Sunday, September 29, 2013

T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award

The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) awarded the 2013 book prizes. The recipient of this year’s T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award is What the Heart Remembers by Debra Ginsberg (NAL).

Finalists included Strawberry Yellow by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park) and Suspect by Robert Crais (Putnam).

HT: The Rap Sheet

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cartoon of the Day: Search Engine

James Benn, Janet Dawson, Martin Limon-October 2 Literary Salon

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening Literary Salon in Berkeley with award winning authors James Benn, Janet Dawson & Martin Limon: Wednesday, October 2, 7 p.m.

Make a comment below for address.

James Benn, best known for the Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series will be introducing his eighth adventure crime novel, A Blind Goddess

Martin Limón, retired from U.S. military service after 20 years in the Army and author of eight novels in the Sergeants Sueño and Bascom series. He will tell us about his latest, Nightmare Range: The Collected Sueño and Bascom Short Stories.

Janet Dawson's Death Rides the Zephyr is coming down the track. December 1952. The California Zephyr pulls out of Oakland headed for Chicago. Zephyrette Jill McLeod hopes for an uneventful run. But the Silver Lady’s passenger list includes mayhem—and murder.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tearing the Sky Apart: guest post by Leonard Rosen

Today I welcome award winning thriller writer Leonard Rosen.

Leonard Rosen grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he taught high school English. Graduate studies in literature followed, and he went on to a university teaching career. Len writes full time now in the Boston area. He has contributed radio commentaries to Boston’s NPR station, written best-selling textbooks on writing, and taught writing at Harvard University and Bentley University. The Tenth Witness is a prequel to his award-winning first novel, All Cry Chaos. Both feature Interpol agent Henri Poincaré.

Tearing the Sky Apart

I was five when the lady making me a grilled cheese sandwich cocked her head, listening to a distant rumble. This was in Baltimore, where summer thunderstorms are a near-daily occurrence. “They’re coming,” she said. “The dinosaurs.”


“Dinosaurs fighting. Where do you think thunder and lightening come from?” In school a few years later, I learned about electrical discharges in storm clouds and the booming of rapidly heated air. I aced the test but preferred to imagine dinosaurs tearing the sky apart.

If I didn’t know I was a writer at that point, my father confirmed it when he returned home late one summer afternoon to find me on the stairs above the driveway with one of his raincoats draped across my shoulders. Once again, the sky was on the verge of exploding. He looked up at me as air rushed along the ground and the first fat drops fell. I opened my arms and summoned the winds. He said: “What are you doing?”

“Watch,” I said.

A violent storm broke, and at dinner that evening I took full credit.

“You have an imagination,” he said.

I did. The only question was how I would arrange my life so I could put that imagination to use. As a child and teen, I spent more time on ball fields than in libraries. The very best part of school was reading fiction; but after the final bell rang, life for me was all about sports—until, that is, I read Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. That’s when I fell hard into fiction. I became an English major in college, then a high school English teacher, then (after a lot more reading) a college teacher of literature and writing. Teaching gave me my summers, and I wrote my first novel when I was 23—about a man who discovers his name in the prophecies of Nostradamus. It wasn’t a very good novel (though I thought otherwise at the time), nor were the three that followed.

But I kept at it because I wanted to do what Kazantzakis did: create lives so compelling that I mourned their loss when the story ended. With two novels published, I think of Kazantzakis and the high bar he set. I think also of the kid who preferred dinosaurs to explanations of charged particles. That’s a disposition that can’t be learned, I suspect. The artist is mad enough to believe, even with a wink, that he can summon a storm. My father knew he couldn’t; but as an engineer he could make machines one steel block at a time and change the world that way. These are different dispositions, and worlds can be created from either.

I can illustrate. My first novel, All Cry Chaos, came to me when in the course of twelve hours I noticed astonishing similarities between tree limbs, lightning bolts, the veins in my eyes (when I administered drops), and the ridgelines of mountains as seen from above (I was on a cross-country flight that day). Scientists and mathematicians have studied this patterning in nature using a mathematics called fractal geometry. Fascinated by the same phenomena, I was drawn in a different direction, to questions like these: What if a mathematician studying fractals was killed? Who would do it? Why? Why does a lightning bolt look like a tree limb? What if the mathematics that describes tree limbs and sidewalk cracks also describes the operations of global financial networks? (It does. Read Benoit Mandelbrot.) Do patterns in nature suggest a Pattern Maker? Might I write a thriller with theological elements?

 There are charged particles and there are dinosaurs. I chose, and continue to choose, dinosaurs. This same habit of mind guided my writing of the just-released prequel to All Cry Chaos. The Tenth Witness tells the story of how my protagonist, Henri Poincaré, comes to be an Interpol agent. (See my guest blog at Jungle Red on the experience of writing a prequel.) Chaos was set in 2010, when Poincaré was a thirty-year veteran. Who was he in his late twenties? No one is born an Interpol agent. What events forced a change in careers? The most heinous crimes of the century occurred in Europe, during the Second World War. What if I involved Poincaré somehow with the Third Reich? The timing would work if he met unreconstructed Nazis in the 1970s, just thirty years after the war. What if he fell in love with the daughter of a Nazi? She herself would have been born after the war and thus innocent of Nazi-era crimes. But what exactly did she learn at papa’s knee? What might Poincaré discover that would drive a wedge between his conscience and his affections for this woman?

I found a deep, rich, fact-based literature on the legacy of National Socialism and the tortured lives of the children of Nazi-era criminals. As with All Cry Chaos, I read and then wrote a novel—once again preferring dinosaurs to scientific explanations. My goal, then and now, is to evoke, not tell.

The novel I’m working on at present follows from this same impulse. What if a magician lost his sense of wonder? What a sad state of affairs to be capable of astonishing everyone in a theater but himself! How will he recover enchantment?

I play out my life through stories. I turn sixty in January; and I’m amazed—and grateful—that I’ve made room each day for imagination. I’m rich with what-ifs. What I pray for is the time and energy to see more than a few of them through to mature novels.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

River, a Crime Drama, ordered by BBC

Deadline reports that BBC One has ordered a 6-episode crime drama -- River-- written by Abi Morgan, who won an Emmy Award this year for her work on BBC Two's The Hour.

John River is a brilliant police officer whose genius and fault-line is the fragility of his mind — a man haunted by the murder victims whose cases he must lay to rest. A man who must walk a professional tightrope between a pathology so extreme he risks permanent dismissal, and a healthy state of mind that would cure him of his gift.

Filming is expected to begin in London next year with a premiere date in 2015.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Herman Koch's The Dinner to be adapted

From Deadline:

Kate Blanchett is set to make her feature directorial debut on an adaptation of the Herman Koch novel The Dinner. The Messenger scribe Oren Moverman is adapting the psychological thriller which explores just how far some parents might go to protect their children. Cotty Chubb is producing through his ChubbCo banner. The film will be exec produced by Eva Maria Daniels and Olga Segura. It is unclear at the moment if Blanchett will star in the film. 
HT: BV Lawson

Cartoon of the Day: Crime

Sunday, September 22, 2013


The Anthony Awards were presented last night at Bouchercon, held this year in Albany, NY!

Best Novel: The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Novel: The Expats, by Chris Pavone (Crown)

Best Paperback Original: Big Maria, by Johnny Shaw (Thomas & Mercer)

Best Short Story: “Mischief in Mesopotamia,” by Dana Cameron (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2012)

Best Critical Non-fiction Work: Books to Die For: The World’s Greatest Mystery Writers on the World’s Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke (Atria/Emily Bestler)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Sue Grafton

The David Thompson Special Services Award: Marv Lachman

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Such sad news. I just learned of the death of Robert Barnard, one of my favorite writers and someone I met several times over the years at Bouchercon,  Malice Domestic, and CWA meetings. Bob hasn't been at Bouchercon in recent years, and he's been missed. As I write this, I'm at Bouchercon, surrounded by mystery writers.. and so very sad that Bob is not here and won't be again.

Robert Barnard attended Oxford and studied history before changing his focus to English. He worked for five years as a lecturer in English in Australia. Then he moved to Norway where he remained for many years as a professor of English, as well as writing mysteries. In 1983, he gave up his academic life and devoted himself full-time to writing. Lucky for us in the mystery world.

He won multiple awards over the years including the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger. He was given the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement. An 8-time Edgar nominee, he won the Nero Wolfe Award, the Agatha, and the Macavity. He was also an expert on the Bronte family and their writing, a passionate opera fan, and the author of a major study of Agatha Chrities' crime writing, A Talent to Deceive.

Robert Barnard has produced a number of standalone mysteries, as well as two series.

Here's a toast to you, Bob. I'll be rereading all your novels over the next year..


Alison Gaylin
The Shamus Awards were announced last night by Private Eye Writers of America (PWA).

Best Hardcover P.I. Novel: Taken, by Robert Crais (Putnam)

Best First P.I. Novel: Black Fridays, by Michael Sears (Putnam)

Best Original Paperback P.I. Novel: And She Wasby Alison Gaylin (Harper)

Best P.I. Short Story: “Ghost Negligence,” by John Shepphird (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine [AHMM], July/August 2012)

Best Indie P.I. Novel: White Heat, by Paul D. Marks 
(Timeless Skies)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Loren D. Estleman

HT: Ali Karim

Friday, September 20, 2013

Louise Penny wins Macavity Award for Best Novel

The lovely and talented Louise Penny won the Macavity Award for The Beautiful Mystery. Awards were presented last night. Read about the other Macavity Award winners here.

Louise Penny will be International Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime in Monterey, CA., March 20-23, 2014. 

Barry Awards 2013

Presented by George Easter last night during opening ceremonies at Bouchercon. Nominated and voted on by subscribers to Deadly Pleasures Magazine.

Best Novel: The Blackhouse, by Peter May (Silver Oak)

Other Nominees: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (Crown); Trust Your Eyes, by Linwood Barclay (NAL); Defending Jacob, by William Landay (Delacorte); Live by Night, Dennis Lehane (Morrow); and Dead Scared, by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur)

Best First Novel: A Killing in the Hills, by Julia Keller (Minotaur)

Other nominees: The Yard, by Alex Grecian (Putnam); Sacrifice Fly, by Tim O’Mara (Minotaur); The Dark Winter, by David Mark (Blue Ridge Press); Black Fridays, by Michael Sears (Putnam); and The Professionals, by Owen Laukkanen (Putnam)

Best Paperback Original: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, by Susan Elia McNeal (Bantam)

Other Nominees: Pago Pago Tango, by John Enright (Thomas & Mercer);Blessed Are the Dead, by Malla Nunn (Washington Square); The Other Woman’s House, by Sophie Hannah (Penguin); Bloodland, by Alan Glynn(Picador); and Beneath the Abbey Wall, by A.D. Scott (Atria)

Best Thriller: The Fallen Angel, by Daniel Silva (Harper)

Other Nominees: The Last Refuge, by Ben Coes (St. Martin’s); The Right Hand, by Derek Haas (Mulholland); A Foreign Country, by Charles Cumming (St. Martin’s); House Blood, by Mike Lawson (Atlantic Monthly); and Red Star Burning, by Brian Freemantle (Minotaur)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Macavity Award Winners 2013

The Macavity Awards 2013! Just presented them!

This award is nominated by and voted on by members and supporters of Mystery Readers International, as well as subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal. Winners were announced tonight at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention in Albany. The Macavity Award is named for the "mystery cat" of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats). Congratulations to all!

Macavity Awards 2013

Best Mystery Novel: 

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Mystery Novel: 

Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman (Minotaur Books-Thomas Dunn)

Best Mystery Non-Fiction: 

Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke (Simon & Schuster - Atria/Emily Bestler)

Best Mystery Short Story: 

"The Lord Is My Shamus" by Barb Goffman in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder (Wildside)

Sue Feder Historical Memorial Award: 

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (HarperCollins)

Cartoon of the Day: Grammarian

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Going to Bouchercon? I'd love to see you!

Here are a few places where I will be for sure.

September 19: I'll be presenting the Macavity Awards on Thursday Evening at the Bouchercon Opening Ceremonies in Albany, NY.

September 20: 1:50-2:45: I'll be moderating a panel "State of Grace: How Not to Go Crazy on Book Tours" with Donna Andrews, Jenny Milchman, Boyd Morrison, M.J. Rose, and Steve Ulfelder. This is not a how-to Panel, but that's not to say you won't pick up some hints. This panel will be fun and interactive. Panelists will discuss the trials and tribulations of their book tours. Readers, fans and authors please come with Questions, Experiences and More!

September 19-22: I'll be at or around the Left Coast Crime 2014: Calamari Crime table in the Book Room. Please stop by.


Not going to Bouchercon?
Love to see you at one of these events!

September 27: Book Passage, Ferry Building, San Francisco, 6 p.m. I'll be moderating a panel with authors Cara Black, Lisa Brackman and Tim Hallinan.

October 2: Literary Salon, Berkeley, CA, 7 p.m.: Janet Dawson, James Benn, Martin Limon

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall 2013 Mystery Readers List

Our mystery book group meets once a week in Berkeley. We've been meeting longer than any other mystery book group in the Bay Area. Quite a feat! And, every Tuesday from September through June, we read and discuss a book a week. Used to be two a week, but we've gotten older and slower?

So here's the list for anyone who wants to read along. It's a loose theme this session, starting with some nominated or award winning  crime fiction, and then taking a trip around the world! Enjoy. Post comments or send via email, if you read with us.

Mystery Readers International, Norcal Chapter
Fall Mystery Reading List 

September 10: The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

September 17 (no meeting/Bouchercon)

September 24 The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

October 1 Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman

October 8 The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

October 15 (possibly no meeting)

Hour of the Rat Lisa Brackmann (China)

October 22 The Crow Road by Iain Banks (Scotland)

 October 29 Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker (France)

November 5 Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon (Gabon)

November 12 The Fire Engine that Disappeared by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (Sweden)

November 19 The Missing File D. A. Mishani (Israel)

November 26 A Donna Leon.. different ones.. (Italy)

Cartoon of the Day: Novelist

From my favorite cartoonist Hilary Price at Rhymes with Orange:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sujata Massey: The Sleeping Dictionary

Today I welcome Sujata Massey. Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany and grew up mostly in St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and started her working life as a features reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun. After leaving the newspaper, she moved to Japan, where she studied Japanese, taught English and began writing her first novel, The Salaryman’s Wife. This novel became the first of many in the Rei Shimura mystery series, which has won Agatha and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark awards. Her August 2013 release, The Sleeping Dictionary, is a trade paperback with Simon & Schuster’s Gallery line, and also an audiobook published by Dreamscape. It’s the first in a series of historical suspense novels featuring Bengali women who each play a role in making modern India.


Right now, I’m traveling around launching my new book in five years: a 524-page historical fiction novel called The Sleeping Dictionary. And while I’m really happy to be in the position to finally sign the title page for whoever wants one, I’ve come up against an interesting moral question--where to have the booksignings.

After so many great experiences at independent mystery bookstores, launching with old friends is awfully tempting. But my new book is not a mystery. Would seeing this book on a store’s reading schedule, or finding it on a new books rack, perplex and annoy mystery readers?

Pat Frovarp and Gary Shulze at Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis said: come back to us! Kathy and Tom at Mystery Loves Company Bookshop agreed: of course you’ll come down to Oxford. These bookstore friends reassured me that past readers would come to hear about the new book, which I like to call HER (History, Espionage and Romance). But that still leaves the larger question of whether mystery readers typically read fiction that doesn’t have crime in it.

I do see some overlap between history and mystery. Many of the best-loved books in the genre are set in the past. Usually these mysteries aren’t considered different enough to garner their own award categories, although the Malice Domestic mystery convention has created a new Agatha for historical fiction (the 2011 winner was Rhys Bowen for Naughty in Nice, set in 20s Europe). A delightful bookstore in Forest Park, IL, Centuries and Sleuths, carries books about history (fiction and non) as well as mystery. And the readers I’ve met there are among the knowledgeable you can find anywhere. Which reminds me of a crucial trait in mystery readers: we don’t like the books where we anticipate the outcome. We want to be surprised. And that’s probably why reading many different sources about one historical event fascinates me.

I’d always yearned to stretch my storytelling to India, a country I love every bit as much as Japan, but differently. My father is from India, and I’ve enjoyed five long visits there, my first occurring when I was nine years old and wrote in a travel diary.

Each time I’ve visited Calcutta over these three decades, the residential streets change, because a few 19th century buildings are felled for the sake of modern commerce. These places—the old bungalows of the British and the Indian intelligentsia—were elegant as palaces and the object of my endless fascination.

Of course my India book would be set in the past, to tell stories about the people who once lived within. I’d always wanted to delve deeper into the specifics of how the British felt losing the jewel in their crown, and to what lengths Indian freedom fighters would go despite the danger of their yearning for freedom. And what about the characters who rarely appeared in colonial novels—Indian women?

The setting of 1930s and ‘40s Bengal was so wide and grand—and actual events oof the time so compelling—to put one dead body in the middle of things was not compelling. There was so much death at that time, and with my story bracketed by a deadly cyclone, a rice famine and murderous riots, there were enough hurt people for me to worry about. Death was a part of life—yet I was intent on creating a story that was not a downer, but had the same kind of beauty and warmth that I feel whenever I’m in India.

 I still needed suspense, because I find it painful to read any book without an element of wonder or uncertainty—no matter what its genre. I strived to write a story that would make me breathless at the end of a chapter and ready to move onward. In the stacks of the British Library’s Asian and African Studies Reading Room, I was stunned to read recently declassified materials proving the existence of a secret spy unit within Calcutta’s Indian Civil Service branch. I’ll get revenge on you bastards, I thought, all the while taking careful notes.

Next I traveled to India, where after a great struggle I earned an admission card to the National Library of India’s newspaper archives in Calcutta. Here, in several newspaper articles in the Sunday ‘women’s pages,’ I found the voices of strong young Indian women breaking free from traditional roles to enter freedom fighting and politics. College girls raised money for the cause, smuggled arms, and even assassinated British officials. They even put on military uniforms and trained to fight the British-led Indian Army in World War II. It was much more than I’d imagined when I’d first dreamed up the project. But it was true.

This is why I like historical writing so much. The fabric of the past is often largely unknown. All that a writer needs to do is find a few sympathetic characters to bring a story to life. Like a good marriage, the two genres of mystery and history can coexist happily. For me, this is a real happy ending.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


On 7 September 2013, DICK TRACY won the Harvey Award for "Best Syndicated Strip or Panel."  The Harvey, named for legendary EC Comics artist Harvey Kurtzman, and given each year at the Baltimore Comics Convention, is one of two major awards in the comics industry, the other being the Eisner, named for Will Eisner, the creator of The Spirit, which is given at the San Diego Comics Convention.  Of the two, however, only the Harvey has a category for newspaper strips.

Present to accept the award on behalf of the entire team, were Joe Staton, the legendary illustrator who is the strip's current artist, and our own Sgt. Jim Doherty, the strip's current police consultant.  Joe thanked the other members of the team, who were not able to be present, script writer Mike Curtis, inker Shelley Pleger, and colorist Shane Fisher, and acknowledged the genius of the strip's creator, Chester Gould.  "A craftsman's only as good as his tools," said Joe, "and Chester Gould left us with some great tools."

Jim echoed Joe's comments about the team, and about Gould, and added thanks to the other "Keepers of the Flame" who had worked on the strip after Gould's retirement, keeping the iconic cop alive so that Mike, Joe, and the rest of the new team had a property in great condition to take over.  Jim particularly mentioned script writers Max Allan Collins and Michael Killian, and artists Rick Fletcher and Dick Locher.
Since the Harvey's newspaper strip category was instituted in 1990, TRACY is the only adventure strip ever to win the award.  It is also, at 80+ years, the oldest strip ever to win.  DICK TRACY made his first appearance in the Detroit MIRROR on 4 Oct 1931.  From that single paper, he would soon spread to over 600. 

The Harvey is the latest award the strip has won.  It was also one of the few strips to win the National Cartoonist Society's Reuben Award (named for Rube Goldberg) twice, once in 1959 and the second time in 1977 (Gould's last year on the strip).  In 1980, TRACY became the only comic strip ever to win a Special Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America.

HT: Jim Doherty

Sophie Hannah on writing a new Hercule Poirot novel

Sophie Hannah & Mathew Pritchard
I posted a few weeks ago that British psychological thriller writer Sophie Hannah is going to write an authorized new Hercule Poirot novel.

Here's a link to a great interview at CrimeFictionLover with Sophie Hannah about this endeavor.

Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year

From Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival in 
Stirling last night:

Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year: How a Gunman Says Goodbye by Malcolm Mackay

Dead Water, by Ann Cleeves (Pan)
Pilgrim Soul, by Gordon Ferris (Corvus)
The Red Road, by Denise Mina (Orion)
The Vanishing Point, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
Standing in Another Man’s Grave, by Ian Rankin (Orion)

HT: The Rap Sheet

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Domino Guinness Record

Three months after the Seattle Public Library established a new Guinness World Record for Book Dominoes with a 2131 book tumble the folks at the Central Library in Cape Town, South Africa and the Open Book Festival have gone and shattered it. 2586 books went down in the Book Domino event.

Now they need to reshelve them all!

No books were hurt in the making of this film!

HT: Book Riot

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nero Award 2013

Chris Knopf's Dead Anyway has won the Nero Award from the Wolfe Pack. Congrats, Chris! The presentation will take place on December 7 at the Black Orchid Banquet.

Congrats, Chris!

2013 Nominees

Trailer: Foyle's War on Masterpiece Mystery!

If you're like me, you've been anticipating the return of Foyle's War on Masterpiece Mystery. It starts Sunday night, 9 p.m. here! In the new series Foyle begins working for MI5. Very cool! Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks star.

September 15: The Eternity Ring
When Foyle returns from America, MI5, suspicious that British atomic research has been infiltrated, asks Foyle to investigate whether a Russian spy network could be at work in the heart of London.

September 22: The Cage
Foyle’s investigation into the death of a nameless Russian leads to a mysterious military facility and the discovery that the victim was a spy with dangerous connections to British intelligence.

September 29: Sunflower
Foyle is given the distasteful task of protecting against death threats an ex-Nazi defector, a valuable MI5 intelligence asset against the Russians undercover in London as an art historian.

Cartoon of the Day: Author

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saving Grace: How Not to Go Crazy on Tour

If you're going to Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, next week in Albany, NY, you'll want to come to the panel I'm moderating. It's for fans and authors.

Friday, September 20, 1:50-2:45 p.m. Room 4, Empire State

Panelists include crime writers:
Donna Andrews
Jenny Milchman
Boyd Morrison
M.J. Rose
Steve Ulfelder

This is not a how-to panel, but that's not to say you won't pick up some hints! I plan for this
panel tbe fun and interactive. Panelists will discuss the trials and tribulations of their book tours.
Come with questions, experiences and more!

Hope to see you next week!

Can't make it? I'll be posting a summary after the panel!

Arnaldur Indridason Wins RBA Literary Prize In Spain

Arnaldur Indridason was awarded the RBA Literary Prize in Spain for his latest novel, to be published on November 1, with simultaneous publication in Icelandic and Spanish. It will be a few years before Skuggasund appears in English. 183 manuscripts were submitted. The award will be presented by the President of Catalonia and the mayor of Barcelona.

HT: Crime Time

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Still Life: a Three Pines Mystery to air on CBC-TV

I'm a huge fan of Louise Penny, and I hope that we in the U.S. will get Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery, based on her novel. It airs on Sunday, September 15 at 8 p.m ET (8:30 NT) on CBC Television. That's Canada, folks!

STILL LIFE stars Nathaniel Parker as "Chief Inspector Armand Gamache",  Anthony Lemke as  "Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir",  Kate Hewlett as "Clara Morrow" and Gabriel Hogan as "Peter Morrow".

Louise Penny will be the International Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime, Monterey, CA, March 20-23, 2013

Crime Fiction during the Days of Awe

It's early September, but the Jewish calendar is lunar, and Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, began last Wednesday night. We are now in the Days of Awe (the days between the New Year and Yom Kippur). 

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. That a murder would take place on Yom Kippur (or during the Days of Awe)  runs opposite to Jewish belief. Let's hope any murders only take place in fiction!

Here's a short list of Mysteries that take place during the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur. As always, I welcome any additions to this list.

Three Weeks in October by Yael Dayan
Days of Atonement by Michael Gregorio
Yom Kippur Murder by Lee Harris
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Nights of Awe by Harri Nykanen

May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Harper Lee Settles Copyright Case

From Shelf Awareness:

Harper Lee has reached an "agreement in principle" to settle the lawsuit she brought in May alleging that Samuel Pinkus, son-in-law of her former literary agent, the late Eugene Winick, "duped" her into signing over To Kill a Mockingbird's copyright in 2007. 

 In addition, Pinkus's wife, Leigh Ann Winick, and Gerald Posner, "whose Miami residence is listed as the address of one of Pinkus's literary companies," were dropped from the lawsuit, USA Today wrote. 

Defense attorney Vincent Carissimi said papers dismissing the case would be filed in federal court this week, but declined to provide any details of the settlement. "The parties reached a mutually satisfactory resolution and everybody would like at this point to put it behind them," he added.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Maurice Sendak Reading Poster

BrainPickings posted several Maurice Sendak Reading Posters. This is one of my favorites!

Ned Kelly Awards: Australia

2013 Ned Kelly Award Winners announced by the Australian Crime Writers Association:

Best First Fiction:
The Midnight Promise, by Zane Lovitt (Text Publishing)

Best Fiction:
Blackwattle Creek, by Geoffrey McGeachin (Penguin)

Best True Crime:
The People Smuggler, by Robin De Crespigny (Penguin)

S.D. Harvey Short Story Award:
“Echoes from the Dolphin,” by Roger Vickery

Here's a link to all the nominees

HT: Fair Dinkum Crime

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Man from U.N.C.LE. headed for the Big Screen

As if we haven't seen enough remakes on both the small and big screen, Warner Bros will begin filming this week a big-screen version of the 1960s TV espionage series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Hugh Grant will play U.N.C.L.E. chief Alexander Waverly, the role originated by Leo G. Carroll in the 1964-68 series. Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Illya Kuryakin, alongside stars Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”), Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby”), Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows”) .

