Monday, May 31, 2021



CRIMEFEST presented its 2021 awards today. With Agatha Raisin star Matt McCooey returning as host, you can view the full award video ceremony on the CRIMEFEST HOME or VIDEO pages.

For those who haven't watched Agatha Raisin on television or would like to watch it again, CrimeFest has a DVD boxset of the Pilot and series one signed by Matt, as well as scriptwriter Julia Gilbert, and its star Ashley Jensen – yes, Agatha herself! To win, email with ‘Agatha’ in the subject line, and your name and postal address in the body of the message. The deadline is 7 June.

Best Crime Novel For Children (aged 8-12)
– Serena Patel for Anisha, Accidental Detective (Usborne Publishing)

Best Crime Novel For Young Adults (aged 12-16)
– Patrice Lawrence for Eight Pieces of Silva (Hodder Children’s Group)

(In our continued mission to engage and support the local community, CRIMEFEST has once more distributed sets of all the books entered for both the Children and Young Adult Awards – total value at just under £1,100 – to schools in Bristol.

With heartfelt thanks to the participating publishers, and Max Minerva's Marvellous Books for their help.)

H.R.F. Keating Award
for best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction
– Martin Edwards (editor) for Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club (Collins Crime Club)

eDunnit Award
for best crime fiction ebook published in both hardcopy and in electronic format
– Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times (Orion Fiction)

Last Laugh Award
for the best humorous crime novel
– Carl Hiaasen for Squeeze Me (Sphere)

Audible Sounds Of Crime Award
for the best unabridged crime audiobook
– Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club, reader Lesley Manville (Viking)

Courtesy of sponsor Audible, Richard Osman and Lesley Manville share a £1,000 prize equally.
With thanks to Audible, there is a digital set of all the nominated titles to give away to one lucky newsletter reader. (Accessing the audiobooks will require the winner to have an Audible account, or to sign up for a free one.) To enter, send an email to with ‘Audible’ in the subject line and your name and email address in the body of the message. The deadline to enter is 7 June.

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award
for a crime novel by a debut author
– Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street (Quercus)

Courtesy of headline and award sponsor, Specsavers, Trevor Wood receives a £1,000 prize.

(You can view last month’s Zoom panel with five of the nominees of this year’s Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award on the VIDEO page.)

With thanks to Specsavers and the participating publishers, there is one set of all the nominated titles to give away to one lucky newsletter reader. To enter, send an email to with ‘Specsavers’ in the subject line and your name and email address in the body of the message. The deadline to enter is 7 June.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! For full details of all the entered titles visit the CRIMEFEST AWARDS page.



Memorial Day aka Decoration Day is a day of remembrance of those men and women who who fell protecting us, of those who didn't come home. Many people go to cemeteries and memorials on the last Monday in May, and there's a tradition to fly the flag at half mast. Memorial Day in the U.S. is part of a three day holiday weekend. Many think of this weekend as the beginning of Summer, a time for Barbecues, the Beach, the Cabin, and S'mores. Not planning a get-together? You can celebrate Memorial Day by reading some of these Mysteries set during the Memorial Day Weekend.

But in memory of all who served their country, here's an updated list of Mysteries set during Memorial Day Weekend. Let me know if I've forgotten any titles. You may also want to check out my Veterans Day Mystery List.

Memorial Day Mysteries

Death is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons
Last Man Standing by David Baldacci
The Twenty Three by Linwood Barclay
Treble at the Jam Fest by Leslie Budewitz
The Decoration Memorial Day War by David H. Brown
Memorial Day by Sandra Thompson Brown and Duane Brown
Flowers for Bill O'Reilly: Memorial Day by Max Allan Collins
Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors
One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer Fleming (not technically Memorial day, but it fits the theme)
Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
Memorial Day by Harry Shannon
Beside Still Waters by Debbie Viguie
Who Killed the Neanderthal by Cheryl Zelenka

Children's Mysteries:

Trixie Belden: The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire by Kahryn Kenny
Sam's Top Secret Journal: Memorial Day by Sean Adelman, Siri Bardarson, Dianna Border & Andrea Hurst

Rosemary is for Remembrance. Check out the recipe for Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies on my other blog:

Sunday, May 30, 2021


Barbecuing this Memorial Day weekend? Even if you're not, you'll want to dive into this Barbecue Mysteries list. There are so many ways to murder someone at a barbecue, from the sauce to the skewers to the grill, not to mention the tiny wires on the barbecue brush (true crime!). Here's an updated short list of Barbecue Mysteries. Let me know if I've forgotten any titles!

Barbecue Mysteries

Delicious and Suspicious, Hickory Smoked Homicide, Finger Lickin' Dead, Rubbed Out by Riley Adams  (Elizabeth Craig Spann) - The Memphis BBQ Mystery Series
Bad Move by Linwood Barclay
Murder, Basted and Barbecued by Constance Turner
Murder Well-Done by Claudia Bishop
Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron
Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette
Several of the recent Dan Rhodes books by Bill Crider
Murder at the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival by Gene Davis
The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
Memphis Ribs by Gerald Duff
Murder Can Singe Your Old Flame by Selma Eichler
Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
The Politics of Barbecue by Blake Fontenay
Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber
City of Saviors by Rachel Howzell Hall
Barbecue, Bourbon and Bullets by M.E. Harmon
Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes
The Big Barbecue by Dorothy B. Hughes
Close to Home by Cara Hunter
The Sheriff and..  (series) by D. R. Meredith

Thou Shall Not Grill by Tamar Myers
Hush My Mouth by Cathy Pickens
Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham
The King is Dead by Sarah Shankman
Stiffs and Swine by J.B. Stanley
Revenge of the Barbecue Queens by Lou Jane Temple
Murder at the Barbecue by Liz Turner
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Barbecue by A. E.H. Veenman
Death on a Platter by Elaine Viets
A Bad Day for Barbecue by Jonathan Woods
Books, Barbecue and Murder by Lori Woods

Short Stories: "Gored" by Bill Crider in Murder Most Delicious
Young Readers: The Barbecue Thief by Starike

Want a little chocolate on the barbie this weekend? 
Check out recipes on my other blog:

S'mores on the Grill  
Savory Chocolate Barbecue Sauces
Chocolate Ancho Chile Rub
Cocoa Spiced Salmon Rub 
Scharffen Berger Cacao Nib Rub for Tri Tip
Red White & Blue Brownie Stars 
Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Pie  

Smores Fudge

How to Build a Campfire Cake 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Bony Blithe/Bloody Words Light Mystery Award 2021

Iona Wishaw, A Match Made for Murder (Touchwood Editions)


The Bony Blithe is an annual Canadian award celebrating traditional, feel-good mysteries. Now in its 10th year, the award includes everything from laugh-out-loud to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with little violence or gore – in short, books that are fun to read.


Other Bony Blithe News: 


Bony Blithe will be retiring and the 2021 award is the final one. There will be a Bony Blithe newsletter called Bare Bones which will be about the world of light mysteries


There is still the intent to have an event to celebrate the 2021 Bony Blithe winners as well as Bony Blithe's 10th birthday, but no exact plans yet.



Murder in Provence: New TV series based on M.L. Longworth's Verlaque & Bonnet books

just announced a new crime series based on the Verlaque & Bonnet novels by M.L. Longworth. I really enjoy her novels, and I'm looking forward to this series.  

Murder in Provence is being adapted for TV by Downton Abbey writer Shelagh Stephenson. Roger Allam (DI Fred Thursday from Endeavor) will lead the cast. Also in the cast will be Nancy Carroll (Lady Felicia from Father Brown)

From BritBox: “Murder in Provence follows Antoine Verlaque (Allam), Investigating Judge in Aix-en-Provence, and romantic partner Marine Bonnet (Carroll) as they investigate the murders, mysteries and dark underbelly of their idyllic home.

There will be three 90 minutes episodes that will begin filming in July in the UK and France. The series will launch in 2022.

Longworth has written eight Verlaque & Bonnet novels, the first which is set in Aix-en-Provence: Death at the Chateau


M.L. Longworth has written for Mystery Fanfare and Mystery Readers Journal several times. Here's a link to her article on Death at the Chateau. It's a great essay about Aix and her life and research there. Unfortunately there is no free book giveaway any more, as referred to in the article...but you buy her books at your favorite bookstore or find them in the library. Her latest novel in the series, The Vanishing Museum of the Rue Mistral, was just published in April.

Friday, May 28, 2021


A celebration of books and bookselling

Winners of the British Book Awards (aka The Nibbies, aka THE publishing event of the year) took place virtually this year. The Prizes are administered by The Bookseller. The Nibbies are awarded in several categories. Here's a sampling of interest to Mystery Readers.

Books of the Year – The 2021 shortlists in full:


Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, Headline)


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Dialogue Books)

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein (Europa Editions)

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett (Macmillan, Pan Macmillan)

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Canongate)

The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel (4th Estate, HarperCollins)


Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Picador, Pan Macmillan)


Ghosts by Dolly Alderton (Fig Tree, Penguin Random House)

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré (Sceptre, Hodder & Stoughton)

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (W&N, Orion)

Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez (Dialogue, Little, Brown)

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid (Bloomsbury Circus)


Crime & Thriller BOOK OF THE YEAR

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (Sphere, Little, Brown)


The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child (Transworld, Penguin Random House)

The Patient Man by Joy Ellis (Joffe Books)

The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Viking, Penguin Random House)

A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin (Orion Fiction)

Pageturner of the Year

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen (Corsair, Little, Brown)


False Value by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz, Orion)

Rag and Bone Christmas by Dilly Court (HarperFiction, Harper Collins)

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle (Hodder & Stoughton)

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff (HarperVoyager)

Just My Luck by Adele Parks (HQ, HarperCollins)


Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club was published in October 2020 on the busiest day in the publishing calendar. It went straight to number one, and now holds the record for the longest consecutive run there (16 weeks). A TV presenter, producer, comedian and writer, Osman was best known as the creator and co-presenter of “Pointless”.

The Thursday Murder Club has changed that. A light-hearted crime thriller featuring four septuagenarians, it sold 45,000 hardbacks in its first week to become the fastest-selling crime novel on record and, six weeks later, the Christmas Number One. Described by its editor Katy Loftus as an “antidote to Brexit”, the novel captures, Loftus says, an “innate sense of Britishness that is both nostalgic and contemporary; so right for now. I feel as though it is a rallying cry for togetherness and inclusiveness,” concluded its editor.

Osman was conscious of not being a “celebrity who writes”; he wanted the book to stand on its own terms. According to his publisher, Osman exhibited “an extraordinary work ethic and a good heart. His charm with booksellers and buyers, his kindness to every member of the team, his willingness to do many things he found uncomfortable, and the adoration felt by his fans, all contributed to a single message: this book will make you feel better.”

The Numbers: The Thursday Murder Club has spent 25 weeks at the top of The Bookseller’s Original Fiction chart and achieved the longest consecutive run at number one. It is the first fiction debut to be Christmas Number One, achieving the highest sale for a festive chart topper since 2010. All told, it is the fastest selling novel since J K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy in 2012.

Thursday, May 27, 2021



Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) announced the Winners of the 2021 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. Formerly known as the Arthur Ellis Awards, the Awards started in 1984. The annual Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence recognizes the best in mystery, crime, and suspense fiction, and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors. Congratulations to all! 

Best Crime Novel sponsored by Rakuten Kobo, with a $1000 prize

Will Ferguson, The Finder, Simon & Schuster Canada

Best Crime First Novel sponsored by Writers First, with a $500 prize

Guglielmo D’Izza, The Transaction, Guernica Editions

The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada sponsored by The Engel Family with a $500 prize

Katrina Onstad, Stay Where I Can See You, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Best Crime Novella sponsored by Mystery Weekly with a $200 prize   

Sam Wiebe, Never Going Back, Orca Book Publishers

Best Crime Short Story sponsored by Mystery Weekly with a $300 prize  

Marcelle Dubé, Cold Wave, Sisters in Crime - Canada West

Best French Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)

Roxanne Bouchard, La mariée de corail, Libre Expression

Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction) sponsored by Shaftesbury with a $500 prize

Frances Greenslade, Red Fox Road, Puffin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House

The Brass Knuckles Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book sponsored by Simpson & Wellenreiter LLP, Hamilton, with a $300 prize

