Monday, April 12, 2021

Hugh Laurie to adapt Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

According to Deadline, Hugh Laurie will adapt Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans? for BritBox. This is not the first adaptation of this novel.

From Deadline:

Hugh Laurie has signed up to write, direct, and executive produce an adaptation of Agatha Christie novel Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? for BritBox in North America.

The three-part series represents the BBC Studios and ITV-owned streamer’s biggest U.S. commission to date, and the project will be housed at Mammoth Screen, the Christie specialist behind recent adaptations of And Then There Were None and The ABC Murders, starring John Malkovich.

Laurie has been enamored with Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? since he was a child and the book, first published in 1934, tells the story Bobby Jones and his socialite friend Lady Frances Derwent, who discover a dying man while hunting for a golf ball.

Jones and Derwent turn amateur sleuths as they seek to unravel the mystery of the man, who has the picture of a beautiful young woman in his pocket, and, with his last breath, utters the cryptic question that forms the series’ title. The amiable duo approach their investigation with a levity that belies the danger they encounter.

No word yet on whether Laurie will take a starring role in the show, though Deadline understands that it is hoped he can feature in some form. For now though, the Avenue 5 and Roadkill actor is focused on adapting the novel, in what represents his first major TV drama series in the writer and director’s chair.
Emily Powers, head of BritBox North America, said: “Hugh Laurie’s writing pays homage to the brilliance of the original Agatha Christie mystery while adding fresh wit, humor, and creativity that will appeal to all audiences.”

Can't wait! Possible airdate: 2022

Read more here


Sunday, April 11, 2021



Lefty Awards

The 2021 Lefty Awards were presented virtually on April 10, 2021Congratulations to all!

Lefty Best Humorous Mystery Novel

  • Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard (Crooked Lane Books)
Lefty Nominees for Best Historical Mystery Novel for books set before 1970
  • Catriona McPherson, The Turning Tide (Quercus)
Lefty Nominees for Best Debut Mystery Novel
  • David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts (Ecco)
Lefty Nominees for Best Mystery Novel (not in other categories)
  • Louise Penny, All the Devils Are Here (Minotaur Books)
Lucinda Surber & Stan Ulrich, Lefty Awards Co-Chairs

ABQ in ’22: Our Next In-Person Convention!
Left Coast Crime 2022: Albuquerque, New Mexico

When: April 7–10, 2022
Where: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
Guest of Honor: Mick Herron
Guest of Honor: Catriona McPherson
Fan Guest of Honor: Kristopher Zgorski
Toastmaster: Kellye Garrett
Ghost of Honor: Tony Hillerman
Visit the LCC 2022 website for more details and to register.

Not sure if you are registered for Albuquerque? Check the Attendee page for your name.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Crimefest Awards Shortlists

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award
- Eva Björg Aegisdóttir for The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda Books)
- Marion Brunet for Summer of Reckoning (Bitter Lemon Press)
- Robin Morgan-Bentley for The Wreckage (Trapeze)
- Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
- Mara Timon for City of Spies (Zaffre)
- Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street (Quercus)

Audible Sounds of Crime Award
- Lee & Andrew Child for The Sentinel, reader Jeff Harding (Transworld)
- Lucy Foley for The Guest List, readers Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Chloe Massey, Sarah Ovens, Rich Keeble & Jot Davies (HarperFiction)
- Robert Galbraith for Troubled Blood, reader Robert Glenister (Little, Brown Book Group)
- Anthony Horowitz for Moonflower Murders, readers Lesley Manville & Allan Corduner (Penguin Random House Audio)
- Peter James for Find Them Dead, reader Daniel Weyman (Pan Macmillan)
- Lisa Jewell for Invisible Girl, reader Donna Banya, Rebekah Staton & Connor Swindells (Penguin Random House Audio)

- Lynda La Plante for Buried, readers Alex Hassell & Annie Aldington (Zaffre)
- T. M. Logan for The Catch, reader Philip Stevens (Zaffre)
- Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club, reader Lesley Manville (Viking)
- Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times, reader James Macpherson (Orion)

eDunnit Award
- Gabriel Bergmoser for The Hunted (Faber)
- Sharon Bolton for The Split (Trapeze) 
- J. P. Carter for Little Boy Lost (Avon)
- Steve Cavanagh for Fifty-Fifty (Orion Fiction)
- Michael Connelly for Fair Warning (Orion Fiction)
- James Lee Burke for A Private Cathedral (Orion Fiction)
- Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times (Orion Fiction)
- Holly Watt for The Dead Line (Raven Books)

H. R. F. Keating Award
- Mark Aldridge for Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World (HarperCollins)
- Martin Edwards (editor) for Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club (Collins Crime Club)
- Colin Larkin for Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965 (Telos Publishing)
- Andrew Lycett for Conan Doyle’s Wide World (Tauris Parke)
- Heather Martin for The Reacher Guy (Constable)
- Sheila Mitchell for H. R. F. Keating: A Life of Crime (Level Best Books)
- Craig Sisterson for Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand (Oldcastle Books)
- Peter Temple for The Red Hand: Stories, reflections and the last appearance of Jack Irish (riverrun)
Last Laugh Award
- Ben Aaronovitch for False Value (Gollancz)
- Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May - Oranges and Lemons (Doubleday)
 - Elly Griffiths for The Postscript Murders (Quercus)
- Carl Hiaasen for Squeeze Me (Sphere)
- Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
- Malcolm Pryce for The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Bloomsbury Publishing)
- Khurrum Rahman for Ride or Die (HQ)
- Olga Wojtas for Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Vampire Menace (Contraband)

Best Crime Novel for Children (Ages 8-12)
- Sophie Deen for Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes (Walker Books)
- Elly Griffiths for A Girl Called Justice - The Smugglers' Secret (Quercus Children's Group)
- Anthony Horowitz for Nightshade (Walker Books)
- Jack Noel for My Headteacher is an Evil Genius (Walker Books)
- Serena Patel for Anisha, Accidental Detective (Usborne Publishing)
- Serena Patel for School's Cancelled (Usborne Publishing)
- Onjali Q. Rauf for The Night Bus Hero (Orion Children's Group)
- Dave Shelton for The Pencil Case (David Fickling Books)

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (Ages 12-16)
- William Hussey for Hideous Beauty (Usborne Publishing)
- Lauren James for The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker (Walker Books)
- Matt Killeen for Devil Darling Spy (Usborne Publishing)
- Patrice Lawrence for Eight Pieces of Silva (Hodder Children's Group)
- Simon Lelic for Deadfall (Hodder Children's Group)
- Robert Muchamore for Hacking, Heists & Flaming Arrows (Hot Key Books)
- Patrick Ness for Burn (Walker Books)
- Nancy Springer for The Case of the Missing Marquess (Hot Key Books)

Congratulations to all the nominees!

The awards will be announced in the first week of June.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Travels with the Nick Hoffman Series: Guest Post by Lev Raphael



I was fascinated by mysteries in junior high school, reading everything I could find in my upper Manhattan library by Agatha Christie, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, and John Creasey. 

But even though I dreamed of being an author, I never imagined writing my own mysteries. Short stories were my passion and I read classic authors in high school and college like Chekhov, Poe, de Maupassant, Maugham, Woolf, James, Wharton, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway. My first book with St. Martin's Press was a collection of short stories that had been published over the course of a decade. When it won a prize, that seemed to confirm my career path. ​

But there was a story in the collection that continued to nag me. The narrator, Nick, was a college professor furious because his partner had helped an ex-lover get hired at their university. It was a comedy, but what if the ex- got murdered? Wasn't there a book in that?​ And maybe even a series? 

I returned to Christie, studying her fiendish plots and subtle dialogue. I also read Sue Grafton, Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, Michael Connelly, Dashiell Hammett, Janet Evanovich, Ken Follett, Georges Simenon and many more crime writers. It was the kind of immersion that I've always enjoyed, whether studying a foreign language like Swedish or taking voice lessons.​ ​ 

My editor at St. Martin's Press suggested academia for my setting because I knew it so intimately. I agreed because the world of the university was a perfect milieu for murder and mayhem. As I once heard a sociologist explain it, "Academics don't have good means of conflict resolution." ​

I located the series in my adopted home of Michigan, creating a fictional state capital of Michiganapolis where my hero taught at the equally fictional State University of Michigan (SUM). Starting out, I wanted the books to be both mysteries and academic satires. ​I had other goals, too. It was crucial that my main character Nick Hoffman had to be seen developing over the course of the books. ​He also had to directly experience the impact of dealing with so much death. 

The second book in the series, The Edith Wharton Murders, scored a rave review in The New York Times and that had special resonance for me. My immigrant mother always did the complex Sunday crossword puzzle to perfect her English. And the Times was practically a fetish object in New York City; we actually learned in elementary school how to fold it to be readable on a crowded bus or subway. 

Thanks to my growing notoriety after that review, I appeared as moderator or panelist at mystery conferences across the country and even abroad. I met fans, booksellers, and dozens of crime writers. These authors are fun to be around because they don't tend to take themselves too seriously despite devotion to their craft. 

I've enjoyed long, deep conversations over meals or drinks with writers like Val McDermid, Walter Mosley, Martha Lawrence, and Anne Perry, talking about everything from career to translations to our personal lives. I owe Val a special debt of gratitude because she spirited me off from a crowded, stuffy lecture room at Oxford when it looked like I was going to pass out from the heat and disrupt the panel. 

While I first became known as a writer of stories about children of Holocaust survivors, my series has let me employ humor that reviewers and fans have enjoyed. It's been a hoot doing readings from these books at colleges and universities where faculty will share gossip with me that can make for great material—suitably disguised, of course. Reading at a college town bookstore on one tour, I was asked if it was believable that someone died in each mystery and Nick's campus was so crime-ridden. Before I could answer, someone shouted, "Kill a whole department!" 

My mysteries earned me a job reviewing crime fiction for the Detroit Free Press where I discovered more writers than I could have found on my own, like the amazing Paula Woods of Inner City Blues and Terrill Lankford of Shooters. Thanks to being a reviewer, I was invited to a star-studded conference at a Caribbean Club Med. When I told the club's CEO that I wanted to set a mystery there, he generously invited me back the following year. I still marvel at the unique experiences that led to writing Tropic of Murder

Other reviewing gigs followed both for newspapers and public radio stations. I even ended up producing my own radio show where I interviewed distinguished authors. I also got to be a DJ in that gig, playing music of my choice at the halftime break. 

All the touring for the series further developed my skills as a performer of my own books. An extrovert with teaching and acting experience, I was comfortable with an audience, but none of that ever prepared me to read my own fiction on tour. I learned on the road, sometimes with my spouse giving me director's notes on what played well and what didn't. Those appearances helped me later design conference workshops where I've advised writers how to dynamically present their work. 

Writing the Nick Hoffman mysteries has always felt like going on vacation. I've relished the structure, the return to a familiar place, a familiar set of characters, and the challenge of coming up with a new kind of murder with a new set of clues while introducing new victims. The series has brought me a different audience which was a pleasant surprise. 

The Nick Hoffman books also gave me the confidence to make one of the later books a novel of suspense dealing with the militarization of our police forces. Assault With a Deadly Lie was truly one of those "ripped from the headlines" books because it dealt with the abuse of SWAT teams. That book scored me my first Midwest Book Award nomination and pushed Nick Hoffman to the edge, making the next and final books in the series not just possible but inevitable. 

From the very beginning of my career, I've been fortunate to have truly fine editors, from publishing stories and articles to appearing in anthologies and then publishing books across a dozen different genres. All three of the Nick Hoffman editors have been insightful and inspiring: Keith Kahla, Michael Seidman, and Meredith Phillips. The series has benefited from their expertise at every turn, and they've taught me to be a better editor myself in my roles as a creative writing teacher and mentor, which I now do online. 

