In this issue of The Blood-Letter from Friends of Mystery: Lawyers Who Write, award nominations, plus upcoming books and intriguing television.

March 2022

Bloody Thursdays To Continue Online

Friends of MysteryFriends of Mystery continues 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 March 24, 2022, We Welcome Lawyers Who Write

Come join us to hear from three authors who also have law backgrounds. We’ll talk about their novels, their opinions on how the law is handled in fiction, and why they do — or do not — write legal thrillers.

The Zoom doors will open at 7:00 pm, and the panel will begin a few minutes later.

Robert DugoniRobert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed, best-selling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, the Charles Jenkins espionage series, and the David Sloane legal thriller series. He has also written several stand-alone novels including The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and the literary novels, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hall and the critically acclaimed The World Played Chess, as well as the non-fiction expose The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award. He has also been a finalist for the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of American Edgar Award.

Leslie BudewitzLeslie Budewitz is a three-time Agatha Award winner and the best-selling author of the Spice Shop mysteries, set in Seattle, and Food Lover’s Village mysteries, inspired by Big Fork, Montana, where she lives. Next up: Peppermint Barked (July 2022). As Alice Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022). Leslie is a member of the Washington and Montana bars and any bar that will serve her, and author of the guide for writers, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Linden/Quill Driver, 2011), winner of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. She is a board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.

James D. ShipmanJames D. Shipman is the bestselling author of seven historical novels, including Irena’s War, Task Force Baum, Constantinopolis, and A Bitter Rain. He was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and began publishing short stories and poems while earning a degree in history from the University of Washington and a law degree from Gonzaga University. He opened his own law firm in 2004 and remains a practicing attorney. Am avid reader, especially of historical nonfiction, Shipman lives in Washington State and enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Visit James Shipman online at

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Nominations and More Nominations

It’s that time of year again, when mystery organizations get ready to honor the cream of the crop in mysteries and crime. How many of these nominees have you read?

Lefty Award Nominees

Left Coast Crime, April 9, 2022

Best Humorous Mystery Novel

  • Byron, Ellen. Cajun Kiss of Death
  • Chow, Jennifer. Mimi Lee Cracks the Code
  • Cosimano, Elle. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
  • Kuhn, Cynthia. How to Book a Murder
  • Reyes, Raquel V. Mango, Mambo, and Murder
  • Thomas, Wendall. Fogged Off

Best Historical Mystery
(Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1970)

  • Calkins, Susanna. The Cry of the Hangman
  • Copenhaver, John. The Savage Kind
  • Hirahara, Naomi. Clark and Division
  • Massey, Sujata. The Bombay Prince
  • McPherson, Catriona. The Mirror Dance
  • Rader-Day, Lori. Death at Greenway

Best Debut Mystery Novel

  • Andrews, Alexandra. Who Is Maud Dixon?
  • Carocari, Marco. Blackout
  • Harris, Zakiya Dalila. The Other Black Girl
  • Manansala, Mia P. Arsenic and Adobo
  • Morris, Wanda M. All Her Little Secrets

Best Mystery Novel

  • Clark, Tracy. Runner
  • Cosby, S.A. Razorblade Tears
  • Coyle, Matt. Last Redemption
  • Kruger, William Kent. Lightning Strike
  • Vernon, P.J. Bath Haus

Edgar Awards

Mystery Writers of America
April 28, 2022
Grand Master: Laurie R. King

Best Mystery Novel

  • Bowen, Rhys. The Venice Sketchbook
  • Cosby, S.A. Razorblade Tears
  • Kestrel, James. Five Decembers
  • Leitch, Will. How Lucky
  • Rosenfield, Kat. No One Will Miss Her

Best First Novel by an American Author

  • Flanagan, Erin. Deer Season
  • Kurian, Vera. Never Saw Me Coming
  • Nicieza, Fabian. Suburban Dicks
  • Tompkins, JoAnne. What Comes After
  • Wahrer, Caitlin. The Damage

Best Paperback Original

  • Bell, David. Kill All Your Darlings
  • Cooke, C.J. The Lighthouse Witches
  • Gregory, Daryl. The Album of Dr. Moreau
  • O’Cinneide, C.S. Starr Sign
  • Parks, Alan. Bobby March Will Live Forever
  • Purcell, Laura. The Shape of Darkness

Best Fact Crime

  • Fox, Margalit. The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History
  • Green, Elon. Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York
  • Hagedorn, Ann. Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away
  • McGarrahan, Ellen. Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice
  • Smith, Benjamin T. The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade
  • Wilkie, Curtis. When Evil Lived in Laurel: The “White Knights” and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer

Best Critical Biography

  • Aldridge, Mark. Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World
  • Greene, Richard. The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene
  • Morris, James McGrath. Tony Hillerman: A Life
  • Tresch, John. The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the Forging of American Science
  • White, Edward. The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • Cowley, Katherine. The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet
  • Gardner, Tracy. Ruby Red Herring
  • Hirahara, Naomi. Clark and Division
  • Hutton, Callie. The Sign of Death
  • Penney, Elizabeth. Chapter and Curse

Sue Grafton Memorial Award

  • Breck, Elizabeth. Double Take
  • Clark, Tracy. Runner
  • Kies, Thomas. Shadow Hill
  • Quartey, Kwei. Sleep Well, My Lady
  • Rozan, S.J. Family Business

Barry Awards

Deadly Pleasures Magazine
September 8, 2022

Best Mystery/Crime Novel

  • Connelly, Michael. The Dark Hours
  • Cosby, S.A. Razorblade Tears
  • Coyle, Matt. Last Redemption
  • Hirahara, Naomi. Clark and Division
  • King, Stephen. Billy Summers
  • Whitaker, Chris. We Begin at the End

Best First Mystery/Crime Novel

  • Andrews, Alexandra. Who Is Maud Dixon?
  • Dean, Abigail. Girl A
  • Moore, Taylor. Down Range
  • Newman, T.J. Falling
  • Sullivan, Connor. Sleeping Bear
  • Webb, Brandon & Mann, John David. Steel Fear

Best Paperback Original

  • Bergmoser, Gabriel. The Hunted
  • Manansala, Mia P. Arsenic and Adobo
  • Mayne, Andrew. Black Coral
  • McTiernan, Dervla. The Good Turn
  • Mofina, Rick. Search for Her
  • Symon, Vanda. Bound

Best Thriller

  • Carr, Jack. The Devil’s Hand
  • Connolly, John. The Nameless Ones
  • Doiron, Paul. Dead by Dawn
  • Greaney, Mark. Relentless
  • Herron, Mick. Slough House
  • Kestrel James. Five Decembers

Agatha Awards

Malice Domestic
April 23, 2022

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Byron, Ellen. Cajun Kiss of Death
  • Hill, Edwin. Watch Her
  • Penny, Louise. The Madness of Crowds
  • Ryan, Hank Phillippi. Her Perfect Life
  • Valjan, Gabriel. Symphony Road

Best Historical Novel

  • Cambridge, Colleen. Murder at Mallowan Hall
  • Hirahara, Naomi. Clark and Division
  • Massey, Sujata. The Bombay Prince
  • Rader-Day, Lori. Death at Greenway
  • Valjan, Gabriel. The Devil’s Music

Best First Novel

  • Becker, Molly. The Turncoat’s Widow
  • Foster, Lori Duffy. A Dead Man’s Eyes
  • Manansala, Mia P. Arsenic and Adobo
  • Murray, Judy L. Murder in the Master
  • Reyes, Raquel V. Mango, Mambo, and Murder

Best Non-Fiction

  • Brogan, Jan. The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston’s Struggle for Justice
  • Chan, Chris. Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter
  • Kavanaugh, Julie. The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge, and the Phoenix Park Murders that Stunned Victorian England
  • MWA with editors Lee Child and Laurie R. King. How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America

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Spotted Owl Award to Be Announced at March Meeting

By Jeannette Voss, Facilitator

The Spotted Owl Committee has been busy reading mysteries by authors living in the Pacific Northwest and will be announcing their decision at our March program. The committee members are: Janet Bechtold, Kris Field-Eaton, Carrie Richards, Sheila Sweet and Judith Wyss.

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For Your Viewing Pleasure . . .

By Jeannette Voss

Murder in ProvenceMurder in Provence, starring Roger Allum (Endeavor), Nancy Carroll (Father Brown), and Patricia Hodge (All Creatures Great and Small) was recently released, streaming on Britbox. Based on the Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mysteries by M.L. Longworth, season one has three episodes. This series is more on the cozy side and very entertaining. You see a lot of the French countryside and you can vicariously enjoy drinking a lot of wine.

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Upcoming Books by Pacific Northwest Authors

Dugoni, Robert. The Silent Sisters (2/22/22)

Jance, J.A. Nothing to Lose (2/22/22)

Margolin, Phil. The Darkest Place (3/8/22)

Wiebe, Sam. Hell and Gone (3/8/22)

Lawson, Mike. Redemption (4/5/22)

Cameron, Mark. Cold Snap (4/26/22)

Duncan, Emmeline. Double Shot Death (4/26/22)

Kalla, Daniel. The Darkness in the Light (5/3/22)

Schorr, Mark. The Master Mind (5/16/22)

Alexander, Ellie. Donut Disturb (6/28/22)

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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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