Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nominees for the Left Coast Crime Awards

Left Coast Crime 2015, “Crimelandia,” is fast approaching! will be giving four awards at the 25th annual LCC convention, to be held in Portland. The awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at a banquet on Saturday, March 14, at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland.

The Left Coast Crime Convention is an annual event sponsored by fans of mystery literature for fans of mystery literature, including both readers and authors. Usually held in the western half of North America, Left CoastC’s intent is to provide an event where mystery fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interests.

The 25th annual Left Coast Crime Convention will take place in Portland, OR, March 12–15, 2015. This year’s Guests of Honor are authors Chelsea Cain and Timothy Hallinan. Phillip Margolin is a Special Guest. Friends of Mystery are the Fan Guests of Honor. Author Gar Anthony Haywood will serve as Toastmaster.
Here are the nominees for books published in 2014:  

The Lefty has been awarded for the best humorous mystery novel since 1996. This year’s nominees are
  •  Donna Andrews, The Good, the Bad, and the Emus (Minotaur Books) 
  • Timothy Hallinan, Herbie’s Game (Soho Crime) 
  • Jess Lourey, January Thaw (Midnight Ink) 
  • Cindy Sample, Dying for a Dude (Cindy Sample Books) Diane Vallere, Suede to Rest (Berkley Prime Crime)

The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award (first awarded in 2004) is given to mystery novels covering events before 1960. This year’s nominees are 
  • Rhys Bowen, Queen of Hearts (Berkley Prime Crime) 
  • Susanna Calkins, From the Charred Remains (Minotaur Books) 
  • Catriona McPherson, A Deadly Measure of Brimstone (Minotaur Books) 
  • Kelli Stanley, City of Ghosts (Minotaur Books) 
  • Jeri Westerson, Cup of Blood (Old London Press) 

The Rose, commemorating the Portland location, is for the best mystery novel set in the Left Coast Crime region. The nominees are 
  • Chelsea Cain, One Kick (Simon & Schuster) 
  • Terri Nolan, Glass Houses (Midnight Ink) 
  • Gigi Pandian, Pirate Vishnu (Henery Press) 
  • L.J. Sellers, Deadly Bonds (Thomas & Mercer) 
  • Johnny Shaw, Plaster City (Thomas & Mercer) 

The Rosebud, for the best first mystery novel set anywhere in the world. The nominees are
  •  Lisa Alber, Kilmoon (Muskrat Press) 
  • M.P. Cooley, Ice Shear (William Morrow) 
  • Allen Eskens, The Life We Bury (Seventh Street Books) 
  • Lori Rader-Day, The Black Hour (Seventh Street Books) 
  • Holly West, Mistress of Fortune (Carina Press ebook)
Congratulations to all the nominees. For more information on Left Coast Crime 2015, please visit www.leftcoastcrime.org/2015/

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mystery Conferences Coming Your Way


Are you a huge mystery fan? Have you ever attended a mystery convention? If not, that's definitely something to put on your bucket list! There are so many options, you can certainly locate one nearby. They are great opportunities to meet your favorite authors, discover new ones, and enjoy the company of like-minded devotees.

Here are some upcoming conferences. Check them out and maybe plan your own mystery getaway!

February 6-8, 2015
Love is Murder
Chicago, IL
Special Guests include Zoe Sharp and Denise Swanson.

February 26 - March 1, 2015
Sleuthfest
South Florida
Special Guest of Honor: James Patterson; Florida Guest of Honor: James W. Hall

March 12-15, 2015
Left Coast Crime
Portland, OR
Guests of Honor: Chesea Cain and Timothy Hallinan; Toastmaster: Gar Anthony Haywood

March 14-15, 2015
Tucson Festival of Books
Tucson, AZ
Crime fiction authors scheduled to appear include Ace Atkins, Cara Black, Rhys Bowen, C.J. Box, Robert Crais, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Greg Isles, J.A. Jance, Craig Johnson, T. Jefferson Parker, Olen Steinhauer, Scott Turow, and Betty Webb.

May 1-3, 2015
Malice Domestic
Bethesda, MD
Guest of Honor: Charles Todd; Toastmaster: Toni L.P. Kelner; Lifetime Achievement Award: Sara Paretsky; International Guest of Honor: Ann Cleves; Malice Remembers: Patricia Moyes; Fan Guest of Honor: William Starck.

June 6-7, 2015
California Crime Writers Conference
Culver City, CA
Special Guests: Charlaine Harris and Anne Perry

July 7-11, 2015
Thrillerfest
New York, NY
Thrillermaster: Nelson DeMille; Scott Turow, 2014 Thrillermaster; 2014 Silver Bullet Award recipient Brenda Novak; Spotlight Guests Charlaine Harris and Greg Iles.

July 16-19, 2015
Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Conference
Harrogate, UK
Featured Guests: M.C. Beaton, Arnaldur Indirdason, and Sara Paretsky.

August 7-9, 2015
Deadly Ink
Parsippany, NJ
Renée Paley-Bain is the Guest of Honor, Donna Andrews is Toastmaster, and Les Blatt is the Fan Guest of Honor.

September 9-23, 2015
Bloody Scotland Festival
Glasgow, Scotland

October 8-11, 2015
Bouchercon - "Murder Under the Oaks"
Raleigh, NC
Margaret Maron, Lifetime Achievement Recipient; Kathy Reichs and Tom Franklin, American Guests of Honor; Zoe Sharp and Allan Guthrie, International Guests of Honor.

Oct 30-Nov 1, 2015
Magna Cum Murder Indianapolis, IN

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Edgar Award Nominees Announced

Mystery Writers of America announced the Nominees for the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the
best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2014. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at the 69th Gala Banquet, April 29, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

BEST NOVEL
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown)
Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse – Ballantine Books)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton)
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown Publishers)
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Albani (Penguin Randomhouse – Penguin Books)
Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Barkeep by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)
The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)

BEST FACT CRIME
Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America
by Kevin Cook (W.W. Norton)
The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Other Side: A Memoir by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House Books)
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
by William Mann (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation
by Harold Schechter (Amazon Publishing – New Harvest)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis 
by Charles Brownson (McFarland & Company)
James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
by Jim Mancall (Oxford University Press)

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch (University of Illinois Press)
Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film
by Francis M. Nevins (Perfect Crime Books)
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe
by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton – Countryman Press)

BEST SHORT STORY

"The Snow Angel" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)
"200 Feet" – Strand Magazine by John Floyd (The Strand)
"What Do You Do?" – Rogues by Gillian Flynn
(Penguin Randomhouse Publishing – Ballantine Books)
"Red Eye" – Faceoff by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly (Simon & Schuster)
"Teddy" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Brian Tobin (Dell Magazines)

BEST JUVENILE
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
(Clarion Books – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder
and Steve Hockensmith (Quirk Books)
Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT
The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group – Kathy Dawson Books)
Fake ID by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children's Books - Amistad)
The Art of Secrets by James Klise (Algonquin Young Readers)
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
"The Empty Hearse" – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)
"Unfinished Business" – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O'Connor (CBS)
"Episode 1" – Happy Valley, Teleplay by Sally Wainwright (Netflix)
"Dream Baby Dream" – The Killing, Teleplay by Sean Whitesell (Netflix)
"Episode 6" – The Game, Teleplay by Toby Whithouse (BBC America)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD "Getaway Girl" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine By Zoë Z. Dean (Dell Magazines)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD

(Presented at MWA's Agents & Editors Party on Tuesday, April 28, 2015)
Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books)
The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey (Minotaur Books)
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)
Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)
The Black Hour
by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Source: Mystery Writers of America

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Masterpiece unveils two new shows for 2015

Watch for these two shows later this year. PBS just announced the addition of Arthur & George and Home Fires to its Sunday night lineup. Starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as world-famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel follows the separate but intersecting lives of two very different men: a half-Indian son of a vicar who is framed for a crime he may or may not have committed, and Doyle, who investigates the case.
Home Fires stars MASTERPIECE favorites Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey) and Francesca Annis (Reckless) as part of a remarkable group of women living in a small rural village during World War II. Separated from husbands, fathers, sons and brothers for years at a time—some permanently—they find themselves under extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world.
Grantchester is currently running on PBS Masterpiece; Episode 1 aired last Sunday. Set in the English countryside’s most idyllic village, Grantchester follows two unlikely allies as they solve a series of cases that reveal the dark side of early 1950s England.

Handsome, young vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) shares his spiritual duties with a love of jazz, complicated relationships with women, and an enthusiasm for amateur sleuthing. When the concern of a parishioner compels him to dig deeper into a grisly suicide, he gets on the nerve of a tired, local law enforcement officer—Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green). Fortunately, the cleric and the cop bond over their war service, their love of a good pub, and their competitive instincts—in this case, for backgammon.

Grantchester is based on the acclaimed novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie, which was called “the coziest of cozy murder mysteries” by the New York Times Book Review. The series stars James Norton (Chambers), who recently appeared on MASTERPIECE’s Death Comes to Pemberley as the underdog defense lawyer, and was also seen as the psychopathic villain in Happy Valley. Co-star Robson Green (Keating) is already revered for a number of MASTERPIECE starring roles, including the seductive hero opposite Francesca Annis in the runaway hit Reckless.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Best Reads of 2014

It's that time of year when everyone is putting out their "Best of ..." lists. Here are some of the great reads of 2014. How many have you read?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Things Half in Shadow

My first book of the new year turned out to be quite an entertaining read! Alan Finn's Things Half in Shadow is a historical thriller with a supernatural bent.

Enter the world of mediums, spiritualism, and seances in 1869 Philadelphia. In the years following the Civil War, grieving families searched for ways to contact their departed loved ones. Desperate for words of comfort, these vulnerable people were easy targets for charlatans.

Edward Clark is an intrepid crime journalist with his own closet of ghosts and secrets. A young man of comfortable means and a beautiful fiancée from a well-connected family, Clark could lose it all when his editor assigns him to write a series of exposés of the City's fraudulent mediums. His first subject is the beautiful Mrs. Lucy Collins. When Edward uncovers her trickery, he finds that her real talent lies in blackmail. Holding his dark past over his head, Mrs. Collins convinces Edward to work with her to expose her competitors.

When Lucy and Edward attend a seance by noted medium Lenora Grimes Pastor, they find themselves suspects after Mrs. Pastor turns up murdered. The only way to salvage both their livelihoods is to find the real killer.

Things Half in Shadow is rich in historical detail with intriguing characters. The line between reality and the paranormal is tantalizingly blurred in this delightful thriller. Fans of Caleb Carr, Dan Simmons, Sarah Waters, and John Harwood will enjoy it. I truly hated to see the book end.  Of course, the door is left open for further adventures with Edward and Lucy.

Alan Finn is the pen name of an acclaimed author of mysteries and thrillers. He has worked as an editor, journalist,, and ghostwriter. Finn lives in Princeton, New Jersey.