Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Places I've loved to be in the past and hope to be again sometime in the future...

Hello book friends!  Hope you are all well and safe and content as you can be right now.  My husband and I are doing fine.  We had some plans for later this year - trips, vacations, journeys.  Not sure if any of those will happen - probably not - however, it doesn't stop me from thinking about past places we've traveled and the memories are very nice.  Here are a few pictures of places I loved to be in the past and hope to be again sometime in the future.

Bandon Dunes, Oregon

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ruidoso, New Mexico


And, of course, the wonderful independent bookstores wherever you travel.  Here's a few I've loved.  Don't forget the independent bookstores in these days of change and closure.

Poisoned Pen - Scottsdale, Arizona

Tattered Cover - Denver, Colorado

Third Street Books - McMinnville, Oregon

Books Etcetera - Ruidoso, New Mexico

Friday, April 24, 2020

Book series suggestions for readers who like British crime shows - yes, another rerun...

Hello reader friends!  Hope this has been a not-too-bad week for everyone.  I know that my stress levels go up and down and all around these days.  I guess we're all working on that dilemma.

Once again, I'm dipping into past posts that I've written recommending certain books or series.  Maybe you'll find one that is 'new-to-you' that you'd like to try.  Here's book series suggestions for those who like to watch British crime shows.  By the way, I wrote this originally about 5 years ago and tried to update, but it may include things you've not heard of lately.  Enjoy!


If you like British Crime Shows that are essentially police procedurals...like Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lynley or Lewis or even Wire in the Blood:

1. DI Jack Caffery series by Mo Hayder - I've only read the first two, Birdman and The Treatment and really liked both of those.  This series is a little, well maybe more than a little, gritty.  Set in London, at least to begin, Caffery is a damaged individual who brings his past along with him.  This gives him great insights into the criminals that he hunts.

2. DC Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey - I've read the first 8 books and have the 9th here to check out soon.  The Burning is the first.  I really like Maeve's style and have enjoyed getting to know her colleagues as well.  Maeve is ambitious and getting used to a new DI, Josh Derwent.  A great series that I love. 

3. DC Lacey Flint series by Sharon (S.J.) Bolton - I've read all 4 books in Lacey's series.  Wish this author would write more of them, but she does mostly standalones these days.  Lacey is a little odd and her life has been interesting.  Her relationship with DI Mark Joesbury keeps me guessing.  The first book in the series, Now You See Me, which has a Jack the Ripper angle.


If you like British Crime Shows but want your series set outside of Britain...try one of these:

4. DI Darko Dawson series by Kwei Quartey - Dawson works in Accra, Ghana, and that country's customs and procedures are an integral part of the books.  I've read the first book, Wife of the Gods, and discussed it with my mystery group.  Such an exotic setting by an author who is a native of Ghana.  Don't think that you'll be in Precious Ramotswe's territory.  Darko Dawson's world is a dangerous sort of place.  There are now 5 books in the series and the author has a new series featuring Emma Djan, a private investigator, also set in Accra.

5. Police Sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir series by Quentin Bates - Gunna the Cop is a police officer, a widow and a mother of two teens.  She resides in Hvalvik, Iceland.  I really liked the first book, Frozen Assets.  Gunna normally just deals with minor crimes, but then a body is found in the harbor.  This is a different sort of procedural with a woman cop who has to try to find a murderer and also deal with teenagers.  I believe the 7th book in this series will be coming out in late summer. 

6. Constable Molly Smith series by Vicki Delany - There are 8 books in this series, which is complete or so the author has told me.  I'd love to see more of them.  The setting - beautiful British Columbia and the little town of Trafalger - surrounded by mountains.  Molly "Moonlight" Smith is the daughter of two former hippies and has horrified her mother by becoming a police officer.  Her days are spent mostly dealing with tourists and local folks who stir up trouble.  However, occasionally, she gets to work with Sergeant John Winters and when Winters is involved, you can bet that the stakes are high.  The first book is In the Shadow of the Glacier


If you like British Crime Shows but want a more historical perspective...try one of these:

7. Scotland Yard Murder Squad series from 1890's London by Alex Grecian - You might like this series if you liked the crime show, Ripper Street.  Set at the end of the 19th century, just after the Ripper killings, the first book is The Yard.  I love this time period and really enjoyed the first book.  It's atmospheric, filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of London in Victorian times.  Think there are 5 books in the series, but none since 2016.  I've only read the first.

8. Timothy Wilde, New York City copper series in the 1840's by Lyndsay Faye - Again, if you like crime shows set in the 19th century, like the TV show Copper, try this one.  The first book is The Gods of Gotham and it was also discussed by my mystery group.  A brutal time period.  Timothy Wilde starts out as a bartender and ends up a police officer at the beginnings of the New York City Police Department.  It's in a part of New York that is not gentrified at all.  Be prepared.  Three books in this series.

9. Maggie Hope series, a secretary turned MI-5 agent in 1940's London by Susan Elia MacNeal - Not exactly a police series, but if you enjoyed Foyle's War or Bletchley Park, you might want to try this lighter set of books.  Maggie Hope is an American who initially works for the Prime Minister, but moves on to more spy-ish work.  The first book is Mr. Churchill's Secretary and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  There are now 9 books in this series, the latest published in February. 

10. Claire Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, Police Chief, in Miller's Kill, New York series by Julia Spencer-Fleming - Again, this is not strictly a police procedural and is set in the present day, but if you've watched Grantchester, try this one - a melding of faith and police work.  I love, love, love this series.  The first book is In the Bleak Midwinter and 9th book was published just recently.  It's my intention to read this series from start to finish later this year.


I'll give you one more, just because I love it.  And I'd love to see a TV crime show that would compare to it.  Set on the Jersey Shore with the best set of characters, great humor, and the most interesting fried foods:

11. John Ceepak and Danny Boyle series by Chris Grabenstein - Set in Sea Haven, New Jersey, with a boardwalk, fried Oreos and other strange fried things, games galore, tourists that sometimes murder each other, and Ceepak and Boyle - the best, best cops.  The first book is Tilt-a-Whirl and there are 7 more books in this completed series.  Read them and have a sunny, funderful day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Four books I might be interested in 'waiting' on...all to be published on May 5th

Hello book friends!  Hope you are well, safe, and being sensible about social distancing.  Also wearing your mask if needed.  Who would have thought that we'd be sharing those sentiments with friends and loved ones over and over?  Ah well, here's the scoop on a few books that have caught my eye recently and possibly made their way onto my endless TBR (it's truly endless - not even kidding!).  All four of these books have a planned publication date two weeks from now - May 5th.


Ghosts of Harvard is the first novel by Francesca Serritella.  She is the co-author of several humorous essay collections with her mother, Lisa Scottoline.  I love Scottoline's books and that alone would get me to take a look at this one.

Cadence Archer arrives on Harvard’s campus desperate to understand why her brother, Eric, a genius who developed paranoid schizophrenia took his own life there the year before. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady’s life, and while her decision to follow in her brother’s footsteps threatens to break her family apart, she is haunted by questions of what she might have missed. And there’s only one place to find answers.

As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure at Harvard, she investigates her brother’s final year, armed only with a blue notebook of Eric’s cryptic scribblings. She knew he had been struggling with paranoia, delusions, and illusory enemies—but what tipped him over the edge? Voices fill her head, seemingly belonging to three ghosts who passed through the university in life, or death, and whose voices, dreams, and terrors still echo the halls. Among them is a person whose name has been buried for centuries, and another whose name mankind will never forget.

Does she share Eric’s illness, or is she tapping into something else? Cady doesn’t know how or why these ghosts are contacting her, but as she is drawn deeper into their worlds, she believes they’re moving her closer to the truth about Eric, even as keeping them secret isolates her further. Will listening to these voices lead her to the one voice she craves—her brother’s—or will she follow them down a path to her own destruction?


Caroline B. Cooney is probably a name you might recognize from the many Young Adult books she's written over the years, such as The Face On the Milk Carton.  This is not a YA book, but instead a tale set in a retirement community.  Sounds interesting to me!

When Clemmie goes next door to check on her difficult and unlikeable neighbor Dom, he isn't there. But something else is. Something stunning, beautiful and inexplicable. Clemmie photographs the wondrous object on her cell phone and makes the irrevocable error of forwarding it. As the picture swirls over the internet, Clemmie tries desperately to keep a grip on her own personal network of secrets. Can fifty years of careful hiding under names not her own be ruined by one careless picture?

And although what Clemmie finds is a work of art, what the police find is a body. . . in a place where Clemmie wasn't supposed to be, and where she left her fingerprints. Suddenly, the bland, quiet life Clemmie has built for herself in her sleepy South Carolina retirement community comes crashing down as her dark past surges into the present.


The next book is by Kimberly McCreight.  I read another by her, Reconstructing Amelia, and liked it a lot.  Might have read another, Where They Found Her.  This new one sounds good as well.

Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.

No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.

The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.

As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Brooklyn Country Day school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.


Last is a book that I read about on Wendy's blog, Musings of a Bookish Kitty.  I'm not much of a sci-fi reader, but occasionally one of those books sounds interesting to me.  Goldilocks is one of those books. 

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

It's humanity's last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie's surrogate daughter and the ship's botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this - to step out of Valerie's shadow and really make a difference.

But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi begins to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret - and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .


What do you think?  Any of these sound appealing to you?  Or feel free to tell me about another book that will be coming out soon that you're 'waiting' for. 

Friday, April 17, 2020

My Favorite Couples in Mystery Series - yes, it's a rerun...

Hello book friends!  Hope you are all well, safe, and wearing your masks!  As I've been doing read/listens of J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas and Roarke mystery series, it made me think of this post I did a few years ago about my 'Favorite Couples in Mystery Series'.  So, I decided to share it again to give a few ideas to those of you who might be searching for something to read.  You see which couple comes first....ha!


I've decided to talk about my 'Favorite Couples in Mystery Series'.  Some of these are partners or friends or 'more than friends' or married.  Some have moved through those steps.  Yes, there can be a bit of romance in crime novels!

I worried a little bit about spoilers here, but honestly, if you read many of the blurbs for these ongoing series, you'll get the idea about the couples.  And, as I said above, many of them moved through several steps before they got to the true 'couple' status.  I read many mystery series because I enjoy visiting the characters over and over and finding out what is next in their lives.  Sometimes, love is next.

1.  Eve Dallas and Roarke - J.D. Robb - Eve is a homicide lieutenant in the New York Police.  Roarke is an ex-criminal who has more money than he knows what to do with (billions).  50 books in the series.  Naked in Death is the first.

2.  Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache - Louise Penny - Armand is with the  Sûreté du Québec and he's held several positions over the course of the series.  Reine-Marie is a retired librarian.  They are a lovely, lovely couple who anchor these books through the storms.  15 books in the series.  Still Life is the first.

3.  Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson - Elizabeth Peters - Amelia is an Egyptologist and Emerson is an archaeologist in late 19th and early 20th century England and Egypt.  A very devoted and 'equal' couple.  20 books in the series.  Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first.

4.  Daisy Dalrymple and Alec Fletcher - Carola Dunn - Daisy is a well born woman who becomes a journalist in the 1920's.  Alec Fletcher is a Detective Inspector with Scotland Yard.  23 books in the series.  Death At Wentwater Court is the first.

5.  Alafair and Shaw Tucker - Donis Casey - The Tuckers own a large farm in rural Oklahoma in the early 1900's.  They have 10 children.  Alafair is the sleuth, with Shaw to keep her grounded.  10 books in the series.  The Old Buzzard Had It Coming is the first.  The author has started a new series that features one of the Tucker's daughters, Blanche.  There is one book so far.

6.  Deborah Knott and Dwight Bryant - Margaret Maron - Deborah is a district court judge in Colleton County, North Carolina.  Dwight is a deputy sheriff in the same county.  Deborah has a very large family - 11 older brothers - and her father was a bootlegger.  20 books in this now completed series.  Bootlegger's Daughter is the first.

7.  Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne - Julia Spencer-Fleming - Clare is an Episcopal priest and Russ is the Chief of Police in Millers Kill, New York.  Their relationship is complicated and goes through many stages over the course of the stories.  9 books in the series.  In the Bleak Midwinter is the first.

8.  Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James - Deborah Crombie - Both Duncan and Gemma work for Scotland Yard.  He is a Detective Superintendent and she is at first his Detective Sergeant.  Her career progresses over time.  18 books in the series.  A Share in Death is the first.

9.  Thomas and Charlotte Pitt - Anne Perry -  Set in Victorian times, Thomas is a police inspector and Charlotte is his well-born wife.  Charlotte's family and social connections are often valuable in solving the crimes that Thomas investigates.  32 books in this series.  The Cater Street Hangman is the first.  Additionally, Thomas and Charlotte's son, Daniel, now has his own series with 3 books.

10.  Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti - Linda Castillo - Kate is the Chief of Police in Painters Mill, Ohio, which has a significant Amish population.  Tomasetti is an agent with the state police.  11 books in the series.  Sworn to Silence is the first. 

There are many more couples in mystery series, but these are the ones that come to mind first.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Two books I'm waiting on...The Split by Sharon Bolton and Have You Seen Me? by Kate White

Hello book friends!  Hope you are well and safe.  Today I'm going to mention two books that I'm waiting on and both are scheduled to be released on April 28th.  I've read several books by each of these authors and enjoyed them.  Therefore, these are on my list.  Take a look:

Publish Date:  April 28th

The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd.

Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he's out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her.

But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie's relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her.


Publication Date:  April 28th

On a cold, rainy morning, finance journalist Ally Linden arrives soaked to the bone at her Manhattan office, only to find that she’s forgotten her keycard. When her boss shows, he’s shocked to see her—because, he explains, she hasn’t worked there in five years.

Ally knows her name, but is having trouble coming up with much beyond that, though after a trip to the psychiatric ER, she begins to piece together important facts: she lives on the Upper West Side; she’s now a freelance journalist; she’s married to a terrific man named Hugh. More memories materialize and yet she still can’t recall anything about the previous two days. Diagnosed as having experienced a dissociative state, she starts to wonder if it may have been triggered by something she saw. Could she have witnessed an accident—or worse—had something happened to her?

Desperate for answers, Ally tries to track where she spent the missing days, but every detail she unearths points to an explanation that’s increasingly ominous, and it’s clear someone wants to prevent her from learning where those forty-eight hours went. In order to uncover the truth, Ally must dig deep into the secrets of her past—and outsmart the person who seems determined to silence her.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter!!

Hello my friends!  Wishing all of you a very Happy Easter!  Hope your weekend is and has been a peaceful one.  Please know that I think of all of you daily, hope you are well and safe and sensible.  I'm sharing a few more pictures today to brighten your lives (hopefully).  Take such good care, please!

Early sunrise picture of my view to the back of our house.  Not this morning - we've had thunderstorms, tornado watches and warnings, heavy rain and wind.  All is well though and the storms have passed.

This morning, we will be celebrating Easter with our church online.  Glad we have this avenue of worship these days.  

Another beautiful rose from the Portland Rose Garden.  If you ever get a chance to visit there, I highly recommend it.  

And for this Easter morning, a picture of an egg.  I'm assuming that it is a bird egg, but it oddly appeared the other day on our back porch.  Not as big as a chicken egg, maybe an inch or so in length.  There are no nests on our back porch and we have no idea how it came to be there.  We left it alone for a couple of days, but finally put it out in the yard.  Did we have an early visit from the Easter Bunny with a real egg?  Who knows?  

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Cutting Place by Jane Casey - another new book in a series that I love...

Today, I want to talk about Jane Casey's Maeve Kerrigan mystery series.  I've really enjoyed reading the first 8 books and the 9th has recently been published.  Did I pick it up?  You know I did!  The specifics are below.  The first book in this series is The Burning.  One of my favorite crime series. 

You might ask if I'm dipping into all these new books - well, not right now.  I'm coming to know that my 'comfort' area at this time resides with Lt. Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke - protagonists of J.D. Robb's long-running series (it has 50 books!).  I'm immersed in read/listens of that series and have found what keeps my interest during these very unusual solitary days.  Doesn't mean I'm not excited about these other books that I'm acquiring left and right.  I'll get to them and know I'll enjoy the anticipation all the more.

Everyone's heard the rumours about elite gentlemen's clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are the height of decadence . . . and the secrets are darker than you could possibly imagine.

