Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Edgar Awards

The prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards were presented at the 64th Gala Banquet held April 29th in New York City.  Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners.

The Grandmaster this year was Dorothy Gilman, author of the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries.  Here are the 2010 winners:


  • Best Novel: The Last Child by John Hart (Minotaur Books)
  • Best First Novel by an American Author: In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (Minotaur Books)
  • Best Paperback Original: Body Blows by Marc Strange (Castle Street Mysteries)
  • Best Short Story: "Amapola" by Luis Urrea in Phoenix Noir (Akashic Books)
  • Best Critical/Biographical: The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of   Their Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler (Hachette Book Group-Little, Brown)
  • Best Juvenile: Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn (HMH Children's Book)
  • Best Young Adult: Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (HarperTeen)
  • Best TV Episode Teleplay: "Place of Execution," teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (PBS) based on Val McDermid's novel)
  • Best Fact Crime: Columbine by Dave Cullen (Twelve)
  • Ellery Queen Award: Poisoned Pen Press, Barbara Peters & Robert Rosenwald
  • Raven Award #1: Zef Buffman, International Mystery Writers Festival
  • Raven Award #2: Mystery Lovers Bookshop (Oakmont, PA)
  • Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: "A Dreadful Day" by Dan Warthman, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (Dell Magazines)
  • The Simon & Schuster-Mary Higgins Clark Award: (Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 28, 2010): Awakening by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)
For more information on The Edgars, visit Mystery Writers of America's website.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Be on the Lookout for These New Releases

Here is a selected list of hardcover releases for May and June.

(May) 
Lee Child -- 61 Hours (Jack Reacher)
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child -- Fever Dream   
(Agent Pendergast)
Earlene Fowler -- State Fair (Benni Harper)
Nicci French -- The Other Side of the Door
Andrew Grant -- Die Twice  (David Trevellyan)
Charlaine Harris -- Dead in the Family  (Sookie Stackhouse)
David Hewson -- City of Fear (Nic Costa)
Ken Kuhlken -- The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles (Tom Hickey)
Steig Larson -- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy)
Donna Leon -- A Question of Belief (Guido Brunetti)
Thomas Perry -- Strip
Nancy Pickard -- The Scent of Rain and Lightning
M.J. Rose -- The Hypnotist
Laura Joh Rowland -- Bedlam:  The Further Adventures of Charlotte Bronte
Scott Turow -- Innocent
Elaine Viets -- Half-Price Homicide (Dead-End Job)

(June)
Rebecca Cantrell -- A Night of Long Knives (Hannah Vogel)
Catherine Coulter -- Whiplash (FBI)
Jeffrey Deaver -- The Burning Wire (Lincoln Rhyme)
Carola Dunn -- A Colourful Death (Cornish)
Barry Eisler -- Inside Out (Ben Treven)
Janet Evanovich -- Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum)
Dorothy Howell -- Shoulder Bags and Shootings  (Haley Randolph)
Marshall Karp  -- Cut, Paste, Kill (Lomax & Biggs)
Sophie Littlefield -- A Bad Day for Pretty (Stella Hardesty)
Maggie Sefton -- Skein of the Crime (Knitting)
Victoria Thompson -- Murder on Lexington Avenue (Gaslight)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Upcoming Janet Evanovich Graphic Novel.

Aha, all of you mystery fans out there may deduce that this post isn't by Aunt Agatha but by one of her henchmen!

A quick note and a link to an interview with Janet Evanovich about her first graphic novel "Toublemaker." This will feature Alex Barnaby who has been featured in Evanovich's novels Metro Girl and Motor Mouth.

If successful, would she try a Stephanie Plum graphic novel?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 Masterpiece Mystery! Season

As a huge fan of Masterpiece Mystery! on PBS, I was very pleased to see a return of old friends. Here is the line up for Mystery! 2010. All episodes are 90 minutes. You can also view them online here (usually for a limited basis around the air date). Watch for new episodes of Kenneth Branagh’s Wallendar coming in the fall.

FOYLE’S WAR
Michael Kitchen returns as Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle in three brand new episodes. It is June 1945, and VE Day has been celebrated in Britain. The state of the country, however, is far from jubilant in the aftermath of war.

May 2: “The Russian House”
May 9: “Killing Time”
May 16: “The Hide”

MISS MARPLE
Julia McKenzie is back in the role of Agatha Christie’s spinster sleuth, pursuing a series of new crimes and dark occurrences.

May 23: “The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side”
June 6: “A Pocket Full of Rye” (Encore)
June 13: “Murder is Easy” (Encore)
June 20: “The Secret of Chimneys”
June 27: “The Blue Geranium”

HERCULE POIROT
David Suchet reprises his role as suave detective Hercule Poirot in three new episodes. Whether he’s on holiday or simply going about his business near his London home, Poirot finds himself exercising his “little grey cells” by helping police investigate crimes and murders…whether they ask for his help or not.

July 11: “Murder on the Orient Express”
July 18: “The Third Girl”
July 25: “Appointment with Death”
August 1: “Cat Among the Pigeons” (Encore)

INSPECTOR LEWIS
Kevin Whately returns for a third season as Inspector Lewis in five new episodes. Once again joined by Laurence Fox as Lewis’ young partner DS Hathaway, the detectives continue solving cases in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford.

Aug. 8: “Allegory of Love” (Encore)
Aug. 15: “Quality of Mercy” (Encore)
Aug. 22: “Point of Vanishing” (Encore)
Aug. 29: “Counter Culture Blues”

*Additional episodes will be announced.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

If you are going to be in the Los Angeles area next weekend, April 24 & 25, you might want to join the thousands of book lovers converging on the UCLA campus for the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.  It's a great opportunity to meet authors, enjoy fascinating panel discussions, and hobnob with other bibliophiles.  I've been going almost every year and it's always a real treat.

Numerous mystery bookstores and organizations are onsite with scheduled signings by authors such as Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Gayle Lynds, among others.  Be sure to stop by the Mystery Writers of America and the Sisters of Crime booths.

Visit the Festival's website for more information.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Want to Die Laughing?

A big Thank You to Parnell Hall (author of the Puzzle Lady books) for concocting this "killer" video!  Enjoy "Kill 'Em."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Murder in Small Doses

Last Saturday the Burbank Public Library hosted members of Sisters in Crime/ Los Angeles Chapter for a panel discussion on short story writing.  Moderator Jane DiLucchio (Relationships Can Be Murder) did a brilliant job of involving the audience in the discussion by asking, "Why read a short story?"  Some of the responses from the floor were quite inspired!

In addition to Jane (whose first short story was recently selected for an upcoming Sisters in Crime anthology, Murder in La-La Land), the panel included G.B. Pool and Kate Thornton, who have both written short stories, as well as taught workshops on the craft; and Michael Mallory, a prolific short story writer whose work can be found in magazines and anthologies, such as  Sherlock Holmes:  The American Years (2010) edited by Michael Kurland.

If you would like a taste of "Murder in Small Doses," try some of these anthologies:

LAndmarked for Murder/ Sisters in Crime, LA Chapter (2006) / edited by Harley jane Kozak, Michael Mallory, Nathan Walpow.

Los Angeles Noir (2007) / edited by Denise Hamilton.

Los Angeles Noir 2:  the Classics (2010) / edited by Denise Hamilton.

Murder on Sunset Blvd., Sisters in Crime, LA Chapter (2002) / edited by Rochelle Krich, Michael Mallory, Lisa Seidman.

Orange County Noir (2010) / edited by Gary Phillips and T. Jefferson Parker.

San Francisco Noir (2005) / edited by Peter Maravelis.

Thriller 2:  Stories You Can't put Down  (2009) / edited by Clive Cussler.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Celebrating Libraries and Librarians

National Library Week is April 11-17 and what better way to celebrate than by reading a book about a librarian. “How boring,” you might say. Au contraire, mon ami! The image of librarians has taken a decidedly radical turn these days. Perhaps the TNT series, The Librarian began chipping away at the stereotypical persona. Noah Wylie fighting off bad guys while in pursuit of mythical treasures for the Library is a far cry from “Marion the Librarian.”

Even children’s books are reflecting the shift in perspective. Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians pits the reluctant hero against a nefarious gang of librarians plotting to take over the world.

Mac Barnett's  Edgar-nominated book for young people, The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, we see secret agent librarians rappelling from helicopters. How boring is that! Aspiring supersleuth Steve Brixton, 12 years old, is mistaken for a real detective by a clandestine unit of librarian crime fighters. The librarians are searching for a missing historical artifact and they believe Steve is working with the traitor, Mr. E.

In Gayle Lynds’ latest release, The Book of Spies, she removes the "nerdiness" from book club members and makes them world class power brokers. And after reading this great thriller, you’ll never look at librarians the same way again.

Here is a selection of mysteries that feature libraries and librarians:
The Burglar in the Library: a Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery by Lawrence Block
The Case of the Missing Books: a mobile library mystery by Ian Sansom
Confidence Woman: a Claire Reynier mystery by Judith Van Gieson
Dead as a Dodo by Jane langton
Dewey Decimated by Charles A. Goodrum
Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley
Index to Murder: a Miss Zukas mystery by Jo Dereske
The Librarian by Larry Beinhart
Murder at the Library of Congress by Margaret Truman
Naked Once More by Elizabeth Peters
Real Murders: an Aurora Teagarden mystery by Charlaine Harris
Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo
Witch Hunt by Shirley Damsgaard

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Aunt Agatha is Reading

While at Left Coast Crime convention this past March, I attended a panel of thriller writers and one, in particular, caught my attention.  Boyd Morrison told an interesting tale about his road to publication.  Unable to get his first three thrillers published, he went the self-publishing route, selling the books on his website and through Amazon as Kindle downloads.  As sales soared through word of mouth, Morrison eventually got an agent and a contract with Simon & Schuster.  The result is the May release of The Ark. 

According to the publisher:  THE ARK is a thriller centered on a modern-day, science-based, reinterpretation of the biblical story of Noah where a combat engineer and an archeologist desperately search for the true relic of Noah’s ark to uncover the secret hidden inside before it is used to wipe out civilization as it did in Biblical times. The book was originally available only in e-book format where it grabbed the #1 spot on Kindle for e-book sales in the genre. Boyd is a PhD in industrial engineering and a former employee of both NASA and Microsoft. THE ARK will be published in Spring 2010.

When I met Boyd at Left Coast Crime, he was handing out pre-pubs of The Ark and I snapped one up. I started the book over the weekend and have had trouble putting it down ever since.  Boyd Morrison is contracted for at least one sequel, but if The Ark is any indication, we should be seeing  a lot more of him.  This is definitely an author to watch. 

Visit his website here.

Haunt Me Still -- US Release Date is April 15th

I have been waiting three long years for this book to come out!  I discovered Jennifer Lee Carrell's first novel, Interred With Their Bones,  in 2007 and LOVED it!  It's a fast-paced Shakespearean thriller with more plot twists than The Da Vinci Code.  Kate Stanley is back for another adventure in Haunt Me Still. This time she travels to Scotland to direct a production of MacBeth. In addition, Kate is searching for an earlier version of the Bard's play said to contain actual witchcraft rituals.

But it seem's the play's curse is in full force when a local woman is found murdered in a ritualistic manner.  Other strange happenings occur and Kate herself could be the next victim. 

Visit Jennifer Lee Carrell's website for more about Haunt Me Still.  The book was released in the UK as The Shakespeare Curse and is already a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller.  The author will be on a limited book tour in the next few months and fans in the Los Angeles area can meet her on May 22 at Vromans Bookstore in Pasadena.