Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Posts about Local authors

Guardian Children's Prize longlist includes Kate DiCamillo

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: July 1, 2014 - 10:30 AM

Kate DiCamillo is just back from Las Vegas ("exhausted and overjoyed," she says on Facebook), where she was picking up the Newbery Medal that she won earlier in the year for "Flora & Ulysses," her funny, charming and poignant story about a girl, a squirrel and a vacuum cleaner. And she now finds herself on another longlist for yet another prize.

The Guardian of London has announced its longlist for The Guardian Children's Prize, a list that was described as being "challenging, funny, exciting, beautiful, thoughtful, bonkers," according to one of the judges, writer Gillian Cross.

DiCamillo's "Flora & Ulysses" is on the list, along with seven other books. Here's the list, with the UK publishers listed. (DiCamillo's US publisher is Candlewick.) The short list will be announced in August, and the winner will be annonced on Nov. 13.

"The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby: Flora in Love," by Natasha Farrant (Faber)

"Phoenix," by SF Said (David Fickling)

"Flora and Ulysses," by Kate DiCamillo (Walker)

"The Dark Wild," by Piers Torday (Quercus)

"Shine," by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling)

"We Were Liars," by E Lockhart (Hot Key Books)

"She Is Not Invisible," by Marcus Sedgwick (Orion)

"The Lost Gods," by Francesca Simon (Faber)

I don't want to jinx anyone, but wouldn't it be fun to have her report on Facebook in November that she is just back from London, exhausted and overjoyed?

More award (nominations) for William Kent Krueger

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: June 24, 2014 - 10:46 AM

William Kent Krueger's 2013 novel, "Ordinary Grace," was a departure for him. A coming of age story set in a small Minnesota town in the1960s, it was centered on a mysterious death, but there was no Cork O'Connor to come to the rescue. Just the gentle storytelling of the protagonist.

The book has gone on to be his most honored novel yet, winning the Edgar Award for best novel, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for best fiction, the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Dilys Award, and the Left Coast Crime "Squid" award for best mystery set within the United States. (Yes, they have awards for everything.) It's made the short list for at least three others.

Now it's on the short list for the Mystery Readers International Macavity Awards, up against such heavyweights as last year's winner, Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, and Thomas H. Cook. The winner will be announced in November.

Here's the full list:

Best Mystery Novel

Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook (Mysterious Press)

Dead Lions by Mick Herron (Soho Crime)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books)

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood (Penguin Books)

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin (Reagan Arthur Books)

Best First Mystery 

Yesterday’s Echo by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing)

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman (Minotaur Books)

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (Ballantine Books)

Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller (Faber & Faber)

A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames (Seventh Street Books)

Best Mystery Short Story 

“The Terminal” by Reed Farrel Coleman (Kwik Krimes, edited by Otto Penzler; Thomas & Mercer)

“The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” by John Connolly (Bibliomysteries: Short Tales about Deadly Books, edited by Otto Penzler; Bookspan)

“The Dragon’s Tail” by Martin Limon (Nightmare Range: The Collected Sueno and Bascom Short Stories, Soho Books)

“The Hindi Houdini” by Gigi Pandian (Fish Nets: The Second Guppy Anthology, edited by Ramona DeFelice Long; Wildside Press)

“Incident on the 405” by Travis Richardson (The Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble, edited by Clare Toohey; Macmillan)  

“The Care and Feeding of Houseplants” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2013)

Best Nonfiction

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo (William Morrow)

Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard by Charles J. Rzepka (Johns Hopkins University Press)

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award  A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)

Saving Lincoln by Robert Kresge (ABQ Press)

Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)

Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell (Little, Brown)

Ratlines by Stuart Neville (Soho Crime) 

Louise Erdrich's O. Henry Prize-winning story inspired by childhood memories

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: June 13, 2014 - 10:56 AM

The advance copy of "The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014" landed on my desk last week while I was out of town. The annual anthology was edited this year by Laura Furman and dedicated to Alice Munro, the Canadian writer who thrilled all lovers of the short story everywhere last year when she won the Nobel Prize. Furman herself is the author of seven books, including "The Mother Who Stayed," a collection of stories, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.

Among this year's 20 O. Henry Award winners is Minnneapolis writer Louise Erdrich, who won for "Nero," which ran in the New Yorker. Other winners include the great Irish writer William Trevor, who could probably win every year; Laura van den Berg, and Stephen Dixon.

In the notes at the back of the book, Erdrich recounts how she came to write "Nero":  

"My grandparents really had a dog named Nero who escaped continually from the backyard," she writes, in part. "The misery of his life contrasted deeply with the characters of my tough but kind grandparents. I never knew what to make of Nero until suddenly, one morning, I was writing this story. ... The python lyceum, as well, was based on a real show. It is my most enthralling memory from grade two at Zimmerman Elementary School in Wahpeton" (North Dakota).

Aging grandparents, an escaping dog, a python lyceum? If you're not a New Yorker subscriber, this is a story to track down. Or wait for the collection, which pubs Sept. 9. 

William Kent Krueger finalist for Anthony Award

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: May 21, 2014 - 11:30 AM

Last year, Twin Cities writer William Kent Krueger ventured away from his tried-and-true (and much loved) series of mysteries about Cork O'Connor, writing, instead, a coming-of-age novel wrapped up in a mystery and set in 1961 small-town Minnesota. "Ordinary Grace" has been embraced and honored, winning a Minnesota Book Award and an Edgar Award, is now in the running for an Anthony Award.

The Anthony Awards, named for writer Anthony Boucher (a founder of the Mystery Writers of America), will be presented in the fall in California.

Here's the full list:

BEST NOVEL
  Suspect - Robert Crais [Putnam]
  A Cold and Lonely Place - Sara J. Henry [Crown]
  Ordinary Grace - William Kent Krueger [Atria]
  The Wrong Girl - Hank Phillippi Ryan [Forge]
  Through the Evil Days - Julia Spencer-Fleming [Minotaur]

BEST FIRST NOVEL
  Yesterday’s Echo - Matt Coyle [Oceanview]
  Ghostman - Roger Hobbs [Alfred A. Knopf]
  Rage Against the Dying - Becky Masterman [Minotaur]
  Reconstructing Amelia - Kimberly McCreight [HarperCollins]
  The Hard Bounce - Todd Robinson [Tyrus]

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
  The Big Reap- Chris F. Holm [Angry Robot]
  Purgatory Key - Darrell James [Midnight Ink]
  Joyland - Stephen King [Hard Case Crime]
  The Wicked Girls - Alex Marwood [Penguin]
  As She Left It - Catriona McPherson [Midnight Ink]

BEST SHORT STORY
  "Dead End" - Craig Faustus Buck [Untreed Reads]
  "The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository" - John Connolly, Bibliomysteries [Mysterious Bookshop]
  "Annie and the Grateful Dead" - Denise Dietz, The Sound and the Furry: Stories To Benefit the International Fund for Animal Welfare [Amazon Digital]
  "Incident on the 405" - Travis Richardson, Criminal Element's Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble [Macmillan]
  "The Care and Feeding of Houseplants" - Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2013

BEST CRITICAL OR NONFICTION WORK
  Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes - Maria Konnikova [Viking Adult]
  The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines - Cate Lineberry [Little, Brown]
  All the Wild Children - Josh Stallings [Snubnose Press]
  The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War - Daniel Stashower [Minotaur]
  Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense - Sarah Weinman, ed. [Penguin]

BEST CHILDREN'S OR YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
  The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau [Houghton Mifflin]
  Escape Theory - Margaux Froley [Soho Teen]
  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library - Chris Grabenstein [Random House Children’s Books]
  Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy - Elizabeth Kiem [Soho Teen]
  The Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure - Penny Warner [Egmont USA]

BEST TV EPISODE TELEPLAY, FIRST AIRED IN 2013
  The Blacklist - Pilot by Jon Bokenkamp - Sept. 2013 [Davis Entertainment, NBC]
  Breaking Bad - "Felina" by Vince Gilligan - Sept. 2013 [AMC]
  The Fall - "Dark Descent" by Allan Cubitt - May 2013 [Netflix Original]
  The Following - Pilot by Kevin Williamson - Jan. 2013 [Warner Bros. Television, FOX]
  Justified - "Hole in the Wall" by Graham Yost - Jan. 2013 [Warner Bros. Television, FOX]

BEST AUDIO BOOK
  Hour of the Rat - Lisa Brackmann - Tracy Sallows, narrator [Audible]
  Man in the Empty Suit - Sean Ferrell - Mauro Hantman, narrator [AudioGO]
  The Cuckoo’s Calling - Robert Galbraith - Robert Glenister, narrator [Hachette Audio]
  Crescendo - Deborah J Ledford - Christina Cox, narrator [Audible]
  Death and the Lit Chick - G.M. Malliet - Davina Porter, narrator [Dreamscape Media]

William Kent Krueger wins Edgar Award

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: May 2, 2014 - 7:08 AM
William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger

St. Paul writer William Kent Krueger has won his first Edgar Award for best novel for "Ordinary Grace"--not one of his Cork O'Connor series, but an evocative mystery set in the 1960s in southwestern Minnesota.

Here's the Strib review.

The Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America, was presented Thursday night in New York City.

Krueger will speak at 10:30 a.m. May 20 at the Brookdale Library in Brooklyn Center. Free and open to the public.

Here is the full list of last night's winners:

BEST NOVEL 
 
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books) 
 
 
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR 
 
 
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews (Simon & Schuster - Scribner) 
 
 
 
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL 
 
The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood (Penguin Group USA - Penguin Books) 
 
 
 
BEST FACT CRIME 
 
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War 
by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books) 
 
 
BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL 
 
America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture 
by Erik Dussere (Oxford University Press) 
 
BEST SHORT STORY 
 
"The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” – Bibliomysteries 
by John Connolly (Mysterious Bookshop)  2 
 
 
BEST JUVENILE 
 
 
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf BFYR) 
 
 
BEST YOUNG ADULT 
 
 
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young 
Readers) 
 
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY 
 
 
“Episode 1” – The Fall, Teleplay by Allan Cubitt (Netflix) 
 
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD 
 
"The Wentworth Letter" – Criminal Element’s Malfeasance Occasional 
By Jeff Soloway (St. Martin’s Press) 
 
GRAND MASTER 
 
Robert Crais 
Carolyn Hart 
 
RAVEN AWARDS 
 
Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
 
 
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD 
(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 30, 2014) 
 
 
Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books) 

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