CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in January/February 2020

Martin Edwards To Receive CWA Diamond Dagger

The Crime Writers' Association of Britain (CWA) announced that Martin Edwards is the recipient of the 2020 Diamond Dagger for "sustained excellence making significanto contirbutions to crime writing." He will receive the award at this year's Daggers event to be held in October in London. (February 25, 2020)

LAT Book Prize Finalists Announced

The Los Angeles Times announced the LAT Book Prize finalists in 12 categories. The finalists in the mystery/thriller category are as follows:

YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY, by Steph Cha (Ecco)
THE NIGHT FIRE, by Michael Connelly (Little Brown)
THE LOST MAN, by Jane Harper (Flatiron Books)
LADY IN THE LAKE, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
HEAVEN, MY HOME, by Attica Locke (Mulholland Books)

The winners in all the 12 categories will be announced on Friday, April 17, the day before the start of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the Universitey of Sothern California campus.

On the same day, Walter Mosley wil receive the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. (February 20, 2020)

Barry Award Nominees Announced

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine (soon to go completely digital) has announced the nominees for the 2020 Barry Award Nominees. The nominees in the best mystery/crime novel category are as follows:

THE LOST MAN, by Jane Harper (Flatiron)
IF SHE WAKES, by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown)
METROPOLIS, by Philip Kerr (Putnam)
THE BORDER, by Don Winslow (HarperCollins)
YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY, by Steph Cha (Ecco)
THIRTEEN, by Steve Cavanagh (Flatiron)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced during the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, October 15 at the Bouchercon 2020 to be held in Sacrament, California.
(February 05, 2020)

Mary Higgins Clark Dies

Mary Higgins Clark died on January 31 in Naples, Florida of natural causes. The former Pan Am "airline stewardess" wrote ASPIRE TO THE HEAVENS (Meredith Press, 1968; reprinted as MOUNT VERNON: A LOVE STORY, Simon & Schuster, 2002), a biographical novel about George Washington, before her break-through suspense novel, WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN? (Simon & Schuster, 1975; hereafter all her novels to be published by S&S). It had a female protagonist in distress, who is strong and savvy enough to appeal to modern women, and it soon became a bestseller. It was followed by equally suspenseful thrillers published almost annually, and soon she got deservingly called the "Queen of Suspense." Most of her novels are stand-alones, but she created a couple of series. Alvirah and Willy Meehan, first appeared in WEEP NO MORE, MY LADY (1987), are lottery winners with more money they can spend. They appeared in THE LOTTERY WINNER (1994; short story collection), and four Christmas novels such as DECK THE HALLS (2000), co-written with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark and co-featuring LA private eye Regan Reilly created by Carol. Mary also co-wrote (with Alafair Burke, an established mystery writer in her own right) TV-producer Laurie Moran novels such as THE CINDERELLA MURDER (2014). Her last novel was KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM CRY (2019), dealing with the #MeToo movement. She received the 2000 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. She was 92. (February 02, 2020)

Jim Lehrer Dies

Jim Lehrer died on January 23 at his home in Washington, D.C. He was very famous as a presidential debate moderator and former PBS news anchor, but he also wrote a number of novels, several of which are mysteries. The One-Eyed Mack series, starting with KICK THE CAN (Putnam, 1988) and ending with MACK TO THE RESCUE (Universityy of Oklahoma Press, 2008), features a lieutenant governor of Oklahoma, who solves mysteries in in his free time. The Charles Avenue Henderson series has two novels: BLUE HEARTS (1993) and PURPLE DOTS (1998; both from Random House). Henderson is a former CIA agent, who just wants a quiet rural life as a bed-and-breakfast proprietor in West Virginia, but once a spy is always a spy. Lehrer also authored some political thrillers such as TOP DOWN (Random House, 2013; about the Kennedy Assassination). He was 85. (January 27, 2020)

Charles Alverson Dies

Charles Alverson died on January 20 in North Serbia. The former journalist for The Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone wrote a standalone crime novel, FIGHTING BACK (Bobbs-Merrill, 1973) before two private eye Joe Goodey novels -- GOODEY'S LAST STRAND (1975) and NOT SLEEPING, JUST DEAD (1977, both from Houghton Mifflin) while living in the United Kingdom. Goodey is a former San Francisco police detective turned private eye in the Raymond Chandler tradition. Afterward, he co-wrote the screenplays for "Jabberwocky" (1977) and "Brazil" (1985) with Terry Gillam. In the 2010's, he penned several novels such as THE WORD (Tinderboxed Press, 2013) and CALEB (Lake Union Publishing, 2014). He was 84. (January 27, 2020)

Edgar Award Nominees Announced

The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) has announced the nominees for the 2020 Edgar Awards. The nominees in the best book category are as follows:

FAKE LIKE ME, by Barbara Bourland (Grand Central)
THE STRANGER DIARIES, by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
THE RIVER, by Peter Heller (Knopf)
SMOKE AND ASHES, by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus)
OOD GIRL, BAD GIRL, by Michael Robotham (Scribner)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced on Thursday, April 30 at the Edgar Awards Banquiet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. (January 23, 2020)

Agatha Award Nominees Announced

Malice Domestic has announced the nominees for the 2020 Agatha Awards. The nominees in the conteporary novel category are as follows:

FATAL CAJUN FESTIVAL, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
THE LONG CALL, by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)
FAIR CAME, by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
THE MISSING ONES, by Edwin Hill (Kensington)
A BETTER MAN, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
THE MURDER LIST, by Hank Philippi Ryan (Forge)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners will be announced on Saturday, May 02 in Bethesda, Maryland during Malice Domestic 32 to be held at Bethesda North Marriot Hotel. (Januaray 22, 2020)

Lee Child to Retire

Lee Child has announced that he is retiring and handing the writing duties of the Jack Reacher series over to his younger brother Andrew Grant on the condition that Andrew changes his surname to Child. Andrew is an established thriller writer in his own right. Lee Child (real name: James Grant) has just been asked to sit on the judging panel for the 2020 Booker Prize, and is looking for the visually big actor to play Jack Reacher for the Amazon Prime TV series, as well as is serving as the the general editor for a forthcoming 21st century edition of Mystery Writers of America's classic handbook, WRITING MYSTERIES. The next and 25th Reacher novel, THE SENTINEL (Transworld UK), written by Lee Child and Andrew Child, will be out coming October. (January 18, 2020; Revised, January 19)

2020 Lefty Award Nominees Announced

Left Coast Crime 2020 has announced the nominees for the 2020 Lefty Awards. The nominees in the best mystery novel category are as follows:

YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY, by Steph Cha (Ecco)
BORROWED TIME, by Tracy Clark (Kensington Books)
LOST TOMORROWS, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing)
THEY ALL FALL DOWN, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge Books)
HEAVEN, MY HOME, by Attica Locke (Mulholland Books)

To see the nominees in the three other (humorous, historical, and debut) categories, click here. The winners will be presented on Saturday, March 14 during the Left Coast Crime 2020 convention to be held at the Marriot Mission Valley in San Diego, California from March 12 through 15. (January 14, 2020)

Mike Resnick Dies

Mike Resnick died on January 09 of lymphoma in Loveland, Ohio. He was best known as a science fiction and fantasy writer, and won 5 Hugo awards and 1 Nebula award, but he wrote several mystery novels and fantasy novels with mystery elements. John Justice Mallory is a hard-boiled private detective in a fantastical New York, where humans co-habit with vampires and fairy tale beasts such as dragons. Mallory was introduced in STALKING THE UNICORN (Tor, 1987) and featured in two more novels and a collection of short stories, STALKING THE ZONBIE (American Fantasy, 2012). The Eli Paxton series features a Cincinnati private eye who appeared in DOG IN THE MANGER (Alexander, 1995) and two more novels. He was 77. (January 12, 2020)

