Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:04

Stephen King didn't show up for the Edgar Awards that were given April 28, 2016, during the The 70th Annual Edgar Awards Banquet held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

And that's a shame because not only did he win for best short story, but he also missed a good party and a true celebration of the mystery genre.

Author Jeff Abbott, the new MWA president, made a charming and very funny host, often joking that he had a book due this weekend, and that no one should be surprised if he took out his laptop during the acceptance speeches. He didn't. Good luck on that book, Jeff.

This also may be the first time a Pulitzer Prize winner also took home an Edgar--Viet Thanh Nguyen won best first novel for his The Sympathizer.

Mystery Scene congrats all the winners and nominees, who are already winners to readers.

For more information on Mystery Writers of America (MWA), visit the MWA site.

The Edgar Award winners are listed first in each category and are in bold. These awards are for work published in 2015.

Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House - Dutton)
The Strangler Vine
by M.J. Carter (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lady From Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Canary by Duane Swierczynski (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Night Life by David C. Taylor (Forge Books)

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)

Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin Random House - Viking)

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Woman With a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers - Harper)
Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him by T.J. English (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America's Deadliest Drug Epidemic by John Temple (Rowman & Littlefield – Lyons Press)
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers - HarperCollins)
The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue by Frederick Forsyth (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald by Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan (Arcade Publishing)
Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica by Matthew Parker (Pegasus Books)
The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury Publishing – Bloomsbury USA)
"Obits” by Stephen King – Bazaar of Bad Dreams (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)

“The Little Men” by Megan AbbottMysterious Bookshop (Mysterious Bookshop)
“On Borrowed Time” by Mat Coward – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Dell Magazines)
“The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” by Peter Farrelly – Providence Noir (Akashic Books)
“Family Treasures” by Shirley Jackson – Let Me Tell You (Random House)
“Every Seven Years” by Denise Mina – Mysterious Bookshop (Mysterious Bookshop)
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi (Algonquin Young Readers - Workman)
If You Find This by Matthew Baker (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (Simon & Schuster - Aladdin)

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)

Endangered by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books - HarperTeen)
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers - Workman)
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Clarion Books)
“Gently with the Women” - George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery (Acorn TV)

“Episode 7,” - Broadchurch, Teleplay by Chris Chibnall (BBC America)
“Elise - The Final Mystery” - Foyle's War, Teleplay by Anthony Horowitz (Acorn TV)
“Terra Incognita” - Person of Interest, Teleplay by Erik Mountain & Melissa Scrivner Love (CBS/Warner Brothers)
“The Beating of her Wings” - Ripper Street, Teleplay by Richard Warlow (BBC America)
“Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick” by Russell W. Johnson – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Dell Magazines)

Walter Mosley

Margaret Kinsman and Sisters in Crime

Janet A. Rudolph

(which is given during Edgar Week but is not an MWA award)
Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)

Friday, 22 April 2016 10:04

andthentherewerenone dvd2
And Then There Were None. Acorn Media. 3 episodes, 2 discs, 177 minutes. $34.99. Bonus behind-the-scenes features include 20-minute documentary about Agatha Christie, interview with writer Sarah Phelps and a photo gallery. It will be available in September 2016 on Acorn’s streaming service at www.Acorn.TV.

Agatha Christie never goes out of style. Her tough plotting, realistic characters and elaborate puzzles are still being duplicated today.

And Christie’s work continues to make smooth transitions to film, such as her classic And Then There Were None, which has a terrific reboot now available from Acorn.  

This BBC version written by Sarah Phelps was the first English language film adaptation to feature an ending similar to the original novel. It is now available on Acorn TV.

That seems so surprising since the novel is Christie's best-selling novel with more than 100 million copies sold. That also makes And Then There Were None the world's best-selling mystery, and one of the best-selling books of all time. Publications International names the novel as the seventh best-selling title.

The new version of And Then There Were None puts the story more into context in relation to what was going on in the world at that time. It’s 1939 with WWII looming; the island the 10 strangers arrive at represents destruction.

Even the title And Then There Were None is chilling when viewed with what was going on in Germany at the time. That 10 people may just vanish is a metaphor for the world’s chaos. The novel was published just two months after WWII began.

The group that arrives on Soldier Island includes, among others, a playboy, a judge, a governess, a mercenary. Each has been accused of a crime that they could not be tried for in a court of law. And then each one is killed—one by one—by an unknown murderer.

The BBC reboot gracefully unfolds, proving again that while Christie never indulged in overt violence she knew how to move a story along. And the cast is terrific—Sam Neill, Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens, Noah Taylor, and Maeve Dermody, among others.

And Then There Were None has popped up on a couple of networks recently and is available for digital download on multiple platforms.

Saturday, 09 April 2016 02:04

king laurie2016x
Book publicists try all kinds of inventive press releases to entice reviewers to take a second look at a novel.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

But my heart sank a bit when I saw this header on an email: L.R. King, The End of Her Series?/The Murder of Mary Russell.

Could it be that Laurie R. King is ending her popular series about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes?

Is her latest novel The Murder of Mary Russell truly the end of the line?

King’s series about the intelligent feminist Mary Russell who eventually marries the much older Sherlock Holmes are a personal favorite.

They are the novels that I recommend for all ages—young teens can read them and identify with the bright, independent Mary Russell, beginning with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice in 1994.

Adult readers, including those Sherlock experts, find much to like about King’s series, which honors the Arthur Conan Doyle canon while also updating it.

And that brings us to King’s 14th novel in her series, The Murder of Mary Russell.

kinglaurie themurderofmaryrussellWithout giving away any secrets, King explores the “indissoluble bond” between Mary and Sherlock, who are partners in every sense of the word.

Mary’s other confidant is the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson.

According to the novel’s description:

“Russell’s faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son.

“What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him—as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered—a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air—the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson,” the release continues.

“The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets—to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away,” according to the publisher.

The release continues with this statemet: “There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed. And nothing will ever be the same.”

But really, we expect nothing else.

As for Mary Russell’s future—you will have to read The Murder of Mary Russell.