Friday 31 January 2014

Simon Beckett and his Stone Bruises

Today’s guest blog is by Simon Beckett.  He has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for national newspapers and color supplements.  He is the author of four international bestselling crime thrillers featuring his forensic anthropologist hero, Dr David Hunter: The Chemistry of Death, Written in Bone, Whispers of the Dead and The Calling of the Grave.  He lives in Sheffield.

Stone Bruises  isn't part of a series, it's a standalone thriller, the first I've written since before the David Hunter series.  I've always tried to keep a sense of freshness and unpredictability about the David Hunter books, because I think that's important for any thriller, whether it's a standalone or not.  The Calling of the Grave was the fourth in the David Hunter series, and I wanted to take time to decide where Hunter would go next.  It wasn't my intention at first to write a completely different novel, but while I was planning the fifth Hunter I found that ideas kept falling into place for Stone Bruises.  It felt like the book I should write next, and that's what happened.  Although Stone Bruises doesn't involve forensics, I think it's a tense and gripping story that will keep people on the edge of their seats.  So I hope David Hunter readers will enjoy it and I'm very excited about it.

Will there be more David Hunter novels in the future?  Yes, there will be.  In fact
I've already started work on the next one.

Stone Bruises -

Somebody!’  I half-sob and then, more quietly, ‘Please.’  The words seem absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees.  In their aftermath, the silence descends again.  I know then that I’m not going anywhere...  Sean is on the run.  We don’t know why and we don’t know from whom, but we do know he’s abandoned his battered, bloodstained car in the middle of an isolated, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer.  Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap.  Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake.  And it’s then that Sean’s problems really start...

Thursday 30 January 2014

Agatha Award Nominees

This year Malice Domestic 26 is due to take place between 2nd & 4th May 2014 at Hyatt, Bethesda, MD.  The Agatha Awards honour the "traditional mystery." That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie as well as others. 

Best Historical Novel
Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George (Untreed Reads Publishing)
A Friendly Game of Murder by JJ Murphy (Signet)
Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (Berkley Prime Crime)
A Question of Honor by Charles Todd 
(William Morrow)

Best Children's/YA Nominations
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery by Kathleen Ernst (American Girl Mysteries)
Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books)
Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate's Treasure by Penny Warner (Edgmont USA)

Best Contemporary Novel
Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur Books)
Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (Kensington Books)
The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)

Best Nonfiction
Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester (Source Books Inc.)
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova (Viking Penguin)
Not Everyone's Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic's First 25 Years by Verena Rose and Rita Owen (editors) (Wildside Press)
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Best First Novel
Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley Prime Crime)
You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa (Pocket Books)
Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn (Henery Press)
Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (Kensington)
Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker (Henery Press)

Best Short Story
"Evil Little Girl" in Don't Get Mad, Get Even by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
"Nightmare" in Don't Get Mad, Get Even by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
"The Hindi Houdini" in Fish Nets by Gigi Pandian (Wildside Press)
"Bread Baby" in Best new England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold by Barbara Ross (Level Best Books)
"The Care and Feeding of House Plants" by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Wednesday 29 January 2014

2014 Dilys Winn Award Nominees

The Dilys Award is given annually by the IMBA (Independent Mystery Booksellers Association) to the mystery titles of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling. The Dilys Award is named in honor of Dilys Winn, the founder of the first specialty bookseller of mystery books in the United States. 


Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye, (Amy Einhorn Books) 
The Black Country by Alex Grecian, (Putnam Adult) 
Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman (Harper) 
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books) 
Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet, (Minotaur) 
The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol (University of Minnesota Press)

The winner will be announced at Left Coast Crime in Monterey in March. 

The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association is comprised of a network of independently owned retail bookstores across North America and the United Kingdom, devoted to the sale of mystery books. Congratulations to all the nominees!

(H/T Mystery Fanfare)

Monday 27 January 2014

Left Coast Crime Nominees 2014

The nominees have been announced in four categories of awards to be presented during Left Coast Crime in Monterey. Awards will be announced at the Banquet on March 22 2014.

The Lefty: Best Humorous Mystery Novel
The Hen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
The Fame Thief by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime)
The Last Word by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster)
The Good Cop by Brad Parks (Minotaur Books)
Dying for a Daiquiri by Cindy Sample (Cindy Sample Books)

The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award: Best Historical Mystery Novel Covering Events Before 1960
Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley Prime Crime)
His Majesty’s Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam)
Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)
Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell (Mulholland Books)
Covenant with Hell by Priscilla Royal (Poisoned Pen Press)
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear (HarperCollins)

The Squid: Best mystery set within the United States
W Is for Wasted by Sue Grafton (Putnam, Marian Wood Books)
Purgatory Key by Darrell James (Midnight Ink)
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books)
The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)
A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames (Seventh Street Books)

The Calamari: Best Mystery Set Anywhere Else in the World
Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black (Soho Crime)
Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann (Soho Crime)
As She Left It by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

Mykonos After Midnight by Jeffrey Siger (Poisoned Pen Press)

Congratulations to all the nominees!