Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: Writer's Life

 From Tom Gauld:

2022 Viktor Crime Award

English author Stuart Turton won Germany’s 2022 Viktor Crime Award for The Devil and the Dark Water, a standalone historical thriller first released in English in 2020. 

This announcement was made earlier in November at Mord am Hellweg, Europe's largest international crime festival.” 

Shortlisted for the 2022 Viktor Award: 

Kazltes Herz (Cold Heart), by Henri Faber
Horvath und die verschwundenen Schüler (Horvath and the Missing Students), by Marc Hofmann. 


Watch the Three Pines Amazon Prime trailer.. The first two episodes will air this Friday, December 2 on Amazon Prime. Need to do something before the show? Read Louise Penny's latest novel, A World of Curiosities. It's a great read. It has it all: Ganache, Three Pines, all the supporting characters, art, food, a locked room, detection, and so much more. I think it's Louise's best yet! 

Want to subscribe to the Notes from Three Pines Newsletter? Nancy Reddy's latest issue had lots of food descriptions from the books. 


The Louise Penny Newsletter:

And a note from Louise Penny about the TV series:

Here's the trailer for the Three Pines TV series. In the midst of this fun one-minute trailer you might notice that the “Ruth” character describes Three Pines as a place that will expel people who don’t belong. I need to make clear that I fought and fought to have that line changed in the show. It is, as you know, the antithesis of what Three Pines is about. The fact it was not only left it in, but is now highlighted is troubling on so many levels.
It makes me wonder if they understand the heart and soul of the village. Three Pines is the soft landing, the open arms, the place at the table. In an often cruel and turbulent world, where physical safety can never be guaranteed, it is a place where we are emotionally safe. Because we are accepted. It is a place of friendship, of belonging, of acceptance and inclusion. No matter who you are. No matter what we believe. No one is turned away.
I just needed you to know that I did fight. And lost. But there is much to also commend the series, otherwise I wouldn’t be promoting it. I will always be honest with you.
That ridiculous misstep aside, I think you’ll like the trailer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: How Cats End Up with Nine Lives

Midsomer Murders: Season 23 premier date!

Good News!

Midsomer Murders: Series 23 premieres in North America on on December 12th

Homicide, blackmail, greed, and betrayal: just a taste of what goes on behind the well-trimmed hedges of Midsomer County in this deliciously sinister series. But the culprits are no match for DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles, Bergerac); his successor upon retirement, DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon, Life of Riley); and their assistants.

I can't wait. I love this series. I've seen it all the way through at least twice..some episodes more than twice. Just an FYI: I saw the Series 23 premiere date on and one other place, but I haven't found much out about the series itself. I'll update if this information proves wrong. 

Monday, November 28, 2022


Updated: November 29:

Sad news. Mystery author, teacher, and friend Shelley Singer (1939-2022) passed away of heart failure and other complications on November 10. 

Shelley Singer was the author of 12 novels, including the Jake Samson Mystery series. She taught fiction writing and worked one on one with writers as a manuscript consultant on nonfiction, literary novels, and in every genre from memoir to mystery to science fiction to horror.

Shelley grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and began her working life as a reporter with UPI in Chicago. During a checkered and brief journalism career, she met many famous people, at least two of whom were murdered, and many not-so-famous who are still alive. She lived for a very long time in beautiful Northern California before returning home to Minneapolis with her wife Polly Podolsky.

I met Shelley through Mystery Writers of America. She was always supportive, friendly, and funny. She will be missed.

Meredith Phillips, Perseverance Editorial Services:
Shelley Singer died on November 10. Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Co. were privileged to publish the final book in Shelley’s Shamus-nominated Jake Samson series, ROYAL FLUSH. (I hoped there would be more, but alas, no.) Shelley wrote presciently of the white supremacist groups who’d like to take over the US (now more than ever, 23 years later). And yet the book was fun to read and edit, written with a light touch in spite of the serious subject.

Shelley was one of our first two authors, along with Janet LaPierre, whom we also published in Fall 1999. As a new publisher, I greatly appreciated their faith in entrusting their books to our hands. I'd first met Shelley a few years before that, at an MWA or SinC meeting where I was on a panel. I think I "had her at hello," when I described Jake Samson as “a feminist’s dream of a PI”! I learned a lot about the Bay Area through her books—and I still miss exploring it with Jake and Rosie, wonderful series characters.

I haven’t seen an official obituary, but I believe Shelley is survived by her wife, Polly, and her daughter, Sonya. She was born in 1939, and she will be missed.

Cartoon of the Day: The Trial

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Authors & their Cats: Elinor Glyn

Happy Caturday! Authors and their Cats: Elinor Glyn

Elinor Glyn (1864 – 1943) was a British novelist and scriptwriter who specialized in romantic fiction that was considered scandalous for its time. She popularized the concept of It. Although her works are relatively tame by modern standards, she had tremendous influence on early 20th-century popular culture and on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow in particular. 

