Saturday, 25 April 2020 16:48

This was to have been the week to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

It was to have been the week of Edgar Awards festivities to celebrate that anniversary with parties around New York City at bookstores, restaurants and apartments, a terrific symposium to discuss genre trends and culminating with the banquet to honor the books, short stories and films nominated for the Edgar.

That was the plan.

But as we all know, the pandemic has forced the cancellation of many high-profile events, forcing traditions to be put aside—or revised—as we concentrate on staying healthy and sheltering in place.

But what hasn’t been canceled is that MWA’s 75th anniversary will still be celebrated.

And what hasn’t been canceled is that MWA will still honor the Edgar Awards nominees—just in a different format.

The 2020 Edgar Awards will be announced on April 30, 2020, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT on the MWA Twitter page.

Here is the link

At the same Twitter address, MWA has been sharing videos of authors reading their nominated works.

I won’t say it’s almost like being there because nothing beats the excitement of being in the room where the Edgar Awards happen, of cheering on those who take home the statue, or hearing leaders of the genre discuss mysteries and being able to answer questions during the symposium.

But this is a terrific way to honor those works and authors, following the trend that countless other organizations are doing not only across the country but worldwide.

The tradition continues, just in another format.

And that is important.

“We've never not given out the awards, no matter what is going on in the world. And even though there is a global pandemic, honoring and recognizing our finalists and winners seems even more important than ever before,” said Greg Herren, Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America.

Naturally, the awards ceremony will be reformatted. “We're just doing a banner, not voice, on the individual awards category announcements,” said Herren.

As usual, the winners will be secret until announced, but we will get to hear from them. All the finalists were asked to record an acceptance speech, which will air after their category is announced.

Other Edgar traditions will continue

The "In Memoriam" will be put up on the MWA YouTube channel.

The Edgar Annual will still be published.

Plans for the symposium are, at present, on hold.

"We are exploring options right now on how to present the symposium; whether it will be done as a live on-line event will depend on whether we can find a way to do it with the high level of quality everyone expects from Mystery Writers of America. We can't mirror the actual in-person live dynamic of the usual symposium, but we want to come as close as possible," added Herren.

All these events will be available on the MWA YouTube Channel. MWA plans to have the videos on YouTube within an hour after all the honorees have been announced. Facebook will only be a link to the website and YouTube.

“I'm actually very pleased with how this is all turning out,” added Herren.

Mystery Scene also will post the winners here by noon on April 30.

And this shows when crisis arise, clever ways can be found to keep traditions going.

Stay healthy, everyone. And keep reading. The Edgar nominees are a great resource to update your reading list.

And here are the Edgar nominees.

Mystery Scene congratulates all the nominees.

Fake Like Me, by Barbara Bourland (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)
The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The River, by Peter Heller (Penguin Random House – Alfred A. Knopf)
Smoke and Ashes, by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus Books)
Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham (Simon & Schuster Scribner)

My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing (Penguin Random House Berkley)
Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
The Good Detective, by John McMahon (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott (Penguin Random House – Alfred A. Knopf)
Three-Fifths, by John Vercher (Polis Books – Agora Books)
American Spy, by Lauren Wilkinson (Penguin Random House – Random House)

Dread of Winter, by Susan Alice Bickford (Kensington Publishing)
Freedom Road, by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Blood Relations, by Jonathan Moore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Mariner Books)
February’s Son, by Alan Parks (Europa Editions – World Noir)
The Hotel Neversink, by Adam O’Fallon Price (Tin House Books)
The Bird Boys, by Lisa Sandlin (Cinco Puntos Press)

The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder that Shocked Jazz-Age America, by Karen Abbott (Penguin Random House - Crown)
The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity, by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)
American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century, by Maureen Callahan (Penguin Random House - Viking)
Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History, by Peter Houlahan (Counterpoint Press)
Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall, by James Polchin (Counterpoint Press)

Hitchcock and the Censors, by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)
Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan, by Ursula Buchan (Bloomsbury Publishing)
The Hooded Gunman: An Illustrated History of Collins Crime Club ,by John Curran (Collins Crime Club)
Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview, by Anne McKendry (McFarland)
The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women, by Mo Moulton (Hachette Book Group – Basic Books)

“Turistas," from Paque Tu Lo Sepas, by Hector Acosta (Down & Out Books)
“One of These Nights," from Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers, by Livia Llewellyn (Akashic Books)
“The Passenger," from Sydney Noir, by Kirsten Tranter (Akashic Books)
“Home at Last," from Die Behind the Wheel: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of Steely Dan, by Sam Wiebe (Down & Out Books)
“Brother’s Keeper," from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Dave Zeltserman (Dell Magazine)

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster, by Cary Fagan (Penguin Random House Canada – Tundra Books
Eventown, by Corey Ann Haydu (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Katherine Tegen Books)
The Whispers by Greg Howard (Penguin Young Readers – G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR)
All the Greys on Greene Street, by Laura Tucker (Penguin Young Readers – Viking BFYR)
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse, by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books – Paula Wiseman Books)

Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tom Doherty Associates – Tor Teen)
Killing November, by Adriana Mather (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf BFYR)
Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (Penguin Young Readers - Kokila)
The Deceivers, by Kristen Simmons (Tom Doherty Associates – Tor Teen)
Wild and Crooked, by Leah Thomas (Bloomsbury Publishing)

“Season 5, Episode 3” – Line of Duty, Teleplay by Jed Mercurio (Acorn TV)
“Season 5, Episode 4” – Line of Duty, Teleplay by Jed Mercurio (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – Dublin Murders, Teleplay by Sarah Phelps (STARZ)
“Episode 1” – Manhunt, Teleplay by Ed Whitmore (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – The Wisting, Teleplay by Katherine Valen Zeiner & Trygve Allister Diesen (Sundance Now)

“There’s a Riot Goin’ On," from Milwaukee Noir, by Derrick Harriell (Akashic Books)

The Night Visitors, by Carol Goodman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski (Harlequin – Graydon House)
Strangers at the Gate, by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)
Where the Missing Go, by Emma Rowley (Kensington Publishing)
The Murder List, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Tom Doherty Associates – Forge Books)

Shamed, by Linda Castillo (Minotaur Books)
Borrowed Time, by Tracy Clark (Kensington Publishing)
The Missing Ones, by Edwin Hill (Kensington Publishing)
The Satapur Moonstone, by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
The Alchemist’s Illusion, by Gigi Pandian (Midnight Ink)
Girl Gone Missing, by Marcie R. Rendon (Cincos Puntos Press)

Virtual Edgar Awards
By Oline H Cogdill
Friday, 24 April 2020 22:03

James Patterson isn’t alone in his campaign to save the independent bookstores.

A couple of weeks ago, Mystery Scene wrote that #SaveIndieBookstores began on April 2 with a $500,000 donation from Patterson.

Supported by the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the campaign ends on April 30.

All the money raised will be given to independent bookstores, who are encouraged to apply for a grant.

For more information, visit #SaveIndieBookstores.

Now Rick and Becky Riordan have joined the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign. The Riordans have started a personal matching gift challenge. The couple will match each dollar raised, up to $100,000.

Riordan is the author of more than 20 novels for young readers, including the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, the Magnus Chase series and the Trials of Apollo.

He also wrote the well-received private detective series about Tres Navarre, who was a third generation Texan with a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Medieval Studies and English who worked as an unlicensed private investigator. He also was a tai chi master.

Riordan’s first published novel—and Tres Navarre’s debut—was Big Red Tequila (Bantam, 1997). In this novel, Tres returns home to San Antonio to investigate the unsolved murder of his father, Bexar County Sheriff Jackson Navarre. Big Red Tequila won the Anthony Award for best original paperback and the Shamus Award for best First Private Investigator novel in 1997.

"Like most successful authors, I would not be where I am today without the support of independent booksellers. Their dedication, professionalism, commitment, and passion for books are as important for nurturing writers and supporting readers today as when I started publishing 25 years ago. Becky and I are eternally grateful to our indie bookseller friends. We're proud to help support them through this unprecedented challenging time," Riordan commented in a press release.

Rick and Becky Riordan #SaveIndieBookstores Matching Gift Challenge
By Oline H Cogdill
Tuesday, 21 April 2020 17:03

A couple of weeks ago, Mystery Scene reported that Laurie King was offering a character name in her next Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes novels to raise funds for Second Harvest.

Second Harvest is a California organization that serves hundreds of families. During the pandemic, Second Harvest is stepping up its projects by holding drive-by food banks.

King’s fundraiser ran for several weeks and closed out on April 15.

And it was a success.

According to Second Harvest, in addition to the winning bid in the name-a-character auction, quite a few people donated sums outright, "which was lovely of them," added King.

The fund-raiser netted a total of $6,000, which will go toward helping Second Harvest continue its mission.

According to Second Harvest, that $6,000 will pays for 24,000 healthy, balanced meals on the Central Coast.

"And yes, anyone who wants to continue to donate would be supporting a literally life-saving cause," added King.

According to its website, Second Harvest distributed close to 8 million pounds of food in 2018-19 through over 200 partner agencies and program sites across Santa Cruz County. Of that, 60 percent were fresh fruits and vegetables–that comes out to more than 5,000,000 pounds of produce.

For more information on Second Harvest, visit the site.

King rarely offers a character name for auction.

The last time, she believes, was The Language of Bees, which came out in 2009. For more information about King’s fund-raiser, visit my previous blog
“It can be really tricky to fit them into historical novels,” King said previously.

The character name will appear in King’s novel scheduled for the summer of 2021. This book will take place immediately after Riviera Gold, which comes out in June 2020.

The next novel will be set in the summer of 1925, and the setting will be Transylvania. That setting along conjures many ideas.

The winner asks that he be just referred to as Alan B—and those wanting to now his full identity will have to wait until the book comes out next year..

In this stressful time, we love to hear stories about people helping others. If any other authors are having fund-raisers, let us know.

Laurie R. King Raises $6K for Second Harvest
Oline H. Cogdill