Steven Kerry Brown Dies

Steven Kerry Brown died on December 25, 2019 in Florida. He left the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1984 and went private as he opened the Millennial Investigative Agency in St. Augustine, Florida. He wrote three books: THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO PRIVATE INVESTIGATING (Alpha, 1st ed. 2002; 2nd ed. 2007; 3rd ed. 2013); 5 THINGS WOMEN NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MEN THEY DATE (Hard Row, 2013); and REDEEMING THE DEAD, a novel (Hard Row, 2014). The novel features Mormon private investigator Winchester Young, with a sequal to come. He was 72. (January 04, 2020)

In Memoriam

Sometime I miss the right timing to write obituaries because of too little information. Here are a couple of them.

PJ Nunn died of a heart attack on December 19, 2019 in Texas. The former college instructor and freelance writer founded a public relations firm named BreakThrough Promotions mostly for mystery authors in 1998. She released her first novel, ANGEL KILLER (Dark Oak Mystery, 2013) and followed it with SHADOW IN THE PINES (Tidal Wave, 2013). She was 63.

Bette Golden Lamb died on October 22, 2019 in California. She was also a registered nurse and sculptor. She co-wrote (with her husband J.J. Lamb) the San Francisco registered nurse Gina Mazzio series, starting with BONE DRY (Two Black Sheep, 2010), and singularly penned THE RUSSIAN GIRL (Two Black Sheep, 2018). She was 84.

(January 04, 2020)

M.C. Beaton Dies

M.C. Beaton (real name: Marion Chesney Gibbons) died on December 30, 2019 after a short illness. The Glasgow-born bestselling prolific writer was so fed up with writing a great many Regency romances under her real name (Marion Chesney) and several pseudonyms that she started to write two detective series featuring Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin under the M.C. Beaton pen-name. Hamish (pronounced HAY-mish) Macbeth, a quick-witted but unambitious police constable in Lochdubh, Scotland, debuted in DEATH OF GOSSIP (St. Martin's, 1985), while Agatha Raisin, a retired advertising executive in Carsely, England, was first introduced in AGATHA RAISIN AND THE QUICHE OF DEATH (St. Martin's, 1992). The both series have been adapted for television: "Hamish Mcbeth," starring Robert Carlyle as the title role, was broadcast between 1995 through 1997, and "Agatha RAisin," starring Ashley Jensen, started in 2016 and recently got renewed. The latest Macbeth novel was BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH (#34; Grand Central, 2019), and the latest Raisin novel was THE DEAD RINGER (#29; Minotaur, 2018), with a couple of more (HC#35: DEATH OF LOVE; and AR#30: HOT TO TROT; both in 2020) are coming. By the way Beaton hated to be called "the queen of cozy crime." She was 83. (January 03, 2020; revised, Junauary 12)

Tom Adams Dies

Tom Adams died on December 09 (according to the obit in The Daily Telegraph) -- not on17 -- in the United Kingdom. The US-born Anglo-Scots illustrator was mostly famous for his surrealistically impressive paperback covers for Agatha Christie (Fontana Books UK and Pocket Books US) as well as for his manacingly impressive paperback covers for Raymond Chandler (Ballantine Books in the 1970's). The collection of his Christie's paperback covers was published as TOM ADAMS' AGATHA CHRISTIE COVER STORY (Paper Tiger, 1981; US editon as AGATHA CHRISTIE: THE ART OF HER CRIMES, Everest House, 1981; with commentary by Julian Symons), and so was another collection of his work as TOM ADAMS UNCOVERED (HarperCollins, 2015; with commentary by John Curran). Adams also contributed several illustrations for Julian Symons' GREAT DETECTIVES: Seven Original Investigations (Orbis UK, 1981; Abrams US, 1981), with seven great detectives including Hercule Poirot, Miss Maple and Philip Marlowe. He was 93. (December 19, 2019; revised January 01, 2020)