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Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction – 2017

 

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The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” written by former Alabama law student, Harper Lee. For the past several years, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have partnered to award the prize to a published work of fiction from the previous year that best demonstrates “the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”

 

Here are this year’s finalists for the prize:

Gone Again, by James Grippando
The Last Days of Night, by Graham Moore
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult

A four-person panel will vote on which novel should take the prize, with the total of a public poll counting as a fifth vote. The poll will remain open through June 30. The judges on the panel include three authors, one of whom is a former Harper Harper Lee prizewinner, and a radio show book review host.

 

It’s your chance to be part of the decision-making process for the 2017 winner. To vote for one of the books, go here.

 

The 2016 Harper Lee Prize was awarded in Washington, D.C., and the winner received a signed copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as well as $3,000 and a feature article in the ABA Journal.

 

Previous winners:

2011 – John Grisham, “The Confession”

2012 – Michael Connelly, “The Fifth Witness”

2013 – Paul Goldstein, “Havana Requiem”

2014 – John Grisham, “Sycamore Row”

2015 – Deborah Johnson, “The Secret of Magic”  

2016 – Attica Locke, “Pleasantville”

 

Congratulations to this year's finalists and all the previous winners.  :-)

 

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2017 ITW Thriller Writers Awards

 

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Thriller writers bring us thrills and chills, keep us awake long into the wee hours of the morning and leave us begging for more. You’re also likely to see many of them on top mystery writer lists all over the world. Once again, there are amazing finalists for the ITW Thriller Writers Awards. Take a look:

 

BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL

Megan Abbott – “You Will Know Me”
Reed Farrel Coleman – “Where It Hurts”
Noah Hawley – “Before the Fall”

Laura McHugh – “Arrowood”
Ben H. Winters – “Underground Airlines”

 


BEST FIRST NOVEL

Bob Bickford – “Deadly Kiss”
J.L. Delozier – “Type and Cross”
David McCaleb – “Recall”
Nicholas Petrie – “The Drifter”
E.Z. Rinsky – “Palindrome”

 

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL

Robert Dugoni – “In the Clearing”
Anne Frasier – “The Body Reader”
Paul Kemprecos – “The Minoan Cipher”
Jonathan Maberry – “Kill Switch” 
Stephen Maher – “Salvage”

 

BEST E-BOOK ORIGINAL NOVEL

James Scott Bell – “Romeo’s Way”
Sean Black – “The Edge of Alone”
Sibel Hodge – “Untouchable”    
J.F. Penn – “Destroyer of Worlds”
Richard Thomas – “Breaker”

 

Congratulations to all the finalists! The 2017 winners will be announced at ThrillerFest XII, now held each year in July in New York City. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners.

 

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“Dry Bones” by Craig Johnson

 

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Jen, a T-Rex and the center of the controversy in “Dry Bones,” is the largest specimen of its type ever found and it shows up in Sheriff Walt Longmire’s county. Longmire deals with all kinds of victims, but a dinosaur? That’s a new kind of cold case.

 

A skeleton of this importance would be a windfall for the local museum, but first Longmire must figure out if the High Plains Dinosaur Museum has the right to claim Jen as its own. When the Cheyenne owner of the ranch where Jen was found turns up dead, things get complicated. It’s possible that the T-Rex belongs to the Cheyenne Nation…or the federal government…or the family of the guy who died.

 

Tribal rights, family inheritance, federal property or just a really nice set of bones to display? An acting Deputy Attorney is out to make a name for himself and seems to feel that photo ops are more important than catching the bad guys or finding kidnap victims. But, he’s not the only one with priorities a tad off center in "Dry Bones." More people are interested in who gets the dinosaur than the circumstances behind the death of Danny Lone Elk. 

 

With Jen crowding Walt’s holding cells while ownership is being determined, and the interested parties holding Walt’s office hostage, the Sheriff realizes that the only way he can get back to the business for which he was elected is to solve the mystery of Danny Lone Elk’s death and find the gal (also Jen) who discovered the T-Rex to begin with.

 

It’s a circus.

 

There are helicopter forays into the back country, harrowing visits to an old mine, entertaining interactions with ever wise-cracking Lucien, Henry Standing Bear saving the day as only he can, and more near misses for Walt than our hearts can stand. Did I mention bullets flying? And the terrifying prospect of Walt taking care of his grand-daughter? He’s not afraid of many bad guys, but the little one? Waaay too funny.

 

We are treated to Craig Johnson’s dry wit, in several LOL scenes, with Walt’s delivery always perfectly timed. A man of few words, but good ones.

 

In real life, that entire region of the country is an active dinosaur bone recovery area with several universities and museums conducting legitimate digs. People love a cool dinosaur, so finding the big ones can cement the reputation – and therefore the funding – of an institution for many years.

