In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our January guest, Bill Middleton, award, new books, and more!

January 2015

BLOODY THURSDAY January 22, 2015: Welcomes Bill Middleton

Our January speaker is the former chief of police for the city of Sherwood, Oregon from 1995 to 2007. Before coming to Sherwood he held the same position in the cities of Escalon, California and Patterson, California. While in Patterson, he also held the title of Special Deputy United States Marshal Service.

Middleton was also in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving as Commander, 315th MP (CID) Detachment, Fort Lawton, Washington and at Fort Belvoir Virginia, Office for the Detention of Enemy Combatants LNO.

While assigned as Liaison Officer, he was Special Agent with the DOD-CITF and OADEC investigative and operational support to prepare and conduct terrorist investigations to support the Office of Military Commissions in determination of enemy combatant status. CITF and OARDEC investigations were used during military commissions as directed by the President and Interfaced throughout the investigative process with the CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and numerous other military intelligence units in order to prepare a case and forward charges.

While deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, 8 December 2005 to 9 February 2006, he was assigned as the Resident Agent in Charge (ARAC) of a forward deployed Joint Terrorism Investigative Detachment in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He supervised the task force unit that conducted interviews of suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists worldwide and was confined in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility (BTIF) to determine if they met the Office of Military Commissions guidelines for prosecution. He conducted research of Intelligence databases and served as a close liaison with numerous Federal Criminal Investigative agencies, Military Intelligence agencies and Coalition Forces. He conducted and provided training to field units in Sensitive Site Exploitations (SSE), evidence collection and site photography while in a combat environment, and ensured interviews were thorough and relevant, and all information was entered into a special database. He provided Protective Service missions as needed, and planned coordinated and authorized movements into hostile areas.

While deployed to Iraq 9 February 2006 to 5 June 2006 he was assigned as Special Agent in a forward deployed Joint Terrorism Investigative Detachment in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was responsible for conducting unique and complex counter-terrorism investigations to refute or substantiate alleged war crimes or acts of terrorism against U.S. persons, property or interests for prosecution by the OMC and the Central Criminal Courts of Iraq (CCCI). He conducted interviews of witnesses, victims and high value terrorism suspects and interviewed suspected terrorists held in Iraq In Accordance With (IAW) Presidential Executive Order and Iraqi Law. He identified, collected and preserved physical and testimonial evidence,  prepared reports of investigation and disseminated intelligence to appropriate agencies to assist in disrupting terrorist activities. He coordinated with officials from other military and federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies in a combined joint area of operations, and planned, coordinated and conducted investigative combat operations and detainee interviews. He coordinated prosecutions with DOD General Counsel, military, U.S. Attorneys and Attorneys of the CCCI, and he testified in judicial proceedings in those courts.

He advised CITF-Iraq Commander and Army leaders on criminal investigations being conducted, and conducted or assisted in conducting 55 interviews of detainees for criminal prosecution in CCCI, and was promoted to Agent in Charge prior to deployment to Afghanistan.

Bill has also appeared on “60 Minutes” and has just recently completed a term as Mayor of Sherwood.

We are looking forward to hearing his presentation – we hope you will be able to join us. 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. Tri-Met bus #8, Jackson Park, stops just in front of the lower level entrance.

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Gregg Olsen Appearance Postponed

Gregg Olsen, who was scheduled to speak at our November meeting, came down with a nasty cold at the last minute and was unable to attend. Jay Margulies and Bill Cameron stepped into the breach to give us a history of Friends of Mystery (Jay) and a preview of the upcoming Left Coast Crime Conference taking place in Portland in March (Bill). We hope to re-schedule Gregg in the future.

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And the Winners Were…

Macavity Awards

  • Best Mystery Novel: Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
  • Best First Mystery: A Killing at Cotton Hill, by Terry Shames
  • Best Non-Fiction: The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower
  • Sue Feder Historical Mystery: Murder as a Fine Art, by David Morrell

Barry Awards

  • Best Novel: Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
  • Best First Novel: Japantown, by Barry Lancet
  • Best Paperback Original: I Hear the Sirens in the Street, by Adrian McKinty

Anthony Awards

  • Best Novel: Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
  • Best First Novel: Yesterday’s Echo, by Matt Coyle
  • Best Paperback Original: As She Left It, by Catriona McPherson
  • Best Critical/Nonfiction: The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower

These awards were presented at Bouchercon, which was held in Long Beach, California this year. As you may have noticed, Ordinary Grace won every Best Novel competition, including the Edgar Award earlier this year.

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Spotted Owl Committee in the Home Stretch

The Spotted Owl Committee is continuing to read mysteries published in 2014, and will be deciding on the winner in March. We will announce our selection at the March meeting. Thank you to our readers: Marlyne Stucky, Sheila Sweet, Carrie Richards, Kris Field-Eaton, and Judith Wyss.

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Books to Consider for the New Year

Are you thinking about trying a new author for the New Year? Here are several of suggestions.

Bingham, Harry. Talking to the Dead; Love Story with Murders.
Are you looking for a unique protagonist? Look no further than this series by an English author. Fiona Griffiths is a very junior officer, working for the South Wales Police. She is recovering from a rare mental illness called Cotard’s syndrome, which leads people to suffer the delusion that they are dead and no longer exist. She is an unpredictable character, and doesn’t always react to circumstances in a “normal” way. There is a third book in the series, The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths, but it isn’t generally available in the U.S. These books are definitely worth checking out.

Harrison, Mette Ivie. The Bishop’s Wife.
A devout Mormon wife and mother questions the tenets of her church when a member of her church disappears. This book has received a lot of positive advance word, and was just released at the end of December.

Hawkins, Paula. The Girl on the Train.
Another book that has just been released, and is touted by many as being the next Gone Girl. The book has Hitchcockian overtones (think “Rear Window”). While commuting on the train to London everyday Rachel can see in the windows of a couple who live only two doors down from her old home. When the woman disappears Rachel is inclined to think something sinister happened, but is she reliable?

Any suggestions of your own? Email me at

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Upcoming Mystery Conferences

Left Coast Crime 2015: Crimelandia
March 12-15
Portland, Oregon
Guests of Honor: Chelsea Cain, Timothy Hallinan
Special Guest: Phillip Margolin
Toastmaster: Gar Anthony Haywood
Fan Guest of Honor: Friends of Mystery
Registration fee: $195

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: