Hi everyone, and apologies for the very long delay between my last newsletter and this one.
First of all, I have some very exciting news to share. This past October I was really excited and honoured to have my Jason Davey story Salty Dog Blues included in the Sisters in Crime - Canada West Anthology Crime Wave.
It's just been announced that Salty Dog Blues is one of the finalists in the Crime Writers of Canada's Awards of Excellence for 2021, in the Best Crime Novella category.
The other finalists in the Best Novella category are C.C. Benison for The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford, Vicki Delany for Coral Reef Views and my fellow Vancouver author Sam Wiebe for Never Going Back.
And one of the other contributors to Crime Wave, Marcelle Dube, is a finalist in the CWC Awards of Excellence for Best Crime Short Story.
Salty Dog Blues features my current hero Jason Davey when he was still working as an entertainer on board the cruise ship Star Sapphire in 2012, as he tries to solve the mystery of a missing (and highly annoying) Chihuahua which has been brought aboard by an equally infuriating passenger.
You can read more about Crime Wave here:
and you can buy it on Amazon (paperback or ebook) here:
The link is to Amazon Canada but it's available internationally as well.
You can see the full shortlist announcement here:
or watch it on youtube here:
And you can read all about me in today's New Westminster Record:
The finalists will be announced on May 27, 2021.
I'm about one third of the way through the first draft of my next Jason Davey novel. which is called Ticket to Ride and which will be released towards the end of 2021. Jason's on tour with his mum's band Figgis Green. But it seems that someone might have a long-standing grudge against Mandy Green - and quite possibly Jason, too. And what does this have to do with gargoyles, Green Man bosses, and the ghost of a WW2 airman based at Biggin Hill?
Brian Richmond, my partner in crime over at Blue Devil Books, was Joanna Vandervlugt's guest on her podcast JCVArtStudio - Sophisticated Creatives on November 7, 2020. You can listen to that interview here:
Joanna also interviewed all of the contributors to the above-mentioned Sisters in Crime anthology Crime Wave. You can listen to the podcast (featuring me and my SinC colleagues) here:
Speaking of Blue Devil Books, Brian has put together a little promo video which features Joanna, me, and our colleague Alice Bienia. You can watch it here:
On November 25th I took part in Writers in Our Midst #16 - The Mystery Edition, sponsored by the Port Moody Public Library. The readings featured me, along with my colleagues AJ Devlin, Debra Purdy Kong, WL Hawkin, Seamus Heffernin and Erik D'Souza. The episode was streamed on the Port Moody Library's Facebook page and you can watch it here on youtube:
Also just a reminder - you can read the first two chapters of Lost Time on my website here:
And there are links to Amazon Canada, US and UK on that page.
I'll soon be adding the first two chapters of Notes on a Missing G-String, and the first pages of Disturbing the Peace.
If you really want to go back in time to Jason's first full-length adventure, you can read the first two chapters of Cold Play here:
and then you can have a little fun on the Cold Play Virtual Cruise to Alaska, which you can find here:
Lost Time has had some really excellent reviews (including recent entries from The Ormsby Review and Publishers Weekly), which you can find on the Blue Devil Books website here:
A side-note about one of my passions - abandoned (sorry, disused) Underground Stations. During Covid, the London Transport Museum is offering virtual tours of former Underground Stations. In non-Covid times you could visit some of these stations in person on guided tours. But that's all been put on hold for now. So starting late last year, the LTM started offering virtual tours on Zoom for a fraction of the price it would cost you for an in-person tour. I've done all four of the tours listed here:
and, here's a good segue - the result of it all is that I've written a short story called Blue Devil Blues which will be featured in an upcoming anthology. Of course, the story features Jason, and this time round you'll be finding out a) how he got the gig at the Blue Devil Jazz Club in Soho and b) how a former Underground station had a lot to do with it. I'll reveal more when the anthology - called Last Shot - is released later this year.
And last but not least, I'll be taking part in a Cozy Mysteries panel at the Ontario Library Technicians 48th annual conference, which this year will be virtual.
My panel is called Killing Them Softly and it'll take place on Wednesday May 12 12:00PM – 12:45PM EST. The full panel is:
Many thanks to everyone for continuing to support me and to stay in touch!
Stay well and safe.