Short Stories/Collection

Halloween Mystery List – 2022

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 eighty-four titles in our updated 2022 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

 

Thea Cambert – Halloween at Pumpkin Hill

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

Leighann Dobbs – Halloween Party Murder

Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat with an Emerald Eye

Kaitlyn Dunnett – Vampires, Bones, and Treacle Scones

 

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

Kelly Hashway – Halloween Homicide

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

 

Sybil Johnson – Designed for Haunting

Daniel Judson – The Violet Hour

Heather Justesen – Muffins & Murder

 

Jenny Kales – A Stew to A Kill

Tonya Kappes – A Halloween Homicide

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

Kathleen Suzette – Gnome for Halloween

 

Rebecca Tope – Death in the Cotswolds

Diane Vallere – Masking for Trouble

Kirsten Weiss – Gourd to Death

Linnea West Halloween Hayride Murder

 

If you’ve read any books in the Halloween Mystery List for 2022, please let us know what you thought.

Happy Spooky reading.   

2022 – Macavity Awards

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members and friends of Mystery Readers International, and subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal. The winners were announced in September at BoucherCon in. 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, Janet Rudolph.

 

Best Mystery Novel

  • Michael Connelly: The Dark Hours
  • S.A. Cosby: Razorblade Tears
  • Val McDermid: 1979
  • Alan Parks: Bobby March Will Live Forever
  • Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End
  • Colson Whitehead: Harlem Shuffle

Best First Mystery Novel

  • Alexandra Andrews: Who is Maude Dixon?
  • Abigail Dean: Girl A
  • Erin Flanagan: Deer Season
  • Mia P. Manansala: Arsenic and Adobo
  • Wanda M. Morris: All Her Little Secrets

Best Short Mystery  

  • Tracy Clark: “Lucky Thirteen” (Midnight Hour, Crooked Lane Books)
  • Richard Helms: “Sweeps Week” (EQMM, July/August 2021)
  • Steve Hockensmith: “Curious Incidents” (EQMM, January/February 2021)
  • R.T. Lawton: “The Road to Hana” (AHMM, May/June 2021)
  • G.M. Malliet: “The White Star” (EQMM, July/August 2021)
  • Gigi Pandian: “The Locked Room Library” (EQMM, July/August 2021)
  • Dave Zeltserman: “Julius Katz and the Two Cousins” (EQMM, July/August 2021)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery 

  • Rhys Bowen: The Venice Sketchbook
  • Naomi Hirahara: Clark and Division
  • Susan Elia MacNeal: The Hollywood Spy
  • Sujata Massey: The Bombay Prince
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Velvet was the Night
  • Lori Rader-Day: Death at Greenway                                                                                                                                                                     

Shamus Awards – 2022

The 2022 Shamus Award Winners, for private eye novels and short stories first published in the United States in 2021, have been announced. PWA’s (Private Eye Writers of America) definition of a Private Eye: a person paid to investigate crimes who is not employed by a government agency. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (noted in red).

BEST PI HARDCOVER
RUNNER  by Tracy Clark
LAST REDEMPTION  by Matt Coyle
PAY OR PLAY  by Howard Michael Gould
FAMILY BUSINESS  by S. J. Rozan
HEAD CASE  by Michael Wiley

 

BEST ORIGINAL PI PAPERBACK
EVERY CITY IS EVERY OTHER CITY  by John McFetridge
THE BURDEN OF INNOCENCE  by John Nardizzi
ANGELS IN THE WIND  by Manuel Ramos
FROG IN A BUCKET  by Clive Rosengren
AN EMPTY GRAVE  by Andrew Welsh-Huggins

 
BEST FIRST PI NOVEL
PORNO VALLEY  by Philip Elliot
A DEAD MAN’S EYES  by Lori Duffy Foster
SUBURBAN DICKS  by Fabian Nicieza
THE ARRANGEMENT  by M. Ravenel
LOST LITTLE GIRL  by Gregory Stout

 
BEST  PI SHORT STORY
DISPOSABLE WOMEN  by Michael Bracken (ToughCrime.com)
SIXTEEN LIES  by Matt Goldman (EQMM September/October)
SWEEPS WEEK  by Richard Helms (EQMM July/August)
ORO DE TONTOS (FOOL’S GOLD)  by Tom Larsen (AHMM November/December)
THE HIDDEN PLACES  by Linda Stansberry (EQMM May/June)

 

 

 

Book List: Author Barbara Ross

 

Author Barbara Ross’ Maine Clambake Mysteries series is thoroughly entertaining with terrific writing, an engaging cast of core characters, intriguing murders, and the Maine setting that is a personality in itself. It is no wonder that the series has been nominated so often for top mystery awards. Our own NBR readers chose “Clammed Up” as a Top Ten read for that year. I have tried several of the delicious recipes in the books and can report that they are tasty and easy to make.

 

Click on the titles and check out the books:

Maine Clambake Mysteries:

Clammed Up”   (review here)

Boiled Over

Musseled Out”  (review here)

Fogged Inn”     (review here)

Iced Under

Stowed Away”  (It won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Truly an excellent read.)

Steamed Open” (review here)

Sealed Off

Shucked Apart

Muddled Through” (out now)


Jane Darrowfield Mysteries:

Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody” (First in the series, review here, part of the ‘Four Books, Four Genres’ post)

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door” (shortlisted for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction)


Shorter Stories:

Nogged Off” standalone novella 4.5 in the Clambake series

Logged On” – standalone novella 6.5 in the Clambake series – pre-order

Hallowed Out” – standalone novella 7.5 in the Clambake series – pre-order

“Scared Off” – novella in “Halloween Party Murder


Stand Alone:
The Death of an Ambitious Woman


Buy them all and Enjoy!  🙂

 

 

The Agatha Awards – 2021 Books

 

The winners of the Agatha Awards for 2021 Books (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2021. The awards were given to mystery and crime writers during the live Malice Domestic conference on April 23, 2022.

 

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.

 

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

Best Contemporary Novel
Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron 

Watch Her by Edwin Hill 
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan 
Symphony Road by Gabriel Valjan


Best Historical Novel
Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara 
The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey 
Death at Greenway by Lori Rader-Day 
The Devil’s Music by Gabriel Valjan 

 

Best First Novel
The Turncoat’s Widow by Mally Becker 

A Dead Man’s Eyes by Lori Duffy Foster 
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala 
Murder in the Master by Judy L. Murray 
Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes 

 

Best Short Story
“A Family Matter”
by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb 2021)

“A Tale of Two Sisters” by Barb Goffman in Murder on the Beach (Destination Murders)
“Doc’s at Midnight” by Richie Narvaez in Midnight Hour (Crooked Lane Books)
“The Locked Room Library” by Gigi Pandian (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine July/Aug 2021)
“Bay of Reckoning” by Shawn Reilly Simmons in Murder on the Beach (Destination Murders)

 

Best Non-Fiction
The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston’s Struggle for Justice 
by Jan Brogan 

Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter by Chris Chan 
The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge, and the Phoenix Park Murders that Stunned Victorian England by Julie Kavanaugh 
How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America by MWA with editors Lee Child and Laurie R. King 

 

Best Children’s/YA Mystery
Cold-Blooded Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce 

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur 
I Play One on TV by Alan Orloff 
Leisha’s Song by Lynn Slaughter 
Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer 

 

 

 

2022 Valentine’s Day Mysteries and Fiction

Are you a fan of holiday themed reading? Published between 2016 and 2022, here is an updated  list of thirty novels, novellas, and short stories centered around Valentine’s Day. Be prepared to sigh, or giggle, or be entranced by the selection. Click on the titles to discover more about the books and enjoy!

 

Jennifer S. Alderson  Death by Baguette

Carolyn Arnold  Valentine’s Day is Murder

 

Belle Bailey  A Sugar Maple Valentine

Patti Benning  Tall, Dark, and Deadly

Bellamy Bloom & Addison Moore  Murder Bites

Franky A. Brown  What Happened to Romance?

 

Susan Carroll The Valentine’s Day Ball

Cherry Christensen  Secret Valentine

Colleen Cross  Witching for Love on Valentine’s Day

 

Sylvia Damsell  A Valentine Wish

Steve Demaree A Valentine Murder

Liz Dodwell Valentine’s Day: a Polly Parrett Pet-Sitter Cozy

Jessica L. Elliott Operation: Romance

 

Tammy Falkner A Valentine’s Day Miracle

Deborah Garner  A Flair for Truffles

Patricia Gligor Marnie Malone

Donna Grant  My Fiery Valentine

 

Holly Hepburn Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence

Liwen Y. Ho Romantically Ever After

June McCrary Jacobs Handmade Hearts

 

Libby Klein  Theater Nights Are Murder

Jackie Lau  A Big Surprise for Valentine’s Day

Lia London Love from A to Z

 

Ava Mallory & nine more authors Stirring Up Love & Mystery

Jenn McKinlay  Royal Valentine

Leslie Meier  Valentine Candy Murder

Mobile Writers Guild Valentine’s Day Pieces (Anthology)

Addison Moore & Bellamy Bloom  Sealed with a Hiss

 

Summer Prescott A Blossom of Murder

Amy M. Reade  Be My Valencrime

 

Happy Reading!

 

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!

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