From Wikipedia: 

Glyn pioneered risqué, and sometimes erotic, romantic fiction aimed at a female readership, which was radical for its time, though her writing would not be considered scandalous by modern standards. She coined the use of the term "It", which is repeatedly yet erroneously described as a euphemism for sexuality or sex appeal. In 1919 she signed a contract with William Randolph Hearst's International Magazine Company for stories and articles that included a clause for the motion picture rights. She was brought over from England to write screenplays by the Famous Players-Lasky Production Company. She wrote for Cosmopolitan and other Hearst press titles, giving advice on how to keep your man and also some health & beauty tips. The Elinor Glyn System of Writing (1922) gives insights into writing for Hollywood studios and magazine editors at this time. From the 1927 novel, "It": "To have 'It', the fortunate possessor must have that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes.... In the animal world 'It' demonstrates in tigers and cats—both animals being fascinating and mysterious, and quite unbiddable."

From the 1927 movie, "It": "self-confidence and indifference as to whether you are pleasing or not". Glyn was the celebrated author of such early 20th-century bestsellers as "It", Three Weeks, Beyond the Rocks and other novels which were then considered quite racy. The screenplay of the novel “It” helped Glyn gain popularity as a screenwriter. However, she is only credited as being an author, adapter, and co-producer on the project. She also made a cameo appearance in the film. On the strength of the popularity and notoriety of her books, Glyn moved to Hollywood to work in the movie industry in 1920. She was one of the most famous women screenwriters in the 1920s. She has 28 story or screenwriting credits, three producing credits, and two credits for directing. Her first script was called The Great Movement and starred Gloria Swanson. She is credited with the re-styling of Swanson from giggly starlet to elegant star. The duo connected again when Beyond the Rocks was made into a silent film that was released in 1922; the Sam Wood-directed film stars Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino as a romantic pair. In 1927, Glyn helped to make a star of actress Clara Bow, for whom she coined the sobriquet "the It girl". In 1928, Bow also starred in Red Hair, which was based on Glyn's 1905 novel.

Apart from being a scriptwriter for the silent movie industry, working for both MGM and Paramount Pictures in Hollywood in the mid-1920s, she had a brief career as one of the earliest female directors. Her family established a company in 1924, Elinor Glyn Ltd, to which she signed her copyrights receiving an income from the firm and an annuity in later life. The firm was an early pioneer of cross-media branding. Glyn was responsible for many screenplays in the 1920s that included Six Hours (1923), Three Weeks (The Romance of a Queen) (1923) was one of her most famous pieces about a Queen in a struggling marriage that when on vacation, has a three week affair with a man. In addition to that, His Hour (1924), which was directed by King Vidor, Love’s Blindness (1925), a movie about a marriage that is done strictly for financial reasons only, Man and Maid (1925), about a man who must choose between two different women, The Only Thing (1926), Ritzy (1927), Red Hair (1928), which was a comedy vehicle to demonstrate the passion of red-haired people, and The Price of Things (1929).

Three screenplays based on Glyn's novels and a story in the mid to late twenties, Man and Maid, The Only Thing, and Ritzy did not do well at the box office, despite the success Glyn gained with her first project, The Great Movement, which was in the same genre. In 1930 she wrote her first non-silent film, called Such Men Are Dangerous, which was the last screenplay she did in the United States.

Friday, November 25, 2022

KILLING THE CONDUCTOR: Guest Post by Gerald Elias

GERALD ELIAS: Killing the Conductor


“So, how are you going to kill the conductor?”


That was the burning question in 2008 when my Boston Symphony colleagues found out I had started writing mysteries. Not, “Are you going to kill the conductor?” No, among orchestral musicians, it was a given, and an obvious given, that the conductor would be murdered.


“But, why is that?” the uninitiated, head-scratching reader might innocently ask.


The reality is, behind the façade of the sparkling, elegant white-tie-and-tail world of the classical music concert stage exists an undercurrent of ominous realities: power-mongering, jealousy, larceny, lust, greed, and sexual misconduct to name a few that readily come to mind.   The dark corners, I call them. And there are so many of those corners that I’ve written a series of seven mysteries, with an eighth on the way, on these very subjects.


But that’s not how it all started. You see, as a musician I’ve performed and taught violin all over the world––Japan, Australia and New Zealand, China, Europe, South America––and there are certain challenges about learning to play this damned-difficult instrument that I discovered were universal. Not just where to put your fingers, but things like preparing for auditions, choosing the right instrument, how to memorize, dealing with nerves, managing pain, deciding which summer music program or university to go to. And so on. That’s what my first book was going to be about. Each chapter would confront a different challenge, and I would call the book Violin Lessons.


But, having once been a conservatory student myself, I knew that if I were reading such a book, I’d probably fall asleep in ten minutes. Bo-ring! So I decided to spice it up by weaving a bit of a mystery through it about a Stradivarius violin stolen from Carnegie Hall, and I would have my protagonist, a curmudgeonly, over-the-hill, blind violin teacher named Daniel Jacobus be the amateur sleuth that solves the mystery. 


(Just an aside here: I was on a book tour back in 2009. At an event––it was either Albuquerque or Tucson––when I introduced Jacobus using the description above, the store manager sardonically quipped, “So, Jerry, does that mean Jacobus is autobiographical?” Before I could parry, he finished me off with the coup de grâce: “Of course not. You’re not blind.”)


To condense twelve years of literary evolution into one sentence, Violin Lessons morphed from a tome that was ninety percent pedagogy and ten percent mystery into a traditional whodunnit in reverse proportions, with murder added and re-titled as Devil’s Trill.


The title change came at urging of my agent, Josh Getzler, who pleaded with me, “Jerry, lose Violin Lessons. Please!” I chose Devil’s Trill for two reasons: It’s a catchy name and it also happens to be the name of a unique violin sonata composed by the Baroque virtuoso-composer, Giuseppe Tartini. The sonata is unique partly because of its brilliantly demonic technical demands, which were way ahead of its time, but more importantly for the story that goes with the music. 


Tartini was awakened in the middle of the night by the Devil sitting at the foot of his bed. The Devil demanded that Tartini hand over his violin, upon which he then performed music so dazzling that it stunned Tartini. The next morning, when he awoke, he wrote down what he could remember having heard in his vision, and he called it the “Devil’s Trill” sonata, but confessed it was nowhere near brilliance of what he had heard, and that if he hadn’t needed to make a living playing the violin he would have broken his instrument in half.


The change in title, which initially was simply intended to make the cover more eye-catching, turned out to be a pivotal moment. Tartini’s story transformed mine as I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. Like Tartini, my protagonist, Daniel Jacobus, now confronted his own personal demons at the metaphorical foot of his bed. The stolen Stradivarius became the embodiment of evil, exposing all of Jacobus’s deepest fears. The music of the sonata itself, and Tartini’s own life became an integral part of the story.


The inspiration that the new title provided gave me ideas for the next three murder mysteries in the Jacobus series, the titles of which were musical compositions with the theme of death: Danse Macabre for solo violin by Camille Saint-Säens, Death and the Maiden for string quartet by Franz Schubert, and Death and Transfiguration for symphony orchestra by Richard Strauss. The settings for my mysteries reflected the type of ensemble the music was composed for, teasing my colleagues, who had to wait until Death and Transfiguration to find out how I killed the conductor.


Books five through eight in the series took a musical detour. Rather than compositions about death as inspiration, I chose Antonio Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons violin concertos. Why? Because they’re also based on stories––Vivaldi wrote his own sonnets to set the musical stage––and, imbued with graphic musical imagery, they lent themselves perfectly to my second “quartet” of Jacobus mysteries. 


For each season, I chose a classical music setting appropriate for the time of year in which musicians might tend to want to kill each other: In Playing With Fire, a violin shop where forgeries are being produced; in Spring Break, a conservatory campus where rampant sexual misconduct is given a blind eye; in Cloudy With a Chance of Murder, a summer chamber music festival with musicians at each other’s throats; and in Murder at the Royal Albert––scheduled for a January 1, 2023 release––an international concert tour with an onstage murder.


Readers might be incredulous that such depravity and corruption could take place in the staid classical music world, but I can tell you with certainty, the stories are far from far-fetched.



Gerald Elias leads a double life as a world-class musician and award-winning author. Dividing his time between Seattle and the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, he continues to expand his literary and musical horizons. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

BBC announces new lead for Shetland Series

The BBC's award-winning murder mystery drama Shetland announced a new lead actor when it returns next year. 


Ashley Jensen will star as DI Ruth Calder, a native Shetlander who returns to the isles after 20 years working for the Met in LondonThe Scottish actor takes on the lead detective role left vacant by DI Jimmy Perez, played for seven series by Douglas Henshall.

Jensen said she was "absolutely thrilled" to be joining the show.

The 53-year-old, who was born in Annan in Dumfriesshire, got her big break when she starred alongside Ricky Gervais in Extras in 2005. She went on to appear regularly in US TV series Ugly Betty before returning to the UK with roles in shows such as Agatha Raisin and Catastrophe. In 2019 she reunited with Gervais in the Netflix comedy series After Life.

The new series of Shetland will film in locations on Shetland and across Scotland this spring.

Jensen will join series regulars such as Alison O'Donnell (DS Alison 'Tosh' McIntosh), Steven Robertson (Sandy), Lewis Howden (Billy) and Anne Kidd (Cora). Jensen said: "There will be a different dynamic with Ruth amongst the regular characters and a few more new interesting characters to enjoy.  "However the integrity of the show and the world that has been created will remain very much in the same tone as the last seven seasons. 

"It's a real privilege to be asked to lead this show into a new chapter."

No Comment: Retro Thanksgiving Camel Cigarette Ad

This Retro Thanksgiving Advertisement for Camel Cigarettes doesn't have a chocolate recipe, although it mentions chocolate layer cake, but I couldn't help but post it because it shows how far we've come--and where we've been. 

"Thanksgiving Dinner.. and then the peaceful feeling that comes from good digestion and smoking Camels. ... For Digestion's Sake--Smoke Camels."

One of the "authorities" in this ad is a Food Editor

Hope you don't have a cigarette after your Thanksgiving Dinner.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022


I mentioned a few months ago that Mystery Scene was looking for a buyer. Sadly news comes to us that the Winter 2022 (#174) edition of Mystery Scene is the final issue of this fabulous publication. 

Editor-in-Chief Kate Stine has this introductory letter in the final issue which just arrived.

Fall #173 was a benchmark for Brian [Skupin] and me as publishers of Mystery Scene—our 20th Anniversary Issue. Winter #174 marks a sadder occasion—the final issue of Mystery Scene Magazine after 37 years in business.

The publishing industry has changed seismically over the last two decades with the advent of the internet, publisher consolidation, the birth of social media, and the rise of Amazon. It has become impossible for us to continue to offer you the high-quality print publication in which we’ve taken so much pride.

The website will remain functioning for now, as will our monthly e-newsletter. We will be refunding readers for their outstanding subscriptions over the next few months. This is a big job, so please be patient with us. We expect to have this task done by February 2023.

We want to thank our outstanding staff, particularly the indispensable Teri Duerr for all her excellent work editing, writing, and organizing over the years. Annika Larsson made all of us look good with her outstanding design skills. The quality of our contributors is apparent to 
Mystery Scene readers already—but let me just say how interesting, educational, and fun it was to work with them. And we want to thank all of you—we loved bringing you the magazine. Brian and I had the best job in publishing for 20 years and we want to thank you for coming along for the ride.

This is so sad. Mystery Scene has been one of the premiere publications in the field. Thank you, Kate and Brian, for your work on Mystery Scene over the years. You'll be missed.

Monday, November 21, 2022


Happy Thanksgiving. I've updated my Thanksgiving Crime Fiction list, but let me know if I've missed any titles. It's quite the mix of cozy, noir, and whodunit.  

As Thanksgiving approaches, I give thanks for my family, my friends, and the wonderful mystery community.

I'm posting daily recipes for Chocolate Thanksgiving desserts, sides, and main courses (Chocolate Turkey Rub!) on

Thanksgiving Mysteries

Victoria Abbott The Wolfe Widow
Susan Wittig Albert Bittersweet
Laura Alden Foul Play at the PTA

Dianne Ascroft Thanksgiving and Theft
Deb Baker Murder Talks Turkey
S.H. Baker The Colonel's Tale
Mignon Ballard, Miss Dimple Disappears
Sandra Balzo Hit and Run

Cindy Bell Fatal Festivities

Kate Bell, Kathleen Suzette Thankfully Dead
Bob Berger The Risk of Fortune
William Bernhardt, Editor, Natural Suspect
Kate Borden Death of a Turkey

Amy Boyles Southern Magic Thanksgiving
Ali Brandon Twice Told Tail

JJ Brass The Turkey Wore Satin
Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat Who Went into the Closet, The Cat Who Talked Turkey
Lizbie Brown Turkey Tracks
Carole Bugge Who Killed Mona Lisa?

Lucy Burdette A Deadly Feast
Lynn Cahoon A Very Mummy Holiday
Sammi Carter Goody Goody Gunshots

Lowell Cauffiel Dark Rage
Jillian Chance The Fall of the Sharp Sisters

Joelle Charbonneau Skating Under the Wire

George C. Chesbro Bleeding in the eye of a Brainstorm
Jennifer Chiaverini A Quilter's Holiday 
Laura Childs Scones & Bones 
Bobbi A. Chukran Short mystery stores in her Nameless, Texas series

Leena Clover Turkeys and Thanksgiving
Christine E. Collier A Holiday Sampler
Sheila Connolly A Killer Crop
Cleo Coyle Murder by Mocha
Isis Crawford A Catered Thanksgiving
Bill Crider with Willard Scott Murder under Blue Skies
Jessie Crockett Drizzled with Death
Amanda Cross A Trap for Fools
Barbara D'Amato Hard Tack, Hard Christmas
Mary Daheim Alpine Fury, Fowl Prey, The Alpine Vengeance
Kathi Daley Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies; The Trouble with Turkeys; The Thanksgiving Trip: The Inn at Holiday Bay, Pilgrim in the Parlor; Thanksgiving in Paradise; The Catsgiving Feast
Jeanne Dams Sins Out of School
Claire Daniels Final Intuition
Evelyn David Murder Takes the Cake
Mary Janice Davidson Undead and Unfinished
Krista Davis The Diva Runs Out of Thyme; A Good Dog's Guide to Murder

Robert Davis Stuffed
Devon Delaney Double Chocolate Cookie Murder

Vicki Delany (aka Eva Gates) Silent Night, Deadly Night

Jana Deleon Cajun Fried Felony

Wende and Harry Devlin Cranberry Thanksgiving
Michael Dibdin Thanksgiving
Joanne Dobson Raven and the Nightingale
Alice Duncan Thanksgiving Angels
Christine Duncan Safe House

Susan Dunlap No Footprints
Kaitlyn Dunnett Overkilt

Lauren Elliott To the Tome of Murder

Alex Erickson Death by Hot Apple Cider
Janet Evanovich Thanksgiving (technically a romance)*
Nancy Fairbanks Turkey Flambe
Christy Fifield Murder Ties the Knot

Maureen Fisher Deadly Thanksgiving 
Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain Murder She Wrote: A Fatal Feast
Amanda Flower Peanut Butter Panic

Joanne Fluke Raspberry Danish Murder
Katherine V. Forrest The Beverly Malibu
Shelley Freydont Cold Turkey
Heather Day Gilbert Cold Drip 

Noreen Gilpatrick The Piano Man
Martin H. Greenberg (editor) Cat Crimes for the Holidays
Jane Haddam Feast of Murder
Janice Hamrick Death Rides Again
Susannah Hardy A Killer Kebab
Lee Harris The Thanksgiving Day Murder
Ellen Hart The Grave Soul
J. Alan Hartman, editor, The Killer Wore Cranberry, The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping; The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room for Thirds; The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem
Robin Hathaway The Doctor Makes a Dollhouse Call
Richard Hawke Speak of the Devil
Victoria Houston Dead Hot Shot
Dorothy Howell Fanny Packs and Foul Play
Linda Joffe Hull Black Thursday
Ellen Elizabeth Hunter Murder on the ICW
Melanie Jackson Death in a Turkey Town, Cornucopia
Sue Ann Jaffarian Cornucopia, Secondhand Stiff
J. A. Jance Shoot Don't Shoot
Madison Johns The Great Turkey Caper

Gin Jones & Elizabeth Ashby Deadly Thanksgiving Sampler

Tonya Kappas Trapping, Turkeys, & Thanksgiving 

Karin Kaufman At Death's Door
Alex Kava Black Friday

Marvin Kaye My Son, the Druggist
Faye Kellerman Serpent's Tooth
Harry Kemelman That Day the Rabbi Left Town
John Lescroat The Keeper
Clyde Linsley Death of a Mill Girl
Georgette Livingston Telltale Turkey Caper
M. Louisa Locke Pilfered Promises
Nial Magill Thanksgiving Murder in the Mountains
G.M. Malliet Wicked Autumn
Margaret Maron Up Jumps the Devil
Evan Marshall Stabbing Stefanie
K. L. McCluskey Three for Pumpkin Pie
Shawn McGuire Silent Secrets

Ralph McInerny Celt and Pepper
Leslie Meier Turkey Day Murder

Wendy Meadows Turkey, Pies and Alibis

Deborah Morgan The Marriage Casket
Meg Muldoon Roasted in Christmas River 
Joan Lowery Nixon The Thanksgiving Mystery (children's)
Carla Norton The Edge of Normal
Carol O'Connell Shell Game
Nancy J Parra Murder Gone A-Rye
Louise Penny Still Life
Cathy Pickens Southern Fried
Michael Poore Up Jumps the Devil 
Craig Rice The Thursday Turkey Murders
Ann Ripley Harvest of Murder
J.D. Robb Thankless in Death
Delia Rosen One Foot in the Gravy
M.L. Rowland Zero Degree Murder
Ilene Schneider Chanukah Guilt
Maria E. Schneider Executive Retention
Willard Scott and Bill Crider Murder under Blue Skies
Sarah R. Shaber Snipe Hunt
Sharon Gwyn Short, Hung Out to Die
Paullina Simons, Red Leaves

Page Sleuth Thanksgiving in Cherry Hills
Alexandra Sokoloff The Harrowing
Rex Stout Too Many Cooks
Denise Swanson Murder of a Barbie and Ken; Murder of a Botoxed Blonde

Kathleen Suzette Roast Turkey and a Murder
Marcia Talley Occasion of Revenge
Sharon Burch Toner Maggie's Brujo
Teresa Trent Burnout
Lisa Unger In the Blood
Jennifer Vanderbes Strangers at the Feast
Debbie Viguie I Shall Not Want
Auralee Wallace Haunted Hayride with Murder
Livia J. Washburn The Pumpkin Muffin Murder
Leslie Wheeler Murder at Plimoth Plantation

J.A. Whiting Sweet Thanksgiving

Rachel Wood Gobble, Gobble Murder
Angela Zeman The Witch and the Borscht Pearl


For the Younger Set:

Thanksgiving Thief: Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew

Ron Roy and John Steven Gurney: November Night

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, Mitchell Sharmat Nate the Great Talks Turkey 


Let me know if I've forgotten any titles!

Cartoon of the Day: Thanksgiving for Dogs

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Miss Scarlet and The Duke: Season 3: Early Viewing on PBS Passport

MASTERPIECE is serving up a Thanksgiving treat for fans of Miss Scarlet and The Duke. Before the MASTERPIECE broadcast begins on  MASTERPIECE is making Season 3 of the hit series available on PBS Passport and the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel.

Beginning on November 24, 2022, all six spellbinding episodes of Miss Scarlet and The Duke Season 3, starring Kate Phillips as Victorian London’s first female private eye Eliza Scarlet, and Stuart Martin as her colleague and potential love interest Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington, will be available to binge on PBS Passport, an added member benefit which provides extended access to a digital, on-demand library of PBS programs. Episodes will begin airing weekly on the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel, an add-on subscription for Amazon Prime members, on the same date.

Fans will be able to stream Season 3 just a few days after Season 2 finishes airing on MASTERPIECE on November 20, and well before the Season 3 broadcast premiere on January 8, 2023.

Friday, November 18, 2022


I love when my two worlds collide: Food and Mysteries! Today for Foodie Fridays, I take the stage with a short post about Collecting Killer Cookbooks.

"I'm Janet, and I'm a Collector." I collect lots of things: books, folk art, pottery, plants, garden art, lithographs, fabric, vintage cookware, dishes, masks, and so much more! But for the purposes of this post, I collect cookbooks. All kinds, but I have an extensive collection of tie-in mystery cookbooks, focusing mainly on mystery and literary cookbooks, but also art and music, tv shows, movies, and the like. I posted the following article about Killer Cookbooks in 2010, so it's time for a repost. 

As I said, I have a passion for collecting ‘things’-- books, to be sure, patriotic Americana embroideries, rugs, American folk art, and the occasional cat and dog. I love flea markets and garage sales, and the occasional dumpster. Don’t leave something by the road, because I’m bound to find it. Besides the 15,000 mysteries I have collected that are stored both here and in Bodega Bay…yes, that Bodega Bay -- no birds in the belfry, as far as I know, but not sure about the garage where many of my books are stored. 

I have a passion for both food and the written word. Mystery Readers Journal has had five issues devoted to Culinary Crime. In the earlier issues, each contributing author who wrote an Author! Author! essay, also included a recipe. 

The early issue is no longer available.

Over the years of moderating my weekly mystery book group, we have had five 10-week sessions on food mysteries (culinary crime). In two of the sessions I facilitated, I prepared the ‘suspect’ food in the book for our dining pleasure…sans poison, of course. This was over 35 years ago, and it was quite unique for its time. I also set up a Lord Peter Wimsey dinner at a local restaurant where everything was prepared from the recipes in the Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook. Harriet Vane (played by a well known author agent) appeared half way through the dinner!  I was able to arrange this since I used to write and produce mystery events. I also set up a Nero Wolfe Dinner. Everyone came in costume, and I wore Yellow Silk Pajamas. Perhaps my love of orchids came from the Nero Wolfe books? But that’s ‘another’ collection.

And this leads me to one of my favorite collections: Literary Cookbooks, books that tie in with famous mysteries, writers, detectives, TV shows, art, and movies.

I've been collecting Themed Cookbooks for years. For purposes of this post, I’m confining the list to my mystery cookbooks. This list of titles is in no particular order and certainly not definitive. I have over 150 mystery themed cookbooks. My complete Tie-In Cookbook Collection is over 300 volumes and extends to cookbooks such as Linda Wolfe's The Literary Gourmet which I've bought at least three times -- it's always so intriguing at the used bookstores that I forget I already have multiple copies, The George Bernard Shaw Vegetarian Cookbook, The Pooh Cookbook, Miss Piggy's Cookbook, Dining with Proust, Blondie's Cookbook, The Cross Creek Cookery, The Rock & Roll Cookbook, and many, many more.

Mystery Cookbooks: A Sampling

The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook by Elizabeth Bond Ryan & William J. Eakins (Ticknor & Fields,1981). This is a classic and a must-have for any fan of Dorothy L. Sayers.

Cooking with Malice Domestic, edited by Jean McMillen & Ron McMillen (Mystery Bookshop Bethesda, 1991). I bought this book at Malice the year it came out, and it's filled with great recipes by authors and fans of the malice domestic subgenre. I attended the first Malice Domestic conference, and a few years ago I received the Poirot Award. I was very honored. 

Sneaky Pie's Cookbook for Mystery Lovers by Sneaky Pie Brown co-written by Rita Mae Brown (Bantam, 1999). I envy Rita Mae Brown having a cat who not only cooks but also writes about it! My cats are much more stereotypical and depend on me to prepare and serve their food.

The Murder She Wrote Cookbook, edited by Tom Culver and Nancy Goodman Iland (Chicago Review Press, 1996). This is a  compilation of recipes from the cast and crew.

The Cop Cookbook: Arresting Recipes from the World's Favorite Cops, Good Guys and Private Eyes, by Greta Garner-Hewitt, Ken Beck and Jim Clark, with foreword by Robert Stack (Rutledge Hill Press, 1977). TV, movie and real cops contribute to this cookbook with great archival photos of CHiPS, various Femmes Fatales and more. Take a ride down memory lane.

Cooking to Kill: The Poison Cook-book, concocted by Prof. Ebenezer Murgatroyd with Comic Drawings by Herb Roth (Peter Pauper Press 1951). A cookbook to "end" all cooks. Very funny humorous collection of deadly recipes with great illustrations.

The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout and the Editors of Viking Press (Viking 1973). This is another of my favorites. Any collection would be incomplete without recipes prepared by Fritz Brenner, Wolfe's world-class personal chef. Too Many Cooks is my favorite of the food Nero Wolfe mysteries, and this cookbook contains several recipes from that novel. The photographs in this cookbook alone are worth the price. There are 44 museum-quality images of New York in the '30s, '40s, and '50s -- very art deco.

The Kitchen Book by Nicolas Freeling (David Godine, 1970) and The Cookbook by Nicolas Freeling (David Godin, 1972). Wonderful cookbooks filled with great recipes encapsulated within cooking text. If you are a fan of Freeling as I am, you'll want to have these two books in your collection to read on a cold winter's day.

The Cat Who Cookbook by Julie Murphy & Sally Abney Stempinski with a special note from the late Lilian Jackson Braun (Berkeley Prime Crime, 2000). Recipes from the Cat Who series. Koko and Yum Yum are not the cooks. Perhaps Qwilleran will become inspired. Includes a special section on feline fare.

Food To Die For by Patricia Cornwell and Marlene Brown (G.P. Putnam, 2001). Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen. We know that Kay loves to cook and this clever cookbook with glossy color illustrations capitalizes on just that.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin Books, 1994). Unfortunately no Lamb Recipe. Although a kid's cookbook, I had to include this as Roald Dahl is a master storyteller. Recipes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and more.

Dishes to Die For... A Compendium of Culinary Concoctions Collected from Canadian Crime Writers (Crime Writers of Canada, 1996). Novel format with suspect statements, backgrounds and previous record.

The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking by Carolyn Keene (Grosset & Dunlap, 1973). Reads like Nancy Drew. How can you become a really good cook? "It's no mystery, " Nancy Drew reveals. "You must do what fine cooks have always done -- add your own special touch."

Cauldron Cookery: An Authentic Guide for Coven Connoisseurs by Marcello Truzzi, illustrated by Victoria Chess (Meredith Press, 1969). Must be initiated into a coven in order to procure ingredients such as eye of newt.

Murder on the Menu: Food and Drink in the English Mystery Novel by Jeanine Larmoth, with recipes by Charlotte Turgeon (Scribner's, 1972). This is a true classic and one to snap up when you find it at a garage sale, used bookstore or online. Includes a wonderful analysis of the genre, citing authors such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and more, with 160 recipes ranging from potted shrimp to gooseberry fool.

Desserticide, aka Desserts Worth Dying For, edited by Claire Carmichael, Paulette Mouchet and Mary Jerrill (Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter, 1995). Who doesn't like a dessert cookbook? And Sisters in Crime Los Angeles put together a mouthwatering collection of recipes from Swift Dispatch Cake to Layer Me in the Grave Cookies to In for the Kill Tiramisu. Unfortunately individual recipes are not attributed. Fun, interwoven writings about oleander and other deadly ways to die.

The Lucretia Borgia Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of Infamous People by Dorothy and Martin Blinder (Price/Sloan/Stern, 1971). A small volume originally priced at $1.95. Nothing particularly new to shed on Lucretia Borgia but it found its way into my collection based on title.

A Taste of Murder: Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers by Jo Grossman and Robert Weibezahl (Dell, 1999) including Lillian Jackson Braun, Harlan Coben, Sue Grafton, Tony Hillerman and dozens more. Great recipes and mystery writer anecdotes. This is a great cookbook for any and every mystery reader. Just about every contemporary mystery writer at the time it was published contributed to this cookbook and its successor, A Second Helping of Murder: More Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers. I have a ‘Flourless Chocolate Cake to Die For” recipe in this 2nd volume.

Madame Maigret's Recipes presented by Robert J. Courtine with a Letter-Preface by Georges Simenon (Harcourt Brace Jovanich, 1974). As we all know, Madame Maigret was an excellent cook and Simenon's Inspector Maigret enjoyed her cooking for many years. This is a classical French cookbook. Delicious.

Sherlock Holmes Cookbook by Sean Wright and John Farrell (Bramell House, 1976). One of several Sherlock Holmes cookbooks with typical English fare.

Cooking with the Bad Guys: Recipes from the World's Most Notorious Kitchens by Don Abel (Overlook Press, 1995). Where else would you find recipes fit for Al Capone, Marie Antoinette, Jack the Ripper and Rasputin?

Plots & Pans: Recipes and Antidotes from The Mystery Writers of America, edited by Nancy & Jean Francis Webb, illustrated by Gahan Wilson, introduction by Isaac Asimov (Wynwood Press: Mystery Writers of America, 1989). One of my all-time favorites with terrific illustrations by Gahan Wilson. Subtitled: Hundreds of Delicious recipes from the Most Imaginative Writers in America -- Spiced with their Wit, Leavened with their Malice, and Served with their Own Distinctive Style. Oh yes!

Où Est Le Garlic: French Cooking in 50 Lessons by Len Deighton (Harper & Row, 1965). Len Deighton, like Nicholas Freeling, was a chef and this book shows it. Wonderful "cookstrips" (hand-drawn illustrations) bring the recipes to life.

Writers' Favorite Recipes compiled by Gillian Vincent and the National Book League of Great Britain (St. Martin's: 1979). Recipes by Len Deighton, Edward Gorey, Graham Greene and others. Breezy anecdotes as well as recipes.

The Gun Club Cookbook by Charles Browne (Scribner's, 1930). Not a mystery cookbook, really, but wonderful illustrations and a great period piece.

The Sopranos Family Cookbook as compiled by Artie Bucco by Allen Rucker (Warner Books,  2002). Yes, “family” recipes..

Brunetti’s Cookbook: Recipes by Roberta Pianaro with Culinary Stories by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010), with anecdotes, recipes and beautifully drawn illustrations! There are also excerpts from the novels and original essays by Donna Leon on food and life in Venice, the perfect addition to this wonderful cookbook. I reviewed this cookbook on both and Mystery Fanfare.

Recipe for Murder: Frightfully Good Food Inspired by Fiction by Esterelle Pavany, Illustrations by Jean-Francois Martin. One of my most recent acquisitions, and a must for Mystery Cookbook Collectors. I still need to review this cookbook. Hannibal’s Express Sweetbreads should give you an idea about the type of recipes! Illustrations are marvelous.

Reading these cookbooks can be as intriguing as reading a mystery.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Retro Poster of the Week: Book Week November 12-18, 1950

Call for Articles: Mysteries set in Africa: Mystery Readers Journal

Smaller size Logo

Call for Articles: Mystery Readers Journal (39:1): 
Africa (Mysteries Set in Africa) 

We're looking for articles, reviews, and Author essays about mysteries set in Africa

Author Essays: 500-100 words. Treat this as if you're chatting with friends and other writers in the bar or cafe about your work and your unique African Mystery connection. Add title and 2-3 sentence bio/tagline. 
Reviews: 50-250 words. 
Articles: 500-1000 words.

Deadline for African Mysteries (39:1) articles, reviews, author essays:  January 5, 2023:
 Send to: Janet Rudolph, Editor. Let me know if you need more time.

Our line-up has changed slightly. We will have only one Legal Mysteries issue (38:4) that will be out in late December. First issue in 2023: African Mysteries. 

Mystery Readers Journal: Art Mysteries (38:3) is available:

SUBSCRIBE TO MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL2022 (New England 1; New England II; Art Mysteries; Legal Mysteries; 2023: African Mysteries; Hobbies & Craft Mysteries; Animals in Mysteries; Southern California.

Historical Mysteries I: Available as PDF or Hardcopy.

Private Eyes I & Private Eyes II : Available as PDF or Hardcopy.

Environmental Mysteries: Available as PDF or Hardcopy.

Italian Mysteries:  Available as PDF or Hardcopy

Senior Sleuths: Available as PDF or Hardcopy.

Gardening Mysteries: Available as PDF or Hardcopy.
Call for Articles for 2023 (Volume 39): African Mysteries; Hobbies & Crafts; Animals in Mysteries; Southern California
Have titles, articles,  or suggestions for these upcoming issues? Want to write an Author! Author! essay?  email: janet @ mystery readers . org 


Left Coast Crime Convention: Trouble in Tucson 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

KILLER NASHVILLE Silver Falchion and Claymore Award Submissions

Killer Nashville
 announced that the 16th Annual Silver Falchion Award and the 14th Annual Claymore Award are now open for submission. 

The Silver Falchion Award seeks to honor the best books of 2022; submission deadline is 6/15/23. The Claymore Award seeks to recognize unpublished English-language manuscripts with elements of thriller, mystery, crime or suspense; submission deadline is 4/1/23. See links for submission details and categories.