Justin Ling, Missing From the Village: The Story of Serial Killer Bruce McArthur, the Search for Justice, and the System That Failed Toronto's Queer Community, McClelland & Stewart

The Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript with a $500 prize sponsored by ECW Press

The Future by Raymond Bazowski


About Crime Writers of Canada

Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers. Our members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing authors. Past winners of the Awards have included such major names in Canadian crime writing as Mario Bolduc, Gail Bowen, Stevie Cameron, Howard Engel, Barbara Fradkin, Louise Penny, Peter Robinson and Eric Wright. We would like to thank ECW Press, Rakuten Kobo, Mystery Weekly Magazine, Shaftesbury, Simpson and Wellenreiter LLP (Hamilton), and the Howard Engel family for their sponsorship, and the many participating publishers for their continued support.

Find CWC at

Thursday, May 20, 2021


The 2021 CWA Dagger Awards Shortlists

The  Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre, and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century. Congratulations to all!



S A Cosby: Blacktop Wasteland (Headline, Headline Publishing Group)

Ben Creed: City of Ghosts (Welbeck Fiction, Welbeck Publishing Group)

Nicci French: House of Correction (Simon & Schuster)

Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood (Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group)

Elly Griffiths: The Postscript Murders (Quercus)

Thomas Mullen: Midnight Atlanta (Little, Brown, Little, Brown Book Group)

Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre, Bonnier)



Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood (Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group)

Michael Robotham: When She Was Good (Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group)

Catherine Ryan Howard: The Nothing Man (Atlantic Books)

Stuart Turton: The Devil and the Dark Water (Raven Books, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Ruth Ware: One by One (Harvill Secker, Vintage)

Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre, Bonnier)



Eva Björg Ægisdóttir: The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda)

Ben Creed: City of Ghosts (Welbeck Publishing)

Egan Hughes: The One That Got Away (Little Brown, Sphere)

S W Kane: The Bone Jar (Thomas & Mercer)

Stephen Spotswood: Fortune Favours the Dead (Headline, Wildfire)

John Vercher: Three-Fifths (Pushkin Press)



John Banville: Snow (Faber)

Vaseem Khan: Midnight at Malabar House (Hodder & Stoughton)

Chris Lloyd: The Unwanted Dead (Orion Fiction, The Orion Publishing Group)

Michael Russell: The City Under Siege (Constable, Little, Brown Book Group)

David S. Stafford: Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons (Allison & Busby)

Ovidia Yu: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (Constable, Little, Brown Book Group)



Fredrik Backman: Anxious People, translated by Neil Smith (Michael Joseph, Penguin)

Roxanne Bouchard: The Coral Bride, translated by David Warriner (Orenda Books)

Yun Ko-eun: The Disaster Tourist, translated by Lizzie Buehler (Serpent’s Tail)

D A Mishani: Three, translated by Jessica Cohen (Riverrun, Hachette Book Group)

Mikael Niemi: To Cook a Bear, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

Agnes Ravatn:  The Seven Doors, translated by Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books)



Robert Scragg: ‘A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas’ in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg (Robert Scragg)

Elle Croft: ‘Deathbed’ in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg (Robert Scragg)

Dominic Nolan: ‘Daddy Dearest’ in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg (Robert Scragg)

Victoria Selman: ‘Hunted’ in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg (Robert Scragg)

Clare Mackintosh: ‘Monsters’ in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)

James Delargy: ‘Planting Nan in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg (Robert Scragg) 



Sue Black: Written in Bone (Doubleday, Penguin)

Becky Cooper: We Keep the Dead Close (William Heinemann, Penguin)

Andrew Harding: These Are Not Gentle People (MacLehose, Quercus)

Debora Harding: Dancing with the Octopus (Profile Books Limited)

Nick Hayes: The Book of Trespass (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Ben MacIntyre: Agent Sonya (Viking, Penguin)



Lisa Jewell

Peter May

Denise Mina

James Oswald

L J Ross

C L Taylor      



Faber & Faber

Head of Zeus

Michael Joseph

No Exit Press




Tuesday, May 18, 2021


My most exciting library experience was getting my first library card. I could read at 4, and I went with my sister and mother to our local library a lot, but I wanted my own card. The rule was that you had to be able to sign your name to get a card. So my sister taught me to sign my name. After that, the world was my oyster! I spent many summers walking the mile to the Cobbs Creek library to check out books, get recommendations from the librarians, and participate in the summer reading club (stars for books read). I quickly went from children's to adult books. Books became my best friends. Over the years I continued to visit my local libraries. I have such fond memories of going to the Penn Wynne Library with my Dad where he sought out American hardboiled mysteries. Because of my own love of mysteries, it was a wonderful bonding experience.

So today's list honors Library Mysteries series. It's not a complete list, so I welcome any additions. 


Jeff Abbott: Jordan Poteet Series

Deborah Adams: Jesus Creek Mysteries 

Lydia Adamson: Lucy Wayles Series

Jenna Bennett: Art Crime Team (ACT) Series (Annika Holst, Librarian)

Claudia Bishop: Hemlock Falls Series 

Lawrence Block: The Burglar in the Library

Lillian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Series 

Allison Brook: Haunted Library Mystery Series 

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli: A Little Library Mystery Series

BB Cantwell: Portland Bookmobile Mystery Series 

Elizabeth Lynn Casey: Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series 

Laurie Cass: Bookmobile Cat Mystery Series

Genevieve Cogman: The Invistible Library

Elizabeth Spann Craig: Village Library Mystery Series

Shirley Damsgaard: Ophelia & Abby Series

Holly Danvers: Lakeside Library Mystery Series

Jo Dereske: Miss Zukas mysteries

Laramee Douglas: Death in Culcinea

Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose 

Jasper Fforde: Thursday Next Series

Amanda Flower: India Hayes Mystery Series 

Eva Gates: Lighthouse Library Mystery Series 

Victoria Gilbert: Blue Ridge Library Mystery Series 

Jeanne Glidewell: Lexie Starr Mystery Series 

Charles A. Goodrum: Dr. Edward George Series

Charlaine Harris: Aurora Teagarden Series

Zana Hart: Curious Librarian Cozy Mystery Series

Patricia Harwin: Catherine Penny/Far Wychwood series

Marion Moore Hill: Scrappy Librarian Mystery series

Miranda James: Cat in the Stacks Series

Sofie Kelly: Magical Cats Mystery Series 

Nicholas Kilmer: Fred Taylor Art Collecting Series (Partner Molly Riley, Librarian)

Mary Lou Kirwin: Killer Librarian Mystery Series

Patricia Kirwin: Far Wychwood Mysteries

Nathan Larson: Dewey Decimal

Con Lehane: The 42nd Street Library Series

Amy Lilly: Ophelia "Phee" Jefferson Series

Jess Lourey: Murder-by-the-Month Series

T.J. MacGregor: Alex Kincaid series

Charlotte MacLeod: Helen Marsh Shandy, Peter Shandy's wife, in the Balaclava series 

Olivia Matthews: Peach Coast Library Mystery Series

Jenn McKinlay: Library Lovers Mystery series

D.R. Meredith: Murder by the Yard series

Miriam Grace Monfredo: Seneca Falls Historical Mystery Series

Kate Morgan: Dewey James

Elizabeth Peters: Jacqueline Kirby series

Shirley Rousseau Murphy: Joe Grey Cat Series (Dulcie, the library cat)

Nora Page: Bookmobile Mystery Series

Meg Perry: Jamie Brodie Series

Ralp;h Raab: Biblio Files Trilogy

R.T. Raichev: Antonia Darcy Series

Nanci Rathbun: Angelina Bonaparte Series

Ian Sansom: Mobile Library Mystery Series

Angela Sanders: Witch Way Librarian Series

Sheila Simonson: Latouche County mysteries

J.B. Stanley: The Supper Club Mystery Series

Susan Steiner: Library, No Murder Aloud

Fran Stewart: Biscuit McKee Mysteries

Dorothy St. James: Beloved Bookroom Series

Emily Thomas: Secrets of Blue Hill Library Series

Judith Van Gieson: Claire Reynier Series (University of New Mexico Rare Books Librarian)

Gayle Wigglesworth: Claire Gulliver Mystery Series

Marty Wingate: First Edition Library Mystery Series

Eric Wright: Lucy Trimble Brenner Series

Sally S. Wright: Ben Reese Series

Non-fiction favorite: Susan Orlean's The Library Book

Other Non-Fiction:

Kathy Lee Peiss: Information Hunters; When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe

Librarians who write mysteries: Check out Robert Lopresti's article on SleuthSayers. You'll be surprised!

Friday, May 14, 2021

COZY CON 2021: May 15

Cozy Con 2021! May 15

Scrawl Books Hosts Cozy Con! 

Cozy Mystery authors from across the country will gather virtually to talk books, murder, mystery, cooking, and all things "cozy" with their fans. Don't miss your opportunity to hear about new books in popular series, new debuts, and new authors. 
12:00 pm: Cozy Con kicks off with a Cozy Cooking session! Author Libby Klein invites readers into the kitchen to cook with her. Join for an interactive kitchen session with one of our favorite authors!

12:20: Cozy Trivia with Darci Hannah and Melissa Bourbon. They will talk about their new books and lead us in a great game of Cozy Trivia. (PRIZES!)

12:40: From Crypt Suzette to Deputy Donuts, food plays a big role in Cozy Mysteries!  Join Maya Corrigan and Ginger Bolton to find out how our authors make it work and how many taste tests they need to take to find the perfect food to complete the perfect crime!

1:00 PM - BREAK

1:30: It's 5:00 o'clock somewhere! Cozy Author Sherry Harris teaches us how to make a cozy cocktail to sip on when it's Time to Swill!

1:50: Keep that cocktail in hand to chat with Team Hollis! Brother and sister writing duo Rick Copp and Holly Simason aka Lee Hollis talk about the food, drink and murder!

2:20: The Cozy Con finale!  Wrapping up our day with Sarah Fox, Cheryl Hollon and Krista Davis lead us in a fun game of Cozy Family Feud!

RSVP to receive the link to the event:

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Phyllis Brown: R.I.P.

Sad news. Phyllis Brown, bookseller, supporter of mysteries, active member of the mystery community, and all around lovely person, passed away on May 7. I knew she had been ill for quite some time, and she hadn't been on Facebook for awhile, but still...  

Phyllis was the owner of the San Diego mystery bookstore, Grounds for Murder. She was co-chair of the 1988 San Diego Bouchercon, "Murder Sunny Side Up". This was a great convention in Old Town San Diego, near her store. But Phyllis was so much more than that--knowledgeable, friendly, supportive, personable, and smart.

My sympathy goes out to her family and friends. She will be missed.

From her brother:

For all of Phyllis's Facebook friends, I'm sorry to have to let you know that Phyllis passed away on Friday. She went into the hospital a little over 2 weeks ago & was released to home hospice on Sunday, the 2nd. She was home for almost 5 days & then passed peacefully in her sleep early Friday morning. Phyllis had prearranged to be cremated & had not wanted any formal funeral service, so the family is planning to have a small memorial with the surviving siblings. We will all miss Phyllis greatly.
Daniel Brown,
Phyllis's brother


Friday, May 7, 2021


Mother's Day: So many Mothers in Mysteries, but the following is a sampling with emphasis on the Mother's Day Holiday. If I listed all the mysteries and crime fiction with famous and infamous mothers, the list would be way too long. This is an updated list, so let me know if I've missed any titles. Be sure and scroll down to view the Psycho Trailer with one of the most famous (infamous) 'mystery' mothers!


Death by Windmill by Jennifer S. Alderson
Angel at Troublesome Creek by Mignon F. Ballard
The Mother's Day by Peter Bartram
Mother's Day by Frankie Bow 

