Monday, October 30, 2017

George Gently Series Finale on AcornTV

GEORGE GENTLY, Series Finale (2 Episodes) on AcornTV: Wednesday, November 1

Called “Great, bordering on brilliant” (Esquire) and an “excellent BBC detective series” (Los Angeles Times), the long-running hit British detective drama GEORGE GENTLY returns for its final two feature-length mysteries within two days of the finale’s BBC One debut.

Tony® nominee Martin Shaw returns for his final cases as North of England’s most upstanding detective, George Gently, again assisted by his trusted partner, Detective Inspector John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), and Detective Sergeant Rachel Coles (Lisa McGrillis) with Richard Harrington (Poldark, Hinterland) co-starring in the series finale.

In Gently Liberated, set in 1970 with retirement imminent, Gently re-opens an investigation which risks exposing an appalling miscarriage of justice and potentially embarrassing the Force.

In the series finale, Gently and the New Age, Gently is retiring on a professional high when he is approached by a covert police unit with one last tantalizing offer.

Mickey Spillane Typewriter up for Auction!

Up for Auction at Heritage Auctions: 

[Mickey Spillane]. Mickey Spillane's Royal Manual Typewriter, Manufactured Circa 1930. Measures approximately 16 x 15 x 11 inches. Signs of rust and some dust soiling, a few typing keys stick a bit. Considering the typewriter's vintage, it's possible that Spillane used this during his early days as a comic book writer for Funnies, Inc. Mickey continued to use a typewriter for his work and correspondence for the rest of his life, never transitioning to the computer. Otherwise, in very good and working condition. From the estate of Mickey Spillane.

For more information, go to Heritage Auctions.

HT: Spencer Kope

October Library Poster: Happy Halloween

Love this WPA Library Project Poster (1936-1939)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Instagram


Happy Halloween!! Bloody Cocktails and Deadly Wine!


Chateau Du Vampire Wines Bordeaux Style Cabernet Blend (Vampire Vineyards – Paso Robles, California): blend of cabernet sauvignon (60%) with cabernet franc (30%), and 10% malbec to finish it off.

Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon (Vampire vineyards – Paso Robles, California): Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several small-berry clones of this traditional Bordeaux varietal, grown in the Paso Robles region of California’s Central Coast.

Dracula Wines: Zinfandel and Syrah (originally the grapes for this wine were grown on the Transylvanian plateau, now they're made from California grapes).

Trueblood Napa Valley Syrah: This wine will "bruise your soul" with its palate crushing cherry, plum smoke and spice.

Ghost Block: 100% cabernet from Rock Cairn Vineyard in Oakville, next to Yountville's Pioneer Cemetery.

Twisted Oak 2011 River of Skulls in Calaveras County. Limited production vineyard mouvedre (red wine grape). Label has a bright red skull. English translation of calaveras is "skulls."

Ghostly White Chardonnay and Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon. Elk Creek Vineyards in Kentucky

Poizin from Armida Winery in Healdsburg is a 'wine to die for..". This Zinfandel sold in little wooden coffins

Big Red Monster  Red wine made from Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah.

Spellbound 2012 Merlot. Full Moon on the label. 

Ravenswood 2013 Besieged Red Blend. Ravens on the label.

Michael David 2012 Freakshow Cab.

Other Wines, Beers and Ales: Witches Brew, Evil (upside down and backwards label), Sinister Hand, Toad Hollow Eye of the Toad, Zeller Schwarz Katz.

Want to give the personal touch to your Halloween wines? Add ghoulish labels or rebottle in cool jars with apothecary labels from Pottery Barn (or make them yourself). For a great article, go to Spooky Halloween Bottle & Glass Labels.


And what about an awesome cocktail? Make Nick and Nora proud! They always loved a good party. Throw in some rubber spiders or eyeballs as garnish. Want to make your own Halloween Cocktail Garnish--some eyeballs and fingersClick HERE.

Blood Bath
1 Part Tequila Silver
1 Part Strawberry Liqueur

Shake with ice, and strain into shot glass.

Blood Test
1 Part Tequila Reposado
1 Part Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into shot glass

Blood Shot
1 part Iceberg Vodka
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Jagermeister
1 part cranberry juice

Chill all ingredients. Combine in shaker with ice. Strain into shot glass. shoot!

2 oz VeeV Acai Spirit
1 oz acai juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Top with fresh champagne
lime wedge for garnish

Combine VeeV, Acai juice and fresh lime with fresh ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into chilled martini glass and top with champagne.
Serve with fresh lime wedge.