At least they're not updating the time period. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

Read more Here:

HT: TheRapSheet

Friday, September 6, 2013

Crime and Science Radio: D. P. Lyle & Jan Burke

I'm so excited about Crime and Science Radio, and you should be, too! Doug (D.P.) Lyle and Jan Burke are launching it tomorrow. Saw a post on D.P. Lyle's The Writer's Forensics Blog  last week, and I asked if I could mention it here. So here you Doug's own words with additions at the end of upcoming shows. Be sure and tune in. Missing the show? It will be archived, so you can listen.

D.P. Lyle: 

Jan Burke and I are launching a new internet radio venture: CRIME & SCIENCE RADIO. It will be aired bimonthly on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. Pacific on John and Shannon Raab’s Suspense Radio program on Blog Talk Radio. Of course the shows will be archived for later listening if the timing doesn’t work out for you. Join us for the program launch on September 7th.

On the first show we will cover crime scene, crime lab, and coroner/ME basics as well as some of the common mistakes writers and screenwriters make when writing crime fiction. The goal is, of course, to help writers eliminate these common errors. In future shows we will have guests from the science and the crime fiction worlds, talk about crime and science issues of interest to crime writers, cover the latest crime tech news, and most importantly have fun.

We hope to “see” many of you there.

9-7-13: Hollywood Storytelling: Science Fact or Make Believe?

What’s the good, the bad, and the ugly when Hollywood tackles crime and science? Do they sacrifice science for story? What do they mostly get wrong? And right? Jan Burke and DP Lyle discuss crime scene, crime lab, and coroner/ME basics.

9-21-13: The Science of Sherlock Holmes: Jan Burke and Leslie Klinger

Leslie Klinger is a Holmes expert of the first order. His THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES is one of the most highly regarded studies of Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  What influenced Holmes's scientific and investigative methods?  And what influence has Holmes had on forensic science and criminal investigation?

10-5-13: Drugs, Poisons, Toxins, and Death with DP Lyle, MD

DP Lyle, MD discusses several famous cases that involve the use of drugs and poisons and reveals the toxicological principles behind each case. Kristen Rossum and the American Beauty Murder, Stella Nickell’s product tampering, and the complex issues surrounding Kurt Cobain’s death are some of the topics to be discussed.

10-19-13: Judging Science: Evidence and Courts

Join Jan Burke and former prosecutor Marcia Clark, author of KILLER AMBITION for a discussion on rules of evidence and how new scientific technologies become accepted by courts, what can go wrong to keep evidence out of a trial, and some of the ways forensic science is used in the plots of her legal thrillers.

D. P. Lyle, MD is the Macavity and Benjamin Franklin Silver Award winning and Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Scribe, and USA Best Book Award nominated author of many non-fiction books as well as numerous works of fiction, including the SAMANTHA CODY and DUB WALKER thriller series and the ROYAL PAINS media tie-in novels. His essay on Jules Verne’s THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND appears in THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS and his short story “Even Steven” in ITW’s anthology THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER.
   He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars.
   And, for the past 35 years, he has practiced Cardiology in Orange County, California.

Jan Burke’s fourteenth book, Disturbance, is a sequel to Bones, which won the Edgar® for Best Novel. Her novels of crime fiction often feature reporter Irene Kelly and include Flight, Nine, and Bloodlines. Burke's short stories have received the Agatha, the Macavity, and other awards. Many of her short stories are collected in Eighteen. She is also the author of a supernatural thriller set in L.A., The Messenger.  
   Burke founded the nonprofit Crime Lab Project, dedicated to the improvement of public forensic science. She is a member of the honorary board of the C lifornia Forensic Science Institute.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gregg Hurwitz Lit Salon: September 11

Join Mystery Readers International for a Literary Salon with award winning author Gregg Hurwitz on Wednesday, September 11, 7 p.m. in Berkeley, CA. Please leave your email address in a comment below for address and to RSVP.

Gregg Hurwitz is the critically acclaimed, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twelve novels, most recently They’re Watching, You’re NextThe Survivor and Tell No Lies. His books have been nominated for numerous awards, shortlisted twice for best novel of the year by International Thriller Writers, nominated for CWA’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, chosen as feature selections for all four major literary book clubs, honored as Book Sense Picks, nominated for the Galaxy National Book Award, and translated into twenty two languages.

Gregg has written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television (including ABC’s “V”) for various networks. He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). He has published numerous academic articles on Shakespeare, taught fiction writing in the USC English Department, and guest lectured for UCLA, and for Harvard in the United States and internationally. In the course of researching his thrillers, he has sneaked onto demolition ranges with Navy SEALs, swum with sharks in the Galápagos, and gone undercover into mind-control cults.

Gregg's lastest novel is TELL NO LIES 
Daniel Brasher has always been something of a disappointment to his old-money aristocratic San Francisco mother. Daniel left his high-paying job as a money manager to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled ex-cons. Now he’s ready to move on and start a private practice.  But before he leaves, he finds an envelope in his department mailbox—one intended for someone else that was placed in his slot by accident. Inside it is an unsigned piece of paper, a note that says only “admit what you’ve done or you will bleed for it. you have 'til november 15 at midnite.” The deadline has already passed and the person to whom the envelope was addressed was brutally murdered. But this first warning is only the beginning.

Hurwitz grew up in the Bay Area. While completing a BA from Harvard and a master’s from Trinity College, Oxford in Shakespearean tragedy, he wrote his first novel. He was the undergraduate scholar-athlete of the year at Harvard for his pole-vaulting exploits, and played college soccer in England, where he was a Knox fellow. He now lives in L.A. where he continues to play soccer, frequently injuring himself.

Foyle's War Returns

Foyle's War, Series VII On MASTERPIECE Mystery! Sundays, September 15 - 29, 2013
9pm ET on PBS

Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks return in three new episodes of the highly anticipated detective series. Set in post-war 1946-47, Foyle (Kitchen) and his loyal friend Sam (Weeks) find themselves adjusting to a new era of secrets, intelligence, and security as their worlds shift into those of MI5.

Episode 1: "The Eternity Ring"
Sunday, September 15, 2013
9-10:30pm ET on PBS

With one war ended, a new one is looming as the iron curtain falls across Europe. Suspecting that British atomic research has been infiltrated, MI5 asks Foyle to investigate the possibility of a Russian spy network in the heart of London. During his inquiry, Foyle learns that his former driver, Sam, has been working for one of the possible suspects. Could she be involved?

Episode 2: "The Cage"
Sunday, September 22, 2013
9-10:30pm ET on PBS

A severely injured man drags himself to a hospital, only to die shortly after being found by a nurse and doctor. As Foyle makes inquiries, he is led to discover a mysterious military facility full of secrets that could threaten British Intelligence. Meanwhile, Sam's jumbled efforts to help her husband Adam campaign for Parliament draw surprising results.

Episode 3: "Sunflower"
Sunday, September 29, 2013
9-10:30pm ET on PBS

Foyle is tasked with protecting Karl Strasser, a Nazi officer turned MI5 informant who believes he is in danger. America wants Strasser extradited for his involvement in a wartime event, but British Intelligence is determined to protect him. As Foyle nears a solution to the case, the unfathomable truth of "Operation Sunflower" is revealed.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

William Morrow to publish authorized new Agatha Christie novel written by Sophie Hannah!

This just in from William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers:

William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers today announced plans to publish the first-ever new Agatha Christie novel, fully authorized by the Christie estate, to be penned by international bestseller Sophie Hannah.  The deal for World English rights was negotiated by Daniel Mallory, VP, Executive Editor at William Morrow, and David Brawn, Estates Publisher at HarperCollins UK with Hilary Strong, Managing Director at Christie rights manager Acorn Productions Ltd/Agatha Christie Ltd, the UK based rights holding production arm of RLJ Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ: RLJE) and Hannah’s agent Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge & White.  The novel will be published in September 2014 by HarperCollins worldwide.

The new novel will feature Hercule Poirot in a diabolically clever murder mystery sure to baffle and delight Christie's fans, and those who have never read her work. Agatha Christie introduced the Belgian detective to the world in her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, published in 1920. It has been 38 years since Agatha Christie’s last novel, Sleeping Murder, was published in 1976, and 39 years since the final Poirot, Curtain.

“It was pure serendipity that led to Sophie Hannah being commissioned to write this book,” notes Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd and grandson of Agatha Christie. “Her agent happened to approach HarperCollins in exactly the same week that my colleagues and I started discussing a new Christie book. Her idea for a plot line was so compelling and her passion for my grandmother’s work so strong, that we felt that the time was right for a new Christie to be written.”

Hannah, a leading writer of psychological crime fiction who is published in 24 countries, says, “It is almost impossible to put into words how honored I am to have been entrusted with this amazing project—in fact, I still can't quite believe that this is really happening! I hope to create a puzzle that will confound and frustrate the incomparable Hercule Poirot for at least a good few chapters.”

"In the years since William Morrow began publishing the world's bestselling novelist, we have seen astounding results across a range of formats and promotions,” notes Mallory.  “Sophie Hannah's spellbinding novel marks a new stage in our relationship with Agatha Christie, and along with our colleagues at Harper UK, Acorn, Agatha Christie Ltd, and of course Mathew Prichard and the family, we are looking forward eagerly to bringing whole new generations of readers to this legendary author.”

Sophie Hannah is the internationally bestselling author of eight psychological thrillers, which have been published in more than 20 countries and adapted for television.  Last year, her novel Kind of Cruel was shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year.  Sophie is also a poet, and has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.  Sophie lives in Cambridge, and is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.  Her website is and you can follow her on Twitter at @sophiehannahcb1. 


Where do you Read?

Where do you read?


Sisters in Crime Australia has named the winners of its 2013 Davitt Awards that recognize “the best crime writing by women.”

Best Adult Novel: Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute, by Maggie Groff (Pan)

Best Debut Novel: Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute, by Maggie Groff (Pan)

Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel: The Tunnels of Tarcoola, by Jennifer Walsh (Allen & Unwin)

Best True Crime: The Waterlow Killings, by Pamela Burton (Victory)

Reader’s Choice: Tamam Shud: The Somerton Man, by Kerry Greenwood (NewSouth Publishing)

HT: Fair Dinkum Crime

Monday, September 2, 2013


Frederik Pohl, a Science fiction Grand Master, has passed away, at the age of 93. He wrote numerous science fiction novels, including the Gateway series, Man Plus, the Years of the City and All the Lives He led.

Biography from FREDERIKPOHL.COM:

Frederik Pohl was about everything that it is possible to be in the field of science fiction, from consecrated fan and struggling poet to critic, literary agent, teacher, book and magazine editor and, above all, writer.

Called by Kingsley Amis (in Amis's critical study of science fiction, New Maps of Hell) "the most consistently able writer science fiction, in its modern form, has yet produced," Frederik Pohl is clearly in the very first rank of writers in the field. He has won most of the awards the science-fiction field has to offer, including the Edward E. Smith and Donald A. Wollheim memorial awards, the International John W. Campbell award (twice), the French Prix Apollo, the Yugoslavian Vizija, the Nebula (three times, including the "Grand Master" Nebula for lifetime contributions to the field) and the Hugo (six times, he is the only person ever to have won the Hugo both as writer and as editor), as well as such awards from sources outside the science-fiction community as the American Book Award, the annual award of the Popular Culture Association, and the United Nations Society of Writers Award. Other honors include election as a Fellow to both the British Interplanetary Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Apart from the field of science fiction, he is a noted lecturer and teacher in the area of future studies, and is the author of, among other non-fiction works, Practical Politics, a how-to-do-it manual of the American political process; Our Angry Earth, on the world's environmental problems, written in collaboration with the late Isaac Asimov, which Sir Arthur C. Clarke calls "perhaps the most important book either of its authors has produced"; and, most recently, Chasing Science, on the uses of science as a spectator sport. He is also the Encyclopedia Britannica's authority on the First Century A.D. Roman emperor, Tiberius.

Many of Frederik Pohl's works have been adapted for radio, television, or film, beginning with the two-part Columbia Workshop of the Air version of the classic The Space Merchants in 1953. In Europe, a number of his stories have been televised by the BBC and his famous novella, "The Midas Plague," became a three-hour special on German television. The 1981 NBC two-hour television film, The Clonemaster, was based on an original concept of his; his award-winning novel, Gateway, has been dramatized for live theatrical production; his novelette, "The Tunnel under the World," became a feature film in Italy; and his novels, Man Plus and Gateway, are currently in development in America as feature films. (Gateway was also made into a computer game under the title of "Frederik Pohl's Gateway" by Legend Entertainment; a second game, "Gateway II: The Home World," was released a year later.)

Among his most recent novels are The World at the End of Time, Outnumbering the Dead, Stopping at Slowyear, The Voices of Heaven, O Pioneer, and The Siege of Eternity.

He has traveled widely, sometimes to lecture on behalf of the United States State Department (in places as widely separated as Singapore, New Zealand and most of the countries of both Eastern and Western Europe) or to attend international conferences on science or science fiction in places like the Republic of South Korea, Canada, the People's Republic of China, Australia, Brazil, the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and most of Western Europe. He is a past president of both World SF and the Science Fiction Writers of America and is currently Midwest Area Representative to the Authors Guild, having served for nine years as a member of the Guild Council before moving to the midwest. He lived in Palatine, Illinois, with his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Anne Hull, who is a past president of the Science Fiction Research Association and a noted scholar in the field.

Read an interview in Locus:

LABOR DAY MYSTERIES: Labor Union Crime Fiction

There aren't a lot of mysteries set during the Labor Day Holiday: Lee Harris' Labor Day Murder and Sharyn McCrumb's Highland Laddie Gone. There's also the short story "Labor Day" by R.T. Lawton in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

This is an updated Crime Fiction list  involving Labor Unions. Hat Tip: Murder, Mystery & Mayhem for putting together the original list of Labor Day Mysteries involving unions, tradesman and works.


The Knife Behind You by James Benet (Department Store Union Organizer)
For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen (Garment Workers)
White Hot by Sandra Brown (Labor Dispute)
Big Boned by Meg Cabot (Graduate Student Union)
Airframe by Michael Crichton (Union Trouble)
Cactus Blood by Lucha Corpi (Farm Workers' Union)
The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle (Union Group called the Scowrers)
Third Strike by Philip Craig and William Tapply (Steamship Authority Strike)
October Heat by Gordon DeMarco (1934 San Francisco General Strike-Longshoremen)
Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle (The Scowrers)
The Bramble Bush (aka Worse than Murder) by David Duncan (San Francisco General Strike)
American Tabloid by James Ellroy (Teamsters)
LA Quartet by James Ellroy (Movie Unions)
A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett (Coal Mines)
Dead Reckoning by Patricia Hall (Union Strike)
The Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (IWW organizer & Strike Breaking)
A More Perfect Union by J.A. Jance (Iron Workers' Union)
As Dead As it Gets by Cady Kalian (Creative Artists' Union) 
Death at the Old Hotel by Con Lehane (Hotel Workers' Union)
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (Police Union)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (Labor Union)
Deadly Dues by Lulu Malone (Actors' Union)
Stiff by Shane Maloney (Meat Packing)
Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti  (Union rep in Cathode-ray Tube industry)
Conferences are Murder by Val McDermid (Journalists' Union)
Death at Pullman by Frances McNamara (American Railway Union)
The Viewless Winds by Murray Morgan (Murder of a Labor Leader's wife)
A Red Death by Walter Mosley (Aircraft Manufacturer and Labor Union organizer)
A Bitter Feast by S. J. Rozan (Restaurant Workers' Union)
Some Cuts Never Heal by Timothy Sheard (Shop Steward)
Absolute Rage by Robert K. Tanenbaum (Coal Miners' Union)
The Porkchoppers by Ross Thomas (Politics & Unions)
Killy by Donald Westlake (Manufacturing Union)

Have a great Labor Day Holiday!