In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of Bloody Thursday guest Tom Hatch, award announcements, news from Chelsea Cain, and more!

May 2013

Bloody Thursday May 23, 2013:

Tom Hatch, Arson Investigator

(Editor’s note: Detective Hatch was scheduled to be our January speaker, but had to reschedule. Please refer to your January newsletter for a full description of his background and experience.)

Tom Hatch, an Oregon State Police Department Arson Detective, is our May speaker. Detective Hatch investigates fires at all levels, from accidental fires to incendiary fires. He responds to all fatal fires, both accidental as well as suspicious. Investigation can vary from handling origin and cause, and releasing his finding to the host agency for follow-up, or handling fires from origin and cause, following up to arrest and conviction.

We hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a compelling 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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Mike Lawson Wins the Spotted Owl Award

House Blood by Mike LawsonThe Spotted Owl Committee is pleased to announce that Mike Lawson was chosen as the 2013 recipient of the eighteenth annual Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for his book, House Blood.

The seventh in Lawson’s series featuring Joe DeMarco, House Blood was published in June 2012. His earlier six books were all on previous Spotted Owl top ten lists. His next book, House Odds, will be published in July of 2013.

Members of the committee considered 68 novels by authors living in the Pacific Northwest in 2012. Runners up for The Spotted Owl Award were:

  1. Johnny Shaw for Big Maria
  2. Robert Dugoni for The Conviction
  3. Chelsea Cain for Kill You Twice
  4. G.M. Ford for Thicker Than Water
  5. Dana Stabenow for Restless in the Grave
  6. J.A. Jance for Judgment Call
  7. Phil Margolin for Capitol Murder
  8. (tie) Aaron & Charlotte Elkins for A Dangerous TalentGreg Rucka for AlphaShirley Tallman for Death on Telegraph Hill

Readers for the Spotted Owl Committee were Kris Field-Eaton, Carrie Richards, Pete Scott, Marlyne Stucky and Sheila Sweet.

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Mystery Book Sale

It’s once again time for our annual mystery book sale before our final meeting of the FOM year.

The sale begins at 7:00 PM.

Unsigned Hardbacks $1.00
Signed Hardbacks $2.00
Paperbacks 50¢
Magazines 25¢
Audio books/DVDs priced as marked

Bring any books that you would like to donate to the sale on the evening of the 23rd, or contact Jeannette Voss at 503-625-7092.

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The 2013 Dilys Award

Before the Poison, by Peter RobinsonThe Independent Mystery Booksellers Association has named Before the Poison, by Peter Robinson, as the 2013 Dilys Winn Award winner, an honor given annually to the mystery which the bookseller members most enjoyed selling. The award was presented at Left Coast Crime on March 21st.

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Edgar Awards Announced

The Edgar Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America, were announced on May 2, 2013. The winners were:

Dennis Lehane, Live by NightBest Novel

Live by Night, by Dennis Lehane

Best First Novel

The Expats, by Chris Pavone

Best Paperback Original

The Last Policeman: A Novel, by Ben H. Winters

Best Fact Crime

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China, by Paul French

Best Critical/Biographical

The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics, by James O’Brien

Best Short Story

“The Unremarkable Heart” – Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance, by Karin Slaughter

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Chelsea Cain Will Have New Series

Chelsea CainLocal author Chelsea Cain has signed a new 3-book deal with Simon & Schuster, two of which will feature a new character – Kick Lannigan – a female bounty hunter living in Portland. One Kick, the first in the new series, will be published in August 2014. The second book  will also feature Kick, and the third book will return to her Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell characters.

Let Me Go, her next book in the Archie Sheridan series, will be published by Minotaur in August 2013.

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Booklist Chooses Top Ten Crime Novels

“Booklist”, the book review publication of the American Library Association has published its May 1, 2013 issue, which highlights mysteries. (For the purpose of selecting their top ten, they go from May to April instead of January through December.) Their top ten crime fiction books were:

  • The Andalucian Friend, by Alexander Soderberg
  • The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise Penny
  • Dare Me, by Megan Abbott
  • Ghostman, by Roger Hobbs
  • Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
  • Live by Night, by Dennis Lehane
  • The Rage, by Gene Kerrigan
  • Shatter the Bones, by Stuart MacBride
  • Suspect, by Robert Crais
  • What Comes Next, by John Katzenbach

They also chose their top ten Best Crime Fiction Debuts:

  • The Andalucian Friend, by Alexander Soderberg
  • The Beggar’s Opera, by Peggy Blair
  • Black Fridays, by Michael Sears
  • East of Denver, by Gregory Hill
  • Ghostman, by Roger Hobbs
  • A Good Death, by Christopher R. Cox
  • The Old Turk’s Load, by Gregory Gibson
  • Three Graves Full, by James Mason
  • The Thing About Thugs, by Tabish Khair
  • The Twenty-Year Death, by Ariel S. Winter

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Spotted Owl Committee To Include E-books

A Bitch Called Hope, by Lily GardnerThe Spotted Owl Committee will be considering e-books published in 2013 for their award next year. Among the books they will view is one written by FOM member Lily Gardner.

Her noir mystery, A Bitch Called Hope, was released on February 26th. The book’s title is a poker term for drawing the queen-eight in Texas Hold ‘Em. Her main character is Lennox Cooper, a card-playing excommunicated cop who risks her life when a family friend is murdered and she’s hired as the defense team PI. Lily’s book was chosen as the Barnes and Noble Nook First: Compelling Reads from Emerging Authors

Upcoming Mystery Events…

2013 May 30-June 2: CrimeFest, Bristol, UK. GOHs: Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Frederick Forsyth, Sue Grafton, P.D. James, Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom.

July 10-11: Thrillerfest, New York, NY. Spotlight Guests: Michael Connelly, T. Jefferson Parker; ThrillerMaster: Anne Rice.

July 28-21: Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK. Chair: Val McDermid. Special Guests: Kate Atkinson, Charlaine Harris, Susan Hill, Ruth Rendell.

September 19-22: Bouchercon 44, Albany, NY. GOH: Sue Grafton, International GOH: P.C. Doherty.


March 20-23: Left Coast Crime, Monterey, CA. GOHs: Cara Black, Louise Penny.


March 12-15: Left Coast Crime, Portland, Oregon.

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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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