Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CRIME SEEN: What to Watch Where? by Kate Derie

If you're like me you're overwhelmed with choices of Mystery TV series to watch but you're never sure quite where, what, or how to watch. Kate Derie, associate editor of Mystery Readers Journal, has a column in each issue called Crime Seen. In the latest issue (Mystery Readers Journal: Big City Cops II), she addressed the multiple platforms and shows for streaming video. Reprinted here is her column: Crime Seen: What to Watch Where? 

KATE DERIE:
CRIME SEEN: WHAT TO WATCH WHERE?

Decisions, decisions… Which streaming video services have the most for mystery fans? As in so many existential questions, the answer is, “It depends.” If all you want is to binge on Poirot and Marple, you can get them almost anywhere. But the original Miss Marple with Joan Hickson (beautifully remastered in high definition) is only on Britbox. So here’s a guide on where to find your favorite series. To save space, I have listed only shows that have more than two seasons or twenty episodes. For additional information, see my chart at https://tinyurl.com/myst-vid-sheet.

Acorn.tv ($5/mo.) specializes in British mysteries, some of which have never been broadcast in the US. They include 19-2, Agatha Christie’s Marple, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Brokenwood Mysteries, The Broker’s Man, Foyle’s War, George Gently, Hamish MacBeth, Lord & Master (Dutch), McCallum, Midsomer Murders, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Mr. and Mrs. Murder, Murder in Suburbia, Murdoch Mysteries, Rebus, Republic of Doyle, Trial & Retribution, Vera.

Amazon Prime offers free streaming video to those who already pay a $99 yearly fee for unlimited shipping. They produce several original series such as Bosch, and have a franchise on recent PBS series, along with some “golden oldies.” Boardwalk Empire, Bosch, Endeavour, The Good Wife, Grantchester, Grimm, Inspector Lewis, Mike Hammer, Monk, Peter Gunn, Psych, Roba (Finnish), Route 66, The Sopranos, Whitechapel, The Wire, Yancy Derringer.

Britbox.com ($7/mo.) is just what it says on the tin—all British, all the time, including some fondly remembered classic series. Agatha Christie’s Marple, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Blue Murder, Cadfael, Cracker, Dalziell & Pascoe, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Inspector Morse, Jonathan Creek, Ka-vanagh QC, The Last Detective, Miss Marple (Joan Hickson), Prime Suspect, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Scott & Bailey, Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett), A Touch of Frost, Vera, Waking the Dead, Wycliffe.

Hulu.com ($8–12/mo.) leads the pack in sheer quantity of mostly US series. Like Amazon, they show several vintage shows that may or may not be as good as you remember. Adam-12, Agatha Christie’s Marple, Beck (Swedish), Blue Bloods, The Bridge (Danish/Swedish), City Homicide, Cold Squad, CSI, DCI Banks, Dexter, Dragnet 1967, Elementary, Flashpoint, I Spy, Ironside, Kojak, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Miami Vice, Murdoch Mysteries, New Tricks, Numbers, Prime Suspect, Rebus, Remington Steele, Republic of Doyle, Rizzoli & Isles, The Saint, Saving Grace, Scott & Bailey, The Shield, Silk Stalkings, Simon & Simon, Southland, Spiral (French), Taggart, Vera, Wallander (Swedish). 

MHz Choice ($8/mo.) is the place for international crime. They have several dozen shows from Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy and other European countries. All have easy-to-read English subtitles. Most of them are one “season”, which in some cases is really a single mini-series. For longer runs, look at Baantjer Mysteries (Dutch), Beck (Swedish), Maigret (French, not the PBS series), and Tatort (German).

Netflix ($8–14/mo.), like Amazon, has a variety of recent prime-time series plus original productions such as Longmire. Their lineup currently includes Blue Bloods, Broadchurch, Criminal Minds, Death in Paradise, Dexter, Dicte (Danish), Doctor Blake Mysteries, Father Brown, Hawaii Five-0, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Longmire, Luther, Midsomer Murders, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, NCIS, Person of Interest, Republic of Doyle, Ripper Street, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Shetland, The Sniffer (Ukrainian), Wallander (Kenneth Branagh), White Collar.

These services all have free trials of 7–30 days, so you can try them out for yourself. In sum: If you like British shows, try Acorn for current series, Britbox for older series. (Acorn is also the best value for money.) For a variety of current US series, plus original productions, plus movies, both Netflix and Amazon have great lineups. Hulu has the largest number of series, although not many of them are current. Hulu and Amazon both have several vintage (pre-1980) series, but be warned: the oldies can look pretty bad on a large HD screen. 

So which channels do I personally get? All of them, of course. Any one of them is less than the price of a single movie ticket each month, and provides a great deal more entertainment. The only catch is that we have to have a list next to the remote to tell us where we are watching each series!

Don't forget to check out this Chart of Shows and Where They Appear:
https://tinyurl.com/myst-vid-sheet

Subscribe to Mystery Readers Journal
 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Olympics

I know my cats would excel in all these events!

Thx, Jayna Monroe, for sharing!



PRESIDENTIAL CRIME FICTION: Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day. I usually post my Presidential Crime Fiction list with "Hail to the Chief!" in the subject line... can't do that again this year, but I don't want to slight some of the wonderful presidents this country has had. The following updated list featuring the U.S. President in mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction is so relevant right now. The list is divided into categories, but I added more titles at the end under 'other' and a separate list of Abraham Lincoln Mysteries. Of course, there are many overlaps, so scroll through them all. This is not a definitive list, and I welcome any additions. Post your favorites in the comments section.

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

Assassination Attempts
American Quartet by Warren Adler
Shall We Tell the President? by Jeffrey Archer
Sherlock Holmes in Dallas by Edmund Aubrey
The 14th Colony by Steve Berry
The President is Missing by Bill Clinton/James Patterson (coming June 4, 2018)
Primary Target by Max Allan Collins
Campaign Train (Murder Rides the Campaign Train) by The Gordons
Glass Tiger by Joe Gores
The President's Assassin by Brian Haig
Potus by Greg Holden
Marine One by James W. Huston
Murder at Monticello by Jane Langton
The Surrogate Assassin by Christopher Leppek
Gideon's March by J.J. Marric
The Kidnapping of the President by Charles Templeton
Pursuit by James Stewart Thayer
Primary Target by Marilyn Wallace
Watchdogs by John Weisman

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

Presidential Disappearances
Missing! by Michael Avallone
Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal
The President's Plan is Missing by Robert J. Serling
The President Vanishes by Rex Stout

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

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

The President as Detective
Speak Softly by Lawrence Alexander
Lincoln for the Defense by Warren Bull
Mr President, Private Eye, edited by Martin Greenberg & Francis M. Nevins
Bully by Mark Schorr 

