Archive for the ‘Literary News’ Category


Homicidal Holidays Launch—Rounding Out Three New Stories

October 6, 2014

HomicidalHolidaysThis Saturday, October 11, the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime hosts a launch party for the new anthology Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. The fun begins at noon in the party room just next door to the bookstore, and it’ll be a true party with snacks and treats provided for all to enjoy. I’m very pleased to be among that last group with a new story, “Premonition,” set on Halloween night—and pleased too with the great advance review of the anthology by Lynn Farris in the Examiner, who wrote, “The anthology offers a mystery for everyone, there are stories that are funny, sad, terrifying and thought provoking…. This is a great book to give for any holiday.” (The review called my own tale “a master class in how to create tension.” Thanks much, Lynn!) Other contributors include Donna Andrews, Tim Bentler-Jungr, Shaun Taylor Bevins, Carla Kaessinger Coupe, Elaine Davis, Barb Goffman, Clyde T Linsley Jr., Linda Lombardi, Debbi Mack, Rosemary and Larry Mild, Meg Opperman, Shari Randall, and Cathy Wiley, who’s promised to dress like a pirate in honor of the holiday at the heart of her story. Arrr! The stories were selected by Christina Freeburn, John Gilstrap, and Alan Orloff; the anthology was edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley; and Rhys Bowen provided an introduction.

I’ve also had two more stories appear just recently—both available now:

  • Gargoyle 61 features “Precision,” about a safecracker who has tried to put his criminal ways behind him but gets pulled into one more job—possibly his last one. Told from two perspectives, the story delves into the troubled past, tense present, and uncertain futures of two characters with radically different plans for themselves.
  • Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine has published “The Odds Are Against Us” in its November 2014 issue. In this story, an easy chat about old times feeds into fresh conflicts at neighborhood bar. This is one of the shortest stories I’ve contributed to Ellery Queen, but I hope it still packs a punch.

Happy reading—and look forward to seeing folks on Saturday! — Art Taylor


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


Macavity Award Nomination: “When Duty Calls”

July 4, 2013

My story “When Duty Calls” has been very good to me—as have the members and supporters of Mystery Readers International and the subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal, who have just named the story a finalist for this year’s Macavity Award for Best Short Story. I’m stunned, thrilled, and humbled by the honor—and by the generous response overall to this story, which earlier this year won a Derringer Award and was a finalist for the Agatha. And so nice to see fellow Agatha nominees Barb Goffman and B.K. Stevens joining me on the same ballot again, along with Jeffrey Deaver, Jim Fusilli, and Karin Slaughter. Good luck to all!

Here’s the complete list of this year’s nominees:

Best Mystery Novel: 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)
The Black House by Peter May (Silver Oak)
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Other Woman by Hank Philippi Ryan (Forge)
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (Algonquin Books)
The Twenty Year Death by Ariel S. Winter (Hard Case Crime)

Best Mystery First Novel: 

Low Country Boil by Susan M. Boyer (Henery Press)
Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman (Minotaur Books-Thomas Dunn) 
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (Random House -Bantam)
The Expats by Chris Pavone (Crown)
The Last Policeman: A Novel by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)

Best Mystery Non-Fiction: 

Books to Die For: The World’s Greatest Mystery Writers on the World’s Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke (Simon & Schuster – Atria/Emily Bestler)
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China by Paul French (Penguin)
In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero, edited by Otto Penzler (BenBella/Smart Pop)

Best Mystery Short Story: 

“The Lord Is My Shamus” by Barb Goffman in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder (Wildside)
“The Unremarkable Heart” by Karin Slaughter in Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance (Little, Brown – Mulholland Books)
“Thea’s First Husband” by B.K. Stevens in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2012
“When Duty Calls” by Art Taylor in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder (Wildside Press)
“Blind Justice” by Jim Fusilli in Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance (Little, Brown – Mulholland Books)
“The Sequel” (a novella) by Jeffrey Deaver in The Strand Magazine, November-February 2012-2013

Sue Feder Historical Memorial Award: 

A City of Broken Glass by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge)
Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (Random House-Bantam)
The Confession by Charles Todd (HarperCollins)
An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (HarperCollins)
Elegy For Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear (HarperCollins) – See more at:

And the awards will be presented during the opening ceremonies of this year’s Bouchercon in Albany, NY. — Art Taylor


Derringer Award Win (Long Story) & Spinetingler Award Nomination

April 1, 2013

I’m honored, awed, and humbled to have won a third Derringer Award from the Short Mystery Fiction Society—this year in the Long Story category for the story “When Duty Calls,” originally published in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder and also recently nominated for an Agatha Award. Other winners this year included “The Cable Job” by Randy DeWitt (Best Flash Story), “Getting Out of the Box” by Michael Bracken (Best Short Story), and “Wood-Smoke Boys” by Doug Allyn (Best Novelette). Congratulations to all!

And on top of that news, I also learned that “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” originally published in PANK Magazine and winner in the flash fiction category of the 2012 Press 53 Open Awards Anthology, has been nominated for this year’s Spinetingler Award for Best Short Story on the Web. A thrill and an honor there as well! — Art Taylor


Derringer Award Finalist: “When Duty Calls” from Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder

March 2, 2013

I’m so pleased that my story “When Duty Calls,” recently nominated for an Agatha Award, has also been named a finalist for the 2013 Derringer Awards! My story falls in the Long Story category, and there’s a a great slate of finalists in all areas this year (including good friends David Dean, Toni L.P. Kelner, and Doug Allyn in the Novellette category). As always, I’m simply honored to be included in such distinguished company. And for those interested in reading the story itself, it’s temporarily available on my website here. — Art Taylor


Agatha Award Nomination: “When Duty Calls” from Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder

February 9, 2013

Chesapeake CrimesI’m thrilled that my story “When Duty Calls,” from the anthology Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder (Wildside Press), has been nominated for an Agatha Award for best short story of 2012! I’m in great company, including both another contributor to the same anthology—Barb Goffman, whose story “The Lord Is My Shamus” is simply outstanding—and Dana Cameron, B.K. Stevens, and Sheila Connolly, fine writers all.

And great friends too, not only among those immediate nominees but throughout this year’s list of finalists. The full slate of nominees is here. And I’m looking forward to toasting all us at the Malice Domestic in May! — Art Taylor


Upcoming Event: Fall for the Book Festival, Sept. 26-30

September 19, 2012

Neil Gaiman

The annual Fall for the Book Festival is one of the biggest events on my calendar each year — and with good reason, since I’m on the staff that helps to put the festival together! But it should also be one of the starred events on the calendars of all readers and writers in Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland, since the program regularly welcomes some of the biggest names in the literary world to our backyard. And this year — the festival’s 14th — is no exception, with headliners including Alice Walker (celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Color Purple), Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, Rita Dove, and Katherine Boo, among the nearly 125 participants on this year’s schedule. Each of these writers anchors one of the festival’s five days, Sept. 26-30, as follows:

  • Rita Dove, former Poet Laureate of the United States and recent recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama, will receive this year’s Busboys and Poets Award on Fall for the Book’s opening night, Wednesday, September 26, at 8 p.m. in Harris Theatre on George Mason University’s Fairfax, Virginia, campus. Dove’s most recent collection is Sonata Mulattica. The Busboys and Poets Award is sponsored by Busboys and Poets, a restaurant, bookstore, fair trade market and gathering place based in Washington, DC.
  • Alice Walker will discuss The Color Purple, her other writings, and her social and political activism on Thursday, September 27, at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall, Center for the Arts, on Mason’s Fairfax campus. Among Walker’s most recent publications is Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel.
  • Neil Gaiman will accept the 2012 Mason Award, recognizing authors who have made extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide reading public, on Friday, September 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of Mason’s Center for the Arts. Gaiman is the creator and writer of the DC Comics series Sandman, winner of 12 Eisner Comic Industry Awards and a World Fantasy Award for best short story—making it the first comic ever to receive a literary award. Other works include American Gods; The Graveyard Book, the only title ever to win both the US’s and UK’s most prestigious awards given to children’s books, the Newbery and the Carnegie Medals; and Coraline, the latter the basis for the Oscar Nominated 2009 film.
  • Katherine Boo will accept this year’s Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, presented annually to a woman writer of nonfiction, on Saturday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sherwood Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, in Fairfax, Virginia. Boo’s first book is Behind the Beautiful Forevers, which presents portraits of hope, injustice, and violence in the city of Mumbai, India. The Mary Roberts Rinehart Award commemorates the life and work of Rinehart, who for 45 years prior to her death in 1958 was one of America’s most popular writers.
  • Michael Chabon will accept this year’s Fairfax Prize, honoring outstanding literary achievement and presented by the Fairfax Library Foundation, on the festival’s closing night, Sunday, September 30, at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall of Mason’s Center for the Arts. Chabon’s novels include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a Pulitzer Prize winner among its other honors; The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards; and Telegraph Avenue, just released earlier this month.

But there’s also plenty more to be excited about, with a schedule that includes everything from mystery to history and from poetry to philosophy — along with a few topics as fresh as each morning’s headlines, such as the future of higher education and the issues driving the upcoming election. The full festival, with dates, times, and venues, can be found at — but here are just a few of the other events I’ve already tagged for my own calendar:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m. — Karen Russell, whose debut novel, Swamplandia!, joined Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams and David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King as this year’s finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. — Clifford Garstang, debuting his new novel-in-stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, along with short story writer Edward Belfar
  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m. — David Taylor, Andrew Wingfield, and David Ebenbach — recipients of the 2008, 2010, and 2012 fiction prizes from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House — reflecting on the craft of developing a short fiction collection
  • Friday, Sept. 28, 1:30 p.m. — Contributors to Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women, edited by Richard Peabody, including Julie Agnone, Beth Konkoski, Tara Laskowski, Teresa Burns Murphy, Susan Sharpe, and Eugenia Tsutsumi (plus events featuring Christopher Coake and Dallas Hudgens just beforehand and featuring Nick Arvin and Matt Bondurant just afterwards)
  • Friday, Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m. — Mystery Writers of America panel featuring Thomas Kaufman, Tracy Kiely, Sandra Parshall, and Joanna Campbell Slan, and moderated by Alan Orloff
  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. — A self-publishing panel with Karen Cantwell, Matt Iden, Scott Nicholson, and Michael and Robin Sullivan
  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 6 p.m. — Bestselling novelist Laura Lippman with her new book, And When She Was Good
  • Sunday, Sept. 30, 1:30 p.m. —  National Book Critics Circle Panel examining literary fiction and genre fiction and featuring acclaimed novelists Julianna Baggott, Louis Bayard, and Alma Katsu, and critic and co-founder Laura Miller

Hope to see you at the festival! — Art Taylor

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