In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our March Bloody Thursday panel of mystery comics creators, award nominations, what’s caught our eye, and more!

March 2019

Bloody Thursday, March 28, 2019, We Welcome a Panel of Comics Creators

Friends of Mystery is pleased to welcome a panel of local comics authors and illustrators.

Photo: Jonathan CaseJonathan Case is a cartoonist and author. His most recent graphic novel, The New Deal (author/artist, Dark Horse), was a nominee for the Reuben, Harvey, and Oregon Book awards for best graphic album. In 2012 he won the Eisner award for Green River Killer, A True Detective Story (Dark Horse). His other books include Dear Creature (author/artist, Dark Horse), Batman ’66 (artist, DC), Superman: American Alien (artist, DC), and Over the Garden Wall: Distillatoria (author, BOOM). He is currently working on a new graphic novel, Little Monarchs (author/artist, Holiday House), which “is a sort of a joyful post-apocalyptic adventure book for kids.”

“In addition to comics I paint murals, create book covers, and illustrate for print. You can find some of that up on walls around Portland, Oregon.”

Photo: Molly MuldoonMolly Muldoon’s high school superlative was “Most Likely to Write Murder Mysteries.” Well played, yearbook staff. Molly’s a writer, editor, and newly-minted librarian. She’s the co-author of Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom and has a story in The Cardboard Kingdom. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Photo: Jeff ParkerJeff Parker is known for writing comic books, such as Agents of Atlas, X-Men First Class, Batman ’66, Aquaman, Future Quest, Thunderbolts and more. Yet for years he made a living drawing stories, as well as commercial art and storyboards for TV. Jeff lives in Portland, Oregon where he’s part of the country’s largest collective of comics creators, Helioscope.

Please join us at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St., Portland, Oregon 97215. The event is free and open to the public. A social time with refreshments begins at 7:00 pm, with the program beginning at 7:30 pm. Free parking is available in the block across from the entrance. Bus line #15 will drop you off right by the door.

Back to Top

Nominees for the 2018 Hammett Prize Announced

The Hammett Prize is given annually by the North American branch of the International Association of Crime Writers to honor literary excellence in the field of crime-writing published in the English language in the US and/or Canada. It is awarded in 2019 for books published in 2018. The nominees are:

  • November Road, by Lou Berney
  • The Lonely Witness, by William Boyle
  • Paris in the Dark, by Robert Olen Butler
  • Under My Skin, by Lisa Unger
  • Cut You Down, by Sam Wiebe

Back to Top

Mystery Writers of America Announce the Edgar Nominations

Best Novel

  • The Liar’s Girl, by Catherine Ryan Howard
  • House Witness, by Mike Lawson
  • A Gambler’s Jury, by Victor Methos
  • Down the River Unto the Sea, by Walter Mosley
  • Only to Sleep, by Lawrence Osborne
  • A Treacherous Curse, by Deanna Raybourn

Best First Novel by an American Author

  • A Knife in the Fog, by Bradley Harper
  • The Captives, by Debra Jo Immergut
  • The Last Equation of Isaac Severy, by Nova Jacobs
  • Bearskin, by James A. McLaughlin
  • Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

Best Paperback Original

  • If I Die Tonight, by Alison Gaylin
  • Hiroshima Boy, by Naomi Hirahara
  • Under a Dark Sky, by Lori Rader-Day
  • The Perfect Nanny, by Leila Slimani
  • Under My Skin, by Lisa Unger

Best Fact Crime

  • Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, by Robert W. Fieseler
  • Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal, by Jonathan Green
  • The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure, by Carl Hoffman
  • The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, by Kirk Wallace Johnson
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, by Michelle McNamara
  • The Good Mothers: The True Story of the Women Who Took on the World’s Most Powerful Mafia, by Alex Perry

Best Critical/Biographical

  • The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction, by Laird R. Blackwell
  • Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, by Alice Bolin
  • Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s, by Leslie S. Klinger
  • Mark X: Who Killed Huck Finn’s Father?, by Yasuhiro Takeuchi
  • Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life, by Laura Thompson

