In Reference to Murder: Mystery Melange

Mystery Melange

Mystery Melange

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The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists were announced this week. The nominees in the Mystery/Thriller category include A Beautiful Crime by Christopher Bollen; Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby; And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall; Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier; and These Women by Ivy Pochoda. Winners will be announced on April 16 via a live-streamed virtual ceremony on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. (The article is sheltered behind a paywall, but HT to Mystery Fanfare’s Janet Rudolph for this report.)

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has announced it will go ahead with in-person events later this year, after the UK government unveiled its roadmap out of lockdown. Taking place in Harrogate July 22-25, the Festival will celebrate with a range of author talks, panels, and special guests, as well as some hybrid events to ensure that audiences who are unable to travel can access the Festival. The full author lineup and ticket on-sale dates will be announced in the coming months. More information can be found at the official website which will be updated regularly. (HT to Shots Magazine blog)

The Bloody Scotland Crime Festival is taking a different approach, with a virtual international book club to be broadcast via Facebook Live. The club, being hosted in the absence of most physical literary festivals this spring, will launch on March 31 at 7 p.m. Thereafter, it will take place on the last Wednesday of every month, with rotating hosts from the board of Bloody Scotland and a variety of journalists, bloggers, podcasters, and booksellers.

Two more crime festivals in the UK are also going to be virtual this month and next. Hull Noir has a series of panels and events planned for March 18-21, kicked off by Peter Robinson in Conversation with Nick Quantrill, although the bulk of the activites will take place in a one-day festival on Saturday, March 21. Wales’s First Crime Fiction Festival, Gwyl Crime Cymru, will also hold free online events April 26-May 2, featuring a Q&A with CWA Diamond Dagger winner, Martin Edwards, and more events to be announced soon.

Some good news from the world of books and booksellers, as Bookshop.org announced it had raised one million for UK bookstores (after raising a similar amount for stores in the U.S.). The funds have been a lifeline for many indie shops, so if you're looking to help out your local indies but they don't have their own website, this is a stopgap measure.

More sad news to report from the crime fiction world: author Paul D. Marks has passed away after a brief bout with cancer. His novel White Heat, a mystery-thriller set during the Rodney King riots of 1992, won the first Shamus Award for Independent Private Eye Novel from the Private Eye Writers of America. He also penned numerous short stories that have appeared in dozens of publications and been award finalists. In addition, he served on the boards of the Los Angeles chapters of Sisters in Crime and the Mystery Writers of America and was a blogger for Seven Criminal Minds and SleuthSayers. His passing was reported on Facebook by Josh Pachter.

NPR reported on how Bellingcat's online sleuths are solving global crimes using open source information on the internet.

Here's a real-life literary mystery solved by modern forensic technology.

The Wall Street Journal magazine wondered if it's time to kill the book blurb.

Oops. A Canada spy agency recruiting ad that used a line from a John Le Carré spy thriller probably should have vetted that quote first.

Last weekend's Saturday Night Live program on NBC had a fun little parody that crime fans might find amusing.

The latest flash fiction offering at Pulp Modern Flash is "The Shovel" by Alan Orloff.

The latest crime poem at the 5-2 Weekly is "I Should've Known by Jess Chua."

In the Q&A roundup, CWA Diamond Dagger winner, Robert Goddard, chatted with Shots Magazine's Ali Karim about his latest book, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection, which follows a widowed middle-aged Japanese female detective; Craig Sisterson's latest 9mm Interview featured award-winning the Uruguayan lawyer, journalist, and author, Mercedes Rosende; and E.B. Davis chatted with Maria DiRico (a/k/a Ellen Byron) about her latest Catering Hall Mystery over at the Writers Who Kill blog.


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