CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in March/April 2016

Lori Roy Wins Edgar

The Mystery Writers of America announced on April 28 the winners for the 2016 Edgar Award as follows:

Best Novel: LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS, by Lori Roy (Dutton)
Best First Novel: THE SYMPATHIZER, by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
Best Paperback Original: THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE, by Lou Berney (Morrow)
Best Short Story: "Obits," by Stephen King (in BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS, Simon & Schuster)
Best Fact Crime: WHIPPING BOY, by Allen Kurzweil (Harper)
Best Critical/Biographical: THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER, by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins)
Best Juvenile: FOOTER DAVIS PROBABLY, by Susan Vaught (Simon &Shuster)
Best Young Adult: A MADNESS SO DISCREET, by Mindy McGinnis (Scholastic)
Best TV Episode Teleplay: "Gently with the Women," by Peter Flannery (in "George Gently"; Acorn TV)
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: "Chung Ling Soo's Greatest Trick," by Russell W. Johnson (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January 2015)
Grand Master Award: Walter Mosley
Raven Awards (separately): Margaret Kinsman; and Sisters in Crime
Ellery Queen Award: Janet Rudolph, founder of Mystery Readers International
Mary Higgins Clark Award: LITTLE PRETTY THINGS, by Lori Rader-Day (Seventh Street Books)

(April 29, 2016)

Masako Togawa Dies

Masako Togawa died of stomach cancer on April 26 at a hospital in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The "chansonniere" and club owner wrote her first novel, THE MASTER KEY (Century UK 1984; Dodd Mead US, 1985), which won the Rampo Award as the best unpublished mystery novel in 1957. THE LADY KILLER (Century, 1985; Dodd Mead, 1986) was adapted for the movie starring Togawa herself. Two other novels have been translated into English: A KISS OF FIRE (Dodd Mead, 1988) and SLOW FUSE (Pantheon 1995). A couple of American publishers were interested in re-issuing her novels without any success. She was the Japanese representative for the International Association of Crime Writers in the 1980's, when one of its founders Roger L. Simon told me to ask her she become the representative. She said yes and went to Soviet-Russia for an IACW gathering. She sent me a bottle of real Russian vodka as a souvenir. She was 85. (April 27, 2016)

2016 Arthur Ellis Award Nominees Announced

The Crime Writers of Canada has announced the nominees for the 2016 Arthur Ellis Awards. The nominees in the best novel category are as follows:

HUNGRY GHOSTS, by Peggy Blair (Simon & Schuster)
THE STORM MURDERS, by John Farrow (Minotaur)
A KILLING IN ZION, by Andrew Hunt (Minotaur)
OPEN SEASON, by Peter Kirby (Linda Leith Publishing)
THE NIGHT BELL, by Inger Ash Wolfe (McClelland & Stewart)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced at The 2016 Arthur Ellis Awards Gala to be held on May 26 at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto, Canada. (April 23, 2016)

Howard Marks Dies

Howard Marks died of colon cancer on April10 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The former international marijuana smuggler started writing after serving seven years in the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, USA. MR NICE (Secker and Warburg, 1996) was a best-selling autobiography, which was turned into the 2010 movie starring Rhys Ifans. He became a stand-up performer and wrote two crime novels featuring Detective Sergent Catrin Price: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL (2011) and THE SCORE (2013, both from Harvill Secker). His final book was MR SMILEY: MY LAST PILL AND TESTAMENT (Macmillan UK, 2015). He was 70. (April 13, 2016)

Gary Shulze Dies

Gary Shulze died on April 06 of compolications from leukemia in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He and his now-wife Pat Frovarp had bought Once Upon a Crime bookstore in 2002. They received the 2011 Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and edited WRITES OF SPRING (Nodin Press, 2012), an anthology of short stories by Minnesota writers. And they sold the bookstore to Dennis Abraham and Meg King-Abraham in March of this year because of his declining health. He was 66. (April 10, 2016)

Don Winslow Wins LAT Book Prize

The Los Angeles Times announced on April 09 at USC's Bovard Auditorium that THE CARTEL (Knopf, 2015) by Don Winslow won the LAT Book Prize in the mystery/thriller category. The winning book is the sequel to THE POWER OF THE DOG (Knopf, 2005).

In addition, James Patterson received the Innnovator's Award "for his work to inspire a lifelong love of reading in children and his support of independent bookstores nationalwide." (April 10, 2016)

Frank De Felitta Dies

Frank De Felitta died on March 29 in Los Angeles, California. The former documentary filmmaker wrote a best-selling horor novel AUDREY ROSE (Putnam, 1975), which he adapted for the 1977 movie of the same title starring Anthony Hopskins and Marsha Mason. He followed this novel with FOR LOVE OF AUDREY ROSE (Warner, 1982). He was 94. (April 07, 2016)

Jim Harrison Dies

Jim Harrison died on March 26 at his home in Patagonia, Arizona. The prolific and versatile author wrote more than 30 books, including LEGENDS OF THE FALL (a novella collection;1979), which was turned into the 1994 movie of the same title starring Brad Pitt with Harrison as its screen writer. He authored somewhat criminous novels such as WOLF (Simon & Schuster), which was also made into the 1994 movie starring Jack Nicholson. His real mystery novels are THE GREAT LEADER (2011) and THE BIG SEVEN (2015, both from Grove Press) featuring ex-Michigan State policeman Simon Sunderson. He was 78. (April 07, 2016)

Thriller Award Nominees Announced

The International Thriller Writers has announced the nominees for the 2016 Thriller Awards. The nominees in the hardcover novel category are as follows:

THE FIFTH GOSPEL, by Ian Caldwell (Simon & Schuster)
PLAYING WITH FIRE, by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine)
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead)
INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, by David Morrell (Mulholland)
PRETTY GIRLS, by Karin Slaughter (Morrow)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced on July 9 during ThrillerFest XI to be held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. (April 07, 2016)

Janet Rudolph To Receive Dove

Janet Rudolph will receive the 2016 George N. Dove Award for Contributions to the Study of Mystery and Crime Fiction on March 25 during the Popular Culture Association/ACA annual conference in Seattle, Washington. As everybody may know, she is the founder of the Mystery Readers International; editor/publisher of its quarterly periodical, The Mystery Readers Journal; organizer of monthly Literary Salons held at her home in Berkeley, California: blogger of Mystery Fanfare; and one of the founders of Left Coast Crime among other things. Congrats, Janet! (March 18, 2016)

Barry Award Nominees Announced

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine has announced the nominees for the 2016 Barry Awards. The nominees in the best novel category are as follows:

BADLANDS, by C. J. Box (Minotaur)
A SONG OF SHADOWS, by John Connolly (Emily Bestler/Atria)
THE STOLEN ONES, by Owen Laukkanen (Putnam)
LIFE OR DEATH, by Michael Robotham (Mulholland)
DEVIL OF DELPHI, by Jeff Siger (Poisoned Pen Press)
THE CARTEL, by Don Winslow (Knopf)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced on September 15 during Bouchercon to be hold in New Orleans, Mississippi. (March 16, 2016)

Lawrence Van Gelder Dies

Lawrence Van Gelder died of leiomyosarcoma (smooth muscle cancer) on March 11 at his home in Manhattan, New York. He worked at five New York City newspapers (The New York Times, The Daily Mirror, The New York World-Telegram and Sun, The World-Journal-Tribune and The Daily News) as a cultural critic and columnist, editor over 55 years till his retirement in 2010. He also wrote two of the Nick Carter Killmaster novels under the house name of "Nick Carter": THE MAN WHO SOLD DEATH (Award, 1974); and DEADLY DOUBLES (Charter, 1978). He was 83. (March 16, 2016)

Kieran Crowley Dies

Kieran Crowley died of leukemia on March 12 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. The former New York Post investigative journalist covered hundreds of criminal cases, including those of John Lennon, Amy Fisher, Son of Sam, and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. He authored four true crime books including SLEEP MY LITTLE DEAD (St. Martin's, 1997) and ALMOST PARADISE (St. Martin's, 2005). In addition, he wrote a thriller novel, 1787 (Five Star, 2008), and a short story, "Invisible" for the Lee Child-edited International Thriller Writers anthology, FIRST THRILLS (forge, 2010) under the pen-name of Sean Michael Bailey. After he retired from the Post in 2013, he published his first F. X. Shepherd (a pet columnist) novel, HACK (Omicron Press e-book, 2013; Titan pb, 2015) under his own name. His second Shepherd novel, SHOOT (Titan, 2016) will be out coming October. The third one, SMASH, will follow. He was 66. (March 14, 2016)

Dilys Winn Dies

Dilys Winn died on February 05 in Asheville, North Carolina. The former advertising copywriter opened Murder Ink, America's first mystery bookstore, in 1972 on West 87th in New York City. It was a small bookstore, which might have been a corner office for the garage next to it. She organized several mystery gatherings in New York, including Mystery Mondays and Sinister Sundays with Lawrence Block, Julian Symons and other writers as panelists. I frequented the store and even interviewed her for a Japanese mystery magazine. She sold the bookstore to Carol Brener in 1975 or 1976 and concentrated on "perpetrating" MURDER INK: THE MYSTERY READER'S COMPANION (Workman, 1977; revised 1984), an oversized collection of essays, articles and illustrations about mystery fiction. It received a special Edgar in 1978 from the Mystery Writers of America, and she followed it with its companion piece, MURDERESS INK: THE BETTER HALF OF THE MYSTERY (Workman, 1979). In the 1990's she moved to Key West, Florida and opened another bookstore, Miss Marple's Parlour, which closed in a couple of years, I guess. After that, I have not heard of her until now. The Dilys, the annual award given at Left Coast Crime was named after her, ended in 2014, and the bookstore she founded moved to Broadway and closed in 2006. Thank you for the fun memories, Dilys. She was 76. (March 08, 2016)

Aileen Baron Dies

Aileen Baron died on March 02 in Anaheim, California. The former professor of archaeology wrote her first mystery novel, A FLY HAS A HUNDRED EYES (Academy Chigago, 2002), at the age of 73, which features Lily Sampson, a young archaeologist in late 1930s. She wrote three Sampson mystery novels, including the last and third one, SCORPION'S BITE (Poisoned Pen Press, 2010). Another character she created was Tamar Saticoy, a contemporary achaeological consultant for Interpol, introduced in THE GOLD OF THRACE (Poisoned Pen Press, 2007). She was 90. (March 04, 2016)

Stuart Pawson Dies

Stuart Pawson died of Parkinson's disease on February 25 at a hospital in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The former mining electrical engineer started writing his first crime novel, THE PICASSO SCAM (Headline, 1995), when working for the probation service part-time. The novel featured Charlie Priest, a police detective in Yorkshire. Pawson resigned from the Murder Squad, a group of crime writers from the North of England, after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. His last and thirteenth Priest novel was A VERY PRIVATE MURDER (Allison & Busby, 2010). He was 76. (March 02, 2016)

Jake Page Dies

Jake Page died of vascular disease on February 10 at his home in Lyons, Colorado. The editor and columnist at Smithsonian magazine wrote about science, especially about "Native Americans." He wrote an article on the theft of four sacred artifacts from the Hopi tribe's ceremonial hiding place but could not find any buyers. He turned the material into a mystery novel, THE STOLEN GODS (Ballantine, 1993), introducing T. Moore "Mo" Bowdre, a blind sculptor, and Connie Barnes, his Anglo-Hopi girlfrend. He authored five Mo Bowdre novels, last and fifth of which was A CERTAIN MALICE (Ballantine, 1998). His last book was UPRISING: THE PUEBLO INDIANS AND THE FIRST AMERICAN WAR FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (2013). He was 80. (March 01, 2016)

George Kennedy Dies

George Kennedy died of a heart ailment on February 28 at a nursing home in Middleton, Idaho. He won a supporting actor Oscar for the 1967 movie, "Cool Hand Luke." He was in several mystery movies such as "Charade" (1963; whose screenwriter Peter Stone won the 1964 film Edgar), "The Eiger Sanction" (1975; based on the novel by Trevanian), and "Death on the Nile" (1978; based on the novel by Agatha Christie). He starred in "The Blue Knight," a TV program based on the novel by Joseph Wambaugh in 1975. He was credited for writing two mystery novels: MURDER ON LOCATION (1983) and MURDER ON HIGH (1984; both from Avon) featuring himself, but they were actually ghostwritten by Walter J. Sheldon. He was 91. (March 01, 2016)