Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Call for Articles: Hobbies & Crafts in Mysteries - Mystery Readers Journal

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Call for Articles: Mystery Readers Journal (39:2) HOBBIES & CRAFTS in MYSTERIES
We're looking for articles, reviews, and Author essays about Mysteries that focus on Hobbies & Crafts

Author Essays: 500-100 words. Treat this as if you're chatting with friends and other writers in the bar, cafe, or on zoom about your work that features hobbies and/or crafts in your mysteries. Add title and 2-3 sentence bio/tagline. 
Reviews: 50-250 words. 
Articles: 500-1000 words.

Deadline for Hobbies and Crafts Mysteries (39:2) articles, reviews, author essays:  April 10, 2023:
 Send to: Janet Rudolph, Editor. janet @ mysteryreaders . org
Subject line: Mystery Readers Journal/Hobbies & Crafts

Mystery Readers Journal: Legal Mysteries (38:4) is available: https://mysteryreaders.org/journal-index/legal-mysteries-3/

SUBSCRIBE TO MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL2023: 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.

Extreme Weather Mysteries: Available as PDF or Harcopy

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 @ mysteryreaders . org 

Cartoon of the Day: Dog Poker


Monday, February 27, 2023

Call the Midwife, Season 12, drops a month early!

Call the Midwife, Season 12
has dropped a month early! I'm a fan of the series. FYI, It is not a mystery series, but if you like British TV, you might enjoy this series. Adapted by Heidi Thomas from the best-selling memoirs of Jennifer Worth, this drama series is a moving, funny, colorful look at midwifery and family in 1950s East End London. It follows newly qualified midwife Jenny, who joins an eccentric, lovable community of nuns who are nurses at Nonnatus House. Jenny is surprised to find herself at a convent -- she thought she was being sent to a small private hospital -- and is initially daunted by her surroundings, most notably the formidable Sister Evangelina and the unconventional Sister Monica Joan. But Jenny gradually begins to find her way and develops incredible friendships among the nurses, as they are drawn into the lives and homes of the women and families they treat. 

All seasons are available on PBS Passport and Prime Masterpiece. Past seasons are available on Netflix. Check for other streaming services.

Season 12: It is now 1968, and there are changes in the air. Enoch Powell’s infamous speech casts a long shadow over the borough. Nonnatus House welcomes a new nun to the team, Sister Veronica, who impresses everyone except Nurse Crane.

Sunday, February 26, 2023


I really enjoy the French TV series Candice Renoir. It features Candice Renoir (Cecile Bois), a French policewoman and single mother of four. I find Candice charming, but don't get me wrong, there's a lot of policing and action, too. There's also terrific scenery and a full group of auxiliary characters. It was a long wait for season 5, especially after the shocking final episode in Season 4 (all 4 seasons are still available on AcornTV). I've been lamenting that we've only had 4 of the 10 seasons available (although you can find them all in French if you search), so I'm excited for Season 5 that will be available on AcornTV tomorrow (February 2). There will be 10 episodes.  Can't wait.

Candice Renoir Trailer


Another French police show I've recently started watching is Cherif. It's a French police tv series set in Lyon. It 's been broadcast since October 25, 2013 on France 2. In 2019, the series was canceled as the main actor (Abdelhafid - Kader) quit. Cherif features the adventures (and mis-adventures) of the always smiling Kadir Cherif, Captain of Lyons' Criminal Brigade. He has an eccentric way of solving cases. I love his partner, Adeline Briard, too. All 6 seasons are available on MHz Choice.  

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, February 25, 2023


The Audio Publishers Association 
announced the 2023 Audie Awards finalists. The awards 
“recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment.” There are 26 categories of nominees. Winners will be announced on March 28.


The Bangalore Detectives Club, by Harini Nagendra, narrated by Soneela Nankani (Blackstone)
The Heron, by Don Winslow, narrated by Ed Harris (Audible Originals)
The Maid, by Nita Prose, narrated by Lauren Ambrose (Penguin Random House Audio)
The Murder of Mr. Wickham, by Claudia Gray,
narrated by Billie Fulford-Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)
Suspect, by Scott Turow, narrated by Helen Laser (Hachette Audio)


The Boys from Biloxi, by John Grisham, narrated by Michael Beck (Penguin Random House Audio)
Greenwich Park, by Katherine Faulkner, narrated by Laura Kirman (Simon & Schuster Audio)
The Island, by Adrian McKinty, narrated by Mela Lee (Hachette Audio)
The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley, narrated by Clare Corbett, Daphne Kouma, Julia Winwood, Sope Dirisu, Sofia Zervudachi, and Charlie Anson (HarperAudio)
Snowstorm in August, by Marshall Karp, narrated by Chris Andrew Ciulla and Michael Manuel (Blackstone)
Where Secrets Live, by S.C. Richards, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya (Dreamscape Media)

Crime, Suspense, Thriller and Mystery Nominees in other Categories:

The Silent Sisters, by Robert Dugoni, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini (Brilliance)
The Violin Conspiracy, by Brendan Slocumb, narrated by J.D. Jackson (Penguin Random House Audio) 
The Butcher and the Wren, by Alaina Urquhart, narrated by Sophie Amoss and Joe Knezevich (Zando) Sparring Partners, by John Grisham, narrated by Jeff Daniels, Ethan Hawke, January LaVoy, and John Grisham (Penguin Random House Audio)

Winners will be announced on March 28.

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Food Network

 Happy Caturday!

DI RAY, Season 1, on PBS

Just a heads up that DI RAY, Season 1, is now available on
PBS Passport and Prime Video Channel; It will be available for PBS broadcast in July, so get a head start!

Parminder Nagar (“The Blacklist,” “Bend it Like Beckham”) stars in the police procedural series “DI RAY.” It premiered last weekend on the PBS app for viewers with PBS Passport, an added member benefit which provides extended access to a digital, on-demand library of PBS programs, and the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel.

D.I. Rachita Ray is a British Asian policewoman new to homicide. In the first series, she is assigned to investigate the suspected honor killing of a young Muslim man.

DI Ray debuted on ITV in the UK in May 2022. Created and written by Maya Sondhi (Line of Duty), the series stars Parminder Nagra in the title role working for a fictitious Birmingham-based police force. Nagra's co-stars include Gemma Whelan (Killing Eve) and Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) as her superiors. All four episodes arrived as a PBS Passport binge, ahead of broadcast in July

And, good news, there will be a Series 2, with Parminder Nagar continuing in the title role.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

KARIN PIRIE, Season 2 news

Great news! ITV has commissioned series 2 of Karen Pirie, starring Lauren Lyle and adapted by Emer Kenny
The second series is based on Val McDermid’s A Darker Domain, and produced by World Productions. 
In the second season, Karen reopens the investigation into the unsolved kidnap of a wealthy young heiress and her baby son back in 1985.

I loved Season One. Go, Val! So happy to see there will be a second series, and hopefully more!
Emer Kenny will return to write and executive produce the episodes along with Scottish writer Gillian Roger Park. Karen Pirie will premiere on ITV1 and ITVX in the UK. Season One is available on Britbox in the US, so probably Season 2 will air there, as well.

Filming will begin in Scotland in early 2024 and details of further casting and key production personnel will be advised in the coming months. Oh my. That's a long way off, but still....Of course, you can always read the novel by Val McDermid and the others in the series now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


The finalists
for the 43rd Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were announced yesterday. 

Winners in three special categories were also announced. James Ellroy will receive the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement; the American Library Assn.’s Freedom to Read Foundation will receive the Innovator’s Award; and Javier Zamora will be presented with the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose

The rest of the Book Prize winners will be announced in a ceremony on Friday, April 21, at USC’s Bovard Auditorium, the evening before the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, taking place the weekend of April 22-23. 

Ellroy, who will accept the Robert Kirsch Award for bodies of work focused on the American West, is best known for his L.A.-based crime novels such as “L.A. Confidential” and “The Black Dahlia” — both part of his bestselling L.A. Quartet. Ellroy also has written an investigative memoir, “My Dark Places,” as well as dozens of novels, many of them adapted into films, graphic novels and podcasts. “We are pleased to recognize L.A. noir iconoclast James Ellroy with this year’s Kirsch Award,” said Times Books Editor Boris Kachka. “James’ writing life was shaped by the tragic, unsolved murder of his mother when he was 10, fostering an obsession with crime and the underworld that has animated his fiction and nonfiction across the decades.” 

Of particular interest to readers of this blog: The Mystery/Thriller category. Congratulations to all

Mystery/Thriller Finalists
Rachel Howzell Hall, We Lie Here: A Thriller 
Laurie R. King, Back to the Garden 
Tracey Lien, All That’s Left Unsaid 
Alex Segura, Secret Identity 
Peng Shepherd, “The Cartographers” 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Mardi Gras aka Carnivale. Whatever you call it, it's a great setting for Murder! Busy streets, crowds, costumes, drinking ..  mix it all together, and you have a recipe for the perfect crime novel.

So in honor of Mardi Gras, here's my updated list of Mardi Gras Mysteries, mostly set in New Orleans, but skip to the bottom for other countries and cities (Carnival - Carnevale). As always, I welcome additional titles. 


Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Jessica Arden
Mardi Gras Murder, edited by Sarah Glenn
The Mardi Gras Mystery by Henry Bedford-Jones
Death Visits Mardi Gras by J.J. Boortz
Cake on a Hot Tin Roof, A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
Fat Tuesday; Sunny Chandler's Return by Sandra Brown
Thrill Kill by Don Bruns
Purple Cane Road, Dixie City Jam, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Creole Belle by James Lee Burke
Mardi Gras 1975 by Frank W. Butterfield

Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron
Krewe of Souls by Elaine Calloway
Gumbo Justice, Jambalaya Justice by Holli Castillo 
The Secret of the Other Mother by Laura Cayouette
Murder Comes to Mardi Gras, Death Swatch, Keepsake Crimes, Death by Design; Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs
Fat Tuesday Fricassee by J.J. Cook (Children's)
Izzy Rio's Wild and Pretty by Stacey L. Cooley

Randolph Solves the Mardi Gras Mystery by Pat Hornsby Crochet (Children's)
Havana Storm by Clive Cussler
Mardi Gras Murders by Nicole Daines and Robert Daines
Bullets and Beads; Sinister by Jana Deleon 
Ms America and the Naughtiness in New Orleans by Diana Dempsey 

The Mardi Gras Murders by Ricardo S. Dubois
No Mardi Gras for the Dead by D.J. Donaldson
Shelter from the Storm; Crooked Man by Tony Dunbar
Fat Tuesday by Earl Emerson
The Big Uneasy-Terror Strikes Mardi Gras by Murray C. Fincher
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan
Carnaval Capers by Jody Ford
Carnival by Charlotte Foryan
Venetian Mask by Mickey Friedman
Jass, Rampart Street by David Fulmer

Dead Velvet Cheesecake by A. Gardner
Mardi Gras Murder, edited by Sarah E. Glenn
Mardi Gras Madness by Alison Golden with Honey Broussard
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

The Mardi Gras Murder by Jackie Griffey
A Free Man of Color, Fever Season, Sold Down the River by Barbara Hambly
The Exorcist by Lily Harper Hart
Mardi Gras Mambo; The Orion Mask by Greg Herren
A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag
Murder at the Mardi Gras by V. Hurst
The Assassin's Gift by Ian C.P. Irvine
Mind Games by Polly Iyer

Burgundy Doubloons by TJ Spencer Jacques
The Mardi Gras Mystery by H. Bedford Jones
Storm Damage by Ed Kovacs
Murder at the Mardi Gras by Linda P. Kozar
Murder at Mardi Gras by Doug Lamplugh
Mardi Gras Murder by Leslie Langtry
Krewe by Jayson Livingston
The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm
A Masquerade of Saints by Nicole Loughan
Voodoo Dreams by Alana Lorens 

Chaos by Judith Lucci
The Mardi Gras Murders by Gwen Bristow & Bruce Manning
Mardi Gras Madness by Ken Mask
Mardi Gras Gris Gris by A.C. Mason
The Gay Mardi Gras Murders by Sylvia Massara 

Rescued by a Kiss by Colleen Mooney
Mardi Gras Eyes by Phyllis Morris
The Chef by James Patterson with Max DiLallo
Krewe by Seth Pevey
Masques by Bill Pronzini
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
The Long-Legged Fly by James Sallis
Mardi Gras Murders by Phillip Scott
Now Let's Talk of Graves by Sarah Shankman
Murder at the Mardi Gras by Elisabet M. Stone
A Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone
The Mardi Gras Murders by Brian W. Smith

New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
New Orleans Noir, edited by Julie Smith
Murder at the Mardi Gras by Elisabet M. Stone
The Mysterious Masks of Mardi Gras by Connie Trapp
Mardi Gras Marathon Murders by Diane L. Twilley
Mardi Gras Two-Step by Barry M. Vass
Mardi Gras Ghost by Erin Wade
A Diamond Before You Die by Chris Wiltz

Children's Literature: 

The Mardi Gras Mystery; The Mardi Gras Masquerade by Carolyn Keene

Short Stories: 

Mardi Gras Murder, edited by Sarah E. Glenn
Mardi Grad Madness: Stories of Murder and Mayhem in New Orleans, edited by Martin Harry Greenberg

Carnivale in Brazil:

The Lost Manuscript: Vast Emotions and Imperfect Thoughts by Rubem Fonseca

Carnevale in Venice:

Carnival for the Dead by David Hewson
Venice Noir, edited by Maxim Jakubowski
The Venetian Masquerade by Philip Gwynne Jones
The Mascherari by Laura Rahme
Venice Black by Gregory C. Randall
Scerzo by Jim Williams

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, you might want to have some Chocolate Chip Pancakes or Chocolate  Pecan Pie or Chocolate "Cupped" Cakes with Coffee & Chicory or Chocolate Beignets or Chocolate Filled King CakeIf you're celebrating Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, or along the Gulf Coast, have a Moon Pie. Read more here. They're a favorite 'throw' in Mobile.

WRITING ABOUT LOCALES: SYRIA. Guest Post by Howard Kaplan

Howard Kaplan: 

Pictured is the boutique Talisman Hotel in Damascus, Syria in the former Jewish quarter, the home transformed after its owners fled the country.  In my new historical novel, THE SYRIAN SUNSET, I note that in 2007, Nancy Pelosi had lunch in the Talisman courtyard with President Bashar al-Assad and his British born wife, Asma. Asma is a looker, spreads in VOGUE, think Princess Diana; in fact she wanted to be the Princess Di of the Middle East. Asma met the ophthalmologist Bashar in London and soon chose to marry him and forego her admission to Harvard Business School, in order to modernize Syria. Once there though it seems shocked, she sat silent, had kids, and watched Bashar crush the country. She did though host Nancy Pelosi and her entourage; politicians far and near regularly were charmed by the wiles of Bashar and Asma and their British lilts. 
President Bashar al-Assad has a kinship with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. They were both second sons of far more talented older brothers, each preferred by their fathers. Both elder brothers were killed at an early age. A poet-soldier, Yonatan Netanyahu commanded the successful 1976 Operation Entebbe in Uganda that rescued the 248 passengers of the Air France airbus hijacked on its way from Tel-Aviv to Paris. Yoni, as he was known, the first on the ground was the sole Israeli casualty. Early on a shy, squeamish Bashar who never served in the Syrian military had decamped to London. His older brother, Bassel--colonel, equestrian, politician--racing in 1994 to Damascus Airport in the fog, late for a flight to skiing in the Alps, and declining to buckle his seatbelt, plowed fatally into a barrier. In fact, both second sons are insecure, bent on living up to papa's preference for their elder siblings and have left havoc in their wakes. In one of Asma’s Vogue interviews, Bashar confided to the interviewer that he had chosen ophthalmology because there was little blood in eye surgery.
Though I know the outlines of the above paragraph, and all of it is in my latest novel, I have in fact, just now looked up every detail on the internet to assure accuracy.
I wrote my first novel of Syria, THE DAMASCUS COVER, not only before the internet but before computers. I actually trained on my first computer, in those days nobody knew how to turn one on, at the Writers Computer Store in Los Angeles which had a classroom in the back. I sat next to Wes Craven, who was the sweetest guy in the world, though known for writing and directing films like NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. 
After Dutton bought THE DAMASCUS COVER, I flew to NY to meet my editor. He soon handed me a copy of HARRY'S GAME, a novel of Northern Ireland. He said when you read this you feel like you're in Belfast, the scents, the sights. I want a rewrite; do that for Damascus. So I wrote the tourist office in Syria and they sent me a fabulous huge street map so my characters would know where they were going. Lucky for me the British have been everywhere, written about it, and in English even, so I found such a travel memoir called MIRROR TO DAMASCUS and cribbed crazily from it for the rewrite. I had been in Damascus once for a day, was followed by the secret police, left the country quickly and returned to Beirut. I remembered little of those hours other than my appetite for the vast and pulsating country.
I learned a lot from HARRY'S GAME. I used to travel often to places with my pad, preferred scribbling sensations and geography there rather than photographing as it was one step closer to the manuscript page. In the 1980s, the Israel Defense Forces took me into Lebanon on a press junket during the First Lebanon War, and a lot of what was in my pad entered my novel BULLETS OF PALESTINE
About The Damascus Cover:
Chicago Daily News "Exceedingly rich in color about the Syrian capital."
Los Angeles Times "Kaplan's grasp of history and scene creates a genuine reality. He seems to know every back alley of Damascus and Cyprus."
Forty years later someone filmed THE DAMASCUS COVER as Sir John Hurt's final picture with Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the lead. In this sleight of hand, the picture was shot in Casablanca, with some scenes without the actors, budget constraints, filmed in Jerusalem and then spliced with the Moroccan footage.
Enter the internet. I needed to describe the Talisman Hotel for the above scene in my novel. Not only did a whole lot of photos come up but when I needed to recreate the Syrian checkpoint in the desert between Jordan and Syria I found a photo online of that too. The low concrete barriers across the road there to slow vehicles had freshly painted Syrian flags on it, not a detail I'd have conjured from my imagination. The Talisman was fun to describe.

Howard Kaplan, a native of Los Angeles, has lived in Israel and traveled extensively through Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. At the age of 21, he was sent on a mission into the Soviet Union to smuggle a dissident’s manuscript on microfilm to London. His first trip was a success.

On his second trip, he transferred a manuscript to the Dutch Ambassador inside his Moscow embassy. A week later, he was arrested in Khartiv in the Ukraine and interrogated for two days there and then two days in Moscow, before being expelled from the USSR. The KGB had picked him up for meeting dissidents and did not know about the manuscript transfers.

He holds a BA in Middle East History from UC Berkeley and an MA in Philosophy of Education from UCLA.



Monday, February 20, 2023


The Back Room's 2023 Spring Season! 

I love the Back Room. Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan developed this unique programming during lockdown, and it continues to be one of my favorite author events! 

This Spring they're presenting another stellar array of bestselling and debut authors in their innovative and interactive format. Chat up close and Zoom-personal with your favorite authors--or maybe meet a new favorite! The Back Room is an amazing place to stay connected with the writing community--not only with authors, but with fellow readers. Discover some wonderful new books! 

If you've been to a Back Room event in the past, you know how amazing it is. If you haven't--take a look at the fabulous panels coming up. Sign up now. FREE!!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2023


Wasn't sure I updated my post on Death in Paradise
 Season 12. It's now on BritBox. There are 8 episodes. Be sure and watch. And, an FYI, if you hated the lyrics put to the theme song in the Christmas special, they're gone from the series opener! Good.

Ralf Little is back as DI Neville Parker for Death in Paradise, Season 12, with a new love interest. Not a spoiler if you saw the Christmas episode. 

Don Warrington is the only surviving cast member from the show’s first episode, and he is back as the Commissioner.

Elizabeth Bourgine, who’s been in the show since the second episode returns as Catherine Bordey. (I love her!) Tahj Miles (Officer Marlon Pryce), Shantol Jackson (Sergeant Naomi Thomas), and Ginny Holder (Darlene) are all confirmed for the new series.

And, you'll recognize many guest stars. 

And something else to look forward to this week: Later in the year, Kris Marshall will return to the Death in Paradise world in a spin-off, rather than the regular show.  http://Marshall stars as DI Humphrey Goodman in spin-off Beyond Paradise. Humphrey is now a cop in rural Britain and there are plenty of murders for him to solve! February 24 on Britbox. 

Cartoon of the Day: Overachiever


Saturday, February 18, 2023

HAIL TO THE CHIEF! Presidential Crime Fiction for Presidents Day!

Hail to the Chief! The following is an updated list Presidential Crime Fiction list for Presidents Day --Presidents Weekend! 

These lists feature U.S. President in mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction. The list is divided into a few categories, but I added more titles at the end under 'other' and a separate list of Abraham Lincoln Mysteries. Of course, there are many overlaps, so scroll through them all. This is not a definitive list, and I welcome any additions. Post your favorites in the comments section.

And then there are books by Presidents: The President is Missing and The President's Daughter by former President Bill Clinton with James Patterson. The Presidents Mystery Story (propounded to be by Franklin D. Roosevelt) 1935. The President's Mystery Plot by Franklin Delano Roosevelt - and others (Short Stories)-although he didn't write any.

And, I really enjoyed Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery and Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer.

Political Election and Thrillers
Rubicon by Lawrence Alexander
Saving Faith by David Baldacci
Political Suicide and Touched by the Dead by Robert Barnard
Capitol Conspiracy by William Bernhardt
Collateral Damage by Michael Bowen
Three Shirt Deal by Stephen J. Cannell
Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
Impaired Judgement by David Compton
Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Term Limits; Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn
The Scandal Plan by Bill Folman
The Power Broker by Stephen W. Frey
Spook Country by William Gibson
Fast Track, Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman
The Fourth Perimeter by Tim Green
The People's Choice by Jeff Greenfield
Hazardous Duty by W.E.B. Griffin
The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
The Second Revolution by Gary Hansen
The President's Daughter and The White House Connection by Jack Higgins
The Enemy Within  by Noel Hynd
First Daughter by Eric Lustbader
Drone Threat by Mike Maden
Executive Privilege by Philip Margolin
Presidents' Day by Seth Margolis
The Race, Protect and Defend, Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson
Politics Noir: Gary Phillips, Editor
Missing Member by Jo-Ann Power
Dark Horse by Ralph Reed
Dead Heat, The Last Jihad by Joel C. Rosenberg
Dead Watch by John Sandford
State of the Union by Brad Thor
Capital Crimes by Stuart Woods

Assassination Attempts
American Quartet by Warren Adler
Shall We Tell the President? by Jeffrey Archer
Sherlock Holmes in Dallas by Edmund Aubrey
The 14th Colony by Steve Berry
All American Girl by Meg Cabot (YA)
The President is Missing by Bill Clinton/James Patterson
Primary Target by Max Allan Collins
Campaign Train (Murder Rides the Campaign Train) by The Gordons
Glass Tiger by Joe Gores
The President's Assassin by Brian Haig
Potus by Greg Holden
Marine One by James W. Huston
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Murder at Monticello by Jane Langton
The Surrogate Assassin by Christopher Leppek
Gideon's March by J.J. Marric
The Kidnapping of the President by Charles Templeton
Pursuit by James Stewart Thayer
Primary Target by Marilyn Wallace
Watchdogs by John Weisman

We are Holding the President Hostage by Warren Adler
The Camel Club, First Family by David Baldacci
Line of Succession by Brian Garfield
Madam President by Anne Holt
Oath of Office by Steven J. Kirsch
Presidential Deal by Les Standiford
The Kidnapping of the President by Charles Templeton
The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor

Presidential Disappearances
The President Vanishes by Anonymous (1934)
Missing! by Michael Avallone
The President is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal
The President's Plan is Missing by Robert J. Serling
The President Vanishes by Rex Stout

Fixing the Election
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
The 13th Directorate by Barry Chubin
Atropos by William DeAndrea
The Red President by Martin Gross
The Ceiling of Hell by Warren Murphy
The Trojan Hearse by Richard S. Prather
 President Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer
The Big Fix by Roger L. Simon

Presidential Crisis
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II
Vanished; Night of Camp David by Fletcher Knebel
A Fine and Dangerous Season by Keith Raffel

The President as Detective
Speak Softly by Lawrence Alexander
Lincoln for the Defense by Warren Bull
Mr President, Private Eye, edited by Martin Greenberg & Francis M. Nevins
Bully by Mark Schorr
Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery; Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer

The JFK Plot
Too many to list, but...
Mongoose, RIP by William F. Buckley
Executive Action by Mark Lane, Donald Freed and Stephen Jaffe
The Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarry

Presidential Families

Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert
Exclusive by Sandra Brown
The President's Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Deadly Aims by Ron L. Gerard
The First Lady by E.J. Gorman

First Daughter series by Susan Ford & Laura Hayden
The President's Daughter by Jack Higgins
Alice and the Assassin; The Body in the Ballroom by R.J. Koreto

The Devil's Bed by William Kent Krueger
Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal
The First Lady Murders, edited by Nancy Pickard
Murder and the First Lady; Murder at the President's Door (and other novels) By Elliot Roosevelt
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld 

The Murder of Willie Lincoln by Brad Solomon
Murder in the White House (and other novels) by Margaret Truman
They've Shot the President's Daughter by Edward Stewart

The Big Stick by Lawrence Alexander
The President's Mind, The 20th Day of January by Ted Allbeury
Absolute Power by David Baldacci
Father's Day by John Calvin Batchelor

Roosevelt's Beast by Louis Bayard
The Turncoat's Widow by Mally Becker
Warriors by Ted Bell

The Kennedy Connection by Dick Belsky
Enslaved by Ron Burns
The Plan by Stephen J. Cannell
Killing Time by Caleb Carr
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
First Strike by Ben Coes
Ex Officio by Timothy Culver (Donald Westlake)
Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

The Whole Truth by John Ehrlichman
The President's Vampire, Blood Bath by Christopher Farnsworth
FDR's Treasure, Lincoln's Hand by Joel Fox
The President's Henchman, The Next President by Joseph Flynn
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
By Order of the President by W.E.B. Griffin

Deep State by Chris Hauty
Squeeze Me by Carl Hiassen
White House Chef series by Julie Hyzy
The Last President by Michael Kurland
Spin Doctor by M.C. Lewis
Die Like a Hero by Clyde Linsley
Jack 1939 by Francine Matthews

The Better Angels by Charles McCarry
The Inner Circle; The President's Shadow by Brad Meltzer
The First Patient by Michael Palmer
Treason at Hanford by Scott Parker
Blow Back by James Patterson & Brendan Dubois

No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson
Keeping House by Tucker and Richard Phillips
The Only Thing to Fear by David Poyer
The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk

Acts of Mercy by Bill Pronzini and Barry Malzberg
Love, Lust, and Loyalty by Greg Sandora

White House Gardener series by Dorothy St. James
The President's Daughter by Mariah Stewart
Ghosts of War by Brad Taylor
Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut
Put a Lid on It by Donald Westlake
President Lincoln's Spy by Steven Wilson

An Anthology
Mr President, Private Eye, edited by Martin H. Greenberg. Different historical presidents in the role of sleuth

Abraham Lincoln Mysteries
Abraham Lincoln: Detective by Allen Appel
A Night of Horrors: A Historical Thriller about the 24 Hours of Lincoln's Assassination by John C. Berry
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
Lincoln's Hand by Joel Fox
The Lincoln Letter by Gretchen Elassani and Phillip Grizzell
Lincoln's Diary by DL Fowler

Murder in the Lincoln White House; Murder in the Oval Library, Murder at the Capitol by C.M. Gleason
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
The Assassin's Accomplice by Kate Clifford Larson
The Lincoln Letter by William Martin
The Lincoln Secret by John A. McKinsey
The First Assassin by John J. Miller
The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
The Cosgrove Report by G.J.A. O'Toole

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Murder of Willie Lincoln by Brad Solomon

The Cosgrove Report: Being the Private Inquiry of a Pinkerton Detective into the Death of President Lincoln by G.J.A. O'Toole
Margaret Truman's Murder on the Metro by Margaret Truman: Jon Land. John Land continues the series.
President Lincoln's Secret, President Lincoln's Spy by Steven Wilson

Franklin D. Roosevelt.. The President's Mystery Plot (short stories-it was his idea, although he didn't pen any of the stories)

And not about (it's about the Secretary of State) or by a President (she should have been): 

State of Terror by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny

Want to know what the Presidents read? Read Camille LeBlanc's areticle: American Presidents Can't Stop Reading Thrillers, Just Like Us: A Century of Crime Fiction Readers in the White House that appeared on CrimeReads a few years ago. 

Another great article on Presidents and Crime fiction is "The Mystery Buffs in the White House" by Craig Fehrman

Be sure and check out BV Lawson's article FFB: The President's Mystery Plot on her blog In Reference to Murder. 

And, a few children's mysteries:

Mary America, First Girl President of the United States by Carole Marsh
Who Cloned the President by Ron Roy

Thursday, February 16, 2023

YOUR INNER VILLAIN: Guest Post by Priscilla Paton

PRISCILLA PATON: Your Inner Villain

Forget about your inner hero, inner child, inner cupcake, inner hedgehog. It’s all about the Inner Villain.

In my next Twin Cities Mystery, When The House Burns, a young man is on fire to release his inner villain. His boss builds him up only to cut him down. His coworkers side-eye him. A woman he desires treats him like a naughty puppy. Clever, with a tony British accent, he could easily slip into the villain role.

Many of us hide an inner villain—don’t confuse inner villains with inner demons that drag you down. Inner demons are red, boiled, spiky, and naked. Inner Villains have great wardrobes. The vehicles they drive have pick-up and class. They never eat microwaved leftovers. They know what and who to step on to climb to the top. The IRS doesn’t know they exist; there’ll be no Al-Caponing them. They can carry off wearing a hat. No one ever asks their age—no one even thinks about their age.

The portal to inner villainy opened for me during chats—conspiratorial asides, really—with professional women. (All women are professional at something, down to slipping on shoes without bending over.) These women were not lonely, unfilled, or unsuccessful, yet they wanted a villain that looked like them, a reverse role model of duplicitous achievement. A Latinx woman wanted a Latinx villain, in heels, who wouldn’t let certain colleagues, relatives, or exes bring her down, who transcended being a “token” anything. In another chit-chat among friends, a white woman, without me mentioning inner anything, detailed a character and a plot. With three sips of martini and a backlog of resentments as inspiration, she leaned in to confide about a “fictional” woman. This underrated woman is expected never to draw attention to herself, to be accommodating and tireless. She begins to scheme against clueless men and rival she-wolves who take for granted that she’ll shoulder the burden. These blind souls do not realize that she has x-ray vision of their vulnerabilities. People start to notice and admire her while remaining ignorant of her cunning. The essence of her villainy will be that her antagonists appear to create their own downfall. If they should suffer in idiotic fashion, so be it. They brought it on themselves. And a little meanness is like a dash of cayenne—just enough to kick up the fun.

I admit, inner villainy has an element of feminist revenge fantasy, or to include my male bad-guy-wanna-be, the underdog scrapping to be top dog—let the sexy scars show the victor. 

My Twin Cities Mysteries detectives, Erik Jansson and Deb Metzger, shouldn’t house inner villains because they’re the good guys. Then again, lesbian Deb endures with little patience micro and macro-aggressions, and straight Erik as a whistle-blowing homicide detective makes enemies everywhere. The two constantly face injustice, criminals ready to kill, and procedural snafus. The temptation is great to take shortcuts and go rogue. Deb and Erik do switch directions and go off grid in surprising ways. Shortcuts, though, may be a quick path to ruin, and going rogue could mean entering the redzone where no reason can halt aggression. Remember, inner demons are red.

Beware when the inner villain absorbs the inner demons, which puts real viciousness out in the world. Inner demons become desperate with addiction, distrust, hate, and rage. Active hostility eats its way out to wreak havoc among friends and foes. Rafe, the character on the verge of revenge in When The House Burns, risks that by freeing his inner villain he triggers violence in himself and the greater evil of his enemies. In conniving to reach his dreams, he could destroy them and put the woman he wants in the path of a murderer.

I tried out “embrace your inner villain” on a friend who is an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and violence. Taken aback, she found the idea confusing and not funny. She encounters genuine wrongdoers whose damage ruins and sometimes ends lives. There are no quick fixes, no shortcuts, in finding safety and justice for the victims and helping them become independent survivors. The meanness aimed at them erodes self-esteem and hope. (Much meanness, including my own, has a nastier kick than a dash of cayenne.) My advocate-friend had just endured a bad day with the system and needed reassurance about staying the course. Then, maybe because she experiences much frustration when the right actions fail to yield the right results, she repeated, “so, an inner villain,” and the corner of her mouth tweaked.

What if the inner villain could collaborate with the inner hero, the trickster and the champion coming together in a Loki-Thor partnership? (FYI, there’s a bromance between the actors who play Loki and Thor in recent films, Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth.) That’s the stuff of stories, the challenging engagement of inner conflicts with external ones. Though meanness and scheming can backfire, I’m not ready to evict my inner villain because she’s onto something. She protects a person from the boredom of routine, from the entrapment of always being a people pleaser, from being a stepping stone for others but never yourself.

If you want a final takeaway, it's this: dress like your inner villain.


Priscilla Paton writes mysteries set in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Priscilla grew up on a dairy farm in Maine. She received a B.A. from Bowdoin College, a Ph.D. in English Literature from Boston College, was a college professor and taught in Kansas, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Minnesota. She has previously published a children’s book, Howard and the Sitter Surprise, and a book on Robert Frost and Andrew Wyeth, Abandoned New England. She married into the Midwest and lives with her husband in Northfield, Minnesota. When not writing, she participates in community advocacy and literacy programs, takes photos of birds, and contemplates (fictional) murder.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Cartoon of the Day: St. Valentine's Day!



Remember those Valentine's Day cards you punched out and gave to all the children in your class? Here are a few that are perfect for mystery readers. I love these Retro Mystery and Book-Related Valentine's Day Cards. Be sure and view them all. Happy Valentine's Day!

And then there are the Bookish Valentines...