Monday, January 30, 2012

Mining for Gold

Not only is it award season in Hollywood, but in the mystery book world as well.  The 23rd annual Left Coast Crime Convention just announced the nominees for their four awards that will be given out at a banquet on March 31st.  The convention is sponsored by mystery fans to provide a venue where readers, writers, librarians, and other fans gather to share their mutual interest in the genre.  This year, Left Coast Crime is being held in Sacramento, California, from March 29-April 1.  The theme is "Mining for Murder" as a nod to Sacramento's colorful gold rush past.

The nominees for THE LEFTY AWARD (for the best humorous mystery novel) are
  • The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews
  • Getting Old Can Kill You by Rita Lakin
  • October Fest by Jess Lourey
  • Magical Alienation by Kris Neri
  • Dying for a Dance by Cindy Sample
  • The Albuquerque Turkey by John Vorhaus

THE BRUCE ALEXANDER MEMORIAL HISTORICAL MYSTERY AWARD is given to mystery novels covering events before 1960.  Nominees for this year are
  • Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen
  • A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell
  • Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker
  • A Killing Season by Priscilla Royal
  • Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson
  • A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear 
In recognition of the 2012 convention location, a special award will be given to the best mystery set in California.  Nominees for THE GOLDEN NUGGET award are
  • Disturbance by Jan Burke
  • The Drop by Michael Connolly
  • Bit Player by Jane Dawson
  • V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
  • City of Secrets by Kelli Stanley
EUREKA! is a special award this year for the best first mystery novel.  The nominees are
  • The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper by Sally Carpenter
  • Nazareth Child by Darrell James
  • Dead Man's Switch by Tammy Kaehler
  • Who do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab
The Guests of Honor at Left Coast Crime 2012 are John Lescroart and jacqueline Winspear.  James Rollins is a Special Guest and Noemi Levine is the Fan Guest of Honor.  Harley Jane Kozak will serve as Toastmaster. 

Click here to register for the convention.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eighth 'Jesse Stone' TV Movie to Air on CBS

The next Jesse Stone TV-movie, Benefit of the Doubt, airs on May 20, 2012. Filmed last year in Nova Scotia, the script for the TV-movie was co-written by Tom Selleck, who reprises the role of Jesse Stone.

Although the franchise is based on the character created by the late Robert B. Parker, the last few movies have been original screenplays not based on any of the crime novelist's books.

Read more at the  Hollywood Reporter.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Return of Sherlock

I must admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for Sherlock Holmes -- in all shapes and sizes, books or movies!  So I'm delighted that the second season of the edgy, modern day BBC series, Sherlock, returns in May (it's currently playing to British audiences).  Catch a preview on Masterpiece's website.

 The three 90-minute films are A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville, and The Reichenbach Falls, which is adapted from "The Final Problem" where Sherlock and Moriarty plunge over the falls.  Of course we know that's not the end -- the good news is that the BBC already ordered a season three of Sherlock.

Series' stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock)  and Martin Freeman (Watson) have been busy when not solving mysteries.  Cumberbatch can currently be seen in  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Spielberg's War Horse.  Freeman has been playing Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Edgar Nominations Announced

Mystery Writers of America has announced its nominees for the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced in 2011. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at their Gala Banquet, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

And the nominees are...


  • The Ranger by Ace Atkins (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  • Gone by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (Minotaur Books)
  • 1222 by Anne Holt (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
  • Field Gray by Philip Kerr (Penguin Group USA - G.P. Putnam’s Sons – Marion Wood Books)

  • Red on Red by Edward Conlon (Random House Publishing Group – Spiegel & Grau)
  • Last to Fold by David Duffy (Thomas Dunne Books)
  • All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen (The Permanent Press)
  • Bent Road by Lori Roy (Penguin Group USA - Dutton)
  • Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)

  • The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett (Hachette Book Group – Orbit Books)
  • The Faces of Angels by Lucretia Grindle (Felony & Mayhem Press)
  • The Dog Sox by Russell Hill (Pleasure Boat Studio – Caravel Mystery Books)
  • Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper Paperbacks)
  • Vienna Twilight by Frank Tallis (Random House Trade Paperbacks)

  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins (Crown Publishing)
  • The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge by T.J. English (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard (Random House - Doubleday)
  • Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender by Steve Miller (Penguin Group USA - Berkley)
  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal (Penguin Group USA - Viking)

  • The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thrillers of our Time by Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer & John-Henri Holmberg (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making by John Curran (HarperCollins)
  • On Conan Doyle: Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda (Princeton University Press)
  • Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film by Philippa Gates (SUNY Press)
  • Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds and Marnie by Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick (University of Illinois Press)

  • "Marley’s Revolution" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by John C. Boland (Dell Magazines)
  • "Tomorrow’s Dead" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by David Dean (Dell Magazines)
  • "The Adakian Eagle” – Down These Strange Streets by Bradley Denton (Penguin Group USA – Ace Books)
  • "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies" – Down These Strange Streets by Diana Gabaldon (Penguin Group USA – Ace Books)
  • "The Case of Death and Honey" – A Study in Sherlock by Neil Gaiman(Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Books)
  • “The Man Who Took His Hat Off to the Driver of the Train” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Peter Turnbull (Dell Magazines

  • Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger (Abrams – Amulet Books)
  • It Happened on a Train by Mac Barnett (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Vanished by Sheela Chari (Disney Book Group – Disney Hyperion)
  • Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press)
  • The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (Egmont USA

  • Shelter by Harlan Coben (Penguin Young Readers Group – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (Penguin Young Readers Group – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall (Random House Children’s Books – Knopf BFYR)
  • The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Roaring Creek Press)
  • Kill You Last by Todd Strasser (Egmont USA)

  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club by Jeffrey Hatcher (Arizona Theatre Company, Phoenix, AZ)
  • The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig (Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland, OH)

  • “Innocence” – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor (CBS Productions)
  • “The Life Inside” – Justified, Teleplay by Benjamin Cavell (FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television)
  • “Part 1” – Whitechapel, Teleplay by Ben Court & Caroline Ip (BBC America)
  • “Pilot” – Homeland, Teleplay by Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff (Showtime)
  • “Mask” – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Speed Weed (Wolf Films/Universal Media Studios)


"A Good Man of Business" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by David Ingram (Dell Magazines)


(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 25, 2012)

  • Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)
  • Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • Death on Tour by Janice Hamrick (Minotaur Books)
  • Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (Crown Publishing Group)
  • Murder Most Persuasive by Tracy Kiely (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)
Source:  Mystery Writers of America

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Recipe for Danger

Take a pinch of political intrigue, add a dash of danger, a sprinkling of snappy dialog, combine briskly with a cast of colorful characters and you'll have quite a tasty mystery on the menu.  Affairs of Steak, Julie Hyzy's fifth outing in her White House Chef mystery series, is another winning recipe for entertainment.

Jeopardy seems to be Olivia ("Ollie") Paras' middle name.  As the White House Executive Chef, she has been assigned by the First Lady to locate a suitable venue for a big bash honoring the Secretary of State.  Unfortunately, her arch nemesis, Peter Everette Sargeant, has been tasked to accompany her.  But their dream location has one major drawback -- the First Lady's assistant and the chief of staff have been murdered and their bodies left in the kitchen.

Affairs of Steak is a very enjoyable read.  The behind-the-scenes look at the White House kitchen is fascinating and very well researched.  Hyzy is adept at balancing the cozy aspects of her novels with a touch more action and adventure than one usually finds in this genre.  And if you like books with recipes attached, this one will definitely get you cooking (the recipe for Napoleans looks especially yummy!).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Upcoming Mystery Events

If you're going to be in the Los Angeles area this month, the Burbank Public Library has two very special events geared to mystery fans.  Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing a short story?  Kate Thornton will be conducting a how-to writing workshop on Wednesday, January 11, at 7 PM.  "Crafting the Short Story" will be held at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Library, 300 N. Buena Vista St.  Ms. Thornton, a member of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime, is a prolific short story writer with her work featured in numerous anthologies and magazines.

Fans of Mary Jane Clark and her wedding cake mysteries are in for a tasty treat!  Ms. Clark will be visiting the Burbank Public Library on Wednesday, January 25, at 7 PM to discuss and sign her latest, The Look of Love.  Stop by for a slice of cake, a glass of punch, and a chat with this New York Times bestselling author.  The event will also be held at the Buena Vista Branch.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Girl With The Thistle Tattoo??

Denise Mina, often dubbed "the Queen of Tartan Noir," has been selected by the literary estate of Stieg Larsson to adapt his Millennium trilogy into a series of six graphic novels for DC Comics.  The choice of the Scottish crime novelist was announced in a recent article on

Mina is the author of nine novels featuring strong females, including Field of Blood, which was adapted into a TV drama by the BBC.  She welcomes the challenge of refashioning the popular Larsson series for a new audience. Mina's first graphic novel of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is due out in March.