In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our September Spotted Owl Award presentations, Bouchercon 2014, the return of Kurt Wallander, and more!

September 2014

Bloody Thursday, September 25, 2014: Spotted Owl Winners Mike Lawson & Ingrid Thoft

Friends of Mystery is pleased to welcome our 2014 Spotted Owl award winners as our speakers to kick off our 2014-2015 season.

Mike Lawson is the award winning author of ten published novels: The Inside Ring, House Secrets, House Divided, and House Blood were all nominated for the Barry Award. House Blood and House Odds were the winners of the 2013 and 2014 Spotted Owl Award. House Rules was a Nancy Pearl Pick, and House Justice was reviewed by the New York Times, and was called a “perfect political thriller” by Library Journal. His latest Joe DeMarco novel, House Reckoning, was released in July 2014 and the next DeMarco, House Rivals, will be out in

July 2015. Mike’s ninth novel, Rosarita Beach, the first book in a new series, was released in December 2013 and was optioned for television. The second novel in this new series, Viking Bay, will be released in January 2015. Prior to turning to writing full time, Mike was a nuclear engineer employed by the Navy. He lives in the Northwest.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Wellesley College, Ingrid Thoft is the author of Loyalty and Identity, the first books in the Fina Ludlow series, which “Entertainment Weekly” declared was “sizzling.” Loyalty received the Spotted Owl Award for best debut mystery by a Pacific Northwest writer and has been nominated for a Shamus Award for best P.I. novel. Ingrid’s desire to create a believable private investigator character – and her own interest in detection – led her to the certificate program in private investigation at the University of Washington. This foundation of information enabled Ingrid to determine which rules Fina follows, and which she doesn’t. The third book in the series will be published in June 2015.

When she isn’t writing, reading or scuba diving, Ingrid enjoys good food and travel, which inform her writing and her view of the world. Recent destinations include Vietnam, China, and Australia. She also stays busy vying for the title “best aunt” to her fourteen nieces and nephews. Ingrid lives with her husband in Seattle.

We hope you will be able to join us for their presentations. 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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Bouchercon 2014

November 13-16
Long Beach, CA

Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, is almost upon us, and is close by this year. Here are the books that have been nominated for the Anthony Awards by people attending the conference. How many have you read?


  • Robert Crais, Suspect
  • Sara J. Henry, A Cold and Lonely Place
  • William Kent Kreuger, Ordinary Grace
  • Hank Phillippi Ryan, The Wrong Girl
  • Julia Spencer-Fleming, Through the Evil Days


  • Matt Coyle, Yesterday’s Echo
  • Roger Hobbs, Ghostman
  • Becky Masterman, Rage Against the Dying
  • Kimberly McCreight, Reconstructing Amelia
  • Todd Robinson, The Hard Bounce


  • Chris F. Holm, The Big Reap
  • Darrell James, Purgatory Key
  • Stephen King, Joyland
  • Alex Marwood, The Wicked Girls
  • Catriona McPherson, As She Left It


  • Maria Konnikova, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
  • Cate Lineberry, The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines
  • Josh Stallings, All the Wild Children
  • Daniel Stashower, The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
  • Sarah Weinman, ed. Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense


  • Crescendo, by Deborah J. Ledford, read by Christina Cox
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister
  • Death and the Lit Chick, by G.M. Malliet, read by Davinia Porter
  • Hour of the Rat, by Lisa Brackman, read by Tracy Sallows
  • Man in the Empty Suit, by Sean Ferrell, read by Maura Hantman

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The Spotted Owl Committee Is Busy Reading

Our committee members are enjoying their work of reading new books by authors living in the Pacific Northwest. Pete Scott has retired from the committee, and we welcomed Judith Wyss on board. Some of the well-received titles so far are:

  • Kilmoon, by Lisa Alber
  • One Kick, by Chelsea Cain
  • Time of Attack, by Marc Cameron
  • The Ascendant, by Drew Chapman
  • Dead Float, by Warren Easley
  • Skookum Summer, by Jack Hart
  • House Reckoning, by Mike Lawson
  • River City, by Doc Macomber
  • Worthy Brown’s Daughter, by Phil Margolin
  • Street Justice, by Kris Nelscott
  • Plaster City, by Johnny Shaw
  • Cold Storage Alaska, by John Straley
  • Identity, by Ingrid Thoft

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Friends Of Mystery Has A Full Calendar For 2014-2015

Mark your calendars now for these Bloody Thursday programs!

  • November 20: Greg Olson, author of both true crime and mysteries
  • January 22: Bill Middleton, former Chief of Police
  • March 26: Lisa Alber, author
  • May 28: Les Zeitz, Senior Investigative reporter for The Oregonian

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Kurt Wallander Reappears

By Jeannette Voss

An Event in AutumnAs a faithful reader of the Kurt Wallander mysteries by Henning Mankell, I was thrilled to hear that he was going to appear in a short novel entitled An Event In Autumn. “After nearly thirty years at the same job, Inspector Kurt Wallander is tired, restless, and itching to make a change. He is taken with a certain old farmhouse, perfectly situated in a quiet countryside with a charming, overgrown garden. There he finds the skeletal hand of a corpse in a shallow grave. Wallander’s investigation takes him deep into the history of the house and the land, until finally the shocking truth about a long-buried secret is brought to light.”

Enjoy Wallander one last time!

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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.


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. Guests of Honor: Chelsea Cain and Timothy Hallinan. Toastmaster: Gar Anthony Haywood. Fan Guests of Honor: Friends of Mystery!

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 country.

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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: