Monday, November 20, 2017

MWA Announces Grand Master, Raven, Ellery Queen Award Recipients

MWA Announces 2018 
Grand Master, Raven, & Ellery Queen Award Recipients 

Jane Langton, William Link, and Peter Lovesey have been chosen as the 2018 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. Ms. Langton, Mr. Link, and Mr. Lovesey will receive their awards at the 72nd Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 26, 2018.

In a writing career that spanned over four decades, Jane Langton has not only written multiple mystery series, but also illustrated them. Her first children’s book, The Majesty of Grace, was published by Harper in 1961. The first book of her Hall Family Chronicles series, The Diamond in the Window, was nominated for the Edgar for Best Juvenile. The Fledgling, fourth in the series, is a Newbery Honor Book. Langton has written 18 books in the Homer (and Mary) Kelly series, published between 1964 and 2005. The fifth in the series, Emily Dickinson Is Dead, was an Edgar nominee and received a Nero Wolfe award. When told of being named a Grand Master, Langton said, “Oh, what an honor! I am so very delighted.”

William Link's love of writing began with the cartoons he drew as a very young boy. When he learned to write, he immediately created stories for them. The first day of middle school, he would meet a classmate, Richard Levinson. They went home and started writing together that afternoon. The partnership of these two creative minds would change television history and the format of the crime drama forever with shows like Columbo, Ellery Queen, Mannix, And Murder She Wrote to name a few. They even wrote a Broadway musical, Merlin. After the death of his best friend and writing partner, he continued on alone. Bill has received numerous awards for excellence including 2 Emmys, 2 Golden Globes, 4 Edgar Awards, The Ellery Queen, The Marlowe, The Poirot, the George Foster Peabody, and The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel award. He was inducted into The Television Academy Hall of Fame. Even with all these accomplishments, when the call came in with the news that he is to be named Grand Master for 2018 he said, "I was stunned and moved to tears. In the words of Lt. Columbo, 'Just one more thing...' This is the highest honor I could possibly receive and I couldn't be more proud of the recognition. I am humbled and thrilled to be included in the company of so many of my favorite authors."

Peter (Harmer) Lovesey, also known by his pen name Peter Lear, is a British writer of historical and contemporary detective novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath. Peter Lovesey has won awards for his fiction, including Gold and Silver Daggers from the British Crime Writers’ Association, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and first place in the MWA’s 50th Anniversary Short Story Contest. When told that he was named a Grand Master, Lovesey said, “'Right now I'm sitting on cloud nine hoping this is true. Thank you, MWA, for giving me the biggest lift of my life. I'm touched, dazed and humbled by the company you're inviting me to join.”

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. The Raven Bookstore and Kristopher Zgorski will receive the 2018 Raven Award.

The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. The store was opened in 1987 by co-owners Pat Kehde and Mary Lou Wright. Kehde kept the store for 28 years, weathering the Borders storm with a plan to “stay the same size and cultivate [the] clients.” Heidi Raak took over the store in 2008. Current owner and poet Danny Caine took over in August of 2017; he is a longtime employee of the shop. The Raven has two store cats, Dashiell and Ngiao. Upon hearing of the Raven Award, Raven Bookstore owner Danny Caine said, "I'm humbled and amazed to receive a Raven Award. Along with the Raven's staff, past and present, I'm delighted to join the company of such great bookstores, organizations, and people that have won the Raven in years past. Much credit belongs to previous Raven owners Pat Kehde, Mary Lou Wright, and Heidi Raak who did so much to build the store's mystery community. Thanks so much to the MWA for the award, which, aside from being a huge honor, has a pretty great name."

When told that he would receive the Raven Award, Zgorski said, “The crime fiction tribe represents my chosen family, so to receive this honor from an esteemed organization like Mystery Writers of America feels as much like encouragement from those closest to my heart as it does acknowledgement from the publishing industry at large. I appreciate MWA’s celebration of myself – and BOLO Books – not only on a personal level, but also as a vote of confidence for the contributions of book bloggers everywhere.” Kristopher Zgorski is the founder of the crime fiction book review blog, BOLO Books ( Kristopher also has a column called Central Booking in Deadly Pleasures Magazine. His reviews have also run in genre-specific publications such as Crimespree Magazine, Mystery Readers Journal, and the UK-based Shots Crime and Thriller Ezine. Kristopher is obviously an avid reader and regularly attends industry conventions such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and BEA, in addition to smaller MD/DC/VA area book gatherings and signings.

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 Robert Pépin. Mr. Pépin began his literary career in 1964 as a translator of English-language novels. Since then he has been a translator, editor, and publisher of some of the most important authors of the past century including Lawrence Block, Alex Berenson, C.J. Box, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, James Church, Miles Corwin, Martin Cruz Smith, and Robert Crais. In 1992, Pépin founded Le Seuil publishing company, which successfully introduced the finest American crime writers to the French public. In 2010, he established his own imprint, the eponymous “Robert Pépin présente…”at the venerable French publishing house Calmann-Levy Paris, a division of Hachette. There, he continues to bring great English language writers to France. On learning he would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Pépin said, “I still can’t believe I won The Ellery Queen Award, but as it seems to be true, I want to thank all of you, my MWA friends, for conferring such an honor on me. It is indeed very generous of you. Publishing and translating American writers into French has always been a great pleasure for me. Go on writing, my friends!”

Cartoon of the Day: The Trial

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Female Librarians Delivering Books on Horseback

This article sure caught my eye. Female Librarians on Horseback Delivering Books, circa 1930s. Article from Love that the WPA created the Pack Horse Library Initiative to help Americans become more literate so they'd have a better chance of finding employment.

From HistoryDaily:

In the 1930s, many people living in isolated communities had very little access to jobs, let alone a good education for their children. In Kentucky, they had isolated mountain communities which could only get their books and reading material from one source… librarians on horseback.  
President Franklin Roosevelt was trying to figure out a way to resolve the Great Depression of the 1930s. His Works Progress Administration created the Pack Horse Library Initiative to help Americans become more literate so that they’d have a better chance of finding employment.
Read the rest of the article HERE.

HT: Taffy Cannon

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Mouse

Happy Caturday!

Noir City Xmas!

'Tis the Season – NOIR CITY Xmas 2017
Wednesday, December 20, at San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre -- NOIR CITY XMAS. The Film Noir Foundation offers a double-feature of rare noir-stained 1940s' films to darken your yuletide spirit. At 7:30 p.m., it's Manhandled (1949) starring Dan Duryea, Dorothy Lamour, and Sterling Hayden, followed at 9:30 p.m. by Alias Boston Blackie (1942) with Chester Morris. More about the films here.
The evening will also feature the unveiling of the full program (and poster!) for NOIR CITY 16, the world's most popular film noir festival, coming to the Castro January 26 – February 4, 2018. And for your holiday shopping pleasure, NOIR CITY 16 Passports (10-day all-access festival passes for 24 movies, plus Opening Night reception) will be available for sale at our Xmas show for $120 (cash or credit card) at the FNF's merchandise table on the Castro mezzanine! As always, NOIR CITY programmer and FNF prez Eddie Muller will be your noir Noël host.
Tickets for NOIR CITY XMAS are now available online and can also be purchased at the Castro Theatre box office on the day of the show. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Adventures of Grammar Man

Thanksgiving Mysteries: A List

Thanksgiving. I have a lot to give thanks for -- my family, my friends, and the wonderful mystery community.

I'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'll be posting recipes on 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
Ali Brandon Twice Told Tail
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 with Willard Scott Murder under Blue Skies
Jessie Crockett Drizzled with Death
Amanda Cross A Trap for Fools
Barbara D'Amato Hard Tack, Hard Christmas
Mary Daheim Alpine Fury, Fowl Prey, The Alpine Vengeance
Kathi Daley Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies; The Trouble with Turkeys
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
Joanne Fluke Raspberry Danish Murder
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
Teresa Trent Burnout
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!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Guy Fawkes Night Crime Fiction

Remember, remember! 
The fifth of November 

Well, I definitely forgot to post this updated list. 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 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.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Accommodating Advanced Age

Prix Goncourt: Eric Vuillard

Eric Vuillard won the Prix Goncourt for best work of French literature 2017.  Vuillard's book "L'Ordre du jour" looks at the hidden steps that gave rise to the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938. 

The Prix Goncourt was awarded last week by the 10 members of the Academy Goncourt in Paris to Eric Vuillard for having written the best French-language prose work of the preceding year. While Vuillard takes home a token prize of just €10 (around $12), his book L'Ordre du jour (The Order of the Day) receives the highly coveted Goncourt jacket-band, which leads to explosive book sales and household name fame.

