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Halloween Mystery List – 2021

Halloween will be here before you know it and if you’d like to pick up a fun read with a seasonal theme, here are seventy-eight titles in our updated 2021 Halloween Mystery List. Some have been around for ages, but others have recently been published or re-published. There are dozens more books with a Halloween theme, so if your favorite is not on the list, please let us know the title and author in the comments.

Click on the bold titles to read more about the individual books.


Stacey Alabaster – The Pumpkin Killer
Susan Wittig Albert – Witches’ Bane
Ritter Ames and 8 others – Midnight Mysteries: Nine Cozy Tales
Gretchen Archer – Double Jinx


Laurien Berenson – Howloween Murder
Susan Bernhardt – The Ginseng Conspiracy
Morgana Best – The Halloween Time Spell
Bethany Blake – Dial Meow for Murder
Susan Boles – Death of a Wolfman
Ginger Bolton –Boston Scream Murder
Lilian Jackson Braun – Cat Who Talked to Ghosts
Christin Brecher – 15 Minutes of Flame
Allison Brook – Death Overdue
Rita Mae Brown – The Litter of the Law
Catherine Bruns – Dessert Is the Bomb
Mollie Cox Bryan – Scrapbook of the Dead
Anna Celeste Burke – All Hallows’ Eve Heist
Jessica Burton – Death Goes Shopping
Ellen Byron – Murder in the Bayou Boneyard


Nora Charles – Death with an Ocean View
Laura Childs – Frill Kill
Agatha Christie – The Hallowe’en Party
Susan Rogers Cooper – Not in My Backyard

E.J. Copperman – Night of the Living Deed
Maya Corrigan – Crypt Suzette

Kathy Cranston – Pumpkins are Murder

Isis Crawford – A Catered Costume Party

James J. Cudney – Haunted House Ghost


Kathi Daley – The Inn at Holiday Bay

Kim Davis – Cake Popped Off

Krista Davis – Murder Outside the Lines


Jana Deleon – Swamp Spook
Steve Demaree – Murder on Halloween
Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat with an Emerald Eye


Janet Evanovich – Plum Spooky
Sharon Farrow – Mulberry Mischief
Connie Feddersen – Dead in the Pumpkin Patch

Vickie Fee – It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To

Honora Finkelstein – The Lawyer Who Died Trying

‘Jessica Fletcher’ & Donald Bain – Trick or Treachery


Eva Gates – The Spook in the Stacks

Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames) – Stirring the Plot

Sarah Graves – Nail Biter


Carolyn Haines – Hallowed Bones

Ellen Hart – Sweet Poison

Julia Henry – Digging Up the Remains

Lee Hollis – Death of a Wicked Witch

Carolyn Q. Hunter – Pumpkin Pie Waffle

Ellen Elizabeth Hunter – Murder on the Ghost Walk


Liz Ireland – Mrs. Claus and the Halloween Homicide
Sybil Johnson – Designed for Haunting

Daniel Judson – The Violet Hour

Heather Justesen – Muffins & Murder


Jenny Kales – A Stew to A Kill

Andrew Klavan – The Animal Hour

Cynthia Kuhn – The Spirit in Question


Joyce & Jim Lavene – Ghastly Glass

James Lilley – Death Knocks Twice

Linda Lovely – Picked Off

Alice Loweecey The Clock Strikes Nun


Karen MacInerney – Deadly Brew

Ed McBain – Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery

Jenn McKinlay – Dark Chocolate Demise

G.A. McKevett – Poisoned Tarts

Leslie Meier – Wicked Witch Murder

Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross – Halloween Party Murder
Alexis Morgan – Death by Jack-O-Lantern

Lynn Morrison – Stakes and Spells

Mandy Morton – Cat Among the Pumpkins

Liz Mugavero – A Biscuit, a Casket

Julie Mulhern – Send in the Clowns


Katie Penryn – The Witch Who Hated Halloween

Leigh Perry – The Skeleton Haunts a House

Summer Prescott & 7 others – A Very Cozy Halloween


Rachael Stapleton – Black Cats, Corpses and the Pumpkin Pantry

Rebecca Tope – Death in the Cotswolds

Diane Vallere – Masking for Trouble

Kirsten Weiss – Gourd to Death

 

If you’ve read any books in the Halloween Mystery List for 2021, please let us know what you thought.

Happy Spooky reading!

Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year 2021 – McIlvanney Prize

Bloody Scotland Debut Prize for Crime Novel of the Year:

In 2019, Bloody Scotland introduced a new prize, the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. To qualify for the award, the book must either be written by an author that was born or lives there, or is set in Scotland. The winner is awarded a cheque of £500 and a trophy sponsored by Glencairn Glass.

Introducing this year’s exciting finalists, with the winner indicated in red:

The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie

No Harm Done by Alistair Liddle

Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison

Waking the Tiger by Mark Wightman

 

The McIlvanney Prize is Bloody Scotland’s annual prize awarded to the Best Scottish Crime Book of the Year. As with the Debut novel award, authors must either be born or have lived in Scotland, and their book must be set in Scotland. The winner of The McIlvanney Prize will receive £1,000 and a Glencairn trophy.

Here are the finalists, with the winner indicated in red:

The Silent Daughter, Emma Christie

The Coffinmaker’s Garden, Stuart MacBride

Edge of the Grave, Robbie Morrison

The April Dead, Alan Parks

Hyde, Craig Russell

Congratulations to all!

 

 

 

Macavity Awards – 2021

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members and friends of Mystery Readers International, and subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal. Normally presented at BoucherCon, the 2021 Macavity winners were announced prior to the virtual presentation in late August, due to Covid. BoucherCon New Orleans is being postponed until 2025.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (indicated in red).

Mystery Readers International, Mystery Readers Journal, and the Macavity Awards, were created by Anthony Award winner, the fabulous Janet Rudolph.

Best Novel 
“Before She Was Helen” by Caroline B. Cooney
“Blacktop Wasteland” by S.A. Cosby
“Blind Vigil” by Matt Coyle  
“All the Devils Are Here” by Louise Penny
“These Women” by Ivy Pochoda  
“When She Was Good” by Michael Robotham

 

Best First 
“Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line” by Deepa Anappara  
“Murder in Old Bombay” by Nev March  
“The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman  
“Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weider  
“Darling Rose Gold” by Stephanie Wrobel

 

Best Short Story 
“Dear Emily Etiquette” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sept/Oct 2020) 
“The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020) 
“Elysian Fields” by Gabriel Valjan (California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology, edited by Art Taylor; Wildside Press) 
“Dog Eat Dog” by Elaine Viets (The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter; Untreed Reads Publishing) 
“The Twenty-Five Year Engagement,” by James W. Ziskin (In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King; Pegasus Crime)

 

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery 
“The Last Mrs. Summers” by Rhys Bowen  
“The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne” by Elsa Hart
“The Turning Tide” by Catriona McPherson
“Mortal Music” by Ann Parker  
“The Mimosa Tree Mystery” by Ovidia Yu
“Turn to Stone” by James Ziskin

Barry Awards (Crime Fiction) – 2021

Established in 1997, the Barry Awards are usually presented at the annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, this year to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. But alas, Covid struck again and the conference was cancelled. In light of the cancellation, the winners of the Barry Awards-2021 were  announced earlier today and are indicated in red. Voted on by readers of the Deadly Pleasures mystery magazine, the award was named in honor of Barry Gardner, an American critic and lover of great crime fiction.


Best Novel

THE BOY FROM THE WOODS, Harlan Coben
THE LAW OF INNOCENCE, Michael Connelly
BLACKTOP WASTELAND, S. A. Cosby
AND NOW SHE’S GONE, Rachel Howzell Hall
MOONFLOWER MURDERS, Anthony Horowitz
ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE, Louise Penny


Best First Novel

DEEP STATE, Chris Hauty
MURDER IN OLD BOMBAY by Nev March
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB, Richard Osman
THE EIGHTH DETECTIVE, Alex Pavesi
WINTER COUNTS, David Heska Wanbli Weiden
DARLING ROSE GOLD, Stephanie Wrobel


Best Paperback Original

WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING, Alyssa Cole
MONGKOK STATION, Jake Needham
HIDE AWAY, Jason Pinter
BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST, James Swain
DARKNESS FOR LIGHT, Emma Viskic
TURN TO STONE, James W. Ziskin


Best Thriller

DOUBLE AGENT, Tom Bradby
BLIND VIGIL, Matt Coyle
ONE MINUTE OUT, Mark Greaney
THE LAST HUNT, Deon Meyer
EDDIE’S BOY, Thomas Perry
THE WILD ONE, Nick Petrie

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  🙂

2021 Hammett Prize

The Hammett Prize is bestowed by The International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch). The award was given in July for a 2020 work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by an American or Canadian author. The prize is the famous ‘Thin Man’ bronze trophy, and bragging rights. 🙂

Congratulations to all the nominees and the winner (indicated in red):

 

MURDER IN OLD BOMBAY by Nev March
Based on a true story that occurred in colonial India, a hospitalized soldier investigates a murder.

 

THE MOUNTAINS WILD by Sarah Stewart Taylor
A New York detective returns to Dublin to investigate the disappearance of her cousin after new evidence appears 20 years later.

 

THREE HOURS IN PARIS by Cara Black
In World War II, a female sniper out for revenge, is sent to Paris to assassinate the Fűhrer, but misses. Told in real time.

 

WHEN THESE MOUNTAINS BURN by David Joy
Set in Appalachia, an addict, a frustrated father, and a lawman converge around the circumstances of the opioid epidemic.

 

WINTER COUNTS by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
A vigilante on a Native American reservation searches for the source of a heroin supply.

 

 

Shamus Awards – 2021

The Private Eye Writers of America was founded in 1981 by Robert J. Randisi, who also created the Shamus Award. From the website: “A Private Eye is defined as a private citizen (not a member of the military, federal agency, or civic or state police force) who is paid to investigate crimes. A Private Investigator can be a traditional private eye, a TV or newspaper reporter, an insurance investigator, an employee of an investigative service or agency (think Pinkertons), or similar character.”  Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (indicated in red)

 

BEST PI HARDCOVER
“What You Don’t See” by Tracy Clark
“Do No Harm” by Max Allan Collins
“Blind Vigil” by Matt Coyle
“House on Fire” by Joseph Finder
“And Now She’s Gone” by Rachel Howzell Hall

 

          BEST ORIGINAL PI PAPERBACK
          “Farewell Las Vegas” by Grant Bywaters
          “All Kinds of Ugly” by Ralph Dennis
          “Brittle Karma” by Richard Helms
          “Remember My Face” by John Lantigua
          “Damaged Goods” by Debbi Mack

 

 BEST PI SHORT STORY
 “A Dreamboat Gambol” by O’Neil De Noux in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
“Mustang Sally” by John M. Floyd in Black Cat Mystery Magazine
“Setting the Pick” by April Kelly in Mystery Weekly Magazine
“Show and Zeller” by Gordon Linzer in Black Cat Mystery Magazine
“Nashua River Floater” by Tom MacDonald in Coast to Coast Noir


BEST FIRST  PI NOVEL
 “Squatter’s Rights” by Kevin R. Doyle

 “Derailed” by Mary Keliikoa
 “I Know Where You Sleep” by Alan Orloff
 “The Missing American” by Kwei Quartey
 “Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

The Agatha Awards – 2020 Books

The winners for the Agatha Awards for 2020 Books (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The awards were given to mystery and crime writers during the virtual More than Malice conference in July, 2021. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2020.

 

The Agatha Awards recognize the “traditional mystery,” meaning that there is no graphic sex and no excessive violence in the writing. Thrillers or hard-boiled detectives cannot be found here, but instead, picture Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot at work.

 

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (indicated in red)!

Best Contemporary Novel
Gift of the Magpie by Donna Andrews

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris
All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day

 

Best Historical Novel
The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen

Fate of a Flapper by Susanna Calkins
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman
Taken Too Soon by Edith Maxwell
The Turning Tide by Catriona McPherson

 

Best First Novel
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

Winter Witness by Tina deBelgarde
Derailed by Mary Keliikoa
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer
Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker

 

Best Short Story
“Dear Emily Etiquette” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mag)

“The Red Herrings at Killington Inn” by Shawn Reilly Simmons Masthead: Best New England Crime Stories (Level Best Books)
“The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb)
“Elysian Fields” by Gabriel Valjan California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology (Wildside Press)
“The 25 Year Engagement” by James Ziskin In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon (Pegasus Crime)
 
Best Children’s/YA Mystery
Midnight at the Barclay Hotel
by Fleur Bradley

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Saltwater Secrets by Cindy Callaghan
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richard Narvaez

 

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