mystery

Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction – 2019

 

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.”

Congratulations to the finalists and winner (noted in red) for the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction:

 

“The Boat People” by Sharon Bala


“Class Action” by Steven B. Frank


“The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey
 

 As in the past, readers had a chance to participate in choosing the winner. Voting closed at 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, June 30. The award ceremony took place in late August during the Library of Congress National Book Festival.

 

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”

 

2017 – James Grippando, “Gone Again”

 

2018 – C.E. Tobisman, “Proof.”

 

 

The National Park Mystery Series by Scott Graham

 

The National Park Mystery Series, by Scott Graham, features contract archaeologist Chuck Bender, Chuck’s paramedic wife, Janelle Ortega, and Chuck’s new stepdaughters. The contract archeological work moves Chuck Bender and the family to different parks each summer vacation, setting the scene for stories dealing with environmental, political, and social justice issues. Janelle lends her objective suggestions to help solve the mysteries, sometimes uses her paramedic expertise, and always displays a steadying influence on Chuck and the girls.

 

The series began in the Grand Canyon with “Canyon Sacrifice,” a resounding success as a debut novel. A kidnapping and a murder place the family in harm’s way on the Bender honeymoon camping trip as Chuck navigates parenthood and spousal responsibilities for the first time. Readers will be mesmerized by Graham’s imageries of the Grand Canyon and the achievements/artifacts of the ancient Anasazi Indians that Bender discovered on an earlier contract dig. Prepare to be swept into the world of outdoor recreation and the wonders of archeology in the West.

 

Book #2, “Mountain Rampage,” moves Bender and the family to Rocky Mountain National Park where he runs a college archeology field school. The book takes place over a three-day period, with murder and mayhem that involves his brother-in-law and false accusations, and plenty of adventure to go around.

 

“Yellowstone Standoff,” set in Yellowstone National Park, has a hair-raising premise involving rogue wolves, grizzlies, and a murdered researcher. As always, Graham delivers breathtaking descriptions of the wild and puts the reader in the middle of the terrifying action. An exciting page-turner, and the Bender family is smack dab in the middle of it all.

 

Book #4, “Yosemite Fall,” brings Janelle and the older daughter more to the forefront of the multi-layered storylines, with a rock-climbing competition, a deadly reunion, and a contract to solve a 150-year-old mystery as the backdrop. Janelle and Chuck are the suspects in a present-day murder, and once again, the national park is a character in the book.

 

“Arches Enemy” is the fifth entry in the National Park Mystery Series. It’s set in Utah, not too far from Graham’s home in southwest Colorado. What seems like a straight forward accidental death turns into something much more. An astounding archeological find that disrupts the known timeline of interaction between several Native American tribes, is threatened by a fracking operation, and the locals are being manipulated by an unlikely source.

 

The core characters have developed naturally with each book as Chuck and his immediate family respond to the unfolding narratives and explore their evolving relationships. The mother subplot in “Arches Enemy” feels like Chuck is trying to herd cats – words have no influence and she is going to do what she wants to anyway. Her effect on the plot will curl your hair and remind you how nice your own mother is.

 

Chuck is still learning his role as a step-dad in “Arches Enemy” – what works and what doesn’t. He’s been used to making decisions without regard for the impact on others, sometimes being unnecessarily hot-headed. Janelle reigns in well-meaning Chuck when she can in their personal life and supports his fascinating professional endeavors, as long as the family remains safe.

 

Graham’s books are especially topical given our real-world loss of national park acreage to recent administration policy, which has been chipping away at the protected lands, potentially losing ancient sites, all for the search for oil and other energy sources.


The official launch date for “Arches Enemy” is June 11th. Look for it.  🙂
 

Please visit www.scottfranklingraham.com for more information about Graham and his work.
 

 

 

Book List: Author Liz Mugavero

 

Liz Mugavero, a delightful New England writer that lives in Connecticut, has written two series, both 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.

 

As Liz Mugavero:  www.lizmugavero.com

 

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”  – coming in June, 2019. Look for it!

 

 

You can read Liz Mugavero’s Author Profile here.

 

Liz has a new series is in the works (also as Liz Mugavero). The first title in The Full Moon Mystery series is "Witch Hunt." Look for it next year.

 

Happy Reading!  🙂 

 

 

 

 

2019 Anthony Awards

 

The 2019 Anthony Awards will be handed out at The World Mystery Convention (usually referred to as Bouchercon) in November, 2019. 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 2019 Anthony Awards were chosen by attendees at the 2018 convention, as well as early registrants for the 2019 event. The recognized works were published during 2018 and the finalists will be voted upon by the 2019 Bouchercon attendees. The winners will be announced that weekend. Congratulations to all the nominees! (Links included to highlighted short story titles.)

