CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in March/April 2017

William Hjortsberg Dies

William Hjortsberg died of pancreatic cancer on April 22 at his home in Livingston, Montana. He was most famous as the author of FALLING ANGEL (Harcourt, 1978), an Edgar nominee in the first novel category, which turned into the 1987 film, "Angel Heart," starring Mickey Rourke (as Harry Angel, P.I. looking for sweet-voiced crooner Johnny Favorite) and Robert De Niro. HIs other mystery novels were NEVERMORE (Atlantic, 1994) and Manana (Open Road, 2015). Before he died, he had written a sequal to FALLING ANGEL, but not found a publishing house. He was 76. (April 26; revised April 30)

Louis Penny Wins Agatha

Malice Domestic has announced the winners for the 2017 Agatha Awards as follows:

Best Contemporary Novel: A GREAT RECKONING, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Best Historical Novel: THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS, by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur)
Best First Novel: THE SEMESTER OF OUR DISCONTENT, by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press)
Best Nonfiction: MASTERING SUSPENSE, STRUCTURE, AND PLOT, by Jane K. Cleland (Writer's Digest)
Best Short Story: "Parallel Play, " by Art Taylor (in CHESAPEAKE CRIMES: STORM WARNING; (Wildside)
Best Children/Young Adult: THE SECRET OF THE PUZZLE BOX, by Penny Warner (Darby Creek)
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Charlaine Harris
Poirot Award Recipient: Martin Edwards

The winners were announced on April 29 in Bethesda, Maryland. (April 30, 2017)

Strand Critics Award Nominees Announced

Strand Magazine has announced the nominees for the 2017 Strand Critics Awards as follows:

Best Novel:
YOUR WILL KNOW ME, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
THE TRESPASSER, by Tana French (Viking)
WHAT REMAINS OF ME, by Alison Gaylin (Morrow)
OUT OF BOUNDS, by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly)
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10, by Ruth Ware (Gallery)

Best Debut Novel:
THE WIDOW, by Fiona Barton (NAL)
IQ, by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS, by Catherine Lowell (Touchstone)
A DEADLY AFFECTION, by Cuyler Overholt (Sourcebooks Landmark)
THE HOMEPLACE, by Kevin Wolf (Minotaur)
THE LOST GIRLS, by Heather Young (Morrow)

And Clive Cussler will receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The winners will be announced on July 12 in New York City. (April 29, 2017)

Noah Hawley Wins Edgar

The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announced the winners of the 2017 Edgar Awards as follows:

Best Novel: BEFORE THE FALL, by Noah Hawley (Grand Central)
Best First Novel: UNDER THE HARROW, by Flynn Berry (Penguin Books)
Best Paperback Original: RAIN DOGS, by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street Books)
Best Short Story: "Autumn at the Automat," by Lawrence Block (from IN SUNLIGHT OR IN SHADOW, Pegasus)
Best Fact Crime: THE WICKED BOY: THE MYSTERY OF A VICTORIAN CHILD MURDERER, by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Press)
Best Critical/Biographical: SHIRLEY JACKSON: A RATHER HAUNTED LIFE, by Ruth Franklin (Norton/Liveright)
Best Juvenile: OCDANIEL, by Wesley King (Simon & Schuster/Paul Wiseman)
Best Young Adult: GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT, by Monica Hesse (Little, Brown)
Best TV Episode Teleplay: "A Blade of Grass," by John Logan (from "Penny Dreadful": Showtime)
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: "The Truth of the Moment," by E. Gabriel Flores (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Decembrer 2016)
Grand Master Award: Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart
Raven Awards: Dru Ann Love
Ellery Queen Award: Neil Nyren
Mary Higgins Clark Award: THE SHATTERED TREE, by Charles Todd (Morrow)

The winners were announced on April 27 in New York. (April 28, 2017)

Nicholas Rhea Dies

Nicholas Rhea (real name: Peter N. Walker) died of cancer on April 21 at his home in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, UK. He was most renowned as the author of Constable Nick short story collections, starting with CONSTABLE ON THE HILL (Robert Hale, 1979) and ending with CONSTABLE ON TRIAL (2015), with Nick being a local bobby in a small Yorkshire village in the 1960s. The Constable series of books were turned into the long-running TV series "Heartbeat" from 1992 through 2010. Walker/Rhea was a prolific writer penned more than 130 books including the Detective Sergeant James Aloysius Carnaby-King series starting CARNABY AND THE HIJACKERS (Robert Hale, 1967), the Jock Patterson series (PANDA ONE INVESTIGATES, 1973), the Superintendent Mark Pemberton series (FALSE ALIBI, 1991), the Inspector Montagu Pluke series (OMENS OF DEATH, 1997), the Ross MacAllister series (A CALL TO DANGER, 1968; as by Christopher Coram). He was 80. (April 27, 2017)

Bill Beverly Wins LAT Book Prize

Los Angeles Times has announced the winners for the 2017 LA Times Book Prizes. The winner in the mystery/thriller category is DODGERS, by Bill Beverly (Crown)

The winners were announced on April 21 at the Bovard Auditorium of the University of Southern California. (April 22, 2017)

2017 Arthur Ellis Award Shortlists Announced

The Crime Writers of Canada has announced the shortlists of the 2017 Arthur Ellis Awards. The shortlist in the best novel category is as follows:

CITY OF THE LOST, by Kelley Armstrong (Penguin Random Canada)
AFTER JAMES, by Michael Helm (McClelland & Stewart)
DEAD GROUND IN BETWEEN, by Maureen Jennings (McClelland & Stewart)
WISHFUL SEEING, by Janet Kellough (Dundurn Press)
THE FORTUNATE BROTHER, by Donna Morrissey (Viking Canada)

And the 2017 Derrick Murdoch Award recipient will be Christina Jennings, founder, Chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury Films, which has produced moview and TV series based upon the works of several Canadian crime writers.

