Agatha Nominations!

The 2014 Agatha Award nominees are out from Malice Domestic.

A special shout out for the Wickeds– Sherry Harris on her Agatha Nomination for Best First for Tagged For Death and Edith Maxwell for Best Short for “Just Desserts for Johnny.”

And, as you can see from the list below, more Friends of the Blog than we can probably remember to mention (so we won’t try, but believe us, we’re excited).

Congratulations to all! We hope we see you in Bethesda in May.

Best Contemporary Novel
The Good, The Bad and The Emus by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)
Best Historical Novel
Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
Wouldn’t it Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland (Minotaur Books)
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Murder in Murray Hill by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)
Best First Novel
Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris (Kensington Publishing)
Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien (Henery Press)
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran (Berkley Prime Crime)
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)
Best Nonfiction
400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Plantinga (Quill Driver Books)
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan (ed) (Henery Press)
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice by Kate Flora (New Horizon Press)
The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley (Pegasus Books)
The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor by Stephen Bates (Overlook Hardcover)
Best Short Story
“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor (EQMM)
“Premonition” (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Art Taylor (Wildside Press)
“The Shadow Knows” (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“Just Desserts for Johnny” by Edith Maxwell (Kings River Life Magazine)
“The Blessing Witch” (Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave) by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Level Best Books)
Best Children’s/Young Adult
Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower (ZonderKidz)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books)
Uncertain Glory by Lea Wait (Islandport Press)
The Code Buster’s Club, Case #4, The Mummy’s Curse by Penny Warner (Egmont USA)
Found by Harlen Coben (Putnam Juvenile)
The winners will be announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet on May 2, 2015. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Wicked Cozy Malice Events

The Wickeds are at Malice this weekend! Want to know where we’ll be? Here’s the Wicked Cozy schedule.


Malice 2013, with Liz on a stick.

Malice 2013, with Liz on a stick.

10:00-11:45—Malice Go Round. Jessie & Edith are a team. The rest of us will get pitched to for two hours. Haverford Baccarat

3:00-3:50—Agatha Best Contemporary nominees panel—Barb. Waterford/Lalique

5:00-5:30—Opening Ceremonies—Barb and Liz get their Agatha nominee acknowledgements. Waterford/Lalique room


7:30-9:00—SinC Breakfast

9:00-9:50 Sherry moderating panel—Diplomat/Ambassador

9:00-9:50—Barb on Agatha Short Story nominees panel—Lalique

9:00-9:50—Sheila on panel—Cabinet

10:00-10:50—Agatha Best First nominees panel—Liz. Haverford

The Wickeds with our agent John Talbot

The Wickeds with our agent John Talbot

10:00-noon—Julie working the Sisters in Crime table.

11:00 Barb & Liz signing—Atrium

2:00 Kensington Open house at Hyatt Hospitality Suite

3:00-3:50—Edith on panel—Baccarat

5:00—Edith signing. Atrium

7:00 Banquet—Chrystal Ballroom. We will live tweet the event. #Malice14


Lizandjessie72_27:00-8:45—New Authors breakfast. Liz introduced. Haverford/Baccarat

9:00-9:50—Jessie on panel. Waterford.

11:00—Jessie signing. Atrium

High Point of the Week

As the doldrums of February try to close in around us we’ve decided to beat them back by focusing on the positive. Each week this month we will post the high point of our week on Fridays and we hope you’ll chime in too.

So readers, what made you smile this week?

Edith: That February will be over tonight at midnight? Actually, mine would be attending a costumed reading of a play last night about fiery activist and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, a Newburyport native, and eating across the street IMG_3292beforehand in an historic restaurant (built by a Quaker in 1809) featuring authentic 1800s food  (which ended up to be a yummy pork loin with rosemary and apple compote, cornbread, and roasted potatoes) and drink. Yes, including rum. All in the name of research!

Jessie: I took two of my kids to the Lego Movie. It was really well done and a delightful experience to share with my boys. Both of them are starting to outgrow many of their childhood favorites but the love of Legos remains and made the movie even more of a pleasure.

Edith: SO many fond memories of Legos with my boys.

Barb: My high point of the week? Do you have to ask?


Sherry: Viola is so adorable and she looks like you, Barb. I had lunch with a friend that I really love. She’s always so upbeat and energized — one of those people that makes the world a better place.

High Point of the Week

As the doldrums of February try to close in around us we’ve decided to beat them back by focusing on the positive. Each week this month we will post the high point of our week on Fridays and we hope you’ll chime in too.

So readers, what made you smile this week?

Barb: So for my high point of the week–Thursday night Bill and I went out to dinner and then to see the concert tour show for the Sing Off. The Sing Off is this short season show on NBC where a cappella groups compete against one another to win. I’ve never seen a single episode of American Idol or The Voice, but I love a cappella music and this goofy little show.

sing off 3The concert turned out to be great. They’re at the beginning of their tour, so I recommend seeing it if it comes to your city.

Liz: It started off as a sad week with the passing of my great aunt. She was an awesome lady who was like another grandmother to me. I ventured home – first time in a long time – for the funeral, and despite the sorrow of the occasion, I reconnected with my cousins and aunts and uncles and some old friends, and it felt really good.

Jessie: My high point this week was putting the final touches on a new office. My husband and kids were so generous with all the help they gave and I just love the new space!

montereySherry: I’m attending Left Coast Crime for the first time and was asked to be on a panel! My first ever! It’s Deadly New Voices and am looking forward to getting to know the other first time authors on the panel. Also it is in beautiful Monterey, California — we were stationed there for sixteen month in the late 90s.

Julie: My high point was the first New England Crime Bake Committee meeting. I am co-chair this year, so lot’s to do. But a great group of people, so it should be a great process.

IMG_3270Edith: Jessie, we want pictures! My high point was also office related: finally having shelves installed in my office closet. Does that sound too mundane? It has been a low-priority item in our home renovation – I mean, wouldn’t you want a working kitchen before an organized office? But when Hugh said he could take a day to build and paint and install shelves in my little closet, where previously I had dumped the guest bedding, the sewing supplies, my cloth bank, and more, I said, “Yes please!”

So now it’s all tidy, I can close doors on it, and the other bookshelves that had previously housed the office supplies and extra books now hold just books, of which I have many.

Readers: Tell us your high point in this penultimate week of February!

High Point of the Week

As the doldrums of February try to close in around us we’ve decided to beat them back by focusing on the positive. Each week this month we will post the high point of our week on Fridays and we hope you’ll chime in too.MaxHugh2009

Edith: Ten years ago today I went for a long walk in Ipswich with a tall funny man I had met on It was our first in-person meeting, on Valentine’s Day purely by chance, and we walked and talked for almost two hours. And we’re still together. That’s a pretty big high point for me! You can bet that we’re going out for a really nice dinner. And he never forgets our anniversary date.

Barb: Edith, I’d forgotten it was Valentines! (That’s what happens when you’ve been married for 38 years.) Bill and I are low-keying it this year with dinner and a movie on Saturday or Sunday, so my highlight of the week is being HOME. I love to travel and I love, love Key West, but I have a craving for routine that never quite gets satisfied. I believe it’s out there like some platonic ideal and the closest I will ever get to it is when I’m home for an extended period.

Liz: I’d say snow, but I’d be lying. Lots of good stuff this week, but my high point wasMe and Cynthia being able to wish the lovely Cynthia Fleck (my pseudo mom) happy birthday and remembering that family is not just who you’re born into.
Oh – and having hot water in the kitchen again after being without for two weeks is pretty cool too 🙂

IMG_4087Sherry: Two things happened this week that touched my heart. Someone said some very lovely things about our blog. And seeing our neighbors work together to battle the snow that fell in Virginia yesterday. To the rest of the world it’s just snow but here it is an event!

Julie: And I was also on the Jungle Red Writers blog, which was a lot of fun. And the same night I was on a panel at the Mystery Writers of America New England meeting. It was about debut novelists, and I was (yet again) humbled by the support of my fellow writers, including Edith who sat right down front. A nice week for Julianne Holmes.

Jessie:My high point this week has been treating myself to early bedtimes almost every night and waking utterly refreshed for a change. Usually, I get between 5-6 hours of sleep but this week I have been taking myself firmly in hand and getting to bed by 10 or 10::30. It is remarkable how much it improves my mood and productivity the next day.

So readers, what made you smile this week?

High Point of the Week

As the doldrums of February try to close in around us we’ve decided to beat them back by focusing on the positive. Each week this month we will post the high point of our week on Fridays and we hope you’ll chime in too.brazilg=flag

Sherry: I had family here from Brazil, Florida and Atlanta. It was such a wonderful time — lots of laughter, practicing my very sparse Portuguese, showing my niece Washington DC, and spending time with my daughter. A great, great week here in Northern Virginia!

Edith:  One high point for me was having a foot of fresh snow to cross-country ski on yesterday. banana-nut-pancakesAnother was fantasizing about owning a country store in southern Indiana, serving breakfasts and lunches to both locals and Indiana University academics trying to get away from departmental politics. Hosting B&B guests upstairs, and trying to stay away from dead bodies downstairs. Or maybe that was imagining a new cozy mystery series!

Liz: Despite the fact that all this snow DOESN’T make me smile….it is really cuteFinny to watch Finny playing in it. He loves everything – snow, ice, sun, whatever – and lives each minute to the fullest.

Barb: There were several high points this week as Bill and I make our way slowly up the east coast from Key West to New England. I spent a lovely weekend with my cousins. And, Bill and I had a great day touring Savannah. What a gorgeous city. But the absolutely BEST day was Sunday at the Inn at the Beach in Venice, FL. It was one of those beautiful days–bright blue sky, high fluffy clouds, warm and dry but not hot. We didn’t have to be anywhere and sat by the pool reading the Sunday New York Times, dipping into the hot tub, swimming in the pool. Repeat. Even as it was happening, I was thinking, this is a perfect day.

Jessie: My high point this week was spending time with a dedicated group of young writers at a local middle school. These kids choose to spend a free period once each week in order to write and to share their work. Each of them is creative and fun and so willing to write with their own unique voices. They are gracious and kind to each other and they make me feel so hopeful.

Julie: My high point was going to the Walpole Community Television station, and being interviewed by Guy Giampapa about StageSource (the theater service organization that I work for). What a pleasure–meeting someone who so obviously loves theater, who did his homework about StageSource, and who put me at ease. I just hope my lipstick was on straight, and I didn’t have anything in my teeth. Video makes me nervous. PS, this may be the hightlight of my month. And PPS, I will post the video when it is up. Friends on the Cape and South Shore of Massachusetts, check your local listings!

So readers, what made you smile this week?