In this issue of the Blood-Letter, we introduce Multnomah County deputy district attorneys Michael Brown and Jeffrey Auxier, who will talk about how criminal cases are prosecuted in the real world, share a feature about Bouchercon, and more.

January 2011

Bloody Thursday: “Timing Is Everything” – January 27th

With Michael Brown and Jeffrey Auxier, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys

For our first Bloody Thursday of the New Year, we welcome Michael Brown and Jeffrey Auxier of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. Their presentation is called, “Timing Is Everything” — how criminal cases in the real world are frequently resolved by the most unexpected timing of events.

Michael Brown has spent nearly his entire career, some thirty years, as a prosecutor in the state and federal systems. He got his start in the Benton County District Attorney’s Office in 1977, and thereafter served as the Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Marion County District Attorney’s Office (1980-1983), District Attorney for Marion County (1984), and Deputy District Attorney for Multnomah County (1987-1990). It was in Multnomah County that he he got his first experience in gang prosecutions. In 1990, he began what would be a fifteen year stint as an Assistant United States Attorney, where he served in the drug and violent crime units and as Chief of the Criminal Division.

After retiring from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2005 and living in Europe for a couple of years, he returned to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, where he currently serves as a Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney assigned to the “C/Gangs” Unit. He’s responsible for the prosecution of all felonies committed by gang members, as well as non-gang related robberies, burglaries (first degree), felons in possession of firearms, and vehicular felonies including hit and runs and homicides.

Jeffrey Auxier joined the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office in 2008, after starting his career in Marion County. A native Oregonian, Jeff earned his Bachelor’s from Lewis & Clark College, where he was a star basketball player. After college, he spent a year playing professional basketball in Chile, then returned to the U.S. to attend law school at Willamette University.

In Marion County, Jeff worked almost exclusively on domestic violence cases. Since joining the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, he’s worked in a number of areas, most recently in the Identity Theft Unit. He also prosecutes felony drunk driving cases.

We hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a most interesting presentation by Dr. Pankratz. The meeting will be held at Terwilliger Plaza, 2545 SW Terwilliger Blvd. in the Conference Room, located on the P3 level. Directional signs will be posted in the building. There will be a reception at 7:00 pm, followed by the program at 7:30 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Terwilliger Plaza employee lots across 6th Avenue from the lower level entrance, and on Sheridan Street. Handicapped parking is available at the upper level entrance. Tri-Met bus #8, Jackson Park, stops just in front of the lower level entrance. Click here for directions to Terwilliger Plaza, including a map which shows parking in the area.

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 7:00pm
Location: Terwilliger Plaza, 2545 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR

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Some Great Reading: Recommendations from the Spotted Owl Committee

Our Pacific Northwest authors have been churning out mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels, and many have been receiving great reviews. Here are a few of our recent favorites.

Day One, by Bill Cameron

Day One, by Bill Cameron. Bill’s latest thriller takes us from Southern Oregon to Portland. Retired homicide detective, Skin Kadaash, searches for a runaway teen.

Bodily Harm, by Robert Dugoni

Bodily Harm, by Robert Dugoni. In this legal thriller, attorney David Sloan fights corporate greed and espionage in a case involving the death of a small child.

The Good Son, by Michael Gruber

The Good Son, by Michael Gruber. Set in Pakistan, Sonja Laghari and her son Theo use their knowledge of the country and culture to free their group of peace workers who have been kidnapped by armed terrorists.

Crashers, by Dana Haynes

Crashers, by Dana Haynes. A plane crash in Oregon is first ruled as an accident, but further investigation by the NTSB reveals a terrorist plot.

House Justice, by Mike Lawson

House Justice, by Mike Lawson. Dirty games in the political world of Washington, DC are once again exposed by Joe DeMarco.

Bodily Harm, by Robert Dugoni

Supreme Justice, by Phillip Margolin. Another great legal thriller that focuses on the Supreme Court and a rogue element in the American intelligence community.

Rule of Nine, by Steve Martini

Rule of Nine, by Steve Martini. The 11th book in the Paul Madriani series. After helping to avert a nuclear explosion at a California navel base, the San Diego defense attorney faces another threat.

The Last Run, by Greg Rucka

The Last Run, by Greg Rucka. Tara Chase, Britain’s top covert agent embarks on what could be her final and fatal mission in this Queen & Country thriller.

Deadline Man, by Jon Talton

Deadline Man, by Jon Talton. The newspaper business is slowly dying. A columnist and a young, aggressive reporter are assigned to look into what they believe is a mundane business. The assignment becomes explosive when they discover the involvement of federal agents and encounter threats.

If you are looking for a good read during the winter wind, rain and snow, these novels will keep you turning pages.

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Bouchercon 2010: “We Left Our Hearts in San Francisco”

by Jeannette Voss

Three members of the Spotted Owl Committee, Carrie Richards, Sheila Sweet, and Jeannette Voss attended Bouchercon by the Bay, held in San Francisco from October 14-17, 2010.

Bouchercon is a world mystery convention, where readers mingle with authors, attend panels, and celebrate the genre that they love.

This year’s guests of honor were Lee Child (Distinguished Contribution to the Genre), Denise Mina (International Guest of Honor), Laurie R. King (U.S. Guest of Honor), Maddy Van Hertbruggen (Fan Guest of Honor), and Eddie Muller (Toastmaster.)

After authors had finished their panels they went down to the book room, where they autographed copies of their books. The book room also had different booksellers who had books for sale, so if you didn’t bring books with you, you could buy them at the convention to have autographed. (They also had a book shipping service available the last two days, just in case you purchased more books than would fit in your suitcase to take home.)

Lee Child invited all the attendees to have a drink with him on Friday night at the hotel’s Atrium bar – and he wasn’t kidding.

It’s a great experience for any mystery lover. Next year Bouchercon will be held in St. Louis September 15th-18th, 2011. The American Guests of Honor will be Charlaine Harris and Robert Crais, and the International Guests Val McDermid and Colin Cotterill. We already have our reservations!

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Mrs. Hudson’s Lodger

by Stanley Johnson

Mrs. Hudson took a lodger,
And fed him well on Baker Street
With oyster fritters, liver sausage,
Oxtail soup, and pounded meat.

Sherlock Holmes liked pie for breakfast,
Mince and fish and sometimes veal;
And Mrs. Hudson for a treat
Made pastry pudding stuffed with eel.

Mrs. Hudson cooked him duckling,
Mutton chops and rare beef roast.
She basted eggs and fried his bacon,
And made him jam to go on toast.

Mrs. Hudson fed her lodger
Oatmeal porridge, steak and peas;
And when the time was opportune,
She had a way with straying geese.

Sherlock Holmes stayed lean and healthy,
And spent a lifetime working.
He owed a debt, as do we all,
To Mrs. Hudson’s cooking.

(Recipes for the above dishes can be found in: Julia Carlson Rosenblatt and Fredrick H. Sonnenschmidt, Dining with Sherlock Holmes, New York, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1976. Sean Wright and John Ferrell, The Sherlock Holmes Cookbook, New York, Bramhall House, 1976.)

The author of this poem, Stanley Johnson, is one of the founders of Friends of Mystery. He is a professor emeritus of Portland State University, where he taught English. His groundbreaking class, “Detective Fiction as Literature” served as the foundation for the formation of Friends of Mystery. The poem is printed here with his permission.

Upcoming Programs

  • Thursday, March 24, 2011
    Cara Black, best-selling author
  • Thursday, May 26, 2011
    Spotted Owl Award Winner and book sale

Submissions Needed

Members and readers are encouraged to submit book or film reviews, comments on authors, recommendations for books to read, or questions about mysteries, crime fiction and fact. You can mail these to our PO Box 8251, Portland, OR 97207 or send to our email address at

Mystery Conventions

Mystery conventions are a great place to meet and hear your favorite authors and to be in the company of mystery fans from all over the world. If you get a chance to attend one, you will want to be at another.

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Atkinson Author Faire

April 30th, 2011 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Atkinson Memorial Church
710 Sixth Street Oregon City, OR 97045
phone: (503) 656-7296

Atkinson Memorial Church will provide a cashier and credit card machine, tables and chairs for our faire. Normally, each writer will donate 30% of their sales to the church. (This can be arranged for a different cut if that doesn’t work for you.)

For more information, and to let me know will attend our faire, please contact me at or, 503-801-6264, or 503-651-4335 (odd voicemail.)