Thursday, 06 April 2017 15:04


The International Thriller Writers (ITW) 2017 Thriller Awards winners will be announced on July 15, 2017, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City during the ITW Thrillerfest XII (July 11-15, 2017).

Congratulations to all the finalists!

You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
Where It Hurts, by Reed Farrel Coleman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley (Grand Central Publishing)
Arrowood, by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau)
Underground Airlines, by Ben H. Winters (Mulholland Books)

Deadly Kiss, by Bob Bickford (Black Opal Books)
Type and Cross, by J.L. Delozier (WiDo Publishing)
Recall, by David McCaleb (Lyrical Underground)
The Drifter, by Nicholas Petrie (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Palindrome, by E.Z. Rinsky (Witness Impulse)

In the Clearing, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)
The Body Reader, by Anne Frasier (Thomas & Mercer)
The Minoan Cipher, by Paul Kemprecos (Suspense Publishing)
Kill Switch, by Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Salvage, by Stephen Maher (Dundurn)

"The Business of Death," by Eric Beetner in Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns (Down & Out Books)
"The Peter Rabbit Killers," by Laura Benedict in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
"The Man from Away," by Brendan DuBois in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
"Big Momma," by Joyce Carol Oates in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
"Parallel Play," by Art Taylor in Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning (Wildside Press)

Morning Star, by Pierce Brown (Del Rey)
Holding Smoke, by Elle Cosimano (Disney-Hyperion)
Steeplejack, by A.J. Hartley (TOR Teen)
Thieving Weasels, by Billy Taylor (Dial Books)
The Darkest Corners, by Kara Thomas (Delacorte Press)

Romeo, by James Scott Bell (Compendium Press)
The Edge of Alone, by Sean Black (Sean Black)
Untouchable, by Sibel Hodge (Wonder Women Publishing)
Destroyer of Worlds, by J.F. Penn (J.F. Penn)
Breaker, by Richard Thomas (Alibi)

2017 Thriller Awards Nominees
Saturday, 18 February 2017 22:40

clelandjane glowofdeathxx
I often hear the refrain “How will I catch up?” from readers who have just discovered an author in mid-series. After all, not every reader is with an author from book one, and sometimes it seems daunting to catch up.

Plus, sometimes readers are leery about starting a series midway for fear that new book will give away plots in the previous novels.

Jane K. Cleland, who writes a lovely series about antiques dealer Josie Prescott, offers her readers a solution.

Because Josie deals in antiques, Cleland’s plots revolve around all things old. Cleland’s 11th novel, Glow of Death, has several guides to previous novels that readers will appreciate.

In Glow of Death, Josie is asked to assess a Tiffany lamp owned by a wealthy couple. The knowledgeable Josie knows that most such lamps are actually excellent duplicates. While a good copy can fetch up to $50,000, the real thing can bring in more than $1 million.

Naturally, Josie is more than thrilled to discover the lamp is real, and that she will earn an extra commission by selling it for the couple. My review of Glow of Death is here.

So when Josie has a conversation about the time her shop bought vintage clothing, Cleland supplies a handy asterisk referring the reader to her previous novel, Deadly Threads.

A reference to sneaking GPS devices into items will lead readers to Dolled Up for Murder.

And a bit about an heirloom ring will have readers wanting to find out more in Deadly Appraisal.

These little references are smoothly added in and do not give away any previous plots.

Catching Up With Jane Cleland
Oline H. Cogdill
Sunday, 29 January 2017 01:20

mayo michael
Mystery Scene
occasionally welcomes guest bloggers. Today, Michael Mayo, left, discusses the research behind Jimmy Quinn, who appears in his three novels set during Prohibition-era New York. His latest novel in this series is Jimmy and Fay.

The Jimmy Quinn series also includes Jimmy the Stick and Everybody Goes to Jimmy’s.

Mayo has written about film for The Washington Post and The Roanoke Times. He was the host of the nationally syndicated Movie Show on Radio and Max and Mike on the Movies. His books include American Murder: Criminals, Crime and the Media, VideoHound’s Video Premieres, Horror Show, and War Movies.

Meet Jimmy Quinn
by Michael Mayo

“I’ve been a thief, a bootlegger, a bagman, and the proprietor of one of New York’s better gin mills. I helped corrupt dozens of cops and politicians, and I was in on the fix of a World Series. It’s been a good life.”

mayomichael jimmyandfay
That’s how Jimmy Quinn introduces himself in Jimmy the Stick. He may not be a model citizen or a conventional hero for a suspense novel, but he is engaging, mostly honest, and he has a sense of humor. He was born while I was doing research for another book, American Murder: Criminals, Crime and the Media. That was non-fiction.

As I learned more about what went on in New York during Prohibition, I realized that if I wanted to go deeper into the subject, I had to approach it through fiction. (Hey, it worked for Damon Runyon.)

I read a lot, particularly the firsthand accounts of day-to-day life in the city. I was surprised to realize early on that many of the most famous characters got into the business at a remarkably young age. Meyer Lansky was 18 when Prohibition began; Ben “Bugsy” Siegel was 14. Luciano was 23.

I wanted my guy to be a little younger than them and to come from their world. I knew he was a kid who grew up on the streets, but has retained enough of an attitude to be a companionable narrator. I also knew the people he’d meet and the real events he’d be part of, but I didn’t have much more. He was an idea, not a person.

My break came with a library book, New York Photographs 1850-1950 (Benjamin Blom. Dutton. 1982). It’s a massive, heavy thing filled with surprising images. I went through it page by page, sticking little flags on the pictures I meant to photocopy, and was almost at the end when I found them—two boys on South Street below the Manhattan Bridge pier, around 1910.

They’re arm in arm, walking on a sidewalk, and you can tell right away they’re up to something. They’re dressed in knee pants, coats and caps, ties yanked to one side. The one on the right looks at the camera and can barely contain a laugh. The kid on the left has a big basket on his shoulder. He’s more serious but there’s intelligent mischief or evasion in his expression.

As soon as I saw him, I knew that was my guy, and I knew his name was Jimmy Quinn. After that, the details filled themselves in.

He was the child of Irish immigrants. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was young, his father wandered off, and Jimmy was raised by Mother Moon, the crafty old gal who owned the Hell’s Kitchen tenement where he lived. He never saw his upbringing as deprived or unusual. Times were good, times were hard, at Mother Moon’s they got by. The kids in her building stole or sold newspapers. She made her payoffs to Alderman Jimmy Hines, so she was able to put food on the table and buy the occasional tin of opium for herself.

Because Jimmy was small, fast and quick, she hired him out to work as a messenger for the gambler Arnold Rothstein. Through Rothstein, Jimmy met a kindred spirit, Meyer Lansky—another young man who refused to let his short stature define him. Lansky was also interested in making money, and would work with anyone who’d help him. He and Jimmy got along.

In the present of the novels, Jimmy lives in the Chelsea Hotel. His speakeasy is right around the corner on the lower floor of a brownstone with a restaurant upstairs. Both cops and gang guys are welcome. Interesting people drop in and unusual things happen.

Photo: Michael Mayo photo courtesy Michael Mayo

Author Michael Mayo on Jimmy Quinn