouillon; The Body in the Sleigh.
Paige, Shelton: Merry Market Murder.
Painter, Kristen: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case.
Pajer, Bernadette: The Edison Effect.
Palmer, William: The Dons and Mr Dickens.
Papazoglou, Orania: Rich, Radiant Slaughter; Charisma.

Parker, Ann. Mortal Music.
Parker, Gary E.: Death Stalks a Holiday.
Parker, Robert: The Widening Gyre.
Parra, Nancy J: Flourless to Stop Him.
Patterson, James: Merry Christmas, Alex Cross; The 19th Christmas.
Paul, Barbara: A Chorus of Detectives.
Pearl, Jack: Victims.
Pearson, Carol Lynn: A Stranger For Christmas.
Pelecanos, George: Nick's Trip.
Pence, Joanne: Two Cooks A-Killing; The Thirteenth Santa.
Penhallow, Sara: The Christmas Tree Farm Murders.
Penny, Louise: A Fatal Grace; How the Light Gets In.
Perry, Anne: A Christmas Beginning; A Christmas Grace; A Christmas Guest; A Christmas Journey; A Christmas Secret; A Christmas Visitor; Silence in Hanover Close; A Christmas Promise; A Christmas Garland; A Christmas Odyssey; A Christmas Secret; A Christmas Hope... and more.
Perry, Carl J.: Bells, Spells, and Murders.
Peters, Elizabeth: He Shall Thunder in the Sky; Trojan Gold.
Peters, Ellis: A Rare Benedictine; The Raven in the Foregate.
Philips, Scott: The Ice Harvest.

Pine, Alex: The Christmas Killer.

Plakcy, Neil: Dog Have Mercy.
Pomidor, Bill: Mind Over Murder.
Pronzini, Bill: Snowbound.
Pryce, Malcolm: Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth.
Pulver, Mary Monica: Original Sin.
Purser, Ann: Murder on Monday.
Quashie, Colin: Spirits in a Material World.
Queen, Ellery: The Finishing Stroke; Cat of Many Tails; Calamity Town; The Egyptian Cross Mystery; Murder at Christmas.
Quentin, Patrick: Follower.
Quinn, Spencer: Santa 365.

Quilford, Sally: Mistletoe Mystery

Radford, E. & M.A.: Who Killed Dick Whittington.

Raphael, Lev: Burning Down the House.
Rawlins, Linda. Misty Winter.
Rawls, Randy: Jingle's Christmas.
Ray, Robert J.: Merry Christmas, Murdock.
Reilly, Linda: Claws for Celebration.
Reinsmith, Richard: Body for Christmas.
Richards, Emilie: Let There be Suspects.
Rickman, Phil: Midwinter of the Spirit.
Riggs, John R.: Haunt of the Nightingale.
Riley, Kelly Ann: Homespun Holidays.
Ripley, Ann: The Christmas Garden Affair.
Ripley, J.R.: How the Finch Stole Christmas.
Rizer, Fran: A Corpse Under the Christmas Tree.
Rizzolo, S.K.: The Rose in the Wheel.
Robb, J.D.: Holiday in Death; Apprentice in Death; Brotherhood in Death; Festive in Death.
Roberts, Gillian: The Mummer's Curse; Philly Stakes.
Roberts, Sheila: On Strike for Christmas; The Nine Lives of Christmas.
Robinson, David W: Christmas Crackers, A Murder for Christmas.
Robinson, Peter: Past Reason Hated; The Price of Love and Other Stories (collection).
Rockwell, Patricia: Papoosed.

Roger, Janet: Shamus Dust.
Roosevelt, Elliott: The White House Pantry Murder.
Roper, Gail: Caught in the Act.
Rosenfelt, David: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas; Deck the Hounds; Dachshund Through the Snow; Silent Bite.
Rosett, Sara: Mistletoe, Merriment and Murder; Menace at the Christmas Marker.

Ross, L.J.: Ryan's Christmas.
Rotch, Lawrence: Mistletoe and Murder.
Rowe, Jennifer: Death in Store; Love Lies Bleeding.
Rubino, Jane: Fruit Cake; Homicide for the Holidays.
Ruell, Patrick: Red Christmas.
Russell, Alan: St. Nick.
Russell, Michael: The City in Darkness.
Ryan, Annelise: Lucky Stiff.
Ryan, Jenna: Mistletoe and Murder.

Sample, Cindy: Dying for a Dance.
Salonen, Debra. Montana Secret Santa.
Sanders, Lawrence: The Fourth Deadly Sin.
Santangelo, Elena: Poison to Purge Melancholy; Double Cross.

Maureen Sarsfield: Murder at Beechlands.
Saums, Mary: When the Last Magnolia Weeps.
Sawyer, Corinne Holt: Ho Ho Homicide.
Sayers, Dorothy L.: The Nine Tailors.
Schaler, Karen: Christmas Camp.

Scherf, Margaret: The Gun in Daniel Webster's Bust.
Schneider, Maria: Executive Sick Days.
Schumacher, Aileen: Framework for Death.
Schweizer, Mark: The Alto Wore Tweeds; The Christmas Cantata.
Scott, Laura: Her Mistletoe Protector.
Sedaris, David: Holidays on Ice.
Sedley, Kate: The Christmas Wassail.

