Saturday, October 31, 2009

Place of Execution, based on the novel by Val McDermid, Starts Tomorrow on PBS Masterpiece Contemporary

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

Starting tomorrow, Sunday November 1st, and comprising two weekly episodes of Masterpiece: Contemporary on PBS, is the crime drama Place of Execution, based on the 1999 novel A Place of Execution by Val McDermid. (Check your local listings for specific air times.) A Place of Execution is McDermid's most honored work, and was the recipient of several mystery book awards, including the Anthony Award for Best Novel, the for Best Mystery Novel, the in the mystery / thriller category, and the .

Synopsis: It's 1963, and young Alison Carter leaves her home in the small English village of Scardale and literally vanishes into the mist. The mystery unnerves a nation, and captivates George Bennett (Lee Ingleby), the officer investigating his first missing person case. Flash forward to contemporary London, where journalist Catherine Heathcote (Juliet Stevenson) is putting the finishing touches on a documentary about the haunting Carter case. Bennett, who had a long and lauded career as a result of his work on the case, suddenly pulls out of the film, adding fresh intrigue to a supposedly closed case. What could have so rattled the supposed hero?

Return to ...

HBO Adapting Jason Starr Thriller The Follower for Series

The Follower by Jason Starr

Variety is reporting that HBO has ordered an adaptation of the 2007 thriller The Follower by Jason Starr for a series. (It isn't clear from the article if "series" means mini-series or weekly series.) Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less than Zero) is writing the screenplay.

Though the book is a suspense novel about one man stalking one woman, the Variety article suggests the HBO adaptation will be a dark social satire chronicling the dating lives of a group of twentysomething New Yorkers as seen through the eyes of a stalker.

Book synopsis: With each meaningless date and disappointing new boyfriend, Katie Porter is becoming more and more disillusioned. No matter how wide a net she casts she can’t seem to find a guy who really understands her. But someone thinks she’s special—very special. And he’s watching her ...

Peter sees Katie at the gym. He sees her at the coffee bar she stops at on the way to work. In fact, he sees her almost everywhere, as he quietly trails her. But most of all, he sees her in his plans for the future. He’s got the proposal worked out, he’s even got the ring and their happy home already bought. After all, he’s had enough time to plan things to perfection—he grew up in the same small town. Surely, after all these years, he can’t let anything stand in his way …

Return to ...

Reviews of Mystery and Suspense Books for Kids, New This Week on Book Trends

Book Trends: Reviews of Young Adult and Children Books

Book Trends, a review site for young adult and children books, published several new book reviews this past week. We're presenting here a summary of those in the mystery / suspense category.

Andrew North Blows Up the World by Adam Selzer. Non-series. Recommended for readers aged 7 to 9. Reviewed by a 6th grade teacher who wrote, "What makes children's literature an excellent work of fiction? It's the ability to transcend generations. Anyone who picks up this book will put it down with a smile on their face -- regardless of age. That's an excellent book."

For more reviews of children and young adult books, visit Book Trends; their reviews will amaze you!

Return to ...

Mystery Book Review: The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson

by
Non-series

St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-38357-6 (0312383576)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-38357-2 (9780312383572)
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $25.99

Review: It takes just three days to turn Cal Rakowski from a quiet, hard-working, honest auto mechanic into a man running for his life in The Violet Hour, the fifth suspense thriller by Daniel Judson.

Cal’s father and his older brother were both criminals. For this reason Cal keeps a low profile, hoping to keep the Rakowski name out of the news. He works and lives in Bridgehampton, about as far removed from the Hamptons as you can get. His shop is in a rundown three pit garage with a dilapidated home attached. His boss, Eric Carver, pays him “under-the-table” for the work he does. He lives rent free with all utilities paid. Normally he spends Fridays with his friend, Lebell, bar hopping and occasionally drinking too much, but staying out of trouble. One day an old friend, Heather Pamona, calls Cal telling him that she is six months pregnant and she could sure use his help. She has just run away from her abusive husband, Ronnie, and needs somewhere to stay that he won’t find her. Cal suggests that she come to his place. He assures her will take care of her and keep her safe. That Friday, Lebell doesn’t show up for their evening of fun, nor does he call or answer his cell when Cal calls him. But this wouldn't be the first time Lebell skipped out, so Cal isn't overly concerned.

It's Halloween weekend, and Cal finds himself at a party where Heather's husband, Ronnie, is present. As is Heather's sister, Amanda, though it isn't clear if she's there voluntarily or not. Most surprising, though, is the presence of Lobell and his boss Eric, who Cal overhears talking about Lebell's criminal past. Why didn’t Cal know about it? They had been friends for years. What has his friend become involved with now? And what does this have to do with Ronnie Pamona and Eric Carver? Cal, confused by the association of his friend, his boss and Heather’s husband, first makes sure that the sisters are safe, then goes back to find his friend to help him. In doing so, he becomes involved in a criminal activity himself, and when trying to help Lebell flee from the killer, he too must go into hiding.

The Violet Hour is a compelling, if darkly written thriller that exposes abuse of power and corruption in the ranks of authority and compassion and good will between friends who have no one else to turn to. Cal's transformation from mild-mannered homebody to man of action is not as unexpected as it might initially appear; as a mechanic, he's good at tackling a problem, looking at the big picture and determining what he needs to do make things work. He's smart, pro-active, and resourceful. The book's success as a suspense novel is largely due to the strength of character he exhibits. It's all quite well done.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Violet Hour and to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing The Violet Hour from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right.

Synopsis (from the publisher): Bridgehampton auto mechanic Caleb Rakowski gets paid under the table at his friend Eric Carver's auto repair shop and lives in an apartment above. He's good at his job, he's a hard worker, and he’s making a decent living.

But right now he's sheltering a pregnant friend who’ll do anything to keep her abusive husband away from herself and her baby. Cal has sworn to protect her; that's the kind of guy he is, a true friend. Little does he know, though, the trouble destined to come down on them over the course of three days---Mischief Night, Halloween, and the Day of the Dead---when he learns the truth about Eric Carver and what he's been hiding all these years. And little does Cal know how those lies will force him to risk everything to save the people closest to him.

Return to ...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Warner Bros. Launches Sherlock Holmes Viral Online Game

Sherlock Holmes 221b Viral Game

Warner Bros. has launched a new website to promote its upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie, this time creating an online game that can be played alone or with a partner.

The website, 221B.sh, is the gateway to the game, which requires a Facebook account. It's not clear if the game is related to the Sherlock Holmes viral website, which Warner Bros. launched in August.

Here's the official description of the game from the website: 221B is a two-player game immersing you into the world of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. 221B takes you through the events leading up to the very first scene of the new Sherlock Holmes film.

You can play with a friend, one as Holmes, one as Watson, or you can even play alone if you like, taking on the role of both characters. Just as in the stories, you and your friend will investigate crimes, sift through evidence and solve mysteries. You'll also have to stake your reputation as detectives on your deductions. Get them right and you'll soon be the envy of Scotland Yard.

You'll need a Facebook account to play the game. There is a registration process which uses the Facebook Connect system to link you with a friend, so that you can start playing. The game is played out in a prologue and eight chapters, each with its own mystery to solve. You will be notified by email when each new chapter is available.

We registered to play and received a message that the game shall soon be afoot!

Return to ...

Mystery Book Review: Service Dress Blues by Michael Bowen

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Service Dress Blues by Michael Bowen. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Service Dress Blues by Michael Bowen

by
A Rep and Melissa Pennyworth Mystery

Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59058-667-0 (1590586670)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-667-9 (9781590586679)
Publication Date: September 2009
List Price: $24.95

Review: Attorney Rep Pennyworth's latest client hires him to copyright a politically controversial song, then is found murdered soon thereafter, in Service Dress Blues, the fifth mystery in this series by Michael Bowen.

Ole Lindstrom and his wife Lena are aging hippies but still politically active, especially when it comes to local issues, in this case Indians and casinos. They've also been known to be physically abusive with each other. Not long after Ole hires Rep, Lena is arrested for knocking him out with a frying pan. Ole insists she didn't do it (despite the fact she's found with the object in her hands), and bails her out. When he's later found murdered, and scalped, Lena is taken into custody again, though the manner in which Ole is found suggests a political motive rather than a domestic dispute. Meanwhile, Ole had wanted to involve Harald, his All-American nephew and a midshipman at the Naval Academy, in his political campaign, but he's in a bit of trouble himself; his wallet, keys, and more important, his academy pass, have been stolen. Though Rep's client is dead, he wants to clear Lena's name as well as try to figure out if there's a connection between the death of Ole and his nephew's problems in Annapolis. "Ole Lindstrom [was] killed because he tried to prevent the corruption of a corrupt system from corrupting him," he says to Melissa.

Typical of the books in this series, the plot of Service Dress Blues is convoluted, involving disparate, seemingly unrelated events that will eventually be tied together by Rep and his wife Melissa. As Melissa summarizes at one point, "This mess didn't start with the arson in Loki or with Ole Lindstrom's murder or with the burglary of the Lindstrom home last December. It started with Harald Lindstrom being drugged and mugged near Annapolis. This isn't a series of isolated felonies. It's a mini-crime wave focused on the Lindstrom family." Much of the fun in reading these books comes from how Rep and Melissa will link a random encounter in their personal lives that triggers an "a-ha" revelation related to the case. Part of the problem here, however, is their case, solving the murder of Ole, simply isn't all that compelling. There are the requisite number of quirky characters that add color to the story, a locked room / impossible crime aspect that has some appeal, and some interesting locations that Rep and Melissa visit, but altogether it feels a bit flat.

Service Dress Blues has its moments, and fans of the series will enjoy Rep and Melissa's banter as well as the situations in which they frequently find themselves, but overall, it's rather disappointing as a mystery.

Special thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for providing an ARC of Service Dress Blues for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing Service Dress Blues from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right.

Synopsis (from the publisher): On the night before the 2008 Army-Navy Game, a midshipman is found stark naked and barely alive in the lobby of a cheap motel near the Naval Academy. The plebe's closest relatives are Ole and Lena Lindstrom, a pair of aging but still scrappy Wisconsin political activists who want lawyer Rep Pennyworth to help them get copyright protection for an audacious package of campaign ideas that put rich and ruthless gambling interests in the cross-hairs. The political neophyte they have in mind as a candidate heads a think-tank at UWM, where she is exploiting for her own political purposes the sensitive issue of domestic violence.

Ole and Lena themselves have a well-earned reputation for trading punches with each other. So when Ole is murdered, Lena becomes an instant suspect. But Rep and Melissa are sure that more than coincidence ties the midshipman's mugging near Annapolis to Ole Lindstrom's murder in Milwaukee. Along with their good friend, criminal lawyer Walk Kuchinski, Rep and Melissa attack the mystery with unconventional investigative techniques such as discussing Anna Karenina with a hooker, answering baseball trivia questions, and reviewing fourth-grade geography lessons.

Return to ...

Games of Mystery: Alexandra Fortune in the Mystery of the Lunar Archipelago, New at Big Fish Games

Games of Mystery

, your source for mystery-themed electronic and board games, parties for kids and adults, and mystery getaway vacations, is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery game from Big Fish Games released today. You can find out more about these games by visiting our page or by clicking on the links provided below.

Alexandra Fortune: Mystery of the Lunar Archipelago
Alexandra Fortune: Mystery of the Lunar ArchipelagoClick for more information →

Join Alexandra Fortune as she sets out to find her missing grandfather! Unravel the age-old mystery of the Lunar Archipelago, a cluster of islands that contains remnants of every great civilization throughout history and hides a treasure of unimaginable worth. As you guide Alexandra through this thrilling hidden object quest, you'll solve ingenious puzzles, enjoy visually stunning locations and crack a mystery that has the potential to change the world!

Also available: Alexandra Fortune: Mystery of the Lunar Archipelago Game Walkthrough.

Alexandra Fortune: Mystery of the Lunar Archipelago may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (193.41 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour.

Watch a preview video below:

gcads_80x80

Other popular games on our page include several and games, games in the series and in particular the latest, Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure, Enlightenus, Cate West: The Vanishing Files, Return to Mysterious Island 2: Mina's Fate, and Nick Chase: A Detective Story.

Read our new game reviews by Ms. Terri: , , , and .

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

mbfgads_468x60

And don't forget to visit for all kinds of mysterious fun!

Return to ...

Mystery Bestsellers for October 30, 2009

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending October 30, 2009 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

No change at the top this week, with The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown remaining in the top spot, but two new books enter the top 15.

The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

Coming in at number 4 is The Scarpetta Factor, the 17th mystery in the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta—despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN—to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same telecast she receives a startling call—in from a former psychiatrist patient of Benton Wesley's. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds an ominous package—possibly a bomb—waiting for her at the front desk. Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta's life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionaires with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past.

True Blue by David Baldacci

Entering the list in 10th position is the non-series thriller True Blue by David Baldacci. Mason "Mace" Perry was a firebrand cop on the D.C. police force until she was kidnapped and framed for a crime. She lost everything-her badge, her career, her freedom-and spent two years in prison. Now she's back on the outside and focused on one mission: to be a cop once more. Her only shot to be a true blue again is to solve a major case on her own, and prove she has the right to wear the uniform. But even with her police chief sister on her side, she has to work in the shadows: A vindictive U.S. attorney is looking for any reason to send Mace back behind bars. Then Roy Kingman enters her life. Roy is a young lawyer who aided the poor until he took a high-paying job at a law firm in Washington. Mace and Roy meet after he discovers the dead body of a female partner at the firm. As they investigate the death, they start uncovering surprising secrets from both the private and public world of the nation's capital. Soon, what began as a fairly routine homicide takes a terrifying and unexpected turn-into something complex, diabolical, and possibly lethal.

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

The Lost Symbol by Dan BrownNine Dragons by Michael ConnellyRough Country by John SandfordThe Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

Please visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Return to ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NBC Considering a New Crime Drama Featuring an Agoraphobic Magician

NBC

Last month we reported that ABC had ordered a pilot featuring illusionists Penn and Teller. Now Variety is reporting that NBC is considering a drama featuring a crime solving magician.

The untitled project centers on a magician whose career is in ruins after he develops stage fright and agoraphobia -- a Monk variant? A law enforcement agency recruits him to help them solve some of their toughest cases. "It won't be as much of a whodunit as a 'how the hell do we catch him.'" said one of the writers.

We were recently discussing with screenwriter in the industry the 1973 series The Magician starring Bill Bixby and wondering why some studio hasn't updated this terrific series. The ABC and NBC projects don't quit fit the mold exactly, but they're a start.

Return to ...

First Clues Student Review: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
The 39 Clues Series

Scholastic (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-545-06043-5 (0545060435)
ISBN-13: 978-0-545-06043-1 (9780545060431)
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $12.99

Review written by Ashir, a 6th grade student. Date of review: October 2009.

Review: Are you a fan of books with action and adventure? If you are then you will enjoy The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis. It is the fourth book in The 39 Clues series. The main characters in this series are Dan who is 11 and has an amazing memory, and Amy, 14, who is very intelligent.

Dan and Amy find themselves in Japan looking for the fourth clue in their search for the 39 clues which their grandmother has prepared them for. The choice was theirs: they could have taken $1 million and left, which most others did but Dan, Amy and a few others took the deadly challenge. In Japan they are with their uncle Alistair and have made an alliance with him because he helped them get to Japan and find a hotel to stay at. Alistair takes them to a library where they encounter their cousins, the Holts, and are taken to a railway station where they are forced to search on the tracks for the next clue. Amy’s foot is stuck under a part of the railroad track and Dan tries to pull her out but they find that there is a secret compartment and they investigate. They have also made an alliance with their other cousins Ian and Natalie Kabra who promised to help them. Will they keep it up or will one of them break their alliance?

I think this is a very enjoyable and humorous book. For example when Dan and Amy found the overlay (a shaped page) the letters t-o-o-t-a were written on the bottom of the page, Amy says, it’s Toyota. “The letters. They spell Toyota without the y.” Dan replies with a wry comment, “Great Amy. Our next clue is buried in a Sienna minivan.” I liked how the author put a lot of action in the main storyline. The best examples of the action are when Dan, Amy and Alastair are followed into the market by ninjas in taxis. Overall this is a great book for anyone 7 or older to read and enjoy.

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing The Sword Thief from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right.

is pleased to provide information on over 100 mystery series for children and young adults. Each series is conveniently listed under four different age categories: New Sleuths (ages 4 to 6), Future Sleuths (ages 7 to 10), Sleuths in Training (ages 10 to 12), and Apprentice Sleuths (ages 13 and older). If you have a favorite mystery series you'd like to see added to our site, please contact us.

All student book reviews are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner, print or electronic, without the express written consent of the copyright owner. Reviews are published here with permission of the copyright owner.

Return to ...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mystery Book Review: The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

by
Non-series

Random House (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-8129-7802-1 (0812978021)
ISBN-13: 978-0-8129-7802-5 (9780812978025)
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $15.00

Review: Matthew Pearl blends fact and fiction, and posits a plausible solution to mystery surrounding Charles Dickens' final, unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood in The Last Dickens, the author's third suspense novel to feature historic literary figures.

Dickens' novel relates the story of Edwin Drood, an honest if sometimes disturbed young man, who vanishes after provoking the anger of his devious uncle. Dickens had promised his publishers, Fields and Osgood in Boston, that the book would have a curious and new ending. The publishers had been serializing the novel monthly in their trade magazine, anticipating a total of twelve installments. Six of a twelve installments had already been printed. The final installments were en route from London to Boston when Dickens died. A young man from the publishing company, Daniel Sand, was sent to accept delivery of the package at the wharf. After he signs for it, but before he can deliver it, he is killed and the package disappears. James Osgood has a few mindful questions: Who knew the package of installments was aboard the vessel? What could the thief gain by stealing the package? No one could publish the work as it would immediately be discovered. Believing the package to be irrevocably lost, Osgood decides to go to London to determine if there might be other copies of the novel in Dickens’ workroom. Maybe he had told someone about the novel and how the mystery would end. Before he leaves, though, Osgood is reminded by his partner Fields that the purpose of his trip is solving the mystery of the Edwin Drood manuscript, not to create a new mystery of his own making.

This fictional literary mystery within a factual literary mystery is absolutely captivating. Daniel's death appears to be accidental, but he was fleeing from someone with a menacing cane, one with the head of a horned beast, when he's run down by an omnibus. A lawyer, Sylvanus Bendall, is nearby and tries to help, but can do nothing before Daniel dies. Bendall takes possession of Daniel's package and realizes immediately what it is, and how valuable it potentially is. In the meantime, Osgood sails from Boston to London accompanied by Daniel's sister, Rebecca. On board, he's attacked by someone with an identical cane possessed by the person who stalked Daniel. While in London, Osgood and Rebecca are taken through underground tunnels, ghastly opium dens, and anywhere else literary pickpockets and bookaneers frequent, all in an effort to locate a copy of the missing novel.

Atmospheric and cleverly plotted, The Last Dickens is a brilliant novel that proposes an innovative solution to one of the literary world's most enduring mysteries. Readers will have a hard time putting down.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Last Dickens and to Random House for providing a trade paperback edition of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing The Last Dickens from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right.

Synopsis (from the publisher): Boston, 1870. When news of Charles Dickens’s sudden death reaches his struggling American publisher, James Osgood sends his trusted clerk, Daniel Sand, to await the arrival of Dickens’s unfinished final manuscript. But Daniel never returns, and when his body is discovered by the docks, Osgood must embark on a quest to find the missing end to the novel and unmask the killer. With Daniel’s sister Rebecca at his side, Osgood races the clock through a dangerous web of opium dens, sadistic thugs, and literary lions to solve a genius’s last mystery and save his own – and Rebecca’s – lives.

Return to ...

Third Trailer Released for Shutter Island, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island

Paramount delayed the release of Shutter Island until February 2010 but is keeping us interested by regularly releasing new trailers for the film. The third was released today and can be seen below.

Based on the thriller Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as, respectively, U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule who travel to Shutter Island, a small island in Massachusetts’ Outer Harbor and home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to find an escaped murderous patient. But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. And neither is Teddy Daniels. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.

The trailer below contains a few scenes not previously shown in earlier trailers. Note: the volume was very loud when we played it, but the embed code doesn't allow us to preset a lower volume.

Return to ...

The Mystery Bookshelf: A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

The Mystery Bookshelf: Discover a Library of New Mysteries

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, is pleased to feature a new mystery series title we recently received from the publisher.

— ◊ —

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
Non-series
St. Martin's Minotaur (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: October 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-64453-6

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
More Information About A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

About A Place of Execution (from the publisher): On a freezing day in December 1963, Alison Carter vanishes from her rural village, an insular community that distrusts the outside world. For the young George Bennett, a newly promoted inspector, it is the beginning of his most difficult and harrowing case—a suspected murder with no body, an investigation with more dead ends and closed faces than he’d have found in the anonymity of the inner city, and an outcome that reverberates through the years.

Decades later Bennett finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote, but just when the book is poised for publication, he unaccountably tries to pull the plug. He has new information that he refuses to divulge, new information which threatens the very foundations of his existence. Catherine is forced to reinvestigate the past, with results that turn the world upside down.

— ◊ —

About Val McDermid: She was a journalist for sixteen years and is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester. A Place of Execution was the recipient of multiple awards, including the 2001 Anthony Award for Best Novel, the 2001 for Best Mystery Novel, the 2000 for Best British Crime Novel, the 2001 , and the 2000 (mystery/thriller category). Later this month, an adaptation of A Place of Execution airs on PBS.

Mysterious Reviews: Mysteries Reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery BooksMysteries by Val McDermid reviewed by Mysterious Reviews: A Darker Domain (2009).

Return to Mystery Books News

Games of Mystery: The Tudors, New at Big Fish Games

Games of Mystery

, your source for mystery-themed electronic and board games, parties for kids and adults, and mystery getaway vacations, is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery game from Big Fish Games released today. You can find out more about these games by visiting our page or by clicking on the links provided below.

The Tudors
The TudorsClick for more information →

When King Henry VIII asks you to be his eyes and ears, you are drawn into a world of deception and murder. Travel across Europe as a spy and uncover conspiracies, assassination attempts, and other threats against England and her King! Find vital clues in even the simplest of objects as you explore the world of The Tudors. Political intrigue spans national borders in this historical hidden object game based on the TV series!

Also available: The Tudors Game Walkthrough.

The Tudors may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (145.62 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour.

Watch a preview video below:

gcads_80x80

Other popular games on our page include several and games, games in the series and in particular the latest, Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure, Enlightenus, Cate West: The Vanishing Files, Return to Mysterious Island 2: Mina's Fate, and Nick Chase: A Detective Story.

Read our new game reviews by Ms. Terri: , , , and .

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

mbfgads_468x60

And don't forget to visit for all kinds of mysterious fun!

Return to ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Heir of the Dog by Judi McCoy

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Heir of the Dog by Judi McCoy. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Heir of the Dog by Judi McCoy

by
A Dogwalker Mystery with Ellie Engleman

Signet (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-451-22847-2 (0451228472)
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-22847-5 (9780451228475)
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $6.99

Review: Professional dogwalker Ellie Engleman and Rudy, her "yorkiepoo", a Yorkshire terrier/poodle, find murder in Central Park in Heir of the Dog, the second mystery in this series by Judi McCoy.

One evening Ellie and Rudy run across the lifeless figure of Gary Veridon, a homeless park dweller that they had befriended and often stopped and talked with. Since she had found the body (actually Rudy did) and reported it to the police, Ellie naturally comes under suspicion. Ellie has a bit of history here, having been involved in a dognapping homicide a few months ago. She becomes even more apprehensive when a vendor hands her an envelope addressed to “Ellie and Rudy” that had been written by the deceased. Contained in the envelope were a will and a key. Gary’s will left his entire estate to Rudy, with Ellie as the executor. What? Did that mean that Rudy was the sole owner of the trash Gary collected and kept in his beaten down cardboard box shelter that he called his home? Rudy thought there had to be more to it than that. And he was right, there was. The key was to a safety deposit box at a local bank. Sam, the police detective she had worked with on the dognapping case, went with her to the bank. There they find that Gary at one time had an estate of over two million dollars. He had, however, given large sums to various charities, leaving a balance of over $650,000. He had written a note for Ellie telling her that if she had the box she should know that he had been killed by his older brother, Thompson, who had spent 30 years in prison for the murder of their parents. When Sam checked the police files he finds that thirty years ago Thompson Veridon did murder his parents while his young brother, Gary, watched. Gary became a witness for the prosecution and Thompson was found guilty and sentenced to thirty years in prison. Now Thompson has been released from prison and is surely in search of Gary. He wants to collect the inheritence which he believes belongs to him. Did Thompson find Gary in the bowels of Central Park? Was it Thompson who killed Gary? If so, who else will he kill in order to obtain what he believes is his?

Heir of the Dog is an enjoyable, amusing mystery. Ellie is indeed in tune with Rudy; their conversations are comical and witty. But they aren't alone: the repartee between Ellie and Sam is also amusing. In fact, there is a lot of funny dialog between Ellie's friends, Sam, and the dogs she walks. But there's also a murder to be solved, and when Rudy is abducted and kept hidden by the killer for ransom, Ellie is ordered to deliver the inheritence for his safe return. Now it's personal: no amount of money can compare to the love shared with a canine buddy. In the end, Heir of the Dog is a charming and winning whodunit.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Heir of the Dog and to Penguin Group for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing Heir of the Dog from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right. Heir of the Dog (Kindle edition) is also available. Learn more about the Kindle, Amazon's Wireless Reading Device.

