In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of Bloody Thursday guest Shawn Bowman, recent award winners, and a recap of 2012 Bouchercon!

November 2012


BLOODY THURSDAY November 15, 2012: Criminal Crafts

“Former professional chef and current crafter and writer extraordinaire, Shawn Bowman dallied in a promising East Coast film career, but decided to chuck it away to raise a demanding and ungrateful family and an ill-tempered dog. Attached to her glue gun in a meaningful yet painful way, she spends her days skulking in Portland, Oregon, writing, making stuff, and drinking awesome beer.

Her book, Criminal Crafts: Outlaw Projects for Scoundrels, Cheats, and Armchair Detectives, brings together illicit behavior and artistic expression with dark humor in this do-it-yourself project book. Bowman focuses on original crafts and recipes themed in noir, murder, retro espionage, pulp fiction, mafia, and voodoo.

From John Dillinger’s soap gun to Bonnie Parker’s gunshot poetry journal, readers will find themselves both amused and intrigued with the devious creativity. Not to mention how impressed party guests will be when they show up to Flaming Amy cocktails and cocktail bars stashed in violin cases. From the practical to the classically kitsch, Criminal Crafts are art projects readers will love.

Some of Bowman’s notorious crafts are available online at, and you can follow Criminal Crafts at and via Twitter and Facebook.”

We hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a fun presentation. The program will begin at 7:30 pm at Terwilliger Plaza. Directional signs will be posted in the building. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Terwilliger Plaza employee parking 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.

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And the Winners Are…

Anthony Awards

Presented at Bouchercon on October 6th in Cleveland, Ohio.

Best Novel

  • A Trick of the Light – Louise Penny

Best First Novel

  • Learning to Swim – Sara J. Henry

Best Paperback Original

  • Buffalo West Wing – Julie Hyzy

Best Short Story

  • “Disarming” – Dana Cameron, EQMM June ’11, p. 24

Best Critical Nonfiction Work

  • The Sookie Stackhouse Companion – Charlaine Harris, ed.

The 2012 Thriller Awards

The International Thriller Writers announced the 2012 Thriller Awards at ThrillerFest VII on July 14, in New York City.

Best Hardcover

  • 11/22/63 – Stephen King

Best Paperback Original

  • The Last Minute – Jeff Abbott

Best First Novel

  • Spiral – Paul McEuen

Best Short Story

  • “Half-Lives,” – Tim L. Williams, EQMM, March/April 2011

The 2012 Harper Lee Prize For Legal Fiction

Michael Connelly received the 2012 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction during a ceremony September 20, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The award is sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal. The prize is for fiction that honors the role of lawyers in society and the ideals represented by Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Connelly received the award for his work in The Fifth Witness. Those on the selection committee included novelist Linda Fairstein, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, novelist Lisa Scottoline, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, and FOX News political analyst Juan Williams.

(Michael Connelly will be at Powell’s in Beaverton on Friday evening, November 30th with his new book, The Black Box.)

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Crime Fiction Rocks!

By Jeannette Voss

Bouchercon 2012, Cleveland, Ohio

Going to a Bouchercon is always exciting, and this year was no exception. Fellow FOM members Sheila Sweet, Carrie Richards and I were packed and ready to fly to Cleveland, Ohio via Atlanta, making our arrival time near midnight when we checked into the host hotel the night before the conference began.

Thursday morning we pick up our registration packets and get to see the contents – which include not only our identification, conference program info, and the eagerly awaited supply of free books! We each have six – I’m especially excited because among mine are the new Johnny Shaw book, Big Maria, and a book that was just added to our Spotted Owl reading list, Angel with a Bullet, by M.C. Grant. Sheila and Carrie have different books – if only we had time to read them! No time for that, however, the panels are going to begin at 11:00 am.

There are four panels from which to choose, and they each last 50 minutes. At the end of that time there are 25 minutes between panels, during which time you can go to the “Book Room” and buy books and/or get books signed by the authors that have just been on the panels. I started out with “Cleveland Rocks and So Does Murder”, which included local mystery writer Les Roberts. Carrie and Sheila went to “Mystery Southern Style.” I’m excited about the second panel of the day, because it includes Stephen Booth, an English author who I enjoy reading, and who hasn’t been at the other Bouchercon’s I’ve been to. His panel is entitled “Murder in the Great Outdoors”. Today there is no lunch break, so on I go to “What an Author Will Do For a Story”. I haven’t read any of these authors, but they have interesting tales to tell.

In-between these panels Carrie, Sheila and I run into each other as we troll the Book Room for books we just can’t live without. We get together to sit in the front row of our last panel of the day, “Have Gun Will Murder”, which features our Stan Johnson Debut Novel winner Johnny Shaw, with Darrell James and Reavis Z. Wortham, moderated by Sandra Brannan. While I haven’t read any of the other authors their books sound great, but unfortunately they aren’t available in the Book Room (or at least we couldn’t find any), so that will have to wait until we get home.

The last activity of the day is the Opening Ceremonies, being held at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Outside the building there are too many large guitars to count, all decorated differently. When we finally make it into the building all the chairs are taken, so we are able to spend three hours exploring the exhibits – they are fabulous, and we have a great time before it’s time to leave and get ready for day two!

The next two and a half days are basically spent the same way, except the panels start at 9:00 am, and there is a lunch break. There are interviews with the guests of honor scattered throughout the days – I made a point to go see Elizabeth George, and Carrie really enjoyed Mary Higgins Clark.

For mystery lovers, it’s a real treat to be walking down the hall and see authors that you’ve read or want to read just there and accessible. If only there would be time to read too!

Next year Bouchercon will be in Albany, New York, September 19-22, 2013. Tess Gerritson is their American Guest of Honor, and they will be honoring Sue Grafton for Life Achievement. The three of us are already starting to plan/budget for our trip.

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Books Under Consideration for 2013 Spotted Owl Award

The members of our Spotted Owl Award Committee are diligently at work reading books for the 2013 award. Among those under consideration are:

  • Kill You Twice – Chelsea Cain
  • The Conviction – Robert Dugoni
  • Lonesome Animals – Bruce Holbert
  • Judgment Call – J.A. Jance
  • House Blood – Mike Lawson
  • Endangered – Ann Littlewood
  • The Joy Brigade – Martin Limon
  • Capitol Murder – Phillip Margolin
  • Alpha – Greg Rucka
  • Big Maria – Johnny Shaw
  • Restless in the Grave – Dana Stabenow

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Submissions Needed

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

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