Wednesday, February 28, 2024

THRILLER AWARD NOMINEES: International Thriller Writers

The International Thriller Writers announced the Nominees for the Thriller Awards. Congratulations to all. 

S.A. Cosby – ALL THE SINNERS BLEED (Flatiron Books) 
Robert Dugoni – HER DEADLY GAME (Thomas & Mercer) 
J.T. Ellison – IT’S ONE OF US (Harlequin – MIRA Books) 
Mick Herron – THE SECRET HOURS (Soho Crime) 
Joe Ide – FIXIT (Mulholland Books) 
C.J. Tudor – THE DRIFT (Ballantine Books) 


Narrated by Pete Simonelli 
Gregg Hurwitz – THE LAST ORPHAN (Macmillan) 
Narrated by Scott Brick 
Freida McFadden – THE HOUSEMAID’S SECRET (Bookouture) 
Narrated by Lauryn Allman 
James Patterson, Mike Lupica – THE HOUSE OF WOLVES (Hachette Audio) 
Narrated by Ellen Archer 
Emma Rosenblum – BAD SUMMER PEOPLE (Macmillan) 
Narrated by January LaVoy 


Amy Chua – THE GOLDEN GATE (Minotaur) 
Margot Douaihy – SCORCHED GRACE (Zando) 
Kerryn Mayne – LENNY MARKS GETS AWAY WITH MURDER (Bantam Books) 
Steve Urszenyi – PERFECT SHOT: A THRILLER (Minotaur) 


Tracy Clark – HIDE (Thomas & Mercer) 
Luke Dumas – THE PALEONTOLOGIST (Atria) 
Tess Gerritsen – THE SPY COAST (Thomas & Mercer) 
Lisa Gray – TO DIE FOR (Thomas & Mercer) 
Jonathan Maberry – CAVE 13: A JOE LEDGER AND ROGUE TEAM INTERNATIONAL NOVEL (St. Martin’s Griffin) 
J. Todd Scott – CALL THE DARK (Thomas & Mercer) 


Chris Bohjalian – SLOT MACHINE FEVER DREAMS (Amazon Original Stories) 
J.T. Ellison – THESE COLD STRANGERS (Amazon Original Stories) 
Smita Harish Jain – AN HONORABLE CHOICE (Wildside Press) 
Richard Santos – RUSH HOUR (Akashic Books) 
Lisa Unger – UNKNOWN CALLER (Amazon Original Stories) 
Stacy Woodson – ONE NIGHT IN 1965 (Down & Out Books) 


Sorboni Banerjee, Dominique Richardson – RED AS BLOOD (Wolfpack Publishing LLC) 
Darcy Coates – WHERE HE CAN’T FIND YOU (Sourcebooks Fire) 
Courtney Gould – WHERE ECHOES DIE (Wednesday Books) 
Andrea Hannah – WHERE DARKNESS BLOOMS (Wednesday Books) 
Elizabeth Wein – STATELESS (Little, Brown & Co.) 


Jeff Buick – THE VULTURE FUND (Self-published) 
Rona Halsall – THE BIGAMIST (Bookouture) 
Matt Phillips – A GOOD RUSH OF BLOOD (RunAmok Books) 
Lisa Regan – CLOSE HER EYES (Bookouture) 
Robert Swartwood – THE KILLING ROOM (Blackstone Publishing) 
Laura Wolfe – THE IN-LAWS (Bookouture) 

ITW will announce the winners at ThrillerFest XIX on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York City.

Cartoon of the Day: Shipwreck

 From the amazing Tom Gauld:

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

VERA, SEASON 13: February 28

 Season 13, debuts on BritBox on 
Wednesday, February 28, 2024, and streams weekly. Seasons 1-12 are streaming on BritBox. Sadly, Vera season 13 only consists of three episodes and not the four as in several of the past series. 

Vera, Season 13, has Brenda Blethyn once again playing super sleuth DCI Vera Stanhope, but now we see the return of actor and director David Leon as Joe Ashworth

Brenda Blethyn says: 
"Stepping back into Vera's shoes for the thirteenth series feels like coming home again. The support from the locals in the North East is truly heart-warming and reuniting with the talented David Leon and the rest of our exceptional team is an absolute delight. Together, we embark on this new chapter with a terrific script crafted by the brilliant Paul Matthew Thompson."

David Leon says: 
"I’m thrilled to be returning to Vera. It's fantastic to be back in the North East and reunited with Brenda and the crew for the new series. I’m looking forward to exploring the relationship between Joe and Vera as they make up for lost time.”

Series 13 follows events after the Vera Christmas specialVera: The Rising Tide, which aired on Boxing Day. The Vera cases in series 13 again draw inspiration from the best-selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves. There are plenty of guests stars in all episodes.

Meanwhile, Vera season 14 has now been officially confirmed!

Monday, February 26, 2024

BARRY AWARD NOMINATIONS: Deadly Pleasures Magazine

The Barry Award Nominations 2024. The Barry Awards are awarded by Deadly Pleasures MagazineThe winners in each category will be announced at the Opening Ceremonies of the Nashville Bouchercon on August 29, 2024.  Congratulations to all. 

The novels in each category are arranged in alphabetical order based on the author’s last name.

Best Mystery or Crime Novel

Lou Berney, DARK RIDE (Morrow)
S. A. Cosby, ALL THE SINNERS BLEED (Flatiron)
Eli Cranor, OZARK DOGS (Soho Crime)
Jordan Harper, EVERYBODY KNOWS (Mulholland)
Dennis Lehane, SMALL MERCIES (Harper)
Adrian McKinty, THE DETECTIVE UP LATE (Blackstone)

Best First Mystery or Crime Novel

Michael Bennett, BETTER THE BLOOD (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Bruce Borgos, THE BITTER PAST (Minotaur)
Amy Chua, THE GOLDEN GATE (Minotaur)
Deepti Kapoor, AGE OF VICE (Riverhead)
Iris Yamashita, CITY UNDER ONE ROOF (Berkley)

Best Paperback Original Mystery or Crime Novel

Mia P. Manansala, MURDER AND MAMON (Berkley)
Jake Needham, WHO THE HELL IS HARRY BLACK? (Half Penny)
Vanda Symon, EXPECTANT (Orenda)
Scott Von Doviak, LOWDOWN ROAD (Hard Case Crime)

Best Thriller

Mark Greaney, BURNER (Berkley)
Mick Herron, THE SECRET HOURS (Soho Crime)
John Lawton, MOSCOW EXILE (Atlantic Monthly)
Anthony McCarten, GOING ZERO (Harper)
T. J. Newman, DROWNING (Avid Reader Press)
Ruth Ware, ZERO DAYS (Gallery/Scout Press)

Sunday, February 25, 2024

NEWS FROM MALICE DOMESTIC: Anthology, Website, and more!

The new Malice Domestic website is live. Visit:

Short Story authors chosen for the 18th Malice Domestic anthology titled Mystery Most Devious.

Stories by

Susan Love Brown

Jackie McMahon

Mary Adler

Leone Ciporin

Sue Anger

Sarah Stephens

P.A. De Voe

Roberta Gibson

Jill K. Quinn

Jennifer Slee

Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier

Joslyn Chase

Christine Eskilson

Linda Norlander

Smita Harish Jain

Hope Hodgkins

Josh Pachter

Friday, February 23, 2024

THE BACK ROOM: Cocktails and Conversation with Your Favorite Authors

The Back Room has a truly unique format. Each event is online and features four terrific authors. Attendees in groups of 15 or so get to spend time with each author, interacting, asking questions, and so much more. I love the intimate nature of The Back Room.  These events are hosted by Hank Phillippi Ryan and Karen Dionne. And all the events are FREE!!!! 

Here's the Spring Line-Up. 

March 3, 2023 at 7 PM ET | Super Suspense! 

Heather Gudenkauf • Gregg Hurwitz • Tracy Sierra • Nalini Singh

March 17 at 7 PM ET | Historical Fiction

James R. Benn • Avery Cunningham • Robin Oliveira • Heather Webb 

April 7, 2024 at 7 PM ET | Riveting Stories! 

Erin E. Adams • Lisa Gardner • Karen E. Olson • Carter Wilson

April 21 at 7 PM ET | Best Spring Fiction, Part One

Rene Denfeld • Paul Doiron • Nick Medina • Robin Peguero 

May 5 at 7 PM ET | Twisty Suspense!

Ashley Elston • Michael Koryta • K.T. Nguyen • Kaira Rouda

May 26 at 7 PM ET | Best Spring Fiction, Part Two

Janie Chang • Sally Hepworth • Vanessa Miller • Sara Paretsky
As always, events are free but space is limited, so register early!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Agatha Christie's MURDER IS EASY: March 1 on Britbox

At last we have a date for the latest Agatha Christie production of Murder is Easy in the U.S.  --  March 1 on Britbox. This show premiered in the UK last Fall. I love a great period Christie production. I'm looking forward to watching.

Based on the classic Agatha Christie Mystery, Murder is Easy tells the story of Luke Fitzwilliam who finds himself on the trail of a serial killer after meeting Miss Pinkerton on a train to London. 

From The Guardian:

This vintage crime tale replaces an English police officer with a Nigerian attaché. It tackles race, feminism and class, while still being quintessentially English. 

The cast includes Penelope Wilton, Mark Bonnar, Mathew Baynton and Jon Pointing. The busiest of the lot, though, is Industry’s David Jonsson, who stars as Luke Fitzwilliam, refashioned from the retired English police officer of the original novel into a Nigerian attache, who has travelled to the UK to take up a position at Whitehall. The action, of which there is plenty, has been moved forward a couple of decades, to 1953, and there are reworkings of certain characters and plot points. Screenwriter Siân Ejiwunmi-Le Berre’s tweaking of the story suggests an inventive and imaginative new take on the 1939 original. The first half takes the most liberties with its source material and is by far the strongest, hinting at Fitzwilliam’s divided loyalties as a member of the ruling elite and a colonised subject of a nation close to independence. His conversations with his Nigerian friends in London, about pride, duty and obligation, make the prospect of him being dropped into a mostly white country village in the mid-20th century even more tantalising a dramatic prospect.

Yet this early promise soon fades into the background as Murder Is Easy settles in as a quintessentially BBC Christie adaptation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Why the Haunted Stanley Made the Perfect Setting: Guest Post by L. R. Jones, author of The Wedding Party: A Thriller

Often writers are asked “How do you come up with your stories” many times in their career. For me, it is often just one tiny moment in time that triggers an idea. For The Wedding Party, I was visiting the haunted Stanley Hotel with my ghost-obsessed husband, when the idea came to me. This man’s favorite holiday is Halloween and he messes with me by sticking Michael Myers photos all over, as I rip them down and hide them. And no, The Wedding Party is not supernatural, but it's a fun place for a thriller writer to stage a murder. Some of you know, I’m sure, that this hotel is where Stephen King wrote The Shining, and in fact, in one of the rooms they called “spirited.”
Now that I had my setting, ideas began to flow. 
My husband would have loved it had we held any wedding event at a haunted hotel. I’d never let that happen, of course, but he’s that guy. So the next piece of the puzzle was writing a character that WOULD let her husband talk her into a ghostly wedding event. In this case, a combo bachelor/bachelorette party at the Stanley Hotel. 
Next, I knew I wanted an Agatha Christie / The White Lotus type storyline. That means lots of fun characters and suspects! From there it was all about characters, characters, characters and much like the hotel in The White Lotus, I really wanted the hotel to feel like one of those characters. With this in mind, I incorporated a lot of the Stanley’s haunted tales into the novel just in tiny tidbits here and there. When it comes to “other” main characters I needed a hero and protagonist. Years ago a savvy editor told me, “make people like or relate to the protagonist and they will be hooked and tricked into believing that person is innocent.” I won't say which is which, but this story has an FBI agent who just happens to be at the party, and the bride. Murder happens and at least one of them is in their element. There are many parallels between the two characters and yet so many extreme differences and so many interesting suspects, my hope is that I keep the readers guessing until they gasp at the end. 


L. R. Jones is a pseudonym for New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones. Her dark, edgy fiction includes the novels The Wedding Party, You Look Beautiful Tonight, The Poet, A Perfect Lie, and the Lilah Love series. For more information, visit

Saturday, February 17, 2024

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.

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery and Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer is great fun!

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 15, 2024

Death in Paradise: Season 13

Death in Paradise, Season 13, starts in the U.S. on Britbox on Thursday, February 15
. Episode 1, Season 13, is the 100th episode, so be ready for some shocking surprises in this episode.  Ralf Little continues as DI Neville Parker. It's his fourth season, and he doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Also, keep your eyes peeled for guest stars throughout the season. 

Looking forward to another sojourn on the murderous island of Saint Marie. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Valentine's Day Gift


Remember those Valentine's Day cards you punched out and gave to all the people in your class? Even if you don't remember,  here are a few that are perfect for 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...

And my Favorite