The longlist for the Crime Writers Association 2017 Dagger in the Library was officially announced last week. The Dagger in the Library (a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire) is one of the most prestigious crime writing awards in the UK. This year's finalists include Alison Bruce; Kate Ellis; Chris Ewan; Tana French; Mari Hannah; Brian MacGilloway; James Oswald; C J Samson; Andrew Taylor, and Nicola Upson.
The Audio Publishers Association announced the finalists for the 22nd annual Audie Awards, which recognize distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment, and include Best Mystery and Best Thriller categories.
The Open University/Institute of English Studies Contemporary Culture of Writing Seminars are presenting a Spring Seminar Series On Detective and Crime Fiction, beginning April 21 at the Senate House in Malet Street, London. Speakers at these free events will tackle such topics as how crime novels reflect contemporary politics and culture; have advances in psychology, neuroscience and digital technology changed the fictional landscape; is there a gender divide in the type of crime fiction written by men and women; who are the victims – and who are the perpetrators; and does the crime always have to be solved?
The Golden Age of Crime Weekend at Essex Book Festival will take place on March 11-12 in Southend-on-Sea. This year's line-up includes Sophie Hannah. who will talk about writing the first Poirot novel since Agatha Christie's death; Frances Fyfield, Jill Paton Walsh and former CWA chair and Detection Club president Simon Brett will celebrate the long-lasting legacy of Dorothy L Sayers; debut crime writers join the "Fresh Blood" panel; there's a Golden Age of Crime Quiz Night; Charles Beck will share insights into Dennis Wheatley's life and work; Sheila Mitchell will profile HRF Keating; and CWA member Isabelle Grey will host a crime-writing workshop.
At the other end of the country, also in March on the 25th, the Deal Noir conference on crime fiction at The Landmark Centre in Deal will feature CWA members Susan Moody, Barry Forshaw, Katerina Diamond, Sarah Ward, Susi Holliday, Guy Fraser-Sampson speaking on crime fiction in all its forms from dark psychological thrillers through police procedurals to light-hearted romps and Interactive sessions where you have chance to put your questions to the panel and join in the debate.
The 2017 Edgar Week activities in NYC were recently announced, kicking off with an evening featuring members of Mystery Writers of America, the 2017 Edgar Award nominees, bestselling authors, and publisher representatives at the Mysterious Bookshop. There's also an all-day writers' symposium, and, of course, the annual Edgar Awards banquet.
There is a blog-centered Mystery Thriller "Week" (it's actually 11 days) that runs through February 22, with 220+ authors from over a dozen countries represented. You can follow the links to dozens of book reviews, author Q&As, guest posts, and giveaways via this website calendar.
Academics, authors and fans of the "Queen of Crime" will gather at Cambridge University to discuss Agatha Christie's legacy. Lucy Cavendish College will host Agatha Christie: A Reappraisal in June as "fans and fellow writers coming together to try and unravel the mysteries behind some of the best-loved crime fiction of all time."
One sad bit of news to report: Canadian YA writer Norah McClintock has died at the age of 64 from the effects of ovarian cancer. McClintock published over 60 books, including the popular Robyn Hunter mysteries, Chloe & Levesque mysteries, and the Mike & Riel mysteries. She won five Arthur Ellis Awards for crime fiction for young people, and her books have been translated into 16 languages. In addition to books for young adults, McClintock has published two graphic novels, I, Witness with Mike Deas and Tru Detective with Steven Hughes.
San Diego's Fleet Science Center just opened a new interactive exhibit titled "Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery." You can catch it through early June and try your hand at solving the mystery as you walk through several settings such as a carnival sideshow, a séance room and a caretaker's room, searching clues amid all the red herrings. When you think you know the name of the murderer, you'll enter the study to be questioned about your conclusions, and the mystery will be solved in a dramatic finale.
Another new exhibit coming up in April in Philadelphia will tackle "Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives," taking a historical look at criminals and detectives in fiction. Materials on display will include the earliest account of an American multiple murderer, the original manuscript of Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Empty House" and reflections on mystery collecting of Ellery Queen. Visitors willl also have a chance to test out their own sleuthing skills. (HT to Elizabeth Foxwell)
As filming gets underway for another series of ITV dramas featuring Rowan Atkinson playing Inspector Maigret, Penguin continues to publish its new translations of Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels at a rate of one a month. Of the 76 novels in the series, 63 take place in Paris, and because of that close relationship to setting, Crime Fiction Lover took a closer look "at the man and his city, with photography to depict the locations and the mood that the author established throughout the novels."
EuroCrime's Karen Meeks noted the publication of three new Agatha Christie-related crime fiction titles including a couple where the author herself stars as the sleuthing protagonist.
While much has been made about Agatha Christie's contribution to mysteries especially during her recent 125th anniversary celebrations, Criminal Element and Kristen Lepionka reminded us of other groundbreaking women in crime fiction.
A statistical analysis by Peking University Library showed that when its student body isn't reading course-assigned books about economics and politics, they are showing a preference for Japan's top thriller and mystery writer, Keigo Higashino. According to the report, Higashino's thriller Mysterious Night is the library's third-most borrowed book for 2016, and Higashino is also credited as having written the two most reserved books in Peking University Library, The Miracle in the Grocery Store as well as Journey Under the Midnight Sun.
Ever wonder how Sherlock Holmes got his name? Writing for LitHub, Michael Sims looks into the early history of the iconic detective's creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Sarah PInborough, author of new book Behind Her Eyes, compiled a list of the "Top 10 unreliable narrators From Edgar Allan Poe to Gillian Flynn" for The Guardian.
Fans of young adult crime fiction (or those of you who have family members who are) should check out this list of "5 YA Crime Families You’ll (Almost) Wish You Could Join" on the Barnes & Noble blog.
I'll bet this is one event commemorating Agatha Christie you haven't heard of - pancake day races in Wallingford featuring an Agatha Christie-themed challenge on Tuesday, February 28, with competitors dressed as villains and investigators. Even RAF Benson has agreed to send a team along to take part in the adult race.
Cracked profiled "20 Mysteries That Absolutely No One Can Solve" (although "no one" seems to be a bit of an exaggeration), fascinating real-life puzzles culled from historical events. (HT to Bill Crider)
This week's featured crime poem at the 5-2 is "Inquest: A Missing Person" by Daniel D'Arezzo.
In the Q&A roundup, Omnivoracious snagged author Louise Penny to interview author Deborah Crombie about the the latest in her very popular Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series; the Mystery People spoke with author Robert Knott, who took over Robert B. Parker’s Old West law duo Hitch and Cole; Chris Bell took Paul D. Brazill's "Short, Sharp Interview" challenge about his latest story collection; the Mystery People also chatted with KJ Howe, Director of ThrillerFest, who is making her fiction debut with Freedom Broker; and author/reporter Betty Webb was the Q&A subject for Huffington Post, talking about her Lena Jones mysteries.