To see the other shortlists of all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced on May 25 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (April 22, 2017)

2017 Thriller Award Nominees Announced

The International Thriller Writers(ITW) has announced the nominees for the 2017 Thriller Awards. The nominees in the best hardcover novel category are as follows:

YOU WILL KNOW ME, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
WHERE IT HURTS, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Putnam)
BEFORE THE FALL, by Noah Hawley (Grand Central)
ARROWOOD, by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau)
UNDERGROUND AIRLINES, by Ben H. Winters (Mulholland)

The ITW previously announced the recipients of these following awards:
2017 ThrillerMaster Recipient: Lee Child:
2017 Silver Bullet Recipient: Lisa Gardner:

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced at on July 15, 2017, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City during ThrillerFest XII. (April 06, 2017)<

Chet Cunningham Dies

Chet Cunningham died on March 14 of complications from a fall in San Diego, California. The former journalist wrote more than 300 books of fiction and non-fiction -- westerns, thrillers, military thrillers, male action adventures using his real name (for Team Three series and Matt Hawke The Avenger series) as well as house names (Jack Buchanan for the M.I.A. Hunter series, Lionel Derrick for the Penetrator series, Don Pendleton for the Executioner series, Jim Case, and Paul Richards among others). He also penned the Seal Team Seven series for Berkley under the Keith Douglass pseudonym. He was 88. (March 31, 2017)

Colin Dexter Dies

Colin Dexter died on March 21 at his home in Oxford, England. The former classics teacher began plotting out a mystery novel when he was on vacation in Wales in the 1970's, and his first novel, LAST BUS TO WOODSTOCK (Macmillan, 1975), introducing Detective Chief Inspector E. Morse of the Thames Valley Constabulary of Kindlington, came out in 1975 from Macmillan. Morse and his partner Detective Sergeant Lewis appear in 13 novels, a few short stories, and a popular TV series, "Inspector Morse," from 1987 through 2000 with John Thaw as Morse and Kevin Whately as Lewis. Dexter won two Gold Dagger awards from the Crime Writers' Association of Britain (CWA) for THE WENCH IS DEAD (1989) and THE WAY THROUGH THE WOODS (1992) and received the CWA Diamond Dagger in 1997. Though Dexter killed off Morse in his last novel, THE REMOUSEFUL DAY (1999, all from Macmillan in UK), the TV program generated a sequel, "Lewis," with Whately as Lewis and a prequel, "Endevour," with Shaun Evans as the young Morse. Surprisingly, Dexter liked the novels by Raymond Chandler. He was 86. (March 22, 2017)

Jimmy Breslin Dies

Jimmy Breslin died of complications from pneumonia on March 19 at his home in Manhattan, New York. The legendary New York newspaper columnist also wrote novels and non-fiction books. He authored his first novel, THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT (Viking, 1969), which was turned into the 1971 Mafia satire movie featuring Robert DeNiro and Jerry Orbach. Breslin co-wrote (with Dick Schaap) .44 (Viking, 1978), a novel version of the Son of Sam case, in which Breslin actually received a letter from David Berkowitz (the real identity of Son of Sam). He also penned DAMON RUNYON: A LIFE (Houghton Mifflin, 1991), a biography of another famous New York columnist and short-story writer. He was 88. (March 21, 2017)

Louise Penny Wins Lefty

Left Coast Crime 2017 announced the winners for the 2017 Lefty Awards on March 18 as follows:

Best Mystery Novel: A GREAT RECKONING, by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Best Humorous Mystery Novel: BODY ON THE BAYOU, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
Best Historical Mystery Novel: THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS, by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)
Best Debut Mystery Novel: MURDER IN G MAJOR, by Alexa Gordon (Henery Press)
LCC Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients: Faye Kellerman and Jonathan Kellerman

The winners were announced in Honolulu, Hawaii during Left Coast Crime 2017. (March 19, 2017)

Robert Dugoni Wins Spotted Owl

Friends of Mystery, a non^profit literary/educational organization in Portland, Oregon, has announced that THE 7TH CANON, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer, 2016) won the 2017 Spotted Owl Award, the best mystery novel written by an author living in the Pacific Northwest. (March 18, 2017)

Robert James Waller Dies

Robert James Waller died of multiple myeloma on March 10 at his home in Fredericksburg, Texas. He was internationally famous for his first novel, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY( Warner Books, 1992), which he wrote in two weeks. It was turned into the 1995 movie starring Clint Eastwood and "overrated actress" Mery Streep. The former business professor authored several novels and non-fiction books, and his last novel is THE LONG NIGHT OF WINCHELL DEAR (Crown, 2006), an atmospheric thriller set in the New West with a retired professional poker player and two hitmen from the syndicate. He was 77. (March 12, 2017)