Mystery

Halloween Mystery List – 2017

 

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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 forty-eight titles in our updated 2017 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

Susan Bernhardt – The Ginseng Conspiracy

Bethany Blake – Dial Meow for Murder

Susan Boles – Death of a Wolfman

Lilian Jackson Braun – Cat Who Talked to Ghosts

Rita Mae Brown – The Litter of the Law

Mollie Cox Bryan – Scrapbook of the Dead

Anna Celeste Burke – All Hallows’ Eve Heist

Jessica Burton – Death Goes Shopping

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

Kathy Cranston – Pumpkins are Murder

Kathi Daley – Halloween in Paradise; Murder at the Witching Hour

Steve Demaree – Murder on Halloween

Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat with an Emerald Eye

Janet Evanovich – Plum Spooky

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

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

Sarah Graves – Nail Biter

Carolyn Haines – Hallowed Bones

Ellen Hart – Sweet Poison

Lee Hollis – Death of a Pumpkin Carver

Carolyn Q. Hunter – Pumpkin Pie Waffle

Ellen Elizabeth Hunter – Murder on the Ghost Walk

Daniel Judson – The Violet Hour

Heather Justesen – Muffins & Murder

Andrew Klavan – The Animal Hour

Joyce & Jim Lavene – Ghastly Glass

James Lilley – Death Knocks Twice

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

Liz Mugavero – A Biscuit, a Casket

Julie Mulhern – Send in the Clowns

Leigh Perry – The Skeleton Haunts a House

Rebecca Tope – Death in the Cotswolds

Diane Vallere – Masking for Trouble

 

If you’ve read any books in the Halloween Mystery List for 2017, please let us know what you thought.
 

Happy Spooky reading.  :-)

 

 

 

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Shamus Awards – 2017

 

PWA logo

Bouchercon, the largest international mystery lovers convention, held in October this year, is a natural platform for several writing awards. In addition to the Anthony, Barry, and Macavity Awards for excellence in mysteries, the PWA’s Shamus Awards-2017 were given for deserving Private Eye titles published in 2016. (The winners were announced before the convention.)

 

The Private Eye Writers of America, focuses on Private Eye fiction alone. PWA’s definition of a Private Eye: a person paid to investigate crimes who is not employed by a government agency.

 

The winners are noted in red, with the other finalists immediately after. Congratulations to all!   :-)
 

Best Original Private Eye Paperback
Vaseem Khan, The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown. Red Hook Books 

Michael Craven, The Detective and the Chinese High-Fin. Harper Collins
O'Neil De Noux,  Hold Me, Babe. Big Kiss Publications
Erle Stanley Gardner,  The Knife Slipped. Hard Case Crime
Manuel Ramos, My Bad. Arte Publico Press

 

Best First Private Eye Novel
Joe Ide, IQ.  Little, Brown

Tim Baker, Fever City. Europa Editions
D. P. Lyle, Deep Six.  Oceanview Publishing
David Swinson, The Second Girl. Little, Brown
Richard Vine, Soho Sins. Hard Case Crime

 

Best Private Eye Short Story
Brendan DuBois, “A Battlefield Reunion” in AHMM, June
Lawrence Block, “Keller’s Fedora” (e-publication)
Ake Edwardson, “Stairway From Heaven” in Stockholm Noir, Akashic
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, “A Dangerous Cat” in The Strand. Feb-May
Dave Zeltserman, “Archie On Loan” in EQMM, Sept.-Oct.

 

Best Private Eye Novel
Reed Farrel Coleman, Where It Hurts. Putnam
Lindsey Davis, The Graveyard of the Hesperides. Minotaur
Timothy Hallinan, Fields Where They Lay. Soho Crime
Al Lamanda, With 6 You Get Wally. Gale Cengage
Robert S. Levinson, The Stardom Affair.  Five Star

 

 

 

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Anthony Awards 2017 – Bouchercon

 

BoucherconLogoToronto 2017

 

The World Mystery Convention, usually referred to as Bouchercon, is an annual conference named after Anthony Boucher, a mystery author and critic who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. This event honors various segments of the mystery and crime fiction community.

 

The nominees for the Anthony Awards 2017 were chosen by attendees at the 2016 convention, as well as early registrants for the 2017 event. The recognized works were published during 2016 and the winners were  announced on October 15th, after the Sunday Brunch. You’ll notice some returning authors on the list of nominees as well as great new entries.

 

The winners are indicated in red.

 

Best Novel

  • “You Will Know Me” – Megan Abbott
  • “Where It Hurts” – Reed Farrel Coleman
  • “Red Right Hand” – Chris Holm
  • “Wilde Lake” – Laura Lippman
  • “A Great Reckoning” – Louise Penny

 

Best First Novel

  • “Dodgers” – Bill Beverly
  • “IQ” – Joe Ide
  • “Decanting a Murder” – Nadine Nettmann
  • “Design for Dying” – Renee Patrick
  • “The Drifter” – Nicholas Petrie

 

Best Paperback Original

  • “Shot in Detroit” – Patricia Abbott
  • “Leadfoot” – Eric Beetner
  • “Salem’s Cipher” – Jess Lourey
  • “Rain Dogs” – Adrian McKinty
  • “How to Kill Friends and Implicate People” – Jay Stringer
  • “Heart of Stone” – James W. Ziskin  

 

Best Short Story

  • “Oxford Girl” – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir
  • “Autumn at the Automat” – Lawrence Block, In Sunlight or in Shadow
  • “Gary’s Got A Boner” – Johnny Shaw, Waiting to Be Forgotten
  • “Parallel Play” – Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning
  • “Queen of the Dogs” – Holly West, 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul and Payback

 

Best Anthology

  • “Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns” – Eric Beetner, ed.
  • “In Sunlight or in Shadow” – Lawrence Block, ed.
  • “Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens” – Jen Conley
  • “Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016” – Greg Herren, ed.
  • “Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by the Replacements” – Jay Stringer, ed.

 

For nominees & winners in the YA, Critical Non-Fiction, and Novella categories, please visit http://bouchercon2017.com/anthony-awards/

 

Congratulations to all the Anthony Awards-2017 nominees and winners!  :-)

 

Previous winners include:

2016:

BEST NOVEL – “The Killing Kind” – Chris Holm   

BEST FIRST NOVEL – “Past Crimes” – Glen Erik Hamilton 

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – “The Long and Faraway Gone” – Lou Berney 

BEST SHORT STORY – "The Little Men: A Bibliomystery" – Megan Abbott 

 

2015:

BEST NOVEL“After I'm Gone” – Laura Lippman

BEST FIRST NOVEL – “The Black Hour” – Lori Rader-Day

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – “The Day She Died” – Catriona McPherson

BEST SHORT STORY – "The Odds Are Against Us" Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 – Art Taylor

 

2014:

BEST FIRST NOVEL – Matt Coyle’s “Yesterday's Echo”

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – Catriona McPherson’s “As She Left It”

BEST NOVEL – William Kent Krueger’s “Ordinary Grace”

 

 

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Scotland Crime Book of the Year – 2017

 

BloodyScotlandLogo2017

The Scotland Crime Book of the Year Award, now called The McIlvaney Prize, is given at Bloody Scotland, a premier conference for crime writers. Eligible authors must be born in Scotland, live there, or set their books there. The winner receives 1,000 pounds and the book is promoted for a year at Waterstone’s, a major book chain in the UK. This year The McIlvanney Prize was awarded on September 8th. The long list, chosen by an independent panel of readers, is below, with the five finalists noted with ‘*’. The winner was chosen by Susan Calman, Craig Sisterson, and Lee Randall.

 

The winner is indicated in red.

Lin Anderson – “None But the Dead”

Chris Brookmyre – “Want You Gone”

Ann Cleeves – “Cold Earth”

Helen Fields – “Perfect Remains”

*Val McDermid – “Out of Bounds”

Claire MacLeary – “Cross Purpose”

*Denise Mina – “The Long Drop”

Owen Mullen – “Games People Play”

Ian Rankin – “Rather Be the Devil”

*Craig Robertson – “Murderabilia”

*Craig Russell – “The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid”

*Jay Stringer – “How to Kill Friends & Implicate People”

 

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  :-)

 

Previous winners are noted below:

2016: Chris Brookmyre – “Black Widow”

2015: Craig Russell – “The Ghosts of Altona”

2014: Peter May – “Entry Island”

 

 

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Author Profile: Liz Mugavero

 

LizMugavero

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Agatha-nominated Pawsitively Organic Gourmet Pet Food Mysteries, a delightful series set in fictional Frog Ledge, Connecticut. She serves on the Sisters in Crime New England board and is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. Her brand new series, The Cat Café Mysteries, set in New England, features Maddie James and a frisky rescue cat, JJ. Liz writes the new series under the name Cate Conte.

 

I met Liz for the first time in 2012 at Writers’ Police Academy, an annual event where mystery writers experience hands-on, how-to scenarios as demonstrated by members of law enforcement.

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At that time, her first book, soon to be Agatha nominated, “Kneading to Die,” had not yet been published, but as soon as it was, I was a fan for life. Who can resist an author that comes up with a plot line involving kibble on the body?