Nick Hoffman started out as an anxious un-tenured assistant professor who was only hired because SUM wanted his partner as the writer-in-residence for their English Department. That's a black mark for Nick. He's also not respected for his work as a bibliographer, since bibliographies are helpful and accessible rather than abstruse monographs read by hardly anyone. 

Even worse, he actually enjoys teaching which doesn't rate high enough when it comes to promotion. And the murders he gets embroiled in invariably create bad PR for his department and the university. I've had fun pitting him against other faculty, administrators, and even campus police as he's grown more confident in himself while becoming more conflicted about the hothouse academic world he inhabits. 

When a professor friend asked me what was happening with Nick in my latest, Department of Death, I told her he was now the department chair and it would be the last mystery in the series. She laughed and said, "Lots of academic careers have ended that way."


Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-seven books in nearly a dozen different genres. Raphael is best known as a pioneer in writing fiction and creative non-fiction about the children of Holocaust survivors, which he's been publishing since 1978, before almost any other American author. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and England. He's a guest assistant professor of English at Michigan State University. Raphael's academic mystery series has earned raves from the NYTBR and many other newspapers and magazines. Raphael has written hundreds of reviews for The Detroit Free Press, Jerusalem Report, Forward, The Washington Post, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Boston Review and Lambda Book Report. A former radio talk show host, he also reviewed for several radio shows before giving up on print journalism as well as radio. Follow him on Twitter @LevRaphael. Raphael's web site is

Sunday, April 4, 2021

What to do with Leftover Easter Chocolate

Today and tomorrow both high end and low end Easter Chocolate is on sale at 50% off. This is the perfect time to scoop up the bargains. But maybe you still have some leftover chocolate at home? Perhaps not the ears of the bunny, but body parts and decimated eggs? Put all that chocolate to tasty use!

If it's still in its wrapping, donate leftover chocolate to homeless shelters -- or if it won't melt, ship overseas to military personnel.

But if your chocolate is in pieces and chunks, here are a few ideas. Leftover chocolate goes great on ice cream or added to brownies and cookies. So many creative ways to re-purpose and re-savor Easter Candy.

Freeze for Later: Chop up chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs. Freeze the pieces and use instead of chocolate chips in cookies and other goodies. 

Ice Cream: Melt Easter bunny parts and pour over ice cream. Add some nuts. Or just chop it up and sprinkle on ice cream. Add berries and whipped cream for a great sundae.

Milk Shake: Use any chopped chocolate with two scoops of ice cream and some milk. Blend!

S'Mores: Well they're a natural with Peeps, especially the chocolate covered ones.. but in a pinch add some chocolate bunny, a peep, a graham cracker, and put in the oven or microwave. Add another graham cracker and you're good to go!

Trail Mix: Well, duh... chop up the chocolate and add some dried fruit and nuts. I think a chopped up chocolate coconut egg would be a great addition, too! Put it in a small baggie and go for a hike!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Instead of dipping (unless you have a lot of chocolate), drizzle melted chocolate over fresh strawberries.

Candy from Candy: Melt Chocolate Bunnies or Easter eggs in double boiler or microwave. Once  chocolate is hot and smooth, pour into candy molds.

Chocolate Fondue: see my fondue recipes. The Bunny has never tasted so good... Retro treat with Retro Chocolate. Dip leftover PEEPS and fruit.

Hot Chocolate: Melt some chocolate. Add water or milk and heat until perfect. Add some whipped cream (or a PEEP)!

Brownies: I always add some extra chopped chocolate to my brownies, so why not some Chocolate Easter Eggs? Chop and fold into batter. 

Pancakes: Make a batch of pancakes and drop some chocolate in (do it toward the end or the chocolate or chocolate will scorch) or melt some chocolate and use in place of syrup.

Muffins and Waffles: Chop up Chocolate and add to muffins or waffles.

Trifle: Layer chopped Bunnies with leftover cake or brownies, whipped cream, cookie crumbs and anything else that seems yummy to you. I like to make trifles in clear glass containers to see all the layers of delicious chocolate goodness!

Cookies: Do I really need to tell you how to do this? Chop and Drop in your favorite batter!

Cupcakes: Any way you'd use chocolate -- or use an apple corer and fill the centers.

Rice Krispies Treats: Melt chocolate, then stir in Rice Krispies. Spread on a tray. Put in Refrigerator. Cut.

Any other ideas for left-over Easter Chocolate?


Cartoon of the Day: Easter Crime

Cartoon of the Day: Easter Bunny

Saturday, April 3, 2021


Just in time for Easter, here's my updated Easter Crime Fiction list. As always, I welcome any additions. I've also added some Good Friday mysteries, rounding out the weekend.


Antiques Bizarre by Barbara Allan
Ship of Danger by Mabel Esther Allan
Aunt Dimity: Detective by Nancy Atherton
Bunny Donuts and a Body by Cindy Bell
Death and the Easter Bunny by Linda Berry
In a Gilded Cage by Rhys Bowen
Easter Weekend by David Bottoms
The Last Enemy by Grace Brophy
The Faberge Easter Egg by Sharon E. Buck

Wycliffe and the Last Rites by W.J. Burley
The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha by JoAnna Carl
Papa la-Bas by John Dickson Carr
Do You Promise Not To Tell? by Mary Jane Clark
Easter Hair Hunt by Nancy Cohen
Easter Buried Eggs by Lyndsey Cole
Little Easter by Reed Farrel Coleman
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Last Easter by Caroline Conklin
Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors
Murder on Good Friday by Sara Conway
Holy Terrors by Mary R. Daheim
Big Bunny Bump Off, Easter Escapade, Hippity Hoppity Homicide by Kathi Daley
Death of a Harlequin by Mary-Jane Deeb

KittyKai's Easter Mystery by Debbie De Louise

The House of Death by Paul Doherty
Cue the Easter Bunny by Liz Evans
Death at the Wheel by Kate Flora

Lord James Harrington and the Easter Mystery by Lynn Florkiewicz

Toxic Toffee; Criminally Cocoa by Amanda Flower
Eula May and the Easter Kandy Killer by Amy Mull Fremgen

Deadly Sin by P.J. Grady
Precious Blood by Jane Haddam
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
The Good Friday Murder by Lee Harris 
Server Down by J.M. Hayes
Semana Santa by David Hewson
Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy
Killer Easter Pie by Carolyn Q. Hunter

Easter Murders by Bryant Jackson & Edward Meadows
Death of a Dumb Bunny by Melanie Jackson
Murder on the Eightfold Path by Diana Killian
Bunny Drop by Linda Kozar
Chef Maurice and the Bunny-Boiler Bake Off by J.A. Lang
Forest of Souls by J. G. Lewis

Do Not Exceed the Stated Dose (short stories) by Peter Lovesey
Dyeing Season by Karen Macinerney
Pagan Spring by G. M. Malliet
Some Like It Lethal by Nancy Martin
Alibis & Angels by Olivia Matthews
Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier
The Chocolate Easter Baking Challenge by M'Lissa Moorecroft

Devil's Door by Sharan Newman

The Easter Mystery by Joan Lowery Nixon
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

The Easter Sunday Slaughter by Imogen Plimp
The Wolf and the Lamb by Frederick Ramsey
Chicory is Trickery by Sheri Richey

The Baritone Wore Chiffon; The Soprano Wore Falsettos by Mark Schweizer
Easter's Lily by Judy Serrano
Prey on Patmos by Jeffrey Siger
Tourist Trap by Julie Smith
Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming
And Four To Go includes "The Easter Parade" aka The Easter Parade Murder" by Rex Stout
Easter Breakfast by John Stuart

Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death by Denise Swanson
The Quarry by Johan Theorin
Midnight at the Camposanto by Mari Ulmer
The Lord is My Shepherd by Debbie Viguie
The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson
Easter Egg Murder by Patricia Smith Wood

Easter Egg Hunt Murder by Rachel Woods

Short Story: "The Man on the Cross" by Bill Crider from the collection Thou Shalt Not Kill, edited by Anne Perry."The Rabbit Died" by Sue Ann Jaffarian.

Looking for Easter Chocolate to eat while reading? Stop by my other Blog, for some great Chocolate Easter Recipes and the History and Culture of the Chocolate Easter Bunny.

Look Magazine, April 16, 1957

Thursday, April 1, 2021


The Short Mystery Fiction Society announced the nominations for the 2021 Derringer Awards. I will update where the stories appear when the 'official' announcement comes out.

Congratulations to all!

Outsourcing, James Blakey
Over Before It Started, Robert Mangeot
Memories of Fire, Joshua Pastor
War Words, Travis Richardson
Quitman County Ambush, Bobby Mathews

That Which Is True, Jacqueline Freimor
River, Stacy Woodson
The Crossing, Kim Keeline
The Great Bedbug Incident and the Invitation of Doom, Eleanor Cawood Jones
The Homicidal Understudy, Elizabeth Elwood

Chasing Diamonds, Joseph S. Walker
Lord, Spare the Bottom Feeders, Robert Mangeot
Mary Poppins Didn't Have Tattoos, Stacy Woodson
Etta at the End of the World, Joseph S. Walker
Hotelin', Sarah M. Chen

A Murder at Morehead Mews, G.M. Malliet
The Wretched Strangers, Matthew Wilson
The Question of the Befuddled Judge, Jeff Cohen
The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74, Art Taylor
Suicide Blonde, Brian Thornton

Cartoon of the Day: April Fool

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Happy Birthday to Me! Birthday Crime Fiction

Today's my Birthday. Even though I've had both shots, I won't be venturing too far or celebrating with a crowd. But we can all celebrate virtually by reading one of these Birthday Themed Mysteries. Every year I get older, and the list gets longer. Any titles missing? Make a comment below, and I'll add to the list!

Birthday Crime Fiction

Happy Birthday, Turk! by Jakob Arjouni and Anselm Hollo
A Birthday to Die For by Frank Atchley
Cranberry Crimes by Jessica Beck

Birthdays Can be Deadly by Cindy Bell
The Birthday Murderer by Jay Bennett
Birthday Can Be Murder by Joyce Cato
Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
Berries and Birthdays by Leena Clover

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
A Catered Birthday Party by Isis Crawford
The Birthday Gift by Ursula Reilly Curtiss
The Birthday Party: Family Reunions Can Be Murder by Chari Davenport
The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson
The Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz
There's Something about Mary by Wendy Delaney
A Birthday Secret by Nickolas Drake
Murder Can Botch Up Your Birthday by Selma Eichler

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin
Birthday Cake and Bodies by Agatha Frost
Birthday Sprinkle Murder by Susan Gillard
Aunti Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
The Nanny by Dan Greenburg
The Happy Birthday Murder by Lee Harris
They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer
Birthday Cake Waffle by Carolyn Q. Hunter
Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden
Happy Birthday, Marge by Shari Hearn
The Birthday Treasure Mystery by Kaylee Huyser
Birthday Party by Marne Davis Kellogg
Murder with a Twist by Tracy Kiely
Birthday Party by C.H.B Kitchin and Adrian Wright
Spiced by Gina LaManna 

The Birthday Girl by Stephen Leather
The Birthday Murder by Lange Lewis
Creme Brulee Murder by Harper Lin
The Birthday Killer by W. Kay Lynn
Birthdays for the Dead by Stuart MacBride
False Scent by Ngaio Marsh
The Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin
Birthday Party Murder by Leslie Meier 

Deadly Birthday by CT Mitchell
Many Deadly Returns by Patricia Moyes
The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page 
Birthday, Deathday by Hugh Pentecost
The Birthday Club by Jack Peterson

Murder and Meringue Cake by Rosie A. Point
The Birthday Party by W. Price
Birthday Dance by Peter Robinson
The Birthday Bash by Elizabeth Sorrells
Don't Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub
Birthday Cake and a Murder by Kathleen Suzette

Sharpe Turn by Lisa B. Thomas
Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson
The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine
The Birthday Surprise by Clara Vulliamy (Children's) 

A Birthday Lunch by Martin Walker
The Birthday by Elizabeth Wells
The Mortician's Birthday Party by Peter Whalley
The Fortieth Birthday Body by Valerie Wolzien
The Birthday by Carol Wyer
The Birthday by Margaret Yorke

"The Birthday Dinner" by Donna Andrews in Death Dines In, edited by Claudia Bishop & Dean James

Monday, March 29, 2021



The International Association of Crime Writers, North America announced the 2020 Hammett Nominees. The Hammett Prize is given for literary Excellence in Crime Writing

The 2020 reading committee, consisting of Christopher Chan, Marni Graff, Debbi Mack, and Chair J. Madison Davis made a number of difficult choices and the following books (in alphabetical order) have been selected for the short list: 

Murder In Old Bombay by Nev March (Minotaur) Based on a true story, in 1892 a soldier recovering from wounds investigates a murder. 

The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Minotaur) A New York detective revisits the disappearance of her cousin in Ireland two decades ago. 

Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black (Soho) In World War II, a young female sniper is sent to Paris to assassinate the Führer. 

When These Mountains Burn by David Joy (Putnam) A father in Appalachia confronts the opioid epidemic in an attempt to rescue his son. 

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco) Vigilante Virgil Wounded Horse investigates the spread of heroin on the reservation. 

Congratulations to all!


The Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans
established the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction in 2012 for women writers to honor the memory of Diana Pinckley (1952-2012), a longtime crime fiction columnist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune, and her passion for mysteries.

New this year, the Pinckley Prize for True Crime Writing is intended to honor a book which illuminates the reality of women’s lives; it need not be a debut work.

C.S. Harris (Candace Procter) and Angie Kim are the recipients of the 2020 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction. Emma Copley Eisenberg is the inaugural winner of the Pinckley Prize for True Crime Writing. The prizes will be presented during the 2021 Bouchercon which takes place in New Orleans in August.


Miss Scarlet and The Duke Season 2

MASTERPIECE and Element 8 Entertainment have announced a second season of Miss Scarlet and The Duke, the popular mystery starring Kate Phillips as the fearless, first-ever female detective in Victorian London and Stuart Martin as her childhood friend and potential love interest Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington. 

Almost eight million viewers tuned in to the series’ first season, which premiered on PBS in January as part of MASTERPIECE ‘s 50th anniversary lineup. It was streamed 3.6 million times. 

“Miss Scarlet and The Duke was an instant fan favorite,” says Susanne Simpson, executive producer of MASTERPIECE. “Our audience couldn’t resist its lighthearted tone and the appealing characters so wonderfully portrayed by Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin. We’re delighted the show will return for a second season.” MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by GBH Boston

In a performance called “enthralling” by IndieWire, Phillips (The Crown, Wolf Hall) plays Eliza Scarlet, daughter of a retired investigator played by Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey), who tutored young Eliza in the crime-solving arts. When he dies, she is left penniless and determined to become a private detective to support herself. Unfortunately, detectives have always been men, but a family friend at Scotland Yard called The Duke and played by Martin (Jamestown) offers to help. So begins a collaboration that grows into something more ardent. “Will they or won’t they?” became the subject of much speculation across MASTERPIECE social communities. 

Writer/Creator Rachael New says: "I'm absolutely thrilled at the news that Miss Scarlet and The Duke will be back for a season 2. I have so much in store for Duke, Eliza and her crew. With even more action, adventure and of course a nice big dollop of romance, it's going to be a cracking season. The fans are going to LOVE it!" 

"We have found our dream partners in MASTERPIECE and PBS Distribution,” says Patricia Lenahan Ishimoto, Managing Partner, Element 8. “They have embraced the series and given us the gift of creative license to continue to unfold the magic that Rachael New has so thoughtfully crafted for Eliza, Duke and their eclectic band of friends. We can't wait to see what she has in store for them." – more – 

The second season of Miss Scarlet and the Duke will air on MASTERPIECE on PBS in 2022.