Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Murder is My Byline

Since the Burbank Public Library is promoting Jan Burke's Goodnight, Irene (and Irene Kelly is a reporter), I thought I would pull together a list of mysteries featuring journalists.  Some are cozies, some are gritty.  So pick your poison!

  • Contents Under Pressure by Edna Buchanan
  • A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
  • Blood Memory by Margaret Coel
  • Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
  • The Unraveling of Violeta Bell by C. R. Corwin
  • The Alpine Pursuit by Mary Daheim
  • Black and White and Dead All Over by John Darnton
  • A Vickie Hill Exclusive by Hannah Dennison
  • Zoo Station by David Downing
  • The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton
  • Field of Blood by Denise Mina
  • Secondhand Smoke by Karen E. Olson
  • Cemetery Dance by Douglas  Preston
  • Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
  • Murder at the Washington Tribune by Margaret Truman
  • Hand of Fate by Lis W. Wiehl

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Final Verdict -- A Brilliant Evening of Mystery

The kickoff event for the Burbank Public Library's "One Book, One City" promotion of Jan Burke's Goodnight, Irene was "An Invitation to Murder," an afterhours murder mystery.  The evening  was attended by nearly 120 amateur sleuths who followed the "detective" throughout the library searching for clues.
Between the appetizers and the dessert, another victim was discovered -- librarian David Peterson was found in one of the study rooms, stabbed to death!  Mystery buffs studied the crime scene, discussed the clues and the line-up of suspects.  After dessert was served, the murderer was revealed!

The next six weeks will be filled with guest speakers, film programs, and other activities to promote the selected book, Goodnight, Irene. Get more info on all the activities both here and on the Burbank READS blog.

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Invitation to Murder

The Burbank Public Library begins its six-week "One Book, One City" promotion tonight with a Murder Mystery in the Library.  A local acting troupe will lead the investigation into the dastardly deed which involves, appropriately enough, murder and mayhem at an "Author Event" held at the library.  As guests mingle with their plates of Lemon Balsamic Chicken Bites and Caprese Skewers, they will try to outwit the detective and solve the case.

Library staff have been busy preparing for the start of the big event.  Some have really gotten into the spirit of it all!  The public is eagerly anticipating all the events coming up.  Staff have been accosted in the streets and even in their yoga class by would-be crime-solvers who can't wait for tonight's murder.

The local Barnes and Noble bookstore is also participating.  They've put together a great window display, stocked up on Jan Burke's Goodnight, Irene, and make the Library's promotional items available to their customers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Irene Kelly Mystery Next Spring

Fans of the Irene Kelly books can look forward to a new installment in the series.  Author Jan Burke recently announced in her blog that she was just finishing the book, Disturbance,  which is due to be released in April 2011.

If you haven't read any of Burke's mysteries, now is the perfect time to start!  The Burbank Public Library has selected her first book, Goodnight, Irene,  as the city-wide read.  Find out what will happen if everyone in Burbank reads the same book at the same time!

Monday, August 16, 2010

American Casting of Salander Announced

Columbia Pictures confirmed the casting of Rooney Mara as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on Monday.  The role of edgy hacker Lisbeth Salander in the American big screen adaptation of Steig Larsson's Milennium trilogy had been linked to a number of actresses including Natalie Portman and Carey Mulligan.  Daniel Craig has already been cast in the role of Mikael Blomquist.  Read more here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Tasty Treat for Cozy Lovers

Warning! DO NOT READ THIS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH! My advice is to pour yourself a nice glass of your favorite wine, load up a plate of munchies, then settle in a comfy chair and prepare to be entertained.

The Long Quiche Goodbye, the first in Avery Aames’ new Cheese Shop Mystery series, has all the ingredients necessary for a charming cozy. Colorful characters, engaging plot, a quaint location, and—recipes! From someone who buys her Swiss and Cheddar from the cheese aisle at the neighborhood market, I never guessed there was such diversity. It’s nice to learn something new while enjoying a whodunit.

Welcome to the Fromagerie Bessette, or the Cheese Shop, as it’s known to the locals of Providence, Ohio. Charlotte Bessette, taking over the management with her cousin Matthew, has thrown open the newly remodeled doors for a grand opening celebration. The town folk are having a delightful time tasting the bold cheeses and sampling the wines when a shriek announces the piéce de résistance. The shop’s slimey landlord is found with an olive-wood handle knife stuck in his chest—and Charlotte’s grandmother is the number one suspect.

The mystery is as satisfying as the culinary references throughout the book. And if you have the urge to create your own fromage masterpiece, the recipes at the back will get you started. The Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone Risotto sounds especially taste-tempting.

Avery Aames' next delightful entry in the Cheese Shop Mysteries is Lost and Fondue. Visit Avery's website here.  Now you must excuse me, I’m off to the market to pick up some Mascarpone…

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shamus Award Nominees

The Shamus Award is given by the Private Eye Writers of America to honor excellent work in the Private Eye genre.The award was created by Robert J. Randisi in 1981.  Here are the 2010 Shamus Award Nominations:


The Silent Hour by Michael Koryta
Where the Dead Lay by David Levien
Locked In by Marcia Muller
Schemers by Bill Pronzini
My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigurdardottir


Loser’s Town by Daniel Depp
The Last Gig by Norman Green
The Good Son by Russel D. McLean
Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks
Chinatown Angel by A.E. Roman


Dark Side of the Morgue by Raymond Benson
Sinner’s Ball by Ira Berkowitz
Red Blooded Murder by Laura Caldwell
Vengeance Road by Rick Mofina
Body Blows by Marc Strange


"The Dark Island" by Brendan DuBois, Boston Noir (Akashic)
"Deadline Edition" by S.L. Franklin, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2009
“Blazin' on Broadway" by Gary Phillips, Phoenix Noir (Akashic)
"Suicide Bonds" by Tim L. Williams, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2009
"Julius Katz" by Dave Zeltserman, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2009

Congratulations and good luck!

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Conversation with Sisters in Crime

Mystery fans at the Burbank Public Library were treated to a lively discussion on Saturday with four members of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime.  Daryl Wood Gerber, who wrote The Long Quiche Goodbye: a Cheese Shop Mystery under the name Avery Aames, Jeri Westerson, author of Serpent in the ThornsLorie Ham, author of The Final Note, and moderator Jackie Vick discussed their most recent books and shed a little light on the "behind the curtain" realities of the book publishing world.

An interesting topic that came up was the growing popularity of online book trailers that  authors are producing.  Many of these trailers have the sophisticated production values of a movie trailer.  Here is Jeri Westerson's Crispin Guest trailer.  What do you think about using book trailers as marketing tools?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

NPR Top 100 Thrillers

So, did you vote for your top ten favorite thrillers?  Have you been hanging by a thread to learn the outcome??  Well, the votes have been tabulated and the number one killer thriller is (drumroll, please) -- The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.

With over 100,000 votes cast, the list is certainly eclectic, with some classics surpassing  bestsellers.  I was glad to see that some of my all time favs made the cut:  The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (#72), The Poet by Michael Connelly (#40), and Steig Larsson's Millenium trilogy.  Which author was the biggest vote-getter?  Stephen King, with six of the top 100, came out on top.  Lee Child was second with 4 books on the list, and Michael Crichton, Dennis Lehane and Steig Larsson tied for third place, with 3 books each.

Here are the top ten books chosen by readers:
  1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  3. Kiss the Girls by James Patterson
  4. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  7. The Shining by Stephen King
  8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  9. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
  10. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
For the complete list, visit the NPR site here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hard Boiled Mystery Question of the Week.

Question of the week:
This author is noted for penning novels about the lurid 1950s Los Angeles of his youth. Who is he?
Answer to last week's question: Jim Thompson author of the pulp classic The Killer Inside Me currently playing in a movie theater near you!

Use the comment link to leave your answers. The correct answer will be posted next week along with a new question.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Mysteries on TNT

According to the Hollywood Reporter, TNT has ordered new seasons of "The Closer," "Leverage," and "Rizzoli and Isles" for 2011. Michael Wright, executive vice-president and head of programming for TNT, TBS, and TCM reports, "All three shows feature terrific casts, sharp writing, and top-notch production teams."    I'd have to say I agree.  Good news for those of us who enjoy watching our mysteries in addition to reading them!