In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our May guest J. David Osborne, awards news, a mystery set in Michigan, and more!

MAY 2016

Bloody Thursday, May 26, 2016 Welcomes J. David Osborne

J. David Osborne is the publisher-in-chief of Broken River Books, an indie crime fiction press dedicated to bringing you weird, transgressive pulp novels the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else. He’s also the author of the Wonderland-Award-winning novel, By the Time We Leave Here, We’ll Be Friends; the surreal noir Low Down Right Easy, and Black Gun. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and dog.

We are looking forward to hearing his presentation – we hope you will be able to join us. The book sale / social time begins at 7:00 pm, and the program will begin at 7:30 pm at The Old Church. The meeting is free and open to the public. A cash wine bar will be open during the reception.

Parking is available in the neighborhood, and there is a City Center Parking lot next to The Old Church on Clay @ 10th, and metered parking in the area. Directions on how to find the church are available at:

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Spotted Owl Award Announced

High Country NocturneThe Spotted Owl Committee is pleased to announce the winner for 2016 – Jon Talton. Mr. Talton won for his novel, High Country Nocturne, published by Poisoned Pen Press. He will be receiving the award at our September meeting, where he will also be the featured speaker.

The other finalists were:

  • Robert Dugoni, Her Final Breath
  • Warren Easley, Never Look Down
  • Elizabeth George, A Banquet of Consequences
  • M.E. (Mike) Lawson, Viking Bay
  • Mike Lawson, House Rivals
  • G.M. Ford, Threshold
  • Ingrid Thoft, Brutality
  • Roger Hobbs, Vanishing Games
  • Martin Limon, The Ville Rat

Committee members were Kris Field-Eaton, Carrie Richards, Sheila Sweet, Jeannette Voss and Judith Wyss.

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Mystery Book Sale

Four cartons of first editions and ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) were generously donated by Wrigley Cross. Books will be available for sale before and after the May 26th meeting. Come for our social time (7:00 pm) and select some books for your collection at a reasonable price.

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Edgar Awards Announced

Let Me Die in His FootstepsThe awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America, were announced on April 28, 2016.

Best Novel

Let Me Die in His Footsteps, by Lori Roy

Best First Novel By An American Author

The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Best Paperback Original

The Long and Faraway Gone, by Louis Berney

Best Fact Crime

Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully, by Allen Kurzweil

Best Critical/Biographical

The Golden Age of Murder, by Martin Edwards

Mary Higgins Clark Award

Little Pretty Things, by Lori Rader-Day

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Agatha Awards

These awards are given to honor the “traditional” mystery. They contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or gratuitous violence.

Long Upon the LandThe winners were announced on April 30, 2016 during Malice Domestic. The complete list of nominees and winners is below.

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Long Upon the Land, by Margaret Maron (Winner)
  • Bridges Burned, by Annette Dashofy
  • The Child Garden, by Catriona McPhersons
  • Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny
  • What You See, by Hank Phillipi Ryan

Best Historical Novel

  • Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King (Winner)
  • Malice at the Palace, by Rhys Bowen
  • The Masque of a Murderer, by Susanna Calkins
  • Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, by Susan Elia Macneal
  • Murder on Amsterdam Avenue, by Victoria Thompson

Best First Novel

  • On the Road with Del and Louise, by Art Taylor (Winner)
  • Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman, by Tessa Arlen
  • Macdeath, by Cindy Brown
  • Plantation Shudders, by Ellen Byron
  • Just Killing Time, by Julianne Holmes

Best Nonfiction

  • The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story, by Martin Edwards (Winner)
  • The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes, by Zack Dundas
  • A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie, by Kathryn Harkup
  • Unsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio, by Jane Ann Turzillo
  • The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For, edited by Kate White

Best Short Story

  • “A Year Without Santa Claus?” by Barb Goffman (Winner)
  • “A Questionable Death” by Edith Maxwell
  • “A Killing at the Beausoleil” by Terrie Farley Moran
  • “Suffer the Poor” by Harriette Sackler
  • “A Joy Forever” by B.K. Stevens

Best Children’s/Young Adult

  • Andi Unstoppable, by Amanda Flower (Winner)
  • Pieces and Players, by Blue Balliett
  • Need, by Joelle Charbonneau
  • Woof, by Spencer Quinn
  • Fighting Chance: A Martial Arts Mystery, by B.K. Stevens

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Thriller Award Nominees – 2016

Best Novel

  • The Fifth Gospel, by Ian Caldwell
  • Playing with Fire, by Tess Gerritsen
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • Inspector of the Dead, by David Morrell
  • Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter

Best First Novel

  • Little Black Lies, by Sandra Block
  • The Drowning Game, by L.S. Hawker
  • What She Knew, by Gilly Macmillan
  • Bull Mountain, by Brian Panowich
  • The Gates of Evangeline, by Hester Young

Best Paperback Original

  • Day Zero, by Marc Cameron
  • Against All Enemies, by John Gilstrap
  • Name of the Devil, by Andrew Mayne
  • The Angel of Eden, by D.J. McIntosh
  • Pockets of Darkness, by Jean Rabe

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A Police Procedural Set in Michigan

by Jeannette Voss

Tracking the BeastTracking the Beast, by Henry Kisor is the fifth in his Steve Martinez mystery series. Martinez is the Sheriff of Porcupine County in the Upper Peninsula area of Michigan. The skeleton of a young girl is discovered in a hopper car stored in an isolated siding. When three more bodies are located in other hopper cars in the same area, the investigation begins. Working with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, tribal police, game wardens and state troopers, the hunt is on for the “the Beast” who has committed these crimes.

A bonus for readers is the description of the historic areas of the Upper Peninsula. The other books in the series are: Season’s Revenge, A Venture into Murder, Cache of Corpses and Hang Fire. This is the first book I have read in the series, but I found it hard to put down.

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For Those Interested in Forensic Pathology

Morgue: A Life in DeathFollowing the informative and entertaining presentation at our March meeting by Dr. Karen Gunson, here is a new book that may be of interest: Morgue: A Life in Death, by Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell.

Dr. DiMaio is an American pathologist and expert in gunshot wounds. He was formerly the chief medical examiner of San Antonio, Texas, and is the Editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. Now working as a private consultant, he has performed more than 9,000 autopsies. In 2014 he was appointed to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Commission on Forensic Science to help develop uniform federal codes in death investigations.

Ron Franscell is a true crime writer and novelist.

The authors examine, among others, the cases of Trayvon Martin, Lee Harvey Oswald, Phil Spector, and Vincent Van Gogh.

The book is being released on May 17, 2016.

Another well-reviewed source is Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime, by Val McDermid.

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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: