Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Happy Birthday to Me! Birthday Crime Fiction

Tomorrow is my Birthday, and it's a big one! Even though I've had both shots and two boosters, I won't be venturing too far or celebrating with a crowd. But you can celebrate virtually with me by reading one of these Birthday Themed Mysteries. Every year I get older, and every year the list gets longer. Any titles missing? Make a comment below, and I'll add it to the list! Have a favorite? Let me know!

Birthday Crime Fiction

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

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

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
A Catered Birthday Party by Isis Crawford
The Birthday Gift by Ursula Reilly Curtiss
The Birthday Party: Family Reunions Can Be Murder by Chari Davenport
The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson

The Party by Elizabeth Day
The Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz
There's Something about Mary by Wendy Delaney
A Birthday Secret by Nickolas Drake
Murder Can Botch Up Your Birthday by Selma Eichler

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin
Birthday Cake and Bodies by Agatha Frost
Birthday Sprinkle Murder by Susan Gillard
Aunti Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
The Nanny by Dan Greenburg
The Happy Birthday Murder by Lee Harris
They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer
Birthday Cake Waffle by Carolyn Q. Hunter
Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden

Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside
Happy Birthday, Marge by Shari Hearn
The Birthday Treasure Mystery by Kaylee Huyser
Birthday Party by Marne Davis Kellogg
Murder with a Twist by Tracy Kiely
Birthday Party by C.H.B Kitchin and Adrian Wright
Spiced by Gina LaManna 


The Birthday Girl by Stephen Leather
The Birthday Murder by Lange Lewis
Creme Brulee Murder by Harper Lin

The Old Die Young by Richard Lockridge
The Birthday Killer by W. Kay Lynn
Birthdays for the Dead by Stuart MacBride
False Scent by Ngaio Marsh
The Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin
Birthday Party Murder by Leslie Meier 

Deadly Birthday by CT Mitchell
Many Deadly Returns by Patricia Moyes
The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page 

21st Birthday by James Patterson
Birthday, Deathday; The Cannibal Who Overate by Hugh Pentecost
The Birthday Club by Jack Peterson

Murder and Meringue Cake by Rosie A. Point
The Birthday Party by W. Price
Birthday Dance by Peter Robinson
Birthdays are Murder by Cindy Sample

The Birthday Bash by Elizabeth Sorrells
Don't Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub
Birthday Cake and a Murder by Kathleen Suzette

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

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

Short Story:

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


    Cam Jansen and the Birthday Mystery by David A. Adler, Illustrated by Susanna Natti

Monday, March 28, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: The Oscars


TRACES: Season 2 on BritBox

Traces Season 2 on Britbox

As Traces returns, we catch up with Emma Hedges four months after the events of series 1. Her mother’s murderer has been arrested and hopefully closure is just within reach, but you'll need to watch to find out.

She’s no longer a lab assistant, but training to be a forensic chemist at the Scottish Institute for Forensic Science and Anatomy (SIFA). The series gets off to an explosive start with not one, but two, bombings in the first episode alone. Emma is helping her colleagues investigate this string of bombings going off around Dundee, with the motive not immediately clear.

Traces is a suspense-filled crime thriller based on an original idea by best-selling crime writer Val McDermid (Wire In The Blood, A Place Of Execution), written by Amelia Bullmore  and Val McDermid and set in the world of forensic science in Dundee, Scotland.

If you decide to watch Traces, I recommend watching Season 1 first. It's important to know all the players and what has preceded in the storyline. I love the science is this excellent production.


Saturday, March 26, 2022

Why New England? by Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day

The following article appeared in the New England I issue of Mystery Readers Journal  (38:1) For the Table of Contents, go Here. To order this issue as Hardcopy, go here. For a PDF download of 38:1, go Here.


Think of crime fiction set in Boston and what comes to mind? If you read thrillers, you might conjure stories by Hank Phillippi Ryan and Dennis Lehane. Robert Parker’s many books are set in Boston, as are Edwin Hill’s suspenseful Hester Thursby mysteries. A little farther north finds Kate Flora’s Joe Burgess police procedurals set in Portland Maine, as are Bruce Robert Coffin’s Detective Byron books.

When we venture into the gentler side of the genre as brought to the screen, we find the delightful Jessica Fletcher in the Murder She Wrote series, now continued for many more tales on the page. Just don’t go to Cabot Cove, Maine. Someone is guaranteed to die.

I’ve written five cozy and traditional mystery series, with two that are ongoing. Four of them are set somewhere in Massachusetts. All of my talented Wicked Authors blogmates also write books set in New England, along with a slew of other authors. Why? What’s the draw?

Apart from gritty Boston, with its Irish mob and history of fraught race relations, most of the rest of New England is both bucolic and iconic. We have hundreds of miles of coastline. Many small family farms still sell their produce at farm stands and farmers’ markets. You can hike gentle mountains and then eat in a diner on a classic village green complete with a white church. People drop their Rs and call soda pop “tonic.” And the food! Lobster rolls, clam chowder, Boston baked beans, apple cider do- nuts, and the best small-batch ice cream any- where.

For cozy mystery authors, New England is a perfect place to site books. The late (sniff) Sheila Connolly’s long-running Orchard Mysteries are set in a small town in the western part of the state. My Local Foods Mysteries take place on a small organic farm (much like the one I used to own and run) in northeastern Massachusetts, with members of a locavore club signing up for CSA [Community Sup- ported Agriculture] shares—and helping farmer Cam Flaherty solve crimes.

Sherry Harris writes the Sarah Winston Gar- age Sale series, which includes one of those classic town greens west of Boston as well as a nearby Air Force Base. Also village-based are Julia Henry’s Garden Squad Mysteries, with sixty-something Lilly Jane leading a group of guerilla gardeners—and crime solvers.

The coast is never far. In Barbara Ross’s popular Maine Clambake Mysteries, Julia Snowden and her family run a clambake business on their island off fictional Busman’s Harbor. Shari Randall’s Lobster Shack Mysteries are set on the Connecticut coast. Cate Conte’s fun Cat Café books take place on an island somewhere in New England.

And who hasn’t heard of Cape Cod? Amy Pershing has a delightful new Cape Cod Foodie series out. Just off the coast, Cynthia Riggs has a long-running Martha’s Vineyard series. In my Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries (writ- ten as Maddie Day), Mackenzie—Mac—Almeida owns and runs Mac’s Bikes in fictional Westham on the Cape. Along with other business owners and town officials, she’s a member of the Cozy Capers book group, which reads and discusses a different cozy mystery every week. The group also helps Mac solve the real- life crimes she encounters.

New England is also rich in history, of course. Alyssa Maxwell writes the wonderful Gilded Newport Mysteries, which take place in Rhode Island in the last years of the nineteenth century. Jessica Estevao wrote two intriguing Change of Fortune mysteries set around the same time in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

I staged my Agatha-Award-winning Quaker Midwife Mysteries a decade earlier in the former mill and factory town where I live in the northeast corner of Massachusetts. Many of the homes from that era still exist (I live in one of them) as well as the repurposed brick factory and mill buildings and the Friends Meetinghouse, still a place of worship (my own, in fact). It’s easy to walk around town and imagine parts of my stories. Earlier and farther north yet are Beth Kanell’s deeply drawn Winds of Freedom novels, featuring a young abolitionist woman in 1850s northern Vermont.

If you want your New England in short bites, you can’t go wrong reading any of the almost twenty annual anthologies of Best New Eng- land Crime Stories. Published by various incarnations of Level Best Books, this year the endeavor was taken over by the new Crime Spell Books. Bloodroot: Best New England Crime Stories came out in November 2021, edited by Susan Oleksiw, Ang Pompano and Leslie Wheeler. The collection includes a historical story of mine, “Dark Corners,” featuring a young PI named Dot Henderson (a fictional version of my grandmother) solving a crime with the real, pre-fame Amelia Earhart in 1926 Boston.

You could read crime fiction set only in New England and never run out of books. And really, why not?


Edith Maxwell writes the Agatha Award-winning Quaker Midwife Mysteries and short crime fiction; as Maddie Day, she pens the bestselling Country Store Mysteries and Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. She lives north of Boston with her beau, where she cooks, gardens, and wastes time on Facebook when she isn’t plotting new murders. 

To read other articles in this issue, go Here.


Thursday, March 24, 2022


NOIR CITY returns to Hollywood April 15-17
with a slate of eight films and a new venue, the Hollywood Legion Theater. Screenings will be introduced by Film Noir Foundation founder and president Eddie Muller and board member Alan K. Rode. This year's festival kicks off with two FNF-funded restorations of Cy Endfield directed noirs, Try and Get Me! (1951) and the Los Angeles premiere of The Argyle Secrets (1948). The former is inspired by the true story of a 1933 kidnapping and murder in San Jose, California, and stars Lloyd Bridges and Frank Lovejoy. The latter is our latest 35mm restoration and features William Gargan as a hardboiled reporter hunting down a book listing prominent WWII traitors who put profits above fighting fascism. 