Blood and Sand
3/4 ounce Scotch
3/4 ounce cherry liqueur
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce orange juice
1 thin strip orange zest

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the strip of zest. (recipe from Bank Cafe & Bar in Napa)

Corpse Reviver
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet (blanc)
1 ounce triple sec
Juice of half a lemon
5 drops of absinthe
1 thin slice orange

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the liquids. Strain into martini glass, then garnish with the orange slice.
(Recipe from Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco)

Vampire Blood Punch
4 cups cranberry raspberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 cups natural pineapple juice (100% juice)
2 cups raspberry-flavored seltzer water
wormy ice cubes (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into large, decorative punch bowl.
Serve punch with wormy ice cubes, if desired

Corzo Bite
1-1/2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
1/2 parts Campari
1 part fresh blood orange juice
1/4 parts blood (aka home-made grenadine) **
2 parts Jarritos Tamarindo Soda

Build all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Add “blood” at the end.
Garnish: Blood orange wheel and strawberry syrup

** Home-made grenadine: Add equal parts white sugar and POM pomegranate juice together and dissolve sugar over high on stove-top

Midori Eye-Tini (from Rob Husted of Florida)
1-1⁄4 parts Midori Melon liqueur
3⁄4 parts SKYY Infusions Citrus
1⁄2 part Finest Call Agave Syrup
2 parts of Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
2 parts Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix
3 Orange Wedges
2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves
Strawberry Sundae Syrup

In shaker glass combine Midori Melon liqueur, SKYY infusions Citrus, Finest Call Agave Syrup, 3 Orange Wedges and 2 Fresh Ripped Basil Leaves.
Muddle ingredients together. Add ice and Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix.
Shake for 10 seconds.
Add Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale and roll drink back and forth between your mixing tin and shaker glass.
Strain into a chilled martini glass drizzled with Strawberry Sundae Syrup to give an effect of a bloodshot eye.

Garnish: Chilled red seedless grape at bottom of glass (to look like an eyeball) and bruised basil leaf floated on top of cocktail for aroma.

Black Martini
The Black Martini replaces vermouth with either blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur.
3 1/2 oz gin or vodka
1/2 oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur
lemon twist or black olive for garnish or gold flakes

Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist or black olive or sprinkle in gold flakes.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Spelling

Ngaio Marsh Award Winners 2017

The 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards winners were announced last night. I was so pleased to be a judge in the awards process and privileged to read so many of the nominees. Now in their eighth year, the Ngaio Marsh Awards celebrate the best New Zealand crime, mystery, and thriller writing; fiction and non-fiction.

Fiona Sussman, Finn Bell, and Michael Bennett swept the spoils at the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards in Christchurch last night. The talented trio made history on several fronts at a special WORD Christchurch event hosted in Dame Ngaio’s hometown by Scorpio Books as part of nationwide NZ Bookshop Day celebrations.

“Each of our winners this year is a remarkable storyteller who uses crime writing as a prism through which to explore broader human and societal issues,” said Ngaios founder Craig Sisterson. “When we launched in 2010 we wanted to highlight excellence in local crime writing, beyond traditional ideas of puzzling whodunits or airport thrillers. Our 2017 winners emphasise that broader scope to the genre, and showcase the inventiveness and world-class quality of our local storytellers.”

Fiona Sussman is the first female author to win the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. THE LAST TIME WE SPOKE (Allison & Busby) is her second novel but the first foray into crime storytelling for the former GP who grew up in Apartheid South Africa. It explores the ongoing impact of a brutal home invasion on both victim and perpetrator. “Laden with empathy and insight,” said the international judging panel. “A challenging, emotional read, harrowing yet touching, this is brave and sophisticated storytelling.” It took Sussman seven years to research and write her winning novel. She travelled Aotearoa visiting prisons, talking to police and victims, inmates and ex-gang members, and seeking advice from Māori writers to ensure she brought authenticity to the disparate worlds of her characters. She won a Ngaio trophy, special edition of a Dame Ngaio book, and $1,000 cash prize courtesy of WORD Christchurch.

Self-published e-book author Finn Bell won Best First Novel for DEAD LEMONS and was a finalist for Best Crime Novel for PANCAKE MONEY. His debut explores themes of addiction, loss, and recovery as a wheelchair-bound man contemplating suicide decamps to a remote cottage in Southland, only to be obsessively drawn into a dangerous search for a father and daughter who went missing years before. Bell has worked in night shelters, charities, hospitals, and prisons. He is the first author to ever have two books become finalists in a single year. The judges called him "a wonderful new voice in crime writing” who “delivers a tense, compelling tale centred on an original, genuine, and vulnerable character."

Experienced filmmaker Michael Bennett (Te Arawa) won the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Non Fiction for IN DARK PLACES (Paul Little Books), the astonishing tale of how teenage car thief Teina Pora spent decades in prison for the brutal murder of Susan Burdett, and the remarkable fight to free him. The international judging panel called it “a scintillating, expertly balanced account of one of the most grievous miscarriages of justice in New Zealand history". 

“Decades ago a woman from Christchurch was among the biggest names in the books world,” said Sisterson. “In recent years there’s a growing appreciation abroad for the top talent of our contemporary Kiwi crime writers; a reputation that’s going to flourish even more thanks to this year’s winners.”

2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards Winners

• The Last Time We Spoke by Fiona Sussman (Allison & Busby)

• Dead Lemons by Finn Bell

• In Dark Places by Michael Bennett (Paul Little Books)

For more information on the Ngaio Marsh Awards, this year’s winners or finalists or comments from the judges, please contact Craig Sisterson at

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Library

Donald Bain: R.I.P.

Donald Bain: R.I.P.

From the New York Times

Donald Bain, the pseudonymous author of the “Murder, She Wrote” novels, Margaret Truman’s “Capital Crimes” mysteries and “Coffee, Tea or Me?,” the supposed memoir of two saucy airline stewardesses, died on Saturday in White Plains. He was 82.

Over five decades as a ghostwriter he published novels, biographies, westerns and historical romances, mostly under fictitious names or credited to more marketable bylines; vanity memoirs attributed to corporate executives; and even long articles disguised as excerpts from nonexistent books.

His more than 125 books included 46 “Murder, She Wrote” mysteries, inspired by the television series of the same name starring Angela Lansbury. Many were written in collaboration with his second wife, Renee Paley-Bain.

He began secretly collaborating with Margaret Truman, the daughter of former President Harry S. Truman, in the early 1980s; the first book they wrote together was “Murder on Capitol Hill” (1981). Ms. Truman — she was otherwise known as Margaret Truman Daniel — died in 2008, but the series continued with two dozen books under her name followed by six, in collaboration with Bob Gleason, under Mr. Bain’s.

“With the ‘Margaret Truman Capital Crimes’ series,” Mr. Bain explained, “I operate from the standpoint that there is absolutely nothing that I can make up that is far-fetched when it comes to Washington, D.C., and the political climate there.”

Read More here.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

CWA Dagger Winners 2017

The CWA (Crime Writers Association) just announced The Dagger Award Winners.  Congratulations to All.

CWA Diamond Dagger
Ann Cleeves

CWA Gold Dagger
The Dry (Little, Brown) by Jane Harper

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron

CWA John Creasey (NewBlood) Dagger
Tall Oaks (Twenty7) by Chris Whitaker

CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
A Rising Man (Harvill Seeker) by Abir Mukherjee

CWA International Dagger
The Dying Detective (Doubleday) by Leif GW Persson, Tr Neil Smith

CWA NonFiction Dagger
Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro's Cuba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Stephen Purvis

CWA Short Story Dagger
The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards

CWA Debut Dagger
Strange Fire by Sherry Rankin

CWA Dagger in the Library
Mari Hannah

HT: Ali Karim

Cartoon of the Day: Book Signing

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Pumpkin

Today is National Pumpkin Day! I just had to share this vintage Alfred Hitchcock Pumpkin photo. Want a Pumpkin Chocolate Martini? Go to for three chocolate pumpkin cocktail recipes. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Halloween Group Therapy

Before I was Cozy: Guest Post by Clea Simon

After three nonfiction books and 22 cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries, Clea Simon returns to her rock & roll past this fall with World Enough (Severn House), an edgy urban noir. She is also the author of four mystery series with cats in them, the most recent being the black cat-narrated As Dark As My Fur (Severn House) and the “pet noir,” When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen Press). A recovering journalist, Clea lives in Massachusetts. She can be reached at 

Clea Simon:
Before I was cozy… 

Back in the day, there was little that was cozy about my life. Sure, I had creature comforts, thanks to a part-time secretarial job that paid most of the bills., and even a long-haired grey cat whom I loved dearly. But what I needed for soul sustenance was loud, hard, and fast.

For the first few years, after I graduated from college, the local music scene was the center of my life. The clubs where bands played original music – the Rat, the Channel, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Storyville, among others – became my “third place,” not home, not work, where I could go. Through it, I found my tribe of friends and lovers. My first profession – as a music critic. More fundamentally, in the loud garage punk scene of ‘80s Boston, I found an outlet for the emotional turmoil I had grown up with in a family plagued by mental illness and dysfunction. The friends I made there understood this – many of them had similar stories – and the late nights were as often as not joyous celebrations of relief and release as expressions of pain or rage.

Perhaps it is the nature of things to change. At any rate, things did. The writing I was doing for music magazines led to more mainstream, more stable, jobs. The clubs I knew closed, the bands broke up, and between the need for more sleep and the pleasures of more secure relationships, I felt less of a need to learn the rhythms of new ones. The books that had been my salvation growing up ¬ – from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Beatrix Potter to Lillian Jackson Braun and Rita Mae Brown – once again claimed center stage, and I rediscovered the joy of whimsy and mystery. I started writing cozies.

Granted, there was some overlap. My first cozy, Mew is for Murder, featured a freelance writer trying to establish herself as a music critic. Throughout the six books of that series, my heroine Theda Krakow’s sidekick was a purple-haired punk musician who calls herself Violet Haze. But in the 12 years and 16 other mysteries since, the music scene has receded. Granted, not all my books have been cozies – my editors usually prefer the term “amateur sleuth” and I’ve dubbed one series “pet noir” – but they’ve been gentle. No cursing, no overt sex. As the old saw goes, “the blood is dry before it hits the page.” And the music, when it plays, is secondary, no longer the life blood – the pulse – that it was.

Until now. For World Enough, I’ve created Tara Winton, a heroine who shares many characteristics with the woman I once was. Isolated, somewhat disconnected from her family and her past, back in the day Tara too found solace and a community of sorts in the clubs. Twenty years later, she’s not doing as well, though. She’s marking time with a boring corporate job and drifting emotionally, unable to move on from her divorce. Until, that is, she runs into an old friend – now the editor of a glossy city magazine – at the funeral of a former scenester, a bartender/bouncer who had settled down with a wife and kid before dying in what appears to be a freak accident.

Tara and her buddy start talking at the wake, and he throws her a lifeline – an assignment to write about the old scene. In particular, about a band – the Aught Nines – that should have been famous. That would have been – if only the singer hadn’t OD’d, twenty years before. That rising star had a tenuous connection to the man whose funeral they’ve just attended. In many ways, all the attendees are connected. And so it makes sense for Tara to start interviewing her old cohort. Her ex Peter and her best friend Min scoff at the assignment, but Tara is grateful for the chance to write again about something she cares about. To reconnect with a world that once meant so much.

That world is rife with drugs and sex. With petty rivalries and struggles for fame and attention. It is the world I once knew and still, in some part of me, love. It is not, in any sense, cozy. But it is a world that I was ready to revisit. A story that maybe, after 22 lighter mysteries, I finally had the discipline to explore, the skills to chronicle, and the will work into the larger plotline of a double-edged (and morally ambiguous) mystery.

Will there be others? At this point, I think so – though I am very much enjoying the playful feline-centric cozy that I’m working on now. Maybe it took this long for me to be able to go back and write about the club scene, to balance its attractions with its excesses and flaws. Maybe I needed the distance to be able to see what really happened. Or maybe I’ve simply reached the point where I can put on an old record – vinyl, even – and think, “Damn, that was something, wasn’t it?”

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: eBook Mobile

A Cozy Mystery Tackles a National Epidemic: Guest Post by Donna Huston Murray

Donna Huston Murray's eight cozy mysteries feature a woman much like herself, a DIY headmaster's wife with a troubling interest in crime. FINAL ARRANGEMENTS, set at Philadelphia’s world famous flower show, achieved #1 on the Kindle store lists for Mysteries and Female Sleuths. Murray’s mystery/crime debut, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, won Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

Donna Huston Murray:
A Cozy Mystery Tackles a National Epidemic: FOR BETTER OR WORSE

It seemed simple enough. Just give my cozy series character, Ginger Barnes, a couple of her daughter’s neighbors to adopt—perhaps an unemployed singer living with his slightly dotty grandmother, whom he may or may not push down the stairs. Practical sort that she is, Gin will ask Eric to help move a dresser for the woman two doors down, a young mother with an abusive husband. Sparks will fly, followed by fists…

The idea required me to research spousal abuse, and what I learned astonished me. The Huffington Post’s 2015 article “30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics” labeled the problem “a national epidemic,” stating that 1 in 4 women will be severely injured by an intimate partner in their lifetime. That statistic hasn’t budged. For women, domestic violence remains the leading cause of injury.

The topic is also rife with myths. Who would guess that alcohol and drugs don’t prompt the loss of control? They may make the violence worse, but mostly they serve as an excuse to do what the abuser intended to do all along. Turns out most abusive behavior is deliberate, designed to secure the privileged life the perpetrator believes he deserves.

Why does any woman stay? Long-term undermining of her confidence, threat of physical retribution, and fear of losing her children are common reasons, but financial abuse is reported to be the most effective. With no access to money the victim simply can’t afford to leave.

“It’s a cozy mystery,” I reminded myself, but I kept looking for a way to sneak in some of those illuminating facts. If I could bring that off, FOR BETTER OR WORSE might stand a chance of making a difference to someone.

In the end my goal wasn’t so difficult. I channeled Agatha Christie and kept the unpleasant bits offstage. I gave Gin a women’s shelter manager to quiz and the same reference books I read myself. Then I sent her to Kentucky Fried Chicken to have lunch with a psychologist.

Beta reader Elissa Strati assured me I brought off the mystery, but her review’s final remark? “Plan on exercising those gray cells with this one.”

Today is FOR BETTER OR WORSE’s pre-order launch day.  (Pub date: January, 2018)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Books

Rebecka Martinsson: Series I: AcornTV

REBECKA MARTINSSON, Series 1 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere, Foreign Language) will start on Monday, November 6 on AcornTV.

Rebecka Martinsson is an 8-part drama series based on Åsa Larsson's celebrated and popular crime novels. The series takes place in the bleak Northern Environment and revolves around Rebecka Martinsson (Ida Engvoll) a lawyer from Kiruna. Despite her professional success as a top lawyer in Stockholm, Rebecka still hasn’t found herself. When a dear friend from childhood suddenly passes away, Rebecka reluctantly returns to her hometown, but soon it becomes obvious that not everything is as it seems. The death of her friend becomes more and more suspicious, and Rebecka cannot tear herself away until she finds answers. Drawn into the gripping pursuit of a killer on the hunt for the next victim, Rebecka is forced to confront the terrible trauma that caused her to abandon her hometown.

(8 episodes)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: A Tense Situation

Meg Gardiner's UNSUB to be TV series

CBS is developing a crime drama based on Meg Gardiner's UNSUB

Deadline reports:

CBS has bought a drama based on Edgar-winning author Meg Gardiner’s novel UNSUB. The project was picked up by CBS Television Studios earlier this year, ahead of auction. The book was published in June by Dutton. The network has ordered a pilot script to be written by Liz Friedman, who will be executive producer and show runner.

The author, who has spent years researching celebrated unsub cases, will also serve as a producer. Beverly and Timberman’s CBS/CBS Studios drama Seal Team just got a full-season pickup. 

UNSUB follows a female detective on the trail of an infamous serial killer – inspired by the still-unsolved Zodiac case – who breaks his silence and begins killing again. The detective, who grew up watching her father destroy himself and his family as he chased the killer, now finds herself confronting the same monster her father never caught. 

The series will feature the lead character pursuing other UNSUBs (UNknown SUBjects, a law enforcement term used for suspects in a criminal investigation) as part of the NYPD’s elite homicide division. 

Read more Here!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: The Big Decision

The Woman in White: New BBC Production

Ben Hardy is starring as Walter Hartright in a new BBC One production of Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. The upcoming period thriller is a new adaptation of the classic novel, and also features Olivia Vinall as Laura Fairlie.

Viewed by many as the first psychological thriller novel, The Woman in White will follow Hardy's Walter as he's drawn into a mysterious and disturbing world after encountering a woman dressed all in white on a moonlit road.

Still no info on when it will reach the TV screen--or the U.S.!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Happy Halloween! Halloween so lends itself to crime fiction! Here's my updated 2017 list of Halloween Mysteries. Let me know if I've missed any titles. I'd like to have this list as complete as possible. Boo!!


Behind Chocolate Bars by Kathie Aarons
The Root of All Evil by Ellery Adams
The Pumpkin Killer by Stacey Alabaster
Green Water Ghost by Glynn Marsh Alam
Witches Bane by Susan Wittig Albert
Antiques Maul by Barbara Allan
In Charm's Way by Madelyn Alt
Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews
Strange Brew by Mary Kay Andrews
A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer
Far to Go by May Louise Aswell
Killing Time by Amy Beth Arkaway
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming by Kathleen Bacus 
A Haunting Homicide: Halloween Cozy by Kathy Bacus and Sally J. Smith   
Trick or Treachery: A Murder She Wrote Mystery by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher by Donald Bain, Renee Paley-Bain, & "Jessica Fletcher"
Punked by the Pumpkin by Constance Barker
In the Spirit of Murder by Laura Belgrave 
The Long Good Boy by Carol Lea Benjamin
Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley 
Watchdog by Laurien Berenson
The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt
A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell
Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake
Ghost of a Potion by Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber)
The Scent of Murder by Barbara Block
Under an English Heaven by Alice K. Boatwright
Witches of Floxglove Corners by Dorothy Bodoin 
Night of the Living Thread by Janet Bolin  
Death of a Trickster by Kate Borden 
Post-Mortem Effects by Thomas Boyle
A Graveyard for Lunatics, The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Rebel without a Cake by Jacklyn Brady
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lilian Jackson Braun
Death Overdue by Allison Brook
The Hunt Ball, The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
Death on All Hallowe'en by Leo Bruce
The Big Chili by Julia Buckley
Halloween by Leslie Burgess
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Wycliffe and the Scapegoat by W.J. Burley
Death Goes Shopping by Jessica Burton
Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Bryan
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Ann Campbell
The Wizard of La-La Land by R. Wright Campbell
The Charm Stone by Lillian Stewart Carl
The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr
The Halloween Murders by John Newton Chance 
Death with an Ocean View by Nora Charles 
Frill Kill, Tragic Magic, Photo Finished, Bedeviled Eggs The Jasmine Moon Murder, Fiber and Brimstone, Bedeviled Eggs, Frill Kill, Gossamer Ghost, Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs
Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie
Haunted Hair Nights by Nancy J. Cohen
PoisonBuried Punch by Lyndsey Cole 
A Holiday Sampler by Christine E. Collier
Lost Souls by Michael Collins
A Gala Event; Search for the Dead by Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell)
Under the Hill by Sheila Connolly
Not in My Backyard by Susan Rogers Cooper
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
Deadly Magic by Elisabeth Crabtree
Trick or Treat by Caroline Crane
A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford
Newly Crimsoned Reliquary by Donna Fletcher Crow
Silver Scream, Bantam of the Opera, The Alpine Uproar by Mary Daheim
Halloween Hijinks, Pumpkins in Paradise, Haunted Hamlet, Legend of Tabby Hallow, Ghostly Graveyard, Costume Catastrope, Count Catula; Trick or Treason,  by Kathi Daley by Kathi Daley
The Dracula Murders by Philip Daniels
The Diva Haunts the House, The Ghost and Mrs Mewer by Krista Davis
Fatal Undertaking by Mark de Castrique
Farmcall Fatality by Abby Deuel
Throw Darts at a Cheesecake by Denise Dietz
Trick or Treat, The Halloween Murder by Doris Miles Disney
A Map of the Dark by John Dixon
Ghostly Murders by P. C. Doherty
Died to Match by Deborah Donnelly
Cat with an Emerald Eye by Carole Nelson Douglas
Cupcakes, Bats, and Scare-dy Cats by Pamela DuMond
Not Exactly a Brahmin by Susan Dunlap 
Vampires, Bones and Treacle Scones by Kaitlyn Dunnett 
A Ghost to Die For by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox
Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman 
The Bowl of Night by Rosemary Edghill 
The Frozen Shroud by Martin Edwards
Ghost Story by K.J. Emrick
Death by Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson
Door of Death by John Esteven 
The Witchfinder by Loren D. Estleman 
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich 
Dead Ends by Anne C. Fallon 
Sympathy For The Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer
Dead in the Pumpkin Patch by Connie Feddersen 
It's Your Party Die if You Want To by Vickie Fee  
Blackwork, Hanging by a Thread, Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Scary Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Honora Finkelstein 
Trick or Treachery by "Jessica Fletcher" and Donald Bain
The Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Halloween Murder, Foul Play at the Fair, Trick or Deceit by Shelley Freydont
Broke by Kaye George
Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber
Trick or Treat by Leslie Glaister
Mommy and the Murder by Nancy Gladstone
Haunted by Jeanne Glidewell 
Blood & Broomsticks by Jean G. Goodhind (aka J.G. Goodhind)  
A Few Dying Words by Paula Gosling
The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein (YA)
Monster in Miniature by Margaret Grace  
Hell for the Holidays by Chris Gravenstein 
Nail Biter by Sarah Graves 
Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham 
Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood 
Halloween by Ben Greer 
The Snafued Snatch by Jackie Griffey 
Quoth the Raven, Skeleton Key by Jane Haddam
A Crime of Poison by Nancy Haddock
Hallowed Bones, Bone to Be Wild by Carolyn Haines
Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton
Delicious Mischief by Marianne Harde
Southern Ghost, Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart 
Sweet Poison by Ellen Hart
Hide in the Dark by Frances Noyes Hart 
Revenge of the Cootie Girls by Sparkle Hayter
Town in a Pumpkin Bash by B.B. Haywood
Asking for the Moon by Reginald Hill  (SS)
The Fallen Man, The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman 
Death of a Pumpkin Carver by Lee Hollis
The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes  
Murder on the Ghost Walk by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter 
From Bad to Wurst by Maddie Hunter  
Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs
Murder on Old Main Street, Dirty Tricks, Dying Wishes by Judith K. Ivie
The Pumpkin Thief, The Great Pumpkin Caper by Melanie Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Murder Among Us by Jonnie Jacobs
A Murder Made in Stitches by Pamela James
The Devil's Cat, Cat's Eye, Cat's Cradle, The Devil's Kiss, The Devil's Heart, The Devil's Touch by William W. Johnstone  
The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson
Muffins & Murder by Heather Justesen
A Charming Voodoo by Tonya Kappes
The Sacrifice by Karin Kaufman
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Wed and Buried, The Skeleton Haunts a House by Toni L.P. Kelner
Verse of the Vampyre by Diana Killian
Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack 
The Animal Hour by Andrew Klavan 
Paws for Murder by Annie Knox
Murder in the Neighborhood by Janis Lane 
Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene 
The Stitching Hour by Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent)  
Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine 
Death Knocks Twice by James H. Lilley
The Legend of Sleepy Harlow by Kylie Logan (aka Miranda Bliss & Casey Daniels)
Smoke Screen by Marianne MacDonald
Pumpkin Pied; Deadly Brew by Karen MacInerney 
Poisoned by Elaine Macko 
Halloween Flight 77 by Debbie Madison
The Haunted Season by G.M. Malliet  
Baby Doll Games by Margaret Maron
Satan's Silence by Alex Matthews 
Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain 
Poisoned Tarts by G.A. McKevett 
Death on All Hallows by Allen Campbell McLean
A Sparrow Falls Holiday by Donna McLean
Witch of the Palo Duro by Mardi Oakley Medawar  
Trick or Treat Murder, Wicked Witch Murder, Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier 
Dancing Floor, Prince of Darkness by Barbara Michaels
Monster in Miniature by Camille Minichino 
The Violet Hour by Richard Montanari
A Biscuit, a Casket by Liz Mugavero
Send in the Crows by Julie Mulhern
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers 
Dead End by Helen R. Myers
Nightmare in Shining Armor by Tamar Myers 
Hatchet Job by J.E. Neighbors
Oink by Judith Newton
What Doesn't Kill Here by Carla Norton
Retribution by Patrick J. O'Brien
Deadly Places by Terry Odell
Halloween House by Ed Okonowicz
The Body in the Moonlight by Katherine Hall Page 
Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
Caught Dead Handed; Grave Errors by Carol J. Perry
The Skeleton Haunts a House by Leigh Perry
Flight of a Witch by Ellis Peters 
Twilight by Nancy Pickard
Pumpkin Spice Murder by Summer Prescott  
Murder at Witches Bluff by Silver Ravenwolf
Poltergeist by Kat Richardson 
Death Notice by Todd Ritter 
Spook Night by David Robbins 
A Hole in Juan by Gillian Roberts
Murder in a Nice Neighborhood by Lora Roberts
Magnolias, Moonlight, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Scared Stiff by Annelise Ryan
Death of Halloween by Kim Sauke
Mighty Old Bones by Mary Saums 
Murder Ole! by Corinne Holt Sawyer
Tracking Magic by Maria E. Schneider
The Tenor Wore Tapshoes by Mark Schweizer
Phantoms Can be Murder by Connie Shelton
A Killer Maize by Paige Shelton
Dance of the Scarecrows by Ray Sipherd
The Sterling Inheritance by Michael Siverling
The Lawyer Who Died Trying by Susan Smily
Recipe for Murder by Janet Elaine Smith
Town Haunts by Cathy Spencer
Carbs and Cadavers by J.B. Stanley
In the Blink of an Eye, Halloween Party by Wendy Corsi Staub
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Ripping Abigail by Barbara Sullivan
Murder of a Royal Pain by Denise Swanson
Mourning Shift by Kathleen Taylor
Halloween Homicide by Lee Thayer
Inked Up by Terri Thayer
Charlie's Web by L.L. Thrasher
Gods of the Nowhere by James Tipper
Death in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
A Room with a Brew by Joyce Tremel
A Dash of Murder by Teresa Trent
Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson
Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere
Pineapple Mystery Box by Amy Vansant
I Will Fear No Evil by Debbie Viguié
Dangling by a Threat by Lea Wait
How to Party with a Killer Vampire by Penny Warner
Murder by the Slice, Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn 
Five-Minute Halloween Mysteries by Ken Weber
The Scarecrow Murders by Mary V. Welk
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner  
Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells
Ghoul of My Dreams by Richard F. West 
All Hallow's Eve by Charles Williams
Mayhem, Marriage, and Murderous Mystery Manuscripts by J.L. Wilson
A Stitch to Die For by Lois Winston
Killer See, Killer Do by Jonathan Wolfe
All Hallow's Evil by Valerie Wolzien

And here's a list of Halloween Mystery Short Story anthologies:

Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, & Marcia Talley
Deadly Treats: Halloween Tales of Mystery, Magic and Mayhem, Edited by Anne Frasier 
Trick and Treats edited by Joe Gores & Bill Pronzini
Asking for the Moon (includes "Pascoe's Ghost" and "Dalziel's Ghost") by Reginald Hill
Murder for Halloween by Cynthia Manson
The Haunted Hour, edited by Cynthia Manson & Constance Scarborough
Murder for Halloween: Tales of Suspense, edited by Michele Slung & Roland Hartman.
Mystery for Halloween (an anthology), edited by Donald Westlake
Halloween Horrors, edited by Alan Ryan
All Hallows' Evil, edited by Sarah E. Glenn
Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman and Marcia Talley
Halloween Thirteen-a Collection of Mysteriously Macabre Tales, by Bobbi Chukran
Happy Homicides 4: Falling into Crime, edited by Joanna Campbell Slan et al.

Want some Chocolate Treats to accompany your reading? Head on over to my Chocolate Blog

Sara Blaedel's Louise Rick Crime Novels to be TV series

Deadline reports that Sara Blaedel's Louise Rick crime novels will be a TV series.

Bron Studios’ TV group has acquired rights to Danish author Sara Blaedel’s bestselling crime fiction book series centered on police detective Louise Rick. The plan is to adapt the novels as a TV series, with the first published Rick book The Forgotten Girls to serve as the backdrop for Season 1.

The plot of that 2015 book from Grand Central Publishing kicks off when fresh corpse of an unidentified woman with a large scar on her face is discovered in the woods. Rick, the new Commander of the Missing Persons Department, and her partner set out to find her identity and killer. This leads them on a journey to uncover a de­cades-long unsolved mystery tied to a mental asylum. In all her books have been published in  more than 30 countries.

“It has been a longtime dream to see Louise Rick on the screen, and I couldn’t imagine working with a more dynamic and creative team than Bron to realize this,” Blaedel said. “Louise is a tenacious and relentless investigator, but also deeply human and imperfect. Simultaneously tough and charming, watching her stories come alive on the screen will be enthralling.”
Added Reardon: The Forgotten Girls is a spellbinding beginning to the suspenseful and addictive Louise Rick book series. 

We are thrilled to be working with Sara Blaedel to bring the character Louise Rick and her brilliantly brutal murder mysteries to television.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Cats

On Writing a Long Running Series: Guest Post by Archer Mayor

Archer Mayor is the author of the highly acclaimed Vermont-based series featuring detective Joe Gunther, which the Chicago Tribune describes as “the best police procedurals being written in America.” His 28th book, TRACE, is now in stores (Sept. 2017 – Minotaur/St. Martin’s Press).  He is a past winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award for Best Fiction—the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored. In 2011, Mayor’s 22nd Joe Gunther novel, TAG MAN, earned a place on The New York Times bestseller list for hardback fiction. Read more here.

On Writing a Long Running Series

28 books in a single series? Ain’t ya running out of ideas? Ain’t ya getting bored? Ain’t ya tired of hangin’ with the same old characters?


Those’re questions I sometimes get at signings and author events, but in fact, I’m no more tired of my writing than I am of leading my life, keeping company with my family and friends, or waking up every morning and dealing with life’s (occasionally) gentle chaos.

And the comparison is apt.

The Joe Gunther series may have begun as a means to an end: a job writing books told with compassion, skill, and care, in the effort to become a professional, full-time writer. Over time, though, they’ve become an expression of my discoveries about human nature, a way to sort through and share a few of the foibles and complexities we humans all think are ours alone (and aren’t,) indulge in the English language as a painter does with colors, and have some fun along the way.

There are a lot of mysteries out there featuring dead guys, bad guys, good guys, and car chases. Mine do all that—if you allow the word “guys” to stand for all genders.

But what I’ve found most compelling over time—and what I hope infuses my series with freshness and a sense of reality—is that the series is as much about such “guys” as are a newspaper’s daily articles about everyday life.

That’s why I’m not running out of steam or groping for new ideas. I write about real places, real problems, and composites of real people. And my plots are rarely that far removed from what occurs across the country on a regular basis. Women killing each other because their daughters are competing for a cheerleading squad? Men shooting each other over a parking place? We are quite a species, and that’s old news!

So there’s the true spinal cord of the series: the reason they’re more why-dun-its than who-dun-its. But what about those car chases, which I’ll expand to include all the gizmos that’ve become a feature of modern fiction? DNA, electronics, money manipulations, guns, forensic science, and the like? I LOVE poking my nose into that stuff—especially the things I know little about.

The latest book is entitled, TRACE. It’s got a lot going on—actually three separate investigations being conducted simultaneously. But in its midst, it has a scene where the police are tracking an armed fugitive at night using a rotation of dog teams.

Ever wonder how they do that? REALLY do that? I did. All those TV shows and movies, with the dogs in the background and some breathless person saying, “The dogs got a scent, Sarge!”

But how?

So I reached out to a pal of mine with forty years experience running scent dogs for the police. He introduced me to Brio, his own dog, and we went out on the job. I’m still a cop, if semi-retired, so access was pretty simple. But the experience? Wow! I wrote an eleven-page scene in which the above mentioned search is launched and runs to its successful conclusion, and then I sent it to Chris, my dog handler pal, for editing. “The dog’s nose would be up at this point in the search,” he would write back. Or, “By now, she (the handler) would’ve taken him off the leash.” “Don’t use that flashlight then—ruins night vision,” was another, and, “Protect your dog! It knows its job, but it’ll sacrifice its life if you let it.”

Cool stuff. Interesting stuff. Stuff readers love, it turns out.

Am I about to run out of gas? Not hardly. Nor am I going to get tired of holding hands with my wife, stepping into the woodworking shop for a project, or riding to the store on my motorcycle. The advertisement said, “Life’s a mess. Clean it up?”

Or write about it, learn from it, and enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Crime Does Not Pay.. .Enough! MWA NorCal, Yesterday and Today

Wednesday, October 18
6-8 PM
Crime Does Not Pay… Enough! MWA NorCal, Yesterday and Today
Morrison Library (UC Berkeley)
Berkeley, CA
Randal Brandt, Laurie R. King, Sheldon Siegel & Kelli Stanley
RSVP if you’re thinking of attending, here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017



The Anthony Awards were given out at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Toronto, Canada today.


Best Novel
A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
IQ – Joe Ide [Mulholland]

Best Paperback Original
Heart of Stone – James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street]

Best Short Story
"Oxford Girl" – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir [Akashic]

Best Critical Nonfiction Work
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin [Liveright]

Best Children’s/YA Novel
The Girl I Used to Be – April Henry [Henry Holt] 

Best Anthology
Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – Greg Herren, ed. [Down & Out]

Best Novella (8,000-40,000 words)
The Last Blue Glass – B.K. Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2016 [Dell]


About the Anthony Awards
The Anthony Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. Anthony Award Categories. 

About Bouchercon: 
Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention where readers, writers, fans, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a 4-day weekend of education, entertainment, and fun! It is the world’s premiere event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community, and is pronounced [bough’·chur·con]. 

Friday, October 13, 2017


Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announced the winners of the 2017 Barry Awards last night at the opening session at Bouchercon. Congratulations to all!

Best Novel:
• A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Novel:
• The Drifter, by Nicholas Petrie (Putnam)

Best Paperback Original:
• Rain Dogs, by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street)

Best Thriller:
• Guilty Minds, by Joseph Finder (Dutton)

Thursday, October 12, 2017


The Macavity Award Winners 2017

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal and friends of MRI. The winners were announced tonight at opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in Toronto. Congratulations to all.

Best Novel
• A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Novel
• IQ, by Joe Ide (Mulholland Books)

Best Short Story
• “Parallel Play,” by Art Taylor (Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning, Wildside Press)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Novel
• Heart of Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Best Nonfiction
• Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, Margaret Kinsman (McFarland)

Cartoon of the Day: Editor

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Meet the Author

Tana French's The Dublin Murders: BBC

From In Reference to Murder:

BBC One has given the greenlight to an eight-part crime drama The Dublin Murders, based on Tana French’s award-winning series of mysteries. Sarah Phelps, who recently re-imagined several Agatha Christie novels for the BBC, will adapt the first two books about the fictional Dublin Murder Squad, drawn from French’s In The Woods and The Likeness. Blending psychological mystery and darkness, each novel is led by a different detective or detectives from the same Dublin squad.

Maybe we'll find out what happened in the Woods!!!??