'Down River' earns Edgar nomination

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2008

John Hart’s second mystery, “Down River,” has been nominated for the 2008 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America.
His first book, “The King of Lies,” was nominated in the category of Best First Novel by an American Author.
“Down River” is one of five books nominated for Best Novel. The others are “Christine Falls,” by Benjamin Black; “Priest,” by Ken Bruen; “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” by Michael Chabon; and “Soul Patch,” by Reed Farrel Coleman.
The awards will be given in April in New York.
According to Hart’s Web site, (www.johnhart fiction.com), “Down River” has made several “best of” lists.
Sarah Weinman of the Los Angeles Times named it one of her favorite mysteries of 2007. Sharing her opinion is Oline Coghill, who reviews books for the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
January Magazine and The Library Journal have included it in their best of the year lists.
In Britain, where both books were published late last year, The Times of London chose them as “Christmas Choice” books.
Amazon.com selected “Down River” as one of the 100 Best Books of 2007, ranking it No. 6 among the thrillers and mysteries. BookSense chose it as a Picks Highlight book for 2007.
Books from Publishing Laboratory
John F. Blair, Publisher, has become the exclusive distributor for titles from the Publishing Laboratory of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Blair will distribute three existing titles: “Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary” by Andy Wood; “Show & Tell: Writers on Writing,” fifth edition; and “Best Practices in University Teaching,” edited by Caroline Clements Ph.D.
In the spring, these titles will be joined by two new books: a 50th-anniversary edition of Ben Dixon MacNeill’s “The Hatterasman,” which was originally published by Blair; and “The Roots of Penderlea,” by Ann S. Cottle, a memoir of one of the New Deal’s first experimental agricultural colonies.
“The Publishing Laboratory is thrilled to partner with John F. Blair to distribute our titles to the trade,” says Emily Smith, the director of the lab. “Although we’ve successfully promoted our titles in the Wilmington area, we’re anxious to share our authors and books with a wider readership.”
Established in 2000, the Publishing Laboratory is the brainchild of Stanley Colbert, former CEO of HarperCollins Canada and visiting University of North Carolina at Wilmington professor. Among other things, Colbert is famous for selling the manuscript of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”
The Publishing Laboratory is both a teaching laboratory for graduate and undergraduate students and a fully functioning, student-run micropress that issues original works under its own imprint. Not exactly a university press, the Publishing Laboratory emulates the model of a small literary press, producing books both “on demand” and by traditional offset print runs.
For undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in book or journal publishing or attending graduate school in a related field, the Publishing Laboratory offers a Certificate in Publishing. Graduate students have the option of studying in accelerated Publishing Laboratory classes, and the added opportunity to lead undergraduate class sessions and undertake research and book arts projects.
Since 1954, John F. Blair, Publisher, has specialized in nonfiction books about the Southeast: travel, history, folklore, cookbooks and more.