DS Maeve Kerrigan finds herself in an unfamiliar world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour when she investigates the murder of a young journalist, Paige Hargreaves. Paige was working on a story about the Chiron Club, a private society for the richest and most privileged men in London. Then she disappeared.

It's clear to Maeve that the members have many secrets. But Maeve is hiding secrets of her own – even from her partner DI Josh Derwent. Will she uncover the truth about Paige’s death? Or will time run out for Maeve first?


As always, my hope is that you are staying safe, sensible, and healthy.  Take care!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Two new books by Lissa Marie Redmond and I've got both!

Today I want to tell all of you about two new books that are available by former Buffalo PD Detective, Lissa Marie Redmond.  She writes a series featuring Lauren Riley, also a Buffalo Cold Case Detective.  I read the first three books in the series last year:  A Cold Day in Hell, The Murder Book, and A Means To An End - liked them all very much.  The 4th book in the series, A Full Cold Moon, is available in e-book form right now and in print at the end of this month.  Lissa has also written a standalone book, The Secrets They Left Behind, and it came out today.  More info on both books below.  Take a look - this series might appeal to you or the standalone as well.  Enjoy!


Since her partner on the Cold Case team has been out of action after being shot in the line of duty, Lauren Riley has been working Homicide. Her latest case involves an Icelandic man murdered on the streets of Buffalo mere feet from his hotel.

The brutality of the case hits Lauren hard. When she realizes the murder was committed on the night of a Full Cold Moon, it triggers memories of the first cold case she investigated that she's been unable to solve.

Lauren is determined not to fail again but when she is involved in a shooting with a suspect, she finds the case may be taken out of her hands . . . especially when it gains attention from the Icelandic government.

Three college freshmen go missing from their rural hometown of Kelly's Falls while on Christmas break. Their cell phones, coats, and purses are left behind, but the girls have disappeared without a trace. As the days turn into weeks and the investigation grows cold, twenty-three year old Buffalo police officer Shea O'Connor is called on to dig up leads undercover.

Still bearing the emotional and physical scars of a previous case, O'Connor infiltrates as eighteen-year-old Shea Anderson, a college freshman and the "niece" of the town's police chief. As she begins to immerse herself in the missing girls' world, befriending their friends and family, and doing whatever it takes to maintain her cover, O'Connor realizes the track is far colder than she initially thought. But whoever was behind the girls' disappearance was only warming up, and they have set their crosshairs directly on her.

The heat is on for O'Connor as she closes in on the shocking truth about what really happened the night the girls vanished.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

A Sunday afternoon walk...with more flowers blooming...

Hello book friends!  Just a quick note this Sunday afternoon.  I've been out for a lovely walk.  It rained all day long yesterday and it was hard not to grab an umbrella and walk regardless.  However, we were having thunderstorms now and then and I decided that walking with big partly metal implement in my hands was probably not smart.  Today it's cloudy and cool, but not raining.  Yay!!

I took a few pictures as I walked, talked to a couple of neighbors that were out, saw a little girl and her Dad riding bikes and the little girl told me that she isn't liking how school is now.  She misses her friends.  I told her that I missed my friends too.  Another neighbor was pulling weeds and another was walking just like I was.  A good day overall.  Here are some lovely blooms.  Enjoy and my hope is that you stay safe, sensible, and healthy!

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Return of the Raven Mocker by Donis Casey...if you'd like a historical look at a pandemic from a great mystery series...

The Return of the Raven Mocker is the 9th book in Donis Casey's historical mystery series set in early 20th century Oklahoma.  Donis has written a 10-book series that tells about Alafair Tucker, her husband Shaw, and their family of 10 children.  This particular book is set in 1918 and lets us know what's happened to the Tucker family during war time.  Mostly, it's about the flu epidemic and how it affects Boynton and Oklahoma and the Tuckers.  I read this book about 3 years ago soon after a bout of flu, so it was interesting to me in that regard.  It might be interesting to you as well.  Alafair is a farm wife and a skilled amateur healer.  Plus she also does some crime investigation as well.  She has experience with 10 children and has nursed many family members through illness.  She has her own opinions about remedies and how to best keep this severe flu from spreading.  After Alice and Walter, her daughter and son-in-law, are stricken, Alafair moves to town to nurse them, while placing her younger children and grandchildren in quarantine with Mary, another daughter.  Flu spreads rapidly through the town and people are sick and some die.  The people in the house next door to Alice have flu, but when two of them die and it turns out they were poisoned, Alafair tells the sheriff and his deputy what she has observed.  I loved this book, but will say that it was not a very complicated mystery to solve.  I enjoyed reading more about the way that a pandemic was dealt with and also was interested in some of the 'home remedies' that the author shared at the end of the book.  Remedies that I remember my own grandmother using.  Again, I love the characters and setting!

I also wanted to share the link to a guest post that Donis did on the Mystery Fanfare blog last Friday.  It was entitled What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do and in it, Donis talks about her research in writing The Return of the Raven Mocker and shares some of the 'old time' remedies.  Take a look!  And if you're thinking about reading something different, you might try this series.  The first book is The Old Buzzard Had It Coming


As usual, I'll wish all of you a safe, sensible, and healthy day.  Take care!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert

I've finally become immersed in a book - yay!  It's Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert and this is her debut novel.  I'll share the specifics below, but also wanted to share a link to a guest post Tessa wrote for the Jungle Red Writers blog last Thursday - it's All By Ourselves--With a Terrific Book!  In it, she shares some of her favorite books that feature isolation - something we are all coming to know right now.  Take a look and now I have to get back to 'Death in the Family'!


Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she's taken a job in her fiancé's sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

But as a nor'easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they're dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana's right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they'll strike again.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Mystery Book Conferences cancelled....sad but necessary...

In the past few years I've been lucky enough to attend two different mystery book conferences - one of them twice.  Such a fun time.  I went to Left Coast Crime in 2016 when it was held in Phoenix.  Had a wonderful experience and my blog posts about it can be found in my archive to the right - March 2016.  After that, I attended the Malice Domestic mystery conference twice, 2017 and 2018.  Again, my experiences can be found in my archives, May 2017 and May 2018.  I met authors and attended award dinners, bid on wonderful charity auctions and won books, was given books, got to hear authors talk on panels.  Just was a major fangirl all around.

I debated whether I wanted to go this year and went back and forth regarding my decision.  After going to Malice two times, I wanted to go back to Left Coast Crime, which was being held in San Diego from March 12-15.  However, I waited too late to try to sign up and the conference hotel was full.  Deciding I didn't want to have to stay in a hotel several blocks away, I unhappily stayed home.  Turned out it was a good thing as it was cancelled soon after it began by the city of San Diego.  

Left Coast Crime 2020
These mystery conferences are sponsored and put on by all-volunteer non-profit organizations.  Each group also raises funds for literacy charities.  Malice Domestic is held each year in Bethesda, Maryland and they have a very faithful set of individuals who work hard to see that mystery authors and fans have a great time.  Left Coast Crime is also arranged and run by an all-volunteer crew, but the city changes each year.  The only requirement is that the host city be in the 'Left' part of the US - Mountain time or west of that.  

The Left Coast 'Lefty' Awards were voted on and announced virtually and you can check them out here.  I do feel so sorry for the hardworking committee that spent so much time planning and making sure this conference would be wonderful.  I remember being told about it and invited to attend by author Kathy Krevat, who served as the 'registrar'.

Next year, Left Coast Crime will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 8-11, 2021.  I'm definitely planning on attending.  All are invited!

Left Coast Crime 2021

As the situation changed, the Malice Domestic organizers at first thought to postpone the 2020 conference, which was to be held from May 1-3, 2020.  However, eventually they decided to also cancel the conference for this year.  The Agatha Awards will still be given and the nominated books will be voted on and the award winners announced in a special live streamed event.  Next year, the 33rd annual Malice Domestic will be held April 29-May 2, 2021.  I may consider attending that one as well.  If you're going to be around, you should think about attending.  It's a great conference and a lot of fun!

Malice Domestic
Other mystery awards, such as the Edgars, will still be presented in some manner, but decisions regarding that are up in the air.  The summer and fall mystery conferences are also in the 'to be decided' category.  Bouchercon 2020, the largest mystery conference, is scheduled to be held in Sacramento on October 15-18.  Only time will tell what will happen.


Otherwise, hope everyone reading here will be safe, sensible, and remain healthy.  Thanks for stopping by!