The Strand Magazine just announced its Critics Awards... and they've tapped MysteriousPress.com publisher and Mysterious Bookshop owner Otto Penzler for a Lifetime Achievement Award!
• The Fever, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
• Jack of Spies, by David Downing (Soho Crime)
• The Secret Place, by Tana French (Viking)
• Fear Nothing, by Lisa Gardner (Dutton)
• Die Again, by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine)
• After I’m Gone, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
Best First Novel Nominees:
• Dry Bones in the Valley, by Tom Bouman (Norton)
• Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little (Viking)
• The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur (Morrow)
• Ice Shear, by M.P. Cooley (Morrow)
• Confessions, by Kanae Minato, translated by Stephen Snyder (Mulholland)
• The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica (Mira)
We wish all of these contenders the best of luck.
In addition, says the magazine, “Otto Penzler will receive The Strand’s Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to the crime genre. For over four decades Penzler [has] stood as a giant in the crime publishing genre--he founded Mysterious Press in 1975 and has published authors such as Nelson DeMille, Elmore Leonard, Patricia Highsmith, Eric Ambler, and scores of other bestselling authors. He’s also edited dozens of mystery-themed anthologies, which have included original works by Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Ed McBain, and J.A. Jance. And last but not least, he’s the proprietor of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City. “I have been at every award ceremony since The Strand Magazine began to honor the stars of the mystery world and have celebrated with those who received these prestigious prizes,” says Penzler. “In all humility, I was stunned to join their ranks and my heart swells with joy and pride.”
This year’s Strand prizes will be handed out during a cocktail party to be held in New York City on July 8.
What's on my mind today? The Clean Reader App. An app I absolutely oppose. An app that is complete bullshit. And frankly, I can't say it any better than Chuck Wendig has. Click here to go to his blog post.
A big yes to this:
When I write a book, I write it a certain way. I paint with words. Those words are chosen. They do not happen randomly. The words and sentences and paragraphs are the threads of the story, and when you pluck one thread from the sweater, the whole thing threatens to unravel — or, at least, becomes damaged. You may say, Well, Mister Wendig, surely your books do not require the profanity, to which I say, fuck you for thinking that they don’t. If I chose it, and the editor and I agree to keep it, then damn right it’s required. It’s no less required than a line of dialogue, or a scene of action, or a description of a goddamn motherfucking lamp. Sure, my book could exist without that dialogue, that action, that goddamn motherfucking lamp.
But I don’t want it to. That’s your book, not my book.
My consent matters when it comes to the book.
If changes are necessary to the book — then I consent to making them.
An editor sends me edits, I can say whether those edits fly or not.
Just as the publisher can consent to the book they publish.
That’s the deal. That’s how this works.
According to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2013 there were 304,912 books published. I am pretty sure that if you want a "clean book" you can find a couple in the nearly 305k published. So leave the content alone. A novel is a work of art. To deface that art by changing the words the author has chosen should be illegal.
As I learned yesterday when a blown transformer knocked out our power, as well as damaged our servers, technology isn't always a good thing.
Here are the latest Petrona candidates:
• The Hummingbird, by Kati Hiekkapelto,
translated by David Hackston (Arcadia Books; Finland)
• The Hunting Dogs, by Jørn Lier Horst,
translated by Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway)
• Reykjavik Nights, by Arnaldur Indriðason,
translated by Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker; Iceland)
• The Human Flies, by Hans Olav Lahlum,
translated by Kari Dickson (Mantle; Norway)
• Falling Freely, As If in a Dream, by Leif G.W. Persson,
translated by Paul Norlen (Doubleday; Sweden)
• The Silence of the Sea, by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir,
translated by Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland
According to a press release sent out this morning, “The winning title will be announced at the annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, held in Bristol 14-17 May 2015. The award will be presented by the Godmother of modern Scandinavian crime fiction, Maj Sjöwall, co-author with Per Wahlöö of the Martin Beck series. ... The winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at the 2016 CrimeFest event.”
Congratulations to all of the nominees! To learn more about the books mentioned above and this year’s Petrona Award judges, click here.
People say you should never judge a book by its cover, and while that may be true, its also foolish to think that a book cover bears no weight on one’s decision to invest in reading a book. When I was walking through Barnes N’ Noble, I only picked up Lauren Beukes’ novel, Broken Monsters, because the cover caught my interest. However, it was the synopsis, and online reviews that actually piqued my interest enough to purchase this book. I had hopes that this would be a cool avant garde horror novel that would serve as a good read while bored at work, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this was a story worth losing sleep over. It does start off slow, as each chapter is from the perspective of a different character and none, except the detective and her daughter, seem to relate. However, once their stories begin to connect to one another, it becomes increasingly difficult to put down until you suddenly realize it’s 4:00 AM and you are too spooked to sleep without a light on.
Come for the cover, jacket copy, and online reviews—and stay for the imaginative, propulsive writing.
CROSSING JORDAN. “Pilot Episode.” NBC. 24 September 2001 (Season 1, Episode 1). Jill Hennessy, Miguel Ferrer, Ken Howard, Lois Nettleton, plus a large ensemble cast. Creator/screenwriter: Tim Kring. Director: Allan Arkush.
Please forgive the lack of screen credits. This is the only episode of Crossing Jordan I’ve seen so far, and I haven’t yet placed names with faces, nor do I know how long some of the faces will last. I didn’t include any names in the guest cast, either, since most of this first episode was devoted to introducing the characters, not the story itself.
Which was OK, or maybe even more than that, but if you’ll allow me, I’ll get to that in a minute. The series was on for six years, and I won’t lie to you: I’d barely heard of it before buying a box set of DVDs of the first season. I can’t tell you why it’s been under my radar all this time.
Or maybe I can. (A) A lack of time to follow everything that’s on TV, even crime-solving shows, and (B) an assumption that new shows won’t last, so why start watching them, but missing one like this one that does catch on, and it’s too late to catch up with the story line, or so I think.
Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh (Jill Hennessy) is a medical examiner who insists on helping the police solve the cases her dead bodies involve her in, against all of their wishes. She’s beautiful, smart-talking, feisty, has a problem with anger management, and as a direct result, she has run out of places to work until her former boss, Dr. Garret Macy (Miguel Ferrer), convinces his superiorss to hire her back at the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
I gather her father (Ken Howard) doesn’t stick around for the entire series, but at least during the first season he’s an ex-homicide detective who helps Jordan solve her cases by playing a version of killer/victim to re-enact the crime given the facts as she has them. He’s glad to see her again, but Jordan has problems, in the pilot, at least, with the fact that there is a new woman in his life, Jordan’s mother having been murdered when she was a child. This may explain some of the chips on her shoulder.
There are quite few others in the ensemble cast, as I said earlier, all of whom get a brief introduction and some exposure in this first episode. The story itself is interesting without being overly memorable. It turns out that a young prostitute, found dead in an alley and suspected of dying of a drug overdose, is actually a virgin. It is then discovered that she came to Boston looking for her father, and — well, I needn’t tell you everything, need I?
I do like the characters, and so did the general viewing public, given that the series lasted for so long. It’s one I’ll keep watching, at least through the first season, which is all that’s been officially released on DVD. (The problem being rights to the music played in the back ground.)