BEST NOVEL

  • Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
  • November Road by Lou Berney
  • Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
  • Sunburn by Laura Lippman
  • Blackout by Alex Segura


BEST FIRST NOVEL

  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Broken Places by Tracy Clark
  • Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver
  • What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix
  • Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin


BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL

  • Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett
  • If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin
  • Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara
  • Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day
  • A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin


BEST SHORT STORY


BEST CRITICAL OR NONFICTION WORK

  • Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin
  • Mastering Plot Twists: How To Use Suspense, Targeted Storytelling Strategies, and Structure To Captivate Your Readers by Jane K. Cleland
  • Pulp According to David Goodis by Jay A. Gertzman
  • Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger
  •  I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman


Plenty of time to get your read on and choose your favorites.  🙂

 

 

CrimeFest 2019

 

CrimeFest Awards began as a variation of the USA’s Left Coast Crime Awards and has become one of the best crime fiction conferences in Europe. In most cases, eligible titles for the various awards were submitted by publishers, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title. The 2019 awards for 2018 books/titles were presented at a dinner held on Saturday, May 11th.


Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (indicated in red). Click on the book titles to discover more about the nominees and winners.


The Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best unabridged crime audiobook first published in the UK in 2018 in both printed and audio formats.
– Ben Aaronovitch for Lies Sleeping, read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
– Louise Candlish for Our House, read by Deni Francis & Paul Panting
– Bill Clinton & James Patterson for The President Is Missing, read by Dennis Quaid, January LaVoy, Peter Ganim, Jeremy Davidson, Mozhan Marnò and Bill Clinton
– Robert Galbraith for Lethal White, read by Robert Glenister
– Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen for The Wife Between Us, read by Julia Whelan
– Stephen King for The Outsider, read by Will Patton
– Clare Mackintosh for Let Me Lie, read by Gemma Whelan & Clare Mackintosh
– Peter May for I’ll Keep You Safe, read by Anna Murray & Peter Forbes
– Ian Rankin for In a House of Lies, read by James MacPherson
– Sarah Vaughan for Anatomy of a Scandal, read by Julie Teal, Luke Thompson, Esther Wane and Sarah Feathers


eDUNNIT AWARD is for the best crime fiction ebook published in both hardcopy and in electronic format.
– Leye Adenle for When Trouble Sleeps
– Steve Cavanagh for Thirteen
– Martin Edwards for Gallows Court
– Laura Lippman for Sunburn
– Khurrum Rahman for Homegrown Hero
– Andrew Taylor for The Fire Court
– Sarah Ward for The Shrouded Path


LAST LAUGH AWARD is for the best humorous crime novel.
– Simon Brett for A Deadly Habit
– Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May – Hall of Mirrors
– Mario Giordano for Auntie Poldi and the Fruits of the Lord
– Mick Herron for London Rules
– Khurrum Rahman for Homegrown Hero
– Lynne Truss for A Shot in the Dark
– Antti Tuomainen for Palm Beach Finland
– Olga Wojtas for Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar


H.R.F. KEATING AWARD is for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction.
– Nils Clausson for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Art of Fiction
– Brian Cliff for Irish Crime Fiction
– Glen S. Close for Female Corpses in Crime Fiction
– Laura Joyce & Henry Sutton for Domestic Noir
– Barry Forshaw for Historical Noir
– Steven Powell for The Big Somewhere: Essays on James Ellroy’s Noir World
– James Sallis for Difficult Lives – Hitching Rides


BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR CHILDREN nominees:
– P.G. Bell for The Train to Impossible Places
– Fleur Hitchcock for Murder At Twilight
– S.A. Patrick for A Darkness of Dragons
– Dave Shelton for The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery
– Lauren St. John for Kat Wolfe Investigates
– Nicki Thornton for The Last Chance Hotel


BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR YOUNG ADULTS nominees:
– David Almond for The Colour of the Sun
– Mel Darbon for Rosie Loves Jack
– Julia Gray for Little Liar
– Tom Pollock for White Rabbit, Red Wolf
– Nikesh Shukla for Run, Riot
– Neal & Jarrod Shusterman for Dry


THE PETRONA AWARD celebrates the best of Scandinavian crime fiction. The winner this year is Norwegian writer, Jorn Lier Horst, for “The Katharina Code.”
 

Happy Reading!

 

 

“Dying on Edisto” by C. Hope Clark

 

Carolina Slade trips over a body while checking out seagrass for a hat-making class and her vacation suddenly gets interesting. Slade and Largo are a few hours from home, staying at a beach cottage near Indigo Plantation on Edisto Island. Largo, a federal agent and Slade’s significant other, has been known to assist Slade on a case or two. This time, in “Dying on Edisto,” she unhappily babysits the body while he reports the death.

 

But, this is Edisto Island, Callie Morgan’s neighborhood. Callie is the Police Chief in Edisto Beach, just a few minutes down the road. Morgan just happens to be at Indigo, the new resort/B&B on the island, doing a meet and greet with the manager. But the meet and greet is interrupted before it really gets underway when Largo reports the body and Morgan and her deputy have to check it out. And we wonder…whose book is this – Slade’s or Morgan’s?

 

What ensues is an entertaining mashup between C. Hope Clark’s two successful mystery series, Carolina Slade Mysteries and Edisto Island Mysteries. The backgrounds of both women tie the two series together as Clark skillfully compares their stories and personalities through dialogue and internal thoughts. 

 

Morgan is inexplicably assigned to run the murder investigation (which is outside her own jurisdiction), raising eyebrows in the Edisto Beach town council and causing her problems all around. The reason? That would be telling. 😉

 

The colorful cast of characters in “Dying on Edisto” includes a self-proclaimed pirate, an unpleasant travel blogger, an overbearing officer from the Sheriff’s department, a protective family, and Callie’s yoga teacher pal, but Callie Morgan’s efficient staff is also on hand at the Edisto Beach station, with her deputy supportive/protective as always. Clark takes time to develop intriguing subplots, so when we discover the reasons behind the behavior of some of the main characters, the pieces of the story fall neatly into place. 

 

The setting itself, the coastal South Carolina hot weather environment surrounding the Indigo Plantation, is an additional, fully fleshed out, vivid character in “Dying on Edisto.” Between the sudden storms, the treks through the mud and dark water, the bugs in the woods, and the sticky humidity, the book will give you an authentic insider’s look at life in the South during the summer.

 

With an interesting storyline, two strong women at the helm, and a surprise ending, “Dying on Edisto” will more than satisfy fans of both series.

 

For more information about C. Hope Clark’s award-winning work in fiction and non-fiction, please visit www.chopeclark.com    

 

             

Book List: Edith Maxwell

 

Edith Maxwell is a prolific writer of absorbing, wonderful mysteries. Each of her series feature strong, independent women, with true-to-life intelligent, sometimes challenging, families and an always intriguing boyfriend. The stories are layered, the characters are complex, and the mysteries are well drawn. Click on the book titles and fall into a great read.      


as Edith Maxwell:

Quaker Midwife Mysteries  The Agatha-nominated historical series features unconventional Quaker midwife Rose Carroll in late 1880s Amesbury, Massachusetts.
 

Delivering the Truth”   review here

Called to Justice

Turning the Tide” 

Charity’s Burden

 

The Local Foods Mysteries feature novice organic farmer Cameron Flaherty and take place in the town of Westbury, Massachusetts.

 

A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die”  review here

’Til Dirt Do Us Part

Farmed and Dangerous

Murder Most Fowl

Mulch Ado About Murder

 

as Maddie Day:

The Country Store Mysteries feature Robbie Jordan and Pans ‘N Pancakes, her country store/ restaurant in fictional South Lick, Indiana.
 

Flipped for Murder

Grilled for Murder”    review here

When the Grits Hit the Fan

Biscuits and Slashed Browns

Death over Easy

“Strangled Eggs and Ham” – coming 6/19

 

Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries are set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and feature Mackenzie Almeida and her sleuthing book club members.

 

Murder on Cape Cod”  review here – recently released.

 

 

as Tace Baker: 

The Lauren Rousseau Mysteries feature Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau, a self-reliant, multi-talented woman who finds herself involved in college politics, local Massachusetts intrigue, and bodies.

Speaking of Murder”  review here

Bluffing is Murder”  review here

 

Short Fiction

The following stories of "murderous revenge and other crimes" were originally published in anthologies or magazines. Many have been republished as standalone short stories.

“An Ominous Silence” appears in Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories

“The Unfortunate Death of Mrs. Edna Fogg” in Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical 

 “Murder in the Summer Kitchen” in Murder Among Friends: Mysteries Inspired by the Life and Works of John Greenleaf Whittier. 

“The Mayor and the Midwife” in Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 

“Adam and Eva,” – free read on Kings River Life Magazine

“A Questionable Death” was originally published in the History and Mystery, Oh My! anthology and is a free read over at Kings River Life Magazine.

“Just Desserts for Johnny”

“Pickled” in That Mysterious Woman

“A Fire in Carriagetown” first appeared as “Breaking the Silence” in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold 

“The Stonecutter,” first appeared in Fish Nets: the Second Guppy Anthology

“Reduction in Force” was first published in Thin Ice: Crime Stories by New England Writers 

“Yatsuhashi for Lance” was originally published as “Obake for Lance” in Riptide: Crime Stories by New England Writers.

“An Idea for Murder,” first appeared (written as Tace Baker) in the Burning Bridges: A Renegade Fiction Anthology.

“The Importance of Blood”

“A Divination of Death” appears in Malice Domestic 13: Mystery Most Geographical.

“Sushi Lessons” appears in Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible.

“An Intolerable Intrusion” appears in Edgar Allen Cozy.

 

For more information about Edith and her writing life, read the Author Profile (first published two years ago this week)  here.

 

Happy Reading!  🙂