In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our November guest, Gregg Olsen, award nominations, mystery magazines, and more!

November 2014

BLOODY THURSDAY November 20, 2014: Welcomes Gregg Olsen

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine non-fiction books, nine novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.  He has appeared on Dateline NBC, 48 Hours, Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, and Entertainment Tonight. 

If I Can't Have You by Gregg Olsen

The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA, and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington’s Secretary of State for the book’s contribution to Washington state history and culture.  His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival.

His most recent books are The Girl in the Woods (A Waterman & Stark Thriller), published in October, and If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children, released in May 2014, and co-authored with Rebecca Morris.

Please plan 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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FOM Needs Your Help

Our membership chair, Nancy Thomas, has had to step down from her post after many years of service to Friends of Mystery.  We are looking for someone who would be willing to take over these duties, which would involve computer skills using Excel.  If you are willing to help out, please contact Jeannette Voss by email at or Carrie Richards at

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Macavity Award Nominations 2014

The Macavity Awards are nominated and voted on by members and friends of Mystery Readers International and subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal.  The books nominated were published in 2013.

Best Mystery Novel

  • Sandrine’s Case, by Thomas H. Cook
  • Dead Lions, by Mick Herron
  • Ordinary Grace, by William Ken Krueger
  • The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood
  • How The Light Gets In, by Louise Penny
  • Standing In Another Man’s Shoes, by Ian Rankin

Best First Mystery

  • Yesterday’s Echo, by Matt Coyle
  • Rage Against The Dying, by Becky Masterman
  • Cover of Snow, by Jenny Milchman
  • Norwegian By Night, by Derek Miller
  • A Killing At Cotton Hill, by Terry Shames

Best Non-Fiction

  • The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece, by Roseanne Montillo
  • Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard, by Charles J. Rzepka
  • The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award

  • A Murder At Rosamund’s Gate, by Susanna Calkins
  • Saving Lincoln, by Robert Kresge
  • Dandy Gilver And A Bothersome Number of Corpses, by Catriona McPherson
  • Murder As A Fine Art, by David Morrell
  • Ratlines, by Stuart Neville

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Spotted Owl Committee Is Reading Both Returning and New Authors

Since our update in the last newsletter, we are looking forward to reading some new books recently published from some familiar authors and several new ones:

  • My Sister’s Grave, by Robert Dugoni
  • Chump Change, by G.M. Ford
  • Crooked River, by Valerie Geary
  • Woman With A Gun, by Phil Margolin
  • The Girl in the Woods, by Gregg Olsen
  • A Cry From Dust, by Carrie Stuart Parks

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Mystery Magazines: Deadly Pleasures & Mystery Scene

How do you decide what mystery you’re going to read next?  There are two magazines you may not be aware of that review mysteries.

I have subscribed to Mystery Scene for several years, and it is a good source of book reviews and articles about mystery authors – in fact the current issue features, among others, one of my favorites, Louise Penny.  The magazine is in color and on very good quality paper.  It’s available by subscription, and you can usually find it at Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.  Mystery Scene is published five times a year.

Deadly Pleasures is another great source of book reviews and articles, and it is published quarterly.  I have never seen it locally since Murder By The Book closed, so I recently subscribed and received my first issue.  It is mostly in black and white, and the paper isn’t as high a quality, but I found it to be jam-packed with reviews.  One of the interesting features was “Reviewed to Death”, where the same book was reviewed by eight different people, and the differences of opinion ratings ranged from A to C.  I’m really looking forward to receiving my next issue.

If you have a mystery review source to share, let us know!

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Barry Award Nominations

Readers of Deadly Pleasures present their awards at Bouchercon.  Among their nominations for 2014 are:

Best Novel

  • A Conspiracy of Faith, by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Tap on the Window, by Linwood Barclay
  • Sandrine’s Case, by Thomas H. Cook
  • Suspect, by Robert Crais
  • Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
  • Standing in Another Man’s Grave, by Ian Rankin

Best First Novel

  • Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent
  • Japantown, by Barry Lancet
  • The Bookman’s Tale, by Charlie Lovett
  • Cover of Snow, by Jenny Milchman
  • Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller

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Upcoming Mystery Conferences

Bouchercon 2014: Murder At The Beach
November 13-16, 2014
Long Beach, California
Guests of Honor: J.A. Jance, Edward Marston
Lifetime Achievement: Jeffery Deaver
Toastmaster: Simon Wood
Registration: $195

Left Coast Crime 2015: Crimelandia
March 12-15
Portland, Oregon
Guests of Honor: Chelsea Cain, Timothy Hallinan
Toastmaster: Gar Anthony Haywood
Fan Guest of Honor: Friends of Mystery
Registration fee: $175

Malice Domestic 2015: May 1-3, 2015
Guest of Honor: Charles Todd
International Guest of Honor: Ann Cleeves
Lifetime Achievement: Sara Paretsky
Toastmaster: Toni L.P. Kelner
Fan Guest of Honor: William L. Starck

Bouchercon 2015: Murder Under The Oaks
October 8-11, 2015
Raleigh, North Carolina
American Guests of Honor: Kathy Reichs and Tom Franklin
International Guests of Honor: Zoe Sharp and Allan Guthrie
Toastmasters: Sean Doolittle and Lori Armstrong
Local Guests of Honor: Sarah Shaber and Ron Rash
Lifetime Achievement: Margaret Maron

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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: