CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in January/February 2015

Graeme Flanagan Dies

Graeme Flanagan died of pancreatic cancer on February 21 in Australia. The retired public servant was a renowned Australian paperback collector, who wrote a number of articles on paperbacks and mystery writers and compiled ROBERT BLOCH: A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY (self-published, 1979) and AUSTRALIAN VINTAGE PAPERBACK GUIDE (Gryphon Books, 1994). He once managed a popular Robert McGinnis fansite with a lot of Carter Brown book covers, which was closed in 2008. He was 67. (February 26, 2015)

Doris Cassiday Dies

Doris Cassiday died of respiratory failure on February 07 in Connecticut. The widow of mystery writer Bruce Cassiday (1920-2005) was one of the founders of Charter State Oak College in Connecticut and the assistant director of academic programs there. She was also an active member of The International Association of Crime Writers. She co-wrote WHO SHOULD MELISSA MARRY? (Birch Lane, 1994) with Bill Adler. She was 89. (February 16, 2015)

Tony Hays Dies

Tony Hays died from complications of diabetes on January 25 in Luxor, Egypt, where he fell ill on vacation. He was working in Saudi Arabia teaching English. He published two Who's-Who-Dunit novels featuring known literary characters: MURDER ON THE TWELFTH NIGHT (with William Shakespeare) and MURDER IN THE LATIN QUARTER (with Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce; both from Iris Press in 1993). After the standalone novel, THE TROUBLE WITH PATRIOTS (Bridgeworks, 2002), which features a Tennessee-native journalist like the author, he launched the four-book Arthurian series featuring Malgwyn ap Cuneglas, counselor to King Arthur, starting with THE KILLING WAY (2009) and ending with THE STOLEN BRIDE (2012; all four from Forge). His last novel, SHAKESPEARE NO MORE, will be published in September by Perseverance Press. It was supposed to be the first of a projected series featuring Shakespeare's friend, a Stratford constable. He was 58. (February 15, 2015)

Alison Gordon Dies

Alison Gordon died on February 12 from post-surgery complications at a hospital in Toronto, Canada. She was very famous as the first female baseball reporter on the American League beat and wrote a non-fiction book, FOUR BALLS: FIVE YEARS IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE (McClelland & Stewart, 1984). She was also a mystery writer, whose sports writer Kate Henry series consisted of five novels starting with THE DEAD PULL HITTER (1988) and ending with PRAIRIE HARDBALL (1997; all five from McClelland & Stewart). Her paternal grandfather, Ralph Connor (real name: Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon), was a bestseller novelist in Canada, while her maternal grandfather, Isaac Anderson, was a mystery reviewer for The New York Times Book Review. She was 72. (February 13, 2015)

Catherine Aird To Receive Diamond Dagger

The Crime Writers Association of Britain (CWA) has announced that Catherine Aird will receive the 2015 CWA Diamond Dagger at the CWA Dagger Awards ceremony at the Hotel Russel in London on June 30. (February 07, 2015)

Hammett Prize Nominees Announced

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers announced the nominees for the 2015 Hammett Prize as follows:

WAYFARING STRANGER, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
SMOKE RIVER, by Krista Foss (McClelland & Stewart)
GANGSTERLAND, by Tod Goldberg (Counterpoint)
MR. MERCEDES, by Stephen King (Scribner)
GOODHOUSE, by Peyton Marshall (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

The Hammett Prize winner will be announced during the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association's (NAIBA) Fall Conference, in Somerset, New Jersey, October 2-4. To see the press release, click here. (February 01, 2015)

Agatha Award Nominees Announced

Malice Domestic announced the nominees for the 2015 Agatha awards. The nominees in the best contemporary novel category are as follows:

THE GOOD, THE BAD ,AND THE EMUS, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
A DEMON SUMMER, by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur)
TRUTH BE TOLD, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)
THE LONG WAY HOME, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS, by Margaret Maron (Grand Central)

And Sara Paretsky will receive the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The Agatha winners will be announced on May 2 during the Malice Domestic conference to be held in Bethesda, Maryland. (February 01, 2015)

Colleen McCullough Dies

Colleen McCullough died of kidney failure on January 29 on Norforlk Island in the South Pacific. The former neuroscientist was extremely famous for her best-selling second novel, THTE THORN BIRDS, published in 1977 from Harper & Row. She wrote 25 novels in a several different genres, including five novels in the Carmine Delmonico police procedural series starting with ON, OFF (2006) and ending with SINS OF FLESH (2013, all from Simon & Schuster). Delmonico is a police captain in Hollman, Connecticut, which is modeled on New Haven, Connecticut, where she had taught neurology as a Yale University professor. She was 77. (January 31, 2015)

Helen Eustis Dies

Helen Eustis died of natural causes on January 11 at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. She wrote THE HORIZONTAL MAN (Harper, 1946), which won the 1947 Edgar in the first novel category. She wrote for all sort of magazines including The New Yorker and Cosmopolitan. Her second novel, THE FOOL KILLER (Doubleday, 1954), was turned into the 1965 film, starring Anthony Perkins. Her children's book, MR. DEATH AND THE REDHEADED WOMAN (Green Tiger Press, 1983), was originally published in the February 11, 1950 issue of The Saturday Evening Post as "The Rider on the Pale Horse." One of her translations was George Simenon's WHEN I WAS OLD (Hartcourt Brace, 1971). THE HORIZONTAL MAN will be included in a Library of America anthology of 1940's - '50's crime fiction by women to be edited by Sarah Weinman and published this fall. She was 98. (January 30, 2015)

2015 LLC Award Nominees Announced

Left Coast Crime 2015 has just announced the nominees for the 2015 LCC Awards (Lefty, Bruce Alexsander Memorial Historical Mystery, Rose, Rosebud). The nominees for the Lefty Award (for the best humorous mystery novel) are as follows:

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE EMUS, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
HERBIE'S GAME, by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime)
JANUARY THAW, by Jess Lourey (Midnight Ink)
DYING FOR A DUDE, by Cindy Sample (Cindy Sample Books)
SUEDE TO REST, by Diane Vallere (Berkley Prime Crime)

To see the nominees for all the LCC Awards, click here. The winners will be announced and prensented at an LCC banquet on March 14 in Portland, Oregon. (January 27, 2015)

2015 Edgar Award Nominees Announced

The Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for the 2015 Edgar Awards. The nominees in the best novel category are as follows:

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, by Wiley Cash (William Morrow)
WOLF, by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic)
MR. MERCEDES, by Stephen King (Scribner)
THE FINAL SILENCE, by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)
SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE, by Ian Rankin (Little, Brown)
COPTOWN, by Karin Slaughter (Ballantine Books)

To see the nominees of all the categories, click here. The Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City except the Mary Higgins Clark Award, which will be announced on April 28. (January 22, 2015)

Rose Dannay Dies

I finally got comfirmation that Rose Dannay died on December 06, 2014 in New York. The third wife of the twice-widowed Fred Dannay (one half of the writing team Ellery Queen) wrote and self-published her autobiography-memoir, MY LIFE WITH A MAN OF MYSTERY: THE LOVE STORY OF ELLERY QUEEN AND ME in 2010. Since she married Dannay in 1975, he went almost everywhere with her -- California, Japan, Israel, Sweden, and Hong Kong to name a few. I very often saw Dannay with her at MWA gatherings in New York during the 1970's. She was very generous to me at their home in Larchment, New York, when I had a photo session with Dannay for a Japanese mystery magazine. She also welcomed me into her Manhattan apartment and her painting studio upstairs in 1986, when I was preparing for a mystery exhibition in Tokyo. She was 100. (January 18, 2015)

Brian Clemens Dies

Brian Clemens died on January 10 in the United Kingdom. He wrote TV scripts for a lot of crime dramas on the both sides of the Atlantic, such as "The New Adventures of Martin Kane" (1957), "H.G. Wells' Invisible Man" (1959), "Danger Man" (1960), "The Avengers" (1961-1969), "The New Avengers" (1976-1977), "Father Dowling Mysteries" (1990), "Perry Mason" (1991-1992) to name a few. He was 83. (January 17, 2015)

Robert Stone Dies

Robert Stone died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on January 10 at his winter home in Key West, Florida. The former Ken Kesey's Merry Prankster's first novel, A HALL OF MIRRORS (1966), won a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship and a William Faulkner foundation Award for notable first novel, and was turned into the 1970 film, "WUSA," starring Paul Newman. His second novel, DOG SOLDIERS (Houghton Miffelin, 1974), a story of a war journalist's drug-smuggling plot gone awry, won the National Book Award, and was adapted as the 1978 film, "Who'll Stop the Rain?," starring NIck Nolte, with Stone co-writing its screenplay. Most of his novels, such as DAMASCUS GATE (Houghton Mifflin, 1998) and DEATH OF THE BLACK-HAIRED GIRL (Houghton Mifflin, 2013), have elements of thirller and suspense. He was 77. (January 13, 2015)

Sharon Zukowski Dies

Sharon Zukowski died on January 09 in New Jersey. The chief financial writer for UBS in Weehawken, New Jersey. She authored the Blaine Stewart(an ex-cop private investigator in New York City) series starting with THE HOUR OF THE KNIFE (St. Martin's, 1991) and ending with "The Amazing Techinicolor Leisure Suite" in FIRST CASES , VOLUME 4 (Signet, 2002; edited by Robert J. Randisi). She also wrote an unpublished non-series novel, THE PRICE, 2004. She was 60. (January 11, 2015)

Robert V. Adams Dies

Robert V. Adams died on December 31, 2014. The former-prison governor in Great Britain wrote many non-fiction books about crime, protest, ampowerment, social work and complementary health, as well as children's books, poetry, short stories and novels. The active member of The Writers' Guild of Great Britain contributed "The Hull Executive" for NORTHERN BLOOD3 (Countyvise, 1998; edited by Martin Edwards), and authored ANTMAN (Bitterne Books, 2005), a psychological thriller, and THE REALLY DREADFUL CRIME COMPANY (CreateSpace, 2011), a comical crime novel. He was 70. (January 10, 2015)

Robert Adey Dies

Robert Adey died on January 04, 2015. The ex-Customs officer of Great Britain was a mystery scholar, collector and anthologist specializing in locked-room and impossible crimes. He wrote LOCKED ROOM MURDERS AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE CRIMES (Ferret, 1979; revised Crossover Press, 1991) and edited DEATH LOCKED IN (International Polygonics, 2987; with Douglas Greene), MURDER IMPOSSIBLE (Carroll & Graf, 1990; with Jack Adrian), AS IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: A Collection of Sherlockian Parodies from Unlikely Sources (Calabash Press, 1998) among others. He was 73. (Janurary 07, 2015)

In Memoriam: 2014

Better late than never. My recent life, private and professional, has been too hectic to write obits of people in mysterydom. I just now found a few moments to write brief ones I have missed writing as follows:

Merla Zellerback died on December 26 of pancreatic cancer in San Francisco, California. The ex-editor of Nob Hill Gazette in San Francisco wrote a number of books including six mysteries featuring S.F. publicist Hallie Marsh starting with MYSTERY OF THE MERMAID (2009) and ending with 21 HUNTING COURT (2014, all from Firefallmedia). She was 84.

Donald Moffitt died on December 10 in Monroe, Main. Althought he may be best known for his science fiction novels, he recently wrote several mystery short stories for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, featuring Nabu-zir in ancient Sumaria or Eban & Lucinda Hale in the 19th century high seas. In the 1970's, he wrote The Baroness futuristic espionage series (THE ECSTASY CONNECTION, 1974) for Pocket Books using the pseudonym Paul Kenyon. He was 83.

P.D. James died on November 27 at her home in Oxford, England. The ex-Home Office administrator was often called Britain's "Queen of Crime" and wrote the Police Commander Adam Dalgliesh series (COVER HER FACE, 1962) and the Cordelia Gray private eye series (AN UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN, 1972). She was made Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991, and received the Diamond Dagger Award from CWA in 1987 and the Grand Master Award from MWA in 1999. She was 94.

Janet LaPierre died on November 27 two weeks after suffering a stroke in California. The ex-high school teacher wrote the Port Silva mysteries featuring Meg Halloran, a teacher and her police chief husband Vince Gutierrez (UNQUIET GRAVE, 1987), or Patiencen and Verity Mackeller, mother and daughter private investigators (KEEPERS, 2001). Port Silva is a fictitious town, modeled on Ft. Bragg on the Mondocino Coast in California. She was 81.

Judy Crider died on November 27 of cancer in Texas. She and her mystery writer-scholar husband Bill Crider co-wrote "Chocolate Moose" (for DEATH DINES AT 8:30, edited by Claudia Bishop & Nick DiChario; Berkley, 2001), which won the Anthony Award in 2002 in the short story category. She was 71.

James H. Cobb died on July 08 of lymphoma at his home in Olympia, Washington. He became famous for his Amanda Garrett series, the futuristic navy techonothrillers beginning with (CHOOSERS OF THE SLAIN, Putnam, 1996) and ending with PHONATOM FORCE (2006). His first mystery novel, WEST ON 66 (St. Martin's, 1997), was set in the 1950's and features private eye Keven Pulaski, and he began to write Pulaski short stories for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in the 2000's. He was 61.

William Bankier died on January 10, 2014 in West Hollywood, California, after a brief illness. He wrote more than 200 short stories for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and his short story collection, FEAR IS A KILLER, was published in 1995 from Mosaic Press. He received the Derrick Murdock Award from the Crime Writers of Canada for his lifetime achievement. He was 85.
(January 01, 2015)

Addendum --
Tom Philibin died on February 27, 2014 at a hospice in New York State after fighting with lung cancer. He had a succession of jobs mainly in the publishing world before he turned into freelance writing and wrote on home-improvement and true crime. In 1981, he wrote his first mystery novel, THE YEARBOOK KILLER (Gold Medal), as well as a non-fiction book, NINJA: CLAN OF DEATH (Pocket Books; with Al Weiss). In 1985, he started the Commander Joe Lawless series with PRECINCT SIBERIA (Gold Medal), set in the toughest precinct in New York City. The series ended with DART MAN (Gold Medal, 1994). He was 80. (March 08, 2015)