Saturday, April 28, 2007

a letter from Joann Sinchuk of Murder on the Beach

Dear Customers and Friends,

As you may have heard, Elaine Viets had a stroke two weeks ago. Recovering from emergency brain surgery, Elaine is not able to tour for her new book in the Dead End Job series, Murder with Reservations. So I, and some local authors, are stepping in to maintain her book tour and hopefully keep her book sales up.

The book launch party for Murder with Reservations will go on as planned on Wednesday May 2 at 7 pm at Murder on the Beach. Instead of hearing Elaine speak, we will have a panel discussion with Barbara Parker, PJ Parrish, Rhonda Pollero, Randy Rawls, and Prudy Taylor Board on the Dead End Job series. I will be moderating.

Please mark the date on your calendar and plan to attend. We will be serving refreshments. Vicki Landis will be bringing a cake. Randy, we have enough Killian's. And we will serve the wine from the vineyard owned by Oceanview Publishing that I won in the raffle at Sleuthfest. The Sun-Sentinel and the Delray News are running stories about the signing-by-proxy.
See you on Wednesday May 2 at 7 pm.

Joanne Sinchuk
Murder on the Beach Bookstore
Pineapple Grove Way
273 Ne 2nd Ave
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Phone: 561-279-7790
Winter Hours: Mon - Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5.

Friday, April 27, 2007

MWA Announces 2007 Edgar Award Winners

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce the winners of the2007 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2006.

BEST NOVEL: The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR: The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson (Random House)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL: Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara(Bantam Dell)

BEST FACT CRIME: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson(HarperCollins)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL: The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fearby E.J. Wagner (John Wiley & Sons)

BEST SHORT STORY: "The Home Front" Death Do Us Part by Charles Ardai(Hachette Book Group)

BEST JUVENILE: Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT: Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready(Penguin YR)

BEST PLAY: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure by Steven Dietz(Arizona Theatre Company)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY: Life on Mars; Episode 1, Teleplay by Matthew Graham (BBC America)

BEST TELEVISION FEATURE/MINI-SERIES TELEPLAY: The Wire, Season 4, Teleplays by Ed Burns, Kia Corthron, DennisLehane, David Mills, Eric Overmyer, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon & William F. Zorzi (Home Box Office)

BEST MOTION PICTURE SCREENPLAY: The Departed, Screenplay by William Monahan(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First Crime Novel Competition Announced During Edgar Awards Week

NEW YORK, April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Daniel J. Hale, Executive
Vice President of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and Andrew Martin, Vice
President and Publisher of St. Martin's Minotaur, today announced the first
annual St. Martin's Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel

This contest provides a previously unpublished writer an opportunity to
launch his or her career with a major mystery imprint, St. Martin's
Minotaur. The winner will receive a one-book, $10,000 contract.

The competition will be officially announced during MWA's April 2007
Edgar(R) Award festivities by Mr. Martin. Entries will be accepted
immediately through December 15, 2007. The winner will be recognized at the
2008 Edgar Awards banquet, and his or her novel published in 2009.
"We at Mystery Writers of America are excited to partner with St.
Martin's Minotaur in offering this terrific opportunity to get an
unpublished writer's career off the ground... way off the ground!" said Mr.

Mr. Martin commented, "For more than 60 years MWA has been recognized
as the preeminent organization devoted to the craft of writing mysteries
and crime fiction. For more than 50 years, St. Martin's Press and Minotaur
have been a publishing well-spring of award-winning crime fiction. Now we
come together to discover great new talent. Only one question: What took us
so long? I'm thrilled to begin this exciting new program with MWA and can't
wait to announce our first winner at next year's Edgar Award ceremony."

The competition is open to any writer who has never been the author of
a published novel. Details, rules and specific guidelines on eligibility,
as well as entry forms, are available at the St. Martin's Minotaur website:

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is the premier organization for
mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring
crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre:

St. Martin's Minotaur is an imprint of St. Martin's Press which
launched in 1999 and which publishes 130 hardcover crime fiction titles a
year. St. Martin's Minotaur grew out of a fifty-year tradition of
publishing quality crime fiction at St. Martin's Press.

St. Martin's Press is part of Holtzbrinck Publishers, the U.S.
publishing group owned by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GMBH of
Stuttgart, Germany.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I am so excited to introduce my very first guest blogger, Ron Block. Ron works for the Jacksonville Public Library but prior to that, he was my boss (poor guy - but he did survive and he's all the stronger for it!) I miss him dearly, and was supposed to go visit last weekend and attend Jacksonville's famed book fair, Much Ado About Books, but I had to cancel at the last minute. Ron was kind enough to write about his day at the book fair. Great job, Ron, and thanks!

Much Ado About Books
Prime Osborn Convention Center
Jacksonville, Florida
April 21, 2007

I had the privilege to be able to attend the 11th annual book festival in Jacksonville. Viewing the line up of authors and programs, I thought this would prove to be a great event.

As a fan and friend of Stacy Alesi, (, I was especially excited to have her join me to show off the Jacksonville literary community and also to use her to brush closer to the authors I knew she has already befriended(Ok, I am a celebrity hound and never miss an opportunity to get near them, while still trying to look cool and unfazed).

Unfortunately, Stacy was unable to attend, so I had to put my dark glasses and hat away and attend the festival as a normal booklover.

When I arrived, I was surprised to find so many people attending. I quickly checked out the location board and planned my attack. First up was a trip to the author tables. They were laid out in a huge rectangle and I decided to just scout out the talent. There were authors signing their book in abundance! They included authors works in Chick Lit, Florida travel and history, Children’s Literature, Romance, Fiction, Thrillers and Mysteries. As I walked toward the back the names got bigger and bigger…Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Alex Kava, Tim Dorsey, James Grippando, Joseph (Call me “Joe”) Finder, Lee Child, Luanne Rice and Brad Meltzer. If only Stacy were with me, I would have jumped behind the tables and had my picture taken with them, helped them sell books and protect them from other stalkers!

After I began to breathe again, I went to a panel discussion featuring Alex Kava, Joe Finder and David Hagberg. This seemed an odd grouping, but the moderator started things off on a light note by injecting a lot of humor into the introductions and as the time passed the authors shared a wealth of information about their research methods, writing style, backgrounds and convinced me that I should begin that long awaited novel writing career right away. This panel easily could have been the featured panel of the day. When it was time to wrap it up, neither the standing-room only audience (including Lee Child and Steve Berry-how psyched was I???) nor the panel wanted to leave the room.

My only complaint about the day thus far was the luncheon that was served in the main room ahead of the featured panel. It was a lame attempt at a chicken salad already set up on every table and a dessert. There was no telling how long it had been there-but it was easily pushed aside to focus on the main event. The stage was huge with dual rock concert sized screens on either side so even the little people in the back could get a close look. I was expecting Barry Manilow to come out!

The program began with speeches from representatives of the Library Foundation and Local Government, followed by a charming presentation to local students who had entered an won a “Young Writer’s Award” presented in several different categories.

When the Young Writer’s had received their award and had their picture taken, Pat Yack, the Editor of the Florida Times-Union, took to the podium and introduced the featured author panel of Luanne Rice, Sandra Brown and Brad Meltzer. He did a bang up job interjecting his laid back North Florida/South Georgia style to really make the panel feel at home and make the setting feel very intimate.

After a few microphone mishaps, the panel got to answer some prepared questions from Pat. These included many standards such as what clothes they wear while writing, how much time do they write each day, etc. There were later a few very pointed questions as well that I took special notice of.

Luanne Rice relayed a wonderful story about her father’s contributions during WWII and while researching it for her new book, got to feel closer than ever to her father who had died not long ago. Sandra Brown (who is even more beautiful than her book covers suggest) displays an easy laid back Texan charm sure to win her instant friends and fans told a great story about cooking chili (the only thing she knows how to cook) for famous southern author Pat Conroy-I can’t imagine how interesting and amazing that pairing must have been!

If Brad Meltzer ever wants to take on another career, he can easily slide into stand up comedy. His quick wit and self deprecating delivery made him a huge crowd pleaser. When the moderator had to step away to check on additional microphone problems, Brad decided to interview himself to fill the gap:

“Brad, how DID you get to be so handsome?”

“Well, Brad, it’s all in the genes.”

The crowd of over 600 ate it up. He then went on to describe how his largest demographic sales turn out to be in Boca Raton, Florida - his mother. He credits her with single handedly getting him on the map down there and being his biggest fan. How else could someone edge out sales in huge cities like New York and Los Angeles!

Following the panel, the authors signed copies of their books and took a lot of time talking to attendees. The afternoon was full of writing workshops which generated a lot of positive feedback and buzz for next year, but I could not go. I was in greater need of a Bombay Sapphire Martini…

All in all, this event has gotten better and better each year. The caliber of authors has steadily grown as well as overall attendance. At this rate Much Ado About Books will soon sit alongside it’s bigger siblings in New York and Miami, but with a more laidback style.

Great Job, Jacksonville Public Library Foundation!

Ron Block

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Dying Art of the Book Review?
Is this even possible? What is going on in this country?

First I read this post on DorothyL this morning:

"Of even more concern is this news from Oline Cogdill, a friend to DorothyL and one of the country's most important mystery reviewers:

... We have just undergone a redesign of our lifestyle/arts section and books space has been cut back. I will still be doing mysteries, for now, but it may not be as many books per week as in the past. in addition, thetribune co. just got sold so who knows. bad times for newspapers....on that cherry note... Oline

Oline works for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel but her reviews are syndicated to papers all over the country. Letter writers man (or woman) your writing implement! Con Lehane"

and this afternoon, I received this press release from the National Book Critics Circle, of which I am a member:

April 23, 2007

Last week, the Los Angeles Times folded its book review section into an opinion section, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution eliminated its book review position. Not a good week for book criticism, but not a surprising one, either: in the past few years, newspapers from the Chicago Tribune to the Dallas Morning News to the Village Voice have seen book coverage shrink.

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) is not taking these developments lying down. This week, in an effort to support book reviews, book editors, book pages, and book culture, the NBCC is launching a Campaign to Save Book Reviews. During the last week in April and throughout the month of May, the NBCC is asking authors and editors, journalists and publishers—and in fact anyone interested in literary culture—to speak out on the value of books and book reviewing.

The campaign’s launch pad is an effort to save the book review position at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, held until last week by Teresa Weaver. Explains NBCC president John Freeman, “Teresa has the opportunity to apply for a job within the company, but it's not clear what the fate of the book page will be—whether it'll be reassigned to an existing editor, whether it will go entirely to wire copy, or whether it will be removed altogether.”

A petition to save Weaver’s job has already secured nearly a thousand signatures, including those from luminaries as varied as Michael Connelly, Richard Powers, and Ian Rankin. Those interested in signing should go to

Throughout the campaign, Critical Mass, the NBCC’s blog, will feature Q&As, posts by concerned writers, and advice on petitioning the media to assure continued book coverage. Current posts include a lengthy Q&A with David L. Ulin, editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review.

Checkout to join in our efforts and to track developments in this ongoing and important campaign.The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization consisting of nearly 700 active book reviewers nationwide who are interested in honoring quality writing and communicating with one another about common concerns. It is managed by a 24-member all-volunteer board of directors.

For more information, please go to

For questions, contact Barbara Hoffert, or646-746-6806.

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