Murder Circle

Aames Says “Cheese;” Lakin Strikes Gold; Good Day For Littlefield

September 4th, 2010

Do you want to learn how to buy cheese? Go to the website of Avery Aames, author of THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE. She has tips and recipes (including gluten-free scones) at  And be on the look-out for the next Charlotte Bessette Cheese Shop Mystery, LOST AND FONDUE.

Aging is international as Gladdy Gold shows us in her 6th outing, GETTING OLD IS TRES DANGEREUX. When a French redhead goes for Gladdy’s main squeeze, the young woman’s life is in jeopardy–and not from Gladdy’s wrath. Check out author Rita Lakin’s Hollywood credits, You’ll recognize many of the shows.  

We all have bad days, but Stella Hardesty seems to have more than most. When a tornado uncovers a mummified female and the sheriff’s ex comes to town, it’s certain to be A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY. Sophie Littlefield continues her series following her debut with A BAD DAY FOR SORRY.

Actor, author and Jeopardy champion Boyd Morrison defied the odds and took his Kindle novel, THE ARK, to bestseller status. Be on the lookout this November for ROGUE WAVE, a tsunami set to    destroy Honolulu in one hour.

There are lots of  BROKEN PLACES in the 3rd Rachel Goddard mystery. This time author Sandra Parshall gives us blackmail, arson and several murders for the veternarian/sleuth to solve. When a newspaper publisher tries to save a dying paper, he’s the one who winds up dead.

NEWS FLASH! Murder Circle Favorite Sue Ann Jaffarian has just announced that her latest, MURDER IN VEIN, is to be the first hardcover published by Midnight Ink! The book launch is set for Sept. 18 at The Mystery Book Store in Westwood (Los Angeles).  For those of you who can’t attend, be sure and give the lady a high-five when you see her at Bouchercon in October!

Marilyn Meredith is going down an INVISIBLE PATH in the 10th Tempe Crabtree Native American mystery. Suspect Jesus Running Bear leaves Tempe with no “reservations” of finding the killer before the victim’s friends and a milita group take matters into their own hands.  

Will Jeri Westerson sport her T-shirt with the slogan “Chaucer Is My Homeboy” at Bouchercon next month? Keep an eye out. And look for the 3rd in the Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series, THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT.

Did you miss the recent book launch for the 5th Billy Boyle WWII Mystery, RAG AND BONE? The retro covers of James R. Benn’s novels take us back to  a time when we liked Ike, a relative of Boyles through marriage. This is a smartly-written book about wartime intelligence!

When she’s not doing standup comedy (?), L.J. Sellers writes the Det. Jackson mysteries. Right now she’s THRILLED TO DEATH about the freshly released third in the series. Murder brings out dirty secrets of a socialite and a suspect who hasn’t left his house in a year. Now, that’s nothing to laugh about!

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve been hard at work pulling together the Mystery Cruise to the Mexican Riviera in Nov.  We have 40 bookbags to fill. Many terrific authors have sent me promo items, but if you’ve got something to contribute, contact me for a snail mail address.

Verstraete Shrinks; Buehler Registers; Ryan Reveals Vegas

July 24th, 2009

Want to see your title in miniature print? Chris Verstraete offers “printies,” book covers for the well-read dollhouse. See her work and get your own book on tiny shelves at  What a collectible idea!

Like a bit of mysticism with your mystery? Luisa Buehler offers THE INN KEEPER: AN UNREGISTERED DEATH. Finding the bodies of a runaway slave and a socialite buried in the basement of an old boarding house is strange enough, but when forensics proves the burials were 80 years apart, amateur sleuth Grace Marsden has her 6th case to investigate. Spirits are raised when she spies the specter of the slave haunting the boarding house looking for justice.

What happened in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas! This year’s Public Safety Writers Conference nearly doubled in size from 2008. Videos are up at You Tube, just put in PSWA Conference. Kathleen Ryan posted a terrific description on Women of Mystery

I was in the room when Holli Castillo and W.S. Gager (Wendy) got the first glimpse of their debut novels. Remember that feeling? Castillo is a former New Orleans prosecutor and the author of GUMBO JUSTICE featuring Ryan Murphy, an assistant DA “who likes her Tequila cold and her cops hot.” A CASE OF INFATUATION lets Gager dust off her credits as a newspaper reporter with the creation of crime beat reporter Mitch Malone. Malone has 3 rules: blood & gore on the job doesn’t bother him, he always works alone, and he hates kids. Rules are broken when he is accused of murder and must go into hiding with a preschooler.   

Forensic handwriting expert Sheila Lowe gave a fascinating presentation of cases she’s worked on and samples of killer handwriting. Lowe uses her expertise in DEAD WRITE, the 3rd book in the Claudia Rose series. When a Russian matchmaker hires Claudia to find out why her clients are dying, the court qualified handwriting expert finds dating is more dangerous than ever before.

Keynote speaker Betty Webb told of death threats after the publication of DESERT WIVES. The book, featuring PI Lena Jones, is about polygamy practices in Arizona. Webb has launched a new zoo series with ANTEATER OF DEATH featuring zookeeper Theodora “Teddy” Bentley. Let’s hope there are no death threats from the animal kingdom.

THE POT THIEF WHO STUDIED PYTHAGORAS is another discovery I dug up at the Vegas conference. Author J. Michael Orenduff introduces Hubert Schuze, a man who digs for ancient pottery in the New Mexico soil. The government calls him a pot thief, but he believes in finders/keepers. When a customer comes to his shop asking him to steal a thousand-year-old pot from a museum, things really get dirty.

Civilized society meets the frontier when former president Ulysses S. Grant visits Leadville in Ann Parker’s 3rd novel, LEADEN SKIES. Set in a Colorado mining town, saloon owner Inez Stannert is the secret partner of the local madam. When a prostitute gets murdered, Inez must protect her investment. Even in the old West, girls gotta stick together!  

Juliet Blackwell (AKA half of the sister writing duo, Haily Lind) informs us that a group blog is known as a “grog.” She belongs to one with seven other California writers known as Pens Fatales.  Julie is also going woo-woo on us with SECONDHAND SPIRITS. Her protag is Lily Ivory, owner of a vintage clothing boutique in the Haight-Asberry area of San Francisco (and Julie’s stomping ground).

News on the street is that La-La Land has optioned Sue Ann Jaffarian’s first Odelia Grey mystery, TOO BIG TO MISS. The book’s a winner–how could it miss on the big screen?  

I want to give a shout-out to Murder Circle Favorites who made the short list for B-con nominees. Best novel: THE CRUELEST MONTH by Louise Penny; Best First Novel: PUSHING UP DAISIES by Rosemary Harris and DEATH OF A COZY WRITER by G.M. Malliet; Best Paperback Original: STATE OF THE ONION by Julie Hyzy; Best Short Story: KILLING TIME by Jane K. Cleland; Best Critical Nonfiction Work: ANTHONY BOUCHER: A BIOBIBLIOGRAPHY by Jeffrey Marks; and Best Children’s/YA: CROSSROADS by Chirs Grabenstein. Good luck to all in Indianapolis on Oct. 17.

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