THURSDAY, March 27, 2008

Debut Authors Panel

A panel made up of five debut authors will be speaking at the Bloody Thursday meeting. The panel includes the following:

Lost Dog by Bill Cameron

Bill Cameron is a Portland author and member of Friends of Mystery. His novel, Lost Dog, has received many positive reviews and is a finalist for the 2007 Rocky Award. He writes at a local coffee shop, both for the chance to get out of the house and for the great raw material often available via shameless eavesdropping. His second mystery novel, titled Chasing Smoke, is currently out for submission. Bill’s stories have appeared in Spinetingler, The Dunes Review, and The Alsop Review. His short story, “Slice of Pie”, appears in the anthology Killer Year, edited by Lee child. Bill serves as the vice president of the Northwest chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and also volunteers as Friends of Mystery web master.

Death Pans Out by Ashna Graves

Ashna Graves is the mystery pen name for Corvallis writer Wendy Madar. Her mystery, Death Pans Out, is the first in a series to be published by Poisoned Pen Press. The book has received high praise from reviewers and was included in Kirkus Review’s Special Edition on Mysteries & Thrillers as one of the twelve “hot books of 2007,” and was on Mysterious Review’s list of the best seven mysteries of the year. Wendy Madar is the associate director of the Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University. Before working for the university, she was a journalist, with extensive experience in both news and commentary.

Wolf's Remedy by Doc Macomber

Denny “Doc” Macomber is an active member of the Mystery Writers of America, Willamette Writers and a member of Friends of Mystery. He recently contributed an article to the March 2007 Blood-Letter about the development of his Vietnamese investigator, Jack Vu, who works for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI). His mystery novel, Wolf’s Remedy, the second in a series, is based on historical facts surrounding WWII and the looting of Jewish treasures. Doc lives aboard a 34-foot sailboat on the Columbia River. His biography lists him as a writer, Harley mechanic, and a member of the Air Force Special Tactics Unit.

Love, Death and the Toyman by Robert Napier

Robert “Bob” Napier is know to mystery fans, toy soldier collectors and Custer enthusiasts as Cap’n Bob”. A long time mystery fan himself, he was honored at the 1997 Bouchercon as the “Fan Guest of Honor”. His long awaited novel, Love, Death and the Toyman was published in December 2006, but was not available until 2007. He lives in Tacoma, Washington, where he works for the Air Force. He has written for numerous fanzines and his own fanzine, Mystery & Detective Monthly, was awarded an American Mystery Award in 1988. He also received a Special Achievement Award from the 1991 Midwest Mystery & Suspense Convention. He has a long association with Friends of Mystery.

A Cold Dark Place by Gregg Olsen

Gregg Olsen has corresponded with serial killer Ted Bundy, kissed notorious schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau, and appeared on “Good Morning America” with his shoes off because both feet had been stung by bees, and he wasn’t going to miss talking to Diane Sawyer. All that might be a day’s work for a true crime author, but he says none of it is half as exciting, and scary, as his foray into fiction. His debut novel, A Wicked Snow, was published by Kensington in March 2007, with his follow-up, A Cold Dark Place due out March 25. As a journalist and true crime author, Olsen has been a guest on the CBS Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, Fox News, 48 Hours, and other national and international programs. The Seattle native lives in rural Washington State with his wife, twin daughters, five chickens, and obedience school dropout cocker spaniel Milo.

The panel will be moderated by John Walsdorf. We hope you can join us to hear what promises to be a lively discussion. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of Good Samaritan Medical Center, 1040 NW 22nd Avenue (corner of NW 22nd and Marshall.) The event will begin with a reception at 7:00 PM. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the parking structure adjacent to the auditorium. The Portland Streetcar and Tri Met run on nearby routes.

Back to Top


Bob’s Beach Books in Lincoln City is planning an Oregon Author Fair. In the past, they have held these events in the summer and have had from 20 to 40 authors. They set up tables where authors can talk with the book buying public and other authors. This year’s dates are July 5th, August 9th, and September 13th. Each event runs from noon to 3:00 PM. For more information on how to participate, contact Diana Portwood at Bob’s Beach Books, 1747 NW Highway, Lincoln City, OR 97367 or phone 541-994-4467 or by email at

Back to Top

Author Obituaries

It is with sorrow that we report the death of two mystery authors in recent months. We received word that Marcia Simpson, a Pacific Northwest author who was living on Lopez Island in the San Juans, has passed away. She was the winner of our 2001 Spotted Owl award for her Alaskan mystery Crow in Stolen Colors. While in Alaska, she lived on a boat in a small village where she became interested in native Alaskan culture. She wrote another Alaskan mystery, Sound Tracks and the novel, Rogue Yarn.

Edward D. Hoch, multi-award winner and prolific mystery writer passed away at his home in Rochester, New York on January 17, 2008. He was 77 years old. He was best known for his short stories, having published more than 900 at the time of his death. Readers of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine were treated to a new Ed Hoch story in each issue since 1973. He also wrote the Simon Ark and Carl Crader series as well as collections. One of his most popular characters was professional thief, Nick Velvet. Ed Hoch was the editor of more than three dozen anthologies. He was the recipient of numerous awards for his short stories, including two Lifetime Achievement awards, one from the Private Eye Writers of America and another at Bouchercon in 2001. The Mystery Writers of America also presented him with a Grand Master award in 2001. The mystery world will surely miss him.

Back to Top

Steven Saylor To Speak at the May 22nd Meeting

Steve Saylor

Best-selling author Steven Saylor will be the speaker at our May 22nd Bloody Thursday meeting. His latest Gordianus the finder novel, The Triumph of Caesar, is scheduled for release during May. This will be the XI th (11th) Roma Sub Roma mystery novel set in ancient Rome. Steven has won many awards, including the Herodotus from the Historical Mystery Appreciation Society.

Preceding the meeting we will hold our annual book sale. If you have any books you would like to donate, please call Elinore Rogers at 503-244-5271 for pickup or bring them to the meeting.

Back to Top

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Scroll by Ronald Cutler

by Stanley Johnson

The Secret Scroll by Ronald Cutler

Its author calls his first novel “a mixture of fact, fiction, and historical speculation.” It is all these and more – a riveting excursion through thousands of years of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history.

The book is The Secret Scroll, by Ronald Cutler (Beaufort Books, 2008, $24.95), a book that will certainly attract much attention, partly for its sheer readability, partly for its examination of the concept of religious faith.

The Secret Scroll is set in and around Jerusalem at the present time. Its central character is an American archaeologist taking a long sabbatical to explore some of the caves around the Dead Sea, hoping to make another miraculous discovery like the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is Josh Cohan, something of a loner who dreams of rewriting history.

His chance comes when, working alone, he finds in a hidden cave a jar containing a scroll with a mysterious text written in Aramaic, the long-forgotten language of the region. The scroll is signed by Yehoshua ben Yosef – the man known in history as Jesus Christ.

If it is authentic, it will be the single most important find in Christian history. Believing the world would welcome such a discovery, Josh seeks the help of the Israel Antiquities Authority. They soon attest to its authenticity – and bring about a storm of controversy.

What Josh expected to be a welcome discovery turns out to be just the opposite in many quarters. Many religious groups do not want their long-standing tenets upset. One such group is The Guardians, an extremist religious sect that will resort to any brutality to suppress opposition to their views. They vow to destroy Josh. As a student of history, we are told, Josh “knew more examples of intentional human atrocities then he cared to remember.” Still, he is shaken by the ferocity directed against him, and he takes action to defend himself.

Cutler’s novel proceeds at a rapid pace, and involves kidnappings, assassinations, and murders. Josh remains an affable, level-headed hero through all these events as he tries to bring reason to these competing religions. He takes as his code a line he finds in the secret scroll: “Faith is not an excuse to kill or do harm to your fellow man or woman.”

The Secret Scroll is highly recommended. A good read!

Back to Top


Upcoming Events

Left Coast Crime is being held in Denver on March 6th through 9th, 2008. For more information email contact or on the Web:

Friends of Mystery will have a table at the Multnomah County Library Writers Resource Fair on Sunday, March 16th from noon to 3 PM at the Central Library.

Bouchercon 2008 is being held in Baltimore, Maryland on October 9-12, 2008. For more information email: or check the web at

Back to Top