Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Spook Lights Affair

Husband-and-wife team Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini recently released their second  adventure featuring the exploits of professional detectives, Carpenter and Quincannon. Last seen in The Bughouse Affair, Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon each tackle cases in 1895 San Francisco. 

The Spook Lights Affair takes Carpenter into high society as she is tasked with keeping an eye on Virginia St. Ives, a spoiled debutante whose family fears she'll run off with her socially inferior love interest. Sabina is shocked and dismayed when the young lady apparently jumps to her death at Mayor Adolph Sutro's party -- right in front of her! This type of behavior is indeed very bad for Carpenter and Quincannon's detective service, especially when Virginia's body couldn't be found.

Meanwhile, Quincannon is hot on the trail of  the dangerous perpetrators who made off with $35,000 from the Wells Fargo Office robbery. His search takes him into the notorious Barbary Coast area and the Tenderloin district where the wealthy frequent the gaming houses and brothels. Just when it seems that Carpenter and Quincannon can't find that last piece of the puzzle to solve their cases, the mysterious "crackbrain" who believes himself to be the famous Sherlock Holmes steps in to point them in the right direction.

This is a very enjoyable series by two masters of mysteries. Muller and Pronzini take the readers on a tour of San Francisco as it once was. I have always been in love with San Francisco and intrigued by the remains of that grand era before the Great Earthquake. I've walked the paths of Sutro Park overlooking the present incarnation of the Cliff House Restaurant and the stretch of Ocean Park. Looking at the remains of the once famous Sutro Baths, I've tried to imagine how it looked in its heyday.

Muller and Pronzini will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Left Coast Crime conference in Monterey this March.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Congratulations to All Left Coast Crime Nominees!

Award Season is certainly here! The nominations have been announced and the awards will be presented during the Left Coast Crime Banquet on March 22. If you have the opportunity, consider attending this terrific conference. It's always a lot of fun and you can meet your favorite authors in person. This year's event is in Monterey, California. Check it out here.

The Lefty: Best humorous mystery novel
Donna Andrews, The Hen of the Baskervilles
Timothy Hallinan, The Fame Thief
Lisa Lutz, The Last Word
Brad Parks, The Good Cop
Cindy Sample, Dying for a Daiquiri

The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award: Best historical mystery novel covering events before 1960
Rhys Bowen, Heirs and Graces
Susan Elia MacNeal, His Majesty’s Hope
Catriona McPherson, Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses
David Morrell, Murder as a Fine Art
Priscilla Royal, Covenant with Hell
Jacqueline Winspear, Leaving Everything Most Loved

The Squid: Best mystery set within the United States
Sue Grafton, W Is for Wasted
Darrell James, Purgatory Key
William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace
Hank Phillippi Ryan, The Wrong Girl
Terry Shames, A Killing at Cotton Hill

The Calamari: Best mystery set anywhere else in the world
Cara Black, Murder Below Montparnasse
Lisa Brackmann, Hour of the Rat
Catriona McPherson, As She Left It
Louise Penny, How the Light Gets In
Jeffrey Siger, Mykonos After Midnight

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Edgar Nominations Announced

Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in 2013. The winners of the  Edgar® Awards will be presented the 68th Gala Banquet, May 1, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

Best Novel
  • Sandrine's Case by Thomas H. Cook (Grove Atlantic – The Mysterious Press)
  • The Humans by Matt Haig (Simon & Schuster)
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
  • Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Reagan Arthur Books)
  • Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy (Penguin Group USA – Dutton Books)

Best First Novel
  • The Resurrectionist by Matthew Guinn (W.W. Norton)
  • Ghostman by Roger Hobbs (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman (Minotaur Books)
  • Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
  • Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (HarperCollins Publishers)

Best Paperback Original
  • The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow Paperbacks)
  • Almost Criminal by E. R. Brown (Dundurn)
  • Joe Victim by Paul Cleave (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)
  • Joyland by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime)
  • The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood (Penguin Group USA - Penguin Books)
  • Brilliance by Marcus Sakey (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)

Best Fact Crime
  • Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America's First Sensational Murder Mystery by Paul Collins (Crown Trade Group)
  • Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal by Michael D'Antonio (Thomas Dunne Books)
  • The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder by Charles Graeber (Grand Central Publishing – Twelve)
  • The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and the Medics Behind Nazi Lines by Cate Lineberry (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
  • The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Best Critical/Biographical
  • Maigret, Simenon and France: Social Dimensions of the Novels and Stories by Bill Alder (McFarland & Company)
  • America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture by Erik Dussere (Oxford University Press)
  • Pimping Fictions: African American Crime Literature and the Untold Story of Black Pulp Publishing by Justin Gifford (Temple University Press)
  • Ian Fleming by Andrew Lycett (St. Martin's Press)
  • Middlebrow Feminism in Classic British Detective Fiction by Melissa Schaub (Palgrave Macmillan)

Best Short Story
  • "The Terminal" – Kwik Krimes by Reed Farrel Coleman (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
  • "So Long, Chief" – Strand Magazine by Max Allan Collins & Mickey Spillane (The Strand)
  • "The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository" – Bibliomysteries by John Connolly (Mysterious)
  • "There are Roads in the Water" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Trina Corey (Dell Magazines)
  • "Where That Morning Sun Does Down" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Tim L. Williams (Dell Magazines)

Best Juvenile
  • Strike Three, You're Dead by Josh Berk (Random House Children's Books – Alfred A. Knopf BFYR)
  • Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dial)
  • P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence (Penguin Young Readers Group – Putnam Juvenile)
  • Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney Publishing Worldwide – Disney-Hyperion)
  • One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (Random House Children's Books – Alfred A. Knopf BFYR)

Young Adult
  • All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry (Penguin Young Readers Group – Viking Juvenile)
  • Far Far Away by Tom McNeal (Random House Children's Books – Alfred A. Knopf BFYR)
  • Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy (Simon & Schuster – Simon Pulse) 
  • How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller (Penguin Young Readers Group – Razorbill)
  • Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

TV Episode Teleplay
  • "Episode 3" – Luther, Teleplay by Neil Cross (BBC Worldwide)
  • "Episode 1" – The Fall, Teleplay by Allan Cubitt (Netflix)
  • "Legitimate Rape" – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Kevin Fox & Peter Blauner (NBC Universal)
  • "Variations Under Domestication" – Orphan Black, Teleplay by Will Pascoe (BBC Worldwide)
  • "Pilot" – The Following Teleplay by Kevin Williamson (Fox/Warner Bros. Television)

Robert L. Fish Memorial

"The Wentworth Letter" – Criminal Element's Malfeasance Occasional
by Jeff Soloway (St. Martin's Press)

Mary Higgins Clark Award
  • There Was an Old Woman by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • Fear of Beauty by Susan Froetschel (Prometheus – Seventh Street Books)
  • The Money Kill by Katia Lief (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
  • Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books)
  • The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi (Forge Books)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Michael Connelly's "Bosch" Streaming in February

Bosch is coming! According to Michael Connelly's website, BOSCH starring Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch, will stream in early February on Amazon Instant Video (USA) and LOVEFiLM (UK). People in the USA and the UK will be invited to watch the pilot at no cost and provide feedback that will help determine if the pilot will be produced as a series. If enough people watch and rate the pilot episode, Bosch could get picked up for a full series run. The first season of the show follows the investigation and plot of City of Bones, as well as a large segment of The Concrete Blonde.

Check out Connelly's website for more information on Bosch and find out how YOU can help determine if the series gets more episodes!

Watch here for the date in February when the pilot of BOSCH streams.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Reading Escapes

While we are in the dead of winter and most of the country frozen over, now is the perfect time to escape the
January blues. Even living in balmy California (yes, we are enjoying 80 degree weather this week!), the winter blahs have truly set in. Well, here's the perfect antidote for the blues.

Lovers of cozy mysteries set in exotic locales will certainly take a shine to Sheila Connolly's latest, Reunion in Death, set in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside. Laura Shumway was enjoying her reunion trip to Italy. It was a chance to catch up with old college friends, savor the delights of scenery and cuisine, and rediscover herself. What she didn't anticipate was discovering the body of a former professor from her alma mater.

Back in the day, the handsome Professor Anthony Gilbert was suave and charming -- with a big dash of lechery thrown in for good measure. Many a co-ed's heart had been broken by the cad, despite the fact that his career at the college was both long and esteemed. Now retired in Italy, Gilbert was a surprise speaker at the women's holiday villa. More than one woman in the group had reason to wish him ill. So when the professor turns up dead, Laura and some of her friends are determined to solve the murder on their own.

Here is your first class ticket to escape the blast of winter and dive into romantic Italia. Arrivederci!