Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Cellphone

Laurie R. King Literary Salon: December 7

Join Mystery Readers NorCal for an evening Literary Salon with award winning author Laurie R. King on Wednesday, December 7, 7 p.m. in Berkeley, CA. Please leave a comment with email below to RSVP and for directions. You MUST RSVP to attend. We are combining this Lit Salon with our Mystery Readers NorCal Cookie Party. Please bring cookies (and a recipe) to share--or other sweets.

Laurie R. King is the third generation in her family native to the San Francisco area. She spent her childhood reading her way through libraries up and down the West Coast; her middle years raising children, renovating houses, traveling the world, and doing a BA and MA in theology. (Her long autobiography goes into detail about how she uses these interests.) King now lives a genteel life of crime, on California’s central coast. Her crime novels are both serial and stand-alone. First in the hearts of most readers comes Mary Russell, who met the retired Sherlock Holmes in 1915 and became his apprentice, then his partner. Beginning with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Russell and Holmes move through the Teens and Twenties in amiable discord, challenging each other to ever greater feats of detection.

In the Russell & Holmes stories, King explores ideas—the roots of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan; feminism and early Christianity; patriotism and individual responsibility—while also having a rousing good time. Various stories revisit The Hound of the Baskervilles and Kipling’s Kim, set a pair of Bedouin nomads down in a grand country house in England, and offer an insider’s view of the great quake and fire of 1906, all the while forging an unlikely relationship between two remarkably similar individuals who happen to be separated by age, sex, and background.

King’s Stuyvesant & Grey series, also historical, follows American ex-Bureau of Investigation agent Harris Stuyvesant, damaged young Captain Bennett Grey, and Grey’s sister Sarah as they move through Europe between the Wars.

Five King novels concern San Francisco homicide inspector Kate Martinelli, Kate’s SFPD partner Al Hawkin, and her life partner Lee Cooper. In the course of the stories, Kate has encountered a female Rembrandt, a modern-day Holy Fool, two difficult teenagers, and a manifestation of the goddess Kali.

King’s stand-alone suspense novels include A Darker Place, the story of a middle-aged professor of religion who investigates “cults” for the FBI, and encounters a movement that embraces the dangerous beliefs of alchemy.  Folly tells of woodworker Rae Newborne, who comes to a deserted island to rebuild a house, and her life. Keeping Watch is the story of Rae’s friend Allen Carmichael, a Vietnam vet who draws on his combat experiences to rescue abused women and children—until he comes across a boy whose problems may rival his own. Califia’s Daughters (a paperback original by “Leigh Richards”) is a post-apocalyptic sort of tale set in a near future where women rule and men are fragile.

She has collaborated on nonfiction works including Crime & Thriller Writing and The Grand Game, and on several short story anthologies

MWA Grand Masters, Raven, and Ellery Queen Award Winners

Big News! MWA announces the Grand Masters, Raven, and Ellery Queen Award Winners. Congratulations to all!

Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart have been chosen as the 2017 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Mr. Collins and Ms. Hart will receive their awards at the 71st Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

When told of being named a Grand Master, Collins said, “To be in the company of Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Mickey Spillane is both thrilling and humbling.  This is an honor second to none in the art of mystery and suspense fiction.”

Max Allan Collins sold his first two novels in 1972 while a student at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.  More than one hundred novels have followed, including his award-winning and groundbreaking Nathan Heller historical series, starting with True Detective (1983). His graphic novel Road to Perdition (1998) is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 2002 film starring Tom Hanks.  His other comics credits include the syndicated strip "Dick Tracy"; his own "Ms. Tree"; and "Batman.”  For the hit TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, he wrote ten novels selling millions of copies worldwide, and his movie novels include Saving Private Ryan, Air Force One, and American Gangster.

Upon learning that she was named a Grand Master, Ellen Hart said. “A writer's stock-in-trade is imagination.  I’ve always felt mine was pretty good, but never in a million years did I ever think winning the MWA Grand Master award was a possibility.  I’m stunned, grateful, and profoundly honored.”

Ellen Hart is the author of thirty-two crime novels.  She is the six-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, the four-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, and the three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award for mystery.  Ellen has taught crime writing for seventeen years through the Loft Literary Center, the largest independent writing community in the nation. 

Previous Grand Masters include Walter Mosley, Lois Duncan, James Ellroy, Robert Crais, Carolyn Hart, Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Dru Ann Love will receive the 2017 Raven Award.

Dru Ann Love is owner/editor of dru’s book musings (https://drusbookmusing.com/), a blog where characters give a glimpse into a day in their life, as well as her musings. Her musings also appear in Crimespree Magazine. She is also a guest blogger at the Stiletto Gang. Dru Ann is an avid reader, writes poetry, quilts, and loves attending reader/fan conventions. Dru Ann’s blog was nominated for a 2015 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work. She also serves on the Bouchercon standing committee.

When told that she would receive the Raven Award, Love said, “I’m so thrilled and honored to be awarded the Raven. The mystery community is like a big family and I’m so proud that they have embraced me with open arms. Thanks to the nominating committee for selecting me and a big thanks to the authors—without them, this would not be possible.”

Previous Raven winners include Sisters in Crime, Margaret Kinsman, Kathryn Kennison, Jon and Ruth Jordan, Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in 1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry”. This year the Board chose to honor Neil Nyren.

