Monday, January 7, 2019

Starting the New Year with Mystery Playground

Happy 2019! I thought I'd start the New Year off right and talk about a change we're making to Mystery Playground this year. In addition to Kerry Hammond and me (Deborah Lacy), we've added a new regular blogger & reviewer, TK Starr. She'll be joining us starting later in the month, so look out for her byline. Sharon Long, Pat Hernas and Janet Kuchler will continue to be on assignment. 

Of course, we'll still be doing Drinks with Reads on Fridays and covering our favorite authors, TV shows, mysteries, thrillers, short stories and books from all sides. We'll be adding more coverage on audio books, different TV shows, and speakeasies around the country.

You can always find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygrnd and on Facebook. You can also follow the blog by clicking the link on the upper right-hand corner of this webpage. 

Now that we've gotten some of the business sorted, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite mystery and book-related gifts that I received this holiday season. 

First off is The 2018 Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Louise Penny and stories curated by Series Editor, Otto Penzler, and the Book Lovers Candle by Frostbeard Studios.

I enjoy writing short stories and it's my dream to be selected for this anthology - BUT my dream will have to wait. None of my stories were chosen, but a friend of Mystery Playground -- Paul Marks -- did have his excellent story "Winward" selected. And another friend, John M. Floyd, had his excellent story "Gun Work" selected. Their stories join those of Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, and others. It's an awesome anthology and if you get a chance, take a read. 

Kerry Hammond, a good friend, short story writer, and fellow MP blogger, gave me this ceramic vase shaped like a book. It's so cute that I decided to put it on my desk for pens so I can see it every day. The box said there were other book vases and sizes, but mine is clearly the best. 

Ok, I may have bought the Barnes & Noble Happy Socks with books all over them for myself, but you deserve to know that these socks exist, so I'm including it. 

I also received this mystery novel called the 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It's different than anything I've read. Here's the description from the back of the book:

There are three rules of Blackheath House:
  1. Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
  2. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
  3. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let's begin... Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. Some of his hosts are helpful, and others only operate on a need to know basis.
I've just started this book, so I'll let you know what I think some future Monday. The excellent bookmark that you see with it also came from Kerry Hammond. 

Just a note to authors:

If you are an author and have a traditionally published book that you'd like one of us to review or your an author who'd like to guest on Drinks with Reads, the best way to contact us is by sending a message to us on the Mystery Playground Facebook page. 

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2019! 

Deborah Lacy

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