FRIENDS OF MYSTERY MEETING, November 19th at 7pm

John Kroger, Oregon State Attorney General

The Friends of Mystery is exceedingly honored to welcome Oregon Attorney General John Kroger as our January speaker.

AG Kroger is the author of Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves, which was published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux in May 2008. Scott Turow has called Convictions “the best book about being a federal prosecutor since Jeffrey Toobin’s Opening Arguments.”

As a federal criminal prosecutor, he successfully prosecuted over two hundred federal criminal cases, including major cases against Mafia killers, drug kingpins and corrupt government officials. He helped prosecute crooked Enron executives and served on the emergency response team to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In recognition of his work, John won awards and commendations from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the State Department. In 1999, he received the Director’s Award for Outstanding Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney from Attorney General Janet Reno for convicting two Mafia captains for committing multiple murders.

Convictions by John Kroger

AG Kroger has also worked as an economic and domestic policy adviser to a number of leading Democratic politicians. He was Deputy Policy Director of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, a legislative assistant to Speaker of the House Thomas Foley and to Congressman (now senator) Chuck Schumer, and a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department. Kroger served in the United States Marine Corps for three years prior to college. He is a member of the Oregon and Connecticut bars.

In November 2008, he was elected to the position of Oregon Attorney General after winning the nominations of both the Democratic and Republican parties. He won every county in the state, accruing more votes than any other candidate on the ballot, including President Barack Obama.

AG Kroger is an avid runner, cyclist, and hiker. He has run Oregon’s Hood-to-Coast Relay seven times and biked across the United States. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from Yale University and his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. Prior to his election, he served as a law professor at Portland’s Lewis & Clark Law School.

It is our distinct pleasure to welcome AG Kroger to The Friends of Mystery to discuss his book Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves, which recently won the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction.

We hope you will join us for this exceptional speaker in the auditorium of Terwilliger Plaza. There will be a reception at 7:00 pm and the program will begin at 7:30 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available courtesy of Terwilliger Plaza in either of their “permit only” parking lots near the intersection of SW 6th and Sheridan. The lower level entrance to the building is just across 6th Ave. directly in back of the bus shelter. Handicapped parking is available at the upper level entrance. Tri-Met bus #8, Jackson Park, stops just in front of the lower level entrance.

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 7:00pm
Location: Terwilliger Plaza, 2545 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR

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Recommendations from the Spotted Owl Committee

Members of the Spotted Owl Committee are focused on the latest publications of mystery novels written by Pacific Northwest authors in 2009. As of this Blood Letter publication date, there were 67 novels, down slightly from 72 last year. The committee has given strong support for several books released earlier in the year, and if you are looking for a “really good read”, they suggest any of the following books.

Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones
  • Phil Margolin, winner of the 2009 Spotted Owl has given us another top legal thriller with Fugitive.
  • Fellow legal thriller writer Robert Dugoni also has a strong contender with Wrongful Death.
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by debut author Alan Bradley was an early favorite.
  • Mike Lawson’s House Secrets is another great political thriller.
  • Patrick McManus gives us mystery and humor in his Sheriff Bo Tully Double Jack Murders.
  • Dana Stabenow is still at the top of her form with her latest Kate Shugak mystery Whisper to the Blood.
  • Another Alaska writer, Stan Jones, has a new compelling mystery, Village of the Ghost Bears.
  • Chelsea Cain continues to keep us turning the pages with Evil at Heart.
  • G.I. Bones by Martin Limon is a recent favorite.

As they say, “Too many books, too little time.”

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Three from Texas

By Pete Scott

Murder in Four Parts by Bill Crider

I’m sure that Texas has its share of great authors, and three that appeal to me are Joe Lansdale, Bill Crider and Ben Rehder. Crider’s continuing character is Sheriff Dan Rhodes who lives in Blacklin County with a likeable assortment of small town folks that either help or hinder his crime solving efforts. Time moves very slowly in this part of Texas, so the folks who were in his books 20 years ago tend to be around in the latest – except for those killed off along the way.

Holy Moly by Ben Rehder

Time moves a little faster over in Blanco County where author Ben Rehder’s game warden hero, John Martin, helps his buddy, the sheriff, solve crimes all the while trying to enforce the game laws. Turns out game wardens can work any case and arrest evil doers. But in Rehder’s books, Warden Martin runs into many humorous and unusual situations during his investigations.

Vanilla Ride by Joe Lansdale

While Crider and Rehder are writers of numerous crime novels that are great fun, the rest of you, who might enjoy some seriously weird crime and strange fiction, need to check out Joe Lansdale from your local library. Mr. Lansdale is a celebrated writer in several genres including the Hap and Leonard series of crime novels. Who wouldn’t love an East Texas gay black man with a very bad attitude whose best friend Hap is a white college graduate with no ambition but lots of staying power. They get called away from their “careers” as rose diggers in the propagation fields or as night watchmen at a chicken processing plant to handle sensitive cases that the police either can’t or won’t touch.

So enjoy getting acquainted with the rural outback of Texas with some authors who might give you a different perspective on the great state of y’all Texas.

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Member Submissions Needed

Reading a great book or discover a new or old author we shouldn’t miss? We enjoy hearing from members whose enthusiasm inspires us to try something new and different. Want to comment on the direction that mystery and crime fiction is going? We would be interested in providing a forum for a discussion among members. Send your comments and review to Friends of Mystery, PO Box 8251, Portland, OR 97207 or by email to

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Bloody Thursday Programs

Be sure to mark your calendars for our future Bloody Thursday events. On March 25, we will welcome two legal thriller writers, the 2009 Spotted Owl winner Phil Margolin and from Seattle, Robert Dugoni.

On May 27, we will have a panel of up-and-coming writers, which we titled “Fresh Blood”. Participants will be announced soon. Also, prior to the meeting, we will hold our annual book sale. If you have any books to donate for the sale, you can bring them to any meeting or call Elinore Rogers at 503-244-5271 to have them picked up.

The 2009-2010 Bloody Thursday Lecture Series

Executive Privilege by Phillip Margolin
  • Thursday, September 24, 2009
    Carola Dunn, author of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries
  • Thursday, November 19, 2009
    Dr. Nici Vance, Oregon State Police Crime Lab
  • Thursday, January 28, 2010
    Oregon Attorney General John Kroger
  • Thursday, March 25, 2010
    Phil Margolin will accept the 2009 Spotted Owl Award and will be joined by Robert Dugoni to discuss writing legal thrillers.
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
    Fresh Blood, a panel of up-and-coming authors hosted by best-selling Portlander Chelsea Cain.

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Things Mysterious…

Mystery Conventions

  • LEFT COAST CRIME 2010, Booked in LA, March 11-14, 2010, Los Angeles, California.
  • BOUCHERCON 2010, Bouchercon by the Bay, October 14 – 17, 2010, San Francisco, California.

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