sunny, temps....hot, and humid and gorgeous
Yes, we're still in Jamaica....and loving every minute. Even loving it when the rains come - gives us an excuse to retreat to the deep covered verandah of our room, continue reading, and watch the rain. A few days ago we were all at dinner, out the huge outdoor terrace, under the stars....looking out over the caribbean - when the heavens opened. There was a rush for the 'lifeboats' - and the live band kept playing. It was hilarious. No sign of Kate Winslet or Leonardo, (or Celine) - but it felt a little like 'sauve qui peut'. Well, all the guests ended up in different parts of the Jamaica Inn....and the waiters found us all, and brought our orders without a pause, as though this is just to be expected.
We've met the most interesting people here....mostly British and American. A US General, a British Lord and Lady, a movie star, a composer of West End musicals, and then a whole lot of 'regular folk' like us. All mingling and enjoying quiet, and calm - and passing the time of day when we meet. It feels as though time has stood still here. It's a nice feeling.
But really what I wanted to tell you is that we've received the most wonderful news!!! A TRICK OF THE LIGHT has been nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel in the US!!! Here's the complete list for Best Novel -
The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis (Berkley)
Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur)
Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
As you might know, I'm friends with a few people on this list, especially GM Maillet (whose book I heartily and happily endorsed) and Margaret Maron - loved her book too. Donna and I go back a number of years and I always like her company, and her books. Krista I don't know, but will get her book and I'm sure it's terrific.
How wonderful it feels to be in such splendid company.
Here are the other nominees, in other categories, including my friends Chris Grabenstein, Dana Cameron , Barb Goffman, and the magnificent Rhys Bowen....
Best First Novel:
Dire Threads by Janet Bolin (Berkley)
Choke by Kaye George (Mainly Murder Press)
Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (Crown)
Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab (Berkley)
Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend (Berkley)
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure by Leslie Budewitz (Linden)
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks by John Curran (Harper)
On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda (Princeton University Press)
Wilkie Collins, Vera Caspary and the Evolution of the Casebook Novel by A. B. Emrys (McFarland)
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris (Ace)
Best Short Story:
"Disarming" by Dana Cameron, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - June 2011
"Dead Eye Gravy" by Krista Davis, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press)
"Palace by the Lake" by Daryl Wood Gerber, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press)
"Truth and Consequences" by Barb Goffman, Mystery Times Ten (Buddhapuss Ink)
"The Itinerary" by Roberta Isleib, MWA Presents the Rich and the Dead (Grand Central Publishing)
Best Children's/Young Adult:
Shelter by Harlan Coben (Putnam)
The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press)
The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (EgmontUSA)
The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key by Penny Warner (EgmontUSA)
Best Historical Novel:
Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Murder Your Darlings by J.J. Murphy (Signet)
Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press)
Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson (Minotaur)
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)
Congratulations, everyone. so exciting. The winners will be voted on and announced at the end of April at Malice Domestic in Washington. If you don't know Malice Domestic, it's a fabulous mystery reader/writers conference, featuring panels of writers discussing their work and process. It's big enough to to attract some of the finest writers of traditional mysteries internationally, and small enough that you actually get to chat with them. Very fun and wonderfully organized. Well worth going. Unfortunately, I won't be there for the first time in years - I have to be in London at that time. I can't tell you how much Michael and I will miss being there - they've become like family.
For now, though, we find solace in the caribbean, sipping ginger beers and eating grilled fish. Heading home Saturday. What a lovely respite.
Speak soon -