The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • A Death of No Importance, by Mariah Fredericks
  • A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, by Dianne Freeman
  • Bone on Bone, by Julia Keller
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey
  • A Borrowing of Bones, by Paula Munier

You can go to to find out who was nominated in these other categories: Best Short Story, Best Juvenile, Best Young Adult, Best Television Episode Teleplay, and the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award. The awards will be presented to the winners on April 25, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

Back to Top

Spotted Owl Finalists

Who will win the Spotted Owl Award this year? The winner will be announced at the March meeting. The finalists are:

  • Baron Birtcher – Fistful Of Rain
  • Robert Dugoni – A Steep Price
  • Warren Easley – Moving Targets
  • G.M. Ford – Soul Survivor
  • Elizabeth George – The Punishment She Deserves
  • Stephen Holgate – Madagascar
  • Mike Lawson – House Witness
  • Martin Limon – The Line
  • John Straley – Baby’s First Felony
  • Jon Talton – The Bomb Shelter

Back to Top

What’s Caught Our Eye at Friends of Mystery

Recent and Upcoming Books From Pacific Northwest Authors

  • The Wrong Boy, by Cathy Ace
  • Flamingo Lane, by Tim Applegate
  • Open Carry, by Marc Cameron
  • A Case of Bier, by Mary Daheim
  • The Eighth Sister, by Robert Dugoni
  • St. Nicholas Salvage & Wrecking, by Dana Haynes
  • The A List, by J.A. Jance
  • House Arrest, by Mike Lawson
  • The Perfect Alibi, by Phil Margolin

Check them out!

Book Cover: This Tender Land by William Kent KruegerWilliam Kent Krueger

When Ordinary Grace was published in 2013 it pretty much swept the awards season for mystery books, including the Edgars. If you enjoyed that book, you’ll be pleased to know that this fall Krueger is releasing a companion book entitled This Tender Land. Four orphans are on the run from the law in this story set in southern Minnesota during the summer of 1932.

Another Scandinavian Author to Consider

As it is still unseasonably cold outside as I write this, here’s another author to consider: Camilla Grebe. The author of The Ice Beneath Her, her latest book is After She’s Gone.

Book Cover: After She's Gone by Camilla Grebe“Out of the frozen depths of a forest in Ormberg, Sweden, a woman stumbles onto the road. Her arms are covered with scratches, her feet are bare, and she has no memory of who she is. Local police identify her as psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon, who, with her partner, had been helping investigate the cold case of a young woman’s murder. Hanne begins to recover but cannot recall anything about where her partner is, or what their investigation had uncovered before her disappearance. Police have only one lead: a young woman in a sequined dress who was spotted nearby the night Hanne was found.

The young woman doesn’t come forward because she doesn’t exist: Jake Birgersson, a local teenager, had been out walking in his mother’s dress and sister’s makeup, his secret shame and thrill. Terrified of discovery, Jake hid and watched Hanne get into a car, leaving behind her diary.

Reading Hanne’s diary, Jake learns that it contains the key to a major breakthrough in the case – but turning it in would mean admitting the truth about who he is. When another murder victim is found in the woods, Jake realizes that Hanne herself is in danger, and his only choice is to find and warn her so that, together, they can stop the killer before he strikes again.”

Captivating First Lines…

The watcher followed Esa Khattak home, observing the detective in the dark. For all his skills and aptitude, Khattak didn’t know. He’d never known that he was being followed because signs of pursuit had been cleverly disguised.

12 February 2016
DCI Nelson,
Well, here we are again. Truly our end is our beginning. That corpse you buried in your garden, has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? You must have wondered whether I, too, was buried deep in the earth. Oh ye of little faith. You must have known that I would rise again.

Where do you get your suggestions/recommendations for the next book you choose to read?

I will share where I find mine in the May newsletter – please let me know where you get yours. Just email me at: I look forward to hearing from you.

Back to Top

Membership Renewal

It’s never too late to consider renewing your membership to Friends of Mystery! Dues are $20.00 annually. FOM is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Dues and additional donations are deductible to the full extent of the law. Please mail your check, made out to Friends of Mystery, to PO Box 8251, Portland, Oregon 97207. Your newsletter will be sent electronically unless otherwise requested.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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:

Back to Top