In this issue of The Blood-Letter from Friends of Mystery: a preview of our November Bloody Thursday guests, Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. Plus:, remembering Caroline Todd, and new books.

November 2021

Bloody Thursdays To Continue Online

Friends of MysteryOut of caution and due to limits on public gatherings, Friends of Mystery will continue to host our Bloody Thursday 2021-2022 speaker series online using ZOOM.

Though we regret we won’t have the opportunity to meet and mingle with our speakers and guests in person, remaining online does have its benefits. In addition to protecting the health of our participants, we will be able to serve attendees from literally around the world. And when possible, we will record the events, which means even if you can’t make it at the scheduled time, you can watch later at your convenience.

On November 18, 2021, We Welcome Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush for Bloody Thursday

Friends of Mystery is delighted to host sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush in conversation with each other.

The virtual door will open at 6:30 for general chat, with the presentation starting at 7:00 pm. We will send out a Zoom link on the day of the presentation.

Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush [Credit: Kimberly Butler Photography]

Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush [Credit: Kimberly Butler Photography]

Lisa Jackson is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over ninety-five novels, including The Third Grave, You Will Pay, After She’s Gone, Deserves to Die, Running Scared, and Shiver. She is also the co-author of One Last Breath, Last Girl Standing and the Colony series, written with her sister and bestselling author Nancy Bush, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan. There are over thirty million copies of her novels in print and her writing has been translated into twenty languages. She lives with her family and beloved dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Readers can visit her online at and find her on Facebook.

Nancy Bush is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over two dozen romantic suspense novels, including Bad Things, Jealousy, and The Rafferty Family series, starting with Nowhere to Run. As previously mentioned, along with her sister, bestselling author Lisa Jackson, she co-wrote Last Girl Standing, One Last Breath, and the Colony series, and she is the co-author of Sinister and Ominous, written with Lisa Jackson and New York Times bestselling author Rosalind Noonan. She originally started writing as a young mother, beginning with historical and contemporary romance, and later went on to develop her craft as a staff writer for ABC’s daytime drama, All My Children. She now writes romantic suspense full-time and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. Readers can visit her online at

The books they will be talking about include:

  • The Third Grave, by Lisa Jackson
  • All I Want From Santa, by Lisa Jackson
  • Wicked Game (The Colony, Book 1), by Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush
  • The Gossip, by Nancy Bush

We hope you will be able to join us!

Annie Bloom’s Books has Jackson and Bush’s books, along with the rest of this year’s Bloody Thursday lineup, for sale on the Friends of Mystery page on their website:

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Spotlight On: CrimeReads.Com

By Jeannette Voss

For several years I have been receiving the CrimeReads newsletter by email. It comes several times a week, with a wide variety of articles. I had never gone to their website until recently, and found it to have a wide variety of articles of interest to mystery lovers.

The website features the following categories: Culture, True Crime, Daily Thrill, Genres, Literary Hub and Book Marks. I am going to list the articles available in the True Crime category (and this was just page 1 of 62 available to read.)

True Crime

  • The Forgotten Story of a Polish Spy Whose Los Angeles Trial Was a Cold War Flashpoint, by John Pomfret
  • 8 International True Crime Podcasts to Listen to Right Now, by Paul French
  • Reclaiming the Legacy of Nora May French, the Pioneering Poet Made Into a Femme Fetale by Mediocre Men and California, by Catherine Prendergast
  • When the Family Legacy Is Murder, by Betty Frizzell
  • 50 Years Later, Looking Back at the Real-Life Crime Network That Inspired the French Connection, by Andrew Nette
  • The Birth of the CIA – And the Soviet Mole Who Had a Hand in Everything, by Michel Holzman
  • The Boone Family, the Struggle for Kentucky, and the Kidnapping That Rocked Colonial America, by Matthew Pearl
  • It’s Time to Talk About the Lives of John Wayne Gacy’s Victims – And Not Just the Labels Hung on Them, by David Nelson
  • A Love’s Quarrel, a Dilapidated Mansion, and a Body in the Basement, by David Domine
  • The Socialite Gangster Who Charmed the New York Literati, by Frank Dimatteo and Michael Benson

The home page of the website highlighted the following:

  • An interview with Michael Koryta
  • Four new books: As the Wicked Watch, by Tamron Hall, Two Nights in Lisbon, by Chris Pavone, April in Spain, by John Banville and We Know You Remember, by Tove Alsterdal
  • 17 Horror Comedies That Will Make You Shriek with Laughter
  • Fever Dream Novels: 7 Great Books That You’ll Read in a Mad, Disorienting Dash
  • Cozy mysteries’ debt to bloody thrillers
  • On baseball’s crime movie, The Natural
  • The thief stealing books before their release

As you can see, there are plenty of choices in a wide variety of areas. Give it a try.

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Publishers Weekly Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021

  • The Anatomy of Desire, by L.R. Dorn
  • The Anomaly, by Herve Le Tellier
  • Black Ice, by Carin Gerhardsen
  • The Bloodless Boy, by Robert J. Lloyd
  • Five Decembers, by James Keestrel
  • Midnight Water City, by Chris McKinney
  • The Photographer, by Mary Dixie Carter
  • The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • The Push, by Ashley Audrain
  • Steel Fear, by Brandon Webb & John David Mann
  • These Toxic Things, by Rachel Howell Hall
  • Who Is Maude Dixon?, by Alexandra Andrews

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In Memoriam:

Caroline Todd

Caroline Todd

Caroline Todd, half of the writing team of “Charles Todd”, along with her son Charles, passed away at the age of 86 on August 27, 2021. They collaborated on the Inspector Ian Rutledge series and the Bess Crawford series.

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New & Noteworthy

(Summaries provided by the publishers)

The Heron’s Cry, by Ann Cleeves

The Heron's Cry by Ann CleevesNorth Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer, and Detective Matthew Venn is called out to investigate a murder at the rural home of a group of artists. What he discovers is an elaborately staged scenee—Dr. Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s vases.

Dr. Yeo seems an unlikely victim: a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter, Eve. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find out that Eve is close friends with his husband, Jonathan. It also comes to light that Dr. Yeo had been investigating the suicide of a young man before he died.

Then, another man is found killed in the same way. Matthew must tread carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community, in a case dangerously close to home.

Lightning Strike, by William Ken Krueger

Lighting Strike by William Kent KruegerAurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1962, it is the whole world to twelve-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself.

Cork’s father, Liam O’Connor, is Aurora’s sheriff, and it is his job to confirm that the man’s death was the result of suicide, as all the evidence suggests. In the shadow of his father’s official investigation, Cork begins to look for answers on his own. Together, father and son face the ultimate test of choosing between what their heads tell them is true and what their hearts know is right.

How to Find Your Way in the Dark, by Derek B. Miller

How to Find Your Way in the Dark by Derek MillerTwelve-year-old Sheldon Horowitz is recovering from the tragic loss of his mother when a suspicious traffic accident takes the life of his father. It is 1938, and Sheldon, who was a passenger in the truck as it was run off an isolated road in rural Massachusetts, emerges from the crash an orphan hell-bent on revenge. He takes that fire with him as he moves to Hartford, where he embarks on a new life under the roof of his buttoned-up Uncle Nate. Over the years, Sheldon, his teenage cousins Abe and Mirabelle, and his best friend, Lenny, will contend with tradition and orthodoxy, appeasement and patriotism, mafia hit men and angry accordion players, all while World War II takes center stage alongside a hurricane in New England and comedians in the Catskills. With his eye always on vengeance for his father’s murder, Sheldon must stake out his place in a world he now understands is comprised largely of crimes: right and wrong, big and small.

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Joining Us in January: Tasha Alexander

Tasha AlexanderFor Bloody Thursday on January 27, 2022, New York Times bestselling historical mystery author Tasha Alexander will be joining us. She will be interviewed by Bill Cameron as well as taking questions from attendees.

Tasha is the author of the New York Times bestselling Lady Emily mystery series. The daughter of two philosophy professors, she studied English literature and medieval history at the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, live on a ranch in southeastern Wyoming.

All subscribers to the Blood-Letter will receive an email on the day of the event with login details. You can also register at EventBrite.

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Buy Books by Friends of Mystery Speakers Online at Annie Bloom’s Books

If you want to order any of our speaker’s books, you can find them at our special Friends of Mystery page at Annie Bloom’s Books!

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Share Your 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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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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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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