Mother's Day Mayhem by Lynn Cahoon 
How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law, Mum's the Word by Dorothy Cannell
Mother's Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
A Catered Mother's Day by Isis Crawford 
A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow
Motherhood is Murder (Short Stories) by Mary Daheim, Carolyn Hart, Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Jane Isenberg
The Mother's Day Mishap by Kathi Daley
Murder Can Upset Your Mother by Selma Eichler
A Mother's Day Murder by Dee Ernst
Bon Bon Voyage by Nancy Fairbanks
Botched Butterscotch by Amanda Flower
Murder for Mother: Short Story collection, edited by Martin S. Greenberg
Murder Superior by Jane Haddam
A Gift for Mother's Day by K.C. Hardy
The Mother’s Day Murder by Lee Harris
"Pull my Paw"(short story) by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Mother's Day: A Short Story by Renée Knight  (short story)
Every Day is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel (not exactly a mystery, but a good read)
Mother’s Day by Patricia MacDonald
Mother's Day Out by Karen MacInerney
Mother's Day by Dennis McDougal
Mother’s Day Murder by Leslie Meier
Mom, Apple Pie & Murder: A collection of New Mysteries for Mother’s Day, edited by Nancy Pickard

A Mother's Day Murder by Genevieve Scholl
Mother's Day, Muffins, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Mother’s Day by Joshua Quittner and Michelle Slatalla
Comfort Me by Debbie Viguie
Mother's Day by Ron Vincent

True Crime: 
The Mother's Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson

Check out Carissa Chesanek's article 8 of the Most Terrifying Mothers in Crime Fiction on CrimeReads.

Who's your favorite Mother in Crime Fiction?

Wednesday, May 5, 2021


The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Longlist was announced today. This prize for crime fiction is now in its 17th year. Presented by the Harrogate International Crime Festival, the prize celebrates crime writing at its best. The shortlist will be announced in June and the winner will be announced on 22 July, at the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – with the public able to vote for the winner on

The Longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 is:

–          Cry Baby by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown Book Group, Sphere)

–          The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster)

–          The Cutting Place by Jane Casey (HarperCollins, HarperFiction)

–          Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh (The Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction)

–          Black River by Will Dean (Oneworld Publications, Point Blank)

–          Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan (Bloomsbury Publishing, Raven Books)

–          The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins, HarperFiction)

–          The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)

–          The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone (Orenda Books)

–          Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Penguin Random House UK, Viking)

–          Still Life by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group, Sphere)

–          The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway (Little, Brown Book Group, Constable)

–          Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)

–          Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent (Penguin, Sandycove)

–          A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin (Orion, Orion Fiction)

–          Remain Silent by Susie Steiner (HarperCollins Publishers, The Borough Press)

–          We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker (Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre)

–          The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)

 Congratulations to all!



Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by reading a mystery!

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, the 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It's primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some recognition in other parts of the Mexico, and also in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It's not, as many people believe, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

I've blogged about Cinco de Mayo Mysteries before, but I think it's always good to run this post again -- with a few additions for those who missed it or won't take the extra step to click. :-)

This list is supplemented with Mexican mystery writers and books set in Mexico and on the Mexican-American border. Let me know any titles or authors you think should be included.

Add some Mexican Chocolate Treats to add to your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Check out my other Blog, Dying for Chocolate, for recipes and suggestions of great Chocolate for Cinco de Mayo. Entrees, drinks and desserts and more desserts

Cinco de Mayo Mysteries:
The Cinco de Mayo Murder by Lee Harris
A Corpse for Cuamantla by Harol Marshall
Cinco de Mayo by Michael Martineck (science fiction/but cross-over)
Cinco de Mayhem by Ann Myers 
The Bane of Cinco de Mayo by Nathan S. Mitchell
The Cinco de Mayo Reckoning by Terry Money

And a few Mexican crime writers who set their mysteries in Mexico but not on Cinco de Mayo. They have not all been translated into English.

Mexican Crime Writers:
Paco Ignacio Taibo II The Uncomfortable Dead (and numerous other novels)
Eduardo Monteverde
Juan Hernandez Luna
Martin Solares
Elmer Mendoza
Rolo Diez
Juan Hernandez Luna
Yuri Herrera

Hardboiled Fiction on the Mexican-US Border: 
Gabriel Trujillo Munoz-known for his science fiction and literary criticism, also writes detective fiction: Mesquite Road, Tijuana City Blues
Carlos Fuentes: Cabeza de la Hidra (The Hydra Head)
Joaquin Guerrero-Casaola: The Law of the Garrotte
Sam Hawken: The Dead Women of Juarez; Tequila Sunset
Rolando Hinojosa: Partners in Crime, Ask a Policeman
Elmer Mendoza: Silver Bullets
Don Winslow: The Cartel; The Power of the Dog; The Border

Other Crime Fiction set in Mexico
Rafael Bernal: The Mongolian Conspiracy
Lili Wright: Dancing with the Tiger

Want to find out more?

Read G.J. Demko's Landscapes of Crime: Mysteries in Mexico
Read Lucha Corpi's: La Bloga on Chicana Crime Fiction: Where to?
Read an essay by Jennifer Insley "Border criminals, border crime: hard-boiled fiction on the American Frontier in Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura

YA Literature? You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, edited by Sarah Cortez (Arte Publico Press)

Interested in Crime for the Holidays? Check out Mystery Readers Journal, Volume 25:1.

And a fun fact: Five most popular Tequilas in the U.S.
1. Jose Cuervo
2. Patron
3. Sauza
4. Herradura
5. Cabo Wabo

And, here's one of my favorite roses: Cinco de Mayo! a repeat bloomer with a unique shape, color, and scent!

BOUCHERCON 2021 Anthony Award Nominations

Bouchercon 2021 Anthony Award Nominations
. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon 2021: Blood on the Bayou in New Orleans. Congratulations to all!

Best Hardcover Novel

  • What You Don't See - Tracy Clark

  • Blacktop Wasteland - S.A. Cosby - Flatiron Books

  • Little Secrets - Jennifer Hillier - Minotaur Books

  • And Now She's Gone - Rachel Howzell Hall - Forge Books

  • The First to Lie - Hank Phillippi Ryan - Forge Books

Best First Novel

  • Derailed - Mary Keliikoa - Camel Press

  • Murder in Old Bombay - Nev March - Minotaur Books

  • Murder at the Mena House - Erica Ruth Neubauer – Kensington

  • The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman - Pamela Dorman Books

  • Winter Counts - David Heska Wanbli Weiden - Ecco Press

Best Paperback Original/E-Book/Audiobook Original Novel

  • The Fate of a Flapper - Susanna Calkins - Griffin

  • When No One is Watching - Alyssa Cole - William Morrow

  • Unspeakable Things - Jess Lourey - Thomas & Mercer

  • The Lucky One - Lori Rader-Day - William Morrow

  • Dirty Old Town - Gabriel Valjan - Level Best Books

Best Short Story

  • "Dear Emily Etiquette" - Barb Goffman - EQMM - Dell Magazines

  • "90 Miles" - Alex Segura - Both Sides: Stories From the Border - Agora Books

  • "The Boy Detective & The Summer of '74" - Art Taylor - AHMM (Jan-Feb) - Dell Magazines

  • "Elysian Fields" - Gabriel Valjan - California Schemin' - Wildside Press

  • "The Twenty-Five Year Engagement" - James W. Ziskin - In League with Sherlock Holmes - Pegasus Crime

Best Juvenile/Young Adult

  • Midnight at the Barclay Hotel - Fleur Bradley - Viking Books for Young Readers

  • Premeditated Myrtle - Elizabeth C. Bunce - Algonquin Young Readers

  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington - Janae Marks - Katherine Tegen Books

  • Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco - Richie Narvaez - Piñata Books

  • Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall - Alex Segura - Disney Lucasfilm Press

Best Critical or Nonfiction Work

  • Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy - Leslie Brody - Seal Press

  • American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics and the Birth of American CSI - Kate Winkler Dawson - G.P. Putnam's Sons

  • Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club - Martin Edwards, ed. - Collins Crime Club

  • The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia - Emma Copley Eisenberg - Hachette Books

  • Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman behind Hitchcock - Christina Lane - Chicago Review Press

  • Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession - Sarah Weinman, ed. - Ecco Press

Best Anthology or Collection

  • Shattering Glass: A Nasty Woman Press Anthology - Heather Graham, ed. - Nasty Woman Press

  • Both Sides: Stories from the Border - Gabino Iglesias, ed. - Agora Books

  • Noiryorican - Richie Narvaez - Down & Out Books

  • The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell - Josh Pachter, ed. - Untreed Reads Publishing

  • California Schemin' - Art Taylor. ed. - Wildside Press

  • Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic - Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle, eds. - Polis Books