Archive for the ‘Mysteries/Thrillers’ Category

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Joining a New Blog: 7 Criminal Minds

February 7, 2014

In the years since I started this blog, I’ve unfortunately failed to keep momentum on many of the elements I’d hoped to include more regularly—short reviews, author interviews, bits of literary news, etc.—and it’s devolved lately into more personal news. And even that has been irregularly posted at best.

But in January, I joined the good folks at Criminal Minds: A Virtual Panel, a nice compilation of writers who takes turns every other week responding to a shared question, and I’m hopeful that this panel format will get me back on track with some regular posts.

So far, I’ve answered the questions “What’s wrong with asking the question ‘Where do you get your ideas?’” and “How do you know where one chapter ends and another begins?”, and I’ll be chiming in on new questions every other Friday in the future. Hope folks will check in over there now and again!

And in the meantime, I’ll continue posts here on that very irregular basis. — Art Taylor

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Agatha Award Nomination: “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants”

January 31, 2014

“The Care and Feeding of Houseplants”—which originally appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and is available online here—has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story of 2013. The other finalists include Barb Goffman (two stories nominated!), Gigi Pandian, and Barbara Ross, and the winner will be announced at Malice Domestic on Saturday, May 3.

Here’s the full slate of this year’s nominees, with all the other nominated stories linked as well:

Best Contemporary Novel:
Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur Books)
Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (Kensington Books)
The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)

Best Historical Novel:
Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George (Untreed Reads Publishing)
A Friendly Game of Murder by JJ Murphy (Signet)
Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)
A Question of Honor by Charles Todd (William Morrow)

Best First Novel:
Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley)
You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa (Pocket Books)
Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn (Henery Press)
Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (Kensington)
Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker (Henery Press)

Best Short Story:
“Evil Little Girl” by Barb Goffman, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (Wildside Press)
“Nightmare” by Barb Goffman, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (Wildside Press)
“The Hindi Houdini” (PDF) by Gigi Pandian, Fish Nets (Wildside Press)
“Bread Baby” (PDF) by Barbara Ross, Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold (Level Best Books)
“The Care and Feeding of House Plants” (PDF) by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2013

Best Nonfiction:
Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester (Source Books Inc.)
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova (Viking Penguin)
Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic’s First 25 Years by Verena Rose and Rita Owen, Editors (Wildside Press)
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel:
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery by Kathleen Ernst (American Girl Mysteries)
Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books)
Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner (Edgmont USA)

Art Taylor

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Event: Sisters in Crime Holiday Gathering, Saturday, Dec. 7

December 3, 2013

EQMMar-April 2012CoverOn Saturday, December 7, ten mystery writers from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime will be appearing at the party room next to One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia—talking about their recently published and upcoming crime fiction. Participating authors include Donna Andrews, E.A. Aymar, Meriah Crawford, Barb Goffman, Peggy Hanson, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Sujata Massey, Eileen McIntire, Lane Stone, and me! And just in time for the holidays, you can get autographed books by each participating author to help round out your gift-giving list. I don’t have a book of my own, of course, but I’ll be giving away—yes, for free—some recent issues of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine featuring my stories.

The program officially begins at 12:30, but come out by noon for informal talk with the authors. You can also bring a brown bag lunch or pick up something from one of the restaurants just across the street: Le Marché at La Cote D’or or Little City Gourmet. In addition, cookies, fruit, and light refreshments will be provided. The event is free—though a $5 donation by other SinC members certainly wouldn’t be turned away (to help cover the cost of the room).

One More Page Books is located at 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington; the party room is just next door. Limited free parking is provided in the lot behind store. Otherwise, meter parking on street is available.

Hope to see a good turn-out! — Art Taylor

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Review: William Boyd’s Solo in the Washington Post

October 13, 2013

Since my teenage years, I’ve been an avid James Bond fan—following both the novels and the films—and while the big-screen Bond may have gotten most of the attention in recent years, I’ve been equally intrigued with the last three books officially sanctioned by the Fleming estate, each featuring a different author: Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver, and now Solo by William Boyd. That last one strikes me as the boldest of the three in a number of ways, and I was pleased to review it for the Washington Post. Here’s a quick excerpt:

To some degree, a Bond book is a Bond book. M, Q Branch, Miss Moneypenny, some fast cars, some fast women, a little globe-trotting, a little fate of the world in the balance — then shake, don’t stir. But as with the various shifts in the Bond franchise, small changes can make big differences. Boyd’s Bond reveals himself to be reflective, at times even rueful, moved to fresh depths of moral awareness by thoughts of his past and observations about conflict and cruelty as his mission unfolds.

The full review can be found here. Art Taylor

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Event: Waterbear Reading Series, Saturday, October 26 at One More Page Books

October 10, 2013

One More Page BooksI’m thrilled to be taking part in the October edition of the Waterbear Reading Series at One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia. The series, which began earlier this year, has already featured some terrific writers—including both friends (Jen Michalski, Laura Ellen Scott, Amber Sparks) and family (Tara Laskowski!)—and the October event will be the last reading of 2013, given the holidays ahead, so fingers crossed for a big audience to help round out the year with a bang!

I’ll be reading on Saturday, October 26, at 6 p.m., along with three other very distinguished writers:

John Copenhaver placed as a quarterfinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Dodging and Burning.  The last two summers he attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference as a general contributor in fiction.  In 2011 he was invited to be a fellow in genre fiction at the Lambda Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. He graduated with his BA from Davidson College, MA in literature from Bread Loaf, and MFA in fiction from George Mason, where he served as executive editor of the literary magazine Phoebe.  He also spent a summer interning in the literature department of the National Endowment for the Arts.  He has published in several regional journals, including Timber Creek Review and The Roanoke Review, and was the first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest.

Mark Cugini’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Melville House, Hobart, Sink Review, Barrelhouse, NOÖ, Everday Genius, and other publications. He’s a founding editor of Big Lucks, a contributor to HTMLGiant, and the curator of the Three Tents Reading Series in Washington, DC. His chapbook I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE will be released in March 2013.

Jonathan Harper received his MFA from American University in 2010 and was a staff member of the Lambda Literary Foundation from 2002-2005. His writing is scattered about in places like The Nervous Breakdown, Chelsea Station, Icarus Magazine as well as the anthologies: Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered and Best Gay Stories 2013. He really-really loves Period Pieces and Gillian Anderson has yet to answer one of his fan letters.

Hope to see lots of friendly faces there—and pleased that my parents and brother will be making the trip up for the event as well! — Art Taylor

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