Seedorf, Julie: The Discombobulated Decipherers.

Sefton, Maggie: Fleece Navidad.
Sellars, M.R.: Perfect Trust.
Serafin, David: Christmas Rising.
Shaber, Sarah: Shell Game (aka Burying Ground).
Shannon, Dell: No Holiday For Crime.
Shaw, J.D: Yule Be the Death of Me.
Shaw, M.B.: Murder at the Mill.
Shea, Susan: Dressed for Death in Burgundy.
Shelton, Connie: Sweet Holidays; Holidays Can Be Murder.
Shelton, Paige: Merry Market Murder; A Christmas Tartan.
Sibley, Celestine: Spider in the Sink.
Simenon, Georges: Maigret's Christmas.
Slan, Joanna Campbell: Handmade, Holiday, Homicide.
Sleeman, Susan: The Christmas Witness; Christmas Conspiracy; High-Caliber Holiday.
Smith, Barbara Burnett: Mistletoe From Purple Sage; Tis the Season for Murder (with Fred Hunter).
Smith, Frank: Fatal Flaw.
Smith, George Harmon: The Christmas Angel.
Smith, Joan: Don't Leave Me This Way.
Smith, Karen Rose: Slay Bells Ring.
Smith, Terrence: The Devil and Webster Daniels.
Smoak, Amanda: Generals' Row.

Smucker, Judy Clemens. To Thine Own Self Be True.
Sprinkle, Patricia: A Mystery Bred in Buckhead.
Stagge, Jonathan: The Yellow Taxi.
Stanley, J. B.: The Battered Body.
Stout, Rex: And Four to Go.
Strohmeyer, Sarah: Bubbles All the Way.
Swanson, Denise: Murder of a Barbie and Ken; Murder of a Stacked Librarian.
Symons, Julian: The Detling Secret.

Talley, Marcia: Occasion of Revenge.
Tate, Valerie: The Reindeer Caper.
Taylor, Elizabeth Atwood: The Cable Car Murder.
Taylor, Hudson: Death of a Christmas Tree Man.
Taylor, Sarah Stewart: O' Artful Death.
Temple, Lou Jane: Death is Semisweet.
Tesh, Jane: Mixed Signals.
Tesler, Nancy: Slippery Slopes and Other Deadly Things.
Thames, Nancy: Waiting for Santa.
Theorin, Johan: The Darkest Room.
Thomas, Billie: Murder on the First Day of Christmas.
Thomas, Lisa: Sharpe Edge.

Thomas, Wendall. Drowned Under.
Thompson, Carlene: The Way You Look Tonight.
Thompson, Victoria. Murder on St Nicholas Avenue.
Thynne, Molly. The Crime at the Noah's Ark.

Todd, Charles: The Walnut Tree.
Tooke, John: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
Tope, Rebecca: Trouble in the Cotswolds.
Tourney, Leonard D.: Knaves Templar.
Tremayne, Peter: The Haunted Abbot.
Trent, Gayle: Clause of Death.
Trent, Teresa: The Deadliest Christmas Pageant Ever.
Trocheck, Kathy: A Midnight Clear.
Trocheck, Kathy Hogan (as Mary Kay Andrews): Fatal Fruitcake; Blue Christmas; Christmas Bliss.
Tyson, Wendy: Seeds of Revenge.

Underwood, Michael: A Party to Murder.
Unsworth, Barry: Morality Play.

VanLeeuwen, Jean: The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper.
Verburg, C.J.: Silent Night Violent Night.
Victor, Cynthia: What Matters Most.
Viets, Elaine: Murder With All the Trimmings.

Wait, Lea: Shadows on a Maine Christmas; Thread the Halls.
Wainwright, Noreen: Crime at Christmas.
Walker, Persia: Darkness and the Devil behind Me.
Waller, Gail & Jim Gilber: A Kudzu Christmas.
Walsh, Thomas: The Resurrection Man.
Ward, Donald: Our Little Secret.
Washburn, Livia: The Gingerbread Bump-Off; The Christmas Cookie Killer.
Webb, Peggy: Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse.
Webber, Heather: Trouble Under the Tree.
Weir, Charlene: A Cold Christmas.
Weiss, Kirsten: Deja Moo.
Welk, Mary: Deadly Little Christmas; A Merry Little Murder.
Wenger, Christine: It's a Wonderful Knife.
Wentworth, Patricia: The Clock Strikes 12. 
Wescott, T.C.: Slay Bells ... are you Listening?
White, Anne: Cold Winter Nights.
Wildwind, Sharon: First Murder in Advent.
Wilkinson, Kerry. No Place Like Home.

Willan, Jane: The Hour of Death.
Williams, David: Murder in Advent.
Williams, Paul. Twelve Days.

