Wednesday, 03 February 2016 02:02

by Oline H. Cogdill

malice domestic
The second most important mystery award nominations are now out—the 2015 Agatha nominees.

The Agathas will be presented during the 2015 Malice Domestic conference, which will take place April 29 to May 1, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland.

This is the 28th year that Malice Domestic has been celebrating the traditional mystery. It is one of my favorite conferences.

Mystery Scene congratulates all of the nominees, who are already winners in the minds of readers.

The 2015 Agatha Nominees:

Best Contemporary Novel
Annette Dashofy, Bridges Burned (Henery Press)
Margaret Maron,  Long Upon the Land (Grand Central Publishing)
Catriona McPherson, The Child Garden (Midnight Ink)
Louise Penny, Nature of the Beast (Minotaur Books)
Hank Phillipi Ryan, What You See (Forge Books)

Best Historical Novel
Rhys Bowen, Malice at the Palace (Berkley)
Susanna Calkins, The Masque of a Murderer (Minotaur Books)
Laurie R. King, Dreaming Spies (Bantam)
Susan Elia Macneal, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante (Banntam)
Victoria Thompson, Murder on Amsterdam Avenue (Berkley)

Best First Novel
Tessa Arlen, Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman (Minotaur Books)
Cindy Brown, Macdeath (Henery Press)
Ellen Byron, Plantation Shudders (Crooked Lane Books)
Julianne Holmes, Just Killing Time (Berkley)
Art Taylor, On the Road with Del and Louise (Henery Press)

Best Non-Fiction
Zack Dundas, The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Martin Edwards, The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story (HarperCollins)
Kathryn Harkup, A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie (Bloomsbury USA)
Jane Ann Turzillo, Unsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio (Arcadia Publishing)
Kate White (Editor), Mystery Writers of America, The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For (Quirk Books)

Best Short Story
Barb Goffman, “A Year Without Santa Claus?” (AHMM)
Edith Maxwell, “A Questionable Death” History& Mystery, Oh My (Mystery & Horror, LLC)
Terri Farley Moran, “A Killing at the Beausoleil” (EQMM)
Harriette Sackler, “Suffer the Poor” History& Mystery, Oh My (Mystery & Horror, LLC)
B.K. Stevens, “A Joy Forever” (AHMM)

Best Children’s/Young Adult
Blue Balliett, Pieces and Players (Scholastic Press)
Joelle Charbonneau, Need (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Amanda Flower, Andi Unstoppable (Zonderkidz)
Spencer Quinn, Woof (Scholastic Press)
B.K. Stevens, Fighting Chance: A Martial Arts Mystery (Poisoned Pen Press)

Sunday, 31 January 2016 04:01

dorsey tim
by Oline H. Cogdill

In the annals of mystery fiction, Serge A. Storms may be the oddest.

In author Tim Dorsey’s (at left) 19 novels, Serge has emerged as a kind of Florida folk hero.

A serial killer, yes, but one who targets people who disrespect Florida or are just downright jerks.

Now Dorsey’s dark comic novels may be fodder for the TV series Florida Roadkill, named for the first novel in the series and produced by Sonar Entertainment. Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard are set to write the adaptation and executive produce. The pair created the Amazon comedy series Betas and are currently writers and producers on MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles.

Knowing the nature of Dorsey’s series, I doubt we will see the series on network or cable TV. HBO, Showtime or Netflix seems a better fit, I think.

No date has been set for the series to launch.

Unlike Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter, another serial killer who also is the main character of a series, Serge really has no compunction to kill. Dexter is a monster, who learned to channel his urges toward those much worse than he. The Dexter novels and especially the Showtime series with Michael C. Hall almost became a kind of social commentary on the need for justice.

Serge has no such social issues. And Dorsey plays the series strictly for the humor, exploring every odd bit of Florida behavior that makes it to the news and has people shaking their heads and commenting, “Only in Florida...”

dorseytim coconutcowboyDorsey never has to look far for those stories, either. Like the woman who commandeered a scooter and drove around a big-box store, drinking wine and eating sushi.

Or the senior citizens who are arrested for taking home buckets of food from a buffet.

Not to mention the countless incidents of bad drivers, bad neighbors and just plain rudeness.

And, please, I know what I am talking about. I live in the Sunshine State.

While Carl Hiaasen, another Floridian crime writer, uses a lot of social satire in his novels, much like a modern-day Jonathan Swift, Dorsey goes for the buffoonery, the banana peel on the sidewalk, the pie in the face.

In each of the 19 reviews I have done on Dorsey’s 19 novels, I have likened his series to the literary equivalent of the Three Stooges. And I say that with much affection.

Dorsey’s latest trek across Florida with Serge is Coconut Cowboy.

Dorsey’s Serge is quite popular. His book events bring out the crowds  in Florida—see his photos on his website—so I imagine his fans will follow him to the small screen.

One thing for sure, there is no dearth of ideas about bad behavior in Florida.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 02:01

Edgar Statues
The awards season for the mystery genre kicks off with the announcement of the Edgar Allan Poe Award nominations by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

And that is today, which happens to be the 207th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe.

The 70th Annual Edgar Awards Banquet will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

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

Here are the nominations for  the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Awards. And congratulations to all the nominees.

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)
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House - Dutton)
Canary by Duane Swierczynski (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Night Life by David C. Taylor (Forge Books)

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)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
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)
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)
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers - Harper)
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)
“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)
“Obits” by Stephen King – Bazaar of Bad Dreams (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
“Every Seven Years” by Denise Mina – Mysterious Bookshop (Mysterious Bookshop)
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)
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
Endangered by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books - HarperTeen)
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)
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)
“Episode 7,” - Broadchurch, Teleplay by Chris Chibnall (BBC America)
“Gently with the Women” - George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery (Acorn TV)
“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)
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)
Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)