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Summer is without a doubt my favorite season. There are the fresh fruits and vegetables of course, the long days, the warm weather, the interesting skies, and the relaxing vacations (for those of you lucky enough to be able to take them!), but it's also prime reading time. I've got a few suggestions below for some fun beach books but whichever titles you choose, I hope they bring you many days of happy reading wherever you may be.

I'd hoped to be able to have book 4 in the Scott Drayco series, Elegy in Scarlet, published in time for that summer list, but due to some family health crises, the book production schedule has been pushed back a few months. Never fear, though—Drayco will be returning soon, along with a special book release offer for you. (Next month: cover reveal!)

And now here's the latest crime fiction news, reviews, tips, and more.
Beach Reads
Patti Abbott's new novel of psychological suspense, Shot in Detroit, focuses on photojournalist Violet Hart, whose obsession with capturing the deceased bodies of young, black men (thanks to access from her mortician boyfriend) becomes a battle for her soul when deadlines and a lack of corpses present her with a moral dilemma.

For cozy mystery fans, Terrie Farley Moran's third book in her Read ‘Em and Eat bookstore café series, Read to Death, finds Sassy and Bridgy's book club in the hot seat after their chauffeur is found murdered.

Thriller fans may enjoy Paul Doiron's latest book, Windowmaker, set in a mountainous wilderness hidden from the rest of the world, where the military guards a top-secret interrogation base, sexual predators live together in a backwoods colony, and self-styled vigilantes are willing to murder anyone they consider their enemies.

Fans of Cara Black's heroine Aimée Leduc, a très chic, no-nonsense private investigator. will want to seek out Murder on the Quai, which dips back in time to reveal how Aimée first became a detective.

And if you want more new releases, check out the Bloodstained Bookshelf's month-by-month listing.
Short But Not Necessarily "Sweet"
Crime novellas have been popular for a long time, with Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe works, Agatha Christie's Three Blind Mice, and the Sherlock Holmes classic Hound of the Baskervilles only scratching the surface. After a period of time when "book bloat" became more popular, the novella appears to be making a strong comeback in the age of the internet. James Patterson is the latest to jump on the novella bandwagon, with his BookShots imprint. His aim is to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media by making them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven (e.g. thrillers and romance) and more widely available. As a recent NYT article notes, it could open up a big new market since a Pew Research study found 27 percent of American adults said they had not read a book in the past year.
Blog Roll
With Brexit in the news (for better or worse), it seemed timely to mention a blog that has a focus on crime from not too far away in the Emerald Isle, Crime Fiction Ireland. Edited by Lucy Dalton, with occasional contributions from Tom Comiskey, Paul Dalton, Jake Harrington, and other guest writers, #CRIMEIRE chronicles the growing crime fiction scene in Ireland (on page and screen) but they are also partial to Nordic Noir and Eurocrime. Recent features included book readings, news of new crime dramas, and spotlights on the Edinbugh Book Festival and Dublin Writers' Conference.
Conference Spotlight
Speaking of conferences, one you may not have heard of is the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference in Corte Madera, California. Coming up July 28-31, this year's event is co-chaired by Cara Black and David Corbett with an all-star faculty including authors Rhys Bowen, Laurie R. King, John Lescroart, Martin Limón, Dr. D.P. Lyle, Tim Maleeny, Kelli Stanley, and Jacqueline Winspear, among many other special guests. Topics will include plotting, characterization, editing, publishing, and writers can also sign up for private consultations. If you're just starting out in your writing career, this is a great place to learn the ropes and rub elbows with some of the bestselling giants of the biz.
Featured Reference Website
CSI fans may enjoy checking around the Forensic Anthology website, which has links to fun topics like the eSkeletons Project, an interactive learning enviornment with high-quality images and 3-D images of bones, muscles, articulations, and morphological features, and The Skull Practical Exam, whose purpose is to "help you learn the various parts of and landmarks on the skull." There's also a link to the complete and original 1918 Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body.
Blatant Self Promtion (BSP) Time
I was thrilled to learn that my short story, "And Down We Go" was chosen for the 2016 Bouchercon conference anthology, Blood on the Bayou, edited by Greg Herren. Approximately 100 authors blindly submitted a story for consideration by three judges, who had the task of narrowing the list down to just 22 stories. It has a scheduled publication date of September 1, but the book will be available for pre-order (no date yet). Best of all, proceeds from the sale of Blood on the Bayou will go to support the New Orleans Public Library system.
This Month's Trivia Question
Here’s the plot summary: A large and very valuable Indian diamond is stolen. The suspects include three Hindu jugglers, for whom the diamond has religious significance, a young housemaid and ex-thief, and the owner herself. The book was written in 1868. What’s the book, and who’s the author? (The answer is at the bottom of this email.) And thanks to Linda B. for writing in last month with the the Trivia Tip.

A. The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
B. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
C. The Goldbug by Edgar Allan Poe
D. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
Quote of the Month
"The detective isn't your main character, and neither is your villain. The main character is the corpse. The detective's job is to seek justice for the corpse. It's the corpse's story, first and foremost." - Ross Macdonald
Recipe Goodie
In keeping with my #scottdraycocan'tcook theme, here's another three-ingredient recipe for you (also helpful for all busy folks): Chocolate Cornflake Clusters. It's as simple as combining 1 cup chocolate + 2 cups cornflakes + 2 tablespoons butter, and all you need is a microwave.
Trivia Answer:

B. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, which is often touted as the first detective novel in English.

Copyright © 2016 BV Lawson, All rights reserved.

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