In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our March guest, Lisa Alber, awards, and more!

March 2015

BLOODY THURSDAY March 26, 2015: Welcomes Lisa Alber

Lisa Alber is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation writing grant and a Walden Fellowship, both of which she received based on early drafts of Kilmoon, her debut mystery.

kilmoon_72dpiHer short story, “Paddy O’Grady’s Thigh” appeared in Two of the Deadliest (Harper Collins), an anthology edited by Elizabeth George. In addition, Lisa was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for the story “Eileen and the Rock”. Kilmoon was nominated for a Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for best first novel. The novel is the first in a series and features a matchmaker with a dark past, his long-lost daughter, and a conflicted detective.

Before becoming a published author, Lisa worked in international finance and book publishing. Ever distractible, you may find Lisa staring out windows, dog walking, or drinking red wine with friends. Travel, reading, animals, photography, and blogging round out her distractions. You can find her online at

She will be speaking about her unlikely journey toward publication, inspirations for Kilmoon, and how New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George helped her become a better writer.

We are looking forward to hearing Lisa’s 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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2015 Left Coast Crime Awards Presented

This year’s Left Coast Crime Conference was held at the Doubletree Hilton in Portland, Oregon. The awards, voted on by attendees of LCC, were presented on March 14, 2015.

Lefty Award for Most Humorous Mystery

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, by Donna Andrews
  • Herbie’s Game, by Timothy Hallinan
  • January Thaw, by Jess Lourey
  • Dying for a Dude, by Cindy Sample
  • Suede to Rest, by Diane Vallere

Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award

(historical mystery, covering events before 1960)

  • Queen of Hearts, by Rhys Bowen
  • From the Charred Remains, by Susanna Calkins
  • A Deadly Measure of Brimstone, by Catriona McPherson
  • City of Ghosts, by Kelli Stanley
  • Cup of Blood, by Jeri Westerson

The Rose

(best mystery set in the LCC region)

  • One Kick, by Chelsea Cain
  • Glass Houses, by Terri Nolan
  • Pirate Vishnu, by Gigi Pandian
  • Deadly Bonds, by L.J. Sellers
  • Plaster City, by Johnny Shaw

The Rosebud

(best debut mystery)

  • Kilmoon, by Lisa Alber
  • Ice Shear, by M.P. Cooley
  • The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens
  • The Black Hour, by Lori Rader-Day
  • Mistress of Fortune, by Holly West

Congratulations to those who were responsible for planning and bringing “Crimelandia” to Portland — it was a big success!!!

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Edgar Award Nominees Announced

The Mystery Writers of America have announced their nominees for the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards. The awards will be presented to the winners on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

Best Novel

  • This Dark Road to Mercy, by Wiley Cash
  • Wolf, by Mo Hayder
  • Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King
  • The Final Silence, by Stuart Neville
  • Saints of the Shadow Bible, by Ian Rankin
  • Coptown, by Karin Slaughter

Best First Novel by an American Author

  • Dry Bones in the Valley, by Tom Bouman
  • Invisible City, by Julia Dahl
  • The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens
  • Bad Country, by C.B. McKenzie
  • Shovel Ready, by Adam Sternbergh
  • Murder at the Brightwell, by Ashley Weaver

Best Paperback Original

  • The Secret History of Las Vegas, by Chris Abani
  • Stay With Me, by Alison Gaylin
  • The Barkeep, by William Lasher
  • The Day She Died, by Catriona McPherson
  • The Gone Dead Train, by Lisa Turner
  • World of Trouble, by Ben H. Winters

Best Fact Crime

  • Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America, by Kevin Cook
  • The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art, by Carl Hoffman
  • The Other Side: A Memoir, by Lacy M. Johnson
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood, by William Mann
  • The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation, by Harold Schechter

Best Critical / Biographical

  • The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis, by Charles Brownson
  • James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, by Jim Mancall
  • Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir, by Robert Miklitsch
  • Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film, by Francis M. Nevins
  • Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, by J.W Ocker

The Simon & Schuster – Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • A Dark and Twisted Tide,by Sharon Bolton
  • The Stranger You Know, by Jane Casey
  • Invisible City, by Julia Dahl
  • Summer of the Dead, by Julia Keller
  • The Black Hour, by Lori Rader-Day

For a complete list of nominees in all categories go to

And, for those of you who prefer more “traditional mysteries” here are some of the Agatha Award nominations, which will be announced at the Malice Domestic Conference, in Bethesda, Maryland, from May 1-3, 2015.

Agatha Award Nominatons

Best Contemporary Novel

  • The Good, The Bad and The Emus, by Donna Andrews
  • A Demon Summer, by G.M. Malliet
  • Truth Be Told, by Hank Phillippi Ryan
  • The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny
  • Designated Daughters, by Margaret Maron

Best Historical Novel

  • Hunting Shadows, by Charles Todd
  • An Unwilling Accomplice, by Charles Todd
  • Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, by D.E. Ireland
  • Queen of Hearts, by Rhys Bowen
  • Murder in Murray Hill, by Victoria Thompson

For a complete list of nominees in other categories you can go to

Look for our Spotted Owl Award winners in the next issue of The Blood-Letter.

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Upcoming Mystery Conferences

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: