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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

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.

 

 

2021 – CrimeFest

Now in its 14th year, the awards honor the best crime books released in 2020 in the UK. From their site: “CRIMEFEST is a convention for people who like to read an occasional crime novel as well as for die-hard fanatics.” In most cases, eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlists.

Affected by Covid as so many other events have, the 2021 winners were announced online in May.

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

 

DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD

Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir  “The Creak on the Stairs”

Marion Brunet “Summer of Reckoning”

Robin Morgan-Bentley “The Wreckage”

Richard Osman “The Thursday Murder Club”

Mara Timon “City of Spies”

Trevor Wood “The Man on the Street”

 

LAST LAUGH AWARD  (humorous crime fiction)

Ben Aaronovitch “False Value”

ChristopherFowler “Bryant & May-Oranges and Lemons”

Elly Griffiths “The Postscript Murders”

Carl Hiaasen “Squeeze Me”

RichardOsman “The Thursday Murder Club”

Malcolm Pryce “The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness”

Khurrum Rahman “Ride or Die”

OlgaWojtas “Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace”

 

eDUNNIT AWARD (ebooks)

Gabriel Bergmoser “The Hunted”

Sharon Bolton “The Split”

P. Carter “Little Boy Lost”

Steve Cavanagh “Fifty-Fifty”

Michael Connelly “Fair Warning”

James Lee Burke “A Private Cathedral”

Ian Rankin “A Song for the Dark Times”

Holly Watt “The Dead Line”

 

H.R.F. KEATING AWARD (critical or biography)

Mark Aldridge “Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World”

MartinEdwards (editor) “Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club”

Colin Larkin “Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965”

Andrew Lycett “Conan Doyle’s Wide World”

Heather Martin “The Reacher Guy”

Sheila Mitchell “HRF Keating: A Life of Crime”

Craig Sisterson “Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand”

Peter Temple “The Red Hand: Stories, reflections and the last appearance of Jack Irish”

 

BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR CHILDREN (ages 8-12)

Sophie Deen “Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes”

Elly Griffiths “A Girl Called Justice -The Smugglers’ Secret”

Anthony Horowitz “Nightshade”

Jack Noel “My Headteacher is an Evil Genius”

Serena Patel “Anisha, Accidental Detective”

Serena Patel “School’s Cancelled”

Onjali Q. Rauf “The Night Bus Hero”

Dave Shelton “The Pencil Case”

 

 

2021 ThrillerFest Awards

Thriller writers bring us thrills and chills and keep us awake long into the wee hours of the morning. Check out the 2021 ITW Thriller Awards finalists and winners (indicated in red)!

BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL
S.A. Cosby – BLACKTOP WASTELAND
Joe Ide – HI FIVE
Richard Osman – THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB
Ivy Pochoda – THESE WOMEN
Lisa Unger – CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45

BEST FIRST NOVEL
Jasmine Aimaq – THE OPIUM PRINCE
Don Bentley – WITHOUT SANCTION
Kyle Perry – THE BLUFFS
Francesca Serritella – GHOSTS OF HARVARD
David Heska Wanbli Weiden – WINTER COUNTS
 
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL
Alyssa Cole – WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING
Layton Green – UNKNOWN 9: GENESIS 
John Marrs – WHAT LIES BETWEEN US
Andrew Mayne – THE GIRL BENEATH THE SEA
Benjamin Stevenson – EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT
  
BEST E-BOOK ORIGINAL NOVEL
Sean Black – AVENUE OF THIEVES
Jeff Buick – A KILLING GAME
Diane Capri – FULL METAL JACK
Jake Needham – MONGKOK STATION
Kirk Russell – NO HESITATION

Congratulations to all!

 

2021 Pulitzer Prize – Journalism

 

The 2021 winners of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Journalism were announced on June 11, 2021. Congratulations to all the amazing writers and staffs!

Descriptions of the individual awards are credited to the Pulitzer Prize website. Links (in brown) will take you to more information about the winners.

 

Public Service winner and the recipient of the Gold Medal in Journalism:
The New York Times For courageous, prescient and sweeping coverage of the coronavirus pandemic that exposed racial and economic inequities, government failures in the U.S. and beyond, and filled a data vacuum that helped local governments, healthcare providers, businesses and individuals to be better prepared and protected.

 

Breaking News Reporting: Staff of the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minn.
For its urgent, authoritative and nuanced coverage of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and of the reverberations that followed.

 

Investigative Reporting: Matt Rocheleau, Vernal Coleman, Laura Crimaldi, Evan Allen and Brendan McCarthy of The Boston Globe For reporting that uncovered a systematic failure by state governments to share information about dangerous truck drivers that could have kept them off the road, prompting immediate reforms.


Explanatory Reporting:
Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts of Reuters
For an exhaustive examination, powered by a pioneering data analysis of U.S. federal court cases, of the obscure legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” and how it shields police who use excessive force from prosecution.

&
Ed Yong of The Atlantic
For a series of lucid, definitive pieces on the COVID-19 pandemic that anticipated the course of the disease, synthesized the complex challenges the country faced, illuminated the U.S. government’s failures and provided clear and accessible context for the scientific and human challenges it posed.

 

Local Reporting: Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi of the Tampa Bay Times For resourceful, creative reporting that exposed how a powerful and politically connected sheriff built a secretive intelligence operation that harassed residents and used grades and child welfare records to profile schoolchildren.

 

National Reporting: Staffs of The Marshall Project; AL.com, Birmingham; IndyStar, Indianapolis; and the Invisible Institute, Chicago For a year-long investigation of K-9 units and the damage that police dogs inflict on Americans, including innocent citizens and police officers, prompting numerous statewide reforms.

 

International Reporting: Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News For a series of clear and compelling stories that used satellite imagery and architectural expertise, as well as interviews with two dozen former prisoners, to identify a vast new infrastructure built by the Chinese government for the mass detention of Muslims.

 

Feature Writing:
Mitchell S. Jackson, freelance contributor, Runner’s World
For a deeply affecting account of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery that combined vivid writing, thorough reporting and personal experience to shed light on systemic racism in America.

&

Nadja Drost, freelance contributor, The California Sunday Magazine For a brave and gripping account of global migration that documents a group’s journey on foot through the Darién Gap, one of the most dangerous migrant routes in the world.


Commentary: Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
For penetrating and historically insightful columns that guided Richmond, a former capital of the Confederacy, through the painful and complicated process of dismantling the city’s monuments to white supremacy.

 

Criticism: Wesley Morris of The New York Times For unrelentingly relevant and deeply engaged criticism on the intersection of race and culture in America, written in a singular style, alternately playful and profound.

 

Editorial Writing: Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times For editorials on policing, bail reform, prisons and mental health that clearly and holistically examined the Los Angeles criminal justice system.

 

Breaking News Photography: Photography Staff of Associated Press For a collection of photographs from multiple U.S. cities that cohesively captures the country’s response to the death of George Floyd.

 

Feature Photography: Emilio Morenatti of Associated Press For a poignant series of photographs that takes viewers into the lives of the elderly in Spain struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Audio Reporting: Lisa Hagen, Chris Haxel, Graham Smith and Robert Little of National Public Radio For an investigative series on “no compromise” gun rights activists that illuminated the profound differences and deepening schism between American conservatives.

 

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