Thursday, January 22, 2015

Edgar Award Nominees Announced

Mystery Writers of America announced the Nominees for the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the
best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2014. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at the 69th Gala Banquet, April 29, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

BEST NOVEL
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown)
Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse – Ballantine Books)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton)
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown Publishers)
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Albani (Penguin Randomhouse – Penguin Books)
Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Barkeep by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)
The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)

BEST FACT CRIME
Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America
by Kevin Cook (W.W. Norton)
The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Other Side: A Memoir by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House Books)
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
by William Mann (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation
by Harold Schechter (Amazon Publishing – New Harvest)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis 
by Charles Brownson (McFarland & Company)
James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
by Jim Mancall (Oxford University Press)

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch (University of Illinois Press)
Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film
by Francis M. Nevins (Perfect Crime Books)
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe
by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton – Countryman Press)

BEST SHORT STORY

"The Snow Angel" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)
"200 Feet" – Strand Magazine by John Floyd (The Strand)
"What Do You Do?" – Rogues by Gillian Flynn
(Penguin Randomhouse Publishing – Ballantine Books)
"Red Eye" – Faceoff by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly (Simon & Schuster)
"Teddy" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Brian Tobin (Dell Magazines)

BEST JUVENILE
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
(Clarion Books – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder
and Steve Hockensmith (Quirk Books)
Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT
The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group – Kathy Dawson Books)
Fake ID by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children's Books - Amistad)
The Art of Secrets by James Klise (Algonquin Young Readers)
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
"The Empty Hearse" – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)
"Unfinished Business" – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O'Connor (CBS)
"Episode 1" – Happy Valley, Teleplay by Sally Wainwright (Netflix)
"Dream Baby Dream" – The Killing, Teleplay by Sean Whitesell (Netflix)
"Episode 6" – The Game, Teleplay by Toby Whithouse (BBC America)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD "Getaway Girl" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine By Zoë Z. Dean (Dell Magazines)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD

(Presented at MWA's Agents & Editors Party on Tuesday, April 28, 2015)
Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books)
The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey (Minotaur Books)
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)
Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)
The Black Hour
by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Source: Mystery Writers of America

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Masterpiece unveils two new shows for 2015

Watch for these two shows later this year. PBS just announced the addition of Arthur & George and Home Fires to its Sunday night lineup. Starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as world-famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel follows the separate but intersecting lives of two very different men: a half-Indian son of a vicar who is framed for a crime he may or may not have committed, and Doyle, who investigates the case.
Home Fires stars MASTERPIECE favorites Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey) and Francesca Annis (Reckless) as part of a remarkable group of women living in a small rural village during World War II. Separated from husbands, fathers, sons and brothers for years at a time—some permanently—they find themselves under extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world.
Grantchester is currently running on PBS Masterpiece; Episode 1 aired last Sunday. Set in the English countryside’s most idyllic village, Grantchester follows two unlikely allies as they solve a series of cases that reveal the dark side of early 1950s England.

Handsome, young vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) shares his spiritual duties with a love of jazz, complicated relationships with women, and an enthusiasm for amateur sleuthing. When the concern of a parishioner compels him to dig deeper into a grisly suicide, he gets on the nerve of a tired, local law enforcement officer—Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green). Fortunately, the cleric and the cop bond over their war service, their love of a good pub, and their competitive instincts—in this case, for backgammon.

Grantchester is based on the acclaimed novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie, which was called “the coziest of cozy murder mysteries” by the New York Times Book Review. The series stars James Norton (Chambers), who recently appeared on MASTERPIECE’s Death Comes to Pemberley as the underdog defense lawyer, and was also seen as the psychopathic villain in Happy Valley. Co-star Robson Green (Keating) is already revered for a number of MASTERPIECE starring roles, including the seductive hero opposite Francesca Annis in the runaway hit Reckless.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Best Reads of 2014

It's that time of year when everyone is putting out their "Best of ..." lists. Here are some of the great reads of 2014. How many have you read?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Things Half in Shadow

My first book of the new year turned out to be quite an entertaining read! Alan Finn's Things Half in Shadow is a historical thriller with a supernatural bent.

Enter the world of mediums, spiritualism, and seances in 1869 Philadelphia. In the years following the Civil War, grieving families searched for ways to contact their departed loved ones. Desperate for words of comfort, these vulnerable people were easy targets for charlatans.

Edward Clark is an intrepid crime journalist with his own closet of ghosts and secrets. A young man of comfortable means and a beautiful fiancée from a well-connected family, Clark could lose it all when his editor assigns him to write a series of exposés of the City's fraudulent mediums. His first subject is the beautiful Mrs. Lucy Collins. When Edward uncovers her trickery, he finds that her real talent lies in blackmail. Holding his dark past over his head, Mrs. Collins convinces Edward to work with her to expose her competitors.

When Lucy and Edward attend a seance by noted medium Lenora Grimes Pastor, they find themselves suspects after Mrs. Pastor turns up murdered. The only way to salvage both their livelihoods is to find the real killer.

Things Half in Shadow is rich in historical detail with intriguing characters. The line between reality and the paranormal is tantalizingly blurred in this delightful thriller. Fans of Caleb Carr, Dan Simmons, Sarah Waters, and John Harwood will enjoy it. I truly hated to see the book end.  Of course, the door is left open for further adventures with Edward and Lucy.

Alan Finn is the pen name of an acclaimed author of mysteries and thrillers. He has worked as an editor, journalist,, and ghostwriter. Finn lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

See what's new for 2015

Happy New Year! What better way to spend a wintry day than with a new mystery. Here's a nice selection for every taste.
  • White Plague [Joe Rush] by James Abel
  • Nantucket Fivespot [Henry Kennis] by Steven Axelrod
  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust [Flavia de Luce] by Alan Bradley
    Dead Man’s Daughter [Britt Montero] by Edna Buchanan
  • Blood of the South [Aelf Fen] by Alys Clare 
  • Knocked [Regan Reilly] by Carol Higgins Clark
  • Dead of Night [Tom Mariner] by Chris Collett 
  • Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant by Hy Conrad
  • Toured to Death [Amy’s Travel] by Hy Conrad
  • Devil’s Dance [David Spandau] by Daniel Depp 
  • Death Comes to the Ballets Russes [Lord Francis Powerscourt] by David Dickinson
  • The Book of Fires [Brother Athelstan] by Paul Doherty
  • Shark Skin Suite [Serge Storms] by Tim Dorsey
  • The Death Season [Wesley Peterson] by Kate Ellis
  • Silence the Dead by Jack Fredrickson 
  • The Ghost Shift by John Gapper
  • Murder by Gravity: The Coffin Quilt [Quilted] by Barbara Graham 
  • Winter at the Door [Lizzie Stone] by Sarah Graves
  • After the Fall [Dr. Laura Nelson] by Patricia Gussin
  • Retribution by David Hagberg
  • Puzzled Indemnity [Puzzle Lady] by Parnell Hall
  • The Carrier [Zailer & Waterhouse] by Sophie Hannah 
  • The Big Seven by Jim Harrison
  • The Abduction of Smith and Smith by Rashad Harrison
  • The Girl on the Train  by Paula Hawkins
  • The Soul of Discretion [Simon Serrailler] by Susan Hill
  • Cold Cold Heart  by Tami Hoag
  • The Reckoning by James Patrick Hunt 
  • Arsenic and Old Books [Cat in the Stacks] by Miranda James
  • Done in One by Grant Jerkins & Jan Thomas
  • The German Agent  by J. Sydney Jones 
  • The Unquiet Dead [Esa Khattak & Rachel Getty] by Ausma Zehanat Khan
  • The Sirena Quest by Michael A. Kahn
  • The Curse of the House of Foskett [Gower Street Detective] by M.R.C. Kasasian .
  • Breaking Creed [Ryder Creed] by Alex Kava
  • Saint Odd [Odd Thomas] by Dean Koontz
  • Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz                        
  • Viking Bay [Kay Hamilton] by M.A. Lawson
  • Fear the Darkness [Brigid Quinn] by Becky Masterman
  • Where the Bones Are Buried [Dinah Pelerin] by Jeanne Matthews
  • Show Me the Gold [Phoenix Smith] by Carolyn Mulford 
  • The Body Snatchers Affair [Carpenter & Quincannon] by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
  • Classic Cashes In [Car Detective] by Amy Myers
  • The Ice Queen [Bodenstein & Kirchhoff] by Nele Neuhaus
  • The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Dead Red [Raymond Donne] by Tim O’Mara
  • Private Vegas [Private] by James Patterson & Maxine Pietro
  • A String of Beads [Jane Whitefield] by Thomas Perry
  • Murder [Dr. Bond] by Sarah Pinborough 
  • The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
  • The Fateful Day [Libertus] by Rosemary Rowe 
  • Rising Tide [Emily Harrington] by Patricia Ryan 
  • One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis 
  • The Kings of London [Cathal Breen & Helen Tozer] by William Shaw 
  • Near Enemy [Spadema] by Adam Sternbergh
  • Bred To Kill [Franck Sharko & Lucie Hennebelle] by Franck Thilliez
  • Ostland by David Thomas 
  • The Witch Hunter’s Tale [Bridget Hodgson] by Sam Thomas
  • A Fine Summer’s Day [Ian Rutledge] by Charles Todd
  • A Teeny Taste of Scandal [Teeny Templeton] by Michael Lee West
  • The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe [Anne Marie Laveaud] by Timothy Williams
  • Insatiable Appetites [Stone Barrington] by Stuart Woods
  • The Swimmer by Joakim Zander 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Agatha Raisin Comes to British TV


M.C. Beaton's quirkiest snoop is coming to Britain's Sky 1 TV for Christmas. Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death stars Ashley Jensen, who American audiences might recognize as the unfortunate wife in Masterpiece Theatre's The Escape Artist. Her voice has also been heard in numerous animated films such as Arthur Christmas, Gnomeo & Juliet, and How to Train Your Dragon.

It will no doubt be a year or two before Beaton fans on this side of the Atlantic will be able to sample Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, at least on DVD. Hopefully this adaptation of M.C. Beaton's popular series will fare better on the screen that the last attempt with the Hamish MacBeth series in the late 1990s. Although an excellent actor, Glaswegian Robert Carlyle wasn't exactly how I pictured the lanky Highlands copper. In any event, we'll keep our eyes peeled for the release of the DVD in America.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Unwrap These New Mysteries

Are you ready for the holidays? In between cyber-shopping and present wrapping, here's a selection
of new mysteries to distract you from the hustle and bustle of December. There are great choices for a variety of tastes and preferences. I am currently reading the pre-pub of Anthony Horowitz's Moriarty. This is the second novel set in the world of Sherlock Holmes following The House of Silk (2011). More on Moriarty in an upcoming post. Meanwhile, let the reading begin!
  • Paying the Ferryman [Naomi Blake] by Jane Adams
  • Perfect Sins [Gabriel Ash & Hazel Best] by Jo Bannister
  • The Doll’s House [Philip Brennan] by Tania Carver 
  • Scorched Eggs [Cackleberry Club] by Laura Childs
  • Blood Rubies [Josie Prescott Antiques] by Jane K. Cleland
  • Enter Pale Death [Joe Sandilands] by Barbara Cleverly
  • Once upon a Grind [Coffeehouse] by Cleo Coyle
  • The Firebird’s Feather by Marjorie Eccles
  • You Know Who Killed Me [Amos Walker] by Loren D. Estleman
  • Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart [Peculiar Crimes Unit] by Christopher Fowler
  • Die Again [Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles] by Tess Gerritsen
  • Deadly Assets [Badge of Honor] by W.E.B. Griffin &
    William E. Butterworth IV
  • The Big Finish [Thorn] by James W. Hall
  • Crimson Angel [Benjamin January] by Barbara Hambly
  • Rain on the Dead [Sean Dillon] by Jack Higgins
  • The Soul of Discretion [Simon Serrailler] by Susan Hill
  • Moriarty [Sherlock Holmes] by Anthony Horowitz
  • Disclosures [Colin Harpur & Desmond Iles] by Bill James
  • Sweet Damage by Rebecca James
  • Swimming in the Shadows by Diane Janes
  • Saint Odd [Odd Thomas] by Dean Koontz 
  • Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin
  • Deeds of Darkness [Home Front Detective] by Edward Marston
  • The Skeleton Road [Karen Pirie] by Val McDermid
  • High Stakes [Jack Doyle] by John McEvoy
  • A Nip of Murder [Moonshine] by Carol Miller
  • Gods of Gold [Tom Harper] by Chris Nickson
  • Kill ’em with Cayenne [Spice Shop] by Gail Oust
  • The Cruiser [Dan Lenson] by David Poyer
  • Suspicion at Seven [Lois Meade] by Ann Purser
  • Fifty Mice  by Daniel Pyne
  • The Wolf and the Lamb [Jerusalem] by Frederick Ramsay
  • Hush  by Karen Robards
  • The Iris Fan [Sano Ichiro by Laura Joh Rowland
  • Asylum City by Liad Shoham
  • The Money Tree Murders [Michael Angel] by Roger Silverwood
  • Family Plot [John Pickett] by Sheri Cobb South
  • Nothing but Lies [Daniel Whelan] by Lyndon Stacey
  • Dead Wrong by Patricia Stoltey
  • Thief [Robin Monarch] by Mark T. Sullivan
  • The Voices  by Frank Tallis
  • No Fortunate Son [Pike Logan] by Brad Taylor
  • Blue Avenue [Daniel Turner] by Michael Wiley