Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Edgar Allan Poe Awards

Mystery Writers of America presented the Edgar Award for the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, and televistion published or produced in 2010.  The award was presented to the winners at the 65th Gala Banquet at the grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 28, 2011.  Congratulations to all!
BEST NOVEL
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Long time Coming by Robert Goddard

BEST FACT CRIME
Scoreboard, Baby:  A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
Charlie Chan:  The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvouz with American History by Yunte Huang

BEST SHORT STORY
"The Scent of Lilacs" by Doug Allyn (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

BEST JUVENILE
The Buddy Files:  The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler

BEST YOUNG ADULT
Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price

BEST PLAY
The Psychic by Sam Bobrick (Falcon Theatre -- Burbank, California

BEST TLEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
"Episode 1" - Luther, Teleplay by Neil Cross (BBC America)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
"Skylar Hobbs and the Rabbit Man" by Evan Lewis (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Monday, April 25, 2011

A May Basket of Mysteries

With the merry month of May just around the corner, here are some new mysteries to pursue:

Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames (Cheese Shop paperback series)
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block (Matt Scudder series)
Hiss of Death by Rita Mae Brown (Mrs. Murphy series)
Murder Under Cover by Kate Carlisle (Bibliophile paperback series)
The Worst Thing by Aaron Elkins
Spider Web by Earlene Fowler (Benni Harper series)
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series)
Classified as Murder by Miranda James (Cat in the Stacks paperback series)
Trader of Secrets by Steve Martini (Paul Madriani series)
The Fairie Hills by Susan McDuffie (Muirteach series)
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Harry Hole series)
The Devil's Light by Richard North Patterson
The Informant by Thomas Perry (Butcher's Boy series)
Clutches and Curses by Dorothy Howell (Haley Randolph series)
Born to Die by Lisa Jackson (Selena Alvarex & Regan Pescoli series)
The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg (Hedstrom & Falck series)
Buried Prey by John Sandford (Lucas Davenport series)
Fallen by Karin Slaughter (Will Trent & Sara Linton series)
Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader (Jack McClure series)
Pumped for Murder by Elaine Viets (Helen Hawthorne series)

Monday, April 18, 2011

What Aunt Agatha is Reading--The Silenced by Brett Battles

There is nothing I like better than an action-packed thriller that melds interesting, multi-faceted characters with intrigue and exotic locales.  I grew up on the spy novels of Helen MacInnes, Alastair MacLean, and others of their ilk -- traipsing through European cities with the  Cold War alphabet soup of intelligence operatives.  Of course in those days, the CIA were the good guys; now, it's not so clear-cut.

Brett Battles' latest Quinn book, The Silenced, sounded like it would be right up my alley.  Although I hadn't read any of his previous three in the series, I didn't get lost in past associations.  I was immediately plunged into the action.  For the uninitiated, Jonathan Quinn is a professional "cleaner."  He makes things disappear -- as in bodies and the messy details of murder. 

Quinn and his team take on a somewhat odd job, remove a body hidden twenty years ago in a London building before it's demolished.  Just as he's ready to start on the job, however, Quinn's  past catches up with him..  His true past, not the carefully created facade.  A plot threatens all he holds dear and Quinn must unravel threads that stretch from the former Soviet Union to Hong Kong, from Los Angeles to Maine, from Paris to London.  If he can discover the identity of the body in London, it may be his only chance to find out why he and his friends are being targeted.

I really enjoyed reading The Silenced.  Great plot twists, fascinating characters, and location details that speak of a traveler's experience, not factoids gathered on the Internet.  When Quinn speeds through the London streets,  you feel like you're there.   Yes, I remember that train station, or street, or tube entrance.  Love that about his books!  So even if you're not taking a European vacation this year, pick up The Silenced, or one of Battles' other thrillers for a great "stay-cation ." 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Castle, Connelly, and Lehane...What more could you ask?

For those of you who might have missed the last episode of the TV show, Castle, here was my personal favorite part of the show -- the Poker Game sequence. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Movie News

If you are wondering at the time between posts lately, it's because Aunt Agatha is busy organinzing a mini-Book Festival in Burbank as part of the City's Centennial Celebration.  More about that here.  So between now and May 7th, the posts may be a bit sporadic.

However, there has been quite a bit of mysteries and movies in the news lately.

Deadline New York reported that Universal Studios has acquired the rights to Daniel Silva's excellent series of bestsellers featuring Gabriel Allon, art restorer and semi-retired Mossad agent.  Silva will executive produce the franchise and the studios will immediately go out to writers.  The next book in the series, Portrait of a Spy, is due out in July.

Last week it was announced that Disney Studios had plans to remake Agatha Christie's Miss Marple with Jennifer Garner attached to play the classic sleuth as a younger, sassier version.  Apparently this didn't sit well with the Brits.  While the BBC did a remarkable job reinventing Sherlock Holmes, there was quite a bit of scorn generated by the Disney plans.  In a Deadline London post, Chorion, the company which owns the rights to Agatha Christie's work, has told the BBC that the Disney deal was not closed.

Laura Thompson, Christie biographer, said that Agatha Christie would not have been happy with the news.  When MGM bought the rights to Miss Marple in the late 1950s and cast Margaret Rutherford in the role, Christie disliked the interpretation so much, she complained in a letter, "Why don't they just invent a new character?  Then they can have their cheap fun and leave me and my creations alone."