Mystery Bytes: Random News & Ideas for the Mystery Reader
On my Chocolate Blog, Dying for Chocolate, I have an occasional post called the Chocolate Sampler: News & Events for Chocoholics. Although I post random info on Mystery Fanfare, I thought I might try to save some of it and post info, blogs and events under the Mystery Bytes column. Feel free to send me any news to include.
Blogs of Interest to people who love Language:
Omniglot Blog is great for word derivations and so much more. Subtitled: Language-related musings-one language is never enough.
Separated by a Common Language.Observations on British and American English by an American linguist in the UK. Perfect companion when reading British mysteries (and American for the Brits). As George Bernard Shaw said, "England and America are two countries separated by a common language."
The Virtual Linguist. Origins and history of words, overview of new additions to the OED, Dictionaries, Grammar, Pronunciation, Words and Phrases and a lot more.
Mr. Verb: Language Changes. Deal With It. Revel in It. Everything about Linguistics. Lots of great links.
Wordia: Bring the Dictionary to Life! Odd blog in which individuals tell on video what words mean to them. Check it out.
And if you live in Rome, Georgia, here's something to keep you sober on New Year's Eve (unless you can't pass up a bargain) Between now and noon on Thursday, drivers can visit McGuire, Jennings and Miller Funeral Home on North Broad Street and sign a contract stating they plan to drink or use drugs and drive on New Year’s Eve. If they are then killed in a wreck while operating a vehicle on Thursday, the funeral home will bury them for free. Services include a casket, grave space, limousine and preparation of remains.
Drive Safely! Lots of great mysteries in 2010 you'll want to read!
Although I know this article in Sunday's New York Times does not apply to most people I know, I found it of interest. If you're like me (and most of my friends), you have stacks and stacks of books sitting around all the rooms in your house or apartment. How to part with them and which ones to part with are always the questions.
I have over 15,000 books, and this year I finally parted with about 2000 mystery novels both hardback and paper. Which to choose to vacate my house was a difficult decision. The first batch were mysteries I know I'll never read either because of the author or topic. The second batch were mysteries I've read and don't plan to reread and are not by my favorite authors. I donated the books to the library, sent books to our troops overseas, and distributed to several hospitals. I also put out a good number of mysteries for my bookgroup to enjoy. Still, I haven't made a dent, as the accompanying photo of a portion of my office will attest. Although it looks a jumble, I know where every book resides.
The Editors at the NYT asked several bookie types these very questions. If you haven't read the following article, I know you'll enjoy it and identify with it. Of course, after reading the article, I realized there were a lot more books I 'need' to buy.
*** How do we decide what to cull and what to keep? We asked some authors and the owner of the Strand book store for advice.
I don’t know if I could collaborate with someone other than Charles. For one thing, I’m spoiled, and for another, I’m comfortable.
This wasn’t what I’d expected when we began to write together. It was, in the beginning, just an interesting challenge. Could we or couldn’t we write something worth reading? Charles was on the road and missed his family, I was bored with painting, and it was summer, hot and humid outside. Our first effort was A TEST OF WILLS, and it worked because we had no preconceived notions about how to collaborate, we just created a system that suited us. Of course it helped that Charles and I knew each other well—and the other half of the success lay in genetics. One side of the family was numbers/math oriented. My daughter for instance, learned German by working out her own mathematical formula for sentence structures. My husband could remember chemical formulae and football scores for years running. Charles was the only other wordsmith/history buff, and it was natural that he liked what I liked in terms of films and books and going to visit historical sites.
We use consensus. Well, we didn’t know any better when we started. It sounded like a lot more fun not to divide everything up. So we’ve worked out each scene with the players and the plot in mind, until we have a good grasp of where it fits, where it is leading, and who should appear in it After that, working out the characterizations and the dialog generally goes smoothly. If it doesn’t, we’re back to talking it through. Since we don’t outline this is essentially living with the book and the characters every step of the way. If we don’t know who the murderer is, we don’t force a character to take on that role. We compete with Rutledge in solving the crime. That’s the comfort part. The spoiled part is that the system seems to work for the new series featuring Bess Crawford, just as well as it does with the long-standing Ian Rutledge mysteries. That’s an “If it ain’t broke” philosophy, but I don’t believe in breaking up a good system just for the fun of it. That would be the equivalent of changing jobs just to see if you can.
However, there’s a lurking snake in this Eden. What would it be like to work with, say, Ken Bruen on a very different kind of story? Where would the parameters be different? And how would the two authors challenge each other in outlook and background, if they came together for a single book but had no other connection?
Don’t read more into this than intended. Rutledge and Bess Crawford are exhilarating to write and we have enough places and ideas to fill dozens of books. That’s the plus of having someone to talk to as we work. But here’s the odd thing about sharing. We can’t write in the same room. Even if we happen to be in the same house, we work on different floors. We each need that space. And the time it allows. We connect by e-mail or instant messenger or a phone call, then mull over suggestions and drafts and ideas.
Charles and I write short stories in the same way we write novels. When you are used to novel length, 3,000 to 7,000 words can be quite a challenge. It tests your ability as a story-teller, and we like that.
Would I recommend collaborating to others? A qualified yes. A good many authors have tried it and have been tremendously successful. The qualified has to do with choosing a partner. There has to be explicit trust, a small ego, more or less equal abilities, and the same skill at using language. Otherwise the team falls apart or the reader can begin to pick out who wrote what. Seamlessness is the goal for great collaborations.
I ought to add that you must come to some arrangement about money and rights before you begin. Then if success knocks, there’s already a protocol in place to deal smoothly with what’s starting to happen. So far no one appears to have murdered his/her collaborator, and that’s probably why.
I don’t know if I would want to collaborate with someone else. As Caroline says, it’s comfortable knowing your fellow writer and not having to tip toe around personality differences or quirks. I’d already lived with her quirks for years before we began Charles Todd! No, just kidding. We’re both fairly easy-going. But it is very nice to approach a scene and know that as we discuss it, both of us are committed to Rutledge (or Bess) and want what is going to work best in a given situation. Yes, we argue, we’ve even been known to yell. But that’s the creative process and no hard feelings afterward. The fascinating thing is, we each bring a very different approach and outlook to the table—not just the male/female aspect, but life experiences and hang-ups and dreams. Rutledge is the beneficiary of two fully realized lives. And Bess Crawford is fitting into that picture very well indeed.
A word about research. We do that together as well. But we also branch out and bring back new concepts that might not have been considered before. Even walking a village, we split up, then confer later. We may see the same church or lane or field in very different ways. Then we both go back for a second look. Finding places to leave a body can be interesting. (You don’t want to alarm the local constabulary while trying.)
If I didn’t want to collaborate with someone else, would I consider writing on my own? I sometimes think about it, but we’re busy and happy at the moment. I would like to try to see how all I’ve learned as a collaborator comes to the surface if I were doing it all alone. I expect it is normal to wonder. In airports and hotel rooms, I have played around with an idea or two, trying to see where they might go. It’s actually invigorating, and I tend to come back to Bess or Rutledge with a fresh approach.
Caroline talked about working in totally different spaces. There’s also the time factor. We don’t write on the same schedule. She may be working at midnight, and I may find myself working early in the morning. So far that seems to have no impact of what we do together. Like the Senate and the House working through a bill for the final version, when we come to the point of comparing thoughts and notes, we’re both ready to talk.
What would I say to someone considering collaboration? Patience is a great virtue whether you are working on a book with someone or just changing wall paper. It pays to listen to the other person even when you think your own ideas are right. Since collaborating isn’t common, I expect the problem is finding the right person, one you trust and respect. I’ve learned a lot about the woman who is my mother—and she’s learned a lot about the man who happens to be her son—and the more we both learn, the more the books seem to grow and prosper. That’s our partnership in crime.
Thanks, Charles and Caroline. I look forward to hosting you at the Literary Salon in Berkeley, CA, on January 14.
2010 is almost upon us, and I wish you a safe, prosperous and happy New Year. May mystery and mayhem only happen in mysteries.
Here's an extended list of mysteries set at the New Year (arranged alphabetically by author)
Marian Babson: Line up for Murder T. L. Barnett: Murder for the New Year George Baxt: The Marlene Dietrich Murder Case Nero Blanc: A Crossworder's Gift Jon L. Breen: Touch of the Past Rita Mae Brown: Full Cry Alison Cairns: New Year Resolution Anne Cleeves: Raven Black Anna Ashwood Collins: Deadly Resolutions Patricia Cornwell: Cause of Death Mark Costello: Bag Men Alisa Craig: Murder Goes Mumming Jeffrey Deaver: The Devil's Teardrop Colin Dexter: The Secret of Annexe 3 Carter Dickson: Death and the Gilded Man Carole Nelson Douglas: Cat on a Hyacinth Hunt Loren D. Estleman: Stress J. Jefferson Fargeon: Death in Fancy Dress (aka The Fancy Dress Ball) Quinn Fawcett: Siren Song Jerrilyn Farmer: Dim Sum Dead Frederick Forsyth: The Fourth Protocol Janet Gleeson: The Grenadillo Box J.M. Gregson: The Lancashire Leopard Jane Haddam: Fountain of Death Karen Harper: The Queene's Christmas Lee Harris: The New Year's Eve Murder Ellen Hart: Hallowed Murder, Merchant of Venus Roy Hart: Seascape with Dead Figures Lauren Henderson: Pretty Boy Reginald Hill: Killing The Lawyers J.A. Jance: Name Withheld Rufus King: Holiday Homicide Frances and Richard Lockridge: The Dishonest Murderer Heather Dune Macadam: The Weeping Buddha Ed McBain: Lullaby Philip McLauren: Scream Black Murder Elisabeth McNeill: Hot News Leslie Meier: New Year's Eve Murder James Melville: Body Wore Brocade David William Meredith: The Christmas Card Murders Miriam Ann Moore: Stayin' Alive Tamar Myers: A Penny Urned Leonardo Padura: Havana Blue (starts with a New Year's Eve hangover) Elizabeth Peters: The Golden One Edward O. Phillips: Sunday's Child Ellery Queen: Calamity Town Gillian Roberts: The Mummer’s Curse Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (begins on New Year's Eve) Joan Smith: Don't Leave Me This Way, Why Aren't They Screaming Meg Taggart: Murder at the Savoy Kathleen Taylor: Cold Front Charles Todd: A Long Shadow Patricia Wentworth: Clock Strikes Twelve Valerie Wolzein: 'Tis the Season to be Murdered (aka And a Lethal New Year) Mark Richard Zubro: The Truth Can Get You Killed
Check out my Chocolate Blog: Dying for Chocolate later this week for Champagne Truffles to make or buy! Great way to celebrate the New Year.
With the release of the new Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr, my favorite actor, there's been a resurgence of public interest in Sherlock Holmes. This is always good for the mystery community.
TMC (Turner Movie Classics) has a 24 hour Holmes Marathon: Holmes for Christmas starting tonight at 8 p.m. First film in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1939) with Basil Rathebone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson. 9:30 "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) also with Bruce and Rathbone. This will be followed by "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970) with Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely. For more info on the rest of the Sherlock Holmes line-up, go to the NYT or TMC.
Smithsonian Magazine this month has a great article on Sherlock Holmes' London. Read it HERE.
Loren Singer, author of The Parallax View, died Saturday at the age of 86. Loren Singer, whose 1970 conspiracy thriller, “The Parallax View,” later made into a movie starring Warren Beatty, was one of the first novels to offer a politically paranoid vision of the United States as a country controlled by ruthless technocrats, died on Saturday in Valhalla, N.Y.
Mr. Singer, who picked up a few pointers on covert operations while training with the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, seized on the political assassinations of the 1960s as a starting point for “The Parallax View.” The main character, a newspaper reporter played by Mr. Beatty in the film, witnesses a presidential assassination and soon discovers that nearly all other witnesses to the event have been hunted down and killed.
I always enjoy reading Design*Sponge, a daily website dedicated to home and product design. It's run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004, Design*Sponge features store and product reviews, DIY projects, before & after furniture and home makeovers, home tours, recipes, videos and podcasts, trend forecasting and gift reviews. The site is updated constantly throughout the day (with an average of 6-10 posts a day), and attracts a core group of devoted readers. I'm glad to be one of them.
So today I saw a post that is and fun and useful for mystery readers (or readers of any kind). For those of you who use the library, you've probably found that check-out procedures are much different from when you were a child. At my public library, for example, the librarian no longer stamps my book with the due date. I scan the book, and there's a stamp available for me to use to mark the due date. If you're a frequent visitor to the library, you'll probably have lots of books with different due dates. Lauren Hunt has created a very fun "Overdue Book Calendar." Definitely not a Black Berry reminder, but great for "paper people" who read real books and keep track on real paper. You can pick up Lauren’s design HERE on Etsy, as a re-printable pdf for $4.
Of course as soon as I posted the Best Mysteries 2009 Lists yesterday, I realized I forgot some, and I also received another one from the Mystery Bookstore LA. Rather than extend yesterday's post, I decided to do Part II today. So be sure and check out the Best Mysteries 2009 Lists including my own list and the lists from Jon Jordan, Les Holstine, Sarah Weinman and many other mystery reviewers, newspaper reviewers and a few mystery bookstores.
As I mentioned before, these lists are very subjective. Add to that the fact that you can't read every book. I haven't read Michael Connelly's The Scarecrow yet, and it might have made my top for 2009, as it made many other lists. I saved it to read over the holidays.
Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles I-5 by Summer Brenner Tower by Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly The Gates by John Connolly Dark Places by Gillian Flynn A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville Hardball by Sara Paretsky
For the complete list of Top 10 of each person at the Mystery bookstore LA, go Here.
Both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal had mysteries within their general fiction lists.
The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly Bryant and May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson The Silent Hour Michael Koryta Londongrad Reggie Nadelson Nemesis by Jo Nesbø The Lord of Death by Eliot Pattison The Cloud Pavilion by Laura Joh Rowland
Library Journal's list came out on November 19. They divided the lists into Mystery & Thriller
Mystery The Odds by Kathleen George Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley Server Down: A Mad Dog & Englishman Mystery by J.M. Hayes The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan Desert Lost by Betty Webb
Thriller The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner House Secrets by Mike Lawson The Doomsday Key by James Rollins
Add these to the Best of the Best for 2009. Lots of reading!
As 2009 draws to a close, it's time to reflect on the Best Mysteries of 2009. Best lists are subjective, but you will certainly find some good reads in the lists below.
I'll start off with my Best of 2009. I read a lot, but the books are not necessarily new, so my list is limited to the new books I read in 2009, and also limited to my memory of those books.
Dog On It by Spencer Quinn The Lord God Bird by Russell Hill Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman The City and The City by China Mielville Ravens by George Dawes Green The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey Neccesary as Blood by Deborah Crombie The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan
Ravens by George Dawes Green A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott Black Water Rising by Attica Locke The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell
Oline Codgill. Oline actually has a numbered order of favorites for the year.
1. (tie) The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly. 1. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly 2. A Darker Domain Val McDermid. 3. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman 4. The Last Child by John Hart 5. The Hidden Man by David Ellis 6. Ravens by George Dawes Green 7. The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer 8. Darling Jim by Christian Moerk 9. Devil's Garden by Ace Atkins 10. A Duty to the Dead and The Red Door by Charles Todd 11. The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny 12. The Way Home by George Pelecanos 13. Heaven's Keep by William Kent Krueger 14. The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan 15. The Long Fall by Walter Mosley 16. Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott
Lesa HolstineLesa's Book Critiques Dog On It by Spencer Quinn Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks 13 1/2 by Nevada Barr The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Lisa also sent her second tier of mysteries that consists of new discoveries -- authors she just discovered. Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Vicki Delany: Winter of Secrets Linda Castillo: Sworn to Silence Kathryn Casey: Blood Lines Sophie Littlefield: A Bad Day for Sorry
The Gates by John Connolly Filthy Rich by Brian Azzarello Dark Mirror by Barry Maitland Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry Skin by Mo Hayder Trust No One by Gregg Hurwitz Walking Dead by Greg Rucka
Stardust by Joseph Kanon Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott
Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times
The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston Arctic Chill by Aranldur Indridason The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson The Long Fall by Walter Mosely The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Melville Hardball by Sara Paretsky Box 21 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell)
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly Pix by Bill James The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson Life Sentences y Laura Lippman Black Water Rising by Attica Locke Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey Stone's Fall by Iain Pears The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
Publishers Weekly Mystery: Bryant and May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson The Silent Hour by Michael Koryta Londongrad by Reggie Nadelson The Lord of Death by Eliot Pattison The Cloud Pavilion by Laura Joh Rowland
Crime/Suspense/Thriller: The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly Dark Places by Gillian Flynn Ravens by George Dawes Green Nemesis by Jo Nesbø Drood by Dan Simmons
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (McKenna) Shatter by Michael Robotham (David) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (Brenda) The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston (Anne) The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan (Dean) The Gates by John Connolly (Kinley) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (Michelle)
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell The Cleaner by Brett Battles The Calling by Inger Wolfe G. I. Bones by Martin Limon Get Real by Donald E. Westlake The Black Ice Score by Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark New Tricks by David Rosenfelt The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly Boca Nights by Steven M. Forman Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
What great lists. There are several books I haven't read yet, and I'll add them to my TBR pile which is really about 10 piles at this point, and constantly growing.
If you're a reviewer, critic or mystery bookstore and you have a Best of 2009 Mysteries List and would like to add to this summary, post a comment or email me.
Ever since Aaron finished his first book, FELLOWSHIP OF FEAR, in 1981, I wanted to write a mystery, too. I had a wonderful job at the time, working as the American Art Librarian in the old MH de Young Museum in San Francisco. I decided that it would make a great setting for a mystery, so I started THE GREY LIMNER. I’d finished about three chapters when we both attended the Cabrillo Suspense Writers’ Conference in Aptos, CA. Aaron was looking for advice on how to submit his manuscript, and I didn’t quite know what I was looking for, because my three chapters were a big disappointment to me. I remember standing on the porch of one of the cottages talking to Colin Wilcox, an established San Francisco mystery writer, lamenting that my natural style was Harlequinesque. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Colin said, “that’s great. Do you know how much money they make?”
To make a long story short, I proceeded to write five sweet romances for Mills & Boon/Harlequin under the name of Emily Spenser. They weren’t entirely my work. I was great at plotting, developing characters, and telling a story, but my style left a lot to be desired. Aaron didn’t mind helping me by rewriting them, in the slightest, especially because we’d quit our jobs, moved north, and were writing full time. Emily Spenser was helping support us, while he was getting his Gideon Oliver mystery series established.
When Aaron won the Edgar Award for Best Novel with OLD BONES, I felt free to drop romance writing and try a mystery again. To my chagrin, my writing style hadn’t improved much, but it finally occurred to me that that part of writing fiction was a talent, an art, not a skill to be learned. (Otherwise all of those PhD English professors, who’d kill to write a publishable novel, would be whipping them out every year.) Clearly, I was always going to need a co-author. However, I was bringing something important to the table, as well—a very fertile imagination. Aaron, as he freely admits, is lucky to get one good idea a year, while my mind overflows with them.
The biggest difficulty I had, was creating a character we would both find engaging, because Aaron was going to have to do more than just rewrite my material. The inspiration for a character came by chance. The year before, Aaron had returned to teach another year in the University of Maryland’s overseas program for the American military, and we’d lived near an American Air Force base in Germany where we had an opportunity to take golfing lessons on the base. I'd always loved the golf-themed stories of P.G. Wodehouse, and once I started playing, I suddenly realized a novice pro golfer would make an interesting protagonist in an amateur detective novel. Aaron agreed and Lee Ofsted was born. A WICKED SLICE was published in 1989. Publishers Weekly thrilled me by calling it an "engagingly humorous thriller." Over the years we wrote four more Lee Ofsteds: ROTTEN LIES, NASTY BREAKS, WHERE HAVE ALL THE BIRDIES GONE? and ON THE FRINGE. In between, we wrote short stories, one of which, "Nice Gorilla," won the Agatha Award for the best short story of the year in 1992.
So how have we continued to write novels and still stay married? Easy. We’ve developed a simple system for co-writing and have refined it over the years. I first do most of the early imaginative work—picking settings, thinking up characters, and coming up with the bare bones of a plot idea—and then I start by writing the first scene. Aaron takes my material and rewrites it, adding depth to the scene, especially with descriptions. He gives it back to me and I make changes and suggestions. If we have a disagreement, he wins if it’s anything to do with style, and I (usually) win if it has anything to do with pacing, plot, and female character dialogue. Then I write the next scene and so on. It works well with few arguments, because we truly bring different talents to the process.
I also bring one more very essential personally trait to the process—one that anyone looking for a co-author would be wise to try and find. I’m not ego-involved with words. If he doesn’t like it? If he wants to re-write it again? If he wants to do some more work on it? I’m absolutely thrilled. It gives me time to go off to hiking, or geocaching, or playing golf or basically goofing off. As far as I’m concerned there’s only room for one workaholic in a co-authoring relationship. And that’s not going to be me!
Our mystery book group meets every Tuesday. We read a series of 10 books each session. In the past we've done themes such as Art Mysteries, Academic Mysteries, Award Winners, and Just Good Books. Last winter we read a series of books with the title: Around the World with Janet and Friends. This winter we're going Around the World again, touching on some countries we missed last year. Different places, different writers, different times. I think you'll find there will be a lot of discussion and, hopefully, an introduction to a few new authors.
The Group is very well read, and after 35 years of meeting every Tuesday, you can imagine that we may have read way more than the titles here. This cumulative knowledge is brought into each session. Besides discussing books, our book group has been responsible for putting on several mystery conventions including Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon. Some of the members include people known in the mystery community such as Bill & Toby Gottfried, Vallery Feldman, Noemi Levine and Sue Trowbridge, and there are even more.
We meet every Tuesday night at my home in Berkeley, CA, and we welcome new members. Email me if you'd like to join us. If you can't join us physically, how about sending a weekly review of each book to share.
Around the World with Janet and Friends II: Winter 2010
January 5 A Beautiful Place to Die by By Malla Nunn (South Africa)
January 12 A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley (Botswana)
January 19 The Witch Doctor's Wife by Tamar Myers (The Congo)
January 26 The Man of My Life by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (Spain)
February 2 The Kiss Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer (Turkey)
February 9 Songs My Mother Never Taught Me by Selcuk Altun (Turkey)
February 16 The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva (Israel/Italy)
February 23 The Collaborator of Bethlehem Matt Beynon Rees (Israel)
March 2 The Menorah Men by Lionel Davidson (Israel)
March 9 No session (??Left Coast Crime??)
March 16 Beekeeper by J. Robert Janes (France)
March 23 Total Chaos by Jean-Claude Izzo (France)
March 30 or April 6 A Cara Black -- Everyone will read a mystery set in a different Arrondisement in Paris
Anyone searching for clues about the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes need not look only to his headquarters on London's Baker Street. Deep in an underground cavern at the University of Minnesota lies the world's largest collection of Holmes memorabilia. To many, it's a mystery how this trove of tens of thousands of books, toys, games, posters and recordings - from copies of the Holmes stories owned by the last empress of Russia to an original manuscript page of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" - ended up at a Midwestern university, half a world away from the foggy London streets of Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The answer is elementary, according to Tim Johnson, curator of special collections and rare books at the University of Minnesota Libraries: A "happy series of accidents" involving a retired university librarian, a Nobel Prize laureate and a Holmes fan who took a "vacuum cleaner" approach to collecting.
"People think the Holmes collection ought to be in London. So it's 'why Minnesota?' And it's really just this series of happy events that occurred over time," Johnson said.
The Holmes collection in Minnesota has between 15,000 and 16,000 volumes, and other pieces bring the archive to 60,000 or more, Johnson said. They are kept in a cavern, fitted out for storage, about 85 feet below ground at the Elmer L. Andersen Library, where temperatures and humidity are controlled.
On metal shelves sit memorabilia including magnifying glasses, an ice cream carton with a cartoon cow wearing Holmes' iconic deerstalker cap and a pillow with an image of Sherlock Hemlock, a Muppet character from "Sesame Street."
Los Angeles attorney Les Klinger, who wrote The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (3 volumes) has donated his papers to the university's collection. Other major Holmes or Doyle archives are at Harvard University, the Toronto Public Library and Portsmouth, England.
But Klinger calls Minnesota's collection the "first stop for anybody doing research, because if you're looking for something, it's probably in the collection."
Read the Mission Statement on these tours, but still... pretty strange, huh? The Ultimate Urban Experience!BE THE FIRST IN THE HISTORY OF LOS ANGELES TO EXPERIENCE AREAS THAT WERE FORBIDDEN ...UNTIL NOW!
Sanders, Lawrence. The Fourth Deadly Sin Saums, Mary. When the Last Magnolia Weeps Sawyer, Corinne Holt. Ho Ho Homicide Scherf, Margaret. The Gun in Daniel Webster’s Bust Schumacher, Aileen. Framework for Death Schweizer, Mark. The Alto Wore Tweeds Sedaris, David. Holidays on Ice Sefton, Maggie. Fleece Navidad Sellars, M.R. Perfect Trust Serafin, David. Christmas Rising Shannon, Dell. No Holiday For Crime Sibley, Celestine. Spider in the Sink Simenon, Georges. Maigret's Christmas Slater, Susan [et al] Crooks, Crimes and Christmas Smith, Barbara Burnett. Mistletoe From Purple Sage, 'Tis the Season for Murder (with Fred Hunter) Smith, Frank. Fatal Flaw Smith, George Harmon. The Christmas Angel Smith, Joan. Don't Leave Me This Way Smith, Terrence. The Devil and Webster Daniels Smoak, Amanda. Generals' Row Sprinkle, Patricia H. A Mystery Bred in Buckhead Strohmeyer, Sarah. Bubbles All the Way Symons, Julian. The Detling Secret Talley, Marcia. Occasion of Revenge Taylor, Elizabeth Atwood. The Cable Car Murder Taylor, Sarah Stewart. O' Artful Death Temple, Lou Jane. Death is Semisweet Thompson, Carlene. The Way You Look Tonight Tooke, John. On the Twelfth Day of Christmas Tourney, Leonard D. Knaves Templar Tremayne, Peter. The Haunted Abbot Trocheck, Kathy. A Midnight Clear Underwood, Michael. A Party to Murder Unsworth, Barry. Morality Play VanLeeuwen, Jean. The Great Christmas Kidnaping Caper Victor, Cynthia. What Matters Most Viets, Elaine. Murder With All the Trimmings Wainwright, John. The Life and Times of Christmas Calvert...Assassin Walker, Persia. Darkness and the Devil behind Me Walsh, Thomas. The Resurrection Man Ward, Donald. Our Little Secret Washburn Livia. The Christmas Cookie Killer Weir, Charlene. A Cold Christmas Welk, Mary. Deadly Little Christmas, A Merry Little Murder Wildwind, Sharon. First Murder in Advent Williams, David. Murder in Advent Windsor, Patricia. The Christmas Killer Wingfield, R.D. Frost at Christmas Wolzien, Valerie. Deck the Halls With Murder Wright, Eric. The Man Who Changed His Name
As I mentioned last year when I did my Chanukah round-up, there aren't a lot of Chanukah mysteries, probably because it's really a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar. However I have a short list with a few more books than last year.
Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned) Festival of Deaths by Jane Haddam Chanukah Guilt by Ilene Schneider
Children's Hanukah Mysteries: Rabbi Rocketpower and the Mystery of the Missing Menorahs - A Hanukkah Humdinger! by Rabbi Susan Abramson and Aaron Dvorkin and Ariel DiOrio
Mystery Short Stories: "Mom Lights a Candle" by James Yaffe, appeared in Mystery: The Best of 2002, ed. by Jon L. Breen. For more info on Jewish short story mysteries, check out Steven Steinbock who blogs on Criminal Brief, the Mystery Short Story Web Log Project.
Mystery Games: Here's a children's software mystery game: Who Stole Hanukkah? offered in five languages: English, Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish Other Games for Children: The Case of the Stolen Menorah: An Enlightening Hanukkah Mystery
Here's the list of Christmas Mysteries Authors O-R. Thomas Nolan had a wonderful article in the Wall Street Journal this week entitled The Holidays are Part of the Puzzle in which he reviews several Christmas mysteries, as well as some great mystery site specific books such as Brunetti's Venice: Walks with the city's Best-Loved Detective. They're not Holiday specific, but you'll want to add them to your Christmas wish-list.
O'Connell, Carol. Judas Child O'Marie, Sr. Carol Anne. Advent of Dying, Murder in Ordinary Time, A Novena for Murder Stewart O’Nan. Last Night at the Lobster Page, Katherine Hall. The Body in the Big Apple, The Body in the Bouillon, The Body in the Sleigh Palmer, William. The Dons and Mr. Dickens Papazoglou, Orania. Rich, Radiant Slaughter, Charisma Parker, Gary E. Death Stalks a Holiday Parker, Robert. The Widening Gyre Paul, Barbara. A Chorus of Detectives Pearson, Carol Lynn. A Stranger For Christmas Pence, Joanne. Two Cooks A-Killing Penny, Louise. A Fatal Grace Perry, Anne. A Christmas Beginning, A Christmas Grace, A Christmas Guest, A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Secret, A Christmas Visitor, Silence in Hanover Close, A Christmas Promise Peters, Elizabeth. He Shall Thunder in the Sky, Trojan Gold Peters, Ellis. A Rare Benedictine, The Raven in the Foregate Philips, Scott. The Ice Harvest Plunkett, Susan. Silent Night [anthology] Pomidor, Bill. Mind Over Murder Pronzini, Bill. Snowbound Pryce, Malcolm. Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth Pulver, Monica. Original Sin Purser, Ann. Murder on Monday Queen, Ellery. The Finishing Stroke, Cat of Many Tails, Calamity Town, The Egyptian Cat Mystery, Murder at Christmas Quentin, Patrick. Follower Raphael, Lev. Burning Down the House Rawls, Randy. Jingle’s Christmas Ray, Robert J. Merry Christmas Murdock Reinsmith Richard. Body for Christmas Richards, Emilie. Let There be Suspects Rickman, Phil. Midwinter of the Spirit Riggs, John R. Haunt of the Nightingale Ripley, Ann. The Christmas Garden Affair Rizzolo, S.K. The Rose in the Wheel Robb, J.D. Holiday in Death Roberts, Gillian. The Mummer’s Curse, Philly Stakes Roberts, Sheila. On Strike for Christmas Robinson, Peter. Past Reason Hated, The Price of Love and Other Stories (anthology) Roosevelt, Eliot. The White House Pantry Murder Rowe, Jennifer. Death in Store, Love Lies Bleeding Rubino, Jane. Fruit Cake Ruell, Patrick. Red Christmas Ryan, Jenna. Mistletoe and Murder
Mystery Writers of America announced the 2010 Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Recipients yesterday.
Dorothy Gilman, author of the Mrs. Pollifax series of spy novels, has been chosen as this year’s Grand Master. MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as significant output of consistently high-quality material. Gilman has written and contributed to over 30 books that feature uncommon and unique characters. Her writing has continually kept readers coming back for 60 years.
Two extraordinary members of the mystery community with a collective respect for the genre will also be honored by MWA with the Raven Award at this year's Edgar Banquet. Zev Buffman, distinguished Broadway Producer, and the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, one of the largest specialty mystery bookstores in the U.S., will each be presented with Raven Awards. Established in 1953, the award is bestowed by MWA's Board of Directors for outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.
Mr. Buffman's experiences incorporate a vast variety of entertainment ranging from Hollywood acting experiences, to producing more than 40 Broadway shows and 100 National Tours. He has served as President and CEO for many "first class" performing arts centers, including the Jackie Gleason Center in Miami Beach, the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, and the historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans.
Mystery Lovers Bookshop (MLB) of Oakmont, PA, is receiving the Raven Award in recognition of the constant support and dedication they have shown to the mystery community. MLB in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, opened its doors on Halloween 1990. In the 19 years following it has grown to be one of the largest and most recognized mystery bookstores in the country. The store was founded by Mary Alice Gorman, formerly director of a victim services agency, and her husband Richard Goldman, a former software executive.
Mystery Lovers Bookshop is perhaps best known for its annual Festival of Mystery, an event held each spring which regularly attracts over 400 mystery readers to a one-evening extravaganza involving fifty or more authors. Monday, May 3, 2010 will be the date for the fifteenth Festival.
The 2010 Ellery Queen award is being awarded to Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald of Poisoned Pen Press (PPP). The Ellery Queen award is given to editors or publishers who have distinguished themselves by their generous and wide-ranging support of the genre. Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald founded Poisoned Pen Press in 1996. Its original mission was to publish reference and out of print books but it quickly shifted gears to original work and today averages 36 new novels a year with a backlist fully in print. The press' authors have earned numerous award nominations and wins and a basket of starred reviews.
For more information on Mystery Writers of America, go here.
Here's the Third installment of Christmas Mysteries, Authors I-N. What a long list. Makes for more reading which is always fine with me! Happy Holiday Reading. Be sure and go back on Mystery Fanfare for Holiday Authors A-D and Authors E-H. Let me know if I've forgotten any.
Iams, Jack. Do Not Murder Before Christmas Indridason, Arnaldur. Voices Innes, Michael. A Comedy of Terrors, Christmas at Candleshoe Irving, Karen. Jupiter’s Daughter Jaffe. Jody. Chestnut Mare, Beware Jahn, Michael. Murder on Fifth Avenue Jeffers, H. Paul. Murder on Mike John, Cathie. Add One Dead Critic Jordan, Cathleen. A Carol in the Dark Jordan, Jennifer. Murder Under the Mistletoe. Kane, Henry. A Corpse for Christmas (Homicide at Yuletide) Kaplan, Arthur. A Killing for Charity Kaye, M. M. Death in the Andamans Kellerman, Faye. Sacred and Profane Kelley, Lee Charles. 'Twas the Bite Before Christmas Kelly, Mary. The Christmas Egg Kelner, Toni L.P. Mad as the Dickens Kendrick, Stephen. Night Watch: A Long-Lost Adventure in Which Sherlock Holmes Meets Father Brown King, Laurie R. A Monstrous Regiment of Women Kingsbury, Kate. No Clue at the Inn, Ringing in Murder, Shrouds of Holly, Slay Bells Kisor, Henry. Season’s Revenge Kitchen, C.H.B. Crime at Christmas Kleinholz, Lisa. Exiles on Main Street Knight, Alanna. The Dagger in the Crown Knight, Stephen. Corpse at the Opera House, Murder at Home, More Crimes for a Summer Christmas Koch, Edward I. Murder on 34th Street Koontz, Dean R. Mister Murder, Santa’s Twin, Robot Santa Lake, M.D. A Gift for Murder, Grave Choices Landreth, Marsha. The Holiday Murders Lane, Vicki. In a Dark Season Langley, Bob. Death Stalk Langton, Jane. The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels, The Memorial Hall Murder Lathen, Emma. Banking on Death Lawrence, David. Cold Kill Lawrence, Hilda. Blood Upon the Snow Leach, Christopher. A Killing Frost Levine, Joan. The Santa Claus Mystery Levine, Laura. Candy Cane Murders (with Joanne Fluke & Leslie Meier) Lewin, Michael Z. The Enemies Within Little, Constance. The Black-Headed Pins Livingston, Nancy. Quiet Murder Locke, William J. A Christmas Mystery Lockridge, Richard. Dead Run London, Cait. (and others) Sugarplums and Scandal Luber, Philip. Deadly Convictions MacLeod, Charlotte. Rest You Merry; ed.Christmas Stalkings: Tales of Yuletide Murder, The Convivial Codfish; Mistletoe Mysteries (ed) MacDonald, John D. Pale Gray for Guilt MacLeod, Charlotte. The Convivial Codfish, Murder Goes Mumming, Rest You Merry MacPherson, Rett. A Comedy of Heirs, The Blood Ballad MacPherson, Suzanne (and others) Sugarplums and Scandal Malliet, G. M. Death of a Cozy Writer Malmont, Valerie. Death, Snow, and Mistletoe Marantz, Bill. Christmas Eve Can Kill You Markowitz, Jeff. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder Marks, Jeffrey. Canine Christmas Maron, Margaret. Corpus Christmas Marsh, Ngaio. Tied Up in Tinsel Matesky, Amanda. Murder is a Girl’s Best Friend McBain, Ed. And All Through the House, Downtown, Ghosts, Sadie When She Died McCloy, Helen. Mr. Splitfoot McClure, James. The Gooseberry Fool McGinley, Patrick. Goosefoot McGown, Jill. Murder at the Old Vicarage McKevett, G.A. Cooked Goose, Poisoned Tarts McLintick, Malcolm. Death of an Old Flame McMullen, Mary. Death by Bequest Meier, Leslie. The Christmas Cookie Murder, Mistletoe Murder, Mail Order Murder, Candy Cane Murders (w/Joanne Fluke & Laura Levine) Meredith, David W. The Christmas Card Murders Meredith, D. R. Murder by Sacrilege Michaels, Kasey. High Heels and Holidays, Bowled Over Miles, Terry. Dog Gone Christmas Milne, A.A. A Table Near the Band, Christmas Party Miner, Valerie. Murder in the English Department Minichino, Camile. The Helium Murder, The Oxygen Murder Moore, Christopher. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror Morrell, David. The Spy Who Came for Christmas Mortimer, John. A Rumpole Christmas Moyes, Patricia. Season of Snows and Sins Muller, Marcia. There's Nothing to be Afraid Of Murphy, Shirley Rousseau. Cat Deck the Halls Nabb, Magdalen. Death of an Englishman Nash, Anne. Said with Flowers Neel, Janet. Death's Bright Angel Nelson, Hugh. The Season for Murder Nordan, Robert. Death Beneath the Christmas Tree
The Swiss writer Jacques Chessex, 75, died October 9 from an apparent heart attack. He was the first non-French citizen to win France's most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. The precise, sometimes austere beauty of his prose often contrasted with the way he used it to delve into stories of hidden cruelty, crime or passion.
While he was respected within Switzerland as a poet, painter and essayist, as well as a novelist, his penchant for revealing the darkly uncomfortable truths beneath the pristine surface of Swiss society found him more than once at odds with the communities in which he lived. His neighbours in the Swiss village of Ropraz were offended by his 2007 novel Le Vampire de Ropraz, published in Britain as The Vampire of Ropraz by Bitter Lemon Press in 2008 (US April 2009), which examined a 1903 miscarriage of justice when a local stable boy caught violating animals was convicted of a series of brutal murders. Chessex wove elements of genre fiction into his portrayal of a backward and repressed society trying to cope with modern criminal horror. But he made the crimes themselves seem an almost inevitable outgrowth of Swiss rural isolation, Calvinist repression, and intense social jealousy.
His most recent novel, Un Juif Pour L'Exemple, investigated the 1942 killing of a Jewish cattle trader by Swiss Nazis in Chessex's home town of Payerne, and became a national cause celebre in a country still uncomfortable with the true character of its neutrality during the second world war. Bitter Lemon plan to publish it, entitled A Jew Must Die, in February next year (US May 2010).
Chessex won the Goncourt in 1973 for his novel L'Ogre, published in English translation as A Father's Love in 1975. Detailing a brutal father-son relationship, it drew heavily on his own experience. Chessex was born in Payerne, where his father was a secondary school principal and strict disciplinarian. He was also an etymologist, from which may have sprung Chessex's love of precision in his poetry and prose. Chessex attended elementary school with the son of the Nazi at the centre of Un Juif pour L'Exemple, then studied at the Jesuit College St Michel in Fribourg, where, aged 17, he founded a poetry magazine, Pays du Lac (Lake Country). His first book of poetry, Le Jour Proche (The Next Day), was published in Geneva in 1954. At Lausanne University he wrote his dissertation on Francis Ponge, the poet and essayist.
The pivotal moment of Chessex's life was the trauma he felt after his father killed himself in 1956. After three more collections of poetry, his first novel, La Tête Ouverte (The Open Head, 1962) won the Schiller prize; the recognition helped him co-found the literary magazine Ecriture in 1964. Still, he followed in his father's footsteps, and taught French literature at Lausanne's Gymnasium. A
After the success of L'Ogre, which opens with the death of its protagonist, a teacher's father, he settled in Ropraz, and produced more than 80 books, including 31 novels or other fictions, 28 volumes of poetry, including Les Aveugles du Seul Regard, which won the Prix Mallarmé in 1994, and a number of children's books, one of which, Marie et le Chat Sauvage, was published in English as Mary and the Wild Cat in 1980. In his 60s he began painting, receiving a number of major exhibitions in Switzerland. He occupied a central position within the French-speaking Swiss cultural world, active as a critic and essayist, and was awarded the Prix Jean Giorno for his life's work in 2007.
Chessex collapsed during a lecture at the Municipal Library in Yverdon les Bains, discussing a play adapted from his 1967 novel La Confession du Pasteur Burg (The Confession of Pastor Burg), an intense work dealing with the conflict between desire and repressive institutions and laws. He had just been asked to comment on the arrest of the film director Roman Polanski.