 

In “Dry Bones,” Johnson explores the ethics of taking artifacts away from the people upon whose land they were found. It’s not just dino bones that are being removed from their place of origin. World-wide, governments are seeking to recover long lost treasures robbed from centuries old graves, temples, and ruins. Find the treasures? Great. Remove them from the place of origin without permission or proper compensation? These days, that’s a long jail term in the making.

 

Read Craig Allen Johnson’s Author Profile here.

 

Read the review of “The Cold Dish” here.

 

Read the review of “Kindness Goes Unpunished” here.

 

Please visit www.craigallenjohnson.com for lots of information about Mr. Johnson and his work, his future appearances, and his online store.

 

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Top 10: The First Four Years of Nightstand Book Reviews

 

Book Cover - Cold Dish

The first four years of Nightstand Book Reviews delivered a wide range of books to my doorstep and to my email inbox. Right from the beginning, I have received more than 100 requests a month (once over 400) from writers and publicists and friends of writers and publicists to review the latest book they had to offer.

 

It has been a fun problem to have. The strategy was (and remains) to choose great reads to chat about and share with the thousands of Nightstand Book Reviews followers around the world. The books on the site are by and large fiction, and tell a well-plotted story involving nicely developed characters. The authors are a mix of bestselling writers of longstanding, and newbies to the field when I first met them. Traditionally published or ebook only? Both happily co-exist on NBR. Occasionally I highlight biographies, great cookbooks, and helpful gardening books. A new feature in 2016 was Author Profiles. You’ll see more of those in 2017.

 

Below is the list of Top 10 books reviewed on Nightstand Book Reviews over the last four years, listed in ABC order by author. These were the books that garnered the most interest on NBR from the worldwide audience during the four years. Six books on the list were the debut novels from those authors. Some powerhouse writers (long, successful careers with great popularity) mixed in with newbies? A good book is a good book.

 

All of these authors now have multiple books out. Click on the book title to read the review.

 

Lee Child – “The Killing Floor”

 

Robert Dugoni – “My Sister’s Grave”

 

Robert Dugoni – “The Conviction”

 

Sherry Harris – “Tagged for Death”

 

Sue Harrison – “Mother Earth, Father Sky”

 

Erin Hart – “Haunted Ground”

 

Tami Hoag – “Alibi Man”

 

Craig Johnson – “The Cold Dish”

 

Leigh Perry – “A Skeleton in the Family”

 

Andy Weir – “The Martian”

 

 

Have you read any of the titles on the list? Wildly different books to be sure, with thrillers, sci-fi, traditional mysteries, and cozies in the group. 

 

And soooo much fun to read.  :-)

 

Thank you all, kind readers, for being part of the Nightstand Book Reviews community during the first four years. Your comments and participation make me smile as I search for the next great read to share with you.

 

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Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction-2016

 

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Attica Locke's “Pleasantville” won the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

Other nominees were:
Chuck Greaves' “Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo”
Kermit Roosevelt's “Allegiance”

 

The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “To Kill A Mockingbird," written by former Alabama law student, Harper Lee. For the past six years, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have partnered to award the prize to a published work of fiction from the previous year that best demonstrates “the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”

 

The 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was awarded in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22, and Locke received a signed copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird," as well as $3,000 and a feature article in the ABA Journal.

 

Locke joins previous winners:

 

2011 – John Grisham, “The Confession”

 

2012 – Michael Connelly, “The Fifth Witness”

 

2013 – Paul Goldstein, “Havana Requiem”

 

2014 – John Grisham, “Sycamore Row”

 

2015 – Deborah Johnson, “The Secret of Magic”  

 

Congratulations to all!  :-)

 

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CrimeFest 2016

 

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CRIMEFEST had its beginnings in 2008 as a convention for fans of crime novels and  has become one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe. Its reputation is such that  top crime novelists, publishers and reviewers now attend from around the world.

 

This year the CRIMEFEST awards dinner was held on May 21st in Bristol, England. Take a look at all the great nominees. The winners are indicated in red.
 


The eDunnit Award is for the best ebook published in both hardcopy and ebook.

Eligible titles submitted by publishers, then British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.


Linwood Barclay: “Broken Promise”
Michael Connelly: “The Crossing”

Judith Flanders: “A Bed of Scorpions”
Suzette A. Hill: “A Southwold Mystery”
Laurie R. King: “Dreaming Spies”
Jax Miller: “Freedom’s Child”
Denise Mina: “Blood, Salt, Water”  

Andrew Taylor: “The Silent Boy”

 

The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2015. Eligible titles were submitted by the publishers, then voted on by British crime fiction reviewers.


Sascha Arango: “The Truth and Other Lies”
Alan Bradley: “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust”
Simon Brett: “Mrs Pargeter’s Principle”

Christopher Fowler: “Bryant & May and the Burning Man”
Elly Griffiths: “Smoke and Mirrors”
Malcolm Pryce: “The Case of the ‘Hail Mary’ Celeste”
Mike Ripley: “Mr Campion’s Fox”
Jason Starr: “Savage Lane”

 

 

Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best audio book.


