Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Passing of Another Great

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author John Updike died today at the age of 76. According to Alfred A. Knopf Inc., Updike's publisher, Mr. Updike, who was a long time residence of Beverly Farms, died at an area hospice of lung cancer.

This is yet another loss to the literary world, coming so close to the death of Donald Westlake.

Quote of the Week

"Writing is a form of prayer."

--- Franz Kafka

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d to the Bone

It's stuff like this that really makes you wonder.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Victory for the Little Guy

In today's book selling industry, it's not often you see a story like this. Score one for the indies!!

Quote of the Week

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

--- Robert Frost

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quoth the Raven: "Happy Birthday!"

It has been 200 years since the birth of Edgar Allan Poe and in honor of that, there are two new books (books make great gifts by they way) out now.

The first is On a Raven's Wing, an anthology released by The Mystery Writers of America. It features new tales in honor Mr. Poe and his work. Contributors include Stuart M. Kaminsky (who also edited), Mary Higgins Clark, Thomas H. Cook, Don Winslow, John Lutz and the late Edward D. Hoch.

The other book (also from Mystery Writers of America) is a new collection of some of Poe's work titled In the Shadow of the Master. The stories are followed by essays by some of today's top writers such as Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver, Lisa Scottoline, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly and Tess Gerritsen.

Also, in an earlier post I detailed some of the events hat would be going on in Baltimore as part of a year-long celebration of Poe called Nevermore 2009.

James Earl Jones reciting "The Raven"

Vincent Price performing "Tell-tale Heart" (Part 1)

Oh Lord Won't You Buy Her a Mecedes Benz?

It was on this day in 1943 that singer Janis Joplin was born.

"On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone. "

Janis performing Piece of My Heart

Friday, January 16, 2009

2009 Edgars Nominees

Today the Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for the 2009 Edgar Awards.

Best Novel
  • Missing by Karin Alvtegen (Felony & Mayhem Press)
  • Blue Heaven by C.J. Box (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
  • Sins of the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
  • The Price of Blood by Declan Hughes (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
  • The Night Following by Morag Joss (Random House – Delacorte Press)
  • Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster)
Best First Novel By an American Author
  • The Kind One by Tom Epperson (Five Star, div of Cengage)
  • Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (Hyperion)
  • The Foreigner by Francie Lin (Picador)
  • Calumet City by Charlie Newton (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
  • A Cure for Night by Justin Peacock (Random House - Doubleday)
Best Paperback Original
  • The Prince of Bagram by Alex Carr (Random House Trade)
  • Money Shot by Christa Faust (Hard Case Crime)
  • Enemy Combatant by Ed Gaffney (Random House - Dell)
  • China Lake by Meg Gardiner (New American Library – Obsidian Mysteries)
  • The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli (Random House - Bantam)
Best Critical/Biographical
  • African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey (McFarland & Company)
  • Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories by Leonard Cassuto (Columbia University Press)
  • Scene of the Crime: The Importance of Place in Crime and Mystery Fiction by David Geherin (McFarland & Company)
  • The Rise of True Crime by Jean Murley (Greenwood Publishing – Praeger)
  • Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories by Dr. Harry Lee Poe (Sterling Publishing – Metro Books)
Best Fact Crime
  • For The Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder that Shocked Chicago by Simon Baatz (HarperCollins)
  • American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century by Howard Blum (Crown Publishers)
  • Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It To The Revolution by T.J. English (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
  • The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Hans van Meegeren by Jonathan Lopez (Harcourt)
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Walker & Company)
Best Short Story
  • "A Sleep Not Unlike Death" - Hardcore Hardboiled by Sean Chercover (Kensington Publishing)
  • "Skin and Bones" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by David Edgerley Gates (Dell Magazines)
  • "Scratch a Woman" - Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
  • "La Vie en Rose" - Paris Noir by Dominique Mainard (Akashic Books
  • "Skinhead Central" - The Blue Religion by T. Jefferson Parker (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Best Young Adult
  • Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd (Random House Children’s Books – David Fickling Books)
  • The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo (Harry N. Abrams Books – Amulet Books)
  • Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton Children’s Books)
  • Getting the Girl by Susan Juby (HarperCollins Children’s Books - HarperTeen)
  • Torn to Pieces by Margo McDonnell (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Best Juvenile
  • The Postcard by Tony Abbott (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Enigma: A Magical Mystery by Graeme Base (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
  • Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff (Random House Children’s Books – Wendy Lamb Books)
  • The Witches of Dredmoore Hollow by Riford McKenzie (Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books)
  • Cemetary Street by Brenda Seabrooke (Holiday House)
Best Play
  • The Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza (Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the story by Robert Lewis Stevenson (Arizona Theatre Company)
  • Cell by Judy Klass (International Mystery Writers’ Festival)
Best Television Episode Teleplay
  • “Streetwise” – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Paul Grellong (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
  • “Prayer of the Bone” – Wire in the Blood, Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (BBC America)
  • “Signature” – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Judith McCreary (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
  • “You May Now Kill the Bride” – CSI: Miami, Teleplay by Barry O’Brien (CBS)
  • “Burn Card” – Law & Order, Teleplay by David Wilcox (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
Best Motion Picture Screenplay
  • The Bank Job, Screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais (Lionsgate)
  • Burn After Reading, Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Focus Features)
  • In Bruges, Screenplay by Martin McDonagh (Focus Features)
  • Tell No One, Screenplay by Guillaume Canet and Philippe Lefebvre, based on the book by Harlan Coben (Music Box Films)
  • Transsiberian, Screenplay by Brad Anderson & Will Conroy (First Look International)
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award
  • "Buckner's Error" - Queens Noir by Joseph Guglielmelli (Akashic Books)
Mary Higgins Clark Award
  • Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton (St. Martin's Minotaur)
  • The Killer’s Wife by Bill Floyd (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
  • Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer (Random House - Doubleday)
  • A Song for You by Betsy Thornton (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
  • The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
Grand Master
  • James Lee Burke
  • Sue Grafton
Raven Awards
  • Edgar Allan Poe Society, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Poe House, Baltimore, Maryland
Congratulations to all who were nominated.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die."

--- Tom Clancy

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goodbye, Donald Westlake

Donald Westlake, author of the Dortmunder series, numerous crime novels and short stories as well as the Parker series under the name Richard Stark, has died at the age of 75. He was on his way to a New Year's Eve party, when he collapsed of an apparent heart attack.

I first discovered Mr. Westlake when I read Money For Nothing in 2003. I was really impressed with this book and immediately went back to read his others. Two favorites include The Hook and The Ax. I even found out that A Slight Case of Murder, one of my favorite movies, was based on a story by Westlake.

Needless to say, I, along with the rest of the crime fiction community (readers and writers alike) will be feeling the loss of this prolific writer. You can see the numerous tributes here.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Westlake. You will be greatly missed.