Married three times, he is survived by his companion Sandrine Fontaine, and two sons, François and Jean. A new novel, Le Dernier Crâne De M De Sade (The Last Skull of M De Sade), is due to be published early next year.
Jacques Chessex, writer, born 21 March 1934; died 9 October 2009
2009 AWARD ANNOUNCEMENTS: NERO AWARD & BLACK ORCHID NOVELLA AWARD
The Nero Award is presented each year to an author for the best American Mystery written in the tradition of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories. It is presented at the Black Orchid Banquet, traditionally held on the first Saturday in December in New York City. This year, the winner is Joseph Teller for The Tenth Case (Mira Books, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises). The award was presented by Jane K. Cleland, chair of the Wolfe Pack's literary awards. Teller's third Jaywalker book, Depraved Indifference, is now available.
The Black Orchid Novella Award is presented jointly by The Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine to celebrate the Novella format popularized by Rex Stout. This year's winner is Steve Liskow for "The Strangle Hold".
The Wolfe Pack, founded in 1977, is a forum to discuss, explore, and enjoy the 72 Nero Wolfe books and novellas written by Rex Stout. The organization promotes fellowship and extends friendship to those who enjoy these great literary works of mystery through a series of events, book discussions, and a journal devoted to the study of the genius detective, Nero Wolfe, and his intrepid assistant, Archie Goodwin. The organization has over 400 members worldwide.
Eberhart, Mignon G. Postmark Murder
Eddenden, A. E. A Good Year for Murder
Egan, Lesley. Crime for Christmas
Eickhoff, Randy Lee. Then Came Christmas
Erskine, Margaret. A Graveyard Plot
Estleman, Loren D. The Glass Highway
Evanovich, Janet. Visions of Sugar Plums
Fairstein, Linda A. The Deadhouse , The Crime and the Crystal, A Small World of Murder
Fennelly, Tony. Home Dead for Christmas.
Ferrars, E.X. Smoke Without Fire, The Small World of Murder, The Crime and the Crystal
Ferris, Monica. Crewel Yule
Fluke, Joanne. Candy Cane Murders, Sugar Cookie Murder, Plum Pudding Murder
Flynn, Brian. The Murders near Mapleton
Ford, Leslie. The Simple Way of Poison
Fowler, Earlene. The Saddlemaker’s Wife
Fraser, Anthea. The Nine Bright Shiners
Frazer, Margaret. The Servant's Tale, The Widow's Tale
Freydont, Shelley. A Merry Little Murder
Frommer, Sara Hoskinson. Witness in Bishop Hill
Gano, John. Inspector Proby's Christmas
Garner, James Finn. Politically Correct Holiday Stories: For an Enlightened Yuletide Season
Garnet, A. H. The Santa Claus Killer
George, Anne. Murder on a Bad Hair Day
Giroux, E. X. Death for a Dietician
Godfrey, Thomas (ed) Murder for Christmas: 26 Tales of Seasonal Malice
Goodman, Jonathan. Murder on the Aisle Gordon, Alan. Thirteen Night, The Moneylender of Toulouse Gorman, Ed. Murder on the Aisle
Gouze, Roger. A Quiet Game of Bambu
Grace, Margaret. Mayhem in Miniature
Grafton, Sue. “E” is for Evidence
Graham, Heather. The Last Noel
Granger, Ann. A Season for Murder
Grabenstein, Chris. Hell for the Holidays, Slay Ride
Graves, Sarah. Wreck the Halls
Greeley, Andrew. The Bishop and the Three Kings, The Man with a Load of Mischief, The Old Fox Deceiv'd, Star Bright!
Green, Christine. Deadly Partners
Greenberg, Martin H. (ed) Cat Crimes for the Holidays, Holmes for the Holidays, Santa Clues, More Holmes for the Holidays. Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Grimes, Martha. Jerusalem Inn, Old Fox Deceived
Guest, Judith. Killing Time in St. Cloud
Gunning, Sally. Ice Water
Haddam, Jane. Not a Creature Was Stirring, A Stillness in Bethlehem
Hager, Jean. The Last Noel
Haines, Carolyn. Buried Bones
Hall, Parnell. A Puzzle in a Pear Tree
Hall, Robert Lee. Benjamin Franklin and a Case of Christmas Murder
Hardwick, Richard. The Season to be Deadly
Hare, Cyril. An English Murder
Harper, Karen. The Queene’s Christmas
Harris, Charlaine. Shakespeare’s Christmas & (Ed) Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
Harris, Lee. The Christmas Night Murder
Harrison, Janis. Murder Sets Seed
Hart, Carolyn G. Sugarplum Dead & Merry, Merry Ghost
Hart, Ellen. Vital Lies, Murder in the Air.
Harvey, John. Cold Light
Harvey, Roy. Seascape with Dead Figures.
Heald, Tim. (ed) A Classic Christmas Crime
Heath, Sandra. Mistletoe Mischief
Hemlin, Tim. A Catered Christmas
Hess, Joan. A Holly, Jolly Murder, O Little Town of Maggody
Heyer, Georgette. Envious Casca
Hiassen, Carl. Tourist Season
Hill, Reginald. Death's Jest Book
Hilton, John Buxton. Death in Midwinter
Hinkemeyer, Michael. A Time to Reap
Hodgkin, Marion Rous. Dead Indeed
Holland, Isabelle. A Fatal Advent
Holmes, Dee. Silent Night [anthology]
Howie, Edith. Murder for Christmas
Howlett, John. The Christmas Spy
Hughes, Mary Ellen. Wreath of Deception
Hunter, Alan. Landed Gently
Hunter, Ellen Elizabeth. Murder on the Candlelight Tour, Christmas Wedding.
Hunter, Evan. Come Winter
Hunter, Fred. Ransom for a Holiday, 'Tis the Season for Murder
Coming soon: the rest of the alphabet :-) For A-D, go HERE.