Tuesday, August 31, 2021

McILVANNY PRIZE SHORTLIST: Scottish Crime Book of the Year

McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2021

Silent Daughter by Emma Christie 

The Coffin Maker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride 

Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison 

The April Dead by Alan Parks 

Hyde by Craig Russell

The winners of both the McIlvanney Prize and the Scottish Crime Debut of the Year will be revealed at the Albert Halls in Stirling at 5.15pm on Friday 17 September and broadcast live on-line. This year, the prize ceremony will be free but ticketed to watch or attend! 

Get your free ticket for in-person attendance or online viewing.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

ANTHONY AWARD WINNERS 2021: Bouchercon: Blood on the Bayou Postmortem

Bouchercon 2021 Anthony Awards
. Since Bouchercon 2021: Blood on the Bayou in New Orleans. was cancelled (postponed to 2025!), the organizers did an online Awards presentation hosted by Hank Phillipi Ryan. It was very moving, especially knowing that a 'real' hurricane was bearing down on New Orleans. The awards ceremony are up on the Bouchercon YouTube channel, so tune in. Congratulations to all the award winners.

Best Hardcover Novel

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

Best First Novel

  • Winter Counts - David Heska Wanbli Weiden - Ecco Press

Best Paperback Original/E-Book/Audiobook Original Novel

  • Unspeakable Things - Jess Lourey - Thomas & Mercer


Best Short Story

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


Best Juvenile/Young Adult

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

Best Critical or Nonfiction Work

  • 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




This is such sad news. Caroline Todd passed away this morning. Caroline, with her son Charles, wrote as Charles Todd. Together they wrote the brilliant Inspector Rutledge series, the Bess Crawford  series, as well as stand-alones and novellas. What an amazing duo. As much as I enjoyed the series, what I treasure most about Caroline is the time I spent with her. Caroline was one of the most gracious, warm, and charming members of the mystery community. 

I first met Caroline many years ago when I was seated next to her at her publisher dinner at the Baltimore Bouchercon. She was the perfect dining companion. She shared so many wonderful and interesting personal stories. Since that meeting, we always made sure to have coffee or a short talk at every Left Coast Crime, Malice, and Bouchercon. She was so very special and someone I counted as a friend. Over the years she was on several panels that I moderated, but my last 'meeting' with her was this summer at More Than Malice, the virtual Malice Domestic. She was on a panel I moderated on Past as Prologue. She was animated and interested, not just in her own writing and role on the panel, but in that of the other newer authors. The panelists all had such a good discussion that I was able to step back and enjoy, too. Caroline valued the younger new additions to the mystery world. And that's how I will remember her --always so gracious and welcoming. 

I will miss Caroline at conventions and online. So sad to mark the passing of one of my favorite people. My heart, love, and sympathy go out to Charles, Linda, and her other family and friends at this sad time. She will be remembered by all as someone very talented, warm, gracious, and special.

Friday, August 27, 2021


Sadly, Bouchercon 2021: Blood on the Bayou Postmortem was cancelled, but the great committee was still able to put together two live events that are free to everyone. I'll be there. Hope you'll attend. 

Here are the links for Friday night with Alafair Burke and James Lee Burke and the Saturday night Anthony Awards. This is live, so make sure you have the right time

James Lee Burke and Alafair Burke: August 27

Anthony Awards: August 28







Thanks to Mike Bursaw, Heather Graham and Connie Perry Co-Chairs Bouchercon

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Cartoon of the Day: The Beginning of the End of Book Group


I like this Retro Milky Way Ad. Students don't really look like this anymore (nor do the Milky Way bars) and not a lot are attending 'in school" this year, but it got me thinking about those old school days. 

My friend Donna always had Milky Way bars in her freezer, and I'd stop by her house on the way to school and have one. Her mother never minded! I love frozen Milky Way Bars. When we were older, Donna and I got a ride to high school with a neighbor. While we waited for him, we availed ourselves of the Milky Way bars on his family's coffee table! Maybe this wasn't particularly healthy, but it was a delicious way to start the day!

Now, I buy miniature Milky Way bars to give out at Halloween. Probably that won't happen again this year because of the pandemic. I will miss my favorite holiday. Nevertheless, here are two recipes for Milky Way Brownies that are great for back to school! One recipe's for home, and the other's for a crowd (if you have one)!


Make your favorite Brownie Mix (I like Ghirardelli), following directions by adding the 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup water. At 20 minutes into the baking (350F), put about 7 ounces of chopped up miniature Milky Way Bars or Milky Way Bites on top. Bake another 20 minutes. Oh yum! Gooey back to school love!


Save this recipe until the virus is under control and the kids can safely share food at school. This recipe is for Milky Way Brownies from scratch? It's the Bees Knees! Love the Vintage Ad above!

1 pound unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 pound dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (or very dark - 90%), chopped
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
7 large eggs
2 Tbsp pure vanilla
2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 ounces miniature Milky Way bars, chopped
2 Milky Way Bars, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12 x 18 x1inch pan. Line with foil that hangs over sides (butter the parchment). This makes it easier to get brownies out.
In metal bowl or saucepan over saucepan of simmering water, heat butter and chocolate until melted and smooth; cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, espresso powder, vanilla, and sugar. Stir egg mixture into slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Cool to room temperature.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to batter. Stir chopped mini Milky Way bars into chocolate mixture. Then pour into prepared baking pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.
Place slices of full-size Milky Way Bar on top of brownie batter.
Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake!
Let cool completely, then cover tightly and chill overnight. These are very gooey, so be sure to chill to cut them!

NED KELLY AWARD WINNERS 2021: Australia Crime Writers Association

NED KELLY AWARD WINNERS: Australia Crime Writers Association 

Congratulations to all!

Best Crime Fiction: Consolation, by Garry Disher (Text)

Also nominated: Gathering Dark, by Candice Fox (Penguin Random House); A Testament of Character, by Sulari Gentill (Pantera Press); The Survivors, by Jane Harper (Pan Macmillan); The Good Turn, by Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins); Tell Me Lies, by J.P. Pomare (Hachette); When She Was Good, by Michael Robotham (Hachette); and White Throat, by Sarah Thornton (Text)

Best Debut Crime Fiction: The Second Son, by Loraine Peck (Text)

Also nominated: The Good Mother, by Rae Cairns (Bandrui); The Bluffs, by Kyle Perry (Penguin Random House); and The Night Whistler, by Greg Woodland (Text)

Best True Crime: Stalking Claremont: Inside the Hunt for a Serial Killer, by Bret Christian (HarperCollins)

Also nominated: The Husband Poisoner, by Tanya Bretherton (Hachette); Public Enemies, by Mark Dapin (Allen & Unwin); Hazelwood, by Tom Doig (Penguin Random House); and Witness, by Louise Milligan (Hachette)

Best International Crime Fiction: We Begin at the End, by Chris Whitaker (Allen & Unwin)

Also nominated: The Guest List, by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins); The Secrets of Strangers, by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin); Take Me Apart, by Sara Sligar (Text); and Broken, by Don Winslow (HarperCollins)

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

MACAVITY AWARDS 2021: Mystery Readers International

The Macavity Awards 2021
(for works published in 2020)

The Macavity Awards are nominated and voted on by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal, and friends of MRICongratulations to all.

Best Novel:
Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)

Also nominated: Before She Was Helen, by Caroline B. Cooney (Ecco); Blind Vigil, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview); All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny (Minotaur); These Women, by Ivy Pochoda (Poisoned Pen Press); and When She Was Good, by Michael Robotham (Scribner)

Best First Novel:
Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)

Also nominated: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Anappara (Random House); Murder in Old Bombay, by Nev March (Minotaur); The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman); and Darling Rose Gold, by Stephanie Wrobel (Berkley)

Best Critical/Biographical:
H R.F. Keating: A Life of Crime, by Sheila Mitchell (Level Best)

Also nominated: Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy, by Leslie Brody (Seal Press); Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club, edited by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins); Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, by Erin E. MacDonald (McFarland); and Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand, by Craig Sisterson (Oldcastle)

Best Short Story:
“Elysian Fields,” by Gabriel Valjan (from California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology, edited by Art Taylor; Wildside Press)

Also nominated: “Dear Emily Etiquette,” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2020); “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74,” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, January/February 2020); “Dog Eat Dog,” by Elaine Viets (from The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter; Untreed Reads); and “The Twenty-Five Year Engagement,” by James W. Ziskin (from In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King; Pegasus Crime)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery:
Turn to Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)

Also nominated: The Last Mrs. Summers, by Rhys Bowen (Berkeley); The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne, by Elsa Hart (Minotaur); The Turning Tide, by Catriona McPherson (Quercus); Mortal Music, by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press); and The Mimosa Tree Mystery, by Ovidia Yu (Constable)

Monday, August 23, 2021

Getting Personal to Enhance Our Fiction: Guest Post by Rosemary Mild


Getting Personal to Enhance Our Fiction

My husband, Larry, and I coauthor mystery and suspense fiction. We use both first-hand research and personal experiences to enhance our novels and stories. (Visit us at www.magicile.com.) 