 

Liz Mugavero has a Master’s degree in Writing (she wrote a novel for her Thesis) and works by day in Marketing and Corporate Communications. But, early mornings, before heading to the office, she can be found devising and solving the next murder (on the page, folks) at home. Mugavero is always accompanied by at least one of her pets while she creates the sleuthing women. Depending on her mood, she works either at a desk or settles onto the bed with a laptop and a cat. Rumor has it that she attends a yearly retreat with other authors, where they collectively dream up murder and mayhem for their books. Ah…to listen in on those sessions. 😉

 

Mugavero’s heart is firmly in New England. Born in Massachusetts, now living in Connecticut, and having a deep love of Maine, the affection for the area, no matter the weather or the season, comes through the pages in descriptions of the scenery and quirky, small town characters.

 

Mugavero is a member of the Wicked Cozys, a New England based writing group whose wonderful work I have reviewed at Nightstand Book Reviews on many occasions. Each of the six women has a successful cozy series and they share writing duties on their website, posting articles about the writing life (and their own series) every week. Catch them at www.wickedcozyauthors.com. In a recent post, Mugavero spoke about the differences between the two women protagonists in her two series.

 

Stan (short for Kristan) Connor, from the Pawsitively Organic series, and Maddie James, from the Cat Café Mysteries, are dissimilar in several ways. Stan’s relationship with her family is always a challenge, her slow growing pet food business is a work-in-progress, and her love life is embodied in a hunk with a big, sloppy (lovable) dog. Maddie, on the other hand, has a warm, supportive, close knit family, owns a successful juice bar in California, and has two great guys who happen to catch her eye. Often. But, Mugavero/Conte writes both lead characters as gals we would like to have as friends in real-life.

 

It’s obvious from reading Liz Mugavero’s work that she truly, deeply, loves animals. Long before penning the books, that love translated into an involvement in animal rescue.

 

Liz revealed: “I had two cats when my mother found a litter of kittens on the side of the road one day. We rescued them and I called a bunch of shelters thinking they would be delighted to take them, but none of them could because it was kitten season and there were so many – what I know now is all too common a story. So, I placed two and kept the other two (Pumpkin and Gypsy) and after that I decided to go volunteer so I could see what it was really like to be an animal rescuer and understand their challenges.”

 

Meet two of Mugavero’s happy rescues:

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Junkyard Johnny (JJ) the inspiration for the JJ in “Cat About Town.” In the book, he seems to lead Maddie James in all the right directions to help solve the crimes.

 

LizMTuffy

Tuffy, the inspiration for Stan Connor’s cat, Nutty, in the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series. Nutty always has a comment to make, sometimes with an imperious look, sometimes with a flicking tail.

 

Each book in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries includes recipes for pet food, and some of them look good enough for people to eat. There are pet food gurus behind the tasty treats, and in keeping with Mugavero’s goal to have pets eat healthier and live healthier, the recipes call for simple ingredients.

Here’s one from Mugavero’s site:

(Recipe adapted from “My Baking Heart,” originally from “The Dog Ate It”)

Apple and Cheddar Pupcakes
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Traditional Rolled Oats
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Applesauce
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Honey
2 Eggs
1 Apple – peeled, cored and minced
1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, water, oil, honey and eggs, then stir in the apple and cheese. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just barely blended.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling almost full (you may have a couple spoonsful of batter left over). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Really. Don’t you want to bake them for yourself?  😉

 

The http://lizmugavero.com/wp/for-the-animals/ section of Liz’s website includes links for pet shelters and organizations in several states around the country, along with more of the healthy pet food recipes.


Mugavero’s animals snack on their healthy kitty/puppy treats, but she has her own faves. In addition to potato chips, she noshes on sushi as often as she can. Favorite flavor? Spicy tuna rolls!

 

I discovered that Liz also writes short stories (published internationally) and magazine articles. She mentioned that she is now finishing the second ‘Maddie James’ book and then will work on book #7 in the ‘Kristan Connor’ series. More fun to come for the readers!  :-)  With the engaging leads, colorful supporting characters, and clever plotting throughout the two series, we look forward to everything Liz and ‘Cate’ write.

 


Book Cover - Kneading To Die copy

To learn more about Kristan Connor and the book that started it all (with kibble on the body) read the review of “Kneading to Die” here.

 

 

 

 

 


Book Cover - Custom Baked Murder

 

 

 

Read the review of “Custom Baked Murder,” the fifth book in the series, here.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Cover - Cat About Town - Cate Conte

 

 

Read the review of “Cat About Town,” the first book in the new series, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title #6 in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, “Purring Around the Christmas Tree,” will be published late September, 2017. I am so looking forward to it!

 

First Photo of Liz Mugavero by Meg Manion Photography

Photo of Edith Maxwell and Liz Mugavero by Patti Phillips.

 

Please visit www.lizmugavero.com for more information about the talented author, Liz Mugavero/Cate Conte.

 

LizMugaveroBanner.jpg

 

 

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10 of the Best Books of the Past Year-2017 Update

 

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…and the prize goes to…

 

Readers all over the world choose their next book based on the award winners announced by various organizations during the recent year. Here is a list of ten popular awards for recent novels in the adult category to receive applause and/or rave reviews from colleagues in the genre or from readers who loved the books.

 

Have you read any books on the list? If so, let us know what you enjoyed about them in the comment section. 

 

Agatha Award given to mystery writers, in 2016 best contemporary novel:

“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny

 

Bram Stoker Award for 2016 best in horror or dark fantasy:

“The Fisherman” by John Langan

 

Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction 2016:

“The Five Times I Met Myself” by James L. Rubart

 

Edgar Allen Poe Award awarded by Mystery Writers of America 2017:

“Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley

 

Goodreads Choice Awards chosen by readers 2016 (Fiction):

“Truly Madly Guilty” by Liane Moriarty

 

Hugo Awards awarded for the best Science Fiction or Fantasy 2017:

“The Obelisk Gate” by N.K. Jemisin

 

Macavity Award given to favorite 2016 mystery by Mystery Readers International:

“The Long and Faraway Gone” by Lou Berney

 

Man Booker Prize literary prize for best 2016 novel: 

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty

 

National Book Award for fiction given to U.S. authors 2016:

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

 

Nebula Awards presented by Science Fiction Writers for 2016 work:

“All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders

 

 

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“Cat About Town” by Cate Conte

 

Book Cover - Cat About Town - Cate Conte

“Cat About Town,” by Cate Conte, is the first book in an engaging new series, Cat Café Mysteries.
 

Maddie James attends her grandmother Mancini’s funeral on the Massachusetts island community of Daybreak Harbor, and learns that her grandfather needs her help to save his house. A devious local developer will do anything to obtain ownership of the Mancini homestead that just happens to sit on prime waterfront property. Until he winds up dead. Under a table at the annual Food Stroll. Discovered by a green eyed, orange cat that Maddie has been attempting to befriend since she first saw him peeking from behind a headstone at the cemetery.
 

Did Maddie's grandfather kill the developer? He certainly had motive. He and Maddie both did. Can she keep the police from arresting the two of them? The only way to prove their innocence may be for Maddie to find the real killer among the many suspects in “Cat About Town.” Can the elusive cat help?
 

The townsfolk are an assortment of wonderfully colorful characters. In a clever piece of plotting, Conte has a Shakespeare quoting Leopard Man, a Tai Chi instructor, the donut lady, the roof guy with a mysterious money source, and more, all contributing clues to the riddle of who killed the developer.
 

Maddie’s almost love life lights up when she chats with old/new friends about the case: the high school boyfriend who has aged quite nicely and the new fish shack owner who makes her heart flutter. Should she be having these feelings if she is going to leave town?
 

An interesting, real-world subplot is woven into the story of “Cat About Town.” The locals fall on both sides of selling grandpa's property. The proposed project will bring jobs and more tourists to the town; so-called progress will destroy the town’s charm. Maddie James wants to help her grandfather, but while investigating the murder, the tightly layered story reveals both sides of the issue. Vacationers love the charm of old neighborhoods and big houses, but want the same amenities available as they had in the big city. It’s all about choices and zoning laws and lots of money to be made – if you know the right people.
 

“Cat About Town,” while a neatly drawn mystery on its own, also reveals that Cate Conte really knows her cats. JJ has the scars of a street cat and the moves of a cat suspicious of people until they prove themselves worthy. The tentative paw forward, scomping down shrimp even though fed a few minutes before, and lots of other spot-on details, make JJ an endearing star in the ensemble cast that will appear in the series. It will be fun to see how Conte uses JJ’s feline sleuthing talents to uncover future clues (and bodies). And, a cat that squeaks? Adorable!
 

A cat on a leash? Corruption in the Chamber of Commerce? Romantic entanglements? Me, oh, my, the plot does thicken in “Cat About Town,” and keeps us purring from first page to last. Maddie James is a savvy new heroine, capable of out-thinking the bad guys, but with a special softness for friends, family, and rescue animals. I can't wait to read the next book. Can we pre-order yet?  :-)
 

Cate Conte is known to most of you as Liz Mugavero, the author of the Agatha nominated Pawsatively Organic Mysteries.   :-)
 

Please visit www.lizmugavero.com for more information about this talented writer and her two series.

 

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