Jul 27, 2007

The Anthony Award Nominations have been announced:

Anthony Award Nominations


Burke, Jan. KIDNAPPED, Simon & Schuster

Lippman, Laura. NO GOOD DEEDS, Harper

Minda, Denise. THE DEAD HOUR, Little Brown & Co.

Pickard, Nancy. THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS, Ballantine

Spencer-Fleming, Julia. ALL MORTAL FLESH, St. Martins


Hart, John. THE KING OF LIES, St. Martins

Hockensmith, Steve. HOLMES ON THE RANGE, St. Martins

Penny, Louise. STILL LIFE, St. Martins

Read, Cornelia. A FIELD OF DARKNESS, Mysterious Press

Sokoloff, Alexandra. THE HARROWING, St. Martins


Cameron, Dana. ASHES AND BONES, Avon


Doolittle, Sean. THE CLEANUP, Dell

Fate, Robert. BABY SHARK, Capital Crime Press

Gischler, Victor. SHOTGUN OPERA, Dell

Hirahara, Naomi. SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, Bantam Dell - Delta

Huston, Charlie. A DANGEROUS MAN, Ballantine


Abbott, Megan. “Policy,” DAMN NEAR DEAD, Busted Flush Press

Cameron, Dana. “The Lords of Misrule,” SUGARPLUMS AND SCANDAL, Avon

Crider, Bill. “Cranked,” DAMN NEAR DEAD, Busted Flush Press

Kelner, Toni. “Sleeping with the Plush,” Alfred Hitchcock Mag

Viets, Elaine. “After the Fall,” Alfred Hitchcock Mag

Wood, Simon. “My Father’s Secret,” Crime Spree Magazine, Bcon Spec Issue ’06


Huang, Jim and Austin Lugar, Editors. MYSTERY MUSES, Crum Creek Press

Niebuhr, Gary Warren. READ ‘EM THEIR WRITES, Libraries Unlimited

Roerden, Chris. DON’T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY, Bella Rosa Books

Stashower, Daniel. THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL, Dutton

Wagoner, E.J., THE SCIENCE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, John Wiley & Sons


Ardal, Charles. Hard Case Crime

Easter, George. Deadly Pleasures

Huang, Jim. Crum Creek Press and The Mystery Company

Jordan, Jon and Ruth. CrimeSpree Magazine

Kaczmarek, Lynn and Chris Aldrich. Mystery News

Karim, Ali. Shots Magazine

Wheeler, Franchi & Sharon. reviewingtheevidence.com

Van Hertbruggen, Maddy. 4 Mystery Addicts

Due to a lack of nominations, we regret that there will be no award given for Best Young Adult Novel this year.

Congrats to all.

Jon and I are very excited to be on the same list as the other nominees in the Special Service Award Catagory. They are an inspirational group of people. All have an astounding passion and energy for the world of mystery. We hope we can live up to even the nod. Ali was there at the very beginning of Crimespree, in fact helped us come up with the name for the magazine. There's a smile on my face just looking at his name here.

Crimespree did high fives over the nomination of "My Father's Secret" by Simon Wood. Mr. Wood's story is truly remarkable. I feel a bit like the boys from Plots with Guns must have, an untraditional Short-Story outlet being given recognition for "their " work.The quality of the short stories in our magazine is astounding and recognition of that is a pat on the back for the magazine, a gift to the many who have contributed stories over our first three years. Steven Torres recently won a Derringer for a story that appeared in our magazine, and last year David Case was nominated for an Award for his.

The "their" when it comes to short story fiction in Crimespree comes down to the one. Jennifer Jordan is a remarkable woman. She's worked hard making this facet of Crimespree work. So Simon "Whoo!" and Jen4? Thank you and "Whoo, Whoo!"

I am so happy to be a Jordan, I keep the most excellent company.


Jul 23, 2007

Queen of the Mudbloods!!

Ah Harry our adventure is over. So the Jordan household traveled through the floo one last time this weekend. Jon and Richard once again going to the bookstore for the 12:00 release. My husband crawled into bed as the sun rose on Saturday morning, "How is it honey?" "Fucking great"
We had a birthday party, a wonderful family event where the kids watched the bigger kids build a fort, everyone collecting sticks and pinecones... the kind of real life magic you seldom find in books. But when we got home late on Saturday night Jon immersed himself into the adventures of Hermione, Ron and Harry and didn't stop until he'd read the epilogue. He woke me as his travels ended and I began my own. And that family party grounded our adventure.
I finished the book less than 24 hours ago and still I can taste the butterbeer (ymm) and the slimy toadstools (yuck).
Much has been made of who will live? who will die? I've now read reviews that run the gambit from "brilliant" to mundane. But what makes J.K. Rowling the Queen of the Mudbloods is that over a decade she created a world for her readers, children and adults alike, that will never die. A perfectly human woman born of muggles sat down one day and out of the blue began to create magic without the aide of platform 9&3/4 or Hogworts. She had no Mrs. Weasley to knit her sweaters when the going got tough, no Order to protect her as she became more and more in demand. And she finished the books with the same magic as she began.
There are life lessons within the Potter books, and many mini morality plays. You can if you want, compare Rowlings series to the great childrens' series of yore. You could break it down into syntaxt, prose style, character development. And if you do well your sorting hat has Slytherin all over it and your grown up job would be someplace in middle management at the Ministry of Magic.
Because to read Potter you must read the all and keep reading until you're finished. You have to believe in the magic to understand. And don't worry, if you have the power of imagination Rowling will bring the magic of a far away place and a very real boy to you.
So Jon and I say "Salute" to Ms. Rowlings, you are indeed the Queen of the Mudbloods.

Ruth Jordan

Jul 19, 2007

Another Interview

Ruth and I have been interviewed again, this time over on Julia Buckley’s Blog. It seems since it's summer time that it is appropriate that we are getting grilled.....

Jul 16, 2007

Thrillerfest mindset rambling and ranting from a lunatic on the edge.....

With Thrillerfest having just taken place this past weekend it got me thinking.

We didn't go because to be honest it was a bit too expensive for us. However having talked to some people who were there they all seemed to have a good time in New York.

But that's not what I'm blogging about.

The term THRILLER is showing up on an awful lot of books, a lot of which quite honestly are not thrillers. It seems to be the latest hot word for books. Some of these books are really good and everyone should read them, but they shouldn't pick them up because they are looking for a great thriller. It seems that by joiing the ITW you are automatically a thriller writer.

When I think "Thriller" I think David Morrell, Lee Child, Gale Lynds, Steve Berry, Barry Eisler etc.
I don't think a book that is obviously a police procedural should be called a thriller. Amatuer slueths are genreally not thrillers. PI books are not thrillers. While they may have thriller aspects they should not be marketed as thrillers. I think it's actually misleading.

For me a big part of a thriller is the pacing. Jan Burke wrote a great thriller called NINE. on the cover: A Novel Of Suspense. it was that too. But it sure had the thriller pacing down pat. Labeling a book a thriller raises certain expectations in my mind and when I read it I expect certain things.

And why label a book at all? Why label so many books as cozy? So many books with that lable are actually not so much cozy as they are "Traditional". Granted, if you have a cat (especailly a talking one), or recipes are gardening tips, chances are it's a cozy. But Denise Swanson isn't really cozy, her books are really more traditional.

Another over used phrase is Noir. I won't even get into the whole waht is noir debate. Old school fans have strict guidelines and charts and graphs, newer fans have a little more open minded view. But here again, a lot of this is being labeled in order to help market books, when truthfully a little bit more broad term might be better.

Its a little like wine or beer isn't it?
A dark pilsner with a hint of Musky European flavor that lingers.
What the F*%K?

Here's another. Sports Utility Vehicle
Anyone out htere actually using one of these bad boys for sporting events?

What am I getting at? I guess I think we need to back off the over labeling of books. Why not let the reader decide what it is? I understand the marketing departments dilema. They feel the need to label it so us moron book buyers know what it is. But readers read, they can look at the jacket copy. Or how about " A novel of suspense"? That covers a lot of ground.

Is there an answer for this ?

Jul 8, 2007

Upcoming Interview

Tuesday night Ruth and I will be interviewed on MWA On The Air.

To hear the interview all you have to do is dial a toll free number.

8:00 PM Central time dial 1-866-212-7554
At the prompt punch in 7629501#

At this point all you have to do is wait and listen and at some point I'm sure I'll say something dopey and entertaining.
At the end of the interview they do allow questions.

And don't forget, Monday night Ken Bruen on Craig Ferrgusan's Late Late show.

A Crimespree Saturday

This is a special weekend for myself and for Crimespree.

We started out yesterday with the original Jordan Trio of Ruth, Jen and Jon. Bleak House descended upon us promptly at 10 a.m. Ben Leroy, publicist Tiffany and Bleak House author Evan Kilgore were in town for a book signing. Evan's book WHO IS SHAYLA HACKER? has been well received by critics and readers. Something different to read amongst the summer thrillers. It tells the story of a group of people who've never met and are brought together by Shayla Hacker. With a narrative that's straightforward and yet ethereal reader's are sure to be as sucked in by Shayla as the book's characters. A David Lynch experience in written form.

And Mystery One had readers on hand. Friends of Crimespree Penny Halle and Bev DeWeese were amongst the patrons. There were several hours of informal chat on mystery, Evan's background and plans, and the heat.

It was an appropriate beginning to a weekend which sees Crimespree packaging up the first edition of it's forth year. Because we love this shit.The books themselves, the commaraderie of fellow readers and the oppurtunity to meet and talk to the people who create the books we like to read. And we hope that what Crimespree does above anything else is share this "love" for murder and the discovery of new voices within our genre. Mornings like yesterday and lunches like the one shared with Shirley Damsgaard and Denise Swanson last Saturday reenergize the publishing personel of our eighty page magazine. We hope you see it in the end product.

After the event there was talk about one of the arguments that saps the energy out of even the most passionate. Yes the whole "What is Noir?" argument seeped right out of Sarah Weinman's blog and into my living room. To the point where Jen, Jon and I have decided we will devote an article on the subject in our magazine. Keep in mind I've heard the definitive answer. At the Austin Bouchercon Paul Johnston was asked this question of the moderator, leaned into the mike and summed it up, "Noir is the french word for black." And that folks is the only true answer. But the cult of noir continues to have many factions with passionate advocates. It ought to be interesting.

Rounding out the steamy Saturday was what remains the heart of my whole fascination towards mystery. Several hours of good reading. Last night I shared my pillow with an advanced copy of NIGHT WORK, a stand alone from Steve Hamilton set in upstate New York. Hamilton continues to be a master of the written word, look for this book and enjoy.

Jul 6, 2007

New Comics Blog Post

Over on the rimespree comics blog we have a piece from new contributer Neal Bohl.
Neal writes about similarities between Michale Moore's SICKO and the latest from Grant Morrison and work of Jack Kirby.

It hit home for me
  • Central Comics Zone

  • Jon

    Jul 4, 2007

    A Piece of My Heart

    As almost all who wander towards this blog from time to time know,
    Crimespree tries to be about the mystery. Written, filmed, cozy,
    hard-boiled, business, and loved.

    Ruth (me) and Jon Jordan (my own personal fireworks) will often be
    found arguing the merits of ska, prog rock, and which albums really are
    the keepers of the seventies. We often binge on long forgotten loves
    (David Bowie being my latest constant rotation) and are constantly
    listening for new music. As I get older I get further from the
    head-banger I used to be but music, it is a part of every day in our

    With that brief intro I bring to you the annual Summerfest post. This
    year Summerfest didn’t offer up a cornucopia for the Jordan
    household. 40th Anniversary or not the acts were not as plentiful but
    our first tickets we bought earlier than ever before. Roger Waters was
    coming to town and bringing The Dark Side of the Moon with him.
    Many friends were flummoxed at this choice but no one who was an
    American teen in the 70s and 80s questioned this decision and so with
    Brother and Sister in tow we made our way down to the Milwaukee
    Lakefront and our annual tradition of standing too many hours, eating
    too much fried food, and fighting the masses.

    It was a brilliant show. The rain refused to come as 23,000 people
    waited for the stage to erupt in a tsunami of 70s nostalgia. I saw
    friends’ parents and grandchildren. Roger Waters came to the mike
    and began a three hour salute to the band that made his name and the
    fans of their music. The music was flawlessly performed, we were
    carried on a wave of songs that spoke to us even after twenty, thirty,
    forty years.

    Tears were shed (Roger ”Syd” Barrett’s youthful mug staring down at
    us as Shine On You Crazy Diamond was performed). Vocal chords
    were threatened (every audience member became a back up singer
    for such favorites as Money and Comfortably Numb) and we rode the
    wave of people sharing a common experience.

    The pig flew over Milwaukee with Impeach Bush tattooed to his ass,
    and Waters introduced a new tune decrying the impersonalization of
    Arabs as a people in both the U.S. and U.K. on the day of yet another
    terrorist threat. And there were cheers.

    As our local rock reviewer said in his critique the next day,
    “Unfortunately, we live in times that suit the paranoid, apocalyptic tone
    of Water’s politics.”

    And so it is. On the 4th of July, as America celebrates with
    hamburgers, potato salad, and fireworks the death toll in Iraq moves
    up. 3,500 hundred American Soldiers, 1,000 “private contractors”,
    and last month alone, 35,000 Iraqi civilians. It’s a high price to pay for
    a flawed agenda. Republican or Democrat, no candidate for our
    highest office has a plan, much less a mandate on how to make this go
    away. As Madame Hillary brings out Bill in Iowa, she still refuses to
    accept any responsibility in the mess, and our administration still insists
    there were WOMD. The consequences of 9/11 continue to multiply....

    But for those three hours Water’s played to the people who remember
    the halcyon days when he and Gilmour were together and in their
    music and lyrics we found the right to question authority as well as the
    possibility of creating a solution.

    The music is great and the epitaph phenomenal. May we find the
    strength America. Thank you Pink Floyd. Rest in peace Syd.
    Another Brick in the Wall.