Rachel Abbott: “Sleep Tight,” read by Melody Grove & Andrew Wincott

Lee Child: “Make Me,” read by Jeff Harding
Harlan Coben: “The Stranger,” read by Eric Meyers
Robert Galbraith: “Career of Evil,” read by Robert Glenister
Paula Hawkins: “The Girl on the Train,” read by Clare Corbett, India Fisher & Louise Brealey
Stephen King: “Finders Keepers,” read by Will Patton
David Lagercrantz: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” translated by George Goulding, read by Saul Reichlin
Clare Mackintosh: “I Let You Go,” read by David Thorpe & Julia Barrie

Ian Rankin: “Even Dogs in the Wild,” read by James Macpherson
 


The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biography or critical book in crime fiction.


David Stuart Davies & Barry Forshaw: “The Sherlock Holmes Book”

Martin Edwards: “The Golden Age of Murder”
Fergus Fleming: “The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming’s James Bond Letters”
Barry Forshaw: “Crime Uncovered: Detective”
Julius Green: “Curtains Up: Agatha Christie A Life in Theatre”
Maysam Hasam Jaber: “Criminal Femmes Fatales in American Hardboiled Crime Fiction”
Fiona Peters & Rebecca Stewart: “Crime Uncovered: Anti-hero”
Adam Sisman: “John le Carré: The Biography”

 


The Petrona Award celebrates the best in Scandinavian fiction.


Karin Fossum: “The Drowned Boy” translated by Kari Dickson
Kati Hiekkapelto: “The Defenceless” translated by David Hackston
Jørn Lier Horst: “The Caveman” translated by Anne Bruce
David Lagercrantz: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” translated by George Goulding
Hans Olav Lahlum: “Satellite People” translated by Kari Dickson

Antti Tuomainen: “Dark As My Heart” translated by Lola Rogers

 

Congratulations to all! :-)

 

For more information about CrimeFest, please visit www.crimefest.com

 

 

 

 

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Killer Nashville’s 2015 Silver Falchion Award

 

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Killer Nashville is one of the most popular conferences in the country for writers and readers and is held each year in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Established by writer and filmmaker Clay Stafford in 2006, the conference assists authors in the craft of mystery, thriller, suspense and crime fiction writing. Stafford and American Blackguard, Inc. also work to further various literacy programs throughout the year.

 

As a part of both encouraging and rewarding writers in their varied fields, the Silver Falchion Award is given to outstanding books published in the previous year. This year, the awards were presented on October 31st. Here is a partial list of 2015 finalists and winners for their 2014 titles:

 

Best Novel: Romantic Suspense

Judgment – Carey Baldwin
The Lost Key – Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison
Top Secret Twenty-One – Janet Evanovich
Sweet Damage – Rebecca James
*Truth Be Told – Hank Phillippi Ryan received the award

 

Best Novel: Cozy/Traditional
Angelica’s Smile – Andrea Camilleri
The Question of the Missing Head – E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen
The Alpine Yeoman – Mary Daheim
Designated Daughters – Margaret Maron
*Hunting Shadows – Charles Todd received the award

 

Best Novel: Literary Suspense

The Dead Will Tell – Linda Castillo
Red 1-2-3 – John Katzenbach
Mr. Mercedes – Stephen King
*The Day She Died – Catriona McPherson received the award
The Farm – Tom Rob Smith

 

Best Novel: Political Thriller/Adventure

Night Heron – Adam Brookes
Dark Spies: A Spycatcher Novel – Matthew Dunn
The Hilltop – Assaf Gavron
End Game – John Gilstrap
*I am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes received the award
Assassin’s Game – Ward Larsen

 

Best Novel: Crime Thriller

The Bone Orchard – Paul Doiron
Dakota – Gwen Florio
Gangsterland – Tod Goldberg
The Keeper – John Lescroart
*In the Blood – Lisa Unger  received the award

 

Best First Novel: Cozy/Traditional/Historical

Honor Above All – J. Bard-Collins
To Fudge or Not to Fudge – Nancy Coco
Murder at Honeychurch Hall – Hannah Dennison
*The Life We Bury – Allen Eskens  received the award
Dying to Know – TJ O’Connor

 

Best First Novel: Mystery/Thriller:

Someone Else’s Skin – Sarah Hilary
Hotlanta – Mark Neilson
The American Mission – Matthew Palmer
*The Black Hour – Lori Rader-Day received the award
The Hawley Book of the Dead – Chrysler Szarlan
The Ways of the Dead – Neely Tucker
The Martian – Andy Weir

 

 

Please visit www.killernashville.com/2015-silver-falchion-finalists/  for the rest of the categories.

 

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners! 

 

 

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