Short Stories/Collection

Author Profile: Edith Maxwell

 

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Edith Maxwell writes award-winning short stories, has several series of full-length mysteries out and has been nominated for Agatha Awards in both the Short Story and Historical Fiction categories for this year’s Malice Domestic mystery conference. At this writing, she has eleven published novels since 2012 under the names Tace Baker, Maddie Day, and Edith Maxwell, with #12 due out next month. She is working on three more to be published in the near future. She is the one of the most prolific traditionally published authors I know and she is loving all of it!

 

I first met Edith at a Writers Police Academy conference in the Fall of 2012. At the time, she had just published her first Lauren Rousseau title, “Speaking of Murder,” as Tace Baker. I was hooked by the intelligent, worldly, complex female lead character. She attended WPA in order to research police procedure, and also gathered tons of information about firefighters and EMS personnel that she might use in future novels.

 

While following her career the last few years, it’s become apparent that solid research underpins all her books. Happily, combined with her own personal experiences, the result is richly developed backgrounds and storylines.

 

For the Country Store series, Maxwell took a trip to Indiana in order to investigate the setting, special southern Indiana phrasing (“I can’t eat another bite ’cause I’m as full as a tick”), and foods specific to the region. As it happens, she was also returning to the area of her grad school days and the site of a university packed with her own Maxwell family history. Friends of hers in the grad program had restored an old country store and turned it into a restaurant and bed & breakfast, the basis for Robbie Jordan’s ‘Pans ‘N Pancakes’ establishment in the series. In addition, Maxwell loves to cook and there are virtual cooking lessons woven throughout the stories as well as yummy recipes to be found.

 

Fun fact: my mom had an amazing collection of antique cookware, so when Robbie chats about the vintage pieces in her store, I can see the tools in my mind’s eye. Maxwell/Day’s details? Wonderful!

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The Local Foods series features an organic farmer as the lead character, and guess what? Edith ran her own small certified organic farm for a few years and that expertise infuses the series with effortless realism. Readers can pick up tips about what it takes to grow produce organically, both the pitfalls and the plusses, while enjoying the cleverly crafted mysteries.

 

The Quaker Midwife series is a project close to Edith’s heart. She is a Quaker herself and some of the history and the daily practices of the Society of Friends have found their way into this series. Maxwell now lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts where the books are set, and the local history influenced her short story writing. One of the short stories became the impetus for a 19th c. midwife character. Rose Carroll, the Quaker midwife, is perfectly placed to be a sleuth, since she gets to go where men (and the police) can’t in 1888, and hears all kinds of secrets that help solve the crimes. Beautifully written, “Delivering the Truthis well-deserving of the Agatha historical mystery nomination this year.

 

Click on the link to check out Maxwell’s YouTube video of a walking tour of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Maxwell is wearing an authentic self-made 1888 dress and bonnet while she conducts the tour and chats about the sites mentioned in “Delivering the Truth.” What a fun and terrific way to launch a series!

https://youtu.be/D-1BKTI9-f8 

 

Plus, as Maddie Day, Edith has a new cozy foodie mystery series, Cozy Capers Book Group, set on Cape Cod. “Murder on Cape Cod will be the first title launched in 2018. The lead character runs a bicycle repair and rental shop and hosts a weekly cozy mystery book group. My dad’s family came from the Cape, and I’m looking forward to reading Maxwell/Day’s take on the region.

 

So, how does she keep up this writing pace and still maintain the quality in her books? First, she is doing what she loves. She has a writing schedule for each day – mornings are the best for her – but when a deadline looms, she sometimes goes away for a few days on retreat. She turns off the internet so that there are no distractions at all and she can write from dawn ‘til midnight if she needs to. When slipping away to a retreat, Maxwell likes to take along comfy clothes, walking shoes, a laptop, a favorite pen, and an actual paper notebook. Oh, and of course, wine and dark chocolate.  :-)

 

Maxwell writes traditional mysteries with absorbing puzzles to solve, and appealing characters that engage us on every page. With strong female leads, fascinating details, and multi-layered plots, this is an author we want to follow, wherever (or whenever) she leads us.

 

Book Cover - A Tine to Live A Tine to Die

 

Read the review of “A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die,” (Local Foods series) here.

 

 

 

 

 


Book Cover - Grilled for Murder

 

Read the review of “Grilled for Murder,” (Country Store series) here (written as Maddie Day)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Cover - Delivering the Truth

 

 

Read review of “Delivering the Truth” (Quaker Midwife series) here:-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Delivering the Truth" has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery. And “The Mayor and the Midwife” has been nominated for an Agatha for Best Short Story. Read the short story here.


Edith Maxwell is a member of the Wicked Cozy Authors, the New England gals that share writing advice and their own experiences every week at www.wickedcozyauthors.com. She also writes with Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors.

For more information about Ms. Maxwell and her many projects, please visit www.edithmaxwell.com

 

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Photo "Writer" taken by Patti Phillips

Other photos provided by Edith Maxwell

 

 

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The Agatha Awards for 2016 Books

 

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The winners for the Agatha Awards for 2016 (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The awards were bestowed upon mystery and crime writers at the annual Malice Domestic conference on April 29, 2017. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2016.

 

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.

 

Click on the author’s name for more information about the book and the rest of the author’s work. The winners are indicated in red. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  :-)

 

Best Contemporary Novel

“Body on the Bayou” by Ellen Byron
“Quiet Neighbors” by Catriona McPherson
“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny
“Fogged Inn” by Barbara Ross
“Say No More” by Hank Phillippi Ryan

 

Best Historical Novel

“Whispers Beyond the Veil” by Jessica Estevao
“Get Me to the Grave on Time” by D.E. Ireland
“Delivering the Truth” by Edith Maxwell
“The Reek of Red Herrings” by Catriona McPherson
“Murder in Morningside Heights” by Victoria Thompson

 

Best First Novel

“Terror in Taffeta” by Marla Cooper
“Murder in G Major” by Alexia Gordon
“The Semester of Our Discontent” by Cynthia Kuhn
“Decanting a Murder” by Nadine Nettmann
“Design for Dying” by Renee Patrick

 

Best Short Story

"Double Jinx: A Bellissimo Casino Crime Caper Short Story" by Gretchen Archer

"The Best-Laid Plans" by Barb Goffman in Malice Domestic 11: Murder Most Conventional

"The Mayor and the Midwife" by Edith Maxwell in Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016

"The Last Blue Glass" by B.K. Stevens in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

"Parallel Play" by Art Taylor in Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning

 

Please visit www.malicedomestic.org for the nominations and winners in the Non-Fiction and Children/YA categories for the Agatha Awards for the 2016 books.

 

 

Time to get reading. Enjoy!  :-)

 

 

 

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The Edgar Awards – 2017

 

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Each year the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) awards the Edgar Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in 2016. The Edgar® Awards were presented at the annual banquet on April 27, 2017, in New York City. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!   :-)
 

The winners are noted in red. Click on the authors’ names for more information.


BEST NOVEL
“The Ex” by Alafair Burke
“Where It Hurts” by Reed Farrel Coleman
“Jane Steele” by Lyndsay Faye
“What Remains of Me” by Alison Gaylin
“Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley

 
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
“Under the Harrow” by Flynn Berry
“Dodgers” by Bill Beverly
“IQ” by Joe Ide
“The Drifter” by Nicholas Petrie
“Dancing with the Tiger” by Lili Wright
“The Lost Girls” by Heather Young

 
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
“Shot in Detroit” by Patricia Abbott
“Come Twilight” by Tyler Dilts
“The 7th Canon” by Robert Dugoni
“Rain Dogs” by Adrian McKinty
“A Brilliant Death” by Robin Yocum
“Heart of Stone” by James W. Ziskin


 
BEST FACT CRIME
“Morgue: A Life in Death” by Dr. Vincent DiMaio & Ron Franscell

“The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan” by Laurence Leamer

“Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder That Shocked Victorian England” by Paul Thomas Murphy

“While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness” by Eli Sanders

“The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer” by Kate Summerscale

  
BEST SHORT STORY
“Oxford Girl” – Mississippi Noir by Megan Abbott
“A Paler Shade of Death” – St. Louis Noir by Laura Benedict
“Autumn at the Automat” – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Lawrence Block
“The Music Room” – In Sunlight or in Shadow  by Stephen King
“The Crawl Space” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Joyce Carol Oates

 

BEST YOUNG ADULT
“Three Truths and a Lie” by Brent Hartinger
“The Girl I Used to Be” by April Henry
“Girl in the Blue Coat” by Monica Hesse
“My Sister Rosa” by Justine Larbalestier
“Thieving Weasels” by Billy Taylor


RAVEN AWARD

Dru Ann Love
  

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
“The Other Sister” by Dianne Dixon
“Quiet Neighbors” by Catriona McPherson
“Say No More” by Hank Phillippi Ryan
“Blue Moon” by Wendy Corsi Staub
“The Shattered Tree” by Charles Todd

 
Please visit www.theedgars.com for the Edgar Awards-2017 nominations and winners in the Juvenile, Critical/Biographical, and TV Episode Teleplay categories.

 

*Photo credit: Mystery Writers of America

 

 

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Halloween Mystery List – 2016

 

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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-two titles in our updated 2016 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

Susan Boles – Death of a Wolfman

Lilian Jackson Braun – Cat Who Talked to Ghosts

Rita Mae Brown – The Litter of the Law

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

Kathi Daley – Haunted Hamlet; Murder at the Witching Hour

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

Ed McBain – Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery

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 2016, please let us know what you thought.

 

Happy Spooky Reading!  :-)

 

 

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Macavity Awards 2016

 

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There are three mystery awards given at Bouchercon, the international mystery fanfest held in New Orleans this year. The list of Anthony Award finalists can be read here. The Shamus Award finalists can be seen here. The other great award is the Macavity Award.

 

Members, friends, and supporters of Mystery Readers International, as subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal, choose the Macavity Award nominees and winners. Mystery Readers International is the brainchild of the Fabulous Janet Rudolph.

This year’s finalists were published in 2015. The winners are indicated in red.

2016 Macavity Award Finalists


Best Mystery:
"Little Black Lies" by Sharon Bolton
"The Long and Faraway Gone" by Lou Berney  
"The Hot Countries" by Tim Hallinan
"The Child Garden" by Catriona McPherson
"Life or Death" by Michael Robotham
"The Cartel" by Don Winslow


Best First Mystery
"Concrete Angel" by Patricia Abbott
"Past Crimes" by Glen Erik Hamilton
"The Killing Kind" by Chris Holm
"Where All Light Tends to Go" by David Joy
"The Unquiet Dead"  by Ausma Zehanat Khan
"On the Road with Del and Louise" by Art Taylor

Best Critical/Biographical
"The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story" by Martin Edwards
"A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie" by Kathryn Harkup
"Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald," edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan
"Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime" by Val McDermid
"The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett" by Nathan Ward

 

Best Short Story
"The Little Men" by Megan Abbott (MysteriousPress.com)
"On Borrowed Time" by Mat Coward (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, June 2015)
"Sob Sister" by Loren D. Estleman (Detroit Is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen, Tyrus)
"A Year Without Santa Claus" by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, January/February 2015)
"Quack and Dwight" by Travis Richardson (Jewish Noir, ed. Kenneth Wishnia, PM Press)
"A Joy Forever" by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March 2015)

 

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award
"The Masque of a Murderer" by Susanna Calkins
"A Gilded Grave" by Shelley Freydont
"Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo)" by C. Joseph Greaves
"The Lady from Zagreb" by Philip Kerr
"Secret Life of Anna Blanc" by Jennifer Kincheloe
"Dreaming Spies" by Laurie R. King

 

2015 Macavity Award winners were:


Best Mystery Novel  The Killer Next Door, by Alex Marwood

Best First Mystery Novel  Invisible City, by Julia Dahl

Best Mystery Short Story  “Honeymoon Sweet” by Craig Faustus Buck 

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award  A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson

 

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  :-)

 

 

 

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Shamus Award – 2016

 

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Bouchercon, the largest international mystery lovers convention, held in September this year, is a natural platform for several writing awards. In addition to the Anthony and Macavity Awards for excellence in mysteries, the PWA’s 2016 Shamus Awards were given for deserving Private Eye titles published in 2015.

 

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:

 

BEST PRIVATE EYE NOVEL
“Brutality” by Ingrid Thofts
“The Promise” by Robert Crais
“Dance of the Bones” by J.A. Jance
“Gumshoe” by Robert Leininge
“Brush Back” by Sara Paretsky

 

BEST FIRST PRIVATE EYE NOVEL
“The Do-Right” by Lisa Sandlin
“The Red Storm” by Grant Bywaters
“Night Tremors” by Matt Coyle
“Trouble in Rooster Paradise” by T.W. Emory
“Depth” by Lev Ac Rosen

 

BEST ORIGINAL PRIVATE EYE PAPERBACK
“Circling the Runway” by J.L. Abramo
“The Long Cold” by O'Neil De Noux
“Split to Splinters” by Max Everhart
“The Man in the Window” by Dana King
“Red Desert” by Clive Rosengren

 

BEST PRIVATE EYE SHORT STORY
"The Dead Client" by Parnell Hall (Dark City Lights: New York Stories)
"The Runaway Girl from Portland, Oregon" by C.B. Forrest (October 2015, AHMM)
"The Sleep of Death" by David Edgerley Gate (December 2016, AHMM)
"The Dead Detective" by Robert S. Levinson (Coast to Coast: Murder from Sea to Shining Sea)
"The Continental Opposite" by Evan Lewis(May 2015, AHMM)

 

THE EYE
(For Lifetime Achievement)  S.J. Rozan

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  :-)

 

 

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Texas Fiction – 2016 List

 

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Every once in a while, it’s fun to focus on regional fiction. It’s a chance for readers to concentrate on stories that take place in their favorite part of the world or an area that has aroused their curiosity. Sometimes, fans like to search for books written by authors that live in that region.

 

The Texas list of 36 authors is a mix of:

 

  • Authors who live there, but write books set elsewhere
  • Authors that have written novels set in Texas, but live elsewhere.
  • Authors who live in and write about Texas.

 

Click on the names to take you to the author sites.

 

Kathleen Rice Adams: “Prodigal Gun”

Susan Wittig Albert: “Blood Orange”

 

Linda Bingham: “Skyscraper Caper”

Parris Afton Bonds:  “Blue Bayou” box set

James Lee Burke: “House of the Rising Sun”

 

Valerie P Chandler: ‘Rota Fortunae’ in “Murder on Wheels”

Caroline Clemmons: “Angeline”

Catherine Coulter: “Nemesis”

Bill Crider: “Between the Living and the Dead”

 

Stephanie Jaye Evans:  "Safe from Harm"

Ann Everett: “Say You’ll Never Love Me”

 

Kay Finch: “The Black Cat Knocks on Wood”

Kinky Friedman – series about a Texan living in NYC

 

Meg Gardiner: “Phantom Instinct”  (reviewed here)

Kaye George: Imogene Duckworthy series, “Broke”

 

Linda Kozar: “Weighty Matters”

Billy Kring:  “Tonton”

 

Liz Lipperman:  “Chicken Caccia-Killer”

 

Nancy Martin: “Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything”

Larry McMurtry: “Lonesome Dove”

James Michener: “Texas”

 

Golden Keyes Parsons: “His Steadfast Love”

Mark Pryor: “Hollow Man”    

 

James Reasoner: “The Last War Chief”

Catie Rhodes:  “Rest Stop” 

Rick Riordan: “Rebel Island”

 

Terry Shames: “The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake”

Leann Sweeney: Yellow Rose Mystery Series

 

Livia Washburn: “Peach of a Murder”

Nancy G. West:  "Smart, but Dead"

George Wier: “Cold Rains”

Lori Wilde:  “Love of the Game”

Lynn Chandler Willis: “Wink of an Eye”  (reviewed here)

Manning Wolfe:  "Dollar Signs"

Reavis Z. Wortham:  “Dark Places”

 

Celia Yeary:  “Annalisa”

 

 

Have fun choosing from this great list of Texas fiction.  :-)

 

 

 

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