Carola Dunn to Launch Bloody Thursday Season
Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn

Carola Dunn, British-born author, will be our speaker at the first Bloody Thursday meeting on September 24th. Carola began her writing career in 1979 as an historical romance author, but turned to mystery fiction with the publication of her first Daisy Dalrymple story in 1994. Since then, she has published 17 books in the series, with the next, Sheer Folly, due out in November. Throughout the series we have followed Daisy as she has solved mysteries with her beau, and later, husband Chief Detective Alec Fletcher. In March of 2009, Carola published the first in her new Cornish Mystery series, Manna From Hades.

Carola will also accept the Spotted Owl award for her fellow Eugene author, Kate Wilhelm. Kate was the winner of the award in 2008 for her novel, A Wrongful Death. An accident has made it necessary for Kate to restrict her travel. She expresses her appreciation of the award even though she is not able to accept it in person.

Please join us for this entertaining event. The meeting will be held in our new location – the auditorium of Terwilliger Plaza, 2545 SW Terwilliger Blvd. The event will begin with a reception at 7:00 pm, followed by the program at 7:30 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the lots just east across 6th Avenue from the lower level entrance. Handicapped parking is available at the upper level entrance. Tri-Met bus #8, Jackson Park, stops just in front of the lower level entrance.

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The 2009-2010 Bloody Thursday Lecture Series

Executive Privilege by Phillip Margolin

Speakers for this season have now been scheduled and once again, the lineup promises diversity and excitement. Be sure to mark your calendars with these dates:

  • Thursday, September 24, 2009
    Carola Dunn, author of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries
  • Thursday, November 19, 2009
    Dr. Nici Vance, Oregon State Police Crime Lab
  • Thursday, January 28, 2010
    R. Gregory Nokes, author of Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in
    Hells Canyon, Oregon
    . Nokes will discuss his non-fiction account of the murder of
    more than 30 Chinese miners by a gang of horse thieves.
  • Thursday, March 25, 2010
    Phil Margolin will accept the 2009 Spotted Owl Award and will be joined by Robert Dugoni to discuss writing legal thrillers.
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
    Fresh Blood, a panel of up-and-coming authors hosted by best-selling Portlander Chelsea Cain.

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Felony and Mayhem

By Pete Scott

As a fan of good mysteries, are you aware of Felony and Mayhem Press, founded in 2005 in New York? They specialize in intelligent, literary mystery fiction, including out-of-print books.

Many are British, but not all. The publisher, Maggie Topkis, is a co-owner of the Partners and Crime bookstore in Greenwich Village. She was frustrated by the consolidation of publishing houses and the increasing number of mysteries going out of print, so she decided to do something about it, and mystery lovers everywhere are the beneficiaries.

Have you ever wondered how Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe began their careers together? Or how Pascoe met his wife? Or if Sergeant Troy and DCI Barnaby really do prowl around bucolic English villages finding the most gruesome murders?

Well, Felony and Mayhem has reprinted the beginning novels of Reginald Hill and Caroline Graham, as well as other notable authors. In addition to the reprints among their 100 plus titles, the press is also publishing paperback editions of hardback novels that are only available overseas; you might find a new author that you like, as I did.

Their excellent website is at and lists all the titles in seven categories. If you are tired of today’s latest mass market thriller, why not see what some literate felony and mayhem can do for you.

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Letter to the Editor

June 1, 2009

Dear Editor:

You asked for it in the Friends of Mystery newsletter:

From one of the genre publications, I noticed an author new to me – his focus on Alaska was of particular interest. I had been introduced previously to Alaskan writers Sue Henry, Dana Stabenow and Jack London (a long time ago.) Subject author is John Straley, a contemporary writer living in Sitka, which I hope to visit in the summer.

The main character in most of these books is Cecil Younger, “one of the most entertaining detectives since James Burke’s Robineaux.” I did not read them in order of publication, but recommend you do so…there may be some connection, or at least continuity in the plots, or at least you will recognize some of the main characters:

  • The Woman Who Married a Bear (c1992)
  • The Curious Eat Themselves (c1993)
  • Death and the Language of Happiness (c1997) (This is my favorite of all his books; it is full of history of Sitka, Alaska and Centralia, Washington in March 1919.)
  • The Music of What Happens (c1998) *
  • The Angels Will Not Care (c1998)
  • Cold Water Burning (c2001)

A bonus is the colorful artwork on the cover of each book. All of the above are available in paperback.

From Elizabeth Crow

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In Memoriam

William Tapply died July 28, 2009 at his home in Hancock, NH due to complications from leukemia. He was 69 years old. William Tapply was a well-known author and teacher of writing. He wrote more than two dozen New England-based mystery novels. The “Brady Coyne” series first appeared in 1984. The third book in his Stoney Calhoun series, Dark Tiger, will be published this September. He and his wife, Vicki Stiefel, ran The Writer’s Studio at Chickadee Farms in New Hampshire. William Tapply was also a contributing editor for Field and Stream.

Murder In Translation

(Part Three)
by Harriet Stay

In parts one and two, I introduced you to but a few of the almost thirty Scandinavian mystery writers that I found to be outstanding storytellers in their field. Finishing up are several more of my favorites.

Black Seconds by Karin Fossum

Karin Fossum, Norwegian, has one of the most creative minds I’ve encountered, and I’ve been reading mysteries for near forty years. Her writing is poetic. It sings. I found myself lingering over passages. Each book is totally unique yet they are police procedurals with Inspector Konrade Sejur and his partner Jacob Skarre leading each investigation. Rather than the primary focus on the police, each story is staged surrounding her investigative characters. Fossum is brilliant.

I recall in one book where a character burst to life in a matter of a few pages. What a stunning performance. And then the author killed her off. Oh my, just when I was becoming fond of her. In another part of this same book, the focal point quietly shifted from the murder to a battle of cleverness between a hostage and a bank robber. In the end, this all tied together seamlessly.

So far, I’ve found and read: Don’t Look Back, When the Devil Holds the Candle, The Indian Bride (aka Calling Out For You), He Who Fears the Wolf, and Black Seconds.

Missing Karin Alvtegen

One of the latest authors I discovered is Karin Alvtegen. Missing is the one I first read. In fact I read it twice. It is that good. It’s always nice to have one’s opinion validated. Missing is short-listed for the Best Novel Edgar Award.

I immediately liked her protagonist, Sibylla Forsenstrom, a free-thinking, daring woman who lives by her wits. Her world is so far removed from mine that at once questions started forming…as they should. This is the hallmark of an expert writer: the push ever so gently enticing me to find the answers.

Sibylla is a con artist of sorts and this leads to a barrel of trouble —murder.

A character who surfaces in her life is a teenage boy named Patrik. The hit and miss association is beautiful and plausible. To say they become a Holmes and Watson team may be a stretch because defining who plays which role is murky. Suffice to say Patrik, not unlike Watson, guides Sibylla from despair.

Frozen Tracks Ake Edwardson

My final recommendation and latest find is Ake Edwardson. I started with Frozen Tracks, which is his third in the DCI Erik Winter procedural series. I’ve noticed that reading the translated books out of sequence doesn’t present a problem. They stand nicely alone. Inspector Winter is the youngest chief inspector in Sweden. His territory is Gothenburg. A string of child abductions have taken place. Or have they?

Not one is missing. They simply report a strange event, but sometimes children’s imaginations can run amuck. Another crime case is the attack of several college students. No one is killed, but some are severely injured. The solving of the cases always comes down to why.

His other translated works in the series are Sun and Shadows and Never End. Dance With an Angel should arrive in the fall 2009.

All of these crime writers have been bestowed and/or short listed for Best Book Awards not only on their own turf, but also by the Crime Writers Association (CWA) in England. The 2008 LA Times Book Award winner (2007) publication) for Mystery/Thriller was The Indian Bride by Karin Fossum. Just wanted you to know this adoration isn’t just from me.

Given the diverse amalgam of tastes that comprises all of the Friends of Mystery, I am not attempting to convince you to read any of these, but merely making you aware of them. If my friend had not told me…

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Things Mysterious…

Mystery Conventions

  • BOUCHERCON 2009 – October 14-18th Indianapolis, Indiana – Guest of Honor: Michael Connelly.
  • LEFT COAST CRIME 2010Booked in LA, March 11-14, 2010, Los Angeles, California.
  • BOUCHERCON 2010, Bouchercon by the Bay, October 14 – 17, 2010, San Francisco, California.

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