Did you miss the announcement of the 2017 Edgar Award nominees the other day? The Mystery Writers of America makes the announcement annually right around Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. Congratulations to all the nominees.
The Ex by Alafair Burke (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (Penguin Random House – Penguin Books)
Dodgers by Bill Beverly (Crown Publishing Group)
IQ by Joe Ide (Little, Brown & Company – Mulholland Books)
The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Dancing with the Tiger by Lili Wright (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lost Girls by Heather Young (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Shot in Detroit by Patricia Abbott (Polis Books)
Come Twilight by Tyler Dilts (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
A Brilliant Death by Robin Yocum (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
BEST FACT CRIME
Morgue: A Life in Death by Dr. Vincent DiMaio & Ron Franscell (St. Martin’s Press)
The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan by Laurence Leamer (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder That Shocked Victorian England by Paul Thomas Murphy (Pegasus Books)
While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders (Penguin Random House – Viking Books)
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Random House – Penguin Press)
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd (Penguin Random House – Nan A. Talese)
Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967 by Mitzi M. Brunsdale (McFarland & Company)
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (W.W. Norton – Liveright)
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula by David J. Skal (W.W. Norton – Liveright)
BEST SHORT STORY
“Oxford Girl” – Mississippi Noir by Megan Abbott (Akashic Books)
“A Paler Shade of Death” – St. Louis Noir by Laura Benedict (Akashic Books)
“Autumn at the Automat” – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Lawrence Block (Pegasus Books)
”The Music Room“ – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Stephen King (Pegasus Books)
”The Crawl Space” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Joyce Carol Oates (Dell Magazines)
Summerlost by Ally Condie (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton BFYR)
OCDaniel by Wesley King (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
The Bad Kid by Sarah Lariviere (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Framed! by James Ponti (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (Simon & Schuster – Simon Pulse)
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Henry Holt BFYR)
Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown BFYR)
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Soho Press – Soho Teen)
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (Penguin Random House – Penguin Young Readers – Dial Books)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“Episode 1 – From the Ashes of Tragedy” – The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Teleplay by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (FX Network)
“The Abominable Bride” – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)
“Episode 1 – Dark Road” – Vera, Teleplay by Martha Hillier (Acorn TV)
“A Blade of Grass” – Penny Dreadful, Teleplay by John Logan (Showtime)
“Return 0” – Person of Interest, Teleplay by Jonathan Nolan & Denise The (CBS/Warner Brothers)
“The Bicameral Mind” – Westworld, Teleplay by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy (HBO/Warner Bros. Television)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
“The Truth of the Moment” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by E. Gabriel Flores (Dell Magazines)
Max Allan Collins
Dru Ann Love
ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Landmark)
Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Tor/Forge Books – Forge Books)
Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Don’t forget to check the Web Store if you’re looking for copies of any of the books. http://store.poisonedpen.com
Gregg Hurwitz was recently at The Poisoned Pen, on tour for his second Orphan X novel, The Nowhere Man.
Here’s the summary from the Web Store.
“Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can – He will do anything to save them.
Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man.
Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets – i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.
But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with – or that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth.
Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the instant international bestseller, Orphan X.”
Sound interesting? Would you like to hear Gregg Hurwitz discuss the book? Through Livestream, you can see and hear him talk about The Nowhere Man with bookstore owner Barbara Peters. https://livestream.com/poisonedpen/events/6899396
And, don’t forget. You can buy a signed copy of The Nowhere Man through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2jmMKUA
Penguin Random House regularly posts Author Shorts, brief clips of authors talking about writing and life. Today’s post features Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader, and the latest novel, The Fifth Petal.
Here’s the summary of The Fifth Petal, as it appears in the Web Store.
Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of THE LACE READER with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.
But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?
Here’s Brunonia Barry, discussing her public library, Salem witchcraft, and her earliest writing.
If you would like a signed copy of The Fifth Petal, check the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2jWkybV
Frederick Ramsay, author of Copper Kettle, will be at The Poisoned Pen on Tuesday, January 24 at 7 PM. He’ll be joined that evening by Donis Casey, author of The Return of the Raven Mocker, and Clare Mackintosh, author of I See You. In the meantime, Fred took the time to answer questions for an In the Hot Seat interview.
Frederick, would you introduce yourself to readers?
I am, as of this year, an octogenarian! And more to the point, one who is still struggling with that idea. Sometimes I think I will grow up and act more like the adults I admire. Then I realize it’s too late, I’m past the point of no return.
I started out as an academic (20 +/- years) teaching, doing research, and administering at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Health Professions campus in Baltimore. I tried my hand at writing when I was forty-five and failed. I served as the Vice President for something or other at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital (a mental health facility best known for having been one stop of several for Zelda Fitzgerald) I also worked briefly at BWI airport as a tow man, sold insurance. I ended my salaried life as an Episcopal priest in a small, but wonderful parish in Pasadena Maryland. Before retiring, I tried my hand at writing again and was working on what finally became Judas, the Gospel of Betrayal when I moved to Arizona with my wife Susan in 2000. I attended a writers conference, learned a thing or two about this business, dug up the old (failed) manuscript from years before, rewrote it and The Poisoned Pen took it. The rest is, as they say, is history – well, mine anyway.
Tell us about Jesse Sutherlin.
The third in the Ike Schwartz series is entitled, Buffalo Mountain. I was introduced to this place by my sixth grade history teacher whose father was part of that story. He must have been as Old As I am now. He had read some of my books and encouraged me to read The Man who Moved a Mountain. I wondered at the time, how, if at all, that mountain culture would affect its decedents in a crime solving situation. Anyway, the mountain and its people were on my mind and while I waited for the muse to show up for work and tell me what the next Ike book should be about, I thought it might be fun to project one of the characters in the series backwards in time so to speak, and tell the story of Billy and Frank Sutherlin’s. great grandfather, Jesse. I put him on Buffalo Mountain to complete, if you will the notion, proposed in Buffalo Mountain. I wanted to tell a story about what it is like to return home from war and try to fit in to a society that cannot accept the changes war makes in a person. A story which is as relevant today as then. I also wanted to write a little mystery. Thus, Jesse, a person with a big heart and a soul seeking after peace from the trauma produced by the horrors of trench warfare.
Without spoilers, tell us about Copper Kettle.
Copper Kettle is a simple tale about feuding families, meaningless death, and life and love, in the mountains at a time when “hillbillies” were mostly the object of scorn. They were, at that time, pretty much what the stereotype made them out to be. Read, Richard C. Davids book, The Man Who Moved a Mountain. The mountain after WW I and into the Great Depression was an insular community noted for its lawlessness, isolation, ignorance, and sturdy individualism. It is now a State Park, its residents gone and mostly forgotten. In that mix, I put Jesse, returned from the Great War, a changed man. He finds redemption, of a sort, and love, and a future in a new, post-war world.
You may have to discuss Ike Schwartz before answering the question. Why did you write a prequel to the Ike Schwartz mysteries?
I think I covered most of this earlier. When I started the Ike Schwartz series, there was never a dearth of ideas for the next book. Now at number ten (eleven aborning) the ideas of what I can do with Ike and his people are harder to come by, I mean how many times can Ike solve a different crime, chase a different bad guy around the country before he meets himself coming around the corner. With the Botswana series done, the Jerusalem series done, and no immediate story for Ike and Ruth to romp through, a trip down a fictional memory lane seemed to be the thing to do.
You also write mysteries set in Botswana. Would you tell us about your connection to that country?
My son lives, has raised a family, and works for the (Botswana) government there. I have (had) grandchildren there. One of them is being married as I write this, in Botswana. I have visited them and the country several times (not as much as I would have liked) and thought there was a place to set a different kind of mystery. The culture would necessarily dictate a different kind of sleuthing. I take no issue with McCall Smith. His Botswana is late twentieth century. You can still find Ma Ramotswe there, but the vast majority are modern in their outlook, the country is a model progressive democracy and very much of this century. If I were younger, I might very well have considered retiring to that country. I love especially, the northern part, the Chobe and that is the locale for the series.
What authors have inspired you?
Oh dear. Can I say, I really dislike that question? I was raised in an era when reading was not only the main source of entertainment, but required by schools, encouraged by my parents, and expected of all. My mother was a member of the Book of the Month Club and, if she let me, I read all of them (some were not so hot), plus what I could from the school library and I should add, my aunt Mary was a member of the Mystery Book of the Month club (I think that was what it was called) and she would ship me a year’s supply from time to time. Anyway reading is what we did, so top pick out one or even several authors who inspired me would not be either fair or easy, I will say that I read every single one of John D. McDonald’s Travis McGhee novels. Does that help?
What’s your favorite book you’ve written, and why?
I have two, no, make that three. This one, Copper Kettle, of course. Not because it is the latest, although I would have said so even if it weren’t (we are flogging books here, right?), but I really do love this book. I like Jesse and everything he stands for and the story, for me, just sings. Next, I would say Impulse. It is semi-autobiographical. That is I was raised on a campus very much like the one I describe in the book. The characters are almost real and because of that, it was the easiest book to write of any. Finally, I like Choker. It is as close to a thriller as I can manage and because it has an entirely feasible plot, it is scary. Also, I think it has the best cover art.
Other than your own, name several books you would never part with.
I have a rule about what books I will keep and which I will pass on. If I know I will never read it again, it goes. If it is not a signed copy, it goes. So, what is left on my shelf are books that are either signed copies or they will be read again. I have in the latter category, The Maltese Falcon, The Continental OP, The Colour Bar, several books by Lee Child, The Man Who Moved a Mountain, one or nearly all of the Poisoned Pen Press writers, and on Kindle or iBooks, Jane Austin, Agatha Christie and on and on.
What author would you like to recommend who you think has been underappreciated?
Oh, golly. Well, there is Donis (Casey), of course. She has a touch that is not equaled anywhere else. I teach wannabe writers to master their craft, of course, but what makes the difference between writers who are readable and those who are not, is their voice. Donis has a distinct and compelling voice. (I’m not entirely sure she, or any of the PPP writers I so admire, is “underappreciated, but I take your meaning.)
What was your favorite book of 2016?
Maybe Jeff Siger’s, Santorini Caesars? Nick Page: The Kingdom of Fools, The Unlikely Rise of the Early Church, Chandler, The Lady in the Lake. Okay, some of these were not published this year, but that is when I read them, so there.
Thank you, Fred. If you’re looking for Fred’s books, including signed copies of Copper Kettle, they’re available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2ipcbDK
Because Paige Shelton is a Phoenix-area author, I couldn’t resist a preview of her February mystery, Bookman Dead Style. After you read the written preview, you’ll want to watch a fun one.
First, here’s the blurb from the Web Store. “A movie star is typecast as a killer in the second Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of To Helvetica and Back.
It’s January, and the Star City Film Festival has taken the Utah ski resort town by storm. Movie stars are everywhere, carving fresh powder on the slopes and crossing the thresholds of Bygone Alley’s charming boutique shops—including The Rescued Word, where Clare Henry and her grandfather restore old typewriters and beloved books. When cinema’s hottest superhero, Matt Bane, enters their store to buy some personalized notecards, it’s hard not to be starstruck.
But when Clare sees the police leading Matt out of The Fountain hotel in handcuffs only a few hours later, she can’t believe her eyes. The affable actor is accused of killing his sister, but Clare’s convinced he’s wrong for that role. Now it’s open call for suspects as Clare tries to reel in the killer before another victim fades to black…”
Now that you’ve read the summary, here’s the link to Adam Wagner’s fun .Gifnotes on Criminal Element, http://bit.ly/2jAZABt. It’s a visual summary of Shelton’s book.
My only request? If you enjoyed the .Gifnotes and want to order the book, ignore the links at the bottom of their page. Look for Bookman Dead Style in our Web Store. http://bit.ly/2iTwywx
It’s January, so this week’s Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen is one set during winter, Crimson Snow, edited by Martin Edwards.
Here’s the summary from the Web Store. “Crimson Snow brings together a dozen vintage crime stories set in winter. Welcome to a world of Father Christmases behaving oddly, a famous fictional detective in a Yuletide drama, mysterious tracks in the snow, and some very unpleasant carol singers. There’s no denying that the supposed season of goodwill is a time of year that lends itself to detective fiction.
On a cold night, it’s tempting to curl up by the fireside with a good mystery. And more than that, claustrophobic house parties, with people cooped up with long-estranged relatives, can provide plenty of motives for murder.
Including forgotten stories by major writers such as Margery Allingham, as well as classic tales by less familiar crime novelists, each story in this selection is introduced by the leading expert on classic crime, Martin Edwards. The resulting volume is an entertaining and atmospheric compendium of wintry delights.”
If you would like a copy of this week’s hot book, you can order Crimson Snow through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2k2iRwG
Left Coast Crime, the mystery conference held in areas west of the Mississippi, just announced the nominees for this year’s awards. Here’s the announcement as it appears on the Left Coast Crime website.
“The Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Awards are fan awards chosen by registered members of the Left Coast Crime convention. Nominations for awards to be presented at each annual convention are made by people registered for that convention and also the immediately prior convention. A ballot listing the official nominees is given to each registrant when they check in at the convention, and final voting takes place at the convention. The ballots are tabulated and that year’s Lefty Awards are presented at the Awards Celebration.
Left Coast Crime 2017, “Honolulu Havoc,” will be presenting four Lefty Awards at the 27th annual LCC convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Lefty awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.
Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
• Donna Andrews, Die Like an Eagle (Minotaur Books)
• Ellen Byron, Body on the Bayou (Crooked Lane Books)
• Timothy Hallinan, Fields Where They Lay (Soho Crime)
• Heather Haven, The CEO Came DOA (Wives of Bath Press)
• Johnny Shaw, Floodgate (Thomas & Mercer)
• Diane Vallere, A Disguise To Die For (Berkley Prime Crime)
Lefty for Best Hystorical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial)
for books covering events before 1960
• Rhys Bowen, Crowned and Dangerous (Berkley Prime Crime)
• Susanna Calkins, A Death Along the River Fleet (Minotaur Books)
• Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell (Bantam Books)
• Catriona McPherson, The Reek of Red Herrings (Minotaur Books)
• Ann Parker, What Gold Buys (Poisoned Pen Press)
Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel
• Sarah M. Chen, Cleaning Up Finn (All Due Respect Books)
• Marla Cooper, Terror in Taffeta (Minotaur Books)
• Alexia Gordon, Murder in G Major (Henery Press)
• Nadine Nettmann, Decanting a Murder (Midnight Ink)
• Renee Patrick, Design for Dying (Forge)
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel
• Matt Coyle, Dark Fissures (Oceanview Publishing)
• Gigi Pandian, Michelangelo’s Ghost (Henery Press)
• Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning (Minotaur Books)
• Terry Shames, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Seventh Street Books)
• James W. Ziskin, Heart of Stone (Seventh Street Books)
To be eligible, titles must have been published for the first time in the United States or Canada during 2016, in book or ebook format. (If published in other countries before 2016, a book is still eligible if it meets the US or Canadian publication requirement.)”
If you’re looking for any of the books, check the Web Store. http://store.poisonedpen.com