HonoluluHavocBannerMysterious News Authors Nominated for Left Coast Crime Awards

You probably already know this, but:

Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors. LCC is held during the first quarter of the year in Western North America. Conventions have been held from Anchorage to El Paso, from Boulder to Hawaii, and various locations in between. Our purpose is to host an event where readers, authors, critics, librarians, publishers, and other fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interests.

This year it's taking place in Honolulu.

Now on to our nominees.

ellenbyron1Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron

Released September 13, 2016


Congratulations Ellen on your Best Humorous Mystery Novel nominee! We've been on the Body on the Bayou case from the very beginning.

Update October 26, 2016
I heard it through the grapevine (actually from newsie Hank Phillippi Ryan) that Ellen posted on Jungle Red Writers.

Ellen: "We can all point to moments that changed our lives – marriage, childbirth, getting our first book published. But these are the moments you expect to have huge consequences. What about the ones that seem inconsequential at the time? I had a moment like that during an interview with legendary actress Shirley MacLaine."

Ellen Byron--A Moment That Changed My Life.

Note to fellow newsies. Don't be shy. Just let me know when you're dating other blogs. Mysterious News isn't the jealous type.


The timing couldn't be better for Ellen to release her second Cajun Country Mystery as mystery writers and readers from around the country convene in Cajun Country for Bouchercon.

Thanks to Girl with Book Lungs, who writes:

bodyonthebayou1I had such a fun time reading Body on the Bayou.

Somehow, Maggie Crozat has found herself the maid of honor to a true crazy Cajun bridezilla, Vanessa. As her to do list from Vanessa grows, Maggie tries to juggle the unrealistic demands while working at two plantations, finding time to focus on her art career, and sneaking in time for her budding yet clandestine romance with police detective, Bo. As members of Vanessa's family stream into town for the wedding and associated parties, Maggie and her family are strong-armed into hosting Ginger - one of Vanessa's cousin – and her two business associated at their bed and breakfast. Vanessa warns Maggie to be cautious of Ginger but, at first, Maggie can't see why. Soon enough, however, Ginger's true colors shine through.

With the wedding getting nearer and nearer, Maggie is horrified to stumble over the body of Ginger in the bayou. On top of yet another murder at the Crozat B & B, the family finds themselves hosting two new moms – a lost dog and cat – as well as their litters, not to mention the reappearance of Bo's ex-wife Whitney, who confides in Maggie that her feeling for her ex aren't entirely in the past. Vanessa ads another task to Maggie's list: figure out who killed Ginger. The trouble is that all evidence seems to be pointing towards Vanessa. A fast pace and feisty characters drive this story and keep readers turning the pages. The characters are dynamic and engaging, fresh among the canvas of characters in the cozy mystery genre. Body in the Bayou features a cleverly intricate plot and a villain I never suspected or saw coming.

For as much as I enjoyed the first book in this series [Plantation Shudders], I liked this one even more, and I'm quite eager for the next installment!

Stop by Ellen's website to sign up for her newsletter and recipes and order your copy today.

Or Start Reading Now


Ellen's Bio

Ellen's debut novel, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and has been nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention.

Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she's written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. She recently served on the Editorial Board for the UCLA Writers Program's books, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room.

Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family's spoiled rescue dogs, which they describe as a "corgi-jack-huahua" and a "cherrier." A native New Yorker, Ellen still misses her hometown– and still drives like a New York cabbie.

mattcoyle350Matt Coyle
Dark Fissures
December 6, 2016

Congratulations Matt on your Best Mystery Novel nominee! Bet you thought Dark Fissures had slipped our surveillance.

Mysterious News wishes newsie Matt a Happy Book Birthday!

Description: Private Investigator Rick Cahill fears the next knock on his door will be a cop holding a warrant for his arrest. For murder. La Jolla Chief of Police Tony Moretti is convinced Rick killed a missing person. No body has been found, but the evidence that’s piling up says murder and it all points to Rick. With Moretti on his tail and the bank about to foreclose on his house, Rick takes a paying case that will stave off the bank, but pits him against Moretti and the La Jolla Police Department.

Brianne Colton, a beautiful country singer, is convinced her estranged husband’s suicide was really murder. Rick is unconvinced, but the mortgage has to be paid. Each new piece of evidence convinces him she’s right. He breaks his number one rule and falls for Brianne even, as he begins to question her motives.

As Moretti cinches the vise tighter, with Rick unable to trust the FBI, evil forces emerge from the shadows who will do anything, including torture and murder, to stop Rick from uncovering the truth.


item4Review by Paul D. Marks

Matt Coyle’s latest Rick Cahill thriller, Dark Fissures, blasts out of the gate like a runaway roller coaster. It’s one hell of a fast and wild ride and a great read.

Rick, a PI with a troubled past, is hired to find out if the “suicide” of Jim Colton, La Jolla cop and former Navy SEAL, really is a suicide or maybe murder. If the latter, why? And he does all this while juggling an affair with Brianne, the dead cop’s widow, whose motives he’s unsure of.

Rick’s not only running the case but running for his life from Moretti, the corrupt La Jolla police chief, and from Alan Rankin, a shady lawyer who he’s had dealings with in the past. Also from some hardcases in ski masks who beat the crap out of him. Are they working for Moretti or Rankin or is it something more sinister?

If you like Robert Crais you’ll dig Matt Coyle. Get to it before someone or something catches up with Rick and it’s too late.


Paul D. Marks is the author of the Shamus Award-Winning noir mystery-thriller White Heat. and Vortex.

Get Dark Fissures at Amazon.

Start reading Dark Fissures at Amazon.

Matt's Bio

Matt Coyle grew up in Southern California, battling his brother and sisters for respect and the best spot on the couch in front of the TV. He knew he wanted to be a writer at the age of twelve when his father gave him THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER by Raymond Chandler. His debut novel, YESTERDAY'S ECHO, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, The San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery, the IBPA Ben Franklin Silver Award for Best New Voice in Fiction, and was a Macavity Finalist for Best First Novel. The second Rick Cahill crime novel, NIGHT TREMORS, was a finalist of the Lefty Award for Best Regional Mystery and is a finalist for the Anthony Award for Best Mystery and a finalist for the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel. The third Rick Cahill crime novel is DARK FISSURES. Matt is currently writing the next book in the Rick Cahill crime series. He lives in San Diego with his Yellow Lab, Angus.


jamesziskinJames W. Ziskin
Heart of Stone
Released June 7, 2016

Congratulations James on your Best Mystery Novel nominee! No, we haven't been with following Heart of Stone from the very beginning. But, that's because we have a heart of stone. It's because you weren't a newsie at the time. But, fortunately, like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, we have informants, like newsie Allen Eskins.

“James Ziskin has written another great read, imbued with a rich cast of characters and a tight plot that bristles with tension. Ellie Stone is the perfect protagonist—extraordinary but with enough girl-next-door charm in her that she instantly becomes a friend. This is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors, and it belongs on every mystery lover’s to-be-read list.”

—Allen Eskens, USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury

And there's always Kirkus reviews:

Upstate reporter Ellie Stone’s perfect 1961 Adirondack vacation is spoiled by everything from a skinny-dipping aunt to a pair of deaths that may or may not be accidental.

Even swimmers who are comfortable with their bodies don’t want strange men showing up when they’ve been bathing in the nude. But Ellie’s Aunt Lena is even more disturbed when Ralph “Tiny” Terwilliger, the new chief of the Prospector Lake police, demands that Ellie (No Stone Unturned, 2014, etc.) and her Leica accompany him to the spot beneath Baxter’s Rock where two men plunged to their deaths so that she can take the crime-scene photos he’s not equipped to take.

heartofstoneNot that Tiny, whose body odor is as offensive as his anti-Semitic language, thinks there’s been any crime; he’s not troubled by the fact that both men, identified as music camp teen Jerry Kaufman and Hollywood producer Charles M. Morton, both dived from the rock and missed Prospector Lake. Ellie, who’s swiftly drawn back to the musical friendship circle of her late brother, Elijah, reconvened at nearby Arcadia Lodge, is far more suspicious. She’s on hand when Ruth Hirsch, scoping out one of her photos, identifies Morton as Karl Marx Merkleson, another childhood friend who split with the Arcadia contingent, especially militantly religious Simon Abramowitz, when he abjured his religion and married shiksa Gayle Pierce. Can Ellie, who’s fallen hard for math teacher Isaac Eisenstadt, trust her judgment about the members of the Arcadia crowd, who turn out to be even more tightknit than she knows?

Ziskin plants clues so conscientiously that most readers will beat the heroine to the killer. What makes this case stand apart is its sensitively nuanced evocation of the conflicts that swirl around the artsy Jewish milieu of the early 1960s.

James's Bio:

Anthony, Lefty, and Barry Award Nominee, James W. Ziskin is the author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries. STONE COLD DEAD, finalist for the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original STONE COLD DEAD, finalist for the 2016 Barry Award for Best Paperback Original STONE COLD DEAD, finalist for the 2016 Lefty Award for Best World Mystery Novel NO STONE UNTURNED, finalist for the 2015 Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original

Get Heart of Stone at Amazon.

Start reading Heart of Stone at Amazon.


Oh, yeah. Other people got nominated, too. Here's the complete list thanks to Janet Rudolph.


Transition Edition: The Writer-Reader Connection: The Walter Forbes Series and The Dopamine Reward | Left Coast Crime Mysterious News Nominees | Mahalo and Transition

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