Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What a Mystery Binge!

I just spent several fabulous days in Long Beach attending the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these functions, I highly recommend it! The only downside is trying to choose which panels you want to attend. I had the chance to hear many favorite authors talk about their books -- and met some new authors to add to my list of favorites.

Several awards were presented during the convention, including the Anthony Awards. Here are the nominees and the winners of that award.

Best Mystery Novel
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger  [WINNER]
  • Suspect by Robert Crais
  • A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry
  • The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan 
  • Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Best First Mystery
  • Yesterday's Echo by Matt Coyle  [WINNER]
  • Ghostman by Roger Hobbs
  • Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman
  • Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  • The Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson
Best Paperback Original
  • As She Left It by Catriona McPherson  [WINNER]
  • The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm
  • Purgatory Key by Darrell James
  • Joyland by Stephen King
  • The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood
Best Short Story
  • "The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository" by John Connolly, Bibliomysteries, The Mysterious Bookshop  [WINNER]
  • "Dead End" by Craig Faustus Buck, Untreed Reads
  •  "Annie and the Grateful Dead" by Denise Dietz, The Sound and the Furry
  •  "Incident on the 405" by Travis Richardson, Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble
  •  "The Care and Feeding of Houseplants" by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March-April 2013
Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work
  • The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower [WINNER] 
  • Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  • The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines by Cate Lineberry
  • All the Wild Children by Josh Stallings
  • Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives edited by Sarah Weinman
Best Children's or Young Adult Novel
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau [WINNER]
  • Escape Theory by Margaux Froley 
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem
  • The Code Busters Club: The Mystery of the Pirate's Treasure by Penny Warner
Best Television Episode Teleplay First Aired in 2013
  • The Blacklist, Pilot, by Jon Bokenkamp [WINNER]
  • Breaking Bad, "Felina," by Vince Gilligan
  • The Fall, "Dark Descent," by Allan Cubitt
  • The Following, Pilot, by Kevin Williamson
  • Justified, "Hole in the Wall," by Graham Yost
Best Audio Book
  • The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister [WINNER]
  • Crescendo by Deborah J Ledford, read by Christina Cox
  • Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet, read by Davina Porte
  • Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann, read by Tracy Sallows
  • Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell, read by Mauro Hantman

Monday, November 3, 2014

Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery

Are you a fan of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mysteries? I discovered her a few years ago and subsequently devoured all ten novels. Called the Canadian Agatha Christie, her award-winning books are multi-layered with fascinating characters that grow on you as the series develops.

So I was quite interested to learn that Penny's first book, Still Life, was being filmed for Canadian TV in 2012. I watched the blog posts reporting on the TV ;movie's progress during production, the casting, and the locations being considered for the fictional village of Three Pines. Finally, it was announced las month that the film was arriving on DVD.

I bought it, watched it, and must say that I liked it very much indeed. It's always difficult for some fans to separate the written word from the screen image, and appreciate each medium on its own terms. But I thought Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery was a very entertaining adaptation of the novel. Louise Penny was Executive Producer on the project, and it appears that she had quite a bit of input.

Nathaniel Parker (of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries series) portrays the perceptive and gentle Gamache. Anthony Lemke (White House Down) is Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Gamache's right-hand man. Fans of Penny's series know that the idyllic village of Three Pines is as much a character as any of the human inhabitants, and the producers of the film have cast a lovely Canadian village dressed in its colorful autumn best.

For those unfamiliar with Louise Penny's series opener, Still Life, Gamache and his team of investigators are called in to determine whether the death of a beloved school teacher in the quaint little village is a tragic accident or a homicide.

So whether you're a fan or a newbie, do check out Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery on DVD.