Friday, August 9, 2013

Mystery Weekend Roundup for August 9, 2013

Upcoming Conferences

Scotland is celebrating it's Crime Writing Festival in September. Bloody Scotland begins September 13th and runs until the 15th, in Stirling. Sophie McKenzie and Lee Child are among the attendees. The Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year will be announced at the Festival on the 14th. Finalists include Ian Rankin for Standing In Another Man's Grave and Ann Cleeves for Dead Water.

St. Hilda's College is hosting a Mystery & Crime Weekend on August 16th at Oxford in England. Conference speakers include P.D. James and Peter Robinson.

And of course, Bouchercon is a little more than a month away in Albany.

More Writing Contests

A.S. King is giving away an advance copy of her newest book, Reality Boy. The winner will be chosen from entries in her writing contest, posted on her blog here.

The Rules:
  1. Your story MUST start with this sentence: Janet was early. **
  2. Your story MUST end with this sentence: Of course, she didn't.
  3. Your story must be 100 words or less.
Check her blog for more details. Deadline is August 18th, so you've got plenty of time to get those creative juices flowing.

This next contest starts tomorrow, August 10th and runs for only 24 hours, so hop on it! The Dangerous Fiction Writing Contest will award the winner a copy of Barbara Rogan's A DANGEROUS FICTION. Check the link for contest rules.

New Mystery Releases

A number of promising titles are coming out in August, including Tell No Lies by Gregg Hurwitz, A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay, Justice For Sarah by Erica Spindler, Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives edited by Sarah Weinman and The Little Black Book of Murder by Nancy Martin. You can see a more complete list at Stop, You're Killing Me!

And Rosemary Harris is offering The Bitches of Brooklyn as a free kindle download today!


Jane Catherine Lotter passed away in Washington on July 18, 2013 after a very fruitful life. She had the advantage of writing her own obituary. This is something I encourage every writer to do and included this in my own list, 101 Things To Do Before You Die (For Mystery and Crime Writers).

Jane was an award-winning journalist, novelist and freelance writer whose humorous column, Jane
Explains, ran in the Seattle Sun from 1999 to 2005. Her comic novel, The Bette Davis Club, won first place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s literary contest in 2009.

She left the world a better place than she found it, and who among us don't hope to say that when we come to write our own obituary?

Rest In Peace.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

True Crime Tuesday for August 6, 2013

Marijuana Crops Play Havoc with Wildlife

Although consuming marijuana is legal in California, the actions of some pot growers are not, according to an article in the New York Times.  Growers have been poisoning rare wildlife in their efforts to protect their cash crops from bears, rats and deer. Using d-Con and other illegal pesticides have had a devestating effect on the environment, and so much water has been siphoned off from local rivers that populations of Coho salmon are threatened. Ironically, many people who support the decriminalization of marijuana support green causes. Yet they are unaware of the effects that growers have in the ecosystem of California.

The Limits Of DNA

Could DNA contamination lead to false convictions? It almost did in the case of Lukis Anderson, who was arrested for the murder of Raveesh Kumra based on DNA found on the victim's body. Yet Anderson was in the hospital at the time of the murder. After five months in jail, prosecutors realized that the paramedics who took Anderson to the hospital were the same ones who responded to the crime scene where Mr. Kumra was killed. In another case, German police realized after 15 years that their prime suspect in a serial killer case was a factory worker whose DNA contaminated the cotton swabs used to collect evidence in 6 murders across Germany and Austria.

The Reader's Digest Guide To Crime

It had to happen eventually. Reader's Digest has come out with a condensed guide for criminals. Among the  tips in their guide, don't point your finger at a convenience store clerk and expect him to think it's a loaded gun.