Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Congratulations to all. 


Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews (Little, Brown and Co.) 
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria Books) 
Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka, Translated by Sam Malissa (Harry Abrams) 
Lightseekers by Femi Kayode (Mulholland Books) 
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey) 
All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris (William Morrow) 


The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Co.) 
Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby (Flatiron Books) I
The Low Desert by Tod Goldberg (Counterpoint) 
These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall (Thomas and Mercer) 
Dream Girl by Laura Lippman (William Morrow) 
1979 by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly) 


Morgan Entrekin, president and publisher of Grove/Atlantic Inc. in New York City. 


Sandra Brown 
Nelson DeMille

CWA Dagger Awards 2022: Crime Writers' Association

Crime Writers' Association (UK) announced the Winners of the 2022 Daggers tonight in London. Congratulations to all and thanks to Ayo Onatade for the news!


The Dagger in the Library

Mark Billingham

The Dagger for the Best Crime & Mystery Publisher 

Faber & Faber 

The CWA Short Story Dagger

Flesh of a Fancy Woman by Paul Magrs 


The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger

Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz (transl. Rachel Ward) 


The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey by Julia Laite


The CWA Historical Dagger

Sunset Swing by Ray Celestin

The CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

The Appeal by Janice Hallett


The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Dead Ground by M W Craven

The CWA Gold Dagger

Sunset Swing by Ray Celestin: Sunset Swing 

HT: ShotsMag

Cartoon of the Day: The Writer's Block

Thanks to Grant Snider:


Tuesday, June 28, 2022


The Shortlist for the Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. Winner will be announced at Bloody Scotland in September. Congratulations to all!

Scottish Crime Debut of the Year Shortlist

Tariq Ashkanani, Welcome to Cooper (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon)

Frankie Boyle, Meantime (John Murray).

Amanda Mitchison, The Wolf Hunters (Fledgling Press).

George Paterson, The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter (Into Books).

Sarah Smith, Hear No Evil (Two Roads).


Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. Full information at The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15-18 September 2022.

Monday, June 27, 2022

THE LIFE OF CRIME: Guest Post by Martin Edwards

Martin Edwards: 
The Life of Crime 

Fifty years have passed since the late Julian Symons published his magisterial history of crime fiction, Bloody Murder (known in the US as Mortal Consequences). During the intervening half-century, innumerable books have been published about different aspects of crime fiction. Many of these are splendid, and there are some scholarly works and encyclopedias that are invaluable resources. Yet as far as I know, nobody has attempted to write a single volume narrative history of mystery for the general reader that traces the genre’s evolution from Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ (or even earlier works) to the twenty-first century.

Now that I’ve had a crack at emulating Symons’ feat, I can guess why it hasn’t been done before! My publishers, HarperCollins, have been extremely generous, and I’ve been allowed a quarter of million words to tell the story of The Life of Crime. But even with that amount of space, I found I needed to be highly selective. This is especially the case because, unlike Symons, I wanted to say something about films, plays, TV, and true crime, as well as novels and short stories. Again unlike Symons, I also wanted to glance at the lives of some of the key authors, in so far as their personal experiences had a bearing on what they wrote.

I’ve had a project of this sort in mind for many, many years. However, I’ve only been working on it in depth for about the past six years. Again, I’m grateful to my publishers for their patience - and for their support, which manifested itself in many different ways. It was clear that, with such a wide-ranging work, the indexes would be extremely important, and so retaining the services of a first-rate professional indexer were essential. The indexer told me that he spent one hundred hours on the task. Which gives you an idea of the scale of the undertaking.

This is very much a personal ‘take’ on the genre’s development, with all the limitations that implies. Because I was tackling such a vast amount of material, however, I asked a dozen or so friends and experts on the genre (from a number of different countries) to comment on the manuscript, or on parts of it within their fields of interest, and their input was equally generous and positive. Their advice – even if I didn’t always follow it! – definitely made The Life of Crime a better book.

Each chapter begins with a vignette concerning the life of a particular author before proceeding to explore a topic connected, in one way or another, with that author’s contribution to the crime genre. The precise way I do this varies from chapter to chapter, since – as when writing my novels – I was determined to avoid a formulaic approach. I also wanted to focus on some authors who were not just ‘the usual suspects’. 

So yes, there are chapters which kick off with glimpses into the lives of Poe, Doyle, Christie, Chandler, Woolrich, and so on – right up to P.D. James. But there are others which start with less obvious figures, including the brothers Patrick and Bruce Hamilton, Nicolas Freeling, and William Lindsay Gresham, the author of Nightmare Alley. The overall result, I hope, is a book that traverses the ground in a fresh way that will encourage crime fans to think further about the books they love. 

Finally, I’ve focused on the connections, often rather improbable, between writers from different places and backgrounds and those who wrote in very different styles and sub-genres. This reflects my belief that the things that connect us in life are more important than the superficial differences that divide us. And I hope that The Life of Crime will introduce even the most seasoned and widely-read aficionados to some stories and writers they may not have considered until now - and afford them unexpected pleasure as a result. 

Martin Edwards received the CWA Diamond Dagger, the highest honour in UK crime writing, and his other awards include an Edgar and two Macavitys. He is the author of twenty-one novels, including The Girl They All Forgot, his latest Lake District Cold Case Mystery. His other books include The Life of Crime, a ground-breaking history of the genre.’ 


Cartoon of the Day: Types of Readers

 From the fabulous Grant Snider:

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Authors & their Cats: Ursula Le Guin

Happy Caturday! Authors and their Cats: Ursula K. Le Guin. What an amazing writer. What a fascinating woman! I was so lucky to be on a panel with her once--a highlight of my 'literary' career. Be sure and scroll down to read about her 'cat' books.

In addition to an incredible number of books on fantasy and science fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote Catwings, a children's book, illustrated by S.D. Schindler.

Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Down an alley in a dumpster, Mrs. Jane Tabby gives birth to four kittens. But these are no ordinary offspring. Each has a pair of wings. Although Mrs. Tabby is unperturbed by her kittens' appearance, her neighbors are not so charitable; when the kittens are old enough to fly, Mrs. Tabby sends her children out into the world. Because both winged and four-footed creatures mistrust them, the kittens have trouble finding a place to live, but eventually discover a loving home. Dark watercolor etchings by Schindler further convey the plight of these airborne felines as they go in search of a home.

Le Guin also wrote Cat Dreams, illustrated by S.D. Schindler, Jane on Her Own: A Catwings Tale, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, and Catwings Return.

Ursula K. Le Guin: 
Arguably one of the canonical writers of American science fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, Calif., in 1929, the daughter of Alfred L. and Theodora Kroeber. After earning an A.B. degree from Radcliffe College and an A.M. from Columbia University, Le Guin was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 1953.

The genre formerly classified as 'science fiction' has become divided into sub-genres, such as fantasy, realistic fiction, alternative history, and other categories. Le Guin resists classifying her own work in any one area, saying that some of it may be called 'science fiction', while other writings may be considered 'realist' and still others 'magical realism' (her term). Le Guin is one of the few writers whose works (which include poetry and short fiction) can be found in public libraries' collections for children, young adults, and adults.

Le Guin's published works include a novel, A Wizard of Earthsea, that won an American Library Association Notable Book citation, a Horn Book Honor List citation, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1979. She has been nominated several times for the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award--the highest honors in science fiction/fantasy writing--and has won both awards. Her Earthsea Trilogy is a mainstay of fantasy fiction collections.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: Performance & Enhancing Drugs for Writers

 From the Fabulous Grant Snider:

Ngaio Marsh Awards Longlist for Best Novel

The longlist for the 2022 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel includes three past winners, several past finalists and longlistees, and five first-time entrants. “It was a really strong group of entrants this year, with many books our judges thoroughly enjoyed missing out,” says founder Craig Sisterson. “Our local ‘yeahnoir’ scene keeps going from strength to strength. It’s high time more Kiwis realised that just like we accept and even expect our local sportspeople to compete at the highest levels on the world stage, likewise our authors – not just in crime and thriller writing, but across many genres and styles – are among the best in the world.”


The Ngaio Marsh Awards have celebrated the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing since 2010

The longlist for this year’s Best Novel prize is: 

  • CITY OF VENGEANCE by DV Bishop (Macmillan) 
  • BEFORE YOU KNEW MY NAME by Jacqueline Bublitz (Allen & Unwin) 
  • THE QUIET PEOPLE by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press) 
  • TO THE SEA by Nikki Crutchley (HarperCollins) 
  • POLAROID NIGHTS by Lizzie Harwood (The Cuba Press) 
  • ISOBAR PRECINCT by Angelique Kasmara (The Cuba Press) 
  • NANCY BUSINESS by RWR McDonald (Allen & Unwin) 
  • SHE’S A KILLER by Kirsten McDougall (Te Herenga Waka University Press) 
  • THE LAST GUESTS by JP Pomare 
  • THE DEVILS YOU KNOW by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin) 
  • QUIET IN HER BONES by Nalini Singh (Hachette) 
  • WAKING THE TIGER by Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books) 


The longlist is currently being considered by an international judging panel of crime and thriller writing experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.  


The finalists for both the Best Novel category and Best First Novel will be announced in early August. The finalists will be celebrated, and winners announced, as part of a special event at this year’s WORD Christchurch Festival, held from 31 August to 4 September 2022.  


For more information on this year’s Best Novel longlist, or the Ngaio Marsh Awards in general, please contact founder and judging convenor Craig Sisterson,  


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

PARANORMAL OR NORMAL? Guest post by Barbara Graham




My debut mystery, What Jonah Knew, has been described many different ways: Magical. Mystical. Paranormal. Supernatural. And though in one way the labels fit, in another way they raise questions about where the otherworldly stops and reality begins.           

        Some background. I was working as a journalist when I was assigned to write a magazine article on past-life regression therapy. As part of my research, I scheduled an appointment with a well-known Jungian analyst who specialized in this work and had published books on the subject. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything to happen. I knew these sessions involved hypnotic suggestion and I—an admitted control freak—believed myself to be immune to trance-induced states. What’s more, the whole business struck me as unreliable at best, fraudulent at worst. Nearly everyone I’d read about who claimed to recall a past life under hypnosis seemed to remember being someone famous—Napoleon, Nefertiti, Abraham Lincoln—never your average serf or working stiff.  

            I was in full skeptic mode when I arrived at the home office of the analyst, a graying Brit of about sixty with kind blue eyes. He led me into his treatment room and, after we chatted a bit—with me warning him that I would likely be his first hypnotic failure—he instructed me to take off my shoes, lie down on his analyst’s couch and close my eyes. I did as I was told and he began to guide me in a relaxation exercise. 

            I don’t remember how the session progressed from there, but before long I found myself trembling and weeping uncontrollably as I witnessed a young woman, seemingly me, trapped among a tangle of bodies on the back of a giant flatbed truck, then tossed like an animal into a massive open grave and shot in the head. I couldn’t identify exactly where this was, just somewhere in Europe during the Holocaust. It took me days to shake the horrific images, which felt as real as anything I recalled from childhood. 

            On one level, the scene made sense. From the time I was quite young I had nightmares that were eerily similar to those images, and later I became obsessed with reading everything I could find about the Holocaust. Yet, as a journalist I was filled with questions. How could what I experienced be proved? Having grown up in a Jewish home in the 1950’s, wouldn’t I have been exposed to—and absorbed—terrifying accounts of Nazi persecution? What, if anything, was true about what I “saw”? What was hearsay? Did it matter?

            Still reeling from the session when I met with Mark, my therapist, a few days later, I was surprised when he pulled a book off his shelf and handed it to me: Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson, M.D. Dr. Stevenson, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia medical school, had for decades been researching young children who spontaneously recalled a previous life. Little did I know then the profound influence that this book and Dr. Stevenson’s work would have on my own.

            Nonetheless, he would have dismissed my vision under hypnosis of being murdered by the Nazis. In the introduction, he wrote, “…the most promising evidence bearing on reincarnation has come from spontaneous cases, especially among children.” He goes on say that cases induced by hypnotic regression can’t be trusted because they may include “the subject’s current personality, his expectations of what he thinks the hypnotist wants, his fantasies of what he thinks his previous life ought to have been, and also perhaps elements derived paranormally.”

            So what if my “memories” couldn’t be confirmed? The evidence presented in Stevenson’s research was so compelling, I didn’t care. The 2500-plus children that he and his colleagues had studied by the time he passed away in 2007* shared several key characteristics. For starters, the majority began speaking—unprompted, usually between the ages of two and four—of a previous life in such vivid detail, it blew me away. Many of the kids volunteered specific names of people and places that they had no earthly way of knowing, and insisted that their present-day parents weren’t their “real” parents. Yet, much of what they recalled seemed to have occurred late in the life of the deceased. Fully seventy-five percent described the manner of the previous person’s death, which was frequently sudden and violent, and many of them exhibited phobias, such as a terror of drowning, related to how that person died. Stevenson and his colleagues were able to verify enough of the children’s claims to make reincarnation the most likely explanation for what they said they remembered. 

            To say that this material stirred my imagination is an understatement. Ever since I was a small child I’ve had the sense that there’s more to existence than the life of the body, and that consciousness is not confined to the five senses or bookended by birth and death. The session I had with the Jungian analyst deepened this belief, and Stevenson’s groundbreaking research nailed it—to the degree it can be nailed, short of conducting controlled clinical trials. (Which would be impossible, since you’d have to use the dead as controls.) 

Then one day while walking down the street, the story of What Jonah Knew, about a little boy who claims to have been murdered in his previous life, came to me as a sort of download. That part felt utterly magical. And mystical.

            But is the novel itself paranormal or normal? Supernatural or simply natural—even if the science has yet to catch up.

            Here’s what Ian Stevenson said in an interview with the New York Times in 1999: “Science develops ideas of what is so and it becomes very difficult to force scientists to take a look at new data that may challenge existing concepts. I’m not trying in any way to replace what we know about genetics or environmental influences. All I’m offering is that past lives may contribute a third factor that may fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge.”

            What I know for sure is that What Jonah Knew is a murder mystery. Beyond that—paranormal or normal—I’ll leave for readers to decide.


*The research initiated by the late Dr. Stevenson at the University of Virginia is ongoing and now led by his successor, child psychiatrist Dr. Jim Tucker. 


Barbara Graham is an author, essayist, and playwright. Her pieces have appeared in many magazines and websites, including Glamour, O, the Oprah Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Psychotherapy Networker, Redbook, Self, Time, Utne Reader, Vogue, and, in addition to being collected in numerous anthologies. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Eye of My Heart, the national bestseller Women Who Run with the Poodles, and Camp Paradox, a memoir. Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre in New York and at theaters around the country. For more about Barbara Graham and her writing, visit:

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

What's with All the Mafia Stories? Guest post by Mark Rubinstein

Mark Rubinstein: What’s with All the Mafia Stories? 

Whether it’s The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, a Jack Reacher novel, or crime novels by Don Winslow, Nelson DeMille, Dennis Lehane, James Patterson, or other bestselling authors, the mafia will likely make an appearance. 

It can be the old Italian mob or Russian Organized Crime, or the Irish or Albanian mafia or the emergence of a Colombian or Mexican cartel kingpin. It can involve the old Untouchables series, the Cagney, Bogart, and Robinson movies of the 30s and 40s, or the more contemporary mafia-thriller renderings. These stories live on in the popular imagination and no doubt, will continue to do so. 

Mafia stories seem to have a timeless appeal whether they arise as a blockbuster movie, a nail-biting TV series, or a page-turning bestseller. 

There may be many reasons for the enduring popularity of mafia stories whether told on the screen or page. 

For one, the mafia may be seen as the realization of the American dream. Against many odds, the mafia Don is depicted as a self-made man who, despite the odds being stacked against him, climbs the economic ladder to success. Though mafiosi are often portrayed as flawed, greedy, and ruthless, they’re pitted against the well-ordered establishment and are portrayed as outsiders who manage to beat the system. Thus, the fictional mafiosi are idealized anti-heroes who succeed in a cruelly hostile world. 

We shouldn’t forget that mafiosi are portrayed mythically as “men of honor” bound by a code of intense loyalty and enduring family ties. There’s the well-worn lore that they’re men of passion in an age when such qualities are viewed as rare to non-existent. Of course, this is the fictional mafia while in reality, the mafia (of any ethnic persuasion) corrupts, degrades, and kills. The fictional portrayals romanticize these criminals, often making them heroic figures or anti-heroes. But we all must have our illusions and mafia stories provide us with plenty of illusory lore, especially when it comes to honor, tradition, and family loyalties. 

And let’s not overlook the reality that people have always had a morbid fascination with crime, violence, and sex, (whether presented in a series like The Sopranos or Game of Thrones) which are richly depicted in countless mafia tales. 

There’s the vicarious nature—and the fantasy—of the forbidden and exciting criminal life depicted in stories involving the dark side of human nature. It’s a darkness we find compellingly attractive. This is especially true for sex, vengeance, and violence. These hidden (largely unacceptable) urges are often at the deeply buried core of our beings and run rampant in virtually all mafia stories. 

How else can we explain the popularity, not only of mafia tales, but of boxing, professional wrestling, and mixed martial arts, otherwise known as cage fighting? In essence, mafia tales appeal to the primal urges that lie deeply buried within us. And whether reading a crime novel, watching a mafia television series, or sitting in a movie theater, we can get our vicarious fix of these forbidden fruits.

Mark Rubinstein is the author of Assassin's Lullaby. Rubinstein, a novelist, physician, and psychiatrist, has written eight nonfiction books, including The Storytellers. He has also written eight novels and novellas, including the Mad Dog trilogy and The Lovers’ Tango. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut. For more information visit

SUMMERTIME MYSTERIES: Lazy, Hazy, Murderous Days of Summer

Today marks the Summer Solstice! It's my favorite day of the year because it's the longest, and I love light! Today is also the first day of summer. So in honor of the day and the new season, I have updated my Summertime Mystery List!

Summertime, and the living is easy. Or is it? So many mysteries taking place during Summer are filled with murder and mayhem -- on the Beach, at the Lake, and in the City! What follows is a list of Summer Crime Fiction that exudes the heat and accompanying crime of Summertime. I've omitted most Fourth of July and Labor Day Mysteries from this list because I'll be updating those specific lists later this Summer. As always I invite you to add any titles I've missed. Post a note in the comments. This is far from a definitive list, but it's updated since last year. I've included thrillers, cozies, traditional, suspense, and more. Put a bunch of these mysteries in your beach bag and enjoy the reads!

Summertime Mysteries 

Foxglove Summer by Ban Aaronovitch
The Corpse with the Garnet Face by Cathy Ace
A Cat on a Beach Blanket by Lydia Adamson
A Deadly Cliche; Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams
Moon Water Madness by Glynn Marsh Alam
A Tangled June by Neil Albert
Meet Your Baker; Hold on for Beer Life by Ellie Alexander

Mint Chocolate Murder by Mere Allen

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando  
Gone Gull: Murder Most Fowl by Donna Andrews
Sunset Beach; High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
Tiger's Eve by Barbara Annino
Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea by Nancy Atherton
Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon
Live and Let Chai; Partners in Lime by Bree Baker
Gold Medal Threat by Michael Balkind (Kids: 7-15)
A Midsummer Night's Killing by Trevor Barnes
Milwaukee Summers Can Be Deadly by Kathleen Anne Barrett
One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett
Love, Lies and Liquor by M.C. Beaton
Summertime News by Dick Belsky
Pups, Pilots and Peril by Cindy Bell

The Hiding Place by David Bell
The Summer School Mystery by Josephine Bell
Jaws by Peter Benchley
Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Murder by Fireworks by Susan Bernhardt
A Death in Summer by Benjamin Black
Another Man's Ground by Claire Booth
The Down East Murders by J.S. Borthwick
Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer
Deadly Readings by Laura Bradford
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Pot Boiler by Ali Brandon
The Cat Who Saw Stars, The Cat Who Went Up the Creek by Lilian Jackson Braun
Chill of Summer by Carol Brennan
Death by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge
Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody

Devils Island by Carl Brookins
Killer in Crinolines; Braking for Bodies by Duffy Brown
Tall Tail by Rita Mae Brown
Scrappy Summer by Mollie Cox Bryan
A Fatal Fettucinne by Julia Buckley

Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates
Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien
Twanged; Zapped by Carol Higgins Clark
Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark
Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
Thin Air by Ann Cleeves
Dead and Berried by Peg Cochran
All You Need is Fudge, To Fudge or not to Fudge; A Midsummer Night's Fudge by Nancy Coco
BlackBuried Pie by Lyndsey Cole
Murder at the Mansion; Digging Up History by Sheila Connolly
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Claws for Alarm by Cate Conte

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
Death on a Summer Night by Matthew Costello
Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard by Philip Craig
The Trouble with a Hot Summer by Camilla Crespi
A Poisonous Page; Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe

Never Say Pie by Carol Culver
Barkley's Treasure, Bikinis in Paradise; Beach Blanket Barbie; Camp Carter; Maui Madness; Bikinis in Paradise by Kathi Daley
The Alpine Recluse; The Alpine Zen; Clam Wake; Dune to Death by Mary Daheim
The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss by Krista Davis

Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany
A Summer in the Twenties by Peter Dickinson
The Gold Coast, Plum Island by Nelson DeMille
Dead & Buried by Leighann Dobbs

The Safe Place by Anna Downes

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Dead in the Water; Fall of a Philanderer by Carola Dunn
Kilt at the Highland Games by Kaitlyn Dunnett
Margin for Muder by Lauren Elliott

Murder at the Bridge by Frances Evesham

Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein
Four Dog's Sake by Lia Farrell
Blackberry Burial, Dying for Strawberries; Killed on Blueberry Hill by Sharon Farrow
One Fete in the Grave by Vickie Fee
Murder Sends a Postcard; Murder Buys a T-shirt by Christy Fifield
The Angel of Knowlton Park by Kate Flora
Lord James Harrington and the Summer Mystery by Lynn Florkiewicz
Apple Turnover Murder, Blackberry Pie Murder, Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
A Wrinkle in Thyme by Sarah Fox

Beneath the Skin by Nicci French

Independence Slay by Shelley Freydont
A Death Long Overdue by Eva Gates

A Dish Best Served Cold by Rosie Genova
Murder Makes Waves by Anne George
The Caleb Cove Mystery Series  (3 in the series) by Mahrie Reid Glab
Summertime, All the Cats are Bored by Philippe Georget
Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

The Cats that Watched the Woods by Karen Anne Golden
A Fatal Fleece, Angora Alibi: Murder at Lambswool Farm by Sally Goldenbaum
A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert

Sunflower Street by Pamela Grandstaff
Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake; Knockdown; Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake by Sarah Graves
Sound Proof by Barbara Gregorich

Spirited Away; Whole Latte Murder by Lena Gregory

Mystery on Mackinac Island by Anna W. Hale
Bowled Over by Victoria Hamilton
Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah

Dead Days of Summer; Dead Man's Island by Carolyn Hart
Town in a Lobster Stew; Town in a Strawberry Swirl by B.B. Haywood
A Stitch in Crime by Betty Hechtman

Thunder Moon by Richard Helms
Tilling the Truth by Julia Henry
The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Summer of the Big Bachi by Naomi Hirahara
Death of a Cookbook Author; Death of a Lobster Lover; Death of an Italian Chef by Lee Hollis
Cracked to Death by Cheryl Holton
Beach Bags and Burglaries by Dorothy Howell
Murder at Wrightsville Beach by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter 

Last Summer by Evan Hunter
Magic Hour by Susan Isaacs
Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James
A Death at Candlewick Castle by Emma Jameson

A Palette for Murder by Sybil Johnson

Laid Out in Lavender by Gin Jones

Outdoors, Oars, & Oath by Tonya Kappes

One Feta in the Grave by Tina Kashian
A Summer for Dying by Jamie Katz

Murder Under a Full Moon by Abigail Keam
The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly (YA)

Hooked on a Feline by Sofie Kelly

Rainy Day Women by Kay Kendell

Murder in the Past Tense by E.E. Kennedy
Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd
Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack
Joyland by Stephen King

Antique Auctions are Murder by Libby Klein

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch
Midsummer Malice by M.D. Lake
Dark Nantucket Noon by Jane Langton
The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale

A Timely Vision; A Watery Death by Joyce and Jim Lavene
You Only Witch Once by Amanda M. Lee
Death of a Bacherlorette by Laura Levine
A Sense of Entitlement by Anna Loan-Wilsey

Fishing for Trouble by Elizabeth Logan

A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan
Boarding with Murder by Kathryn Long

Murder on the Ile Sordou by M.L. Longworth
August Moon, June Bug by Jess Lourey
Nun But the Brave by Alice Loweecey
Jasmine and Jealousy: Peonies and Poison by London Lovett

A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry
The Body in the Wetlands by Judi Lynn
Berried to the Hilt, Death Runs Adrift; Claws for Alarm; Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerny
A Demon Summer; Death in Cornwall by G.M. Malliet
Grave Heritage by Blanche Day Manos
Swimming Alone by Nina Mansfield (YA)
Death in a Mood Indigo by Francine Mathews
Murder at Beechwood; Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell
Till Death Do Us Bark by Judi McCoy
Killer Honeymoon by G.A. McKevitt
Left Hanging by Patricia McLinn
Tippy Toe Murder by Leslie Meier
Murder Most Finicky by Liz Mugavero
Bats and Bones; Peete and Repeat, The Lady of the Lake, To Cache a Killer by Karen Nortman
Murder at Kildare Mensa by Clare O'Beara
Foal Play; Murder on the Hoof by Kathryn O'Sullivan
The Body in the Lighthouse; The Body in the Birches; The Body in the Wake by Katherine Hall Page
Murder at the Seaside Hotel by Sonia Paris
Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker  

Paws in the Action; A Timely Murder by Max Parrott
The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall
Mrs. Bundle's Dog Days of Summer: A Case of Artful Arson by Allison Cesario Paton
The Summer House by James Patterson; Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross; The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis
Thread and Dead by Elizabeth Penny

A Rule Against Summer by Louise Penny

Summer of the Dragon by Elizabeth Peters
5 Dan Marlowe/Hampton Beach, NH mysteries by Jed Power
Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel by Rose Pressey
The Cabin by Natasha Preston

Cat of Many Tails by Ellery Queen
Still Life in Brunswick Stew by Larissa Reinhart

Deep Green Envy by Joy Ann Ribar

Cons & Quinces by Sheri Richey 

Summer Garden Murder by Ann Ripley
In the Dead of the Summer; How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Gillian Roberts
Calamity@the Carwash by Sharon Rose
Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder; Milkshakes, Mermaids and Murder by Sara Rosett
Boiled Over, Clammed Up by Barbara Ross
Murder in the Dining Room by Betty Rowlands

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Field of Prey by John Sandford 
Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom
Hang My Head & Cry by Elena Santangelo
Miss Lizzie by Walter Satterthwait
Purl Up and Die; Yarn Over Murder by Maggie Sefton

Love & Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea
Vacations Can Be Murder; Bushel Full of Murder by Connie Shelton
Bushel Full of Murder, If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton
Poised to Quill by Morgan W. Silver

Summer in the Woods by Steven K. Smith
Pick Your Poison; The Cat, The Vagabond and The Victim by Leann Sweeney
Live and Let Fly by Clover Tate

Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd
Deception in the Cotswolds; The Threlkeld Theory by Rebecca Tope
Trouble in the Tarot by Kari Lee Townsend
Rooted in Deceit by Wendy Tyson
Board Stiff by Elaine Viets
Shadows of a Down East Summer; Thread and Gone by Lea Wait
Deadly Delights by Laura Jensen Walker

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The Great Chili Kill-Off; Killer Crab Cakes; Never Trifle with Murder by Livia J. Washburn
Murder and Misfortune; Sweet Avengers; Sweet Sun and Shadow by J.A. Whiting

A Sense of Entitlement by Anna Loan Wilsey
Trail of Secrets by Laura Wolfe (YA)
An Old Faithful Murder, Remodelled to Death; Death in a Beach Chair by Valerie Wolzien
Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods
Sins of a Shaker Summer by Deborah Woodworth
Summer Will End by Dorian Yeager
Heart of Stone by James Ziskin

Any titles you'd like to add? Make a comment below.

Monday, June 20, 2022

SOMETHING IN THE EYRE? Guest Post by Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson: 

When I chose to have my heroine venture into the world of Jane Eyre, I thought I had a new and—pardon the pun—novel idea. Well, as Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. And yet, I was surprised at the number of Jane Eyre retellings I’d found after I’d completed my book. I’ll give you some examples in a moment, but first let me tell you more about An Eyre of Mystery. 

First, you might be wondering if I’d have used Jane Eyre as a kick-off point had I known so many novelists had gone before me. I believe I would have, but I might have been a bit more intimidated. 

In An Eyre of Mystery, Gia finds herself inside the world of Jane Eyre after taking a job as an archivist in a library at a manor house in North Carolina. Contemporary North Carolina is a far cry from Victorian England, for sure, and Gia experiences quite the culture shock when she finds herself on a cobblestone street about to visit Edward Rochester in prison. Edward is awaiting an appointment with the gallows since he has been found guilty of murdering his wife. 

Having read the book, Gia knows that’s impossible. Bertha died after setting fire to Thornfield Hall, and Edward was severely injured in the fire himself. Gia discovers that there are silverfish eating classic manuscripts (here is where the book diverges from my usual genre, cozy mystery). Their munching on the words alters the original book to where plots and characters are completely different. In the case of Jane Eyre, Gia must discover who did kill Bertha in order to reset the manuscript to its original state and to be able to return home. 

The series keeps much of its “coziness” in that sex and violence happen mostly off the page, but it certainly requires the reader to agree to a suspension of disbelief. Characters travel through magical portals into the world of classic literature to right wrongs perpetuated by a group of shape-shifting silverfish who eat books and can appear as literary characters to change the outcome of their books. I’ve described the books as Quantum Leap or Dr. Who meets Classic Literature meets Agatha Christie. 

If you’d like to read the first five chapters of An Eyre of Mystery for yourself, please click this link ( It’s not as weird as it sounds, I promise. Or maybe it is! 

Now, here’s that list I promised you: 

Charlotte Bronte published her novel, Jane Eyre, in 1847. Yet, a hundred-seventy-five years later, the retellings just keep on coming. Here are ten Jane Eyre retellings that are currently available or coming soon. 

1) The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel – Jasper Fforde kicked off his Thursday Next series with a book in which Jane Eyre gets kidnapped from her book. 

2) The Wife Upstairs – Rachel Hawkins gives her retelling a modern twist set in Alabama with Jane being a dog-walker in a gated community. 

3) An Eyre of Mystery – G. Leeson, coming July 12, 2022, the heroine travels through a magical portal to the world of Jane Eyre where she’s expected to solve the mystery of who killed Bertha Rochester before she can leave. 

4) Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost – Lindsay Marcott’s book is a modern retelling set in Big Sur where Mr. Rochester has been accused of murdering his wife. 

5) The Wife in the Attic – Rose Lerner explores the world of Goldengrove in 1813 in a retelling in which the heroine is hired as governess to Sir Palethorpe’s daughter. 

6) Jane Steele – Lindsay Faye’s blurb begins, “Reader, I murdered him.” In this retelling, Jane is a serial killer! 

7) My Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre Retold) – L. K. Rigel’s story is set in a dystopian world called New Judah. 

8) Jane Deyre – Nelle L’Amour puts a steamy, contemporary spin on the classic and adds a new character with Edwina Rochester, a legendary film star. 

9) Jane Heir – Veronica Cristero’s imagining of the classic novel has Mr. Rochester as rap artist who hires the heroine as a live-in tutor for his daughter. 10) John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow – Mimi Mathews turns the titular character into a male and explores the story from an entirely new perspective.


Gayle Leeson writes cozy mysteries, and as G. Leeson, she's writing this portal fantasy series. The name adjustment is to cue her cozy readers that this series lies outside their genre expectations, but she hopes they'll trust her enough to take a chance on An Eyre of Mystery. Gayle is currently working on Book Two of the Literatia series, ​A Tale of Two Enemies​.

Cartoon of the Day: The Pick-Up


Sunday, June 19, 2022


Today is National Martini Day, and perhaps the most iconic Martini is that of James Bond aka 007! The Vodka Martini is as synonymous with 007 as the Walther PPK and the Aston Martin DB5. James Bond first ordered his trademark drink  in Ian Fleming's debut novel Casino Royale (1953):

'A dry martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.'
'Oui, monsieur.'
'Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?'
'Certainly, monsieur.' The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
'Gosh, that's certainly a drink,' said Leiter.
Bond laughed. 'When I'm . . . er . . . concentrating,' he explained, 'I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name.'

Having invented his own signature drink for Bond, Fleming left the reader hanging for the name for the drink until Vesper Lynd entered the novel. Bond thought her name was perfect for his preferred drink:

'Vesper,' she said. 'Vesper Lynd.'... She smiled. 'Some people like it, others don't. I'm just used to it.'
'I think it's a fine name,' said Bond. An idea struck him. 'Can I borrow it?'
He explained about the special martini he had invented and his search for a name for it. 'The Vesper,' he said.
'It sounds perfect and it's very appropriate to the violet hour when my cocktail will now be drunk all over the world. Can I have it?'
'So long as I can try one first,' she promised. 'It sounds a drink to be proud of.'

The 'Vesper' Martini created by Bond in Casino Royale and liked by Fleming:

Add 3 measures Gordon's Gin
Add 1/2 measure Vodka
Add 1 measure blond Lillet vermouth
Shake very well until it's ice cold
Garnish with a slice of lemon peel

The medium-dry Vodka Martini preferred by James Bond in the films:

4 measures Vodka (use a tbsp or an oz as a measure to fill one cocktail glass)
Add 1 measure dry Vermouth
Shake with ice. Do not stir. (Shaking gives the misty effect and extra chill preferred by Bond)
Add 1 green olive ( James Bond prefers olives)
Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel
Serve in a cocktail glass

Thanks to for the citations

FATHER'S DAY MYSTERIES // Fathers & Sons & Fathers & Daughters in Crime Fiction

Father's Day: A day to celebrate Dad. My own father was the ultimate reader. His idea of a great vacation was sitting in a chair reading a good mystery. It didn't mattered where he was, the book took him miles away.

Even now after he's been gone for many years, I find myself finishing a book and saying to myself, "I have to send this to Dad. He'll love it." It always makes me sad to remember I can't. My father engendered my love of mysteries through his collection of mystery novels and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines. I like to think he's up there somewhere in a chair surrounded by books and reading a good mystery.
Here's to you, Dad, on Father's Day!

The following are updated lists! As always let me know any titles that you think should be included.


Father’s Day by John Calvin Batchelor
Father’s Day by Rudolph Engelman
Father's Day: A Detective Joe Guerry Story by Tippie Rosemarie Fulton
Father’s Day Keith Gilman 
Dear Old Dead by Jane Haddam
The Father’s Day Murder by Lee Harris
Day of Reckoning by Kathy Herman
Dead Water by Victoria Houston
Father’s Day Murder by Leslie Meier
On Father's Day by Megan Norris
Father’s Day by Alan Trustman

Murder for Father, edited by Martin Greenberg (short stories)
"Father's Day" by Patti Abbott --short story at Spinetingler
Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection  e-book of Father's Day themed short stories.
"Where's Your Daddy?" by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Let me know if I missed any titles.

And a very short list of Crime Fiction that focuses on Fathers and Sons and Fathers and Daughters. Have a favorite Father / Son Father/Daughter Mystery? Post below in comments.


Carriage Trade by Stephen Birmingham
His Father's Son by Tony Black
Her Father's Secret by Sara Blaedel
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
The Lonely Witness by William Boyle
The Controller by Matt Brolly
All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
Secret Father by James Carroll
The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
The President's Daughter by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
Hot Plastic by Peter Craig
The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne 
The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
Lars and Little Olduvai by Keith Spencer Felton
Unsub by Meg Gardner   
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Gnosis by Rick Hall
King of Lies by John Hart
Damage by Josephine Hart
The Good Father by Noah Hawley
1922 by Stephen King
Revival Season by Bharti Kirchner    
A Perfect Spy by John LeCarre 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Darksight by D.C. Mallery
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Blood Grove by Walter Mosley 
The Son by Jo Nesbo
Beijing Payback by Daniel Nieh
The President's Daughter by James Patterson & Bill Clinton
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The Roman Hat Mystery; other novels by Ellery Queen (Manfred B. Lee and Frederic Dannay)
Paperback Original by Will Rhode
The Senior Sleuths: Dead in Bed by Marcia Rosen
Baby's First Felony by John Straley
The Father by Anton Swenson
City on the Edge by David Swinson
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Writers & their Cats: Allen Ginsberg

Happy Caturday! Continuing my Saturday Series: Writers & Their Cats. Here are two photos of Allen Ginsberg with his cat, Howl!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

NEW ENGLAND MYSTERIES II: Mystery Readers Journal (Volume 38:2) Summer 2022

Mystery Readers Journal: New England Mysteries II
(Volume 38:2// Summer 2022) is now available as PDF and Hardcopy.
We had so many articles, reviews, and author essays that we went to two issues. Mystery Readers Journal: New England Mysteries I (38:1//Spring 2022) is still available. In addition, an earlier issue of New England Mysteries (17:1 - 2001) is available as a PDF. Order all three. 

If you're a PDF subscriber, you will receive download instructions shortly. Hard copy subscription copies should arrive by early next week. International subscribers will receive their issues within two weeks. PDF Contributor copies will go out this weekend. Thanks to everyone who contributed to both of these great issues.

New England Mysteries II

Volume 38, No. 2, Summer 2022

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



  • An Unlikely Home to Criminal Debuts by Gabriel Valjan
  • Generation Loss: There’s Nothing Cozy About Elizabeth Hand’s New England by Sean Day
  • Ben Benson—Pioneer of the Police Procedural by Jim Doherty, with Nancy Berry


  • Strangers’ Kingdom—A Vermont Mystery by Brandon Barrows
  • Water, Water Everywhere by Nero Blanc (aka Steve Zettler and Cordelia Biddle)
  • The Mystery of Rumford, Maine by Gerry Boyle
  • Good Graft, Bad Graft by Bruce DeSilva
  • Exploring the Freedom Trail by Elizabeth Elwood
  • Washed Ashore on Cape Cod by Diane Finney
  • Robert B. Parker’s World by Russell Hill
  • Connecticut Is in My Blood by Ed Ifkovic
  • A Midwesterner’s New England Mystery Novel by Michael A. Kahn
  • Connecticut, In Short by Janice Law
  • Everyone Loves Nantucket. Turns Out, That’s a Crime by Francine Mathews
  • How to Create a New England Author by Edith Maxwell / Maddie Day
  • New England Mysteries: A “Flatlander’s” Perspective by Amy Patricia Meade
  • Not Just Pretty Foliage by Camille Minichino
  • School Days by Leigh Perry
  • My Maine Connection by Dale T. Phillips
  • The Truth in Fictional Settings by Misha Popp
  • The Secret’s in the Setting by Martha Reed
  • The Boston Infrastructure Blues: Or How Geography Is Ruining My Writing Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan
  • The Dark Side of Boston’s Music Scene by Clea Simon
  • History Everywhere by Sarah Stewart Taylor
  • Out of Geppetto’s Workshop and into Shane Cleary’s World by Gabriel Valjan


  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Aubrey Hamilton, Lesa Holstine, Jim Doherty, L.J. Roberts, Lucinda Surber, Kathy Boone Reel
  • In Short: New England by Marv Lachman
  • Cop Ten: Trailblazers of New England by Jim Doherty
  • A Real-Life New England Fraud by Cathy Pickens
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph