Sunday, October 31, 2021
Best Novel: Sprigs, by Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence & Gibson)
Also nominated: The Murder Club, by Nikki Crutchley (Oak House Press); The Tally Stick, by Carl Nixon (Penguin); The Secrets of Strangers, by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin); and Tell Me Lies, by J.P. Pomare (Hachette)
Best First Novel: For Reasons of Their Own, by Chris Stuart
(Original Sin Press)
Also nominated: The Girl in the Mirror, by Rose Carlyle (Allen & Unwin); The Beautiful Dead, by Kim Hunt (Bloodhound); Where the Truth Lies, by Karina Kilmore (Simon & Schuster); and While the Fantail Lives, by Alan Titchall (Devon Media)
Best Non-fiction: Black Hands: Inside the Bain Family Murders,
by Martin van Beynen (Penguin)
Also nominated: Weed: A New Zealand Story, by James Borrowdale (Penguin); Rock College: An Unofficial History of Mount Eden Prison, by Mark Derby (Massey University Press); From Dog Collar to Dog Collar, by Bruce Howat (Rangitawa); and Gangland: New Zealand’s Underworld of Organised Crime, by Jared Savage (HarperCollins)
Best YA/Kids Book: Katipo Joe, by Brian Falkner (Scholastic)
Also nominated: Red Edge, by Des Hunt (Scholastic); A Trio of Sophies, by Eileen Merriman (Penguin); and Deadhead, by Glenn Wood
(One Tree House)
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan
The Day of the Dead by John Creed
Trick or Treason by Kathi Daley
Day of the Dead by Brenda Donelan
A Cemetery, a Cannibal, and the Day of the Dead by CC Dragon
The Day of the Dead by Nicci French
The Day of the Dead: the Autumn of Commissario Ricciardi by Maurizio de Giovanni
Days of the Dead by Barbara Hambly
Sugar Skull by Denise Hamilton
Dios De Los Muertos by Kent Harrington
The Wrong Goodbye by Chris Holm
Death Arts by Melanie Jackson
Day of the Dead by J.A. Jance
Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson
Devil's Kitchen by Clark Lohr
Weave Her Thread with Bones by Claudia Long
Day of the Dead by Manuel Luis Martinez
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers
Oink by Judith Newton
Day of the Dead by Mark Roberts
The Day of the Dead by Bart Spicer
The Day of the Dead Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Any titles missing?
Friday, October 29, 2021
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Tony Hillerman: The Mystery Writer who was a Change Agent - Guest post by James McGrath Morris
When Tony Hillerman sat down at his typewriter in the late 1960s his plan was only to write a saleable mystery novel. As he typed away, his insecurity about the task ahead drove him to include a Navajo element. The Oklahoma native, and now New Mexico resident, was confident of his writing ability after years in journalism. But he remained unsure he could pull off a mystery. “I thought that the Navajos and the Navajo reservation were so intriguing that even if my plots weren’t so good, the background would be interesting,” Hillerman said.
So he placed his protagonist, a white anthropologist, on the Navajo Nation and created a supporting character by introducing a Navajo Tribal Police detective whom he named Joe Leaphorn. He invented the name after reading Mary Renault’s 1962 novel The Bull from the Sea. She wrote about Cretans jumping over the bull’s horns and Hillerman made up the name Leaphorn. It didn’t matter that there were no Navajos with such a name. “Besides,” Hillerman thought, “the policeman wasn’t going to be that important anyway, the anthropologist was going to be the main character.”
When he completed the book Hillerman recognized the significance of what he had done, accident or no accident, by introducing Leaphorn as a secondary character in his first book. So did some reviewers, such as Allen J. Hubin in The New York Times Book Review. For Hubin, the great appeal of The Blessing Way lay not with the white archeologist who served as the protagonist but rather with Hillerman’s cast of Navajo characters.
Bookstore mystery shelves back then were loaded down with detective novels set in urban milieus, like those written by Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and other masters of the form. Except for a little-known Australian writer, Arthur Upfield, the world of fictional detectives was white, male, and citified. A rez cop was something new and noteworthy.
As soon as he finished his second novel—a book with no Native Americans—Hillerman began a new book in which he would make Joe Leaphorn the main character and fully fleshed out. The resulting novel, Dance Hall of the Dead, was published in 1973 and launched what is now recognized as a groundbreaking 18-book series that changed the genre. Hillerman, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “reinvented the mystery novel as a venue for the exploration and celebration of Native American history, culture and identity.”
In the end, Hillerman’s greatest achievement was not the writing of spellbinding mysteries. Rather, it was his use of the popular genre to unlock the mysteries of Navajo culture for non-Natives like him. Just as Mary Renault’s earlier novels did with ancient Greece, Hillerman’s books introduced millions of readers to the Diné way of life in a respectful and compelling manner that remains a relevant model for cross-cultural communication.
James McGrath Morris is author of the new biography, TONY HILLERMAN: A Life (University of Oklahoma Press Hardcover; October 14, 2021).
James McGrath Morris is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling author. His books include The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Pasos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War; Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press; and Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power. He is the former president of Biographers International Organization, of which he was among the original founders. In 2019, he received the BIO Award, which is given to a writer who has made a major contribution to the advancement of the art and craft of biography. Previous winners, among others, include: Jean Strouse, Robert Caro, Arnold Rampersad, Ron Chernow, Stacy Schiff, Taylor Branch, and Candice Millard. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information, visit: https://jamesmcgrathmorris.com and https://oupress.com/books/16548294/tony-hillerman
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
CHOCOLATE STOUT TRUFFLES
1/2 cup Chocolate Stout, reduced by half
12 oz. dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Cocoa powder (Dutch process) or ground espresso
Reduce stout (texture should be thick enough to lightly coat a spoon).
Stir in butter and heavy cream and bring to simmer. As soon as bubbles start forming, pour over chopped chocolate.
Whisk to blend and put in refrigerator (covered with plastic wrap) until ganache is set, at least 3 hours.
Remove ganache from refrigerator, and using melon baller or spoon, scoop out ganache and roll into balls. You can also finish off by hand.
Place each ganache ball on parchment paper and put back in refrigerator for about an hour to harden.
Roll ganache balls in cocoa powder or ground espresso.
Chateau Du Vampire Wines Bordeaux Style Cabernet Blend (Vampire Vineyards – Paso Robles, California): blend of cabernet sauvignon (60%) with cabernet franc (30%), and 10% malbec to finish it off.
Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon (Vampire vineyards – Paso Robles, California): Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several small-berry clones of this traditional Bordeaux varietal, grown in the Paso Robles region of California’s Central Coast.
Dracula Wines: Zinfandel and Syrah (originally the grapes for this wine were grown on the Transylvanian plateau, now they're made from California grapes).
Trueblood Napa Valley Syrah: This wine will "bruise your soul" with its palate crushing cherry, plum smoke and spice.
Ghost Block: 100% cabernet from Rock Cairn Vineyard in Oakville, next to Yountville's Pioneer Cemetery.
Twisted Oak 2011 River of Skulls in Calaveras County. Limited production vineyard mouvedre (red wine grape). Label has a bright red skull. English translation of calaveras is "skulls."
Ghostly White Chardonnay and Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon. Elk Creek Vineyards in Kentucky
Poizin from Armida Winery in Healdsburg is a 'wine to die for..". This Zinfandel sold in little wooden coffins
Big Red Monster Red wine made from Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah.
Spellbound 2012 Merlot. Full Moon on the label.
Ravenswood 2013 Besieged Red Blend. Ravens on the label.
Michael David 2012 Freakshow Cab.
Other Wines, Beers and Ales: Witches Brew, Evil (upside down and backwards label), Sinister Hand, Toad Hollow Eye of the Toad, Zeller Schwarz Katz.
Want to give the personal touch to your Halloween wines? Add ghoulish labels or rebottle in cool jars with apothecary labels from Pottery Barn (or make them yourself). For a great article, go to Spooky Halloween Bottle & Glass Labels.
And what about an awesome cocktail? Make Nick and Nora proud! They always loved a good party. Throw in some rubber spiders or eyeballs as garnish. Want to make your own Halloween Cocktail Garnish--some eyeballs and fingers? Click HERE.
1 Part Tequila Silver
1 Part Strawberry Liqueur
Shake with ice, and strain into shot glass.
1 Part Tequila Reposado
1 Part Grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into shot glass
1 part Iceberg Vodka
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Jagermeister
1 part cranberry juice
Chill all ingredients. Combine in shaker with ice. Strain into shot glass. shoot!
2 oz VeeV Acai Spirit
1 oz acai juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Top with fresh champagne
lime wedge for garnish
Combine VeeV, Acai juice and fresh lime with fresh ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into chilled martini glass and top with champagne.
Serve with fresh lime wedge.
Blood and Sand
3/4 ounce Scotch
3/4 ounce cherry liqueur
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce orange juice
1 thin strip orange zest
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the strip of zest. (recipe from Bank Cafe & Bar in Napa)
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet (blanc)
1 ounce triple sec
Juice of half a lemon
5 drops of absinthe
1 thin slice orange
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the orange slice.
(Recipe from Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco)
Vampire Blood Punch
4 cups cranberry raspberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 cups natural pineapple juice (100% juice)
2 cups raspberry-flavored seltzer water
wormy ice cubes (optional)
Mix all ingredients together, and pour into large, decorative punch bowl.
Serve punch with wormy ice cubes, if desired
1-1/2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
1/2 parts Campari
1 part fresh blood orange juice
1/4 parts blood (aka home-made grenadine) **
2 parts Jarritos Tamarindo Soda
Build all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Add “blood” at the end.
Garnish: Blood orange wheel and strawberry syrup
** Home-made grenadine: Add equal parts white sugar and POM pomegranate juice together and dissolve sugar over high on stove-top
Midori Eye-Tini (from Rob Husted of Florida)
1-1⁄4 parts Midori Melon liqueur
3⁄4 parts SKYY Infusions Citrus
1⁄2 part Finest Call Agave Syrup
2 parts of Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
2 parts Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix
3 Orange Wedges
2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves
Strawberry Sundae Syrup
In shaker glass combine Midori Melon liqueur, SKYY infusions Citrus, Finest Call Agave Syrup, 3 Orange Wedges and 2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves.
Muddle ingredients together. Add ice and Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix.
Shake for 10 seconds.
Add Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale and roll drink back and forth between your mixing tin and shaker glass.
Strain into a chilled martini glass drizzled with Strawberry Sundae Syrup to give an effect of a bloodshot eye.
Garnish: Chilled red seedless grape at bottom of glass (to look like an eyeball) and bruised basil leaf floated on top of cocktail for aroma.
1/2 oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur
lemon twist or black olive for garnish or gold flakes
Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist or black olive or sprinkle in gold flakes.
Evil Dead Red from AleSmith Brewing Company
Dead Guy Ale from Rogue
Dead 'n' Dead from Rogue
Witch's Wit from Lost Abbey
Cuvee des Trolls from Brasserie Dubuisson
Black Death Chili from Fallen Angel
Black Heart from 3 Floyds Brewing
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment
Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing
Zombie Dust from Three Floyds Brewing Company
Krieky Bones from Firestone Walker Brewing
The Fear Imperial Ale from Flying Dog
Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin from New Belgium
Dead Ringer from Ballast Point
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
The fictional detective has appeared on TV many times before, most famously portrayed by Roy Marsden in a string of stories for ITV.
Dalgliesh, makes its worldwide premiere on Monday, November 1, 2021 on Acorn TV.
Adapted from celebrated author P.D. James' bestselling murder novels Adam Dalgliesh Mystery, this intriguing new crime drama stars Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Doctor Foster) as the titular, enigmatic detective and poet in three, two-part mysteries - each featuring its own unique setting and extraordinary cast.
Shroud for a Nightingale - Episode One Nov 1, 2021
Shroud for a Nightingale - Episode Two Nov 1, 2021
The Black Tower - Episode One November 8, 2021
The Black Tower - Episode Two Nov 8, 2021
A Taste for Death - Episode One Nov 15, 2021
A Taste for Death - Episode Two Nov 15, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
From her website:
The author of sixty-three novels, including mystery, thriller, romance, high fantasy, science fiction, and mainstream women’s fiction, Carole Nelson Douglas has been nominated for or won more than fifty writing awards.
The Midnight Louie series
Carole was an award-winning journalist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press until moving to Texas to write fiction full time. In fact, she “found” Midnight Louie in the newspaper’s classified ads and wrote a feature article on the real-life alley cat long before she began writing novels or Louie returned in 1992 as a feline supersleuth with his own series and newsletter, Midnight Louie’s Scratching Post-Intelligencer, published since 1995.
The Irene Adler series
As a child, Carole loved the Sherlock Holmes stories, but the adult Carole found something missing: strong women. That literary lack drives her multi-genre odyssey: “I began Amberleigh, my first published novel, in college because I was fed up with the wimpy heroines of then-popular Gothics,” she says. “Since then, I’ve merrily reformed the fiction genres, reinventing women as realistic protagonists. Of course, creating true women means creating true men as partners and co-protagonists. I like writing popular and genre fiction because it’s so influential; it subconsciously forms attitudes that shape society.”
Many Douglas novels have received awards and appeared on various bestseller lists; her mystery short fiction appears in numerous anthologies, including eight of The Year’s 25 Best Crime and Mystery Stories.
First Book Sale
She sold a paperback original novel, Amberleigh (published 1980), to Jove and an adventurous and original high fantasy, Six of Swords (1982) and its sequels, which were huge “surprise” bestsellers and on top bestseller lists, to Del Rey Books. Carole became a fulltime fiction writer in 1984.
Interviewer Ed Gorman reported that she started writing she described as “the world’s first, and last” post-feminist Gothic novel, Amerleigh, while still in college, to counter the weak women characters she had found in Gothic fiction. When she finished the novel years later and took it to market, the Gothic genre had died, but an editor found it “especially well written” and published it anyway. “Since then,” Carole says. I’ve merrily reformed the fiction genres, reinventing women as realistic protagonists. Of course, creating true women means creating true men as partners and co-protagonists.My readers particularly enjoy my men characters, asking for more from their point of view.”
One man who spectacularly invested in Carole’s point of view was the late Golden Age Hollywood and Broadway film writer and director, Garson Kanin, who with his wife, actress Ruth Gordon, wrote film scripts for Kathatine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey that were known for their feminism in the 1950s before women’s rights were fashionable.
He was so enthusiastic about her article on an interview with him in 1972 he’d phoned the newspaper department where she worked (unheard of), but she was out. He followed up with a treasured note, which included: “My friend, Phil Silvers, says he’s never won an interview yet, but he’d never had the luck of you.”
A Big Break
“My Irene Adler is as intelligent, self-sufficient and serious about her professional and personal integrity as Sherlock Holmes, and far too independent to be anyone’s mistress but her own,” Carole was quoted said in Contemporary Authors. “My Irene Alder also moonlights as an inquiry agent while building her performing career, so she is a professional rival of Holmes’s rather than a romantic interest.”
In a review of Spider Dance (2004), which Douglas has said is the last in the series, Publishers Weekly noted, “Witty, fast-paced and meticulously researched, this sepia-tinted Victorian confection also reflects a contemporary sensibility as it ponders religious fanaticism and the challenges of a female celebrity living by her own rules.”
The Animal Kingdom
Douglas had incorporated animals since her first novel (there was an Irish wolfhound in Amberleigh, a King Charles spaniel in the next historical, Fair Wind, Fiery Star (1981). So little surprise she began to write about Midnight Louie, the twenty-pound black tomcat with the wit of Damon Runyon. The cat was based on a true-life cat who made his home at a motel, and truly munched on the fish in the reflective pond. The owners had no use for the cat, but a sympathetic woman retrieved and cared for the feline — and Douglas interviewed the woman and cat for a story for the St. Paul newspaper she worked for at the time. Douglas later came to own a number of cats, including one she named Midnight Louie Jr.
Midnight Louie first appeared in romantic suspense novels, Crystal Days and Crystal Nights (1990). “I just moved Louie and his carp pond to the abandoned (fictional) Joshua Tree hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, which was remodeled into the (fictional) Crystal Phoenix, the classiest hotel in Vegas, with Midnight Louie in lace as ‘unofficial hosue dick,’” she explained in a Crescent Blues interview.
Louie lives with Nicky Fontana and Van Von Rhine in these stories. Each paperback contained two stories, Douglas’s manuscripts severely truncated by the publisher. Douglas eventually took back the rights and issued them in restored, slightly revised editions from Five Star as the Cat and a Playing Card series.
Midnight Louie made his hardcover debut in Catnap in 1992. This time he had moved on to become companion to Temple Barr, a public relations specialist with a boyfriend, Matt Devine, radio self-help guru, and an ex, a stage magician known as The Mystifying Max Kinsella. A police lieutenant, C.R. Molina, makes frequent appearances for good measure. And this time, the series found its voice and its audience, with annual appearances. The author has said she envisions the series as running 27 books, and thus has woven a few threads through the books that will only reach resolution at the last.
Meanwhile, Midnight Louie’s adventures take some interesting directions. In Cat in a Sapphire Slipper (2008), for instance, takes the action to a Nevada brothel, where a prostitute has been murdered. “Douglas explores the campy, lighter side of ‘chicken ranches’ at the same time she exposes their seamier aspects,” said a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
Friday, October 22, 2021
NEWS FROM CRIMEFEST: the International Crime Fiction Convention
Early Bird rate of £145. Tickets go up to £165 on 1 November!
Next year's convention (12-15 May) will be LIVE – no Zooming or streaming!
AUTHORS, PLEASE NOTE: Many authors either donated their fee (and received priority booking), or transferred their registration to 2022. As a result, many of the panel slots have already been filled. Newly registered authors will be offered a slot on a waiting list and offered panels on a first-come-first-served basis (subject to topic suitability).
CHECK YOUR NAME IS ON THE DELEGATE LIST
Unsure if you transferred your registration, or donated it and need to register for 2022? No problem, just check your registration status on the DELEGATE page on the CRIMEFEST website.
ANN CLEEVES STARS
OTHER CRIMEFEST 2022 NEWS
In other 2022 news, some panels scheduled for 2020 were too good to miss, so will return.
Another missed celebration was the 75th birthday of that crime fiction modern Renaissance Man, Maxim Jakubowski. He will curate his own panel. (Subject to confirmation.)
The Crime Writers’ Association will return once more to announce their Dagger Awards shortlists at the Friday night reception.
List of PARTICIPATING AUTHORS might offer a few tantalizing clues of what panel topics to expect. Take a peek.
WHERE TO STAY
CRIMEFEST returns to the four-star Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. Only registered delegates will receive the convention discount code, which will be sent out later this year/ early next.
The WHERE TO STAY page lists budget hotels delegates may wish to consider.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Midwest Mystery Conference 2021: November 5-6, 2021
Full lineup and schedule! Please note that all times are listed in Central Time!
Friday, November 5th: Sessions take place on Zoom
5:00-5:30pm: Welcome with Dana Kaye and Tracy Clark
5:30-6:15pm: Keynote conversation with Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman
6:15-7:00pm: Small group networking at the virtual bar!
Saturday, November 6th: Sessions take place on Crowdcast
9:00- 9:15 am: Welcome with Dana Kaye and Tracy Clark
9:30-10:15am: Crime and Comedy with Wendall Thomas, Spencer Quinn and Mia Manansala
10:30- 11:15am: The Next Generation with Raquel V. Reyes, Wanda Morris and Ashley Winstead
11:30-12:15pm: Keynote Conversation with Sherry Thomas and Sandra SG Wong
12:30-12:45pm: Halftime Giveaway with Dana Kaye and Tracy Clark Lunch Break
1:30-2:15pm: Old-School Crimes with Nev March, Lori Rader-Day, and John Copenhaver
2:30-3:15p m: Stop the Ticking Clock with Julia Dahl, Matthew FitzSimmons, and Yasmin Angoe
3:30-4:15p Leave it to the Pros with Alverne Ball, Sarah Stewart Taylor and Joanna Schaffhausen
4:30-5:00p Closing with Dana Kaye, Tracy Clark and Lori Rader-Day
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
This Author! Author! essay appeared in Mystery Readers Journal: Senior Sleuths (Volume 36: No. 3, Fall 2020). Thanks, Richard!
Richard Osman: Better than a Homicide Detective
The detectives in my novel The Thursday Murder Club are four very unlikely friends, all in their seventies. Elizabeth, a former spy; Joyce, a former nurse; Ibrahim, still a psychiatrist; and Ron, a once-infamous labour activist.
I have been asked time and again why I chose older people as my sleuths. And the answer is simple. Because of my Mum.
My Mum, Brenda, is 78 years old and, in all honesty, I would trust her to solve a murder far more than I would trust anyone else. To explain why, I thought I should write you a little list. My list is entitled…
The Top 3 Reasons My Mum Would Be Better at Solving a Murder Than an Experienced Homicide Detective
My mum has an awful lot of time on her hands.
My Mum spent a lifetime as an elementary school teacher, and raised two sons single-handedly. So I want to make it clear that she has always been a hard worker. However, it is fair to say that, these days, my Mum has a pretty nice schedule. I mean, really, what is she doing all day? She gets up whenever she wants, she hangs out with her other 78-year-old mates, watches a bit of daytime TV, has a couple of glasses of wine at lunchtime, maybe a quick snooze, and then kicks back and relaxes for the rest of the day.
Which means, of course, that if one of my Mum’s neighbours was murdered, she would have plenty of time to gather evidence, interview suspects, illegally interfere with the police investigation, and track down the killer. Which is exactly what Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron do in the book.
My mum always knows who the murderer is on any TV programme or film I’ve ever watched with her.
Honestly, you’ll be 20 seconds into an episode of Murder She Wrote and my Mum will say ‘I bet the man in the orange jumper did it. He’s probably the ex-husband of the horse racing trainer, and he’s stolen some horse tranquiliser and slipped it into the drink of the local newspaper reporter.’ And we’ll watch to the end, and that’s exactly what will happen. As Jessica Fletcher leads the man in the orange jumper off to jail, I will look at my Mum and, once again, shake my head in wonder.
I should point out, however, that my Mum didn’t guess the killer in The Thursday Murder Club. So if you work out the solution you are even better than she is.
My mum is underestimated.
If you met my Mum (and it can be arranged, she loves visitors) you would leave thinking ‘what a lovely, kind, gentle woman.’ Don’t be fooled. My Mum is the cleverest person I know.
If you were a murderer (and I’m not accusing you, by the way, I’m just saying if), she would invite you round for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, you would have a lovely conversation about the weather, or the garden, and by the end of it, she will have worked out exactly how you did it. Minutes later, you would be in handcuffs.
This is Joyce’s skill in The Thursday Murder Club too. She is kind, thoughtful and polite, and she is always underestimated, and she is always overlooked. But she misses nothing.
We have got used to the people with the loudest voice and the strongest opinions running the world. My Mum, and Joyce, are a reminder that you should probably let the quiet people take charge once in a while.
My Mum would fit straight into The Thursday Murder Club. A gang of friends, from very different backgrounds, with very different experiences, who team up to solve whatever case you put in front of them.
They are clever and loyal, they have seen great happiness and great sadness, they are funny, they are unorthodox and they are old enough to not care too much for the rules. They are kind and ingenious, they value their friendship and they respect their differences. And—and this really can’t be stressed enough—they do have an awful lot of time on their hands.
The story is full of twists, full of dark misdeeds, full of mystery and full of suspects. But, at its heart, it’s about the brilliance of a generation of older people, who, we all know, can turn their hand to anything. They share my Mum’s heart and soul and intelligence.
So when people ask me why I have chosen a group of sleuths in their mid-seventies, my real answer is ‘why on Earth would I choose anyone else?’
Richard Osman has worked as an executive producer on numerous UK shows. Richard’s popularity and tremendous knowledge of trivia led to him presenting his own BBC quiz show and several others, as well as being the host of Pointless with 7 million views. He is also a regular on panel shows and writes a column for the Radio Times.
Monday, October 18, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Wednesday, October 20
HISTORICALS: Stepping into the Past – Crafting the Historical Mystery
Via Zoom; advance registration required
5 PM Pacific Time
Historical: of, relating to, or having the character of history; History: a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events.
How are readers transported into the past through novels? Join us, on Zoom, for this discussion to hear how historical mysteries are imbued with vibrant descriptions of the culture and consciousness of the past. How life was lived in a different time and place, and how crimes were solved using only wit, wisdom, intelligence, and the technology at hand – which did not include cell phones or GPS!
Moderator: Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 28 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories. She has been a member of MWA since dinosaurs walked the earth, was president of the NorCal chapter for years, and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology.
- Catriona McPherson is a crime-fiction writer over many genres: modern psychological thrillers, 1930s detective stories with a gently-born lady sleuth (After the Armistice Ball is the first); and comedies set in California.
- Ann Parker earned degrees in Physics and English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series is set in the 1880s silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, and features Silver Queen Saloon owner Inez Stannert. The first in the series, Silver Lies, won the Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction and the Colorado Gold Award and was a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award as well as for the Western Writers Association Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. It was chosen a best mystery of the year by Publishers Weekly and the Chicago Tribune.
- Michael J. Cooper immigrated to Israel in 1966 and lived in Jerusalem during the last year the city was divided between Israel and Jordan. He studied and traveled in the region for eleven years and graduated from medical school in Tel Aviv. Cooper now lives in Northern California.
- Priscilla Royal is the author of several books in the Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas medieval mystery series, grew up in British Columbia and earned a BA in World Literature at San Francisco State University where she discovered the beauty of medieval literature.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Behind Chocolate Bars by Kathie Aarons
The Root of All Evil by Ellery Adams
The Pumpkin Killer by Stacey Alabaster
Green Water Ghost by Glynn Marsh Alam
Witches Bane by Susan Wittig Albert
Antiques Maul by Barbara Allan
The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander
In Charm's Way by Madelyn Alt
Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews
Strange Brew by Mary Kay Andrews
A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer
Double Jinx by Gretchen Archer
Killing Time by Amy Beth Arkaway
Far to Go by May Louise Aswell
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming by Kathleen Bacus
A Haunting Homicide: Halloween Cozy by Kathy Bacus and Sally J. Smith
Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker
Trick or Treachery: A Murder She Wrote Mystery by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher by Donald Bain, Renee Paley-Bain, & "Jessica Fletcher"
Punked by the Pumpkin by Constance Barker
Last Licks by Cynthia Baxter
Scary Sweets by Jessica Beck
In the Spirit of Murder by Laura Belgrave
The Long Good Boy by Carol Lea Benjamin
Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley
Watchdog; Howloween Murder by Laurien Berenson
The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt
The Halloween Pumpkin Spell by Morgana Best
A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell
Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake
Ghost of a Potion by Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber)
The Scent of Murder by Barbara Block
Under an English Heaven by Alice K. Boatwright
Witches of Floxglove Corners by Dorothy Bodoin
Death of a Wolfman by Susan Boles
Night of the Living Thread by Janet Bolin
Boston Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton
Death of a Trickster by Kate Borden
Post-Mortem Effects by Thomas Boyle
A Graveyard for Lunatics; The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Rebel without a Cake by Jacklyn Brady
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lilian Jackson Braun
15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher
Death Overdue by Allison Brook
The Hunt Ball; The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
Death on All Hallowe'en by Leo Bruce
Dessert is the Bomb by Catherine Bruns
Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan
The Big Chili by Julia Buckley
Halloween by Leslie Burgess
Wycliffe and the Scapegoat by W.J. Burley
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Murder on All Hallows by Beth Byers
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
A Deadly Brew by Lynn Cahoon
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Ann Campbell
The Wizard of La-La Land by R. Wright Campbell
The Charm Stone by Lillian Stewart Carl
The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr
Dark Loch by Sarah L. Carter
The Halloween Murders by John Newton Chance
Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance
Death with an Ocean View by Nora Charles
Frill Kill, Tragic Magic, Photo Finished, Bedeviled Eggs The Jasmine Moon Murder, Fiber and Brimstone, Bedeviled Eggs, Frill Kill, Gossamer Ghost, Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs
Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie
Hazelnuts and Halloween by Leena Clover
Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco
Haunted Hair Nights by Nancy J. Cohen
Poison Buried Punch; Boo Buried Cupcakes by Lyndsey Cole
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Lost Souls by Michael Collins
A Gala Event; Search for the Dead by Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell)
Under the Hill by Sheila Connolly
Not in My Backyard by Susan Rogers Cooper
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
Crypt Suzette by Maya Corrigan
The Ghost and Mrs. McClure; Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle
Deadly Magic by Elisabeth Crabtree
Trick or Treat by Caroline Crane
Pumpkins are Murder by Kathy Cranson
A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford
Spooky Business: Spooky Spider by Addison Creek
Newly Crimsoned Reliquary by Donna Fletcher Crow
Haunted House Ghost by James J. Cudney
Silver Scream, Bantam of the Opera, The Alpine Uproar by Mary Daheim
Halloween Hijinks, Pumpkins in Paradise, Haunted Hamlet, Legend of Tabby Hallow, Ghostly Graveyard, Costume Catastrope, Count Catula; Trick or Treason, by Kathi Daley
The Dracula Murders by Philip Daniels
Cake Popped Off by Kim Davis
The Diva Haunts the House, The Ghost and Mrs Mewer; Murder Outside the Lines by Krista Davis
Fatal Undertaking by Mark de Castrique
And Murder for Dessert by Kathleen Delaney
Swamp Spook by Jana Deleon
Murder on Halloween by Steve Demaree
Farmcall Fatality by Abby Deuel
Throw Darts at a Cheesecake by Denise Dietz
Trick or Treat, The Halloween Murder by Doris Miles Disney
A Map of the Dark by John Dixon
Ghostly Murders by P. C. Doherty
Died to Match by Deborah Donnelly
Cat with an Emerald Eye by Carole Nelson Douglas
Cupcakes, Bats, and Scare-dy Cats by Pamela DuMond
Not Exactly a Brahmin by Susan Dunlap
Vampires, Bones and Treacle Scones by Kaitlyn Dunnett
A Ghost to Die For by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox
Be Careful What You Witch For; Do No Harm by Dawn Eastman
The Bowl of Night by Rosemary Edghill
The Frozen Shroud by Martin Edwards
Knit of the Living Dead by Peggy Ehrhart
Ghost Story by K.J. Emrick
Death by Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson
Door of Death by John Esteven
The Witchfinder by Loren D. Estleman
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
Dead Pig in the Sunshine by Penny Burwell Ewing
Dead Ends by Anne C. Fallon
Sympathy For The Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer
Five Dog Voodoo by Lia Farrell
Mulberry Mischief by Sharon Farrow
Dead in the Pumpkin Patch by Connie Feddersen
It's Your Party Die if You Want To by Vickie Fee
Blackwork, Hanging by a Thread, Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Scary Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Honora Finkelstein
Trick or Treachery by "Jessica Fletcher" and Donald Bain
Halloween by D.M. Flexer
The Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Halloween Murder, Foul Play at the Fair, Trick or Deceit by Shelley Freydont
A Harvest of Bones by Yasmine Galenorn
The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany)
Broke by Kaye George
Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber
Trick or Treat by Leslie Glaister
Mommy and the Murder by Nancy Gladstone
Haunted by Jeanne Glidewell
Blood & Broomsticks by Jean G. Goodhind (aka J.G. Goodhind)
A Few Dying Words by Paula Gosling
The Black Heart Crypt; Hell for the Holidays by Chris Grabenstein
Monster in Miniature by Margaret Grace
Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham
Pumpkin Ridge by Pamela Grandstaff
Nail Biter by Sarah Graves
Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood
Halloween by Ben Greer
A Waffle Lot of Murder by Lena Gregory
The Snafued Snatch by Jackie Griffey
Quoth the Raven; Skeleton Key by Jane Haddam
A Crime of Poison by Nancy Haddock
Hallowed Bones; Bone to Be Wild by Carolyn Haines
Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton
Black Light by Elizabeth Hand
Delicious Mischief by Marianne Harden
Southern Ghost, Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart
Sweet Poison by Ellen Hart
Hide in the Dark by Frances Noyes Hart
Revenge of the Cootie Girls by Sparkle Hayter
Town in a Pumpkin Bash by B.B. Haywood
Digging Up the Remains by Julia Henry
Samhain Secrets by Jennifer David Hesse
Dead Pirates of Cawsand by Steve Higgs
Asking for the Moon by Reginald Hill (SS)
The Fallen Man, The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman
Death of a Pumpkin Carver by Lee Hollis
Delicious Mischief by Marianne Horden
The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes
A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes
Halloween Waffle Murder by Carolyn Q Hunter
Murder on the Ghost Walk by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter
From Bad to Wurst by Maddie Hunter
Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs
Murder on Old Main Street; Dirty Tricks;Dying Wishes by Judith K. Ivie
The Pumpkin Thief, The Great Pumpkin Caper by Melanie Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Murder Among Us by Jonnie Jacobs
A Murder Made in Stitches by Pamela James
The Widow's Walk League by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
Designed for Haunting by Sybil Johnson
The Devil's Cat, Cat's Eye, Cat's Cradle, The Devil's Kiss, The Devil's Heart, The Devil's Touch by William W. Johnstone
The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson
Muffins & Murder by Heather Justesen
A Stew to Kill by Jenny Kales
A Charming Voodoo by Tonya Kappes
The Sacrifice by Karin Kaufman
The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice by Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Wed and Buried, The Skeleton Haunts a House by Toni L.P. Kelner
Verse of the Vampyre by Diana Killian
Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack
The Animal Hour by Andrew Klavan
Paws for Murder by Annie Knox
The Spirit in Question by Cynthia Kuhn
Mean Girl Murder by Leslie Langtry
Murder in the Neighborhood by Janis Lane
Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene
The Stitching Hour by Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent)
Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine
Death Knocks Twice by James H. Lilley
The Legend of Sleepy Harlow by Kylie Logan (aka Miranda Bliss & Casey Daniels)
All Saints' Secrets by Nicole Loughan
Picked Off by Linda Lovely
The Clock Strikes Nun by Alice Loweecey
The Body from the Past by Judi Lynn
Smoke Screen by Marianne MacDonald
Pumpkin Pied; Deadly Brew by Karen MacInerney
Poisoned by Elaine Macko
Bear Witness to Murder by Meg Macy
Halloween Flight 77 by Debbie Madison
The Haunted Season by G.M. Malliet
Baby Doll Games by Margaret Maron
A Halloween Hookup by Jennie Marts
Satan's Silence by Alex Matthews
Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain
Poisoned Tarts by G.A. McKevett
Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay
Death on All Hallows by Allen Campbell McLean
A Sparrow Falls Holiday by Donna McLean
Witch of the Palo Duro by Mardi Oakley Medawar
Trick or Treat Murder, Wicked Witch Murder, Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier
Dancing Floor, Prince of Darkness by Barbara Michaels
Monster in Miniature by Camille Minichino
The Violet Hour by Richard Montanari
Bobbing for Bodies by Addison Moore
Death by Jack O'Lantern by Alexis Morgan
Stakes and Spells by Lynn Morrison
Cat Among the Pumpkins by Mandy Morton
A Biscuit, a Casket by Liz Mugavero
Send in the Crows by Julie Mulhern
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers
Dead End by Helen R. Myers
Nightmare in Shining Armor by Tamar Myers
Hatchet Job by J.E. Neighbors
Oink by Judith Newton
What Doesn't Kill Here by Carla Norton
Retribution by Patrick J. O'Brien
Deadly Places by Terry Odell
Halloween House by Ed Okonowicz
Curried Away by Gail Oust
The Body in the Moonlight by Katherine Hall Page
Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
The Witch Who Hated Halloween by Katie Penryn
Caught Dead Handed; Grave Errors; Be My Ghost by Carol J. Perry
The Skeleton Haunts a House by Leigh Perry
Flight of a Witch by Ellis Peters
Twilight by Nancy Pickard
Strange Halloween by Horace Poulin
Pumpkin Spice Murder by Summer Prescott
Charmed Again by Rose Pressey
Murder at Witches Bluff by Silver Ravenwolf
Poltergeist by Kat Richardson
Magnolias, Moonlight, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Scared Stiff by Annelise Ryan
Death of Halloween by Kim Sauke
Mighty Old Bones by Mary Saums
Murder Ole! by Corinne Holt Sawyer
Tracking Magic by Maria E. Schneider
The Tenor Wore Tapshoes by Mark Schweizer
Trick or Treat or Murder by Kendall Scott
Devil's Day by Kyle M. Scott
Phantoms Can be Murder by Connie Shelton
A Killer Maize by Paige Shelton
Dance of the Scarecrows by Ray Sipherd
The Sterling Inheritance by Michael Siverling
Halloween in Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Susan Smily
Recipe for Murder by Janet Elaine Smith
Halloween Season by Lucy A. Snyder
Town Haunts by Cathy Spencer
Carbs and Cadavers by J.B. Stanley
Black Cats, Corpses and the Pumpkin Pantry by Rachael Stapleton
In the Blink of an Eye, Halloween Party by Wendy Corsi Staub
Tiaras & Terror by Anne Marie Stoddard
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Ripping Abigail by Barbara Sullivan
Candy Coated Murder by Kathleen Suzette
Murder of a Royal Pain by Denise Swanson
Mourning Shift by Kathleen Taylor
The Darkness Deepens by S.D. Thames
Halloween Homicide by Lee Thayer
Inked Up; Inked Up by Terri Thayer
Sharpe Point by Lisa B. Thomas
Charlie's Web by L.L. Thrasher
Gods of the Nowhere by James Tipper
Death in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
A Room with a Brew by Joyce Tremel
A Dash of Murder by Teresa Trent
Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson
Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere
Pineapple Mystery Box by Amy Vansant
I Will Fear No Evil by Debbie Viguié
Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait
Haunted Hayride with Murder; In the Company of Witches by Auralee Wallace
How to Party with a Killer Vampire by Penny Warner
Murder by the Slice, Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn
Five-Minute Halloween Mysteries by Ken Weber
The Scarecrow Murders by Mary V. Welk
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
Gourd to Death by Kirsten Weiss
Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells
Ghoul of My Dreams by Richard F. West
Sweet Fire & Stone by J.A. Whiting
All Hallow's Eve by Charles Williams
Mayhem, Marriage, and Murderous Mystery Manuscripts by J.L. Wilson
Mrs Morris and the Witch by Traci Wilton
A Stitch to Die For by Lois Winston
Killer See, Killer Do by Jonathan Wolfe
All Hallow's Evil by Valerie Wolzien
Trick or Murder? by Debbie Young
And here's a list of Halloween Mystery Short Story Anthologies:
Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, & Marcia Talley
Deadly Treats: Halloween Tales of Mystery, Magic and Mayhem, Edited by Anne Frasier
Trick and Treats edited by Joe Gores & Bill Pronzini
Asking for the Moon (includes "Pascoe's Ghost" and "Dalziel's Ghost") by Reginald Hill
Murder for Halloween by Cynthia Manson
The Haunted Hour, edited by Cynthia Manson & Constance Scarborough
Murder for Halloween: Tales of Suspense, edited by Michele Slung & Roland Hartman.
Mystery for Halloween (an anthology), edited by Donald Westlake
Halloween Horrors, edited by Alan Ryan
All Hallows' Evil, edited by Sarah E. Glenn
Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman and Marcia Talley
Halloween Thirteen-a Collection of Mysteriously Macabre Tales, by Bobbi Chukran
Happy Homicides 4: Falling into Crime, edited by Joanna Campbell Slan et al.
A Very Cozy Halloween, Summer Prescott & 7 others
Midnight Mysteries: Nine cozy Tales, Ritter Ames and others
Murder on Halloween by Steve Demaree
Want some Chocolate Treats to accompany your reading? Head on over to my Chocolate Blog DyingforChocolate.com.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Mystery Writers of America NorCal Mystery Month. Free! Register Now!
Next up: Saturday, October 16
PLOTTING: Greater than the Sum of Its Parts – Plotting it all Together
Via Zoom; advance registration required
2 PM Pacific Time
Plot: to plan or contrive especially secretly; to scheme Plotters and Pantsers have a lot in common. They all strive to include every necessary element of a good plot. But, what are those elements and how do they all join together to become something greater than the parts themselves? To find out join us, on Zoom, for this lively discussion!
Camille Minichino received her Ph.D. in physics from Fordham University. She is currently on the faculty of Golden Gate University, San Francisco, and teaches writing throughout the Bay Area. Camille is Past President and a member of Mystery Writers of America NorCal, NorCal Sisters in Crime, and the California Writer’s Club.
Glenda Carroll wrote a weekly sailing column for the Marin Independent Journal for 19 years. During that time, she also wrote for local, national, and international sailing publications. She branched into travel writing and her features have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Travel & Leisure, Ford Times, Chevron USA, Defenders of Wildlife, and Bay & Delta Yachtsman.
Deborah Crombie’s fifth novel, Dreaming of the Bones, was a New York Times Notable Book in 1997, was named by the Independent Mystery Booksellers as one of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century, was an Edgar nominee for Best Novel, and won the Macavity award for Best Novel. Subsequent novels have been published to critical acclaim and in a dozen languages.
Eileen Rendahl is a national-bestselling award-winning author of mystery, thriller, urban fantasy, romantic comedy, and romantic suspense. She also writes as Kristi Abbott, Lillian Bell, and Eileen Carr.