Thursday, April 29, 2010


Congratulations to these winners of the Reviewers' Choice Awards given by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

The winners in the Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller category are (for books published in 2009):

Amateur Sleuth: Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke (Kensington)

Contemporary Mystery: Kill For Me by Karen Rose (Grand Central)

First Mystery: A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Historical Mystery: What Remains of Heaven by C. S. Harris (NAL)

PI/Police Procedural Novel: A Darker Domain by Val McDermid (Harper)

Suspense/Thriller: The Messenger by Jan Burke (Simon & Schuster)
Author of THE END GAME
hard cover now available online and in stores

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Crime Writers of Canada has announced its annal nominations for The Arthur Ellis Award. The award goes to writers of excellent Canadian crime fiction. The winners will be announced May 27 in Toronto.

Best Crime Novel

Aloha, Candy Hearts by Anthony Bidulka
Arctic Blue Death by R.J. Harlick
Finger's Twist by Lee Lamothe
Death Spiral by James W. Nichol
High Chicago by Howard Shrier

Best First Novel

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth J. Duncan
The Weight of Stones by C.B. Forrest
A Magpie's Smile by Eugene Meese
Darkness at the Stroke of Noon by Dennis Richard Murphy

Best Non-Fiction

The Fat Mexican: The Bloody rise of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club by Alex Caine
Runaway Devil by Robert Remington and Sherri Zickefoose
The Slasher Killings by Patrick Brode
Post Mortem by Jon Wells
Murder without Borders by Terry Gould

Best Juvenile

Not Suitable for Family Viewing by Vicki Grant
Haunted by Barbara Haworth-Attard
Homicide Related by Norah McClintock
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones Best

Unpublished First Crime Novel (the Unhanged Arthur)

This Cage of Bones by Pam Barnsley
Confined Space by Deryn Collier
The Corpse Flower by Gloria Ferris
A Bait of Pleasure by Blair Hemstock
Putting Them Down by Peter Kirby

Best Short Story

"Backup" by Rick Mofina
"Prisoner in Paradise" by Dennis Richard Murphy
"Nothing is Easy" by James Petrin
"Time Will Tell" by Twist Phelan
"Clowntown Pajamas" by James Powell

Best Crime Writing in French

Je compte les morts by Genevieve Lefebvre
Le mort du chemin des Arsène by Jean Lemieux
La faim de la terre by Jean-Jacques Pelletier
Peaux de chagrin by Diane Vincent

Congratulations, you are all winners!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt Poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

Keep watching, I'm not finished.

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The Oak
by James Russell Lowell
What gnarled stretch, what depth of shade, is his?
There needs no crown to mark the forest's king;
How in his leaves outshines full summer's bliss!
Sun, storm, rain, dew, to him their tribute bring,
Which he, with such benignant royalty
Accepts, as overpayeth what is lent;
All nature seems his vassal proud to be,
And cunning only for his ornament.
How towers he, too, amid the billowed snows,
An unquelled exile from the summer's throne,
Whose plain, uncintured front more kingly shows,
Now that the obscuring courtier leaves are flown.
His boughs make music of the winter air,
Jewelled with sleet, like some cathedral front
Where clinging snow-flakes with quaint art repair
The dents and furrows of Time's envious brunt.
How doth his patient strength the rude March wind
Persuade to seem glad breaths of summer breeze,
And win the soil that fain would be unkind,
To swell his revenues with proud increase!
He is the gem; and all the landscape wide
(So doth his grandeur isolate the sense)
Seems but the setting, worthless all beside,
An empty socket, were he fallen thence.
So, from oft converse with life's wintry gales,
Should man learn how to clasp with tougher roots
The inspiring earth; - how otherwise avails
The leaf-creating sap that sunward shoots?
So every year that falls with noiseless flake
Should fill old scars up on the stormward side,
And make hoar age revered for age's sake,
Not for traditions of youth's leafy pride.
So, from the pinched soil of a churlish fate,
True hearts compel the sap of sturdier growth,
So between earth and heaven stand simply great,
That these shall seem but their attendants both;
For nature's forces, with obedient zeal
Wait on the rooted faith and oaken will,
As quickly the pretender's cheat they feel,
And turn mad Pucks to flout and mock him still.
Lord! all Thy works are lessons - each contains
Some emblem of man's all-containing soul;
Shall he make fruitless all Thy glorious pains,
Delving within Thy grace an eyeless mole?
Make me the least of Thy Dodona-grove,
Cause me some message of Thy truth to bring,
Speak but a word through me, nor let
Thy loveAmong my boughs disdain to perch and sing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

ODE TO GOLF - For National Poetry Month

In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, And Rather Small.
Oh How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.
By Its Size I Could Not Guess,
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I've Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.
My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same,
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End,
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.
It Has Made Me Curse And Made Me Cry,
And Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises Me A Thing Called Par,
If I Hit It Straight And Far.
To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.
It Hooks And Slices,
Dribbles And Dies,
And Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.
With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.
It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.

Author Unknown.


NEAR the end of April,
On the verge of May --
And O my heart, the woods were dusk
At the close of day.
Half a word was spoken
Out of half a dream,
And God looked in my soul and saw
A dawn rise and gleam.
Near the end of April
Twenty Mays have met,
And half a word and half a dream
Remember and forget.

William Stanley Braithwaite

Sunday, April 18, 2010


There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hung. The horse drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ''ONE LAST DRINK''.
If he said YES it was referred to as ONE FOR THE ROAD If he declined, that prisoner was ON THE WAGON
So there you go.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at the 64th Gala Banquet, April 29, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

Here are the nominees:


The Missing by Tim Gautreaux (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
The Odds by Kathleen George (Minotaur Books)
The Last Child by John Hart (Minotaur Books)
Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston (Random House - Ballantine Books)
Nemesis by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett (HarperCollins)
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)


The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano (Grand Central Publishing)
Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (MIRA Books)
A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (HarperCollins)
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (Minotaur Books)


Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Havana Lunar by Robert Arellano (Akashic Books)
The Lord God Bird by Russell Hill (Pleasure Boat Studio – Caravel Books)
Body Blows by Marc Strange (Dundurn Press – Castle Street Mysteries)
The Herring-Seller’s Apprentice by L.C. Tyler (Felony & Mayhem Press)


Columbine by Dave Cullen (Hachette Book Group - Twelve)
Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)
The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide by Dick Lehr (HarperCollins)
Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo (The Penguin Press)
Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)


Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives edited by Otto Penzler (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak (Thomas Dunne Books)
The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar (St. Martin’s Press)
The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by Bev Vincent (Fall River Press)


"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" – Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins (Busted Flush Press)
"Femme Sole" – Boston Noir by Dana Cameron (Akashic Books)
"Digby, Attorney at Law" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Jim Fusilli (Dell Magazines)
"Animal Rescue" – Boston Noir by Dennis Lehane (Akashic Books
"Amapola" – Phoenix Noir by Luis Alberto Urrea (Akashic Books)


The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf)
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books)
Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer (Penguin Young Readers Group – Philomel Books)


Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen)
If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)
The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford (Penguin Young Readers Group – Viking Children’s Books)Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books)Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)


“Place of Execution,” Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (PBS/WGBH Boston)
“Strike Three” – The Closer, Teleplay by Steven Kane (Warner Bros TV for TNT)
“Look What He Dug Up This Time” – Damages, Teleplay by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler & Daniel Zelman (FX Networks)
“Grilled” – Breaking Bad, Teleplay by George Mastras (AMC/Sony)
“Living the Dream” – Dexter, Teleplay by Clyde Phillips (Showtime)


"A Dreadful Day" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Dan Warthman (Dell Magazines)


Dorothy Gilman


Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Zev Buffman, International Mystery Writers’ Festival


Poisoned Pen Press (Barbara Peters & Robert Rosenwald)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 28, 2010)

Awakening by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof by Blaize Clement (Minotaur Books)
Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
Lethal Vintage by Nadia Gordon (Chronicle Books)
Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel (HarperCollins)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I recently guest blogged on

The Stiletto Gang

Thoughts In Progress

My Father's Oldsmobile

I love this blogging thing.

See my website for my blogging and book tour appearances.


Sunday, April 11, 2010


I came across an article in The Week and wanted to share the wisdom. Agatha Christie influenced my reading and writing as I grew up, but to be an influence on humans making choices? Who'd have thought it? And, Alice in Wonderland?

Here's the article:

Sheena Iyengar’s new book, "The Art of Choosing", explores the biology and psychology of choice. But what does she choose to read? Author Sheena Iyengar.

The Week asked Columbia University business professor, Sheena Iyengar, the author of the "The Art of Choosing", a new book examining the science of how human beings make choices, to name six titles that have influenced her work. It was ‘a complex choosing task,' she says.

Essays: First Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson (General Books, $7). Inspiring, invigorating, brimming with commitment. “Self-Reliance,” in particular, is notable for its powerful argument against conformity, against “a foolish consistency.” It’s hard to imagine what “American values” would look like without Emerson.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Scholastic, $4). The Hatter emphasizes the difference between “I like what I get” and “I get what I like.” The Cheshire Cat suggests that if you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you choose. This book is sometimes considered wonderful nonsense, but the characters say a lot of wise things about our desires, goals, and achievements.

The Mysteries of Agatha Christie (HarperCollins, $6 each). Considered as a whole, the stories and novels of Agatha Christie form a highly entertaining study of the relationship between motive (What drives our choices?) and action (What do we end up choosing?).

The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner (Simon & Schuster, $18). A classic that manages to make economics accessible and interesting to the layperson. Heilbroner delves into the “lives, times, and ideas of the great economic thinkers”—as the book’s subtitle promises—to show how men like Adam Smith and Karl Marx were shaped by their choices, and how their theories continue to shape us today.

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (Random House, $16). Rushdie’s novel is a beautiful, astonishing meditation on freedom, destiny, and the role of the individual in creating history. What do we expect from freedom, and what do we get? Can one person’s choices affect the course of an entire nation? Rushdie makes these questions impossible to ignore.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Knopf, 16). With eloquence and humor, Gilbert explains in this 2006 book how our imagination fails us, leading us to act against our own happiness. Along with fascinating research and memorable anecdotes, he offers the practical advice that we all want and need.

Sheena Iyengar, a Columbia University business professor, explores the biology and psychology of choice in The Art of Choosing

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


You have to love a blog called Mysteries and Margaritas. I had the pleasure of guest-blogging today.
Tune in.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Good morning, it was my pleasure to be interviewed by the author of the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series. Her first novel, "A Real Basket Case" was nominated for an Agatha Award.

Read Beth's interview.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


On March 23, I announced an ARC contest for THE END GAME on DorothyL. The rules were simple. On April 1 (Fool's Day) Bogey, the black standard poodle, and Ace tennis ball player, would draw a tennis ball from his toy box. Contestants are represented by a number to match names on the order of email entries.

Bogey's approach.

Digging around to find a winner.

And the winner is 8.

Julie Miller, Duluth, Minnesota.