Our first book as full-time Hawaii residents was Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawaii (2019). It features Sam Nahoe, a disabled ex-cop-turned-cabbie, and his golden retriever (with a touch of Doberman). They take on Honolulu bank robbers, kidnappers, and vengeful wives. Even killers, compelling Sam to get his P.I. license. In “The Snake Lady,” Sam’s Auntie Momi visits her fortune teller, but finds her dead—murdered—and Heki, her gentle pet python, missing. 

But wait! Snakes are illegal in the Aloha State. Detective Danny groans, “Not another reptile! No matter how hard we try, the black market thrives.” Larry and I researched how Hawaii deals with these illegal critters. The penalty is up to three years in prison and a $200,000 fine. But the Department of Agriculture has an amnesty plan: Turn it in, no questions asked, no penalties. 

Our research was satisfying, but our plot was at a standstill. It was missing an irrefutable piece of evidence that would nail the killer. A happy personal coincidence solved our problem—and the case. Our cousin, a master jewelry designer in Atlanta, had just posted her newest creation on Facebook: an exotic snake ring! With her delighted permission, we incorporated the ring into our plot. 

“As Valerie angrily crossed her arms over her chest, Sam’s gaze landed on her left hand. Exposed on her third finger was the fortune teller’s ring! Valerie followed Sam’s gaze. ‘So I stole the ring. So what? She had no more use for it. But that doesn’t mean I killed her.’ Silence reigned as four pairs of accusing eyes bore into her.” 

We’ve also added a special personal touch to Copper and Goldie: a picture at the beginning of each story. For “The Snake Lady” it’s a picture of our cousin’s ring, which we show at the top in this post.


"Getting Personal" appears in Rosemary Mild's new book of personal essays, In My Next Life I'll Get It Right—in the chapter "On Writing Together." She and her husband, Larry, stalk villains and solve crimes in their fiction: the Paco & Molly Mysteries; the Dan & Rivka Sherman Mysteries; two suspense novels and a book of stories set in Hawaii; and a sci-fi romance.

Cartoon of the Day: Prison Library

Sunday, August 22, 2021


The 2021 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Winners were announced last night at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner.

BEST ACTION ADVENTURE The Crow’s Nest / Richard Meredith 

BEST COMEDY Con Me Once / J. L. Delozier 

BEST COZY Rose by Any Other Name / Becki Willis 

BEST HISTORICAL The Lost Wisdom of the Magi / Susie Helme 

BEST INVESTIGATOR Within Plain Sight / Bruce Robert Coffin 

BEST JUVENILE / Y.A. Irish Town / Matthew John Meagher 

BEST MYSTERY Code Gray / Benny Sims 

BEST NONFICTION Words Whispered in Water / Sandy Rosenthal 

BEST SCI-FI / FANTASY Odyssey Tale / Cody Schlegel 

BEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION Couch Detective Book 2 / James Glass 

BEST SUPERNATURAL Borrowed Memories / Christine Mager Wevik 

BEST SUSPENSE Ring of Conspiracy / J. Robert Kinney 

BEST THRILLER The Divine Devils / R. Weir

Saturday, August 21, 2021


Martin Walker was awarded Le Prix Charbonnier for his Bruno novels, set in the Perigord region of France. He follows in the footsteps of Truffaut, Pierre Cardin, Julia Child and other. Congratulations, Martin!

The Prix Charbonnier, the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA’s most prestigious award, was created in 1991 to recognize M. Daniel Charbonnier of San Francisco, a past President of the Federation, who exemplified all of the best qualities of this organization. The purpose of the Prix Charbonnier, to be given from time to time as appropriate at the Federation’s Annual Meeting and Convention, is to recognize persons of national stature and reputation whose vocation or avocation has promoted French language and culture in a manner consistent with the goals and purpose of the Federation. The recipient need not be a member of an Alliance Française. A committee established by the Board of Directors of the Federation nominates the candidate for the Prix Charbonnier. In its early years, from 1991-1995, the prize was called le Prix de la Fédération. Since 1995, it’s been called le Prix Charbonnier, in honor of Daniel Charbonnier.

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

 Happy Caturday!

FROZEN NEAPOLITAN DELIGHT: Retro Ad with Recipe for National Neapolitan Ice Cream Day!

I love Retro Ads & Recipes. Here's one for Reynolds Wrap. I've stuck with many brands from my youth, and I still buy Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil. We cal it Silver Foil. There are so many uses, including costumes. One year in Sunday school, I went as a Dime. I divided the dime into all the charitable ways it could be used, and I decorated my dime costume with Aluminum Foil. So you see why this Retro Ad, probably from my childhood, touched me.

Frozen Asset: The Triple-dividend dessert. Elegant...luscious.. and easy!

Frozen Neapolitan Delight:
This recipe calls for 1 pint Neapolitan brick ice cream. Do you remember Neapolitan Ice Cream? Neapolitan ice cream is made up of blocks of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. The history of Neapolitan ice cream actually goes much farther back.

From Foodtimeline.org

Although Italian ice and granita trace their roots to ancient times, Neapolitan ice cream seems to be a 19th century phenomenon. Recipes for the fancy molds (bombes) or bricks of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry (sometimes pistachio) were often included in 19th century European and American cook books. This was a function of technology (refrigeration advancements) and collective gastronomy (preference for complicated presentations). Why "Neapolitan?" The peoples of Napoli are credited for introducing their famous ice creams to the world in the 19th century. At that time, pressed blocks composed of special flavors were trendy. The best ones were made with "Neapolitan-style" ice creams.

A survey of historic cookbooks confirms the term "Neapolitan," as it relates to ice cream, denotes both a recipe (for ice cream) and method (combining several flavors in a mold). It also reveals there is no "official" triumvirate of flavors. Most often cited are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and pistachio. It is not unusual to include a sherbet or fruit-flavored ice as well. 

And here's the recipe for Frozen Neapolitan Delight from the Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil Retro Ad:

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


This year, the hybrid festival will give festival goers in Stirling the full-on festival experience while allowing authors and readers who can’t be there in person the opportunity to join in the fun. 

September17-19, the 2021 festival will include Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter, Lee Child, Linwood Barclay and Stephen King who will be beamed into the Albert Halls via live video link up where live interviewers will question them in front of a live and digital audience.

Meanwhile pacing the boards in Stirling itself will be the great and the good of the Scottish crime scene and beyond: including Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre, Alan Parks, Mark Billingham, Kia Abdullah and Louise Candlish.

They'll be bringing back old favorites like Pitch Perfect and Crime in the Spotlight, a performance by the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, and a cabaret twist on the normal Quiz which will see each quizzer (Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnston, Mark Billingham, Luca Veste and Stuart Neville) performing a musical number.

Up the road at The Golden Lion, panels will be recorded in front of a live audience and broadcast 24 hours later. Hosts of The Red Hot Chilli Writers, Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee will be on stage with a live version of their popular crime podcast.

Following last year’s digital first with The Never-Ending panel featuring 27 Scottish writers from home and abroad, this year’s marathon digital only event will be an A-Z of Crime starting with Megan Abbott and concluding with Anne Zouroudi. The global element continues with Around the World in 80 Deaths featuring authors from Argentina, the Sicangu Lakota Nation, Russia and Nigeria chaired by Craig Sisterson.

Monday, August 16, 2021

CALL FOR ARTICLES: Cold Case Mysteries (Mystery Readers Journal 37:4)

CALL FOR ARTICLES: Cold Case Mysteries:
Mystery Readers Journal (Volume 37: 4)

The next issue of Mystery Readers Journal will focus on Cold Case Mysteries. We're looking for Reviews, Articles, and Author! Author! essays.

Reviews: 50-250 words; Articles: 250-1000 words; Author! Author! essays: 500-1000 words.

Author Author! Essays are first person, about yourself, your books, and your unique take on "Cold Case Mysteries." Think of it as chatting with friends and other writers in the bar or cafe or on Zoom about your work and your 'Cold Case Mystery' connection. Add a title and 2-3 sentence bio/tagline.

Deadline: September 15, 2021

Here's a link to Mystery Readers Journal past themed issues.

Send to: Janet Rudolph, Editor. janet @ mysteryreaders.org

Please forward this request to anyone you think should be included.

Subscribe to Mystery Readers Journal. Themes in 2021 (Volume 37): History Mysteries 1; History Mysteries 2; Texas, and Cold Cases.

