Here as promised is the second part of our annual review for 2020.
Despite COVID – maybe because of it! – we accomplished a huge amount. Part 2 tells you about our publications and the recognition received by our Mesdames and Monsieurs!
The Mesdames welcomed three new members this year, established award-winning writers Jayne Barnard, Therese Greenwood and Melissa Yi. We are now 24 members strong and a national organization!
Awards and Recognitions!
Mesdames and Monsieurs were recognized by many awards and nominations in 2020.
Melodie Campbell, our Queen of Comedy’s hilarious, The Goddaughter Does Vegas (Orca Book Publishers) was a finalist in the CWC Awards of Excellence for Best Novella.
She also signed on with the prestigious Transatlantic Agency!
Lisa De Nikolits‘ thriller The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution was long-listed for the Sunburst Award, Canada’s award for literary excellence in speculative fiction.
Therese Greenwood was awarded The Buffy , the Alberta Arts Council Wood Buffalo Award of Excellence in literary arts. And her memoir about the Fort McMurray wildfire disaster, What You Take with You was a finalist for the Book Publishers Association of Alberta Award for Non-fiction, Biography and Memoir.
Malice Domestic’s anthology, Mystery Most Edible, won Bouchercon’s Anthony Award for Best Anthology. This entertaining collection contains our very own Rosemary McCracken ‘s cautionary tale, “Dining Out”!
Honorary Mme of Mayhem, Cat Mills, had two of her amazing documentaries short-listed at the Yorkton Film Festival, North American’s longest-running film festival. Her uplifting and poignant, Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure and of course, our very own CBC documentary, The Mesdames of Mayhem.
The anthology, Nothing Without Us, was short-listed for an Aurora Award. The stories feature heroes whose disabilities are NOT the focus of the narrative. Our very own, Madona Skaff’s story, “Backbone”, is part of this collection!
Caro Soles was appointed to the Executive Council of the International Crime Writers Association which sponsors the prestigious Hammett Award for literary excellence in crime fiction.
Sylvia Warsh’s chilling story, “Sleep No More”, was a finalist for the prestigious Derringer Award. And it was part of the Mesdames anthology, In the Key of 13!
Never mind that 2020 was Anno Horribilis, the Mesdames had nine novels published as well as their short fiction in several anthologies. Eighteen of us have stories in Carrick Publishing’s collection of medical thrillers, A Grave Diagnosis.
Cathy Astolfo has created another scary tale, “The Backpack”, one of the 35 stories in A Grave Diagnosis.
Jayne Barnard’s fourth novel in the Lacey McCrae series, Why the Rock Falls, was published by Dundurn Press in November. Her classic mystery whodunnit, “A Midsummer’s Night Scream”, appeared in the Sisters in Crime West anthology, Crime Wave. And her story, “A Christmas Rose” appears in A Grave Diagnosis!
Jane Burfield has written a scary COVID tale, “Unmasked” in A Grave Diagnosis.
M. H. Callway tried her hand at a speculative fiction crossover thriller, “The Eternal Bakery of the Fractal Mind” for A Grave Diagnosis.
In August, she completed 200 km in the first virtual Toronto Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Melodie Campbell, our Queen of Comedy, wrote the charming novella, The Italian Cure (Orca) and penned the very funny, “Two Crooks Walk into a Store” for A Grave Diagnosis. Turning to her dark side, she wrote the foreword for the Sisters in Crime West anthology, Crime Wave.
Donna Carrick not only ran Carrick Publishing but also edited the 35 stories in A Grave Diagnosis and wrote the title story!
And she ran and hosted the two popular podcasts, Dead to Writes and Story Stocking!
Lisa de Nikolits’ tenth novel, The Rage Room, has been getting rave reviews. She runs two blogs promoting authors, Author Interviews on Goodreads and The Minerva Reader. Her story, “Love Thy Neighbour”, appears in A Grave Diagnosis.
Therese Greenwood’s historical crime story, “Boomtown Shakedown” is one of the 35 stories in A Grave Diagnosis.
Marilyn Kay, together with Roz Place, kept the Mesdames and Monsieurs and our readers informed for all of 2020. Big thanks and hugs!
Blair Keetch had three short stories published in 2020. “Deadly Cargo” appeared in the anthology, Heartbreaks and Half-Truths (Superior Shores Press). “A Crunchy Kind of Death” was featured in the Dark and Story Bookclub’s newsletter. And “Sleep, Perchance to Die” is one of the 35 medical thrillers in A Grave Diagnosis.
Rosemary McCracken had a busy year. Her short story, ” A Weekend in Lisdoonvarna” appeared in Kings River Life Magazine. She published, Uncharted Waters, the fourth novel in her popular Pat Tierney financial mystery series receiving a warm review by Jack Batten of the Toronto Star. In addition to writing “Hooked” for A Grave Diagnosis, she copy-edited the 35 stories in the collection. She was one of three Canadian guest bloggers on leading US mystery writer, Art Taylor’s website.
Lynne Murphy’s cautionary tale, “Woman Aglow” is published in A Grave Diagnosis.
She was one of three Canadian guest bloggers featured on leading US mystery writer, Art Taylor’s website.
Ed Piwowarczyk psychological thriller, “Danny and Me,” was published in A Grave Diagnosis.
Roz Place’s crossover speculative fiction crime story, “Criminals Like Us” was published in A Grave Diagnosis.
Caro Soles had two novels published in 2020. The first, Marlo’s Dance, (Crossroad Press) is the fourth book in Merculian speculative fiction series. Her literary novel, Dancing with the Chairs in the Music House, was published this fall by Inanna Publications. Her story, “Waiting in the Wings”, appears in A Grave Diagnosis.
Kevin Thornton had three stories published in 2020, two of them were new Sherlock Holmes adventures. “The Impossible Death of Cad” appeared in Beyond the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 3. “The Dundas Separation Squad” was published in the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XXII. His story, “Hypochondriacs Never Get This”, is part of the A Grave Diagnosis collection.
Sylvia Warsh’s story, “The Emerald Skull”, was chosen and reprinted in Barb Goffman Presents as one of her favorite crime stories ever! It was first published in our original anthology, Thirteen. She was also one of three Canadian crime writers featured on US author, Art Taylor’s blog.
Her off-beat story, “Flamingo Nights” was chosen for the 2020 BOULD anthology, which collects bold and outrageous tales. Her thriller short story, “Days Without Name”, is featured in A Grave Diagnosis.
Our newest member, Melissa Yi, released her latest thriller, Scorpion Scheme, in the Dr. Hope Sze series, just last month. It’s already getting good reviews!
Readings and Events!
COVID brought an end to live events early in the year. Several Mesdames participated in the author reading event at the December 3rd Holiday Party hosted on Zoom by Toronto Sisters in Crime and the Crime Writers of Canada. Regular meetings moved onto Zoom after the lockdown and will stay digital for the foreseeable future.
Events at the Toronto Public Library were cancelled, but we look forward to going back to live events at the end of the pandemic. In the meantime, libraries have curbside pick-ups. An author’s best friend is indeed a librarian!
Noir at the Bar continues to be a Toronto tradition and has now moved online.
Lisa De Nikolits was a featured author in October. Thanks to Rob Brunet and Hope Thompson for their support of Canadian crime writers!