In this issue of The Blood-Letter from Friends of Mystery: Spotted Owl Award Winner Warren Easley, still more award winners, and noteworthy reads.

September 2022

Bloody Thursdays To Continue Online

Friends of MysteryFriends of Mystery continues to host our Bloody Thursday 2022-2023 speaker series online. 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 September 22, 2022, Friends of Mystery Welcomes Warren Easley

Warren EasleyWarren Easley grew up in Southern California, attended UC, Riverside, as an undergraduate, and received a Ph.D. in chemistry at UC, Berkeley. After a career in research and development and international business he moved to Oregon, just outside Portland, where he hikes, skis, fly fishes, and pursues his greatest passion, writing fiction. His short story, “To Catch a Wolf” received a Kay Snow Award for fiction from Willamette Writers, and his short story, “The Promise” was selected by Otto Penzler for his anthology, “Kwik Krimes.” He was named the Northwest Up and Coming Writer by Willamette Writers in 2017 and his book “Blood for Wine” was nominated for the coveted Nero Wolfe Award for the best mystery novel of 2018.

Easley writes the Cal Claxton Oregon Mysteries for Poisoned Pen Press. Once a hard-charging prosecutor in L.A., Cal moves to the Oregon wine country in the aftermath of his wife’s suicide. Cal’s a lonely man who takes solace in the ever-changing natural beauty of his surroundings and the meditative relief he finds in fly fishing. Struggling to regain an emotional foothold, he starts a one-man law practice and develops a reputation as a man who will fight for his clients, even if the lack financial resources. He’ll take on cases no one else will touch and go the extra mile to get at the truth no matter what the cost.

Easley is receiving the Spotted Owl Award for his most recent novel, No Witness, published in August 2021.

We will open the virtual doors at 7:00 pm for the program, and chat casually afterwards. We hope you will join us to start the 2022-2023 season.

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Mystery Readers International2022 Macavity Award Nominees Announced

Best First Mystery Novel

  • Who Is Maud Dixon?, by Alexandra Andrews
  • Girl A, by Abigail Dean
  • Deer Season, by Erin Flanagan
  • Arsenic and Adobo, by Mia P. Manansala
  • All Her Little Secrets, by Wanda M. Morris

Best Nonfiction/Critical

  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World, by Mark Aldridge
  • How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America, by MWA with editors Lee Child and Laurie R. King
  • The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History, by Margalit Fox
  • The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene, by Richard Greene
  • Tony Hillerman: A Life, by James McGrath Morris
  • The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the Forging of American Science, by John Tresch
  • The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense, by Edward White

Best Historical Mystery: Sue Feder Memorial Award

  • The Venice Sketchbook, by Rhy Bowen
  • Clark and Division, by Naomi Hirahara
  • The Hollywood Spy, by Susan Elia MacNeal
  • The Bombay Prince, by Sujata Massey
  • Velvet Was the Night, by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Death at Greenway, by Lori Rader-Day

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And the Winners Are…

2022 Dagger Awards2022 Dagger Awards

Diamond Dagger
C.J. Sansom

Gold Dagger
Sunset Swing, by Ray Celestin

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
Dead Ground, by M.W. Craven

New Blood Dagger
The Appeal, by Janice Hallett

Historical Dagger
Sunset Swing, by Ray Celestin

Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger
Hotel Cartagena, by Simone Bucholz

Non-Fiction Dagger
The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice, by Julia Laite

ITW Thriller Award2022 Thriller Awards

Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cozby

My Sweet Girl, by Amanda Jayatissa

Bloodline, by Jess Lourey

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For Your Viewing Pleasure…

By Jeannette Voss

If you would like to look at some beautiful Queensland scenery while solving a mystery, consider watching Darby and Joan, streaming on Acorn. Bryan Brown (The Thorn Birds) and Greta Scacchi (White Mischief) attempt to solve the mystery surrounding the death of her character’s husband. There are eight episodes in Season 1, and there will be a second season.

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New and Noteworthy…

(Summaries provided by the publishers)

An Honest Living by Dwyer MurphyAn Honest Living by Dwyer Murphy

After leaving behind the comforts, and the shackles, of a prestigious law firm, a restless attorney makes ends meet in mid-2000s Brooklyn by picking up odd jobs from a colorful assortment of clients. When a mysterious woman named Anna Reddick appears at his apartment with ten thousand dollars in cash and asks him to track down her missing husband, Newton—an antiquarian bookseller who she believes has been pilfering rare true-crime volumes from her collection—he trusts it will be a quick and easy case. But when the real Anna Reddick—a magnetic but unpredictable literary prodigy—lands on his doorstep with a few bones to pick, he finds himself out of his depth, drawn into a series of deceptions involving Joseph Conrad novels, unscrupulous booksellers, aspiring flaneurs, and seedy real-estate developers.

Dirt Creek by Hayley ScrivenorDirt Creek by Hayley Scrivenor

When twelve-year-old Esther disappears one afternoon in the crackling heat of a small-town Australian spring, Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels is sent to find out what happened. In Durton, where everyone knows everyone, it seems impossible that a girl could vanish. As Sarah questions those who knew Esther, attempting to uncover the connections that bind the community together, she begins to expose their secrets lurking just beneath the surface.

While Sarah reels from a devastating breakup with her girlfriend, and Esther’s tenacious best friend begins her own investigation, the smallest decisions will change all of their lives. As Sarah unravels what happened to Esther, she must accept that anyone might, in a moment of weakness, do something shocking.

Because someone knows what happened to Esther.

To Kill a Troubadour by Martin WalkerTo Kill a Troubadour by Martin Walker

Les Troubadours, a folk music group that Bruno has long supported, go viral with their new number, “Song for Catalonia,” when the Spanish government suddenly bans the song. The songwriter, Joel Martin, is a local enthusiast for the old Occitan language of Perigord and the medieval troubadours, and he sympathizes with the Catalan bid for independence. The success of his song provokes outrage among extreme Spanish nationalists. Then, in a stolen car found on a Perigord back road, police discover a distinctive bullet for a state-of-the-art sniper’s rifle that can kill at three kilometers, and they fear that Joel might be the intended target.

The French and Spanish governments agree to mount a joint operation to stop the assailants, and Bruno is the local man on the spot who mobilizes his resources to track them down. While Bruno tries to keep the peace, his friend Florence reaches out for help. Her abusive ex-husband is about to be paroled from prison, and she fears he will return to reclaim their children. Will Bruno and Florence be able to prevent this unwanted visit? Despite the pressures, there is always time for Bruno to savor les plaisirs of the Dordogne around the table with friends.

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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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