In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our March speaker Phillip Margolin, awards news, and more!

March 2013

March 27, 2014: Phil Margolin

Worthy Brown’s Daughter

Our guest speaker this month is Portland’s own New York Time’s best-selling author, Phillip Margolin.

Mr. Margolin grew up in New York, and graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C. . He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia from 1965-1967. In 1970 he graduated from New York University School of Law. He moved to Oregon to clerk for Herbert Schwab, the Chief Justice of the Oregon Court of Appeals. He was in private practice from 1972 until 1996 in Portland, specializing in criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels. He has appeared before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. He has represented approximately 30 people charged with homicide. He was the first Oregon attorney to use the Battered Women’s Syndrome to defend a battered woman accused of murdering her spouse.

Worthy Brown's Daughter

Since 1996 he has been writing full-time. His first novel, Heartstone, was nominated for an Edgar for best original paperback mystery of 1978 by the Mystery Writers of America He was also the 2009 Spotted Owl Award winner for Executive Privilege.

Mr. Margolin’s most recent book, Worthy Brown’s Daughter, is an historical legal drama set in nineteenth-century Oregon. Lawyer Matthew Penny agrees to help Worthy Brown, a newly freed slave, rescue his fifteen year old daughter, Roxanne, from their former master, a powerful Portland lawyer.

We hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be an intriguing presentation. The program will begin at 7:30 pm at Terwilliger Plaza. Directional signs will be posed in the building. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Terwilliger Plaza employee parking lots across 6yh 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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2014 Edgar Award Nominees

Best Novel

  • Sandrine’s Case, by Thomas H. Cook
  • The Humans, by Matt Haig
  • Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
  • How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny
  • Standing in Another Man’s Grave, by Ian Rankin
  • Until She Comes Home, by Lori Roy

Best First Novel

  • The Resurrectionist, by Matthew Guinn
  • Ghostman, by Roger Hobbs
  • Rage Against the Dying, by Becky Masterman
  • Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews
  • Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight

Best Paperback Original

  • The Guilty One, by Lisa Ballantyne
  • Almost Criminal, by E.R. Brown
  • Joe Victim, by Paul Cleave
  • Joyland, by Stephen King
  • The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood
  • Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey

Best Fact Crime

  • Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery, by Paul Collins
  • Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal, by Michael D’Antonio
  • The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder, by Charles Graeber
  • The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and the Medics Behind Nazi Lines, by Cate Lineberry
  • The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower

Best Critical/Biographical

  • Maigret, Simenon and France: Social Dimensions of the Novels and Stories, by Bill Alder
  • America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture, by Erik Dussere
  • Pimping Fictions: African American Crime Literature and the Untold Story of Black Pulp Publishing, by Justin Gifford
  • Ian Fleming, by Andrew Lycett
  • Middlebrow Feminism in Classic British Detective Fiction, by Melissa Schaub

Mary Higgins Clark

  • There was an Old Woman, by Hallie Ephron
  • Fear of Beauty, by Susan Froetschel
  • The Money Kill, by Katia Lief
  • Cover of Snow, by Jenny Milchman
  • The Sixth Station, by Linda Stasi

Grand Masters

Robert Crais

Carolyn Hart

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Agatha Award Nominees

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Through the Evil Days, by Julia Spencer-Fleming
  • Pagan Spring, by G.M. Malliet
  • How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny
  • Clammed Up, by Barbara Ross
  • The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Best Historical Novel

  • Heirs and Graces, by Rhys Bowen
  • Death in the Time of Ice, by Kaye George
  • A Friendly Game of Murder, by J.J. Murphy
  • Murder in Chelsea, by Victoria Thompson
  • A Question o f Honor, by Charles Todd

Best First Novel

  • Death Al Dente, by Leslie Budewitz
  • You Cannoli Die Once, by Shelly Costa
  • Board Stiff, by Kendel Lynn
  • Kneading to Die, by Liz Mugavero
  • Front Page Fatality, by LynDee Walker

Best Nonfiction

  • Georgette Heyer, by Jennifer Kloester
  • Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, by Maria Konnikova
  • Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic’s First 25 Years, by Verena Rose and Rita Owen, editors
  • The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower

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Left Coast Crime

FOM member Doc Macomber will be a guest panelist on: “Tough on Crime,” Friday, March 21st from 1:30 to 2:15, at this year’s Left Coast Crime 2014 Convention, Calamari Crime, held at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California, March 20-23rd. Other panel guests include: Robert Downs (M), Philip Donlay, Leo J. Maloney, and Paul D. Marks. For more information visit: or

Next year’s convention will be held in Portland, Oregon. More information will be available in future newsletters.

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The Spotted Owl Award

The Spotted Owl Committee is closing in on selecting their 2014 winner, who will be announced at the upcoming Bloody Thursday meeting.

Among the leading contenders are: Chelsea Cain, Warren Easley, Elizabeth George, Michael Gruber, Tom Hansen, Dana Haynes, Roger Hobbs, J.A. Jance, Mike Lawson, Phillip Margolin, Linda Lee Peterson, Barbara Corrado Pope, Dana Stabenow, Chevy Stevens, Jon Talton, Ingrid Thoft, Molly Best Tinsley and Urban Waite.

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Upcoming Conferences for Mystery Lovers

Those of us who live in the Portland area are lucky that many mystery authors come through to do readings/signings at local bookstores. Another way to see a lot of your favorite authors is to go to a conference that showcases the mystery genre. Here are some upcoming conferences that you should check out.


March 20-23, 2014: Left Coast Crime: Calamari Crime, Monterey, California. Guests of Honor: Cara Black and Louise Penny.

May 1, 2014: Edgar Allan Poe Awards. New York City, NY. Banquet held by Mystery Writers of America.

May 2-4, 2014: Malice Domestic 26. Bethesda, Maryland. Guest of Honor: Kathy Lynn Emerson. Lifetime: Margaret Maron, Dorothy Cannell, Joan Hess.

May 15-18, 2014: Crimefest. Bristol, UK.

July 8-12, 2014: Thrillerfest IX. New York, NY. Spotlight Guests: Lisa Gardner, Ian Rankin, John Sandford, Linwood Barclay, Linda Fairstein. ThrillerMaster: Scott Turow.

July 17-20, 2014: Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, UK. Special Guests: Gillian Flynn, Sophie Hannah, S.J. Watson.

October 24-25, 2014: Magna Cum Murder XX. The Columbia Club, Indianapolis, IN.

November 13-16, 2014: Bouchercon 2014. Long Beach, California. Guests of Honor: J.A. Jance, Edward Marston; Lifetime: Jeffery Deaver.


March 12-15, 2015: Left Coast Crime: Crimelandia, Portland, Oregon.

October 8-11, 2015: Bouchercon 2015. Raleigh, North Carolina. Guests of Honor: Kathy Reichs, Tom Franklin. International Guest of Honor: Zoe Sharp, Allan Guthrie.

As you can see, you can plan to attend one close to home or make a real vacation of it and travel across the pond.

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Member News

Friends of Mystery is happy to publish news and press releases from our members in our Member News section, with the following considerations:

  • The news must be related to mystery or true crime writing, films, and television, as well as non-fiction examinations of the mystery genre.
  • Friends of Mystery will not be able to edit announcements, and will publish them as provided.
  • Friends of Mystery will include one image with each announcement, if provided.
  • Friends of Mystery is not responsible for the content of news announcements, and we reserve the right to not publish any announcements which we feel will reflect poorly on the organization and do not advance the organization’s mission.

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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. If you have suggestions of mysteries worth sharing, please contact the editor at: