CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in September/October 2020

Richard Lupoff Dies

Richard A. Lupoff died on October 22 at a hospital in Berkeley, California. The former technical writer was probably more famous as an American science fiction writer than as a mystery writer. Before he was a full-time writer, he and his wife Pat (d. 2018) co-edited a science fiction fanzine, Xero, which received the Hugo Award for best fanzine in 1963. THE BEST OF XERO (Tachyon Publications, 2004), edited by the Lupoffs, included essays and letters written by Roger Ebert (yes, that Ebert!), Avram Davidson, Harlan Ellison, Ed Gorman and other famous names. Donald Westlake's humourous denouncement of the science fiction field tells why he stopped writing science fiction. In the 1980's, Lupoff started wrinting mystery series featuring Hobart Lindsey (an insurance claims adjuster) and Mavia Plum (a black homicide detective in Berkeley), starting with THE COMIC BOOK KILLER (Offspring Press, 1988), and ending with THE EMERALD CAT KILLER (St. Martin's, 2010). He also created a short story series, featuring millionaire autodidact polymath Akhenaton Beelzebub Chase and his lissome associate Claire Delacrois who live Berkeley in the 1930's, and the six cases of Chase and Delacroix were collected in QUINTET (Crippen & Landru, 2008). He was 85. (October 25, 2020)

Michael Robotham Wins Dagger

The Crime Writers' Association of Britain (CWA) has announced the winners for the 2020 Dagger Awards as follows:

Gold Dagger: : GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL, by Michael Robotham (Sphere)
Steel Dagger: NOVEMBER ROAD, by Lou Berney (Harper Fiction)
John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger: THE MAN ON THE STREET, by Trevor Wood (Quercus Fiction)
Historical Dagger: DEATH IN THE EAST, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger: THE GODMOTHER, by Hannelore Cayre, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)
Short Story Dagger: "#Me Too," by Lauren Henderson (in IN VISIBLE BLOOD, edited by Maxim Jakubowski; Titan Books)
Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction: FURIOUS HOURS, by Casey Cep (William Heinemann)
Dagger in the Library: Christopher Brookmyre
Debut Dagger: REVOLUTION NEVER LIES, by Josephine Moulds
Publishers' Dagger: Orenda Books
Diamond Dagger Recipient: Martin Edwards

The winners for the 2020 Dagger Awards were announced virtually on October 22. (October 23, 2020)

Jill Paton Walsh Dies

Jill Paton Walsh died on October 18 after a short illness in Cambridgeshire, England. She was best known as the children's writer who won the Book World Festival Award (1970), the Whitbread Prize (1974), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (1976). The Universe Prize (1984), the Smarties Grand Prix (1984), the Phoenix Award (1998) all for childrens books. But she was also famous as the English novelist who completed Dorothy L. Sayers's unfinished Lord Peter Wimpsey-Harriet Vane novel, THRONES, DOMINATIONS (Hodder & Stoughton, 1998). She wrote three more Lord Peter novels: A PRESUMPTION OF DEATH (2002); The Attenbury Emeralds (2011); and THE LAST SCHOLAR (2013). The fourth Lord Peter novel was shortlisted for the 2014 Historical Dagger Award. She created her own series of four books featuring Imogen Quy (rhyming with "why"), a nurse in fictional St. Agatha's College in Cambridge, starting with THE WYNDHAM CASE (Hodder & Stoughton,1993) and ending with THE BAD QUARTO (2007). The second Quy novel, A PIECE OF JUSTICE (1995), was shortlisted for the 1995 Gold Dagger Award. She was writing her fifth Wimsey novel when she died at 83. (October 20, 2020; revised October 25)

Hank Phillippi Ryan Wins Anthony

Bouchercon 2020 has announced the winners for the 2020 Anthony Awards as follows:

Best Novel: THE MURDER LIST, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)
Best First Novel: ONE NIGHT GONE, by Tara Laskowski(Graydon House)
Best Paperback Original: THE ALCHEMIST'S ILLUSION, by Gigi Pandian (Midnight Ink)
Best Critical Non-Fiction Work: THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY, by Mo Moulton (Basic Books)
Best Short Story:"The Red Zone," by Alex Segura (in iPA'QUA TU LO SEPAS!, edited by Angel Luis Colon; Down & Out Books)
Best Anthology or Collection: bMALICE DOMESTIC 14: MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons (Wildside Press)
Best Young Adult: SEVEN WAYS TO GE RID OF HARRY, by Jen Conley (Down & Out Books)
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Walter Mosley

The winners were presented as part of the online ceremony on Saturday, October 17. (October 18, 2020)

Jane Harper Wins Barry

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine (soon to go completely digital) has announced the winners for the 2020 Barry Award as follows:

Best Mystery/Crime Novel: THE LOST MAN, by Jane Harper (Flatiron)
Best First Mystery/Crime Novel: THE CHESTNUT MAN, by Soren Sveistrup (Harper)
Best Paperback Original Mystery/Crime Novel: MISSING DAUGHTER, by Rick Mofina (Mira)
Best Thriller: THE CHAIN, by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland)
Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade: SUSPECT, by Robert Crais (Putnam, 2013)

The winners were announced during the Virtual Award Ceremony on October 17 at the Bouchercon 2020.
(October 18, 2020)

Adrian McKinty Wins Macavity

The Mystery Readers International has announced the winners for the 2020 Macavity Awards as follows:
Best Mystery Novel: THE CHAIN, by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland)
Best First Mystery: ONE NIGHT GONE, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)
Best Mystery Short Story: "Better Days," by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, May/June 2019)
Best Mystery Nonfiction/Critical: MITCHCOCK AND THE CENSORS, by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)
Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery: THE SECRETS WE KEPT, by Lara Prescott (Vintage)

To see the nominees in all the categories, click here. The winners were announced at opening ceremonies on Friday, October 16 at the Virtual Sacramento Bouchercon. (October 17, 2020)

Christian White Wins Neddie

The Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) announced the winners for the 2020 Ned Kelly Awards (aka. Neddies) on October 14 online as follows:

Best Crime Fiction: WIFE AND THE WIDOW, by Christian White (Affirm Press)
Best Debut Crime Fiction: PRESENT TENSE, by Natalie Conyer (Clan Destine Press)
Best True Crime Book: BOWRAVILLE, by Dan Box (Penguin Random House Australia)
Best International Crime Fiction: THE CHAIN, by Adrian McKinty (Hachetter Australia)

The virtual award ceremony was hosted by ACWA Chair Michael Robotham. (October 15, 2020)

Meg Mundell Wins Davitt

Sisters in Crime Australia (SinCA) has announced the winners of its 2020 Davitt Awards as follows:

Best Adult Crime Novel: THE TRESPASSERS, by Meg Mundell (University of Queensland Press)
Best Young Adult Crime Novel: FOUR DEAD QUEENS, by Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin)
Best Children's Crime Novel: THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR, by Jenny Blackford (Christmas Press/Eagle Books)
Best Non-Fiction Crime Book: BANKING BAD, by Adele Ferguson (HarperCollins Australia/ABC Books)
Best Debut Crime Book: EIGHT LIVES, by Susan Hurley (Affirm Press)
Readers' Choice Award (joint winners):
DARKNESS FOR LIHGT, by Emma Viskic (Echo Publishing) and
THE SCHOLAR, by Dervia McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia)

The Davitt Awards were presented by Val McDermid online from Fife, Scotland on September 26. (September 27, 2020)

Francine Toon Wins McIlvanney

Bloody Scotland 2020 virtually announced the winners for the 2020 McIlvanney Prize and Debut Prize as follows:

McIlvanney Prize Winner: PINE, by Francine Toon (Transworld/Dobleday)

Bloody Scotland Debut Prize Winner: HOLD YOUR TONGUE, by Deborah Masson (Transworld)

The winners of the both prizes were announced on Friday September 18 online. (September 19, 2020)

Victor Methos Wins Harper Lee Prize

The University of Alabama School of Law has announced that THE HALLOWS, by Victor Methos (Thomas & Mercer) is the winner of the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The two other finalists were as follows:

THE SATAPUR MOONSTONE, by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
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 Methos will receive a copy of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD signed by Harper Lee. The award ceremony will be held virtually as part of the Library of Congress' National Book Festival from September 25 thru 27. (September 11, 2020)

Gary Alexander Dies

Gary Alexander died on August 17 at his home in Kent, Washington after a mercifully short battle with brain cancer. The former auto insurance appraiser wrote 24 novels and more than 200 short stories (mostly for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine) as well as travel articles. He created mainly three series: the Bamson Kiet series features a police superintendent in an imaginary kingdom of Luong, beginning with PIGEON BLOOD (Walker 1988); the Luis Balam series features an ex-traffic cop turned tour operator in the Yukatan, Mexico, beginning with BLOOD SACRIFICE (Doubleday, 1993); and the Buster Hightower series features a stand-up comic entangled in international intrigue, beginning with DISAPPEARED (Five Star, 2010). His latest novel is HARRY SAVES THE WORLD AGAIN (Encircle Publications, 2020), featuring amateur spy Horatio Alger "Harry" Antonelli. He was 79. (September 07, 2020)

Dorothy Simpson Dies

Dorothy Simpson died peacefully on August 20 in Kent, England. The former marriage guidance counsellor began to write after a long illness in 1975 and published her first novel, HARBINGERS OF FEAR (Macdonald & Jane's,1977) , a one-off suspense book. And after a couple of rejections, she created Inspector Luke Thanet of the police force of Sturrenden, a fictional town in Kent, introduced him with his Sgt. Mike Lineham in THE NIGHT SHE DIED (Joseph, 1981). The fifth Inspector Thanet novel, LAST SEEN ALIVE (Joseph,1985), won the 1985 Silver Dagger Award from the Crime Writers' Association of Britain. Severe repetitive stress injury forced her to stop writing after the 15th and last Thanet novel, DEAD AND GONE (Little Brown UK, 1999). She was 87. (September 05, 2020)

Anthony Horowitz Wins Strand Critics

The Strand Magazine has announced the winners for the 2020 Strand Critics Awards as follows:

Best Mystery Novel Winner: THE SENTENCE IS DEATH, by Anthony Horowitz (HarperCollins)
Best Debut Novel Winner: MIRACLE CREEK, by Angie Kim (Sarah Crichton/FSG)
2 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients: Walter Mosley and Tess Gerritsen
The Publisher of the Year Award Recipient: Bronwen Hruska, publisher of Soho Press

The winners were announced virtually on Friday, September 04. (September 05, 2020)

Steph Cha to Become New Editor of BAMS

Steph Cha, the author of Korean-American private eye Juniper Song novels and LA Times Book Prize winner YOUR HOUSE WILL (Ecco, 2019), has been tapped as the new series editor of THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES (BAMS) for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)/Mariner Books, to be retitled THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY & SUSPENSE (BAMAS?), starting with the fall 2021 edition.

The noir section editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) succeeds Otto Penzler, who has been editing the annual best anthology for 24 years since 1997. The fall 2020 edition of BAMS will be the last volume under Penzler's series editorship with C.J. Box as the guest editor, but he will launch his own annual best anthology titled THE BEST MYSTERY STORIES OF THE YEAR (BeMSY?) at the Mysterious Press from 2021. Penzler's anthology is supposed to include best mystery stories not only by American, Canadian and British writers but also by any writers who publish stories in English, while Cha's anthology includes more diversified and more marginalized best mystery and suspense stories by American and Canadian writers. (September 04, 2020)