In this issue of the Blood-Letter: a preview of our May 2019 Bloody Thursday speaker Nancy Rommelmann, awards, news mysteries and more!

May 2019

Bloody Thursday, May 23, 2019 We Welcome Nancy Rommelmann

Friends of Mystery is pleased to welcome Nancy Rommelmann as the concluding speaker for our programs this year.

Rommelmann is an author and journalist whose work appears in the Wall Street Journal, the LA Weekly, the New York Times and other publications.

Book Cover: To the Bridge by Nancy RommelmannHer book, To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder, is the story of Amanda Stott-Smith, who dropped her two young children from the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon. It was published in 2018.

She is also the author of the novel The Bad Mother, the Queens of Montague Street (a digital memoir of growing up in Brooklyn Heights in the 1970s), the story collection Transportation, and Destination Gacy, an e-book about Rommelmann’s visit and interview with serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Rommelmann currently lives in Portland, Oregon and New York City.

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.

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Edgar Winners Announced

The Mystery Writers of America presented Edgar awards to the following winners at their banquet on April 25, 2019.

Book Cover: Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter MosleyBest Novel

  • Down the River Unto the Sea, by Walter Mosley

Best First Novel by an American Author

  • Bearskin, by James A. McLaughlin

Best Paperback Original

  • If I Die Tonight, by Alison Gaylin

Best Fact Crime

  • Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, by Robert W. Fieseler

Best Critical/Biographical

  • Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920’s, by Leslie S. Klinger

Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey

Sue Grafton Memorial Award

  • Shell Game, by Sara Paretsky

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Thriller Award Nominees

The Thriller Awards are presented by the International Thriller Writers at the annual ThrillerFest conference in New York City in July.

Best Novel

  • November Road, by Lou Berney
  • Paper Ghosts, by Julia Heaberlin
  • Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier
  • Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter
  • The Cabin at the End of the World, by Paul Tremblay

Best First Novel

  • The Terminal List, by Jack Carr
  • Need To Know, by Karen Cleveland
  • Caged, by Ellison Cooper
  • Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman
  • The Chalk Man, by C.J. Tudor

Best Paperback Original

  • The Lost Man, by Jane Harper
  • The Good Samaritan, by John Marrs
  • The Naturalist, by Andrew Mayne
  • Gone Dark, by Kirk Russell
  • Mister Tender’s Girl, by Carter Wilson

Best eBook Original Novel

  • Murder on the Marshes, by Clare Chase
  • Executive Force, by Gary Grossman
  • The Reunion, by Samantha Hayes
  • The Memory Detective, by T.S. Nichols
  • Pray for the Innocent, by Alan Orloff

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

In the last newsletter I asked you to share where you get your ideas for the next mystery you want to read, and I said I would share where I got mine. No one took me up on my invitation, so I will share a few of mine. I welcome your suggestions.

Crime By The Book Newsletter

Crime by the Book Home PageSubscribe:

I subscribe to this site by email. In the most recent issue here is a sampling of the type of content that you receive:

Column – Best Crime Books of April

  • I Know Who You Are, by Alice Feeney
  • They All Fall Down, by Rachel Howzell Hall
  • Strong As Steel, by Jon Land
  • Alice’s Island, by Daniel Sanchez Arevalo
  • The Island, by Ragnar Jonasson

Post: CBTB’s Most Anticipated Crime Reads of May – July 2019

(These are listed in order of publication release date, and the author tells you why she’s excited about the book and a summary of the plot details.)

  • The Island, by Ragnar Jonasson
  • Into the Jungle, by Erica Ferencik
  • Beyond All Reasonable Doubt, by Malin Persson Giolito
  • Those People, by Louise Candlish
  • Conviction, by Denise Mina
  • A Nearly Normal Family, by M.T. Edvardsson
  • Lock Every Door, by Riley Sager
  • Knife, by Jo Nesbo
  • One Little Secret, by Cate Holahan
  • The Chain, by Adrian McKinty
  • The Heart Keeper, by Alex Dahl
  • Tell Me Everything, by Cambria Brockman
  • Gretchen, by Shannon Kirk
  • Beijing Payback, by Daniel Nieh

Book Review: The Island, by Ragnar Jonasson

Book Review: I Know Who You Are, by Alice Feeney

CBTB Current Read: Those People, by Louise Candlish

CBTB Archive: Book review of Our House, by Louise Candlish

Criminal Element Newsletter

Criminal Element Home PageSubscribe:

This is a weekly newsletter that you can subscribe to by email. A sample issue contains the following:

The Edgar Awards Revisited: Best Novel, 1969A Case of Need (by Michael Crichton, writing as Jeffrey Hudson). Review.

New Reviews

Featured Review: Triple Jeopardy, by Anne Perry.

  • Cat Chase the Moon, by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
  • Who Slays the Wicked, by C.S.Harris
  • Confessions of an Innocent Man, by David R. Dow
  • Foul Play On Words, by Becky Clark
  • Alice and Gerald, by Ron Franscell

This Week’s Steal (Each week we bring you a killer new eBook deal too good to pass up.)

Further Investigation (articles)

  • “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
  • “Jaw Dropping Twists”
  • The Disappearance of the Good Baby”
  • “10 Years of Tribeca”

Cooking the Books: Murder in Tranquility Park, by J.D. Griffo. (Review plus recipe for Sicilian Cassata Cake w/photos.)

More Reading from our Partners (in Crime)

John Sandford: Inside the Mind of a Manhunter (via The History Reader)

Lee Child and Paul Doiron on Strong, Interesting, and Complex Female Characters (via Writer Mag)

These are just two internet resources. I will continue with other sources (including print) in the September newsletter.

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New Books To Consider

(Plot summaries from the publisher)

Book Cover: Throw Me to the Wolves by Patrick McGuinness
Throw Me to the Wolves, by Patrick McGuinness

In the aftermath of Brexit, the body of a young woman is found by the River Thames, and a neighbor, a retired teacher from Chapelton College, is arrested. An eccentric loner –intellectual, shy, a fastidious dresser with expensive tastes—he is the perfect candidate for a media monstering.

In custody he is interviewed by two detectives: the circumspect Ander and his workaday foil, Gary. Ander is particularly watchful now, because the man across the table is someone he knows—someone he hasn’t seen in nearly thirty years. Determined to salvage the truth as ex-pupils and colleagues line up against the accused, he must face a story from decades back, from his own time as a Chapelton student, at the peak of anti-Irish sentiment.

With the momentum of classic crime fiction, Throw Me to the Wolves follows two mysteries—one unfolding in the media-saturated present, and the other bubbling up from the abusive past of the 1980s English school system. Beautifully written and psychologically acute, it is a novel about memory and childhood, prescient and piercingly funny, as wise as it is tragic.

Book Cover: The Syndicate by Guy Bolton
The Syndicate, by Guy Bolton

JUNE 1947

Jonathan Craine has left his old life in Hollywood behind him, content to live out his days with his son on a rural farm in California. But when infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel is murdered, Craine is forced to face his past once again.

Summoned to Las Vegas to meet mob head Meyer Lansky, Craine is given the impossible task of finding Siegel’s murderers. All he has helping him are an ageing hitman and a female crime reporter with her own agenda. And he knows that if he doesn’t succeed in five days, both he and his son will pay for it with their lives…

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Spotted Owl Winner Announced

The Spotted Owl Committee was pleased to announce Mike Lawson as the winner of this year’s award for his book, House Witness. The book was also Edgar nominated for Best Novel this year. This is the third Spotted Owl Award for Lawson, and we are looking forward to having him speak at our September meeting. Congratulations!

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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.

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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:

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