art I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year full of well-written, clever, insightful, ingenious WOW books to read. Speaking of which, Ali Karim is recommending a book that is being published in the U.K. in January, 2008 and later in the year in the U.S. It is THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson. Read his rave review here. 12/23/2007



Well, DP52 is printed and mailed -- on last Friday. All issues are difficult to put together, but for some reason this one was probably the most difficult to lay out -- ever. I've always compared the layout process to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It would be easier if I would continue articles to later parts of the magazine, but I dislike reading articles like that, so I've always vowed to avoid doing that. And this time, for some unknown reason, the jigsaw pieces just weren't fitting and I had to keep moving them around until they did. December 23, 2007


art Russ Isabella Update: Some of you have wondered what is up in Russ Isabella's life since he resigned from the Assistant Editor job and stopped reviewing for DP. As an alumnus of the Univerity of Utah (where Russ is a professor), I get its student/alumni magazine and the latest issue has an article in it entitled "Terrific Teachers -- don't leave the U without a class from at least one these exceptional professors." Two pages in was a full page on Russ! I called to congratulate him and got caught up on the Isabella family news. One child soon off to Ecuador for a three-month environmental study abroad. The other is finishing high school and has a scholarship to play soccer at a college in South Carolina. He is just starting to do some reading again. Just finished Stephen Hunter's DIRTY WHITE BOYS. Is in the middle of the latest Karin Slaughter novel. I asked him if he would like to submit one review per issue (more if he wants to) and he is considering that. Let's cross out fingers. 12/15/2007



The Case of the Screwed Writer by Charles Ardai. Mystery Writers of America Giveth and MWA Taketh Away. See New York Post story. 12/10/2007


art Here's a non-mystery recommendation. Best movie I've seen this year -- by far: Lars and the Real Girl. I've seen it twice and loved it both times. Funny, sad and heart-warming. It's a little art film, so you may have to search for it in your local theater pages, but it is worth it. Oscar worthy in many ways. 12/10/2007


art The latest issue (#52) is at the proofreader now. I hope to get it to the printer tomorrow. Wish me luck. My life for the last month has been one interruption after the other. Sorry for another late issue. 12/10/2007


art Earlier this year, Time Warner opted not to keep Archer Mayor on its backlist, meaning his first 12 novels would be allowed to go out of print. Rather than gripe, Mayor bought back the rights to his work and has republished them himself in gorgeous $14.95 trade paperback editions, available through 11/04/2007



The CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT is a unique collaboration among 15 distinguished international thriller writers who came together to create a single audiobook with each author contributing a chapter to the ongoing story. The book is serialized and is hailed as the first-ever audio serial book.

Jeffery Deaver conceived the characters and the setting and put the plot in motion with the first chapter. From there the story was turned over to fourteen authors – including Lee Child, Lisa Scottoline, Joseph Finder, David Hewson, S. J. Rozan, and P. J. Parrish – who each wrote a chapter that propelled the story along. Along the way the plot took twists and turns as each author lent his or her own imprint on the tale. Characters were added as the action moved around the world --- and the stakes got higher and higher. The book wrapped with Deaver writing the final two chapters bringing The Chopin Manuscript to its explosive conclusion.

The plot unfolds like this: Former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a priceless, previously-unknown manuscript by Frederic Chopin. Within the notes of this work, which was originally found and hidden by the Nazis during World War II, lies a secret that has left death in its wake – and could kill tens of thousands more. As Middleton races to unlock the mystery of the manuscript, he is accused of murder, pursued by federal agents and targeted by assassins. But the greatest threat comes from a man known only as Faust - a shadowy figure from Middleton’s past. 11/03/2007



I wasn't aware until recently that mystery writers G.M. Ford and Skye Moody are married.

Another recent revelation was that Cordelia Biddle, whose "first" novel THE CONJURER was reviewed in the last DP, is part of a writing duo who publish crossword puzzle mysteries under the pen name Nero Blanc.

Mike Ripley has revealed that the British writer Peter Gutteridge also writes bestselling fiction under the pen name John Twelve Hawks. But Sarah Weinman thinks that this is the Ripster just pulling our legs. I'll try to find out for sure. 10/11/2007



There are a couple of books getting a lot of buzz:

John Hart's DOWN RIVER (St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95). This is the author's second stand-alone novel. It has garnered three starred reviews and many other glowing reviews. It seems that John Hart has lived up to the promise that was so much on display in last year's KING OF LIES.

Linwood Barclay's NO TIME FOR GOODBYE (Bantam, $22.00). The disappearance of a teenaged girl's family is revisited 25 years later. Barclay enters Harlan Coben territory here. Complex and ingenious plotting will help this author "break out" with this, his fourth book.

Check these out and let me know what you think. 10/11/2007



Just a few thoughts on the awards given out during the recent Bouchercon:

1. I was glad to see so much diversity in the winners. The only author who won two awards in the same category was Louise Penny for STILL LIFE.

2. In totalling the votes for the Barry Awards, I kept track of the votes from the DP readership and Lynn Kaczmarek tabulated the vote from her Mystery News subscribers. Then, after the deadline, I gave Lynn our votes. It was interesting to note that a couple of winners would not have won if it was just the DP vote (as it has been in the past). What we have accomplished by joining forces on the Barry Awards is a more diverse voting bloc and that was one of our goals. We don't want to keep awarding the same authors with Barry Awards each year and we were starting to get that way. Awards are meant to spotlight good authors and good books. But they do a disservice to good writers if they overlook them in favor of the same very popular writers each year.

3. I was very glad that Beth Fedyn won the Don Sandstrom Award (and I'm sure Don is also). Beth is one of those somewhat quiet fans who work tirelessly behind the scenes and shun the limelight. Very well deserved. It should be pointed out that the committee that chooses the winner of this award is made up of all of the prior winners of this award. 10/01/2007




Best Hardcover:
THE DRAMATIST, by Ken Bruen (St. Martin's Minotaur), featuring Jack Taylor

Best Paperback Original:
AN UNQUIET GRAVE, by P.J. Parrish (Pinnacle), featuring Louis Kincaid

Best First Novel:
THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD, by Declan Hughes (Morrow), featuring Ed Loy

Best Short Story:
"The Heart Has Reasons" by O'Neil De Noux (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, September 2006), featuring Lucien Caye 10/01/2007


art The Anthony Award winners are:


Lippman, Laura. NO GOOD DEEDS, Harper


Penny, Louise. STILL LIFE, St. Martins


Cameron, Dana. ASHES AND BONES, Avon


Wood, Simon. “My Father’s Secret,” Crime Spree Magazine, Bcon Spec Issue ’06


Huang, Jim and Austin Lugar, Editors. MYSTERY MUSES, Crum Creek Press


Huang, Jim. Crum Creek Press and The Mystery Company



The Barry Awards have been presented and here are the winners.

Best Novel, THE NIGHT GARDENERby George Pelecanos

Best First Novel, STILL LIFE by Louise Penny

Best British Mystery Novel, PRIEST by Ken Bruen

Best Thriller, THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva

Best Paperback Original, THE CLEANUP by Sean Doolittle

Best Short Story, "The Right Call" by Brendan DuBois

The Don Sandstrom Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom was presented to Beth Fedyn. Beth has reviewed for many mystery publications, including Mystery News and Deadly Pleasures, has been a mainstay at Bouchercons, has been a longtime member of her local mystery reading group, and has been a capital-F FAN in the best tradition of Don Sandstrom himself.

Congratulations to all winners (and those nominated as well) and thanks to Lynn and Chris from Mystery News who handled the Award Ceremony this year. We appreciate all of your participation as well. 10/01/2007



The Macavity Award winners were also announced at this year's Bouchercon.

Best Mystery Novel:
THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)

Best First Novel:
MR. CLARINET by Nick Stone (Michael Joseph Ltd/Penguin)

Best Nonfiction:
MYSTERY MUSES: 100 Classics That Inspire Today's Mystery Writers edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar (Crum Creek)

Best Short Story:
"Til Death Do Us Part" by Tim Maleeny (MWA Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan Coben; Little, Brown)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery:
OH DANNY BOY by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur)

Congratulations to the winners. 10/31/2007



  For Peter May fans.

