In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our March 2017 guest Robert Wollheim, awards news, and more!

March 2017

For Bloody Thursday, March 23, 2017, We Welcome Retired Judge Robert Wollheim

Judge Robert WollheimOur speaker, Robert Wollheim, grew up on the south side of Chicago, the youngest of three boys. He began his college career at Reed College in 1968 but did not finish. In the early 1970s, he became involved in doing prison reform work, along with lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild. Through the guild, Wollheim met some local lawyers who formed a local partnership, with Wollheim signing on as a legal assistant. He worked with that firm and another before moving to Lindsay Hart as a legal assistant. It was through this legal assistant work that he developed his interest in the law. Not having a BA, he looked for the fastest way to complete his degree so he could apply to law school. He took some classes at Portland Community College, then attended Portland State University while working full time, earning his bachelor’s degree in general studies in 1979.

Once he completed his degree, Wollheim spent a year traveling throughout North America. He began law school at the University of Oregon in 1980 and transferred to Lewis & Clark, from which he graduated in 1983.

Judge Wollheim began his legal career as a floater clerk with the Court of Appeals, at the end of the year working with Chief Judge George Joseph and Presiding Judge W. Michael Gillette. Then, he began working for the law firm of Welch, Bruun & Green, focusing his practice on workers compensation, personal injury and Social Security disability. Approximately one third of his work was appellate practice. He became a partner in the firm in 1990, becoming a named partner in 1993.

Throughout his practice, Wollheim did significant pro bono work. In addition, he served on the boards of the Multnomah County Legal Aid Service, the Willamette Valley Law Project and the AFL-CIO Laborers’ Service Agency. He believed that becoming a judge would allow him to continue his public service. He was appointed to the bench in early 1998 by then Governor John Kitzhaber. He was sworn in on March 8, 1998, and filed for election the next day, thereafter being elected to his position.

He continued his involvement with legal programs. He was on the Oregon Judicial Department’s Access to Justice for All Committee, and was the Presiding Judge of the court’s motions panel, which reviews and decides many substantive motions each month. He was on the board for the Campaign for Equal Justice and the Oregon Judicial Department’s Employees Appeal Board, hearing grievances from employees from the Oregon Department of Justice.

To keep his skills honed, Wolllheim occasionally sat as a trial court judge. He sat in Lane County in 2003, heard civil commitment cases in Marion County, and video-conferenced post conviction trials in Malheur County. He was appointed to the Commission on Judicial Fitness & Disability in February of 2006.

Judge Wollheim retired in October of 2014, and is now a Senior Judge, which means he sits with the court multiple times each year.

Please join us at The Old Church in downtown Portland (1422 SW 11th Avenue). This event is free and open to the public. A reception (with cash wine bar) begins at 7:00 pm, followed by our program at 7:30 pm.

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Spotted Owl Award

By Jeannette Voss

The Spotted Owl Committee has finished a busy year of reading mysteries written by authors living in the Pacific Northwest, and their top ten favorites were:

1. The 7th Canon, by Robert Dugoni

2. House Revenge, by Mike Lawson

3. The King of Fear, by Drew Chapman

4. Not Dead Enough, by Warren Easley
4. Salvation Lake, by G.M. Ford
4. Blood Flag, by Steve Martini

7. Ping-Pong Heart, by Martin Limon

8. Judicious Murder, by Val Bruech

9. The More They Disappear, by Jesse Donaldson
9. Downfall, by J.A. Jance
9. Violent Crimes, by Phil Margolin

Congratulations to these authors. We hope to have Robert Dugoni accept his award at our September meeting.

Thank you to my committee of enthusiastic readers: Janet Bechtold, Kris Field-Eaton, Carrie Richards, Sheila Sweet and Judy Wyss.

