What’s New This Month – March 2023


New Releases
Awards and Nominations
Author Appearances

New Releases

Iris Yamashita‘s novel, CITY UNDER ONE ROOF, has been named an Reader’s Digest Book Club Pick, Amazon Editors’ Pick; has received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal; has been selected by GoodReads, Penguin Random House, Book Riot and Crime Reads as one of the most anticipated books of 2023; and has received praise from The Washington Post,The New York Times, The Sun Sentinel, Mystery Scene Magazine, Book Browse, and others.

THE RAVEN THIEF, Gigi Pandian‘s follow-up to UNDER LOCK & SKELETON KEY, comes out March 21, from Minotaur Books. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it a “brilliant homage to classic golden age authors.”

SENTENCED TO DEATH, the fourth Writer for Hire mystery by Betty Hechtman, was a February release for Severn House. Publishers Weekly says, “This cozy is good fun.”

Agatha Award-winning author Maria DiRico* returns with the fourth book in the Catering Hall Mystery Series, FOUR PARTIES AND A FUNERAL. In this novel, Mia Carina is coming to grips with being back in Astoria, Queens, and running her Italian-American family’s catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, but a TV casting call is about to put murder in the spotlight. Mia intends to make sure the killer gets jail time, not airtime. *aka Ellen Byron

AD Price‘s debut novel, AFTER THE BLUE BLUE RAIN, is now available in audiobook format. The narrator is Elizabeth Schmidt.

Dorothy Howell‘s SEAMS LIKE MURDER, the first of her Sewing Studio series, which was originally published by Kensington, is now available in large print format from Wheeler Publishing.

Awards and Nominations

The 2023 “Lefty” Awards will be given out March 18 at the Left Coast Crime gathering in Tucson. Congrats to these members and their books for being nominated:

*Ellen Byron – Best Humorous Novel for BAYOU BOOK THIEF
*Jennifer Chow – Best Humorous Novel for DEATH BY BUBBLE TEA
*Gigi Pandian – Best Mystery Novel for UNDER LOCK & SKELETON KEY

Two of our members have been nominated for the 2023 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel:
*Jennifer Chow for DEATH BY BUBBLE TEA, and
*Ellen Byron for BAYOU BOOK THIEF.
These two novels were also among those recently named as Kings River Life Staff Favorites of 2022

PROMOPHOBIA, edited by former SinC/LA President Diane Vallere, was nominated for a 2023 Agatha Award for Best Non Fiction. The book includes essays by
Mike Befeler, Ellen Byron, Matt Coyle, Daryl Wood Gerber, Sheila Lowe, Gigi Pandian, Patricia Smiley, and Pamela Samuels Young.
The Agathas are given each year at the Malice Domestic Convention on Saturday April 29.

Rachel Howzell Hall has just been named a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in the Mystery / Thriller category for her novel, WE LIE HERE. Winners will be announced April 21, immediately prior to the LA Times Festival of Books.

Author Appearances

Shannon Muir Broden will moderate a Toastmasters 4 Writers program from 10 am to noon on March 4. The topic is “Public Speaking: An Essential Element of a Successful Writer’s Toolkit”, featuring our own Ellen Byron and Matt Coyle as panelists.

James T. Bartlett will appear at the L.A. Central Library downtown
on Saturday March 11 at noon to discuss his true crime book,THE ALASKAN BLONDE:
SEX, SECRETS, AND THE HOLLYWOOD STORY THAT SHOCKED AMERICA. James will talk about his investigation of this sensational 1953 murder, and how his discoveries of new evidence finally solved a 70-year old cold case murder.

These members will appear on panels at the Left Coast Crime convention March 16-19 in Tucson. (Name – panel title)

Anne Louise Bannon – “Mysteries With Romance”
James T. Bartlett – “True Crime: Fact & Fictionalized”
Mike Befeler – “How Do You Know What’s Funny” ,”Senior Sleuths”
Craig Faustus Buck – “Jewish Noir”
Ellen Byron – Toastmaster & Host of Movie Night & on Lefty Nominee Panel
Marco Carocari – “What Makes A Thriller Thrilling” and “Disobedient Daughters & Scurrilous Sons”
Sarah M Chen – “The Joys & Challenges Of Producing An Anthology” and “What Makes It Noir”
Jennifer Chow – “Animals” (also on Lefty nominee panel)
Dorothy Howell – “A Touch Of Romance”
Kim Keeline – “Celebrating The Short Story”, “The Joys & Challenges of Producing an Anthology”
Gay Toltl Kinman – “Packing It All In A Short Story”
Winnie Li – “Film & TV Storytelling” and “What Makes it Noir”
Melinda Loomis – “Celebrating the Short Story”
Marjorie McCown – “All Kinds of Cozies”
John Mullen — “How We Kill People”
Larry Pontius — “You’re Killing Me: Fun With Murder”
Peggy Rothschild – “Big Crime in Small Towns”
Laurie Stevens – “Suspense: Domestic or Psychological”
Meredith Taylor – “Dru Ann & Friends Talk About Books”
Wendell Thomas – “Creating Memorable Characters”
Kate Thornton – “Packing It All In A Short Story” and Moderator of Ghost of Honor Panel

Winnie Li will appear at Chevalier’s Books in Larchmont Village in a roundtable discussion with Steph Cha and Naomi Hirahara, on March 21 from 6 to 7 pm.

Iris Yamashita has had more than a dozen interviews and appearances regarding her new book CITY UNDER ONE ROOF, including with The Orange County Register, Crime Reads, California Magazine, The Big Thrill, Writers Digest, Novel Finds, and Vroman’s Bookstore.\

Winnie Li appeared recently with Jordan Harper at Book Soup. Winnie spoke about her novel, COMPLICIT, which The Guardian calls “visceral and timely” and The New York Times says “draws you to the edge of your seat and keeps you there.”

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