Mystery

2022 Mystery Writers of America – Edgar Awards

The nominees have been announced for the 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television from 2021. The winners will be revealed on April 28, 2022 in New York City.

BEST NOVEL
The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Five Decembers by James Kestrel
How Lucky by Will Leitch
No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield

 

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Deer Season by Erin Flanagan
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins
The Damage by Caitlin Wahrer

 

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke
The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory
Starr Sign by C.S. O’Cinneide
Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

 

BEST FACT CRIME
The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History by Margalit Fox
Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green
Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn
Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice by Ellen McGarrahan
The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade by Benjamin T. Smith
When Evil Lived in Laurel:  The “White Knights” and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer by Curtis Wilkie

 

BEST JUVENILE
Cold-Blooded Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Aggie Morton Mystery Queen: The Dead Man in the Garden by Marthe Jocelyn
Kidnap on the California Comet: Adventures on Trains #2 by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman
Rescue by Jennifer A. Nielsen

 

BEST YOUNG ADULT
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

 

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“Dog Day Morning” – The Brokenwood Mysteries, Written by Tim Balme (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – The Beast Must Die, Written by Gaby Chiappe (AMC+)
“The Men Are Wretched Things” – The North Water Written by Andrew Haigh (AMC+)
“Happy Families” – Midsomer Murders, Written by Nicholas Hicks-Beach (Acorn TV)
“Boots on the Ground” – Narcos: Mexico, Written by Iturri Sosa (Netflix)

 

Please visit https://mysterywriters.org/mwa-announce-the-2022-edgar-award-nominations for information about nominees in the Short Story, Best Critical/Biographical, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sue Grafton Awards.

 

From the site: “MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents.”

Congratulations to all the nominees!

 

2022 Left Coast Crime Awards (the Lefties)

Left Coast Crime 2022 will present four Lefty Awards at the rescheduled convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Titles must have been published for the first time in the USA or Canada during 2021, in book or ebook format. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
  °  Ellen Byron, Cajun Kiss of Death
  °  Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Cracks the Code
  °  Elle Cosimano, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
  °  Cynthia Kuhn, How To Book a Murder
  °  Raquel V. Reyes, Mango, Mambo, and Murder
  °  Wendall Thomas, Fogged Off

 

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel
(Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970
  °  Susanna Calkins, The Cry of the Hangman
  °  John Copenhaver, The Savage Kind
  °  Naomi Hirahara, Clark and Division
  °  Sujata Massey, The Bombay Prince
  °  Catriona McPherson, The Mirror Dance
  °  Lori Rader-Day, Death at Greenway

 

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel
  °  Alexandra Andrews, Who Is Maud Dixon
  °  Marco Carocari, Blackout
  °  Zakiya Dalila Harris, The Other Black Girl
  °  Mia P. Manansala, Arsenic and Adobo
  °  Wanda M. Morris, All Her Little Secrets

 

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel
  °  Tracy Clark, Runner
  °  S.A. Cosby, Razorblade Tears
  °  Matt Coyle, Last Redemption
  °  William Kent Krueger, Lightning Strike
  °  P.J. Vernon, Bath Haus

 

 

2021 – Christmas Themed Mysteries and Romance

Christmas seems to be the most popular holiday theme for mysteries and fiction of all varieties. I discovered that there were hundreds from which to choose, with more written every year. Some writers focus entirely on Christmas in every book they publish.

 

If you are a fan of Christmas themed fiction, then this updated 2021 list of fifty-eight novels, novellas, and short stories is for you. The books were recommended by avid cozy booksellers and reviewers, as well as NBR and Kerrian’s Notebook subscribers. Click on the titles to find out more about the books, then snuggle up with a great Christmas read.

 

Susan Wittig Albert “The Darling Dahlias & the Poinsettia Puzzle

Gretchen Archer  “Double Deck the Halls

Donna Andrews “The Twelve Jays of Christmas

Mary Angela “Very Merry Murder”

Joy Avon “In Peppermint Peril”

 

Laurien Berenson “Here Comes Santa Paws

Susan Bernhardt “Murder Under the Tree

Brittany E. Brinegar “Holly Jolly Murder

Leslie Budewitz “As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles”

Ellen Byron “A Cajun Christmas Killing”

 

Lynn Cahoon “Have a Holly Haunted Christmas

Robyn Carr “A Virgin River Christmas

Nancy Coco “Have Yourself a Fudgy Little Christmas

Cate Conte “A Whisker of a Doubt

Maya Corrigan “Gingerdead Man

 

Kim Davis “Frosted Yuletide Murder

Maddie Day “Candy Slain Murder

Vicki Delany “Dying in a Winter Wonderland

Maria DiRico “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

Leighann Dobbs “Grievance in Gingerbread Alley

 

Barbara Early “Murder on the Toy Town Express”

Peggy Ehrhart “Silent Knit, Deadly Knit

Morris Fenris “Christmas Angel Charity

Beatrice Fishback “Winter Writerland

Amanda Flower “Candy Cane Crime

Joanne Fluke “Christmas Cupcake Murder

Jacqueline Frost “Slashing Through the Snow

 

Daryl Wood Gerber “Wreath between the Lines

John Gray “Manchester Christmas

Patrice Greenwood “As Red as Any Blood

 

Carolyn Haines “A Garland of Bones

Victoria Hamilton “Breaking the Mould”

Jo A Heistand “Shortbread and Dead

Julie Hennrikus “A Christmas Peril”

Liz Ireland “Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings

 

CeeCee James “The Frosty Taste of Scandal

Miranda James “Six Cats a Slayin”

Tina Kashian “Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder

Andrea Kress “Christmas Recipe for Murder

Laura Levine “Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge”

 

Debbie Macomber “Dear Santa

VL McBeath “A Christmas Murder

Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Peggy Ehrhart  “Christmas Card Murder

Ada Moncrieff “Murder Most Festive

Nancy Naigle “Hope at Christmas

 

Carlene O’Connor “Murder at an Irish Christmas

Gail Oust: “The Twelve Dice of Christmas”

James Patterson, Maxine Paetro: “The 19th Christmas

Anne Perry “A Christmas Legacy

 

Amy M. Reade “The Worst Noel

Heather Redmond “A Christmas Carol Murder

Barbara Ross “Nogged Off

Rosemarie Ross “Christmas Candy Corpse

 

Karen Schaler “A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale

Julie Seedorf  “The Discombobulated Decipherers”

Jane Willan  “Abide with Me

Traci Wilton “Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past

Sherryl Woods: “Christmas at White Pines

Happy Choosing!

Book List: Author Linda Lovely

Linda Lovely is a terrific writer with a wonderful sense of humor in real life as well as on the page. Years ago, I was new to the Southern Writers realm and attended a meeting where Linda chatted about her books. She shared with the group that she had read several romantic suspense books and found them lacking in love lives for anybody north of 50 years old.

 

I’ll never forget her question to the group: “Why should the young have all the fun?” Lovely delivers stories that feature romantically active characters  in the second half of life. Women of a certain age can relate to the accomplished female protagonists that have already achieved quite a bit, but who can also solve the crimes placed in their way. While attracted to men who are their worthy equals, these are women who have also proven that they can exist rather nicely on their own.

 

Take a look at Linda Lovely’s engaging book list and click on the book titles for the ‘buy’ links:

 

Marley Clark Mysteries a retired military intelligence officer works security on a Carolina island, and proves that life after 50 can be an adventure.

Read “Dear Killer” review here.

 

 

 

 

No Wake Zone

 

Smart Women, Dumb Luck Romantic SuspenseThree women meet at Blue Ridge University, then find they can count on each other again many years later.

Dead Line

Dead Hunt

 

Standalone1938 historical suspense about a woman fighting for her life and that of her son, and then she is wrongly accused of murdering her husband.

Secrets Can Kill”                

 

The Brie Hooker Series stars a vegetarian cook who agrees to help out her goat-farm-owning, meat-loving Aunt. The murder and mayhem is sometimes intense, and the meat vs vegetable scenarios are hilarious. The men in the books vying for Brie’s heart aren’t bad either. Plus, who knew that ‘salami’ could be used as a swear word?

 

Read “Bones to Pick” review here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read “Picked Off” and “Back Pick” reviews here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HOA Mystery Series

“With Neighbors Like These” is the first of three planned books in Lovely’s new series. Retired Coast Guard Investigator, Kylee Kane, comes home to help her mother, and Kylee reconnects with hunky Ted Welch. His company manages a number of Home Owner’s Associations, including the one where Kylee’s mom (who knows everything and everyone) lives. A dispute between deer hunters and conservationists results in a death, mayhem occurs at another property, and Ted hires Kylee to check out any security issues. Events quickly escalate and together they solve multiple crimes, as the unfolding investigation leads them in directions they could not have anticipated.   


Multi-layered plots are always central to Linda Lovely’s novels. With her fully fleshed out central characters perfectly set up to navigate the twists and turns of the storylines, this entertaining mystery writer always delivers a thoroughly engrossing read. “With Neighbors Like These,” is a stellar, page-turning beginning to her brand new HOA Mystery Series, out now.

 

Please visit https://www.lindalovely.com to learn more about Lovely and her upcoming events.

 

 

 

 

 

2021 Barnes & Noble Best Genre Books of the Year

I’ve been told that the B&N editorial staff reads a lot of books during the year in various genres, then chooses from among those books to select their favorites of the year. The official quote from Barnes & Noble defines the ‘best books’ lists as stories that stay with us long after we finish them, and the ones we re-read again and again and pass on to friends. I would definitely agree with that definition. See if you agree with their choices in a range of genres and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

“Child of Light” by Terry Brooks

“Leviathan Falls” by James S.A. Corey

“Under the Whispering Door” by T.J. Klune

“A Marvelous Light” by Freya Marske

“The Last Graduate” by Naomi Novik

“ExtraOrdinary” by V.E. Schwab

“Lore Olympus: Volume One”  by Rachel Smythe

“Lesser Evil – Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy” by Timothy Zahn

 

Mystery/Thrillers

“While Justice Sleeps” by Stacey Abrams

“The Heron’s Cry” by Ann Cleeves

“Mrs. March” by Virginia Feito

“Clark and Division” by Naomi Hirahara

“The Guilt Trip” by Sandie Jones

“Silverview” by John Le Carre

“The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides

“The Man Who Died Twice” by Richard Osman

“The Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny

“False Witness” by Karin Slaughter

 

Best YA

“Ace of Spades” by Faridah Abike-lyimide

“Realm Breaker” by Victoria Aveyard

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley

“Lore” by Alexandra Bracken

“Blackout” by Dhonielle Clayton

“Small Favors” by Erin A. Craig

“Once Upon A Broken Heart” by Stephanie Garber

“Defy the Night” by Brigid Kemmerer

“The Lake” by Natasha Preston

“Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World” by Benjamin Alire Saenz

 

 Best Fiction

“Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr

“The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich

“The Paper Palace” by Miranda Cowley Heller

“Greek Myths: A New Retelling” by Charlotte Higgins

“Fault Lines” by Emily Itami

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner

“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers

“Beautiful World, Where Are You?” by Sally Rooney

“The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

“Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead

 

Best Romance

“While We Were Dating” by Jasmine Guillory

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

“Fifty Shades Freed” by E. L. James

“The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren

“It’s Better This Way” by Debbie Macomber

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

“The Lady Has A Past” by Amanda Quick

“Neon Gods” by Katee Robert

“Legacy” by Nora Roberts

“Lover Unveiled” by J.R. Ward

 

Best Cookbooks

“Death & Co: Welcome Home” by Alex Day

“Pizza Czar” by Anthony Falco

“Nadiya Bakes” by Nadiya Hussain

“Mother Grains” by Roxana Jullapat

“Maman: the Cookbook” by Elisa Marshall

“Burnt Toast and Other Disasters” by Cal Peternell

“Vegetable Simple” by Eric Ripert

“Rodney’s World of BBQ” by Rodney Scott

“Cook Real Hawai’I” by Sheldon Simeon

“The Japanese Art of the Cocktail” by Masahiro Urushido

 

Book List: Jessica Estavao/Jessie Crockett/Jessica Ellicott

Jessica Estavao is a talented, bestselling, award-winning New England author with several entertaining mystery series to her credit. She is one of the “Wicked Authors,” a group of women writing wicked good mysteries mostly set in New England. Take a look at the list of her books below and see if you’ve read them all. (Click on the titles to learn more about the books)

 

Granite State Mysteries  (as Jessie Crockett)

Her debut mystery in the Granite State series, “Live Free or Die”, was the 2011 winner of the Daphne DuMaurier Award for Mainstream Mystery, an auspicious beginning to her career.

 

Sugar Grove Mysteries (as Jessie Crockett)

The series begins “Drizzled with Death,” one hilarious romp through championship pancake breakfasts, maple syrup, and animals on the loose. Who knew that falling dead head first into a stack of pancakes could be used as a crime scene setting?

Drizzled with Death” – review here

Maple Mayhem

Sticky Situation

 

 

Change of Fortune Mysteries (as Jessica Estavao)

Jessie moved her next series back in time to 1890’s Orchard Beach, Maine, with a con artist and tarot card reader protagonist. Ruby tries to stay one step ahead of the law, while helping her straight arrow aunt keep her hotel. Great fun featuring an innovative female lead character.

 

Whispers Beyond the Veil” 

review here     

 

 

Whispers of Warning

 

Beryl and Edwina Mysteries (as Jessica Ellicott)

Jessie’s current series is set in post WW1 England and introduces the former Finishing School duo of Edwina, the conservative English character, to Beryl’s adventurous American persona. They reunite many years later in the quiet (or is it?) southern English village of Warmsley Parva when Edwina advertises for a boarder and Beryl crashes onto her property.


Beryl and Edwina, while culturally and personally quite different, are fond of each other even after years apart. They find that their distinctive talents help them wonderfully well in their new business venture, a ‘private inquiry agency’ that solves mysteries in the charming village, while earning them an income.


Ellicott has written a series that is both historically enlightening and entertaining, with the sometimes serious subject matter of the day woven into the story of the two women drawn together by economics as well as friendship. Beautifully researched, the books reveal societal views about women 100 years ago, and peek inside the quaint village shops that have survived despite the post-war challenges.

Edwina’s shrewd intellect and Beryl’s clever approach to the mysteries outwit lesser minds and create a few comical moments to save the day and befuddle the clueless. These two engaging, intelligent women will capture your hearts and minds as you enjoy these wonderful books.

 

 

 

 

Murder in an English Village” 

review here

Murder Flies the Coop

Murder Cuts the Mustard

Murder Comes to Call

 

Murder in an English Glade

Murder through the English Post”  pre-order

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Book List: Author Liz Mugavero/Cate Conte

 

Liz Mugavero, a delightful New England writer that lives in Connecticut, has written three series, all three with animals as pals (and clue finders) for the lead characters. The first book in her first series, “Kneading to Die,” garnered her an Agatha nomination for Best First Mystery. It was clever, funny, and the beginning of one of the best cozy series out there, the Pawsatively Organic Mysteries. Who can forget the kibble on the body?  Lolol  Cate Conte, Mugavero’s alter ego, pens the second series, the Cat Café Mysteries, also a big hit with the fans. Click on the titles (and a few reviews) to find out more about the enjoyable, wonderfully written books. The third series, featuring a witch as the lead character, Full Moon Mysteries, has recently been launched and is getting happy, great reviews.

Click on the titles to learn more about the books.

As Liz Mugavero: 

Pawsatively Organic Mysteries:

Features Stan (Kristan) Connor, an Ex-Corporate PR Exec, & Nutty, her Maine Coon Cat. Among the fully fleshed out characters is a hunky bar owner boyfriend and his dog, making Stan’s life interesting as she navigates her new life in a small town and keeps finding bodies. Why the name for the series? Stan wants to open an organic animal treats business. Recipes included!

Kneading to Die” –   review here

A Biscuit, A Casket”   review  here

The Icing on the Corpse

Murder Most Finicky

Custom Baked Murder”    review here

Purring Around the Christmas Tree

Murder, She Meowed

 

As Cate Conte:   https://www.cateconte.com

The Cat Café Mysteries

Maddie James has a successful juice bar business on the west coast, but returns to her hometown of Daybreak Island off the coast of Massachusetts to take care of family matters. Maddie and a stray cat (based on one of Liz’ own cats) get caught up in murder! Maddie is a thoroughly enjoyable new character, with equally appealing love interests. The reason for the title of the series? Maddie is opening up a Cat Café, complete with cats for locals to adopt.

Cat About Town”  – review here

Purrder She Wrote

Tell Tail Heart

A Whisker of a Doubt

Claws for Alarm” is out now.


You can read Liz Mugavero’s Author Profile here.

 

Cate Conte’s first title in The Full Moon Mystery series is the entertaining “Witch Hunt.”.


The second title, “Witch Trial,” will be out at the end of December and can be pre-ordered now.

Happy Reading!  🙂 

*Many thanks to Liz/Cate for the photos and book art!  🙂

 

 

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