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

Presidential Families
Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert
Deadly Aims by Ron L. Gerard
The President's Daughter by Jack Higgins
The Devil's Bed by William Kent Krueger
The First Lady Murders, edited by Nancy Pickard
Murder and the First Lady; Murder at the President's Door (and other novels) By Elliot Roosevelt
Murder in the White House (and other novels) by Margaret Truman
They've Shot the President's Daughter by Edward Stewart

Other
The President's Mind, The 20th Day of January by Ted Allbeury
Warriors by Ted Bell
The Kennedy Connection by Dick Belsky
Enslaved by Ron Burns
The Plan by Stephen J. Cannell
Killing Time by Caleb Carr
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
First Strike by Ben Coes
Ex Officio by Timothy Culver (Donald Westlake)
The President's Vampire, Blood Bath by Christopher Farnsworth
FDR's Treasure, Lincoln's Hand by Joel Fox
The President's Henchman, The Next President by Joseph Flynn
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
By Order of the President by W.E.B. Griffin
Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series
Spin Doctor by M.C. Lewis
The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer
The First Patient by Michael Palmer
Treason at Hanford by Scott Parker
Keeping House by Tucker and Richard Phillips
Acts of Mercy by Bill Pronzini and Barry Malzberg
Love, Lust, and Loyalty by Greg Sandora
The President's Daugther by Mariah Stewart
Ghosts of War by Brad Taylor
Put a Lid on It by Donald Westlake
President Lincoln's Spy by Steven Wilson

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

Abraham Lincoln Mysteries
Abraham Lincoln: Detective by Allen Appel
A Night of Horrors: A Historical Thriller about the 24 Hours of Lincoln's Assassination by John C. Berry
The Impeachment of Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
Lincoln's Hand by Joel Fox
The Lincoln Letter by Gretchen Elassani and Phillip Grizzell
Lincoln's Diary by DL Fowler
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
The Assassin's Accomplice by Kate Clifford Larson
The Lincoln Letter by William Martin
The Lincoln Secret by John A. McKinsey
The First Assassin by John J. Miller
The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
The Murder of Willie Lincoln by Burt Solomon
The Cosgrove Report: Being the Private Inquiry of a Pinkerton Detective into the Death of President Lincoln by G.J.A. O'Toole
President Lincoln's Secret, President Lincoln's Spy by Steven Wilson

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Yoga Positions We'd Like to See


Maine Crime Wave: June 1-3


Friday, June 1 
DOUGLAS PRESTON honored with the 2018 CrimeMaster Award and all new kick-off Crime Wave panels—free and open to the public.

Friday, June 2 
A daylong mystery writer’s conference includes panel discussions, theme-specific craft sessions, and more.
Keynote Speaker Legendary defense attorney F. Lee Bailey
Presenters William D. Andrews, Jen Blood, Gerry Boyle, Richard J. Cass, Bruce Robert Coffin, Julia Spencer Fleming, Kate Flora, Elizabeth Hand, Chris Holm, Katrina Niidas Holm, Celia Johnson, Shannon Kirk, Gayle Lynds, Sandra Neilly, Barbara Ross, Frank O Smith, Lea Wait, and more.
Panel Topics “Publishing: Self, Indie, Tradition”; “ Conflict is the Hear of Drama”; “Sex, Booze, and Violence”; “Reviewers Reveal”; and more.

In coming weeks, we’ll announce more presenters, more panel topics and the instructors of this year’s breakout craft sessions.

Early Bird Registration
Friday, February 16 – Friday, March 2 → Register now

General registration will run from Saturday, March 3 to May 21

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

Happy Caturday!


NOIR CITY: DENVER

The Film Noir Foundation will be partnering with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton, Colorado, to present the first NOIR CITY: Denver, March 23 - 25, 2018, a three-day festival featuring ten films.

FNF founder and president Eddie Muller will have a special co-host at this festival—legendary crime fiction author (and FNF Advisory Council member) James Ellroy, who will co-program the festival with the Czar of Noir.

The schedule for NOIR CITY: Denver is being finalized now, and will be announced on the Alamo's website soon.

Upcoming Noir City Dates:

NOIR CITY Seattle: February 16-22, 2018
NOIR CITY Denver: March 23-25, 2018
NOIR CITY Hollywood: April 13-22, 2018
NOIR CITY Austin: May 18-20, 2018 
NOIR CITY Boston: June 8-10, 2018 
NOIR CITY Chicago: August 17-23, 2018
NOIR CITY Detroit: September 2018 dates TBD
NOIR CITY D.C: October 2018 dates TBD

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Chinese New Year Mysteries / Chinese New Year Crime Fiction

恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Dog.

I've put together Chinese New Year Mystery Lists for the past few years, as well as some titles (scroll down) that take place in China and Taiwan, not necessarily during the New Year. As always, I welcome any additions.

CHINESE NEW YEAR MYSTERIES

Year of the Dog; Red Jade by Henry Chang 

Year of the Dragon by Robert Daley 
Neon Dragon by John Dobbyn
Dim Sum Dead by Jerrilyn Farmer 
The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen
Chop Suey by Ty Hutchison

The Skull Cage Key by Michael Marriott
The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan
City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley
The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee by Robert Van Gulik (7th Century China) "New Year's Eve in Lan-Fang"

Short story by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer: "The Lady Fish Mystery", EQMM, September/October 1996.

The Nancy Drew Notebooks: The Chinese New Year Mystery by Carolyn Keene
The New Year Dragon Dilemma by Ron Roy

A good reference book for contemporary crime fiction in China: Chinese Justice, the Fiction: Law and Literature in Modern China by Jeffrey C. Kinkley (Stanford University Press)

Not specifically about Chinese New Year, here's a short list of mysteries set in China and Taiwan:

Ralph Arnote, Hong Kong, China
Biggers, Earl Derr, Charlie Chan: The House Without a Key, The Chinese Parrot, Behind the Curtain, The Black Camel, Keeper of the Keys
Lisa Brackmann, Rock Paper Tiger, Hour of the Ram
Adam Brookes, Night Heron
Koonchung Chan, The Fat Years 
Henry Chang, Chinatown Beat, Year of the Dog, Red Jade
Yin-Lien C. Chin, The "Stone Lion" and Other Chinese Detective Stories
Stephen Coonts, Hong Kong
Charles Cumming, Typhoon
Franklin M. Davis, Jr., Secret: Hong Kong
Chris Emmett, Hong Kong Policeman
Paul French, Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
Jim Michael Hansen, Bad Laws
Chan Ho-Kei, The Borrowed, The Locked Room of Bluebeard, The Man Who Sold the World, 13.67
Mara Hvistendahl, And The City Swallowed Them
Carolyn Keene, The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (Nancy Drew #38). Yes, Nancy goes to Hong Kong!
He Jiahong, The Madwoman; Crime De Sang
Keene, Carolyn, The Chinese New Year Mystery (Nancy Drew Notebooks Book 39)
S.G. Kiner, The Hong Kong Connection
D.L. Kung, The End of May Road
Diane Wei Liang, The Eye of Jade
Ed Lin, Ghost Month
John L. Mariotti, The Chinese Conspiracy
Paul Mason, Rare Earth
Peter May, The Firemaker, The Killing Room, Chinese Whispers, The Firemaker
Nicole Mones, A Cup of Light
Xiaolong Qiu, Death of a Red Heroine, A Loyal Character Dancer, When Red is Black, A Case of Two Cities, Red Mandarin Dress, The Mao Case, Don't Cry, Tai Lake; Enigma of China, Shanghai Redemption
Catherine Sampson, The Pool of Unease
Lisa See, Flower Net, Dragon Bones, The Interior
Deborah Shlian, Rabbit in the Moon
Wang Shuo, Playing for Thrills
Robert Stewart, The Last Bowl of Tea
Eric Stone, Shanghaied
Nury Vittachi, The Feng Shui Detective
A.Yi, A Perfect Crime
Christopher West, Death of a Blue Lantern
Zhi Wen, Salvation at Knife's Edge
Kate Whitehead, Hong Kong Murders
Don Winslow, Shibumi (o.k., only part of the action is in China, but I love this novel!)
David Wise, Tiger Trap
Chen Xiaoquing, Sherlock in Shanghai
Qiu Xiaolong, Death of a Red Heroine

Here's a wonderful blog on Writing in China by Bertrand Mialaret (in French) http://www.mychinesebooks.com/

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Valentine

Thanks, Jayna Monroe, for this appropriate to the day (and cats!) Valentine Comic.


SWEETHEART SLEUTHS for Valentine's Day!

A List of Sweetheart Sleuths for Valentine's Day! I've updated this list with 'couples' every year. I'm sure you have more. Make a comment with author and sweetheart sleuths, so I can update the list. In the meantime, here's some great reading for Valentine's Day!

SWEETHEART SLEUTHS 

Alexander, Tasha: Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves
Allen, Conrad: Genevieve Masefield and George Dillman Porter
Allingham, Margery: Albert Campion and Amanda Fitton
Arnold, Margot: Tobias Glendower and Penelope Spring
Bell, Albert: Michael Harrington and Corie Foster
Billheimer, John: Owen Allison and ex-wife Judith
Borthwick, J. S.: Sarah Dean and Alex McKenzie
Bowen, Michael: Rep and Melissa Pennyworth
Bowen, Rhys: Molly Murphy and Daniel Sullivan; Lady Georgie and Darcy O'Mara
Burke, Jan: Irene Kelly and Frank Harriman
Carlson, P. M.: Maggie and Nick Ryan
Chappell, Helen: Holly and Sam Westcott
Charles, Kate: Lucy Kingsley and David Middleton-Brown
Christie, Agatha: Tommy and Tuppence Beresford
Cockey, Tim: Hitchcock Sewell and ex-wife Julia Finney
Craig, Alisa Dittany Henbit and Osbert Monk, Madoc and Jane Rhys
Crane, Frances: Pat and Jean Abbot
Crombie, Deborah: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James
Curzon, Claire: Mike Yeadings and Rosemary Zyczynski
Davis, Krista: Sophie Winston, domestic diva, and Detective Wolf
Evanovich, Janet: Stephanie Plum and Joe Morelli—or Ranger—or Diesel—or not
Finch, Charles: Charles Lennox and Lady Jane Grey
George, Elizabeth: Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers
Gordon, Alan: Jester Feste and wife Viola, late of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”
Greenwood, Kerry: Corinna Chapman and Daniel Cohen
Granger, Ann: Alan Markby and Meredith Mitchell
Haddam, Jane: Gregor Demarkian and Bennis Hannaford (this one’s a stretch)
Ham, Lorie: Alexandra Waters and Stephen Carlucci
Hammett, Dashiell: Nick and Nora Charles
Handler, David: Mitch Berger and state policewoman Desiree Mitry
Harrington, Jonathan: C. J. and Bridge
Hart, Carolyn: Max and Annie Darling
Kay, Arlene: Eja Kane and Deming Swann
Iakovou, Takis: and Judy Nick and Julia Lambro
Kellerman, Faye: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus
Kelly, Susan B.: Alison Hope and Nick Trevelyan
Kelner, Toni L. P.: Laurie Ann and Richard Fleming
Kenney, Susan: Roz Howard and Alan Stewart
King, Laurie R.: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
Levinson, R. S.: Neil Gulliver and Stevie Marriner
Lindquist, N. J.: Paul Manziuk and Jacqueline Ryan
Lockridge, Frances and Richard: Pam and Jerry North
Lupoff, Richard: Hobart Lindsay and Marvia Plum
MacLeod, Charlotte: Max and Sarah Kelling Bittersohn, Peter and Helen Shandy
McBride, Susan: Maggie Ryan and John Phillips
McCafferty, Barbara Taylor & Herald, Beverly: Bert & Nan Tatum
McDermid, Val: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan
McGown, Jill: Chief Inspector Danny Lloyd and Inspector Judy Hill
Maron, Margaret: Deborah Knott and Dwight Bryant
Marsh, Ngaio: Roderick Alleyn and Agatha Troy
Matthews, Alex: Cassidy McCabe, Zack
Maxwell, A. & E.: Fiora and Fiddler
Moyes, Patricia: Emmie and Henry Tibbetts
Newman, Sharan: Catherine Levendeur and husband Edgar
Paige, Robin: Charles and Kate Sheridan
Palmer, Stuart: Hildegarde Withers and Inspector Piper
Pears, Iain: Flavia Di Stefano and Jonathan Argyle
Perry, Anne: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt
Peters, Elizabeth: Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson, Ramses and Nefret,Vicky Bliss and John Smith
Pickard, Nancy: Jenny Cain and Geoffrey Bushfield
Pomidor, Bill: Drs. Calista and Plato Marley
Raybourn,  Deanna: Nichloas Brisbane and Lady Julia Grey
Robb, J.D.: Eve Dallas and Roark
Roos, Kelley: Jeff and Haila Tory
Rozan, S. J.: Bill Smith and Lydia Chin
Rubino, Jane: Cat Austen and Victor Cardenas
Sale, Medora: John Sanders and Harriet Jeffries
Saulnier, Beth: Alex Bernier and Brian Cody
Sayers, Dorothy L.: Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane
Schumacher, Aileen: Tory Peters and David Alvarez
Smith, Charles Merrill: Reverend Con Randollph and Samantha Stack
Spencer-Fleming, Julia: Claire Ferguson and Russ Van Alstyne
Thompson, Victoria: Sarah Brandt and Detective Frank Molloy
Whitney, Polly: Ike and Abby
Wilhelm, Kate: Charlie Meiklejohn and Constance Leidl
Wright, L. R.: Karl Alberg, RCMP, and Cassandra Mitchell

Monday, February 12, 2018

Bill Crider: R.I.P.

Art Scott and Bill Crider 2017
Bill Crider was a special guy--a fine writer, a good man, a clever and funny person. He brought much joy to so many through his writing and his friendships. R.I.P., Alligator Man.

Bill Crider was a wonderful man, author, fan, and collector. He won the Edgar, the Macavity, the Anthony, and the Shamus Awards, and probably others I've missed. Quiet, with a dry wit, warm, a true gentleman, Bill has charmed and entertained readers and friends over the years. I've known him 30+ years through DapaEm, Bouchercon, and MDM. His posts of the adventures of the VBKs have kept us all smiling on Facebook. His encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture is astounding. Bill was always a class act and a true Renaissance man. I'm glad I was able to spend time with him this summer and at Bouchercon in Toronto. 

My condolences go out to his family, friends, and everyone who knew him. He was a very special guy! He will be missed.

The Marsh King's Daughter on the Big Screen!

I posted this great news on my personal page on Facebook, but wanted to let readers of my blog know that The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne will be coming to the big screen with Oscar winner Alicia Vikander playing the lead role. So exciting!

From Deadline:
The scripted adaptation is by Elle Smith and The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith. Vikander will play Helena Petterier, who on the surface leads an ideal life with a great husband and a young daughter. She keeps secret her shocking backstory: her mother was kidnapped as a teen, and she was the product of the relationship between captive and tormentor. She lives for 12 years in a life carefully controlled by her kidnapper/father, until he was caught and sent to prison. An escape that leaves two prison guards dead forces her to confront her secret history and she becomes determined to bring down her father, who gave her all the tools she will need. He is the one called the Marsh King, the man who kept a woman and her young daughter captive in the wilderness for years. Sensing the danger this monster poses for her husband and young daughter, she vows to hunt him down. Vikander will be next seen in action mode as she plays Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

Can't wait! Congratulations, Karen!

MARDI GRAS Crime Fiction //MARDI GRAS Mysteries

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras or Carnivale, whatever you call it, is a great setting for Murder! Busy streets, crowds, costumes, drinking.. mix it all together, and you have a recipe for the perfect crime novel.

Here's my updated list of Mardi Gras Mysteries. As always, I welcome additional titles, additions and omissions.

MARDI GRAS MYSTERIES

Mardi Gras Murder, edited by Sarah Glenn
The Mardi Gras Mystery by Henry Bedford-Jones
Death Visits Mardi Gras by J.J. Boortz
Cake on a Hot Tin Roof, A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
Fat Tuesday, Sunny Chandler's Return by Sandra Brown
Purple Cane Road, Dixie City Jam, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Creole Belle by James Lee Burke
Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron
Gumbo Justice, Jambalaya Justice by Holli Castillo 
The Secret of the Other Mother by Laura Cayouette

Murder Comes to Mardi Gras, Death Swatch, Keepsake Crimes, Death by Design by Laura Childs
Fat Tuesday Fricassee by J.J. Cook (Children)
Havana Storm by Clive Cussler
Mardi Gras Murders by Nicole Daines and Robert Daines
The Mardi Gras Murders by Ricardo S. Dubois
No Mardi Gras for the Dead by D.J. Donaldson
Shelter from the Storm by Tony Dunbar
Fat Tuesday by Earl Emerson
The Big Uneasy-Terror Strikes Mardi Gras by Murray C. Fincher
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan
Carnaval Capers by Jody Ford
Carnival by Charlotte Foryan
Venetian Mask by Mickey Friedman
Jass, Rampart Street by David Fulmer
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
Mardi Grad Madness: Stories of Murder and Mayhem in New Orleans, edited by Martin Harry Greenberg
A Free Man of Color, Fever Season, Sold Down the River by Barbara Hambly
Mardi Gras Mambo; The Orion Mask by Greg Herren
A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag
Mind Games by Polly Iyer
The Mardi Gras Mystery by H. Bedford-Jones
The Mardi Gras Mystery; The Mardi Gras Masquerade by Carolyn Keene
Storm Damage by Ed Kovacs
Murder at the Mardi Gras by Linda Kozar
The Mardi Gras Murders by Gwen Bristow & Bruce Manning
Mardi Gras Madness by Ken Mask
The Gay Mardi Gras Murders by Sylvia Massara
Mardi Gras Eyes by Phyllis Morris
Masques by Bill Pronzini
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
Mardi Gras Murders by Phillip Scott
New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
New Orleans Noir, edited by Julie Smith (Akashic Books)
A Diamond Before You Die by Chris Wiltz

Carnivale in Brazil:
The Lost Manuscript by Rubem Fonseca

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

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Jeffery Deaver: Writing Commercial Fiction Master Class

Join Mystery Writers of America NorCal for a Master Class on Writing Commercial Fiction with Jeffery Deaver.

March 10, 2018, 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. in Oakland, CA

This event is FREE but exclusive to MWA NorCal members. Of course, you can join MWA!

MWA President Jeffery Deaver will teach an all-day Master Class on Writing Commercial Fiction!

Lunch, conversation, handouts, a lecture on specific goals and techniques—this is a way to put your career into high gear. (And, Jeff is just a fabulous person!)

Sign up here.

Sujata Massey attended Jeffery Deaver's Workshop in Bethesda. Read her comments here.


Cartoon of the Day: The Diagnosis

Happy Caturday!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: The Book Signing


Murder at the Olympics: An Olympics Crime Fiction list!

The Winter Olympics starts today! It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Olympics have been filled with drug scandals, sexual intrigue, disappearing athletes, death and theft! So the Olympics have played a very important part in crime fiction and in true crime. Here's my updated Olympics Mystery List (both Summer and Winter Olympics). As always, let me know any titles I've missed.

Murder at the Olympics

Skate Crime and On Think Ice by Alina Adams
Rush for the Gold by Susan Carol Anderson (YA)
Olympic Sleeper by Tom Barling
Echo of the Reich by James Becker
2012 Olympic Sabotage by D.M. Blowers
Mrs Hudson's Olympic Triumph by Barry S. Brown
A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell
40 Days 40 Nights by Wendy Cartmell
Bear Pit by Jon Cleary
Gold by Chris Cleave
Sacred Games by Gary Corby
The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
Typhoon by Charles Cummings
See Delphi and Die by Lindsey Davis
Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver
Time Heals No Wounds by Hendrik Falkenberg
Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein (YA)
Beyond Gold by Elaine Forder
Trial Run by Dick Francis
The Blue Fence by Jonathan Hales
Olympic Sacrifice by John Hocutt
Terror-Olympic Size by George L. Hoffman
Flight from Berlin by David John
March Violets, If the Dead Rise Not by Phillip Kerr
Going for the Gold by Emma Lathen
Golden Girl by Peter Lear (Peter Lovesey) 
Olympia '36 by John Lee
The Bomber by Liza Marklund
Peril is My Pay by Stephen Marlowe
The Runner by Peter May
One or the Other by John McFetridge
Nightmare in Nagano; Murder at the Winter Games by Roy MacGregor
Dragon Games by Stephen Mertz
An Olympic Death; Off Side by Manuel Vazquez Montalban
Olympic Nemesis by James Morley
A Medal of Honor by John Morton
A Private Business by Barbara Nadel
The Judas Goat; Carol Heiss Olympic Queen by Robert B. Parker
Target America: Terror at the 2002 Olympics by Frederick W. Parkins
See How They Run by James Patterson 
The Games: A Private Novel by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
Death Spiral by Meredith Phillips
Olympic Fusion by Scott Pickard
The Runner by Christopher Reich
Death was in the Blood by Linda L. Richards
Hartliss Protector (Assignment: Prince William at the Olympics) by Mike Scantlebury
Black Rain by David Shone
Red Snow by Michael Slade
The Eighth Day by Alistair Smith
Geronimo and the Gold Medal Mystery by Geronimo Stilton  (YA)
Rogue Agent by Sean Sweeney
Lestrade and the Deadly Game by M.J. Trow
The Perfect Blindside by Leslea Wahl
Summer Games: An Olympic Murder Mystery by Sabrina Wylly
Not Just a Game by Doug Zipes

Non-Fiction:  
Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: My Bookshelf

From the fabulous Grant Snider:


Valentine's Day Crime Fiction // Valentine's Day Mysteries

Here's my updated Valentine's Day Crime Fiction list. Be sure and check out my other blog, DyingforChocolate, for Valentine's Day Chocolate Reviews, Recipes, and Vintage Chocolate Ads.  

February 14, Valentine's Day, is also International Book Giving Day, so books are the perfect Valentine's Day gift. Bundle some of the following Valentine's Day Mysteries with a box of chocolate truffles, tie it all up in a red ribbon, and you're good to go!

Valentine's Day Mysteries

As Gouda as Dead by Avery Aames
Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair
Murder in the Paperback Parlor by Ellery Adams
Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
Valentine's Day is Murder by Carolyn Arnold
Death of a Valentine by M. C. Beaton
Marked Down for Murder by Josie Belle
The Broken Hearts Club by Ethan Black
Murder Borrowed, Murder Blue by Stephanie Blackmoore
Claws and Effect by Rita Mae Brown
Butter Off Dead by Leslie Budewitz
How To Murder The Man Of Your Dreams by Dorothy Cannell
The Chocolate Cupid Killings by JoAnna Carl
The Mortsafe by Lillian Stewart Carl
This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle
Sucker Punch by Sammi Carter
Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase
Lethal Treasure by Jane Cleland
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Red Roses for a Dead Trucker by Anna Ashwood Collins
St Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre by Elisabeth Crabtree
A Catered Valentine's Day by Isis Crawford
Cupid's Curse by Kathi Daley
Hard Feelings by Barbara D’Amato
Lucy and the Valentine Verdict by Rae Davies
Love With The Proper Killer by Rose Deshaw
The Saint Valentine's Day Murders by Ruth Dudley Edwards
The Stolen Valentine by K.J. Emrick
Plum Lovin’ by Janet Evanovich
My Funny Valentine by Caroline Fardig (novella)
Happy Valentine’s Day by Michelle Fitzpatrick
The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming
Addressed to Kill by Jean Flowers (Camille Minichino)
Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke
St. Valentine's Night by Andrew M. Greeley
Caveman's Valentine by George Dawes Green
My Bloody Valentine by Alastair Gunn
Bleeding Hearts by Jane Haddam
The Valentine's Day Murder by Lee Harris
Deadly Valentine by Carolyn G. Hart
Deadly Valentine by Jenna Harte
Death of a Chocoholic by Lee Hollis
Cupid's Revenge, The Sham by Melanie Jackson
Sugar and Spite by G.A. McKevett
Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz 
Killing Cupid by Laura Levine
Valentine's Victim by Harper Lin
A Fatal Slip by Meg London 
February Fever by Jess Lourey
The Scent of Murder by Jeffrey Marks
Sugar and Spite by G.A. McKevett
Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay
The Valentine Victim by Dougal McLeish
Valentine Murder; Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier
Love You to Death by Grant Michaels
Cat Playing Cupid by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
The Body in the Attic, The Body in the Snowdrift by Katherine Hall Page
A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
My Deadly Valentine by David W. Robinson
Valentined by Patricia Rockwell
The Valentine's Day Clue by Rupali Rajopadhye Rotti
Valentine by Tom Savage
The Treble Wore Trouble by Mark Schweizer
Sweet Hearts by Connie Shelton
Gilt by Association by Karen Rose Smith
Murder of a Pink Elephant by Denise Swanson
One Rough Man by Brad Taylor
The Coniston Case by Rebecca Tope
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Thou Art with Me by Debbie Viguie
The Lucy Valentine mystery series by Heather Webber
Daughter Of The Stars by Phyllis A. Whitney

Short Stories
Crimes of Passion with stories by Nancy Means, B.J. Daniels, Jonathan Harrington and Maggie Right Price
"My Heart Cries Out for You" by Bill Crider
Valentine's Day Is Killing Me edited by Leslie Esdaile, Mary Janice Davidson, Susanna Carr
"Sweetheart in High Heels" by Gemma Halliday
Crimes of the Heart edited by Carolyn G. Hart
Love and Death, edited by Carolyn G. Hart
Valentine’s Day: Women Against Men-Stories of Revenge edited by Alice Thomas
Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman & Marcia Talley

Children's Literature
Valentine's Day Disaster by Geronimo Stilton
Scooby-Doo! A Very Scary Valentine's Day

As always, let me know if I've missed any titles!

Monday, February 5, 2018

John Mahoney: R.I.P.

John Mahoney, perhaps best known as Frasier's Dad, died yesterday at the age of 77.

From the Washington Times:

John Mahoney, 77, died Sunday in hospice care in Chicago, TMZ first reported Monday evening, citing his publicist.

The British-born actor was best known for his 11 years on “Frasier,” playing the father of Kelsey Grammer’s fussy lead character.

He was nominated for two Emmys and two Golden Globes and won a Screen Actors Guild prize for the role of Martin Crane, the more down-to-earth, but sometimes cranky, forebear of Frasier and Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce).

He appeared in about 30 movies, including five as a voice actor in such animated classics as “Antz” and “The Iron Giant.”His movie work mostly consisted of character and supporting roles for such prestigious 1980s and 1990s directors as John Sayles, the Coen brothers, Roman Polanski and Rob Reiner. His best-known role may be as the father in “Say Anything” who objects to dorky John Cusack, in the role that made him a star, courting his valedictorian daughter Ione Skye.

Film blogger Jake Bart took to Twitter to say that “John Mahoney was one of my favorite actors, full stop. Exquisite work in films like EIGHT MEN OUT, BARTON FINK, SAY ANYTHING, and of course MOONSTRUCK. A great lion of Chicago theater.”

Links to All the Nominated Agatha Award Short Stories

I love when I can read all the short story nominations for awards, even if I am not voting. Thanks to the Malice Domestic folks, here are the links to all 5 short stories that are nominated for the Agatha Award. Congratulations to all!


Agatha Best Short Story Nominees

"Double Deck the Halls" by Gretchen Archer (Henery Press)
Whose Wine is it Anyway by Barb Goffman in 50 Shades of Cabernet (Koehler Books)
The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place by Debra Goldstein in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017)
The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn by Gigi Pandian (Henery Press)
A Necessary Ingredient by Art Taylor in Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Seat (Down & Out Books)

***

Cartoon of the Day: Literary Cafe


Sunday, February 4, 2018

MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL: Big City Cops II (33:4)

The latest issue of Mystery Readers Journal: Big City Cops II is now available. Check out the Table of Contents and links below. Great articles and reviews by and about your favorite authors. Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such a terrific issue, especially Kate Derie, Associate Editor.


MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL: 
Big City Cops II (Volume 33:4)

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Cop Writers: John Wainwright by Paul Bishop
  • Wambaugh’s Big City Cops by John Patrick Lang
  • Clip, Clop—Ten-Foot Cops by Elise Warner
AUTHOR! AUTHOR!
  • My Cop Is a Good Cop by Alvin Abram
  • The Truth Is Coming: Lie Catchers in the Big City by Paul Bishop
  • New York City Cops—No More Mean Streets by Casey Barrett
  • My Heroes Have Always Been Lawmen by Michael A. Black
  • What is Found by Trudy Nan Boyce
  • How Technology Is Affecting Big City Cops by Rex Burns
  • When Everyone Else Runs the Other Way by Tracy Clark
  • From Fact to Fiction by Miles Corwin
  • Policing the Peoples’ Republic of Berzerkeley by Jim Doherty
  • Finding the Cops and Killers Within by Barbara Fradkin
  • “You Belong to the City” by Brian Freeman
  • Proof of Procedure by J.A. Jance
  • Of Nicetown and the Devil’s Pocket by Richard Montanari
  • A Police Officer’s Trauma by Radine Trees Nehring
  • Bringing the Silver Rush (Further) West—San Francisco’s Officers in Blue in 1881 by Ann Parker
  • The PI and the Cop: A Marriage Made in Heaven? by Clive Rosengren
  • The Sketch Artist by Jonathan Santlofer
  • Big City Perspective, a Greek Island Life by Jeffrey Siger
  • Where Ideas Come From by Brian Thiem
  • Realism by Mark Zubro
COLUMNS
  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Craig Sisterson, L.J. Roberts, Maria Kelson, Lesa Holstine
  • The Big Tens From the Big Towns—Part Two by Jim Doherty
  • The Children’s Hour: Big City Cops by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • Just the Facts: Out of the End of a Pen by Jim Doherty
  • Crime Seen: What To Watch Where by Kate Derie
  • Real-Life Big City Cops by Cathy Pickens
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet Rudolph
 ***
Buy the Companion Issue: Big City Cops I (Volume 33:3).

Subscribe to Mystery Readers Journal for 2018:  Themes: Gardening Mysteries; The Far East; Spies & Spooks; The American South.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Where Cats Sleep

Happy Caturday!


Combining Fact & Fiction: Guest Post by Vanessa Barrot & Noel Balen

Today’s guest post is by Noël Balen and Vanessa Barrot, authors of Minced, Marinated, and Murdered, the first installment of the Gourmet Crime series. When a beloved chef is found murdered, food writer Laure Grenadier and her photographer Paco Alvarez investigate and sink their teeth into this mouth-watering mystery. Set in Lyon, France’s traditional capital of gourmet food, the novel delves deep into the juicy real details of France’s culinary history, mixing local reality and historical fact with fiction and mystery. Balen and Barrot give some dos and don'ts for how to best combine fact and fiction. 

VANESSA BARROT & NOEL BALEN: 
Combining Fact and Fiction: DOs & DON'Ts

DO take inspiration from real life
Reality feeds our fiction. We draw on the characteristics of real-life people and places and we put them together to create something new. In this way, we use what actually happened to create a realistic fiction. In fact, some of our best fictional creations were informed by the real world. For example, A Nearly Perfect Cream [the second installment of the Gourmet Crime series, which is currently being translated] takes place in Normandy, the homeland of writers like Flaubert, Balzac, Proust, and Maupassant, and we definitely made a lot of nods to that. We created a restaurant that only served dishes mentioned in Proust’s In Search of Time Lost, the names of our characters came from the works of Maupassant, and we took the name for a fictional village from one of the fictional villages in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

DON’T harm anyone’s good name
The main characters visit a lot of real restaurants and sites in our books, and we like to think that our mystery novels can double as travel guides. However, the restaurants where the crimes are committed are always fictional, so we aren’t wrecking anybody’s reputation. Likewise, no living chefs or suppliers are ever the victims or the criminels.

DO pay homage 
As I said, we wrote several real restaurants into our books. These restaurants were chosen either because they are iconic institutions with a specific style of cuisine or simply because we really like them. Real chefs and suppliers often pop up and contribute to the advancement of the plot by giving Laure and Paco information to help them reconstruct the crime. We always confer with them as we write the book.

DO give the readers something to chew on 
In the third installment of the Gourmet Crime series, we got permission to write a chef with two Michelin stars into the plot. He actually wrote a recipe for his character to give to our heroine. That recipe is included in the book, just like we included cooking tips and local recipes in Minced, Marinated, and Murdered.

Minced, Marinated, and Murdered will be released Feb. 20. This translation is published by Le French Book. Anyone who pre-orders the book before February 20 gets two freebies: Noël and Vanessa’s favorite places to eat in Lyon, along with a series of traditional Lyon recipes straight from their kitchen. Go here to find out more: www.lefrenchbook.com/minced-preorder-bonuses-1

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Book Endings


The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Murder and Mayhem in a Modern Noir Style: Guest Post by M. Glenda Rosen

M. Glenda Rosen (aka Marcia Rosen):

My father was a small-time gangster. Really.

I grew up in an unusual, and sometimes outrageous, environment. It wouldn’t take a genius, a psychiatrist or a palm reader to figure out the genesis of my fascination with crime and criminals. In my series, "The Senior Sleuths,” Zero the Bookie is a version of my dad and several other characters are based on his associates.

I actually met Doc, The Gimp, Johnny the Jig, Fat Lawyer and others in Buffalo, New York, where we lived. As an only child, I created stories in my head with characters to keep me company. Writing became my dream, my ambition and eventually my passion. What a wealth of material there was for me to claim!

I visited my dad’s gambling hall, where a card room was hidden behind closed doors. In our kitchen at home, I saw my dad count “the take” from football and baseball bets. He was a fancy dresser and some of my friends described him as a Damon Runyon character. I wrote a story about him and my mother, in which I called her his “gun moll.”

There were advantages. If I was out on a dinner date and one of my dad’s cronies was there, he picked up the bill. The waiter would tell us, “The man over there took care of it. Said you’re Vic Barr’s daughter!” I was equally safe from the pawing hands of any young man. All of them knew who my father was. In addition, my dad taught me incredible life lessons about being generous and never being a quitter.

Knowing I was loved— and having my own sense of humor—has allowed me to view life through glasses of sanity. Writing murder mysteries is a way for me to use some of what I saw and experienced, and turn it into stories that entice and entertain readers. Believe me… I saw and heard a lot!

In my modern noir stories, the hard-boiled detectives are soft-boiled sleuths whose inner shell is softer and gentler, although their outer shell is still tough. Of course, it doesn’t matter—hard-boiled or soft-boiled—they can still be nearly beaten by the bad guys. But it is always the puzzle of the mystery and putting the pieces together to solve it that matters most.

Film noir movies are from the era of the great mystery writer’s books including those by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross Macdonald and others. Their writing and their black and white movies influenced my writing in recent years. I was always fascinated by how the characters acted and interacted. I especially loved strong women who influenced the actions and the outcomes.

My all-time favorite was The Thin Man, where Nora Charles was certainly equal to Nick Charles, her charming husband. Smart, slender, attractive and rich, Nick adored her. Now what woman doesn’t want that?

The plot of The Thin Man was enhanced by humor, with the couple’s dog, Asta, running amok at times and oddball characters from Nick Charles’ past popping in and out. There was always a murder, or several of them, that had everyone, from police to Nick and Nora, in on the chase. In my series, “The Senior Sleuths,” Dick and Dora Zimmerman, Zero and others take on similar roles.

According to Eddie Muller, Noir Alley host on TCM, “Film noir peaked as a popular genre of film during the mid-1940’s into the 1950’s. These films gave rise to iconic antiheroes like detectives Sam Spade, Mike Hammer and Philip Marlowe. Though the stories change, the mood is the same in a film noir.”

Typical film noir scenes use shadows, dark streets, neon signs, murderers and murders, plus ominous actions and characters. They take place in a city like New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Muller describes the characters: “The men and women of this sinister cinematic world are driven by greed, lust, jealousy, and revenge.” So are my bad characters.

I’m having a great time creating murder mysteries in a modern noir style. The once hard-boiled masculine detective now has a new, softer voice, and there are new heroes and antiheroes. My stories have soft-boiled sleuths. Of course, they still encounter murder and mayhem.

Level Best Books will publish the humorous antics and serious crime-solving of “The Senior Sleuths.” Book One: Dead in Bed is due out February 6, 2018, and Book Two: Dead in Seat 4-A, later in 2018. Book Three: Dead on the 17th of the Month, will be published in 2019.

Still in their early sixties, Dick and Dora Zimmerman’s not only have the time—but the money, the smarts and the chutzpah—to get involved even when they are warned by police and criminals to stay away. It seems murders fall in their laps, sometimes on them. Even when facing danger in the course of solving a murder, they mix wit and humor and are accompanied by a colorful cast of cohorts. They strive for justice, not an easy thing to accomplish when the bad guys are as determined to strive to do evil.

None of us are innocent. We all keep secrets about who we are and things we know. In my case, I have been able to put these past family peccadilloes and experiences to use. No doubt, thanks to my father, writing mysteries is in my DNA!

***

Marcia Rosen has previously published four books in her mystery series, Dying to Be Beautiful. Rosen is also author of The Woman’s Business Therapist and My Memoir Workbook. She was founder and owner of a successful Marketing and Public Relations Agency for many years and was chosen the 2005 Woman of the Year by the East End Women’s Network, Long Island, New York. She currently resides in Carmel, California. For more information, visit www.theseniorsleuths.com.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Murder at the Super Bowl & Other Football Crime Fiction

Lots of real crime surrounding the Super Bowl: drugs, money, egos, etc. Fodder for the crime writer. So in 'honor' of Sunday's Super Bowl Game, I've updated my short lists of Super Bowl and other Football Mysteries. This is in no way a definitive list--just some football crime fiction for you to enjoy in case you're not watching the Super Bowl! As always, I welcome additions!

If you're interested in other Sports Mysteries and essays on Football Mysteries, Mystery Readers Journal has had several Sports Mysteries issues. The last Sports Mysteries Issue of MRJ was Volume 25:4 (Winter 2009-2010). Available in Hardcopy and .pdf download

Super Bowl Mysteries

The Hidden Key by George Harmon Coxe
Super-Dude by John Craig
Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl by John Feinstein (YA)
Black Sunday by Thomas Harris
Paydirt by Paul Levine
The Last Super Bowl by Robin Moore & David Harper
4th and Fixed by Reggie Rivers
Murder at the Super Bowl by Fran Tarkenton and Herb Resnicow
Life's Work by Jonathan Valin
Killerbowl by Gary K. Wolf
 
Other Football Mysteries (not British Football, of which there are many titles)


The Professor by Robert Bailey
Rough and Tumble by Mark Bavaro
Pass Judgment by Jerry Brewer
Sweeper by Steve Bruce 
Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben
Coliseum by Barney Cohen
Et Tu Brady by Joseph Collum
Day of the Ram by William Campbell Gault
Murder at Cleaver Stadium by Douglas Lee Gibboney
Quarterback Trap by Dallas Gorham
Double Reverse; Ruffians by Tim Green
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Bleeding Maize and Blue by Susan Holtzer
Crown of All Virtues by Reece Kepler
The Prophet by Michael Koryta
Two-Minute Warning by George LaFountaine
Bump and Run by Mike Lupica
The Draft by Wil Mara
Dead Ball Foul by Kayla McGrady
A Cardinal Offense by Ralph McInerny
Parker's Blood by William Miller
The Jook by Gary Phillips
Winter and Night by S. J. Rozan
Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt
Marked Man; Red Card by Mel Stein
A Touch of Death by Charles Williams

Short Stories:  The Mighty Johns edited by Otto Penzler

Nonfiction: 
Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry (winner of the 2011 Edgar for Best Fact Crime)

Monday, January 29, 2018

2017 AGATHA NOMINATIONS

MALICE DOMESTIC announces the 2017 Agatha Nominations. Award ceremonies will be held at Malice Domestic on April 29, 2018 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel, Bethesda, MD. Congratulations to all!

Best Contemporary Novel 
Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook (Crooked Lane Books)
A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
No Way Home: A Zoe Chambers Mystery by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Take Out by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)
Glass Houses: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

Best Historical Novel 
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen (Lake Union Publishing)
Murder in an English Village: A Beryl and Edwina Mystery by Jessica Ellicott (Kensington)
Called to Justice: A Quaker Midwife Mystery by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)
The Paris Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam)
Dangerous to Know: A Lillian Frost and Edith Head Novel by Renee Patrick (Forge)

Best First Novel 
Adrift: A Mer Cavallo Mystery by Micki Browning (Alibi-Random House)
The Plot is Murder: Mystery Bookshop by V.M. Burns (Kensington)
Hollywood Homicide: A Detective by Day Mystery by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink)
Daughters of Bad Men by Laura Oles (Red Adept Publishing)
Protocol: A Maggie O'Malley Mystery by Kathleen Valenti (Henery Press)

Best Nonfiction 
From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon by Mattias Boström (Mysterious Press)
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards (Poisoned Pen Press)
American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (Liveright Publishing Corp.)
Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction by Jess Lourey (Conari Press) Manderley
Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay (St. Martin’s Press)

Best Short Story 
Double Deck the Halls by Gretchen Archer (Henery Press)
“Whose Wine is it Anyway” by Barb Goffman in 50 Shades of Cabernet (Koehler Books)
“The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place” by Debra Goldstein in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017)
“The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” by Gigi Pandian (Henery Press)
“A Necessary Ingredient” by Art Taylor in Cost to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Seat (Down & Out Books)

Best Children’s/Young Adult 
City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino (Polis Books)
Sydney Mackenzie Knocks 'Em Dead by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin)
The World’s Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson (HarperCollins)
Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson (Scholastic Press)
The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley (Scholastic Press)

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Partners in Crime: Marriage Can Be Murder: Guest post by Robert Ryan

Today, I revive our Partners in Crime Feature here on Mystery Fanfare and welcome Robert Ryan, half of the writing partnership known as R.J. Bailey. Safe from Harm has been nominated for a BARRY Award. Writing with a partner can be tricky, and Robert Ryan shares info today on how he and Deborah Ryan have gone about it. Robert Ryan was born in Liverpool. He was a travel journalist on The Sunday Times until his first novel, Underdogs (set in Seattle), was published, when he left to become a freelance author and journalist. Since then he has published twenty novels, including two co-written with his wife Deborah as R J Bailey. His first produced screenplay, Hurricane, about Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain, is scheduled for release in 2019. 

PARTNERS IN CRIME

Robert Ryan:
Marriage Can Be Murder


Double acts are notoriously fractious. Writing books is famously difficult. Marriage is obviously a weighty, tricky undertaking. Who on earth would combine these three things by writing a novel with their wife or husband? Well, we would. We are hardly the first, I know, but it took some serious soul-searching before we agreed that Robert and Deborah Ryan should join forces to become R J Bailey.

First of all, some background. The idea was initially mooted by Deborah when I was writing the final book in my quartet about Dr Watson (yes, that one) working at a medic in World War One, as Arthur Conan Doyle had suggested he would in His Last Bow. The novel, The Sign of Fear, was set in London during the air raids carried out by German Gotha bombers. It was research-heavy because I had to juggle the historical context and era-appropriate medicine for Watson to practice with making sure not to upset the legion of Sherlock Holmes fans. I might have mentioned this in passing once. Maybe twice. Either way, Deborah suggested that for the next book I should write a contemporary novel, something I hadn’t done for quite a time. “You wouldn’t have to spend so much time in libraries then.”

I mulled this over. Crime and thrillers are my area. Does the world really need another damaged detective? Or a hard-drinking PI? A serial killer? Deborah came up with the solution. She found an ad online that began:

“We are looking for an experienced Female CPO/PPO/Driver OR an experienced Driver with a knowledge of security for our clients in Westminster. (The candidate gender restriction is due to cultural reasons.) You will be driving the new Rolls Royce Ghost and MUST have previous experience driving luxury cars.”

A female Close or Personal Protection Officer? (They don’t like the word “bodyguard”.) Had there been one in fiction? Well, yes, but not many and none I could find set in the UK. And London was the centre for female bodyguards, due to the large influx of Middle Eastern families in the summer who don’t want their wives and children to be supervised by a man.

While I did a polish on Sign of Fear, Deborah set about creating a backstory for Samantha Wylde, as we named our embryonic PPO. Most of those in the security industry (“The Circuit”, as they call it) have police or army background, so she made Sam a battlefield medic who had done time in Iraq. She was a single mother, because her husband had been shot and killed by assailants unknown. Her daughter would be thirteen/fourteen and a bit of a handful (we had one of those ourselves, although she is now studying neuroscience at college). There would also be a first husband, the father of the child, who would be trying to get access/custody. Best girlfriends were sketched in (a fellow PPO and a journalist friend of her late husband) and a love interest (who lives on one of London’s canals, an aspect of the city we really enjoy).

Then we went to Dublin, to interview Lisa Baldwin, a friendly female PPO, who shared the highs and lows of the job as well as some funny and not-so-funny incidents with clients. By that time two months had passed and I felt we were ready to go. Enough with the research.

So, we sat down at opposite desks in the same office and typed out various sections of the story. But we couldn’t get the styles to meld. We soon realised that the novel had to be written as first person female. And by one person. Eventually we decided I would write and Deborah would edit each chapter as it came along and suggest re-writes, scenarios, plot points as well as giving me make-up and underwear tips. And the odd wisecrack.

There was one chapter, though, where I passed over a virtually blank page. It said: This is a sex scene. There is only one in the book. Make it a good ‘un.

Because although I felt comfortable describing Sam running, shooting, arguing with her daughter and fighting with Russian mobsters, I wasn’t sure I was ready to get into (or claim to understand) the female psyche for sex.

Anyway, it worked (the book I mean; readers will have to judge for themselves about Deborah’s sex scene). The book – Safe From Harm - was sold on a “partial” (i.e. we had only written half of it) and when Simon & Schuster road tested those pages around the office and asked if the author was a man or a woman, about 70% of people were sure the writer was female.

We repeated the process with the sequel, Nobody Gets Hurt, which came out this month, and have just completed the first draft of Winner Kills All for 2019 release. All three have been optioned by a well-known TV production company in the UK. Will there be a fourth? We’re still married, so there could be. But first, I have an idea for a historical spy novel, narrated by a man. It might be back to the libraries for a while. At least I won’t have to worry about make-up.