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Have you sold a book recently? Do you believe your information could help a Sister in Crime make a wise business decision? Please send all the pertinent facts to Marcia Talley at sinclinks@sistersincrime.org.

November 2018

Mystery Writers of America announced on Tuesday that crime novelist, Linda Fairstein would be honored, along with Martin Cruz Smith, as a Grand Master at the 2019 Edgar Awards, igniting a Twitterstorm spearheaded by author Attica Locke. The focus of the protests is Fairstein's role as a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 1989's Central Park Jogger case, which resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of five minority teenagers. 

After Steph Cha’s article about the controversy appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

The MWA board of directors announced that they were taking Locke’s and other MWA members’ concerns seriously.  On Thursday, MWA announced that after profound reflection, they were rescinding Fairstein’s award.

An article in the Washington Post sums up the controversy.

What’s the Matter with Fiction Sales? Jim Milliot & Rachel Deahl have several theories why sales dropped 16% between 2013 and 2017

Small bookstores are booming after being nearly wiped out a decade ago.

When October Books in Southampton, UK was forced by high rent to move, its customers formed a human chain to help.

Dealers in 24 countries decided to remove more than a million books from AbeBooks for a week after the site (owned by Amazon) moved to ban sellers from several nations.

Rachel Kramer Bussel gives advice on What Authors Should Do When Their Publisher Closes.

Read about Edward Stratemeyer and the “secret” syndicate behind Nancy Drew.

Jean Walton outlines five ways that language can be a character in your novels.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes time out from his other duties to crack down on the improper use of commas at the State Department.

Once seen as crime scene detritus, bullets and ejected shell casings are now recognized as vital pieces of evidence. 

And in the Truth is Stranger than Fiction department: A Dutch writer thought she’d found a stolen Picasso. The real story is much weirder.

She grew up using a wheelchair. Her mother’s murder exposed the truth.

This woman hired an actor to pretend to be her daughter’s Dad. What could possibly go wrong?

From the editors at The Mystery Tribune comes this list of the 52 best psychological novels by women authors.

Reminding us that it’s that time of year again—The Best of …

According to the Guardian
According to Bolo Books
According to Dru Ann Love

DEALS

  •  Author of A BREATH AFTER DROWNING and DARKNESS PEERING Alice Blanchard's TRACE OF EVIL, which follows a female rookie detective investigating the murder of a popular high school teacher that has eerie ties to the murder of a teenaged girl 20 years prior, moving to Alexandra Sehulster at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, by Jill Marr at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
  • USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon's next Farm to Fork mystery, where a woman and her county seat crew enter a best restaurant competition at the state fair and find one of their competitor chefs dead in their food storage trailer after a heated argument about a corn dog recipe, to Esi Sogah at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Jill Marsal at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
  • Kathleen Delaney sold the 4th book in the Mary McGill canine mysteries series, BOO, YOU'RE DEAD, to Kate Lyall Grant of Severn House, represented by Dawn Doodle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. 
  • Tess Gerritsen's THE SHAPE OF NIGHT, about a cookbook writer trying to outrun a tragedy in her past; retreating to a secluded seaside house in Maine, she questions what's real and what she imagines at a seemingly haunted sea captain's house she's renting, and when she uncovers evidence of two homicides and starts to investigate, she puts herself in the crosshairs of a murderer, again to Kara Cesare at Ballantine, by Meg Ruley and Danielle Sickles at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.
  • Josi Kilpack's THE CANDY CANE CAPER, a new Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery, in which a community volunteer and former amateur sleuth must track down World War I-vintage Christmas ornaments so that an elderly friend can decorate her tree for the last time, to David Brown at Shadow Mountain, with Heidi Taylor Gordon editing, in a nice deal, by Lane Heymont at The Tobias Literary Agency.
  • Marlene Kurban's UNDER SUSPICION, in which after his ex-girlfriend goes missing on St. Maarten, a psychologist teams up with her sister and his former patient to find and win back the woman he loves, to Stairway Press, for publication in February 2019.
  • After interest by a German publisher in her Western novel, THE BOLD TRAIL, A SAMUEL GARRISON WESTERN, Linda Pendleton signed a publishing agreement for German translations of a number of her novels, including her Catherine Winter Private Investigator Series and a stand-alone crime novel, ROULETTE, THE SEARCH FOR THE SUNRISE KILLER co-authored with her husband, Don Pendleton. 
  • Edgar Award winner S.J. Rozan's PAPER SON, the latest in her Bill Smith/Lydia Chin mystery series, taking the partners inside the Chinese-American community of rural Mississippi to solve the murder of Lydia's cousin—whose existence she had previously been unaware of—and the arrest of another (also previously unknown) cousin for the killing, resulting in unexpected questions of identity and immigration; moving to Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus, by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler.
  • NYT bestselling author of GIRL WAITS WITH GUN Amy Stewart's books six and seven in the Kopp Sisters series, based on the real-life adventures of Constance, Norma, and Fleurette during World War I and the 1920s, again to Nicole Angeloro at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in a two-book deal, by Michelle Tessler at Tessler Literary Agency.
  • Victoria Thompson’s next two books in the Gaslight Mystery Series and the next book in the Counterfeit Lady Series to Michelle Vega at Berkley in a good deal by Nancy Yost at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.
  • Tessa Wegert's DEATH IN THE FAMILY, introducing a former NYPD detective-turned-small town cop in Upstate New York, as she investigates a murder on a wealthy family's private island while dealing with PTSD from her traumatic kidnapping a year prior, to Grace House at Berkley, in a two-book deal, by Marlene Stringer at Stringer Literary Agency

 

October 2018

Sad news for traditional and cozy mystery writers and fans. Midnight Ink closes up shop.

Carl Cederstrom writes about what he learned after reading a month of feminist classics.

Appropriation goes both ways, and increasingly it’s being seen as a creative freedom for writers who have been excluded from the literary canon. But, who decides when homage becomes theft?

Tiny books that fit in one hand. Will these mini-books take off? Dutton, a Penguin Random House imprint, has just released its first batch of mini books, with a box set of novels by the best-selling author John Green.

Robin Sloan has a collaborator on his new novel: a computer. He’s writing his book with the help of home-brewed software that finishes his sentences with the push of a tab key.

Why we should learn to love the full stop.

How to research your story: go on a field trip.

Lost faith in Facebook and Instagram after data leakages, breaches and too much noise? Here’s a guide to breaking up with the social network and its photo-sharing app for good.

Evelyn Anthony, a best-selling British novelist who transitioned from historical fiction to espionage thrillers, becoming one of the first female writers to explore the spy genre, died on Sept. 25 at age 92.

Fifteen murder and sexual assault cases have been solved since April with a single genealogy website. This is the story of how GEDmatch went from a casual side project to a revolutionary tool.

44 siblings and counting, How a lack of regulation leads to massive genetic families.

True Crime department: A software designer ended his life in his parked car in the East Village. His family had asked the police for help finding him, but met resistance.

The bodies of 11 babies were found in the ceiling of a former funeral home in Detroit.

A booby-trapped house felt like ‘Indiana Jones’ as a wheelchair shot an agent, police say.