Synopsis (from the publisher): Professional dog walker Ellie Engleman is more than just a pal to her pooches -- she can also read their minds. When Ellie and her terrier mix Rudy find the corpse of a troubled-but-harmless park-dweller in Central Park, the dog walker becomes a prime suspect for murder.

When it turns out Rudy is the sole beneficiary of the victim's inheritance, Ellie, Rudy, and Detective Sam Ryder follow the trail of clues to a key to a safety deposit box that just might point to the motive and help them sniff out the real killer.

Return to ...

TNT Orders George Clooney Produced Crime Drama Pilot

TNT Television

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that TNT has ordered a pilot for a crime drama featuring a Memphis cop who moonlights as an Elvis impersonator. Delta is executive produced by George Clooney. No casting was announced.

Earlier this month TNT ordered a pilot for a series based on characters created by mystery author Tess Gerritsen. TNT is also reportedly interested in picking up the crime drama Southland, recently cancelled by NBC.

Return to ...

The Mystery Bookshelf: Dancing with the Demons by Peter Tremayne, a Sister Fidelma of Cashel Mystery

The Mystery Bookshelf: Discover a Library of New Mysteries

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, is pleased to feature a new mystery series title we recently received from the publisher.

— ◊ —

Dancing with the Demons by Peter Tremayne
A Sister Fidelma of Cashel Mystery (18th in series)
St. Martin's Minotaur (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: October 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-58741-3

Dancing with the Demons by Peter Tremayne
More Information About Dancing with the Demons by Peter Tremayne

About Dancing with the Demons (from the publisher): In the late 7th Century, the High King of Ireland is killed at night in the middle of his compound. Who killed him is not in question -- there are unimpeachable witnesses that point directly to the clan chieftain responsible. Dubh Duin is, after all, found by the High King's guards in the High King's bed chamber holding the murder weapon. But with impending civil war in the balance, the motive for the murder becomes of paramount importance.

The Chief Brehon of Ireland asks Fidelma of Cashel -- sister to the King of Muman and a dailagh -- to investigate. What her investigations reveal is an intricate web of conspiracy and deception that threatens to unbalance the five kingdoms and send them spiralling into a violent and bloody civil war and religious conflict. And it's up to Fidelma to not only see to justice but to prevent the violent fracturing of an increasingly fragile peace.

— ◊ —

About the author: Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of Peter Berresford Ellis, a renowned scholar on the Ancient Celts and the Irish. As Tremayne, he is best known for his stories and novels featuring 7th century Irish religieuse Fidelma of Cashel. He lives in London. Visit his website based on the series character at SisterFidelma.com.

Return to Mystery Books News

Games of Mystery: Trapped, the Abduction, New at Big Fish Games

Games of Mystery

, your source for mystery-themed electronic and board games, parties for kids and adults, and mystery getaway vacations, is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery game from Big Fish Games released today. You can find out more about these games by visiting our page or by clicking on the links provided below.

Trapped: The Abduction
Trapped: The AbductionClick for more information →

You've woken up locked in the back of a truck with no idea as to how you got there. What was just an average day, has turned into a nightmare! Crack codes, solve puzzles, and avoid the traps laid out by a dangerous serial killer! Move through different locations while your psychotic kidnapper watches you the entire way. Plot your escape in Trapped: The Abduction, a dark and mysterious hidden object game.

Also available: Trapped: The Abduction Game Walkthrough.

Trapped: The Abduction may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (92.80 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour.

Watch a preview video below:

gcads_80x80

Other popular games on our page include several and games, games in the series and in particular the latest, Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure, Enlightenus, Cate West: The Vanishing Files, Return to Mysterious Island 2: Mina's Fate, and Nick Chase: A Detective Story.

Read our new game reviews by Ms. Terri: , , , and .

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

mbfgads_468x60

And don't forget to visit for all kinds of mysterious fun!

Return to ...

 

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

About Omnimystery News

My photo

Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

Page/Post Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Omnimystery News

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2016 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2016 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved