Wednesday, 19 October 2016 03:10


gorman ed 2010In sad news for the mystery community, author and editor Ed Gorman passed away on October 14, 2016.

In addition to his many literary accomplishments in the crime, western, and horror genres, Ed and Robert Randisi founded Mystery Scene Magazine in 1985. Ed remained publisher and editor until 2002 and stayed active in the magazine as a consulting editor and columnist up until the most recent issue, Fall #146 2016.

Ed is remembered not only as a talented writer (see the links below) but also as a man with a gift for friendship. Marked by his lively sense of humor and self-deprecating tone, a phone call from Ed brightened any day. In fact, many of his friendships took place solely over the telephone and email since Ed was not one to attend mystery conventions and events.

Ed was a mentor to a generation of crime writers, often giving them their start by publishing a short story in one of the numerous anthologies he edited over the years, many with his great friend Martin H. Greenberg. Ed was known for his encouraging phone calls and emails to new writers as well as more concrete aid in the form of agent and editor recommendations. His network of contacts in the publishing and writing worlds was as vast as it was affectionate.

Ed had a profound effect on my life. We had known each other for years, he as the editor and publisher of Mystery Scene Magazine and I as the editor of The Armchair Detective. In 2002, he called to ask whether I'd like to own a small magazine. Would I! It was a dream come true and Ed was an unfailing source of good advice and good cheer in the magazine's transition from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to New York City. In all the years since, he's been as much a joy to work with as he was a joy to know.

Edward Joseph Gorman was born on November 2, 1941, in Cedar Rapids. He worked in advertising and public relations for over 20 years, becoming a full-time writer in 1989. Gorman’s novels and stories are often set in small Midwestern towns, like the fictional Black River Falls, Iowa (the Sam McCain series), or Cedar Rapids (The Night Remembers). For his Dev Conrad series, Gorman drew upon his years as a political operative. In 1985, he co-founded Mystery Scene Magazine. In 2003, he received the Ellery Queen Award for distinguished contributions to mystery publishing for his numerous anthologies and Mystery Scene. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America in 2011 and was twice an Edgar Award nominee. He is survived by his wife, Carol, a writer of young adult novels.

Here are some links that give some idea of Ed's importance in the field, both as a professional and a person.

First is "The History of Mystery Scene" by Jon L. Breen (Mystery Scene, Holiday Issue #77 2002), which includes the years Ed spent running the magazine.

HistoryofMysteryScene.pdf

Next is a ringing set of tributes, "Ed Gorman: A Great Man of Mystery," which ran in Mystery Scene Fall #76, 2002, the first issue after we took it over from Ed.

Tributes to Ed Gorman.pdf

Here is a specific tribute from Dean Koontz, a longtime friend of Ed's. This also ran in Mystery Scene Fall #76, 2002.

Ed Gorman Tribute Dean Koontz.pdf

And finally, here is an article on on Ed's Sam McCain novels which ran in Mystery Scene Fall #136, 2014.

Riders on the Storm: Ed Gorman's Sam McCain Novels by Tom Nolan

We'll have more in our upcoming Holiday Issue #147, 2016.

 

Kate Stine is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene Magazine.

 

 

 

Saturday, 15 October 2016 10:10

 

aurorateagarden julius
Readers—and viewers—get a double dose of Aurora Teagarden this month.

After a 13-year hiatus, author Charlaine Harris brought back the Lawrenceton librarian in All the Little Liars, the ninth novel in that series. The novel was released earlier this month.

And now, Aurora makes a return to the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel with The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery. The made-for-TV movie airs at 9 p.m., October 16, on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.

Fans of the Aurora series will again be pleased by the film version, judging from the advance screener I watched last week.

Candace Cameron Bure is the perfect Aurora Teagarden, capturing the librarian’s spirit and intelligence. Bure is energetic, but not annoyingly perky, and that works well in the film version of this beloved character.

The Julius House, based on Harris’ fourth Aurora Teagarden novel, released in 1995.

aurorateagarden julius2
In The Julius House, Aurora finally finds a house, which, of course, comes with a dark past. Years before, the family who lived there disappeared in the middle of the night without a trace.

Being the true crime buff—and the leader of the Real Murders Club that studies true crimes, Aurora is intrigued. The case has never been solved though the family’s nearest living relative remains hopeful they will return.

A teenage couple, a controlling father, a diary entry and hidden closets add to the intrigue. The discovery of bloody towels in a walled off room further Aurora’s determination to find out what happened to the family.

In addition to Bure, Marilu Henner stars as Aurora’s mother, Aida, and Yannick Bisson as Martin Bartell, Aurora’s love interest. Each is believable in their roles.

Aurora’s smooth transition to film is due to Harris’ skills as a writer.

Unlike too many amateur sleuth characters, Aurora’s involvement in solving crimes is organic and realistic. Aurora also doesn’t play the role of a cop but a believable character whose intelligence gives her a unique insight.

The film moves the setting from Georgia to the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State scenery works well, retaining the small-town feel.

Astute viewers will notice Charlaine Harris, and her “guest,” making a cameo early in The Julius House. The author’s performance is spot on!

It’s good to have Aurora back—both in print and on film. Here’s hoping each of the Aurora novels makes it to the screen.

The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery airs at 9 p.m. Oct 16 on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Encores will follow.

Photos: Candace Cameron Bure, Yannick Bisson, top;  Candace Cameron Bure alone, bottom. Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

Saturday, 08 October 2016 04:10

 

gourmetdetective hallmark
Back in the late 1990s, Peter King wrote a series of amusing, well-plotted novels about the Gourmet Detective, whose British business revolved around seeking rare ingredients and finding markets interested in unusual foods and wines.

This profession made The Gourmet Detective—we never found out his real name—a different kind of sleuth and also offered a different window to the culinary mystery. The books' plots were engrossing and included bits of lore and history about myriad ingredients and regions.

King, a Cordon Bleu–trained chef, and a retired metallurgist, wrote eight novels in The Gourmet Detective series, as well as three historical mysteries starring Jack London.

So I was greatly pleased when Hallmark Movies & Mysteries added The Gourmet Detective to its lineup of made-for-TV mystery movies.

Death Al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery premieres Sunday, October 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, on Hallmark. Encores are to be expected.

The first two Gourmet Detective movies were quite well done and Death Al Dente continues those high standards.The plot is solid, the chemistry between the leads read and there is just a soupcon of humor to add to the mix. Death Al Dente briskly moves during its two-hour story.

And The Gourmet Detective finally has a name—Henry Ross. His occupation also is different in the films. Now Henry is a former world-class chef who helps the San Francisco Police Department on crimes that involve food.

And this being San Francisco—a world-class foodie city—there are a lot of crimes that involve food. Without giving anything away, I so wanted that last shot in San Francisco's Chinatown to be of a real Chinese restaurant.

Death Al Dente again pairs up Henry, winningly played by Dylan Neal (Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, Dawson’s Creek, Arrow) and San Francisco homicide detective Maggie Price, nicely played by Brooke Burns (The Chase).

This time the pair investigates the murder of Henry’s old friend, Leo, another well-known chef who was shot in his home kitchen. This shooting follows a recent break-in at his home. While Leo (Ben Wilkinson) survives the shooting, he later dies in the hospital. A family secret, a man who may be stalking Maggie, and the burgeoning relationship between Henry and Maggie play into the plot.

And of course, there are a good number of salivating food scenes as well as those that involve food discussions. After all, it takes a gourmet detective to pause during an interrogation to ask about a recipe. 

Death Al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery premieres Sunday, October 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Running time: two hours.
 

Photo: Brooke Burns, Dylan Neal in Death al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery Photo courtesy Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Marcel Williams