July/September 2006

The Barry Awards were presented on Thursday, September 28, 2006.  


Best Novel: RED LEAVES by Thomas H. Cook

Best First Novel: COLD GRANITE by Stuart MacBride

Best British Novel: THE FIELD OF BLOOD by Denise Mina

Best Thriller: THE COMPANY MAN by Joseph Finder

Best Paperback Original: THE JAMES DEANS Reed Farrel Coleman

Best Short Story: "There is No Crime on Easter Island" by Nancy Pickard

Don Sandstrom Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom: Janet Rudolph


Talked to John Dunning's wife the other day and she said that he is improving but very slowly.  9/22/2006


To you Arnardur Indridason fans who are attending Bouchercon,  I just heard from bookseller Mike Bursaw, a.k.a. Mystery Mike, that he will have copies of the British edition of Indridason's new book VOICES at his table at Bouchercon.  There was some mystery with the first printing of the book by Harvill in England.  Many booksellers received copies of the book without the number "1" on the number line, which made them appear to be second printings of VOICES, yet the publisher insisted that it had never re-printed it.  But there are copies with a "1" out there, so there are clearly first and second printings -- so the publisher is mistaken at best.  Mike has both 1st printings that will sell for a premium since he had to pay extra for them -- and 2nd printings that will sell for a normal price (for Brit editions) for those who just want to read the book and aren't interested in the whole collecting thing.  If you can wait a year or so to read it, you can get the St. Martin's edition which I expect will be forthcoming in late 2007 (I think, but can't be sure this far ahead.).  9/19/2006


I thought I had announced this before, but I couldn't find any mention of it on this page, but I know I did mention it in the latest issue of DP.  We are discontinuing the DP Bulletin Board because it never got the level of participation that I had hoped for -- blame the moderator -- me.  I had been leaning in this direction for some time now but what pushed me over the top was the discovery of another discussion group known as 4MA (For Mystery Addicts) which is similar to DorothyL, but much more to my liking.  It is everything and more that I wanted the DP Bulletin Board to be and more. Many DP subscribers participate on 4MA already (including its moderator Maddy Van Hertbruggen) participate.  It does some wonderful things: monthly discussions of at two or more books; monthly recommended reading lists from participants; knowledgeable participants and best of all, enthusiasm and love for the mystery genre.  I must have been living under a rock (not too difficult to do in Utah) not to have been aware of this group before, but now that I am , I encourage all of you to participate as well. Here's how: Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4_Mystery_Addicts/ and then hit button below to join. If you don't have a yahoo.com e-mail account you may want to sign up for that first (I already had a yahoo email address, but directed the email to come to my deadly pleasures email account) .  It takes a couple of minutes, but is well worth it.  You can elect to get the daily e-mails or just to read the digests of emails.  Depends on how much email you already get.  It just takes a couple of minutes each day to scroll through the email and delete it, so that is the option I went for.  Good luck.  9/18/2006


Thanks to all who sent in their votes for the Barry Awards.  9/12/2006


Ruth Cavin of St. Martin's Press sent me the following e-mail: 

I'd like to correct something in the new issue of DEADLY PLEASURES, which just hit my office today.  In your review of Steve Hamilton's new book, A Stolen Season, you say "the author spent quite a bit of time writing a stand-alone thriller that never came together."  You're quite mistaken.  He was indeed working on a stand-alone, and it's very close to completion.  It is the second book on our two-book contract with Steve.  St. Martins Minotaur, Steve and his agent Jane Chelius, all agreed that it would be better to follow up the Alex McKnight story at this point, and save the stand-alone for the later publication. And  believe me, it is "coming together" beautifully.     9/12/2006


Continuing with the trend of series authors publishing stand-alone novels, the next books from Barbara Parker (THE PERFECT FAKE, Dutton, $25.95, January, 2007) and Perri O'Shaughnessy (KEEPER OF THE KEYS, Delacorte, $25.00, Oct 31, 2006) are stand-alones.  9/12/2006


I have the deadline for the Barry Awards ballots to be in by tomorrow the 10th, but I'm extending it to Sunday night -- the 12th.  I can't get the awards ordered until Monday, so I'll give you a couple of more days.  If you haven't had a chance to respond, send votes to george@deadlypleasures.com

2006 Barry Award Ballot

Best Novel


RED LEAVES Thomas H. Cook

MERCY FALLS William Kent Krueger

SUDDEN DEATH David Rosenfelt

MR. LUCKY James Swain



Best First Novel

DIE A LITTLE Megan Abbott

IMMORAL Brian Freeman

BABY GAME Randall Hicks




Best British Novel


LIFELESS Mark Billingham

SILENCE OF THE GRAVE Arnaldur Indridason

A GOOD DAY TO DIE Simon Kernick


LOST Michael Robotham


Best Thriller

COMPANY MAN Joseph Finder


THE INSIDE RING Michael Lawson


MAP OF BONES James Rollins



Best Paperback Novel

THE JAMES DEANS Reed Farrel Coleman

SIX BAD THINGS Charlie Huston

NIGHT'S CHILD Maureen Jennings

NOW YOU SEE ME Rochelle Krich


INSIDE OUT John Ramsey Miller


Best Short Story

Steve Hockensmith- "The Big Road" (AHMM May 2005)

Peter Lovesey- "Needle Match" (MURDER IS MY RACKET)

Nancy Pickard- "There Is No Crime on Easter Island" (EQMM Sept.-Oct. 2005)

Joan Richter- "Love and Death in Africa" (EQMM January 2005)

Tom Savage- "The Method in Her Madness" (AHMM June 2005)




Ali Karim did a superb interview of Robert Littell in the latest issue of DP.  But the interview was so long that I had to cut out parts of it to fit it in the magazine.  If you wish to read the entire interview, please click on the author's name above.  There were some very interesting bits that didn't make it, so I would admonish you to read it in its entirety.  9/05/2006


Barry Award Voting.  I've emailed about 200 of you with a Barry Awards Ballot.  If you haven't gotten one, please e-mail me (so I can keep your e-mail address on file) and I'll e-mail you a ballot.  In the alternative, just send me the titles you are voting for.  I'd like to get the votes in no later than the 15th of September.  Also, 10-20 of the emails that I sent out bounced back, so if you have changed your email address recently, please let me know.  9/05/2006


Many of you know Cap'n Bob Napier (Robert S. Napier), one of the stalwarts of mystery fiction fandom.  For many years he published Mystery and Detective Monthly (a pre-e-mail blog with many participants).  Well, yesterday I got an advance reading copy of LOVE, DEATH AND THE TOYMAN (Five Star, $25.95) -- his first novel!   Way to go, Cap'n!    8/25/2006


I am about half-way through EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE by Peter May and quite enjoying it, so I was pleased to get this update on Peter's activities.

For all those of you who like to keep up with Peter May's news, here are the latest developments concerning his China Thrillers and finally an announcement about his BRAND NEW SERIES of books... 

1) NEW SERIES - The Enzo Files -- EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE  (Poisoned Pen Press coming November 2006). 

Peter is absolutely delighted to announce that Poisoned Pen Press will be publishing the first two in his new series of books in both USA and UK.

The stories are based in France and feature Enzo MacLeod, a Scottish/Italian biologist who has been teaching at a university in Toulouse since turning his back on a brilliant forensics career in his native Scotland.

Rising to a challenge from the local police chief, Enzo accepts a bet to prove that the latest science and technology could bring cold case killers to justice. 

His quest takes him on a journey through French landmarks and the Paris catacombs on the trail of one of France's most notorious unsolved mysteries.

The first book featuring Enzo Macleod is 


It will be published in November 2006

For an advance taster, a chance to meet Enzo and his clan, visit Enzo's website at:

2) USA TOUR - February/March 2006 (Starting with Left Coast Crime in Seattle)

3) CHINA THRILLERS - 2nd book, THE FOURTH SACRIFICE  (St Martin's Press coming February 2007)



I worked long and hard to improve the resolution of the photographs in the latest issue and I was very pleased with how they turned out.  You should see a marked improvement when you get your issue.  8/25/2006


DP 48 went to the post office on Wednesday of this week.  Whew!  Finally done.  Now I can get back to life -- such as seeing my new grandson, Jacob Lee Easter, who was born yesterday.  8 pounds.  My daughter-in-law pushed once and he came out.  Not fair to all you mothers who labored long and hard to give birth.  His two sisters are ecstatic!  8/25/2006


Ali Karim sent this notice:  

The judges for the Crime Writers' Association annual Short Story Award have announced the 2006 shortlist, drawn up from more than 100 published in five major collections and some solo stories. Chair of judges Peter Lovesey commented: "The judges had some hard decisions to make, but believe the final list demonstrates that the crime short story can thrill, chill and entertain in a variety of styles and settings."

The winner will be announced at the Off the Shelf Festival in Sheffield on October 18, receiving £1500 prize money. The other judges are crime fiction reviewers Ayo Onatade and Ali Karim.

The 2006 shortlist is:

Robert Barnard for 'Sins of Scarlet' from I.D. Crimes of Identity (Comma Press)
The ultimate in locked-room murders, set in the Sistine Chapel during the election of a Pope.
Ken Bruen for 'Loaded' from London Noir (Serpent's Tail)
Brixton noir, tough as they come, strong, finely crafted and convincing.

PD James for 'The Part-Time Job' from The Detection Collection (Orion)
The account of an original form of revenge, with revelation after revelation.

Stuart Pawson for 'Les's Story' from I.D. Crimes of Identity (Comma Press)
Perfectly fitting the I.D. theme, this story told by a tearaway kid is compelling, moving and surprising.

Martyn Waites for 'Love' from London Noir (Serpent's Tail)
The voice of a skinhead tells powerfully and ironically of racial conflict and self-discovery.  8/16/2006


DP 48 went to the printer yesterday.  It should be mailed the early part of next week.



Elizabeth Corley -- "Who is she?" you might ask.  She is a British writer who published two crime novels several years ago (only one -- FATAL LEGACY) was published in the U.S. by St. Martin's -- to some critical acclaim.  Her first novel -- REQUIEM MASS -- had a very small print run and is highly collectible -- even though she hasn't published in quite a while.  I met Elizabeth at the Washington, D.C. Bouchercon and found her quite engaging.  I was hoping for great things for her, but she disappeared from the scene.  Imagine my delight when I saw that Allison & Busby is coming out with a new book from her.  GRAVE DOUBTS (Allison & Busby, August). Sergeant Louise Nightingale is the model police officer; calm, composed and always in control. All that changes when she takes part in a police sting to trap the prime suspect in a series of killings. The killer has been preying on young women and Nightingale is the perfect bait, but nothing goes according to plan as she finds herself alone with the killer when her colleagues struggle to get to her in time, and she is attacked. Suddenly, Nightingale is in the very nightmare world she has tried to protect others from, and her worst fears are about to come true. £18.99     8/05/2006


The new Bookaholic is out.  I always enjoy the take that Sally has on books and I've come to trust her opinion as one very close to my own -- which is something I value when I can find it.  August 5, 2006


Andrew Taylor's ground-breaking Roth Trilogy (The Four Last Things, The Office of the Dead, The Judgment of Strangers) is being made into three feature-length films by ITV. Each film will keep the title of the relevant book, but the 'series' will be called Fallen Angel.

Filming began yesterday and they are looking to broadcast all three in Spring 07. The cast includes: Charles Dance, Emilia Fox, Niamh Cusak, Sheila Hancock and Peter Capaldi. The Roth Trilogy is made up of three linked psychological thrillers that go backwards in time to trace the history of a shocking crime that takes place at the beginning of book 1.   Aug 3, 2006



Maggie Mason has found out that Laurie R. King wrote a non-mystery under a pen name. CALIFIA'S DAUGHTER by Leigh Richards was published as a PBO in 2004.  For more details, click here


Our resident literary curmudgeon Marv Lachman (a nicer person you will never meet) has not liked our recent picks for Reviewed to Death books, so I consulted him on the next pick.  It will be a double novel by Stark House -- AN AIR THAT KILLS/DO EVIL IN RETURN by Margaret Millar.  Marv has enjoyed the works of Margaret Millar (an almost legendary writer in her own right, who was married to a true legend -- Ross Macdonald) so I have my fingers crossed.    I will only ask our staff of reviewers to read one of the two books and comment on that one.  If any of you on the committee have one or both of these books in your collection, please let me know because the publisher could only provide 6 copies of the arc (all that he had left).  I'll be reading DO EVIL IN RETURN because it has a police detective with the last name of Easter.  I don't run across my surname very often in crime fiction (John Grisham has a character with that name in one of his novels; C.J. Box tuckerized me in one of his too -- I'm one of two black men in a small Wyoming town -- cool, huh?).   8/02/2006


Just saw that Marilyn Wallace passed away at age 64 from breast cancer.  She is known for her own novels, the Sisters in Crime short story anthologies that she edited and most recently for a cozy series of pbos she authored under the pen name Maggie Bruce (THE GOURDMOTHER -- 2005).  I met this personable author many years ago at Bouchercon, but hadn't seen her for a very long time. She will be missed by the mystery community and her many friends. 8/2/2006 


The present administration of the Crime Writers Association in the U.K. just doesn't seem to know how to keep away from controversy. Ali Karim sent this latest press release from CWA (look at the end of this posting to read a commentary on this new policy by Mike Stotter -- and also my thoughts): The Crime Writers’ Association is following the Booker and Orange prizes in charging publishers for any of their books that are short-listed for its annual Dagger Awards.

The charges for each short-listed title will be £500 per title for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, £200 for the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and £100 for the New Blood and Non Fiction Daggers. As previously, there is no entry fee for books submitted for the Dagger Awards.

CWA Chair Robert Richardson said: "This is not a money-making move, but a way to reduce the considerable financial costs we face in organising and promoting the Dagger Awards. We are not a wealthy organisation and it is an increasing burden on our limited finances. Authors and publishers benefit from being short-listed -- and especially winning -- while there is no gain to the CWA. The income these charges generate will not cover the full costs of the operation, but will leave us with a balance that we can afford. This is solely a CWA committee decision."

The Daggers date back to 1954 and are among the longest-established literary awards in Britain, with the £20,000 Duncan Lawrie Dagger now the world’s biggest prize for crime fiction. At the awards dinner at London’s Waldorf Hilton hotel in June, it was won by Ann Cleeves for Raven Black, published by Macmillan.

Richardson added: "Some may argue that the Booker and Orange prizes have a much higher profile, but they charge publishers £2,000 for each short-listed title. What we are asking for is much more modest -- and we are dealing with the most widely-read area of popular fiction." Michael Stotter's comments on this new CWA policy: "Wow,

I can see the hue and cry about this already? How can Robert Richardson say that this "is not a money-making move"? I thought the idea of having sponsors was to allow any book to be entered regardless of the marketing budget. This is a seriously bad move. And did he say promote? Where the hell does he promote it? Radio/TV/Underground/broadsheets - I don't think so. In the writing world the CWA Daggers are nowhere near important to the readers as the Orange or the Nibbies. I've seen people reading Zandie Smith, never seen anyone reading Ann Cleeves. The Daggers are being blunted, my friends." [My takes: What if a publisher and/or an author doesn't pay the fee? Is the title removed from the list of nominees? Replaced by an inferior book? I don't agree that "there is no gain for the CWA." Publicizing British authors is the organization's prime reason for existence and the Dagger Awards are far and away the most visible publicity feature of the organization. Take the Dagger Awards away and what's left? Nothing much in my opinion, other than a periodical newsletter. The Dagger Awards serve as reason number one for the continued existence of the CWA. Authors may differ with me on that, but that is my perception. Another thought: if we started charging for Barry Award nominations, I can only imaging the laughter emanating from New York City and London. It might be worth doing just to give publishers a good laugh.] August 1, 2006

This issue is delayed and once again I apologize, but two weeks out of town in the last month has made it very difficult for me to get it out the door.  I work on it every day but progress is slow.  If I could only get someone to write cover articles, I'd be better able to meet a timetable.  Whenever I look back on past cover articles, I think to myself, "What took so long?  This isn't so comprehensive."  But it takes a lot longer to put one together than you might think.  Oh yes, there is one more reason for the delay: just got the new Dick Francis arc  and I'm having a hard time not peeking at it from time to time. 7/27/2007


Bouchercon is officially sold out.  If you still wish to go, you must sign a waiting list and wait for someone to bow out.  The organizing committee had agreed to a larger hotel a couple of years ago and was told that no deposit would be necessary, but when it came time to sign the contract, the hotel/convention center demanded $10,000 and the committee didn't have it.  So they were forced to get another hotel, which was smaller and could only accommodate 1,200 people.  Hence, the number to attend was capped and that cap has been reached.  7/27/2006


Got a notice that : ConMisterio Bids Farewell To Mystery Community

ConMisterio, the recent mystery convention held in Austin, Texas, in July2005 and July 2006, will not have an encore performance in 2007.
Organizer Karen Meschke reports that although ConMisterio II showed increased attendance, and attendees enthusiastically received both years, the convention still has not shown a profit.  The staff has decided they cannot continue at this time, and is regretfully retiring the name
"ConMisterio."  The entire staff of volunteers of would like to thank the mystery community for their gracious support and encouragement the past two years.  7/27/2006


Just noticed that Denise Mina has signed up to attend Bouchercon.  I've wanted to meet her ever since I read her exceptional Garnethill trilogy.   (Saw her on the Late, Late show a week or so ago and she was delightful.) Her new book is supposed to be very good -- hope to get to it soon.  Good news for me at least. 7/27/2006


Mickey Spillane passed away while I was out of town. Let me add my condolences to the chorus of fans and admirers. With Ed McBain and now Mickey Spillane no longer here, the list of living legends has been greatly diminished.  7/26/2006



David Loeb Goodis Convention (Goodiscon)

Deen and Jay Kogan Award for Writers of Importance and Distinction


Who?  DLG was born in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on March 2nd, 1917 (90th Birthday).  He died in Philadelphia on January 7th, 1967 (40th Anniversary of his death).    David Goodis is best known for his major contribution to American hard-boiled crime fiction via pulp fiction writing (Dark Passages [1946]), hardback novels and paperback originals (Cassidy’s Girl [1951]).


What? A seminal meeting celebrating Philly Noir, featuring David Goodis and those influenced by his work.


Why? This conference is the first planned yearly symposium to spotlight writers of significance and importance.  It will be a unique opportunity for writers, fans, collectors and friends to get together and discuss fine writing in a collegial setting.  The intention is to allow all attendees to meet, revel, discuss and experience the Philadelphia Noir in a brand new way.


Where? Philadelphia is the setting for GoodisCon 2007.  Several different venues will be   utilized to capture the “spirit(s)” of David L. Goodis and his wonderfully dark writing.  These include, but are not limited to Temple University , The Legendary Blue Horizon Boxing (#1 Boxing Venue in the World), Yards Brewery and the Port Richmond Bookstore (PRBS).


When? January 5th, 6th and 7th 2007.  Hotel, registration fee and schedule of events TBA .The intention is to have three fun-filled days to celebrate the life and writing of David L. Goodis in the spirit with which he would have enjoyed it.


Contact: Lou Boxer (lboxer1@comcast.net) and Deen Kogan (shp@erols.com)




Larry Block writes: "HIT PARADE seems to be selling outrageously well. The first printing was substantial, but the publisher's stock is running low, and a second printing is likely in the near future. If having a first edition is important to you, well, you're in plenty of time to get one, but I wouldn't wait too long."  I don't know if this is author self-promotion or not, but if you are a Block collector, be aware of this possibility.  7/24/2006


Fox Network has signed up for more episodes of Bones, which is based on Kathy Reichs' books.  7/24/2006


Also from Barbara Peters:                                           Lisa Unger was much touted by her publisher as a debut novelist. And now we learn she proves to be not a first author but Lisa Miscione of 3 books with St Martin's whom Random House decided to disguise as someone new. This is not the first time this kind of misrepresentation has happened and it infuriates me to be lied to. And this is the same publisher that pretended Tim Cockey was first time author Richard Hawke. So no scruples here, no?

Authors giving blurbs
A few of you have raised the question of whether the authors whose quotes—called "blurbs"—that appeared on the dust jacket of a book would have any reason to know anything about the author, i.e. his or her bio, identity, etc. There really isn't any reason why an author, when asked to read a MS by his publisher, would inquire about the author or in fact know anything about him or her. It's one of those courtesies publishers ask of their authors for their other authors and I can't see why an author asked to blurb would look behind the manuscript itself. The question before the blurbing author is just, how good is the book? Or put another way, did you like it and why?

I add that for Poisoned Pen Press, I ask authors (nearly always authors not published by us) to read and if they like the work give a blurb to manuscripts that we publish, and I do furnish information to them. In fact, I have a lot of fun matching authors I know to books I am editing to publish. But I am always clear I only want a blurb from the heart (a test here, no, of how well I did the match, so you can think of me as a "blurb yenta" if you like), not as a courtesy. So the blurbs you read on Poisoned Pen Press books are I believe sincere and the authors who give them know what's the history of the author who wrote the MS and also why I acquired it for publication. It's one of those things that a small press can perhaps pay more attention to.  7/24/2006


From Barbara Peters: 

INSPECTOR LEWIS (which shows next Sunday night July 30 on Mystery!)
Wow! Often times something billed as a "Legacy" lacks the punch of the original, and "Morse" based on the crime novels of Colin Dexter was a hard act to follow.

 But "Inspector Lewis" is—as the Brits would say—"brilliant!" Or "fantastic." (I read a lot of British publicity copy for books and films and these are the two words of highest praise.)

 While Kevin Whately, looking slightly more battered, steps right back into his role as the now deceased Morse's Sergeant Lewis, he also succeeds in making the five years that have passed since Morse died and he's been promoted to Inspector perfectly believable. We learn, in bits, that Lewis' own wife has been killed in a London traffic accident and his children grew up and fled the nest, while he's been working the last two years on assignment in Virgin Gorda (where Patricia Moyes lived).

 So here is a grieving Lewis returned to what he knows, yet is so different. He's ruffled by the much young Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, technologically competent, who meets him at the airport. He's more or less snubbed by his senior officer who seems to think another, less senior officer, is more competent to head the murder investigation we see developing: a young Oxford student is shot in the neck while participating in a study at the Sleep Clinic (she has sleep apnea). Regan Peverill was American and brilliant in the more usual sense—a gifted mathematician. And arrogant.

 Lewis is temporarily put in charge, seconded by Hathaway. Their inquiries lead to another student, Danny Griffon, who comes we soon see with a lot of family baggage. While I think the Hamlet theme here is a bit "over the top," the script does a wonderful job not only bringing in echoes of Morse and his love of crosswords and puzzles (with a mathematical twist), but in establishing the character of a more mature and independent Lewis and in bringing on Hathaway (who nearly steals the show). They prove to be a top team, one I'm anxious to see return.

 Colin Dexter did not write the story (he's more or less retired), but he and his wife Dorothy still live in Oxford and he's still very much a part of the mystery and university communities—and he retains his sense of fun. In the manner of Alfred Hitchcock, he appears here in a cameo role. Watch for him, it's really a flash!   7/24/2006



Here are the CWA Dagger Winners (so far -- the History Mystery and Short Story Daggers will be awarded later in the year).  7/24/2006



Just got back from five days in Western New York and Niagara Falls (beautifully majestic).  Larry Gandle called this morning to congratulate me on Anthony Award nominations.  Nominations?  Hadn't seen any mention of them yet, so he sent me to Sarah Weinman's blog to see the list.  Deadly Pleasures has been nominated for Best Fan Publication and under a new category -- Special Service to the Field, I received a personal nomination.  I'm flattered but can't help but think of others who have been at this a lot longer than me, who have provided much more "service" than I have, and who should have been nominated for this award instead of me.  And it feels a little strange to be "in competition" with friends such as Janet Rudolph and Sarah Weinman -- and Maddy, Janet and Sarah are subscribers to DP.  But I will adopt the proper award nominee position of "it is an honor to be nominated -- if I win that is just frosting on the cake."  And in my case, this happens to be absolutely true.  Thanks to all who nominated DP and me -- I appreciate your vote of confidence and support. Here are the Anthony Award Nominees (for a discussion on the award nominations, go to the DP Bulletin Board): 

Best Mystery Novel
Bloodlines, Jan Burke, Simon and Schuster
Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly, Little, Brown
Mercy Falls, William Kent Krueger, Atria
Red Leaves, Thomas H. Cook, Harcourt
To the Power of Three, Laura Lippman

Best First Mystery
The Baby Game, Randall Hicks, Wordslinger Press
Die a Little, Megan Abbott, Simon and Schuster
Immoral, Brian Freeman, St. Martin’s Minotaur
Officer Down, Theresa Schwegel, St. Martin’s Minotaur
Tilt-a-Whirl, Chris Grabenstein, Carroll & Graf

Best Paperback Original
Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Susan McBride, Avon
The James Deans, Reed Farrel Coleman, Plume
A Killing Rain, P.J. Parrish, Pinnacle
Kiss Her Goodbye, Allan Guthrie, Hard Case Crime
Six Bad Things, Charlie Huston, Ballantine

Best Short Story
"Driven to Distraction," Marcia Talley, Chesapeake Crimes II, Quiet Storm
"House Rules," Libby Fischer Hellmann, Murder in Vegas, Forge
"Killer Blonde," Elaine Viets, Drop-Dead Blond, Signet
"Misdirection," Barbara Seranella, Greatest Hits, Carroll & Graf
"There is No Crime on Easter Island," Nancy Pickard, EQMM
Best Critical/Nonfiction
Behind the Mystery, Stuart Kaminsky, Hot House
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, Melanie Rehak, Harcourt
Heirs of Anthony Boucher, Marv Lachman, Poison Pen
New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger, W.W. Norton
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, Hallie Ephron, Writer’s Digest
Best Fan Publication
Crimespree Magazine, Jon and Ruth Jordan
Deadly Pleasures, George Easter
Mystery News, Lynn Kaczmarek and Chris Aldrich
Mystery Scene Magazine, Brian Skupin and Kate Stine
Mystery Readers Journal, Janet Rudolph

Special Service to the Field
George Easter, Deadly Pleasures
Janet Rudolph, Mystery Readers International
Maddy Van Hertbruggen, 4 Mystery Addicts

Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind



I'm still working on my Thriller Fest Report but in the meantime here is Ali Karim's comprehensive report of that excellent convention. 


A number of years ago Philip Kerr burst onto the scene with a trilogy of novels set in Germany: MARCH VIOLETS in pre-WWII, THE PALE CRIMINAL during  early days of Nazi imperialist aggression (1938), and A GERMAN REQUIEM in post-WWII.  All feature the world-weary P.I. Bernhard Gunther. These books are considered classics in the genre and, in my opinion, the later works of Philip Kerr haven't lived up to these early ones.  Now, 15 years since the last one, we fans of this series will get a new Bernhard Gunther (quite a surprise since I seem to recall the author stating that the trilogy was complete and wouldn't be added to) -- THE ONE FROM THE OTHER (Putnam, $26.95, September 7, 2006).    I have a sentimental attachment to this series.  In the early 1990s I had my Uncle Fred (Taylor) read the series and comment on them.  At the time (he has since passed away) he was retired from foreign service with the State Department, having spent most of his adult life in Europe.  He lived for over 3 years in pre-WWII Germany, was a captain in the U.S. Army who interrogated German prisoners of war during WWII and was with the first U.S. troops who entered Berlin in 1945.  Later he worked to rehabilitate a German city after WWII.  So, much of the time span of the Philip Kerr series coincided with his time in Germany and I was curious as to how accurate Kerr was in his depiction.  Well, Uncle Fred said that the author was remarkably accurate, considering that he was describing events that occurred before Kerr was even born -- and his description of settings was right on also.  I just wish my uncle were still here to read this latest since he enjoyed the others so much.   7/14/2006


DP contributor Jay Waggoner told me in an e-mail that I just had to read THE LAST WITCHFINDER by James Morrow.  When I asked him why, he responded, 

"It's the best thing I've read in the last ten tears . . . perhaps even better than Dialogues of the Dead by Reginald Hill.  I can get around our "elevation" of Dialogues by calling that a true mystery/crime book . . . and The Last Witchfinder is a mystery in only a weaker sense of the word.  It's philosophical in that it questions "Why do we believe some of the things we do?" and presents a truly in-depth look at the science vs. religion conflict that can be understood by the lay person.  Particularly if you're willing to gloss over some of the arguments presented in Newton's Mathematica Principia (though Morrow does a really nice job of explaining a lot of it).  He also brings life and personality to Isaac Newton, Ben Franklin, and others of the early 1700s.  It's done with a lot of wit and you're seldom bored.  His protagonist is a gutsy, precocious girl turning woman and he has you follow her through an interesting life experiencing much of what we tend to overlook about the pre-free American development.  Plus there's an added device that let's the book speak to the reader.  It's a clever, clever book.  If you borrow it from the library and can't get into it within the first fifty pages . . . I'd be surprised . . . but it would also probably indicate that you're not gonna get hooked by reading further.  I haven't written my review yet but I'm going to try to push it as a mild mystery but definitely not a cozy.  Any time you read a book that causes you to learn, think and laugh as much as THE LAST WITCHFINDER does, you just have to give it an  A+ .  Sorry to have gotten so carried away.  But you see, I'm a math teacher writing about a book on Mathematica Principia and Newton.  They're gods . . . with a little gee."    07/14/2007


I'm still working on my ThrillerFest report -- I lost about 3 pages of what I had done and have to start over again, which is discouraging.  But ThrillerFest was as much fun for me as is possible to have at a convention.  7/11/2006


Here is a heads-up on some upcoming novels: WHAT CAME BEFORE HE SHOT HER by Elizabeth George (October 17, 2006). This is a stand-alone novel and a thin (for Elizabeth George) 548 pages!  It tells of three siblings who are deposited on the doorstep of their aunt one evening.  Each has problems and it becomes evident that the overwhelmed aunt can't protect them from the outside world.  So the responsible one, Joel, turns to the only person who can -- the Blade.  THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer (Sept 5, 2006) is being marketed as a book similar to the next Dan Brown -- involving Washington, D.C. and the Masonic Order. But good friend Mike Bursaw (MysteryMike) has already read it (and enjoyed it) and says that the cover and attending hype is grossly misleading (the author said so at ThrillerFest also).  Good story, but not a Dan Brown copycat.  7/11/2006


A new book by Joe Gores is always an event to celebrate.  This time out he has written a stand-alone thriller, GLASS TIGER, coming out from Harcourt (Otto Penzler) in October ($24.00).  The plot involves an ex-CIA sniper who has foresworn violence but is drawn back into the fold to save the life of the new U.S. President.  Things don't go as planned.  This type of novel has been done before, but in Gores' hands I'm sure it will be top-notch.  7/11/2006


Science fiction writer Ben Bova tries his hand at a scientific thriller entitled THE GREEN TRAP (fORGE, $24.95, November, 2006).  It is billed as a contemporary thriller about energy, climate change and skullduggery in dark places.  7/11/2006


New York, NY—June 22, 2006 — A special New Orleans-themed issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, featuring the Big Easy’s native writers and artists, is slated for shipment to newsstands in early September, following the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating landfall.

Headlining the issue, which bears a November publication date, is fiction celebrating New Orleans’ rich ethnic and cultural diversity. Short stories by crime-fiction pros John Edward Ames, O’Neil De Noux, Tony Dunbar, Tony Fennelly, Barbara Hambly, Greg Herren, Edward D. Hoch, Dick Lochte, William Dylan Powell, Sarah Shankman, and Julie Smith span more than a century and a half of the Crescent City’s history, from pre-Civil War days to the post-Katrina present. This is New Orleans depicted by New Orleanians: Ten of the issue’s authors, including poetry contributor James Sallis, hail from the beleaguered city. Several lost homes or property in the storm.
The work of other notable New Orleans writers is discussed in a book review column by Jon L. Breen, focusing exclusively on the region’s mystery writing.
Capturing the vibrancy of New Orleans for cover and interior illustrations are artists Jenny Kahn, David Sullivan, and Herbert Kearney, all of whom also call the city home.
EQMM’s publisher, Dell Magazines, has donated all advertising for this special hurricane-recovery issue to organizations with rebuilding or relief efforts ongoing in the areas affected by Katrina. Participating organizations are Bridge House, the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, Covenant House, Habitat for Humanity, Reader to Reader, Inc., Save the Children, and the Volunteers of America. For those wishing to make donations over the Internet, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s web site, www.themysteryplace.com/eqmm, provides links to all of the participating charities.
For retail sales information, please contact Bill McCollough at bmccollough@i-cmg.com (phone: 212-686-7188 ext. 2343).
To order single copies of the November 2006 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine please visit our web site at www.themysteryplace.com/eqmm, or call toll free (1-800-220-7443).



There is a good string on the DP Bulletin Board about the recent flap over the absence of female nominees for the International Thriller Association awards.  Check it out.  6/25/2006


Here are the Shamus Award Nominations:

(for works published in 2005)



Best Hardcover

Oblivion by Peter Abrahams  (Wm. Morrow), featuring Nick Petrov.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown), featuring Mickey Haller.

The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais (Doubleday), featuring Elvis Cole.

In A Teapot by Terence Faherty (Crum Creek Press), featuring Scott Elliot.

The Man with the Iron-On Badge by Lee Goldberg (Five Star), featuring Harvey Mapes.

Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown), featuring Easy Rawlins.


Best Paperback Original

Falling Down by David Cole ( Avon ), featuring Laura Winslow.

The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman (Plume), featuring Moe Prager.

Deadlocked by Joel Goldman (Pinnacle), featuring Lou Mason.

Cordite Wine by Richard Helms (Back Alley Books), featuring Eamon Gold.

A Killing Rain by PJ Parrish (Pinnacle), featuring Louis Kincaid.


Best First Novel

Blood Ties by Lori G. Armstrong (Medallion), featuring Julie Collins.

Still River by Harry Hunsicker (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur), featuring Lee Henry Oswald.

The Devil’s Right Hand by J. D. Rhoades ( St. Martin 's Minotaur), featuring Jack Keller.

Forcing Amaryllis by Louise Ure (Mysterious Press – Warner), featuring Calla Gentry.


Best Short Story

“Oh, What a Tangled Lanyard We Weave” by Parnell Hall.  Murder Most Crafty ( Berkley ), featuring Stanley Hastings.

“Two Birds with One Stone” by Jeremiah Healy.  Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Jan/Feb 2005, featuring John Francis Cuddy.

 “The Big Road” by Steve Hockensmith.  Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, May 2005, featuring Larry Erie.

“A Death in Ueno” by Michael Wiecek.  Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine,  March 2005 featuring Masakazu Sakonju.

 “The Breaks” by Timothy Williams.   Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2005 featuring Charlie Raines.