On learning he would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Nyren said, “I’ve spent most of my life with crime and suspense fiction, both as a fan and a professional, but I never imagined this. It’s an enormous honor even being mentioned in the same breath as such legendary previous Ellery Queen Award winners as Joan Kahn, Ed Gorman, Jacques Barzun, Otto Penzler, and Eleanor Sullivan (just to name a few!).”

Neil Nyren is the Executive VP, associate publisher and editor in chief of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Random House. He has been at Putnam for over 32 years, and before that, at E.P. Dutton, Little Brown, Random House, Arbor House, and Atheneum.

Among his current authors of crime and suspense are Clive Cussler, Ken Follett, C.J. Box, John Sandford, Robert Crais, Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, Frederick Forsyth, Randy Wayne White, Alex Berenson, Ace Atkins, Alex Grecian, Carol O’Connell, Owen Laukkanen, Michael Sears, and Todd Moss. He has also worked with such writers as Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Daniel Silva, Martha Grimes, Ed McBain, Thomas H. Cook, and Thomas Perry, and he was the first to publish books by Carl Hiaasen, Jonathan Kellerman, Gerald Seymour, Garrison Keillor, and Ian McEwan.

Among his nonfiction authors: A. Scott Berg, Maureen Dowd, James A. Baker III, Dave Barry, Joe McGinniss, Charles Kuralt, Andy Rooney, Jeff Greenfield, Senator Harry Reid, General Tony Zinni, Abba Eban, John McEnroe, Pat Riley, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky.

Previous Ellery Queen Award winners include Janet Rudolph, Charles Ardai, Joe Meyers, Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald, Brian Skupin and Kate Stine, Carolyn Marino, Ed Gorman, Janet Hutchings, Cathleen Jordan, Douglas G. Greene, Susanne Kirk, Sara Ann Freed, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Jacques Barzun, Martin Greenburg, Otto Penzler, Richard Levinson, William Link, Ruth Cavin, and Emma Lathen.        

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website: www.mysterywriters.org

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: The Cliche´Killer

Ron Glass: R.I.P.

Ron Glass, who portrayed Ron Harris, the dapper and intellectual detective on the ensemble television comedy series Barney Miller and who appeared in numerous television shows and films, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 71.

In 1972, he made his first television appearance in an episode of Sanford and Son. In 1982, after Barney Miller, he played Felix Unger, opposite Demond Wilson as Oscar Madison, in an updated version of The Odd Couple called The New Odd Couple, which lasted one season. He appeared in shows such as Friends, Star Trek: Voyager and Designing Women and recently in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Read the NYT Obit here. 


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tim Heald: R.I.P.

So sad. Mystery author Tim Heald has died at the age of 72. I've known Tim for many years. He was a terrific writer and great friend of Mystery Readers Journal. He contributed articles in multiple issues of MRJ, including:

"French Leaves" (Mysteries Set in France: Volume 16:2, Summer 2000)
"Murder in the Friary" (Religious Mysteries, Part 2 (Volume 20:2: 2004)
"Department of Criminal Studies" (Academic Mysteries 202: Volume 22:4, 2006-2007)
"The Canadian Conundrum" (Canadian Mysteries: Volume 30:1: 2014)
"More Than Just Desserts" (Culinary Crime II: Volume 31:2; 2015)

Tim Heald was a journalist and author of mysteries. Born in Dorchester, he studied modern history at Oxford before becoming a reporter, and columnist for the Sunday Times. He began writing novels in the early ‘70s, starting with Unbecoming Habits (1973), which introduced Simon Bognor, a defiantly lazy investigator for the British Board of Trade. Heald followed Bognor through ten more novels, including Murder At Moose Jaw (1981) and Business Unusual (1989) before taking a two decade break from the series, which returned with Death In The Opening Chapter (2011) Yet Another Death in Venice came out in 2014. Heald distinguished himself as a biographer, writing official biographies of Prince Philip and Princess Margaret, as well as sporting heroes like cricket legends Denis Compton and Brian Johnston. 

Cartoon of the Day: Thanksgiving for Dogs

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: The Perfect Gift

Granite Noir: Abderdeen, Scotland Crime Fiction Festival

Granite Noir is a new Crime Fiction Festival that will launch in Aberdeen, Scotland: February 24-26, 2017. Guests include Denise Mina, Christopher Brookmyre and Stuart MacBride. According to The Press and Journal, Scandinavian crime writers are also invited. There will be film screenings and workshops. The Festival is organized by the Aberdeen Performing Arts, Belmont Filmhouse and the City Council. More info to come.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: The Verdict

Thanksgiving Mysteries: A Crime Fiction List

Thanksgiving. I have a lot to give thanks for -- my family, my friends, and the wonderful mystery community. We'll be going to my sister's home for a multi-generational Thanksgiving.

My family is as dysfunctional as most, but we don't stoop to murder! That can't be said for the families in the following updated List of Thanksgiving Crime Fiction. As the saying goes, "Families are like Fudge, Sweet with a few Nuts thrown in."As always, please let me know about any titles I've missed.

And speaking of Chocolate, I've posted recipes on DyingforChocolate.com for chocolate Thanksgiving desserts, sides, and main course (Chocolate Turkey Rub!).

Thanksgiving Mysteries

Victoria Abbott The Wolfe Widow
Susan Wittig Albert Bittersweet
Laura Alden Foul Play at the PTA
Deb Baker Murder Talks Turkey
S.H. Baker The Colonel's Tale
Mignon Ballard, Miss Dimple Disappears
Sandra Balzo Hit and Run
Bob Berger The Risk of Fortune
William Bernhardt, Editor, Natural Suspect
Kate Borden Death of a Turkey
Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat Who Went into the Closet, The Cat Who Talked Turkey
Lizbie Brown Turkey Tracks
Carole Bugge Who Killed Mona Lisa?
Sammi Carter Goody Goody Gunshots
Joelle Charbonneau Skating Under the Wire
Jennifer Chiaverini A Quilter's Holiday 
Laura Childs Scones & Bones 
Bobbi A. Chukran Short mystery stores in her Nameless, Texas series
Christine E. Collier A Holiday Sampler
Sheila Connolly A Killer Crop
Cleo Coyle Murder by Mocha
Isis Crawford A Catered Thanksgiving
Bill Crider w/Willard Scott Murder under Blue Skies
Jessie Crockett Drizzled with Death
Amanda Cross A Trap for Fools
Barbara D'Amato Hard Tack, Hard Christmas
Mary Daheim Alpine Fury, Fowl Prey, The Alpine Vengeance
Kathi Daley Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies; The Trouble with Turkeys
Jeanne Dams Sins Out of School
Claire Daniels Final Intuition
Evelyn David Murder Takes the Cake
Mary Janice Davidson Undead and Unfinished
Krista Davis The Diva Runs Out of Thyme
Michael Dibdin Thanksgiving
Joanne Dobson Raven and the Nightingale
Alice Duncan Thanksgiving Angels
Christine Duncan Safe House
Janet Evanovich Thanksgiving (technically a romance)*
Nancy Fairbanks Turkey Flambe
Christy Fifield Murder Ties the Knot 
Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain Murder She Wrote: A Fatal Feast
Katherine V. Forrest The Beverly Malibu
Shelley Freydont Cold Turkey
Noreen Gilpatrick The Piano Man
Martin H. Greenberg (editor) Cat Crimes for the Holidays
Jane Haddam Feast of Murder
Janice Hamrick Death Rides Again
Lee Harris The Thanksgiving Day Murder
Ellen Hart The Grave Soul
J. Alan Hartman, editor, The Killer Wore Cranberry, The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping; The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room for Thirds; The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem
Robin Hathaway The Doctor Makes a Dollhouse Call
Richard Hawke Speak of the Devil
Victoria Houston Dead Hot Shot
Dorothy Howell Fanny Packs and Foul Play
Linda Joffe Hull Black Thursday
Ellen Elizabeth Hunter Murder on the ICW
Melanie Jackson Death in a Turkey Town, Cornucopia
Sue Ann Jaffarian Cornucopia, Secondhand Stiff
J. A. Jance Shoot Don't Shoot
Madison Johns The Great Turkey Caper
Alex Kava Black Friday
Faye Kellerman Serpent's Tooth
Harry Kemelman That Day the Rabbi Left Town
John Lescroat The Keeper
Clyde Linsley Death of a Mill Girl
Georgette Livingston Telltale Turkey Caper
M. Louisa Locke Pilfered Promises
Nial Magill Thanksgiving Murder in the Mountains
G.M. Malliet Wicked Autumn
Margaret Maron Up Jumps the Devil
Evan Marshall Stabbing Stefanie
Ralph McInerny Celt and Pepper
Leslie Meier Turkey Day Murder
Deborah Morgan The Marriage Casket
Meg Muldoon Roasted in Christmas River 
Joan Lowery Nixon The Thanksgiving Mystery (children's)
Carla Norton The Edge of Normal
Carol O'Connell Shell Game
Nancy J Parra Murder Gone A-Rye
Louise Penny Still Life
Cathy Pickens Southern Fried
Michael Poore Up Jumps the Devil
Ann Ripley Harvest of Murder
J.D. Robb Thankless in Death
Delia Rosen One Foot in the Gravy
M.L. Rowland Zero Degree Murder
Ilene Schneider Chanukah Guilt
Maria E. Schneider Executive Retention
Willard Scott and Bill Crider Murder under Blue Skies
Sarah R. Shaber Snipe Hunt
Sharon Gwyn Short, Hung Out to Die
Paullina Simons, Red Leaves
Alexandra Sokoloff The Harrowing
Rex Stout Too Many Cooks
Denise Swanson Murder of a Barbie and Ken, Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
Marcia Talley Occasion of Revenge
Sharon Burch Toner Maggie's Brujo
Lisa Unger In the Blood
Jennifer Vanderbes Strangers at the Feast
Debbie Viguie I Shall Not Want
Livia J. Washburn The Pumpkin Muffin Murder
Leslie Wheeler Murder at Plimoth Plantation
Angela Zeman The Witch and the Borscht Pearl

Let me know if I've forgotten any titles!

Iceland Noir: Ann Cleeves

Crime Fiction Lover reports that Ann Cleeves has won Iceland Noir's first ever Honorary Award for Services to the Art of Crime Fiction. Ann is an advocate for reading and library provision, as well as one fine crime fiction writer who sets her series in both the North of England and the Shetland Islands.
Photo: Crime Fiction Lover
HT: Crime Fiction Lover

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Irish Crime Fiction Awards: 2016

Tana French won the Bord Gais Energy Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards for The Trespasser.

Other crime novel wins: Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait won the RTE Radio One Ryan Tubridy Listeners’ Choice Award, and Graham Norton’s Holding won the Popular Fiction Book Award.

HT: Declan Burke via The Rap Sheet

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Art and Craft of Writing Crime Fiction

Peggy Lucke asked our Sisters in Crime Northern California chapter for their favorite books on the art and craft of writing crime fiction. Thanks, Peggy, Sisters, and Misters, for contributing to this great list, and thanks Peggy for allowing me to post it here!

Have other titles to add? Comment below.

Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot, by Jane Cleland
How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries, by Kathy Lynn Emerson
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, Hallie Ephron
How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, by James Frey
Writing Mysteries, by Margaret Lucke
You Can Write a Mystery, by Gillian Roberts
Don't Murder Your Mystery, by Chris Roerden
Crime and Thriller Writing, by Michelle Spring and Laurie R. King
How to Write Killer Fiction, by Carolyn Wheat

Ethics, Evil, and Fiction, by Colin McGinn

I Love a Cop: What Families Need to Know, by Ellen Kirschman
Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need To Know, by Ellen Kirschman
Police Procedure (and his blogs), by Lee Lofland
400 Things a Cop Knows, by Adam Plantinga

The Plot Whisperer and its companion workbook, by Martha Alderson
The Art of Character, by David Corbett
The Elements of Eloquence, by Mark Forsyth
Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life, by Elizabeth George
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
Steering the Craft, by Ursula LeGuin
The Fire in Fiction, by Donald Maass
Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass
Story, by Robert McKee
The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker
Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, by Alexandra Sokoloff
Stein on Writing, by Sol Stein

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: The Coroner of Nottingham

Thomas Rydahl: The 8 Stages of Being a Writer, and Why it is so Incredible to be Published in the English Language

Thomas Rydahl’s first crime fiction novel, THE HERMIT, was an instant bestseller in Denmark when it was first published there. Rydahl received numerous awards for THE HERMIT including The Glass Key Award (previous winners include Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, and Stieg Larsson), the Danish Debutant Award, and the Harald Mogensen Prize. THE HERMIT has been translated into 30 languages, and the English language edition, published by Oneworld Publications, will be released in the US on November 15th. In addition to writing, Rydahl is a translator, and has translated Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Outliers into Danish. He lives in Fredensborg, Denmark. 

Translator Bio: K.E. SEMMEL is a writer and a 2016 NEA Literary Translation Fellow who has received numerous grants from the Danish Arts Foundation for his work. He lives in Rochester, NY where he is the Executive Director of Writers & Books.

Thomas Rydah:
The 8 Stages of Being a Writer, and Why it is so Incredible to be Published in the English Language 

Let's play a game and pretend that there are 8 stages to becoming a writer. These stages apply for poets & novelists of any nationality outside of the US & UK. 

Reaching each of the stages is major achievement, and the fact that there are more stages does not lessen or cripple the achievement of the initial stages. After reaching each stage you get a caramellized french nougat unicorn. It's just a game. Here we go:

First stage: You finish your manuscript. In one form or the other. You could argue this is the most important stage, since this is the foundation for the rest of the stages. Besides, finishing a manuscript is more than most people who want to be writers do.

Second stage: You get the book published. This is the most horrifying part, because this is where your book is evaluated by someone else besides your husband, cat or neighbor. If you self-publish, this stage might be less scary, but more demanding in terms of hard work.

Third stage: You sell a book. This is huge. Even if the only buyer is a neighbor. Or a cat. I couldn’t believe it, when I saw someone leaving a bookstore with my book.

Fourth stage: Your book is reviewed by a blogger. Hooray! Someone took the time to write something about your book or mention it on social media. Scary, but good. The bloggers are the new voice of the book industry.

Fifth stage: Your book is reviewed by a newspaper, tv station or online media. This is the peak of scary, but a treat in terms of helping you reach new audiences and more readers.

Sixth stage: Your book is sold to another country. Sehr gut and très bien. You are now in the 2 percent game. Or something like that. It doesn't matter what or where the country is. It's just amazing. I am extremely excited, that my book has the power to transcend borders.

Seventh stage: Your book is sold to an American or English publisher. The height of the career for any non-English writer. This is equivalent of being picked for the Premier League, if you are a soccer player. The best authors have been translated to English. But it is also completely humbling. I grew up reading Dickens, King, Thoreau, Adams, Auster, Nabokov, Salinger, Hemingway, and sharing the bookstores with the greats of literature is an immense honor and a big opportunity.

Eight stage: Visiting the foreign country, when your book is released. I have now had the privilege of visiting some of the countries where my book has been published. I am always amazed that my words are crossing borders and entering the minds of readers in other cultures. Launching the English edition of THE HERMIT in was in many ways the culmination of 7 years of work. I thank my English-language publisher, Oneworld, and everyone who helped make this edition happen.

Additional stages: Audiobooks, film or theatre rights and awards You could argue that having your book turned into an audiobook is the best experience in a writer’s career. Or that selling the film rights and having your book come to life on the screen or on the stage of a theatre is stage 9 or 10. Or some will find that winning awards is but the goal of any accomplished author. But these three depend on the nature of the work.

In any case, writing is like tending a lighthouse, and these eight stages are the inspiring moments, when someone replies from the other end of the darkness. And sometimes, the writer, even if they would do it anyway, needs this response to be reminded of the world outside.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Roger Hobbs: R.I.P.

Sad News. Roger Hobbs: R.I.P.

Sarah Weinman reports: Roger Hobbs, 28, author of the thrillers GHOSTMAN and VANISHING GAMES, died of an overdose on November 14 in Portland, OR. Gary Fisketjon, Hobbs' editor at Knopf, said in a statement: "This is a shocking, tragic loss. Roger accomplished so much as a writer in so little time, and his future was sure to be extraordinary in ways we'll now never know. And as his friend I'm doubly devastated."

From his website: 
Roger Hobbs discovered his passion for writing when he was very young. He completed his first novel (a dreadful science fiction book) at just 13 years old. His first play was produced when he was 19. He had his first publication in The New York Times at 20. He signed his first movie deal at 21, graduated Reed College at 22, and signed a book deal with Alfred A. Knopf at 23. By 24 he was an international bestseller, and by 25 he had been nominated for nearly every major award in crime fiction.

He wrote Ghostman, his debut novel, during his senior year of college and sent off the manuscript on the day he graduated. Ghostman has since been published in more than twenty-nine countries around the world and climbed numerous bestseller lists. In 2013 Roger became the youngest person ever to win a CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. In 2014 he won the Strand Critics award and was nominated for the prestigious Edgar, Barry, and Anthony awards. In 2015, he became the youngest person ever to win the Maltese Falcon award. Booklist called Ghostman "a triumph on every level." 

The sequel, Vanishing Games, is available now in hardcover, trade paperback, e-book, audio book, and large print. 

At Reed, Roger majored in English. He studied film noir, literary theory and ancient languages. He wrote his thesis on the early mystery stories of Edgar Allan Poe, in an attempt to create a theoretical model for examining suspense. He loves to travel, gamble, and make snarky comments about bad movies. All of his friends refer to him by his last name, "Hobbs."

Read J. Kingston Pierce's comments at TheRapSheet

Cartoon of the Day: Writing

Bookstore Sign of the Day

HT: Sal Towse & The Book Loft

Honolulu Havoc! Left Coast Crime Hawaii: Info for Authors

The latest Left Coast Crime Hawaii newsletter is out. You should have received it if you're attending, but if not, here's some info for authors (and others). Hope you plan to join us at Honolulu Havoc! March in Hawaii? Yes!

Lifetime Achievement: Faye Kellerman; Jonathan Kellerman
Guests of Honor: Dana Stabenow; Colin Cotterill
Toastmaster: Laurie R. King

Only 121 more days until Left Coast Crime in Honolulu, Hawaii!  Register for Honolulu Havoc.

Unique Author Opportunities

Left Coast Crime is a first and foremost a fan convention but we all know that authors are often the most invested crime fiction fans. Honolulu Havoc organizers want to maximize the experience for all attendees so we have created seven events that focus on different ways for authors to interact with their fans – current and future. There are two categories of activities – Supporting Kids Reading and Writing and Getting to Know your Fans. Future newsletters will provide directions on how to sign up for these events, but we wanted you to know what was coming so you could think about how you would like to be involved and make your travel plans accordingly.

Silent Auction – (donations due by noon on Thursday, March 16th)
Each Left Coast Crime Convention raises money to support a local literacy organization with funds raised through a silent and live auction and the annual Quilt Raffle. Honolulu Havoc’s auction recipient is Read Aloud America, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes literacy, encourages a love of reading in adults and children, and increases children’s prospects for success in school and life. Founded in Hawaii in 1995, Read Aloud America provides Hawaiian parents with the tools they need to communicate with their children from an early age while fostering a love of books and learning. The Read Aloud program helps bridge the gap for parents who don’t have a family heritage of literacy, encouraging parents to turn off electronic media and strengthen family bonds by reading together. All proceeds from Left Coast Crime 2017’s auction go to Read Aloud America. Anyone — reader, writer, bookseller, librarian, blogger — may donate an item or two to the silent auction. A few of you are probably thinking about your auction donations right now — it’s a good excuse not to do actual work! You can either mail your Silent Auction donations to yourself at the hotel or bring them with you. We’ll be setting up the Silent Auction Room late Wednesday and Thursday, but we will accept donations on Friday as well. Questions? Email Auction Chair Alain (A K) Gunn

Dessert Mystery Fundraiser – (Friday, March 17th after the Fireworks)
Buy a ticket to attend or contribute to the “dessert and death” experience where all proceeds over costs go to our designated charity – Read Aloud America.

Author School Visit – (Wednesday, March 15th or Thursday morning March 16th)
Visit a school or college on the island of Oahu and share your love of books. If your book isn’t age-appropriate, you can read from a favorite from when you were the students’ age.

Creative Writing Competition – (November–December 2016)
Judge the short story finalists written by elementary through college age students. Email Chair Gay Gale for more information.

