If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our July author interviews: Ellen Byerrum (7/5), Day of the Dark anthology authors (7/12 and 7/19), and Nancy Cole Silverman (7/26).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in July: 7/1--Fran Stewart, and 7/8--Nancy Cole Silverman. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 7/15--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/22--Kait Carson, and 7/29--E. B. Davis.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Mystery Pioneer: Eleanor Taylor Bland

by Shari Randall


Inspired to try new-to-me authors by Warren Bull’s series of reviews of classic crime novels, I decided to pick up a book by an author who came onto my radar through a Tweet from Sisters in Crime. The Tweet announced the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Bland was an African-American author who in the 1990s created a series about Marti MacAlister, an African American police detective in a suburb of Chicago. Marti is a widow who must juggle finding killers and raising her two children. In a post on her website, Sara Paretsky praised Bland’s commitment to literature and her concern for the portrayal of women and African Americans in crime fiction.

I picked up the first in the Marti MacAlister series, Dead Time. A mentally ill woman is murdered in a rundown hotel that caters to the elderly, the down and out, and addicts in Lincoln Prairie, Illinois. MacAlister’s partner on the police force, Jellenovik, wants to believe that Lincoln Prairie is a small town without the type of crime found in its larger neighbor, but streetwise MacAlister knows that drug use, homelessness, and crime don’t respect borders.

In the 1990s, female police officers are breaking new ground and the appearance of an African-American female detective at a murder scene sets tongues wagging. MacAllister not only has to fight the public’s mistrust, she must prove herself to fellow officers who don’t respect her abilities. But she’s just as tough as any of her fellow officers and her role as mother gives her insights that help her crack a case that involves two homeless boys who have unwittingly witnessed a murder.

The opening scene, with the two boys running through a snowstorm in the dark, dodging drunks and security guards to make a delivery, pulled me into the story. MacAlister’s storytelling was taut and unsentimental, packed with details that grounded the story in its time and place. Dead Time kept me up all night.

Sisters in Crime honors Bland's contribution to the genre with the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. The deadline for authors who would like to apply for the grant has been extended. Here’s the scoop from the Sisters in Crime website:

 “The EleanorTaylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award is an annual grant of $1,500 for an emerging writer of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. This grant is intended to support the recipient in activities related to crime fiction writing and career development. She or he may choose from activities that include workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats; online courses; and research activities required for completion of the work. Applications will be accepted after April 15, 2017.  Deadline for applications is June 15, 2017. The winner will be selected and announced by August 1, 2017.”

Have you tried a new author lately?

11 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

Shari, as to new authors: I’ve been doing some dabbling in dystopian literature and just finished Joe Hart’s “Dominion Trilogy.”

~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

Jim, what made you want to try his books? I just googled him - the covers do look appealing. Also I discovered there's a Joe Hart who plays for Manchester United.

Jim Jackson said...

Shari, I am working on the idea of a dystopian trilogy and so am sampling what others have done to become more familiar with the genre, see what works and what doesn't, test my story ideas compared to what has already been done. I bought a Kindle Unlimited Subscription and so use that for books not available at my library (or from my grandkids).

~ Jim

Margaret Turkevich said...

Lori Rader-Day recently did a joint book promo with Columbus, Ohio, AP reporter and author Andrew Welsh-Huggins. He writes about Columbus-based PI Andy Hayes. I'm curious how he portrays Columbus in his books, and how they compare with other PI series (DeSilva, Lippman, Muller, Grafton).

Shari Randall said...

My college roommate grew up in Columbus and I've visited twice. I bet she'd love to try out that series. Thanks, Margaret!

Shari Randall said...

Jim, that sounds so exciting! It's great that you'll have your grandkids to beta read for you!

Gloria Alden said...


Shari, this sounds like a book I'd like to read. Since it was published so long ago, would it be easy to find do you think? I really enjoy Frankie Y. Bailey's books.

Warren Bull said...

I didn't know about this author. thanks.

KM Rockwood said...

When you mentioned the award, it made me think, Why haven't I even wondered who Eleanor taylor Bland was, and how an award came to be named after her?

I think this is one I;ll have to try to track down.

KM Rockwood said...

A more organized person would have looked things up before replying the first time, but...

Eleanor Taylor Blank books are available through Amazon. They are probably available other places, too.

Since I lived in south Chicago for a few years, I'm curious to see if she portrays the south Chicago I remember.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Gloria, I got my copy through the library. They had several of her books.

Hi Warren, it's cool to read a book you haven't covered yet!

Hi KM, I have to admit I hadn't heard of Bland either before I saw the tweet about the grant in her name.