Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Mystery Readers International (Mystery Readers Journal) announces the Macavity Award nominations for works published in 2007. The awards will be presented during opening ceremonies at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention (Baltimore, October 2008).

For more information on the Macavity Award, go to: or contact: Janet Rudolph at

Best Mystery Novel
o Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House)
o The Unquiet by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton*/Atria)
o Blood of Paradise by David Corbett (Ballantine Mortalis)
o Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie (HarperCollins)
o What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (Morrow)

Best First Mystery
o In the Woods by Tana French (Hodder & Stoughton*/Viking)
o Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
o The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster)
o Stealing the Dragon by Tim Maleeny (Midnight Ink)
o The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Beynon Rees (Soho)

Best Mystery Short Story
o "A Rat's Tale" by Donna Andrews (EQMM, Sep-Oct 2007)
o "Please Watch Your Step" by Rhys Bowen (The Strand Magazine, Spring 2007)
o "The Missing Elevator Puzzle" by Jon L. Breen (EQMM, Feb 2007)
o "Brimstone P.I." by Beverle Graves Myers (AHMM, May 2007)
o "The Old Wife's Tale" by Gillian Roberts (EQMM, Mar-Apr 2007)

Best Mystery Non-Fiction
o Rough Guide to Crime Fiction by Barry Forshaw (Penguin Rough Guides)
o Chester Gould: A Daughter's Biography of the Creator of Dick Tracy by Jean Gould O'Connell (McFarland & Company)
o Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters, edited by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower & Charles Foley (HarperPress*/Penguin)
o Police Procedure and Investigation: A Guide for Writers by Lee Lofland (Howdunit Series, Writers Digest Books)
o The Essential Mystery Lists: For Readers, Collectors, and Librarians, compiled and edited by Roger Sobin (Poisoned Pen Press)

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery
o Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (Penguin)
o Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (Putnam)
o The Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin (Faber & Faber*/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
o Consequences of Sin by Clare Langley-Hawthorne (Viking*/Penguin)
o The Gravediggers Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates (HarperCollins Ecco)

*UK publisher (first edition)


The "Nero" is an annual award presented to an author for literary excellence in the mystery genre. The award is presented at the Black Orchid Banquet, which is traditionally held on the first Saturday in December in New York City.

This year, the finalists are:

GLASS HOUSES Jane Haddam, St. Martins Minotaur

BURNT HOUSES Faye Kellerman, Harper

IN THIS RAIN S. J. Rozan, Delta

ANATOMY OF FEAR Jonathan Santlofer, Harper

IN SECRET SERVICE Mitch Silver, Pocket Star

MURDER IN MINIATURE by Margaret Grace (Berkley Prime Crime)

Crafters will enjoy this look at the world of miniature. Geraldine Porter is chairwoman of her local dollhouse and miniatures fair. As often happens with retirees, the date of the fair corresponds with a visit from her young granddaughter. As if the two weren't enough, her friend Linda, whose exhibit adjoins Geri's, disappears on the first day of the fair. Linda seems to carry around a trouble magnet, so no one is surprised that her adopted son and n'er-do-well ex-husband are both on the scene. As Geri tries to help her friend, her investigations are hampered by trying to keep her granddaughter safe, threats on her own life, and her nephew, who just happens to be investigating the murder which may be connected to Linda's disappearance.

I SHALL NOT WANT by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Thomas Dunne Books)

The continuing saga of Episcopal priest Clare Ferguson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstayne improves with every outing. That said, I encourage new readers to begin at the first of the series and enjoy the journey. I SHALL NOT WANT begins with a flashback of a rookie policewoman at a bloody shootout which ensnares the reader and holds on until the book is finished.

Clare has become involved with working with Latino migrant workers and the farmers to whom they are essential. Conflict arises with people who assert the migrants are taking work away from US citizens.

As always, Spencer-Fleming allows bad things to happen to good people and forces her protagonists to look at all sides of a situation. Again, thhe relationship between Clare and Russ colors the situations and the way they make decisions.

The publishers consider this a "breakout" novel. I agree.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lunch with an Author - Sylva, NC

I just picked up this notice on the NC Writers' Network calendar. I wished I lived about 3 hours closer to the mountains!

New!!! LUNCH WITH AN AUTHOR: City Lights Bookstore hosts a lunchtime meet-the-author event with Vicki Lane, author of the mystery series featuring Elizabeth Goodweather on her Western North Carolina farm, most recently “In a Dark Season,” at 3 E. Jackson St., Sylva, noon. Call 828-586-9499.