Getting to Know Your Fans

Author Speed Dating – (Thursday morning March 16th – before Panels begin)
A little like the New Author Breakfast but talking to fans about your latest book “one table at a time.”

Author–Reader Connections – (Tuesday March 14th through Sunday March 19th)
Plan a gathering and invite a select number of fans to join you. It can be as simple as meeting at a Hilton Hawaiian Village bar or swimming pool at a set time, walking to a Waikiki “hot spot” like Duke Kahanamoku’s statue or the Army Museum, or having lunch at a nearby restaurant. The Organizing Committee will help with suggestions of local gathering spots.   

Author Hosted Tables (Saturday March 18th)
Partner with another author to host a table at the Lefty Awards Banquet. Convention attendees will sign up to sit with you at dinner. Table favors optional.   

Meet the New Authors Breakfast
Calling all authors who have a first mystery, crime, thriller, or suspense novel published between March 1, 2016, and March 19, 2017. You are eligible to present at the Meet the New Authors Breakfast, Friday, March 17, 2017. Contact Mike Befeler at mikebef@aol.com.
Advertise in the Honolulu Havoc Program Book

Attention Authors!
Please encourage your publisher to advertise in the Left Coast Crime Program Book. There are sizes and prices for every budget. Don’t be left out!


Lefty Awards
The Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Awards are fan awards chosen by registered members of the Left Coast Crime convention. Nominations for the Lefty awards to be presented at each annual convention are made by people registered for that convention and also the immediately prior convention. A ballot listing the official nominees is given to each registrant when they check in at the convention, and final voting takes place at the convention. The ballots are tabulated and that year’s Lefty Awards are presented at the Awards Celebration.

Left Coast Crime 2017, “Honolulu Havoc,” will be presenting four Lefty Awards. The Lefty awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

Registrants of the 2016 and 2017 Left Coast Crime Conventions will be able to nominate three titles in each Lefty Award category. Nominations will be accepted the first two weeks of January, for the four 2017 Lefty Awards:
Best Humorous Mystery Novel
Best Historical Mystery Novel (The Bruce Alexander Memorial), covering events before 1960
Best Debut Mystery Novel
Best Mystery Novel
To be eligible, titles must have been published for the first time in the United States or Canada during 2016, in book or ebook format. (If published in other countries before 2016, a book is still eligible if it meets the US or Canadian publication requirement.)

Nomination forms will be emailed to all 2016 and 2017 LCC registrants in late December.  The nominations will be announced on January 16, 2017. Final voting for the Lefty Awards will be by paper ballot at the convention in Hawaii.

Questions about the Lefty Awards? Email Awards Co-Chairs Lucinda Surber & Stan Ulrich


Not sure if you are registered for LCC 2017? Check the Honolulu List of Attendees. If your name isn’t there, visit the Honolulu Registration Page to register for Left Coast Crime 2017.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Prix Goncourt

Leïla Slimani, a French-Moroccan novelist, was awarded France's top literary award, the Prix Goncourt, on Thursday for her book Chanson Douce (Sweet Song), a thriller that opens with the killing of two young children by their caretaker. The novel, which draws on elements from the real story of a nanny from the Dominican Republic who has been accused of killing two children under her care in New York in 2012, pieces together disparate events that culminate in a nightmarish outcome.

From the NYT:

Several commentators had predicted that Ms. Slimani would win. The novel has been a best seller — more than 76,000 copies have been purchased — and Ms. Slimani, 35, has a high profile as a former journalist at Jeune Afrique, a French-language magazine of African news. 

“She’s a young woman, talented, so we’re completely in the spirit of the Goncourt prize,” Bernard Pivot, the head of the Goncourt Academy, said at a Facebook Live chat organized by the newspaper Le Figaro on Thursday. 

Ms. Slimani, who left Morocco for France at 17 and enrolled at Sciences Po in Paris, one of the country’s most prestigious universities, made her entrance onto the literary scene in 2014 with the critically acclaimed novel “Dans le Jardin de l’Ogre” (“In the Ogre’s Garden”), a look at the life of a sex-addicted woman in some of the most chic neighborhoods of Paris.

Read more here.

Cartoon of the Day: The Raven

Friday, November 11, 2016

Robert Vaughn: R.I.P.

Robert Vaughn, the Man from U.N.C.L.E, died today. He was 83.

Robert Vaughn, probably best known for his role as Napoleon Solo on NBC’s spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E., died today after a brief battle with acute leukemia.

From the BBC:

The somewhat implausible, but extremely popular NBC series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. originally ran between 1964 and 1968. Vaugh starred in more than 150 films, many of which have been completely forgotten both by audiences and, as he once candidly admitted, by Vaughn himself.

Robert Francis Vaughn was born into a theatrical family in New York City on 22 November 1932.
His mother, who was a stage actress, was often out on the road so Vaughn spent much of his childhood with his grandparents in Minneapolis, where he went to school.

He started off studying to be a journalist but quit after 12 months and moved with his mother to Los Angeles where he took a Masters degree in Theatre at California State University. Even when his acting career took off he continued to study, gaining a PhD in 1970 with his dissertation on show business blacklisting during the McCarthy era which he eventually published as a book

Read More here.

Cartoon of the Day: Veterans Day

From Brian Fray:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Simon's Cat Box Guide

Veterans Day Mysteries

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day), is November 11. Veterans Day commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, that took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day November 11, 1919. The U.S.  Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. The 11th of November is"a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." It was later changed to Veteran's Day.

I love to read mysteries that reflect regions and holidays, so I'm reposting about Veterans Day with a few additions. Julia Spencer-Fleming's Once Was a Soldier,  Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd's mystery series are at the top of my list of Veterans Day Mysteries. There's also the Joe Sandilands series by Barbara Cleverly. And Bulldog Drummond is a WWI veteran in the Sapper/H.C. McNeile books. Add to that Walter Mosley's WWII Vet Easy Rawlins. Don't miss Marcia Talley's All Things Undying in which Hannah Ives helps to locate the grave of a WWII serviceman. James Lee Burke is another great mystery author whose Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam Veteran.

BV Lawson's 2007 post of Veteran's Day Mysteries is great. No need to duplicate her efforts. Be sure and read her blog, as well as all the comments. Another fine list is In Remembrance Fiction in Times of War (not all mysteries) from the St. Charles Public Library. I also did a Memorial Day post here on Mystery Fanfare that covers some of the same territory Mysteries in Paradise about Remembrance Day is also a great resource.

Wikipedia has an entry about Veterans Day Mysteries. Several hardboiled heroes have been war veterans. Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and many others from World War II, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee from the Korean War. "The frequent exposure to death and hardship often leads to a cynical and callous attitude as well as a character trait known today as post-traumatic stress characterizes many hardboiled protagonists."

And, for the young set, one of the first Veteran-related mysteries: Cherry Ames: Veterans' Nurse by Helen Wells.

Read a Veterans Day mystery today and remember the men and women who have served and are serving our country now. Thank you.

In Memory of Captain Joseph Rudolph, M.D., WWII

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cartoon of the Day:Theme

November on AcornTV: Deep Water, Close to the Enemy

What's new on AcornTV this month?

Exclusive U.S. Premiere beginning Monday, November 7, 2016

New four-part Australian drama DEEP WATER makes its exclusive U.S. Premiere on Acorn TV beginning Monday, November 7, 2016, followed by a new episode every Monday through Nov. 28. Inspired by true events, Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) and Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) stars as detectives assigned a brutal murder case in Bondi, where they begin to uncover mounting evidence to suggest the killing is connected to a spate of unexplained deaths, "suicides" and disappearances of gay men throughout the 80s and 90s. Available at Acorn.TV and on a variety of devices.

When the mutilated corpse of a young gay man is found in a smart Bondi beach apartment, Detectives Tori Lustigman (Stone) and Nick Manning (Taylor) are assigned the case. Is this a brutal domestic murder, a robbery gone wrong, or a gay hate crime? With mounting evidence to suggest the perpetrator has killed before, they start digging through old investigations. The discovery is shocking. They uncover up to 80 possible murders of gay men in New South Wales that occurred in the ‘80s and ‘90s – unexplained deaths, ‘suicides’ and disappearances. Many of these killings were linked to youth gangs targeting and beating up gay men, a blood sport that went largely unpunished. Is this a result of shoddy police work, indifference, or something far more sinister – prejudice in an era of panic over HIV and AIDS?

Haunted by the disappearance of her teenage brother, Tori's fascination with the case soon turns to fixation. When more ritualistic murders occur with the same bizarre signature, Tori and Nick will need to put their relationships, their careers and their lives on the line to finally reveal the truth.

The series co-stars Danielle Cormack (Wentworth, Rake), Dan Spielman (The Code), William McInnes (The Slap), Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Serangoon Road), Craig McLachlan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries), Ben Oxenbould (Rake, The Code), Simon Burke (Devil’s Playground), Victoria Haralabidou (The Code), and Simon Elrahi (Janet King).

Exclusive U.S. Premiere beginning Monday, November 14, 2016

Seven-part period drama CLOSE TO THE ENEMY makes its exclusive U.S. Premiere on Acorn TV beginning Monday, November 14, 2016, followed by a new episode every Monday through December 26.

From acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Poliakoff (Perfect Strangers, Lost Prince, Dancing on the Edge), this Acorn TV Original Series and BBC One production features an impressive ensemble cast, including Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, 21), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds), Lindsay Duncan (The Honourable Woman), Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Robert Glenister (Hustle, Prime Suspect), Charity Wakefield (The Player, Wolf Hall), and Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders).

Set in a bomb-damaged London hotel in the aftermath of the Second World War, Close to the Enemy follows intelligence officer Captain Callum Ferguson (Sturgess), whose last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist, Dieter (Diehl), starts working for the British RAF on urgently developing the jet engine.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Undercover in Hollywood

Book Groups to Die For: Guest Post by Maggie King

Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including the recently-released Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She contributed the stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion at Shockoe Slip” to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies. Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive. She enjoys reading, walking, movies, traveling, theatre, and museums.

Maggie King:
Book Groups to Die For 

Write what you know. That phrase is surely seared on every writer’s brain. I write mysteries set in book groups. What do I know about book groups? Plenty.

I know that book groups allow you to share your passion for books with like-minded people. I know that at book groups you get to socialize and make new friends. Like a little conflict in your book group? You can have that, too!

In 1993 I joined my first mystery book group in Santa Clarita, California. We read mysteries based on theme. I’d been reading Agatha Christie for years but there was a whole world of other mystery authors out there, and I was ready to dive in. Themes included main characters with professions in journalism, business, law enforcement, and academia. We chose stories set in specific regions, small towns, large cities, you name it. We gave summaries of the books we chose, taking care to avoid spoilers (some were a bit lax about the spoilers!).

When I relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1996, I said good bye to what I would come to consider my favorite book group. I took a writing course at the University of Virginia and started penning Murder at the Book Group. I joined a local mystery group. One prolific reader showed up at each meeting with a large green loose leaf notebook that contained her book log. Another woman routinely declared that she hated whatever book we’d chosen for that month.

In 2002 I moved down the road a piece to Richmond, Virginia and made a beeline for the Tuckahoe Library mystery group. There I met Mary Miley, who would later publish her Roaring Twenties mystery series. 

When the Tuckahoe group folded in 2006 a number of us joined the long-running Mystery Lovers Group, led by Lelia Taylor, who runs the popular blog Buried Under Books.

What happened to Murder at the Book Group? It was perishing and had become little more than a rainy day pastime. In 2010 I realized that I had amassed enough knowledge of book groups and their often fascinating dynamics and, yes, conflicts.

You can find the full range of human behavior at a book group and that can add up to one thing: conflict. There are the domineering sorts who take over the discussion with their non-stop chatter. Conflicts arise over what to read and how the group should be conducted. Others don’t read the assigned book. Others hate it. Besides mystery groups, I also participated in literary fiction groups (that’s where I found real clashes!). No doubt about it, if you want conflict, a book group can satisfy that need.

I had to face facts—the only way I could get back on track with Murder at the Book Group was to give up book groups!

Have I returned to one of them? Not yet—but I’m privileged to visit many as a guest author. Many gifted mystery authors set their stories in book groups. Among my favorites:

Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, by Erika Chase 

Agatha Christie Book Club series, by C.A. Larmer 

Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series, by Marilyn Levinson 

Helen Hath No Fury by Gillian Roberts, a title in her Amanda Pepper series

Murder at the Moonshine Inn by Maggie King: 

When high-powered executive Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family. 

Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox Howard is just fine with them: Brad’s son believes that Rox and Brad were behind his mother’s death; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for a tragedy in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox. 

When a second murder ups the ante Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.

2017 Pepe Carvalho Prize

Dennis Lehane has won the 2017 Pepe Carvalho Prize. The prize is given by the Barcelona City Council in recognition of prestigious national and international crime fiction writers. 

The prize will be given at the next literary festival BCNegra, which will take place in Barcelona between 27 January and 4 February 2017.

The Pepe Carvalho Award is a tribute to the memory of Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalban and his famous detective Pepe Carvalho, who contributed to the revival of crime fiction in Europe in the 70s. 

Lehane is the latest to win the award and joins a list made up of: Donna Leon (2016), Alicia Giménez Bartlett (2015), Andrea Camilleri (2014), Maj Sjöwall (2013), Petros Màrkaris (2012), Andreu Martín (2011), Ian Rankin (2010), Michael Connelly (2009), P.D. James (2008), Henning Mankell (2007) and Francisco González Ledesma (2006).

HT: The Rap Sheet and A Crime is Afoot

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Heaven

Happy Caturday!

Guy Fawkes Night Crime Fiction

Remember, remember! 
The fifth of November

We may not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night here in the U.S., but this popular U.K. holiday is celebrated in several places around the world and appears in many crime fiction novels. As a listmaker, I felt compelled to put one together for this holiday. :-) See list below.

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, is an annual celebration, primarily in Great Britain, traditionally and usually held on the evening of November 5.  Festivities are centered on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

Historically, the celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, the failed conspiracy by a group of provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. The survival of the king was first celebrated on 5 November 1605, after Guy Fawkes, left in charge of the gunpowder placed underneath the House of Lords, was discovered and arrested.

Traditionally, an effigy (or "guy") representing Fawkes is ritually burnt on the bonfire. In the weeks before bonfire night, children traditionally displayed the "guy" and requested a "penny for the guy" in order to raise funds with which to buy fireworks. This practice has diminished greatly, perhaps because it has been seen as begging, and also because children are not allowed to buy fireworks. In addition there are concerns that children might misuse the money. And another reason might be that Halloween is becoming more popular and replacing Guy Fawkes Night in many British communities.

In Britain, there are several foods that are traditionally consumed on Bonfire Night:
Bangers and mash
Black treacle goods such as bonfire toffee
Toffee apples
Baked potatoes which are wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked in the bonfire or its embers
Black peas with vinegar
Potato pie with pickled red cabbage

Check out DyingforChocolate.com for an easy recipe for Guy Fawkes Night Chocolate Sparklers

Guy Fawkes Night Crime Fiction

Murder on  Bonfire Night by Margaret Addison
Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie
The Powder Treason by Michael Dax
Gunpowder Plot by Carola Dunn
Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler
V is for Vendetta by Alan Moore
A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell
The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot by Martin Stephen
The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons
A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd 

Any titles missing? Let me know, so I can add to the list