Scottish author Peter May will be taken from his home in South West France to Poitou-Charentes jail on October 19. May's crime? His book SNAKEHEAD is one of French prisoners' favourite books this year. May was handed down the jail sentence when he made it through to the final stage of France’s most unusual literary award.
The Prix Intramuros - literally, within the walls - is decided by juries made up of inmates in French penitentiaries. The seven short-listed authors for the prize face a day in jail and 12 hours of interrogations by panels of prisoners. It is the third year of the prize, and the winner will be announced during Cognac's annual Festival of Crime Writing, "Polar & Co", on October 20.
May has owned a house in France for 20 years and has lived there full-time since 2003. Although he speaks French, he has concerns about being fluent enough to get through the interrogations. However, he has a plan to divert attention away from any grammatical errors,” As a Scotsman, I’m going to be wearing my national dress of the kilt,” he said, “I’m hoping it’ll make a lasting impression on the juries of inmates.




Several weeks ago I mentioned the imminent publication of MISSING WITNESS by Gordon Campbell, a local Salt Lake City attorney. The book had an interesting story as to how it got bought by Morrow and you can scroll down to read that. A few interesting things have happened since I made that post.

1. I read MISSING WITNESS and was extremely impressed by this first novel. I liked it as much as I did my favorite first novel of last year, THE KING OF LIES by John Hart. Larry Gandle has read it also and likewise praises this first effort. I got a couple of more copies of the arc and sent them out for review, so we will be doing a Mini-Reviewed to Death of the book in the next issue. And coinciding with that Mini-RTD, I'll have a short interview of the author.

2. After I read the book, I set up a lunch date with Gordon and we enjoyed almost two hours of congenial conversation. He tried to retire a while back but got talked into working on a very big case and that is taking up a lot of his time right now, which he finds frustrating because he would rather be working on his next book. It turns out that his wife, a federal judge, is a big mystery fan, whose favorites include Larry Block, Michael Connelly, and Elizabeth George among others. He wanted to call his book THE SECOND CHAIR, but decided against it because of a recent John Lescroart novel by the same name.

3. The book goes on sale today, so look for it. The publisher is putting a big push on it, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding it. Once you've read it, I'd be interested in your opinion of the book. E-mail me at



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If you are fans of Reginald Hill's fantastic Dalziel & Pascoe series you have cause to rejoice. Felony & Mahem will be publishing the early books of the series (long out-of-print) in attractive trade paperbacks over the next few years. A CLUBBABLE WOMAN (1970) is the first book in the series and it came out about a week ago. Although the new cover is very attractive, it can never match the original cover, which is one of the more unusual dust jacket covers in the history of mystery fiction. 9/25/2007

bk cover


clip art I'm in the midst of reading Rick Mofina's new pbo A PERFECT GRAVE and quite enjoying it. He has recently signed a two-book contract with MIRA and is offering to use a fan's name as a character in his next book. Here's how:
The clock is ticking on your chance to be immortalized in Rick's Mofina's upcoming thriller. Visit and for details on your journey to enter the global draw to have a minor character named after you in Rick's new standalone thriller, SIX SECONDS, coming January 2009 from MIRA Books. Deadline for entries is October 20, 2007.


clip art Bouchercon starts on Thursday of this week, but alas, I won't be there. Lynn and Chris (Mystery News), the new co-sponsors of the Barry Awards, will be handling the Barry Awards ceremony on Thursday night at the opening ceremonies of the convention. I'll post the Barry Award winners on this site Friday morning. 9/25/2007


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Lots of good books coming out in the next few months. I'm starting to get advance reading copies of 2008 books already!




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The latest issue of Deadly Pleasures was mailed last Thursday, August 16th, but some will get it too late to vote on the Barry Awards, which vote is due this Friday, August 24th, so I am e-mailing this ballot to you in the hopes that you will vote by return e-mail. It is not necessary to vote on each category. No one has read every book on the list, so that is obviously not necessary either, although you may want to check out some of the titles that you may have missed.
The winners will be announced at this year’s Bouchercon.


Fax: 801-296-1993


WHITE SHADOW by Ace Atkins
OH DANNY BOY by Rhys Bowen
CITY OF SHADOWS by Ariana Franklin
THE NIGHT GARDENER by George Pelecanos


THE FAITHFUL SPY by Alex Berenson
SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn
STILL LIFE by Louise Penny
A FIELD OF DARKNESS by Cornelia Read


PRIEST by Ken Bruen
DYING LIGHT by Stuart MacBride
SOVEREIGN by C.J. Sansom
MR. CLARINET by Nick Stone
RED SKY LAMENT by Edward Wright


RELENTLESS by Simon Kernick
COLD KILL by Stephen LeatherTHE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva
KILL ME by Stephen White


BUST by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr
THE LAST QUARRY by Max Allan Collins
THE CLEANUP by Sean Doolittle
LIVE WIRE by Jay MacLarty
CROOKED by Brian Wiprud


"Cain was Innocent" by Simon Brett (Thou Shalt Not Kill, published by Carroll & Graf)
"Shaping the Ends" by Judith Cutler (EQMM May, 2006)
"The Right Call" by Brendan DuBois (EQMM Sept/Oct, 2006)
"A Man of Taste" by Kate Ellis (EQMM Mar/Apr, 2006)
"Rosemary" by Paul Halter (The Night of the Wolf, published by Wildside Press)
"A Case for Inspector Ghote" by June Thomson (The Verdict of Us All, published by Crippen & Landru)



clip art DP 51 is near completion. I hope to send it to the printer tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. It seems like my life is no longer mine to control and it gets harder with each issue to get it out the door. Maybe when I retire in a few years, it will get easier. 8/5/2007


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From British bookdealer Ralph Spurrier at Postmortem Books:

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Rodney Wingfield (otherwise known as R.D. Wingfield, the creator of Inspector Frost) died last night (31st July) after a long illness. Rodney was a delightful fellow who was bemused by his popularity. Retiring and reclusive -- partly as a result of spending many years for caring for his invalid wife -- he was never to be seen on the writer's circuit of signings and lectures. Whenever a new book came out I would travel over to his home in Basildon, Essex and he would happily sign multiple copies. He was also delighted to see A Touch of Frost reissued in a limited edition by Post Mortem Books (now out of print) and we spent a long day together signing and numbering 350 copies.

A posthumous Frost novel is to appear from Bantam Press in the Spring of next year. 8/5/2007



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To be presented at Bouchercon 2007


ALL MORTAL FLESH, Julia Spencer-Fleming, St. Martins
THE DEAD HOUR, Denise Mina, Little Brown
KIDNAPPED, Jan Burke, Simon & Schuster
NO GOOD DEEDS, Laura Lippman, Harper
THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS, Nancy Pickard, Ballantine


A FIELD OF DARKNESS, Cornelia Read, Mysterious Press
THE HARROWING, Alexandra Sokoloff, St. Martin
HOLMES ON THE RANGE, Steve Hockensmith, St. Martins
THE KING OF LIES, John Hart, St. Martin
STILL LIFE, Louise Penny, St. Martin


ASHES AND BONES, Dana Cameron, Avon
BABY SHARK, Robert Fate, Capital Crime Press
THE CLEANUP, Sean Doolittle, Dell
A DANGEROUS MAN, Charlie Huston, Ballantine
SHOTGUN OPERA, Victor Gischler, Dell
SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, Naomi Hirahara, Bantam Dell - Delta


“After the Fall,” Elaine Viets, Alfred Hitchcock Mag
“Cranked”Bill Crider, DAMN NEAR DEAD, Busted Flush Press
“The Lords of Misrule,” Dana Cameron, SUGARPLUMS AND SCANDAL, Avon
“My Father’s Secret,”Simon Wood, Crime Spree Magazine, Bcon Spec Issue
“Policy,”Megan Abbott, DAMN NEAR DEAD, Busted Flush Press
“Sleeping with the Plush,” Toni Kelner, Alfred Hitchcock Mag


THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL, Daniel Stashower, Dutton
DON’T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY, Chris Roerden, Bella Rosa Books
MYSTERY MUSES, Jim Huang/Austin Lugar, Editors, Crum Creek Press

READ ‘EM THEIR WRITES, Gary Warren Niebuhr, Libraries Unlimited



Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime
George Easter, Deadly Pleasures
Barbara Franchi & Sharon Wheeler,
Jim Huang, Crum Creek Press and The Mystery Company
Jon & Ruth Jordan, CrimeSpree Magazine
Ali Karim, Shots Magazine
Lynn Kazmarik & Chris Aldrich, Mystery News
Maddy Van Hertbruggen, 4 Mystery Addicts


Some thougths:

1. Female authors dominate the Best Novel and Best First Novel categories. Good books so no one can question the choices.

2. Thanks for the nomination for Special Services. Lots of friends on the list too. I just wish the committee would choose one. I don't like to be in "competition" with friends. Congratulations, though to the Supreme Maddyness, Ali Karim, the Jordans, Jim Huang and of course, my new partners in the Barry Awards, Lynn and Chris. I won't be going to Bouchercon this year, so I don't have a vote. But if I did, it would be very difficult for me to cast.

3. The best first novel nominee THE HARROWING by Alexandra Sokoloff is much more of a horror novel than a mystery/crime novel, and probably shouldn't have been considered for the award. I like Alexandra, so this isn't personal.

4. There are two first novels that have appeared on just about every award nomination list this year: John Hart's THE KING OF LIES and Cornelia Read's A FIELD OF DARKNESS. Pretty good concensus on these two novels. 07/26/2007


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Best Crime Fiction in Australia

Best Crime Novel
CHAIN OF EVIDENCE, Gary Disher (Text)
THE NIGHT FERRY, Michael Robotham (Little Brown)
THE UNKNOWN TERRORIST, Richard Flanagan (Macmillan)
THE CLEANER, Paul Cleave (Random House)
UNDERTOW, Peter Corris (Allen & Unwin)
SPIDER TRAP, Barry Maitland (Allen & Unwin)

Best First Crime Novel
DIAMOND DOVE, Adrian Hyland (Text)
BETTER DEAD THAN NEVER, Laurent Boulanger (C& C International Media Group)

Some thoughts on Australian crime fiction:

1. For being such a small market compared to the U.S. Canada and the U.K., Australia puts out some very high quality crime fiction. I've read both CHAIN OF EVIDENCE and SPIDER TRAP (and hope to get to THE NIGHT FERRY very soon) and they are two of my favorites of the last year or so.

2. Peter Temple has been dominating the Ned Kellys for the last few years (and won the Best Novel Dagger in the U.K. this year for THE BROKEN SHORE). But he didn't have a book out this past year, so it will give some of Australia's other excellent writers a clearer shot at a Ned Kelly award. Another very popular Australian author, Kerry Greenwood, was noticeably missing from the nominating lists as well.

3. I plan to do a survey of Australian crime fiction in an upcoming issue of DP. 7/26/2007


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Just some random thought on the list of the 2007 Barry Award Nominations (see below)

1. The nominating committees did a fantastic job of gathering an exceptionally good list of books for consideration. I've always felt that the list of nominees is our best work and that the list of winners is secondary.

2. Lynn and Chris at Mystery News chaired the nomination process for the first time this year and came up with several ideas that were improvements on the process. A big "thank you" to them and their efforts. I can tell that this collaboration will work well into the future.

3. There are a handful of authors such as Lee Child and Michael Connelly who are so popular that if we listed one of their books as a nominee, they would win. They have each won two Barrys already and have asked not to be considered in the future so that others can be spotlit. We also try not to nominate the same authors in consecutive years, but we slipped up a bit on that front this year with Joe Finder and Simon Kernick. And speaking of Simon Kernick -- I've got to go back a few years to see how many times he has been nominated without winning, but I would guess four or five times -- I hope you are taking note of this exceptional writer and reading his books. I'd like to see him win one of these days. But he's up against some tough competition again this year.

4. There are always questions that arise regarding a nominee or nominees. This year's enigma is Edward Wright's RED SKY LAMENT, as a nominee under Best British Novel. Edward Wright is an American writer. His books are set in the U.S. How can this book be nominated for Best British novel? Well, the sad truth is that the title in question was only published in the U.K. 7/21/2007


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The 2007 Barry Award Nominations


WHITE SHADOW by Ace Atkins
OH DANNY BOY by Rhys Bowen
CITY OF SHADOWS by Ariana Franklin
THE NIGHT GARDENER by George Pelecanos


THE FAITHFUL SPY by Alex Berenson
SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn
STILL LIFE by Louise Penny
A FIELD OF DARKNESS by Cornelia Read


PRIEST by Ken Bruen
DYING LIGHT by Stuart MacBride
SOVEREIGN by C.J. Sansom
MR. CLARINET by Nick Stone
RED SKY LAMENT by Edward Wright


RELENTLESS by Simon Kernick
COLD KILL by Stephen Leather
THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva
KILL ME by Stephen White


BUST by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr
THE LAST QUARRY by Max Allan Collins
THE CLEANUP by Sean Doolittle
LIVE WIRE by Jay MacLarty
CROOKED by Brian Wiprud


"Cain was Innocent" by Simon Brett (Thou Shalt Not Kill, published by Carroll & Graf)
"Shaping the Ends" by Judith Cutler(EQMM May, 2006)
"The Right Call" by Brendan DuBois (EQMM Sept/Oct, 2006)
"A Man of Taste" by Kate Ellis (EQMM Mar/Apr, 2006)
"The Flower Girl" by Paul Halter (The Night of the Wolf, published by Wildside Press)
"A Case for Inspector Ghote" by June Thomson (The Verdict of Us All, published by Crippen & Landru)

Deadline for voting: August 24, 2007

If you wish to vote by e-mail:

If you wish to vote by fax, xerox this page, check off your choices and fax to :


If you wish to vote by mail, xerox this page, check off your choices and mail to:

Deadly Pleasures

P.O. Box 969

Bountiful, UT 84011

Please include full name. It is not necessary to vote on each category. We welcome all votes from subscribers and readers of Deadly Pleasures and/or Mystery News.



clip art Lynn and Chris at Mystery News have tallied the votes from the Barry Award nominating committees and we should be able to announce them within the next few days. They want to notify some of the authors first. It was fun working with them on this for the first time this year. Stay tuned! 7/18/2007


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Shamus Award 2007 Nominations

Best Hardcover:
Ken Bruen, THE DRAMATIST (SMP $13), Jack Taylor
Daniel Judson, THE DARKEST PLACE (SMP $6.99), Reggie Clay
Ken Kuhlken, THE DO-REI-ME (Poisoned Pen $25), Clifford and Tom Hickey
Marcia Muller, VANISHING POINT (Mysterious 6.99), Sharon McCone
Kris Nelscott, DAYS OF RAGE (SMP $26 Signed), Smokey Dalton

Best Paperback Original:
Lori G. Armstrong, HALLOWED GROUND (Medallion Press $6..99), featuring Julie Collins
Pete Hautman, THE PROP (Simon & Schuster $14), Peeky Kane
P.J. Parrish, AN UNQUIET GRAVE (Pinnacle $6.99), featuring Louis Kincaid
Paco Ignacio Taibo, II and Subcomandante Marcos, THE UNCOMFORTABLE DEAD (Akashic Books $16), featuring Hector Belascoaran Shayne
Brian M. Wiprud, CROOKED (Dell $6.99) Nicholas Palihnic

Best First Novel:
Mike Doogan, LOST ANGEL (Putnam $7.99), Nik Kane
Jack Fredrickson, A SAFE PLACE FOR DYING (SMP $25), Dek Elstrom
Steve Hockensmith, HOLMES ON THE RANGE (SMP $13), Gustav "Old Red" Amlingmeyer
Declan Hughes, THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD (Morrow $7.99), Ed Loy
George D. Shuman, 18 SECONDS (Simon & Schuster $7.99), Sherry Moore

Best Short Story:
"Sudden Stop" by Mitch Alderman.
"The Heart Has Reasons" by O'Neil De Noux .
"Square One" by Loren D. Estleman.
"Devil's Brew" by Bill Pronzini.
"Smoke Got In My Eyes" by Bruce Rubenstein




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Well, I'm back from Thrillerfest in New York City (a report to follow) and trying to get the latest issue of DP ready for print. Here are the winners of the Thriller Award:


Best Novel
False Impression, Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin's Press)
Killer Instinct, Joseph Finder (St. Martin's Press)
Cold Kill, Stephen Leather (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Messenger, Daniel Silva (Putnam)
Beautiful Lies, Lisa Unger (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown)

Best First Novel
Nick Stone, MR. CLARINET

Shadow of Death, Patricia Gussin (Oceanview)
Switchback, Matthew Klein (Orion)
A Thousand Suns, Alex Scarrow (Orion)
18 Seconds, George D. Shuman (Simon & Schuster)
Mr. Clarinet, Nick Stone (Michael Joseph Ltd/HarperCollins)

Best Paperback Original

Skeleton Coast, Clive Cussler with Jack DuBrul (Berkley Trade)
The Deep Blue Alibi, Paul Levine (Bantam)
An Unquiet Grave, P.J. Parrish (Pinnacle)
Headstone City, Tom Piccirilli (Spectra Books/Bantam)
Mortal Faults, Michael Prescott (Onyx Books)




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The Macavity Award Nominations are out:

Best Novel
* CHRISTINE FALLS by Benjamin Black [John Banville] (Picador)
* THE JANISSARY TREE by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
* THE DEAD HOUR by Denise Mina (Bantam)
* THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
* PIECE OF MY HEART by Peter Robinson (McClelland & Stewart)
* ALL MORTAL FLESH Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur)

Best First Novel
* CONSIGNED TO DEATH by Jane K. Cleland (Minotaur)
* 47 RULES OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE BANK ROBBERS by Troy Cook (Capital Crime Press)
* KING OF LIES by John Hart (Minotaur)
* A FIELD OF DARKNESS by Cornelia Read (Mysterious)
* MR. CLARINET by Nick Stone (Michael Joseph Ltd/Penguin)

Best Nonfiction
* MYSTERY MUSES: 100 CLASSICS THAT INSPIRE TODAY'S MYSTERY WRITERS edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar (Crum Creek)

Best Short Story
* "Provenance" by Robert Barnard (EQMM, Jul 2006)
* "Disturbance in the Field" by Roberta Isleib (Seasmoke: Crime Stories by New England Writers, edited by Kate Flora, Ruth McCarty, & Susan Oleksiw (Level Best Books)
* "Til Death Do Us Part" by Tim Maleeny (MWA Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan Coben (Little, Brown)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery
* THE LIGHTNING RULE by Brett Ellen Block (Morrow)
* OH DANNY BOY by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur)
* THE BEE'S KISS by Barbara Cleverly (Constable & Robinson)
* DARK ASSASSIN by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
* MESSENGER OF TRUTH by Jacqueline Winspear (Holt)


clip art 2007 marks the first year that DP will collaborate with Mystery News in sponsoring the Barry Awards. Lynn and Chris at Mystery News are close to announcing this year's nominations, so stay tuned to this page during the next few days and I'll post them as soon as I get them. As usual they will be presented at Bouchercon. From little snippets of conversation with Lynn, I've gotten the impression that she had no idea what an effort it takes to get these awards through each stage -- and we haven't even gotten to the point where our readers can vote, which can get quite interesting. 07/06/2007


clip art It looked like I wasn't going to be able to go to Thrillerfest in NYC next week because of some pressing family obligations, but they got resolved last night, so I'll see you there. 07/06/2007


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The CWA in the UK has announced its Dagger Award Winners. They are:

Duncan Lawrie Dagger: Peter Temple - The Broken Shore (Quercus)

Duncan Lawrie International Dagger: Fred Vargas - Wash this Blood Clean from my Hand (Harvill Secker), translated by Siân Reynolds

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects (Orion)

The CWA New Blood Dagger: Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects (Orion)

The CWA Dagger in the Library: Stuart MacBride

The Debut Dagger

Alan Bradley ­ from British Columbia in Canada ­ is this year's winner with The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie. 07/06/2007


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What do you think of mysteries written by your local authors? They can be lifeblood to a mystery bookstore if there is one in your area, especially if there is a significant number of local writers. I'm always interested in the few mysteries that are set in Utah (most disappoint, though), but not so interested (as a selling point) if the novel is set in an out-of-state locale that I've never been to and/or am uninterested in. Every once in a while there appears a Utah mystery writer who sets his/her books elsewhere. Local Salt Lake City attorney Gordon Campbell is just such an author. And he has a very interesting story published in Publisher's Weekly, which involves the publishing of his first novel, MISSING WITNESS, by Morrow, in October, 2007. For the story to be more understandable one should know that The King's English is the closest thing to a mystery bookstore that Salt Lake City has and has been in business for over 3 decades.

Plot: A beautiful woman and her emotionally disturbed daughter walk into a house, shots are fired. The woman's husband lies dead on the floor as she leaves with the smoking gun in hand. Her young daughter is so traumatized that she falls into a catatonic stupor. Right away the woman's wealthy father-in-law -- the murdered man's father -- hires the best lawyer in Phoenix to defend her. That lawyer is the legendary Dan Morgan, who goes to trial and pulls off a miracle. But that is just the beginning of a story that is full of surprises.

Sounds good to me. I just got the ARC and will read it after I get this issue of DP out. Keep a look-out for it in October. 7/3/2007



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The Harrowgate Festival in England is the location for the awarding of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. In the past the list of nominees has been huge, but this year there are only six:

THE DEAD PLACE - Stepehn Booth
TWO WAY SPLIT - Allan Guthrie
BLOOD AND HONEY - Graham Hurley
COLD GRANITE - Stuart MacBride

For more information, click on Theakston.



clip art Someone on 4MA got curious about whether P.J. Tracy is coming out with a new book soon. Here is the response from someone in the Putnam marketing department: "Yes, we are still publishing P.J. Tracy as far as I know but they do not have a book scheduled for 2007. I don't have a planned publication date for their next book " 06/19/2007


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The mystery nominees of the Quill Awards were recently announced. This award is sponsored by the parent company of Publisher's Weekly, NBC, USA Today, Parade Magazine, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and the American Booksellers Association.

The 2007 Mystery Nominees are:



BODY OF LIES, David Ignatius

THE OVERLOOK, Michael Connelly

A WELCOME GRAVE, Michael Koryta

That's a very nice list of books. Well done. 6/19/2007


clip art I've just updated the Year's Best Mysteries page on this site, so check it out. Lots of titles have been added. If I'm missing anything obvious, let me know and I'll consider adding it. 6/07/2007


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Most of you should know what tuckerization is. It is when an author uses a real person's name as a character in his/her book. DP contributor Maggie/Mason is the undisputed queen of tuckerization. She has appeared in over 20 mystery novels as a character (my favorites -- an alligator in a Nevada Barr novel and a pair of hookers [Maggie and Mary] in a Robert Crais novel).

Well, in reading Michael Connelly's THE OVERLOOK it was hard not to miss DP Assistant Editor Larry Gandle as Harry Bosch's new boss, and hence a probable continuing character.

But when I started reading the ARC of Joseph Finder's new POWER PLAY, I did not expect to find myself as an off-screen character and then several pages later Larry Gandle as another off-screen character. I guess that was Joe's way of thanking us for his Barry Thriller Award last year.

And our U.K. correspondent Ali Karim is tuckerized in GANGSTERS WIVES by Lee Martin (No Exit Press). Four women who are married to some of the most feared of London's gangsters ban together to get revenge on their husbands by beating them at their game. 6/07/2007

art I read Michael Connelly's THE OVERLOOK in one sitting last Friday (I did the same thing with ECHO PARK). I didn't intend to read the whole book that way, but I should know better than to start a Michael Connelly at a time when I can bend my schedule for 6 hours or so. If was wonderful as usual. For those who have signed up to receive his e-mails (if you haven't done so, by all means do so at -- good stuff), he sent you an e-mail containing a link to a chapter of THE OVERLOOK that follows the last chapter in the book. You have to read the book BEFORE you read that extra chapter.



The Crime Writers Association in the U.K. has announced the short lists for their awards. There are a lot of excellent novels nominated and I'm impressed with the list. Two of the books have different titles depending on which side of the Atlantic one finds oneself: Giles Blunt's FIELDS OF GRIEF (in U.S. and Canada the title is BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS). and Åsa Larsson's THE SAVAGE ALTAR (in the U.S. title is SUN STORM). The much-talked-about Australian writer Peter Temple has his highly-acclaimed THE BROKEN SHORE nominated for Best Novel. And another Aussie Michael Robotham is also nominated for best thriller with THE NIGHT FERRY, which my wife has already read and enjoyed. It will be out here in the U.S. in August.

Larry Gandle will be reviewing all nominees in DP #52 (the one after the upcoming #51) and I'm thinking of making it the cover article. If any of you want to submit short reviews (no need of plot summary, just what you liked or disliked about the book) of any of the nominated books, I'll encorporate them in the article. I've been kidding Larry about what would be nominated. I kept saying, "You'd better get started on Vikram Chandra's 900-page opus SACRED GAMES." Well he lucked out and doesn't have to read that one (even though I've heard it is very good.) And he already has read Gillian Flynn's SHARP OBJECTS -- and that has been nominated three times under different categories. 6/07/2007


art Eliot Pattison made a name for himself by writing a series of four novels about Shan Tao Yun. a middle-aged man who was once the inspector general of the Ministry of Economy in Beijing, specializing in fraud cases, now a political prisoner in Tibet. His next effort is BONE RATTLER (Carroll & Graf, Sept, 2007), a Scottish prisoner on a British convict ship bound for the New World at the time of the French and Indian Wars. Sounds interesting. This will probably be one of the last mysteries published under the Carroll & Graf imprint, alas. 5/22/2007


art Carroll & Graf will be closing down this fall. I hope that some of its crime writers will be absorbed in other imprints of the Avalon umbrella. 5/15/2007


art There is an interesting article in The New York Times on the crazy business of book publishing. Thanks to 4MAer Alabama Jack for bringing it to my attention. 5/15/2007


art Doggone it! Another good mystery writer has passed away. This time it is Philip Craig, who died on May 8, 2007 after a short bout with cancer. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. 5/15/2007


art The Guests of Honor at this year's Bouchercon in Alaska have changed. They are now: Thomas Perry and Diana Gabaldon. 5/08/2007


art There is a nice write-up about Deadly Pleasures by Ali Karim at The Rap Sheet. Thanks, Ali 5/08/2007


Here are the Agatha Award Winners from the recent Malice Domestic Convention:

Best First Novel:
HEAT OF THE MOON by Sandra Parshall

Best Novel:

Best Short Story:
"Sleeping With The Plush" by Toni Kelner 5/08/2007


art Mystery Mike also alerted me to a new Edward Wright novel coming out from Orion in the U.K. in September. It is a standalone entitled DAMNATION FALLS. Plot: Randall Wilkes, his big-city journalism career in ruins, has returned after twenty years to Pilgrim's Rest, the Tennessee hill town where he grew up. He has taken on a lucrative but low-prestige writing job for Sonny McMahan, a former governor and Randall's boyhood friend, whose own career is under a shadow and who needs a ghost-written autobiography to ease his way back into politics. Faye McMahan, Sonny's mother, is addled with age, imagining that her dead husband is alive and worrying that her son might be in danger. Amid a violent autumn storm, Randall finds Faye hideously murdered, hanged by the neck from a bridge over the town landmark called Damnation Falls. Within days, another person connected to the McMahan clan is murdered in an even more grisly fashion. And the bones of a third, long-buried murder victim - a young woman - have emerged from the earth. 5/04/2007


art Reed Farrell Coleman Treasure Hunt. Bleak House is publishing Reed's new book, SOUL PATCH, in both hardcover and trade paperback. Mystery Mike (Mike Bursaw) called me today to tell me about a snafu regarding the hardcover edition of 500 copies. Someone in the Bleak House warehouse sent all 500 copies to Baker & Taylor (book wholesaler) and about 250-300 of those have already been sent to libraries. So there are about 100-200 hardcover copies that have gone out to bookstores. Here's your assignment: look for this book at your local bookstores and report back to me if you find one (might not be a bad idea to buy it right then). There has been no second printing of the hardcover as of yet, so any copies you find are first editions, first printings. Mystery Mike said that he read an arc of it and that it is a very, very good book, so don't pass by the trade paperback if you can't find the hardcover. After all, it's the quality of the book that counts -- right? 5/04/2007


art James Lee Burke Collector Alert. Be aware that the collection of short stories, JESUS OUT TO SEA, out later this year, will be a trade paperback original in the U.S. Orion in the U.K. will publish it in hardcover. 5/1/2007



The Gumshoe Awards are given by Mystery Ink each year to recognize the best achievements in the world of crime fiction. The nominated books were chosen from those published for the first time in the United States in 2006.

This year's winners are:

Best Mystery:
Julia Spencer-Fleming, ALL MORTAL FLESH

Best Thriller:

Best European Crime Novel:

Best First Novel:

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Robert B. Parker

Best Crime Fiction Website:
Demolition Magazine:

To see the list of nominees and read the tribute essay
to Robert B. Parker, please visit:



art Here is a list of the major Edgar Award winners. Best Novel went to THE JANISSARY TREE by Jason Goodwin (Ferrar, Straus and Giroux, $25.00). The winner of the Best First Novel award was THE FAITHFUL SPY by Alex Berenson (Random House, $24.95) -- a minor disappointment to me as I was rooting for THE KING OF LIES. And the Best Paperback original award went to SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN by Naomi Hirahara (Delta, $12.00). A complete list of Edgar Award winners is now available as a pdf file. 4/26/2007


art photoThe next Denise Mina novel, SLIP OF THE KNIFE, will be the third in the Paddy Meehan series. It comes out in August in the U.K. And coming out at the same time will be the latest Tony Hill/Carol Jordan crime novel from Val McDermid -- BENEATH THEBLEEDING. That makes August, 2007 a banner month for me to look forward to. 4/24/2007


art The Edgar Award winners will be announced this Thursday evening. DP Assistant Editor Larry Gandle will be in attendance and will call me on his cell phone just as the awards are wrapping up. I will immediately post the results on this NEWS page. I expect to get the information about 10 pm EDT. I'm not aware of anyone who posts it more quickly than we do, so if you are anxious to know who the winners are, come back Thursday night. 4/24/2007


art Due to the wonderful success of Laura Lippman's latest novel WHAT THE DEAD KNOW here in the U.S., her British publisher Orion has changed its mind about what to call it there. The advance reading copies came out entitled LITTLE SISTER. But the finished British edition will carry the same title as the American one -- WHAT THE DEAD KNOW. Larry Gandle and I have the LITTLE SISTER arcs -- do we now have collector's items? I hope so. 4/24/2007


art The new Harry Bosch is a short novel, THE OVERLOOK, which was serialized in the New York Times Magazine. It will be out May 22nd. Michael Connelly has penned an additional chapter to this novel which will be e-mailed to all who are on his website mailing list on the date of publication. If you want this additional chapter and don't receive regular updates from, you can go there and sign up before May 22nd. There is also a link on the site to an 8-minute video, which serves as a coming attraction of THE OVERLOOK. 4/22/2007


art coverI love the title of Jasper Fforde's next Tuesday Next title FIRST AMONG SEQUELS (July in the U.K.) . When Fforde went on to publish a nursery rhyme series I thought he had left the Tuesday Next series behind, but apparently not -- thank goodness. Fforde packs more creativity and ingenuity into one chapter than most writers do in an entire book. If you haven't read this series yet, get off your duff and get to it. They are a pleasure to listen to on audio books too. Plot: It is fourteen years since Thursday Next pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and her son Friday is now sixteen. As previous meetings with the young man might indicate, he should be thinking of entering the Academy of Time in order to fulfil his destiny at the ChronoGuard, but he has decided instead to pursue a career in music - and now leads a teenage rockband called 'Snot'. Exasperation at her son's time-career non-fulfillment is but one of Thursday's problems at present. Meanwhile, Goliath have perfected their own 22-seater Prose Portal Luxury Coach, and plan on taking literary tourists on a maiden voyage to the works of Jane Austen. 'The future of books is interactivity', claims the upper management at the Council of Genres, 'and regulated book travel is far preferable to an unregulated tourism industry.' Thursday is naturally appalled at the prospect, but her objections fall on deaf ears, and Thursday herself is selected to accompany the 'Austen Rover' as it travels on its maiden voyage into Pride and Prejudice. Of course, all is not what it seems and Thursday soon realises that Goliath is up to its old tricks again. 4/22/2007


art We ran a letter from Daniel Easterman a few issues ago which caught us up on his writing activities. He has written a couple of Victorian gothic novels under his real name but has been otherwise absent from the thriller world for a decade or so. Allison & Busby will publish his THE SWORD in September. Plot: Professor Jack Goodrich is in Cairo holding down a prestigious job. His wife and 10-year-old daughter are with him on his assignment to authenticate potentially priceless artefacts including a sword, which is said to have belonged to the Prophet Mohammed. There are those who want these items and will do anything to get them and Jack's nightmares are about to begin. 4/22/2007


art I hope that some of you have taken my advice and read CHRISTINE FALLS by Benjamin Black (who is really Booker Prize-winner John Banville). I listened to it on an unabridged version of cds read by Timothy Dalton and was much the better for the experience. Black/Banville is coming out with the sequel in November in the U.K., THE SILVER SWAN. Plot: It is the middle of the 1950's; a woman Quirke loved has died, a man who he once admired is dying, while the daughter he for so long was denied is still finding it hard to accept him as her father. When Billy Hunt, an acquaintance from college days, approaches Quirke about his wife's apparent suicide, Quirke recognises trouble but, as always, trouble is something he cannot resist. He is drawn into a twilight world of drug addiction, blackmail and murder, a world in which the redoubtable Inspector Hackett can offer him few directions. 4/22/2007


art After a stand-alone novel that was received with mixed reviews, Karin Slaughter is going back to her series with medical examiner Sara Linton and her ex-husband Chief Jeffrey Tolliver in BEYOND REACH (Delacorte Press, August 7, 2007).



Within the last two days I've gotten two boxes of advance reading copies from publishers. The first was a "Beast" box from St. Martin's Press. This blue box is called "The Beast Knows No Bounds" It has new novels by Theresa Schwegel, James Church (North Korean setting), Steve Hamilton stand-alone and James Doss. Pretty cool.







The next box came from Orion in England and is called "The Box." It's intent is to publicize some of their American writers. It has advance reading copies by Laura Lippman, Harlan Coben, Jason Starr, Robert Crais and Lisa Gardner. The Jason Starr is the only new one for me. 4/21/2007



art An interesting fact was reported about the recently deceased Jill McGown. She was taught Latin by Colin Dexter when she was a teenager and Colin was still an unpublished author. 4/21/2007



An update on the Ken Bruen news I reported a few days ago. Author Randy Hicks states that in a recent conversation with Ken Bruen that Ken had changed his mind and there will be another Jack Taylor following the upcoming CROSS and REDEMPTION. It will be called AMEN, which does have a sound of finality to it. But as quick as Ken changes his mind we can't be sure of anything. He could still follow it up with RESURRECTION. 4/21/2007


art Maureen Jennings News. Her trilogy of Detective Murdoch TV movies (based on her novels) were so successful that a 13-episode continuation of the series was ordered. The British company Granada International has bought the rights for distribution of The Murdoch Mysteries, which will give the series the potential for worldwide viewing. Here's hoping we finally get them in the U.S. 4/18/2007


art Ken Bruen News. In an interview by Sandra Ruttan in Spinetingler Magazine, Ken Bruen states emphatically that there are only two more Jack Taylor novels coming. CROSS is just being published in the U.K. to be followed in a year by BENEDICTION. I'm not sure what their U.S. publication dates are. The rest of the interview is quite interesting as well. 4/18/2007


art The magazine, DP #50 was mailed yesterday (Wednesday) to all U.S. subscribers. Today I mail to foreign subscribers and to mystery bookstores. 4/18/2007



It seems like this page has been more of an obituary page than a news page of late and I'm sorry that this trend continues. Annie Chernow reported this on 4MA: " I was truly saddened to read today of the recent passing of the Argyll, Scotland-born mystery author Jill McGown (1947-2007). According to McGown's website, she died April 6 following a long illness. She was a wonderful writer who I discovered back in the early 1980s when I first became a serious mystery addict. Blogger Julia Buckley has a lovely tribute column today about Jill McGown at Very sad news.." 04/16/2007



With more than two billion books sold worldwide, only the Bible and Shakespeare have outsold Agatha Christie, making her the best-selling novelist of all time.  Now, fans of her Hercule Poirot novels and murder mystery devotees alike can pursue their passion online as Oberon Games and International Rights Management (IRM) today announced the downloadable PC game, Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile, will be available May 2007 for download at, and other top casual game sites.

After a rich heiress is killed, Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot finds himself in the right place at the right time to investigate the crime with a boatful of murder suspects onboard the S.S. Karnak as it floats serenely down the Nile.  Can the Belgian detective find the culprit before they reach port?

“We are thrilled to bring the timeless and thoroughly entertaining stories of Agatha Christie to interactive life,” says Don Ryan, vice president of Publishing for Oberon Media, parent of Oberon Games.  “The Agatha Christie stories and her audience are a perfect fit for casual games, and we know that both mystery buffs and casual gamers will be delighted with Death on the Nile.”

I'll be getting a download to play and I'll get back with you with a review. The graphics look very cool, don't they? April 12, 2007

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art I'm sorry to report that another relatively young and talented author has passed away. Michael Dibdin, the crime writer, who passed away at age 60, after a short illness, created the maverick Venetian detective Aurelio Zen, one of the quirkiest sleuths in crime fiction. He was married to mystery writer Kathrine Beck (known to us as K.K. Beck) and they lived in Seattle. Our condolences to his family. 4/4/2007


art Barbara Peters has announced the closing of the Poisoned Pen Central (Phoenix) location, due to her landlord's failure to get appropriate city permits for the site. Her main store in Scottsdale, The Poisoned Pen, is unaffected by this move. The Poisoned Pen is arguably the most successful mystery bookstore in the U.S. and possibly the world. All inventory at Central is on sale at 50% off. Please phone David Strang at 602 252 0663 or email him with particular titles you might be seeking at He'll be happy to check special requests. Otherwise what's there day to day is there. 4/3/2007


art Thomas Perry is coming out with SILENCE in July, 2007 from Harcourt. Plot: Six years ago, Jack Till helped Wendy Harper disappear. But now her ex-boyfriend and former business partner, Eric Fuller, is being framed for her presumed murder in an effort to smoke her out, and Till must find her before tango-dancing assassins Paul and Sylvie Turner do.
The Turners are merely hired to do a job, though, and prefer to remain anonymous. When they find that a middleman has let the true employer know their identities, finishing the job is no longer enough. Their fee just went up. And now they must double-cross the man who wants Wendy dead before he can double-cross them—if their jealousy and cold-blooded calculations don’t result in a fatal lovers’ quarrel first.


art bk coverArtist/author Jonathan Santlofer is coming out with his new book ANATOMY OF FEAR (possibly first in a series) that features police sketch artist Nate Rodriguez. The book contains over 100 drawings in two colors. You can see a video that tells you about the book in dramatic form. There is also a contest that you can enter to have your portrait drawn by "Nate Rodriguez." 3/23/2007


art If you are a collector of Ian Rankin's DS John Rebus coverseries in hardcover 1st edition, it is likely that you are missing the first in the series, KNOTS & CROSSES. It is very expensive to obtain in the British true first edition. So to remedy this difficulty, Ian's British publisher, Orion, has just come out with KNOTS & CROSSES Collector's Edition. It is a hardcover without a dust jacket. It contains an introduction by Ian Rankin and special end papers that feature Ian's original hand written notes on the novel. It is priced the same as the original hardcover -- £10.95. 3/23/2007


art bk coverJohn Burkett is coming out with his third in the Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep (Bangkok) series. This is one of the more unusual crime fiction series being produced today, but to understand what I mean, you'll have to read one of the entries (BANGKOK 8 and BANGKOK TATTOO were the first two). Bantam Press in the U.K. will come out with BANGKOK HAUNTS on May 21, 2007; in the U.S., June 5, 2007. Plot: Sonchai is sent a snuff video in which the woman he used to love is killed.



News about the Australian crime writer Peter Temple:

1. His latest triumph, THE BROKEN SHORE, is not going to be a stand-alone. Two more books will be added to make it a series.

2. He was scheduled to tour the U.S. this summer and I was going to send my copies of his books to some stop on the tour to get signed. But he has had to cancel the trip because of some medical difficulty that precludes him from flying. (Gee, why can't he come by boat?). Seriously, we wish him a full recovery.

3. He recently won a $90,000 fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts. An award of this type is unheard of for a crime writer, as they are usually given to "highly accomplished literary writers". He plans
to use the money to work on several books, including the second in the Broken Shore trilogy. 3/22/2007




Mystery Ink, one of the internet's most popular
destinations for readers of mysteries and thrillers,
announced today the nominees for the sixth annual
Gumshoe Awards.

The Gumshoe Awards are given by Mystery Ink
to recognize the best achievements in the world of
crime fiction. The nominated books were chosen from
those published for the first time in the United
States in 2006. The winners will be announced on May
1, 2007.

The nominees are:

Ace Atkins - White Shadow
Ariana Franklin - City of Shadows
George Pelecanos - The Night Gardener
Julia Spencer-Fleming - All Mortal Flesh
Joseph Wambaugh - Hollywood Station

Lee Child - The Hard Way
Barry Eisler - The Last Assassin
Robert Ferrigno - Prayers of the Assassin
William Lashner - Marked Man
M.J. Rose - The Venus Fix

Ken Bruen - The Dramatist
Gianrico Carofiglio - A Walk in the Dark
Philippe Claudel - By a Slow River
Karin Fossum - When the Devil Holds the Candle
Barbara Vine - The Minotaur

Dave Case - Out of Cabrini
James Church - A Corpse in the Koryo
John Hart - King of Lies
Thomas Lakeman - The Shadow Catchers
Cornelia Read - A Field of Darkness

Still to be announced is the recipient of the Lifetime
Achievement Award, which will be presented at the same
time as the other winners. There will also be an award
for Best Crime Fiction Website.

Last year's winners were:

Best Mystery: Laura Lippman - To the Power of Three
Best Thriller: Joseph Finder - Company Man
Best European Crime Novel: Robert Wilson - The
Vanished Hands
Best Debut: Randall Hicks - The Baby Game
Lifetime Achievement: Ed McBain
Best Crime Fiction Website:

The website can be found at: 3/20/2007


art Left Coast Crime Convention will be in Hawaii in 2009. We might be able to get some of our spouses to go for once. Bill and Toby Gottfried are the chairs and we know what a fine job they do. Aloha! 3/20/2007


art Next title to be "reviewed to death" by our contributors will be Martin Cruz Smith's STALIN'S GHOSTS, an Arkady Renko novel. The book doesn't come out until May, so all I could get were arcs. 3/20/2007



bk coverJust got an advance reading copy of the latest Ken Bruen/Jack Taylor novel CROSS. Plot: A boy has been crucified in Galway city.
People are shocked; the broad-sheets debate what this says about the state of the nation; the Irish Church is scandalized. No further action is taken. When the sister of the murdered boy is burned alive, PI Jack Taylor decides to take matters into his own hands.
Taylor’s investigations take him to some old city haunts where he encounters ghosts – living and dead. It will go on sale in the U.K. April 2, 2007. Publication in the U.S. is sometime in 2008 I'm guessing. 3/20/2007


art Rosemary & Thyme is a cozy tv series we get on public tv. Just found out that Peter Lovesey is a story consultant for the series and that Simon Brettt has written at least one of the episodes. 3/20/2007



The THRILLER Award nominations have been announced.


FALSE IMPRESSION, Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin's)
KILLER INSTINCT, Joseph Finder (St. Martin's)
COLD KILL, Stephen Leather (Hodder & Stoughton)
THE MESSENGER, Daniel Silva (Putnam)
BEAUTIFUL LIES, Lisa Unger (Shaye Areheart Books/Bantam)


SHADOW OF DEATH, Patricia Gussin (Oceanview)
SWITCHBACK, Matthew Klein (Orion)
A THOUSAND SUNS, Alex Scarrow (Orion)
18 SECONDS, George D. Shuman (Simon & Schuster)
MR. CLARINET, Nick Stone (Michael Joseph)


SKELETON COAST, Clive Cussler with Jack DuBrul (Berkley Trade)
THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI, Paul Levine (Bantam)
AN UNQUIET GRAVE, P.J. Parrish (Pinnacle)
HEADSTONE CITY, Tom Piccirilli (Spectra Books/Crown)
MORTAL FAULTS, Michael Prescott (Onyx Books)

A couple of comments:

1. I was glad to see so many Brit novels nominated. Stephen Leather is a favorite of mine and I was especially delighted to see him nominated. Hope he attends the awards ceremony.

2. Two female authors (actually three) were nominated. P.J. Parrish is a pen name for two sisters. Shouldn't be the flack there was last year when there were no female nominations. Now everyone can focus on the missing male authors in the Agatha Awards short list. 3/18/2007


art Another mystery writer has passed away, but this one was more expected, considering his age. Richard S. Prather, a hugely popular mystery writer of the 1950s and '60s whose novels were known for their swift violence, loopy humor and astonishing number of characters with no clothes on, died on Feb. 14 at his home in Sedona, Ariz. He was 85.

The cause was complications of respiratory disease, his friend Linda Pendleton said.

Mr. Prather (his surname rhymed with "bather") was best known for his three dozen novels featuring the private eye Shell Scott, a 6-foot-2 ex-marine with a broken nose, a bristling white buzz cut and an ear ravaged by a bullet he took in the Pacific theater. Among the titles in the series, most published by Fawcett, are "Find This Woman" (1951); "Always Leave 'Em Dying" (1954); "Joker in the Deck" (1964); "The Kubla Khan Caper" (Trident, 1966); and "Gat Heat" (Trident, 1967).

The Shell Scott novels have sold more than 40 million copies, according to the reference work Contemporary Authors. Most are now out of print.


art Excellent Laura Lippman Interview on CBS Early Show. She discusses her new book WHAT THE DEAD KNOW. Very interesting. 3/16/2007


art Thriller writer David Baldacci has two novels coming out in 2007.

SIMPLE GENIUS marks Baldacci’s first-ever spring season debut with the triumphant return of his beloved protagonists Sean King and Michelle Maxwell featured in Split Second and Hour Game.   King and Maxwell reunite once again to investigate a murder at a scientific think tank called Babbage Town, a secretive enclave housing some of the greatest scientific minds in the world as they develop technology so powerful it would render obsolete even the most powerful microprocessor.  The two former Secret Service agents turned private investigators soon find themselves embroiled in a headlong race to save not only themselves, but the entire global power structure as the web of technological menace reaches the most powerful men on earth.

Warner Books will publish STONE COLD, the third novel in Baldacci’s popular Camel Club series, which includes The Camel Club and The Collectors, in the fall of 2007. 3/16/2007 



My favorite British editor, Selina Walker, sent information on two books that will be published in the U.K. soon. One is the latest from Simon Kernick, SEVERED (Bantam Press, 12.99 pounds, hardcover, June 18, 2007). Plot: Ex-soldier Sean Tyler wakes up in an unfamiliar room next to the headless corpse of a girl he's only met once. With his memory of the last 24 hours wiped clean, he's hardly out of bed before the phone rings. A disguised voice tells him to press play on the room's DVD machine. The film shows him stabbing someone to death.

Tyler is confident that the footage is fake, but will a jury see things the same way? The man on the phone tells Tyler that if he wants the evidence to disappear, he must go to a London address and await further instructions.

Tyler knows he must do as he is told. He also knows that the man on the phone has no intention of keeping him alive.

The other book is from newcomer Tom Cain. THE ACCIDENT MAN (Bantam Press, 12.99 pounds, hardcover, July 2, 2007) tells the story of Carver, a good guy who makes bad things happen to bad people. A drug baron's helicopter develops engine trouble in mid-flight. A terrorist is blown up in his own bomb factory. Get the idea? Samuel Carver, ex-SAS, now freelance mercenary, is the frontline weapon of the Consortium, a black ops British government outfit.

His latest job is to set up a car crash in a Paris underpass. Or is he being set up himself? 3/12/2007


art The new Bookaholic is posted. Always enjoyable. 3/12/2007


photoDon Longmuir reported on 4MA: “Stephen King said in The New York Times a month ago that relatively unknown mystery writer Meg Gardiner was as good as Michael Connelly and better then Janet Evanovich. Meg Gardiner's CHINA LAKE hit many number one lists within the next week. ABE recorded her as being the number one author being sold on their web site for two weeks in a row and she still sits at number three.” As far as I know, Meg Gardiner has only been published in the U.K. to date, although she is American and sets her mysteries in the U.S. She now resides in Surrey, England. Her five books are available in the U.S., but you’ll need to either get them at or a similar site. I’ve never seen any on local bookseller’s shelves. 3/10/2007




Booker award winner John Banville has written the first of a new proposed crime fiction series under the pen name Benjamin Black. The first novel in the series featuring a querky pathologist by the name of Quirke is CHRISTINE FALLS. This came out first in the U.K. last fall and just is hitting the shelves in the U.S. (Norton, $25.00) now -- which I find a little unusual because when I open up the book to the copyright page, it says "Published simultaneously in the United Kingdom by Picador." It also states "First Edition 2006." My question is "why has it taken so long to get on the shelves in the U.S?" This is in no wise a simultaneous publication. The U.K. edition, which came out in October, 2006, is clearly the true first.

Now to the book itself. I got the unabridged cd set (do you detect a theme) and started listening to it. The reader is Timothy Dalton (the former 007), but despite his excellent narration, I was bored to tears during the first hour of the book. But the book hits a nice stride by disc 2 and now I'm not only hooked, but thinking that this is one of the best books of the year. But there again is my question: which year -- 2006 or 2007? Should the book be considered for the Barry Awards this year (for books published in 2006 -- I guess it would be eligible under the Best British Crime Novel category) or next year (for 2007 crime novels)?

Quirke is a very interesting character and the author's ability to describe and use metaphor and simile is astonishing. I usually don't like authors who do this to the distraction of the plot, but in Benjamin Black's hands it is a wonder. 3/7/2007


art Anne Perry's last two installments in her World War I series are coming out one month apart. AT SOME DISPUTED BARRICADE (Ballantine) will go on sale March 13, 2007 and WE SHALL NOT SLEEP (Ballantine) will go on sale April 10, 2007. I have gotten an advance reading copy of the first and with it a note asking that the two be reviewed as one book. Sounds like the two books are really just one long one split in two for more sales revenue. WE SHALL NOT SLEEP has gotten a starred review in PW. My sister has not really liked this series as much as the Pitt or the Monk series by Anne Perry. I'll give AT SOME DISPUTED BARRICADE a try inasmuch as I just received the unabridged audio cds of that book. 3/7/2007



Carolyn Hougan, 63, a novelist who wrote under her own name as well as the pseudonym "John Case" for thrillers written with her husband, died of cancer Feb. 25 at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Ms. Hougan wrote SHOOTING IN THE DARK (1984), THE ROMEO FLAG (1989) and BLOOD RELATIVE (1992). She teamed up with her writer-husband, Jim Hougan, to pen a series of thrillers of which the best known is THE GENESIS CODE (1997), a bestseller about Vatican intrigue. Their latest novel, GHOST DANCER (2007), has been nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Award for the best literary crime novel. 3/2/2007


The Agatha Award Nominations have been announced by Malice Domestic XIX. More relatively unknown authors than usual, in my opinion. Also mostly female authors nominated to counterpoint the Thriller awards which nominate mostly male writers. 3/2/2007


News from the LeftCoast Crime Convention.  Donna Moore won the Lefty Award (Humorous Mystery) for TO HELENA IN A HANDBASKET.   And Louise Penny won the Dilys Award for STILL LIFE.  Congratulations to the winners. 2/04/2007

art One of my all-time favorite thrillers is POINT OF IMPACT by Stephen Hunter, the first of the Bob Lee Swagger books.  This has been made into a movie called Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg, to be released March 16.2007.  I hope they haven't changed the plot too much.  1/23/2007


John Case, Ghost Dancer 
Dan Fesperman, The Prisoner of Guantánamo 
Jim Nisbet, Dark Companion.
Bill Pronzini, The Crimes of Jordan Wise 
Robert Ward, Four Kinds of Rain 


Better late than never.  Here are the Edgar Award Nominees.  I especially liked the First Novel Nominees because they (for once) mirror my own predictions.  


The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard (HarperCollins)
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (William Morrow)
The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Little, Brown and Company)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine Books)
The Liberation Movements by Olen Steinhauer (St. Martin's Minotaur)


The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson (Random House)
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (Shaye Areheart Books)
The King of Lies by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books)
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith (St. Martin's Minotaur)
A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (Mysterious Press)


The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto (Europa Editions)
The Open Curtain by Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press)
Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara (Delta Books)
The Deep Blue Alibi by Paul Levine (Bantam Books)
City of Tiny Lights by Patrick Neate (Riverhead Books)


"The Home Front" by Charles Ardai, from Death Do Us Part (Litttle, Brown and Company)
"Rain" by Thomas H. Cook, from Manhattan Noir (Akashic Books)
"Cranked" by Bill Crider, from Damn Near Dead (Busted Flush Press)
"White Trash Noir" by Michael Malone, from Murder at the Foul Line (Mysterious Press)
"Building" by S.J. Rozan, from Manhattan Noir (Akashic Books)

GRAND MASTER: Stephen King


Books & Books (Mitchell Kaplan, owner)
Mystery Loves Company Bookstore (Kathy & Tom Harig, owners)


Bloodline by Fiona Mountain (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Over the history of Deadly Pleasures I've had the sad task of announcing the deaths of beloved fans and authors and it's a task that I find very difficult.  And no such occasion has been more distressing to me than this one: to tell you of the passing of my friend Barbara Seranella.  Not only was she a terrific writer, she was simply a wonderful person.  She had the rare gift of making you think she was more interested in you and cared more about you than anyone else in the room.  In my case, I know on an intellectual level that that wasn't true, but on another level I'm still a believer.  There will be a tribute to her in the next issue. I hope that I can make it somewhat worthy of the person she was and is.  I liked what Maggie Mason said in a 4MA e-mail today: "Hopefully she'll be with the mystery writers who have gone before getting ready for a big convention we'll all be able to attend some day."  Amen.  1/23/2007

The 2007 Lefty Award for the year's most humorous mystery be presented at a LeftCoast Crime banquet on February 3, 2007:

Murder Unleashed by Elaine Viets (NAL)
Go to Helena Handbasket by Donna Moore (Point Blank)
47 Rules of Highly Effective Robbers by Troy Cook (Capital Crimes Press)
Monkey Man by Steve Brewer (Intrigue Press)
No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews (St. Martins Press)

The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association has announced the nominees for the 2007 Dilys Award, for  the book chosen by the members as the one they most enjoyed selling throughout the year. The winner will be announced at Left Coast Crime in Seattle, February 1-4, 2007:

Billy Boyle by James R. Benn (Soho Crime)
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Mournful Teddy by John J. Lamb (Berkley Prime Crime)
Still Life by Louise Penny (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Atria Books)


From Sarah Weinman's site: 

The Crime Writers’ Association has awarded its Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2007 to the outstanding British novelist, John Harvey.

The presentation of the award, made for sustained excellence in the genre of crime writing, will be made by M. Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier and will take place at a champagne reception at the Savoy Hotel in early May 2007.

JOHN HARVEY has been described as “one of the masters of British crime fiction” by the Sunday Telegraph, and “one of the leading writers of crime fiction alive today” by Le Monde. He was born in 1938 in north London, where, after several lengthy sojourns in Nottingham, he continues to live. Like many successful writers, he learned his trade writing pulp fiction – including many westerns. He has close to one hundred published titles to his credit and his latest, Gone to Ground will be published by February 2007 by William Heinemann.

When told of his win, Mr Harvey said: “My reaction to hearing I was to be the recipient of the next Diamond Dagger? Gobsmacked. Absolutely, totally taken by surprise. And then, of course, delight. It was all I could do not to waltz out into the street and accost any stray passers-by with the news. Instead, I calmed myself down with a strong cup of coffee, phoned my editor at Random House, and relaxed under a small tide of congratulatory e-mails and phone calls. It is a terrific honour, coming, as it does, from my fellow scribblers and scriveners, whose judgement I value perhaps above all others – and to see my name added to a list which includes so many leading exponents of the craft.”   We at DP add our congratulations to this fine writer.  1/14/2007


Many of you know Ernie Bulow, the bookseller who seems to be somewhat joined at the hip with Tony Hillerman in many ventures.  Well, his newly formed Sidewinder Publishing is coming out with very attractive editions of Hillerman's early works.  I got a review copy of the trade edition of THE BLESSING WAY (signed by Tony Hillerman) and am very impressed with it. It is chock full of beautiful illustrations by Ernest Franklin (who is joined to Tony's other hip).  The trade edition will be $30.00 (print run of 2000.  Then there is  numbered and signed limited edition (500 print run) with ten full color tipped-in Franklin illustrations -- $250.   Then there will be 100 copies of the trade edition with original Franklin drawings. These will be signed, numbered and slipcased (as will the limited edition) and will sell from Buffalo Medicine Books for $200.  There are plans to do all of Tony's early works through GHOSTWAY in a similar manner.  For those of us who have collected the later Tony Hillermans, but find the early ones too expensive, this will be a perfect way to complete a collection.  1/14/2007

 News -- 2007