Monday, 25 January 2021

2021 Edgar® Nominees

January 25, 2021, New York, NY - Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 212th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honouring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2020. The 75th Annual Edgar® Awards will be celebrated on April 29, 2021. 

Best Novel

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Penguin Random House – Random House)

Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney (Poisoned Pen Press)

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Penguin Random House - Pamela Dorman Books)

These Women by Ivy Pochoda (HarperCollins Publishers – Ecco)

The Missing American by Kwei Quartey (Soho Press – Soho Crime)

The Distant Dead by Heather Young (HarperCollins Publishers - William Morrow)

Best First Novel by an American Author

Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March (Minotaur Books)

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen (Simon & Schuster – Gallery Books)

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (HarperCollins Publishers -Ecco)

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel (Penguin Random House – Berkley)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole (HarperCollins Publishers - William Morrow) 

The Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman (Blackstone Publishing) 

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer) 

The Keeper by Jessica Moor (Penguin Random House - Penguin Books) 

East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman (HarperCollins Publishers - Harper 360) 

BEST FACT CRIME

Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America by Mark A. Bradley (W.W. Norton & Company) 

The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia by Emma Copley Eisenberg (Hachette Book Group – Hachette Books) 

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre (Simon & Schuster - Scribner) 

Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch (Penguin Random House – Random House) 

Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife by Ariel Sabar (Penguin Random House - Doubleday) 

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL 

Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper360/Collins Crime Club) 

Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane (Chicago Review Press) 

Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery & Fiction by Erin E. MacDonald (McFarland) Guilt Rules All: Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction by Elizabeth Mannion & Brian Cliff (Syracuse University Press) 

This Time Next Year We'll be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press) 

BEST SHORT STORY 

"The Summer Uncle Cat Came to Stay," by Leslie Elman Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Dell Magazines) 

"Dust, Ash, Flight,Addis Ababa Noir by Maaza Mengiste (Akashic Books) 

"Fearless," California Schemin' by Walter Mosley (Wildside Press) 

"Etta at the End of the World," by Joseph S. Walker Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (Dell Magazines) 

The Twenty-Five Year Engagement,” by James W. Ziskin In League with Sherlock Holmes (Pegasus Books – Pegasus Crime) 

BEST JUVENILE 

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Workman Publishing - Algonquin Young Readers) 

Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (Penguin Random House Canada - Puffin Canada) From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (HarperCollins Children's Books - Katherine Tegen Books) 

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor (Penguin Young Readers – Viking BFYR) 

Nessie Quest by Melissa Savage (Random House Children's Books - Crown BFYR) 

Coop Knows the Scoop by Taryn Souders (Sourcebooks Young Readers) 

BEST YOUNG ADULT

The Companion by Katie Alender (Penguin Young Readers – G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR) 

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown BFYR) 

They Went Left by Monica Hesse (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown BFYR) 

Silence of Bones by June Hur (Macmillan Children’s Books – Feiwel & Friends) 

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus (Penguin Random House – Delacorte Press) 

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY 

Episode 1, The Stranger” – Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, Written by Danny Brocklehurst (Netflix) 

Episode 1, Open Water” – The Sounds, Written by Sarah-Kate Lynch (Acorn TV) 

Episode 1, Photochemistry” – Dead Still, Written by John Morton (Acorn TV) 

Episode 1” – Des, Written by Luke Neal (Sundance Now) 

What I Know” – The Boys, Written by Rebecca Sonnenshine, based on the comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson (Amazon) 


ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD

"The Bite,” Tampa Bay Noir by Collette Bancroft (Akashic Books) 

****** 

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD 

Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredericks (Minotaur Books) 

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart (Minotaur Books) 

The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow) 

The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books) 

Cold Wind by Paige Shelton (Minotaur Books) 

THE G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS SUE GRAFTON MEMORIAL AWARD

The Burn by Kathleen Kent (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books) 

Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King (Penguin Random House – Ballantine Books) 

Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House Books) 

Dead Land by Sara Paretsky (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow) 

The Sleeping Nymph by Ilaria Tuti (Soho Press – Soho Crime) 

Turn to Stone by James W. Ziskin (Start Publishing – Seventh Street Books) 


SPECIAL AWARDS 

GRAND MASTER 

Jeffrey Deaver 

Charlaine Harris 

RAVEN AWARD 

Malice Domestic 

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD 

Reagan Arthur, Publisher – Alfred A. Knopf 

We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Ellery Queen award is Reagan Arthur. She is currently the publisher at Alfred A. Knopf, after a lengthy career in editorial and editorial development. Amongst the authors she has worked with over the years include names like Michael Connelly and Kate Atkinson, and also the enormously successful Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. When informed of her selection as recipient of the Ellery Queen Award, Ms. Arthur commented, "Crime fiction has always been an important part of my life as a reader and as an editor. So it's a great honor to join the ilustrious list of recipiennts of the Ellery Queen Award, and to be selected by the MWA, an orgaanistation that has been done so much on behalf of writers, booksellers, and readers.”

****** 

The Edgar Awards, or “Edgars,” as they are commonly known, are named after MWA’s patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. 

Mystery Writers of America would like to emphasize our commitment to diversity and fairness in the judging of the Edgar Awards. Judges are selected from every region of the country, from every sub-category of our genre, and from every demographic to ensure fairness and impartiality. 


Sunday, 24 January 2021

February Books to Look Forward to From Bookouture

 

Kitty Underhay’s hymn book is open… at murder. Winter, 1933. Kitty Underhay is enjoying a restorative break from sleuthing on a visit to her family at Enderley Hall. The only thing marring her peace – aside from the uncomfortable sensation she has of being watched – is the obvious history between her beau, ex-army captain Matthew Bryant and another guest, the beautiful Juliet Vanderstafen. So, when the parish clerk is found dead on her front doorstep, Kitty leaps at the chance of distraction. The police are happy to conclude that Miss Plenderleith met her unfortunate end on a patch of ice, but Kitty isn’t convinced this was a case of bad weather and worse luck. And when the Reverend Crabtree fails to show for tea the next day, she heads to the church to speak to him. But she arrives to find the clergyman hanging from the bell rope, dead. With Matt seemingly wrapped up with his alluring Austrian, Kitty must solve the case on her own. But as she snoops into parish affairs, she makes some less-than-saintly discoveries. Just who has broken the sixth commandment? Meanwhile the killer is preparing a churchyard grave for Kitty, and she’ll have to use all her wits to avoid falling in… Murder in the Belltower is by Helena Dixon.

Beneath Her Skin is by Gregg Olsen. The girl was slumped over the edge of the old clawfoot tub, her eyes tiny shards of broken glass, her expression void of anything. Her long, wet hair dripped onto the floor. She was dead. When the body of troubled teen Katelyn Berkley is found in her bathtub, the close-knit community of Port Gamble, Washington is shaken to its core. All signs point to a suicide but what makes her death even more tragic is that Katelyn survived a horrific bus crash ten years ago, which took the lives of several young girls and has scarred the town ever since. Hayley and Taylor Ryan are identical twins who grew up with Katelyn and have spent the last 10 years getting over the crash. Ever since that fateful night the twins have shared a secret: they can hear the dead. And it soon becomes clear that Katelyn is communicating with them. Whilst the town believes it was a tragic accident, something much darker lies behind Katelyn’s death. And all the time, someone is watching Port Gamble, someone who doesn’t want old secrets to surface…

Just as the lightning bolt of memory passed, a pair of hands grabbed Olivia’s shoulders and shoved her body backwards against the wooden floor. I’m not going to die here, am I? she thought, though the answer seemed all too clear. Am I? Port Gamble, Washington: When the body of English exchange student Olivia Grant is found at the palatial home of local schoolgirl, Brianna Connors, the town assumes that it’s a Halloween prank gone wrong. But when Brianna and her boyfriend Drew are spotted casually shopping the next day, people start to talk: how could they be so unaffected by Olivia’s death? Twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan have received signs from beyond the grave for as long as they can remember. As the local police piece together the mystery, the girls begin to receive messages suggesting that something darker was at play that night. The killer had a target and they’re not done yet. When the prime suspects disappear, the twins know that time is running out. But to get to the killer, they will first need to confront a close family member who harbors a long-held secret and committed the ultimate act of betrayal. Dying to Be Her is by Gregg Olsen.

His Hidden Wife is by Wendy Clarke. The first time you see them, out for an evening walk on the cliffs, you’ll think they’re the perfect family. You’ll see a wife who looks so happy, strolling peacefully beside her husband in his dark winter coat, holding her daughter’s hand. But you have no idea what’s really happening in their house… If you come a little closer you might hear the way the man speaks to his wife. You might notice that the woman doesn’t have any close friends. That sometimes her husband doesn’t want her to leave the house. You might wonder if that’s a scar her beautiful daughter is hiding on her neck. When you read the local newspaper and hear the news that the wife has fallen from the cliffs, you’ll question whether it was really an accident at all. And when the husband starts dating someone new – a woman with the same long dark hair and big blue eyes as his wife – will you say something this time? Because someone has to protect the little girl and stop history from repeating itself. And it may already be too late.

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney. The words blurred as she read the note. She could feel her blood turning to ice. ‘Before you make the biggest mistake of your life, meet me. If you don’t, her blood will be on your hands.’ When Beth Mullen returns home, expecting to find her twin Rachel waiting for her, the silent house sends a shiver down her spine. She races upstairs to find her beautiful beloved sister cold in her childhood bed, her sparkling blue eyes closed forever, the morning after attending a glittering party… Newly engaged Detective Lottie Parker knows that Rachel has been murdered the minute she enters the bedroom. Rachel’s neck is bruised and a shard of glass placed in her throat. Confronted with such a horrifying killing, Lottie wastes no time in pursuing every clue. While interviewing the partygoers, Lottie discovers that Rachel’s handbag and keys are nowhere to be found. But as she is searching for them, a brilliant young doctor is found murdered with glass in her throat. The doctor was nowhere near the party and Lottie is forced to question everything. Two beautiful young women with the world at their feet have been brutally silenced. Why did the killer need them to die? Desperate to find proof of what really happened to Rachel that night, Lottie gets close to the hostess of the party, whose two daughters were friends with Rachel. But Lottie’s hunt for the truth is getting under the killer’s skin, and when Lottie’s fiancĂ© Boyd goes missing, will she be able to find him before it’s too late? Or will he too be silenced forever?

Please forgive me for what I’m about to do… Standing at the school gates, he waits until the last child leaves the safety of the playground. And then he follows at a distance, keeping to the shadows. Only he knows what’s going to happen next. In a quiet church, on a busy London street, 12-year-old Donovan Blair is found dead. His hands are clasped together as if in prayer. Just hours ago, he was happily playing with his friends at school, but now his body is lifeless, and his killer is long gone. Detective Dan Lockhart is working alone on his wife’s missing person’s case when he receives a call telling him to get to the crime scene at St Mary’s Church immediately. Bringing in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help profile the murderer, Dan is convinced that the killer has provided a clue by leaving the body in a prayer position, and Lexi agrees. As they try to get into the mind of the person responsible, another victim is found. A 13-year-old girl, left in a different church, posed in exactly the same way. Fearing the murderer may already have another child in his sights, Dan and Lexi work together to establish links between the two deaths, and soon discover that not only were both children in care – they had attended the same school. And when it emerges that Lexi’s new boyfriend works there, things become difficult between her and Dan. How much can he tell Lexi about the case? And could she be at risk? As Dan makes a breakthrough in the investigation, he receives devastating news about his wife, Jess. But with children’s lives at stake and Lexi in danger, Dan must put his personal emotions aside and chase the killer. Can he and Lexi work out who is behind the murders before another vulnerable child is taken? Lost Souls is by Chris Merritt.

Her Perfect Life is by Sam Hepburn. One woman has nothing to lose. The other has everything. To the outside world,Gracie Dwyer has it all: the handsome husband, the adorable child, the beautiful home and the glittering career. Juliet’s life couldn’t be more different. A single mother struggling to make ends meet, she lives in fear of her vindictive ex-husband taking their five-year-old daughter from her. So when Gracie moves into Falcon House, just streets away from Juliet, she sees an opportunity. If Juliet can just get close to Gracie, maybe her fortunes will begin to change. After all, if anyone has luck to share around, it’s Gracie Dwyer. And if cracks begin to appear in Gracie’s perfect life, well, it’s Juliet who will be there to pick up the pieces. Because no one’s life is really that perfect – and sometimes all it takes is a little push to expose the darkest of secrets…

Who better to catch a murderer than a woman raised by one? The beautiful young woman’s long black hair clings to her face like seaweed. As Nadine turns the body, she prays this will be different: but seeing the wounds, her prayers go unanswered. It’s just like the others. An exact match to her mother’s victims. Keeping her head down and refusing to let anyone get close is Agent Nadine Finch’s atonement for never realising her mother Arleen was a serial killer. But when the body of a young woman is found drifting in the warm Sarasota Bay waters, right where Nadine grew up, the past she’s worked so hard to keep hidden comes calling. Rushing to the scene, Nadine is the first to notice the circle carved around the girl’s ring finger. It’s the exact same marking Arleen left on all her victims. Suddenly, Nadine is a teenager again, watching her mother come home to their trailer in the middle of the night, covered in blood. With a heartbroken family reeling, and no witnesses or forensic evidence, Nadine has no choice but to face her demons and visit her mother in prison. When her mother whispers a name Nadine hasn’t heard for years, the case takes a terrifyingly personal turn, and returning home, the bag of bloodied clothes left on Nadine’s bed tells her someone is watching her every move… With her dark family history out in the open, it’s not long before suspicion falls on Nadine herself. As her team turn against her, the closer she gets to her mother and this case, the more danger she’s in. Time is running out. Can she catch the killer—or will she be the next victim of this dark family legacy? A Killer's Daughter is by Jenna Kernan.

Her Perfect Bones is by Ellery Kane. The girl’s body is curled up like a shell and almost completely buried in sand. Only her fingertips can be seen, reaching helplessly up towards an escape she will never find… Seventeen-year-old Shelby Mayfield sits alone on a bus to Fog Harbor, California. Aside from a few items of clothing, all she has with her is twenty-two dollars, the ragdoll she’s kept since kindergarten, and the devastating secret she’s been hiding. How long will it be before her family realizes she’s gone? Can anyone see the fresh bruise on her cheek beneath the makeup? Perhaps she was a fool to believe the person she is meeting in this remote little town could help her… When a girl’s body is found hidden in a barrel in a woodland cabin, the local police are at a loss. The film from an old camera found looped around her neck is their only lead, but Criminal Psychologist Olivia Rockwell’s blood turns to ice when she recognizes the ragdoll in one of the girl’s last photographs. She used to own one just like it, and it can only mean one thing: if she doesn’t dig deep into the mind of a deadly killer from her past—her own father—more innocent lives will be in danger…

“Please, not in front of my daughter,” she pleaded. “She’s just a little girl.” He leaned closer, so close she felt his heated breath on her face. The blue jays that had been filling the valley with their chirping fell silent all at once when the woman’s cry ripped through the clear mountain air… Detective Kay Sharp vowed she’d never return to her childhood home. On the night of her thirteenth birthday her broken family was shattered beyond repair, and leaving was the only option. Unable to fix her own past, she’s been an FBI profiler for over a decade, desperate to save others. But now Kay’s back and only she can solve the crime that has rocked the tight-knit community of Mount Chester to its core. A dead woman has been found by Silent Lake under the dew-covered Fall leaves, her hair braided and her body wrapped in a blanket. This small town may be a stranger to murder, but Kay recognizes the signs of a serial killer. She’s certain that the ritualistic nature of the scene means it’s just a matter of time until he strikes again––unless she catches him first.  As yellow do-not-cross tape flaps in the biting wind, another woman is reported missing. Kay leads a frenzied search for out-of-towner Alison Nolan and when she locates her car, Kay’s blood turns to ice as she shines her flashlight on the backseat and sees a teddy bear. Alison’s six-year-old little girl, Hazel, has vanished too. Kay knows the missing-person investigation could turn into a murder case at any second. But as she hunts for the culprit, her own past closes in on her. Can she find the killer before it’s too late? And will the secret she thought she’d buried stay that way? The Girl From Silent Lake is by Leslie Wolfe.

Cry For Help is by Wendy Dranfield. Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet. When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide—a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harpe rthink otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments… Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail? It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing-in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

MISSING – Have you seen this girl? Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins was last seen on 24 June, 1994, when she left her parents’ anniversary party early and ran into the stormy night wearing her twin sister Stella’s long red coat. She was never seen again. Stella holds the missing poster flat against the tree trunk and presses to make sure it’s secure. She tries not to look at the photograph on it. At the features so similar to hers. This time every year she decorates the small seaside town they grew up in with pictures of her beautiful missing twin. But after almost twenty-five years, is it even worth hoping someone will come forward? The last thing Stella ever expects is a direct response from the person who took Leila. Wracked with guilt about the secret she’s been keeping since the night of the party, and completely alone in the world without the other half of her, Stella agrees to his strange request: private, intimate details of her life in return for answers. But as the true events of the night of the party play out before her, Stella feels closer to Leila than she ever dreamed she’d be again – too close. Will it be too late before she realises she’s walked right into a deadly trap? Will she suffer the same fate as her sister? The Girl in the Missing Poster is by Barbara Copperthwaite.

Be Mine Forever is by D K Hood. Gray clouds gather overhead as she runs along the dark road. Not a soul is out in the storm, or so she thinks. As the vehicle pulls up alongside her, she sees a familiar face behind the wheel and thinks she’s safe. Little does she know, she has just put herself in unthinkable danger… When local cheerleader, Laurie Turner, goes missing after practice and her bright red pick-up truck is found abandoned by the side of a quiet road, Detective Jenna Alton fears the worst. Visiting Laurie’s family house, Jenna senses that the teenager’s home life isn’t as perfect as her father would have people believe. Quick to temper and full of hatred towards Laurie’s mother, Dr Turner doesn’t seem to know the first thing about his own daughter, let alone how long she’s been missing for. With the clock ticking, the whole town takes to the streets to find the missing girl and, after a frantic search, a terrible discovery is made at the bottom of an old mine shaft on the outskirts of town. Laurie’s pale body is totally still and Jenna is sure somebody in the local community is her killer. When another cheerleader goes missing, Jenna thinks that someone close to the school is picking the teenagers off one by one. As she talks to the other students, it becomes clear that there are plenty of people who’d like to silence the girls forever. Then her own deputy David Kane comes face to face with the murderer, and Jenna has to race to save him. Can she do so before it’s too late? Or will another young life be taken?

She didn’t see the patch of black ice until it was too late. The car started to spin, and as it veered off into the deep ditch and the mounds of snow beside the road, she saw him. The little boy frozen in the ice. When the remains of two bodies are found in an open grave along a desolate highway in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt knows exactly who they are. The bright blue jacket lying on the frozen earth belongs to Kellan Rhodes, the missing boy she’s desperately been trying to find for the last two days. The other body is his mother Dana, who had been Nikki’s lead suspect. Although the wounds on Dana’s body suggest she murdered her son and took her own life, Nikki finds evidence that suggests she was a victim too. Dana was desperately trying to regain custody of Kellan, and Nikki finds boot prints at the scene that belong to someone else. When another child is reported missing, local journalist Caitlin Newport claims the cases are linked: Zach Reeves was taken away from his own mother in a custody battle, just like Kellan was. Caitlin once helped Nikki find out the truth about her own parents’ murders, but her desire for a story nearly cost Nikki her life. Now, Nikki must decide if she can trust Caitlin again, before time runs out to find the killer and bring Zach home alive… One Perfect Grave is by Stacy Green.

Everyone in the village admires Anna because she’s a wonderful mother. Juggling family life with a small sewing business, she’s the one they turn to for a warm hug after a hard day. Her kind, polite daughters are a credit to her – even Bay, her stepdaughter, whom Anna loves as much as her own two girls. But normal family life changes overnight when Anna’s middle daughter’s beauty catches the eye of a stranger in a cafĂ©. As jealousy erupts between the siblings, Anna’s perfect blended family begins to unravel around her. A devastating secret about the dangerous game they played when they were little girls threatens to break the surface – and the bonds of this close-knit family forever… To save her girls, Anna must rethink everything she ever thought she knew about love, motherhood and family. She must pick a side, an impossible decision for any mother, but believing the wrong daughter could be fatal. Anna has already sacrificed so much for her family, but there are no limits to what a mother will do for her daughters… The Pretty One is by Clare Boyd. 















Saturday, 23 January 2021

Books to Look Forward to From Muswell Press

 February 2021

The Final Round is by Bernard O'Keeffe. On the morning after Boat Race Day, a man's body is found in a nature reserve beside the Thames. He has been viciously stabbed, his tongue cut out, and an Oxford college scarf stuffed in his mouth. The body is identified as that of Nick Bellamy, last seen at the charity quiz organised by his Oxford contemporary, the popular newsreader Melissa Matthews. Enter DI Garibaldi, whose first task is to look into Bellamy's contemporaries from Balfour College. In particular, the surprise 'final round' of questions at this year's charity quiz in which guests were invited to guess whether allegations about Melissa Matthews and her Oxford friends are true. These allegations range from plagiarism and shoplifting to sextortion and murder...


May 2021

Obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Alistair Haston heads off to Greece, where she is on holiday. Mugged on the harbourside in Paros, he is robbed of everything. So when Ricky a charming Aussie, shows up and offers Alistair a job recruiting tourists to pose for his wealthy boss, Heinrich, a charismatic, German artist, Alistair accepts. He soon realises that it is more than just painting that Heinrich has in mind. Swept away on a tide of wild parties, wild sex, fine food and drugs Haston sheds his reserve and throws himself headlong into the pursuit of pleasure. Until, the body of a missing tourist is found and the finger of blame points to Haston. His world collapses. Arrested but allowed to escape, the body count piles up and Haston finds himself on the run by land and sea on a journey more breathtaking and more frightening than his wildest dreams. The Lizard is by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart.

June 2021

The Rhino Conspiracy by Paul Hain. A veteran freedom fighter and friend of Mandela is forced to break all his loyalties and oppose the ruling ANC party - a party he's been a member of all his life - to confront corruption and venality at the very top. As he faces political attacks and sinister threats from a faction in the SA security services the ageing veteran finds his life is now endangered. Recognising the need for help, he recruits a young 'Born Free' idealist to assist him. She too is soon drawn into danger as together they stumble upon a clandestine plot at the highest level of government to poach and kill rhino and export their lucrative horns to South East Asia. Intent on catching the poachers and exposing the trade, they manage to install a GPS tracking device inside a perfect replica of a horn which they follow through a diplomatic bag into Vietnam. Anxious that intimidation by the security services will prevent them from exposing the truth, they decide to break cover in UK using a sympathetic British MP to reveal all they know in a House of Commons speech, under parliamentary privilege. But first they must establish the truth. Will they be able to do so, or will they be killed before they can? The stakes are high. Has Mandela's 'rainbow nation' been irretrievably betrayed by political corruption and cronyism? Can the country's ancient rhino herd be saved from extinction by poachers supported from the very top of the state.

July 2021

London is angry, divided and obsessed with foreigners. A dead Asian and some racist graffiti in Chinatown might trigger the race war that the white supremacists of the Make England Great Again movement have been hoping for. They just need a tipping point. And he arrives in the shape of Detective Inspector Stanley Low. He's brilliant. He's bipolar. He hates everyone almost as much as he hates himself. Singapore doesn't want him and he doesn't want to be in London for a criminology lecture. There are too many bad memories, like Detective Sergeant Ramila Mistry, who asks for Low's help. The dead Asian was Singaporean. Against everyone's better judgement, Low is plunged into a polarised city, where xenophobia and intolerance feed screaming echo chambers. His desperate race to find a far-right serial killer will lead him to charismatic Neo-Nazi leaders, incendiary radio hosts and Metropolitan Police officers who don't appreciate the foreigner's interference. No one wants him there, but too many victims with Asian faces keep him there. He craves vengeance, particularly when the murderer makes it personal and promises to kill the only woman that Low ever loved. The Chinese detective is the wrong face in the wrong place. But he's the right copper for the job. London is about to meet the bloody foreigner who won't walk away. Bloody Foreigners is by Neil Humphreys.

August 2021

My Name is Jensen is by Heidi Amsinck. Guilty. One word on a beggar's cardboard sign. And now he is dead, stabbed in a wintry Copenhagen street, the second homeless victim in as many weeks. Dagbladet reporter Jensen, stumbling across the body on her way to work, calls her ex lover DI Henrik Jungersen. As, inevitably, old passions are rekindled, so are old regrets, and that is just the start of Jensen's troubles. The front page is an open goal, but nothing feels right..... When a third body turns up, it seems certain that a serial killer is on the loose. But why pick on the homeless? And is the link to an old murder case just a coincidence? With her teenage apprentice Gustav, Jensen soon finds herself putting everything on the line to discover exactly who is guilty .










Friday, 22 January 2021

Cherie Jones on writing How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

I came to write ‘How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House’ at the urging of a voice on the bus. At the time, I was on the 472 bus to Thamesmead, on the last leg of the long commute back home from Brixton in London, where I (then) worked for a refugee charity.

I was exhausted that night on the bus, and didn't particularly feel like listening to anyone, but Lala sat inside my head and started to talk to me, anyway.

As I learnt during the course of the remaining 45 minutes of that bus-ride, Lala, like me, was from Barbados, like me she was a mother, like me she was the ‘one’ of the estimated one in three women worldwide who experience domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner and endure a cycle of running and return as a result. These facts, in themselves, did not make her remarkable, what made her remarkable was her resilience, her calm quiet, the halting, almost apologetic way in which she spoke, as if she knew I was tired but could not leave me alone unless she was sure that I’d heard her, that I understood and accepted what she was asking me to do.

What she was asking me to do was write her story. 

Domestic violence, and especially violence against women, is a continuing social problem in the Caribbean. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in a statement at the end of her visit to Barbados in April, 2012 1 said

Domestic violence against women and children, and sexual harassment, occur all over the world. However, reports suggest that they are particularly serious problems here in Barbados and in other Caribbean countries, and rape is shockingly commonplace…” 

Ingrained social attitudes to gender and power contribute to a culture of silence about domestic violence in the Caribbean. The physical abuse of women was traditionally (and to an extent remains) an accepted part of local culture – widely practiced but rarely talked about. I had always been aware of women within my family who were being abused – the wife of a beloved uncle, for example, who was reportedly regularly beaten with the butt of a gun. In whispered conversations I wasn’t supposed to overhear, female relatives chastised her for her sullen demeanour and her feisty retorts to a husband whose demanding work hours made his meanness understandable, her inability to submit less so. 

At the same time, the Caribbean is the exotic paradise of postcards, a place of pink powdery beaches and clear blue water. It occurred to me that the paradise of the affluent tourist was simply a backdrop for the horror suffered by some of the women who served them daily. A paradisical beach became the setting for Lala’s story to be told.

When I got off the bus, and home, I wrote as I always do, longhand, from the first line of the last page of a ring bound red Royal Mail notebook, writing towards the front. This became a ritual I repeated for several nights, through several drafts, droughts of inspiration, crises of conscience and the glitter of other, less wrenching writing projects. Through it all, Lala would talk to me. Until one day, somewhere around the end of the the third draft, she fell silent.

Much as I’ve listened for her I’ve never heard from Lala again. I do not know whether she is dead or alive now, whether she is still haunted by a gruesome murder on a beach in Paradise. I am not aware of whether she still bears the scars she has told me about or whether a rusty-haired rasta called Tone has managed to meet her again, whether his love has made her forget how she got those scars.

I wish the best for Lala, but I understand that her silence does not matter now. Only the story needs to speak.

There was just one thing Lala asked me on that bus, and that was if I could write the part of her story she had told me about- that one summer in 1984 when her life changed forever.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is my first novel. It is a work of fiction – and it is also my way in which I answered 'yes'.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones (Published Headline Publishing) Out Now 

In Baxter's Beach, Barbados, Lala's grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers. For Wilma, it's the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result. When Lala grows up, she sees it offers hope - of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man. And Mira Whalen? It's about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered, and she didn't get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.

More information about the author can be found here and you can follow her on Twitter at @csajthewriter.







1 UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41723 (accessed on 10 March, 2015)

Thursday, 21 January 2021

The Slow Burn of Inspiration by Derek B Miller

 

Inspiration doesn't always strike. More often it simmers.

When I was a teenager in the 1980s, I had a killer stereo system. I'd saved up — and gladly forked over – over $500 (serious money then) for an NAD 7155 stereo receiver to drive my B&O turntable, Luxman cassette player, and Klipsche speakers. My bedroom wasn't big so there was no perfect place to sit to catch the sound right. My solution was turn the speakers towards me from either side of the dresser, and then lean back on the drawers, creating enormous defacto headphones that came at me from either side. 

This is how I first listened to Telegraph Road from Dire Straits.

I normally had enough money for one or two albums a month at $10 each. Without a car, that left me with one (and only one) record and tape shop in my hometown outside Boston, Massachusetts. I padded this meagre haul with a few albums I stole from the high school library (BB King's Live at the Cook County Jail; With a Little Help from my Friends by Joe Cocker; A Farewell to Kings by Rush). But those were stuck in Pergatory and … how had they gotten there anyway? No, they were better off with me. Stealing is bad, but letting art languish or die is wrong. 

Decisions were made. 

Anyway: I had first heard Telegraph Road on the radio — all fourteen minutes and eighteen seconds of it — in a car park at a mall on a truly god-awful car stereo that I did not switch off until the WCOZ DJ (bless his heart) mentioned the name of the song. I was gobsmacked. So when I dropped my coin to buy it, and spun it up at home off a crisp and shiny LP (the plastic film still clinging to my jeans). I was whisked away. So much so that some thirty-five years later I can confidently trace the first inspirations to my new novel, RADIO LIFE, to that song and that moment. 

Mark Knopfler's first stanza reads, 'Well a long time ago, came a man on a track /Walking thirty miles with a sack on his back / And he put down his load where he thought it was the best / He made a home in the wilderness.' In my mind, back then, the wilderness as a western American desert. I can still picture the rock formations. The color of the sands. The river nearby. The distant hills with touches of green. In RADIO LIFE, this is where The Few came upon the Stadium to later create the Commonwealth.

I started writing fiction (quite alone, and without a word to anyone about it) in a tiny apartment in Geneva, Switzerland on the Rue Louis Favre in 1996, when I moved there to pursue a doctorate. I had no TV, no internet (of course) and nothing to do but read and write. So I did. Twelve years (and about four manuscripts) I published my debut novel, Norwegian by Night, and only in 2020 — among a host of contributing factors — would the tiny spark of Mark Knopfler's song help inspire my latest novel.

I believe that inspiration is made possible by a cumulative process of artistic growth, which is itself made possible by exposure to both unmediated experience on the one hand, and art itself on the other. We too frequently look on objects and events as sources of inspiration — imbuing them with almost magical force and effect. A bridge. A tree. A sunset. A smile. There are such moments, it's true, but it's our Romantic philosophic inheritence that makes us fetishize them. The harm is that it turns our attention away from the slower burn that is the crucible for our artistic sensibilities — as artists and appreciators of art. And to me this is a pity because it sets the artist on a mistaken quest to seek out a kind of inspirational Grail, with all the incumbant possibilities of failure. Instead, I see a virtue in reflecting on our simple lives and how sometimes the smallest experiences lay the foundations for some of the greatest; like how an old song can help craft a new novel, and the imagination of a teenager can later inspire others with a new work of art.


Radio Life by Derek B Miller Published by Quercus Books. (Out Now)

When Lilly was first Chief Engineer at The Commonwealth, nearly fifty years ago, the Central Archive wasn't yet the greatest repository of knowledge in the known world, protected by scribes copying every piece of found material - books, maps, even scraps of paper - and disseminating them by Archive Runners to hidden off-site locations for safe keeping. Back then, there was no Order of Silence to create and maintain secret routes deep into the sand-covered towers of the Gone World or into the northern forests beyond Sea Glass Lake. Back then, the world was still quiet, because Lilly hadn't yet found the Harrington Box. But times change. Recently, the Keepers have started gathering to the east of Yellow Ridge - thousands upon thousands of them - and every one of them determined to burn the Central Archives to the ground, no matter the cost, possessed by an irrational fear that bringing back the ancient knowledge will destroy the world all over again. To prevent that, they will do anything. Fourteen days ago the Keepers chased sixteen-year-old Archive Runner Elimisha into a forbidden Gone World Tower and brought the entire thing down on her. Instead of being killed, though, she slipped into an ancient unmapped bomb shelter where she has discovered a cache of food and fresh water, a two-way radio like the one Lilly's been working on for years . . . and something else. Something that calls itself 'the internet'.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Excerpt from The Violent Gentleman by Danny O'Leary

 

Prologue

Devils take all shapes and forms. Angels too. At six foot nine, Jeremiah O’Connell came in two sizes, big and tall, and he could be devil one minute, angel the next. His clothes were expensive but practical, beard tidy not fussy; his hair was partway to getting long, and it framed an action hero square face and grey eyes. When he laughed, which was often, the sound was filthy, smoky and joyful. But if you called him a nasty bastard, you wouldn’t be the first, and nor would you be the last. One problem. Jerry wasn’t psychic. If he’d been psychic, then maybe he’d have stayed away from Cedar Tree Avenue on that warm LA night. Then again, knowing him, maybe not.

Chapter One

Cedar Tree Avenue was typical for this part of LA: long, straight and shabby, with sparse palm trees either side of a wide street and a canopy of power lines overhead. Neglected buildings were either dull grey or a beige the colour of soggy cardboard. Sidewalks were strewn with litter and abandoned furniture.

This was a street where breeze blocks and corrugated iron were the preferred building materials. Where the twinkling lights and vibrant colours of Santa Monica, Westwood and Beverly Hills were close enough to touch but might as well have been a thousand miles away for all that they meant to those who called it home.

At night, it was even less appealing. Christ, Jerry had thought, looking left and right as he drove, taking in the neglect, what a shithole. He was hunched over the steering wheel of the Prius, a nondescript silver thing that he hated but drove anyway, because sometimes you had to bite the bullet and play safe by keeping things inconspicuous. He’d affixed an Uber sticker in the rear window, just to complete the picture.

Ah. There it was. The strip club he was looking for. It went by the name All Fur Coat, except the ‘T’ of ‘coat’ was missing. All Fur Coa . . .

He selected a space and reversed into it, adjusting a wing mirror in order to ensure that he could see behind as well as ahead. Old habits. And now to the task at hand.

He pocketed his phone and was just about to go to work when something outside caught his eye. From where he was parked, he could see the club’s front entrance, but also a side door. Now, Jerry knew a lot about clubs. Having started his working life on the doors back home in Essex, what he didn’t know about clubs wasn’t worth knowing – so that side entrance would be used by the girls. Probably there was a more private and secure rear door for when they wanted a smoke, but they’d use that side entrance when they needed to score – just for ease, just for the speed of it. Right now, there was a geezer hanging around it. A Latino looking guy, he wore a black denim jacket, black jeans, hair slicked back. A tattoo poked out from the neck of his Tshirt, curling up behind his ear. But it wasn’t the clothes that gave him away. It wasn’t the dark, leathery skin, pitted, like he’d been left out in the sun. It was just the look of him: the watchful eyes. The mouth, crooked and spiteful. Not far away was a black Ford Falcon, sprung low. Gleaming and ostentatious, it was a drug dealer’s car. Even so, Jerry probably wouldn’t have given it another thought but for the fact that the guy looked so agitated. Like he had something more than just a drug deal on his mind. Jerry took a deep breath, checked his watch and decided that the job could wait a few minutes. He was going to see how this panned out first.

He didn’t have to wait long. The door opened, out came a girl and right away the neck tattoo guy was in her face, closing off her retreat into the club as he backed her up against a wall. His face was contorted, voice raised but not quite shouting. His shoulders were thrust back, fists clenched by his side.

Jerry exited the car and wandered across, pulling his camel hair coat around him. It was the girl who saw him first. Neck Tattoo noticed the way her eyes widened, and he wheeled to see Jerry approach. ‘What the fuck do you want?’ There’s a time and a place to steam in and knock a geezer down, but this was not that time. Jerry would probably never see the girl again and the last thing he wanted was to make life harder for her by clomping her boyfriend. Instead, he simply stared. That was it. Just stood and stared, flint eyed. And when Neck Tattoo looked back at Jerry, he saw no fear, no heightened state, no fight, no flight – nothing. Jerry might as well have been ordering a skinny latte for all the emotion he showed. He’d learnt his trade back in the day; he’d learnt it on the job. The hard way. And nobody knew better than him that the moment you showed fear you were dead.

‘I was just going to give her phone back,’ said Neck Tattoo, all but backing down in the face of Jerry’s hulking presence. ‘That’s all.’

The girl’s eyes flitted from Jerry to Neck Tattoo and then back again. ‘Give me it then.’ ‘I don’t have it with me,’ growled Neck Tattoo over his shoulder. ‘You called Janice,’ she said. ‘Told her you were here to return my phone.’ ‘I just wanted to speak,’ said Neck Tattoo. He was trying to sound bruised. Lying. Jerry cleared his throat and then spoke for the first time. ‘Look, mate, leave it for the night is my advice. Get the phone another time, hand it in to the club. Time to move on, yeah?’

The girl jutted her chin in thanks, turned and slammed back into the club. Neck Tattoo sniffed, and although he looked mollified, Jerry could see that his eyes blazed. For a moment or so, the two of them stood looking at one another in the otherwise empty parking lot, the night still and warm around them.

‘Time to move on, yeah?’ repeated Jerry meaningfully.

Neck Tattoo looked at him for a moment more and then brushed past, stomping to his car. Jerry watched as it fired up with a blatting sound that seemed to vibrate the air around them, followed by a blast of music. With a screech of tyres, it pulled out into the traffic of Cedar Tree Avenue, leaving a mini cyclone of fastfood wrappers in its wake. Jerry thought that was the last he’d ever see of that guy. He was wrong about that.


A Violent Gentleman by Danny O'Leary. Published by Orion Publishing

He does what's right. Not what's easy. Jeremiah O'Connell made his name solving problems in London and now does the same in LA. The problems other people can't or won't touch? They're the ones that end up at Jerry's door. Suddenly Jeremiah has problems of his own when he sets out to right a wrong and finds himself on the hitlist of one of LA's most feared drug gangs. As the stakes rise, so does the body count, and Jerry has the fight of his life on his hands. Now, with high-class escort Noah in tow, Jeremiah must revisit his old London stomping grounds and assemble his team in order to wage all-out war on the streets on Tinseltown...

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Who is Vera Kelly - The Short Version? by Rosalie Knecht

 

My interest in Cold War intelligence came from a real-life beginning. My maternal grandfather was hired by the Office of Strategic Services after World War II and stayed there as it became the Central Intelligence Agency, in a non-covert post, analyzing Soviet radio broadcasts. He and my grandmother settled down in the inner-ring suburbs of Washington, DC in the early 1950s to raise their family. Then history intruded in the form of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

McCarthy made his bones on the claim that a secret Communist conspiracy had infiltrated the U.S. government. As McCarthy’s accusations of Communist spies in the civil service grew broader and wilder, my grandfather’s bosses at the CIA began a review of all personnel files. In 1955, internal investigators turned up a number of things in my grandfather’s background that they found troubling. 

Decades later, the memoranda they wrote detailing their findings, and the letters my grandfather wrote responding to them, are still in my family’s papers. The memos listed seventeen charges. He was accused of being friends, twenty years before and a thousand miles away in South Dakota, with a list of named Communists; visiting local party headquarters; handing out Communist pamphlets; and on one occasion, giving a known Communist a lift from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis. He was further accused of hanging around with two named women, also Communists, in Greenwich Village in 1943, and attending a Communist meeting there. More charges: he had founded a leftist newspaper in Sioux Falls, had started a local chapter of the Workers’ Alliance, and finally—this last one jarring with the more mundane activities around it—had joined the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War and been interned in France. 

He responded meticulously to these accusations. In 1935, when he was twenty years old, he had been a socialist, not a communist, he said. He had known some of the people mentioned but could not recall others. He had never handed out any pamphlets. He admitted to the drive from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis. He had no recollection of visiting any party headquarters, unless—he began to speculate here, and his fatigue and anxiety is palpable on the page, all these years later—unless perhaps the Sioux Falls Communist Party was headquartered in the Communist bookstore operated by his friend, the one he drove to Minneapolis, which he had visited several times and where it was possible he might have bought some Communist literature, but probably not, because he was “poverty-stricken at the time.” He knew the two women in Greenwich Village, he said, but his relations with them were “entirely personal,” and they had never tried to convert him to their cause.

The rest—the Workers’ Alliance, the leftist newspaper, the Spanish Civil War? He confessed that he had made those things up in 1943 in an application for a journalism fellowship. He had been told that a leftist resume would help him get it. He deeply regretted the mistake. He had apparently been polygraphed already during the investigation; he referred to this in his statement, and repeatedly offered to be polygraphed again to confirm this or that part of his sworn testimony.

As he sat writing this defense in 1955, he was forty years old and had three young children to support. The charges that were true, he wrote, came down to one charge: that he was friends with Communists a long time ago, and had been a socialist himself. He was fired.

In 1961, my grandfather fell from the roof of the family home while making repairs. He died of his injuries. Sixty years is a lot of silence. It was partly to sound out this lacuna that I began to write about the professional middle classes ringing Washington, DC at midcentury, the intelligence services where they worked, and the way people lived and continued to live with lies—big lies and small lies, public lies and personal lies. What stands out more in his story—the socialist politics of a young man coming out of rural poverty in the midst of the Depression, clearly interested in the radical organizing happening all around him in Sioux Falls, South Dakota? Or is it the extravagant lies for personal gain—the fictitious service in a bloody war from which most volunteers did not come back? Was it about fantasy, glamor, social cache? Was it about justice for the injuries of poverty? Was it both? Who was he? What does any of it tell me about this person I never met, whom even my mother barely remembers? I have only this very small window into his life, this brief instant when he sat sweating over a typewriter with his career on the line, admitting to humiliating deceptions, wracking his brain for the names of passing acquaintances, summoning up a dingy Greenwich Village function hall filled with earnest young people hoping for a better future in the middle of a world war. I can feel him trying to make contact with that younger self, trying to remember what he wanted, who he told people he was, what he believed and when he stopped believing it. He confesses it all. It’s not enough.

Who is Vera Kelly by Rosalie Knecht (Verve Books) Published 21 January 2021

"New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself.


Monday, 18 January 2021

Left Coast Crime Lefty Award Nominations

 

Because of the pandemic, the April 2021 Left Coast Crime convention was rescheduled for 2022. While everything else may have changed, the Lefty Awards continue!

Left Coast Crime will be presenting four Lefty Awards in 2021: humorous, historical, debut, and best. This year, the awards will be voted on virtually and presented online April 10, 2021.

The award nominees have just been selected by registrants at the last in-person convention in San Diego and the next one scheduled for Albuquerque in April 2022. 

LCC is delighted to announce the 2021 Lefty nominees for books published in 2020:

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow (Berkley Prime Crime)
Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf)
The Study of Secrets by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press)

The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing by J. Michael Orenduff (Aakenbaaken & Kent)

Skin Deep by Sung J. Woo (Agora Books)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel for books set before 1970. The nominees are:
 The Fate of a Flapper by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
 A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington Books)
 Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King (Bantam Books)
The Turning Tide by Catriona McPherson (Quercus)
Mortal Music by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press)
Turn to Stone by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel.
Murder Goes to Market by Daisy Bateman (Seventh Street Books)
Derailed by Mary Keliikoa (Camel Press)
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Kensington Books)
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Viking)
The Lady Upstairs by Halley Sutton (Putnam)
 Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel (not in other categories)
What You Don’t See by Tracy Clark (Kensington Books)
Blacktop Wasteland by S.A.Cosby (Flatiron Books)
Blind Vigil by Matt Coyle,  (Oceanview Publishing)
And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)
All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

The Left Coast Crime Convention is an annual event sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors. Usually held in the western half of North America, LCC’s intent is to host an event where readers, authors, critics, librarians, publishers, and other fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interests. Lefty Awards have been given since 1996.

***

The 2022 Left Coast Crime Convention — Southwest Sleuths — will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 7–10, 2022. The Guests of Honor will be authors Mick Herron and Catriona McPherson. Kristopher Zgorski will be the Fan Guest of Honor, and Kellye Garrett will serve as Toastmaster. Tony Hillerman will be the Ghost of Honor.

Left Coast Crime is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation holding annual mystery conventions in the West since 1991. Each LCC convention raises money to support a local literary organization and is staffed entirely by volunteers.

For more information on Left Coast Crime 2022, visit https://leftcoastcrime.org/2022/