CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in May/June 2020

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Dies

Carlos Ruiz Zafon died of colon cancer on June 19 at his home in Santa Monica, California. The Barcelona-born former advertising man's debut novel, THE PRINCE OF MIST, published in 1993, was written for teenage audience. He authored three more young adult books before THE SHADOW OF THE WIND (2001), the second most selling Spanish novel next to Cervantes's DON QUIXOTE. This was the first novel of a four-part project called "The Cemetery of Forgotten Books" set in Barcelona and written for adult readers. Then THE ANGEL'S GAME (2008), THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN (2011), and THE LABYRINTH OF SPIRITS (2017) followed and completed the project. He was 55. (June 29, 2020)

Matt Coyle Wins Shamus

The Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) has announced the winners for the 2020 Shamus Awards as follows:

Best Private Eye Novel: LOST TOMORROWS, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview), featuring Rick Cahill
Best Original Private Eye Paperback: BEHIND THE WALL OF SLEEP, by James D.F. Hannah (Self-pulished), featuring Henry Malone
Best Private Eye Short Story: "Sac-A-Lait Man," by O'Neil De Noux (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, September/October 2019), featuring Lucien Caye

To see the nominees in all the three categories, click here. (June 26, 2020)

McIlvanney Prize Longlist Announced

Bloody Scotland 2020, which has been cancelled due to the global coronavirus pandemic, announced the shortlist for its Debut Crime Book Prize and the longlist for its McIlvanney Prize.

The 4 shortlistees for the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Book of the Year Prize are as follows:
HOLD YOUR TONGUE, by Deborah Masson (Transworld)
THE CROWN AGENT, by Stephen O'Rourke (Sandstone)
SEE THEM RUN, by Marion Todd (Canelo)
PINE, by Francine Toon (Doubleday)

The 12 longlistees for the McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year are as follows:
TIME FOR THE DEAD, by Lin Anderson (Macmillan)
BAD MEMORY, by Lisa Gray (Thomas & Mercer)
WHIRLIGIG, by Andrew James Greig (Fledgling)
A DARK MATTER, by Doug Johnstone (Orenda)
HOW THE DEAD SPEAK, by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
THE ISLAND, by Ben McPherson (HarperCollins)
BURY THEM DEEP, by James Oswald (Headline)
THE ART OF DYING, by Ambrose Parry (aka. Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman)(Canongate)
THE RED, RED SNOW, by Caro RAmsay (Severn House)
WATCH HIM DIE, by Craig Robertson (Simon & Schuster)
PINE, by Francine Toon (Doubleday)

The shortlist for the McIlvanney Prize will be announced at the beginning of September and the winners of the both prizes will be announced on Friday September 18. (June 24, 2020)

2020 Theakston Crime Award Shortlist Announced

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (to be held in Harrogate, England from July 23 thru 26) has been cancelled, but the its committee has announced the shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award as follows:

MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER, by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Atlantic Books)
WORST CASE SCENARIO, by Helen Fitzgerald (Orenda Books)
THE LOST MAN, by Jane Harper (Little, Brown)
JOE COUNTRY, by Mick Herron (John Murray Press)
THE CHAIN, by Adrian McKinty (Orion Publishing)
SMOKE AND ASHES, by Abir Mukherjee (Vintage/Havil Secker)

The Theakston Crime Award is run by Harrogate International Festivals, and is open to full length cime novels published in paperback from May 01, 2018 to April 30, 2019 by Uk and Irish authors. The winner will be announced online on Thursday July 23. (June 10, 2020)

2020 Anthony Award Nominees Announced

Bouchercon 2020 has announced the nominees for the 2020 Anthony Awards. The nominees in the best novel cagegory are as follows:

YOUR HASE WILL PAY, by Steph Cha (Ecco)
THEY ALL FALL DOWN, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)
LADY IN THE LAKE, by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
THE MURDER LIST, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)
MIAMI MIDNIGHT, by Alex Segura (Polis Books)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. Since Bouchercon 2020 (to be held on October 15 thru 18 in Sacramento, California) has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the winners will be presented as part of online ceremony on Saturday, October 17. (June 09, 2020)

David Stout Dies

Thanks to the Mystery Writers of America's "In Memoriam" segment on YouTube, I just found out that David Stout died on February 11 in Washington, D.C. from complications of esophogeal cancer. The ex-newspaperman for The New York Times wrote his first novel, CAROLINA SKELETONS (Mysterious, 1988), based on the true story of 1944 murder of two girls in South Carolina. It won the Edgar Award in the first novel category and was nominated for the 1989 Anthony First Novel Award. His second novel was HELL GATE (Mysterious, 1990), co-written with his then-wife Ruth Furie. After the two more novels (THE NIGHT OF THE ICE STORM in 1991, and THE DOG HEREMIT in 1993; both from Mysterious Press), he authored three true crime books. He was 77. (June 08, 2020)

Grace F. Edwards Dies

The New York Times is the first major newspaper to have reported fairly accurately at last on June 06 that Grace F. Edwards died on February 25 at a hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The ex-executive director of the Harlem Writers Guild wrote her first novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE PEACOCK (McGraw-Hill, 1988) as by Grace Edwards-Yearwood, when she was 55. It was a girl's coming-of-age story set the race riots during World War II in Harlem, New York. Then she became the first African-American author to be signed to Doubleday and wrote the first mystery novel, IF I SHOULD DIE (Doubleday, 1997; an Anthony nominee), when she was 64. It introduced Mali Anderson, black ex-cop living with her jazz musician father and orphaned nephew in Harlem and working toward a Ph.D. in social work. She wrote three other Anderson novels (A TOAST BEFORE DYING, 1998; NO TIME TO DIE, 1999; and DO OR DIE, 2000; all from Doubleday), and had sold the film and television rights to CBS, hopefully starring Queen Latifah (who is also a good jazz vocalist). She also wrote THE VIADUCT (Doubleday, 2003), a non-series novel of love and murder. She was 87. (June 08, 2020)

Jane Stanton Hitchcock Wins Hammett

International Association of Crime Writers/North America (IACW/NA) has announced that BLUFF, by Jane Stanton Hitchcock (Poisoned Pen Press) is the winner for the 2020 Hammett Award for "literary excellence in crime writing." The location of the presentation will be announced soon.

The shortlistee for the 2020 Hammett Awards were as follows:
THE ADVENTURE OF THE PECULIAR PROTOCOLS, by Nicholas Meyer (St. Martin's Press)
BLOOD RELATIONS, by Jonathan Moore (Mariner Books)
THE MURALS, by William Bayer (Severn House)
NORCO '80, by Peter Houlahan (Counterpoint Press; non-fiction book)

(June 06, 2020)

2020 CWA Dagger Award Longlists Announced

The Crime Writers' Association of Britain (CWA) has announced the longlists for the 2020 Dagger Awards. The 16 longlistees in the Gold Dagger category are as follows:

Claire Askew: WHAT YOU PAY FOR (Hodder & Stoughton)
Lou Berney: NOVEMBER ROAD (Harper Fiction)
MW Craven: BLACK SUMMER (Constable)
John Fairfax: FORCED CONFESSIONS (Little, Brown)
Lucy Foley: THE GUEST LIST (Harper Fiction)
Elly Griffiths: THE LANTERN MEN (Quercus Fiction)
Chris Hammer: SILVER (Wildfire)
Mick Herron: JOE COUNTRY (John Murray)
SG MacLean: THE BEAR PIT (Quercus Fiction)
Patrick McGuinness: THROW ME TO THE WOLVES (Jonathan Cape)
Abir Mukherjee: DEATH IN THE EAST (Harvill Secker)
Alex North: THE WHISPER MAN (Michael Joseph)
Scott Phillips: THAT LEFT TURN AT ALBUQUERQUE (Soho Crime)
Michael Robotham: GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL (Sphere)
Tim Weaver: NO ONE HOME (Michael Joseph)

To see the longlistee in all the categories, click here. The shortlists for the 2020 Dagger Awards will be announced this summer, and the winners on October 22 in London. (June 06, 2020)

Uncle Edgar's Burned Down

Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore and its sister store, Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore, two of the most famous genre bookstores in America, were torched and burned down by rioting vandals (not protesters) in the very early morning of Saturday May 30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Owner Don Blyly says the bookstores may become a "limited mail-order business" as he is rebuilding the stores. Endorsed by Blyly, its GoFundMe fundraising campaign for the stores (search "Official Help Save Uncle Hugo's Fund") is now legit. (June 03, 2020)

2020 CrimeFest Award Nominees Announced

CrimeFest announced the nominees for the 2020 CrimeFest Awards. The nominees in the eDunnit category for hardcopy and e-book fiction are as follows:

WORST CASE SCENARIO, by Helen FitzGerald (Orenda Books)
NEVER BE BROKEN, by Sarah Hilary (Headline)
THE KING'S EVIL, by Andrew Taylor (HarperFiction)
THE MALTESE HERRING, by L.C. Tyler (Allison & Busby)
TO THE LIONS, by Holly Watt (Raven Books)
THE BORDER, by Don Winslow (HarperFiction)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The 2020 CrimeFest (The International Crime Fiction Convention), which was schedules to take place in Bristol, UK from June 4 thru 7, has been cancelled but they will announce the CrimeFest Award winners online at and via its social media pages on Tuesday July 7. (June 03, 2020)

Michael Christie Wins Arthur

The Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) announced the winners for the 2020 Arthur Ellis Awards on April 21 online as follows:

Best Crime Novel: GREENWOOD, by Michael Christie (MacClelland & Stewart)
Best Crime First Novel: NOBODY MOVE, by Philip Elliott (Into the Void Press)
Best Novella: "The Red Chesterfield," by Wayne Arthurson (University of Calgary Press)
Best Short Story: "Closing Doors," by Peter Sellers (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2019)
Best French Book: TEMPETES, by Andree Michaud (Editions Quebec Ameriques)
Best Juvenile or YA Book: KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF, by Tom Ryan (Albert Witman)
Best Nonfiction Book: MURDERED MIDAS, by Charlotte Gray (HarperCollins)
Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript: THE DIEPPE LETTERS, by Liza Rachel Walker
Grand Master Award Recipient: Peter Robinson

The annual awards gala was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The winners were announced on May 21 on the website and social media. (May 22, 2020)

BAMS To Change Title, Editor

THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES (BAMS) has been published every year since 1997 with Otto Penzler as its series editor, Michele Slung as its preliminary selecting editor, and one of the well-known mystery writers as its annual guest star. The publisher has been Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMM). The first edition was guest-edited by Robert B. Parker and issued in hardcover and paperback (with no e-book) in 1997 by Houghton Mifflin Company (without Harcourt). The 2020 edition will be guest-edited by CJ Box and issued by Mariner Books (paperback imprint of HMM) and e-book this November. (Notice the change of its jacket design from the 2019 edition.)

On April 27, HMM promoted Deb Brody, its editor-in-chief for the nonfiction books, to publisher of adult trade books. Brody has decided to steer BAMS "in a different direction" with a new series editor, and to change the book title to THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY & SUSPENSE STORIES (BAMSS?). She will "make an announcement about the new series editor soon." (May 21, 2020)

Addendum -- It seems that Otto Penzler is going to publish the BAMS series himself at Mysterious Press from 2021, and of course he could not use THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES title or THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY & SUPSENSE STORIES title, either, because these titles are trademarks of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, but he will think up a new title for his annual best or finest anthology series. This kind of news reminds me of some original sports anthology series edited by Penzler about 15 years ago. (May 22, 2020)

Harper Lee Prize Finalists Announced

The University of Alabama School of Law has announced the finalists for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction as follows:

THE SATAPUR MOONSTONE, by Sujata Massey (soho Crime)
THE HALLOWS, by Victor Methos (Thomas & Mercer)
AN EQUAL JUSTICE, by Chad Zunker (Thomas & Mercer)

The prize is "given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change." The award ceremony will be held later this year, and the priorly-announced winner will receive a copy of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD signed by Harper Lee. (May 15, 2020)

Angela Zeman Dies

Angela Zeman died on May 02 of the new coronavirus in New York. The former gemologist was mainly a short story writer and contributed stories for a number of anthologies including A HOT AND SULTRY NIGHT FOR CRIME (Berkley hc, 2003; edited by Jeffery Deaver), ON A RAVEN'S WING (Harper, 2009; edited by Stuart Kaminsky), THE RICH AND THE DEAD (Grand Central, 2011; edited by Nelson DeMille), MANHATTAN MAYHEM (Quirk Book, 2015; edited by Mary Higgins Clark), MOM, APPLE, AND MURDER (Berkley, 2000; edited by Nancy Pickard), CRIME SQUARE (Vantage, 2012; edited by Robert J. Randisi) among others. She published one novel, THE WITCH AND THE BORSCHT PEARL (Pendulum Press, 2001), featuring Mrs Risk, a suspected witch; and one story collection, TALES OF THE WITCH (One Road Media, 2012), which contains 7 Mr. Risk stories. Personally I don't know much about her before she got married with Barry T. Zeman, a Mystery Writers of America archivist-librarian-historian and hospital chief. Her latest story was probably "The Second Tales of Roxanne," published in the September/October 2019 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. She was 71. (May 06, 2020; revised May 10)

Maj Sjowall Dies

Maj Sjowall died on April 29 after a long illness in Landskrona, Sweden. The former jounalist-translator was often called "the godmother of Nordic noir or Scandi-noir" or "the Queen of Crime in Sweden," because she co-wrote a series of 10 novels featuring Martin Beck, a police detective in Stockhokm, Sweden with her partner Per Wahloo, who died 1975. Incidentally, they were not officially married, although the early English-language editions of Beck novels billed the co-authors as "a husband-and-wife team" on the book jackets in order to keep the conservative English-reading public from getting upset. The Martin Beck series began with ROSANNA (1965; US ed. Pantheon, 1967), with one "sequal" almost every year, and ended with the tenth and last one, THE TERRORIST (1975; US ed. 1976). The fourth Beck novel, THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN (1968; US ed. Pantheon, 1970) won the the 1971 Edgar Award in the hardcover novel category, and was turned into the 1973 movie set in San Francisco instead in Stockholm, with Walter Matthau as the Martin Beck role. After Wahloo's death, Sjowall refused continuing the series and translated Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels into Swedish. You can read her rare short story, "Long Time No See," included in TEN YEAR STRETCH (Poison Pen Press, 2018), an anthology to celebrate "a decade of crimefiction at CrimeFest, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller. She was 84. (May 04, 2020)

Ann Cleeves Wins Agatha

Malice Domestic announced the winners for the 2020 Agatha Awards as follows:

Best Contemporary Novel: THE LONG CALL, by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)
Best First Mystery Novel: ONE NIGHT GONE, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)
Best Historical Mystery: CHARITY'S BURDEN, by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)
Best Nonfiction: THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY, by Mo Mouton (Basic Books)
Best Children/Young Adult: THE LAST CRYSTAL, by Frances Schoonmaker (Auctus Press)
Best Short Story: "The Last Word," by Shawn Reilly Simmons (in MALICE DOMESTIC 14: MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE; Wildside Press)
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Ellen Hart

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners were announced on Saturday, May 02 online, and will attend the Agatha Awards Banquet at Malice Domestic 33 to be held from April 29 through May 02 next year in Bethesda, Maryland. (May 03, 2020)

Karen Harper Dies

Karen Harper died on April 13 of pancreatic cancer. The former English teacher at Ohio State University wrote over 70 novels: romance, romantice suspense, historicals, and contemporary mysteries, and created several series. The Elizabeth I series set in 1500s England started with THE POYSON GARDEN (Delacorte, 1999); The Maplecreek Amish trilogy started with DARK ROAD HOME (MIRA, 2004), and ended with DARK ANGEL (2005, the winner of the 2006 Mary HIggins Clark Award); The Home Valley Amish series, featuring Sarah Kauffman, an mural painter in her Amish community and Nate MacKensie, an Ohio state arson inspector, started with FALL FROM PRIDE (MIRA, 2011); The Lockwood Sisters series set in Cold Creek, Ohio, started with SHATTERED SECRETS (MIRA, 2014); The South Shores series, featuring Claire Britten, a forensic psychologist in Florida, started with CHASING SHADOWS (MIRA, 2016); The Alaska Wild series just started wih DEEP IN THE ALASKAN WOODS (MIRA, 2020), and the second book, UNDER THE ALASKAN ICE, will be out this December. Three of the non-series romantic suspense novels published by MIRA: THE STONE FOREST (2002); INFERNO (2007); and DOWN RIVER (2010) were nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She was 75. (May 03, 2020)

Ennis Willie Dies

Ennis Willie died on April 22 at his home in Johns Creek, Geogia after a long illness. The ex-debt-collector wrote 21 hardboiled paperback cime novels from 1961 thru 1965, before burning out, starting a printing business and dropping out of writing business. His first novel was THE WORK OF THE DEVIL (Merit, 1961), and his style was extremely Mickey Spillanesque with violence and "tame" sex. All of his paperbacks were published by Merit, except VICE TOWN (1962), which was pubbed by Vega. Several of his stories feature Sand, a former crime lord who wants to get out of the underworld with his guns and sensual women's help. It has been very difficult to find any of his old copies of paperbacks, but some Sand stories were re-issued by Ramble House in two volumes: SAND'S GAME (2010), a collection of 5 Sand stories, and SAND'S WAR (2011), with 2 Sand novellas. He was 80. (May 02, 2020)

Elly Griffiths Wins Edgar

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announced the winners for the 2020 Edgar Awards as follows:

Best Novel: THE STRANGER DIARIES, by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Best First Novel: MIRACLE CREEK, by Angie Kim (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
Best Paperback Original: THE HOTEL NEVERSINK, by Adam O'Fallon Price (Tin House)
Best Fact Crime: THE LESS PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT US, by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Grand Central)
Best Critical/Biographical: HITCHCOCK AND THE CENSORS, by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentuckey)
Best Short Story: "One of These Nights," by Livia Llewellyn (in CUTTING EDGE, edited by Joyce Carol Oates; Akashic Books)
Best Juvenile: ME AND SAM-SAM HANDLE THE APOCALYPSE, by Susan Vaught (Paula Wiseman Books)
Best Young Adult: CATFISHING ON CATNET, by Naomi Kritzer (tor Teen)
Best Televition Episode Teleplay: "Season 5, Episode 4" - Line of Duty, Teleplay by Jed Mercurio (Acorn TV)
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award Recipient: "There's a Riot Goin' On," by Derrick Harriell (from Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessey; Akashic)
Grand Master Award Recipient: Barbara Neely (posthumously)
Mary Higgins Clark Award: THE NIGHT VISITOR, by Carol Goodman (William Morrow)
Sue Grafton Memoiral Award: BORROWED TIME, by Tracy Clark (Kensington)
Raven Award Recipient: Left Coast Crime
Ellery Queen Award Recipient:Kelly Ragland, associate publisher and editorial director of Minotaur Books

The winners were announced on April 30 on twitter. (May 01, 2020)