Based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, The Baker Street Four provides an inside look behind the infamous Baker Street Irregulars.
Billy, Charlie, and Tom are inseparable, and for good reason. Filled with con men and scoundrels, London’s East End is not a place that is easily survived alone. Fortunately, these three boys can count on the protection of Sherlock Holmes, for whom they sometimes act as spies.
When Tom’s girlfriend is kidnapped, the heroes will have to use their budding sleuthing skills to find her. Along the way, they unexpectedly add a fourth member to the team and ultimately become the youngest detectives of the Victorian era.
In The Haunted Season, Father Max Tudor’s former life as an MI5 agent has caught up with him, threatening his newfound happiness with Awena and baby son Owen. Realizing there is no escape from his past, Max, with his bishop’s tacit permission, has offered his services on an as-needed basis.
Max receives the call for help when the body of glamorous film star Margot Browne washes ashore. George tells Max his former colleague Patrice Logan, now heavily pregnant, has asked Five for help—particularly, Max’s help.
It’s a perfect “closed circle” murder since victim Margot must have been killed by one of the group of actors, stylists, scriptwriters, and second-tier royalty aboard. Patrice suspects the yacht’s owner, a playboy film director she’s been keeping tabs on for smuggling, but Max isn’t so sure. Max and DCI Cotton interview the suspects as they loll about one of the luxury hotels dotting the waterfront. Tipped by the playboy director, Max uncovers the truth about the star’s life and death. But would Margot kill—or be killed—to keep her lurid past in the past?
Max’s investigation uncovers a host of motives but only one killer: it seems Margot is not the only person on board with a secret they’d kill to keep.
A New Smith Stand Alone!
When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already overdue cookbook, he expects it to be the perfect escape from stressful city life. But when he arrives, things quickly take a turn for the worse. His hired car is nowhere to be found, and with no record of a reservation at the car-rental counter and no other cars are available, it appears that Paul will be stuck at the airport—that is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative: a bulldozer.
With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts, and so begins a series of laugh-out-loud adventures as he trundles through the Tuscan countryside. A story of unexpected circumstances and making the best of what you have, My Italian Bulldozer is a warm and witty read guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Agatha Awards - An award which is given out by a group called Malice Domestic which meets in Washington D.C. -ish area around the end of every April since 1989. The Agatha and Malice Domestic celebrate traditional mysteries as written by Christie and others of her ilk (think the other three Queens of Crime). But mainly they must not feature explicit sex or excessive/gratuitous violence.
It should be noted that this is their only parameter, well other than if it could be called hard-boiled, then it is not for them. Which is important to note- because the themed cozies are not the only books nominated or have won an Agatha! They give the standard awards for Best Contemporary Novel, Best Historical Novel, Best First Novel, Best Nonfiction, Best Short Story, Best Children’s/Young Adult and a Lifetime Achievement Award. However it their irregular awards and Malice Remembers which are very interesting!
The Poirot is an award given out to non-writers who have made significant contributions to the Malice Domestic genera and of course the first winner was David Suchet - for his portrayal of Poirot! Another winner who I love was Angela Lansbury for Murder She Wrote!
But it is the Malice "Remembers" category (non-award but celebrated by the group) which is the most interesting! The usual suspects you would expect are on the list Agatha Christie (twice), Dick Francis, Tony Hillerman, Craig Rice, Georgette Heyer, Ellis Peters and Rex Stout to name a few. However they also have been a bit exotic in their choices - as when they remembered Edgar Allan Poe. While he is considered the father of detective fiction - if you take his work as a whole, as the term "remembers" implies, may not fit within the groups' parameters. While sex does not play into his stories, violence does - like The Pit And The Pendulum or The Mask Of Red Red Death. Brilliant writing we agree but lacking in excessive/gratuitous violence - not so much.
Another exotic choice was the year they "Remembered" William Shakespeare, who once again we agree is brilliant - a man who served as great inspiration to Agatha Christie's writing - but if you take his works as a whole does he fit with their theme? We aren't so sure - just like Poe there is no shortage of violence - like the Senators running through the streets coated with Julius Caesars blood (after stabbing him to death on stage) or Othello strangling Desdemona . While we understand the character's motivations (Shakespeare's gift) the plays leanings towards violence should not be ignored. Then there's the sex. Depending on the interpretation of actors or directors (and decency laws) you can have a rather skin filled night in the theater - and while we agree Shakespeare is not responsible for every acting choice - he did add the ambiguity of interpretation to his plays. So based on these two reasons - we can't quite agree with his inclusion in this category.
While we love these writers they do prompt a great debate on their inclusion which made the Saturday this was written very interesting as booksellers and customers weighed in on the discussion!
The French Riviera, 1956: The invitation to dinner was not unexpected though neither was it welcome. Ernst Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Cap Ferrat, and he’s not on holiday. An old and dangerous adversary, Mielke is calling in a debt. He intends that Bernie go to London with a vial of Thallium and poison a female agent they both have had dealings with.
But chance intervenes in the form of Friedrich Korsch, an old Kripo comrade now working for Stasi and probably there to make sure Bernie gets the job done. Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night, holed up during the day, Bernie has plenty of down time to recall the last time Korsch and he worked together.
It was the summer of 1939: At Hitler’s mountaintop retreat in Obersalzberg, the body of a low-level civil engineer has been found murdered. Bernie and Korsch are selected to run the case. They have one week to solve the murder—Hitler is due back then to celebrate his 50th birthday. Lucky Bernie: It’s his reward for being Kripo’s best homicide detective. He knows what a box he’s in: Millions have been spent to secure Obersalzberg. It would be a disaster if Hitler were to discover a shocking murder had been committed on the terrace of his own home. But the mountaintop is also home to an elite Nazi community. It would be an even bigger disaster for Bernie if one of them was the murderer.
And A New Maisie!!!
When readers last saw Maisie Dobbs, it was 1938 and the world was on the brink of war. Maisie herself was on a dangerous mission inside Nazi Germany, where she encountered an old enemy and the Führer himself. In This Grave Hour, a year has passed and Maisie is back home in England—yet neither she nor her nation is safe. Britain has just declared war on Germany and is mobilizing for the devastating battle ahead. But when she stumbles on the deaths of a group of refugees, Maisie suspects the enemy may be closer than anyone knows.
The Swedish Crime Writers Academy was founded in 1971 - awarding their prize to the best mystery translated into Swedish. Most important thing to note here - it doesn't have to be English translated into Swedish- it can be any other language French, Dutch, German and Norwegian language books have all had winners in this category. The very 1st winner was an English Language book by Julia Symons's called The 31st of February. Other examples of English language translation winners over the years: The Day of the Jackal, Berlin Game, LaBrava, A Perfect Spy, A Chinaman's Chance, Snow Falling on Cedars and Galveston.
From 1996 to 2008 the award was called the Martin Beck Award (I think that either they started the award or were founding members of the Academy - google translate was a little sketchy on this point)- after Sjowall & Wahloo's Stockholm detective and since 2009 on they switched the award to The Golden Crowbar (I think, once again the google translate was unclear and my Swedish lacking)!
Ten years later in 1981 they decided to to give out a new award to the Best (original) Swedish Crime Novel. Henning Mankell, Hakan Nesser, Ake Edwardson, Kjell Eriksson, Asa Larsson, Stieg Larsson and Roslund & Hellstrom all have won this award (plus a whole host of writers who haven't made it across the Atlantic yet!)!
Both these a fore mentioned categories are awarded each year. However they do have two irregular categories - Best Swedish Debut and a Grand Master Award - which they give out only when they feel there is a deserving candidate.
(BTW - was not watching the calendar and posted this on Wednesday....*sigh*)
The plane circled in the dark. Joe Pickett could just make out down below a figure in the snow and timber, and then three other figures closing in. There was nothing he could do about it. And Joe knew that he might be their next target.
The Cates family had always been a bad lot. Game warden Joe Pickett had been able to strike a fierce blow against them when the life of his daughter April had been endangered, but he’d always wondered if there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s not wondering any longer. Joe knows they’re coming after him and his family now. He has his friend Nate by his side, but will that be enough this time? All he can do is prepare…and wait for them to make the first move.
Another great book coming out in March!
Doc Ford has been involved in many strange cases. This may be one of the strangest.
A legendary charter captain and guide named Tootsie Barlow has come to him, muttering about a curse. The members of his extended family have suffered a bizarre series of attacks, and Barlow’s convinced it has something to do with a multiple murder in 1925, in which his family had a shameful part.
Ford doesn’t believe in curses, but as he and his friend Tomlinson begin to investigate, following the trail of the attacks from Key Largo to Tallahassee, they, too, suffer a series of near-fatal mishaps. Is it really a curse? Or just a crime spree? The answer lies in solving a near-hundred-year-old murder…and probing the mind of a madman.
The Anthony Awards have been given out since 1986 by the Mystery Writers Of America. Named after Anthony Boucher the founder of the organization as well as a writer himself (his short story Nine Times Nine was voted the best locked room mystery of all time). The main categories are Best Novel, Best First novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Short story, Best Critical / Non-fiction work and the occasional Special Service Award. However it is their Wild Card Awards which are really fun! The have given awards for:
Best Graphic Novel Best Website / Blog Lifetime Achievement Award Best Children's / Young-adult Novel Best Cover Art Best Website / Blog Best Fan Publication Best Historical Mystery Best Anthology / Short Story Collection Best Film Best True Crime Best TV Series Best Motion Picture
This Wild Card awards I think are great! They give a certain amount of flexibility to the Awards keeping everyone on their toes!
However I think the best 3 special Wild Card Awards were these three very unique categories - even for these guys:
Best Series Of The Century — Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot series Best Writer Of The Century — Agatha Christie Best Novel Of The Century — Daphne Du Maurier - Rebecca
I am not sure that you can really argue with their selections!
The 2016 Winners!
BEST SHORT STORY - "The Little Men: A Bibliomystery" - Megan Abbott