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Awards season is approaching…and the nominees are:

Left Coast Crime

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel

  • Andrews, Donna. Die Like An Eagle
  • Byron, Ellen. Body on the Bayou
  • Hallinan, Timothy. Fields Where They Lay
  • Haven, Heather. The CEO Came DOA
  • Shaw, Johnny. Floodgate
  • Vallere, Diane. A Disguise To Die For

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel

  • Bowen, Rhys. Crowned and Dangerous
  • Calkins, Susanna. A Death Along the River Fleet
  • King, Laurie R. The Murder of Mary Russell
  • McPherson, Catriona. The Reek of Red Herrings
  • Parker, Ann. What Gold Guys

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel

  • Chen, Sarah M. Cleaning Up Finn
  • Cooper, Marla. Terror in Taffeta
  • Gordon, Alexia. Murder in G Major
  • Nettmann, Nadine. Decanting a Murder
  • Patrick, Renee. Design for Dying

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel

  • Coyle, Matt. Dark Fissures
  • Pandian, Gigi. Michelangelo’s Ghost
  • Penny, Louise. A Great Reckoning
  • Shames, Terry. The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake
  • Ziskin, James W. Heart of Stone

Mystery Writers of America
(The Edgars)

Best Novel

  • Burke, Alafair. The Ex
  • Coleman, Reed Farrel. Where It Hurts
  • Faye, Lyndsay. Jane Steele
  • Gaylin, Alison. What Remains of Me
  • Hawley, Noah. Before the Fall

Best First Novel by an American Author

  • Berry, Flynn. Under the Harrow
  • Beverly, Bill. Dodgers
  • Ide, Joe. IQ
  • Petrie, Nicholas. The Drifter
  • Wright, Lili. Dancing with the Tiger
  • Young, Heather. The Lost Girls

Best Paperback Original

  • Abbott, Patricia. Shot in Detroit
  • Dilts, Tyler. Come Twilight
  • Dugoni, Robert. The 7th Canon
  • McKinty, Adrian. Rain Dogs
  • Yocum, Robin. A Brilliant Death
  • Ziskin, James W. Heart of Stone

Best Fact Crime

  • Dimaio, Dr. Vincent & Franscell, Ron. Morgue: A Life in Death
  • Leamer, Laurence. The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan
  • Murphy, Paul Thomas. Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder That Shocked Victorian England
  • Sanders, Eli. While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness
  • Summerscale, Kate. The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

Best Critical/Biographical

  • Ackroyd, Peter. Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life
  • Brunsdale, Mitzi M. Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967
  • Franklin, Ruth. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
  • Skal, David J. Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula

The Simon & Schuster
Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • Dixon, Dianne. The Other Sister
  • McPherson, Catriona. Quiet Neighbors
  • Ryan, Hank Phillippi. Say No More
  • Staub, Wendy Corsi. Blue Moon
  • Todd, Charles. The Shattered Tree

Malice Domestic
(The Agathas)

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Byron, Ellen. Body on the Bayou
  • McPherson, Catriona. Quiet Neighbors
  • Penny, Louise. A Great Reckoning
  • Ross, Barbara. Fogged Inn
  • Ryan, Hank Phillippi. Say No More

Best Historical Novel

  • Estevao, Jessica. Whispers Beyond the Veil
  • Ireland, D.E. Get Me to the Grave on Time
  • Maxwell, Edith. Delivering the Truth
  • McPherson, Catriona. The Reek of Red Herrings
  • Thompson, Victoria. Murder in Morningside Heights

Best First Novel

  • Cooper, Marla. Terror in Taffeta
  • Gordon, Alexia. Murder in G Major
  • Kuhn, Cynthia. The Semester of Our Discontent
  • Nettmann, Nadine. Decanting a Murder
  • Patrick, Renee. Design for Dying

Best Non-Fiction

  • Cleland, Jane K. Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories that Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats
  • Guay, Roger, with Kate Clark Flora. A Good Man with a Dog: A Game Warden’s 25 Years in the Maine Woods
  • Kinsman, Margaret. Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction

The Left Coast Crime Awards will be presented in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 18th.

The Edgars will be presented in New York City on April 27th.

The Agathas will be presented in Bethesda, Maryland on April 30th.

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Membership Renewal

If you haven’t renewed your membership to FOM yet, please consider doing so. Dues are $20.00 annually. Friends of Mystery is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Dues and additional donations are deductible to the full extent of the law. Please send your check to: Friends of Mystery, PO Box 8251, Portland, Oregon 97207. Include your name, address, city, state, zip, email and telephone. The newsletter will come to you electronically unless otherwise requested.

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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: