Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Revue of Reviewers, 4-20-21

Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases. Click on the individual covers to read more.

Morse’s State of Play

Chris Sullivan’s blog, Morse, Lewis and Endeavour, today brings a modicum of news about the forthcoming—and reportedly final—new series of Endeavour. As an ITV-TV press release explains,
Filming has begun on the eighth series of critically-acclaimed detective drama, Endeavour, with lead actor Shaun Evans directing the first of the three new films.

Shaun Evans reprises his role as DS Endeavour Morse, alongside Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday for a new set of compelling cases written and created by Russell Lewis. …

Opening the series in 1971, a death threat to Oxford Wanderers’ star striker Jack Swift places Endeavour ... and his team at the heart of the glitz and glamour of 1970s football, exposing the true cost of success and celebrity, and with it, a deep-rooted division that is soon reflected much closer to home.
You will find the full media alert here.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Just Trying to Stay on Top of Things

• For the second year in a row, the Mystery Writers of America will announce the winners of its latest Edgar Allan Poe Awards via a Zoom Webcast. Those ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 29. Click here to register as a participant. If you’ve forgotten which books are authors have been nominated for commendation, that information is here.

• CrimeReads’ Olivia Rutigliano tells me something I didn’t know before. As the headline on her story reads, “Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of the Four and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray Were Commissioned at the Same Dinner Party.”

• Tatiana Maslany, who played evangelical preacher Sister Alice McKeegan in Season 1 of HBO-TV’s Perry Mason series, will apparently not reprise that role during the show’s sophomore season. As ComingSoon.net reports, “Maslany’s exit … comes on the heels of [her] officially signing on for the lead role in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk series, which may have also affected her schedule for Perry Mason. Production on the Disney+ series is expected to start soon.”

• Jason Diamond writes in GQ magazine that Peter Falk’s Columbo series has become “an unlikely quarantine hit.”

• Just a couple of months ago, I observed that the odds against there being a Season 3 of McDonald & Dodds, the ITV-TV crime drama starring Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins, seemed terribly high. But wonders never cease, and The Killing Times now brings word that a third series of McDonald & Dodds has indeed been commissioned.

In Reference to Murder says that “James Ellroy, the ‘Demon Dog’ of American literature, is teaming up with the podcast firm, Audio Up, for a five-part podcast series to launch in August. The author of L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia will produce and narrate the podcast, titled Hollywood Death Trip, which takes listeners on a nocturnal tour of murder and mayhem in Los Angeles with period music, archival radio, and cinematic sound design.” CrimeReads adds, “the podcast will be released shortly after Ellroy’s new novel, Widespread Panic, which will be published on June 15, 2021, [by] Alfred A. Knopf. Widespread Panic is the third novel in Ellroy’s ‘Second L.A. Quartet,’ following Perfidia and This Storm.”

How would you like to live in Agatha Christie’s old home?

• Earlier this month, blogger and Mystery Scene columnist Ben Boulden released an interesting e-book titled Killers, Crooks & Spies: Jack Bickham’s Fiction. If you aren’t familiar with Bickham (1930-1997), Boulden notes that he “wrote in every popular genre, except horror and romance (although he did write a few ‘sleaze’ novels for Midwood that may be a touch romantic). He started in Westerns in 1958, and finished with a posthumously published traditional mystery in 1998. Bickham wrote The Apple Dumpling Gang, which Disney translated into a 1975 box office hit. He wrote six espionage thrillers, featuring aging tennis pro Brad Smith, and so much more.” I can’t say I invest much in e-books, but after having come across Bickham’s novels in used bookshops many times over the years, Boulden’s overview of his life and writing career seemed worth having.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Cosby Victorious in Times Contest

S.A. Cosby’s already much-applauded novel Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron) has now won the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the Mystery/Thriller category. That announcement was made on Friday, the day before the 26th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books kicked off its second virtual event held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Competing against Cosby’s tale in that same bracket were A Beautiful Crime, by Christopher Bollen (Harper); And Now She’s Gone, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge); Little Secrets, by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur); and These Women, by Ivy Pochoda (Ecco).

Mystery/Thriller was just one of 12 Times Book Prize classifications. Click here to see the full list of this year’s recipients.

Friday, April 16, 2021

A Sense of Place Can’t Be Overvalued

By Fraser Massey
British author Sarah Pearse knew she’d found the perfect setting for her “creepy” debut thriller, The Sanatorium (released earlier this year by Pamela Dorman [U.S.] and Bantam Press [UK]), when she couldn’t even bring herself to set foot in such a place for research purposes. “My mind said I’d love to go,” she told the audience watching this week’s First Monday Crime discussion on Facebook, but in the end she was “a bit too scared to do it.”

The Sanatorium is a locked-room mystery yarn about a missing guest at a once-abandoned tuberculosis nursing home in the Swiss Alps, now renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. Pearse’s success in conjuring up that isolated building’s chilling aura has certainly captured the interest of readers. Her novel has become the runaway crime-publishing success story of this year so far, shooting straight into the top-10 bestseller charts of both The New York Times and London’s Sunday Times.

Pearse had spent time in Switzerland during her 20s, and later happened across a magazine article about vintage sanatoria being converted to other uses. Those ingredients served to inspire her book. And though she talked herself out of on-the-spot research, Pearse did find videos on YouTube that helped her hone the harrowing atmospherics she needed for her story. There are modern explorers, she explained, who “take a kind of video camera into an old abandoned building and kind of film themselves. I have to say, I went down a rabbit hole of these videos and just sort of immersed myself in that environment … Some of the videos … I mean, they do it in a really creepy way so it obviously draws you in. But I really felt I was there.”

Fans of these regular First Monday Crime sessions—based in London and currently being conducted via Zoom, due to the coronavirus pandemic—had to wait an extra week for this latest presentation, as the actual first Monday in April fell on an Easter public holiday in the UK. But the online audience’s patience was rewarded by the strength of the line-up of writers assembled on their behalf. Not just Pearse, but also American best-seller David Baldacci, premiere novelist David Fennell, and suspense master Matt Wesolowski.

The latest entry in Wesolowski’s award-winning “Six Stories” series, featuring enigmatic investigative reporter and podcast host Scott King, is Deity (Orenda). “It’s a story about what we do as fans when our heroes fall from grace,” the author said of his compelling tale, which has a plot with an almost ripped-from-the-headlines feel to it as King searches for the truth about the mysterious death of a pop star rumored to have sexually abused his fans.

Moderator Jacky Collins said she was especially drawn to the folklore elements of Deity, suggesting how hearsay and lore from the past can influence the present. This set Wesolowski off on an extended tribute to the power of human legends. “I think … the best fear is set in folklore, and the best fear is set in reality,” he began. “Folklore has always been a way to teach through fear. As a species, we teach each other things through stories … We teach our children not to go places because there’s a story behind it. … I think I haven’t invented any new folklore, but I’ve drawn upon this idea of death omens. Up in Scotland, in the Highlands, there’s this idea of a death omen in the form of a black dog. This is used in many cultures, the fear of a death omen. But it also can be an extended metaphor in the story—without sounding horribly pretentious—about someone who’s looking back at past evil and almost being followed by a death omen. … [It’s like] someone’s past coming back to bite them, as it were.”

Although Baldacci’s latest novel, A Gambling Man—being released in mid-May on both sides of the Atlantic—focuses primarily on the murky world of political corruption, its storyline too has a showbiz element. A sequel to his 2019 novel One Good Deed, it again stars Baldacci’s straight-talking World War II veteran and wannabe private eye, Aloysius Archer, who this time out hooks up with a budding Hollywood actress named Liberty Callahan.

Like Pearse, Baldacci admitted to viewers that he’d done no location research when developing his plot. He didn’t need to, as his setting—the California resort of Bay Town—is primarily a figment of his imagination. “I almost always in my books, always make the town up,” he explained. “I never write about a real town. … I always go to a state and I’ll check the entire geographic registry to make sure this is not [the name of] an actual town. Because if I write about an actual town someone will write and say, ‘That mailbox is on the other corner [to where you said]. You screwed up. You’re no good. And I’m not going to finish your book.’ So I always come up with a fictional town. But if you want to think about Santa Barbara, a little bit north of L.A., you’re probably right around the right place.”

This First Monday’s final panelist, David Fennell, revealed that—perhaps because, as a fresh-out-of-the-box novelist, he’s yet to experience similarly pernickety readers desperate to catch him out on geographical errors—he actually put in plenty of foot hours while concocting his intriguing police procedural, The Art of Death (Zaffre), slogging his way around potential London murder sites, searching for authentic setting details.

“Every location [in the book] is real,” Fennell said proudly of his nail-biting art-world-set thriller. “My serial killer, he loves decrepit, forsaken buildings. I certainly walked those streets quite a lot to get ideas and to get a feel for the locations.”

This week’s full hour-long discussion can be watched here.

First Monday Crime, an immensely popular feature of the London literary scene ever since 2016, will no doubt return next month, showcasing still one more fresh set of crime-fictionists. Chances are that it will also take place a week late, as May 3—May Day, the first Monday in May—is another British bank holiday.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Britain Draws Its Daggers

Earlier today, the British Crime Writers’ Association announced the longlists of nominees for its 2021 Dagger Awards, “the premier literary crime-writing awards in the United Kingdom.” The CWA’s shortlists for these same commendations are expected to be released on May 20, with the winners to be declared on July 1.

Gold Dagger:
Stone Cold Trouble, by Amer Anwar (Dialogue)
Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby (Headline)
The Curator, by M.W. Craven (Constable)
City of Ghosts, by Ben Creed (Welbeck)
Peace, by Garry Disher (Viper)
Arrowood and the Thames Corpses, by Mick Finlay (HQ)
House of Correction, by Nicci French (Simon & Schuster)
Troubled Blood, by Robert Galbraith (Sphere)
The Postscript Murders, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
The Silver Collar, by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder & Stoughton)
The House of Lamentations, by S.G. Maclean: (Quercus)
The Other Girl, by C.D. Major (Thomas & Mercer)
Midnight Atlanta, by Thomas Mullen (Little, Brown)
Execution, by S.J. Parris (Harper Fiction)
Making Wolf, by Tade Thompson (Constable)
The Dead of Winter, by Nicola Upson (Faber and Faber)
We Begin at the End, by Chris Whitaker (Zaffre)
The Hidden Girls, by Rebecca Whitney (Mantle)

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:
Box 88, by Charles Cumming (Harper Fiction)
Troubled Blood, by Robert Galbraith (Sphere)
The System, by Ryan Gattis (Picador)
Song for the Dark Times, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
Blood Red City, by Rod Reynolds (Orenda)
Watch Him Die, by Craig Robertson (Simon & Schuster)
When She Was Good, by Michael Robotham (Sphere)
The Nothing Man, by Catherine Ryan Howard (Atlantic)
The Devil and the Dark Water, by Stuart Turton (Raven)
One by One, by Ruth Ware (Harvill Secker)
The Dead Line, by Holly Watt (Raven)
We Begin at the End, by Chris Whitaker (Zaffre)

John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger:
The Creak on the Stairs, by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir (Orenda)
The Silence, by Susan Allott (Borough)
The Silent Daughter, by Emma Christie (Welbeck)
The Chalet, by Catherine Cooper (Harper Fiction)
City of Ghosts, by Ben Creed (Welbeck)
Under Violent Skies, by Judi Daykin (Joffe)
The One That Got Away, by Egan Hughes (Sphere)
The Bone Jar, by S W Kane (Thomas & Mercer)
Cuddies Strip, by Rob McInroy (Ringwood Press)
What’s Left of Me Is Yours, by Stephanie Scott
(Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Fortune Favours the Dead, by Stephen Spotswood (Wildfire)
Three Fifths, by John Vercher (Pushkin Press)
Hermit, by S.R. White (Headline)

Sapere Books Historical Dagger:
Justice for Athena, by J.M. Alvey (Canelo)
Snow, by John Banville (Faber and Faber)
Midnight at Malabar House, by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton)
Riviera Gold, by Laurie R. King (Allison & Busby)
The Unwanted Dead, by Chris Lloyd (Orion Fiction)
Execution, by S.J. Parris (Harper Fiction)
The Night of Shooting Stars, by Ben Pastor (Bitter Lemon Press)
The City Under Siege, by Michael Russell (Constable)
Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons, by David S. Stafford
(Allison & Busby)
Chaos, by A.D. Swanston (Bantam Press)
The Dead of Winter, by Nicola Upson (Faber and Faber)
The Mimosa Tree Mystery, by Ovidia Yu (Constable)

Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger:
Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman, translated by Neil Smith (Michael Joseph)
The Coral Bride, by Roxanne Bouchard, translated by David
Warriner (Orenda)
Greed, by Marc Elsberg, translated by Simon Pare (Black Swan)
The Disaster Tourist, by Yun Ko-eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler (Serpent’s Tail)
The March Fallen, by Volker Kutscher, translated by Niall Sellar (Sandstone Press)
Three, by D.A. Mishani, translated by Jessica Cohen (Riverrun)
The Kingdom, by Jo Nesbø, translated by Robert Ferguson
(Harvill Secker)
The Secret Life of Mr. Roos, by Håkan Nesser, translated by Sarah Death (Mantle)
To Cook a Bear, by Mikael Niemi, translated by Deborah
Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press)
The Seven Doors, by Agnes Ravatn, translated by Rosie
Hedger (Orenda)
Elly, by Maike Wetzel, translated by Lyn Marven (Scribe)

Short Story Dagger:
• “A Dog Is for Life, Not Just for Christmas,” by Robert Scragg (from Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg; Robert Scragg)
• “Deathbed,” by Elle Croft (from Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg; Robert Scragg)
• “Daddy Dearest,” by Dominic Nolan (from Afraid of the Light)
• “Especially at Christmas,” by Adam Southward (from Afraid of the Christmas Lights)
• “Head Count,” by Christopher Fowler (from First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books, edited by David Headley and Daniel Gedeon; The Dome Press)
• “Hunted,” by Victoria Selman (from Afraid of the Christmas Lights)
• “Monsters,” by Clare Mackintosh (from First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books)
• “Murder Most Vial,” by Stuart Turton (from First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books)
• “One of These Nights,” by Livia Llewelyn (from Cutting Edge: Noir Stories by Women, edited by Joyce Carol Oates; Pushkin Press)
• “Planting Nan,” by James Delargy (from Afraid of the Light)
• “The Foot of the Walk Murders,” by Simpson Grears (from The Foot of the Walk Murders, edited by Simpson Grears; Rymour)

ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-fiction:
Written in Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind, by Sue Black (Doubleday)
The Prison Doctor: Women Inside, by Amanda Brown (HQ)
We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence, by Becky Cooper (Heinemann)
Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club, edited by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
These Are Not Gentle People, by Andrew Harding (MacLehose Press)
Dancing with the Octopus: The Telling of a True Crime, by Debora Harding (Profile)
The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us, by Nick Hayes (Bloomsbury Circus)
Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy, by Ben MacIntyre (Viking)
Hell in the Heartland: A True Story of Murder and Two Missing Girls, by Jax Miller (HarperCollins)
The Peer and the Gangster: A Very British Cover-up, by Daniel Smith (The History Press)
Operation Morthor: The Last Great Mystery of the Cold War, by Ravi Somaiya (Viking)
The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story, by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury Circus)
No Return: The True Story of How Martyrs Are Made, by Mark Townsend (Guardian)

Dagger in the Library (“for a body of work by an established crime writer that has long been popular with borrowers from libraries”):
• Lin Anderson
• Nicci French
• Lisa Jewell
• Erin Kelly
• Peter May
• Denise Mina
• Margaret Murphy
• James Oswald
• L.J. Ross
• C.L. Taylor

Publishers’ Dagger (“awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year”):
• Bitter Lemon Press
• Faber and Faber
• Harper Fiction
• Head of Zeus
• Michael Joseph
• No Exit Press
• Orenda
• Pushkin Vertigo
• Raven
• Sphere
• Viper

All of these contenders deserve enthusiastic applause. But I’m particularly pleased to see Chris Whitaker’s We Begin at the End (the U.S. edition of which is certainly one of the best novels I’ve read this year) and Ben Creed’s City of Ghosts being nominated twice for Daggers, and both Stuart Turton’s The Devil and the Dark Water and Thomas Mullen’s Midnight Atlanta—two among my favorite books from 2020—earning spots in one Dagger category apiece.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Finding the Funny in Felonies

Organizers of Toronto, Canada’s 2021 Bloody Words Mini-con had to cancel that event, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the winner of this year’s Bony Blithe/Bloody Words Light Mystery Award is still scheduled to be announced—online—on May 28.

In advance of that event, a shortlist of five contenders for the Bony Blithe has been released, as follows:

There’s a Murder Afoot, by Vicki Delany (Crooked Lane)
The Adventures of Isabel, by Candas Jane Dorsey (ECW Press)
Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings, by Liz Ireland (Kensington)
Obsidian, by Thomas King (HarperCollins Canada)
A Match Made for Murder, by Iona Wishaw (Touchwood Editions)

The Bony Blithe is intended to “celebrate traditional, feel-good mysteries” that can bring a smile to judges’ faces. This year apparently marks the 10th year of the prize’s presentation. Check the Bloody Words Web site or its Facebook page for updates.

(Hat tip to Mystery Fanfare.)

Monday, April 12, 2021

All the Witty Horses

By Jim Napier
To say that Mick Herron is a dark writer is a little like saying Attila the Hun had difficulty getting along with others. One doesn’t read his novels for the plot, nor even primarily for the characters, but for the bleak and jaundiced narrative style that is as much social commentary as it is drama.

Herron’s caustic prose is peppered with witticisms. When—in his new novel, Slough House (Soho Crime)—someone enters a room and finds a varied group of inhabitants, one of his characters exclaims, “It’s like the United Nations in here,” to which another responds, “What, a dosshouse for the weird and lonely?” And when a relatively young man tries to wedge his way into the ranks of his disgraced intelligence agents, Herron observes that “When they went on about sixty being the new forty they forgot to add that that made thirty-something the new twelve.”

Slough House is an outlier in the organizational structure of the British Secret Service, whose home base is located in London’s very elegant Regent’s Park district. By contrast, Slough House lies in the decidedly tatty borough of Finsbury, and is a haven for—what else?—the so-called Slow Horses, viewed by the Park as expendable assets in the world of spycraft. It is zealously presided over by Jackson Lamb. Supremely arrogant, and the living embodiment of political incorrectness, Lamb alternates his burps, farts, and various other offensive bodily functions with off-hand insults directed at gays, the mentally challenged, the vertically challenged, and pretty well anyone else who wanders into his purview. The denizens of Slough House include a coke-head, a gay dwarf, a man framed for being a pedophile, and a woman thought to be dead, but who turns out to be very much alive, though the degree to which she has retained her former skills is as yet worryingly unclear. All of these unfortunates (and others) have managed to alienate the affections of those in command at the Park, who have consigned them to a surrealistic limbo that would give even Hieronymus Bosch pause.

In their latest outing, the members of Slough House find themselves under attack, this time not metaphorically, but literally: someone seems to have them in his or her crosshairs, shadowing them for purposes unknown but clearly concerning.

Jackson Lamb at first speculates that the suits at Regent’s Park are simply using his staff as training fodder to develop their surveillance skills. But it soon appears that something more ominous is going on: payback for the killing of two Russian agents on their home turf in retaliation for an attempt to take out a swapped Russian spy on British soil. The rules of spycraft are elusive at the best of times, but one of them is that home ground is off-limits: one simply doesn’t kill another nation’s assets in their own back yard. So when this happens, events threaten to spiral out of hand.

Herron’s writing is packed with an uncompromisingly dark humor, barbed and cynical, often dripping with sarcasm, a bleak message firmly embedded in his ominous narrative. Students of recent real-world events will find much that is familiar in Herron’s tale, and to be fair, the bellicose visages of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and Donald Trump do arise from time to time, as do the more unruly populist movements found lately in Europe and America. For some, this will be simply an aggravating reminder of unpleasant memes gleaned from the media; others will read the author’s references as elements of a cautionary tale that comes uncomfortably close to reality.

Herron’s veteran followers know better than to expect a quick read: the text here is dense, and its narrative passages often prolonged. But to skip over those in search of action would be to miss much of the flavor—and the merit—of Herron’s writing. Slough House could easily have been titled Bleak House, but lamentably, that latter title had already been taken. This is a book to be highly recommended. And the best news of all? Herron’s Slough House tales are soon to be released as a series on television. Truly, life is sweet—or should I say, sour?

* * *

Jim Napier is a novelist and crime-fiction reviewer based in Canada. Since 2005 his book reviews and author interviews have been featured in several Canadian newspapers and on various crime-fiction and literary Web sites, including his own award-winning review site, Deadly Diversions. His crime novel Legacy was published in April 2017, and the second installment in that series, Ridley’s War, came out in November 2020. Napier can be reached at jnapier@deadlydiversions.com

Another Murder on the Links

This is an Agatha Christie novel I have not read, but the project sounds interesting. From In Reference to Murder:
House and The Night Manager star, Hugh Laurie, has signed up to write, direct, and executive produce an adaptation of Agatha Christie novel, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, for BritBox in North America. The three-part limited series represents the BBC Studios and ITV-owned streamer’s biggest U.S. commission to date. Laurie has apparently been enamored with Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? since he was a child. The book, first published in 1934, tells the story [of] Bobby Jones and his socialite friend Lady Frances Derwent, who discover a dying man while hunting for a golf ball. Jones and Derwent turn amateur sleuths as they seek to unravel the mystery of the man, who has the picture of a beautiful young woman in his pocket, and, with his last breath, utters the cryptic question that forms the series’ title. The amiable duo approach their investigation with a levity that belies the danger they encounter.
Click here to learn more about Christie’s book.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lefty Winners Are Right Here

Because this year’s Left Coast Crime convention was “rescheduled for 2022,” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Lefty Award winners for 2021 were announced instead during a short Zoom Webcast late this afternoon. Below are the victors and runners-up.

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel:
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane)

Also nominated: Mimi Lee Gets a Clue, by Jennifer J. Chow (Berkley Prime Crime); Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen (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); and Skin Deep, by Sung J. Woo (Agora)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (books set before 1970):
The Turning Tide, by Catriona McPherson (Quercus)

Also nominated: The Fate of a Flapper, by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur); A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder, by Dianne Freeman (Kensington); Riviera Gold, by Laurie R. King (Bantam); Mortal Music, by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press); and Turn to Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel:
Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)

Also nominated: Murder Goes to Market, by Daisy Bateman (Seventh Street); Derailed, by Mary Keliikoa (Camel Press); Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Kensington); The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Viking); and The Lady Upstairs, by Halley Sutton (Putnam)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel (not in other categories):
All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Also nominated: What You Don’t See, by Tracy Clark (Kensington); Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron); Blind Vigil, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview); and And Now She’s Gone, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)

Congratulations to all of this year’s prize recipients! A record of previous Lefty honorees can be found here.

(Hat tip to Les Blatt’s blog, Classic Mysteries.)

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Revue of Reviewers, 4-8-21

Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases. Click on the individual covers to read more.