Every spring, crime fiction fans, authors, booksellers, librarians, and publishing industry people gather somewhere on the Left Coast to celebrate the mystery genre. Attendees nominate their favorite mystery novels from the previous year for the prestigious Lefty Awards,
I'm floored, because THE BODY IN GRIFFITH PARK was nominated for Best Historical Mystery Novel (The Bruce Alexander Memorial Award) alongside books by four authors I truly admire: Susanna Calkins, L.A. Chandlar, Dianne Freeman, and Sujata Massey.
Here is the complete list of 2020 Lefty Award Nominees. Congratulations everyone, and good luck!
Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
Ellen Byron, Fatal Cajun Festival (Crooked Lane Books)
Leslie Karst, Murder from Scratch (Crooked Lane Books)
Cynthia Kuhn, The Subject of Malice (Henery Press)
This week, I released THE BODY IN GRIFFITH PARK in audiobook format. The narrator, Moira Quirk, knocked it out of the park. No wonder she’s won Audible Book-Of-The-Year, as well as several Audie Awards and Earphone Awards. And, yes, she has an Emmy. She was the 30th actor to audition. I hired her immediately.
What’s so remarkable about Moira? She’s a master of accents, for one. Anna Blanc mysteries are full of people from all over, just like Los Angeles was in the 1900s (and still is today). In my novels alone, Moira does several American accents, English accents, French accents, German accents, Chinese accents, Mexican accents, Scottish accents, men and women, and she sings. She performs American Anna flawlessly. You’d never guess that Moira is English.
I hope you give this new audiobook a listen. Critics have been kind. Publisher’s Weekly g...
Los Angeles, 1908. Anna Blanc is a former so-so socialite, a flailing police matron, and a killer detective.
Ex-heiress, Anna Blanc, is precariously employed by the Los Angeles Police Department, reforming delinquent children and minding lady jailbirds. What she really wants is to hunt criminals and be alone with Detective Joe Singer--both no-nos that could get her fired. On a lover's tryst in Griffith Park, Anna and Joe discover the body of a young gambler. Anna can't resist. She's on the case.
With a murder to solve and Anna's police matron duties piling up, a young girl shows up at Central Station claiming to have been raped by a man from Mars. The men at the station scoff, but Anna is willing to investigate. Meanwhile, Anna begins getting strange floral arrangements from an unknown admirer. Following the petals leads her to...
The Secret Life of Anna Blanc was 127,000 words in it's most bloated draft. I cut 12,000 words before delivering the manuscript to my publisher. He cut some more. This wonderful scene did not survive.
See what you think.
The scene's set at the California Club on Fifth and Hill, pictured above in 1907--the same year Anna Blanc took on the New High Street Suicide Faker. (The club is still going, BTW)
If you haven't read the book, read no further.
But if you have read the book, this scene happens while Anna is undercover at the brothel, before the raid takes place. In fact, it's why the raid takes place.
Chief Singer waited for the Mayor in a secluded booth at the California Club. The Mayor entered and lifted his hand in a half-hearted wave. It fell back to his side like a kite that lost wind. He slid into the booth. The Ch...
Irish tenor, John McCormack who sang in front of an audience of 5,000
at New York's Hippodrome in 1916 and rolled his r's.
Sometimes I listen to popular music recordings from the 1900s for writing inspiration. They make me want to send money to KCRW (LA' s public radio station). Anna Blanc's pop music is nowhere near as cool as her fashion. The songs are kind of great (By the Light of the Silvery Moon), and I love rag time piano, but the vocal style sounds weird to modern ears and the instrumentation can be clunky and heavy--almost like a dirge. The vocalists either have stuffy, formal diction where they roll their r's (Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady), or they swing the other way and sound like toothless hillbillies (American version of Eliza Doolittle at the beginning of the movie).
Left Coast Crime 2018, “Crime on the Comstock,” will be giving four Lefty awards at the 28th annual LCC convention, to be held in Reno in March: humorous, historical, debut, and best. The awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at a banquet on Saturday, March 24, at the Nugget Casino Resort in Reno/Sparks, Nevada. The award nominees have been selected by this and last years’ convention registrants.
The nomination period has just concluded, and LCC is delighted to announce the Lefty nominees for books published in 2017: Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. The nominees are: § Donna Andrews, Gone Gull (Minotaur Books) § Ellen Byron, A Cajun Christmas Killing (Crooked Lane Books) § Marla Cooper, Dying on the Vine (Minotaur Books) § Cynthia Kuhn, The Art of Vanishing (Henery Press) § Cindy Sample, Dying for a Diamond (Cindy Sam...
What does Anna Blanc sound like? She sounds like Emmy Award-winning actor, Moira Quirk. There’s a reason why Moira’s won so many prestigious awards for her performances. She’s simply the best there is. Regional accents? No problem? Sing like a guy? She’s got it nailed. She’s so good, I want to do a cartwheel.
Here’s more good news. There are four ways you can get THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK on audio for cheap or FREE.
1. Audiobooks on your wish list are 50% OFF this week for Audible members and THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK can be one of them 😃
2. For those of you who aren't Audible members, you can get a FREE COPY if you sign up for a free trial. Here's the link
3. If you live in the UK and would like a code for a free audiobook of THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, I will give you one if you promise to write me an honest review (while supplies...