Highlights include The Film Foundation's 35mm print of Michael Curtiz' The Breaking Point (1950) based on Ernest Hemmingway's To Have and Have Not and starring John Garfield, as well as The Library of Congress' 35mm print of The Accused (1949), starring Loretta Young. 

Also to be screened: the Film Noir Foundation's restoration of Joseph Losey's envelope-pushing The Prowler (1951), as well as the 35mm preservation print of Cy Endfield's The Underworld Story (1950) starring Dan Duryea in a rare protagonist role. FNF proceeds from the NOIR CITY festival benefit the foundation's efforts to rescue and restore noir films in danger of being permanently lost or damaged. 


 All patrons aged 18 and up will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Tickets for NOIR CITY: Hollywood are $18 per show. Discounts are available for students, military, and Post 43 members. Tickets, full schedule, and program notes are available on the Hollywood Legion Theater's website.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Mystery Readers Journal: New England Mysteries I

Mystery Readers Journal: New England Mysteries I
(Volume 38:1// Spring 2022) is now available as PDF and hardcopy.
We had so many articles, reviews, and author essays that we needed to go to two issues. If you're a contributor, and you don't see your article in this issue, it will be in New England Mysteries II (Summer 2022) If you're a PDF subscriber, you will receive download instructions shortly. Hard copy subscription copies should arrive next week. PDF Contributor copies will go out this weekend.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to this and the next New England issue.

New England Mysteries I

Volume 38, No. 1, Spring 2022

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



  • Why New England? by Edith Maxwell / Maddie Day
  • Homer Kelly, Asey Mayo, Leonidas Witherall, and Murderous Massachusetts by Patricia Cook
  • Maine Writers by Dale T. Phillips
  • Boston Burning Bright by Gabriel Valjan
  • Just the Facts: If the Shoe Fits by Jim Doherty


  • Going Home Again by Connie Archer
  • Why New Hampshire? by Lorna Barrett
  • Writing the “Cabot Cove” Mystery: How I Went From the Big City to a Small New England Town by R.G. Belsky
  • When Fall Comes to New England by Linda Barnes
  • You Can’t Beat New England Weather by Laurien Berenson
  • A Dream Made Me Do It by Cordelia Frances Biddle
  • As Real As It Gets by Bruce Robert Coffin
  • Unbelonging by Cate Conte
  • Maine: A Good Place to Commit a Murder or Two by Kathy Lynn Emerson (aka Kaitlyn Dunnett)
  • The Road Less Traveled by Trish Esden
  • New England and the Past by Terence Faherty
  • From Chicken Farmer’s Daughter to a Life of Crime by Kate Flora
  • Walking to Find a Story by Lynne Reeves Griffin
  • How I Became a Resident Mystery Writer by David Handler
  • A Life Lived in Thirds by Sally Cabot Gunning
  • Dark and Atmospheric: New England as Setting by Edwin Hill
  • It’s a Very Small State by Kathleen Marple Kalb (aka Nikki Knight)
  • The Little Woman with the Long Shadow by Beth Kanell
  • Still Waters Run Deep by Chris Knopf
  • Lobster Stew and Murder Too on Olde Cape Cod by Paul Kemprecos
  • Mainer in Exile by Eleanor Kuhns
  • Connecticut Crime by Steve Liskow
  • Bogged Down in Murder by Edward Lodi
  • The Personality of Place by Larry Maness
  • From Narrative Nonfiction to a Fictional Narrative by Ben Mezrich
  • The Desert or the Deep Dark Woods? by Eugenia Parrish
  • New England, My Inspiration by Barbara Ross
  • Stranger in a Strange Land (of Steady Habits) by Carole B. Shmurak
  • Robert Parker’s Spenser and My Love of New England Mysteries by Peter Swanson
  • Deadly Fiction by John Tommasi
  • New England Adjacent by Bev Vincent
  • The Mysterious Magic of New England by C.J. Verburg
  • Scouting Locations for a Dark Thriller by Carter Wilson


  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Aubrey Hamilton, Lesa Holstine, L.J. Roberts, Lucinda Surber
  • New England Cop Ten: Making History by Jim Doherty
  • Children’s Hour: New England Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Crime Seen: Murder, They Write by Kate Derie
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

Thursday, March 17, 2022

How On Earth Did I Get so Jaded?: Guest Post by Margot Kinberg

MARGOT KINBERG: How On Earth Did I Get so Jaded?*

It’s not easy to write from a teenager’s perspective. On the one hand, they’re still children with an immature view of the world. On the other, they’re getting close to adulthood, so you can’t write those characters the way you’d write a younger person.


Today’s teenagers face many adult challenges, too. They may work, take care of younger siblings, and do a lot of household chores in addition to their schoolwork. And that’s to say nothing of teens who play sports or are involved in other extracurricular activities. All of this is in addition to the emotional and social pressures of growing up and finding a place in the world, especially a world in which social media plays a big role.


How did all of this happen? For almost forty years, psychologists and other experts such as David Elkind have argued that young people – even as young as preschool-aged children – are pushed too hard, too soon. Whether it’s teaching academic skills to very young preschoolers, confiding in a pre-teen about a date one had, or the wrenching decisions that pregnant teens need to make, it all adds up to a lot of unhealthy pressure. What’s more, these experts argue, young people are just not cognitively and emotionally ready to assume adult responsibilities; yet that’s what society sometimes expects of them.  


Certainly, there’ve been some major changes in the ways that teens are portrayed in crime fiction. Agatha Christie, for instance, wrote several novels and stories that include teen characters. Evil Under the Sun is one example. Sixteen-year-old Linda Marshall gets involved in a murder investigation when her stepmother, famous actress Arlena Stuart Marshall, is murdered during a family holiday. On the one hand, she is involved in a case of murder. On the other, she doesn’t contend with many of the pressures today’s teens face. She worries about her appearance, she wishes her father had married someone ‘sensible,’ and so on. But she doesn’t assume adult responsibilities, and she’s not portrayed as being adult-like. She’s a teenager with an immature perspective, and that’s how Christie wrote her.


If you grew up reading the Hardy Boys mysteries, then you know that they, too are portrayed as teens. They do solve mysteries, and that poses some danger. But they have a stable home life, and they don’t face pressures such as raising younger siblings, working full-time, or some of the other challenges that today’s teens face.


More contemporary novels show a lot more of some of the pressures that challenge today’s young people. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s attorney sleuth Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, for instance, has a son, Gylfi, who becomes a father at the age of sixteen. He and his partner, Sigga (who is fifteen), now have the pressures of trying to make a home together, preparing for a baby, and a lot more.


There’s a clear (and sometimes harrowing) depiction of modern teen life in Brannavan Gnanalingam’s Sprigs, which involves the students who attend an exclusive New Zealand School. Members of the school’s rugby team have a party after a game one night, and it ends disastrously when a fifteen-year-old party guest is gang-raped. As the novel goes on, we see some of the issues that today’s teens face: social media and the opportunities for bullying; the pressure to do well in school; drinking and drugs; and, of course, the school/social culture in which the gang rape happened. There are many other novels, too, in which we see some of the brutal realities of what it is to be a modern teenager.


I tried to capture some of those challenges in Streets of Gold. The main character is fifteen-year-old Staci McKinney, who’s left home to escape her stepfather. It’s bad enough that she’s on the streets. It’s even worse when she witnesses two men dumping a body and they see her, too. The novella touches on some of the pressures that teens face (e.g., getting thrown out of their homes because of a remarriage; trying to make adult decisions, even though they’re still children). It’s not an easy time, even for teens who have homes. And writing about it means real thinking about the way these young people are portrayed.


Of course, the way teen life is portrayed in crime fiction depends on other factors, too. Sub-genre, era of the story (in historical fiction), and plot all impact the way the characters and their lives are depicted. That said, though, today’s novels seem to acknowledge the argument that Elkind and other, like-minded experts have made. Teens are often forced to grow up quickly – sometimes too quickly. This puts enormous pressure on them and can lead to real problems. When it’s acknowledged in fiction, that pressure can add tension and suspense to a story and can make that story more authentic.

Thanks very much for having me as a guest!

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train.


Margot Kinberg
is a mystery novelist and Associate Professor. She writes the Joel Williams series, the Patricia Stanley series, and other fiction. She also blogs about crime fiction and serves on the judging panel for the Ngaio Marsh Awards for crime fiction.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


CRIMEFEST has announced the shortlists for its annual awards.

Adrian Muller, Co-host of CRIMEFEST, said: “After two years of hosting our awards online due to Covid restrictions, we’re thrilled we will be announcing and celebrating the winners of 2022’s CrimeFest Awards in person at our convention in Bristol in May. These shortlists show how valuable books have been to all ages, particularly in times of isolation, as sources of escapism, entertainment and enrichment. We’d like to thank Audible and Specsavers for their on-going support of these awards.”

CRIMEFEST has had to postpone its 2020 and 2021 conventions, due to Covid restrictions. Hosted in Bristol, it is one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, and one of the most popular dates in the international crime fiction calendar, with circa 60 panel events and 150 authors over four days. CrimeFest will take place in Bristol, U.K. from May 12 -15.

CRIMEFEST 2022 Shortlists


In association with headline sponsor, the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award is for crime novels by previously unpublished authors bring vital fresh blood to the genre.

Abigail DeanGirl A (HarperCollins)

Janice HallettThe Appeal (Viper)

Saima Mir, The Khan (Point Blank)

Rahul RainaHow to Kidnap the Rich
(Abacus/ Little, Brown Book Group)

Lara Thompson, One Night, New York
 (Virago/Little, Brown Book Group)

David Heska Wanbli WeidenWinter Counts
(Simon & Schuster)



The Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best unabridged crime audiobook available for download from audible.co.uk, Britain’s largest provider of downloadable audiobooks.

Lee and Andrew ChildBetter Off Dead read by Jeff Harding (Penguin Random House Audio)

Abigail DeanGirl A read by Holliday Grainger (HarperFiction)

Paula HawkinsSlow Fire Burning read by Rosamund Pike (Penguin Random House Audio)

Lisa JewellThe Night She Disappeared read by Joanna Froggatt (Penguin Random House Audio)

Liane MoriartyApples Never Fall read by Caroline Lee (Penguin Random House Audio)

Richard OsmanThe Man Who Died Twice read by Lesley Manville (Penguin Random House Audio)

K.L. SlaterThe Marriage read by Lucy Price-Lewis (Audible Studios / Bookouture)

Karin SlaughterFalse Witness read by Kathleen Early (HarperCollins)



The eDunnit Award is for the best crime fiction eBook

Megan AbbottThe Turnout (Virago/ Little, Brown Book Group)

Gianrico CarofiglioThe Measure of Time (Bitter Lemon Press)

Michael ConnellyThe Dark Hours (Orion Fiction)

Abigail DeanGirl A (HarperCollins)

Cath Staincliffe, Running Out of Road (Constable/ Little, Brown Book Group)

Andrew TaylorThe Royal Secret (HarperCollins)



The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction. The award is named after H.R.F. ‘Harry’ Keating, one of Britain’s most esteemed crime novelists.

Lucy AndrewsThe Detective's Companion in Crime Fiction: A Study in Sidekicks (Palgrave Macmillan)

Richard BradfordDevils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith (Bloomsbury, Caravel)

James FlemingBond Behind the Iron Curtain (The Book Collector)

Patricia HighsmithPatricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Carla ValentineMurder Isn't Easy: The Forensics of Agatha Christie (Sphere/ Little, Brown Book Group)

Stephen James WalkerHank Janson Under Cover (Telos Publishing Ltd)



The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel.

Simon BrettAn Untidy Death (Severn House)

Andrea CamilleriRiccardino (Mantle)

Christopher Fowler, Bryant & May: London Bridge is Falling Down (Doubleday)

Janice HalletThe Appeal (Viper)

Mick HerronSlough House (Baskerville, John Murray Press)

Antti TuomainenThe Rabbit Factor (Orenda Books)



This award is for the best crime fiction novel for children (aged 8-12)

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Noah's Gold (Macmillan Children's Books)

Maz Evans, Vi Spy: Licence to Chill (Chicken House)

Anthony HorowitzNightshade (Walker Books)

Anthony KesselThe Five Clues (Crown House Publishing)

Jennifer Killick CraterLake Evolution (Firefly Press)

M.G. LeonardTwitch (Walker Books)

Alexandra Page, Wishyouwas: The Tiny Guardian of Lost Letters illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Ella RisbridgerThe Secret Detectives (Nosy Crow)



This award is for the best crime fiction novel for young adults (aged 12-16).

Faridah Àbíké ÍyímídéAce of Spades (Usborne Publishing)

Angeline BoulleyFirekeeper's Daughter (Rock the Boat)

Andreina CordaniThe Girl Who … (Atom/ Little, Brown Book Group)

William HusseyThe Outrage (Usborne Publishing)

Holly Jackson, As Good As Dead (Electric Monkey)

Patrice LawrenceSplinters of Sunshine (Hodder Children's Books)

Jonathan StroudThe Outlaws of Scarlett & Browne (Walker Books)

C.L. Taylor, The Island (HQ)


Lambda Literary Award Finalists: The Lammys!

Lambda Literary
, the nation’s oldest and largest literary arts organization advancing LGBTQ literature, announced the finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards aka the “Lammys.”

Below are the Finalists in the Mystery Category. Congratulations to All! To see the Finalists in all categories, go HERE.

LGBTQ Mystery

  • Bath Haus // P.J. Vernon, PRH/Doubleday
  • Finding the Vein // Jennifer Hanlon Wilde, Ooligan Press
  • Lies With Man // Michael Nava, Amble Press
  • Murder Under Her Skin // Stephen Spotswood, PRH/Doubleday
  • The Savage Kind // John Copenhaver, Pegasus Books




Cartoon of the Day: The Timekeeper

Monday, March 14, 2022

St. Patrick's Day Crime Fiction

St. Patrick's Day figures in many mysteries, so here's my updated St. Patrick's Day Crime Fiction list. And, since Irish aka Emerald Noir is very popular right now, so you can always add titles to your TBR pile from the many Irish crime writers available, although they may not take place specifically during St. Patrick's Day. Declan Burke had a great post on his blog several years ago CrimeAlwaysPays Overview: The St. Patrick's Day Rewind

Mystery Readers Journal has had two issues dedicated to Irish Mysteries. Irish Mysteries: 36:4 (2020) and  Irish Mysteries 24:2 (2008)  Both are still available as hardcopy or PDF download.

As always, I welcome comments and additions to this list. 


Susan Wittig Albert: Love Lies Bleeding
Amy Alessio: Struck by Shillelagh
Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, & Marcia Talley (editors): Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment
Mary Kay Andrews (aka Kathy Hogan Trocheck): Irish Eyes
S. Furlong-Bollinger: Paddy Whacked

Harry Brandt (Richard Price): The Whites
Lynn Cahoon: Corned Beef and Casualties

Isis Crawford: A Catered St. Patrick's Day
P. Creeden: Murder on Saint Patrick's Day
Kathi Daley: Shamrock Shenanigans
Nelson DeMille: Cathedral
Tom Dots Doherty: ShamrockSnake
Janet Evanovich: Plum Lucky
Sharon Fiffer: Lucky Stuff 
Bernadette Franklin: Shammed

S. Furlong-Bollinger: Paddy Whacked
Andrew Gonzalez: St. Patrick's Day
Andrew Greeley: Irish Gold
Jane Haddam: A Great Day for the Deadly
Lyn Hamilton: The Celtic Riddle
Jonathan Harrington: A Great Day for Dying
Lee Harris: The St. Patrick's Day Murder
Jennifer L. Hart: Sleuthing for the Weekend
Dorothy Howell: Duffel Bags and Drownings 
Carolyn Q. Hunter: Shamrock Pie Murder
Melanie Jackson: The Sham
Madison Johns: Lucky Strike
Diane Kelly: Love, Luck, and the Little Green Men 
Linda Kozar: St. Patrick's Secret
Amanda Lee: The Long Stitch Good Night; Four-Leaf Clover
Wendi Lee: The Good Daughter
Dan Mahoney: Once in, Never Out
Marion Markham: The St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Mystery (children's)
Ralph M. McInerny: Lack of the Irish
 Leslie Meier: St. Patrick's Day Murder

Carlene O'Connor: Murder in an Irish Bookshop
Sister Carol Anne O’Marie: Death Takes Up A Collection
Mark Parker: Lucky You
Christopher Ryan: Go Brath
Janet Elaine Smith: In St. Patrick's Custody
JJ Toner: St. Patrick's Day Special
Kathy Hogan Trochek (aka Mary Kay Andrews): Irish Eyes
Debbie Viguié: Lie Down in Green Pastures

Noreen Wald: Death Never Takes a Holiday; The Luck of the Ghostwriter

Check out Dublin Noir, a collection of short stories edited by Ken Bruen, published by Akashic Books in the US and Brandon in Ireland and the UK.

Read Val McDermid's take on the Popularity of Irish Crime Fiction.

Read Lisa Alber's guest post on Travels to Ireland, or, Bah, I Scoff at "Write What You Know"

Some Irish crime writers you might want to read: Tana French, Erin Hart, Benjamin Black, Conor Brady, Declan Hughes, Jane Casey, Brian McGilloway, Alan Glynn, John Brady, Stuart Neville, Adrian McKinty, John Banville (Benjamin Black), Ken Bruen, Jesse Louisa Rickard, Peter Tremayne, Gene Kerrigan, Stuart Neville, Liz Nugent, Eoin Colfer.

Who are your favorite Irish authors?


And, since we all seem to be streaming now, here are a few Crime Films set around St. Patrick's Day:

Between the Canals (2010), Irish crime film written and directed by Mark O'Connor

The Boondock Saints (1999) American crime film written and directed by Troy Duffy

State of Grace (1990) Neo-Noir Crime Film directed by Phil Joanou

The Fugitive (1993) American Crime Film directed by Andrew Davis

May the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be always at your back!

And, if you want something CHOCOLATE to go along with your Guinness and Bailey's, have a look at my DyingforChocolate blog for some Killer St. Patrick's Day Recipes including:

Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake
Bailey's Chocolate Truffles
Guinness Chocolate Pie
Chocolate Guinness Cake
Bailey's Irish Cream S'mores
Guinness Chocolate Stout Brownies
Chocolate Irish Soda Bread with Guinness Ice Cream
Bailey's Chocolate Trifle
You Make Me Want to Stout Cupcakes (Scharffen Berger)
Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge

Guinness Chocolate Cherry Bread & Guinness Brown Breads

Cartoon of the Day: Chat Room

Sunday, March 13, 2022


The 2022 Spur Awards announced the winners of the 2022 Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America. Of special interest to Mystery Readers:



David Heska Wanbli Weiden for "Skin," published in Midnight Hour: A Chilling Anthology of Crime Fiction from 20 Authors of Color (Crooked Lane Books)


C.J. Box for Dark Sky: A Joe Pickett Novel (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) 

 Read winners in other categories Here.   Congratulations to all!

Western Writers of America annually honors writers for distinguished writing about the American West with the Spur Awards. Since 1953 the Spur Awards have been considered one of the most prestigious awards in American literature. Spurs are given for the best western historical novel, best western traditional novel, best western contemporary novel, best short story, best short nonfiction. Also, best contemporary nonfiction, best biography, best history, best juvenile fiction and nonfiction, best drama, best documentary, and best first novel as well as best first nonfiction book.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: Pandemic

Happy Caturday!

ALFRED HITCHCOCK DAY: Things to Do to Celebrate

Today is National Hitchcock Day. No apparent reason for this date as he wasn't born on this Day, nor did he die on this Day. Not sure who sanctions these "Holiday" dates, but here goes. Lots of Hitchcock stuff to do today.

1. See a Hitchcock Movie on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, or another streaming service --or buy the DVD Collection: Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (15).
2. Watch the TV series: Alfred Hitchcock Presents
3. Watch Sir Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock.
4. Take a Train Trip. Be careful whom you talk to.
5. Try to Spot Alfred Hitchcock Cameos
6. Read a Book about Alfred Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho; Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

7. Visit the Alfred Hitchcock Museum in Bodega, CA. Then drive out to the Coast and visit Bodega Bay where there are lots of 'birds.'

Alfred Hitchcock on how to Master Suspense:

Alfred Hitchcock on The Birds:

 The Trailer for Notorious


DEATH ON THE NILE to Debut on Hulu

The Kenneth Branagh-led murder mystery Death on the Nile announced its March 29 release on Hulu, following its theatrical premiere February 11. The movie is directed by Branagh, and stars him in a leading role, opposite Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, and Annette Benning. 

Based on a 1937 Agatha Christie novel, Death on the Nile follows detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) and his vacation-turned-murder-pursuit after a couple’s honeymoon bears a shocking tragedy. The movie is a sequel to the 2017 box office success Murder on the Orient Express and marks the return of Branagh's Detective Poirot and his protege, Bouc, played by Tom Bateman.