In L'Ordre du jour, Eric Vuillard uses fiction to retrace the behind-the-scenes steps leading to Nazi Germany's invasion of Austria in 1938.  With respect to the relationship between history and fiction, Vuillard has said that, "Literature is intended to tell the stories that are important and even threatening ... There are forms of discovery that are specific to reading and writing. What I call fiction is the editing made by the data collected."

Also announced last week was the Prix Renaudot, which is seen as a second-place award that, while not related to the Prix Goncourt, complements it. Author Olivier Guez received the honor for his work, "La disparition de Joseph Menguele" (The Disappearance of Joseph Menguele).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Veterans Day

From Brian Fray:

Murder in Wartime: Mystery Readers Journal

Since today is Veterans Day, I thought I'd repost a link to Mystery Readers Journal: Murder in Wartime. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. 110 pages! Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue. This issue is available for purchase. Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL: Murder in Wartime (Volume 33:2)

Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

  • World War II and the Golden Age Tradition by Kate Jackson
  • The Making of Heroes by Suzanne M. Arruda
  • It Never Happened by Mary Adler
  • On Edge by Albert Ashforth
  • Between Lost and Dead by Rona Bell
  • A Half Century Later, Vietnam Is Still a Mystery by R.G. Belsky
  • Harry Lime Was Wrong by James Benn
  • My Wartime Connection by Cara Black
  • The Secrets of Bletchley Park by Rhys Bowen
  • Passing On the Memory of Wars I Never Knew by William Broderick
  • Don’t Mention the War by Frances Brody
  • Why Care About a Murder in Wartime? by Rebecca Cantrell
  • The Green Corn Rebellion by Donis Casey
  • War Is Hell… but Hell Makes Good Mysteries by John A. Connell
  • Murder and Ancient War by Gary Corby
  • The Real and Recent Wars Behind My Fiction by Diana Deverell
  • Spoils of War by David Edgerley Gates
  • You Say Conflict, I Say War by Chris Goff
  • Mystery in The First World War by Dolores Gordon-Smith
  • Civil War Crime by Paul E. Hardisty
  • War Stories by Libby Hellmann
  • Body of Evidence by Graham Ison
  • Wartime in England by Maureen Jennings
  • The Mysteries of War by Kay Kendall
  • From Bomb Shelters to a B&B by Kate Kingsbury
  • Bombs and Short Legs by Joan Lock
  • Rough Cider in the Making by Peter Lovesey
  • If It’s War, It Can’t Be Murder? by Michael Niemann
  • Echoes of Vietnam by Neil Plakcy
  • When the Investigator Wears Boots by Ben Pastor
  • His Debts Were Settled At Last by Mary Reed
  • Murder in Wartime by Gavin Scott
  • The Time Traveler As Writer by Sarah R. Shaber
  • A Coin for the Hangman: The Home Front and the Returning Soldier by Ralph Spurrier
  • The Solitary Soldier by Kelli Stanley
  • Wartime in New York by Triss Stein
  • Writing About War by Charles Todd
  • It’s Not Our War: Writing a WWI-Era Mystery Series Set in New York by Radha Vatsal
  • Fading Away by Sharon Wildwind
  • Bloodshed Behind the Lines by Sally Wright
  • Fate, Facts, and War Stories by Ursula Wong
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Kristopher Zgorski, Craig Sisterson, L.J. Roberts, Sandie Herron, Kate Jackson, Kate Derie
  • Khaki Cops by Jim Doherty
  • True Crime in Wartime by Cathy Pickens
  • The Children’s Hour: War Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Just the Facts: The Military Mutilator by Jim Doherty
  • Crime Scene: Murder in a Time of War by Kate Derie
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet Rudolph

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Chess Tournaments

Happy Caturday! Cartoon of the Day: Cat Chess Tournaments

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Punctuation

John Hillerman: R.I.P.

Sad news, indeed. actor John Hillerman, Jonathan Higgins on Magnum, P.I.: R.I.P.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

John Hillerman, the actor who made a career out of playing snooty types, including Tom Selleck's fastidious estate caretaker Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on Magnum, P.I., died Thursday. He was 84. 

Hillerman, who received four Emmy nominations in consecutive years for portraying Higgins and won in 1987, died at his home in Houston, family spokeswoman Lori De Waal told the Associated Press. She said the cause of death had not been determined. 

His Higgins character was a natural extension of a part he played on the TV detective show Ellery Queen: Simon Brimmer, a radio personality and affected gent who fancied himself a savvy sleuth. Ironically, Hillerman, who often played condescending characters with more than a touch of the Tory Brit — the Mayfair accent — was a Texan from a tiny railroad town, the son of a gas station owner. 

Hillerman also appeared as Higgins on episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Simon & Simon

Hillerman received his first onscreen credit in 1971 at the relatively advanced age of 39 off a part in the 1971 Western Lawman. Also that year, he had a small role as a teacher in Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show. Later, he appeared for the director in What's Up, Doc? (1972), Paper Moon (1973) and At Long Last Love (1975). Hillerman had roles in many top films, including such hits as Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974), where he played a chap named Howard Johnson, and Roman Polanski's noir classic Chinatown (1974), as Russ Yelburton, deputy chief of the water department. Hillerman also performed in High Plains Drifter (1973), Lucky Lady (1975), Audrey Rose (1977) and another Brooks' film, History of the World: Part I (1981) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996).

2017 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Crime Fiction Book Award Shortlist

2017 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards:

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year Shortlist

• Can You Keep A Secret? by Karen Perry (Michael Joseph)
• Here and Gone, by Haylen Beck (Harvill Secker)
• Let the Dead Speak, by Jane Casey (HarperCollins
• One Bad Turn, by Sinéad Crowley (Quercus)
• There Was a Crooked Man, by Cat Hogan (Poolbeg Press)
• The Therapy House, by Julie Parsons (New Island)

There were nominees in various categories. Winners will be announced in Dublin on November 28.

Thanks to B. V. Lawson's In Reference to Murder’s for the list of finalists for the Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Dog Noir

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

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Self-Published Writer: MWA NorCal Workshop

The Self-Published Writer: January 27, 2018 

Mystery Writers of America welcomes self-published writers—so MWA NorCal will be hosting an all-day workshop for the indie writer.

Rockridge Public Library, Oakland, 10:30-3:30 

From research to cover art and promotion, the Indie writer runs a one-person business. This is a one-day NorCal academy that covers the nuts and bolts of getting your Indie career moving. Free and open to the public—but with limited seating, priority will be given to MWA members.

I. 10:30-11:20: So many publishing options!
Where on the spectrum am I, from Big 5 to self-pub? Drawbacks and delights: what are my own strengths?

II. 11:30-12:20: The Editorial Tangle: finding your way to a good, clean manuscript.
Yes, you need fresh eyes! Editorial software—how well does it work? Professional help—editor vs. book doctor; editor vs. copyeditor How much does help cost? Finding good help.

III. 12:30-1:15: Lunch ($8.00 or bring your own)
 …and networking

IV. 1:15-1:45: An Intriguing Face: great cover art 
 DIY covers: how to? Cover design services: how much?

V. 1:45-2:35: The Web of Connections—from web site to social media.
What’s the bare minimum? Do I have to do it all? How to get the most out of my efforts

VI. 2:45-3:30: Money money money—an outline of writer as retailer
Setting up Square; using PayPal ISBN? LLC? MWA! Pricing your e-book E-book only, or print? Rights: audio, print, etc

Ongoing during the day: professional photographer Charles Lucke doing author head-shots! MWA NorCal is covering the cost of a low-res digital image for covers, promotion, and what-have-you, or order a high res for just $20.

Sign up for the workshop, the portrait, and for the $8.00 sandwich lunch, here.

Cartoon of the Day: Unclear on the Concept

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

From The New Yorker. The sad state of our country.

The Name of the Rose: TV Series

TV series remake: The Name of the Rose

An Italian TV adaptation of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, starring Rupert Everett and John Turturro, has found an international distributor. Deadline reported that Germany's Tele Munchen Group "has acquired international rights outside of Italy for the eight-part series, commissioned by Italian public broadcaster Rai." The bestselling novel was previously adapted as a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques, starring Christian Slater and Sean Connery and Annaud.

Turturro stars as William of Baskerville with Everett playing Gui. The series is written by Andrea Porporati, Nigel Williams and Giacomo Battiato, with Battiato directing. Principal photography starts this January in Rome and on location around Lazio and Abruzzo. It is expected to air in the first quarter of 2019.

TMG managing director Herbert L. Kloiber said: "Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose is a monumental masterpiece. We are thrilled to be part of this high-class, state-of-the-art adaptation, which will also resonate well with a young audience that loves the suspenseful story in a gloomy and thrilling medieval setting. Those who are already familiar with the book will see a new modern take and details to this multilayered story that can only be told in a series."

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time starts tonight! Don't forget to set your clocks. Fall Back!

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Happy Caturday!
Cartoon of the Day: Cats

NOIR CON 2018: November 1-4, 2018


NoirCon returns to Philadelphia in November 1-4, 2018. Philadelphia, PA. Registration is limited.

NoirCon is a four-day conference that celebrates noir-related arts and cultivates a community of writers, artists, publishers, scholars, fans, and friends.

NoirCon is literature, cinema, music, visual art, history, dance, poetry, true crime, performance art, fiction, non-fiction, reality, imagination, past, present, and future. 

NoirCon is home of the The David L. Goodis Award, The Jay and Deen Kogan Award for Excellence, and The Anne Friedberg Award for Contributions to Noir and Its Preservation.
This four day gathering, from Thursday, November 1 thru Sunday, November 4, 2018 will celebrate every facet of the Noir genre, from literature to poetry to film to art to theater and bring together writers, artists, critics, and friends for panels, parties and open discussions.

The conference begins with an opening night party, NOIR AT THE BAR, at the Hotel Brotherhood USA (1523-29 Bainbridge Street). Admission is free for the evening but registration is required. This is a venerable social club, not a hotel and Friday and Saturday panels are also held there. The conference hotel is the Sonesta Rittenhouse Square (215-561-7500)

Highlights of the program include the Special awards presentation to conference honorees at the Friday night dinner down by the river:

WALTER MOSELY (author) The David L. Goodis Award
MAX RUDIN (publisher,The Library of America) Jay& Deen Kogan Award for Excellence
DANA POLAN (author & professor) Anne Friedberg Award for Contributions to Noir and its Preservation
The Keynote Speaker: Geoffrey O'Brien (author, editor-in-chief- Library of America)
Master Of Ceremonies: Charles Benoit (author and musician)

The International Association of Crime Writers N/A will award the annual Dashiell Hammett Prize for Literary excellence for works published in 2017 at the Saturday luncheon.

Sunday program (TBA) will conclude with an optional trip to Port Richmond Books (3037 Richmond Street) and the Veteran Boxer Association (2733 East Clearfield Street)

NOIRCON is produced by Society Hill Playhouse as part of its literary outreach programming. It is chaired by Dr. Louis Boxer, collector and critic and Deen Kogan, director of Society Hill Playhouse.

Registration fee for an ALL-Access Pass is $300. This includes the Friday night banquet as well as all other activities. Daily registration is possible as an accommodation for those who can't spend all four days: Friday $250; Saturday $200. Individual banquet tickets are $90.

Full information on NOIRCON program and methods of payment can be found on the website:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The New P.I.


The latest issue of Mystery Readers Journal: Big City Cops I is now available. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. The final issue for 2017 will be Big City Cops I.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue, especially Kate Derie, Associate Editor.  

Contributors, if you don't see your article in this issue, it will appear in the next issue, Big City Cops II.

Big City Cops I (Volume 33:3)

Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

  • Let’s Be Careful Out There… Wherever the Hell We Are by Jim Doherty
  • The Crossing by Michael Connelly: A Book Group Discussion by Roberta Rood
  • Cops These Days Aren’t What They Used To Be by Rennie Airth
  • Big City Cops: Two Takes by Rona Bell and Sean McCluskey
  • Cops and Writers by Paul Bishop
  • A Good Fall(en) Guy by Craig Faustus Buck
  • Chinatown Crime Time by Henry Chang
  • My Heroes by Tim Chapman
  • Cleveland’s “Untouchable” Top Cop by Max Allan Collins
  • Why I Turned My Back on Big City Cops by Garry Disher
  • When Big City Cops Have Four Paws by Sara Driscoll
  • The Changing Face of Nashville by J.T. Ellison
  • Are You Feeling Safe? by Lyndsay Faye
  • Becoming Lou in La-La-Land by Rachel Howzell Hall
  • Crime Fighter Turned Crime Writer by Isabella Maldonado
  • Bronson: a Literary Crush by L.C. Hayden
  • You Can Take the Big City Cop Out of the City, But… by Adrian Magson
  • Lt. Sigrid Harald, NYPD by Margaret Maron
  • Limitations of Big City Cops by Neil Plakcy
  • The Stories I Tell by Lisa Marie Redmond
  • Cold Case Prosecution by Brian Thiem
  • Lizzie Borden: Murder—and Mistakes? by Christine A. Verstraete
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lesa Holstine, Michael Mayo, L.J. Roberts, Craig Sisterson
  • The Big Tens From the Big Towns—Part One by Jim Doherty
  • Just the Facts: Frank Hamer—Houston Heat by Jim Doherty
  • The Children’s Hour: Big City Cops by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Big City Cops by Marvin Lachman
  • Crime Seen: Metropolice by Kate Derie
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet Rudolph

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


What holiday could be more fitting to Mysteries than El Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead? You'll love this list. Be sure and check my updated Halloween Crime Fiction list for other mysteries that start on Halloween and include Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead Crime Fiction

Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan
The Day of the Dead by John Creed
Trick or Treason by Kathi Daley
The Day of the Dead: the Autumn of Commissario Ricciardi by Maurizio de Giovanni
Days of the Dead by Barbara Hambly
Sugar Skull by Denise Hamilton
Dios De Los Muertos by Kent Harrington
The Wrong Goodbye by Chris Holm
Day of the Dead by J.A. Jance
Devil's Kitchen by Clark Lohr
Weave Her Thread with Bones by Claudia Long
Day of the Dead by Manuel Luis Martinez
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers
Oink by Judith Newton
Day of the Dead by Mark Roberts
The Day of the Dead by Bart Spicer

Any titles missing?

Monday, October 30, 2017

George Gently Series Finale on AcornTV

GEORGE GENTLY, Series Finale (2 Episodes) on AcornTV: Wednesday, November 1

Called “Great, bordering on brilliant” (Esquire) and an “excellent BBC detective series” (Los Angeles Times), the long-running hit British detective drama GEORGE GENTLY returns for its final two feature-length mysteries within two days of the finale’s BBC One debut.

Tony® nominee Martin Shaw returns for his final cases as North of England’s most upstanding detective, George Gently, again assisted by his trusted partner, Detective Inspector John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), and Detective Sergeant Rachel Coles (Lisa McGrillis) with Richard Harrington (Poldark, Hinterland) co-starring in the series finale.

In Gently Liberated, set in 1970 with retirement imminent, Gently re-opens an investigation which risks exposing an appalling miscarriage of justice and potentially embarrassing the Force.

In the series finale, Gently and the New Age, Gently is retiring on a professional high when he is approached by a covert police unit with one last tantalizing offer.

Mickey Spillane Typewriter up for Auction!

Up for Auction at Heritage Auctions: 

[Mickey Spillane]. Mickey Spillane's Royal Manual Typewriter, Manufactured Circa 1930. Measures approximately 16 x 15 x 11 inches. Signs of rust and some dust soiling, a few typing keys stick a bit. Considering the typewriter's vintage, it's possible that Spillane used this during his early days as a comic book writer for Funnies, Inc. Mickey continued to use a typewriter for his work and correspondence for the rest of his life, never transitioning to the computer. Otherwise, in very good and working condition. From the estate of Mickey Spillane.

For more information, go to Heritage Auctions.

HT: Spencer Kope

October Library Poster: Happy Halloween

Love this WPA Library Project Poster (1936-1939)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Instagram


Happy Halloween!! Bloody Cocktails and Deadly Wine!


Chateau Du Vampire Wines Bordeaux Style Cabernet Blend (Vampire Vineyards – Paso Robles, California): blend of cabernet sauvignon (60%) with cabernet franc (30%), and 10% malbec to finish it off.

Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon (Vampire vineyards – Paso Robles, California): Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several small-berry clones of this traditional Bordeaux varietal, grown in the Paso Robles region of California’s Central Coast.

Dracula Wines: Zinfandel and Syrah (originally the grapes for this wine were grown on the Transylvanian plateau, now they're made from California grapes).

Trueblood Napa Valley Syrah: This wine will "bruise your soul" with its palate crushing cherry, plum smoke and spice.

Ghost Block: 100% cabernet from Rock Cairn Vineyard in Oakville, next to Yountville's Pioneer Cemetery.

Twisted Oak 2011 River of Skulls in Calaveras County. Limited production vineyard mouvedre (red wine grape). Label has a bright red skull. English translation of calaveras is "skulls."

Ghostly White Chardonnay and Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon. Elk Creek Vineyards in Kentucky

Poizin from Armida Winery in Healdsburg is a 'wine to die for..". This Zinfandel sold in little wooden coffins

Big Red Monster  Red wine made from Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah.

Spellbound 2012 Merlot. Full Moon on the label. 

Ravenswood 2013 Besieged Red Blend. Ravens on the label.

Michael David 2012 Freakshow Cab.

Other Wines, Beers and Ales: Witches Brew, Evil (upside down and backwards label), Sinister Hand, Toad Hollow Eye of the Toad, Zeller Schwarz Katz.

Want to give the personal touch to your Halloween wines? Add ghoulish labels or rebottle in cool jars with apothecary labels from Pottery Barn (or make them yourself). For a great article, go to Spooky Halloween Bottle & Glass Labels.


And what about an awesome cocktail? Make Nick and Nora proud! They always loved a good party. Throw in some rubber spiders or eyeballs as garnish. Want to make your own Halloween Cocktail Garnish--some eyeballs and fingersClick HERE.

Blood Bath
1 Part Tequila Silver
1 Part Strawberry Liqueur

Shake with ice, and strain into shot glass.

Blood Test
1 Part Tequila Reposado
1 Part Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into shot glass

Blood Shot
1 part Iceberg Vodka
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Jagermeister
1 part cranberry juice

Chill all ingredients. Combine in shaker with ice. Strain into shot glass. shoot!

2 oz VeeV Acai Spirit
1 oz acai juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Top with fresh champagne
lime wedge for garnish

Combine VeeV, Acai juice and fresh lime with fresh ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into chilled martini glass and top with champagne.
Serve with fresh lime wedge.

Blood and Sand
3/4 ounce Scotch
3/4 ounce cherry liqueur
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce orange juice
1 thin strip orange zest

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the strip of zest. (recipe from Bank Cafe & Bar in Napa)

Corpse Reviver
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet (blanc)
1 ounce triple sec
Juice of half a lemon
5 drops of absinthe
1 thin slice orange

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the orange slice.
(Recipe from Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco)

Vampire Blood Punch
4 cups cranberry raspberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 cups natural pineapple juice (100% juice)
2 cups raspberry-flavored seltzer water
wormy ice cubes (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into large, decorative punch bowl.
Serve punch with wormy ice cubes, if desired

Corzo Bite
1-1/2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
1/2 parts Campari
1 part fresh blood orange juice
1/4 parts blood (aka home-made grenadine) **
2 parts Jarritos Tamarindo Soda

Build all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Add “blood” at the end.
Garnish: Blood orange wheel and strawberry syrup

** Home-made grenadine: Add equal parts white sugar and POM pomegranate juice together and dissolve sugar over high on stove-top

Midori Eye-Tini (from Rob Husted of Florida)
1-1⁄4 parts Midori Melon liqueur
3⁄4 parts SKYY Infusions Citrus
1⁄2 part Finest Call Agave Syrup
2 parts of Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
2 parts Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix
3 Orange Wedges
2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves
Strawberry Sundae Syrup

In shaker glass combine Midori Melon liqueur, SKYY infusions Citrus, Finest Call Agave Syrup, 3 Orange Wedges and 2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves.
Muddle ingredients together. Add ice and Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix.
Shake for 10 seconds.
Add Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale and roll drink back and forth between your mixing tin and shaker glass.
Strain into a chilled martini glass drizzled with Strawberry Sundae Syrup to give an effect of a bloodshot eye.

Garnish: Chilled red seedless grape at bottom of glass (to look like an eyeball) and bruised basil leaf floated on top of cocktail for aroma.

Black Martini
The Black Martini replaces vermouth with either blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur.
3 1/2 oz gin or vodka
1/2 oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur
lemon twist or black olive for garnish or gold flakes

Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist or black olive or sprinkle in gold flakes.