In this issue of The Blood-Letter from Friends of Mystery: May guest Frank Zafiro, award winners, author news, and noteworthy reads.

May 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 May 26, 2022, We Welcome Frank Zafiro

“Writing both Sides of the Badge”

Frank Zafiro

Friends of Mystery is pleased to host Frank Zafiro at our May Zoom meeting. Zafiro spent twenty years (and a day!) as a police officer in Spokane, Washington. So, it only follows that many of his more than 35 crime novels feature police officers in a real or fictional Spokane. But somewhere along the way, he also started exploring the “other” side of the badge…the criminals. At this point, his books are split roughly down the middle between both sides of the badge. Hear about the journey into two types of heroes that are radically different – or are they?

Frank writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. He was a police officer from 1993 to 2013, retiring as a captain. In addition to writing, Frank is an avid hockey fan and a tortured guitarist. He lives in Redmond, Oregon.

We will open the virtual doors at 7:00 pm for the program, and chat casually afterwards. We hope you can join us.

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Spotted Owl Award Winner Announced: Warren Easley

by Jeannette Voss
Spotted Owl Facilitator

No Witness by Warren Easley

Warren Easley has been chosen as the recipient of the annual Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for his book, No Witness, published in August 2021 by Poisoned Pen Press.

Members of the committee considered 50 novels by authors living in the Pacific Northwest in 2021. Runners-up for the award were:

  1. Robert Dugoni for In Her Tracks
  2. Martin Limon for War Women
  3. Dana Haynes for Sirocco
  4. John Straley for So Far and Good
  5. (tie) Valerie Geary for The Ophelia Killer
    Michael Niemann for The Last Straw
  6. Marc Cameron for Bone Rattle
  7. (tie) Dana Stabenow for Spoils of the Dead
    Miss Kopp Investigates

Congratulations to these authors! The committee members are Janet Bechtold, Kris Field-Eaton, Carrie Richards, Sheila Sweet and Judith Wyss.

The committee has also chosen to give a Stanley Johnson Award for a body of work by an author in the Pacific Northwest. The recipient will be announced at the May meeting.

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Awards and More Awards

In our last issue we listed the nominees for these awards, and here are the winners:

The Lefty Awards were presented at the Left Coast Crime Convention on April 10, 2022.

  • Best Mystery Novel
    Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger
  • Best Debut Mystery
    All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
  • Best Humorous Mystery
    Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes
  • Best Historical Mystery
    Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

The Agatha Awards were presented April 23, 2022, at Malice Domestic. These awards honor traditional mysteries.

  • Best Contemporary Novel
    Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron
  • Best Historical Novel
    Death at Greenway by Lori Rader-Day
  • Best First Novel
    Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
  • Best Non-Fiction
    How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America by MWA with editors Lee Child & Laurie R. King

The Edgar Awards were presented on April 28, 2022, in New York City, by the Mystery Writers of America.

  • Grand Master: Laurie R. King
  • Best Mystery Novel
    Five Decembers by James Kestrel
  • Best First Novel by an American Author
    Deer Season by Erin Flanagan
  • Best Paperback Original
    Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks
  • Best Fact Crime
    Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green
  • Best Critical Biographical
    The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense by Edward White
  • Mary Higgins Clark Award
    Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara
  • Sue Grafton Memorial Award
    Runner by Tracy Clark

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Author News

Don Winslow

Don Winslow, author of 22 novels, including The Border, The Force, The Power of the Dog, The Cartel, and his latest, City on Fire, announced his retirement from writing on The CBS Saturday Morning program. He plans to focus on politics. City on Fire is the first of a trilogy, with the following two books, which he has already written, to be released at later dates.

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In Memoriam

J Robert Janes - photo by Charles BellamyJ. Robert Janes, 1935 – 2022

Born in Canada, J. Robert Janes was a mining engineer by profession until he became a full-time writer in 1970. He was best known for his series set during World War II in Occupied France featuring Chief Inspector Jean-Louis St. Cyr of France’s Surete and Detektiv Inspektor Hermann Kohler of the Nazi Gestapo.

Jack HigginsJack Higgins, 1929 – 2022

Born Henry “Harry” Patterson in 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, Higgins was an author of popular thrillers and espionage novels. His most well-known book was The Eagle Has Landed. He passed away on April 9th on Jersey in the Channel Islands at the age of 92.

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New & Noteworthy

(Summaries provided by the publishers)

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.

But Rachel’s increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friends may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets lying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.

The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Hagendra
The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Hagendra

When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she’s resigned herself to a quiet life.

But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet – and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene.

When a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri becomes determined to save her and launches a private investigation to find the killer, tracing his steps from an illustrious brothel to an Englishman’s mansion. She soon finds that sleuthing in a sari isn’t as hard as it seems when you have a talent for mathematics, a head for logic, and a doctor for a husband…

And she’s going to need them all as the case leads her deeper into a hotbed of danger, sedition, and intrigue in Bangalore’s darkest corridors.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

What is the purpose of a map?

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence…because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why?

To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps…

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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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