DEALS

  • Nancy Boyarsky has signed a “nice deal” for an untitled fourth book in the Nicole Graves Mysteries with her publisher, Light Messages Publishing.
  • NYT and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan's THREE, in which a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent (in charge of a new Mobile Response crime unit) wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer, launching a new series, to Kathy Sagan at Mira, in a major deal, in a four-book deal, at auction, and the next two thrillers in her Lucy Kincaid series, again to Kelley Ragland at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, both deals by Dan Conaway at Writers House.
  • Kathleen Bridge's books four and five BY THE SEA MYSTERY series, in which a novelist lives, works, and solves murders at her family's seaside Florida resort hotel along with her eccentric family and pet parrot, to Martin Biro at Kensington, in a two-book deal, for publication in May 2020 and April 2021, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
  • Frances Brody's A SNAPSHOT OF MURDER, the 10th Kate Shackleton mystery, featuring the eponymous sleuth who travels to the opening of a new Bronte Museum when only six of the seven photographers who attend come out alive, to Jenny Chen at Crooked Lane, in a two-book deal, by Rebecca Winfield at David Luxton Associates on behalf of Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.
  • Katrine Engberg's THE COURSER, CLEARWING and BLACK LINES, in the Korner & Werner series, to Jennifer Bergstrom at Scout Press, in a significant deal, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, by Niclas Salomonsson at Salomonsson Agency.
  • Author of the Liv & Di mystery series Vicki Fee's MY FAIR LATTE in the Movie Palace Mystery series, featuring the owner of a timeworn movie theater and amateur sleuth, to Henery Press, in a three-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds.
  • Stephanie Gayle's IDYLL GOSSIP, the fourth in the series featuring Chief Thomas Lynch of the small town of Idyll, Connecticut, to Dan Mayer at Seventh Street, by Ann Collette at Rees Literary Agency.
  • Victoria Gilbert's fourth and fifth books in her Blue Ridge Library Mystery contemporary cozy series, featuring an intrepid librarian who solves murders in a historic town in Virginia, to Faith Black Ross at Crooked Lane, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Frances Black at The Literary Counsel.
  • Tina Kashian's KITCHEN KEBAB MYSTERIES, the Easter-themed fourth and Christmas-themed fifth books in the ongoing series, featuring a lawyer turned amateur sleuth who works at her family's Mediterranean restaurant on the Jersey Shore, to Martin Biro at Kensington, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in March 2020 and October 2020, by Stephany Evans at Ayesha Pande Literary
  • Jode Millman’s debut crime novel, THE MIDNIGHT CALL, about a pregnant attorney who risks her career, her love and her life to aid her mentor who’s accused of murder, was acquired by Immortal Works in a nice deal.
  • Jessica Moor's THERE IS NO PLACE, a debut that follows the inhabitants of a domestic violence shelter for women after one of their counselors is found drowned in the local river, examining violence against women and the structures that allow it to continue, to Shannon Kelly at Penguin, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2020, by Alexandra Cliff at PFDon behalf of Marilia Savvides.
  • C.E. Murphy writing as Catie Murphy's DEATH IN DUBLIN, the first in the The Dublin Driver Mysteries series, to Tara Gavin at Kensington Mystery in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in January 2020.
  • Renee Patrick's next two books in the Lilian Frost / Edith Head mystery series, SCRIPT FOR SCANDAL and THE SHARPEST NEEDLE, to Kate Lyall Grant at Severn House by Lisa Gallagher at DeFiore & Company.
  • Edgar Award winner S.J. Rozan's PAPER SON, the latest in her Bill Smith/Lydia Chin mystery series, taking the partners inside the Chinese-American community of rural Mississippi to solve the murder of Lydia's cousin—whose existence she had previously been unaware of—and the arrest of another (also previously unknown) cousin for the killing, resulting in unexpected questions of identity and immigration; moving to Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus, for publication in summer 2019, by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler

    (updated 11/3/2018)

 

September 2018

Bookseller consolidation news: Waterstones has acquired Foyles in the UK. Previously, an international hedge fund acquired a majority share of Waterstones, a major chain in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

But in a small town in Germany, a little bookstore has ideas about how to keep local businesses alive. Would you like sausage with that?

As a national prison strike was underway, Molly Odintz wondered if incarcerated people have access to crime fiction, and who makes those banned book rules, anyway?

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania follows the lead of other states and the federal government in an effort to ban books donated by volunteers from their prisons, in what critics call a “war on books.”

In other book news, Target came under fire for bleeping publisher-supplied descriptions of books, including the word “transgender,” on their website, claiming they wanted to give customers a “positive experience.”

New York Media, the parent company of New York Magazine and several online publications, plans to triple its book coverage.

How being immersed in a book helps us gain empathy – and why it matters.

Novels are getting longer. Are they getting better?

What’s hot, what’s not? Sophie Masson shares her experience with book promotions that work and ones that have lost the plot.

Five Conversations you should have with your protagonist.

And three things that can help you show, rather than tell.

Chelsea Cain won’t yield to trolls as she brings women into the superhero comic universe.

We all know about the role of forensics and pathology in homicide cases. Who do you call when the crime victim isn’t human?

Guns? Knives? A blunt instrument? If you’re going to murder your husband, you probably don’t want to have published a “how to murder your husband” article beforehand.

Zookeeper “Joe Exotic” decided to outsource the work of murder, but was arrested after getting hooked up with an undercover FBI agent.

Sisters in Crime in the news! 

Two young romance booksellers are bringing authors to television.

 

DEALS:

  • Rachel Caine's untitled books four and five in the series that started with STILLHOUSE LAKE and KILLMAN CREEK, to Liz Pearsons at Thomas & Mercer, in a very nice deal by Lucienne Diver at The Knight Agency.
  • Jennifer Chow's untitled pet store series, an #OwnVoices cozy mystery series featuring a Malaysian-American pet store owner, to Grace House at Berkley, in a three-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds.
  • Kathleen Delaney's BOO, YOU'RE DEAD, book four in the Mary McGill Canine series, to Kate Lyall-Grant at Severn House, in a nice deal, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
  • Laura DiSilverio's A MELANCHOLY OF TOMBSTONES, about a historian who learns she is the daughter of cult leader Jim Jones, to Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink, by Paige Wheeler at Creative Media Agency.
  • Kendra Elliot's new suspense series, to Anh Schluep at Montlake Romance, in a major four-book deal, by Meg Ruley at Jane Rotrosen Agency.
  • Amy Gentry's third thriller, THE HABIT OF RISING EARLY, in which a grad student struggling to escape poverty becomes embroiled in a deadly rivalry, to Helen Atsma at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in a good deal, by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.
  • Traci Hall's MURDER IN A SCOTTISH SHIRE, in which the owner of a specialty sweater shop finds her assistant murdered in her cottage, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a three-book deal, by Evan Marshall at Evan Marshall Agency.
  • Naomi Hirahara's ICED IN PARADISE, the debut of the Leilani Santiago mysteries, set in Kauai and revolving around the protagonist's family's shave ice stand, to Colleen Dunn Bates at Prospect Park Books, by Susie Cohen at PearlCo Literary Agency.
  • Meghan Holloway's ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, a World War II drama about a Welsh soldier-turned-sheep farmer who travels to war-torn France and is aided by a mysterious American ambulance driver, to Jason Pinter at Polis, in a two-book deal.
  • Kate Kingsbury's next books in her PENNYFOOT HOLIDAY MYSTERY series, to Grace House at Berkley, by Paige Wheeler at Creative Media Agency.
  • Carole Lawrence's EDINBURGH DAWN, the next title in the Ian Hamilton Mystery series, to Jessica Tribble at Thomas & Mercer, in a two-book deal, by Paige Wheeler at Creative Media Agency.
  • Agatha Award Nominee Marilyn Levinson writing as Allison Brook's REFERENCED TO DEATH, to Faith Black Ross at Crooked Lane, in a nice two-book deal, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
  • Jenny Milchman's TWELVE MILES FROM MERCY, about a stranger who answers a help-wanted ad from a remote island in Maine only to discover that she may have made a grave mistake, to Shana Drehs at Sourcebooks, by Julia Kenny at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.
  • Susan Richards's WRITE TO DIE, in which a young investigative reporter lands her dream job but quickly finds the dream is a nightmare, to Jennifer McCord at Camel Press, in a three-book deal, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
  • Dr. Deborah Serani's THE NINTH SESSION, in which a man kills another in a fit of rage, igniting his taste for murder, to Sheri Williams at TouchPoint Press.
  • Grace Topping's CHUTE TO KILL, in which a home stager becomes a very reluctant sleuth when the homeowner falls from a laundry chute and lands at her feet, to Kendel Lynn at Henery Press, in a three-book deal, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
  • CJ Tudor's THE OTHER PEOPLE, about a man whose search for his missing family unearths dark secrets from his own past, to Nathan Roberson at Crown, in a major two-book deal, by Madeleine Milburn at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency.
  • Susan Van Kirk's A DEATH AT TIPPITT POND, the first installment of the Beth Russell series, in which a researcher and genealogist who freelances for best-selling authors doesn't realize her own life history is a lie, to Encircle Publications.

 

August 2018

Barnes and Nobles was once considered a threat to independent booksellers. Now it’s turning to its founder, Len Riggio, to save it.

Shelf Awareness has another idea: why not nominate a book person to run the company?

Check out the slate here -- https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-GCX6F63ML/ -- Votes will be tallied on August 31st.

Wall Street Journal reports publishers aren’t happy with the company’s revolving-door leadership – six CEOs in five years (subscription required).

Speaking of independent booksellers, Mystery Lovers Bookshop has new owners.

And, sadly, Aunt Agatha’s is closing its doors.

Is Amazon’s Kindle the only game in town? Walmart is betting on Kobo.

In news from other genres, the Romance Writers Association is revising its policies for the RITA award to avoid bias.

And N. K. Jemisin, an African-American woman, wins the prestigious Hugo Award for science fiction for the third year in a row. In fact, this women scored in all major categories.

Ideas for new novelists that can help even old pros keep going when a story gets stuck.

Want to get to know a character better? Here are some fun icebreakers.

What are your characters yearning for? David Corbett explores the purpose-driven lives of characters.

Writer beware! After four years, author Rachel Ann Nunes finally won her copyright infringement lawsuit against a third-grade teacher who not only copied her novel (and many others), but created sockpuppet accounts using her students’ names to attack her online.

Jess Lourey shares lessons learned as she got the rights to her backlist reverted and released them back into the world.

Belinda Bauer discovered she was a crime writer after publishing her first book. Now she embraces the genre – and she’s up for the Booker Prize.

Her father’s murder puzzled detectives. What really happened, once the investigation was completed, was a mystery for his estranged daughter to solve.

A valuable painting disappeared from an Arizona museum. It wasn’t recovered until years later, after an antique dealer bought the estate of a quiet retired couple who apparently masterminded the theft.

The body of an unidentified woman was found in the dunes on Cape Cod the summer that Jaws was filming. Did Joe Hill actually catch sight of her when watching an anniversary screening of the film, an extra with the same clothing and hair? Or is it the product of an active imagination?

DNA can solve rape cases. So why are so many untested? Will a DNA hack-a-thon help?

The New York Times tracked down the identity of an incisive but anonymous book reviewer. This avid reader was incarcerated in Sing Sing prison over a century ago.

When George Pelecanos was asked by the New York Times "By the Book" feature which crime writers he admired, he named a lot of them. Just not any who were women.

Author Lauren Groff responded on Twitter "This one goes out to all the men who contacted me to say that my interview (in these same pages) was bitterly unfair because I said out [loud] that men don't read women: Here you go, sweet gents." And many of the 100+ comments to her tweet agreed. 

 

Deals:

  • Ann Aguirre's MURDERING MARLENA, pitched as a dark and twisted Cinderella Story, to Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink, in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver at The Knight Agency.
  •  Tessa Arlen's POPPY REDFERN AND THE MIDNIGHT MURDERS, the first book in a new historical mystery series set in a remote English village during WWII, to Michelle Vega at Berkley, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2019, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
  •  Christine Blum (writing under a pseudonym)'s first two installments in a family farm cozy mystery series set in Santa Barbara, to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, with Jenny Chen editing, in a two-book deal, by Sharon Belcastro at Belcastro Agency.
  •  Nancy Boyarsky signed a contract with Light Messages Publishing for the fourth book in the Nicole Graves Mysteries in a "nice deal.”
  •  Beth Daniels, writing as J.B. Dane, has signed a three (3) book contract with new publishing firm Burns and Lea for her urban fantasy mystery series, The Raven Tales, featuring magic yielding PI Bram Farrell, aka The Raven.
  •  Jen Danna with Ann Vanderlaan's LAMENT THE COMMON BONES, in which an anatomical skeleton in a Harvard lab is discovered to be a murder victim, to Dana Grimaldi at Harlequin Worldwide Mysteries, by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency. 
  •  Also, Jen Danna and Ann Vanderlaan writing as Sara Driscoll's fourth and fifth books in their FBI K-9 series, to Esi Sogah at Kensington, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2020, by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency (world). 
  •  NYT bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mystery Series Krista Davis's next two books in the PEN & INK MYSTERY series, featuring a coloring bookstore owner turned amateur sleuth, to Wendy McCurdy at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds. 
  •  Author of THE GIRL FACTORY Karen Dietrich's THE BOTTOM OF THE DEEP BLUE SEA, a nature vs. nurture psychological thriller, to Beth de Guzman at Grand Central, with Alex Logan editing, by Alice Martell at The Martell Agency.
  •  Amy Green's THE PRIZED GIRL, a debut following the dual narratives of two sisters: a young pageant queen found murdered, and her older half-sister, who takes matters into her own hands to solve her murder to Jessica Renheim at Dutton, in a pre-empt, by Brandi Bowles at UTA.
  •  Author of the Deep Fried Mystery series Linda Reilly's next two books in the CAT LADY COZY MYSTERY series, featuring a cat shelter owner and amateur sleuth, to Martin Biro at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds.
  •  Susan Sleeman's SECONDS TO LIVE, in which cybercriminals hack into the U.S. Marshal's Witness Protection database and begin selling personal details to the highest bidder, to David Long at Bethany House, in a three-book deal, by Chip MacGregor at MacGregor Literary. 
  •  Winner of the Gran Giallo Citta di Cattolica literary prize for her debut thriller Ilaria Tuti's FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO, the first in an Italian procedural trilogy featuring a detective and criminal profiler in her 60s to Amara Hoshijo at Soho Press, for publication in April 2019, by Jessica Purdue at Orion on behalf of Federico Andornino at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 
  •  Kirsten Weiss's fourth and fifth books in the PIE TOWN SERIES, where a pie-shop owner must navigate new family members, an octogenarian pie crust specialist, and murder, to Esi Sogah at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Jill Marsal at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. 

 

July 2018

Mia Manansala is the winner of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award for 2018. Find out more at www.sistersincrime.org/etb18.

Leila Sales shares 10 truths every editor knows, and 10 truths every author knows, as someone who wears both hats: What Authors and Editors Wish They Could Say to One Another

Sisters in Crime recently participated in the Authors Guild salary survey. Jane Friedman’s take on the reliability and usefulness of such author income surveys might be of interest to members.

Three bestselling authors claim publishers are paying writers a pittance, with wages falling 42% since 2005, placing most writers way below the minimum wage.

Can’t afford to give up the day job? Using an algorithm to help identify budding “career authors,” De Montfort Literature plans to offer writers a £24,000 ($31,500) salary.

Some publishers are starting to acquire books written by black, Asian and other minority writers that feature more character diversity, but barriers remain.

In case anyone thinks misogyny is a new thing, a conspiracy to suppress Mary Magdalene is no longer just a Dan Brown plot.

It starts with a story. Just north of Homer, Alaska, Storyknife, a women's writing retreat, is being built. Sisters in Crime’s own Dana Stabenow hopes it will give women writers a space to create.

Why four millennials bought a used bookstore on Capitol Hill: Chaotic Glory.

Many booksellers on Amazon strive to sell their wares as cheaply as possible. That, after all, is usually how you make a sale in a competitive marketplace. Other merchants favor a counterintuitive approach: Mark the price up to the moon. David Streitfeld explores the “Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback.”

Books of gibberish were being listed on Amazon for thousands of dollars, with one author claiming his name was stolen to send almost $24,000 to a fraudulent seller. What was going on? Money laundering, it turns out.

This year’s long list for the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious award for novels, created an uproar when it included Sabrina, a novel in comic book format.

Solving a cold case these days isn’t all about genetic databases and DNA. Thanks in part to Internet sleuths and good, old-fashioned detective work, a skeleton found in 1975 is no longer just a ‘Jane Doe’.

Meanwhile, police in search of a killer live tweeted a murdered girl’s last day. The tweets were all in Linda O’Keefe’s voice, as though she were live-tweeting the last day of her life -- in 1973.

She threw a welcome party for herself at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for more than 400 of L.A.’s literati: authors, editors, publishers, book reviewers, literary agents, and the local independent presses. Soon everyone was asking, “Who is Anna March?

If you wrote it into a novel, they’d never believe it! Police say a 71-year-old Florida man tied a gun to a weather balloon in order to fake his own murder.

Just in case the real world isn’t scary enough for you, the New York Times asked thirteen authors to recommend the most frightening book they every read. Turn on all the lights! Here’s what they came up with.

And here to feed your true crime obsession are twelve Essential Podcasts of Summer.


Deals:

  • Susanna Calkins's MURDER KNOCKS TWICE, the first in her new Speakeasy Murders mystery series, set in 1920s Chicago and featuring an amateur sleuth, to April Osborn at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2019, by David Hale Smith at Inkwell Management
  • Agatha Award winner and USA Today bestseller Amanda Flower's AMISH MATCHMAKER MYSTERY series, a spin-off of her Amish Candy Shop series, in which a sixty-something Amish widow spends her days matching up Amish couples and solving murders in Ohio's Amish country, to Alicia Condon at Kensington, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2020, by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency
  • In a very nice, world rights deal, Amazon Publishing/Thomas & Mercer editorial director Grace Doyle acquired two titles by #1 NYTimes bestselling author Lee Goldberg, including LOST HILLS, the first in a new series about the youngest female homicide detective in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Goldberg did not use an agent in the deal. This is the second series Goldberg has sold to T & M, following his #1 Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller TRUE FICTION, which launched in April 2018, and the sequel, KILLER THRILLER, which will be released in February 2019
  • Julie McElwain's BETRAYAL IN TIME, the fourth in a series of historical crime fiction set in 19th century England, to Katie McGuire at Pegasus, in a nice deal, for publication in July 2019, by Jill Grosjean at Jill Grosjean Literary Agency
  • Margaret Mizushima's fifth book in the Timber Creek K-9 series, to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, for publication in fall 2019, by Terrie Wolf at AKA Literary
  • USA Today bestselling author of the Sano Ichiro mysteries and THE RIPPER'S SHADOW series Laura Joh Rowland's THE HIDDEN MOTHER, continuing the Victorian mystery series begun with THE RIPPER'S SHADOW and A MORTAL LIKENESS, featuring a photographer and her motley crew of investigators, this time involving a once-beautiful but now disfigured unidentified woman left for dead, to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, with Jenny Chen editing, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in January 2020 and January 2021, by Pam Ahearn at Ahearn Agency
  • Katie Ruggle's's ROCKY MOUNTAIN MYSTERIES, about a fish-out-of-water New Yorker inheriting a derelict library in the heart of a small mountain town filled with secrets worth killing for, to Mary Altman at Sourcebooks Landmark, in a three-book deal, for publication in fall 2020, by Jessica Watterson at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
  • Author of ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN and EMMA IN THE NIGHT Wendy Walker's THE NIGHT BEFORE, told in two time frames, about a woman who doesn't return home after an online date and her sister's race against the clock to find her, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin's, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2019, by Wendy Sherman at Wendy Sherman Associates

 

June 2018

Ouch! Barnes & Noble posted a loss of $125 million on a 6% drop in sales for FY 2018.

BookBub gathered tips from publishers, agents and vendors to report on 9 top book-marketing takeaways from the 2018 BookExpo, held in New York City in early June.

The Hachette Book Group has launched Novel Suspects, a mystery/thriller vertical that features movies, TV shows, and podcasts along with books. The vertical is comprised of a website, Facebook page and a free weekly newsletter highlighting content from the site, and promoting things like contests and sweepstakes to "strengthen our ability to reach out directly to mystery and thriller fans."

“Imagine being in your hometown grocery store,” muses Dana Schwartz, “standing in the dairy aisle while every person you went to high school with walks past, and you’re naked, except for a sandwich board that says, ‘Please give me $15.’” That’s book promotion. And, no, her book is not a ‘guilty pleasure’ just because she’s a woman.

Authors including AA Dhand, Steph Cha and Alex Segura explain how they are broadening the horizons of a traditionally white, male genre.

Publishers are paying writers a pittance, say bestselling authors Philip Pullman, Antony Beevor and Sally Gardner. They call for a fairer share of profits, as a survey shows full-time writers earn well below the minimum wage.

Want to read Michael Lewis’s next work? You’ll have to listen to it first. Last month, the Atlantic Monthly reporter signed a multiyear contract with Audible for four audio original stories, and plans to narrate them himself.

The screenwriter behind the 2015 adaptation of And Then There Were None and 2016’s The Witness for the Prosecution describes why Agatha Christie’s stories are perfect for TV and film, and why she likes to re-imagine them for the screen.

“Violent men unknown to me have occupied my mind all my adult life,” Michelle McNamara wrote in I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. Megan Abott wonders, Why do we — women in particular — love true crime books?

They used it to capture the Golden State Killer. Now, DNA detectives are at it again. This time, investigators grabbed a popular DJ’s gum. It helped crack a teacher’s 1992 murder.

Cult New York photographer Weegee was often found at crime scenes before the police, and his stark pictures gained him notoriety and ultimately fame in the art world. His work has now been turned into the graphic novel Weegee: Serial Photographer.

The Vatican Library is making 15,000 manuscripts available online for free! Use this link to explore a selection of digitized materials from their vast catalogue.

Stranger than fiction: When the new owners of the chateau of Picomtal decided to renovate the parquet in some of their upstairs rooms, they made a remarkable discovery: a hidden diary.  Written by a carpenter on the floorboards of a French Alpine chateau, it provides a rare insight into the private lives of villagers in the late 19th Century.

When McGill student Eric Abramovitz won a scholarship to study clarinet with a prestigious L.A. professor, Jennifer Lee began a ‘despicable’ scheme of fake emails to stop him. Now she’s been ordered to pay $375,000 for sabotaging her boyfriend's promising musical career.

In case you missed it: A judge has denied a romance author’s brazen attempt to trademark the word 'Cocky.'

And here’s two article tips on craft from contributor Leone Ciporin:

How best to weave “beats” into dialogue.

And the science of the plot twist


DEALS

  • Beachwalk Press has bought Dawn Barclay’s contemporary romance/erotica COMMUNICATION SKILLS (written as Minxie Wells.) As D.M. Barr, Dawn sold SLASHING MONA LISA, a romantic suspense novel dealing with murder, body acceptance and fat shaming, also to Beachwalk Press for a summer 2018 publication date.
  • Eve Calder's AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS, the first in the Cookie Shop Mystery series, set in Coral Cay, Florida, featuring a newcomer resident who is a cookie baker extraordinaire, to Alexandra Sehulster at St. Martin's, in a three-book deal, by Erin Niumata at Folio Literary Management.
  • NYT bestselling author Kate Carlisle's 7th and 8th books in the FIXER UPPER Mystery series, featuring Lighthouse Cove's premier contractor who restores Victorian homes to their former glory while catching criminals, again to Michelle Vega at Berkley, by Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen Agency.
  • Aoife Clifford's SECOND SIGHT, in which a corporate lawyer witnesses a murder in her small hometown that draws her into an investigation of a violent past she can no longer ignore, to Bowen Dunnan at Pegasus, for publication in summer 2019, by Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management on behalf of Clare Forster at Curtis Brown Australia.
  • Vivian Conroy's STATIONERY SHOP MYSTERY, about a paper crafter who realizes her dream by becoming co-owner of her best friend's stationery shop in picturesque Tundish, Montana, but when murder crashes their Glitter Galore workshop and her friend's brother is arrested, she enlists the quirky Paper Posse and a retired K9 to track the real killer, to Anna Michels at Sourcebooks, in a three-book deal, by Jill Marsal at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
  • BOO, YOU'RE DEAD, the 4th in Kathleen Delaney's Mary McGill Canine Mysteries, where a Halloween party in a city park goes terribly wrong, and Mary and her cocker, Millie, solve a bank robbery and murder where the motive goes much deeper than money, to Kate Lyall Grant at Severn House by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
  • Sandra Gardner's paranormal cozies, GRAVE EXPECTATIONS and DEATH OF A NUISANCE, second and third book in the Mother-and-Me Mystery Series, will be published in 2018 by Black Opal Books. The series features Marabella Vinegar as the accidental detective, and her recently deceased mother -- the bane of her existence in life -- as her sidekick.
  • Television rights to Victoria Gilbert's A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS and SHELVED UNDER MURDER, the first two books in her Blue Ridge Library Mystery series about a 30-something librarian who uses her intelligence and research skills to help solve murders in her historic Virginia mountain town, to Sony Pictures Television by Matt Martz at Crooked Lane Books and by Frances Black, Literary Counsel. In addition, audiobook rights to the series have been acquired by Tantor Media.
  • Sara Johnson's MOLTEN MUD MURDER, about a body found submerged in a molten mud pot in New Zealand by a bus of tourists, identifiable only by his teeth—the first in a new forensic mystery series featuring a forensic odontologist who investigates the most gruesome of deaths, to Diane DiBiase at Poisoned Pen Press, for publication in fall 2019, by Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency.
  • Author of the Austin Starr mystery series Kay Kendall's AFTER YOU'VE GONE, the prequel to the series, set during Prohibition, in which a sheltered young woman spots a murder in her family while everyone else in the small Texas town thinks it was a tragic accident, and so she sets out to find the killer, to Ken Coffman at Stairway Press, in a nice deal, for publication in late 2018.
  • Meg Macy's next book in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Cozy Mysteries, HAVE YOURSELF A BEARY LITTLE MURDER, to Wendy McCurdy at Kensington, by John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency.
  • Patricia Marcantonio's's FELICITY CARROL AND THE LADY OF THE LAKE, in which a Victorian heiress more interested in forensic science than obeying her absent father's wishes to marry, risks her fortune and life to solve a murder that leads to a world of stolen antiquities, medieval weaponry, and royal secrets, to Faith Black Ross at Crooked Lane, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Elizabeth Kracht at Kimberley Cameron & Associates.
  • Amanda McCabe (writing as Eliza Casey)'s two installments in a Downton Abbey-inspired historical mystery series, following amateur sleuth Lady Cecilia as she solves mysteries with the help of an American maid and her intuitive cat, to Grace House at Berkley, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2019 and 2020, by Gail Fortune at Talbot Fortune Agency.
  • NYT bestselling author Jenn McKinlay's BURIED TO THE BRIM, book six in the Hat Shop Mystery series, set at Britain's most fashionable dog show, where two milliners must sniff out a killer before their sweet aunt is collared for a crime she didn't commit, again to Kate Seaver at Berkley, for publication in early 2020, by Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen Agency.
  • Edith Maxwell's books #7-9 in her popular cozy Country Store Mysteries (written as Maddie Day) in a nice deal to John Scognamiglio at Kensington Publishing by John Talbot at the Talbot Fortune Agency. Also to John Scognamiglio by John Talbot a Christmas novella featuring the protagonist, Robbie Jordan, and Pans 'N Pancakes, her country store restaurant in southern Indiana. The collection of three novellas, CHRISTMAS COCOA MURDERS, will release in fall, 2019.
  • Lisa Sandlin's A JOB FOR DELPHA series, in which a woman who went to prison for killing her rapist begins a career as the receptionist at Phelan Investigations in 1970s Beaumont, to Lee Byrd at Cinco Puntos Press, in a very nice deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2019, and by Jennifer Thompson at Nordlyset Literary Agency.
  • NYT bestselling author Denise Swanson's next two books in the WELCOME BACK TO SCUMBLE RIVER series, to Anna Michels at Sourcebooks, in a two-book deal, by Laura Blake Peterson at Curtis Brown.
  • USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate's THE BODIES IN THE LIBRARY, featuring the curator of Bath, England's largest collection of first edition mysteries, who has never read a detective story but finds herself solving a real-life murder, to Michelle Vega at Berkley, in a three-book deal, by Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen Agency.

 

 

May 2018

In 1987, Jay Cook, 20, and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, a couple from Canada, were brutally killed while they were vacationing in Washington State. A suspect is now in custody, thanks to the same DNA technique used to capture the infamous Golden State Killer.

Cockygate!” Romance author Faleena Hopkins has obtained a U.S. trademark registration for the word, “Cocky” as used in connection with romance novels, and has been threatening other authors with claims of trademark infringement for their use of the word cocky in titles and as names for their characters.

Nate Hoffelder is appalled by this form of “trademark bullying.”

And here’s Passive Guy’s cogent analysis of the “Trademark Cockup.” [And be sure to read the comments!]

But, yay! On June 1, the Writers Guild and the RWA prevailed in court which agreed that “no one should be able to own exclusive rights to use a common word in book or book series titles.”

The Hot Sheet interviews best-selling author Marie Force about her new support network for Indie authors. The Indie Author Support Network enters the scene: “By Indies, For Indies!”

“So, how much do you make?” Would you ask your doctor this question? Your plumber? Author Judy Penz Sheluk’s blog hits a familiar nerve with readers who write for a living.

We all have ways of reviewing books we've read, whether it's writing in down in a notebook, leaving an online review, or telling everyone in earshot about it. Stefanie Dreyfuss, used her own personal system of abbreviations. It’s totally inspired and brutally honest.

New SincLinks volunteer, Leone Ciporin, offers these helpful tips for writers.

Four danger signs to search for before sending out your novel.

What I wish I’d known about character arcs.

And how best to convey emotion.

Apropos to those of us who allow our characters to age and especially those of us with characters in long-term relationships.

Why is it that the central metaphor of young adult fiction seems to be the use of magic and the supernatural as a stand-in for the delights and horrors of adolescence?

To blog or not to blog? That is the question. P.S. Hoffman points out five ways an author blog could kill your writing, and what you should do instead.

Authors have a way with words, so it’s no surprise that they come up with some of the most inventive put-downs. Often the sharpest wits come up with the cruelest jibes to insult their fellow writers.

“There is no such word as …” someone said. Here are seven very real words once (and still often) called illegitimate.

One space or two between each sentence? Science weighs in on the recent debate.

Grisly Murders and Serial Killers? Ooh, Tell Me More! The podcast “My Favorite Murder” has legions of female fans who call themselves Murderinos and have turned the show’s hosts, Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, into global stars.

Mystery buffs in the White House! There’s a long tradition of chief executives devouring thrillers, mysteries and detective stories.

The sun is out and the days are long! The New York Times offers a list of 73 books to read: thrillers, romances, cookbooks, the great outdoors … and more.

And where are you going to buy your summer reading? Eleven authors recommend U.S. bookstores worth traveling for!

Hurry! There’s still time to enter your book into the drawing for July's ALA Book Club Central. This month’s theme is Mysteries from Sea to Shining Sea. Too late for the June 8th deadline? Check out future month's themes. Submission guidelines and deadlines are here:  https://www.sistersincrime.org/page/BookClub

DEALS:

  • NYT bestseller Nevada Barr's stand-alone crime novel about a woman in her sixties who emerges from a mental fog to find that she's trapped in her worst nightmare — someone has systemically drugging her and committed her to an Alzheimer's Unit in a nursing home, to Keith Kahla at Minotaur, by Dominick Abel at Dominick Abel Associates
  • USA Today best selling author Catherine Bruns’s TOMATO SAUCE IS LETHAL, the first in the Italian Cook cozy mystery series, in which a recently widowed cook must solve the not-so-accidental murder of her husband by infiltrating a mafia-connected pizzeria, to Anna Michels at Sourcebooks, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in winter 2019, by Nikki Terpilowski at Holloway Literary
  • Julia Buckley's WRITER'S APPRENTICE MYSTERIES, two more books in the series, to Michelle Vega at Berkley, in a two-book deal, by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds
  • Kate Collins's STATUE OF LIMITATIONS, the first book in the new Goddess of Greene Mystery series, a spin-off of her Flower Shop Mystery series, in which the "Goddess of Greene Street," must rescue her zany Greek family's garden center business and solve a murder, to Martin Biro at Kensington, in a nice deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication in Early 2020, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds
  • Kensington has sold to Tantor the audiobook rights to all four of Mary Feliz’s mysteries. The fourth book in the series, DISORDERLY CONDUCT, will be released by Kensington Lyrical in July 2018.
  • Author of A DEATH OF NO IMPORTANCE Mariah Fredericks's next two books in the Jane Prescott series, set in early twentieth century New York where ladies' maid and amateur sleuth Jane moves between the city's wealthy elite and its underbelly to solve murders, to Catherine Richards at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, for publication in Winter 2020, by Victoria Skurnick at Levine Greenberg Rostan
  • Tana French's THE WITCH ELM, a standalone novel that turns a crime story inside out, to Andrea Schulz at Viking, for publication in October 2018
  • Author of CLASS REUNIONS ARE MURDER Libby Klein's next two books in the Poppy McAllister series, including THEATER NIGHTS ARE MURDER, in which Poppy solves a murder during the senior center's production of Mamma Mia, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Annie Bomke at Annie Bomke Literary Agency
  • Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, has signed with Crooked Lane Books for books 3 and 4 of her Haunted Library mystery series, by Dawn Dowdle at the Blue Ridge Literary Agency
  • Julie Anne Lindsey's CIDER SHOP MYSTERY, when a body is found in the apple press of a Blue Ridge Mountain orchard, a determined resident sets out to clear her family's name, get justice for the victim and save the family orchard in time for Christmas, but gains the killer's attention in the process, to Martin Biro at Kensington, in a three-book deal, by Jill Marsal at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  • 2017 winner of the Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition SC Perkins's MURDER ONCE REMOVED, the first in a series set in Austin, Texas following a genealogist who unwittingly finds herself in the cross-hairs of a generations' old murder mystery while drafting a client's family tree, to Hannah Braaten at Minotaur, for publication in Spring 2019, by Christina Hogrebe and Jessica Errera at Jane Rotrosen Agency
  • Sgt. Adam Plantinga of the San Francisco Police Department (and Mister in Crime) has a nonfiction book coming out from Quill Driver Books on December 2018: Ask/Tell/Order/Make: A Police Sergeant Reflects on the Job, a sequel to 400 Things Cops Know
  • D.M. Quincy's MURDER AT THE OPERA, book three in her Atlas Catesby Regency historical mystery series, in which an aristocratic adventurer and amateur sleuth believes his investigatory skills could finally put the man responsible for his beloved sister's death behind bars when the suspect is linked to another murder, to Faith Black at Crooked Lane, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  • Maggie Robinson's NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW, the fIrst Lady Adelaide 1920s-era cozy mystery, where a widowed marquess' daughter must solve a death at her dinner party with the help of an Anglo-Indian police inspector...and the ghost of her late and unlamented husband, to Barbara Peters at Poisoned Pen Press, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency
  • Linda Wiken writing as Essie Lang's THE CASTLE BOOKSTORE MYSTERIES, a new cozy series set in the Thousand Islands, NY, to Faith Black Ross at Crooked Lane, in a three-book deal, by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds

 

April 2018

The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, remained unidentified for years until investigators turned to a creative strategy using DNA and ancestry databases.

A cold-case identifying a New Hampshire killer is what inspired the detective to try genealogy.

The new strategy is raising legal and privacy concerns.  

Thanks largely to special events, many once endangered bookstores are booming again!

Eric Grundhauser rates sixty-two of the world’s best independent bookstores. Is yours among them?

British book publishers fear Brexit will bring a U.S. invasion: At stake: the lucrative European book market.

In a groundbreaking study of more than two million books published in North America between 2002 and 2012, scholars found that books by women authors are priced 45% less than those of their male counterparts.

Lev Raphael relates how his worst review taught him a valuable lesson.

Stacey Keith is an award-winning, bestselling writer who just finished a four-book contract with a major publisher and yet she’s “published and poor,” and not happy about it.

Boobs: Front and Center. New Yorker writer Katy Waldman weighs in on the male gaze in literature and expands on the recent twitter storm on how women see how male authors see them.

For those that really want to do read all the thousands of responses, you must check out writer and podcaster, Whit Reynolds who issued the challenge to her Twitter followers to describe themselves as a male author would.

You can also read the young adult author, Gwen Katz, who ripped into a deluded male author for disparaging the #ownvoices movement.

The Washington Post weighs in: if male authors described men in literature they way they describe women.

Looking to add to your summer reading list? Top writers choose their perfect crime novel.


DEALS

  • Lorna Barrett's Books 13 and 14 in the Booktown mystery series, featuring mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Tricia Miles, to Tom Colgan at Berkley, in a very nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds
  • Julia Bricklin signed a “nice” deal for an upcoming True Crime book, Blonde Rattlesnake, a narrative history of the trial of 19-year-old Burmah White and the violent crime spree she and her husband committed in a sweltering Los Angeles summer at the height of the Great Depression. Suzy Evans of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency brokered the deal with Lyons Press.
  • Julia Buckley’s agent, Kim Lionetti, sold a 4th and 5th book in her Writer's Apprentice Cozy Gothic Mystery Series to Michelle Vega at Berkley Prime Crime. She also sold all five books to Tantor Publishing for audio versions.
  • TV writer and author Ellen Byron's next two books in her Cajun Country mysteries, set on an old antebellum plantation house turned B&B in the Louisiana bayou, to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, by Doug Grad at Doug Grad Literary Agency.
  • Peggy Ehrhart's next three books in her Knit & Nibble cozy mystery series, about a knitting club whose members have a talent for solving murders, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, by Evan Marshall at the Evan Marshall Agency
  • Sharon Ervin’s 14th published novel, DO YOU LOVE ME, to Austin Camacho at Intrigue Publishing for a May 2018 publication date.
  • Sharon Farrow's next two books in her BERRY BASKET cozy mystery series set along the shores of Lake Michigan, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington Books, in a nice deal, by John Talbot at the Talbot Fortune Agency
  • Sofie Kelly's 11th and 12th installments in the Magical Cats cozy mystery series, to Jessica Wade at Berkley, in a very nice deal, by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds
  • Meagan Kish's THE DARKEST CURRENT, featuring a bride-to-be, who, when her fiancee is killed days before their wedding, goes on a hunt for his killer, to Ronnie Hart at Taylor and Seale, in a nice deal, by Charlene Visco at Parkeast Literary
  • Kathryn Long signed a deal with Black Opal Books for her mystery BURIED IN SIN, to be released in 2019, in which researcher Sarah Mackenzie stumbles upon the body of someone she thought died ten years ago. Digging into Seneca Indian folklore and her past, Sarah races to find the killer before he can murder again.
  • Meg Macy's next book in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear cozy mystery series set in Southeastern Michigan, HAVE YOURSELF A BEARY LITTLE MURDER, to Wendy McCurdy at Kensington Books, by John Talbot at the Talbot Fortune Agency.
  • Mystery Writers of America with MWA Grand Masters Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, eds., DEADLY ANNIVERSARIES, 75th Anniversary Anthology, featuring stories of crime and mystery from some of the biggest and most award-winning names in the industry, all of whom have been selected to put their own unique spin on what it means to commemorate a certain day or event, to Peter Joseph at Hanover Square Press, at auction, by Alec Shane at Writers House
  • HGTV and DIY Network television executive Carrie Regan's debut, about an unlikely, young master forger of high-end wine and a half-million-dollar bottle that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, to Dan Mayer at Seventh Street, in a nice deal, by Grace Ross at Regal Hoffmann & Associates
  • Sarah Schulman's MAGGIE TERRY, a modern noir about a disgraced female police detective now working as a private investigator, trying to live a sober life while investigating the murder of a young actress in contemporary New York, to Lauren Hook at Feminist Press, for publication in September 2018, by Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret
  • Paige Shelton's books 5 & 6 in the SCOTTISH BOOKSHOP MYSTERY SERIES, a cozy mystery series featuring the bookseller of an Edinburg Bookshop, to Hannah Braaten at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds
  • Rosemary Simpson's books 4 and 5 in the Gilded Age Mystery Series, set in 1880s New York, featuring unconventional heroine Prudence MacKenzie, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds
  • Marcia Talley’s seventeenth Hannah Ives mystery, TANGLED ROOTS, to Kate Lyle-Grant at Severn House in a nice deal, by Vicky Bijur at Vicky Bijur Literary Agency.
  • PJ Tracy's THE GUILTY DEAD, and an additional novel in the long-running MONKEEWRENCH series, in which two Minneapolis detectives and the team of renegade computer hackers they rely on to help crack cases investigate the supposed suicide of a wealthy businessman, written solely by Traci Lambrecht following the death of her mother and writing partner Patricia "P.J." Lambrecht in 2017, to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, in a two-book deal, for publication in August 2018, by Ellen Geiger at Frances Goldin Literary Agency
  • Kate Young's SOUTHERN SASS AND KILLER CRAVINGS, the first in the Southern Sass cozy mystery series, about a disheartened woman, haunted by her mother's spirit, who returns home to rebuild her life, only to uncover unsavory secrets and killer cravings, to John Scognamiglioat Kensington, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in June 2019, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency

 

March 2018

Oh, no! We hate to post this announcement from Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

"Dear Beloved Customers and Readers, We are regretful but ready to announce that we will be closing Aunt Agatha’s in August of this year. We have enjoyed getting to know many of you, discussing books with you, sharing author events with you and sharing the love of mysteries with you for 26 years. Many of you we are happy to think of as friends. It’s been a wonderful journey. As in the great Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express there are many culprits for our demise – we are getting older; constant street construction; Amazon; and fierce local competition. We hope you will keep local bookstores vital and alive by patronizing the many exciting stores that remain open. Robin and Jamie."

Shakespeare & Co. plans to open three new bookstores!

Author Philip Pullman calls for authors to get a fairer share of publisher profits.

New York Times critics chose 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.

Women laugh, men chuckle, and other differences uncovered by algorithms: Researchers use big data to examine gender in fiction.

Fed up British authors are calling for a bar to Americans winning the prestigious Man Booker prize.

Cozy authors find a welcome home at Kensington Publishers.

The practice of covering a book's jacket with expressions of praise and enticing descriptions of what's inside is an old one. Here’s the must-read, smash hit story of “Blurb.”

The greatest mystery that Agatha Christie ever created was her own life.

Harper Lee is Watching Somewhere: The New York Times asked 7 lawyers to untangle the Broadway fight over the stage adaptation of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

A con man, and the women who busted him.

Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca at 80: why we will always return to Manderley.

And now for something completely different! The most important part of a novel isn’t the plot, the characters, or the language. It’s the elevator pitch. This handy chart automatically generates a pitch for your new novel.

DEALS:

  • Adriana Anders's WHITEOUT, beginning a new series in which a scientist and a chef work together to survive alone in the Antarctic, while their biggest enemy closes in, again to Mary Altman at SourceBooks in a four-book deal, by Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency
  • Leslie Budewitz’s next two books in the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, #4 CHAI ANOTHER DAY, and untitled #5, to Dan Mayer of Seventh Street Books, by John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency.
  • NYT and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon's three new holiday novellas in the TOURIST TRAP series, in which a gang gathers to celebrate and end up solving more murders, to Esi Sogah at Kensington, Jill Marsal at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  • Sharon Farrow's next two books in her BERRY BASKET cozy mystery series set along the shores of Lake Michigan, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington Books, in a nice deal, by John Talbot at the Talbot Fortune Agency.
  • Darlene Franklin's NUTS FOR COFFEE, about a simple, tasty birthday gift that becomes a murder weapon - part of the Coffee Club Mysteries, to Rebecca Germany at Barbour, by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary
  • Author of DEAD AND BREAKFAST and DOOM WITH A VIEW Doreen Roberts Hight writing as Kate Kingsbury's BE OUR GHOST, next title in the Merry Ghost Inn series, again to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, by Paige Wheeler at Creative Media Agency
  • Serena Kent's DEATH IN PROVENCE, the first in the series of mysteries set in the Luberon Valley and featuring a young-at-heart divorcee with a knack for stumbling across dead French bodies, to Jennifer Barth at Harper, by Stephanie Cabot of The Gernert Company
  • Rita Lakin's GETTING OLD CAN HURT YOU, pitched in the vein of THE OLD LADY WHO..., in which an intrepid senior sleuth and her retirement home compatriots return in their 8th outing to tackle murder and mayhem, and GETTING OLD CAN HAUNT YOU, to Kate Lyall-Grant at Severn House, by Nancy Yost at Nancy Yost Literary Agency
  • Author of the Nick & Nora Mysteries T.C. LoTempio's THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW, the first in the A PURR N BARK PET SHOP series, featuring an actress, who returns to her hometown after her TV series is cancelled to take over her late aunt's pet shop--to find that the town is filled with feuding socialites (and a handsome detective), to Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink, in a three-book deal, by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler
  • Loretta Marion's THE LIGHTERMAN'S CURSE, set on Cape Cod and pitched with the atmosphere of a Daphne du Maurier novel, to Shannon Jamieson Vazquez at Crooked Lane, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Jill Grosjean at the Jill Grosjean Literary Agency
  • Victoria Christopher Murray's ENVY, the second in a series about the seven deadly sins, in which two young women, one rich and one from the streets learn that they are actually sisters, again to Lauren Spiegel at Touchstone, by Liza Dawson of Liza Dawson Associates
  • Andrea Penrose's MURDER AT KENSINGTON PALACE, next in the Wrexford & Sloane historical mystery series, in which the murder of a childhood friend forces a young widow, who secretly pens satirical cartoons, to re-enter aristocratic society along with her partner in crime, a brilliant Lord and scientist, to Wendy McCurdy at Kensington in a two-book deal, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  • Rosemarie Ross's COBBLERED TO DEATH, the first in the new Courtney Archer Mystery series featuring a female chef with her own cooking show who reluctantly agrees to co-host a reality TV baking competition and soon finds herself involved in a culinary-themed murder, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a nice 3-book deal, by Melissa Jeglinski at The Knight Agency
  • Eileen Watkins's GONE, KITTY, GONE, the fourth book in her cozy mystery series featuring a cat groomer, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a three-book deal, by Evan Marshall at the Evan Marshall Agency
  • Kathryn Long signed a deal with Black Opal Books for her mystery BURIED IN SIN, to be released in 2019, in which researcher Sarah Mackenzie stumbles upon the body of someone she thought died ten years ago. Digging into Seneca Indian folklore and her past, Sarah races to find the killer before he can murder again

 

February 2018

Data Guy is back with the January 2018 comprehensive report of US online book sales, Q2-Q4 2017.

The ebook is a stupid product. No creativity, no enhancement,” rants Arnauld Nourry, CEO of Hachette.

Lionel Shriver, the We Need to Talk About Kevin author, says novelists today are contending with “a torrent of dos and don’ts” that puts the genre at risk.

In this #MeToo age where we are all more sensitive to harassment, abuse, and consent issues, Joanne Grant wonders where romance novels are headed.

Basically written off by many of his publishing peers when he left Random House nine years ago, Stephen Rubin is back on top with Henry Holt. The reason? A certain book about the White House. Meet publishing’s 76-year-old “comeback kid.”

Nearly 40 years after his death, Alfred Hitchcock remains a brand name in the thriller genre, not just among directors, but for crime writers as well.

Eighty years on, Rebecca, Daphne duMaurier’s bestselling novel, reveals much about the author’s fluid sexuality – her ‘Venetian tendencies’ – and about being a boy stuck in the wrong body, writes Olivia Laing.

Under pressure from the New York Times, Harper Lee’s will is finally unsealed, but reading the document only deepens to the mystery.

This man collected 6,000 orphaned Polaroids. A picture can paint a thousand words … so, Zeleny invited writers to write fictional stories behind the images.

DEALS:

  • Amina Akhtar's #FASHIONVICTIM, where an aspiring fashion editor, style maven, velvet-rope VIP, Instagram trendsetter, social media chameleon, moonlighting serial killer; she never goes anywhere without her lipstick, phone, credit cards and switchblade; fashion faux-pas can prove to be fatal to anyone who is unfortunate enough to clash with her aesthetic or get in the way of her ambition for the top of the masthead, to Chelsey Emmelhainz at Crooked Lane, by Deborah Schneider of Gelfman Schneider/ICM
  • NYT bestselling author Tilly Bagshawe, writing under the name M.B. Shaw's MURDER AT THE MILL, a cozy Christmas mystery, to Thomas Dunne, with Samantha Zukergood editing, at Minotaur, for publication in Fall 2018, by Jessica Purdue at Orion Books
  • Mary Ellis's HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT, book one, Marked for Retribution Mysteries, when a PI on the run from her past rents a room above an Italian restaurant, she lands in the middle of handsome chef's family feud with robbery, arson and murder for the daily specials, to Kate Lyall Grant of Severn House, by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency
  • NYT bestselling author Linda Fairstein's next two Alexandra Cooper thrillers, to Stephanie Kelly at Dutton, for publication in January 2019 and January 2020, by Esther Newberg at ICM
  • Caz Frear's SWEET LITTLE LIES, featuring DC Cat Kinsella of the London Metropolitan Force, to Emily Griffin at Harper, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2018 and 2019, by Ruth Logan at Bonnier (NA).
    TV rights to Carnival Films in the UK by Frear's agent, Eugenie Furniss at Furniss Lawton
  • Ellen Hart has a new, two book contract with Kelley Ragland at St. Martin’s/Minotaur. Agent Deborah Schneider negotiated this nice deal
  • J.A Kazimer's THE ANGEL'S SHARE, in which a woman arrives back in her hometown five years after leaving to set the stage on fire in Hollywood; she takes over running the Lucky Whiskey Distillery while her grandfather recovers from a near fatal heart attack; when a body is found in the distillery and he is arrested for murder, she must find the real killer before he takes his last breath in a jail cell, to Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink, by Belcastro Agency
  • Edgar-nominated, ALA award-winning debut THE DIME author Kathleen Kent's THE KILN, returning readers to a towering and hard-nosed Brooklyn narcotics detective navigating the Dallas, Texas drug world, where dealers and drug cartel members are being assassinated and suspicion falls on the police, making the reader wonder if Betty's impulsive and intuitive maneuvers will flush out the killer, or put her squarely in the crosshairs, to Josh Kendall at Mulholland Books, by Julie Barer at The Book Group
  • Author of THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK Kristen Lepionka's THE STORIES YOU TELL, in which a PI fights to keep her brother out of jail when he's the last person to see a hip young DJ before she disappears—under unusual circumstances that get even stranger as she discovers links to a murdered cop and to a new nightclub whose staff has suddenly vanished as well, to Daniela Rapp at St. Martin's, in a two-book deal, by Jill Marsal at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  • Gytha Lodge's SHE LIES IN WAIT, about a young girl who goes missing on a camping trip with her older sister's friends, and the detective who knew her in high school who is now investigating her death 30 years later, after her body is discovered in a riverbank near the original campsite. Sold, along with two more books featuring the same detective character, to Andrea Walker at Random House, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, by Sarah Scarlett at Penguin Random House UK
  • USA Today bestselling author Annelise Ryan's next two books in the Mattie Winston Mystery series, featuring a nurse-turned-assistant medical examiner, plus two books in a spin-off series featuring a hospital social worker, to Tara Gavinat at Kensington, by Adam Chromy at Movable Type Management
  • Cathi Stoler's BAR NONE, A MURDER ON THE ROCKS MYSTERY, set in New York City features Jude Dillane, owner of The Corner Lounge on 10th Street and Avenue B, who adds murder to her plate when she helps a good friend investigate fraud at the Big City Food Bank, to Clay Stafford Books for publication in Summer 2018

 

January 2018

Although no new book sold more than one million print copies last year, unit sales of print books were 1.9% higher in 2017 than in 2016

Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” was an instant bestseller. Here’s how many copies it takes to become one.

Meanwhile, Walmart makes a late entry Into the e-Book market.

Over 20,000 women of STEM and supporters from more than 100 countries have signed in support of 500 Women Scientists, pledging to build an inclusive scientific community dedicated to training a more diverse group of future leaders in science and to use the language of science to bridge divides and enhance global diplomacy. What a terrific resource for women writers!

Do women always have to be threatened with violence for a thriller to work? The new Staunch Prize wants to find out by recognizing the best thrillers that don't involve women being "beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.”  Get complete details and submission guidelines here.

Yet, not everyone is convinced that focusing on violence against women is bad for women.

Trying to get published? Take heart from these bestsellers that almost didn’t make it into the bookstores!

Are you a grammar nerd? If not, this article might be of help.

Heiress Plotted 19 Grisly Crimes: Investigation Underway.” The Nutshell Studies, for many years the best-kept secret of the Office of the Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland, attract huge crowds at Washington’s Re

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