Cartoon of the Day: Hairball

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest: It was a Dark and Stormy...

I look forward to the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest Winners every year. What a wonderful celebration of creative purple prose.

Founded in 1982 at San Jose State University in California, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. The contest was the brainchild of Professor Scott Rice. Sentenced to write a seminar paper on a minor Victorian novelist, he chose the man with the funny hyphenated name, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. Best known for The Last Days of Pompeii, his novel Paul Clifford began with the famous opener that has been plagiarized repeatedly by the cartoon beagle, Snoopy.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. --Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford 


A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodice of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare. -- Stu Duval, Auckland, New Zealand 

Grand Panjandrum's Special Award 

Victor Frankenstein admired his masterpiece stretched out on the lab slab; it was almost human, OK, no conscience or social awareness, and not too bright, but a little plastic surgery to hide the scars and bolts, maybe a spray tan and a hairdo, and this guy could run for President! -- David Hynes, Bromma, Sweden 

Adventure Winner  

When I asked our novice Safari guide Guy Pommeroy to identify what that roaring sound was he replied (and these were his last words), “It sounds to me like someone with a bad case of bronchitis; I’ll check and be right back.” --Greg Homer, San Vito, Costa Rica 

Dishonorable Mentions 

Among the more useful life lessons that jumping out of a perfectly good airplane teaches you are that money isn’t everything and that species chauvinism can really limit your opportunities for finding happiness, thought D.B. Cooper as he canoodled with his common-law Sasquatch wife D'un'h in their cozy lean-to deep in the sodden Cascade foothills. --G. Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA 

The collapse of the Taiping Rebellion and my subsequent wanderings to avoid the deadly clutches of vengeful imperial agents form the basis of this narrative, a narrative whose very existence and use of the first person pretty much ruin any sense of suspense that might have made it worth reading. --Drew Herman, Port Angeles, WA 

As Dr. Steinbeck fought off the stone monstrosities that had ambushed the expedition crews deep within the Mayan pyramid, his lifelong friend, Dr. Williams, chose to heed his colleague’s wise words and “run while you still can”—a choice that ultimately left us stuck with him for a protagonist rather than the infinitely more intriguing late Dr. Steinbeck. --Derek Lepoutre, Pickering, Ontario, Canada 

Crime & Detective Winner 

The Big Joe Palooka murder wasn’t just another killing, another homicide, another manslaughter, another slaying, another hit, another whack, another rubbing-out, another bumping-off, another assassination, another liquidation, another extermination, another execution—but it was nothing new for Johnny Synonymous, Obsessive-Compulsive Crime Fighter. --Paul Scheeler, Buffalo, NY 

Dishonorable Mentions 

"Irony,” bombasted Inspector Simons, "is when someone believes themselves more clever than anyone else in the room, but in fact they are careless, and foolish, like the murderer— MATILDA DANNER—yes, Matilda, YOU killed—wait, um . . . where's Matilda?" --Mark Meiches, Dallas, TX 

The cat purred like a Geiger counter beside the fireplace which crackled like gunfire (which reminded Detective Greenwich of his service in The Ukraine and The Latvia), this feline being the only witness to the murder of the wet nurse and, unless purring counts, he wasn't talking. --Michael McDermott, Dublin, Ireland 

Detective Hill raised his service pistol and pointed it at the suspect, a master of disguise hiding in plain sight as a living statue in central park: “Freeze!” he called out. -- Justin C. McCarthy, Cranston, RI



It was a dark and stormy . . . morning, Gotcha! -- this is just the first of innumerable twists and turns that you, dear Reader, will struggle to keep abreast of as I unfold my tale of adventure as second plumber aboard the hapless SS Hotdog during that fateful summer of 1974. -- Louise Taylor, Paris, France 

Dishonorable Mentions 

It was a dark and stormy night, as disorienting and miasmic as the inside of the bag of an industrial strength vacuum cleaner with a shredded HEPA filter being dragged over a steel foundry floor.-- Jeff Laurence, Carmel, CA 

It was a dark and stormy night that caused Beryl's anxiety to flare up, that and the giant mutated Madagascan Hissing cockroach which had taken residence in her kitchen, and earlier that evening had made light work of Nibbles, her ageing Mini Lop Rabbit. --Hwei Oh, Sydney, Australia 

Dark and stormy, the night screamed like a ravished virgin .... the dark, stormy night ranted madly in a barometric tantrum .... it was an ebonic nocturnal tempest .... the stygian typhoon of eventide .... prosopopeic fuliginous Nyx, enceinte as it were with lachrymal lamia farouche as Hecate, disbosomed upon her terrene demiorb an empyreal borasque. --Jack Holiday, Burbank, CA

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in Torrance, but not in nearby Rancho Palos Verdes, which was unusual given the two towns' proximity. --Steve Lauducci, Bethlehem, PA 

Read More Winners and Entries Here. https://www.bulwer-lytton.com/2021

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Cartoon of the Day: Cats


London's Goldsboro Books announced the nominees for the 2021 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award:  a prize “awarded annually to a compelling novel, of any genre—from romance and thrillers, to historical, speculative and literary fiction—with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realized."

The Girl with the Louding Voice, by Abi Daré (Sceptre)
The Court of Miracles, by Kester Grant (HarperVoyager)
Apeirogon, by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury)
Eight Detectives, by Alex Pavesi (Michael Joseph)
The Devil and the Dark Water, by Stuart Turton (‎Raven)
People of Abandoned Character, by Clare Whitfield (Head of Zeus)

HT: The Rap Sheet

Saturday, August 7, 2021



Get Ready! Get Set! A two-night blockbuster Bouchercon New Orleans 2021 extravaganza is coming to a screen near you. 

From the Bouchercon Committee:

We couldn’t let Blood on the Bayou: Postmortem vanish into thin air. So we found a way to offer something everyone will remember forever. We are creating two extraordinary online/virtual events, free and open to everyone. 

On Friday, August 27 

7 pm ET / 6 pm CT / 5 pm MT / 4 pm PT / Midnight GMT Bouchercon 2021 presents Alafair Burke in conversation with James Lee Burke, hosted by Heather Graham and Introductions from Rachel Howzell Hall

On Saturday, August 28 

7 pm ET / 6 pm CT / 5 pm MT / 4 pm PT / Midnight GMT we are excited to bring you the 52nd 2021 Anthony Awards Ceremony! Only previously registered attendees will receive an Anthony ballot. 

On August 28, join us online for a spectacular evening (black tie optional…or watch in your PJs!) featuring the Anthony nominees and our Award Presenters, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, Dennis Lehane, Caroline (Charles) Todd, Charles Todd, Jonathan Maberry and a special welcome from Craig Johnson

Having to cancel the in-person New Orleans Bouchercon was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make, but, as the saying goes, the show must go on! 

These events will be free and open to everyone (so please tell your friends!). Please watch for details on how to watch online in upcoming emails from bloodonthebayou@bouchercon2021.com

From our hearts to yours, turn on your computer (or whichever device you prefer) and enjoy two nights of Blood on the Bayou: Postmortem New Orleans Bouchercon 2021. We hope to see you there! 

-- Mike Bursaw, Heather Graham and Connie Perry Blood on the Bayou: Postmortem New Orleans Bouchercon 2021 Co-Chairs Bouchercon2021.com

Thursday, August 5, 2021


Deadly Pleasures Magazine
announced The Barry Award Winners today. George Easter, Editor of Deadly Pleasures, says that "in an ordinary year the winners of the Barry Awards would be announced during the Opening Ceremonies of Bouchercon...But this year is no ordinary one." So George saw no reason to delay the announcement of the Barry Award Winners. Congrats to All!

Best Novel


Best First Novel

WINTER COUNTS, David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Best Paperback Original

TURN TO STONE, James W. Ziskin

Best Thriller

EDDIE’S BOY, Thomas Perry

Wednesday, August 4, 2021


After much deliberation but with the safety and health of attendees in mind,  Bouchercon organizers cancelled this year's Bouchercon in New Orleans. Hats Off to the chairs, Mike Bursaw, Connie Perry, and Heather Graham, to the committee, and to all the volunteers for their dedication and hard work over these many past years.  As someone who has served on several Bouchercon committees, I know how much work it is, but we all do it because we love Bouchercon--a place where we meet every year to share with old friends and new ones our love of mysteries. The good news is that Bouchercon will be held in New Orleans in 2025.

A virtual Bouchercon at this late date is untenable. However, there will be an Anthony Awards ballot sent to those registered attendees (as of July1) and an Anthony Awards ceremony will take place at a future date.

 The Guests of Honor will remain the same in 2025!

Here's the full Announcement from the Bouchercon organizers: Thank you all.