Author and former CBC Radio Noon host Louise Penny became part of the Order of Canada Friday in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Penny is a New York Times bestselling author whose work includes the award-winning Armand Gamache series of murder mysteries. The Order of Canada has been celebrating exceptional Canadians for 50 years as the country's highest civilian honor.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, crime fiction author Val McDermid was among those named as one of 60 new Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).
The latest Literary Salon courtesy of Mystery Readers NorCal will feature author Deborah Crombie on February 23. Crombie is the bestselling author of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series set in England, and her novels have received Edgar, Agatha, and Macavity Award nominations. For information and to RSVP, visit the Mystery Fanfare site.
On February 25-26, the annual Whidbey Island Mystery Weekend in Langley, Washington, returns to offer up a murder mystery. The entire town participates, and they invite visitors to join in to take on the role of sleuth and see if they can find the guilty character.
The NYC Center for Fiction's "Women in Crime Fiction" panel was so successful, they've scheduled a second installment of the wildly popular event for March 16, 2017. Featured authors who will celebrate contemporary women writers of crime, mystery and thriller genres include Susan Isaacs, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lisa Lutz and Laura Joh Rowland with moderator SJ Rozan.
The CrimeFest conference in the UK has established two new awards this year, adding Best YA (ages 12-16) and Best Children's (ages 8-12) Crime Novel categories to their regular slate of the Audible Sounds of Crime award, eDunnit award, Last Laugh award, and the H.R.F. Keating Award. The convention is held annually in Bristol and draws top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world. (HT to EuroCrime)
BookRiot is giving away a haul of 10 excellent mysteries and thrillers, including a new collection of Arthur Conan Doyle’s gothic tales, Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, and more, as part of a promotion for their new mystery/thriller newsletter, Unusual Suspects. Interested folks can enter through February 26.
Mystery Scene's Winter Issue #148 features an interview with Belinda Bauer, a writer who vaulted onto the UK's crime scene with her first novel, Blacklands; a discussion between Craig Sisterson and E.O. Chirovici whose first English-language thriller created a publishing feeding frenzy; Jon L. Breen has an overview of recent legal thrillers; Andy Martin interviews bestselling Scottish author Ian Rankin, who was originally fated for a career in accounting; Oline Cogdill has a profile of April Smith about how she rode with cowboys, branded a cow, and attended cattle auctions and barbecues at ranches to research her latest novel; Lawrence Block ponders the possibilities of becoming a successful writer - without writing a thing; and Mystery Scene's critics shared their annual "Fave Raves," a roundup of 2016's very best.
The latest edition of Yellow Mama is also out as it celebrates the ezine's 10-year anniversary with five anniversary reprints, as well as new stories and poems.
Devil in a Blue Dress, the 1990 mystery novel by Walter Mosley, will be the "One Book, One Michiana" selection for 2017 for South Bend, Indiana. Community residents will be encouraged to read the book, and participate in a series of related discussions, lectures, film screenings and other events this spring. Devil in a Blue Dress was Mosley’s first published book and focuses on black war veteran Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins and his transformation from a day laborer into a detective. The story is set in 1948 in the Watts area of Los Angeles.
You probably think you know the legend of the Lone Ranger from radio, television and graphic novels. The real "Lone Ranger," it turns out, was an African American man named Bass Reeves, although many aspects of his life were written out of the story, including his ethnicity. The basics remained the same: a lawman hunting bad guys, accompanied by a Native American, riding on a white horse, and with a silver trademark.
Readers who enjoy learning more about true crime tales might check out Bustle's list of "9 books for true crime nuts who just can't get enough," ranging from the contemporary (Trayvon Martin) to a murder mystery in the Arctic dating from 1941.
The New York Post profiled the history of the "controversial test could cost you your job or your kids," a/k/a the Rorschach test, and how it has influenced culture, including forensic settings, evaluating patients in custody disputes, personal-injury lawsuits and competency to stand trial, even noir movies. Psychiatrists also used them to study Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg trials.
Would you like to help solve an astronomical mystery? You might be able to soon, with the help of your cellphone.
This week's featured crime poem at the 5-2 is "Mister Bellamy" by Charles Rammelkamp, and the latest pulp story at Beat to a Pulp is "I Love a Sunburnt Country" by Kieran Shea (with Cameron Ashley).
In the Q&A roundup, Debbi Mack interviewed Paul D. Brazill for the Crime Cafe podcast about his writing and latest novel, Too Many Crooks; the Mystery People welcomed Sarah Pinborough to discuss her new genre-bending tale of psychological suspense, Behind Her Eyes; the Hull Daily Mail spoke with Jane Harper about the surprising roots behind her new bestseller The Dry (which was optioned by Reece Witherspoon's production company); and The Book People snagged Joe Lansdale to talk about his latest Hap & Leonard works, including Rusty Puppy, as well as a novella, and an installment that takes the characters back to their early years.