Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bloody Scotland!

Organizers have announced Scotland's first international crime writers festival to be held September 14-16, 2012 in Stirling.  What a perfect time and place to celebrate Scotland's favorite genre!  Next year is also full of pertinent anniversaries -- 125 years since the first Sherlock Holmes story was published, 35 years since William McIlvanney's influential novel Laidlaw, and 25 years since the first publication of Ian Rankin's Rebus novels.

Scottish crime writers Denise Mina, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Stuart McBride and Louise Welch will join international guests for workshops, dinners, and "meet the author" events.  More to come early next year.  Read the article in The Scotsman.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Launching a Compelling New Series

Award-winning short story writer Darrell James has just launched his first novel, Nazareth Child,  featuring Del Shannon,  a gutsy, young investigator.  Del has quickly earned a reputation for sucessfully tracking down missing persons, but the one person she has not been able to locate is the mother she never knew.  Working out of a field office in Tucson, Arizona, Del is approached by the FBI to help them in an investigation they're conducting in rural Kentucky.

Del is stunned to learn that her father owns an abandoned house in the Appalachian hills.  The Feds are focusing on Nazareth Church, an isolated religious compound under the leadership of a charasmatic faith healer, Silus Rule.  But who is Rule and what secrets are hidden in his clannish community?  With the hope of discovering the whereabouts of her mother, Del agrees to be recruited by the FBI and travel undercover to Kentucky with ATFE agent Frank Falconer. 

Nazareth Child is a gripping thriller with power-punch characters and dialogue.  Yes, we're all going to want to see a lot more of Del Shannon.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

2011 Macavity Awards Announced

Mystery Readers International  announced the 2011 Macavity Awards last night during Bouchercon, the mega-conference being held in St. Louis. The Macavity Award  recognizes outstanding crime fiction and non-fiction.  Congratulations to all!

Best Mystery Novel -- Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Best First Mystery Novel -- Rogue Island by Bruce De Silva

Best Mystery Non-Fiction -- Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks:  50 Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran

Best Mystery Short Story -- "Swing Shift" in Crimes by Moonlight:  Mysteries from the Dark Side  by Dana Cameron

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery -- City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley

Monday, September 12, 2011

NBC-TV Buys Easy Rawlins

John Wells Productions has sold Easy Rawlins to NBC broadcast television.  The series is based on Walter Mosley’s best-selling novels about African-American P.I. Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, who solves crimes and deals with the changing world around him in 1960s Los Angeles. A reluctant, self-taught P.I. with a conscience and a soul, Easy slips between white Los Angeles and the black underground with remarkable ease.

The Easy Rawlins series is set from the 1940s to 1960s and spans eleven books.   Mosley will write the series adaptation with Southland co-executive producer Cheo Coker.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Free Writer's Workshop

If you're in the Los Angeles area on Saturday, September 17, stop by the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library for a fun and informative writer's workshop.  Sue Ann Jaffarian, one of the hardest working authors in L.A., will be presenting "Turning Agent Woes into Agent WOWS!"

Author of the Odelia Grey series of mysteries, the Ghost of Granny Apples series, and her new Madison Rose Vampire mysteries, Jaffarian will show writers how to put their best foot forward when approaching agents, whether in person or by query.  Click here for details.

Fans of Sue Ann Jaffarian should be on the lookout for the second of her vampire mysteries, Baited Blood.  It was released this month.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New for September

Fall is fast approaching and a new crop of mysteries are ready for the picking.  Check out these selections:
  • The Tale of Castle Cottage (Beatrix Potter series) by Susan Wittig Albert
  • Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridson
  • Senior Moments are Murder by Mike Befeler
  • A Mortal Terror (Billy Boyle series) by James R. Benn
  • Naughty in Nice (Lady Georgiana series) by Rhyse Bowen
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone) by Michael Brandman
  • Lethal by Sandra Brown
  • Feast Day of Fools by Sandra Brown
  • The Perfect Suspect (Catherine McLeod series) by Margaret Coel
  • Damage Control by Denise Hamilton
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris
  • Pirate King (Mary Russell series) by Laurie R. King
  • A Rhumba in Waltz Time by Robert S. Levinson
  • Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet
  • The Ballad of Tom Dooley (Ballad series) by Sharyn McCrumb
  • Trackers by Deon Meyer
  • The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow series)
  • A Trick of the Light (Armand Gamache series) by Louise Penny
  • The Dog Who Knew Too Much (Chet & Bernie series) by Spencer Quinn
  • The Vault (Reginald Wexford series) by Ruth Rendell
  • New York to Dallas (Eve Dallas series) by J.D. Robb
  • The Ronin's Mistress (Sano Ichiro series) by Laura Joh Rowland
  • Ghost Hero (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith series) by S.J. Rozan
  • City of Secrets (Miranda Corbie series) by Kelli Stanley

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Murder With a Twist of Austen

Tracy Kiely has hit upon a very clever twist to frame her contemporary cozies.  Each of her mysteries takes its inspiration from a Jane Austen novel. Murder Most Persuasive is the third in the series, and as you can probably infer from the title, it gives a nod to Persuasion

Elizabeth Parker, a major Jane Austen fan, is a newspaper copy editor and sometimes amateur sleuth.  Her wacky family have come together  at the funeral of her great-uncle Martin Reynolds.  That's when the proverbial "poop" really hits the fan!

After the family home in the picturesque town of St. Michaels is sold, the new owners dig up the swimming pool and discover the body of a man who supposedly ran off eight years earlier with over a million dollars embezzled from the family business.

Now the question is, what really happened to the money?  Elizabeth's cousin Ann is beginning to look like the number one suspect -- and to make matters worse, Ann's old boyfriend, Joe Muldoon is the police detective investigating the murder.  Eight years before, Ann reluctantly broke off her relationship with Joe due to pressures from her family.  Is it too late to rekindle the old flame?  Or will Joe arrest Ann for murder?  Elizabeth must track down the real killer and at the same time, hopefully bring about a reconciliation between Ann and Joe. 

This is a delightful romp sure to be enjoyed by Jane Austen aficionados as well as cozy lovers.  Read and enjoy!