Sunday, 25 September 2016 01:09

By OLINE H. COGDILL

marwoodakex darkestsecret
Some people call them Easter eggs, others little gems.

I call them bits of business, and sometimes homages.

I am referring to those little references to other authors that many writers include in their plots. A kind of wink-wink to readers.

Some writers will have their characters reading others’ novels. Some will have their characters run into another character, or even another author, making the encounter an organic part of the plot.

For example, in Ace Atkin’s Robert B. Parker’s Kickback, Boston private detective Spenser makes the evening news. His story is reported by Hank Phillippi Ryan, who, in addition to being the award-winning author of the Jane Ryland series, also is an award-winning television journalist, having won 32 Emmys and 13 Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.

But one of the most unusual—and poignant—references is in Alex Marwood’s newest novel, The Darkest Secret.

Marwood, who is profiled in the latest issue of Mystery Scene magazine (Fall 2016, No. 146), honors her grandmothers, who were both authors.

Marwood, whose real name is Serena Mackesy, comes from a line of authors.

Both her grandmothers were successful novelists in Great Britain.

Her maternal grandmother was the award-winning Margaret Kennedy whose novel The Constant Nymph was the top bestseller of the 1920s and was recently relaunched in the U.K.

Her paternal grandmother, Leonora Mackesy, supported her family by writing under the names Leonora Staff and Dorothy Rivers in the genre called “housemaids novels,” or, as Marwood added, “straight up romance.”

So Marwood sprinkles references to her grandmothers’ works throughout The Darkest Secret. One character is referred to as The Constant Nymph.

There are references to The Midas Touch, which was published by Kennedy in 1938 and was a Daily Mail book of the month.

Marwood makes several references to works by her grandmothers, both of whom would, I think, be proud of their granddaughter’s gripping, well-plotted novels.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 04:09

 

clark marciaSMALL
One of the hot topics to come out of the Emmy Awards last Sunday was actress Sarah Paulson’s win for lead actress in a limited series for her role playing prosecutor Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson, which aired on FX.

It wasn’t her well-deserved win, but what Paulson said about the person whom she was portraying on-screen.

Paulson has been widely quoted in a variety of publications saying that it wasn’t just a win for herself, but also a win for Clark.

In her acceptance speech, Paulson offered an apology to Clark, whom the actress brought along as her date for the ceremony.

“I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial in my judgment, and I’m glad that I’m able to stand here in front of everyone today and say, ‘I’m sorry’,” said Paulson in her speech.

Paulson was referring to how Clark was ridiculed in the news during the trial. Clark often was accused of blowing the prosecution, which resulted in Simpson going free.

Everything from her clothes to her hairstyle was targeted.
clarkmarcia moraldefense

But in many ways, Paulson’s sympathetic portrayal of Clark—and the series’ popularity—made people see the former prosecutor in a different light.

In an interview with Variety, Paulson said, “The thing I kept coming back to was I wanted to cut to the quick of how abandoned I felt she was by women, almost as a collective. It just felt like everyone wanted to drop the hot potato that was Marcia Clark. I so felt for her, having only played it. Multiply that by a million, and also have it be your actual life,” Paulson told Variety.

Clark not only was Paulson’s date, but the trophy was engraved with both of their names: “Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark.”

I think everyone should applaud Paulson’s insight about Clark. I well remember that trial and felt, at the time, that Clark was being unfairly singled out.

For some years now, the mystery community has proudly called Marcia Clark one of our own.

Her four novels about LA district attorney Rachel Clark and her two novels about defense attorney Samantha Brinkman are terrific legal thrillers. In both series, Clark delivers well-rounded, realistic characters and insight into the legal system.

Her second Samantha Brinkman novel, Moral Defense, comes out in November.

Clark also was featured in a profile in Mystery Scene’s summer issue (Summer 2016, #145).

I have met Marcia Clark several times at mystery writers’ conferences and found her to be gracious, witty, and very interested in her fans.

And now she has an Emmy.

Author photo: Claudia Kunin

Saturday, 17 September 2016 10:09

 

The winners of the 2016 Anthony Awards were announced Friday, September 16, at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans during Bouchercon 2016.

The awards are for work published during 2015.

Congratulations to all of the authors, editors, and narrators.

Winners are listed first in bold face with an **

BEST NOVEL
**The Killing Kind - Chris Holm (Mulholland)
Night Tremors - Matt Coyle (Oceanview)
The Child Garden - Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
The Nature of the Beast - Louise Penny (Minotaur/Sphere)
What You See - Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)

BEST FIRST NOVEL
**Past Crimes - Glen Erik Hamilton (William Morrow)
Concrete Angel - Patricia Abbott (Polis)
New Yorked - Rob Hart (Polis)
Bull Mountain - Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam's Sons/Head of Zeus)
On the Road With Del & Louise - Art Taylor (Henery)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
**The Long and Faraway Gone - Lou Berney (William Morrow)
Gun Street Girl - Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street/Serpent's Tail)
Little Pretty Things - Lori Rader-Day (Seventh Street)
Young Americans - Josh Stallings (Heist)
Stone Cold Dead - James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)

BEST CRITICAL OR NONFICTION BOOK
**Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermid (Grove)
 The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story - Martin Edwards (HarperCollins)
 Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald - Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan, editors (Arcade)
 The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett - Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury USA)
 The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For - Kate White, editor (Quirk)

BEST SHORT STORY
 **"The Little Men: A Bibliomystery" - Megan Abbott (Mysterious Press.com/Open Road)
 "The Siege" Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dec 2015 - Hilary Davidson (Dell)
 "Feliz Navidead" Thuglit Presents: Cruel Yule - Brace Godfrey/Johnny Shaw (CreateSpace)
 "Old Hands" Dark City Lights - Erin Mitchell (Three Rooms)
 "Quack and Dwight" Jewish Noir - Travis Richardson (PM)
 "Don’t Fear the Ripper" Protectors 2: Heroes - Holly West (Goombah Gumbo)

BEST ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION
**Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon Anthology 2015 - Art Taylor, editor (Down & Out)
Safe Inside the Violence - Christopher Irvin (280 Steps)
Protectors 2: Heroes-Stories to Benefit PROTECT - Thomas Pluck, editor (Goombah Gumbo)
Thuglit Presents: Cruel Yule: Holiday Tales of Crime for People on the Naughty List - Todd Robinson, editor (CreateSpace)
Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds - Kenneth Wishnia, editor (PM)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
**Need - Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)
How to Win at High School - Owen Matthews (HarperTeen)
A Madness So Discreet - Mindy McGinnis (Katherine Tegen)
The Sin Eater’s Daughter - Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic)
Fighting Chance - B.K. Stevens (The Poisoned Pencil)
Ask the Dark - Henry Turner (Clarion)

BEST CRIME FICTION AUDIOBOOK
**The Nature of the Beast - Louise Penny - Robert Bathurst, narrator (Macmillan Audio)
Dark Waters - Chris Goff - Assaf Cohen, narrator (Blackstone Audio)
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins - Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey & India Fisher, narrators (Penguin Audio/Random House Audiobooks)
Causing Chaos - Deborah J. Ledford - Christina Cox, narrator (IOF Productions)
Young Americans - Josh Stallings - Em Eldridge, narrator (Josh Stallings)