Willig, Lauren: The Mischief of the Mistletoe.
Windsor, Patricia: The Christmas Killer.
Wingfield, R.D.: Frost at Christmas.
Winston, Lois: Drop Dead Ornaments.
Wishart, David: Last Rites

Wittig, Clifford: Catt Out of the Bag.
Wolzien, Valerie: Deck the Halls With Murder; 'Tis the Season to be Murdered; We Wish You a Merry Murder.

Woods, Sherryl: Christmas at White Pines.
Wright, Eric: The Man Who Changed His Name.

Yaffe, James: Mom Meets Her Maker.
Young, Suzanne: Murder by Yew; Murder by Christmas.

Zelvin, Elizabeth: Death Will Get You Sober.
Zoltack, Nicole: Mistletoe, Marriage, & Murder.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: The Sentence


John le Carré: R.I.P.

Such sad news. John le Carré was one of my favorite authors. He will be missed.

From the New York Times:

John le Carré, whose exquisitely nuanced, intricately plotted Cold War thrillers elevated the spy novel to high art by presenting both Western and Soviet spies as morally compromised cogs in a rotten system full of treachery, betrayal and personal tragedy, died on Saturday in Cornwall, England. He was 89.

His death was confirmed on Sunday by his literary agency, the Curtis Brown Group.

Before Mr. le Carré published his bestselling 1963 novel The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, which Graham Green called “the best spy story I have ever read,” the fictional model for the modern British spy was Ian Fleming’s James Bond — suave, urbane, devoted to queen and country. With his impeccable talent for getting out of trouble while getting women into bed, Bond fed the myth of spying as a glamorous, exciting romp.

Mr. Le Carré — the pen name of David Cornwell — upended that notion with books that portrayed British intelligence operations as cesspools of ambiguity in which right and wrong are too close to call and in which it is rarely obvious whether the ends, even if the ends are clear, justify the means.

Led by his greatest creation, the plump, ill-dressed, unhappy, brilliant, relentless George Smiley, Mr. le Carré’s spies are lonely, disillusioned men whose work is driven by budget troubles, bureaucratic power plays and the opaque machinations of politicians — men who are as likely to be betrayed by colleagues and lovers as by the enemy. 


Read the New York Times obituary here:

Read The Guardian Obit here.

IRISH MYSTERIES: Mystery Readers Journal (36:4)

Irish Mysteries

Mystery Readers Journal: Irish Mysteries (Volume 36: 4, Winter 2020-2021) is available as a PDF and hardcopy. If you're a PDF subscriber, you should have received download instructions. Hard copy subscription copies should arrive this week. PDF Contributor Copies will be going out shortly. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue.


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



  • The Real Ireland by Robin Castle
  • Murder in the Border Country: The Crime Novels of Anthony J. Quinn by David Clark
  • The Ireland We Believe We Own by Rona Bell
  • Dublin Crime from the ’50s to the 2000s by Peter Handel
  • Irish Mystery Writers of the Golden Age by Patricia Cook


  • The Orange and the Green by James Benn
  • Shadows of Guilt: Ireland in the 1950s by John Banville, aka Benjamin Black
  • How Ireland’s Mysteries Bedazzle the Historical Novel by Nancy Blanton
  • At Marks and Spencer by Flynn Berry
  • Irish Inspirations by Rhys Bowen
  • On Living and Writing in Ireland by Robin Castle
  • Kennedy, Starrett & McCusker… No, Not a Firm of Ulster Lawyers by Paul Charles
  • Routine Commercial Bombing, and Other Tales from Belfast by Anne Emery
  • My Wild Irish Prose by Carole Nelson Douglas
  • How Joining the Irish Infantry Inspired Me To Be an Author by Michelle Dunne
  • Secrets and Hidden Things by Tana French
  • Stories from Ireland’s Thin Places by Erin Hart
  • Serial Killer on a Small Island by Catherine Ryan Howard
  • Noir in Belfast by Adrian McKinty
  • Bonds to Ireland Can’t Be Broken by Catie Murphy
  • The 74% Irish in Me by Carlene O’Connor
  • Strange, Yet Familiar—My Ireland by Clare O’Donohue
  • Study Abroad Leads to a Castle Adventure by Art Taylor
  • Listening to Ireland by Sarah Stewart Taylor
  • When Irish Eyes Are Dying by Andrew Welsh-Huggins


  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lesa Holstine, D.R. Ransdell, L.J. Roberts, Craig Sisterson, Lucinda Surber
  • Just the Facts: The Case of the Vanishing Women by Jim Doherty
  • Children’s Hour: Irish Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Ireland by Marvin Lachman
  • Crime Seen: Green Screen by Kate Derie
  • Real Ireland Mysteries by Cathy Pickens
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph


SUBSCRIBE to Mysteries Readers Journal for 2021

Themes in 2021: History Mysteries 1; History Mysteries 2; Texas; Cold Cases. 

Call for articles: We're looking for reviews, articles, and Author! author! essays. Review: 50-150 words, articles, 500-1000 words. Author Essays: 500-1000 words, first person, upclose and personal about yourself, your books, and the "theme" connection. Deadline for History Mysteries: January 15, 2021.  

Send queries to Janet Rudolph: janet @ mysteryreaders . org