Friday, April 27, 2012

Congratulations to the Edgar Winners!

Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award Winners for 2012 were announced at the annual banquet in New York City.
Congratulations to the winners.  To see the entire roster of nominees, click here.
  • BEST NOVEL:  Gone by Mo Hayder
  • BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL:  The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • BEST FACT CRIMEDestiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
  • BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL:  On Conan Doyle: Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda
  • BEST SHORT STORY:  “The Man Who Took His Hat Off to the Driver of the Train” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Peter Turnbull
  • BEST JUVENILE:  Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT:  The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall
  • BEST PLAY:  The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig (Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland, OH
    “Pilot” – Homeland, Teleplay by Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff (Showtime)
  • ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD: "A Good Man of Business" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by David Ingram
  • RAVEN AWARDS:  M is for Mystery Bookstore, San Mateo, CA  Molly Weston, Meritorious Mysteries
  • ELLERY QUEEN AWARD:  Joe Meyers of the Connecticut Post/Hearst Media News Group

Friday, April 20, 2012

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

If you're in southern California this weekend, there's a wonderful opportunity to meet authors, check out what's new in the book world, and enjoy all kinds of great events -- it's the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!   You never know who you'll see! 

The Festival is held on the University of Southern California campus.  Check the website for all the pertinent information.  There are several crime fiction panels each day and mystery authors will be signing their books at the various booksellers' booths.

The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize will be presented this evening.  Gar Anthony Haywood (author of Cemetery Road) will announce the winners in the Mystery/Thriller category. 

The nominees for this prize are

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown)

Plugged by Eoin Colfer (Overlook Press)

"11/22/63" by Stephen King (Scribner)

Snowdrops by A. D. Miller (Doubleday)

The End of Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Little, Brown)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Foyle's War to Return

Readers of this blog may remember that Aunt Agatha has a decided partiality for British crime, both in novels and film.  The local PBS station began rerunning the Foyle's War series recently, which re-ignited my interest in the show.  Since I had never seen the series in its entirety, I brought all available DVD sets home from the library and watched them from beginning to end. I LOVE that show!

Created by Anthony Horowitz (Midsomer Murders and the next big-screen Tintin film adaptation, as well as novels for both adults and children), this British detective series is set during World War II in the seaside town of Hastings in the south of England.  Michael Kitchen portrays the thoughtful, clear-sighted and decent Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle.  He's assisted by his loyal associates, driver Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) and Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), a recovering veteran returned from the war.

Each episode beautifully blends real-life war stories with homefront investigations into murder, theft, looting and other crimes of greed, passion and opportunism.  The show is rich in characters, historical detail, and colorful local scenery. Foyle's War ran for six seasons, but was cancelled in 2007 amid a furor of fan outrage (resulting in a change of ITV network management).  The show came back for a seventh season, seen here under the Masterpiece Mystery banner in 2010.

It was announced in February that an eighth season of Foyle's War is in the works and will be aired in the UK in 2013 (the American date has yet to be finalized).  Three 2-hour films will be set in post-war Britain where Foyle is a senior intelligence officer in the early days of the Cold War.  The values and certainties of the war years have transitioned to austerity, espionage, corruption, and treachery. 

We can look forward to the welcome return of a well-written crime show and its familiar cast of characters.  If you're a fan of the Midsomer Murders series and have not yet discovered Foyle's War -- are you in for a treat!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today is National Pet Day

In honor of National Pet Day, find out what happens when murder goes to the dogs...and cats, of course!  Here is a selection of dog and cat mysteries:
  • Chihuahua of the Baskervillles by Esri Allbritten
  • Doggie Day Care Murder by Laurien Berenson
  • Murder Unleashed by Rita Mae Brown
  • Brute Strength by Susan Conant
  • Hounds Abound by Linda O. Johnson
  • The Dog Who Knew Too Much:  a Chet & Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn
  • Dog Tags by David Rosenfelt
  • Raining Cats & Dogs:  a Melanie Travis Mystery by Laurien Berenson
  • The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers by Lilian Jackson Braun
  • Hiss of Death:  a Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown
  • Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof:  a Dixie Hemingway Mystery by Blaize Clements
  • Scratch the Surface:  a Cat Lover's Mystery by Susan Conant
  • Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta:  a Midnight Louis Mystery by Carole Nelson Douglas
  • Grace Interrupted by Julie a. Hyzy
  • The Unscratchables by Cornelius Kane
  • Cat Coming Home: a Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Array of Mysteries

[Here's another crossover blog from Librarian Melissa -- and a great testimonial to Aunt Agatha's Poisoned Picks!]

Two weeks per month, my reading choices are "assigned," since we teen librarians run three book clubs--one for high school-age teens, and two for middle school teens--and there are selections for each club that must be perused. So, during the other two weeks per month, I read an eclectic mix of teen fiction (we do, after all, have to find a good book for NEXT month!) and adult novels. Lately, I have been in the mood for mystery, and so of course I applied to Aunt Agatha, blogger at Death in the Stacks for good choices. She started me on three series, and I am enjoying all of them.

Deborah Crombie: I have to say that Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his able sidekick, Sergeant Gemma Jones, remind me more than a little of the Lynley/Havers duo from Elizabeth George's mysteries, but I would call Crombie's books George Lite. That's not a negative--I don't mean that they're not good reads, they definitely are--but George assigns so many personal complications to her intertwined array of characters (wives, husbands, girlfriends, best friends, neighbors!) that the heavy behind-the-scenes drama takes up a good half of each book, whereas Crombie, while giving us tantalizing glimpses into Kincaid's and Jones's home lives and personal concerns, stays focused primarily on the mystery/crime. Of course, since I have only read the first two books in Crombie's series, I may be surprised as I move further into their world at what personal details are revealed! And I will be reading further...Crombie has written a baker's dozen of these. (I also found it interesting that while they write British mysteries, both Crombie and George are American.)

Since books two and three of Crombie's series were checked out when I was needing another good book, I moved on to Aunt Agatha's second suggestion, which was the Regency (historical) mysteries of C. S. Harris. I am really enjoying these, too--while they are not the frothy, lighthearted fare you would expect from a Georgette Heyer Regency romance, the setting and the lingo are the same, so if you are a fan of the Regency period, you will feel right at home in the world that Harris creates. Her protagonist, Sebastian St. Cyr, is a slightly rakish nobleman who becomes a detective on his own behalf in the first book--What Angels Fear--when he is accused of murder, and--once he has solved that one and saved himself--decides he likes speaking up for the downtrodden and finding justice for those who would otherwise go unregarded. These books are smart, rich in historical detail, and compelling in their characterizations. There are seven so far.

The third series I assayed was the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. While these are also set in England, they couldn't be more different. Ruth is an archaeologist, more at home with bones and ancient artifacts than she is with people. She lives in a house on the edge of a marsh near Norfolk, and relishes her remote, isolated location. She is drawn into crime-solving by a request to identify some bones found in the marsh, and although these turn out to be thousands of years old, the next set are contemporary, so Galloway stays on the case. Griffiths is only three books into this series, but her quirky protagonist definitely caught my interest, and I will continue with these as they appear on the shelves.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nominees for 2012 Thriller Awards Announced

The International Thriller Writers released the list of nominees for the 2012 Thriller Awards.  The winners will be announced at Thrillerfest VI on July 14, 2012, Grand Hyatt, New York City.  Congratulations to all the nominees!

If you're looking for a thrilling read, you can't go wrong with these.

Best Hard Cover Novel:
  • Joseph Finder - Buried Secrets
  • Jonathan Hayes - A Hard Death
  • Stephen King - 11/22/63
  • Michael Koryta - The Ridge
  • Marcus Sakey - The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes
Best Paperback Original:
  • Jeff Abbott - The Last Minute
  • John Gilstrap - Threat Warning
  • Helen Grant - The Glass Demon 
  • Steven James - The Queen 
  • John Rector - Already Gone
Best First Novel:
  • James Barney - The Genesis Key
  • Melinda Leigh - She Can Run
  • Paul McEuen - Spirol
  • H.T. Narea - The Fund
  • Leslie Tentler - Midnight Caller
Best Short Story:
  • James Scott Bell - “One More Lie” (Compendium Press)
  • Michael Lewin - “Anything to Win” (Strand Magazine)
  • Twist Phelan - “Happine$$” (Mystery Writers of America Presents the Rich and the Dead, Grand Central Publishing)
  • Tim L. Williams - “Half-Lives” (Dell Magazine)
  • Dave Zeltserman - “A Hostage Situation” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Left Coast Crime Awards

Left Coast Crime 2012, "Mining for Murder," in Sacramento, California, has been held over the past few days.  Saturday evening, the Left Coast Crime Awards were presented at the Conference banquet. Congratulations to all the nominees and to the winners (in yellow).
Lefty Award for Most Humorous Mystery
  • The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews
  • October Fest by Jess Lourey
  • Magical Alienation by Kris Neri
  • Dying for a Dance by Cindy Sample
  • The Albuquerque Turkey by John Vorhaus
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award  (for best historical mystery, covering events before 1960)
  • Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker
  • Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen
  • A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell
  • A Killing Season by Priscilla Royal
  • Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson
  • A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
Golden Nugget Award (for best mystery set in California)
  • City of Secrets by Kelli Stanley
  • Disturbance by Jan Burke
  • The Drop by Michael Connelly
  • Bit Player by Janet Dawson
  • V Is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
Eureka! Award (for best first mystery)
  • Nazareth Child by Darrell James
  • The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper by Sally Carpenter
  • Dead Man's Switch by Tammy Kaehler
  • Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab
DILYS AWARD (The Dilys Award is given annually by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association to the mystery titles of the year that the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling)
  • Ghost Hero by S.J. Rozan
  • When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey
  • Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet
  • Tag Man by Archer Mayor
  • A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Mysteries for April

Ah, Spring is in the air!  And a great new crop of mysteries are popping up.  Here are some books to keep you busy:
  • Antiques Disposal (Trash 'n' Treasures) by Barbara Allan
  • Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton
  • Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark by Tilly Bagshawe
  • Trouble at High Tide (Murder She Wrote) by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain
  • The Innocent by David Baldacci
  • Kaleidoscope (Joanne Kilbourn series) by Gail Bowen
  • Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd (sex, scandal, and spies in 1913 Europe)
  • The Big Cat Nap:  the 20th Anniversary Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown
  • Rest in Pizza by Chris Cavender (a culinary cozy)
  • Gypped by Carol Higgins Clark (a Regan Reilly mystery)
  • The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Midnight Alley by Miles Corwin (Ash Levine, LAPD's elite Felony Special Squad)
  • A Woman of Consequence by Anna Dean (historical suspense with Dido Kent)
  • Red, White and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth (Nathaniel Cade, the President's Vampire)
  • Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart (Death on Demand)
  • The Stolen Bride by Tony Hays (Arthurian mystery series)
  • What Doesn't Kill You by Iris Johansen
  • Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr (pollitical thriller in 1941 Europe)
  • Beastly Things by Donna Leon (B=Guido Brunetti)
  • One red Bastard by Ed Lin  (Manhattan Chinatown detective)
  • These Violent Delights by Sharon Linnea  (Movie mystery series)
  • Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton  (literary thriller)
  • Last Will by Liza Marklund (Scandinavian crime fiction)
  • The Fallen by Jassy Mackenzie  (South African crime thriller)
  • Capitol Murder by Phillip Margolin (Dana Cutler & Brad Miller)
  • The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency )
  • House of the Hunted by Mark Mills (spy thriller in pre-WWII Europe)
  • Sacrilege by S.J. Parris (historical thriller, 16th century England)
  • Dorchester Terrace by Anne Perry  (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt)
  • Driven by James Sallis (sequel to Drive)
  • Come Home by Lisa Scottoline (thriller)
  • Cats Can't Shoot by Clea Simon (Pru Marlow Pet Noir)
  • Kings of Midnight by Wallace Stroby
  • Harbor Nocturne by Joseph Wambaugh
  • A Teeny Bit of Trouble by Michael Lee West  (humorous culinary cozy)
  • Unnatural Acts by Stuart Woots  (Stone Barrington series)